Real Estate Seller’s Market Conditions Prevail in Collingwood and Area


Residential homes continue to be in high demand in the South Georgian Bay area and, there is no end in sight despite pronouncements that Canada is or was in a recession. The news is not dampening the quest to purchase housing in the area as interest rates remain ever-so-low.Summary whole regionSUPPLY AND DEMAND

The number of properties listed for sale this year is down by 16.3% over last August year-to-date while the number of unit sales is up by more than 15%. That means an ever tightening shortage of “inventory” is available to meet buyer demand and pricing is being squeezed upward. You can see the jump in sales over $350,000 on the chart above.

In the traditional six communities we cover (Collingwood, Blue Mountain, Wasaga Beach, Clearview, Grey Highlands and Meaford) all areas were firmly in seller’s market territory last month.   A few areas such as Collingwood and Grey Highlands actually a small decrease in the number of sales however, that is due to a lack of available supply and there is significant pent-up demand building.Residential summary by areaPRICES

The highest increase in the number of sales by price band were seen in the $600,000 to $700,000 range where there were 17 sales last month compared to 8 in August 2014. There were also 5 sales priced between $1million and $1.5million compared to 1 at the same time last year. You can also see on the above chart that the 12 month average residential sale price has climbed around 7% in most areas.


There were 43 condominium sales in the six key areas in August compared to 38 the year before. This number is down from Julys 53 sales. Interestingly, last year at this time, the average condo unit sold for 96% of its listed price and presently they are selling at over 98% of asking. The average sale price has also climbed in the last year from $231,700 to just over $283,100.

Anex Collingwood – A Potential New Development


Anex (2)

If you’ve driven up Sixth Street lately in Collingwood, you can’t help but have noticed new signage wrapping the former Victoria School property at the corner of Maple and Sixth. It’s advertising a new development of 18 freehold townhomes and semi’s starting in the low 500’s.

In a quest to learn more, I went to the website they have advertised on the sign but it led nowhere so I Googled and found this website. Other than a fantastic, animated aerial and a very brief description of the site, there is no information about the plan, the developer, builder, timelines or anything else.

I’ve asked my contacts and nobody seems to know specific details about the project. I also checked out the Town website to review development applications and didn’t find any reference to this project. What I did gather is that the buyer is someone from the GTA and, I’ve heard he has received an extension on the existing draft plan that was approved for that site quite some time ago by the Town. My understanding is that the old school, which is sadly not a designated heritage building, is to be maintained.

This is a wonderful property with a special heritage building and I hope the new owners will do it justice. I can’t comment on pricing as we have no idea what is planned. At prices over half a million for a semi or town, they better be large and spectacular! While it is nice to see that something may finally develop on that site, I suspect they are jumping the gun by advertising something that is not flushed out yet – we all know how that has turned out for other developers in town who don’t grasp that this is not the GTA. We’ll see.

Grants Are Available To Add Secondary Suites to Homes in Simcoe County


If you’ve been thinking of adding a basement apartment or garden suite to your home, grants are available on a first-come, first-served basis through the Ontario Renovates program. For details on the Simcoe County Program, click here.

There is an ongoing shortage of rental accommodation in South Georgian Bay and, as the operating costs of home ownership climb, this could be a win-win for some people.

Beautiful Joe: another reason to love MEAFORD


Beautiful Joe statueMeaford is one of the gems of our Southern Georgian Bay area, with it’s beautiful waterfront and friendly main street.  Another claim to fame is Beautiful Joe, a famous dog who lived in Meaford in the late 19th century.

Joe was an abused dog, who was beaten to near death by his cruel owner.  A kindly neighbour rescued him, and he began his life anew with a loving family in Meaford.  Beautiful Joe’s story was published by a relative of the family who saved the medium brown dog, and it was written from the dog’s point of view, as an autobiography.  The author, Marshall Saunders, won critical acclaim for writing in this autobiographical style in the manner of another famous novel of the day, Black Beauty.   The novel, Beautiful Joe, was one of the first Canadian books in history to sell over a million copies, and by the late 1930s had reportedly sold over 7 million copies worldwide.BJ plaqueThe novel’s namesake and hero, Beautiful Joe, went on to make rescues of his own, and his town has honoured him with a statue, a plaque and a park named after him.

BJ signRead the digitized version of the novel Beautiful Joe here.  Next time you visit beautiful Meaford, be sure to take a moment to visit Beautiful Joe Park, 162 Edwin Street, Meaford.

Investors: Here’s The Secret Key to Earning 18% or More On Income Property in Collingwood or Anywhere


Money Key (2)

This post is a bit long and complex but it may well be the secret you’ve been waiting for. Study it carefully if you want the real opportunity to create wealth.

I get several enquiries each week from people who want to buy a condo that they can rent out short term as an investment. Honestly? That is a lousy investment. Out of the revenue you generate, you have to pay 50% or more off the top for property management fees, cleaning and such. Then, you may also be footing the bill for utilities. With what is left, you are paying the condo fees, taxes, association dues, insurance and, well, you are unlikely to generate any cash flow and more importantly, you may have difficulty in financing your purchase if the property carries a commercial component such as those at the Village at Blue. There is a better way.

Properties that rent out annually generally will save you the costs of property management (you can do it yourself once a year or less), utilities (as the resident pays), cleaning fees and association dues. The property is residential, it may be much easier to finance at conventional mortgage rates and with a low vacancy rate such as we have in Collingwood, the risk is low if you screen your tenants well. That’s another topic for another day.

Maximizing the return on investment, or ROI on every rental property you purchase, is the way to building wealth as a real estate investor. Let’s look at how ROI is calculated. The formula is:

Return divided by amount paid out of pocket + ROI

Cash Purchase

The first and easiest is to look at a cash purchase. Let’s say you are buying a house for $220,000. Your closing costs for land transfer tax and lawyers fees as well as a little extra for improvements, rental costs, etc could be $5,000 for a total out of pocket investment of $225,000. If the tenants pay 1400 a month in rent or, $16,800 a year but I have expenses of $3000 a year for taxes and insurance, the net return is $13,800 a year.

The ROI can then be calculated as: $13,800 divided by $225,000 = 6.1% return.

That’s not bad. But it could be better.

Financed Purchase

How does financing a purchase affect the return? The answer is that it affects it quite a bit as you are leveraging the rent to pay down the debt. Let’s take a look.

Let’s say you bought the same $220,000 house with the same $5,000 in closing costs for a total investment of $225,000. You decide though to buy the property with 20% down: $$220,000 x 20% = $44,000 for a down payment. Now, your out of pocket expenses are no longer $225,000 but they are actually about $49,000. ($44,000 down payment plus $5,000 carrying costs). You have added to your $3,000 annual costs because you now have a mortgage payment. Since you bought the house for $220,000 and put down 20%, the remainder of $176,000 will need to be financed.

Let’s say you take out a loan for 30 years at 2.7%. The monthly carrying costs would be $806.00 or, $9672.00 a year. Add your $3,000 for taxes and insurance and you are paying out about $12,700 a year giving you a NET cash flow of just $4100.00. BUT, you didn’t pay out $225,000 as you did with a cash purchase, you only spent $49,000.

$4100 divided by $49,000=8.36% return.

That’s right, by financing, you have actually increased your return.

Now here is the GOLDEN GEM. After just one year in this scenario, you will have paid down $5,009 of your mortgage principal without a single extra dollar invested. Let’s add that $5,000 to your $4100 and see what happens to your return:

$9100 divided by $49,000 =18.57% return!

What if you did the exact same thing but put the mortgage over 20 years instead? The annual carrying costs would now be about $14,400 leaving a cash flow at the end of just $2400 BUT, the one year pay down on the mortgage will have increased to $6740 for a total annual return in the first year of $9740.00.

$9740 divided by $49,000 = 19.87% return!

The Bonus

We have not even considered property appreciation which may add another 2-4% a year over time to your return. There may also be tax benefits when you right off costs and depreciation against other income. Even if you sold the property 20 years from now for exactly what you paid, you could still be generating returns far greater than any other investment vehicle. It takes guts and the willingness to do what it takes to learn how to be a great investor and landlord but the rewards are worth every cent.

Related Posts

Buying An Investment Condo At Blue Mountain

An Alternative To Buying A Condo at Blue

Collingwood and Area Real Estate Barometer Aug.14-20/15


*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: 34 (41, 51, 53 )
Average List Price: $401,071
Range of List Prices: $197,900 – $899,000
Number of Sales: 44 (21, 21, 36)
Range of Sale Prices: $145,000 – $1,205,000

New Listings: 9 (10, 13, 5)
Average List Price:  $260,667
Range of List Prices: $172,000 – $565,000
Number of Sales:  13 (7, 7, 13)
Range of Sale Prices: $117,000 – $652,500

Vacant Land
New Listings: 6 (10, 10, 12)
Number of Sales:  3 (3, 3, 1)
Range of Sale Prices:  $95,000 – $165,000


Notables this week:

*4 single family homes sold above their list price and
*2 condo listings sold above their list price

** Take note of the declining number of listings above over the past month for condos and single family listings, versus the number of sales.


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

Collingwood – Step-by-Step Guide to the Custom Home Building Process


Guest post by Alair Homes CollingwoodHouse with exposed roof layers and plans

Building a custom home may be the most challenging and complicated process you’ll encounter, and one that involves a good deal of communication and coordination from the moment the process starts to its finish. The project involves many specialists and disciplines, from designers and the general contractor to the subcontractors who build the home.

Custom home builders create one-of-a-kind homes that offer an even greater range of design choices that are often built on a single lot. Buyers who wish to choose all the detailing of their new home often decide to work with a custom home builder. Besides securing the approvals and permits for a custom home, a home builder must manage all aspects of the home building process. They must manage all the local inspections and approvals, along with incorporating all the design elements you want for your dream home.


Once your site has been cleared and graded, the contractor will dig the footings for the foundation. If your home includes a basement, they’ll excavate it using a backhoe. When the footings have been placed, concrete is poured into the forms and it’s left to cure. When work resumes, the crew will install the water and sewer lines, along with any plumbing used on the first level of the home. They’ll wrap the foundation with a moisture barrier to keep water from entering the foundation. Once the inspector from your local jurisdiction signs off on the foundation, the team will remove the forms.

Rough Framing

The floor joists, walls, and roofing are completed next and the builder will cover the exterior framing with OSB (oriented strand board) or plywood to complete the home’s shell. The framers fortify the walls for the windows and door openings to support the extra load these areas carry. Then they’ll apply a house wrap to prevent moisture from entering that could cause warping, wood rot, or mold growth.

Wiring, Plumbing and HVAC

This phase of the construction process is a bit more complicated, since the plumbers, electricians and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) contractors place the pipes, wires and ductwork throughout the structure. Pipes and wires are run through the floors and walls, and the HVAC ducts are placed, connected and tightly sealed. It’s likely that the plumbers and HVAC technicians will precede the electricians, since wires bend easily around pipes and ductwork.

Infrastructure Inspections

Your jurisdiction will require an inspection of the framing, plumbing, wiring and HVAC installation to verify that they meet the local code requirements. Much of it centers around building safety, but in some cities, the inspectors may review the plumbing and HVAC installations for energy conservation. Both the distribution of hot water pipes and the integrity of the ductwork for the HVAC system affect indoor energy consumption.

Insulation and Drywall Installation

Before the final phases of construction take place, the builder puts in the wall, floor and attic insulation. Specialists hang the drywall, tape and texture it before applying a coat of primer.


At this point, the cabinetry, flooring, trim and doors go in, and your home starts to take shape, especially after all the plumbing fixtures and appliances are in place. Work progresses on the exterior that includes completion of the siding and the exterior trim. The outdoor hard surfaces like driveways, sidewalks and patio slabs are poured, and the landscaping installed.

Certificate of Occupancy

Once complete, your home receives a final inspection from the city, and if all is well, they’ll issue a final certificate of occupancy that indicates it’s met all the health and safety standards. This certificate allows the local utility providers to put the services in your name.

Final Inspection

Your builder will walk you through your new custom home to familiarize you with its features and the functions of the internal systems. They will explain your responsibilities as the homeowner for maintenance as well as warranty coverage and procedures. You and your builder will conduct a final walk through of your new home and it’s your responsibility to ask them to correct any problems you see, so be observant.

The Right Custom Home Builder

Working with a custom home builder who’ll construct your home to your desired specs is the most integral of steps to your new home. Define your needs when looking for the right builder. Some builders might specialize in a specific type of home, price range, or style. Make sure the experience is there as well, or at least has seasoned pros on the team. Builders sometimes offer customer references, so see if you can follow up and ask about their experience. Another important factor to consider is the warranty that is provided. We suggest looking for structural warranties that last at least 5 years. Lastly, look at the quality of the people who work for the custom home builder. Make sure they listen carefully, provide informative answers, and are prompt and professional.

If you already have a plot of land or are working with a realtor to find a desirable spot for your custom home, knowing the basics beforehand is a good start. We hope this general outline of the standard steps of building a custom home has been informative and has allowed you to get a grasp of the totality of your custom home building project.

This guest post was brought to you by Alair Homes Collingwood, a local custom home builder offering a unique approach to home building and pricing.

Exquisitely Renovated Century Home – 18 Wellington Street, Thornbury


Usually when we have agent tours of listings, there is a lot of chatter. It’s always a nice surprise when they walk into a house and fall silent, look, linger and then let out a few oohs and ahhhs.

That’s exactly what happened on the MLS Tour through this exquisitely renovated, century home located on Wellington Street on the east side of Thornbury. When I say, “exquisite,” I really mean it. This house has a long and interesting history and was remarkably renovated 5-6 years ago by Nikki Hall; the designer from the former Siblings Rivalry TV show on W Network. The interior walls were taken right back to the studs, every inch was insulated, walls were redone, windows replaced, wiring, plumbing, kitchen, bathrooms… everything yet they managed to retain the beautiful old floors, reuse some trim and best of all, maintain the charm of this landmark home.

The present owners built the double car garage in keeping with the architecture of the house and finished the basement to make it more functional for storage and added space. It is beautifully presented inside and out while sitting on a pool and/or tennis court sized property just a short stroll to the lovely boutiques, restaurants and pubs in this charming Village. Learn more by visiting the website and then call to book your private viewing.

Collingwood and Area Real Estate Barometer Aug.7-13, 2015


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: 41 (51, 53, 41 )
Average List Price: $418,609
Range of List Prices: $109,900 – $1,475,000
Number of Sales: 21 (21, 36, 34)
Range of Sale Prices: $139,000 – $590,000

New Listings: 10 (13, 5, 8 )
Average List Price:  $423,570
Range of List Prices: $169,500 – $1,250,000
Number of Sales:  7 (7, 13, 7)
Range of Sale Prices: $143,900 – $515,000

Vacant Land
New Listings: 10 (10, 12, 4)
Number of Sales:  3 (3, 1, 3)
Range of Sale Prices:  $215,000 – $550,000

Notables this week:

* 3 single family homes sold at their list price and
* 1 vacant land listing sold at it’s list price
* Of the 41 new single family residential listings that were listing listed this week through our Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® Real Estate Board, 8 were listed in Collingwood, 7 in the The Blue Mountains, 14 in Wasaga Beach, 7 in Clearview, and 5 in Meaford.


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

Marg’s Real Estate Team is the Best!



Chris 2012


It is such a pleasure to come back from holidays and hear my clients tell me that my team, who looked after everything while I was away, were: “wonderful”, ”awesome”, “rock solid”, “stellar”, “top notch.” We have designed my practice to ensure that our clients are always looked after, from beginning to end and everything in between by a dedicated, well-trained team who care deeply about our clients. It’s good to know it works. Thank you Chris and Jessica!

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