Sunday, February 25, 2018

Beware The Word "Winterized" When Contemplating A Real Estate Purchase

  Having been a full time REALTOR® now for over 15 years, I have always tried to learn a thing or two every month that will help my seller and buyer clients with their real estate transactions.

 Too often information given about properties is inaccurate and or does not conform to our REALTOR® code of ethics requirements which may result in failure to act in the appropriate manner to protect clients. One term that appears far too often and shouldn't in MLS® and other published information about a property says that the dwelling such as a cottage is "winterized."  When used to describe a property that is listed for sale, the word winterized is used to imply that the dwelling can be lived in year round.

  During my early days of real estate training, one of our instructors told us to never use the adjective "winterized" to describe a property. It is somewhat of a vague term and the instructor said that nowhere in real estate terminology was the word even recognized. I have scoured through a lot of real estate glossaries with a variety of terms from A to Z and never have I seen the word winterized which raises the question what does the term "winterized" mean?

  The accompanying  photo is my own cottage that was taken last winter.  I own this property along with my brother and 2018 marks our 45th year of ownership.  There is also a second cottage on the property located above our two car garage. Both cottages have been updated and well maintained including municipal water and sewer, wood burning fireplaces and electric heat. The walls and attics are insulated and they are accessible year round.  Can and do we use them in the winter?  Sometimes. Would I ever describe them as being "winterized?"  Absolutely not.

  One of the neighbouring properties to my cottages is currently listed for sale.  It has been a full time year round residence for a number of years and in additional to the main house there are three cottages.  The MLS® description of the property says among other things that there are "....three completely finished cottages, one fully winterized, one partially winterized."  Once again this begs the questions, what does winterized" mean and what happened to the third "fully finished" cottage which I gather is neither fully or partially winterized.

  Every year I winterize my car, motorcycle, boats, lawnmower, snowblower etc.  I even winterize the cottages meaning that the municipal water is shut off, the pipes are drained, the chimneys are covered, the phone service is shut down for the winter and lastly the hydro is turned off.  This is the standard practice of correctly preparing equipment and properties for the long cold winter months.  Claiming that a property is "winterized" in any type of sale listing description is not and I highly recommend you use a reliable REALTOR® when considering making an offer on any property that is touted as being "winterized." 

  If you have any questions or comments I look forward to hearing from you, please feel free to Contact Me


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Royal LePAGE Locations North (Brokerage)

330 First Street, Collingwood, ON L9Y 1B4



Email:
rickcrouch@propertycollingwood.com



Direct: 705-443-1037



Office: 705-445-5520 ext 230




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Rick relocated to Collingwood from Toronto in 1985 through a transfer with Goodyear Canada. In 1987 Rick was recruited by a major client of Goodyear’s, managing their Canadian business based in Barrie before moving to Chicago in 1992 as Vice President of Sales & Marketing. Upon returning to Canada in 1996, Rick ran an industrial products manufacturing company in Stratford, Ontario. In 1998 Rick returned to Collingwood with his two children. Rick is a licensed real estate Broker with Royal LePAGE Locations North in Collingwood and holds his MVA designation (Market Value Appraiser-Residential). He is an active volunteer in the community serving several years on the Board of Directors with the Collingwood Chamber of Commerce as Treasurer, 6 years on the Board of Directors for the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® of which he is the Past President (2008) and currently serves on a committee with the Ontario Real Estate Association. Rick is a diverse executive manager with extensive experience in strategic planning, manufacturing, finance, human resources and quality assurance management.