Is Now a Good Time to Qualify for a Mortgage in Collingwood?

The year 2020 has brought a lot of change, confusion, and challenge. However, there has been some good that has come out of it — lower interest rates. You may be considering purchasing a home in Collingwood and are wondering if now is a good time to make the big jump. 

Here’s what you need to know about applying for a mortgage in Collingwood and purchasing a new home

What are the Interest Rates Like in Collingwood? 

Your financial situation, as well as the type of loan you qualify for, will affect the interest rates you will be able to secure. However, interest rates are at an all-time low and you may find that by applying for a mortgage now, you can save thousands of dollars over the course of your loan, even with a not-so-awesome credit score. At the time of this writing, you can find interest rates as low as 1.69%

Is Now a Good Time to Qualify for a Mortgage?

It can be overwhelming to qualify for a mortgage and make that first jump into homeownership. However, you do not want to wait as experts predict that home prices throughout Canada will rise. In fact, a group of RE/MAX brokers is anticipating housing prices throughout Canada will rise by 4.6% during the third and fourth quarters of 2020. 

How Do I Apply for a Mortgage? 

Receiving pre-approval for a home loan should be one of the first steps you take when purchasing a home in Collingwood. To complete this process you must: 

  • Visit with multiple lenders. Each lender will offer you something different in regards to your interest rate, the amount of money you can borrow, etc. You want to shop around to find the best deal for your particular situation.
  • Provide all required documentation. Most lenders will ask for proof of income and employment history, information about your assets, and personal identification. Some lenders may request more information than others. 
  • Be available to answer all questions a lender may ask. 

Some lenders can determine whether you qualify for a home loan in an afternoon, while others may take two to three days. If you qualify, your lender will provide a pre-approval letter that states the type of loan you qualify for, the maximum amount of money you can borrow, your estimated interest rate, and your expected monthly payment. 

Be aware that just because you are pre-approved for a home loan, it doesn’t mean that financing is guaranteed. By the time you place an offer on your property, if your financial situation has changed you may not receive the promised financing and your home sale may fall through. 

Home Maintenance Tasks Every Collingwood Homeowner Should Know

As a homeowner, many projects around your Collingwood house will need your attention. Some may require assistance from a professional while others you may complete on your own. Here are just a few home maintenance projects that every homeowner should know how to do and should complete often. 

Clear Out The Gutter

How often do you clean out your home’s gutters? This is a task that should be done at least every six months but is frequently overlooked. Your gutter can easily become clogged with leaves, twigs, garbage, and other items. If this debris is not cleared, it makes it difficult for water to properly drain away from your home, causing serious damage if left for too long. 

Clear Out Your Dryer Vent

When was the last time you cleaned out your dryer vent? Over time, this area accumulates lint from drying clothes. If this lint is not removed, it builds up and can become a major fire hazard for your home. At least once a quarter, remove your dryer hoses and vacuum them out. There are also special brushes you can invest in that will help you clean your vents quickly and easily. 

Replace Air Filters

If you want to improve the air quality around your home, replace your home’s air filters. Depending on the type of air filter you have and whether people in your home have allergies, it will affect how often you need to replace the air filter. Typically, this filter needs to be replaced every three months but may need to be monthly if you have indoor pets or your family members have severe allergies. 

Caulking

To keep your home energy-efficient and to reduce the amount of air that escapes from inside your house, you want to keep the seals around your windows in excellent condition. To do this, you should use a caulk gun. This tool can seem a little intimidating for those unfamiliar with it but it is simple to use with a little practice. Learning how to use the tool, and to use it correctly, will help you improve the seals around your home and the appearance of these seals. 

Clean Your Refrigerator Coils

If you want your refrigerator to last for years to come, it is important that you take care of the outside of it as well as the inside. One way to do this is to clean the refrigerator’s coils. Depending on the design of the fridge, the coils are located on the bottom or the back of the machine. You can use a vacuum to suck up the grime, dust, and dirt that accumulate on these coils. You may also purchase a special brush to wipe away all the grime and to prevent the coils from working more than is necessary. 

What other home improvement tasks would you add to this list?

Keep Your Family Healthy This Season. Here’s How

As the cooler weather starts to make an appearance, it is a reminder that many winter illnesses may begin to surface. Thankfully, there is still plenty of time for you to help your family develop smart habits that will keep you healthy and reduce your risk of a serious illness. 

Here are just a few simple things you can do to reduce the risk of illness in your family this fall and winter season. 

Wash Your Hands

The most effective way to keep germs at bay is to wash your hands consistently throughout the day. According to one study, kids who were taught proper handwashing techniques and washed three times a day missed 26% fewer school days than other students. These children also experienced 22% fewer illnesses than other students. 

Keep in mind that for handwashing to be effective, it must be done properly. The five steps of handwashing include: 

  1. Wet hands with warm running water and apply soap. 
  2. Lather all surfaces of your hands including the back of your hands and in-between your fingers. 
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. 
  4. Rinse your hands with clean water. 
  5. Dry your hands. 

Eat a Well-Balanced Diet

While grabbing takeout at the nearest restaurant is a fast and convenient way to enjoy dinner each night, it isn’t the healthiest. You want to ensure your family is eating a well-balanced diet and receiving all the vitamins and minerals they need to stay healthy and strong. 

In addition to eating a well-balanced diet, make sure your child is staying well hydrated throughout the day and is avoiding high-sugar beverages such as fruit juices and sodas. 

Get Plenty of Sleep

Never underestimate the power of sleep. Even the slightest bit of sleep deprivation can weaken your immune system and increase your risk of getting sick. It also has many additional health consequences including:

  • Affects your long-term and short-term memory
  • Can make it difficult to think and concentrate
  • Cause you to be extra moody and emotional
  • Increases depression and anxiety symptoms
  • Impacts your balance

Disinfect Surfaces Often

How often do you disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched in your Collingwood home? Viruses can live on surfaces for hours or even days. It is important that areas touched often throughout the day, such as counters, doorknobs, light switches, handles, etc., are sanitized often. Make sanitizing these high-touched areas in your home a part of your daily cleaning routine. 

Social Distance

If you are sick or are experiencing symptoms, even mild symptoms, it is important that you stay home and away from other individuals. Coughing, sneezing, shaking hands, etc., are all simple ways to spread germs. When out in public, always remember to wear a facial covering and remain at least six feet apart from others.

By being proactive and keeping the above tips in mind, it is possible to reduce your risk of serious illnesses this year.

Spas and Wellness Centers in Collingwood

A little self-care is important to your overall well-being. When you participate in self-care, you build a healthy relationship with yourself, reduce your stress levels, refill your energy and motivation, and more. While self-care may look different for everyone, in Collingwood, there are many spas and wellness centers that offer everything from massages to facials. In these establishments, you can give both your mind and body a little love. 

Here are four spas and wellness centers in Collingwood for you to enjoy. 

Be aware that some services at these establishments may be temporarily unavailable due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Living Shore Spa

Living Shore Spa offers a plethora of specialty treatments ranging from full-body treatments to facials. One standout service of this establishment is the Aquapath, which is a hydrotherapy treatment. You can experience waterfall massages, aroma steam caves, and sea salt exfoliators all within the same hour. 

Living Shore Spa is located at 9 Harbour St. E in Collingwood. 

Seed

Seed is a holistic spa where only the best ingredients are used for each treatment. You can step in the spa to browse their wide inventory of home care items or schedule one of their popular services. This spa specializes in facials and many facial treatments are available including the spa’s signature facial, Joyful Rejuvenation. This facial uses steam, hot towels, and extractions to improve your face, neck, and shoulders. 

Seed is located at 64 Hume Street in Collingwood. 

Pamperme Day Spa

No matter the type of self-care and treatment you are searching for, you will likely find it at Pamperme Day Spa. This spa offers a variety of services such as manicures and pedicures, facials, massages, and full-body treatments. You can spend the day by yourself, come as a couple, or bring a group of girlfriends. Be aware that due to COVID-19, this spa has made several changes to its treatments and policies. These include payment is limited to credit or debit cards and if receiving a pedicure, bring sandals as your drying time will be limited. 

Pamperme Day Spa is located at 75 Hurontario Street in Collingwood. 

Georgian Health & Wellness Centre

The Georgian Health and Wellness Centre is located on 4 acres in the forest outside of town. Around the spa, a large waterfall helps drown out all other noises, helping give you a more peaceful and relaxing experience. Georgian Health and Wellness Centre specializes in massages and several treatments with varying lengths of time are available. Massage options range from 30-minutes to 90-minutes. Infant massage instruction is also offered. 

Georgian Health and Wellness Centre is located at 1660 Golflink Road in Midland.

Collingwood Home Upgrades that Cost Less than $100

You don’t have to spend a fortune to have a gorgeous Collingwood home. There are several projects you can complete around your house that will instantly improve its cosmetic appearance, increase your home value, and create a more functional space. To give you a few ideas, here are several home upgrades for your Collingwood house that will cost you less than $100. 

Kitchen Hardware

When was the last time you updated the doorknobs, drawer handles, and other hardware around your kitchen? These items can receive a lot of wear, which can affect your kitchen’s appearance. Updating these items is not only inexpensive, but is it a fairly quick project as well. It is a fast way to update your kitchen area and can give your cabinets a much-needed facelift. 

Paint Your Front Door

Your front door must make an instant impression. If this feature in your home is well cared for and in excellent shape, it will boost the curb appeal of your property and make your guests anxious to see the remainder of your home. Plus, an updated front door is a fast and simple way to increase your home’s value. For example, research shows that changing your front door to a shade of black can increase your home’s value by up to $6,000

Update Light Fixtures

Do you have brass light fixtures that are starting to lose their shine around your home? It may be time to update these items. You can find light fixtures for less than $50 or more than $500, it depends on what you want, the type of product you are looking for, and any specific features you want. Plus, many light fixtures are simple to install and you can complete the project in less than one hour.

Plant Fresh Flowers

When updating your home, don’t forget about your landscaping. There are a few simple landscaping tasks you can complete that can make a major impact on your home’s curb appeal. For example, fill your garden beds with fresh flowers. Choose a variety of flower types to add colour and texture to your yard. You may also consider planting the flowers in large planter pots and place these planters on your porch or other high-trafficked areas. 

To enhance these spaces even more, consider laying down fresh mulch such as bark. This will keep weeds at bay and will help the flowers retain their moisture. The right mulch can also give your yard a very uniform look. 

Consider New Window Treatments

The right window treatments can make all the difference in a room. It can let in ample natural sunlight, helping the space appear more welcoming and inviting. It can also add some colour, pattern, and texture to a room as well. There are all types of window treatments you can install and some you may find for as little as $20. 

What home improvement projects would you add to this list?

Tips to Help Your Family Wear Masks Around Collingwood

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we journey around town. Currently, a face covering is required to enter any public indoor space in Collingwood. This includes the grocery store, community centre, library, church, hair salon, etc. All individuals ages five years or older are required to wear a mask, except those whose health, culture, or religious reasons would prevent them from doing so. 

For many Collingwood families, this can be a challenge, particularly if you have younger children. To make heading out of your house a little easier, here are a few tips to help your family wear masks around Collingwood. 

Provide Lots of Fun Options

Face coverings can be fun to wear if there are fun and colourful options available. If you can sew, take your family members to the local craft store and let them choose their own mask materials. There are also many patterns, colors, and styles available to purchase online if you don’t have the time or talents to make your own. 

Remember that a face covering does not have to be a mask. According to the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, a face covering is a medical or non-medical mask, bandana, or scarf. However, it must cover the nose, mouth, and chin. 

Practice Wearing Masks at Home

It is common for children, teens, and even adults to constantly touch and play with their masks. To reduce the constant touches and to make wearing masks more effective, practice wearing masks at home. For young children, you could set a rule that they must wear a mask when watching TV or when using a mobile device. Start small by requiring just a few minutes a day and gradually increase the time you’d like them to practice wearing the mask in your house. 

Attach a Lanyard

It is easy to set a mask down and forget about it. To help you and your family members keep better track of their masks, attach a lanyard to it. When they are done wearing the mask, they can pull the face covering off and let it hang around their neck. Then, when they need it, it is within reach and easy to access.

Make Sure Your Family Members Understand Why it is Important

For young children in particular, suddenly wearing masks may seem confusing and a little scary. Sit down as a family and discuss the importance of wearing a mask in public spaces around Collingwood. Explain why it is recommended and how face coverings protect ourselves and others from germs. You can back this conversation up with facts and news articles when discussing with teenagers and other adults. 

Be an Example! 

If you want your family members to wear masks while they are spending time in Collingwood, it is important that you do the same. Your family members will learn best from your example as they are constantly watching and listening to what you say and do. Even if you have diverse opinions on masks, it is best to avoid expressing your feelings when young children and teenagers are around.

Activities to Help You Social Distance Around Collingwood

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, it is essential that social distancing is practiced throughout the city. Fortunately, there are many activities you can enjoy while maintaining a 6-feet distance from other individuals. 

Here are five activities to help you get outside and social distance around Collingwood

Hiking

Spending time in the great outdoors is a terrific way to social distance. There are dozens of hikes throughout the area that cater to all skill levels, distances, types of terrain, etc. You can find many of these hikes by doing a quick search online or using the mobile app AllTrails. A few popular trails in the Collingwood area include the Bruce Trail Loop and the Metcalfe Rock Side Trail Loop. 

Mountain Biking

Mountain biking is another popular activity and a great way to social distance. There are countless areas around Collingwood where you can hop on your bike and explore. If climbing in the mountains is a little intimidating, you can explore many of the trails around town. Be aware that these areas will be more heavily trafficked than outside city limits. 

Kayaking

Do you love the water? Grab a kayak and head to the nearest river or lake. Out on the water is the perfect location to social distance and it is easy to stay at least 6-feet apart from another person. There are many launch points for your kayak including Sunset Point in Collingwood and the Cranberry Marina near the Living Water Resort. If kayaking isn’t your thing, consider a canoe or a stand-up paddleboard. 

Fishing

If you want a little quiet, excitement, and relaxation all in the same activity, fishing is the best activity for you. Depending on the time of year, you may catch trout, bass, pike, or musky. There are many streams, inlets, rivers, and shorelines in the area that are perfect for this sport. However, just make sure you purchase a fishing license before placing your pole in the water. 

Have a Picnic

Gather your immediate family and head to a local park for a picnic. This is a great way to spend time together outside of your home and it gives you a little sunshine as well. Plus, if you have a furry friend at home, this adventure will get it outside and use some of its built-up energy as well. 

Keep in mind that the city parks can become fairly busy, particularly the picnic tables and shelters. You may want to bring a blanket to sit on to enjoy your picnic on or find a secluded area in the park.

6 Hiking Trails Near Collingwood

Hiking is not only a terrific form of exercise, but it can enhance your mental wellbeing, improve your mood, and allows you to easily social distance. There are dozens of hiking trails around Collingwood for all skill levels and that varies in distance. 

Here are six hiking trails near Collingwood that you may want to add to your bucket list this summer.

Bruce Trail Loop Near Duncan Escarpment  – 4.5km

The Bruce Trail is Canada’s oldest and longest marked path and it travels from Niagara to Tobermory. This trail features many small segments you can enjoy, including this smaller trail near the Duncan Escarpment. This segment is an easy trail, making it perfect for families and beginning hikers. You can expect light traffic on this trail and dogs are allowed as long as they remain on a leash. 

Bruce Trail: Beaver Valley Loop – 13km

The beaver Valley Loop is a 13-kilometre loop on the beautiful Bruce Trail. This is a moderate hike as some sections of this trail are steep and challenging, particularly for younger children and beginning hikers. During the spring months, be prepared for many muddy areas and hiking poles are highly encouraged. 

Margaret Paull Side Trail Loop – 3.5km

The Margaret Paull Side Trail is a short segment on the Bruce Trail. It is located just west of Collingwood near The Blue Mountains. This trail is considered quite easy and you will be able to travel over all types of terrain including rocks, meadows, and roads. If you enjoy trail running, this is a recommended trail for this activity. 

Metcalfe Rock Side Trail Loop – 1.9km

If you are looking for a short hike that is a little more challenging, the Metcalfe Rock Side Trail Loop may be ideal. This hiking trail is located in the Kolapore Wilderness and is one large loop. Give yourself plenty of time to climb and explore the many caves along this hiking trail. 

Loree Forest Loop – 5.3km

The Loree Forest Loop is one of the more popular hiking trails in the area. On beautiful days, you can expect heavy traffic on this 5.3-kilometre loop. It is a hiking trail that is best for moderate hikers and you will climb more than 400 feet in elevation. Bring your camera as you will experience some breathtaking views on this trail. The Loree Forest Loop is accessible all year long and dogs are allowed on the trail if they are kept on a leash. 

Mad River Side Trail – 6.5km

The Mad River Side Trail is located in Devil’s Glen Provincial Park. It is an out and back trail that is fairly easy to explore with very few challenging areas. You will gain up to 813 feet of elevation on this path. This is a more popular hiking path in the area and so be prepared to spot other hikers as you travel. It is a recommended trail for children who are willing to travel the longer distance. 

Pet Stores Near Collingwood

Do you have a furry friend at home? No matter if it is a dog, cat, bird, or even a mouse, your animals deserve only the best. Collingwood is home to several pet stores where you can purchase your pet food, supplies, toys, and accessories. Here are just a few of the stores you may want to visit throughout the city.

Pet Valu

Pet Valu is a one-stop-shop for all of your pet’s needs. Whether you are looking for food, toys, or other accessories, you can browse the large selection of products in the store. There are items for all types of animals including dogs, cats, birds, fish, reptiles, and small pets such as hamsters. This shop also offers many services to keep your animal healthy including a dog wash. Animal adoption is available at Pet Valu as well. 

Pet Valu is located at 1-99 Balsam Street in Collingwood. 

Dogs We Love

If you are looking for items for your four-legged best friend, Dogs We Love is a must stop. This location provides fresh food that is made with the highest quality of ingredients. You can also purchase a wide assortment of items ranging from smoked bones to meatloaf. You can visit Dogs We Love in-store and online to purchase toys, food bowls, and gift-packaged treats for your furry friend. 

Dogs We Love is located at 10 Keith Ave Unit 405 in Collingwood. 

Mullin’s Pet Market

Mullin’s Pet Market has everything you need for pets of all sizes and shapes. At this location, you can browse the wide selection of pet food and accessories from some of the best and biggest brands. No matter if you have just one pet at home or an entire herd, you can find all of your supplies for a variety of animals in one location. 

Mullin’s Pet Market is located at 99 Kings Court on HWY 26 in Thornbury.

Global Pet Foods

Global Pet Foods is one of the largest Canadian-owned pet stores with multiple locations in the area. All items sold from this company are to help the animals eat, play, remain healthy, and be cared for. At Global Pet Foods, you will find all types of supplements and treats as well as both natural and holistic pet food. This store carries items for all types of animals including dogs, cats, birds, fish, and small animals. 

 Global Pet Foods is located in The Harbour Center on 20 Balsam Street Unit 9 in Collingwood.

Ice Creams Shops in Collingwood

There is nothing better than an ice cream cone on a hot summer day in Collingwood. No matter if you love chocolate, vanilla, or a fruity flavor like strawberry, there are a variety of shops around Collingwood where you can indulge and enjoy this sweet treat. Here’s a look at a few of the ice cream shops in Collingwood that you will want to visit this summer.

Collingwood Ice Cream Co. 

Collingwood Ice Cream Co. is unlike other ice cream shops around town. This is a food truck that you can visit to purchase your favourite treat. This truck primarily resides in Millennium Park but it will often travel around the city, making it easy for individuals all around the area to enjoy their favourite ice cream treat. To learn more about the location of this food truck on any given day, you will want to visit Collingwood Ice Cream Co.’s Facebook page

Avalanche Ice Cream & Juice Bar

If you are looking for a sweet treat while downtown, visit Avalanche Ice Cream & Juice Bar. You can choose from a large selection of flavours, making it easy to find something for everyone. Plus, if ice cream isn’t what you want, many other food items are available that will satisfy your taste buds. 

Avalanche Ice Cream is located at 18 School House LN in Collingwood. It is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. It is closed on Sunday. 

Yogen Fruz

If you love frozen yogurt, you will not want to miss Yogen Fruz. At this establishment, you can customize a sweet treat to your liking. You can choose from a large selection of flavours that will satisfy every taste bud. If you desire a sweet treat, there are fruity flavours such as blueberry, mango, or peach. Or, you can choose a more traditional flavour such as chocolate and vanilla. You can also place multiple toppings on your frozen yogurt including: 

  • Brownie bits
  • Butterscotch chips
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cashews
  • Gummy Bears
  • Frosted animal cookies
  • Peach slices
  • Strawberry Slices

After you have created the perfect ice cream dish, your bowl will be weighed and you will pay based on the weight. This allows you to enjoy an assortment of flavours and toppings to create an ice cream creation that you are in the mood for.

Yogen Fruz is located at 6 Mountain Road in Collingwood. 

The Sweet Shoppe

If you want homemade ice cream, candy, or a baked good, you will find it at The Sweet Shoppe. You may find different treats depending on the day you visit, but there will always be such a wide assortment that it will be a challenge to choose just one. 

The Sweet Shoppe is located at 116 Hurontario Street in Collingwood. It is open Sunday and Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. It is closed on Mondays.