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Frosty Delights & Family Fun: Ottawa's Ultimate Guide to the Family Day Weekend Extravaganza!

Embrace the winter wonderland vibes as we dive into a lineup of frosty festivities and hot happenings in Ottawa! From thrilling bed races to enchanting ice carving demonstrations, our capital city is bursting with cool and captivating events to make your winter weekends sizzle with excitement. Whether you're a sports enthusiast, a culture connoisseur, or just someone looking to spice up their weekends, join us as we unwrap the coolest experiences and hottest happenings in Ottawa this season. Bundle up, grab a hot beverage, and let's embark on a chilly adventure filled with unforgettable moments and winter magic

  1. Winterlude Over the Past Weekend
    Explore the Snowflake Kingdom, a vast winter playground featuring snow slides, a zipline (with paid options), snowboarding and downhill skiing introductions for kids, and an array of other engaging activities – all for free!
    When: Thursdays to Sundays, including Monday, Feb 19. From 9 am.

    Where: Parc Jacques Cartier, 350 Laurier St, Gatineau.

    Winterlude

  2. The Great Canadian Kilt Skate
    Participate in the 10th Annual Great Canadian Kilt Skate in Ottawa. No need to be Scottish or wear a kilt! A similar event will take place in Pembroke on Feb 17, 1-4 pm - free of charge.

    When: Sunday, Feb 18, from 1 pm to 3 pm.

    Where: Lansdowne Park skating court.

    The Great Canadian Kilt Skate

  3. Pibon Winter Festival (Winterlude Edition)

    Celebrate the Family Day Weekend with an Indigenous Makers Market, workshops (some paid), cultural performances, indigenous comfort foods, horse-drawn sleigh rides, and visits to the farm animals, including the Ojibwe Spirit horses.

    When: Saturday, Feb 17, to Monday, Feb 19, from 10 am to 5 pm.

    Where: Madahoki Farm, 4420 West Hunt Club Road.

    Mādahòkì Farm
Indigenous Experiences
Knock on Wood Communications + Events
Friday March 25, 2022

Photo by Ashley Fraser
  4. Accora Village Bed Race

    Enjoy a lively event for teams of all ages where participants decorate their beds and compete in a race. Prizes awarded for the best decorated bed, the fastest bed, and the best fundraisers.

    When: Saturday, Feb 17.

    Where: Dallhousie and York St. Byward Market.

    No photo description available.

  5. Maple Tree Tapping

    Museoparc Vanier invites families to learn about maple syrup production, offering short training sessions on tapping and forest orientation every hour (9 am, 10 am, and 11 am). Bring your snowshoes (optional) - free of charge.

    When: Saturday, Feb 17, from 9 am to 12 pm.

    Where: 320 des Pères Blancs Avenue.

    Maple sugar fans throng to Vanier Muséoparc's revived festival | Ottawa  Citizen

  6. Big Bang Festival

    Experience a unique festival of musical adventures for children and families, with most shows being free and some requiring a nominal fee starting from $5.

    When: Feb 17, 11 am-5:30 pm; Feb 18, 10:30 am-5 pm.

    Where: National Arts Centre, 1 Elgin St.

    BIG BANG Festival | National Arts Centre

  7. PWHL Ottawa vs Minnesota

    Cheer on Ottawa’s professional women's hockey team against Minnesota.

    When: Saturday, Feb 17, at 2 pm.

    Where: TD Place, 1015 Bank St.

    PWHL Minnesota vs. Ottawa | Xcel Energy Center

  8. Ottawa Chinese New Year Fair

    Celebrate the Chinese New Year with dragon dances, traditional handicraft exhibitions, artistic performances, interactive games, and Chinese cuisine - all free of charge.

    When: Sunday, Feb 18, 10 am-4 pm.

    Where: Horticulture Building, Lansdowne Park, Princess Patricia Way.

    RBC CCAO's Ottawa Chinese New Year Fair 加拿大皇家银行中华会馆渥太华春节大庙会Tickets, Sun, 18  Feb 2024 at 10:00 AM | Eventbrite

  9. 7th Annual Harbour Harvest

    Join a family ice fishing derby to raise funds for local charities. Enjoy two rounds of trophies and cash prizes at 11:30 am and 3:30 pm, along with a Pancake breakfast. Tickets: $13, $18, or $47 (family of 4). $20 (at the door).

    When: Saturday, Feb 17, 8 am-3:30 pm.

    Where: Nepean Sailing Club, 3259 Carling Ave, Nepean.

    Harbour Harvest

As we wrap up this frosty journey through Ottawa's winter wonderland, we wish you a Family Day long weekend filled with warmth, joy, and cherished moments with your loved ones. May the laughter echo, the smiles linger, and the winter magic continue to weave its spell on your family time. From thrilling adventures to heartwarming experiences, may this long weekend be a delightful chapter in your winter tale. Happy Family Day, and here's to creating memories that melt away the winter chill and leave you with nothing but warmth and love. Until our next adventure, stay cozy and enjoy every moment!

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Maximizing Your Home's Appeal: Small Changes for Big Returns

When it comes to selling your home, first impressions matter. Seemingly minor details that you may have overlooked can turn into significant turn-offs for potential buyers. To ensure a smooth and successful home sale, it's crucial to identify and address these issues before listing your property. In this blog post, we'll delve into a few examples of such turn-offs and provide practical solutions to enhance your home's appeal.

Outdated or Neglected Exterior:

The exterior of your home is the first thing potential buyers see. A tired-looking façade, chipping paint, or uninspired landscaping can negatively impact their initial impression. The solution? Invest in fresh paint, power washing, and landscaping. These relatively simple steps can breathe new life into your home's exterior, making it more attractive to buyers.

Old or Damaged Appliances:

Outdated or malfunctioning appliances are sure to catch the eye of prospective buyers. To address this, consider repairing and thoroughly cleaning your appliances. Alternatively, investing in new, energy-efficient models not only improves functionality but also becomes a selling point. A modern and well-maintained kitchen can significantly enhance the overall appeal of your home.

Unpleasant Odours:

Odours from pets, smoking, perfumes, or cooking can be off-putting to potential buyers. To tackle this issue, minimize scent-producing activities before viewing appointments. This can include avoiding cooking strong-smelling foods and keeping the home well-ventilated. A fresh and inviting scent can leave a positive impression on buyers.

Overly Personalized Interior:

Buyers want to envision themselves in their potential new home, not feel like they're intruding on someone else's space. To facilitate this, eliminate as many personal items as possible. While maintaining an attractive décor, strive for a neutral style that allows buyers to imagine the home as their own canvas.

Old or Poorly Maintained HVAC Equipment:

Buyers often inquire about the age and condition of essential systems such as furnaces, water heaters, and air conditioning units. Address potential concerns by having older equipment inspected by a professional. Providing documentation of the inspection can instill confidence in buyers and alleviate worries about future maintenance issues.

Investing time and resources in addressing these seemingly small issues can make a substantial difference in how quickly your home sells and the final selling price. By enhancing your home's curb appeal, ensuring functionality, and creating a neutral and welcoming atmosphere, you increase the likelihood of attracting motivated buyers who are eager to make your property their new home. Remember, the devil is in the details, and in real estate, those details can translate into a faster, more profitable sale.

So, roll up your sleeves, make those necessary improvements, and get ready to showcase your home in its best light. The right adjustments can turn your property into a buyer's dream, making it stand out in a competitive market.

Your journey to a successful home sale begins with these small yet impactful changes –  take the first step today!

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Ottawa Real Estate Sees 16.5% Surge in January Home Sales!

In January 2024, the Ottawa Real Estate Board reported a total of 629 homes sold through the MLS® System, marking a 16.5% increase compared to January 2023. Despite this positive trend, home sales were 10.7% below the five-year average and 3.9% below the 10-year average for the month.

OREB President Curtis Fillier noted that while there is increased showing activity, the market remains relatively quiet compared to pre-pandemic standards. Buyers are cautiously approaching the market, taking advantage of the slower pace to find their ideal property. Fillier advised sellers to adjust their expectations and carefully consider pricing and timing strategies with guidance from their REALTOR®.

Brandon Reay, OREB’s policy and external relations manager, emphasized the impact of low supply on market conditions. He advocated for meaningful policy changes, including streamlining processes at the Ontario Land Tribunal, eliminating exclusionary zoning, and permitting four units on residential lots to address the housing crisis.

On the pricing front, the MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) showed a 3.2% year-over-year gain in the overall composite benchmark price, reaching $621,600 in January 2024. Single-family homes saw a 3.7% increase to $703,500, while townhouse/row unit prices decreased by 2.1% to $462,200. The benchmark apartment price rose by 3.7% to $418,500. The average price of homes sold in January 2024 was $631,722, a 1.8% increase from the previous year.

The dollar volume of home sales in January 2024 amounted to $397.3 million, representing an 18.6% increase compared to the same month in 2023. OREB cautioned that while the average sale price is useful for tracking trends, it may not accurately reflect specific property values, which vary across neighborhoods.

Regarding inventory and new listings, there was a 7.3% increase in new residential listings in January 2024, totaling 1,271. Active residential listings at the end of the month numbered 1,961, reflecting a 4.5% increase from January 2023. Despite being 57.4% above the five-year average, active listings were 16.6% below the 10-year average for January. The months of inventory decreased from 3.5 in January 2023 to 3.1 in January 2024, indicating a measure of the time it would take to sell existing inventories at the current sales rate.

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Decoding High-Priced Home Listings: Are They Worth a Second Look?

Imagine scrolling through real estate listings and stumbling upon a dream home in a sought-after neighbourhood. Excitement builds, but there's a catch – the property is listed well above comparable sales in the area. Is it still worth considering? The answer may surprise you.

While a lofty price tag might initially raise eyebrows, there are various reasons why sellers choose to list their homes above market value. One possibility is that the property boasts unique and highly desirable features that justify a premium, such as a spacious backyard, a state-of-the-art kitchen, or a fully finished basement. In these cases, the extra cost might be justified by the added value these features bring to the table.

Another common reason for a high listing price is the seller's belief that aiming high will attract higher-priced offers. While this strategy doesn't always pan out, it highlights the subjective nature of home valuation. In such instances, the property is still worth a closer look, especially if it aligns with most or all of the criteria on your wish list.

The key lies in understanding why a home is priced the way it is. If additional features or amenities drive up the cost, and these align with your priorities, the premium might be justifiable. Perhaps the sprawling garden, the custom-designed kitchen, or the fully renovated bathroom are crucial elements that make the investment worthwhile for you.

On the flip side, what if the inflated price is artificial? If the seller has miscalculated the market or is overly optimistic, chances are the home will eventually sell close to its actual market value. In such cases, if you make an offer reflective of the real value, you might find yourself in a winning position.

The bottom line is that these seemingly overpriced listings are usually worth investigating further. It's essential to schedule that viewing appointment and delve deeper into the intricacies of the property. By doing so, you can assess whether the premium is justified by unique features or if it's a result of an optimistic seller.

Navigating high-priced listings requires a strategic approach. It's about evaluating the property beyond its price tag and understanding the nuances that contribute to its perceived value. So, if you come across a home that seems to break the bank, don't dismiss it outright – it might just be the home of your dreams, waiting to be uncovered.

Ready to explore homes that may surpass your expectations? Schedule those viewings with us, and let the journey to finding your dream home begin! Don't let a seemingly high price deter you; sometimes, the perfect home is just waiting for the right buyer to recognize its true value.

Let’s start your house hunting journey today!

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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.