5 Great Staging Tips to Make Your Ottawa Home Appear Larger

15 05 2015

staged homeIf you’ve recently decided to list your home on the Ottawa real estate market, then you’ve come to the right housing market website!

Today, I’m going to tell you about how you can expertly stage your home to make it look bigger to potential home buyers.

And that’s not all. There are several more benefits to staging your home as well. For instance, staged homes also appear cleaner and more inviting and also usually get more money than unstaged homes.

So take to heart these suggestions! They could end up helping you turn a nice profit on your property in Ottawa.

Expert Staging Tips for Your Ottawa Home

Emphasize views. Generally speaking, buyers initial impression of a property can rest in their impression of the very first room they see. So make sure that you make the most out of their first impression by making sure that they can see the great outdoors from various rooms in the house. This will give your home a more inviting feel and will also let plenty of light in.

Declutter your home. We can’t say it enough: If you want your home to give the best impression possible, then you need to declutter your home. By doing so, you help the buyer appreciate your home for what it really is instead of getting sidetracked by all the clutter.

Neutralize the space. In other words, while you might have very particular tastes, you want to make sure that your home appeals to the masses. So generally speaking, go for neutral colors and nothing too outlandish as far as interior design items. This may turn off buyers so you will want to avoid them.

Make your home easy to navigate. Improve traffic flow throughout your home by making sure there’s a clear pathway within rooms as well as from one room to the next. This may entail removing oversize furniture that probably wasn’t appropriate in your home to begin with.

Highlight Impressive features. Whether it’s a gourmet kitchen or floor-to-ceiling windows, you want to make sure that your best features are put on display for buyers. So make sure all of the lights are on and that you set up vignettes where appropriate to help buyers visualize enjoying those features themselves. You might even consider leaving comment cards by the features, explaining what makes them so great.

We’re Your Dedicated Ottawa REALTORS

As you can see, a lot of these tips should cost little or nothing to you. And yet, they can make a world of difference when you’re trying to sell your home.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you sell your property in Ottawa. We’d be happy to help!

Geoff





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!





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





How To Pick Your Ottawa Realtor

1 10 2013

Find The Ottawa Realtor For You

Buying Ottawa real estate is one of the biggest and most important decisions of your life. Not only will it be a huge financial commitment, but potentially you are choosing the home and neighborhood you might spend the rest of your life enjoying.

The best way to make sure your big step goes smoothly is to select the right Ottawa real estate agent to fit your needs. While there are many Ottawa home buying agents out there, it is critical you find someone with whom you can communicate well and who will give their all to helping you buy-or sell-Ottawa real estate.

Find The Right Ottawa Realtor

Not only will your Ottawa real estate agent be guiding you to potential homes, they will also be assisting in guarding your legal interests when facing tough negotiations or confusing contracts, so while you want to choose someone you connect with, you also want to choose someone who is an expert in Ottawa real estate. One of the best things to do? Interview more than one specialist and then compare them to see who fit your needs the best. Below you will find my tips on how to choose the right REALTOR for you.

Ottawa Real Estate Experts

Here are my tips to guide you on your Ottawa home buying journey:

  • Identify at least three licensed real estate professionals.
  • Interview the real estate professionals you have identified. Having a conversation with the person is a good way to find out if your personalities and goals match. Ask them any and all questions you have; bring a list of your questions with you so you won’t forget anything. Most importantly-are they listening to your wants and needs?
  • Find out about their marketing connections/what they will be doing to find you the right home
  • Select a strong negotiator. Ask your Ottawa REALTOR whether he or she has ever been in a tough negotiation and how he or she negotiated a fair price.
  • Compare interview notes. Think about each agent, and decide which one is right for you. You should choose someone aggressive, but who doesn’t make you feel anxious or pressured.
  • Talk money. Usually the seller foots the bill for a real estate professional’s commission, but don’t assume this will be the case. Ask point-blank what your financial obligations are throughout the process. Your Ottawa real estate agent at Ottawa-Homes.ca has the knowledge and experience to provide you with a smooth, hassle-free transaction.
  • Before signing a contract, know that the term “Disclosed Dual Agent” often means that the real estate agency does not represent your interests 100 percent. Try using an agent like Ottawa-Homes.ca Buyers Agent Bobbie McGowan, to represent you.
  • Buyer agency agreements are common, but be careful. What if the Realtor doesn’t follow up with you? What if you don’t get along? What if the agent doesn’t understand your needs? Remember that a buyer agency agreement is negotiable, and you can help negotiate the specific terms.
  • Ask for references from your REALTOR. This shouldn’t be a big deal; it’s a last-step investigation that could confirm or reject your impression of the agent.
  • Find an Ottawa area real estate agent who is savvy about technology. Through the online tools available to agents these days, you can expect nearly immediate e-mails about new property listings and quick replies to your queries.

Contact Bobbie and Geoff McGowan, Your Expert Ottawa Realtors

Learn more about what our team of expert Ottawa Realtors will do for you, and you’ll quickly see why we are the experts at Ottawa home buying. Are you ready to search the Ottawa MLS for your dream home? Be sure to take advantage of the information, tips and free guides offered at Ottawa-Homes.ca.

Until next time,
Bobbie