We've got it all....

Barrie is a vibrant, growing city with so much to offer. yet so much more to come.  If you like the outdoors, then Barrie should be a consideration of yours. We have skiing, snowboarding, skating, hockey, tubing, fishing, swimming, boating and the list goes on and on. It is like living in a vacation destination year round.  We are so close to Toronto (about an hour north) and the surrounding cities and townships are wonderful places to explore, live, work and play in.  We truly do have it all.

For those that are considering a move to Barrie, I would love to tour you around and help you learn about our rich heritage and all that Barrie has to offer.  Home prices are still reasonable compared to larger urban cities, however Barrie continues to be a sound investment for your real estate dollars.

According to the latest stats from The Barrie & District Associations of Realtors (BDAR) Barrie saw an increase in home prices of 19% compared to the average selling price in 2016.

We have been seeing more and more people from larger cities as well as other countries choose to call Barrie home.  I believe we will continue to see this type of activity in the next few years to come. With interest rates low and the cost of home prices increasing in Toronto and the GTA, I think Barrie will be the place to buy a home for many millennial first time home buyers as well as baby boomers who are downsizing and want to retire in style.

Barrie is the place to be.

Contact Marina Morley to learn more about living in Barrie.  


Disclaimer: We are Realtors - This blog is for generic information purposes only and we encourage you to please do your due diligence and seek area appropriate professional advice (eg. Legal, accounting, mortgage, inspections and such)


A down payment may be the only obstacle keeping you from owning your first home. Picture this: you have a well-paying job, you are faithfully clearing off your debts and mortgage rates are ridiculously low in your area.

Raising the required down payment will go a long way towards lowering the mortgage you have to ask from the bank. Typically, a down payment ranges in the thousands and unfortunately, the bank may not be willing to advance you the exact amount you need.

Sounds like a huge challenge, right? Not really! There are strategies you can use to raise the down payment, like saving in advance. Sadly, saving is a little difficult for most people. However, you can do it by following these six tried and tested strategies of saving cash to own your first home.



In some parts of the world, the government allows up to 25K worth of RRSP monies, tax-free, to help you purchase your dream home. If you have not had an RRSP plan before, it might be time for you to sign up for a home Buyer RRSP Plan.

Take all the money you have been saving and pass it through an RRSP program for a period of 3 months. That way, you will become eligible for tax refunds due to your contributions, which you can use to pay for your closing charges.

This approach will help you increase the amount of down payment you can make by up to 40 percent. However, this method works best if you are patient enough for a spring purchase. Your tax refund is sent during this time and you can use it to offset some of the costs.



Found money is one of the easiest ways to boost your down payment. Found money can range from employment bonuses to birthdays gifts, to revenue from your favorite investment and even returns from your CPP and EI contributions. It can also be through changing habits and mindset. Here is 100 ways to save money.

It’s almost impossible to miss found money. When it comes, simply stow it away and forget about it until it is needed.



You have probably heard about the latte factor elsewhere, but it is worth mentioning once again. The idea is to spend a little less than you earn, and save as much as you can. The biggest cause of unnecessary spending comes from the lifestyle you have chosen for yourself. If you choose a larger than life kind of lifestyle, there will be very little for you to save. You will have very little or nothing at all for your deposit.

A small change in your usual lifestyle can save you a lot of money. From that gym membership you really don’t get to use to canceling your magazine subscription, to making your own cup of joe right at home, a lifestyle change can fast-track your journey to home ownership. List those things you can live without and redirect all that money to your savings.



If you happen to come from a family that has prepared for this or has some additonal funds or investments, some money from a family member or parent can come in handy. It is never easy being a first-time homeowner anywhere in this world because starter costs can be as high as $400,000 or more.

Help from family or parents can allow you to purchase something you’d be happy living in and in an area you feel safe as opposed to buying a tiny condominium or something in an area you don’t feel safe in.



If you still live with your folks, start banking the equivalent of your rent money. Better still, find out the amount you would pay for a condominium, mortgage or contribute towards taxes when you decide to find your own home and start saving a similar amount.

It is a good way to raise your down payment and you will get used to making regular payments once you find the perfect condominium or your dream home.



Start saving for your down payment in a different bank account that you will not be able to access from a cash dispenser. That way, you will not be tempted into making last-minute dip and take out cash for a vacation.

Speak to your lender and find out how best you can invest your savings. Although it sounds like a good idea to invest in stocks because it offers quick returns, you might actually lose all the money. Be a smart future homebuyer, and save your money in a useful investment scheme like the GIC RRSP. You might not enjoy such a high-interest rate, but your money will be safe all the same.



Getting into the habit of saving money for an important project like your first home is not an easy task. Repetition is key and soon you’ll be comfortable with it.  After all…it is a necessary step if you are hoping to have a smooth journey towards home ownership. You’re your heart set on owning your very own home, the sooner you start a savings mindset the sooner you will realize your goal of home ownership. A talk with a financial planner could be of great value and it is recommended that you open an account just for your house savings.  Some banks earn a bit more interest on your savings or you could open a TFSA (Tax Free Savings Account). You might not even need a mortgage to buy your first home because you might just save enough to your home with cash!


Disclaimer: We are Realtors - This blog is for generic information purposes only and we encourage you to please do your due diligence and seek area appropriate professional advice (eg. Legal, accounting, mortgage, inspections and such)



As a person about to embark and the amazing journey of buying your very first home or first condo, you owe it to yourself to learn as much as you can about the process. There’s a whole list of things that you need to learn. Why? Well, for starters, it could be the first and biggest investment you have ever made, so you can really benefit from all there is to know, and we can help you along the way.

In addition to learning all there is to buying your first home, together with the VIP Home Team you can gain the knowledge to make the good choices. Therefore, making your journey easier. To start with that, we have put together a few things to guide you in your home buying process. Be sure to read through to the bottom, there will be more information on owning your first home.


Before you set out to do anything else, find a reputable mortgage agent or contact your bank and ask to speak with their mortgage professional to find out how what price point you will pre-qualify for. If you are pre-qualified for a mortgage ahead of time, the bank will go through your records to check your credit standing, debt score, annual income and down payment.

The bank’s approval will be presented to you in writing and it usually includes the guaranteed interest valid for a period of time, usually 90 days and sometimes longer. Verify this with your mortgage professional. Pre-qualification will ensure you know how much to expect from the bank and the kind of homes you should look at during your search.



As a first time homeowner, there are things you will want or need. So, prepare a list:

  • Must-haves
  • Nice-to-haves
  • Wants
  • Don’t wants
  • How many bedrooms
  • Number of bathrooms
  • Type of outdoor space desired
  • Neighbourhood (location)
  • School district etc.

Knowing what you can afford and being realistic within that budget will ensure you find the right place at the right price! You won’t get the best deal for your new home if you haven’t first determined what your ‘must haves’ verses ‘can live without’ are. Searching beyond your means will only lead to heartbreak, frustration and disappointment.



Finding your new home may be the greatest purchase of your lifetime; but be sure that you don’t do it all alone. Begin by finding a qualified real estate agent who operates within your local area and engage them to help you find the right home.

Also, find a lender who will educate you fully on your financial options and answer all of your questions. .

You are likely to need contacts for a variety of professionals in addition to a Realtor and a mortgage agent. To be safe, consult your family and friends for the right recommendations. Additionally, due diligence on your part will come in handy. Be patient, and don’t be put off by having to spend the time to research and interview the professionals you will come across. Here are a few you may need:

  • Mortgage Agent
  • Realtor
  • Home Inspector
  • Real Estate Lawyer
  • Duct Cleaning Company
  • Moving Company



Things are getting exciting! Now that you are now fully pre-qualified, there’s a team of professionals on standby and you have a visual picture of the kind of home you want, the next step is to go through listings. Although the realtor.ca website may seem like the right place to kick-start your search, your agent can be very helpful in this process.  They can set you up to receive new listings by email, that match your search criteria.

Searching for the right home will involve sorting through listings, previewing potential homes online and then going out to view them physically. This will be your chance to look at and have a feel for the various neighbourhoods, refine your needs and make further inquiries.

Although walking around with a wish list sounds somewhat scientific and is the best tool to help you narrow down your search, most people walk into a property and decide it’s the right one just from having a feel for it. You will agree that it helps a lot when such a home meets all your needs, but it also helps not to underestimate how much having a feel for it may solidify your decision to make the offer.



You have narrowed down your search to that amazing home. It meets the majority if not all of your needs, the price range is right and the whole place feels perfect. What Next? Make your offer before anyone else grabs it from under your nose!

But here’s what you need to know. The offer process is both nerve-wracking and exciting, so approach it with caution. Let your team of professionals handle the next steps like:

  • Advising you on how to formulate the offer and all of the details within
  • Know what conditions to include for your protection
  • Handle the negotiations with the Seller and their Realtor
  • Review and approve all documents with legal expertise

The first step is drafting an agreement of purchase and sale or APS. This is a legal document that has all the details of your purchase, including the price of the home and all chattels such as the appliances that come with it. The APS also contains the closing date and the conditions that must be met for the purchase to go through.

Once you place an offer, the seller reserves the right to accept, reject or place a counter offer. During these negotiations, be prepared to make compromises on tiny issues, but a sensible realtor will go to any length to ensure you have what you are looking for.



You will also be required to place a deposit, to bind the offer, usually paid upon the acceptance of your offer.  This is paid to the listing brokerage and will be held in trust until you close on the deal. Once all conditions are met, and you submit the necessary documents, the agreement is considered legally firm and is binding. Your next step is to wait for the closing date as you prepare to move into your new home.



Conditions, in this case, refer to the requirements stipulated within the APS that you must fulfil for your purchase to be successful. In the offer you made, it’s possible that you listed conditions that give your legal team the power to go through legal aspects of the property as well as for the lender to perform an appraisal.



At this point, you are almost a new homeowner. Once you close the deal, the home becomes yours! Closing means that the purchase funds have transferred from your bank to the Seller’s lawyer and then the property’s title is legally transferred to you. That will happen after all financial and legal requirements are fully met. 

Closing your deal involves other professionals: your lender and lawyer. However, before you embark on closing the deal, be sure you know what the closing cost might entail



All the steps from the initial spark of an idea about purchasing a home to the pre-qualification for a mortgage to the actual finding your home, making an offer and ultimately moving in are exhilarating and at times like riding a roller coaster.  Selecting the right team of professionals to take time in guiding you, answering your questions and displaying the ability to predetermine what issues may come up and are able to prepare you properly will be your greatest asset.  They will make the journey as smooth as it can be and set your mind at ease when you need it. Ask questions and select wisely. Now get started…. There’s nothing like the present!!!