Reverse Mortgages: What to consider when considering a reverse mortgage

Reverse Mortgages What to consider when considering a reverse mortgage  A trend on the rise in home ownership as of late is the concept of reverse mortgages. This financial strategy is getting more and more common, as homeowners begin to use the equity of their home as a loan. But what exactly is a reverse mortgage, and how does it work? Let’s examine the concept of a reverse mortgage, and the benefits and downfalls that are included in its’ use. What is a reverse mortgage? A reverse mortgage is a loan that allows you to receive money from your home equity without having to sell your home. Typically, you are able to borrow up to 55% of the current value of your home, tax-free. There are however, qualifications that must be met in order to have a reverse mortgage. These qualifications include being a homeowner, that is minimum of 55 years of age. This includes the spouse of the homeowner as well, meaning both individuals must be a minimum of 55 years of age to be eligible for a reverse ...

Read more

July 2018 in Ottawa Real Estate: Market Snapshot

July 2018 in Ottawa Real Estate: Market Snapshot Ottawa Real Estate Market Snapshot: July 2018:  We continue to see a healthy real estate market in Ottawa, with inventory levels are improving.  Have questions? Looking for specific neighbourhood stats? Message us, we’d love to help!!     A Sizzling Summer for Ottawa Real Estate [posted by the Ottawa Real Estate Board] August 3, 2018 Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,614 residential properties  in July through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 1,524 in July 2017, an increase of 5.9 per cent. The five-year average for July sales is 1,501. July’s sales included 1,238 in the residential property class, an increase of 3.6 per cent from July 2017 and 376 in the condominium property class, an increase of 14.3 percent from a year ago. “Ottawa’s condo market continues to positively impact overall residential sales trends with year-to-date condo unit sales up 16.5 percent from this t...

Read more

The Search Is On – Listings: How the majority of buyers & sellers find listings in 2018

As the age of technology and the Internet continues to thrive, many industries have developed over the years to incorporate the constantly changing world of advertising and reaching potential clientele. Long gone are the days of people driving around on the weekends in search of potential listings, and fewer are checking the paper in search of their potential dream home. Despite these changes, the housing market is still booming and buyers and sellers alike are finding their future properties. The real question is, how has the search for real estate listings changed? The majority of that question can be answered with just one word: Internet. With millennials making up almost 66% of the first-time homebuyers group, the Internet is a natural search engine for them. The Internet has become a major source of information when it comes to searching for just about anything, and that includes real estate listings. So what are the areas included in modern searches, and where is the information ...

Read more

Neighbourhood Snapshot: Exploring Almonte

Under 30 minutes to Ottawa, Almonte is an Area Home Buyers Should Consider Most of us have heard the Mark Twain quote  “Buy land, they’ve stopped making it”,  there’s no doubt that investing in real estate is a great way to build equity.   As prices in the urban centres creep up, more Ottawa buyers are purchasing condos as a way to get into real estate investment.  We saw a condo boom in 2017 and the trend is continuing into 2018.  While this is a great option, if the condo lifestyle doesn’t appeal to you, you might consider bucking the trend of urbanisation, and choose to put down rural roots.  Not convinced?  If you love the thought of being able to enjoy amazing restaurants, culture and grab a great latte, buying a home in Almonte is something you might want to consider. Found along the banks of Canada’s Mississippi River, in the Ottawa Valley, the quaint town of Almonte, Ontario has continued to thrive for decades. Known for attracting millers and othe...

Read more

Listed, Viewed, Sold! Steps in the home selling process 

Listed, Viewed, Sold! Steps in the home selling process   Selling your home is a big task, and an important one to pay critical attention to – as your house is typically your biggest asset. Ensuring that you’re ready to start this journey is key, and being as prepared as possible can ensure your house is sold for its’ top value. There are many important steps along the way when it comes to selling your house, and to take off some of the pressures, we’ve laid them out for you in this article. Find a realtor Your realtor is going to be your best friend when it comes to selling your home. They play a critical role in this process, and you want to be sure you choose an agent who is experienced, reliable, and that you are comfortable with. Take the time to research and meet with different agents, as you don’t have to settle with the first one you meet! Finding the right realtor can make all the difference in the sale of your home. This person will be your voice when it comes to the negoti...

Read more

Choosing a Realtor That’s Right for You

Choosing a Realtor That’s Right for You When it comes time for you to buy or sell your home, you’ll want to be sure that you have the guidance and support necessary for you to make a decision you’re most comfortable with. With that said, finding the right Realtor is just as (if not more) important as finding the right home. We know that by choosing Royal LePage Team Realty you are trusting us to ensure your real estate transaction goes smoothly and that your interests and investments are protected, our REALTORS® take this responsibility very seriously. Selling your home? Albeit a little overwhelming at first glance, the selling process can actually run quite smoothly with the help of a Royal LePage Team Realty Sales Representative. Our team will provide you with a multitude of Sales Representatives to choose from, so we encourage you to do your due diligence before making a selection. After all, we’d like to guarantee that he/she is the right one for you. Here are a few things to consi...

Read more

Airbnb: New regulations may change your investment

To Airbnb or not to Airbnb? New regulations in Ottawa  In the past few years, the trend of Airbnb has been sweeping the nation.  Airbnb gives property owners a platform to rent income properties and even their own homes as short term rentals.  With the homeowner in control of timing and rates, this can be a great way to off-set the costs of owning a property.   However, with the implementation of new taxes for short term rentals and with some condominium corporations changing their rules to disallow individuals from utilizing their units for such purposes, it may not be as profitable as it once was.   Knowing the facts will help you make an informed decision if you’re considering offering your property on Airbnb. How does Airbnb work? Airbnb is an online marketplace that allows individuals to rent out their properties or spare rooms to guests. This marketplace has become overwhelmingly popular in the past few years as it provides affordable lodging options for tourists as well a...

Read more

Ottawa real estate June 2018

Ottawa Real Estate Market Snapshot: June 2018 

June 2018 in Ottawa Real Estate: Market Snapshot Ottawa Real Estate Market Snapshot: June 2018:  The Ottawa Condo market is leading the way in units sold, up over 16% in the first half of 2018 compared to the same time period last year, experts say Buyers looking for affordable homes may be turning to the Condo market, due to the increase in price in single family homes.  Compared with 2017 Ottawa home sales in the $250-275K price point have decreased by 37%, and we’ve seen a 41%  decrease in the $275-300K price range. Have questions? Looking for specific neighbourhood stats? Message us, we’d love to help!!   News Release from the Ottawa Real Estate Board: Condo Sales Keep Market from Over Heating July 5, 2018 Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 2,070 residential properties in June through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 2,163 in June 2017, a decrease of 4.3 per cent. The five-year average for June sales is 1,914. June’...

Read more

summer-is-a-good-time-to-move

Why summer is a good time to move…  

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 ...

Read more

Buying a Home: Step by Step

Buying a Home: Step by Step  Buying a home can seem like a daunting task in the beginning. There are so many options to consider, let alone finding that dream home. You may be wondering what the main things to consider when you’re going to buy a house, and how the process works? With so much information surrounding the housing market, we’ve created a short step-by-step process to help you with all your home buying needs! Finances The daunting and confusing aspect of buying a home always lands in the finance department. Mostly because finances on a large scale become a stressful process for people. However, when it comes to organizing your finances to buy a home, it doesn’t need to be complicated or scary. Just keep these tips in mind: Determine what you can afford; remember that typically you require 20% down on your purchase. It is recommended that people look at homes that cost no more than 3-5 times their annual household income. Talk to mortgage lenders and your bank...

Read more

Fun things to do in Ottawa

Turn your Vacation into a Staycation: Activities for families in Ottawa

Turn your Vacation into a Staycation: Activities for families in Ottawa  Summer is a wonderful time to spend a little quality time with friends and family; things are more relaxed, the kids are out of school and you won’t have to worry about a last minute snow storm interfering with travel plans (well here’s hoping!) . But organizing a family vacation, especially when you have young children, can be stressful (just think of the Griswalds). The packing, planning, stopping, driving, – the list could go on and on. Have you ever arrived at your destination tired, wishing you’d just stayed home?  If the answer is yes, you can take the stress out of your vacation this year, and turn it into a “Staycation”! At this moment, you’re certainly considering this option, but wondering what there possibly could be to do in Ottawa for a family that already lives here? Have no fear; we have the answers you are looking for. Staycations are becoming a popular option for many families, as leaving home can...

Read more

Neighbourhood Snapshot : Carlington is an Ottawa Community to Watch

When you buy a home, it’s more than just the house itself, you’re really buying into a lifestyle, and becoming part of a community.  The Ottawa and surrounding area has a lot to offer and there may be “hidden gems” that you hadn’t considered.  We’re excited to introduce a new series of blog posts dedicated to giving readers the inside scoop on some great Ottawa neighbourhoods, starting with Carlington!  Welcome to Carlington! Nestled in the heart of the city, Carlington is a community to watch. This neighbourhood has lots of amenities along with easy access to the Queensway making travel within the city a breeze. Situated just a stone’s throw away from the pricy Island Park, Civic Hospital, and Westboro neighbourhoods, Carlington has similar charm but is far more affordable. About Carlington Carlington is located in the River Ward in the west-end of Ottawa and it is bordered by Clyde Avenue to the West, Carling Avenue to the North, Fisher Avenue to t...

Read more

Ottawa Real Estate Market Snapshot: May 2018 

Ottawa Real Estate Market Snapshot: May 2018:  While inventory is still lower than normal, the number of listings coming onto the market this month is typical spring activity! Have questions? Looking for specific neighbourhood stats? Message us!! The following are hightlights from the Ottawa Real Estate Board’s latest News Release read the full story Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 2,279 residential properties in May through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 2,294 in May 2017, a decrease of 0.7 per cent. The five-year average for May sales is 2,041. May’s sales included 485 in the condominium property class and 1,794 in the residential property class. “Although our overall inventory stock is down in both the residential and condo market, the number of listings coming onto the market this month is typical spring activity,” states Ralph Shaw, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. “The sheer number of home sales that ...

Read more

Home-Grown Issues: The impacts of home-grown marijuana and legalization

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 resu...

Read more

Buying a Home: What The Extras Cost

Contracts and rentals to consider in home ownership When it comes to buying a home, there are always additional fees to be considering when you make an offer. Typically, a first-time home buyer needs to be aware of the costs associated with buying a home – legal fees, mortgage rates, home insurance, closing costs, property taxes, land transfer fees…But what about those little extras not everyone considers? The contracts and rentals associated with the home such as furnaces, hot water tanks, and in some locations even your septic tanks – and what that could cost you. The main point is to understand EXACTLY what you are buying. Some of these costs are minimal, and won’t make a significant impact on your decision when it comes to home buying. However, if you’re looking at a home that requires you to take over a rental furnace, for example, some furnace contracts can cost hundreds of dollars per month to maintain. What can you do to know what you’re getting yourself into ...

Read more

The Walls Have Eyes – And Maybe Ears

Real Estate Listings and Surveillance Systems Have you ever wondered if a house you’re looking at, might also be looking at you? Well, you’re not alone. It’s a common question when it comes to real estate listings regarding home surveillance systems, or “nanny cams.” Although there is technically no legal position preventing homeowners from having their surveillance system, it can’t help but feel a little creepy to consider that the seller may potentially be watching you as you look at their home. Some homes may have signage stating that there is video/audio surveillance. However, it is not always required depending on where you live. Here in Canada, the laws surrounding video and audio surveillance are a little more clear-cut than those of the United States. In Canada, it is not illegal to monitor and record sounds, only “private communications.” So how precisely, does one determine if an individual has consented to the recording of the...

Read more

3 Tips For Making A Major Homeowners Insurance Claim

3 Tips For Making A Major Homeowners Insurance Claim Home insurance is one of the costs that come with home ownership. You pay your premiums to your insurance company and when disaster strikes, you expect that they will pay for most, if not all of the bill.  But will they? Here are 3 tips to help you get the most out of your homeowner’s insurance claim.   Know your limits, deductibles and what your coverage includes. Depending on your policy, your insurance company may or may not cover things like water damage. By reviewing your policy, you’ll know how much you can expect to pay out-of-pocket, which will help you decide which repairs are essential, and which can wait. You’ll also want to know whether your insurance company will pay actual cash value or replacement costs for personal property that has been damaged.  Cash value may not be enough to cover replacement costs so get the details before you rush out to replace everything. Document all of your damage. Take photos of EVERYTHING...

Read more

Hot Real Estate Market in an Icy April

The Spring market continues to buzz in Ottawa real estate, with the number of sales up over 13% in April in spite of inventory levels being down 23% over this time last year.  Home buyers are seeing more competition, which is good news for sellers.   Certainly we are seeing more multiple offers and higher sale prices, however, with prices still reasonable compared to income in Ottawa real estate these factors aren’t stopping buyers. Hot Real Estate Market in an Icy April  May 3, 2018 Highlights from the Ottawa Real Estate Board   “Full employment and reasonable house prices in proportion to incomes are fueling our market. Ottawa is not only a beautiful and dynamic capital but also one of the more affordable cities in Canada,” observes Ralph Shaw, Ottawa Real Estate Board President. “While prices and conditions do vary by area, the overall residential marketplace shows solid and steady performance on investment for homeowners, and offers a variety of property class optio...

Read more

Frugal Family Fun in Ottawa

Frugal Family Fun in Ottawa Did you know that entertaining and enjoying time together as a family does not need to cost a lot of money? Its true-despite what parenting magazines and social media ads would like to have you believe. Yes, there are activities that cost more than others, but there are also a lot of inexpensive and even FREE activities you can do instead.  In fact there are many free options available that you may have not even known about! One example of a free & fun outing is visiting one of the many museums around the Nation’s Capital. With so many options to choose from, there is a museum for every family. Here is a run down of which museums offer free admission during specific periods: The newly renovated Canadian Museum of Nature offers free admission on Thursday nights from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. The Canada Agriculture and Food Museum offers free admission between 4:00 and 5:00 p.m. each day. The adjacent Central Experimental Farm is a great place to cycle or run. ...

Read more

Understanding Property Taxes

Property taxes are a necessary part of owning property in Ontario. Anyone in Ontario who owns land or a property has to pay a certain amount of tax to the municipal government. Although these taxes are unpopular, as all taxes are, property taxes are important because they are the main revenue source for Ontario’s municipalities. Property taxes are separate from other forms of taxes, and the amount that each person owes is based on a unique assessment for their particular property and the tax rate of the municipality the property is in. How property taxes are determined for each individual property is quite simple. Each municipality within Ontario has its own municipal tax rate, which is determined based on the municipality’s budget and expected revenue. Each municipality also has an education tax rate, which helps to pay for schools and related services within the municipality. These education tax rates can vary within a municipality, depending on where a property is located in relatio...

Read more

What Home Buyers Should be Looking for When Viewing a Property

You’ve done your research, found the perfect Realtor, crunched the numbers, created your list of must-haves and now it’s time to start the exciting process of HOUSE HUNTING! When you’re looking at homes for sale it isn’t always easy to look beyond the cosmetics.  Not to worry, we’ve created this handy graphic to help home buyers to stay focused.

Read more