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Saturday , 25 March 2017

Monthly Archives: August 2013

A quick guide to bed sheets

Having recently found a good buy (read: cheaped out) on some new bed sheets, we can verify, yet again, that you do indeed get what you pay for. Who would have thought that something as simple as a sheet to cover a mattress could also cover such a vast range of choices? Despite having spent a lifetime sleeping on them, one realizes now that bed sheets are full of mystery and beauty and encompass a whole vocabulary previously unknown. Apart from visual considerations such as colour and pattern and whether they have fringes or not, there are three purely technical factors to consider when assessing a bed sheet. Thread count ... Read More »

Affordability need not be an issue for condo buyers

We often talk about the affordability factor in choosing a condominium lifestyle in a market like Toronto. Recently, RealNet Canada showed that the price gap between the “average” low-rise home ($645,854) and the average condo ($430,930) in Toronto has hit a new record high: about $215,000. Never has it been more costly to buy a single-family home, and never have the relative advantages of buying a condo been so obvious. For many first-time homebuyers, the more affordable condos had become the traditional entry point to the real estate market even before the wide divergence in average prices came about. Bigger down payment = smaller mortgage The biggest stumbling block for ... Read More »

How to choose your next, possibly last, light bulb

After 134 years, the incandescent light bulb has finally outlived its usefulness. Incandescent bulbs are disappearing from store shelves in the US and it won’t be long before the same happens in Canada.  By January 1, 2014, old favourites like the 60 and 40 watt incandescent bulb will be gone in the US.  It is time to look to the future and make the best replacement choices for ourselves and the environment. That look to the future is filled with hints and mentions of LED lighting and the recent advances that have made it into a truly viable solution to our lighting dilemma. But the world of LED lighting can ... Read More »

Three Canadian cities in top ten for liveability

You know how politicians always protest that they don’t bother with polls when the polls show the politician is down in them? “The only poll that matters is the one on election day” is the stock, self-righteous response. It’s the same thing with actors, who always say they don’t bother with reviews, just after they’ve been given a slew of bad ones for some clunker at the box office. Well, whatever the politicians and actors really do, polls exist. How much the polls really mean may be another question, but whenever we find ourselves, i.e. Toronto, high up in some international poll, we think it’s kind of cool. So, the ... Read More »

Condo market on the rebound says Conference Board report

Yes, it costs a lot to buy a resale home of a certain type in some markets, and yes, Canadians are accumulating a lot of personal debt that they would be better off without, and yes, interest rates have remained very low for a very long time, allowing homeowners to absorb those higher prices for homes. All of these things are true, the Conference Board of Canada agrees, but they don’t add up to a crash in the condo market. There are too many checks and balances in place. A report  by the Conference Board for Genworth Canada, the mortgage insurer, found that while it’s true that many homebuyers may ... Read More »

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