A Must Read Before Buying a Condo

Thinking of buying a condo? You should take a read through a newly published report on navigating the condo market from an architectural perspective. The report is issued by Dr. Ted Kesik a professor of building science at the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture at the University of Toronto. The report highlights some of the things to watch out for that may be costly or come back to bite you down the road. 

condo-options

With Vancouver’s leaking windows and Toronto’s falling balcony
glass, today’s condominiums seem to be crumbling before our eyes.
Fueled by rising home prices, swelling urban centers and a desire
for maintenance-free living, the housing market is responding with an increasing number of quickly constructed units. As the range of units grows, it’s important to consider your options as a buyer. Bringing together the best available data on condominium
construction and ownership, this guide will help you better
understand your choices and needs as you consider your condo
purchase

Download Report:

 

Smartphone Comparison

Side by side comparison of the top smartphones available on the market.

The latest addition is the LG G3, which launched with Canadian carriers in early August.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Apple iPhone 5S Nexus 5 HTC One (M8) LG G3
Samsung Galaxy 5 aPPLE iPhone 5S Nexus 5 HTC One M8 LG G3
Who Should Buy This Phone? If you want the latest and greatest and don’t mind paying a bit more for it If you value simplicity, ease of use and don’t mind a smaller screen If you are cost concious, but don’t want to sacrifice on specs If you want a phone with high end specs and also looks & feels very stylish If you value a bigger screen and can make use of a higher end camera
OS Platform Android – 4.4 KitKat iOS 7 Android – 4.4 KitKat Android – 4.4 KitKat Android – 4.4 (KitKat)
Display 5.1-inch Super AMOLED 4-inch Retina display 4.95-inch True HD IPS+ 5-inch Super LCD3 5.5 inch True HD-IPS + LCD capacitive touchscreen
Resolution 1080 x 1920 (432 ppi) 1136 x 640 (326 ppi) 1080 x 1920 (445 ppi) 1080 x 1920 pixels (441 ppi) 1440 x 2560 pixels (534 ppi)
Chips 2.5 GHz Quad Core
Snapdragon 801
1.3GHz Dual Core
Apple A7 Processor with M7 Motion Coprocessor
2.3 GHz – Quad Core
Snapdragon 800
2.3 GHz Quad Core
Snapdragon 801
2.5 Ghz Quad Core
Snapdragon 801
RAM 2GB 1GB 2GB 2GB 2G or 3G
Storage 16GB, 32GB 16GB, 32GB, 64GB 16GB, 32GB 16GB, 32GB 16GB, 32GB
Camera 16 Megapixels 8 Megapixels 8 Megapixels 4 Megapixels 13 Megapixels Primary
2.1 Megapixel Secondary
Video 1080p HD Video 1080p HD Video 1080p HD Video 1080p HD Video 2160p HD Video,
1080p HD Video
Connectivity Wi-Fi, 3G + LTE (Cellular) Wi-Fi, 3G + LTE (Cellular) Wi-Fi, 3G + LTE (Cellular) Wi-Fi, 3G + LTE (Cellular) Wi-Fi, 3G + LTE (Cellular)
SIM Card Micro-SIM Nano-SIM Micro-SIM Nano-SIM Micro-SIM
Battery Life Talk time: Up to 21 hours Talk time: Up to 10 hours Talk time: Up to 17 hours Talk time: Up to 20 hours Up to 19 h (2G) / Up to 21 h (3G)
Colors Black, White, Blue, Gold Space Grey, Gold, Silver Black, White, Red Gunmetal Gray,
Glacial Silver,
Amber Gold
Metallic Black,
Silk White,
Shine Gold,
Moon Violet,
Burgundy Red
Dimensions &
Weight
142 x 72.5 x 8.1 mm
145 g
123.8 mm x 58.6 mm x 7.6 mm
112 g
137.9 x 69.2 x 8.6 mm
130 g
146.4 x 70.6 x 9.4 mm
160 g
146.3 x 74.6 x 8.9 mm
149 g
Other Water & Dust Resistent
Finger Print Sensor
FaceTime
Finger Print Sensor
Where To Buy Rogers
Bell
Telus
Amazon.ca
Rogers
Bell
Telus
Apple Store
Amazon.ca
Rogers
Bell
Telus
Amazon.ca
Rogers
Bell
Telus
Amazon.ca
Rogers
Bell
Telus
Amazon.ca

Canadian Credit Card Comparison Tool

To follow up on my post comparing the best travel rewards credit cards, I decided to go one step further and create a Canadian Credit Card Comparison Tool that has more than just travel reward cards.

The objective is to help users find a credit card that matches their needs and allow them to view and compare the important details quickly and easily.  This is done through a search form that allows you to filter credit cards based on type of card (rewards vs. cash back vs. low interest etc.), issuer (AMEX, MBNA, RBC, TD, Capital One etc.) and whether the card has an annual fee or not.

Canadian Credit Card Comparison Tool

From a technical perspective I designed and coded that tool so that is responsive to the size of your screen. Meaning it should be usable and look good on a desktop monitor or on your smartphone screen. It was quite a challenge to get it to work, but I think I got the majority of the bugs worked out.

I plan to add more credits cards over time and update the details of the existing cards as they change.

What do you think? How can I make it better or more useful?

How To Lose Weight

Many people out there have a goal to lose weight. Whether they are just a few pounds over their ideal body weight or obese it can be a difficult task.

Many people simplify the process of weight loss down to the formula of (calories out subtract calories in), but in reality it is much more complex than that. The key is to have a balanced, sustainable, measurable and long term plan to get to where you want to be. There is no easy fix and results don’t happen overnight. It is important to baseline your expectations.

Everything I have learned about controlling my own weight I discovered through trial and error. Here are my words of advice if you want to start dropping pounds.

Continue reading

How To Find A Deal On Flights

To follow up on my post on where to book your travel online, here are a few tips for finding deals on flights.

how to save on flights

Keep an eye out for promotional sales. Often travel sites will sell flights at deep discounts during promotional sales. Sometimes this is to fill capacity on flights that are under booked. You’ll have to be quick though as these types of promos are usually for a limited time or are in limited quantity. Checking your favorite site weekly or joining a site’s email newsletter is often the best way to become aware of these types of promo sales.

Check prices on different days of the week. Sometimes airlines have pricing strategies that charge different rates depending on the day of the week. Check on different days to see if prices differ and take advantage of days where pricing is in your favour.

Book in advance. Sometimes you’ll get a better deal if you book your flight far in advance. Check to make sure that your site or airline has a “price drop guarantee” policy to protect yourself against price drops. after purchase.

Book last minute. Booking last minute can sometimes also score you a deal. Airlines will often try to fill planes that are under capacity by dropping prices at the last minute. If you’re willing and flexible enough to book something on short notice, this can be a great way to get a great deal on a flight.

Book a connecting flight instead of direct. Non-direct flights tend to be cheaper. If you can deal with the inconvenience and extra travel time factor then taking a non-direct flight with a connection can be a great way to get a lower price on a flight.

Take a red eye flight. Similar to non-direct flights, booking flights at non-peak hours such as a red-eye also tend to be cheaper. It might cause you to lose some sleep or make jet lag a larger issue, but if you can handle it, it is a great way to save on flight costs.

Check for cheaper prices at US airports. Live near the US border? Sometimes flights from a US airport can be dramatically cheaper than flights from Canadian airports. Always consider the extra costs and convenience factors of driving to the US airport as well as differences in taxes, costs for baggage etc. to determine if it is worth it.

Have a tip to add? Post it in the comments.