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3 things to consider before renewing your mortgage

Everyone wants to get the best mortgage financing offer. Does that mean getting the lowest rate, the longest term or the smallest payment? The best strategy for one person isn’t necessarily right for another.

Mortgage renewal is the perfect time to reorganize your finances based on your life goals. Your plan will be different, depending on whether you want to pay the lowest interest possible, reduce your monthly payment, save for a special project or optimize your debt repayment.

Here are 3 things to consider before settling on a mortgage agreement that’s right for you.

  1. Your financial commitments 

To find out how much flexibility you have with your budget, calculate the monthly payments for your:

  • Vehicle
  • Credit cards and lines of credit (monthly minimums)
  • Personal loans (e.g., student loan)
  • Other payments, like child support

Note: no more than 40% of your gross household income should go to all of your financial commitments, including your mortgage payment and other home-related expenses (e.g., property taxes, school taxes, energy costs).

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Insulating the Eco-Friendly Way

We are expecting a typical Québec winter this year. That means cold weather, snow storms, and humidity. Should you reconsider your home’s insulation? If so, this is the perfect occasion to take your first Eco-friendly step. Plus, you will save on heating costs.

Good insulation means improved comfort, protection against outside noise and energy efficiency; hence, the importance of having an adequate insulation system.

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First off, here is some basic knowledge. Since hot air tends to rise to make room for the cold air that is flowing down, the roof’s insulation is a top priority. Do not overlook the insulation of the piping system, even if it seems trivial. And remember, properly installed insulation means zero heat loss; therefore, no seams nor openings.

According to many experts, ecological insulation materials are more energy efficient than mineral wool insulators. You can expect less condensation because the ecological insulator is more breathable. In addition, they are less irritating to the skin during the installation. Ecological insulators are not as energy intensive to make as mineral wool, with a few exceptions. Continue reading

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Which Property Should You Choose?

Sometimes, buyers are faced with a difficult decision. They have already crossed out a large number of properties on their list, but two or three are still remaining. Now for the final elimination round. Which property will it be? Need some advice?

  • Ask your real estate broker. If your home search process was rather long, your savvy broker was able to identify your needs and personality because he or she has gotten to know you.
  • You would be willing to live with some constraints. Others, not at all! They would make your everyday life miserable. Learn to recognize them. Be honest with yourself.

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Two-Toned Kitchen Cabinets

The two-toned kitchen cabinet trend is in full swing: one colour for the upper cabinets, another one for the lower cabinets, or a different colour for the cabinet doors. Imagine all the possibilities!

Pairing two colours for the cabinets can instantly revive the whole kitchen, regardless of the colours you choose, whether they are lively or dark hues.

Now, close your eyes and imagine these combos: orange and brown, gold and brown, eggplant and anise green, orange and violet, blue and gold, blue and grey, turquoise and beige, turquoise and chocolate brown, grey and purple, yellow and cream, black and ochre. And the list goes on.

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The Charms of a Minimalist Decor

Minimalism is the process of eliminating clutter. The decorative accessories are thrown out. Only the key pieces are salvaged. Everything is stripped to the bare essentials: colours, materials, and furniture. This gives greater depth to the decor, which is, to be frank, quite refreshing.

Minimalism is at the centre of the contemporary style, but it can also be expressed through other styles, like the rustic, lounge, industrial (loft, among others) decors or the shaker design, which is probably the barest look of all.

The simplicity of minimalism resides more in the shape and number of pieces than in the style itself. Sometimes, a room is so bare that only one expression comes to mind to describe it: it is naked.

The monochrome design is one of the secrets of minimalism. Usually, the colours are neutral. More often than not, everything is white, from the ceilings to the floors, as is the furniture. If not, you will find two colours, seldom three. Oftentimes, it’s the same colour that fades out into different shades. Featured somewhere: a concrete floor painted in turquoise with a sofa of the same colour. Continue reading

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