UFFI (Urea Formaldehyde Foam Insulation)

The key points for real estate valuation and the effects of UFFI are:

The insulation was banned by the Canadian government in April of 1981. This was following a 1980 lab study, linking UFFI to cancer. Since then, these results have been disputed, but they have become well entrenched in the public mind.

Approximately 80,000 to 100,000 houses in Canada contained UFFI. A large percentage of these homes were insulated as a direct result of government grants, which were paid to homeowner's who insulated or reinsulated their houses.

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Buyer Unaware of Home’s Grim History

Here is an interesting article in the Toronto Star in which I provide my opinion on Real Estate Stigma.

Soon after moving into their seemingly idyllic new home, a family learns of a brutal crime committed against former residents of the dwelling . . . That’s the one-sentence synopsis of Dream House, a new Hollywood thriller — opening Friday — starring Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz.

And it was almost a reality for Samuel Jacques, a 30-year-old Bolton resident who was all set to buy his family’s first home until he saw the two-storey townhouse flash across his television screen last month.

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Barry’s Advice on Divorce

Let’s face it, divorce can be a nasty part of one’s road through life. You probably feel hurt, cheated, angry and you want to get back at your spouse for your own reasons and maybe they are valid, very valid, but keep one thing in mind, IT SHOULD NOT BE ABOUT EMOTION, IT SHOULD BE ABOUT MONEY!

And this money is the most important money in the world, IT IS YOURS!
Today, for the average divorce, my senior staff will undertake the appraisal but
during my career I have been involved in thousands of divorce situations as a professional. I have seen and heard it all and I bare my own scars from my own divorce procedure.

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Why Priests Can’t Marry and the Real Estate Factor – A History Lesson

How valuable is this commodity we know as real estate? We all may wink-wink when asked, “what is the world’s oldest profession?” but what about the world’s second oldest profession? That is a toss up between mortgage lending and real estate buying and selling. Real estate my dear reader and all of its attributes go back to the earliest days of recorded history. Archeologists uncover clay tablets from Mesopotamia and what do they find still legible? Mortgage deeds!

Mortgage lending makes it appearance in the bible.  Biblical tradition bans both charging interest to the poor and foreclosing on property mortgaged under abusive loan terms. (See Exodus 22:25-27)
"We are mortgaging our fields, our vineyards, and our houses to get grain because of the famine."  (Nehemiah 5:3-11.)

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Lease Renewal – A Better Way

It's time to renew your lease. Did you know that in many cases there are inexpensive and mutually satisfactory alternatives to the usual long, drawn out arbitration process? Read on.

As a veteran of three decades of arbitration, I've seen what was supposed to be a simple, inexpensive and convenient method of renewing a lease become a drawn out, expensive and complex procedure.  It needn't be. There are many ways to save money and time on a lease renewal that don't involve formal arbitration. Over the years, I have worked with major banks and trust companies when their leases were due and we were able to resolve the issues without sizable fees.

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Stigma Revisited

As I study the statistics from across Canada one thing is clear, there is no uniform market condition. Windsor in decline, Saskatoon is booming. Within cities certain neighbourhoods are faring better than others. The recession, if that is what we are officially in is at best fragmented in Canada.

What I am noticing in my appraisal practice though is an abundant rise in litigation and many of the issues concern stigma. Termites, UFFI, mould, grow operations are now open files on my desk and I have a problem quantifying the losses in value.
Make no mistake, there are substantial losses in value but the big problem is the market. We know that sales activity in most regions is down and in some areas the decline is significant.

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