Last year, Phil Soper, President and Chief Executive Officer of Royal LePage Real Estate Services, commissioned a report that found that, when it comes to cottages, the lifestyle benefits outweigh the costs for most potential buyers.
Ranking their priorities for recreational property, 55 per cent of survey respondents said they were looking for waterfront or beach access, 46 per cent wanted a four-season property and 43 per cent said they just wanted a quiet location.
Aside from being able to reconnect with nature, many cottage country lovers speak of escaping the city, of being "unplugged" and having room to roam. Others enjoy being part of a small community and ordering from a local bakery or buying eggs or vegetables from a nearby farm. For others, it's about the sunrise and catching fresh fish.
Time spent in cottage country is the stuff of lifelong memories. It conjures images of building sandcastles, splashes of clear water, chasing minnows and frogs. Feeling a sunset. Bonfires and toasted marshmallows, fireflies in the trees. Singing songs and finding secret places. Playing cards and doing puzzles, laughter and the scent of pine.
The right place has an emotional connection. So, when it comes time to buy, find a trusted real estate agent that understands what you're looking for. In addition to helping you determine availability and pricing, your agent can explain the finer details- things like local property taxes, sewage systems and water supplies- and regulations.
Almost every Realtor attends countless educational courses or seminars every year. There's always someone hired to speak at conferences and larger corporate meetings. We think of it as the cheerleading session, the booster rally... and while we respect that some Realtors like that stuff and really gain something from those events, we have different priorities.
We do keep up on trends and we do research various media platforms but we find that the information given by professional speakers and coaches at big events, well... so everyone is doing the same thing. The squeeze page is one of those things and it reminds us of the Cottage Show premise. Realtors go to Cottage Shows for one reason- to get contact information for prospective buyers. Then, they hammer and hammer and hammer at those prospects, trying to get a sale. The problem is, at a Cottage show, those same buyers have likely given their contact information to a dozen Realtors, and they're being driven crazy with the deluge of correspondence and likely turned off. We don't do Cottage shows. In the web-site world, a squeeze page is something similarly designed to get email addresses... to "squeeze" it out of folks.
Last year, statistics showed that the ratio of Realtors to Age of Majority Canadians was 1 for every 245. In Toronto, that rose to 1 for every 140. In Bancroft (a town of roughly 4000), there were 44 Realtors... 1 for every 90. It stands to reason that if Realtors are all being taught the same ploys and trying to simply "squeeze" information out of people, there's a whole lot of squeezing going on and it's not the good kind.
Realtors are taught to form relationships with clients. They're trained to foster life-long connections through mail-outs. These days, of course, email has taken over- but it's the same principle. Send regular newsletters, send cards or calendars or fridge magnets- keep in-touch somehow. And, we're not knocking the gesture if it's genuine. Honestly, we envy the Realtor who has time to accomplish this feat- provided it's sincere.
Many Realtors have lengthy email address databases. The new privacy legislation has laid out certain guidelines and Realtors are supposed to have written permission to maintain open files on contacts. Some people say that the rules don't apply to "friends" and that's THEIR business.
The thing is, that we equate the word business with professionalism. Our dentists and lawyers don't send us birthday cards or happy anniversary of the purchase of your dental appliance notes. Just saying.
We're happy to get emails and we like to hear from our past clients. We have an open door policy and we're especially pleased to get referrals. We do our job and we do it well. We do have a Facebook page and sometimes we Twitter. We share vital information when requested and we blog. Our website shows every MLS listing on our home board, although we are licensed for all ofOntarioand our contact information is available on the "contact info" page.
We'd love to hear from you.
This morning I found a friend had posted this to facebook:
"Peacefully at home in North York, Ontario on January 6, 2015, Michael Nishri, age 87, died of cancer. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Ruth Goldfarb vel Archit, his sons Alex (Diane Mitchell Nishri) and Ted of Toronto, his grandsons William and Kevin of Toronto and extended family in Israel and the United States. He is predeceased by his brother Shaike Nishri of Israel.
Michael was born Fischel Wadler, son of Leib Wadler and Beila Susser on October 25, 1927 in Krakow, Poland. He spoke rarely of his experiences during World War II, but his story is amazing. He survived the Podgorze ghetto because his parents were employed in Julius Madritsch's factory; he survived a death march from Mauthausen to Gunskirchen concentration camp where he was freed by American soldiers after just a few days; he survived years in Cyprus after the illegal immigrant ship "Twenty three" was captured. Michael served in the Palmach Negev brigade during the War of Independence. On May 7, 1964, he arrived in Montreal with his wife and sons to start over again. They later moved to Toronto, where Michael (Eli to his wife, Dziadek to his grandsons) worked as an accountant until retirement. Michael always enjoyed camping, and considered AlgonquinPark to be one of the best places on earth. He was an active member of the Seniors for Nature Canoe Club from the earliest days, frequently leading hikes and canoe trips with Ruth.
On January 17, 2015, a life celebration for Michael will be held at Toronto Botanical Gardens from 1-4 pm. In memoriam donations to the charity of your choice would be appreciated."
I responded: "Alex, I want to extend my sympathy to you and your family and friends and I also want to thank you for sharing this glimpse into an exeptional life. In one short paragraph, we are given a powerful reminder of human endurance and the will to survive atrocity and adversity. It is disheartening and difficult to think of how your father struggled, for almost half his life, to defend simple, basic rights... yet, it is uplifting to imagine the tremendous joy he must have experienced in securing a better life, and future, for his family. This is the true meaning of a successful life and those who are left to mourn are the measure of his substantial wealth. Rest in peace Fischel Wadler-Michael Nishri."
I was reluctant to post the comment... I felt then, and still feel that what I said was inadequate... I don't know how to articulate the shame I feel for being human and knowing the horrors that people are capable of inflicting... and surviving... and I don't know how to articulate the admiration I have for people who are able to endure such trauma and go on to experience love, laughter and enjoyment in life.
Alan Alda is quoted as saying, “You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you'll discover will be wonderful. What you'll discover is yourself.” It is interesting that Alda chooses an urban versus rural metaphor to describe parts of the psyche normally referred to as the conscious and unconscious.
Many people make a conscious choice to leave the city and I’ve often asked people about their motivation for moving to the country… which, in some cases, is actually very much the wilderness. Over the years, I’ve heard many versions of the same sentiment and I thought I would share them in today’s blog.
City life has accelerated. Visual marketing bombards the urban dweller. Sirens, construction projects and traffic sounds are sometimes so loud that you can’t converse in the street. People loiter in doorways, hallways, on sidewalks and foyers. Most interaction with wildlife means there are pests, like rats, raccoons or feral cats and these, and others, are considered a threat to safety and traffic flow. Too many green or park areas are dangerous places, littered with broken glass, abandoned hypodermics, garbage and dog poop. The traffic seldom lets up.
Most people understand that country living means less options and opportunity but see the trade-off as liberating because, in the country, things move at a more comfortable pace.
Life is less frantic when the closest store is at least a mile away and shopping is scheduled and planned, rather than something you do continuously, along your travels. In the country, we don’t search for a “Farmer’s Market”, we visit the farm.
We spend less time in traffic jams and use our time to explore nature, read books, listen to music and enjoy other activities that are easier (and arguably better) in a quiet environment, with fewer distractions. We have lots of room to roam and we take the time to explore things, including our community. We get to know each other and we embrace the philosophy that it takes a village to raise a child.
At night, we look at the stars… and we see many of them because the air is cleaner and clearer. On a daily basis we interact with a variety of creatures- from fireflies and bullfrogs to deer and moose. We don’t have many big box stores, what we do have are small businesses, decent restaurants, studios, denturists, physiotherapists, consignment stores, doctors, dentists, banks and lawyers, eclectic boutiques and many other unique shops and enterprises. We support and foster entrepreneurship.
We have a number of service clubs, museums, a playhouse, curling club, arena, galleries and our own Arts Council… there are loads of things to do, if one feels inclined… and when one has the hankering for an urban experience, the big city is just a couple of hours away… it is, after all, a nice place to visit.
I wanted to write a post about the research that I'm currently doing... however, it's not complete and quite a eclectic range of subjects at this point and I haven't the time to put them into any logical order. Still, I want to share some of the fascinating facts I've discovered, likely not for the first time, but somehow they seem fresh, again. The problem with using the word trivia to explain these interesting tid bits of information is that I find them far from trivial... in fact, some of the information is quite astounding!
In 1900: Bancroft had a Butter and Cheese Association AND a Farmers' Institute in the Monteagle Valley.
By 1970, 20' of fill ad been added on top of the original Hastings Street.
In 1868, there were 53 lawyers in North Hastings.
In 1946, theTown of Bancroft the private operating Bancroft Light, Heat and Power company and installed a 2nd power unit in 1948, at a cost of $57,000.
Pt Lot 20 Conc X in Faraday was the location of 'Laundry's Corners".
Lot 24 Conc XV Dungannon was on the road to the Vardy Settlement.
The Beechmount Settlement was located at Faraday's northern border where it meets Herschel Township- this was an agricultural community with a cheese factory.
On April 30, 1903, a cyclone ripped through North Hastings and hurricane velocity winds spread flames across the region.
In November of 1899 there were 5 active timber companies in Bancroft and not an empty house.
There are 35,000 telephone poles freom Millbridge to Bird's Creek.
There are 2 log drivers buried just above the Hydro Dam in the Town of Bancroft and one right at Hastings and Bridge.
In 1897, a tree cut near Gilmour produced 4,077 feet of lumber.
In 1899, a cedar cut at Bentley Creek was 52" at the butt and made three 16' logs, the smallest being 16" at the tip.
By 1834, Belleville was one of the first 10 post offices in Canada.
In 1837, Hastings County separated from Midland County.
In the early years, the village of Bancroft had a problem with vandals stealing the wooden sidewalks.
The surveyor of Dungannon Township (a Mr. O'Hanley) once said, "Metaphorically, the York River may metaphorically styled a great-grandchild of the mighty St. Lawrence."
O'Hanely was paid 6.7 cents an acre for surveying.