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Winter Renovations?

Completing Renovations During the Winter Months? 

The slower winter months are the ideal time to complete renovations for some homeowners, the cold months mean there is less to do outside of the home and more people focus on fixes within. We have compiled a list to help you stay within your budget during your winter renovations. 

1. Figure Out Your Main Priorities

Take your time and slowly save up if you haven’t already, it is beneficial to pay in cash so that you can avoid incurring more debt. By making a checklist of what must be done rather than what you would like to be done, you will be able to make improvements without borrowing excess money. It will make you feel good without adding more debt and having an improved living space.


2. Take a Close Look at Your Utilities

Rather than simply swapping your name onto the property’s current utility bill, be sure to shop around for a better deal. If you are able to find another utility company that can provide the same service for less money, you will have more in the long run to spend on the changes that you want made. Other than utilities, you may also be able to get a better deal on your internet, cable/satellite, or insurance provider.


3. Be Accountable

Tracking your spending and making a budget to see where your money is going is highly advised. Quite commonly, people may be spending more money monthly on things such as takeout than they realize. Create a budget and plan ahead. You may consider making a spreadsheet and planning a year ahead. You will feel great when the year is done and you have held yourself accountable.


4. When Thinking About Purchasing New

Think about what is best for you when it comes to new appliances, furniture and other large ticket items. Search online marketplaces where there are always options to buy and sell. You may have inherited a stove that you can sell, to help you afford the new one that you have been looking forward to. Or you may even be able to find the one you have been dreaming of at a discounted price. You can also check with friends, family and neighbours to see if they are getting rid of any things that you may need. There is no shame in repurposing someone else’s kitchen cabinets or using someone’s leftover construction materials. You have the opportunity to save yourself some big bucks if you are open to doing some research.


5. Remember The Important Improvements

In addition to setting aside money for your upgrades, make sure to budget for when things go wrong. The average homeowner will experience needing a new roof, furnace or maybe upgrading from your gravel driveway. Some professionals suggest setting aside 2% of your home’s value for maintenance every year.


What winter renovations are you doing this year? Do you have any tips of your own?

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Buying In The Winter?

Debating on Buying in the Winter? Pros to buying now.. 

Although the spring and fall are the most common times to buy and sell your home, there are some advantages to looking for a home during the cold winter months. While there aren’t as many homes to choose from, there are significantly fewer buyers actively shopping and therefore less competition.  Everything slows down in the winter when it comes to real estate, but for some buyers this opens up a great opportunity. 

Less Competition

It is common for buyers to put their home search to a halt during the holiday season. This is typically due to certain buyers finding it less appealing to go out in the snowy cold weather or because people would like to take a break for holiday festivities. However, you can use this to your advantage by braving the elements. With less active buyers, you are less likely to get into a bidding war and there are less showings which motivates sellers. With the contrast between less competition and motivated sellers, you are more likely to get away with offering less and saving on the overall purchase price.

Moving and Renovation Expenses

Another benefit to buying in the winter is that when it’s closing day, you have a much broader selection of moving companies and contractors. For movers, they are often busy the first of the month helping people who are renting and their busy season is the spring and fall. With less people moving in the winter months, moving companies sometimes decrease their rates to remain competitive. It is the same with contractors, once the weather gets better in the spring they get booked up quickly.

Motivated Sellers

Some people may have had their home on the market for quite a few days at this point in the year or have just recently listed. We often find sellers with their homes on the market during the winter are very eager to sell. This means the possibility of the seller accepting an offer below what they’d typically accept is much more likely. 

We are always here to help when you need us, every step of the way. Any questions you have, always feel free to reach out to us here at For Sale On Georgian Bay!

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December 2022 Market Report For Our Communities

One last look back at 2022 as we take in the December Market Stats. We saw a large decrease in sales activity where December sales were down 48% compared to 2021. For a few months in a row now, active listings continued to surge, across our communities we saw 349% rise in active listings. There’s lots of opportunities for Buyers right now but don’t forget that seller’s are still getting top dollar for their properties. Although prices are down (1.7%), it’s important to remember that, year to date, the average sale price is up 7.7% compared to this point last year.

In our local communities, we saw the active listing trends continue, a lot more inventory in Penetanguishene with a staggering 2600% increase and in Tiny with a 507% increase. We also saw large inventory increases in Midland and Tay throughout December. Prices stayed fairly consistent compared to last year with very minimal decreases In Midland, Tiny & Tay. Across our other communities, we saw larger decreases. However, it’s important to note that there were limited sales to base this information off – Sales Activity was down almost 48% across the region. As we head into the new year, we expect a re-balancing of the market to continue with more opportunities for buyers but also attractive sales prices for sellers.

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 January 6th, 2023, data gathered by the Ontario Collective based on December 2021 vs December 2022.

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New Year, New Home? – Seller’s Edition

Are you planning to sell your home in the near future? Regardless of season or market conditions, remember that you only have one chance to make a good first impression. Make it memorable for all the right reasons. Before listing your home, commit to these five New Year’s Resolutions to help ensure the quickest sale for the highest price.

Repair And Replace

When planning to sell your home, assess its condition and make repairs before listing. Cracked drywall, stained carpets, burned-out light bulbs and other minor damage is easy to fix and won’t break the bank, but left unrepaired, could impact offers. TIP: It can be tough to evaluate your own home. Have your For Sale On Georgian Bay agent or a friend tour your home and offer constructive criticism.

Get Comparable’s

Three to six months before your home hits the market, ask your For Sale On Georgian Bay agent to start scanning comparable listings to get a ballpark price estimate. Keep in mind that a variety of factors may affect your home’s selling price, like lot size; landscaping and interior finishes; proximity to busy streets, public transit, schools and parks; or supply and demand in the marketplace. Your For Sale On Georgian Bay agent will assess your home just prior to listing, to ensure you set the right price to attract serious buyers.

Cut The Clutter

A cluttered home can suggest lack of space, which can impact offers. Depending on lifestyle and length of time spent in the home, this can be a big undertaking. Take it step by step, room by room, and you’ll get through it. Be honest about what you want, need and love, and what you can do without. The bonus? You won’t have to pack, move and clutter your new home with stuff you don’t want.

Stage To Sell

When it’s time to sell your home, stage it to show it in the best possible light. This includes packing up family photos and personal items (prospective buyers want to picture themselves in the home, not you!), putting the non-essential items into storage (or the donation bin!). Your For Sale On Georgian Bay agent may offer Digital Staging staging as part of their suite of services, or will be able to put you in touch with a professional stager to help get the job done.

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New Year, New Home?

The New Year always brings around feelings of change and new beginnings – are you thinking about making a move in 2023? If so, here are 4 tips to help you. These New Year’s resolutions all relate to finances because a Home is the biggest investment most of us will make in our lifetime. 

Check Your Credit Rating

This is one of the most important initial steps you can take because you can guarantee that your potential mortgage lender will be doing the same. A credit score is a number between 300 and 900 that rates your credit-worthiness. According to credit-rating company Equifax, a score of 690 or higher is considered “good”. Lenders will use this score in tandem with other factors, such as your debt-to-income ratio, to determine mortgage eligibility. 

Credit Clean-Up

Remember that phone bill you forgot to pay a couple of years ago? It can come back to haunt you. Even a one-day-late payment is still considered “late,” and can negatively affect your credit rating – and your potential to qualify for a favourable mortgage. If you’re not happy with your credit score, take some time to bring it up to par before you start the pre-qualification process.

Get Pre-Approved For A Mortgage

It’s no secret that there was a lot of media attention surrounding the rising interest rates of 2022. As we move into 2023 we hope to see some reductions over the course of the year. It’s imperative to get expert advice to understand the changes and how the mortgage horizon looks. A mortgage pre-approval is not an obligation to purchase in this time frame, nor are you committed to that particular lender. It’s just a written confirmation of the approved amount and the promised rate, so you can shop with confidence within a budget you know you can afford.

Start Shopping

Online is a good place to start your search, but nothing beats first-hand experience. With budget in mind, bundle up and hit the streets to explore different neighbourhoods and the amenities you’ll have access to. Do you rely on public transit? Is an active nightlife important to you? Daycares and schools? Parks and rec? Highway access? How close (or far!) do you want to be from family and your workplace? Think about your day-to-day needs, and anticipate how they might change over time.

Most importantly, work with a For Sale On Georgian Bay Agent who has experience in the area and the type of home you plan to purchase. They will make setting up viewings easy and be ready and on your side to negotiate the best price when it comes to finally making an offer.

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Selling Your Home During The Holidays – Everything You Need To Know

Have you been thinking about listing your property during the Holidays? Sometimes, your circumstances dictate when you have to sell – perhaps you’re relocating in the New Year for a new job. Or you found your dream home and need to sell the current home you live in.

While the thought of selling your home during the winter months may dampen your holiday spirit, the season does have its advantages: holiday buyers tend to be more serious and competition is less fierce with fewer homes being actively marketed.

So, if you’re in the position of having to sell, here are some tips you should consider:

Hire a For Sale On Georgian Bay Agent

Using For Sale On Georgian Bay means your agent will work hard for you and won’t disappear during Christmas or New Year’s. We love listing homes during the holidays – it allows us to do some great marketing work that’s unlike any other time of the year. Having a good agent will ease your stress and give you more time to enjoy the season.

Deck the Halls, but Don’t Go Overboard

Homes often look their best during the holidays, but sellers should be careful not to overdo it on the decor. Adornments that are too large or too many can crowd your home and distract buyers. Also, avoid offending buyers by opting for general fall and winter decorations rather than items with religious themes.

We’ll Seek Out Motivated Buyers

Anyone house hunting during the holidays must have a good reason for doing so. Our agents will be using strategies to target buyers on a deadline, including people relocating for jobs in your area, investors on tax deadlines, and first time buyers. 

Price it to Sell

No matter what time of year, a home that’s priced well for the market will make buyers feel merry. Rather than gradually making small price reductions, we recommend our clients selling at this time to draw attention of serious buyers. There is no need to price at under-market value, but rather than starting high and making small reductions, price strategically and watch your home sell quickly.

Make Curb Appeal a Top Priority

When selling your home during the holidays, maintaining the exterior of your home becomes even more important. Bare trees equal a more exposed home, so touch up the paint, clean the gutters and spruce up the yard. Keep buyers’ safety in mind as well by making sure stairs and walkways are free of snow, ice and leaves.

Give House Hunters a Place to Escape from the Cold

Make your home feel cozy and inviting during showings by cranking up the heat, playing soft classical music and offering homemade holiday treats. When you encourage buyers to spend more time in your home, you also give them more time to admire its best features. 

Relax — the New Year is Just Around the Corner

The holidays are stressful enough with gifts to buy, dinners to prepare and relatives to entertain. So, don’t stress too much about selling your home during the holidays. With your For Sale On Georgian Bay agent in place and the right marketing strategies, you’ll be in good hands to ensure a quick sale at the right price for you.

If you want to learn more about how we can help you sell your home stress-free during the holidays or winter months, don’t hesitate to reach out.

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Interest Rates Rise Again – Here’s 5 Things You Need To Know!

Our friends at Mortgage Wellness have their finger on the pulse of interest rates in Canada. With their help and knowledge, we have been able to provide you with five current facts about the most recent increase. As many of you may have heard, on December 7th the Bank of Canada raised its benchmark interest rate for the seventh time this year in an effort to cool rising inflation in the country.

1) Prime Rate is now 6.45%, at the beginning of the year the prime rate started at 2.45%. 

2) The increase was .5%. The increased cost of borrowing for those with a variable rate mortgage, adjustable rate mortgage or home equity line of credit is $500 per year for every $100,000 of borrowed money. For example, if you have a $300,000 mortgage you could expect your cost of borrowing to increase by $1500 dollars a year or about $125 per month.

3) This increase only affects those with a variable rate mortgage, adjustable rate mortgage or home equity line of credit. 

4) If you have a fixed rate mortgage, you’ll see no change to your rate or payment whatsoever.

5) Most people think that this is the end of increases from the Bank of Canada. However, articles suggest that we will see one more increase in 2023 before we start to see cuts at the end of 2023. 

If you have questions, we suggest you reach out to our good friends at Mortgage Wellness. If you are in need of a pre-approval, help with your mortgage or just have an inquiry, we are lucky to have Mike Moore and Shannon Houde in our office throughout the week here at 255 King St in Midland. 

View Mortgage Wellness’ 5 things you need to know video here.

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November 2022 Market Report For Our Communities

As we get deeper into the holiday season let’s take a look at how the Market is looking. We saw a large decrease in sales activity where November sales were down 29% compared to 2021. For a few months in a row now, active listings continued to surge, across our communities we saw 211% rise in active listings. There’s lots of opportunities for Buyers right now but don’t forget that seller’s are still getting top dollar for their properties. Although prices are down (7.3%), it’s important to remember that, year to date, the average sale price is up 8.1% compared to this point last year.

In our local communities, we saw the active listing trends continue, a lot more inventory in Penetanguishene with a huge 433% increase and in Tiny with a 304% increase. We also saw large inventory increases in Penetang and Tay throughout November. Prices stayed fairly consistent compared to last year with very minimal decreases In Midland. Across our other communities, we saw larger decreases. However, it’s important to note that there were limited sales to base this information off – Sales Activity was down almost 30% across the region. As we head into the new year, we expect a re-balancing of the market to continue with more opportunities for buyers but also attractive sales prices for sellers.

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 December 8th, 2022, data gathered by the Ontario Collective based on November 2021 vs November 2022.

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Wait!… What Does That Mean?

Everyone loves to talk Real Estate! Whether it’s with your trusty For Sale On Georgian Bay Agent or your neighbour, co-worker or even a friend there’s a lot of terminology used. Many of these terms and phrases are often not common knowledge and might leave you wondering. We’ve collected some of the most used terms so that you will be well on your way to understanding what is going on when you purchase a new home. 

These are the best terms to know. 

Adjustable-rate mortgage – There are two main types of mortgages. An adjustable-rate mortgage has an interest rate and mortgage payment that vary according to market conditions. It is less predictable than a fixed-rate mortgage but can potentially have very low interest rates at times.

Fixed-rate mortgage – Fixed-rate mortgages are more predictable. They have an interest rate and mortgage payment that remain the same throughout the term, and does not fluctuate according to market conditions.

Mortgage pre-approval – A mortgage pre-approval is a process that involves you as the homebuyer and the bank as the lender. Homebuyers will fill out an application detailing various aspects of their finances, including income, assets, and credit history. The lender will then review it to determine the debt-to-income ratio and the amount they are willing to lend to the homebuyer. This is not the same as a mortgage approval.

Appraisal – An appraisal is a process of determining the value of a particular property, so that a lending institution can determine how much they are willing to loan. In Canada, an appraisal can only be done by a member of the Appraisal Institute of Canada or the Canadian National Association of Real Estate Appraisers. An appraisal is different than a market evaluation, which is what a real estate agent will give you as an idea of the property’s worth.

Offer/Counteroffer/Backup offer – Here’s where we get to the nitty-gritty. An offer to purchase sets out the terms with which you agree to buy the home and is a legally binding contract between the seller and the buyer. However, there are different kinds of offers.

A counteroffer occurs when the seller of the property does not accept the offer you extend and makes changes to it, such as the price or the date, making the original offer invalid. A counteroffer will have a time limit within which a buyer may accept or reject it.

A backup offer happens when a buyer is interested in purchasing a property that already has another offer in process with someone else. If the original offer falls through for any reason, the backup offer will be next in line to purchase the property. There can only be one backup offer on a property at any time.

Principal – The principal is the amount you borrow from a lending institution. It does not include the down payment that you would have contributed, and it does not include interest. Your mortgage payments will always be applied toward the interest first, so you need to consider that when budgeting for a mortgage payment. The interest is typically calculated on a daily basis, but you will pay it with your monthly mortgage payment.

Debt-to-income ratio – Also known as DTI, the debt-to-income ratio is a number that is determined by the buyer’s total debt, plus the monthly house payment, divided by the gross monthly income and multiplied by 100. The resulting number helps lenders determine the amount of risk they are taking with a particular buyer. Lenders typically look for less than 28 per cent of the total monthly income spent on housing, and less than 36 per cent contributed to debt payments.

Mortgage loan insurance – If your equity or down payment on the property is below 20 per cent, you will be required to purchase mortgage loan insurance. Offered by CMHC, Genworth and Canada Guaranty, mortgage insurance protects the lender against losses if you fail to pay your mortgage.

Equity – Equity is the difference between the market value of your property and what you still owe on it. If you sell a property at a profit, then equity is the amount you will receive after paying off the mortgage.

Closing Costs – Closing costs are those associated with the actual purchase of the home and not with the value of the house itself. They can include legal fees, realtor commissions, lawyer fees and land transfer fees. These are all due on the closing date once the purchase of the property is finalised.

Real estate lingo can be confusing sometimes, but if you look up some of the terms ahead of time, you will be well on your way to understanding what is going on when you purchase your home. Still have questions?… Let us know!

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October 2022 Market Report For Our Communities

As the leaves fall from the trees, so do home prices across our region, down 11% from this time last year. We saw a large decrease in sales activity where October sales were down 28% compared to 2021. For a few months in a row now, active listings continued to surge, across our communities we saw 145% rise in active listings. There’s lots of opportunities for Buyers right now but don’t forget that seller’s are still getting top dollar for their properties. Although prices are down, it’s important to remember that, year to date, the average sale price is up 9.4% compared to this point last year.

In our local communities, we saw the active listing trends continue, a lot more inventory in Midland with a huge 195% increase and in Tiny with a 150% increase. We also saw large inventory increases in Penetang and Tay throughout October. Prices stayed very consistant compared to last year with very minimal increases and decreases. Whilst house prices still look very attractive to sellers, there are many opportunities for buyers too giving us an interesting market heading into the winter months.

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 4th, 2022, data gathered by the Ontario Collective based on October 2021 vs October 2022.