Archives for Sellers

Why summer is a good time to move…  

School’s officially out for summer!  If you’re like us, you’re probably thinking beaches, holidays, cottages… any activity that will get us out to enjoy the warm weather…but it can also be a perfect time to move!  While there might not be as much real estate activity in July as there is in May, it may surprise you to find out that June, July and August are busy months in Ottawa real estate, especially in recent years.  The weather is fine and there are still a lot of great opportunities to buy and sell.  Stats show that houses (and people) are making moves during the warmer months and many buyers and sellers are motivated to get deals done before the cooler weather returns.

So what are some other reasons why summer is a good time to move?  

Home maintenance / House hunting

If you are buying or selling during the winter, there might be things buried under snow that you can’t see or get access to if snow is a factor.  It’s also nice to be able to open the windows and get fresh air while doing tasks like painting.  Since you’ll be busy packing and preparing,  you might hire a teenager who is looking to make a bit of cash for small jobs like mowing the lawn, weeding, babysitting, etc. Delegating small tasks will pay off big time.

Garage Sales

Do you really want to move that lamp you’ve had in the basement since college again?  The answer is probably not.  Getting rid of stuff you don’t want or need before you start packing will make your move so much easier (and probably cheaper too!).   If you have children, encourage them to go through their books & toys as well, the thought of earning a few dollars is usually a great incen

tive to purge! Bonus: whatever doesn’t sell is already out an organized making it easier to drop off at a local charity donation bin.

Tip* Before picking a date, check to see if there is a neighbourhood garage sale planned in your area.  Community garage sales like the Great Glebe Garage sale have caught on in other areas and tend to draw more “shoppers”.  If that’s not an option you might talk to your neighbours to see if you can get a street sale happening, and don’t forget to ask for Garage Sale Signs from your Royal LePage Realtor!


This is a pretty obvious one, winters in Ottawa are notoriously cold and snowy.   It’s much easier to move when you’re worrying about icy walkways and 3 feet of snow.  You might find more willing volunteers to help with your move too, especially if there’s a promise of cold beer and pizza!  Having said that, moving in 35 degree heat can also be pretty brutal, make sure you have plenty of cold water on hand and hire professional movers for the larger items. Your back and your friends will be grateful!

Kids & Schools

Changing schools in the middle of the year can be disruptive and unsettling for some children.  If there’s moving to be done, you should try to move before the new school year starts.  If older children are off to college or moving out, this might also be a great opportunity for empty nesters.  The Ottawa area condo market has been booming in the last year, and there are great deals out there for those looking to downsize.

Business is slower

Unless you’re in the construction or tourism industry, most businesses slow down during the summer months, making it easier to book time off of work.  Summer is a good time to move but don’t forget to take some time to enjoy the season.

Making a move can be stressful in any season, but being organized and asking for help when you need it will help ensure a successful move.   And when it’s all done you can enjoy a cold beverage and enjoy your new space!   


Home-Grown Issues:

The impacts of home-grown marijuana and legalization

Many Canadians are awaiting this July 2018 with much anticipation, as Bill C-45 will allow the legalization of marijuana, including their ability to grow up to 4 plants within their residence. However, without the proper protections and awareness in place this new legislation could cost home owners thousands, or even their mortgage. The increase of private residence grow-ops that will begin following legalization is a major concern for the real estate industry. Experts say that everyone from “buyers, to sellers, to real estate agents, and home inspectors” will be affected by the consequences produced by home grow-ops.

Issues with Home-Grown

There is currently no legal benchmark in the definition of a grow-op. This means, that whether it is a large-scale operation, or a single potted plant, the home is viewed in the same light. Although this doesn’t seem like a big issue to some, the underlying damages that can result from growing marijuana plants within a residence have serious ramifications on insurance, mortgages, and future sales.

Damages and building inspections

The humidity and power required to grow larger quantities of plants can lead to electrical system damages, and mold, fungus, and moisture issues within the home. These issues, and others can completely destroy the framework of the house. Building remediation is not mandated by the province with legalization, and there is no official registry of illegal grow-ops that allow future home buyers to be forewarned of the possible damages and health risks they may encounter.

These damages don’t need to be evident for a home to be labeled a “grow-op”. As there is no “definition” of size to label as a grow op, the house can be stigmatized whether it is one or one hundred plants in the house, in the case of illegal operations. These houses can be heavily damaged, and often covered up to make the home saleable.

“History has shown us that some shady property owners will go to great lengths to hide signs of a former grow operation”Tim Hudak OREA CEO

When it comes to future sales on a home with a grow-op label, evidence shows that these homes sell for less than the surrounding houses, even if the proper repairs have been performed. Legalization including home cultivation can lead to unsuspecting buyers purchasing homes that are damaged, and could leave building inspectors on the hook if any damages are missed prior to purchase. The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) is urging policy makers to include protective measures for home buyers, and the future of Ontario’s housing stock.

Marijuana and Mortgages:

As it stands currently, most mortgage lenders have a very conservative approach when in comes to homes where marijuana growth has been present. Typically, traditional mortgage lenders such as banks, will deny the mortgage altogether. This denial is based on the premise of resale value being decreased in homes where cultivation of marijuana has occurred. Without this knowledge, individual’s seeking to purchase a home can run into red-tape when it comes to financing a property once used to grow marijuana, and once legalization is in place – home cultivation can lead to damages in multiple homes and minimize the available houses that will be approved by bank lenders. This results in borrowers needing to use alternative lenders. The process of approval with alternative lenders, especially where growth of marijuana is concerned requires a lot more detailed paperwork, air/mold testing, and typically a case-by-case evaluation of each home to determine approval.

Insurance Policies:

If the home’s status is compromised, then the home becomes more difficult to insure. Without insurance companies who are willing to approve a home insurance policy, the mortgages will be unapproved by default. Because marijuana growth requires a large quantity of electricity, the home is at higher risk of fire. Fire insurance is a mandatory portion in ensuring approval of a mortgage.

It is unclear at this point if insurers will adjust their policies post-legalization to account for these new possibilities. This could mean those who grow within the legal limit are still risking their home coverage to do so. Many insurers are discussing the possibility of introducing policies that allow for home-growing, but it is not yet determined how that may effect a home-owners insurance premiums.

How is Home-Grown going to change Ontario?

Simply put, the ability to grow up to 4 plants legally in ones home could  jeopardize their current mortgage, insurance, and future sale-ability of their home. At this time, there is currently no legislation or protection in place that will guarantee home owners their home value, insurances, or mortgage approvals should they choose to go with the crowd awaiting home-grown this summer. There is certainly a lot to consider when it comes to homes and home-grown this July.



Now’s the time to spring into action if you’re a prospective home seller. Getting your home prepared for the spring market now, will help you move quickly and efficiently  when the time comes to list. Spring is the optimum time to sell a home, as the largest numbers of buyers are actively searching for a new home during the months of April, May, and June. If you’re looking for tips, tricks, and ideas to get your home market ready, then you’ve come to the right place!

Purge & Pack:

What better way to clear out the winter blues, than to clear out the clutter in your home. Take this as a reason to stay warm inside, as you begin to go through attics, closets, basement, and/or garages to determine what to keep, what to donate, and what could be packed away early. Decluttering and depersonalizing are both important steps in preparing your home. Boxing up items will make your space look larger, and neater when it comes time to putting your house on the market, and will stop you from unnecessarily moving unneeded clutter from your current home, to the next.


Major renovations aren’t necessary to sell your home, however small, DIY projects around the house can increase value, while also making your home look more appeal to potential buyers. Some quick fixes can include, but aren’t limited to: replacing old doorknobs, replacing stray cabinet handles to ensure consistency across your kitchen, replacing the caulk in your bathroom (tub, shower, around the sink), updating light fixtures and ensuring all bulbs have been replaced, or even repainting the trim throughout your house. These small projects and many others can deliver big returns in the end. For more small DIY home projects/renovations that you could use in your home, check sites like Pinterest, for details.


Let yourself be stung by the “spring cleaning” bug early, and start looking at the “overlooked” areas of your home. Open the windows to let the fresh air circulate, make sure your baseboards are clean, and your heaters are dust free. Adding that bit of sparkle is free, and goes a long way when it comes to selling your home. Wash the inside and outside of all your windows, and be sure to polish up all mirrors, as that extra attention both brightens your home, and makes it more inviting for buyers. Once you’ve cleaned all those hard to reach places, prepare yourself for the staging of your home.


The most important part of selling your home, is to set the stage so potential buyers can fantasize, and envision your home as their own. Once your home is on the market, you’ll need to be keeping it as clean as possible, almost encouraging the idea that “no one lives here”. Home staging is about creating an illusion, to create a comfortable, inviting atmosphere, that allows potential buyers to feel at “home” in your home. Use towels, throws, and pillows in light, soft spring colours (such as yellows, pinks, lavender, blues) to lighten up a room, and set up fresh flowers (such as lilacs) to add a gentle, natural fragrance to your home.

Contact A Realtor:

Realtors are professionals when it comes to the processes of both buying, and selling homes.  Your choice of a listing agent can make a big difference in the time it takes to sell your home, and the profits that you may see from that sale. Ensuring that you select a realtor with a great marketing plan, and local knowledge is important for you to get the most out of your home, and during your search for a new one. Realtors have a wealth of knowledge, and experience, so while you are in search, take the recommendations that come from friends and family into consideration, and interview those that have the right experience with homes in your price range. Finding a good realtor is a vital aspect of listing your home, and knowing you’ll have their support and dedication leading up to, and throughout your listing, and well as during the final sale and paperwork is always a relief.

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 you take time off work for daytime showings? Are you available on weekends? If you list with a Realtor, they will take of that for you.
  • Marketing takes time – All those things mentioned above take time; do you have enough time to work on all the marketing and organizational tasks that go along with selling a home?
  • Longer time on market – homes that are listed FSBO tend to sell less quickly than those which are listed with a Realtor. Do you have that extra time?

There are many added costs to keep in mind

  • Professional photos – Getting your photos done with an experienced photographer is incredibly important as you want your home to stand out online (where most people do a large chunk of their home search). A Realtor will cover these costs for you but if you go it alone, you will have to cover this yourself.
  • Advertising – To ensure the home is seen by as many potential buyers as possible, you will likely have to pay for advertising and this can add up quickly.
  • Legal Fees – If you list your home yourself, you will not have a Realtor to do the paperwork with you and you will need to rely on your lawyer a little more than you would otherwise. Lawyers are not cheap so this can be costly.
  • MLS Listing – If you choose to get your home on the MLS, this will cost your upfront as well to do with a FSBO service provider.

***Remember, if you list your home with a Realtor, you will not need to pay them a penny until it closes!

Portrait of a businessman interacting with young couple


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.

Source: Blog


What a difference a day makes!  An extra day in February saw 46 sales on that day (February 29th) as per the Ottawa Real Estate Board’s news release March 3rd.   See the full Ottawa Real Estate market snapshot for February and the full story from the Ottawa Real Estate Board below.

With spring around the corner, we’re starting to see more homes come on the market, if you’re thinking of selling now is a great time to get your home listed with a real estate professional.  While statistics are useful in establishing trends they should not be used as an indicator of an increase or decrease in value of specific properties. If you are curious about the value of your home and/or specific neighbourhood statistics we would be happy to provide you with a no cost no obligation market evaluation of your property.  Contact any one of our 23 offices or email us at

From the Ottawa Real Estate Board March 3rd, 2016

Extra day in leap year causes jump in sales for February

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 911 residential properties in February through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® system, compared with 850 in February 2015, an increase of 7.2 per cent. The five-year average for February sales is 908.

“Although the weather was very unpredictable this month, with many highs and lows and several winter storms, the Ottawa resale market only saw activity pick up,” says President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board, Shane Silva. “Residential and condo sales combined increased by 52.3 per cent since last month. However, we need to factor in the leap year, which added an extra day to the month of February, and 46 sales on that day.”

February’s sales included 199 in the condominium property class, and 712 in the residential property class. The condominium property class includes any property, regardless of style (i.e. detached, semi-detached, apartment, townhouse, etc.), which is registered as a condominium, as well as properties which are co-operatives, life leases and timeshares. The residential property class includes all other residential properties.

“In February, 2,312 homes were listed, up 26.6 per cent since January, and inventory on hand at the end of February rose by 10.7 per cent since January,” says Silva. “We’re starting to see more homes coming onto the market in preparation for the busy spring selling season. If you’re thinking of putting your home on the market, this is a great time to do so.”

The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in February in the Ottawa area was $384,632, an increase of 1.2 per cent over February 2015. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $249,727, a decrease of 6.8 per cent over February 2015. The Board cautions that average sale price information can be useful in establishing trends over time but should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. The average sale price is calculated based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold.

“The highest concentration of properties sold continues to be in the $300,000 to $400,000 price range, followed by the $200,000 to $300,000 range,” says Silva. “These price ranges continue to have the highest concentration of properties sold – residential and condo – while two-storey, bungalow, and one-level condos have the highest concentration of buyers. In addition to residential and condominium sales, OREB Members assisted clients with renting 414 properties since the beginning of the year.”

Feb 2016 Statistics Info Graphic-final

The post Real Estate Snapshot February 2016 appeared first on Team Realty.

Source: Blog

Warmly Dressed Young Mixed Race Family in Front of Sold Home For Sale Real Estate Sign and House with Snow On The Ground.


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


Financial Planning And Taxes


Many families check their finances at year end and start planning their tax returns. And, because of the holiday festivities, it’s often the time for discussions and decisions about gifting, inheritance, upgrading to a larger home or downsizing to a smaller one and homeownership versus renting. Whether it’s a new buyer who moves quickly or a previously active buyer who re-engages, these house hunters are around in January and February and will look at your home if it’s for sale.


If You List They Will Come


Because of online advertising, buyers look at listings all day, every day. They have apps on their phone, get listings texted and emailed to them, and don’t care about the time of year. They realize the home won’t show as well in the dead of winter, so providing photos of your home during these times of year will enable buyers to envision it in the warmer seasons.


Winter Buyers Are Highly Motivated


Buyers looking in January and February are serious. They know what they want, have often been at it for many months and are tired of the real estate hunt. This is your target buyer and, in part, they’re why it’s better to list in January than to wait until spring. Your property will certainly stand out if it’s the only one like it listed.


Offering your home for sale in the “offseason” means less competition which changes the market’s supply-and-demand balance. The demand is far greater than the supply. And, because of the reduced inventory, the seller can often take a little more time to consider offers and negotiate a higher price.


The post Why Listing In January or February Can Make Sense appeared first on Team Realty.

Source: Blog

Chain ball


The efforts of the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) and the Progressive Conservatives were recently rewarded when the provincial government decided they would NOT be expanding the municipal land transfer tax program.


Liberals keep election promise


In an unexpected announcement during the legislature’s question period, Municipal Affairs Minister Ted McMeekin ended concerns that the Liberals would break their election campaign promise and allow other cities and towns to introduce the tax. “There has been no call, at all, for a municipal land transfer tax,” he said, “nor is there any legislation before the House that would allow this.”

Toronto will remain the only Ontario city where homebuyers have to pay thousands of dollars in local land transfer taxes, in addition to the provincial levy. But, McMeekin kept the door open to a future tax by offering to look at “what possibilities exist” for other new sources of revenue to help strained municipal budgets.


Ontarians opposed to tax grab


OREA had been exerting pressure on the government with its “don’t tax my dream” campaign which allowed the voices of thousands of Ontarians opposed to the tax to be heard through email, letters and social media platforms. They were arguing the additional tax could push house prices further out of reach for many families and delay or kill their dream of home ownership.

“Ontario home buyers are already charged a provincial land transfer tax, so by adding a municipal tax, they’re essentially doubling the tax burden on Ontario families,” said Patricia Verge, president of OREA. “If the Ontario Liberals follow through with this plan, home buyers will be forced to pay $10,000 in total land transfer taxes on the average priced home in Ontario, starting as early as next year.”


Tax would have negative impact on local economies


OREA also cited a 2014 study conducted by Altus Group Economic Consulting showing that the combined negative impact of the tax in four Ontario cities—Mississauga, Hamilton, Ottawa and London—would be a loss of $1 billion in economic activity and more than 10,000 jobs.

The confrontation has been ongoing since 2008 when Toronto implemented its municipal land transfer tax and, as recently as October, it appeared the government was poised to grant permission for other municipalities to impose the tax.



Source: Blog

Realtor shaking hands with her client


In this 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.

Source: Blog

Expectant Couple Taking A Break Whilst Decorating Nursery


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.

Source: Blog



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 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.

Source: Blog

Downsizing House


If you’ve reached the time of life where you are contemplating downsizing your home, the first question to ask, according to this post, is what kind of lifestyle do you want after downsizing? By defining how you want to live, you can narrow your search and focus on housing that will meet those requirements.


For example, if you want to escape the bluster of winter and relax on a beach, local climate conditions and geography will drive your hunt. Or, if you like social activities, you would seek active adult communities where you can interact with like-minded people.


The next step is to consider the financials by asking what will you budget  look like?  After that, ask yourself if you have enough equity in your home to make a profit.  If you have enough equity, you can buy your next home outright or bring a sizable down payment on closing day.


Finally, ask if you will be able to find another home that’s affordable in a seller’s market.  For those with some financial clout,  realtor Debra Whitfield recommends using an equity line of credit on your current home or a home equity conversion mortgage to buy your next home, before selling your current property.  That gives you time to find a suitable property instead of being rushed to select whatever happens to be on the market after your house is sold.  To read more click here.

The post Is It Time to Downsize? Ask Yourself These 4 Questions First appeared first on Team Realty.

Source: Blog

Realtor shaking hands with her client


Usually we hear “buyer beware”, but real estate author Michael Corbett advises sellers to beware and gives 8 reasons why in this post.  Always work with professional help, including a real estate agent.  Their expertise, experience, neighbourhood knowledge and resources will help you plot a course through the selling process.


Overpricing is a temptation to be avoided since most buyers are savvy and have the advice of an agent.  Ensure that you use high quality photos because 90% of buyers shop for home online. Complete repairs like leaky faucets before listing your home to avoid negotiations over what the repairs will cost potential buyers.


Spend time cleaning and removing clutter since untidiness makes your home seem smaller.  Stage your backyard as if it were another room and maintain the landscape so it appeals to your viewers, especially in summer and fall when we enjoy outdoor activities.  Disclose all information including issues that may jeopardize a sale to avoid liability after the sale.


Finally, remember this is a business deal and emotions can get in the way.  A low ball offer is an opportunity to negotiate, not a reason to be insulted.  To read more click here.

The post 8 Mistakes That Could Screw Up Your Home Sale appeared first on Team Realty.

Source: Blog



The Canadian real estate market continues to boom, according to this Financial Post offering.  With a year-over-year increase of 8.2%, Canada ranked 4th of the 23 countries studied in Scotiabank’s report Global Real Estate Trends, behind Ireland (13.3%), Sweden (10.5%) and Australia (8.3%).  However, the report warns the trend could change if economic uncertainty and high unemployment counterbalance the attraction of low borrowing costs.  To read more click here.

The post Canadian Home Prices Are Growing At One Of The Fastest Paces In The World appeared first on Team Realty.

Source: Blog

Buy or rent on Blackboard


If you want to sell your property quickly, at near the asking price, it is important to know why people are buying.  In this post, chief economist, Jonathan Smoke, suggests we pay attention to the five main triggers for home buyers: they have grown tired of their home and want a change, interest rates are exceptionally low, housing prices are favourable in many markets, they need or want more living space and they have the money to spend. To read more click here.

The post Here’s What Pushes People to Buy Homes in 2015 appeared first on Team Realty.

Source: Blog

Mortgage Application


According to this post, the number of real estate appraisers is dropping to the point where parties on both sides of real estate transactions could suffer. Since most residential mortgages need an appraisal before a sale closes, a shortage of appraisers will affect buyers, who rely on accurate valuations to structure their offer, and sellers, who can lose a deal if appraisals come in low.


The Appraisal Institute notes the number of appraisers has dropped 20% since 2007 and predicts a 3% annual decline for the next decade. Fewer appraisers means longer waits, which could delay a closing. That delay means that buyers (borrowers) might have to pay for longer mortgage rate locks and sellers, who need the equity from the sale to purchase their next home, might miss opportunities to bid.


A shortage also means appraisals will likely cost more.  Even worse, there could be quality issues as appraisers work outside areas where they are geographically competent; they could miss nuances of the unfamiliar market.  To read more click here.

The post The Number of Real Estate Appraisers Is Falling. Here’s Why You Should Care appeared first on Team Realty.

Source: Blog

Family Painting Project


Most sellers realize that preparing the interior of their homes for viewing is essential.  In this article, Bob Villa explains it is just as important to stage the exterior of your house as it is to prepare the inside rooms when you are selling.  For example, a clean, well-maintained yard will signal that you have taken care of the property during your time as owner.


Power washing the garage door, driveway and fences will add to that impression.  If you are upgrading the paint, determine whether accent painting (shutters, columns, etc.) or a whole-house job is required.  And, use traditional colours (classic white, creamy off-white, warm taupe, blue-gray, or pale yellow) that appeal to the greatest number of potential buyers.


A lush, colourful garden, potted plants, manicured shrubs and window boxes will help you make a memorable first impression.  Improving the entrance can be as simple as adding a distinctive mailbox or sophisticated numbers. but you might also consider new doors or fixtures. To read more click here.

The post Boost Your Curb Appeal with 4 Doable DIY Projects appeared first on Team Realty.

Source: Blog



A walkable community is well-planned, compact and designed for people to walk to work, school, parks restaurants and activities as a form of everyday transportation.  According to a National Association of Realtors survey, more and more buyers want to live in walkable communities.  The study found that fully 12% more Millennials, the generation born between the mid 1980′s and early 2000′s, would rather walk to their destination than drive.  But, fitness enthusiasts and eco-friendly individuals also desire walkable neighbourhoods.


Aging In Place


Older Canadians want neighbourhoods that better fit their changing requirements.  As baby boomers enter their retirement years, they will increase demand for senior housing and neighborhoods where they can more easily reach amenities, take care of daily needs, and access health care.  The physical and/or financial requirements of maintaining their homes may be too much.  Many cannot, or choose not to drive, so a development that is condensed, diverse, and walkable, with convenient public transport, gives them the ability to “age in place” (in the same home).


Features of Walkable Communities


  • a blend of shops, businesses and homes
  • destinations (schools, stores, workplaces) within walking or biking distance
  • sidewalks, pathways, green space, parks and infrastructure to support physical activities
  • bike lanes and speed calming controls on roads
  • trails and street crossings designed to make walking safe and accessible for everyone
  • a variety of social, recreational, cultural, artistic and commercial activities
  • public transport options to outlying destinations


Benefits of Walkable Communities


  • a more active, healthier population, no matter their age, income, gender or ability level
  • safer neighbourhoods (i.e. fewer cars on the road, less accidents and injuries)
  • improved air quality due to reduced greenhouse gas emissions
  • a smaller environmental footprint reduces negative environmental impact
  • positive social, recreational, cultural, artistic and commercial activities
  • fosters a strong sense of place and give greater potential for social health
  • lower combined housing and transportation costs


Real Estate Market Demand


According to a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency report considering existing housing stock and consumer preferences, demand for new homes through 2025 might be almost exclusively for multi-family, attached and small-lot, single-family, detached homes.  A 2010 analysis of real estate trends notes that “the two largest demographic groups in the country, the baby boomers and their children—together comprising half the population—want homes and commercial space in neighborhoods that do not exist in anywhere near sufficient quantity.”  Another survey found that future demand for homes in compact neighborhoods could exceed 140 percent of the current supply.




With these demographic, lifestyle and development trends it is clear that diverse, attractive, healthy walkable communities will increase in popularity and not just for Millennials.


Source: Blog

What a great month for Ottawa Real Estate!
See below a snap shot of what’s happening in the Ottawa Real Estate Market from the Ottawa Real Estate Board  published October 5th, 2015

Interested in a specific neighbourhood?  We have access to all of the latest real estate statistics at our fingertips! Please contact us and we will send you a no-cost report on the areas you want to know about. 


Copy of Team - September 2015 Market update graphic (1)

From OREB news: Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,244 residential properties in September through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 1,131 in September 2014, an increase of 10 per cent. The five-year average for September sales is 1,137.

“Ottawa Real Estate Board members continued their active summer into a busy fall,” says David Oikle, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. “In fact this September marks the best September on record for the number of units sold in the Ottawa resale market. There was a possibility that the federal election campaign might affect the local real estate market, but this does not appear to have been the case thus far.”

September’s sales included 221 in the condominium property class, and 1,023 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.

“Inventory levels continued to decline; by over 4 per cent since last month, bringing the Ottawa resale market into balanced territory,” says Oikle. “Cumulative days on market increased slightly to 93 days, up from 89 days in August. In addition, the average sale price remains steady.”

The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in September in the Ottawa area was $385,142, an increase of 0.5 per cent over September 2014. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $257,303, an increase of 1.3 per cent over September 2014. 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 highest concentration of properties sold continues to be in the $300,000 to $400,000 price range, followed closely, again, by the $200,000 to $300,000 range,” says Oikle. “In addition to residential and condominium sales, OREB members assisted clients with renting 250 properties in September, and over 2,300 since the beginning of the year.”


Source: Blog

Think you need to wait until Spring to sell your home? You may want to think again if you’re ready to sell now.  

Home Miniature, Pen and Contract on TableIn this post, Gavin Chen challenges conventional wisdom that the best time to sell is spring and the best time to buy is fall.  Statistically, spring has the most competing sellers in the market, so you might have to stage your home to get an advantage. Chen suggests it is important to highlight the sellable features of your home in any season.  Although there are fewer buyers in the December – January period (holidays, travel), the warmth of a showpiece fireplace will make a favourable impression during winter viewings, in summer, creating inviting outdoor spaces is a great way to help your house stand out.  The article suggests avoiding early summer listings because people are relishing the seasonal change, but in recent years the  Ottawa Real Estate market in June and July have proven to be strong and stable…click here to read the full story from HGTV 

Source: Blog


Following an annual maintenance schedule is an essential step in protecting the value of what will probably be the largest investment of your life – your home.  First time home owners, or those lacking experience may struggle with this task and overlook important elements.  Here are some guidelines to help you create a maintenance program that suits your needs.

Benefits of Home Maintenance

Regular preventive maintenance identifies minor repairs before they become expensive, major repairs.  It also preserves your home’s market value.  One study found that “greater than $5 return for every $1 spent on preventive maintenance is not unusual”.  Other rewards include:

  • extended life for your home’s components, equipment and operating systems;
  • improved energy efficiency and a reduced environmental footprint;
  • lush, healthy vegetation and attractive landscaping;
  • assurance that your living space is safe and comfortable;
  • improved presentation and continuing exterior appeal; and
  • avoiding home inspection shockers when you sell.

Monthly Home Maintenance Routines

Clean or change all filters; test fire extinguishers and smoke alarms; inspect switch boxes and electrical cords; vacuum heat registers/vents; check that air vents are clear; flush the water heater to remove sediment; and clean the garbage disposal.

Fall Home Maintenance Routines

Inspect roof, siding and foundation; clean the chimney; winterize/store yard furniture and tools; service the snow blower; cover your air conditioner and any vegetation that needs protection; service furnaces/stoves; get firewood and de-icers; clean gutters and downspouts; clean the dryer vent; check the water heater for leaks; “close” the pool.

Winter Home Maintenance Routines

Periodically shovel snow away from the foundation; check the basement for leaks during thaws; remove excess snow and ice dams from roofs/gutters; vacuum bathroom exhaust fan grills; vacuum refrigerator and freezer coils and empty and clean drip trays; service the lawnmower; clean drains in sinks, tubs, showers, and dishwashers; hang holiday decorations early (milder weather and replacements are in stock).

Spring Home Maintenance Routines

Inspect roof, siding, foundation and chimney; flush hot water heaters; fertilize/seed lawn; wash and check caulking and weather stripping for windows/doors/screens; clean gutters and downspouts; wash interior walls/ceilings and inspect the paint; seal holes or cracks that invite insects or pests; service the air conditioner; “open” the pool; inspect the driveway;

Summer Home Maintenance Routines

Service the garage door and operating system (chain, hinges, opener); inspect exterior paint for cracking or blisters; ensure exterior sockets and fixtures are working and bulbs light; clean dryer vent, kitchen exhaust-fan filter; defrost/clean freezers and fridges including the coils; check plumbing (sinks, showers, toilets, dishwasher) for leaks; seal tile grout; clean the garage and seal the floor; “open” the pool; prune trees and shrubs.

Bottom line: spend a little now on scheduled preventive maintenance or spend a lot later and risk catastrophic damage to yourself and/or your home.

Source: Blog