Personal Finance

BMO Eco Smart Mortgage Blog Tour

I remember how excited I was when we purchased our first home in 2003! It was the best feeling to be a homeowner after years of renting. Since then, I have purchased 3 other homes in 3 different provinces. Yes, I get around only because I was married to the military 🙂

Our current home in Nova Scotia was purchased almost 2 years ago for a really good price. It’s big with 4 bedrooms and 2200+ square feet, BUT it’s really old and needs a huge amount of work. We couldn’t even have fathomed the amount of work it would need back when we got it, but are discovering more and more things that need to be done asap!

Our heating costs are through the roof (quite literally- no pun intended). In the winter, it costs us $200/week just to heat our home. We heat with oil and my credit card is racked because of how expensive it was. One reason we are paying so much? Our home has no insulation in the walls so the heat isn’t staying inside. We found that out when John tore apart the kitchen to renovate and made that lovely discovery. We were not happy campers that day.

John and I are on a mission to improve our home and make it more energy efficient as we can afford it. We started out by insulating the main bedroom and kitchen and installing a wood stove so we don’t have to use the oil heat as often. In fact, I’m not alone and many Canadians are planning energy efficient upgrades to their home this year. It just makes sense to try to improve your costs over the long term by investing in your house now.

BMO is now offering homeowner’s a special mortgage rate if they reduce their energy usage. The BMO Eco Smart Mortgage has a five-year fixed rate of 3.89 per cent – a rate significantly lower than comparable green mortgage products. Sound interesting?  Read on.

The first thing you need to do is download the BMO Eco Smart Mortgage Checklist from their site. It includes items like High-efficiency heating and cooling systems, Solar, tank-less or ENERGY STAR qualified hot water system and ENERGY STAR qualified windows, doors and major appliances. After you have looked over the checklist and you feel that your home qualifies for this special rate,  you are invited to contact your local BMO branch to speak to a Mortgage Specialist. BMO will send an appraiser into your home to confirm that your house qualifies.

I had a look at the checklist and sadly my house failed miserably. It needs A LOT of work.

High Efficiency Heating System? I know we failed because our furnace is so old that even the insurance inspector couldn’t tell when it was from. A new furnace is on our list of Must-Buy list. Just look at this dinosaur…

High Efficiency Air Cooling System or no Air Cooling System at all? Pass! We don’t own one (I wish we did though- a high efficiency one of course!).

Good Quality Attic Insulation? Failed. We discovered our Attic had no insulation this summer during the bedroom reno. That’s also coming…

Energy Star Qualified Windows? Big fail. We still have all the old windows except the one in the kitchen that John replaced last year when he renovated. On our list too.

Domestic Hot Water System? Ha no! I hate that our hot water is heated by our oil furnace so when we run out of heat we also run out of hot water. Not fun. Definitely must upgrade.

Exterior Doors (Energy Star Qualified, Metal or Fibreglass Insulated)? Nope. They are old and wooden and darn ugly.

Major Appliances (Energy Star Qualified)? Success! We do have these!

I would say our home failed the checklist and we have many upgrades that need to be made. This special mortgage rate does give us an extra incentive to get it done as quickly as we can afford to.

Visit BMO to learn more about the BMO Eco Smart Mortgages and to see the checklists.

Disclosure – I am participating in the BMO Eco Smart Mortgage program by Mom Central Canada on behalf of BMO – Bank of Montreal. I received a gift card as a thank you for my participation. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Stacie Vaughan

Stacie is the mom of two girls and lives in Ontario, Canada. She enjoys cooking/baking, photography, reading, DIY and is fueled by lots of coffee!

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