Real Estate Blog

 

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Every Canada Day, for the past 20 years, we have planted small Canadian flags on the front lawns of homes in our Bracebridge and Gravenhurst communities. This small gesture reflects the immense pride and appreciation of being Canadian and living in this great country.

The recent discovery of unmarked graves on former residential school sites in Kamloops, B.C., and Cowessess First Nation, Sask., has shaken our nation. It has shone further light on the widespread and systematic abuse that Indigenous people faced (and continue to face) in our country.

While every Canadian is free to celebrate Canada Day on their terms, this year will be a time of reflection and observance and less about revelry for many. With this in mind, we've decided to

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Photo Credit: iStock

To help you navigate Muskoka's red-hot real estate market, we spoke with a couple of our realtors to provide insight on the top questions they’ve been getting from buyers and sellers lately. 

Q: Should I wait until the market cools down to buy?

The short answer: It depends on your situation. “The reality is that in the red-hot COVID market, houses have been selling for over asking and without conditions when perhaps they shouldn't be,” says Rolly Robert, a sales representative at our Royal LePage Lakes of Muskoka Realty office in Bracebridge. “The time between seeing the house and the offer date is short and leaves little time for reflection.”

So, if you're in a situation where you have the benefit of time, it's always helpful, says Daniel

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The recent discovery of unmarked graves on former residential school sites in Kamloops, B.C., and Cowessess First Nation, Sask., has brought renewed attention to Canada’s residential school system.

While we have a lot to be proud of as Canadians, we need to be united in our support of our Indigenous communities and ensure that the residential school system's horrors are brought to light. This Canada Day, to honour the Indigenous children who died at residential schools across the country, turn your attention to the following organizations and donate:

First Nations Child & Family Caring Society

This non-profit organization supports the well-being of Indigenous youth and their families. To donate, click here.

Reconciliation Canada

As a

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small lake cottage

While there are many advantages to living on the three big lakes—Joseph, Muskoka, and Rosseau—in Muskoka, there are plenty of reasons worth buying on one of the 1,597 smaller lakes. Fortunately, our realtors who regularly deal with lakefront properties on small lakes know the perks.

From more privacy to more of a community feel, we’ve rounded up the top benefits of owning a small lake cottage.

More privacy

“Generally speaking, smaller lakes do not have marinas, retail establishments, and regular boat traffic. So if this is important to you, then a small lake is something to think about.” —Susan Benson, broker at Royal LePage Lakes of Muskoka Realty in Bracebridge

Fewer boats

“Smaller lakes offer less boat traffic, allowing those that

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On June 1, Canada’s federal bank regulator, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI), raised the minimum qualifying rate for the mortgage stress test. The new rules will make it harder for borrowers applying for uninsured mortgages (those with a down payment of 20 percent or more) and insured mortgages (those with a down payment of less than 20 percent) to get a loan. Banks must now use the higher interest rate of either 5.25 percent (up from 4.79 percent) or the amount negotiated with the borrower’s lender plus two percent. 

“The qualifying rate will help support financial resilience should economic circumstances change,” said Ben Gully, assistant superintendent of OSFI’s regulation sector, in a recent press release. “Our

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Much like the rest of Ontario, the Muskoka region is sitting in a pronounced seller’s market. With a surge of buyers and historically low inventory, multiple offers and above-asking sale prices have become the norm.

The Muskoka residential real estate market saw a 21% increase in unit sales in the first quarter (Q1) of 2021 with 161 sales compared to 133 in 2020. However, sales would have been significantly higher if more homes were available for sale. The average residential sale price also rose 62% to $685,984 in 2021. (Keep in mind that the sample size is still relatively small, so we expect these price increases to moderate as the amount of unit sales increases.)

The number of units sold over list price spiked, too. By the end of Q1, 46% of

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Harp Lake

 

If you haven’t heard of Harp Lake before, let us introduce you to this gem in Muskoka. With a surface area of 0.72 km2 Harp Lake is small and scenic. Take in the sights and sounds of the lake while having a morning coffee. The lake is conveniently located 15 minutes from the town of Huntsville and will give you access to a variety of grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants and local festivals in the summer. 

 The local boat launch is located on the northwest corner of the lake on Harp Lake Road. Motorized boats are welcome! Some of the fish species that call this lake home include smallmouth bass, yellow perch, brook trout and lake trout.  

If you like being active there are many choices nearby. Whether its golf, hiking, downhill skiing

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Lake of the Week Lake Vernon

Located less than 10 minutes from the Town of Huntsville, Lake Vernon is a wonderful choice for a vacation home. Lake Vernon is the largest of four connected lakes. Easy access to Mary Lake, Fairy Lake and Peninsula Lake allows for endless boating and exploring possibilities. There is no shortage of activities in this four-season Muskoka destination.

During the summer Lake Vernon Association coordinates family-friendly events such as BBQs, golf tournaments, and family fun day at the beach. If you like waterfalls, head over to Hood Rapids. It is located between Lake Vernon and Fox Lake. In the fall, experience the magnificent fall foliage around the lake or on a trail. In the winter you can take advantage of 15 km of cross country ski trails right

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Kahshe Lake

Welcome to Kahshe Lake, a natural wonderland. It is located only 13 minutes south of Gravenhurst. Kahshe Lake is one of the biggest and most southern lakes in the Muskoka region which is great news if you are travelling from Southern Ontario. The lake drains into the Kahshe River and is considered a tea lake.

 The shape of Kahshe Lake is quite unique. There are multiple bays and inlets with a shoreline that is anything but ordinary. It also adds to the beauty of the area. Several islands are sprinkled throughout the water body, the largest by far being Boyd Island. If you would like to explore the lake by boat you can head to one of two different boat launches. Kluey Bay Landing on the north side and South Kahshe Lake Road launch on the South side.

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Bird Lake

Our featured lake for this week is Bird Lake. Located 35 minutes from Bracebridge, Bird Lake is off the beaten path and a fantastic choice if you are looking for a spot that has a little more wilderness to it. Access to the lake is a breeze just take the well-maintained highway 118 from Bracebridge to Bird Lake Road and you are there!

Enjoy the benefits of a smaller lake including more privacy and less boat traffic. Take in the peace and quiet from your dock and get rid of the stress that can come with life in the city.  Smaller lakes also tend to have calmer waters which makes Bird Lake ideal for watersports such as stand up paddleboarding (SUP), canoeing and kayaking. 

Break out the fishing rod and get ready to catch some fish. The most

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