Wow! If you’re a first time home buyer and looking at purchasing a home, the 2019 federal budget has some terrific incentives designed to remove the financial barriers faced by many folks in the recent past. Through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, new potential homeowners making less than $120,000 a year can access a 5% interest-free loan on properties valued up to $480k.  That could reduce monthly mortgage payments by around $225 and, with the increase in penalty-free access RRSP savings to $35k up from $25k, make homeownership accessible to many.  The changes won’t make a big difference in markets like Toronto and Vancouver where prices are higher, but here in Ottawa, where the most active price points are between $300-$450k the dream of homeownership can become a reality for first-timers.  If you have questions or would like advice on making sure you are positioned to take advantage of this new opportunity, please get in touch.

Early Spring Predicted for Ottawa Real Estate Market

Predictions for an early Spring 2019 have extended beyond Wiarton Willie and the Farmer’s Almanac to the Ottawa real estate market.  Typically one of the year’s quietest months, January saw record-breaking home sales with a bump of 16% over the previous year.  According to the Ottawa Real Estate Board, this is the “highest number of January transactions we have seen in decades.” February, not surprisingly, was noted for very limited inventory with days on market continues to decline in the face of the lowest inventory level in years.  In my business, I am already feeling the seasonal momentum shift, and with pent-up demand and not enough inventory, new listings that are priced right will move fast for sure. As new inventory comes on the market this Spring, fortune will favour both the bold and those that are ready.  Great houses that are priced right and in great locations, sell fast and if you are “not seeing anything nice” or if you think “there is no new inventory” you are most likely just missing the good ones because….. they sell fast.  If you’d like to know how to get one of those great properties that are priced right, but sells fast, I have a system that clients say gives them peace of mind knowing that they are not missing any new inventory they might want to consider.  Let me know, and I’d be glad to help.

Spring Thaw: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

The next few weeks (in my opinion) can be the ugliest time of year in Ottawa.  Streets lined with gross dirty snow, roads covered with grim, muddy backyards, filthy cars, and all the dirt and grit previously covered with copious amounts of snow, are now exposed for the first time in months.  That said, the most beautiful time of the year is just around the corner!  So for the next couple of weeks, and especially this weekend, here are two ways to help with the seasonal transition. First, as snow and ice melt, helping ensure streets are draining is a big help to neighbours and pedestrians will thank you. The City’s Catch Basin Locator Map makes it easy to do your part. Second, the Cleaning the Capital initiative is a great way to build community and make public spaces Spring-ready at the same time.  Play your cards right, and you too could be an internet sensation.

Favourite Things 🙂  

A few of my favourite things this month:

  • Seeded Sourdough from Bread and Sons Bakery: I’ve become very familiar with this bakery because I did my Yoga Teacher Training across the street at Ashtanga Yoga Ottawa and continue my daily practice at AYO and I can’t get enough of this bread.  Tangy, soft, naturally fermented yeast, and just and made fresh daily.  Again, the early bird catches the worm.
  • RexSpecs Dog Goggles: I have a one-year-old English Springer Spaniel (his name is Trueworthy, we call him True) and nothing moves faster in the woods.  He pulls me on my skate skis, mountain bike, and he’s one of the hardest working dogs you will ever see, and that’s why it’s super important to ensure he doesn’t have to squint or risk an injury when he’s giving me his all.  If you’ve got a dog that loves the outdoors and loves to work hard, get dirty, and really mix it up, you’ve gotta get a pair. I will post pics soon.
  • Free Solo: Amazing.  Watched it first with my daughter and have seen if a few times since.  It won the Best Documentary Feature at this year’s Academy Awards and it is without question a pulse-racing, heart-touching story of an amazing athlete with an incredible dream.  It’s a great example how much we are capable of if we focus, put the work in, and do not let our ego get in the way. It plays every once in a while at theatres like the Bytowne and the Mayfair and its now available on iTunes.  The big screen is definitely recommended though.

If you have any feedback on my newsletter, have questions about other real estate topics or would like to discuss opening the door to your next real estate opportunity, please be in touch.

Thank you and happy Spring.