July 2010

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Todd Hrycenko Home InspectorPool Safety

Pools are a very popular feature for homes in Kamloops due to our warm weather.  Mid summer is the most popular season for swimming pools in Kamloops. Routine maintenance is important for any swimming pool equipment. Here are some must know/must do items regarding swimming pools.
•  Hire a service contractor to routinely check equipment.
•  Establish a maintenance routine based on your pool equipment.
•  Maintain chemical balance, treatment and water chemistry.
•  Keep records on maintenance and water chemistry.
•  Routinely check for leaks at piping and other systems.
•  Regularly change or clean filters and screens.
•  Never allow children to use the pool without adult supervision.
•  Install an electronic or automated safety monitoring system to detect water movement when the pool is not in use.
•  Secure the pool with a proper enclosure such as a 5′ or higher locking fence when not in use.

Keeping Cool with Air Conditioning

Homes in Kamloops often have air conditioners because of our sometimes blisteringly hot summers but very few people know what what to look for if the air conditioner doesn’t seem to be keeping your home cool.  If your home’s inside temperature is feeling more like the warm outside temperature, it could be a problem with the air conditioning system. What should you do to inspect it if the air conditioning is not working in your home?
•  Check the thermostat. Is it set to “cooling” or “AC?” Is it set lower than the room temperature? If it’s a digital thermostat, is the battery dead?
•  Check the on/off switch on the side of the furnace or near the furnace. The furnace fan distributes air for the air conditioner and must be on.
•  Check if the disconnect switch outside at the AC unit is switched off, disconnect pulled or the fuse blown.
•  Check if the main breaker fuse for the air conditioner is off. Reset the breaker or replace the fuse.
•  Check for a broken belt or clogged air filter on the furnace.  This is a VERY common cause of AC not cooling the entire house properly.
•  Check if the coil above the furnace iced up.
•  Check if the exterior coil is dirty or blocked by plants.  Fallen leaves and cut grass in the air conditioner can greatly reduce your A/Cs effectiveness, efficiency, and life span.
•  It is always important to call a qualified service technician when you have questions or concerns and don’t feel comfortable performing the above checks yourself.
Remember to NEVER put your hands or any other part of your body anywhere where you could be injured.  Guards and covers are there for a reason, don’t remove them to look unless you have disconnected all the power to the system in question.  When in doubt, call a professional.

Todd Hrycenko, Global Property Inspections
Phone: 250-371-2787 ac.cbipgnull@ddot

Brenda Colman - Invis Kamloops Mortgage BrokerYou’ve saved for your down payment, you’ve crunched the numbers and you’ve decided on the Kamloops neighbourhood where you want to live – but are you really ready to start shopping around?

Buying your first home is one of life’s most exciting milestones, but there are lots of steps on the way to crossing the threshold as an owner for the first time. To make sure this process goes smoothly, you’ll need to get financing advice right from the get-go and do some work in advance.

Get your down payment and deposit ready. A down payment must come from your own resources, and in most cases must have been held in your account for at least 90 days. Using a gift from your parents or other family member for a down payment?  You’ll need a letter stating that it is actually a gift and does not need to be re-paid. These funds will likely need to be deposited in your account two weeks before your purchase closing date.

The Home Buyers’ Plan is another financing option for first-time buyers. It allows you to withdraw up to $25,000 ($50,000 per couple) from your RRSP to buy or build a home.

Keep in mind that when placing an offer, a deposit is usually required. It can be all, or part, of a down payment.

Figure out what you can afford. The best way to do this is by talking to a mortgage expert and getting pre-approved for a mortgage. A mortgage consultant can provide examples of what monthly payments and home buying costs will be, to eliminate surprises.

Get in touch with the professionals. Think of home buying as a team sport – a mortgage consultant can help you find a good real estate agent, real estate lawyer, home inspector and home insurance agent. Be sure to get in touch with these professionals early in the buying process to avoid last-minute scrambles.

Come up with an offer strategy. It’s easy to get caught up in the emotion, so it is important to decide on a maximum price before bidding and to stick to it.

Choose your mortgage strategy. Ask yourself: Do I want the stability of a fixed-rate mortgage or am I comfortable with the potential rewards and risks of a variable-rate loan? A mortgage expert can help you decide which one makes the most sense for your financial situation, as well as help you understand your payment options and the other features of various types of mortgages.

Get ready to close. When buying a home, it pays to learn about closing costs, which can represent up to 3 per cent of the purchase price, including land transfer tax, lawyer’s fees, appraisal fees, title insurance and home inspection fees.  A mortgage professional can help estimate how much these will cost and offer ideas for how you can cover these costs.

A lot of first-time buyers can’t wait to get out there and house hunt, but they need to understand that this is not a decision to enter into lightly. But with careful planning and expert advice, you can make your first home – and your first mortgage – work well for you in the long term.

Brenda Colman, Mortgage Consultant, Invis Kamloops
P. 250-318-8118  E. ac.sivninull@namlocadnerb W. www.BrendaColman.ca

This weekend’s open houses will be held in Brocklehurst and South Kamloops on Sunday, July 18, 2010.

Open House B23-220 G & M  living room kamloops real estate home for saleSunday, July 18, 2010: 12:30-1:30, B23-220 G&M Road, South Kamloops, $154,900

This 2 year old mobile home has over 900 square feet of living space with 2 bedrooms & 1 large bathroom. There is an open floor plan from the kitchen to the living room w/ vaulted ceilings & a bay window. Outside there is RV parking, large sundeck, fully fenced yard & two storage sheds.

Kamloops Real Estate 70-2401 Ord Rd

Sunday, July 18, 2010: 2:00-3:00 70-2401 Ord Road, Brocklehurst, $104,900

Neat & tidy home in the adult section of Brock Estates. Three large bedrooms & a huge 5 piece bathroom w/ cheater ensuite. Heat pump w/ central A/C, updated flooring, new hot water tank & updated light fixtures. On one of the largest lots in the park. Wired workshop in the back & extra storage shed. Very private yard w/ a patio. Tons of parking.

Click here to view more pictures of these homes.

To view all homes for sale in Kamloops click here.

Kamloops real Estate For Sale 602 Grandview Terrace Boundary road

This large family home in the South Kamloops West End has a 1 bedroom (which easily could be a 2 bedroom) legal suite. The home is located on 2 lots and could potentially have a duplex. Numerous updates have been done over the past 2 years including: all windows, roof, furnace, external doors, paint, some flooring. Beautiful view off of the huge 30×22 patio which has electrical & structurally sound for a hot tub. There is a 3 bay carport with tons of extra parking for an RV or toys. Within walking distance of the university, shopping & transportation. Priced at $439,900

Click here to view more pictures of this home.

To view all homes for sale in Kamloops click here.

Brenda Colman - Invis Kamloops Mortgage BrokerThe Bank of Canada is expected by many economists to raise short-term interest rates in June or July, prompting many Kamloops home buyers and mortgage holders to ask whether a variable-rate mortgage or a fixed-rate mortgage is best for them.

How, exactly, are mortgage rates offered by lenders determined?  Many Canadian mortgage holders are surprised to learn that the pricing for variable-rate and fixed-rate mortgages are determined by two different means.

First, let’s look at the pricing of variable-rate or “floating rate” mortgages.  The rate for these mortgages is tied directly to the Prime rate, which is set by the Bank of Canada, usually through regularly scheduled announcements.  A competitive variable rate mortgage is now commonly available at Prime (now at 2.50%) minus 0.60%, or even lower in some cases.  Those with variable rate mortgages need to keep an eye on the Prime rate and should keep in contact with a mortgage professional, who can explain interest rate trends.

Pricing for fixed rate mortgages follows a separate dynamic, and is a bit more complex.  Fixed-rate mortgages are priced in relation to the bond markets, as bonds are the main competing investment to mortgages for investors.  Mortgages are priced higher than bonds, usually between about 1.20% and 1.90%, to account for higher risk of default and administration costs incurred by investors who hold mortgages as opposed to relatively hassle-free bonds.

The most popular type of mortgage in Canada is currently the five year fixed-rate mortgage.  Discounted rates for this type of mortgage (available through a mortgage broker) have been trending upwards in recent weeks and currently stand at about 4.29%.

With rates for both variable and fixed mortgages relatively low, consumers must decide based on their own preferences and unique circumstances. A mortgage broker can help consumers evaluate their mortgage options and make an optimal choice.

Brenda Colman, Mortgage Consultant, Invis Kamloops
P. 250-318-8118  E. ac.sivninull@namlocadnerb W. www.BrendaColman.ca

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