Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Westwood Hill Lofts - The rental conversion

Westwood Hill Lofts
- sold between $179,900 and $189,900
- November 2008 to June 2009

rental income monthly $1300
monthly carrying costs (approx.) - $950

Positive Monthly Cash Flow - $350

- 733646
Selling price $224,900
Bungalow style

- 732959
Selling price $209,900
2 storey style

Client who took advantage of this opportunity have been making $350 per month in cash flow, $215 in mortgage reduction and between $20,000 and $45,000 in equity growth.

This results in a ROI of 103% in one year.

Not a bad investment decision, congratulations to those who took advantage of this opportunity!!!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Revitalizing Bronson Avenue

New Domicile condos bring fresh look, affordable living to the Glebe
By Patrick Langston, The Ottawa Citizen July 11, 2009

Land, as Mark Twain noticed, isn't being produced any more. Especially not in the Glebe, Ottawa's ultra-desirable, price-skyrocketing neighbourhood.
So Domicile Developments Inc. has been doing the only sensible thing -- maximizing what's available. The company, one of Ottawa's leading boutique condo builders, began with G (for Glebe), a 21-unit condo on Bank beside Central Park. Phase two of the company's great Glebe grab is Second Avenue West, a lowrise, 71-condo project on the west side of Bronson facing Second Avenue.

Since the sales office at 619 Bank St. opened four weeks ago, Domicile has sold about 25 per cent of the units at Second Avenue West. Not bad, considering the shaky economy and the season: potential buyers are more focused on fun in the sun than mortgage calculations.

"We're pretty happy with the start," says David Chick, Domicile's senior vice-president. "But it's whether a place gets built and people are happy with the result that counts in the end."

Second Avenue West buyers will have lots to smile about. The four-storey, clay brick building, scheduled for occupancy in spring 2011, will be a short walk from Bank Street's bustling shops and serene Dow's Lake. It will also be close to restaurant-rich Little Italy.

Designed by Ottawa architect Roderick Lahey and described by some as "New York-inspired hacienda," the building will feature an inset, circular entrance courtyard on Bronson Avenue, jutting wings, and a façade chock-a-block with sunrise-facing windows.

Remaining units range in size from about 600 square feet to just under 1,000, and cost between $219,700 and $395,300. Models include one-bedroom, one-bath with or without a den and two-bedroom, two-bath units. There's also a three-bedroom, two-bath design, The Rivington, available, priced at $433,000 for 1,175 square feet. The condos include balconies or terraces.

Monthly condo fees range from $250 to $372. Heated, indoor parking, not currently available for some smaller units, adds $29,500 to the purchase price.

All of which makes Second Avenue West less expensive than G, where factors like a slipping economy meant Domicile had to redesign the pricey top floor. Two penthouses, priced from $700,000 to $1 million, were divided into four more affordable units.

Denis and Danielle Lafleche were the first of two dozen people in line when Second Avenue West's sales office opened June 11 for "priority registrants." Those were folks who, having completed paperwork in advance, were ready to plunk down $500 to reserve their condo. That was followed several days later by completing a standard Agreement of Purchase and Sale. The $500 was refundable if the potential buyer changed his or her mind, as some did, and the whole "priority registrant" process was cleverly designed to generate buzz.

The Lafleches showed up two hours early and went for a walk when they realized they were alone. Once inside the sales centre, where a friendly bartender was offering Portuguese and Ontario wine and Beau's beer, the couple snapped up a first-floor, 882-square-foot Chatham unit. It has two bedrooms and a 72-square-foot balcony; the building's remaining Chatham units are priced from $354,800 to $380,300.

"We wanted to get back to the source," says Denis, an accountant, about their decision to swap their Orléans home for downtown.

"We wanted to give it a try," says Danielle, a nurse, who grew up in Old Ottawa South.

The Canal in particular appealed to her, while proximity to Bank Street was a magnet for her husband.

If he is admitted to Carleton University's architecture program, the couple's 19-year-old son, Philippe, may move in with them when Second Avenue West is completed in early 2011.

With their son or without, the Lafleches will find their new digs a change from Orléans, where they have an 1,800-square-foot home with a 1,000-square-foot finished basement. Denis seemed unconcerned: "I don't think this will be a problem ... we'll just go with the flow."

Their condo will feature hardwood birch flooring, granite countertops in the kitchen (which includes an island) and bathrooms, six appliances including a gas range, and low-E windows. The heating/cooling system is forced air and, like hot and cold water, is paid for from condo fees. The couple has yet to decide on such options as a natural gas fireplace and a gas line to the balcony for a barbecue.

The building also features an equipped fitness room with a flat-screen TV on the ground floor. Security includes a telephone-permission entry system, a camera linking the vestibule with a homeowner's television, and other security cameras.

Once finished, Chick says Second Avenue West should help revitalize Bronson Avenue -- some of which looks decidedly tired. "It should bring residential living back to Bronson."

The building should also attract a range of buyers, according to Greg Blok, a real estate agent with Ottawa's Bennett Real Estate Professionals from Keller Williams Ottawa Realty. Five of Blok's clients, including four investors, have bought units in Second Avenue West.

Mentioning that an entry-level resale home in the Glebe would likely sell in the high $400,000s, Blok says Second Avenue West's price point means "anyone can now move into the Glebe. This gives a young couple a chance to get into the Glebe now without having to wait until they can afford it in their 40s."

He adds that current Glebe residents who are eyeing potential downsizing should also be interested in the project. Investors, meanwhile, will be attracted by a chance to buy before prices start jumping and may even wind up deciding to live there themselves.

Stressing Domicile's reputation for quality construction, Blok says that prices at Second Avenue West are on par with other condo developments downtown.

One major difference, he adds, is the "intimate feel of this one -- not everyone is into the monolithic 18-storey tower."
Ultimately, says Blok, "condos are a lifestyle decision. People want the amenities in the neighbourhood. Here, you're not far from the festivals and lifestyle events in the city."

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

New condo investment strategy

Property Purchase Price - $219,420.00
Deposit (15%) - $32,913.00
Monthly cost (Home Equity Line of Credit – 2.75%) - $75.43

Construction time (assume 30 months) - $2262.77
After tax investment (assuming 46% tax bracket) - $1221.90

Historically a minimum of 20% increase in value has been achieved.
Property Increase in Value - $43,884.00
After Capital Gains tax - $35,984.88

Return on Investment annually – 28.45%

Monday, July 6, 2009

Resale housing sales have another record month in JUNE

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,895 residential properties in June through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® system compared with 1,685 in June 2008. This is an increase of 12.5 per cent. Listing inventory is at a very low level, which has led to competitive bidding on many properties.

Of those sales, 418 were in the condominium property class, while 1,477 were in the residential property class. The condominium property class includes any property, regardless of style (i.e. detached, semi-detached, apartment, etc.) which is registered as a condominium, as well as properties which are co-operatives, life leases and timeshares. The residential property class includes all other residential properties.

“This is the third consecutive record setting month this year and the fourth month where sales exceeded the previous year’s sales,” said Board President Rick Snell. “Year-to-date sales as of the end of June are up one per cent over the same time period in 2008. We have seen a strong recovery from the slow start to this year,” he added.

The average sale price of residential properties, including condominiums, sold in June in the Ottawa area was $306,924, an increase of 3 per cent over June 2008. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $236,830, an increase of 8.3 per cent over June 2008. The average sale price of a residential-class property was $326,761, an increase of 2.5 per cent over June 2008.