IT’S SPRING MAINTENANCE TIME

Spring is the perfect opportunity for homeowners to prepare their property for the months to come and to help protect their investment, too. Here are our top tips to get started:

  • Check siding for cracks, peeling or chipped paint, and general wear and tear. Have damaged areas repaired and repainted as needed for lasting protection.
  • Clear gutters and downspouts of debris that collected over the winter.
  • Check patios and walkways for cracks and any loose bricks or pavers. These are a tripping hazard that needs to be corrected promptly.
  • Clean window screens and repair any holes or tears, or replace the screen material.
  • Look around the property for damaged tree limbs and branches. If a large tree appears to be damaged, stay safe and call a professional to address any issues.
  • Inspect the irrigation system for broken sprinkler heads and emitters. Also check for overspray and adjust the system to prevent water waste.

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BUYER AWARE

There is simply no better way to get to know a home, learn about any issues and understand its features than by getting a complete, professional home inspection.

  1. Learn about any major defects or damage that will need to be addressed. Things like a new roof or repairing a foundation are costly but necessary.
  2. The home inspection can reveal potentially dangerous conditions, including problems with the electrical system or a malfunctioning furnace.
  3. A home inspection is also the best way to get to know the general condition of the home.
Is the attic adequately insulated? Is the water heater on its last legs? Is the dryer vented properly? These are just a few
more examples of how buyers can benefit from an inspection.


You’ll gain peace of mind (and a lot of knowledge) by getting your home inspected.

 
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Taking some practical precautions around the home can help keep you safe during the holidays. Here are our top tips for the season:


  1. Use non-flammable decorations both indoors and outdoors.
  2. Check holiday lights for damaged wires and plugs. Enjoy indoor lights only while someone is at home and shut them off before turning in for the night.
  3. Keep live Christmas trees in a water-filled stand and check the water level daily. Dried-out trees are extremely dangerous and should be discarded immediately.
  4. Never allow children to access or use matches, lighters or candles.
  5. Keep space heaters away from bedding, curtains, paper—anything flammable. Never leave a space heater unattended while in use.
  6. Busy with holiday cooking and baking? Kitchen fires are the leading cause of house fires. Keep a multi-purpose fire extinguisher within easy reach and know how to use it.


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Smoke alarms are an important defense against injury or death in house fires. Here’s what you need to know:


  • As in real estate, location is key! Smoke alarms should be in installed every bedroom, outside every sleeping area, and on each level of the home.
  • It’s best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for placement, whether on the wall or ceiling. High, peaked ceilings have dead air space at the top; in these instances smoke alarms should be placed no closer than 3 feet from the highest point.
  • There are two primary types of smoke alarm technology: ionization and photoelectric. According to the National Fire Protection Association, ionization alarms are more responsive to flames, while photoelectric alarms are more sensitive to smoldering fires. For the most comprehensive protection, both types or a combination unit should be installed.
  • A common rule of thumb is to replace alarm batteries when changing to or from Daylight Saving Time in fall or spring. Many newer alarms have 10-year lithium batteries that eliminate the need for new batteries, but the unit itself must be replaced when the battery dies.
  • If the alarms are hard-wired to the home’s electrical system, make sure they are interconnected for maximum effectiveness – meaning that if one alarm is triggered, all of the others will sound as well. 
  • The newest type of interconnected smoke alarms are wireless. This technology allows detectors to communicate with one another and, like their hard-wired cousins, will sound all of the units even if just one is triggered initially.

Early alerting is key to surviving a fire. Following these simple but important measures allows occupants to be warned, helping to prevent injuries and fatalities.


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With these maintenance basics completed, you will enjoy the comforts of your home all season long and protect your investment, too.

  1. Clear gutters of leaves, sticks, and other debris. This may need to be done more than once during the season. If the gutters can accommodate them, leaf guards are real time-savers and prevent clogging.
  2. Caulk around exterior door and window frames for a tight seal. Look for gaps where pipes or wiring enter the home and seal those as well to protect from water, insects and mice.
  3. Use binoculars to check the roof for missing or damaged shingles. Water, wind, ice and snow can cause serious damage to a vulnerable roof, leading to a greater chance of further damage inside the home. Always have a qualified professional inspect and repair the roof.
  4. Have the furnace inspected to ensure that it’s safe and in good working order. Most utility companies will provide basic, no-cost furnace inspections to their customers. Replace disposable furnace air filters or clean the permanent type according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  5. There’s nothing like a wood-burning fireplace on a chilly fall evening. For safety, have the firebox and chimney professionally cleaned before use this season.

Courtesy of Pillar to Post Home Inspections.

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The charms of living in an older home can be many – history, style, craftsmanship, quirks. But maintenance can be tricky and expensive, especially if certain systems and features have been neglected over the years.


  • Energy inefficiency is probably the number one issue with older homes. New windows can be very expensive, but will contribute immensely to reduced energy use and lower heating and cooling costs. Replacement windows are available in several styles and at different price points, so finding ones that suit the look of an older home is easier than ever.
  • Poor insulation wastes energy and money, and makes living in the home uncomfortable. The most important area to insulate is the attic, but walls and floors above ventilated crawlspaces should also be insulated if possible.
  • Check old water pipes to identify the material and determine if they need to be replaced. Some older materials such as galvanized steel, iron, and even lead are still in use today even though new construction doesn’t allow them. Replacement options include copper and CPVC piping.
  • Outdated electrical systems are often found in older homes and may not only be dangerous, they can make the house uninsurable in some situations. Even if no danger is present, we use much more electricity in our homes today and the capacity of older systems may be inadequate. Only a qualified electrician should attempt any repairs or updates to a home’s electrical system.

With careful maintenance and a nod to history, older homes can be comfortable, stylish, and even energy efficient in the right hands.


Courtesy of Pillar to Post Home Inspections.

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With inventory at or near all-time lows, many homes are selling “as is” and moving quickly. In this seller’s market, is a pre-listing home inspection still a good idea? The short answer is “Yes.” Here’s why:

  1.    Homes with a pre-listing inspection sell for more
  2.    Get to closing faster
  3.    Fully understand the home before listing
  4.    Gain seller confidence that they’re getting the best price
  5.    Create buyer trust through transparency about the home’s condition.


Pillar To Post Home Inspectors truly understands the challenges and opportunities this kind of market creates. As North America’s leading home inspection company, we have been ensuring confident home ownership for over 25 years. We are here to help.       

                                                                                                       

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Hot Markets: Yes, Your Buyers Need A Home Inspection!

Many buyers in today’s red-hot real estate markets are tempted to forego the home inspection. An otherwise strong offer may not even be considered if it has contingencies for the inspection or appraisal for example, yet there are abundant reasons why a home inspection should be a necessity even if it isn’t part of the sales contract.


First, the home inspection allows the potential buyer to learn about any major defects or damage that will need to be addressed. Things like a new roof or repairing a foundation are costly and will need to be budgeted for, on top of all the usual costs of homeownership like property taxes, mortgage payments, insurance and regular maintenance.


Second, the home inspection can reveal potentially dangerous conditions. The electrical system may be outdated or have faulty and unsafe wiring. The panel could be undersized and unable to meet a modern household’s needs. There could be safety issues with the furnace or fireplace that need to be addressed. If the buyer is unaware of existing conditions, it can put them in harm’s way.


Third, a home inspection is also the best way for a buyer to get to know the condition of the home in general. Is the attic adequately insulated? Is the water heater on its last legs? Is that water stain caused by an active leak, or is it not really a concern? These are just a few more examples of how buyers can really benefit from having the home professionally inspected. In short, the buyer needs to know what they’re buying. Whether or not it’s part of the transaction process or takes place after closing, a home inspection is in the buyer’s best interest and is key to their peace of mind.


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BC's SPECULATION AND VACANCY TAX DEADLINES:


MARCH 31, 2021  -  Declaration deadline


JULY 02, 2021      - If applicable, speculation and vacancy tax payment due.


JULY 03, 2021      - If applicable, interest will begin to accrue on any unpaid

                                tax amount.


WHO NEEDS TO DECLARE?

Residential property owners in the taxable regions must declare. Business partnerships, trusts and corporations must provide information on corporate interest holders and beneficial owners as part of their declaration.


If a deceased owner remains on title, their estate may still have to complete a declaration, and if applicable, pay owed tax. Go to gov.bc.ca/spectax for more information.


WHERE YOU CAN FIND HELP:

gov.bc.ca/spectax


1-833-554-2323 to speak with a tax agent

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Improving Indoor Air Quality

Our homes harbor more than just our families and possessions. Home is also where pollutants, allergens, and other irritants accumulate and thrive, with possible harmful effects on our health. There are simple steps homeowners can take to improve the air quality in their home and increase their comfort and well-being.


GET A HANDLE ON HUMIDITY

Keep indoor humidity below 50% to help prevent mold and dust mite growth. Once mold gets established it can continue to grow even at lower humidity levels. Use exhaust fans in kitchens and bathrooms, make sure the dryer is properly vented to the outdoors, and address any leaks or condensation issues. A dehumidifier can help in especially humid locations such as basements.


REDUCE DUST

Dust can contain pollen, mold spores, lint, animal dander, bacteria and more. While it’s impossible to completely rid a home of dust, there are ways to help control it. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter that traps small particulate matter. Change or clean the furnace filter regularly, according to manufacturer’s instructions. High-quality furnace filters are more expensive but do a better job of filtering dust, pet hair and other particles.


VENT IT

Open doors and windows whenever possible to improve air circulation and allow the house to “breathe” fresh air.


CLEANER CLEAN-UP

Choose cleaning products with environmentally friendly formulations. Many of these products do an equal or better job than their conventional counterparts. Dispose of old paint, pesticides, solvents and other products so they aren’t leaking fumes into the home. Check local requirements on how to properly dispose of such items.


By taking these relatively easy steps, homeowners can truly make their home a breath of fresh air.


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The data relating to real estate on this website comes in part from the MLS® Reciprocity program of either the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) or the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB). Real estate listings held by participating real estate firms are marked with the MLS® logo and detailed information about the listing includes the name of the listing agent. This representation is based in whole or part on data generated by either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB which assumes no responsibility for its accuracy. The materials contained on this page may not be reproduced without the express written consent of either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB.