Archives for May 2013

26 McArthur Avenue. Carleton Place, Ontario

Introducing 26 McArthur Ave. Carleton Place, Ontario. Set in the popular Carleton Place community this family home is situated on a quiet cul-de-sac  just steps away from downtown and a short walk from beautiful Riverside park.

Walking distance to many amenities, including schools, restaurants and the Carleton Place Farmers Market. A short commute into the city with the new 4 lane highway.

This custom built home features lots of great decor accents with stain glass window, crown moldings and lighting fixtures. Original owners have kept it well maintained and have done many upgrades.

For more information on this property please click here.

301 Glenbrae Ave. Kanata, Ontario

Introducing 301 Glenbrae Ave. Kanata, Ontario. Set in the popular Kanata community of Brookside.  This home is walking distance to many amenities, including schools, restaurants, coffee shops, bus routes and parks.

This Garand Robert model was built in approx. 2009 and features 2010 square feet of living space, including a finished basement.  A well maintained End unit town home on corner lot, bright, spacious, with plenty of storage and well priced.  There isn’t anything more you could want in a townhome.

For more information on this property please click here.

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Collateral vs Conventional mortgages

Hi, there was a piece on CBC’s Marketplace show recently about mortgages being registered as collateral vs conventional and I thought I would take a moment and explain the differences between those two types of registrations.

Collateral mortgages are becoming more common and it is important that clients understand the differences.  Collateral mortgages are typically registered for more than the actual mortgage requested (in some cases, up to 125% of the value of the home).  The terms of the mortgage are the same ie 5 year term, 25 year amortization for example.

The benefit of a collateral charge is that it can allow the client to refinance up to the amount of the registration without incurring legal fees (assuming that the client qualifies and that the property appraises).  There are two cons.  At renewal a client cannot switch if they do not like the rate so they are somewhat at the mercy of the lender in terms of getting the best rate deal.  Also, should a client have financial issues which will not allow them to qualify for a standard bank mortgage they may have trouble getting a second mortgage as not all lenders will go into second position behind a collateral charge.

As a mortgage agent it is not my job to pick one type of registration over another, it is my role to ensure that a client understands their mortgage options so that they can make an informed decision based on their current circumstances, taking into account what impact that decision may have on future choices.

As always, should you have any questions about this information please feel free to call or email me.


Karen Lemieux

Accredited Mortgage Professional, CFP, BComm
Trust, Service, Accountability
Mortgage Agent
Mortgage Brokers Ottawa

788 Island Park Dr
Ottawa, Ontario
K1Y 0C2
Fax: 613-274-7389

Apply Securely Online:

Broker license: 11759

” The highest compliment my clients give me is the referral of their family, friends and business associates. Thank you for your trust.”

Cell: 613-304-1500
Office: 613-798-1973

Finishing your basement and maximizing the return on your investment

Home improvements are usually done to increase your home satisfaction, but unless you plan on living in the same house forever you should also consider how they affect your home’s overall value.

Finishing your basement can yield up to a 70% return on your investment at resale according to Remodeling Magazine’s 2013 Cost vs.Value Report.

These tips will help you plan for your basement renovation needs with a focus on resale value:

  • Increase Space – Finishing your basement is a cost-effective way to get more usable square footage without having to build an addition on your home. A finished basement utilizes a large unused space in your home.
  • Increase Functionality Determine how to finish your basement to best address your needs. This might be adding more bedrooms, bathrooms, storage area, a home theatre, or a rental. Be sure to check with your municipality to ensure what you have planned is allowed.
  • Plan Ahead – Get a few professional quotations to help you determine what is possible within your budget.  This may include an architect or draftsman to design the job and provide drawings, a contractor to build it and an interior designer to make your dreams become reality. If you are a do- it-yourselfer look online, in magazines and price out various finishes and products.
  • Start with a Solid Structure – Fix any foundation problems first and any structural issues with your home. Professional engineering help will be required for assessing load capacity, excavating and fixing foundation issues.

Comfort Control  – Address any potential dampness issues before your renovation starts. A dehumidifier or air conditioner may be required in summer months. Ensure you have proper heating and cooling distribution which may mean installing or relocating registers and/or adding cold air returns. See my blog post ‘Dealing with Dampness’.

  • Insulation – Fixing moisture issues before you begin will increase the thermal performance of your insulation. Apply waterproof paint to masonry walls and ensure exterior walls contain a proper vapour barrier. Research the various insulation types and look at upgrading existing insulation to a higher R-value before you finish the interior. Consider conducting a before and after energy audit to have to present to any future buyers to show you have made improvements to have an energy efficient home.
  • Lighting – Adding extra lighting or increasing the natural light in your basement by adding or enlarging windows is a great investment. An engineer should ensure the surrounding walls can support the increased structural load.  Recessed lighting (potlights) are a popular choice in today’s homes.
  • Flooring – Choose appropriate materials for your flooring. Carpeting, hardwood and some laminates are generally not recommended due to higher moisture in basements. Consider installing a vapour barrier and a product which acts as an insulator below the flooring. Research the product you want to use to ensure it can be used below grade.
  • Ceilings – Consider a suspended ceiling to allow easy access to the plumbing, electricity and ductwork. Drywall doesn’t offer these benefits, but is often chosen for it’s more clean and polished appearance. If drywall is chosen include access panels for water and gas shutoffs.
  • Drawings and Permits – Work with an Architect or Draftsman to draw up a plan that outlines your vision. Complete any applications for required permits and inspections. Check first with your municipality for requirements and restrictions.

Interview a few contractors, ensuring they are licensed and insured. Ask for past references and examples of work they have previously done.  Compare quotes and pick someone that you feel comfortable dealing with. Your completed basement renovation will not only increase the resale of your home but will add new useable space for you to enjoy.

If you are interested in more home improvements to increase you home value you can request my Free “Room by Room Review” booklet which includes ‘101 Quick & Easy Ways to Make Your Home Show like A Model Home’

An upswing in sales for the April market

Ottawa, May 3, 2013 – Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,573 residential properties in April through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® system, compared with 1,568 in April 2012, an increase of 0.3 per cent.

“The Ottawa market is doing well, and gaining ground back since the “cool-down” of the market for the past five months,” says Tim Lee, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. “We are on par with the strong sales of last April, and the resale market is up 34.9 per cent since last month. With the late onset of warmer weather, the traditional “spring market” saw its upswing a little later this year. With interest rates continuing to be low, Ottawa remains a healthy, stable market.”

April’s sales included 302 in the condominium property class, and 1,271 in the residential property class. The condominium property class includes any property, regardless of style (i.e. detached, semi-detached, apartment, stacked etc.), which is registered as a condominium, as well as properties which are co-operatives, life leases and timeshares. The residential property class includes all other residential properties.

The average sale price of residential properties, including condominiums, sold in April in the Ottawa area was $371,565, an increase of 2.1 per cent over April 2012. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $266,596, a decrease of 2.3 per cent over April 2012. The average sale price of a residential-class property was $396,507, an increase of 2.9 per cent over April 2012. The Board cautions that average sale price information 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 average sale price is calculated based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold.

The Ottawa Real Estate Board is an industry association of over 2,900 sales representatives and brokers in the Ottawa area. Members of the Board are also members of the Canadian Real Estate Association.

Source: The Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB)

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