Making basements an asset, not a drawback

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For those living in colder climates, as well as younger buyers, homes that feature basements are more desirable than others, according to recent studies of North American homebuyers. Additionally, data shows that regardless of age or geographical location, energy efficiency is also important to homebuyers. It's with this in mind that property owners who purchase a house with a basement should understand how they can maximize energy savings while also having an extra space for living or storage.

Top and bottom
Unfortunately for homeowners who prefer basements, the tops and bottoms of houses are often the worst culprits when it comes to energy loss. Attics and basements are more susceptible to letting air slip out, and because these areas are used so little compared to the rest of the home, it can be easy for homeowners not to realize they have a problem. Continue reading

Healthy Housing

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While focusing on home loans and mortgage rates is well and good for your finances, shouldn’t purchasing a home be good for your health too? There are a number of ways to ensure that your property is not only protected, but protecting you from illness and poor health.

Moisture
It seems strange that something as vital as water could cause so many health problems, but anyone who has ever dealt with mold in their home understands the dangers moisture can pose. Moisture can lead to mold, microscopic fungi that grow and spread rapidly. Not only can mold damage household materials, but the chemicals and spores released by mold can cause severe health problems, ranging from allergic reactions to respiratory disease. Mold also weakens the immune system, making it especially dangerous to children, the elderly and pregnant women. Continue reading

RBC offers financial advice to families

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The Royal Bank of Canada recently unveiled a financial planning tool to help families learn new and better ways to manage their money.

The Financial Advice for Families section of the RBC website's Advice Centre features a number of experts discussing basic financial strategies in short, easy to understand video clips. The advice applies to most families, whether they're just starting out on the path to home ownership or simply need help with day to day money management. Canadians are invited to learn how to adjust their budgets to include a new child, how to set up a savings goal or even how to teach money management to children.
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British Columbia young families experiencing financial troubles

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With expenses ranging from mortgage payments to daycare costs and student loan dues, young families across British Columbia are experiencing financial hardships caused by a lowered standard of living in the province compared to other areas of Canada.

University of British Columbia's Human Early Learning Partnership says that inflation-adjusted household incomes of young families aged 25 to 34 have decreased by 6 percent since 1976, making it difficult for them to cope with continually rising housing prices, even with the current low mortgage rates. Continue reading