Real Estate Blog

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:   But, Are You Withholding Too Much? Most of us enjoy getting a large tax refund every spring. But, a refu...

Read more

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 the previous month, with 256 more properties sold in March over February,” says President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board, Shane Sil...

Read more

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.   Each of these life stages present unique challenges that call for a different mortgage s...

Read more

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) President Chris Polychron says “staging is an excellent tool th...

Read more

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 have sold or are currently available to use for comparative market analysis when establishing price an...

Read more

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 with their agent.  First, the money and time you save far exceeds t...

Read more

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 from your home instead of seeping in or collecting at the foundation. Improper drainage can cause prob...

Read more

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 negotiating for you to find the lowest rate have knowledge of, and access to, the entire mortgage...

Read more

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 to potential buyers and bring down its value. Here are seven...

Read more

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 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 ...

Read more

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 the moment and prefer instant gratification t...

Read more

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 rates higher even as the Bank of Canada tries to ho...

Read more