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3 Backyard Features That Are On Every Homebuyer’s Checklist

We all want that ‘backyard oasis’ and extending our living spaces outside is more popular than ever! The backyard is one of the most multifunctional spaces in a property. Are you looking for a pool or hot tub? An Entertaining space? Somewhere that the kids can let loose? Or maybe even an outside work space? Whatever setup you have to work with, here are 3 features that top every buyer’s checklist. 

A relaxing environment

Over the last 18 months our backyards have had to double up as a space to enjoy a staycation. Backyards come in all shapes and sizes but no matter what you’re dealing with there are many options to bring relaxation to your space. We would all love a resort style backyard setting with a pool and cabana chairs but if you’re dealing with a smaller space try introducing different seating options, hammocks, simple wooden benches, nature nooks or a classic Muskoka chair. Add in a fire pit or a small decking area and you can create instant ambiance. 

An abundance of light

Nobody wants a dark backyard! Plants and people alike want to soak up the sun when they can. Make sure you keep trees and bushes under control to maximize your sunlight at all times of the year. At night you can add lighting in all manner of styles. From LED rope lighting to solar lanterns there’s all types of lightning to create that perfect mood. If you’re really looking to step up your lighting game, take a look at smart lighting. Choose from a spectrum of colours and sync to your playlist to really impress at your next pool party. 

Nobody likes a Nosey Neighbour

Privacy. It comes in many different levels and everyone has their own comfort level for what they want, but, we all want it on some level. Whether it’s well placed trees or a full fence. There are many ways to increase your privacy. Some great options are movable elements that can block off areas when you want such as awnings, lattice screens or umbrellas. You’re not able to change the location of your home or your neighbours sight lines but you can adapt your space to create a private space that suits all needs. 

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June Market Report In Our Communities

Another month goes by and we continue to see increases in sales prices across our communities, this incredible market just keeps on going. Year over year, we saw large spikes in home prices across our region. Compared to last June, we saw a huge 50% increase in sale prices across our communities. In Tiny alone, we saw an 65% increase in sales prices.

For the first time in a while, year over year, we saw a 11.7% decrease in the volume of sales across the city compared to last June. Properties are Although we started to see restrictions and lockdowns lifted across Midland, Penetanguishene, Tiny and Tay, we saw the trend of low inventory continue. Active listings are down over 41% compared to 2020. With low competition, 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 July 9, 2021, data gathered by the Ontario Collective based on June 2020 vs June 2021.

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June Market Report For Barrie

Compared to last June, we saw a huge 34% increase in sale prices across Barrie. Records were shattered as we the pass the $700k average sold price in Barrie for 3 months in a row with June clocking an impressive $747k average.

For the first time in a while, year over year, we saw a 11.7% decrease in the volume of sales across the city compared to last June. Properties are still not sitting on the market for long, we continue to see the average days on market per listing drop. With low competition, 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 July 9, 2021, data gathered by the Ontario Collective based on June 2020 vs June 2021.

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Careful What You Wish For; Rate Hikes Aren’t The Answer

We really enjoyed this great article from Neil Sharma featured in the Canadian Real Estate Magazine. What do you think? Do you support the Bank Of Canada increasing interest rates? Will it slow down the housing market? Let us know!

A joint Nanos and Bloomberg poll last month revealed Canadians would welcome interest rate hikes as a means of cooling the housing market, but the reality is far more complicated than that.

“Who in their right mind would want interest rates to rise? Anyone who’s thinking they want interest rates to rise to slow home prices doesn’t understand how mortgage approval rules work because all mortgage approvals were written to 4.79%, now 5.25%, so what the actual interest rates are don’t actually mean anything as far as home prices have gone, because nobody is qualifying for any extra money over and above what they would if the actual interest rates were 4.79%, and 5.25% (as of June 1),” said Dustan Woodhouse, president of Mortgage Architects.

According to the poll, 49% of survey respondents either “support” or “somewhat support” the Bank of Canada increasing interest rates because they think it would quell runaway housing prices. But the reality is that it would take a significant rate hike to soften activity in the housing market, which would concurrently torpedo the economy, says Woodhouse, and as importantly, it would reduce homebuyers’ purchasing power.

“So to have a material slowdown in the amount of money people can purchase a home with, you would need interest rates to rise to 7.5-8.5%. That’s the real math on that,” said Woodhouse. “(Housing prices) would more than slow down: the entire economy would grind to a halt. The whole country would shut down. That would be like trying to kill a mosquito with a nuclear bomb.”

Woodhouse believes there’s a fundamental misunderstanding of how interest rate policy works, and according to Dr. Sherry Cooper, chief economist of Dominion Lending Centres, the largest mortgage network in Canada, the survey results elucidate yet more confusion.

“The housing market is not the Bank of Canada’s objective function; it is only supposed to be concerned about inflation,” said Dr. Cooper. “The problem is that interest rate policy is a blunt instrument and it leads to all sorts of unintended consequences. If you were to raise rates too much, you’d dampen the whole economy, which makes no sense given all the problems we still have in terms of jobs and getting the economy restarted. The Bank of Canada will never do it for that reason. It will raise rates when it thinks the economy is growing rapidly and is close to full employment.”

Interest rates are slated to rise in 2022, one year ahead of the Bank of Canada’s initial prognostication, because the economy appears healthier than anyone thought it would be at this stage of the pandemic. The Bank of Canada recently announced modest tapering of quantitative easing, signifying that it anticipates a return to full capacity sooner than expected.

“But all other things remaining constant,” Dr. Cooper said of interest rates rising quickly, “it would reduce buying power. The question is would it lead to a decline in home prices? It would take quite a tightening in monetary policy for that to happen, and tightening is unlikely.

“Even the housing market isn’t one market nationwide; it’s many, many different markets, so we could see home prices reverse in one area or one sector without seeing it happen in another. To see the overall average home price decline, which means it would have to be a widespread phenomenon outside of both Toronto and Vancouver, it’s not that it can’t happen but it’s unlikely.”

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May Market Report For Barrie

Compared to last May, we saw a huge 37% increase in sale prices across Barrie. Records were shattered as we the pass the $700k average sold price in Barrie for 2 months in a row with May clocking an impressive $793k average.

This May, we saw an 52% increase in the volume of sales across the city compared to last May. As properties are not sitting on the market for long, we saw the average days on market per listing drastically drop. Properties are selling 40 days quicker than this time last year. With low competition, 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 June 10, 2021, data gathered by the Ontario Collective based on May 2020 vs May 2021.

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May Market Report In Our Communities

This time last year, the market was getting used to all the covid restrictions and was repsonding well, but a year on – the market is hotter than ever! Year over year, we saw large spikes in home prices across our region. Compared to last May, we saw a huge 51% increase in sale prices across our communities. In Tiny alone, we saw an 84% increase in sales prices.

As we still experienced restrictions and lockdowns across Midland, Penetanguishene, Tiny and Tay, we saw the trend of low inventory continue. Active listings are down over 50% compared to 2020. With low competition, 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 June 5, 2021, data gathered by the Ontario Collective based on May 2020 vs May 2021.

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6 Home Decor Trends To Try

Last year, many of us spent more time at home than ever before. The transition of our homes to double duty living and working spaces spawned new design and decor trends that make it more comfortable and add much-needed functionality. Embracing this transition lends the freedom to carefully consider each room and piece of furniture. Does it add to your daily life, or subtract from it? With this fresh perspective, take a spin through the six hottest home decor trends for 2021.

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 2021 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. Cloffices And Home Offices

In 2020, we were forced to add more functionality to our homes than ever before. 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. And if you’re still reeling from the great toilet paper shortage of 2020, consider cutting down on purchasing all those disposables by installing a bidet.


Have you seen any Home Trends this year that you’ve implemented into your own home? Let us know!

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April Market Report For Barrie

What a difference a year makes! Last April, the market was adapting to the arrival of Covid-19, this year we are experiencing a spring market like no other. Compared to last April, we saw a huge 37% increase in sale prices across Barrie. Records were shattered as we the pass the $700k average sold price in Barrie.

Incredibly in April, we saw 276% increase in the volume of sales across the city compared to last April. As properties are not sitting on the market for long, we saw the trend of low inventory continue, 53% down from this time last year. With low competition, 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 May 12, 2021, data gathered by the Ontario Collective based on April 2020 vs April 2021.

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April Market Report In Our Communities

One year on since Lockdowns and Restrictions started, the market continues to be red hot in our communities in 2021. Year over year, we saw large spikes in home prices across our region. Compared to last April, we saw a huge 72% increase in sale prices across our communities. In Midland alone, we saw an 85.9% increase in sales prices.

As we still experienced restrictions and lockdowns across Midland, Penetanguishene, Tiny and Tay, we saw the trend of low inventory continue. Active listings are down over 52% compared to 2020. With low competition, 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 May 6, 2021, data gathered by the Ontario Collective based on April 2020 vs April 2021.

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7 Home Interior Upgrades That Can Pay Off Big In Resale Value

Over the last year, we’ve all spent a lot more time at home. Many of us have utilized that time to do some upgrades around the house. But when it comes to getting top dollar for your property, an upgraded home interior can make the difference between a middling offer and achieving a price that will help you move onto your dream home.

Before you list your home or even consider putting your house on the market, it’s worth the time to have a conversation with your For Sale On Georgian Bay agent about tackling some popular home interior upgrades that can make a splashy impact on your property’s resale value.

Here are seven common home interior upgrades that have proven to be hot tickets with buyers, giving you the most bang for your buck:

1) Complete Kitchen Renovation.

Topping most buyers’ wish lists would be the kitchen of their dreams. Year after year, a complete kitchen renovation ranks number one on the lists of both projects appealing to buyers and of projects likely to increase home resale value. Although it’s a big undertaking, the popularity of the project among buyers means you could earn your money back and then some by committing to a major kitchen overhaul.

If a full renovation would break the bank or seems overwhelming, talk to us about trying small tweaks to the kitchen, like refreshing the backsplash, painting the cabinets, or installing updated appliances. Upgrading worn-out surfaces, finishes, or materials can still have a big impact on the look of the kitchen – and your listing price. A whopping 40% of Realtors suggest sellers upgrade their kitchen in some capacity before listing, and 20% think a kitchen upgrade helped close a sale.

2) HVAC Replacement.

Energy efficiency is a top draw in the home market today, so it’s no surprise that buyers are looking for a recently replaced HVAC unit when shopping for homes. Replacing the HVAC unit to a more current model improves energy efficiency, the home’s heating and cooling capabilities, and lowers energy bills – a winning trifecta.

If you want to lean harder into energy efficiency, maybe consider upgraded insulation as well, which can help the home stay more comfortable during the extreme temps of the summer and winter months. Homeowners agree, with 66% having a great desire to be home after replacing their HVAC system.

3) New Main Suite.

When it comes to expected value when selling the home, a new main suite ranks just behind a kitchen renovation/upgrade and replacing the HVAC unit. Depending on the footprint of the home, you might want to think about annexing less desirable space, like formal living areas or dining areas, into a bigger main suite. If the main bedroom doesn’t have its own bathroom, maybe a closet or other storage space could be used to add en suite facilities. For homes that already have a distinct main bedroom and bathroom, you could update the finishes to add modern appeal.

In the bedroom, you could consider new flooring and fresh paint, while in the bathroom, swapping laminate counters for marble or quartz, switching plumbing fixtures to brass or copper, and painting cabinetry all can create a new, luxe look. The most important benefit for homeowners is better functionality and livability with 65% reporting an increased sense of enjoyment when they’re at home.

4) Bathroom Renovation.

Powder room looking dated? Giving a half bath a quick renovation can add major ground floor appeal to a home since such small spaces often lend themselves well to trendy and bold design flourishes. Or, if a home is lacking that all-important second bath or half bath buyers are looking for, you may consider repurposing closets or other less-used spaces into another bathroom. 

5) Basement Conversion to Living Area.

A big way to improve livability in a home is to increase the usable square footage. Without building on an addition, a basement conversion is a shortcut that turns unused space or space formerly relegated to storage into a new living area. Converting a basement to a living area makes a house more livable and seem more spacious, which is why it ranks high on the list of what today’s buyers are looking for. 

6) Flooring Renovations.

According to data, floors can pay off in a big way in terms of recouped earnings from an initial investment. New wood flooring has a recovered project cost of 106% with refinished hardwoods trailing a close second at 100%. This means that, for an estimated $4,700 investment in installing new wood floors, the seller could recoup $5,000 at sale.

For refinishing wood, a cost of $2,600 would likely be recouped at $2,600, as well. Replacing tile or carpet with new wood flooring can instantly modernize a space, or if the home already has hardwood floors, consider refinishing the wood to restore it to its former glory. By sanding out those scratches and putting a dent in those dings, refinished hardwoods bring back that brand-new look.

7) Attic Conversion to Living Area.

Just as with a basement conversion, an attic conversion can take storage space and add to the footprint of livable space in a home. By converting an attic into usable living space, a home can gain a bonus room (or bonus rooms!) that can be used as an additional bedroom, office, game room, or for any other purpose. When it comes to possibilities for the extra space, the roof is the limit.

Do you have any other ideas on how you would upgrade your property before selling, let us know!