By: Home Team Beth & Andrew

Moms are amazing, aren’t they? Who else would do your washing, cook you delicious Sunday dinners, pick you up every time you fall, be a constant shoulder to cry on and still fuss and worry about you long after you’ve grown up and left home?

In recent years our wonderful mums have taken to the blogosphere in their droves, to laugh, cry and share their hard-earned wisdom with their loyal followers. From humorous accounts of everyday family life to parenting tips and tricks, these blogs have created active online communities and brought people together from all walks of life.

With Mother’s Day just around the corner (Sunday May 14 – a little reminder for you!), we thought we’d celebrate by bringing you five ideas to celebrate you Mom.


1. Ottawa Tulip Festival

Get out and enjoy the outdoors this Mother's Day weekend  by welcoming spring at the world's largest tulip festival! This popular annual event features massive tulip displays, family fun and more.

May 12 - 23, the Canadian Tulip Festival celebrates the seasonal flower’s beauty and its historic ties to Canada’s capital. The outdoor event takes place at Commissioners Park, where over 300,000 tulips bloom alongside the Rideau Canal's picturesque Dows Lake. Access to the site and select programming is free!

Take photos and selfies amongst the dozens of multicoloured garden beds; The largest and most impressive tulip displays in Ottawa are at Commissioners Park, located near Dows Lake along the Rideau Canal. Stroll along a one-kilometre (over half a mile) pathway that winds through large garden beds filled with over 300,000 multicoloured blooms. Each year, dozens of varieties of early, mid-season and late-blooming tulips are planted for maximum tulip enjoyment. Frame your shots to include some of the gorgeous mature trees that pepper the green space. During the annual Canadian Tulip Festival, the park also hosts special programming including workshops, guided tours and a pretty boutique. Visit the heritage display to learn about the historic gift of tulips which led to the festival’s creation; shop for fresh cut flowers, crafts, art and more at the tulip boutique.

2. Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea in Laurier Room

Celebrate Mother’s day with Afternoon Tea served in the Laurier room of the Fairmont Chateau Laurier.

Enjoy a classic afternoon tea service featuring a selection of delicious desserts, savoury sandwiches, and our famous 1912 recipe scones.

Live music will be played to enhance your experience.

More Information Here

3. Music For Mom - Mother's Day Brunch

Russell Rocks presents Music for Mom Mother's Day Brunch event. Live music, great food, kids' table and much more. Proceeds go to Russell Rocks Community Sound Stage project.

More Information Here

4. Dance Until Midnight - Nature Nocturne

Experience the Canadian Museum of Nature in a new light while DJs fill the castle with awesome sound! Meet artists throughout the galleries. Discover four floors of world-class museum exhibitions. Thought-provoking, interactive, immersive, social—an exciting and different kind of museum experience!

More Information Here

5. Shop Until You Drop - 613flea

The not-for-profit 613flea is a humongous once-a-month marketplace held in the historic Aberdeen Pavilion at Lansdowne Park in Ottawa. The free-to-attend event features an exciting (and ever-changing!) lineup of over 140 vendors who offer eclectic goods, hand-made treasures, vintage finds and one-of-a-kind. Makers and bakers, artists and artisans, antiques and vintage clothing, records and comics, plus great food too!

More Information Here

By: Home Team Beth & Andrew

Are you thinking about selling your home this spring? If so, one factor that may be holding you back is time. You might be worried that you won’t find the time in your busy schedule to sell your property successfully. If so, here are four strategies that will help: 

1. Understand what needs to be done 

Do you know what you’ll need to do to sell your home? Do you understand the steps involved? Do you have a clear idea of how long it will take to complete various tasks, like getting repairs done and doing some “staging”? The more accurately you can anticipate your tasks and how long it will take to complete them, the better you’ll be able to plan and schedule. 

2. Keep a “moving” calendar 

It’s a known time management fact that using a calendar and blocking out time for tasks will ultimately save you time. So, use your calendar, or create a new one just for moving-related items. With an up-to-date calendar in place, you’ll always have a view of what needs to be done and how those tasks fit into your weekly schedule. Maintaining a moving calendar also reduces stress.

Thinking of selling later in the year? 

Start the process now!

3. Ask for advice

How should you stage your main floor? Should you make any home improvements? How should you prepare for a buyer coming to view your property? You don’t need to guess or Google. Get professional advice. Doing so will expose you to the most current best practices and will save you time. 

4. Hire help

 You don’t need to do everything on your own. Instead, consider hiring professionals to do at least some of the work for you. For example, hire a painter, a lawn mowing service or a dog walker. 

Hiring professionals during the selling period can save you countless hours. And, those costs may be offset by the sale of your home.

By: Home Team Beth & Andrew

Imagine you've been waiting for the right moment to sell your home and you're finally ready to pull the trigger and list it. But, just as you're about to put up the sign, you notice that a few other FOR SALE signs have unexpectedly popped up in the neighbourhood.

Oh no! Now there are competing listings. Does that mean you should put your plan to sell your property on hold?

Not necessarily.

Just because comparable homes are for sale in the area doesn't mean it's not a good time to make your move. In fact, even if there is a sharp increase in local listings, active buyers might still outnumber properties available. In that scenario, you'd likely get several interested buyers.

And, even in the case of a buyer's market, now might still be the ideal time to sell. Don't forget, your home might have desirable features that some buyers are eagerly looking for, giving your home the advantage over others on the market.

In addition, a large part of a successful sale is in how a property is marketed and promoted. With effective marketing, your home is more likely to be noticed by the right type of buyers... buyers who are actively looking for a property like yours.

So, waiting for the perfect moment to sell your home rarely makes sense. In most cases, the best time to list is now.

That being said, it is helpful to find out exactly what to expect should you list your property in today's market. To find that out, call today.

By: Home Team Beth & Andrew

Signs of Spring Surge Sprouting!

As evidenced by a recent climb in freehold prices in March from February 2023, Ottawa’s resale market is stabilizing along with the interest rates. As condos remain steady due to their lower price point, there is more affordability based on the current interest rate structure. This is something that buyers should definitely be aware of. As for sellers, it is important to know that well-priced and well-prepared homes are selling and with the average days on market decreasing from previous months, buyers are no longer sitting on the sidelines and are actively looking to make those purchases.

We as experienced Realtors® have up-to-the-minute statistics to ensure our sellers are positioning themselves at the current market value based on recent sales and hyper-local market comparisons. Contact us today to get a personalized local market comparison.

Contact us today to get a personalized local market comparison.

By: Home Team Beth & Andrew

Imagine you want to take the “trip of a lifetime” this fall. Would you leave it until the summer to start planning, booking dates, and generally getting ready? Probably not. A trip like that is a big deal. You’d want to start making arrangements now, so by the time you’re ready to go to the airport, everything will be set for you and your family to have a great time.

The same is true when selling your home. If you intend on listing your property later in the year, now is the time to start making plans. 

Starting the process early in the year gives you four significant advantages: 

  • Ample time to prepare your home. Starting now gives you time to declutter your property, get needed repairs done, and otherwise make your home ready to be seen by buyers.

Do you know the two areas in your home that buyers will spend the most time in ? 

Find out here!

  • Less stress. Unless you enjoy scrambling to get things done within a tight timeline, you want to give yourself as much time as possible to prepare for your home sale without the stress of a tight timeline. Starting early gives you that. 
  • Listing date flexibility. Starting now means you’ll get you and your property prepared. Sure, your plan might be to list in the summer or maybe later in the fall. But, if the market changes or some other opportunity presents itself, you’ll be able to list sooner. Your home will be ready. 

Have you seen the most recent Market Update?

Read it Here!

  • More time to find your next home. If you’ll also be looking for a new home, starting the process now will give you more time to explore neighbourhoods, get financing arranged, and determine the ideal type of home for you. 

As you can see, it pays to start the process now, even if you won’t be selling until next year.

Want more tips on preparing your home for sale?  Call Us Today!

By: Home Team Beth & Andrew

There are numerous reasons why you might need to sell early in the year. Perhaps you even need to sell this month! Whatever your reasons, preparation is key. Make the right moves now and your sale is likely to go smoothly and successfully. 

Follow these tips: 

1. Make a list of what needs to be done around the property to prepare it for listing. That includes decluttering, cleaning, getting needed repairs done, and so forth. 

2. Schedule those tasks. On a calendar or planner, block out ample time to do everything on your list. Give yourself a time buffer because things can often take longer to do than expected. 

3. Get help. You don’t need to do everything yourself. Consider hiring a painter, contractor, cleaning service, and other professionals. Outsourcing can reduce a lot of the stress of selling while ensuring your property is prepared in time. 

We all love a little DIY! Don't get in over your head with this year's home renovation projects! A contractor may be the best plan for tackling those bigger projects. 

Be sure to check out our blog on Tips to hiring the right contractor

4. Dispose of unwanted items that may have accumulated over the years in the garage, basement, and closets. You can have a yard sale, sell stuff online, donate items to charity, or take them to your local recycling centre. 

5. Free up your schedule during the period you expect your property to be on the market. You want your home to be accessible for showings as often as possible, giving prospective buyers a lot of flexibility when scheduling. 

The idea is to get your property as “sales-ready” as possible — as early in the year as possible. That way, when it comes time to list your home, you won’t have to scramble to get it ready. The hard work will be done and you’ll be able to focus on selling your property quickly and for the best price. 

Want more tips on preparing your home for sale?  Call Us Today!

Thinking about selling later in the year or even next year? 

Check our blog!

By: Beth & Andrew | Home Team

When you’re selling your home, you may find buyers who want to see it later in the evening, when it’s dark outside. In that circumstance, effective home lighting becomes more important. 

The best place to start is with exterior lighting. Make sure all pathways are cleared and lit.

Do you have motion-detection lighting? Make sure those are set to continuous lighting. It can be jarring for a buyer to be hit with an unexpected beam of bright light when walking to your door.

Also, check the brightness of exterior lights. If they are bordering on blinding, replace the bulbs with lower-wattage options. Inside the home, keep curtains and other window coverings open. Although it may be dark outside, an unobstructed window will help make the room seem more inviting and spacious.

Turn on your full lighting system in the backyard. Make that outdoor space enticing for buyers to check out. 

If you have dark areas in your home, such as a basement room or walk-in closet, explore ways to light it better. 

Overall, you want the lighting to help buyers see and appreciate the best qualities of your property. 

Want more advice on selling your home? Call us today.

By: Home Team Beth & Andrew

Inspired by how our ancestors would gather to enjoy each other's company during the long winter months, Winterlude was started by the National Capital Commission (NCC) in 1979 as a way to celebrate Canada's unique northern culture and climate. Winterlude was created to continue that tradition. 

From beautiful ice and snow sculptures, multiple skating options, food and drink kiosks and popular treats including beaver tails, maple taffy, maple lollipops, hot chocolate and delicious stews from the Cook-off. Winterlude has everything you need for a fun family day out or weekend experience for tourists.

Winterlude is an amazing way to celebrate winter in Ontario. With so many family -friendly  things to do, free activities to take part in, and amazing sights to see, this should really be a bucket list item for everyone!

When is Winterlude in 2023?

Winterlude will be kicking off Friday February 3rd and will run through to Monday February 20th. 

Where are the Winterlude Venues?

Winterlude takes place in several parts of the city. The main venues are Parliament Hill, Confederation Park, Byward Market, Dow's Lake area and, of course, the Rideau Canal for skating. However, the biggest Winterlude is actually Snowflake Kingdom, which is actually located across the river in Gatineau, Quebec. 

Getting Around Winterlude

With the exception of Snowflake Kingdom (located in Jacques-Cartier Park in Quebec), the venues located in downtown Ottawa are only a short distance apart, making it easy to move from one location to another. 

Is WInterlude Free?

One of the best things about Winterlude is that almost all of the activities are family-friendly & free! Some venues even offer coffee or hot chocolate for free as a way to warm up.

How to dress for Winterlude

As Winterlude is held entirely outdoors and the weather can vary pretty drastically in February, you'll need to be ready for whatever mother nature has in store.  So be sure to layer up!

Venues to Check out

1. Crystal Gardens in Confederation Park:
Located just down the road from the Parliament Buildings, is Confederation Park. During Winterlude the park is home to Crystal Gardens, where you can marval at the outstanding ice sculptures.

2. Rideau Canal
Known for being Ontario's only UNESCO World Heritage Site, which makes skating the 7.8km stretch extra special! Not only is the skateway open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and you guessed it, it's free! With the heated change rooms & washrooms, multiple food and drink kiosks, warming huts as well as skate accessories and skate rentals, it truly is one of the best places to go ice skating in Ontario. 

3. Parliament Hill
If skating on the Rideau Canal seems a little daunting, or if you are looking for a different experience altogether, a huge skating rink is also available in front of the Parliament buildings. 

4. The Byward Market
Located just a few blocks away from Confederation Park. The Byward market is home to over 600 unique businesses, but during Winterlude the Byward Market is best known for one thing: The Winterlude Stew Cook-Off! For about $10 per person, you can try as much stew as you can possibly eat, from a large selection of venues. 

5. Dow's Lake

One of the most entertaining events of Winterlude takes place at Dow's Lake, the Bed Races across Dow's Lake. The beds - yes, the kind you sleep on - are modified and decorated, then dragged along the ice. The team with the best decorated and the fastest bed wins! The best part of the event is that all funds raised go to a great cause. Both the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa as well as the Queensway Carleton Hospital Foundation benefit from this fun event. 

6. Snowflake Kingdom
As the largest Winterlude venue and most family-friendly, you will find a wide range of activities for kids and for those who are kids at heart! As the Crystal Garden is home to the outstanding ice sculptures, Snowflake Kingdom is home to the beautiful and massive snow sculptures. From the Acrobat Show, Dogsleding, enormous tubing hill to the cozy fires and warming huts with crafts, Snowflake Kingdom is one part of Winterlude you don't want to miss!


By: Beth & Andrew | Home Team

At some point, every home needs to be upgraded to become more functional for the family members who live there – or for resale. However, a major renovation can be frustrating, unless you’re working with a reliable, knowledgeable general contractor. Here are some suggestions to help make your project go smoothly:

1. First, do your homework in advance. Identify needs and wants, such as design features and style, with an open mind about costs, timing and resale value.

2. Ask reliable sources for recommendations, but don’t make commitments without interviewing at least three qualified contractors.

3. Be sure to ask about;

  • Adherence to budget and timing as well as advice on expectations.
  • Find out about their choices for architectural drawings or plans, subcontractors, suppliers and materials.
  • Confirm the product and labour warranties they provide.
  • Ensure each contractor is registered in good standing with your municipality and can adhere to building codes, secure permits and provide liability protection.

4. Once satisfied, request that these and other details be included in a quotation with costs, completion dates, payment schedules for workers and materials, plus allowances for changes.

5. Meet on-site regularly, keep a journal and get receipts for purchases. Don’t pay cash, or hand over your credit card. If necessary, ask your bank to issue a new card with strict limitations.

When in doubt, reach out to us! We have a well vetted list of general contractors we stand behind who would gladly help you get your home through that next reno.

By: Beth & Andrew | Home Team

These days, people are more environmentally conscious. When it comes to their homes, that often starts with being more thoughtful about heating and cooling so they’re consuming less energy. With that in mind, here are some tips for making your home more eco-friendly: 

1. Install a smart thermostat. Modern thermostats come with various features that help you manage heating and cooling, so you use less energy. For example, you can program a thermostat to adjust temperature during the workday and then turn on heating or cooling an hour before you get home. 

2. Take advantage of non-peak times. Many utilities (electricity, water, etc.) offer price breaks at non-peak periods. For example, washing your clothes later in the evening might reduce your water bill. Ask your utility providers about available price-saving programs. 

3. Buy energy-saving products. A wide range of products are available to help you lower energy consumption, from shower faucets to kitchen ranges. The next time you’re shopping for an appliance or fixture, ensure it has eco-friendly features. 

4. Improve insulation levels. A one-inch crack in window insulation can cause your home’s HVAC system to work harder. That’s why experts advise that you check the insulation around doors and windows once a year and repair or replace it where necessary. 

5. Manage passive heat. It’s no surprise that a window letting in the sun will make a room warmer. So, take advantage of this free energy source. Let sun into rooms on cool days, so your furnace doesn’t have to come on as often. Do the opposite on hot days. 

We are well-connected to clients and professionals who are capable of providing a plethora of eco-friendly recommendations. Call us today to get you in touch!