Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas lights the traditional Canadian way ...

Bundle up for an evening stroll through this picture-perfect postcard setting!

Close to one million lights adorn the heritage buildings, trees and fences of Upper Canada Village creating a one-of-a-kind magical backdrop for its annual Alight at Night Festival…a true winter wonderland!

Each year Upper Canada Village is transformed into this one-of-a-kind holiday setting with new seasonal activities and awe inspiring lighting.  Just an hour South of Ottawa on the St. Lawrence River, this is one of the neatest events in during the holiday season.  Bundle up, as the brisk breeze off the river can be cold, but the beauty of this event will surely warm your hearts!

For more information on the Alight at Night Christmas light diplay at Upper Canada Village, please click here

Christmas spirit alive and well in Orleans

Nestled in Orleans is the famous Taffy Lane, known across Ottawa as the Christmas light street.  People who live on this street go all out with their Christmas decorating and create amazing light spectacles.  With school done for the Christmas break, might be time to check out a local tradition.

Click here to check out a great video featuring Orleans homes on Taffy Lane all decked out with Christmas cheer!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Great local school - Katimavik Elementary School

Do it the Leonard DiCaprio way ... rent by the night

You can live like Leonard DiCaprio, at least for a few nights, in his Palm Springs Mansion for a cool $4500 per night.  Renting his home for $4500 per night can translate into huge profits, compared to the paltry $20,000 or so he could generate monthly.  Smart business move!  Once he reaches night number 5 in a month, Mr DiCaprio is generating further cash flow. 

I do not see it on or, to check out his stunning mansion, please check out the dedicated web site - (check out the photos!!!)

Friday, December 11, 2015

`The Big Short' Tries to Make 2008 Financial Crisis Fun to Watch

Hollywood is trying a new way to get film fans interested in the 2008 financial crisis, turning the worst market collapse since the Great Depression into a tragicomedy.

The film version of Michael Lewis’s book “The Big Short” brings together Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt, some of Hollywood’s hottest actors, as outsiders who saw the crisis coming and made hundreds of millions of dollars from complex investments. The Paramount Pictures film, opening Friday in limited release, is already vying for industry awards and could produce $75 million in ticket sales during its run in North American theaters, according to researcher Exhibitor Relations Co. That would make the picture one of the biggest ever about financial markets.
Bale in ’The Big Short’
Bale in ’The Big Short’
Photographer: Jaap Buitendijk/Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection
Nearly a decade after the bursting housing bubble led to the collapse of Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, there have been a few attempts to bring the crisis to the big screen. “The Big Short” uses comedy to explain financial-market events that cost millions of jobs and tanked the world’s biggest economy. Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain appears in one cutaway interview likening securitization to unsold fish filets that end up in stew.

“There really haven’t been that many attempts, especially in the comedy vein, it is refreshing to see,” said Jeff Bock, senior box office analyst at Exhibitor Relations. “I think audiences will respond. It could be a good size hit for Paramount.”

The studio, a division of Viacom Inc., declined to comment.

“The Big Short” tells the story of investors who believe the U.S. housing market is about to crash and try to profit from it. For the filmmakers, the challenge was to explain how opaque markets and complex financial instruments hid excessive speculation in real estate and mortgages. The picture is directed by Adam McKay, whose credits include the “Anchorman” films and “Talladega Nights.” Prior works by Lewis, a Bloomberg View columnist, include “The Blind Side” and “Moneyball,” which also became films.

“It was about the qualities in these people that led them to make the smart bets, that was what interested me,” Lewis said in a Bloomberg interview in October.

To read the complete article, please click here

Mortgage rules changes over $500k

The federal government is expected to tighten mortgage rules in an effort to cool the red-hot housing markets in Toronto and Vancouver, CTV News has learned.
The new regulations will increase the minimum down payment required to buy a home for more than $500,000, with portions beyond that amount requiring a 10 per cent down payment. The down payment on the first $500,000 will remain at five per cent.
For example, a home costing $700,000 would require a $45,000 down payment – a five per cent down payment on the first $500,000, added to a 10 per cent down payment on the remaining $200,000.
The regulations are expected to take effect in February 2016.
The regulations are expected to take effect in early 2016.
Buyers shopping for homes below the $500,000 mark will be unaffected by the new rules.

To read the complete article on mortgage rules changes and Ottawa real estate please click here 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Looking for a great Ottawa school...?

The school newsletter came from St Leonard Catholic School this week.  It highlights the achievement of the standardized testing for grade 3 and 6 students in Spring 2015.  These results are compared to all other ONTARIO schools.

Grade 3
Reading - 93rd percentile
Writing - 98th percentile
Math - 91st percentile

Grade 6
Reading - 92nd percentile
Writing - 93rd percentile
Math - 78th percentile

These are amazing results!  St Leonard, in Grade 3 reading, their students are achieving at a higher rate than 93% of other schools in Ontario.

Over the five year average, St Leonards ranks at a 7.4 out of 10, meaning it is a very good school and ranks as the 369th best school in Ontario. For the complete stats, please click here

Manotick Homes 
It is a 
suburb of the city, located on the Rideau River, immediately south of the suburbs Barrhaven and Riverside South, about 25 km (16 mi) from downtown Ottawa.[1] It was founded by Moss Kent Dickinson in 1864. He named the village 'Manotick', after the Algonquin word for 'island'. It has been part of the City of Ottawa since amalgamation in 2001. Prior to that, it was located in Rideau Township. According to the Canada 2011 Census, Manotick had a population of 4,520

Manotick tends to have larger homes, on estate type lots.  Most homes are well and septic.  There is a subdivision of newer homes being built on city water and sewer.  There are very good schools and Manotick has a village feel, with a cute downtown, full of shops, services and boutiques.

If you are looking for a new Ottawa home in a great school district, contact us!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Mild weather and post-election enthusiasm spurs on homebuyers

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 990 residential properties in November through the Board's Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 891 in November 2014, an increase of 11.1 per cent. The five-year average for November sales is 944.

"Mild temperatures in November, combined with increased activity post-election, were key factors in the Ottawa resale market performing exceptionally well in November," says David Oikle, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. "The positive increase in condo sales may be explained by buyers moving to Ottawa to accept positions with the new government. There may have also been some pent up demand of people who chose to sit on the sidelines until after the election was over."

November's sales included 199 in the condominium property class, and 791 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 an Ottawa condominium, as well as properties which are co-operatives, life leases and timeshares. The residential property class includes all other residential properties.

"The condo market has picked back up over the past few months - a very positive change from the first half of the year, and now year-to-date condo sales have surpassed the numbers of units sold in 2014," says Oikle. "Inventory levels are balancing out, cumulative days on market increased to 104 days, and average residential sale prices remain steady. This is very typical of a market that's heading into the winter season."

The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in November in the Ottawa area was $380,761, a decrease of 0.4 per cent over November 2014. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $275,332, an increase of 9.9 per cent over November 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 remains in the $300,000 to $400,000 price range, followed very closely - behind by only 26 properties - the $200,000 to $300,000 range," says Oikle. "In addition to residential and condominium sales, OREB members assisted clients with renting 247 properties in November, and over 2,800 since the beginning of the year."

Development site near Canadian Tire Center

This is a site in Kanata on Huntmar, a few blocks from the Canadian Tire Center.

The site is approved for 60 stacked towns, 42 town homes, 104 apartment units and approximately 65,000 sqft of commercial space as well

There is a fourth component, a heritage farm house with commercial zoning perfect for housing a professional business or daycare.

Asking $8.4m
Total 14.6 acres

Site plan approved.
services to the site in coming few months
owners can offer terms

Each component can be developed separately.

There are 6000 units built in the area and a total of 30,000 units in the planning stages of development for the area.

The Canadian Tire Center is slated to host 200 events a year at 16,000 people per event, so a total of 3.2m people visit the area annually.

Price reduced - 5924 Hazeldean - development site

This site is between Kanata and Stittsville, on a corner lot, on the South side of Hazeldean.  It is close to all the new commercial, just West of this.

This property has a range of uses, but the current site plan is for 44 apartment style units and 9 commercial spaces (from 1993).  This would make a fantastic portfolio piece (for the buy, build and hold).  Down the street, Tartan built Java style products very successfully (one level flats with walk ups).

Large corner lot, land parcel is 1.23 acres, with 168.07 feet of frontage on Hazeldean

Asking - $1,250,000

Price reduced - 12 acres in Carp

New land opportunity

It is 12 acres (price is now $175,000 per acre).  There are another 23 acres in the back (total 35 acres), which are deemed environmentally sensitive.  The Seller feels that the boundary could be moved with further negotiation with the city.  Property backs onto larger homes in Carp on Hidden Lake Crescent and Snelgrove Drive.

Asking price is $175,000 per usable acre ($2.1m).

Single family homes in the area sell between low $500s and low $600s, according to this years sales data.  Semi-detached produce should sell mid $300s.

Seller has a design drawn up for 125 town houses.  Seller informs me there is an easement off Hidden Lake Crescent for utilities and possible street connection.

Update on Municipal land transfer tax ...

It gives me great pleasure today to inform you that this morning, Ted McMeekin, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, informed the legislature that the government will NOT give municipalities the ability to charge a municipal land transfer tax (MLTT).

Below is a copy of the Minister's statement:

Our government has a strong record of supporting Ontario's 444 municipalities. We believe it is important to have a good working relationship with our municipal partners to ensure that they are able to provide the services their communities need. This year alone, as a result of the combination of provincial uploads and other supports, Ontario's municipalities are receiving a combined benefit of more than $3.7 billion.

My job as Minister is to be a voice for our municipal partners. And that means listening carefully to our partners and stakeholders. That's why, following every municipal election, the province undertakes a regular review of the Municipal Act. We consulted with a wide range of stakeholders during the Municipal Act review period that ended on October 31.

While we are currently reviewing the feedback from our partners, it is clear is that there has been no call for a Municipal Land Transfer Tax. I was pleased to communicate our government's position today, that other than in Toronto, where the power already exists, our government will not be extending Municipal Land Transfer Tax powers to other Ontario municipalities.