Matt Richling x Ottawa Citizen - What You Should Know About Buying A Condo In Ottawa

Matt was asked about some of the things to look out for when purchasing a condo in Ottawa. CLICK HERE to read the full article.

"Matt Richling, an Ottawa real estate agent, says prospective buyers should also check with the people who live in the building by knocking on doors or connecting on social media to find out more about the “culture” of the condo.  “A condo, in theory, is a city within a city,” he says. “Neighbours are the most important thing when you’re buying a house, and that’s the same here. Instead of living the next plot over, you’re sharing a small wall with neighbours.”
Richling, though, says that being engaged in the financial and physical health of the building is crucial, and that means attending meetings. 
“It’s the biggest thing,” he says. “Be involved. Think about what’s important to you.”

Thinking about buying a condo in Ottawa? Let's chat!

Monocle Westboro

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Choo Communities (aka Ashcroft) has announced it's next project called Monocle Westboro. Marketed as a boutique luxury condominium that is going to be located in the heart of Westboro. The building is phase two of the Q West project (phase one is 88, 98, and 108 Richmond Road) with the working address of 91 Shannon Street. There are going to be 62 units over five stories with pricing starting from the mid $600's. 

No launch date or other information is available yet.

For questions about pre-construction condos in Ottawa, fill out the form below and let's chat. 

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Claridge Icon - Construction Update

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Construction is moving along as projected at Claridge Icon, located at the corner of Preston and Carling in Little Italy. Construction crews are currently pouring the eleventh floor of the 485 foot, 45 storey building that is set for completion in April 2020. 

If you have questions about condos in Ottawa, fill out the form below and let's chat!

ReResidence - Construction Update

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Now above ground, reResidence which is built by Ashcroft and located at 101 Queen street is moving along towards its finished 18 stories. Construction crews are currently pouring the second floor of the building which set for occupancy in 2019.

For more information about condos in Ottawa, fill out the form below and let's chat.

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Capital Hall Condos Fire - Update

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Earlier today a fire started in what appears to be a dumpster on the ground level outside Capital Hall Condos being built by Ashcroft Homes. Reports indicate that the fire spread up a garbage chute which ran up the side of the building. It was originally set to open in September, which the developer is going to still try to be ready for. Between 40 and 50 firefighters and 16 to 18 trucks responded to the 3-alarm blaze. In will take some time to time to determine the cause and expected timeline moving forward, however the damage at this time looks much worse that it could be - mainly exterior cladding and windows.

BREAKING - Capital Hall Condos- Construction Fire

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With information still coming in, we have learned that there is a fire at Capital Hall (a student focused investment condo rental building) which is located at 101 Champagne Ave in Little Italy. These are being built by Ashcroft Homes and targeted towards student rentals. SoHo Champagne is the building seen in the middle and from what we are told is under standby to be evacuated if the winds shift.

Project Update - Mechanicsville Lofts

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Originally designed as a low-rise six-unit development located at 92 Stonehurst in Mechanicsville, the project is currently getting revamped and will be re-launched this summer. Originally set for a 2017 completion, Mechanicsville Lofts took a back seat to its sister project on Beechwood - St. Charles Market. With the strong sales that St. Charles Market has seen, it has allowed the teams at Modbox to shift back to getting M-Lofts prepared. With no exact date yet, you can expect the re-launch for sometime in June. 

SoBa Condos - Sales and Construction Update

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SoBa Condos, located just north of the 417 on Catherine street has officially finished pouring the top floor (23rd). Lamb Development is expecting an occupancy of 2018, starting on the lowest floors. The building is 75-80% sold and they are currently "in-talks" with selling the last two penthouse units.

The Corners On Main - Phase Two - Sales and Construction Update

Domicile has had great success with The Corners On Main project, especially with phase one and now with Phase two. Located just in front of phase one, at 141 Main Street, The Corners On Main phase two is a six-story 64 unit building that is currently at 50% sold out.

Prices currently range from $208,600 (Williard floorplan - 346sqft) up to $771,000 (Hopewell floorplan - 1552sqft). All units include parking in the price (except for the Pied a Terre Suites or the Willard/Rosedale/Sloan/Marco floorplans). Monthly condo fees are estimated at 42 cents per square foot, and an additional $33/month per parking spot.

Construction is well underway with crews currently building out of the ground. Occupancy is set for Summer of 2019.

Bellwood Floorplan Corners On Main Ottawa Condo

A favorite floorplan of many is the Bellwood - a 1195sqft two bedroom, two bathrooms, with north facing views. It is a generous floorplan with an open concept feel and large second private balcony off the master bedroom. The Bellwood is still available on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floors - keep in mind the 2nd floor has a terrace instead of a balcony. Ranging from $635,200 up to $655,000 depending on the floor.

For more information about The Corners On Main including updated price list and floorplans, or if you have questions about the Ottawa condo market, fill out the form below.

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reResidences - Sales and Construction Update

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Construction is well underway at reResidences, located at 101 Queen street. The crews have now made their way out of the ground and making quick progress towards the 18 stories. The building is 70% sold out, with a little bit of everything still available for purchase. They are looking at a 2019 occupancy.

reResidences is set to have some of the best views in the city, with a dominant location directly in front of the peace tower. 

For more information about reResidences, or about pre-construction condos in Ottawa - let's chat.

 

The Corners On Main - Phase One - Sales Update

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Phase one of The Corners on Main has gone very well and has only a limited number of units left to purchase. Out of the original 74 suites, there are only five suites remaining. Prices range from $246,100 (for unit 401 the chestnut floorplan - a 478 sqft) up to $730,100 (for unit 211 the Drummond floorplan - 1535sqft). Parking is not available for purchase with unit 401, however it is included with the other units. Occupancy has now begun and you could be moving in (almost) right away! Built by Domicile, the building is located at 141 Main Street.

For more detailed information on remaining units, floor plans and pricing, or for information about pre-construction condos in Ottawa, please fill out the form below!

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Tamarack Wellington Phase 2 Construction?

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A few people have expressed interest in the construction located behind Tamarack Wellington, as it looks like they are building a phase two. They are, however, it is going to be a luxury rental building with approximately 179 residential rental units. The building is located at 1140 Wellington and the occupancy is to start this summer! Visit Tamarack's website for the project here: www.1140wellington.com

Minto Beechwood - Only 3 Units Left

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There are only three units that remain at Minto's Beechwood development. Located at 411 Mackay at Beechwood, the eight-storey building has a total of 130 units. The three remaining units are:

Elmdale Floor Plan

- Unit 302 - Elmdale floorplan - 1 bedroom plus den - 823 sqft (788sqft interior, 35sqft exterior) - priced at $374,900 - See floorplan to the right.

- Unit 312 - Manor floorplan - 2 bedroom plus den - 1200 sqft (1105sqft interior, 95sqft exterior) - priced at $517,900

- Unit 708 - Westward floorplan - 2 bedroom plus den - 2059 sqft (1909sqft interior, 150sqft exterior) - priced at $982,900

For more information about Minto Beechwood or pre-construction condos in Ottawa, fill out the form below.

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Condo Fees - What exactly am I paying for?

 The gym at 111 Champagne (SoHo Champagne) is a common element which is paid for by the monthly condo fee.

The gym at 111 Champagne (SoHo Champagne) is a common element which is paid for by the monthly condo fee.

A common question people ask is regarding the monthly condo fees and what exactly the fee is paying for. To start, the fee is to pay for your share of the building... or your share of the common expenses. 
Your share is decided based on your percentage of ownership in the building or square footage of the overall building. In a highrise, it can be as little as .3% (or even less), however in a small lowrise that percentage could much higher. This would also increase if you have a parking spot and locker. Keep in mind that (typically, in most buildings) balconies or terraces are not used to determine ownership - you don't pay for the square footage of your balcony or terrace. They are referred to as exclusive common elements. You don't own them like the condo unit, instead, you have exclusive rights to use them. 

Common expenses can include:
- garbage collection
- snow removal
- landscaping
- water charges
- electricity for the common elements (hallways, parking garages, etc)
- natural gas heating for the common elements
- natural gas heating for the boiler tanks that supply heating to the units
- building insurance
- professional property management
- audit, legal, and professional expenses (lawyer, accountant, etc.)
- the maintenance, repair, and replacement of the common element components (this is and can be a big one - since this includes the building structure, elevators, windows, etc.) this also includes the amenities and equipment (gym equipment, bbq, pool, etc.)
- the cost of borrowing money (if a repair is needed that can't be covered by the reserve fund, the Corporation needs to borrow money)
- any remuneration payable to employees (superintendent, security, concierge, etc).

Every year Ottawa condo owners receive a breakdown of the expenses, and how the monthly condo fee was allocated and is projected to be spent. It is easy to ignore the document as it is long and dry, but important to look over and pay attention to how the money is being spent. 

Often I explain it as living in a condo provides a luxury that is impossible to match in a residential house at the same price point. Underground heated parking, an elevator, a concierge, gym, party room, no landscaping such as snow removal or lawn cutting, and no taking out the trash - just send it down a chute. 

Have a question about condo living or buying a condo? Let's chat.

Where Does My Condo Start? What do I own?

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A common question is regarding the boundaries of the condo, where exactly does it start? What exactly do you own, versus what is a common element? The answer is simple - check your status certificate. The main reason is that every single building is different and each building will have a different definition.

That said let's give you a better answer - let's take a closer look at the status certificate for The Galleria Phase 2 (238 Besserer) which will be fairly similar for those in a recently built highrise. Again, don't assume this is what is used by your building, check your own status certificate.

For the residential condo, the status describes the
- horizontal lower (floor) boundary as the upper unfinished surface of the concrete floor slab,
- horizontal upper (ceiling) boundary as the lower unfinished surface of the concrete slab above the unit.
It is explained using the concrete (rather than the drywall) since many buildings don't have finished ceilings!

Now for the vertical boundaries, 
- The backside surface of the drywall on the exterior walls of each unit,
- In the vicinity of the structural walls and columns, (which shall not form part of the unit), the backside surface of the drywall that surrounds such walls and columns,
- In the vicinity of pipe and duct chases, (which shall not form part of the unit), the backside surface of the drywall surrounding such chases,

What about windows and exterior doors??
- In the vicinity of the windows and exterior doors, the unfinished interior surface of the windows and doors in closed position, the inner or unit side surface of the glass contained therein, and the unfinished interior surface of the window and door frames. 

Fireplace?
- the portion of the fireplace and flue lying within the unit boundaries described above shall form part of the unit.

To sum it up, in 238 Besserer and in many similar buildings you own the drywall and in. BUT always check your own status certificate!

Questions about your condo? Let's chat!

ArtHaus Sales Promotion - 20 Months Paid Condo Fees

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To celebrate 20 years of business, DevMcGill has announced a sales promotion of free condo fee's for 20 months if you purchase a unit at ArtHaus before March 20th, 2018.

There are only a few units that still remain, and occupancy is starting March 18th. If you are interested in ArtHaus before the promotion is over, lets chat.

For more information about ArtHaus including news articles, renderings, floor plans, and pricing, check out the ArtHaus page here.

St Charles Market - Sales Update

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St. Charles Market, located at 135 Barrette street, has officially sold 55% of the 54 units. Building completion is set for late 2018. Built by Modbox Developments, prices for remaining units start at $443,900 (for unit 207 the 911 sqft two bedroom two bathroom) up to $3.2M for Penthouse 3 (a custom designed 3,923sqft four bedroom, three bathroom). Penthouse 3 is the last available of the four penthouses. Automated valet parking is an additional $35,000, storage locker is an additional $5,000. Monthly condo fees are estimated to be $0.46sqft (plus parking $56 and locker $17). The last barrier-free unit (unit 202) is still available. 

For more information including all updates, floor plans, renderings and sales/construction updates regarding St Charles Market, visit the St Charles page here.

Top Condo Renovations for Maximum Return

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A common question that I am asked is regarding which renovations will bring the best return when looking to sell an Ottawa condo or loft. Typically my answer can be very specific to the unit, however, there are some general ideas that you should start with.

1. Painting. Without a question, one of the most common things that is suggested to a client is a fresh coat of paint on the walls and trim work. Sometimes there are hairline cracks in the ceiling or scuff marks on the trim, and for the cost, it is the typically the best thing you can do to prep the condo for sale. A nice light grey goes a LONG way!

2. Kitchen. While not usually the cheapest option, more units around the city are starting to have slightly dated cabinets and counters. While replacing the counters is (essentially) an easy task, replacing the cabinets is a serious overhaul and a lot of work. However, depending on the unit and the cost it can make a HUGE difference in the unit. Remeber that a condo doesn't have numerous rooms or places to spend money - so having the main room look its best does a lot for sale price.

2.5 Parts of the kitchen. Even replacing the handles or painting the cabinets will give a fresh and serious change to the space. You don't always need to spend a boatload of cash to get results. 

3. Flooring. One of the first things most buyers notice when they walk into a unit is the quality of the flooring and the shape that it is in. Do you have carpet? Has the dog put deep scratches all over? Shoe or furniture imprints throughout the unit? These are a huge turn off for most buyers. Resist the urge to throw down low-cost laminate flooring, as it doesn't last. However every unit and budget is different.

4. Bathroom. Similar to the kitchen, there are not many rooms to spend money in a small condo. However, a new cabinet, mirror, or sometimes even just a shower curtain will go a long way in revamping the feel of the en-suite bathroom and can cost a lot less then in the kitchen. Some "modern" buildings from the 2003-2005 era have a very "interesting" yellow mustard tile - again, a huge turnoff for buyers.

5. Closet System. One of the first things we did in our condo was to remove the current standard "builder" closet and replace it with a closet system. This allowed us to fit two to almost three times the amount in the same space. It completely changed the way we were able to use the space and in a condo, every inch counts. There are numerous options available from DIY at Homedepot or Lowes, to custom built options! 

6. CLEAN. Yes, it isn't exactly a renovation, but you would be surprised by the number of people who don't DEEP clean, or even just clean period before putting their unit up on the market. A buyer wants to feel like they can live there and they want to feel that YOU love living there. If you don't take care of the space it subconsciously tells them that you don't like it and that they won't either. Go crazy with the cleaning - it will pay for itself!

While every unit is different, these are typically what I seem to mention when a client is asking what the can do in order to increase the value for selling. Want to chat about your unit specifically or just get more information about selling your condo? I would love to chat and answer any questions that you have.

The Bowery - Sales Update

Bowery Ottawa Condos For Sale

The Bowery Condos and lofts, built by Richcraft Homes and located at 255 Bay Street, has sold 159 of the 246 suites (250 if you include the two guest suites, sales office, and the superintendents unit) or about 64% sold out. There are six of the floorplans that are fully sold out and numerous floor plans that are only available on lower floors. Pricing starts at $200,000 for the S2 model which is 401sqft, and only available on the 1st and 2nd floor. The largest unit that is currently available is the T3 model which is a two bedroom, 919sqft, located on the second floor for $418,000. All units include 4 European stainless steel appliances, washer and dryer in-unit, quartz counters, and hardwood flooring throughout the unit - all standard. 

The building is now complete and the units are available with an (almost) immediate closing period. Parking is available at $30,000* and lockers at $3,000. Monthly condo fees are priced at $0.36sqft and include heat, water, central air, etc. *Parking available for select units.

For updated floorplans and price lists, fill out the form below. 

Claridge Icon - Construction and Sales Update

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The Claridge Icon is well underway with construction crews currently pouring the 5th floor. Set for completion by April 2020, there is a rumor that they are moving ahead of schedule and occupancy might even start earlier. The 45 storey building will stand 485 feet high above the ground. 

The building is currently around 40% sold (124 of the 320 units), with only two of the twelve penthouse units still available. Some floorplans are almost all fully sold out like the Bertoia (2bed-855sqft), New Pacino (1bed 645sqft), etc. Sales are estimated to pick up significantly this year with the increased demand in the Ottawa condo market.

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Questions about pre-construction condos in Ottawa? Fill out the form at the bottom of the page and let's chat.