If you live in Toronto, and you’ve never been to Collingwood and/or Blue Mountain Ontario, then you’re really missing out. It’s a beautiful part of Ontario, with scenic beaches, amazing hikes, ski hills, and just a fantastic overall place to get away from the city. It’s also the perfect place to buy a second property.
Why? Well besides all of the positives I mentioned, it’s also really close. You can get there in under 2 hours via the 400, or you can take a more scenic drive via Airport Road.
To find out more about buying a second property in Collingwood/Blue Mountain, I reached out to two of the best agents I know in the area: Josee Rivard and Kevin Woolham. Here’s what they had to tell me about anyone thinking of getting into the market there:
It’s not Toronto:
The real estate market in Collingwood/Blue Mountain is really different from how it is here in Toronto. If you’re buying a home in Toronto, you have to put up with inconvenient showing restrictions, multiple offers, over-asking prices and bidding wars, and more restrictions (although, with the increasing popularity in the area from people in Toronto, bidding wars are increasing); all in all, it isn’t easy to be a buyer right now in Toronto, but in Collingwood/Blue Mountain, it’s different. You have more options and a little more time to make a decision. It’s a nice mix in-between buyer and seller market, so you have a little more flexibility when it comes to buying.
Know what you’re buying. When you’re buying a recreational, second property, you need to consider that not all of the properties are hooked up to the municipal sewer system; septic tanks and wells are common, and that’s different than buying a property in the city. You need to make sure that you get water tests done and have septic tanks inspections arranged. If not, you could be dealing with some else’s, uh, problems, quite literally. And because of the way some homes are built, a lot of the homes also have sub-pumps and/or sewage ejectors, which also require proper inspection. It pays to ensure that you have a professional have a good look at these things, that you may not consider in the city, before you buy a home.
The investment market is hot. Purchasing a second home in Collingwood/Blue Mountain is a great investment. Because it’s so beautiful here, and so close, the short-term rental market is hot, and you can make a lot of money. With a couple weekend rentals a month, you can make back your monthly investment and more, however, this is where you’ll really want to work with someone that knows the area. While there are a lot of great investment properties, Blue Mountain has some pretty strict rental laws that could cost you. Some places simply don’t allow rentals at all, even for freehold properties, and going against that cost you a fine of up to $3500 a night, so you need to know what you’re buying, and more specifically, where exactly you’re buying it.
Go local. As mentioned, the market is different here, and so are the homes, so you shouldn’t use an agent from the city because it’s very possible they’ll miss something as part of the transaction. You need to work with someone that’s a real local expert to ensure you’re getting exactly what you think you’re getting without any buyer’s remorse. It literally pays for you to go with a local agent.
That acreage life. It seems to be everyone’s dream. Somewhere you can hang your hat, shoot some guns, ride a horse, or enjoy the peacefulness of not being able to see or hear your neighbour, but these type of properties bring their own set of problems that only a local agent would truly understand. Your agent needs to understand how to read rural property lines and surveys, be familiar with local bylaws and hazards, and a lot more. Even when it comes to building your new dream home on your new acreage, you may need to get town permits or commission reports, or there may be environmental impact issues to consider. Either way, knowledge is power, and a local agent should know that.
Thinking about buying real estate in Collingwood, Ontario? If so, give Josee Rivard and Kevin Woolham a call at 705-770-8855. They are the local experts, top producers, and with years of experience in the area, there’s no real estate situation there in Collingwood/Blue Mountain that they haven’t already dealt with (and I can personally vouch for them!).