Ottawa Real Estate

This page on Ottawa Real Estate is intended as a guide and it is important that it is read in conjunction with the pages on Buying A Home In Canada.

New Homes

With the new builds you can buy a "spec home" normally already built to a builder's standard floor plan. Or you can meet with the different New Home Builders and either choose the home you want from their selection of blueprints with different "upgrades" or have one designed for you.

Renate Penkett is a well reknowned Realtor who has a wide ranging network of professionals and is a relocation specialist for the Province of Ontario. She is a member of several Real Estate Associations and Boards and brings the following market update:

"June 6, 2008 : Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,900 residential units in May through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® system compared with 1,852 in May 2007, an increase of 2.6 per cent. There were 1,561 sales in April 2008

“Just when you think condos are going to drive the market forever, freehold properties make a comeback. We saw the most growth over last May in the 2-storey detached and 3-storey row unit categories, though apartment-style condos are holding steady,” said Board President Heather Skuce. “Prices are nudging upwards, but at a sustainable pace – in fact, Ottawa is Canada’s most affordable big-city housing market right now, according to the World Bank, so buyers and sellers can both feel confident about this market,” Skuce added.

The average price of residential properties, including condominiums, sold in May in the Ottawa area was $296,373, an increase of 7.4 per cent over May 2007. The Board cautions that average 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 price is calculated based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold."

To contact Renate to find out more about her exceptional service for both buyers/sellers or anyone relocating into Ontario just Click Here There are a multitude of builders in the area and it is definitely worth teaming up with one of the reputable firms. For the Ultimate information tool for homebuyers, homeowners and builders the New Home Reviews is an independant website that provides all the information on new home builders.

A reputable builder may be slightly more expensive, but will be worth it in the long run. This is especially true when it comes to warranty work and attracting competent tradesmen to complete the project on time.

With a new home you will receive a minimum 1 year and 2 year workmanship and defects warranty and a 7 year major structural defects New Home Warranty. The builder should schedule a series of inspections throughout their warranty period to deal with any issues and should also respond to urgent problems (loss of heat in winter, dangerous faults etc.).

In most cases you will be able to use the builder's lawyer free of charge to close the transaction but in the event of legal issues they will represent the builder and you will have to find your own. The mortgage provider will require a home inspection which is normally a paperwork exercise with a fee attached! New Build homes will attract GST of 6%, up to 3% should be rebated directly to you by the builder off the price and this will then be confirmed by Canada Revenue about 6 months after the sale. It's a very long winded way of doing it, but basically you will be charged GST at 3% on the sale - depending upon the value of the home you are buying. Ensure this is confirmed to you by either the builder or your realtor before any contracts are signed!

Depending upon the deal negotiated with the builder, be prepared for a lot of expense to landscape and fence the gardens, any basement development and all the "small" things add up like curtains and fittings. If you don't mind landscaping yourself or paying for it, the benefits of a new home are obvious. It is one less thing to worry about during your first few years of settling if the house is under warranty!

PreOwned Homes

Pre-owned housing is always a different prospect from the new builds and the decision to buy will hinge on the home inspection report which is a "must have". Most money lenders will require one before agreeing the mortgage and its essential for your peace of mind.

With most houses being wooden, some major maintenance could be required - most roofs last 10-15 years and pest infestation could have serious consequences for example. A Lawyer is essential for your legal protection and to ensure a smooth possession.

Some extremely creative financing is available to those who won't qualify for the full mortgage amount to purchase their own property. Because of these unique opportunities for financing your own home in Canada it is imperative that you take expert advice to ensure you know all of your options.

Some of the benefits of a pre-owned home are that it will normally be landscaped, could be developed in the basement and any teething problems should have been dealt with. There will be no GST applied to the house price which is quite a saving, though the price of the house will have been adjusted for the landscaping etc.

The most important benefit is that you may be able to take possession very promptly and could save you money on a rental property.

Renting In Ottawa

There isn't a huge supply of rental properties in Ottawa with the universities and politicians taking up quite a few! Most Home Rentals will range from about $1000.00 a month for an apartment to over $2000 for the more exclusive properties. Don't forget that you will have insurance responsibilities (as a minimum your contents) so make sure you understand what you are liable for and have the right coverage!!

It is important that you understand your Rights and Obligations as a renter before entering into any rental agreements. It is very important for your safety that the property is correctly maintained and any work carried out is in accordance with the local building codes. As a newcomer to Canada it will be worth using a property mangement company to find good accommodation.

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