So here we are. 2014, a brand new year. A time for new hopes, plans and even some resolutions. What’s in store for you in the year ahead?
The Ottawa housing market
Here, at Century 21 Capital, we are looking forward to another great year for our clients. The forecasts for the housing market in Ottawa are sound according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. In a nutshell, they anticipate that sales of new houses will remain stable and the average price for a new single family home will hit $494,000 this year, up from $488,000 in 2013. The average price for a resale home is expected to be $358,000 in 2014, says CMHC.
Interestingly, they predict that the demand is likely to be for smaller, three bedroom homes. This will reflect changing demographics, here and across the country as well as affordability.
It is always interesting to consider the style trends that experts are predicting for the year ahead. Here are just a few.
Wallpaper has made a big comeback. It can be for an accent wall in the dining room or in the bedroom. Personally, this isn’t one of my favourites, but my husband believes that wallpaper, moldings and wall tiles add warmth and character to a house.
Another of his favourites is the basement. Perhaps this is due to all the “man cave” programs on TV. But I do like the idea of the basement home theatre since we have made the move to Netflix. If he really wants his own “man cave” he should consider the garage.
In the kitchen black countertops in granite or quartz are huge, and frosted glass doors for cabinets are in demand. Interestingly, we are told that the biggest trend is larger refrigerators. Apparently this reflects the growing movement to fresh foods, so who can argue with that here in Ottawa?
Bathrooms, especially en suites, will get bigger to accommodate freestanding tubs and oversized showers. Who wouldn’t like a home spa?
Lastly, Persian rugs are hugely in. And I’m happy to say that this simply means that we are now trendy since we have had Persian rugs throughout our house for years.
Home buying thoughts.
If you, or someone you know, are thinking of buying a new house in 2014, here are a few things to keep in mind,
Visit the neighbourhood on foot. Take a walk around, talk to people, get a sense of the friendliness of the community. Drop by early in the morning to see what the traffic is like, how many school buses are picking up kids, what rush hour is likely to produce, what is overnight street parking like?
Have a list of basic questions when you visit house for sale. When was the roof last done? Is the basement dry and mold free? Is there a current survey of the property? Are there any new developments planned for the neighbourhood? How soon is the street plowed after a snowstorm?
Get a qualified, registered home inspector. We all get caught up with the emotional aspects of buying a home. A good home inspector will bring his or her practical experience to your assistance.
Bring your insurance agent into the loop. Your agent can tell you what it will cost to get the type of insurance you will need and he can also let you know if there have been any claims for sewage back up or vandalism in the neighbourhood.
Get a real estate agent to help. Remember, the agent’s role is more than finding listings for you to consider. Your agent knows the ins and outs of the local market. He or she (in this case) knows the back-stories behind comparables in the area you are looking at, why a particular house appeared to sell under market (perhaps the sellers were divorcing?) Also, a good agent will have strong network in the local market. Good agents like to work with other good agents.
Importantly your agent’s role today includes presenting your offer to the seller’s agent in a way that will help get it accepted.