For That Last Cottage Trip Of The Season

There is nothing more depressing than feeling the summer season is coming to an end and the winter season will be here before we know it. Whether you close your cottage for the winter or you keep your cottage going all year round, there are a few things you should check for before the weather temperatures change drastically.

Prepare for Winter

Thanksgiving weekend is a time we spend with our families and celebrate by stuffing our stomachs with way too much turkey and delicious turkey stuffing. Thanksgiving weekend also usually means it is the last weekend we spend at the cottage before winter. If you are preparing to close up your cottage for the winter, be sure to prepare your water pipes by limiting the chance of them bursting from extreme temperature changes. You can do this by shutting off your main water valves and drain your pipes. If you keep your cottage open for the winter, you probably already have a system in place to avoid any damage occurring to your water pipes. If not, after draining your pipes completely, be sure to shut your water off and make sure it is off for good until spring time. 

Prepare the Exterior

While you do one of your last sweeps around the yard to clean up the fall leaves, be sure to check your roof, eavestroughs, and water drains. With the amount of snow we receive here in Canada, especially in cottage country, you want to make sure your roof is sturdy and won’t suffer any damage from the weight of snow continuously being piled up on the roof of your cottage. Be sure your eavestroughs are completely clear of any and all fallen debris before the snow settles in. While checking your roof, also be sure to check for any cracks or small openings between the roof and foundation of the home. If there are any small openings at all, you run the risk of inviting smaller animals to find warmth within your cottage while you have left it unattended. I don’t think we need to mention the kind of damage they could get up to while you are not there!

Prepare your Septic 

Just like at your home, if your cottage has a septic system, which most of them do nowadays, you need to make sure you are having it emptied when needed. Most septic systems need to be cleaned out every 5-8 years, depending on the size of your system. Emptying your septic system on the correct schedule that it needs, will ensure it’s life expectancy will last longer. If you know the time is coming up for your system to be pumped at your cottage, be sure to have it done before winter settles in. It will keep your system going and will prevent any damage that you may be faced to deal with when you come back in the spring to reopen your cottage. 

We believe in taking care of you and what’s important to you. Real estate is a smart investment for everyone. It is just as important to take care of your cottage home as you do with your regular home. If you have any questions at all, we want to hear from you. You can fill out our user-friendly form online today!

How to Get Your Home Ready for a Move This Fall

If you’re planning on moving this fall and didn’t Marie-Kondo your home during the spring cleaning phase a few months ago, then now is the time to get started! There’s nothing quite like having to pack, move, and unpack everything you own to inspire a good purge. Here are some trips and tricks to get your home ready for a move this fall. 


Whether your move is to downsize, upsize, or a location-based decision, you’ll want to at least take the opportunity to downsize your possessions! Go through your closet, dressers, and shoes and donate or sell anything you haven’t worn in the last six months, or during the last season it’s meant for. Do the same with winter jackets, hiking boots, purses, and items like scarves and umbrellas.

Once you’ve gone through all of your clothing, start tackling your kitchen cabinets and other items throughout your home. Do you really need 20 sets of mugs? The more you sort through and donate now, the easier the move will be.

Start Early

Preparing for a move, whether your new home is across town or across the country, is a big task that always takes more time than expected. Start packing whatever you can as soon as you know you are moving. Even things like moving books from the bookshelf into boxes, which may only take 15 minutes to do, add up down the road.

Whatever can be packed early - out of season clothing and shoes, books, sporting equipment, the fancy china that is never used - should slowly start making its way into boxes sooner rather than later.

Hire Professionals

Preparing for a move can be an extremely busy time, especially if you’ve been living in your home for a significant amount of years and have a lot of items to sort through and pack. Hiring professionals can help take some of the stress off of you, so you can focus on the fun part: the new house!

Hiring professional packers and/or movers can make things move more smoothly for you, while hiring a cleaning service to go through the house before you leave can take that ‘one last thing’ off of your to-do list.

Whether you’re just starting to look for homes or are halfway through the packing process, The Guy With The Dog group is always here to help! Give us a call at 613-806-1171 and we’ll be happy to walk you through the next steps in your house hunting or moving process.

Reasons to Live, Work, and Play With us in Kitchissippi: Pizza!

There’s nothing quite like a summer BBQ, but for the evenings you’re craving something a little different, you can’t go wrong with a locally-baked ‘za. 

It may seem like a long-standing tradition, but pizza didn’t actually arrive in Ottawa until the early 1950s, and in Kitchissippi pizza was first sold by The Miss Westgate restaurant in 1958. The first official pizza parlour in Kitchissippi was located where MHZ Sushi is today, but believe it or not lasted only about a year from 1963-1964.

If you’re house hunting in, or already living in, Kitchissippi, you’ve no doubt noticed that times have changed! The Kitchissippi Times created a Pizza Map - with 27 locations to choose from right in our neighbourhood! Here are a few of our favourites from the list, spread throughout the neighbourhood so no matter where you are you won’t be too far from a slice when the crazing hits!

Lorenzo Bar and Grill

Located at 911 Richmond Rd., Lorenzo’s is the furthest west pizza stop in Kitchissippi. The family owned restaurant is known for their homemade dough and sauce!

Gabriel Pizza

Gabriel’s Pizza has two locations in Kitchissippi: 1679 Carling Ave. and 1620 Scott St. (in the Holland Cross Food Court). Did you know Gabriel Pizza was founded in Orleans in the late 1970s, and now has locations across Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec? 

The Original Georgie’s Pizza and Subs

The Original Georgie’s is celebrating their 35th anniversary this year! Located at 1661 Carling Ave, It’s one of Kitchissippi’s oldest pizzerias and their website boasts it’s “the best pizza you’ll ever have!” 

Westboro Beach Cafe

Their official address is 745 Ottawa River Parkway, but all you really need to know is Westboro Beach Cafe is right on Westboro Beach and serves pizza by the slice or as a whole pie. 

Fiazza Fresh Fired

Offering vegan as well as vegetarian (and of course meat!) options, guests at Fiazza Fresh Fired can either choose options from the menu or build their own pie. You can find them at 205 Richmond Rd.

Cafe Mio

Cafe Mio is housed in an almost-100 year old building, at 1379 Wellington St. W and has been operating for almost 20 years. Great for a romantic dinner, family outing, or a casual summer evening meal on the patio.  

Anthony’s Pizza

Dan Clapson from the Food Network called Anthony’s Pizza “one of the 12 best pizzerias across Canada worth travelling for.” You can find them and their wood burning oven at 1218 Wellington St W.

The Carleton Tavern

Established in 1935, The Carleton Tavern is a family-friend spot that still shows off some relics from the early days - like it’s ladies and escorts entrance, no longer in use, of course! You can find The Carleton at 223 Armstrong Street.

Tennessy Willems

A staple on every foodie’s pizza list, Tennessy Willems is home to wood-fired pizza at 1082 Wellington St. W. Fun fact: the pizzeria is named after the owners children.

Tips for Ensuring a Successful House Hunting Trip

Whether you’re in the military, or your corporate company has decided to open a new office on the other side of the country, a well-planned house hunting trip can be the difference between stress and success. 

As soon as you find out the date and location you’ll be heading to, it’s time to put the wheels in motion. Follow these tips for ensuring a smooth house-hunting trip from start to finish.

Get Your Current Home on the Market ASAP

You’ll want to list your current home as soon as possible to ensure that it sells before or shortly after you leave for your new destination. Work with a local realtor who can accurately price your home so it sells quickly, but within the expected range for similarly priced properties in your area. 

Contact a Mortgage Broker

Next, you’ll want to talk to a mortgage broker in your new city and set out a budget that you are comfortable with. Once that amount is determined, the mortgage broker can work with a variety of banks and private lenders to ensure you both get approved for the mortgage as well as get you the best rate possible.

Contact a Local Real Estate Agent

Know what you’re looking for in terms of both a home and surroundings. Do you have kids in school? Prefer to walk while running your errands? Have a dog and require a fenced yard? Discuss your needs (and your wants!) with a local agent and ask them to source some appropriate homes for you that match your budget and lifestyle goals. This way, when it comes time for you to arrive at your new destination to look at homes, your agent will have viewings already lined up for you, ensuring you make the most of your short time in the area. 

If you’re anticipating a move to Ottawa, contact the team here at The Guy With The Dog Real Estate Group; we’re happy to help you find the perfect home in the right location for you.

Put in an Offer!

Once you’ve found a home, your real estate agent can facilitate the offer process and any negotiating while you return home and begin packing. If your company (or the Government) has relocated you, they may provide packers and movers for you. If not, the real estate agent who listed your home may be able to refer a trusted company to you to help alleviate the stress of doing it yourself.

Are you relocating to or from Ottawa? The Guy With The Dog Real Estate Group is happy to help assist you in any way possible to help make both the house-hunting trip and the move as enjoyable and stress-free as possible. Contact us today and let’s talk.

Yes, People Will Open Your Closets

Everyone knows the basic principles of listing a house: make sure it’s clean, don’t leave unnecessary clutter around, leave the home during viewings, and take out the trash.

But that doesn’t mean you can take that pile of laundry (whether it’s clean or dirty) and hide it in the bedroom closet. Whether you like it or not, buyers will open your closets - storage space is an important factor in the home-buying decision.

Before you head out, keep these tips in mind to ensure a successful showing and get you out of your current home and into your dream home faster.

Make Sure Your Home Smells Nice During Showings

This might sound like it goes without saying, but scent is strongly tied to memory and making your home smell nice goes beyond making sure the trash doesn’t have yesterday’s leftovers in it. Simple things like baking some muffins in the morning or brewing a pot of coffee before leaving can cause the scent to linger in the air, potentially reminding buyers of specific memories and helping them subconsciously build an emotional connection to your home.

But yes - also make sure the trash cans have been cleaned.

Less is More

Conveniently, minimalism and clean lines are on trend right now.

Before showing your house, remove any clutter or large objects to allow potential buyers to see the architecture of the home and imagine their own furniture in it - it’s the foundation and walls they’re buying, afterall, not your oversized ottoman.

Pack away any large collections of knick-knacks, move large storage units to the garage, and store kids’ toys away.

Bump Up That Curb Appeal

You only get one chance at a first impression - and the same goes for your home. Many house-hunters will do drive-bys before making an appointment to actually see the home, and you want to make sure you give them a reason to call their agent to see yours, stat.

Making sure your lawn is mowed and green (lay sod or seed if needed), power-washing the driveway and walkway, planting flowers and greenery, and washing the front windows are all easy-fixes that go a long way in giving your curb appeal a boost.

Taking a couple extra steps to get your home buyer-ready can help sell it faster. Questions about staging or to show off the best side of your home? Give us a call, we’re always happy to help.

This Spring, Help Sell Your Home by Refreshing Your Kitchen

There isn’t ever a down-time in the Ottawa housing market, but the spring months are definitely the busiest each year.

If you’re a homeowner looking to sell, making adjustments to one of the most important rooms in the home - the kitchen - can help your house stand apart from others. Here are three of our favourite tips to help your kitchen appear larger and brighter, without breaking the bank.

Tip #1 for Refreshing Your Kitchen: Declutter

It may seem obvious, but clearing as much as possible from your countertops - including cookbooks, flower vases, and small appliances - can make a big difference. Consider storing items you don’t use every day, and create a dedicated spot for things like your mail, so it doesn’t end up collecting dust in the corner of the kitchen.

Tip #2 for Refreshing Your Kitchen: Downsize

Not downsize in terms of square-footage (obviously!), but downsize the amount of added fixtures that are unnecessary - hanging lamps, barstools, and islands, for example. Kitchen islands were a ‘must have’ feature a few years ago, but if you aren’t doing a lot of baking or meal prep on it, getting rid of it can create the illusion of a larger, more open kitchen.

If you have items like barstools in your kitchen that you’re planning on taking with you to your new home, consider putting them in storage or in another room so prospective buyers can envision the space with (or without!) their own furniture.

Tip #3 for Refreshing Your Kitchen: Brighten the Colour

If your kitchen cabinets and colours are outdated, adding a splash of white paint is an inexpensive way to bring new life to the space and make it appear more open. Whether it’s on your walls or the cabinets (or both!) a crisp white finish can refresh the space and make it feel like new.

The kitchen is often said to be the most central spaces in the home. Be sure to impress buyers with these small, inexpensive upgrades and help your home stand out from the crowd in the busy Ottawa market.