Friday, June 14, 2013

Real Estate as an Investment – Buying for the Future

If you are looking for a way to make quick money, real estate is not for you. Real estate investment is a long-term investment and takes many years to bare fruit. First thing that you have to do is understand the different strategies that are involved in the property market. When you look for real estate in Ottawa or other cities in Canada, you have to make sure that you will not become emotionally attached with the property.

The real estate investment market is an endless cycle of high rising peaks and low lying valleys. Therefore, you will have to study the market and determine the current state. To understand where the Ottawa real estate market is moving, you first have to understand the different factors that influence the real estate market in Ottawa.

Before you invest in the real estate market, you have to understand two important factors that influence the market: the shift and flow of the market. The shift and flow of the market are two very different things. A shift in the market occurs when there is an abrupt jump or fall and the market flow is the general medium to long term change that the market cycle experiences. A shift in the market is usually behind the investments made by many emotional investors.

The media source that evokes such emotions in a real estate investor is the newspaper. If you are thinking of investing in real estate to gain a secure future, it would be wise for you not to believe the newspapers when they say that the market is doomed. A smart investor will understand the facade and will look behind the dreadful headlines and figure out the true situation of the market. It is possible that he might go against the popular belief.

You might even be surprised to see that prime locations, like the Byward Market in Ottawa, are not losing any value even during the darkest hours of the real estate market. It takes less than a week for an ‘opening soon’ sign to appear outside a shop that was recently emptied. Other locations that see increased demands include areas that are near recent commercial development. For example, many people who were employed in Kanata during the 1990s and early 2000s bought homes near the area to avoid lengthy commutes.

Other factors that influence property prices include social and cultural factors. If there is an inflow of working immigrants in the city, the prices of condos will rise. It is important that you study the property before you invest in it. Ask your real estate agent about the area and what factors would encourage them to make an investment in the area.

So if you are planning to invest in Ottawa real estate, you have to be ready to trust your real estate agent and question them if you are not satisfied. Make sure that you thoroughly understand the different factors that influence the real estate market in Ottawa.
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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Home Maintenance: Condo vs Home

It does not matter what type of property you own, it will require maintenance at some point or another. However, the type of maintenance that each type of property requires is different. While a house gives complete ownership of the structure and the lot it is constructed on, a condo works differently.

Condos that are part of Ottawa real estate involve different types of housing styles. These include townhouses, apartment style buildings and single family homes built on shared lots. When you own a condo, you get ownership of everything that is inside your front door. However, the grounds, elevator, pools, hallways, club houses and parking lots are the responsibility of the condo association.

When you own a house there are different types of maintenance that are your responsibility. If you want to make changes to the structure of the house, modify the plumbing, add some light fixtures, change the flooring or add a new roof, you will have to hire a contractor to do so. If you have just bought a resale home in Ottawa  than there are many maintenance costs that you have to look into. You might also need to change a lot of things because they are old.

A condo may not be the same as a house, but it is much better than living in an apartment and paying a monthly rent to the landlord. The condo is your property. You make monthly mortgage instalments to own the property. You do not have to worry about the grounds, parking lot or the pool. The monthly condo association fee takes care of all these things without bothering you. The fee will cost you much less than it would cost you to maintain a house and pay the home owner’s association charges.

It is however your responsibility to maintain the flooring, roofing, plumbing and other such things within the condo. It is important that you treat the condo just the same way you would treat your home because you are investing your hard earned money in it.

The rules and regulations that are set by your condo association are important to follow. You have to be careful about the number of people residing in the condo unit and at the same time you have to follow all the rules when using the common property of your condo.

Even though maintaining a condo is much easier than maintaining a home, it is a good idea that you check with the Condominium Corporation about all the rules and regulations that apply. Your Ottawa real estate agent can help you understand about all the maintenance costs and procedures in detail.
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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Selecting a Neighbourhood-Things to Think About

There are so many things involved when you select a house: large amounts of money, the hassle of moving, the selection of the neighbourhood and the many transaction costs that have to be paid. You need to think all these and more things through before you buy the house. When you are looking for a home in Ottawa, there are few things that you need to consider about the neighbourhood you choose.


The first and most important thing to look for when selecting a neighbourhood is its location. The neighbourhood should be close to work, and if it is not, then you need to calculate the costs that are involved in the commute which include gas and time. If you have kids, it is better to have grandparents or family nearby. They are the best babysitters you can find.

Check Your Budget

It’s easy to fall in love with the neighbourhood where people live a perfect happy life. It is however important to see if the houses in the neighbourhood are within your budget. It is very much possible that the house you want or the neighbourhood you are looking at is not within your budget. So make sure that you have made all the necessary calculations. You can always search around and look for a house in another neighbourhood.

Understand the Market Offerings

Yes, you are no real estate agent; therefore it is unreasonable to expect you to understand all the complicated workings of the real estate world. You should look at houses in different neighbourhoods. The only way you can estimate if the asking price of a particular house is fair is by looking at other houses in the neighbourhood. Do as much research as you can before you select a neighbourhood.

Hire a Real Estate Agent

Once you have completed your research, you need to hire a real estate agent in Ottawa. The real estate agent will give you a clearer understanding of what the market has to offer and what you can afford. The real estate agent will further help you by chalking out a plan that will help you get a mortgage loan at an affordable rate.

Research the People

You do not have to check criminal records of each and every family on the neighbourhood. You just have to see if the people in the neighbourhood have had any brushes with the law. You do not want to raise your kids in a neighbourhood with criminals living close by.

It is important that you maintain a checklist when you are searching for a neighbourhood. If you like a neighbourhood, there is a good chance you will find a nice home for your family. When looking for homes in Ottawa, make sure that neighbourhood you select is within your budget and you are not deprived of the basic wants of life just because you have mortgage loans.
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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Important Questions to Ask Your Home Inspector

Buying a home, townhouse, condo, or apartment is not easy. There are several factors to consider and buying property is also a tremendous investment.

Before you buy a house, make sure that you have inspected it properly. Buying homes and condos in Ottawa requires a lot of work. Inspecting the property allows you to ensure that everything is in working order, assess how much renovation and repairs would cost, and physically see if you’re actually about to get your money’s worth.

It is a good idea to hire a professional home inspector to give you proper feedback on the property. However, be wary of inexperienced home inspectors because they may not be able to provide you with fair assessments. Listed below are a few questions that you should ask the home inspector before you hire him to look at the property you are interested in.

What else do you do beside home inspection?

Make sure that the home inspector does not have any other job or business other than home inspection. Many inspectors work independently and are at the same time contractors; be wary of such inspectors because a contractor cannot be a home inspector. Ask questions like how long they have been in the business and if it is possible for the inspector to provide a few referrals.

What is covered in the home inspection?

Make sure that the inspector and the inspection process covers all the requirements of the city of Ottawa. Make sure you ask complete details about what area of the property will be inspected. If there are certain areas that you want inspected, specify them to the inspector.

Do you have specific experience in residential inspection?

It is ideal if the inspector has experience in residential property. If the inspector has added experience in engineering it can also be helpful.

Are there any repairs or improvements that can be made based on the inspection?

Some associations allow the inspector to give a detailed feedback of the inspection. Other associations and regulations do not allow the inspector to provide these details.

How much time will the inspection require?

If you are hiring one inspector, it might take him somewhere between two to three hours to inspect a standard single family housing unit.

How much will it cost?

Inspection costs depend on many different factors. These factors include the area where the house is located, the size of the house, the year it was built in and other such questions. The costs might range between $300 and $500 for an average single family unit inspection.

What type of reports do you provide?

Ask the inspector questions on the type of reports they provide. Also, ask them to show you a few sample reports. It usually takes around 24 hours for the inspector to prepare the report.

Is it possible for me to attend the inspection?

If an inspector asks you to stay back and not accompany him on the inspection, you have every right to be suspicious. It is a good idea to see your potential home through the eyes of an inspector.

Buying a home in Ottawa may require work but with Bennett Property Shop, you can locate property you want very easily.
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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Nepean Neighbourhood – Beautiful, Simple and Safe Suburban Living

With a population of 180,000, a humid temperate climate and a total area of 217 km2, Nepean is one of the simplest yet attractive neighbourhoods in Ottawa, Ontario. Whether it’s the easy suburban living or the great jobs in one of the many high-tech industries, it seems an increasing number of people – 8.5% increase every year – are moving to the Nepean neighbourhood.


Quite possibly, the most common reason people come to Nepean is for the affordable housing. Homes in Nepean can be found for as little as $140,000 and as high as $300,000.


With huge emphasis on the technology industry, including increasing funding, it is evident that Nepean attracts many job hunters. Full time jobs in the Nepean neighbourhood range from $30,000 and can go as high as 6-digits.


For many people, security is the single most important reason people move to Nepean in the first place. With an increasing number of residents, increased security is a necessity. Fortunately for Nepean residents, the security in the neighbourhood is high. Due to the increased efforts of local authorities, in joint work with its residents, the crime rate of Nepean has decreased by 9%.


Since the youth make up a majority of the population, great emphasis is placed on education, both public and private. Nepean has:

34 elementary schools, including Cedarview Middle School, Knoxdale Public School and Our Lady of Peace School.

9 secondary schools, including Bell High, Mother Teresa High, and Merivale High.

The Crystal Bay Centre for Special Education helps provide education to physically and/or mentally challenged students.

St. Patrick's Adult School is a school for continued learning where adults and senior citizens come back to learn.


There is a lot to do and see in Nepean at both night and day. History and art lovers will definitely appreciate the displays at the Nepean Museum on 16 Rowley Avenue. There are also:

·        2 beaches along Ottawa River

·        A multi-screen cinema near Bayshore

·        3 marinas,

·        A toboggan hill at 40 Cassidy Road (Bell high school)

·        An arts theatre

·        2 golf courses

·        Cross country skiing parks

·        An equestrian park

Considering all that it has to offer, Nepean is a rather unique neighbourhood. With great emphasis placed on education, the affordable housing and the great job opportunities, Nepean will be the biggest neighbourhoods in no time.
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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Sandy Hill - Small, Quaint and Full of Life

Home to over 13,000 people, Sandy Hill has rapidly become one of Ottawa’s most attractive neighbourhoods to live in. With a host of amenities, affordable homes and subtle beauty, this neighbourhood is a gem in Ottawa. Sandy Hill is also quite a historical neighbourhood and is home to a number of foreign ambassadors.


Although Sandy Hill has a population of a little over 13,000, there are many homes available for sale and rent. After the baby boom, a number of housing projects were launched, and a large number of homes and mansions were constructed. These homes are still standing today and are some of the most beautiful you will ever see.

The best thing about Sandy Hill is the mixture of classes and building varieties. Many of the old mansions have been converted into embassies, attributing to the increase in foreign residents. Most upper class residents live near these embassies.

Housing near the university has become cheaper due to the influx of international students. A large number of condos are also available, particularly near the downtown area.


With the increasing number of students, employment opportunities have increased in the tertiary sector. With its proximity to the downtown area, the total number of jobs in and around Sandy Hill has also increased. Jobs start at $10/hour and can go as high as $100 /hour, with a 40-hour week. In fact, unemployment is less than 8%.


Considering the diversity of the population and the downtown area, the number of crimes in Sandy Hill was once higher than other neighbourhoods. However, it has been brought down considerably with the intensive neighbourhood watch program and the increased efforts of the Ottawa Police Service. Now, Sandy Hill is one of the safest neighbourhoods to live in.


One of the biggest reasons why people choose Sandy Hill over other neighbourhoods is the location of the University of Ottawa. The university attracts thousands of international students and has also influenced the creation of 5 other elementary and secondary schools.


Despite the small neighbourhood size, there is plenty to do in Sandy Hill. Whether you want to take a stroll in a nearby Strathcona park or enjoy yourself at one of the many recreational centres, Sandy Hill has residents covered.

Sandy Hill may seem small at first, but it is a terrific place to live, work and study. Sandy Hill is a neighbourhood that truly is small, quaint and full of life.
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Monday, June 3, 2013

Stittsville – An Urbanized Village Life

Combining the wonders of urbanization with the pleasures of village life, Stittsville offers residents an experience like no other. With a population of over 27,000, Stittsville is not only a pleasant place to work, but also a fantastic place to learn, enjoy life and retire to. With increasing development, Stittsville is a hidden treasure, located in the western Ottawa area.


If there is one thing that people love in this quaint little urban village, it’s the amazing housing. The homes and flats in Stittsville are known to not only be affordable, but lavish and exceptionally beautiful. The beauty of the homes and their striking interiors has attracted a number of potential home owners to the neighbourhood.


For those who want to live and work in the same place, Stittsville offers residents a number of jobs both in and just around it. With hundreds of jobs on offer in Stittsville, and hundreds more in the surrounding area, employment is something residents don’t have to worry about.


Security is a serious concern in almost every neighbourhood. With over 27,000 residents, an effective security policy becomes a necessity. Fortunately, Stittsville has plenty of security. Not only does the Ottawa Police Service aid in law enforcement but so do the Stittsville community members. As a result, Stittsville has one of the lowest crime rates.


Education is of significant importance, especially when living in the capital of Canada. Fortunately, Stittsville residents don’t have to worry about a lack of educational institutions. Stittsville has quite a number of elementary and secondary schools, funded by the government and private investments. South Carleton High School is the biggest public secondary school, with over 1200 students enlisted. Sacred Heart High School is the largest private secondary school, with over 2200 students.


With a substantial number of parks and recreational centres, Stittsville was able to offer fun and entertainment for both singles and families. Recently, the residents of Stittsville voted for an enhanced, expansive and diverse shopping experience. Residents of Stittsville were heard, and a number of shopping malls were constructed, offering residents an exceptional shopping experience.

Stittsville is an urban neighbourhood unlike any other. With a strong emphasis on community living, education, recreation and safety, this neighbourhood celebrates modernization while embodying village life. Stittsville offers an urbanized village life that is rarely found in today’s era of hustling bustling urbanization.
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