Do you remember riding the escalator inÂ Woolworthâ€™s in Collingwood?Â Today in its place, youâ€™ll find the Admiral Building which is home to a flagship LCBO along with other shops and services.Â In the 19 years that Iâ€™ve been practicing real estate, just about everything has changed.
Way back then, we typed offers using carbon paper for copies and white-out to make corrections.Â Our daily MLSÂ® data came from paper spewed out from a little ticker-type box.Â Weâ€™d copy, cut and paste listings and pop them in the mail to be received a week or so later by our out-of-area clients.Â Actually, we didnâ€™t really have Buyer clients in those days.Â Our job was to almost always represent Sellers since Buyer AgencyÂ was unheard of.Â Offers were usually presented in person as we drove hours to see people because faxed contracts were not yet legal.Â Few REALTORSÂ® had computers let alone email, voice mail, cell phones or Blackberrys.Â Very few had assistants or home offices and the mandatory continuing education requirements of today didnâ€™t exist.
Insurance companies didnâ€™t worry about oil tanks or 60 amp electrical services as they do today.Â GST didnâ€™t exist!Â Mortgage interest rates were double digits and everyone needed at least 10% down to buy a property.Â Privacy legislation hadnâ€™t been introduced, grow houses didnâ€™t exist and we didnâ€™t yet have any idea of what a prolonged recession could actually do to real estate prices.
19 years ago, Collingwood had not annexed part of Nottawasaga, Clearview Township didnâ€™t exist and Meaford was just a town.Â Almost all condominiums in the area were in Cranberry Village and Lighthouse Point hadnâ€™t been built.Â The Niagara Escarpment and the Conservation Authorities had a whole different set of rules and since then, every municipality has changed its Official Plans and zoning by-laws more than twice.Â There was no Village at BlueÂ and the concept of luxury real estate was not even a notion in this area.
Today, the delivery of real estate information is as quick as the click of a mouse and listings or offers can be sent by email.Â Buyers can instantly search MLSÂ® listings onlineÂ and homes for sale are often showcased with virtual tours.Â Real estate consumers are better protected than ever by changes in legislation and by improved education for REALTORSÂ®.Â Interest rates are under 6% and you can buy a house with no money down.Â Choices abound with numerous opportunities to buy condominiums, single family homes or luxury custom homes in prestige neighbourhoods.Â There are land-lease and fractional ownership developments and, recreational investment options.
Today, South Georgian Bay is a different place.Â We can grab a coffee at Espresso Post or Starbucks and alternative libations at Zencha tea bar.Â We can golf on a world class course or spend a day at an exclusive spa.Â There are numerous exquisite choices for fine dining and blessedly, a choice of chocolate and candy shops.Â There are clubs for networking, learning and lectures, outstanding local theatre and a thriving arts community.Â You can get the inside scoop by reading local blogsÂ and websites.
Is change a good thing?Â In the case of real estate and South Georgian Bay, Iâ€™d have to say a resounding yes.Â Itâ€™s been a helluva ride and I canâ€™t help but wonder what the next nineteen years will bring.
When itâ€™s time to buy or sell real estate in the Collingwood, Blue Mountain or Georgian Triangle area, contact Marg, an experienced and competent Broker whoâ€™s ready whenever you are!
Marg Scheben-Edey is a Broker with RE/MAX four seasons realty limited, Brokerage in beautiful Collingwood, ON. With three decades of experience, Marg is a leader in the local real estate marketplace and is ready to help guide both Buyers and Sellers in achieving their real estate goals. Email Marg