7 Things You Should Know When Buying an Ottawa Home

15 12 2014

ottawa home buying 10If your number one Christmas wish this year is to purchase a new home on the Ottawa real estate market, then we are here to help!

Today, I’m going to tell you the top 7 things that you should know when buying a home in Ottawa.

These tips will ultimately safe you time, money and maybe even a little bit of heartache on the local housing market.

7 Tips for Buying an Ottawa Home

Don’t invest in a home if you don’t plan to stay long. The longer you can commit to staying in a home, the greater your chances are of getting a great profit on the property when you sell. After all, there are transaction costs associated with selling a home and so, it helps if your home is worth more when you sell it than when you bought it if you want to at least break even.

Start building your credit now. You’re likely going to need a mortgage when you buy a new home. So make sure your credit history is as good as possible. Also, a few months before you start looking for a home, you should consider getting copies of your credit report and making sure all the facts are correct. If you find an error, make sure you correct it immediately.

Be realistic about the home you can afford. Generally speaking, it’s reasonable to invest in a home that is about 2.5 times your annual salary. But it helps to use a mortgage calculator to narrow down exactly how much you’re comfortable spending each month on a mortgage.

Even if you can’t put 20 percent down, you may still qualify for a loan. There are a number of public and private lenders to choose from who offer low-interest mortgages that usually ask for only a small down payment.

Get professional help. Yes, it’s true that you can access home listings for yourself on the internet these days. But if you work with an experienced and qualified real estate agent, you have a better chance of finding a home that suits your needs for the long term – not to mention getting a home for a great price!

Get pre-approved before you start house hunting. That way, when you find a home you’re interested in purchasing, it will be one less step you have to take. Plus, home sellers like to negotiate with buyers who have been pre-approved because it means they are serious home buyers.

Hire a Home Inspector. Once you find a home you’re interested in, make sure you get the home inspected. This will let you know if there are any issues with the home that you can’t see with the naked eye. This will help you feel more confident about whether it’s a sound buy or not.

Helping You With All of Your Ottawa Home Selling Needs

For more valuable Ottawa home selling tips, make sure to contact us today. We would love to assist you by sharing our years of experience with you and also providing you with valuable home selling tools.

Until next time,

Geoff





8 Important Ottawa Home Buying Tips

15 10 2014

Ottawa Home Buying 1Are you an Ottawa home buyer who is currently trying to navigate the local housing market to find your next dream home?

If so, then you’re sure to find today’s real estate blog helpful! Today, we’re going to share with you 8 tips on how to effectively navigate the local housing market!

How to Get the Home of Your Dreams in Ottawa

Get Pre-Approved for Your Home Loan. This is different than getting pre-qualified. A pre-approval for a loan tells home sellers that you’re a serious candidate for purchasing their home, and they’ll likely be more eager to work with you. Plus, it’s one less step you have to take before you can buy the home of your dreams. But make sure you do your research: Learn about junk fees, processing fees or points and make sure there are no hidden costs associated with the loan.

Get a survey done on the property you want. This way you know exactly what you’re purchasing and you can avoid any border disputes with the neighbors. Plus, your property tax will be based on how much land you have so it’s good to have an accurate map drawn.

Don’t stress yourself out waiting for the perfect time to enter the market. It’s impossible to determine when is the absolute best time to buy a home. The best thing you can do is look at recent market trends and if they seem favorable to your needs, take a leap of faith and enter the market with the help of a qualified real estate agent.

Understand that bigger might not always be better. After all, the larger your home, the smaller audience of qualified and interested buyers down the road when it comes time to sell. Remember to buy a home that fits your needs and wants instead of just basing it on the biggest house in the neighborhood.

Beware of Sleeper Costs. This is the term used for the difference between renting and home ownership. A lot of people will only focus on their mortgage payments but residents also need to be aware of other expenses associated with owning a home, including property taxes, utilities and HOA dues. Remember that you’ll also need to be prepared to pay for repairs, maintenance and possible property tax increases. Make sure your budget reflects these hidden costs.

Understand that buying a home is a commitment and shouldn’t be decided by emotions alone. In other words, balance your emotions with your intellect and instincts. We understand that buying a home is an emotional experience but it’s also a major investment that needs careful thought. Move forward accordingly.

Get a home inspection. You want to make sure you know exactly what you’re buying before you sign on the dotted line. Thus, get a home inspection so that you know of any possible issues the home might have or anything else that you should be aware of as a buyer. It’s definitely better to know now than later.

Visit the Neighborhood at Various Times of Day. Drop by in the morning, drop by at night. Make sure you like the neighborhood at all times of day and that you feel comfortable there. Also, consider driving your normal commute from the home you want to buy so you get a feel for what that will be like. It’s important to fully vet what it’s going to be like to live in the house throughout the day and year.

Your Number 1 Ottawa Real Estate Experts!

Contact us for more valuable and straight-forward home buying tips. We are dedicated to giving you all the resources and facts you need to make educated decisions as home buyers on the housing market in Ottawa!





How to Ensure Your Ottawa Home Search Doesn’t End in Heartache

15 05 2014

Ottawa home buyingLet’s face it: home buying is quite an emotional process. After all, you’re not just buying brick and mortar – you’re investing in an entire lifestyle, future family memories and more.

Still, it’s important to take extra precautions to make sure you don’t end up getting your heart broken on the Ottawa real estate market.

So today, we’re going to tell you three strategies that you can employ to avoid heartache when buying a home.

How to Avoid Ottawa Home Buyer Heartache

First, understand out the gate your relationship with the seller. In other words, accept the fact that sometimes, you and the seller are going to have differing wants and needs. For instance, the seller may turn down your offer if the price is too low for what they are hoping for. Or they may refuse to throw in the chandelier you want because it has sentimental value to them. Sometimes they may flat out refuse your offer because there’s another buyer who’s willing to give them more. Understand that there may be some back and forth between you and the seller but that is all a part of the real estate negotiation process. You’ll be better off in the long run if you enter the market with this mindset.

Don’t lose sight of your main objective. Sometimes when touring properties, it’s easy to get caught up in the razzle dazzle of homes. For instance, the granite counter tops or the remodeled bathrooms, the outdoor pool or the wine cellar in the basement. And all these things are truly amazing. However, it’s important to not lose sight of your main needs for your new home. So if a home has all of these things but only has two bedrooms (and you need three), you would be better off moving along and continuing to search for the right home for you. Make sure the home you ultimately purchase has all the “need to haves.” Any “want to haves” that the home features is just added bonus.

Don’t fall too hard for one home. I know this is easier said than done but the fact of the matter is, it’s not a done deal until you’ve signed the last dotted line and left the lawyer’s office at closing. The real estate market can be very fluid and things can change rapidly. So when you find a home you really want to purchase, allow yourself to be excited about the possibilities but also keep in the back of your head that it’s not a done deal until it’s a done deal. That way, if the deal does fall through for whatever reason, you’ll be less heartbroken. Trust us, the right house WILL come along – but it may take some patience.

Helping You Purchase Your Next Ottawa Home

We hope you found today’s information valuable and insightful as a home buyer in Ottawa.

How can we further help you navigate the Ottawa real estate market as a buyer? Please contact us, your Ottawa real estate experts, for valuable insight and useful resources that will help you secure the home of your dreams in no time!





How to Know You’ve Set the Right List Price on Your Ottawa Home

15 01 2014

Ottawa home sellingOttawa Home List Prices

Determining the list price on your Ottawa home for sale may be one of the most critical decisions you can make as a home seller.

After all, this price may in fact determine how much success you have on the market. Set it too high, and you risk scaring away potential home buyers. But set it too low and you’ll lose out on your hard-earned equity.

Today, I’m going to tell you how to strike a balance between the two.

Ottawa Homes for Sale

Here are the positive benefits of setting the right list price on your home in Ottawa:

  • You sell your home quicker and with less effort on your part
  • Your home gets plenty of showings (read: exposure)
  • You sell your home before it starts to languish on the Ottawa real estate market.
  • Your sales price is almost the same as your asking price

To ensure that this is your experience on the market, you should take certain steps.

For instance, don’t overestimate the value of your home based on upgrades. While these are nice, they’re not adding as much value as you think. Also, don’t try to compensate for the original purchase price of your home by setting your list price too high.

In the end, you won’t recoup the losses. Instead, you’ll just make it harder for you as home seller.

Finally, don’t believe the idea that you need to give yourself some negotiation room. A well-priced home will sell on its own. You don’t need to over-anticipate what the buyer is going to do by calculating in some negotiation room.

Risks of Overpricing Your Home

If you overprice your home, you risk a number of things, including:

  • Missing buyers who are searching in your home’s price range because you’ve priced your home out of that bracket
  • Not receiving an offer on your in the first couple of weeks, which is a critical time period. This may result in your home languishing on the market.
  • Ultimately being forced to settle on a price reduction because your home still hasn’t sold. And trust us, a “Recently Reduced” alert is not nearly as alluring as a “New Listing” alert.
  • Helping your neighbors (ie, your competition) to sell their homes before you sell yours because your over-priced home makes their homes for sale look like a real bargain!

List Your Ottawa Home With Us!

Pricing your home right is definitely an art, not a science. That’s why it behooves you to work with an experienced Ottawa real estate expert like us.

So contact us today to discover how we can help you get the outcome you want on the local housing market as a seller.





How to Stage Your Ottawa Home This Holiday Season

10 12 2013

Ottawa home stagingOttawa Home Staging

Are you thinking about selling your home over the holiday season? If so, then you’re sure to find today’s Re/Max Ottawa real estate blog helpful!

Today, I’m going to tell you about how local home owners can properly stage their Ottawa homes for sale so that they attract plenty of interested and qualified buyers in Ottawa.

Staging Your Ottawa Property

First, when you’re staging your home over the holidays, you want to make sure that you give your home a thorough cleaning. You also want to make sure that you remove any excess clutter as these items can crowd rooms and make your home feel smaller to the home buyer, which is usually not a good thing.

That said, you may also want to seriously consider the size of your Christmas tree if you have one. While big trees are lovely, they also tend to dwarf rooms. Instead, opt for a smaller tree this year in homes that your ultimate Christmas present is that you’re able to sell your home!

Setting the Scene

Next, set the mood by setting out a few selectively placed holiday decorations. Although you don’t want to overdo it, you do want to get the buyer in the holiday spirit so that they start envisioning their own family waking up on Christmas morning in your home. So put a wreath on the door, hang some mistletoe and string some lights.

Don’t forget the other four senses! Hint at the holidays by putting out some cinnamon sticks or playing some soft Christmas music. You may even want to bake some cookies and set them out for the prospective home buyers to enjoy. It’s all about making the home buyer feel at home so that they’ll want to make your Ottawa home their own!

Encourage Feedback

Finally, encourage home buyer feedback by setting out comment cards near the door. This way, even if they don’t end up making an offer on your home, you’ll know what they liked and what they didn’t like about your home. This will make you better prepared for future home showings!

Selling Your Ottawa Home With Us

If you’re thinking about listing your home anytime soon on the Ottawa real estate market, please contact us, your dedicated Ottawa REALTORS®. As experienced Ottawa Re/Max professionals, we would love to help you with all of your home selling needs by offering valuable advice as well as providing you with useful home selling resources.

Until next time,

Bobbie





Using The Ottawa MLS

3 11 2013

ottawa familiy

Re/max Ottawa Realtors

Are you searching the Ottawa MLS for your perfect Ottawa community real estate? The search can be frustrating when you come across sites that won’t let you search without “signing up” for their newsletters, or creating an account that requires your contact information before you feel ready to commit to one Realtor or another.

NO Hassle Guarantee

That is why our expert Ottawa Realtors at Ottawa Real Estate don’t make you jump through hoops to learn the information you need. On http://www.ottawa-homes.com, you can search for homes, use our handy forms, and read our important home buying, home selling and relocation tips whenever you need. We understand that you may be just starting your inquiry to buying Ottawa homes, or perhaps you just aren’t quite ready to team with experts and we respect your privacy always.

Ottawa MLS Home Search

If you are not ready to team with the Bobbie and Geoff McGowan Expert Ottawa Realtors, then don’t worry! You can still use and access all of the invaluable information our website offers-including full use of the Ottawa Multiple Listing Service. Our Ottawa MLS search features allow you to find homes based on size, amenities, locations, and more! All from the comfort of your home or office, without having to sign up for any unwanted contact from our team.

Expert Ottawa Real Estate Agents

When you find a home you are interested in, or even decide on what Ottawa  neighbourhoods really call to you,  feel free to contact us anytime to learn more, set up a viewing, or even just go on a neigbourhood tour to view the amenities and area lifestyle.  We are here to assist you in making your lifestyle dreams of Ottawa home buying come true and we are here to represent your best interest throughout the entire process. When you team with expert Ottawa Realtors for your Ottawa home buying, you know that you will get the best advice and guidance through the whole process.  We want to be your Realtors for Life.

Until next time,

Geoff





Picking Ottawa Homes For Sale

2 11 2013

Remax Ottawa are proud to be your Ottawa real estate experts.  While we serve home sellers with our extensive marketing plans, navigate relocation, and negotiate short sales or foreclosures and investment property purchases, today we are going to touch on some tips for Ottawa home buyers. These simple tips can make your home buying process smoother, simpler, and even help you decide if now is the right time for you to be buying a home.

Things to Consider When Buying Ottawa Homes

1. Will you be staying in the area for a long time? This seems simple enough, but often first time home buyers in Ottawa are so excited to own their first property, that they sometimes jump the gun and buy a home before really being settled into an area. Before you buy, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is my job on a long term path? Do I see myself working in this same location for the next 3 or more years?
  • What kind of lifestyle do I want to be enjoying in 5 years? Do I really want to invest in a one bedroom condo, or do I want a multi-bedroom home? What are your life goals?

2. How is your credit score? Don’t be stuck buying something you don’t love, just because your credit is bad. Take the time to get your score up again. Before you start the house hunt, get copies of your credit scores, make sure they are correct, and take the time to improve everything you can. This will make a huge difference in the type of loans and rates you qualify for from the bank.

3.  Make sure you can REALLY afford your home. Sure, on paper, it may say that you can afford a$300,000 home, but what kind of lifestyle do you want to enjoy in your home? Think about these things:

  • You need to be able to afford any unplanned expenses (like a new roof or dish washer) as well as regular maintenance (like paint, wood stain, power washing and landscaping). You also want to be able to afford to feed yourself and have fun with life. Don’t put your entire paycheck into your home payment. Talk to one of our expert Realtors to get help on figuring your payments and rates.

4. Get that home inspection. Don’t skip this. We see so many first time home buyers consider saving the money and skipping it, because the home they love “looks great”, but a home inspector can find the things hidden beneath a home’s beauty that could end up costing you big (like mold in the walls, yikes!).

5. Get pre-approved before house hunting. There is nothing worse than falling in love with a home way out of your approved loan amount-it will taint your view on all other homes you look at and make you unhappy with the home you do buy or unable to consider the merits of other homes.

Ottawa ReMax

Are you ready  to start your Ottawa home buying adventure? Contact our expert Ottawa Realtors to ensure your home buying journey is smooth and professional. We will help you avoid all the bumps that can occur on the way to your dream home.

Until next time,

Bobbie