Electronic Signatures Starting July 1st!

Electronic Signatures Starting July 1st Real Estate Ontario

Word starting circulating late last night amongst the realtor crowd across Ontario that the wait for electronic signatures is finally over! After years of being told that electronic signatures were "coming soon" by different levels of government, starting July 1st we will be able to sign The Agreement Of Purchase And Sale (the main document to sell a property) digitally. No more scanning, no more driving around at a late hour or rushing for a last minute signature, no more faxing (well that was a given), no impossible to read documents from sending back and forth. 

I have been using electronic signatures for other documents (listing agreements, price reductions, etc) but now the full transaction could be signed digitally. Almost every client who has used this, prefers it. Saving the client time, and ensures no missed signatures or initials. As the client, you can read, review, and sign the document at your pace.

Real Estate 2.0 is here!

Fortress Real Developments - Market Manuscript Spring 2015

Fortress Real Estate Manuscript Spring 2015

Fortress Real Developments, has now released the third edition of their semi-annual Market Manuscript. This is the third edition which is an in-depth analysis of available real estate data and projections, delineated by market, and grounded in solid research. It profiles the Canadian Market as a whole along with individual markets such as Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg, along with local and national trends.

The 50 page report is written by analyst Ben Myers, a 15 year veteran of researching real estate markets across North America. "There are a lot of conflicting reports on the real estate market. These studies rely on oversimplified calculations, which lead to misleading results. It is important for both buyers and sellers to know who to trust," says Myers. "That's why we put this Manuscript together: to promote the best analysts, and dispel common misconceptions."

Highlights include:

  • No one thinks there will be a national crash: Despite the predictions of doomsayers, nearly two-thirds of analysts now believe that there is less than a five per cent chance of a housing correction over the next five years. Indeed, RBC Global Asset Management even believes that Canadian house prices are undervalued by four per cent.
  • Analysts disagree on the definition of a housing bubble: Survey results indicate no consensus on the level of price growth that suggests a bubble, with a need for speculative buyers to be included in that definition. Foreign condominium buyers are not bad for Canada, and analysts concur that they will not immediately flee the market should house prices decline drastically.
  • Ottawa is expected to rebalance in 2015:  Although data providers have reported divergent results of year-over-year price growth, the fundamentals – employment growth – are still positive. Condominium apartment prices and absorption should improve, following a rare period of overbuilding and over exuberance in the typically staid market in the nation's capital.

Download the full report HERE.

Note* Fortress Real Developments is involved with Gotham Ottawa, SoBa Condos, the upcoming Bronson, among others outside of Ottawa.

*taken from the Market Manuscript Spring 2015

*taken from the Market Manuscript Spring 2015

Nest Thermostat + Hydro One

Nest Thermostat Ottawa

Nest has now teamed up with Hydro One to help you save more energy, plus it can pay you up to $125. Keep seeing more and more in homes and condos around Ottawa (such as 124 Pretoria Ave), and have had it in my place for a couple years now (and LOVE it). You can sign up HERE for the program.

From Nest:
Hydro One will give you a $100 cheque per Nest Learning Thermostat when you sign up for Nest Rush Hour Rewards and Seasonal Savings. You’ll get another $25 after you complete a series of 3 surveys about the program. 

Rush Hour Rewards can help you use less electricity during peak energy rush hours while still keeping you cool and comfortable. While everyone else is cranking up the air conditioning, it can automatically cool your home ahead of time or make minor temperature tweaks to your thermostat schedule. If you don’t like a temperature that Nest sets, you can change it at any time. 

You may not even notice it working, but Seasonal Savings can help you save up to 10% on heating and cooling bills. Every summer and winter, Seasonal Savings slowly fine-tunes the temperatures in your schedule to save energy.

Looking Ahead to 2015 in Ottawa

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As the snow starts falling, and the days pass... we realize that 2015 is almost here. Lets take a quick look ahead and what some of the major players are predicting and what it means for someone looking to make a move in the new year.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation is predicting:
- Increase of 1.4 per cent for sales price of new construction single detached homes.
- Decrease of 2 percent for new home starts
- Increase of 0.8 per cent for sales price of resale properties (both residential and condo)
- Increase of 1.8 per cent for average rent of two bedrooms
- An increase of 0.2 per cent for rental vacancy
- Decrease of 0.7 per cent of MLS sales (both residential and condo)

RE/MAX Ontario Atlantic is predicting:
- Increase of 1.6 per cent for average residential price
- Lots of inventory or "excellent selection" in the condominium market
- In 2014 sellers were optimistic and overpriced properties, which pushed days on market. This will impact 2015 with continued increased DOM and more selection for buyers, but will balance out with fewer housing starts.
- Nationwide residential sale price to increase by two to three per cent in 2015 

Overall, while we will not see any crazy gains in price, we will see a slow and easy gain through 2015. More properties are and will be on the market, so sellers need to be more accurate with pricing (NOT OVERPRICED), and buyers will be able to have more selection. Again... Note that CMHC says there will be more listings, and fewer sales - it is more important than ever to have your property priced right, and marketed to its full potential!

Click here for the full CMHC 2015 Ottawa Prediction report.

Click here for the full RE/MAX 2015 Housing Market Outlook Report.

If you have any questions about buying, selling, or the market in general - I would love to chat!

Name *

2014 Sammy Awards Results

Taken from a Richcraft promotional piece following the recent win. 

Taken from a Richcraft promotional piece following the recent win. 

There has been lots of excitement over the past year, with much more competition between builders means more effort into marketing, sales, and design. The Sammy Awards are held by the Greater Ottawa Home Builders Association every year, for local builders and industry partners.

Richcraft Homes was the big winner, taking home the Grand Sammy for most awards. They won Best Print Advertising for a Builder (The Bowery Condos), Best Builder Sales Centre (The Bowery Condos), Best Marketing Campaign (The Bowery Condos), and Best Builder Brochure (The Bowery Condos).

Claridge Homes took home Best Condo Model for a High Rise (the Tribeca Broadway unit), Best Builder Website, and Best Town Home Model over 1,500sqft.

Minto Communities also won with Best Project Logo, and Most Environmentally Friendly Builder. 

For a full list of winners, visit here. For more information on the Sammy's visit here.

Sixty Second Profile: The Modern Shop


We got a chance to sit down with Michael Shaikin, the man behind The Modern Shop. Known as the place to go for fine modern lighting, furniture, and goods, from the best brands across the globe.  Walk inside (or browse online) and you'll remember exactly what it felt like as a kid on Christmas Morning.

Visit: 541 Sussex Drive, at George Street AND

Fact: The kitchen pendant at 124 Pretoria Ave., was aquired through The Modern Shop

Can you describe The Modern Shop?

Modern Shop is a modern design store in Ottawa Canada, that specializes in products that you can’t get anywhere else. We are proud that the things we carry, can't be found in other stores in Ottawa, and very few stores in Canada. [Note: Many brands they stock are ONLY available through Modern Shop in Canada!]

How did Modern Shop start?

I had a store that sold vintage furniture called Found Design. Then wanted a change and I started a new store called Modern Lighting. People kept asking for other things inside the home, so after three or four months changed the name to Modern Shop.

Then moved locations from Bank St. in Old Ottawa South, to Sussex Drive in the Byward Market?

Yes, well we were not getting the foot traffic we wanted, so moved to Sussex and George in Spring 2013 and love it.

What are some of the brands that you currently carry?

There are over 80 brands that we sell now, and some that are more familiar would be Moooi, Modernica, Norman Copenhagen, Hay Denmark, Foscarini, Muuto, and it goes on.

How do you keep finding new and unique things for the shop?

Well we travel quite a bit, especially for trade shows, was in Stockholm two years ago, Milan last year, Paris this year, plus New York City every year. This gives me the ability to see the up and coming guys that no one gets to really see, then you start to get a feeling for who is going to make it or not. I also will grab brands that no one has heard of, some of them are a hit, some are a miss.

What is your favorite product that you carry?

Urbanhike by Moooi

Urbanhike by Moooi

Well… My favorite product isn't here now, I took it home [laughs]. It’s called the Urbanhike by Moooi, and I have mine sitting beside my couch. Second…. its that [points] yellow coffee table by Hay, which is very unique and brand new. [So new I can’t find it on the Hay website]

You are also pretty big online, how has that been received?

Its crazy. It is like 75 percent of the business now. We sell across Canada and all around the world. We are able to showcase great unique products that are hard to find, and then offer them shipped right to your door.

Any big names, or recent projects?

Won’t mention celebrities, however In Ottawa we recently were involved with the new Shopify offices, the lighting at Fauna restaurant, and did the Zendesk offices in California. Those were all fun.

Some people call Ottawa dull or boring, thoughts?

Not at all. Just look at all the events and restaurants that have opened. It is certainly not what is was a few years ago, the city is moving forward.

Pretoria Ave - Interview with Andrew Reeves

We spoke with Andrew Reeves, the senior Architect at Linebox Studio about their work at 124 Pretoria Ave. Andrew walked through what inspired the design, and how the process was different than normal. This change of approach is what allowed them to push the boundaries with the space and end up such good balance in the design. 

For more information on 124 Pretoria, and for the full experience, visit the website at

Are you looking to sell and want your home's storey told? Let's talk...

Bought our Ottawa home, When do we get the keys?

Papers are signed, deal is done, inspector has gone through.... Congrats!

As the days get closer, you will start to plan the move, and life at your new home. Things like moving company, internet, and any renovations, will all need to be co-ordinated in advance. Most of this planing will revolve around the house and having access to the house - aka needing the keys. When exactly will you get the keys in Ottawa?

The biggest mistake that first time buyers make, is booking things for closing day. 90 percent of the time, you wont receive the keys till the afternoon, or most likely 3pm till 5pm. That is if the deal closes when it is supposed to (keep in mind that there are many reasons why it might not close on time). This means do not book Rogers to hook up the internet on the afternoon of closing, because if you don't have the keys, chances are the next open appointment wont be for a week (at least that would be my luck).

Moving companies are a little different, and are used to the process. Make sure to be clear and let them know when you should expect the keys and best to book them for after 5pm, depending on traffic etc. I would always prefer to have a little time before the movers get there to look over the house and enjoy it.

If you can, try and take the day off work. There will be enough stress, that the last thing you need is a work deadline, or annoying co-worker.

Good luck!

Written by Matt Richling

Matt is a licensed salesperson at RE/MAX Metro City Realty in Ottawa, Canada. Matt loves helping sellers and buyers find the perfect home that fits their lifestyle. 

124 Pretoria - Kitchen Lighting


One of my favourite parts of preparing a home for sale is dissecting it, to gather all of the details to be able to promote it better. Pretoria Ave, is a home with many cool details that really work well together. One of these is the main kitchen light, a six foot long pendant that hangs over the raised walnut bar. Designed by CASTOR, an iconoclastic Toronto design studio known for is 'rock-'n'-roll lumberjack' sensibility. “The light fixture, is called The Tube Light and it’s one of our top sellers. It’s [hanging]in a lot of places right now, from the Facebook office in California to the Chelsea Hotel in New York." Says Brian Richer, co-owner of Castor.

Check out this video, or rather documentary film titled "Castor is French For Beaver", that gives you an inside look into the mind of the CASTOR duo. Warning - after watching it, I found myself trying to find a space for one of their pieces. 

For more information on 124 Pretoria Ave, check out or contact Matt Richling directly.

Lifestyle Photoshoot - Edgecliffe Avenue

Ottawa Lifestyle Photoshoot Home

Selling a home in Ottawa is more than just sqft and number of bedrooms. It comes down to feelings, emotions, and the future lifestyle for the buyer. While the buyer is looking at numbers and prices, they are really searching for a certain lifestyle that they do not have now. A large kitchen to cook and entertain in, or bathroom with a tub that lets them relax, or even as simple as a space they can see their future kids running around. Sell the lifestyle of the home or condo that the new buyer will have, rather than just selling by price and upgrades. 

Anyone can put a home on the MLS, but pushing top dollar for your home or condo can only be done with experience. Thinking of selling? I would love to chat more.

Check out more photos and all of the information of the home 1487 Edgecliffe Avenue.

What Schools Are Located in Downtown Ottawa?

A common question before buying is "which school would my child attend?" or "what school zones are for this area?" For those who are looking to start or grow a family, this can be very important when choosing the perfect area. 

Ottawa has four major elementary and secondary school boards, in addition to many private schools throughout the region. Many boards have a "School Locator" that allows you to input the possible new home address and requirements your child will need, and it will display which school boundaries that your home falls in. Keep in mind that this data is always changing (new schools/ larger boundaries/etc), so it could change year to year. See below for the full list.

The Ontario ministry of Education has a great website FAQ up that contains many common questions/answers that a parent would ask. It is a great resource - Learning in Ontario FAQ. 

If you are thinking of making a move to another school zone, I would love to help! 

The four major boards are:

The full list of the private schools:





Community Schools

Elementary Schools

Ottawa Torah Institute



Full-time schools

Part-time / Weekend Schools


Christian (French)

Written by Matt Richling

Matt is a licensed salesperson at RE/MAX Metro City Realty in Ottawa, Canada. Matt loves helping sellers and buyers find the perfect home that fits their lifestyle.