Ottawa Real Estate News from Ron DeCaen April 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)

When you’re out having fun looking at homes, the last thing you want to think about are the various closing costs you’ll be responsible for.  This month’s first article details the associated costs so that you can budget accordingly.

There are also a few simple and inexpensive ways to transform your bathroom as well as a look at how drones are changing the way we live and work.

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...
Busy Spring Season Arrives Amidst March Snow Banks 
Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,208 residential properties in March through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® system, compared with 1,184 in March 2014, an increase of two per cent.  The five-year average for March sales is 1,236.

“Sales increased month over month, with 356 more properties sold in March over February, a 41.8 per cent increase,” says David Oikle, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board.  “Indications of a fast approaching spring market were noted in February, and these numbers are proof that Ottawa is indeed experiencing an upswing in sales.”

March’s sales included 228 in the condominium property class, and 980 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 cumulative days on market came in at 83 for the month of March, lower than the average of 99 days in February and 119 days in January indicating that properties are starting to move faster as we enter the second quarter of 2015,” explains Oikle.  “Year-to-date sales for the first quarter of 2015 are 1.8 per cent higher than the first quarter of 2014.  Average sales price has also increased, ever so slightly, by 0.8 per cent. So far, the 2015 resale market in Ottawa remains steady and strong.”

The average sale price of residential properties, including condominiums, sold in March in the Ottawa area was $361,572, an increase of 0.7 per cent over March 2014.  The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $251,666, no change over March 2014.  The average sale price of a residential-class property was $387,141, no change over March 2014.

“The hottest segments of our market in March were sales between $300,000 to $400,000, followed by the $200,000 to $300,000 price range,” says Oikle.  “Residential two-storey homes continue to be the highest sold property class, followed by bungalows and one-level condos.  In addition to residential and condominium sales, OREB members assisted clients with renting 593 properties since the beginning of the year.”

Ontario Scene Arts Festival 
600 artists. 90 events. 12 days. Don’t miss it!

Imagine 600 Ontario artists, from all disciplines, performing in the national spotlight on the stages of Ottawa/Gatineau.  That’s Ontario Scene!

As part of its mission to be a truly “national” arts centre, the NAC produces a series of biennial festivals designed to showcase the artistic talents and culture of the many different regions of Canada.

Canada’s National Arts Centre presents musicians, actors, dancers, choreographers, visual and media artists, filmmakers, writers and master chefs who will invade theatres, concert halls, museums, clubs, galleries and even the streets between April 29 - May 10 with an amazing, creative energy.

Calculating Closing Costs 
An unexpected bill is the last thing buyers need at closing time.

When you purchase a home, there are various fees charged by lenders and third parties that you’ll be responsible for at closing time.

Your mortgage and down payment will cover the price of the home but it’s critical you proactively factor in the extra fees involved in buying a home.  Some common closing costs are:

  1. Appraisal Fees - Necessary in order to arrange financing.

  2. Title Insurance - Required by banks to assure a clean title.

  3. Legal Fees - These vary depending on the complexity of your individual situation.

  4. Taxes/Fees - There could be various transfer fees and taxes to pay depending on your situation.

  5. Mortgage Insurance - Necessary unless you have a large down payment but it can usually be worked into the mortgage.

This is by no means a complete list as closing costs vary depending on your situation but they usually represent somewhere between two to four percent of the purchase price.  You’ll also want to allow for post-closing costs which may include connection fees, insurance, minor repairs and maintenance.

It’s easy to overlook closing costs when you’re in the throes of house hunting.  Buying a home can be an emotional roller coaster but you'll definitely enjoy a smoother, less stressful ride if you're aware of what lies ahead.  For a more accurate estimate, it’s best to discuss your individual circumstances with a local expert so please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Budget Bathroom Decorating Tips 
Update your bathroom without the hassle of renovations!

It’s easy to update your bathroom even if you don’t have a huge budget or any renovation skills.  Here are a few simple ways to give your tired bathroom a facelift:

  1. Mirror Mirror - A new mirror will make your space appear much larger.

  2. Green Space - Plants breathe new life into any space with minimum expense.

  3. It’s in the Details - Updating small details like hooks, cup holders, towel bars, soap dispensers and curtain rings will make a huge difference.

  4. Lighten Up - Changing the lighting is an excellent way to brighten up your bathroom.  Try upcycling your light fixture with something unique from a local thrift shop.

  5. Towel Service - Purchasing a new set of towels is an easy way to freshen things up.  Display them in a basket or rolled up on top of a vintage chair.

When it comes to decor, bathrooms are an important but often overlooked area of the home.  An updated bathroom will add value without the expense of a full on renovation making it a wise investment.  A huge remodel isn’t always necessary as it’s often the little things that make a big difference.

The Buzz About Drones 
Are drones the high flying successor of the selfie stick?

Drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), are basically flying robots.  They’ve recently been in the news for a variety of reasons so what exactly is all the buzz about?

Drones made their debut in the military but are now used in civilian operations such as wildlife conservation and search missions.  They’re also used in the real estate industry to provide a bird’s eye view of properties.

Drones are however continuously flying into controversy as there are major security and privacy implications.  They’re definitely the way of the future but as the industry is in its infancy, we’ll just have to wait and see how they impact our lives in the years to come.

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.