Ottawa Real Estate News from Ron DeCaen May 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)

One of the first house hunting decisions most people make is whether they want a move-in-ready home or a fixer upper.  If you’re leaning towards the fixer upper route, you’ll definitely want to check out this month’s main article.
There are also some tips that’ll help you make your lawn look like a golf course as well as a few social media spring cleaning strategies.

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...
The April Ottawa Real Estate Market Is In Full Bloom 
Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,570 residential properties in April through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® system, compared with 1,419 in April 2014, an increase of 10.6 per cent.  The five-year average for April sales is 1,531.

“Despite the late departure of the cold weather this April, buyers were out in full swing, propelling the Ottawa resale market into a busy spring selling season,” says David Oikle, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board.  “Sales continued their steady pace upwards since the beginning of the year, with 362 more properties sold this April over March.”

April’s sales included 258 in the condominium property class, and 1,312 in the residential property class.  The condominium property class includes any property, regardless of style (i.e. detached, semi-detached, apartment, stacked 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 cumulative days on market has improved even more in April, coming in at 74 days, compared to 83 in March,” says Oikle.  “Properties are moving faster and inventory is plentiful, with just under 9,000 residential properties, including condos, available for sale going into May.”

The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in April in the Ottawa area was $403,239, an increase of 0.9 per cent over April 2014.  The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $265,371, an increase of 2.7 per cent over April 2014.

“Several price ranges this month saw significant increases in units sold; a possible explanation for the residential average sale price entering the $400,000 range,” explains Oikle.  “The $400,000 to $450,000 range saw an increase of 37.3 per cent; while the $500,000 to $750,000 range saw a 25.4 per cent increase.  Two-storey and bungalow residential properties remain as the top selling property-types in Ottawa.  In addition to residential and condominium sales, OREB members assisted clients with renting 283 properties in April, and 876 since the beginning of the year.”

Doors Open Ottawa 
Doors Open Ottawa celebrates our community’s heritage!

On June 6th - 7th, over 120 of Ottawa’s historically, culturally and functionally significant buildings will open their doors to the public.

Some of these buildings include Earnscliffe (the Official Residence of the British High Commissioner), the Royal Canadian Mint, the National Gallery of Canada and the Connaught Building.

This fun event is the perfect way to discover how Canada’s capital has become the beautiful city it is today!  Oh, and did we mention there’s no charge for this event!  See you at Doors Open!

Calculating Closing Costs 
Do you have what it takes to turn a dump into a dream?

If you’ve fallen under the spell of reality TV’s quick, dramatic transformations of fixer uppers, don’t be fooled into believing that the fairy tale ending is always the case.

Buying a fixer upper is a huge decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly.  Here are some considerations to keep in mind if you’re looking at a diamond in the rough:

  1. Pride - If you love taking pride in your work and have the necessary skills, a fixer upper might just be the way to go.

  2. Personality - An older home will give you charm and character and fixing it up means you can add your own personal style.

  3. Inspect the Unexpected - Getting a home inspection is highly recommended so you don’t end up with a structurally flawed money pit.

  4. Getting Your Foot In the Door - Buying a fixer upper can be a great way to get into an area that you may not otherwise have been able to afford.

  5. Strong Foundation - Purchasing a fixer upper with a partner or spouse can put immense pressure on a relationship.  The unexpected twists will drain time, money and energy.  Living with the mess can also be stressful.

  6. Think Ahead - You may get a great deal but you need to carefully examine whether or not it’ll be a bargain in the long run.  When renovating, you must think like the buyer who will one day purchase your home.

Buying a fixer upper can be an extremely rewarding experience but it’s also a lot of work.  If you’re thinking about going this route, it’s important to carefully examine the various pros and cons.  Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions!

The Grass Could Always Be Greener 
Good timing and techniques are key to a great looking lawn!

A thick, healthy lawn greatly improves a home's curb appeal.  Properly taking care of your lawn is key to enjoying lush, green grass so read on for some natural lawn care tips:

  1. Zig Zag - Mowing the grass in different directions prevents wear patterns and encourages upright growth.

  2. Stay Sharp - Avoid mowing when it’s wet and remember to sharpen the blade several times during the season.

  3. No Short Cuts - Don't cut your lawn too short.  Tall grass is more stress tolerant, shades out weeds and has deeper roots to increase the intake of nutrients and water.

  4. Breathe Deeply - Aerating is the natural process of punching small holes into your lawn to loosen the ground which allows water, air and nutrients to easily penetrate the grass roots.

  5. Natural Nutrients - Unless your grass is in really bad shape, it’s best to leave your grass clippings on the lawn as they’ll provide essential nutrients.

We all want our gardens to look spectacular when we’re entertaining or relaxing outside but it’s not just all about looks.  Caring for your grass also has great environmental benefits as a lawn releases oxygen and captures dirt and dust which helps to keep you and your family healthy!

Spring Clean Your Social Media 
It’s not just your closets that could do with a good spring clean!

Whether you’re on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Instagram, it’s good to get in the habit of performing regular maintenance on your social media accounts.  Here are few tips to consider:

  • change your passwords and beef up security settings
  • review your privacy settings and adjust if necessary
  • back-up your Facebook page in case your account gets hacked
  • clear the clutter by unfollowing, unliking or unfriending people you’re no longer interested in

While you’re in clean up mode, go through your smartphone and delete the apps you no longer use.  Most apps require access to your personal details so the fewer you have, the more privacy you’ll gain.

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.