Ottawa Real Estate News from Ron DeCaen November 2014   
  Real Estate News

Ron DeCaen
Sale Representative

Action Power Team Ltd. Brokerage
15-1420 Youville Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
613.797.9366 (cellular)
613.837.3800 (office/24/7 pager)

One of the first things you’ll want to do before you start house hunting is get pre-approved for a mortgage.  This month’s main article examines how pre-approval can save you thousands of dollars and provide you with peace of mind.

The latest hi-tech kitchen gizmos are also revealed as well as a few tips that’ll help keep your online photos safe and secure.

Thanks so much for checking out this month's newsletter.  Please get in touch if you have any questions or comments regarding the articles, or real estate in general -- it'd be great to hear from you!


In this issue...
October Sales Set a Near Record 
Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,121 residential properties in October through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® system, compared with 1,089 in October 2013, an increase of 2.9 per cent.  The five-year average for October sales is 1,076.

“Sales from this past month are the second best on record for October, only comparable to the 1,199 sales in October 2009,” explained Randy Oickle, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board.

“Our residential listing inventory is up 12.5 per cent from 2013, with 7,550 active listings at the end of October this year.  Year-to-date sales have now slightly surpassed year-to-date numbers from last year, and we are up 0.2 per cent over 2013.  Interestingly, although sales volume is slightly ahead of last year – when we were in a balanced market – the higher listing volume this year has moved us into a buyer’s market.”

October’s sales included 194 in the condominium property class, and 927 in the residential property class.  The condominium property class includes any property, regardless of style (i.e. detached, semi-detached, apartment, townhouse, etc.) which is registered as a condominium, as well as properties which are co-operatives, life leases and timeshares.  The residential property class includes all other residential properties.

The average sale price of residential properties, including condominiums, sold in October in the Ottawa area was $355,813, a decrease of 1.2 per cent over October 2013.  The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $290,224, an increase of 7.3 per cent over October 2013.  The average sale price of a residential-class property was $369,540, a decrease of 3.2 per cent over October 2013.

“Again this month, the $300,000 to $399,999 price range continues to have the highest concentration of properties sold, followed by the $500,000 to $749,999 range,” says Oickle.  “Fifteen properties were sold in the over $1 million range, with six of these properties being condominiums.  No condos were sold in this price range last year, which is a possible explanation for the large increase in average sale price for condos this October compared to last.”

The Importance of Mortgage Pre-approval 
Mortgage pre-approval should be your first step when house hunting.

You wouldn't shop around for a vacation without having a budget in mind and it shouldn’t be any different when it comes to buying a house.

Readjusting to homes that are less expensive is disappointing and takes all the fun out of the home buying process so it’s important to know where you stand from the outset.

Online qualifying tools only give estimations so it’s best to visit a mortgage specialist for an accurate assessment.  They’ll also lay out the differences between different types of mortgages so you can make an educated decision on which one complements your current and future financial goals.

Most lenders can place a hold on the current interest rate for a certain time period to protect you against increases.  This step can save you thousands of dollars but many buyers will foolishly leave it until the last minute and miss out.  Long-term thinking is key so seek advice and take advantage of any available home buyer programs.

A pre-approval also makes your offer much more attractive which can potentially save you thousands off the purchase price.  In a multiple offer situation, it can even be the difference between getting the home or losing it.  If you still need to make the offer conditional on financing, you can at least attach the pre-approval.

A mortgage pre-approval can save you thousands of dollars and eliminate countless hours of stress during a time when you should be having fun.  Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is easy, there’s no obligation and it doesn’t cost a cent.  If you have any questions about mortgages, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Kitchen Automation Trends 
Your kitchen’s technological gizmos are smarter than ever!

The kitchen is fast becoming one of the most connected rooms in the home.  Here’s a run-down of a few new and exciting products made especially for the heart of the home:

  1. Cool Fridges - Smart refrigerators can tell you when products are about to expire as well as recommend recipes based on its contents.

  2. Smart Walls - Homeowners are installing digital backsplashes instead of traditional tiles.  This hi-tech canvas can connect with other smart systems throughout your home.

  3. Water On Tap - Automatic faucets are becoming commonplace as they’re convenient and more importantly help prevent the spread of bacteria.

  4. Fire It Up - Your smartphone can preheat your smart oven remotely and if you pick a recipe from the recipe bank, it’ll even preheat it to the correct temperature!

  5. Do the Dishes - Smart dishwashers can assess soil levels and adjust themselves to clean in the most efficient manner. You can also switch it on right from your smartphone!

Homeowners are embracing smart home technology and it’s no surprise that the kitchen is a key part of this trend.  Staying on top of innovative home automation will help ensure your home is the smartest one on the block.

Online Photo Security Tips 
The buzz around stolen celebrity pics has everyone on high alert!

Having your photos out there in cyberspace is commonplace these days but how worried should you be?  Here are a few tips if you store photos online:

  1. Be Aware - If your social networking settings are “open” then your photos can be downloaded and stored on anyone’s device.

  2. Password Protection - Use a password that’s hard to crack.  Most sites offer extra layers of security so take the time to research and implement them.

  3. Delete 2.0 - When you delete your photos from your phone, they may still remain online so you’ll need to delete them from your cloud based service as well.

If your photos are uploaded to cloud servers such as iCloud, Dropbox or Google Drive, there’s always a risk of someone accessing them.  If you have something that you don’t wish to share, it’s best to store it on a USB stick.

PS Are you sick of scouring the paper and MLS sites looking for homes? Tired of playing telephone tag with agents only to hear the home's already sold? Sit back, relax and let me do the work for you! Just visit my website and check off the features you're looking for. Whenever a home matching your criteria hits the market, it'll be automatically flagged and emailed to you so you'll never have to worry about missing your dream home. This service is free and there's no obligation! Click here to get started.

Not meant to solicit clients already under contract.