Home Automation – The High Tech House Movement

I am very particular with the referral partners I work with. Sending my clients to an electrician who will educate, understand, and go the extra mile for my clients is so important.  Kevin Jackson from Yellow Jacket Energy Services has proven himself to be one of the best electricians I have had the privilege to work with over the last 9 years. Here is Kevin letting us all know the amazing benefits of home automation, and the packages that Yellow Jacket Energy Services offers.

 

Until recently, home automation seemed like something from a futuristic sci-fi movie. Now, there are amazing developments in technology which allow us to be able to control interconnecting features of our home from anywhere in the world.

 

Having a home automation system installed and making your home “smarter” has so many benefits!

 

  • Save Money – Having a home automation system can save you money with your utility costs for years to come!
    • Set your lights to turn off or dim automatically to save energy usage
    • Have your outdoor lights turn on when motion is detected, instead of leaving them on all day or night
    • Set your furnace and air conditioning to use less energy
    • Avoid monthly fees for security features, and monitor them yourself with your system

 

  • Feel Secure – Installing an HA system can mean more security for your biggest purchase, lessening stress and worry about your home and your safety.
    • Set sensors and alarms for the whole house, or for rooms of your choice
    • Get notified instantly if any doors or windows are opened if they aren’t supposed to be
    • Program sirens and strobes to go off if your home is invaded
    • Lock and unlock your doors from anywhere, and set reminders to lock your doors remotely
    • Get an HD video alert if someone is on your doorstep. You can even scare off a potential thief with two-way voice communication from anywhere.
    • Monitor specific cabinets so your children don’t get into something hazardous
    • While you are on vacation, make your home look like it’s being lived in
    • Set a temperature sensor for when you are on vacation and get notified if your temperature is too low or high.
    • Detect water leaks in your home and be notified before your basement starts to flood
    • Set your system to notify you about smoke and carbon monoxide, which allows you to call for help instantly.

 

  • Increase Your Home’s Value
    • A smart home is cutting edge and will make your property more prominent in the market, will increase interest, and add value to your home.

 

  • User friendliness – The home automation package can be used right from your smartphone and tablet!

 

  • Up your comfort! Set routines such as “good morning” or “movie night”, and set your devices to do exactly what you want during those routines

 

Yellowjacket Energy Services has a great home automation package for sellers who want to increase their home’s value. This package includes:

  • Main control hub (brains of the operation)
  • Voice activated controller (install in common area to show clients you can talk to your house and have it control lights, play music, turn up heat, etc.)
  • Dimming smart switches and 5 on/off smart switches (pick areas of house best shown with automation and voice control.  Also, set as a “vacation routine” to make house lived in, even if it is vacant)
  • Moisture sensors
  • Water shutoff valve (if any of the 3 above moisture sensors detect a leak, it will automatically close the water main and prevent house from flooding)
  • Indoor motion sensors (set up to show clients lights can turn on/off as you walk into rooms without touching anything)
  • Smart Thermostat (control by smartphone or voice activation)

 

Each package can be customized with options from many devices, sequences, and alarms, and the price to supply, install and program everything above is $2,995 + GST, which also includes an electrical permit and inspection report.  Yellowjacket Energy Services also offers financing on Home Automation packages based on a 120 month term, but can be paid off at any time without a penalty. If you are listing your home and want to include this package, you can pay $30/month while your home is on the market, then pay the balance when the property sells.

 

Find more information on Yellowjacket’s home automation packages and services here 

 

Want to connect with Kevin? Keep in touch with Kevin and Yellow Jacket Energy Services!

Visit their website here

Email at contactus@yellowjacketenergy.ca

Call at 1-855-955-2285

 

Still have questions about home automation, and how it can help you sell your property? Let’s chat!

Living Next To Transmission Lines: Will I Get Sick?

 

The internet is great. It facilitates access to essentially all of the accumulated knowledge on Earth. The open source architecture of the internet allows anyone to create content, which for the most part is in the public interest. However, as most people are aware, there is content on the web which is created either for malicious intent (ie. to sell you something), or simply out of plain old ignorance. This brief blog aims at dispelling a certain myth perpetuated by both of those latter circumstances.

 

That myth is: Transmission lines cause, among other ailments, cancer and neurological disorders.

 

Transmission lines are so commonplace that most people are simply immune to their presence within their field of vision. However, when you are purchasing a house, they stick out like a sore thumb. Other than the obvious aesthetic drawbacks to a large transmission line neighboring your backyard, there is a worry about the negative health effects which accompany them.

The debate around the harmfulness of transmission lines is fueled directly from a fundamental misunderstanding of what “radiation” is. There are two types of radiation, non-ionizing and ionizing. Non-ionizing radiation does not possess the energy required to strip electrons (or ionize) from atoms. Ionizing radiation carries enough energy to knock electrons from their orbit, thus being able to change molecular compositions, which in turn may alter cellular DNA.

Transmission lines, microwave ovens, cellular telephones, FM and AM radio, and all household electrical appliances emit non-ionizing radiation.

Ionizing radiation can come from many sources, which may include cosmic radiation, medical imaging, industrial sterilization, and smoke detectors.

At this point, the debate should be over. Transmission lines do NOT emit the type of radiation necessary to impact humans in any negative way.

 

However, as this common misconception is still alive and well, below is further discussion on the subject.

Here are some excerpts from sources asserting that electromagnetic fields (EMF) from transmission lines are a direct cause of health ailments in humans.

From safespace (www.safespaceprotection.com):

“Strong, artificial EMFs that radiate from power lines can scramble and interfere with your body’s natural EMF, affecting everything from your sleep cycles and stress levels to your immune response and DNA!”

There is no evidence to suggest that the EMF propagated from transmission lines have any causal relationship with anything stated above. A 2002 study commissioned by the WHO (World Health Organization) titled “IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans” says the following:

“There is little experimental or theoretical evidence that mutations could be directly caused by ELF [extremely low frequency] magnetic fields… There is little evidence that ELF electric or magnetic fields can cause malignant transformation of cells in culture.”

A convenient graphic is also shown, which based on your proximity to the transmission line, puts you at risk of many illnesses and disorders.

This graphic, while hilariously incorrect, does raise an important question: what exactly is the field strength based on the proximity to transmission lines?

 

Well, this is easily determined with a high amount of accuracy, and is shown by the below graphic.

Source: Atco Electric

A typical 240kV transmission line right-of-way is about 60m in width. This means that if you are standing directly adjacent to the right of way, the highest magnetic field you would be exposed to is about 8 milligauss. For reference, standing a foot away from your electric stove or a fluorescent desk lamp would expose you to over three times that amount.

From Life Energy Designs (www.lifeenergysolutions.com):

“Another, well researched, way in which EMF interacts with our bodies is through the pineal gland and melatonin reduction… Cancer and other serious conditions are possible results of interrupting this bodily repair cycle.”

Again, this statement is easily refutable. A study produced in 2013 by Elliott et al (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23337237), came up with the following conclusion:

“Our results do not support an epidemiologic association of adult cancers with residential magnetic fields in proximity to high-voltage overhead power lines.”

 

Of course, as per the scientific method, it is impossible to prove that there is anything on the planet which is correlated with no known health risks. Research can only tell us that no observable correlation to negative health effects exists in any one study. After that, it all comes down to a simple risk/reward approach.

Transmission lines do not cause cancer or any other illness as some may suggest.

They may however, block a tad bit of your view.

 

Daniel Lang, P.Eng.

 

Connect with Daniel here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s Going On Downtown Edmonton?

DSC_0172

Downtown Edmonton is going through a revitalization, which makes it a very exciting time to live in the city. With new developments, beautification, and many other projects on the go, we have gathered a list of what’s going on and how it might affect you.

Ice District

The Ice District is a whopping 25 acres of land located in the heart of downtown Edmonton. This new development is expected to house one of the best arenas in the world, new hotels, upscale residences, and bring in more entertainment. Features of the Ice District include:

  • Roger’s Place – a new arena with seating for over 18,000 people for events including musical entertainment and hockey games.
    • Cost: $480 million
    • Construction to be finished in the fall of 2016 – just in time for the next NHL season!
  • Wintergarden – this space, spanning over 24,000 square feet, is the primary entrance for Roger’s Place, but is also a space that will be used for different events throughout the year. It will be built atop a pedway, making it easy for people to access the Ice District and to catch the new LRT connection in the area.
    • Wintergarden Cost: $56.5 million
    • Medway Cost: $15 million
    • LRT Connection Cost: $7 million
  • Community Arena – A new community arena in the Ice District will be a space rented to community leagues for hockey games, used as a space for the MacEwan University Hockey Teams, and will be the ice the Oilers will practice on.
    • Cost: $23 million
  • Stantec Building – Stantec is designing and engineering the tallest building in Edmonton – around 250 metres tall. It is going to be Canada’s seventh tallest building, and will have space for retail and grocery shopping, a connecting pedway, and a rooftop garden. There will also be residential space – within the top 36 floors there will be about 450 condos.
    • Construction is to be completed in 2017.
    • Cost: Approximately $500 million
  • Edmonton Tower – Primarily an office space which will be about 27 storeys high, it will also hold common space, conference rooms, a café, and a bank. This tower will be built to meet a LEED gold standard – a step toward creating more sustainable developments.
    • Construction to be completed in 2016
  • Residences, Shopping, and More – Aside from the main attractions, there will be a new luxury hotel, over 1,300 residential units, office towers, and space for boutiques and restaurants.

Royal Alberta Museum – on the Northwest corner of 103A Ave and 97 Street

The new and improved Royal Alberta Museum will be a larger space (about twice the size of the original) to host even more artifacts and an exhibition hall which will house touring exhibitions from a variety of different museums. It will not only be a museum space, but a spot for community events, new programs, a café and a theatre. The new museum is being built on the former site of the downtown Canada Post building.

  • Cost of the new Royal Alberta Museum: $340.5 million
  • Construction to be completed some time in 2016

Blatchford Redevelopment Project
Close to downtown on the site of the old city airport, will be the community of Blatchford. It will house up to 30,000 people, with 20% being affordable housing, and will be a perfect space for transit.
Blatchford aims to stay “green” with urban agriculture plots and will use 100% renewable energy.
this development carries a $632-million price tag phased over 25 years and will house up to 30,000 people.

  • Housing will be medium-density residential, with high density residential being close to future LRT stations.
  • Included in the plan are schools, shops, and restaurants, as well as walking and bicycle routes connected to various trails within the city.

104th Avenue Corridor Plan
Between 111th Street and 123rd Street, 104th Ave will be developed into a more transit-oriented space with easy access to the Valley LRT line. Developing this space will encourage more people to take transit throughout Edmonton and reduce the number of motor of vehicles that pass through on a daily basis.

 

Mechanized River Valley Access

The new River Valley access is a new development which will allow easier connection from downtown to the River Valley. There are several main aspects to the new connection:

  • The Promontory – This is the top landing which contains a covered canopy, and is also the entrance or landing to the funicular, and as you wait for the funicular you can take in the incredible scenery near the Hotel MacDonald.
  • The Stairs – These stairs are designed for more than just walking, with wide lanes they are meant for strolling, leisurely stopping to take in the view, and socializing at one of the many stopping points on the route.
  • The Funicular – Creating a more convenient way to get downtown for people with bikes, wheelchairs, strollers, and trailers, the funicular is one of the most exciting parts of this renovation. Surrounded by glass, people who take the funicular will have an incredible view of the River Valley as they descend from the landing point into the valley.
  • The Promenade – The landing at the bottom of the steps and funicular will lead into a lush, green space made for enjoying the natural surroundings.
  • The Bridge and Lookout – There will be a bridge attaching the promenade to the lookout, and will also be a great way for passerby’s to pass over Grierson Hill Road. A lookout on the bridge will be created with grass railings in order to enjoy the scenery of both the river and the downtown horizon.
  • The Elevator – Creating a hassle-free connection to the river valley, the elevator will link the Mechanized River Valley Access to the current valley trails. It will also connect to the Low Level Bridge as well as the Rosedale/River Crossing space.

 

So that’s what’s happening in downtown Edmonton! With city enhancements and residential areas being developed, purchasing property near the area is a great idea! The value of property will only increase as the area is upgraded. Have questions about purchasing in a developing area? Let’s Chat!

Information sourced from:
http://icedistrict.com/
http://www.infrastructure.alberta.ca/3655.htm
http://www.wamdevelopment.com/projects/edmonton-tower/
http://www.edmonton.ca/city_government/documents/104_Ave_Corridor_ARP.pdf
http://transformingedmonton.ca/edmontons-newest-downtown-destination/

 

Investing In The Tiny House Trend

Rustic House

The “Tiny House Movement” is a relatively new trend in real estate making big waves in North America, and focuses on small living spaces – tiny homes. You might have heard them called something different – micro, compact, mini, or little homes, but they all mean one thing: houses ranging from under 100 square feet to a roomy 500 square foot of living space. This trend focuses on living a minimalist lifestyle and the idea that a homeowner should be able to afford their house and lifestyle.

Although this micro home movement began as a peculiar idea, it’s become so much more in the market. Now that a growing number of people are sharing how they live in their tiny homes, there have been more people, especially the Millennials, adopting this type of living situation. Documentaries, blogs, and websites surrounding tiny homes, and tiny home owners, have been growing as the trend expands.

Since house prices still remain high, and since 2015 had been a “seller’s market” in the States, the demand for tiny houses will continue to grow. But is a tiny home worth purchasing, and is it a good idea to invest in a compact house?

Owning a tiny house has its allure, with a low cost of building between $10,000 to $40,000, and the general price being just $23,000. With the cost being so little, the need for a mortgage diminishes, which is why 68 percent of people who own mini homes do not need one. The greatest potential for purchasing these homes lies in the Millennial market, as over half of this demographic rent. This is because the first payment of a traditional home is extremely expensive and unaffordable, as well as the fact many millennials don’t have children or live alone. Owning a tiny house has become an excellent option.

Another factor in making tiny home ownership even more affordable is to rent land instead of purchase it. It has become yet another new opportunity for landowners to make an extra income to rent land to multiple tiny homeowners.

Getting involved in the tiny house market gives two excellent opportunities for investing.

The first opportunity is to build, sell, or rent a tiny house. This is great if you are low on financial resources, and especially excellent if you work as a contractor, or work with one, since you can build a micro house for a smaller amount and have greater earning potential. An upside to tiny homes is that they require fewer permits and take a much shorter time to build than an average house. Lastly, tiny houses are easily made portable, which means the owner can move it to wherever they desire.

The second opportunity is to rent land to people with their own tiny homes, and is an easy way to earn extra income. If you do decide to purchase land for rent, be sure to invest in land that is large and even. Then you can divide the land into equal parts, or charge different prices for specific square footage. This is a good opportunity since compact houses are very economical and the utility needs are much lower than an average home. If you are looking for specific areas to invest in, look for areas where the trend is booming – particularly warmer areas in North America such as California, Florida, and Texas.

Although the tiny house trend is not for everyone, it is a completely different idea with a niche market that has a lot of potential. This would be an excellent and easy investment opportunity in a trend that keeps on growing.

Got questions? Let’s chat!

Sourced from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marko-rubel/is-the-tiny-house-market-_b_6882688.html