I specialize in real estate on the Bruce Peninsula: Homes, Waterfront, Cottages, Vacant Land, Acreages, and Commercial properties from Owen Sound to North Bruce Peninsula, including Sauble Beach, South Bruce Peninsula, Wiarton and along the shoreline. Google+

Terri's Tip

Samantha Edwards from Cottage Life Magazine puts together an excellent list of terms you should be familiar with when purchasing a home.  Even though you may have purchased in the past, it is good to be familiar with the jargon used in the world of real estate everytime you think about purchasing.  If there are any terms that you are unfamiliar with or have any questions about properties, please let me know.  As always, I can be reached at 519-534-3750 or soldbyterri@sympatico.ca.   I am here to help.


15 real estate terms for first-time buyers

Before you start hunting for your dream cottage—whether it’s a large country home on a big lake bustling with boats and jet skis, or a dreamy cabin tucked away in dense foliage—you should first become acquainted with the real estate basics, which means understanding the jargon-y language that realtors often speak.

We spoke with the president of the Ontario Real Estate Association, Ron Abraham, to learn the must-know terms for first-time cottage buyers.

Waterfront Property: Property that borders a body of water such as a lake, stream, river or ocean. Natural water boundaries sometimes lack the precision of a survey of land, so there are various tests and formulas to determine where private property ends. Some of these include the water’s edge and the high water mark.

Shore Road Allowance: Established in the 1800s, a shore road allowance is a strip of land, 1 chain ride (66 feet), around some lakes and rivers that function as public roads to allow access to and from the waterways. Some of these have been opened while others remain as an allowance but were never opened. These are referred to as unopened road allowances.

Access: This refers to how accessible a property is. For instance: Is the property accessible year-round or seasonally? Who owns the roads that provide access to the water? Is the road municipally owned or privately owned? If privately owned, who maintains the road and what is the annual cost?

Land Value: The value of a piece of property, including both the value of the land itself, as well as any improvements that have been made to it such as culverts or a well.

Offer to Purchase: An important legal document that says you are offering to buy the seller’s property.

Conditional Offer: This means that you have placed one or more conditions in the Offer to Purchase. Common conditions include a home inspection, financial approval, and the sale of the buyer’s existing property. The property is not sold until all conditions have been settled.

Closing Costs: Expenses associated with buying a property, in addition to the purchase price. Payable on the completion date, these costs can include legal and notary fees and disbursements, property land transfer taxes, or adjustments for property taxes.

Home Inspection: A properly executed home inspection will thoroughly examine the house and will point out the need for major repairs, identify areas that may need attention, and explain what maintenance will be necessary to keep the home in good shape. You should expect a written report that identifies all findings, including fire and safety concerns.

Building Permit: A building permit grants legal permission to start construction of a building, which includes additions, renovations, and new structures. Permits ensure that construction meets minimum standards set out the building code.

Appraisal: The process of estimating the value of property, usually for lending purposes. This value may or may not be the same as the purchase price of the home.

Deed: A title deed is a legal document that transfers ownership of a property to a buyer.

Amortization: The number of years it would take to repay the entire amount of the mortgage.

Buyer’s Market: When there is a higher number of properties to choose from than buyers available. Property prices tend to be lower and they remain available for longer sale. Buyers usually have more leverage in negotiating a purchase.

Seller’s Market: More buyers are looking for homes than there are homes for sale. Home prices generally increase and sell quickly.

Balanced Market: Where demand for property equals the supply of available property. Sellers usually accept reasonable offers and homes generally sell in sufficient time periods. Buyers usually have more leverage in negotiating a purchase.

The full article can be found here.

Terri's Tip

Here are some items to keep in mind when you are preparing to buy your home.

1 ) Keep your credit clean: Run a credit check on yourself and verify that the information is correct. Contact any creditors who haven't updated your record in terms of cancelled cards or balances that have been paid off. Paying off high interest credit cards as soon as possible will help make it easier for mortgage approval.
2) Be a Pre-Approved Buyer: Talk to your mortgage professional about how much home you can afford and get pre-approved before you start looking. Becoming pre-approved is very easy. Contact your mortgage professional to arrange a mortgage consultation and they will work with you to complete your mortgage application with a credit check prior to beginning your search for a home. Pre-approval means that you have actually been approved for the purchase by a lender, which gives you the edge in home purchase negotiating. The pre-approval guarantees you, up to a period of 120 days, that if the rate increases during that time, you will still get the original rate. If the property you are looking to buy won't be completed for six months or more, then you should look into the mortgages offered by the builders on-site. In these cases, the on-site lender will typically be able to guarantee a capped rate for a longer time duration (such as 12 to 18 months), usually until the expected project completion date. You should negotiate a capped rate for as long a period as possible. These typically have some built-in extension protection if the project takes longer than expected.
3) Determine your priorities: Take some time to think about what factors are most important to you. Make a list of what you want, need, and don't want in a home. Rate your desired home attributes on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being an absolute "must have" and 1 being a "nice to have, but not a necessity"). This checklist will allow you to objectively assess different homes according to your needs and will save you invaluable time when you go out to see various building developments.
4) Check out the neighbourhood: Make yourself a "home value expert." Investigate the areas and price ranges for the type of home you are looking for. If you find yourself becoming interested in a particular neighbourhood, familiarize yourself with the local amenities, schools, property taxes, crime rates, and other neighhourhood features. Talk with different people in the area and visit at different times during the day. The characteristics of the area may change dramatically during different hours of the day. Go to the local planning office to find out about the plans for the area. Research is half the battle. Remember, you're getting more than just a home - you're buying the entire neighbourhood package!

5) Get legal advice before signing the contract: Talk with a real estate lawyer and review the Agreement of Purchase and Sale (APS) with them prior to signing the contract. This will ensure you understand the exact terms and conditions of the contract, and that you know what's included in the purchase price. Be sure that any verbal agreements from the seller are included in written form within the APS. Be sure that you've negotiated a reasonable closing or occupancy date and make sure that all deposit details are documented.
6) Stay calm: Even in a hot market, be cool and calculated with your decisions. Your home purchase may be your single largest investment. If you're buying a new condominium, be sure to review the disclosure statement carefully. By law, you have a 10-day cooling off period once you receive the disclosure statement.
7) Be thorough during the Pre-Delivery Inspection: Before you take possession of your new home or condominium, the builder is required to do a pre delivery inspection of the property with you. This is one of your first opportunities to see your new home in its final state. During this inspection, it is crucial to note anything that is missing, not working properly, or damaged. Conduct the inspection at your own pace, and make sure to check out all the details. Write everything down yourself on the pre-delivery inspection form. This is one of the most important opportunities for you to note any problems in the new property.
8) Make sure that your finances are in order: As you begin the search for a new home, this is an ideal time to make sure that your finances are in order and to set up your financial plan for the future. A professional mortgage consultant who is truly looking after your financial interests will be able to advise you on various strategies to help you develop a financial plan and build more wealth. Remember to have fun during your homebuying adventure. You'll only buy your first home once and with the right professional guidance, it can be a stress-free and enjoyable experience!

These tips were from Jeff Hui, a mortgage consultant. This was recently published through the Toronto Star at http://www.newinhomes.com/articles/article.jsp?article=238

Terri's Tip

Terri's Tip this week: Get Moving to Manage Stress!  Buying & selling a home can be a very stressful time.  Remember to take some time for yourself and your family.  Being active can be a great way to pump your endorphins & improve your mood.  Check out this article for more information.


Remember that using a Realtor can help relieve stress too.  Let me know if you need me.

Call Terri Hastings
Sales Representative
Re/max Grey Bruce Realty Inc., Brokerage Wiarton
Direct: 519-534-375

Terri's Tips

Ideas for a Successful Staycation

To ensure a fun and relaxing Staycation try following things:

1 Turn on your answering machine and leave emails and the mail just like you would if you were actually away at a destination resort.

2 Take lots of pictures of you and your family having a wonderful time!

3 Become a tourist in Bruce County! How lucky are we to live here? Go check it out!

4 Try a New Recreational Activity like hiking, kayaking or canoeing.

5 Take a class to learn a new hobby or skill. You could take a gourmet cooking class, a woodworking course, or even consider taking course online from a university anywhere.

6 Go to the Lake. Seriously, go now!

7 Visit one of our local libraries and find a bunch of books or magazines that you would really enjoy to read. They are excellent places to cool down too!

8 Use Reward Points to fund adventures. Trade in points for gift cards, free admission to local attractions or movie passes and enjoy your Staycation for free!

If you have some time and would like a free comparative market analysis of your property, please give me a call.  519-534-3750


Terri's Tips

Here are some tips to help prepare you for the sale of your home.

Tip #1.  De-clutter!  Before listing your property, go through every room.  Pack up boxes of knick knacks, sentimental items,  kid stuff, and other things a family accumulates.  Maybe consider taking several pictures off the wall.  I love photos, but buyers need to be able to imagine their own things in your home.  You may need to rent a storage unit and put all those items away while the house was on the market or you can store them neatly in plastic containers in your storage area. 

Tip #2. Consider your curb appeal.  You may need to do a lot of work in the yard, maybe laying sod, and adding some new plants in the front and backyard.  Plants can be cheap, and they make a big difference.  Stay on top of the weeds and mow your lawn weekly.

Tip #3.  Deep clean your house.  It's a lot easier to keep a clean house clean.  This may be a good time to use a housecleaner if you don't currently.  After the house is on the market, you can do a quick, light cleaning in all the spots that get the most use...bathrooms, kitchen, and family room. 

When Your House is Getting Shown...

Tip #4.  Prepare a get-away plan.  Ideally, this includes getting the pets out of your home too.  Pack up a basket filled with things to keep the kids busy and some snacks, and have a few places in mind that you can visit when you need to get out.
Tip #5.  Before you leave, turn on all the lights.  Be aware of the scent of your home.  I wouldn't recommend spraying air freshener just before you leave before a showing (clients might assume you're hiding something) but you may want to use some permanent air fresheners or plan to bake some cookies before your showing, just remember to turn off your stove!

As always, remember that realtors are here to help, if you have any questions, need advice or referrals please let me know.

Call Terri Hastings
Sales Representative
Re/max Grey Bruce Realty Inc., Brokerage Wiarton
Direct: 519-534-3750

Terri's Tips

Terri's Tip this week is to remember that Realtors are here to help you. Check out this funny video!


Web searches, How To Videos, blogs and the rest of the Internet have us believing we can do anything by ourselves. But when it comes to something important like buying or selling a home, we're better off trusting an expert.

If you are ready to list, give me a call!

Call Terri Hastings
Sales Representative
Re/max Grey Bruce Realty Inc., Brokerage Wiarton
Direct: 519-534-3750


Terri's Tips

Moving day can be a stressful time for you and your family. Here are some reminders for how to handle that big day with ease.
1. Be on hand when the movers arrive. If you can’t remain personally, authorize someone to take your place and give the mover his/her name. Give this person a list of duties and make sure they understand exactly what to do.
2. Keep children and pets on their daily routine as much as possible and out of the way of the movers and the moving van.  Giving children a special job to do that day (out of the way) will help them feel included and can also be productive!
3. Make movers aware of which items are to be moved and point out prized or fragile articles.
4. Advise the movers of any items you need to have as soon as you arrive at your new home – immediate necessities like a baby’s playpen and crib, for example.
5. Make a final tour of the premises with the van operator to be sure that all items have been loaded.
6. Before signing the paperwork with your movers, check the details. These documents state the terms and conditions under which your goods are moved. Make certain that your Declared Valuation – in the proper amount – is listed on the bill of lading.

I hope you enjoy your new home and as always, you can contact me at 519-534-3750.

Terri's Tips

Protect yourself with a visual inspection before closing.

When you’re making one of the biggest decisions of your life, don’t forget to make sure you complete a “final walk-through” prior to closing. Scheduling a final walk-through 4 – 7 days prior to closing will allow you and I to address issues such as:

If the current owner is on schedule to move out
That the property is in the same condition it was when shown
That any repairs required have been completed

This is also a great time to get excited about the new property you are about own!

If you have any questions about buying or selling property, please let me know!

Call Terri Hastings
Sales Representative
Re/max Grey Bruce Realty Inc., Brokerage Wiarton
Direct: 519-534-3750