Landlords Guide To Renting Your Ottawa Condo


Are you looking to rent out your Ottawa condo, but don’t know where to start? Heard too many horror stories about bad tenants? We have put together a short guide to help guide you with the leasing process and what to expect.

Know Your Condo

Gather all of the information that you can. Ask your condo board about the rules or restrictions on rentals. Some buildings in Ottawa have minimum lease length of three or six months (to stop short term leasing), and some have rules stating that all tenants must be from the same family (to avoid student or rooming homes). What utilities or services are included in the rent or in the condo fee? What about pet’s? Etc. The more information that you can find out, the easier it will be down the line.

Know Your Market

How much are you going to price the condo for? What are rentals going for in your building or area? How do they compare to your unit? What is the market like and can you take advantage of that? Are you looking to rent the unit furnished? We have seen prices jump around $200 per month this year depending on the building and location, due to a lack of inventory.


Before we can get tenants into the property we need marketing materials (pretty pictures) that help gather interest. Is the unit vacant or do you still have your furniture in the unit? If you are still there, do you need to declutter and do any repairs or remove furniture? We almost need to treat it like you are selling. Remember we are trying to find a tenant who is going to love the place as much as you do and one who is willing to pay top dollar for that space.

Once everything is perfect we bring in our professional photographer to capture the unit. While you might think it is easy to rent with basic phone quality shots, or even no photos (depending on how hot the market is), having back up photos when the place looked perfect is invaluable. The tenants might not leave it the cleanest and to have the photos ahead of time is only going to save you in the long run!

Best Places To Advertise The Rental In Ottawa

Same as when you are selling, you want to get the maximum exposure that is possible. Industry websites like are mandatory, but still important are Kijiji, Craigslist, Padmapper, Zumper, along with the more local sites! Are you targeting a specific tenant, such as a student (Ottawa or Carleton University), or diplomat or even specific embassy, political member or specific party, high tech crowd? Depending on the tenant there are specific websites that would be a better target for that tenant. To advertise to Carleton University students, we use as it is the preferred vendor by the school.

Writing the Ad

Thinking like the tenant you are trying to attract and writing the ad to speak directly to them. Focus on facts and information, not fluff. Know your rules and listing off what is included in the rent. Things that might seem obvious to you, might not be to a tenant. Be clear and don’t use all caps (unless you

Showings and Inquires

Once the property ad goes live, you will start to get inquiries from interested tenants. Often they want some clarification about the ad (is “X” allowed, or is “Y” included in the rent?). Use these questions to help improve the ad if you are not getting the responses that you are expecting. The majority of the inquires will want to book a showing to see the unit. In a hot market, you can schedule a few times that work best for you. Make sure that when you are booking a showing you get some basic information about the person and what they are expecting (when do they want to start etc) so you are not wasting your time if that isn’t possible. Qualifying them as best as possible.

Tenant Selection

Once you have started getting tenants interested in applying, then you really need to put on your detective hat. We have all prospective tenants fill out a full rental application, which lists current and previous job and housing situations. It asks for references, about pets, expected start date, car information, and debts. We will also ask for proof of employment (such as pay stubs or letter of employment), plus we will pull there credit report (equifax etc) so we can see first hand their credit score and how they have managed their finances. We are trying to paint a picture of who the tenant is, and how reliable they will be. Once you have collected all of this, then call the references and employer and verify things that are on the application. You want to ensure they have not lied! Be careful when calling current landlords, often they will say amazing things about the tenant in order to get them out - helping problem tenants find a new place to call home! When speaking to landlords, ask facts, such as did they pay rent on time, etc.

The Lease

Once you have selected a tenant, you will need to have them sign the lease! The government has made this much easier with introducing the mandatory residential lease. It is quite easy to fill out, but take your time and ensure you fully understand each part of the lease. Just because you can cross something out or add a special clause does not mean it is legal or enforceable. You can always speak with your lawyer to help with any additional clauses or questions!

TIPS for condo landlords!

  • Don’t forget to change your insurance to landlord insurance! Plus make sure your tenants have property and liability insurance as well!

  • Often utility companies have Landlord accounts, so any days in between tenants are properly charged to you.

  • Be upfront with your tenants. We prefer open dialogue and good communication with our tenants. If you don’t want pets, make it clear in the add and tell those who apply.

  • Learn the rules, and don’t be afraid to ask questions if you are unsure.

  • It’s a business - so treat it like one. Keep a record of all of your expenses. Speak with an accountant. You can’t write off your time!

  • Explore the benefits of hiring a property manager. A great property manager is worth their weight in gold.

Questions about renting out your condo? Want help and guidance? Let’s chat!

Buying For An AirBnb Investment in Ottawa?

Over the last few years, short-term rental site Airbnb has become a go-to solution for those looking to rent and rent out their homes and condos to tourists and business travellers when visiting Ottawa. It provides a cheaper solution to the tenant, and an increased return for the investor. Wait.... not just an increased return, but double or almost triple the return. More and more people are asking about buying a property for Airbnb especially after looking at the numbers. Roughly - One Bedrooms rent out for $1,400 per month vs $120 per night on Airbnb.

BUT WAIT.  As this trend grew, more issues have started to arise and everyone caught on. Bad tenants, scams, and insurance companies were/are just the beginning. The number one issue today is the condo board and by-laws being put in place to restrict rentals that are less than six months in length. This is a building-by-building issue however, the majority of condo buildings across the city have now placed a restriction in the rules.

There are still buildings that still allow short-term rentals in Ottawa but buying a unit within a condo building now is a much larger gamble as each day passes and more rules are added. 

If not a condo, then what? The shift we are seeing now is away from the high-rise single condo unit and towards multi-unit buildings or single family homes and being converted to these almost rooming house style. The key for a successful AirBNB listing is mainly location (other than price etc), and the best locations typically have a higher purchase price, and to make these numbers work and cash flow, these investors are having to create their own product to fit the bill. By starting with a single family residence, you don't have the condo board setting the rules. The city is strict with rooming houses, so don't think you can just have 10 rentals in a single home. If you plan on having a home with four rooming units or more - then you will require a city license (and follow the permit requirements) - click here.

There are a large number of places that could be a perfect fit, but these short-term rentals now come at a higher cost to the investor - they are not an easy money solution anymore. They require extra work and extra investment up front. If you are considering entering the short-term rental market and would like to chat, get in touch. Maybe there is another real estate product that would better fit your needs.

Should I Sell My Condo With A Tenant?

Selling Tenanted Condo In Ottawa

This is a pretty common scenario that I am seeing right now here in Ottawa. An owner wants to sell their condo, but has a tenant inside that has a number of months left on the lease. The owner is trying to figure out the best thing to do. Keep in mind I am going to answer this quite generally - every scenario and property is different (things like how the unit shows, the tenant, list price, area, etc will all come into play).

First thing I would ask is - Who is the potential buyer for the condo? Owner, Investor, etc? Most likely it is going to be an owner looking to occupy the unit. Depending on the price/unit, the majority of buyers we are seeing are not investors looking to rent out the unit, but owners looking to move into the unit. That being said, most people are not willing or able to buy a place, pay the mortgage (the costs will not cover the rent) and pay to live somewhere else, until the place is vacant. As a buyer, the risk you are taking with the tenant is quite high (yes, you can vet the tenant and verify everything, but the risk is still there). 

Why not an investor? Well, there is nothing certain in real estate, so knowing my luck the next buyer will be an investor - BUT generally at these prices, resale units do not cash flow under standard financing terms. I have units that cash flow (after ALL expenses) $600 month, on a $250,000-$260,000 purchase price - so compare to the one beds that list around the same price, you would be loosing money every month.

Back to the original question... Put yourself in the shoes of the buyer and ask yourself - Would I rather be provided vacant occupancy on closing, or have to worry about kicking out (or waiting for the lease to end) some tenant? Especially when there are other options to buy that could be currently vacant. 

Most downtown Ottawa condo buyers are looking for 30-60 day closing periods. So typically once the tenant gives the 60 days notice, then it starts to make sense to list the condo for sale. Since you will be able to give a reasonable time for the tenant to have vacated. More than two months notice and 

Tenant just gave me her 60 day notice to leave! Now what?

This is when I get to work - how does it show? If it shows badly would it make sense to wait until they leave, paint, stage, and list it, or sell right now? Is the tenant cooperative? I value communication as one of the most important aspects of my job. Communication with the owner, communication with the other agent, and obviously communication with the tenant. If the tenant is unhappy, they won't give two shits about how the unit looks for a showing, and will ensure that 24 hours notice for every showing. When you are selling with a tenant, you want the tenant to be part of the team and on good terms. Right from the start, we make sure that the interactions with the tenant are positive, honest, and open. We need their help to sell!

There is more than two months left, what are my options?

If you still have more than two months remaining on the lease, obviously you can still list the unit for sale, but finding an interested buyer will become much harder. Keep in mind there is always negotiations with the tenant. While you can't kick a tenant out during a lease, they are not able to leave early - UNLESS you both agree. What is $1,000, the cost of movers, or sometimes even just a case of beer in the grand scheme of things? While you need to make sure that the timing is right - last thing you want is to let the tenant out of the lease, and then the deal falls apart and you have a vacant unit and no buyer. Sometimes buyers love a certain building and would consider moving to another unit within! This is all part of that communication with the tenant, and seeing what options you have as the landlord.

Thinking of selling your investment condo in Ottawa? I would love to chat more. You can reach me at or fill out the form below.

Name *

Genworth's Metropolitan Condo Outlook - Winter 2015

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Genworth and the Conference Board of Canada has released the 2015 winter edition of its apartment condominium study that looks at eight metropolitan areas, including Ottawa.

For the full report and in depth look into Ottawa and the other areas, click here.

"Although inventories remained high in 2014, Ottawa apartment building permits nearly doubled during the six months to December 2014 compared with their year-earlier levels. As a result, the new apartment condominium market is set to pick up again in 2015, with starts forecast to increase by 9.9 per cent. In fact, construction is already under way on a number of new buildings this year, including The Bowery condominiums and Claridge’s Icon condominiums in Little Italy. The Icon condominium building will be Ottawa’s tallest. But this title may not last long. A new development proposed by Richcraft Homes, also in the Little Italy neighbourhood, would see the construction of three new towers, the biggest of which would be 55 storeys tall. Starts are expected to keep rising from 2016 to 2019, growing by a forecast average of 1.2 per cent per year. Absorptions are set to decline this year and next, albeit from a 2014 record high, and then begin to rise through the next few years, helping to whittle down inventories." - taken from the report.

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

Ottawa Condo Rentals Up Almost 40 Per Cent in 2014

It was a great year for Ottawa condo rentals, seeing 1,044 units leased through the MLS in 2014, which is up 37% over 2013 and 79% over 2012. The condo market is a healthy portion of the total rentals across the city, accounting for 41% of the 2,551 rentals for of all residential property types in 2014. Total residential rentals are up 22% from the 2,091 in 2013, and 53% from the 1,664 in 2012.

The average rent for an Ottawa condo did not see much change dropping from $1,660 in 2013 to $1,658 in 2014. The average rent for all property types in 2014 was $1,740 which is up almost 1% from $1,727 in 2013.

We saw the average prices of rentals peak at $1,877 in 2009 for all property types,  and $1,796 in 2008 for condos. Each year since, we have seen a slight decline in average rents while the number of units rented has continued to grow (except in all property class where it hit a low in 2013).

Why? Since the Ottawa Real Estate Board does not include a spot for square footage, I am not able to include price per square foot or average unit size. However, based on what we are seeing in the local market and across the country, condo units are getting smaller which lowers rents. We are continuing to see the amounts of units rented increase year over year, with only a slight decrease in price. This helps to prove the demand for rental properties in Ottawa continues to be strong enough to absorb the amount of new supply. Also, it is important to note that the Ottawa condo rental market is only 5% of the total condo rental market for Toronto which had 22,765 condos leased in 2014 through the MLS.

Are you looking to rent out your pre-construction condo here in Ottawa? I would love to help. I have been able to help many clients with purchase and rentals at Urban Capital's Central, Mondrian, and East Market buildings, with Brad Lamb's SoBa and Gotham buildings, Claridge's Claridge Plaza phases, as well as other Domicile, Charlesfort, and Richcraft buildings - among others. If you are coming close to your PDI and occupancy date, don't wait - lets chat and get your unit rented.

Name *

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 *

Banks Unsure of Micro Condos?


With the recent launch of Smart House Ottawa, and as more micro condo units are being built, buyers are excited for moving into these new spaces... However, if they can move in will be another storey. We are hearing rumours that banks and other lenders are not approving financing for these micro-condos. 

Representatives from the Big Five banks have all said they have rules on their financing policies that restrict approving mortgages that are under 500sqft. Up until the last few years, micro condos or bachalor studios were few and rare. With the shift in size, the lenders are being cautious and want to make sure they "understand" them. 

While this policy for minimum size is a requirement, every application is reviewed on a case per case basis. I have sold multiple units over the past few years that are under 500sqft and a few dozen that were under 600sqft, all without size issues by the lender. While we have heard rumours here in Ottawa, we have not seen any first hand accounts where the mortgage was declined due to size.

So What Do I Do?

Before you sign the Agreement of Purchase and Sale, ensure you have a financing clause, and have consulted a mortgage broker. Make sure they have the green light before moving ahead with the purchase and that they have the correct sqftage. Last thing you want is an issue on closing day.

Examples of Small Units in Ottawa?

There are two units per floor inside Mondrian (324 Laurier Ave at Bank, 2009) that are under 500sqft and another three units that are under 600sqft. The East Market (180 York, 383 Cumberland, 179 George, 2001-2007) has six units per floor that are under 500sqft, and another eleven per floor that are or under 600sqft. 

Are you looking to buy or finance a micro condo and want some help? I would love to chat...

Name *

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. 

Gotham Ottawa - Building Update September 15th

Gotham Ottawa, is a 17 storey, 251 unit building, located at Lyon St. and Gloucester St. It is a project of Lamb Development and Fortress Real Developments that is set for completion later this year.

"Loft 13" which is still available for $233,900.

Sales Update

Currently 87-90% sold, there is more supply of the Jr. one bedroom and one bedroom range. While if you are looking for something larger, only a few two bedroom plus dens still available. All two bedrooms, three bedrooms, and "Glass House" units are sold out. Keep in mind prices for the smaller units have recently been increased and the larger units have had prices lower slightly. These price changes range from $10,000 to $12,000 depending on the unit and size. Prices range from $233,900 for the 426sqft one bed "loft 13", up to $619,900 for the 1,300sqft two bed plus den "Loft 316".

Construction Update

The building has been topped off, and most of the exterior glass windows and doors have now been installed. Interior work on the lower floors is underway with PDI's (pre-delivery inspections) being scheduled in October and occupancy beginning in November. 

Photo from " urbform" on flickr , showing building construction topped off, and glass windows mostly finished.

Photo from "urbform" on flickr, showing building construction topped off, and glass windows mostly finished.

Are you looking for more information on Gotham Ottawa? Or looking to purchase a new condo unit? I would love to help!

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. 

SoBa Condos - Building Update

Soba ottawa logo Matt Richling condos

**For updated information about SoBa Condos, check out the dedicated section with regularly updated construction and sales information. CLICK HERE to view.**

SoBa Condos in Ottawa - Building Update September 15th, 2014

SoBa Ottawa, is a 23 storey, 240 unit, condominium building that will be located at 203 Catherine street, between st. Bank and O'Connor st. It is a project of Lamb Development Corp. and Fortress Real Developments, and is expected for completion of fall 2016 to early 2017. 

Currently at 73% sold out, with a steady amount of sales over the last few weeks (seven units were sold last week alone). They are getting ready to close down the sales office in the next few weeks, start digging in October and finish the digging in December. 

They have a great mix of units still for sale, with many units either sold out, or only one of the model left. Most of the one bedroom, and one bedroom plus dens that are still available, are only available on one floor. While if you are in the market for a two bedroom or something on the larger side, you will have much more selection.

Prices start from $255,900 for unit 716 which is a one bedroom (floor plan D) 465sqft  plus a balcony, facing east. Up to the largest unit a 1,264sqft two bedroom facing North for $680,900. A few penthouse still remain, $671,900 to $828,900, 980sqft to 1,219sqft (just think of the amazing views!).

Floorplan D, which is still for sale $255,900.

- Parking: $39,900 only available for units 604sqft or larger.
- Lockers: $3,500
- Maintance fees - $0.48sqft
- Deposit for Purchase - $5,000 on signing, balance to 5% in 30 days, 5% in 60 days, 5% in 120 days, 5% at closing

If you are interested in SoBa condos or learning more about what they have left, fill out the form below. I would love to help you find the perfect condo, to live in or as an investment.

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. 

Smart House and Micro Living - Media Coverage


Here is an updated list of media stories that are about Smart House Ottawa or micro-living! 

Last updated: January 5th, 2015

Micro Condos - Nothing New for Ottawa

 Studio condos like the one above from 360 Lofts (360 Cumberland St). 

 Studio condos like the one above from 360 Lofts (360 Cumberland St). 

Right now, there is a lot of buzz about micro-sized condos and the urbanization of cities. Micro-condos, also known as studios, are condos without a separate bedroom area and typically under 500sqft. Urban Capital is about to launch a micro-condo building called Smart House Ottawa, after the instant success of its sister Smart House Toronto. With this new building comes talk about if it will sell, and who will buy them. 

Funny thing is that studio condos or micro-condos are not a new concept to Ottawa. Many post 2000's condo buildings have at least one! Lets take a look at a few of the buildings around the downtown core that have studios or micro condos.

- Galleria Phase Two (234 Besserer) has two units per floor under 500sqft. "The Williams" which is 490sqft and priced at $201,000,  and "The Danby" which is 410sqft priced at $167,000 (both units priced on 1st floor).

- Claridge Plaza Phase Three (242 Rideau) has one studio per floor. The Broadway  is 440sqft and priced around $185,000 (on 3rd floor).

- The East Market (180 York, 383 Cumberland, and 179 George), has one unit per floor in each phase under the 450sqft mark. These do have separate bedroom areas. This was the first building by Urban Capital that brought small, modern condos to Ottawa.

- 360 Lofts (360 Cumberland St) which had a large number of 404sqft studios, sold almost 70% in a couple days with prices starting at $187,900.

Some newer buildings include...

A kitchen inside a studio at 360 Lofts.

A kitchen inside a studio at 360 Lofts.

- SoBa (Catherine St) which has 56 units under 509sqft and another 36 units from 511sqft - 516sqft.  Prices start at $181,000 for the 407sqft unit with a few units left. Smallest unit is 373sqft.

- Gotham (Lyon and Gloucester) has 41 units all under 436sqft, with prices starting from $226,900 almost fully sold out.

- Central Phase 1 (354 Gladstone) has 32 units under 478sqft. Which all sold out fairly quick.

- The Slater (Slater St) which has four studio floorplans per floor (64 units total) that are between 408sqft and 425sqft, with pricing starting at $210,000.

- Centropolis (Kent and Gladstone) which has units that are 295sqft, 305sqft, 315sqft, and 340sqft. Infact, there are 44 units in the building or 10 per floor that are under 340sqft. This building is fully sold out. One studio has re-sold in the building earlier this year at $195,000 (list price on MLS).

These are just a few buildings that include studio apartments. Could you live in 400sqft space? Many people in Ottawa already are, and with very few re-sales I would say that they love them. Looking to purchase a micro-condo, I would love to help!

*Pricing taken from builder price sheets over the last 5 years. Not up-to date prices for all units.

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. 

Smart House Ottawa - Pre-Launch Information

**Edit** For all Smart House Ottawa information - check out our Smart House Ottawa page.

Launching Thursday September 18th from 6pm to 9pm is the first official VIP Launch for Smart House Ottawa. Brought to you by Urban Capital, (the same developer who built Mondrian, The East Market, Central Condos and Hideaway) as well as Ottawa-based Tamarack Homes, the building will feature 152 condo units inside Ottawa's first micro condo development. Building off its success with Smart House Toronto, Urban Capital is looking to expand the idea here to Ottawa. Going to be located in the same neighbour hood as Central, at the corner of Flora and Bank streets, these units will range from 315sqft to 596 sqft (two bedroom units). Prices start at $179,9000 with all units featuring exposed concrete ceilings, and large oversized windows. Roderick Lahey was included in the project as the architect, which ensures the building will please those who will call this project home.

Other features of the building include, product library (will lend out tools you need to make basic repairs to the home), productivity centre which will allow you to work from home (includes a large-format printer/scanner), sunny boardroom, gym and full yoga studio, and party room (with projector/screen, full kitchen and bar, outdoor dining). 

Also to note, this building will have the utilities for each unit separately monitored (not included in the condo fee), which has always been a source of argument at condo board AGM's. This means, you only pay for what YOU consume, not based on a percentage of the building consumption. 

Please note: I will have more information over the next week (pricing, floorplans, etc). Fill out this form if you would like this advanced information, as soon as it becomes available. 

**For everything Smart House Ottawa related, visit our Smart House section - HERE.

Video from the Smart House Toronto project.

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. 

Quoted - “No Condo Crisis Here…. Says Ottawa” Canadian Real Estate Magazine online - October 24th

Had a number of people contact me regarding the recent CBC Ottawa article, “Ottawa Condo Surplus Causing Price to Drop”. Was also contacted by Canadian Real Estate Magazine to offer up some more realistic facts about what our local market is facing. Canadian Real Estate is Canada’s only monthly publication dedicated to Canadian real estate investors. Read the whole article here: (and below)

More Facts not in article (and a few that are):
- Tega is a low-rise developer, they sold the lot to a developer more “versed” in high rise. 
- Claridge Icon was struggling with sales due to floor plans, they went back and have redesigned them. About to relaunch this Saturday.
- The Bowery, is a completely new re-design (formally the edge) which launches Nov 7th. At this point you can then judge how it is going. I already have buyers waiting to purchase in this building, so we will see how it does. Both examples above are builders adapting to the market, smaller more cost effective units, with lower prices.
- “1,700 number or active condos for sale”, actual number is 1,672… is for the greater city of Ottawa. This includes condos of all types (apartment style, 2 storey, 3 storey, bungalow, townhouse etc), all locations (Kanata, Orleans, Barrhaven, Nepean etc), and all price points. CBC just released another article with 5 condos priced well over a million dollars trying to show how overpriced our market is.
- Yes inventory is up, 563 new condo listings in sept 2013 compared to 540 during the same period in 2012, again spread across Ottawa and all condominium types.
- Inventory ALWAYS raises in the fall, just as it does in the spring. These are our two hottest times to sell. Over October and November the ratio of New Listings to Solds will reverse as the numbers even out (as they always do)
- We had 245 condos sell during the month of September, of which almost half (124) are apartment style one level condos (which the CBC storey targets). This difference alone should show you how easy the numbers can appear to look.
- We have seen a 2.2% decrease in price for condos (in sales YTD) compared to 2012. Compare that to the last 17 years of gradual price increases (in all property types). 
Lower prices are better for real buyers and investors who are in the market to buy and hold. Looking for a long term (OVER 3 years - not 6 months) property, not a short “get rich quick” type scheme. 

Oh and please, do NOT get me started on that specific “investor” and his bad choices/mindset.

Overall: YES there is an increase. NO we are not in some insane downward spiral. This is healthy for our market and will allow prices to deflate slightly, returning them to normal levels. During this time, it will allow buyers to be more picky and even out the market.

Any questions feel free to email me directly


Thursday, 24 October 2013 03:08
No condo crisis here….says Ottawa
Written by Grainne Burns

Condo crisis? What condo crisis? This is the reaction of many in Ottawa who are playing down reports that the city’s condo market is about to crash and burn.

With increases in monthly MLS listings and developers ‘desperately’ offering freebies, including parking, word on the street is that Ottawa’s condo market is at crisis level.

“We are not at a crisis point. Yes, we are seeing price decreases and we do have more stock on the market that we have had, just like other markets,” says Matt Richling from RE/MAX Metro City Realty Ltd. “There is no huge difference between this and last year’s figures so I think these stories are more for scaremongering than anything else.”

Richling says there were 563 new condo listings in September, compared to 540 during the same period in 2012. 

“Of course, the market has changed and developers are changing their offering to reflect that, such as smaller sized units,” Richling tells CREW. “With prices decreasing, many are holding off on buying as they wait to see if it will drop more. That is the nature of the industry, but we have had one of the busiest years yet so that says it all as well.”

Richling says he is aware of one development that has a low investor rate, around the 40 per cent rate, but says this is due to less demand for buy-and-hold properties.

“Most of the negative media coverage has focused on those who bought and renovated and now can’t sell. That is just not reflective of the local economy,” he says. “We always tell investors that the best returns are three to five, or longer, terms. This is the new norm.”

The Bowery - The Breakdown

So since the VIP agent party a few weeks back I have been getting tons of inquries for more information regarding The Bowery. If you don’t know about Richcraft’s newest building, CLICK HEREAlso… note the pricing… its pretty decent for what you will get. Especially compared to other buildings and launches going on right now. Add in the rooftop pool, gym and party room, free condo fees for a year and free storage locker! Its one of the hottest buildings we have right now.

Coles notes of the points they are pushing…
- Starting at $179,000 for 375sqft (1st floor) and $415,000 for 914sqft (2nd floor)
- 6 of the floorplans under 500sqft, 13 of the floorplans between 500-799sqft, 4 floorplans 800sqft and over
- Condo Fee $0.38 per square foot + Hydro, Water
- Locker included in all purchases
- Parking $27,500
- Interior upgrades such as stainless steel appliances, Quartz Countertops
- First Choice and Best pricing through agent VIP Launch including no condo fees for a year.
- Rooftop Pool, Terrace with Panoramic Views
- Lobby includes a Concierge 
- Deposit structure is 15% down (“first five thousand on signing, rest up negotiable on a per deal basis” - as of Bowerys sales rep 10/10/13) 
- official VIP launch set for Nov 7th


As standard, clients want to know what I think about certain floorplans… I will go over two floorplans and provide my thoughts.

Bowery Condos Ottawa B2

Here we have the B2 floorplan which is 520sqft plus the 162sqft balcony. Price is starting at $248,000 on the 1st floor which includes the free locker. There are two of these per floor, one facing north, and one facing south. It features a nice entry way including the front closet, washer/dryer and even a small built in desk. Then you have an open kitchen/living room area and decently sized bedroom.

Bowery Condos Ottawa B1

Here we have the B1 floorplan which is 590sqft plus the 96sqft balcony. Price is starting at $274,000 on the 1st floor and available up to the 15th floor. There are two of these units per floor with both having eastern AND a second exposure East or west (depending on the unit). Thats right, this is a corner unit that offers plenty of natural light. Again you have a nice entry way, which separates the unit from the hallway, however there is no desk area. The bedroom is smaller, but has eastern facing windows. The kitchen/living room is slightly larger than the B2, but has a slightly smaller balcony. 

Both of these units are a favourite of mine for someone looking for a one bed under $300,000 and both of these could even include parking under that $300,000 budget too (depending on the floor height). Which IMO is a great buy.

If you interested in the full floorplans, and pricing please shoot me an email -

Keep in mind that they have now announced the VIP agent launch date for November 7th, which will allow clients working with agents the first chance of purchasing a unit in the building. If you would like to have me walk you through your options, negotiate the deposit structure, and assist with purchase, feel free to contact me. Ask about the incentives that we offer, over and above the 1% lower purchase price and free condo fee’s for one year.

You can always email me - - or by phone 613-286-9501.