June Newsletter


Potable Water Test

Including a requirement for a water test (known as potable water) within a Purchase Agreement is a condition that should always be included but currently, with many multiple offers on properties some buyers are not including this important condition without considering that most mortgage holders will require proof of potable water for a rural property.

One way to assist you in eliminating this condition while still protecting yourself when submitting a Purchase Agreement is to request the opportunity to take a water sample during your viewing and getting it checked prior to submitting the offer. Private labs can provide the results of a water test in 24 hours. You could also ask if the seller has the results of a recent water test.

For other ways to work around conditions that should normally be included in a Purchase Agreement contact me.

Speaking of water, check the story below on an amazing water experiment.

Take a couple of minutes (an amazing 6 minutes to be exact) to review a study completed back in 1999 by Dr. Masaru Emoto. (This information was sent to me by Dr. Tim Sylvester.)

In a scientific way, Dr. Emoto clearly shows that what we say to others has a great impact on them and with that our own self-talk has a great impact on what happens in our life.

I am far from an expert on Emoto’s discovery, but I believe when it comes to home buying and selling there is something to be learned in how we think and talk about what we want to unfold in our home buying and home selling experience.

I hope you enjoy this month’s bonus video on Dr. Emoto’s Water Experiment found HERE.

PS. If you are looking for a fabulous Chiropractor I highly recommend Dr. Tim Sylvester.

Take a couple of minutes (an amazing 6 minutes to be exact) to review a study completed back in 1999 by Dr. Masaru Emoto. (This information was sent to me by Dr. Tim Sylvester.)

In a scientific way, Dr. Emoto clearly shows that what we say to others has a great impact on them and with that our own self-talk has a great impact on what happens in our life.

I am far from an expert on Emoto’s discovery, but I believe when it comes to home buying and selling there is something to be learned in how we think and talk about what we want to unfold in our home buying and home selling experience.

I hope you enjoy this month’s bonus video on Dr. Emoto’s Water Experiment found HERE.

PS. If you are looking for a fabulous Chiropractor I highly recommend Dr. Tim Sylvester.

PS.  If you are looking for a fabulous Chiropractor I highly recommend Dr. Tim Sylvester.


Home Sales Prices Continue To Climb 

May 2020/2021 Overview

Below is an overview of the month of May in the local real estate market. The report represents freehold, non-waterfront, residential homes with numbers compiled from the Barrie & District Association of Realtors for the City of Barrie and The Lakelands Association of Realtors for Orillia and the Lake Country Area.

If you would like information specific to condos, waterfront only or commercial real estate contact me and I would be happy to answer your questions.  






Change %

Selling Price (Median)






Average Days To Sell






# Active Listings






# Homes Sold






Months of Inventory












Change %

Selling Price (Median)






Average Days To Sell






# Active Listings






# Homes Sold






Months of Inventory






 Lake Country
(Includes Orillia, Oro-Medonte, Severn and Ramara – Lakeland Association of Realtors)

Lake Country Region





Change %

Selling Price (Median)






Average Days To Sell






# Active Listings






# Homes Sold






Months of Inventory






Market Inventory

Market inventory is a reflection of how many homes sell in a month compared to how many homes are currently listed in the market. This determines if it is a balanced market, seller market or buyer market.

Buyer Market
6+ months (180+ days) of inventory.

Balanced Market
4 to 6 months of inventory.

Seller Market
Under 4 months of inventory.

At the close of May locally it remains a Seller’s Market.


 Pricing Tips for a Seller’s Market 

With the official arrival of summer this months, we’re still firmly in a seller’s market, making now a great time to sell your home. However, if you’re hoping to buy in the near future, you can still get an affordable mortgage and find the home of your dreams without giving up your competitive edge. Find out more about buying or selling in the current market below, plus some budget-friendly home transformations you can complete in a weekend.

There’s a delicate balance between getting the best price for your home and achieving a fast home sale. How much you ask for your home when it first hits the market can be the difference between selling fast for a great price and missing out on motivated buyers. However, the greatest threat to many home sales is a low appraisal. Mortgage lenders won’t approve your buyer’s bid unless the appraisal supports the price. Given this challenge, how much should you ask for your home?

Calculate Your Home Value

One of the first things I’ll help you do when you decide you would like to sell your home is to evaluate your home and recently sold houses similar to yours to determine a realistic home value for your property. 

Ask for the Right Price

Most of the awareness for your home will happen within the first two weeks it’s on the market. Therefore, an accurate price upfront will attract the pool of potential buyers in your home’s target price range, rather than those dependent on you lowering the asking price.

Protect Your Appraisal Value

Mortgage loans falling through due to low appraisals is one of the most common reasons a home sale falls through. When comparing your offers, buyers who are prepared to put down 20% or more or who guarantee the sales price regardless of the appraised value are less likely to fall through for appraisal purposes. 

 3 Budget-Friendly Weekend Renovations

Looking for a quick, easy, and affordable way to transform your home? Look no further! Painting, updating your home’s hardware, and rearranging your furniture can make a big aesthetic difference without making a big impact on your wallet.


Whether you apply a fresh coat of your current wall colour or mix it up with a brand new colour scheme, painting your walls can make the whole house feel newer. If you’re feeling adventurous, try adding a statement wall using stencils or geometric patterns for a bold addition to your living spaces.

Update the Hardware

After living in your home for a while, it’s easy to overlook the door knobs, drawer handles, and light switch covers. However, sometimes all it takes to fall back in love with your home is a little personalization. Just head to a local hardware store to pick out new hardware for your kitchen, bathrooms, or even the whole house.

Rearrange the Furniture

No one said something a little different has to cost money. Rearranging the furniture in your home is completely free (with the help of some strong friends) and can make you feel like you’ve moved into a whole new house.


Getting Ready to Buy Your Next Home

Buying your first or next home is a big commitment, but it doesn’t have to be difficult or stressful. Before you start searching for homes in your area, make sure you’re ready with these simple steps.

Check Your Credit

Collect copies of your credit report and review them for potential errors and see if there are opportunities to improve your credit score. 

Save Up

Buying a house typically requires earnest money, a down payment, and closing costs. Make sure you have money set aside to cover these costs to ensure a smooth transaction.

Get Preapproved

Getting preapproved for a mortgage will give you a good idea how much you can realistically spend on your new home. It will also show sellers that you’re serious about your offer to buy the right home.

Contact Me

Buying a home is much easier with a real estate agent by your side. If you or someone you know is looking to buy or sell a home in the next few months, give me a call! 


Lighthouse Opening!

It is now looking like an official ribbon cutting could be on the way in July for the opening of the new home of the Lighthouse Soup Kitchen and Shelter.   

The Lighthouse Community Service and Lighthouse Supportive Housing will serve Orillia’s vulnerable, offer a range of housing as well as emergency food and shelter, primary care, mental health and addiction service, as well as spiritual support for people who are experiencing a housing crisis.  

If you know of someone planning to buy or sell a home in the future please share my name with them.  Your referrals are such a blessing and with each sale, I continue to support The Lighthouse for the operating dollars now required to provide the services so many people need through what Building Hope has accomplished at 75 Queen Street.

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat.  I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink.  I was a stranger and you invited me in.  I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me,…” .  Matthew 25: 35-36

Your referrals help the vulnerable.  Learn More.


Food For Thought
“The fulfilment you’ve known from things you’ve acquired can’t begin to compete with the fulfilment you’ll find by helping someone else.”
Sam Collier



Small Towns, Big Opportunities: OREA’s Rural and Northern Housing Policy Report

The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) is hard at work for you, in ways you might not even know about.

In the Lakeland Association of Realtors which covers Orillia and Muskoka, there is a great need for more housing opportunities.  Inventory levels are at an all-time low which is driving prices up to record highs. However, we live in an area of great opportunity to overcome this shortage and for more job creation in the area with the right infrastructure in place.

OREA has been at work encouraging the province to continue the push for more high-speed internet service in more rural areas in Ontario. With more people working from home and most recently with children being schooled online during COVID-19, the need for high-speed internet in rural areas has become clearly a must-have.

Many buyers in our area are unable to branch out in their search for a home because they need high-speed internet service because of working from home. OREA continues to push forward towards success in this area.

The OREA report Small Towns, Big Opportunities ensures that the communities of rural and Northern Ontario are set up for success in the immediate aftermath of COVID-19 and for years to come. The full report is available HERE.

OREA and the Lakeland Association of Realtors also recognize the great need for natural gas service in smaller rural communities. With this service expansion, the opportunity for job creation in rural areas increases dramatically.

Neil Sharma has an interesting article on this topic at Canadian Real Estate Wealth found HERE.

Million Dollar Mortgage Common Place in GTA

Remember that Barenaked Ladies song – If I had a million dollars?

If the lyrics in that song were updated, for many people in the GTA they would be singing along to – If I had a million dollars, I’d pay off the mortgage and have nothing left. A million-dollar mortgage in the GTA is becoming commonplace.

So what does it take to qualify for a mortgage on a million-dollar home? For starters, an annual income of no less than $175,000 and you need about $200,000 for a down payment.

Right now, no matter if it’s a million-dollar home or a $400,000 home, you must pass the stress test which currently means that although mortgage rates remain low, buyers must be able to still be able to handle the mortgage payment if the rates jumped to close to 5%.

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage should be one of the first things you do. If you want more information on this, contact me and review Linda White’s Postmedia article – Million-dollar mortgages now common in GTA HERE.

2019 – 2020 Market Changes

Below is an overview of how the local market changed in 2020 compared to 2019.The data used is a reflection of residential sales within the Lakeland Board of Realtors and the Barrie & District Association of Realtors.  

If you would like information for specific categories such as waterfront properties only, commercial properties or vacant land I would be happy to provide this to you.  Contact me HERE for any additional information. 


Median Sale Price 2019:  $475000  /  2020: $552,000  /  +16.2%

Average Days To Sell 2019: 32  /  2020: 22  /  -31.3%

Number of Sales 2019: 2,346  /  2020: 3016  /  +28.6%


Median Sale Price 2019:  $398,000  /  2020:  $445,000  /  +11.8%

Average Days To Sell 2019:  34  /  2020:  29  /  -14.7%

Number of Sales 2019: 769  /  2020: 842  /  +9.5%

Lake Country ( Orillia, Severn, Ramara, Oro-Medonte)

Median Sale Price 2019:  $450,000  /  2020:  $525,000  /  +16.7%

Average Days To Sell 2019:  40  /  2020:  34  /  -15%

Number of Sales 2019:  1531  /  2020:  1886  /  +23.2%


Median Sale Price 2019: $375,000  / 2020:   $414,500  /  +10.5%

Average Days To Sell 2019:  38  /  2020:  40  /  +5.3%

Number of Sales 2019:  560  /  2020:  637  /  13.8%


Median Sale Price 2019:  $460,000  /  2020:  $540,000  /  +17.4%

Average Days To Sell 2019:  41  /  2020:  32  /  -23%

Number of Sales 2019:  8830  /  10,646  /  +20.6%

How October Birthdays Style Their Home

Welcome to October

Besides celebrating Thanksgiving in October, if you also celebrate a birthday this month did you know that you could have a messy home and a praiseworthy backyard. Those are two things that identify people born in October.

Those born in October can also often have vivacious personalities and can connect well with others. They’re often the life of the party. And, when it comes to making decisions in life – or in their home décor – they tend to be bold risk-takers.

If you were born in October or you know someone who has a birthday this month find out more about those born in October and the style of their homes HERE.

10 Things to Consider Before Renewing Your Mortgage

Before you renew your mortgage it is important to review where you’re at, where you want to go and what is best for you.  That involves doing a little homework before you sign for your mortgage, but it can save you thousands of dollars in the long run. 

One of the biggest errors many people make when it comes time to remortgage is not asking for better rate.  Just because you have a mortgage, it doesn’t mean you have to remain with your current lender when it is time to renew.  There could be other options that are much better for you and rate is only one thing to consider.  

Cory Davis provides you with 10 Things to Consider Before Renewing Your Mortgage at this Real Estate 101 feature through Realtor.ca

Home Furnishings Trend: Brass is Back

For years brass has been on the sidelines, but it’s making a comeback. Here are ways homeowners can incorporate the finish to add glamour and help homes stand out.

After years of chrome, stainless steel, and nickel being the shining stars of interior metals, brass is back and starting to steal the show.

As with many home furnishings trends, the comeback was inspired by what’s occurring in fashion. In this case, gold and rose gold watches became influencers a few years ago, says Chicago designer Tom Segal of Kaufman Segal Design, who thinks that home furnishings styles tend to be cyclical. Now he’s adding small brass details to rooms in the same way a gold watch might peek out of a shirt cuff.


Credit Scores and Mortgages

The last five years has once again shown that rising house prices make buying the right house a good investment. However, that can’t be said for all buyers. 

With the wrong mortgage, even the right house can turn into a financial disaster for a buyer.

The rules surrounding being approved for a mortgage can be frustrating for some, but they are in place to actually protect you from heading into something that is not right for you. 


Simply put, finding a mortgage while having a poor credit rating isn’t totally impossible, but what becomes possible isn’t always good for you. You need to ensure you are getting into a manageable mortgage or your dream of getting a house can quickly become a long term nightmare.

Among other things considered in approving a mortgage, the lender checks credit scores. To qualify for the best interest rate, you typically need good credit and good credit scores. Most established mortgage lenders do not offer loans to people with bad credit, but some lenders might lend to borrowers with lower credit scores.

For a buyer recognized as having a low credit score the mortgage funds, if secured, will normally come with a higher interest rate than the average posted rates from leading lenders. The reason for the higher rate is understandable.  The lender sees the borrower as a higher risk. The source of funds for lower credit score buyers can sometimes be found through private lenders who are willing to take a chance on someone with a lower credit score, but the private lender will want a higher return in doing so.

In Canada, credit scores range from 300 (just getting started) up to 900 points, which is the best score. 650 is the magic middle number – a score above 650 will likely qualify you for a standard loan while a score under 650 will make things difficult.  

Whether you have a good credit score or a low credit score it is advisable to shop around for the best mortgage rate and mortgage terms. You need to know in advance of agreeing to a mortgage of any possible hidden costs in the event you ever need to be relieved of the mortgage commitment down the road. 

As an example, there might be a penalty if you were to sell your home prior to the expiry date of the terms of the mortgage you agreed to. You also need to ask if your mortgage would be portable to another home purchase and if there is any cost in doing so.

There can be large financial penalties with some mortgages when you go to sell and you have not reached the full term of your current mortgage.

Higher interest rates can mean higher mortgage payments and a can also mean a longer time to pay down the mortgage principal depending on your payment schedule which can be a huge added expense over the long haul.  

Being approved for a loan can be a happy day for a potential buyer, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you should get over-excited until you do your homework about the terms for that approved mortgage.

Deal with a trusted lender who clearly outlines all the details of your mortgage. There are many banks, credit unions and mortgage brokers who can assist you in this area and I would be happy to provide you with several contacts. 

Whatever you do, don’t stick your head in the sand to many of the realities that exist surrounding getting a mortgage from just anyone.

There is no cost or obligation for you to utilize any of my buyer services including details you should consider when getting a mortgage and how to go about it.   I would be happy to answer some of your questions and put you in contact with a qualified mortgage consultant. Contact me if I can assist in any way.

$ave Hundreds With This Wow Factor Idea

Many of the buyers I take through homes, in fact, I would say nine out of ten buyers seem to always say “Wow, I Love That” when they see this in a home.  

If you’re looking for something to add a wow factor to a room in your home, the barn door might be the right way to go if it fits the decor.

Plain unfinished barn doors can be purchased for a couple of hundred dollars, however, when it comes to catchy designs the price tag jumps considerably.  ( It seems to always be the catchy designs that get more wows.) 

The attractive Urban Woodcraft Barn Door in the picture above can set you back close to $1,000, but you can build a barn door with a modern twist at a fraction of the cost and here’s how.

 I came across the plans for the door below which might start your creative juices flowing to create your own design.  Get all the materials needed for the door and the step- by- step plans from Michelle’s site at Breaking Down The Box  (Click HERE.

If you’re planning to sell your home I would be happy to provide other ideas to add value to your home.   Contact me for a FREE home-evaluation and tips on what you should do and don’t have to do to sell your home fast and for top dollar.