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Kingston-Frontenac Renovates program offers grants and loans for projects

KINGSTON, ONT. /July 3, 2012 - The Kingston-Frontenac Renovates program is offering eligible homeowners grants of up to $3500 to make their homes more accessible or interest-free loans of up to $10,000 toward emergency repairs.

"This assistance will help home-owners afford to keep their homes accessible, safe, healthy and comfortable," says Lanie Hurdle, Commissioner of Community Services.

The funds, being offered through the Consolidated Municipal Service Manager (CMSM) serving the City of Kingston and the County of Frontenac, are being made available to homeowners who:

1. Require accessibility upgrades, such as a ramps or lifts. These applicants may be eligible for a grant of up to $3500.

2. Have homes that are at least ten years old and require emergency repairs that fall into one of the following categories. These applicants may be eligible for interest free forgivable loans up to $10,000:
- Health & Safety renovations to ensure fire safety, get rid of mold, improve water quality, etc
- Accessibility renovations to install a lift or ramp, or make a structural change (these projects may also be eligible for grant).
- Structural repairs to ensure the integrity of a home's roof, foundation or other supports.
- Energy efficiency installations to ensure the cost-effective comfort of a home. This would include furnace, insulation or window replacement.

Eligible applicants include persons with disabilities, seniors and family households with incomes ranging from $26,500 or less (for a one-person household) to $61,500 for households with five or more people. Funding will be allocated on a priority basis to ensure that households with the greatest need of assistance are served first. Some households of more than five people with incomes of $61,500 to $73,500 may be considered if sufficient funding is available.

Eligibility requirements and download an application online at: 

scary tale of an oil leak in an Ottawa-area home provides a valuable lesson for homeowners whose homes are heated by oil."

Yes, Oil tanks are becoming a problem in the sale of Real Estate. Underground oil tanks are out and out impossible. Walk away.

Aboveground Oil tanks are the norm, and simply put, Insurance companies do not like them. If you read the article you will see why. The problem I have, is that most home owners with oil tanks are not aware of the "new regulations".

Here is the section that applies:

It is a legislative requirement prescribed by Ontario Regulation 213/01, "Fuel Oil". Section 7 of the Regulation states:

Section 7 of the Regulation
"7. (1) No distributor shall supply fuel oil to a container or tank system that is connected to an appliance or work unless the distributor is satisfied that the installation and use of the appliance or work comply with this Regulation and,
    (a) Unless the distributor has inspected the appliance or work at least once within the previous 10 years".
"7. (2) A distributor shall prepare a report on each inspection made under subsection (1) and shall retain the report until the next inspection and report are completed".

"7. (3) An inspection shall be carried out by a person who is the holder of a certificate for that purpose".

Additional Information:
  • This is a mandatory inspection and therefore you must not refuse the inspection service being arranged by a fuel oil distributor.
  • Inspection service refusal will prevent fuel oil delivery.
  • A person who is the holder of a certificate for that purpose shall carry out the inspection. I.e. An oil burner technician (OBT).
  • The certified oil burner technician (OBT) may not necessarily work for the fuel oil distributor but may be an agent or sub-contractor of the Fuel Oil distributor.
  • You may contact a fuel oil distributor who is different from the one you currently deal with if you are not satisfied with the service being provided.
  • Each distributor is responsible for the inspection performed on their client's heating systems. When you switch to a new distributor you may be required to undergo a new inspection. If you change distributors and the new distributor agrees with the previous inspection report, a new inspection may not be necessary. Check with the new distributor to see if they would accept the previous inspection report.
  • Both TSSA and fuel oil industry representatives have developed specific checklists that outline minimum inspection requirements.
  • There are also inspection requirements for propane systems and natural gas systems.
  • See also Comprehensive inspections - Cost considerations and Comprehensive inspections - Disagreeing with results.

Imagine the home owners surprise when they sell their home with an Oil Tank, for which they have been receiving oil, and the Buyer/Home Inspector/Realtor informs them that their tank "might not" be up to code and we need a TSSA certificate. Imagine their further surprise when they find out the tank and lines do not pass, and they need to be replaced at a cost of approx $1,000. They are now upset with the Buyer/Home Inspector/Realtor, for something that this legislation clearly says is the  fuel oil distributors responsibility.

Didn't we see the TSSA's name mentioned in the Propane explosion in Toronto? Are they maybe passing more laws than they are capable of enforcing?

Here is a link to Bob Aaron's article in the Star. The hole in the tank was the size of the tip of a pen...

Painting, China
Wallpaper is a highly personal thing.  With almost any pattern, you can love it or hate it.  You could go for paisley or tropical flowers, or maybe something more neutral, with beiges and pale blues in some sort of geometric pattern.  But other people, even in your immediate family, might not share your taste, whatever it might be.

It seems that whatever one chooses, it can become dated as quickly as the last decade's favorite appliance color.  At that point, your choice is to remove it altogether or paint or paper over it.  

Anyone who is considering selling a house at any time in the near future, removing old wallpaper is probably the best choice - usually you have to steam it off.  If you do that and paint your walls your favorite shade of fuchsia, repainting when it's time to sell is easy, and even if you leave it fuchsia, your buyers can change it inexpensively with a few cans of Benjamin Moore.

But the chances are that most of the people looking at your home will not be enamored of your wallpaper.  Their mental calculation of the costs of removing it, restoring the walls and then painting will probably far exceed the actual amount it will take to get rid of the stuff properly.

If you're sloppy and just paint over old wallpaper, it will be evident to any discerning eye.  There will be telltale seam lines.  And slapping on a coat of paint will make the inevitable removal even more expensive.

So, if you've just purchased a home and are considering wallpaper, think long and hard before you actually hang it.  And if you are preparing your house for sale, don't take it personally if your agent or stager recommends that you steam it off the paper you so lovingly chose and put up, and paint.  

Just do it.


The Kingston Real Estate blog is published by Richard Potter of Re/Max Realty Concepts. Richard is a licensed real estate associate in the province of Ontario.

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