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Buying Real Estate Tips

Find Your Dream Home – Right Here!

Finding and buying the ideal property can be a dream come true. There is something special about walking up to the front door on moving day, sliding in your key and entering the foyer of your beautiful new home.

However, getting to that point can be a nightmare unless you have the right real estate agent working with you throughout the buying process. As your real estate agent, I ensure that I will do two important things for you:

  • Help you buy a home that matches your requirements;
  • Make the process simple and easy.

How do I work with clients?

To begin, I take the time to learn what you really want in a home. We look at your needs and desires, and help you determine the price range within which you should shop. Then we show you properties that meet that criteria – including new listings the moment they come on the market.

As your agent, I look out for your best interests. For example, I provide you with in-depth property details of each home you view, point out desirable features you may not notice and identify potential concerns you may have overlooked.

I’m by your side every step of the way. When you find a home you want, I’ll prepare and present the offer, and negotiate skillfully on your behalf, so you get that property at the lowest price possible.

Ready to Get Started?

This website is packed with information that will answer many of your questions, and make your home buying journey easy.

Selecting an Agent

Do You Have a Personal Real Estate Agent?

If you’re planning on buying a home, you may have already done some shopping around on your own. Perhaps you’ve checked out a few open houses or called the number on a For Sale sign to schedule a private viewing of that property.

Yes, you can do all of that on your own, if you have the time and expertise. However, statistics prove that you’ll be more successful in finding your dream home at the right price with your own personal real estate agent.

Your Real Estate Agent Works for You

A real estate agent, especially one who knows the local market well (like we do), can help you find and buy your ideal home, quickly, and make the entire process go smoothly for you. During a viewing, your real estate agent will give you the inside scoop on that property, so you know the full story. Your real estate agent will also point out desirable features, and potential “issues”, that you might otherwise miss.

When it comes time to make an offer, your real estate agent will present and negotiate it on your behalf. If you don’t have your own real estate agent, you would have to deal directly with the seller’s agent, who is legally obliged to work in the seller’s best interests – not yours.

Bottom line: Your own personal real estate agent is there for you, every step of the way. At least, that’s how we work with our clients.

What to Look for in a Real Estate Agent

When buying a home, you want a real estate agent who…

  • Takes the time to understand your needs and goals, so you have a true partner in your home buying journey.
  • Explains everything clearly and answers your questions, so you’re never in the dark.
  • Has expertise and a track record of success in the local market.
  • Knows how to find great properties in your price range.
  • Will alert you to new listings, quickly, so you get the jump on those opportunities.
  • Will advise you on the best price to offer for the home you want.
  • Will prepare and present the offer, and skillfully negotiate such things as price, conditions, closing dates, etc. so you get the best deal.
  • Will save you potentially thousands of dollars by ensuring you don’t overpay for the property you want.
  • Will recommend reputable home inspectors, movers and other professionals you may need.

Not every real estate agent offers all of these services. My clients say that I do. They also tell me how much they appreciate my professionalism, expertise and accessibility.

Viewing Homes

The Home Shopping Process

As your real estate agent, my most important job is to make the home shopping process pleasant and rewarding for you.

I do that in a number of ways.

I regularly recommend properties for viewing that closely match your needs and wants, and are within your price range. That spares you the frustration of visiting homes that aren’t suitable.

I make sure you don’t miss opportunities. When a desirable property suddenly comes on the market, you’re alerted.

I help you schedule viewings that fit your schedule, so there’s little if any inconvenience for you.

Before you view a property, I provide you with in-depth details on the home, so you can make an informed decision. This includes closing dates, market value, and more. Later, if you have questions, I get the answers for you.

I also give you the scoop on the neighbourhood, so you get a clear sense of what an area is like in terms of lifestyle, safety, schools, etc. You can count on me to steer you away from undesirable areas, and point out only those we suspect you’d like.

When you find a property you like, I give you our honest, professional recommendations as to how well the home meets your needs and wants. You won’t have to make such an important decision without my expert advice.

As your real estate agent, I’m committed to getting you into the right home, and I’m with you every step of the way.

What to Look for when Viewing a Property

Here are a few questions and ideas to consider when viewing homes to help make the process easier and more productive:

  • Does the home have your “needs” features (those features you must have)? (For example, number of bedrooms, closet space, kitchen size, etc.)
  • Does the home have any of your “wants” features (those features you’d like to have but would be willing to forgo)? (For example, large backyard deck, spacious family room, etc.)
  • What is the general condition of the home? (Are there signs that the owners have kept up with repairs and maintenance?)
  • Will the home need any major repairs, remodeling or renovations? Is there anything, such as the furnace, that may need to be replaced soon?
  • What do you like most about the home?
  • Is there anything about the home you don’t like? Can that be changed with a remodeling or renovation now or in the future?
  • Take a walk around the neighbourhood. Are the homes well-kept, indicating pride of ownership?
  • Do you like where the home is situated in the neighbourhood?
  • Does the neighbourhood have what you want? (For example, access to public transit, shopping, local parks, etc.)

Ready to get started? Call or email and let me know more about the kind of home you’re looking for.

Making an Offer

Preparing the Offer

When you view a home on the market that you really want, you can hardly wait to be handed the keys. In fact, you may worry that the property will somehow slip through your fingers. Don’t be. You’ve got an expert by your side. Us. My job, as your real estate agent, is to ensure you get that home – and at a price that works for you.

The first step is preparing the Offer. This is the document we present to the seller that basically states the price you’re offering, as well as any conditions.

The price I go in with is critical. You want it to reflect the true market value of the property so the seller will take your offer seriously. On the other hand, you don’t want to go in too high and risk overpaying for the home.

Don’t worry. I know how to prepare a winning offer and get you the property at the lowest possible price. In fact, I look after your interests throughout the entire process.

How the Process Works

When you decide to make an offer on a home, here’s what typically happens:

  • I’ll recommend a price that has the best chance of being accepted by the seller, without over-paying for the home.
  • Obviously, sellers prefer offers that have no conditions. However, I may suggest a condition, such as passing a professional home inspection, be included for your protection. I’ll talk about that.
  • I’ll prepare the necessary documents and present your offer to the seller and his or her real estate agent personally.
  • If the offer isn’t accepted, or if the seller makes a counter-offer, I’ll work with the seller’s agent, skillfully negotiating on your behalf to make a deal.
  • I’ll communicate with you throughout the entire process. You’re never in the dark when you work with me.
  • Once the seller agrees to a deal, I’ll help lead you through removal of any conditions and closing the deal. Then, the home is yours. Congratulations!

I realize that making an offer can seem like the nail-biting part of the process. It doesn’t have to be. That’s the advantage of selecting real estate agents who, like us, put clients first. When you go after a property you really want, you can take comfort in knowing you have an expert on your side… someone who knows how to get that home for you.

Closing the Sale

Ensuring the Closing Goes Smoothly

There are few things we enjoy more than saying to a client, “You’ve got the home!” That means that the seller has accepted your offer, conditions have been waived, the closing date has been set, and you’ll soon be preparing for moving day.

Just because the purchase has been made doesn’t mean my work for you stops. On the contrary. There are a myriad of other things we’ll do to ensure the process goes smoothly.

For example, I’ll take care of many of the administrative details on your behalf. I’ll work with the seller’s agent, your lawyer, and your mortgage lender to ensure that all the necessary paperwork has been completed and submitted.

Don’t worry about finding a good real estate lawyer, insurance agent, moving company, etc. I’m well-connected in the local real estate scene and can personally recommend reputable professionals and companies to help you.

If at any time leading up to moving day you have a question, problem or concern, we’ll be there to help. You can count on us to be your real estate agents before, during and after you cross the threshold into your beautiful new home.

If you have questions about the home buying process, please feel free to call or email any time!

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Local Business Connections

Looking for a school for your children, a local professional for renovations, someone to help finance your property purchase, or another local service or product? Start here!


Mortgage & Banking Services

 Brian Mill, Mortgage Agent

Brian Mill is a local mortgage agent with Neighbourhood Dominion Lending Centres.  He focuses his business in both Owen Sound and Port Elgin and prides himself on being one of the most experienced and knowledgeable mortgage agents in the area. 

Brian has been in the business for over 15 years and has helped thousands of clients secure mortgages.  With over 35 lenders, Brian will analyze your situation and find you the best mortgage solution and rates.

Phone: 519-379-3003
Fax: 1-888-788-4566
brianmill@ndlc.ca | www.brianmill.ca


Homeowner Services

Miss Fix-It

Established in 2007, Now Serving Owen Sound and All Surrounding Areas

Miss Fix It offers professional organizing, staging, decorating and renovations.  Miss Fix It has an office located downtown in the heart of Owen Sound, below Sutton-Sound Realty!  Now offering furniture, artwork, accessories, drapery, linens, pillows and so much more to full stage your home.

Website: www.missfixit.ca

Instagram:_missfixit_

Phone: 289-221-3355

Address: 1077 2nd Ave East, Suite C, Owen Sound, ON


McMillen Electric & Complete Home Inspections

McMillen Electric and Complet Home Inspections provides quality residential and commercial electrical services for  new construction projects, renovations, and repairs.  This includes electrical installation for new builds, panel and service upgrades, house rewires (replacement of knob and tube wiring, ungrounded wire), installation of fixtures, wiring devices, recessed and low voltage lighting, in-floor heat, baseboards, hot tubs, security and landscape lighting.  We also provide generator installations services (standby, or portage plug in) as well as smoke detectors and strobe lights.

Hire an Owen Sound electrician or home inspector

McMillen’s also provides professional home inspection services to help customers make informed decisions when buying or selling a home.  We apply knowledge and skill to visually inspect possible defects and examine the overall conditions of one’s home using a simple and easy to understand written report (including photos, illustrations, and recommendations).


Builders & Contractors

Barry’s Construction

Barry's Construction Ltd - Project Management, Residential & Commercial Rentals, Land Development & More

Where to Stay

Micha’s Bed & Breakfast

Micha’s Bed & Breakfast offers many upscale accommodations and experiences within the very heart of Owen Sound.  Enjoy your stay in secluded suites, or the large spacious rooms waking up to a wonderful breakfast.

This location reflects the historical ages of Owen Sound’s port. Complete your adventure with access to many restaurants, art galleries, and small shops within walking distance. 


Business Services

Have1.com

Everything we do here at Have1.com is a team effort to help our customers reach their goals when it comes to branding.  One of our newest items we are offering is Laser Engraving on promotional items, and our biggest hit right now is Laser Engraved Patches for Hats. 

We currently have an introductory offer of 24 caps with Leatherette or Leather Patches customized with your logo/event. Visit us in person or on our website at Have1.com.

Miranda-Miller.com

Digital marketing and websites in Owen Sound

Full-service digital marketing solutions built on 15 years of experience helping small businesses grow. From your first website and social media presence to email marketing, e-commerce, search engine optimization, graphic design, and paid online advertising, we make sure your digital marketing budget is maximized—and we prove it, with monthly reporting tied directly to your business goals. Visit Miranda-Miller.com to get started.


Lifestyle

Local services in Owen Sound

BillMcFarlane.ca does not accept payment of any kind for placement in our Local Business Connections. While each professional and business listed is featured based on the work they have done with or for our company, we make no warranties or guarantees as to how they may perform for others. These listings are intended as informational only and should not be considered an endorsement.

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Property Maintenance Checklist

The changing seasons are always a great reminder that it’s time to take care of the checks, updates, and routine maintenance that keep our homes and property looking their best.

Freezing temperatures, snow and ice, spring melt, winds, and sun can all take their toll. Taking the time to conscientiously work your way through this checklist at least once per season can help you catch any issues before they become major problems. Keeping to a regular schedule can help you catch small issues before they become big problems and protect the value of your home.

You may not need to check every item on the list each and every season. You’ll see which items are recommended for spring, fall, once annually, or as needed in the infographic below.

Feel free to print a copy and keep it handy. Or, bookmark this page so you can return to it as you carry out your inspection and maintenance duties.

If you find yourself in need of repairs that can’t be handled on your own, check out our Local Business Connections—these are people we are happy to recommend to local homeowners. Of course, if you can’t find what you’re looking for and are would prefer a personal recommendation, give Bill a call at 519-377-7627.


The content on this web site is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal, financial or other professional advice. Users of this web site are advised to seek specific professional advice by contacting qualified counsel. BillMcFarlane.ca does not warrant or guarantee the quality, accuracy or completeness of any information on this web site. The articles published on this web site are current as of their original date of publication, but should not be relied upon as accurate, timely or fit for any particular purpose.

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Selling Real Estate Tips

Setting Your Price

How do You Determine Your Asking Price?

You obviously want to sell your house for the highest possible price. You may even have a number in mind. But, how do you determine if that number is reasonable? You may be concerned that:

  • If you list your house too high, few buyers, if any, will see it.
  • If your price is too low, you could end up leaving thousands of dollars on the table.

Don’t worry. I’m an expert at creating a pricing strategy that will pique the interest of qualified buyers – and set the stage to get you the highest sale price possible. I’m also a specialist in the local market. I know what properties like yours sell for, and can get yours sold at the high end of that range.

I begin by getting to know your property and all its desirable features. Then I make some calculations to determine its Current Market Value. That value is based, in large part, on what similar houses in the area have sold for recently.

Of course, buyers won’t pay for the sentimental value you place on your house. But special features such as hardwood floors, a newly renovated kitchen or bathroom, or a beautiful backyard patio can have an impact on how quickly a property sells and for what price. I’ll help you understand all the factors that go into setting the list price, and ensuring it is just right for the marketplace and your goals.

Curious as to what your house is likely to sell for in today’s market? Please submit the form below or call or email me for a no-obligation Personal Consultation. I’ve got the answers for you.

Handling Viewings

Ensuring Viewings are Successful

Private viewings and open houses provide opportunities for buyers to view your property and get a sense of what it is like to live there. Ideally, you will want them to be impressed by what they see – and motivated to make an offer.

As your real estate agent, I ensure we maximize the potential of every viewing and open house. To accomplish that, I advise you on how best to prepare your property, I market it to qualified buyers, and then, at viewings, draw their attention to the great qualities of your house.

When it comes to scheduling, I coordinate with you to select days and times that are as convenient as possible. Obviously, I encourage you to be as flexible as you can, as that will enable more buyers to see your property. Weekends, in particular, are popular for viewings.

Don’t worry about all the details. I take care of all aspects of scheduling viewings, as well as planning and hosting open houses.

Although I do most of the work, there are a few things you can do to make viewings more successful:

  • Make sure your house is neat and clean.
  • Remove personal items such as family pictures. This makes it easier for buyers to imagine themselves living in the house.
  • Find a place to go, such as a park or shopping mall. Buyers are more comfortable if they can view the property without you there.
  • If possible, remove your pets. You can take them for a walk, or to a local pet sitting service or kennel.
  • Ensure the walkway leading up to your house is clear.

I realize viewings and open houses can be a little inconvenient. As your real estate agent, I will do my best to minimize the disruptions. I will focus on bringing in serious buyers, rather than those who are merely curious. This speeds up the process and increases the likelihood of a buyer seeing your property, becoming interested, and making an offer.

To sell your house quickly, and for the highest price possible, it is crucial that viewings and opening houses are done right. 

Attracting Buyers

How Do You Attract Qualified Buyers?

When you list your house, it must attract the attention of qualified buyers eager to get into a property like yours. Otherwise, your house may take longer to sell and you may not get the price you expected.

As an expert in the local market, I can get the word out about your listing to all the right people. I know how to attract serious buyers – so a good offer comes in quickly.

To achieve that success, I’ll implement the appropriate marketing plan. After all, there’s more to selling a house than hammering a For Sale sign on the front lawn. I’ll work closely with you to create a marketing plan which may include some or all of the following:

  • Taking pictures and gathering the details on your property;
  • Writing a compelling property profile and creating effective marketing materials;
  • Uploading your listing to MLS – the Multiple Listing Service that real estate agents and buyers use to search for properties;
  • Placing advertisements in print or on-line publications buyers use to shop for houses;
  • Showcasing your listing on our popular websites;
  • Leveraging the internet and social media to promote your listing;
  • Scheduling and promoting an Open House to attract a multitude of buyers.

In addition, I meet with buyers regularly. In fact, the moment your house is listed I get in touch with everyone we know who is looking for a property like yours, and encourage them to schedule a viewing. I also tap into our network of other real estate agents so their clients know about your property as well.

My job is to get the right buyers to see your house, fall in love with it, and make a good offer.

Dealing With Offers

Your Agent Will Handle all the Details

When selling your house, there are few things more exciting than receiving an offer. That means someone is interested in your property and has prepared a formal offer to buy it.

What is an offer, exactly?

It’s simply a legal document that shows the price the buyer is proposing to pay, which may or may not be the same as your listing price. An offer will include other details, such as the requested closing date, and may also include one or more conditions, such as “conditional on the property passing a home inspection.”

Ideally, when you receive an offer, you will want to sell your house to that buyer for the highest price possible. In addition, you’ll want to make sure there are no potential problems that might prevent the deal from closing – such as the buyer being unable to arrange financing.

I realize this may sound complicated. Don’t worry. As your real estate agent, I’ll take care of all the details. For example, I will:

  • Review the offer with you and explain everything clearly.
  • Give you my professional assessment as to the quality of the offer. If there are things that concern me, I’ll point them out to you.
  • Advise you on whether to accept the offer, reject the offer, or make a counter-offer.
  • Prepare a counter-offer, if necessary, that gets you a better deal, without risking the sale slipping through your fingers.
  • Skillfully negotiate with the buyer on your behalf, so you sell your house for the highest price possible.
  • Prepare all the necessary documents, and work closely with the buyer and his or her agent, to make sure the transaction goes through smoothly.
  • Communicate with you throughout the entire process. You’re never in the dark when you work with me.

Selling your house for the best price possible is my expertise, especially in this local market.

Closing the Sale

Making Sure Your Move Goes Smoothly

There are few things we enjoy more than telling a client, “Your house is sold.” That means I have found them a qualified buyer, got them the price they wanted, and negotiated a great deal.

That doesn’t mean our work is finished. Far from it.

As your real estate agent, I’ll work closely with you to ensure the deal is finalized and that your move goes smoothly.

I’ll take care of the details. For example, if there are any conditions on the offer to buy your property, such as “passing a home inspection”, I’ll coordinate with you and the seller’s agent to ensure that the condition is satisfied and the deal closes.

I’ll also be there for you, as your real estate expert, up to the day you move – and beyond. I provide you with the names of recommended lawyers, contractors, movers, etc. from my network of reputable professionals and companies. I’ll also clearly explain what to expect leading up to closing day and give you advice as to how to prepare.

My goal is simple: To make your house sale and move a positive experience.

Contact me to learn more about how I can help you sell your property, for a top price, while making the process easy for you!

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Qualifying for a Mortgage

Arrange Financing

Get a Mortgage Pre-Approval

An important ingredient in a successful home search is knowing how much you can afford. You don’t want to fall in love with a property only to find out it’s outside your price range.

That’s why I recommend getting a Mortgage Pre-Approval. This is a document from your bank or other lender stating how much of a mortgage they are willing to give you. There are two advantages to getting this pre-approval:

  • It gives you the peace-of-mind of knowing you can afford homes you view on the market, and won’t have problems arranging financing.
  • It’s a sign to sellers that you are a serious, prepared buyer – which gives you the edge when making an offer.
  • You can arrange for a Mortgage Pre-Approval with your bank or other lender, or by working with a good mortgage broker. I’m well-connected in the local real estate scene, so if you want me to recommend a reputable broker or lender, please contact me.

How Much Home Can You Afford?

Banks and lenders use specific criteria to determine how much of a mortgage they’re willing to offer you. They look at your income, expenses, credit history and employment status, as well as the down payment you plan to make on a home. It may seem like a scary process, but it is actually straightforward. You can usually get a Mortgage Pre-Approval in a day. You’ll be glad that you did.

By knowing what you can afford, you can confidently shop within that price range. For example, if you qualify for a $250,000 mortgage, and you have another $100,000 available as a down payment, you can look for homes in the $350,000 range.

Ontario Mortgage payment calculator

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You can always use a free online mortgage calculator like the one above to see how various interest rates and amortization periods could affect the affordability of your desired home. Working with a qualified real estate agent can help you find a home that meets your needs and is affordable.

Have questions about arranging financing? Please call or email me and I will be happy to help.

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Buying an Investment Property

When contemplating the purchase of residential rental property there are as many types of properties to buy as there are considerations to take into account.

This article will focus strictly on purchasing student rental property for a member of your family to reside in while attending college.

One of your first considerations involves how long you plan on remaining in ownership. Will you hold the property just while your child attends post-secondary schooling, 3, 4 or 5 years, or will you continue as an absentee landlord after they have graduated.

If so, who will manage the property, and do the maintenance and repairs for you and how will the added expense of a property manager affect the income generated from the property. If you do decide to sell after your child graduates and the market is not the best for selling can you keep the property until the market turns around?

Secondly, how much are you prepared to put down as your down payment? As an investor (an absentee landlord) you need at least 20 % of the purchase price as a down payment if you require mortgage financing. This will determine your affordability.

If your child is at least 18 years of age the home can be bought in their name so it is their principal residence and therefore when it is sold and there is a profit it will not be taxed as there is no capital gains tax on the profit from the sale of principal residences in Ontario.

Whereas if the deed is in the nonresident’s name and it is sold for a profit, the gain is added onto their income and taxed at their tax bracket! Therefore you will need to speak with your accountant and lawyer in advance of viewing properties if this is a consideration.

Thirdly, you need to obtain written preapproval from your banker before getting started. A preapproval letter can save you both time and money and improve your negotiating position tenfold. Don’t go shopping without it!

Usually buyers consider the purchase of student income property as a way to offset the costs of their children’s education and to make money without as much risk, after all, the landlord lives there! But there is no such thing as a risk free investment!

Will your child stay in this university or college as long as you expect? If not can you or do you wish to still be an investor in a city in which you may not reside? Upkeep is always an issue. Who will do the maintenance that goes along with home ownership?

Even the day to day tasks. Snow removal, lawn maintenance, cleaning and minor repairs? Will you or your child pay the utility bills, cable, Internet access?

Setting Rents

Obviously the closer you buy to a college or university, say within walking distance, the higher the rents students are willing to pay. But along with that, the higher the purchase price for the property. Does your child have a car or is willing to take a bus or ride a bike to classes, and are there roommates?

If so, a location farther from campus can be considered. Your initial investment will be less the farther from campus you buy, but so will your rent (income).

Will utilities be included or are they easily dividable? Will you install internet access, cable and phone hookups in each bedroom? Should the lower level or smaller bedrooms be rented for less?

What about adding an extra refrigerator and a washer and dryer to increase your income? Are the bedrooms large and comfortable enough for a desk? Is there one or more common rooms and bathrooms? Some investors provide furniture, tv and microwaves to increase the rental income. Many of these issues require a good Realtor to advise and guide you.

Condo or single family home?

Always an interesting discussion. With a condo the monthly fees cover the snow removal and lawn maintenance issues as well as exterior updates and replacements.

But condo fees usually run between $150 to $500 a month which reduces your income potential. Perhaps you would prefer to hire your own property manager and maintenance person or tackle some of these concerns yourself? Parking can also be extremely limited in a condo, usually to 2 cars plus some visitors’ parking.

Also, most condos have 3 to 4 bedrooms maximum and many only one full and one half bath…. all limiting your income potential. Yet prices of condos are generally lower than a single family home.

Once you have decided whether it’s condo or single family home, arranged a preapproval letter and spoken to your accountant and lawyer, you should begin your search for a qualified property with a professional Realtor.

Our real estate team specializes in selling residential student income properties. Not only can we provide the information you need, set up your showings to save you time and familiarize you with our marketplace, we can offer you rental applications, lease agreements and advice on all aspects of this specialized area of real estate.

We have information on fire and hydro codes, rental legislation and average rents. We are prepared to assist you with advice on where to advertise for tenants as well as help you review all the issues mentioned here.

Our team can also recommend other experts we work closely with who may be necessary to ensure you make the best investment decision possible.

Student income property is not only an area we specialize in, it is a specialization we enjoy working in!

Should you wish to set up an appointment to discuss your real estate needs please feel free to contact us online or give us a call at 519-377-7627.

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Owen Sound Real Estate Guide

Thinking of relocating to or investing in Owen Sound? Learn about key demographics, average home prices, things to do and more. Have questions? Contact us or give Bill a call at (519) 377-7627.

Owen Sound City Guide

Owen Sound is a small, modern city at the intersection of rural Ontario and cottage country. It is outlined by the breath-taking limestone cliffs of the Niagara Escarpment on three sides and opens up to the sparkling waters of southern Georgian Bay.

Owen Sound is nearby to the natural beauty of the Bruce Peninsula to the north, the sun and sand of Sauble Beach to the west, and the outdoor fun of the ski mountains and resorts of the Blue Mountains and Beaver Valley to the east. Further down the road, the nearest cities are Barrie (119 km away), Guelph (140 km), Kitchener (147 km), Waterloo (146 km), Cambridge (167 km), and Toronto (190 km).

Owen Sound is the largest urban community in Grey and Bruce counties. As the central hub of Grey County, it offers regional services like the largest hospital in the area and houses the Grey County government offices, one of the seven campuses of Georgian College, the weekly Saturday Owen Sound Farmers’ Market, and the reading treasures of a large public library.

It’s home to the Ontario Hockey League’s Owen Sound Attack, the Summerfolk Music & Crafts Festival (August), the Salmon Spectacular fishing derby (August-September), and the Festival of Northern Lights (November-January). Nearby at the Cobble Beach golf resort community, the sophisticated Concours d’Elegance is held every September to showcase rare and international cars.

In 2004, Owen Sound was named as a Cultural Capital of Canada. Today, the city continues to promote local, national, and international culture through festivals and events and diverse museums and galleries. 

The history of one of our local World War II hero is preserved at the Billy Bishop Home & Museum. The local history of our region’s people is on display at the Grey Roots Museum & Archives; and marine, rail, and industrial heritage are celebrated at the Community Waterfront Heritage Centre.

The visual arts are on full display at many local galleries, including the Tom Thomson Art Gallery and the Artist’s Co-op. If you’d like to make art yourself, new local businesses like the Georgian Bay Centre for the Arts and Daisy’s Clay House offer hands-on adventures for adults and children. You can experience exciting live theatre at the Roxy Theatre.

Nicknamed the “Scenic City,” Owen Sound offers our residents four seasons of nature fun wherever they turn. Our two major parks are Harrison Park and Kelso Beach Park, both of which offer camping. From Harrison Park, you can connect to the many hiking trails, including the world-famous Bruce Trail with its spectacular views from the Niagara Escarpment and its wide array of flora and fauna, including rare ferns. You can continue along the Bruce Trail or drive to the eight local waterfalls like the majestic Inglis Falls. Our waterfalls are only some of the natural riches in the 80 conservation areas of Grey Sauble Conservation.

Many other forms of outdoor recreation are available here. Excellent boating, canoeing, kayaking, and fishing are available on Georgian bay. Hiking and cycling are very popular here, as well as the three golf courses in the area. In winter, residents can enjoy thousands of kilometres of snowmobile trails, cross-country skiing areas, and downhill ski clubs nearby at the Blue Mountains and Beaver Valley.

Boaters will find modern facilities and comfortable amenities at the Owen Sound Marina

The city operates two arenas, a major soccer complex, and many baseball and softball fields. There is also a recently built recreation centre that houses two rinks and the YMCA fitness facility with its two pools.

The city’s downtown is within walking distance of much of Owen Sound and it’s home to many small local businesses, as well as our art galleries, library, and farmer’s market. On the east side of the city, the Heritage Place Shopping Centre and the Heritage Grove complex offer more shopping choices.

There’s much more to explore about our great city on the City of Owen Sound Map. Check out my local events calendar and visit owensoundtourism.ca to find out more about upcoming events in our city!

Thinking of buying a home in Owen Sound? Check out our handy city guide.

Owen Sound Demographics

The population of Owen Sound is 21,341. The median household income in Owen Sound is $51,042 per year. Health care, retail, and manufacturing are the largest industries in the city and approximately 25% of people in Owen Sound work as professionals.

As of October 2020, the average house price in Owen Sound was $406,427. Detached houses are currently selling from $230,000 to $759,000 and condos are selling in the range of $239,500 to $499,000. The majority of homes in Owen Sound have 3 bedrooms and are detached houses.

Move to Owen Sound and you'll find a great selection of concerts, festivals, live music and cultural events to be a part of.

Where to Find Owen Sound Real Estate for Sale

Are you ready to find a home or commercial property in Owen Sound? Let me help you! As a broker and realtor, it is my goal to give you peace of mind as you buy or sell with me. 

There are so many great reasons you should use a realtor like me. As a professional realtor, I work according to a strict code of ethics, I’m insured, and I am committed to continuing education in real estate. I know about the sales and trends in Owen Sound and I will negotiate to make sure you get the best price possible. 

My #1 goal in everything I do is to make your experience the best it can possibly be. Do you have very specific real estate needs? Let’s make sure you get the right realtor for your needs!

Ready for a quick browse of local properties? Click here to browse all of the listings in the area. My own listings can be found right here

Be sure to improve your search results by filtering for things like the number of bedrooms or bathrooms, as well as property type. While you are browsing, click on the “Add to Favourites” button to save and share your favourite listings.

Ready for the next step? Please contact me by phone or email and we can explore your options for buying in our great city on the bay!

Learn more:

  • Browse and search available properties in Owen Sound and the surrounding areas of Grey and Bruce.
  • Read Bill’s tips for successfully buying real estate
  • Learn about qualifying for a mortgage
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7 Fun Things To Do This Winter in Grey-Bruce

The snow has arrived in our region once again, but the pandemic is sure to make this winter a unique experience. Social distancing and mask-wearing will continue to be the norm this season, but that doesn’t have to stop us from having fun! 

The Grey-Bruce region offers plenty of great outdoor (and indoor) activities that we can do while still following public health guidelines, keeping us active and exploring the spectacular scenery in our special corner of Ontario.

Here are 7 fun, local activities to help prevent cabin fever and keep you and the family healthy this winter.

1. Downhill skiing and snowboarding

One of the most adrenaline-pumping activities our area has to offer is downhill skiing and snowboarding. Grey County boasts many snowy slopes that visitors come from hours away to enjoy. Check out this winter’s offerings at Alpine Ski Club, Blue Mountain Resort, Craigleith Ski Club, Devil’s Glen Country Club, Georgian Peaks Ski Club, Mansfield Ski Club, Osler Bluff Ski Club, Toronto Ski Club. Contact each location for information on seasonal memberships, day passes, and lift passes, as well as ski and snowboard programs. Interest has increased this season, so make sure to reserve your spot early!

2. Cross-country ski and snowshoeing

For a more relaxing outdoor activity, take advantage of great cross-country skiing and snowshoeing options.

The Bruce Ski Club offers “some of the most affordable, accessible and best-maintained cross-country ski trails in southern Ontario.” The club manages two trails:

  • The Sawmill Nordic Centre in Hepworth is their most popular location, with trails for novice and advanced skiers. The trails are groomed for both classic and skate skiing, features a lit loop for night skiing, and snowshoe trails cut through rolling hardwood and evergreen stands.
  • The Colpoys Ski Trail is located northeast of Wiarton and offers cross-country skiing through gently rolling woods and open fields. 

Access to these trails is available through a membership fee or a day pass.

The Sauble Beach XC Ski Club offers cross-country and snowshoeing trails for members and day pass users. The trails are located 1 kilometre north of Sauble Beach and wind through forest areas west of the Rankin River.

3. Skate through the forest or in the park

Is ice skating your winter passion? Lace up your skates and glide through a 400-metre loop through the middle of a forest at MacGregor Point Provincial Park. At night, the path is lighted until 10:00 p.m. for a magical nighttime experience. Day use fees apply.

In Owen Sound, Harrison Park has an outdoor skating rink located next to its two children’s playgrounds and the Harrison Park Inn restaurant. Skating is free but follows an alternating schedule of hockey on odd calendar days and skating on even calendar days.

4. Go fat biking

Have you heard of “fat biking”? Also known as snow biking and snomoriding, this is an increasingly popular outdoor sport that uses bicycles with over-sized tires, allowing you to ride on soft, unstable terrain such as snow. Get started at Explorer’s Tread in Lion’s Head or Ride Guides in Collingwood.

5. Hike the Bruce Trail

The Bruce Trail is a magnificent feature of our area. Winter hiking can be just as enjoyable as in the other seasons but care must be taken because the trails are not maintained in winter. The Bruce Trail is free to use.

6. Snowmobiling

Snowmobiling is a big draw in our area. The Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) District 9 manages over 2,900 kilometres of groomed trails that criss-cross all the way from Tobermory in the north to Walkerton, Hanover, and Durham in the south. These trails are proudly developed and maintained by 30 volunteer-based Clubs and Associations. You can buy a permit on the main OSFC website.

7. Walk Indoors at the Bayshore (Owen Sound)

Do you need somewhere warm to take a leisurely stroll with your family this winter? The Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre indoor walking program is now available, free of charge, Monday to Friday with three timeslots each day: 

  • 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
  • 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
  • 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Participants must pre-register, complete a COVID-19 screening form before entering the facility, and wear a face covering or mask at all times in the building. For more information and to register, visit the city of Owen Sound website or call 519-376-4440 ext. 1255.

Want to learn more about living in Grey and Bruce?