Introducing 347 Vances Side Road, Dunrobin

virtual-tour-121831-mls-high-res-image-5Located near the Dunrobin community this family home is a short 15 minute drive to Kanata. Walking distance to the beautiful Ottawa River close to Baskin’s Beach and the Port of Call Marina which look across to the majestic Gatineau Hills.

This beautiful Hobby Farm has a large 37×70 barn and 10 acres of fully fenced treed lot. Barn includes 6 stalls, electricity, hay loft, paddocks and sand ring. There is an additional 2 stall barn.

For more information on this property click here

Introducing 36 Conover Street, Ottawa

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Set in the popular Woodvale / Craig Henry Community this family home is within walking distance to many schools and parks. This 3 bedroom, 3 bathrooms single family home features an in-ground pool and fully fenced yard.

Well maintained with renovations recently done to the  kitchen complete with ceramic floors and eat in kitchen, new window and custom trim. Other upgrades include new hardwood floors on main floor living and dining room area as well as renovations to both bathrooms.

The Nepean Sportsplex is nearby with an indoor pool, ice surface, and racquet sports facilities. There are many walking and biking paths connecting the community. Walking distance to lost of schools and parks. A great place to raise your family!

For more information on this property click here

Improve the Air and Water Quality in Your Home

Proper air and water quality are important not only for the health of your home but also the health of you and your family. Improper air and water quality can damage your home, cause discomfort and left unsolved can even lead to long-term effect to your health. Below I have outlined a few easy things you can do to increase your air and water quality, and ensure you stay healthy:

Increased Ventilation

Improper ventilation increases air pollutants inside your home and provides an atmosphere for unhealthy air quality in your home. Turn on exhaust fans or open windows when showering or cooking in order to let moisture escape from your home quicker. Make use of ceiling fans that circulate air. In the summer turn the fan on the furnace on to draw up colder air from the basement or install a cold air exchange system. Ensure that dryers, hot water heaters and wood or gas stoves have proper exhaust systems and fresh air intakes if required.

Proper Water Quality

If you get your water from a well ensure that you have your water tested regularly for both bacterial and chemicals to ensure it is safe to consume. Keep pesticides and other hazardous waste away from the well. Ensure any vehicles and equipment located on your property are not leaking any fuel or oil. Prevent animals from urinating or defecating near the well. If any issues with the well occur have the problem looked and a corrected by a certified professional.

Hard water is safe to drink but may cause skin irritations and household problems if left untreated.  If you experience hard water you can install a water softener system.  A water sofener filters out minerals that can cause dry skin, and build up mineral deposits on your laundry, dishes, pipes, fixtures, and appliances.

Balance Humidity

Respiratory problems can develop when the air in your home is too dry. Alternatively, too much moisture in the air can cause mildew, promote mold growth and affect those with allergies and/or asthma. All of these factors are why a proper balance of humidity in your home is so important.

If you experience a feeling of dampness in in your home, a dehumidifier will help balance the environment and prevent your home, furniture and possessions from experiencing water damage. On the other hand if the air in your home is too dry, a humidifier will add moisture and relieve dry skin any respiratory problems such as a sore throat or breathing issues. As well as protecting your personal health a balance in humidity will also protect and prolong the health of your home.

Keep unwanted Water away

Water entering your home can cause all kinds of issues both to the structure of the home as well as affecting the interior climate and living conditions.  Ensure you have proper grading with your landscape to direct water away from your home. Install eaves-troughs to collect and properly disperse rain water. Repair any foundation leaks and ensure that a proper drainage system is installed and functioning properly.

Maintain your home’s exterior, windows, and roof and ensure that there are no water leaks. As well as worn or missing shingles water can enter the home near chimneys, skylights, as well as air and sewer vents.  It is a good practice to make it a yearly check to ensure that proper seals exist around all flashing and to immediately repair any issues. Other water concerns can be caused by leaking water or sewer pipes within the home.  If required make sure a working sump pump system is installed which includes a backup system. Any issues that result in unwanted water entering your home should be dealt with immediately.

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.

Contact Me About This Property

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.

Cheers

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
Email: karenl@mortgagebrokersottawa.com

Apply Securely Online: www.karenlemieux.com

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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Dealing With Dampness in Your Home

As we approach the spring many homes experience dampness from the excess water caused by a combination of greater rain fall and the melted snow. When dampness is present in your home it can cause a musty undesirable smell.

If dampness is not taken care of it also produces mold on hard surfaces, mildew on soft surfaces, and can lead to health issues. The best way to tackle any problems with dampness is to detect  it, deal with it, and avoid it in the future.

Identifying the dampness

The climate where we live is a predictor for dampness in our homes. The Ottawa valley has high humidity and increased rainfall during this time of  year. That coupled with the melting snow and ice often causes an influx of water from the outside coming in.

Even in ideal climates you can also experience dampness from increased humidity from showering, drying clothes, and cooking. It may not always be obvious where to locate the source of dampness issues. When water is entering your home from the outside, you may be able to determine where by looking for water stains on painted walls or white salt deposits (called efflorescence) that show up on brick.

Dealing with dampness

When your home is showing signs of dampness, it is important to deal these issues quickly so they don’t lead to increased damage or personal health issues. The first thing to do is locate the source of the problem. Look at the most common problems such as blocked eaves-troughs  missing shingles, objects stacked against exterior walls, leaking water pipes, or damage to your roof or foundation.

If you cannot find the source of the issue hire an expert to help. Depending on the complexity and severity of the problem, there may be some solutions you can take care of yourself (e.g. caulking around windows to keep moisture out, cleaning the gutters), whereas others may be better suited for a professional (e.g. fixing leaky water pipes or fixing foundation problems).

Avoiding dampness

Prevention is the key to keeping a damp free home. Here are some tips you can take to keep dampness away from your home:

  • Keeping windows and doors closed during humid weather prevents moisture in the home.
  • Use climate control devices such as an air conditioner and or a dehumidifier to keep humidity below 60%.
  • Use exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathrooms to control humidity.
  • Ensure all kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are clear and connected directly outdoors and not into the attic.
  • When possible, consider limiting the boiling time of water, covering your saucepans when cooking.
  • Position the downspout runoff of the eaves-troughs so they are directed away from the foundation of your home.
  • Make sure the yard has proper slope which directs water away from the home and that the foundation has a proper drainage system in place.
  • Increasing or improving the insulation of your home and around pipes.
  • Make sure that the home has a proper vapor barrier present.
  • Limit the amount of indoor plants you have in the home and store firewood outside or in the garage.

BMO to raise back up controversial Mortgage Rates

The Bank of Montreal will return the posted rate for a fixed five-year mortgage back to 3.09%, where it was before they lowered it to 2.99 per cent.  Financial Minister Jim Flaherty had expressed his disapproval over the lowered rate which was offered as of March 4th.

Manulife also reversed its decision to offer a lower rate last week after they received a call from Flaherty asking them to reconsider.

There are however lots of lenders still offering  5 year fixed mortgages below 3% at this time, if you are looking for a new mortgage or would like more information please feel free to give me a call and I can answer any questions you may have.