Joyeux Noël et Bonne Année! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Paul and I wish our family, friends and clients all the joys of the
season. May you be blessed with good health, peace and love. Thank you
also for supporting our real estate business. We appreciate your loyalty
Happy Holidays from our home to your home! Joyeuses Fêtes de chez nous à chez vous! Diane and Paul Laflamme
Cette maison familiale idéale est située sur un
croissant tranquille au coeur de Saddlebrook. Beaux jardins et
propriété privée. Maison très bien entrenue avec salle familiale au
rez-de-chaussée ouverte à la cuisine et coin-repas. Solarium très
ensoleillé avec accès sur la terrasse arrière qui mène au gazebo avec
This ideal family home is located on a quiet
crescent in the heart of Saddlebrook. The grounds are lovely and the
property is private. This well maintained home has a main floor family
room which opens on to the kitchen and dinette. The solarium is full of
sunshine and you can access the back deck which leads to the gazebo with
hot tub. Many updates.
The students at Westwood Senior High School in Hudson, Quebec, Canada created this video as part of their anti-bullying campaign. The song was sung by artist Patrick Watson who was raised in Hudson, Quebec.
Every child, teenager AND adult should watch this.
The English-speaking community in the off-island area is going to get its first local radio station within the next year.
On Friday, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications
Commission approved an application from Dufferin Communications to
launch a commercial radio station serving Hudson/St. Lazare at 106.7 FM.
The station’s signal, from a 500-watt transmitter on a tower on Harwood
Blvd. in St-Lazare, would also reach into Vaudreuil, Oka and parts of
the West Island.
“We’re really, really excited,” Dufferin, vice-president Carmela Laurignano, told The Gazette.
The company first applied for the licence in February 2010 and has
been patiently waiting for a hearing and a decision. In the meantime,
the Toronto-based company also won a licence for a French-language AM
radio station in Montreal serving the gay community.
Programming on the new Hudson/St. Lazare station, whose brand name
has not yet been decided, would be similar to The Jewel, Dufferin’s
network of stations with easy-listening music from artists like Céline
Dion, Michael Bublé and Tony Bennett, though Laurignano said they would
try to make the programming here as broad-based as possible since it
will be the only station in its market. She also said it would have much
more news and information than other Dufferin stations. The application
calls for four hours and 22 minutes a week of news, of which half would
be local to Hudson/St. Lazare, including a calendar of local events.
Laurignano said the company hopes to have the station on the air by
next fall, and looks to hire between 15 and 20 people in various
“It’s our intention to hire locally,” she said, adding that they have
been bombarded by job queries since the application for the station was
published by the CRTC in February.
The application got the support of the Town of Hudson, which passed a
unanimous resolution at a town council meeting in February. But it was
opposed by other radio stations concerned about competition in the
“The area is very much one that stands on its own (and is) separate
from the Montreal area,” Laurignano told The Gazette in February.
As part of its application, Dufferin commissioned a survey that
showed most people in the two towns don’t identify themselves as
Montrealers and feel existing radio stations don’t adequately cover news
from that community.
Canadian House Prices Edge Up in Third Quarter While the Number of Home Sales Fall
First-time buyer activity drops as market adjusts to new mortgage regulations
TORONTO, October 3, 2012 – The Royal LePage House
Price Survey released today showed the average price of a home in Canada
increased year-over-year between 1.8 and 4.8 per cent in the third
quarter of 2012.
Survey findings indicated that the average standard two-storey home
in Canada increased 4 per cent year-over-year rising to $403,747, while
detached bungalows rose 4.8 per cent to $366,773. Standard condominiums
witnessed an increase of 1.8 per cent to $243,607. Most cities in Canada
experienced modest price appreciation in the quarter, but fewer homes
were sold compared to the same period in 2011.
“A drop in the number of homes trading hands typically precedes a
period of softening house prices. Where there is reduced demand, those
who want to sell their homes adjust their asking price to stimulate
interest. During the third quarter, unit home sales were positive in
July, fell 9 per cent year-over-year in August and we are expecting
September to show a decline as well,” said Phil Soper, president and
chief executive, Royal LePage. “We had predicted this cyclical change
early in the year, a natural market reaction after a period of strong
expansion. Changes to mortgage regulations, which took effect on July
9th, accelerated the correction.”
In July, the Minister of Finance announced that the maximum
amortization period for insured mortgages would be reduced to 25 years
from 30 years. This was the fourth intervention in the mortgage market
in just four years and the most impactful. Potential first-time buyers,
which in a typical market represent one third to one half of all
purchase transactions, felt the changes immediately.
“While hard-hit in the short-term, first-time buyers will adjust to
tougher mortgage qualifications. The dream of homeownership is very much
alive among young Canadians. They may remain renters for sometime as
they save; some will opt for less desirable neighbourhoods and some will
purchase smaller homes,” added Soper. “In the meanwhile, we will feel
their absence in national sales statistics.”
Canadian consumers were bombarded with troublesome economic news from
around the globe during the period, particularly in the early weeks of
the third quarter. While this has been a drag on the nation’s housing
market and contributed to a slowing in home sale transactions, consumer
confidence appeared to rebound in September, which should support
activity in the important fall market.
“Policy makers in Canada and the United States have confirmed that
the current period of very low interest rates will continue, likely
through 2013. This is very supportive of housing market activity and any
downward pressure on home prices should be minimal,” said Soper. “And
for the first time in six years, sustained positive news from the
American housing market should leave Canadian’s more confident about our
continued economic prosperity.”
National average house price changes do not always reflect the
markets of individual cities, which are closely tied to their local
economies. Case in point, some $29 billion in energy related investments
are now underway in Alberta and Calgary is expected to lead the nation
in economic growth through 2013. The city posted healthy price
appreciation for both detached bungalows and two-storey homes, as
predicted in previous Royal LePage House Price Surveys and Market Survey
“When the underlying economy of a city is sound and growing, house
price appreciation is sustained. Calgary has enjoyed solid growth in
home values this year. I have also been very pleased with the growth in
commercial brokerage transactions seen in our Royal LePage Commercial
business in the region,” said Soper.
Regional Market Summaries Halifax’s strong employment levels led to average
price increases across all three housing types surveyed. Detached
bungalows continued to witness the largest year-over-year gains,
increasing 8.9 per cent to $293,000. Detached bungalows in St. John’s witnessed the largest average price gains across Canada, rising 9.9 per cent, as mega-projects continue to boost migration.
Despite a decline in market activity, Montreal’s
house prices posted healthy increases in the second quarter of 2012.
Standard two-storey homes witnessed the largest average price increase,
rising 5.5 per cent to $387,786.
Healthy employment in Ottawa’s technology sector
balanced job loss in the government sector as the region posted healthy
average price increases across all three housing types surveyed, with
house price gains ranging from 4.9 to 6.1 per cent.
Average house price gains in Toronto ranged from 2.7
to 5.9 per cent for housing types surveyed. Although demand decreased
modestly due to mortgage rule changes, the pipeline of potential buyers
continued to put upward pressure on detached bungalows and standard
two-storey homes. Multiple offers are still very common in the region. Winnipeg’s real estate market produced average price
gains ranging from 6.5 to 8.3 per cent as first-time buyers remained
fairly active, despite recent changes to mortgage rules.
Low inventory coupled with demand created by low interest rates
continued to put upward pressure on average year-over-year price gains
in Regina. Standard-two storey homes posted the largest increase of 9.8 per cent rising to an average price of $359,500. Calgary’s healthy market activity and increased
consumer confidence has led to house price gains in the third quarter
for detached bungalows and standard two-storey homes, increasing 6.5 per
cent and 4.1 per cent respectively. Detached bungalows in Edmonton
posted strong price gains rising an average of 7.5 per cent in the
third quarter, while two-storey homes increased a modest 1.5 per cent
and standard condominiums declined 0.6 per cent.
In Vancouver, average house prices posted modest
decreases as market activity slowed down during the third quarter.
Standard condominiums posted the largest decrease, slipping 3.0 per cent
year-over-year to $498,000.
Royal LePage’s quarterly House Price Survey shows the annual change
of prices for key housing segments in select national markets. Click here to download the chart
About the Royal LePage House Price Survey
The Royal LePage House Price Survey is the largest, most
comprehensive study of its kind in Canada, with information on seven
types of housing in over 250 neighbourhoods from coast to coast. This
release references an abbreviated version of the survey which highlights
house price trends for the three most common types of housing in Canada
in 90 communities across the country. A complete database of past and
present surveys is available on the Royal LePage Web site at www.royallepage.ca.
Current figures will be updated following the complete tabulation of
the data for the third quarter 2012. A printable version of the third
quarter 2012 survey will be available online on November 2 2012.
Housing values in the Royal LePage House Price Survey are Royal
LePage opinions of fair market value in each location, based on local
data and market knowledge provided by Royal LePage residential real
estate experts. Royal LePage Q3 2012 House Price Survey - Data Chart
About Royal LePage
Serving Canadians since 1913, Royal LePage is the country’s leading
provider of services to real estate brokerages, with a network of 14,000
real estate professionals in over 600 locations nationwide. Royal
LePage is the only Canadian real estate company to have its own
charitable foundation, the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation, dedicated to
supporting women's & children’s shelters and educational programs
aimed at ending domestic violence. Royal LePage is a Brookfield Real
Estate Services Inc. company, a TSX-listed corporation trading under the
For more information visit www.royallepage.ca.
Royal LePage, Genworth Canada announce strategic relationship
NewsSep 24, 2012
Royal LePage has a new strategic relationship with mortgage
insurer Genworth Canada. The idea is to better equip agents for
conversations around how much their clients can afford and what options
are available to them.
The relationship makes educational resources available to the Royal
LePage network on mortgage insurance, energy-efficient refunds,
homeowner assistance programs and discounts at select retailers across
Canada. It also covers details on government incentive programs, which
run the gamut from saving for a home to tax credits and rebate programs.
These resources, combined with the advice and guidance of lenders and
mortgage professionals, help further enable responsible homeownership,
the companies say.
“We are a full service real estate company and Genworth is a premium
brand, so this strategic relationship is a great marriage,” says Phil
Soper, president and CEO of Royal LePage Canada. “The sharing of
insights between Genworth Canada and Royal LePage will serve to better
equip our agents to present options to their clients around
Changes to the amortization rules around high-ratio mortgages
implemented in July might lead some first-time buyers to think they
can’t afford a home yet. However, the relationship provides resources
and information to help agents educate homebuyers, adding to the value
they bring as a full service Royal LePage Realtor, the company says.
“First-time buyers are looking for more from their Realtor than help
finding a new home,” says Debbie McPherson, senior vice-president, sales
and marketing at Genworth Canada. “Helping Royal LePage keep their
clients well-informed on the options around responsible homeownership
will, in turn, help them to better service their clients.”
Census: Montreal has an abundance of people living alone
By René Bruemmer, THE GAZETTESeptember 20, 2012
Montreal is becoming a city of singles, be they young and hip or old and grey (and perhaps still hip).
Figures released by Statistics Canada this week detailing the makeup
of Canadian households indicate 40.7 per cent of people in the City of
Montreal who live in a private dwelling are living on their own. That
number is much higher than the Canadian average of 27 per cent, and far
above comparable cities like Toronto (32 per cent), Calgary (26 per
cent) Ottawa (28 per cent) or Halifax (29 per cent). Only Vancouver,
where 38 per cent of residents live in one-person households, comes
The percentage of people living alone in Montreal is almost equal to
those who are in couple-family households, at 41.1 per cent.
The reasons are myriad: an aging population that lives longer and
leads to more widows and widowers; the high number of students in a
university town; young families moving to cheaper homes in the suburbs;
low immigration numbers.
Whatever the causes, if the trend toward single living continues,
demographers warn repercussions could range from an overstressed social
services network struggling to cope with the “grey tsunami,” to a
metropolis in dire need of funds as young families flee its core.
Montreal’s shift toward single status has been decades in the making,
notes McGill University architecture professor and housing expert Avi
Friedman. Birthrates have been decreasing steadily in Quebec in
comparison to other provinces, leading to smaller households more apt to
become solo households. Montreal also has four major universities with a
total of more than 100,000 students, many who live alone. And our aging
population is living longer.
“We live in a time where life expectancy has increased dramatically
(up to 79 years old for men and 83 years for women in Quebec, according
to Statistics Canada), which means there will be a large number of
single, elderly people ... who want to ‘age in place’ — they do not want
to go to a home for assisted living. They want to stay in the comfort
of their homes and neighbourhoods for as long as they can.
“This, in my opinion, is the beginning of an avalanche that is
becoming the grey tsunami — because their numbers will continue to
increase as the baby boomers move from old to old old — past the age of
65 and into their 70s.”
With many of their children moving abroad, it will fall to social
services to care for the elderly. Most municipalities in Canada,
Friedman noted, are ill-prepared to deal with the coming wave.
Montreal used to take an active role in encouraging social housing,
ensuring affordable homes for all, Friedman noted. But as it
relinquished that role, market forces took over and “builders build what
sells — not affordable homes for families with young kids, but small
condos for single people or couples without kids.” With family-sized
homes on the island too expensive for young families and somewhat
affordable neighbourhoods like Plateau Mont Royal or Notre Dame de Grâce
that have smaller residences already packed to the gills, young
families have little choice but the outlying areas. Friedman notes that
developers are building condos out there, too, at costs that are 30 per
cent cheaper than Montreal prices, enticing even more families.
Montreal is a classic example of what urban planning experts describe
as “edge cities,” Friedman noted. As more jobs become available in the
suburbs, “we are seeing generations who grow up in places like Dollard
des Ormeaux, go into the city just for university, and spend the rest of
their lives out there.”
The immigrant influx, already low in Montreal compared to other
Canadian cities, is also heading off-island for its more affordable
“I think at one point, the face of Montreal will not be too different
from Toronto — people who live in the city are either single or young
couples, and that’s it. ... We will not have an empty city, but we will
have a city where you might see in some places more singles and more
A New Perspective on Closing the Cottage As fall approaches and the cool weather and shorter days arrive,
cottage owners will sadly anticipate the end of cottage season. For
many, shutting down their summer sanctuary is a double dose of bad news -
not only do lazy days on the dock disappear but they are quickly
replaced with the labour required to close the cottage properly. Fortunately, many cottage owners are beating the blues by celebrating
the end of cottage season with a "let's make a good situation out of a
bad one" attitude - a sentiment that has become as common in cottage
country as Muskoka chairs and mosquito repellent. Many cottagers are
inviting guests to celebrate in a "less is more" type of atmosphere
during their last days of rural rest. Visitors are sitting on moving
boxes and using candles for electricity as they congregate and reminisce
about the "unusual amount of mosquitoes" and "Johnny's first swim". For
many, this last gathering makes the impending move back to the city a
little more bearable. It's also the perfect opportunity to swindle that neighbour into
helping you budge the boat into the garage and the barbeque into the SUV
- just two of many essential and equally annoying tasks to complete
each autumn. Some imperative and tedious chores that can be completed
without your neighbour's help include the draining of plumbing systems
and shutting down the electricity. Ensuring that pipes are properly
drained will avoid water freezing over, which can lead to flooding in
the cottage. To properly drain the system, empty and clean all pipes,
valves, tanks and pumps. When shutting off electricity, be sure to first
turn off all major appliances as well as the water heater and
electrical room heaters. When the time comes to re-open your cottage
again, the start-up will be much smoother and safer. If you're a long-time cottage owner, you know that vermin will do as
much as your in-laws to get an invitation to your cottage. For this
reason, go beyond hiding food and blocking entrances. Try leaving
mothballs or whole cloves as both can discourage unwelcome rodents. Rodents of another type that need to be discouraged from entering
cottages in the off-season are thieves. The ideal tools to combat these
seasonal stealers are alarm systems, which have become increasingly
common in cottages. A more cost effective approach to security is
keeping valuables, such as TV's, out of sight. There are also many
companies that specialize in cottage protection that will send employees
to your property weekly to ensure its safety. And while these chores
may be monotonous - remember next summer is just around the corner!
Luxury for Less
Just because you are on a budget, doesn’t mean you have to
compromise on style in your home. If it’s time to refresh your décor
but you don’t think you have the necessary funds, think again. Here
are a few ways you can add a touch of luxury to any room of your home
without breaking the bank: Start with the walls
No room of your home can ever feel luxurious if the paintwork is
shabby or wallpaper looks dull or weathered. A new coat of paint or
wallpaper is the fastest, and easiest way to a fresh new look. If
painting, consider a suede, satin or cashmere finish in a neutral
colour for a look of elegance. If wallpapering, consider rich colours,
textures or traditional patterns. Use good quality products for best
results. Liven up the living room
Add an instant touch of lavishness with one or two large cushions in
rich embroidered fabric, velvet or faux fur. Add warmth to your wood
floors with a shag rug for modern décor, Turkish or Oriental style for
more traditional tastes. No need to splurge on new lamps, simply update
the shades with linen or silk-like material. Give a favourite piece
of furniture a makeover with updated sleek metal hardware or repaint
with an attractive gloss paint. Beautify bedrooms & bathrooms
Buy beautiful bed linen when it is on sale. Billowy comforters or
duvets with plenty of plump pillows make the whole room look luxurious
and inviting. A plush rug for stepping in and out of bed gives a
sumptuous start and end to your day. Add plenty of thick fresh towels
and large pillar candles in the bathroom to set a pampered scene.
Invest in light switch dimmers to create the ambiance you desire. Get chic in the kitchen
Freshen up cabinetry with new paint or modern hardware and update
lighting fixtures. Buy a beautiful tablecloth or table runner and top
it off with a potted orchid in an attractive pot. Rather than using
every day chipped or stained mugs, treat yourself to a couple of fine
china tea cups from a thrift store or good quality coffee mugs for your
favourite brew. Then sit back, enjoy tea for two with a friend, and
truly savour the moment.
Diane and Paul Laflamme are
excellent realtors. Their honest personality and professionalism, hard work and
attention to detail will bring success to you whether you are selling or buying
a home. I found that their extra personal touch facilitated the
sale of my home. They are a pleasure to know.
Royal LePage Canada
released the 2012 Recreational Property Report. This report, released
annually, provides an overview of trends, prices and activity in
recreational property and cottage markets across Canada. The press release, entitled
“Canadian Recreational Property Buyers Looking To Renters To
Make Dream Of Ownership A Reality,” can be viewed here. http://www.royallepage.ca/en/media/120516-royal-lepage-recreational-property-report-2012.aspx?bottomcontent=874&toolstips=1052&relatedcontent=1074
To view the full report, click here. http://docs.rlpnetwork.com/RLPRecReport/2012RecreationalPropertyReport.pdf
To view the report price summary, click here. http://docs.rlpnetwork.com/RLPRecReport/2012PricingChart_EN.pdf
NAR: International sales continue to climb in U.S. market
(June 11, 2012) – Due to low prices and the relative weakness of the
dollar, international buyers continue to identify the U.S. as a
desirable place to own property and make a profitable investment.
The survey asked Realtors® to report their international business activity within the U.S. for the 12 months ending March 2012.
advantageous market conditions have drawn more and more foreign buyers
to the U.S. in recent years, signaling how desirable and profitable
owning property in this country can be,” said NAR President Moe Veissi,
broker-owner of Veissi & Associates Inc. in Miami and 2002 president
of Florida Realtors®. “Low housing prices, a good inventory condition
and increased buying power with today’s exchange rates help attract
“Foreign buyers also have the advantage of
working with a Realtor. Realtors who specialize in serving
international clientele have a truly global perspective; they know what
hurdles foreign buyers face when purchasing property in the U.S., and
have the expertise and knowledge that comes from working with clients
from different cultures and real estate practices.”
International buyers bought homes throughout the country, but four states accounted for 51 percent of the purchases – Florida, California, Texas and Arizona. Florida has been the fastest growing destination of choice, accounting for 26 percent of foreign purchases. California was second with 11 percent and Texas and Arizona accounted for seven percent.
to the home country, the presence of relatives and friends, the
convenience of air transportation, and climate and location are all
important considerations to prospective foreign buyers. Locations on the
East Coast generally attract European buyers, while Asian buyers tend
to purchase on the West Coast, particularly California.
Florida attracts a diverse set of international buyers including South Americans, Europeans and Canadians.
Texas remains popular among Mexican buyers. Within markets in an
individual state, it is not unusual to find concentrations of people
grouped by nationality.
“Foreign buyers recognize that owning a
home in the U.S. has many benefits, both financial and social,” said
Veissi. “Many purchase property as an investment, vacation home or to
diversify their portfolio. In addition, many recent immigrants view
homeownership as an important accomplishment. They believe that being a
homeowner is one of many ways they become established in the U.S. and
attain stability, security and a sense of community.”
buyers came from all over the globe, but Canada, China (The People’s
Republic of China including Hong Kong), Mexico, India and the United
Kingdom accounted for 55 percent of all international transactions,
according to the survey. Canada and China remain the fastest-growing home countries. Canada accounted for 24 percent of international sales
while China accounted for 11 percent, up from nine percent in 2011.
Mexico was third with eight percent of sales and India and the U.K. both
accounted for six percent.
Forty-five percent of international
purchases were under $250,000. In addition, there appears to be a
gradual increasing trend toward purchases in the $250,000 to $500,000
price range. In 2012, this range accounted for 30 percent of purchases,
up from 28 percent in 2011. The average price paid by an international
buyer was $400,000 compared to the overall U.S. average of $212,000.
reasons account for why the average international home price is higher
than the average overall price. The international client is typically
wealthier than the domestic buyer and is looking for a property in a
specialized niche, for example, a larger property suitable for
multi-generational living or a property that establishes the
individual’s presence and standing in the community.
purchased by foreign buyers are used as a primary residence. Vacation
and rental use are also major reasons for a purchase. More than half –
66 percent – of survey respondents reported international buyers
purchased detached single-family homes. About half of international
buyers, 52 percent, preferred to buy in a suburban area and about a
quarter, 23 percent, bought in a central city/urban area.
percent of international purchases were all cash, which has increased
since 2007. International buyers still experience many financing
challenges when purchasing a home in the U.S.
In fact, among
transactions that failed, Realtors reported that in 26 percent of the
cases financing issues were the problem. The difficulties facing foreign
buyers in trying to obtain a mortgage include lack of U.S.-based credit
history and hurdles in meeting mortgage requirements. Other reasons for
not purchasing properties were cost/taxes/insurance and immigration
Single women are saying "I do" to mortgages.
"No man. No
dual income. No problem," is the tag line of the new HGTV show Buy
Herself, which documents the increasing trend of women buying homes
Host Sandra Rinomato, a certified real estate broker,
author of Realty Check: The Real Scoop on Real Estate and award-winning
Canadian entrepreneur, says women are investing in property with or
without a partner.
It's a trend that's certainly being seen
in the nation's capital. In 2009, the majority of singles making
first-time purchases in Ottawa were women aged 25-30, according to the
most recent First-Time Homebuyers' Report by Royal LePage.
"Women are buying real estate because they equate it with financial security," says Rinomato.
Growing up, she didn't think of her financial future.
"I was raised as a young, Italian girl to think that the man was going to take care of all that stuff."
after her first marriage ended, she became a certified real estate
agent and realized owning her own house was a realistic goal. "I didn't
think that a failed marriage was something that I had to use as a road
block. I didn't want it to stop me from carrying on with my life."
she made a bold decision to buy a house by herself. Now, years later,
Rinomato owns four houses with her new husband and one on her own.
Maiorino, a mortgage agent at Mortgage Brokers Ottawa, says single
women fit into the real estate market today just as well as anyone else.
demographic has changed in terms of employment and getting out into the
workforce ... You have a lot more major breadwinners amongst females
out in the corporate world," he says, adding that the number of single
female buyers has certainly increased since he entered the business 27
Another Royal LePage report, focusing on female
buyers in Canada, found that in 2007, 30 per cent of single women were
homeowners, as well as 45 per cent of divorced or separated women and 64
per cent of widowed women.
Maiorine says it's much easier
for men and women alike to get a mortgage today because mortgage
insurance companies such as Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. allow
people to take out a mortgage with a smaller down-payment.
I first started, people needed to have a 25-per-cent down payment - now
they can buy a property with as little as five-per-cent down," he says.
The smaller down payment is not the only factor contributing to good buying opportunities in Ottawa.
Desjardins is vice-president at PMA Brethour Realty Group, a real
estate firm that works with builders in Ottawa and Toronto. He says the
real estate market in the nation's capital doesn't suffer from the
boom-bust cycle that most major cities endure.
"In Ottawa we're like the Rock of Gibraltar - we have a market that is very, very stable."
also benefits from the country's current low interest rates and the
First-Time Home Buyers' Tax Credit, which can be claimed by anyone who
bought their first home after Jan. 27, 2009. In 2011, this tax credit
could have been up to $750.
Desjardins says the plethora of
opportunity has been recognized by some Ottawa builders, who now target
single buyers in product, location and pricing. Traditionally, single
buyers in Ottawa have looked into condos inside the Greenbelt. The
central location is convenient and condominiums offer a safe and
maintenance-free opportunity for young adults.
Desjardins points to condo flats and stacked condos now being built in
suburbs such as Barrhaven. He notes that buyers are often young, single
women looking for a home in a familiar neighbourhood.
can get into that suburban condo product at a more moderate price point
and they're close to their parents for Sunday dinners," he says.
women are buying property across the country, but Ottawa offers an
advantage, he says. "We are a white-collar town - We create lots of
opportunity here in Ottawa for well-educated professional women to get
very good paying jobs, which gives them a better opportunity, if they're
so motivated, to make an investment in purchasing real estate."
doesn't see a lot of men buying a house independently; more common is a
few single men collaborating together to sign a mortgage. He rarely
sees this collaboration with women.
Erica Lychak, 30,
recently bought a townhome in Nepean. She says she had always assumed
taking out a mortgage on her own wasn't possible, but changed her mind
once she did some research. After renting a one-bedroom apartment in the
west end for four years, Lychak decided to make the "scary" transition
from renter to owner.
"As you live in a place longer, your
rent increases and it got to the point that the rent payment was equal
to, if not slightly more than, what a mortgage payment might be," she
Lychak, who is a financial services officer at the
Business Development Bank of Canada, says buying a house with one income
was daunting, but exciting.
"I look at short-term pain for longterm gain," she says. "You're putting in now for the longer-term investment."
Rinomato, as a real estate agent and broker in Toronto, she worked with
a variety of female clients who were buying property on their own.
These women inspired Buy Herself.
Viewers first saw
Rinomato as host on the popular HGTV series Property Virgins, where she
assisted first-time home buyers in the real estate process. Now,
Rinomato is offering her advice to single woman. It's fun, she says,
because the women don't need to compromise with a partner.
Rinomato warns that a buyer's wish-list can get them into trouble.
Buyers have to be realistic about their needs, wants and budget and she
often has clients who want extra space just for holidays or other
"I think you really need to analyse
truthfully what your lifestyle is; what property will suit your need 99
per cent of the time."
And there is one thing a buyer should never sacrifice, she says - location.
affects your lifestyle so much and people sometimes underestimate it
for the sake of getting that extra bedroom or a den. Sacrifices should
come in space on the interior, because people always overestimate what
they really need."
Rinomato hopes her new show is fun,
informative and gives people the confidence they need to invest in
property, whether it be with a partner, friends or individually.
Last night I attended a fundraiser to raise money for "60 Million Girls
Foundation". The Sonia Balazovjech Dance Company put on an amazing dance
show. It is truly inspiring to see such young talent. Thank you to my
dear friend Liz for inviting me. It was so nice to reconnect with
Heather and Joyce. I truly enjoyed your company. Thank you from the
bottom of my heart and count me in for next year.
Empowering girls and women through education.
The facts behind the statistics.
There are an estimated 60 million girls around the world who do not attend primary school.
Basic literacy and numeracy skills are the fundamental tools that will enable girls and women, as well as boys and men, to take hold of their lives and develop solutions adapted to the needs of their communities and country.
Research convincingly shows that programs directed to the education of girls are more effective than virtually any other community investment in the developing world.
Basic quality education provides girls with access to health and nutrition information for themselves and their families - including helping to prevent the transmission of HIV/AIDS. It provides a safe place to grow as they learn. It gives them the knowledge to provide economic support to their family. It delays marriage and pregnancy, thereby lowering infant and maternal mortality. And an educated woman is more likely to send her children - both boys and girls - to school, thereby increasing the likelihood of future generations receiving an education.
A large percentage of home buyers decide whether or not to look inside a
house or take it seriously based on its curb appeal—the view they see
when they drive by or arrive for a showing. You can help make sure they
want to come inside your house by spending some time working on the its
It's difficult to look at our own house in the same way that potential
home buyers do, because when we become accustomed to the way something
looks and functions, we can't see its faults. Decide right now to stop
thinking of the property as a home. It's a house—a commodity you want to
sell for the highest dollar possible.
Curb Appeal Exercise
The next time you come home, stop across the street or far enough down
the driveway to get a good view of the house and its surroundings.
What is your first impression of the house and yard area?
What are the best exterior features of the house or lot? How can you enhance them?
What are the worst exterior features of the house or lot? How can you minimize or improve them?
Park where a potential buyer would and walk towards the house, looking
around you as if it were your first visit. Is the approach clean and
tidy? What could you do to make it more attractive?
Take photos of the home's exterior. If you have a digital camera, view
the color versions first, then remove the color and look at it in black
and white, because it's easier to see problems when color isn't around
to affect our senses.
Make a list of the problem areas you discovered. Tackle clean up and
repair chores first, then put some time into projects that make the
grounds more attractive.
Kill mold and mildew on the house, sidewalks, roof, or driveway.
Stow away unnecessary garden implements and tools.
Clean windows and gutters.
Pressure wash dirty siding and dingy decks.
Edge sidewalks and remove vegetation growing between concrete or bricks.
Mow the lawn. Get rid of weeds.
Rake and dispose of leaves, even if your lot is wooded.
Trim tree limbs that are near or touching the home's roof.
Don't Forget the Rear View
Buyers doing a drive by will try their best to see your back yard. If
it's visible from another street or from someone's driveway, include it
in your curb appeal efforts.
Evening Curb Appeal
Do your curb appeal exercise again at dusk, because it isn't unusual for potential buyers to drive by houses in the evening.
One quick way to improve evening curb appeal is with lighting:
String low voltage lighting along your driveway, sidewalks, and near important landscaping elements.
Add a decorative street lamp or an attractive light fixture to a front porch.
Make sure lighting that's visible through front doors and windows enhances the home's appearance.
There are times that adding elements to your landscaping can improve curb appeal, but there are other times when removing something is even more effective.
For example, we had a listing for a large brick house with large white
columns. Tall evergreens, planted in front of each column, had grown
taller than the roof. They obscured the columns and windows and made it
difficult to see the front of the house.
We suggested that the owner remove them. She trimmed them back, but it
didn't do the trick—they were unattractive and still kept potential
buyers from seeing the true character of the house.
I sold the house to a couple who could see past the trees. One of their
first tasks after closing was to yank them out of the ground, instantly
boosting the home's curb appeal.
Most buyers cannot visualize changes, and often won't take a second look
at a house if the first look doesn't appeal to them. Home buyers who
can visualize changes, and are prepared to make them, expect you to reduce the price of the house to compensate for the work they plan to do.
A Few Curb Appeal Tips
If you can budget it, a fresh paint job does wonders for a
dingy house. Drive around your town to find color schemes that are
Install a more attractive front door, maybe something with leaded glass inserts.
If you can't justify the cost of a new door, consider replacing plain doorknob hardware with something more attractive.
If new hardware is beyond your budget, repaint or stain the door and polish the hardware?
If you brainstorm, you'll find that there's a solution to most
problems—one that lets you stay within your budget. The trick is to find
the areas where improvements are needed, then work on them as best you
Diane Laflamme is a professional realtor who sells homes primaily but not exclusively in the towns of Hudson, Saint Lazare, Rigaud and Vaudreuil-Dorion just off the western tip of Montreal Island.
Her familiarity with the Montreal market and the above-mentioned communities serves her clients well. Whether working with buyers or sellers, she applies her expertise and market knowledge to satisfy their expectations and conclude the sale. She is a detail-oriented real estate agent who strives to please her clients.
Known for their honesty and integrity, Diane and her husband Paul are full-time realtors who are well known, not only for their work, but for their contributions as volunteers through the years. The Hudson Firemen's Auction, the Hudson Street Fair, Nova, the Hudson Garden Club, the Hudson Yacht Club are only a few of the organizations to benefit from their time and help.
Repeat business from satisfied customers is the cornerstone of their commitment to be the best that they can be. Their aim is to help their clients move on to a better future!