Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Spring/Summer home check up list

Gearing up for summer? Now is a great time to get your home in top shape for the months ahead. Whatever your weather, caring for your home now will help to ensure a worry-free, comfortable summer.
Inspect exterior surfaces for cracks and make any needed repairs.

If paint is peeling, cracking, or chipped, repair and repaint now to limit damage to the underlying materials.

Repair any damaged caulk around windows and doors.

Remove window screens and clean with a soft brush and soapy water. Repair any holes or tears or replace the screen material before reinstalling.

Have air conditioning units serviced to ensure good operation. Promote air circulation around the unit by keeping shrubs and plants trimmed.

Clear debris from gutters and eaves to allow rainwater to drain properly.

Seal cracks in the driveway and keep walkways clear of debris and overgrown plants.

Test irrigation/sprinkler systems and replace any broken sprinkler heads or emitters. Check for proper water coverage and adjust if necessary.

Clean deck and patio surfaces and seal surfaces as appropriate.
Vacuum refrigerator coils to help maintain energy efficiency.

Empty dehumidifier pans and clean hoses according to the manufacturer's instructions.

If possible, take area rugs outside and hang them over a deck or porch rail to air out.

Adjust ceiling fans for proper balance. While you're at it, give the unit a good dusting.

Switch heavy bedding out for lightweight summer fabrics. Have the winter bedding cleaned before storing.

Close the chimney flue where appropriate to increase energy efficiency

Repot houseplants to give their roots a fresh start for the summer.

Check door and cabinet hinges and lubricate any that stick or squeak.

Open windows on cooler days to keep fresh air flowing throughout the home.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Thursday, May 7, 2015

The April resale market in full bloom

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,570 residential properties in April through the Board's Multiple Listing Service® system, compared with 1,419 in April 2014, an increase of 10.6 per cent. The five-year average for April sales is 1,531.

"Despite the late departure of the cold weather this April, buyers were out in full swing, propelling the Ottawa resale market into a busy spring selling season," says David Oikle, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. "Sales continued their steady pace upwards since the beginning of the year, with 362 more properties sold this April over March."

April's sales included 258 in the condominium property class, and 1,312 in the residential property class. The condominium property class includes any property, regardless of style (i.e. detached, semi-detached, apartment, stacked 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.

"The average cumulative days on market has improved even more in April, coming in at 74 days, compared to 83 in March," says Oikle. "Properties are moving faster and inventory is plentiful, with just under 9,000 residential properties, including condos, available for sale going into May."

The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in April in the Ottawa area was $403,239, an increase of 0.9 per cent over April 2014. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $265,371, an increase of 2.7 per cent over April 2014. The Board cautions that average sale price information can be useful in establishing trends over time but should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. The average sale price is calculated based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold.

"Several price ranges this month saw significant increases in units sold; a possible explanation for the residential average sale price entering the $400,000 range," explains Oikle. "The $400,000 to $450,000 range saw an increase of 37.3 per cent; while the $500,000 to $750,000 range saw a 25.4 per cent increase. Two-storey and bungalow residential properties remain as the top selling property-types in Ottawa. In addition to residential and condominium sales, OREB members assisted clients with renting 283 properties in April, and 876 since the beginning of the year."