Advantages of Buying a House that Needs Work

There’s no doubt about it. Buying a home that is “move in ready” is a real convenience. All you need to do is get your belongings in place, and you’re ready to enjoy living in your new home. You don’t even need to paint. That’s why move-in-ready homes tend to attract more buyers.

However, there are advantages to buying a property that needs work. And, if you’re currently shopping for a new home, a listing that requires some repairs, upgrades, or renovations might be worth considering.


Properties that need work tend to be priced lower than comparable move-in-ready listings. Depending on market demand, the price savings can range from modest (just a few thousand dollars) to substantial.

Also, homes that need work tend to attract fewer buyers and offers, so there’s less competition.

Another advantage is the opportunity to get into a desirable area you otherwise might not have afforded. It might be worth the extra work you’d need to put into the home to live in your dream neighbourhood.

But, while there are advantages, there are also important caveats.

The first caveat is you must know the scope of work that is required before making any decision to purchase. How will you get the work done? How much will you need to budget for the improvements? Are you prepared for the realities of living in a property during renovations?

The second caveat is you must anticipate any issues that can’t be seen during a typical viewing. The last thing you want is to pay for a major repair you weren’t expecting. That’s why getting a professional home inspection as a condition of your offer is often a good idea.

There’s a lot to think about when you’re buying a “needs work” property. But, I can help you make an informed decision. Call today.


Moms are amazing, aren’t they? Who else would do your washing, cook you delicious Sunday dinners, pick you up every time you fall, be a constant shoulder to cry on and still fuss and worry about you long after you’ve grown up and left home?

In recent years our wonderful mums have taken to the blogosphere in their droves, to laugh, cry and share their hard-earned wisdom with their loyal followers. From humorous accounts of everyday family life to parenting tips and tricks, these blogs have created active online communities and brought people together from all walks of life.

With Mother’s Day just around the corner (Sunday May 14 – a little reminder for you!), we thought we’d celebrate by bringing you five ideas to celebrate you Mom.


1. Ottawa Tulip Festival

Get out and enjoy the outdoors this Mother's Day weekend  by welcoming spring at the world's largest tulip festival! This popular annual event features massive tulip displays, family fun and more.

May 12 - 23, the Canadian Tulip Festival celebrates the seasonal flower’s beauty and its historic ties to Canada’s capital. The outdoor event takes place at Commissioners Park, where over 300,000 tulips bloom alongside the Rideau Canal's picturesque Dows Lake. Access to the site and select programming is free!

Take photos and selfies amongst the dozens of multicoloured garden beds; The largest and most impressive tulip displays in Ottawa are at Commissioners Park, located near Dows Lake along the Rideau Canal. Stroll along a one-kilometre (over half a mile) pathway that winds through large garden beds filled with over 300,000 multicoloured blooms. Each year, dozens of varieties of early, mid-season and late-blooming tulips are planted for maximum tulip enjoyment. Frame your shots to include some of the gorgeous mature trees that pepper the green space. During the annual Canadian Tulip Festival, the park also hosts special programming including workshops, guided tours and a pretty boutique. Visit the heritage display to learn about the historic gift of tulips which led to the festival’s creation; shop for fresh cut flowers, crafts, art and more at the tulip boutique.

2. Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea in Laurier Room

Celebrate Mother’s day with Afternoon Tea served in the Laurier room of the Fairmont Chateau Laurier.

Enjoy a classic afternoon tea service featuring a selection of delicious desserts, savoury sandwiches, and our famous 1912 recipe scones.

Live music will be played to enhance your experience.

More Information Here

3. Music For Mom - Mother's Day Brunch

Russell Rocks presents Music for Mom Mother's Day Brunch event. Live music, great food, kids' table and much more. Proceeds go to Russell Rocks Community Sound Stage project.

More Information Here

4. Dance Until Midnight - Nature Nocturne

Experience the Canadian Museum of Nature in a new light while DJs fill the castle with awesome sound! Meet artists throughout the galleries. Discover four floors of world-class museum exhibitions. Thought-provoking, interactive, immersive, social—an exciting and different kind of museum experience!

More Information Here

5. Shop Until You Drop - 613flea

The not-for-profit 613flea is a humongous once-a-month marketplace held in the historic Aberdeen Pavilion at Lansdowne Park in Ottawa. The free-to-attend event features an exciting (and ever-changing!) lineup of over 140 vendors who offer eclectic goods, hand-made treasures, vintage finds and one-of-a-kind. Makers and bakers, artists and artisans, antiques and vintage clothing, records and comics, plus great food too!

More Information Here


Environmentally - Friendly Ways to Dispose of Items

When you’re preparing your home for a sale, you should declutter as much as possible. That makes your property appear neater and more spacious to buyers.

However, that doesn’t mean you have to toss items in the trash or haul them to a landfill site. There are many other, more environmentally-friendly ways to dispose of unwanted items.

One popular technique is to sell them online. Even if you think an old chair isn’t worth much, as the saying goes, “One person’s junk is another’s treasure.”

There are several websites for selling items quickly, including Facebook Marketplace. In fact, you can list items today and potentially sell them this week. Just be sure to set prices low, as people tend to look for deals on these sites.

You can also give away items. Post items you’re willing to part with for free on your community’s Facebook page. You can also pin a poster to an announcements board in your neighbourhood.

Donating items is also an option. There are many charities that accept items such as clothes, furnishings, tools, kitchenware, and sports equipment. Google “Where to donate items” and then add the name of your area.

Finally, an old-fashioned garage or yard sale can be effective. Place signs throughout your neighbourhood announcing the sale. Start your sale early. Many hardcore garage sale lovers will be there as soon as you open, even if that’s 7am!

Want more advice on how to prepare your home for sale? Call us!


Selling Quickly without Compromising on Price

There are many reasons homeowners may need to sell their property — fast. Work relocations, changes in family makeup, and financial needs are among the most common.

If you find yourself in a position where you need to sell quickly, you don’t necessarily have to go to market with a temptingly low price. Here are some other ways to accelerate the sale of your home:

1. Make your property as move-in ready as possible. Get any needed repairs done. Ensure everything is tidy.

2. Hire the help you need. Getting a professional to do some or all of the prep work, will save you time. And, the cost may be offset by a boost to your home’s sale-value.

3. Use the latest staging techniques to make your home look great to buyers. Staging is proven to help sell a property faster.

4. Remove as many impediments to a quick salas possible. Consider offers with conditions. Be flexible when it comes to a buyer’s need for aparticular closing date.

5. Accommodate as many viewing appointments as possible in the early days of the listing. They may be inconvenient, but the more buyers see your property, the more likely you are to get a quick offer.

6. Make sure your home is marketed in a way that attracts qualified buyers, quickly. These are just some of the many ways to list and sell your property, faster, while still getting a good price.

There are other techniques that can be employed, depending on your listing and market conditions.

Want to learn more? Call us!


Signs of Spring Surge Sprouting!

As evidenced by a recent climb in freehold prices in March from February 2023, Ottawa’s resale market is stabilizing along with the interest rates. As condos remain steady due to their lower price point, there is more affordability based on the current interest rate structure. This is something that buyers should definitely be aware of. As for sellers, it is important to know that well-priced and well-prepared homes are selling and with the average days on market decreasing from previous months, buyers are no longer sitting on the sidelines and are actively looking to make those purchases.

We as experienced Realtors® have up-to-the-minute statistics to ensure our sellers are positioning themselves at the current market value based on recent sales and hyper-local market comparisons. Contact us today to get a personalized local market comparison.

Contact us today to get a personalized local market comparison.


Revisiting Previously Unaffordable Neighbourhoods

Imagine you’d been keeping your eye on a desirable neighbourhood over the years. You had hoped that one day you could buy a home there. But, then you saw prices creeping up — to a point where they became unaffordable.

“Oh well,” you’d thought. “I guess we won’t be moving there!”

That scenario is familiar to many homeowners. In fact, you too may have been keeping your eye on a neighbourhood you’d love to get into but have decided it’s become too expensive.

If that’s so, it might be worth taking a second look.

The real estate market changes. One year an area might be a red-hot seller’s market with prices soaring. The next year, things may have cooled, and prices stabilized.

That means the desirable neighbourhood you’ve been coveting might, today, be more affordable than you think. Prices might have become more reasonable. There might be more inventory (more homes for sale), giving you, the buyer, a competitive edge.

And, don’t forget that your own property may have gone up in value, perhaps considerably. That means the money you make from selling your home may make buying in the desirable neighbourhood doable.

It’s something to think about!

So, if you’re dreaming of getting into a particular neighbourhood, don’t make assumptions about affordability. At least, not yet. Find out the current state of the market. You might be delighted to learn that the “un” has been dropped from the previously unaffordable for that area!

Want to learn more? Call today.


Fix it? Or leave it

When preparing your property for sale, you want to make it as attractive as possible to buyers. After all, the more buyers like what they see, the higher the probability you’ll get good offers.

That’s why it’s advisable to clean, declutter, decorate, fix, and improve as much as possible.

But, how far should you go with fixing and improving? For example, should you tear down the old deck and build a new one? Or, should you leave it as is?

Should you paint the main floor? Or is it okay to leave the faded finish and few wall dents just as they are?

Those can be difficult questions to answer because many factors come into play.

  • What is the traditional return on investment for that home improvement? (In other words, how much will you get back when you sell?)
  • To what degree will the fix or improvement help sell your home faster and/or for a higher price?
  • If you don’t make the fix or improvement, will those deficiencies be likely to dissuade buyers who would otherwise be interested in buying your property?
  • What are the current market conditions? Are there other listings in the area competing with yours?
  • How much will the fix or improvement cost? Is it affordable, given the benefits of having a listing that’s more attractive and move-in ready?

Once you have answers to those questions, you’ll have a clearer idea of whether to fix it or leave it as is.

We can help you get those answers. Call today.


Resale market stabilizes in February with a glimmer of hold for Buyers & Sellers alike!

We continue to see a decrease in transactions and prices when we compare the current market to that of the 2022 market - the height of the pandemic resale market activity. However, the real estate market is sitting at 2.5 months of inventory for the condominium-class & 2.8 months of inventory for the freehold-class in comparison to the 0.7 we saw in February of 2022 which is good news for buyers.

The days on market continue to decrease and paired with the fewer number of new listings entering the market is good news for sellers. Should this pattern continue and we do not see an increase in inventory, we could see the current balanced market swing back into the seller’s market.

With the constant changes in the market, navigating your real estate decisions can feel overwhelming. Contact Us Today! We are able to keep you up to date with customs comparisons & keeping an eye on the competition for you.


Canada’s capital is a March Break mecca with its many cultural institutions, outdoor activities and indoor attractions. And since Ottawa shares a provincial border with Gatineau, Québec, much of the special programming is offered during both the Québec March Break (scheduled during different weeks) and the Ontario March Break (March 13-17, 2023). So gather the kids and come experience some of the fun activities below for an epic March Break in Ottawa!

Get Active

Maple Syrup Fun

Maple taffy on snow, horse drawn sleigh rides, yummy pancake breakfasts or brunch – what’s not to love about maple season? Several sugar bushes and other sites located throughout the Ottawa region offer tasty options during the maple season from late February to early April.


Downhill ski/snowboard camps

The Ottawa-Gatineau region has several downhill skiing and snowboarding centres within a short driving distance of the city—the closest is a 15-minute drive from Parliament Hill! Hit the hills for a few hours with the family, or sign up for special programming over the school breaks, including multi-day camps, as well as private and group lessons for different ages and levels.


Altitude Gym

If your family is “climbing the walls”, take them to one of Altitude Gym’s two locations: Gatineau or Kanata. These climbing centres offer international-level facilities for the entire family, no matter the skill level. Choose from rock climbing, bouldering, auto-belay climbing, plus special Clip ‘N Climb and Ninja Warriors activities.


Located just minutes west of downtown Ottawa, Funhaven offers a world-class laser tag arena, the latest high-tech mini-bowling lanes, an indoor roller coaster, bumper cars, an arcade and prize games, simulators and a huge jungle gym. The little ones are sure to be entertained!


Par-tee Putt

Pretend it’s summer and play a round of indoor mini-golf at Par-Tee Putt in Little Italy! This unique spot has 18 quirky-themed and interactive holes, plus delicious food and drink from the Prescott restaurant which is located above. All ages are welcome until 8:00pm.

Escape rooms

Bond as a family by getting locked up and working together to escape! Escape attractions throughout the city like Escape ManorEscape Manor Junior and Jigsaw Escape Rooms have options for all ages.


Consider attempting the world’s largest escape room—Escape the Diefenbunker. Located inside Canada’s Cold War Museum, this multi-award winning experience takes place in the underground bunker and is 25,000 square feet!

Get Entertained

Seven national museums

You could spend all week exploring seven of Canada’s nine national museums, and many other cultural attractions located in the Ottawa region. Choose from the Canadian Museum of History, the Canadian War Museum, The Canadian Museum of NatureCanada Agriculture and Food Museum, the National Gallery of Canada and the Canada Science and Technology Museum.

The Canadian Museum of Nature is even hosting hands-on activities during March Break from March 4-19. Kids get to make their own paw print using modelling clay, partake in a scavenger hunt through the various galleries and play games.


Cobblestone Tours

See Ottawa like never before! Embark on a tour with Cobblestone Tours. Starting in the ByWard Market, you’ll see all of the important Ottawa sights and have a bilingual guide teach you more about them. Choose between the hour and 10 minute round trip tour, or the hop on-hop off one day pass.


The National Arts Centre in downtown Ottawa presents a variety of live programming including the Broadway musical Disney’s Aladdin (March 21-26). Head just west of downtown to the Canadian Tire Centre to see Disney On Ice Presents Find Your Hero (March 9-12).

Urban exploration

Join a cloaked guide for the Original Haunted Walk of Ottawa tour to hear spooky stories and fascinating history about downtown Ottawa. Or choose a self-guided experience to explore the region’s cool urban art, outdoor gems and even Christmas movie filming locations. You can also visit beautiful indoor and outdoor places to photograph that will awe the entire family, such as a castle-like hotel, a tropical greenhouse, waterfalls and other beautiful sights.

Pro hockey

There are two ways to see live ice hockey in Ottawa, and multiple games to choose from during the Ontario March Break! See the Ottawa Senators play a National Hockey League (NHL) game at the Canadian Tire Centre, or see young stars from the Ottawa 67’s play in the junior-level Ontario Hockey League (OHL) at TD Place at Lansdowne, in the Glebe neighbourhood near downtown.


Get Wild

Omega Park

Omega Park, located in Montebello, Québec – just a 45-minute drive from downtown Ottawa – is a large wildlife park that immerses visitors in Canadian wildlife and First Nations’ history. You can take a Canadian safari any time of year through the natural habitat of animals like deer, elk, bison, caribou and wolves. The park also has walking trails and a variety of special programming.


Little Ray’s Nature Centre

Enjoy a hands-on and educational experience through encounters with bats, pythons, alligators, cobras, birds of prey and more at Little Ray’s Nature Centre. Private tours and even sloth encounters are available!


March Break Camps

Do your kids love getting crafty? Send them to an art camp this March Break! The ACE Arte Studio will be holding a Kids Art Camp from March 13-17 for kids ages 5-12. All supplies are included and your kids will get to display their creations from the week at the art show held on the last day of the camp.

Both the downtown Ottawa and Orleans locations of the Ottawa School of Art will be hosting March Break Camps for ages 7-17 with a variety of mediums. Keep your kids creative this March Break!

Get Fed

Alice Village Café

Just an hour’s drive from Ottawa, you’ll find Carp, a quaint town with fun things to do for the whole family. Check out Alice’s Village Café for good food, good coffee and good drinks. With many options for kid’s, including poutine, grilled cheese, pizza and more, you’ll want to keep bringing the family back to this spot.

The Carp Custom Creamery

Homemade ice cream produced in-house daily? Find that and more at the one and only Carp Custom Creamery. There are also gluten-free and vegan-friendly options. Grab a scoop of one of 16 different flavours. Want some for later? Grab a 1L tub of one of their 40+ available flavours.


Showcasing the Unique Features of your Property

Imagine you’re at the grocery store shopping for oranges. Two brands are available: the “Amazing Orange” and the “Super Orange.” Which would you choose to buy?

Chances are, you wouldn’t decide based on their similarities. For example, since both oranges contain vitamin C, using that as a buying criteria wouldn’t help you choose between them. Instead, you would probably look for differences. What does one brand have that the other does not? Maybe one is less expensive, organically farmed, or is seedless!

When people make buying decisions, they often look for differences.

So, if you’re thinking of selling your property, highlighting its unique and desirable features — its differences from comparable homes — is crucial.

How do you do that?

The first step is to make a list of those special features you want buyers to notice. Those might include a new and spacious deck, extra high ceilings, a finished basement, move-in readiness, and other characteristics.

Next, you want to make sure those features are emphasized in marketing materials and when staging your home.

There are many ways to emphasize features through staging. For example, if the deck is a desirable feature, ensure it’s well-lit in the evenings (for after-dusk viewings.) Also, make it easy to see when buyers are in your home, by having the curtains pulled back. You may be able to explore other ways to ensure buyers notice and appreciate the deck too.

Differences make a difference! Show them off when selling.


Know the Local Market when You Sell

Are you thinking of selling your home this year? If so, you might be paying extra attention to housing market news covered by the regional and national media.

While that news can be helpful information, it can sometimes say little about what’s happening in your particular neighbourhood. In fact, it’s possible for there to be a balanced market nationally or regionally, while at the same time your street may be experiencing a hot seller’s market!

That’s why it’s important to understand what’s happening in your local “micro” housing market when you’re selling your home.

  • What do you need to know about your local real estate scene? Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
  • Is our neighbourhood a seller’s, buyer’s, or balanced market right now?
  • If we list our home this month, will there be any competing listings in our area? If so, how many?
  • How long is the average listing in our area taking to sell? A week? A month?
  • How much are properties like ours in the neighbourhood selling for?
  • How desirable is our neighbourhood? How many buyers are actively looking to move here? Are there currently buyers eager to purchase a home like ours?
  • What are the demographics of buyers looking to buy in our neighbourhood?
  • How important is it to fix up and stage my home if I decide to sell?

Getting these local insights will be far more helpful than the national news when you put your property on the market. So, find out what’s happening right here, in your neighbourhood.

How do you do that? Call me today.

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.