Monthly Archives October 2016

Little House on the Property: Ottawa’s Coach House Proposal

Are tiny houses about to start popping up in Ottawa backyards? If proposed new zoning bylaws gain solid footing, it will soon be legal to build and rent small separate dwellings, referred to as ‘coach houses’, under certain conditions. These units may offer solutions to many dilemmas facing homeowners and buyers, such as the need to accommodate grown children, caregivers or parents, or to gain financial breathing room through rental income. The coach house zoning amendments are the City of Ottawa’s response to direction from the province of Ontario to create more affordable housing, and as such, will be subject
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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
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The Psychology of Interior Design

When you think of interior design, what comes to mind? Many of us picture paint chips and fabric swatches, but there is so much more to design than achieving a certain aesthetic for your home. In fact, design psychology is growing in popularity as a field of study. In the 1990s, Dr. Susan Lee Painter developed a ground-breaking course for UCLA entitled “Human Factors in Design,” where she helped students create spaces that are psychologically fulfilling for clients. The students used observation and interview methods based on psychological research to truly understand the purpose of each room. Dr. Painter explains
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September was another active month

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. Units listed in both residential and condominium property classes continue to decline, 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
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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
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The Health Benefits of Walkable Neighbourhoods

Walking is an easy and affordable form of exercise: it does not require special equipment or training, and you can do it almost anywhere. But it can be a challenge to incorporate walking into your everyday activities as exercise if you rely on a car to make your daily commute, travel to family activities, and run errands. If you, like most Canadians, find it difficult to get 150 minutes of vigorous weekly exercise as recommended by the WHO and the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology, the design of your neighbourhood could be part of the challenge. Walkability is a measure
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Millennials Bring the Big City to the Suburbs

  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,
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Buying a Home as a Single Parent

The idea of home ownership may seem daunting as a single parent, especially as home prices are on the upswing in many areas. But single people, including single parents, are owning homes in record numbers, and benefitting from these rising home values. According to Statistics Canada, more than one in four homes in Canada were occupied by single owners in 2011. What Could I Potentially Afford? A number of factors will determine the purchase price range you can explore. The most fundamental of these are your gross household income (which may include support payments), how much money you have available
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Downsize Your Stuff Without Downsizing Your Spirit

The decision to downsize your living space can land you big savings in costs and time. But the challenge of downsizing your stuff can be daunting. Careful planning, some healthy mental and emotional strategies, and arming yourself with a great team will help you look forward to a smooth transition to your new home. Build your vision Take the opportunity to picture yourself in your new space, and think about how you want it to look and function. Get some inspiration from interior design resources such as Houzz, and small-space lifestyle sites such as Apartment Therapy. Having a vision you
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