Category: Real Estate

Green Buildings and LEED Certification in Ottawa

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design

There is no doubt that buildings are responsible for a vast amount of carbon dioxide emissions and energy use within our community and on a global scale. With an increased rate of builds that doesn’t seem to be declining anytime soon, there is a societal demand to create a more sustainable solution. LEED or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design offers new builds, existing builds and homeowners to take part in their green build initiative.  A demand for more sustainable living and working conditions, LEED certification presents its clients with a solution that is both energy efficient and cost-effective.

LEED certification is a third party, globally recognized rating system that is recognized as a mark of excellence and sustainability accomplishment for green builds. LEED certification has become a standard of measurements for green builds in 160+ countries and is raising awareness, fostering creative solutions to sustainable living and offering a more healthful and environmental conscious resolution to the building industry.

Working on a point scale, LEED offers four levels of certification to its clients; certified, silver, gold and platinum. With four levels of certification, LEED is adaptable and accommodating to a wide range of buildings and projects, making it available to any fit and project goal.

Points are allotted to each project based on five major categories that have environmental impacts and human benefits. The five categories include; sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources and indoor environmental quality. The goal of the ranking system is to inspire and help as many builds as possible strive for a high level of achievement in each of these categories.

Why LEED? LEED certification and green builds not only benefit the buildings occupants and/or homeowners but the community at large. Green builds facilitate a healthier environment from the inside out, producing better air quality, more natural light, reduction of waste, decreased water consumption and energy conservation. Green builds create a more healthful environment, boost production and leave a green legacy, all a driving factor of LEED certification. As an industry that can do more harm than good, it is time for homeowners and project builds to become more consciously and environmentally aware and it is LEED’s aim to do just that.

The History of LEED

The goal from the start was to educate builders and to help them establish responsible construction practices. Robert Watson set out to change the building market in 1993 with the hopes of defining green building.  LEED’s environmental movement continued to raise awareness and competition for the construction of environmentally and sustainable friendly buildings. Over the years LEED’s standard has grown into a complete and comprehensive classification system that covers a large portion of the development and construction process.

Since 2015 LEED builds in Canada alone has led to energy savings of 12.9 million eMWh, which is enough energy to power 435,000 homes in Canada for an entire year and water savings totalling 24+ billion litres. LEED builds have also contributed to recycling over 2.97 million tonnes of construction waste and a reduction of 2.49 million CO2e in greenhouse gas emissions. These astounding results only continue as more and more businesses, project leads, and homeowners turn to this green solution.

LEED certification continues to incorporate and adapt as new green technologies come onto the market, which is part of what makes it such a comprehensive and globally sought-after initiative.

Why is LEED Certification relevant today?

LEED certification is more relevant and needed today than ever. We are living in a society and a time where build after build, project after project is going up and our environment and health continue to be impacted because of it.

There are countless reasons why buildings should seriously consider being a green build and doing their part in helping to create a sustainable earth. LEED is an innovative answer to this societal push for eco-friendly living, human well-being and sustainability. LEED offers its clients practical ways to achieve sustainable eco-conscious living, save money and promote public health and a more supported and sustainable environment.

This internationally recognized ranking system proves its relevancy because it is not just a system that is designed for one type of build over another, it offers options to projects of any kind; from large government buildings to hospitals to new builds – there is something for every project of every size. There is even an option for single, low-rise or mid-rise family homes to take part and get involved.

Not only is this a world-class ranking system for inspiring and fostering solutions for single structures, but it also applies to whole neighbourhood development projects (containing residential use, non-residential use or a mix) from inception to build, including neighbourhood redevelopment. From a neighbourhood to an entire city, LEED is for the community. Working with the entire city or neighbourhoods within the city, LEED can measure and manage the city’s energy use, water use, waste, transportation and total human experience and offer improvements.

Why do we need an organizational environmental measuring system, such as LEED more than ever before? According to the City of Ottawa, almost 50% of greenhouse gas emissions come from heating, cooling, lighting and operating buildings? By a new or existing building becoming LEED certified by the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) occupants have better air quality reducing allergens, financial savings and increased resale value. Certified LEED builds can also qualify for local utility rebates and homeowner reductions through various insurance groups and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).  Most importantly, projects who get involved are doing their part to achieve a more sustainable environment and improving the lives and well-being of the occupants of the building.

With regular evaluations and modifications to adapt to advancing and evolving technology, LEED is and will continue to be compatible and well suited for everyone and every project. The continuous assessment of the existing rating system and application of new science and technology will not only continue to make LEED relevant in this industry it will continue to be at the forefront of green builds.

Who is LEED certified in Ottawa? 

With the benefits far too great to ignore, several builds in Ottawa have jumped on board and have been recognized by LEED for their level of excellence in their contribution to the advancement and betterment of sustainable living and working conditions.

Lebreton Flats LEED

LEED Certified Silver

The following developments have ranked Silver on the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design ranking system, meaning they have earned 50-59 points in the following five categories; sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources and indoor environmental quality.

Hideaway LEED

LEED Certified Gold

The following developments have ranked Gold on the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design ranking system, meaning they have earned 60-79 points in the following five categories; sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources and indoor environmental quality.

  • Central Phase 1 – Received LEED Gold certification July 9th, 2014
  • Central Phase 2 – Received LEED Gold certification December 14th, 2016
  • The Rideau – Received LEED Gold certification January 18th, 2018
  • The Vibe – Received LEED Gold certification January 18th, 2018

Prominent LEED Buildings in Ottawa

There are several prominent and outstanding LEED-certified condos in Ottawa that have been recognized for their commitment and efforts, in the above mentioned five categories, to improve the quality of life and wellbeing for their residences.

One3One Holland was certified a Silver LEED building on December 10th, 2015. One3One Holland is distinguished for its efforts and contributions to create a sustainable, environmentally friendly and more health conscious atmosphere for their residences. A one bedroom at One3One averages $441/sqft and a two-bedroom averages $448 sqft.

Central Phase 2 also a highly distinguished certified LEED condo in Ottawa, as of December 14th, 2016 sits at a prestigious Gold level certified showing its dedication to its residences. A bachelor at Central Phase 2 averages $475/sqft and a one-bedroom averages $474/sqft.

Another prominent condo in Ottawa, that has been noted for its great efforts and green build achievements, The Rideau was certified LEED Gold, January 18th, 2018. The Rideau offers one bedroom averaging $565/sqft, two bedrooms $660/sqft and Penthouse suites averaging at $811/sqft.

The Vibe in Ottawa is also to be noted for its mark of excellence on achieving LEED Gold certification on January 18th, 2018, offering its residences a higher quality of wellbeing and eco-conscious solutions. One bedroom units at The Vibe average at $547/sqft and two bedrooms for $600/sqft.

Since the first certified LEED building in Ottawa, The Currents, which became officially certified on January 18th, 2011 many other projects and developments have followed suit and have seen the tremendous benefits of taking part in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and getting certified themselves.

LEED Platinum the Currents

What is the future of LEED Certification?

As more and more people become consciously aware of the building industry’s impact on the environment and people’s health and wellbeing, there is only going to be a bigger demand. LEED and its ranking system have inspired so many and will only continue to inspire more green builds and spread awareness throughout Ottawa and the world.

The latest model, LEED v4 is the future of LEED certification and has upped the expectations on all levels of a build; right from project inception to project completion. Running now off a more performance-based approach, LEED v4 offers knowledge to its customers and then offers practical solutions on how to apply the newly learned knowledge. This knowledge is then measured in the form of practical tasks complete, which offers more goal focused points based on each unique project.

LEED v4 is showing major improvements on:

Flexibility – now offering more flexibility with different tactics to offer each unique build and project to allow each development to find the best fit.

Smart Grid Approach – LEED v4 is bringing a smart grid style to its customers and is recognizing and rewarding the projects that contribute to and engage in demand response programs.

Materials & Resources – Now emphasizing materials and resources used on a project and beyond the total amount used, creating a more whole and comprehensive look at the structural impact.

Water – Offering a more complete strategy to utilize water efficiency by assessing the entire buildings water usage.

Better customer service – now offering a more effective and efficient certification system process, easing customer use.

Since the inauguration of LEED certification, there has been a remarkable amount of growth and improvement shown to cater to the rapidly evolving social climate that is demanding solutions for providing a better quality of life and a more sustainable way to live. Not only does LEED continue to find and adapt efficiently to these needs and demands but does so in a cost-effective way.

LEED, Leading the Way

The demand for a more sustainable, energy-efficient, cost-effective and healthier way to live is only going to escalate as society continues to expand and more people become aware of the environmental and human impact that takes place with expansion.

LEED certification is at the forefront of this huge societal push and is acting as a paradigm to initiate, inspire and drive the industry to do better, be better and offer better. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design is trailblazing the way to establish an industry that sets standards and places a high value on more conscious buildings, living and working environments.

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The October 2018 Market Statistics For Condominiums in Ottawa have Arrived!

October 2018 market statistics continue displaying trends indicative of a fast-paced real estate market for Ottawa in 2018.

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 324 condominium-class properties in October 2018, an increase of 24.1% from October 2017.

Average Days on Market (year-to-date) for condominiums in Ottawa are down 24% from 68 to 51 days.

The average sale price for a condo in Ottawa remains reasonable and steady at $271,350, a small increase of 0.6% from this October last year. *

Between $175,000 to $274,999 was the most active price point for condos in Ottawa this month, accounting for almost 53% of the units sold.

Lack of supply remains a force in Ottawa’s real estate market, compared to last year, condo inventory is 34.5% lower than October 2017.

Curious about October 2018 market statistics for residential class properties in Ottawa as well? Click here to read the full story.

 

*Average sale price 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 calculation of the average sale price is based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold. Price and conditions will vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood.

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Real Estate Franchises are Losing Stock Value

Remax and Realogy Stocks Tank Amidst a Changing Industry

No one seems to be talking about this. Large Real Estate Franchising Groups are Losing Stock Value, and Fast.

The two largest conventional bricks and mortar brokerage conglomerates stocks are tanking. Remax and Realogy have lost close to 50% of their stock value in the past 52 weeks.

On the other side of this news, private investments are fueling over $2 billion in new funding into efficient/scalable broker concepts. $2 billion in market cap lost on one side, $2 billion in market cap gained on another.

Remax and Realogy Stocks

Royalty Fee Models Don’t Align With Franchisor and Agent Member Long-Term Growth

Brokerage Holding companies such as Realogy and Remax rely on incremental individual contributions from their Franchisors agent base. These royalties flow upward from the Franchise to the Holding Companies. The challenge with this model is that both the Franchisor and the Holding Companies are not truly aligned with the agent members due to the conventional cap system. The cap model sees contributions diminish, if not disappear, once an agent member hits certain annual milestones. Low producing agent members (of which form the majority of membership base) contribute a royalty through their Franchise to the Holding Company, in an amount that is very similar to that of a top producing agent member.

In an industry where consumers are demanding efficiencies, the bottom is being weeded out and the 2-10 annual transaction type REALTORS® are finding it harder to justify their value. It is only obvious that the days of mass agent membership are under pressure and the result will be disastrous to the large franchise brands of the past.

Large Real Estate Franchises are Losing Stock Value, and Fast

If this opinion proves to be correct, unless these large franchise holding brands can divert their strategic resources into acquisitions of emerging counterplays, this trend will continue with the steep and aggressive slide that is becoming of a fragmented industry. Paving way for a bright future for forward-thinking scalable, agile operations and technologies, such as DigiRealty.com and others.

These large brands are proving to be the authors of their own misfortune. The brands in the position to stand out as industry stewards became balance sheet adjusters and profit wielders, as opposed to innovators. The results will be obvious.

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Zillow in Canada

Is there an equivalent to Zillow in Canada?

Zillow Group has become known for providing American Real Estate Searchers with a fast and easy to use, map-based real estate search platform. Along with their easy to use search platform, their website displays an abundance of property data, as well as their custom Zestimate™ feature which provides searchers with a quick and effortless way to research home prices. This allows Real Estate Consumers to do their own research by browsing real estate listings and sales data, prior to engaging with a professional of their choosing or with one of the Realtors® paying for Premiere Agent™ advertising space on Zillow’s platform. Is there currently a Zillow in Canada, or an equivalent that is trying to fill in the gaps?

To dive into whether there is a Zillow in Canada let’s first delve into Zillow’s monetization model. Their model is structured by collecting Premier Agent™ fees from REALTORS® paying to appear on listings within geographic regions of interest. This allows Premier Agents™ an opportunity to receive Buyer side leads on property listings that were supplied by another REALTOR®. With their acquisition of Mortgage Lenders of America, Zillow is also looking to collect orientation fees when they provide mortgage leads submitted through their platform to external lenders. These orientation fees may play into their home buying angle as well.

Update on Zillow in Canada

With regard to Zillow in Canada, the group recently made a move to display Canadian listings on their platform and they are in the process of adding more listings via alignments with Brokerages on this side of the border. The UX of the website is classic Zillow and very clean, but the listing inventory is low and the high-value data sets (sales data, Zestimate™ etc.) available stateside are not currently present.

Comparable Platforms to Zillow in Canada

In Canada, all the real estate boards feed their listings to the national website, Realtor.ca. Realtor.ca is operated by CREA, the Canadian Real Estate Association. This website has a national presence but is missing many of the features Zillow offers such as providing solid data and ease of use to search on their platform. Realtor.ca is typically referred to as clunky, dated and old.

On the surface level, DigiRealty.com would be the best Canadian listing provider with a similar user experience to Zillow. DigiRealty’s focus is to provide searchers with the most intuitive, fast and easy to use real estate search site. DigiRealty.com and Zillow also have similarities and differences in their monetization model. DigiRealty.com is operated by DigiRealty Technologies, which also owns and operates a wholly owned subsidiary real estate Brokerage. This entitles the company to monetize both commissions and advertising placements from aligned Agent Advertisers.

For readers that are unaware, here is a high-level overview of how some of these platform models are organized. Start off by viewing the sales channel as a funnel. Consumer traffic is in the top of the funnel (pageview etc.), consumer inquiries are in the middle of the funnel (leads, profiles and inquiries received by the Agent Advertiser), and a successful conversion/sale is at the bottom of the funnel (a closed deal). Obviously, the more deals that make it through the funnel, the more the platform can charge their Agent Advertisers for placements.

All things considered, Digirealty.com is likely the closest platform to Zillow in Canada

DigiRealty has an advanced map-based UX, fine-tuned advertising, placement and lead routing systems and a dynamic ‘go-to-market’ plan that will not be burdened by the bottlenecks that are existing for the established first movers. Where DigiRealty intends to excel, is always increasing the top of the funnel, along with focusing on reinventing the middle of the funnel activities centred around speed and thoughtful in market alignments. The already existing monster platforms know there is a problem with response speed and responder market knowledge alignment. Unless a multi-year revenue dip is okay with shareholders, they will be stuck with legacy premier placements and the associated downfalls.

DigiRealty believes that in-market, knowledgeable, lightning fast response speed and on-the-ground Agents will drive conversions. As a result of not having legacy booked revenue (that must stay on the books) from a potentially depleting premiere agent advertiser pool and a slow to response placement routing system that will bottleneck conversions DigiRealty is able to be more agile.

I wonder if the legacy, single player agent advertisers will leave platforms due to increases in response speed pressures that their small business cannot meet? If this is the case and we assume that qualified teams can nurture more middle to bottom of funnel leads to a conversion, will the resulting revenues offset the lost revenues? How does this transition look? It seems hard to imagine a case whereby a platform can service fast trigger teams and slow-moving placement agent advertisers at the same time. On a platform level, the teams likely provide better funnel to conversion movement, it will just be interesting to see how the shake back takes place.

In short, maybe the question should be, is there a Digirealty.com model in the states?

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Pain Points Faced by the Real Estate Industry

What are some of the biggest pain points and problems faced in the real estate industry today?

Some of my Coles notes on the biggest pain points and problems faced in the real estate industry today are as follows:

At current, real estate industry professional (Agents, Lawyers, Mortgage Brokers, Appraisers, etc…) make up the largest collective interest group attempting to monetize the economic derivatives of a given real estate transaction. The problem with this is that each of these independently self-interested professionals is also spending their marketing, advertising, and product development dollars in silos (to serve themselves/their individual businesses). The cumulative value of this independent spend would likely, if gathered in a collective, be multiple times greater than even the largest platforms development and operational expenditures.

The following statements combine to describe the industry’s largest pain points as I see them today:

  1. Fragmented industry professionals & digital spending: The largest interest groups spend in silos, which results in a product that is too small to fix industry challenges or to truly innovate.
  2. In the examples of unified spending we see today (at national associations/boards) the existing leadership groups have little to no foresight on how to spec, develop, monetize, deliver on and protect or grow digital products that will benefit their professionals; transactions, user search, compliance, etc… Unified spending on products that are innovating in this space is where these leadership groups should be concentrating to make an impact for the professionals they serve.
  3. Nimble digital groups are finding product market fit by actually selling to their customers and needing to provide value to maintain their recurring revenue. Boards and associations are drowning in a cyclical pool of collect, misspend, collect, misspend, collect, misspend, compounded over years of this repetitive and unchallenged behaviour.

“On the other side of addressing the pain points of conventional industry, we must also open up the true/productive conversation – What does the industry look like in 2,3,5,10,20 years and what opportunities will emerge for forward thinking interest groups as a result. There are many… many… many products to look into. The serious groups are actually trying to organize while addressing the market, finding product market fit with future thinking professionals and building the bridge between industry and consumer”. – Jeff Mziray – CEO – Digirealty Technologies

Side note, some of the large digital platforms/interfaces/media companies are lacking some on-the-ground-intelligence and practical application of process-based real estate knowledge that will be vital to providing a fulsome and innovative real estate technology product that will be able to scale with the industry.

The conventional industry has the opportunity to come together with technology to help shape the Real Estate industry of the future. However, if the industry does not ban together soon, we could be facing another industry disruption that will change the face of the real estate industry as we know it today… Think Blockbuster > Netflix, Think Taxi > Uber. Can industry conventional hit back? If yes, it will be fun to see what it looks like!

My two favorite search portals in the US side are Trulia and Zillow. My two favorite Canadian platforms are Digirealty.com (biased built in) and Zolo. As of October 14th Zillow has officially launched real estate listings in Canada on their .com. On first overview the site is operational but the sold and Zestimate features are not available and listing inventory is very low. I will keep an eye on this and update this article when/if the updates take place.

Jeff

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Ten Steps of the Home Buying Process

Beginning the journey to homeownership can be overwhelming and stressful. But with a little planning, you’ll get the home that’s right for you. A home that strikes a balance between your “wish list” items and the practical realities of the property, location and the housing market. Before you know it, you’ll have a place to call your very own. A place to entertain. A place to decorate. A place to raise a family. It really is an exciting time!

To help keep you on track, below are ten steps of the home buying process to assist you in buying your first home.

STEP 1 – Build a Budget

An effective budget will map out your plan to set aside money for your down payment and additional costs. It will also help determine the price of a home you can afford.

STEP 2 – Investigate Mortgage Options

There are many different types of mortgages. If you don’t have the 20% down payment for a conventional mortgage, you can get a high ratio mortgage, combined with mortgage default insurance, that allows for a smaller down payment. You should be pre-approved for a mortgage before you start house hunting.

Consult with a mortgage professional to discuss what options are available to you and learn more about how to get started.

STEP 3 – Choose a Realtor

Your realtor will play a vital role in your home buying experience. The best realtor will be a combination of a personal advisor, consultant and negotiator. He/she will show you homes that match your criteria, guide you through the home buying process, negotiate the best possible price for your home and deliver your closing documentation.

STEP 4 – Get a Lawyer

It’s important to hire a lawyer who specializes in real estate. You could find yourself in a bidding war for the home you want, and it doesn’t hurt to have a lawyer look over any offer to purchase before you submit it. A real estate lawyer will also conduct a title search and check for outstanding taxes and liens on the property.

STEP 5 – House Hunting

* Create a wish list

House hunting can be a lengthy process. To save yourself time, know exactly what you want in a home beforehand. Think about your immediate needs, future plans and lifestyle. When you look at homes, you may be tempted to concentrate on the home, but don’t forget to look at the whole property: the lot, the neighbourhood, the surroundings. How close is the home to facilities and services important to you?

STEP 6 – Make the Offer

Your agent presents the offer to the seller. This document includes the price, conditions, deposit and closing date. The seller either accepts, rejects or counters the offer (also called “signing back” the offer).

STEP 7 – Home Inspection or New Home Warranty

Hiring an inspector is voluntary, but it’s a smart idea for resale homes. You can choose to make your offer to purchase the home conditional on the outcome of your inspection. If your inspection reveals major problems, you can negotiate those repairs with the seller before your deal closes, or legally withdraw your offer.

What is a New Home Warranty?

New Home Warranties are typically used when you buy a brand new home. The builder provides a New Home Warranty to cover things like deposits and completion dates, along with labour and materials for at least one year after the home was built. It also protects you against structural problems for a minimum of five years.

STEP 8 – Finalizing the Deal

Finalizing the deal will include the final approval of your mortgage, a meeting with your lawyer to finalize details like insurance and conditions, and the results of a title search.

STEP 9 – Moving Preparations

There’s a lot to do before you move. Line up utilities and other services like phone, cable and internet. If you rent, you must give your landlord notice. Also, forward your mail to your new address and hire a moving company. Preparing these things well in advance will help you make a smooth transition to your new home.

STEP 10 – Closing Day

This is the day you legally get possession of the house. Your lawyer completes the paperwork (so the home is in your name), payments are finalized and you receive the deed and the keys. Congratulations on your new home!

 

Andrew Thake, Mortgage Agent

Dominion Lending Centres – Smart Debt

www.andrewthake.com

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Game-Changing Condos in Ottawa

Game-changing condos in Ottawa are creating an urban lover’s dream, an oasis in the midst of the nation’s capital. Breaking off from the ordinary condo lifestyle and taking it to the extraordinary. Defying the traditional, throwing away the old and tiring, offering more than just a place to sleep at night, these condos are breaking all the rules and changing the game entirely.

Luxury, modern, fresh, vision-driven, and where the first-class service is the name of the game. These condos are redefining the whole market. Condo living is being transformed and revolutionized right before our very eyes here in Ottawa.

So, what new condos are breaking all the rules and changing the game in Ottawa? Keep reading to find out the price per square foot of these game-changing condos in Ottawa!

Game Changing Condos in Ottawa - 1451 Wellington

1451 Wellington – Building Average, $850/sq ft

Become a resident of Island Park Drive and experience the epitome of luxury and some of the finest living Ottawa has to offer. 1451 Wellington is changing the game of condo living here in Ottawa and for good reason. What sets this building apart from every other condo in Ottawa? Not only offering its residences a home located in the heart of two of Ottawa’s trendiest neighbourhoods, Westboro and Wellington West, but residences also have restaurants, coffee shops, grocery stores, fashion boutiques and more just steps outside their front door.

Just by looking at this magnificent structure you know its different than the rest. You can tell this building exudes excellence, actually more than that, you can feel it. That isn’t a surprise though since excellence is what Mizrahi Developments vision was from the start with this project. Exuding excellence from inside out, Ottawa has never seen such luxury in the condo world before. From valet services, concierge, car washing services, an elite fitness room, a saltwater lap pool, guest suites, entertainment suites and much more, living has never been easier or more fabulous. Coming home at the end of the day has never been more enjoyable when you know you are coming home to a luxurious and pristinely maintained environment, where the only thing left for you to do is kick your feet up and relax.

Understanding that every resident has different needs and lifestyles there are plans to accommodate each need, and the option to customize – making your home uniquely you.  Pristine 1-bedroom suites are $838/sq ft, while 1-bedroom plus den are $768/sq ft. 2-bedrooms are $897/sqft and if you need a little more room, there are also options for 2-bedrooms plus den for $900/sq ft, rounding out the building average to $850/sq ft. With custom options, high-end finishes and top of the line builds, where even the smallest details are treated with great care and precision, helping residences create their very own sanctuary in the sky and setting the bar extremely high.

This development without a doubt has capitalized luxury living in Ottawa and no detail goes unnoticed, making it one of the leading and premier condos in Ottawa. 1451 Wellington is a game changer, leaving behind the ordinary and inviting you home to the extraordinary.

Game Changing Condos in Ottawa - Claridge Icon

Claridge Icon – Building Average, $609/sq ft

Claridge Icon happens to be the tallest residential tower in Ottawa but that isn’t the only reason it’s setting the bar high and changing the game in condo living. The exterior alone sets this condo apart from the rest of the city. This building’s architecture is rich with symbolism and creative genius, which is no surprise considering it is a build by one of Canada’s lead architectural firms, Hariri Pontarini. The exterior balconies and building curves are inspired by the swaying reeds on the banks of Dows Lake. And creative and intelligent design from the street view gives passerby’s an illusion of the building shifting and expanding, this fact alone sets this build miles apart from other the other condos in the city.  Claridge Icon is a show stopper, there is no doubt about it and residences are graced with an artistic and grand design. Modern, bold and exceptionally crafted, residences are truly living in a piece of art within the nation’s capital. Leading the way in terms of residential building design in Ottawa this project is proving that a building is more than just four walls and a roof.

Not only aesthetically on top of the condo game in Ottawa but it doesn’t stop there for this development. Offering its residences, the best and finest amenities in condo living; a yoga studio for the yogi, a fitness centre for the gym goer and an indoor pool and sauna to be enjoyed at the leisure of each resident. Entertaining has never been made easier with guest suites, a movie theatre and indoor and outdoor party space, making it perfect to host at any time of the year! The developers knew exactly what it was people were looking for when they started this project; offering urban living in the heart of Little Italy, while also providing coveted serene green space for residences to relax and enjoy, all only at a hop, skip and a jump away.

Beautifully crafted, carefully designed and impeccably executed suites make it easy to fall in love with this place. Tastefully and classy 1-bedroom suites average $598/sq ft and a 1-bedroom plus den averages at $592/sq ft. Residences looking for a little more have the option of a 2-bedroom suite averaging $639/sq ft, making the building average $609/sq ft. A trendy, high-end build that also happens to be the tallest residential tower in Ottawa, you know the views are going to be unbeatable and absolutely stunning– and they are! Offering residences gorgeous views of Dows Lake and the city at heights you never have seen them at before.

Setting the condo living bar very high (and not just referring to its height), the lucky ones who get to call Claridge Icon their home experience the new height of condo living in Ottawa. Elite and modern living (with absolutely stunning views) is made possible when you call Claridge Icon your home.

Game Changing Condos in Ottawa - St Charles Market

St. Charles Market – Building Average, $611/sq ft

St. Charles Market offers its residences a once in a lifetime opportunity to live in a Heritage Building. The fact that this building is a Heritage building means it’s already on a whole other level.

St. Charles church was built in 1908 and features Quebec inspired neoclassical architecture. The developers have taken this beautiful and historical building and transformed it into one of Ottawa’s most desired and premier living quarters in the sought after Beechwood Village neighbourhood.

This carefully crafted, and magnificently (soon to be) executed build sets itself apart in the condo market and all of the real estate markets for that matter, by putting design at the heart. Melding history with contemporary has been done before but no one has done it quite as exceptional as this and Ottawa better watch out. A seamless blend of new and old with a primary focus on respecting the church, this project offers a historically rich and welcoming environment, making it the kind of place you’d want to call home. Other condos offer a place to sleep but St. Charles Market offers, history, heart and community.

With only 50% of the land utilized for building with the rest dedicated to providing the residences and the community something more than just another building. A beautiful garden and park like border around the building bring an air of calmness and beauty to the hustle and bustle of the city reminding everyone who passes by that even while in the middle of the city it’s still important to take time to stop and smell the flowers.

Leading in the condo market for the uniqueness and creativity, offering exquisite horizontal suites that give residences that full home feel that can often be missed when living in a condo. Offering outdoor space, an elite fitness room and a welcome lounge to gather, again proving that community is at the heart of this development, making it so much more than a condo but a place you can gather and call home.

Offering something for everyone and their lifestyle with a wide range of floor plans. 1-bedroom averages around $559/sq ft, a 2-bedroom $567/sq ft and a 2-bedroom plus den $560/sq ft. Also providing 3-bedroom units averaging $583/sq ft and a Penthouse at $790/sqft, rounding the building average to $611/sqft. Each suite offers finishes that provide both function and beauty as the developers are adamant on providing finishes that speak volume about the quality while still maintaining a high integrity of design and style.

St. Charles Market is something you’ve never seen before and Ottawa is watching closely because ready or not, this place is going to revolutionize condo living, bringing more community, heart and impeccable design than we’ve seen before.

https://ottawascondominiums.com/condo/soba-condo-ottawa-203-catherine-st/

Soba – Building Average, $558/sq ft

SoBa or “South on Bank” is not merely just a condo development, but something much more. This project is full of so much heart and vision, it’s inspiring. Taking unused and unwanted land and giving it a new lease on life, this heartfelt development is redeeming and reinvigorating a little part of Ottawa. This build is giving us a new lens to look through – to see beauty where there was once nothing. The passion behind the concept and vision of this build is already more than most. Just give it time and developers will be lining up asking SoBa just how it did it and how they can also contribute to the betterment of the city.

The heart and vision behind this project alone are changing the condo game in Ottawa, but that’s only the start of what they are bringing to the table! Finally, what Ottawa has been waiting for, what Ottawa has been asking for, it’s here. Downtown Toronto finally comes to Ottawa! This project is bringing something new and something fresh to the nation’s capital. Not only is it bringing life and new energy to the Bank Street area, but it is also bringing downtown Toronto to Ottawa; with that same feel and energy SoBa is already changing and leading in the Ottawa condo market. With floor to ceiling windows, exposed concrete ceilings and an exposed concrete feature wall with columns, it has got the coveted industrial vibes down to a science. Bringing a whole new energy to the condo game, Ottawa couldn’t be readier or more excited to spice things up. From blah to brilliant and tired to trendy, SoBa has a vision for Ottawa and it is coming to life right in front of us.

Not only is this building the trendy it place to live, but it also offers a wide range of suites from 400 sq ft up to 1,200 sq ft, meeting every need, making it even more desirable than it already is. On average a 1-bedroom runs $536/sq ft, 1-bedroom plus den $526/sq ft, 2-bedrooms average $539/sq ft, 2-bedrooms plus den $522/sq ft and the Penthouse units average $670/sq ft – rounding the building average to $558/sq ft.

From the awesome location in Centretown just off of bustling Bank Street to the modern and chic game-changing ways, this development is going to be the trendy it place to live in Ottawa. Guaranteed.

Bringing a whole new vibe and atmosphere to the Ottawa condo market, SoBa creates that energy, that vibe, that feeling you get when the fit is better than just right, it’s perfect – all while bringing a little more love and beauty to the city.

Game-Changing Condos in Ottawa

Finally offering the people of Ottawa something more than the traditional and breaking away from box like attitudes of many developments. These condos are revolutionary, ahead of the times and creating a whole new way to live in Ottawa. Defying the conventional and bringing a whole lot more to the table, Ottawa better be ready because these condos are bringing a whole new game to town.

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Limiting Risk

Buyers hate surprises. Most of the time, the surprises that arise when purchasing a property are unfavourable, such as a lien, a faulty roof, or inadequate funds in the condominium reserve. These are all issues that are not readily observable or even apparent to the average buyer. However, these are all issues that can be mitigated by drafting a proper agreement of purchase and sale contract, limiting risk and by working with a good real estate lawyer.

The agreement of purchase and sale governs the transaction between the buyer and the seller, and as an agent, it’s our fiduciary duty to ensure our client’s interest is fully protected. Recently, one of our clients was looking to purchase their first condo and following status certificate review, it was discovered that a faulty piping system had been installed in the building and the cost to remediate could potentially be substantial. Because of the inclusion of the status certificate review as a condition in the contract, our client had the opportunity to review this issue with their lawyer, make the decision to terminate the agreement, and see their deposit cheque returned to them in full.

There are a number of critical purchase agreement clauses that my team uses to protect our buyers and save them money – Eight Critical Purchase Agreement Clauses.

1.Basic Financing Contingency

In the event that a loan is not approved, and the buyer is unable to purchase the property, having this condition in place allows for the buyer’s deposit to be retrieved in full.

2. Review of Status Certificate

The status certificate is a comprehensive document that outlines the financial and legal health of a condo corporation. Included in this document are the duties and rights of the condo corporation and of the individual owners; whether any special assessment exists on the unit or building to pay for such things as repairs, budget shortfalls or boosting the emergency reserve fund; as well as the current budget and a Reserve Fund Study that identifies future replacement or repair work.

To protect our clients from legally or financially risky condo buildings, our team always recommends the inclusion of a condition for the review of the status by a real estate lawyer – Why the Status Certificate Review Condition is Important. These professionals conduct a thorough review of the Status Certificate and offer their opinion on the health of the condo corporation, limiting risk and ensuring your investment decision is a sound one.

3. Inspection

To give a buyer protection against defects in the building, it has become very standard to see the inclusion of a condition in the agreement of purchase and sale to make it conditional on the buyer conducting and being satisfied with the results of a building inspection – Home Inspection Before You Buy. By including an inspection as part of the conditions, a buyer can put the onus of the repairs on the seller before closing or make the necessary amendment to the offer price to reflect the value of the repair work needed.

By including such conditions in the contract, we prime our clients for the potential of undiscovered issues and allow them the time to conduct proper due diligence to uncover surprises, limiting risk in the long run. When our clients can move forward with a purchase in confidence knowing these conditions have been satisfied or waived, we’ve succeeded in our roles as agents.

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Smoking Pot Inside Condos

A hot topic right now in the condo world touches on the Federal government’s push to legalize marijuana across Canada. Many condo owners are becoming increasingly concerned as legalization nears, with what legal rights and measures their respective buildings can take in order to prevent smoking pot inside condos and common areas in condo buildings. One condo board in Toronto near Sheppard and Don Mills wants to prohibit the smoking of cannabis, as it already gets countless complaints about marijuana odours wafting between units, triggering asthma and allergic reactions. – nowtoronto.com

Further, Ottawa Public Health agency recently made a recommendation to the province to outright ban smoking pot inside condos and apartments, including balconies. – cbc.com

The question is – Is it within the rights of Condominium Boards to ban this soon-to-be legal substance within privately owned units? According to Michelle Kelly, a specialist in condominium law, bans such as this are done by the Condo Corporation creating a rule (under Section 58 of the Condominium Act). – globalnews.com This rule would then be circulated to owners, and unless the owners call for a vote, and vote against it, it enters into force. Rules such as these are created in order to promote the safety, security or welfare of the owners, and to prevent unreasonable interference. Things such as the pungent smell of second-hand smoke could be considered a nuisance, and therefore a new rule would be reasonable.

Ontario Landlords are also becoming increasingly concerned with the upcoming legalization. The concern lies with the major financial cost that could be associated with removing the smell of marijuana after the tenant vacates. – nowtoronto.com Currently, landlords are able to ban smoking for new leases, yet with existing leases, it is illegal to modify any of the clauses before the natural end or termination of the lease.

An even further grey area is whether condominiums can ban smoking for those who have a medicinal license to do so. Many argue that medical consumers would be exempt under the Ontario Human Rights Code, which may result in a legal challenge by Condominium Boards. Needless to say, this hot topic is not going anywhere anytime soon.

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The Merit - 108 Ligar St Exterior Image Luxury Condos

Ottawa’s real estate market has been seeing good days. With strong sales and steady prices, both buyers and sellers are enthusiastic about the market as a whole. More young adults are considering purchasing their first home in Ottawa rather than in cities like Toronto and Vancouver where a need for affordable housing is slowly crippling those cities’ markets. This relative stability has injected an exciting shot of life into a slightly smaller, yet equally valuable part of the real estate market; luxury condos. Ottawa used to be a city of houses. Directly in the downtown core, residences were mostly traditional looking houses or, in the case of apartment buildings, simple structures that were rarely more than a few stories high.

In recent years, it’s almost a competition among talented firms to change the face of the city. Aesthetically pleasing luxury condos are being built as quickly as possible to meet demand amongst the city’s residents.

Ottawa Has A Brand New Face

Last year, Ottawa saw the resale of more than 24 luxury condos, each worth over $1 million. This is more than double the number sold in 2016. 2018 is also seeing the construction of various luxury projects like Keel and Roca Homes’ The Queen E. These buildings take modern living to a different level and are being snapped up by buyers eager to have the hotel experience in their homes. For instance, 1451 Wellington will invite residents to relax in their personal entertainment suites and will come complete with guest suites that are maintained by professional cleaning staff, along with a lap pool and an elite fitness centre.

While older, more traditional looking houses remain in areas like the Glebe and Centretown, there is no doubt that Ottawa’s real estate market is changing. Nearly every corner of the city’s core could be expecting a new luxury condo development. It’s a significant change from a few years ago when people balked at the idea of paying condo fees for amenities they felt they could do without.

The ‘New’ Luxury Condos Dweller

When noticing the changes in the market, the question inevitably arises about who is actually buying Ottawa’s luxury apartments. Property developers are excited because, unlike other cities where purchasers are typically well-established professionals, Ottawa’s homeowners occupy different demographics.

Older individuals who are looking to downsize, perhaps after their children have left the nest, are turning to condos as a headache-free option to access everyday luxury. There are also young professionals who are beginning to settle into their careers and adulthood. With a median annual salary of $86,000, the highest in Ontario, young adults working with businesses like Shopify or Pythian have fuller wallets to play with.

With the relative stability associated with living in the city, it’s no wonder people are more willing to spend top dollar on luxury developments they can actually enjoy.

It’s likely that Ottawa will be enjoying these good times for years to come. A strong economy, a safe city and a steady migration of skilled workers means housing will continue to be a great investment choice.

If you’re hoping to find the perfect luxury condo with all the perks your heart desires, drop us a quick email. As always, Ottawa’s Condominiums will be right in the middle of the action!

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