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 ...

Buying Near Parks and Recreational 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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

8 Tips to help Prevent Break-ins Without Breaking the Bank

Home Owners:  Tips to Prevent Break-ins A recently published story by CBC June 28th, 2016 warned Ottawa residents that the number of residential break-ins has almost doubled in the first half of 2016 as compared to the first half of 2015. While Ottawa is considered a safe city, it’s always a good idea to be vigilant about home security.   Here are a few quick tips that won’t break the bank.   • Get to know your neighbours. Areas with ...

What's In a Name? Is your Street Name Desirable to Home Buyers?

When you’re shopping for a new home, there’s a good chance you’ve got a long list of considerations that you will factor into your decision-making process: size, neighborhood, condition, etc. But have you ever considered a home’s street name to be a factor when you’re deciding whether or not you want to buy? It might surprise you, but for many home buyers the name of a house’s street can determine whether that house is desirable – or not ...

4 Important Things to Know About the Difference Between a Realtor and Real Estate Agent

So, you want to buy (or sell) a house in Ottawa or beyond. What’s the first thing you do? If you’re like most people, you go find a real estate professional to help. While the whole process sounds pretty simple (hire a representative you like and trust!) there’s actually one extra decision you’ll need to make before you proceed — and that is whether you want to hire a Realtor, or a real estate agent. You might be thinking, “But ...

Ottawa Real Estate Market Snapshot May 2016

What neighbourhood are you interested in? This is a snapshot of the Ottawa Real Estate market based on statistics provided by the Ottawa Real Estate Board.  If you are interested in finding out about neighbourhood trends please contact us . We’d love to help. What happened in Ottawa Real Estate in ...

Regulating Home Inspectors in Ontario

The Ontario government has announced plans to begin regulating home inspectors, requiring potential inspectors to pass a written exam and field test in order to qualify for a license. In doing this Ontario will be following in the footsteps of British Columbia and Alberta, the only provinces in Canada that have home inspector regulations in place. The hope is that these measures will prevent stories like Alyssa Hanson’s, whose inspector missed water leaking into the basement that led ...

Home for Sale: A Guide for Your Next Housing Journey

Once a For Sale sign goes up, it’s official! You’re ready to begin your new journey! Or are you? It’s normal to experience some raw emotions as you embark on selling your beloved home. Follow these simple steps to help you take memories from one home to another. Create a Memory Box There’s no need to wait until your house is sold to start packing, especially when it comes to the sentimental items. Locate a sturdy ...

Second-best April on record for Ottawa Real Estate!

April was a busy month in Ottawa Real Estate…see the most recent market highlights below -information provided by the Ottawa Real Estate Board Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,714 residential properties in April through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® system, compared with 1,567 in April 2015, an increase of 9.4 per cent. The five-year average for April sales is 1,568. “The Ottawa resale market continued its steady ...

Sustainable Building Materials

As the world’s population increases and resources dwindle, sustainability, development that meets current needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs, has become a priority for homeowners, developers and governments.  This shift in focus has driven improvements in building design and construction, including sustainable building materials. Green building materials impact energy and water consumption, waste reduction and occupant well-being by minimizing the negative effects that our built environment can have on the planet. Here are some new ...

What Home Owners Can Do With a Tax Refund

  If you are a homeowner, a tax refund presents opportunities to invest for a profit that aren’t available to renters. Whether you plan to sell, stay or are undecided, there are ways to optimize the financial impact of your refund. The first step is to treat your refund check the same as you treat your paycheck. Avoid the temptation to splurge and give that refund money a purpose. Here are three home owner-only options to grow that refund:   ...

Ottawa Real Estate Market Snapshot March 2016

Ottawa Real Estate: March market springs into action!  The following information provided by the Ottawa Real Estate Board.  Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,166 residential properties in March through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® system, compared with 1,200 in March 2015, a decrease of 2.8 per cent. The five-year average for March sales is 1,220. “We are definitely seeing a resale market increase from ...

What Mortgage Strategy Is Best For Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers?

When it comes time to purchase a new home, your mortgage strategy will likely depend on the stage of life you are in. Early-career home buyers (Millennials) have just entered the workforce so they usually have little cash and may be in debt. Gen X home buyers are busy trying to advance their careers, raise families and save for retirement. Baby boomers have often left the workforce, so they have less income and may already be spending their retirement savings.   ...

How Important Is Home Staging?

Because the Internet has changed the way we buy and sell homes, most real estate professionals believe home staging is critical to selling success. Almost all home buyers begin their search online meaning sellers need to make a good first impression so potential buyers want to see their home in person. Hence, staging has taken the residential real estate industry by storm and many sellers are hiring professionals to help them make that first impression. National Association of Realtors (NAR) ...

Buying Old Versus New Properties – Pros and Cons

When buying any commodity, new is often better than used. In the housing market, though, your best opportunity can come from an old home or, as in Ottawa, where the inventory of new homes is overstocked, you may be able to purchase a new home for the same price buyers paid years ago. Here are some advantages and risks of both options.   Advantages of Buying Old Properties   you can physically walk through and inspect the home similar listings ...

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 ...

Time To Get Out The Spring Maintenance Checklist

  In Ottawa, there are two sights that remind homeowners it’s time for spring maintenance: bikes on the road and geese in the sky. With the recent double-digit temperatures, it seems spring has won its annual wrestling match with winter. And, as spring fever sets in, you may want to store your parka and get at those spring maintenance chores. A great place to start is making sure the melting snow and runoff flows freely off your roof and away ...

Financing Your Home Purchase – Mortgage Broker or Bank?

  When it comes time to purchase a new home, where should you go for financing? You may have a relationship with a bank from past transactions (RRSPs, savings accounts, car loan), so it’s the first option that comes to mind.  But, mortgage brokers are licensed specialists who have access to many lenders and mortgage rates, so they may be a better choice. Here are some pros and cons for each.   Advantages of Mortgage Brokers   do all the ...

7 Deadly Sins of Home Renos

  Homeowners who renovate only to boost resale value should aim for a return on investment (ROI) of three dollars for every dollar invested. Resale renos should be neutral in colour and conservative in tone so they appeal to the maximum number of potential buyers. And, cost control always trumps elegance.   In fact, some renovations can actually damage your home’s value. These supposed improvements not only add nothing to your bottom line, they may make your home less attractive ...

Real Estate Snapshot February 2016

  What a difference a day makes!  An extra day in February saw 46 sales on that day (February 29th) as per the Ottawa Real Estate Board’s news release March 3rd.   See the full Ottawa Real Estate market snapshot for February and the full story from the Ottawa Real Estate Board below. With spring around the corner, we’re starting to see more homes come on the market, if you’re thinking of selling ...

Saving Strategies for Every Age

  We all want to save more money, but doing it requires a plan. And, the best approach to saving depends on the stage of life you’re in because each phase has unique financial commitments. Although individual circumstances vary, these generation-specific suggestions will point you in the right direction.   Millennials (19-35)   Millennials, born between 1980 and 1996, are actually better than Gen Xers at money management, according to financial journalist Vera Gibbons. But, they tend to live in ...

First Time Homebuyers Government Incentive Programs

    Thinking of buying your first home? If so, it may be time to get on with it, especially considering the possibility that interest rates will rise. Using government incentive programs that encourage first time homebuyers to enter the real estate market, you can realize additional savings. And, mortgage financing has been almost free for some time, but economic signals point to those costs rising.   Mortgage rates may increase   Several factors are threatening to push Canadian mortgage ...

Why Listing In January or February Can Make Sense

  Although it may seem odd, listing in the winter months can be advantageous for sellers. Statistically, there are indeed more buyers in the spring market.  However, there are also more homes for sale, including properties similar to yours. With more competition for the pool of buyers, your chances of finalizing a deal may actually be reduced. Here are several reasons to list in January or February.   Financial Planning And Taxes   Many families check their finances at year ...

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