“Winter is Coming”, many of you may associate this common cliché with the action-packed HBO series “Games of Thrones”. The truth remains winter is coming, and possibly sooner than we think this year. Your cottage and that fun filled summer, of swimming with your family at the waterfront front or relaxing around the campfire, are coming to a quick close. Are you ready? More importantly is your cottage? Closing your cottage for a long cold winter can be a painstaking chore but worth the effort, especially considering the cost should you forget some of the important fundamentals!
Before you head home, or south for the winter, and, before you leave the comfort of your lovely escape sanctuary, here are some crucial items to check off your list of closing tasks:
- Check the windows and screens to ensure they are attached properly, not in need of repair and locked.
- Inspect your roof for any damaged shingles and replace to confirm you do not have nasty leaks during the winter.
- Cut and trim any branches that may be hanging over the roof to avoid extra snow from being dumped onto the roof and gutters. Ice buildup can damage too, so make sure the eavestroughs are clean and free of debris.
- Clean out any outdoor garden sheds and arrange items for proper winter storage.
- Board up any additional sheds, gazebos, guest cottages, etc. The effort is not wasted should you discover critters have broken into over the winter months and made themselves at home.
- Remove your dock and store it in a well-organized fashion so you can quickly re-install it in the spring. Touch-up any parts with rust-proof paint if needed.
- Stack your canoes, kayaks and water toys on sawhorses or custom racks in an out of sight location away from the lake or roadway and chain them together, hopefully deterring any human critters from walking off with your items.
- Move the picnic tables inside to a shed, if you have room, this will help preserve the wood. If room is not available turn on it on its side and place against a wall, ensuring the snow and rain can run off.
- Clean all BBQ areas thoroughly and disconnect from the propane tank. Store them in a sheltered location or tarp over.
- Remove all items from your outdoor decks and patios. Clean all outdoor furniture and remove the cushions. Cover the cushions with a non-plastic tarp or sack and stack them in a high and dry protected area of your shed or in the cottage in a dry space off the floor.
- Run the lawnmower, weed-wacker, and any other gas equipment until they are empty of all fuel and clean them completely; inspect and change any filters. Spray all moving parts with lubricant, like WD-40 and store in your locked, recently cleaned shed.
- Remove all garbage stored under the decks and cabin and dispose of properly. Improving air and water flow is imperative for the spring melt and removes possible home sites for the critters. Toss moth balls around to deter wildfire from trying to access the cabin and stuff any access holes with steel wool.
- Check to ensure the septic does not require emptying and add some approved suitable bacteria to the septic.
Once you have checked all the outdoor equipment and buildings your focus can now be turned to the interior of the cottage. Begin with a walk around to check for any damages such as cracked windows, torn furniture, or anything that does not look quite right. Make a mental note to repair or replace these items, prioritize what needs immediate attention. Once your inspection is complete, you can advance to the next and final steps…
- Gather hats, shoes, toys, etc. that you have accumulated during the season that are no longer used and donate or recycle. In other words, get rid of the clutter.
- Empty the ashes & clean out the wood stove completely. Close the damper vent and inspect all elements. Oil moving parts and replace any old gaskets.
- Remove all food from the refrigerator and freezer. Clean and disinfect thoroughly, leaving the doors open just slightly to ensure proper air flow and to avoid mildew.
- Go through the cupboards and remove all food products as well, even canned, and any items that could be considered chewable for little winter rascals.
- Double check all small appliances and ensure they a food free. Mice will crawl into small places and you would not like to find a little skeleton in the spring.
- Remove bedding and cover the mattresses plastic sheets, cover all furniture with sheets as well, placing fabric dryer sheets on furniture, in dresser draws and in closets; this will deter vermin and keep them out.
- Finally… drain all the water from your water systems properly. Turn off the switch in the electric panel for the water pump and water heater. Drain the hot water heater tank and water pump completely. Ensure all water is out of all pipes, gravity should draw the water back once you turn off the water pump, but you should open all taps for well-being; any lingering water can cause pipes to burst, and you do not want a big mess in the spring. Pour a generous amount of approved antifreeze into all drains, including the shower and washer and, the toilet tank as a final defensive component. Remove any filters that could be allowing water to remain in pumps, etc. Cover any open ends of water lines, pipes the cans and seal with duct tape. You do not want bugs or mice crawling in.
Before you pull the door shut, lock up and head home, ensure the appliances are disconnected and the breakers are off at the panel. Review your checklist and make sure it is complete. Taking pictures of everything is an excellent way of keeping an inventory for insurance purposes should a disaster strike like fire, home invasion producing theft, or weather damage. Take a last inspection around the property checking and locking all buildings. Remove all garbage, and don’t forget your cell phone, computer and other essential items.
Take a deep break and head for the car, and the long journey home; “Home Sweet Home”. Now that you have closed the cottage properly it is time to sit back and enjoy the ride, especially if you are not driving! Hopefully the kids will have depleted of all the energy they generated, if not here are a few games for the kids to play so they won’t keep asking…“Are we there yet?”
Escape to the Greenough Harbour community to experience true closeness to nature while enjoying stunning architecture and design in your new home/cottage.
Be mesmerized by the captivating waterscapes and world-acclaimed Lake Huron sunsets while enjoying special moments on the designer 2-tier deck.
With 3100 sq. ft. of quality and high end feature living space, there is no reason to ever leave your private oasis. The open concept features a great room with 13ft vaulted ceilings and a commanding handcrafted stone fireplace. The kitchen speaks for the chef in all of us and you can dine & entertain while being captivated by vista waterscapes only a stone`s throw away!
The master bedroom has a covered porch- a perfect spot for your morning coffee or tea and a beautiful oversized ensuite that will take your breath away.
There is no reason why you should not come and view this dream property. It is everything you could ever desire! Call for your appointment to view today.
One of the finest examples of waterfront development on the Bruce Peninsula. Using the finest materials complimented with master craftsmanship, the contemporary design comes alive with soaring ceilings, expansive windows, open spaces, hardwood flooring and a high end commercial kitchen that would satisfy the most critical mind.
Other features of this incredible 4 season home/cottage include main floor master with waterfront access, 5 pc ensuite and a private exercise room.
Also wood burning fireplaces indoors and out, a large plunge pool overlooking the waterfront and lots of areas developed with flag stone pathways and patios, barbecue area, beach front/water front docks and decks.
Enjoy the protected waterfront of Myles Bay and come and discover why this is considered the `Treasure of the Bruce Peninsula`.
Christmas is a time when family and friends can come together to celebrate and create new traditions, and most certainly embrace the old. I love Christmas time so much; this festive holiday atmosphere is heartwarming and overflows my soul with love. Our household does not have many holiday traditions, but in the past, we have gone outside to build snowmen, we always decorate the tree together, and we perform other Christmas time activities as a family. On Christmas Eve, we all sit down to a Christmas movie, wearing our new pajamas, and enjoy family time with snacks and of course hot chocolate!
If you are like us and do enjoy starting new traditions, here is a list, of what I think are some of my favorite Christmas Traditions, that everyone should try this holiday season with their loved ones!
Build a gingerbread house and place on the table for a centrepiece decoration until Christmas eve, share together that evening as part of your snack & a movie.
Set up the Christmas decorations; stockings can be hung on the mantle, lights inside & out, wreaths on all entry doors, and so on. Get the kids involved, remember they love Christmas and helping.
If you do not have a mantle, get an old skeleton key, place a red ribbon on it and tell your children that it is a special key from Santa. Tell them must hang it on the outside entry door handle for Santa to enter and place the gifts under the tree. When they are ready to go to bed we sprinkle homemade reindeer dust, which is made from oatmeal and glitter. The glitter is to guide the reindeer to the house!
Kids love to bake, so take some time to include baking and make some delicious Christmas cookies (make sure to make extra for Santa & the reindeer).
Go Christmas caroling, with your church or as a family outing. Make sure to bundle up and even take hot chocolate along with the cookies you made.
Wrap gifts for friends and family, don’t forget teachers and other acquaintances that are important to you and your children. Small, handmade gifts can be used to make gift baskets and are great for gift giving.
Get your picture taken with Santa, make it a family venture, and maybe even put the portrait on a card. Send to your family & friends.
Have what we call a Jerusalem dinner. Make simple foods, items that they might have eaten back then—fried salmon in olive oil and seasonings, hummus, cheese, crackers, grapes, etc. Eat on the floor by candle light, then have Dad read the nativity story out of the New Testament.
Go out for dinner to a local diner, there are many places that stay open late. Then take a drive to look at Christmas lights. Make it a special time together as a family, Christmas Eve. It’s less stressful and you can appreciate being together, enjoying a great meal without the clean up or cooking on this special night.
Go together as a family and get a real Christmas tree and decorate it together. Take time to create special ornaments and even string popcorn for that traditional feel.
Take time to go outside and just have some fun. Build a snowman or go ice skating. Taking a hike through the evergreens can be great fun, tell a story as you go.
Have a Christmas Eve party to celebrate with family and friends, have a buffet style menu with appetizers and punch; don’t forget the Christmas music! If you go to church on Christmas Eve, invite family and friends home for treats and eggnog.
Don’s forget the mistletoe, place it in a pass-way to the living room or any entry way where most people enter and then give someone a kiss the next time they are under the mistletoe.
Finally, write a letter to Santa. Kids love to create, so make a fabulous letter with pictures cut out of flyers or catalogs.
There are many ways to start new Christmas traditions and preserve the old, we just need to make the time to create and enjoy all that Christmas affords. Taking this time will have your children’s eyes “all aglow” and they will be delighted when the big day finally arrives.
From my house to yours have a joyous Christmas Season and a prosperous New Year!
Fall Showcase Of Homes | Celebrating Our Sixth Year
Have you ever driven by a home with a Chestnut Park for sale sign in front of it and wondered what it looks like inside? On September 24th, you will have the opportunity to step inside and tour the fabulous cottages, chalets, condominiums and farm properties in Georgian Bay and Grey Bruce trading areas.
194194 13 Grey County Road 13
We are celebrating our 6th year presenting The Chestnut Park Fall Showcase of Homes! This exciting upcoming fall will feature a collection of beautiful homes that you can explore as you travel along some of the most scenic roads in the province. We excited to unveil the homes that are happy to open their doors to curious visitors. Visitors won’t leave empty handed either; we’ll be offering local apple varieties and Flow Water, which we are proud to say is from South Bruce Peninsula.
125 Napier Street, Unit 2
Each home on tour will be open from 10am to 4pm, so you will have plenty of time throughout the day to choose your properties of interest. We won’t hold it against you if you get distracted and stop to enjoy The Blue Mountains Apple Pie Trail, great local food, farmers markets, wineries, cideries and local artisans. There is so much to experience when you participate in The Fall Showcase Of Homes.
217 Peters Crescent
Check out the chestnutpark.com (blog) and view the map to see where the properties of the 2016 event will be. We’ll be adding more homes as we get closer to the event.
618185 18 Grey Road
We at Chestnut Park Real Estate Limited have made it our mission to provide every Chestnut Park client with the most customized service in the industry. As an exclusive affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate, and as one of Ontario’s leading luxury real estate companies, you know you’ll be meeting seasoned, top real estate agents who are the best at what they do. If we haven’t met before, we look forward to introducing ourselves to you September 24th, 2016! If you have any questions regarding the event, please contact your Chestnut Park Sales Representative or email Diana Lea Berdini, Manager Collingwood/Owen Sound; firstname.lastname@example.org
Gary Taylor, Broker and the staff at Chestnut Park Real Estate Limited, Brokerage in Wiarton would like to say “Thank you” to everyone who has taken the time to welcome us at our new office here in Wiarton.
Since opening the new office in October of 2015, Gary and his staff have been welcomed with many warm wishes from the community. Wiarton and The Bruce Peninsula, home to “Wiarton Willie”, the escarpment and all its wonders and the beautiful aqua marine waters of Georgian Bay, undoubtedly has some of the friendliest people. We are proud to be a part of this community.
Just recently Gary was presented with two prestigious New Business certificates. On Tuesday, April 26 Larry Miller, MP and Bill Walker, MPP presented Gary with a “Congratulations on Celebrating your Grand Opening” certificate and a “New Business” certificate.
Pictured below is MP, Larry Miller on the left, Gary Taylor and MPP, Bill Walker on the right.
Picture is courtesy Larry Miller’s Office
We at Chestnut Park Real Estate Limited, Brokerage Wiarton office look forward to a continued relationship with the patrons of Wiarton and the Bruce Peninsula, and again Thank you for your support and sincere welcome.
Gary & Yvonne
If you are like most Ontarians, you work hard and play even harder. So, when it’s time to look for your next cottage destination why not check out the more than 850 kilometers of beach front and the hundreds of beautiful lake front properties Grey/Bruce has to offer.
When it’s time to plan your vacation get everyone involved and start early. Some, if not most, cottages are booked a year in advance and you would not like to miss out on your dream cottage destination. Planning should include the number of people staying at the cottage, what you plan to do when you get there and who will be responsible for what. Get your children involved in the plan too, remember it’s your vacation as well theirs, and they will have fun participating in the decision making. Listed below are some helpful suggestions to help you get started.
If you are going to sign a contract ensure to read it over very carefully and thoroughly. Make sure you are aware of check-in date and time as well as the check-out date and time. If you arrive earlier than the specified time you may be waiting to gain access to the cottage. Cottage owners will need to clean and perhaps complete some basic maintenance or repairs between renters. When you arrive you will want to unload and get right into vacationing, not wait or be asked to leave and return at the proper check-in time.
Do you have a pet? More and more cottage destinations are open to allowing pets on site, please remember it is a privilege and not a right to bring your pets along. Some destinations will not permit pets due to family allergies, a child’s phobia or simply because they just do not like cats and dogs. If you respect the owner’s decision to allow your pets, you should remember to keep your pet under control and not put the owner in an embarrassing situation that could result in you and your family being asked to leave.
As part of the planning for your vacation I suggest you purchase a map of the area. Map out your destination in advance including an alternative route. When you arrive ensure you get specific directions to and from the cottage from the cottage owner. You should also consider that if the cottage is in a populated area by the beach, roads can become very congested and you do not want to spend a lot of time sitting in your car and waiting on traffic. If you find alternate routes to save time, you are already ahead of the game. Are you planning to GPS the routes? Remember that summer months are the main months for construction and most GPS’s do not display alternative routes for construction. Ensure you have a good map and make sure it is one of the first items put in your car.
Making a list of the items you want to pack is a good idea as well. Getting the kids involved in this list, by adding their items, will help them get ready in a timely manner. This will also help when you arrive at the cottage, if the cottage does not supply toiletries for example, you will realize you did not forget something basic but essential. Are linens included? If not put them on the list. A good packing list is critical when planning for your vacation; it will help you remember all the little things needed to make your stay as comfortable as possible.
When you book your cottage make sure you are aware of all the sleeping arrangements – the number of bedrooms in the cottage for example, and the size of each bed. You do not want to show up and find out there is a twin bed in all the rooms and you were expecting a queen or double. If part of the sleeping arrangement includes a sofa bed make sure you ask if pillows are supplied. Knowing this in advance will help with your list as well, plan to bring the proper sheets, pillows and blankets if required.
When you make your plan decide what day trips your family will enjoy. Knowing dates, times and costs are an important part of the planning. Googling the time a store opens or what days an exhibit is showing could save a lot of time and energy later. If you simply show up for an outing and find it is closed for repairs or sold out, your family will be disappointed and valuable time lost. Plan ahead and avoid any disappoint.
Do you plan to be on the water? Of course you do! Whether you are going to fish or get in for a swim, you need to remember a couple of items – a fishing license for all adults and a good pair of swimming shoes. The lakes and beaches are very inviting and you will want to avoid any cuts that can result from sharp rocks and even mussel shells. Small children especially will tend to live in the water during your vacation, so remember safety first. If you own a boat or if you are planning to rent one, be sure you have life jackets. Ensure life jackets are included with the boat rental. Whether you choose to wear the life jacket or not will determine whether you receive the substantial fine or not.
Will you be vacationing with friends or extended family members? Set ground rules, before the trip plan to meet and talk over everyone’s responsibility. What are the expectations for all involved? Who will be doing what? Who will be bring what? Be truthful and honest, you cannot be prepared for the unseen but you can make sure your kids go to bed on time, and the dog follows his routine as well. If you plan ahead and everyone is on the same page you may avoid problems later. If your friends or extended family plan to meet you at the cottage consider parking and whether or not additional vehicles are permitted.
Making a plan and asking all the rights questions will save you time and the frustration of disappointment later. So start planning early, book the cottage early and then enjoy!
Family Day is a great opportunity for families to spend time together playing, laughing and having fun together. We at Chestnut Park Real Estate Limited, Wiarton encourage you and your family to get out there, be active, and play together on Family Day 2016. The community of Wiarton and surrounding areas have planned many events and activities that will excite any child and the child at heart. Listed below are just some of the activities and events (Information courtesy Town of South Bruce Peninsula website).
- Join in on a Horse drawn sleigh ride around Bluewater Park from 10am-12 noon, courtesy of the The Town of South Bruce Peninsula. Loading and unloading at the parking lot by the boat launch.
- Enjoy the outdoors? Strap on your skis or snowshoes and take a tour around the Sauble Cross Country Ski Trails open for free all day. Then get warmed up in the clubhouse from 11:00 am-1:00 pm with a hot dog, apple cider and a marshmellow roast (weather permitting). The Clubhouse is located at 931 Sauble Parkway, north of the Sauble Falls Bridge.
- The Bruce Peninsula Sportsmen’s Association are holding a BBQ and Archery Instruction from 12-2 pm. Drop in for a tour of the fish hatchery, try your archery skills and finish off with a BBQ in the club house, located off County Road 13 between Wiarton and Oliphant.
- Billiards anyone? Try a game of Pool at Lloyd’s Smoke Shop, Wiarton 10 am-4 pm.
- Join the Sauble Sandpipers at the Sauble Beach Community Centre and learn how to play a fun game of FloorShuffleboard 1 – 3 pm.
- Looking for a little exercise? Strap on your skates for a free skate at the Wiarton Arena from 1-3 pm courtesy of RBC.
- Then for the grand finale … 4:30-6:30 pm at the Wiarton Propeller Club, enjoy a delicious Spaghetti Dinner cooked by Chef Andy and served by special guests. Dessert is courtesy of Wiarton Foodland and Fretz’s ValuMart.
There are limitless ways to enjoy the great outdoors…hiking, snowshoeing, skiing, tobogganing or just get out and build a snowman! Plan to stay indoors this Family Day? Board games, colouring or drawing pictures, making a puzzle or building a fort with pillows are great ways to have fun with the family. Ask your kids what they would like to do and have fun doing it with them. The most important memories start with family, so have fun making unforgettable memories this Family day!
Every February 2nd, Wiarton stands on the world’s stage, and Wiarton Willie makes his official weather forecast. People love to talk about the weather (especially in Canada) and for one morning a year all eyes and ears are focused on Willie. What started out as a tradition of fellowship, with the toss of a white fur hat into the snow has now exploded into a media frenzy and signature community event. This year was the 60th year that Willie makes his prediction.
Wiarton Willie saw his shadow Tuesday morning before hundreds of cheering people and that means six more weeks of winter. The albino groundhog was carried in his plexiglass box atop some straw to the stage in front of Wiarton Arena with pomp and circumstance befitting royalty.
Photo Courtesty, The Sun Times
There was Willie’s 2016 Shadow Cabinet, which included local Tory MPP Bill Walker and Conservative MP Larry Miller, South Bruce Peninsula Mayor Janice Jackson and others dressed in traditional white tuxedos with purple cloaks.
Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown also attended Willie’s big day.
Photo Courtesy, The Sun Times
Chief Vernon Roote of the Chippewas of Saugeen gave Willie an Ojibway name, and Chief Greg Nadjiwon of the Chippewas of Nawash joked to the crowd that Willie had done what no one else had, brought the chiefs together with both members of provincial and federal parliament.
The Queen of the Festival and her court, the McLaren Pipe & Drum Band and the town crier filled out the dignitary list on this 60th anniversary of the Wiarton Willie festival.
The little prognosticator was sleepy and Mayor Jackson asked the energetic crowd to help wake him, which they did with calls and cheers. As the sun rose over the bay on a cool, clear morning, Jackson put her ear nearer to Willie and got the word. After conferring with her Shadow Cabinet, she announced six more weeks of winter.
By Scott Dunn, Sun Times, Owen Sound | Tuesday, February 2, 2016 3:06:00 EST PM
Source: The Enterprise Bulletin
The next time you are in Wiarton, stop by the brand new Chestnut Park Real Estate Limited, Brokerage office and say hello!
The Christmas season from, November to January, is often deemed the worst time of the year to put a home on the market. If you have your home listed or if you are thinking of listing your home, the season does have its advantages… holiday buyers tend to be more serious-minded and there is less opposition as fewer homes are being marketed. If you decide to sell, here are some helpful tips to help for the season.
Appoint a dependable & trustworthy real estate agent to sell your home.
That means someone who will work hard for you and won’t vanish during the festive season. If you do not have an agent try asking friends and family if they can recommend an agent who will go above and beyond to get your home sold. This will reduce your stress and allow you more time to enjoy the season.
Price it to sell.
No matter what time of year, a home that’s priced right for the market will make any buyer feel “merry”. With all you have to do over the holidays, who will not have a lot of time to write –up price changes. Save time and rather than progressively reducing the price, think of the lowest price you would sell your home for and list it accordingly.
Search for motivated buyers.
Anyone searching for a home during the holidays will have a good reason for doing so. Work with your agent to target buyers who have a time-limit, including people relocating for jobs in your area, investors on tax deadlines, college students and staff, and military personnel, if you live near a military base.
Decorating without over doing.
Homes often look their best during the holidays, but make sure you do not overdo it. Too many decorations (or too large) may distract buyers from your homes’ natural beauty. Likewise, avoid possibly offending buyers by choosing universal fall and winter decorations rather than items with traditional religious themes.
Curb appeal should be a top priority.
As autumn turns the leaves and they begin to fall, maintaining the exterior of your home becomes even more essential. Bare trees reveal an exposed home, so touch up the paint, clean the gutters and keep the yard well-groomed. Keeping the buyers’ safety in mind as well by making sure stairs and walkways are free of snow, ice and leaves.
Display only top-quality real estate photos.
“When the weather outside is frightful”…homebuyers will more than likely start their home search browsing listings on the Internet. Make a good first impression by offering lots of pleasing, high-quality photos of your home. If possible, have seasonal images posted; a summer or spring photo of your home, when the ground is covered with snow, will help the buyer see how it looks year-round.
Create a video tour for the Web.
More than likely, you will have less showings during the holidays due to foul weather and potential buyers vacation plans. Have your real estate agent take a video of your home or shoot a video tour yourself and post it on the Web. This may entice or attract house buyers who don’t wish to venture out into the snow or those who have less time to physically see your home.
Home Buyers want a place to escape from the cold.
Make your home feel cozy and welcoming during showings by turning up the heat, playing soft soothing music and offering holiday treats. You want to encourage buyers to spend more time in your home; you also want to give them more time to admire its charm and charisma. After all that’s what got them here to begin with. The smell of piping hot homemade apple cider will undoubtedly make someone feel like they are coming home.
Relax and enjoy… the “New Year” is almost here!
The holidays are stressful enough with all you have to do…buying gifts, preparing family dinners and entertaining family members. Take a moment relax and unwind. Remember you if don’t sell now, there’s always next year and 2016 is fast approaching. So have Merry Christmas and enjoy your family and home!