Have you ever been curious enough to turn your faucet full-blast on maximum heat, just to see how hot it can really get? Me neither. How about lowering the temperature on your hot water heater to see how much you can save on your energy bill! The optimum temperature for hot water is about 55 degrees celsius; reducing your water heater to this temperature will save you from spending unnecessarily on just having the option to make your next bath an unbearable cauldron of evaporating bath soaps.
Being a first-time homebuyer, you might not already know, but programming your thermostat is another great way to save money. Most thermostats will allow you to lower your home’s temperature automatically when you’re not home or sleeping by programming them to a daily routine that will cool your home during the hours you’re expected to be out-and-about or snuggling under cozy duvets. Believe it or not, this minor adjustment will end up saving you a significant sum of money over the year (enough to take you on a warm vacation if you’re really careful!). Most new homes come with programmable thermostats, but if yours didn’t, or you’ve purchased resale, you can pick one up at a nearby Home Depot for $70+ and they’re pretty easy to install.
Remember what we learned about closing costs and the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) costs on homes with down payments under 20 percent? That annoying stipulation that is part of an insurance policy which protects lenders in the event you default on payments. This strengthens the blow of your monthly mortgage payments, but did you know that it is possible to reduce this number? If you’re in the same boat as many first-time homebuyers and couldn’t put down the 20 percent, increasing the value of your home through upgrades and home improvements can potentially help you avoid paying this additional insurance cost on your monthly mortgage payment. The PMI may be waived if you get your home appraised after the renovations and the value of your home has increased enough.
If you’ve bought a resale home, you might want to consider touching up your insulation, especially in places like the attic. It’s more important than you think; studies reveal that most houses lose close to a third of their heat through roofs and walls. The great news is that you can benefit from Ontario tax credits and grants for up to $750 on projects that cover a minimum of 20 percent of the total ceiling area. For more details click here. As a resale buyer, also check out great incentives provided by the provincial government.
One of the most devastating mistakes first-time homebuyers are guilty of is spending too much on décor and furniture, so how do you avoid having dinner on floor cushions every night? Click here to follow our Penny-pinching decorating ideas for those on a tight budget!