19 Jun

How to Reduce your annual Property Taxes


Posted by: Darick Battaglia

Did you know there is a simple and easy way to dispute your property taxes that could potentially save you hundreds or even thousand of dollars each year? I did and it worked for me.  I simply  disputing the assessed value of my home with MPAC and had them agree to a lower property value that in effect lower my annual taxes this year and every year thereafter.

First lets explain how your property taxes are derived.

Mill Rate The mill Rate is simply the tax rate levied on your property value, with one mill representing one tenth of one cent. So, for $1,000 of assessed property value, one mill would be equal to one dollar. Tax levies for each tax jurisdiction in an area are calculated separately and then all the levies are added together to determine the total mill rate for an entire region. Generally, the city, county and school district each have the power to levy against the properties in their boundaries. So each entity would calculate its required mill levy and it would all be tallied up to equal the total mill levy.

As an example of a mill rate calculation, suppose the total assessed property value in your municipality is $100,000,000, and the City decides it needs $1,000,000 in tax revenues to run the City. This would account for services such as garbage, police, fire protection, capital improvement projects including road improvements, snow removal and other municipal services and their salaries etc.

The mill rate would simply be $1,000,000 divided by $100,000,000, and equals 1%. Now, suppose the city and school district calculated a mill levy of 0.25% and .25% respectively. The total mill levy for the region would be 1.5% (1+0.25+.25) or 15 mills.

Assessed Value of Property – MPAC – (Municipal Property Assessment Corporation) Property taxes are calculated by taking the mill levy, like we’ve determined in the previous example, and multiplying it by the assessed value of your property. The assessed value is a yearly estimation performed to decide the reasonable market value for your home based upon prevailing local real estate market conditions.

The assessor will review all relevant information surrounding your property to make an estimate of the overall value. To provide you with the most accurate assessment, the assessor must look at what similar properties are selling for under the current market conditions, how much the replacement costs for the property would be, the maintenance costs for the property owner, if any improvements were completed, the amount of income you are making from the property, and the amount of interest charged to purchase or construct a property comparable to yours.

So from the Mill rate calculation above (1.5%) and say a property assessment of $300,000 your annual property taxes would amount to $4,500 ($300,000 x 1.5%) in this example.

So your annual property taxes are directly related to the value of your home. The lower the value of your home the lower the annual taxes.

How do you get MPAC to agree that your home is worth less than their estimate?

The MPAC website will allow you to research sale data of comparable properties in your neighbourhood.  If you feel that homes similar to yours are selling for less than your assessed value you will have a very strong argument to have your assessed value lowered in effect lowering your annual taxes. 

A simple phone call with an MPAC representative can make all this happen.

Click on this link for a step by step process that is easy to follow.


<p>If you are requiring help to determine the value estimate of your home feel free to call or text me for help. www.darick.ca or text 705 623 8658 provide me with your home address and I will do my best to assist you in a timely manner.

16 Jun

Real Estate and Mortgage Update for Barrie and Surrounding Area


Posted by: Darick Battaglia

The number of homes sold through the MLS® System of the Barrie & District Association of REALTORS® Inc. numbered 581 units last month. This was down two per cent from May 2013. And while a two per cent decline in volumes sounds like less than great news, it’s a serious improvement from April of this year, when volumes were down by 10%.

The picture in the city of Barrie was quite different. Sales activity was up five per cent from a year earlier. The City of Barrie saw 349 residential sales in May. And the Sunshine City posted a significant increase in volumes, with sales up in Orillia by 15% from this time last year.

Of course with steady demand and decreased supply comes rising valuations. The year-to-date average price for all homes sold via the Association’s MLS® System in May 2014 was $337,659, up seven per cent from May 2013. Overall supply remains below levels seen in most of the past decade. Active residential listings on the Association’s MLS® System numbered 1,543 units at the end of May 2014, down five per cent from year-ago levels and the lowest May in more than a decade.

In the past few weeks we have seen many of our clients’ homes sell in multiple-offer situations, something that has been commonplace in the country’s major markets, but rarely seen here in the past decade.

It is anticipated that come this fall, officials in Barrie will begin the process of legalizing the city’s 1558 so-called ‘second suites’. While city staff works on recommendations for a new bylaw, the move is already sparking the interest of investors looking for income properties. Over the past few weeks we have encountered situations that involved dealing with tenants. If you are looking to acquire rental property please give us a call. We have experience both as Realtors and landlords, and we’d be happy to help. You’ll also want to read this article by real estate lawyer Mark Weisleder.


A few days ago the Bank of Canada announced it was maintaining its benchmark overnight lending rate at 1%. That means mortgage rates will also remain at or near all-time lows. Meanwhile the average price of a detached home in the GTA reached $585,204, last month (in Toronto it was a staggering $965,670!) Many families are now being priced right out of the booming urban market, driving many of them north to find more affordable homes Simcoe County. For your best mortgage rates from Barrie’s Best mortgage broker call us today www.darick.ca

7 Jun

What are Private Mortgage Loans?


Posted by: Darick Battaglia

What are private mortgage loans?

Private mortgages are short- term, interest-only loans, ranging in length from 1 to 3 years. Interest only loans do not require homeowners to pay the mortgage principal down, and instead only require interest payments each month.

Private lenders have realized that conservative lending guidelines used by banks and conventional lenders exclude many individuals who are in fact able to pay back loans. Most importantly, private lenders take into account a property’s overall value and marketability as opposed to simply the borrower’s credit history. Why would I use a private mortgage lender?

You want to purchase an unconventional property that a prime lender or bank won’t finance.

You need fast financing and don’t want to wait for a long approval process.

Your bad credit history means you are being turned down by conventional lenders.

You only need a short term loan.

You have nonconfirmable income that is preventing you from obtaining a traditional mortgage. Private mortgage funds come from just that. People like you and me with money or access to money that is ready to invest.

If you are interested in investing in a private mortgage you  can take your savings or borrowed funds and lend it to a home owner as an investment.  This can also be done through your self directed RRSP.  The paperwork must be facilitated through a licensed mortgage broker or lawyer. This is not something you are permitted to arrange on your own as the correct paperwork and registering of mortgage charges are necessary. Interest rates can typically range from 7 to 15 percent depending on the risk.

<p>As an investor you are entitled to review the application, credit bureau, appraisal, interview the applicant peronsally, review employment, even inspect the property if you wish, to aasist you in your final decision to determine a rate or your overall interest in the deal.

contact your favourite mortgage broker to help learn more.   www.darick.ca