We had an amazing night at the Keller Williams Advantage & Experience International Awards Night! We are so proud to have walked away with a Quadruple Platinum Award and #2 in GCI and #3 in Units – such incredible accolades in just our second year as a team!
As proud as we are, we are even more thankful to our communities and clients for trusting us to navigate and help them achieve their Real Estate dreams and goals.
Every year spawns many new design and decor trends as we all try and transition our homes to the latest styles and make our homes more comfortable whilst adding much-needed functionality. Take a spin through the six hottest home decor trends we’ve seen for 2022.
Remember, trends may come and go, but your home is your safe space, so skip any trends that don’t speak to you. And if you’re thinking about selling your home down the line, talk with your For Sale On Georgian Bay agent about how certain home decor trends may add value to your home by appealing to current buyers.
1: A Peaceful Aesthetic
Taking its philosophy from a mix of Japanese rustic minimalism and Scandinavian functionality, this aesthetic speaks to the peaceful intentionality many of us began craving in our spaces over the tumult of the past year. A blend of neutrals and natural materials that are simple and harmonious in feel, this design aims to restore calm and function. One perfect example—bringing a bit of the outside in with plants and potted trees illustrates the marriage of form and function by allowing us to breathe better in our homes while also grounding us by providing a connection to the outdoors.
2: Arched Doorways
Perhaps in a nod that harkens back to simpler times, old-world design aesthetics have experienced a resurgence of late. One of the most popular aspects of that has been a return to arched doorways. A timeless look that has long been found in many homes that favour traditional design, the effect can be mimicked by painting an arched shape on a wall or in furniture items like headboards and storage closets with arched elements. Make this traditional look modern by mixing in contemporary line art, minimalist design and natural fibres.
3: Kitchen Storage And Shelving
With restaurant dining off the table for much of 2020, we cooked and ate more meals from home. All that time spent on food prep, roasting, baking and air frying led many of us to rethink our kitchens, whether that meant adding cheerfully-coloured cabinets (think Pantone 2022 Color of the Year Illuminating, which is a bright and cheerful yellow, or the ultra-trendy pastel pink), open shelving or aesthetically pleasing pantry storage. The latter especially became a necessity as the pandemic meant fewer trips to the grocery store and an increased need to store canned goods and dry pantry staples. Storage typically ranks among buyers’ biggest priorities, so if you’re considering selling, put enhancing kitchen storage at the top of your to-do list.
4: Clofices And Home Offices
Little-used spaces no longer flew under the radar, and when many people began working from home, every room in the house became fair game as office space. “Cloffices” grew out of necessity as homeowners revamped closets into offices. Fold-down desks add versatility by being there when you need them and tucked away out of sight when you don’t. For those needing more workspace than a closet can offer, guest rooms soon may be permanently outmoded by home offices as multiple members of the family—kids included—require desks and workstations.
5: Elevated Home Libraries
Everyone’s favourite Zoom background shone a spotlight on an oft-ignored area of our homes and offices—bookshelves. No longer just a place to store books, home libraries can add major design oomph. Think comfortable seating, an injection of greenery from some well-placed plants and something that shows off a bit of your personality, whether that’s framed family photos, artwork or displaying a collection. Don’t forget the books themselves when it comes to styling your home library. Rainbow bookshelves remain beloved on social media, but try experimenting with organizing by size, genre or orientation to turn your home library into its own piece of art.
6: Eco Friendly Design
Simple swaps can allow you to incorporate innovative eco-friendly design in ways that help offset your carbon footprint. Consider ditching your incandescent bulbs for smart lighting you can control from your phone or home automation device (like the Amazon Echo or Google Home) so your lights are only on when you truly need them. (Bonus: Home buyers love automation and smart features when shopping for houses.) Buying furniture secondhand or saving for “forever” pieces also benefits the environment by minimizing short-term consumption.
Let us know what trends you’re trying out in your home!
Sadly, across Ontario and even our communities, Rental scams are becoming more and more common place. We’ve put together some information that will help you understand how the scam works and what to look out for.
If you’re on the hunt for a new rental home, you now need to be vigilant about a new type of rental scam proliferating online. Fraudsters are finding new ways to trick would-be tenants into falling for phony online ads. This scam can bilk prospective tenants out of money and time, plus cause undue stress to owners of the properties being listed fraudulently.
How The Scam Works
Basically, these rent scammers are taking photos of properties that are already online, on housing sites like MLS or realtor.ca, and using those photos to create fake rentals ad. They usually offer the rental well below market rates to attract interest, making it one of those “too good to be true” scenarios.
When curious tenants start inquiring about the ad, the fraudsters will likely give suspicious reasons why they can’t meet you in person. For example, they are “out-of-town” and unable to show you the vacancy. The fraudsters will then ask you to send them a security deposit or the first month’s rent via wire transfer. They might even pressure you by saying other applicants are interested in the property. Sometimes the scammers will entice you with a discount if you send more than the first month’s rent.
The money requests are usually to be transferred via MoneyGram, Western Union or even a gift card. But once you send that money out of the country – say goodbye because it will be virtually impossible to get back.
Rent scams on the rise
According to a 2020 report, an Ontario man had his home unknowingly put online by rent scammers using photos of his property, which was in the process of being for sale. Would-be tenants began knocking on his door asking about the property and one even said they already sent a $1,000 deposit.
It’s all part of a disturbing trend of rental scams taking advantage of tenants looking for a home. The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre says that Canadians have lost $1.4 million in the last three years to these online rental scams. The Better Business Bureau claims that 50% of those looking for a rental home will likely encounter these types of online scams on sites like Craigslist, Kijiji and Facebook.
5 red flags of a rental scam
The first red flag to watch for is the price. If this is a nice property, way below the market rate, it could be a scam. Of course, it could be a great deal too, but make sure you should investigate it thoroughly.
The “owners” of the property say they are out of the country, or out of town. Remember: it’s highly unlikely a landlord would list a rental and then leave town.
If the listing’s photos are vague, and only show the outside of the property, it could be a scam. A good landlord will post quality images of the inside and outside. And if you see a “for sale” sign in the photo, you should probably avoid it.
Any requests for security deposits or first-month instalment, without a formal rental agreement, should be met with deep skepticism, especially if it’s through a wire transfer like MoneyGram or Western Union going outside the country. Gift cards are another major red flag.
If the alleged owner wants to communicate with you outside the rental platform or direct you to a website asking for personal or financial information, then you should turn and run away (virtually).
How to stay safe from rental scammers
Searching for a rental home can be challenging on its own without having to deal with scam artists trying to steal your money. Here are some tips on how you can protect yourself from these online vultures.
Research the property in-person, if possible, and insist on meeting the landlord at the address. Take the time to visit the rental listing and see if it’s accurate and truthful to its online ad. If you cannot see it in person, ask a friend or family to view it for you.
Double-check the address isn’t being used elsewhere online. Google search the address to see if it’s been used in a duplicate post, or reverse image search the photo.
Request a lease or contract before you consider sending a deposit. Review it thoroughly and make sure it is legitimate.
Know your rights as a tenant. The Government of Canada provides information on the rental process and which provincial housing ministries you should be aware of. Also, you should contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (1-888-495-8501), the RCMP or your local police if you have information about this type of online rental scam.
Of course the safest way to find your next rental property is to contact a For Sale On Georgian Bay agent who will be with you every step of the way!
The spring market is here and we’ve seen a slight shift in the market. In March, we saw that active listings across our communities are up over 17% compared to 2021. It’s been a lack of inventory that has been driving up prices, so this news will be welcomed by the many buyers looking. However, inventory is still incredibly low – down more than 61% compared to pre pandemic numbers. With less options on the market, we continue to see house prices rise as the new average house price edges towards the $1Million mark – up around 30%.
Across our communities, we saw these trends continue, however we are starting to see more listings come to market. Tiny’s average price rose 21% compared to last year whilst also breaking the $1m mark for average pricing. Midland saw a 19.8% raise in average pricing but also a 42% hike in active listings. There are starting to be more options for all those hungry buyers but overall our community is still lacking the amount of inventory to match the buyer’s desires. With low competition, it’s still a great time to take advantage of the market and achieve maximum price for your property.
The Spring Market is here and the temperature is about to get turned up on an already hot market. With a little effort and minimal cash, these low-cost improvements can make a big impact on your house’s value and your happiness at home. Put your spring cleaning effort into areas that can increase your home value!
Upgrade The Kitchen A full reno can be costly, so try small tweaks like refreshing the backsplash, painting the cabinets or installing updated appliances.
Reinvent Your Closet Combat clutter by creating a place for everything and putting everything in its place. Consider custom organization to max out storage capacity.
Deck The Walls Paint can transform a room in a single afternoon. Pick a colour to match a room’s mood, or get back to basics with bright white.
Refinish Hardwood Floors Buff away those scratches and put a dent in those dings. Refinishing hardwoods can bring back that brand-new look.
Freshen Up The Front Door Put your home’s best foot forward with a new front door. Steel and fibreglass are current top picks.
Get Mowing Grass looking a little shaggy? Give your lawn a haircut. Booking a service lets you set it and forget it.
Dig Up Some Dirt Planting perennials ensures blossoms year after year while annuals bloom beautifully for a season. Native plants and succulents keep water bills low.
Pile On The Mulch Bring landscaping back to life with a fresh application of mulch around trees and garden beds.
Follow A New Path Installing a pathway or patio out of pavers or gravel makes a yard more inviting.
Light Up The Night Landscape lighting and modern outdoor light fixtures give your home a new nighttime look.
Let us know what cost saving improvements you’ve been making around your home!