8. December 2010 10:04
New Edinburgh is a neighbourhood of approximately 4000 people located slightly east of the downtown core. It is a very desirable location for Ottawa residents to live and it is also the home to two of the Nation Capitals most famous houses, the Governor General’s house and 24 Sussex which is the official residence of the Prime Minister.
The fact that New Edinburgh is bordered by the Ottawa and the Rideau River and is walking distance to downtown Ottawa makes it a very popular location to live. The New Edinburgh neighbourhood is home to many of the Embassies and consulates. Spain, South Africa, France, India and Slovakia can all call New Edinburgh their home from home.
New Edinburgh has become popular for investors as they are able to buy some of the older properties. A it is such an in demand area, the rents can be high and re developed properties close to downtown can achieve good return on investments. There is a real mix of the older generation and the young population looking to move into this trendy area. The main language in New Edinburgh is predominantly English with the bordering neighbourhood of Vanier attracting more of Ottawa’s French population.
The average sale price for a house in New Edinburgh in 2010 is $589,189 with the average detached home selling for $638,681.
20. December 2009 17:55
I recently joined Twitter on the recommendation of a friend of mine, Kelli Catana (@kellidaisy). I was a little skeptical at first about Twitter but once I got the hang of it I really enjoyed it. I have made some great connections with people and have discovered a lot interesting people and businesses in my community. But it was just recently that I discovered how powerful Twitter can really be and how generous of a community it really is.
Our office recently signed on to be part of The Ottawa Food Bank Drive Away Hunger Campaign. As we were nearing the end of the campaign I was a little disappointed to see that we had no one drop any donations off to the office. Our office manager Jocelyne (@jocelynewhite) was going to purchase a donation on behalf of our office but we were really hoping that our community would help out as well so we could make a large donation to the Food Bank. That was when Twitter saved the day!
I had taken to Twitter to appeal to my local followers that we were looking for donations when Shawna (@ParlezShawna) the local Parlez Wireless Telus rep tweeted that Parlez Wireless wanted to make a donation. Awesome! But that wasn't all. It seemed that Boston Pizza Orleans (@BPOrleans) was hosting a tweet up for local twitterers and one of the participants, Laurie St. Julien (@lauriestj) suggested that they turn the tweet up into a food drive! Local photographer Cherie-Lynn Buchanan (@CLBuchananPhoto) then agreed to raffle off the chance to win a free mini-session for anyone who brought a minimum of 5 food items for donation. Leslie from Boston Pizza then added an additional $25 gift certificate as well. By the end of the tweet up, 10 different twitterers has each brought in a generous donation for our office food drive! Laurie and Candace Derickx, the owners of The Best Tools for Schools even went so far as to provide a few cases of food!
So at the end of the day our office was able to provide a generous donation to the Ottawa Food Bank to help those in our community who are in need this holiday season. I would like to give a big thank you to the following people from twitter for their generous donations; @ParlezShawna, @LisaLarter, @LaurieStJ, @bitofmomsense, @BPOrleans, @Kellidaisy, @Sheila_gh, @LiteMochaMom, @MrsLoulou, @GlidingLara, @CandaceDX, @CLBuchananPhoto. So thank you to these people and thank you to Twitter for allowing me to make these connections!
On behalf of my entire team I would like to wish all of you a very Happy Holiday Season!
9. December 2009 15:45
Baby boomers and empty nesters are now looking to sell their homes and downsize for the future. Could this affect the value of your large sized family home?
When looking at the market and speaking to many of the baby boomers out there, it seems that their homes are getting too big for them as their children move out. After speaking to at least a dozen baby boomers many think that its time to sell their current home in order to downsize to a bungalow or a home more fitting for a couple. But what will happen to the millions of homes in Canada that were built specifically for these baby boomers with oversized families?
The market has had a large shift in what a family is looking for now. Newer type homes look more attractive to young buyers and having 4-6 bedrooms seems to be a thing of the past, at least for younger couples and new home buyers. Within the next 10 years its possible that we could see a large influx of properties for sale that are made for very large families. Could that affect the price of your home in the future when selling it? It sure is something to think about. If you're thinking of downsizing, now just might be the right time as homes have kept their values and have risen in price. Don't hesitate to move and get the equity you have in your home before the market sees an influx of larger homes on the market!
2. December 2009 03:03
When looking into a new condo development, I noted that part of the advertising touted that it was "LEED silver". Great, but what the heck does that mean? I needed to investigate further. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System encourages and accelerates global adoption of sustainable green building and development practices through the creation and implementation of universally understood and accepted tools and performance criteria. LEED is a third-party certification program and an internationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. It provides building owners and operators the tools they need to have an immediate and measurable impact on their buildings' performance.
LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water efficiency, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. Sounds a little ho hum - academic (in a very green kind of way), but how does that translate in practice for the residents? Well, in this particular condo, residents benefit from membership in a hybrid car-sharing program, and the building itself will have a vegetated green roof with a rain water storage system.
The biggest benefit will be in terms of energy costs; energy usage is estimated to be reduced by 35% by using energy efficient windows and lighting, energy star appliances, high efficiency boilers and heat recovery ventilators. Units have individual controls, dual flush toilets and water efficient faucets and showerheads. Units feature sustainable hardwood flooring and zero VOC emitting paints, coatings, adhesives, sealants and flooring. An advanced recycling system will allow residents to separate materials at source, making recycling easier. Last but not least, a comprehensive education and training program will be offered to the residents to ensure that they understand the sustainability benefits of their building, and how to take full advantage of them. Very cool, progressive, responsible ideas such as this one will certainly further establish this builder's reputation and credibility as an elite developer of urban spaces, and helping make residents more environmentally friendly just by letting them go home.
29. November 2009 15:23
When planning a kitchen reno often people are at odds about what type of countertop to get. There are so many options with such a variation in cost; it's hard to know which way to go. To make things a little easier here is a brief description of some of the options out there for you.
Laminate countertop is essentially layers of paper and resins bonded onto board. It's available in hundreds of colours, textures and patterns in a range of qualities. It's reasonably priced, at $20-$40/linear foot, it’s easy to install, and maintain. The downside is that it’s not at all heat resistant and can’t be repaired if you get a burn mark - the whole section would have to be replaced.
Butcher Block countertop is another durable option. It has a warm, timeless look (providing the cabinetry is updated!), and for people who like to use natural products, it’s available in a variety of hardwoods - maple being most common, but is also seen in cherry, beech, and even bamboo. It's practical, durable, heat and impact resistant, easy to clean with vinegar & water, and is low maintenance. It’s affordable as well at around $30/ square foot. The downside though is that it shows stains, wear & tear, and is not recommended near the sink or dishwasher, so it’s usually best utilized on an island.
Natural Stone is a very popular option in most upscale homes, and in modern condos as well - the most popular options being granite and marble. The look can range from traditional to modern in a variety of colours. Clean up is easy, with soap and water, but it must be sealed once or twice a year because it’s a porous material and can stain. The biggest downside though is the cost- it is typically more expensive than other options at around $90 / square foot. It has to be custom made and is very heavy, so often cabinetry has to be re-enforced prior to the install. But, it seems to be what most people like to see when viewing a new home.
Engineered stone such as Caesar stone, Hanstone, Zodiaq, and Silestone are also popular choices. These are generally 93% quartz with resin, custom made, and available in many colours from bold to natural. It is virtually maintenance free with no sealing or polishing. It's stain resistant, scratch resistant, heat resistant and non porous. All this comes at a price though and ranges from around $100 / square foot.
Corian is a man-made synthetic that also shares many of the qualities of the engineered stone options, also in a similar price point. Another option that I have seen is called TrendStone, by a company called Granite Transformations. Cost varies, often in the range of $70-$80/linear foot, but it looks virtually identical to granite, without the maintenance requirements. They also have a product called TrendGlass, which is made from the world's highest quality tempered glass; post-consumer recycled glass, as well as semi-precious man-made stones. With more than 50 colours available, and a lifetime limited warranty, it's worth a look for sure! The other plus of this material is that it can be installed over your existing countertop, which means- yay- kitchen reno in a day! Whatever your preference, there are a lot of options on the market, so happy shopping!
29. November 2009 15:07
More and more, new home builders are listening to their buyers when designing their new home models. And more and more, those decision making buyers are, in fact, women. In statistics taken from the Joint Centre for Housing Studies, they discovered the following;
* More than one in five home buyers is a single woman.
* Twice as many unmarried women are buying homes than single men.
* Single women make up more than one-third of the growth in real estate ownership since 1994!
Women home buyers come in all sizes, shapes and ages. They are divorced, never married, separated and widowed - some have children, others live with friends or partners and many live alone. What they have in common is that they have the financial means to be able to purchase their own home, and new home builders are taking notice and acting on this according to a recent article in the Ottawa Citizen.
Calgary builder Shane Homes spent eight months meeting with 10 women who had recently bought new homes. The builder incorporated their wish lists into two different models with the second winning provincial design honours! And five years later, it’s still part of the builder's lineup of homes. The builder also adopted key suggestions - including bigger windows, more storage, and convenient computer areas off the family room and upgraded ensuite bathrooms, in many of its other homes. These homes went on to win design awards and the 10 women who helped design it are now on a permanent advisory board.
It seems that Ottawa builders are learning the same lessons. "The primary focus for women is the spacious kitchen," says Margaret Gallo, owner of Sienna Homes. "They like light and openness and the open concept, with the kitchen, and great room and the dinette." They've also learned a Thomas home-inspired trick for the ensuite bathroom: Make it into a spa. It's the one place women can go to relax. Use glass for the shower stall and as many windows as possible. "Women like natural finishes - they go for the Zen thing. A lot of our ladies are looking for luxury faucets," says Gallo. Her female customers are also big on the spacious mudroom and they like full closets near the entrances.
Carmen Fleguel, president of Holitzner Homes, sums it up quickly: "What women are looking for is organization and convenience." To that end, they include many cupboards and shelving in closets in their designs. In the bathrooms, their vanities have doors and drawers where makeup and jewelry can be easily organized. In closets, they include two-tier shelving and they often offer two walk-in closets in the master bedroom. In the ensuite, there are deep roman bathtubs and moulded shower surrounds for easy cleaning. Holitzner also gives four colours of paint for interiors, and five different types of doors - from traditional to modern - giving buyers more ways to express themselves. Asked how they know what women want, Fleguel says it was simple: "You have two women (she and her sister, Heidi Laurysen) running a business."
23. November 2009 05:18
Did you know that some people can determine if they like your home or not within the first 20 seconds of seeing it? The online website Realtor.ca, commonly know as the MLS has all the listings from all real estate companies in Ontario. The importance of being well priced and having amazing photos of your home while having the right information for your listing is crucial.
People browse through the MLS and with a click of a finger remove or add you to their home buying wish list. Before the MLS, when you listed your home people actually had to walk through your house to really see what it looked like. Now with the introduction of the world wide web, potential buyers can access the MLS to look at your pictures and make quick decisions. Your number one priority is price. If you're priced too high, your potential buyer will most likely never even see your home because they are not searching in the appropriate price range. Your second priority is making sure you have a professional photographer to take pictures of your home in a way that makes it look very appealing. The MLS can either be your friend or your enemy if your not doing it right. Make sure to always have great pictures and be priced right when listing your home!
15. November 2009 15:57
Buying your first home and be very exciting – and scary. There are a lot of steps to be taken and sometimes a first time home buyer gets a surprise or two along the way. Here are a few of the things you will need to keep in mind when purchasing your first home.
There are many unexpected costs related to home buying. Of course, there is the down payment, purchase deposit, and closing costs. However there are other fees that can come as a surprise if you’re not prepared for them. To make sure you are prepared you should go over all these fees with your real estate professional and real estate lawyer to understand them. Many of the fees include; mortgage loan insurance premium, appraisal fee, deposit, down payment, estoppels certificate fee, home inspection fee, land transfer tax, prepaid property taxes, property insurance, survey costs, waters tests, septic tanks, legal fees and title insurance. A brief explanation of these fees can be found at the CMHC website.
Aside from the fees there is a lot of preparation for finding and purchasing your first home. Hiring a Realtor is the first step as they will be your most valuable tool in finding a home, negotiating the best purchase price and taking you through the closing process. Going into a sale without buyer representation is not a wise move. The Realtor for the seller is hired by the seller and has the seller’s best interests in mind so hiring your own Realtor will ensure you are getting the best representation in the process. After negotiations, in most cases, there will be conditions that need to be met. The deadlines for these conditions are critical to the success of your offer and can include inspections, financing and insurance conditions.
After the deal is firm you will meet with your real estate lawyer who will complete the purchasing process. It is critical to hire a real estate lawyer over any other type of lawyer. They deal with the process on a daily basis and will ensure that the transaction will go as smoothly as possible. If you do not have a real estate lawyer, your sales representative will be able to recommend one for you.
Purchasing your first home can be a very stressful process and it’s imperative that you understand how it all works. Be sure to budget all of the costs involved and you will be much more successful in the purchase of your first home. Good luck!
15. November 2009 15:47
With over a thousand homes on the Ottawa market each year, what is one of the most cost effective ways to sell your home quickly and for top dollar? The answer to that is home staging. The purpose of home staging is to give the impression that your home is a like a builder's model home, giving it a neutral look to appeal to as many buyer's as possible. These days, there are so many different ways to decorate your home that it can be difficult to enjoy your own decor and appeal to buyers at the same time.
Home staging is not the same as decorating. None of us live in a show ready home 24 hours a day. We all have different tastes and it is wonderful that these differences can be reflected through our homes. However, the old carpet that you’re accustomed to or that flashy colour you painted throughout the house can cause many buyers to flee as fast as possible. Creating a neutral space allows buyers to envision themselves living in your home rather than checking out all the family photos that are carefully placed across the mantel, covering the fridge and going up the staircase. You also want to create particular flows of space to allow the architectural features of your home to shine through and take center stage. That sofa set won't be coming with the home so we have to allow buyers to see past these items.
In a monetary sense, home staging gives the most bang for your buck. Painting is by far the cheapest and most effective part of the home staging process. The return of paint in terms of pricing your home is 350% which is just amazing! Overall home staging can give a return from 150% to 450%. So, the easiest, most economical (and most fun!) way to prepare your home for sale is through home staging.
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