Ottawa Real Estate News from Ian Campbell October 2019   

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

There are also a few tips on how to keep your furnace in tip-top shape as well as some cool uses for mismatched socks!

Thanks so much for checking out this month's newsletter. Please reach out if you have any questions or comments regarding the articles, or real estate in general. It'd be great to hear from you!

Ian Campbell

In this issue...
Ottawa Real Estate Market Update 
The Ottawa fall real estate market springs ahead!

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,549 residential properties in September through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 1,386 in September 2018, an increase of 11.8 per cent.

September’s sales included 1,113 in the residential-property class, up 6.9 per cent from a year ago, and 436 in the condominium-property category, an increase of 26.4 per cent from September 2018. The five-year average for September unit sales is 1,385.

“Despite a challenging year of historically low inventory, September’s sales continue to be extremely strong, the likes of which we haven’t seen in the past 15 years,” acknowledges Dwight Delahunt, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. “It’s quite amazing, with the limited supply, that the market is still moving well with purchasers finding properties that meet their requirements,” he adds.

“Of course, in this kind of market where the process can be quite accelerated, you must be ready to make a decision quickly and be poised to act straightaway. That’s why it’s prudent to work with a REALTOR® — home sellers can expose their properties immediately, and buyers are able to have instant access to the latest listings posted to the MLS® System,” Delahunt advises.

September’s average sale price for a condominium-class property was $309,373, an increase of 9 per cent from last year while the average sale price of a residential-class property was $487,438, an increase of 8 per cent from a year ago. Year to date figures show an 8.4 per cent and 8.1 per cent increase in average sale prices for residential and condominiums respectively.

“Now that condominium prices have recovered, we see condo sellers jumping back into the market to take advantage of that, and as a result, condo sales have been very robust and have again led the way in September’s unit sales,” Delahunt suggests.

The $350,000 to $499,999 price range was the most prevalent price point in the residential market, accounting for 43.5 per cent of September’s transactions while 28 per cent of residential sales were in the $500,000 to $749,999 range. The most active price point in the condominium was $225,000-$349,999, accounting for 56 per cent of the units sold.

“September to November typically tend to be busy listing and sales months; however, there is a federal election coming up, which normally brings a slowdown in the market. We haven’t seen that transpire this year, which suggests that consumers are highly confident in our local economy and the Ottawa real estate market.”

When asked to elaborate on the pressing issue of housing in the upcoming election, Delahunt states, “We are closely monitoring the platforms of all parties, and any proposals that address supply certainly have our support.”

He continues, “Although Canada needs a broad-based national housing strategy which tackles the full range of housing issues, platforms that are getting it right understand that real estate is local, and policies must factor in regional differences.”

The Ottawa Pet Expo 
Calling all Ottawa area pet lovers, and their furry friends!

Bring your dogs, cats, birds and rats (and any other furry or feathered friends you may have) out to the Ottawa Pet Expo!

This pet-focused, family-friendly event takes place on Saturday, November 9th and Sunday, November 10th between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

You can shop for unique pet products, watch amazing animal competitions and presentations, meet animal rescue groups and learn from experts such as vets and breeders, all under one roof!

The Ottawa Humane Society will also be on hand to help educate visitors on how to reduce the growing number of animals that end up in shelters each year.

The Ottawa Pet Expo will be held at the EY Centre. General admission is $15 per adult while kids and seniors are just $8. Children 5 and under are free and there’s also a family pass for $45. Hope to see you there!

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 scrape together a down payment for a home of your own, you may need to get creative. One option is to purchase a property with a friend or relative.
Co-ownership makes it so much easier to buy a home as you’re able to share the down payment and monthly expenses. It’s a partnership you don’t want to enter into lightly though as there are pros and cons.
On the plus side, it’s much more affordable, so you’ll be able to start building up equity instead of constantly throwing your money away on rent.
The drawbacks, however, include a lack of privacy and the potential loss of a valuable friendship. You may like and trust each other now, but things could 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 may arise.
Also, think about how you like to spend your leisure time. If you prefer spending quiet nights at home, but they’re more of a party person who loves to host, it may not be a great match.
If you’ve determined that you're a good fit, the first thing you’ll want to do is visit a mortgage broker to get pre-approved and lock in the lowest rate to protect yourself in case they rise while you’re out house hunting.
Next, draw up a list of essential items such as location and parking. Seemingly small issues, like who’s getting the master bedroom, may create future tension so sort out these types of details ahead of time.
Finally, draw up a contract that addresses potential problems and spells out maintenance issues. This is a business deal, so discuss worst-case scenarios such as death or how to proceed if one person wants to sell, but 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 communication before, during and after you buy a home. A solid plan will help eliminate future problems so you can enjoy the benefits of co-ownership while remaining friends for life!

Not Just a Bunch of Hot Air 
Check your furnace now to save on costly repair bills down the road!

When we're poking around in the basement, we don’t give the furnace a second thought; that is until the weather turns cold and it’s time to fire it up!

The last thing you want is for your heat to fail on the coldest night of the year when service calls cost a fortune. Here are a few tips that’ll help keep your furnace in tip-top shape:

  1. All Clear - Keep the area around the furnace clear of dust and obstructions and never store any kind of flammable material nearby.

  2. Fix the Filter - Make sure to regularly clean or replace your air filter as dirty filters block airflow, which causes the furnace to work overtime.

  3. Seal & Save - Seal up air leaks with caulking or weather strips and always open your drapes on sunny days and close them at night to keep the heat in.

  4. Go Pro - Have your furnace serviced by a licensed technician as it will run more efficiently and help you avoid costly repairs.

Regular furnace maintenance will increase efficiency, reduce energy use and prevent general wear and tear. Think of it as an investment rather than an expense as it'll help you avoid huge, unexpected repairs down the road.

Knock Your Socks Off! 
These handy home hacks give new meaning to the phrase “put a sock in it!”

We all have those odd, mismatched socks kicking around at home. Instead of tossing them in the trash, here are a few clever ways to put them back into service:

  1. Sock Puppet - Throw a sock on your hand and start dusting. It works especially well on blinds!

  2. Fog is Lifting - Fill a sock with kitty litter and place it in your car to keep the windows from fogging up.

  3. Icebreaker - Reusable ice packs are extremely cold against bare skin, so cover them with odd socks to make them more tolerable.

Don’t let single socks get you off on the wrong foot. Hunt down all those mismatched socks that have been kicking around for years and put them to good use!

PS As a thank you for referring me to a friend or family memeber that either Buys or Sells through me you will receive $ 500.00 cash.

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.