Important Warning: Kitec Plumbing

 

KitecWith the cold weather this winter, there’s nothing more comfortable than radiant heating, especially when it’s installed in your flooring or used for high-end treats like heated towel racks. However, if you’ve used a product known as Kitec in the installation of the radiant heat, some insurance companies won’t insure your home. This issue turned up in a house inspection recently and caught everyone by surprise.

Is this the new UFFI? It seems that the plumbers who originally installed Kitec have come to believe that if you have Kitec in your home, it will eventually cause a problem, not maybe but definitely.

If you have radiant heating in your house that is water heated and was installed between 1995 and 2007, call your plumber and have him or her certify that no Kitec was used. If you do find Kitec, the best thing you can do is replace it right away and join in the class action lawsuit at http://www.kitecsettlement.com to get some money to help the remediation.

What Is Kitec?

Sold between 1995 and 2007, Kitec is a piping system that was used both for carrying water throughout a home and supplying water to radiant heating systems. The Kitec system used brass fittings as well as blue and orange flexible piping, which was made from a mixture of polyurethane and aluminum. This system was initially thought to be a superior product to copper piping because the Kitec pipes are more flexible, easier to install, and less expensive than copper. In fact, many plumbers pushed for the use of Kitec over copper piping before it became apparent that the product was faulty.

Kitec was manufactured by the IPEX company, and has also been sold under a variety of other brand names including IPEX, PEX, AQUA, XPA, WARMRITE, Kitec XPA, AmbioComfort, Kerr Controls, and Plomberie Améliorée.

This is not the first time the IPEX company has come under fire for faulty products; in 1995, they recalled their brass compression fittings in both Canada and the US after it was discovered that the fittings reacted negatively with pipes, causing them to corrode and fail.

What You Can Get from the Class Action Settlement

If you’ve bought a home and discovered that it has Kitec in it, you may have trouble getting your home insured – it all depends on your insurance company. According to a 2013 article from the Nova Scotia Association of Realtors about the dangers of Kitec:

“Insurance companies assess risks based on their own claims experience, and some larger companies have not had enough bad experiences with Kitec to deny insurance. Some companies are denying insurance, however, most likely because they are not relying solely on their own claims experience, but avoiding all possible risks.”

Even if you haven’t been denied home insurance because of the product, you should still be able to receive compensation from IPEX in order to help you replace the Kitec.

In 2011, three class action lawsuits – one in the US, one in Québec, and one covering the rest of Canada – were brought against IPEX on behalf on anyone who owns or had previously owned a home with Kitec in it.

In 2012, all parties reached a settlement in which IPEX was forced to create a settlement account of US$125 million in order to compensate the claimants.

The settlement became effective as of January 9, 2012, and the deadline for filing a claim against IPEX is January 9, 2020, so if you believe you deserve compensation, be sure to visit http://www.kitecsettlement.com to see if you are eligible and to find out how to make a claim.

Sanela Kurtek.  This entry was posted in Toronto Real Estate News, March 5, 2015

KathySignature

 

 

 

Kathy Dimaline is a Real Estate Broker for RE/MAX Grey Bruce Realty Inc.  The comments on this Blog are the opinions, only, of Kathy Dimaline and do not constitute any legal advice or legal opinion and does not represent the interests or opinions of RE/MAX Grey Bruce Realty Inc., brokerage.

 

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Secret Weapon–Bruce County Mapping

 

Looking for property on the Bruce Peninsula or other parts of Bruce County? Here’s a great tool to help you find out a lot of information on the property or properties you are interested in.

Bruce County Mapping is available to the general public. This program will provide you with the following major information: Lot size, legal description, property boundaries (not to be considered to be accurate), location, assessment information, tax information, satellite view, zoning, UTM co-ordinates…and much more. I’ll share what I know with you here…play with it and you will find it has many other uses.

Basics:

Go to: www.brucecounty.on.ca   (you can see the larger version of the images below by clicking on them)

Click Photo to go to Website

Click Photo to go to Website

 

 

Click on: Interactive Maps Tab, Click on “Go to the Page…”

 

 

 

Click on Photo to go to Website

Click on Photo to go to Website

 

 

Click on: The Pink Map (you may want to bookmark this page)

 

 

BruceCounty3

Click on:  Query, in drop down box chose “Properties by”, then chose whether you want to use the address or the roll number (MLS #)

 

 

BruceCounty4

Click on:  The Red Civic Address or Roll Number, on the right hand side of your screen

 

 

BruceCounty6From this, you will be taken to the actual property which will be outlined in red on the map.

 

 

 

BruceCounty5

You will also receive a box with the property data…which includes Civic address (if there is one), roll number, legal description, assessment, property taxes, and property size.

 

 

At the bottom of the screen are a number of useful icons.  Always make sure you have made your icon choice first (so that it is hightlighted in red), then click on the location on the map.  The most useful are the zoom in and zoom out (+ -).  Use the “hand” icon to move around on the map.  The “i” icon will give you the data on any property that you click on.  The eraser will delete the outline around the property or any lines that you add…such as those you may create using the very useful measuring tool icon (ruler with two arrows and question mark).


BruceCounty7

BruceCounty9

 

The above gives you the basics.  For more details on a property you will have to do some experimenting.  Here are the common searches that I do on a property.

Zoning.  At the top of the map, click on the “View” tab, then click “Layer List”.  On the right hand side, click on “Municipality-Specific” and then click on “Northern Bruce Peninsula” (or any other Municipality listed), then click on “Zoning” (even though it looks like it’s already checked).

 

 

 

BruceCounty10You will then get a new map with different colours on it.  These are the different zoning codes.  For instance, yellow is R2 (Resort Residential), the Grey is RU1 (Rural Residential) and the dark Blue is “EH” (you can get more information about EH zoning on my Blog at:  https://kathydimaline.wordpress.com/2015/03/08/what-is-eh-zoning/

To obtain a legend of all zoning, Click on the “View” tab, then click on “Legend”–you will get a colour coded list on the right hand side.

For all Northern Bruce Peninsula zoning by-laws, click here:  http://www.brucecounty.on.ca/assets/departments/planning/files/NBP%20Documents/NBP%20CBL%202002%2054%20w%20Office%20Consol%20Dec%202014.pdf#page=1&zoom=auto,-15,397

BruceCounty8

Aerial Photographs.   Click on the “View” tab.  Click on “Layer List”.  On the right hand side, click on “Aerial Photography”.  Click on “Uncheck to simplify photo”…don’t forget to do this, even if it looks as though it is already checked.  Then click on the box next to “Spring 2010”.  You may have to wait awhile for it to come up.  You will have the property still outlined in red and be able to have a topographical view of that property with all it’s features.

 

 

 

 

BruceCounty13

The Best Way to Get UTM Coordinates.  First, click on the “i” icon at the bottom of the screen.  Then, place your cursor on one of the corners of the property and click.  You will get a data box to the right, at the very bottom you will find the UTM codes (it’s not going to be 100% accurate, but will give you a very good idea).  You can then do each of the other corners.

 

 

 

This is a very useful tool.  I hope these instructions help.  Play around with it, you may find other uses.

Kathy

 

Kathy Dimaline is a Real Estate Broker for RE/MAX Grey Bruce Realty Inc.  The comments on this Blog are the opinions, only, of Kathy Dimaline and do not constitute any legal advice or legal opinion and does not represent the interests or opinions of RE/MAX Grey Bruce Realty Inc., brokerage.

 

What is “EH” Zoning?

 

Beautiful Swamp

Beautiful Swamp

“EH” stands for Environmental Hazard…it’s not as bad as it sounds. It’s just an area on a property that’s water. EH could simply be low lying water.  Because we are predominantly rock in this area it often takes longer for water to absorb into the earth, so it tends to stay around a bit longer than usual.

 

Swamp Beauty

Swamp Beauty

“EH” could be a swampy area, where the water on a property is a bit deeper than just lying water. Swamps can be beautiful and attract lots of birds and other wildlife. I personally own a gorgeous swamp…the photos here are from my swamp property.

 

 

Wave Action Causes Uprush

Wave Action Causes Uprush

“EH” could also be expected water uprush from the lake. If you own a waterfront property wave action caused by storms or changes in water levels can cause water uprush and is designated as such with this zoning.

Other EH properties could be government zoned areas for environmental protection.  If it’s an environmentally protected area, the government does not want that specific area disturbed.

One advantage of having EH zoning on your property is that you may be able to  apply to the Ontario Government’s Conservation Land Tax Incentive program and have that area of the property exempt from taxes…really! I have another Blog on this…but you can find more information at:  http://www.ontario.ca/CLTIP

How do you know that there is “EH” zoning on your property? This zoning is all mapped out on the Bruce County website at:  www.brucecounty.on.ca

EH is Dark Blue

EH is Dark Blue

Knowing if you have EH is important mostly to those who are buying or selling vacant land.  Simply because you want to know if it can be built on. When a property is being sold, all registered real estate professionals must inform you of this and any other zoning that may affect your future use of the property. Usually you will see it on a listing under zoning. In any case it is something you should always enquire about and be sure you know what it’s impact means to your specific needs.  The map to the side is an example of some properties with EH.  EH is designated as the dark blue section.

Here’s the link to the Municipal by-law regarding “EH” zoning: http://www.davismclay.com/EH.pdf

“EH” zoning on a property will affect it’s value.  Know it’s impact and how it affects you.

 

Kathy Dimaline is a Real Estate Broker for RE/MAX Grey Bruce Realty Inc.  The comments on this Blog are the opinions, only, of Kathy Dimaline and do not constitute any legal advice or legal opinion and does not represent the interests or opinions of RE/MAX Grey Bruce Realty Inc., brokerage.

 

Multiple Representation Demystified

Here’s a short video of my interpretation of Multiple Representation.

ContractMultiple Representation in a real estate transaction has been, and can still be, a controversial subject.  Yet, it is more common than most people think.  Just think about it…when you are interested in a property, who do you call…usually the listing Realtor.  Why, because their name and contact information is on the sign; their name and contact information is on MLS; and their name and contact information is on anything associated with that listed property.  You expect that realtor to be the expert on that property (and they should be).  So, it’s natural to contact the listing realtor.   Once you ask that realtor, or any other realtor in the same brokerage, to work for you on that property, you are in a Multiple Representation situation.

Multiple Representation is AN ACCEPTABLE PRACTICE, and as such, the rules of Multiple Representation are on each and every representation agreement, where both the seller and the buyer agree to the possibility of being in a Multiple Representation situation.

Here’s the link to a Listing Agreement (Clause #3, Page 2):  http://www.davismclay.com/ListingAgreement.pdf

Here’s the link to a Buyer Representation Agreement (Clause #3, Page 2):  http://www.davismclay.com/BuyerRep.pdf

Multiple Representation is not about a realtor’s personal greed, which some will have you believe…it’s about doing the job they have been hired to do.  Which is to sell the properties they have listed, and, help their buyers find the right property to buy.  And sometimes, the “right property” is a listed property within the realtors own inventory or brokerage’s inventory.

An unethical or “greedy” realtor is always going to be an unethical or “greedy” realtor, no matter how you cut it.

Not all realtor’s should be painted with the same brush.

Others say Multiple Representation is a conflict of interest.  However, the rules of Multiple Representation are such that any realtor (or brokerage) must work in the best interest of both the seller and the buyer.  Realtor’s are “supposed” to put the best interests of their clients before their own interests…and a good realtor always does this, no matter what the situation.

Hire a good, reputable realtor and no matter if you are in a Multiple Representation situation or a “Single Representation”, that realtor is always doing what is in your best interest!

If you want “your own independent representation”, 1) don’t call the listing realtor (or anyone else in the same brokerage) to show you the property, or, 2) if you do call the listing realtor tell them upfront that you want or have “your own independent representation” (it’s only fair) , and 3) tell “your own independent representative” that you don’t want to be in a multiple representation situation.   This is important because “your own representative” may in fact end up showing you and selling you one of their own brokerage’s listingswhich puts you in a Multiple Representation situation. 

 

 

Kathy Dimaline is a Real Estate Broker for RE/MAX Grey Bruce Realty Inc.  The comments on this Blog are the opinions, only, of Kathy Dimaline and do not constitute any legal advice or legal opinion and does not represent the interests or opinions of RE/MAX Grey Bruce Realty Inc., brokerage.

 

“0” Tax on Your Property

Ontario’s Conservation Land Tax Incentive Program

BP20If you own a piece of property that can be deemed as “provincially significant” you can apply for a Land Tax Incentive.  This program, if approved on your land, will exempt you from property taxes on that portion of your land deemed significant.  This is where we often get lands for sale with “0” or very little taxes.  To qualify you must agree to maintain your property as conservation Land and not carry out activities that would degrade, destroy or result in the loss of the natural values of the site.  Properties must be a minimum of 1/2 an acre.

The program runs on a year to year basis.  Once qualified, you will receive a notice each year asking if you want to continue your eligibility for the following year.  You must certify that the information that you provide is accurate, that you intend to maintain the property as Conservation Land and you authorize a representative of the Ministry of Natural Resources to enter your property, from time to time, to confirm.

If you have been receiving a tax exemption and the MNR discover that you are not maintaining as Conservation Land, you lose your exemption and the municipality can recover up to 5 years of taxes that were not paid.

BP1Only lands considered highly significant by the Ministry of Natural Resources qualify.  Lands that are eligible are:  provincially significant wetlands (often identified on your property with EH zoning),; provincially significant areas of natural and scientific interest (identified on your property as ANSI); habitat of endangered species (could be flora or fauna); and lands that come under the Niagara Escarpment Commission (identified on your property as Development Control).

I have this exemption on a piece of property and it’s nice not to have to pay taxes on it.  You can still use the land, you just have to agree to protect the designated natural heritage value of your property.

For more information click here:  www.ontario.ca/CLTIP

Kathy Dimaline is a Real Estate Broker for RE/MAX Grey Bruce Realty Inc.  The comments on this Blog are the opinions, only, of Kathy Dimaline and do not constitute any legal advice or legal opinion and does not represent the interests or opinions of RE/MAX Grey Bruce Realty Inc., brokerage.

Beware the New Northern Bruce Peninsula Comprehensive Zoning By-Law

NBPLogo

First of all, I have to tell you that because of the huge outcry from residents about these New “Proposed” By-law changes that were recommended for approval, the Northern Bruce Peninsula Council has agreed to postpone the passing of these By-laws, “until further notice”.  However, it is my opinion that these will come up again in future and everyone should be aware and be prepared.

Having said that, I had the link from the Municipality to share with you so that you could review the changes yourselves, but found out that shortly after the meeting all documents regarding the New Comprehensive Zoning By-laws have been removed from both the Municipal site as well as from the Planning Department’s site.  Which I find surprising!  Unfortunately I didn’t save the files because they were too large.

I called the Municipality and was told “We don’t think you need to worry about that” and “There is no impact on anything at the present time.”  However, if you want to do anything to your property now, they are verbally quoting from the New Comprehensive Zoning By-Law…and…Here’s an excerpt from a recent letter from the Planning Department regarding an issue with one of my client’s properties:

“Staff have proposed to change the zoning of the lands from C4 to R2 (or an analogous LR Lake Residential*) zone as part of a recommended new comprehensive zoning by-law for the Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula that would replace by-law 2002-54. The Municipality has deferred passage of this by-law in order to address other matters with the by-law that are unrelated to your property. At present there appear to be two options:
1. Allow the zoning to be addressed through a comprehensive zoning by-law review/ change as is currently underway, noting that the timeline for this by-law is unclear”

*this is a new zoning category in the New Comprehensive Zoning By-law

When the County and Province are recommending sweeping changes to our properties and have spent a huge amount of money and time into preparing a document for New Comprehensive Zoning By-laws in this area, I have a hard time believing that we won’t be seeing this again.

I will point out that major changes were to EH (more of it identified especially in the Tobermory area) and a new EH-a (Provincially Significant Wetlands), which has significant impact on many properties due to the 120 metre set back.  When I reviewed the EH-a, I discovered there is a huge area in Stokes Bay, Little Pine Tree Harbour/Pleasant Harbour and Dorcas Bay where an “Environmental Impact Study” may need to be completed before building or altering your properties.

Also, most of Lions Head and Isthmus Bay would be impacted with a similar “may” need an “Environmental Impact Study” for what is called “Intake Protection Zones”.

I did save the maps for these and have highlighted the areas affected, for your review.  Here’s the link:

http://www.davismclay.com/ComprehensiveZoning.pdf

I did not have enough time to review all changes before the links were removed, sorry!

The changes were made “public” by placing an ad in the Tobermory Press.  It took some time for residents to digest this and begin the outcry.  I am sure that many people are still in the dark.  I found it interesting in the report (link below) that they decided not to mail this out to all residents because they wanted to “save costs” (page 2 under Notice of Public Hearing).

I am attaching the link for the Minutes of the Council meeting (which I attended) as well as the link for the full report from the Planning Department and letters to the Planning Department from residents.  Hopefully these links will still be available (if not, I have saved both on my computer).  This will give you a very good idea of the sweeping proposed changes.

Report on new by-laws:

https://northernbrucepeninsula.civicweb.net/Documents/DocumentDisplay.aspx?Id=21132

Minutes of Council meeting:

https://northernbrucepeninsula.civicweb.net/Documents/DocumentDisplay.aspx?Id=21424

If you have any questions, feel free to call me, I’ll share what I know, but I can no longer review the zoning maps (because they too have been removed) to tell you how this may have impacted your property.

I will inform you of any new developments should this become active again.

BEWARE AND BE PREPARED!

Townhouses, Condominiums, Duplexes…is it possible?

Condo

I get asked regularly about development opportunities on the Bruce Peninsula.  Most people are not happy with what I have to tell them…but please let me assure you I DO NOT make the rules.  I am, however, obligated to tell you what they are or to pass you on to the appropriate government bodies.  You need to do some additional research before making any plans to build anything other than a single family residence.

The rule is, you are allowed one residence per building lot, whether it’s a small lot in town or 100 acres.  So, if you are hoping to do certain types of developments in this County, you need to first speak to the County Planning Department.  I recommend that you ask for an “opinion” first (they don’t charge for that), if the opinion is positive, then move forward with applying for a zoning change.

Here’s a list of all of the County Planners:

Bruce Stickney

Planner

bstickney@brucecounty.on.ca

work 519 881 1782 x 259

David Smith

Senior Planner

dsmith@brucecounty.on.ca

work 519 881 1782 x 257

Heather James

Planner

hjames@brucecounty.on.ca

work 519 881 1782 x 295

Jack Van Dorp

Planner

jvandorp@brucecounty.on.ca

work 519-534-2092 x 125

Here’s the link to the County of Bruce Official Plan:

http://www.brucecounty.on.ca/assets/departments/planning/files/County%20Documents/County%20Plan_Consolidated_Public_%20June2012.pdf

Good luck…call me to help you find the perfect property!

Watch for my next Blog on….

Buyer Representation–Commission Clause

Don’t forget to send your comments, stories, or ideas, in the comment section below or via email at dimaline@amtelecom.net.

. .

. Kathy Dimaline is a Real Estate Broker for RE/MAX Grey Bruce Realty Inc.  The comments on this Blog are the opinions, only, of Kathy Dimaline and do not constitute any legal advice or legal opinion and does not represent the interests or opinions of RE/MAX Grey Bruce Realty Inc., brokerage.

© Copyright Kathy Dimaline, All Rights Reserved

Selling Landlocked Properties

Landlocked

Yes, we can sell Landlocked Property!

I get about 2 of these a year, and they can be a challenge to sell.  First off, generally, there is no access to the property and no survey.  So trying to locate the property in the middle of the bush is extremely difficult.

Most recent landlocked property...just sold!

Most recent landlocked property…just sold!

Secondly, you can not get a building permit for a property that does not have Municipal road access.  This means, in order to build a home, you need to first build a road.  This can be very expensive since it involves many things, such as surveying all of the properties adjoining the unopened road allowance (that is if there is an unopened road allowance).  You must also build to Municipal standards which will require an engineer and possibly different environmental studies.

Even if you want to just use the property for recreational purposes or for timber or for hunting, you still have to find access to the property.  You might be able to cut a trial along the unopened road allowance…but you need to get the approval of the Municipality and they will require that you survey the adjoining properties along the allowance.

There might be a trail track to the property, but you are going to have to ensure that you can indeed use it.  You may have to cross private property…and that means getting permission from the other property owner(s).

It’s all of these reasons why landlocked properties are so attractively priced…you get what you pay for!  These can be attractive properties but you need to do some research before buying.

For road information, contact Bill Rydall at the Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula at 519-793-3522

Here’s the link to the Municipal Form to open a road allowance:

http://www.northbrucepeninsula.ca/sites/nbp.civicwebcms.com/files/media/Utilization%20of%20Unopened%20Road%20Allowance.pdf

Here’s the contact information for the Building Inspector:  Wendy Elliott, Deputy Chief Building Official
Email: wendy.nbp@eastlink.ca    (519) 793-3522, X227

Watch for my next Blog on….

Townhouses, Condominiums, Duplexes

Don’t forget to send your comments, stories, or ideas, in the comment section below or via email at dimaline@amtelecom.net.

. .

. Kathy Dimaline is a Real Estate Broker for RE/MAX Grey Bruce Realty Inc.  The comments on this Blog are the opinions, only, of Kathy Dimaline and do not constitute any legal advice or legal opinion and does not represent the interests or opinions of RE/MAX Grey Bruce Realty Inc., brokerage.

© Copyright Kathy Dimaline, All Rights Reserved

Northern Bruce Peninsula Trailer By-Law

Trailer

Click Here for Full Trailer By-Law

Many people looking to purchase vacant land ask if they can park their trailer or RV and camp on their property once they purchase it.   I have the dubious responsibility to inform everyone purchasing vacant property that you can not occupy a trailer, bunky or even camp on your vacant property.

This is a Municipal and Peninsula wide by-law…including both Northern Bruce Peninsula and South Bruce Peninsula (Wiarton area).  I do not make the rules, I am only the messenger!

If you do occupy a trailer or camp on a vacant lot without the express knowledge and agreement of the Muncipality you can be asked to cease and desist and/or you can be fined.  The Municipality will allow you to occupy a trailer on the property once you have a building permit and have paid a bond (currently it’s $2,000).  They do recognize that most people do not live in the area and will allow camping on the property during the building process so that you can oversee the construction of your home or cottage.  There is a time limit of 1 year (which can be extended for another year) and at the end of construction when the trailer is removed they will refund half of the bond.

Click on the “Trailer” photo above for the complete Trailer By-Law, including fines.

If you have an existing residential home or cottage, you can have up to two tents/trailers/motor homes on the property and they can be occupied for up to 7 consecutive days at one time.  You need permission from the Municipality for more than two occupied units, for special occasions or longer occupancy.  See Schedule A of the By-Law.

All buyers  need to be informed of all factors that affect a property so that they can make an educated and wise decision whether they want to buy or not.  The Trailer By-law can affect your decision to buy.

Watch for my next Blog on….

More Wind Turbines on the Bruce Peninsula??

Don’t forget to send your comments, stories, or ideas, in the comment section below or via email at dimaline@amtelecom.net.

. .

Kathy Dimaline is a Real Estate Broker for RE/MAX Grey Bruce Realty Inc.  The comments on this Blog are the opinions, only, of Kathy Dimaline and do not constitute any legal advice or legal opinion and does not represent the interests or opinions of RE/MAX Grey Bruce Realty Inc., brokerage.

© Copyright Kathy Dimaline, All Rights Reserved