1.877.445.7085 / 705.445.7085 contact.col@clairwoodrealestate.com
How to Get Your Garden Ready for Spring

How to Get Your Garden Ready for Spring

Whether you have owned your home for a while, or you’ve just purchased your dream home this winter, you’ve likely spent some time over the winter fixing up, decorating or adding a few fun touches to your home. As the warmer weather arrives and the snow begins to melt, you may be turning your thoughts outside towards your garden, and that it could use some serious TLC.

Whether you have a green thumb or not, knowing where to start when it comes to getting your garden spring ready isn’t always clear. Here are a few helpful tips that will get your garden blooming in no time.

Make a Plan 

Everything good starts with a plan. Before you get to work on getting your garden ready to go, it’s a good idea to sit down and create a solid strategy.

When creating your plan, the first thing you should consider is the type of garden you want to go with. Is your dream garden filled with delicious and healthy veggies, graceful ornamental grasses or colourful blooms of all shapes and sizes?

Once you have a vision of your perfect garden, it’s time to do some research. For best results, you’ll need to learn about the plants that will thrive in your environment. Remember, different plants have different needs, so it’s important to understand what your chosen plants needs in terms of sun, shade, water, soil and space. Online blogs, books from the library, garden centre staff, and even Pinterest are fabulous resources that will help you learn more about the best annuals and perennials for your garden.

If you are very new to gardening, you might want to consider starting small. Container gardening, for example, is a good way to ease your way into gardening and spruce up the outside of your new home.

Get a Head Start 

Once you have a planting plan in place, it’s time to get a head start. While the weather is still a little too chilly to plant, you can get your garden going now by starting your seeds indoors. Fill planting pots with moist soil, plant according to the directions on your seed packet and place in a well-lit area. You’ll be sprouting in no time, and you’ll have sturdy little starters to plant in the ground come May. This is also a good time to beat the crowds and shop around for garden tools, supplies and accessories.

Out with the Old 

As your plants flourish inside, it’s time to get the outdoors ready. If you have any dead annual plants, extra leaves or brush from last season, you can remove these and use them for compost. Many perennials can remain standing, it just depends on the type. Some need to be cut way back each year, and others can be left alone. Once you notice new growth happening, you can remove and prune the dead parts of the plant.

Ready, Set, Go 

You’ve got a plan, a head start, and you’ve gotten rid of the old growth. The final step to getting your garden ready to go is to ensure that your soil is ready to support all your beautiful plants. A home soil test kit from a local hardware store can help you determine whether your soil contains the right balance of nutrients and minerals to help your plants thrive. If not, you may need to add certain things to your soil to create a better balance.

Haven’t found the perfect home to plant your dream garden in yet? Take advantage of the spring real estate market and start your search today. If you’re searching for a home in the Collingwood, Blue Mountains, Wasaga Beach or Georgian Triangle area, we can help! Call our experienced REALTORS® at Clairwood Real Estate today at 705-445-7085. 

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.

Deck the Halls & Host a Holiday Party

Deck the Halls & Host a Holiday Party

This is your year to commit to entertaining! Whatever and however you may celebrate, the holidays are one of the few times of the year when we all want to be enjoying quality time with others, yet so often it just flies by and you hear yourself saying, “I really wanted to have people over, but we were just too busy.” Of course, we all still need to shop, decorate, and cook, tossed in with work and other obligations, but with just a little planning and a few hours carved-out for guests, you can be the host with the most and enjoy entertaining in your beautiful home. We at Clairwood Real Estate love this time of year; we are always delighted when we hear that our clients are enjoying their very first Christmas in their new home, or, that someone’s throwing one last bash before putting it on the market and moving on to new adventures! Whatever your reasons for getting those fun friends, family, colleagues, or neighbours together, we thought we’d share some tips and clever holiday entertaining hacks, so you can enjoy a stress-free time with friends at home. 

Getting started is half the battle

You don’t have to plan too far in advance to book a festive get-together. In fact, some of the best laid plains go to ruin anyway when bad weather or flu season hits unexpectedly. Simply pick a date and pick up the phone – or if you really want to add some elegance, drop off a hand-written invitation. Email and texting aren’t ideal for invitations; they can get lost in the confusion, but will do in a pinch. Your get-together doesn’t have to be a big Saturday night bash or a formal sit-down meal; that can all wait for a time when everyone is less busy! Here are just some of the fabulous, flexible options for any variety of festive gathering – and budget:

  1. Wine and cheese – or try out different ciders, craft beer, or whiskey
  2. Pot luck – pick a fun theme such as finger foods, or “red and green” dishes
  3. Breakfast or brunch – don’t forget the mimosas
  4. Appetizers – your possibilities are endless
  5. Specific food theme – fondue, tacos, chili, cookie bake-off, etc.
  6. Après ski – hot drinks are a must
  7. Game night – for kids, adults, or both
  8. Karaoke – rent a machine if you don’t have one; it’s always a big hit
  9. Outdoor bonfire – with hot chocolate, marshmallows, candles and blankets
  10. Movie time –can be day or night and holiday flicks are always a good choice
  11. New Year’s Eve – order Chinese food, or go big and host a black-tie soiree 
  12. New Year’s Day – get some take-out or delivery for those oh-so-tired party people

Mastering the “power-tidy”

As you prepare your home, remember that it doesn’t have to be perfect! Your friends and guests really won’t notice the odd bit of clutter, nor will they inspect your baseboards with white gloves.  You simply need the “Guests-are-coming-power-tidy” which entails starting from your main entrance and moving to a few key rooms as follows:

  1. Hall/entrance – put away your family’s boots and make room for guests’ items. Grab extra hangers, and choose a nearby room for coats if the closet is full.  
  2. Kitchen – try to prepare food in advance and have the dishes done and put away. Empty the dishwasher for easy loading at the end of the night. Wipe down all surfaces, and make room for extra dishes/platters if guests are bringing food. Make lots of ice and set out all glasses, cutlery, and serving dishes in advance. Paper plates and napkins are compostable, so there’s no guilt! If you are having lots of people, consider renting wine glasses, plates, chairs, linens and tables. It’s not terribly pricey, and you get to return the dishes dirty! So easy.
  3. Living room – toss random clutter into a basket to sort later if you are rushed for time. Wipe down tables and set out some candles or other nice lighting. Move chairs in from other rooms if needed. Put out bowls of candy, clementines, chips, or nuts (inquire about allergies). If you need guests to use coasters, have lots available.
  4. The bathroom – you’ll absolutely need to clean the toilet and sink, empty waste bins, put out fresh towels, and ensure the soap, toilet paper and tissues are stocked up. Hide any clutter. 
  5. Vacuum everywhere – and a light mop if time permits.

 For the finishing touches – make beds, put excitable pooches in a bedroom or basement until all guests have arrived, light some candles (the battery-operated ones are safest), get yourself ready, and put on a fun playlist. Have the number of a cab company handy or invite folks to spend the night if they’ve been drinking.  If you feel overwhelmed, simply recruit help throughout the party; you can also hire someone from a catering company, or get a neighbourhood teen to help with set-up, clean-up, or serving. Just be sure to mingle with your guests, eat, and enjoy yourself too! 

BE MERRY AND BRIGHT ALL YEAR LONg

With these simple tips, you will be more than ready to open your up your wonderful home this holiday season – or any time of year, without all that stress or worry. As Walt Whitman once said, “Do anything, but let it produce joy.” All of us at Clairwood wish a joyous and festive holiday to our wonderful families, friends, and clients. Feel free to give us a call at 705-445-7085. Our expert REALTORS® are here to help you with any inquiries you have about buying or selling a home in the Collingwood, Blue Mountain, Wasaga Beach or Georgian Triangle areas. 

 

8 Ontario Pumpkin Patches Worth Visiting This Fall

8 Ontario Pumpkin Patches Worth Visiting This Fall

Ontario’s most popular pumpkin patches offer a whole world of entertainment with everything from hayrides, intricate corn mazes, scavenger hunts, and live entertainment—creating unforgettable experiences for visitors of all ages. Be sure to visit Morrison Pumpkin Farm, right here in Collingwood, but if you’re travelling farther afield, here are our eight more great pumpkin patches to visit in Ontario this fall.

Downey’s Farm Market (Caledon)

Selfie your way through a sea of vibrant pumpkins, brave the challenging corn maze, and take a scenic wagon ride at Downey’s Farm Market and Pumpkin Patch this fall. Be sure to catch their legendary “Pumpkinfest,” which transforms the farm into a pumpkin paradise with live entertainment and pumpkin-themed activities.

  • Highlights: Extensive pumpkin selection, corn maze, and wagon rides
  • Address: 13682 Heart Lake Road, Caledon

Hanes Corn Maze and Tiny Shop Bakery (Dundas)

Pick any pumpkin for just $5 and then head over to the elaborate corn and sunflower mazes or indulge your taste buds with freshly baked treats from the Tiny Shop Bakery. They’ve even added escape rooms to their selection of activities to do at Hanes.

  • Highlights: Impressive corn and sunflower mazes that change yearly, bakery, escape rooms and pumpkin patch
  • Address: #1001 HWY 5, Dundas

Springridge Farm (Milton)

Come for the pumpkin picking and stay longer for the fun farmyard and an indulgent stop at the Barn Market for mouthwatering butter tarts, pies fresh from the bakery, and much more. Springridge also has a new Pavilion Patio where you can kick back and enjoy lunch.

  • Highlights: Pumpkin picking, bakery, and farmyard activities
  • Address: 7256 Bell School Line, Milton

Dixie Orchards (Inglewood)

Dixie Orchards has something to dazzle everyone in your group. Frolic through the expansive sunflower fields, pick your own apples or hazelnuts and get lost roaming the seemingly endless pumpkin patch. Cap it off with a scenic wagon ride before you stock up on goodies to take home at their on-site market.

  • Highlights: Pumpkin patch, apple picking, hazelnut picking, and wagon rides
  • Address: 14309 Dixie Road, Inglewood

Pingle’s Farm Market (Hampton)

True crime junkies, we’ve found the pumpkin patch for you. Let your inner detective shine with a delightful “Scarecrow Scavenger Hunt” amidst acres of pumpkin fun and a farm-themed playground. Much more than just a pumpkin patch, Pingle’s Farm Market hosts their Harvest Festival all September and October that packs in everything from farm animals, wagon rides, food stations, a bar, ice cream, coffee, live music, and more! See the full schedule and grab tickets on their website.

  • Highlights: An action-packed Harvest Festival all September and October long.
  • Address: 1805 Taunton Road East, Hampton

Brooks Farms (Mount Albert)

Over a decade in the making, Brooks Farms Fall Fun Festival continues to get bigger and better every year, and now on top of pumpkin picking and all your usual pumpkin patch attractions like adorable farm animals, you can zip-line, catch a pig race or explore the two pirate ships on site. With plenty to eat and do, this fall festival is a great choice for the whole family. 

  • Highlights: Large pumpkin patch, zip-lining, giant jumping pillows, and pirate ships
  • Address: 122 Ashworth Road, Mount Albert

Albion Orchards (Caledon)

Sip on refreshing fresh-pressed cider while touring the grounds in search of the perfect pumpkins or while picking your own apples. When the fall season wraps up, plan a return trip to come and find your perfect Christmas tree—you can even cut your own!

  • Highlights: Pumpkin and apple picking in one location, plus Christmas trees come winter
  • Address: 14800 Innis Lake Road, Caledon

Strom’s Farm & Bakery (Guelph)

Strom’s is another fall wonderland boasting thousands of pumpkins, 6km in corn mazes, sand pits, pedal carts, wagon rides, and ‘pumpkin chuckin’ competitions. On weekends you can sit around fire pits for some nibbles and drinks and catch live performances from local talent.

  • Highlights: Pumpkin picking, fire pits, food trucks, corn maze, and pumpkin chuckin’
  • Address: 5089 Wellington RD. 32 Guelph

Be sure to check each farm’s website for their current hours of operation and plan your visit around any special events that pique your interest most!

Information from Village Life.

Our Homes as We Age: When to Renovate & When to Downsize

Our Homes as We Age: When to Renovate & When to Downsize

As our population ages, many seniors and baby boomers are deciding to stay put in their own homes instead of opting for senior’s residences or downsizing into a smaller home or apartment. We’re also living longer and healthier lives here in Canada, so spending our golden years in the comfort of our own homes makes a lot of sense for those who are keen to do so, especially when there are all kinds of home modifications that can be done to make life easier and safer. These can range from simple adjustments here and there, to bigger renovations that make a home more accommodating.  

Luckily, the ability to stay in our homes longer as we get older doesn’t mean it has to look like an institution, or that the work is fragmented and patchy. Homes can be modified stylishly as well as effectively so that its value doesn’t decrease when it comes time to sell. It’s possible to have functionality in the home and have it look visually pleasing, cozy and tasteful. 

Easy fixes

There are plenty of quick, affordable modifications to do to a home that keep us more comfortable and safe as we age. For example, a big concern for seniors is preventing falls, especially in bathrooms, around stairs and outdoors. Using non-stick mats and treads will definitely help, as well as grab bars and reinforcements for the toilet, tub and shower. Here are some other simple installments that can help around the house: 

  • Handrails in hallways
  • Comfort height (raised) toilets 
  • Light switches and electrical outlets that aren’t too hard to reach
  • Door locks and levers on doors that are easy to operate
  • Hand-held shower on an adjustable rod 
  • Swing clear hinges on doors to widen doorways
  • Motion-activated lighting

Bigger projects

There are more extensive projects that can be done to modify a home that make living at home more comfortable, safe and enjoyable. These modifications may seem pricey at the time but may end up being cost-effective in the long run when considering the expenses involved with moving or living in a retirement community. Picking a contractor with lots of experience with this type of work is always a good idea before getting started and be sure to clearly outline your accessibility concerns. Here are just some of the more popular home modifications (that are also covered under the Ontario Tax Rebate program):

    • Moving laundry facilities to a main floor
    • Walk-in bathtubs or wheel-in showers
    • Widening passage doors
    • Lowering countertop or cupboards or installing adjustable counters and cupboards
    • Wheelchair ramps, stair/wheelchair lifts and elevators
    • Installing a motorized lift or stair glide

Downsizing 

Finally, if you just don’t want or need all that space (…and yard work, and snow to shovel), downsizing is a terrific option. You can never go wrong with a low-maintenance place close to friends, family and activities you enjoy. There are so many options to choose from, such as a small bungalow, condo, apartment or any variety of senior living options that are available for every budget and taste. It may take some time, however, to declutter and prepare to sell, as you’ve likely got a lifetime worth of belongings and furnishings to sort through. Moving is hard at any age but knowing that you’ll be more comfortable and active in your new home is a wonderful way to start your next adventure! 

If you’re planning on making accessibility adjustments to your family home, or would like to talk about downsizing, we can help. The experienced REALTORS® at Clairwood Real Estate are focused on helping buyers and sellers in Collingwood, Blue Mountain, Wasaga Beach and the Southern Georgian Bay area get the very best service. We want you to love your home! Call us today at 705-445-7085.