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How to “Spring’ Into the Spring Real Estate Market

How to “Spring’ Into the Spring Real Estate Market

How to ‘Spring’ Into the Spring Real Estate Market

Hooray! We made it! Spring is (finally) almost here! Time to say goodbye to Old Man Winter and hello to a fresh new season. It’s also time to say hello to the spring real estate market. 

Although winter can be a great time to sell or purchase a new home, historically, spring is one of the busiest times in real estate. If you are looking to get in on the spring real estate action, here are 4 easy ways to be on top of your real estate game: 

  • Spring clean and organize 

Now that spring is on its way, it’s time to refresh and reorganize. A good spring clean will not only help to lift your spirits, it will also ensure that your home or condo is in tip-top shape if you are intending to sell this season. 

If the task of spring cleaning your home seems daunting, you can try breaking it down into smaller chunks. Focus on cleaning the kitchen from top to bottom one day and organizing and putting away any winter items you no longer need. 

For creative organization tips and tricks, check out our Pinterest. It is a great source for helpful cleaning, organizing and storage solution ideas. 

When thinking about spring cleaning, remember to include the outside of your home too! Cleaning decks, patios and patio furniture and getting your gardens ready will help to increase curb appeal and help to get your home ready to wow potential buyers. 

  • Make a list 

If you’re looking for a new home this spring, it’s essential to have a clear idea of what you are looking for. Sit down as a family and brainstorm features you would like to see in your new home. Include things like the number of bathrooms and bedrooms, location, yard size, and any specific features like granite countertops or minimal stairs for example. 

When thinking of your dream home, it can be easy to get a bit carried away. Remember to keep your budget in mind when creating your list. You may even want to create two lists; one list of things you need to have and another list of things that can be considered nice to have – but not mandatory. 

  • Research the market 

Once you have a solid grasp of the features you are looking for in your new home, you’ll want to do a little market research. There have been some changes recently in real estate that you should know about in order to prepare for the spring market, depending on your location. For example, home sales in some areas across the Province have slowed down a little due, in part, to rising interest rates and new mortgage stress test regulations. This means that we might be transitioning from a Sellers’ market to a Buyers’ market (good news for buyers, not so much for sellers).  However, if the low inventory of product available continues, prices may remain the same or even rise, especially if interest rates stay static due to the volatile economic situation. In other words, it is unknown what kind of market will present itself in the spring, so preparation for either a Sellers’ or Buyers’ market is key to your success whether you are considering selling or buying.  Additionally, as a Buyer, if you get pre-approved for a mortgage before your spring house-hunting begins, you’ll know exactly what amount of a mortgage you’re approved for so that there are no surprises, and you’ll be in a better position to compete for that new home if there is a lot of interest or even a bidding war. 

  • Find a real estate agent that ‘gets you’

Finally, once you’ve done a little research, it’s time to look for a Realtor® that truly ‘gets you’. Your Realtor® will help you understand current market conditions and will know the details about your local market. They’ll also ensure that your best interests are protected, meaning that your home sells for the right price, and/or you purchase a home that is within budget and a great match for you and your family. 

If you’re selling your home or condo in Collingwood, Wasaga Beach, Grey Highlands, Blue Mountain or the Georgian Triangle area, talk to us at Clairwood Real Estate. We pride ourselves on ‘getting our clients’ and putting your interests first. Connect with us today at 705-445-7085 to find out how our top team of Realtors® can help!

Find Your Zen With These Storage & Organization Solutions

Find Your Zen With These Storage & Organization Solutions

Find Your Zen With These Storage & Organization Solutions

Whether you’re inspired by the approach of Spring or preparing your home for an open house, decluttering, cleaning and getting organized is a terrific way to get ready for change and start fresh. However, as we all know, finding the motivation to get organized and get the job done is often easier said than done.  Check out these tips for storage and organization that will help you find your zen:

Downsize your belongings

Minimalism is all the rage today and for good reason. Getting rid of items and belongings you no longer need or use is a great way to make staying organized easier and will help you create a more tranquil living space. If you’re planning on a move in the future, downsizing will also help to make this process a little less cumbersome. 

If you’re a bit of a pack rat, start slowly and ease into it. Begin by going through your closets and cupboards and get rid of anything that you haven’t worn in the last year, even if you think there’s a small chance you may wear it again! Remember, although 90’s styles seem to be experiencing a bit of a revival as of late, it’s unlikely that that vintage neon windbreaker is going to see the light of day again. 

Make use of unused space 

Once you’ve downsized your belongings and donated any gently used items you no longer need, it’s time to get creative. For those living in a condo or other smaller space, getting creative is key. Unconventional spaces, like the nook underneath the stairs or the cranny between the fridge and the wall, for example, can provide clever storage opportunities. You can also re-assess your current storage systems and change them up if they aren’t working for you and your family. 

Doing your research online or looking through magazines is a terrific way to discover the many ways to make the most out of your space. Pinterest, for example, is a valuable resource – full of smart, budget-friendly, and innovative ideas for maximizing all and any unused areas throughout your home that need organizing. Log in and get pinning!

Get smart with storage 

Finally, to stay sane and inspired when it comes to getting organized, it’s also a good idea to get smart with your storage. When organizing and packing away your items, try to organize by seasons, putting away your fall and winter items in the spring and summer bins, and vice versa. 

In addition to organizing by season, it’s important to label everything so you can keep track and easily access your belongings. Label the contents of boxes clearly so you can retrieve something quickly when it’s needed. For example, instead of just writing “Kitchen”, you can actually list each item right on the box, such as “Blender, cookbooks, water bottles, travel mugs”. Opting for square or rectangular containers to store your goods is also a smart idea as these are easier to stack and store. 

Getting rid of items you no longer use, getting smart with your storage and using under-utilized space in your home will help you declutter and get organized in time for Spring, your open house, or both!

If you are looking to sell your home this Spring in Collingwood, Wasaga Beach, Grey Highlands, Blue Mountain or the Georgian Triangle, connecting with an experienced and motivated Realtor® is also key. Connect with us today by calling (705) 445 -7085 to see how we can help. 

Should I Stay or Should I Go? 5 Signs That It’s Time to Sell

Should I Stay or Should I Go? 5 Signs That It’s Time to Sell

Should I Stay or Should I Go? 5 Signs That It’s Time to Sell

The decision to sell your home is not always clear-cut. On the one hand, the additional expenses you may encounter preparing for an open house to wow potential buyers and the thought of packing everything into boxes might have you second guessing that whole moving thing. You might also still be attached to the home you currently live in. On the other hand, a new place to call home that better fits your family’s needs and lifestyle is an exciting prospect. If you’re still on the fence, here are 5 signs that it’s definitely time to sell.

  • You have too little house

Expanding families need room to grow. If you find that the cute little 2-bedroom bungalow you bought in Collingwood five years ago just doesn’t cut it anymore when it comes to space, it’s likely the right time to put the For-Sale sign on the front yard. Just remember, before looking for a new space to call home, it’s a good idea to create a list of features you want in your new place and add adequate space and room to grow to your list as a top priority. 

  • You have too much house

You may also find yourself in the opposite position. If your children are now adults themselves with homes and families of their own, you may just feel like you have too much house. In this case, it makes sense to downsize and find a smaller home and property. Not only will you spend less time maintaining your home, you’ll also likely save money on things like property taxes, heating costs and other costs associated with owning a home (which means more money to do the things you’ve always wanted to do – hello European vacation!) 

  • Your location doesn’t fit your lifestyle 

Although you may like the home you live in now, it may be the location that’s just not quite right. If you love nature and the outdoors but live in a city for example, it might be time to find a better fit. Alternatively, you may find that you live too far from work and your commute is making it hard to find that elusive work/life balance. Whatever the case, if your location isn’t right, it’s time to start looking for one that best suits you. Life is short; let’s enjoy it as much as we can! 

  • You have a new job opportunity 

An exciting, new job opportunity is another reason to say goodbye to your current digs and start searching for a new place to call home. For example, if you or your spouse were recently offered a position at a company or organization in the Georgian Triangle and are not from this region, it’s time to start your search for a new place, and lucky you – there are so many reasons why it’s great to live in this area!). 

  • You want to move closer to family

One more final reason to decide that it’s time to sell – to move closer to family. If you currently live far from your family or close friends and feel like there’s something missing, selling your current home and moving closer is always a good idea. To quote Rod Stewart, ‘You can go through life wondering what it is all about but at the end of the day, it’s all about family.‘

 

If it’s time to sell (or buy) in Collingwood, Grey County, Wasaga Beach, Blue Mountains, Meaford or the Georgian Triangle, our Clairwood Real Estate team is the one to call. We know the area, the market and how to get you the best price in the right time frame. Call us today at 705-445-7085!

 

 

 

How to Create a Me Space in Your Home

How to Create a Me Space in Your Home

How to Create a Me Space in Your Home

Life is busy! With work, appointments, family activities, endless piles of laundry and other commitments filling up your day, it can be difficult to find time for just you. Given the hectic pace of modern life, finding a little ‘me’ time and engaging in self-care is essential. In fact, it may just be the secret to reducing stress and staying healthy

Setting aside time for you doesn’t have to be expensive, fancy or even time-consuming. In fact, it’s possible to create ‘me’ space in your home that’s easy and achievable. Here are a few ideas to help inspire you to create a ‘me’ space of your very own: 

Cozy reading nook 

Whether it’s in your bedroom or tucked away in a corner of your living room or den, a cozy book-nook is a great place to escape to and indulge in a good read. It’s also pretty easy to create – all you’ll need is a big comfy chair, a bookcase or clever shelving, a lamp, and a warm fuzzy throw blanket and your cozy book nook is complete. 

Meditation space 

Meditation has become pretty trendy recently and for good reason. Not only does it help reduce stress and even help to lower your blood pressure, it can also help you find calm and reconnect with your true self. 

When it comes to creating a meditation space, simplicity is best. Find a quiet corner in your home away from noise, traffic, and distractions. Although you actually don’t need anything to engage in meditation, a comfortable pillow to sit on, a candle and an essential oil diffuser are a few nice additions you may want to consider. 

Spa-like bathroom 

Who doesn’t dream of a spa-like bathroom? Not only is it a major selling feature for many potential buyers, it’s also a great place to relax, de-stress and unwind. If a spa-like bathroom is on your wish list, remember that there are ways to perk up your bathroom without spending a fortune. A fresh coat of paint in a soothing shade, a few nice candles, new mats, plants, and some luxurious bubble bath can go a long way when transforming your bathroom into a sanctuary.

At-home gym 

Sometimes all it takes to de-stress is a little sweat. Dedicating a space in your home for an at-home gym is also an effective way to dedicate time for you. Again, you don’t need to go crazy with elaborate gym equipment. A treadmill or stationary bike, skipping rope, a few weights, a stability ball and yoga mat are all you need to get a great workout. 

Adding a ‘me’ space to your home is a fantastic way to help diminish stress and stay grounded, but it’s also a major selling feature. A home is a sanctuary, so why not show off those extra great features? If you’re looking for a new home with a ‘me’ space included, or would like to sell your home, we can help. As experienced Realtors®, we love helping our clients in Collingwood, Blue Mountain, Wasaga Beach and the Georgian Triangle find the right buyer and the right space – stress-free. Get in touch with us today at 705-445-7085.

Selling your house? What is it really worth?

Selling your house? What is it really worth?

What is your home really worth?

Has the time come for you to buy a new home and sell your current one? If you answered “yes,” then you’re about to embark on a journey filled with many questions and answers. Generally people choose to sell their home when they set out to make a new purchase. If this is true in your case, the biggest (and maybe the first) question of the day is: What is my home really worth right now?

A great way to establish the list price of your home is to get a Current Market Analysis (CMA). A CMA usually includes a range of comparable properties that are within your neighbourhood. If you happen to have a particularly unique property, a broader area may need to be explored in order to find those comparable properties. 

In any case, a CMA for your home should incorporate properties currently on the market (aka. your competition), pending sales (these are great for determining what the market is actually paying), recent sales, and expired or withdrawn listings.

Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes and imagine your reaction (as a buyer) to these two statements:

  1.  The seller says their house is worth $500,000
  2. The house is priced at $500,000 based on an appraisal

Some buyers would consider #2 to be the most informative. However most buyers don’t put much weight in what anyone else thinks the house is worth. Buyers will care about what they think the house is worth. So if you have a worn out, smelly carpet, or questionable looking wallpaper that puts off the buyer, it doesn’t matter what the appraisal is. This is why some people say that the market value is ultimately determined by the number of dollars that a buyer is willing to pay for the home, in a range acceptable to the seller.

Obviously, the buyer’s opinion of your home will directly affect how much they’re willing to pay. You want your house to look like it’s worth every penny of the sum you want. A good way to put your home’s best foot(print) forward is to renovate or “stage” the home to look its best. If you have the time and money to renovate, it’s a great idea to focus on bathrooms and kitchens, because those are the renovations that impress viewers the most to bring in top dollar. However not everyone wants, or needs, to renovate their home in order to excite potential buyers. Sometimes a little staging is all your home needs. Let’s touch on a few simple ways to stage your home for a glamorous first impression:

  1.  Depersonalize – a potential homebuyer needs to picture him or herself living in the rooms of your house. Quirky wall paint or pictures of your kids everywhere can hinder the illusion, so try to remove your family photos, and maybe paint that orange wall a more neutral shade. 
  2.  Make sure it’s all in top condition – Cracked plaster, torn screens, and burnt out pot lights are all no-nos. You may be used to seeing these small things by now, but they add up to a bad first impression. It’s best to repair anything that needs it, prior to putting your listing on the market.
  3.  Scale of the house vs. furnishings – You might love your giant sofa, but if it makes the room look tiny, it probably should be moved. Try to arrange small groupings of furniture (ideally more than one in large rooms) with plenty of space around them. 

At the end of the day, the answer to the question of your home’s worth has a few layers. After a little research, and some renovation or staging work to nudge those buyers into a “spending” frame of mind, you’ll find that your home’s worth might be exactly, or even more than, what you thought it was. If you’re looking for more information on or selling your home in the winter – or any time of year, we are here to help you at Clairwood Real Estate. Call on our experienced Realtors® at 705-445-7085 and we can help you get started on finding your dream home in Collingwood, Wasaga Beach, Grey Highlands, Blue Mountain or the Georgian Triangle Area.

How to Love Your Kitchen Again – for Less

How to Love Your Kitchen Again – for Less

It was great when you were first together. Everything was shiny, new and exciting. However, as the years went by, that newness and excitement started to fade. Now, if you’re honest with yourself, you’ll likely admit that things are just not the same. In fact, you may even admit that you are no longer in love – with your kitchen, that is! Similarly, perhaps you just moved into your new home and…well, ugh – let’s just say that the kitchen wasn’t exactly the reason you purchased the house. Don’t despair, we can help. 

As the room that everyone seems to gravitate towards, your kitchen has definitely seen its fair share of love and use, and likely requires some revamping. Kitchen renovations can be costly, stressful and time-consuming. In fact, a recent survey shows that the average kitchen renovation in Canada can cost anywhere between $25K-$70K! It IS possible to renew your romance with your kitchen – while still sticking to your budget and remaining stress and hassle-free. Here are a few inexpensive and easy ways to help revive your outdated kitchen. 

Small Changes 

It’s very common to think big when we think of renovating our kitchens. However, it’s important not to underestimate the power of a few small and simple changes. Painting the cupboard doors, updating the window coverings, or changing the hardware on your drawers and cabinets, for example, is a quick and convenient way to spice up your kitchen without spending too much. There are lots of fabulous lighting options available that won’t break the bank; you may even find some great items by visiting second-hand stores or shopping for discounts online. Finally, decorative touches such as (washable) mats, new – or vintage – kitchenware, and clever accents can make a substantial difference and take your kitchen from blah to ta-da!

Make a Splash

Backsplashes have massive visual appeal when it comes to your kitchen. Not only will a new backsplash help make it seem like a brand-new space, it can also be used to add a nice (and even unexpected!) pop of colour or texture that can help to brighten your room. It’s a great job for a weekend warrior!

Colour Your World

Speaking of colour, nothing says makeover like a change in hue. If your kitchen is currently a soft neutral, consider making a bold change and choosing a moody, dark colour for your walls. Conversely, if your walls are dark, lighten up a bit with a soft, warm, buttery colour in order to give the space a totally distinctive look and feel. For countertops, there are great DIY products on the market that allow you to paint or resurface your outdated counters without the cost or hassle of replacing them. 

Clean and Declutter 

It might be odd to consider, but sometimes simply a good clean with a focus on organizing the space is all that’s needed to achieve a major, mood-enhancing change. Schedule a day to spend cleaning and decluttering all the things in your kitchen, and you’ll be amazed by the results (don’t forget to tackle that junk drawer!). Move around some furnishings, add some artwork or a new shelf, and see what magic unfolds. You can even try to make this a fun challenge for your family, rewarding them with pizza night in your newly cleaned and organized kitchen when the task is accomplished. 

Small changes, making a ‘splash’, adding colour, accents, and organization are all great ways to revamp your bland kitchen. When you are done, ensure that you buy yourself some flowers and place them in a vase on your counter. Voila! The kitchen romance is rekindled, and you can start pouring the wine!

As real estate experts specializing in the Collingwood, Blue Mountains, Grey Highlands and Wasaga Beach areas, we’re up to date and in-the-know about the simple ways you can improve your kitchen and your home. Our REALTORS® may also know of other owners who are upgrading their kitchens too, so you can use their knowledge and help for ideas – just ask! Our goal is to help you find, sell, and love your home! Connect with Clairwood Real Estate today at 705-445-7085 and let’s get started.