Whether seeking solace, activity, schools, churches, or green space, every homebuyer looks for a different combination of attributes in a new community. Choosing a neighborhood that suits your needs and wants is one of the most important decisions you’ll make in the home-buying process; your choice of environment will affect the way you experience your new home. This is a very personal decision, influenced by countless unique factors coloring your own lives, but you should always keep the following in mind:

 

  1. If you’re considering buying a home in a community that is unfamiliar to you, get to know its layout, offerings, and ambiance. Take some time to walk or drive through the neighborhood, both during the day and at night, familiarizing yourself with the sights, sounds, and smells.
  2. What amenities does the neighborhood have to offer? Is public transportation readily accessible? Are there schools, churches, parks, or grocery stores within reach? Consider visiting schools in the area if you have children.
  3. What is the nature of the job market in the area? Keep in mind that if area employers are producing more jobs, you can expect property values to increase, especially if the jobs offered fall within a higher salary bracket.
  4. Speak with the neighbors. Ask questions. They can offer you a wealth of information, from an inside perspective.
  5. How will you be affected by a new commute to work? Drive the route between the new neighborhood and your office during the appropriate times to gauge the volume of traffic you could expect to encounter, and the amount of time you’d need to put aside for daily travel.
  6. Contact local land-use and zoning officials to determine existing development plans or potential for development in the area. A strong agenda for neighborhood planning and local zoning will increase the value and draw of a neighborhood. Keep in mind that any large, tree-covered area may be a target for future development in popular communities.
  7. Determine whether financial resources have been put in place to support infrastructure projects in the area. These construction projects might include building, replacing, or improving anything from schools to roads, and are usually part of a city or town’s long-term plan. While disruptive, construction could also be a benefit to your experience of a community, influencing the long-term value of the area.

 

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You Buy The asking prices of most homes on the market indicate the current state of the market, and usually mirror the prices for which other similar homes in the area have recently sold. In deciding upon a selling price, a home-seller must establish a balance between the desire to draw the highest offer and finding a price that will be reasonable enough to attract an appropriate pool of prospects, and competitive offers. While most selling agents counsel their clients to consider this equation when pricing their home, keep in mind that some homes are not properly priced.

 

It’s important to educate yourself about the current market before approaching the purchase of a home. The market will always influence a property’s value, regardless of the state of a home, or its desirability. Here are the types of market conditions and how they may affect you:

 

1. Seller’s Market:

A seller’s market is considered a “hot” market. This type of market is created when demand is greater than supply—that is, when the number of buyers exceeds the number of homes on the market. As a result, these homes usually sell very quickly, and there are often multiple offers. As a buyer, you need to consider that many homes will sell above the asking price; in other words, you may have less room to negotiate, and may encounter competing offers. Though most buyers want to get a home for the lowest price possible, reducing your offer could mean opening the door for another buyer instead.

 

2. Buyer’s Market:

A buyer’s market is a slower market. This type of market occurs when supply is greater than demand, the number of homes exceeding the number of buyers. Properties are more likely to stay on the market for a longer period of time. Fewer offers will come in, and with less frequency. Prices may even decline during this period. As a buyer, you will have more selection and flexibility in terms of negotiating toward a lower price. Even if your initial offered price is too low, the seller will be more likely to come back with a counter-offer, so you can begin the process of negotiation.

 

3. Balanced Market:

In a balanced market, supply equals demand, the number of homes on the market roughly equal to the number of buyers. When a market is balanced there aren’t any concrete rules guiding whether you should make an offer at the higher end of your range, or the lower end. Prices will be stable, and homes will sell within a reasonable period of time. You will have a decent number of homes to choose from, and may encounter some competition for offers on the home of your choice, or none at all. Before you make an offer to purchase a home, establish whether the current market is a Buyer’s, Seller’s, or Balanced market. Also, evaluate the price similar properties have sold for in the area, and the length of time these properties spent on the market. Determine how the home you’re considering compares to these other sales. Is this one over-priced, under-priced, or a fair price? By establishing this information prior to making an offer, you will be in a position to negotiate the best price for the home and be prepared for any additional opportunities that may come your way.

 

Keep in mind, a realtor is trained to provide clients with this information about the market, helping you make the most informed decision possible. The right realtor will guide you through the ups and downs of the market and keep you up-to-date with the types of changes you might expect. These realtor resources and connections will prove to be invaluable as you navigate the real estate market.

 

The other main factors that affect market value are:

 

1. Location:

The proximity of the home to amenities, such as schools, parks, public transportation, and stores will affect its status on the market. Also, the quality of neighbourhood planning, and future plans for development and zoning will influence a home’s current market value, as well as the ways in which it might change.

 

2. Property:

The age, size, layout, style, and quality of construction of the building will all affect a property’s market value, as well as the size, shape, seclusion and landscaping of the yard.

 

3. Condition of the Home:

This includes the general condition of the home’s main systems, such as the furnace, central air, electrical system, etc., as well as the appearance and condition of the fixtures, the floor plan of the house, and its first appearances.


4. Comparable Properties:

Examine the selling and asking prices of similar homes in the neighbourhood. Ask your Realtor to prepare you a general market analysis of the neighbourhood you’re interested in, so you can determine a range of value for a particular property. A market analysis will provide you with a market overview and give you a glimpse at what other similar properties have been selling for in that area.


5. Market Conditions/ Economy:

The market value of a home is additionally affected by the number of homes currently on the market, the number of people looking to buy property, current mortgage rates, and the condition of the national and local economy.

 

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Finding a real estate agent who is right for you requires doing a little homework, and asking the right questions. Choosing an agent is a decision that could ultimately cost or save you thousands of dollars. Keep in mind the individual you choose will be handling almost every maneuver in the biggest financial investment of your life. Experience, interests, and expertise vary from agent to agent, so you should be asking very specific questions in order to align your own needs with the abilities of an appropriate representative. Use the following list of questions as a guide to finding the agent that is right for you:

 

  1. How long have you been involved in residential real estate in this area? If the agent hasn’t been connected to the residential real estate market for several years, s/he will be out of touch with the cyclical nature of the current market. Your agent must be familiar with trends of the local market and have an eye for the ways in which it will change. This knowledge could mean the difference of thousands of dollars in the long-run.

 

  1. What is your marketing strategy for my home? A realtor should be able to lay out for you, in detail, a marketing plan to sell your home. Examine this plan carefully. How much money does the realtor allot to advertising? What type of media does s/he use? S/he should be able to demonstrate the effectiveness of one form of media over another, explaining why his/her particular marketing strategy will sell your home faster and for top dollar. The realtor should employ current, innovative marketing techniques that indicate creativity and a willingness to market outside of the box. Stay away from realtors who rely on traditional, dated forms of advertising. They simply won’t work in the current real estate market.

 

  1. How do you support a buyer throughout the process? A realtor should be able to indicate how s/he will support you through each step of the home-buying or selling process, offering you a unique system to suit your needs and goals. Also, ask if a specialist will be available at each level of the sale. Your realtor should always be on hand to answer questions, but the specific resources of an expert can be invaluable during different stages of the process.

 

  1. What other properties has your company sold in my area? The realtor should be able to provide you with a complete, detailed listing of their own sales in your area, as well as other comparable sales. You should get a clear idea of what you might be able to expect both from the realtor and from the current market.

 

  1. What is your experience with financing options? How would you suggest I approach my own financing plan? Each buyer requires a different financing strategy. A realtor should be able to suggest a plan catered specifically to your financial background and needs. Don’t just depend on your lender for information and guidance on financing a new home. Let your agent lead the way.

 

  1. On average, how close is the selling price of your listings to their asking price, and how long do they take to sell? You can contact the Real Estate Board to obtain information on the selling record of an agent. The Board also has statistics on a broader scale, so you can see whether an agent’s selling performance is higher or lower than the board average, and whether s/he tends to sell faster or slower than the board average. Placing the realtor’s performance on a scale will help you get an idea of how much you might expect your home to sell for, and how long it might take to sell.

 

  1. What is your philosophy/method of negotiation and how will you apply it when selling my home? Your realtor should be able to articulate effective and informed negotiation tactics that demonstrate a commitment to securing the best price for you.

 

  1. Do you have a reference list of clients I could contact? Do some homework! Choose a few names on the list and call them. The stories of others who have gone through the home-selling process can be a valuable source of information.

 

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The perfect getaway

 

This property only a 75-minute drive from Ottawa and minutes to skiing, mountain biking and golf courses is perfectly situated on Lac Pemichangan. The property has 2 four-season cottages, a boathouse and car port/ storage buildings.

The main cottage has 4 bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms and laundry, large principal rooms, fieldstone fireplace, workshop/ storage room, outdoor hot tub, large screen in porch and a beautiful deck overlooking the water.

 

The second cottage, again 4 seasons is fully equipped with 1 large bedroom and a large loft, a full bathroom and a large screen in porch.

This beautiful property is situated on the south end in a quite bay and is a perfect getaway, you don’t want to miss out on this one.

For more information contact Brian Scott at (819) 467 2542 

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Budgeting for a new home can be tricky. Not only are there mortgage installments and the down payment to consider, there are a host of other- sometimes unexpected- expenses to add to the equation. The last thing you want is to be caught financially unprepared, blindsided by taxes and other hidden costs on closing day.

These expenses vary: some of them are one-time costs, while others will take the form of monthly or yearly installments. Some may not even apply to your particular case. But it’s best to educated yourself about all the possibilities, so you will be prepared for any situation, armed with the knowledge to budget accordingly for your move. Use the following list to determine which costs will apply to your situation prior to structuring your budget:

 

1. Purchase offer deposit.

 

2. Inspection by certified building inspector.

 

3. Appraisal fee:

Your lending institution may request an appraisal of the property. The cost of this appraisal is your responsibility.

 

4. Survey fee:

If the home you’re purchasing is a resale (as opposed to a newly built home), your lending institution may request an updated property survey. The cost of this survey will be your responsibility and will range from $700 to $1000.

 

5. Mortgage application at your lending institution.

 

6. 5% GST: this fee applies to newly built homes only, or existing homes that have recently undergone extensive renovations.

 

7. Legal fees:

A lawyer should be involved in every real estate transaction to review all paperwork. Experience and rates offered by lawyers range quite a bit, so shop around before you hire.

 

8  Homeowner’s insurance:

Your home will serve as security against your loan for your financial institution. You will be required to buy insurance in an amount equal to or greater than the mortgage loan

 

9.  Land transfer (purchase) tax:

This tax applies in any situation in which a property changes owners and can vary greatly.

 

10. Moving expenses

 

11. Service charges:

Any utilities you arrange for at your new home, such as cable or telephone, may come with an installation fee.

 

12. Interest adjustments

 

13. Renovation of new home:

In order to “make it their own,” many new homeowners like to paint or invest in other renovations prior to or upon moving in their new home. If this is your plan, budget accordingly.

 

14. Maintenance fees:

If you are moving to a new condominium, you will likely be charged a monthly condo fee, which covers the cost of common area maintenance.

 

       

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When preparing your property to show, work your way from the outside in. It is essential that your home possess a certain “drive-up appeal.” Remember, a potential buyer’s first impression of your house is formed while s/he is still sitting in the realtor’s car. So, first you need to view your house from this perspective. Go stand on the opposite curb and observe your property. Compare it to surrounding properties. Concentrate on the following three areas:

 

Landscaping:

How does your landscaping measure up compared to the rest of the neighbourhood? If you guess it would rate below-average, make a few adjustments. You might want to consider buying some bushes and planting them around the property. Do not buy trees, however—mature trees are expensive, so you will not see a return on your investment. And immature trees don’t tend to significantly improve the immediate appearance of your home.

 

If the problem with your yard isn’t a case of too little greenery, but rather too much, get out the pruning shears. The purpose of landscaping is to complement the home, not hide it. Overgrown shrubs should be sheared to a height near the bottom of the windows. Remove any ivy clinging to the side of the house. Tree limbs should be high enough that you’re able to walk beneath. Trim any branches that bar the way.

 

Your lawn should be freshly cut and watered, and an even colour. If there are brown spots, make sure you begin to remedy this well in advance of putting the house on the market. You may want to re-sod areas, and you need to make sure these spots are given enough time to grow, so they will match the existing lawn. Also, if you decide to use fertilizer, you’ll want to allow enough time for it to take effect. Rake up any leaves or grass cuttings.

 

Planting a few flowers is an easy way to add colour and vibrancy to your yard, enhancing the first impression of your home. Invest in a full flat of mature, colourful flowers, such as petunias or periwinkles, which last the length of the growing season. Do not buy bulbs or seeds—they won’t necessarily grow enough by the time you begin showing to achieve the desired effect. If you don’t have an area in which to plant flowers, consider purchasing a few flower pots for your porch and planting flowers or blooming plants.

 

If you have a pool, keep it sparkling and leaf-free.

 

House Exterior:

When you view your house from across the street, does it appear weathered or faded? If so, it’s probably time to treat it to a fresh coat of paint. This is usually a sound investment; new paint can do wonders to increase a home’s perceived value.

 

Stay away from unusual or loud colours. The new colour should fit in with surrounding houses, and complement the style and structure of your house.

 

Examine the roof closely. Old or leaking roofs should be replaced. If there are leaks, you’ll have to disclose this detail to the homebuyer anyway, and they will want it replaced. If there isn’t any apparent damage, however, wait for word from the home inspector before making repairs.

 

The Front Door and Porch:

The front door and surrounding area should look particularly fresh and welcoming, as this will be the buyer’s first up-close impression as they enter the house. If you paint nothing else, at least give the door a new coat. Replace the doorbell if it is broken and polish the door fixture until it gleams. Wash the mail box. Keep the porch swept and buy a new plush door mat. All of these little things will contribute to the overall effect of a well cared-for and welcoming home.

 

Ensure the lock works smoothly and the key fits properly. When a homebuyer visits your house, the Realtor will open the front door with a key. You don’t want the buyers’ first experience to be of waiting on the doorstep while the Realtor fumbles with the lock.


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Categories:   Ottawa Real Estate
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