Ottawa Real Estate News from Ron DeCaen December 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)

If you’re finding it hard to save up for a down payment, you may have thought about purchasing a home with a friend or relative.  This month’s article offers some advice on co-ownership.

A few of the latest online holiday scams are also revealed as well as an amazing recipe that your holiday guests will rave about!

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.  Enjoy the holiday season!


In this issue...
Ottawa November Sales Up Slightly Over Last Year 
Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 893 residential properties in November through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® system, compared with 888 in November 2013, an increase of 0.6 per cent.  The five-year average for November sales is 935.

“Sales have been remarkably similar to last year overall, with units sold for the first eleven months of the year at 13,291, just slightly above the year-to-date sales for 2013,” says Randy Oickle, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board.

“Inventory levels are starting to dip back down, which is normal for this time of year, and average sales prices keep steady with last year.  Overall, it has been a typical year so far for the real estate market in Ottawa – steady and fluctuating between a balanced and buyer’s market.”

November’s sales included 170 in the condominium property class, and 723 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.

“Properties have taken longer to sell, requiring most sellers to be more patient with the market,” explains Oickle.  “Resale condos are slightly behind last year's volume, likely caused by increased competition with new condo developments.  Although the market slows somewhat in December, Sellers should note that many buyers for 2015 will begin their search over the holiday period, statistically the highest property search period.”

The average sale price of residential properties, including condominiums, sold in November in the Ottawa area was $356,900, an increase of 0.4 per cent over November 2013.  The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $250,425, a decrease of three per cent over November 2013.  The average sale price of a residential-class property was $381,936, an increase of 0.7 per cent over November 2013.

“The $300,000 to $349,999 price range had the highest concentration of properties sold in November, followed by the $350,000 to $399,999 range.  There were 93 properties sold in the price range between $500,000 to $749,999,” says Oickle.  “The rental market continues to be hot in Ottawa, with approximately 175 properties rented in November, and over 2,300 rented since the beginning of the year.”

Co-ownership -- Will Your Friendship Survive? 
Planning is key if you’re thinking of purchasing a property with a friend!

If you’re tired of renting but can’t quite come up with a down payment, you may need to get creative.  One option is to purchase a property with a friend or relative.

Co-ownership enables you to share the down payment and monthly expenses which makes buying a home so much easier.  Like everything in life though there are pros and cons and this is a partnership you don’t want to enter into lightly!

The pros are fairly obvious – it’s affordable and you’ll be able to start building up some equity instead of throwing it away on rent.  The drawbacks include lack of privacy and the potential loss of a valuable friendship.  You may like and trust each other now but things can change once you start living together.

Determine first whether your personality styles are a match.  If you’re a neat freak and your friend doesn’t know one end of a vacuum from the other then problems could arise.  Also, think about how you like to spend your leisure time.  If they’re a party animal and you prefer a quiet life, it may not be the partnership for you.

Once you've determined you're a good fit, visit a mortgage broker to get pre-approved.  Next, make a checklist of critical factors such as location and parking.  Seemingly small issues like who’s getting the master bedroom can create future tension so sort out details ahead of time.  A home inspection is also a good plan to help ensure you’re not on the hook for unexpected future repairs.

Finally, seek legal advice and draw up a contract so you’re prepared to deal with potential problems and maintenance issues.  This is a business deal so discuss worst case scenarios like death, job loss and relocation or how to proceed if one person wants to sell and the other doesn’t.
Building up your financial security through co-ownership can work well for both parties if you have an open line of detailed communication before, during and after you’ve bought a house together.  Having a legal contract will help eliminate future problems so you can enjoy the benefits of co-ownership while remaining good friends!

Ho Ho Hoax 
It’s the most wonderful time of the year -- especially for scammers!

Cyber criminals kick it up a notch during the festive season as busy, distracted shoppers are constantly online.  Here are a few of the most common seasonal scams to be aware of:

  1. Give & Take - Cybercriminals often impersonate charities with emotionally charged appeals taking advantage of recent disasters or outbreaks.

  2. The “Must Have” Gift - Beware of websites that tout fake deals on the hottest, hard to find holiday items.  This year’s hot products include the iPhone 6 and iPad Air 2.

  3. The Gift of Malware - Always download apps from legitimate sources.  Fake shopping apps can install dangerous malware to your smartphone or trick you into giving away personal details.

  4. Alo-hoax - People scrambling to escape to sunnier climates are easy prey.  Beware of scammers who set up fake travel websites offering incredible deals for non-existent holiday destinations.

Be especially vigilant when you’re online during the holidays and try to avoid shopping on public WiFi hotspots unless you’re certain they’re secure.  Remember to also keep your antivirus software up-to-date and use common sense – if a deal’s too good to be true, it probably is.

Bacon Wrapped Dates 
Everything tastes so much better with bacon -- even dates!

Here’s a simple, yet delicious appetizer that’s ideal for your holiday gathering.  These unique sweet crunchy bites are sure to tantalize the taste buds!  Here’s all you’ll need:

  • cream cheese
  • 18 pitted medjool dates
  • 6 slices of bacon (cut into thirds)

  1. Stuff each date with cream cheese.
  2. Wrap with bacon and secure with a toothpick.
  3. Arrange the dates 1 inch apart in a shallow baking pan, bacon seam side down.
  4. Bake at 400F for 6 - 8 minutes, turn dates over and bake for another 6 - 8 minutes.

These tasty tidbits are a real crowd pleaser so you should probably create a double batch because your guests will definitely keep coming back for more!

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.