137 Hamlet Rd, Blue Mountains

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sideYoohoo Rover, tell your humans we’ve found you your new forever home!

Welcome to Swiss Meadows; a wonderful little neighbourhood where neighbours meet and greet on leisurely walks in this semi-rural enclave of homes right atop of Blue Mountain where you also have such easy access to the slopes and area trails.

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This post and beam home has been lovingly cared for and offers a casual, comfortable and inviting space that suits the environment with windows acting as picture frames for the natural surroundings. The design allows for adaptable uses with living areas that include a great room, a lower level family room, a den and a loft too so everyone can claim their own getaway. With 4 bedrooms, town water and a detached garage, this home is ideal for full-time living or as a special home away from home.

loft

For the dog lovers out there, this home even comes complete with a doggy shower; the fenced in yard provides safety for pets while enjoying the 0.65 acre lot; even the porch has a gate to keep pets and kids safe!  The surrounding area is ideal for long walks with your best friend – be they human or otherwise.

Collingwood and Area Real Estate Barometer Sept.16-22, 2016

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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: 31 (30,  29)
Average List Price: $721,348
Range of List Prices: $159,900 – $2,000,000
Number of Sales: 34 (35)
Range of Sale Prices:  $135,000 – $850,000

Condominiums
New Listings:  14 (6, 14)
Average List Price:  $424,286
Range of List Prices: $139,900 – $1,900,000
Number of Sales:  14 (6, 11)
Range of Sale Prices: $139,900 – $1,900,000

Vacant Land
New Listings: 4 ( 8,  8 )
Number of Sales: 11 (10, 5)
Range of Sale Prices: $34,900 – $440,000

Price Changes this week: 18

Notables this week:  

  • 4 Single Family residences sold for more than their asking prices and 4 sold at their asking prices
  • 4 condo listings sold for more than their asking prices, and 3 sold at their asking price
  • 3 vacant land listings sold at their  asking prices.

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

Collingwood and Area Real Estate Barometer Sept. 9-15, 2016

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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: 30 ( 29)
Average List Price: $561,077.
Range of List Prices: $160,000 – $2,400,000
Number of Sales: 35
Range of Sale Prices:  $178,500 – $1,408,000

Condominiums
New Listings:  6 (14)
Average List Price:  $264,367.
Range of List Prices: $58,000 – $399,900
Number of Sales:  6 (11)
Range of Sale Prices: $175,000 – $354,000

Vacant Land
New Listings: 8 ( 8 )
Number of Sales: 10 (5)
Range of Sale Prices: $28,000 – $650,000

Price Changes this week: 18

Notables this week:  

  • 6 Single Family residences sold for more than their asking prices and 5 sold at their asking prices
  • 1 condo listing sold for more than its asking price, and 1 sold for more than it’s asking price
  • 2 vacant land listings sold at their  asking prices.

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

First It was Home Inspections and Now This! Another Thing To Consider When You Buy A Home

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Recently, this topic came up with a client and it’s really an interesting one.  Home buyers have home inspections, well and septic inspections and in some areas, inspections for termites, radon and other things but what about trees?

Our family has a little cabin in the bush in Muskoka with a beautiful forest where we have a managed forest agreement in place.  Every few years, we have the tree guy come and check it out and this year, we talked about the ash trees.  It’s widespread in the media that we are having a problem in Ontario now with the Emerald Ash Borer Beetle that is destroying trees and until the tree guy pointed out that we had ash trees, it never had occurred to us that we did.

EAB

In Collingwood, where we actually have a river called the Black Ash Creek(!), there are an estimated 6600 ash trees making up 13% of the town’s urban forest.  The Town has a plan to deal with the issue and this pdf is quite informative if you wish to know more.

When buying or selling a property with trees, have you ever checked to see what kind they are?  Does it matter to you?  If the trees are an important component of the purchase, then it may be a good idea to check for ash trees and learn what your options are for removal or inoculation.  It’s possible that the cost of removing currently unaffected ash trees could be fully offset by selling the healthy wood at this stage. Or not.  The point is that you may want to find out.

Oh and P.S.  In the course of researching this blog, I went out and checked my own backyard and guess what I found?  Yup.  A black ash.

Collingwood and Area Real Estate Barometer Sept.2-8, 2016

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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®.

Single Family ResidentialMarket Report Icon

New Listings: 29
Average List Price: $448,683
Range of List Prices: $199,000 – $1,275,000
Number of Sales:  29
Range of Sale Prices:  $185,000 – $615,000

Condominiums
New Listings:  14
Average List Price:  $384,307
Range of List Prices: $69,900 – $969,900
Number of Sales:  11
Range of Sale Prices: $113,000 – $1,090,000

Vacant Land
New Listings: 8
Number of Sales: 5
Range of Sale Prices: $74,000 – $165,000

Price Changes this week: 28

Notables this week:  

  • 5 Single Family residences sold for more than their asking prices and 2 sold at their asking prices
  • 3 condo listings sold for more than their asking price
  • 1 vacant land listing sold for more than its asking price

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

Real Estate Market Recap for August 2016; Collingwood, Blue Mountain and Area

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Market SnapshotWhat a difference a year makes.  In August this year, there were 45% more sales in our area than last year.  45%!  And really, if there were more properties for sale, that number would have been even higher.  I know I’ve been dealing with competing offers all month which means there are many buyers still out there hoping to end up on the winning finish line.

At the end of August, there were just over 200 active listings of single family homes for sale in our key areas.  As I write this, there are just 63 homes for sale in Collingwood of which just 33 are under $500,000 and of those, 8 have conditional offers pending.  Market conditions are VERY tight.

One of the things we monitor is the sales to listing ratio.  For example, if there are 100 new listings in a month and there are 50 sales, we have a 50% sales-to-list ratio.  Generally, anything under 40% is considered to be a buyers market, 40-50% is stable and over 50% is a sellers market. In August, the monthly sales-to-listing ratio was 97.4% in our region.  I’ve never seen numbers like that .

Another new feature on our data reports is a new price band.  I can well remember when we had our first sale in this area over $1 million dollars.  Everyone talked about it for weeks.  Well so far this year, there have been 44 sales over that level. Then we hit $2 million and it seemed impossible. 10 so far this year.  And now?  We’ve just posted a sale over THREE million dollars!

The greatest increase in the number of sales, at better than 50% over last year, occurred in the $500,000 to SF House prices$999,999 range pushing up the average sale prices in the area.  Average sales prices are up in every market in our region from 1.1% (The Blue Mountains) to 29.2% (Clearview) over the past year.

With such variances, it can be challenging to know what your property is worth or what the value may be of your intended purchase.  It’s really important to work with a skilled and knowledgeable REALTOR® to get accurate and timely information. Of course, I’d be delighted to be the one you call in Collingwood, Blue Mountain and area.

Attention Collingwood Real Estate Investors and Home Owners: Here’s is what’s happening with local house prices

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People ask this question all the time and really, it is very challenging to answer how much the market has gone up or down at any given time.  Statistics are a tricky thing as there are too many ways to interpret them.  But I’ve noticed something interesting.

Our real estate board reports 12-month average sale prices.  Averages are not the same as a median price.  With a small sampling, the numbers can swing up or down significantly based on a few really low or a few really high sales.  They are however an indicator over time.  Using that information only, I can see that the 12-month average sale price for a property sold in Collingwood went from $366,634 in July 2015 to $408, 904 last month; an increase of 11.5%.

A better indication is when you can take the same house that has sold once in each year to measure the difference and I’ve noted two in Collingwood.  One house that sold exactly a year ago for $321,000 just resold for $387,500; an increase of 20%.  I found another one that sold in 2014 for $339,000 and just resold for $438,000; an increase of 30%. Both homes were in subdivisions and less than 15 years old. Given these, I would think it’s reasonable to say that values have climbed in these types of neighbourhoods in Collingwood by 15-20% a year for the past two years.  That’s pretty significant to know as an investor.

Given these, I would think it’s reasonable to say that values have climbed in these types of neighbourhoods in Collingwood by 15-20% a year for the past two years.  That’s pretty significant to know as an investor.

Then to prove the theory, I tried being more specific so I searched for sales in the town of Collingwood only, single family homes without a garage and voila, the increase in the 12-month average sale price over the last year was 23%.  I also compared condos in Collingwood and Blue Mountain and the increased over the last year in the average price was about 11%.

Our market includes several communities and the picture is much the same in other areas but Collingwood leads the pack in price increases.  That’s good to know if you are an investor.

A Surprising New Reason Why Some Financing Conditions Need To Be Longer for Buyers

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Time flies by as days in a weekUntil fairly recently, it was pretty standard here in the Collingwood area that you could get approval for financing in a 3-5 day turn around time so commonly, buyers offers were conditional for 5 days on obtaining financing approval.  If you are seeking an insured mortgage and have a straightforward mortgage application where the lender does not ask for an appraisal, it can still be done in that time frame.

If however you are arranging a mortgage where the lender requires an appraisal of the property, as many if not most do now, the story has changed here. With the exceedingly busy market and limited number of appraisers in the area, applications are being held up because appraisals can’t be done in a timely fashion.  I was just involved in a deal where it took over 8 days just to get an appraiser out to visit the property!

It’s really important for potential home buyers to get pre-qualified with their lender and ask how long will be needed for financing approval so conditions can be written accordingly.  If the condition is too short, many sellers will not agree to an extension or a back-up offer could already be in place. Rather than just agreeing to a pre-printed clause in an offer, have the discussion with your REALTOR® about this concern before determining the length of your conditions. Your ability to successfully buy the property depends on it.

This Astonishing 5 Bedroom House in Collingwood is Anything But Ordinary!

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great rmEvery now and then, we come across a house that almost defies description and this is one of them. Where to start?

Back in 2002, the owner (a European builder by trade) of the land purchased a 125-year-old Mennonite built barn in the Ottawa Valley which became the inspiration for this home that was originally conceived and designed to be a Bed and Breakfast.  The barn timbers and frame were carefully resurrected, piece by piece on a ¾ acre lot on a quiet cul-de-sac in “The Forest”; an area of stately homes on the west edge of town almost equal distance to Blue Mountain, Georgian Bay and Collingwood’s historic downtown.kitchen3

Inside, the finishing details were inspired by the owner’s love of collecting antiquities and unique pieces from around the globe.  The 225-year-old foyer doors came from a home when entire villages were relocated by the Chinese government due to the Yangtze river floods.  The ornate door hinges come from around the world, the porthole window from Peggy’s Cove in Nova Scotia, an old hardware store counter became the kitchen island and on the list goes. Have a look at this virtual walk through and see how many features you can spot.

With large picture windows in every room, sunlight fills this home and trees frame almost every view. The principal living areas are so large that it would be easy to have a sit down dinner for 40 or more backed by a custom kitchen by Selba.  There are five bedrooms that each have individual temperature controls and three of them have their own ensuites making this ideal for a B&B, corporate retreat or a home for those who want to enjoy family and friends.

For the price of a semi-detached home in downtown Collingwood, people could trade traffic, noise and smog for a new life in Collingwood.  When ordinary won’t do, this home is unparalleled and a must to see.

The Demand for Houses to Rent in Collingwood is Leading To Desperation

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Folder in Catalog Marked as Rent.

Barely a day goes by that I don’t get an email from someone wanting to buy an investment property. With low interest rates, limited alternative ways to invest, the desirability of our growing area (2x the provincial average), it’s not a surprise that investors are out in full force here in the Collingwood area.

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know I’m a fan of real estate investing and in particular, properties that are suitable for annual tenancies. There is however, a serious flip side of the coin.

As house prices rise, the ability to create housing rentals that mesh with local demand becomes more and more challenging.  On one hand, many people can no longer find affordable homes to buy so they need to rent and on the other hand, rents are escalating so fast due to higher house prices that they too are becoming unaffordable for the average person or family.

I get several emails each week from people who are literally homeless or about to become so.  These are working class families with jobs, kids and decent credit who are staying in hotels or couch surfing with friends to keep a roof over their heads.  The highest income earners with no pets and perfect credit are usually the lucky ones which is great for investors but what about the tenants?

The only solution is to create more rental stock that is affordable.  That means converting single family homes into duplexes or other forms of multi-unit dwellings. The combined rents will offer a decent return for investors and, two or more tenants will be able to find affordable housing.  It’s what we’ve seen happening in larger city centres and the time is nigh to start here.

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