Ottawas Condos Team Blog
16 Signs that your House is Haunted!
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Ever wonder if those weird noises and unexplained sightings are just your mind playing tricks on you or is it a spirit of the past?  Here are a few signs that your house is haunted.

Happy Halloween!

1. Unexplained noises - footsteps,knocks, banging, rapping , scratching sounds, sounds of something being dropped.l

 2. Doors, cabinets and cupboards opening and closing - you may not see it, but you may hear the doors opening and/or closing . You may also return to a room to find a door opened and or closed after you have left it in the opposite position.

 3. Lights turning off and on- these events are seldom seen actually occuriring, but the lights are switched on or off when the experiencer knows they were not left that way. This can also happen with radios, tvs and other electrical items.

 4. Items disappearing and reappearing- "The DOPler Effect " (DOP= Disappearing Object Phenomenon)

 5. Unexplained Shadows-  sighting of moving shapes and shadows. Many times these shadows have vaguely human forms.

 6. Strange Animal Behaviour- your dog, cat, etc behaves strangely. Sometimes dogs will bark at something unseen, cower without apparent reason or refuse to enter a room they normally enter. Cats may be "watching" something across the room. Animals have sharper senses than humans, and many researchers think their psychic abilities might be more finely tuned also.

 7. Feelings of being watched- this is not an uncommon feeling and can be attributed to many things, but it could have a paranormal source if the feeling consistently occurs in a particular part of the house at particular time.

 8. Mild Psychokinetic Phenomena- hearing a door open or close is one thing. Actually seeing it happen is quite another. Similarly, actually seeing a light go on or off by itself is greater proof that something unexplained is happening. Do you see the TV or radio turn on? Or perhaps you're present when a child's powered toy begins to operate on its own. Doors and windows are locked or unlocked. Some people report that when they are in bed they can feel and/or hear something sitting on the bed.

 9. Feelings of being touched- this is self explanatory

 10. Cries and whispers- on occasion, muffled voices, whispering and crying can be heard. Somtimes it is music from an unknown source. More than one person has to hear this to have credibility.

 11. Cold or hot spots- these are classic haunting symptoms, but any instance of a noticeable variance in temperature without a discernable cause could be evidence.

 12. Unexplained smells - distinct fragrance of perfumes or colognes that you do not have in your house.


 13. Moving or levitating objects (severe psychokinetic phenomena) - dinner plate sliding across the table, pictures flying off walls, doors slamming shut with great force, moving furniture.


14. Physical assault - scratches, slaps and hard shoves. This is extremely rare but obviously highly disturbing.

 15. Other physical evidence : unexplained writing on paper or walls, handprints and footprints.

 16. Apparitions: physicial manifestation of a spirit or entity. This is very rare and can take many forms: human-shaped mists, transparent human forms that disappear quickly , etc...

 Ottawas Condos Team is wishing you a Happy Halloween!


Are you a Landlord?
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Landlords. O.C.T. Property Management Services has the ressources in place to completely disconnect YOU, the landlord, from the day-to-day hassles associated with an income property, whether a house, apartment building, multi-family dwelling, commercial building or condominium unit.

Mission: To assist the Landlord in achieving his or her investment objectives by obtaining and maintaining maximum revenue for the property under the guidelines provided by the Landlord and subject to any applicable government regulations.

Our service in this regard has two components:

Leasing of vacant property

For a fee of one month's rent + HST, our service includes:

  • Marketing your property to our network of tenants actively looking for rentals
  • Marketing your property on the MLS database,,,,,, etc.
  • Coordinating all inquiries and showings for prospective tenants
  • Drafting and entering into residential/commercial lease agreements with FULLY SCREENED and pre-qualified tenants(subject to your approval)
  • Obtaining first and last month's rent deposit
  • Key exchange
  • Assistance in utility account setup for tenant if required

Screening of tenants includes: credit check, reference check, proof of income/employment, interview, etc.

Day-to-day Management of property:

For a small monthly fee, our service includes:

  • Day-to-day tenant relations
  • Coordinating all required maintenance on the property
  • Collection of monthly rent
  • Dealing with late rent, uncooperative tenants, issuance of notices of termination if necessary
  • Representing you in the event of arbitration at the Landlord and Tenant Board(35$/per hour)
  • Compliance with all aspects of the Residential Tenancies Act
  • Coordinating renovation projects in order to maintain the positive characteristics of the property or to increase rental income potential(applicable fee if extensive)

With this service, we take care of EVERYTHING management related. All you need to do is deposit the rental cheque from your tenant(s) into your account every month.

If you choose to enroll with O.C.T. Management Services, we provide you with monthly statements on the last day of every month. These statements include an outline of your monthly operating expenses, operating income, a summary of any work, mainternance or issue that arose during the course of that month. What we currently do with many Landlords is have the rental cheques made out to OCT MANAGEMENT SERVICES, and on the 15th day of every month, we direct deposit the rental amount directly into your account, holding back our fee. We are flexible in this regard - most landlords do this to save the hassle of having to cut a cheque every month.

For more information on this service, or if you'd like to review our Management Contract, please don't hesitate to ask.

Looking for a pre-sale construction condo?
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Good idea! Buying pre-sale often leads to a profitable flip down the road, once the building is built.

Builders will often only require 5% down within 30 days of signing the purchase agreement, 5% after 180 days and nothing until the building is up and you get the keys 2-3 years down the road. Come building registration and Unit Title Transfer Date(closing date), the appreciation on the condo's value will most likely be a considerable amount and you may want to cash out!

Being so involved in the condo community, Ottawas Condos Team often times partners up with a builder in order to get you 5-8% off sales centre pricing offered the the general public. The appreciation through time along with these savings is where it becomes really interesting. This year, we've helped over 30 investors flip their units they bought in 2008/2009 for an average profit of $50,000.

Looking for an income property?

Promising income properties(duplex/triplex, multi-family dwellings) don't come on the market everyday. It takes knowledge and experience, as well as a good understanding of financial implications to spot them.

Depending on your downpayment amount and your investment goals, I determine which properties are most suitable for your needs and outline your potential monthly net operating income(cashflow), after having taken into consideration your mortgage payment, operating expenses(water, hydro, gas/oil, property taxes, insurance, management if applicable), and rental income.

Be first to know 24 hours before these income properties hit the MLS.

Example: Fourplex

$410,000 (Mortgage: 75% Loan to Value; 2.99% 5YR Fixed Rate, 25 yr amortization)

Monthly Expenses

Mortgage Payment: $1453.66
Property taxes(2012): $366.66
Insurance: $200.00
Water: $166.66
Heat(gas): $200.00

Total operating expenses including mortgage payment: $2386.98

Operating Income – Operating Expenses = Net Operating Income

$3250.00 – $2386.98 = + $863.02

Looking to flip?

When flipping, keep in mind that you'll be making your money on the purchase, not the sale; meaning that you'll buy the property under market value, not sell it over market value. You NEED to find an undervalued property with the potential of being brought back to market value with a few calculated renovations. It's all about the numbers...

A good way to find these deals are through power of sales and Estate sales. With Estate sales, you often deal with older properties that have outdated finishings throughout. Often times these properties were occupied by the original owners, whom are now deceased or admitted to hospital and no longer able to occupy the home.

Be informed 14 days before these estate sales hit the MLS.

Buyers - First things first, my service is FREE OF CHARGE to buyers.
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Now is the time to find the best deals! Market activity has moderately cooled off, mainly due to new mortgage rules restricting borrowers to a 25 year amortization period, instead of 30 years.

This new regulation is expected to have halted the plans of 5-10% of the would-be first time homebuyers for the moment, while they adjust to the extra couple hundred dollars per month tacked on to their monthly mortgage payment. Ottawa's real estate market is not as vulnerable as other big cities like Vancouver and Toronto thanks to the high ratio of public servants in the area; once buyers adjust to the new regulations, the market is expected to warm-up. Note:this new regulation is a good thing! It helps homeowners pay off their mortgage faster, by paying less interest and gaining equity in a shorter period of time.

With fewer buyers out there, the laws of supply and demand are at work, pressuring motivated sellers to reconsider their bottom line. As a buyer, the ball is in your court.

Like I mentioned above, the best deals are out there NOW; a strategy I often use with my buyer clients is to scope out 3-5 properties of interest, place low-ball conditional offers on all of them, and see what kind of counter-offers we receive back. We pursue those who are most willing to negotiate a deal, and disregard the rest. Who knows, perhaps the sellers just closed on another purchase and are not in a position to carry two mortgages. Opportunities are out there - we just have to weed them out.

Just keeping an eye out for now? Send me your search criteria (price range, type of dwelling, location, parking requirements); I'll make sure to forward new listings meeting your needs straight to your inbox, 24 hours before they hit the MLS (



Sellers - We sell houses too!
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Yes, we're branded Ottawas Condos Team, but don't be fooled, we sell just as many houses. In fact, our alternate website is and we help many non-condominium homeowners make the move, whether it is to a condominium unit or a house. Condo or not, I can assist in selling your property and get you into your dream home.

It's no secret; we're currently in a buyer's market, meaning there are more active listings for sale than there are active buyers.

How can you differentiate yourself from your competition? Curb appeal is a good starting point; it's the first thing a potential buyer will notice when driving by your home or viewing your listing online. You only have one chance at a good first impression.

Second, along with decluttering, depersonalizing and sprucing up the space, many consumers underestimate the use of a professional photographer for picture taking. The lighting and lenses used drastically improves the overall appearance of the property and will get buyers IN THE DOOR. Traffic is key.

Lastly, keep in mind that your home is worth what a buyer is willing to pay for it. Evidently, the more competitively we price your home the faster it will sell. How to price your home?

Look at a sold comparables in the last six months. Active market listings are useful in determining what we're up against – our competition – but at the end of the day, homeowners can ask whatever they want for their property, which can often mislead sellers looking to sell.

Want to know what your property is worth? Let's sit down for a chat; I'll bring the market data, you bring an open mind.

Preparing for Winter!
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The warm summer nights are getting cooler and those sunny days are becoming shorter...   Before we know it those falling leaves will turn into falling snow and Mother Nature will have winter in full effect! It's time to get your home prepared for the long frosty months ahead of us...

 *Clean your pipes!

ALL manufacturers recommend cleaning your furnace.


A dirty furnace can be bad for your health! The hot, moist environment inside of a furnace can become the perfect breeding grounds for harmful bacteria, viruses and fungus which can pollute the air inside your home and cause respiratory problems and allergies. 

Proper annual maintenance will not only help your system to run better and last longer but it will also benefit your health! 

 *Get your leaves outta the gutter!

Clean out your eaves trough and make sure all debris has been removed. This way when the snow melts in the spring, the water will melt and drain. When hosing it out, make sure to take a close look for holes and leaks. Make sure the downspouts are carrying the water AWAY from the house. "Rule of thumb is that water should be at least 10 feet away from the house". 

 *Check your chimney!

A chimney should be inspected before each use. Things like nests, tennis balls and even small dead animals can be stuck inside. 

Buying a protective cap for your chimney is a good way to avoid having unexpected surprises get stuck inside. It can also block rain, which when mixed with ash can eat away at the fireplace walls causing it to deteriorate. 

The better business bureau recommends some chimney sweeps in Ottawa:

 *Ring the alarm!

This is always a good time to test your fire and carbon monoxide alarms. Many people forget about their home alarms and it's important to get in the habit of checking them annually (if not more) to make sure they are functioning correctly. This could mean the difference between life and death. 

To properly test your alarm, follow these steps:

Make sure the batteries have been changed and that the alarms have not expired.

 For a complete and helpful list of 50 things you can do to winterize your home, please check out:


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A very important aspect in selling your property is the condition that it’s in. The way a property is decorated or maintained makes all the difference in how long it will be sitting on the market. This being said, there are a few  simple steps that can help you prepare your home in order to speed up the selling process.

  1. Declutter your house: the more space available, the more appealing it is to the buyer’s eye. It may be difficult to do at first, but removing personal items from view enables the buyer to picture it as their own. Otherwise, it is seen as someone else’s place (which it is), and they cannot mentally view how they would live in it. Remove your mess, excess furniture, and clutter! It won’t cost you a penny to do so, and will make the world’s difference.
  2. Repairs: if you are previewing properties for yourself, would you consider one with numerous problems? Of course not! Buyers want to acquire a property that does not require any work. The difference between spending a little money to improve the state of your home versus the profit you will make selling it is worthwhile!
  3. Cleaning: everything must be cleaned, and cleaned properly. Remove dust, dirt, smells, and every other mess a property can accumulate over the years. The cleaner the property is, the less faults the buyer can find, the bigger the offer you will get! Taking this simple step will put you ahead of the game.
  4. Rejuvenate : after decluttering, repairing, and cleaning, it’s possible to do just a little bit more to give your home that extra boost. Give your property more curb appeal (improve the outside of the house), leave the proper lights on when a buyer goes in for a showing, and make sure everything looks fresh and clean.

Remember: the way you maintain your house will determine its standing against the other ten properties a buyer will be viewing that day!

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Selling your Condominium? Here are some Condo-ment questions and concerns the buildings owners can look at collectively to work on increasing the value and desirability of your building.

Have you ever walked into your condominium building and thought, “will somebody please vacuum the carpet, already?". These are things a condominium board as a whole has to look at. The "condo-ments" (as cheesy as it is) also known as the amenities, the extras, the add-ons are top details when it comes to people purchasing their unit.

Let's start with the Lobby... You may only been in your lobby for about 13 seconds each time you leave, however it needs to be a reflection of your unit. What this means is that if your personal unit is well manicured and taken care of then the lobby must be as well. When selling your condo, the lobby is the first place in a building where a buyer can feel not only at home, but in a modern or luxurious setting. A well taken care of grand lobby will typically sell the buyer before they have even seen your unit. Make sure you are on top of your property managers to direct care and maintenance here.

Second would have to be gym. Let's be honest here, after marketing condominiums and showing them for over 4 years I have probably only seen people use the gym about 25% of the time. That being said, the gyms still matter. Consumers like to know that they DO have a gym if they chose to use it. It should always be bright, clean and air-conditioned. Certain buildings have old equipment and a weird scent which can sometimes detract a buyer from the overall impression. If your building is more than 15 years old, see if your condo board can dip into the reserve for a few hundred bucks to get a new treadmill or two.

Let's not forget about the hallways, they may not necessarily be amenities but they are common elements which are highly important when selling your unit. Are your hallways clean? Do you still have stucco ceiling? Are the carpets old and smell of smoke? Is the flooring scratched? Are the walls dirty? Do they need a fresh paint of coat?

Last but certainly not least, pools, terraces and party rooms. Collectively as unit holders these all need to kept updated. Every decade or so do a quick look over. Is this up to today’s standard? Is there an inexpensive way as unit holders to have these slightly upgraded?

Whatever it may be, don't hesitate to contact your condo board or property managers regarding these details. It is rare as unit holders that you would not want the building to keep it's value.

For more information regarding condominiums, how to deal with property managers and the condominium board please contact us at

Zombie-proof Condos
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When I came across the article titled:

“Zombie-proof condos all sold out in Kansas, Canadians still have options” I was immediately intrigued.  Jordan Chittley from the Daily Buzz writes about Zombie-proof condos which are listed at $2 million. The only problem is that all 8 of the 1,820-square-foot condos, located in Kansas, have been sold out!... Even if you aren’t worried about a zombie apocalypse or the world ending this year, you still may find this an interesting read... Besides, it might not be a bad idea to think about getting prepared, stranger things have happened.

“If you are looking for something to protect yourself when zombies attack, we may have found just the abode for you. The only problem: the zombie-proof condos in Kansas have all sold out.

According to the Survival Condo website, all eight units have been purchased, although one sale is still pending.

The 1,820-square-foot condos come with an indoor pool (definitely not above ground) and spa, exercise facility, classroom, library, movie theatre, minor surgery centre and an elevator. Owners also get off-the-grid power thanks to a wind turbine and solar panels. Next to the sold notice, the website also states that they "now have an in-house dentist/orthodontist!!!!" on level 3a. Oh and did we mention it comes with a weapons cache.

All of this went for $2 million for a full floor.

The place was rated by Mother Nature Network as one of the "best U.S. places to survive the apocalypse."

The condos weren't dug into the ground, but are made from an old missile silo in Concordia, Kansas. The silo was build to withstand a nuclear explosion and according to Rocket City News is considered to be "one of the strongest structures built by man."

"Construction is well under way," reads the Survival Condo website. "The new steel structure is built and the top five floors are poured and being built out for the owners. The new septic system is complete and the new water system is nearing completion."

Please watch:

Central Ottawa Neighbourhoods
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A friend of mine recently announced that he would be moving to Ottawa in the next year; however, he was at a loss of where to even begin searching for a place to live. One thing he knew for sure was that he wanted to be located in Central Ottawa. I decided to give him a brief idea of the main districts of this area, which can be useful to all those attempting to gain a further grasp of the city.

The Byward Market : one of the focal points of Central Ottawa, located in the Lowertown district. It is known as Canada’s oldest farmers’ market, and is comprised of restaurants, bars, boutiques, shops, museums, and art galleries. The market is minutes away from Centretown, the Rideau shopping mall, Parliament Hill, and a few embassies. No matter what the time of day, there is always something going on in the market, and something to see.  The market includes both residential homes as well as condominium buildings. This area is popular for all; from tourists, to students, to young professionals, to older generations!

Sandy Hill: this area is well located, just far enough from the Byward Market to be away from the hustle and bustle, but still close enough to be able to walk to the lively area. It is characterized by parks, trees, residential buildings, and embassies. This area has become quite popular for students attending the University of Ottawa, as it is located in close proximity to the school. It is also home to wealthy individuals and senior citizens.

Centretown: aka as the financial district, Centretown is characterized by high-rise buildings, residential buildings, embassies, and hotels. It is also largely popular for it’s great restaurants, pubs, shops, museums, and boutiques. Two popular streets in this district are Elgin Street and Bank Street; Elgin taking on the role of “Sens Mile” during the NHL playoffs.  There is always a lot to see in Centretown, and it is a very convenient location to be living in.

The Golden Triangle: mainly a residential area, located between Elgin Street and the Rideau Canal. The triangle is characterized by single-family homes, condominium buildings, and apartment buildings. Located minutes from the Canal, this area is ideal for outdoor activity lovers! Enjoy running, biking, or walking along the Canal in the summertime, or skating in the wintertime!

Centretown West: this area is often nicknamed “Chinatown”. Just west of Centretown, this area is mainly occupied by Chinese and Vietnamese businesses. It is also however minutes away from Ottawa’s “Little Italy”. This district is made up of residential buildings and small low-density residential commercial properties. If you have a craving for Asian food, your choices are limitless in this area!

The Glebe: an area largely populated by families, this area is comprised of residential buildings (mainly detached), community centers, parks, shops, cafes, and restaurants. It is a very quaint area; the houses occupying the Glebe have a lot of character and are densely surrounded by trees.

All of these districts are located in close proximity to each other, and are great areas to visit. If you are planning on relocating to Central Ottawa, it is a great idea to get out a map and take a drive through the Byward Market, Sandy Hill, Centretown, the Golden Triangle, and the Glebe. You will never run out of interesting activities to do, let alone find a wonderful new place to live!


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