Becoming a Home Maintenance Pro: Tips for Homeowner


Many homeowners don't think about home maintenance until something breaks, but that's not the best way to take care of your home. Whether you’re a new homeowner or have been settled for years, it’s never too late to cultivate some home maintenance habits. Here are three tips to help you protect your investment and keep your property in good shape for years to come:

Create and Follow a Home Maintenance Schedule
A good place to start is by following a home maintenance schedule. Just as your car needs to have an oil change, your home and yard will need some regular maintenance. Home maintenance schedule apps such as HomeZada and Centriq are an easy way to get yourself on track.

You'll need to mow your lawn, clean your gutters and perhaps even top your trees from time to time. For pest control, you may need to spray or have ground treatment performed a few times a year, too. When it comes to appliances, make sure to send in any warranties and follow the maintenance recommendations in your owner’s manual. For older appliances, many documents can be found online.

Don't be afraid to do some research and speak with professionals about maintenance specific to your location.

Have All of Your Home Systems Checked Regularly
It's important to get your electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems checked annually to keep them in good shape. Some of these tasks can be done yourself; for instance, you might need to clean your air filters, remove debris from the vents and flush out your water heater.

For more technical inspections, check customer reviews on Yelp, Google, Facebook, and the BBB when searching for a new company. Always go with one that is experienced, licensed, bonded and insured.

Follow a Cleaning Schedule
Home maintenance often focuses on repair work, but keeping your home clean can be just as important. In addition to once a week tasks such as vacuuming and dusting the shelves, deep cleaning every month or so can save you big in the long run. Moving furniture around, pulling out the washer and dryer to clean behind them and clearing out the garage gives you a chance to inspect for pest problems, water damage and similar issues that can quickly escalate into expensive repairs.

Being a homeowner is very rewarding on many levels, but homeownership comes with a great deal of responsibility. As long as you put in some effort on a regular basis, you should have no problem keeping your home in good repair.


Article by: Dixie Somers

Read full post

Another Stellar Year for Ottawa's Real Estate Market


Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 663 residential properties in December through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 765 in December 2017, a decrease of 13.3 percent. December’s sales included 471 in the residential property class, a drop of 15.7 percent from a year ago, and 192 in the condominium property class, a decrease of 6.8 percent from December 2017. Year to date activity increased by 2.4 percent from 2017.


The total number of residential and condo units sold throughout all of 2018 was 17,476, compared with 17,065 in 2017. Residential property class sales decreased slightly to 13,418 from 13,478 in 2017 and condominium property class sales were up 13.1 percent with 4,058 units sold in 2018 versus 3,587 in the previous year.


“For the last decade, we have experienced steady growth in our real estate market from volume to prices; however, the past two years have jumped significantly in activity with a 12.6% increase in unit sales from 2016. Ottawa and its surrounding area has excellent employment numbers and has proven to be one of the most affordable larger cities in the country,” proclaims Ralph Shaw, Ottawa Real Estate Board’s 2018 President.


“What has come to a head in 2018 is the overall shortage of inventory which is extreme in certain pockets of the city. While this has caused unit sales to slide in the residential market, it has fueled the condominium market which has recovered and carried us through much of 2018. We have been predicting this will bode well for new construction in delayed high-rise projects,” he adds.


“Another significant factor affecting the market in 2018, and first-time homebuyers, in particular, is the mortgage stress test – an attempt by the federal government to cool two major markets in the country. It has also unfortunately made move-up buyers less likely to take that step and free up entry-level options, which is an important part of the resale market,” Shaw points out.


The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in December in the Ottawa area was $453,011, an increase of 4.7 percent over December 2017. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $278,295, an increase of 9 percent from this month last year. Year-end figures show an average sale price of $446,661 for residential-class properties in 2018, a 5.1 percent increase from 2017 and $278,316 for condominium properties, up 3.2 percent from last year.*


“In 2019, we expect the economic fundamentals of supply and demand to be at play with upward pressure on prices due to limited supply and increasing demand. Buyers do have affordable options in outlying communities if they are willing to commute – or they will simply have to pay more provided they can qualify. New builds and purpose-built rental housing could help ease some of the pressure, particularly if builders are able to provide a variety of quality options allowing for more movement in the market,” Shaw concludes.


The $300,000 to $449,999 range continues to represent the most active price point in the residential market, accounting for nearly 45 percent of December’s sales while almost one in four sales were in the $500,000 to $750,000 price range. Between $175,000 to $274,999 remained the most prevalent price point in the condominium market, accounting for 55.7 percent of the units sold. Year-end figures echoed these dominating price points holding 45.6 percent of the residential market and 49.8 of the condo market respectively.


In addition to residential and condominium sales, OREB Members assisted clients with renting 2,713 properties since the beginning of the year down from 2,977 from this time last year.


* The Board cautions that the average sale price 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 calculation of the average sale price is based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold. Price and conditions will vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood.

Read full post
The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS®, and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are member’s of CREA. The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by CREA and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.