4 DIY Things You Can Do to Lower Your Energy Bill This Summer!


If you live in a place where summer heat is an issue, this time of year can mean substantially higher energy costs. Here are four low-cost, high-impact changes you can make on your own to save money and keep your home more comfortable this summer.

Clean your window sills
A few seasons worth of dirt and soot can prevent your windows from closing all the way. Even a little air getting in can make your AC less efficient and raise your electric bill. Drafty windows are the top energy leak in a typical home, accounting for up to 25% of a home's energy loss.
DIY level: Easy. You can even make this a chore for the kids!

Install a door sweep
"A common place where air leaks occur is under the door leading from the house to the garage because they are often not as well sealed as doors leading directly to the outside," says Energy Star. Install a door sweep to seal the gap between the bottom of your door and the threshold to prevent cold air from escaping your home.
DIY level: Easy. Use a drill to make holes in the door and screws to attach the sweep.



Caulk your windows
Window air leakage can be reduced by applying a continuous bead of caulk around the window trim where it meets the wall, at the mitered joints of the trim, and between the trim and the frame. Make sure the caulk is intended for indoor use and can be painted. Using Charlotte, NC as an example, the Department of Energy estimated that the average homeowner could save 14% on heating and cooling costs each year with proper air sealing and insulation.
DIY level: Medium. Caulk can get messy, so go slow.

Check your ducts
Ducts are used to distribute AC and heat throughout houses with forced-air systems "In typical houses, about 20% of the air that moves through the duct system is lost due to leaks, holes and poorly connected ducts." says Energy Star. "The result is an inefficient HVAC system, high utility bills, and difficulty keeping the house comfortable, no matter how the thermostat is set." You can check all the ducts you can access, such as those in the attic, crawlspace, or garage. Look for holes and tears, and seal them using mastic or metal tape.
DIY level: Medium. It's just taping, but you'll likely be dealing with tight spaces and a few creepy-crawlies.

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Condo Sales Continue to Dominate Resale Market


Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 2,105 residential properties in June through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 2,064 in June 2018, an increase of 2 per cent. June’s sales included 1,612 in the residential-property class, on par with a year ago, and 493 in the condominium property class, a rise of 8.8 per cent from June 2018. The five-year average for June unit sales is 2,002.


“Year to date residential resales are virtually the same as this time last year with 7,565 transactions so far,” announces Dwight Delahunt, Ottawa Real Estate Board President. “Increasing by 8.3%, condo resales are the driving force for the upturn in units sold in the first half of 2019. Combined residential and condo year to date sales of 9,876 show a 1.8 per cent increase from June 2018,” he adds.


June’s average sale price for a condominium class property was $308,482, an increase of 6.2 per cent from last year while the average sale price of a residential-class property was $500,716, a rise of 11.4 per cent from a year ago. *

“Although, the percentage increase in average price for a residential property climbed into the double digits in June, year to date figures indicate a steady growth of 7.6 per cent and 7.5 per cent for residential and condominiums respectively.”


“In the past decade, we have seen an approximate 52% increase in average prices for residential properties and 34% for condominiums, indeed an excellent return on investment for homeowners,” states Delahunt. “With a population reaching one million residents according to the City of Ottawa, we truly enjoy a high quality of living and remain one of Canada’s most affordable major cities – that’s no small feat.”


The $350,000 to $499,999 price range was the most prevalent price point in the residential market, accounting for 43 per cent of June’s transactions while 29 per cent of residential sales were in the $500,000 to $749,999 range. The most active price point in the condominium market for the third straight month, $225,000-$349,999, accounts for 55 per cent of the units sold.


“Some areas of the city are experiencing multiple offers, and the competition for well-priced and positioned properties is brisk. Even though 39% of properties this month sold above the asking price, the vast majority of properties are still being sold at or below the listed price,” Delahunt points out. “A professional REALTOR’S® market knowledge and neighbourhood expertise are invaluable whether you are a buyer or a seller,” he maintains.


“This is not a speculation market. Going forward, we anticipate there will be a high demand in the foreseeable future due to increasing population and strong employment in the area. We are pleased to see all levels of government starting to address the supply side issue, but we feel there is still work to be done. We will be watching the upcoming federal election closely to gain insight as to how the various parties intend on addressing attainable homeownership issues,” Delahunt concludes.


In addition to residential sales, OREB Members assisted clients with renting 1,314 properties since the beginning of the year, and our Commercial Members continue to be very active in our marketplace.


* The Board cautions that the average sale price can be useful in establishing trends over time but should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. The calculation of the average sale price is based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold. Price and conditions will vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood.

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The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS®, and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are member’s of CREA. The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by CREA and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.