April 3, 2014

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Royal LePage’s New Mobile App Breaks Industry Barriers With Draw-and-Search Feature

Iphone App

 

Royal LePage, in partnership with award-winning mobile agency Plastic Mobile, recently announced the launch of the Royal LePage mobile app for Canadian house hunters. Available for iPhone, the new app is simplifying the property search process down to the swipe of a finger.

The app’s innovative Draw-and-Search feature allows users to easily zero in on a specific geographic area of interest on a map, by simply drawing the area of choice with their finger. Upon doing so, property listings within the selected region will pop up on the screen. On-the-go house hunters no longer need to log in or fill in forms to see search results.  And with one tap, users can save their search to get updates on new homes, open houses, and current listings within the geographic area they selected.

“At Royal LePage, we are constantly looking at how we can better serve homebuyers in their search for the perfect home through new digital services,” said Carolyn Cheng, SVP, Strategic Business Services, Royal LePage. “With our new app’s draw feature, the very first in Canada, we are making the home buying search as easy and personalized as possible, while ensuring our clients don’t miss crucial updates as listings and opportunities change by the moment.”

The new app is the latest in Royal LePage’s suite of digital real estate solutions for Canadians.  Last year, Royal LePage launched a new mobile website featuring Google’s renowned map-based technologies as well as its new and innovative cloud-based services, which allowed users to search for homes, using not only standard criteria, but also local landmarks.

“As Royal LePage’s mobile agency, we identify the best practices across all industries worldwide and apply them to real estate, ensuring  that Royal LePage’s clients always have the best and latest features at their fingertips,” said Melody Adhami, President and COO, Plastic Mobile.  “The Draw-and-Search feature of Royal LePage’s new app is designed to provide the most intuitive user experience so that homebuyers don’t have to browse through all of the clutter to find what they need.”

Please visit www.royallepage.ca/realestate/iphone for more information, and/or to download the app which can be used on iPhone, iPad, iPad mini and iPod Touch.

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March 20, 2014

News to “bark” about…

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Greetings to all my fellow Winter Olympians! I certainly feel like an Olympian in the face of Mother Nature and all the charms that she has brought to our Capital City this year. It has been quite a Gold Medal Performance of sorts.

So, the perennial favourite question: how is the Ottawa market? In short, it is breathing. Inhaling and exhaling, with ebbs and flows—nothing too drastic to report. This is the Ottawa “government insulation” that we are all graced by. Times are not as bullish as we have become accustomed to as of late, homes are moving and sales are balanced. We are forecasting slight price increases this year in the range of 1 to 2% and relatively consistent volume to the five year average sales. Breathe easy.

New additions and new beginnings! We are pleased to announce the arrival of our fifth member to The McCann Team, Nick Gallon. Nick brings a dynamic energy and we are very excited to have him on this side of the fence as it were. He has joined the administrative leg of our team so that we can continue to wow our clients with timely, accurate, and attentive service.

Stephanie has returned from maternity leave and we are glad to have her back. She is also thrilled to have a little “work break” amidst her busy job as Mommy to her girls, Rowan and Quinn.

Our year is off to a fantastic start and we have all of you to thank for this! Your gracious referrals and advocacy continue to be the cornerstone of our success. At the risk of being a bit bold, please, keep them coming! We look forward to continuing to surprise and delight, with the help of Gezellig Restaurant, in acknowledging those referrals.

We are here if you have questions or need a bit of help. We want you to think of us as your real estate resource throughout the home ownership journey and not just during the purchase and sale process.

Finally, we are excited about our upcoming annual movie event. Saturday morning at the movies has become such a tradition and we look forward to seeing you all again soon.

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January 15, 2013

Is Your Gas Fireplace Saving or Costing You Money?

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Nothing is nicer on a cold winter night than curling up beside a warm fire. Gas fireplaces can offer a clean burning option with a convenient click of a button. A recent survey of household energy use found that 23% of Canadian single- and semi-detached and row housing reported having a gas fireplace and of those, 22% reported using them every day once the temperatures dip. Depending on the size and location of your fireplace, the added warmth can help ease the heating burden on your furnace, causing it to turn on less frequently. But will that save you money? Not necessarily, according to research undertaken at the Canadian Centre for Housing Technology.
The study tested gas fireplace use and its impact on both furnace use and total gas energy consumption in a controlled certified research house. Researchers wanted to find out if operating a gas fireplace would reduce total gas consumption. It also looked at whether running the furnace fan continuously had any benefits on heat distribution to rooms away from the fireplace compared to having the fan automatically turn on only when the furnace was required to provide heating for the house.

The results showed that, while the furnace came on less frequently during fireplace use, total gas gas energy consumption overall actually increased by approximately 10 to 16%. This is because the gas fireplace, which had a measured efficiency of only 76%, was offsetting the operation of the furnace with an efficiency of 94%. The study also found that even when the fireplace was not in use, overall gas energy use was 6% higher compared to the control house because of the gas consumed by the small, but continuously running, pilot light.

While running the furnace fan continuously was expected to distribute heat from the fireplace to the other rooms more effectively that when run intermittently, the researchers found that operation of the fan had very little influence on the temperatures in other rooms in either mode. In fact, not only was there no  difference in heat distribution, continuously running the furnace fan actually increased daily electrical energy use from 6kWh to 11kWh, which can be significant given that typical Canadian homes use a total of 15 to 30 kWh per day.
Gas fireplaces are a wonderful way to enhance the beauty of your home, providing warm ambience during our cold Canadian winters. However, using your high efficiency furnace as the main method of heating your home will save you energy and money in the long run.

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December 11, 2012

Vast Majority Now Favour FIXED MORTGAGES

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While it looks like interest rates will remain low for some time, there has been a large swing from variable to fixed-rate mortgages over the past year, says a new report by the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals.
CAAMP’s annual report on the state of the residential mortgage market, released last month, suggests that 79 percent of the new mortgages taken out this year have been fixed-rate, 10 percent have been variable, and 11 percent are a combination.

That’s a significant shift from prior years, during which fixed-rate mortgages generally accounted for about two-thirds of the total, while variable or adjustable-rate mortgages were about one-quarter.

Canadians are likely locking in because of the very small difference between interest rates for variable-rate mortgages (which are in the neighbourhood of three percent) and five-year fixed-rate mortgages (which are closer to 3.2 or 3.3 percent, after discounts that the banks typically offer), the report says.

“The current spread of about one-quarter of a point is negligible compared to the average of 1.7 points during 2010 and 2011,” it says. Meanwhile, the average mortgage interest rate for homeowners has fallen to 3.55 percent, from 3.94 percent a year ago. For homes bought this year, the average rate is 3.26 percent.

The report, which is based in large part on an online survey of 2,018 Canadians by Maritz, also found that about six percent of homeowners took equity out of their home in the past year. The average amount is estimated at $49,000, implying that $30-billion of equity has been taken out during the year.

But 87 percent of Canadians have at least 25 percent equity in their homes. Sixteen percent of mortgage holders have increased their payments, 15 percent have made lump sum payments, and 6 percent have increased their payment frequency.

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October 19, 2012

THE HOME STRETCH LEAD CONTEST

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To all our family, friends and supporters, The McCann Team has set a lofty goal for ourselves this year and time is flying! We thought we would have a little fun as we stretch for the finish line. For every referral we receive between now and December 31st your name will be entered into a draw for a dinner for 2 at Stephen Beckta’s latest creation THE GEZELLIG RESTAURANT in Westboro.

In addition to the ballot offering above, for every referral that translates into a transaction, your name will go into the bonus round that we affectionately call “the sure thing” – resulting in dinner for two at Gezellig every time.

Don’t know about GEZELLIG? Well known Ottawa sommelier and restauranteur (Beckta’s and Play Food + Wine) is opening his third culinary playground on the corner of Richmond Rd. and Churchill Avenue in the heart of Westboro. It promises to be a new fave spot for Ottawa foodies! It is due to open in just a couple of weeks now!

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October 17, 2012

What’s Happening in November?

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Events in November in Westboro and all of Ottawa worth barking about.

2 restaurants are opening in Westboro – Gezellig and Fratelli Fish House

Tricks for Treats | October 1 – 29 @ Masters ‘n Dogs (Westboro)

Wickedly Westboro | October 27 | www.westborovillage.com

Ottawa Wine + Food Festival | November 9 – 11 | www.ottawawineandfoodshow.com/

Ottawa Pet Expo @ the CE Centre | November 10 + 11 | www.ottawapetexpo.ca/

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