Ottawa Real Estate News from Ron DeCaen August 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)

If you're applying for a mortgage, it's important that you have a healthy credit score.  This month’s article has some tips on how to keep your credit in top shape.

There are also a few essential tips on how to properly secure your smartphone as well as a really simple yet delicious barbeque recipe that’ll appeal to almost everyone!

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...
Typical Summer Resale Market In Ottawa 
Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,436 residential properties in July through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® system, compared with 1,440 in July 2014, a decrease of 0.3 per cent.  The five-year average for July sales is 1,380.

“Last July was the second best on record, and this July was only four units short of that record, coming in well above the five-year average,” says David Oikle, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board.

“Overall, the Ottawa resale market has been performing quite well with no major fluctuations in units sold and average sale price.”

July’s sales included 271 in the condominium property class, and 1,165 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.

“We are seeing a slight increase in condominium sales this month – a positive change,” says Oikle.  “The average cumulative days on market increased slightly to 78 days, compared to 74 last month.  Inventory levels remain high, meaning we continue to be in a Buyer’s market.”

The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in July in the Ottawa area was $394,889, an increase of 4.5 per cent over July 2014. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $255,102, a decrease of 2.6 per cent over July 2014.

“The $300,000 to $400,000 price range continues to have the highest concentration of properties sold, followed by the $200,000 to $300,000 range and then the $400,000 to $500,000 range,” says Oikle.  “Two-storey residential properties continue to have the highest concentration of buyers in Ottawa.  In addition to residential and condominium sales, OREB members assisted clients with renting 344 properties in July, and 1,829 since the beginning of the year.”

Ottawa's CityFolk Festival 
Mark your calendar for this year’s incredible line up at the CityFolk Festival!

CityFolk highlights Canada’s rich traditions with music, dance, storytelling and crafts.  Side-stage shows are a particular highlight as musicians share the spotlight.

Topping the list are some huge names including Van Morrison, The Avett Brothers, Wilco and Of Monsters and Men.

An array of homegrown and international artists round out the bill, including Passenger, UB40, The Tubes, The Sheepdogs, Patrick Watson, Walk Off the Earth, Lord Huron, Elle King, Lisa LeBlanc and many more!

The Ottawa Folk Festival has a new name and a new city location at the Great Lawn, Lansdowne Park and is taking place between September 16th - 20th so be sure to check it out!

Give Yourself Some Credit 
It’s essential to know your credit score before you start house hunting.

The home of your dreams has finally hit the market!  You anticipate it’ll be easy to get a mortgage but if your credit's not in great shape, your dream home may remain just a dream.

It's important to have a clear understanding of your credit score ahead of time as it'll make you more attractive to financial institutions which means you'll enjoy better rates and terms that over time can save you thousands!  Here are a few things to consider:

  1. Clean It Up - If there's a blemish or two on your report, try to clean it up ahead of time.

  2. Credit Balance - It’s important to show you’re responsible so don't continuously max out your cards.

  3. Consistency - Lenders look for a long track record of consistent payments.  Time is all that will help so get started today!

  4. Payment History - It may not be a big deal if you’ve missed the odd payment but if you’re consistently late, it’ll raise a red flag.

  5. Number of Applications - The number of times you’ve applied for credit can affect your rating so don't apply for credit unless you plan on using it.

  6. How Much You Owe - Lenders don’t want to lend to someone with a whack of financial obligations so try to pay off smaller debts and avoid any big credit charges such as a car purchase before buying a home.

Knowledge is power so find out where you stand ahead of time, even if you don’t think there’s an issue.  If you know your credit’s in need of repair, start fixing it right away as a good credit rating will entitle you to preferred rates which can amount to thousands in interest savings.  Please don't hesitate to get in touch for more information on how to perfect your credit rating.

Smart Security for Smartphones 
Mobile devices are major targets for today’s savvy cybercriminals.

Smartphones contain huge amounts of sensitive data yet many of us don’t protect them in the same way we do our computers.  From locking your phone to installing security apps here’s what you need to know:

  1. Screen Lock - Always protect your phone with a password.

  2. Back Up - Regularly back up your data including contacts, music, photos and important documents.

  3. Stay Updated - Download software updates as they often contain important security patches.

  4. Cyber Attacks - Exercise caution when opening links and make sure to download an anti-virus app.

  5. Don’t Be Too Appy - Only download apps from reliable sources and take the time to read the permissions.

  6. Toothache - Bluetooth can expose your phone to attacks so turn it off when you’re not using it.

  7. Delete It - Always delete personal information before recycling your old phone.

Threats such as loss, theft and cyber-attacks are common issues associated with smartphones so it’s important to regularly take steps to proactively protect them.  If you do, your smartphone will truly be smart instead of naive.

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms with Goat Cheese 
Are you looking for something new to throw on the grill?

If so, we’ve got just the thing – portobello mushrooms with savory goat cheese!  Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 6 large portobello mushrooms
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 oz goat cheese
  • fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • fresh chives, chopped

  1. Remove the stems and gills before drizzling olive oil over both sides of the mushrooms.
  2. Grill top side down on medium for 5 minutes.
  3. Combine the goat cheese, basil and garlic and spoon the mixture into each mushroom.
  4. Grill cheese side up for another 5 minutes.  Garnish with a sprinkle of fresh chives.

Portobello mushrooms are considered to be the steaks of the mushroom family so this is a great dish for meat eaters and vegetarians alike.  Enjoy!

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.