School Boundary and Bus Resource

We thought it would be useful to pass along a great resource we recently discovered which is provided by the Greater Essex County District School Board. is a website run by the Windsor Essex Student Transportation Service which provides a wealth of information on busing such as information on their operators, safety guidelines and the policies they adhere to.   One nice feature is that it also provides up to date information on inclement weather and possible delays to bus service.  From a real estate perspective though, it has a geoquery which allows you to determine which school your child will go to through a quick address search.  It also provides school information/boundary maps as well as a transportation eligibility search field.  This information is very useful if you’re thinking about moving but do not want to move your child from their current school.

June Market Data

Here’s a quick update on the statistics for the Windsor-Essex real estate market for the month of June 2012.  Total market activity was down just over 10% from June of 2011.  YTD, market activity was also down just over 3%.  June sales were down 8.6% with a total of 467 transactions.  YTD sales though are still up 7.68%.  Avg sale price for June of 2012 remained flat compared to last year while YTD avg sale price is still up 3.66%.  The most popular price bracket was between $100,000-$139,999 with raised ranches and ranches being the most popular styles.

These figures suggest that some of the gains experienced in the first half of the year might be starting to balance out a fraction.  This could be due in part to an expiration of the generous mortgage rates banks were offering at the beginning of the year.  Overall though interest rates still remain historically low and the market remains healthy with room for growth the remainder of 2012.

For more detailed information on June’s statistics, please see the following link –

New Listing – 251 Lakeview Avenue Kingsville

This kind of home does not become available very often!  A 2 storey colonial in the heart of Kingsville with over 100′ of lakefrontage.  Contact us today for your personal viewing because it won’t last long!


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New Commercial Development in Kingsville

Last night, Kingsville town council approved zoning amendments, paving the way for a new $12 million commercial development. It will be located just east of Jasperson Drive on Main Street East. Tenants slated for this 6.3 acre development are, among others, Freshco, Dollorama and the LCBO with stores ranging from 1,500 square feet to 25,000 square feet.

An article in today’s edition of the Windsor Star references some of the benefits to community stemming from this project.   “Alium will build a “gateway feature” welcoming visitors to Kingsville’s downtown. The project will include a fieldstone structure with anchors and chain and reproduction mill stones.  Alium will also create pathways and connections to the Chrysler Greenway, install a bike rack, build a parkette to allow walkers and cyclists to rest. Landscaping costs are estimated at nearly $128,000. The gateway and parkette will be on town property, but built at Alium’s expense, Lassaline said.”*

This development, coupled with the expansion of the Pelee Island Winery and the new Timbercreek Estates housing devleopment suggests that construction is booming in the town of Kingsville. To this end, the Windsor Star reports that without counting this new development the town had issued 116 building permits with a value of $56 million. This is yet another sign of optimism as the local economy and real estate market begin to show signs strengthening.



OPEN HOUSE 1306 Torquay Dr. Kingsville

We will be holding an open house this property situated on a quiet street near Lake Erie on Sunday from 2-4pm .  Extensively renovated, this house is ideal as a seasonal/recreational home, an income property or perfect for the first time home buyer.  It features 2 bedrooms, laminate flooring and a 165′ deep fenced yard.  Hope to see you there on Sunday.




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New Mortgage Rules Announced

In a news conference in Ottawa, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced a major shift in mortgage regulation in Canada aiming to promote long term stability in the real estate market.  Homeowners and people looking to purchase a home should pay particular attention to the 4 major changes put forth today.

  • The maximum amortization period has been shortened from 30 to 25 years
  • The maximum amount of equity a homeowner can take out when refinancing has been reduced from 85% to 80%
  • The availability of insured mortgages will be limited to homes with a purchase price of under $1 million
  • The maximum Gross Debt Service Ratio will be fixed at 39% and the maximum Total Debt Service Ratio will be set to 44%

These regulatory changes are set to take effect July 9, 2012 and were implemented to help reduce the overall debt levels that Canadians have been taking in recent years.   These measures seem to be primarily targeted at the red hot condo markets in major centres such as Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.  They will, however,  have an impact locally as lower interest rates and generally easy access to financing have both influenced a modest recovery in the Windsor-Essex region in the first half of 2012.  If you are considering purchasing a home, please contact us to discuss how the regulations might impact your situation.

For a good editorial analysis of today’s announcement, please see the following article in the globe and mail.


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Cottage Sales Up in 2012

A recent article suggests that softer prices are driving people back towards recreation properties in numbers not seen since 2008.  The article says that “Sales are up in 70 per cent of Canadian markets examined for the annual study and on a par with last year in another six per cent.  But prices remain soft, or even depressed, in most areas of the country — and those who are opting for cottages aren’t willing, for the most part, to spend more than $400,000, the study found”*.

$400,000!  If that is what stands as a bargain in cottage country, we think you can find a steal in Windsor-Essex!  We have a number of lakefront properties starting at under $200,000 with some even under $100,000.  We again encourage you to think of this region as an alternative destination for your recreation dollar.  Contact us for more details on what this area has to offer and our brokerage can do for you.


Court Ruling Good News for Home Buyers

There was a good article in the Toronto Star last week that might be of interest to anyone thinking of buying a home.*  Today, a home inspection clause has become almost standard when drafting an agreement of purchase.  Once an agreement has been signed, this condition gives a buyer the chance to contract the services of an inspector who in theory conducts a thorough inspection of the property and identifies any potential problem areas in and around the home.  If a buyer does not find the report satisfactory, they then have the option of not completing the transaction.

But what happens if a buyer who has contracted the services of an inspector closes a transaction based on a report which found no evidence of a problem – say for instance mould – and 3 months later finds out that there was in fact hidden extensive damage.  Unfortunately for the buyer, the wording of a home inspection contract typically states that the inspector’s liability is limited to the cost of the inspection which is usually minute compared to the cost of remediating undiscovered damage to a property.

The article references a case similar to this scenario.  Based on the evidence presented in court,  it was ruled that  “the inspector should have known that the damaged concrete and driveway at the front of the home could result in leaks to the foundation which could eventually cause mould, which would be especially problematic for someone who was allergic to it.” The inspector was ordered to pay 50% of the costs to fix the problem while the buyer’s agent was also held responsible for 25% of the costs.  On appeal however, in a decision released last month, the Ontario Appeal Court decided that“the home inspector should pay all of the loss. It was too much to ask a real estate agent or a buyer to make the connection that defects in the concrete and driveway at the front of the house could somehow later lead to mould.

The buyers were somewhat lucky in that the inspector did not fully detail the limited liability clause in the inspection agreement.  This is however a landmark case given that the inspector was deemed to be responsible for the entire cost of the remediation.

At R.A. Critchlow Realty Inc., we believe in performing all due diligence to ensure our clients are fully informed when they purchase an interest in real estate.  We often recommend inspections above and beyond a standard home inspection on a range of potential problems including but not limited to septic systems, HVAC and electrical.  We also have relationships with some of the best contractors in the area to help you with these services.  At the end of the day though, a buyer places a lot of trust in an inspection when they purchase a home.  This article is a good sign for the real estate market as a whole as it holds inspectors to a higher standard and shows a potential new recourse for when their work is deemed to be negligent.




May Real Estate Market Analysis: Sales and Sale Price Trending Upwards

Statistics for the Windsor/Essex real estate market for the month of May were recently released and much of the positive momentum experienced through the first quarter of 2012 seems to be continuing.  Market activity overall is down 1.17% from May of 2011.  Sales however are up 10% from May of 2011 and Year to Date sales up up 10.97% from 2011.  YTD average price is also up 5.74% from 2011 at an average selling price of $171,896.*

These figures continue to suggest that there is valid reason for optimism in the local real estate market.  Properties are selling at a greater rate than in the last 12 months and sellers are getting more for their homes.

Contact us if you would like to discuss taking advantage of these market conditions.  We can show you what types of houses are currently the most popular to buyers and what they are paying for them.   We can also provide a free, no obligation assessment of what your home might be worth and what new homes are currently available.


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2 New Listings

We’ve got two really nice listings that have just been uploaded.

The first is a great starter home at 5 Churchill Avenue in Leamington.  Located close to schools and within walking distance of uptown Leamington, it features lots of recent upgrades including hydro service, furnace, windows and the roof.  List price is $129,900.

The Second home, located at 1775 Union Avenue in Ruthven has lots of space inside and out.  It features 3 good sized bedrooms and a generous 95’x591′ lot.  Located centrally between Kingsville and Leamington it is also close to the by-pass for those commuting to Windsor.  List price is $134,900.

Contact us today to see these homes for yourself because at these prices they won’t last long!


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