OPEN HOUSE – 45 Wakefield Avenue Leamington

We will be holding an open house at 45 Wakefield Ave in Leamington Saturday March 17th between 1-3pm.  This is a great home on a good street, finished on both levels and includes a fenced yard.  We hope to see you there!

Property Assessment Reconsideration Deadline Approaching

Are you paying too much property tax?

The deadline to challenge your 2012 assessment with the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) is quickly approaching.  To do so, a property owner can request what is called a Request for Reconsideration any time until March 31st.  Why should you consider filing a Request for Reconsideration?  Your property taxes are based on the assessed value MPAC attributes to your property.  If MPAC has inaccurate data about your property, your property tax bill might be based on an incorrect value.  In it’s 2010 report, the Office of the Auditor General of Ontario found that as many as 1 in 8 properties  has assessed values that differed from their sale price by more than 20%.  This means, you may be paying more than your proportional share in property tax.

In 2006, the Office of the Ontario Ombudsman published a report entitled “Getting it Right” in which it challenged the openness and fairness of the assessment review process.  To their credit, MPAC took many of the recommendations and adopted them as part of their review process.  The average property owner though is still at a disadvantage given the weight of information MPAC is able to use to defend their values.  At R.A. Critchlow Realty Inc. we not only have the market experience, we also possess substantial knowledge of the assessment process to help you determine whether a Request for Reconsideration might warranted and if so negotiate on your behalf.  Contact us to review your situation and determine what steps can be taken to potentially lessen your tax burden.

Future blog posts will look at what information MPAC uses when determining the assessed value for your property.  We’ll also take a look what the future holds given that 2013 will see the first general reassessment in 4 years in the province of Ontario.

BMO Reignites Mortgage War

Bank of Montreal has re-introduced a 2.99 per cent fixed-rate on a 5 year mortgage.  On March 11, 2012 it will also introduce 3.99 per cent fixed-rate on a 10 year mortgage.  These record low rates are currently posted on their website and are scheduled to be in place until the end of March.*

A similar move in January sparked a bidding war between Canada’s major lending institutions.  The major beneficiaries in this skirmish were Canadians looking for a mortgage.  This release comes on the heels of the Bank of Canada announcement today that their prime interest rate will remain unchanged while further hinting that future rate hikes might be on the horizon.  Given this fact, there may not be a better time to consider buying a house.  At the same time, with the cost of borrowing reduced, it might also be a good time to re-examine the market position of your current home.

These new rates do come with some restrictions.  First, additional payments are capped at 10 per cent of the outstanding principal.  Also, amortization will be capped at 25 years.  As always, we recommend you consult a financial advisor or mortgage professional about your specific situation.

*http://www.bmo.com/home/personal/banking/mortgages-loans/mortgage/special-offers/low-rate-mortgage?WT.ac=E8022_ad1e_Epfhp_1

Windsor-Essex Real Estate Market Strong to Start 2012

Each month, the Windsor-Essex County Real Estate Board publishes statistics related to market activity. If the first two months are any indication, 2012 might be a strong year for the Windsor-Essex real estate market.

Year-to-date, sales are up 22.46% from 2011. Year-to-date, average sale price was also up 9.91% from 2011. The majority of the sales came from sales under $160,000. Listings however remained relatively flat with accumulative year-to-date listings up 1.33% from 2011 A copy of this report is available via the link at the bottom of this page.

With interest rates still at near historic lows and a relatively flat inventory of homes available, it might be a good time to re-examine the position of your home in this changing environment. Please contact us to discuss these trends further or to have us provide you with an analysis of what your home might be worth.

http://data.windsorrealestate.com/stats/February2012/February2012.html

(Disclaimer: The Windsor-Essex County Real Estate Board does not warrant in any way the information contained herein as to the accuracy or completeness. This is the sole responsibility of those businesses and individuals that have submitted the information contained herein.)

Welcome!

Welcome to our new website!  We hope you’ll appreciate some of the changes we’ve made.  Going forward, our listing pages will take advantage of  some of the newest technology including high resolution images, virtual tours and the latest in social media platforms.  We will also be using this blog to keep both buyers and sellers up to date with the latest listing and industry information.  We will also be highlighting some of the alternative services we provide such as property tax consultation and appraisals.  We hope that you’ll return to this blog on a periodic basis and keep in touch through our comments page and contact form.  We’d love to hear from you!

R. A. Critchlow Realty Inc. is a small but experienced real estate brokerage that prides itself on delivering the best, personal service in the Leamington-Kingsville-Wheatley area.  Please contact us for all your real estate needs.