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MY REAL ESTATE BLOG

Beyond the Sign: Royal LePage Team Realty celebrates 20 years of serving the community

Over the past 20 years, everything has grown for Royal LePage Team Realty. Their families, the business, and Ottawa itself all look much different than they did back in 2002. What hasn’t changed is the team’s commitment to serving the community and helping Ottawans buy, sell, and lease properties. According to Royal LePage Team Realty […]

Ottawa Real Estate Market Snapshot May 2022

  The May 2022 Ottawa Real Estate Board Stats are out!   Market Snapshot: Traditionally a high performing month, May’s resale market has shifted its pace in comparison to 2021. The aftermath of the recent derecho storm stirred up both Ottawa’s landscape and listing inventory. If you’re considering a move we’re here to help answer […]

Beyond the Sign: The current market shift

After an intense few years, the local real estate market is showing a very slight shift towards calmer waters. Jason Ralph, Broker of Record and President of Royal LePage Team Realty, explains, “The market was so overheated that even a small shift seems drastic, even though it isn’t going back to pre-2020 levels. We are starting […]

Ottawa Real Estate Market Snapshot April 2022

      The April 2022 Ottawa Real Estate Board Stats are out!   Market Snapshot: With supply remaining under one month we continue to be in a seller’s market. Prices are continuing to climb but at a slower, more moderate pace than what we saw earlier in the pandemic. If you’re considering a move […]

Beyond the Sign: Moving time! 8 tips to help your move go smoothly

Beyond the Sign: Moving time! 8 tips to help your move go smoothly. Moving can be a daunting experience, especially if it’s your first time doing so. Whether you are planning an upcoming move to or within the city of Ottawa, there are certain steps that you can take to ensure that the process goes […]

Beyond the Sign: Time for a change? A career in real estate might be exactly what you are looking for.

Beyond the Sign: Time for a change? A career in real estate might be exactly what you are looking for. Do you find yourself spending time scouring new real estate listings and checking out sold prices? Do you love keeping track of the housing market trends? Are you looking for an exciting career where you can […]

Ottawa Real Estate Market Snapshot March 2022

    The March 2022 Ottawa Real Estate Board Stats are out!   Ottawa Real Estate Market Snapshot March 2022: March made for a busy month in comparison to February, however the number of sales were down from March of 2021. No more restrictions may have pushed attention elsewhere but as the weather continues to […]

Beyond the Sign: Looking ahead at Ottawa’s spring and summer real estate markets

Beyond the Sign: Looking ahead: Royal LePage Team Realty was recently featured in the City News article about the Ottawa real estate market is heating up! After two years of COVID restrictions, the rules are starting to ease and REALTORS® has begun holding in-person open houses again. The local housing markets for both city properties […]

Beyond the Sign: Worry-Free Winter Listing: 5 Reasons to Sell in the Cold Season

Royal LePage Team Realty was recently featured in a CityNews article selling in winter.  It may not sound like the most desirable season to list, but what many don’t know is that the cold weather season has an abundance of benefits that make the experience worthwhile. See here how selling your home this winter could […]

Protecting Your Biggest Asset

Protecting Your Biggest Asset: If you have ever dropped your Iphone into water, or purchased a new car that malfunctions only a short time after, you are likely grateful for the all encompassing “warranty” that can resolve your problems at minimal cost. Protecting your assets is one of the smartest decisions you can make, and […]

Ottawa Real Estate Market Snapshot February 2022

The February 2022 Ottawa Real Estate Board Stats are out!   Market Snapshot: It looks like Spring may come early in Ottawa with an increase of 52% more transactions in February than in January. The rise in activity could be due to the announcement of upcoming interest rate increases pushing buyers to get into the […]

Scrapping Racially Insensitive Terminology: Saying So-Long to the “Master” Bedroom

Have you noticed the gradual shift in terminology in MLS listings lately? If you’re wondering when the term Primary Bedroom made its way into the home, and why, the short version is that it has become time to ditch the dated and discriminatory terms that have been normalized in our society. As an industry, we […]

Ottawa Real Estate Market Snapshot January 2022

The January 2022 Ottawa Real Estate Board Stats are out!   Market Snapshot: January 2022’s sales were much like those of January 2021. Prices continued to rise as inventory remained low. Januarys condo market remained hot as sale prices are more attainable for buyers. If you’re considering a move we’re here to help answer any […]

Ottawa Real Estate Market Snapshot December 2021

The December 2021 Ottawa Real Estate Board Stats are out! Market Snapshot: A typical December resale market but, with Ottawa’s inventory shortage the pressure continues to increase sale prices. The Seller’s market held strong as December had less than one month’s supply of residential homes and condominiums. If you’re considering a move we’re here to […]

Ottawa Real Estate Market Snapshot November 2021

The November 2021 Ottawa Real Estate Board Stats are out! Market Snapshot: The number of transactions were down from November of last year however, unit sales were up 14% from November of 2019 (pre-pandemic). Meanwhile the average sale price escalations we’ve seen have lightly tapered off. If you’re considering a move we’re here to help […]

Carriage Trade: Buying and Selling Luxury Real Estate

With beautiful backdrops of Parliament and Gatineau hills, the Rideau River and more, Ottawa is a magnificent city that many flock to when searching for a town in which they can settle down and place roots. For those looking for homes that are as luxurious as the views they crave, Royal LePage TEAM Realty has […]

Five Ways to Downsize Your Home

When it comes to downsizing, many people naturally associate it with retirees or empty nesters. While there is no argument that that is a great time in life to look at the downsizing options available, in actuality, people of all ages and various lifestyles are choosing to downsize for a multitude of reasons, with all […]

Ottawa Real Estate Market Snapshot October 2021

  The October 2021 Ottawa Real Estate Board Stats are out! Market Snapshot: It was a common fall October market but if you’re looking to find a balanced market, Ottawa is not the place. With a one-month supply for residential properties the pressure continues to increase prices. If you’re considering a move we’re here to […]

Mortgage Shopping: What Does a Mortgage Broker Do?

In what has been an unprecedented year in buying and selling, Ottawa Real Estate is remaining hot, and mortgage rates cool. While buying a home and getting a mortgage is a big financial decision, the process of securing a loan leaves even the most experienced buyers with a laundry list of questions. Naturally, you will […]

House Hunting in Ottawa

Welcoming Back In-Person Open Houses While live-stream open houses have been the new way in which home buyers have been viewing homes of interest over the past year and a half, in-person open houses are beginning to make their long-awaited comeback and we could not be more excited! Despite the unpredictability that the last 18 […]

Ottawa Real Estate Market Snapshot September 2021

  The September 2021 Ottawa Real Estate Board Stats are out! Market Snapshot: Property values are holding steady as we continued to see an increase through September. As the number of transactions showed a considerable decrease from the same time last year, keep in mind that the September 2020 market showed peak activity due to […]

Ottawa Real Estate Market Snapshot September 2021

  The September 2021 Ottawa Real Estate Board Stats are out! Market Snapshot: Property values are holding steady as we continued to see an increase through September. As the number of transactions showed a considerable decrease from the same time last year, keep in mind that the September 2020 market showed peak activity due to […]

What Does Buying a Home in Canada Look Like?

Welcome to Your New Home Moving to a new country is a very exciting time for many, igniting feelings of new beginnings and hope for the future. However, despite the many positive attributes that coincide with relocating, finding a home in a new country can feel overwhelming at times. Choosing the right REALTOR®, the right […]

Turning Out The Lights on Wasted Energy

How to Make Your Home Energy Efficient This Cold Season Whether we like it or not, the cold weather months are just a stone’s throw away now. While some are looking forward to plush blankets, fuzzy socks, and cozy sweaters, others are dreading the bills they will receive once they have to turn the heater […]

Selling Your Home in the Fall

As is with the turn of every season, the arrival of fall marks new beginnings for many. School starts for kids of all ages, parents are returning to work, summer vacations have ended, and a drop in temperature has many homeowners beginning to think about what needs to be done before old man winter coats […]

Ottawa and Real Estate Market Snapshot August 2021

The August 2021 Ottawa Real Estate Board Stats are out! Market Snapshot: The August resale market was a typical one during the summer months in Ottawa. Notably, the number of sales for the month was on par with past pre-pandemic figures in August of 2017 and 2018. If you’re considering a move we’re here to […]

Tip Series: Buying a Condominium In and Around Ottawa

Condominiums are a popular choice among homeowners in Ottawa, and with the many conveniences they offer it is easy to see what attracts buyers to this specific lifestyle. Buyers are often drawn to this option of home ownership because of the lifestyle it offers. Amenities range from swimming pools, party rooms, and theatres to a […]

Ottawa and Real Estate Market Snapshot July 2021

The July 2021 Ottawa Real Estate Board Stats are out! Market Snapshot: The slow down in the Ottawa resale market is typical for July as Buyers and Sellers turn their attention to their vacations and other outdoor recreational activities. We are seeing housing stock increase and prices begin to stabilize which may indicate that Ottawa’s […]

Tip Series: 6 Tips For Buying Rural in Ottawa

While buying rural has its advantages, if you have never purchased rural property or lived in remote areas, knowing what to look for may make you feel a little lost. To make sure this process goes smoothly, we have compiled a list of tips to consider when making your purchase so that you can fully […]

Summer Honey-Do List: Home Projects to Keep Your Home Looking Great.

With every season comes new projects for a homeowner. Whether it’s regular maintenance or renovations to keep your home from looking dated, it all works towards the same goal of maintaining your investment. Here are some tasks for you to add to your honey-do list this summer, to ensure your home shines bright during these […]

Avoiding Backyard Blunders: 5 Things to Know About A Property Before You Buy

When looking at homes as a buyer, don’t forget to check out the backyard landscape! A backyard can serve as your haven, or your headache, so evaluating it properly before you buy is essential. See here for 5 things to evaluate in your backyard to ensure your new home is exactly what you signed up […]

Ottawa Area Real Estate Market Snapshot June 2021

  Ottawa Area Real Estate Market Snapshot June 2021 The June 2021 Ottawa Real Estate Board Stats are out! Market Snapshot: The first half of June saw an increase in traffic to our website, but the last two weeks showed a slow down compared to May. This is typical for the time of year as […]

Ottawa real estate market watch: Rural properties in high demand in 2021

Unprecedented buyer interest in town and country homes, says local real estate group. Rural properties in the areas surrounding Ottawa have always attracted interest. It has always been a strong, competitive market. This year, however, there is greater demand than ever for homes set in country locations. Where normally the focus is on the bigger […]

Beyond the Sign – The Royal LePage Team Experience: Taking You Beyond The Sign

This is the first article in our Beyond the Sign series. In this series, Kent and Jason from the ownership team collaborate and discuss topics that are important to both our economy and the communities we serve. Our first article is being featured on CityNews and with Real Estate remaining a very hot topic in […]

Mortgage Stress Test – Is This Important to Us?

The Dynamic Ottawa Real Estate Market COVID-19 tragically swept across Canada last year. It sadly changed many aspects of our lives. One of the areas that we did not anticipate was the impact on the residential real estate market. We have witnessed an unprecedented roller-coaster in-home sale in Ottawa.  The Federal Government has been concerned […]

Ottawa Area Real Estate Market Snapshot May 2021

  The May 2021 Ottawa Real Estate Board Stats are out! Market Snapshot: The lockdown of May 2021 was quite different than the one that happened in May 2020. For example, there many increases in the listings numbers across the Ottawa Real Estate Market. With double the number of listings as sellers take advantage of […]

Renovating your Home – What Should I Do to Get the Best Price

The Dynamic Ottawa Housing Market  There have been many impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic with one being the significant change in the Ottawa residential housing market. For many years Ottawa enjoyed a stable market with a predictable inventory of homes. There was a slow and steady growth in the value of the houses. This has […]

Is It Time to Renovate Your Basement?

When you walk downstairs to your basement, do you look around and think we could turn this into a much more comfortable living space? Does watching the home renovations shows on TV give you some exciting ideas helping you visualize what your basement would look like? It might be time to renovate your basement.  This […]

Ottawa and Real Estate Market Snapshot April 2021

The April 2021 Ottawa Real Estate Board Stats are out!   Market Snapshot: The strongest April on record. With more sales and accelerated price increases the continued lack of supply is apparent. The pandemic has homeowners focusing on living space, driving the demand for change. If you’re considering a move we’re here to help answer […]

Why summer is a good time to move…  
Why summer is a good time to move…   School’s officially out for summer!  If you’re like us, you’re probably thinking beaches, holidays, cottages… any activity that will get us out to enjoy the warm weather…but it can also be a perfect time to move!  While there might not be as much real estate activity in July as there is in May, it may surprise you to find out that June, July and August are busy months in Ottawa real estate, especially in recent years.  The weather is fine and there are still a lot of great opportunities to buy and sell.  Stats show that houses (and people) are making moves during the warmer months and many buyers and sellers are motivated to get deals done before the cooler weather returns. So what are some other reasons why summer is a good time to move?   Home maintenance / House hunting If you are buying or selling during the winter, there might be things buried under snow that you can’t see or get access to if snow is a factor.  It’s also nice to be able to open the windows and get fresh air while doing tasks like painting.  Since you’ll be busy packing and preparing,  you might hire a teenager who is looking to make a bit of cash for small jobs like mowing the lawn, weeding, babysitting, etc. Delegating small tasks will pay off big time. Garage Sales Do you really want to move that lamp you’ve had in the basement since college again?  The answer is probably not.  Getting rid of stuff you don’t want or need before you start packing will make your move so much easier (and probably cheaper too!).   If you have children, encourage them to go through their books & toys as well, the thought of earning a few dollars is usually a great incen tive to purge! Bonus: whatever doesn’t sell is already out an organized making it easier to drop off at a local charity donation bin. Tip* Before picking a date, check to see if there is a neighbourhood garage sale planned in your area.  Community garage sales like the Great Glebe Garage sale have caught on in other areas and tend to draw more “shoppers”.  If that’s not an option you might talk to your neighbours to see if you can get a street sale happening, and don’t forget to ask for Garage Sale Signs from your Royal LePage Realtor! Weather This is a pretty obvious one, winters in Ottawa are notoriously cold and snowy.   It’s much easier to move when you’re worrying about icy walkways and 3 feet of snow.  You might find more willing volunteers to help with your move too, especially if there’s a promise of cold beer and pizza!  Having said that, moving in 35 degree heat can also be pretty brutal, make sure you have plenty of cold water on hand and hire professional movers for the larger items. Your back and your friends will be grateful! Kids & Schools Changing schools in the middle of the year can be disruptive and unsettling for some children.  If there’s moving to be done, you should try to move before the new school year starts.  If older children are off to college or moving out, this might also be a great opportunity for empty nesters.  The Ottawa area condo market has been booming in the last year, and there are great deals out there for those looking to downsize. Business is slower Unless you’re in the construction or tourism industry, most businesses slow down during the summer months, making it easier to book time off of work.  Summer is a good time to move but don’t forget to take some time to enjoy the season. Making a move can be stressful in any season, but being organized and asking for help when you need it will help ensure a successful move.   And when it’s all done you can enjoy a cold beverage and enjoy your new space!   
Buying a Home: Step by Step
Buying a Home: Step by Step  Buying a home can seem like a daunting task in the beginning. There are so many options to consider, let alone finding that dream home. You may be wondering what the main things to consider when you’re going to buy a house, and how the process works? With so much information surrounding the housing market, we’ve created a short step-by-step process to help you with all your home buying needs! Finances The daunting and confusing aspect of buying a home always lands in the finance department. Mostly because finances on a large scale become a stressful process for people. However, when it comes to organizing your finances to buy a home, it doesn’t need to be complicated or scary. Just keep these tips in mind: Determine what you can afford; remember that typically you require 20% down on your purchase. It is recommended that people look at homes that cost no more than 3-5 times their annual household income. Talk to mortgage lenders and your bank to determine your pre-approval status on a mortgage and ensure your credit score is in order Get prequalified and preapproved for a mortgage! Find the right realtor  When it comes to finding the right realtor, remember that they are an essential partner when you’re buying a home. They can provide you with helpful information on homes and neighbourhoods that you may not know or may not be public information. Also, they are your communicator when it comes to making an offer on your dream home. Take your time and ensure you find a realtor that you’re comfortable with and has the knowledge and expertise that you need.   The “House Hunt”  Now the fun will begin! It’s time to go “house hunting.” You’ll spend plenty of time going over listings, scheduling showings, visiting open houses and ensuring that the homes you are looking for are what your future home should be. An easy way to narrow things down is to ensure that you have a list of wants and needs, so you know exactly what you’re looking for. You can also have your realtor set up a search for you, so you get the newest listings directly in your inbox (via realtor.ca) Don’t rush the process. You want to take as much time as you need to find the right home.   Making an offer  When it comes time to make an offer, your realtor will become your biggest advocate. Typically offers are contingent on financing, and home inspection. This contingency protects you by allowing you to inspect the home and either renegotiate or withdraw your offer without penalty should there be an issue discovered during the inspection. There are a lot of terms that are included in making an offer and how the seller handles the offer. Should the offer be accepted based on conditions (inspection, selling of your home, etc.) and all goes well, the house will be “conditionally sold” meaning it is sold pending the resolution of conditions. If a condition is that you must sell your home, then you cannot become the official homeowner until those conditions are met.  While the offers are on the table, the seller may “counteroffer” meaning they may disagree with some terms of your offer but want to negotiate based on their counterterms. This negotiation process occurs using realtors as your main advocates. You would discuss the counter offer with your realtor, and either choose to accept or additionally negotiate. An accepted offer is an offer that has been approved by the seller. If the offer is accepted and all the conditions have been met, then the house is sold firm, meaning you are officially buying a home! There will be a final walkthrough, and closing dates will be set throughout the negotiation process for you to take possession.   Get ready to move It’s time to get ready to move into your new home! Plan ahead of time about your move. In this plan, you should include how and when you’re going to pack, whether you are renting a moving van, or hiring a moving company, what day you intend to move things into your home, and so on. Another significant aspect of getting ready to move will be to call all the necessary utility companies involved with your home (i.e., hydro, water, propane, etc.) to get accounts made in your name and ensure that these services begin on the day you take possession of your new home! Once you are all set with your plan, it’s time to get packing! Moving day approaches faster than you think!   Closing day! The day has finally come! It’s closing day on your new home. Closing day means that the keys to your home will be officially transferred into your possession and the house now belongs to you. Typically, you pick up your keys from your realtor in the late afternoon that day
Neighbourhood Snapshot : Carlington is an Ottawa Community to Watch
When you buy a home, it’s more than just the house itself, you’re really buying into a lifestyle, and becoming part of a community.  The Ottawa and surrounding area has a lot to offer and there may be “hidden gems” that you hadn’t considered.  We’re excited to introduce a new series of blog posts dedicated to giving readers the inside scoop on some great Ottawa neighbourhoods, starting with Carlington!  Welcome to Carlington! Nestled in the heart of the city, Carlington is a community to watch. This neighbourhood has lots of amenities along with easy access to the Queensway making travel within the city a breeze. Situated just a stone’s throw away from the pricy Island Park, Civic Hospital, and Westboro neighbourhoods, Carlington has similar charm but is far more affordable. About Carlington Carlington is located in the River Ward in the west-end of Ottawa and it is bordered by Clyde Avenue to the West, Carling Avenue to the North, Fisher Avenue to the East, and the Central Experimental Farm to the South. The area features a variety of different style homes with most being built prior to 1980 but you will also find brand new homes that are taking the place of smaller war-time homes on larger lots. As the Westgate development begins, Carlington will see extensive growth in the near future. “The area consists of many different style homes, on generous sized lots, offering something for everyone”, says Jennifer Forward, Realtor with Royal LePage Team Realty. Carlington is an active community with many young families and is a great place to buy a starter home. The largest segments of the population falling in the age range of 20 to 44 years old but there are people of all ages that call this community home. Great Value “As a former resident for 12 years, current owner, and having sold many homes in the neighbourhood, I feel that Carlington is one of Ottawa’s best kept secrets,” says Forward, “Carlington is a great place to live and offers excellent value”. With neighbouring communities becoming out of the price range for many buyers, Carlington is seeing steady but reasonable growth in property values. With the average price sitting around $400,000, this neighbourhood provides great properties at a more affordable price point. Amenities Enter this well-located neighbourhood, and enjoy easy access to everything you and your family may need. Situated close to 2 hospitals, schools, community centres, and shopping, Carlington has many amenities to offer. This area features a very active community association, and you don’t want to miss the annual “Carlington Family Fun Day” held every May! As summer begins, join this community at one of the best-shaded splash pads in the city at Harold Place Park! The neighbourhood itself offers a warm country feel, thanks to the Experimental Farm being right at your doorstep, which boasts lots of trails and bike paths to choose from. Quickly arrive at beautiful destinations such as Dow’s Lake, the Arboretum, and the Canada Agriculture Museum. Explore these beautiful locations, and enjoy dog walking, biking and an assortment of available activities. Local hot spots Bowman’s Bar and Grill – Self proclaimed as “your neighbourhood restaurant with a great selection of familiar food done well” and this family friendly restaurant does not disappoint! Raven Street Studios – Constructed in 1992, this facility remains Ottawa’s largest and most established recording complex. Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman, Avril Lavigne, Snoop Dogg, Train, and Collective Soul have all recorded there! House of Lasagna – This authentic Italian eatery is known for its lasagna and pizza! Eat in, take out or delivery! Timberware Handcrafted Furniture – If you are looking for a beautiful and rustic wood piece for your home, these guys have you covered. Check out their amazing projects! If you’re interested in homes for sale in Carlington or you would like information on property values or current market reports on this or any other neighbourhood please contact us! We are always here to help.
Ottawa Real Estate Market Snapshot: May 2018 
Ottawa Real Estate Market Snapshot: May 2018:  While inventory is still lower than normal, the number of listings coming onto the market this month is typical spring activity! Have questions? Looking for specific neighbourhood stats? Message us!! The following are hightlights from the Ottawa Real Estate Board’s latest News Release read the full story Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 2,279 residential properties in May through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 2,294 in May 2017, a decrease of 0.7 per cent. The five-year average for May sales is 2,041. May’s sales included 485 in the condominium property class and 1,794 in the residential property class. “Although our overall inventory stock is down in both the residential and condo market, the number of listings coming onto the market this month is typical spring activity,” states Ralph Shaw, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. “The sheer number of home sales that took place in May indicates that inventory is turning over quickly– certainly a sign that Ottawa is a healthy real estate market.” The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in May in the Ottawa area was $464,401, an increase of 6.3 per cent over May 2017. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $281,247, an increase of 3.4 per cent from May 2017.* “In the first five months of 2018, the value of a single-family home has increased about 8% and approximately 6.5% for condominiums,” Shaw notes. “This price acceleration is encouraging news for homeowners who have now seen an average of 3% price growth per year for the last five years.” “Much of the total increase in property values have been experienced since the beginning of this year. Not only will this help new homebuilders validate their pricing since construction costs and development fees are so high, but it also will give baby boomers incentive to sell their homes which will help put inventory back onto the market,” he explains. “While our inventory stays at historically low levels, especially in some neighbourhoods, there will continue to be upward pressure on home prices. We definitely have the demand for housing in this city not only because it is still very affordable but because all the fundamentals are solid here.  However, our city does need to have a longer-term housing supply strategy so that we aren’t confronted with future affordability challenges,” Shaw advises. The $300,000 to $449,999 range remains the most active price point in the residential market, accounting for 45 per cent of home sales, while the $500,000 to $750,000 range continues to gain momentum, now representing almost one-quarter of residential home sales. “Between $150,000 and $249,999 was May’s most active price point in the condominium market, accounting for 49 per cent of the units sold,” Shaw reports. “Moreover, apartment condos represent 52 per cent of the sales. This is likely a reflection of the low vacancy rate in the rental market. If you can scrape together a down payment, the carrying costs of one of these condos should be less than renting,” he suggests. In addition to residential and condominium sales, OREB Members assisted clients with renting 1,020 properties since the beginning of the year. * The Board cautions that the average sale price can be useful in establishing trends over time but should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. The calculation of the average sale price is based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold. Price and conditions will vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood.
Turn your Vacation into a Staycation: Activities for families in Ottawa
Turn your Vacation into a Staycation: Activities for families in Ottawa  Summer is a wonderful time to spend a little quality time with friends and family; things are more relaxed, the kids are out of school and you won’t have to worry about a last minute snow storm interfering with travel plans (well here’s hoping!) . But organizing a family vacation, especially when you have young children, can be stressful (just think of the Griswalds). The packing, planning, stopping, driving, – the list could go on and on. Have you ever arrived at your destination tired, wishing you’d just stayed home?  If the answer is yes, you can take the stress out of your vacation this year, and turn it into a “Staycation”! At this moment, you’re certainly considering this option, but wondering what there possibly could be to do in Ottawa for a family that already lives here? Have no fear; we have the answers you are looking for. Staycations are becoming a popular option for many families, as leaving home can be stressful, and expensive. In Ottawa, there are many options for families looking for things to do this summer during their family holidays including, but not limited to; museums, parks, festivals, Mooney’s Bay, Calypso Water Park, Saunders Farm and many more. These activities offer a change from your usual summer activities, without the stress of being far from home. Ottawa Museums & Parks Ottawa is a city that is home to many wonderful museums and exhibits just a short distance from your front door. These museums offer a wide variety of topics, from nature to history, to art galleries and more – Ottawa has a museum for every learning opportunity and interest. A more detailed list of museums and their special exhibits this summer can give you a better way to choose which museum to go to first! Don’t miss out on the brains, war history, gallery exhibits and more that will be making their way to museums in the Capital this summer. Saunders’ Farm Join Saunders’ Farm this summer for an array of family activities that will fill your staycation with laughter. From challenging mazes to an expanded pedal cart race track to hayride farm tours, a splash pad, and the new jumbo jumpers, Saunders’ Farm has activities for the whole family to enjoy. With reasonable family rates, and even offering a summer camp for kids – this is a stop you don’t want to miss out on. Beaches, Splash Pads, & Water Parks Keep cool this summer by visiting one of the city’s many splash pads, or have a relaxing family beach day at Mooney’s Bay Park, on the Rideau Canal. As one of the city’s four supervised beaches, you can relax knowing there are lifeguards on site each day. There is a picnic area, indoor change rooms, and a children’s playground to enjoy. Hike the Hog’s Back Nature Trails, see the Rideau Locks in action, or liven up your day with an interactive Pirate Adventure in Mooney’s Bay. This live theater cruise is on a real pirate ship in the heart of Mooney’s Bay. There are over 100 splash pads in Ottawa to choose from, each with their own assortment of activities and features. Some splash pads feature water cannons, spray loops, dumping buckets and more, each with their own “cool” functionality. Make it a family mission this summer to visit as many of the 100 splash pads located across the city or find your favourite ones to enjoy this summer sunshine! If you’re looking for something a little more thrilling than beaches or splash pads, look no further than Calypso Water Park, located here in Ottawa. Opening this year on June 6, the park features water activities for all ages. This park is home to the largest wave pool in Canada and features over 35 different water slides, two themed rivers, and 100 water games. Dive into the adventures of Calypso Water Park and keep the whole family cool and entertained this summer break. Action and Arcades With its very own escape room, laser tag, bumper cars, jungle gyms and more – FunHaven is Ottawa’s one-stop shop for family fun. Try your hand at their rock climbing wall, or challenge your family to an epic game of laser tag. Children 0-3years enter for free, and with tons of different arcade games and activities to choose from, there’s fun for the whole family to enjoy!   House of Targ is another hidden gem of Ottawa, located in Old Ottawa South just down the street from TD place. If you’re looking for a cool space with a retro vibe, this is it!  Ottawa’s only true classic arcade, at House of Targ you can play over 35 pinball and classic Arcade games (yes, even PACMAN!). While you might not think of this as a “family” outing, it is very kid friendly during the day and their perogies are AMAZING. After 8pm House of Targ has some of the best live rock, punk and metal shows in the city. Treat yourself After all that family time you might be looking for a wee bit of “me time”.  Le Nordik Spa, is located at the entrance of Gatineau Park and is one of Ottawa’s most popular “staycation” activities for millennials and baby boomers alike.  Offering relaxation using techniques from the Nordic countries you can take time to unwind and re-energize in Nordic baths, waterfalls, steam baths, saunas, and more.  Book a massage or body treatment and even enjoy a meal – baby you’re worth it!  And it’s only 10 minutes from downtown Gatineau-Ottawa.   ByWard Market, City Fun & Other Ideas Tour the ByWard Market this summer and see what little shops and hidden gems you can discover downtown, or take a visit to Parliament Hill to tour the Parliament Buildings. Enjoy our regal Parliament buildings, stop at museums and shops throughout the day, and celebrate the nightlife Ottawa has to offer. Check out the ByWard Market’s website to view any festivals or entertainment happening during your time and plan to visit a festival or see a
Home-Grown Issues: The impacts of home-grown marijuana and legalization
Home-Grown Issues: The impacts of home-grown marijuana and legalization Many Canadians are awaiting this July 2018 with much anticipation, as Bill C-45 will allow the legalization of marijuana, including their ability to grow up to 4 plants within their residence. However, without the proper protections and awareness in place this new legislation could cost home owners thousands, or even their mortgage. The increase of private residence grow-ops that will begin following legalization is a major concern for the real estate industry. Experts say that everyone from “buyers, to sellers, to real estate agents, and home inspectors” will be affected by the consequences produced by home grow-ops. Issues with Home-Grown There is currently no legal benchmark in the definition of a grow-op. This means, that whether it is a large-scale operation, or a single potted plant, the home is viewed in the same light. Although this doesn’t seem like a big issue to some, the underlying damages that can result from growing marijuana plants within a residence have serious ramifications on insurance, mortgages, and future sales. Damages and building inspections The humidity and power required to grow larger quantities of plants can lead to electrical system damages, and mold, fungus, and moisture issues within the home. These issues, and others can completely destroy the framework of the house. Building remediation is not mandated by the province with legalization, and there is no official registry of illegal grow-ops that allow future home buyers to be forewarned of the possible damages and health risks they may encounter. These damages don’t need to be evident for a home to be labeled a “grow-op”. As there is no “definition” of size to label as a grow op, the house can be stigmatized whether it is one or one hundred plants in the house, in the case of illegal operations. These houses can be heavily damaged, and often covered up to make the home saleable. “History has shown us that some shady property owners will go to great lengths to hide signs of a former grow operation” – Tim Hudak OREA CEO When it comes to future sales on a home with a grow-op label, evidence shows that these homes sell for less than the surrounding houses, even if the proper repairs have been performed. Legalization including home cultivation can lead to unsuspecting buyers purchasing homes that are damaged, and could leave building inspectors on the hook if any damages are missed prior to purchase. The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) is urging policy makers to include protective measures for home buyers, and the future of Ontario’s housing stock. Marijuana and Mortgages: As it stands currently, most mortgage lenders have a very conservative approach when in comes to homes where marijuana growth has been present. Typically, traditional mortgage lenders such as banks, will deny the mortgage altogether. This denial is based on the premise of resale value being decreased in homes where cultivation of marijuana has occurred. Without this knowledge, individual’s seeking to purchase a home can run into red-tape when it comes to financing a property once used to grow marijuana, and once legalization is in place – home cultivation can lead to damages in multiple homes and minimize the available houses that will be approved by bank lenders. This results in borrowers needing to use alternative lenders. The process of approval with alternative lenders, especially where growth of marijuana is concerned requires a lot more detailed paperwork, air/mold testing, and typically a case-by-case evaluation of each home to determine approval. Insurance Policies: If the home’s status is compromised, then the home becomes more difficult to insure. Without insurance companies who are willing to approve a home insurance policy, the mortgages will be unapproved by default. Because marijuana growth requires a large quantity of electricity, the home is at higher risk of fire. Fire insurance is a mandatory portion in ensuring approval of a mortgage. It is unclear at this point if insurers will adjust their policies post-legalization to account for these new possibilities. This could mean those who grow within the legal limit are still risking their home coverage to do so. Many insurers are discussing the possibility of introducing policies that allow for home-growing, but it is not yet determined how that may effect a home-owners insurance premiums. How is Home-Grown going to change Ontario? Simply put, the ability to grow up to 4 plants legally in ones home could  jeopardize their current mortgage, insurance, and future sale-ability of their home. At this time, there is currently no legislation or protection in place that will guarantee home owners their home value, insurances, or mortgage approvals should they choose to go with the crowd awaiting home-grown this summer. There is certainly a lot to consider when it comes to homes and home-grown this July.