Ottawa Real Estate News from Ron DeCaen February 2015   
  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)

Would you like to make your mortgage magically disappear?  If so, there’s an incredibly simple strategy that will shave years off your mortgage while saving you thousands of dollars in interest!

There are also some tips on how to prepare your home in case of a blackout as well as a few of the latest tech trends from the Las Vegas Electronics Show.

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


In this issue...
Ottawa Home Buyers Undeterred by January Cold 
Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 627 residential properties in January through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® system, compared with 587 in January 2014, an increase of 6.8 per cent.  The five-year average for January sales is 633.

“The cold weather proved not to be a deterrent for buyers in January,” says President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board, David Oikle.

“Residential and Condo sales combined, contributed to an increase in sales this month, and we are right on par with the January average.  Residential two-storey and bungalow properties had the highest concentration of buyers.  In addition to residential and condominium sales, OREB members assisted clients with renting 183 units this month.”

January's sales included 114 in the condominium property class, and 513 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.

“This month has been a busy month for our Members,” says Oikle.  “The number of residential and condo properties listed in January (2,018) more than doubled the amount of newly listed properties from December – a normal occurrence at the beginning of the year, in advance of the usual busy spring market.”

The average sale price of residential properties, including condominiums, sold in January in the Ottawa area was $348,617, an increase of 0.5 per cent over January 2014.  The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $250,406, a decrease of 5.8 per cent over January 2014.  The average sale price of a residential-class property was $370,442, an increase of 0.5 per cent over January 2014.

“The possibility of interest rates approaching record lows will provide even more opportunity for home buyers,” explains Oikle.  “The Ottawa resale market remains steady, and we look forward to a productive year ahead.”

The Ottawa Home and Garden Show 
Come on out and enjoy the Ottawa Home and Garden Show!

The annual Ottawa Home and Garden Show must mean that spring is just around the corner!

An array of experts will be on hand at the EY Centre to present their wares and answer all of your home and garden related questions.  It’s the place to be if you’re planning on sprucing up your home this spring.  Hope to see you there!

March 26th – March 29th

The Magic of Bi-Weekly Mortgage Payments 
There are huge dividends to making your mortgage disappear faster.

Do you wonder sometimes if you’ll ever see the end of your mortgage?  Fortunately there’s a simple strategy that will save you thousands of dollars in interest and shave years off your mortgage!
Making bi-weekly accelerated payments is one of the easiest ways to make your mortgage a thing of the past.  Most of us pay our mortgage each month but accelerated bi-weekly payments can put thousands of dollars back in your pocket without the need to save up lump sum payments.
Just divide your monthly payment by two and pay that amount every two weeks.  There will be 26 payments over the course of the year which translates into 13 monthly payments instead of 12.  You'll essentially be paying the equivalent of an extra monthly payment each year without ever realizing it.  The additional amount directly pays down the principal and the more you apply to the principal, the faster you pay off your mortgage.
Let’s say for arguments sake you had a $250,000 mortgage at 3.49% amortized over 25 years.  If you take advantage of the accelerated bi-weekly payment strategy, you’ll save nearly $17,000 in interest and your mortgage will be paid off three years sooner!
Fitness clubs often use this same payment strategy but in reverse.  For example, a gym may offer a membership for $24 every two weeks so in your mind you think “that’s only $48 a month” but in fact, it’s actually going to cost you $52 a month because of the extra two payments each year.
Most banks don’t charge fees or penalties for this payment option but always ask up front to confirm.  There are other ways to pay your mortgage off faster so please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you ever have any questions.  You have nothing to lose and thousands to gain!

Don't Let a Blackout Leave You in the Dark 
Being prepared in advance is critical when facing a blackout.

Losing your power can be a scary prospect, especially if it drags on for an extended period of time in less than hospitable weather conditions.  Here are a few valuable tips to help you cope when the lights go out:

  1. Ensure each family member has a flashlight stored in a designated spot.

  2. Have a battery operated radio on hand to keep up-to-date on local news.

  3. Keep a variety of candles, matches, batteries and a multi-bit screwdriver in a central location.

  4. Purchase a rechargeable 120 volt backup power supply for essential electronics.

  5. Stock your pantry with water and non-perishable food items.

  6. Don't open your freezer or fridge unless it’s absolutely necessary.

  7. The electric garage door won’t work so make sure you know how to open it manually.

  8. Check on residents in your community, especially if they’re elderly or on their own.

Blackouts can catch us off guard as we often take everyday essentials like light and heat for granted.  By properly preparing for a blackout, they’ll be no need to panic.  You can instead relax and have fun telling stories by candlelight.

Exciting New Tech Trends 
Ghost cars, dog wearables and smart beds are a few of the latest hot items!

Every January the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas introduces new and exciting technology.  Here are a few of the latest innovations:

  1. Driverless Cars - New technology is helping to shape the automotive industry.  Intelligent cars can find parking spots, detect pedestrians and even drive themselves!

  2. Pooch Power - Wearables aren’t just for humans!  A collar mounted activity monitor comes with a GPS and fitness monitor to track Fido’s activity and rest patterns.

  3. Sleep Appy - Monitors track your sleeping patterns so you’re able to wake up at the right stage of your sleep cycle.  There’s even a kids’ smart bed that has a “monster detector” app!

There are so many exciting innovations right around the corner and although driverless cars for example remain out of reach for the average consumer, they’re an exciting sign of where technology trends are heading.

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.