Staging vs. Not Staging: Before Your Condo is Listed

When you are gearing up to sell your home, you go through a range of emotions such as stress and excitement. It is a huge decision to make, after all! You have to stage your home before you list your condo up for sale, and it should be one of your priorities. You won’t only get a fast sale by stating your condo properly but will receive a good value for it on the market. Home staging statistics prove that potential buyers are willing to pay top dollar for it when your condo is properly staged.

There are several staging techniques that you can incorporate in your staging strategy in order to enhance the appearance of your condo and transform it into a more welcoming environment for any potential buyer out there. In order to stage your condo, you can add proper lighting, have plants in every room, incorporate beautiful artwork on the walls, invest in some mirrors, and add just enough accessories to the condo to make it look high-end and polished. The gist of it all is that potential buyers need to envision themselves living in the condo you were trying to sell.

Staging Allows Buyers to Envision Your Condo as Their Condo

When you’re trying to sell your condo, it should be your goal to make sure that anybody who enters there can see themselves living in the property. To do this properly, you must de-personalize your property. Remove any picture frames containing family photos, your children’s toys, or your pets’ toys from the condo. For individuals or families trying to sell properties rather than condos, it also helps to increase your curb appeal by removing anything outside in the garden that might make the property a little personal.

You might think that it adds an emotional value to your property, and while for some, it may work, for most buyers out there, it will not be effective.

Everything You Need to Know About Residential REITs

Real estate investment trusts are crucial if you work diligently to build an equity or fixed-income portfolio. They offer incredible diversity great returns, all at very low risk. They help individuals generate a dividend income while they appreciate, making them a great alternative to investing in stocks or bonds. Don’t even think about putting your money away in the form of cash because cash, when it sits idle, depreciates, and that is not something you want. 

With the help of a reliable real estate agent and an online broker, you will be able to invest your hard-earned money into real estate investment trusts. 

REIT is a specialized kind of company that deals with real estate assets. These companies that also invest in commercial properties are known as equity REITs. REITs that invest in mortgages and mortgage-backed securities are known as mortgage REITs. 

Residential REIT

A residential real estate investment trust owns and operates rental properties, including urban high-rise and low-rise apartment buildings. Their focus is mainly on owning properties that appeal to single families and students.


Residential REITs focus primarily on developing new properties from the ground up; then, some grow through acquiring new properties. Both forms of residential REITs increase the value of properties by buying in. Some REITs also do a combination of both. 

Investing in Residential REITs the Right Way

If you’re looking for a short-term investment, residential REITs are not ideal for you. However, if the long-term investment is more your thing, you must invest in residential REITs the right way. In the short term, REITs are impacted by the housing market, but the impact is not as severe over long periods. If you’re investing in REITs, plan for a minimum of 5-years ahead as an investment. 

Residential REITs Offer Diversification

You can easily diversify your portfolio with residential real estate investment trusts. Try to invest in multiple ventures and not tie all your money in stocks because when they slump, as they often do, so will your spirits. When you invest in residential REITs over a long period, a portion of your investment portfolio will continue to appreciate and be secure. 

Residential REITs resist Recession

If you’re looking for an investment protected from the recession, then residential REITs are the way to go. Even if the economy is in the gutter, people will always need places to live in, and as such, will want to either buy or rent. This has less to do with unemployment and more to do with basic needs. 


So, have you made up your mind and would like to learn about whether or not the residential REITs are your next investment option? It might help to get in touch with a realtor to discuss your options. It is better to do this sooner rather than later so your realtor can lay out all of your options in front of you and help you make an informed decision. 


Top 8 Reasons to Move to Collingwood, Ontario

Are you also considering what life would be like if you lived in the Collingwood area? It is definitely a great place to live which comes with a rather relaxed outdoor lifestyle that is balanced with shopping and restaurants. If you still need more convincing to move to Collingwood, here are our top eight reasons for you. 

Fresh Air, Clean Water

The instant you step inside Collingwood, you will be greeted with fresh air, even on a hot summer day. The water you find in Collingwood is fresh and clean. So much so that the Wasaga Beach has received the award Blue Flag Destination which is only awarded to the most eco-friendly beaches. Only 24 beaches in Canada have this award so far. 

Affordable Properties

The price of a single family home in Toronto is far higher than what a single-family can even afford. So, forget the GTA, it is time to look into properties in Collingwood, Ontario, where you will find affordable single-family homes for a new family at affordable rates. 

Outdoor Adventures

On an average summer day in Collingwood, you will find kayaks tied to the roofs of cars, whereas on cold winter days, you will find snowboards and skis. No matter what the season, Collingwood never fails to offer its residents fantastic adventures to take part in. And you can be one of them!

Incredible Schools

Collingwood offers its residents some of the most incredible schools in Simcoe County, whether they be public, separate, private, English, French, or both. You will also find specialized schools such as Notre-Dame-de-la-Huronie in Collingwood, Ontario. 

Top Rated Golf Courses

On any given day, you will be a 15-minute drive away from a golf course in Collingwood as it offers some of the top-rated golf courses in the country such as Monterra Golf, Batteaux Creek Golf Club, OslerBrook Golf and Country Club, The Georgian Bay Club, and the Lora Bay Golf Club. 

Cycling Trails

You can bike down the Georgian Bay Trail or go on an extreme bike ride downhill the Blue Mountain for Collingwood, Ontario, which will never run out of adventures to offer you. 

Sailing and Boating

You can choose from many marinas in Collingwood for sailing and boating, such as the Cranberry Resort, Ruperts Landing, Thornbury Marina, and the Collingwood Downtown Harbourfront. As they are planning on revamping the harbourfront, the prices of properties in Collingwood will likely go up in the coming years, which is why it is an ideal time to invest if you seek to make a profit. 

The People 

It may sound cliche, but it is true. It is the people that make a place a home. When in Collingwood, take a walk downtown or to the parks or on the water. You will find that the people here are incredibly kind, helpful, friendly, and will always greet you with their old-town charm. If that doesn’t make a place a home, we don’t know what does! 

Reach out to our property experts at Collingwood Homes to get started on your next Collingwood home now.

Top Classic Movies to Watch As Temperatures Drop

Whether you are looking for an offline family movie night or just want to escape the cold weather coming, there are plenty of classic winter movies that will do just that. Here are the top 10 best winter movies that should be added to your collection.

1) The Big Lebowski – This Coen Brothers cult classic follows Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski, who gets caught up in a case of mistaken identity. 

2) Fanny and Alexander – Set during early 20th century Sweden, this movie is one of the most modern movies on this list. This family saga follows Fanny and Alexander, two children escaping their home to live with their rather strict grandmother.

3) Scrooged – A modernization of Charles Dickens ‘A Christmas Carol’ follows a television executive who is visited by three spirits that show him his past, present, and future.

4) Die Hard – Action genre staple Die Hard is set at an office building during the holiday season. John McClane has to defend himself against terrorists when they take over the structure he is in during his visit to Los Angeles.

5)  Gremlins – A horror comedy about an inventor who receives a strange creature called a mogwai for Christmas. If certain conditions aren’t met, this little guy turns into some really evil monsters.

6) The Nightmare Before Christmas- An American stop-motion animated musical fantasy film by Tim Burton. Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of HalloweenTown, is bored with doing the same thing every year for Halloween, so he goes to Christmas Town. Here he takes the idea and meshes it with Halloween ideas to create a ghoulish Christmas event. 

7) Holiday Inn – A musical based on Irving Berlin’s 1942 film of the same name (itself loosely based on the original Turn Back The Clock by Whithall Smith). This film follows Jim, who opens a luxurious hotel to serve as a home for New Yorkers who are stranded in the rural town where he lives.

8) The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe – A children’s classic that follows a group of siblings who end up in a new world called Narnia after discovering an old wardrobe.

9) Dumbo –  A baby elephant is made fun of because of his big ears. When he escapes from captivity and gets stranded in the city, Dumbo learns how to fly and earns the respect of everyone around him.

10) The Sound Of Music – Follows Julie Andrew’s character Maria, a nun in an Austrian convent. She becomes a governess to the seven children of a naval officer who has been widowed. It all occurs during the early days of World War II. 

Are you and your family looking for a new home to watch movies in? Check out new listings here.


Top 6 Free Wellness Apps

If you’re looking to improve your well-being, there are plenty of free apps that can be used to track your health and fitness. Whether you’re already an athlete, or just want to start taking care of your body, these apps can help you do just that. From an app that will track your habit-building or breaking to an app that will track your sleep, there are plenty of free wellness apps to try out.


Calm is a meditation and sleep app that is available for both Android and iOS. This app will help you to meditate, gain a healthier mindset, and improve your sleep. By sticking to a regular meditation routine, you’ll be able to start experiencing the benefits of meditation, such as a better focus and a happier mood. 


Another meditation and sleep app, Headspace offers mindfulness exercise that is designed to get you into the habit of meditating every day. You can also take up meditation anytime with your Google Assistant, just say ‘Hey Google, Start a Meditation’ and get started right away!

Nike Training Club

This app features guided workouts to help you get in shape while you follow along with your favorite trainers. Users can follow 4-6 week flexible training programs. With access to hundreds of workouts, there is something for everyone from beginners to seasoned pros. Try a yoga class, strength training, or a core workout all in the comfort of your own home.

Daily Yoga

Daily Yoga is a free yoga app that features videos and runs you through your yoga routine.  The app is great for beginners looking to enter the world of yoga. Track your progress and engage with the app’s community to have your questions answered and make new friends.


Habit is a tracker app that lets you set daily habits and break bad ones. The app will help you build better habits by having you complete your tasks daily and keeping track of your progress. Jot down your thoughts, ideas, and program reminders to help set yourself up for success.

Kitchen Stories

Kitchen Stories is a collection of step-by-step recipes demonstrated on video or in images that will have you cooking up a storm in the kitchen. Recipes are categorized based on occasion, diet, and cuisine.   The app is great for new cooks and experienced ones alike.

Top Classic Books to Read this Fall

Fall is here—the weather is cooling down and the leaves are starting to change color. If you’re bored of the same TV shows and movies, and you’re craving a new book to read, these classic novels and plays will be a refreshing break from the usual. Whether you’re just getting into reading or you’re a seasoned reader, there’s something for everyone in this collection.

Great Expectations, Charles Dickens – If you’re looking for a classic book to read, you can’t go wrong with Great Expectations. In this coming-of-age story, young orphan Pip searches for love and fortune in Victorian England.

Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoevsky – This classic novel tells the story of Raskolnikov, an impoverished ex-student who murders two old women. He then struggles to conceal his crime and overcome his own conscience.

Frankenstein, Mary Shelley – A must-read on every book lover’s list, Frankenstein is a Gothic horror that’s a perfect read for the spooky holiday.  In the story, a scientist creates a monster that escapes and threatens society.

The War of the Worlds, H.G. Wells – In this science fiction classic, an astronomer discovers a series of Martian attacks on England in this groundbreaking tale of invasion from outer space.

Dracula, Bram Stoker – A horror novel that is also a classic, Dracula tells the story of a vampire who preys upon young women in London.

The Call of the Wild, Jack London – The adventures of a dog named Buck as he leaves his home and becomes a sled dog in the treacherous Yukon during the Gold Rush. 

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain – In this classic American novel, young Tom Sawyer gets into trouble with his friends and lovesick Aunt Polly.

Dickens’ Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens – A heartless miser learns a lesson about love and generosity when he encounters four spirits on a Christmas Eve night.

Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë – The classic English novel about a young woman who defies conventions of her time.

Emma, Jane Austen – The classic English novel about a young woman who is a snob and prefers to arrange her life rather than actually living it.

Tess of the D’Ubervilles, Thomas Hardy – A classic tale about a passionate heroine from Thomas Hardy.

The House of Mirth, Edith Wharton – The classic American novel which tells the story of Lily Bart’s struggle for survival in New York society.

Not only will you be able to enjoy these books, but they can also provide inspiration for papers and projects. Or, if reading is not your thing, why not scroll through some real estate listings?


Back to School: Easy Lunch Ideas for the Kids

For many of us, back to school means a new beginning. For the children, it means a new class, new friends, and new adventures. So what kind of adventures might those kids have?

Today’s healthy, on-the-go families are pressed for time. With school starting earlier, traffic jams getting worse, and more homework on their plates, many parents don’t have much time to pack even a quick lunch before they head off to work.

The answer to “What’s for lunch?”. For those of you who don’t like to plan ahead, we can recommend DIY Lunchables. Let’s take a look at how to put together a back-to-school lunch that is quick, delicious, and healthy.

How to Put Together the Perfect DIY Lunchable

Remember those yummy little Lunchables you used to love as a kid? They were so easy and convenient. Well, now you can make them yourself with your favorite ingredients! Start by choosing your bread or crackers. Traditional options include English muffins, bagels, pita bread, flatbreads, and others; but don’t be afraid to experiment with your favorite breads.

Next, choose your meat or protein source. Packed lunches are a great way to sneak in some extra veggies, so feel free to add cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce leaves, avocado slices, bean sprouts—and if you’re really hungry—a few pieces of cooked chicken, turkey, ham, or beef.

If you’re looking for a protein boost, choose one of the following: cheese sticks, sliced string cheese, cubes of cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, cubes of cold cuts like salami or bologna—add a few olives if you like them! And to finish off your lunch, choose one or two of the following treats: fresh fruit, 100 percent fruit juice boxes—just be sure they are not carbonated—granola bars, dried cereal pieces.

Lastly, add a treat on the side , like a cookie, cupcake or muffin.

Now that you’re an expert at putting together a healthy lunch box for your kid, don’t forget to make one for yourself!

Remember to always eat a well-balanced, nutritious breakfast and lunch. And as for those afternoons when you feel like a snack attack—just remember that a good snack is made up of the following: one serving of fruit or vegetables, one serving from the grain group (bread, cereal, rice, pasta), and one serving from the dairy group.

Looking to relocate this fall? Here are listings available in the Collingwood area.

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Thanksgiving Dishes to Try This Year

Thanksgiving brings with it the opportunity to get together with family and friends. From traditional turkey and stuffing to pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce, there are a plethora of dishes to choose from. But how do you know if a recipe is a good idea? Here are a few classic Thanksgiving dishes to try this year.

Ambrosia Salad

Ambrosia Salad is a classic Thanksgiving dish that can be spruced up in different ways. Ambrosia salad is fruit-based and is topped with marshmallows, whipped cream, and coconut.

  • Butternut Squash and Leek Stuffing: A favorite alternative to traditional stuffing, this recipe is made with leeks and butternut squash.  If you like the taste of sage, this is the recipe for you.
  • Cornbread-Sage Dressing: A cornbread dressing uses ground pork sausage as a base. Diced vegetables and herbs are added to make it spicy.
  • Fennel, Apple, and Celery Root Slaw with Pecans: A fresh salad that incorporates the harvest flavors of fall. The slaw is made from the fennel bulb, celery root, apples, pecans, cider vinegar, olive oil, and cider.
  • Green Bean Casserole with Crispy Onions: This dish is made with green beans, breadcrumbs, onion soup mix, milk, cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, crispy onions, butter crackers, and parsley flakes.
  • Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows: Sweet potatoes are mashed with heavy cream, brown sugar, milk, marshmallows, light corn syrup, vanilla extract, and salt.
  • Pumpkin Pie with Whipped Cream: The classic Thanksgiving dessert . This pie is made from pumpkin puree, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, salt, and vanilla extract.
  • Pecan Pie: Another classic Thanksgiving dessert, this pie is made from pecans, salt, light corn syrup, eggs, sugar, white Karo Syrup, vanilla extract, and butter. 
  • Sweet Potato Casserole: This dish is made from sweet potatoes, brown sugar, pecans, evaporated milk, eggs, butter, salt, and vanilla extract.
  • Corn Pudding: This side dish is usually prepared with corn kernels and cream mixed together and baked in a casserole dish.
  • Maple Glazed Acorn Squash: This dish is made from acorn squash, vegetable oil, salt, maple syrup, water, and brown sugar.  
  • Baked Pears with Cinnamon Yogurt Sauce: This dish is prepared from pears, sugar, salt, ground cinnamon, low-fat plain yogurt, and chopped walnuts. 

Apple Cranberry Crisp: This dish is made from apples, cranberries, brown sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, allspice, and salt.

All of these dishes sound like something you would be interested in serving at your Thanksgiving dinner—which one sounds the most appetizing to you?

Are you looking for a new property in time to host a Thanksgiving dinner? Check out what listings are available in the Collingwood Area here.

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How to Plan an Outdoor Movie Night

There’s no better way to get in the fall mood than with a good, old-fashioned outdoor movie night. But what do you do if you and your friends want to watch some movies but don’t want to suffer some of the summer heat and humidity created by a huge outdoor screen? Luckily, there are a few tricks you can use to create your own cozy fall cinema. If you are planning on having an outdoor movie night with your family, be sure to get all your outdoor equipment out early so you can get things organized before the neighbors get home. Here are some ideas on how to get your outdoor movie night ready.

Find a Good Spot

The main reason people hold outdoor movie nights is because they want to catch the latest summer blockbuster in the great outdoors. This means you’re going to need a big, open area where people can spread out on blankets and sit on chairs without having to worry about projecting an image onto nearby trees or buildings.

Get Enough Blankets for Everyone

Blankets are huge for outdoor movie-watching. You don’t want to be stuck trying to share a single blanket with everyone just so you’re not sitting on the cold ground, and you’ll most likely want an extra one if it’s going to be chilly at night. Make sure you have enough blankets for every movie watcher.

Decide on Proper Seating

No one wants to sit on the ground all night, so you’ll need some sort of seating arrangement for those who don’t want to sit on a blanket. If there’s enough room and no one will be tripping over them, folding chairs are good as they can be laid back on or sat up straight as needed. Otherwise, laying on the ground with some cushions or an air mattress may be the best option. If you have enough room, buying potted seating arrangements or bean bag chairs would work well, too!

Find the Right Movie

There are two ways you can approach this step: either pick something that is family friendly or have the adults watch something a bit more mature while the kids enjoy their own film.

Get the Snacks Ready

If you’re watching a movie with kids, then the snacks are definitely going to be your biggest expense. Plan out what you can make or buy ahead of time and have it ready for when people arrive. There’s classic snacks like popcorn, candy, and soda. And if you want to get a little fancier, you can make caramel apples or set out festive cupcakes for everyone to enjoy.

Looking to relocate to a home with a yard? Check out what properties are available on the market.

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Fall Crafts For Everyone

Fall is upon us, bringing cooler weather, shorter days, and generally crisper times. There are plenty of things to do in the fall, including the best time of the year to shop for a home or to harvest the best apples. Or, if apple picking isn’t your thing, you can join in the fun with one of the following fall crafts. Fall is a great time to get creative. 

Fall Leaf Lanterns

The trees are filled with leaves that are ready to be swept up. The fallen leaves are a great way to make crafts that are fun for the family to enjoy this fall season. Fall leaf lanterns are easy to make with a vessel from the dollar store, pressed leaves, and mod podge. The finished lanterns will give your home that fall-time feel wherever you choose to display them.

Fall Mason Jar Crafts

As the leaves begin to change, your thoughts turn to pint-sized mason jars full of apple cider and dried leaves. A mason jar candle holder can be made by adding a scoop of sand or glass pebbles to the bottom of the jar. Place a votive candle on top and light it up to create an enchanting fall display. Mason jar crafts are popular this time of year for good reason; they make great decorations for your table’s centerpieces or mantels.

Leaf Printed Autumn Banner

A leaf-printed autumn banner can be made with paper, pressed fall leaves, and mod podge. This project looks great on a mantle or hanging in your home attached to rustic twine or burlap ribbon.

Yarn Pumpkins

Make yarn pumpkins by wrapping a balloon in yarn. Glue yarn to the tube for extra hold and then add your pumpkin features such as eyes, nose, and mouth. You can even add petals or leaves if you like. Once your yarn pumpkins are decorated, you can pop the balloon to remove it.

Carve a Real Pumpkin

Once it gets closer to Halloween, you will want to take the time to really make your pumpkin stand out. Carving a real pumpkin is a classic activity for the holiday but you can also use it as a centerpiece by carving out the inside and adding some tea lights to create a spooky ambiance.

What are your favorite fall crafts?