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March Resale Market

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 percent. The five-year average for March sales is 1,240. 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
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Planning for an Accessible Future

Universal or inclusive design is the idea that products and buildings should be planned and built to be useful to as wide an audience as possible, regardless of their ability or age. It is an increasingly common consideration in home-building, and one reflected in recent changes to the Ontario Building Code that increase accessibility requirements for multi-unit residential buildings. Passed two years ago, the regulations have broad implications for the shape of our communities in years to come. Seven percent of Canadians have a mobility-related disability, 1.6 million people in Ontario alone, and those numbers likely to increase dramatically as
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Is spring in the air?

Member of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,011 residential and condominium properties in February through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service system, an increase of 11.2% compared with February 2016. The average sale price of a residential – class property sold in February in the Ottawa area was $417,374, an increase of 8.5% over February 2016. The average sale price of condominium class property sold in February in the Ottawa area was $258,397, an increase of 4.0% over February 2016. A total of 2,066 homes were listed in February up almost 25% from January.  The inventory of homes for sale,
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Second Thoughts on Open Floor Plans

In previous eras, an impressive home was one with many rooms, each intended for a separate family activity. But in the past fifty years, builders have realized that, by designing connected spaces with fewer interior walls, they can fit more usable living space into the same square footage. Open floor plans are popular with many homebuyers precisely because they remove the divisions between the home’s different domains, making it easier for a family to spend time together in a single, common area. Frequently the kitchen, dining room, and living room are combined into a single “great room”, where family activities
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5 Ways to Make a New House Feel Like Home

Moving into a new house is an exciting occasion and the chance for a new beginning. At the same time, a new house may not instantly feel like home. It takes time to settle into your new surroundings and make a place your own. Here are five of our favourite tips to speed up the process. 1. Take a Walk. Feeling disoriented in your own neighbourhood can create a sense of unease. Take a walk or drive around your community to get your bearings. Where is the nearest park located? How do you get to the closest grocery store? Is
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How to Navigate Real Estate when Blending Families

When things are going well in a relationship, the desire to cohabitate is nearly inevitable. However, when you each have kids from previous relationships, and separate homes and finances, it’s easy to get cold feet. With blended families representing one out of every eight two-parent families in Canada, clearly love finds ways! Read on for some tips on navigating this transition. Know your Rights and Options One of the biggest questions is invariably “Where will we live?” There are a number of potential real estate scenarios, each with their benefits and challenges. In every case, it is important to get
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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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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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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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