Sunday, 26 August 2012

Care before the storm

By Mark Salerno/Special to the Times

Posted 4 days ago
Summer thunderstorms can produce heavy rain and high winds that can damage trees. However, trees are resilient and can often survive damage with the right care.
Trees provide shade and privacy. They can help block wind in winter, cool your home in summer, reduce pollution, absorb storm water and limit erosion.
Trees also add beauty and value to your home so it’s important to consider all of these things before deciding to remove a damaged tree.
Even a tree that appears damaged can still be structurally sound and capable of providing benefits to you and your community.
As long as you can reach the broken limbs safely, you can restore the shape and health of a damaged tree with proper pruning. Just be sure to do your homework and understand pruning techniques before you start. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has a free fact sheet called Helping Your Trees Survive Storm Damage to help you learn the correct way to prune trees. This involves cleaning up broken branches, removing torn bark and maintaining healthy growing conditions for the tree.
For example, cutting a straight, clean edge close to the mother branch or trunk is critical; however, avoid cutting too close to the trunk.
A wound too close to the trunk, also known as a flush cut, will close slowly and open the trunk to infection and decay-causing organisms.
Torn and damaged bark should also be removed to avoid surface areas that can harbour insects and disease organisms.
If you minimize exposed surface areas by pruning back to the branch collar, remove torn and dead bark and maintain healthy conditions, trees will usually seal, form a callus and close wounds themselves.
Painting, dressing or using sealing compounds are of little or no value in hastening wound closure.
Safety first

If branches are near or touching electricity wires, don’t attempt to cut them yourself.
Report the problem to your electrical utility and wait for the utility’s trained staff to remove the branches.
Also, if the branches are out of easy reach or you don’t feel comfortable performing the work, consider hiring a certified tree care professional.
If you do decide to hire a contractor for either tree removal or clean-up cuts, be sure to check that they have liability insurance, workers’ compensation and chain saw certification and give preference to a firm that employs a certified arborist or tree care professional.
Get at least two or three estimates and set the terms of the contract clearly in writing.
Be sure to ask for references and take the time to check them out.
It’s wise to supervise as the work is being done and, with the help of a tree expert, you can decide on a case by case basis whether to keep or remove trees.
Finally, consider planting a new tree in the spring or fall, if, after receiving advice from a professional, your existing tree is beyond repair and you must remove it.
To help you learn more, CMHC has helpful tips about creating a greener, healthier landscape including an About Your House fact sheet called Helping Your Trees Survive Storm Damage. Download your free copy at or call 1-800-668-2642.
Mark Salerno is the Corporate Representative for the Greater Toronto Area at Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

Monday, 20 August 2012


How much does "potential" cost?
When shopping for a new home, it's a good idea to try and see the potential
of the property you're viewing. It may not be exactly what you're looking for
"as is", but it may have the potential to become your dream home after
some redecorating or renovating.
The challenge is, judging how much work is required. You don't want to buy
a home with the expectation that it requires a $20,000 renovation, only to
discover that it really needed three times that much!
That’s where a good REALTOR® can help.
He or she can help you get a realistic estimate of the cost of repairs,
upgrades, and renovations, and even recommend some reputable interior
designers or contractors.
That way, when you see a home with "potential", you'll be able to make a
more informed decision.
Want more tips on finding and buying your next dream home? Call today.

John Linders
Free: 877-762-2626


Simplifying Your Home Life

Let's face it. Life can get complicated, complex and stressful very easily.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to simplify your life, especially at home.
Here are some tips from the experts:
Don't be ruled by the TV guide. Instead, select what you want
to see and then record those shows. That way, you can watch
them anytime.
Prepare some meals in advance that can simply be heated up
as needed. That reduces a lot of "after-work, gotta-get-dinnerready"
Create a weekly dinner menu. It takes some time to prepare,
but it allows you to shop effectively, and greatly reduces the
stress of figuring out what to cook each day.
Don't accumulate stuff you don't want or need. Give those
things away.
Simplify your cleaning by dividing tasks into ten minute chunks
(such as vacuuming the living room.) Then fit those tasks in
here and there whenever you have ten minutes.
To avoid clutter, adopt the "touch it once" rule, which simply
means putting things where they belong right away.
Think of the home-related chore you hate doing most. Can you
outsource that to a local company, or a neighbour looking for
some work?
Limit the time you and others in your family spend checking
emails and text messages. Consider having an hour or two
each evening that's "no screen" time.
Develop healthy routines, such as evening walks and family
board game night.
These are just a few ideas. If you want to simplify your home life, you can
probably brainstorm several other strategies and habits you can try. The
idea is to make your home an enjoyable place to be – for you and your

John Linders
Free: 877-762-2626

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Hiring The Right Moving Company

Hiring The Right Moving Company
How do you select the best moving company for your needs?
Ask for recommendations from friends other professionals in the local
real estate industry.
Beware of fly-by-night operations. They may seem like a bargain, but
you get what you pay for.
Does the company provide you with a written estimate and contract?
(Beware of movers that just give you a price over the phone.)
Ask if they are covered by insurance, and what their policy is
regarding lost or broken items. Make sure you receive a copy of their
insurance certificate.

Finally, always ask what circumstances would result in extra charges being
applied. The number one complaint received about movers by the Better
Business Bureau is unexpected extra charges.

Questions about moving? Call today.

John Linders


Removing Stains From Rugs And Carpeting

Removing Stains From Rugs And Carpeting

Something has just spilled on your favourite rug or carpet. There's a stain

forming. You're worried. Will you be able to remove it? Will the stain set and

stay forever?

Luckily, there's a good chance you can completely lift just about any kind of

stain – if you follow a few guidelines.

The first rule of stain removal is: act fast. The fresher the stain, the easier it

is to lift. So when you notice a stain of any kind, start to work on it right

away. Don't wait.

Begin by trying to dry blot the stain. Avoid the temptation of using a wet

cloth or detergent, at least at this stage of the game. Blot the stain gently

with a clean, dry cloth or absorbent paper towel. Be patient. It may take

several minutes before you see any results.

If dry blotting doesn't completely lift the stain, mix up a combination of one

glass of water with one teaspoon of lemon juice. Again, take a clean cloth or

paper towel, wet it with the water/lemon mixture, and gently blot the area

(test on an inconspicuous area first). Wait five minutes, then try dry blotting


You may have to repeat the above process a few times.

Using a vacuum cleaner directly over the affected area can also help lift

more of the stain.

If, after all your efforts, some of the stain is still there, place a couple of

sheets of paper towel over the stain, with a few books on top to maintain

pressure. Leave those there for 24 hours. Check every hour or so. If you

see stain on the paper towels, you know it's working.

If all else fails, consider calling in a professional cleaner. They know all the

tricks and can often perform a miracle for you!

Nova Scotia Association of REALTORS® Scholarships Awarded

The Nova Scotia Association of REALTORS® (NSAR) awarded two Nova Scotia high school graduates with scholarships at their graduation ceremonies this week. Joshua Shaw from Tusket, and Margaret Horner from Halifax, will receive a $1,500 scholarship to assist in their post-secondary pursuits. Each year, NSAR awards bursaries to two students who clearly demonstrate a sincere and dedicated commitment to personal growth through higher education. The criteria for winning go beyond good grades; successful candidates must consistently exhibit a sense of maturity and initiative, and display a high standard of engagement in their school and community. All eligible applicants must also be children or grandchildren of a REALTOR®.

John Linders

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Thinking of Moving? Two Things You Need to Know

If you're thinking of making a move within the next few months, there
are two important things you need to know.

The first is the market value of your current property. That's the
amount your home will likely sell for on today's market. When you
know its market value, you'll have a better idea of how much money
will be available to invest in a new home.

The second is an overview of what's available on the market. Which
of the homes currently available for sale meet your criteria with
respect to type of home, special features (such as a big kitchen or
pool), neighbourhood, etc? How much are these homes selling for?

With those two pieces of information, you'll be able to make a better

A good REALTOR® can get that information for you. Call today.

John Linders, BScEng, BEd, MEd
RE/MAX nova
Dir: 902-488-4388
TF: 877-762-2626