Friday, March 27, 2015

You Were Asking: Backwater Valves

Do you have one yet?  Even though both Hamilton and Burlington areas have experienced severe flooding in the past few years, many home owners have still not opted to install a backwater valve.  At a very low cost, these valves can save so much money and heartache as many people tend to keep old family mementos in storage spaces in their basements.  What is a backwater valve?  Simply put, it is a piece of equipment that works to prevent wastewater in an overflowing outside sewer from backing up into your basement.  If you know of anyone who had sewer backing up into their basement, you will know, it is not pleasant!  No matter your level of insurance, a sewer back up is just nasty.   The valve allows wastewater to flow normally from your home to the wastewater main during normal useage.  Where it becomes invaluable, is that the reversal mode is designed to automatically close if and when a backup occurs, thus shutting off the flow into your basement in the event of a main sewer back up.  Check into a valve if you haven’t already.  The cost is nominal, the reward and safe protection of your cherished items is invaluable!

Friday, March 20, 2015

You Were Asking: Flood - What to do?

For those of you who were affected, this past summer was ‘the perfect storm’ for many homeowners who had dumpsters in their driveways for a month or more.  Many simply did not know what to do and our phones were ringing off the hook from recent buyers asking what to do.  There were even lost deals that were in the midst of firming up but the water damaged basements, so, who is left holding the bag?  So, what to do immediately after a flood?
  • Call 311 – report your flood to Halton Region
  • Call your Insurance Company
  • Call a damage restoration company – it is critical to get the area cleaned as soon as possible
  • Install fans and dehumidifiers immediately – the avoidance of mould growth is critical
If you do have to evacuate your home, is the web site to track for any updates they are offering.  Be absolutely sure drinking water is safe to consume.  Don’t drive or walk through floodwaters!  Stay away from downed power lines.  Assume everything that has been touched by floodwater is contaminated.  I know it seems important to salvage what you can, but, keep yourself safe!!

Friday, March 13, 2015


From humble beginnings, Edwards Real Estate has emerged, grown and metamorphosed itself through thirty-six years of small business spunk.  This little company which grew out of the mind....and basement of its owner and President, Jamie Edwards has steadfastly served Burlington and surrounding area for now, thirty six years.  It is with pride and gratitude that we salute Jamie today and recognize  that  talent and perseverance will and can triumph, even in today’s competitive world.  At a time when entrepreneurship was not prevalent,  Jamie decided he was opting out of the mainstay.  Early on he adopted a ‘different by design’ philosophy which has resonated throughout his business model still today.  Throughout the years, everyone within the organization was and is challenged and encouraged to think outside the box, a trait that just makes sense for any small business to offer continuance.  One who advocates giving back to community and profession, he has served as President of the Burlington Chamber of Commerce, the local Real Estate Board and Ontario’s Real Estate Association and most recently as President of the Rotary Club of Burlington Central.  His ongoing mentorship efforts have inspired countless many to pursue and realize their own personal goals.  For those who know him, you’ll agree he has that rare gift of leading individuals into territory beyond their own realm of possibility.  March 13th, 1979 marked the beginning of a successful business start up....when Edwards Associates was, but one.  Thirty-six years later, there are many who have touted the ‘Edwards Excellence’ as their mantra.  Congratulations Jamie on this milestone!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Guest Post: Home Insurance Values

Reconstruction Cost versus Real Estate Value; these two methods of property valuation often create confusion for customers. In reality, they are very different numbers and they need to be considered separately during the process of covering your Home. A realtor will do a valuation, or you may have just closed on your new home and have a value that is indicative of the realty market for that area. That number is driven by such factors as comparable listings in the area, competition in the marketplace, current mortgage rates, services to the property, property taxes, and class of area; all of which have little bearing on the insurance value that you should place on the building. The Reconstruction Cost of your building is the important number for the insurance company, and that value is affected by materials cost, labour cost, class of construction such as a luxury custom home or a subdivision standard home, and availability of contractors. Realty value includes cost of the land, and of course the reconstruction cost does not include that value as the land is already there. When you talk to your Insurance Broker about what value you should put on your home, they should walk you through a process that will help you better determine what the reconstruction value will be. We use industry tools that will better enable us to determine the appropriate value based on a series of questions regarding the features of your home including general construction type, location relative fire protection, quality of interior finishing, decks, pools and a whole host of other questions. From these questions, a fairly accurate reconstruction amount will be established and coverage in that amount will be what you should consider as the insurance value. Because there is a margin of error in this process, and because clients or we Brokers are neither builders nor construction professionals, we place an endorsement on your coverage called “Guaranteed Replacement Cost” (GRC) that will make sure that we will always have sufficient coverage in place to cover the total reconstruction cost. A condition of GRC is that we are required to go through the process above, and that we insure the Building to 100% of it’s value as determined. Call your broker if you’ve not been through the process lately and be sure your have the right coverage to protect your largest asset.   

Tim Crawford, C.I.P.
Elliot & Crawford Insurance Ltd.

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