City of Windsor Community Improvement Plan

I recently attended a WECAR Commercial Forum and several interesting recent City development incentive programs were described. I have enclosed the presentations for your information.  The two main items were: 1.       The entire City of Windsor is now designated as a Community Improvement Plan, so all properties being developed in the City may benefit from future property tax rebates  if they are being developed for the Target Sectors (industries). 2.       Brownfield Sites have a number of incentives being offered for redevelopment, including environmental assessment, tax rebates, and development charge rebates I beleive the City of Windsor is one of the first City’s in Canada to do a City wide Community Improvement Plan. City of Windsor Community Improvemtne Plan CIP Presention Target Sector: Eligible Use Definitions Compliments of...

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Kitec Plumbing and the Windsor Home

http://www.kitecsettlement.com/kitecphotos.cfm http://www.kitecsettlement.com/index.cfm http://www.kitecsettlement.com/completingform.cfm Source: The Windsor Star – June 29, 2011 A family rocked by a $13,000 plumbing bill is warning people to beware of potentially faulty plumbing lurking behind the walls of homes built or renovated in the last two decades. Frank and Annette Cappellino built their dream home in LaSalle, near Windsor, Ont., about 10 years ago. Last fall, the Cappellinos came home to a flood in their basement. “Water was just spewing out like a waterfall,” said Frank Cappellino. “A pipe had totally burst.” Cappellino said after a home inspection by a plumbing distributor and a representative of the Canadian manufacturer IPEX, the rep told him the cause of the leak was defective pipes branded under the name Kitec — pipes that were running throughout the house. “He said he had to take a part of it back to his company to get it tested but indicated that if it was his pipe, basically he would have it replaced,” Cappellino said. The Cappellinos contacted the company to find out the testing results, but said they were told they couldn’t have a copy of the report because a class action lawsuit was underway. IPEX provided the Cappellinos with the name of the Windsor law firm leading the suit. Cappellino said they joined the legal fight shortly thereafter. On Tuesday, lawyers for IPEX Inc. and IPEX USA LLC announced they had reached an agreement in the lawsuit, and that a $125-million US settlement fund has been proposed. Product used extensively Another family, whose home was built the same year as the Cappellinos, also ended up replacing all the pipes in their home at their own expense, after finding issues with their Kitec pipes, manufactured by IPEX. Plumbers in the region have been getting more and more calls about the Kitec brand of pipe, also known as PEX. According to Kyle Fowler, co-owner of Fowler Plumbing in Windsor, if you built or remodelled your home in the last decade or so, it’s likely Kitec pipes were used. He said he gets at least one call a week that turns out to be Kitec-related, and he said the plumbing system was used in most of the newer subdivisions. “I even have some in my house,” Fowler said. “Because we didn’t know. We thought it was good.” Cappellino shows the Kitec hot water pipe that burst last fall. Karen Brady/CBCThe Kitec plumbing system consists of blue and orange flexible piping and brass fittings, used to carry cold and hot water through a home. Kitec products were also used in radiant heating systems. The pipes were made from polyethylene and a thin inner layer of aluminum, and plumbers considered them to be...

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Windsor Essex is becoming a Retirement Destination

With average property values of less than half the national average, as well as 100 miles of waterfront property, Windsor and Essex County is becoming a leading retirement destination. The Windsor Essex County Real Estate Board has formed the Retire Here Web Site to promote the advantages of relocating and retiring in Windsor and Essex County. REASONS YOU SHOULD CONSIDER RELOCATING TO WINDSOR ONTARIO FOR YOUR RETIREMENT YEARS. •1.       COST OF REAL ESTATE– Did you know that the Windsor Essex County area has some of the lowest cost of Real Estate of all major metropolitan areas in Canada? Yes it’s true; your dollar goes much further in the Windsor Area.  You can buy luxury accommodations for less money than standard homes in most other major cities.  Purchasing a home or property here will range 30% to 50% less than in comparable markets. Luxury retirement developments are under construction, completed or scheduled to break ground and account for $90 million in private money between 2007 and 2010. •2.       WEATHER – Did you know that Windsor is on the same latitude with parts of California? We enjoy a temperate climate, and seven to eights months out of the year is short sleeve weather.  Our winters are also very moderate compared to the rest of Canada. •3.       BIG CITY AMMENITIES– Did you know that Windsor is only a 5 minute car ride over the Ambassador Bridge from the Detroit Metropolitan Area? In Detroit, there are 4 major sports teams.  The NBA’s Detroit Pistons Basketball, the NFL’s Detroit Lions Football, the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings Hockey, and the MLB’s Detroit Tigers Baseball.  Also across the river you will find the best shopping in the world, major transportation hubs, and some of the best restaurants in the United States. •4.       LOW CRIME RATE– Windsor has one of the lowest crime rates of any Canadian City.  Our police do a great job; make it an ideal retirement area.   •5.       ACCESS TO MAJOR AIRPORTS–   Windsor is considered the gateway connection between Canada and the U.S., the region is a major transportation hub for air, rail, truck and marine services. Windsor International Airport offers easy access to scheduled airlines, private and executive charters, medieval and freight services. Only 45 minutes away, Detroit Metro International Airport offers frequent flights daily to southern U.S. and international destinations. Via Rail is located close to downtown Windsor and offers quick access to frequent daily departures. Amtrak has 2 Detroit stations within a 45-minute drive.   •6.       HOSPITALS AND HEALTH CARE– We’re focused on leading health-care specialists and facilities that include 2 municipal and one county hospital providing 1,000 acute-care beds; state-of-the-art Windsor Regional Cancer Centre; 20 long-term care facilities, the University...

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Bank of Canada Change Lending Rules in Canada June 21, 2012

Source Globe and Mail The country’s biggest banks were caught off guard on Wednesday night as the Department of Finance prepared to clamp down on mortgages by reducing the maximum amortization for a government-insured mortgage to 25 years from 30. Ottawa will also limit the amount of equity that can be borrowed against a home to 80 per cent of the property’s value, down from 85 per cent. The moves are designed to cool the housing market and limit the record levels of personal debt Canadians have amassed in recent years. Figures from Statistics Canada show the average ratio of debt-to-disposable income climbed to 152 per cent, up from 150.6 per cent at the end of 2011. A rise in interest rates or further job losses could put some households at financial risk, endangering any economic recovery. The Bank of Canada is expected to keep interest rates low for some time because the economy shows little sign of a strong recovery, so tightening mortgage rules is one way to ensure Canadians don’t get in over their heads during a prolonged period of ultra-low interest rates. Reducing the maximum amortization on government-backed mortgages will eliminate the 30-year mortgage for most borrowers in Canada. The changes, which are expected to be unveiled at a news conference in Ottawa on Thursday morning, will translate into higher monthly payments, but result in the loan being paid off sooner. Ottawa will announce two other changes, according to a source. It will no longer allow high-ratio mortgages over $1-million, and it will cap the gross debt service (which looks at a consumer’s total debt payments as a percentage of their income) at 39 per cent. While many banks tend not to allow mortgages over 40 per cent, there had been no official rule in place. It is the fourth time in four years that Ottawa has moved to cool the housing market by tightening mortgage rules. In early 2011, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty reduced maximum insured amortizations to 30 years, and limited borrowing to 85 per cent of the property value. CIBC economist Benjamin Tal described the changes as a “gentle push,” since the government didn’t make alterations to the minimum downpayment required on mortgages, which stands at 5 per cent. “The fact that they didn’t change downpayments is a realization that doing so would probably be too severe given that the market is slowing down,” he said. However, there remain concerns the changes could cause too abrupt a shift in the market. “All of these things might precipitate the housing market downturn that the government wants to avoid,” Jim Murphy, CEO of the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals, said in an...

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First Time Home Buyers can use RRSP to purchase or build a home

Expansion of the Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) To provide first-time homebuyers with greater access to their RRSP savings to purchase or build a home, the Government of Canada has increased the Home Buyers’ Plan withdrawal limit to $25,000 from $20,000 per person for withdrawals made after January 27, 2009. To obtain more information on the First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit and the Home Buyers’ Plan, call 1-800-O-Canada or visit the Canada Revenue Agency website at www.cra.gc.ca. Looking for More Homebuying Information? When it comes to buying your home, nothing is more valuable than peace of mind. That’s why for more than 60 years, CMHC has shared a wealth of knowledge and housing expertise to contribute to a positive homeownership experience for Canadians. Browse through our wealth of homebuying information. You’ll find everything you need, from homebuying videos, to mortgage calculators, to home hunting worksheets. CMHC also provides mortgage loan insurance that enables you to buy a home with a minimum down payment of 5%” — with interest rates comparable to those with a 20% down payment. Obtain a 10% premium refund and extend the amortization period without a premium surcharge when using CMHC-insured financing to purchase an eligible energy-efficient home. This can add up to savings of $1,688 for a typical $250,000 mortgage with a 5% down payment amortized over 35 years. Ask your mortgage professional about...

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What to Do if You dont Agree with your Property Asssessment in Windsor Real Estate

http://www.mpac.ca/pages_english/pdf/request_for_reconsideration.pdf If you don’t agree withyour Assessment Please review your Notice carefully to make sure the information is correct. If a factual error has been made, we will correct it. 1. Ask MPAC to Review your Assessment through a Request for Reconsideration (RfR) If you feel your assessed value as of the legislated valuation date or property classification is not correct, we will review it free of charge. The deadline to file your RfR is April 2, 2012. There are two ways to file a RfR: • The preferred method is to submit a RfR form. Forms are available at www.mpac.ca, or call us at 1 866 296-MPAC (6722). You may also choose to file your RfR electronically through AboutMyProperty™ on MPAC’s website. You will be able to attach documents, pictures and reports to accompany your RfR. Your personalized User ID and Password for AboutMyProperty™ are included on your Notice. • Write a letter requesting a reconsideration. In your letter, please include the 19-digit roll number on your Notice; your full name, address and phone number; and the reasons why you feel your assessment is not correct, including any information you have to support your claim. 2. File an Appeal with the Assessment Review Board (ARB) You may also choose to file an Appeal with the ARB, an independent tribunal of Ontario’s Ministry of the Attorney General. Residential, Farm and Managed Forest Properties If your property, or a portion of it, is classified as residential, farm or managed forests, you must first file a RfR with MPAC before you are eligible to file an Appeal with the ARB. The classification of your property is indicated on your Notice. If you are required to, or choose to file a RfR first, you have 90 days after MPAC has notified you of its decision on your RfR to file an Appeal with the ARB. The ARB has its own Appeal process. For more information, please contact the ARB at 1 866 448-2248 or 416 212-6349 or visit their website at www.arb.gov.on.ca. To request that your property be eligible for the farm or managed forests classes or conservation land exemption, you must file a RfR with the respective program administrator. For more information, please contact MPAC or visit www.mpac.ca. Other Property Types For any other property types, you can choose to file a RfR with MPAC or file an Appeal with the ARB. The deadline to file your RfR and/or Appeal is April 2, 2012. MPAC’s Role at an ARB Hearing At an ARB hearing, the onus is on MPAC to prove the accuracy of our assessed value. MPAC will present comparable properties as evidence and will share that information with you...

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Mortgage Pre-Approval

One of the first steps when buying a home is getting pre-qualified for a mortgage.  It is important to understand how much of a mortgage you can afford before you begin searching for a home. I work with a selected group of mortgage professionals who are specially qualified to assist you in this area. If you would like to receive the latest rates, and meet with a mortgage professional, please contact me. The following links are also helpful, if you would like to make some quick calculations.   House Hold Budget Calculator Mortgage Affordability Calculator Mortgage Payment Calculator CMHC Calculator   Mortgage approval, has many factors, including but not limited to income and expenses,  length of employment, and your credit rating. Do to the many factors which can effect a preapproval, the enclosed tools should be only used as a guide.  Only a mortgage professional can give you an actual...

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Fire Safety and Prevention in Windsor Essex

Fire Safety and Prevention in Windsor Essex Fire Prevention Tips Do not plug too many appliances into an electrical outlet. Make sure that combustibles are not too close to heaters, stoves and fireplaces. Never smoke in bed, or leave a burning cigarette in an ashtray. Do not use damaged or frayed electrical cords or extension cords. Keep matches and lighters out of the reach of children. Teach your children about the dangers of playing with fire. Never use extension cords with heating or air conditioning equipment. Purchase smoke alarms and fire extinguishers for each floor of your home. Have an Emergency Escape Plan! Practice it frequently! Develop an emergency exit plan and an alternate exit plan. The most obvious way out may be blocked by fire. A window will usually be the second way out of a bedroom. Make sure that screens or storm windows can be easily removed. If you live in a two story home, you should have an escape ladder for each occupied bedroom. Escape ladders are available for purchase, and they can easily be stored under a bed or in a closet. Establish a meeting place outside your home to be sure everyone has escaped. Every family member should participate in practicing escape drills at least two times per year. In the event of fire, do not stop to get dressed or gather valuables. Seconds count – do not search for the family pet. Teach your family that in a fire they must stay low to the floor to avoid smoke and intense heat. Passageways may be completely filled with dense smoke, so everyone should practice exiting on their hands and knees while blindfolded. Train family members to feel a closed door before exiting. If the door is warm, open it slowly, and close it quickly if heat or smoke rushes in. Establish a rule that once you’re out, you never re-enter under any circumstances. As soon as two people have reached the meeting place, one should call 911 from a neighbor’s house. Smoke Alarms Through education and media campaigns, most people now realize the importance of smoke alarms, and most homes in North America have them. Recommendations: Purchase a smoke alarm for every floor of your home, and read the instructions on how to use it and where to position it. Smoke alarms should be placed near bedrooms, either on the ceiling or six to twelve inches below the ceiling on the wall. Local codes may require additional alarms. Check with your fire department or building code official. Locate smoke alarms away from air vents. Test your alarms regularly to ensure that they still work. If you have a battery powered alarm, change the...

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