No Comments

10 Steps to a Successful Relocation Move to Owen Sound & Area

Moving to a new, unfamiliar community can be very exciting, but it’s also a major life decision filled with emotion and change. Whether you choose to move to Owen Sound or any of the other towns in Grey and Bruce counties, we know you’ll find lots of friendly people to welcome you. 

To make your transition go smoother, consider these suggestions:

1. Select the right real estate agent

Working with a good agent is one of the most important aspects of a successful home purchase. 

The key qualities to look for are experience with relocating clients, strong local market knowledge, and solid communication skills. If your agent has earned the ABR designation (Accredited Buyer’s Representative), you’ll know they also have special training to work with buyers.

2. Get pre-approved (not just pre-qualified) for your mortgage

Pre-approval means your application has already been processed, and final approval is only contingent upon an appraisal. 

Mortgage pre-approval puts you in a more favourable negotiating position with sellers and allows you to make faster decisions.

3. Separate your needs from your wants 

The difference may seem subtle, but this makes it easier to quickly narrow your options and find the best home for your needs. Owen Sound has a variety of detached homes, townhouses, and condos to choose from. 

Outside the city, Grey and Bruce counties have lakeside properties along Georgian Bay and Lake Huron, as well as many rural acreages and farms throughout the area.

4. Keep copious notes

You’ll probably see many homes in a short period of time.Writing detailed notes, taking photos, and collecting listing sheets can help you recall each property after a busy home shopping trip.

5. Think about selling while buying

Depending on the reasons you’re coming to Grey-Bruce, another move may be in your future. It’s important to consider a home’s resale value. If your agent is pointing out a home’s flaws, they’re probably looking out for your future best interests.

6. Learn the market

Buyers can gather an amazing amount of information online about the markets they’re considering for their new home. However, an experienced agent will always have a stronger pulse on local market prices than any website.  Do your homework, but rely on your agent to add key perspectives.

Owen Sound, Grey County, and Bruce County offer many types of urban and rural properties. Explore our communities online, then consult your real estate professional about your specific needs.

7. Be prepared to make fast decisions

Many markets nowfavour sellers or simply lack adequate home inventories, causing buyers to quickly regret momentary hesitations on a desirable home. Consider making an offer right away, even if you plan to view additional properties.

Currently, houses are selling fast and furious in Owen Sound and area. Communicate with your real estate agent to stay on top of quick-moving properties.

8. Before placing an offer, request a quick CMA

Agents can produce a CMA (comparable market analysis) on any home in a matter of minutes. This is also where an agent with local market expertise can be a real plus.

9. Be prepared for emotional ups and downs

Negotiating an offer can be a draining experienceTry to remain calm and maintain perspective as offers and counteroffers are exchanged.

10. Learn from home inspectors

The level of detail in home inspectionshas improved dramatically. If at all possible, attend the inspection in person. You’ll gain many valuable tips from the written report about maintaining your home. As far as renegotiating on repair items, remember that in strong markets sellers will be unwilling to make any concessions based on the inspector’s report.

To find local professionals to help in various aspects of your home purchase, visit our Local Business Connections.

Ready to see what’s available? Check out all Grey and Bruce real estate listings here and when you’re ready, contact us online or give Bill a call at (519) 377-7627 to get started.

More resources:

No Comments

Why People Choose New Construction Homes

Why People Choose New Construction Homes

When it’s time to buy a new home, you may be wondering whether to build a house from the ground up or choose an already well-loved home. 

It’s not always an easy decision. While the financial aspect of purchasing a home certainly plays a large part, so do lifestyle and convenience factors. Which house is the best for you — a new build or an existing home? Let’s look at some of the factors that will play into your decision.

The appeal of a new build home

There are a number of compelling reasons people choose to build a new home, or to purchase directly from the builder.

Read more
No Comments

FAQ: Buying a House in Grey and Bruce

FAQ: Buying in Grey and Bruce

Thinking of buying a house in Grey-Bruce? Here are some of the questions we most often get from clients.

Where can I buy property in Grey and Bruce?

Our region has an abundance of beautiful properties along the shores of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay, up the Bruce Peninsula, throughout our rural areas, and in our many small towns.

The largest urban centre in the region is Owen Sound, with a population of 21,341. Other major towns include Saugeen Shores, Hanover, Meaford, Kincardine, and Walkerton. The Bruce Peninsula features the town of Wiarton at its base, Lion’s Head in the middle, and Tobermory at the tip. 

How much do homes cost in Grey-Bruce?

The average price for homes sold in Grey and Bruce counties surpassed $502,000 in September, 2020. That marked an increase of about $100,000 or 23.5% over the year prior.

Read more
No Comments

7 Fun Things To Do This Winter in Grey-Bruce

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.

Read more
No Comments

Why Buy a New Build vs a Pre-Loved Home?

Why Buy a New Home

At some point, it’s a decision many home buyers come up against: should we buy a new build or is it better to get a home that’s been lived in before?

Of course, there’s no right or wrong answer! But here are a few considerations about new homes to keep in mind as you weigh your real estate options:

Read more
No Comments

Real Estate Open Houses Return with Important COVID-19 Precautions

Now that we are in Phase Three of Ontario’s reopening plans, real estate sellers are once again able to showcase your property in an Open House.

An Open House is an important selling tool, enabling buyers to drop in any time and explore the property. If you are planning to sell—or if you are looking for your next home and planning to attend local Open Houses around Grey-Bruce and Owen Sound—here’s what you need to know about Coronavirus precautions and safety measures currently in place.

Safe Open House Viewing – Best Practices for Coronavirus

The Province of Ontario lifted the prohibition on real estate professionals hosting open houses as of Friday, July 17 at 12:01 a.m., assuming that public health and workplace safety measures and restrictions are in place.

As with all public and social activities, the most important preventative step is to stay at home and away from others if you are feeling ill or have symptoms of COVID-19.

If you would like to visit upcoming Open Houses in Grey-Bruce and Owen Sound, follow these guidelines from the Real Estate Council of Ontario:

1. Be prepared for a quick screening and check-in.

Anyone visiting an Open House will be asked a few questions to screen for potential Coronavirus exposure. These questions are required by the Ministry of Health; you can see them here.

As real estate professionals, we are required to document the name and contact information of each person who attended the open house to support effective contact tracing by Public Health, if needed.

2. Wear a non-medical mask or face covering.

This face covering is required by Public Health and is to be worn at all times while indoors. See recommendations about masks and face coverings here.

3. Be prepared to queue in your vehicle or outside, maintaining a safe distance of at least two metres between yourself and others.

The Real Estate Council of Ontario has recommended that we consider requiring all clients to book an appointment in advance for the purposes of physical distancing, flow management and contact tracing. If you arrive at an Open House without an appointment, or if the property has a tight schedule of viewings, you may be asked to wait outside or in your vehicle.

4. Avoid touching any surface inside the home.

We will do our best to facilitate this by ensuring that all doors are open and lights on for the duration of the Open House. Hand sanitizer will be provided at our Open Houses. High-touch surfaces will be cleaned and sanitized as frequently as is necessary to maintain a sanitary environment. Even so, we encourage you to avoid touching surfaces as much as possible.

Viewing Properties and Attending Showings During COVID-19

We will make every effort to ensure the safety of homeowners and buyers for the duration of this pandemic. Your wellbeing is Bill’s top priority, and he thanks each and every one of you for your patience and understanding as we continually adapt together to new public health and safety requirements.

If you have any questions or concerns about property viewing during COVID-19, please give Bill a call at (519) 377-7627 or get in touch through the website.

You can also :

No Comments

Moving to Cottage Country: Choosing a School in Grey and Bruce

Moving to Cottage Country: Choosing a School in Grey and Bruce

Moving your family from Toronto, Hamilton or elsewhere in Southwestern Ontario to Grey and Bruce counties cottage country? You may have questions about the public and private schools available to your family in Owen Sound and the surrounding areas.

The good news is that you have a variety of options to suit your child’s educational needs and often, schools are smaller and more community-based than big-city institutions.

In this post, you’ll find links and information to help you explore schools in Owen Sound, Saugeen Shores, the Bruce Peninsula and more. First, it’s important to recognize that there are four public systems plus private options available in this region.

Read more
No Comments

Which Home and Property Improvements Really Pay Off?

Average home improvement resale recovery rates.

You want to get the greatest return possible on your investments in property improvements. But which renovations have the best resale recovery rate?

There are some improvements we make to our homes simply because we want to enjoy them. It’s never a bad idea to understand the impact a renovation has on your home’s value, though. This is particularly important if you may sell in the foreseeable future.

If you’re trying to prioritize and considering updating a bathroom, changing out your flooring, or adding a major feature like a swimming pool, check out these average rates of return first.

Read more
No Comments

Cottage Country Living: Accessing Healthcare in Grey & Bruce

Moving to Cottage Country: How and Where to Access Healthcare in Grey and Bruce

Buying a property in cottage country could be your dream come true. Moving to a new area can pose a lot of questions, though, particularly around healthcare and your ability to access necessary medical services. When you move from Toronto, Hamilton or another more populous city, will you still have access to doctors, emergency services, and home support in Grey and Bruce counties?

Absolutely! In this post, you’ll find links and information to help you prepare for your healthcare needs as you plan your move to Owen Sound, Tobermory, Southampton or the surrounding areas.

Read more
No Comments

Property Maintenance Checklist

bill mcfarlane property maintenance checklist

Spring has sprung in Grey-Bruce! As our days grow longer and temperatures make outside work more enjoyable, it’s a great time to run through your property maintenance checklist.

Freezing temperatures, snow and ice, spring melt, winds, and sun can all take their toll on your home and property. 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.

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.

Read more