Paying too much Property Tax?

IF YOU HAVE RECENTLY RECEIVED YOUR 2016 MPAC TAX ASSESSMENT 

READING THIS  COULD SAVE YOU THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS!

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Every four years MPAC sends out a province wide property assessment notice to each property owner in Ontario. The last provincial wide notice was sent out in the fall of 2012 and MPAC is in the process of rolling out the 2016 assessment notice to Ontario homeowners. Lanark County notices will be mailed out April 11th and Ottawa residents will receive their notices starting July 18th.

Ontario homeowners can expect the value of their property to have risen an average of 18 per cent when they get their new assessments as MPAC data shows values rose an average of 4.5 per cent in each of the past four years.

All MPAC assessments are currently based on a January 1, 2016 valuation date. When calculating your new value any increases are phased in over four years using an average market increase in assessed value between January 1, 2012 and January 1, 2016. The full value of a decrease is not phased in but takes effect immediately. The phased-in values for your property should be specified on your Property Assessment Notice.

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I DISAGREE WITH MPAC ASSESSED VALUE OF MY PROPERTY HOW CAN I APPEAL?

If you believe that your tax evaluation is too high you can use MPACs free MyProperty tool to understand how and why your property was assessed the way it was.

You will need your Roll number and Access key located on your Property Assessment Notice to register.

You can register and access the tool by going to: https://www.aboutmyproperty.ca/

Investigate and note the following:

  • Is the assessed value of the property different than similar properties in your neighbourhood?
  • Has the property been incorrectly classified?
  • Is a person wrongly placed on or left off the assessment roll;
  • Is the school support listed correctly?
  • Are other records listed correct? (e.g., wrong lot size, building area)
  • Was the property purchased close to the valuation date for a significantly different amount than the assessed value?
  • Is the value, classification or effective date on the Property Assessment Change Notice or Amended Notice listed correctly?
  • Are there factors that negatively impact the property’s current value, which may not be reflected in the current value assessment (e.g., adjacent buildings which effect value such as rentals or industrial buildings.)

If you feel that your evaluation is incorrect your next step is to contact MPAC and to request the Comparable Properties Report that was used to determine your property value. This report will contain the homes which MPAC picked as the most comparable to yours.

85% of your valuation is based on five key factors.

  1. Location
  2. Lot Dimensions
  3. Living Area
  4. Age of Structure (adjusted for additions or major renovations)
  5. Quality of construction

Rate and take notes on how your home is similar and different from the compared homes using these key factors as a guide.

Perhaps the assessed values used similar type homes but it could be argued they are located in a more desirable location or the comparable properties are on larger lots or have been renovated.

If you recently purchased or renovated your home or secured a new mortgage it is likely the mortgage lender had an appraisal done on your property.  Contact your lender and ask them for a copy of the report.

I can also provide you with a CMA – a Comparative Market Analysis report of similar properties that had recently sold in your neighbourhood.

Both the appraisal and CMA will include comparable properties, photos and the estimated value. If the MPAC value has a higher valuation you can use these reports to help make your case for a reassessment.

To challenge your tax assessment value you need to apply for a ‘Request for Reconsideration’.

The deadline to submit a Request for Reconsideration is 120 days from the issuance date printed on the Property Assessment Notice and this deadline date should be noted on your assessment. The property owner may file an RfR every year if he/she chooses to do so. For non-assessment years the deadline to file must be done prior to March 31st.

There are multiple ways to initiate a Request for Reconsideration:

If writing a letter, please include the 19-digit roll number included on the Property Assessment Notice, the property owner’s full name, address and phone number and the reasons why the assessment may be incorrect. Make sure to include as many reasons as possible as to why your assessment should be lower and key in on the 5 key factors listed above. Also included copies of your home appraisal, CMA and even photos of your neighbourhood.

QUICK STEPS TO APPEAL YOUR MPAC TAX ASSESMENT

  1. Compare your assessed value with similar properties in your neighbourhood to determine if it’s overvalued.
  2. Visit AboutMyProperty.ca to learn more about your property assessment.
  3. Request the Comparable Properties Report from MPAC.
  4. Request your home appraisal from your lender and request a report of similar properties that have recently sold from your real estate agent. (Call Chantal at 613-371-6024 for this free Market report)
  5. When filing your Request for Reconsideration, include compelling reasons and supporting documentation, such as recent home appraisals, sales information of comparable properties, photos, zoning information and estimates for significant repairs.

Some other features that may affect value include:

  • finished basements;
  • garages;
  • pools;
  • fireplaces;
  • number of bathrooms; and
  • the type of heating and air conditioning.

Site features can also increase or decrease the assessed value of your property, such as:

  • traffic patterns;
  • being situated on a corner lot; and
  • Proximity to a golf course, hydro corridor, railway, green space…etc.

The Request for Reconsideration must be filed by the owner, the person who has received the property assessment. There is no fee for filing a Request for Reconsideration (RfR) with MPAC. Filing an appeal can be time-consuming, but well worth it.
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Introducing 36 Dunham Street, Carleton Place

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Great location to raise your family this stunning 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home features plenty of upgrades.

Open concept kitchen & dining room with French doors to deck and large lot backing onto green space. Huge backyard with no rear neighbours!

Modern kitchen complete with granite counter tops and white subway tile back splash.

Gleaming Brazilian cherry hardwood floors throughout.

Finished basement with family room and den.

Walking distance to parks and amenities.

No showings or offers until July 31st.

To book a showing Click Here

Introducing 49 Dunham Street, Carleton Place

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You and your family will love this well maintained 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home located on a preferred corner lot. Ample parking spots including spacious garage with inside entry door.

Beautiful hardwood flooring featured throughout the main and upper levels including the stairs.

Finished basement with family room, den and plenty of storage space. Spacious open concept kitchen and dining room with outside access to a large deck is perfect for entertaining guests.

Extremely large fully fenced private yard is lined with cedar hedges and mature trees.

Many upgrades to home including a new roof and furnace in 2012.

For more information on this property Click Here

To book a showing Click Here

Moving With Your Pet

Moving can be a trying and stressful event, not only for you but your pets as well. One of the many considerations when planning a move is to ensure that your pets feel as comfortable as possible during the move and that they settle into your new home.

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Visit your veterinarian.

A few weeks prior to moving, request a copy of your pets veterinary records, including all the animals vaccination certificates. Be sure your pets are up to date with all their shots. Your vet should have no problem releasing the records and perhaps may even be able to recommend another vet in your new location.

Keep a Routine.  Dogs and cats don’t like change; they might display behavioral changes or become ill when stressed.  A move can often be quite chaotic but try your best to keep your pets’ routines, such as feeding times and walks, as normal as possible as you prepare for the move and after you arrive at your new home. Make the time to provide them with a similar level of attention you would usually give them.

Update your tags and microchip. If you have a dog or a cat you should create new identification tags with your new address and phone number. Most pet stores or an engraving shop can offer this service. If your pet is micro-chipped be sure to update the contact information on file to your new phone number and address.

Get your pet Registered. Most municipalities require you to register your pet and some may even have restrictions or bans on certain pets or breeds. Registering a pet usually includes a fee and tagging the animal. Some municipalities require proof of sterilization and/or micro-chipping to register your pet. You may need a letter or certificate from your current vet to show as proof. Be sure to contact the municipal office prior to your move to see what the registration requirements are as well as any by-laws you may need to be aware of.

Get the Pet used to the new home and neighbourhood. It is best to start the animal off in a small area of the new home where they will feel safe. Create a secure spot and surround the pet with its bed, toys and familiar items. Show the cat where his new litter box location is.  If you own an outdoor cat you may want to leach it for the first few days it goes outdoors in your new neighborhood.

Tips for the Road

If you’re traveling by car, keep cats and dogs in carriers large enough to accommodate food and water bowls plus a small litterbox for Fluffy. Stop about every two hours to give larger pets some fresh air. Be sure to use a leash if you let your cat out. Maintain a comfortable car temperature for all pets, and don’t ever leave animals alone in a car on a hot day. Even with the windows cracked, this can be fatal. Birds and other small pets (hamsters, guinea pigs, and the like) are especially susceptible to drafts and heat. Cover cages to keep animals calm and well protected, and remove water bottles except during rest-stop water breaks.

Introducing 100 Mississippi Road, Carleton Place

virtual-tour-138663-02Perfect first home for a couple or young family. This home is well maintained and in a nice family neighbourhood which is walking distance to schools and parks. Minutes to Highway 7 for a short commute into Ottawa.  Huge fenced backyard with deck.

Situated in the popular Westview Heights community this Family home is a short walk away from downtown and a few blocks away from beautiful Riverside park. Riverside park includes two boat launches, a beautiful beach, volleyball court, large picnic area, and a splash pad for children as well as being home to the Carleton Place Canoe Club; Canada’s oldest canoe club.

Minutes away from the amenities of downtown Carleton Place including the recently renovated Farmer`s market as well as the many unique shops and restaurants along the main street. A short commute to Ottawa with the newly expanded 4 lane Highway 7 you can be in Kanata in under 30 minutes.

For more information on this property Click Here

Introducing 68 Peary Way, Kanata

 

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Stunningly updated 3 bedroom 1 bath row unit in Katimavik, Kanata. Open concept kitchen with eat in area, slate floor, slate backsplash, and patio door to back yard. Spacious living and dining room with laminate floors. New berber carpet on stairs & hall. Stylishly updated bathroom with modern fixtures & tiles. Upgraded insulation in attic, new eavestroughs. Fully fenced yard backing onto park.

Located in a popular family community this Condominium is close to all amenities.  Surrounded by parks and wooded trails, close to excellent schools, shopping, restaurants and transit. Great private outdoor pool with lifeguard on duty for those hot summer days, private playground for your kids.
For more information on this property click here.

Ottawa Home Show Ticket Giveaway!

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I would like to offer a chance for you to win two free tickets to visit the Ottawa Home and Garden Show on March 20-23 2014.

RE/MAX also has a great contest; be sure to enter for a chance to win a 15 thousand dollar landscape makeover!

Thanks again for all your business and continued support!

To enter the contest please fill out the short form below. Winner will be announced and contacted March 19th.

Contest is now closed.

 

UPDATE – THE WINNER OF THE 2 FREE TICKETS IS JANET DEMPSEY. CONGRATULATIONS JANET!!!

Introducing 7 Lemaistre Street, Carleton Place, Ontario

virtual-tour-126138-mls-high-res-image-3Perfect first home for a couple or young family. This home is well maintained and in a nice family neighbourhood which is walking distance to schools and parks.  Minutes to Highway 7 for a short commute into Ottawa.   Spacious corner lot fenced on three sides. Home features three bedrooms, two bathrooms and many upgrades. To prepare for sale most rooms have been freshly painted and new laminate floor was installed in the family room. The outside fence was also freshly painted. Other recent upgrades include a new roof in 2006, furnace in 2010 and an air exchanger in 2013. Carpet on stairs will be replaced. Don’t miss out on this fabulous home!

For more information on this property click here.

Introducing 36 Conover Street, Ottawa

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Set in the popular Woodvale / Craig Henry Community this family home is within walking distance to many schools and parks. This 3 bedroom, 3 bathrooms single family home features an in-ground pool and fully fenced yard.

Well maintained with renovations recently done to the  kitchen complete with ceramic floors and eat in kitchen, new window and custom trim. Other upgrades include new hardwood floors on main floor living and dining room area as well as renovations to both bathrooms.

The Nepean Sportsplex is nearby with an indoor pool, ice surface, and racquet sports facilities. There are many walking and biking paths connecting the community. Walking distance to lost of schools and parks. A great place to raise your family!

For more information on this property click here

Improve the Air and Water Quality in Your Home

Proper air and water quality are important not only for the health of your home but also the health of you and your family. Improper air and water quality can damage your home, cause discomfort and left unsolved can even lead to long-term effect to your health. Below I have outlined a few easy things you can do to increase your air and water quality, and ensure you stay healthy:

Increased Ventilation

Improper ventilation increases air pollutants inside your home and provides an atmosphere for unhealthy air quality in your home. Turn on exhaust fans or open windows when showering or cooking in order to let moisture escape from your home quicker. Make use of ceiling fans that circulate air. In the summer turn the fan on the furnace on to draw up colder air from the basement or install a cold air exchange system. Ensure that dryers, hot water heaters and wood or gas stoves have proper exhaust systems and fresh air intakes if required.

Proper Water Quality

If you get your water from a well ensure that you have your water tested regularly for both bacterial and chemicals to ensure it is safe to consume. Keep pesticides and other hazardous waste away from the well. Ensure any vehicles and equipment located on your property are not leaking any fuel or oil. Prevent animals from urinating or defecating near the well. If any issues with the well occur have the problem looked and a corrected by a certified professional.

Hard water is safe to drink but may cause skin irritations and household problems if left untreated.  If you experience hard water you can install a water softener system.  A water sofener filters out minerals that can cause dry skin, and build up mineral deposits on your laundry, dishes, pipes, fixtures, and appliances.

Balance Humidity

Respiratory problems can develop when the air in your home is too dry. Alternatively, too much moisture in the air can cause mildew, promote mold growth and affect those with allergies and/or asthma. All of these factors are why a proper balance of humidity in your home is so important.

If you experience a feeling of dampness in in your home, a dehumidifier will help balance the environment and prevent your home, furniture and possessions from experiencing water damage. On the other hand if the air in your home is too dry, a humidifier will add moisture and relieve dry skin any respiratory problems such as a sore throat or breathing issues. As well as protecting your personal health a balance in humidity will also protect and prolong the health of your home.

Keep unwanted Water away

Water entering your home can cause all kinds of issues both to the structure of the home as well as affecting the interior climate and living conditions.  Ensure you have proper grading with your landscape to direct water away from your home. Install eaves-troughs to collect and properly disperse rain water. Repair any foundation leaks and ensure that a proper drainage system is installed and functioning properly.

Maintain your home’s exterior, windows, and roof and ensure that there are no water leaks. As well as worn or missing shingles water can enter the home near chimneys, skylights, as well as air and sewer vents.  It is a good practice to make it a yearly check to ensure that proper seals exist around all flashing and to immediately repair any issues. Other water concerns can be caused by leaking water or sewer pipes within the home.  If required make sure a working sump pump system is installed which includes a backup system. Any issues that result in unwanted water entering your home should be dealt with immediately.