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Are you thinking of buying your next house in Ottawa? We couldn’t be happier to welcome you, and we are sure you are going to love it here. Whether moving with your family or as a single professional, you’ll find that Canada’s Capital City has something for everyone. Scenic, safe neighbourhoods, a thriving and bustling downtown core, a delectable dining scene, and happening summer musicals are just a few things you have to look forward to. 

It’s no wonder that so many newcomers have their eyes on making Ottawa their new home! All this, and real estate prices are far more affordable than in Toronto and the GTA. Case in point, the March 2023 report by the Ottawa Real Estate Board states that the average price of a freehold property was $708,968. That’s less than the price of a condo in Toronto. Ottawa is a world-class city, but you can still expect your dollar to go way further here than in the GTA. The next step is to get down to business and begin your house hunt. The tips below will help you get the best deal on your new home in Ottawa. 

Which Ottawa community is perfect for your new home? Here are a few to consider:

Understand the Local Market

The real estate market can seem complicated. But you don’t need to be an industry expert to see the big picture. A basic understanding of the market lets you know where you stand when negotiating with a seller. What kind of scenarios can you expect? Here are the big three:

A Balanced Market

The good news is that you aren’t at a disadvantage when the market is balanced. The bad news is you have no particular advantage either. A balanced market means there are an approximately equal number of buyers and sellers. As a result, both parties might have to be willing to negotiate to make the transaction happen.

A Seller’s Market

This is not the greatest position to be in when trying to buy a home. It means you’ve got some competition to contend with because more people are buying a house than there are houses for sale. Multiple offer scenarios are common, and another buyer might outbid you by a small amount. There is no doubt about it; house hunting during a seller’s market can be frustrating. The good news is that there will always be undervalued properties and neighbourhoods regardless of the market. You just have to be patient and keep searching for them. A well-connected real estate agent can help.

A Buyer’s Market

A buyer’s market is the perfect time to search for your new house. Plenty of homes are for sale, and you have very little competition from other buyers. Sellers may be willing to negotiate, and you can sometimes secure a house for less than the listing price. However, even in these conditions, you want an experienced real estate agent by your side to ensure you are getting the most for your money.

What if the current market is not in your favour? Should you wait until the timing is better? Some people will move to the sidelines during challenging conditions. However, waiting can be risky. Housing values may drop temporarily, but the growing population means prices almost always go up in the long term. That’s why it’s generally better to buy a house as soon as it’s financially feasible, regardless of the market.

The Importance of Getting Pre-Approved

Even in a competitive market, there are plenty of things you can do to give yourself an advantage. One step we always recommend is to get a mortgage pre-approval before you even start looking at homes. This means going through the application process, and the lender will perform a credit check. They will examine your income, assets, and debt load to determine your ability to repay. Once completed, you get a certificate of pre-approval from your lender. 

Now, you have a clear budget to work within, which lets you zero in on homes that will be the right fit. And getting a pre-approval doesn’t just save you time. It’s a potent negotiation tool that can give you a competitive edge over other buyers because you can prove to the seller that you qualify for financing.

Craft a Compelling Offer

Whether or not a seller accepts your offer primarily comes down to the price. If you offer more than another buyer, you’ve likely just bought yourself a home! But as we mentioned earlier, real estate transactions can be complex. Price may be the main factor, but it is not the only one.

A seller may accept a slightly lower offer if the terms are better. For example, you offer slightly less than another buyer but with fewer conditions. Or perhaps the seller needs a flexible closing date. When you understand a homeowner’s motivation for selling, you are well on your way to crafting an offer they are unlikely to refuse.

Looking for even more resources for buying a home in Ottawa? The posts below will help:

Partner With a Local Real Estate Agent

When searching for your house, you could go it alone while scouring the latest MLS® listings. However, you’ll only uncover a small part of the inventory that could be available. It’s far better to partner with a local real estate agent who is passionate about Ottawa and can help you purchase your new home at the best possible terms. Like many places in Canada, Ottawa is a city of neighbourhoods, and some are more expensive than others. And some are hidden gems, where you can still get in at a reasonable price, but your property will soar in value later.

A local agent with an eye on the market and connections in the industry knows how to access hard-to-find listings to discover the perfect new home for you and your family. And their services don’t end there. 

Your real estate agent is there to guide you through the legalities and complexities of your purchase. Best of all, they will negotiate on your behalf so that you can get the best possible home within your budget. All of these services come at no cost to you because the seller is the one who pays the commission. There is no reason not to have a local expert by your side!

At West Ottawa Real Estate, we have served the community for over 47 years, and we know our neighbourhoods inside and out. If you have questions, we’d love to help you. Contact us today at or call 613-690-5993 for more information.