Wednesday, September 29, 2010

CIBC's Run For The Cure

Dear Friends, Family, Clients and Colleagues,

Cancer of all types has and continues to touch countless numbers of people across Canada. I lost my father to cancer and more recently my fellow REALTORS® and I here at Royal LePage in Collingwood have seen the impact of this disease on our fellow co-workers and or their families. In order to help arrest one aspect of this dreaded disease, my colleagues and I at Royal LePage here in Collingwood have formed a team to participate in this years Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure scheduled to run Sunday October 3rd.

The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure is Canada's largest single day, volunteer-led fundraising event dedicated to raising funds for breast cancer research, and education awareness programs.

Each year, thousands of Canadians of all ages and from all walks of life unite to participate in the Run. Their reasons for participating vary, but they all have the same goal; to create a future without breast cancer.
Please support me and my fellow team members at Royal LePage with our fundraising efforts to raise money for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation during this year's walk.

If you feel so inclined visit my personal CIBC Run For The Cure Website to make a donation.  No matter what the amount given, together we can work to find a cure.
Sincerely
Rick Crouch

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Local Chalet Rental Firm Found Guilty

It may come as a surprise to many that as licensed REALTORS® we practice our profession under provincial law, specifically the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act 2002 (REBBA 2002). This Act has been in place for many years, 2002 merely denotes the date in which some significant changes and or revisions were added.
Under the "Act," are well defined stipulations that govern virtually ever aspect of what we do from the preparation of listing/sale agreements, financial matters, our signs, advertising guidelines and so on. One of the main requirements of the "Act" is that no one is to trade in real estate without being registered under REBBA 2002.  This means that no company or individual can charge a fee for listing, selling or even leasing a property.
  On September 16th, the Barrie court convicted a Collingwood company "Blue Mountain Chalets" of trading in real estate without being licensed under REBBA 2002, overturning a decision made two years ago wherein the company was acquitted.  At the time of the acquittal, I was President of the Georgian Triangle Real Estate Board and I was present in the Bradford court room at the time.  The earlier fate of Blue Mountain Chalets was presided over by a Justice of the Peace who although finding the company guilty of practicing real estate without being licensed, proceeded to acquit them anyway.  The company will now be sentenced on October 5th.
  While one may ask themselves what all the hullabaloo is about not being licensed, they fact is consumers stand at considerable risk.  For example, under REBBA 2002, real estate brokerages are required to maintain and place funds such as deposit monies into trust accounts where they are protected.  Non-registered parties can simple cash a deposit cheque and use it for what they want and should the company go under, those funds will most likely be gone. How would you feel about a $5,000, $10,000 or larger deposit of yours being lost?
Due to the recreational nature of our area, numerous individuals and or companies have and continue to exist in our area that are managing rental condominiums, chalets and cottages.  With this latest verdict against Blue Mountain Chalets, the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) is going to be pursuing all other non-registrants in the area in order to ensure that consumers are fully protected by law in their real estate transactions.  If you are not sure as to whether your are dealing with a licensed REALTOR® simply visit the RECO website and search for the party representing you to see if they are in fact a registrant under the "Act."

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Municipal Race Is On!

With just 38 days remaining until the 2010 municipal elections across Ontario, the race is now on amongst those looking to lead our area municipalities for the next 4 years.
  We could debate for hours (with no clear winners) the performance of the "incumbent" Council members throughout the various municipalities in our area and indeed the Province.  Throughout recent weeks, there has been community dialogue and letters to the various papers advocating the widespread removal of all incumbent members of Council here in Collingwood and I suspect the same sentiment exists elsewhere in Ontario as well. Taxes are spiralling out of control, decisions being made contravene not only good business sense but often plain common sense and residents here and across the Province have seemingly had enough. 
  If I were an incumbent candidate I would be judging the performance of myself and fellow Council members over the past 4 years on one very simple indicator. Merely look around the room at the shear magnitude of candidates now running against you.  That is as clear an indicator as you are ever going to get about the performance current Councils and their members have rendered to their respective municipalities over the past term.  Knowing the role egos play, no doubt some incumbents here and elsewhere will smugly claim what a wonderful job they have done pointing the finger of blame at either the Mayor or their fellow Council members for failures of the past.  Those are the ones I hope fall the hardest and fastest as it's the only way they'll ever get the message.  In Collingwood we have 21 candidates running for 7 Councillor positions. In the Blue Mountains and Wasaga Beach, 13 and 12 candidates respectively are running for 5 Councillor positions.  Similarly, in Meaford  13 are running for 5 Councillor seats, in Grey Highlands 10 candidates are vying for 5 Councillor positions. Clearview Township has a "ward" system in place nonetheless in many of the wards 3 or 4 candidates are running offering voters lots of choices.  Further afield, the City of Barrie has 8 candidates running for the Mayor's position. Too bad Collingwood does not have more choices for this important position as well.
  I suspect many incumbents in this area and others will get some tough questions and treatment at upcoming all candidate meetings with the final verdict of their past 4 year's performance rendered on October 25th.  As one local candidate proclaims: "It's Time For Change" and there no doubt will be a lot of that.

Friday, September 3, 2010

What A Summer It's Been!

Well it's hard to believe that we are now into September, someone mentioned the other day there are only 15 or 16 weeks left for Christmas shopping, scary!  Nonethless we have had an excellent summer weather-wise and most people I talk to seem to have enjoyed it, feeling that the summer of 2010 has made up for a least 2 or 3 mediocre summers in the last couple of years.
I spent last week at my summer cottage on Manitoulin Island and at the risk of dating myself, this is the 58th consecutive year that I have spent time on Manitoulin, the largest fresh water island in the world.  Even during a 4 year stint living in Chicago, I still made the annual migration back to the cottage to spend a couple of weeks escaping the pressures of daily life. Real estate clients are always shocked to learn that I live in Collingwood and yet go further north to a cottage!  My answer is always the same, no matter where any of us live, we eventually all need a break from our daily lives including the place where we live.
   My mother was originally from Manitoulin hence their is a family connection to that area that goes far back long before I owned property there.  I spent many a Manitoulin summer on my grand parents farm, an experience that has played a significant role in who I am today. By most standards, Manitoulin is pretty primitive as a vacation destination which to me is perfect.  There are no go cart tracks, amusment parks, night clubs, four star restaurants or other such manner of entertainment.  What this is plenty of is water, (there are over 100 lakes on the Island), trees, rocks, wide open spaces and a naturally rugged landscape to drive, hike, bike and enjoy.  In particular I feel very fortunate to own almost 2 acres on the water, I am at the end of a dead-end road so it's private yet I also have full municipal services (sewer and water). My kids have grown up enjoying the cottage lifestyle and like me they also have a strong connection to Manitoulin Island due to family roots.  My daughter recently returned to Ontario after living for 2 years in Vancouver and what did she miss the most?  Her family? Nope, the cottage!
  Many people I come into contact with through my real estate practice are looking for the same experience and recreational lifestyle in this area that they too can share with their families, making a lifetime of memories of their own.  No one can appreciate those desires and objectives more than me and I'd be delighted to work with anyone looking to make a real estate investment in our area that will create for them what my cottage has provided me and my family. 
  As the summer of 2010 now draws to a close, I look forward to many more summers inwhich to enjoy my "island" escape. If you've never been to Manitoulin it's worth the visit and I'd be happy to share with you my knowledge of the area.

Contact Me

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




Website:
www.rickcrouch.realtor















My Profile

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.