Ottawa Real Estate News from Liam Swords November 2018   

 
When selling your home, it's important that everything be in tip-top shape. This month's article highlights some fairly common repairs that will help you sell your home fast and for top dollar!

There are also a few tips on how to prevent an invasion of rodents this winter as well as some reminders on foods you should never feed your dog.

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!

Liam

In this issue...
Ottawa Real Estate Market Update 
Halloween failed to scare away Ottawa home buyers.

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,383 residential properties in October through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 1,237 in October 2017, an increase of 11.8 per cent.

The five-year average for October sales is 1,223. October’s sales included 1,059 in the residential property class, a rise of 8.5 per cent from a year ago, and 324 in the condominium property class, an increase of 24.1 per cent from October 2017.

“October’s sales are truly indicative of the fast-paced market we have experienced for much of 2018,” points out Ottawa Real Estate Board President, Ralph Shaw. “In some pockets of the city, listings are not lingering on the market. Year-to-date average Days on Market (DOMs) are down 14% from 45 to 39 days for residential homes and 24% from 68 to 51 days for condominiums.”

“However, lack of supply continues to be a major driving factor in Ottawa’s real estate market,” he adds. “If we look back to 2015 and 2016, our current active inventory is less than half of what we had then, and it’s not improving. Compared to last year, condo inventory is down 34.5% while residential inventory is 17.5% lower than October 2017.”

“Ottawa’s reputation as one of the most affordable cities in the country endures with residential average prices up approximately 6% year over year, yet continuing to come in under $450,000. While average prices for condos remain reasonable and steady in the $270,000 range,” acknowledges Shaw.

The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in October in the Ottawa area was $449,005, an increase of 5.7 per cent over October 2017. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $271,350, a slight increase of 0.6 per cent from this month last year.

“Further, the number of apartment condo projects that have been approved by the City of Ottawa will maintain price stability for this category of housing going forward. This will offer opportunities particularly for renters who may be considering homeownership since the rental inventory is also down 32% from this time last year.”

The $300,000 to $449,999 range remains the most active price point in the residential market, accounting for 43 per cent of home sales while the $500,000 to $750,000 price range continues to represent one in five of all residential home sales this past month. Between $175,000 to $274,999 was October’s most robust price point in the condominium market, accounting for almost 53 per cent of the units sold.

Ottawa's Christmas Lights Across Canada 
Mark your calendar for Christmas Lights Across Canada!

Hundreds of thousands of colourful lights will illuminate Ottawa’s winter landscape this year to help everyone get into the Christmas spirit!

Christmas Lights Across Canada was launched in 1985 to liven up the darkest of winter days and it now extends from Ottawa to all the provincial and territorial capitals across Canada.

Over 400,000 dazzling Christmas lights will be glowing throughout downtown Ottawa! Parliament Hill is a must-see as it alone has tens of thousands of bulbs that light up its various historic buildings.

There’s even a winter lightscapes multimedia show that’s projected onto Parliament Hill’s Centre Block. Inspired by Canada’s nature, climate and culture, this 13-minute fairy tale runs on a loop every night from 5:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Ottawa’s Christmas Lights Across Canada kicks off on Wednesday, December 5th and runs until Monday, January 7th. This is a magical event that the entire family will enjoy so mark your calendar now. Ho Ho Hope to see you there!

Reaping Returns on Repairs 
Completing basic repairs before selling your home pays off.

If you plan on selling your home in the near future, you'll want to tackle any necessary repairs ahead of time as buyers will be completely turned off if your home appears to have been neglected.

Buyers also factor fix-up jobs into the purchase price, often overestimating the costs involved, so it's best to just take care of them yourself. Here are a few repairs to consider:

  1. Grimy Grout - Dirty grout is a real turn off as it looks like mold so apply new caulking to freshen up the entire area.

  2. Flooring Fixes - Flooring can totally transform the look of your home so replace any cracked floor tiles or torn carpeting and refinish scratched hardwood.


  3. Rough Roof - If your roof needs replacing, it's better to do it before you sell as buyers get so turned off by the cost and hassle that it could be a potential deal breaker.


  4. Fresh Paint - Fill in all holes and cracks in the walls before painting. Make sure to repair and paint your baseboards so they don't look beaten up compared to your fresh walls.

  5. Curb Appeal - Your home needs to make a perfect first impression so patch cracks in the driveway, caulk windows, spruce up your porch and invest in some landscaping.

  6. Dripping Faucets - A dripping tap can signal expensive plumbing repairs to buyers. It'll probably only need a new rubber washer that costs less than a dollar so get it fixed!

  7. The Kitchen is Key - Kitchens are critical and can make or break a sale. Repainting cabinets, adding new hardware or upgrading your countertop are all worthwhile investments.

Buying a home is an emotional experience so it's critical to create an incredible first impression that will make buyers want to own your home the moment they set eyes on it! Although it may initially seem like a hassle to repair a home you'll be moving out of, it'll be well worth the time and money in the end.

Move Over Mice 
'Tis the season for mice who are looking for cozy winter homes!

Rather than dealing with mice who’ve already made themselves at home, try and prevent them from entering in the first place! Here are a few ways to refuse access:

  1. Fallen Fruit - Pick up any fruit that has fallen from the trees in your yard.


  2. Put a Lid On It - Store any food items including pet food and birdseed in rodent-proof containers.


  3. Tight Squeeze - Mice can fit through a hole the size of a pencil so fill any gaps around your foundation and soffits.


  4. Inside Job - Don’t forget to seal holes from the inside of your home and around any openings in your garage or shed.


  5. Controlling Climbers - Mice are great climbers and will try and access your roof by using vines, shrubs and overhanging branches. Cut these back so they're not able to get a leg up on entry points!


One or two mice can quickly turn into a full-scale invasion and once you have them, they’re very hard to get rid of. There’s nothing that’ll keep you up more at night than the sound of mice scurrying around inside your walls so take steps now before it’s too late.

Foods NOT for Fido 
We all share scraps with our pup but certain foods can be toxic.

The holiday season is almost upon us which means lots of delicious food! If your pup hides out under the table looking for scraps, it’s important to know what food you can share and what could be poisonous.

There are plenty of festive foods that Fido shouldn't be indulging in such as fat trimmings & bones, chocolate, salty snacks and sugary foods as they can cause serious issues or even death.

There are also many lesser-known foods that are harmful to dogs such as avocados, chives, leeks, garlic, dairy products, macadamia nuts, cooked bones, yeast dough, the sweetener xylitol, corn on the cob, persimmons, peaches, plums and grapes; to name just a few.

The holiday season is a time for sharing amazing meals with loved ones but not everything should be shared with the dog. Aside from fattening up Fido, certain foods can cause serious damage. If you’re ever in doubt, you can always look it up online.



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.


Not meant to solicit clients already under contract.