Posts Tagged ‘housing hunting trip’

Finding the Perfect Home in Ottawa’s Outskirts: A Winning House-Hunting Strategy

Posted on: June 1st, 2023 by Chris Scott

House hunting in Ottawa can be an intimidating endeavor, particularly due to the city’s extensive spread. Many buyers now seek better value by exploring the outskirts of the town. Recently, we had some wonderful clients who preferred locations such as Rockland, Limoges, Embrun, and Russell. These neighborhoods offered approximately $100,000 in savings when compared to a similar house in Ottawa’s closest suburban area, Orleans.

While going through a list of around 30 properties to consider, I made an executive decision to prioritize the property that I believed provided the best value and fulfilled most of my client’s requirements. This property became our top choice for the first day of house viewings. This strategy worked remarkably well, as my clients instantly fell in love with the home. After leaving the first house, they were convinced that it was an excellent option for them. Over the course of three days of showings, no other property came close to matching their needs. It’s rare to find a home that aligns so closely with one’s requirements during a house-hunting trip. Comparing every subsequent house to the first one greatly benefited us and provided clarity to my clients. Knowing that finding a second alternative was not desirable, it became crucial to secure this house.

Fortunately, we successfully acquired this property at a great price. I believe that adopting the tactic of starting the house-hunting trip with the top property can be an effective approach. My philosophy has always been to showcase the best properties on the first day, as there’s a high chance that if you like something, someone else might too. Additionally, this strategy allows you to respond promptly if one of the top properties receives an offer while you’re exploring secondary options.


Posted on: January 14th, 2020 by Chris Scott

3 Biggest Challenges Facing CAF Members on their HHT’s

Our team has specialized in helping military families buy & sell their Ottawa homes for over 15 years. It has always been the most enjoyable part of what we do. The current market conditions in Ottawa have created some real challenges for our military clients relocating the capital. It is a seller’s market and the absorption rate is at an all-time high. Here are the 3 biggest challenges facing our HHT clients in Ottawa: 

1: Available properties to buy

In many neighbourhoods within the city there is not much inventory available. It is even more prevalent in the areas our military clients like to purchase. Kanata, Stittsville, and Nepean are all grappling with a shortage of available listings. These are historically low levels. The graph below illustrates this well.  When supply is down and demand is strong it puts upward pressure on prices. It also tends to make house-hunting trips a bit more stressful!

2: Speed of Sales

Homes in Ottawa are selling at record speed. Before you arrive on your HHT the properties you may hope to see are sometimes sold. It is challenging when we have a full list of houses to look at, only to discover that many have been put under contract. It also means that when you are on the ground here the houses can sell quickly. Decisions on properties need to be made quicker than usual. 

3: Multiple Offer Dates

This was the biggest hurdle for my military clients in 2019. Many sellers in Ottawa are not entertaining offers until a certain date and time. For instance, a house may come for sale on a Wednesday. Showings will begin but there will be no offers until the following Monday. Then on offer day, you may be competing against 3-5 other buyers for the house. I don’t have to explain the logistical concerns involved for clients coming in for a few days on their house-hunting trip. It is something that we had to overcome in 2019 for sure. All our HHT’s were successful last year. 

Ok, so I have given you a few of the challenges that one might face. It is also important to know the solutions. Here are some of the solutions to tackle this challenging house hunting trip environment:



Relocating to Ottawa? Fill out our HHT Buyer Criteria Form to start your Ottawa home search today.

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Posted on: January 14th, 2020 by Chris Scott

How to have a successful Ottawa HHT in a tough market

First let me say that 2019 was the most challenging posting season ever in Ottawa. In these extreme market conditions, we managed to secure over a dozen houses for our clients and nobody left empty-handed or even settling for a house. I think a reality show on my client’s HHT experiences this year would win an Emmy for best reality show!! We had some adventures for sure and it wasn’t always easy but we got the job done. Here are a few keys to success in this market:

Adaptability to Conditions:

We need to act fast in this market. Whether it is reorganizing a day of showings to get into a new listing first or having an offer prepared and ready the instant our clients need it. We had one client purchase only 3 hours after they landed because that is when the offers were being presented. Clients need to be adaptable too. In that particular case, our clients beat out 5 other offers and secured the house. They love the house and neighbourhood to this day! Trust was important for them. They needed to trust us that the house was a good value and a good fit. They got a perfect house because they were adaptable to the conditions and our team was prepared to act fast with them. 

Exclusive off-market opportunities:

We plan our whole year around the HHT season. We are determined to find off-market properties for our incoming military families. Here is an example of a letter we sent out to over 20,000 households.

We do targeted Facebook ads and postcards for Kanata and Stittsville. Both areas have been very popular for our military clients. Each year we have many clients who buy our off-market opportunities. In many cases, they are outgoing military clients who love selling to incoming CAF members. It works out great! Our team is proactive in creating the best experience possible. 


Simply put, there is no team better equipped to handle house-hunting trips. We work together on our HHT’s and are extremely organized to make sure every detail is taken care of. There is no team that knows BGRS policies or can get quick information on them faster than us. 

Adaptability to market: 

Every HHT is different and requires the ability to adapt to different situations. Let me give you a quick example of this: In 2019 posting season Andrew and Liv were about to put an offer on a house they didn’t really love in multiple bids. On the morning of the offer date, we are getting a pre-inspection done to give us the best chance. We are sitting there and this perfect house comes to the market (send to us via email).  We booked the appointment for the inspection. We raced to the house and we were in there 30 mins after it hit the market. The clients loved it!! I knew the other agent really well and we had an offer in the seller’s hand within an hour (we have Steph in the office coordinating things). It was accepted an hour later (we had a tight timeline). Interestingly, another offer came in just after ours was already accepted. We dodged a bullet for sure. The moral of this story is that we do what it takes to get our clients the best house possible. If it means switching gears completely then that is what we will do. Andrew/Liv got their dream house!  We need to adapt to the market conditions that are presented to us. 

Communication before you arrive in the city is also very important. If you want to connect with our team and talk about your real estate needs or have any general questions please feel free to reach out. 



Relocating to Ottawa? Fill out our HHT Buyer Criteria Form to start your Ottawa home search today.

Book Your HHT


Want to know what your Ottawa home is worth? Fill out details of your home below to receive a complimentary home evaluation.

Home Evaluation



Posted on: August 27th, 2019 by Chris Scott

I recently had some clients in from Edmonton on their HHT. They thought they found the perfect house for their family. Unfortunately for them, the inspector discovered some serious issues and our clients walked away from the deal. We were fortunate to have the expertise and guidance of an industry leader. This is the kind of support we make sure our clients have when they come to Ottawa for their HHT. Our preferred inspector is on the approved list and uses an infrared camera inspection as part of his package. He is the best in the business.

Many Ottawa military house hunting trips are during the busy spring market. This is the time where inspectors are also hard to book, especially on short notice. As an extra service to our clients, we have our home inspector tentatively book us a time. We are one of the few teams he does this for because we work with him so often.

Other inspectors that we use on HHTs when needed:

Water Inspectors

Our guy will test the volume of the well, the water treatment equipment, and of course have the water tested.

Septic Inspectors

We want to test the system to make sure it is in working order. It is one of the most expensive home components so we want to make sure there are no unexpected costs coming up.

Pool Inspectors

If you have a pool it is a good idea to have this inspected prior to purchasing. We have a company that specializes in this.


Whatever your needs are on your Ottawa house hunting trip, our team has you covered! Call or text us anytime if you have any questions 613-863-6999.

Relocating to Ottawa? Fill out our HHT Buyer Criteria Form to start your Ottawa home search today.

Book Your HHT


Want to know what your Ottawa home is worth? Fill out details of your home below to receive a complimentary home evaluation.

Home Evaluation


Posted on: June 19th, 2019 by Chris Scott


Special thanks to all our 2019 Ottawa military clients who bought and sold with our team. Our house hunting trips took us to every corner of Ottawa and the surrounding area this year. Colin and I worked as a team to make sure everyone was well taken care of. It was a challenging Spring house hunting season in Ottawa but I am proud to say that everyone left with a house they were happy with. If you are relocating to Ottawa and need some assistance with your move always feel free to reach out.



Tunney’s Pasture

Findlay Creek

Emerald Meadows

Playfair Park





Fairfield Heights




Riverside South


Fairfield Heights


Half Moon Bay


Morgans Grant





Posted on: June 18th, 2019 by Chris Scott

It is no secret that Ottawa is the hottest housing market in the country right now. In Ottawa, one of the most active segments is the $400,000 to $480,000 price range. Our team was engaged by Heather and Byron who were relocating to Ottawa. Unfortunately for them, they were in this HUNGER GAMES price range. This is their story!

Day 1

We spent all day looking through various neighbourhoods in the city. We found a great house in Chapel Hill. It was a bit underpriced and judging by the multiple showings during our visit we knew it was going to be competitive. In the end we were notified there was 11 offers on the table! Let the games begin.

Offer 1

List Price $400,000

Our Bid $426,000

The winner was $451,000 with no conditions in the offer. 11 offers total.  We were told our offer was in the top 1/3 of offers.

Me learning the news:

Day 2

More viewings and a new listing came up in the afternoon that we are the very first buyers into see. Excited at potentially doing this quickly. It is a holiday Monday and we figure this gives us an advantage. Beauty house on Steeple Chase in Kanata. We have our offer in within hours of listing. Afterwards, 3 other offers come in that afternoon. We know we have to go high to secure it. We make a very strong offer.

Offer 2

List Price $489,900

Our Bid $521,000

We felt very good about our offer. Unfortunately, they get a higher offer and we lose out again! The hunger games continue…

Pretty sure this is what the seller looked like:

Day 3

Time is starting to play a factor here. We need to secure something. A listing comes on the market at 9:30 am in Stittsville. We are in the house at 10:30 am and can’t believe our luck! It is a beauty. It is grossly underpriced for today’s market. They basically priced it at last years numbers. We head back to the office to chat about it. Before we can do much the agent calls and they have an offer on the table already. An hour later they already have 4 offers. They are presenting that afternoon at 4:30 pm. This is a bit of a problem because another house we liked was presenting at 6:00 pm. What one do we choose? We ended up putting an expiry of our offer of 6:00 pm for the first one so if we lost we could pursue the next. We go way over asking on this one!

Offer 3

List Price $439,900

Our Bid $476,000

Feeling a bit overconfident on this offer. Really strong but we ended up in second place! Luckily we found out just before 6:00 pm and bid on another home.

A surprising loss, time for a drink!

Offer 4

List Price $424,900

Our Bid $441,00

The house was really one of their favourites all along. We just didn’t want to overpay and felt our offer was a bit conservative. Funny that we were all not feeling overly confident on this one and then the call came in that the house was secured!! The hunger games were complete!!




The inspection was flawless and my clients went home happy.

Imagine all of the showings, paperwork, emotions, and stress of the 3 days above. It is not easy buying a house on any HHT let alone one in this market. At the end of the day, we got the job done and the clients are super happy with the process and the house they secured. That is what it is all about and why I love my job. It can be long days but it is hard to have a more rewarding feeling than making the call to let my clients know they have secured their dream home.

With our team the odds will always be in favour of our clients!



Posted on: June 5th, 2018 by Chris Scott
ottawa vs barrhaven
Ottawa is increasingly becoming a city with a clear price differential between some of the East end suburbs when compared to the west. Nothing could have illustrated this more than a recent house hunting trip. My clients were looking in both Barrhaven and Orleans with a budget of under 500k. They had Barrhaven as their ideal location but were open to looking at other areas. After looking at 15-20 properties together It was clear that one could get more house/square footage in Orleans for the same price as something in Barrhaven. The bigger question for my clients was is the price difference enough change their mind on Orleans?


Price of a detached 2 storey home with a one car garage:


Orleans:       $427,000    (YTD sales Jun 4/18)
Barrhaven    $454,750    (YTD sales Jun 4/18)


In the end, my clients went with their preferred location.  They (as do I) see the future of Ottawa being more West-centric. Especially for the military with its new DND location and the upcoming construction of the operational headquarters. My clients decided to pay a premium to be in the location they wanted. As a military Realtor, it is always good to look at future resale as well. I think because of the shift in DND jobs to west-end it will be a bit easier to resell in the future.


Orleans also has some great future prospects as well. Amazon just announced a new 1M square foot distribution centre and the LRT will extend out East in its next phase. The nice thing about buying in Ottawa is that no matter what location you choose, you cant go wrong! Our real estate market is one of the worlds most stable.


If you are in need of a military Realtor that knows Ottawa well and has experience with HHT’s please feel free to get in touch. This is what we specialize in.


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Posted on: September 25th, 2017 by Chris Scott

Right now I am sitting at a home inspection as I type this. I am here with some great military clients who are relocating from Petawawa. We have secured a nice townhouse in the KANATA neighbourhood of Morgan’s Grant. It is about 10mins to the New DND headquarters at the Nortel campus. Securing this home has been a challenge.

The townhouse market right now in Barrhaven, Stittsville, and Kanata is as hot as it has ever been. Townhomes in these neighbourhoods over the past 2 months are selling in 6 Days for an average of $3,500 over asking. We have been competing against as many as 11 offers on previous offer attempts. I have never seen anything like it for this segment of the Ottawa real estate market. On a house hunting trip, this can make things very stressful and can be challenging to leave Ottawa with a house. These are the fall market conditions right now. I am really hoping that by the time our Spring House hunting trips begin there will be more inventory available.

I will be starting a database of CAF members who have a high probability of being transferred next Spring. My objective will be to have some off-market military listings that can be sold to other military buyers coming in on their transfer. Basically making it as easy as possible for both military buyers and sellers.

If you are relocating to Ottawa or have any questions, please get in contact with us. This is what we specialize in.

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