Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

April 28, 2021

The First Step to Property Investment - I Want To Invest, Now What

Property Investments


Have you been considering real estate investing but aren’t sure where to start? There is no doubt that you have heard how much of Canada’s wealth stems from real estate. It’s a hugely successful area of investment, and it’s relatively easy in comparison to playing the stock market which can be far more complicated and volatile.  If it’s something you have thought about and don’t know where to begin, this is the place. The Home Guyz always want to see successful investors and they know the old saying, If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. These are the very initial steps you should take if you’re considering. It isn’t a how-to more of a where to begin.  The most important thing to understand if you’re considering real estate investing and becoming a landlord is that it takes time, you must understand that property investment isn’t a way to get rich fast, but rather a high-performing investment that grows consistently over time.

Here are 5 steps to get you started with the real estate investment process, because remember; fail to plan is planning to fail.

Step 1: Set Clear Goals. Make your goals clear, not just “I want to make money” have a target number that you want to reach by a certain time. Is this a five year goal, a 10 year goal or maybe something you want to use in retirement. Have a clear outline of why you want this, and your goal timeline.

Step 2: Make Time. Depending on how you plan on investing will depend on the amount of time you need to put towards it. But one thing is clear, despite how you inves whether short term rentals, apartment landlords etc. all of it will take some of your time. So make sure you have time to give to the process. You may think that hiring a property manager will mean that you don’t have to put in the time, but that’s just not true. The process, especially at the start is time consuming. Consider the initial time consuming things to include:
-bank meetings 

-lawyer meetings 

-finding and viewing property

-managing properties or the property manager

Step 3: Do Your Research. Do you fully understand all the financial elements? Gross yield vs net yield? how will this affect your taxes and what you’ll pay in capital gains? Do you understand the power of leverage- or do you know where and who to ask for help? You need to have a full understanding of all of this before you proceed with investing. These can be very very expensive lessons to learn along the way. Knowledge is power when it comes to real estate investing. 

Step 4: Create Your Budget. Like buying any house, you need a solid budget and you need to understand what you're budgeting for. To start with your budget, it’s smart to speak with a professional, but in general you’ll need to have the money up front to pay for your deposit, lawyer fees, agent fees, taxes, and of course you’ll need contingency money for emergencies that may arise. The difference with a budget for real estate investing is that the budget you have must be over and above your own household and life expenses, so you’ll need to ensure that you have a solid grip of all of your regular expenses to ensure that the money you are using is able to be spent over and above your regular budget. So you must have a solid understanding of your existing financial situation. Which leads us nicely into our next point…

Step 5: Speak With A Mortgage Broker: You’ll want to understand what lending options are available to you, and what the various options are. A professional is the best way to go. Do not look for these options on the internet, this information will not be accurate to you and your situation, you don’t want to base your budget around a lending option that may not be available to you! Check out a Mortgage Broker we recommend.

Step 6: Finalize Your Personal Preferences (Now is a good time to look back at your goals!) You’ll need to be clear on what you want your property investment to be. Knowing what you want your goals to be will lead you into the type of property that will make that happen. Ask yourself all the you want a higher income or a higher yield? Do you want short term rental? Do you like the idea of a condo or does the lack of control not something you want to deal with? How hands-on do you want to be? What location are you looking for? And of course budget, which will immediately narrow many options and areas. All of these questions and factors are areas that you must be clear on, you must be able to answer these questions. This is a very good time to contact The Home Guyz as they always know the best areas and options, they know the right questions you need to ask, which leads us into the next step.

Step 7: Contact Your Real Estate Salesperson. You’ll need assistance with finding rental prices. This isn’t guess-work or even information you should pull from the internet. You will want to speak with actual rental agents who can let you know the prices you can get for certain renal properties. Plus an agent will have a good understanding of the demand and you’ll want to know listing prices vs. actual sold prices. They can talk to you about rental yields, days on market, vacancy rates and other factors you just can’t find without a professional. These are all factors you must take into consideration in order to be a successful landlord and real estate investor. Your agent can assist you with your preferences outlined in the previous step and they can help narrow your search, or even better, perhaps open up some great opportunities you perhaps weren’t aware of! They can help you identify risks you perhaps hadn’t thought of and work with you to find smart ways to overcome them.  Looking for a Realtor®

Investing in Real Estate is rarely a bad idea. It’s a good way to confidently grow your investment portfolio, and build long term wealth. But it is not risk free. Be prepared, The Home Guyz would love to discuss with you investment opportunities in the Ottawa area and beyond. 

Posted in Financial, Investments
March 19, 2021

Thinking about buying a home during a sellers market in Ottawa

Sellers Market in Ottawa


4 Tips to creating a successful buying strategy with The Home Guyz Team at Solid Rock Realty


2020 was a busy year for Real Estate and home sellers found themselves with the upper-hand. 2021 is shaping up to be no different and is quickly proving itself to be another highly competitive year for property sales. With demand outstripping supply, pushing prices to rise, it’s a difficult and exhausting climate to navigate as a buyer It can feel overwhelming. There is no need to be discouraged. The Home Guyz have experience and tips to build your strategy that will steer you through the process. While you may not nail-it on your very next bidding war, you'll certainly be more prepared for the cut-throat market and set up for success to secure the home of your dreams in the long run.

1) Be Prepared Financially.
You must have your pre approval ready, it’s an automatic deal-breaker. Being prepared with your pre approval paperwork and your deposit (bring a certified cheque) shows the seller that you’re a serious buyer. Remember that if you offer is accepted and you choose to back out you will lose your deposit, so always make sure that you’re serious and ready to move forward. The seller needs to know that you’re committed and motivated to close the deal quickly and have all funds and paperwork ready to go is the best way of showing you’re committed. 

By looking at properties that are selling 10k lower than your top price (the price you are pre- approved for) this allows you some wiggle room at negotiation time, if you want to be able to up your offer in negotiations. It will also ensure that you keep your mortgage payments within a comfortable budget. 

If you plan to sell your home in order to buy, you need to ensure that you have placed your home on the market first. The seller is motivated to get a buyer and any hesitation on your part can make or break the deal. The seller is looking for a smooth transition, and any hesitation on your part equals a delay or uncertainty for them, so get your home on the market in order to maintain the domino effect.

2) Know What You Want, and Where You Can Compromise  
The more you know about what you're looking for, the easier it is to make a compromise. Are you looking for a newer home? Then perhaps you can consider removing the home inspection in order to give less contingencies in a bidding war.

If you know that 2 parking spaces is a must, then ensure you’re only looking for that and not getting caught up and invested in a property that doesn’t have what you need. Maybe you can consider fewer bedrooms or perhaps moving a little farther out. In a sellers market, price is rarely something you can trade-off, so you need to take a look at the areas you are willing to negotiate on, and what are non-negotiables for you. This helps you and your agent narrow down to properties that you’re more likely to succeed with both in a bidding war, as well as your happiness with the property. The more you know what you want, the easier it is for you and your agent to build your strategy.

It can be a very emotional process, and often it’s easy to get caught up in the speed in which the process moves. In this competitive market, you will see buyers removing and negotiating the contingencies in their offers in order to be competitive. you don’t want to be making compromises and big decisions in the heat of the moment when emotions are high and bids are on the table. Make sure you know your comfort level and where you’re willing to compromise before moving forward into the eye of the storm. 

3) Be Ready to Act Fast.
Houses today and not on the market for long, they wait for nobody. So be prepared to act fast.This means, you may have to arrange your schedule to allow for viewings (virtually if needed), gather all the info beforehand and make sure you find the time to review all the details before the viewing. Make sure you do this all quickly, failing to review and view as soon as possible can result in a lost opportunity. The seller will always favor someone who is ready to move quickly. This ties into the last point of knowing what you want, this is no time for hesitation.

4) Work with an Experienced Agent Who Knows The Area
Knowledge is power! The Home Guyz can tell you what similar properties are selling for in the area. It’s important to always work with an agent who knows the community and market well and can let you know what areas and features your money can buy. This in-depth knowledge of the area, and how the market has been operating will allow you to bid smart, aggressively and with confidence. 
If it comes time to re-evaluate your options, then an experienced agent can always give you the next-best option for you (which in our experience always turns out as the better option- it always works out for the best in the end!)
Working with an agent also helps keep you in check, a good agent will steer you away from a home or area that won’t be beneficial, or help keep your contingencies in check when your emotions take over. They won’t allow you to buy out of your comfort zone or into an area with a poor school district. 

Buying a home in a seller’s market can be fierce, but it isn’t impossible and don’t be discouraged. While it will feel overwhelming, being prepared is the best way to ensure that you feel confident with the process. Be prepared: financially, with your strategy, and with knowledge and you’ll feel confident and ready to make all the right moves to secure your next home. And of course, The Home Guyz would be happy to help you every step of the way!




March 6, 2021

Meet Shaunna McIntosh, Realtor® - International Women's Day


The Home Guyz & Celebrate International Women’s Day & Chat with Team Member Shaunna McIntosh


On this International Women’s Day, March 8th - The Home Guyz Team wanted to take the opportunity to acknowledge the accomplishments, dedication and hard work of the women on our team who help shape our business.  We recognize that real estate is a male dominated field and although women are making headway, it’s no secret that women face more systemic barriers than their male counterparts. We are spending time in 2021 to listen, and work towards gender parity. Today we want to highlight Shaunna McIntosh, one of the Home Guyz top team members, to hear her experiences with being an agent and her thoughts on International Women’s Day.  


Shaunna specializes in the purchase and sale of residential and investment properties, she has set herself apart in Ottawa’s competitive real estate field through her unrivaled work ethic, meticulous attention to detail, and honesty. Shaunna’s success stems from her client-focused approach and her unique ability to grasp her client’s needs and vision for the purchase or sale of their home.


A natural firm negotiator, Shaunna strives to exceed client expectations. She is experienced in working with new buyers and sellers, and seasoned real-estate investors. 


What does International’s Women's Day mean to you?


To me, International Women’s Day has a dual meaning. First and foremost, it’s an opportunity to celebrate the significant political, social, and economic advancements of women worldwide. At the same time, it also affords us an opportunity to reflect on ongoing gender inequality. In other words, International Women’s Day is an annual reminder of how far we’ve come, but also an opportunity to recognize how far we have yet to go. On a personal level, International Women’s Day acts as a reminder for me to reach out and connect with the amazing women in my life - my female friends, family, and colleagues.


Shaunna was working towards a neuroscience degree when she started investing in rental properties, although she had always loved real estate it was at this point that she knew it was a career path that seemed more appealing to her. She became hooked on the industry and has never looked back.


Many factors led me to become a real estate agent. First and foremost, I’ve always loved real estate. I began investing in rental properties before I became an agent and found that I enjoyed the process so much that I wanted to help others purchase and sell their homes. Beyond this, I chose to become an agent as I love the flexibility and diversity of experiences that this career affords. I really enjoy the fact that every day is different and that I have the opportunity to meet and engage with new clients regularly.


The Home Guyz Team agrees that a career in Real Estate is an excellent career path for women. We have diverse clients and our team should reflect that.  But in Ontario the demographics of female real estate agents is still lower than that of men. We asked Shaunna her thoughts on why that may be, given that the industry allows for such flexibility and success for women? 


My sense is that many women may not be aware of the benefits of a career in real estate and the flexibility that this career affords. I would certainly encourage more women to consider a career in real estate.    


We couldn’t agree more with Shaunna’s thoughts. More women need to consider real estate as an option. Real estate is a challenging and rewarding career. It keeps you constantly learning new skills, pushing yourself forward, setting goals, and keeps you tightly involved in the community all while having the ability to manage your own time. The attributes that are needed for a successful career in real estate often come naturally to women, making them very successful agents. 


We asked, you started as a property investor which led to becoming an agent. In your time as an agent, have you seen an increase in the amount of female property investors? If not, why do you think that is?


While I haven’t personally noticed an increase in the number of female property investors in my time as an agent, statistics from the United States show that single women are purchasing homes in record numbers and at twice the rate of single men. While comparable surveys don’t exist in Canada, previously released data from Statistics Canada shows us that residential property ownership, in general, tends to be evenly distributed between men and women. Ultimately, I’ll be interested to see if the trends observed in the US translate to the Canadian market.



Traditionally homeownership was something couples did after marriage. With more women putting their careers first, deciding not to marry, and having more financial independence than ever before, homeownership is no longer seen as a step after marriage; but as an excellent investment and a way to secure a strong financial future.  Like Shaunna, we hope to see the ratio change further in Canada also. When women participate equally in the economy, it grows. When women participate equally in business (especially in a leadership capacity) the organization performs higher in all aspects of organizational performance. 


Shaunna McIntosh - Realtor®


The theme of International Women’s Day is #ChooseToChallenge, and that is certainly what The Home Guyz are planning on doing in 2021, we will celebrate women’s achievements,  take action in moving towards equality, and challenge bias (including our own!) 



The Home Guyz Team w/Solid Rock Realty



Feb. 22, 2021

Closing Costs and What to Expect.

A breakdown of closing costs when buying a home or investment property in Ottawa.

Buying a home is most likely the biggest purchase you’ll make in your life. It’s also the smartest, and one that will bring financial security. The process itself can be daunting, and we highly recommend working with an agent to walk you through the steps. Being aware of the costs involved will remove the financial fears and surprises and make this exciting time more gratifying.


Quite often there will be costs or taxes that you might not include when you're running your numbers and if you're on a tight budget, any surprise fees could mean make or break. ⁣If you’re looking to purchase as an investment property, you’ll want to know all of the costs included so that you have an accurate understanding of your return on investment. We often hear that you need to spend 1.5% - 4% of the purchase price on closing costs. Let’s break down what that means. 


Purchase Price/ Down payment - you most likely get a mortgage so you need to put down the down payment. This is the one item on the closing costs list that seems to go without saying, but there is so much more to it.

Deposit: The deposit is rolled into your down payment, and is required at the time you submit an offer on a home or property. The deposit signals to the seller that you’re financially capable to purchase  and a serious buyer who’s committed to  that purchase.  There is no minimum deposit required, however; if you find yourself in a bidding war, a healthy deposit could make-or-break the deal for you.
GST/HST on New Builds- New build homes require GST to be paid. Some builders roll this into the price of the home unless the home is being purchased as an investment at which point you will need to pay this upon closing - up to a maximum of $25,000.  It’s important to find out whether the GST is included in the price.

Land transfer Tax- This is a fee you pay to register your property under your name. This must be done before closing and usually costs about 1.5% of the purchase price.

Lawyer Fees- These fees need to be paid on the day of closing. A lawyer will protect your legal interests and ensure the home does not have a lien against it They will also prepare the apportionments- the taxes payable will change depending on what the previous owner has already paid. Or in the case of a condo, any condo fees the previous owner paid up-front need to be reimbursed. The lawyer will calculate these and reimburse, and add to your fee.  They will review all the contracts before they’re signed etc. Depending on what they  are required to do, the fees will  typically be anywhere between $400- $2500.

Home Inspection- A home inspection is often recommended to include as a condition in the offer to purchase a home. A home inspector will write up a detailed report on the condition of the home including the electrical, plumbing, roof, foundation and  moisture levels, etc.. This inspection can cost up to $500 depending on the size and intricacies of the home.

Home appraisal- If you are using a mortgage lender, they may require that you provide a home appraisal as part of the process of securing a mortgage. They look at the market value of the area as well as the details of your home to find an estimate on the value.. This can cost anywhere between $300 - $500, and sometimes  is covered as part of the fee charged by the mortgage lender, so it is important to find out.

Miscellaneous Moving Costs:  It’s not just the buying process you need to budget for, it’s also the cost of moving. It’s always best to add  moving costs to your overall budget, as they’re unavoidable. Many of these costs can be negotiated and have wiggle room, unlike the other closing costs.  However, it’s important to budget for them in order to avoid any surprises which cause financial strain. Moving costs might include anything from,
the moving truck or moving company, boxes/ tape and packing supplies (plus the traditional beer & pizza for friends who help), Storage units (if required) and Redirecting mail 

Home Insurance-While home insurance is not required by law, it is necessary. Unless you are buying your home without a mortgage, your lender will require the insurance as part of the terms. It is very difficult to estimate the cost of home insurance, as it fluctuates greatly depending on the home, the neighbourhood and regional differences that may affect the likelihood of flooding or fires. Factors of the home could be the age, plumbing, electrical details, the roof etc. An insurance broker will assess the risk and be able to provide a quote, the higher the risk to the home, the higher your premiums will be.


Buying a home can be a complex process, it’s always best to reach out to a professional to help prepare you for the emotional roller coaster it can be. It also helps to be fully prepared financially so you never run into any surprises that can impact a purchase, and be demoralizing. Don’t allow for any hidden costs, be prepared and you’ll not have any uncertainties or fears. Work alongside an agent and they’ll keep you informed about all upcoming costs, timelines and work with you to review your budget on an ongoing basis as you look for your future home - reach out to our trusted Mortgage Broker.



The Home Guyz Team w/Solid Rock Realty Brokerage

Jan. 20, 2021

When Is The Best Time To Sell Your Home?

A Season-by-Season Breakdown for sellers.

One of the most commonly asked questions in real estate is “When is the best time to sell my home” with 2020 being such a tumultuous year the question can be even more relevant than ever. The answer however, holds a lot of promise for anyone considering a change. 


2020 was a strong year in Real Estate and 2021 is proving to be no different, regardless of the time of year. For example, CREA expects the average home price to increase by 9.1% in 2021, and even higher in the Ottawa area. The Ottawa market has proven itself to be highly resilient in even the toughest of times. Some of this comes from the nature of the pandemic, we’re seeing larger numbers of people interested in moving into the outskirts. Working from home has reduced some commuting concerns people once had, as well increased the need for more space at home. The surrounding Ottawa area, which was once a smaller market is seeing vastly higher demand. We are also seeing some new and exciting residential developments in Orleans, Stittsville, and Barrhaven which will only continue to keep the demand high in these areas and maintain the sellers market.

We know it’s a sellers market for 2021, and we have created a season-by-season breakdown for the year for those considering selling their homes.

Winter 2021
Winter in Ottawa is generally not the prettiest time to show off your home. With this year experiencing the run-off of the 2020 turbulence you would think this is not an ideal season to sell... however, trends are proving this wrong. The milder weather and the changes being forced through pandemic lockdowns is increasing the desire for many to relocate or move homes immediately making the demand high. The numbers from December are also proving the benefits of a winter sale.

Spring 2021
Spring is always the top time to sell and 2021 will be no different. The weather improves and it becomes easier for potential buyers to see the full potential of landscaping etc. Closing at the end of a school year is often preferred by sellers and buyers. Overall, the days are longer, the sun is shining and people are starting to emerge from hibernation and visualize the summer ahead in a brand new home. Spring is, and always will be, the top selling season. 

Summer 2021 
The markets are strong in the summer. But buyers are often vacationing, or busy with summer activities. This will certainly be the case for 2021 (especially if a large part of the population is vaccinated against covid at this time). Although there can be a great deal of benefit to selling off-peak. For example, if your home doesn't add up in the number of upgrades in comparison to one across the street, you may not want to be in direct competition in the height of Spring, so an off-peak sale period could be beneficial in this case.

Autumn 2021
The Fall can be a good time to sell you home. The weather hasn’t turned completely yet, so the full potential of the home is still visible. You’ll want to sell early Autumn, the markets slow in the lead up to Christmas (Although, this can be a time that serious buyers are looking) Be prepared for a quick closing, as many people will want to be settled by Christmas.  

It is always good to talk to an experienced realtor in your area. But truly the right time to buy is when it’s right for you and your family. The final say, should always be what works best for you. Considering your new home and the following types of questions to ask yourself:

Is the house ready, or could taking a little time with a few small improvements result in a significantly higher sale price?  Are the kids ready to move schools? Is work ramping up making it difficult? Do I need to travel for work this season? 

The final answer is - when you’re ready. Any good realtor will provide you with all the pros & cons, the numbers & statistics but at the end of the day it’s up to you to decide when the time is right.  

Visit us today to get your FREE, no obligation home value report - Click Here 

The Home Guyz Team w/Solid Rock Realty Brokerage

Posted in Selling
June 16, 2020

Ottawa Real Estate - Fun Chat With The Team | Ep. 22 - Miguel Vidal & Christopher Shane & The Home Guyz Team

Miguel and Chris talk about the current market and some other fun stuff with the team - Nilo Osorio, Shaunna McIntosh and Cris Vidal.


Team Site:

Browse Homes in Ottawa:

Check out our podcasts:


Be sure to catch the video on our Facebook Page or YouTube Channel.


More information can be found at:


June 9, 2020

Ottawa Real Estate CMHC tightening it's restrictions that come into effect July | Ep. 21 - Miguel Vidal & Christopher Shane & The Home Guyz Team

Miguel, Chris and the team chat with Andrew Walters from Platinum Mortgages as he discusses CMHC tightening it's restrictions that come into effect July 1 2020


Team Site:

Browse Homes in Ottawa:

Check out our podcasts:


Andrew Walters -


Be sure to catch the video on our Facebook Page or YouTube Channel.


More information can be found at:


June 2, 2020

Ottawa Real Estate Selling During COVID19 | Ep. 20 - Miguel Vidal & Christopher Shane & The Home Guyz Team


Miguel, Chris and the team chat about listing your home with an agent and selling during these uncertain times.

Be sure to catch the video on our Facebook Page or YouTube Channel.


More information can be found at:


May 29, 2020

Market Update | Podcast - 05-28-20 - Ottawa Real Estate Market Orleans

Christopher Shane chats about the real estate market in Orleans.


May 25, 2020

Ottawa Real Estate -First Time Home Buyer Advice | Ep. 19 - Miguel Vidal & Christopher Shane & The Home Guyz Team


Miguel. Chris and the team discuss tips for any first time home buyers. Be sure to catch the video on our Facebook Page or YouTube Channel.


More information can be found at: