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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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Best Practices for Real Estate Showings During COVID-19

How to view real estate listings during COVID-19, by an Ontario realtor.

Social distancing and shelter-in-place guidelines are certainly slowing the real estate market across Canada, although the extent remains to be seen. However, the need for safe and affordable housing hasn’t stopped and real estate transactions must continue.

If you are in the market to buy real estate, how can you respect social distancing recommendations while still doing your due diligence? In this post, we’ll look at the current recommendations of public health authorities and best practices for real estate showings during the COVID-19 pandemic.


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Two Ways of Buying a Property

Two ways of buying a property

What’s the difference between being a customer and a client in a real estate transaction? It might seem like a simple matter of word choice, but there’s quite a bit more to it!

When it comes time to buy a home, you want to be a client. Here’s why.

The Hard Way to Buy a Home: As a “Customer”

Who represents whom? To find a home, buyers usually either look on the internet, in the newspaper, see a sign, or drive around neighbourhoods.


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Simple, Helpful Tips for Sellers

Thinking of listing your home this spring? Get ahead of the game with these simple tips to help you proactively prepare to make your home as attractive as possible to potential buyers.

Declutter.

Pack away personal items, keeping the space clear of extra accessories, knick-knacks, personal photos, etc. This will make it easier for potential buyers to focus on the actual home, rather than the items that won’t be staying. It will help them picture their own lives and loved ones in the house.

Get fresh.

Don’t cover odours—eliminate them. Sometimes covering odours can be much worse than the odour itself. People do not like being confronted by a strong smell, and it may just create the first impression that you are trying to hide something.

Start stowing away.

Do not cram everything into storage space and cupboards. Make sure everything is neat and organized. One of the biggest things potential buyers notice is a lack of storage space. If yours is messy and overflowing they may see it as not enough room.

Make a staging strategy.

If you have been using a spare room as a gym or office, you may want to stage it back to the intended purpose. Don’t confuse the buyers.

Be careful not to over-stage. Having the dining room table fully set for dinner, or over-accessorizing with throw pillows, etc. can distract buyers and make the space feel smaller. Keep it natural and simple.

Want to learn more about selling your home? Check out this post on setting your asking price, attracting qualified buyers, handling viewings, and more.

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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Get the Facts on Coronavirus (COVID-2019) with Dr. Peter Lin

The new Coronavirus (COVID-2019) is causing no small amount of stress and fear as new cases arise daily around the world. In Canada, a patient who had been to Iran (not China) recently tested positive after flying from Montreal to Vancouver, generating concerns about the potential spread here at home.

But what do we actually know about the illness?

Dr. Peter Lin is a family physician in Toronto and a CBC News medical contributor. In this new video, he shares information about what this novel Coronavirus (COVID-2019) is, how it works, who is most at risk, and how you can protect yourself.


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10 Great Reasons to Use a Realtor

You have the ability to search for available homes online, get in touch with listing agents for specific properties, and attend local open houses on your own. You can even get kits to help you sell your own home. Do you really need to use the services of a realtor?

Yes! And here are 10 great reasons why:

1. Working with a professional realtor provides peace of mind.

Professional REALTORS® adhere to a strict code of ethics, are insured, and are committed to ongoing education. They have intimate knowledge of sales and trends in the local marketplace and their knowledge of contract law also ensures the paperwork is handled correctly.

2. You get information on new listings first.

Not only do REALTORS® have access to a multiple listing service, they are also invited to exclusive “agent only” open houses that let them find out what’s on the market before anyone else.

3. Your realtor will market that property!

Your REALTOR® will distribute information about your property to their network of other agents, industry partners, preferred clients, and the public. They already have a leg up on who may be most likely to purchase your home. This is a great help towards getting the word out that your home is for sale.


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How A Mortgage Loan Preapproval Letter Can Help with Your Home Search

What's the difference between mortgage prequalification and preapproval?

There’s nothing more disappointing than falling in love with a home only to realize it’s out of your reach. Getting prequalified for a mortgage can give you a better idea of the price range of homes you should be looking at, but once it’s time to get serious you’ll want a mortgage loan preapproval letter.

What’s the difference, you ask? In this post, you’ll learn how to use prequalification and why a preapproval letter can be a great asset in the search for your next home. 

What’s the difference between mortgage prequalification and preapproval?

Prequalification requires that you provide some general information about your income and debt levels to a broker or lender. There is little or no confirmation of the information. As a result, a prequalification can give you an idea of your ideal price range and mortgage payments, but it carries little weight when it comes to negotiating.


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