Saturday, October 31, 2015

Is student housing right for you?

Ottawa is home to four post-secondary schools including the University of Ottawa, Carleton University, Algonquin College, and La Cite. Looking at the student population numbers, there are approximately 133,740 full-time and part-time students enrolled or registered at these schools. As a result, there is a strong demand for student housing in the city. Many of these students, who are from outside of Ottawa or even Canada, need safe and affordable places to live.
Owning student rentals can be straightforward and even fun or it can keep you awake at night. It really depends on the amount of planning and time you put into it. I’ve rented to students in the past and I would do it again. In fact, I found that students can be easier to manage than adult tenants. Before you start begin investing in student rentals, read the following advantages and disadvantages to find out if this investing strategy is for you.
  •  The parents sign the lease or act as guarantors and helps reduce the risk of late or no rent payments.
  •  Less likely to have professional tenants who work the system to their advantage.
  •  Consider renting by the room or offering fully furnished units which can result in getting higher rents.
  • Third and fourth year students as well as post-graduate students are generally more mature, require less effort, and are there to study. 
  • In general, students are easy to get along with and are respectful and cooperative.
  • The expenses can be higher because in some cases the landlord pays for the utilities and condominium fees.
  • Students like to socialize and have parties which can lead to property damage, complaints from other tenants or neighbors, and visits by the police.
  • There can be higher turnover which means more time and money spent on advertising, showings, and maintenance.
  •  Expect the rental unit to be messy and have more wear and tear.
  • More time can be spent with younger students who are not familiar with the neighbourhood, bus routes, or using appliances.
Owning and managing student rentals isn’t for everyone. Ask yourself if this is the right investment strategy for you and make sure you have the right skillset and sufficient knowledge before moving forward. It’s also important to choose the right property in the right location and ask for help if needed.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Most HAUNTED zip codes

2nd Ontario Land Transfer Tax?

On October 26th, OREA launched their latest campaign against the spread of the Municipal Land Transfer Tax -

We can't emphasize the urgency of this issue enough - the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing has confirmed to OREA that they plan on giving municipalities the ability to charge a second municipal land transfer tax. Unless we can change their minds, legislation granting these new powers could come into force as early as Spring 2016. Meaning the tax could show up in your market as early as Fall/Winter 2016! 

Help STOP this unfair tax grab - go to and tell your MPP!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Do photos matter when selling your home?

Check out the following link for an article that highlights the difference between good and bad photography.  When selling your Ottawa home, great photography is an essential tool to take advantage of.  

Please click here to see some examples of good and bad photography.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Senators owner Eugene Melnyk has big plans for Lebreton Flats

Speaking in a exclusive one-on-one interview Sunday, Senators owner Eugene Melnyk noted club officials are working hard on what they think will be a spectacular bid to build a new rink downtown at Lebreton Flats.
For the full story of the Ottawa Senators potential new real estate arena location, please click here

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

How do changes to mortgage rules effect a purchase?

In June 2012, the B-20 Residential Mortgage Underwriting Practices and Procedures, which are guidelines set up by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, were introduced.  

These guidelines require banks and lenders to follow more stringent underwriting guidelines.  One of the larger guideline changes was that for clients who choose a mortgage term other than a five year fixed rate, the application will that be underwritten using a benchmark qualifying rate.   

As an example, if a client is applying for a home with a five year fixed rate, we could use a 2.49% in the application when determining if the client qualifies.  However if a client is looking at a variable interest rates for example, then we would need to use a benchmark interest rate, currently at 4.64%, to qualify them even though their actual rate will be much lower.  

This can make quite a change to the amount of client qualify for.  If the client qualifies for a $250,000 purchase price with a five year fixed rate, they may only qualify for a $200,000 purchase price with a variable interest rate, as an illustration.

I am not a mortgage specialist, if you require further clarification, please let me know and I will connect you with a qualified professional.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Fixed mortgage rates INCREASING!!!

Just a quick note to let you know that TD is increasing their 5 years fixed rate effective tomorrow.  We have been anticipating an increase for a few weeks now, and with TD being the first to make a move, the other major banks, will naturally follow suit over the next few days.

Best September on record for number of Ottawa resales

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,244 residential properties in September through the Board's Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 1,131 in September 2014, an increase of 10 per cent. The five-year average for September sales is 1,137.

"Ottawa Real Estate Board members continued their active summer into a busy fall," says David Oikle, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. "In fact this September marks the best September on record for the number of units sold in the Ottawa resale market. There was a possibility that the federal election campaign might affect the local real estate market, but this does not appear to have been the case thus far."

September's sales included 221 in the condominium property class, and 1,023 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.

"Inventory levels continued to decline; by over 4 per cent since last month, bringing the Ottawa resale market into balanced territory," says Oikle. "Cumulative days on market increased slightly to 93 days, up from 89 days in August. In addition, the average sale price remains steady."

The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in September in the Ottawa area was $385,142, an increase of 0.5 per cent over September 2014. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $257,303, an increase of 1.3 per cent over September 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.

"The highest concentration of properties sold continues to be in the $300,000 to $400,000 price range, followed closely, again, by the $200,000 to $300,000 range," says Oikle. "In addition to residential and condominium sales, OREB members assisted clients with renting 250 properties in September, and over 2,300 since the beginning of the year."