Royal LePage’s New Mobile App Breaks Industry Barriers With Draw-and-Search Feature

  Royal LePage, in partnership with award-winning mobile agency Plastic Mobile, recently announced the launch of the Royal LePage mobile app for Canadian house hunters. Available for iPhone, the new app is simplifying the property search process down to the swipe of a finger. The app’s innovative Draw-and-Search feature allows users to easily zero in on a specific geographic area of interest on a map, by simply drawing the area of choice with their finger. Upon doing so, property listings within the selected region will pop up on the screen. On-the-go house hunters no longer need to log in or fill in forms to see search results.  And with one tap, users can save their search to get updates on new homes, open houses, and current listings within the geographic area they selected. “At Royal LePage, we are constantly looking at how we can better serve homebuyers in their search for the perfect ...
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Thinking of selling? Get educated about market conditions specific to YOUR home.

Our local Ottawa real estate board regularly publishes information about market conditions in and around the city. And while this information is useful, the data is based on statistics compiled from ALL home sales regardless of age, style, neighborhood or price point. As such, it may not necessarily reflect the conditions specific to YOUR home. When marketing your home for sale, it is critical that your sales representative identify market conditions specific to your home. Are you in a seller’s market, a balanced market, or a buyer’s market? Each of these market conditions demands a different marketing strategy to ensure the best results. By identifying the specific market conditions, your sales representative can tailor their marketing strategy to attract more buyers and achieve the highest sale price possible for your home. For an in-depth Market Evaluation of your home, contact one of our trained Royal Lepage Team Realty sales representatives. ...
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Ottawa Residential Housing Price Increases between 1956 and 2013

As the Nation’s Capital, Ottawa has always been a great city in which to buy real estate, whether for home ownership or investment purposes.  Over the years, when the rest of the country was experiencing dramatic downturns in their real estate markets, Ottawa seemed to be insulated and the housing market remained steady. This historical trend continues today, and presently Ottawa enjoys a diverse employment base that helps it to weather the economic storms.  In contrast, the housing markets in other communities across Canada continue to be directly affected by local economic conditions and downturns in local industries. The chart below has been compiled from past Ottawa Real Estate Board MLS Sales Data and is a great indicator of the stability of the Ottawa Real Estate Market. For more information about housing price increases, contact one of our highly trained professional Royal LePage Team Realty Sales Representatives. ...
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Now Sellers Can Choose Their Commission Rate

Today more than ever, consumers have choices when it comes to what commission rate they will pay when listing their home for sale.  From flat fees to full service fees, and many options in between, it seems that consumers are spoiled for choice.  But if you’re considering listing your home for sale, you simply must make sure that you clearly understand exactly what each level of service provides. What are you getting for the fee you’re paying? What level of service can you expect to receive? How much of the process will you be expected to perform? Will your agent take care of all the details for you? Tips to consider when interviewing agents It’s imperative that you get in writing the services the agent will be providing for the fee they are charging. This will help eliminate disappointment and clarify expectations. Ask them if their first priority is to ...
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Condominium Living

An Ideal Lifestyle for Some People Wanting Freedom and Forced Savings for Repairs and Replacement So you want to purchase a home but don’t want to spend your weekends mowing the lawn or shoveling snow.  Then condominium living may be just what you’re looking for! With a condominium, you own your individual unit in a multi-unit property, plus you share ownership of the land and other common elements with the other condominium unit owners.  Common elements typically include the hallways, elevators, parking lot, landscaped areas, swimming pool, games room, and the like. Condominium Fee Just remember that unlike freehold properties, condominium ownership involves a monthly condo fee.  Typically this fee covers the costs of building maintenance and insurance, replacement of the roof and windows, and the upkeep of the common areas mentioned above.  In some cases it may also cover the costs of heat and hydro for your unit.  Condo ...
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Mortgages today offer a new form of hidden savings!

  In years past, when Canadians faced an array of higher interest rates, the majority of the home owner’s monthly mortgage payment at the beginning of the mortgage went to paying down the interest, leaving the principal relatively untouched. The following chart shows just how much the interest rate can impact monthly mortgage payments, the interest costs incurred over the term of a mortgage, as well as the outstanding balance at the end of the 5-year term. Example: Based on a $200,000 5-year open variable rate mortgage, amortized over 25 years   Interest Rate Monthly Payment Interest Costs for the Term Outstanding Balance after 5 years Today’s Best Rate 3.39% $ 987 $31,421 $172,203 2001 6% $1289 $57,180 $179,654 1991 12% $2106 $117,693 $191,306 Using the 3.39% example noted above, an average $463.00 of the above $987.00 monthly mortgage payment goes towards paying down the principal on the mortgage. It’s ...
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Why January is a GREAT time to list your home for sale

  So it’s January, it’s cold outside and there’s snow everywhere. You’re anxious to sell your house, but you think January can’t possibly be the best time for that. Your family and friends all agree that April is a much better month to put your house on the market. So you wait. and wait . and wait. Well STOP WAITING!! Here are 3 great reasons to list your house for sale in January. 1. There are fewer houses on the market – you’ll have less competition and a greater chance of getting an offer. 2. Anyone house hunting in January is serious about buying – the tire kickers are at home where it’s warm. 3. January is the biggest month for corporate employee transfers. Buyers being transferred to your area don’t have the luxury of time – they’re ready to make an offer on your house right now! Tips for ...
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A Motivational Moment

Teen raises $115,000 with Lake Ontario swim to send kids with cancer to camp. ...
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Buying Real Estate for Your Child

For parents faced with the prospect of their children attending a post secondary school in another community, city or province, and finding suitable living accommodations for their loved one can be somewhat daunting and trying to find that perfect home away from home can sometimes be an impossibility. An alternative, when taking into consideration the cost of living in residence or renting a room that offers no return on your investment, is buying a home or condominium that your child can share with other room mates. The cost to carry the mortgage, taxes, maintenance, heat and hydro can mostly be covered in the revenues received from other student renters. Depending on the length of stay, any where from 3 years and up, your child may be able to realize a realistic increase in equity and a return on their investment. And if the property is registered in your child’s name, ...
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Making a Claim in Small Claims Court

The information provided below is not legal advice, and it may not apply in every situation. Before making a claim, there are a number of factors you may want to consider, and a number of pieces of information you will need to collect. 1. You Will Need the Legal Name of the Person or Business. You will need to know the legal name of the person or business and a current residential or business address. It is necessary to have the correct information about who you are suing to properly prepare and serve your claim, and to enforce a judgment if you are successful. 2. Small Claims Court Claim Limits. You can only sue for money or the return of personal property valued at $25,000.00 (Canadian) or less, not including interest and costs. If the amount of your claim is more than the current limit, you may still choose to ...
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Septic Systems and What You Need to Know Before You Buy

It is imperative when considering buying a home that is serviced by a septic system that the system be inspected by a professional septic engineer. Initially this inspection may seem costly, however it can save you thousands of dollars in future repairs or replacement costs. The cost to replace or upgrade a system is far greater than installing a new one on a virgin site. The cost for replacement can be as high as $20,000. to $30,000., sometimes more, depending on how much damage the old system has done to the soils in and around the system and surrounding property. The fee for a professional inspection can range from $350.00 to $500.00 which in comparison is considerably less than the cost to repair or replace a septic system. Septic Systems and the Inspection In rural areas, many homes do not have connections to municipal sewer lines. Homeowners rely upon individual ...
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What You Need to Know About Safe Drinking Water Testing

We all rely on safe drinking water in our homes, it is vital to our health and quality of life. If you are buying a home where the water supply comes from a well source there are precautions that need to taken. First and foremost and at the very least, you must have the water tested to ensure a safe bacterial count. You should be aware that the bacterial stability of water cannot always be determined from a single sample. To establish drinking water quality initially, take three samples at least one week apart and each test must show acceptable coliform/E.coli counts. However, water quality can change. It is recommended that you test your well water four times a year: spring, summer, fall and winter to keep up-to-date on the quality of your family’s drinking water. Next to properly maintaining your well, testing is your best strategy for playing it ...
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Protect Yourself Against Real Estate Fraud and Identity Theft

What is real estate fraud? There are many different types of real estate fraud, but the two that consumers should be aware of are mortgage fraud and title fraud. Mortgage fraud occurs when an individual intentionally provides inaccurate, fraudulent or incomplete information to a lender in order to secure a mortgage that they might not otherwise be granted. This could include anything from an individual claiming to have a higher income than they actually have to providing falsified proof of identification or a falsified appraisal of the property. Title fraud occurs when a fraudster assumes the identity of an individual homeowner and then uses that false identity to pose as the homeowner. They could then assume the title on the home, sell the property or obtain a mortgage on that property or other properties in the homeowner’s name. How big a problem is mortgage fraud in Canada? Mortgage fraud is ...
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Knob and Tube Wiring in Residential Homes – Insurance May be Denied

The Electrical Safety Authority has received an increasing number of questions about the safety of knob and tube wiring. In particular, purchasers or owners of older homes are finding that many insurers will not provide or renew coverage on such properties. In some cases, the insurance companies are requiring a total replacement of this wiring prior to providing insurance coverage. Knob and tube wiring, more recently referred to as open wiring, was a wiring method used in the early 1900s to 1940s in the residential sector. Over the years wiring installation practices have changed in the residential sector and knob and tube wiring is no longer installed; however, parts continue to be available for maintenance purposes. Existing knob and tube conductors concealed in walls, floor spaces, etc; supplying general lighting and receptacle circuits are permitted to remain in place if: They are protected by a 15 ampere fuse or circuit ...
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Mold in Your Home Can Be Harmful to Your Health

All types of mould have the potential to cause health problems and many people are allergic to it. The severity of the health effects depends on the type or amount of mould and any pre-existing health problems. People with asthma or allergies are more susceptible to mould-related problems. Mould weakens its host food source and can cause structural damage to buildings. Mould can develop on organic materials if they remain wet for 24 to 48 hours. It is not the quantity of water, but the time the material has been exposed to water or moisture that determines the growth of mould. Controlling indoor moisture is the number one way to avoid mould and its possible health effects. Other ways you can avoid mould or reduce mould damage are as follows: Do not overuse humidifiers and maintain the moisture level in your home between 30 – 50%. Check your house for ...
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Household Pests Can be Damaging to Your Home

Household pests have a knack of residing in homes to satisfy their needs of food, water and shelter. If you do not seek the services of a pest control company in time, pests can cause your home a significant amount of damage. Although you may not feel too concerned about a couple of rodents roaming around your house, it is essential to remember that these pests can mate and multiply rapidly. Many people end up losing a large amount of cash due to the lack of timely treatment of these problems. Carpenter Ants Although the creatures may look miniscule and insignificant, pests are fully capable of damaging your home devastatingly. Carpenter ants, in particular, are considered one of the most damaging types of pests for homes. These pests, generally known to decompose trees in forests, are often found in homes looking for food and water. Although they do not cause ...
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Smoke Alarms are the Law

Effective March 1st. 2006 it became law for all Ontario homes to have a working Smoke Alarm on every story and outside every sleeping area. With this previously announced Fire Code amendment now in effect, it is hoped there will be a reduction of the number of preventable fire-related injuries and fatalities.  The amendment covers single family, semi-detached and town homes, whether owner-occupied or rented. Penalties for non-compliance with the Ontario Fire Code smoke alarm requirements could result in a ticket for $235 or a fine of up to $50,000 for individuals or $100,000 for corporations. Working smoke alarms save lives. Don’t be foolish enough to think a barking dog will awaken you or that you will smell smoke – don’t bet your life on it!   SMOKE KILLS: Toxic smoke and fumes kill. In a house fire, it is the flames that do the structural damage, but smoke is ...
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What You Need to Know About Oil Heating and Oil Tanks

It is critical for a home buyer contemplating the purchase of a home with oil heating that they have a clear understanding of their responsibilities and liabilities under laws that have been implemented to protect our environment. It is also important to note that Mortgage Companies may not advance Mortgage funds and Insurance Companies may decline Insurance Coverage if the property does not meet the new regulations. The Ministry of Consumer and Business Services recently amended Ontario’s Technical Standards and Safety Act (TSSA) to include new regulations with regard to fuel oil. Inspections One component of the new regulations involves basic and comprehensive inspections of your heating system by a certified professional Oil Burner Technician (OBT). Since May 2007 all fuel oil customers must have a comprehensive inspection of the heating and delivery system by a certified Oil Burner Technician (OBT) and this inspection is required at least every 10 ...
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How to Protect Yourself From a Grow Home

Buying a home that was once a Grow House has some advantages as they can usually be purchased below market value. Usually the owner has done all necessary work using professionals to ensure that the property is safe for human habitation. However in recent months one of the growing difficulties with purchasing a residence that was once used as a grow house is that there are limited companies that will provide mortgage funding. If you are considering purchasing this type of home, first consult with your Royal LePage Team Realty Representative to ensure that Mortgage Funding will be available. Grow Houses: Be Aware and Informed! Information has been edited from an Excerpt By Mark R. Frederick and Denis Rivard While viewed by many as a “soft drug”, marijuana, and the use of same results in many continued problems for society both in terms of the adverse effects on health and ...
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Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute to Get Your Home Insurance!

The home insurance market has changed dramatically over the past years especially in the aftermath of 9-11 Gone are the days when a buyer could simply call their insurance brokers and arrange for insurance on their new home within 24 hours of the call. Standards Are Tougher Today the insurance companies are not only looking at the home to be insured but they are also taking a close look at the homeowner as well. When considering the home to be insured, the insurance companies are looking at age and condition including structural components, electrical, plumbing, roof, windows, heating etc. and they will also want to know if the home is owner occupied or rented or vacant. Insurance companies will also look at the individual applying for insurance. Individuals that have had a number of previous claims, policies that have been canceled, declined or lapsed, a poor credit rating, or conviction ...
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Fire Retrofit – Does The Home You Are Purchasing Need One?

  When purchasing a home with an auxiliary dwelling unit i.e.: a basement apartment or in-law suite or area in the home or garage that contains kitchen and bathroom facilities that are intended to be exclusive to the unit, as the home buyer it is imperative that you obtain a Fire Retrofit Certificate to ensure that the area meets safety and fire codes if the area in question is to be used futuristically as rental income or is to be occupied by family members. Strict laws have been put in place to ensure human safety and if the area is to be occupied as a self contained unit now or potentially in the future or offered in re-sale as having an auxiliary dwelling unit, certain criteria must be met. To meet this criteria a Fire Retrofit should be carried out and this is preformed by the local Fire Department and ...
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Aluminum Wiring What You Need to Know… Your Home Insurance May Be Declined

Careful attention needs to be paid to what type of wiring exists in the home you are contemplating on buying. If your chosen home insurer finds that Aluminum Wiring is present in the home, they may refuse to insure the property causing delays on closing or failure by the mortgage company to advance mortgage funds. All mortgage companies prior to the advancing of mortgage monies need evidence and undertakings that the property has insurance coverage. Not addressing the issue of Aluminum Wiring prior to closing could result in a litigious situation with a claim for damages from the seller. It is important to note that some insurance brokers and companies have started to refuse coverage while others will only provide insurance with a certificate issued by the ESA (Electrical Safety Authority) or by a recognized electrical contractor indicating that work has been completed to ensure all necessary retrofit has been ...
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Real Estate as an Investment Opportunity

With the volatile nature of stock markets in previous years a great alternative to investing is purchasing income producing properties and becoming a landlord. Real Estate historically has always been a sound investment in the Ottawa area as evidenced by steady increases over the years. While real estate is a great investment and always increases, there is a negative side to this type of investment. Real Estate is a tangible asset and needs time to liquidate, while on the other hand, stocks, an intangible asset, can be sold within the same day. However, if you have the staying power to hold on to your income producing property or properties it can become a great retirement fund. The Advantages of Becoming a Landlord Becoming a landlord can be one of the best, most profitable decisions you’ll ever make. If done correctly, the reasons for becoming a landlord are many. You can generate ...
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Planning Your Move – Preparation Check List

It’s really never too soon to begin planning for a move, and veteran movers have found that a comprehensive timetable and checklist is the best strategy to ensure a smooth relocation. It’s also a great way to involve the entire family in the move and to spread some of the responsibilities to each person, including your children You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment as items are checked off. Moreover, as the weeks roll by, your checklist will help ensure that nothing has been overlooked or omitted from your planning, and that alone will go a long way toward relieving some of your anxiety. Immediately After Entering Into An Unconditional Purchase For Your New Home: Contact movers and schedule appointments for quotes on your move. Caution do not just base your decision on the lowest cost, as this does not necessarily give you the best mover, and remember this is only ...
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In Law Suites – Basement Apartments & Secondary Units Now Legal

With the exception of Rockcliffe Park, the City of Ottawa now allows secondary   suites. So a home owner can build one (with a building permit) or get the city’s stamp of approval on an existing one, provided the home owner brings it up to building and fire code standards. This is often a basement apartment, but the more correct description is “secondary suite” or “secondary dwelling unit”. If not built in the basement, a secondary suite can only take up 40% of the overall upper floors. A suite can be built in a garage, and each half of a semi-detached can have its own secondary suite. Also, each (legal) duplex is allowed one secondary unit – effectively making it into a triplex. If, for example, a secondary unit occupies 40% of the upper floors and generates rental income, then 40% of expenses as such roof or furnace replacement and 40% of the city taxes can be deducted from that rental income. (Verify this, but since the secondary unit is in one’s principal residence, there may ...
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HEAD OFFICE

Royal LePage Team Realty

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Ottawa, Ontario

Canada K1Z 8N8

Office: 613-725-1171

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