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Save money by shopping for a solar panel compatible home Solar energy technology has come a long way in recent years, and it’s becoming a viable option for more and more homes as a means of both helping the environment and saving money. If you’re in the market for a new home, consider looking for one that is a good candidate for a solar-panel upgrade. You don’t need to live in a region that’s always sunny to benefit from solar panels. You do, however, need the right kind of roof. To be deemed suitable for solar panels, a roof should: • Be made out of durable material such as asphalt or clay that can support the weight of the panels • Not be surrounded by large trees or other features that would block the sun from falling on it • Slant in a southerly direction so the sun hits it for the whole day The Canadian government has various programs that support efforts to make homes more energy efficient, so if you’re trying to find a fixer-upper, talk to your real estate agent about homes that are solar panel compatible. In any case, installing solar panels can be complicated, so you should always consult an expert before you proceed. The hidden costs of waterfront property For some people, having a home overlooking the water is a lifelong dream. However, the promise of fun activities and spectacular views does have a less desirable side that many overlook. These days, we seem to be hearing more and more about terrible natural disasters. Insurance companies are hearing about them too. Homes near water are often more vulnerable to damage from extreme weather. Because of this increased risk, you’ll probably pay more in insurance premiums. A home near water will also have higher maintenance costs than a landlocked one. More moisture in the air can lead to rot and mould damage, for instance. For potential owners who hope to live on a fixed income, these maintenance costs may present an unexpected financial burden. To offset the costs of a waterfront home, many people choose to buy these properties to live in for only half the year and rent them out for extra income during the remaining half. Consult your real estate agent to find out more about which kind of property is right for you and your budget.