Ottawa Real Estate News from Ron DeCaen June 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)

It’s easier than ever before to "go green" when undertaking home renovations as most contractors offer various environmentally friendly alternatives.  This month’s article discusses some options that will make your home more eco-friendly.

There are also some natural mosquito repellent ideas that you’re sure to appreciate as well as a few tips on how to grill the perfect steak this summer!

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...
Spring Buyers Have Come Out of Hibernation in Ottawa 
Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,792 residential properties in May through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® system, compared with 1,797 in May 2013, a decrease of 0.3 per cent.  The five-year average for May is 1,765.

“Looking at the units sold this year in comparison to last year, there is only a difference of five units.  April was a bit slow for the Ottawa market, but it appears that with the great weather in May, buyers have come out of hibernation,” explains Randy Oickle, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board.

“May sales are up 26.2 per cent from April – or 372 units.  The inventory on hand continues to grow, and prices remain stable.”

May’s sales included 303 in the condominium property class, and 1,489 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.

“If we look at the residential property class alone, the units sold year over year are up 1.2 per cent.  Although the residential property class is performing as anticipated, the market for condos has been a bit sluggish,” says Oickle.

“We’re seeing a 19 per cent increase in the amount of inventory on hand over this time last year and unit sales are down 7.1 per cent.  If you are looking to buy and hold, the selection and prices are attractive.  We encourage buyers to consult on of our member REALTORS® to get advice customized to their specific needs.”

The average sale price of residential properties, including condominiums, sold in May in the Ottawa area was $381,172, an increase of 3.2 per cent over May 2013.  The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $280,661, an increase of 6.9 per cent over May 2013.  The average sale price of a residential-class property was $401,626, an increase of 2.1 per cent over May 2013.

The Green House Effect 
Homeowners everywhere are demanding eco-friendly choices.

Enjoying a green home not only helps protect the environment but will also yield you long-term financial benefits.  Here are a few environmentally friendly ideas to keep in mind if you’re looking to update your home:

  1. It’s a Tankless Job - A tankless water heater may cost more initially but you’ll save money in the long run as water's only heated when it’s needed.

  2. Sunny Side Up - Installing solar panels will cut the cost of your electricity bill, contribute to the fight against global warming and add value to your home.

  3. Breathe Easy - Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted from building materials such as cabinets, carpet and paint and are detrimental to our health.  Improve your air quality by using VOC alternatives.

  4. Hug a Tree - Cork, reclaimed wood and bamboo are all environmentally friendly flooring options. The carpet industry is also starting to meet the needs of conscious buyers by using recycled materials and natural fibres.

  5. Add-Ons - Consider the environmental impact of your choices when adding extra rooms by insulating the walls and strategically placing windows to take advantage of the sun's heat.

  6. Reuse & Repurpose - Using salvaged and reclaimed building materials for your renovations will add unique style and function to your home while saving the planet and your pocketbook.

If you’re thinking about remodeling, there are many choices available that will help make a huge impact on the environment.  Buyers are looking for greener alternatives so making these kinds of changes will help down the road when you’re looking to sell.

Natural Mosquito Repellents 
Pesky mosquitoes really know how to ruin outdoor fun.

Mosquitoes are obviously a real nuisance but more importantly, they can carry diseases such as West Nile disease and malaria.  Here are a few natural solutions that’ll help repel those little bloodsuckers:

  1. Oil Up - The mixture of eucalyptus and lemon oils are a very effective way to naturally repel mosquitoes.  Mix the oils in equal proportions and apply on your body.

  2. Empty Out - Mosquitos are attracted to standing water so empty out flowerpots and pet dishes and repair leaky pipes and faucets.

  3. Nature’s Own - Certain plants and herbs such as mint, marigold, catnip, rosemary and lemon grass are effective in keeping pests away.

  4. Get Batty - Consider installing a bat house in your yard.  Although the idea of furry, flying creatures may not appeal to you, their large appetite for mosquitoes will make up for it.

Protect yourself this summer by trying a variety of alternatives and avoid wearing dark clothing and heavy fragrances.  If you’re a mosquito magnet, you may be tempted to try some of the “tall tales” such as garlic, dryer sheets and vitamin B.  Although there’s no scientific proof, many people swear by them!

There's a Lot at Steak! 
There’s nothing better than grilling a steak in the great outdoors!

The sizzle and aroma of a BBQ is a sure sign that summer’s just around the corner.  No one likes a dry, overcooked steak so here are a few tips to ensure your steak gets the best treatment:

  1. Let it Sit - Bring the steak to room temperature before grilling as it will cook more evenly.

  2. Fire it Up - A hot grill results in a juicer steak so always preheat your BBQ.

  3. Don’t Poke - Never cut into a steak to see if it’s done as the juices will escape.

  4. Rest Easy - Let it rest for 5 minutes under tented foil to allow the juices inside to redistribute.

The type of beef obviously makes a huge difference to the taste but many experts say that marbling (the thin white streaks of fat) is just as important as it makes for a juicer, more tender steak.  Happy Grilling!

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.