Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Keeping the Cold Out and Keeping Your Home Warm!

There are many ways to improve your home's warmth and help keep your house healthy. When your home is breathing in cold air it runs the risk of meeting the warm air and producing condensation, which then can become mold. You definitely want to avoid that, so let take a walk around your home and check for potential cold spots. 

At the Front Door
When you first enter your home, look for damaged weather seals around the door and cracks in the caulking where the exterior finish meets the door frame. You may also want to check to make sure the seal in the glass is ok. If it is broken, there will be a hazy look and/or moisture in between the glass panes.

Other Windows and Doors
As you proceed through your home, look at all your windows and doors. One way to detect a leak is to hold a candle to the window or door. If the flame dances, chances are that air is coming in. Keeping your curtains closed at night we help keep the cold out too. Doing so traps the cold air in between the window and the curtain, not letting it cool off the rest of the room. However it is monumental that you open them up during the day and let the air flow in. This will help dry out any condensation that accumulated through the night. If you don't give the moisture a chance to dry, you risk developing mold on the windows and that is not what you want. 

Bathrooms and Laundry Room
If possible, check the vent fan and dryer vent to make sure they are insulated. They are taking warm air out of your home. At some point, the warm air will meet colder air. The farther out the better. Ensure that you have a good seal around the vent when it goes out of the wall. If you don't, cold air can enter around it.  

Basement and/or Crawlspace
In the lower areas of your home, check all the headers. This is where the floor joists and wall meet. If insulated, there should be at least R22 and a vapour barrier around the insulation. Do the walls have insulation? If you only see bare block or concrete, the cold is definitely coming in. You'll be able to feel it if you put your hand on the block. There are a number of ways to insulate a basement wall, but that is another topic. One more thing to check for is water lines. They bring in cold water. Pipe wrap will help you warm the pipe as quickly as you can.

First, look for lots of insulation around and on top of the access hatch. It should have the same amount of insulation as the rest of the attic. In the attic itself, check to see how much you have. If there is only one baton of R12, it would be a very good idea to top it up or you are losing a lot of heat there. Also, check any pipes or vents or anything that comes up through the ceiling to make sure they are well sealed. It is amazing how small a hole will allow a large amount of cold air in.
Also, have a look at the interior outlets and light fixtures, basically anything on an outside wall.  Feel around to see if there is cold air coming in. Put your hand up against the outlet and on the wall around it. If you feel a difference in temperature, there is cold air coming in. It might not be practical to rip off the drywall and re-insulate but you could buy an insulating pad to go behind the outlet cover. 

House Exterior
Outside, you'll want to ensure the caulking around each door and window is in good shape and free from gaps or cracks. This will keep the water and cold air out. Also make sure anything that sticks out of the wall or roof is well sealed. Ensure that your exterior finishes, such as siding or brick, have no cracks or gaps. 

These are just a few things to keep in mind when keeping out the cold. There are many other things that your can do to increase your home's effectiveness. For more information about preparing your home for winter, feel free to call me or email me. Always glad to help when I can. 
Have a great day!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Town of Blue Mountains

The Town of Blue Mountains was formed on January 1, 2001, and includes Lora Bay, Thornbury, Clarksburg, Slabtown, Camperdown, Loree, Victoria Corners, Heathcote, Craigleith, Swiss Meadows, Banks, Ravenna, Redwing, Castle Glen, Gibraltor, Kolapore, Duncan, Little Germany, Osler, and Pretty River Valley. The town’s economy is centered on tourism, a large part of which comes from Blue Mountain Resort, Craigleith Ski Club, and Alpine Ski Club. The Town of Blue Mountains also sees a lot of Summer time traffic. The Bruce Trail runs through portions of the town for hikers and there are great mountain biking and rock climbing opportunities, too.

Beaver Valley Community School is the closest elementary school in Thornton, but there are other elementary school choices nearby in Collingwood and Meaford. High school choices for students in The Town of Blue Mountains are also in Collingwood and Meaford. There is a medical center in Thornbury, as well as nearby in Collingwood and Owen Sound, which are also where the closest hospitals are located. There are several churches in Thornbury, such as Grace United Church, St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church, First Baptist Church, and more. Not far from Thornby there are also many choices in Collingwood, Meaford, and Owen Sound.

Blue Mountain Resort is one of the largest resorts in Ontario and has seen a lot of growth and development over recent years. Jozo Weider and his family began development of Blue Mountain Resort in 1941. The resort began with one small chalet, a lift that ran on the ground powered by a truck engine, and 3 runs. Blue Mountain Resort has grown exponentially and now includes many more ski runs, lifts, and chalets, night skiing, several Summer time recreation opportunities such as mountain biking, zip lining, and a private beach on Georgian Bay, accommodations and spa, a village full of restaurants, cafes, and retail, an exciting night life, conferences, weddings, concerts, festivals, and the list goes on!

Beyond the resorts, there are lots of outdoor recreational opportunities at the provincial parks, recreation centers, beaches for swimming and wind surfing, biking trails, hiking trails, camping, parks, and more! There are many fantastic restaurant choices in the many smaller communities that make up The Town of Blue Mountains, including those that have dishes or entire menus focusing on local ingredients. There are also apple orchards throughout The Town of Blue Mountains that, along with other local businesses, are a part of the Blue Mountains Apple Pie Trail.

The Blue Mountains Apple Pie Trail offers tours and adventures for everyone, from outdoor activities to cooking classes, everything in between, and combinations of both! There is a lot to see, do, and taste all year round in The Town of Blue Mountains, for both visitors and local residents. It’s The Town of Blue Mountains lifestyle!!

Click here for more information about the Town of Blue Mountains.

Click here for more information about Blue Mountain Resort and the activities they offer.

Click here for more information about The Blue Mountains Apple Pie Trail and their adventures and tours.

Friday, May 22, 2015

The Right Professional For The Job - ASA Designated Professionals

For anyone who doesn't already know, I am an Accredited Senior Agent (ASA). I have been doing some reading and came across an ASA article about hiring not only a real estate professional, but the right real estate professional for you. Selling or buying a home as a senior is much different than at other stages of your life. There are many new and different priorities and elements to consider, and ASA designated professionals have the knowledge and expertise to guide you through the process. Take a look at this article explaining why you should hire an ASA designated real estate professional, such as myself! If you have questions about the ASA designation or about real estate in general, please give me a call or email: Direct 705-733-5821 or

The Right Professional For The Job

By Barry Lebow

When it’s time to sell your house, you wouldn’t hand the job to a doctor or an accountant or an engineer. Chances are you’d pick a Realtor ®: someone, perhaps, who comes highly recommended by your friends or relatives; someone who knows his subject and your neighbourhood; someone with strong negotiating skills; someone trustworthy. In other words, a real estate professional.

“Real estate agent” and “professional” in the same sentence. Who are we kidding? But the truth of the matter is that Realtors® are committed to their profession and their clients just like doctors, accountants and engineers. And not unlike these other professionals, Realtors® have to complete a comprehensive program of study, plus two years of articling to become licensed. He or she must achieve 75 percent or more in an 18-month education program through the Real Estate College, operated by the Ontario Real Estate Association. To stay licensed, Realtors® are required to upgrade their skills through more than 65 continuing education courses.  These focus on areas such as environment and legal issues, taxation, communications and professional standards and ethics.

Experienced agents can further specialize, taking additional courses to qualify them as specialists in commercial real estate, for example, or, as in the case of Accredited Senior Agents (ASAs), older adults. The Accredited Senior Agent program, obtained through the Toronto-based Real Estate Academy, prepares Realtors® with more than three years experience to become experts in responding to the housing-related needs of older adults. The designation is not only timely – One in seven Canadians was over 65 in 2006, compared to one in 14 in the 1950s,  and 23 percent of Canadians will be 65 or older by 2016 – but much needed, as more and more housing options are developed in response to downsizing baby boomers. It can be confusing and the ASA’s job is to help seniors navigate the environment, whatever is involved. That means everything from house-hunting to obtaining valuations and dealing with auction houses to staging the home for sale and handling the move.

In Ontario, all real estate salespeople -- experienced Realtors® or newbies -- are subject to the Real Estate Council of Ontario’s (RECO) Code of Ethics. RECO is the licensing body that governs the profession on behalf of the Ontario government. It is charged with protecting the interests of the public in dealing with real estate brokerages, brokers and sales representative, and investigates complaints against the profession. As with other professional governing bodies, RECO is your assurance that  you will be dealt with fairly as well as your recourse when you feel you aren’t.

As with other professions, technology is changing the way real estate salespeople conduct their business. To the public’s benefit. Everything from Blackberrys, integrated databases, GPSs and virtual house tours make it easier for a Realtor® to price, promote and sell your house. Still, nothing compensates for the depth of understanding, the network of contacts and the negotiating skills of an experienced professional.

And, like other professionals, Realtors® are subject to severe pressures, including tight deadlines, long working hours, difficult clients and difficult market conditions. It’s not a job many take lightly and few real estate professionals would describe it as an easy job. Nevertheless, it can be personally rewarding just as other professions can be.

So whether you’re looking to buy or sell or obtain a consult when you’re facing  a myriad of housing options, consider the professionals. And call a Realtor®.

This information is brought to you by your Accredited Senior Agent, a specialist in the housing needs of older adults. Your ASA is an experienced real estate professional who has graduated from a special education program focusing on the needs of seniors. For information, please visit or contact Chris Newell President, The Accredited Senior Agent, providers of the Accredited Senior Agent designation, 647-865-8197 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Creemore's History

The Creemore area was settled in 1842 by William Nalty, and the village itself was founded 3 years later in 1845 by Edward Webster. The name Creemore has an Irish origin and comes from the Gaelic phrase “cree mohr”, which means “big heart”. Edward Webster, as the founder, named the streets of Creemore after his family: Louisa, Wellington, Francis, Caroline, Elizabeth, Edward, and George. These streets all still exist in Creemore today.

Creemore’s close proximity to the railway built in the 1850’s brought jobs as the timber trains began running to Toronto in 1861. In 1955 the Creemore railway station burned down and the railway closed in 1960.

During the 1860’s, hotels became a big part of the village. A couple of hotel buildings that are still standing are the Sovereign at 157 Mill street, and the Matchett Hotel at 113 Mill street, which is now the Mad River Pottery.

The weekly newspaper in Creemore, called the Creemore Advertiser, was started in 1886. The name of the paper was changed a few times, starting in 1889 to the Mad River Star, then in 1903 to the Creemore Star, and finally, to the Creemore Echo, which is the paper’s name today.

Creemore experienced many firsts leading up to the 1900’s:
  • A saw mill and flour mill were built by March 1844
  • The first post office in Creemore opened in 1851
  • Creemore’s first school was organized in 1854, just outside of the village on the 5th Line
  • The first church built in Creemore was the Anglican Church in 1855, with the St. John’s United, First Baptist, and St. Andrew’s Presbyterians Churches following within approximately the next 20 years
  • Creemore’s First doctor, Dr. George McManus, arrived around 1865
  • A telephone line was built in 1892 from Glencairn to Creemore and anyone could make a call for 25 cents in Corbett’s Drug Store
  • Electricity came to Creemore by way of a steam plant in 1895

Here is a video of photos and clips from Creemore’s beginnings.

For more information about Creemore's History, check out our source here.