No Comments

10 Ways To Keep Holiday Stress At Bay

Our friends south of the border have celebrated Thanksgiving, Black Friday is in full swing and the snow is flying… this means one thing; Christmas is just around the corner!

The days seem to pick up speed as the calendar rounds toward the end of the year and there’s always so much to do! Keep calm in the face of the season’s frenetic pace with our 10 tips for curbing holiday stress.

Grab Groceries On The Go

Most stores offer curbside pickup and delivery, giving you the gift of more time. Get pantry staples with time to spare and save the freshest needs for last.

Confab With The Fam

Stave off hurt feelings by setting expectations early for visits with the extended family ahead of time.

Take Time Off

​​Don’t be a Scrooge when it comes to scheduling PTO! Look after yourself, this is a time to relax, not burn yourself out. 

Slow The Dinner Rush

Simplify the nightly meal – plan a weekly menu, up your takeout game, or try a meal kit delivery service to get you through the month.

Go Green With Greetings

Skip the snail mail and paper trail by sending season’s greetings via a digital card service.

Don’t Budge On The Budget

Steer clear of the siren call of sales by setting strict spending parameters. Your future self will thank you.

Settle In For Self-Reflection

As the year ends, take stock of what worked and what didn’t during the past 12 months. What did you learn this year and how did you grow? 

Ground Yourself In Gratitude 

Lighten your load with a quick rundown of your greatest gratitude hits. It’s easy to look back on how hard of a year it’s been for many but give your serotonin a boost and reflect on what worked out for you this year.

Embrace The ‘No’

The holiday season heralds a flurry of invitations. Say ‘no’ early and often to avoid being overbooked. We all want to be a people pleaser and especially at the ‘Happiest Time Of The Year’ but it’s OK to say no and take the time to focus on yourself. 

Do you have any stress relief tips for the holiday season? We would love to hear what works for you. 

No Comments

October 2021 Market Report For Barrie

Once again, this month’s data showed a decline in sales year-over-year and month-over-month. However, the price of residential units sold continued to rise in both categories. This evidences that, the supply of homes still cannot keep pace with the demand right now. 

Year over year we’re seeing a raise in Sale Prices of over 28% with the average sale clocking in at more than $770k. Active residential listings numbered 329 units on the market at the end of October, a considerable drop of 36.4% from the end of October 2020. Active listings haven’t been this low in the month of October in more than 25 years.

As prices rise and the theme of low inventory continues, now is the time to take advantage of the market and achieve maximum price for your property.

Trust your local experts to guide you through the process and take advantage of the current market. Ask us about our FREE Home Market Analysis to determine exactly how much your Home is worth in today’s Market.

All data correct as of November 15, 2021, data gathered by the Ontario Collective based on October 2020 vs October 2021.

No Comments

FSOGB Raises $10k For Canadian Cancer Society

We loved going Pink throughout October and today, we are so proud to be able to donate $10,000 to the Canadian Cancer Society Ontario to help support all the amazing work they do.

Thank you to everyone who shared our Pink posts, talked about our Pink signs and supported us through Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

We already can’t wait to see our Pink signs back up across the community next year!

Big “Thank You” to Mike Cillis and his team at North Simcoe Signs for helping provide us with our beautiful Pink signs that were seen across all of the community.

No Comments

October 2021 Market Report For Our Communities

Winter is coming and the market is shifting. Across the region we saw 123 sales logged which was down 32% on this time last year. This comes as for the first time in a while, we saw a 7% rise in Active Listings. However, inventory is still incredibly low – down more than 60% than pre pandemic continuing 2021 theme of low inventory. With less options on the market, we continue to see house prices rise as the new average house price sits at $768,624 – up around 20%. As we move towards winter, buyers will become even more motivated so expect to see prices continue to rise.

Across our communities, we saw these trends continue. Midland’s average price rose 23% compared to last year whilst Tiny’s average price edged towards the $1m mark at $935k. With low competition, it’s still a great time to take advantage of the market and achieve maximum price for your property.

Trust your local experts to guide you through the process and take advantage of the current market. Ask us about our FREE Home Market Analysis to determine exactly how much your Home is worth in today’s Market.

All data correct as of November 12, 2021, data gathered by the Ontario Collective based on October 2020 vs October 2021.

No Comments

Prepping Your Home For Unexpected Events

It’s safe to say that if the last 2 years have taught us anything, it’s to expect the unexpected! With the beginning of November, we’ve already seen some of the white stuff fly and many predict a bad winter ahead. While meteorologists and Magic 8-Balls may not have all the answers, there are some steps you can take to prepare yourself and your property for various weather events.

The following four precautions are a great way to get started.

1. Make an Emergency Kit

Fact: Unexpected emergencies are stressful. Anything you can do to alleviate some of that stress is a worthy investment, and nothing is more soothing than knowing you have the supplies you need to weather the storm. That’s why building an emergency kit should be at the top of your to-do list. 

To begin, choose a bag that’s big enough to carry a variety of objects, but small enough to transport without too much trouble. Double-strapped bookbags with multiple pockets are always a solid option. Next, fill it with the following essentials:

  • Refillable water bottle
  • Water purification tablets
  • Protein bars
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Prescription drugs
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
  • Whistle
  • Face masks
  • Toilet paper
  • Garbage bags
  • Multi-tool
  • Local maps
  • Extra batteries and backup charger

The final step to building your emergency kit is knowing where to store it. Pick a location in your house that’s easy to find and reach even during a power outage. Beneath a bed or inside a linen closet are great options for keeping your kit out of sight, but accessible.

2. Consider a Backup Generator

One of the biggest dangers and inconveniences of inclement weather is a 

power outage. When your power goes out, so do all the appliances that rely on it, including freezers and refrigerators, HVAC units, electrical cooking equipment, and, of course, lights. That’s when a backup generator could literally be a lifesaver. However, backup generators are not a one-size-fits-all solution. 

The first step to choosing a generator is deciding how much power you want restored to your house. If you want to make sure power-intensive appliances like HVAC units are 

still operational during an outage, you’re going to need a bigger generator. If you’re just trying to keep the lights on, a smaller option will suffice.

Once you’ve determined your size needs, you’ll need to consider fuel sources for your 

generator. Modern generators can be powered by everything from natural gas to diesel fuel to solar panels. Choosing which one is right for your home will come down to availability of resources and how much money you want to spend. Whichever option you choose, it’s important to familiarize yourself with all safety precautions relating to your chosen generator. Your best bet is to consult a certified electrician before making a decision.

3. Stock Your Pantry

If you don’t want to incur the cost of a backup‌ generator, or if the power outage is lasting 

longer‌ than expected, you’ll need plenty of food around that‌ you can consume at room 

temperature, and without‌ much preparation. 

One great example is peanut‌ butter, which is full of protein and nutrients and‌ typically doesn’t require refrigeration after opening.‌ In a similar vein, nuts and trail mix are another‌ handy solution you can eat by the handful.

If someone in your household has a nut allergy — no‌ worries! Canned tuna or jerkies provide many of the‌ same vital nutrients as peanut butter, and are also‌ ready to eat right out of the packaging. Pair them‌ with some crackers (that don’t come from a factory‌ that processes nuts), and it’s almost like eating an‌ hors d’oeuvre.

In addition to bottled water, another item you may‌ want to consider keeping around are 

multivitamins.‌ When food options are limited, it’s hard to make sure‌ you’re getting the right  mix of vitamins and minerals‌ during your meals. Having a container of‌ multivitamins will ensure you’re getting a diverse‌ array of nutrients, even if you’re eating peanut butter‌ or beef jerky three times a day.

4. Don’t Forget About Fun

When a natural disaster strikes, fun will probably be‌ the furthest thing from your mind, but that panic‌ likely won’t last forever. At some point, you’ll be in‌ need of some form of entertainment to distract you‌ while you wait for normalcy to return. 

One option‌ with a variety of uses is a simple deck of playing‌ cards. Whether you’re playing Go Fish or carefully‌ constructing a house, cards are a perfectly portable‌ way to pass the time.

If you’re able to stay in your home during the‌ weather event, there are plenty of lo-fi board 

games‌ on the market capable of making power outages a‌ little less stressful. Pick a classic like chess or‌ backgammon, or ask an employee at your local‌ game store what they would recommend. And, if‌ you’re looking for something a little more‌ collaborative, jigsaw puzzles can provide hours of‌ fun — depending on the number of pieces. Just‌ remember to keep track of them. 

The last thing you‌ need to pair with the stress of a weather event is‌ the agony of realizing one of your puzzle pieces is‌ missing!

Got any other tips for keeping your‌ property and yourself safe when the‌ unexpected happens? We would‌ love to hear them! Comment below to discuss your‌ favorite  nonperishable foods, analog‌ entertainment, or anything else you‌ rely on to weather any storm.