Posts Tagged ‘market’

House Hunting Efficiency: A Military Success Story in Ottawa

Posted on: May 14th, 2024 by Chris Scott


We recently had the pleasure of assisting a military couple with their house hunt in Ottawa, turning it into an efficient and exciting adventure. The journey began with setting up a personalized portal tailored to their preferences, 

allowing them to interact with listings by favouriting, disliking, and commenting on homes. This interactive approach helped Chris develop a strategic itinerary to maximize their limited viewing time.

To ensure efficiency during their brief visit, Chris pre-booked an inspection with a trusted home inspector before the couple’s arrival. This foresight was crucial in accommodating the tight timeframe and guaranteed that they could work with a reliable inspector.

Upon their arrival on a Sunday, the couple dived into their home search, visiting 28 homes over four days across Ottawa and its surrounding areas. Chris’s deep knowledge of the region helped them explore a variety of neighbourhoods, from the small-town feel of Carleton Place & Kemptiville to the notable suburbs of Kanata, Barrhaven and Stittsville. We explored them all! More inventory in the 2024 posting season has made military house hunting in Ottawa easier than in previous years. Good to see more balanced conditions in our marketplace. 

The highlight of their trip was of course finding their dream home in Kemptville and swiftly fulfilling the home inspection condition, providing them with essential peace of mind.

This story exemplifies the success of a well-planned House Hunting Trip (HHT). If you’re preparing for your HHT in Ottawa or surrounding areas, our team is ready to guide you through every step, ensuring a smooth and successful home-buying experience.

Interested in starting your house-hunting journey? Contact us today to learn how we can assist you!


CAF Relocation Directive – Spending Account

Posted on: June 6th, 2023 by Chris Scott

Here is a summary of the details of spending accounts related to CAFRD (Canadian Armed Forces Relocation Directive) benefits. There are two types of spending accounts: the Core Account and the Custom Account. Unused benefits from either account are forfeited and cannot be used for other expenses.

The Core Account is meant to compensate members for essential relocation expenses related to their move. It is not a fixed amount of funds.

The Custom Account is a fixed amount of funds determined by an individualized formula. It serves two purposes: enhancing benefits from the Core Account as indicated in the directive and providing flexibility to choose other CAFRD benefits that meet the member’s relocation needs.

The formula for the Custom Account is A + B + C = D, where A represents the accommodation factor, B represents the transportation factor, C represents the HG&E (household goods and effects) shipment factor, and D represents the total amount available in the Custom Account. The transportation factor is calculated using a kilometric rate based on the Department of Finance income tax deduction limit for the use of personal vehicles for business purposes.

The Custom Account formula also includes specific calculations for each factor. A is the greater of $1,000 or a percentage of the real estate commission based on the sale price of the principal residence. B is 35% of the cost of one-way transport for the member and dependents. C is 35% of the average cost of shipping qualifying household goods and effects per qualifying room.

Qualifying rooms for the HG&E shipment factor are listed, including bedrooms, kitchen, living room, etc. When items are shipped out of long-term storage, the formula is based on the number of qualifying rooms when the items originally went into storage.

In cases where a member shares accommodations with individuals other than their spouse or dependents, the HG&E shipment factor is based only on the rooms occupied by the member.


Posted on: February 24th, 2023 by Chris Scott

Ottawa is typically known to be a low inventory real estate market. This is changed slightly this year due to current market conditions. Military buyers will have more to choose from on their Ottawa relocation house hunting trips. Our team is also doing everything we can to present as many options as possible. We have put out thousands of flyers looking for home sellers to match with our incoming military buyers. This program is in its fifth year and it continues to be a success. We have been able to create win-win situations for both buyers and sellers. Buyers get the benefit of purchasing a house off market at a fixed cost and sellers have the opportunity to potentially sell off market with very little showings and no staging.

If you’re relocating to Ottawa feel free to get in touch and learn more about the programs we offer our incoming relocation clients.


Posted on: September 30th, 2022 by Chris Scott

BMO is the official bank of the Canadian Defense Community. This makes BMO and the Chris Scott Team a perfect fit for our military clients. We always have our client’s needs top of mind and strive to make each relocation as smooth as possible. We know the ins and outs of BGRS and know that during an HHT time is always of the essence. BMO has specific mortgage programs tailormade for military relocations that offer tight turnarounds on pre-approvals so you can rest easy during your HHT. We have a guest blog from our local Defense Mortgage Specialist Naween:


Relocation is not a simple task. It’s very stressful. Leaving family, friends and a familiar environment is a daunting feeling. I have gone through 5 relocations myself, so I know the feeling. My biggest relocation was migrating to Canada. Moving 13,632 km, away from everything I knew for 23 years. The level of anxiety I had was through the roof, but I was also excited to start a new chapter with my wife. It took us time to settle, and we finally made Ottawa home. Bought our first home, had our first child and a new opportunity came along resulting in an out-of-city relocation. Two more relocations after we are back in Ottawa. Each relocation was stressful even though we had done it before. We had to tell ourselves it was ok to feel the way we did. The personal and professional growth I gained from them will not change my mind about doing it all over again. We became comfortable with meeting new people and making new friends with each move.

The biggest stress for us about relocating was finding a place to live. Temporary accommodations in hotels can only get you so far until the smell of eggs in the morning makes you sick. You have a limited amount of time to find a place that fits you and your family’s needs. This is where the expertise of a good realtor was a game changer. When we relocated to Sudbury for work, our house search revolved around a 9-month-olds schedule and needs. We had to think about daycare, schools (yes, it was a bit of a stretch to think of schools when our son was only 9 months), convenience to get to and from work, etc. New city, no support system to count on. We started our house search online in Ottawa and would send listings we wanted to see to our realtor having no idea about the areas. I remember to this day what our realtor said about a listing I sent. House looked great in pictures, well below our budget. Her exact words “We are not going to see that listing because you are not going to buy a home in that area. I don’t want Evan growing up in that neighborhood”. We soon came to realize that that neighbourhood was not suitable for kids, and the house was on a very busy street. I was reassured my realtor had my back and I was no longer stressed about finding the right home for our family. This is the same level of care and attention Chris Scott and his team bring to the table. They understand your needs and find properties to fit that need, so you don’t waste time.

Therefore, I am proud to align myself as the mortgage specialist assisting the clients of Chris and his team. They share the same values as I do, personally and professionally. Putting the client’s needs first vs getting a sale done. Focusing on advice and recommendations to protect you and your loved ones. Combining 6 years of mortgage experience, Chris and his team and BMO’s Defense Banking Program I am confident we can make your house purchase a stress-free experience.

If you have any questions about home financing or want to talk about my personal experience of relocation feel free to contact me. I am happy to answer any questions you have

Naween Thomas | Mortgage Specialist
(P) 613-709-0890


Posted on: August 10th, 2022 by Chris Scott

Ottawa is a very popular destination for military clients. Many come for a few years and get posted out only to return again with a promotion a few years down the road. With this type of short-term stay, you need to purchase at the right price to be able to sell with a nice profit when you get transferred out. Others may have their final stop in Ottawa and want to make sure they get a home that can suit their needs for years to come.

We thought we would share with you a few examples of homes we helped our military clients purchase in recent years and that they just sold this year:

Purchased in 2020 – $790,000
Sold in 2022 – $1,250,000

These clients sold their Fairwinds home with our team in 2017 and got transferred back to Ottawa in 2020, during a very challenging market for buyers. During their HHT they were clear they wanted to be back in Stittsville and find something with good value. The timing was not great as they were purchasing in a very fast sellers market. Our clients ended up competing in a multiple offer situation. It is important to note that we were not the highest offer in this multiple offer situation, but the seller wanted to work with us and sell to my clients. That one decision had an incredible impact for my clients. You can see what they bought it for back then and sold it for earlier this year.

Purchased in 2020 – $665,000
Sold in 2022 – $931,000

Another military client of ours purchased in 2020, during the same challenging market. They also wanted to live in, and ended up buying in Stittsville. This is a great example of how there are still deals to be had during a sellers market and we ended up getting a great deal for our buyers. The house needed new flooring on the main level and was passed up by other buyers because of this. Our clients were not phased by this small issue, they lived here for a few years, and then ended up getting new floors installed on the main floor. This small investment of a flooring project helped them capitalize on ideal conditions when they sold.

HHT’s are challenging and timing is everything, which is why having an experienced Realtor® on your side makes all of the difference when it comes to your biggest investment. We are here to help!

Selling with our approved BGRS Ottawa Team

Posted on: July 19th, 2022 by Chris Scott

Our team prides ourselves in taking great care of our military clients. A big part of that is helping our clients who relocate to Ottawa purchase homes that will sell easily and appreciate nicely by the time they get transferred out. Selecting the right home, neighborhood, and community are also essential for the enjoyment of your time here. In short we know how important your Ottawa HHT is to you and your family. The house you buy will also have implications down the road when you sell. We need to make sure you are getting the right home for your needs.

Selling with our military specialists

The sale process is seamless with our team because we understand BGRS and have the appropriate partners who are all approved service providers. We are also one of Ottawa’s most recognizable military teams. We have the buyers coming in on postings that we can match up with our listings. One of our strategies is that we send out letters to prospective sellers ahead of posting season to spread awareness of incoming military buyers and our ability to match buyers with sellers of off market listings. This makes the process even smoother for everyone.

Some service providers no longer dealing with BGRS

Many prominent lawyers have decided no longer to accept BGRS files due to the low fee they receive for service in relation to their standard rates. This is something that we will keep an eye on moving forward. We still have some great lawyers on the list. Some Realtors are also pushing back and not accepting military sellers. While others are scaling back their services that they provide when selling a military members home.

This is not the case with our team. We offer the same high level of service clients have come to expect from us. Here are a few of the things that we are offering to our military clients:











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.

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: 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