Real Estate

Ottawa and Surrounding Area Real Estate market discussion

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Sr. Member
Aug 6, 2011
592 posts
264 upvotes
Zero Hope wrote:
Part of being a successful investor whether in RE or in equities is buying during the downturns. If you are investing for the long term, there's no reason to fear them. See them for the opportunities that they are.
agree. i have some money sitting in the bank account ready for the next stock market downturn. or if my tenant leaves before the downturn, id invest in good renos to improve cashflow of my property and refinance. whatever comes first i’m ready to make more money.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Nov 26, 2004
2883 posts
1286 upvotes
jk9088 wrote: How big do you guys think is the impact of having community housing in the neighborhood?

I am considering purchasing a house that is in great condition and would cashflow decently, location is great and neighbourhood is decent except that there is a community housing building near it. The house itself is located on a quiet inside street that is "nestled away" so I don't think it is affected much by the community housing, and as I mentioned apart from that building I do like the neighbourhood (it's not sketchy or a bad area).

However, I'm concerned that just being near community housing will affect the tenant pool and possibly result in lower rent, as well as affect future resale. Anyone with thoughts or experiences on whether or not this is a big deal?
Real estate is all about location. Unlike a poorly maintained eye sore on a street, a community/low income housing development will never go away and gentrification of the neighbourhood may never happened. Therefore, if you're looking at solely cash flow, it may not necessary be an issue as much. Though, your tenant will be sharing bus stop, schools and other community service from these housing development, therefore, if you're too close to area such as Herongate or even Carlington/Caldwell Ave, you may experience higher tenant turnover or a harder time in attracting higher quality tenant. I think that is one of the reason why certain neighbourhood such as Hunt Club/Greenboro is held back because community housing is integrated right into the development itself.

My rule of thumb in buying rental properties is I will only buy properties that I don't mind living in it myself as I'm not in the more lucrative slumlord rental segment of the market.
Sr. Member
Aug 6, 2011
592 posts
264 upvotes
jk9088 wrote: How big do you guys think is the impact of having community housing in the neighborhood?
on this topic, Overbrook has the highest ratio of community housing i believe, and because of that it should be one the less desirable neighborhoods.
and now it seems prices have increased to catch up with the rest of ottawa. there’s nothing much under 450k for freehold at the moment. maybe later some listings will show up. i remember few years ago it was easy to find listings there.
Last edited by cyberfreak123 on Oct 14th, 2019 7:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Nov 26, 2004
2883 posts
1286 upvotes
Zero Hope wrote: I personally don't care who gets elected since I certainly don't have a knee jerk reaction when it comes to selling real estate. I'm holding for the long term anyways (only 30 and have a long 40+ year investment horizon remaining). We're up 40% on our primary residence since buying in 2013 and honestly it doesn't matter what that number is because we need a place to live. Any dip in the Ottawa RE market is an opportunity for me/us to buy more, and I would certainly love to add a second and third townhouse to my RE investment portfolio. I welcome a drop so I can get some bargains.

Similarly not worried about a potential recession and all this stock market fear out there. If there is a huge drop, I am/we are well positioned to buy more and invest more at a bargain :D In fact I welcome a 40-50% drop in the market as we're well positioned with a 60/40 defensive portfolio and would shift all our fixed income to 100% equities and invest wayyy more that I currently have on the sidelines for a quick recovery and gain.

Part of being a successful investor whether in RE or in equities is buying during the downturns. If you are investing for the long term, there's no reason to fear them. See them for the opportunities that they are.
Agree, the key to success in real estate is the ability to hold it long term. The question is how well an investor can "weather a storm", can they hold a vacant property for let's say 3-6 months while getting hit with a hefty repair bill during a downturn. As Warren Buffett said “You only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out." Investors never want to be the one who can't handle the stress during a downturn where they are force to sell as that's when they will get slaughter. And I sense that there are people skinny dipping in Ottawa right now.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Jun 28, 2003
10340 posts
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Ottawa
Does anyone here own properties in Stonebridge, either as primary residence or rental or both? We have a small townhouse that does not back on to to the golf course and we have been asked to vote on a special levy to keep Mattamy from developing the golf course.

I won't go into all the details here (you can find them on the Stonebridge Community Association FB page and other sources) but I am wondering if there is any compelling reason we should vote Yes. I am considering voting No because I don't see any real benefit to us (it will certainly benefit the owners who back on to the golf course and who already paid a sizable premium for that privilege).
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Jan 15, 2017
3745 posts
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canabiz wrote: Does anyone here own properties in Stonebridge, either as primary residence or rental or both? We have a small townhouse that does not back on to to the golf course and we have been asked to vote on a special levy to keep Mattamy from developing the golf course.

I won't go into all the details here (you can find them on the Stonebridge Community Association FB page and other sources) but I am wondering if there is any compelling reason we should vote Yes. I am considering voting No because I don't see any real benefit to us (it will certainly benefit the owners who back on to the golf course and who already paid a sizable premium for that privilege).
I don't live in Stonebridge and I am glad that I don't. I think that the levy that is being proposed is pre-proterous as it truly only benefits a select few. My take on these things is simple - nothing in this life is guaranteed. Any land around you is game for development. Heck, even water is game for development with re-claimed land. I can't think of any compelling reason why you would willingly pay more to live there. That levy would be enough for me to scratch the area off my list as a place to live.
Last edited by skeet50 on Oct 14th, 2019 8:56 am, edited 2 times in total.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Jun 28, 2003
10340 posts
3399 upvotes
Ottawa
skeet50 wrote: I don't live in Stonebridge and I am glad that I don't. I think that the levy that is being proposed is prosperous as it truly only benefits a select few. My take on these things is simple - nothing in this life is guaranteed. Any land around you is game for development. Heck, even water is game for development with re-claimed land. I can't think of any compelling reason why you would willingly pay more to live there. That levy would be enough for me to scratch the area off my list as a place to live.
Thanks for your input. That is exactly my sentiment and I will vote No. Our Stonebridge property is a rental so we don't really have a dog in this fight, if you will, certainly not directly.

It will be interesting to see the outcome of the vote. I spent the past hour or so going through the post on the SCA FB page and there are a lot of good arguments on both sides. I certainly don't envy their positions at this point.

Btw, did you mean *pre-posterous* and not *prosperous*? ;)
Deal Addict
Nov 13, 2013
2412 posts
1189 upvotes
Ottawa
Zero Hope wrote: I personally don't care who gets elected since I certainly don't have a knee jerk reaction when it comes to selling real estate. I'm holding for the long term anyways (only 30 and have a long 40+ year investment horizon remaining). We're up 40% on our primary residence since buying in 2013 and honestly it doesn't matter what that number is because we need a place to live. Any dip in the Ottawa RE market is an opportunity for me/us to buy more, and I would certainly love to add a second and third townhouse to my RE investment portfolio. I welcome a drop so I can get some bargains.

Similarly not worried about a potential recession and all this stock market fear out there. If there is a huge drop, I am/we are well positioned to buy more and invest more at a bargain :D In fact I welcome a 40-50% drop in the market as we're well positioned with a 60/40 defensive portfolio and would shift all our fixed income to 100% equities and invest wayyy more that I currently have on the sidelines for a quick recovery and gain.

Part of being a successful investor whether in RE or in equities is buying during the downturns. If you are investing for the long term, there's no reason to fear them. See them for the opportunities that they are.
Price drops and downturns are not always knee jerk reactions that obviously present value. We can see this easily with single stocks. At what point was Nortel an obvious buy. The fact is the same happens with whole stock markets and cities or even countries real estate. If Scheer forms a coalition with the Bloc and downloads a huge number of services to the provinces Ottawa Real Estate might peak in 2019 and never recover. Is this likely no but things do change. Conversely there is a lot of land in Gatineau and currently it seems like Quebec has better leadership than Ontario with converging tax rates. The TSE could easily havea 40 year downward trend if commodity prices reset much lower. If we stop using oil alone that would probably mean the TSX never recovers, especially in USD terms. Saudi collapses and Oil goes to $200 making CAD soar to 1.25 and the S&P might not be back to its current CAD level for 30 years or more.
Point is lot's can happen and diversification is key but don't depend on overly simplistic investment tropes.
Deal Addict
Jan 15, 2017
3745 posts
3151 upvotes
canabiz wrote: Thanks for your input. That is exactly my sentiment and I will vote No. Our Stonebridge property is a rental so we don't really have a dog in this fight, if you will, certainly not directly.

It will be interesting to see the outcome of the vote. I spent the past hour or so going through the post on the SCA FB page and there are a lot of good arguments on both sides. I certainly don't envy their positions at this point.

Btw, did you mean *pre-posterous* and not *prosperous*? ;)
Yes, I meant preposterous. Gotta love autocorrect.

I went to the Facebook page last night and read many of the docs. Have to agree with many of the comments that the Community Association there does not appear to be acting in a neutral capacity. It is clear that the Association is in support of this deal and is advocating for its acceptance.

I get that people want green space and I get that if I paid a premium to back onto green space only to discover that the green space is being developed that I would be upset. We all know though that when buying new builds paying lot premiums is just paying more money for the sake of paying more as there aren't any guarantees attached with that premium.

The major concern I would have if I lived there is that I would be paying all this money to apparently own a golf course - yet it is unclear to me how I would actually 'own" it. Perhaps it is hidden there somewhere in the docs yet it is unclear to me how my name would be added to the golf course title. My paying for it so the city can own it is not the same thing. It would be an easier pill for me to swallow if the community were converted to a condo association because that would mean that the association would actually own it and presumably could be an amenity for homeowners to use and enjoy.
Deal Addict
Sep 24, 2010
1921 posts
215 upvotes
jk9088 wrote: How big do you guys think is the impact of having community housing in the neighborhood?

I am considering purchasing a house that is in great condition and would cashflow decently, location is great and neighbourhood is decent except that there is a community housing building near it. The house itself is located on a quiet inside street that is "nestled away" so I don't think it is affected much by the community housing, and as I mentioned apart from that building I do like the neighbourhood (it's not sketchy or a bad area).

However, I'm concerned that just being near community housing will affect the tenant pool and possibly result in lower rent, as well as affect future resale. Anyone with thoughts or experiences on whether or not this is a big deal?
TBH it's from street to street. If you look Vanier & Rockliffe are next to each other, but hasn't impacted the price a lot. Same goes for Mechanicsville
Deal Addict
Jul 7, 2007
1170 posts
748 upvotes
fogetmylogin wrote: Price drops and downturns are not always knee jerk reactions that obviously present value. We can see this easily with single stocks. At what point was Nortel an obvious buy. The fact is the same happens with whole stock markets and cities or even countries real estate. If Scheer forms a coalition with the Bloc and downloads a huge number of services to the provinces Ottawa Real Estate might peak in 2019 and never recover. Is this likely no but things do change. Conversely there is a lot of land in Gatineau and currently it seems like Quebec has better leadership than Ontario with converging tax rates. The TSE could easily havea 40 year downward trend if commodity prices reset much lower. If we stop using oil alone that would probably mean the TSX never recovers, especially in USD terms. Saudi collapses and Oil goes to $200 making CAD soar to 1.25 and the S&P might not be back to its current CAD level for 30 years or more.
Point is lot's can happen and diversification is key but don't depend on overly simplistic investment tropes.
Interesting point about Nortel but I wasn't of the legal age to invest in stocks during Nortel's bubble. Would I have bought into the Nortel hype if I was theoretically invest back then? Who knows. All I know is that presently, I only invest in ETFs and do not purchase single stocks. My exposure to Canada equities is about around 10% and I already feel that is overweight lol.

If you want to believe that the Ottawa market has peaked in 2019 and will NEVER recover you can be entitled to that opinion lol.

Anyways, we'll continue to invest heavily in ETFs and RE going forward because we can afford to. DINKS and putting aside an average of 7k per month to DCA more purchases of ETFs and also RE.
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Dec 23, 2010
1849 posts
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Moon
Zero Hope wrote: Interesting point about Nortel but I wasn't of the legal age to invest in stocks during Nortel's bubble. Would I have bought into the Nortel hype if I was theoretically invest back then? Who knows. All I know is that presently, I only invest in ETFs and do not purchase single stocks. My exposure to Canada equities is about around 10% and I already feel that is overweight lol.

If you want to believe that the Ottawa market has peaked in 2019 and will NEVER recover you can be entitled to that opinion lol.

Anyways, we'll continue to invest heavily in ETFs and RE going forward because we can afford to. DINKS and putting aside an average of 7k per month to DCA more purchases of ETFs and also RE.
Why you would ever invest in Canadian equities at all is beyond me. This country hates success. Any company that becomes successful must be taxed and regulated into the dirt. I like Canadian real estate because it is tough for the government to **** over Canadian home owners and remain electable. Canadians overwhelmingly own homes and will not be happy with governments that deliberately make them poorer. Furthermore even home buyers don't want real estate touched as they want to feel secure that their future purchase is a good investment.
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Jul 7, 2007
1170 posts
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Applesmack wrote: Why you would ever invest in Canadian equities at all is beyond me. This country hates success. Any company that becomes successful must be taxed and regulated into the dirt. I like Canadian real estate because it is tough for the government to **** over Canadian home owners and remain electable. Canadians overwhelmingly own homes and will not be happy with governments that deliberately make them poorer. Furthermore even home buyers don't want real estate touched as they want to feel secure that their future purchase is a good investment.
Lol most Canadian stocks/sectors I wouldn't touch but there are a select few sectors that I invest in such as financials and telecoms.

Also, there are a ton of people sensitive about the price of their property/properties in this thread. Maybe they are too over-leveraged and too dependent/reliant on the equity they have built in their homes. Maybe its time for those people to re-assess their financial portfolios? Meh to each their own.
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May 23, 2017
1239 posts
1102 upvotes
Thanks for all the input everyone regarding the community housing issue. Seems like it could definitely be a negative but the extent to which it impacts a neighbourhood really varies.
William W wrote: Real estate is all about location. Unlike a poorly maintained eye sore on a street, a community/low income housing development will never go away and gentrification of the neighbourhood may never happened. Therefore, if you're looking at solely cash flow, it may not necessary be an issue as much. Though, your tenant will be sharing bus stop, schools and other community service from these housing development, therefore, if you're too close to area such as Herongate or even Carlington/Caldwell Ave, you may experience higher tenant turnover or a harder time in attracting higher quality tenant. I think that is one of the reason why certain neighbourhood such as Hunt Club/Greenboro is held back because community housing is integrated right into the development itself.

My rule of thumb in buying rental properties is I will only buy properties that I don't mind living in it myself as I'm not in the more lucrative slumlord rental segment of the market.
I totally agree with your rule of thumb and also do not want to get into the "slumlording". I generally don't consider these areas for that reason. However this one is a bit different because as far as I'm aware, it does not have a reputation for being an area with community housing (not like Herongate, Carlington, Overbrook, etc. which do have a rather negative reputation). In fact I had no idea there even was a community housing building in this neighbourhood prior to scoping out the area. I do however realize that it does still present a risk when buying real estate so I will most likely pass on this one. Reason being that due to the community housing, I would probably discount my offer by a fair amount and I'm almost positive there is someone else out there that will happily pay over what I would feel is reasonable (not sure everyone would be aware of the community housing or bother to factor it into their bid). I've been sitting out of the market for awhile but hoped that it had cooled down in the fall especially with the upcoming elections--however, seems like the market is still quite hot as there was an impressive turnout at the open house. In my experience when the open house is this crazy, the winning bid always ends up being quite a fair bit over what I personally think the fair value of the property is and what I'm willing to pay.

Looks like I'll be waiting longer for the Ottawa market to cool down before buying more as there still doesn't seem to be any deals to be had in such a lopsided seller's market...and if it continues to go on a tear in the next few years I guess that's fine too, I'll just be content with my current portfolio.
Deal Guru
Oct 30, 2006
14822 posts
4303 upvotes
Zero Hope wrote: Lol most Canadian stocks/sectors I wouldn't touch but there are a select few sectors that I invest in such as financials and telecoms.

Also, there are a ton of people sensitive about the price of their property/properties in this thread. Maybe they are too over-leveraged and too dependent/reliant on the equity they have built in their homes. Maybe its time for those people to re-assess their financial portfolios? Meh to each their own.
Just because people aren't sharing their incomes and net worth doesn't mean they're house poor and over leveraged. Good for you that you're investing 7k a month though.
TripleQ wrote:I read Click magazine for the articles!
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Dec 4, 2016
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Applesmack wrote: Why you would ever invest in Canadian equities at all is beyond me. This country hates success. Any company that becomes successful must be taxed and regulated into the dirt. I like Canadian real estate because it is tough for the government to **** over Canadian home owners and remain electable. Canadians overwhelmingly own homes and will not be happy with governments that deliberately make them poorer. Furthermore even home buyers don't want real estate touched as they want to feel secure that their future purchase is a good investment.
Lol TSX has outperformed my primary residence in Ottawa, in terms of value. Blackberry's fall hurt TSX, but Harper's federal layoffs hurt Ottawa RE more. Among the major parties, Tories probably hate success the least, but they were horrible for Ottawa RE.
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Dec 23, 2010
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Moon
BlueSolstice wrote: Lol TSX has outperformed my primary residence in Ottawa, in terms of value. Blackberry's fall hurt TSX, but Harper's federal layoffs hurt Ottawa RE more. Among the major parties, Tories probably hate success the least, but they were horrible for Ottawa RE.
I have trouble believing that to be honest. TSX is only up 25% since 2011, which is horrible. Ottawa Real Estate (specifically the detached houses) has seen double digit price increases in the last 3 years now. Anecdotal evidence here, but the builder for the house I bought has jacked up the price of the model by 26.3% over the last 2 years. Take leverage into account (I assume your investments in the stock market are not leveraged as that would be very risky on your part) and you have greatly outperformed the TSX.
Deal Addict
Dec 4, 2016
1872 posts
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Applesmack wrote: I have trouble believing that to be honest. TSX is only up 25% since 2011, which is horrible. Ottawa Real Estate (specifically the detached houses) has seen double digit price increases in the last 3 years now. Anecdotal evidence here, but the builder for the house I bought has jacked up the price of the model by 26.3% over the last 2 years. Take leverage into account (I assume your investments in the stock market are not leveraged as that would be very risky on your part) and you have greatly outperformed the TSX.
OK, my particular example happened to be a condo, and I lived in the unit for these 10 years, so 10 years of wear and tear, rather than just builders increasing prices from the time you signed your contract to the time you take possession. Over a longer time span, things get a little more complicated, as you get the implied rent, but also pay for repairs and property tax etc. Over the past 6 months, the value of my unit has probably caught up with TSX, as people priced out of freehold towns are forced to buy condos.

I guess we have to wait and see how quickly builders can throw up freehold towns outside greenbelt. The land appears to be infinite on google maps.
Member
May 17, 2010
282 posts
173 upvotes
Applesmack wrote: Why you would ever invest in Canadian equities at all is beyond me. This country hates success. Any company that becomes successful must be taxed and regulated into the dirt.
Can I assume you never tried to open a business outside of Canada?
Compared to the majority of countries in the world, operating a business in Canada is a walk in the park.

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