Is your home a former Meth Lab?

south peel homes-sam marji

Houses formerly used as meth labs, called meth houses, put their residents at risk of serious health consequences. Upon moving into a meth house, people have experienced short-term health problems ranging from migraines and respiratory difficulties to skin irritation and burns. Long-term problems may cause cancer in humans. And because children have small, developing bodies and a tendency to play on the ground and put things in their mouths, they are especially susceptible to adverse health effects from meth toxins.

The chemicals used in methamphetamine production are highly toxic and range from pseudoephedrine—the main ingredient in meth and the active ingredient in decongestants—to any one of 32 other precursor chemicals. These include acetone, the active ingredient in nail polish remover, and phosphine, a widely used insecticide.

Home-cooking meth spreads toxins to every inch of the room where the meth was cooked and beyond. Nothing escapes contamination—the carpet, walls, furniture, drapes, air ducts, and even the air itself becomes toxic. Ingesting some of these chemicals, even a tiny drop can cause immediate death.

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When is the Best Day to List a Home For Sale?

Home buyers tend to start house touring on the weekends

Home buyers tend to start house touring on the weekends

Sellers should list their home on a Friday for the best chance of selling it. A recent American study analyzed data for 1.2 million listings in 16 markets nationwide over a 21 month period. The study found that of all listed homes in those 16 markets, those listed on a Friday were 12 percent more likely to sell within 90 days, and homes listed on a Thursday or Friday sold, on average, for slightly closer to list price: 94.4 percent compared with 93.9 percent when homes are listed on a Sunday or Monday. Put another way, that’s a $1,000 difference on a $200,000 home.

Homes listed on a Friday were also 18.8 percent more likely to be toured.
Homes listed on a Sunday or Monday were the least likely to be toured.

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Choosing a Mississauga Private School for Your Kids

How to choose a private school in Mississauga that maximizes it benefits for your kids

How to choose a private school in Mississauga that maximizes it benefits for your kids

We always want the best for our kids. We will spend countless hours researching the best pre-school programs before your child is even born. Once they reach school-going age, determining your child’s educational path can be one of the most challenging decisions parents have to face. Do you opt to go with the Public School System or look at Private School education in Mississauga? In evaluating what will work best for your child, it is vital to consider several factors.

Most Public and Private schools have very similar goals for their students. Every school wants to meet the needs of their students and develop well rounded individuals who will become productive members of society. The goals may be similar, but the outcomes often differ greatly

Why Private School?

A Mississauga private school for your kids, especially in the kindergarten through elementary school grades, can help nurture and develop essential skills, critical for lifelong success. Small class sizes, individualized programming, a nurturing environment and deliberate, regular communication between parents and teachers all impact greatly on the educational success of your child.

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Top Ways to Deal with a Nosy Neighbour

Some neighbours are friendly, others want to get to know you a little too well

Some neighbours are friendly, others want to get to know you a little too well

At some point in time we’ve all had a nosy neighbour. Remember those times where you would go outside to check the mail, that nosy neighbour is pretending to prune hedges that do not need pruning. You have friends over for dinner and that nosy neighbour is sitting somewhere within earshot, listening in on your private conversations. So how can you deal with that nosy neighbour?

As a first step, it would be wise to try and deal with a nosy neighbor delicately; after all you do have to live next door to this person. Send them an anonymous letter explaining that you do not appreciate the unwanted attention that they are paying you. Chances are that you are not the only person they have been annoying.

If their nosy behavior continues, drop hints in conversation. Bring up something you saw on the ‘news’. For example – ‘I saw this interesting report on the news today that over 60% of all homeowners have problems with neighbors invading their privacy.’ You are not being rude or confrontational, you are just letting them know that they need to mind their own business.

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Is your Neighbour a Drug Dealer?

Illegal activities in your neighborhood can devalue your property and affect your safety - where's what to watch out for

Illegal activities in your neighborhood can devalue your property and affect your safety – where’s what to watch out for

It may take some time for you to realize that neighbours living nearby may be involved with the supplying or buying of drugs. The whole world of illegal drug dealing is often a ‘cloak and dagger’ affair where activities are carried out in a very quiet, unassuming manner and there is often no specific ‘visual’ clues as to what a drug dealer looks like. Many of them can be dressed very smartly and drive around in luxury cars.

It’s also a myth to assume that drug dealing only occurs in deprived pockets of inner city areas. While this stereotypical assumption is perfectly understandable as many inner city communities are indeed blighted by the supply and use of illegal drugs, they are certainly not the only areas where drugs are a problem. In fact, this is far from being the truth.

Expensive suburbs and rural areas can have a problem with drugs and it’s not just a matter of ‘down and outs’ and those who you might assume would be your ‘typical’ drug dealer or drug addict who will always be on the lookout for their next ‘fix’. Many professional people whom you might think are responsible citizens and even ‘role models’ within your local community can fall prey to drug addiction. Therefore, drug dealing and related offences can occur just about anywhere.

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Second-Hand Smoke in Condominiums

Do you smell second hand smoke in your condo? Here's how to protect yourself against it

Do you smell second hand smoke in your condo? Here’s how to protect yourself against it

Ontarians are protected from second-hand smoke at work and in public places, yet many condo owners are regularly exposed to unwanted second-hand smoke migrating into their homes from neighbouring units. The intrusion of a toxic substance is more than an annoyance or inconvenience. It is a serious health hazard, and is especially severe for people with chronic illnesses and conditions. As a result, more and more residents are demanding that their condo corporation take action to address this problem.

Research have found that roughly one-third of people living in multi-unit dwellings experience second-hand smoke infiltrating their homes on a regular basis. Further, people rarely complain to management-not because they are not bothered by it, but because they think there is nothing that can be done. However, condominium corporations have a duty to address complaints of second-hand smoke if there is evidence that the smoke is “unreasonably” disturbing other residents.

Unfortunately, when condo corporations receive complaints about second-hand smoke migrating between neighbouring units, they are often reluctant to take action because the behaviour of smoking is not specifically addressed in the declaration, bylaws or rules. But they would be wrong to assume that they have no authority or responsibility to address these complaints-especially if there are issues concerning maintenance of the common elements.

Further, it is important for condominium corporations to know there could be a liability issue if they refuse to act on legitimate nuisance complaints. Refusing to act when informed of second-hand smoke that is causing a nuisance could lead to unnecessary lawsuits.

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Closing Costs – What to Expect?

Legal and administrative fees to budget for on top of your home purchase price

Legal and administrative fees to budget for on top of your home purchase price.

Closing costs are legal and administrative fees associated with buying your home. It is essential you and your real estate agent go over each of these expenses. This will make the home-buying experience much easier and will avoid any surprises. Closing costs can include:

CMHC/ GFC INSURANCE: is an insurance coverage when applying for a high ratio mortgage. A high ration mortgage is one between 5-19% down payment. The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation or Genworth Financial Canada are the two insurance providers. The fee charge will depend on the amount of money borrowed and the percentage of down payment. Fees can range from 1.00% and 3.25% of the principal amount of your mortgage.

Land Transfer Taxes: These specific taxes vary from province to province. The tax is based on percentage of the purchase price of the property. Property taxes in Ontario:

A.)First $55,000 : 0.5%
B.)$55,000- $250,000: 1.0%
C.)$250,000-$400,000: 1.5%
D.)$400,000+ : 2.0%

Example $450,000 home
A.)55,000 X 0.005= 275
B.)195,000 X 0.01= 1950
C.)150,000 X 0.015= 2250
D.)50,000X 0.02=1000
A + B + C + D = Total Land Transfer Tax
Total Land Transfer tax = $5475

Legal/notary fees: A buyer should be represented by a lawyer or a notary during the purchase and mortgaging of the property. Such fees may vary depending on lawyer.

Fire Insurance: Fire insurance must be effective at the time a buyer legally takes position of their new home. Usually companies request proof of home inspection depending on the type of dwelling.

As a client make sure you are aware of all closing costs, this will make your buying experience much simpler. Other cost one should consider is furniture, and moving costs. Speak with your agent about any insecurity you might have before a purchase, often times it is better to wait and be ready for the purchase.

30 Facts about Mississauga You May Not Know

Missisauga is a fast growing city - here are some facts about it

Missisauga is a fast growing city – here are some facts about it

Mississauga is Canada’s sixth-largest city, located in the Peel Regional Municipality, Ontario, west of Toronto. A part of the Greater Toronto Area, it is the largest lower-tier municipality in Ontario, and is also the largest suburban municipality in North America. It was purchased by the British in 1805 and incorporated as a city in 1974. Mississauga is a sister city of Kariya, Japan.

I want to share 30 interesting facts about Mississauga I have learned.

• Population 752,000 ( as of mid 2013)
• Population Prediction by 2041- 878,400
• Employment 413,325 employed workers ( as of mid 2012)
• Queen Elizabeth Highway was one of the first controlled access highways in the world and first opened in 1935
• 1968 Mississauga became a Town
• 1974 Mississauga became a City
• Over 55,000 businesses located here
• Canada’s 6th Largest City
• Ontario’s 3rd Largest City
• Canada’s safest City 9 years in a row
• Only 3 Mayors have been elected in Mississauga- Dr. Martin Dobkin ( the first mayor), Ron A. Searle and Hazel McCallion
• 26,000 residents live in “City Centre” area of Mississauga
• Canada’s busiest airport- Lester B. Pearson with over 400,000 flights a year and nearly 32 million guest annually. Flights to over 180 destinations in over 60 countries
• There are 7 major highways
• The “largest peacetime evacuation” occurred on November 10, 1979 when a 106 car freight train carrying explosive and poisonous chemicals derailed near Mavis Rd and Dundas St.
• More than 495 Parks
• 22km of waterfront
• 11 Community Centers
• 12 City owned/operated Arenas – can you name a few?
• Hotel rooms. We have over 9,176
• 18 Branches of the Mississauga Library System
• Square One has more than any other stores in Ontario- with over 350
• Since it’s doors open on October 7, 1997 over 5 million people have visited the Living Arts Centre
• Home of Trillium Health Partners which encompasses Credit Valley Hospital, Mississauga Hospital and Queensway Health Centre- 2 of out 3 aint’ bad!
• Home of the Mississauga Steelheads
• Hurricane Hazel has won or been acclaimed in every mayoral elections since 1978- this makes her the nation’s longest serving mayor
• Over 60 of the Fortune 500 base their Global or Canadian Head Offices in Mississauga
• University of Toronto Mississauga has an enrollment of 10,000 students and is growing at about 1,000 per year
September 2011 the Hazel McCallion Campus of Sheridan College opened in the City Centre

Gangs in Your Neighbourhood

Are gangs working out of your area? Signs to look out for

Are gangs working out of your area? Signs to look out for

Gangs today are mobile – they move around. No neighbourhood is safe from gangs. A gang may hang out in a certain area or neighbourhood and claim it as their own (ex: shopping mall, corner store, park, school). The area is sometimes referred to as the gang’s ‘turf’ or ‘hood.’ Gangs bring fear and violence to our communities. Property may be vandalized and marked with graffiti. This makes some residents afraid to leave their homes. Vandalism, stealing and frightening customers can ruin businesses or force them to move away, taking jobs and money out of the community.

Gangs can also increase the criminal activity in a community. Gang members are known to commit more violent crimes more often than criminals who are not in gangs. As well, gang members commit more serious crimes over longer criminal careers.
Gangs often use signs, signals and actions to show they are active in an area. These may change quickly, but there are some standard signs.
Gang graffiti is used to glorify the gang and to send messages to other gangs. Graffiti on public or private property is often one of the first signs that gangs are active in a neighbourhood.

Graffiti defaces personal or public property with lettering, symbols, nicknames and drawings – usually done in spray paint. Names, symbols and characters are used to identify gangs and gang members, and graffiti helps mark their turf in a dispute. Graffiti has been used to announce top-ranking members and advertise activities of the gang or its members. Gang graffiti is also used to make threats and challenge other gangs. Distorting a rival gang’s graffiti is considered an insult. Therefore, violence can result when one gang challenges another with graffiti.

Gang graffiti:
• is often in block letters
• is often in a gang colour
• may contain a list of nicknames
• may be crossed out by rival gangs
• may be found in areas where gang activity is common

The word ‘tag’ is short for turf art graffiti. A ‘tagger’ is a person who thinks graffiti is a form of art, or who takes a unique nickname and then puts it on different objects. Sometimes taggers compete to place their names or slogans in visible locations. Tagger graffiti is usually not associated with gangs, but it is a form of vandalism and contributes to the negative appearance of communities.

Gangs use graffiti to threaten, boast and make turf claims. Gang graffiti is more concerned with letters and numbers and is rarely artistic. It is sometimes used as evidence or information by the police. Taggers, on the other hand, often produce artistic graffiti that features pictures and symbols and boasts about the tagger.

If you are a home or business owner, you should report gang graffiti to police before you remove it. Police collect pictures of the gang graffiti to track gang activity in communities. In most cases, removal is safe, as long as it is all removed at once so no particular gang feels singled out.

If you see graffiti in progress, contact your local law enforcement office. In Mississauga, contact the Peel Regional Police at 905-453-3311.

Debunking Affordable Housing Myths

Affordable housing is like other types of developments - it is not about who they care they, it is about how management runs it and screens tenants

Affordable housing is like other types of developments – it is not about who they care they, it is about how management runs it and screens tenants

MYTH: Affordable housing will drive down property values.

Local research in the region of Peel has shown that affordable housing has no negative impact on the price or frequency of sales of neighboring homes. Mixed income buildings can boost the residential real estate market in many areas by replacing the blighted buildings that keep real estate values low. Numerous studies over time from around Canada support the general notion that affordable housing has no negative impact on surrounding property values especially if it is thoroughly and properly integrated into the neighborhood.

MYTH: Affordable housing will look like “cheap housing.”

Affordable housing must comply with the same building restrictions and design standards as market-rate housing. Builders know that it makes sense to use the same construction techniques and materials for all units in a development. Furthermore, because affordable housing is often funded in part with public money, sometimes it needs to comply with additional restrictions and higher standards than market-rate housing. Many developments incorporating affordable units are built as low-rise garden apartments at a scale similar to large houses. Affordable housing is not affordable because it’s built with “sub-quality” materials; it is affordable in the sense that it is less costly to live in because it is supported by additional public and private funds.

MYTH: Affordable housing will bring lots of large families to the community, thereby increasing the burden on schools and roads.

According to local research in the region of Peel, rental apartments have fewer children per unit on average than owner-occupied, single-family housing; rental apartments contain a lower percent of units with one or more school aged children; and rental units have a lower average number of motor vehicles per unit. Although not all multi-family rental units are affordable, they make up the bulk of affordable housing.

Affordable housing helps reduce the number of cars on the road by allowing working people to live near their jobs. In addition, studies show that affordable housing residents own fewer cars and drive less often than residents of market-rate homes

MYTH: Affordable housing will increase crime in the community and bring in undesirable residents.

Affordable housing can help a community maintain a stable population by making it easier to retain people who already live and work there. There is no evidence that affordable housing brings crime to a neighborhood. In fact, affordable housing, as a tool of economic development, can often help to lower crime rates. The National Crime Prevention of Canada calls for the construction of affordable housing to reduce crime because “neighborhood cohesion and economic stability are enhanced in areas where the continuing supply of dispersed, affordable housing is assured.”

Whether a development will be an asset or a detriment to a community more often turns on basic management practices: careful screening, prudent security measures, and regular upkeep. Most affordable housing residents are seeking safe and decent housing that will allow them to live self- sufficient lives in a good community.

Affordable housing is a key component of Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy. To find out more about affordable housing in Ontario, visit www.ontario.ca/housing. To find out more about how the Government of Canada and CMHC are working to build stronger homes and communities for all Canadians, call CMHC at 1-800-668-2642 or visit www.cmhc.ca/housingactionplan.

For more information visit: www.ontario.ca/housing, www.peelregion.ca