Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Moving Tips For Moving with Children

If you have children, buying and moving to a new home in Ottawa it will undoubtedly become more complicated than moving as a couple or a single person

Moreover, moving can be a scary experience for children, especially if it means they will have to change schools or leave their friends behind. There are things you can do as a parent to make the entire process go smoothly and be less upsetting.

When to Tell Your Kids
The best time to let your children know about a possible move is as soon as possible. If you are still in the process of looking at Ottawa homes, you might want to bring the kids with you to view the houses. Letting kids see where their new bedrooms or play areas will be can lessen the anxiety that is often associated with a move. If the move means the children will go to a new school, you  might want to take them to see the school as soon as you can.

If you are moving to a new state or province and can't travel there with your children before the move, take the time to teach your child as much as you can about their new home. Look up the city or town online to learn about its history. Use the internet to find out about clubs and sports your child can participate in, in the new town.

Packing Up
Your children can help you pack up the old house. Set aside a time a week or so before the move to help your children pack their belongings. You can use this time to purge toys and objects your child no longer uses, but try to be respectful of his or her wishes. Moving is a stressful time for kids. Don't add to the stress by demanding that they get rid of all of their toys – as some may be memorable keep-sakes.

On Moving Day
How involved your kids are on moving day depends on their age. Older children and teenagers can help you load up the moving van and finish packing. Toddlers and very young children will probably just get in the way of the process. You might want to hire a babysitter to look after them as you pack up the van. A babysitter can be helpful after you've moved as well, to watch the kids while you unload the van.

After the Move
After you've moved to your new Ottawa home, try to get settled into your new home as quickly as you can. Unpack your kids' rooms first, so that they have a place to themselves. Get your children involved in your new community’s or school’s activities as soon as possible so that they can start making friends and building a new life.

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Moving Tips - The Challenges of Moving in Ottawa

Buying a new home in Ottawa is exciting. But, the process of packing up your belongings and moving from one home to another is usually less exciting. Moving can be stressful, but it doesn't have to be.

Real estate professional Marnie Bennett offers some tips on how to make your move to your new home as stress-free as possible.

Pick the Day Wisely
A lot of people choose to move on a weekend, particularly on a Saturday. While a weekend move makes sense, as you'll likely be off from work, it can actually be an inconvenient time to move. A lot of businesses, such as your bank or the post office, are closed on weekends or, if they are open, close early those days. If you have a last minute issue that requires urgent or personal attention, you likely won't be able to get to those businesses during a weekend.

It's also usually less expensive to move on a weekday than on a weekend. If you're using professional movers, they might charge you less to pack up and transport your possessions. If you're renting a van, you might pay a lower flat fee or less per-mile rate on the weekend.

Lists and Labels are Your Friend
If you have ever said "I must have lost it in the move," you have probably learned the hard way that creating a list of your possessions and labeling each box clearly can help you considerably. As you pack the items, record in a notebook or on a spreadsheet what goes into each box. Number the boxes and assign the numbers to each list. It’s also a good idea to write on the outside of the box the room in which the box is to be placed.

Give Yourself Plenty of Time
Even if you have a small home, you will want to give yourself a few weeks to pack up your items. Start packing items you use infrequently and start three or four weeks before the move. You don't want to leave everything for the day before, as things are likely to get lost or broken if you rush to pack.

Gather Supplies
When you're moving to your new Ottawa home, almost invariably you will need more packing supplies that you thought you would need. It is frustrating to run out of boxes or tape or newspaper (for wrapping fragile items) when you're in the midst of packing up a room. Moving supplies are available at an array of places. If you're on a budget, you can find moving boxes for free by asking politely at a liquor store or a supermarket. People who have recently moved will sometimes offer their boxes for free on Craigslist or other classified websites.

Trimming Your Possessions
Moving gives you a great opportunity to trim your clutter. You probably don't want to pay to haul items you'll likely never use again. As you pack, take the time to purge yourself and your new residence of items you don't need, such as toys your children have outgrown, books you know you won't read again, and broken objects which you will probably never get around to repairing. You can either donate or discard these items. What is really important though is that you don't bring junk into your new Ottawa home and start the clutter all over again.  Some folks simply leave what they don’t want behind – BUT this is neither a considerate, polite nor recommended course of action as how would you like it if someone left your new home filled with their old garbage?

Last Minute Packing
There are some things you will want to hold off on packing. Keep any important documents, such as your passport, closing documents, valuables and any personal papers with you while you move.

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Adding In-Laws to Your Ottawa Home

One feature some couples look for when buying a home in Ottawa is what is called “An in-law suite”. They might want the suite so that their parents can move in with them as the parents age. Some couples who live far away from the rest of their families might seek out a suite so that their two (or more) sets parents have a private place to stay when they come to visit. In addition to giving parents a place to stay, in-law suites can also generate income for a homeowner.

What to Look for in a Suite
Ideally, the in-law suite will act as its own private space. The suite can have its own private entrance, so that whoever is staying in it can come and go as they wish without disturbing the rest of the household. Other features the suite should have include a full bath and a kitchen.  If the person who stays in the suite doesn’t like to cook or is incapable of cooking, a kitchenette or even just a refrigerator and single burner might suffice.

Location of the Suite
Most in-law suites are attached to the home, though some are in freestanding garage-like buildings. If the house doesn't come with a suite already, you might find that it's easiest to renovate the basement and convert it into a suite. Many basements already have a separate entrance, for one thing. It's also pretty easy to add plumbing in the basement.  However, based upon the mobility of the suite’s intended occupants, a main-floor or bungalow-style suite may be preferable.

Getting a Suite Early On
Purchasing an Ottawa home that already has an in-law suite can save you money down the road. You won't have to worry about renovating your home when it's time to have your parents move in. Plus, you can earn income from the suite by renting it out to a student or other young person in the mean time.

An in-law suite can also act as transitional living situation for an older child. If your child attends college but doesn't live on campus, you can let him or her live in the suite. In that way, they'll be close by, but still be able to have a sense of privacy and independence.

Benefits of Having Your Parents Live With You
As your parents get older, they become less able to care for themselves. If they are still in good health, having them live with you rather than in a retirement community, can save you both a lot of money. Plus, having your parents live with you means that your children get to see their grandparents on a regular basis and you get to spend a lot of quality time with your parents in the latter stages of their lives.

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Downsizing and the Empty-Nest

After your children have moved out, either to start their adult lives or to attend college, your once-busy-and-full home can seem strangely quiet and empty. Many older adults who find themselves in this situation decide to downsize and move into a smaller Ottawa home. Downsizing can be financially beneficial, but it can also be a long and involved process if you aren't careful.

The Two Sides of Downsizing
Downsizing involves selling your current Ottawa home and purchasing (or renting) a new and smaller one. If you plan it correctly, you can save a considerable amount of money when you sell your Ottawa home and purchase a new one. But, keep in mind that home prices have risen since you first purchased decades ago. You might be surprised at the asking price for even a small home in your area.

You might have some emotional attachments to your current home that might get in the way of you effectively selling it. Typically, there's the urge to price your home high, since the home has so many memories for you. But, remember that your emotions are not the same as the emotions of the buyer.  So, you need an objective person to help you sort out these emotion-laden thought and ideas.  This is where a real estate agent can help you determine the price for your home based on a comparative study of the prices of similar homes in your area.

Weigh the cost of purchasing a new home carefully. Depending on how old you are and your financial goals, you might want to purchase your empty-nest home outright, instead of getting another mortgage. Paying cash for your new home means you may actually pay less in the long run as well as you will incur no interest charges. Obtaining a mortgage can also be financially beneficial if you utilize this money to buy other investment properties or other holdings.
Another way to downsize and save money is to move in with your grown children.

Making Room
When you move to a smaller Ottawa home, you can't take all the possessions in your current space with you. Although this fact is undeniably true and a physical reality, some downsizers are depressed by this fact.  Others, however, are elated.  Regardless, downsizing means trimming the items you own, not just reducing the size of your house. Your children can help you purge items from your current home. 

To encourage them to clear out their childhood bedrooms, hold a family clean out day. Each grown child can focus on cleaning out his or her old room, deciding what to do with their old belongings themselves. If your kids aren't interested in cleaning out their stuff themselves, you can take it upon yourself to discard it or to donate useful items to any of a number of worthwhile local charities.  Some may actually give you a tax deductible receipt for these donations.
Some of your possessions may in fact be of interest to a museum or library and again a tax deduction receipt may be obtainable for those donations.

Deciding what to do with the rest of your possessions can be difficult. To make the process easier, you might want to start with the bigger pieces. For example, if your new home doesn't have a separate, formal dining room, you can probably safely donate your old dining set. If the new home only has a small living room, you can easily decide to donate your large sectional.

Things can become more complicated as the items become smaller. You might have a accumulated a large collection of knickknacks over the years. The best way to sort through these items is to do it quickly. Only handle an item one time before making a decision about it. If you keep returning to an item because you aren't sure if you want to keep it, it will take you a long time to purge your home.
Other means of purging yourself of your extraneous possessions is to hold a garage sale or a neighbourhood give-away day, or to advertise your items in a local newspaper or on Kijjiji (or another on-line site) or you can hire the services of an antique dealer or an estate auctioneer. Finally, some items may be usable by a local church charity or by building material re-cyclers or an organization such as Habitats for Humanity.

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Tips for Moving With Pets

Often a reason cited for buying a new home in Ottawa is being able to give a beloved pet more space to run and play. But before your pet can enjoy his new Ottawa home, you have to get him there safely. Moving with a pet, presents its own set of challenges, notes Marnie Bennett, a real estate professional, as you have to worry about the safety of your pet both during and after the move at a time when you are pre-occupied with, or distracted by, all of the big- and small-picture issues of simply changing locales

Here are a few pics of our furry friends lounging at our office at 190 Lisgar St. in Ottawa

Before Moving Day
Unfortunately, you can't get your pet to help you pack up and prepare for the move. What you can do is plan things so that he's not underfoot as you get ready to move. You have a few options to handle this extra care.  On some packing days, you can ask a friend or your partner to take the dog for a walk. You can also put your pet in another room and close the door so that he doesn't get in your way as you try to pack up

There are some important documents you should get from your pet's veterinarian before the move, if you're moving far enough away that you need to change vets. Ask the vet for your pet's vaccination records and other medical records and also ask him for the name of a veterinarian he recommends in your new area. You may want to get a mild sedative from your vet to keep your pet calm during the trip, especially if you have an older pet or a pet who is ill.

Stock up on food and medication for your pet before you move. You might not be able to get a refill on any pet prescriptions from your pet's new doctor right away. If your pet is on a special diet, you will want to have extra food on hand in case it's hard to find his brand in your new location.
Purchase new tags for your pets before you move. The tags should have your new address and contact number on them. If your pets have been microchipped, make sure you update your address with the company.

On Moving Day
Your pet's safety should be a primary concern on moving day. If you can, have a relative or friend take your pet for the day so that he isn't underfoot or does not run away. You can also set up a special room as the "pet room" for the day. Choose a room that has proper ventilation, such as a small bedroom – but definitely not a closet. Place your pet's food bowl, pillow and toys in the room and visit him from time to time while you unpack.
Keep the door closed so that the pets can't get out. You'll also want to put a sign on the door so that any other person helping to do the unpacking doesn't inadvertently open the door and let the animals out. If you'll be transporting your pets in carriers, put the carriers in the room before a few weeks before the move so that the pets get used to going into and out of the carriers.

After the Move
Marnie Bennett notes that you can't talk to your pets and explain the move the way you can talk to children. After you move to your new Ottawa home, the best way to get your pets used to the new place is to set out the things they are familiar with. Unpack your pet's food bowl and toys right away to help him acclimate and exercise him as you normally did in your old location so that he experiences no variation from his routine at his old address.

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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Well-Prepared Residents Enter the Ottawa Market in Search of New Homes

The residents of Ottawa have taken the real estate market by storm. Ever since the beginning of the year, sales have been on the up. The increase in sales has led experts to believe that now residents are more knowledgeable about the property market in Ottawa than they ever were before. It seems as if this is the year of change.

Industry analyst Ron Desjardins, a vice-president at PMA, says that while there may not have been as many people looking for new homes in January, the ones who were, were ready to buy.

In previous years, the response was not so good but this year, the residents of Ottawa have come well prepared to the market. They are ready to spend the money to take up these opportunities.

Desjardins further added, “We saw a number of people make their buying decisions within a week of visiting a site,” he says, adding, “They had clearly done a lot of research. They’d been online and looking at stuff … but weren’t prepared to make the decision last fall.” This goes to show that people in Ottawa are now more knowledgeable about market conditions. They are better equipped to anticipate risks with regards to property prices.

This, however, is not the only factor that has led these residents to flood the property market. It is quite possible that relaxed interest rates on loans and better mortgage rates have turned people in this direction. If you compare the data from previous years, it is quite clear that this year, the residents of Ottawa can avail better opportunities.
The government’s incentive programs also play a role in encouraging people to buy new homes. The Canadian government is dedicated to helping citizens realize their goal of homeownership. The mortgage terms are also set in a manner that the average Canadian citizen can easily afford to pay these expenses.

Desjardin, in a later statement, added that, “I think that this trend will just continue through the year as more releases occur in the existing projects and new projects come to the market in the west.”

The experts seem very optimistic about real estate picking up once again in Ottawa and they see this as the beginning of a trend that could last for a long period of time. Single family homes are among the ones selling most in the market, followed by townhouses and condos.

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