Archive for the ‘Chris’ Blog’ Category

OTTAWA MARKET UPDATE: JUNE 2024

Posted on: June 14th, 2024 by Chris Scott

This month, Chris shares insights on the Ottawa real estate market, noting stable sales numbers compared to last year, an increase in new listings, and varied pricing strategies among sellers. Some homes are selling quickly in competitive situations, while others face price reductions. Check out our latest market update for more!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adding a Secondary Dwelling: A Comprehensive Guide for Ottawa Homeowners

Posted on: June 10th, 2024 by Chris Scott

Thinking about adding a secondary unit to your existing home? Secondary dwellings, also known as in-law suites or accessory apartments, can offer various benefits such as additional income and increased property value. Here’s a concise guide on what you need to know before embarking on this home improvement journey in Ottawa.

Understanding the Basics

What is a Secondary Dwelling? A secondary dwelling is a self-contained unit with its own kitchen, bathroom, and sleeping area. It can be part of your existing house or a separate structure on your property.

Key Considerations:

  • Zoning Requirements: Check if your area allows secondary units using the geoOttawa tool.
  • Building Permits: Essential for ensuring safety and compliance with regulations.
  • Building Code Compliance: Ensure your construction meets the minimum standards.
  • Inspections: The City of Ottawa will inspect your unit during construction.

Ottawa-Specific Rules

Size and Access:

  • A secondary unit can occupy up to 40% of your principal dwelling’s floor area. There’s no size limit for basement units.
  • The unit must have a separate ground floor entrance and should not add a new doorway on the front wall of your home.

Parking and Location:

  • The secondary unit cannot eliminate the required parking for the main dwelling.
  • Additional parking is not mandatory, but if added, it cannot be in the front yard.

Dwelling Types Permitted:

  • Detached dwellings, linked-detached dwellings, semi-detached dwellings, townhouses, and duplexes (existing as of July 17, 2013).

Financial Benefits and Costs

Adding a secondary dwelling can affect your property taxes and insurance. Here are some costs you might incur:

  • Remodeling Costs: Ranges from $30,000 to $100,000, covering elements like firewalls, egress, heating systems, bathrooms, kitchens, and electrical upgrades.
  • Permit Fees: Minimum of $100.

Financial Assistance:

  • Better Homes Ottawa Loan Program: Offers fixed-rate, low-interest loans for home energy improvements, covering up to 30% of the cost for secondary suites.

Rental Income and Payback

Using the median rental prices from the Ottawa Neighborhood Study, the payback period for your investment can be calculated. For example, with an average cost of $100,000 and a monthly rent of $1,503, the payback period is approximately 5.54 years.

Enhancing Energy Efficiency

When adding a secondary suite, consider improving your home’s energy efficiency:

  1. Building Envelope: Upgrade walls, windows, doors, roof, foundation, and insulation.
  2. Heating and Cooling: Install efficient systems like cold climate heat pumps.
  3. Renewables: Add solar panels, geothermal systems, and battery backups.
  4. Smart Technology: Use smart thermostats and LED lights.
  5. Resilience Measures: Implement stormwater management and install cool or green roofs.

Adding a secondary dwelling is a substantial investment that can yield significant returns through rental income and increased property value. Ensuring compliance with Ottawa’s specific regulations and enhancing your home’s energy efficiency will maximize the benefits of this project.

For more detailed information, visit the City of Ottawa’s website and the Better Homes Ottawa program

SUBURBAN STATISTICS UPDATE MAY 2024

Posted on: June 3rd, 2024 by Chris Scott

Here’s the newest Suburban Statistics Series update. We’re highlighting stats for the five biggest urban neighbourhoods in Ottawa. Since Ottawa is pretty spread out, it’s interesting to see how things vary in each area. These stats are all based on MLS OREB sales from January 1, 2023, to May 31, 2023, compared to the same period from January 1, 2024, to May 31, 2024.

 

 

OTTAWA MARKET UPDATE: MAY 2024

Posted on: May 30th, 2024 by Chris Scott

In this month’s update, Chris shares intriguing conversations with buyers, sellers, and agents, offering diverse perspectives on the current market. Whether you’re a mid-range buyer or a luxury seller, we discuss how the market trends are impacting you. Stay informed and gain valuable insights by watching our May market update video.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

House Hunting Efficiency: A Military Success Story in Ottawa

Posted on: May 27th, 2024 by Chris Scott

 

We recently had the pleasure of assisting a military couple with their house hunt in Ottawa, turning it into an efficient and exciting adventure. The journey began with setting up a personalized portal tailored to their preferences, 

allowing them to interact with listings by favouriting, disliking, and commenting on homes. This interactive approach helped Chris develop a strategic itinerary to maximize their limited viewing time.

To ensure efficiency during their brief visit, Chris pre-booked an inspection with a trusted home inspector before the couple’s arrival. This foresight was crucial in accommodating the tight timeframe and guaranteed that they could work with a reliable inspector.

Upon their arrival on a Sunday, the couple dived into their home search, visiting 28 homes over four days across Ottawa and its surrounding areas. Chris’s deep knowledge of the region helped them explore a variety of neighbourhoods, from the small-town feel of Carleton Place & Kemptville to the notable suburbs of Kanata, Barrhaven and Stittsville. We explored them all! More inventory in the 2024 posting season has made military house hunting in Ottawa easier than in previous years. Good to see more balanced conditions in our marketplace. 

The highlight of their trip was of course finding their dream home in Kemptville and swiftly fulfilling the home inspection condition, providing them with essential peace of mind.

This story exemplifies the success of a well-planned House Hunting Trip (HHT). If you’re preparing for your HHT in Ottawa or surrounding areas, our team is ready to guide you through every step, ensuring a smooth and successful home-buying experience.

Interested in starting your house-hunting journey? Contact us today to learn how we can assist you!

BOOK YOUR HHT HERE

OTTAWA MARKET UPDATE: APRIL 2024

Posted on: May 14th, 2024 by Chris Scott

Welcome to our latest market update with Chris Scott! As we navigate the vibrant month of May, traditionally the peak of the real estate season, we’re seeing a mix of eager buyers and strategic sellers shaping the market. This video offers a deep dive into the current dynamics of Ottawa’s real estate scene, where buyers are cautiously hunting for deals and testing the waters with their offers. From fluctuating interest rates to new government mandates affecting workplace locations, Chris discusses the potential impacts on property demands and market momentum. Whether you’re considering selling your home or curious about purchasing near your workplace, stay tuned as we explore these intriguing trends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SUBURBAN STATISTICS UPDATE APRIL 2024

Posted on: May 8th, 2024 by Chris Scott

Here’s the newest Suburban Statistics Series update. We’re highlighting stats for the five biggest urban neighbourhoods in Ottawa. Since Ottawa is pretty spread out, it’s interesting to see how things vary in each area. These stats are all based on MLS OREB sales from January 1, 2023, to April 30, 2023, compared to the same period from January 1, 2024, to April 30, 2024.

 

 

OTTAWA MARKET UPDATE: MARCH 2024

Posted on: April 24th, 2024 by Chris Scott

While the market remains balanced, homes are taking longer to sell—often 30 to 60 days—unless they’re well-priced and in good condition. Sellers holding out for last year’s prices are finding they need to make significant price reductions.

Also,  an important update on capital gains tax: properties over $250,000 will soon see a tax increase to 66%. This change, effective June 25th, affects many, particularly investors relying on real estate as part of their retirement planning. This policy could prompt investors to sell before the tax hike impacts their returns.

Dive deeper with Chris’s predictions below. And, as always, if you’re curious about the latest trends in your neighbourhood, our team would love to provide a personalized assessment of what your home could fetch in today’s market

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SOLD: Luxury in Westboro

Posted on: April 23rd, 2024 by Chris Scott

We recently had the pleasure of handling the sale of a luxury home in Westboro. It was the second time I had the pleasure of working with these wondeful clients.  In a market where similar high-end listings often sit unsold for extended periods, we were able to successfully list and sell this property in just a few short weeks. Our success was due to a combination of strategic marketing and thorough preparation by the home owners. Here’s a detailed look at the methods that led to this achievement.

Staging with Kids:

Staging a home can be a challenge, especially with young children around. Following our stager’s initial consultation, the sellers undertook a massive decluttering effort. This included renting a storage locker to put some stuff in until the move to the next property. This set the stage for professional staging, which transformed their living spaces into a buyer’s dream. Our staging team hit it out of the park on this one as you can see from the pictures below.

Professional Painting:

A fresh coat of paint is essential in creating a flawless presentation, especially in the luxury market. Our expert painter was called in to touch up the walls, ensuring that every room gleamed and added to the home’s upscale appeal.

The Floors:

The hardwood flooring received a necessary refresh; the owners had the floors professionally refinished at the front steps. This update was crucial in enhancing the property’s luxurious feel and ensuring a stellar first impression.

Photos:

For marketing this high-calibre property, we entrusted only professional photographers. This strategic choice guaranteed that the home was showcased in the most flattering light possible, capturing its elegance and fine details.

Video:

Video tours are an effective tool to highlight unique features of the home, providing a dynamic visual experience that static images cannot match. We filmed both a full-length cinematic video as well as specialized videos for social media to ensure maximum exposure. It gives me the agent a chance to talk directly to consumers about some of the great features of this home!

3D Tour:

Virtual reality meets home marketing with our 3D tours. These tours allow potential buyers to navigate through the property from the comfort of their own homes, greatly expanding the reach and impact of our listings.

Agent Open House:

The day after listing the home on MLS, we hosted an open house exclusive to agents. This event was well-attended by agents from various brokerages, providing them an opportunity to explore the property firsthand and see if it was a potential match for their clients.

Negotiations:

The negotiation process was very positive between us and the buyers representative. It was a collabrative effort where all sides felt like they had a win.  Having a house with immaculate presentation and robust marketing strategies helped the seller meet their goal and beyond.  This approach facilitated a quick and favourable sale, with the offer being secured within the first week of listing.

The Final Result:

This comprehensive and meticulous approach to preparing and presenting the home paid off. While other homes sit on the market, ours moved swiftly to a successful firm sale, reflecting the effectiveness of our methods and the desirability of the property in Westboro’s competitive real estate landscape.

 

NEW OTTAWA EXCLUSIVE LISTING PLATFORM

Posted on: April 4th, 2024 by Chris Scott

In Ontario’s real estate market, staying one step ahead is crucial, especially with recent legislative changes making exclusive listings—homes not advertised on the public market—more private than ever. But accessing these hidden gems just got easier for our clients, thanks to our partnership with Knokd.

Exclusive listings offer a unique advantage: they benefit sellers seeking privacy and buyers eager for less competition and early access to unique properties. With Ontario’s new legislation tightening rules around advertising these properties, they’ve become even more elusive. That’s where Knokd comes in.

Knokd is our secret weapon. This program allows us to share with you listings that are coming soon or are exclusively available, ensuring you’re first in line for properties that perfectly match your criteria—properties you won’t find on MLS or online platforms.

With our expertise and exclusive access through Knokd, we’re not just finding you a home; we’re uncovering opportunities that others don’t even know exist. Ready to step ahead in Ontario’s competitive real estate market? Get in contact today!