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Thursday, March 22, 2012
5 Questions To Ask Any Home Inspector
Hiring the right home inspector is important. After all, you want the inspection to determine the condition of the house as it is probably the most important investment you will make.
Unfortunately, the professionalism and range of services vary widely in the home inspection industry. So it is critical to ask the right questions before you choose. Here are some suggestions for our clients:
1. What does your inspection cover?
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Charity Casino Night
Good Morning Everyone,
When: Friday, April 27, 2012 starts at 6:30 PM
1 Ticket = $75.00
Saturday, March 17, 2012
SEVEN Reasons to Buy an Investment Property NOW
We are suggesting that NOW IS THE TIME to buy that investment property. Consider the folllowing:
1) The apartment vacancy rate reached 1.9% in October 2011, down from 3.6% in October 2010 (CMHC website)
2) Average rent for a two bedroom apartment increased during the same period (CMHC website)
3) Vacancy rate for townhouse rentals was 2% in 2011, down from 3.7% a year earlier (CMHC website)
4) Economic activity is expected to continue supporting rental demand in 2012. Investments in the energy sector are promoting economic growth in Calgary It's common knowledge the Oil and Gas industry cannot hire enough skilled labour to meet demands. (Multiple Media Outlets)
5) According to the The Calgary Herald, “Alberta auto sales were up on a year over year basis by 23.9%”. Increased auto sales are typically seen as a sign of increased consumer confidence.
6) Many houses will Cash Flow with 20% down payment - something that was impossible a few years ago when prices were sky high.
7) House prices have dropped in price over the last 3 years and have levelled off / bottomed out.
All of this equates to sound investment fundamentals. We are seeing increased consumer confidence. Labour is once again moving to Alberta. House prices here are very affordable and mortgage interest rates are at historic lows.
MANY Investment properties will generate Annual Returns of 20% or more over the next 5 years.
Contact us today to discuss your investment goals
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
House Cleaning Mistakes
What’s the dirtiest item in most Canadian homes? Not the toilet or even anything bathroom-related, but the simple kitchen towel according to a study by the Hygiene Council.
Check out this article written by CYNTHIA ROSS CRAVIT over at our friends at 50plus.
According to the study, these ‘dirty’ towels were, in fact, highly contaminated with E. coli, which can cause severe cramping and bloody diarrhea. The explanation for the not so harmless kitchen towel may have less to do with not laundering them than not laundering them properly. In order to kill bacteria, researchers say, towels should be washed in water hotter than 60 C (140 F) or by using boiling water in a pot.
“What is apparent is that Canadians do clean, but not necessarily effectively enough by targeting specific areas with a method that really works,” Dr. Donald Low, a microbiologist at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto and a member of the Hygiene Council, said in a release. “Practicing good hygiene through targeted disinfecting as well as regular hand washing is something we can all do to maintain a clean, healthy home environment.”
So what are some the top mistakes we make when trying to keep our homes healthy and hygienic? Here’s a look at some common cleaning blunders.
6 cleaning mistakes
Not cleaning regularly. Most homes should be cleaned on a weekly basis. The ‘every week’ rule also holds for laundering towels and bed linens. (Remember to wash linens in temperatures of 60 C or 140 F or above to kill bacteria and avoid cross-contamination between infected and non-infected clothing and other items.) And when it comes to bedding, don’t neglect to wash (or dry clean) duvets, comforters and pillows at least once per month to control for dust mites, dander and pollen. Tip: When drying heavier items like comforters or duvets, toss in a clean tennis shoe to help prevent lumping.
Rushing. We’re all short on time — not to mention that cleaning isn’t everyone’s favourite activity! However, rushing the job can mean leaving some pretty scary germs behind. Take time to move furniture, rugs, plants and other items to clean surfaces thoroughly. Also, give your cleaning products time to do their job: most cleansers and disinfecting agents need ‘contact’ time of 1-3 minutes (or longer) to maximize their ability to kill bacteria and other microscopic organisms. (Check the label of your cleaning product for specific ‘dwell’ times.)
Overlooking germy hotspots. Experts recommend paying special attention to the ‘hotspots’ for germs including door and fridge handles, light switches, faucet taps, computer keyboards, telephone hand pieces, chopping boards and utensils, kitchen towels and sink, cleaning cloths and sponges, rubbish bin lids, bathrooms (including toilet seat and flush handle, sink, bath and shower) and water storage containers and filters. Be sure to clean these areas frequently, preferably at least once per day.
Not taking care of equipment. Be sure to change vacuum bags regularly and remove debris from the brushes. And don’t forget to clean mops, sponges and cleaning cloths after each use to avoid spreading around more dirt and germs the next time you clean.
Unsafe use of cleaning products. While in pursuit of a hygienic home, it’s important to keep in mind that certain cleaning agents or combinations of products can actually be unhealthy to use, particularly for people who suffer from allergies or asthma. When certain bleach and acids come into contact, for example, they can create chlorine gas, which is highly toxic. Another example: Combining bleach and ammonia can inflame your airways and damage the lining of your lungs. Avoid mixing your various cleaning products, and as a general rule, select the least toxic or ‘green’ product possible for tackling the job. For instance, a mixture of 10 per cent vinegar with water can remove up to 99.9 per cent of bacteria on surfaces, experts say.
Not wearing gloves. It’s not only about keeping hands attractive and preventing them from becoming inflamed, cracked or chapped. Our skin is permeable, meaning it can absorb the chemicals and toxic substances from cleaning products. Some common solvents can cause serious damage to the liver and kidneys, and even potentially lead to cancer, according to health experts. Also cracked skin means that any contact you have with bacteria in your home can be transmitted directly into your blood stream. The best protection: wear either disposable latex or reusable rubber gloves while cleaning. (If using reusable rubber gloves, buy several pairs to use exclusively for certain tasks such as washing dishes and cleaning the bathroom. This will help to avoid cross-contamination.)
Finally, keep in mind that our hands are the biggest spreaders of germs in the home, and frequent hand washing with good old fashioned soap and water is still one of the best weapons we have for staying healthy.
GERMS: QUICK FACTS
• While some germs cause disease, not all microbes are harmful. They are, in fact, the foundation of the earth’s food chain — and we would not survive without them.
• Germs enter the home mainly by people, food, pets and pests. Cross-contamination happens when germs are transferred from person to person or through direct or indirect contact with a surface — and back again.
• Bad bugs commonly found in the home include MRSA (meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), E. coli, Norovirus and Clostridium difficile.
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
"The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company ...a church ...a home.
The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past ... We cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude ...I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you ...we are in charge of our attitudes."
- Charles Swindoll
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