Tag Archives: community

Barrie 5th Fastest Growing CMA in Ontario

March 2, 2012

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Courtesy of Invest Barrie Newsletter

Statistics Canada: Barrie 5th Fastest Growing CMA in Ontario

On Wednesday February 8th, Statistics Canada released their latest numbers for population and dwelling counts from the 2011 census.  Canada as a whole has a higher growth rate than any other G8 country with a current population of 33.5 million.  Ontario did not experience the same population growth as other parts of the country and wasn’t able to attract as many new residents.  Ontario posted its lowest rate of population growth at 5.7% since 1986.  One factor driving this movement, cited in the Stats Can report, is the 2008 global recession.  Although one can’t attribute everything to the economy, large demographic shifts often have economic factors involved and Ontario’s economic sectors took a hard hit in the economic down turn.

Barrie has the 5th fastest growing CMA in Ontario with a growth rate of 5.6%.  Back in 1996-2001 Barrie led population growth with 25.1% and in 2001-2006 Barrie experienced a 19.2% increase.  Although Barrie is not growing anywhere near as quickly as it did in the past, “this is good”, states Mayor Lehman.  “Barrie grew so quickly in the late 90s and early part of the last decade that we could not keep up with the demand for growth-our shortage of family doctors, our traffic issues in the south end, our backlog of road repairs are symptoms of growth that was just too fast.”  Despite the drop in the growth rate, more than 10000 people have still moved into the area.  A more sustainable growth rate allows the city to keep up with the services being provided while still contributing to a growing labour base for manufacturers and more customers for Barrie businesses.

Laura

Laura Keller of Century 21 B.J. Roth Realty is a real estate agent with a business philosophy of nurturing relationships with her clients. She will walk you through the process of buying, selling, or investing step-by-step so there are no surprises at the end of your transaction.

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Student Housing in Barrie

January 17, 2012

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There is definitely a stigma attached to student housing. Some investors shy away from that market due to the high turnover rate and the idea that students will damage the property. There’s a new reality, and investors should take note.

In Barrie, there has been a lot of discussion surrounding the rentals around Georgian College. One year ago in January, I attended the Ward 1 Town Hall meeting hosted by Mayor Jeff Lehman and Ward 1 Councillor Bonnie Ainsworth. One of the primary concerns was the student housing situation in our neighbourhood. Many people who own homes near the College reported that many of the student houses were basically slums with disenfranchised and often seemingly non-existent landlords. This image can be changed, but we need some local investors!

The need for good student housing in Barrie is great. According to a Barrie Examiner article on rental housing, Georgian supplies 525 on-campus beds for students – less than 10% of the full-time student population! If you ever drive down Duckworth St, you will have noticed that, last year, two new student apartment buildings were built which visibly helps the lack of student housing.

Remember that college and university students are generally good citizens. I remember when I started living in off-campus housing at university about 10 years ago. It’s an exciting time, and living on my own was a big step toward my independence. Although we didn’t own the house, us four girls felt like we owned a small part of it; we had pride of renter-ship!

So many students are like us. They’re growing up, and they want to prove to themselves, their friends, and their parents (when they visit!) that they can take care of themselves.

If you’re considering buying an investment property, consider this: most students rent by the room. If you’re renting a small 4-bedroom house in Barrie, you may pay around $1500 a month. According to an employee from Georgian College’s Housing and Student Life, students generally pay about $450 per room on average. If you multiply that by four rooms, that’s $1800! Granted, it may cost you a bit more for upkeep than renting to a family, but that’s still a larger profit margin for you.

Here are some tips from Georgian College’s Housing and Student Life Department if you’re considering ANY rental property as an investment:

  • Pick up a copy of the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) and take some time to read it and understand the rights and responsibilities of both a landlord and a tenant
  • Join a landlord association and understand what being a landlord means. It is important to understand the pros and cons of being a landlord
  • Pick up a copy of the City of Barrie’s Rooming, Lodging and Boarding House By-Law.
  • If after doing all of the above, the potential investor is still interested in becoming a landlord, then s/he should speak with City staff to make sure the property s/he is interested in can be licensed under the City By-Law

Certainly there are varying points of view on this potential investment. As with anything, make sure you do your research. There are even some financial incentives for you to become a student landlord in Barrie! There is no denying that Barrie has a rental shortage in general, but you can make the conscious decision to rent to students. Good luck!

Laura

Laura Keller of Century 21 B.J. Roth Realty is a real estate agent with a business philosophy of nurturing relationships with her clients. She will walk you through the process of buying, selling, or investing step-by-step so there are no surprises at the end of your transaction.

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Top 5 Reasons to Make Barrie Your New Home in 2012

November 29, 2011

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Thinking of making a change in the new year? Want to get out of the rat race…but not too far away? Sick of your small town, but don’t want to be overwhelmed in a big city? Barrie has the best of both worlds. Read more to find out why!!

  1. The Waterfront. Kempenfelt Bay, as part of Lake Simcoe, is a main attraction for locals and visitors alike. Not only is it safe to swim here, you can fish in summer AND winter! Seeing ice fishing huts scattered throughout Kempenfelt Bay is an amazing sight. It is also the site for many festivals, including the ever-popular Kempenfest, the Barrie Waterfront Festival, and Barrie’s CaribFest! These summer festivals bring thousands of people to our fair city which is a testament to how attractive our waterfront is.
  2. Year-Round Activities. Lots of cities and towns have plenty of activities to do throughout the non-snowy months, but very few have the opportunity to include just about everyone in winter activities. In warmer weather, you can go biking, hiking, rollerblading on the boardwalk, or just go for a walk on the water and get an ice cream cone! In winter, the possibilities are almost as endless. As I mentioned before, head down to Kempenfelt Bay for some ice fishing, or if you’re into something more high energy, how about some kite-boarding?! Drive 10 minutes out of town for some snowmobiling, cross-country skiing or snowshoeing on the Oro Rail Trail. Drive a little bit longer for downhill skiing at Horseshoe or Moonstone!
  3. Great Restaurants & Shopping. I love our downtown restaurants and shopping. We have great independent business owners. If it’s fine dining you want, check out Michael & Marion’s, At the Five, or North. Want a pub atmosphere? Try Donaleigh’s! You can find live music at Kenzington, Manhattan’s or see bigger names at The Mansion. And if you’re looking for Indian food or sushi, you’ll find it in Barrie. We have great boutiques for shopping downtown, and the Georgian Mall is there for all your shopping needs. Rarely do I have to go to Toronto to shop for myself or for gifts. The Paper Merchant has beautiful stationary and gifts for any occasion.
  4. Small-Town Feel, Close to Big City. It’s not very often I go downtown or to the mall or to a restaurant where I don’t run into someone I know…and I’ve only lived here for a few years. Barrie’s a great city to make connections – everyone knows everyone! We have the new Mady Centre for the Performing Arts for live performances, but for bigger productions you can still head to Toronto for an evening at the opera or to see the TSO, or even commute to work while you’re looking for a job here.
  5. Affordable Housing. If you’re coming from Toronto, you know that buying a home in the City is very difficult for most people. On average, you’ll probably need to spend half a million dollars to get a very average home. The average price for a home in Barrie is around $280,000. If you’re just starting out on a single income, you can even find a small condo for well under $200,000. That’s not to say there aren’t beautiful homes here either, but $500,000 will go a lot further here than it will in Toronto. Have a couple million to spend? Get a beautiful estate home in the country or on the water. Check out November’s RBC report on Housing Trends and Affordability to see what’s going on across Canada.

There are so many reasons to make Barrie your home. I’ve lived in lots of different cities in Canada, and I’ve chosen to make Barrie my permanent home. At least come check us out for a weekend, and if you’ve never been here and you’re looking to make a move, I’d be happy to show you around!

Laura

Laura Keller of Century 21 B.J. Roth Realty is a real estate agent with a business philosophy of nurturing relationships with her clients. She will walk you through the process of buying, selling, or investing step-by-step so there are no surprises at the end of your transaction.

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New Shalom Park in Barrie

October 25, 2011

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For all you Barrie residents, you know that Barrie’s South End experienced a significant boom in a very short period of time. Businesses have continued to grow, and new homes are popping up all the time. Public infrastructure has been lagging in the South End, like libraries and community centres. Our city understands the increasing need for this type of family-oriented activity space, and behold a new park has been constructed!

 

Near the intersection of Huronia and Lockhart you will find a few golf courses among other industrial parks, and now it’s a family- and kid-friendly area that will now service the surrounding residences with almost 1000 people.

 

 

Watch our mayor, Jeff Lehman, discuss the new park and its benefits to this South End neighbourhood and Barrie overall.

Mayor Jeff Lehman – Shalom Park Video

This is one of four new parks to be constructed this year, so keep your eyes and ears open for new developments 🙂

Laura

Laura Keller of Century 21 B.J. Roth Realty is a real estate agent with a business philosophy of nurturing relationships with her clients. She will walk you through the process of buying, selling, or investing step-by-step so there are no surprises at the end of your transaction.

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