Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Buying an Older Home

If your home is over 30 years old, your insurance company may require you to upgrade the plumbing, electrical and/or heating systems in your home prior to providing you with or renewing your homeowners insurance policy.

If you are looking to purchase an older home that has galvanized steel plumbing, 60-amp electrical service, knob and tube electrical wiring, a wood-burning stove or a fuel oil tank, make sure to factor the cost of necessary upgrades into your offering price! Your insurance representative will be able to advise you on what upgrades may need to be completed prior to obtaining homeowners insurance coverage.

Here are five things that make insurance companies nervous:
  1. 60amp electrical service
    If your electrical service is 60amp or below, your insurance company may require you to upgrade to 100amp to obtain coverage. However, they may accept a switching device such as a Load Miser that allows for the operation of only one major appliance at a time.

  2. Knob and tube wiring
    Many older buildings built in the 1920's or earlier were constructed with knob and tube wiring. This means that the building has no ground wire, and that the existing wire can be fragile because of its age - creating a potential safety hazard. An inspection by a certified electrician may be required to obtain insurance coverage. There is no requirement to replace knob and tube wiring except when renovating. Also, a knob tube circuit must not be extended.

  3. Wood burning stoves
    Modern wood burning stoves have been tested and approved by CSA, UL or a similar testing agency. An approval symbol and the acceptable clearances between the stove and any combustible surface are clearly marked on the back of the stove. If you cannot find the approval symbol, then your stove is likely not approved. In such a case, the insurance company may require that you remove it.
    Even if your stove is approved, you may have to have the installation approved by a Wood Energy Technical Training (WETT) technician to satisfy the insurance company. If you plan to install a wood burning stove in your home, check with your insurer in advance to find out their requirements.

  4. Fuel oil tanks
    Older fuel oil tanks are susceptible to leakage. If a fuel oil tank does leak, the clean up costs will be considerable (one case I heard of a cost of $60,000). Therefore, most insurance companies will only insure a fuel oil tank if it is less than 25 years old. If your tank is older than that, typically your insurer will require that it be replaced before you can obtain coverage. Also if you have an oil tank check your insurance policy to make sure you are covered.

  5. Galvanized steel pipes
     Houses built before 1950 often have galvanized steel plumbing for both supply and waste. These steel pipes rust from the inside out, resulting in reduced water pressure, slow drains and eventual leakage. As the risk of leakage is high, the pipes should be replaced as soon as possible.  

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Economic Update

Highlights from this week’s economic data:
• Employment in Canada rebounded by 29,000 net jobs in January, with all the job gains concentrated in full-time positions. The unemployment rate decreased to 7.0% from 7.2%.

• Canada’s trade deficit came in at $1.7 billion in December, widening from the downwardly revised Novem­ber deficit of $1.5 billion. Imports (+1.2%) advanced at a faster rate than exports (+0.9%). The 2013Q4 readings suggest that net exports will likely be a drag on real GDP growth in the fourth quarter.
• The Canadian dollar appreciated by almost one U.S. cent this week, after falling below 90 U.S. cents last week for the first time since August 2009. The Canadian dollar is expected to hit 85 cents U.S. by mid 2014.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Woodbridge Crossing - Amazing New Town Homes

Absolutely stunning, Luxury Townhomes In Old Woodbridge Village! Perfectly Located At Kipling Ave Just North Of Woodbridge Ave. A Private Enclave That Offers A Rich Ensemble Of 53 Architecturally Heritage Inspired Towns Featuring Luxurious Elegant Designs. Enjoy The Lifestyle Living in New And Distinctive Community Of Woodbridge Crossing, Directly Across From The Woodbridge Fairgrounds, Just Steps Away From The Village And The Market Lane Shopping Centre. Take advantage (for limited time only) of the amazing upgrades - 1 year FREE Cable TV, Internet & Home Phone, Stainless Steel Appliance Package, Central Air Conditioner, Upgraded Designer Kitchen, Hardwood Flooring, Oak staircase, 9 foot celling on second floor and garage to house door entrance. For more information visit Sales Office Location: 8204 Kipling Ave. Woodbridge, Phone: 905 605 5155 Hours: Sat & Sun 11am - 5pm, Mon-Wed 1:00-7:00 Closed Thursday & Fridays

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