It has been a pleasure helping so many military families transition into and out of Ottawa. Being the Nations capital we are a very popular destination for service members during posting season.
Having the right service providers is an integral part of the house hunting process. I have been fortunate over the years to align myself with like-minded individuals who are at the top of their respective fields. I have partnered with the best home inspectors, water specialists, septic inspectors, lawyers, mortgage brokers, and anyone else who might be required during the HHT. They are all a part of the program and bill Brookfield directly. Ensuring success on the HHT requires having these type of professionals on call and in many cases pre-booked.
If you have any questions on the professional network we use or would like to learn more about our services, please feel free to email me at email@example.com or call me at 613-863-6999.
Condominium vs Co-operative
In the Ottawa housing market, it is more likely to find condominiums than it is to find co-operatives – but you should know the differences between them before you start to look.
- The homeowner owns the unit and shares ownership of common elements. Condos are usually apartment buildings, but also include townhouse developments and developments of detached buildings on private roads.
- The homeowner is responsible for the interior area of the unit (everything from the plaster in). The condo association is responsible for the up-keep of the exterior of the building, common interior elements (halls, elevators and parking garages, for example) and the grounds.
- All condo owners pay a monthly fee to the condominium association to cover maintenance costs and common utility fees and taxes.
- Condos often have strict rules regarding noise, use of common areas and renovations to units. Condominium residents often enjoy less privacy than residents of detached homes.
- Condos are usually less expensive than freehold houses.
- Co-operatives (or co-ops) are similar to condos but instead of owning your unit, you own a share in the entire building or complex.
- Co-op residents pay for maintenance and repairs through monthly fees and are subject to the rules and regulations of the co-op board.
- If you decide to sell your shares and move out, the co-op board has the right to reject your prospective buyer.
When you have decided to purchase an Ottawa Condo – or a co-operative, it costs you absolutely nothing to engage the services of a knowledgeable Realtor®. The seller (whether new or resale) covers the brokerage fees.
I think we are all wondering if Spring will ever come or even more– if Winter will ever end!
Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 870 residential properties in February through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® system, compared with 903 in February 2013, a decrease of 3.7 per cent.
This year over year decrease in sales is perhaps due to the unusually cold weather or the distraction of the Olympics, but sales ARE up on a month-to-month basis. The market has picked up as we approach the busiest time of the year – 282 more homes were sold in February, over January.” February’s sales included 197 in the condominium property class, and 673 in the residential property class.
The average sale price of residential properties, including condominiums, sold in February in the Ottawa area was $353,407, an increase of two per cent over February 2013. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $257,752, a decrease of 2.3 per cent over February 2013. The average sale price of a residential-class property was $381,407, an increase of 2.1 per cent over February 2013. Each area, however, has differences so if you are interested in what your property might be worth on today’s market, give me a call.
BY KATHRYN MAY, OTTAWA CITIZEN FEBRUARY 21, 2014
OTTAWA — The final-move policy that caught Lt.-Gen. Andrew Leslie in a political snare will be scrutinized as part of a review of the federal relocation program as the Conservatives prepare to seek bids for a contractor to manage the moves of 20,000 public servants, military and RCMP sent to new postings every year.
Treasury Board officials say the review of the Integrated Relocation Program (IRP) was scheduled anyway when Leslie landed in hot water for claiming $72,000 in expenses by using a benefit that allows all long-serving Canadian Forces members one final paid move when they retire.
Defence Minister Rob Nicholson was quick to jump on Leslie, who is a now an adviser to Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, and ordered an immediate review into the military’s relocation program, including its final-move policy.
The review, however, comes as the government prepares a new request for proposal for the IRP contract. The RFP is already late and it’s unclear whether the overall program review will further delay the contracting process.
The existing contract expires this year and the government wanted a new contractor in place by December.
Public Works and Government Services Canada, which is handling the procurement, was unable to explain the delay but said that “the government continues to consider its business requirements and options, as a result of a number of consultations with industry.”
Relocating federal employees costs the government an estimated $500 million a year — on top of what it pays moving companies to move furniture and household possessions. The government relocates between 15,000 and 20,000 federal employees a year, with military moves accounting for about 85 per cent of those moves. The cost of the average move ranges between $20,000 for a tenant and $35,000 for a homeowner.
The Integrated Relocation Program contract has been a thorn in the government’s side since it came to power in 2006.
A bombshell auditor general report in 2006 sparked a long court battle that culminated last year when an Ontario Superior Court judge found that bureaucrats rigged two of the contracts to favour Royal LePage Relocation Services — now Brookfield Global Relocation Services — and ordered the government pay an unprecedented award of $40 million in damages to the losing bidder Envoy Relocation Services.
The Conservatives let Brookfield manage the contract despite the report and called new tenders in 2009 that were also dogged by controversy. Auditor General Michael Ferguson is now investigating awarding and management of that contract.
The government manages the relocations of employees under the umbrella of the Integrated Relocation Program but the specific benefits, services and assistance differ between public servants, RCMP and the military. The responsibility for the overall program rests with Treasury Board.
Stephanie Rea, a spokesperson for Treasury Board President Tony Clement, said the relocation directive governing the moves of public servants is reviewed every three years and is currently scheduled for negotiations at the joint union-management National Joint Council.
“The Integrated Policy Program for the public service is part of the ongoing NJC review and traditionally the RCMP and the Canadian Forces mirror the policies we negotiate and approve,” she said.
The IRP program was created in 1999 to ensure military and other public servants are moved with minimal disruption to their lives. The program has been tweaked over the years but the overall approach has remained unchanged.
Outgoing military ombudsman Pierre Daigle, who had long pressed for significant changes to the military’s relocation program, said he would be disappointed if the review failed to address his priorities for change.
Transfers are the biggest stresses on military families who can face half a dozen moves or more over the course of a career. A major study conducted into the well-being of Canada’s military families found the relocation program is “a source of vigorous dissatisfaction among CF members and their families.”
Daigle said the biggest complaints are over the IRP’s Home Equity Assistance policies, which some members blame for huge losses they face on home sales when forced to move to a new posting. He said the directives are highly complex, dense and are written in bureaucratic language that members don’t understand.
He said the DND promised to rewrite and simplify the relocation directives for the military for the 2013 posting season, but he has now been assured it will be ready for the 2015 posting season.
Bruce Atyeo, whose company Envoy Relocation won a lawsuit against the government’s handling of the 2002 and 2004 relocation contracts, said the IRP is a fair and “forward-thinking policy” but is so badly written that it is open to loopholes and abuses.
“Policies have to be reviewed. Times change and influence them,” he said. “This is good policy but badly written, and the problem is that it is easier for people to come up with schemes to beat the system. The policies have to be clear and focused on transferring employees.”
Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Tom Lawson defended the principle of the final-move policy but acknowledged a policy “acceptable in one era may have to be tightened down in others.”
“There are benefits that a nation decides to afford their men and women in uniform, their men and women in the public service, the men and women in the RCMP, and they will swing one way or the other. In times they can be very generous, in other times they need to tighten up,” he told reporters.
In spite of the very cold weather, residential sales in January were virtually identical to last year. This is good news. One would have thought the bitter cold would keep folks snug in their homes.
Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 589 residential properties in January through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® system, compared with 594 in January 2013. The number of properties listed in January more than doubled the amount in December – a normal occurance after the holiday season.
The Ottawa resale market has remained steady. There have been no major increases or decreases in sales or prices notwithstanding the government’s intervention in mortgage rules over a year ago.
The average sale price of residential properties, including condominiums, sold in January in the Ottawa area was $346,744, an increase of one per cent over January 2013. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $265,775, a decrease of 1.1 per cent over January 2013. The average sale price of a residential-class property was $368,779, an increase of 0.9 per cent over January 2013.
Every area is slightly different so please give me a call if you are interested to know the value of your property. I’m happy to help.
Buying a home at the best of times can be stressful and challenging. Having to do it all in a matter of a few days in an unfamiliar city is what faces our armed forces members.
Having the right real estate professional guide you through the process will be imperative to your success. I have been privileged to work with dozens’ of transferring members. Our success is always due to the work that we do ahead of time. Planning the week is as important as the search. Before my clients arrive we have already discussed the market, neighbourhoods, and particular houses of interest.
I have been fortunate to live Downtown, East End, West End, and in the suburbs. Between living in these areas and showing houses all over the city since 2004, I have gained invaluable knowledge of neighbourhoods. I know how important this week is in the future happiness of my clients. A poor neighbourhood choice can have consequences. I am proud of the reputation I have earned with my military clients. I am happy to provide multiple references to anyone who has been transferred to the city and is looking for an agent.
Buying a home is likely the largest investment you will ever make. You want to ensure you have done your due diligence before you sign on the dotted line! The standard cost of a Home Inspection in Ottawa is between $400.00 and $500.00. This is a small price to pay for peace of mind. In the Ottawa housing market it is typical for the buyer to pay for these services.
A professional home inspector reviews the operating systems and structure of a home of any age—even new homes—and leaves a written report for the client to keep as a reference guide. Typically, the home inspector will comment on the condition of the foundation, heating and cooling systems, electrical service, roof, plumbing, and other significant structural factors and will outline costs of repair or replacement where needed, as well as comment on the condition of the property compared to others of the same age. The few hours that you spend with your inspector are the best time to learn the ins and outs of taking care of your property, and you should keep the reference book for as long as you live there.
I will add that every house has its issues. No inspection has been perfect. The objective of the inspection is not to find a house that has no faults but to educate the buyer on potential upcoming costs. I prefer a thorough inspector rather than one just pointing out the big ticket items.
As your Ottawa Realtor I can advise you on how to incorporate a home inspection as a condition of buying a property. Your offer can be conditional upon a professional home inspection being conducted and a satisfactory report being received by you, the home buyer. If the inspection report indicates some big expenses or anything you are not comfortable with we can terminate the agreement or look for abatement.
As an Ottawa Realtor who has been through hundreds of inspections, I have seen the need to have the right inspector working for you. I would recommend using someone who you know and trust completely. If you don’t have someone, I would be happy to provide someone that offers great service.