Things To Know Before You Hire an Agent

by martelu 29. August 2016 16:06

The Martels have a vast amount of resources and information that we are more than happy to share with you to try and make your home buying, or selling process easier.  One of these free resources is the 10 Questions to Ask When Interviewing a Real Estate Representative report that we provide for free on our website.

If you're not sure that this report is for you, check out this excerpt below and see if you want to learn more.

 

1.    1 . What makes you different? Why should I list my home with you?


It's a much tougher real estate market than it was a decade ago. What unique marketing plans and programs does this agent have in place to make sure that your home stands out favourably versus other competing homes? What things does this agent offer you that others don't to help you sell your home in the least amount of time with the least amount of hassle and for the most amount of money?

 

2.   2. What is your company's track record and reputation in the market place?


You may be surprised to know that many agents sell fewer than 10 homes a year. This volume makes it difficult for them to do full impact marketing on your home, because they can't raise the money it takes to afford the advertising and special programs to give your home a high profile.

 

3.    3. What are your marketing plans for my home?


How much money does this agent spend in advertising the homes s/he lists versus the other agents you are interviewing? In what media (newspaper, magazine, TV etc.) does this agent advertise? What does s/he know about the effectiveness of one medium over the other?

 

The answers to these questions and others will give you a great amount of insight into what a particular agent can do for you as you try to sell or buy your home.  If you would like to see the rest of the questions, plus additional information and explanations about the questions I've just provided to you, you can request the report here.  You can also find many other reports related to buying and selling on our website.

 

 

Stay tune to get other valuable information about the Ottawa Real Estate Market!

 

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How To Protect Your Home While Away

by martelu 21. August 2016 14:28

With a steady increase of crimes in North America, home safety is a big issue these days. When leaving your home, practice the following advice- it could pay big dividends.

 

1) How to protect your home while away when going to the market or out to dinner.

 

A residence which presents a "lived-in" appearance is a deterrent to burglars. Never leave any notes or key hints that can inform a burglar that your house is unoccupied. Make sure all your doors and windows are properly secured before departing. Any empty garage will give a key hint of your absence, so always make sure the garage door is closed. When leaving for the evening, a great tip to keep in mind is to leave a light on, either at the entrance or hallway and the radio to create a noise appearance in the property. NEVER leave door keys under flower pots or doormats, inside an unlocked mailbox, over the doorway, or in any other obvious place.




 

2) How to protect your home while away when planning vacations or prolonged absence.

 

Discontinue milk, newspaper, and other deliveries by phone or in person ahead of time. Do not leave any notes! Arrange for lawn care and have someone remove advertising circulars and other debris regularly. Notify the post office to forward your mail or have a trust worthy friend or family member pick it up daily. Inform neighbours of your absence so they can keep alert for suspicious people on your property. Leave a key with someone trust worthy, so that they may inspect the property periodically. Upon your return, if you notice a window has been forced open or broken DO NOT ENTER. The criminal may still be inside, call the police immediately either from your cell phone or a neighbours house phone. Do not touch or clean up anything if a crime has occurred. Preserve the scene until police inspect for evidence.



 

3) How to protect your home while away always remember to:

a) Lock before you leave,

b) Trust a neighbour with a key,

c) Be a concerned neighbour- yourself,

d) Do not leave a spare key anywhere on your property.



 

 

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Ottawa Realtor

OTTAWA NEIGHBOURHOODS: ORLEANS

by martelu 11. July 2016 14:02

Orleans is a suburban community located in the east end of the Ottawa valley along the Ottawa River with an approx. population of 108,000 (in both the Cumberland and Gloucester areas of Orleans). It not only has easy access to the downtown core with an approx. 16 km commute, as well as a quick access towards the more rural areas of the city. This area has been increasingly growing, especially over the last decade, creating a more family oriented community with many amenities, shopping centers, recreational centers, and some of Ottawa’s finest schools.  We often find many local activities, networking events, and community events.  It has become one of the preferred areas of town to relocate, especially when raising a family. It is also one of the most bilingual areas of town.

 

 Recreational Complexes:

 

 

In Orleans you will find the Bob MacQuarrie Recreation Complex, which has a skating arena and sports activities. There is also the Ray Friel Recreational Complex, which houses the public library of Orleans, a high school, an indoor wave pool, exercising facilities, a physiotherapy clinic, a sports store, a restaurant, two soccer fields and three skating arenas making it one of the main centres for recreation in Orleans. Recently, in 2009, The Shenkman Arts Centre was built in order to provide a concert hall, black-box theatre, several art galleries as well as studio spaces for both visual and performing arts.

 

Nature Trails:

 

 

For the more nature oriented people, you will find several nature trails and paths throughout the area which leads into a beautiful waterfall near St-Joseph Boulevard. Also, since Orleans is located right along the Ottawa River, you do not need to go to far to access the beach at Petrie Island. Petrie Island is primarily parkland, with few homes allowing you to access nature within minutes of your home. You will also find a marina with canoes and kayak rentals for the more adventurists.

 

Make sure to follow our blog, as we will elaborate more on the Nature trails and recreational complexes located in the Orleans area.

 

Orleans Neighbourhoods:

 

Here are some of the smaller neighbourhoods which you will find within Orleans; Avalon, Bilberry Creek, Chapel Hill North, Chapel Hill South, Chateau Neuf, Chatelaine Village, Convent Glen, Convent Glen South,  Eastridge,  Fallingbrook, Notting Gate, Queenswood Heights, Orleans Village, Orleans Wood, Queenswood Village, and River Walk.

 

If you’re looking to relocate to a more family oriented neighbourhood, Contact Martels Real Estate at 613-742-5057 for more assistance.

 


We have been assisting buyers and sellers transact in real estate since 1986 and have consistently been in the top 1% in the entire Ottawa area year after year, due to our experience, knowledge, referred business and strong negotiation skills. We would be very happy to assist you in your search for a home in Ottawa. If you are interested and do not have a realtor yet, please provide us with phone numbers of where we can reach you or let us know what the best time to contact you on the numbers you have already provided is. One of our team members will contact you at the earliest to ask you a few more questions like what kind of investment would you like? What is the purpose of the purchase, live-in or rental? Do you want to buy an apartment and rent out to others? In your family, how many are you? What is the maximum price you would consider? Do you have a mortgage approval? When do you plan to move? Which areas of town are you considering? What closing date are you looking for? We will help you answer any and all other questions you may have. This would then put me or one of our partners in a better position to assist you with your search and your specific needs. Then, you will be registered in our home search program to receive any new daily updates of every new listing in Ottawa within your price range and your areas listed by ANY brokerage in town. We would much prefer to be able to email you all the homes that match your specific criteria and avoid missing out on the perfect one than sending you only this one. It would be easier for us to locate these deal once we know our client's needs.

 

 

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Ottawa Real Estate News

Selling Or Buying A Home This Holiday Season

by martelu 21. November 2015 13:20

The year end holiday season is a great time for gift giving, entertaining and general merriment. But what about buying or selling a home? Is it worth trying to do that in November and December?

 

1) Looking to Buy this Holiday Season?:

If your not picky about the home you intend to buy the answer might be yes. Sellers tend to avoid putting their house on the market towards the end of the year due to the short days, cold and snowy weather and conventional wisdom that says that potential buyers are occupied due to the holiday season soon approaching. Those who do choose to sell at the end of year are often under pressure and highly motivated to cut a deal.

 

Turns out buying at the end of the year is a smart way to shop. Determined house-hunters can take advantage of sellers urgency, save some money and have a new home for the holidays. 

 

2) Looking to Sell this Holiday Season?:

Although listing a home close to the holiday season isn't ideal in many cases, it can yield positive results if done properly. One advantage of selling your home in the months of November and December is that there's typically less competition. With fewer listings on the market this time of year, you can take advantage of more serious buyers.

The rules of staging a home leading up to the holidays change slightly as well. Prepare your property in such a way that buyers will feel warm and comfortable. Selectively decorate for the holidays, but do not go overboard as you want to appeal to all cultures. It goes without saying that pricing the home properly to reflect current market conditions will greatly contribute to the sale success.

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Easy Ways To Make Your Home Look & Feel Cozy This Fall Season

by martelu 7. November 2015 12:38

If you're looking to sell before the end of the year, consider giving your home a cozy and warm look. Potential buyers are more likely to be interested in a home that's well decorated, colorful and has a welcoming feeling. Buyers want to view themselves living in this home and what better way to do that then show them how easily your home can be transformed into a relaxing and peaceful haven. Here are some easy ways you can give your house a cozy & warm feeling:

 

1) Add a seating area in your bedroom

Adding seating to a bedroom gives it a lounge- like appeal that will tempting just about anyone to curl up with a book.

 

2) Try darker walls

Painting any room is an easy way to instantly make over a room without spending a fortune. Intensify the cozy factor by painting your room a dark color anything from charcoal grey to brown and try adding in some light accents for contrast. 

 

3) Try adding a nook

Create a comfy nook by pushing and old twin bed or sofa against the wall and covering it with pillows to lie on.

 

4) Don't be shy with you blankets

The display of decorative blankets give any home a cozy appeal. Try adding them on a stand, on your couch or end of your bed for a little added touch.

 

5) Light a fire

The smell of burning firewood, the natural heat source always brings a warm feeling to your hearts. If your home does not have a fireplace, scented candles will have the same effect and give your home a fantastic aroma.

 

 

6) Lay down rugs

Nobody likes to walk barefoot on a cold floor during the cold season. Try laying down decorative rugs in multiple rooms to keep everyone's feet warm while still adding to the decorative atmosphere of the room.

 

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How To Protect Your Home While Away

by martelu 3. November 2015 13:39

With a steady increase of crimes in North America, home safety is a big issue these days. When leaving your home, practice the following advice- it could pay big dividends.

 

1) How to protect your home while away when going to the market or out to diner.

A residence which presents a "lived-in" appearance is a deterrent to burglars. Never leave any notes or key hints that can inform a burglar that your house is unoccupied. Make sure all your doors and windows are properly secured before departing. Any empty garage will give a key hint of your absence, so always make sure the garage door is closed. When leaving for the evening, a great tip to keep in mind is to leave a light on, either at the entrance or hallway and the radio to create a noise appearance in the property. NEVER leave door keys under flower pots or doormats, inside an unlocked mailbox, over the doorway, or in any other obvious place.

 

 

2) How to protect your home while away when planning vacations or prolonged absence.

Discontinue milk, newspaper, and other deliveries by phone or in person ahead of time. Do not leave any notes! Arrange for lawn care and have someone remove advertising circulars and other debris regularly. Notify the post office to forward your mail or have a trust worthy friend or family member pick it up daily. Inform neighbours of your absence so they can keep alert for suspicious people on your property. Leave a key with someone trust worthy, so that they may inspect the property periodically. Upon your return, if you notice a window has been forced open or broken DO NOT ENTER. The criminal may still be inside, call the police immediately either from your cell phone or a neighbours house phone. Do not touch or clean up anything if a crime has occurred. Preserve the scene until police inspect for evidence.

 

 

3) How to protect your home while away always remember to:

a) Lock before you leave

b) Tust a neighbour with a key

c) Be a concerned neighbour- yourself

d) Do not leave a spare key anywhere on your property

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Challenges Young Families Face When Buying or Selling a Home

by martelu 26. October 2015 15:26

For a young couple looking to sell or buy a home can be a stressful situation. Add children into the mix and the potential for a meltdown is always there. Here a few tips to help you make this process a little smoother.

 

Seller Tips:

1) Parents looking to sell their home may come to the realization that cleaning up after small children can be quite the hassle, especially when agents are calling to schedule multiple showings of their property. It may be wise to start packing some toys at nighttime when children are asleep to avoid picking up a mess during the day. Most children will be very unhappy putting their toys away, so packing them while they are asleep will ease the process and keep your home clean.

 

2) Avoid being at home during a scheduled showing. If children are upset when leaving their home and toys for a showing, don't be afraid to be creative. Taking your children to a movie, light lunch or the park is always a fun option to get them out of the house while keeping them content.

 

3) Start packing early if possible. Many buyers are expecting homes on the market to reflect model homes, but the process of keeping it that way when you have little kids running around can be difficult. Involve the children in packing as a part of preparing the house for showings.

 

Buyer Tips:

1) Although viewing multiple houses in the same day may be convenient for you, but for small children it will not take long before they get upset, annoyed and restless. To avoid this, be sure to view no more than three homes a day if you are going to be accompanied by small children. If a minimum of three showings is not a possibility, keep in mind that children have a limit and breaks will be needed.

 

2) Try to involve children as much as you can in the process by asking them home related questions such as: "What color do you want your new room to be?" or " Would you like to live in this house?". Making the children apart of the process will help them ease into the idea of moving and help keep them calm while your evaluating the home. 

3) Keep multiple toys on hand to amuse the kids when attending a showing, whether it's an Ipad, small toys or a drawing book.

 

 

Whether your moving or looking to buy, kids should never be left out of the process. Although certain times may be more difficult then others,in the long run children will be more at ease when the big move comes around if they were involved from the beginning.

 

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Thinking About Selling Your Home This Halloween Season?

by martelu 8. October 2015 14:09

With Halloween just a few days away, home decorations, both outdoor and indoor proliferate through the new year. If your home is on the market, you can still bring out the decorations, but with some cautions. Curb appeal is the first step to entice buyers through the front door. First impressions alone can sell your home. Little goblins and ghosts are accompanied with parents who may be in the home buying frame of mind. Be prepared to make the most of your curb appeal by toning down the decorations, especially for Halloween, so that potential buyers can actually see your home. Here are some helpful tips.


1)Safety first. Always. Keep the walk in front of and to your home clean and debris-free. Make sure the walkway is well lighted to avoid accidents. This Halloween, go more for the fall look with pumpkins and flowers rather than a collection of screeching bats, frantic witches, and lose that yellow caution tape. You’re selling a home, not a disaster site. And, no towering, spooky inflatable lawn ornaments. Please.

 

 

2)You’ve had all of your windows washed, right? Let the light in. This year, avoid taping paper decorations to your windows. Turn the lights on and create a warm autumn atmosphere inside your living room. This cozy tableau will help buyers see themselves sitting by the fire.

 

 

3)Decorations do not linger. The day after Halloween, take down all decorations. It’s back to staging the best curb appeal possible. Sellers who leave decorations up long after the “sell by” date can be perceived as not caring much for their property.

 

4)The day after the decorations go down, check your property for trash, trampled flowers and stray candy. Freshen your landscape again–trim bushes, rake leaves, wash the driveway and add a beautiful autumn wreath on your front door.

 

 

Even though you may be known in your neighborhood for the biggest, spookiest, rockin’ Halloween decorations, keep in mind you can do that all over again next year in your new home. This year is all about attracting buyers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How to Sell a Home in Autumn

by martelu 22. September 2015 17:01

When the idea to sell your home comes into mind, most people avoid putting their house up on the market so late in the year. However, shockingly enough, the fall season is actually the second best time to sell your home. With the leaves changing quickly, what better way to draw attention then a colorful for sale sign on your front yard. With the holiday season just around the corner, buyers are more enticed to buy in the fall and be moved in before Christmas.

 

People are happy and relaxed as the temperature begins to drop. It's not just sweater weather that creates static electricity in autumn; it's the scurrying of agents diligently working to pop a few more sales into the hopper before third quarter sales results are posted.

Here are 10 tips for attracting the autumn home buyer:

Clean Up the Yard

Rake dead leaves and debris in your lawn. Don't let overgrown vegetation block the windows or path to the entrance. Cutting bushes and tree limbs will let the sun inside and showcase the exterior of your home. Cut away summer vines and cut down dead flowers.

 

Create Autumn Curb Appeal

The most popular autumn flowers are chrysanthemums (or mums) and they bloom for a long time. I am also partial to marigolds for fall. Both mums and marigolds are available in yellow, which is a home selling color. Plant them in pots. Place pots on the steps and along the sidewalk. Accent with pumpkins.

 

Dress the Windows

Rain and wind from over the summer months can make your windows dusty and streaked by autumn.You might not notice smudges, but buyers will, if only on a subconscious level. To sell a home, your windows need to sparkle. Remove screens and spray them down.

 

Check the HVAC

You want the air inside your home to smell fresh. When was the last time you changed your furnace filter? You can buy 90-day furnace filters. Have the HVAC system checked before you need to turn on the heat. Besides, the buyer will ask a home inspector to look at your HVAC. If you discover problems with your furnace, it's better to fix them before your home goes on the market.

 

Prepare Autumn Dishes

Speaking of autumn scents, you might set out freshly baked pumpkin cupcakes or simmer hot apple cider on the stove. Put a tray of cinnamon sticks on the counter, dotted with whole cloves. Prop open a cookbook to an autumn stew. Fill a bowl with crisp red apples.

 

Utilize Autumn Accent Colors

You don't need to dump a lifeless sofa when you can accessorize its dullness with bright red, orange and / or golden yellow pillows. Toss a quilt or autumn-colored throw over a chair. After you've cleared away the clutter and depersonalized each room, bring a little bit of autumn hues to each room by placing bold-colored accent pieces in odd groupings such as 3's and 5's. Create an autumn centerpiece for the dining room table by arranging pine cones and nuts around orange candles, stick in a few leaves from the yard.

 

Turn on the Lights

Above all, bring in the light. When days get shorter, the sun sets lower in the horizon and casts wider shadows. Pull up the blinds, open the shutters, push back the drapes on every window. Turn on every light in the house, including appliance lights and closet lights. Brighten darker rooms with few windows by placing spotlights on the floor behind furniture, and for goodness sakes, turn off the TV.

 

Offer Parting Treats

I like to leave a guest book by the door for people to leave comments about the home. Gathering buyer feedback can be crucial. And buyers will feel more compelled to leave you a note if you give them something in return. Like tiny packets of candy corn or those snack-sized candy bars or you can go all-out and leave a tray of individually wrapped caramelized apples, tied with a curling ribbon.

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This week's article:

by martelu 16. April 2015 14:46

Seven mistakes Millennials make when buying real estate

 

 

 

 

You’ve cut back on lattes, taken a soul-crushing job on Burrard Street or 2nd Street SW, and borrowed from mom and dad. Congrats! You’re ready to put down a chunk of cash to cover the 20% downpayment on a property. But don’t make newbie mistakes, like trusting your bank to look after you. “The reality is that best rates are not always offered up front,” says mortgage broker Atrina Kouroshnia, 29, of Lavarates.ca in an email.

And don’t forget to look into subsidies, discounts and programs like the Home Buyers’ Plan for first-time buyers. Here’s what you need to know before you sign on the dotted line.

Mistake #1

Putting every last cent into a downpayment

Hold on just a second. Tempting as it is to pour all your savings into a home, it may not be the best idea with today’s crazy prices.

“For our parents, it was normal to take out a $200,000 to $300,000 mortgage, whereas now first-time home-buyers regularly borrow $700,000 to $800,000,” says Brandon Wasser, a 29-year-old agent with Royal LePage in Toronto.

Should you divorce, or your car breaks down, those monthly mortgage payments may be impossible to meet. “I’ve seen people buy a place, lose their jobs, and they have to sell quickly because they can’t afford the monthly payments,” Mr. Wasser says.

Solution: Set aside some money. Mr. Wasser recommends socking 6 to 12 months of living expenses in an emergency fund.

 

Mistake #2

Rushing to buy a condo, when you really want a house

Millennials may be delaying children, but we still want a few eventually. Or at least a big dog. Unfortunately, both require space to run around and slobber, which means most of us see boxes in the sky as a mere stepping stone to a house. But starting to ascend up that ladder may be riskier than staying put and continuing to save.

Beware: if you buy a condo and it fails to significantly appreciate, or the monthly payments prove too high to also save, you’ll have to ditch or delay your dreams of a backyard.

“Look at the street activity, look at the areas it’s in. Is it an upcoming area? Is there a stigma attached to it that could affect the value negatively?” Mr. Wasser says.

Solution: Mr. Wasser says don’t put a short-term investment ahead of long-term goals. “People a lot of times are looking for a deal, but in a hot market,” he says, “there are no deals.”

 

 

Mistake #3

DIY property searching

Mr. Wasser says Millennials often search on MLS, find a property they like, and contact the agent pictured. Oops! That’s the listing agent, who works on behalf of the seller. You end up telling him what you can afford and are willing to pay, which is information he’ll pass along to the seller — hurting you in negotiations.

Solution: You don’t have to stop searching MLS addictively under your duvet late at night, but hire a realtor first. “That agent will now be in a relationship with you, where they have legal obligations to you.” Mr. Wasser says. “Everything you say to them is confidential.”

 

Mistake #4

Conflating online calculations with reality

Heartbreak for twentysomethings usually consists of a flaky Tinder date. But Millennials won’t experience true heartbreak until they bid on a perfect place, only to have the offer fall through in financing. Don’t trust online calculators to tell you how much you can afford; they don’t account for things like your credit score, which can affect your mortgage rate.

Solution: “Go to a bank, go to a lender,” Mr. Wasser says. “Find out what you will be approved for.” And check that credit score.

 

Mistake #5

Thinking what a bank will lend you is what you can afford

Until now you’ve had a cellphone bill, a hydro bill and some student loans. When you buy a property you may wrongly assume you’re only adding a single extra bill — the mortgage, to that list.  “There are lots of costs that lenders don’t factor in when determining what you can comfortably afford,” Rob McLister, founder of RateSpy.com, writes in an email.

If you fail to budget for additional expenses — Home Depot trips, insurance, property taxes —  you may soon find yourself back in your bed-bug infested basement apartment.

Solution: Mr. McLister says don’t focus on how much you’re able to borrow, but how much you should borrow. Add up all your current living expenses, plus the extra expenses associated with home-ownership, then tack on at least 5% to 10% of your monthly income for savings. Circle that number in red, because that’s what you can afford.

 

Mistake #6

Over-trusting your mortgage adviser

As a young, inexperienced home buyer, you’re more likely to depend on what the professionals tell you — but never assume any mortgage professional knows best, is lending at the highest rates, or is giving you the most accurate information.

Solution: “As Ronald Reagan used to say, ‘Trust but verify’,” writes Mr. McLister. “Verify that their rates are competitive, that they have disclosed all potential downsides of the mortgage they’re recommending, that they gave you a competitive analysis on why their recommendation is optimal and that they are experienced in the industry,” he says. 

 

Mistake #7

Not considering rate risk

Interest rates are like Canadian winters. A few good, warmer than average years, barely any snow, you think global warming’s working, and then boom! Polar vortex.  “Too many new buyers see a tantalizing rate like 1.99% or 2.49% and forget that rates can jump, fast,” Mr. McLister says.

Solution: “Never get a mortgage without considering how your payments could change at renewal, or at Bank of Canada meetings if you have a variable mortgage,” he says.

For the complete article by Danielle Kubes, Financial Post, visit http://ow.ly/LI0Zz

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