It can be discouraging to get your electric bill and find that the price is still too high for your tastes. This especially applies to people who have just moved into new homes and are likely on a budget to begin with and are trying to keep the electricity bill low. Here are some tips that will help lower the cost of your electricity bill, while having the added benefit in increasing the efficiency of your home.
1. Install Dimmer Switches
This is great if you sometimes find that you keep using more light than necessary. When you install dimmer switches, you can use only as much light as you need.
2. Keep Your Vents Open and Clean
Assess your vents. If you are someone that has central air conditioning/heat, check the vents in your home. Some might actually be closed. After they are all open, the air/heat system will not struggle to keep your home cool/warm. Your vents also have air filters that keep any unwanted debris from blowing through your home – in order to maximize ideal airflow, replace those filters monthly.
3. Reduce Laundry Usage
You have several options in helping reduce laundry usage and costs.
1. Set up a clothesline if the weather is warm outside to naturally dry your clothes. For colder weather, hang clothes on a drying rack or shower rod.
2. Reduce heat. Heating the water in the washing machine takes up most of the energy that your machine uses. Instead wash in cold water to reduce costs.
3. Do laundry at non-peak hours. Companies offer discounted rated during non-peak hours (which commonly begin at 8 P.M.).
4. Switch to LEDs
LED light bulbs use 90 percent less energy than the regular incandescent bulbs. Switch out the most widely used bulbs in your home and replace the rest when the other ones burn out.
5. Adjust Dishwasher Use
Take advantage of the other alternatives that your dishwasher offers such as using the energy saving cycle if it has one. Also, give the air-dry, no-heat feature a dry, since most of the time, a lot of energy goes into heating the water in the dishwasher. Also, make sure to reduce the number of times you are using your dishwasher by making sure it’s completely full before turning it on.
6. Schedule HVAC Maintenance
Schedule yearly HVAC maintenance appointments to increase the efficiency of your HVAC system by having it inspected and cleaned each time. This will also offer cleaner air in your home.
7. Take Advantage of Shading
In the warmer months, you can cut down on air conditioning usage by closing all the curtains and blinds on the sunny side of your home. You can also consider installing tinted window films if necessary. Another option for more shading is to plant trees outside of your property that can shield the majority of the sun’s rays.
These are seven ways that you can help lower the cost of your electricity bill to save you from seeing such a spike every month. Not only do these help save money but it will help contribute to a more energy efficient home.
By now everyone has heard of Airbnb, the popular online hospitality service that allow people to lease or rent short-term lodging. While the concept of Airbnb boasts many advantages, from cheaper rent to more personalized accommodations, it has become an issue for the residents of Vancouver.
With the real estate in Vancouver, coupled with the amount of people that are looking for housing, Airbnb poses a problem in that with the expanding growth in tourists targeting short term rentals, many Vancouver residents can’t find a place to live.
The city of Vancouver cracked down on short-term rentals by announcing a series of restrictions that effectively bans properties from being used full-time on sites like Airbnb.
What caused this to happen?
Vancouver is a popular tourism hot spot with its many scenic naturistic views and popular landmarks. As a result of being one of the most highly sought after cities in Canada, it became the perfect place for tourists to come visit. This was made all the easier by Airbnb, which allowed for more reasonably priced accommodations. The consequence of this was that tourists flocked to Vancouver and took up the majority of the short term rentals for their vacation stay in Vancouver.
This problem expanded to the point where at least 6,000 illegal short term rentals (it is illegal to rent a home for less than 30 days) were operating in Vancouver. The new regulations were put in place to ensure that there is better use of all of the city’s housing that takes the residents into account.
What are the restrictions?
- Short term rentals will only be permitted in homes that already have primary tenants (tenants that reside in the property for most of the year).
- Any units that exist just for the purpose of being rented out in short periods (the city defines the short period as 30 days or less) will not be allowed to operate.
The above restrictions will be effective immediately starting April 2018. The main purpose of these strict regulations is that the city of Vancouver hopes that any short-term rental units will be pressured in joining the long-term rental market and this will create more living space for the residents of Vancouver.
What will keep these rules in effect?
Any resident who wants to rent either their entire home or a room in their home for less than 30 days will have to apply for a business license, pay a yearly fee of $49 and make sure to display their business license number on their online listing.
What are the planned results of these new rules?
These new regulations aim to free up more housing space by cutting down on short-term rentals and have them converted to long-term rental stock, which is highly needed to solve Vancouver’s rental housing crisis and to hopefully provide homes for the thousands of residents in Vancouver that are currently struggling to find a place to live.
If you are thinking of moving to the lower mainland, because of its beautiful naturistic scenes, fresh air and the mild climate appeals to you, then you’re in luck. We’ve compiled this guide of things you need to know about buying real estate in Vancouver. The city’s real estate market is multifaceted with significant price increases for all lodgings such as condominiums, attached homes, detached single family homes and other residential properties. There are many diverse options for those who are seeking a place to live in one of Canada’s most popular and livable cities. However, navigating the real estate market can be hard, so here are some to-know facts and tips to keep in mind when you are buying a home in Vancouver.
Mild climate means easier adjustment period
With the mildest climate in Canada, moving to Vancouver means there is less of an adjustment to the weather when compared to other parts of the country. Not only is it an easier adjustment period, it is a more cost effective one as well. There is less of an investment needed in other areas, like clothing, household appliances needed for snow removal and heating costs.
Subject free offers are common
Real estate is in high demand, and when that usually happens, bidding wars are common and buyers have to get competitive. As a result, many buyers are making subject free offers (real estate offers made with no conditions) to make their bids appear the most committed and desirable. This can be appealing to sellers, but buyers need to proceed with caution and understand the risks.
If the seller accepts the offer always seek legal advice from a lawyer. The buyer is committed to completing the deal, so buyers have to make sure they understand the legal repercussions of a subject free offer.
Timelines can be tight
When there are multiple offers one on property, a lot of listings have tight timelines for the offers to be submitted. This can cause steps that help protect buyers, like home inspections, to be skipped. Buyers need to be cautious and work with an experienced real estate agent to ensure everything is covered despite the timelines.
Increase in deposits
In the current market, the frequency and size of the deposits offered by potential buyers to sellers has significantly increased. For homebuyers, the ability to make a big deposit can make their offer more attractive, and thus increase their chances of being considered. However, there are risks to take into account, like doing a deposit with a subject free offer. This can make it difficult to get back any funding if the deal ends up not closing in the end, as well as the effort to recoup the deposit can result in a loss of money.
If you are ready to buy in Vancouver, gurdialbadhgroup can help you through what can be an overwhelming process for buyers.