Ottawa Real Estate News from Ron DeCaen August 2016   
  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)

Empty nesters face several challenges when their children leave home.  This month’s feature article discusses some points to consider for those entering this exciting life transition.

There are also some tips on how to set up a fully functional home office as well as a delicious grilled pineapple recipe that'll have your guests demanding seconds!

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 Ottawa Real Estate Market Report 
Ottawa sees summer resales sizzle during a hot July!

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,491 residential properties in July through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 1,430 in July 2015, an increase of 4.3 per cent. The five-year average for July sales is 1,413.

“Sales continue to outpace 2015 numbers both in monthly and year-to-date comparisons,” says Shane Silva, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board.

“However, we are seeing the typical summer slowdown in July compared to June’s record-breaking numbers.  Units listed in both residential and condominium property classes have declined throughout the year, which has affected overall inventory levels.  The number of active listings at the end of July 2016 is down about 15 per cent compared to July 2015.”

July’s sales included 277 in the condominium property class, and 1,214 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.

“We are just over the mid-year mark for 2016 and our year-to-date sales volume is up by 5.3 per cent over last year, ringing in at a whopping 3.6 billion dollars,” says Silva.  “Prices have remained quite steady in comparison to last year, with the increased number of units sold nudging the total sales volume up for the year.”

The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in July in the Ottawa area was $398,608, an increase of 1.1 per cent over July 2015.  The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $259,794, an increase of 1.2 per cent over July 2015.

“The hottest segments in our market for July were two-storey and bungalow residential homes in the $300,000 to $400,000 price range, followed by one-level and two-storey condos in the $200,000 to $300,000 price range,” says Silva.  “In addition to residential and condominium sales, OREB Members have assisted clients with renting over 1,800 properties since the beginning of the year.”

Mark Your Calendar for the Ottawa Animation Festival! 
North America’s largest animation festival is returning!

The Canadian Film Institute will be celebrating all things animation in our city on September 21st - 25th as Ottawa is transformed into the centre of the animation universe!

It’s the Animation Festival’s 40th birthday and this year’s exciting line-up will be taking place at different venues across the city including the ByTowne cinema, Arts Court and the National Gallery of Canada.

Whether it’s classic cartoons, fantastic digital creations or dazzling effects, there’s something for everyone so bring the entire family and enjoy some fun!

What to do When the Kids Fly the Coop 
Being left at home with an empty nest can be a major adjustment.

When your children finally leave home, you'll be presented with a new found freedom and a variety of unexpected challenges.

Many empty nesters find their homes are too large once their kids move out and therefore opt to buy a smaller home in order to gain capital and reduce maintenance costs.  These days though, some parents are hedging their bets in case their kids decide to move back in.

Deciding to downsize or stay put depends on your unique situation as downsizing isn’t always the right move, pardon the pun.  It pays to closely examine your finances and motivations.  Here are a few tips if you’re thinking of downsizing:

  • be clear about your reasons as it’ll help with your new home search
  • consider a condo if you plan on traveling as there’s very little maintenance
  • plan ahead for the years when stairs will become a challenge
  • make sure your new abode has room for future grandchildren :)

It’s a huge adjustment when the kids fly the coop but it’s also a great opportunity to pursue new hobbies and think about your own needs.  If you're not quite ready to sell up and move on, consider transforming an old bedroom into your very own personal retreat.

Whether you decide to sell or not, it’s a great time to declutter your home when the kids move out so go through every room and get rid of anything you no longer need.  Whatever you do, just make sure you turn your new found freedom into a positive experience by focusing on yourself.

How to Create a Functional Home Office 
Your home office doesn’t have to be a laptop on a couch cushion.

Many people are breaking the chains of the corporate world in order to pursue careers that allow them to work from home.  Here are a few tips that’ll help you get the most out of your home office:

  1. Plan Ahead - Make sure you plan out your space in advance so there’s enough room for a desk, chair and storage and don’t forget about your technology needs.

  2. Get Creative - If you don’t have an office, consider alternatives such as a guest room, sunroom or other unused space that’ll give you a designated area to work uninterrupted.

  3. Stand Up - Consider purchasing a stand up desk as it can increase productivity and it’s much better for your posture.

  4. Lighten Up - Position lighting so there's a nice even flow and if possible, choose a room with lots of natural light.  A few plants will also add to the atmosphere.

  5. Sound Off - Hard surfaces tend to amplify sounds but carpets, rugs and fabric window treatments will help absorb excessive noise.

  6. Boundaries - Choose a private spot and don't use it as a dumping ground for non-business related items.  When you work from home, it’s critical to separate your work from home life.

A well laid out and functional office is key to working effectively from home, but without a specific game plan, you’ll waste a lot of time and money.  Planning ahead means you’ll be able to spend your time taking care of business and being productive!

Grilled Pineapple on the BBQ 
Grilled pineapple is an easy, delicious finale to a backyard BBQ!

Grilling fresh fruit caramelizes its natural sugars and this simple yet scrumptious dessert tastes even better with a side of vanilla ice cream!  Here's what you'll need:

  • 1 pineapple, cored and peeled
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp. melted butter

Lightly oil the grill and preheat the BBQ to medium.  Cut the pineapple into 1 inch slices.  Combine brown sugar and cinnamon.  Brush pineapple with butter and then pat on sugar mixture.  BBQ for 5 minutes, turning occasionally.  Serve and 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.