Reducing the amount of energy your household uses benefits both the environment and your wallet. We've put together a list of some simple things that you can do so that you can spend more time enjoying your home, and less time worrying about what it's costing you.Read More
Did you know the average person throws away 37 kilograms of textiles each year, and 95 per cent of those clothes could be reused or recycled?
Textiles Tuesday will raise awareness on the environmental consequences of clothing and textiles consumption, and provide information on how you can donate your clothes for rewear/reuse.Read More
Wallpaper was a huge fad in the past, but has since gone VERY out of style.
We’ve removed wallpaper more times than we can count, and now we are giving you the inside scoop on the absolute best way to get’r done!
Paint Tray & Roller
Fat Headed Screw Driver
Spray Bottle (optional)
1. Prepare Yourself and the Room
We’re not going to sugar coat this for you - removing wallpaper is a messy, tedious and time-consuming job. Make sure you are dressed in clothes you don't mind getting dirty.
Block off the room from potential trouble such as pets or children and then proceed to place drop cloths at the base of the walls that need to be stripped. If possible tuck the drop cloth under the trim to ensure complete coverage. Then proceed to remove all switch plate and outlet covers from the walls. Be sure to double check the walls for any lingering nails, hooks, or any other item that may slow you down later.
2. Tear Off Wallpaper
Make the next step a little bit easier and tear off any already peeling wallpaper.
3. Mix your Solution
There are countless commercial products available for removing wallpaper, yet we have not found anything that works better than hot water and fabric softener. Mix a 2:1 solution of hot water and fabric softener in a paint tray.
3. Soak Walls
Use your roller to generously apply the solution to one whole wall. The solution needs to soak for a bit, so by the time you get to the end of the wall, the beginning should be fairly saturated. Apply more solution just incase. (The wetter the walls, the easier it will be to remove the wallpaper).
4. Strip Wallpaper
Grab pieces of wallpaper where they have begun to peel away and gently pull upwards. Use a putty knife to help you. Continue these steps until you have removed all of the wallpaper and the glue underneath. Spray bottles and sponges are handy tools when dealing with especially difficult or hard to reach areas.
5. Wash the Walls
Once all of the wallpaper and the majority of the glue have been removed, it’s time to wash the walls.
Fill a bucket with some dish detergent and hot water. Use a sponge or rags to wash down the walls, scrubbing carefully to ensure you have removed all traces of the wallpaper adhesive. For best results, wash the walls twice (yes twice, but the good news is that you have a rhythm going and you’ve got this!).
6. Rinse & Dry the Walls
Using fresh water and a fresh sponge or rag, rinse down the walls and remove excess water with a clean towel.
Congratulations - You did it! Now to clean up the mess ….
Homes Under $400,000
For homes costing $400,000 or less, you will qualify for a tax rebate of 6%.
HST and the Resale home
You do not have to pay HST on the purchase price of a used residential home. In other words, the purchase is ‘exempt’ from HST.
The Canada Customs and Revenue Agency defines ‘used residential property’ to include a previously occupied house, condominium, apartment, summer cottage, vacation property or non-commercial hobby farm, that has been occupied as a residence before you bought it.
Used property can also mean a recently built house that is substantially complete and has been sold at least once before you buy it. For example, if a new house is purchased and resold before being occupied, the new home’s resale price will normally be exempt from HST.
An owner-occupied home is considered a residential property when it’s used primarily as your residence. So, if you are self-employed and purchase a resale home that includes a room used as an office, the entire home still qualifies for the HST exemption.
However, if your owner-occupied home is not used mainly for residential purposes (ie. A retail store with a small apartment upstairs), only the residential portion is exempt from HST on resale. The non-residential portion of the purchase price is taxable.
If you are planning to purchase a resale home, the seller can make a declaration on the deed stating that the property qualifies as ‘used’ for HST purposes.
As with most taxes, there are exceptions to the HST rules regarding resale housing. For instance, most sales of real property by charities, non-profit organizations and other public service agencies are except from HST.
HST and the Real Estate Transaction
HST applies to most of the services provided in completing the real estate transaction. For example, 13% HST is applied to the commission a REALTOR® charges for facilitating a sale. The tax is paid by the person responsible for paying the commission – usually the seller.
REALTOR® commissions are taxable even if the HST owed is reduced by a rebate, or the sale of the property is exempt from HST. For example, if you sell a used home, the sale price is exempt from HST but the REALTOR®’s commission is still taxable.
HST applies to many other services involved in the real estate transaction, such as fees for appraisals, referrals, surveys and legal assistance. Again, HST is charged on these fees regardless of whether the house you purchase is exempt from the tax.
One exception is that mortgage broker fees are exempt from HST if the fees are charged separately from any taxable real estate commissions. Additionally, mortgages and interest on mortgages are HST exempt.
HST and RENT
No HST is payable on residential rents. However, if you employ a REALTOR® or another professional to find and arrange a tenant for your rental property, HST applies to the fees and commissions they charge for providing this service. HST also applies to the fees charged to the landlord for the property management, as well as repair and maintenance services. Monthly fees charged by condominium associations are not subject to HST.
When is HST Payable?
HST is normally due and payable when the real estate transaction is completed. This is usually referred to as the closing date. In some cases, HST could be payable on transfer of possession.
For buyers, HST owed on the purchase price of non-exempt property, as well as fees and commissions for professional services is also paid at closing.
For sellers, HST owed on fees and commissions for professional services is also paid on closing.
Your REALTOR® can answer your questions about the closing date and HST payments. For additional HST information, contact your local Canada Customs and Revenue Agency office.
Plastic pollution is a problem.
It’s a problem that is not only choking our oceans and destroying our Earth, but that is also poisoning us.
Together we need to educate ourselves and others about the truth regarding plastic pollution and what we can do to help!Read More
Shoes, toilets, cars… these are common things we all see each and everyday. It’s not everyday, however, that you see a house designed to resemble one…
Welcome to Haewoojae, the world's only toilet shaped house.
Sim Jae-duck, is known to many as South Korea's 'Mr.Toilet' as he made his political career from beautifying public bathrooms. Mr. Jae-duck, now the chairman of the organizing committee of the Inaugural General Assembly of the World Toilet Association (yes, apparently that is a real thing!) built this toilet-shaped home to commemorate the inaugural meeting.
Sim hopes his unique $1.1M home will spark some conversation and help to improve worldwide hygiene.
This colourful home was built by Javier Senosiain and inspired by the works of architects Antoni Gaudi and Frank Lloyd Wright.
Photos & Architecture: Javier Sensosiain
Originally designed in 1948 as a form of advertising by the "Shoe Wizard" Colonel Mahlon Nathaniel Haines, this 25 foot tall and 48 foot long work boot even has a shoe shaped dog house in the backyard.
With help from his 35 students from the University of Cincinnati College of Design, architect Terry Brown created this home out of metal, wood, glass, shell and ceramics. This one-bedroom, one-bathroom, 1260 square foot dwelling comes complete with anthropmorphic window shapes, stained glass and tiled ceilings.
Designed in the UFO craze of the late 1960's this 2000 square foot home has three bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a retractable staircase.
A neighbour once told a funny story about the former owner who had a fight with her husband and subsequently trapped him inside the home by pulling the staircase up and then parking his truck underneath it so that he couldn't get down the stairs without damaging his vehicle!
Design & Architect: Curtis King, Photos: Zillow
Although it may look it, this suprisingly energy efficient home is not mobile.
Now the National Trust Bank in Scotland, this 19th century building was once the home of the Earls of Dunmore. The pineapple shaped cupola that sits atop the pavillion is a whopping 14 meters high.
Photos: Scotland Now
Designed by bothers Eduardo & Octavio Ocampo (one of Mexico's most famous artists), this unique beach house features many ocean inspired details including sinks and faucets made from coral.
Photos: Trey Speegle
These houses may look like they were built using reitred boats, but don't be fooled, these ships were not designed for the sea.
Architect Miles Kellogg built these homes in the late 1920's using salvaged wood from the local bathhouse and the 1888 Moonlight Beach Dance Parlor hotel that failed to survive Prohibition.
Spring is here and with it comes new growth - but did you know that many common plants could potentially harm your pet?
Below are some of the most common plants that could prove harmful and even fatal if ingested by your four-legged friend.Read More
In small areas, a mirror helps to create the illusion of space by reflecting light around the room. Placing a mirror across from a window can transform a room.
Light creates depth. More light = more depth.
Dark colours might look neat, but they absorb light which in turn makes the room seem smaller. By using lighter, neutral colours that reflect the light your room will feel more spacious and airy.
You may think that by pushing your furniture against the wall it will give you more space and make your room seem bigger, but in fact the opposite is true. Shoving furniture into the corners of the room makes the space feel cramped and crowded. By pulling your furniture away from the walls (even by only a few inches) you will create the illusion of space.
Decorative accents that are smaller than a grapefruit can actually make a room feel more crowded. Going for fewer decorations that are slightly larger will make a big difference.
When possible, opt for furniture pieces with exposed legs. This creates a sense of space and light.
Just because your windows aren't very tall, doesn't mean that your curtains have to be. Instead of mounting your curtain rod right above the window, hang it higher and slightly wider to make your ceiling look taller.