The Rick Wearing & Sandra Parrott Team for Huntsville and the surrounding Muskoka communities real estate. | Office Direct: 866-844-2697

Huntsville real estate and Muskoka Communities real estate and lifestyle blog

Wearing.PhotoshopdoneWelcome to the Rick Wearing & Sandra Parrott Team’s blog for Huntsville real estate and lifestyle, including the communities of Port Sydney, Utterson, Baysville, Dorset, Dwight, Novar, Emsdale and Burks Falls.

Live Up-Close with Nature with Your Own Cottage in the Woods

The Muskoka region offers many opportunities to escape from it all and live life in the peace and tranquility of the forest. With your own woodland home, you can experience the beauty of nature up close every day, yet still be able to enjoy an amazing community whenever you want to.

There are not many properties like this around Huntsville; such an oasis is currently for sale, with a sizeable amount of acreage to ensure the ultimate level of privacy. If you’re dreaming of escaping to the woods, this home at 108 Concession 4/5 Road E is one place you’ll want to tour in person, where you’ll fall in love with all that this property has to offer.

94 acres with trails and trees galore await exploration with a custom designed raised bungalow as your home base. This well-built residence includes finely appointed amenities and features such as an expansive screened porch and deck which overlook the charming yard with a waterfall garden. Imagine reading your favourite book, working on an art project or simply taking an afternoon nap to the alluring and comforting sound of your own, private waterfall -serenity awaits.

This beautifully crafted home includes a custom designed kitchen with large island as the main focal point. The light hardwood flooring coupled with light coloured wood cabinets enhances the airy, open feeling of the kitchen which opens to a dining nook and the living room. A stylish pot-rack/chandelier hangs above the kitchen island providing convenient and expanded storage space for cookware, adding an extra touch of decorative flair to the room.

The dining room is perfectly situated as it opens onto its own deck at the side of the home, perfect for BBQing with convenience. The main living areas on both levels were designed with an open floor plan, ideal for entertaining and enjoying family gatherings. The woodstove on the lower level keeps the entire home warm and toasty year round when needed.

On the upper level you’ll find an incredible, spacious master suite ready to pamper the new owners with a 4-piece ensuite bath including a corner tub and separate, expansive, walk-in shower. The tub is situated with windows overlooking the sprawling acreage, perfect for a tranquil soak. The master bedroom has an extra special treat with its own private access to the screened porch section of the wrap-around deck.

The screen porch leads onto the rest of the deck with its own door for easy access to the exterior of the property via deck stairs leading down along the waterfall garden and to the lawn area with established fire pit. You can also access the landscaped yard from the lower level of the home where a cozy family room, 3rd bedroom and 4-piece bath are located. In addition to these rooms, there’s a gorgeous, infrared sauna room ready for your use.

In addition to this charming and spacious home there’s a special treat waiting in the woods; a short walk or ATV ride will bring you to a quaint cabin in the woods, perfect as a base for making maple syrup in the spring or as a camp-base during hunting season This property with its trails and hilled landscape makes for a winter wonderland with a great sliding hill near the cabin as well; cozy up to the woodstove for some hot chocolate after tobogganing in the snow.

Serenity in the woods can be yours with this wonderful bungalow home at 108 Concession 4/5 Road E. The Rick Wearing & Sandra Parrott Team can show you this listing directly, but don’t wait too long, such a gem is sure to sell soon. Whether you’re buying or selling, we’re here to work for you and give you the best experience when it comes to fulfilling your home dreams. Please call us at 705-788-3535 or email at info@WearingParrottTeam.comtoday!

This information is taken from sources deemed to be reliable. The Wearing Parrott Team does not guarantee accuracy; we recommend information be validated independently.

When Did You Last Check Your Smoke & Carbon Alarms?

Even though Fire Prevention Week is wrapping up October 13th, keeping your Muskoka home, cottage or condo safe from fire or carbon monoxide never ends. In an article recently published by the Huntsville Doppler, Muskoka Fire Departments have put out a call to know your alarms and check them regularly.

It’s easy to forget which beeps and siren sounds mean real danger as opposed to a fading battery in need of a change. With regular checks you’ll know how your alarms work and that they’re ready to do their job should the need arise.

Using Fire Prevention Week or the end of Daylight Savings Time in the fall as reminders to check your alarms can be an easy way to remember these important checks. But more often is better. Four easy days to remember are the Equinoxes and Solstices as another example. Whether you set a reminder every 3 – 4 months in your phone, or mark your family calendar, a seasonal review will ensure your alarms are in good working order throughout the year.

If your smoke alarms are more than 10 years old, it’s time to replace them – after this long they’re at the end of their lifespan. Carbon monoxide detectors have a typical shelf life of 5 -7 years. Any model of alarm with a battery backup will need to have those batteries replaced at least annually if not more often. If your alarms begin to chirp regularly, this is a sign that the battery is near the end of its life. Whatever type of alarms you have, it’s best to review the owner’s manual to know how the unit works.

It’s also important to place your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in the right locations around your home. Avoid placing detectors near bathrooms and vents where steam, hot air and dust can impact how they work. You should also keep these units at least 5 feet away from any fireplaces, wood stoves or other burning appliance.

Keep your family safe and living in comfort year-round with seasonal inspections of your smoke and carbon alarms.

If it’s time to buy a Muskoka home, cottage or condo or sell your property, work with a team ready to help you every step of the way. You can rely on The Rick Wearing & Sandra Parrott Team. Let us put our care and expertise to work for you whatever your real estate needs may be. Please call us at 705-788-3535 or email at info@WearingParrottTeam.com today!

This information is taken from sources deemed to be reliable. The Wearing Parrott Team does not guarantee accuracy; we recommend information be validated independently.

Safety First Around Your Muskoka Home for the Holidays

With Hallowe’en right around the corner, quickly followed by the winter holiday season, and longer, darker nights ahead, now’s the time to make sure the exterior of your home is safe and welcoming for any visitors to come. If trick-or-treaters love to come to your home or you plan to have holiday parties, a brightly lit walkway is just as important as a festive atmosphere.

We found some great safety tips for preparing your home for Hallowe’en on Houselogic.com, which can also apply throughout the winter – it’s best to think Safety First when it comes to visitors. Check out the following top safety tips and prepare your home for a fun and safe season.

Bright is best. When it comes to lighting your porch up with Jack-o-lanterns or wrapping your railings in holiday garlands, keep in mind that brighter lighting is the better way to go. If your porch light is old, consider updating it; newer options are available with LED lights which shed a lot of light with ease. Utilize solar garden lights to line your walkways and drive leading up to your house.

Reap the rewards of repairs. Keeping your Muskoka home in good repair will bring plenty of rewards when it’s time to sell by retaining the value of your property. You can also reap the benefits of knowing your home is safe. Take a close look at porch stairs and railings, as well as around decks. Loose or damaged boards should be repaired or replaced before winter sets in. Railings should be sturdy and secure. Wet weather means slick surfaces – counter this with friction tape added to your steps.

Clean and clear is key. While autumn around Muskoka is beautiful beyond compare, homeowners do need to take care of leaf litter throughout the season. Keeping curbs clear and visible is key to providing safely visible walkways, especially important for youngsters out on Hallowe’en or for guests coming by in the midst of winter weather. Be sure to keep a good supply of de-icing agents on hand and a snow shovel or blower available too.

Other Safety tips to remember. There are other ways you can enhance the safety factor around your house. Consider adding motion sensing lights; these will add security as much as they’ll help guests see well when they arrive. Instead of candles in Jack-o-lanterns, use LED lights and lessen the risk of fire. Keep holiday decorations clear from any pathways and steps to lessen the chance of a tripping hazard for your guests.

When you’re ready to buy or sell your Muskoka home, you can trust The Rick Wearing & Sandra Parrott Team to help you from start to finish. Let us put our care and expertise to work for you. Our goal is to ensure you’re pleased with the results of your real estate transaction, whatever your property needs may be. Please call us at 705-788-3535 or email at info@WearingParrottTeam.com today!

This information is taken from sources deemed to be reliable. The Wearing Parrott Team does not guarantee accuracy; we recommend information be validated independently.

 

6 Ways to Winterize Your Muskoka Cottage in the Fall

Whether you live in your Muskoka cottage year-round or part-time, fall is the season to winterize your home. Going through a basic home maintenance checklist is a great way to plan for any prep work needed or discover if there’s something in need of repair. The last thing you want is to deal with a leaking pipe in the middle of January. Listed below are some of the main areas to cover when preparing your Muskoka cottage for the coming winter months.

Roof Care. A solid roof will make all the difference when it comes to weathering winter storms. Start the season off right by cleaning the gutters and having your roof inspected for damaged shingles. If you have any concerns call in a roofing expert to give your home the once-over.

Windows and Doors. A lot of heat and energy can be lost through improperly insulated windows and doors. A fresh layer of insulation caulking, or foam can help keep heat from leaking out and the cold from coming in. A quick way to check for drafts is to use a lit candle. Pass it slowly along window and door frames, if the flame flickers you have a draft.

Pipes and Faucets. The last thing any home owner wants is a burst pipe in the middle of winter. This is where a little bit of prevention can go a long way. Remove all hoses from external faucets and shut them off, then attach an insulated cover onto each. Cover any exposed pipes in the basement or crawl spaces with pipe insulation as well. Do the same with any sinks and their pipes which are on external walls of your cottage.

Pruning & Foundation Check. Take a walk around your home and prune back any close growing vegetation. This is not only a good way to help plants get into a dormant state, it’s a great chance to check your foundation for any cracks or gaps which could let in weather or wildlife. If you find any areas in need of repair, consider hiring a structural engineer to help.  A properly sealed foundation will make winter a breeze.

Fireplace/Woodstove & Chimney. The cold, dark of winter is made better with a cozy fire. It’s imperative to have your fireplace or woodstove and chimney cleaned and examined before the start of winter. Not only is a smoky fire unpleasant to experience, a blocked flu or chimney is a fire hazard. Enjoy your fireside evenings with peace of mind and have your hearth and chimney cleaned and inspected. If you don’t have a chimney cap, add one, this will keep debris from falling in.

Smoke & Carbon Alarms. Safety is always a big component of your home. Now’s the time to check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. If they’re over 10 years old, replace them; the standard alarm begins to lose its functionality at the 10-year mark. Replace the batteries at least once a year. These alarms are even more critical to have installed with homes focused on energy efficiency. By sealing up your home to keep heat in, you’re also sealing in other substances such as too much carbon monoxide from the fireplace or water heaters. Detecting alarms help save lives.

Checkout this great fall home maintenance checklist by HomeAdvisor.com and get started winterizing your Muskoka Cottage.  If it’s time to sell your cottage or you’re ready to move to Muskoka, you can rely on The Rick Wearing & Sandra Parrott Team to help you every step of the way. We put our care and expertise to work for you, so you can enjoy the best experience whatever your real estate needs and dreams may be. Please call us at 705-788-3535 or email at info@WearingParrottTeam.com today!

This information is taken from sources deemed to be reliable. The Wearing Parrott Team does not guarantee accuracy; we recommend information be validated independently.

Experience Culture Days Ontario in Huntsville

Community events are an excellent way to get to know an area, meet the locals and understand what makes a place so special and worth spending time in. There’s nothing like Ontario Culture Days as an opportunity to connect and support the art and culture of the Muskoka region.

With over 3,000 different activities happening across Ontario from September 28th – 30th, this is one weekend full of things to experience wherever you may go. Within the Muskoka region, there’s a wide range of different events occurring, with over 100 happenings in Huntsville alone. Plan your weekend now so you can be sure to catch all your favourites and experience something new.

Huntsville has long been known for its artists. This is the arts capital of Muskoka, where you can find theatre, film and music throughout the year, alongside painters, sculptors and jewelry makers. We have an incredible array of artists creating one-of-a-kind pieces in various mediums, the only limit is their imagination, and the imaginations of our artists are never-ending.

Take in a performance at the Algonquin Theatre, enjoy live music with a bite to eat at Huntsville venues and restaurants, and even in the streets. Stroll around the streets of Huntsville during Culture Days Ontario and you will have a chance to see the works of artists on display in store windows.

Staying connected to our past is integral in ensuring we have a meaningful future. All throughout the Culture Days weekend you can learn about the history of Huntsville and the people who saw and understood how special this part of Muskoka is; get in touch with our past and connect with yourself and your neighbours.

For a special treat in connecting with the past of Muskoka, visit Heritage Tree at Indian Landing Park in Port Sydney – our region’s longest-lived resident. Go behind the scenes of the Muskoka Heritage Place train shed or enjoy afternoon tea with the Huntsville Historical Society.

There’s also a wide range of fun family-friendly activities happening around Huntsville and the surrounding area during Culture Days Ontario. From free selfies with the bronze cast status of Tom Thomson in Huntsville Civic Square, to paint and crafts workshops, and the Huntsville Free Family Skate at the Summit Centre, there’s a weekend full of fun just waiting to happen.

For those with kids, take them beyond the art with special activities designed just for the young ones. Check out Drumming & Rain sticks or Movement & Song or join in the hands-on experience of a Fantastical Characters in Puppetry & Painting, just to name a few.

Other family activities include a Free Family Swim at The Canada Summit Centre Pool, Hammer Through the Park or the Skateboard event at the McCulley-Robertson Sports Complex. Not to be forgotten is the Huntsville Culture Days Main Street Festival, which will be going on throughout the weekend, with all that you want in a street fest, live music, artist’s booths, great food and drinks and an incredible community spirit. Come join us for Culture Days in Huntsville; perhaps we’ll see you there!

If you’re ready to move to Huntsville or it’s time to sell, you can trust The Rick Wearing & Sandra Parrott Team. We put our care and expertise to work for you, so you can enjoy the best experience when it comes to fulfilling your home dreams. Please call us at 705-788-3535 or email at info@WearingParrottTeam.com today!

This information is taken from sources deemed to be reliable. The Wearing Parrott Team does not guarantee accuracy; we recommend information be validated independently.

 

Get Your Own View of Rebecca Lake’s Beauty

 

Nestled among the trees, there’s a wonderful year round home/cottage on the shores of  Rebecca Lake ready and waiting for a new owner. If you’ve been interested in lakeside living Muskoka style, this is a property not to be missed. With its own private boat launch and surrounded by the natural forested landscape,  1005 Fieldale Lane is an ideal place to set down roots and experience the best of waterfront  life.

This 1,120 square foot home/cottage with three bedrooms and two full baths provides comfort and convenience alongside the spectacular views of Rebecca Lake. The house itself sits at an elevated level slightly away from the shore, with an ideally situated deck for watching life along the water and enjoying the seasonal changes year-round. Whether you’re looking for a family home or a place to retire, this home/ cottage is fully finished on both levels and ready to move in.

There’s a feeling of warmth and welcome extended throughout the dwelling with the light-coloured wood paneling and stone accents in the interior. Each level has a woodstove, perfect for keeping the cold of winter at bay while you enjoy the comforts of home.

The upper level has an open floor plan connecting the main living room, dining room and kitchen in one area with large windows looking out toward the lake. From this part of the house there’s access to a roomy deck with built-in bench seating, perfect for entertaining with an incredible view of Rebecca Lake as a backdrop. Two of the three bedrooms are also located on this main floor along with a 4-piece bath.

The lower level includes a large family room, third bedroom and 3-piece bath, just right for guests, extended family or kids.

There’s a detached, two-car garage next to the cottage with a workshop/hobby room attached; this property is roomy enough to provide each family member their own space to get creative and enjoy the Muskoka lifestyle.

This property is an ideal one for anyone who loves to get out on the water for some fishing. With direct access to a private dock and a dry boathouse/garage, there’s plenty of room for storage; when you want to drop a line on the lake, you’ll be able to with ease. Rebecca Lake itself is one of the best lakes in the Muskoka region for catching fish such as brook and lake trout and smallmouth bass.

To access the lake from the cottage you need just take the stairs down to the dock a short distance away. There’s also a shared lane which takes you from the main road down to the water’s edge, so inviting friends over with their own boats isn’t an issue. The level, grassy area along the waterfront is ideal for family meals lakeside or to provide a large play area for kids.

Rebecca Lake itself is an incredible part of the Muskoka region with homes & cottages along the shores throughout, yet plenty of peace and quiet remains with beautiful views of the lake. Many of the dwellings are situated similarly to the one at 1005 Fieldale Lane, set back a bit from the shore’s edge and incorporated amongst the trees. Being close to both Limberlost Nature Reserve and Algonquin Provincial Park, homes & cottages on Rebecca Lake are an excellent choice for anyone who loves to explore the natural side of Muskoka.

If you want a lakefront home/cottage this is one property worth checking out. The Rick Wearing & Sandra Parrott Team can show you this listing directly. Whether you’re buying or selling, we’re here to work for you and give you the best experience when it comes to fulfilling your home dreams. Please call us at 705-788-3535 or email at info@WearingParrottTeam.com today!

This information is taken from sources deemed to be reliable. The Wearing Parrott Team does not guarantee accuracy; we recommend information be validated independently.

TAGS- Rick Wearing, Sandra Parrott, The Wearing Parrott Team, Muskoka Cottage Listing, Rebecca  Lake Properties

To Compost or Not to Compost in Muskoka – That’s the Question

 

Living surrounded by the natural beauty of the Muskoka region, most, if not all residents aim to do their part in environmental conservation. It takes all of us working together to keep this area pristine and healthy.  We have some choices to make when it comes to composting, or not. This has become a topic of discussion amongst District officials, as it’s come to light that our green composting bin program, as part of the regions’ waste management practices, could do with some improving.

Noted in an article recently published by the Huntsville Doppler, there was a recent meeting with various Muskoka officials to discuss options and ideas to increase the amount of kitchen waste which is composted instead of being sent to our landfills. You may wonder why food waste in a landfill is not a good thing, food scraps are biodegradable right? At the outset this is true, but how food is allowed to degrade can come with great benefits or negative side effects.

The negative side effects are where the District of Muskoka wants to educate residents further to encourage beneficial food compost over adding food waste to landfills.  When not composted properly, food scraps create greenhouse gasses and a release of toxic substances such as leachate. By composting food waste this can be avoided. While there’s ongoing discussion around finding solutions to encourage food composting, there are ways you can get started if you haven’t already.

Currently one of the challenges in the region is that only municipal urban waste collection areas are taking food scraps at the curb alongside yard debris and refuse garbage. For those living in rural areas outside of the urban area, it’s up to you to bring your food waste to specified locations in towns like Huntsville, or to compost on your own property. One benefit for donating your compost is the free composted fertilizer that’s made available to area residents, perfect for when it’s time to plant your garden each year.

For many living in the more rural areas, there’s concern about wildlife being attracted to food composting.  If handled properly this concern can be minimized. To encourage everyone to compost, the District of Muskoka has already instituted the Backyard Compost Rebate Program.  If you’re considering doing your own composting, be sure to check out this rebate and review the helpful tips and information provided so you can compost in the most beneficial way.

There may be no new answers yet, but officials are exploring ways to increase food composting around the region. Being aware of what you can do now is one way to get involved in this community focused issue to which we all contribute and to which we can all be a part of the solution.

When it’s time to buy or sell your Muskoka home, cottage or condo, you want to work with a local team which cares about this community. The Rick Wearing & Sandra Parrott Team is a team you can trust. We live here too and love where we live; the Muskoka region thrives on community connections. Let us put our care and local expertise to work for you. Please call us at 705-788-3535 or email at info@WearingParrottTeam.com today!

This information is taken from sources deemed to be reliable. The Wearing Parrott Team does not guarantee accuracy; we recommend information be validated independently.

 

A Porch to Remember in Muskoka Can Help Sell Your Property!

If you’re planning to sell your Muskoka home, cottage or condo, no doubt you’ve put some thought into preparing your place for viewings. You may have decided to enhance your curb appeal and stage your home. There’s one place you want pay special attention to when it comes to these tried and true marketing strategies. With a vibrant and inviting entry way to your home, you’ll not only welcome potential buyers, you’ll draw them in wanting to see more.

An immaculate porch is a must. A good pressure-wash cleaning and fresh coat of paint will make a big difference. Be sure to include your front door in this endeavor. The door is an ideal place to add a punch of colour to make a statement without overwhelming. Choose a bold accent colour which goes well with your home and use it on the door as well as any wood trim around the front windows and porch framing.

Speaking of porch framing, if yours is lacking or in need of an update, a covered porch or stoop is a good investment for the return. A sheltered entry way is a huge benefit in our Muskoka climate. If your porch is a bit on the plain side, adding in new or additional spindles and railings will add an interesting architectural element drawing the viewer in.

Lighting is another important aspect of creating a stunning and welcoming entry to your home. Both exterior and interior lights should be updated if needed. Add in some solar garden lights to help brighten the corners on your porch, and if needed set up a small table with a lamp just inside the door. You want potential buyers’ first look inside to be bright and cheerful.

Wetter weather will soon be returning. Plan ahead and have a place for viewers to leave wet layers at the door. Include a new mat on each side of your front door, practical ones good for wiping off leaves. A Shoe brush stand is another option to consider. If room allows, set up a bin for umbrellas, a shoe stand and a spot to hang coats so things don’t pile up.

Setting the stage on your porch will depend on how much room you have. If you can incorporate a sitting area, you’ll make visitors feel welcome with their first steps up to your door. A few pieces of seasonal décor, or a piece or two of a local artist’s work will add a focal point of interest to your porch enhancing the feeling of home – just keep it simple and minimal.

No room for a table and chairs? That’s ok. A few potted plants along the steps and a hanging basket or two adds a splash of colour and vibrancy to a porch. Plants are natural mood enhancers, and it doesn’t take many to make a porch feel homey and inviting.

Giving your front porch some special attention will help you draw more potential buyers in with a stunning first impression. Find some inspiring porch design ideas with this gallery by CountryLiving.com.

When you’re ready to list your Muskoka home, cottage or condo, you want to work with a local team you can trust from start to finish. Rick Wearing & Sandra Parrott are a team you can trust. We live in Huntsville and understand the Muskoka Real Estate Market. Let us put our care and local expertise to work for you. Please call us at 705-788-3535 or email at info@WearingParrottTeam.com today!

This information is taken from sources deemed to be reliable. The Wearing Parrott Team does not guarantee accuracy; we recommend information be validated independently.

 

 

Easy-Care Native Plants for Your Muskoka Garden

Your Muskoka home, cottage or condo is a sanctuary, a place to call home where you can be comfortable and enjoy the beauty of our region. When it comes to garden landscaping there are a variety of options to consider, including the use of native Canadian plants to enhance your yard. But which ones are the best to choose? Easy-care plants come with some great benefits and are a great place to start.

Planting easy to care for vegetation around your yard and garden will give you more time to enjoy your property and add natural beauty to your landscape. Native plants tend to be hardier and as such require less care to ensure their survival. Just be sure to take the soil composition and basic environment of your property into consideration as well. If you have a lot in the forest, shade loving plants will fare much better than those which need more direct sunlight.

If your property is along a lakeshore or riverfront, it’s important to keep this in mind when choosing native plants. Here’s some examples of excellent Canadian plants to consider using along your waterfront property:

 

Trees:                                     Shrubs:

Balsam Fir                                Common Elderberry

Black Spruce                            Dogwood

Eastern Hemlock                    Highbush Cranberry

Red Maple                                Meadowsweet

Willow                                       Nannyberry

 

For properties further away from water there are a great variety to choose from as well. Examples include:

 

 

 

Trees:                                  Shrubs:

Beaked Hazel                     Bush Honeysuckle

Red Oak                              Marginal Wood Fern

Staghorn Sumac                Pagoda Dogwood

White Birch                        Sweet Ox Eye

 

 

These are just a few examples of native plants to consider, for more ideas and information on using native vegetation in your garden, check out the Muskoka Conservancy website, they have some excellent information including a comprehensive list of native plants and where best to plant them.

When it’s time to buy or sell your Muskoka home, cottage, or condo you can put your trust in The Rick Wearing & Sandra Parrott Team. We love the Muskoka lifestyle as much as we love helping our clients with their home dreams. We’re here to guide you with a caring hand and local expertise. Please call us at 705-788-3535 or email at info@WearingParrottTeam.com today!

This information is taken from sources deemed to be reliable. The Wearing Parrott Team does not guarantee accuracy; we recommend information be validated independently.