You Could Live In This Beautiful Brick Century Home For Free

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Most people know that much of the world’s wealth has been created through real estate investment and many of us want to jump on that band wagon but are paralyzed with a fear of jumping in. What is the solution?

It’s healthy and smart to be skeptical of every good deal you hear about. Today’s good deal could turn into tomorrow’s nightmare if you don’t carefully weigh the pros and cons. There is however a difference between healthy skepticism and plain paralysis. The way to sort out the two is by being educated and realistically weighing the risks.115 Denmark Main

First, being educated means knowing everything you can about the real estate value; is the property in a decent area where you are likely to have tenant demand? Is the structure in good condition? Is there a rental history? Is the property zoned to permit a multi-family dwelling? In regard to risk, ask questions: Is it in in a rentable area? What are going rents in the area? What do the financial statements look like? Most importantly, what is the return on investment?Meaford Cottage Hospital Image0002

My favourite question is, what is the worst that can happen? Chances are you’ll find the worst case scenario is not as bad as you thought.

Multi-unit investment properties are not plentiful in the South Georgian Bay area and often, ones that have been for sale in the past have issues such as poor histories, poor management, low rents versus asking price and so on. It’s hard to come up with something where all of the pieces fall together to spell great opportunity and low risk.

I’ve just listed a FOUR-PLEX in Meaford which ticks all the boxes:

  • Four units that help to even out income streams
  • Successfully operated as a four-plex for over 40 years!
  • The biggest testimonial is that it has been in the same family for over 40 years
  • Was superbly built in its day as it was the original Meaford “cottage” hospital
  • Fire inspection completed and passed
  • Stable tenancies, all on leases, all wishing to stay, all with last month’s rent on deposit
  • Ample parking
  • High rental demand area
  • Great condition with updated roof
  • Over time, it will need new windows but can be done slowly as a capital project writing off expenses
  • If or when units become unoccupied, they could be modernized to increase rents
  • Net income of over $30,000 with an asking price of $399,000 giving a present return of over 7% with minimal risk!
  • If you lived in one unit and rented the rest, you could live here for free.

corner from north west 2

Oh yes, and here is how you can live for free. If you occupy one of the units yourself, the rents from the rest of the units can cover all of your operating expenses. How amazing is that?

This is an opportunity that should help you get over your paralysis and begin on the journey of real estate investing in one of the nicest areas of Ontario. Call me to get started!

Collingwood and Area Real Estate Barometer May 15-21, 2015

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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.

Single Family ResidentialMarket Report Icon
New Listings:  66 (69, 80, 51)
Average List Price: $460,180
Range of List Prices:  $169,900 – $1,595,000
Number of Sales:  38 (24, 37, 37)
Range of Sale Prices:  $115,000 – $890,000

Condominiums
New Listings:   10 (13, 22, 10)
Average List Price:   $248,150
Range of List Prices: $121,500 – $445,900
Number of Sales:  6 (13, 1, 8)
Range of Sale Prices:   $152,000 – $363,000

Vacant Land
New Listings:   8 (10, 13, 12)
Number of Sales:  1 (2, 5, 5)
Range of Sale Prices: $85,000

Price Changes  42

Notables this week:

  • Spring Market is in full swing in Southern Georgian Bay!

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

Italian or Vegan? Rafe Resto-Lounge in Thornbury Has Both

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Rafe Resto-lounge is a new restaurant down by the Thornbury harbour. It’s an Italian restaurant that also boasts a raw vegan menu – not something you hear every day. While I have not made it there yet myself, some friends of mine have and, wow, are they raving! Here is what they had to say:

“We are, as you know, vegans, and there really aren’t any good places for us vegans to eat here in Collingwood so when you made the announcement about Rafe opening up in Thornbury we decided to check out the menu on line.  Well!  Lucky us!  They have vegan selections.  We found this very unusual for a traditional Italian restaurant to serve vegan options.  What we didn’t know, but now do know, is that this is no “traditional” restaurant.  Rafe is more than that.vegan

When we arrived, (we had made a reservation ahead of time) we were seated beside the window, and because it was Mother’s Day, and maybe because I look like a Mother, I was treated with a lovely mimosa!  Deeeelish!  We decided to order only from the vegan menu (which is separate from the regular menu) so we proceeded to get one of everything.  That included Avocado Tartare as an appetizer, the Green Protein Salad for hubby and the Strawberry Sensation for moi, and as our mains we ordered Pasta Leggera (keep reading for a description of what that is), and Zuccoland for me (again, keep reading).

We were so busy talking and enjoying the ambience, we didn’t notice the volcano that was placed in front of us.  The salads that we thought would be a nice little starter salad were humungous!  This was served on a white dinner plate and had just the right amount of greens, sprouts, asparagus and yes! even lovely fig slices and dehydrated apple and beets.  It was a feast for the eyes!  The presentation was gorgeous.  Was wishing I had my camera there, but take my word for it. It was a picture.  As we delved into our creations, we were wondering “if the salads are this huge, how big is dinner going to be?”  Needless to say, dinner was gigantic!  Again, using the same dinner plates as our salads, hubby’s pasta arrived and my zuchini noodles with the sundried tomato sauce came to us looking like a masterpiece that you really didn’t want to touch.  The Chef was so creative in making our plates look like a piece of artwork.  OK.  Here comes the description part that I promised.  The Pasta Leggera was brown rice pasta in a truffle oil (if you’ve never experienced a truffle oil you don’t know what you’re missing), with mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, garlic and beautiful fresh basil.  When I tell you it was a “taste sensation” I’m actually downplaying it!  OMG!  Absolutely delishioso!  The Zuccoland that I ordered was actually served room temperature, much to my surprise.  The Chef had made these beautiful noodles out of zuchini (I was in awe!) with a beautiful sundried tomato sauce, topped with fresh sprouts.  Heaven on a plate!  The two of us ate half of our dinners, then switched to taste the other’s choice.   We were both transported to a place of savory bliss!  I don’t think, in all of my years of being a vegan that I’ve ever had vegan food look or taste this good!  It was a mouth-watering experience at its best.   I’ve never been so sad to see the bottom of my plate before!

Looking at each other across the table after that experience, we wondered “do we even try dessert?”  That question lasted approximately 2 seconds.  We decided on the Vegan Pecan Pie.  OK…..so I’m a dessert freak, but having said that, I’m also a self-proclaimed expert on vegan desserts.  I love making them, but I also love eating them.  What can I say about the pie.  The only word the comes to mind is exquisite!  I don’t think I’ve ever described a dessert that way, but this pie deserves every bit of that word.  Out of this world, exquisite!

When we were done dinner, the two of us could hardly move.  We asked to speak to the Chef. I needed to meet the person that put this masterpiece menu together.  I believe his name was Francesco and he was as wonderful as his creations.  We weren’t surprised to learn that he, himself, is a Vegan.  Anyone that can put that kind of a taste sensation together has to know what “our kind” like to eat.  He nailed it!

I realize I’m telling you just about the vegan part of the menu, but the other tables around  us seemed to be enjoying their Italian dishes every bit as much as what we were eating.  Didn’t see a sad face or a grimace in the entire room.  The servers were very friendly and inviting; the owner came around and talked to everyone making sure there were no complaints.  All in all, it was a wonderful experience and one I will definitely do again.

In conclusion, there are four rules to eating at Rafe and here they are:

  1. Order dinner.
  2. Insert fork in mouth.
  3. Chew long and slow.
  4. Sit back and savour!

There’s nothing more to say except would I recommend this place……………hell ya!”

 

Collingwood and Area Real Estate Barometer May 8-14, 2015

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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.

Single Family ResidentialMarket Report Icon
New Listings:  69 (80, 51, 45)
Average List Price: $457,667
Range of List Prices:  $117,500 – $2,250,000
Number of Sales:  24 (37, 37, 35)
Range of Sale Prices:  $185,000 – $1,100,000

Condominiums
New Listings:   13 (22, 10, 12)
Average List Price:   $310,123
Range of List Prices: $126,500 – $599,000
Number of Sales:  13 (1, 8, 11)
Range of Sale Prices:   $114,500 – $864,000

Vacant Land
New Listings:   10 (13, 12, 7)
Number of Sales:  2 (5, 5, 2)
Range of Sale Prices: $41,000 – $77,500

Price Changes  31

Notables this week:

  • 1 condo sold at it’s list price
  • 2 single family residences sold at their list prices
  • 1 single family residence sold for more than it’s list price

The diversity of our area can be plainly demonstrated if you look at this week’s Barometer statistics.  In the Single Family Residential category at the top of this post, you can see that we have new listings ranging from $117,500 all the way to $2,250,000.  Likewise, the sales reflect this same diversity:  $185,000 to $1,100,000 in single family and in condo sales, a range from $114,500 to $864,000. 

 

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

New Rules for Handling Written Real Estate Offers Coming in Ontario

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It is incredibly frustrating for a home buyer (and their sales representative) to be preparing an offer for their dream home only to be told that another offer has come in on the same property. Almost every time that happens, buyers feel suspicious of the timing and wonder if another offer really exists or if they are having pressure put on them to make a higher, faster or better offer.

Effective July 1, 2015, there will be new rules coming into effect around the handling of written offers. These changes stem from Bill 55, the Stronger Protection for Ontario Consumers Act, 2013. In a nutshell, the following new rules will apply:

o Offers must be made in writing. Please keep in mind that a written offer must be signed to be valid.
o A registrant (sales person/broker) cannot indicate that they have an offer, unless they have a written offer.
o The seller’s brokerage must keep a record of all written offers that it receives.
o RECO (Real Estate Council of Ontario) is developing a process to confirm the number of offers that were received for a property.

I can see merit to these new rules and the ability to ask RECO to investigate the number of written offers that were truly received should help cut down the suspicions agents or consumers may have.

Are Fixed Mortgage Rates Headed Up Soon?

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Guest Post by Dave Larock

Last week we received the latest Canadian and U.S. employment reports and both offered useful information for anyone keeping an eye on Canadian mortgage rates.

Here are my key takeaways from the Canadian employment data for April:

– Our economy lost a total of 19,700 jobs last month, although this was due to a huge decline in part-time jobs (66,500) which was partially offset by a nice pick-up in higher quality full-time jobs (46,000).

– The private sector added 24,200 new jobs, and interestingly, the self-employment sector shed 24,100 jobs over the same period. It is widely believed that the self-employed sector of our labour force contains a subset of would-be private sector workers who are actually unemployed but prefer to call themselves self-employed instead. Last month’s almost perfect correlation between gains in the private sector and losses in the self-employment sector appears to support this belief.

Read more including Dave’s opinion on where rates are headed…

David Larock is an independent full-time mortgage planner and industry insider. Visit his blog for many more interesting articles and some great mortgage advice. 

Collingwood and Area Real Estate Barometer, May 1-7, 2015

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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.

Single Family ResidentialMarket Report Icon
New Listings:  80 (51, 45, 81)
Average List Price: $441,646
Range of List Prices:  $149,500 – $1,299,000
Number of Sales:  37 (37, 35, 31)
Range of Sale Prices:  $45,000 – $1,700,000

Condominiums
New Listings:   22 (10, 12, 11)
Average List Price:   $312,355
Range of List Prices: $129,900 – $1,095,000
Number of Sales:  1 ( 8, 11, 15)
Range of Sale Prices:  $320,000

Vacant Land
New Listings:   13 (12, 7, 12)
Number of Sales:  5 (5, 2, 2)
Range of Sale Prices: $16,000 – $165,000

Price Changes  30

Notables this week:

  • 3 single family residences sold for more than their list prices; 2 single family residences sold at their list prices

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

Is the Kitec Monster Lurking In Your Home? Are You Sure?

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KitecMove aside asbestos, UFFI and oil tanks. There is a new scary monster in town that is taking a starring role on the real estate stage this year: Kitec plumbing fittings.

Sold between 1995 and 2007, Kitec is a widely used and common plumbing piping system made by IPEX that was sold between 1995 and 2007. It was used for distributing water through homes and commonly for supplying water to radiant heating systems. The Kitec system used blue and orange piping made from a mixture of flexible polyurethane and aluminum. There were brass fittings designed to go with the system. It was lauded as being superior to copper piping because the Kitec pipes were easier to install, less expensive and more flexible making them less likely to split.

Manufacturing ceased in 2005 after reports of corrosion and bursting mounted. Since then, there have been reportedly, thousands of reported incidents and many home inspectors and insurers are saying that it is not a question of “if” the plumbing and fittings will fail but rather “when” they will fail. Insurance companies are increasingly refusing to ensure homes with the system and home inspections are turning up a surprising number of homes with Kitec.

Here in the Collingwood – Blue Mountain area, Kitec has indeed been an issue as is turning up in many homes and condos either built or renovated between 1995 and 2007. Owners in one local, upscale condo development here are having to retrofit every unit at significant cost.

Toronto Real estate lawyer, Bob Aaron wrote a column on the topic in the Toronto Star in March which you can read here. He cautions home owners that there is valid reason for concern if they have this system as fixing it can be a costly undertaking. There is one glimmer of good news though for affected parties. A class action suit against the manufacturer, IPEX, was settled in 2011and resulted in $100 million being set aside for claimants who have until January, 2020 to file a claim. You can find out more details about making a claim at http://www.kitecsettlement.com/

We will be dealing with this issue for years to come and my advice to home owners who have Kitec systems in their homes is to remediate it because you will either pay for it now or pay for it later. For buyers, this is yet another reason to be sure you have a home inspection with a reputable Home Inspector.

The Real Estate Spring Market in Collingwood Is In Full Bloom

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The Collingwood and area real estate market was in full bloom in April with the number of properties sold up 13% over March and 17.6% over last April. Year-to-date (YTD) for 2015, sales are up 25.7% compared to the first four months of 2014 and, new listings are down 14% YTD. Here is a quick snapshot of how that breaks down in various price bands. Market summary april 2015

Here is a closer look at the residential market in the six key areas we serve including Collingwood, Clearview Township, Wasaga Beach, Town of the Blue Mountains, Meaford and Grey Highlands. Summary by area

As you can see, market conditions continue to be tightest in Collingwood and Wasaga Beach. What does this mean? If we look at a very basic and high demand type of home in Collingwood as an example, there are only 9 homes listed for sale between $200,000 and $300,000 with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a basement. Competition is strong if properties are well presented and priced right.

The average residential sale price in the six key areas is 11.5% higher than it was at the end of April last year and that upward trend is expected to continue as buyers continue to bump up their budgets in order to find a home.

There were 37 condo sales in April – roughly on par with March and with an average sale price of $243,610.00. There were 44 condo sales reported in April last year so this segment appears to be holding steady.

With fewer listings and more sales, we have balanced market conditions in most areas with strong seller’s market conditions in many areas. As we all know, limited supply + high demand = increasing prices.

Based on last years’ trend, we can expect to see about 280 sales in May and quite possibly more depending on the number of new listings to hit the market. Be prepared for continued very strong market conditions in the months ahead.

Note: All of these statistics are compiled from data from the MLS® system of the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS®

Collingwood and Area Real Estate Barometer April 24-30, 2015

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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.

Single Family ResidentialMarket Report Icon
New Listings:  51 (45, 81, 51)
Average List Price: $433,847
Range of List Prices:  $189,900 – $1,999,000
Number of Sales:  37 (35, 31, 21)
Range of Sale Prices:  $110,000 – $1,390,000

Condominiums
New Listings:   10 (12, 11, 10)
Average List Price:   $359,090
Range of List Prices: $119,900 – $1,095,000
Number of Sales:  8 (11, 15, 1)
Range of Sale Prices:  $130,000 – $476,760

Vacant Land
New Listings:   12 (7, 12, 6)
Number of Sales:  5 (2, 2, 3)
Range of Sale Prices: $100,000 – $400,000

Price Changes  25

Notables this week:

  • 4 single family residences sold for more than their list prices; 1 single family residence sold at it’s list price
  • 1 condo listing sold for more than it’s list price; 1 condo listing sold at it’s list price

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

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