July 2020

All posts from July 2020

Your Summer Home Maintenance Checklist

by Bevony on July 22, 2020 No comments

Getting your home and yard into tip-top shape this summer will be easier than ever. Here’s everything you need to know and do. 

With every new season, there is a new set of maintenance tasks to take care of for your home. With summer here, you want to take the necessary steps to prepare your home and yard now before it gets too hot. Get as much done now so you don’t have to be doing outdoor maintenance tasks in the summer’s heat. 

There’s a lot to do, you need to check out that Air conditioning Unit or system and may even want to hang a clothesline. With heat and cooling costs increasing you can save by drying clothes outdoors. And if none of those apply to you, keep reading, you’re sure to find something. Let’s dig in!

Check Detectors

Your home may have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. You want to check these to see if they are working properly. Check batteries for lifespan and make changes if necessary. 

Check Cooling Systems

Your fans and air conditioners are about to be hit with their heaviest workload of the year. Ensure they are up for the task by giving them a check. If you don’t have AC units you may be able to easily install some window units or portable units yourself. If you have a central air conditioning unit you will need to have the unit professionally serviced. 

Have ceiling fans? Ensure those are clean. They can easily be cleaned with a damp rag. If your ceilings are high you can get a fan duster or other fan cleaning tool that will help you get to hard-to reach fan blades. 

Install Outdoor Clothesline

Now is a great time to give your electricity usage a bit of a break. With your use of more cooling devices or lower temperatures, you will be using more electricity. Why not take advantage of the heat outside and let your laundry dry out in the summer sun. Plus air-dried sheets smell the best!

Clean that Outdoor Grill/Cooker

Your cooker needs a deep clean before all those backyard barbecues this summer. Always check the manufacturer’s guide before you start. Here are some simple tips for cleaning your cooker. 

Gas Grills: turn your grill on, with the heat on high. With the lid closed, allow the grill to cook for around 30 minutes. Allow the grill to cool, then get your grill brush and brush away any debris. Wipe down the outside of the unit with a damp cloth or sponge along with a suitable cleanser and get rid of any dirt, gunk, or dust on drip pans appropriately. 

Charcoal Grills: Empty out your grill and wipe away any ashy residue you find. Clean the inside with hot water and some dishwashing soap and a scrub sponge or brush. Allow the grill to dry before you use it. 

Shine that Porch

Sweep and mop your porch with a surface suitable cleaner. If you have a buildup on the floors you may use a brush to scrub it away. 

Check on Your Deck

Look for signs of rotting on your deck. You also want to look for any nails that are coming loose. Check if your deck needs sealing by sprinkling some water onto the boards. If you see the water beading up then your boards are fine. If the water soaks away right away you have to reseal that deck

Clean Windows

Now is the best time to clean your windows on the outside. 

Mulch

Now is a great time to add mulch to your garden to keep weeds at bay. This will also help the ground to retain moisture through the summer heat to keep your plants vibrant and looking healthy as they continue to grow. 

Check for Leaks

Check all your hoses and faucets for leaks. A tiny drip can equal lots of water wasted. Even pinhole leaks in hoses can be a problem, but these are easy to mend. For small leaks, a wrap or two of electrical tape should do. For larger leaks, you may need to replace your hose and anything else may require you to get a plumber. 

Primp the Plants

If you have annuals or perennials you will need to deadhead them so that they can remain productive. If you have spring bulbs with visible dead foliage you will need to prune them, so they can have a well-groomed look. But only if their leaves aren’t all green. 

Plan a Timetable for Watering

This is a good time to train your garden so it can endure the harsh, dry days ahead. This also helps you to conserve water. Instead of watering your plants lightly on a daily basis give them a deep watering every couple days. This will help your plants to grow stronger and deeper roots.

Install Doormats

Keep the mud and dirt of summer on the outside by adding doormats at your entry doors. You want to have multiple mats, one coarse one on the outside to catch dirt, and a softer one on the inside. If you live close to the beach you may want to have a bucket, tub, or bottle of water that can be used to wash off sandy feet and sandals before they come into the house. 

There you have it! The 12 things you need to do to get your home summer-ready this year.  What are some of your summer maintenance tips? Share them in the comments section below, we’d love to know what we missed.

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BevonyYour Summer Home Maintenance Checklist

Accessorizing Your Home When the Reno Budget is Low – Part 2

by Bevony on July 16, 2020 No comments

Last week we looked at a couple of tips to help you make your home feel a little new with just a few low budget changes. We pointed out a number of ways you can do this starting in your bathroom. If you haven’t seen that blog post yet, we recommend you go on over and read it here

This week we are back with more ways you can spruce up your home without spending money, time, and resources on a renovation. So let’s get right into it!

Hardware

A couple of door handle changes, towel rod changes, cabinet pulls and toilet holder changes can make a great visual impact. Consider these as the jewelry in a room, they are an easy way for you to change up the look of your space. 

Hardware is really what sets the stage for any room. For an on-trend vibe you can install hardware with a matte black finish or with a brass finish. 

Soft Decor

Spaces such as your living room and bedroom can benefit from an addition of or change of soft decor. Soft decor as the name suggests represents your soft decor items. Think pillows, throws, rugs, and cushions. These provide a great way to add a punch of color or pattern to a room. They can be used to create focal points and even as an expression of your love of artwork. 

Upgrade the Walls

If you can afford to, you can change your walls. This can be with a fresh coat of paint or two or even with some wallpaper. Now you don’t have to do an entire room. If you are opting for wallpaper most companies will calculate the amount you need for you based on the square footage of your room.  You can also use this online calculator.

You can opt to complete an accent wall to give your room and your home a totally different feel. If you are up for a bit of a challenge you can paint shapes onto a wall in different colors to create a unique accent wall with input from each family member. That would be a great way to involve the entire family in creating some character and some memories for your home and household. 

Note that there are types of wall decor that fall under the soft decor category as well. 

Change the Floorplan

Yes, you have had your furniture the exact same way they arranged it in the model house. But who says it has to stay that way? If you can move stuff around and still maintain the functionality of your room, then why not do it? Just get some helping hands for the larger pieces of furniture and make sure you don’t injure yourself. 

Do-It-Yourself is seeing a comeback in the design world now. We can thank COVID restrictions for this. If you have a small project to do around the house, chances are you now have more time than ever to complete it. Why not update your powder room or your bathroom? Or think bigger and update your living room or kitchen. Remember small changes on a limited budget can still make a world of difference 

Tell us in the comment section below, what type of DIY projects you took up around the home and how well did they come out? We’d love to hear from you!

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BevonyAccessorizing Your Home When the Reno Budget is Low – Part 2

Accessorizing Your Home When the Reno Budget is Low – Part 1

by Bevony on July 8, 2020 No comments

There are currently quite a bit of home renovation projects on hold, and DIYers are finding themselves with more time to complete all those decorative projects they have been putting off. Due to social distancing measures, many trades are taking a long time to complete their projects. Customers are being more careful with their budgets and renovations as a whole has taken a hit for the most part. 

Regardless of all the above, you can still show your home a little love. A little change or a couple of small changes can make a big difference and provide your home with the necessary update you seek. A great room to start with when you want to make small changes in your home is with your bathroom or powder room. 

Accessorize 

By adding decorative elements such as candles and florals to your bathroom you can give it a luxe look and feel. 

The great thing with accessorizing is that you already have these items in your home and just need to display them differently or just actually display them instead of having them stored away in cupboards, drawers and linen closets.

Towels

A simple change of your dingy everyday use towels to a set of fresh white ones can make a great difference. Instead of just throwing them over that towel bar, how about you roll them up and give the space that spa-like feel. Roll your hand towels and display them on your countertop on a tray. You can even go further and add decorative elements to the tray such as stones, candles, flowers, etc.

Flowers

If you have a lush and colorful backyard you can source florals right there. This is great as they will be free but fresh and give you the opportunity to create a different ambiance ever so often and you don’t even have to leave your house. 

If you don’t have flowers in your backyard, most people can find affordable picks at their local grocery store. 

You can also opt for fake flowers which are super easy to get. You can find these at your local big retailer, home goods store and even in some clothing stores.

Works of Art

You can add various artwork to your bathroom, no matter the size of the room. Spruce up the room by adding some art to a bare wall. And we’re not simply talking a painting or hanging picture frame. There are so many options for adding art. Add textured paintings, framed sculptures on the wall, or funny signs and decals on or around your toilet. If you have enough counter space you can even display an item of artwork atop a counter. 

No art at home? No money for a trip to an art gallery? Is no art gallery close by? Don’t worry, you have a couple of options that do not include the above. There are many online options available allowing you to order a digital print online and print at home. Then you can place this into an old frame you have lying around for an inexpensive piece of art. 

There is also the option to order art online that can be shipped to you. Choose what you like and with a coupe finger strokes and clicks you can have it delivered to your door.

Want your art to have your own blood, sweat, and tears in it? Get the necessary art supplies and take to youtube. You can find how-to print instructions as well as videos to help you create a painting step by step. 

Mirrors

No artwork insight? Why not hang a mirror or a few small ones to create a mirror collage. If you have mirrors in other rooms you can change their home and use them to transform another room and change up the style in your home in two rooms at once – Multitasking for the win!

Next week, we will give you more tips on how to make a huge difference in your home by simply making a couple small changes. Bookmark our blog so you can easily find us to get the rest of this edit.

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BevonyAccessorizing Your Home When the Reno Budget is Low – Part 1

Mortgage Support in Times of Trouble

by Bevony on July 2, 2020 No comments

Many people are facing financial pressure right now due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Families have lost jobs, lost breadwinners, and have been placed in unique financial circumstances. If you need mortgage support you should not hesitate to speak with a mortgage specialist from your mortgage provider. Check out their websites to find support phone numbers where you can reach specialists.  

Lenders are aware of the challenges and are willing to provide support to meet the needs of their customers. Some have options to even offer long-term support for those who are facing challenging financial circumstances. 

Your mortgage provider has options.

You will find some offering;

To note, taking payment deferrals may not be the best option if you have income coming in. This is because the deferred interest will be added to your outstanding balance later and further interest will be accumulating on your new balance. So be sure to ask the pertinent questions before choosing this option. If you must choose the payment deferral option, here are some ways to deal with while helping to keep your balance from ballooning too much. 

Make a Single Prepayment 

Make an extra payment if or when you can.

If and when your circumstances improve and you have the ability to make one lump sum payment in the amount of your deferred payment this will provide a reduction in the life of your mortgage. 

Persons with the standard closed mortgage have the ability to prepay up to a particular percentage of their original principal amount once in an annual period. 

The prepayment will be applied directly to your mortgage principal. When you get to your renewal date you have the option of making any amount of prepayments to your principal and even have the option for paying off the entire mortgage as well as the option for refinancing without any prepayment charges. 

Make Extra Payments 

Most lenders offer you the option to make extra payments. Find out what your lender allows, for some the extra payments can only be made on the payment date and for others, you can only pay up to a certain amount extra each payment period. 

Any extra payment made is applied to the principal balance and this will end up reducing the life of your mortgage while also saving you money in interest costs. 

Increase Your Payments After the Deferral Period

Typically, you can increase the amount of your payment by up to 10% once in each annual period. The increased payment, of course, goes directly to your principal which means your total interest charges will decrease. This will earn you some savings in the longer term. 

Refinancing your Mortgage 

Refinancing may get you better terms and rates.

If your situation puts you in need of additional funds you may have the option to refinance your mortgage. You can make use of the equity in your home to refinance your current mortgage. This will allow you to readjust the terms and rates of your mortgage. This often works out to be a better way to borrow money rather than taking out an additional loan to meet your needs. 

If you opt to take this route there are a number of variables that you will need to consider. Your mortgage specialist can help you to cover everything in detail. This way you can decide what is the best option for your situation and your needs. 

You can refinance with your current lender or take a look at mortgage rates in British Columbia to see which lender will provide the best option. 

If you are a student there may be additional housing resources available to you that are not mentioned above. 

We hope this information helps you to navigate these difficult times. If you have any tips or advice to add, we’d love to hear in the comments. If you arent already a homeowner and think this is the right time to build, contact us today so we can turn your dream of owning a home into a reality.

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BevonyMortgage Support in Times of Trouble