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Selling in the Summer

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

Reflections on Canada 150

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

Summer Showings

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

Ottawa Real Estate Market Snapshot July 2017

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

Why You Should Check Out That Open House!

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

The Role of a Realtor – Buyers

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

The Role of a Realtor – Seller

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

Buying a New Home

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

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

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

Summer Fun in Ottawa

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

Understanding Multiple Offers

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

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

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

Latest Real Estate Market Snapshot: April 2017

Curious about what’s going on in the Ottawa Real Estate Market?   Below are some highlights of our April 2017 market.  Curious about a certain area?  Please contact us and/or one of our Sales Representatives  for details, we have up to date statistics on all Ottawa neighbourhoods and the surrounding areas. Spring Market Continues to Blossom! News release from the Ottawa Real Estate Board, May 3rd, 2017 OTTAWA, May 3, 2017 – Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,795 residential properties in April through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 1,711 in April 2016, an increase of 4.9 per cent. The five-year average for April sales is 1,613. “The April resale market continued its upward trend in units sold, just shy of a record set in 2010,” says Rick Eisert, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. “Sales activity is indicating a trend towards a seller’s market. Lower inventory, combined with increased demand, is creating many more multiple offer situations and quicker moving properties, with the average cumulative days on market dipping to just 71 days.” April’s sales included 312 in the condominium property class, and 1,483 in the residential property class. The condominium property class includes any property, regardless of style (i.e. detached, semi-detached, apartment, townhouse, etc.), which is registered as a condominium, as well as properties which are co-operatives, life leases, and timeshares. The residential property class includes all other residential properties. “We continue to see a trend in the amount of high-end units selling,” reports Eisert. “Properties selling for $500,000 and up has increased over last year, and even more significantly in the over $1 million market, which doubled in sales over April 2016. Since the beginning of the year 83 properties over $1 million switched hands, compared to only 38 in the same time-frame last year. The increase in sales for high-end properties may be fuelled by a combination of the migration of buyers from Toronto and move-up buyers. Another contributing factor is that many, generally well paying, jobs are opening up in the high-tech sector, driving more people into the Ottawa market.” The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in April in the Ottawa area was $435,883, an increase of 7.9 per cent over April 2016. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $268,553, an increase of 2.9 per cent over April 2016. The Board cautions that the average sale price can be useful in establishing trends over time but should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. The calculation of the average sale price is based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold. Price and conditions will vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood. “The two most active price points in the residential market continue to be the $300,000 to $399,999 followed by the $400,000 to $499,999 range, combined accounting for 55.1 per cent of the market. Within the condo market, the most active price point was between $150,000 and

Spring Gardening 101

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

Why Listing Price is So Important

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

Ottawa Real Estate Snapshot May 2017

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

Primary Residence Tax Exemption

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

Canada 150: Let’s Celebrate!

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

Buying a Home that is “For Sale By Owner”

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

Buying a Home : Accepting Change Outside Your Wishlist

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

Fall Home Maintenance Tips

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

Just Another Day in the Life…

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

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

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

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

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

Residential Landlord Rules: An Update

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

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

Condo sales help set new record for August unit sales OTTAWA, September 6, 2017 – Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,538 residential properties in August through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 1,481 in August 2016, an increase of 3.8 per cent. The five-year average for August sales is 1,343. “Condo sales continue to strengthen the Ottawa resale market,” says Rick Eisert, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. “These numbers also assisted in setting a new record for the number of units sold in August, pushing August 2016 unit sales into second-place. In comparison to last year the number of condo units sold was up 22.1 per cent, whereas residential units have held steady with a less than one per cent decrease over this time last year. We are actually seeing very similar numbers to that of July 2017.” August’s sales included 359 in the condominium property class, and 1,179 in the residential property class. “The number of new listings and inventory levels for the month of August continued their steady downwards trend compared to last year,” explains Eisert. “However, prices continue to remain relatively steady, especially in comparison to other markets in Canada. Over the past several years, Ottawa has been more or less on par with inflation rates.” “While REALTORS® have reported fewer multiple offer situations in the past month, we are seeing Sellers receive asking price or very close to it,” says Eisert. “Cumulative days on market have tightened significantly since last year. Residential listings are selling almost 30 per cent faster than this time last year, and condo units are selling just over 10 per cent faster than last year. Although, keep in mind that while some areas within the Ottawa market are quite active, other areas of the city remain less active.” The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in August in the Ottawa area was $420,335, an increase of 7.6 per cent over August 2016. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $270,768, a decrease of 0.4 per cent over August 2016. The Board cautions that the average sale price can be useful in establishing trends over time but should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. The calculation of the average sale price is based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold. Price and conditions will vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood. “The two most active price points in the residential market continue to be the $300,000 to $399,999 followed by the $400,000 to $499,999 range, combined accounting for 55.6 per cent of the market. Within the condo market, the most active price point was between $150,000 and $249,999, accounting for 49.5 per cent of the market,” says Eisert. “In addition to residential and condominium sales, OREB Members assisted clients with renting 2,153 properties since the beginning of the year.” – 30 – The post Market update! Latest news in Ottawa Real Estate August 2017 Stats

Ottawa Real Estate Update: October Market Snapshot

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

New Mortgage Rules for January 2018

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

Millennials-Turned-Homeowners

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

Purchasing a Home in Canada’s Best City to Live

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

Canada 150: Enjoying the Fall Season

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

Backup Offers: What They Are and How They Work

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

Ottawa Real Estate Highlights September 2017

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

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

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

Choosing a Brokerage to Work For

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

Choosing a Brokerage when Buying or Selling a Home

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

Homeowners Can Earn Extra Income Using Airbnb

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

5 Awesome Innovations on the Frontier of Home Automation

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

Strong Fall Real Estate Market in Ottawa

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

Millennials Bring the Big City to the Suburbs

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

Key Qualifying Questions

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

How to Choose the Perfect Realtor for You

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

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

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

Let us help you find “Your Perfect Life”

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

A Breakdown of Canada’s New Lending Rules

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

Winterizing Your Home

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

Winterizing Your Yard

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

Checklist for Home Buyers

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

Buying Your Retirement Home

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

What Is a Smart Home?

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

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

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

Buying Near Parks and Recreational Facilities

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

The Lowdown on Open House Etiquette for Home Buyers

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

Housing Trends We are Seeing in the Canadian Real Estate Market

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

Market Snapshot July 2016 Ottawa Real Estate

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

4 Helpful Tips for Purchasing Home Insurance for a New Homeowner

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

Voice Control & Connected Devices Fuel Home Automation

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

Considering Your Lifestyle When House Hunting

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

Ottawa Real Estate Market Hightlights August 2016

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

Finding the Best Neighbourhood for Your Family

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

Using a Buyer’s Agent

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

Real Estate Update: Latest news in Ottawa Real Estate

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

The Bank of Mom and Dad: Living as Millennials

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

Why Move? A Look into Canada’s Homebuyers

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

Getting Your Home Ready to Sell in the Spring Market

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

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

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

Getting Ready to Buy in the Spring Market

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

Pets and Real Estate

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

“Oh I Forgot to Tell You…”

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

6 Spring Maintenance Tips for Homeowners

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

Ottawa Real Estate Update | March Goes Out Like a Lion

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

5 Reasons To Sell Your Home in the Spring

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

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

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

Canada Celebrates 150 Years!

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

2017 is off to a great start!

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

The Perks of Buying a Home in the Winter

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

Top Housing Trends of 2016

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

Ottawa Real Estate Update: December 2016

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

Canada’s Housing Rules in Full Swing

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

Your Home and Winter Travels

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

New Year Reno-Resolutions

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

Ed O’Connell Memorial Award

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

Housing Trends in 2017

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

Beating the Winter Blues

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

Staging Your Home for Home Buyers Over the Holidays

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

Why Appreciate Your Real Estate Agent

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

The 3 Most Common Reasons a Home Inspection Kills a Deal

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

Reno Investments Providing the Highest Returns

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

What You Need to Do When Saying Goodbye to Your Home

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

The Do’s and Dont’s of Basement Storage

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