Friday, August 30, 2013

Things to Consider when Selling your Ottawa Condo

If you plan on selling a condo in Ottawa, chances are you are facing some difficulty locating prospective buyers. No, it’s not because of your home. Condos are hot in today’s market! If you would like to make a successful sale, there are a few things you have to keep in mind before you put on your salesman hat:

First Impressions Count

The owner of a home is ultimately responsible for its upkeep and maintenance. If you show potential buyers a condo that looks rundown and is in desperate need of a new coat of paint, no one is going to take you seriously. Even if your Ottawa condo looks presentable, those real estate agents and buyers will still go through each room with a fine toothed comb before they even think of buying it.

The simplest way to fix this problem is to actively participate in condo association meetings. This includes gathering (and implementing) as much information regarding your condo’s upkeep as you can. Once you put them in practice, you will have an easier time convincing potential buyers to give your home a chance.


See through your Buyer’s eyes

No matter how frustrated you get seeing those buyers walk out the door, your condo will remain owner-less until you know what they actually want. You see, buyers aren’t stupid. They know what they are looking for and even the slightest defects can make them back off.

Your job is to make them feel completely comfortable by ensuring that all taxes are clearly identified on the property and disclosure documents don’t leave them scratching their heads in confusion. The latter is of particular concern to real estate agents and buyers since it details the condition of the entire condo such as the state of the plumbing, overdue taxes (if any), additional charges etc. If they feel uncertain, they might hire a building inspector for a detailed inspection!

Give Your Condo a Personal Inspection

Even if you are a regular at those condo association meetings, make sure to run a critical eye over your home before inviting any interested buyers. Check for leaky plumbing, mould, water damage and any other defects that can put them off. Fix them yourself or hire a handyman to do general repairs for you before asking anyone to come over and analyze your home.

Better yet, hire a professional to thoroughly examine your walls, ceilings and floors. They know what to look for and can even give you relevant advice regarding your condo’s upkeep. If they can give you papers stating your condo is in top condition, even better! Present them to buyers to reassure them that proper measures were taken to ensure they received the best home their money could buy.

Condo or Ottawa homebuyers are not just looking to place a roof over their heads. They are on the lookout for homes that can enrich their life style and be a welcome port in a storm after a hard day outdoors. Even if your condo is considered to be the best, very few will consider buying it if it has defects. Respect their needs by maintaining your home. Chances are you’ll have a successful deal at the end of it.

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

People Who Will Help You with Your Real Estate Investment

For most the purchase of the home is the biggest investment we make in our lives. It is therefore pertinent to have the best team of professionals to guide you through the process. It is essential that you hire the best Ottawa real estate agent, mortgage broker, lawyer, inspector, builder and insurance broker. It is possible that you might add or remove a few of these professionals depending on the type of home you are purchasing.

Real Estate Agent

By far the most important person in the whole process. The real estate agent’s job is to provide you with all the necessary information that you require related to the area you have chosen. They will also write down an Offer of Purchase for you and negotiate and bargain on your behalf for the best possible price for the selected home. They will also arrange the home inspection and help save your time. You can ask them different questions about the charges and all other things that need to be considered when buying a home.

Mortgage Broker

 Even if you are planning to go through mortgage pre-approval, you have to talk to a mortgage broker. A good lender will help through the entire purchase process and even after that. It is the lender’s job to make sure that you are able to make timely payments and if you have any issue meeting the deadline you should go and talk to them. Mortgage is provided by many different companies including banks, credit unions, trust companies, pension funds and finance and insurance companies. Look around and see which lender would best suit your needs.

Home Inspector

It is important that you get a home inspection done by a qualified professional for any property that you are thinking of buying. The home inspector will let you know if there are any faults in the construction or installation of different items around the house. He will also let you know where repairs are required and he might also be able to identify if there were any problems with the home in the past.


You might not be aware but lawyers play a very important role in the home buying process. The lawyer will make sure that your interests are protects and that the house you are planning to buy does not have any statutory or building charges or liens. The lawyer will review all disclosure contracts before you sign the papers. It is important that the lawyer you hire is familiar with real estate law and is licensed to carry out the paper work.

Insurance Broker

Your home and your mortgage will require insurance. Your lender will insist that you get property insurance at all costs. This is because your property is their security against the loan that they provide you. A mortgage life insurance will help you and your family through tough times. Be sure that you compare rates before you hire an insurance broker.

To able to buy your dream home and retain the right to own it, it is important that you have all the professional help when you buy real estate in Ottawa. At Bennett Property Shop, we will help you compile the best team of professionals.

Monday, August 26, 2013

First Time Sellers: Things you need to Know

Did you find the process of buying your first home daunting? Were you are overwhelmed by the end of the whole buying process? Now that you are getting ready to sell your first home, you might be skeptical and not that excited about the whole selling process because of your prior experience. Also, the Ottawa real estate market looks complex and the rules of the market have changed over the past few years. However, by hiring a good realtor and following the tips given below, you can easily sell your home.

Believe in Yourself

Many Ottawa home owners have been involved in the selling process. You might have even bought your home from a family who used to live there. Remember to have faith in yourself. If they can survive the process and live to tell the tale you surely can to.

Set a Goal

What are you looking for at the closing? A bigger check or a higher selling price? Remember they are not the same. Not only do you have to look at the selling price but you also have to look at the terms and have a good realtor on your side.

Changing Times

The real estate market in Ottawa has changed over the past few years. Purchases and Sales through the internet are now common. Along with this you also have to provide disclosure forms to the buyer, get a home inspection and deal with the line of brokers from many potential buyers. It is therefore important that you have decided on all aspects of your sale before you put the house up for sale.

Clean Your Home

Just imagine going to a grocery store and finding fruits and vegetables thrown together in a large box. Not a nice picture right? You like your fruits and vegetables neatly lined along the shelves. This is why you need to keep your home clean and everything should be placed in an organized manner. Buyers will not be happy to see a mess home with clothes falling out of the closets and doors creaking with every move.

Fix instead of Hiding

Home inspections are now very common. It is to help buyers from being duped. As a buyer you expect everything to be perfect therefore it is your duty as a seller to make sure that you have taken care of all the issues in the house that would put you off from buying it. Even if a buyer is not able to see any technical faults, a home inspector will see them easily.

Current Market Trends and Rivals

Contact your local Ottawa real estate agent when you decide to sell your home. Your agent will explain the current trends of the real estate market including what type of homes are in demand these days and how you should price your home according to those trends. The realtor will also help you understand that your property will face competition and how to make the best of the competition and come out on top.

If you are selling your house for the first time there are many things that you need to look at. There are 185 steps in the home selling process. Just putting up a sign and an ad in the real estate section of your local Ottawa newspaper is not enough. Talk you your real estate agent today and sell your home without fast, for top dollar and with the least amount of hassle.
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Friday, August 23, 2013

Things to Do After Buying a House

Finally! You have managed to buy your dream home. Of the many different types of homes available in the Ottawa real estate market, you have finally managed to find the perfect house. We can understand that the process was stressful and you had to keep meeting the realtor, lenders, lawyers and all the other people involved.

The diverse housing styles available in Ottawa probably did not make the choice any easier. With unique brick homes with Victorian design in Glebe and the more traditional homes in Kanata you may have had to rethink and put in a lot of effort before you bought your humble abode.

However, this does not mean that you can kick back and relax. Your financial responsibilities as a home owner are just beginning.

Timely Mortgage and Insurance Payments

It does not matter if you have to make payments weekly, monthly or biweekly; always make your mortgage payments on time. Late payments may affect your credit rating negatively and will also result in late charges. If you continue to fail to make mortgage payments you could even lose the house because of foreclosure.

To avoid such situations, have payments deducted automatically from your account and keep at least three months worth of payments as savings for hard times. If you still have trouble making your timely payments, talk to your lender and see what can be done. Insurance and property tax payments also follow same route. However, instead of foreclosure you might face legal and financial charges in case you are not able to make the payments on time.

Operating Costs

There are many on going costs that are related with everyday operations of your home. These include costs like security alarm service costs, gardening service, snow removal service and maintenance and repair costs. If you own a strata or a condo some of these costs will be a part of your monthly association fee.

Save for Emergency Repairs

There are some repairs that you can do on your own and you may also be able to identify most of the repair and maintenance work beforehand. However at times there are some repairs that are unexpected. These can be costly and you be corned into a tricky situation if you do not have an emergency fund set aside.

Live Within a Budget

Though you should have prepared a monthly budget before you bought the house, it is a good idea to start one now. You should monitor your monthly spending and evaluate the change every month. This will help you determine how close you are to reaching your financial goal.

If you have the habit of buying things on credit and spending more than what you earn, it is time to cut back. If you cannot manage your money on your own talk to a professional and save your home and money while you still can.

The real estate market in Ottawa is blooming and flourishing at the moment. Talk to an agent at Bennett Property Shop today and find what else you can do to save costs and the dream house you just bought.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Many Types of Homes to Choose From

When you live in a country like Canada, you are bound to see different cultural styles. The styles are also evident in the construction of the real estate around the country. When you are searching for a home in Ottawa, you will see that there are many different types available and you can easily choose from them.

While Cape Cods are more popular in Atlantic Canada and North-eastern United States, there are some of them found in Ottawa. This type of house usually has two floors and the master bedroom is on the first floor. Generally these houses are smaller (1300 to 2000 square feet) and ideal for first time buyers. Colonial houses are found in most upscale areas of the city. These traditional styled homes are greatly influenced by the Italian Renaissance period.

The word cottage always etches a picture of a small and cozy living space. However in Ottawa, they are found usually in a non-urban setting and are of varying sizes. Detached homes are also very common and are basically single family homes that are completely separate from the neighbouring homes. Duplexes are also a form of detached homes with two units. The units are designed so that one is on top of the other.

Bungalows are single story homes with an optional basement. These can be small or large in structure. All living areas are on one floor making it convenient for the homeowner to access different areas without stairs. It is very easy to convert it into a wheelchair accessible home and they offer greater privacy compared to two-story homes. Strategic placement of trees and shrubs can easily block the view of neighbours.

Ranch Bungalows are a type of bungalows that are made strategically. The bedrooms are situated in one side of the house and the areas with guest access (these include the family room, dining room, kitchen, etc.) are on the other side. For attached garages, the access is provided on the public area of the house so that it can be accessed directly.

Split level homes have three types of configurations: a front split multilevel home appears like a two-story house from the front and a bungalow at the back. A back split multilevel home is more common and gives the appearance of a bungalow in the front. A side split multilevel home shows different levels from the front elevation.

Townhouses are three or more houses placed in a row such that they share a ‘party wall’. There are many townhouses in Ottawa. Semi-detached homes are two single family homes that are attached by a common wall. Two or three story homes are found in varying styles all over Ottawa. They come in styles ranging from classic Victorian era all the way to contemporary modern.

With so many different styles of homes available in Ottawa, you are bound to find one that you love! Contact Bennett Property Shop today and find your dream home.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Why Home Ownership is Better

Canada experienced an increasing demand in rentals and single family homes after World War II ended. The increased demand led to involvement from the Canadian government and led to the development of the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). When you buy real estate inOttawa and other parts of Canada, you are allowed a mortgage loan of up to 80% of the property’s value. Investors who are increasing their real estate portfolio by adding rental properties are also guaranteed return.

The Canadian Bank Act prohibits most federally regulated lending institutions from providing mortgages without mortgage loan insurance for amounts that exceed 80% of the value of the home or purchases with less than 20% down payment.

Through your lender, if you are a first time homebuyer CMHC Mortgage Loan Insurance enables you to finance up to 95% of the purchase price of a home. The government program is mainly designed to help people with home ownership and has nothing to do with real estate investment.

Home ownership has its advantages. The two basic and most important advantages are that a home has the potential to be your most monetarily valued asset and the second is the emotional satisfaction that one gets after owning a house. Though many first time buyers may perceive the different rules of CMHC to be very strict for Ottawa, there are a few reasons why it is better to buy a home instead of renting one.

The mortgage payments may seem like a hassle but they should be considered as a savings plan. Instead of paying off someone else’s mortgage, (when you pay rent you are indirectly helping the landlord gain profits and make mortgage payments) as a home owner you make the monthly payments for yourself. Keeping up with your monthly payments you gain a two-fold advantage: the value of your home rises over the years and eventually the amount owed becomes smaller because most of the principal loan is paid. You can also get a second mortgage that can be used against built up equity as low interest loans.

As a homeowner you are more relaxed. You do not have to worry about the landlord increasing the rent or selling the house. You can maintain and repair the house and even renovate it the way you want. In a rental property you have to first talk to the landlord and wait for his/her approval.

However, if you have a job that keeps you on the move then it is better to rent a property instead of buying a house. You might not be able to look after the home or keep up with the maintenance and repair if you are not around often.

If you have questions about mortgage rules set by the CMHC and how they apply to you, contact your Ottawa real estate agent and ask them to help you figure out the answers while they help you figure out if owning a home is a good idea or not.
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