Top 5 Real Estate Purchase Mistakes

Posted December 19th, 2011 in News by admin

Ontario Real Estate AssociationA panel from the Ontario Real Estate Association, which represents some 50,000 brokers and salespeople from 42 real estate boards throughout the province, has released a list of the 5 most common mistakes buyers make in the real estate market.

The first mistake, according to Barbara Sukkau, president of OREA, is that buyers often don’t know their limit. “Many people don’t know that there’s an easy way to calculate how much house they can afford to determine, regardless of competing bids, what lifestyle they want to maintain within the market,” says Sukkau. “In addition to the cost of the home, potential buyers should consider the land transfer tax, closing costs, moving costs and leave room for any unforeseen extras.” Similarly, one should also avoid the mistake of not getting pre-approved when making a bid on a home or piece of real estate.

Another common mistake is buyers who don’t know their must-haves or deal breakers in looking for property. According to Tom Lebour, an OREA board member working out of Mississauga, clients often get too excited about other advantages and forget what their dealbreakers are. A beautiful deck with a spectacular view might overshadow the requirement of having certain things within walking distance, for instance.

The fifth and last common mistake is letting emotions get involved in the negotiation process. Often when dealing with real estate and homes people assign a great deal of value to their property due to cherished memories, but it’s important to keep your emotions in check.  For the original article on the OREA Blog click here.

About the Ontario Real Estate Association

The Ontario Real Estate Association represents 50,000 brokers and salespeople who are members of the 42 real estate boards throughout the province. OREA serves its REALTOR® members through a wide variety of professional publications, educational programs, advocacy, and other services.

The real estate panel members provided input on common home buying and selling mistakes over email from November 8 to November 22. The panel consisted of nine OREA board spokespeople including representation from St. Catharines, Timmins, King City, Barrie, Oakville, Belle River, Mississauga, London and Ottawa.

2011 Poker Run a Success

Posted August 11th, 2011 in News by admin

Boats of all shapes and sizes took part in this year’s Poker Run in the Thousand Islands. Organizer Billy Taylor said that the boats ranged from 28 feet to 65 feet in length. As usual all the boats stopped at Tunnel Bay in Brockville for lunch before heading back towards Kingston and picking up cards in Gananoque and Prescott.

Poker Run 2011


On Blockhouse Island a large screen was set up so that people could watch the start of the event live from Kingston. Brockville was a bustle of activity, the 11th annual riibfest drew more than 55,000 people, in addition to the 10,000 down on the water for the powerboats. In Kingston there were concerts on both nights, with bands like Jagged Gentlemen, Tracycally Hip and Everlea rocking the waterfront. With the large turn out and nice weather this year’s event was considered a big success.

1000 Islands Poker Run 2011

Posted July 20th, 2011 in Events by admin

1000 Islands Poker Run 2011 The weekend of August 5th the towns of Kingston and Brockville play host to North America’s largest poker run. More than 50,000 spectators are expected at this year’s 1000 Islands Poker Run. For those interested in competing, register before August 3rd to save yourself the late fee. Click here for a registration form. It’s not all about speed, the Poker Run is a charted course, and at checkpoints participants collect playing cards, the best hand at the end of the day wins. The event starts at 10 am, departing from Kingston and heading towards Brockville, with card stops in Prescott and Gananoque afterwards. Head to the Limestone City and enjoy 3 days of high performance boats and lots of live-entertainment. There is scant information online but for the public the boats will be on display Friday night. For those interested in partaking here is some basic information regarding registration:

For those interested in competing, you can only register in advance and the check-in tent is located at Confederation Park, Ontario Street in downtown Kingston. You must register on Friday.

On Friday, August the 5th, there is the Poker Run street display near Downtown City Hall and a reception party at Zappa’s on Ontario street.

On Saturday, August the 6th, everything gets underway at 10:00 am (drivers have a mandatory meeting at 8:00 am).

Poker Run Kingston

On July 22nd, 20 boats took part in a rendez-vous in the town of Gananoque. The event was a gathering for all kinds of different watercraft – boats both exotic and fast. Everything went well, according to Mark Offord. “The breakfast by the Lion’s Club and the lunch service at the Rockport Boathouse and Caiger’s was excellent.” Although next year they hope more boaters show up to take part in the fun. There was a speed challenge, a boat rodeo skill contest and a BBQ to wrap things up.

Cottage & Cabin Rentals

Posted July 13th, 2011 in News by admin

Anyone looking for a cottage to rent in the Thousand Islands needs to do a bit of homework – the facilities available to rent vary greatly in price and quality – but this article should act as a cheat sheet and help you find the ideal location . It’s important to know how much you’re willing to spend, and what exactly you want to get out of your vacation. Sportsmen looking to hunt and fish might opt for a more remote location and spartan residence as opposed to someone looking to relax in the sun and see the local attractions. Here is an overview of some of the cottages available to rent in the area.

Harbourview Cottage in Ganagoque, Ontario

Harbourview Cottage, Gananoque3 Bedrooms
$279/night + 13% hst taxes (minimum 3 night stay)
$1500/week + 13% hst taxes based on 6 persons.

Anyone looking to explore Gananqoue and enjoy the comforts of a large, private and modern lodging should consider the Harbourview Cottage. It’s centrally located and has enough space for a whole family or larger group ($10 for each additional person over 6 to a maximum of 8). A stone’s throw from a large public beach this location has something to offer everyone. For a full description head to the Ivy lea Suites Website.

Shawmere Cottages on Red Horse Lake, Ontario

Shawmere Cottages on Red Horse Lake 2 and 3 bedroom cottages from $104 a day or $728 weekly.

Located on Red Horse Lake near Lyndhurst, Ontario, Shawmere Cottages offers families the real outdoors. The main attraction is fishing but there is a beach for swimming and fun in the water. You can bring and launch your own boat or you can rent one, the lake system is calm and doesn’t require special equipment such as rough-water boats. Click here to go to the Shawmere site for a full price list and detailed description of the premises.

Misty Isles Lodge in Landsdowne, Ontario

Misty Isles Lodge Kayaking1 and 2 bedroom units from $90 a night

Located directly on the water, Misty Isles offers something for everyone, regardless of interest or price range. They offer kayaking tours and their location near the parkway makes touring around on your rollerblades or bike very easy. Boat rentals are also avaialble for those interested in boating and fishing. There is also a beach for relaxing and swimming. Click here for a detailed breakdown of the various rental units and click here for the rates.

Harmer’s Cottages in Ivy Lea, Ontario

Harmer's Cottages in Ivy LeaDuring high season weekly rentals starting from $725 for a 2-bedroom cottage (1-4 persons $80 for each additional person up to a maxiumum of 6). Click here for a full breakdown of rates.

Six cottages directly on the St. Lawrence. You can rent a boat or a canoe, the location acts as a good springboard to explore the Thousand Islands and nearby Gananoque. There is also a decent size sandy beach for those who want to relax or have fun in the water. They even have wireless internet – yowza! Click here for a detailed overview of Harmer’s Cottages.

Horseblock Point near Gananoque, Ontario

Horseblock Point Gananoque1-2 bedrooms in addition to smaller cabins with queen size beds costing roughly $500 a week or $102 a day (minimum 2 nights). There are 8 different cottages ranging in size, amenities and price. Click here to look at all eight cabins.

A short drive from Gananoque, Ontario, Horseblock Point offers guided fishing and sightseeing tours. There is no beach but you can launch your own boat and many of the cottages have their own decks with great views. Detailed descriptions of the cabins are available on the link above and their availability is listed here.

“HoweBeautiful” on Howe Island

Howe Island Cottage Rental3 Bedrooms with ample space for 6 or more
$1800 a week, available June 1st to August 30th

For those looking for all the comforts of home on their getaway vacaton, this house on Howe Island is an attractive option. Located on Howe Island, between Kingston and Gananoque. It offers a great opportunity to explore the island and surrounding area. Click here for an overview of Howe Island. To inquire about making a reservation send them an e-mail.

Thousand Islands in the Gilded Age: Fools’ Paradise

Posted July 11th, 2011 in News by admin

The Gilded Age refers to late 19th century and early 20th century, a period of great economic change in the United States and Canada in which newly moneyed magnates auspiciously spent their money, among other things they invested a great deal of money in palatial homes. As a popular vacation destination, the Thousand Islands witnessesd a large boom as well. But times change and fortunes are fleeting; many of the ambitious architectural projects weren’t finished or fell into disrepair, and the hollow frames of the magnificent past give the impression of a paradise that might have, from the very beginning, been out of reach.

In last week’s article we covered the fixer upper on Carleton Island. One thing we failed to mention, was that the great irony of the villa’s story is that the original owner who commissioned the building only got to live in it for one night. Oddly enough a lot of the mansions and estates built in the area share similar stories of industrialists flaunting their wealth, and not getting a chance to enjoy the opulent playgrounds they built for themselves. The Carleton Island Villa itself, in it’s original form with a massive tower, dons the cover of Fools’ Paradise, impressions and recollections of the Thousand Island heyday, written by the late Paul Malo.

Boldt Castle and Alster Tower in Alexandria Bay

Probably one of the most recognizable landmarks in the Thousand Islands region is Boldt Castle on Heart Island. George C. Boldt, the proprietor of the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City, had this palatial getaway built for his wife – which included shaping the island like a heart. He was devastated after his wife died suddenly; he had construction on the property halted and never returned to the island. Like Carleton Villa, Boldt Castle sat vacant for decades, falling prey to the elements and vandals. Eventually in 1977 it was bought and later restored by the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority, today it is a major tourist destination.

For those interested in looking more into this era in the Thousand Islands we recommend the book Fools’ Paradise, the book is available on Amazon. There are also some spectacular photos presented by Malo on the Thousand Islands Life magazine website, here.

Happy 4th of July!

Posted July 4th, 2011 in News by admin

Hopefully you can catch the fireworks display in Alexandria Bay. Every year Heart Island is host to a massive fireworks display, set on the beautiful backdrop of Boldt Castle. Ask anyone who has been: there is something to be said for fireworks on the water. If you can’t make it out there with your own boat there are a number of boat tour companies operating services to see the celebrations, try Uncle Sam Boat Tours at 45 James Street in Alexandria Bay. Toll free 1-800-253-9229 or 315-482-2611. Happy 4th of July!

4th of July Fireworks Alexandria Bay

A Real Fixer Upper

Posted June 28th, 2011 in News by admin

Our site does tend to draw traffic from people interested in buying a house or a smaller property in the Thousand Islands region. Recently we received an e-mail from someone looking for a “real fixer upper.” While they probably had something smaller in mind, the Villa on Carleton Island immediately came to mind. The stately home was erected before both Singer and Boldt castles, and harkens back to the Golden Age of wealthy industrialists building summer homes in North America’s island playground. Unfortunately the palatial residence is in need of some serious attention, sooner rather than later. But it beg’s the question, how did such a pearl of the Thousand Islands get in such bad shape?

Carleton Island Villa

If you searh online yourself you’ll find how everyone notes the poor shape the building is in, but on an article on gives insight into the events that ultimately led to the building falling into disrepair, namely eroding fortunes of the Wyckoff family, who made their money in the production of Remington typewriters. The article features an exclusive look insde the building and documents all the architectural elements of the property in stunning detail. The more you read the more depressing it is, it’s a shame that despite the apparent interest – two or three inquiries a week according to the selling agent – no one as of yet has been willing to take up the task.

So if you’re looking for a real fixer upper, this is certainly a challenge. Unfortunately a lot of the damage is structural, and would require attention beyond the skills of even the best handyman. But you wouldn’t only be getting a spectacular multi-stored mansion on one of the best pieces of property in the Thousand Islands, you’d also be restoring history and rebuilding the magic of the islands. The current asking price is $ 495,000 (US).

Road Access

Posted April 3rd, 2011 in News by admin

The Howe Island property is located on a bay and surrounded by brush and forest, which provides a great deal of privacy and seclusion but also presented some access problems. For this reason a road was built in order to allow better access, particularly for vehicles, to the property. Gravel and stone blasted from the rockbed were used to build the road in 2009. On the map below the new road is shown in red.

Road Access on Howe Island Property

About Howe Island

Posted November 7th, 2010 in News by admin

Howe Island is one of the larger islands in the St. Lawrence and offers a more secluded rural setting, without being too far removed from the amenities of the city. The island is connected to the mainland via the cable ferries crossing the Bateau Channel on either end between Kingston and Gananoque. The 13 kilometer long and 5 kilometer wide island has ample waterfront and nature but is nonetheless not a typical tourist destination, rather a permanent home for some 300 hundred residents, a number that increases somewhat in the summer months. Many inhabitants can trace their family’s initial settlement back generations, some all the way to the war of 1812. However in recent years the rural and agricultural nature of the island has broadened to include commuters to Kingston, and vacationers with extravagant summer homes. The island is together with neighbouring Wolfe Island part of the Township of the Frontenac Islands, and is also named after a British military officer, William Howe.

For those interested in joining the open and friendly community on Howe Island consider real estate in the Thousand Islands.

Photo Gallery on Flickr

Posted November 1st, 2010 in News by admin

A good number of high quality photos of the property are now available on Flickr under 1000 Islands. The photos are accompanied with descriptions; everything from the waterfront, to the wooded area, marshes, the property entrance and road are covered. We’ll keep updating the gallery on a regular basis.