Is your heat/cooling pump making you sick?

If they are poorly maintained, heat/cooling pumps will become incubators for bacteria which can make your entire family sick. Individuals suffering from asthma are especially at risk.

Most homeowners don’t know this, but it is recommended that heat/cooling pumps be cleaned once a year.

Most manufacturers’ manual does talk about the importance of cleaning and maintaining heat/cooling pumps, but rarely does one mention the risk of mildew if cleaning is not done properly. This goes without mentioning that most people don’t even bother reading the manufacturers’ manual at all. 

Decluttering is good for the mind

We moved into our home almost a year ago and we still have many boxes in storage that we need to go through. Our shelves are already overflowing, our drawers are packed and the closets are bursting at the seams. Both my husband and I felt anxious and frustrated about our lack of progress and space.

We started to clear things out again, including getting rid of clothing that doesn’t fit or anything that we haven’t used in a year. Two of my desk drawers were filled to capacity. They have been thinned out. We’re not done. Our storage room is still cluttered and chaotic, but it’s an improvement and it is already feeling more like a home we are proud of.

The act of decluttering had a way of generating fresh energy, creating not only physical space for more clarity, but our minds also felt lighter.  As we decluttered our home, not only did we get to clean up and create more space, we also cleared our mind of all the stress that came with the numerous unpacked boxes and the extra stuff we didn’t need.

I find the same thing at work. You can tell my state of mind by how cluttered my desk is. Every now and again, I make a point to declutter my desk and I immediately feel less stress.

Does your clutter reflect the level of stress in your life? 

Life is a series of transitions

Life is a series of moments, a series of transitions. It can sometimes feel like an emotional roller coaster especially when these changes are all happening at once or in a small amount of time.

April 2017 – Renters to Homeowners 

moveBuying our first home was a monumental step, one that is still feeling a bit unreal. Sitting at the table with the lawyer signing contracts I felt like a 5-year-old wondering why the grown ups were letting me sit at the table and sign papers with important words on them. We finally moved in at the end of June and we are still

We finally moved in at the end of June and a month later, we are still not done the fixing, renovating and unpacking every room. Trying to keep the house clean through all of this has been quite a challenge.

May 2017 – We are getting Married! 

18813869_1686399251387439_2179318344109338012_nIt had been raining all week and finally, on our special day, we finally had beautiful summer sunny weather. Although our wedding was small and uniquely geeky, it still took a year of preparation to make our dream come true.

We are already approaching the end of July and we are just now mailing the thank you cards. I know it’s late, but through the health concerns, the move and waiting for our professional pictures to arrive, we are just now able to concentrate on this task.

June 2017 – RAI Treatment / Renovations / Moving Day / School Ends

June was a very busy month, filled with big transitional moments. I underwent RAI treatment for Hyperthyroidism. This means a full week of complete quarantine and another week of avoiding any situation where there could be pregnant women around since I was still radioactive.

My brand new husband was busy all day at work and all nights and weekend preparing the new house for our arrival. It was very demanding on him physically. I was at home with the kids, packing all our things and helping with final exams.

My kid was graduating from 6th grade and was very nervous about the entire situation. I am so grateful for my eldest stepkid who started high school last year and took the time to reassure her new step-sister.

July 2016 – Is it over yet? 

Our family has been in transition for a few months now and we can all feel the exhaustion from it all. We are looking forward to finishing unpacking and relaxing a bit. I fear that by the time it quiets down, it will be time to get the kids ready for a new school year.

Change is good, but the road is a challenging one.

 

 

 

Going on vacation? How to prevent home burglaries

A recent report from the FBI says that 90% of home burglaries can be prevented.

Thinking ahead before you go on vacation can help stop burglars from targeting your home while you’re away.

Here are some easy tips that can help reduce the risk of burglaries:

Automatic Lights

You can purchase a timer for your lights at Home Depot or Canadian Tire for example. They cost approximately $25 CAD. Even if you only purchase one for the living room or the kitchen, it still makes it look like someone is in the house.

Baggage Tags

Write your work address on your baggage tags. Many burglaries happened because some airport employees took a picture of the baggage tag, sent it to someone, who then goes around your house knowing you are away for a while.

Mail Delivery

If you are still getting mail delivery at the house and not in one of those mailboxes at the end of the street, you can have Post Canada hold your mail while you are away on vacation.

Social Media

Don’t post on social media that you are going on vacation and how much time you will be away. You never know who’s seeing your post. Please remember that when one of your friends/contacts like or comment on your post, all of their friends/contacts can see the post. I personally know every single person I’m connected to on my private social media accounts, but I know for a fact that many of my friends have never met the people they are in connected with.

Dreaming of a tiny house?

I love watching television about tiny houses. I especially love the space saving ideas. In another lifetime, I would have loved to live in a tiny house. Unfortunately, I don’t see it as possible with a family of 5 and disabilities.

The tiny house movement is growing but has with anything new not everyone is ready. If you are seriously interested in building a tiny house, make sure you know the laws and by-laws in your area.

A couple who built and are currently living in their dream $45,000 tiny-home, see their hopes killed by City of Vancouver rules. They received an eviction noticed for by-law violence which does not allow tiny homes parked on private property or anywhere without a special permit or approval from the city.

There are a growing number of tiny home advocates across Canada that are challenging zoning bylaws and building codes to make tiny house living possible. There is such movement underway to change bylaws and zoning in municipalities across the province of Manitoba to make tiny houses legal to live in. Lack of tiny home legislation also prompts big fights in Calgary.

Some useful resources:

Our First Home – Moving Day

Looking back, today was a good day. No, today was a great day. Today was a day we started a new chapter in our lives.

It didn’t go as smoothly as we would have liked. Nothing ever does. The movers showed up late, drank on the job, broke furniture and refused to go back for the second load. We ended up having to rent a truck last minute and finding help where we could to bring the rest over.

In the end, today, we moved into our new house and started unpacking our boxes. Today was page one in making our new “house” our new “home”. With my chronic illness and my husband’s football injuries, it may take a while to finish installing ourselves, but it doesn’t matter. We are now living in a home we own, everyone has a bed to sleep in and the pool is open. The basics are done. 😛

floor

As of today, we are no longer living in someone else’s building. We put a lot of work into preparing this house for the arrival of our stuff and our family.

Today was a day filled with new memories and we are here celebrating a future full of new memories to come.

So today we raise our glasses, to all of you near and far who have helped us on our journey. It wasn’t the easiest journey, but let’s be honest, nothing worth having is ever easy!

I want to give special thanks to my brand new husband who put a lot of hard work, sweat and blood into the house in the last few weeks.

I want to give special thanks to my father-in-law who helped us with the renovations and make sure the house was safe for our family.

I also want to give special thanks to my own parents who helped me with packing boxes, undo furniture and clean the apartment. Who were there for the kids last day of school while we were busy with movers and technicians alike.

May the good times begin!

Cheers everyone!!!!! Xxxxxx

Home Buyer Plan – Skip the confusion

I’ve decided to write about my experience with the home buyers plan in the hopes to give additional information to anyone who will soon be requesting their retirement plan to transfer into a home buyers plan and hopefully cut some of the confusion out of the process.

house-435618_1920First thing that should be told is that the RRSP in question wasn’t with banks, but financial institution that also do other forms of insurance.

Why make things easy when you can make them complicated.

The client who is requesting to use the Home Buyer Plan is not a financial guru who does this every day. It’s a client who has no clue how the system works and is calling their financial institution hoping that they will guide her/him through the process.

“No problem, we will send you the form. Simply fill it out and send it back.”

Well, that’s sound easy. The form arrives minutes later. This is great! Everything is working out smoothly. We fill it out and we are ready to send it back.

sampler-1508279_1920Nowhere does it say where to send it in. Call the financial institution back. They give me a fax number, but then says that I need to add all kind of information on the top of the page that is not asked for in the form or the email of the first customer service representative who sent me the form and tells me I  void cheque of the bank account I want the money deposited into, even if the form asks all the necessary information for a deposit. No problem, I can do that. I just wished I had received all the information the first time I called.

Add the information, include a cheque. Get refused, the cheque is in my husband name, not mine. I get told by email that I need a cheque that shows my name. The cheque with both our names are in the mail, but could take 10 to 20 days to arrive, which is passed the deadline. The bank can print a few cheques, but without our names.

I call the financial institution to find out if that would be accepted. I get told no, but you can print a direct deposit form and get it stamped by the bank. That will work. Fine, no problem, but why not tell me that the first time I called. Now, we’ve wasted a week and we have a deadline to meet with the notary for the deposit on the home.

pots-716579_1920The poor customer service guy, who wasn’t the one I spoke to the first or second time, didn’t understand why I wasn’t given the information either. He did tell me to call the service line 2 days after faxing them, to confirm reception and there is no other technical issues with the request.

We went to the bank and found out that they don’t use direct deposit forms anymore, but can make us a full page specimen form. I sent it in to the financial institution in charge of my retirement plan hoping it will work. At this point I had very little hope left.

So I called the company to follow up on the request. I learned that they refused the full page specimen form and were asking for real cheques (which we will get past the down payment deadline or the direct deposit form with a stamp that the bank no longer do). After much arguing with the representative, I won my case. They accepted the full page specimen form and put a rush on the deposit.

shutters-669296_1920A few days pass and the money is still missing from the account. I call back for a followup. We have 3 days before we meet with the Notary. We started this process 1 month prior. Guess what?! It was refused again, because the referral number the last customer service guy gave me was not on the original home buyer plan form that I had sent in. Are you kidding me?! Why is it that no one ever calls to let the client know something is awry??? The new person I spoke to, because it’s always a new person you speak to, said he will reopen my case and make sure they don’t process it as a new request, because it would mean I would get the money in the middle of next week which is too late. Now I have to wait and trust (yep, trust, after all of this) that everything will be okay. I’m to call back only Friday to make sure everything was accepted. I am mad as hell.

The financial company should call the clients once they receive the forms and do a once over to make sure everything is good. We call this good business. The financial company failed to call me every time they did find something wrong. My case just sat in a pile of incomplete requests. There is a total lack of service there especially since it’s a Home Buyer’s Plan and the client only do this once in your life.

Later that evening the customer service representative contacted me to confirm the amount I needed deposited in my account. There was some confusing with all of the back and forth and he wanted to make sure that everything was on track. I was relieved and really happy.

still-life-379858_1920The next morning, we checked the account and the money was deposited. The wrong amount. I couldn’t believe it. I burst into tears at that point. I called back and the new person I spoke to explained that there was confusion due to the amount of forms they received. Are you kidding me? You are the one who kept asking me to send the documents all over again every time we spoke?! And guess what, they asked that I send the forms again and they will try to get it through by tomorrow. I don’t want to swear, but the “bleep” deadline is tomorrow. Will our dreams of home ownership actually come true? 

Well, all is well, the missing money was finally deposited in the account at the last minute.

Seriously stressful process. From what I hear, it’s much simpler when your RRSP is with a bank, so if you have a choice, you know what to do.

 

2017 – The year of Milestones

I know that many are saying that the year 2016 was the worst ever. Although it was an extremely tough year indeed, I personally have to say it was also a very good year. A year ago, everything was different and now I look back and I realize that we can achieve a lot more than we thought possible.

2017 promises to be a big year for me and many others. I do not take resolutions per say, but I do have huge plans coming to fruition next year.

  • Buying our first house
  • Getting Married
  • Getting radiation treatment for Grwedding-322034_1920aves Disease and Hyperthyroidism.

I have a feeling it’s going to be the scariest and best year yet.

We already have a home in sight. In the first week of January, we will find out the results of the home inspection done between Christmas and New Years Eve. I feel a ball nerves inside my stomach as I hope that nothing terrible is found and that it’s alright for us to proceed and make an offer.

What are your plans for the year to come?

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