Steve Sicard

Sales Representative
Mobile: 613.853.5807
Phone: 613.830.3350

Blog

31 Plants that Repel Mosquitoes

With all the rain and flooding the Ottawa area has dealt with this spring, mosquitoes are going to be a problem this summer.

 

Here is a list of plants that when planted in your yard or in a pot near your porch, will help to keep these pesky bugs away naturally

 

Click here to read the article



Not sure what to do with your tulips after they’ve bloomed?

Here is a great article that explains the best way to care for your tulips!

Click here to read the article



Looking for things to do this long weekend?

Here is a list of What’s On in and around Ottawa this May Long Weekend – including free, fun family & kids’ activities, live music, theatre, performing arts, sports and exhibitions.

 

Click here to see all the events

11 EASY AND BUDGET-FRIENDLY WAYS TO BOOST YOUR HOME’S EXTERIOR

The countdown to summer is on! That means it’s time to get your home’s exterior—including the front entry, deck, lawn and garden—ready. Follow these expert tips and tricks to boost your curb appeal, prep for outdoor entertaining and have your yard looking its best (even on a budget).

 

Click here to read the full article


Biking in Ottawa!

It’s starting to finally feel like Spring! Festivals are just around the corner, the Sens are in the middle of their Stanley Cup run, and the weather is starting to become a lot more co-operative.

More importantly (ok, second most important…GO SENS GO!) it now means we can dust off our bikes and enjoy the city for what it is!

HERE is a nice resource/idea for tourists visiting Ottawa, or just for those of you who haven’t had the chance for tune up your bikes and rediscover the beauty of the Rideau Pathway.

As always, if you’re looking for more Spring time tips or would just have general inquiries about your real estate needs give me a call or send me an email! I’d love to help in anyway.


The Open House Check List

OK, so you’ve made the decision to list your property. That’s an important start. You found the realtor you trust, got a lot of the legal mumbo-jumbo out of the way, and are ready to bring it to market.

Congrats!

The hard part is out of the way and it should be smooth sailing from here on, right?

Well…

A lot of people discount how much work is needed for showings and open houses. Due to this misconception, you can find yourself swamped in unexpected stress and last minute jobs that completely slip your mind until they need to get done.

And how were you supposed to know, right? Selling your property can be stressful. Even the most prepared among us can’t plan for every situation that arises.

It’s not easy. I get it.

Luckily, through my years of experience, I’ve picked up a lot of tricks and resources to make showings as smooth and stress-free as possible. Click HERE for one such resource: A neat (and cheeky) check-list to make sure you’re prepared for your next showing.

Looking for more tricks of the trade, or just have general questions? Give me a call! I’d love to help out in any way I can. 


Rain Gardens: More than just curb-appeal!

Curbside appeal is important, especially if you're considering listing your property. It plays a role in maximising value and marketing potential, and is a must-do for the Spring/Summer Market.  

But, curbside appeal isn't just pretty window dressing or the "Awe!" factor. The best appeals actually serve a function that adds to the practicality of your property.

Here is a neat article on an idea that not only adds to your curbside appeal, but could potentially help keep your basement dry during the rainy season. This also translates well to certain areas of Ottawa and the Ottawa Valley

Click HERE for the full CBC article. 

Have any questions or are looking for more ideas? Let me know and I'll be happy to lend a helping hand!


The trends continues!

As we enter Spring, it looks like this season is going to continue the trend from the new year. Low inventory and high demand means listings, on average, are more likely to see multiple offers and quicker sales! This is where having a realtor you know and trust comes into play.

Take a look at the graphic and see how the market is trending in comparison to this time last year!


​Ottawa house prices up 7.9% in April

JAMES BAGNALL

FIRST POSTED: WEDNESDAY, MAY 03, 2017 04:14 PM EDT | UPDATED: WEDNESDAY, MAY 03, 2017 09:51 PM EDT

Ottawa’s housing market strengthened in the favour of sellers in April as average prices for residential properties jumped 7.9 per cent year over year to $435,900. Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold nearly 1,500 properties in April, up 2.5 per cent compared to April 2016, the OREB reported Wednesday.


Click here to read the full article



Have a Green Thumb Without Red Eyes: 9 Gardening Tips for Allergy Sufferers

Staying indoors to avoid your own backyard? Most gardeners tend to bury their love of gardening due to fear of plant pollens and other allergy and asthma triggers.

 

But you don’t have to throw in the trowel! Stop and smell the flowers (minus the sniffles) with these tips from the experts at Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSMClick here to read the full article


The Tulip Festival is coming up May 12-22

This year’s special 65th anniversary program offers activities at four official sites as well as breathtaking Tulipmania Fireworks set to music, guided tours, vintage military displays paying tribute to our veterans, and the WWII liberation of the Netherlands by Canadian troops; and restaurant and hotel special offers.

 

Click here for more information on all of the events



2017 Ontario budget: 10 things you need to know

THE GLOBE AND MAILLAST UPDATED: FRIDAY, APR. 28, 2017 12:18AM EDT

 

The Ontario Liberals announced the province’s first balanced budget in a decade on Thursday, an expected move that could be construed as the unofficial start to the 2018 election campaign.

Much of the budget covered several areas that have already been addressed – most notably, the province’s 16-point plan for housing reform. But it also unveiled several billion dollars of additional spending in health care, referred to as a “booster shot” by Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa.

Click here to read the full article


An interesting look back at our city's past

A glimpse into our visual past reveals a nascent Ottawa very different from the one we know today

 

CBC News • Danny Globerman April 22, 2017

With Canadians celebrating a year-long 150th birthday party, CBC Ottawa is digging into the archives — our own and others — for the unusual, the revealing, and the historic images from our city’s past.

Click here to see the article



Home inspectors welcome Ontario’s plan to regulate their industry

Published CBC.ca

 

By Trevor Pritchard, CBC News Posted: Apr 16, 2017 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Apr 16, 2017 5:00 AM ET

Home inspectors in Ontario are lauding new legislation that would require them to be licensed, have insurance, and abide by a code of ethics — and potentially face discipline if they don’t.

The Putting Consumers First Act, which was passed last week at Queen’s Park, will impose new rules upon one of the few professionals involved in real-estate transactions that have not been historically subject to provincial regulation.

“It’s terrific news,” said Michael Levitan, a home inspector who also teaches home inspection skills at Algonquin College in Ottawa.

“Right now home inspection is not a regulated industry,” Levitan told CBC Radio’s Ottawa Morning. “So if you hire a home inspector, you’re not exactly sure what’s going to happen during your home inspection.”

Click here to read the full article



Enjoy Spring in Ottawa with these Family Outdoor Activities

As the weather gets warmer, it’s time to shed some of those cozy winter layers and head outside into the sunshine. Ottawa has several activities that lets the whole family take advantage of the warmer springtime weather. Whether you want to see new baby animals or you want to head out to explore the city on a bike, Ottawa has an attraction that is sure to delight. Explore some of the spring activities Canada’s Capital has to offer!

 

Click here to read the full article





For all of us in the Ottawa region, the spring thaw means potential flooding. 
More than just a nuisance, evidence suggests that basement flooding can be linked to serious health problems. Recurrent basement flooding can result in longer-term damage to the building and equipment that may not be covered by insurance. It may also mean that insurance rates may rise or the minimum deductible may be increased, as well the potential that your property value may depreciate.

 

Preventing Flooding


Some flooding can be prevented. A few checks and simple changes in the fall can mitigate the damage and heartbreak caused by flooding.

Slope ground away from the foundation to allow rainwater to flow away from the home.
Seal window wells and cracks in floors, walls and the foundation.

Direct water from downspouts at least 4 ft. away from the foundation. Downspouts should never be embedded in the ground, or connected to the sewer system or footing drains. Water should flow to ground surface or storm drainage system.

If you have a sump pump, ensure that it is connected to the storm sewer system or empties onto the lawn at least 4 ft. from the foundation wall.

Don’t keep valuables or important documents in the basement; if you must, protect them in water tight containers. It won’t hold back the water, but will prevent heartache and frustration if flooding does occur.

What to do when flooded


SAFETY FIRST! DO NOT enter your basement if the water level is above any plug, electrical outlet, extension cord or baseboard heater. Call Ottawa Hydro at 613-738-6400; the power can be shut off from the outside. If it hasn’t reached that level, you can turn off the power at the main switch. Wear rubber boots when walking on a wet surface, and, as dry wood is not a good conductor, stand on a wooden chair and shut off the power with a wooden broom handle.

Call your gas supplier (Enbridge 24-hour service line 1-866-763-5427) if the flood water is threatening your gas-powered furnace, water heater or stove.
Remove standing water with a pump or buckets, then with a wet/dry shop vacuum.
Remove any valuable items from the area until the basement is water free.

Clean Up


Open windows to allow fresh air in.
Dehumidify the house until it is completely dry.
Carpets must be dried and cleaned within 48 hours, this will require professional help.
Throw out canned goods and any other foods that may have been affected.
Flush, disinfect and scrub floor drains and sump pits using a diluted chlorine bleach solution.
 
Don’t forget!
Take photos and videos of damage.
Contact your insurance agent.

Sewer back-up


If the flooding is caused by a back-up of water and/or sewage:
Check and clear blockages in toilets, sinks and waste pipes and clear any blockages to ensure that the flooding is not due to an internal plumbing problem.
Don't use toilets and sinks, as water sent down the drain will likely end up in your basement.
Install a backwater valve or other plumbing devices that protect against sewer back-ups. The City of Ottawa has an incentive program to encourage residents who experienced back-ups to install protective plumbing devices. Check
http://ottawa.ca/en/city-hall/funding/environmental-program-funding/residential-protective-plumbing-program for details.

Add small amounts of chlorine bleach to the standing water, as sewage contaminated water may contain a number of different bacteria and viruses which can cause major health issues. Wear rubber gloves, as skin irritation or infection can also occur from contact with contaminated water. When cleaning up, wear protective clothing, including protective eyeglasses and a facemask.

Remove wall materials at least 20” above the highest water lines
You will need to discard all affected insulation materials, carpet, particleboard furniture, furniture coverings, padding and cushion mattresses, box springs, pillows and stuffed toys.
Good quality wood furniture frames must be cleaned, disinfected, rinsed and dried away from heat or sunlight. Rinse and wash clothing several times in hot water with soap and chlorine bleach and dry quickly.

Wash and wipe down all surfaces and structures with chlorine bleach, ensuring that there is adequate cross-ventilation to remove fumes. Then, rinse again.


Building the foundation of a house-buying budget requires resisting temptation

Craig Wong, The Canadian Press
Published online CTV News Monday, April 3, 2017 6:30AM EDT

 

OTTAWA — Whether it’s the sizzling real estate market or the desire for something just a little bit nicer, the temptation to stretch your homebuying budget may be tough to resist.

But there are numerous factors to take into account before making the biggest purchase of your life, even if you’ve qualified with your lender for more.

John DeRose, who oversees Vancity’s mobile mortgage specialists, says people paying $1,500 a month in rent can’t necessarily afford a monthly mortgage of $1,500.

 

Click here to read the full article


Missed the Home & Garden Show Last Week? Here’s what’s new for 2017

Indoors-and-out ideas from the Ottawa Home & Garden Show

MEGAN GILLIS, POSTMEDIA Ottawa Citizen Online Published on: March 23, 2017 | Last Updated: March 23, 2017 9:45 AM EDT

 


Here’s a Smart Way to Protect Yourself From Higher Mortgage Rates!

Rob Carrick

The Globe and Mail



The Ottawa residents’ guide to making the most of 2017

Published on March 26, 2017 in the Ottawa Business Journal Online

“This is the year to be a tourist in your own town. Take advantage of the resources at OttawaTourism.ca to learn about all the amazing events and to make plans – get to know your city all over again.”

2017 HIGHLIGHTS

Click here for a sampling of what you can enjoy in Ottawa this year


Things to do in Ottawa this Spring


Ottawa road closures for Saturday's St. Patrick's Day Parade

By Sarah Dea, CBC News Posted: Mar 09, 2017 2:08 PM ET Last Updated: Mar 10, 2017 4:03 PM ET

Motorists should expect delays Saturday as the City of Ottawa closes downtown streets for the annual St Patrick’s Day parade.

Although the parade does not begin until 11 a.m., westbound lanes on Laurier Avenue between Nicholas Street and Elgin Street and lanes along the parade route will be closed from 7:30 a.m. until noon.

The parade begins at Ottawa City Hall and will travel west on Laurier Avenue, turn left on Bank Street and end at Marché Way near Lansdowne Park, where businesses will remain open. Roads will reopen as the parade passes.

The city says the Laurier Avenue entrance to city hall will be closed between 7:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. The entrance to city hall on Elgin Street will be open as usual.

Some OC Transpo routes including 1, 2, 5, 7 and 14 will face detours because of the parade road closures.

Click here for full article and map of closures


Organizing Tips To Help The Sandwich Generation Manage It All

Posted: 03/02/2017 2:52 pm EST Huffington Post


Whether it's young children growing up and needing your time for activities and school or aging parents needing extra attention, the generation caught in the middle of this is being spread thin. The sandwich generation has become the norm for Canadians, bringing packed schedules and extreme stress.

Click here to read the full article with tips to help manage it all


Thinking of selling? NOW is a great time to list your home!




March Break is next week! 
Looking for things to do with the family?


Bring the family to enjoy these March Break activities in and around Ottawa!


Click here for a list of activities

 


The spring market is primed for competitive season ahead

“Numbers continue to indicate a positive trend for Ottawa as a whole,” says President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. “Even with the additional day in February last year due to the leap year, sales this year are up in both the residential and condo property classes. Keep in mind though, that all real estate is local, and that prices and conditions will vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood.”

 

Click here to read the full article

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