Archives for Tips

Welcome Guests with a Well-Appointed Guest Room

Hosting friends and family is one of the joys of the season. Preparing in advance can make it less stressful to receive visitors anytime. Whether you have a dedicated guest room or a more improvised arrangement for overnight guests, there are many things you can do to make hosting headache-free for you and your family. Reserve a special set of linens for guests, including towels, washcloths, an extra blanket and pillowcases, and set them aside in a basket or plastic bin so they will stay clean and ready. In the same bin, you might also include back-up toiletries such as
Read More

New Mortgage Rules for 2018

Starting January 1, new mortgage lending rules will require borrowers to undergo a financial ‘stress test’ to prove they could afford their mortgage if interest rates were to increase. Currently, buyers who provide less than 20% of their purchase price as a down payment are required to insure their mortgages. They must purchase mortgage insurance that protects their lender in case of a default. Those same borrowers are also required to undergo a so-called ‘stress test’ to determine whether they could withstand a substantial rise in interest rates. Under the new regulations, the pool of borrowers who must be tested
Read More

Should You Own A Generator?

Winter is approaching and with it, blizzards, ice storms, and other extreme weather events for which we Canadians ought to be prepared. Even if you live in an urban area with lots of resources and amenities, your family should have an emergency plan in place and an emergency kit on hand that includes everything you would need in the event of a major storm or power interruption. Depending on a number of factors, you might also want to consider investing in a back-up generator. A generator can provide back-up power in the event of a long-term power outage. If such
Read More

Making a Smart Purchase in a Seller’s Market

While Ottawa’s real estate market remains more balanced than some other large Canadian cities, increasing condo sales and a tightening inventory of available homes means that, in many Ottawa neighbourhoods, sellers will have the advantage in real estate negotiations. If you are interested in making a purchase in such a market, it is especially important to work with an experienced real estate professional whose negotiation skills and local knowledge will give you an edge as a buyer. Getting the home you want can be a challenge in a competitive real estate environment, but there are still things you can do
Read More

Ottawa Tops the List of Best Places to Live in Canada

For the second year in a row, MoneySense Magazine has ranked Ottawa as the #1 place to live in Canada. This news is hardly a surprise to those of us who love the Capital City. Ottawa has low unemployment, a healthy median income of $91,000 per year, and a less frenzied real estate market than other large Canadian cities, MoneySense says. Considering historic upgrades to public transit, access to excellent health and medical services, and ever-expanding opportunities to enjoy world-class arts and culture, and it is no wonder that Ottawa is such a desirable place to call home. MoneySense used
Read More

Understanding Flood Insurance

According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, water damage has now surpassed fire as the leading cause of home insurance payouts. As climate change advances, Canadian insurance adjusters believe that flooding will become increasingly common. Large cities, including Toronto and Calgary, have experienced historic flooding in the past few years, and so has the Capital Region. Many of our friends and neighbours here in Ottawa are still recovering from flooding this spring, which affected hundreds of homeowners within the city and displaced many more Gatineau residents, some permanently. In the wake of flooding, homeowners are often surprised to learn that
Read More

Fall Fireplace Maintenance

A fireplace is an amenity often sought-after by homeowners, and some research even indicates that a fireplace can have a positive effect on a home’s selling price. It can add a feeling of warmth and luxury to a home, especially in our climate. But if a fireplace isn’t properly maintained, it can quickly become a liability, whether your home is on the market or not. Fireplaces and chimneys are involved in 43% of all home-heating fires. Proper care and maintenance will keep your home and family safe. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, have your chimney swept at least once
Read More

Condo Sales Help Set New Record for August Unit Sale

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 percent. The five-year average for August sales is 1,343. Condo sales continue to strengthen the Ottawa resale market. 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 percent, whereas residential units have held steady with a less than one percent decrease
Read More

Selling A Home That Needs Work

Before putting a home on the market, most sellers undertake some repairs and renovation projects to make the property more attractive to buyers; a fresh coat of paint, a thorough cleaning, replacing a cracked window or a wobbly door knob. Sometimes, however, there is a big project, such as a new roof or an overdue kitchen reno, that the seller is unwilling or unable to undertake before listing. If your home falls into this category, never fear. It is possible to get a competitive price for your home even if there is work to do. It is all part of
Read More

Condo sales drive the Ottawa resale market in July

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 is 1,446. Year to date, there have been 10,825 properties sold on MLS compared to 9,771, an 11.8 percent increase. The Ottawa resale market continues its steady pace into mid-summer, with condo sales really bolstering the market this past month, a continuing positive trend since February. July’s sales included 332 in the condominium property class, (an increase of over 19 percent compared to
Read More