Real Estate

Ottawa and Surrounding Area Real Estate market discussion

  • Last Updated:
  • Jan 15th, 2021 7:18 pm
Newbie
Apr 19, 2019
4 posts
1 upvote
Yes. She is fully bilingual and does plan to stay working within the federal government.

She is currently waiting back on the results to see if she qualifies for a “pool” for a level up from her current. Her new level would be CO-02

As for living arrangement. She lives with me (for free by my choice). I own a house in the market outright and live fairly frugally compared to income. I just turned 30. We could happily live in current home for the long haul although ideally we prefer New Edinburgh, Centertown, Sandy Hill or the Glebe but can’t afford those yet.

Should we continue to push towards buying more cash flow positive re (hard to find but if we do). Another idea we floated around was a small modern Airbnb cottage rental. Or maybe try and start a small business or finance an operator of one. If this was 2010 I’d be buying up more stocks...but valuations are stretched (in my opinion).
Deal Addict
Jan 15, 2017
3611 posts
2966 upvotes
SHaw001 wrote: Yes. She is fully bilingual and does plan to stay working within the federal government.

She is currently waiting back on the results to see if she qualifies for a “pool” for a level up from her current. Her new level would be CO-02

As for living arrangement. She lives with me (for free by my choice). I own a house in the market outright and live fairly frugally compared to income. I just turned 30. We could happily live in current home for the long haul although ideally we prefer New Edinburgh, Centertown, Sandy Hill or the Glebe but can’t afford those yet.

Should we continue to push towards buying more cash flow positive re (hard to find but if we do). Another idea we floated around was a small modern Airbnb cottage rental. Or maybe try and start a small business or finance an operator of one. If this was 2010 I’d be buying up more stocks...but valuations are stretched (in my opinion).
The CO group is a really good group to be in. Can easily move into the EX group if desired. Even if she were to remain in the CO-02 level, she will retire to a wonderful pension. Although doubtful she would remain at this group & level her entire career. Being female and bilingual can easily get her into the EX group if she wanted it. The question is then why continue to invest in more property? What are your investment goals? Why not simply start enjoying the money now?
Newbie
Apr 19, 2019
4 posts
1 upvote
On the spending side, we definitely aren’t starving ourselves. In fact I think our desire for nice things/experiences (sustainably) is part of why we save so much now.

We are finding Uber, walk, bike and hertz to be good and at same time cheaper then car (due to low use). We use to go out a fair bit, dinners clubs but we see our friends now building more family conducive lifestyles so our card is happily filling with more time with our parents, extended family and her sisters family or people who share our hobbies.

I think for goals. We would both like to get to a place where we could retire with about $8.5k today’s dollars after tax income a month. Also would like to pay for our future children’s schooling or an equivalent investment in whatever they choose to do and ideally be able to travel with them a bit when they are young.

The real issue stems from the fact that she wants an option to retire earlier then 60. (I will happily work forever)...but due to her independent nature wants to contribute equally to our minimum desired number of $8.5k

The only way I see that as being possible, is if she continues in one of three ways:

-by paying off the two existing mortgages on her rental properties. Could do in 4.6 years. Would generate roughly $2,300/month after tax.
-Her TFSA should generate about $250/month in dividends in 4.6 years.

So there is a gap of about $1500 that we need to creatively fill (in that option). Push deeper in re? Focus more on equities? Sell our bodies (we could bring Dalhousie back to its former glory).
Deal Addict
Jan 15, 2017
3611 posts
2966 upvotes
^^^ Have you estimated her pension value? How many years of pensionable service can she expect if she were to retire before 60? Depending on her age and number of years til retirement, her pension will most likely be higher than her annual salary today.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 9, 2007
3949 posts
435 upvotes
Getting a little off topic, but... $8500/mth in after tax income when you're retired? Any particular reason? At that point you won't have a mortgage (likely) or a car (by the sounds of it)... why do you need that high an income?

Getting back on topic... our Stittsville house will be on MLS the week of May 13th! Excited to see how it plays out. Our first experience selling (5 years ago) was during a RE slow down... took about 3 months. Cautiously optimistic that this time will be better.
Proud member of SENS Army
Sr. Member
Feb 18, 2010
884 posts
351 upvotes
Greely
skeet50 wrote: ^^^ Have you estimated her pension value? How many years of pensionable service can she expect if she were to retire before 60? Depending on her age and number of years til retirement, her pension will most likely be higher than her annual salary today.
I would encourage this young lady to take the retirement course - it's a real eye-opener. It's not just for PS employees who are about to retire...
Newbie
Apr 19, 2019
4 posts
1 upvote
That’s a great idea. We will definitely be signing up for that course. Thanks for the recommendation, could be exactly the resource we needed to better understand her gov pension.

As for $8,500 it’s a moving target. I figure $5,000 to live well ($164/day) and the remainder giving back to community, helping out friends (we both didn’t come from much) and would like to be as active in helping others as we can. AND good luck on your upcoming SALE :)
Sr. Member
Feb 18, 2010
884 posts
351 upvotes
Greely
Can anyone recommend a lawn care company in Ottawa? I'm mostly interested in dandelion/broadleaf control.

Or better yet, lawn care companies to avoid...

tia
Member
Mar 7, 2011
421 posts
272 upvotes
Ottawa
What is the "norm" for the realtor commission and lawyer fee (and any other fees?) when selling?

I'm planning to sell next year, and this is my first time selling a property so please ELI5.. :)
Newbie
Dec 12, 2013
52 posts
58 upvotes
sky417 wrote: What is the "norm" for the realtor commission and lawyer fee (and any other fees?) when selling?

I'm planning to sell next year, and this is my first time selling a property so please ELI5.. :)
Depending on how you choose to sell your property will determine your fees:

- Sell your house using a realtor and the buyer has a realtor... standard fee is 2.5% for your realtor and 2.5% for the buyers realtor
- Sell your house using Purplebricks... flate rate to sell your house for approx $800... standard fee of 2.5% to the buyers agent
- Sell your house privately via Kijiji or other means and you could pay no commission

Lawyer fees are usually around $1000 and up.

Hope that helps.
Member
Nov 10, 2014
387 posts
526 upvotes
Ottawa, ON
sky417 wrote: What is the "norm" for the realtor commission and lawyer fee (and any other fees?) when selling?

I'm planning to sell next year, and this is my first time selling a property so please ELI5.. :)
Expanding a bit on @StefanW499 answer:
- Purple Bricks has a few add on services (for additional flat fees) that assists with scheduling viewings and dealing with offers. It is a cost effective way to obtain some of the additional services on top of getting your property listed on the MLS.
- There are discount brokerages that charge 1% or 1.25% on the sell side. I bought a listing that was listed by a discount brokerage agent (Red Moose Realty), and felt that the selling agent did a good job representing her client. This is a solid option in reducing costs while having an agent do all the leg work.
- I am undecided if some of the big name agents/ teams are worth paying the full 2.5% for on the sell side. I saw some recent sales where the buyers get absolutely fleeced when buying homes represented by some big name agents/ teams. I can't tell how much of that can be attributed to the agent, or the general market conditions.

All in all, I would line up a meeting with Purple Bricks and a bunch of brokerages. Ask them what they offer to justify their fee, and also see if you can negotiate a lower fee by interviewing multiple agents. Ottawa right now is very listing starved, and there are lots of idle agents. It really is a seller's market in negotiating with both the buyers and the agents.

I personally would not try to save on the 2.5% paid to buyer's agent. Having as many qualified buyers through the doors will help you fetch the highest dollar net of fees. You may be able to safely reduce it to 2% if other competing listings in your area only offers 2% as well.

Lastly, note that both fees paid to buying and selling agent is subject to HST. The regular 5% commission is in fact 5.65%.
Member
Nov 10, 2014
387 posts
526 upvotes
Ottawa, ON
sky417 wrote: What is the "norm" for the realtor commission and lawyer fee (and any other fees?) when selling?

I'm planning to sell next year, and this is my first time selling a property so please ELI5.. :)
I would also consider paying for a home inspection yourself (~$500+hst) if your property is likely to go into multiple offer situation (list price <500k, Barrhaven, Kanata, Orleans, freehold townhouse, etc.). Having firm offers on the offer date is a good protection against the assh*le strategy of offering high, get the conditional sale, and lowering the offered price for gazillion benign things that come up during the home inspection.
Member
Mar 7, 2011
421 posts
272 upvotes
Ottawa
StefanW499 wrote: Depending on how you choose to sell your property will determine your fees:

- Sell your house using a realtor and the buyer has a realtor... standard fee is 2.5% for your realtor and 2.5% for the buyers realtor
- Sell your house using Purplebricks... flate rate to sell your house for approx $800... standard fee of 2.5% to the buyers agent
- Sell your house privately via Kijiji or other means and you could pay no commission

Lawyer fees are usually around $1000 and up.

Hope that helps.
Thanks for nice summary!
Tadalafil wrote: Expanding a bit on @StefanW499 answer:
- Purple Bricks has a few add on services (for additional flat fees) that assists with scheduling viewings and dealing with offers. It is a cost effective way to obtain some of the additional services on top of getting your property listed on the MLS.
- There are discount brokerages that charge 1% or 1.25% on the sell side. I bought a listing that was listed by a discount brokerage agent (Red Moose Realty), and felt that the selling agent did a good job representing her client. This is a solid option in reducing costs while having an agent do all the leg work.
- I am undecided if some of the big name agents/ teams are worth paying the full 2.5% for on the sell side. I saw some recent sales where the buyers get absolutely fleeced when buying homes represented by some big name agents/ teams. I can't tell how much of that can be attributed to the agent, or the general market conditions.

All in all, I would line up a meeting with Purple Bricks and a bunch of brokerages. Ask them what they offer to justify their fee, and also see if you can negotiate a lower fee by interviewing multiple agents. Ottawa right now is very listing starved, and there are lots of idle agents. It really is a seller's market in negotiating with both the buyers and the agents.

I personally would not try to save on the 2.5% paid to buyer's agent. Having as many qualified buyers through the doors will help you fetch the highest dollar net of fees. You may be able to safely reduce it to 2% if other competing listings in your area only offers 2% as well.

Lastly, note that both fees paid to buying and selling agent is subject to HST. The regular 5% commission is in fact 5.65%.

I would also consider paying for a home inspection yourself (~$500+hst) if your property is likely to go into multiple offer situation (list price <500k, Barrhaven, Kanata, Orleans, freehold townhouse, etc.). Having firm offers on the offer date is a good protection against the assh*le strategy of offering high, get the conditional sale, and lowering the offered price for gazillion benign things that come up during the home inspection.
I was also looking for a low-commission agent, thanks for the pointer!
Also didn't know that the commission is subject to HST.. :(

I am thinking of going open-house tour in the weekends to see how the big-name agents in my area (Joan Smith, Christine Hauschild.. anyone else in Kanata area? Anna Ostapyk?) actually present their listings.
I went to a few open houses past couple weekends, haven't found one I liked. However most of the showings were actually fairly crowded regardless of the agent - at least 2~3 teams in the house, and even more coming when I was leaving.. Hope this trend continues until I sell next year.
Sr. Member
Aug 14, 2007
524 posts
281 upvotes
Ottawa
Well, seems like flooding will become very common in Ottawa. It is one of the risk should factor into real estate investment in Ottawa.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Dec 27, 2009
7098 posts
4260 upvotes
Victoria, BC
audiorichard wrote: Well, seems like flooding will become very common in Ottawa. It is one of the risk should factor into real estate investment in Ottawa.
In a few areas. I don't know anyone personally affected, but neither us nor any of our friends live in those spots.
Jr. Member
Apr 25, 2019
182 posts
202 upvotes
Ontario
get ready to pay higher home insurance in 2020.
Deal Addict
Sep 24, 2010
1921 posts
215 upvotes
GaryR28626 wrote: get ready to pay higher home insurance in 2020.
Curious on what people are paying ? I was paying around $1500 for a 4-plex . It's around $2200 since I had to switch insurance due to a claim
Deal Addict
Aug 30, 2011
3459 posts
1217 upvotes
Ottawa
GaryR28626 wrote: get ready to pay higher home insurance in 2020.
I hope not. I'm on a hill so flooding isn't a problem. However climate change brings all kinds of extreme weather, so we need to watch out for tornadoes and other bad weather events. Disappointed Face (We pay $813 for home insurance, up $200 since 2016 since we've had some renos done)

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