Buying a Home in Ottawa: 5 Tips to Get Started

Whether you are a native and raised Ottawan or moving to Ottawa from another province, these tips from Ottawa brokers can help start the process

Article content

Finding out where to buy in Ottawa can be a challenge enough for lifelong residents of the city, let alone someone who wants to move to Ottawa for the first time. If you are drowning in neighborhood names, you are in doubt about what suits your needs and desires, then read on for some tips that can help you land in your happy place.

Advertisement 2

Article content

1. Consider your priorities

Chris Brown, Exit Excel Realty Broker, suggested building “an avatar” of sorts, of what your “ideal destination would look like”, from housing type, neighborhood amenities and access to parks, to schools or denominations that you would like to be close to on.

“All the unique criteria that are critically important to the people who take the step,” Brown said, “if they can really articulate or get their thoughts on what the value of these particular pillars, let’s say, would be in their world, then someone who is knowledgeable… a knowledgeable real estate agent in this field can somehow unite all these criteria and start presenting some viable options. ”

2. Take the long view

Advertisement 3

Article content

“In general,” said Ottawa Urban Realty broker of record Dan Moloughney, “I think people should think about what their medium- and long-term plans are. ”

For example, it may mean that you think through where you expect to work in the coming years, whether you will have to commute, and where you would be comfortable living, with that in mind. Household and family changes are another factor that can change where you want to live along the way.

This does not necessarily mean that you should buy for the future rather than the current wants and needs, but it is worth considering the consequences of another move if it is something you can already anticipate that your future will require.

Get the inside scoop

From the future opening of a nearby transit station to a major construction project that will soon see shovels in the ground, it may require something to find relevant information about a particular area.

Advertisement 4

Article content

Local news coverage is one place to watch. Community blogs are another, said Anna Tran, an Ottawa real estate agent who caters to millennials.

Some communities have Facebook groups that they might be willing to let you join if you are seriously considering moving to the neighborhood. And reading Reddit, Tran said, can be a goldmine for figuring out what’s going on in a neighborhood.

There is also the more traditional route – talking to a local.

As for neighborhood projects, you can use the city’s development application search tool to see what’s popping up for the community you’re considering.

Leverage digital tools

If you are not ready or can not visit a neighborhood of interest in person, Brown suggested Google Earth as a tool to check different areas of the city and their proximity to different points of interest.

Advertisement 5

Article content

Another option is to use Google Streetview to “walk” around a neighborhood, Tran said. You can also find hiking to many neighborhoods on YouTube.

The Ottawa Neighborhood Study is an invaluable resource for exploring all kinds of data points. Here you can see a quarter of an hour’s walking score, number of grocery stores, median age, tree crown – the list goes on and on.

Tran shared a tip from his own experience buying an investment property in Toronto. She used a ranking system as she drove to explore different neighborhoods, took a Google Maps screenshot of each of them, and marked them red, orange, or green, based on how enthusiastic she was about shopping there.

5. Spend some time in the area

Take a weekend and give the community you are looking at a ride, Tran suggested. Visit the local coffee shop, grocery store, “anything that affects your day to day. You want to know that you can be happy in that neighborhood.”

Some people also decide to rent in an area before committing to a purchase. “In a way, it’s a bit like dating versus getting married,” Brown said.

Tall buildings, apartments and condos form a skyline of the city of Ottawa.  Getty Images.
Tall buildings, apartments and condos form a skyline of the city of Ottawa. Getty Images. Photo by Getty Images
Logo for first-time home buyer guidance

Go back to

landing page

Advertisement 1


Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourages all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments can take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications – you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, which is an update to a comment thread you follow, or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on adjusting your email settings.

Leave a Comment