Living big in a small space. There are hundreds of websites that discuss how to de-clutter and decorate small spaces. Before you get to the decorating, think about buying a smaller house. How much space do you need?
Unless you have a big family there is very little chance that you are going to need a living room, a family room, den and a recreation room. On top of that new houses have enough room in the master bedroom to make a private sitting area. The question should be private from whom? If you have the empty nest, retired, never had children, single child situation then you might want to consider going small. It need not be about the money. Some very expensive homes in Ottawa are small, perfectly outfitted and located in prime locations. You will not have the big house to clean or the huge yard to weed and mow. These are the upside.
My neighbour is in the process of moving from an 1,800 sq ft home to something over 7,000 sq ft. She said that she has never had to de-clutter because she has always had space in her house to save things. Now that she is moving, she will be able to keep everything. The house is lovely and there will definitely be space to spread out and reason to buy new things. Good for her but she is leaving the centre of town. Everything is a trade off.
There is something out there for everyone. Bigger is not always better. Consider trading space for a “jewel” of a house.
Photo credit: The Doll House @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/morticide/3768730608/in/photostream/
When you are looking for a home be aware of some defects that cannot be corrected or can be but with extraordinary expense. Your home inspector will point out things that are most likely correctable. However, what the inspector is not doing is looking at the location of the house, the size of the yard and the efficiency of the layout.
Vaccinate yourself with knowledge about the house and location.
As of this morning, 30 residential units are for sale in Embrun (MLS® area 602). Prices range from $149,900 to $599,900. The average list price is $315,294. Included are 29 detached units and 1 semi. Of the 30, 20 are 2-storey homes, 7 bungalows, 2 split levels and 1 side by side.
In the past 90 days, 37 homes sold at an average sold price of $298,294 with an average DOM of 38 days ranging from 0 to 170 days. Home sales ranged from $127,000 to $486,500.
Embrun has become a bedroom community for Ottawa. The land prices are less expensive and builders are keeping to mid-range prices. Of the 37 homes sold, 22 were built at or after the year 2000. As with the homes currently for sale, the homes sold were almost 100% detached units (only one semi-detached was sold). In this current long stretch of high temperatures, being a throw from the Calypso Water Park is just one of the perks for being in Embrun.
These statistics do not include multiple family dwellings, condos or private sales.
I love looking in kitchen shops. If I had unlimited space in the kitchen, I would be bring home all kinds of things from Grace in the Kitchen . You can spend a lot of time looking at the high quality cooking and baking tools, pots, pans, knives. etc. One year I received a pair of their onion goggles- to protect the eyes from tearing when chopping onions. I have used them once but still have them as one of the most hilarious gadgets on the market. If you are looking for a selection of hostess gifts, nice things to take to people’s homes when invited for drinks or meals, there is a wonderful selection of sauces, spices, dips, crackers and spreads. When in doubt about an appropriate hostess gift, take a consumable from Grace in the Kitchen.
Grace in the Kitchen – 1165 Bank Street, Old Ottawa South.
A Buyer for your home will open every closet door, including your linen closet. If you have things that you would rather people not see, put them in a box. Buyers open doors but should never be opening boxes or drawers in your furniture. Now that you know that your linen closet will be on display, declutter it before your house is on the market.
Start by removing everything in the closet.
1. Wash the shelves, walls and door.
2. Sort through your towels. Keep one or two spare sets in the closet and pack or give away the others. If you have the room, roll some of your towels and put them in a basket in the bathroom near the tub.
3. Look at all your bed linen. If you need to make space in the closet choose two sets per bed in the house. One set is on the bed; the other is neatly folded and kept in the bedroom that contains the bed. A neat trick is to fold the sheets and the pillow cases but keep one pillow case to be used as a bag to put the matching set inside. This way, all you have to do is find the one bag for the bed.
4. Look at your toiletries. Are any stale dated? Toss. What about the cleaning products? Sort through these in the same way. Keep only what you will be using for the next few weeks and store the others in boxes in the basement/garage/storage locker. Watch out when packing liquids. Most movers will not allow liquids. You might want to give your products to friends or relatives.
5. Have you got photographs, games, wrapping paper and ribbons and a myriad of other things in the linen closet? Consider putting these away in boxes for the move. The less you have in the closet the bigger it will look. Stage it so that Buyers can imagine their own things in the closet.
6. When everything is sorted, stack what you will keep in the closet.
7. Don’t be tempted to put an air freshener in the closet. If you must, buy some lavender sachets and put them between the bed sheets. It will give a faint smell and is good aromatherapy for sleeping.
Please your Buyer with an organized and clean linen closet.
Photo credit: 118/365: Towels, Again @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/playfullibrarian/3498846572/
Photo credit: Lavender square @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/dichohecho/3800608793/
Do you want to see a house that is for sale? Ask your agent to schedule a visit. Most homes for sale have the owner still living on the premises with family and family needs. Be respectful and avoid asking for supper time (5 – 6) and after children go to bed (8 or 9). The owners will have to stay in the house and you will not be able to really see the house.
You are not the dinner or sleep over guest.
At the end of 2008 and the end of 2009, I compiled and posted annual sales statistics for some of my favourite neighbourhoods. I have finally put these postings into annual sales documents. You can access the reports from the links below or through the “Required Reading” section on the top right banners.
Neighbourly Ottawa – Sales in 2008 – This document provides sales information about Ottawa neighbourhoods in 2008. sales-2008-publication
Neighbourly Ottawa – Sales in 2009 – This document provides sales information about Ottawa neighbourhoods in 2009. sales-2009-publication
Photo credit: Mathematical calculator buttons with ruler @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/horiavarlan/4273219051/
As of this morning, 6 residential units are for sale in the Golden Triangle (MLS® area 4104). Prices range from $429,900 to $819,000. The average list price is $675,600. Included are 3 detached units, 2 semis and 1 row.
In the past 90 days, 6 homes sold at an average sold price of $683,666 with an average DOM of 13 days ranging from 1 to 31.
This is a very centrally located neighbourhood with lots of rental spaces for the University of Ottawa and federal employees in Ottawa on assignment. Many of the buildings are condos. Today there are three condos for sale and 9 have sold in the past 90 days at an average price of $331,333 and with and average of 32 days on the market.
These statistics do not include multiple family dwellings and private sales.
It seems daunting to look on the MLS® for a new house. There are so many options. Once you have decided on your criteria the search narrows down considerably. Here is an example to show you how you can go from looking at 4,757 residential units to seeing the only listing available on July 17, 2010 for your bungalow dream home in Stonebridge.
When looking for a home in locations where the average Days on the Market is low and bidding wars are common, a prudent Buyer needs to be prepared. This is a Sellers’ Market and a Buyer needs to be ready.
- Get your financing pre-approved. Visit a mortgage broker and your bank. Know what the financial lender is willing to provide, roughly how much it will cost and how quickly the lender can make the final approval on a mortgage. Know your financial limits.
- Identify a lawyer and a home inspector.
- Spend time identifying your “must haves” such as locations, school districts, minimum number of bedrooms and baths, and any other essential features you must have.
- Get as much market information as possible from your agent about the current housing situation and prices.
- Search for your new house and, when you have one identified, bid. Look at all the comparative house information provided to you by your agent to help determine what you will offer. This will help inform you about the values in the neighbourhood. In your offer, eliminate as many purchasing conditions as possible. You could do a home inspection before putting in the offer.
- To avoid being caught in an emotional bidding session. Keep in mind what you have decided as the value of that particular house. Bidding wars are competitions that you may not want to be emotionally caught in participating.
Finally, if you get the house, congratulations are in order. If not, then start the process again.
Photo credit: Red Hot Market @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/tsarkasim/3899340088/