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  • 5 Tips for Selling Your Home in Spring - DGI Direct
    and dusted every nook and cranny make sure to keep that curb appeal high by tidying up the front yard and driveway Survey your property and remove any debris that winter may have left behind on your front yard Clean up the driveway edge the garden cut the grass and fertilize the lawn To make your home even more inviting to potential buyers add some colourful plants or flower arrangements to the front porch and add a new coat of paint on the garage Remember a spotless interior undercut by a messy exterior does not make for a good first impression so don t skimp on your home s curb appeal 3 Get Those Renovations Done Although it s not necessary to take on any major renovations you simply won t get the money back in your purchase price minor DIY projects around the house will make your home look more appealing to potential buyers Little DIY renovations like changing old doorknobs replacing caulk in the bathroom updating light fixtures and even replacing the front door can actually make a big difference in your home s appearance Remember small projects can deliver big returns Plus if you already have some half finished DIY projects laying around the house it s a good idea to get those done before putting your home on the market 4 Declutter and Depersonalize After you ve spring cleaned and wrapped up those DIY projects make sure to declutter and depersonalize your home to ready it for the eyes of potential buyers If you ve ever strolled through a model home you know that an open house is no place for clutter Buyers want to see a tidy primped version of your house in which they could envision themselves living remove clutter and get rid of any magazines on floors bills or other papers on tables grocery lists on refrigerators etc While you re decluttering take time to depersonalize too that means getting rid of excessive family photos on walls and putting away any particularly eccentric art No would be buyer wants to walk into a living room filled with glamour shots from the 80s 5 Market and Price It Right While it s important to ready your home physically you should also make sure to market it properly to take advantage of this hot seller s season That means researching the real estate market in your area and going over marketing strategies with your agent Since most home buyers start their search online make sure to get your house listed on multiple websites preferably with a set of professional photos detailed descriptions and a virtual tour Online brochures single property websites and real estate websites are all ideal for getting your home some serious exposure Don t forget about open houses plan those with your agent as well When it comes to pricing make sure to compare your house with similar recently sold properties in your area to ensure your price is competitive Remember to

    Original URL path: http://dgidirect.ca/home-tips/5-tips-for-selling-your-home-in-spring/ (2016-05-01)
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  • Essential Resources for Families Moving to Canada
    on to make your arrival and new life easier giving you access to over 2 200 ATMs and 1 300 points of service including over 375 caisses in Quebec and Ontario Learn how to open an account at Desjardins Apply for Important Documents Important documents that you and your family members will need include social insurance numbers health cards and where necessary a driver s licence All Canadian Citizens and permanent residents are eligible for health insurance in Canada You can get an application for a health card from a doctor s office a hospital a pharmacy or an immigrant serving organization Visit the Health Canada website for more information To drive in Canada you ll need a driver s license If you have a valid licence from your home country you may be able to use this to drive in Canada for a short period after you arrive To apply for a Canadian driver s licence select your new home province from the Service Canada website and read the instructions To work in Canada you need a Social Insurance Number SIN To apply for a Social Insurance Number whether from in Canada or from outside of Canada visit the Service Canada website You will also need to register your kids in school and find a family doctor be aware of the 6 questions you should ask your new family doctor Find Housing One of the first steps necessary to take upon arrival in Canada is to find housing Once you and your family have chosen where you want to live you ll need to decide whether you want to rent or buy The majority of newcomers rent before they buy to give themselves time to discover their new city and make a more informed decision You can rent an apartment or a house by searching listings in newspapers or online If you plan to buy property determine your budget preferred area and the type of home that fits your needs before you start your home search Find Employment Here s what you need to know about working in Canada You can work part time full time of start your own business Desjardins also offers a full range of financial products and services to business owners To work you need a Social Insurance Number SIN Before you start your job search gather the documents you need letters of recommendation degrees and diplomas resume etc You can find job offers online e g Job Bank in local newspapers or recruiting agencies Finding a job in Canada can be challenging for newcomers that are not familiar with the language don t have labour market contacts or don t have previous work experience A credential assessment will help you understand the types of jobs for which you might be qualified and help employers understand your qualifications Adjust to Life in Canada Adjusting to your new life in Canada may bring about feelings of stress discomfort insecurity and more You ll be faced with

    Original URL path: http://dgidirect.ca/general-tips/essential-resources-for-families-moving-to-canada/ (2016-05-01)
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  • Four Home Inspection Tips and a Checklist
    loose tiles Ensure cabinets and plumbing under sink in good condition Windows Doors Ensure windows and doors open close properly Check for cracked broken glass or damaged screens in windows Inspect weather stripping for damage Basement Check for large cracks stains in exposed foundation Check for water leaks on ceiling floor No decay damage in structural wood Attic Check for structural and water damage Ensure proper insulation and ventilation Heating Electrical Ventilation Plumbing Check for damaged leaking pipes Check for rust on water heater Locate all water shut off valves remember to prevent frozen pipes in winter close inside valves that supply outside hose bibs Electrical Ensure main electrical panel is easily accessible Ensure all wiring is in good condition no exposed splices Ensure there are CFGI ground fault circuit interrupter outlets in kitchen and bathrooms Outside Driveway Grounds Check for large cracks or uneven portions of driveway Check for standing water Exterior Surfaces Check for cracks decay in siding Check for stains or paint flaking on exterior surfaces Roof Shingles check for rot cracks curling loss of granulation broken or missing shingles Ensure that gutters and chimney are in good condition Miscellaneous Items Ensure that automatic garage door operates properly Make sure outside foundation is in good condition straight no large cracks Ensure smoke carbon monoxide detectors installed as per provincial regulations remember carbon monoxide detectors are now mandatory in Ontario Consider the layout as a whole While it s important to make sure everything in and around your home is in good working order you should also consider if the layout of the house will work for you and your family in the long term If the kitchen is far too small or there s only one bathroom and you really need two then it may be time to reconsider your purchase Figure out where your priorities lie and make sure your potential new home fits the bill Bring someone you trust Two heads are better than one and two pairs of eyes scouring your new home is better than just your own Even the most knowledgeable of home buyers can t catch every single potential inspection issue that may crop up Plus if this is your dream home it s extra important to bring a friend or family member along It s easy to let things slide when you ve got your heart set on a home an inspection buddy can help make sure that you stay thorough even with those rose coloured glasses on Hire an inspector Sometimes professional home inspections are mandatory within a home purchasing contract Even when they re not many people prefer to leave these things to the professionals If you d rather pass on the DIY inspection hire a home inspector and rest easy knowing your soon to be new home is in good hands If you do hire a professional make sure they re licensed and qualified Ask them about their experience and qualifications you ve got every right to

    Original URL path: http://dgidirect.ca/general-tips/4-important-home-inspection-tips-checklist/ (2016-05-01)
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  • Our Guide to Repairing Cracks in Your Home's Foundation
    stress points where the uniformity of a poured concrete wall or floor has been interrupted by placement of a window or inside corners in floors Cracks open in vinyl or ceramic tiles over a concrete floor Water seepage or basement flooding during moderate to heavy rain Outside of the home chipping or very brittle concrete along the bottom sides of the house Reading cracks Hairline spider like cracks in the spaces between or through concrete blocks are rarely worth worrying about see below how to repair these yourself Cracks at an L shape section where a foundation steps down to follow a slope in the ground are likely shrinkage cracks especially if they wander and taper off to a hairline These likely won t cause a structural issue though you might need to seal them to keep the basement dry Cracks that follow the spaces between bricks or concrete blocks point to a bigger concern especially if the wall juts out at uneven levels A moisture problem outside is probably exerting pressure on that part of the wall Generally horizontal cracks in walls are most serious Horizontal cracking higher up on the wall is likely from the freeze thaw cycle When water from downspouts saturate the area it freezes and puts pressure on the basement wall Crack Repair Options If you find small cracks less than 1 4 wide you can paint over them with a concrete waterproofing paint about 25 per gallon and available in hardware stores Check periodically to see whether the paint has cracked which means the crack is opening up under pressure Or use a high quality polyurethane caulk to fill in the joint be sure to avoid these common caulking mistakes A polyurethane caulk will remain pliable to allow for ongoing expansion and contraction Lightly

    Original URL path: http://dgidirect.ca/general-tips/our-guide-to-repairing-cracks-in-your-homes-foundation/ (2016-05-01)
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  • Your Mold Removal Guide - DGI Direct
    not even visible to the human eye locating a mold problem can be problematic A quick comb of your house however can help you identify areas in need of attention Here are some signs to look for Stains on walls ceilings or floors Stains on furniture or wallpaper Dark patches behind appliances around vents or anywhere else moisture could be trapped Musty odours Some key areas to look for mold include Behind and around your bathtub Behind and around bathroom and kitchen sinks Under behind and around refrigerators Anywhere water damage has occurred Behind peeling wallpaper Under previously wet or damp carpets Dark and damp areas of your basement or attic Behind your washing machine Around air conditioning units Around leaky windows In washroom and dryer fans and vents Removing Mold Evicting mold from your house isn t as difficult as it might seem In fact removing surface mold found in bathrooms siding and decks is actually easy and quick Simply scrub affected areas with a brush and a mixture of water detergent and water Your bleach to water ratio should be 1 to 8 Be careful when using bleach to avoid staining or burning organic materials Be sure the cleaned area or object is allowed to dry use a hairdryer for dark and damp areas If your affected area has received extensive water damage carries a strong musty odour or has a mold concentration covering more than a few square feet it s wise to take a few extra precautions to avoid breathing in spores or cross contaminating other areas of your house Be sure to wear old shoes and clothing that can be easily washed or thrown away When removing mold cover your ducts and turn off your air conditioner or furnace to keep spores from spreading Be sure to wear a respirator gloves and goggles Put a box fan in the window to keep the room in which you re working well ventilated When your mold removal is complete throw the fan away it s almost impossible to clean the fan of spores Wet moldy areas with a garden hose to keep airborne spores under control When disposing of moldy carpets be sure to wrap them in plastic Be sure to double bag any moldy debris for disposal Prevention Removing existing mold is only the first step to getting rid of a mold problem in your house The best way to keep mold from coming back is prevention Take a moment to identify what overarching problems are leading to the mold in the first place Are there leaky pipes somewhere behind your moldy wall Is your room properly ventilated Are there leaky windows in your house Are you keeping up with a regular home cleaning routine Addressing moisture issues in your home helps prevent mold from returning stops any existing mold you missed from spreading and discourages mold from growing in new places As a further precaution you may choose to invest in a portable dehumidifier for

    Original URL path: http://dgidirect.ca/home-tips/your-mold-removal-guide/ (2016-05-01)
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  • Simple Storage Solutions to Declutter This Winter - DGI Direct
    or nails Keep salt in a plastic bin with a scoop for easy sprinkling The Car Centralize essential winter items into a car kit Your car kit should include an emergency car kit which you can make yourself and should also contain extra windshield wiper field a blanket compact shovel cat litter warm gloves and a scraper for icy windows Indoors Paperwork Paper will soon be passé With so many things being digitized why not do the same with your old documents Use a scanner to keep old documents in your email USB or an online storage space like mozy com Before you do this think critically about what you really need to have on hand Chances are you ve corralled bills and instruction manuals that can be requested if needed or are readily available online For other things like old birthday cards take a photo of that kind message from three years ago and get rid of the card Remember it s the thought that counts Threads Remove the summer gear and place in a plastic container in a cool dry and airy space Using a cardboard box can lead to pest and insect problems as the glue attracts them Use labels to clearly mark in detail the contents of each box Holiday Trinkets For holiday baubles plastic bins are again your friend Segregate the decorations by level of fragility then layer them onto each other putting the sturdiest ones on the bottom Wrap the most fragile ones in bubble wrap or tissue paper Manage Your Expectations Attempting to declutter your entire home in three hours or even one winter weekend is just not feasible and will leave you feeling defeated Your estimate of how long organizing something will take is probably half the time it will actually take

    Original URL path: http://dgidirect.ca/home-tips/simple-storage-solutions-to-declutter-this-winter/ (2016-05-01)
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  • Fall Maintenance 101 and Tips for Canadian Homeowners | DGI Direct
    be protected with the proper insulation which can be purchased at most home improvement stores Something else that will get a lot of use in the cold weather season is the furnace When spring arrives and the weather gets warmer home improvement experts recommend servicing the furnace so that it s raring to go by the time the cold weather season arrives If this wasn t done however owners should be sure to have it cleaned and inspected so that any leaks are detected Such issues not only waste energy but also pose a carbon monoxide threat Check condition of windows One of the biggest expenses homeowners take on in the average winter are payments for home heating oil deliveries However a lot of the oil that s burned for warmth escapes from the home due to cracks in the windows and doors Any creases and crevices around windows should be replaced with caulking material so that when the thermostat is used the heat remains inside Though it may not seem like it given the fact that it s so cold outside more home fires take place in Canada in autumn and winter than at any other time during the year Though most home fires stem from accidents in the kitchen many are also due to flammable material lighting when heat sources are near them such as space heaters fireplaces and wood stoves Ensure that not only are drapes and furniture are a distance away from potential fire hazards but also that the home s fire extinguisher has been serviced and is readily available It should be filled and ready to go at a moment s notice These are just a few of the tasks to take care of indoors There are many other maintenance undertakings that need to be

    Original URL path: http://dgidirect.ca/home-tips/fall-maintenance-101-for-canadian-homeowners/ (2016-05-01)
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  • Things to Consider Before Buying A Fuel Efficient Car
    Manual vs automatic While it s generally thought that manual transmissions are superior to automatic when it comes to gas mileage this is no longer always the case thanks to advancements in automatic transmission technology Now semi automatics or automatic manual transmissions combine the best of both worlds granting automatic vehicles up to 6 8 gears which better equip the car to keep its engine running at or near its most efficient level This is one of the benefits of purchasing a new car Size weight Carefully consider how much extra cargo room towing capacity and passenger space you need as smaller lighter vehicles are generally more fuel efficient Small cars on the market nowadays are often equipped with as much technology as their bigger counterparts but move through the air with ease Another option is to look for a hybrid or a diesel engine which can make midsize and large cars more fuel efficient The hybrid option Hybrid cars are a cross between a conventional car and an electric car making use of two energy sources gas and electricity Hybrids are more fuel efficient because they have a transmission capable of splitting power between a electric motor and the gas engine The electric motor powers the car at low speeds and the gas engine picks up at higher speeds Hybrids often cost more but depending on how often you drive the savings on gas may be well worth your investment within in a few years Your insurance policy Many insurance providers are happy to reward eco friendly driving with a discount on car insurance Find out the eligibility of the vehicle you have in mind by contacting your agent Desjardins strives to offer members and clients products and services that incite them to adopt eco responsible behaviours and reward

    Original URL path: http://dgidirect.ca/car-tips/things-consider-buying-fuel-efficient-car/ (2016-05-01)
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