Archives for Buyers

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

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

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

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

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

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

Buying Near Parks and Recreational Facilities

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

The Lowdown on Open House Etiquette for Home Buyers

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

4 Helpful Tips for Purchasing Home Insurance for a New Homeowner

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

Considering Your Lifestyle When House Hunting

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

Finding the Best Neighbourhood for Your Family

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

Using a Buyer’s Agent

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

The Bank of Mom and Dad: Living as Millennials

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

Why Move? A Look into Canada’s Homebuyers

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

Getting Ready to Buy in the Spring Market

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

“Oh I Forgot to Tell You…”

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

Canada Celebrates 150 Years!

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

The Perks of Buying a Home in the Winter

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

Canada’s Housing Rules in Full Swing

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

Why Appreciate Your Real Estate Agent

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

The 3 Most Common Reasons a Home Inspection Kills a Deal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Buying Old Versus New Properties – Pros and Cons

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

8 steps to getting started in property investment

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

Financing Your Home Purchase – Mortgage Broker or Bank?

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

Real Estate Snapshot February 2016

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

Saving Strategies for Every Age

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

Don’t tax my dream campaign succeeds

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

Buying a home and planning on moving sooner than later?

Buying a home that is not your forever home but perfect for now! Read my article in Power2DoIt by clicking on the link below for some valuable tips on how to proceed for a profitable investment. Buying a Home and Planning on Moving Sooner than Later

Relocation Tips

Relocating to a new area, moving to a different province or country, take a moment to read my article in “Power 2 Do It” E-magazine by following this link below http://www.power2doit.com/2015/10/01/relocating-tips/

Feel Good Day – Purse Philanthropists

Feel good day today, I joined a great group of ladies this morning who worked hard at delivering purses and bags full of basic necessities to establishments helping women in needs, you can do it too any time you want just ask me how. It is fun and so helpful…

Rented property to returning clients

Rented property to returning clients It is always a pleasure to work with the same families again, fantastic feeling to be trusted, thank you very much to my clients and congratulations on renting your new home, wishing you a smooth transition!

Pumpkin deliveries

Pumpkins delivery to my clients and families who referred me, thank you so much for your trust, I truly appreciate it, lots of them to go will take a few days!

Real Estate Referrals and Relocation Services between Canadian Provinces and International Countries!

Relocations in Real Estate are quite frequent and families are often in need of someone they can trust to assist in their new adventure. I have personally lived this experience 4 times and understand the needs and challenges revolving around this transition. If you are in the Military, Retail, Government or any field leading you to Ottawa, I would be privileged to assist with your Real Estate needs in this life changing experience. I am honoured to collaborate with Realtors with referrals in order to offer personalised attention to their clients. I have the pleasure to provide services in English and French. If a relocation is in your future, I would gladly inform you on some of the beauty and benefits this region has to offer and guide you towards a gentle transition to or from Ottawa.

Open house on Weekdays?

Open house on Weekdays? Open house on weekdays? Perfect way to have the most exposure! As the holidays are in full throttle and weekends are precious, weekday open houses are fantastic to ensure you are not missing the opportunity to showcase your home to all potential buyers. After all some of them are gone camping, boating, out of town or just want to host a BBQ. Let me know how I can take care of your best interest and sell your home!

Half Moon Bay property in Barrhaven just SOLD

Half Moon Bay property in Barrhaven just SOLD, Congratulations to the seller, I am very happy for you – such a nice experience to work with you! All the best in your new life!

Canada Day

Happy Canada Day Relax, have fun and just enjoy!

Open House or Not?

Open houses have multiple benefits, take a peek at my article to know more! Come visit me anytime, I would be delighted to answer any of your Real Estate questions and help you achieve your goals! http://www.power2doit.com/2015/06/28/hosting-an-open-house-or-not/

Real Estate Services in English and French

Services in… English If you are looking to buy, sell, rent, find a tenant, relocate, invest or get informed in Real Estate. Contact me for a personalised service 613-612-HOME (4663) and French Si vous etes a la recherche d’une maison ou si vous voulez vendre, louer, trouver un locataire, si vous devez etre re-localiser pour votre emploi ou si vous etes un investeur en immobilier. Contactez moi pour un service personalisé 613-612-HOME (4663)

St-Jean Baptiste

Bonne fete de la St-Jean-Baptiste a tous mes confreres de travails, amis et famille au Québec

Happy New Year – Bonne Année

Wishing you a fantastic year 2016 filled with health, happiness & tons of success! Je vous souhaite une année fantastique remplie de santé, joie et succes!

Furniture placement

Before     After Placement of furniture can make a big impact on a room. It can create an atmosphere, give the impression of spaciousness and surely make you feel welcome. Consult a professional and learn the best way to utilize all your space.

Hang-Up Help Out

Such a Successful Event In the Community It feels good to have donated to such a wonderful event. The community came together and a lot of hard work was involved by fabulous people. Congratulation on a rewarding project and making so many people happy!

Update – Decorate

    Refreshing a room can be as easy as new bedding, painting and removing the wall paper. Stay up to date and feel rejuvenated. Furniture placements also helps to make a room feel more functional, comfortable and larger.

Real Estate & Home Staging

Real Estate & Home Staging – Follow the link below for my article in Power 2 do it about Real Estate & Home Staging a winning partnership http://www.power2doit.com/…/real-estate-home-staging-a-win…/

SOLD

Always nice to have a kind message like this posted on your Facebook site, it was my pleasure to work with you as well. Congratulations! Thank you Nicole Rosenfeldt for all your hard work and dedication. You are an excellent realtor! J

Acheteurs/Buyers

Acheteur/Buyers J’ai eu le plaisir de travailler avec une famille fantastique dans les derniers jours et ils ont acheté leurs premiere maison, tres belle expérience – TOUTES MES FELICITATIONS – Je suis tres heureuse pour vous S & A

Real Estate Moving Tip of the day

Tip of the day: Are you moving? Here is a great way to pack your wine glasses or tall fragile objects. Obtain empty wine boxes at the liquor store with dividers and slide the glasses in the box instead of the wine bottles, no tissue or wrapping required safe easy and voila moving in style!

Another property rented

I had the privilege to work with a wonderful young couple in the last few days and helped them find a fantastic rental property where they can enjoy nature near by with their chocolate Lab – CONGRATULATIONS – Truly enjoyed working with you M & E

Happy Mother’s Day

Have a fantastic mother’s day weekend, cherish all the lovely ladies who have made a difference in your life and enjoy precious moments with your children!

Home Staging has great benefits

Hire a stager to optimize your space A well presented space is inviting and WILL make the difference between your home and the comparable ones in your neighbourhood. Quite often it is the final touch you need to seal the deal…

Tips of the month – January 2015

Four tips to help you get the best deal when refinancing your mortgage & 7 quick tips to create a home office you’ll actually want to work in Click on the link below to know more and contact me if you would like some information on the market – Happy New Year, all the best for 2015, health and lots of success! Your Realtor Helping You Achieve Your Real Estate Goals and Dreams. file:///C:/Users/Owner/Downloads/Rosenfeldt%20(14).pdf  

Kitchen investment and renovation

Investment The kitchen can be a big investment but it will be your strongest return when you sell and your most appreciated room in the house. If you have to spare some money. Do it on other rooms. Removing this wall, updating the cabinets and counter tops were an amazing improvement for this property. Notice the impact in these before and after pictures. Design by Nicole Rosenfeldt      

Networking for a Cure

It was so nice to join a fantastic group of people with a common interest to find a cure for cancer tonight, I had the pleasure to meet new professionals and like minded individuals. Great event Maple Soft Center Team & Allison!

Storage

Storage isn’t always a better investment In order to have a huge shower, this storage was removed and the functionality of this bathroom has been improved and impacted the value of this property in a positive way.  

REAL ESTATE HELP

Just a click away   Type your questions, click and send. Please know you can contact me anytime to find out the best way to prepare your home for sale, answer any concern you may have after the transaction is completed. Understand the market as a first time buyer, there is no questions to small, always feel free to ask. I am working for YOU!

Fining your new home or selling your property

Looking for Real Estate Services? Realtors make the process easy for you. We have access to properties before they are on the market, through collaboration with our co-workers we can provide connections to multiple buyers and sellers. When you hire us you receive access  to all our connections, and the support of a professional brand Royal Lepage!   Save your time and let ME work for you!

Snowsuit Fund Ottawa

What a pleasure to help at the Snowsuit Fund of Ottawa   I had the pleasure to meet lots of new people and help kind families, way to go, great team! 225 Donald St #134, Ottawa, ON K1K 1N1 (613) 746-8719    

Royal Lepage Toy Mountain Sponsor

I am proud to have donated for this wonderful cause and sharing the happiness with the children, please give generously! Follow the link below for more information http://ottawa.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=498179&binId=1.1487308&playlistPageNum=1

You Never Get a Second Chance to Make a First Impression

Selling your home? Read my article in the Ottawa Life Magazine where I had the opportunity & pleasure to write for Brandelyn Cameron-Martin Brandelyn Cameron’s Style Profile focuses on local Ottawa Experts. Nicole Rosenfeldt shares why Home Staging is essential for a memorable first impression in Real Estate. In today’s world, competition is fierce. Selling a home is no longer about hiring a Sales Representative and installing a sign on your front lawn. It is about working with a knowledgeable and professional Realtor who has a team, including yourself, to present your property to give the most memorable first impression. Home Staging is a huge part of the Real Estate process. While most of us live very busy and demanding lifestyles, the taste and the practicality of your family should be set aside while in the process of selling a home. The reality is you are competing with new home builders who have all the latest finishes and designer services. In order to be ahead of the competition, you must prepare your home to be desirable in the eyes of the general population. This is accomplished by using neutral tone colours, keeping your house organized, but most of all, clean and uncluttered. Practicality becomes secondary to presentation and personal lifestyle needs are temporarily on hold during the selling process. It will be a challenging period especially for families with little ones, but keep in mind photographers are not magicians. They can use fantastic lenses and flashes, but their cameras usually do not have an app to remove the dirty laundry, toys everywhere or the broken window. Take a minute to fix paint damage or loose baseboards. Anything unappealing will be in the buyer’s eyes a detriment to the value of your home and they will question how well you maintained the property. A little time and hard work can save you big dollars and surely avoid too many complications at the home inspection stage. If you know something is defective or in poor condition, the inspector and the buyer will notice it too. Why encounter unnecessary complications or risk losing a sale? Home Staging is a process and has many levels of tasks to complete to achieve a successful transaction. Most of the work is inexpensive, but in some instances, there might be a cost in order to obtain the best value for your home or return on investment. Your goal is to avoid price reduction or simply be on the market for as little time as possible. The more involved you are personally, the better your results will be! A Real Estate transaction is a team effort by skilled and hardworking individuals, choose well and ask relevant questions. Be ahead of the game and leave a fantastic first impression. Many home buyers search for their homes through pictures featured on MLS or during a visit where your property is showcased in the best light possible. A picture is worth a thousand words and the potential future owner of your

showcase your counter top space

Keep it simple and functional Keep it simple and functional, home staging is about showing your asset, do not fill up counter tops… It will show there is room to work, especially if space is limited!!

Happy Halloween

Wishing you and your loved ones a fun, safe and yummylicious Halloween, enjoy!

Furniture for small space

Utilize furniture with storage to fight clutter and small spaces. The result is stunning and so much more functional. Drawers on bed are a wonderful way to maximize your storage.

Fall Open Houses Are Fun

I love hosting Open Houses during the Halloween season, you provide treats during the showing and get to cheat and have some too! If you prefer a private visit, I will bring your very own goody bag. Have a sweet day!

Investment Properties

Purchasing an investment property can be a challenging task. Ensure it will be in a desirable location. Consider the following items for an attractive rental property: *Close to public transit such as bus stops, also airport *Near by University *Proximate location to Government buildings, services and places of work *Close to Shopping centers, malls, grocery stores *Easy access to hospitals, and health care centers There is an impact on a large variety of factors in Real Estate, be pro active and well prepared to have a successful experience and rewarding results.