Updated: Sunday, January 26, 2020
Tips for Designing a Great Home Office
Natural lighting is preferable in most cases, making a working area near a window ideal. In many instances, daylight hours are limited, so consider investing in a task light. Should it be impossible to set up a workspace near a window, there are light sources available that replicate natural light. When arranging lighting, remember that placing an overhead light directly above a computer screen or setting the screen opposite to a light source increases the glare and should be avoided. The office space should have ample lighting, while taking care to include the ability for the worker to control the lights intensity.
Equipment and Ergonomics
When picking out your office equipment, it is imperative that you focus on its function. For instance, you could choose a working table with nothing more than a lap drawer for supplies if you do not need more storage, or you might opt for a larger desk complete with drawers and space for storing files. It is recommended that you choose an office chair that supports the lower back, and keeps your elbows and knees at a 90-degree angle. Screens should be at eye level and arms length. There are plenty of desk organizers on which unattended tasks can be stored to prevent disorganized piles which impede a persons productivity.
You should choose office equipment that does not compromise on your overall safety and health. Serious long-term health problems can be avoided if you make your office space and equipment as ergonomic as possible right from the onset. Keeping in mind that you will be spending a lot of your time working, personalize your office space to what you would prefer and make it as friendly to your body as possible.
Whether youre trying to study for the MCAT, taking an online course, or just working from home, privacy cannot be overemphasized. Its crucial that you are able retreat to a private area, preferably with a door, to minimize distractions and interruptions. Though headphones can be a temporary solution, continual use of headphones tends to have diminishing returns as time goes on. You can also achieve a sense of privacy by the erecting divider walls. To further cut down on distractions, consider installing low-noise fans and air filters, which are less noisy than most.
One thing people often overlook is equipment cables. Consider talking to your office designer about integrating a way to hide cables that are not only an eyesore but also increase the likelihood of accidents. Adequate electrical outlets should also be included and the equipment layout left open for any alterations in the future. Ease of access to anything you will need as you work is essential. Should you be space-challenged, you could invest in all-in-one equipment to provide required functionality while occupying less space.
If youre running a business from home or using your home office for school and studying, make sure you make the space large enough to accommodate meetings with at least one other person.
When designing a home workspace, remember to work within your budget and purchase equipment that perfectly suits the size of your work space. Design the office area to reflect your >
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6 Best Reasons to Invest in Pre-Construction Condos
In regards to condo occupancy rates, there are nearly 2 million people in Canada who made a condo their new home in 2016. Due to the newfound demand for pre-construction condos in Canada, the number of construction projects in the country has also risen accordingly. Here, our focus will be on new condos for sale in North York, and why you should consider investing in pre-construction condos in Canada.
What is a condo?
A condo is a dwelling or building that has been divided or subdivided into multiple housing units. Each unit within the building is then sold off on an individual basis to individual investors or owners. Every owner within the condominium complex has a share of land ownership upon which the condo was erected.
Reasons to Invest in a Pre-Construction Condo
One of the chief benefits of investing in a pre-construction condo is that you will have an opportunity to invest less money initially, while also getting more for your money in the future. In other words, if you decide to invest in a condominium during the pre-construction phase, then you will be able to maximize your return on investment.
The purchase price for a pre-construction condo will be lower than the current price of a condo that has already been fully built. Once the pre-construction condo is finalized, you will be able to reap the benefits of your investment and patience rather quickly.nbsp;
While there is some risk involved in investing in a project that has yet to be finished, more often than not, the benefits mitigate any risks that are involved. Another advantage of investing in a pre-construction condo is that there is very little maintenance involved.
Of course, poor craftsmanship, which may involve cutting corners to cut costs, may force you to make repairs quickly, which is why it is important to perform the necessary due diligence to ensure that you are getting quality for your investment.
Instant equity is yet another benefit of investing in a pre-construction condo, as you will get the opportunity to enjoy instant equity as soon as you invest. That means that even before construction takes place once you have the required paperwork, the condo is as good as yours.
Furthermore, you can also enjoy some unique tax benefits by investing in a pre-construction condo. For example, did you know that only 50 of all capital gains are taxable in this country? You will be able to deduct quite a bit of your costs from your taxes, including but not limited to, unit depreciation, property taxes, and even mortgage interest.
You will also be able to enjoy an extended deposit structure by investing your hard-earned cash into a new pre-construction condo project. In other words, the deposit, which may range from 15 to 20, will usually be spread out. Also, it should be noted that you can own a pre-construction condo and not have to worry about it being shown on your credit bureau as well.nbsp;
Thanks in part to the extended deposit structure that is involved in pre-construction condo projects, you will have ample time to save your money. The time it will take to complete the project, which may take several years in some cases, will also allow you to save enough money to purchase without any financial issues on your end.
In addition, if you are worried that all of your money will be tied up into the initial purchase cost, then you can rest assured that you wont have to worry about investing in any renovations for quite some time. Given the fact that the condo is brand new, you likely wont have to worry about having to renovate the unit for at least a decade.
This is in stark contrast to many older condo units, some of which have been occupied for several decades. In the unlikely event that you do notice something wrong with the new unit, you can call the builders to notify them that something is structurally wrong. More often than not, your builders will be more than happy to rectify any structural issues free of charge.
Investing in a Pre-Construction Condo
As can be seen, there are many benefits to investing your money in a pre-construction condo in Canada. Given the fact that even a common townhouse can cost upwards of one million dollars in many parts of Ontario, more and more people have opted for the far more affordable solution, which is investing in a condo project instead.
Monica Benoit is a blogger in Toronto.nbsp;She is currently working as a community manager fornbsp;Your Condos. She has graduated with honors from the University of British Columbia with a dual degree in Business Administration and Creative Writing.
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5 Landscaping Tasks That Increase the Value of Your Home
You dont have to rip out everything and start over. Its easy enough to make some simple enhancements. A general rule of thumb is to spend 5 to 10 of the value of your home on landscaping improvements. You can reduce these costs by doing some of the work yourself.
Here are five landscaping trends sure to increase the value of your home.
1. Clean It Up
Over the years, our yards get overgrown. Like us, they need regular haircuts. The first task? Remove any dead or wilted trees and bushes and replace them with drought-resistant, native plants, or create a mulch bed in their place. Be sure to prune overgrown trees and shrubs, and cut away low branches. Remove old rusted metal edging and install new metal or plastic edging around areas where the grass meets rocks or mulch. Be sure to use rounded edging to keep pet paws safe.
2. Keep It Low Maintenance
You want a yard that works for you, not one youll have to spend hours working on. A few simple tips can make your yard easy to maintain.
Plant perennial flowers that will return every year.
Install a sprinkler system or automated soaker hoses.
Cover more areas with pavers or hardscape to cut down on mowing time.
Avoid messy trees that drop leaves, needles, and berries. Consider arborvitae trees that can grow up to 50 feet tall, need little pruning, and stay green year-round.
3. Grow a Privacy Fence
Watching your neighbors parade around their backyard in their pajamas on a Saturday morning is less than ideal. Create some privacy by planting trees or shrubs that keep your views inside your yard. Choose native plants within your plant hardiness zone that are easier to maintain and need less water. Buy bigger plants rather than waiting for the smaller ones to mature enough to create a privacy fence. This way youll need fewer plants and save time digging in the yard. Pro tip: Vary the types of plants to avoid losing them all to the same type of disease or pest. Stagger different kinds of plantings, such as deciduous shrubs, evergreens, and perennial grasses, in small groupings to create a natural privacy fence. For the prospective buyer, variety offers attractive sightlines and a greater variety of heights and colors.
4. Bring Your Indoors Outside
Once youve established some privacy, youre ready to create an outdoor oasis. If your budget allows, install an outdoor kitchen with a built-in grill, refrigerator, and a TV to help keep the party going into the backyard. Add comfortable seating with fluffy cushions for cozying up to a good book on a warm, sunny day. Close in your outdoor space in a gazebo or pergola, which serves to frame the open-air room while offering shade. Adding outdoor-rated carpet and throw pillows will create an inviting indoor feeling outside, perfect for entertaining on a Saturday evening or for sipping coffee on a Sunday morning.
5. Create a Focal Point
Your yard is like any room inside your home. Consider a focal point that immediately draws the eye. A koi pond, Zen garden, fountain, or an outdoor fireplace are also great gathering places for guests.nbsp;
Fashioning your backyard and lawn into an appealing and well-kept retreat expands the "liveable" space in your home. Think of it as an investment. Youre adding an extra room to your home, without adding additional walls. Creating a greener, more trendy landscape will pay off when its time to sell, by putting more green in your pocket.
Rose Stanford is a former real estate agent who enjoys fixing up and staging older homes. Her specialty is renovating backyards and patios.
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