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Decorate your yard

Pergola, tunnel, deck, gazebo, patio, all these structures are practical, but they also have a decorative aspect, especially when the deck turns into a living area, outdoor kitchen or reception area. Now we talk more about design, with everything this word implies in terms of audaciousness and imagination.

Today, you have to design your outdoor decoration with the same care as you do indoors, because the deck and patio are nothing more and nothing less than an extension of the living area.

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At first, there are the big classics: flower beds, plant pots, small and large vases, grass, bushes, but outdoor decoration goes far beyond the landscaping.

If the deck is medium or large sized, you have something to play with. You can divide the space with benches, vases, decorative lattices, flower beds, screens, geometrical shapes on the ground or projectors at ground level, at night. Continue reading

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Why fight nature?

Nature has the frustrating habit of always wanting to spread on our land. It is invasive. Until recently, we fought it with lawnmowers, cutters and pesticides. But times have changed. More and more owners are letting nature spread. We are in the era of eco-friendly housing.

All owners can contribute to the fight for survival of the planet, not only by carefully choosing the materials for their home, but by taking their fight outdoors: greenery, garden, back yard, driveway and relaxation and reception area.

If you build a deck, a patio or other outdoor structure, whenever possible choose a material that doesn’t need any toxic agents for finishing or preservation purposes: solvent, stain, sealing product, etc. If not, make sure there’s very little.

Wood, stone, brick and even concrete are materials that co-exist very well with eco-friendly housing. Composite wood made of recycled plastic and wood fibres are not bad either. Because they are smaller structures, you have the ideal opportunity to opt for recycled materials. Continue reading

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Top home buying lessons

ADVICES FROM DESJARDINS

In addition to calling upon a realtor for the purchase of your home, here are some tips provided  by homeowners.

The good:

  1. Think about the future

It’s essential to consider your needs, lifestyle and financial resources when choosing location. Because after many years, there’s nothing better than truly feeling at home!

  1. Save up a good down payment

Wait until you have a decent down payment from your personal assets so you can get a reasonable mortgage and cover the 3% to 5% start-up costs. About 88% of buyers manage to do it by using their personal savings, including RRSPs and investments. About 41% of buyers save up a down payment of at least 20%; for 31%, it’s between 5% and 19%.

  1. Look into the HBP

The Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) is a government program that allows you to withdraw up to $25,000 from your RRSP (per person) to buy or build a home. You have up to 15 years to pay it back interest-free.

  1. Do the math

Get preapproved for a mortgage so you can determine your budget and narrow your search to properties that meet your criteria.

  1. Speculate

Buy a house in a neighbourhood that’s going up in value and focus on the value of the land. What criteria should you consider to evaluate the area’s economic situation? Proximity and diversity of businesses and public services (e.g., schools, daycares, parks, hospitals, public transit) are good examples.

On the not-so-good side, here’s what they reported:

  1. Skipping the home inspection
  2. Underestimating the time and cost of renovations
  3. Accepting a purchase offer with a closing day that doesn’t leave you enough time to find a new home
  4. Not dealing with a mortgage broker
  5. Not insisting that the former owners clear out the house completely before you move in

To find out more about the housing sector, visit www.desjardins.com/home. You can also contact a Desjardins mortgage representative at 1-844-626-2476.

Source: www.desjardins.com/co-opme

Building a deck?

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Decks are great. You can lie in the sun or shade and dream, breathe fresh air, have a glass of wine or share a meal with friends. It also increases property value. There’s also the fact that, on nice days, the deck becomes an extra room. The house becomes bigger.

So why not build one? It looks so easy! Well, yes and no. If the deck looks more like a smaller porch, okay. But if you opt for a big, beautiful, friendly deck, roll up your sleeves and be patient.

A passionate do-it-yourselfer can build any size of deck, as long as they are serious, patient and organized. Even better if they enjoy team work.

Before you start the work, take the time to consider the following advice. Continue reading