Archives for appeal

Choosing a Brokerage to Work For

Have you considered a job in a real estate? Choosing a brokerage to work for can be a daunting process. As one of the largest brokerages in the city, Royal LePage Team Realty has a lot to offer our Realtors. Combine all that we have to offer with the resources provided to all Royal LePage agents in Canada, and you will be supported, trained, and taken care of. Real estate can be both a challenging and dynamic career for people with strong interpersonal skills and good business savvy. Whether you are just starting your career or are currently working in real estate and looking to make a change, Royal LePage Team Realty will work with you to achieve your goals! What Sets Us Apart “We are committed to Helping You excel at your profession and achieve the results you want, by supporting you with a strong brand, culture of collaboration and innovation, and leading training, technology and marketing tools and continuously giving back to the community via our efforts with our Royal LePage Shelter Foundation. At Royal LePage, Helping You is What We DoTM.” (link: http://www.teamrealty.ca/real-estate-career-ottawa/) Training  Our training is provided to all our agents at no cost to you! You will learn how to build and operate your real estate business resulting in profitable revenue streams. We offer a 4 tier training to all our Realtors. Branch Operations and an introduction to different software applications that you will use regularly. 10 Core Real Estate Courses that are offered every 30 days. In depth training in computer labs on the IT programs you will use everyday! Hand On Mentoring Program on a variety of topics to help you ramp up your business. The training doesn’t end there. We continue to offer experienced agents ongoing professional development training throughout the year. Tools and Services Agent Resource Centre: Tools and resources that are second to none! Benefits Program: Optional group insurance packages are available. Marketing Deparment: We have our own in house marketing department with trained professionals at your disposal! Pay Day is Every Day: Our accounting department ensures that you will paid within 48 hours once they are in receipt of funds after a closing. Start Up Packages: All elements that you may need are covered including training, mentoring, websites, marketing, signage, business cards, tools and props among many others! IT Department: Our team is available Monday to Friday for any IT related questions or concerns. Management Team Available to Help 24-7: You are never alone if you need help! Professional Offices: Our offices are open 7 days a week and staffed by professional administrators. We have offices all over the city! Events: You are invited to our Gala Awards Event and Bi-Annual Productivity Events as a thank you and an opportunity to celebrate your successes. CONTACT US TODAY! Your new real estate career awaits! To find out more contact us by email at yourcareer@rlpottawa.com or call us at 613.667.APPT (2778). We would love to speak with you! To learn more about what we have

Choosing a Brokerage when Buying or Selling a Home

When it comes time to buy or sell a home, finding the brokerage to work with is a very important step to take. You need to find a company that will work with you to make this the most positive experience possible. “At Royal LePage Team Realty we commit to delivering high quality, industry leading and innovative real estate products and services on a complete cost-effective basis. Our business relationship will be characterized by the highest degree of honesty, credibility and fair dealing.  We are committed to setting the pace in service excellence. We commit to delivering a level of real estate professionalism that contributes to the overall well being of the community.” With a large share of the Ottawa real estate market, Royal LePage provides outstanding services to all of our clients.  Let’s take a look at what we can do for you: Why Buyers Should Choose Royal LePage Team Realty: If you want to find the right home, in the right place, at the right price, with minimum hassle, we are here to help! Our buyers agents are here to support and represent you every step of the way. Whether you are buying a resale or new construction home, we can advise you as you make the biggest purchase of your life. Here are just some of the services that a Royal LePage Sales Representative will provide: An extensive knowledge of local neighbourhoods and real estate values will allow your representative to find the perfect home to fit your lifestyle and budget. This knowledge will also make it easier to narrow your search so as not to waste time! A guide to take you through properties and to help identify potential problems through observation and research to help you make an informed decision. Advise you through the process of making an offer and negotiate on your behalf. Make recommendations for securing finances, legal options, and finding appraisers, home inspectors, and contracting services. An educated professional to represent YOU every step of the way! Why Sellers Should Choose Royal LePage Team Realty: Royal LePage Team Realty Realtors have the training, experience, and resources necessary to help you sell your home. “Selling a home takes more than just putting a “for sale” sign out front.”  We want to help you sell your home for the right price and quickly, and we know that effective marketing, problem solving, and research can help ensure that. Here are just some of the services that a Royal LePage Sales Representative will provide: Knowledge and research to help you price your home right through a home evaluation and a comparative market analysis. Step by step guidance through the whole process from listing to closing. Customized marketing plan using our extensive resources. Recommendations and consultations with you through every step of the process. Guidance through the transaction process and careful review of all documents to ensure that you are protected, even after closing. Extensive training to negotiate on your behalf while looking out for your best

Homeowners Can Earn Extra Income Using Airbnb

Congratulations, you’re a homeowner!  With all of the joys of home-ownership also comes the task of paying off your mortgage, paying property taxes and keeping up with regular maintenance as required.  While you’ve purchased a home within your means, paying off a mortgage can be daunting; however, there are ways in which you can make your payments a little more manageable. If you’ve decided to purchase a home, you’ve put down a certain percentage as a down payment, and you’ve agreed to pay into a mortgage (over the course of x-amount of years with an interest rate of x-percent). You can’t help but to ask yourself, “what can I do to reduce the costs associated with being a homeowner?” Airbnb might just be the answer you’re searching for. With Airbnb you’re able to rent out your home (or second home, depending on whether or not you’ve decided to take out a second mortgage on a retirement property, for instance) to people who are traveling from around the world and need a place to temporarily stay. According to their site, as an Airbnb host you can earn $182 CAD by sharing a single, private room in Ottawa in only 1 week and $331 CAD by sharing your entire home in Ottawa in the same amount of time. And the best part? It’s easy! Simply visit their website, select the “become a host” button, and answer a few basic questions. It’s an extremely reasonable option for you to earn a few extra dollars while renting out your home for only a few short stints at a time, rather than for a full season (or vice versa depending on which home you choose to rent out). Before renting out your home through Airbnb, or any other related service, it’s wise that you first do your homework. Check with your bank: more often than not, you must inform them of the intended use of your property. It goes without saying that receiving a little extra help in lessening your mortgage will undoubtedly feel awesome, but simply make sure you’re providing diligence where it’s due – throughout the entire process. The post Homeowners Can Earn Extra Income Using Airbnb appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog

5 Awesome Innovations on the Frontier of Home Automation

Remote home control system on a digital tablet or phone. In today’s digital world — recently dubbed “The Age of the Internet of Things” — technology is changing everything. From wearable health tracking devices to cars that drive themselves, tech has made day-to-day life easier, more convenient and also more fun. One area in which technology is having a huge impact is in the home. Recent inventions have made maintaining, taking care of and enjoying domestic life better than ever before. The following five home automation innovations represent some of the most cutting edge technologies that are shaping the way humans experience their homes.   Connected Refrigerators There’s a good chance you’ve run to the grocery to pick a few things up — only to return home and find out you’ve forgotten one essential item. You can avoid that annoyance now that there are smart refrigerators, which not only help you regulate the energy that your fridge uses, but also help you keep track of what is inside them. Smart refrigerators have a Wi-Fi connection, and are equipped to take photos of the inside each time it opens and closes so you can check and see what is in them, even remotely. Some smart fridges even have capability to play videos and songs, while others allow you to pull up recipes or order groceries from a touchscreen. Two of the most popular smart refrigerators on the market right now are the Samsung Family Hub and the LG Smart ThinQ. Connected Washers and Dryers Connected appliances don’t only make cooking easier — they make laundry better, too. Internet-connected washers and dryers now allow you to stop and start cycles via an app remotely, as well as to monitor how much energy you’re using. Many smart laundry appliances also allow you to “download” special cycles for certain clothing items in order to make sure you are washing and drying your garments just the right way. Whirpool’s Smart Cabrio Washer and Smart Cabrio Dryer are two of the most popular smart laundry devices on the market. Self-Learning Thermostats Keeping the temperature regulated in your home is key to making sure you and your family are comfortable. Now, you can use a self-learning, self-regulating thermostat, like the popular Nest device, to keep the air feeling just right. Nest’s thermostat does a whole host of things, including learning your schedule after you use it for a week, then automatically changing the temperature by itself — both to make sure that you’re comfortable when you’re at home, and that you’re not using excess energy when you’re not. Smart Locks Keeping your home locked means that you can keep your family and your belongings safe. But locks can also cause challenges, such as when people get locked out, or when you leave your house and forget to lock up. Thanks to smart locks, however, you can control the security of your home via a remote app, which allows you to lock, unlock and check the status of

Strong Fall Real Estate Market in Ottawa

No fall(ing) back in Ottawa’s resale market: News release from the Ottawa Real Estate Board October 5th, 2016 OTTAWA, October 5, 2016 – Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,371 residential properties in September through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 1,241 in September 2015, an increase of 10.5 per cent. The five-year average for September sales is 1,171. “Again this month, we have broken the record for residential and condominium units sold, with 200 more units sold than the five-year average for September sales,” says Shane Silva, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. “With average sale prices remaining virtually unchanged since the beginning of the year, this could be an indication that prices have adjusted to market expectations and sales have rebounded as a result.” September’s sales included 269 in the condominium property class, and 1,102 in the residential property class. The condominium property class includes any property, regardless of style (i.e. detached, semi-detached, apartment, townhouse, etc.), which is registered as a condominium, as well as properties which are co-operatives, life leases, and timeshares. The residential property class includes all other residential properties. “Units listed in both residential and condominium property classes continue to decline,” indicates Silva. “From 2,076 listed in September 2015 to 1,822 listed in September 2016 for residential properties, and from 637 listed in September 2015 to 588 listed in September 2016 for condominium sales. With fewer listings coming on to the market, combined with recent higher unit sales, overall inventory is declining. The basic economics of supply and demand at play will continue to have an impact on the Ottawa resale market.” The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in September in the Ottawa area was $383,793 a decrease of 0.1 per cent over September 2015. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $252,136, a decrease of two per cent over September 2015. The Board cautions that average sale price information can be useful in establishing trends over time but should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. The average sale price is calculated based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold. “The hottest segments in our market for September continue to be two-storey and bungalow residential homes in the $300,000 to $400,000 price range, followed by one-level and two-storey condos in the $200,000 to $300,000 and the $100,000 to $200,000 price range” says Silva. “In addition to residential and condominium sales, OREB Members have assisted clients with renting almost 2,500 properties since the beginning of the year.” The post Strong Fall Real Estate Market in Ottawa appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog

Millennials Bring the Big City to the Suburbs

  Small businesses in suburban neighbourhoods bring a sense of the big city to smaller towns The high cost of downtown living in big Canadian cities like Ottawa, Toronto, and Vancouver are driving more and more people out of city centers and into the suburbs. However, millennials say they don’t want to miss out on the look and feel of the big city when they move to the outskirts. Some suburbs have heard these desires, and are trying to find ways to change and better promote the amenities they offer in order to attract more young people. The amenities offered vary depending on the particular suburb, but many neighbourhoods are promoting specialty shops, independent restaurants, trendy cafes, and other small businesses in order to bring the feeling of living right downtown into suburban areas. Perhaps surprisingly, one of the major features that draws younger people to particular suburbs is the presence of walking and bike paths. The percentage of teenagers and young adults who have driver’s licenses has dropped in recent years as more people choose to bike, walk, or take the bus in order to get around, and suburban areas that promote these transportation methods are reaping the benefits. In some areas, homes that are close to bike or walking paths can see a price boost of 5-10%! Many of the most successful suburbs are now being built, or remodelled, to be easily walkable and hold a mix of residential and shopping areas. Overhauling main streets to be more easily walkable and installing footpaths and bike trails is becoming common in many suburban areas as part of this trend. Although providing the downtown feeling with a suburban price tag is a huge draw for young people, it is not the only one. Many companies and business are moving away from the downtown core of major cities and into suburban areas in order to save money, and this draws millennials who wish to work or shop at these locations into the suburbs. The reverse is also true, as younger people moving into suburbs creates reasons for old businesses to move and new ones to start up in order to cater to them. As more and more young people gravitate to the suburbs, and suburban areas change in order to make themselves more attractive to these prospective buyers, it will be interesting to see what kinds of changes occur and how well they are received by long-term residents and new arrivals alike.   The post Millennials Bring the Big City to the Suburbs appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog

Key Qualifying Questions

If you’re thinking of buying a home, but not sure on how or where to begin, let us be the ones to help you! What’s important is to ask the right questions in order to make the right decision – the one that’s best for you.   First, if you’re a first-time home buyer, it’s important to get pre-approved for a home. This should typically be step one. Once approved, the rest of the home-buying experience can successfully follow. You can then answer such questions as how soon you’re looking to move, how quickly of a time-frame you’re willing to move in, or if you’re simply browsing your options, you can get a clear idea of what’s out there that’s within your price range.   Are you looking for a home for yourself, for someone else, or for your family? What you answer to this specific question will, of course, determine a multitude of follow-up inquiries including location, size of home, and the accessibility to transit routes, highways, schools, hospitals and so on. Pets? What type of yard do you need? Or, how about the structure of your home? Having a pet might, depending, have an input in whether or not you purchase, say, a condominium versus a detached home.     Upon answering these such questions, it’s important to consider the reasons why you’re choosing to move in the first place. At the end of the day, there’s always a reason – don’t lose sight of that. With this in mind, keep track of the homes you’ve seen and the features of each that you have liked. Take a look at more of our Key Qualifying Questions – our goal is to help you as best as we can so that you can make the decision that’s best for you. The post Key Qualifying Questions appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog

How to Choose the Perfect Realtor for You

How to Choose the Perfect Realtor for You   How to Choose the Perfect Realtor for You Whether you’re a first-time home buyer or are selling your house yet again, you need a realtor that understands your needs. The home buying or selling process can be complicated as it is, and there is no need to cause yourself additional angst by picking a less-than-qualified realtor. Read on to discover a few traits you need to look for when selecting a real estate agent so you can confidently move through the buying or selling process. Qualifications A realtor with no qualifications won’t get you very far. You need a real estate agent that knows the process through and through and has a certification so you can be certain he or she knows how to do the job. Check to make sure the realtor you are considering is a member of an upstanding organization, such as the Canadian Real Estate Association, and you can be confident that he or she will be up to snuff. Broad Knowledge-Base Your real estate agent needs to be able to walk you through the entire process. The agent needs to know about financing, pricing a house, home inspections and all the other steps involved in buying or selling a home. This is crucial if you’re a first-time home buyer and are unfamiliar with the proceedings. Thoroughly vet your agent before you sign on with him or her, ask questions about the system itself and any concerns you have. If the agent is able to answer your questions clearly and give you up-to-date tips and information, you’ll know you have found a good one. If, however, the agent leaves you feeling more confused than before, he or she is probably not right for you. Good Track Record How many homes has your agent sold in the past few months? A high success rate is a sign of a good agent. Ask the potential realtors how many homes they have sold out of all their listings so you can get a good idea of their effectiveness. Sympathetic to Your Needs Do you have a specific area that you want to buy in, or are you looking for a particular type of home? Your agent needs to fully understand your needs and be willing to dig to help you find the perfect property. No one knows your needs and desires better than you do, so avoid any agent that tries to upsell you for no reason or doesn’t seem to grasp what you want. It may seem like a difficult task, but finding the ideal realtor can save you a lot of time and hassle. Take your time selecting an agent and you’ll be able to move through buying or selling your home with ease and certainty. Like what you see? Subscribe to our Blog. The post How to Choose the Perfect Realtor for You appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog

Ottawa Real Estate Update | Condo sales lead the way to best October on record!

While temperatures are dropping, the fall real estate market in Ottawa remains steady with another record breaking month!  Recently released statistics from the Ottawa Real Estate Board  below show that the condo sales soared in October, up 27.2% over last year!   While these statistics are useful in establishing market trends they should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. If you’re interested in a property evaluation or statistics for specific neighbourhoods please email info@teamrealty.ca or contact one of our offices, or professional real estate representatives,  we would be delighted to assist. Released by OREB, November 3rd, 2016 OTTAWA, November 3, 2016 – Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,214 residential properties in October through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 1,159 in October 2015, an increase of 4.7 per cent. The five-year average for October sales is 1,130. “October’s sales continued the record-breaking resale trend for the third straight month,” says Shane Silva, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. “While residential sales are identical to that of October 2015, condominium sales have soared – up by 27.2 per cent over last year. Lower inventory levels, combined with adjusting prices, may be creating these higher than normal activity levels in the condo property class.” October’s sales included 257 in the condominium property class, and 957 in the residential property class. The condominium property class includes any property, regardless of style (i.e. detached, semi-detached, apartment, townhouse, etc.), which is registered as a condominium, as well as properties which are co-operatives, life leases, and timeshares. The residential property class includes all other residential properties. “The new mortgage rules announced at the beginning of October have yet to have an effect on the Ottawa market, as the announcement only came two weeks prior to implementation,” says Silva. “It’s too early to tell what kind of impact the new mortgage rules will have on the Ottawa market going forward. We know that right now Ottawa continues to be a desirable city to live and work, and consumer confidence and job growth remain positive.” The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in October in the Ottawa area was $392,579 an increase of 3.3 per cent over October 2015. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $251,465, an increase of .01 per cent over October 2015. The Board cautions that average sale price information can be useful in establishing trends over time but should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. The average sale price is calculated based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold. “The hottest segments in our market for October continue to be two-storey and bungalow residential homes in the $300,000 to $400,000 price range, followed by one-level and two-storey condos in the $200,000 to $300,000 price range” says Silva. “In addition to residential and condominium sales, OREB Members have assisted clients with renting almost 2,700 properties since the beginning

Let us help you find “Your Perfect Life”

Whether you are looking for a neighbourhood with young families, an urban lifestyle or a quiet place to retire, “Your Perfect Life” could help you find your sweet spot. By way of entering a simple postal code, you are able to match your lifestyle and neighbourhood preferences in a relatable and engaging way. A first in Canadian real estate Fun, engaging content to share on your social channels With detailed demographic information about income level, life stage, household structure, employment types and education Ideal for clients who are considering relocating and want to learn more about prospective communities How it works… The post Let us help you find “Your Perfect Life” appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog

A Breakdown of Canada’s New Lending Rules

House made from Canadian polymer $100 dollar bills.Related Images: There has been a lot of topical chatter about the significant changes our government has recently put in place on Canada’s housing rules. Over the last several years, our government has been known to change the mortgage requirements on numerous occasions which has (and continues to) deeply affect anyone who, is not only looking to perhaps qualify for government-backed insured mortgages, but also those who may be looking to purchase their first home and/or are looking to refinance their existing mortgage. We needn’t be too concerned, however. According to Phil Soper, President and CEO of Royal LePage, “Nationally, our real estate markets remain healthy, with home values showing modest to strong (yet rational) price appreciation in almost every Canadian city … Even in the hardest hit oil patch regions, prices have held up well, with small single-digit declines, year-over-year”   As it stands, the current rules state that buyers with a down payment of at least 5 per cent of the purchase price (but less than 20 per cent) must be backed by mortgage insurance – otherwise known as “high loan-to-value” or “high ratio” mortgages. On the other hand, in such situations that the buyer has 20 per cent or more for a down payment, the lender or borrower could obtain “low-ratio” insurance that covers 100 per cent of the loan in the event of a default . This said, if you and/or your family fall into such aforementioned categories, it’s important that you become well aware of the details, as well as the logic behind such recent changes. After all, obtaining a mortgage on your home isn’t a lost cause – all you need is the right advice and some solid support.   The Globe and Mail published an article that outlines the four most prevalent changes in the housing market. They are as follows:   Extending a “mortgage rate stress test” to all insured mortgages in order to ensure affordability. This particular change will primarily affect those who seek to buy government-backed insurance for low-ratio mortgages, as mentioned above.   Launching “consultations on lender risk sharing” in order to limit the governments financial obligations if there just so happens to be a surplus of mortgage defaults. This rule, though affecting most home buyers, will also affect such mortgage lenders as banks as it will be putting them at a much higher risk.   Implementing new restrictions on when the government “will provide insurance for low-ratio mortgages”. This rule will be taken into effect on November 30th, and will be aimed at lowering the government’s exposure to residential mortgages for properties worth $1 million or more.   The “primary residence capital gains exemption” rules now requires you – as the seller of your primary residence – to report the details of the sale to the CRA. However, it’s been made clear that this rule is primarily aimed at preventing foreign buyers who buy and sell homes from claiming a primary

Winterizing Your Home

It seems like only yesterday that we were out enjoying the great (warm) outdoors at our cottages, lakes and so on. The days were sunny, the evenings were cool; we’d admire the gradual change in scenery as each tree in sight became more and more vibrant with time. And then without warning, as it does every year, it just hits us: winter. We feel it coming, we know it’ll be here in a quick blink of an eye, but it still somehow manages to sneak up on us. We ask ourselves if we’re even ready for winter, if we can prepare for it in such little time, and so on (if only we could just call a seasonal time-out!). The good news, however, is that we won’t need to. Getting ready for winter isn’t as complex and bone-chilling as it may seem. In fact, here are a few things you can do in order to protect and prepare your home for the winter:     Make sure your furnace is either replaced or cleaned: It’s advised that you change your furnace filter at least once a month during the winter months to avoid resistance of airflow. If, by chance, you feel this step may occasionally slip your mind month-to-month, try adding a recurring reminder on your phone or in your calendar. It works! You can also try “switching to a permanent filter, which will reduce waste and hassle”. Perhaps consider upgrading to a furnace that’s considered to be more efficient – it’ll save you even more money year after year.   Turn down your water heater: Most water heaters are automatically set to about 140 degrees Fahrenheit by installers upon placement into your home. In actuality, however, most of us don’t particularly need that high of heat, nor do we need that much steam. Avoid paying for an excess amount of heat by turning your water heater down to about 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Fact: doing so will reduce your water heating costs by 6 to 10%. You can also consider insulating your water pipes in order to avoid them from freezing during our colder months.   Install storm doors and/or windows: This is a simple (albeit maybe a pain for some) task that can increase energy efficiency by 45%. How? “By sealing drafts and reducing air flow”. This said, an installation such as this will be well worth the work.   Seal your air ducts: It pays to have a technician come into your home and assess your ductwork. He/she will test your system and fix any problems accordingly. Did you know that, according to studies, “10 to 30% of heated (or cooled) air in an average system escapes from ducts”? Protect your home from mold and dust this winter, and save a few dollars too!   For more information, follow this link. It’ll give you even more advice (and an extension of the aforementioned tidbits posted above!) on how you and your family can prepare your home for when

Winterizing Your Yard

Winterizing your home for the cold snap is one thing; winterizing your yard, however, is another. And as much as most of us would like to avoid prepping our yards for the inevitable cold that is to come, it’s something that’s simply unavoidable – especially if we’re looking to save both time and energy when spring and summer rolls around next year. Rest assured, however, winterizing your yard is not as complex as most of us may think it is, in fact, it’s actually quite simple.   We’ve provided a list of ways below that will help you and your family maintain the quality of your yard, regardless of how cold it gets this winter:   Move your hoses into a shed or a garage: It’s advised that we unhook and empty out all the water in our hoses and store them in a warmer place (for example, in your shed or in your garage). You certainly don’t want to leave your hose out in the cold as they can “suffer from [the cold’s] exposure” – a common misconception that can lead to us having to replace them more frequently.   Take care of your BBQ and its grills: If you have either of these installed in your backyard, make sure that you move them indoors before winter hits. A garage, storage shed, or storage unit works great for your BBQ when they’re not in use. Keep in mind that your propane tanks stay outdoors – we wouldn’t want you putting your home and your family in danger!   Tear down your lawn furniture and its accessories: Sturdier lawn furniture (wrought iron, for example) can be left covered outdoors over the winter months. If, however, your furniture set is less sturdy and/or plastic, it might be a good idea to bring it indoors – cushions too! A helpful hint: give your set a good cleaning before putting it away, it’ll save you some hassle come spring/summer.   Prepare your swimming pool: “Winterizing your swimming pool protects it from damage due to the water freezing and keeps it clean for the next swimming season”. You’ll want to check the water chemistry, the alkalinity, the calcium hardness, and the chlorine levels in addition to covering your pool to avoid winter “debris”.   To read an extended version of this article, follow this link and learn more. All elements in/of your backyard should be given the proper care and attention they deserve before the cold snap of winter falls upon us. Follow these tips, make a check list – anything that will help you and your family prepare and preserve your backyard for the winter season.   The post Winterizing Your Yard appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog

Checklist for Home Buyers

When buying a home, there are always a series of questions that run through a home buyer’s mind. At Royal LePage Team Realty, we encourage you to ask them, we try to think of everything for you … including a checklist to keep track of the important details about homes we show you! Of course your Real Estate agent will be there every step of the way to help you find the right home, but falling in love with a property is not the only factor to consider when purchasing a home. We’ve put together a checklist that outlines details that are important to many buyers and will help in your decision to make an offer on a property or move on to the next.  It includes such attributes as the structure of your home (examples: detached, semi-detached, condominium, etc.), the type of construction of your home (examples: wood, brick veneer, or block), as well as several detailed inquiries regarding your  furnace, your plumbing, and your home’s electrical wiring. Furthermore, it’s important to know what your home comes equipped with. For example, what’s already included in the price of the home? Are the appliances up to date? Are there any additional features such as a fireplace or a pool? Some of the biggest questions you may find asking on your checklist are those regarding the location of your home. If you are someone who travels to and from work every day, it’s essential to make note of nearby transportation routes (examples: bus routes, highways, traffic volumes etc.). Do you have kids? If so, parks, schools, and other amenities such as shops and restaurants will be features you’d like to check-off your list. You’re almost there, you’re about to sign the papers. In addition to the above mentioned features, it’s important to ask about any additional estimated costs that will come with your home upon purchase, as well as the condition of such attributes as your floors, roof, windows, and so on. What are the property taxes? Are there any imminent repairs? Does your home require a parking permit?  Download our checklist below, it will put your mind at ease from submitting an offer to move-in day! Like what you see? Subscribe to our Blog. The post Checklist for Home Buyers appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog

Buying Your Retirement Home

For several years now, Canada’s population of 65-and-overs has been increasing at rapid rates. In fact, in 2015, according to Statistics Canada, there were more Canadians over the age of 65 than there were those under the age of 15 – a pace that has only been growing since 2011. Coincidently, as the Canadian population grows older, the number of Canadian retirees will rise.  So, are you someone who is approaching the first stages of retirement? More importantly, are you ready to retire?   One of the biggest decisions an individual(s) will make upon retirement is purchasing their retirement home. It’s important to consider all of the factors involved. When do you plan to retire? Within the next 5 years? 10?  Do you and your spouse share the same retirement dream? Where would you like to retire? Do you have the proper financial plan?   There are several options that you and your family can consider if retirement is something that’s in your near future and you’re looking to invest in your home before you retire fully. For more information on the following 3 suggestions, follow this link!   Generate income by renting out your retirement home before retiring: income from a rental property can act as a hedge against a low interest rate environment as well as future inflation because you can simply raise the rent to offset inflation when it hits.   Location, location, location. If you’re plan is to buy your retirement home before you retire and use it only on occasion for vacation, for example – be sure to choose your location with careful vigilance and perhaps with little-to-low maintenance.   Be flexible: if you are 10 years or more away from retirement, you may want to opt to rent a vacation home for a month at a time in order to avoid getting stuck with a permanent decision about your retirement destination. Be sure to have a plan that allows you to comfortably afford where you’d like to live.   If you feel financially ready to purchase your retirement home, that’s commendable. Once less step in your retirement process to worry about. This means you’ve had many a conversation with your spouse about “when’s” of planning and preplanning. During these conversations, however, it’s also important to talk about the “where’s” and “how’s”. Location is a key attribute to any retirement plan, as mentioned above. If your dream is to live in the mountains, yet it’s your spouse’s to live on the beach, that’s something you have to talk about in order to find common ground. The same goes for living near your friends, your family, your grandkids – versus, not. Have you tested out your ideal retirement location? What if you long for the mountain air while residing along the beach? According to Market Watch, it’s important to do your research. The post Buying Your Retirement Home appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog

What Is a Smart Home?

If you can turn the lights in your home on and off from your cell phone, you have the beginnings of a smart home. Smart home technology is now available that allows you to remotely control a variety of electrical appliances and components in your home, even when you’re not there. The purpose is to let you make your home more comfortable, secure and energy efficient. While smart home technology is still in its infancy, there are already many ways you can make your home smarter. Here are just a few examples: Smart Thermostats Programmable thermostats have been around for a long time. These thermostats can make you more comfortable at home by, for example, turning the heat down around the time you leave for work, then turning it back up before you get home from work. It keeps the temperature in your home just where you want it. However, there are now smart thermostats that can do even more. For instance, they can be controlled from a smartphone, and also come with sensors that can be placed in different rooms. So, if you have one room in the house that always seems cold, the heat won’t turn off until the sensor in that room indicates that it has reached a satisfactory temperature. Smart Speakers Smart speakers, like the Amazon Echo, Google Now and their competitors, let you talk to your house. Smart speakers control a voice-activated smartphone assistant, and provide a wide range of capabilities, such as: •             If you add something like Amazon Prime or iHeartRadio, you can ask the smart speaker to play a specific song for you. •             Add your home and work addresses to the application, and you can ask the smart speaker how long of a commute you’ll have. •             The application will maintain a shopping list and you can add to it using voice commands. There are hundreds of other features for these smart speakers that will help you manage your home! Smart Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Detectors Have you ever talked to someone whose house burned down when they weren’t home? It’s a tragedy because often the home is lost before a neighbor or someone driving by notices the problem and calls for help. With a smart smoke/carbon monoxide detector, you’ll be notified on your smartphone immediately. If you’re not sure whether someone is home, you’d want to call first just in case a family member is burning something on the stove. Otherwise, you can contact emergency services almost as quickly as if you were home. Smart Slow Cookers Anything that has electrical components might someday be made into a smart device. In fact, Belkin has introduced a crock pot that can be controlled from your smartphone. You can turn the temperature up or down, adjust the cooking time and more. Smart Refrigerators Companies like Samsung are making smart refrigerators. The Samsung version boasts a large touchscreen that allows you to leave notes for other family members, play music and even watch television. The

Ottawa Real Estate News | June 2016 sets record for the highest number of sales ever

WOW what a month in Ottawa Real Estate! Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,985 residential properties in June 2016 through the Multiple Listing Service® setting a record for the highest sales in any month ever in the history of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. While average price dropped slightly in both residential (slight decrease of 1.3% over June 2015) and condominiums (slight decrease of 2.4% over June 2015)  the market in Ottawa remains sure and steady.  While these statistics are useful in establishing market trends they should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. If you’re interested in a free home evaluation or statistics for specific neighbourhoods email info@teamrealty.ca – we would be delighted to assist.   Information below provided by the Ottawa Real Estate Board  Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,985 residential properties in June through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 1,691 in June 2015, an increase of 17.4 per cent. The five-year average for June sales is 1,717. “Sales this past month contributed not only to the highest June on record, it also turned out to be the highest sales in any month ever in the history of the Ottawa market,” remarked Shane Silva, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. “The closest comparable sales figures are from May 2009 with 1,967 units sold. Normally the resale market has a slight dip in units sold from May to June each year. May is routinely the peak month for units sold; however, this year June sales increased by 3.3 per cent over May.” “It’s hard to say what fuelled this surge for June. It could be a combination of great weather and buyer activity from other markets, or it could be an anomaly. We will be closely watching the trend over the summer when sales typically slow down as buyers turn their attention to summer activities,” Silva went on to explain. June sales included 331 in the condominium property class, and 1,654 in the residential property class. The condominium property class includes any property, regardless of style (i.e. detached, semi-detached, apartment, townhouse, etc.), which is registered as a condominium, as well as properties which are co-operatives, life leases, and timeshares. The residential property class includes all other residential properties. “Year-to-date units sold for the first half of 2016 are also performing quite well compared to the first half of last year, up 5.4 per cent. While year-to-date average sale price remains the same compared to last year,” says Silva. “A total of 3,220 residential and condo properties were listed in June, capping the month off with approximately 8,300 properties on the market, down 11.5 per cent from June 2015.” The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in June in the Ottawa area was $399,382, a decrease of 1.3 per cent over June 2015. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $264,913, a decrease of 2.4 per cent over June 2015.

Buying Near Parks and Recreational Facilities

Buying Near Parks and Recreation Facilities According to RealtorMag, twenty-three percent of recent buyers indicated that convenience to parks or recreational facilities influenced their choice of neighborhoods.  Proximity to parks and recreational facilities was the most important to recent buyers aged 34 and younger, and to those aged 35 to 49.  Here are some reasons to believe those numbers will rise. Public Health Concerns The alarming increase in obesity, especially among children, has focused attention on how important physical activity is to our overall wellbeing.  Governments at all levels are promoting the benefits of active living and we have become more receptive to the message.  That means even more people will want accommodations that provide opportunities for physical activity (i.e. near parks and rec).  Further, governments (to save its citizens and reduce health care costs) and businesses (to ensure their developments sell) are improving the planning, design, quality and availability of parks and recreation resources to meet the rising demand for activity-friendly communities. Seniors Want Active Lifestyles Seniors, in particular are becoming more aware of the benefits, both physical and mental, of an active lifestyle including walks, picnics and outings. It is increasingly common for buyers over 59 to purchase townhouses and condos, sacrificing space and privacy for convenience, savings and safety of walkable communities.  Nearby access to parks and rec is a critical factor for them and this group seldom compromises when buying – they know what they want. A Sense of Place (Home Turf) First-time buyers, families and couples intending to have children often seek a neighbourhood where they can raise their family fostering a sense of place with the unique and special characteristics and comforts of “home turf”.  They value the relationships and collaborations with the community as a whole.  For them, building a vibrant community includes participating in activities and events offered by parks and recreational facilities for all the family’s stages and ages: personal fitness, Girl Guides, coaching the kids in local sports, Tai Chi class, a family swim, romps in the playground, the Canada Day Barbeque. Enjoying Life The aesthetic qualities of green space, trees and trails, gardens and picnic areas appeal to a group who have decided to slow the pace and live an eco-friendly lifestyle.  To them parks and recreational activities are an essential part of quality of life.  It’s  hard to disagree if you’ve ever witnessed a sunset walking along the Ottawa River Pathway.   Like what you see? Subscribe to our Blog. The post Buying Near Parks and Recreational Facilities appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog

The Lowdown on Open House Etiquette for Home Buyers

Open houses in Ottawa are an excellent opportunity for you to check out potential future homes. You do not need to have a real estate agent, nor is making an appointment necessary. You don’t even have to be an official home buyer. Instead, open houses can be a stress-free way for you to ease into buying a home. They may help you prioritize what you want, for example. That said, if you are new to open houses, you may be unsure how to act, so here are a few etiquette tips. Just Show Up You may feel odd attending open houses if you are not an official home buyer. Maybe you do not have a real estate agent, for one thing. However, that’s fine — just go ahead and show up! Agents know that many people are not in the market for homes; in fact, some people go to open houses as a hobby. Walk right in; there is no need to ring a doorbell or to knock. Realtors can help sell your home Ask Realtor Questions, but Only If You Want To Some Realtors will meet you at the door and discuss the home with you. Others are much more hands-off. Whatever type of Realtor you end up with at an open house, it is fine to ask questions. You are not wasting a Realtor’s time; Realtors always like to know what people are looking for. If you have a pushy Realtor at the open house or one you are just not comfortable with, it is fine to ask for space and to tour the house at your own pace. It is the job of the hosts to make your experience smooth. You Can Agent Shop to an Extent If you do not have a Realtor yet, open houses can be good ways to see Realtors in action. The Realtor at an open house may ask if you have representation and could suggest meeting later to discuss your needs. However, do not treat open houses as ways to have immediate, in-depth “job” interviews with prospective Realtors. If you do already have an agent, it is best to take him or her with you to the open house. Always be upfront with hosting agents about your Realtor status. Don’t Bring Kids, and Be Nice Children, especially young children, can wreak havoc at an open house. Avoid bringing them, especially if you are a serious buyer. Also, if you are scouting with someone else, stay with that person (or people). Realtors need to have a general idea of where people are in the house. Stay out of private belongings, and keep your food and drinks elsewhere. You are a guest in another person’s home, so do not make negative comments about shabby furniture and the like. Open houses can be a fun and educational way to identify what you want in a home, and knowing how to act ahead of time should ease some of your anxieties. The post The Lowdown

Housing Trends We are Seeing in the Canadian Real Estate Market

The Canadian housing market is already in the news, thanks to the recent collaboration of Vancouver residents to form the #DontHave1Million campaign that went viral. This Twitter campaign was in response to the recent reports that the average home in Vancouver will set you back $1.27 million, which is more than double the average price of a home throughout the rest of the Canadian market. And, at the rate things are going, this trend shows no sign of slowing down.  With this in mind, let’s see the other nine trends in the Canadian housing market to keep in mind in 2017. More Foreign Investors In addition to the booming Vancouver market, the booming market in Toronto is such that, while it may not be affordable for the average buyers, it’s certainly affordable for foreign investors. Housing Shortages.  Similar to the housing bust in the United States in 2008, the housing bust in Canada came as a result of predatory mortgage practices. Thus, there are more people that want to buy houses than there are houses available. Some Areas in Canada Are Experiencing a Boom — Especially Ottawa! Yes, Toronto and Vancouver are ridiculously expensive, but many other areas of Canada have seen a price decrease over the past year, and this trend will continue into 2017. In addition, Ottawa is experiencing a record high in terms of growth — almost 2000 sales of homes & condos took place in the month of June alone, and the number of sales promise to steadily increase into 2017. Downsizing As the so-called baby boomers move toward retirement, they’re no longer interested in owning huge homes with sizable mortgages. Therefore, they’re more likely to sell their family home and rent a small apartment or townhouse. City Exodus The combination of the housing shortage and the staggeringly high prices means that people are moving out of the city and into the suburbs. Senior or Assisted Living Housing There will be an increased demand in assisted living housing as baby boomers retire. Banks Will Be Less Likely to Lend Money After the mortgage crisis of 2008, banks are less likely to give loans, even to seemingly well-qualified applicants. Like what you see? Subscribe to our Blog. [/mp_row_inn] The post Housing Trends We are Seeing in the Canadian Real Estate Market appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog

Market Snapshot July 2016 Ottawa Real Estate

  According to recently released statistics by the Ottawa Real Estate Board, Summer 2016 in real estate is still hot, continuing to outpace 2015.  While inventory has dropped by 15% compared to this time last year the total number of sales are up and so are average sale prices, providing us with a Real Estate Market Snapshot July 2016. While these statistics are helpful in establishing trends there are many factors to consider when buying or selling that can affect market value in a specific neighbourhood,  home or style of dwelling. Our sales team have access to the most up to date market information and comparables.  If you have any questions or would like us to provide you with specific neighbourhood stats and information we will be delighted to hear from you.  Please contact us at info@teamrealty.ca and/or reach out to any of our knowledgeable REALTORS®  Helping you is what we do.™ MARKET SNAPSHOT July 2016 The following information is from the Ottawa Real Estate Board released August 5th, 2016 Summer resales sizzle in a hot July OTTAWA, August 5, 2016 – Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,491 residential properties in July through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 1,430 in July 2015, an increase of 4.3 per cent. The five-year average for July sales is 1,413. “Sales continue to outpace 2015 numbers both in monthly and year-to-date comparisons,” says Shane Silva, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. “However, we are seeing the typical summer slowdown in July compared to June’s record-breaking numbers. Units listed in both residential and condominium property classes have declined throughout the year, which has affected overall inventory levels. The number of active listings at the end of July 2016 is down about 15 per cent compared to July 2015.” July’s sales included 277 in the condominium property class, and 1,214 in the residential property class. The condominium property class includes any property, regardless of style (i.e. detached, semi-detached, apartment, townhouse, etc.), which is registered as a condominium, as well as properties which are co-operatives, life leases, and timeshares. The residential property class includes all other residential properties. “We are just over the mid-year mark for 2016 and our year-to-date sales volume is up by 5.3 per cent over last year, ringing in at a whopping 3.6 billion dollars,” says Silva. “Prices have remained quite steady in comparison to last year, with the increased number of units sold nudging the total sales volume up for the year.” The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in July in the Ottawa area was $398,608, an increase of 1.1 per cent over July 2015. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $259,794, an increase of 1.2 per cent over July 2015. The Board cautions that average sale price information can be useful in establishing trends over time but should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. The average sale price is calculated based on

4 Helpful Tips for Purchasing Home Insurance for a New Homeowner

  An insurance policy is an asset for any home owner. Owning a home for the first time is incredibly exciting. After all, you have a space that is completely yours to decorate, spend time in and simply enjoy. However, with the rewards of homeownership also come the responsibilities, and people who are buying their first houses will discover that they suddenly have a whole slew of necessary to-dos. One of the most important things for a new homeowner? Buying a home insurance policy for the new house, which will not only protect the structure of the house, but also the things in it, should anything happen to it. If you are a first-time homeowner who needs to purchase a home insurance policy, the following tips will help you find the right plan to fit your family’s needs, as well as ensure that all of your belongings are protected so that you can sleep safe and sound in your brand new space. 1. You Should Shop Around Every insurance provider is different, and you don’t have to stick with the first company you talk to. Before you choose a policy to protect your home, consult with several different companies and get quotes from each of them. Once you’ve received quotes on plans, you can choose which one best suits your needs — and your budget. 2. You Should Make Sure Everything (and Everyone) in Your Household Is Covered When it comes to home insurance policies, one size does not fit all. In Canada, the standard policy usually covers: the cost of the home, its contents, personal liability of the policyholder, the policyholder’s spouse and children, dependents under the age of 18 and dependents who are temporarily away at school. If there are other people living in your home (e.g., other relatives or renters), be sure to consult with your insurance representative to make sure everything (and everyone) is adequately covered. 3. You’ll Need to Report Any Changes You Make to Your Home If you are going to make changes to the home you purchase after you purchase it (or after you purchase your insurance policy), you need to let your insurance company know. This means that you should tell them if you choose to renovate, add a pool, rent out a room, buy expensive art or anything else. This will ensure that everything is covered if you ever have to make a claim. 4. You Should Take an Extensive Home Inventory When you’re moving into your new home, take an extensive inventory of everything in it: this includes appliances, jewelry, furniture and more. Make a list of that inventory, then make multiple copies of it. Try to keep receipts for as many purchases as you make for your home. This inventory can help your home insurance company come up with as fair and accurate a policy quote for you as possible. If you’re planning to purchase a home soon, you should also plan to purchase a homeowners insurance policy. Homes

Voice Control & Connected Devices Fuel Home Automation

Connected devices hooked up to the Internet are advancing home automation in a way that helps you make your new home a clean, energy efficient and welcoming place. The key to controlling the devices can be a smartphone, tablet or computer.  As you bring devices under your control and make your home a Smart Home, get them to interact with one another, you can also help them work together to improve your living environment even more. Voice automation, which involves controlling connected devices with your voice, makes it possible for you to direct many changes. Through a virtual assistant, the devices may be able to talk back, telling you everything from the weather outside to how you can order spare parts over the Internet if the device breaks. Remote home control system on a digital tablet or phone. How Do I Know What I Want? The best way to get an idea of what items can be connected is to take a tour of a residence with home automation. This will allow you to understand how the devices communicate with your phone and one another and what the items can do for you. The key areas of home automation are lighting, energy management, safety and security, electronics and entertainment, and locks, from garage doors to front doors. There are also automation options for gardens, decks, storage areas, and items for pets. The more innovative items on the market include solar panels to power a home, combined with occupancy sensors to make sure a person is in the home, and one-touch capability to lock the doors; and the assignment of unique codes to open the door, with alerts to your smartphone to tell you who is home and when they arrived. There’s even an internal camera for an oven that takes a picture of the meat or pie you’re cooking to help you decide when it’s done. Should I Get Help? It’s important to get some assistance to ensure connected devices are set up properly and are secure. One-third of homeowners who bought a house in 2015 are considering adding home automation systems to their residence. Creating an automated home is a process, especially if you’re adding devices over time. You should start with a professional and contact him or her for further assistance as needed. The first step of creating a smart home is installing a hub. This gadget connects all the devices. Hubs are not yet programmable to the point where the device will take certain actions when you express a concern. For example, if you say, “It’s cold in here,” the device may not know whether you want to turn on the heat and to what degree. Yet at this point, a hub should be able to schedule devices like thermostats and fans to turn on at a certain time. It may also be able to take actions such as shutting the lights and heat off when you leave the house. Working with a professional, especially on significant

Considering Your Lifestyle When House Hunting

Considering Your Lifestyle When House Hunting Buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions you will ever make. As a result, making a smart and focused decision requires an analysis of your unique needs, allowing you to find a home that suits not only those needs but also your lifestyle. In addition to the physical attributes of a home, such as the number of bedrooms and total square footage, you should consider your lifestyle when choosing a home. Evaluate these factors on your next house-hunting adventure. Commute Time Your dream home might not be a dream if a lengthy commute comes with it. After all, hours of your day spent in the car might diminish your quality of life and reduce the time you get to spend in your new home. Consider how long it will take you to get to work, school, and local amenities such as restaurants, grocery stores and shopping centres during your house hunt. Strike a balance between choosing a home in a neighbourhood or part of town you love while staying close enough to work and school so that your commute does not become a daily headache. Walkability If you love to hop on a bike or get your steps in during the day, the walkability of your community is important. Seek out areas of your city that are pedestrian friendly. Take time to drive through the area — not just the neighbourhood– to get a sense of the vibe. Are bike racks set up outside the local restaurants and shops? Are the streets safe for pedestrians? Are jogging trails common throughout the area? If so, you’re probably house hunting in a walkable community, one that will allow you to walk, bike or jog to your favourite local spots. School Choices If you have children or plan on having them, you want to live in a community where they can thrive academically. Take time to research the local schooling options for your kids. Talk to your potential neighbours to find out what they think of the schools. Schedule a school tour to get a sense of the facilities, and then talk to the teachers and administrators. Choose a neighbourhood that features strong educational options for your children. Not only will these schools benefit your kids, they will also increase your property value rates over time. Your dream house extends beyond its walls. Considering the vibe of the community and access to shops, entertainment and schools that you love allows you to make a well-informed decision when it comes to buying your next home.     The post Considering Your Lifestyle When House Hunting appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog

Ottawa Real Estate Market Hightlights August 2016

According to recently released statistics by the Ottawa Real Estate Board, August 2016 was a record breaker. 2016 continues to outpace 2015 in number of properties sold! While inventory has dropped compared to this time last year the total number of sales are up and so are average sale prices.  With fewer homes for sale in the Ottawa real estate market for buyers to choose from, OREB’s president speculates a Seller’s market may be on the horizon, but only time will tell. While these statistics are helpful in establishing trends there are many factors to consider when buying or selling that can affect market value in a specific neighbourhood,  home or style of dwelling. Our sales team have access to the most up to date market information and comparables.  If you have any questions or would like us to provide you with specific neighbourhood stats and information we will be delighted to hear from you.  Please contact us at info@teamrealty.ca and/or reach out to any of our knowledgeable REALTORS®  Helping you is what we do.™ Ottawa Real Estate MARKET SNAPSHOT August 2016 The following information is from the Ottawa Real Estate Board released September 6th, 2016 OTTAWA, September 6, 2016 – Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,484 residential properties in August through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 1,276 in August 2015, an increase of 16.3 per cent. The five-year average for August sales is 1,265. “To date, this has been a record-breaking year for units sold,” says Shane Silva, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. “The year started off a little sluggish, but as soon as April hit we were either breaking records, or outpacing the year before considerably. Not only are we up 16.3 per cent over last year, this has also been the best August on record ever for OREB Members, blowing the average for August sales out of the water. This is a-typical of August when units sold normally start to decline approaching the fall.” “Units listed in both residential and condominium property classes continue to decline, as well as active listings at end of the month,” says Silva. “These numbers suggest that buyers have less options when looking to purchase, with the potential of entering into a seller’s market soon.” August’s sales included 295 in the condominium property class, and 1,189 in the residential property class. The condominium property class includes any property, regardless of style (i.e. detached, semi-detached, apartment, townhouse, etc.), which is registered as a condominium, as well as properties which are co-operatives, life leases, and timeshares. The residential property class includes all other residential properties. “Average sale prices have been keeping steady all year,” says Silva. “This past month, however, there were six more properties sold in the $1 million plus range over last year, a possible explanation for the bump in average sales price for both condo and residential properties.” The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in August in the Ottawa area was $389,786 an increase

Finding the Best Neighbourhood for Your Family

A row of a new houses in Ottawa, Ontario Buying a home is arguably one of the biggest decisions we will ever make. The process can often seem a little daunting at first, especially for those who are first-time home buyers: where to buy, what neighbourhood, what to buy, when to buy – all relevant ponderings that can (and will) be answered in time, rest assured. Similarly, when it comes time to choosing a home that is best suited for your family, there are also a lot of factors to consider – some of which can seem a little overwhelming. We do, however, all go through it and the process can, in fact, be a seamless one. How do you choose which neighbourhood is right for you? Of course, it often goes without saying that the further you and your family are from the heart of your city, the lower the crime rates, the larger the lot sizes, and the cheaper the real estate properties will be; and that’s not all you’ll likely find in your “google” search. If you have children who are at that age where you need to start thinking about their education, for example, certain areas will probably be preferred over others. After all, according to the Article Where to live in Ottawa “areas around good schools are often among the best to live anyway”. The Fraser Institute is one of the best resources that you and your family can use when it comes down to finding the right school for your children – and although not all parents will tend to agree with ranking schools based solely on their academic performances, the Institute is a great place to at least start.Living in Canada has put together a list of, what they consider to be, the best neighbourhoods. Among them, West-Carleton March with the lowest crime rate, and home to one of the city’s best secondary schools, West Carleton Secondary School.  In addition to West-Carleton, Kanata North is ranked very highly in education, as well as in commercial accommodation in the Kanata Research Park . In fact, Earl of March Secondary School and All Saints Catholic High School are both rated extremely high, according to the Fraser Institute. Always remember that when finding a home in a neighbourhood that is best suited for your family and their needs, it’s important to conduct proper research, and to be sure that what you’re searching for accommodates everyone in your household. With the amount of different neighbourhoods that Ottawa has to offer, there’s bound to be one that’s out there for you. The post Finding the Best Neighbourhood for Your Family appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog

Using a Buyer’s Agent

Royal LePage offers optimal customer service in order to deliver the best possible results to its clientele. Contrary to the way real estate was (years ago when real estate brokerages represented only the seller), you now have the option of being represented by a buyer’s agent, who’s responsibility is to protect you, your family, and your best interests all while providing you with the essential information needed in order for you to make an informed decision when it comes time to buying a home.     A buyer’s representative will locate the best homes that fit your needs. This will work in your favour, not only as a saver of time, but also in such a way that will deter you from those homes that just aren’t right for you. This said, among these suitable homes, research is done by your representative in order to foresee any potential issues that lie with the selected properties so that when it comes time to sign papers, your decision has been made in an informed manner.   With a buyer’s agent, you will have someone to accompany you on showings, familiarize you and your family with the selected neighbourhoods and what they have to offer, assist you in securing your financing, and recommend appraisals as well as home inspections, among many additional trustworthy duties. Royal LePage offers some of the best commitment on the market, and our buyer’s representatives will thoroughly represent you throughout the entire home-buying process in order to make your experience with us a memorable one. The post Using a Buyer’s Agent appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog

Real Estate Update: Latest news in Ottawa Real Estate

As snow hits Ottawa, November sales slowed slightly, while “Condo sales continue to bolster Ottawa resale market“ Highlights: Ottawa condo market appears to be on the upswing 14,825 homes were sold in the first 11 months officially making 2016 a record breaking year for number of sales Average prices were up, $405,320 in the residential class, an increase of 6.5% over 2015. While these statistics are useful in establishing market trends they should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. If you’re interested in a property evaluation or statistics for specific neighbourhoods please email info@teamrealty.ca or contact one of our offices, or professional real estate representatives,  we would be delighted to assist.     News Release from the Ottawa Real Estate Board: Condo sales continue to bolster Ottawa resale market OTTAWA, December 6, 2016 – Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 995 residential properties in November through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 986 in November 2015, an increase of 0.9 per cent. The five-year average for November sales is 939. “After a few breakaway months, the Ottawa resale market has come back down with sales typical of November,” says new Ottawa Real Estate Board President, Rick Eisert. “The condo market appears to be on the rise now, a welcome change compared to earlier in the year, with sales coming in at 16.2 per cent higher than November 2015. Several factors could have contributed to this increase – inventory levels trending downwards, steady prices, or buyers affected by the newly changed mortgage rules.” November’s sales included 230 in the condominium property class, and 765 in the residential property class. The condominium property class includes any property, regardless of style (i.e. detached, semi-detached, apartment, townhouse, etc.), which is registered as a condominium, as well as properties which are co-operatives, life leases, and timeshares. The residential property class includes all other residential properties. “Year-to-date unit sales to the end of November have now surpassed all previous year-end totals,” explains Eisert. “This year has been an exceptional year for sales for Ottawa Real Estate Board Members, and the year isn’t even over yet. The cumulative days on market have shown a steady decline for the first six months of the year, then has shown the same steady increase, so that the cumulative days on market in November (105 days) essentially mirrored that of January (110 days).” The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in November in the Ottawa area was $405,320 an increase of 6.5 per cent over November 2015. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $277,650, an increase of one per cent over November 2015. The Board cautions that average sale price information can be useful in establishing trends over time but should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. The average sale price is calculated based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold. “In the residential market the

The Bank of Mom and Dad: Living as Millennials

  It’s no secret: the cost of living is expensive. Regardless of who we are and what we do, we live and breathe steep living costs day in and day out. It’s a fact of life: if we’re not saving our pennies, we’re spending them; if we’re not paying off one bill, we are another. It’s the never-ending cycle of our (financial) lives. Enter: mom and dad. For the vast majority of us, mom and dad means home; and home is where the heart is, after all. It’s become a common trend among many baby boomers to take part in one of two things: either move back in with their parents to help save money, or assist in the renovations or expansions of their parent’s current home in order to accommodate their living requirements under the same roof. A circumstance such as the latter would be to avoid downsizing for mom and dad, and, of course, cut the costs of living for all parties involved. For some, this is simply how it’s always been; for others, it’s become a necessity. Today, we’re seeing a similar trend skyrocket among another popular generation: the millennials. Leaning on the bank of mom and dad is something that isn’t quite out of the ordinary in this day and age as living costs are expensive and are only estimated to get higher. Therefore, young adults are moving out of their parent’s homes a lot later in life than perhaps they had originally mapped out for; and when they do, they’re receiving an increasingly large amount of financial support from their families so that they can. Ratehub.ca, a company who interviewed about 1000 people from across our country between September and November of 2016, conducted a survey to shed light on the approximate percentage of millennials who are are obtaining family financing in order to become a homeowner. The results? 35% of buyers received help from relatives while 38 per cent were able to put down 20 per cent or more on their homes in our province alone. Of course, with several regulatory changes and rising home prices in 2016, these results are only expected to increase and reach new records in 2017 – creating potential hurdles for those entering into the market for the first time. Needless to say, adults – both young and old – often rely on mom and dad, and there isn’t anything wrong with that. “With a larger share of young adults staying home longer due to economic considerations, the need for space will remain important”, says the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation. And sure, a loan arrangement with a family member is far better than one from a financial institution, but “a financial plan should [always] come before home ownership, and affordability should [always] fit into that plan”. The post The Bank of Mom and Dad: Living as Millennials appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog

Why Move? A Look into Canada’s Homebuyers

How many times have you moved (so far) in your lifetime? Once? Twice? For a brief time while in school? Work? Or have you moved far too many times to even count? What about those times that you have moved from one place to another, were they on your own? Were they with your family? Your partner? A few friends? And did you live in these homes for long enough to consider it a home? Sure, the vast majority of us may answer differently to each of these questions, but we do share one common factor: the overall experience. Truth be told, moving from one home to another is not a simple task. Take the multitude of varying questions asked above, for instance. The process of moving can, unmistakeably, be that of a strenuous, complex task that requires much consideration and absolute certainty. So choose wisely and with reason in mind.  Canadians tend to, on average, move every 5 years; but there is that 14% of us who get that 12-month itch and move every year. This is where the aforementioned advice of having a reason to move comes into play. Here’s a small breakdown of why Canadians move according to ComFree Living: Job relocation (53%) Increase in family size: marriage, kids etc. (42%) Family size decrease: divorce, empty nest etc. (20%) Retirement (18%) Came into more money (14%) Home was in need of renovations (14%) Evidently, we move as life happens. Young, old, together, and apart – we move. Homeowners acting on their urge to move every five years, however, could result in financial hardships. Over a span of 60 years, this could equate to as much as $180,000 [and above] in traditional real estate agent commissions and, of course, other required real estate fees. Needless to say, decipher a plan that works for you. Moreover, the real estate market undoubtedly foresees a hefty increase in both first-time homeowners, as well as new buyers within the next several years due to the growing millennial generation. According to Dana Senegama, market analyst for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp, “[millennials] are going to be a force to be reckoned with over the next decade, especially as they move into their prime child-rearing years and [in need of] more space”. This said, it is with these 15-34 year-olds that new jobs, larger families and more spacious homes will be pursued, obtained, and thus required in the next coming years. Moving can be quite overwhelming for some. However, if you look to your future and sit down with your family in order to plan your move accordingly, the process will become that much more seamless. So come up with a strategy – a roadmap of where you see yourself growing and building a home – and live in that home for as long as you see fit. The post Why Move? A Look into Canada’s Homebuyers appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog

Getting Your Home Ready to Sell in the Spring Market

Selling your Home in Spring The spring real estate market is quickly approaching and if you’re selling your home, now is the time to start getting ready!  It may seem like a daunting task but there are things that you can do to make sure that your house is prepared for the droves of spring buyers this upcoming season. Remember, there will be many houses on the market at the same time as yours so you want to make sure that your property is ready and sticks out for buyers! Contact a Realtor®. Real estate agents are professionals.  A great real estate agent will not only ensure your property is priced right, they’ll also be your guide through every step of the process in the weeks and months leading up to listing, during the time your home is listed, the closing of your property sale and beyond. Prioritize Repairs One of the first things you will want to ask yourself when selling your home is whether your property needs any repairs, as it can be the most time consuming. The best way to do this is to walk through both your home and property and “write down anything that doesn’t function or is unsightly”. Start at one end of your home and work your way through each room carefully, looking for potential problems. Try to put yourself in the shoes of a potential buyer and be picky. This could be everything from a small hole in the wall, chipped paint, or leaky faucet all the way up to larger fixes like a leaky roof or cracked foundation. Once you have your list, it’s time to prioritize, “List out first the small things that will repair quickly and inexpensively, with an extra focus on items that will be seen first by potential buyers.” And last but not least, come up with a plan. Hiring someone to do the work for you may be the most time effective, but it may not be within your budget. If you plan on doing it yourself, schedule the time you will need right away and make sure to leave some extra in case things don’t go as planned. Stage Your Home Next comes decluttering, depersonalizing, and staging your home. If you look at photos of real estate listings, you’ll notice one thing; the houses are generally neat and tidy and have an airy feel to them. The reason for this is that the day to day clutter of living in a home has been removed. “You might like the stack of magazines on the table, buyers don’t. They don’t want to know what you read”. Start purging, and if you have lots of stuff, you may even want to consider renting a storage locker to house it while your house is on the market. You will also want to remove as many personal items from your home as possible. Take your family photos off the wall, and remove any items that are personal in nature; buyers

Ottawa Real Estate February Highlights – “Primed for a Competitive Spring Market”

“Spring market primed for a competitive season ahead!”   FEBRUARY 2016 MARKET HIGHLIGHTS: 1010 Residential properties were sold through Ottawa MLS® (including 233 in the Condominium class and 777 residential properties) Average Sale Prices: $417, 374 (Res +8.5%) and $258,397 (Condo +4%) Increased number of residential properties selling in the $750K-1Million resulted in a higher Average Sale Price. 2066 homes listed, up almost 25% over January 2017 Most active price point was in the $300K-$399K range, followed by the $400,000 to $499,999 range,  accounting for 54.6 per cent of the market (combined)     Information below taken from OREB OTTAWA, March 3, 2017 – Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,010 residential properties in February through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 908 in February, an increase of 11.2 per cent. The five-year average for February sales is 872. “Numbers continue to indicate a positive trend for Ottawa as a whole,” says Rick Eisert, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. “Even with the additional day in February last year due to the leap year, sales this year are up in both the residential and condo property classes. Keep in mind though, that all real estate is local, and that prices and conditions will vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood.” “A total of 2,066 homes were listed this month, up almost 25 per cent from January, while inventory on hand still remains low compared to last year,” explains Eisert. “Now is a great time to list your home in anticipation of the increase of buyer interest in the spring that will pick up as early as March.” February’s sales included 233 in the condominium property class, and 777 in the residential property class. The condominium property class includes any property, regardless of style (i.e. detached, semi-detached, apartment, townhouse, etc.), which is registered as a condominium, as well as properties which are co-operatives, life leases and timeshares. The residential property class includes all other residential properties. The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in February in the Ottawa area was $417,374, an increase of 8.5 per cent over February 2016. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $258,397, an increase of four per cent over February 2016. “This month revealed a larger average price gain in the residential property class than usual due to an increase in the number of properties sold in the $750,000 to $999,999 and over $1 million price range, similar to what occurred with condo prices last month,” explains Eisert. “For example, in the over $1 million price range alone, there was a significant increase in sales over last year; 20 units sold in 2017 versus 6 units in 2016. It is important to note that dramatic changes in the average sale price is not indicative of all property values. We encourage buyers and sellers to talk to a REALTOR® for more information about the housing market outlook where they live, or want to live.” “In the residential market the most active price point

Getting Ready to Buy in the Spring Market

Maybe you are a first-time home buyer, or maybe you will be selling a home and looking for something new, either way the spring real estate market is fast and approaching and you want to be ready. This is an exciting time of year in the real estate industry and for everyone buying and selling homes. It can be a little crazy though, so here are some tips to help you be prepared. It’s not too early to start getting ready. Get Mortgage Pre-Approval You will want to start off by setting up a meeting with a mortgage broker or your bank. They will be able to provide you with a mortgage pre-approval. This is very important for a few reasons. First, this is your budget for your new home. It will give you financial parameters to work within; maybe you can’t afford as much as you thought and this is very good to know before you begin your search. Second, in a competitive market, this may be crucial in ensuring your offer is considered on your dream home. “Sellers won’t wait for a prospective bidder without mortgage pre-approval when there are plenty of other bidders out there with their financing buttoned down.” Picture Your Dream Home Once you have your budget, start thinking about what your dream home would be. This can include location, size, features and many other factors. The key here is to think about what is most important to you, not others; “It’s easy to get caught up in other people’s ideas of the perfect starter home – design magazines and TV programs sell you on what’s hot now. Ignore the hype and sit down to itemize what’s most crucial to you and your family.” The next step is to take a look at your list, and determine which items are deal breakers and which could be classified as wishes. This list will help guide you through your search and narrow down prospective properties. Start Looking at Listings Start looking at real estate listings right away. Get a feel for the neighbourhoods that you are interested in and what is available. With the advancement of technology, it is now possible to do a large part of your search from the comfort of your own home. Don’t forget to use social media as well as it can be an important tool.  Even if you have no intentions of buying until later in the spring, this research can be invaluable when that time comes. Line Up Your Team One step that is often overlooked is lining up the rest of your real estate team. It’s obvious that you need a real estate agent and a mortgage broker, but there are a few other people to consider. To buy a home you will need a real estate lawyer. Your lawyer will look over all agreements, titles, and documents to be sure that everything is legal and that there are no surprises. Lawyers also collect and disperse the money in the

Pets and Real Estate

Pets are a very important part of many Canadians lives. In 2014, it was estimated that 57% of Canadians owned pets which equates to approximately 7.5 million households. In many cases, our pets become part of our families to the point where terms like “pet parent” and “fur baby” are used to define this unique relationship. But what impact do pets have when it comes to real estate? Buying a Home with our Pets in Mind Pets affect our choices in real estate. When we buy a home, we consider the needs of our family, which often enough includes our pets. In a recent survey, 81% of respondents said that animal-related considerations play a role in deciding their next living situation, 52% undertook a renovation to accommodate their pet, and 89% would not give up their animal because of housing restrictions or limitations. For example, dog owners may choose a house because it has a larger fenced property for the dog to run, or cat owners may choose a house with a basement to house the unsightly litter box. And like homebuyers who are planning for a family, some are choosing properties in anticipation of one day having a pet. Pets Depreciate a Home? So, is it safe to say that some “pet friendly” features will make your home more appealing if you’re trying to sell? Perhaps, but the pets themselves may depreciate the value of your home. Pets can affect a home’s “cleanliness and smell” and this can deter potential buyers.  And it is also important to remember, that a significant number of people are allergic to pets and may not even consider viewing a home that has housed animals. “But it’s not just odour or pet hair that’s a problem. Yellow or dying grass in the front or backyard, half-chewed toys littered in yards or across rooms, as well as open or smelly litter boxes can prompt concerns, even in pet-loving buyers.”  Keep in mind that prospective buyers may love their own pets but that doesn’t mean that they love yours, so you want to rid your home of all signs of your beloved animals. But rest assured, there are a few steps you can take that don’t involve saying goodbye to your beloved family friend in order to maintain the value of your investment: You will want to thoroughly clean your home before putting it on the market, with extra attention paid to your floors. It may also be wise to call in a professional to help you with this task. As pet owners, we often don’t notice the odours from our own animals within our home; we have gotten used to them so it is wise to have someone else come in and check for noticeable odours. If your animal has urinated in the house, replace the affected carpeting or flooring. Sometimes the smell can be difficult to remove otherwise. Stains and smells will devalue your home. Remove pets from the home while it is on the

“Oh I Forgot to Tell You…”

Picture this, you have just taken possession of your dream home. You did your due-diligence; the property passed the home inspection with flying colours and your research shows the neighbourhood is safe and has great schools. You are chatting with a new neighbour only to find out that your brand new home was once the site of a violent crime or a drug operation, or that it is thought to be haunted! Would this bother you? What can you do? Did the previous owners fail to disclose something that they were legally obligated to? When selling a home, known physical defects must be disclosed by the listing agent. A home inspection should spot any that are unknown to the seller which gives buyers confidence in the property they are purchasing. Where this gets complicated though is when you consider other non-tangible factors for which the term “stigma” is used. “They describe it as a non-physical, intangible attribute of a property that may elicit a psychological or emotional response on the part of a potential buyer.”  The key to this is that there is nothing physically observable or measurable with this; stigma is based on something that may have happened in the home in the past. What Falls Under Stigmas? There are many examples of events that may be bothersome to potential buyers but are not legally necessary to disclose. They can include: A death in the home (natural, suicide, or murder) The belief that the home may be haunted If the home was once frequented by gangs or drug dealers If the home was once the site of a brothel If the home was once the site of a meth lab or grow op (unless there is an actual latent defect from the home’s prior use for drug production) What can you do to make sure that you know everything you want to know? If certain stigmas concern you, there are steps you can take to try to find out as much as possible about a property before purchasing it. But keep in mind, none of these methods can be completely accurate especially if you are concerned about events that may have occurred outside of recent memory. Go to housecreep.com and search the address. This website is essentially a free database that compiles news stories and first hand personal experiences by address. It has quite a few addresses in Ottawa with information attached to them so it’s worth a look. It lists violent crimes, ghosts, suicides, and drug operations among other things. You can also search by neighbourhood with their map function which is helpful if you are looking at multiple properties. If a death in the home is an absolute deal breaker for you for cultural or personal reasons, you could also consider adding a clause to the Agreement of Purchase and Sale “that the vendors would declare to the best of their knowledge that no death had occurred in the home”. This clause would obviously make no guarantees,

6 Spring Maintenance Tips for Homeowners

  As the snow finally melts after what has seemed like a never-ending winter, it’s time to start thinking about all the spring maintenance tasks that you will need to around your home. Spring always feels like a fresh start so use that as motivation as you work around your yard and home! Here are 6 spring maintenance tasks for homeowners: Check the roof There is no need to pull out a ladder at this point; stand back from your home and do a visual inspection: “with binoculars and a keen eye, you can probably spot trouble.” Winter snow and ice can be very tough on roofs, so look for shingles that have shifted or are lifting. If you notice anything, it is always advisable to call in a professional. Check your outside faucets  You hopefully took the time in the fall to shut off the water and drain outside faucets properly, but it is always wise to check them carefully to ensure that the pipes did not freeze and crack. There are a few simple things you can do to check them. Turn the water on and block the faucet with either your thumb or finger; if you can stop the flow, there is likely a leak inside your home. Also, with the water on, check the pipes inside for leaks. Clean your air conditioner  Be ready for that warm summer weather by cleaning your air conditioner now. Make sure that it is clear of any debris (leaves etc.) and vacuum out any dust or dirt that might have settled in it over the winter months. Trim back any trees or bushes  “Spring is a good time to trim branches of shrubs and trees away from your house —get an early start before leaves grow and while you can see individual limbs.”  Small jobs can generally be handled by homeowners but know your limitations; hiring a professional arborist is always the best idea for larger tasks. Clean up your lawns  Rake away any of the debris left behind from winter; this will allow your lawn to grow better. Examine your lawn for spots that may need to be seeded, you will want to do this soon as grass seed doesn’t do well in the hot summer sun! Clean the Gutters  Get the ladder out and clean those gutters! They are probably full of leaves and other debris from the fall and winter. Remember, gutters are very important for the drainage around your home and this often neglected task should be done twice a year! The post 6 Spring Maintenance Tips for Homeowners appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog

Ottawa Real Estate Update | March Goes Out Like a Lion

Second best March on record for units sold, multiple offers, fewer days on the market and the average price for a residential home over $415K , spring has definitely sprung in the Ottawa Real Estate Market! From the Ottawa Real Estate Board April 5th, 2017 OTTAWA, April 5, 2017 – Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,485 residential properties in March through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 1,160 in March 2016, an increase of 28 per cent. The five-year average for March sales is 1,240. “The busy spring selling season descended upon Ottawa early this year,” remarks Rick Eisert, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. “Unit sales for March marked the second-best on record, only 13 units down from the record set in March 2010. We’re also starting to see properties move faster, with the average cumulative days on market sitting at 82 days. With all these positive numbers, it’s still important to emphasize that price and conditions vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood.” March’s sales included 314 in the condominium property class, and 1,171 in the residential property class. The condominium property class includes any property, regardless of style (i.e. detached, semi-detached, apartment, townhouse, etc.), which is registered as a condominium, as well as properties which are co-operatives, life leases, and timeshares. The residential property class includes all other residential properties. “We’re seeing a lot more multiple offers than we’ve experienced in a while, mostly due lower inventory levels,” says Eisert. “The number of properties listed in March also experienced a decrease over last year, and is about 100 units shy of the five-year listing average for March.” The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in March in the Ottawa area was $415,467, an increase of 5.3 per cent over March 2016. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $272,597, an increase of 5.3 per cent over March 2016. The Board cautions that the average sale price can be useful in establishing trends over time but should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. The calculation of the average sale price is based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold. “We’re seeing a trend since the beginning of the year, with 50 properties sold over $1 million in the first quarter of 2017, compared to only 22 in the first quarter of 2016,” explains Eisert. “Again this month, a higher number of properties in the over $1 million price range were sold. These gains were in both the residential and condominium property classes, with seven more residential units and four more condo units sold this year over last year. These high-end property sales are taking place throughout the market with Rockcliffe Park, The Glebe, and Westboro leading the way.” “The two most active price points in the residential market in March were the $300,000 to $399,999 and the $400,000 to $499,999 range, accounting for 53.7 per cent of the market. Within

5 Reasons To Sell Your Home in the Spring

With the busy spring market upon us (it actually started early this year!),  let’s take a look at why this season is often seen as the best time of year to sell a home. With a large percentage of the year’s sales occurring in just a few short months, homes also tend to sell for more and spend less time on the market. And don’t worry, you’re not too late; statistics show that May is the best month of the year to list a home. Here 5 reasons spring is so popular: Homes show better in spring: Let’s face it, spring is beautiful time of year! The grass is green, the flowers are blooming, and that brightness can carry through your home. “Homes appear more appealing when the weather is warming up and buyers tend to be in high spirits.” Moving in late spring or early summer is far more appealing: Let’s face it, no one gets excited about moving in the winter time. Snow makes everything more complicated. The same is true for the hot summer months. Buying in spring can avoid all of that. Buyers have likely just received their tax refund: Saving for a home these days can be a long process, but tax refunds can often provide buyers with the extra cash they need. The influx of money also makes spring buyers more likely to pay full price. The move won’t interrupt the school year: For families with children, this can be one of the biggest factors that draw them to the spring market. Buying a home in spring, and closing in early summer means that their children won’t have to switch schools halfway through the year, which can often be a big adjustment for little ones. There’s something in the air: There is something about spring that makes us all feel like starting fresh; this is why “spring cleaning” is a thing. “After a long winter, the first hints of cherry blossoms and crocuses seem to trigger the “moving bug” in many people.” If you are thinking of selling your home this spring, don’t delay! It’s time to start getting it ready  and don’t forget, it’s never too early to contact a Realtor!   The post 5 Reasons To Sell Your Home in the Spring appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog

Costs on Your Home Over the Christmas Season: Trimming the Holiday Stress

Christmas is indeed a time for many things. It is time well spent with our families and our friends, a time for celebration, a time for passing down holiday traditions (as well as creating new ones); and, of course, with the end of year approaching, it is a time of reflection and resolution. Moreover, with the abundance of festivities that our communities offer over the holidays, it’s a time to try new things, and to collect memories with your loved ones.   With the joys of Christmas comes, of course, the stresses of the season. It’s only natural. We host parties, allow for relatives to spend a night (or two), and typically spend a little more money on maintaining our homes, among other things. This said, it’s important to plan accordingly. One of the biggest factors that tend to impact our pocketbooks is our hydro usage. And with all the hustle and bustle that is the holiday season, we must be cautious with when and how often we use it. Luckily, Hydro One has set, off-peak hours (that include weekends and holidays) with set, off-peak prices. What this means is that on Christmas Day, on Boxing Day, and even on New Year’s Day, these off-peak prices, when you utilize your main hydro sources between 7:00 PM and 7:00 AM, will apply. Furthermore, being mindful of your guest’s access/usage of such amenities as cable and/or WiFi is also key. It’s important to be diligent with whom you share your passwords with, and cautious as to how often you turn on your television in order to entertain. Failure to keep track can result in a relatively hefty bill at the end of the month. Less money spent, and less stress to be had.   With respect to controlling your stress levels over the holidays, there are several ways that you can host and entertain your guests inexpensively and effectively. To avoid the cable costs of perhaps always having the game on, why not host a movie night instead? There’s nothing like reminiscing over the classics that we all grew up with. Games are also a great way to create memories on a low budget. They allow for us to bond with our friends and our families, all while creating new traditions along the way. Want to transform your home into the winter wonderland you’ve always imagined? Tree-trimming parties are an excellent way to decorate your home for the holidays, and host an unforgettable evening filled with laughs and creativity.   So turn on those catchy Christmas tunes that we all (secretly) admire and enjoy, sing aloud to the words you know and love, cook up some munchies and capture all that this holiday season has to offer. Lastly, and above all else, remember the importance of togetherness. Volunteer. Donate to your local charities. At Royal LePage, we are committed to strengthening the communities we live in – that’s why we have The Shelter Foundation – our very own charitable foundation that helps

Canada Celebrates 150 Years!

  The milestone has arrived – our country’s 150th year. What better time than now to stand proud and represent our Nation as a united community? We are very fortunate to be living in Ottawa – our Capital. We’ve certainly come a long way since our founders first settled here 190 years ago. Originating as Bytown, Ottawa was initially built to house labourers who had been recruited to help build the Rideau Canal. Times have changed between then and now. We are no longer considered the “town that fun forgot” nor are we solely known for being “the highway to Montreal“. We are a thriving, united, Capital with an approaching 1 million residents – and that’s just the beginning. In fact, according to Mayor Jim Watson, “we’re going through one of the most significant transformations in our history“. It’s only a matter of time that we see these spoken of – and otherwise unimaginable to longtime residents – changes come to fruition. With the countless short-term and long-term transformations that are predicted to be completed around our Capital City between now and the next 25-30 years, Ottawa is nothing short of booming. We are an ideal place to live – one that is family-friendly, employment-friendly, restaurant-friendly as well transportation-friendly. There is an “unprecedented number of major redevelopments in the works: LeBreton Flats, the islands around Chaudiere Falls, the former Canadian Forces Base Rockcliffe, the Oblate lands on Main Street, parts of Natural Resources Canada’s Booth Street Complex, Tunney’s Pasture and the shopping centres at Lincoln Fields and Westgate” (to name a few). And that’s not to mention the most current of projects that will transform our city’s way of transportation: the highly anticipated Light Rail System, with its first phase Confederation Line to open in 2018. Moreover, Ottawa has an incredibly steady real estate market; one that’s only predicted to move upward over the next several years. According to the Ottawa Business Journal, January of this year brought in an 11.5% increase in home sales. Kick-starting 2017 at a five-year high says a lot for this time of year, and with the continued anticipation of changes being made within our City in the next coming years, along with members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board selling 667 homes in the last month alone, it is expected to only increase further. If you’re one to enjoy a lot of hype within our city, then 2017 will definitely make your heart sing. Ottawa will be hosting several high-profiled events this year including (but not limited to) the Juno Awards, the Grey Cup, and the Red Bull Crashed Ice event. Mayor Jim Watson “looks to 2017 as a year that will reshape the City’s tourism image” with the hope that Canadians and tourists alike will “identify Ottawa as the place to celebrate the 150th“. In fact, our City is expected to see an increase of 20% in tourists throughout the year, and is targeting both youth as well as new Canadians as a means for improving several areas of programming: arts and culture, sports and physical activity,

2017 is off to a great start!

Update below from the Ottawa Real Estate Board  2017 resale market off to a great start OTTAWA, February 3, 2017 – Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 667 residential properties in January through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® system, compared with 598 in January 2016, an increase of 11.5 per cent. The five-year average for January sales is 614. “The year is off to a great start, with sales up over this time last year, and well above the five-year average,” remarks Rick Eisert, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. “Residential-class resales supported this increase, with a 16.6 per cent growth over January 2016. The number of properties listed in January has doubled the amount listed in December, which is very typical of sellers getting a jump start on the spring selling season.” January’s sales included 119 in the condominium property class, and 548 in the residential property class. The condominium property class includes any property, regardless of style (i.e. detached, semi-detached, apartment, townhouse, etc.), which is registered as a condominium, as well as properties which are co-operatives, life leases and timeshares. The residential property class includes all other residential properties. “While the numbers indicate a positive trend for Ottawa as a whole, we emphasize that all real estate is local, and prices and conditions will vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood,” explains Eisert. “We encourage buyers and sellers to talk to a REALTOR® for more information about the housing market outlook where they live, or want to live.” The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in January in the Ottawa area was $394,001, an increase of 1.9 per cent over January 2016. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $288,655, an increase of 16.8 per cent over January 2016. The Board cautions that average sale price information can be useful in establishing trends over time but should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. The average sale price is calculated based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold. “The average sale price for the condominium class saw a big increase over last year,” Eisert says. “It’s important to note that three properties sold for over $1 million this January, while none were sold in January 2016. This needs to be taken into consideration when looking at the overall increase in average condo sale price.” “In the residential market the most active price point was the $300,000 to $399,999 range for the month of January, accounting for 35.2 per cent of the market. The condominium market was most active in the $150,000 to $249,999 price range, accounting for 58.7 per cent of the market,” says Eisert. “In addition to residential and condominium sales, OREB members assisted clients with renting 201 properties in January.” The post 2017 is off to a great start! appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog

The Perks of Buying a Home in the Winter

There is a great majority of people who think that winter is not the best time to shop for a home. Contrary to popular assumption however, buying a home over the winter months may, in fact, be something worth considering.   Sure, there might arguably be less homes for you to choose from, but the sellers might also be more motivated – playing to your advantage. You see it’s likely that, “the sellers will want to get the deal closed, especially for tax purposes. It’s the end of the year and they want to tie up loose ends. This is an advantage for buyers, especially if there are points to negotiate”. What’s more is that a smaller selection of homes to choose from can save you and your family a lot of time, allowing for you to find a home you love much sooner. According to Realtor.com, “it may be simpler to view the handful of homes that are for sale in the winter and choose the one that best suits your needs”. In addition to having a smaller selection of homes, there are also less buyers – leaving you with much less competition.   What a lot of winter buyers might also tell you is that by shopping for a home in the off-season, you’re able to gain full insight into how your future potential home will hold up in the colder months. It goes without saying that there are homes out there that tend to weaken in the cold – depending, of course, on the age of the home, the location of the home, and/or the build of the home among other factors. It’s best to check for cold drafts, functioning heat and water systems, as well as the quality of windows and weather stripping.   Buying a home in the winter time might be favourable to you and your family. Though most of us may prefer to shop when the trees are in full bloom and the yards are trimmed and at their finest, a winter wonderland that’s filled with snow and decorated festively could also leave you feeling inspired. So perhaps treat yourself and your family this Christmas by buying yourselves the home of your dreams! The post The Perks of Buying a Home in the Winter appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog

Top Housing Trends of 2016

The year is coming to a rapid close, and – as comparable to most facets in our lives – we choose to reflect on the 12 months that have passed, and are committed to planning for the next dozen that is to come. In the exciting world of real estate, there are many trends that tend to surface with each passing year. In 2016, some of those trends were as follows:   One of the most recent housing trends that we saw in 2016 (and arguably one of the most talked about) were the changes to Canada’s housing rules. Over the last several years, our government has been known to change the mortgage requirements on numerous occasions which has (and continues to) deeply affect anyone who, is not only looking to perhaps qualify for government-backed insured mortgages, but also those who may be looking to purchase their first home and/or are looking to refinance their existing mortgage. We needn’t be too concerned, however. According to Phil Soper, President and CEO of Royal LePage, “Nationally, our real estate markets remain healthy, with home values showing modest to strong (yet rational) price appreciation in almost every Canadian city … Even in the hardest hit oil patch regions, prices have held up well, with small single-digit declines, year-over-year”. With ample amounts of new information to be discovered, it’s important that we all continue to become familiar with the details of these changes as they are extremely relevant to current and future homebuyers.   We’ve also seen a shift in the amount of homes for sale in the resale market vs. those that are for sale as new builds. In other words, over the past year, we’ve seen a rather lacking inventory in the resale market, and a major increase in the construction and interest of newer homes. According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), we currently stand at a record-breaking  total of 14,014 homes sold in 2016, compared to an all-encompassing total of 13,129 homes sold in 2015. At this growth rate, it is predicted that homes sold in 2017 could reach 15,400. What’s interesting is that with new homes being built quite consistently across our City, inventory increases, and more people tend to buy. In fact, single home new builds have increased in sales by 8%, and townhomes by a whopping 57%.   Of course, much of the focus of these aforementioned housing trends have been quite logistical; and, although these rules and these numbers are evidently quite important, we mustn’t discount the several design trends that 2016 has brought to the forefront of our interior décor. We’ve seen such trends surface as the bold pops of paint colour (thanks, Benjamin Moore!) to the purity of white kitchens, to rusticity of barn-board sliding doors. Moreover, according to real estate professionals, homebuyers have been relatively persistent in requesting open layouts, multigenerational floor plans, first-floor master suites (with large closets), and extra-large garages.   2016 was a big year for the housing

Ottawa Real Estate Update: December 2016

  2016 was a record breaking year for Ottawa real estate resales! 715 sales in December brought the total number of properties sold throughout the year through Board’s MLS® to 15,537, a 6% increase over 2015. With more properties selling over $500K December also had the highest average sale price ever recorded $420,750, considerably higher than the 2016 average sale price of $371,987.   Information below from the Ottawa Real Estate Board’s Latest new’s release on January 5th, 2017.  2016 proves to be a record-breaking year for Ottawa resales OTTAWA, January 5, 2017 – Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 715 residential properties in December through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 703 in December 2015, an increase of 1.7 per cent. The five-year average for December sales is 656. The total number of residential and condo units sold through the Board’s MLS® System throughout all of 2016 was 15,537, compared with 14,653 in 2015, an increase of six per cent. Separately, residential and condo unit sales each outperformed the 2015 numbers. “No matter what is said in the history books about 2016, it proved overall to be a great year for Ottawa real estate,” says Rick Eisert, 2017 President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. “While prices remained fairly flat over the course of the year, the unit sales recorded in five separate months were the highest on record, including December. The spring market picked up early in April with strong sales and this trend continued well into the fall. The monthly unit sale performance in 2016 was often bolstered by a strengthened condo market which recorded increases over 2015 for much of the year.” December’s sales included 165 in the condominium property class, and 550 in the residential property class. The condominium property class includes any property, regardless of style (i.e. detached, semi-detached, apartment, stacked etc.), which is registered as a condominium, as well as properties which are co-operatives, life leases and timeshares. The residential property class includes all other residential properties. “The listing inventory for both residential and condos trended lower all year, however units sold trended higher most months, outpacing 2015 by a fair margin,” says Eisert. “Cumulative days on market increased to 123 days in December, while the average for the year stayed steady at 91 days. Average residential sale prices remained virtually unchanged over last year, however we are seeing an increase in December compared to 2015, which could be a result of a higher concentration of properties sold in the $500,000 and up range.” The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in December in the Ottawa area was $420,750, an increase of 8.7 per cent over December 2015. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $262,698, an increase of 4.9 per cent over December 2015. The year-to-date numbers for average residential sale price in 2016 was $397,778, an increase of 1.5 per cent over 2015. While the average condominium sale price was $260,982, an increase of 0.4

Canada’s Housing Rules in Full Swing

Happy New Year, folks! 2017 has finally arrived, and for the real estate world, change is in sight. As most of us already know, 2016 brought forth a lot of chatter about several significant changes (decided upon by our government) toward our country’s mortgage and housing rules. Those who will primarily be affected by these implementations will be anyone who, is not only looking to perhaps qualify for government-backed insured mortgages, but also those who may be looking to purchase their first home and/or are looking to refinance their existing mortgage. Having said that, the Government of Canada has been known to make multiple changes to our mortgage requirements in years past which, in turn, reassures us all that there is nothing to be too concerned about. In fact, we are reminded of what Royal LePage President and CEO, Phil Soper had to say about our real estate markets in a recent interview: “Nationally, our real estate markets remain healthy, with home values showing modest to strong (yet rational) price appreciation in almost every Canadian city … Even in the hardest hit oil patch regions, prices have held up well, with small single-digit declines, year-over-year”.   We understand that, though the New Year has only just begun, some of us may need to be reminded of such aforementioned changes. Not to worry, here’s a quick summary that closely analyzes the changes to Canada’s housing rules, now in effect:   Extending a “mortgage rate stress test” to all insured mortgages in order to ensure affordability. Launching “consultations on lender risk sharing” in order to limit the governments financial obligations if there just so happens to be a surplus of mortgage defaults. Implementing new restrictions on when the government “will provide insurance for low-ratio mortgages”. New rules that have been put in place regarding the “primary residence capital gains exemption” and how you – as a seller of your primary residence – are now obligated to report the details of the sale to the CRA.   If you’d like to read up on more information about each housing rule, The Globe and Mail published an article that outlines the four most prevalent changes in more detail. Good news for First Time Home Buyers Furthermore, and in light of all these recent changes to our housing market, it had been announced in 2016 that our land transfer tax rebate program for first time home buyers would be doubling (from $2000 to $4000) as of this month, January 2017. So now that this program is in full effect, it comes as great news for those who are looking to purchase their first home. Buyers who purchase a property in the next few months will no longer be required to pay a land transfer tax on the first $386,000 of the cost of their homes.   Needless to say, there is an ample amount of new information that is to be discovered this New Year as it is extremely relevant to current and future home buyers.

Your Home and Winter Travels

January is often a time to make travel plans. In fact, the winter months are quite possibly the most traveled; holiday visits to family members aside, some of us just simply need to get away and enjoy a little warmth in the sunny south. So if all the shoveling, ice scraping and bundling has got you down, it might be time for you to pack those bags! With all the excitement of travel plans, we mustn’t forget to consider the safety of our homes. Especially for “snowbirds”, there are periods of time where we might not be home for weeks at a time.  As part of travel preparation, we should make certain that our homes are safe while we are away. It’s important to keep a few significant safety precautions front of mind when planning out your getaways, beyond the routine locking of your doors. Creating the illusion that someone is home is key. A few tips to keep your home safe while away: Set your lights on a timer so that your home is never in complete darkness. “You can also set the television and radio on a timer to create the typical noise and flickering lights of an average family home at night”. Arrange for a snow removal. Whether it’s a neighbour, a close friend or a snow removal service, this is an important part of keeping up the illusion that someone is home. Have someone check your mailbox regularly. An alternative to this would be to forward your mail. Canada Post has mail forwarding programs so that, if you’re away from your home for long periods of time, you can “rest easy, knowing you’re not missing important mail”. Invite a close friend or family member stay at your home while you are on vacation. Especially if you have pets, if you have someone you absolutely trust, this can be an awesome way to keep your home safe and save money on kennel or animal boarding. Traveling over the winter months should be something that you look forward to, stress-free (at all costs); and it’s doable if you plan accordingly and are diligent in taking the necessary precautions toward safeguarding your home. Happy travels! The post Your Home and Winter Travels appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog

New Year Reno-Resolutions

A new year tends to go hand in hand with a New Year’s resolution (or two). We’ve all been there: eat healthier, get healthier, save more, sleep more etc. etc. So what about the expansions, the over-hauls, and/or the restorations of our current homes? Typically, there are a large handful of us who include home renovations in their list of New Year’s to-dos, and we’re not necessarily talking about the sporadic spring clean and/or the occasional winter prep; but, instead, the opportunity to really do something for the structural improvement and/or visual well-being of our homes. So where do you stand on the home renovation scale? Perhaps this is the year to make it a part of your resolution list.   According to CMHC, “Ontarians spent an estimated $25 billion on renovations last year, a figure that the housing agency says is forecast to keep increasing in the coming years”. In a recent article, courtesy of CBC, these increases in home renovations are because “the housing market itself is booming, and most buyers typically undergo some sort of renovation job within the first 12 months after they buy”. And if you think that the above statistic is high, consider the fact that there are even more people who choose to renovate their homes years after they’ve moved in a settled. That’s an extremely large portion of us who, at one point in time or another, will work toward truly making their home their own.   What are your go-to’s when prioritizing your reno projects? In the latest Statistics Canada poll, some of the most popular have been to upgrade your basement, to paint and/or wallpaper, to improve your heating and/or air conditioning, and to landscape your front and/or back yard.  After all, the majority of homes that currently stand in the province of Ontario were constructed in the 1980s and are just about due for “a few licks of paint – or more”. Renovating your home can be a fun way to challenge yourself to complete a few projects around the completion of your home. As years come and go, so do design trends, your home’s structural stability, and even family members. Don’t be afraid to make your home feel like new – personalize it and make it your own! It’s never too late. The post New Year Reno-Resolutions appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog

Ed O’Connell Memorial Award

We are proud to announce the 2016 recipients of the Ed O’Connell Memorial Award: A person associated with Royal LePage Team Realty Brokerage who has made a substantial commitment and a significant difference in the real estate community. The recipients have achieved outstanding success by: • Being a leader and/or role model • Exemplifying the best of the profession • Providing mentorship • Providing inspiration to others Congratulations to Brian Sukkau, Madat Kara & Luigi Aiello, we are truly proud to work with you!   The post Ed O’Connell Memorial Award appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog

Housing Trends in 2017

The New Year is officially underway and we are ready to reflect on the year that has passed, as well as plan for the year that’s to come. With the housing market being consistently ever-changing, new trends tend to surface as old ones seem to fade. 2016 was a big year for the housing market and, as a result, we saw some pretty impressive reports, results, and trends. This year, the housing forecast and its trends will predictably be as follows:   The Canadian Real Estate Association has released recent information on Canada’s housing trends and how they’ve evolved since last September. For starters, Ontario’s sales are set to continue to grow and set records “despite an unprecedented supply shortage in the Greater Toronto Area and surrounding regions“. With this being said, and with the Canadian Government tightening down and implementing new mortgage regulations in 2016, it’s predicted that 2017 will see less first-time home buyers who “qualify for mortgage financing, particularly in the pricier markets where there is a severe shortage of lower-priced listings”. On the other hand, however, these mortgage rules and lending guidelines will likely boost “capital costs for lenders, resulting in modest increases in mortgage interest rates in the New Year”.  For more information about the 2017 housing forecast, visit The Canadian Real Estate Association’s website at www.crea.ca.   Moreover, with the renovation “boom” that is supposedly underway in 2017, and with residents in Ontario having spent approximately $25 billion renovating their homes in 2016, people are expanding on their current homes – and downsizing less. According to CBC, “aging Canadian homeowners are increasingly deciding to stay where they are and renovate instead, especially since more adult children are still living under their roof”.  In fact, with Ontario’s housing stock aging with each passing year (and with this year marking the majority of Ontario’s home’s 40th birthdays) homeowners and landlords are more inclined spend their money on renovations to expand on or improve their homes rather than on selling or downsizing. “With a larger share of young adults staying home longer due to economic and academic considerations, the need for space will remain important”, says the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Besides, “it’s hard to downsize out of the family home is the nest isn’t quite empty yet”.   With home renovations almost always being a topical conversation to be had with homeowners and designers alike, the New Year tends to inspire its residents with new design trends as they surface. According to the Ottawa Citizen, “homeowners are looking to incorporate in-home retreats where they can escape from technology and the world around them”. Essentials for these rooms are, of course, comfort, quiet, and neutral surroundings. Furthermore, these trendy areas of “escape” are being seen in several residential developments as well. “Brigil’s Petrie’s Landing I, for example, will incorporate an outdoor deck complete with a cooking area and swimming pool for condo owners to use”. Great spaces, of course, for enjoying time spent on your own,

Beating the Winter Blues

It’s winter time in our Nation’s Capital! The New Year is well underway, and as we’ve carefully selected our resolutions (and have spent the majority of these last few weeks trying to abide by them) we reminisce on the post-joys of Christmas and the excitement of a New Year. However, regardless the amount of joy in our hearts and happiness in our homes, the cold weather tends to overstay its welcome far too often. Admit it, we’ll soon catch ourselves wishing for less snow, warmer weather, and oodles upon oodles of sunshine. Wishful thinking, I’ll say. Truth is, we live in Ottawa – and let’s face it – Ottawa is just simply cold. This said, however, our City just so happens to be celebrating its 150th Anniversary this year, and has planned for an endless list of fun-filled, family-friendly, wintery activities that are sure to help kick those winter blues. We’re very lucky to be home to the largest outdoor skating rink in the world: The Rideau Canal Skateway. Measuring a whopping 7.8KM in length, this skateway is a great way to spend your mornings, your afternoons, or even your late evenings with family and friends. With its location being so centralized in the heart of our beautiful City, it’s both an “ideal place for a romantic stroll or a playful day with the kids”. Don’t have skates? Don’t worry! Skate rentals are one of the many services that the Canal has to offer alongside, of course, it’s many change rooms and food/beverage kiosks where you can indulge in what many of us consider to be our City’s dynamic duo: a beavertail and warm cup of cocoa. (Touring the ByWard Market instead? Awesome. Keep an eye out for these delectable goodies around town!) After a good skate or two, why not enjoy the rest of the activities that our Capital has to offer at our largest winter celebration: Winterlude. Officially underway, Winterlude has been a “unique way to celebrate Canada’s unique northern climate and culture since 1979”. You’ll welcome the Ice Hog Family as they travel once again to our City, as they do each year. Bring your family along and pay them a visit at the Snowflake Kingdom in Gatineau. From there, you’ll walk among the many ice sculptures that are created for the ice sculptor competitions, and frolic in what’s considered to be North America’s largest winter playground. Winterlude 2017 wraps up on February 20th – won’t want to miss out! Follow this link to the event’s website for more details. Maybe you and your family appreciate a good, healthy challenge or two once the snow falls – kudos to you! If your family is one for the slopes (and perhaps even a small weekend getaway) then you’re in luck! Ottawa is surrounded by multiple snow hills and downhill skiing sites that are bound to keep you and your loved ones busy and buzzing with adventure this winter. Pack up the car and head to Mont Cascades, Mont

Staging Your Home for Home Buyers Over the Holidays

Selling your home in the (often dreaded) winter months of November-January, can render itself to be quite difficult for some. And although, for the most part, we tend to agree that our homes are more “visibly appealing” – on the outside – in the spring and summer months, there are several perks to selling your home and making it quite charming – on the inside – for homebuyers around the holidays!   We can all admit to sometimes going a little overboard with our holiday decorating from time to time – and if we’re not a person who does, we know of someone who will. However, if you’re looking to sell your home around this celebratory time of year, it might be a good idea to hold back on the decorating (just a little bit). With homes arguably looking their best around Christmas time, it’s easy to get carried away when trying to appeal to a buyer’s eye, but “adornments that are too large [or simply having too many of them] can crowd your home and, in fact, distract buyers”. When you think about it, being mindful of this particular change will encourage shoppers to still notice your home rather than what’s in it. Remember, simplicity is key. It’s also been advised by HGTV in their article on selling-tips for your home during the holidays, to avoid offending buyers by decorating your home with too many religious themed items. Instead, try “opting for general fall and winter décor”.   Something else that you should certainly consider when prepping your home for buyers in the winter months is to stage it so that they can imagine themselves potentially living it. “Make your home feel cozy and inviting during showings by cranking up the heat, playing soft classical music and offering homemade holiday treats. When you encourage buyers to spend more time in your home, you also give them more time to admire its best features”.   This form of staging, along with the initial steps of subtle decorating, opens up a great opportunity to take good quality photos/videos of your home in order to help in with selling process. It is very possible for homebuyers to gravitate toward the appearance of a home during the holiday season (just as much as they will come spring and summer) if you work toward making your home just the right amount of festive. If you need assistance in the staging process, don’t worry – most realtors will offer you help by referring you to a reliable, professional stager. We hope that you have a safe and memorable holiday season. Happy staging! The post Staging Your Home for Home Buyers Over the Holidays appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog

Why Appreciate Your Real Estate Agent

  When you decide to buy your first home, the initial excitement is often quickly followed by fear of the unknown. After viewing many attractive properties online, you have no idea where to start. Eventually, though, with the invaluable assistance of a real estate agent, you can purchased your dream home at a great price.   Those who have experienced a number of property transactions realize just how many reasons they have to be thankful for the trusting relationship they developed with their agent.  First, the money and time you save far exceeds the agent’s commission. From planting the For Sale sign to closing the sale, here are five more reasons to appreciate real estate agents.   They’ll help get your house ready to sell A good listing agent acts as project manager in prepping your home for sale. They take on the burden of staging, advise on repairs, arrange photography and advertising, provide contacts, schedule open houses or viewings and provide feedback, all of which reduces the drama during a stressful time. “For sale by owner” means you advertise, solicit calls, answer questions, make appointments and rush home from work in time to find … no one shows up.   They know how busy you are with the other parts of your life A good agent understands you have responsibilities outside your real estate transaction and will make life easier by accommodating your schedule. She will take your late night call, discuss your concerns and support your decision NOT to move ahead with a deal. For example, one buyer signed an offer that his agent brought to the soccer field where he was coaching his kids.   They have access to opportunities because they’re well-connected Often, deals succeed because of the networks and relationships forged over time by a good agent. Well-connected agents can help you find off-the-market properties, arrange a speedy inspection or get your offer the attention it needs in a competitive bidding situation due to their contacts with bankers, contractors, inspectors and other deal-makers.   They understand that negotiating is a tricky business An agent can represent you in tough negotiations and prevent things from getting too personal. As a buyer, this puts you in a better position to get the house you want and, as a seller, allows you to avoid the irritation of penny-pinching or insulting (to you) offers. Agents smooth things to keep negotiations going, whereas direct negotiations are easily sidetracked by emotions.   They know about real estate contracts and conditions You may be intimidated, initially, by the paperwork, especially the Offer to Purchase. However, a real estate agent completes the same contracts and conditions on a regular basis, so they are familiar with which conditions to use, when they can safely be removed and how to use the contract to protect their clients, whether buying or selling. Even better, they spend the time to educate you at every step.   The post Why Appreciate Your Real Estate Agent appeared first on Team Realty.

The 3 Most Common Reasons a Home Inspection Kills a Deal

  In this Redfin.com post, home inspector Dylan Chalk underscores the importance of a home inspection by identifying how they can prevent a potential sale.  The most common reason is the home is not what it appears to be, especially in the case of a “flipped home”, one purchased and updated with the intention of making as much profit as possible.  The inspection reveals there are more repairs and updates than the buyer expected.  Problems with the core systems of a “fixer” house (foundation, frame, roofline, floor plan, drainage and access) add cost and complexity to the new homeowner’s projected budget making the deal less attractive. To read more click here. The post The 3 Most Common Reasons a Home Inspection Kills a Deal appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog

Reno Investments Providing the Highest Returns

This detailed Home Inspection Network post provides useful data to anyone who is considering a home renovation. Author Bev Siciliano begins by explaining what many do not realize – we might not fully recoup our investment when the home is sold.  For that reason alone, home renovations should be analyzed individually to ensure we get the highest return on investment (ROI).   Generally, renovations that provide the best return on resale are superficial upgrades, like painting and decorating, with limited capital outlay and maximum impact.   According to the Appraisal Institute of Canada’s latest Home Renovation Survey, renovations with the highest return potential are kitchen and bathroom renos at 75 -100%, followed by interior and exterior painting at 50 – 100%.   Skylights rate the lowest potential return on investment (ROI) at 0 – 25%, with swimming pools at 10 – 40% and landscaping, fences and interlock at 25 – 50%.  Central air, decks, window/door upgrades, fireplace installs, rec room or garage additions, new flooring, and basement renos have a potential ROI of 50 – 75%.  To read more click here. The post Reno Investments Providing the Highest Returns appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog

What You Need to Do When Saying Goodbye to Your Home

  Although you’re excited about moving, there are easy ways to reduce the ache you feel when thinking about leaving the old abode.  According to this Realtor.com post by Lisa Davis you could throw a going away party with the neighbours who shared your journey over the years.  Toast your soon-to-be former residence. Leave a reminder of your presence for future generations like a signature on a rafter in the attic. To read more click here. The post What You Need to Do When Saying Goodbye to Your Home appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog

The Do’s and Dont’s of Basement Storage

  This article from Bob Vila gives eight handy tips to consider when using your basement for storage.   The suggestions include taking advantage of vertical space by building up and not out, using open shelves for frequently-used items and built-in cabinets to conceal toys or cleaning supplies, storing off-season gear in sealed bins to protect from moisture and dust, using a pulley-hoist to store heavy or bulky items from the ceiling, protecting tools stored in the open with a coating of machine oil to prevent rust and running a humidifier in the basement to suck moisture from the air and combat mold or mildew.  To read more click here. The post The Do’s and Dont’s of Basement Storage appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog

Is It Time to Downsize? Ask Yourself These 4 Questions First

  If you’ve reached the time of life where you are contemplating downsizing your home, the first question to ask, according to this Realto.com post, is what kind of lifestyle do you want after downsizing? By defining how you want to live, you can narrow your search and focus on housing that will meet those requirements.   For example, if you want to escape the bluster of winter and relax on a beach, local climate conditions and geography will drive your hunt. Or, if you like social activities, you would seek active adult communities where you can interact with like-minded people.   The next step is to consider the financials by asking what will you budget  look like?  After that, ask yourself if you have enough equity in your home to make a profit.  If you have enough equity, you can buy your next home outright or bring a sizable down payment on closing day.   Finally, ask if you will be able to find another home that’s affordable in a seller’s market.  For those with some financial clout,  realtor Debra Whitfield recommends using an equity line of credit on your current home or a home equity conversion mortgage to buy your next home, before selling your current property.  That gives you time to find a suitable property instead of being rushed to select whatever happens to be on the market after your house is sold.  To read more click here. The post Is It Time to Downsize? Ask Yourself These 4 Questions First appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog

What’s the best property type for your first home?

  Inexperience can cause first time home buyers to be confused by the multitude of available options. This post by Caroline James is an excellent introduction to the advantages and disadvantages of five popular property choices: a large detached house on a suburban block, a small home on a sub-divided lot, a townhouse, an apartment in a small block and an apartment in a high rise block. To read more click here. The post What’s the best property type for your first home? appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog

8 Mistakes That Could Screw Up Your Home Sale

  Usually we hear “buyer beware”, but real estate author Michael Corbett advises sellers to beware and gives 8 reasons why in this trulia.com post.  Always work with professional help, including a real estate agent.  Their expertise, experience, neighbourhood knowledge and resources will help you plot a course through the selling process.   Overpricing is a temptation to be avoided since most buyers are savvy and have the advice of an agent.  Ensure that you use high quality photos because 90% of buyers shop for home online. Complete repairs like leaky faucets before listing your home to avoid negotiations over what the repairs will cost potential buyers.   Spend time cleaning and removing clutter since untidiness makes your home seem smaller.  Stage your backyard as if it were another room and maintain the landscape so it appeals to your viewers, especially in summer and fall when we enjoy outdoor activities.  Disclose all information including issues that may jeopardize a sale to avoid liability after the sale.   Finally, remember this is a business deal and emotions can get in the way.  A low ball offer is an opportunity to negotiate, not a reason to be insulted.  To read more click here. The post 8 Mistakes That Could Screw Up Your Home Sale appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog

5 tips for eco-friendly renovations

  If you are renovating, you should consider the green strategies suggested in this realestate.com post by Danielle King.  For example, add insulation to the roof and external walls and you could save 25% on energy costs.  Replace inefficient windows or add window film since up to 40% of your heating can be lost through windows in winter.   Energy efficient appliances, LED lighting and solar panels will also contribute savings, while protecting the environment. Implement water collection techniques to use rainwater for toilets and the garden.  Include water efficient faucets and showerheads. Add high-flow taps that make baths and washing machines fill quickly. Use low/no Voltatile Organic Compound (VOC) materials where possible, and non-toxic paints.to read more click here. The post 5 tips for eco-friendly renovations appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog

Canadian Home Prices Are Growing At One Of The Fastest Paces In The World

  The Canadian real estate market continues to boom, according to this Financial Post offering.  With a year-over-year increase of 8.2%, Canada ranked 4th of the 23 countries studied in Scotiabank’s report Global Real Estate Trends, behind Ireland (13.3%), Sweden (10.5%) and Australia (8.3%).  However, the report warns the trend could change if economic uncertainty and high unemployment counterbalance the attraction of low borrowing costs.  To read more click here. The post Canadian Home Prices Are Growing At One Of The Fastest Paces In The World appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog

An Economist’s Letter to Millennials Who Can’t (Yet) Buy a Home

This post from Jonathan Smoke, chief economist at realtor.com, explains what Millenials can do to help themselves along the path to home ownership.   For example, a high debt burden will restrict their ability to qualify for a mortgage, and the amount they can get, so they need to limit their total debt payments (student loans, credit cards, car loans, etc.) to less than 15% of their income.   Smoke also covers the importance of improving their credit score, saving as much as they can for a down payment and creating an emergency fund for unexpected bills. To read more click here. The post An Economist’s Letter to Millennials Who Can’t (Yet) Buy a Home appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog

Here’s What Pushes People to Buy Homes in 2015

  If you want to sell your property quickly, at near the asking price, it is important to know why people are buying.  In this post, Realtor.com chief economist, Jonathan Smoke, suggests we pay attention to the five main triggers for home buyers: they have grown tired of their home and want a change, interest rates are exceptionally low, housing prices are favourable in many markets, they need or want more living space and they have the money to spend. To read more click here. The post Here’s What Pushes People to Buy Homes in 2015 appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog

Buying Old Versus New Properties – Pros and Cons

When buying any commodity, new is often better than used. In the housing market, though, your best opportunity can come from an old home or, as in Ottawa, where the inventory of new homes is overstocked, you may be able to purchase a new home for the same price buyers paid years ago. Here are some advantages and risks of both options.   Advantages of Buying Old Properties   you can physically walk through and inspect the home similar listings have sold or are currently available to use for comparative market analysis when establishing price antique homes appeal to a large group buyers, renters and investors builders and developers can try to maximize land value by subdividing investors can renovate the property to increase profitability do-it-yourself enthusiasts can invest sweat equity to reduce repair or upgrade costs   Advantages of Buying New Properties   they have all the latest technology and comply with the Ontario Building Code you can choose custom finishings rather than inheriting someone else’s choice new homes come with a warranty new properties are generally lower maintenance low energy ratings make them cheaper, reducing ongoing operating costs financing may be easier since builders often arrange mortgages as part of the sale for investors, tax depreciation benefits could reduce the holding costs of the property   Risks and Concerns of Buying Old Properties   existing properties can have structural or mechanical issues so check the age of major components and employ a building inspector to identify hidden concerns if you need repairs or upgrades, a building inspection will help during negotiations easements or caveats on the title may affect your plans for the property check ownership on title and vendor warranties to ensure a smooth closing if renovating or sub-dividing, make sure your plans comply with zoning regulations competing, emotional buyers can drive up property prices during negotiations or auctions   Risks and Concerns of Buying New Properties   risk of construction delays and possible cost overruns that increase the price you pay HST/GST on a new home, which adds to your costs in a new subdivision, little, if any, infrastructure exists similar properties, in the same area, may be slow to grow in value apartments in a recently zoned area could be in over-supply and tough to rent out beware of growth corridors because you could have a long wait for profits choose developers carefully and run background checks on associated parties   The post Buying Old Versus New Properties – Pros and Cons appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog

5 Questions to Ask Before Replacing Your Roof

  Most of us have little or no experience with re-roofing, so this post by home reno expert Bob Vila is a valuable guide to the questions a homeowner should ask before hiring a roofer.  First, ask for an estimate that is comprehensive enough (permits, inspections, materials, labour, contingency) to establish a firm budget.  Discuss the proposal in detail with the contractor.   Find out what materials are being used and get the specifications in writing.  Avoid cheaper, low quality materials, especially the shingles, because sub-standard materials reduce a roof’s life expectancy costing you more over the long term.   Inquire how the project will be accomplished – installing shingles on top of the existing materials may seem cheaper, but removing the existing roof materials will provide a chance to inspect the roof deck in case repairs are needed.  Ask if your contractor is licensed, insured, and bonded so you aren’t liable for any accidents during the project.   Finally, check how long the roof will last and ask about warranty coverage for materials (Owens Corning shingles are guaranteed for 50 years) and installation (most small contractors do NOT warrant workmanship).  To read more click here.   The post 5 Questions to Ask Before Replacing Your Roof appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog

8 steps to getting started in property investment

  This propertyinvestment.com post from Nila Sweeney is an excellent primer for those who want to start a property portfolio. First, check your finances to see how much you can invest and get mortgage pre-approval.   Then, define what success means for you, as well as the level of risk you are comfortable with, and set your goals. Next, start budgeting and create a purchase plan.   Finally, research the market for opportunities that meet your criteria and approach them as business transactions, applying logic rather than being swayed by your emotional attachment. To read more click here.   The post 8 steps to getting started in property investment appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog

Financing Your Home Purchase – Mortgage Broker or Bank?

  When it comes time to purchase a new home, where should you go for financing? You may have a relationship with a bank from past transactions (RRSPs, savings accounts, car loan), so it’s the first option that comes to mind.  But, mortgage brokers are licensed specialists who have access to many lenders and mortgage rates, so they may be a better choice. Here are some pros and cons for each.   Advantages of Mortgage Brokers   do all the negotiating for you to find the lowest rate have knowledge of, and access to, the entire mortgage market have exclusive deals not available on the open market buy large quantities of mortgage products, so they can pass on volume discounts their commission is paid by the mortgage lender can advise which lenders will consider your case and which will not (useful for people with poor credit ratings) have access to lenders who specialize in servicing people with poor credit can sometimes negotiate a better interest rate or lower application fee from the lender may pay for inspections or appraisals to close the deal (they get less commission but gain word of mouth advertising and potential client loyalty) are highly mobile and flexible so they can meet in person, when and where you want work for themselves so they are not aligned to one institution   Disadvantages of Mortgage Brokers   some people are uncomfortable with a less familiar option first-time home buyers would not have pre-existing relationships with them lenders that offer good rates are often smaller, with unfamiliar names and reputations greater flexibility may lead to a mortgage you cannot actually afford (more risk)   Advantages of Banks   can combine services at the bank you’ve worked with, and learned to trust can meet face to face, on your own time, even at your home may have lower closing costs because they’ll pay for some of the costs sometimes they pay the appraisal fee can give you perks within the bank like waiving account or safety deposit box fees have home equity lines of credit loan officers are paid salary, commission or salary plus commission by the bank easier to make mortgage or line of credit changes if all products are with one bank   Disadvantages of Banks   can only access and offer their own rates and products often their rates are not as good as a mortgage broker’s rates only give discounts on their posted rates if you ask if your credit score is poor, they might not take you on you have to be able to negotiate or you’ll only get the standard deal with no extras you spend time and effort “shopping” for a good rate you may overlook the best rate   The post Financing Your Home Purchase – Mortgage Broker or Bank? appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog

7 Deadly Sins of Home Renos

  Homeowners who renovate only to boost resale value should aim for a return on investment (ROI) of three dollars for every dollar invested. Resale renos should be neutral in colour and conservative in tone so they appeal to the maximum number of potential buyers. And, cost control always trumps elegance.   In fact, some renovations can actually damage your home’s value. These supposed improvements not only add nothing to your bottom line, they may make your home less attractive to potential buyers and bring down its value. Here are seven such expensive mistakes to avoid.   Pools A pool will chase away numerous buyers due to maintenance, public liability, insurance and local government laws regarding fencing and safety barriers. Don’t waste the money.   Skip the Sunroom Unless you want the exposure to nature, avoid this addition which yielded only 48.7 percent ROI according to Remodelling magazine’s 2015 statistics.   Converted Garage Some homeowners see converting a garage as a cheaper way to add more living space than building an addition – and it is. But, many buyers prefer a garage to protect assets from the cold and snowy conditions. And, a garage is much more valuable than an extra room.   Fancy Faucets and Lighting Fixtures For kitchen or bathroom renos, avoid ornate fixtures for two reasons. First, you reduce the pool of buyers due to the cost. Second, stylized fixtures will appeal only to a small number of potential buyers, those who share your taste, further reducing your chances to sell.   Eliminating a Bedroom or Powder Room In older homes, combining smaller rooms in the public living space might add to the value and appeal to homeowners who like large, open spaces. Eliminating a powder room, however, is a bad idea. And turning a bedroom into a master closet or combining two bedrooms to create a large master suite may not pay. As Kevin Brown Jr., president of Praedium Real Estate Services points out, “You’ve eliminated a whole living space.”   Elaborate Landscaping A basic make over is the surest way to make money back from your outdoor outlay. Avoid overspending.   Things That Are Invisible Adding insulation, window upgrades, or air conditioning does not increase the value of a property as much as some sellers believe. This type of feature can add to the marketability, not the value.   The post 7 Deadly Sins of Home Renos appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog

Real Estate Snapshot February 2016

  What a difference a day makes!  An extra day in February saw 46 sales on that day (February 29th) as per the Ottawa Real Estate Board’s news release March 3rd.   See the full Ottawa Real Estate market snapshot for February and the full story from the Ottawa Real Estate Board below. With spring around the corner, we’re starting to see more homes come on the market, if you’re thinking of selling now is a great time to get your home listed with a real estate professional.  While statistics are useful in establishing trends they should not be used as an indicator of an increase or decrease in value of specific properties. If you are curious about the value of your home and/or specific neighbourhood statistics we would be happy to provide you with a no cost no obligation market evaluation of your property.  Contact any one of our 23 offices or email us at info@teamrealty.ca From the Ottawa Real Estate Board March 3rd, 2016 Extra day in leap year causes jump in sales for February Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 911 residential properties in February through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® system, compared with 850 in February 2015, an increase of 7.2 per cent. The five-year average for February sales is 908. “Although the weather was very unpredictable this month, with many highs and lows and several winter storms, the Ottawa resale market only saw activity pick up,” says President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board, Shane Silva. “Residential and condo sales combined increased by 52.3 per cent since last month. However, we need to factor in the leap year, which added an extra day to the month of February, and 46 sales on that day.” February’s sales included 199 in the condominium property class, and 712 in the residential property class. The condominium property class includes any property, regardless of style (i.e. detached, semi-detached, apartment, townhouse, etc.), which is registered as a condominium, as well as properties which are co-operatives, life leases and timeshares. The residential property class includes all other residential properties. “In February, 2,312 homes were listed, up 26.6 per cent since January, and inventory on hand at the end of February rose by 10.7 per cent since January,” says Silva. “We’re starting to see more homes coming onto the market in preparation for the busy spring selling season. If you’re thinking of putting your home on the market, this is a great time to do so.” The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in February in the Ottawa area was $384,632, an increase of 1.2 per cent over February 2015. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $249,727, a decrease of 6.8 per cent over February 2015. The Board cautions that average sale price information can be useful in establishing trends over time but should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. The average sale price is calculated based on

Saving Strategies for Every Age

  We all want to save more money, but doing it requires a plan. And, the best approach to saving depends on the stage of life you’re in because each phase has unique financial commitments. Although individual circumstances vary, these generation-specific suggestions will point you in the right direction.   Millennials (19-35)   Millennials, born between 1980 and 1996, are actually better than Gen Xers at money management, according to financial journalist Vera Gibbons. But, they tend to live in the moment and prefer instant gratification to long-term financial planning. And, because personal finance is not a core subject in school, they may not know much about how to manage money.  Try these strategies. each payday, set aside money to “pay yourself first” and use it for an emergency fund learn fine art of delaying gratification so you have the self control to say no to yourself avoid paying rent, which can cost up to 30% of your income, by living at home pay off student debt with an income-based loan repayment plan use a budgeting tool so you know where your money is going give yourself a weekly allowance to keep discretionary spending in check make small, manageable reductions to your expenses which leaves more for savings contribute to your employer’s retirement plan manage your credit score as it affects your ability to obtain mortgage or other financing   Gen Xers (36-50)   For Generation Xers, born between 1965 and 1979, have less time to build a nest-egg for retirement, so it’s imperative to contribute regularly to their retirement savings during these peak income earning years. Managing cash flow at this stage is particularly challenging. Consider these options.   avoid buying more home than you can afford using cash will make you think harder before letting it go pay yourself first entertain at home rather than going out overestimate expenses and make small, manageable spending reductions contribute to your employer’s retirement plan   Baby Boomers (51-69)   Most Baby Boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, are in better financial shape than their  younger counterparts, but only 60 percent report having retirement savings and 93 percent are providing financial support to adult children. So, they face the dangerous combination of being under-saved and long-lived. Here are a few ideas to safeguard your future.   delay retirement or return to work to generate income explore the downsizing option and/or ways to leverage home equity accelerate retirement savings and allocate investments properly consider long-term care insurance reduce expenditures and eliminate high cost items like transportation plan to retire in, or move to, an area with lower expenses adjust your standard of living   The post Saving Strategies for Every Age appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog

First Time Homebuyers Government Incentive Programs

    Thinking of buying your first home? If so, it may be time to get on with it, especially considering the possibility that interest rates will rise. Using government incentive programs that encourage first time homebuyers to enter the real estate market, you can realize additional savings. And, mortgage financing has been almost free for some time, but economic signals point to those costs rising.   Mortgage rates may increase   Several factors are threatening to push Canadian mortgage rates higher even as the Bank of Canada tries to hold its overnight lending rate down. Fixed mortgage rates are linked to long-term Canadian government bond yields, which are tied to U.S. bond yields. Those rates have risen since September as investors have come to expect the U.S. Federal Reserve to boost rates based on the U.S. economy.   Borrow from yourself   The Canadian government’s Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) allows first time home buyers to borrow up to $25,000 from their RRSP for a down payment to buy or build a qualified home, tax-free. If you purchase with someone who is also a first time homebuyer, including your spouse, you can both access $25,000 from your RRSP for a combined total of $50,000.   The HBP is considered a loan, so if you participate in the Plan, you must repay the amount you withdrew within a 15-year period, in the amount of 1/15 per year. If you repay less than that amount, the difference is added to your taxable income and you are taxed at the applicable rate.   Reduce your income tax   The federal Home Buyers’ Tax Credit helps recover closing costs (legal expenses, inspections, land transfer taxes) so you can save more for money for a down payment. At current taxation rates, it works out to a rebate of $750.   If you buy in Ontario, there is another rebate of up to $2,000 available to help offset the land transfer tax. In Toronto, you can also receive a rebate up to $3,725 for municipal land transfer taxes.   With the current economic uncertainty and the advantages of government incentive programs, now may be the right time for first time home buyers to lock in a mortgage at the low rates and buy a home. The post First Time Homebuyers Government Incentive Programs appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog

Why Listing In January or February Can Make Sense

  Although it may seem odd, listing in the winter months can be advantageous for sellers. Statistically, there are indeed more buyers in the spring market.  However, there are also more homes for sale, including properties similar to yours. With more competition for the pool of buyers, your chances of finalizing a deal may actually be reduced. Here are several reasons to list in January or February.   Financial Planning And Taxes   Many families check their finances at year end and start planning their tax returns. And, because of the holiday festivities, it’s often the time for discussions and decisions about gifting, inheritance, upgrading to a larger home or downsizing to a smaller one and homeownership versus renting. Whether it’s a new buyer who moves quickly or a previously active buyer who re-engages, these house hunters are around in January and February and will look at your home if it’s for sale.   If You List They Will Come   Because of online advertising, buyers look at listings all day, every day. They have apps on their phone, get listings texted and emailed to them, and don’t care about the time of year. They realize the home won’t show as well in the dead of winter, so providing photos of your home during these times of year will enable buyers to envision it in the warmer seasons.   Winter Buyers Are Highly Motivated   Buyers looking in January and February are serious. They know what they want, have often been at it for many months and are tired of the real estate hunt. This is your target buyer and, in part, they’re why it’s better to list in January than to wait until spring. Your property will certainly stand out if it’s the only one like it listed.   Offering your home for sale in the “offseason” means less competition which changes the market’s supply-and-demand balance. The demand is far greater than the supply. And, because of the reduced inventory, the seller can often take a little more time to consider offers and negotiate a higher price.   The post Why Listing In January or February Can Make Sense appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog

Congratulations to our Award Winners

At Royal LePage Team Realty helping YOU is what we do and we couldn’t do that without a dedicated network of real estate professionals.  We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate our 2015 Award winners and thank them for their hard work and dedication.  We are so proud to work with those who consistently go above and beyond to ensure their clients are provided with excellent real estate service. Looking forward to an awesome 2016! jQuery(document).ready(function($) { var mpImageSlider = $(“.motopress-image-slider-obj#5706adb2160e7”); if (mpImageSlider.data(“flexslider”)) { mpImageSlider.flexslider(“destroy”); } if (!true) mpImageSlider.css(“margin-bottom”, 0); mpImageSlider.flexslider({ slideshow: true, animation: “fade”, controlNav: true, slideshowSpeed: 3000, animationSpeed: 600, smoothHeight: false, keyboard: true }); }); jQuery(document).ready(function($) { var mpImageSlider = $(“.motopress-image-slider-obj#5706adb216f7a”); if (mpImageSlider.data(“flexslider”)) { mpImageSlider.flexslider(“destroy”); } if (!true) mpImageSlider.css(“margin-bottom”, 0); mpImageSlider.flexslider({ slideshow: true, animation: “fade”, controlNav: true, slideshowSpeed: 3000, animationSpeed: 600, smoothHeight: false, keyboard: true }); }); The post Congratulations to our Award Winners appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog

Why Homeowners Should Beware of Icicles

  Ottawa’s freeze-thaw weather patterns often create sparkling icicles that look magical. But, they actually identify a dangerous — and potentially costly — hazard, an ice dam. Imagine coming home from work to find water streaming down your interior walls and soaking into the hardwood of your foyer. What would you do?   What Is An Ice Dam   After frantically tracing the flow, you would find that a pool of water had formed behind a thick ridge of ice in the gutters – hence the term ice dam. Snow on the roof had been melted by heat loss, causing water to collect behind the dam. And, the water was seeping through the shingles and into the house exposing it to significant potential damages.   After calling three roofing companies and getting no answer, you climb up a ladder to the second level, stand on a stool at a precarious angle, hold the gutter for support with one hand and use the other to smash the ice with a hammer. Eventually, you clear the dam but not before almost sliding off the roof … twice.   How To Remove An Ice Dam   Luckily, in this hypothetical case, there was only minor water damage, but the do-it-yourself approach was very risky and you did bend the gutter. Homeowners experiencing the effects of an ice dam — or those worried about a leak — should hire a professional roofing company to remove any ice buildup and assess for further preventive measures.   Safe removal of snow and ice should be accomplished by qualified technicians, who are fully trained in fall-arrest prevention, use the appropriate safety gear and equipment and have full insurance coverage. Instead of using hammers, chisels and salt, they will steam away the ice and remove excess snow with rakes designed for the purpose.   How To Avoid Ice Dams   To prevent ice dams, you must keep heat from reaching the roof, so the snow won’t melt in the first place. That goal is accomplished by insulating and ventilating the attic space to maintain the roof surface at, or near, outdoor temperatures. Any breach into the attic from the heated living space needs to be insulated. For homes with finished attics, this may involve opening up the ceiling.   Periodically check your roof for snow coverage because the snow’s weight alone, which should not exceed 20 to 25 lbs/sq ft, can cause damage. Depending on moisture content, snow weighs about 1.25 lbs/sq ft for each inch of depth, so 20 inches is a considerable burden. And, if you see icicles, investigate further. Professional roofers can provide accurate measurements, remediation or maintenance on a scheduled or as-needed basis. The post Why Homeowners Should Beware of Icicles appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog

Don’t tax my dream campaign succeeds

    The efforts of the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) and the Progressive Conservatives were recently rewarded when the provincial government decided they would NOT be expanding the municipal land transfer tax program.   Liberals keep election promise   In an unexpected announcement during the legislature’s question period, Municipal Affairs Minister Ted McMeekin ended concerns that the Liberals would break their election campaign promise and allow other cities and towns to introduce the tax. “There has been no call, at all, for a municipal land transfer tax,” he said, “nor is there any legislation before the House that would allow this.” Toronto will remain the only Ontario city where homebuyers have to pay thousands of dollars in local land transfer taxes, in addition to the provincial levy. But, McMeekin kept the door open to a future tax by offering to look at “what possibilities exist” for other new sources of revenue to help strained municipal budgets.   Ontarians opposed to tax grab   OREA had been exerting pressure on the government with its “don’t tax my dream” campaign which allowed the voices of thousands of Ontarians opposed to the tax to be heard through email, letters and social media platforms. They were arguing the additional tax could push house prices further out of reach for many families and delay or kill their dream of home ownership. “Ontario home buyers are already charged a provincial land transfer tax, so by adding a municipal tax, they’re essentially doubling the tax burden on Ontario families,” said Patricia Verge, president of OREA. “If the Ontario Liberals follow through with this plan, home buyers will be forced to pay $10,000 in total land transfer taxes on the average priced home in Ontario, starting as early as next year.”   Tax would have negative impact on local economies   OREA also cited a 2014 study conducted by Altus Group Economic Consulting showing that the combined negative impact of the tax in four Ontario cities—Mississauga, Hamilton, Ottawa and London—would be a loss of $1 billion in economic activity and more than 10,000 jobs. The confrontation has been ongoing since 2008 when Toronto implemented its municipal land transfer tax and, as recently as October, it appeared the government was poised to grant permission for other municipalities to impose the tax.     The post Don’t tax my dream campaign succeeds appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog

Time To Get Out The Spring Maintenance Checklist

  In Ottawa, there are two sights that remind homeowners it’s time for spring maintenance: bikes on the road and geese in the sky. With the recent double-digit temperatures, it seems spring has won its annual wrestling match with winter. And, as spring fever sets in, you may want to store your parka and get at those spring maintenance chores. A great place to start is making sure the melting snow and runoff flows freely off your roof and away from your home instead of seeping in or collecting at the foundation. Improper drainage can cause problems like foundation flooding, soil erosion, water in the basement or leaks in the attic crawl space. Water damage is an expensive nightmare every homeowner wants to avoid. Here are some tips to take advantage of the weather and get a head start on spring. The Roof System A record-breaking snowfall dropped over 50 cm one February day, so Ottawa homeowners are well advised to perform a roof inspection in case the sheer weight of the snow caused damage. Depending on moisture content, snow weighs about 1.25 lbs/sq ft for each inch of depth, so 50 cm is a heavy load. Avoid a dangerous climb and use binoculars to survey the roof. Identify damaged shingles, soffits, fascia and flashing. If the roof is metal, check for corrosion. Inside the house, check the attic and roof deck for any structural deformations. Examine walls and ceilings for water stains or cracks. Nature can leave more garbage in spring than in fall, so gutter cleaning is high priority. Clear all debris from eaves troughs and downspouts. Check for water stains, especially under eaves and near gutter downspouts. Water stains can mean that your gutters are not containing the roof runoff and they should be repaired or replaced. Make sure downspouts drain away from your home’s foundation. If necessary, add extensions to carry water at least 3 to 4 feet away. If you have a masonry chimney, check the joints between bricks or stones for signs of water infiltration. Also, look for efflorescence which indicates groundwater is “wicking” into the masonry and it could need replacement. The Foundation Unblock the drainage paths around your home so the snow melt flows away from your foundation. Open access to sewer drains that are on the street in front of your property. Check inside the basement, inspecting the walls for evidence of a leaking foundation.  If your home is on a slope, you may need to install a sump pump or an exterior drain pipe leading away from the foundation. Smooth low areas in the yard or near the foundation with compacted soil. Spring rains can cause yard flooding, which can lead to foundation flooding and costly damages. Also, when water collects in these depressions in summer, it creates a perfect breeding ground for insects. Although winter may still rear its blustery head, you’ll be happy you switched to spring fever mode and started the chores.   The post Time To

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