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How To Shop the Room!

How to Winterize the Home and Save Money

Winter is just around the corner. Days are getting shorter, the weather is getting cold, and there are holidays to prepare for!

For many, winter is a stressful time of year. Lots of people go over budget at the start of the season, then they have to deal with soaring heating bills and damages to the home.  

If you’re hoping to save a little trouble, now is the time to get started. Here are a few ways you can prevent damage, reduce stress, and save money this winter.

Clean up and get organized 

Messy, cluttered environments cause stress and reduce our ability to focus. Start winterizing by picking things up and putting them away. Get organized, make donations, and sell what you don’t need anymore. Selling things online is easier now than ever.

When you’re done tidying up, deep clean your space. Dust, vacuum, mop, and wipe down your furniture. You’ll be happy that you did, and your home will be better protected against pests. Cleaning up is a great way to start any project.

Photos By: Pexels and Unsplash

Pest-proof the exterior

Pest-proofing is often overlooked, but it’s a cost-effective and a great way to avoid a pest problem. Mice, spiders, cockroaches, and centipedes are common in the winter. Grab some caulking and fill every gap you find in your window frames, door frames, fascia boards, and siding. Close the openings around cable lines, faucets, and vents. Then, cover your vents with a quarter inch mesh to keep rodents out. Fix broken window screens.

If you need help, reach out to Cockroach Control Oshawa or another professional near you. They can pest-proof your property for you and get rid of any existing pests quickly.

Fix drafts

Add weatherstripping to your doors and windows to keep the cold out. This will help you save on your heating bills and make you feel more comfortable. You’ll also be preventing any mice from crawling under the door. Visit your local hardware store and find weatherstripping that you can cut and install yourself.

Insulate with thermal curtains and rugs

Windows can lose up to 20 times more heat than the insulated walls around them. To reduce this loss, add heavy drapes or thermal curtains to your windows. Open them during the day to let in the sun, then close them when it gets dark. For bonus insulation, try adding rugs to your floors. You can find rugs at competitive prices online and from off-price retailers.

Shop early for holidays

Book your travel arrangements now, before things run out. You can also take advantage of sales and order things well in advance. Shopping at the last minute might encourage you to make impulse buys and spend more money than you had to. If you start your shopping now, you will know that your items will arrive on time that will save you a lot of stress.

Clean the gutters

Clean the gutters now before it snows and it’s too cold to do it safely. Doing so will prevent serious damages, like flooding in the basement, water damage in the walls, and attic leakages. Scoop all the leaves and debris into buckets, then rinse the gutters clean. Then, you can add gutter guards to prevent blockages in the downspouts.

Cover patio furniture

Cover your patio furniture with waterproof covers or put them away in the garage for the winter. This is an easy task that will prolong the life of your furniture, saving it from rust and winter damage. In the spring, simply take the covers off and wipe the furniture down with a cloth. You’ll be ready for patio season in no time at all.

Change the furnace filter

Now is a good time to clean or replace your furnace filter. The filter in your HVAC system gets clogged with dust over time, which strains the system and takes more energy to function. Fixing the filter will only cost a few bucks, but it will save you on your bills and help you breathe better.

Program the thermostat for cold weather

Do you leave the house to go to work? Turn the temperature down a few degrees when you leave, then turn it back up when you get back. Heating may account for as much as 70% of your bill. If you can make the investment, switch to a programmable thermostat so you can set a schedule and it will do it for you automatically.

Take advantage of off-peak hours

Evenings and weekends are typically the cheapest time to do energy-intensive activities, like doing laundry and running the dishwasher. Find your energy supplier’s pricing scheme online, then use your large appliances accordingly. Most places have “off-peak hours” during which it costs less to do the same things. Taking these hours into account will save you money on your energy bills.

Drain the hose and shut off exterior faucets

Remove the hose, drain it, then put it away in the garage or in a shed. Then, close the valve to the exterior faucet and empty it. This will prevent any water from freezing and causing damage to the hose, or worse, causing the pipe to burst.

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How To Shop the Room!

5 Things You Should Know Before You Rent a Property in Malaysia

Malaysia is one of the most beautiful countries in Southeast Asia and a great place for expats who want to relocate somewhere that will feel familiar, but exotic at the same time. The housing market in Malaysia is also booming and offers tons of options for people trying to live in the country permanently. However, before you book the first apartment that you see, you have to be prepared for some of the realities of renting a home in the country. Let’s take a look at a few things you should know before you rent a property in Malaysia.

Choose the Right Location

One of the most important things for expats is understanding the importance of location when renting a property in Malaysia. You can’t look at the price only; you also have to think of the logistics of getting from point A to point B.

This wouldn’t be so much of a preoccupation if you lived in a major US city, but this is something that will be extremely important here. You have to be somewhere that will be close to where you’ll be working or studying. Learning how to commute in a foreign country from a remote part of town is not easy, and traffic in Malaysian cities can get brutal, so pick your spot wisely.

If you don’t know where to begin when it comes to finding a rumah untuk disewa (house for rent), we suggest you check out Property Guru. This is one of the largest directories for properties in the country and you should be able to find a wide selection of great lots to pick from in virtually any town. They make it easy to filter results based on the type of property you need, and they make contacting landlords very easy too, so this could be a great place to start searching for potential places to stay.

Book Temporary Accommodations First

We would suggest that you book temporary accommodations when you get to the country. This will allow you to visit a few properties before you decide where you’re going to live. This will also give you an idea of whether you actually like the area. When visiting, we would suggest that you choose the time of the day wisely. Someone who’s a light sleeper may want to visit the area in the evenings to see how noisy it gets, for instance. Or maybe you have trouble dealing with the heat. Not all units will have AC, so you should try to go in the afternoon. You’ll be able to see how the windows are oriented and how much of the afternoon sun you’ll be getting.

If the unit you have your sights on has additional amenities like a pool or a gym, we suggest you check them out too. Check their condition and see how clean they are. If you have a car, look at the parking situation. Does the place offer free parking or do you have to pay a monthly fee? Also, check the parking lot and see how safe it is. Make sure that it has lots of lighting and see whether it has security cameras.

Check the Neighborhood

Speaking of safety, it would be wise to do a sweep of the surrounding area to see how safe it is after dark. You should check if the roads are well lit. This is especially important if you will be getting home during the evenings using public transportation. There may also be some things that you can’t live without. If you like to take walks or go for a jog, for instance, you should check if there’s a park near where you live. We would also suggest that you check out other amenities like cafes, shops, restaurants, and markets. Visit at different times of the day too. This will give you an idea of how busy the area gets. You don’t want to get bothered by too much traffic, whether it’s foot or road traffic.

Don’t Overpay

You also have to make sure that you’re getting a reasonable deal on the house before you move in. This can be difficult to assess if you don’t know the area very well, but there are things that you can do to figure out if you’re getting ripped off or not. The best way is to ask people with similar properties around the neighborhood what they’re paying. You can also look up multiple listings for similar properties and compare them. 

Fees and Security Deposits

Know that there will be fees associated with renting a unit outside of the rent price. You will have to pay a stamping fee when signing your tenancy agreement, so you have to know what the percentage will be. Also, know that it’s customary for landlords to ask for a security deposit. This will usually be around 2.5 months of rent.

These are all things you’ll need to have down before renting a property in Malaysia. The process is pretty straightforward and there are tons of great deals to be had, so don’t be afraid to shop around.

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