Increase Your Home’s Value With These Three Renovations

Are you thinking about selling your home? One of the best ways to heighten your home’s value and get more money upon sale is by renovating. While you can paint and add in new curtains, other more extensive renovations will be more strategic and offer long-term benefits.

Now, these renovations don’t need to be ultra-expensive, but they do require an investment. If you have some areas of your home that may be lacking in modernity or visibly in disrepair, spending the money to renovate will not only increase the value, but it will get your home sold quicker.

Outlined below are three renovations that will almost always make your home more valuable. If you speak to a realtor, they can outline some other options for increasing your home value, but these three tend to stand out when it comes to renovations.

Update Your Roof

If your roof is clearly not in good shape with shingles buckling and missing, you need to replace it. When investing in a new roof, several materials tend to be more attractive than others. You may want to get steel or new, more defensive shingles. In some cases, you may also want to consider adding solar panels onto your roof, as this will increase the value and make your home very desirable to younger buyers. While this can be considered a more expensive investment, you’re sure to make this money back upon the sale of your home.

Fix Up Outdoor Spaces

You can add more liveable space onto your property by fixing up any outdoor areas. If you have a deck with some rotted wood or a poor layout, you may find it beneficial to replace it with something more structurally sound and spacious. By replacing decks in the back of your home or your front porch and adding in other outdoor landscaped areas, there will be more reasons for potential buyers to get excited. If you want to show off these newly redone areas, make sure you list your home during the summer so potential buyers can appreciate the quality of work.

Remodel Outdated Bathrooms

Everyone is looking for new and modern bathrooms. People want somewhere they will enjoy spending time each morning and before they go to sleep. The bathroom plays a vital role in personal routine and tends to be one of the first things people look for when buying a new home. The best way to approach bathroom renovations to start with the most outdated first. In some cases, you may want to add another bathroom in the basement, as this is a quality that potential buyers often seek.

While considerable time and financial investments, renovations will boost your home’s value and get it sold in a quicker timeframe. If you aren’t looking to sell just yet, it is still an excellent tactic for building equity. Not to mention, you will probably enjoy living in a renovated more so in the time leading up to your departure. 

Make sure you call a Collingwood realtor once you decide to list. They may also recommend some other renovations so you can list your home for more. 

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Get Ready For Spring With Some Landscaping Ideas

Getting ready for spring is usually easier to talk about than doing it. While you can clean your house and get rid of old belongings, sometimes it helps to think about the exterior of your home.

Spring is a time when you can take control of your yard before things start to get out of hand. You can lay the foundation of a beautiful garden so that come summer, everything looks incredible.

Collingwood soil has long been coveted for its nutrient density and its ability to sustain all sorts of plant species. Despite this, many people don’t know how to get started on landscaping. If you want some tips for how to achieve a yard you’re proud of, there are three simple things to do that are not too cumbersome and don’t require you to hire a third-party contractor.

Get Rustic With Vintage Pieces

Adding rustic elements to your garden can create a whimsical feel. You may want to opt for a cast-iron weathervane or a driftwood fence. If you go to any antique store throughout the Callingwood area, you are bound to find a ton of different knickknacks and features that you can add to your garden.

Similarly, if you have things in your home that you’re thinking about selling, you could consider adding them to your garden. Of course, you don’t want to be putting rustic elements everywhere, but adding a few here and there is a great way to add personality to your home and make your house stand out in the neighborhood.

Use Lighting To Your Advantage

It’s common for someone to spend countless hours and a large amount of money on landscaping jobs only to forget to add lights. Lighting doesn’t need to be expensive, and it can transform your yard. When choosing lighting, you can opt for small solar-powered lights that line a cobblestone path, or you can put in spotlights that shine onto one specific part of your garden that you’re proud of.

Some people also put the spotlight shining on their home, which can create a luxurious effect. If you have a small backyard patio and garden lights, it’s a great way to brighten up darker areas at night and create an inviting atmosphere where you can relax and look up at the stars.

Add Year-Round Greenery

When landscaping, you shouldn’t just think about perennial plants and greenery but also evergreen trees. You want plants that will keep their color all year round so that your yard doesn’t look completely dead when winter comes. When looking for this type of greenery, trees like cedar, pine, and juniper will be your best bet.

You can also walk around your neighbourhood and look for yards with shrubs and trees that have maintained their color throughout winter. You can then purchase these same plants to plant in the spring.

While winter still has a bit more life in it left to give, it doesn’t mean you can’t start thinking about the spring. By getting your mind focused on your yard’s potential, you can keep the winter blues at bay and get excited about living in one of Ontario’s most remarkable areas.

 

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Key Things to Look for When You’re Visiting an Open House in Collingwood

Have you been spending your weekends visiting open houses? With modern staging and those delicious cookies they’ve left out for you to eat, it is easy to overlook some important details.  The open house is an opportunity for you to look beyond the touched up photos you’ve seen online. Here are a few key things that you should be looking for.

 

Inspect the Kitchen

 

You are likely going to be spending a lot of time in the kitchen. Don’t be distracted by the flowers and staging items. Stand near the stove and sink; open and close some drawers and cupboards. Check for smooth movements and listen for squeaks. You also want to make sure that the layout works for the way you like to cook. Is there an adequate prep area? Is there enough lighting? Take note of the storage, is there enough space for all of your small appliances?  How long until the backsplash needs to be replaced? Or will the cabinets need to be touched up sooner rather than later? These are all questions that can be forgotten when speaking with the open house agent.

 

Check Bathrooms

 

Take some time to look beyond the beautiful finishes, or new renovation to look at the space. Do you require a double sink? Do you like to take baths? Even if there is a gorgeous shower, if you are a bath person or if you have kids, you are going to be looking at renovation in the future purchasing a home without a bathtub. Is there storage space for a linen closet, or to hide all the kids’ toys? Test the taps. Make sure the water pressure in the shower suits your needs. Flush the toilets. Plumbing issues can cost a lot of money, so you want to check those as soon as you can.

 

How do the Window coverings look?

 

Replacing all the window coverings in a home can really add up. Take the opportunity during the open house to make sure the current window coverings suit your needs. Do you prefer blackout blinds? Do they match your furniture? Do you have pets that will pull at the cord of the blinds? Spend some time opening and closing all of the shutters, curtains, and/or blinds. This will help determine if there are any that are damaged and need replacing.

Can you see the foundation?

 

Often overlooked during an open house visit, it is critical to inspect the foundation. Can you see it in the basement? If not, take a walk around the exterior of the home and look for any visible abnormalities. If the basement is not entirely finished and you are able to take a look, examine it for any cracks, smells, or white powder-like substances. If you do see white marks, this is a sign that water has seeped in at some point in time. You will definitely want to ask your real estate representative to look into it. Even if you will be performing a home inspection during your offer process, taking a good look at the foundation during your open house might help determine if you should put in an offer at all.

 

The Benefits of Buying Resale Instead of New Construction

Are you in the market for a new home? Does the idea of buying a new construction home sound ideal? With construction costs on the rise and builders taking more control of the offer, it may not be the best decision. There are so many factors that affect new home construction that are not an issue when you purchase a resale home. Here are the benefits of purchasing a resale home.

Flexible Move-in Dates

 

If you want to move into your newly purchased home right away, buying resale is the right choice for you. Most resale home sellers are flexible with the closing date of the home. There can be exceptions or extenuating circumstance, but generally, you can negotiate a closing date that works for both parties. The closing date of a pre-construction home can be a year to 18 months away. A lot of new build projects take longer than expected. Builders have been known to push back the closing date, leaving purchasers to make alternative living arrangements.

 

Location, Location, Location

 

Typically, resale homes are in established neighbourhoods which provides buyers with easy access to things like transit, shopping, and entertainment. Infrastructure is normally already established as well. Schools in these neighbourhoods have ratings that you can count on, and places of worship have congregations if that is something of interest. Landscaping, and sometimes fencing, is already completed. This means no added expense is passed on to you, the buyer, for these items.  Most neighbourhoods that encompass resale homes are filled with history and charm. There are many cities in Canada that are currently taking initiatives to revamp and upgrade older communities.

No Mess, No Fuss.

 

More often than not, when you purchase a new construction home, you are getting just that: new and construction. Roadways and sidewalks might not be completed which means dirt and debris will be everywhere, including inside the house. As mentioned, resale homes built in established neighbourhoods have everything done, and therefore, the only thing you need to worry about tracking into the home is what mother nature brings you.

 

Mortgage and Taxes

 

Obtaining a mortgage on a resale home, even if you are upsizing, is pretty straightforward. The opposite is true of a new construction home. The mortgage for a new construction home is different. It is called a construction mortgage and is based on the contract you have with the developer or builder. The contents of that contract can affect the details of your mortgage or loan. So, you can see, the process is a little more complicated than purchasing a resale home. New home purchases are subject to HST upon closing. That can potentially be a heavy cash payment and has certain tax implications. Typically resale home purchases have taxes included in the purchase price.

 

The benefits of purchasing a resale home are evident. If you are a fan of traditional architecture or looking for a home oozing with character,  you are definitely going to want to spend your time looking at resale homes.

 

A Guide to Spring Cleaning Your Home in Collingwood, ON

Spring is well on its way in Collingwood, ON, finally. As hibernation period ends, it starts to become clear just how tough Mother Nature has been on your home over the last few months. With the onset of warmer days and the excitement of warmer temperatures, now is the best time to start that spring deep clean. Here are a few ideas to help speed up and organize the process.

 

Clean Upholstery and Carpets

 

The fabrics of your home have been collecting a long winter’s worth of germs, dust, and dried skin. Yuck! They will need a deep cleaning to prepare for the year ahead. The greenest way to clean these is with a steam cleaner. This is a non-toxic way to remove allergens and dirt from your textiles. If you are using a rented machine or are shampooing the fabric, make sure to use an earth-friendly product.

 

Wash Those Walls

 

Give all the walls, cabinets, and wood furniture a good wash. Believe it or not, walls can gather dirt and dust just like any other surface in your home. Use a sponge and dishwashing detergent. For the hard to reach areas, you can use your mop. Once you are finished, do the same with your baseboards. Not only will this catch the remnants of the cleaning you just did to your walls, but baseboards are also a breeding zone for dirt during the winter season.

 

Make Those Windows Shine

 

Windows are our home’s eyes to the sunshine. And after the long Collingwood winter we’ve had, it is time to make them sparkle again. One of the healthiest ways to get our windows gleaming is to clean with vinegar. If you don’t like the smell or prefer to use a cleaning product, aim for something organic. Don’t forget to wipe down the frames and ledges as well.

Inside The Appliances

 

Just like the rest of the home, winter can wreak havoc on the inside of the appliances we use. Your stove tends to produce more meals over the winter months, so it is time for deep cleaning. You can use a mixture of baking soda and water or the self-cleaning function built right into your stove. Take all the food out of your refrigerator and give the shelves a wipe.  Gently pull the appliances out from the wall to clean the back of them and the floors surrounding the area.

 

As much as we enjoy the Collingwood winters, the spring and summer are just as beautiful. Taking the time for a post-winter deep clean will help make these upcoming months so much more enjoyable.

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Real Estate Market Update

Like much of the rest of Ontario, and other areas of the GTA, Collingwood is not a cheap place to find real estate. But it doesn’t make it any less desirable or put it down lower on the list of places to live when it comes to searching for a new home. Whether you’re a current resident and interested in the market status, or are looking to get into the Collingwood real estate market, here’s an update on some recent real estate news for the area.

Home Sales Down

The numbers are in for September, and much like the rest of Ontario, the trend continues, with decreased home sales numbers. The sales are “running at subdued levels compared to recent years,” says Matthew Lidnetter, President of the Southern Georgian Bay Association of Realtors (SGBAR). In fact, these current numbers are at historically low levels. This is partly to do with the change in mortgage rules that came at the beginning of the year, to which the province is still feeling the effects.

Value is Up

Home sales being down however, isn’t all bad. The total value of Collingwood properties sold this past month is up 1.5 percent compared to September 2017. This is good news for sellers but places an increased burden on buyers who are fighting the mortgage laws as well as increased home prices.

Supply has Increased

This combination of factors is also the reason that there is an increase in supply. When prices go up and fewer people can afford to purchase property, sale numbers decrease. As a result, there are more houses on the market and supply increases. In fact, according to SGBAR, there were 475 new residential listings this year, a 4.4 percent increases in a year over year comparison. But supply being up now, is not indicative of what the supply is normally. Overall, there were record lows in supply, with numbers down 0.7 percent compared to the same month last year. In essence, this makes supply the lowest it has been since the mid-1990s.

Sales Still Happening

Despite these dynamics, properties are moving quickly in the Collingwood market. Indeed, there is still plenty of desire to buy and live in Collingwood, and overall the region had a ten percent increase in units sold in September 2018 compared to September 2017. Broken down by region specifically, the western region sales, including the Blue Mountains area, was down by 16 percent compared to this time last year, while in the east, sales were down by just 2.4 percent compared to September 2017.

If you live in Collingwood, you already know how great of a place it is to live. You know how beautiful it is, how friendly the people are and all the great businesses, restaurants, boutiques, and breweries available to enjoy. And as a result, you probably also know why everyone wants to move here, despite the fluctuation in prices and sale numbers. After all, Collingwood is a great place to call home!

Housing in Collingwood: Renting, Building, and Intensifying

A concern for any city or town, figuring out where to house residents and making sure there is enough housing available is always top of mind when it comes to city planning, infrastructure development, and new housing expansion. Collingwood sits at the precipice of this right now, where it is in the midst of a rental housing crisis, while undertaking new home proposals and trying to fulfil its intensification goals.

Rental Housing Crisis

A combination of low vacancy rates and high rental rates, put quite simply, Collingwood is in the midst of a rental housing crisis.  As of October of last year, the vacancy rates rested between 0.4 percent and 1.2 percent, while the average cost to rent is $1125 per month, including utilities.  While this might sound okay for Toronto residents, it is $16 above the provincial average, and forces Collingwood renters to spend nearly 30 percent of their income on rent and utilities, which is also higher than Ontario’s average. This becomes an increased burden on the city and on cash-strapped residents, especially given that the majority are forced to spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing, some even having to dole out over half.

This burden is no stranger to Gail Michalenko of the Simcoe County Alliance to End Homelessness, who has noticed the problem add up over the years, increasing rates of homelessness across the city.  While development is scheduled to be completed on High Street, which will open up 147 units with affordable rates and rent-geared-to-income options, the issue will not be a quick fix or a one-building solution.  Instead, Michalenko says, it’s a matter of the province and the municipalities working together, along with developers, to increase affordable housing stock and take the burden off of struggling residents.

Pocket Neighbourhood

The latest solution to the housing situation in Collingwood is the proposed pocket neighbourhood, to be created in the south end.  At a public meeting on July 23rd, council discussed Blackmoor Gates, the 28-unit proposed development which would be a combination of 24 single-detached homes and four semi-detached homes.  The area will also feature community spaces, shared outdoor living, and in general, encourage an enhanced sense of community living within the area. Some residents support the idea, saying it is a good move when it comes to fulfilling Collingwood’s intensification goals, and it is an “innovative” development that will be well “suited to young families and older people.” Some nearby residents however, fear the increased traffic will be a disturbance, and that the development will impact quality of life.

Whether it is a shortage of rental housing, rates that are too high, or disagreement on the development of pocket neighbourhoods, creating a housing solution for a city is never easy.  And while Collingwood may fare better than other areas of the GTA, the solution may not come any time soon. Instead it will require a strong showing of community camaraderie in the fight for affordable housing, decreased homelessness, and reasonable rental rates.

How to Protect your Home in the Bitter Cold

As if the snow wasn’t enough, Old Man Winter has certainly made his presence known with the freezing temperatures and wind-chill that are currently overtaking the Collingwood region.  And while you may do a good job of bundling yourself and your kids up, have you considered your house? The cold temperatures and biting wind can be very damaging to your home, and it’s worth putting in some time to focus on protecting it from the nasty winter weather.

 

Focus on Insulation

Poor insulation within your house allows cold air to enter, creates drafty areas, and can lead to moisture from rain and snow getting inside. You can purchase new insulation strips to add around the outside of doors and windows and this will prevent drafty winds from blowing through, as well as reduce unwanted moisture from melting snow and condensation from seeping in. Furthermore, don’t be afraid to use expandable foam filler to seal any cracks, in your walls or foundation, especially those that lead to the outdoors. Finally, ensure all windows and doors have functioning locks on them, and use them during winter windstorms. This minimizes the risk of the windows and doors accidentally blowing open, allowing cold air and snow to enter your home and cause damage.

winter house in Collingwood

Focus on your Pipes

If you are at home and are regularly running water and using the pipes throughout your house, there is minimal risk of the pipes bursting or freezing. However, if you have pipes in an area of your house that is not well insulated and not used very often, or you go away during the winter, there may be a bigger risk of damage. In the area of the house which you don’t heat, or don’t use regularly, make it a habit to frequently turn on the tap and run water through the pipes. You may also want to turn on the thermostat occasionally to maintain a suitable room temperature. Likewise, if you are going out of town, program your thermostat to turn on if the temperature in the room drops below a certain value, or have someone stop in at your house and warm it up for you to protect your pipes.

 

Focus on the Exterior

While it is important to monitor the pipes and insulation on the inside, what is happening on the exterior of your house is critical as well.  Always try to clear snow from your walkway and steps to ensure it doesn’t build up and become icy and hazardous. If there is a particularly large amount of snow or ice, be mindful of rooftops and awnings and watch for signs of weakening due to weight, such as buckling, bending and cracking. If necessary, and it is safe, remove snow and ice from rooftops that you feel may be at risk, or which aren’t clearing up on their own.

 

Cold weather is the perfect time to curl up inside with a blanket, a book, and a hot cup of tea.  With these preventative tasks taken care of, you can relax without worrying about how the cold weather will affect your home, and instead just focus on trying to stay warm and enjoying the beauty of winter.

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Build a Life You Don’t Need a Vacation From

Build a life you don’t need to take a vacation from: that’s the mantra that many are putting into effect in 2017. Part of building that dream lifestyle is finding a home that lets you be on vacation 2/47, 365 days a week. Stop looking, because 120 Brooker Blvd in the Blue Mountains is that home that will be the perfect retreat each and every day.

Whether your family is into winter activities like skiing, snowboard and snowshoeing or into warm-weather activities like mountain biking, swimming and hiking, this house is the perfect home base. Located steps away from Blue Mountain Village and a short drive or hike from Georgian Bay and all of Southern Georgian Bay’s best trails and hikes, your family can bike, ski, boat or simply lounge while living here.

With four bedrooms and three bathrooms, this 2100-square foot ski chalet has enough room for your large family and their guests. Gorgeous views of the mountain through the large windows in the open concept living space are just what you need after a long day at the office. Warm up by the gas fireplace when the weather is cool or sit on your large deck when the weather is warm.

The Blue Mountains has a rich history of being a place where everyone comes to ski, but there is so much more to enjoy. Of course, you can’t forget about all of the fantastic places to eat and things to do in the area, because location is truly what makes a home worth it. Ever wanted to try your hand at rock climbing, there are many great opportunities here for that as well.

Priced at $885,000, just try to compare that to what you can get in Toronto for under $1 million and you’ll realize that Blue Mountain can truly be your home.

If you would like to book a viewing of this fabulous home and see if your lifestyle needs a little something, contact Paul Casey at 705-606-2510 or by email at [email protected]. What are you waiting for?

 

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New Additions to Collingwood

With the summer season, also comes the season of construction, but for many, that isn’t a bad thing. In Collingwood, there are a number of new and interesting developments that will only make the city a better place to live, work and play. From something for the kids to something for the adults, here are some of the best new construction projects happening in the Collingwood area!

New skateboard and BMX park

The kids are going to love the newest addition to Heritage Park in Collingwood, with construction to be completed by October. The ground was broken just a few days ago in anticipation of the building of the skate park. The cost is approximately $300,000 but will provide area teens with a fun, safe and interesting place to hang out and practice their tricks.

New paramedic station

With the increase in population in Collingwood, the current paramedic station built above a garage wasn’t adequate. A new 5,900 square foot facility will be built at the corner of Ontario and St. Paul streets and will include five garage bays and be fully accessible. The cost will be $3.6 million for the new station, including the land and it will be completed by the fall of 2018.

New condominium complex

The former Admiral Collingwood school site will now be a condominium and commercial complex. The property, located at the corner of Hume and Hurontario streets has been through a lot of hand-wringing and finally has a plan. The development will include unique and upscale condos, with construction set to start in 2018 and occupancy to be available in 2019.

Collingwood’s Harbourfront Plan

While it is going to take many years to come fully into fruition, Collingwood’s Harbourfront Plan is definitely a huge boon to the city. You can expect to see new pavilions in Harbourview Park, a non-motorized boating hub, cafe, skater’s lounge, skating trail, splash pad and more in the next few years. Sunset Park will also see some major developments with a new EnviroPark.

Whether you are just looking to visit Collingwood, or want to come here to stay, these major developments are helping to make our town a wonderful place to live and play.

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