Posts by curiousprojects

Neighbourhood Snapshot : Carlington is an Ottawa Community to Watch

When you buy a home, it’s more than just the house itself, you’re really buying into a lifestyle, and becoming part of a community.  The Ottawa and surrounding area has a lot to offer and there may be “hidden gems” that you hadn’t considered.  We’re excited to introduce a new series of blog posts dedicated to giving readers the inside scoop on some great Ottawa neighbourhoods, starting with Carlington!  Welcome to Carlington! Nestled in the heart of the city, Carlington is a community to watch. This neighbourhood has lots of amenities along with easy access to the Queensway making travel within the city a breeze. Situated just a stone’s throw away from the pricy Island Park, Civic Hospital, and Westboro neighbourhoods, Carlington has similar charm but is far more affordable. About Carlington Carlington is located in the River Ward in the west-end of Ottawa and it is bordered by Clyde Avenue to the West, Carling Avenue to the North, Fisher Avenue to the East, and the Central Experimental Farm to the South. The area features a variety of different style homes with most being built prior to 1980 but you will also find brand new homes that are taking the place of smaller war-time homes on larger lots. As the Westgate development begins, Carlington will see extensive growth in the near future. “The area consists of many different style homes, on generous sized lots, offering something for everyone”, says Jennifer Forward, Realtor with Royal LePage Team Realty. Carlington is an active community with many young families and is a great place to buy a starter home. The largest segments of the population falling in the age range of 20 to 44 years old but there are people of all ages that call this community home. Great Value “As a former resident for 12 years, current owner, and having sold many homes in the neighbourhood, I feel that Carlington is one of Ottawa’s best kept secrets,” says Forward, “Carlington is a great place to live and offers excellent value”. With neighbouring communities becoming out of the price range for many buyers, Carlington is seeing steady but reasonable growth in property values. With the average price sitting around $400,000, this neighbourhood provides great properties at a more affordable price point. Amenities Enter this well-located neighbourhood, and enjoy easy access to everything you and your family may need. Situated close to 2 hospitals, schools, community centres, and shopping, Carlington has many amenities to offer. This area features a very active community association, and you don’t want to miss the annual “Carlington Family Fun Day” held every May! As summer begins, join this community at one of the best-shaded splash pads in the city at Harold Place Park! The neighbourhood itself offers a warm country feel, thanks to the Experimental Farm being right at your doorstep, which boasts lots of trails and bike paths to choose from. Quickly arrive at beautiful destinations such as Dow’s Lake, the Arboretum, and the Canada Agriculture Museum. Explore

Turn your Vacation into a Staycation: Activities for families in Ottawa

Turn your Vacation into a Staycation: Activities for families in Ottawa  Summer is a wonderful time to spend a little quality time with friends and family; things are more relaxed, the kids are out of school and you won’t have to worry about a last minute snow storm interfering with travel plans (well here’s hoping!) . But organizing a family vacation, especially when you have young children, can be stressful (just think of the Griswalds). The packing, planning, stopping, driving, – the list could go on and on. Have you ever arrived at your destination tired, wishing you’d just stayed home?  If the answer is yes, you can take the stress out of your vacation this year, and turn it into a “Staycation”! At this moment, you’re certainly considering this option, but wondering what there possibly could be to do in Ottawa for a family that already lives here? Have no fear; we have the answers you are looking for. Staycations are becoming a popular option for many families, as leaving home can be stressful, and expensive. In Ottawa, there are many options for families looking for things to do this summer during their family holidays including, but not limited to; museums, parks, festivals, Mooney’s Bay, Calypso Water Park, Saunders Farm and many more. These activities offer a change from your usual summer activities, without the stress of being far from home. Ottawa Museums & Parks Ottawa is a city that is home to many wonderful museums and exhibits just a short distance from your front door. These museums offer a wide variety of topics, from nature to history, to art galleries and more – Ottawa has a museum for every learning opportunity and interest. A more detailed list of museums and their special exhibits this summer can give you a better way to choose which museum to go to first! Don’t miss out on the brains, war history, gallery exhibits and more that will be making their way to museums in the Capital this summer. Saunders’ Farm Join Saunders’ Farm this summer for an array of family activities that will fill your staycation with laughter. From challenging mazes to an expanded pedal cart race track to hayride farm tours, a splash pad, and the new jumbo jumpers, Saunders’ Farm has activities for the whole family to enjoy. With reasonable family rates, and even offering a summer camp for kids – this is a stop you don’t want to miss out on. Beaches, Splash Pads, & Water Parks Keep cool this summer by visiting one of the city’s many splash pads, or have a relaxing family beach day at Mooney’s Bay Park, on the Rideau Canal. As one of the city’s four supervised beaches, you can relax knowing there are lifeguards on site each day. There is a picnic area, indoor change rooms, and a children’s playground to enjoy. Hike the Hog’s Back Nature Trails, see the Rideau Locks in action, or liven up your day with an interactive Pirate Adventure in Mooney’s Bay. This live theater cruise

Home-Grown Issues: The impacts of home-grown marijuana and legalization

Home-Grown Issues: The impacts of home-grown marijuana and legalization Many Canadians are awaiting this July 2018 with much anticipation, as Bill C-45 will allow the legalization of marijuana, including their ability to grow up to 4 plants within their residence. However, without the proper protections and awareness in place this new legislation could cost home owners thousands, or even their mortgage. The increase of private residence grow-ops that will begin following legalization is a major concern for the real estate industry. Experts say that everyone from “buyers, to sellers, to real estate agents, and home inspectors” will be affected by the consequences produced by home grow-ops. Issues with Home-Grown There is currently no legal benchmark in the definition of a grow-op. This means, that whether it is a large-scale operation, or a single potted plant, the home is viewed in the same light. Although this doesn’t seem like a big issue to some, the underlying damages that can result from growing marijuana plants within a residence have serious ramifications on insurance, mortgages, and future sales. Damages and building inspections The humidity and power required to grow larger quantities of plants can lead to electrical system damages, and mold, fungus, and moisture issues within the home. These issues, and others can completely destroy the framework of the house. Building remediation is not mandated by the province with legalization, and there is no official registry of illegal grow-ops that allow future home buyers to be forewarned of the possible damages and health risks they may encounter. These damages don’t need to be evident for a home to be labeled a “grow-op”. As there is no “definition” of size to label as a grow op, the house can be stigmatized whether it is one or one hundred plants in the house, in the case of illegal operations. These houses can be heavily damaged, and often covered up to make the home saleable. “History has shown us that some shady property owners will go to great lengths to hide signs of a former grow operation” – Tim Hudak OREA CEO When it comes to future sales on a home with a grow-op label, evidence shows that these homes sell for less than the surrounding houses, even if the proper repairs have been performed. Legalization including home cultivation can lead to unsuspecting buyers purchasing homes that are damaged, and could leave building inspectors on the hook if any damages are missed prior to purchase. The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) is urging policy makers to include protective measures for home buyers, and the future of Ontario’s housing stock. Marijuana and Mortgages: As it stands currently, most mortgage lenders have a very conservative approach when in comes to homes where marijuana growth has been present. Typically, traditional mortgage lenders such as banks, will deny the mortgage altogether. This denial is based on the premise of resale value being decreased in homes where cultivation of marijuana has occurred. Without this knowledge, individual’s seeking to purchase a home

Ottawa Real Estate Market Snapshot: May 2018 

Ottawa Real Estate Market Snapshot: May 2018:  While inventory is still lower than normal, the number of listings coming onto the market this month is typical spring activity! Have questions? Looking for specific neighbourhood stats? Message us!! The following are hightlights from the Ottawa Real Estate Board’s latest News Release read the full story Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 2,279 residential properties in May through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 2,294 in May 2017, a decrease of 0.7 per cent. The five-year average for May sales is 2,041. May’s sales included 485 in the condominium property class and 1,794 in the residential property class. “Although our overall inventory stock is down in both the residential and condo market, the number of listings coming onto the market this month is typical spring activity,” states Ralph Shaw, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. “The sheer number of home sales that took place in May indicates that inventory is turning over quickly– certainly a sign that Ottawa is a healthy real estate market.” The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in May in the Ottawa area was $464,401, an increase of 6.3 per cent over May 2017. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $281,247, an increase of 3.4 per cent from May 2017.* “In the first five months of 2018, the value of a single-family home has increased about 8% and approximately 6.5% for condominiums,” Shaw notes. “This price acceleration is encouraging news for homeowners who have now seen an average of 3% price growth per year for the last five years.” “Much of the total increase in property values have been experienced since the beginning of this year. Not only will this help new homebuilders validate their pricing since construction costs and development fees are so high, but it also will give baby boomers incentive to sell their homes which will help put inventory back onto the market,” he explains. “While our inventory stays at historically low levels, especially in some neighbourhoods, there will continue to be upward pressure on home prices. We definitely have the demand for housing in this city not only because it is still very affordable but because all the fundamentals are solid here.  However, our city does need to have a longer-term housing supply strategy so that we aren’t confronted with future affordability challenges,” Shaw advises. The $300,000 to $449,999 range remains the most active price point in the residential market, accounting for 45 per cent of home sales, while the $500,000 to $750,000 range continues to gain momentum, now representing almost one-quarter of residential home sales. “Between $150,000 and $249,999 was May’s most active price point in the condominium market, accounting for 49 per cent of the units sold,” Shaw reports. “Moreover, apartment condos represent 52 per cent of the sales. This is likely a reflection of the low vacancy rate in the rental market. If you can scrape together a down payment, the

3 Tips For Making A Major Homeowners Insurance Claim

3 Tips For Making A Major Homeowners Insurance Claim Home insurance is one of the costs that come with home ownership. You pay your premiums to your insurance company and when disaster strikes, you expect that they will pay for most, if not all of the bill.  But will they? Here are 3 tips to help you get the most out of your homeowner’s insurance claim.   Know your limits, deductibles and what your coverage includes. Depending on your policy, your insurance company may or may not cover things like water damage. By reviewing your policy, you’ll know how much you can expect to pay out-of-pocket, which will help you decide which repairs are essential, and which can wait. You’ll also want to know whether your insurance company will pay actual cash value or replacement costs for personal property that has been damaged.  Cash value may not be enough to cover replacement costs so get the details before you rush out to replace everything. Document all of your damage. Take photos of EVERYTHING before you start cleaning up or starting any repairs.  Document damage to every item.  If you make any repairs before filing a claim, keep your receipts.  After you file your claim, typically your insurance company will send an adjuster to your home to provide an estimate of the damage, but this can be well after you’ve started the cleanup and repair process. Providing photos and documentation to your insurance company is essential to ensuring they can make the most accurate assessment of the damage. If you disagree with the insurance company’s estimate, and decide to dispute, know your rights under your policy. Usually there is an appeal procedure that should include your right to submit a second estimate by a public adjuster that you hire yourself.  This adjuster will work for you through the claim process to help ensure you get the full entitlement under your policy.

Hot Real Estate Market in an Icy April

The Spring market continues to buzz in Ottawa real estate, with the number of sales up over 13% in April in spite of inventory levels being down 23% over this time last year.  Home buyers are seeing more competition, which is good news for sellers.   Certainly we are seeing more multiple offers and higher sale prices, however, with prices still reasonable compared to income in Ottawa real estate these factors aren’t stopping buyers. Hot Real Estate Market in an Icy April  May 3, 2018 Highlights from the Ottawa Real Estate Board   “Full employment and reasonable house prices in proportion to incomes are fueling our market. Ottawa is not only a beautiful and dynamic capital but also one of the more affordable cities in Canada,” observes Ralph Shaw, Ottawa Real Estate Board President. “While prices and conditions do vary by area, the overall residential marketplace shows solid and steady performance on investment for homeowners, and offers a variety of property class options and price points for those looking to enter the market,” he advises. “While sales were strong this month, certain areas in Ottawa continue to experience limited supply with both condo and residential inventory down 23.7% from the same month last year. With our low inventory, potential sellers are reluctant to put their home on the market if they are uncertain of their ability to acquire another property.” “April’s colder than usual temperatures may have been one of the reasons potential sellers delayed listing their properties. However, there are other factors at play which are contributing to the lack of supply. Of course, the new mortgage stress test is affecting some homeowners who may no longer qualify to upsize their homes,” Shaw points out. “Further compounding the issue within Ottawa proper is a restricted supply of serviceable land, and thus fewer new build opportunities. We need both the new build and resale inventory to be robust enough to meet demand on a consistent basis,” he explains. “Moreover,” Shaw elaborates, “life adjustment sellers such as Boomers, lack suitable purchasing options due to urban engineering. Many of them do not want to live in downtown condominiums, preferring smaller homes with an attached garage and a decent sized yard where they can still host family BBQs and entertain. Our city council would benefit from the input of Ottawa’s long-serving REALTORS® who truly understand the variety of needs of local home buyers and sellers,” Shaw concludes.    

3 Tips For Making A Major Homeowners Insurance Claim

3 Tips For Making A Major Homeowners Insurance Claim Home insurance is one of the costs that come with home ownership. You pay your premiums to your insurance company and when disaster strikes, you expect that they will pay for most, if not all of the bill.  But will they? Here are 3 tips to help you get the most out of your homeowner’s insurance claim.   Know your limits, deductibles and what your coverage includes. Depending on your policy, your insurance company may or may not cover things like water damage. By reviewing your policy, you’ll know how much you can expect to pay out-of-pocket, which will help you decide which repairs are essential, and which can wait. You’ll also want to know whether your insurance company will pay actual cash value or replacement costs for personal property that has been damaged.  Cash value may not be enough to cover replacement costs so get the details before you rush out to replace everything. Document all of your damage. Take photos of EVERYTHING before you start cleaning up or begin repairs.  Document damage to every item.  If you make any repairs before filing a claim, keep your receipts.  After you file your claim, typically your insurance company will send an adjuster to your home to provide an estimate of the damage, but this can be well after you’ve started the cleanup and repair process. Providing photos and documentation to your insurance company is essential to ensuring they can make the most accurate assessment of the damage. If you disagree with the insurance company’s estimate, and decide to dispute, know your rights under your policy. Usually there is an appeal procedure that should include your right to submit a second estimate by a public adjuster that you hire yourself.  This adjuster will work for you through the claim process to help ensure you get the full entitlement under your policy.

Buying a Home: What The Extras Cost

Contracts and rentals to consider in home ownership When it comes to buying a home, there are always additional fees to be considering when you make an offer. Typically, a first-time home buyer needs to be aware of the costs associated with buying a home – legal fees, mortgage rates, home insurance, closing costs, property taxes, land transfer fees…But what about those little extras not everyone considers? The contracts and rentals associated with the home such as furnaces, hot water tanks, and in some locations even your septic tanks – and what that could cost you. The main point is to understand EXACTLY what you are buying. Some of these costs are minimal, and won’t make a significant impact on your decision when it comes to home buying. However, if you’re looking at a home that requires you to take over a rental furnace, for example, some furnace contracts can cost hundreds of dollars per month to maintain. What can you do to know what you’re getting yourself into before the costs start rising? To begin with, ensure that you have an experienced realtor who can go over all appliances, and their extra associated costs (such as a hot water rental tank). Then have your lawyer go over the information provided and share their opinion and expertise with you. Be sure to do your research when it comes to the costs of rental furnaces (if that is your situation) in the area that you are looking to purchase the home, and understand what their associated terms and costs are. Carefully consider all options when it comes to these expenses, and what exactly you agree to take over. Smaller appliances, such as hot water tank rentals, and propane tank rentals are relatively low cost/inexpensive to take over and have precise terms and conditions. When it comes to taking over a furnace or septic tank rental, be sure to thoroughly evaluate all the options in the contracts provided, as well as research the typical costs associated with such items.

Understanding Property Taxes

Property taxes are a necessary part of owning property in Ontario. Anyone in Ontario who owns land or a property has to pay a certain amount of tax to the municipal government. Although these taxes are unpopular, as all taxes are, property taxes are important because they are the main revenue source for Ontario’s municipalities. Property taxes are separate from other forms of taxes, and the amount that each person owes is based on a unique assessment for their particular property and the tax rate of the municipality the property is in. How property taxes are determined for each individual property is quite simple. Each municipality within Ontario has its own municipal tax rate, which is determined based on the municipality’s budget and expected revenue. Each municipality also has an education tax rate, which helps to pay for schools and related services within the municipality. These education tax rates can vary within a municipality, depending on where a property is located in relation to schools. On an individual level, every property in Ontario has an assessed value based on property assessments that are carried out periodically. In order to find the total amount of property taxes owed, a simple formula is followed. The municipal tax rate is added to the education tax rate that is applicable for the particular property (and in some cases other taxes are applied as well), and then the result is multiplied by the property’s assessed value. The resulting amount is the total property tax that you will owe for the year. For clarity, an example is below:   Property’s Current Value (by assessment): $285,000.00 Total Tax Rate: 1.05% Property Taxes Owed: $2,992.50   It can be tricky to find details of the municipal tax rate in your area, especially since it can vary on what type of property you own, but there are also estimators online to help you with your budgeting. When tax time comes you will also receive a notice of the amount you owe from your municipal government, so you do not need to worry about sending in the wrong amount.   If you live in a part of the province that is not incorporated into a municipality, the process for determining your total property taxes is very similar. The only difference is that you will multiply your property’s assessed value by the provincial land tax, instead of an individual municipality’s property tax value. Generally, the provincial land tax is lower than that of incorporated municipalities.   It is important to remember property tax when it comes to budgeting for tax time, and it is always a good idea to use an estimator to get an idea of what you will have to pay, so that you are not caught off-guard by an unexpectedly higher rate.

Understanding Property Taxes

Property taxes are a necessary, though disliked part of owning property in Ontario. Anyone in Ontario who owns land or a property has to pay a certain amount of tax to the municipal government. Although these taxes are unpopular, as all taxes are, property taxes are important because they are the main revenue source for Ontario’s municipalities. Property taxes are separate from other forms of taxes, and the amount that each person owes is based on a unique assessment for their particular property and the tax rate of the municipality the property is in.   How property taxes are determined for each individual property is quite simple. Each municipality within Ontario has its own municipal tax rate, which is determined based on the municipality’s budget and expected revenue. Each municipality also has an education tax rate, which helps to pay for schools and related services within the municipality. These education tax rates can vary within a municipality, depending on where a property is located in relation to schools. On an individual level, every property in Ontario has an assessed value based on property assessments that are carried out periodically. In order to find the total amount of property taxes owed, a simple formula is followed. The municipal tax rate is added to the education tax rate that is applicable for the particular property (and in some cases other taxes are applied as well), and then the result is multiplied by the property’s assessed value. The resulting amount is the total property tax that you will owe for the year. For clarity, an example is below:   Property’s Current Value (by assessment): $285,000.00 Total Tax Rate: 1.05% Property Taxes Owed: $2,992.50   It can be tricky to find details of the municipal tax rate in your area, especially since it can vary on what type of property you own, but there are also estimators online to help you with your budgeting. When tax time comes you will also receive a notice of the amount you owe from your municipal government, so you do not need to worry about sending in the wrong amount.   If you live in a part of the province that is not incorporated into a municipality, the process for determining your total property taxes is very similar. The only difference is that you will multiply your property’s assessed value by the provincial land tax, instead of an individual municipality’s property tax value. Generally, the provincial land tax is lower than that of incorporated municipalities.   It is important to remember property tax when it comes to budgeting for tax time, and it is always a good idea to use an estimator to get an idea of what you will have to pay, so that you are not caught off-guard by an unexpectedly higher rate.

What Home Buyers Should be Looking for When Viewing a Property

You’ve done your research, found the perfect Realtor, crunched the numbers, created your list of must-haves and now it’s time to start the exciting process of HOUSE HUNTING! When you’re looking at homes for sale it isn’t always easy to look past the cosmetics.  Not to worry, we’ve created this handy graphic to help home buyers to stay focused.

What Home Buyers Should be Looking for When Viewing a Property

You’ve done your research, found the perfect Realtor, crunched the numbers, created your list of must-haves and now it’s time to start the exciting process of HOUSE HUNTING! When you’re looking at homes for sale it isn’t always easy to look beyond the cosmetics.  Not to worry, we’ve created this handy graphic to help home buyers to stay focused.

All About Homeowner’s Associations

When looking to buy a home, there are many options. Last week, we took a look at condos as compared to freehold properties but what about a freehold home with a homeowner’s association? In many cases, a homeowner’s association can appear very similar to a condo but this is not actually the case. It is very important to understand these differences before buying into a home with a homeowner’s association. Differences Between a Condo and Homeowner’s Association If you purchase a condo, you are purchasing your unit along with a share of the common element(s). These could include green spaces, amenities, private roads, or services and they are jointly owned by all condo owners. In the case of a homeowner’s association, those common elements are owned by a third party and your monthly homeowner’s association fees are paid to cover their maintenance and to allow usage of these amenities. In a homeowner’s association, you own your home and property but pay to use these common elements. Payment for these common elements is not usually optional so it is important to consider the cost and whether or not you will actually take advantage of them. Homeowner’s Association Fees Just like condos, homeowner’s association fees can vary dramatically depending on the amenities. They are generally charged monthly and go to cover anything from a parking lot or green space, or an amenity like a pool, golf course, or tennis court. The more that is offered, the higher the homeowner’s association fee. Restrictions Like a condo, a homeowner’s association may impose restrictions  or bylaws. These restrictions can include exterior modifications, pets, or even people (some homeowner’s associations will not allow children to stay for long periods if the community is geared towards adult living). These restrictions can be strict so it is important ensure that the homeowner’s association bylaws fit your lifestyle. Perks of Buying a Home in a Home Owner’s Association Amenities – Some home owner’s associations offer great amenities. Ongoing Maintenance – Depending on what your homeowner’s association covers, it may mean that certain aspects of your property, or the property around your home is maintained. This can include snow removal and landscaping. Before You Buy As a buyer, you will need to sign a “Joint Use Agreement” and it is important to review this carefully to ensure that you fully understand the details of the homeowner’s association. By signing this agreement, you are agreeing to pay all monthly fees and abide by any bylaws that have been put into place. With all real estate transactions, it is important to work with a Realtor. A Realtor will be able to guide you through the decision making process to ensure that you know what you are buying.

Clean, Clean, Let it be Spring!

Spring Clean-Up Time in the Capital As spring speckles and the snow begins to melt, it’s time to get busy cleaning up our capital after Jack Frost’s long hold over us. Littered across this beautiful city, left out in the winter’s cold we’ll find discarded coffee cups, old cigarette butts, stray plastic bags and papers – the list could continue ad infinitum. Something about winter’s frozen grip seems to allow this build up of trash, so it’s only natural that the sun’s welcomed melt brings along with it a much needed clean up. The Capital region has a month-long challenge called Cleaning the Capital, sponsored by GLAD, which runs from mid-April to mid-May. By registering your clean-up project, cleaning supplies will be provided to your group. The official Capital Cleanup Weekend is April 27,2018 to April 29,2018 but your project does not have to take place during this weekend to be counted. The deadline to register for GLAD’s Cleanup project is May 15th, with May 31st being the deadline to submit your online cleanup report. Although the above is a wonderful initiative to get involved within your community, it is not the only way to be a part of this year’s Spring Cleaning season. Keeping your community clean, and helping your neighbourhood shine is not always a sanctioned event, that must be done in a certain way. Every single individual could unofficially participate in helping the community sparkle once again. Simply make the effort to pick up litter when you see it, grab that floating plastic bag on your morning walk and take it home with you. Bring an extra plastic bag when you take the kids to the park and pick up garbage along the way, throw that empty coffee cup into the recycling bin, or empty that car ashtray into a garbage bag at home. Community clean ups don’t often require largely sanctioned events, although they are extremely helpful. Every individual can help do their part, just one piece of trash at a time. Take care of your neighbourhood, so the light and beauty it provides, can take care of you.  

All About Condos

When it comes time to buy a home, more and more people are making the decision to buy condos instead of a freehold home. Condos can be a great option if they match up with a buyer’s lifestyle, but it is important to do your research and know the differences between a freehold home and condo before you make the final decision of which to purchase. There are many different types of condos but they all have one thing in common: shared ownership of at least one common element. This element could be the building itself, in the case of an apartment building, or it could be a green space, private street, or an amenity like a pool. It is important that you do your research before buying a condo to understand exactly what you are buying. Condo Fees  When you purchase a condo, you will be required to pay a monthly condo fee to pay for the shared element along with the fees associated with managing the condo. Condo fees can vary dramatically between different condos depending on the shared elements. As a general rule, the more amenities and services a condo provides, the higher the condo fee. Condo Restrictions Condos generally have their own set of bylaws which govern the entire condo. Some can be incredibly restrictive while others are very minimal. A person who has exclusive ownership of a home can do anything they want with the house or surrounding grounds, within the limits of local by-laws of course. Condo owners, on the other hand, are sometimes limited in the changes they are allowed to make to their property. This can range from simple restrictions on renovations that affect the home’s outside, to limitations on exterior decorations and even decorations that can be seen from the front windows, depending on how strict the rules are for an individual condo. These rules are set out by the condo association that oversees the condo, and are heavily dependent on the individual condo location. As shared owner of the condo and all that goes with it, each individual owner has a vote in decisions that affect all condos, but this rarely includes altering rules that have already been established. Perks of Buying a Condo Amenities – Some condos offer exciting amenities such as pools, fitness rooms, and party rooms. Insurance – Most condo fees cover some form of insurance on your unit, whether an apartment or detached home. This will reduce your monthly personal insurance costs. Restrictions can be good – Depending on what you are looking for, restrictions can be a good thing as it keeps the neighbourhood looking cohesive and can restrict the likelihood of an “eye sore” appearing. Major Maintenance – Some condo fees include the maintenance of all exterior components of your unit including the roof, windows, siding, and bricks. These can be major expenses for home owners. Ongoing Maintenance – Some condo fees cover ongoing maintenance fees such as snow removal, lawn mowing and landscaping.

March Market Snapshot

Buyers Get a Jump on the Spring Market April 5, 2018 Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,660 residential properties in March through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 1,478 in March 2017, an increase of 12.3 per cent. The five-year average for March sales is 1,339. March’s sales included 358 in the condominium property class and 1,302 in the residential property class. “Inventory continues to fall below normal average, but we are still seeing more sales than last year because listings are not staying on the market,” states Ralph Shaw, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. “Properties that are priced well are selling quickly with days on market dropping to an average of 43 days from an average of 54 days on market in March 2017.” The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in March in the Ottawa area was $447,561, an increase of 8 per cent over March 2017. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $275,592, an increase of 0.7 per cent from March 2017. 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. Price and conditions will vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood. “The most active price point in the residential market continues to be the $300,000 to $449,999 range, accounting for 46 per cent of the market. In addition, the $500,000 to $750,000 market is a price point that is showing robust growth representing 21 per cent of the residential homes sold in March,” Shaw acknowledges. “In the condominium market, between $175,000 and $274,999 is the most buoyant price point, accounting for 51 per cent of the market. We continue to believe it is due to low interest rates and the lack of supply of rental inventory pushing renters into the market,” he adds. “Overall, as a result of the stable pricing in the condominium market and reasonable increases of 8 per cent in the residential market, Ottawa continues to be a healthy and vibrant real estate market,” Shaw concludes. In addition to residential and condominium sales, OREB Members assisted clients with renting 551 properties since the beginning of the year.

March Market Snapshot

Buyers Get a Jump on the Spring Market April 5, 2018 Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,660 residential properties in March through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 1,478 in March 2017, an increase of 12.3 per cent. The five-year average for March sales is 1,339. March’s sales included 358 in the condominium property class and 1,302 in the residential property class. “Inventory continues to fall below normal average, but we are still seeing more sales than last year because listings are not staying on the market,” states Ralph Shaw, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. “Properties that are priced well are selling quickly with days on market dropping to an average of 43 days from an average of 54 days on market in March 2017.” The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in March in the Ottawa area was $447,561, an increase of 8 per cent over March 2017. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $275,592, an increase of 0.7 per cent from March 2017. 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. Price and conditions will vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood. “The most active price point in the residential market continues to be the $300,000 to $449,999 range, accounting for 46 per cent of the market. In addition, the $500,000 to $750,000 market is a price point that is showing robust growth representing 21 per cent of the residential homes sold in March,” Shaw acknowledges. “In the condominium market, between $175,000 and $274,999 is the most buoyant price point, accounting for 51 per cent of the market. We continue to believe it is due to low interest rates and the lack of supply of rental inventory pushing renters into the market,” he adds. “Overall, as a result of the stable pricing in the condominium market and reasonable increases of 8 per cent in the residential market, Ottawa continues to be a healthy and vibrant real estate market,” Shaw concludes. In addition to residential and condominium sales, OREB Members assisted clients with renting 551 properties since the beginning of the year.

March Market Snapshot

Buyers Get a Jump on the Spring Market taken from the Ottawa Real Estate Board  April 5, 2018 Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,660 residential properties in March through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 1,478 in March 2017, an increase of 12.3 per cent. The five-year average for March sales is 1,339. March’s sales included 358 in the condominium property class and 1,302 in the residential property class. “Inventory continues to fall below normal average, but we are still seeing more sales than last year because listings are not staying on the market,” states Ralph Shaw, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. “Properties that are priced well are selling quickly with days on market dropping to an average of 43 days from an average of 54 days on market in March 2017.” The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in March in the Ottawa area was $447,561, an increase of 8 per cent over March 2017. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $275,592, an increase of 0.7 per cent from March 2017. 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. Price and conditions will vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood. “The most active price point in the residential market continues to be the $300,000 to $449,999 range, accounting for 46 per cent of the market. In addition, the $500,000 to $750,000 market is a price point that is showing robust growth representing 21 per cent of the residential homes sold in March,” Shaw acknowledges. “In the condominium market, between $175,000 and $274,999 is the most buoyant price point, accounting for 51 per cent of the market. We continue to believe it is due to low interest rates and the lack of supply of rental inventory pushing renters into the market,” he adds. “Overall, as a result of the stable pricing in the condominium market and reasonable increases of 8 per cent in the residential market, Ottawa continues to be a healthy and vibrant real estate market,” Shaw concludes. In addition to residential and condominium sales, OREB Members assisted clients with renting 551 properties since the beginning of the year.

Buyers Toolkit – Springtime

Buyers Toolkit – Springtime Spring is in the air, and the real-estate market is ramping up for the beginning of buyers’ season.  Things tend to move faster in the spring and houses for sale are often sold shortly after they are listed.  As a potential home buyer, it is important to be prepared as possible before you start looking at potential homes – that way, the chance of losing your “dream home” to another buyer is greatly decreased. You may be wondering … “What are some of the important things that can help you stay on-top of, and ahead of this year’s spring market?”  Have no fear, in this toolkit we have everything you need to know, and do, to make the buying experience go smoothly for you! Your “Tools”-What you want to be prepared with ahead of time: Mortgage Information & Pre-approval Find out what mortgage you qualify for, and get your mortgage pre-qualification.  By taking this step you’ll know exactly what you can afford to buy and when you’re ready to make an offer, you can be confident knowing you are staying within your financial boundaries.  A financing condition is pretty standard in an agreement of purchase and sale; after your offer is accepted by the seller the time you have to meet the conditions is best spent finalizing your financing on a specific property rather than starting the approval process. A Realtor Although that seems like a no-brainer, making sure you have hired the realtor who is right for you is very important when it comes to purchasing a home.  Do some research, ask questions, interview a few realtors, check online profiles and reviews.  You’ll be spending a lot of time with your real estate agent; make sure you trust them, that they’re knowledgeable and that you’re comfortable with them.  Quick and easy contact with your agent is another key piece when it comes to signing and sealing a deal. Your List of Needs vs. Wants Knowing what you’ll need in your future home, and things that you want (your wish-list) is one of the most important aspects when it comes to looking for a new home. Needs are things that you must have in your new home (e.g. minimum number of bedrooms, a yard for the dog, a safe neighbourhood) whereas the wants’ or your “wish-list” are things you don’t necessarily need, but you’d like to have (Example: Granite countertops).  Your “must-have” list will help you rule out homes for sale that aren’t suited for your needs rather than spending valuable time on those that don’t.  This process can also open up your search options if some of the things on your need list actually turn out to be wants. Pro-Con List It’s important to keep a list of the pros’ and cons’ of each property that you visit, in order to have a better recollection of the home that is best suited for your family. Remember to check small details in each home, like testing the

Landlords and Legalization: What budding weed laws may mean for Landlord

Landlords and Legalization: What budding weed laws may mean for Landlords With the legalization of marijuana on the horizon, property owners of rental units are wondering what that will mean for them. As all the rules and regulations surrounding cannabis use have yet to be ironed out, it’s only natural that landlords are beginning express concern, or in some cases excitement surrounding the opportunities legalization will present. The legalization of medical cannabis passed in 2001, but as Canada moves forward to legalize the use of cannabis across the country, there are many different views surrounding the changes. With multiple angles to consider, it’s no wonder that landlords across the country are beginning to question, challenge, and prepare for the pending legalization. What are the pro and con sides of the debate surrounding legalization for landlords, and how might rental properties be affected by the new legislation? Firstly, one of the stipulations surrounding the new legislations is that marijuana can only be smoked in private residences. With this stipulation, there are two clear opinions stemming from landlords surrounding the pending legalisations: Against – due to questions of property value, maintenance, and lack of control over their rental units For legalisation – viewing legalisation as an opportunity in the rental market, as there will be a need to fill Looking initially at those against legalization, and their concerns surrounding property values, costs of fumigation, and loss of control within their rental units, it is understandable why landlords are questioning how they will be able to control their properties once smoking weed becomes a legal right, contained to private residences. Much like how many landlords have clauses surrounding not allowing pets within their units, it is likely that there will be a surge in rental units that are anti-weed smoking, meaning that tenants are not permitted to smoke weed in these units. Although it is a tricky situation to regulate, as smoking weed is going to be a legal right, it is possible to see landlords increasing their rents, and tightening up conditions of leases in order to accommodate the new legislation and the costs that could be ensued. In the same way that landlords try and regulate the type and number of pets permitted in each unit, it is possible that they will attempt to make these same regulations surrounding marijuana in order to protect their property from damages, the need to fumigate, and to ensure the well being and happiness of al their tenants. A potential surge in rent increases could lead renters to be searching for weed-friendly apartments, (much like pet-friendly apartments), which could see a rise in vacancies in some places, along with some renters seeking out the option to purchase a private residence in order to enjoy their space freely, and as they see fit. On the other hand, some landlords are viewing this new legislation as an opportunity to take advantage of what will be a need in the market, much like those who take advantage of the

Wanted: Ottawa Homes for Sale

Wanted: Ottawa Homes For Sale When the calendar rolled over into 2018 many real estate experts across Canada were speculating the housing market to “cool off” with  tighter mortgage rules and higher interest rates impacting home buyers.  While that may be the case in other real estate markets,  in the Ottawa Real Estate market the biggest factor in February’s 2.8% drop in the number of sales (year over year), is that listing inventory is scarce. “There is no doubt our sales number would have been much higher if we had more properties available for sale.  Buyer demand is there, but our inventory in both residential class and condos continues to decline.  This is creating a supply side issue in the Ottawa real estate market”   -Ralph Shaw, OREB President The Ottawa Real Estate board’s recently released statistics show that home buyers are still actively searching for properties  in spite of the low inventory, which is a trend that is continuing from 2017.  F If the decrease in supply in both the residential and condo markets continues into the Spring,  it may put an upward pressure on prices.  If you are thinking of selling this is a great time to get your home on the market. Below we’ve included the latest news release from the Ottawa Real Estate Board.   Please note: 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.  We have access to current statistics and trends in our neighbourhoods and communities, it’s our job to stay on top of the market trends!  We have up to date Real Estate Market Reports readily available for you and we love to chat real estate – contact us anytime! News Release Below:  March 5, 2018 Posted by the Ottawa Real Estate Board Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 979 residential properties in February through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 1,002 in February 2017, a decrease of 2.3 per cent. The five-year average for February sales is 922. February’s sales included 250 in the condominium property class and 729 in the residential property class. “There is no doubt our sales numbers would have been much higher if we had more properties available for sale. Buyer demand is there, but our inventory in both residential-class and condos continues to decline. This is creating a supply side issue in the Ottawa real estate market,” concludes Ottawa Real Estate Board President, Ralph Shaw. “If this trend continues, the market will move to favour sellers, and buyers will find themselves competing for a limited number of listings.” “Compounding the supply issue is the fact that after a record year last year, new construction is hindered getting to market because builders just cannot find enough land as a result of the urban boundary and land prices going up,” Shaw points out. “Given this environment, it’s a good opportunity

New Mortgage Rules – Renewing and Refinancing

New Mortgage Rules – Renewing and Refinancing January 1st, 2018 Canada’s new mortgage rules came into effect and it was big news. These new rules appear to have the greatest impact on those looking to qualify for a new mortgage but if you are looking to renew or refinance your mortgage, you may be impacted as well. At the centre of the new rules is a stress test requiring applicants to qualify at a rate at least 2% higher than the rate they will be paying, regardless of the down payment they are making on the home. The new rules may limit your options but rest assured, you will not lose your mortgage over these changes. Mortgage Renewals If your mortgage is up for renewal, lenders do not need to apply the stress test to renew an existing mortgage. This means that as long as you stay with the same lender and don’t change any of the terms of your mortgage, you will have no problems. But, if you want to shop around for the best rate, you will need to pass the stress test with any other financial institution. This may limit your options and may force some Canadians to accept a higher or uncompetitive rate if they are unable to pass the stress test. Mortgage Refinancing If you are planning on refinancing your mortgage, even if it is with the same lender, you will need to qualify at the higher stress test rates. This will affect Canadians who are looking to borrow money against their homes for renovations or repairs. If you are looking to refinance, you will have to qualify for the new loan at a rate that is 2% higher than your existing rate. This may mean that some Canadians may have to settle for a smaller loan or forego plans altogether. Take Aways The most important thing to remember not to panic, you will not lose your home over these new rules.  Many Canadians will be able to pass the stress test for renewals and refinancing, but in any case as long as you stay with your existing lender, you will remain approved for the entire term of the mortgage.  To better understand how these changes may affect you, it is always advisable to speak to your mortgage broker or bank well before your renewal date;  it is best to understand your options in advance. If you are looking to buy a home in 2018,  especially in the Ottawa real estate market,  getting your financing in order before you start serious house hunting, is increasingly important.  It will help you act quickly and with confidence when you find your dream home!  Let us know how we can help!

Is it time to invest in a second “nest”?

College students, and living options   If you’re the parent of a college/university age student, and you haven’t considered it yet, perhaps now is the time you will. As spring is just around the corner, it’s time to think about what investments you can make, and an investment that shouldn’t be overlooked is buying a home. More specifically, buying a home for your college-aged student to live in during school. Should you purchase a home in your students’ university/college town for them to live in during their schooling? What are the benefits, and drawbacks of investing in a second home? Would this investment bring you a profit? These questions, and many others are part of considering getting a home for your student to live in.   Why buy a home for your student? College and university are expensive endeavours no matter what you do, but with a little planning, you can find ways to cut corners and minimize costs. One of the ways that can be done would be by purchasing a home for your student to live in while they’re in school. By buying a home, you have a hand in your students’ quality of life, and are involved in their living situation (in terms of sketchy roommates, and sneaky landlords). Your student can learn the responsibility of owning a home, without burdening all of the financial costs (as they would have roommates), as well as ensuring they have a stable living situation, that has fewer costs than finding an apartment to rent throughout their school years.   What are the benefits of buying your student a home? There are a multitude of benefits that come along with buying a home for your student to live in including, but not limited to: having stability in their housing, fixed expenses, and the rental income that can come from having roommates. If you have more than one student enrolled, having a place they can both live is easier than having them both go apartment hunting. Their friends can become their roommates (and your tenants), which can allow the mortgage to be paid, and then some.   Depending on the size of the home, the income from having tenants along with your children, is that their rent will not only cover the mortgage, but any other maintenance related expenses that your student would need to pay for, or work for, such as the cost of snow-removal. Having a fixed bill payment each month will allow your student to further understand how bills are paid, what the true cost of living is, and how to properly budget. There are so many benefits in the option of buying a home for your student to live in, but a major benefit is removing the costly expense of moving, and storing furniture year after year. In many university towns, students who return home for the summer need to leave their current lease, and pay for 4 months of summer when they won’t be living there. Many

Ottawa Real Estate Market Update : Low Inventory Continues Into 2018

The Ottawa Real Estate board’s recently released statistics show that home buyers are still actively searching for properties.   Sales were up over 7% (year over year) in spite of the low inventory, which is a trend that is continuing from 2017.  January 2018 listings 994 (RES) and 406 (CONDO) compared with the 5 year 1,396 for residential and 500 for condominiums.   If the decrease in supply in both the residential and condo markets continues into the Spring,  it may put an upward pressure on prices.  If you are thinking of selling this is a great time to get your home on the market. Below we’ve included the latest news release from the Ottawa Real Estate Board.   Please note: 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.  We have access to current statistics and trends in our neighbourhoods and communities, it’s our job to stay on top of the market trends!  We have up to date Real Estate Market Reports readily available for you and we love to chat real estate – contact us anytime! News release from the Ottawa Real Estate Board  OTTAWA, Feb. 5, 2018 Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 712 residential properties in January through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 664 in January 2017, an increase of 7.2 per cent. The five-year average for January sales is 638. “While January is typically the month we see the lowest number of listings come onto the market, the numbers for this month are very low,” Rick Eisert, 2017 President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board, observes. “The five-year average for new listings in January is 1,396 for residential and 500 for condominiums. January 2018’s listings were at 994 and 406 respectively.” “We saw this trend throughout 2017, and the result is our resale market is being challenged by decreasing supply in both the residential and condo markets. Furthermore, as the supply continues to be reduced, it will tend to put an upward pressure on prices. This is simple supply and demand economics,” he adds. The average sale price of a residential class property sold in January in the Ottawa area was $427,487, an increase of 8.8 per cent over January 2017. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $263,744, a decrease of 8.6 per cent from January 2017. 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. Price and conditions will vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood. January’s sales included 173 in the condominium property class and 539 in the residential property class. “Sales in the residential property class this month were on par

Winterlude 2018

The Winter months in the Capital are arguably some of the most enjoyable for its residents and their families. Christmas has passed, yuletide memories have been made, and we’ve welcomed the New Year with wide opened arms. And with the anticipation of new beginnings in 2018, we take in a deep breath of fresh, brisk air and bundle up to embrace what this year has to offer; including the great outdoors. In fact, with the many winter-filled activities that our City and surrounding areas have to offer this Winterlude season, it’s nearly impossible to sit idle as the cold passes us by. Here are a few activities that you and your family can partake in this winter to celebrate Winterlude’s 40th birthday year:   Lansdowne’s Winter Garden: beginning February 2nd and ongoing to the 19th, Lansdowne Park at Aberdeen Square will be transformed into a “glowing winter garden of sculpted snow and lanterns”. Bring your friends, your families and your hot chocolates as you walk through and enjoy this open space of winter magic.   Confederation Park: quite possibly Winterlude’s centerpiece. Throughout the duration of this year’s festivities, Confederation Park will once again become our City’s central space of enchantment and masterpiece. Open daily from 9AM-11PM (and on February 19th from 8AM-5PM) the Park’s Crystal Garden will have you in awe as renowned Canadian artists turn simple blocks of ice into magnificent works of art.   Snowflake Kingdom: 350 Laurier Street in Gatineau is now home to the Ice Hog Family – Winterlude’s favourite mascots. Surrounded by a vast winter playground of several activities and Canadian winter traditions (including the legendary Super Slides), the Snowflake Kingdom is the spot for you and the kids! Check out the park’s hours of operation and special events here!   Sens Rink of Dreams: Who’s up for a leisurely skate, a delicious Beaver Tail and a stroll through the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame? If these activities sound like your ideal winter’s day, then City Hall is calling your name. Located directly across from the heart of Winterlude at Confederation Park, the Marion Dewar Plaza at City Hall is the perfect spot for you and the family to enjoy some quality time and create some lasting memories. On-site skate rentals are available!   Winterlude officially launches on February 2nd at 9:30AM at Jacques-Cartier Park North. Be sure to dress warm and bring the family along to meet the Ice Hog Family at Snowflake Kingdom to kick-start 2 weeks of fun-filled festivities! 40 never looked so good!    

SPRING into ACTION: Buyers

BUYERS Spring hasn’t begun to crack through the winter thaw, but that doesn’t mean there’s time to wait if you’re planning on purchasing a home this spring. Be prepared for the Spring Market, and ensure your home buying experience is a great one by organizing your paper work, mortgages, ideal houses, and pricing ahead of time. Spring into this home-buying season ready to buy, so that house you’ve been dreaming of, doesn’t land in the hands of another buyer. Credit Check A credit score is a numerical representation of your credit report, and having good credit is like gold when obtaining a mortgage. Spend some time understanding where your credit falls, as credit scores range from 300-850, and the higher the score you have, the better. If there are any issues with your credit score, now is the time to work at repairing them (paying bills on time, getting a raise in your credit limit etc.) It’s not recommended to begin opening new credit cards, as opening new credit may hurt your score in applying for a mortgage, or lower your opportunity of getting the best rate on a loan. Mortgages & Interest Rates A key to a good mortgage, is a lower interest rate. However, not everyone gets the same interest rate on a mortgage, as it is dependent on your credit, and your mortgage lender. Talk to a mortgage lender to learn if you can afford to buy a home at this point, what the price range you can afford is, and what interest rates are currently being offered. Make an appointment with your bank provider, or with a mortgage associate to get a full understanding of how mortgages work, and what you should expect. Once you’ve had these meetings, and your finances have been reviewed, you can be “pre-approved” for a mortgage and confidently show sellers that you can buy their home. To prepare to get pre-approved, gather together your financial documents (listed below) in advance of the actual home-purchase. Last 2 years of tax returns T4 forms for the past 2 years Paycheck stubs from the past 6 months Proof of rent and/or mortgage payments for the past year A list of all debts, student loans, credit cards, automobile loans etc. A list of all assets (bank statements, automobile titles, investments etc.) Contact A Realtor: Realtors are professionals when it comes to the processes of both buying, and selling homes.  Your choice of realtor can make the difference between finding the house you like, and finding the house you LOVE.  Realtors have a wealth of knowledge, and experience, so while you are in search, take the recommendations that come from friends and family into consideration, and interview those that have the right experience for you. You want to look for an agent who is knowledgeable, motivated, and can assist you with your goal of homeownership. Finding a good realtor is a vital to your end goal of purchasing a home.

SPRING into ACTION: Sellers

SELLERS Now’s the time to spring into action if you’re a prospective home seller. Getting your home prepared for the spring market now, will help you move quickly and efficiently  when the time comes to list. Spring is the optimum time to sell a home, as the largest numbers of buyers are actively searching for a new home during the months of April, May, and June. If you’re looking for tips, tricks, and ideas to get your home market ready, then you’ve come to the right place! Purge & Pack: What better way to clear out the winter blues, than to clear out the clutter in your home. Take this as a reason to stay warm inside, as you begin to go through attics, closets, basement, and/or garages to determine what to keep, what to donate, and what could be packed away early. Decluttering and depersonalizing are both important steps in preparing your home. Boxing up items will make your space look larger, and neater when it comes time to putting your house on the market, and will stop you from unnecessarily moving unneeded clutter from your current home, to the next. Renovations: Major renovations aren’t necessary to sell your home, however small, DIY projects around the house can increase value, while also making your home look more appeal to potential buyers. Some quick fixes can include, but aren’t limited to: replacing old doorknobs, replacing stray cabinet handles to ensure consistency across your kitchen, replacing the caulk in your bathroom (tub, shower, around the sink), updating light fixtures and ensuring all bulbs have been replaced, or even repainting the trim throughout your house. These small projects and many others can deliver big returns in the end. For more small DIY home projects/renovations that you could use in your home, check sites like Pinterest, for details. Clean: Let yourself be stung by the “spring cleaning” bug early, and start looking at the “overlooked” areas of your home. Open the windows to let the fresh air circulate, make sure your baseboards are clean, and your heaters are dust free. Adding that bit of sparkle is free, and goes a long way when it comes to selling your home. Wash the inside and outside of all your windows, and be sure to polish up all mirrors, as that extra attention both brightens your home, and makes it more inviting for buyers. Once you’ve cleaned all those hard to reach places, prepare yourself for the staging of your home. Stage The most important part of selling your home, is to set the stage so potential buyers can fantasize, and envision your home as their own. Once your home is on the market, you’ll need to be keeping it as clean as possible, almost encouraging the idea that “no one lives here”. Home staging is about creating an illusion, to create a comfortable, inviting atmosphere, that allows potential buyers to feel at “home” in your home. Use towels, throws, and pillows in light, soft spring

An Era of Change: 2018

An Era of Change: 2018  Canadian real estate is in an era of change.  2017 closed with a bang, as we saw some of the largest increases in real estate prices in nearly a decade. The curiosity now turns to 2018, and what can we expect to see in Ottawa, and across Canada. Ottawa is climbing the list as a hot spot for home buyers this year, joining popular cities like Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.  Ottawa may hold an even higher interest for buyers, where real estate prices are significantly lower than areas such as Toronto and Vancouver. The pool of potential home buyers shows a steady increase  by individuals able to work remotely  who are not limited by commute time when choosing where to buy a home.  This growth trend is expected to continue throughout 2018. With a variety in communities, opportunities, and availability, the Ottawa area has a lot to offer to potential buyers. Whether they’re looking for a quiet home in the suburbs of Kanata or Barrhaven, a property in one of the many smaller communities within a 30 minute drive (Carleton Place, Arnprior, Manotick, Stittsville, Carp, just to name a few) or condo in the Byward Market, Westboro, Centretown, or the Glebe;  Ottawa creates new opportunities for growth and change. Experts are predicting that real estate markets in Quebec, Alberta, and British Columbia will likely see a solid year of increase, while the market in Atlantic Canada will remain stable and subdued. As the changes to mortgage rules came into effect January 1, 2018, we will likely begin see a shift in the pace of the market here in the Ottawa real estate market, and across the country.  While impact of the regulations will not go unnoticed, Ottawa prices are expected to rise, albeit at a slower pace compared to 2017.  Experts predict a less than a 10% increase in the value of homes this year; protecting home owner’s equity, while giving home buyers an opportunity to find affordable housing in and around the nation’s capital. 2017 was dubbed the “the Year of the Condo”  as many real estate markets across Canada saw a significant boost in condominium sales; we may continue to see a shift from large homes, to smaller living spaces. Condominiums will be 2018’s hot trend, experts say, driven by millennials entering the real estate market and by baby-boomers downsizing.  Ottawa offers a variety of prospects in this regard, with the focus shifting to “life-style”, not just what’s behind the front door.   As interest in these smaller living spaces grows, we’re seeing more buyers searching for the “right fit”, as their community becomes an important extension of their home. This factor gives Ottawa an advantage across the city, with its’ diverse and ever-growing communities.  Almost every community across the city holds its’ own unique possibilities, and people, while the vast availability ensures that everyone can find a place to call home.  Reach out to us at info@teamrealty.ca for detailed market statistics, neighhourhood trends and information about what 2018 will hold for home buyers and sellers alike.  Check in with

A Strong Finish for Ottawa’s Real Estate Market in 2017

2017 was quite a year in the Ottawa Real Estate market; record breaking numbers in units sold (condominium sales up over 22%) and double digit (percentage) increases in average sale price in several neighbourhoods, Canada 150 (or should we say Ottawa 150?!) was anything but average! Below we’ve included the latest news release from the Ottawa Real Estate Board.   Please note: 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.  We have access to current statistics and trends in our neighbourhoods and communities, it’s our job to stay on top of the market trends!  We have up to date Real Estate Market Reports readily available for you and we love to chat real estate – contact us anytime! From the Ottawa Real Estate Board: January 4th, 2018  Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 771 residential properties in December through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 711 in December 2016, an increase of 8.4 per cent. The five-year average for December sales is 687. December’s sales included 205 in the condominium property class and 566 in the residential property class. The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in December was $434,098, an increase of 3.4 per cent over December 2016. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $255,335, a decrease of three per cent from December 2016. “December saw an increase of 8.4 per cent in the number of units sold in residential sales and 25 per cent in condo sales. This could very well be attributed to the changes in the mortgage qualification rules implemented January 1, 2018,” speculates Ralph Shaw, 2018 President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. “2017 was another solid year for the Ottawa Real Estate market in both the number of transactions as well as the reasonable increase in prices, about seven per cent in residential and three per cent in the condo market,” Shaw acknowledges. “We continue to have a stable and balanced market. Although inventory tracked low all year and new listings were down each month, new home supply counteracted the impact somewhat.” The total number of residential and condo units sold through the Board’s MLS® System throughout all of 2017 was 17,083, compared with 15,526 in 2016, an increase of ten per cent. Overall, residential sales volume was up 16 per cent. “In 2017, the condo market rebounded with a 22 per cent increase in the number of units sold, which is quite significant. The relatively flat increase in prices suggests that we found the ideal price point in which to move the units,” Shaw concludes. “As for residential sales, there was a good availability of product under $500,000 considering almost 10,000 out of approximately 13,500 residential units sold fell in that range.” 2017’s average residential sale price was $425,063, an increase of 6.8 per cent

2017 Recap!

2017 was an amazing year for Real Estate in Ottawa! Records were broken and property values continue to increase. As the year comes to a close, let’s take a look back at some of the highlights with our Top 20 Blog Posts of 2017! #20 – Understanding Multiple Offers This year the Ottawa market became more competitive than ever before and multiple offers have become far more common. Here are some helpful hints to help you navigate multiple offers! #19 – Pets and Real Estate New research emerged this year showing that more and more homeowners are making housing decisions with their furry friends in mind while others are avoiding homes where pets have lived. Let’s look at the impact of pets and how they can affect real estate. #18 – Your Home and Winter Travels It’s at this time of year that many of us choose to get away; whether it’s visiting family for the holidays or heading somewhere sunny and warm, there are certain things you must consider before leaving your home for an extended period of time. #17 – Buying a New Home It seems that everywhere you turn, builders are building new homes around Ottawa. Deciding between a new home or a resale home can be challenging but this article breaks it down for you. And remember, a Realtor can assist you in buying a new-build home to make sure that you have someone on your side! #16 – Why it Doesn’t Always Pay to Sell Your Home Yourself As the market heats up, many people believe that they can take advantage and save some money by listing their home themselves (without a Realtor). In many cases though, this may actually cost you more. Read on to find out more! #15 – Buying a Home that is “For Sale By Owner” Just because the seller has decided to go it alone, does not mean that you must do the same. To ensure that you know what you’re buying and that the whole process goes smoothly, it’s always best to hire a Realtor. #14 – Residential Landlord Rules: An Update There were many changes in the last year affecting both landlords and tenants in Ontario. New protections for tenants were put into place including rent control. Whether you’re a tenant, a landlord, or looking at buying an investment property, it’s important to understand all these changes. #13 – Here’s an Idea of What Goes Into Pricing Your Home There is a lot that goes into pricing a home to ensure maximum return for the sellers in the quickest time. Realtors have many tools at their disposal to ensure that a home is priced competitively in the current market. #12 – Backup Offers: What They Are and How They Work With the competitive market this year came lots of talk about “backup offers”. Find out how they work and how they can be a great option for both buyers and sellers in some situations. #11 – The Role

Buying without a Realtor

Buying a house is a big investment, so it is natural to look for ways to save money wherever possible. Some buyers and sellers may assume that they can stretch their budget further if they handle the entire purchase themselves. Doing this may seem like a good way save you money, but can also lead to problems and higher costs in the long run.  As a buyer, hiring a Realtor typically does not cost you a cent; your Real estate agent will be paid from the commission on the sale of the home. Hiring a professional who is on your side to ensure that all your bases are covered only makes sense. Can you believe that there was a time when real estate brokerages represented only the seller?  It’s true! Buyers had to make one of the most important financial decisions of their lives without a representative truly on their side. Thankfully, today this is no longer the case. Most buyers choose to be represented by a buyer’s agent who, acts as an advocate, and is responsible for protecting your best interests.  As a home buyer, your real estate representative can provide you with essential information to help you make an informed decision. As a home buyer, here are a just a few things your real estate representative will do to help you find your dream home: Leverage their familiarity with the neighbourhood and provide you with information about local real estate values, taxes, utility costs, services and amenities. Pinpoint homes that fit your needs and dismiss those that do not, thereby saving you time. Identify the potential problem areas in a home and guide you away from “lemons”. Arrange property showings and accompany you, or preview the properties on your behalf.  Previews have become even easier by using the latest technology your realtor can give you a “live” tour even if you are miles away! Research properties to identify any problems or issues to help you make an informed decision prior to making an offer to purchase. Advise you how to structure your offer.  This is particularly important in a Seller’s market, which we are currently trending towards in Ottawa real estate.  If you end up competing in offers, you’ll be glad you’ve hired a real estate representative, thereby giving you the best chance of your offer being accepted. Present the offer to the Seller’s Agent and the Seller, and negotiate on your behalf. Assist you in securing financing and advise you of your legal options. Recommend appraisal, home inspection and contracting services, as appropriate. When buying a home, you are entering into a legal arrangement, and having no realtor involved at all means that you are only working off of your own experience and knowledge, and that of the seller. In a purchase as large and complex as a home, there are many things that can be missed or glossed over, especially when the people handling the transaction do not have much experience. It can be easy to

Christmas in the Capital

December has arrived! And with it, for many, comes the anticipation of holiday activities, traditions and celebrating with family and friends. We’ve been lucky to have had some truly incredible events in the Ottawa area this year, but it’s not over yet!   As Canada 150 comes to a close, there are a multitude of Christmas events that are taking place all over our City, allowing us to commemorate the end of one year, and the start of something new with our family and our friends. Here’s a taste of what’s happening in Ottawa this holiday season: Alight at Night at Upper Canada Village: travel back in time to the days where wagons were drawn by horses, and buildings were built by hand to view the magic that is the over half a million lights lit up throughout the village’s streets, trees, shops and homes. From December 1st to January 6th between the hours of 5pm and 9pm, Upper Canada Village will offer scenic horse drawn wagon rides, a life size gingerbread house, a toy train ride for the kids and so much more. Originals Ottawa Christmas Craft Sale: Ottawa’s very own 10-day holiday shopping event! Between December 7th and 17th, the EY Centre will gather some of Canada’s most talented artists, artisans and designers for you to meet and purchase from – over 200 to be exact! A great opportunity to support our local community as well as cross a few items off your shopping list! For more information on hours, admission and handmade goods, follow this link to their website. Stanley’s Christmas Village: get whisked away by horse drawn carriage to Ottawa’s only Elf Village! Every Saturday and Sunday through December (until the 23rd), Stanley’s Olde Maple Lane Farm offers you and your family the ultimate Christmas experience – as seen through the eyes of an elf. Enjoy a hot cup of cocoa, and take a ride through the Wrapping Warehouse, The Reindeer Stables, Ginger’s Bakery and so much more. And hey, why not end your day selecting your very own Christmas tree? Freshly cut, locally grown trees are now available at the Farm – all additional details can be found here! Viewing the Christmas Lights: With our nation celebrating its 150th milestone this year, the City of Ottawa (and across the bridge into Gatineau) have set up thousands of lights for your viewing pleasures. Catch the glow between December 7th and January 7th of 2018. And it doesn’t end there! if you’d like to experience even more spectacular “drive-through” light displays this holiday season, load up the car, blast the Christmas tunes and venture to the Magic of Lights in Ottawa’s west end at Wesley Clover Parks or even the beloved Taffy Lane in Orleans. Needless to say, the number of Christmas activities that our City has planned for us this holiday season are endless – and absolutely amazing. From rides in sleighs to light displays, there is something for everyone and more. Have a safe and memorable

Selling in the Summer

Selling your home in summer? It can be grueling to prepare a house for sale in the summer heat but many experts believe that summer is one of the best times to sell a house. Why?… People are out and about! Summer holidays mean that people have more time to devote to buying a home and, for parents of school age children, moving in the summer offers an easier transition for families changing neighbourhoods/schools. Selling your home in summer may also give you more time to devote to preparing your home – it’s a win-win! The Ottawa real estate market remains strong and steady with June stats showing an average price increase of over 7% year over year.  Inventory is down over 25% from this time last year, and with fewer homes for buyers to choose and an increase in multiple offer situations it’s a great time to get your home on the market. Here are some tips… Look at similar properties Setting the right price for your home can be one of the hardest parts of selling, but fortunately there are resources available to you. Contact a Realtor  to provide you with a list of comparable properties. A professionally-prepared current market analysis will include homes that are currently offered for sale and properties that have sold,  including the sale price and number of days on market.  This information that is essential in determining the list price that will get you top dollar.  At Royal LePage, our Realtors  provide a complimentary, no obligation consultation for Sellers.  Looking at similar properties may also give you a few ideas when it comes to staging.  If you see something that works in another house, don’t be afraid to borrow the idea for yours.  Pinterest is also an amazing resource for DIY projects and design inspiration. Make your home anyone’s home You surely love all the unique touches that go into making your house a home, but the point of selling it is to have someone else make it their home. When setting up your house for sale, make sure to tone down the elements that you think might turn potential buyers away. De-cluttering, making sure you’re up to date with home maintenance/repairs and a adding a fresh coat of paint, are just a few ways you can make your house a little more welcoming to people who are looking to make it their own. Maximize your outdoor space While the idea of “dressing up” your outdoor space with a garden gnome in every corner might attract some attention (see the “Clown House” for sale earlier this year in Brantford) clean details, practical storage, comfortable seating and a pop of colour are the fundamentals of an inviting outdoor space, simple is best! Easy access from indoor to outdoor can also help make your home feel bigger and brighter! Increase curb appeal More than at any other time, curb appeal is important to selling a house in the summer. When you have a house for sale, make sure you

Reflections on Canada 150

Canada Day is usually a big event in Ottawa; it is the nation’s capital after all, but this year was an even bigger celebration owing to 2017 being the 150th anniversary of Canada’s founding. In order to celebrate this momentous event, Ottawa pulled out all the stops to throw a Canada Day celebration that people won’t soon forget. The public turned out in record numbers to celebrate Canada Day in Ottawa this year, and the celebrations were also awash in celebrities. Justin Trudeau was in attendance, as were Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, and Governor General David Johnston (who joined the Prince for a ceremony to mark the end of his term as the Queen’s representative). Other celebrities included Rick Hansen, Chris Hadfield, and musicians that included Bono and The Edge of U2 fame, and Canadian legend Gordon Lightfoot, who performed for the massive crowd of revellers. Besides the star-studded performers and attendees, Canada Day 150 was in many ways a larger version of what people see every year. A citizenship ceremony was held in the afternoon, so that those involved could enjoy the festivities as full Canadian citizens. The celebration included many food trucks that were offering Canadian favourites such as beaver tails and poutine. There were even Tim Horton’s trucks on site to deliver a much needed dose of hot coffee for tired or cold revellers. Besides the ubiquitous food trucks there were activities for all ages, and the night was capped off with an enormous fireworks display that was one of the largest in Ottawa’s history. Fifteen thousand individual fireworks were launched from five different locations across the city, lighting up the sky in an unparalleled pyrotechnic display. That doesn’t count the many fireworks that were fired skyward by enthusiastic citizens across the country of course, each determined to add their own lights to the celebratory glow. Despite the impressive spectacle, not all was “sunny ways” this Canada Day. In fact, the sun was barely in attendance, and rain was a constant and unwanted companion to people who were out to celebrate the 150th. The drizzle created puddles and ponds throughout Parliament Hill, and this combined with very long security lines to dampen the enthusiasm of some attendees. There were a few non-weather related faux pas as well, including the prime minister seeming to forget the province of Alberta during one of his speeches, and groups of protestors there to denounce the celebrations. However, despite the issues most of those who attended the celebration had a good time, and are likely looking forward to next year’s big Canada Day bash with enthusiasm. The post Reflections on Canada 150 appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog

Summer Showings

Selling your house can be an exhausting process, and selling during the summer brings its own special challenges. One of the most noticeable is that you may be away on vacation when people want to attend a house showing. Fortunately, you can turn this challenge into an opportunity. If you plan to hold house showings while you are away, the first thing you need to do is ensure that your home is cleaned up. You should go through the house to make sure it is clean and tidy, just as you would before any showing. The only difference is that you will need to do this before you head out on vacation. This means that preparing for your vacation will involve more work, but it also means that you can host a number of showings without having to clean the house again. After all, if you aren’t at home you can’t make any messes. The second thing you will need to do is ensure that steps are taken to make sure the house is made welcoming for each potential buyer. This can involve some pre-planning, but it is worth it to show your house at its finest. Here is a checklist of steps to take to keep your home showing-ready when you aren’t there. Keep the house cool – Leaving the AC on and set to 20 or 21 degrees will turn your home into a welcome retreat from the summer heat. It will also be pleasant for any animals you may be leaving at home. Animal clean up – If you are leaving animals at home, ask a friend to come in to clean their cages, beds, and bowls, pick up leavings in the yard, and take free-roaming animals away during the showing. An even better alternative it so have the animals stay with a friend or at a kennel while you are gone, so there is one less worry to clean up. Keep your home bright – When you leave on vacation, leave the lights on and the blinds open to let light in. If you have a timer or are willing to buy one, you can set it so that your lights are on during the day and evening, and off at night when there won’t be showings. Keep the air fresh – You want the inside of your home to be full of fresh air, so make sure to clean out anything that might kick up a stink while you’re gone. It is also a good idea to ask a friend to come by and open some windows before a showing, in order to let the air in and freshen up the place. If you aren’t able to do that, a good alternative is to buy some air fresheners with very faint scents and place them in discrete areas. You don’t want to leave them out in the open, since that serves as a signal to your visitors that the house usually smells worse. Have a

Ottawa Real Estate Market Snapshot July 2017

The latest reports from OREB on the Ottawa Real Estate market show that in many areas the market is showing no signs of a significant summer slowdown.   The condo market continues to gain momentum as is the”lifestyle” market which includes homes over the $750,000 price range.   Average prices are up in most neighbourhoods across the city, with central and central-west neighbourhoods seeing a bigger jump in average sale price as compared to Ottawa east.   Savvy buyers are noticing that even though Ottawa is trending towards a seller’s market in many neighbourhoods it’s still a good time to get into the market, particularly with prices on the rise.  With stories of price increases in Vancouver and Toronto in the recent years they may be very smart to do so.  While statistics are useful in establishing trends they don’t necessarily reflect specific properties or neighbourhood trends.  If you have questions about buying or selling, we always love to chat about real estate, please email us at info@teamrealty.ca or contact a member of our sales team. Below is the latest news release from the Ottawa Real Estate Board Condo sales drive the Ottawa resale market in July OTTAWA, Aug 3, 2017 – Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,530 residential properties in July through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 1,490 in July 2016, an increase of 2.7 per cent. The five-year average for July sales is 1,446. “The Ottawa resale market continued its steady pace into mid-summer, with condo sales really bolstering the market this past month,” says Rick Eisert, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. “We’ve actually been seeing this positive trend since February. The condo market had been in a slump for the past few years because it was overbuilt. Some owners who had difficulty selling their condos rented them instead, thereby decreasing supply. Now as rental leases are coming due, combined with evidence of stronger condo sales, these owners are placing these units back on the market for sale. Meanwhile, residential sales have remained virtually the same in comparison to this time last year.” July’s sales included 332 in the condominium property class, and 1,198 in the residential property class. “The number of new listings coming onto the market continues to be on the lower end of the five-year average, especially where residential units are concerned,” explains Eisert. “Inventory levels continue to tighten, however the choice for buyers continues to be decent, with both entry-level properties and higher-end properties available, particularly in the condo market.” “Cumulative days on market has been holding pretty steady throughout the course of 2017,” says Eisert. “However, when compared to numbers from 2016, residential properties in July 2017 are selling almost 22 per cent faster and condos just over 11 per cent faster than July of last year.” The average sale price of a residential class property sold in July in the Ottawa area was $420,335, an increase of 5.3 per cent over July 2016. The average

Why You Should Check Out That Open House!

Holding an open house is an option taken by many people who are trying to sell their home. Unfortunately, these open houses are sometimes not well attended. This is a shame, because an open house is a great opportunity, even if you are not currently looking to buy a house. Whether you are actively looking for a new place to live, or buying a home is a far-off dream, here are some good reasons to attend an open house: Get an Idea of Price – An open house is a great way to get an idea of how far your budget will stretch in a given area. Looking at houses online can give you a hint, but visiting a home in person will give you a much better idea of the type of house you will be able to afford, how that kind of house feels, and the types of neighbourhoods you will likely be living in. Get a Real Look at Each Home – Looking at house listings online is great, but it doesn’t give you the full picture of the house, for good or ill. Actually visiting a home and walking around in it will give you a much better idea of what it would be like to live in than a few pictures on a website. Knowing what a house will be like as a home is what’s important, after all. Learn Your Own Style – It may sound strange, but going to open houses may help to clarify what you actually want in a house. You may think that a certain type of home or specific layout matches what you want, only to find your tastes changing as you explore other houses. It’s certainly better to make this realization before you have purchased your house, rather than after a year of living in it. Get in Touch With a Realtor – Going to open houses is a good way to meet potential Realtors, both for buying or selling, and to see them in action. Watching how an agent works when they are actually dealing with people will give you a much better idea of how they perform on the job an interview meeting in an office somewhere. Get Some Design Ideas – Since open houses are cleaned up and decorated, and sometimes even staged by professionals, they can give you some design ideas for your own home. Seeing different design ideas in different homes is a great way to get your own creativity working. Learn to See the House Itself – People who host open houses do not always do the best job of decorating or lighting the home, and that may turn potential buyers. However, attending enough open houses will help you to learn to see past those mistakes and look at the potential of the building itself. This can be a great way to get an edge over other buyers who will be turned away by these kinds of mistakes. Get in Touch with

The Role of a Realtor – Buyers

  Buying a home is one of the largest, and most expensive, decisions you will ever make.  You want to make sure that you have covered all your bases in order to avoid any costly mistakes. One of the best ways to avoid any potential pitfalls on the road to home ownership is to talk to someone who knows that road well, and no one knows it better than a realtor. Hiring a realtor means that you have an expert at the entire house buying process there to help you through each step, and means less stress and trouble for you. It may even help you save some money. Here are some of the things that a professional realtor can offer you. Knowledge When you find an established realtor, they will have knowledge of the area you are looking to buy in, and will provide you with market statistics to give you an idea of what a home like the one you are looking for will cost in the area you have chosen. A good realtor will spend time learning what your needs and wants are, and will use that information to look for homes that that match what you are looking for. Your sales representative will also let you know where you might need to compromise, and provide advice about what you can realistically afford. Realtors also provide buyers with information about comparable homes and what they have sold for in the area, giving you detailed information on trends that you can use both to educate your purchase and to plan for the eventual possibility of selling your home, thereby protecting your investment. Interaction Your realtor’s assistance goes beyond simply finding a home that you want to buy. A realtor’s job also includes interacting with sellers and other realtors. Their network of contacts means they may know about houses that are going on the market before they are actually up for sale, which can provide a buyer with an advantage in the case of preparing an offer. Once you have chosen a house you want to buy, it is the realtor who will contact the seller and begin negotiations. Your realtor will work to get you the best price possible for the home, and will also handle all the necessary forms and paperwork involved in making an offer. Your realtor will also handle negotiations involving things like getting a home inspection done, and can recommend and connect you with other professionals like carpenters and electricians if any repairs or modifications need to be done to the house. Troubleshooting One of the most valuable things a realtor brings to the house-hunting process is experience. An experienced realtor knows every step of the process. They can take care of small but vital details you might otherwise miss, watch for potential problems with either the process or the home itself, and make sure all the necessary legal necessities are properly taken care of. A good realtor brings a depth of home buying

The Role of a Realtor – Seller

Selling your home is a big decision, and an emotionally charged one. It can also be a long process, and has many complicated steps to follow in order to ensure everything goes smoothly. Although it is possible to handle all this yourself, it adds stress onto an already stressful time, and can lead to mistakes that cost you thousands of dollars. In order to avoid these risks, many people choose to hire a realtor to sell their home. As in most things, having an expert on call to help you can lead to much better results than you could achieve by yourself. Realtors offer many services to house sellers, and we will discuss some of those below. Knowledge One of the greatest tools that a realtor brings to your house-selling is their knowledge. Part of a realtor’s job is to track changing trends in the housing market in your area. A realtor will know how the market is faring, when good times to sell are, what the price trends are in your area, and whether there are any competing houses that are currently for sale in your neighbourhood. Having this information can be extremely helpful when it comes to making important decisions about selling your house, from when to sell, how much to charge, and what selling points to focus on. The more information you realtor has, the better your choices will be, and the smoother your sale will be. Marketing A good realtor will provide you with important information to help you make informed choices when it comes to your selling your house. This is not all that a realtor does though. Just as important a task is getting people interested in your home. Realtors will take charge of getting your house listing posted on house-hunting websites and realtor sale lists, as well as having photographs taken that will put your home in the best possible light. Your realtor can also provide advice on how to stage your house to make a good impression to potential buyers, and then host and advertise open houses in order to draw prospects in to see your home in person. In order to buy your home, people need to be aware that it is for sale. That’s something a realtor can help with. Closing the Deal Once you have people who are interested in buying your home, you need to close the deal. This process can include any number of offers and counter-offers, then lots of paperwork which must be handled correctly. A realtor can help keep this process smooth, and make sure nothing gets missed or filled out incorrectly. With a transaction the size of a house sale, you want to make sure nothing goes wrong. Having someone who is experience and knows the ins and outs of the business, and knows the common mistakes to avoid, can be very helpful in making sure everything goes right. A realtor can provide that experience and expertise. With a transaction the size of selling

Buying a New Home

Buying a house is a big undertaking, and there are lots of things to consider. The cost of the house is a big factor to think about, but is far from the only thing you should look when it comes time to buy! Something that you may choose to consider when buying a house is looking at ones that are newly built. Whether you choose to buy an older home or a brand new one, a Realtor can help you with this process and ensure that your interests are well represented. Benefits of Buying a New House: Reduced maintenance costs in the immediate future: New houses come equipped with new everything making it unlikely for you to have to deal with any major maintenance projects anytime soon! It will be years before you have to replace your roof or furnace, for example. New homes tend to be more efficient: Since new homes are built with efficiency in mind, they tend to have slightly lower monthly utility bills. Modern Style: If you like a more modern style, new build homes may be the right way to go. Current design trends such as open-concept main floors are common throughout most. You will also likely be able to customize the finishes in your home to make it your own before you even move in! New Neighbourhoods = New Amenities: New houses are generally part of carefully planned subdivisions and usually the plans include new parks, schools, recreation facilities, and shopping options. If they are not already there, they are likely in the works. Drawbacks of Buying a New House: More Expensive: New houses tend to be more expensive than their resale counterparts. And don’t forget that you will also have to pay HST on top of the purchase price. Lack of Character: New houses will not have mature trees or landscaped yards and they all tend to look the same. The individual character comes with time. Added expenses: New homes have some surprising added expenses that should be considered. Appliances are often not included, as well as some surprising other things like eavestroughs. Waiting for Amenities: Depending on when you buy into the neighbourhood, the amenities may simply be in the planning stages and it may be years before they are completed. This might mean that you may spend the first few years driving to neighbouring communities for things likes recreation, transit, and schools. The Role of a Realtor: Many people don’t realize that you can work with a Realtor when you are buying a brand-new home. Realtors are there to represent you in the process and this is very important. If you simply walk into the builders sales office, you will have someone who works for the builder helping you and they are likely to have a biased opinion. A Realtor can help you find the perfect New Build home for you and can walk you through the process! The Realtor’s commission generally comes from the builder so this is not likely

“a Stellar year so far”…Ottawa Real Estate Snapshot June 2017

We are still seeing lower than normal inventory, more multiple offer situations and fewer days on the market which is good for sellers but with prices remaining “relatively steady”, it is also good news for Buyers.  Check out the highlights below and send us an email to info@teamrealty.ca for details and info on specific properties, we love to chat about real estate! Below is the latest news release from the Ottawa Real Estate Board Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 2,162 residential properties in June through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 1,985 in June 2016, an increase of 8.9 per cent. The five-year average for June sales is 1,818. “We’re having a stellar year so far in 2017. Year-to-date sales numbers for the first half of the year are up in both the residential and condo property classes, combined coming in at a 13.5 per cent increase over the same time period in 2016,” says Ralph Shaw, President-Elect of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. “Average sale price in both the residential and condo class is up in the first half of 2017 compared to last year, although not a significant amount.” June’s sales included 408 in the condominium property class, and 1,754 in the residential property class. “Listings and inventory levels continue to trend downwards, and REALTORS® report an increase in multiple offers on properties in some pockets around the city,” says Shaw. “While some areas within the Ottawa market are very active in sales, there are other areas of the city that remain very balanced and steady.” “Something we hadn’t seen for years, is the recent rise in the lifestyle market in both the residential and condo property class, with 46 over $1 million units sold in June, and 171 units over $1 million sold since the beginning of the year,” says Shaw. “Both numbers are more than double the amount sold last year. It indicates that home buyers are looking beyond their basic needs to check off more boxes from their wish lists such as view, downtown location, or acreage property.” “Since the announcement in April by the Ontario Liberal government of cooling measures in Toronto, it’s no surprise that the Ottawa market has been thriving. Not only is Ottawa an affordable place to live, it’s also very desirable,” says Shaw. “We have a great mix of city life and rural expanses. It’s no wonder MoneySense just named Ottawa as Canada’s best place to live in 2017.” The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in June in the Ottawa area was $434,502, an increase of 8.8 per cent over June 2016. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $289,905, an increase of 9.4 per cent over June 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

Summer Fun in Ottawa

After a long and rainy spring, summer is finally upon us in the nation’s capital. Now that the sun has actually come out, it’s time to get outside and enjoy the weather. Whether you live in Ottawa or are just visiting, there are a lot of fun and unique activities to enjoy all throughout the city, and there’s no better time than a warm summer day. The changing of the guard You can watch the changing of the guard any morning between late June or early July, and August 25. The ceremony takes place at Parliament Hill and starts at 10 am sharp, but you will want to arrive at 9:45 or before in order to make sure you get a spot with a good view. The ceremony is quite a spectacle, with brilliantly uniformed guards marching in unison to the accompaniment of a regimental band and bagpipes. It’s a fantastic sight to see, and a great opening to a day spent downtown. RBC Bluesfest 2017 Ottawa’s Bluesfest music festival is an annual tradition in the nation’s capital, with great musicians, great food, and a party atmosphere that lasts a full ten days from July 6th to July 16th! The line up this year includes artists that range from Pink and 50 Cent to Muse and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, so there will be music for anyone’s taste. Tons of great local food vendors will also be present to make sure you don’t go hungry, and there will be fun and games, and cool contests as well. Lumiere Lumiere is a festival of lights held in Ottawa on August 26th. During this festival you can enjoy the ambience created by hundreds of lanterns, each crafted by a local community member. Lumiere has more to offer as well, with a labyrinth to explore, local performers to watch and listen to, and local food trucks to enjoy. The whole festival is lit only by lanterns and lamps, making for a magical atmosphere that will make a great end to the day. La Machine For the first time in North America, people will be able to see the wondrous machines of La Machine in person. These enormous animatronic wonders are shaped like gigantic beasts, and the massive spider and dragon horse will be coming to Ottawa, traveling its streets from July 27th to 30th. Stop by and share the wonder as the giant creations stride through the city, looking down at the crowds and exploring Ottawa’s landmarks. The Sky Lounge The most expensive of the events listed here, but also one of the most unique experiences you can enjoy, the sky lounge is like nothing else. Enjoy an astounding cocktail hour or a gourmet dinner, prepared by professional chefs from only the finest local ingredients, all while seated at an open-air table 150 feet in the air! Nowhere else can you enjoy a view quite like this, and the food is top quality to match the surroundings. No matter what you decide

Understanding Multiple Offers

As Ottawa continues to be a hot market with a low inventory, the number of multiple offer situations seems to be on the rise. When a home goes to “multiple offers”, all offers on the home must be made at a set time and the seller is able to choose which one they would like to go with or negotiate. This can be a complicated situation for buyers and sellers so here is what you can expect. Keep in mind though that the most important thing you can do as either a buyer or seller in these situations, is to consult with your Realtor so that you are prepared; they are the experts! Multiple Offers for Sellers If your Realtor feels that your home may attract significant attention before listing, or if once listed it is getting lots of attention, they may speak to you about a multiple offer directive. If you choose to go this route, all offers must be presented at the same time and you will be given a chance to review each one before deciding on which one to go with or which one to negotiate with. This can be very lucrative for sellers as offers will often be made to be the most appealing to the seller (higher than asking, waiving conditions etc.) Sometimes, another Realtor may contact your listing agent to see if they can make an offer prior to the set time. This is called a “bully” offer. If you choose to entertain this offer, all other interested parties must be notified as well. It is important to note that you do not need to entertain a “bully” offer but your Realtor is obligated to inform you if one should come up. As you navigate the process of multiple offers, it is important to work closely with your Realtor and make sure to ask questions! Multiple Offers for Buyers If the home of your dreams is in a popular neighbourhood or has attracted a lot of attention, the sellers may choose to consider multiple offers. If this is the case, you will need to consider carefully the offer you would like to make and your Buyer’s Representative can assist you with this process. Ask your Realtor lots of questions and work with them to come up with an effective strategy. You will want to be sure to make your offer as appealing as possible by considering the following factors: Price – you will likely want to offer asking or higher but be careful because a house that sells for far more than it is worth may not be mortgageable with the bank for the full price. Closing Date – a closing date as close as possible to the requests of the sellers will obviously be more appealing. Deposit – some people believe that a larger deposit shows a more serious buyer. Conditions – this is a risky choice but a more competitive offer may waive all conditions; please consider the implications before making

Bang For Your Buck: Renos That Will Increase Your Home’s Value

If you are a homeowner, you’ve probably spent money on your property over and above the regular carrying costs.  Investing in your  property has the obvious benefits of making your home nicer to live in, but smart renovations can also have the side benefit of increasing a home’s value when it comes time to sell. Below is a list of some of the home renovations that have been shown to add the most to a home’s value, as well as some renovations to avoid. Flooring Flooring can be a costly renovation, but can also add to a home’s value if it is done properly. Generally speaking, wall-to-wall carpeting is not as desirable as it once was, and some potential buyers may even see it as a nuisance that they will have to replace. Hardwood floors, and tiled floors for bathrooms, on the other hand are in higher demand and are likely to increase your home’s value. A particularly easy way to do this is to refinish existing hardwood floors, getting the benefit at a much lower cost than installing new ones. Fixtures Fixtures are a bit more complicated when it comes to improving the value of your home. Generally speaking, installing new fixtures will improve your home’s value up to a certain point. It is worth adding in new fixtures or updating old ones that improve the function and look of a room, especially the bathroom and kitchen, like new faucets and light fixtures. However, spending extra money on high-end fixtures and appliances will likely end up costing you more money in the long run, since they may not match a potential buyer’s plans. High-end upgrades don’t generally increase a home’s value if they are inconsistent with the rest of the home, and specific high-end features like media rooms or swimming pools rarely make back their cost. Kitchens and Bathrooms The kitchen and bathrooms are some of the most important rooms in a house in terms of value, and are worth paying attention to when it comes time to renovate. Renovations to these rooms often add to the home’s value, as long as they are functional and not purely decorative improvements, and adding a bathroom to a home can increase the value substantially. When aiming to improve a home’s value, the kitchen and bathrooms should be one of the first places to look. Updating fixtures, replacing older plumbing and making everything look clean and functional are good steps to a more valuable home. Income Suites & Coach Houses The single greatest improvement you can make to your home’s value will be through the addition of an income suite or a coach house. By converting a basement into a rental unit or adding a coach house, you can bring in supplemental income while you are still living in your house. An income suite is also a valuable thing when it comes time to sell, since it is a wise investment for potential homebuyers as well. Of course it’s vital that an

Latest Real Estate Market Snapshot: April 2017

Curious about what’s going on in the Ottawa Real Estate Market?   Below are some highlights of our April 2017 market.  Curious about a certain area?  Please contact us and/or one of our Sales Representatives  for details, we have up to date statistics on all Ottawa neighbourhoods and the surrounding areas. Spring Market Continues to Blossom! News release from the Ottawa Real Estate Board, May 3rd, 2017 OTTAWA, May 3, 2017 – Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,795 residential properties in April through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 1,711 in April 2016, an increase of 4.9 per cent. The five-year average for April sales is 1,613. “The April resale market continued its upward trend in units sold, just shy of a record set in 2010,” says Rick Eisert, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. “Sales activity is indicating a trend towards a seller’s market. Lower inventory, combined with increased demand, is creating many more multiple offer situations and quicker moving properties, with the average cumulative days on market dipping to just 71 days.” April’s sales included 312 in the condominium property class, and 1,483 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 continue to see a trend in the amount of high-end units selling,” reports Eisert. “Properties selling for $500,000 and up has increased over last year, and even more significantly in the over $1 million market, which doubled in sales over April 2016. Since the beginning of the year 83 properties over $1 million switched hands, compared to only 38 in the same time-frame last year. The increase in sales for high-end properties may be fuelled by a combination of the migration of buyers from Toronto and move-up buyers. Another contributing factor is that many, generally well paying, jobs are opening up in the high-tech sector, driving more people into the Ottawa market.” The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in April in the Ottawa area was $435,883, an increase of 7.9 per cent over April 2016. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $268,553, an increase of 2.9 per cent over April 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. Price and conditions will vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood. “The two most active price points in the residential market continue to be the $300,000 to $399,999 followed by the $400,000 to $499,999 range, combined accounting for 55.1 per cent of the market. Within the condo market, the most active price point was between $150,000 and

Spring Gardening 101

May is here, and with all the April showers we’ve seen this year we are sure to see a lot of flowers appearing soon.  Beautiful gardens and thoughtful landscaping can enhance your property’s curb appeal and make spending time outside more enjoyable, but not everyone has a green thumb!  We’ve collected some helpful tips for those who might need a little help. Planning Your Garden You can start planning your garden at any time, but it is best to have some ideas in mind before you start digging or planting. Here are some things to keep in mind when planning your garden: Decide what kind of plants you want to grow; Flowers? Herbs? Vegetables? A mix? You should also consider whether you want to grow annuals, perennials, or a mix of both. Decide where you want your garden to go, how big you want it to be, and how many plants you want to have in it. As part of the planning process you should check your soil’s drainage and quality if you can, so you will know if you need to make any adjustments. Make sure your garden will get about six full hours of sun per day, the optimum for plant growth. Decide what varieties of plants you want to grow, and find out the growing conditions each needs. Some plants can be planted earlier or later in the year, or need a certain amount of shade. You should take all these things into account when planning your garden. Planting Your Garden Once you have a plan in mind it’s time to get planting. Here are some helpful tips for the down-in-the-dirtiest part of gardening: If you want to plant your garden where you currently have grass, but don’t want to dig up the sod, you can put down five or so layers of newspaper over the section you want to plant. This will kill the grass in the area and start converting it into fertilizer. This will take a few months to work though, so you will need to plan ahead. Before you plant anything, add fertilizer to the soil. This can include composted dirt or solid fertilized, but make sure to mix it into the soil well. You will also want to break up the soil a bit for the plant’s roots, but not too much. If you are in a rush you can start sprouting seeds in your home, or buy plants that have already been sprouted. This way your plants will already be growing when you put them in the ground. No matter whether you are planting seeds or seedlings, make sure you read the instructions on how far enough the plants need to be and how deep to plant them. Make sure to water plants right after planting them, and regularly afterwards. Plants need more water when they are first growing than at any other time, but make sure not to drown them. Maintaining Your Garden Once the planting is done you may

Why Listing Price is So Important

Why Listing Price is So Important What is your home worth? This is a tricky question and there are many factors to consider including condition, upgrades, market trends and comparable properties in your neighbourhood.  The listing price of a home can make or break a sale so it is always advisable to work with a real estate professional who will do the research and advise you on the best listing price for your home.  This will  ensure not only that it sells quickly but also for the best possible price in the shortest time. Why is the original listing price so important? “First impressions are everything when selling your home. Studies have shown that the first two weeks on the market are the most crucial to your success.” It is important to put your best foot forward! Although it may be tempting to price your home high, to see what happens, especially if you are not in a rush to sell, this may not work out the way that you hope it will. Homes that are overpriced and then drop the price several times, tend to sell at a much lower price than what the original asking price should have been. A new listing gets way more views online in the first few weeks than at any other time so make sure that your price is right from the very beginning. What is a Comparative Market Analysis? Your Realtor will provide you with a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) for your home. This document will compare recently sold homes similar to yours in your neighbourhood as well as homes that are currently on the market. The CMA will paint an accurate picture of the current real estate market in your area and what you could expect to make for your home. The key here is that Realtors have access to information that is not available to the general public; for example, there is no way to find out the selling price of homes in your neighbourhood otherwise. All homes are different and this is also considered. Your home will be compared against the others with a variety of factors to show how it compares and to help determine the ideal asking price. Ultimately, It is YOUR Decision… At the end of the day, it is your home and you can price it however you may choose but it is always advisable to trust your Realtor. They are professionals who understand the market and have access to information to come up with the best price for listing your home. “Choose the right professional to help you with your home sale and then listen to your real estate agent’s advice and your transaction is more likely to go through quickly and smoothly from the beginning.”  And also remember, your home is only worth what someone is willing to pay on the day they choose to buy it but pricing your home competitively can help lead them to that decision. The post Why Listing

Ottawa Real Estate Snapshot May 2017

Another record breaking month in the Ottawa Real Estate market with the highest number of properties sold in one month ever recorded! The Ottawa condo market is gaining significant strength, with 44 Condos sold last month, that’s 44.6% more than May 2016.  We are still seeing lower than normal inventory, more multiple offer situations and fewer days on the market which is good for sellers but with prices remaining “relatively steady”, it is also good news for Buyers.  Check out the highlights below and send us an email to info@teamrealty.ca for details and info on specific properties, we love to chat about real estate! Below is the latest news release from the Ottawa Real Estate Board Condo sales lead the way for stellar performance in May 2017 OTTAWA, June 2, 2017 – Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 2,300 residential properties in May through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 1,919 in May 2016, an increase of 19.9 per cent. The five-year average for May sales is 1,946. “Not only was May 2017 the best May on record for unit sales, it also surpassed the record for highest unit sales in a single month ever; blowing the previous record out of the water by 315 units,” says Rick Eisert, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. “One of the reasons for these stellar numbers can be attributed to the condo market, which has really helped strengthen the whole market over the past several months. This is quite evident in May, where units sold increased by 44.6 per cent over May 2016.” May’s sales included 444 in the condominium property class, and 1,856 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. “Sales activity continued to trend towards a sellers’ market, as evidenced by lower than normal inventory levels and listing averages for May, more multiple offer situations, and fewer days on market, but prices still remain relatively steady,” explains Eisert. “If we were in a true sellers’ market, we would expect to see a much higher spike in prices.” The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in May in the Ottawa area was $436,625, an increase of 7.4 per cent over May 2016. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $270,993, an increase of 2.3 per cent over May 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. Price and conditions will vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood. “Higher-end residential units in the $750,000+ range continue to outperform sales from last year, especially in

Primary Residence Tax Exemption

The federal government has recently made some changes to the Canadian tax system regarding the capital gains from selling residences. Some people are quite worried about what these changes, which you can find directly from the CRA, may come to mean when they sell their homes, but you shouldn’t panic. These changes will not greatly affect most homeowners, who only own a single home they live in. What will stay the same: The capital gains tax exemption from selling a principal residence will not change. This means that any profit you make on selling your home, as long as it is your primary residence, will be sheltered from tax. People who were concerned that selling their house after the new regulations come in would cost them a lot of money can be reassured, that part of the code has not changed. What will change: The main thing that has changed is that Canadians will need to report all property sales, along with a few other details such as dates of acquisition and sale, the profits from the sale, and a description of the property on their tax return. Before, Canadians did not need to provide this information when they sold their primary home. Forms to fill in this information will be added to Canadian tax forms once the changes take effect. People who own multiple properties will need to designate one as their primary residence, which they will need to actually occupy, and the rest will not be subject to capital gains protection. The change to the tax code will also affect people who only live in a residence for a short period of time, such as home flippers or “serial home builders” and people who live in one part of their residence but rent out other parts. In these cases the property may be classified as a profit making residence and thus will not be eligible for the residential tax exemption. What this all means: The main change to most people will simply be that they have to report any property sale, even if it is the only home they own. For people who own more than one property, they will need to designate one residence as their primary residence, and will have to maintain residence there for at least some portion of the year. CRA will also have the authority to audit properties that people have designated as a primary residence when CRA does not think people actually resided there. This means that people who own multiple properties and want to get the most tax savings should consult with a professional to determine which property they should live in. Overall, these tax changes will hardly affect the average Canadian. However, home flippers, landlords, and other people who make money off of having multiple properties will likely find their profits reduced, as CRA removes the capital gains tax shelter from a higher number of properties than before. The post Primary Residence Tax Exemption appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog

Canada 150: Let’s Celebrate!

Canada Day is coming up, and there is no shortage of celebrations to enjoy on July 1st this year. With Canada turning 150, there’s no better time to join in the festivities. If you are looking for something fun to do this Canada Day with friends and family, here are some suggestions. Downtown Events The Canada Day events hosted in downtown Ottawa are always the biggest and most impressive, and this year looks to be no exception: Parliament Hill – Parliament Hill will be holding Canada Day events from morning till night, including ceremonies, shows, activities for young and old, all culminating in a spectacular fireworks show over the Ottawa River. You won’t want to miss it! Major’s Hill Park – Major’s Hill Park will be filled with day events this July 1st, including a wide variety of multi-cultural exhibits, displays and performances. There will be plenty of activities for people who want to get involved, or just watch on the sidelines, so pick your activity and have some fun! Canadian Museum of History – The Canadian Museum of History will be hosting a number of events throughout the day, with plenty of inside and outside games, performances, exhibits and other activities aimed for kids and families. There’s even a free shuttle from Major’s Hill Park, and the museum is right on the Ottawa River, so you can watch the fireworks from there if you find Parliament Hill too crowded.  Municipal Events For people who can’t get downtown, or don’t want to face the crowds, there is plenty of Canada Day fun to be had throughout the city. We’ve included a list of a few below, but you can also find the official list of all the civic events here: Canada Day in Barrhaven­ – This large event in Ottawa’s South attracts big crowd every year, and includes a carnival with rides and games, the Homeniuk Midway, plenty of food vendors, fun and games for kids and adults, and of course a fireworks show. Canada Day in Kanata – This event has plenty to do for people of all ages, from the Carter Shows Midway to the Kanata Festival of Beer, and also features a marketplaces for local small businesses, a breakfast for seniors, baseball games, demonstrations of martial arts and dancing, and plenty more. A fireworks display will close the day off with a bang. Canada Day in Stittsville – Stittsville may be smaller than Kanata or Barrhaven, but that doesn’t mean it lacks excitement. Stittsville’s Canada Day celebration will include a petting zoo and horse-drawn wagon rides for animal lovers, a sports demonstration, family games and activities, a magic show, plenty of food vendors for when people get hungry, the Royal Canadian Legion Colour Party, and live stage entertainment. No Canada Day celebration would be complete without a fireworks display, and Stittsville will certainly deliver. No matter where you decide to celebrate it, make sure to have fun on July 1st this year, and make the 150th Canada

Buying a Home that is “For Sale By Owner”

A home is likely the biggest purchase of your life so what happens if you find the perfect property but it is “For Sale By Owner” (FSBO)? To avoid surprises, headaches, and extra costs, it is always advisable to work with Buyer’s Agent; just because the seller has opted to go it alone does not mean that you have to! A Buyer’s Agent will represent your best interests through the process and will ensure that you know what you are buying without any surprises. Here are some important things to consider before making an offer on a FSBO home. Who Pays the Commission? When you buy a home that is listed by a Realtor, as the buyer you do not pay your Buyer’s Agent’s commission (this is covered by the seller) but this may not be the case when buying a FSBO property. Often enough, FSBO sellers will agree to pay your Realtor’s commission but if they don’t, this will be up to you. The good news is that this will be agreed upon before you make an offer so there are no surprises. Also keep in mind that if you choose to buy the home without a Realtor, this will add extra work for you real estate lawyer (verifying contracts, offers etc.) and this may make your legal bill significantly higher. If you choose to work with a Buyer’s Agent and do have to pay the commission, at least that price is set. Disclosure You need to keep in mind that a FSBO seller is not bound by the same rules as a Realtor. They do not need to notify you of other offers, they may disclose the details of other client’s offers to other interested parties, and most importantly, they may not disclose all known facts about the home. These can all pose major challenges through the buying process but a Realtor can help you navigate these challenges and spot “red flags”. You don’t want to be surprised after moving in and a Buyer’s Agent can help you ensure that you make the right inquiries about the property. Negotiating You want someone on your side that knows the art of negotiation! There is a good chance that you have never negotiated the purchase or sale of a home yourself in the past while a Realtor does it all the time. Your Buyer’s Agent will be able to advise you on the process and ensure that all the proper forms are completed through the offer process. Should you consider a FSBO? It is certainly easier to purchase a home which is listed with a Realtor but if the home that you have been looking for is a FSBO, it should not be overlooked simply for this reason; just find a Realtor to help you with the purchase to make sure it goes smoothly and that there are no surprises. The post Buying a Home that is “For Sale By Owner” appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog

Buying a Home : Accepting Change Outside Your Wishlist

Truth be told, there are a lot of decisions to be made when it comes to purchasing a home. Regardless of where we stand on the home-buying scale – first time homebuyers, second time homebuyers, or those just simply looking to downsize and/or relocate – there are questions to be asked, and answers to be had. Yes, the onset of this process may seem a little daunting at first, however, that very common (and overwhelming) feeling of “where do I even start” eventually shapes itself into the certainty that you’ve found the home you’ve been waiting for. So, where do you begin? Common concerns that a lot of us bring to the real estate table are home size, the number of bedrooms we’d like our home to have, the layout of the home, etc. All represent great examples of “must-haves” that a vast majority of us have on our wish lists; yet would you be willing to select a home based solely on one and one alone? It might not come as much of a surprise to those of us who are second time+ home buyers when we foreworn you that it’s actually a rarity to find a home that will check all of your boxes – having a little bit of flexibility in your wish list is key. As a for instance, one factor that many buyers have a rather difficult time accepting wiggle room on is location. In fact, finding a neighbourhood that best suits your overall needs can often make or break that perfect home. Sure, it can be quite challenging, but for those of us who are searching for the benefit of our children and future families, it becomes a fundamental part of the home buying process. For example: buying within the boundaries of an ideal school district in order to ensure quality education for our kids. Of course, this is an extremely important aspect to consider – we can’t argue that! However, we must also appreciate the fact that we live in a City that offers stand-up education in a number of growing communities. And with each growing community comes many changes that just so happen to take place year after year – including school districts. Something to keep in mind. Of course, there are no two-similar home buying experiences. If we were to put a symbolic spin to it, each would represent that of a snowflake: differing among homeowners and landing where they are meant to. Our advice to you? Be patient, accepting, and unafraid of compromise. Happy shopping! The post Buying a Home : Accepting Change Outside Your Wishlist appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog

Fall Home Maintenance Tips

Fall. Arguably one of the most beautiful times of the year! The weather has cooled and the leaves have begun to change, reminding us that winter isn’t all that far away. Before the snow flies, our homes need a little TLC in order to ensure our warmth and safety over the months – yes, months – of winter. We’ve prepared a few tips on where to begin and what to include in your home maintenance checklist for the fall: Inspect and clean out your eaves trough. In order to ensure a smooth and safe flow of water away from your home’s exterior and foundation walls,  you’ll need to keep up with the maintenance of your gutters. So, before the leaves fly this fall, have your gutters cleaned, then covered with mesh guards to keep debris from returning. Check the quality of your roof. Those of us who have lived in the Ottawa area for a number of years know that our winters are no walk in the park. We get a lot of snow, heavy winds and even heavier ice build-up. If you set aside some time before the cold snap to inspect your roof from top to bottom – checking for cracked and/or damaged shingles etc. – you’ll avoid such issues as a leaky roof over the winter. Give your furnace a checkup. This is very important to do on an annual basis (especially before the depth of winter hits). This includes making sure that its overall performance is up to par, its filter is clean, and its thermostat works accurately. If you use a snow blower, have it serviced.  If you are considering hiring a snow removal company now is a good time do your research.  Talk to your neighbours and ask for recommendations, read online reviews and contact the snow removal companies on your short list to ensure they meet your expectations.  While price is always a consideration, reliability is especially important when it comes to those heavy snowfalls. Unless you’re one of those hardcore grill-masters, accept the end of BBQ season. Don’t forget to cover yours up or store it away, clean its grills and burners, and disconnect the tank keeping it in a safe place. Seal gaps where mice and other critters could enter. We all love nature but let’s keep the wildlife outdoors! Mice only need the tiniest gap to sneak into your house.  With colder weather coming, they are looking for warm and lovely places (like your home!) to nest.  Fill small holes and cover any larger gaps securely.   If you aren’t sure which materials to use, check with your local hardware or home improvement store for advice on what will work best for the job. Add weatherstripping around your windows and door frames.  While many newer homes may not need this, if you have ever lived in an older home, weatherstripping applied around the frames of windows and doors can make a big difference in helping to keep the cold out and

Just Another Day in the Life…

Many of you may wonder from time to time what your realtor’s typical day might look like. Truth be told, however, as a realtor, there really is no such thing as a typical day. In reality, days vary, schedules change, appointments pop up, emails come in – and in between it all, they eat and (sometimes) sleep. You see, from the moment your realtor’s alarm goes off in the morning, to the time they go to bed at night, they’re working hard to serve you and your home buying/selling needs. For them, it’s a lifestyle – and they’re quite accustomed to finding their balance. Mornings: It’s time to catch up – and be sure not to blink! A realtor’s morning will usually disappear before they can say, “sold!”. Aside from getting up to speed with the surplus of emails that have come in from the day and evening before, most realtors will spend the first few hours of their day reviewing yesterday’s market activity. After all, he/she might stumble across a new property that their buyers might be interested in, or one that’s been flagged as perfect for said buyers and now has a new price tag. Either way, it’s time to jump on the phone. Afternoons: There’s a lot to be said about the rest of a realtor’s typical day. They’ll work with buyers to determine their needs, find suitable properties, meet (or drive them) to showings, and gather any necessary information that could potentially benefit or hinder their buyer’s decision. On the other hand, when a realtor works with sellers, they’ll naturally need to know the market inside and out, have stand-up marketing skills, and not hold back when a negotiation presents itself. In other words: your real estate agent never stops learning. Evenings: Time to tie up any loose ends. Whether that be a negotiation, an offer, or providing their clients with some last minute sound advice, your realtor will work hard until the job’s done. Quite often, they’ll utilize “happy hour” as a time to network and gain any prospective clients, or they’ll make an appearance and several local events. And as the sun goes down, of course, it’s time to head home to be with their families. This is where a solid work-life balance kicks in. Yes, your realtor will quite often jump from one task (and home) to another, but at the end of the day, their ability to juggle many priorities, also allows them to wear many hats. Needless to say, your realtor is not only someone who works around the clock to serve you, but is also someone who’s day is dependent on their client. With an ever-changing work schedule, they always keep you top of mind; and with a passion in real estate, their business is your forever home. The post Just Another Day in the Life… appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog

Winter: Time to keep the heat IN, and your costs DOWN

As winter begins to cover the ground with snow, we Canadians are aware, there’s much more coming our way than just a light dusting. Shoveling snow, spreading salt, and digging out your frozen car, are just some of the “joys” winter may bring to you this season. As the costs of heat and electricity continue to rise, Jack Frost will be nipping at your pocketbook, wanting to extend his winter chills to the interior of your home. If you’re hoping to keep the cold outside, and your heating costs down, the best thing for you to do is to get your home “Winter Ready”. Here are some simply ways to winterize your home: Clean out your gutters Ensure the rain and snow have somewhere to drain to by cleaning your gutters. This will minimize the chance of leaks, and remove excess weight/strain from the gutters. Making sure that the water can freely flow through your gutters now, will stop the formation of icicles and ice-build up later. Reseal your windows Whether you’re purchasing window insulation kits, or redoing the caulk seals, ensuring you minimize the drafts entering the house through your windows will make it easier for the heat to stay in your house. Drafts can sneak in through any improper seal, so be sure to check your need for draft guards, new seals, and even weather-stripping doors as needed. Blocking drafts that may come from improperly sealed doors, windows, and fireplaces can stop up to 70% of your heat and energy from escaping through improper seals – keeping the warm air in, and the cold air out! Store Patio Furniture Extend the life of your patio furniture/BBQ by protecting these items from the elements and storing them indoors this winter. Clean the garage Cleaning up your garage will give you an opportunity for indoor parking. No more scraping ice from the windshields and trying to unbury your car after a snow fall. Parking your vehicle indoors will both keep the vehicle protected, and give you less to do before work in the morning. Fireplace Preparations If you have a fireplace in your house that you plan on using quite frequently this winter, get your chimney/fireplace inspected to ensure that it is safe and clear to use. If your home has a fireplace that you’re not planning on using, block the fireplace with window sealer/insulation kits to help minimize the escaping heat. For more tips on winterizing your fireplace, check here to see what’s important when checking your fireplace before the season. Hoses/Outdoor Water To avoid a messy springtime of sorting through hoses for ones that haven’t cracked, drain the water from your outdoor hoses, and store them indoors for the winter. Turn off any outdoor water taps to avoid freezing Insulate Pipes Pipe insulation kits can be used to keep the water pipes in your home from freezing. Find out everything you need to know about winterizing pipes here. Furnace Preparations If your home’s main heat source is a

Ottawa Real Estate Latest Market Snapshot

It’s hard to believe November is over but here we are!  If you’ve been following Ottawa real estate you’ll know it’s been a busy 2017 and December will likely be no exception.  With the new mortgage rules coming into play in a few short weeks, many buyers are motivated to have firm deals completed before January 1st, 2017. We’ve included the latest news release from the Ottawa Real Estate Board below.  Please note: 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.  We have access to current statistics and trends in our neighbourhoods and communities, it’s our job to stay on top of the market trends!  We have up to date Real Estate Market Reports readily available for you and we love to chat real estate – contact us anytime! Ottawa Real Estate Update | Latest News and Highlights in the Ottawa and Area Real Estate Market OTTAWA, Dec. 5, 2017 – Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,239 residential properties in November through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System compared with 992 in November 2016, an increase of 24.9 per cent. The five-year average for November sales is 1,001. “November numbers are upholding the robust year we have been experiencing in the real estate market in 2017,” Rick Eisert, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Boards states. “Both residential sales and condo sales continue to steadily increase.” November’s sales included 294 in the condominium property class and 945 in the residential property class. “This is not surprising though,” Eisert remarks. “The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institution’s (OSFI) announcement regarding the new stress tests for low- ratio borrowers may have buyers rushing into the market before the stricter mortgage regulations come into play in January 2018. If this keeps up, I expect December could be a busier than usual holiday season for REALTORS®.” The average sale price of a residential class property sold in November in the Ottawa area was $418,354, an increase of 3.2 per cent over November 2016. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $257,212, a decrease of 7.6 per cent over November 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. Price and conditions will vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood. “It is crucial in a market that is moving quickly, such as the one we are experiencing, to ensure you are pricing your property correctly. Having the guidance and market knowledge of a REALTOR® is essential for home buyers and home sellers,” suggests Eisert. “The most active price point in the residential market is the $300,000 to $450,000 range, accounting for 46 per cent of the market. While the most active price point in the condo market, between $150,000 and $275,000, accounts for 66 per cent of the market,” says Eisert. “In addition to residential and Condominium sales, OREB Members assisted clients with renting 2,821 properties since the beginning of the year.”

What Canadian home buyers need to know NOW about the upcoming changes to Mortgage rules

What home buyers need to know before 2018 As of January 1, 2018, Canadian homebuyers will have to meet stiffer requirements in order to qualify for a mortgage with a federally regulated mortgage lender. Why are the Mortgage Rules changing? As Canada’s financial “watchdog” OSFI believes these new rules will decrease the risks for Canadian households with significant debt if and when the interest rates rise. Are you a Confused by the upcoming changes to the mortgage rules? Don’t panic. Our very own Kent Browne, Owner and Broker at Royal LePage Team Realty, sat down with Mortgage Broker York Polk  of Mortgage Alliance to discuss all these changes in order to help you, our clients, understand how they may affect you. Here are the highlights: Changes that came into effect November 30, 2016 and still apply: All buyers having a down payment of less than 20% are required to pass a “Stress Test”* to obtain a mortgage. To pass the stress test, buyers with a payment of less than 20% need to qualify at a higher rate (4.64% at the time) even though the contract rate is much lower (2.3% at the time). Changes starting January 1, 2018 When OSFI’s new rules take effect – even those who have down payments of 20% or higher and do not require mortgage insurance – will also have to undergo a “Stress Test”.   Home buyers will need to qualify for mortgages that are two percentage points higher than the rates at which they are applying. The qualifying rate for the “Stress Test” would be the greater of either 2% higher than the contract rate or the Bank of Canada rate (currently at 4.99%). The contract rate remains unaffected. If you’re a prospective home buyer concerned about how the new mortgage rules will impact your buying power, here are a few tips: If you are thinking about buying a home, seriously consider buying now. Any firm agreement of purchase and sale on a specific property that has been completed and signed off on will follow the old rules, regardless of the closing date.  Note, if you need to make any changes to the agreement after January 1st, you will need to qualify within the new rules. Conventional mortgages can be stretched over up to 30 years and by doing so, it will be easier to qualify at this time. While home buyers should always get pre-approved, this will not protect you from needing to qualify under the new rules if you are unable to purchase a property before 2018. Contact your Realtor  and a professional mortgage broker now to ensure that there are no surprises when it comes time to buy a home.  Questions? We’d love to help! Contact us info@teamrealty.ca. * Stress testing is a best practice risk management tool. Stress tests are not predictions or forecasts­, they involve searching out extreme “what if” scenarios that have a very remote chance of happening, and planning for them. Diligent stress testing is an essential

Why it doesn’t always PAY to sell your home yourself

With today’s hot real estate market, it may be tempting to consider listing your home yourself, without the assistance of a real estate professional; it is often seen as a way to increase profits since no commission will need to be paid out but in reality, this is not often the case. If you choose to sell your home “For Sale By Owner”(FSBO), there are many factors to consider including additional costs and stress, so it is always advisable to list with a Realtor who knows what they are doing; you may actually make more money by doing so! Here are just a few of the reasons why you should hire a Realtor: You may not get top dollar How do you price a home without access to ALL the information – There is a lot that goes into pricing a home including comparing your home to others that have sold in your neighbourhood. Only Realtors have access to that information so you could be left guessing. Homes that are FSBO tend to sell for less than those listed with a Realtor – Buyers often expect to pay less for a FSBO home for a variety of reasons: buyers expect a bit of a deal since the seller is not paying commission to a Realtor and Buyers must pay more out of pocket in legal fees to get the paperwork signed. Along with pricing issues, this can lead to a lower sale price. Marketing can be challenging Realtors have access to many marketing tools that you do not – It takes a lot more than putting a sign on the front lawn to market a house. You may think that promotion through social media will ensure your FSBO sells quickly but this is often not the case; unless you luck out and find that one of your contacts is interested in your home (which is statistically unlikely), what happens next? Realtors have a much wider social media reach and followers who are looking to buy a home! Realtors also have websites and spend time and money to drive traffic towards them. Your listing is far more likely to be seen if you list with a Realtor. Getting your listing on the MLS System – The MLS is where all Realtors and many potential buyers search for listings. It is how your listing will get seen. If you list your property with a Realtor, it will be listed through MLS. There are FSBO Service Providers out there who can get your listing on the MLS, but do your research! Make sure that your listing will appear on the right real estate board’s site and take into consideration the upfront cost of these services. Do you have time? People won’t buy your home unless they can see it – Are you available to host showing of your home at any time of day; if you choose to sell your home yourself, it will be up to you to host the showings. Can

Residential Landlord Rules: An Update

Over the past year, there have been many significant changes to the rules for Residential Landlords. These changes may seem overwhelming, but we are here to help; if you have any further questions, do not hesitate to contact a Realtor. Outlined below are the major rule changes as well as an understanding of how they may affect you as either a landlord or a tenant. September 2016 – Terminations for Domestic Abuse New rules have been put in place involving the termination of a lease in the case of domestic abuse. The landlord no longer has the ability to challenge or investigate these allegations and the notice terminates the tenancy, regardless of whether it is based on a true incident. The residential landlord is also obligated to respect his/her confidentiality obligations. What this means for tenants: Tenants who have been the victim of domestic abuse will be able to terminate a lease without penalty or the challenges of having to prove their case. Confidentiality protection to ensure that victims remain safe. For victims of domestic abuse, this could make it easier for them to leave potentially threatening situations. What this means for landlords: If a tenant claims domestic abuse as the reason for termination of the tenancy, the landlord is obligated to respect this claim and terminate the tenancy. Tenants could claim abuse as a reason to terminate a tenancy quickly and without penalty, even if it is not true. May 2017: Elimination of Post-1991 Exemption for Rent Control According to the Residential Tenancies Act, expansions have been made to include most private rental units in Ontario in Rent Control Guidelines. Ontario landlords can no longer increase rent   by more than the amount set by the Government of Ontario’s Rent Increase Guideline. Prior to these expansions, tenants who resided in homes (including apartments, condo units and houses) that were either built or rented out on or after November 1st of 1991, were exempt from rent control protections. What this means for tenants: Assurance that their rent, in any rental unit, will not increase by more than the Government’s yearly guideline (usually between 1.5% and 2%). Eliminates the horror stories of landlords doubling rents (or sometimes more) that we have heard on the news. What this means for landlords: Less choice when it comes to rent increases. Long-term tenants may mean the landlord makes less money. September 2017: New Rules regarding Family and Personal Use Prior to its current, revised rule, landlords could terminate a tenancy for personal and/or family use. Upon review, if a landlord chooses to terminate tenancy for family or personal use, they must meet the following guidelines: The property must used on a personal level for a minimum of 12 months; They must compensate the tenant with one month’s rent; The property must be personally owned, not by a corporation. What this mean for tenants: Limits unforeseen situations requiring tenants to move. Makes it less likely that a landlord will terminate tenancy with this excuse unless it

Market update! Latest news in Ottawa Real Estate August 2017 Stats

Condo sales help set new record for August unit sales OTTAWA, September 6, 2017 – Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,538 residential properties in August through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 1,481 in August 2016, an increase of 3.8 per cent. The five-year average for August sales is 1,343. “Condo sales continue to strengthen the Ottawa resale market,” says Rick Eisert, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. “These numbers also assisted in setting a new record for the number of units sold in August, pushing August 2016 unit sales into second-place. In comparison to last year the number of condo units sold was up 22.1 per cent, whereas residential units have held steady with a less than one per cent decrease over this time last year. We are actually seeing very similar numbers to that of July 2017.” August’s sales included 359 in the condominium property class, and 1,179 in the residential property class. “The number of new listings and inventory levels for the month of August continued their steady downwards trend compared to last year,” explains Eisert. “However, prices continue to remain relatively steady, especially in comparison to other markets in Canada. Over the past several years, Ottawa has been more or less on par with inflation rates.” “While REALTORS® have reported fewer multiple offer situations in the past month, we are seeing Sellers receive asking price or very close to it,” says Eisert. “Cumulative days on market have tightened significantly since last year. Residential listings are selling almost 30 per cent faster than this time last year, and condo units are selling just over 10 per cent faster than last year. Although, keep in mind that while some areas within the Ottawa market are quite active, other areas of the city remain less active.” The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in August in the Ottawa area was $420,335, an increase of 7.6 per cent over August 2016. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $270,768, a decrease of 0.4 per cent over August 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. Price and conditions will vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood. “The two most active price points in the residential market continue to be the $300,000 to $399,999 followed by the $400,000 to $499,999 range, combined accounting for 55.6 per cent of the market. Within the condo market, the most active price point was between $150,000 and $249,999, accounting for 49.5 per cent of the market,” says Eisert. “In addition to residential and condominium sales, OREB Members assisted clients with renting 2,153 properties since the beginning of the year.” – 30 – The post Market update! Latest news in Ottawa Real Estate August 2017 Stats

Ottawa Real Estate Update: October Market Snapshot

posted November 2nd, 2017 by the Ottawa Real Estate Board “Leaves may be falling, but the real estate market is not” OTTAWA, Nov. 2, 2017 – Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,243 residential properties in October through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System,compared with 1,214 in October 2016, an increase of 2.3 per cent. The five-year average for October sales is 1,165. “As we enter the 3rd quarter of the year, we continue to see the resale market outpace last year’s performance, which was also a stellar year,” says Rick Eisert, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. October’s sales included 261 in the condominium property class, and 982 in the residential property class. Condominium sales continue to drive the overall residential sales market, with a year to date increase of 21.4 per cent over the same time period last year.” “The fall market is brisk and could be fueled by the impending tightening of mortgage regulations,” says Eisert. “Properties continue to sell nmuch faster in comparison to this time last year with the average days on market for residential properties down 17.7 per cent from 55 to 45 days. Our market could still be described as balanced, though in some areas it continues to trend towards a Sellers’ market.” Eisert adds “Slow but steady growth best describes Ottawa housing prices.” The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in October in the Ottawa area was $425,256, an increase of 7.7 per cent over October 2016. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $269,604, an increase of 6.7 per cent over October 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. Price and conditions will vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood. “In the residential market, the $300,000 to $399,999 range remains the most active price point, accounting for 33.3 per cent of the market. While in the condo market, the most active price point is between $175,000 and $249,999, accounting for 45.2 per cent of the market,” says Eisert. “In addition to residential and condominium sales, OREB Members assisted clients with renting 2,607 properties since the beginning of the year.” The post Ottawa Real Estate Update: October Market Snapshot appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog

New Mortgage Rules for January 2018

Are you a Canadian homeowner? A first time home buyer? Do you see yourself purchasing a home for your family in foreseeable future? If you’ve answered “yes” to any of these questions, or have considered tapping into the real estate market in the New Year, keep reading! The time has come, once again, for the Canadian mortgage rules to change. Effective January 1st , 2018 the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) will be implementing new mortgage regulations that may ultimately reduce purchasing power on conventional purchases and refinancing of all homes. Of course, as word of these new regulations surface, so do pressing questions from anxious home buyers on how these changes will affect them, and what we’ll all need to know as we enter into the New Year. How will the new mortgage rule affect Canadian home buyers? Essentially, the new qualifying mortgage rules will require home buyers to qualify at a rate that is 2% higher than that of their negotiated or contract rate – ensuring that the majority of home owners pay a minimum of 20% on a down payment, in addition to having the sustainable ability to afford ongoing payments. Why are they implementing the new mortgage rules? The bulk of these measures are to confirm that banks are “lending money to home buyers who can manage their loans even if interest rates rise … [thus] reducing the banks’ reliance on loan-to-value calculations in markets where home prices are rising quite rapidly”. According to Jeremy Rudin, Superintendent of Financial Institutions, the risks that coincide with the stress of these new regulations are clear. Yet, rather than waiting upon potential debts and defaults in an otherwise rising market, his approach is to adapt their standards to new developments. Here’s an overview as to who might feel the greatest impact with respect to these new changes, effective January 1st, 2018: Those who do not meet the regular bank-lending criteria, and therefore work with an alternate lender. These lenders will likely charge higher rates and, as a result, have a higher level of risk pertaining, but not limited to, such circumstances as credit and/or qualifying income. Home buyers who would have otherwise needed to meet the bank-lending criteria, but are now required to qualify at an above-contract level or 2%. Potential outcomes? Opting for shorter or variable terms. Those who are looking to either purchase a home with a 20% down payment, or refinancing their existing homes. All considerations might want to be thoroughly revisited prior to the New Year. Needless to say, if you are thinking about buying a property careful review of this new information now is important.  Speak to your real estate sales representative and mortgage broker today!     The post New Mortgage Rules for January 2018 appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog

Millennials-Turned-Homeowners

Home ownership is something that comes with great pride. And with it being one of, if not, the biggest, most sought-after purchase (and decision) that you will ever make in your years as an adult, it’s recommended that you thoroughly prepare yourself for the emotional and financial attributes that go along with doing so. This said, there are people of every age group and at each stage in their lives that look into the real estate market and agree to buy or sell their home. Most recently, however, it’s the millennials that are powering the housing market. Millennials – those aged roughly 18-34 – are making big moves in the real estate world as of late, and we believe that there are several reasons as to why. For starters, owning a home grants you with a sense of financial security. Sure, on the flip side, it can also potentially cause a great deal of financial stress – i.e. coming up with the initial down payment, meeting the regular mortgage costs, and so on – but as housing prices rise, your home can provide you with some financial security due to capital appreciation. A concept that many young-to-middle aged millennials can grasp. In fact, most home buyers that fall under the millennial category are more financially savvy than one may think. If anything, they understand their money and what makes the most financial sense to them, not the other way around. Owning a home also allows for a great deal of flexibility, exclusivity, and stability – all attributes that millennials yearn for when it comes to solidifying their independence. Aside from having free reigns on decorating and/or renovating their new home as they choose to, they also have a say on what sort of home they’d like to invest in. In fact, millennials nowadays are searching for their forever home – that home they can foresee themselves living in throughout marriage and kids – and skipping the traditional “starter home” altogether. For the most part, homebuyers of this age group have that “been there done that” mentality of no longer needing or longing for that city-living, centrally-located 1-to-2-bedroom home and trading it all in for that 3+ bedroom home in the suburbs – a place to call their own. Home ownership is of very high importance to millennials; as a matter of fact, a whopping 86 percent of millennials view home ownership as such, despite the fact that some may still be renting or living with their parents. Regardless, purchasing a home is of top priority on their life’s to-do list.   The post Millennials-Turned-Homeowners appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog

Purchasing a Home in Canada’s Best City to Live

We are very fortunate to live in a City that offers economically booming neighbourhoods and family-friendly communities. In Ottawa, there’s bound to be something for anyone and everyone. In fact, according to MoneySense, Ottawa has been ranked Canada’s Best Place to Live in 2017. Why? Well, aside from being home to one of the most respected tech hubs in Canada, having an extremely low-by-comparison unemployment rate of only 5%, and host to some of the greatest, most talented chefs in the country, Ottawa is a safe and affordable city that hasn’t been caught up in the real estate frenzy that’s afflicted several other cities across our Nation. So just how affordable are the homes in our City? Of course, answers and opinions to this question will no less vary, but for the sake of argument, let’s narrow down our search to what our residents can purchase for around the $400, 000 mark or less. Though the average price for your run-of-the-mill residential freehold home has been increased by 6.9% this year (and will sell for approximately $426,702) the condominium market is what is seemingly taking the real estate world by storm, selling at an average price of $273,926. Sure, you may have to consider the standard payments of varying condo fees, the (perhaps many) adjoining neighbours, the lack of yard space for children and/or pets, and they might take a little longer to find in comparison to your typical residential property, but it could be worth it if you’re looking to save a few dollars. In fact, if you’re looking to find a home that’s relatively central in location, you can find something within the range of $234,355 to $301,266 that varies in size (from a single apartment to a 3-storey condo).  On the other hand, if you and your family aren’t the condominium type, there’s nothing for you to worry about. There’s actually something affordable that’s out there for you too. Although it’s been estimated that the cost of home sales have increased year-to-date from last year, you can still find a nice sized split-level home for just over $400,000, a 1 1.2-storey for just over $300,000 and a bungalow for around $390,000. The upsides of opting for a freehold home over a condominium are often more living and yard space, little-to-no added condo fees, and a quiet, suburban neighbourhood that’s safe for a growing family. The City of Ottawa has an abundance of attributes that has certainly helped us to achieve the number two spot in Reader’s Digest’s list of Best Canadian Cities to Raise a Family. Offering its residents accessible public transit, one of the lowest crime rates in the country, and an affordable range of neighbourhoods to reside in, Ottawa is, without a doubt, a top pick among many Canadians. The post Purchasing a Home in Canada’s Best City to Live appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog

Canada 150: Enjoying the Fall Season

Canada’s 150th milestone is here and in full swing; and what a year it’s been so far! We’ve bundled up as we watched our favourite downhill skaters at Red Bull’s Crashed Ice, cheered on our favourite musical talents at the 2017 Juno Awards, looked up – way up – at those daring enough to eat, drink, and be merry above the cityscape in Ottawa’s very own Sky Lounge, and roared aloud as La Machine walked our city streets. So, what’s next? What could possibly top all of the excitement that our City has seen so far? Get ready, folks – the celebrations haven’t quite come to an end just yet! Come November, Ottawa will be home to a multitude of video gamers and enthusiasts alike as we host the Canadian Videogame Happening over a 5-day timeframe (November 15-19). What can we expect to see over the course of this event? Well, in addition to the gala celebrations at the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum, the Ottawa 2017 Bureau will host a national championship for gamers. What’s more is that come time for the semi-final and final rounds, you’ll be able to walk our city streets and watch the colossal matches as they will be projected in such a way onto varying buildings across town. So, game on! As Canada celebrates 150 years, the Grey Cup honours its 105th. And what better City to play host to such a commemorative event than our Nation’s Capital? On Tuesday, November 21st, the monumental Grey Cup festival begins. Through to Sunday, November 26th, Lansdowne will transform into Ottawa’s sport and entertainment destination. The ultimate goal: to showcase our Canadian cities through a multitude of events (both ticketed and non-ticketed) including live music performances, and activities that are family-friendly as well as a celebration of our multicultural Nation. Then, on Sunday, November 26th, Canadian country music phenomenon, Shania Twain, touches-down at the big game’s halftime show. Needless to say, it’s bound to be an unforgettable time. For more information about the Grey Cup Festival, how to buy tickets and more, click here; and if football isn’t exactly your sport of choice, check out this link for everything you need to know about the 2017 Scotiabank NHL100 Classic where our Ottawa Senators will face off against the Montreal Canadians at home – and outdoors – on December 16th. Let’s continue to take pride in who we are as Canadians and remember this notable milestone through unity and celebration. Happy birthday Canada, let’s keep the party going!       The post Canada 150: Enjoying the Fall Season appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog

Backup Offers: What They Are and How They Work

The home buying process can be thrilling and exhausting at the same time.  Investing in real estate is something worth waiting, saving and hunting for – not to mention something worth spending time perfecting – but what happens if you find the home of your dreams only to find out that it’s already been snatched up by another buyer? You may feel discouraged, wondering if you’ll ever find another home like that one again. Sound familiar? Well, before you nod your heads in agreeance, don’t! Not all hope is lost, folks! Introducing something called the backup offer: the long shot that could pan out. Sure, we may ask ourselves if the motion to submit an offer on a home that’s already in someone else’s possession really worth it? And the answer is yes. Let’s break it down, shall we? As a home buyer, you simply make an offer on the impending home, just as you would if you were the first ones to do so – negotiate with the sellers, file the paperwork, and so on. Step two is the waiting game, which might be a little stress-provoking, we’ll agree. But, if the first deal falls through for any reason, you’re next in line to get the home you’ve been waiting for.  Needless to say, the backup offer is quite reasonably an encouraging option. So what are the benefits of going through with this type of offer? A few things to keep in mind: Deals fall through for all sorts of reasons more often than you may think. All it takes is one of those reasons to occur, and just like that, you’re next time line to becoming a homeowner. If this truly is the home you’ve been anticipating for weeks, months – years, even – and it’s located in an area where the market is rather competitive, you don’t want to have to see it relisted. This will not only lead to further competition among other interested homebuyers, but will lead to the aforementioned stress-provoking waiting game to once again ensue. If the original deal does, in fact, fall through (referring back to point A), make sure you know why. Now that you’re in the driver’s seat, you have full reigns to ask the right questions, execute a second home inspection (be sure to include this contingency in your contract, of course) and so on. This way, if something happens to turn you off about the home, you can walk. Buying a new home is exciting! And although the process itself may seem hectic at times, our advice to you is to enjoy every minute of its (unpredictable) course. Make sure to do your due diligence, ask questions and choose a realtor you trust, there is always an opportunity learn something that you may not have otherwise known about!  Questions? Call or email us at info@teamrealty.ca – we love to chat about real estate! The post Backup Offers: What They Are and How They Work appeared first on Team

Ottawa Real Estate Highlights September 2017

“Steady September contributes to strong third quarter for 2017” It’s hard to believe that the fall real estate market has arrived, but here we are in October!  If you’ve been following Ottawa real estate this year you’ll know that it’s been a record breaker, particularly with the number of sales year over year.  According to the Ottawa Real Estate Board statistics;  in 2017 the listing inventory has been lower, average sale prices are steadily increasing, properties are selling faster and there have been more multiple offer situations.  While we may be trending towards a “Seller’s Market”, unlike Toronto and Vancouver, there are still plenty of opportunities for home buyers to find affordable housing in and around our beautiful city!   The boost in the luxury “lifestyle” market and the condo market have impacted the year-over-year numbers and all signs point to a strong finish to 2017. Read the full news release from OREB below.  Note: 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.  We have access to current statistics and trends in our neighbourhoods and communities, it’s our job to stay on top of the market trends.  We have up to date Real Estate Market Reports readily available for you and we love to chat real estate – contact us anytime! From the Ottawa Real Estate Board released October 4th, 2017 OTTAWA, Oct. 4, 2017 – Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,387 residential properties in September through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 1,365 in September 2016, an increase of 1.6 per cent. The five-year average “We are seeing no slowdown in the condo market. Sales have been increasing in this property class since February, with the average increase per month coming in at 25.5 per cent,” says Rick Eisert, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. “The boost in condo sales has impacted our yearto- date unit sale figures and is putting us on track for a strong year-end finish.” September’s sales included 311 in the condominium property class, and 1,076 in the residential property class. “Inventory levels and the number of new listings continue to tighten compared to the same time last year,” explains Eisert. “REALTORS® are reporting substantial increases in attendance at open houses over the past few months. The low inventory and the late summer weather have certainly contributed to this increased traffic.” “The Ottawa market is showing signs of stabilizing after the record setting spring and summer. All indications suggest that it will be a typical selling season heading into the fall,” says Eisert. “Although properties continue to sell much faster in comparison to this time last year, our market is still balanced, though trending toward a Sellers’ market. The average increase in sale price has not skyrocketed, but rather has increased gradually due to more homes selling in the $450+ price

Ottawa Real Estate Latest Market Snapshot

It’s hard to believe November is over but here we are!  If you’ve been following Ottawa real estate you’ll know it’s been a busy 2017 and December will likely be no exception.  With the new mortgage rules coming into play in a few short weeks, many buyers are motivated to have firm deals completed before January 1st, 2017. We’ve included the latest news release from the Ottawa Real Estate Board below.  Please note: 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.  We have access to current statistics and trends in our neighbourhoods and communities, it’s our job to stay on top of the market trends!  We have up to date Real Estate Market Reports readily available for you and we love to chat real estate – contact us anytime! Ottawa Real Estate Update | Latest News and Highlights in the Ottawa and Area Real Estate Market OTTAWA, Dec. 5, 2017 – Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,239 residential properties in November through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System compared with 992 in November 2016, an increase of 24.9 per cent. The five-year average for November sales is 1,001. “November numbers are upholding the robust year we have been experiencing in the real estate market in 2017,” Rick Eisert, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Boards states. “Both residential sales and condo sales continue to steadily increase.” November’s sales included 294 in the condominium property class and 945 in the residential property class. “This is not surprising though,” Eisert remarks. “The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institution’s (OSFI) announcement regarding the new stress tests for low- ratio borrowers may have buyers rushing into the market before the stricter mortgage regulations come into play in January 2018. If this keeps up, I expect December could be a busier than usual holiday season for REALTORS®.” The average sale price of a residential class property sold in November in the Ottawa area was $418,354, an increase of 3.2 per cent over November 2016. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $257,212, a decrease of 7.6 per cent over November 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. Price and conditions will vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood. “It is crucial in a market that is moving quickly, such as the one we are experiencing, to ensure you are pricing your property correctly. Having the guidance and market knowledge of a REALTOR® is essential for home buyers and home sellers,” suggests Eisert. “The most active price point in the residential market is the $300,000 to $450,000 range, accounting for 46 per cent of the market. While the most active price point in the condo market, between $150,000 and $275,000, accounts for 66 per cent of the market,” says Eisert. “In addition to residential and Condominium sales, OREB Members assisted clients with renting 2,821 properties since the beginning of the year.”

Here’s an Idea of What Goes into Pricing Your Home

So you’ve decided to sell your home and embark in this journey called real estate. And whether this is your first, second, or “I’ve lost count” run of it, there will always be something that will set this particular experience apart from the rest. So what goes into it all? Where does one even begin? Arguably, one of the first and most significant attributes toward successfully selling your home is to determine its price – one that’s realistic, sensible and appealing to buyers. Once you’ve decided upon this as a starting point, the rest will naturally follow; however, we advise that in order to have things iron out in a way that is both educational and enjoyable for you, you must first hire someone in the business. Enter: your realtor. It goes without saying that there are a lot of factors that go into the process of selling your home as an entirety. This said, your agent knows the ins and outs of this business, and it’s important to trust them. After all, it’s their duty to not only give you the undivided attention that you deserve, but also the insurmountable amount of (pricing) tips and sound advice that you may need. For the vast majority of us, we don’t know the first thing about pricing our home to sell – but he/she will – and here’s a general idea of how it all works: Determine the value of your property: take a moment to sit down with your realtor and agree on the value of your home based on comparable sales (i.e. what similar homes in your neighbourhood have sold for) the condition of your home, and other market considerations. Once step one is complete, and you know what the value of your home is, you can then establish the type of price range that your property will list at thus leading you and your realtor to nail down a set listing Prepare a comparative market analysis: touched upon briefly in the above text, determining the price of your home (partially) based on certain comparables is an important thing to factor in during the beginning stages of this process. A comparative market analysis is something that is prepared by your real estate agent that will give you an idea of what has sold in your neighbourhood in the past, what is currently for sale, and what is conditionally sold. He/she will do their homework and present you with these important pieces of information, highlighting market trends as well as a detailed pricing strategy. Consider your location: again, the aforementioned detail of knowing your neighbourhood and understanding what’s been sold, as well as what is currently selling within proximity to your home is key when it comes to determining a set listing price. In fact, the comparables that surround your location is considered to be some of the most critical pieces of usable data, as they will tell your realtor what serious homebuyers are willing to pay for a similar

Why it doesn’t always PAY to sell your home yourself

With today’s hot real estate market, it may be tempting to consider listing your home yourself, without the assistance of a real estate professional; it is often seen as a way to increase profits since no commission will need to be paid out but in reality, this is not often the case. If you choose to sell your home “For Sale By Owner”(FSBO), there are many factors to consider including additional costs and stress, so it is always advisable to list with a Realtor who knows what they are doing; you may actually make more money by doing so! Here are just a few of the reasons why you should hire a Realtor: You may not get top dollar How do you price a home without access to ALL the information – There is a lot that goes into pricing a home including comparing your home to others that have sold in your neighbourhood. Only Realtors have access to that information so you could be left guessing. Homes that are FSBO tend to sell for less than those listed with a Realtor – Buyers often expect to pay less for a FSBO home for a variety of reasons: buyers expect a bit of a deal since the seller is not paying commission to a Realtor and Buyers must pay more out of pocket in legal fees to get the paperwork signed. Along with pricing issues, this can lead to a lower sale price. Marketing can be challenging Realtors have access to many marketing tools that you do not – It takes a lot more than putting a sign on the front lawn to market a house. You may think that promotion through social media will ensure your FSBO sells quickly but this is often not the case; unless you luck out and find that one of your contacts is interested in your home (which is statistically unlikely), what happens next? Realtors have a much wider social media reach and followers who are looking to buy a home! Realtors also have websites and spend time and money to drive traffic towards them. Your listing is far more likely to be seen if you list with a Realtor. Getting your listing on the MLS System – The MLS is where all Realtors and many potential buyers search for listings. It is how your listing will get seen. If you list your property with a Realtor, it will be listed through MLS. There are FSBO Service Providers out there who can get your listing on the MLS, but do your research! Make sure that your listing will appear on the right real estate board’s site and take into consideration the upfront cost of these services. Do you have time? People won’t buy your home unless they can see it – Are you available to host showing of your home at any time of day; if you choose to sell your home yourself, it will be up to you to host the showings. Can

What Canadian home buyers need to know NOW about the upcoming changes to Mortgage rules

What home buyers need to know before 2018 As of January 1, 2018, Canadian homebuyers will have to meet stiffer requirements in order to qualify for a mortgage with a federally regulated mortgage lender. Why are the Mortgage Rules changing? As Canada’s financial “watchdog” OSFI believes these new rules will decrease the risks for Canadian households with significant debt if and when the interest rates rise. Are you a Confused by the upcoming changes to the mortgage rules? Don’t panic. Our very own Kent Browne, Owner and Broker at Royal LePage Team Realty, sat down with Mortgage Broker York Polk  of Mortgage Alliance to discuss all these changes in order to help you, our clients, understand how they may affect you. Here are the highlights: Changes that came into effect November 30, 2016 and still apply: All buyers having a down payment of less than 20% are required to pass a “Stress Test”* to obtain a mortgage. To pass the stress test, buyers with a payment of less than 20% need to qualify at a higher rate (4.64% at the time) even though the contract rate is much lower (2.3% at the time). Changes starting January 1, 2018 When OSFI’s new rules take effect – even those who have down payments of 20% or higher and do not require mortgage insurance – will also have to undergo a “Stress Test”.   Home buyers will need to qualify for mortgages that are two percentage points higher than the rates at which they are applying. The qualifying rate for the “Stress Test” would be the greater of either 2% higher than the contract rate or the Bank of Canada rate (currently at 4.99%). The contract rate remains unaffected. If you’re a prospective home buyer concerned about how the new mortgage rules will impact your buying power, here are a few tips: If you are thinking about buying a home, seriously consider buying now. Any firm agreement of purchase and sale on a specific property that has been completed and signed off on will follow the old rules, regardless of the closing date.  Note, if you need to make any changes to the agreement after January 1st, you will need to qualify within the new rules. Conventional mortgages can be stretched over up to 30 years and by doing so, it will be easier to qualify at this time. While home buyers should always get pre-approved, this will not protect you from needing to qualify under the new rules if you are unable to purchase a property before 2018. Contact your Realtor  and a professional mortgage broker now to ensure that there are no surprises when it comes time to buy a home.  Questions? We’d love to help! Contact us info@teamrealty.ca. * Stress testing is a best practice risk management tool. Stress tests are not predictions or forecasts­, they involve searching out extreme “what if” scenarios that have a very remote chance of happening, and planning for them. Diligent stress testing is an essential

Residential Landlord Rules: An Update

Over the past year, there have been many significant changes to the rules for Residential Landlords. These changes may seem overwhelming, but we are here to help; if you have any further questions, do not hesitate to contact a Realtor. Outlined below are the major rule changes as well as an understanding of how they may affect you as either a landlord or a tenant. September 2016 – Terminations for Domestic Abuse New rules have been put in place involving the termination of a lease in the case of domestic abuse. The landlord no longer has the ability to challenge or investigate these allegations and the notice terminates the tenancy, regardless of whether it is based on a true incident. The residential landlord is also obligated to respect his/her confidentiality obligations. What this means for tenants: Tenants who have been the victim of domestic abuse will be able to terminate a lease without penalty or the challenges of having to prove their case. Confidentiality protection to ensure that victims remain safe. For victims of domestic abuse, this could make it easier for them to leave potentially threatening situations. What this means for landlords: If a tenant claims domestic abuse as the reason for termination of the tenancy, the landlord is obligated to respect this claim and terminate the tenancy. Tenants could claim abuse as a reason to terminate a tenancy quickly and without penalty, even if it is not true. May 2017: Elimination of Post-1991 Exemption for Rent Control According to the Residential Tenancies Act, expansions have been made to include most private rental units in Ontario in Rent Control Guidelines. Ontario landlords can no longer increase rent   by more than the amount set by the Government of Ontario’s Rent Increase Guideline. Prior to these expansions, tenants who resided in homes (including apartments, condo units and houses) that were either built or rented out on or after November 1st of 1991, were exempt from rent control protections. What this means for tenants: Assurance that their rent, in any rental unit, will not increase by more than the Government’s yearly guideline (usually between 1.5% and 2%). Eliminates the horror stories of landlords doubling rents (or sometimes more) that we have heard on the news. What this means for landlords: Less choice when it comes to rent increases. Long-term tenants may mean the landlord makes less money. September 2017: New Rules regarding Family and Personal Use Prior to its current, revised rule, landlords could terminate a tenancy for personal and/or family use. Upon review, if a landlord chooses to terminate tenancy for family or personal use, they must meet the following guidelines: The property must used on a personal level for a minimum of 12 months; They must compensate the tenant with one month’s rent; The property must be personally owned, not by a corporation. What this mean for tenants: Limits unforeseen situations requiring tenants to move. Makes it less likely that a landlord will terminate tenancy with this excuse unless it

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