Ottawa Real Estate News from Ron DeCaen July 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 important to thoroughly explore all your options when arranging a mortgage.  This month’s article discusses some of the factors you should consider when shopping around for financing.

There are also some great ideas on how to extend eco-friendly living to the garden as well as a little known laptop scrolling tip that’s simple yet effective.

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...
Pent Up Demand from the Spring Adds to Ottawa June Sales 
Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,661 residential properties in June through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® system, compared with 1,593 in June 2013, an increase of 4.3 per cent.  The five-year average for June is 1,636.

“It is now very apparent that the long winter we experienced delayed the start of the normally busy spring market,” explains David Oikle, President-Elect of the Ottawa Real Estate Board.

“As a result, we saw a higher demand going into June, and more homes switching hands.  We’ve had a good May and June for residential sales, and average days on the market has held steady at 42 days.”

June’s sales included 316 in the condominium property class, and 1,345 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’re also seeing that the Ottawa market is doing well in comparison to the first six months of 2013,” says Oikle.  “With positive numbers in May and June, year-to-date units sold are now only off by 106 units; while the average sale price has increased 1.5 per cent over a year ago.”

The average sale price of residential properties, including condominiums, sold in June in the Ottawa area was $364,264, an increase of 1.4 per cent over June 2013.  The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $258,135, a decrease of 2.8 per cent over June 2013.  The average sale price of a residential-class property was $389,198, an increase of 1.8 per cent over June 2013.

“Currently the residential and condo unit inventory on hand is just over 8,500, compared to approximately 7,500 last year,” explains Oikle.  “While this moderate increase of 13 per cent in the inventory of residential and condo units has created more selection for buyers, and increased competition for sellers, this is consistent with an active spring market.  Other properties such as rentals, commercial properties, lots, etc. make up the balance of the inventory available, currently standing at approximately 2,500 units.”

Taking Advantage of the Mortgage Market 
Deciding on a mortgage is a huge financial decision.

It’s critical to be organized and do plenty of research before arranging a new mortgage or adjusting one that’s already in place.  Here are some points to consider:

  1. Know Your Numbers - Examine your finances so you’ll know exactly what you can afford.  A budget will bring you confidence and peace of mind but the key is to stick to it so you don’t end up house poor.

  2. Get Advice - There are many different types of mortgages so it's critical to seek professional advice.  Interest rates are important but there are other considerations such as the type of mortgage (fixed/variable or open/closed) as well as the loan's duration.

  3. Be Aware - There are many programs that buyers can take advantage of but it’s important to plan in advance.  You’ll also want to be aware of the hidden costs associated with owning a home such as closing, inspection, legal, moving, taxes and maintenance costs.

  4. Get Pre-Approved - A mortgage pre-approval can save you thousands of dollars and eliminate countless hours of stress.  It can also prevent you from losing your dream home as you'll be in a stronger negotiating position at the time of purchase.

  5. Do the Math - Current homeowners can also explore mortgage refinancing options as even half a percentage point can save you thousands of dollars!  The profitability of refinancing however is affected by many variables so examine your individual situation.

No one can forecast the future but it’s a good time to investigate your options if you’ve been sitting on the sidelines.  Low interest rates present a huge opportunity for both first time buyers and existing homeowners but it’s critical to plan your budget, understand the risks of the current and future market and explore all your mortgage options.

How Green Is Your Thumb? 
Gardening is a great way to bring nature into your backyard.

Gardening brings you in tune with the environment so it makes sense to ensure your garden is a natural and eco-friendly space.  There are many ways to work with nature so dig in and consider these options:

  1. Water Wise - Using a rain barrel to collect water that runs off your roof is a great way to recycle water for lawns and gardens as well as washing cars.

  2. Grow Local - Local plants are a great garden choice as they’re hardier, use less water, attract birds and butterflies and are easy to maintain.

  3. Grow Your Own - Nothing beats the taste of home grown veggies and they’re easier to grow than you may think.  They can also be grown in containers which is perfect for smaller yards.

  4. The Dirt on Composting - Kitchen and garden waste can create a rich fertilizer which is often referred to as gardener’s gold!  Composting also significantly reduces garbage waste.

  5. Hug a Tree - Trees remove contaminants from the air while providing habitat for birds and wildlife.  They also save energy by keeping your home cool in the hot summer months.

Having an earth friendly garden grown without pesticides benefits your family, your community and the planet.  Small changes such as the ones above not only help the planet but can also translate into financial gains for the homeowner!

I Just Can't Put My Finger On It 
Laptops come with a variety of tools to help enhance user productivity but we often don’t know how to use them.  Here’s a simple tip for easier laptop browsing!

Rather than clicking and dragging the scrollbar to navigate a website or document, simply slide two fingers on the touchpad in the direction you want to scroll.

This simple trick will save you loads of time as it moves your entire page up and down much like a scroll wheel does on a mouse.  Go ahead and give it a go right now!

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.