Quick Note: How is my Tax Bill Calculated?

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For all of our readers in Collingwood, The Blue Mountains, Wasaga Beach, Clearview Township, Grey Highlands and Meaford, you might sometimes wonder, How is my Tax Bill Calculated?

Formula to use is = PROPERTY ASSESSMENT multiplied by TAX RATE

ie. for 2014 use the 2014 Phased In Assessment rate and multiply it by the tax rate adopted by your municipality.

 The Municipal Property Asssessment Corporation (MPAC) classifies and assesses all properties in Ontario under the Assessment Act and regulations established by the Provincial Government.

To establish your property’s assessed value, MPAC analyzes the property sales in your area.  These sales provide a basis for assessed values.  MPAC continually collects info regarding properties to ensure that same/similar property types are valued consistently within the market area.  This method is called Current Value Assessment.  It is used by most assessment jurisdictions in Canada and around the world.

Here is a link to the local tax rates.

Spectacular Home in the Pretty River Valley

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Although I’ve seen thousands of homes over my 25 year career, this one stopped me in my tracks.

Rarely have I seen a home that is so artfully and thoughtfully blended with its surroundings and where every inch built to such an exacting standard of quality.

The house is completely private and is reached by a winding driveway through the woods. It’s situated on 10.5 acres in the beautiful Pretty River Valley which has got to be one of the most scenic areas in the Province. The 2500 acre provincial parklands attract hikers, skiers and snowshoe enthusiasts and people wanting to reconnect with nature’s best.

This house was originally a 1970’s Panabode. In 2007, the owners decided to completely, and I mean completely renovate the structure with a new foundation, new roof, new EVERYTHING. They needed more space and added a very contemporary addition that somehow works in a perfect harmony of old and new.

Like the house, the detached garage blends perfectly into the wooded landscape and the second floor houses the most amazing studio complete with a kitchenette, 2 pc washroom, cathedral ceiling, sound-proofing. Built by a musician for a musician and as a home office, there really isn’t a way to describe it; you just have to see it to believe it.

Outside is a veritable playground that starts with a gunite sports pool, a solar outdoor shower, hot tub, multi-tiered decks, a custom playground and playhouse for the kids, a custom fire-pit and… an extensive trail network that winds through the woods and up the ridge to a private little log cabin overlooking the Valley. The owner says he loves to climb up there to play his guitar, to decompress and unwind.

The house and property incorporate numerous eco-friendly features such as ICF construction, solar evacuated tubes to heat the garage and pool, extensive Bamboo cabinetry, local and sustainable materials and so much more.

If you are ready to put life back in your life, then this is a must to see. Be forewarned – you won’t ever want to leave.

This home is listed at $1,300,000 and you can learn more at www.PrettyRiverRoad.com.

Municipal Tax Rates: Comparison 2014 vs. 2013

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We have compiled 2014 tax rates for the municipalities in our area:  Collingwood, The Blue Mountains, Clearview, Wasaga Beach, Meaford and Grey Highlands.  We’ve included a comparison to last year’s rates.  All information has been exerpted from the various municipal websites.

Municipal Tax Rates (Residential) for 2014
Munipality 2014 Tax Rate 2013 Tax Rate % Change
Collingwood 1.26% 1.26% 0.00340
The Blue Mountains 0.0095547 0.00976713 -0.02175
Grey Highlands 0.01056437 0.01073183 -0.01560
Meaford 0.01381601 0.01534937 -0.09990
Clearview 0.01112952 0.01116123 -0.00284
Wasaga Beach 0.00996599 0.0100128 -0.00468

Collingwood and Area Real Estate Barometer Aug. 8-14, 2014

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This market summary includes data for Collingwood, Blue Mountains, Wasaga Beach, Clearview, Grey Highlands and Meaford. The information was obtained from the MLS® statistics provided by the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS®.
Previous week(s) in brackets.

Georgian Triangle Real Estate Barometer

Georgian Triangle Real Estate Barometer

Single Family Residential
New Listings: 35 (54, 38, 50)
Average List Price: $432,637
Range of List Prices: $95,000 – $1,100,000
Number of Sales: 37 (23, 38,34)
Range of Sale Prices: $117,500 – $1,210,000

Condominiums
New Listings: 17 (12, 17, 9)
Average List Price: $258,324
Range of List Prices: $104,900 – $525,000
Number of Sales: 6 (12, 9, 10)
Range of Sale Prices: $78,100 – $424,000

Vacant Land
New Listings: 8
Number of Sales: 2
Range of Sale Prices: $82,700 – $150,000

Price Changes 44

Notables this Week

- 2 single family residence sold over their list prices
- 1 single family residenc sold at it’s list price

 

July 2014 Real Estate Market Recap For Collingwood, Blue Mountain and Area

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As a result of the merger of our real estate board with the Midland board, the stats have been a little late coming this month. Somehow I doubt that has caused any of you too much grief.

July continued to be a strong month in the local Collingwood and area real estate market with lots of activity, showings, offers and sales.

I’ve noticed a few trends. One is that the urban town centers such as Collingwood, Wasaga Beach and Stayner have a concentration of demand compared to more rural or outlying areas. Secondly, there is still strong price sensitivity in the market. Over-priced properties languish on the market while properties priced at or near fair market value are selling in most areas.

  • The total number of single family residential sales in July surpassed every previous month and continues to set new sales levels.
  • There were 51 condo sales last month with sale prices ranging from $100,000 to $454,000. This is a jump from the 35 condo sales we saw in the area in June.
  • Collingwood was the strong performer in July with a rare situation where there were exactly as many sales as there were new listings. The inventory continues to be tight against demand resulting in price increases.
  • There were some decreases in the number of sales over July 2013 in some areas but nothing notable suggesting continued stability in the marketplace.
  • Based on total inventory of single family homes for sale versus the number of sales, Meaford, Clearview and Town of the Blue Mountains have the lowest sales-to-listing ratio and are still experiencing buyer’s market conditions with the exception of Stayner.
  • Wasaga Beach and Grey Highlands are approaching balanced market conditions with strong results in July.
  • Collingwood has the tightest listing inventory and is in seller’s market conditions for most types of homes.
  • The 12 month average sale prices are up in most areas and that trend is expected to continue.
  • There were 20 sales in July over the $1 million dollar mark representing the top 10% of the market.

Note: All statistics obtained from the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® Real Estate Board

Ontario Land Transfer Tax Calculation Chart

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When buying a home in Ontario, the government likes to get their share of your excitement in the form of a land transfer tax that you pay on the closing date of your purchase.  Here is a quick and easy reference chart on how to calculate the Land Transfer Tax. This doesn’t include any additional transfer taxes found in some cities such as Toronto.

You can also find a list of typical closing costs as well as rebates for home buyers by clicking here.

Land Transfer Tax Calculation Chart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Collingwood and Area Real Estate Barometer August 1-7, 2014

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This market summary includes data for Collingwood, Blue Mountains, Wasaga Beach, Clearview, Grey Highlands and Meaford. The information was obtained from the MLS® statistics provided by the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS®.

Georgian Triangle Real Estate Barometer

Georgian Triangle Real Estate Barometer

Previous week(s) in brackets.

Single Family Residential
New Listings: 54 (38, 50, 38 )
Average List Price: $404,694
Range of List Prices: $179,000-1,250,000
Number of Sales: 23 (38, 34, 25)
Range of Sale Prices: $173,000-855,000

Condominiums
New Listings: 12 (17, 9, 19)
Average List Price: $274,283
Range of List Prices: $119,900-500,000
Number of Sales: 12 ( 9, 10, 13)
Range of Sale Prices: $85,000-488,000

Vacant Land
New Listings: 18
Number of Sales: 1
Range of Sale Prices: $102,000.

Price Changes 55

Notables this Week

- 1 single family residence sold over it’s list price

- 1 vacant land listing sold over it’s list price

Seeing the Collingwood Shipyards from the Other Side

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A couple of weeks ago, John and I got together with some friends and enjoyed a 90 minute sail on the Tall Ship, Liana’s Ransom. It’s always interesting to see our town (Colingwood) from the other side.  By the way, I need friends with boats.photo 4

photo 1amphitheatre from water photo 2b photo 4b

Collingwood and Area Real Estate Barometer July 25-31, 2014

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This market summary includes data for Collingwood, Blue Mountains, Wasaga Beach, Clearview, Grey Highlands and Meaford. The information was obtained from the MLS® statistics provided by the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS®.
Previous week(s) in brackets.

barometer
Single Family Residential
New Listings:  38 (50, 38, 57)
Average List Price: $513,971
Range of List Prices: $184,900 – $2,495,000
Number of Sales:   38 (34, 25, 38)
Range of Sale Prices:  $135,000 – $1,290,000

Condominiums
New Listings:  17 (9, 19, 11)
Average List Price: $220,524
Range of List Prices: $119,900 – $304,900
Number of Sales:  9 (10, 13, 10)
Range of Sale Prices:  $146,100 – $454,000

Vacant Land
New Listings:  0
Number of Sales: 4
Range of Sale Prices: $46,700 – $128,000

Price Changes   45

Notables this Week
- 4 single family residences sold at their list prices
- 1 condo sold over it’s list price

 

The Two Solitudes of Collingwood

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Welders

This post, more than any other, is about living in Collingwood. It’s about the politics and the great divide that is only spoken of in hushed whispers or with eyes rolling toward the heavens.

When you Google the term “ Collingwood Shipyards”, chances are the first page will be filled with references to the waterside condominium project in downtown Collingwood. Scroll further down and you’ll come upon some references to the original shipbuilding history of Collingwood. Which one would you chose to click on?

Are you a “local” or a “newcomer” in the community? The line seems to be drawn on whether or not a street in town carries your family name or, if your family had members who worked at the Collingwood Shipyards. If not, some will think of you as a newcomer even if you were born and raised here in the last 30 years or so. This is important to understand.

For 103 years, the Shipyards operated at the end of Hurontario St. From 1882 to 1986, over 200 ships were built including passenger ships, freighters and warships including Corvettes built for the Royal Canadian Navy during World War II. The sounds of the machine cogs, hot steel clanging and the hammering of rivets were ever present. Everyone knew the sound of the whistle that marked the end of the workday and the rhythm of daily life was intricately tied to it.

At points, over 1,000 people were employed at the Shipyards representing 20% of the population.

Almost every family in town had a father, brother, mother or sibling that worked there. They certainly had friends and neighbours who did. Others owned or operated businesses from furniture shops to downtown hotels and pubs that catered to the Shipyard workers. During the two World Wars when the men went off to fight great battles, their wives stepped in and became trained as welders and machinists. Over the life of the Shipyard, many lives were lost and many others were cut short through injuries obtained in the hard labour of shipbuilding.

The whole town shared a single common thread called, The Shipyards. There were shared values and shared experiences. Everyone knew everyone. They went to school together, played sports together, went to weddings and funerals together. They are still together as extended families, friends and business associates.

I remember the day the Shipyards closed in 1986. It was the very day we moved to the area. The last whistle blew and people were openly crying on the side of Huron Street as they said their last good-byes. Our initial thoughts were that it was a strange town indeed. Little did we understand what had happened that day.

Jobs that paid a living wage were lost. A depression was setting in. Fear took hold. The future was unknown.

mural

Fast forward to 2014. When you walked down the promenade beside the new condominiums at the end of Hurontario Street, what do you see? Ducks and swans, ships in the harbour and a beautiful waterfront vista. What do you hear? Water lapping the sides of the former launch basin.

If you were a local, you’d see and hear these too. But you’d also see a lot more in your mind’s eye of memories. Hence, the two solitudes.

It’s no secret that Collingwood has had its share of battles in the political arena. Cries of nepotism, cronyism and block voting among what many call the “old guard.” Decisions that leave “newcomers” scratching their heads. Decisions that leave locals staunchly supportive at all costs. Is it the single thread of oftentimes, linear thinking and long-standing friendships that guide “locals” or is it an attempt to hang on to what was?P1030358

I don’t have the answers but I do know that there are two solitudes. This will eventually come to a natural end as time and people pass. Already the number of “newcomers” exceeds the number of “locals.” While I hope that someday soon the great divide disappears, it also makes me a bit sad to think how hard the transition of the last 28 years has been for many. The locals who are part of the history of the town deserve respect and understanding of newcomers like me for the price of change. They also deserve for us to remember the roots of what made this town great.

I hope that the next time you think about the Collingwood Shipyards, you might think about the legacy of this iconic industry which still reverberates today.

RE/MAX four seasons realty limited, brokerage  ♦  67 First Street Collingwood, ON L9Y 1A2  ♦  705-445-8500