Winter can be hard on your home; it’s always a good idea at the start of a new season to check your house for damage. Check out The Personal’s 5 spring maintenance tips to help you get your home ready for a worry-free summer. 

1) Check your eavestroughs and downspouts
Check for leaks, jams (often caused by dead leaves) and loose parts. Improper drainage could cause water to seep into the basement or crawl space, so make sure that water has a clear course to flow down and away from the foundation. 

2) Aerate the lawn
Compacted soil can be a problem in low-lying areas of your yard. They tend to flood when it rains, and the pooling water can become a breeding ground for insects. To solve the problem quickly, rent an aerator to go over the affected areas. For a more affordable, long-term solution (for relatively small areas), add some earthworms to aerate the compacted soil naturally. 

3) Inspect your roof
Inspect your roof from the ground to see if shingles were lost or damaged during winter. Cracked, buckled or loose shingles will need to be replaced. If you need to get up on the roof to do repairs, be sure to wear a harness. Don’t hesitate to hire a contractor if you don’t feel comfortable doing the repairs yourself. It’s a highly specialized task, and there’s no shame in hiring professionals to do it for you. 

4) Check the foundation
Check the concrete on your foundation for cracks or signs of movement. Fill small cracks with filler or silicone caulk. Then as soon as the weather is good enough, power wash it and seal the concrete. Taking the time to do this every spring can save you costly repairs down the line and help you make the most of your time at your home. For larger cracks, consult a professional. 

5) Inspect your windows
Inspect your window frames for gaps and leaks, which can be caused by dramatic changes in temperature. During a summer heatwave, leaks will let the hot air inside your house and can cost you a small fortune in AC. Seal gaps with silicone to stay cool in the summer. 

In Canada, we look forward to spring. No matter how much you feel like going out and enjoying the first days of warm weather, take care of your home first and enjoy a worry-free summer! 

For more on this topic, visit:
Spring into home maintenance checkup mode
Home maintenance checklist
Spring cleaning inside and outside the home 

To find out more, call 1-888-476-8737, or visit thepersonal.com/oreb

Note :
This article is being provided by the Ottawa Real Estate Board on behalf of The Personal, which has a group sponsorship agreement with regards to home and auto insurance for our Members. 

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OTTAWA — The number of homes sold nationally rose 11.3 per cent in November compared with a year ago but the picture varies significantly by region, said the Canadian Real Estate Association.

By: Canadian Press

OTTAWA — The number of homes sold nationally rose 11.3 per cent in November compared with a year ago but the picture varies significantly by region, said the Canadian Real Estate Association.

A major rebound in sales in the Greater Vancouver Area and continued growth in the Greater Toronto and Montreal regions propped up sales, while the Prairie cities of Calgary, Edmonton, and Regina saw declines.

Overall, there were 37,213 homes sold through CREA's MLS system, up from 33,437 in November 2018.

The increase in sales came as the national average price for a home sold in November was about $529,000, up 8.4 per cent compared with a year ago. Excluding Greater Toronto and Greater Vancouver, the average price was around $404,000, up 6.9 per cent compared with last year. The MLS home price index rose 2.6 per cent year over year to $638,300.

Price gains also saw regional variances, with the Greater Vancouver benchmark price down 4.59 per cent from a year ago and Prairie home prices also down, while Greater Toronto saw gains of 6.52 per cent, Greater Montreal had gains of 8.72 per cent, and Ottawa registered gains of 11.45 per cent.

"Sales continue to improve in some regions and not so much in others," said Jason Stephen, president of CREA in the release.

In its updated outlook, the association says it expects home sales this year to total 486,800, while it says the national average price is on track to rise 2.3 per cent.

That compared with an earlier forecast for 482,000 home sales for 2019 and a 0.5 per cent increase in the national average price.

Prices rose as the number of newly listed homes slid 2.7 per cent, driven primarily by fewer new listings in the GTA.

Nationally there is 4.2 months of inventory, the lowest recorded since the summer of 2007. The inventory, which represents how long it would take to liquidate current inventories at the current rate of sales activity, is well below the long-term average of 5.3 months.

For 2020, CREA says it expects home sales to rise 8.9 per cent next year to 530,000. The national average price is forecast to rise 6.2 per cent to $531,000.

TD economist Rishi Sondhi said he also expects rising sales in 2020 from job growth, population gains and a mild boost from government programs for first-time home buyers, though he notes there is some room for caution.

"This view rests on financial conditions remaining accommodative. The backup in bond yields since September, if sustained, could offer some downside risk to our forecast."

He said the recovery in home sales, especially helped by the Greater Vancouver Area's 55.9 per cent jump, would yet again support fourth quarter economic growth.


When you think of the best timing of selling your home, winter might not be the first season that comes to mind! Aside from the freezing temperature outside, people are often preoccupied with the holiday season! However, there are many reasons why you should consider selling your home during the winter.

If you want to sell your home during the winter but are hesitant, here are five reasons to do it!

1. The buyers are serious.

Unlike popular belief, demand does not really go that low during winter. And while it is not the peak buying season, the buyers that will encounter are much more serious and motivated. The buyers you will encounter during winter are often in a rush, are ready to make offers, and plan on moving in before or after the new year. This is a great advantage for sellers because you don’t have to waste your time with buyers who are just looking.

2. There Is less competition.

You won’t have that much competition if you sell your home during winter. Many people decide against listing their homes during winter and wait for Spring instead. With less competition, it will be easier for your listing to stand out. You’ll be able to have a higher chance at attracting buyers and selling your home much quicker and at a better deal for you.

3. Loans are processed quicker.

For lenders, winter is a time when the inventory is smaller and they have more time to process loans. Since loans can be processed more quickly than other seasons, your selling process will be much smoother and your road to closing will be faster. If you or your buyer is in a rush to close the home before the new year, your buyers will not have s problem processing their loans.

4. You can get better deals.

Since there is less competition and buyers are much more motivated during this season, you can definitely negotiate better deals with your buyers. According to Redfin, listings during winter actually sell faster and for more money. Make sure to stage your home, create a good and sound contract, and have it inspected so you can put a premium on its price. You can take advantage of serious buyers and try to sell your property at a higher price and better payment terms.

5. It’s a great way to start the year.

If you’ve been wanting to sell your home or if there’s an inevitable reason to do it, doing it before the start of the year is definitely the best time. The end of the year is the perfect time to let go of your property. It is the perfect timing for Spring where you’ll be able to move on and start anew without carrying any pieces of baggage from the year before.

Selling your home during the winter, whether it’s because of financial reasons, relocation, or if it’s an investment property you’ve been holding on to, is a decision that you will be thankful for when Springtime comes.

If you think that it’s best for you to wait for Spring or Fall to sell your home, you better think again. While there are many factors that can contribute to your listing being sold, winter can definitely be a good time to sell it if you give it a chance. Keep these five reasons in mind the next time you hesitate on selling a home during winter!