Newsletter February 19, 2024

January 2024 Newsletter

The latest Ottawa real estate stats are listed for you below, along with an article entitled : 5 New Homeowner Mistakes You Can Easily Avoid (And How to Avoid Them)

Purchasing a home is an emotionally charged experience that can cloud the judgment of even the savviest of buyers so this month, there are some tips on how to avoid buyer’s remorse.

Finally, with interest rates much higher than we’ve been used to, there are a few debt management strategies to help you and your loved ones shake off the shackles of debt.

Thanks for checking out this month’s newsletter. Please reach out if you ever have any questions about real estate, even if it’s just to find out what the house down the street sold for – it’d be great to hear from you!

Ian Campbell

Ottawa’s real estate market thawed in January but sales were still slow.

The number of homes sold through the MLS® System of the Ottawa Real Estate Board totaled 629 units in January 2024. This was an increase of 16.5% from January 2023.

“Ottawa’s market activity is seeing positive gains over last year but it’s still a relatively quiet market even by pre-pandemic standards,” says OREB President Curtis Fillier.

“While REALTORS® are telling us there’s lots of showing activity, probably thanks in part to the forgiving winter thus far, it’s not all translating to sales. This tells us that buyers are back out there looking, but still approaching cautiously.”

“During the pandemic market, buyers had to move quickly and sometimes settle for a property that didn’t check all their boxes. Today, buyers are using the slower market to take the time needed to find their perfect place.”

In January, the overall MLS® HPI composite benchmark price was $621,600, a gain of 3.2% from January 2023. The benchmark price for single-family homes was $703,500, up 3.7% on a year-over-year basis in January.

By comparison, the benchmark price for a townhouse/row unit was $462,200, down 2.1% compared to a year earlier. The benchmark apartment price was $418,500, up 3.7% from year-ago levels.

The average price of homes sold in January 2024 was $631,722, increasing 1.8% from January 2023.

The number of new listings saw an increase of 7.3% from January 2023. There were 1,271 new residential listings in January 2024.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out for detailed stats that are specific to your neighborhood, or even if you’re just curious about what the house down the street sold for – it’d be great to hear from you! Reach me here : Ian Campbell

5 New Homeowner Mistakes You Can Easily Avoid (And How to Avoid Them)

Keep these tips and tricks in mind as you learn the ropes of being a homeowner.


Become a first-time homeowner is one of the most exciting and stressful times of your life, even after the closing papers have been signed and key is in hand. Suddenly, you’re faced with a whole new set of challenges: how to manage a home that’s yours, not your landlord’s. There are a lot of opportunities to learn—and as you learn, mistakes will be made.

Luckily, many new homeowner mistakes can be easily avoided with a little preparation. Don’t let the following potential mistakes damper your excitement. Instead, plan ahead and keep these tips and tricks in mind as you learn the ropes of being a homeowner.

Ignoring Routine Maintenance

You likely just did a walk-through with a licensed inspector during the homebuying process, so you’re aware of what issues need attention and which can wait. That’s not where home maintenance stops. Home maintenance includes tasks you may have never thought of before, like cleaning the gutters, power-washing the house, prepping your pipes for winter and much more.

The best way to avoid missing these critical tasks, which could lead to costly damage, is to set up a quarterly or monthly maintenance schedule for all of the areas of your home. This should include indoor and outdoor maintenance as well as details like plumbing and electrical. Use this checklist from Better Homes and Gardens as a starting point to creating one that’s specific to your home’s unique needs.

Not Budgeting for Additional Expenses

Moving can be expensive but any veteran homeowner will tell you that there’s always more to budget for—and these issues seem to pop-up out of nowhere, like a broken washer right after you need to patch a leak in the roof. Plan for the unexpected by putting away extra money for emergency house needs.

Experts at HGTV suggest putting away 1 to 3 percent of your home’s purchase price each year to develop an emergency fund. They give the example, “For example, if your home cost $300,000, set aside at least $3,000 each year. Make one large deposit or spread the amount out in monthly deposits.”

Getting Locked Out

Being a new homeowner can make you more susceptible to being locked out: you have the new keys, you run out to get something and realize that the new key isn’t on your old keyring. You walk outside with the trash, forgetting that the new door locks behind you.

This mistake can lead to another one: choosing a locksmith that’s not reputable. In your hurry to get back into the house, it’s easy to forget to do your research and listen for clues that something’s not right.

That’s why experts from Lokology Locksmith share an important tip, “Ask the locksmith for an estimate prior to their arrival. If the locksmith cannot give you a quote or a price range over the phone—that should be a red flag.” This is a simple way to test whether a company is reputable to reinforce the quick research you did.

Making Major Renovations Right Away

It’s exciting to think about how you’ll make your new home feel more like yours with renovation projects. While small changes are to be expected, major renovations should wait. Give yourself time to live in the home, see how it feels, and determine what larger renovations will look like as needs arise.

For example, you may find the location of your fridge makes it hard to move around the kitchen seamlessly. This might be a focus of your kitchen renovation that would have otherwise not been considered.

Making Major Life Changes at the Same Time

 As you can see, becoming a first-time homeowner is a lot of work. Adding to that by having a baby or getting married at the same time only increases the likelihood that you’ll make mistakes or become overly stressed. If possible, leave yourself time to get to know what it’s like to be a homeowner and avoid making costly mistakes that come with being stressed, and in-turn, overlooking simple details.

Avoid New Homeowner Mistakes

There are some mistakes you can’t avoid—but many others that you can. As you get familiar with your role as a homeowner, keep these simple mistakes in mind. If you plan ahead as best you can, you’ll be able to enjoy all the excitement of owning your first home with less stress and frustration.