Windsor Homes Buying vs Renting

Windsor Homes Buying vs Renting I am often asked whether it is better to rent or to buy.  There are several sites which offer lease vs buy analysis.  The main factors are to consider are: 1.    Monthly Rent 2.    Home Price 3.    Down Payment 4.    Mortgage Rate 5.    Annual Property Taxes Other items such as maintenance, cost of buying, cost of selling, operating costs such as insurance and utilities should also be considered. As a rule of thumb, if you plan on staying in a home for more than 3 years, it is cheaper to buy. Most people think the benefit in buying is to “stop throwing your money away on rent,” but in fact the equity you build from buying is mostly offset by the money you will “throw way” on taxes, insurance, maintenance, and mortgage interest, which renters don’t pay. The real benefit from buying is that you assume your property will increase in value over time while you continue to pay the same monthly payment for 15 to 30 years, and then you stop paying it altogether. If property values decline, the numbers change in favour of renting fairly quickly. 2005 marked a  peak in the Windsor Real Estate Market with average home prices at around $165,000..  Struggling with high unemployment and a slightly declining popluation, Windsor saw a decline in property values from 2006 – 2009.  Many people that purchased in Windsor in 2005 and attempted to sell in 2009, did so at a loss.  However, property values are again on the rise in the Windsor Area and there is a lot of money being spent on infrastructure over the next several years. 2011 saw property average residential property values of $169,000 over the 2005 average value. Home prices in Windsor have risen for the past two years an average of 4% per year.  In addition Windsor entered a sellers market in 2011 with the sales listing ratio exceeding 50%, this is a further indication that prices will continue to rise. Other Factors which make it a good time to buy in Windsor: The current low interest rates are also very helpful in reducing mortgage payments. Average house price of $169,000 (2011) is less than half of the National Average. Massive infrastructure spending in Windsor and surrounding area over the next several years. You don’t pay cash when you buy a home. If you had to do that then nobody could afford to buy a house. Instead you get a loan from a bank called a mortgage. You make payments on this loan every month for 15 or 30 years, and then you get to stop making payments. Most homebuyers also make a cash down...

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What to do when your assessment is too high, Windsor Real Estate

Source MPAC brochure: If you don’t agree with your Property Assessment from MPAC you can file a Request for Reconsideration. 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. Request For Reconsideration 2012 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. 1. 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 theAttorney 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 prior to the hearing. You will also be asked to provide evidence to support your position. Ideally, you should select properties that are most similar to yours (for example, neighbourhood, lot dimensions, living area, age of structure(s) and quality of construction). Please contact MPAC if...

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Understanding Smart Meters – ENWIN

Smart Meters are Here As part of a provincial initiative to encourage energy conservation and help Ontario consumers manage their electricity costs, ENWIN is now installing Smart Meters throughout Windsor. The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) has directed energy providers, like ENWIN, to install Smart Meters in all Ontario homes and small businesses, encouraging the development of a province-wide “culture of conservation”. As Windsor’s energy provider, ENWIN is mandated to complete local Smart Meter installations by early 2011. Everything Stays the Same It is important for customers to realize that everything will remain the same, following your Smart Meter Installation: An ENWIN employee will still come to read the meter, EnWin bills will still look the same, and electricity charges will still be calculated in the same way as before. Eventually, the province is expected to switch over to a new rate structure called Time-of-Use (TOU) pricing. But for now, only the appearance of the meter will change. TOU Pricing is NOT in Effect Smart Meters are here, but Time of Use Pricing isn’t. Not yet. You will not automatically move to time-of-use rates once your smart meter has been installed. Provincial legislation requires ENWIN to install Smart Meters as one step towards conserving energy and building for the future. Smart Meters will be installed this fall – but that will NOT have an immediate impact on how you are billed for your electricity. ENWIN customers will be billed differently ONLY after the Province requires us to move to Time of Use billing – likely some time in 2012. When a firm date is set, ENWIN will contact customers directly, and make sure you have all the information you need to benefit from the change. At the present time you will not notice any difference in your billing. ENWIN Respects and Protects Your Privacy As we move forward with Smart Meter installations, remember that Time of Use pricing is not yet in effect. In the future, when the Province requires ENWIN to move to this new system, Smart Meters will help customers reduce their energy costs by offering clear information about much energy is used at specific times of day. How and why you consume energy will remain, as always, private. ENWIN will ensure you are aware of all changes before they occur, and we thank you for helping Ontario build a brighter future. Quick, Efficient Installation Installation only takes a few minutes. A representative from ENWIN’s contractor, Olameter, will knock on your door to inform you that they are there to install your smart meter. Your power will be interrupted briefly, while the old meter is exchanged for a new Smart Meter. If you are not home, the representative...

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New Home Buyer Tarion Protection

New Home Buyers Page Content If you’re considering purchasing a new home, congratulations! It’s an exciting and rewarding process. A new home may also be the most significant purchase you ever make. In addition to the financial commitment, there are a number of lifestyle and home design options you may need to consider. That’s why it’s so important to do your homework and gather as much information as possible about your potential new home before you sign the Agreement of Purchase and Sale. To help prepare you for your purchase, we’ve created Top Ten Tips for New Home Buyers. It’s a step-by-step list that provides research ideas, financial and legal resources, as well as practical maintenance advice. Together these tips will go a long way to ensuring that you’re very happy with your new home. Tarion provides important protection before and after your new home purchase When you buy a new home or condominium in Ontario, you enjoy the benefits of a comprehensive builder warranty. To learn more about this warranty, you can preview or print a copy of our concise, easy-to-read brochure entitled “Warranty Coverage for New Homes in Ontario“. You can also order a copy of this brochure. Your new home warranty begins before you even move in. Once you provide the down payment for your new home, it’s protected. You also have a right to compensation if your builder delays the closing of the sale without giving you proper notice. See Understanding Deposit Protection and Understanding Delayed Closings and Occupancies to learn more. Before you take possession of your new home or condominium, your builder will walk you through a pre-delivery inspection (PDI). Tarion provides a PDI Checklist to help you ensure that this critical inspection is thorough and complete. After moving in, you’re entitled to a 1 Year, 2 Year and 7 Year warranty against defects in work and materials. This warranty comes with certain obligations, so it’s important to understand the statutory warranty process. Protecting your new home warranty also requires that you properly manage the systems in your new home. Tarion offers tips on Maintaining Your Home to help protect your most important investment for years to...

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Understanding Delayed Closings and Occupancies Windsor Real Estate

Understanding Delayed Closings and Occupancies for Freehold Homes and Condominiums Page Content Under the delayed closing and delayed occupancy warranty, your builder guarantees that your home will be ready for you to move in either by a date specified in the purchase agreement or by a date that has been properly extended if circumstances occur that delay the home’s completion. In many cases, your builder will be required to compensate you if a delay occurs. For more information about delayed closings and occupancies, including Addendums and Statement of Critical Dates calculators, please see below. Freehold Buyers Delayed Closing Protection To learn more about Delayed Closing protection, click on the link below that corresponds to the signing date of your purchase agreement: • Your purchase agreement was signed on or before June 30, 2008 • Your purchase agreement was signed on or after July 1, 2008 Delayed Closing Addendums If your new freehold home’s purchase agreement was signed on or after July 1, 2008, click on the link below that corresponds to your type of closing to download an addendum: • Freehold Firm Closing Date – Statement of Critical Dates and Addendum • Freehold Tentative Closing Date – Statement of Critical Dates and Addendum However, if project viability conditions are permitted and included in your purchase agreement or the deal is conditional on the sale of the purchaser’s existing home, you must use one of the forms below: • Freehold Firm Closing Date – Statement of Critical Dates and Addendum – Econonic Conditions • Freehold Tentative Closing Date – Statement of Critical Dates and Addendum – Economic Conditions Statement of Critical Dates calculator To create an Addendum with a Statement of Critical Dates, click on the link below: • Statement of Critical Dates calculator for freehold homes To view or download a Statement of Critical Dates paper calendar, click on the link below: • Freehold Tentative Critical Dates Paper Calculator – July 2010 to Dec. 2016 Condominium Buyers Delayed Occupancy Protection To learn more about Delayed Occupancy protection, click on the link below that corresponds to the signing date of your purchase agreement: • The purchase agreement for the first unit sold in your condominium project or phase was signed on or before June 30, 2008 (Ask your builder to provide this information to you.) • The purchase agreement for the first unit sold in your condominium project or phase was signed on or after July 1, 2008 (Ask your builder to provide this information to you.) Delayed Occupancy Addendums If the purchase agreement for the first unit sold in your condominium project or phase was signed on or after July 1, 2008, click on the link below that corresponds...

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Tarion New Home Warranty Protection Windsor Real Estate

This section is intended to help new homeowners understand what’s included in the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act (the Act) and what to do if a warranty problem arises. The Act outlines the warranty coverage that builders are required to provide to their customers.  Coverage under the Act includes deposit protection, protection against defects in work and materials, protection against unauthorized substitutions, and protection against delayed closings or delayed occupancies without proper notice. For condominiums, warranty coverage also includes common/shared areas of the building. The aggregate maximum warranty coverage for new homes and condominium units is $300,000*. The maximum coverage for condominium common elements is $50,000 times the number of units, to a maximum of $2.5 million. Most issues related to the Statutory Warranty are resolved between builders and owners without the intervention of Tarion. When necessary, Tarion will help homeowners and builders interpret the limits of the Act, and will intercede to protect consumers when builders fail to honour warranty obligations. * Tarion increased the aggregate maximum warranty coverage provided under the One Year, Two Year and Major Structural Defect warranties to $300,000 for homes with a date of possession on or after July 1, 2006. This increased coverage amount applies regardless of when the purchase agreements or construction contracts in issue were entered into. If the date of possession of a home is prior to July 1, 2006, the warranty coverage under the One Year, Two Year and Major Structural Defect warranties will continue to be as follows: a) $100,000 if the purchase agreement or construction contract for the home was entered into before September 1, 2004; and b) $150,000 if the purchase agreement or construction contract for the home was entered into on or after September 1,...

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Windsor Essex Property Tax Rebates For Commercial and Industrial Buildings

Windsor Essex property tax relief for vacant commercial and industrial buildings will be provided to property owners through rebates that are issued by municipalities. APPLICATION FORMS WINDSOR ESSEX TECUMSEH LEAMINGTON LAKESHORE LASALLE – contact municipality AMHERSTBURG ONTARIO STANDARD FORM Windsor Essex REBATE: types of properties that are eligible for rebates, the application procedures, the method for calculating rebates, appeal mechanisms, and key deadlines. WINDSOR ESSEX PROPERTY THAT IS ELIGIBLE FOR A REBATE To be eligible for a rebate, a building or portion of a building must satisfy the conditions described below. Buildings that are Entirely Vacant A whole commercial or industrial building will be eligible for a rebate if the entire building was unused for at least 90 consecutive days. Buildings that are Partially Vacant A suite or unit within a commercial building will be eligible for a rebate if, for at least 90 consecutive days, it was: unused; and clearly delineated or physically separated from the used portions of the building; and either capable of being leased for immediate occupation, or not capable of being leased for immediate occupation because it was undergoing or in need of repairs or renovations or was unfit for occupation. A portion of an industrial building will be eligible for a rebate if, for at least 90 consecutive days, it was: unused; and clearly delineated or physically separated from the used portions of the building. Exclusions Seasonal Property: Businesses that operate on a seasonal basis are not eligible for a rebate for the seasons they are closed. Leased Property: Buildings or portions of buildings that are vacant but are leased to a tenant are not eligible for a rebate. Vacant Land Sub-Class: Buildings that are included in a vacant land sub-class (e.g. new buildings that have never been occupied) are not eligible for a rebate. WINDSOR ESSEX APPLICATIONS — CONTENTS AND PROCEDURES Property owners (or their authorized representatives) must submit an application to their local municipality in order to receive a rebate. Application forms may be obtained from local municipal offices. Deadline for Submitting Applications The deadline to submit applications for a tax year is February 28 of the following year. (For example, for the 2001 tax year, the deadline to submit applications is February 28, 2002.) However, if a property owner receives a notice of omitted assessment from the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) after a tax year, the deadline to submit an application for a rebate is 90 days after the date of issuance of the notice of omitted assessment. Number of Applications Property owners may submit a maximum of two applications per property per year. Specifically, they may submit either: one application in respect of all vacancies that occurred on...

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Carbon Monoxide – CMHC

Carbon Monoxide The presence of carbon monoxide (CO) in our homes is dangerous. So, how can you protect your family from carbon monoxide? How do you choose the right CO detector for your home? The first step is to make sure that carbon monoxide never enters your home. The second step is to install at least one CO detector in your home. This About Your House answers often-asked questions about carbon monoxide to help you make the right decision to make your home safe. What Is Carbon Monoxide? Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colourless and odourless gas. Because you can’t see, taste or smell it, it can affect you or your family before you even know it’s there. Even at low levels of exposure, carbon monoxide can cause serious health problems. CO is harmful because it will rapidly accumulate in the blood, depleting the ability of blood to carry oxygen.1 Where Does Carbon Monoxide Come From? Carbon monoxide is a common byproduct of the combustion (burning) of fossil fuels. Most fuel-burning equipment (natural gas, propane and oil), if properly installed and maintained, produces little CO. The byproducts of combustion are usually safely vented to the outside. However, if anything disrupts the venting process (such as a bird’s nest in the chimney) or results in a shortage of oxygen to the burner, CO production can quickly rise to dangerous levels. The burning of wood, kerosene, coal and charcoal produces CO. Gasoline engines produce CO. CO production is at a maximum during the startup of a cold engine. Starting, then idling, your car or gas mower in the garage can be dangerous. The fumes that contain CO can enter a home through connecting walls or doorways and can quickly rise to dangerous levels. How Can I Eliminate Sources of Carbon Monoxide in My Home? The most important step you can take to eliminate the possibility of CO poisoning is to ensure that CO never has an opportunity to enter your home. This is your first line of defence. Review this list to minimize the risk of CO in your home. Have a qualified technician inspect and clean fuel-burning appliances yearly, before the cold weather sets in, to ensure they are in good working order. Have a qualified technician inspect chimneys and vents yearly for cracks, blockages (e.g., bird’s nests, twigs, old mortar), corrosion or holes. Check fireplaces for closed or blocked flues. Check with a qualified technician before enclosing heating and hot water equipment in a smaller room, to ensure there is adequate air for proper combustion. If you have a powerful kitchen exhaust fan or downdraft cooktop, have a qualified technician check that its operation does not pull fumes back...

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