Top 5 Questions to Ask When Buying a Condo

So you have decided to buy a condo in Ottawa… what’s next? It’s important to ask questions and make an informed decision regarding the largest purchase of your life. We don’t always know what to ask until after the fact, so here are five great questions to ask when buying a condo.

Question 1: What do my condo fees pay for?

Condo fees are a part of condo lifestyle, but be certain you know what those fees entitle you to as an owner. By knowing in advance what is included with your condo fees, you will be able to make an informed decision as to which condo community is best suited to your needs. For example, condos geared toward young urban professionals may have different services covered compared with an adult lifestyle community. Prior knowledge also eliminates surprises down the road should a major repair need to be addressed that is not covered under the scope of condo fees.

Question 2: Can my voice be heard?

Is there a condo board I can be a part of should I wish to be? If being involved and having a say in the running of the condo community you live in something of importance to you, you should ask if there is a board you are eligible to join.

Question 3: Are there enforceable rules I need to be aware of?

This is both preventative and proactive information to have. If you are having a get together that runs into the late hours of the morning and are causing quite a bit of noise, it would be advantageous to know of any quiet hours that are enforced within the condo so as to be compliant and keep the peace with the neighbours! Likewise, it is good to know that your wishes are protected if you prefer a bit of peace and quiet.

Question 4: Who is the builder?

The pride of the builder should be evident throughout all areas of the condo. A builder with integrity who stands behind their name will answer any questions and offer information relating to the design that prove to be important to a potential buyer. After all, you are buying their product and they should want you to be happy with your purchase.

Question 5: What are the garbage disposal regulations?

Each condo building will have a different way of collecting trash and you want to be sure it’s a system that works for you. Depending on your age or position in life, having to haul your garbage across the grounds to a communal garbage disposal area would be helpful information to have prior to the purchase.

Asking questions and educating yourself on the ins and outs of condo living is the only way to make a truly informed decision. If you have any questions at all about living at Qualicum Woods Crossing, the best valued condos in Ottawa, get in touch!

How to Successfully Downsize to a Condo

The great thing about condo living is that it forces you to declutter and keep only what you truly need. But downsizing can be tricky. Whether it’s from a big home, or even a little one, the fact is that you will need to prioritize what will stay and what will make that move along with you to your new condo. So, if you are making that switch, here are a few steps to help guide you in making it quick and easy.

Prioritize

Create a list or get out some sticky notes and label everything that is a top priority for you that you cannot live with out. These make the cut no matter what. But during this step, you must also take into consideration the size of your space and the items you deem as essential. If your wardrobe is a big and bulky space guzzler – it might not be realistic to take it along with you.

De-Junk

If you’ve set the date for moving in, it’s always helpful to start de-junking your items throughout each room months in advance before your moving date. At least three months for the big day, carve out at least a few hours once a week to go through each room and each crevice to see what you can eliminate. That last thing you want is to bring any unnecessary clutter along with you to your fabulous new condo.

Compare and Envision your Space

As you de-junk items, try to get a feel for size and space in regards to your new condo size, and try to envision where items you wish to keep will be place. If your new kitchen equates roughly to the size of your current living room, try to consider what makes sense to bring along with you when comparing the spaces. For anything that you simply cannot envision fitting anywhere – get rid of it.

Sell Online

One of best features about downsizing is being able to get some potential cash for your items. Have a camera along with you as you de-junk and post the items online to sell. Although this process can be a bit tedious, the end result and added cash in your pocket could be well worth it.

So if you’ve set a date for the big move into your fancy, new condo – go through each of these steps to prioritize your items and figure out what you can get rid of and what makes sense to bring along. Starting this process beforehand a little bit at a time will save you lots of hassle and make downsizing a breeze.

Storage Solutions

Look into various storage solutions for items you don’t need on a daily basis, but that you aren’t willing to part with. From smart storage containers and organizers in the home to renting a storage locker near your new condo, there are many solutions out there to keep your belongings safe until you need to access them.

Furniture for Condo Living

Is there specific furniture designed for condo living? How can you get the most out of your space without sacrificing comfort or style? Let’s explore the realities of condo living and furniture shopping.

Understand the Dimensions/Layout of Your Condo

Your first order of business is to have a true understanding of the dimensions of your condo before heading out to the nearest furniture store. Sketch out a few different layout ideas and furniture configuration possibilities. Consider alternate furniture ideas, like opting for a sectional couch instead of separate sofa/loveseat/chair. Choose a cozy dining room table that can extend into a larger table for dinner parties, rather than an imposing table that cannot be resized.

Measure Twice, Buy Once

If you are shopping for a new couch, you’ll have to measure the width of your walls to ensure that any couch you buy will fit comfortably. Also make sure to account for extra space if you hope to add an end table, corner plant, or other piece of furniture on the same wall. In addition to width, you’ll want to look for a couch with less outside depth. Sofas typically average 38” to 44” in depth, but you can find condo-sized couches in the 35” range. These condo couches will give more walking space and make the room appear larger.

When you are at the furniture store, don’t be fooled by the arrangement, lighting, or accessories. Any furniture you buy must be appropriately sized for your new Ottawa condo, which is why measurement is so important.

Dual Use Furniture

You can get the most out of condo living by opting for furniture and accessories with multiple uses. Look for an ottoman with a removable top for easy storage, buy a higher bed frame so you can store items beneath, and invest in a closet organizer. If you buy a convertible sofa bed, you will be able to have guests stay over comfortably even if you live in a one-bedroom condo.

Accessorize Wisely

Some accessories can make a small space feel cluttered, while others open up the room. A great design tip is to think vertically to take advantage of the height of the space, play mirrors off each other to make the room feel larger. Smart use of furniture and accessories can really maximize space in a condo.

Qualicum Woods Crossing is conveniently located just down the road from Ottawa’s most popular furniture stores, including IKEA, Sears Home, Leon’s, and the Upper Room Home Furnishings. Take a walk and discover the furniture options available for your new Ottawa condo!

How do Family Pets Adjust to Condo Living?

Pets are part of the family. Cats, dogs, fish – they are our loyal companions through thick and thin. When you’re ready to move to a condo in Ottawa, how can you assure a smooth transition, especially if your pet is used to a very different living environment? The fish will move easily and cats would never let their disquiet show – but how can you help your family dog adjust to the transition?

Before You Buy a Dog

If you do not yet have a family dog but are looking to add to the family, keep in mind your new living arrangements. You’ll want to take into account size, temperament, and needs for your dog. Avoid larger dogs, high-energy dogs, and aggressive dogs. Instead, lean toward smaller dogs and dogs that have fewer demands in terms of energy and exercise. Boston Terriers, King Charles Spaniels, and Bulldogs are excellent breeds for condo living. They are family-friendly, peaceful, and easy to train. Pomeranians are also well-sized for condo living, but keep in mind this breed likes to move and keep active.

During the Move

We recommend sheltering your dog with family, friends, or at a local kennel during the move. Moving can be a hectic process, and you don’t want to stress out your pet – or hurt him! – during the move. Let your furry friend spend a few days in a safe and comfortable space, and then bring her home once you have settled into your new condo and the dog bed and toys are all perfectly in place.

Out and About

Most dog breeds can adjust remarkably well to living in a cozy space, however they are still little balls of energy. Help them vent some of that energy by taking regular walks – at least three times per day. You’ll especially want to take advantage of the warm spring and summer months to enjoy the outdoors. If you notice that your pet is anxious and agitated, it could be a sign that she’s not getting enough exercise and outdoor time.

Get Social

Just like people, dogs need to socialize and interact with other dogs. Socializing, especially at a young ages, makes dogs much calmer and they’ll play better with others. As an added bonus, meeting other dogs is a great way to meet other dog owners – your neighbours! What better ice breaker to settle into your new community?

Indoor Comfort

Buy toys and accessories to keep your dog happy and entertained inside the condo. This is especially important in the chilly winter months. If you are out of the house for long stretches, your dog can get anxious and lonely. Consider hiring a dog walker or pet sitter – or just asking a neighbour to stop by – to give your pet all the attention and love it needs until you walk in the door.

Qualicum Woods Crossing is a pet-friendly community in West Ottawa. Are you (and your pet) ready to live well, right now? Get in touch with our sales team to learn more about the best value and best priced condos for sale in Ottawa!

When You’ve Found “The One”

There’s nothing quite like finding that perfect condo for sale in Ottawa that you can call home. But it doesn’t simply extend to the walls within your home; it also encompasses the convenience, amenities, neighbourhood, and lifestyle that come with it – it’s always a package deal! The problem is knowing when you’ve found that perfect package that suits your life. Here a few signs that will tell you when you’ve truly found “The One” – the perfect condo for sale in Ottawa.

You Think “Home” at First Sight

First and foremost, the first sign is always how you feel as soon as you enter the home. When you take a walk through each room, can you envision yourself or your family living happily within it? Does it spark a smile on your face or make you feel excited? If your first thought already involves deciding where the best spot is to place your pictures, then you’ve found the perfect place.

Neighbourhood and Lifestyle

As you walk through your condo residence and take a tour of the amenities throughout it, along with the local neighbourhood, do you feel confident that you could seamlessly insert your daily routines or priorities into the residence and neighbourhood? If your routine involves waking up in the morning and hopping by the local coffee shop before walking to the conveniently located transit, clearly you must ensure the neighbourhood fits the bill.

Always take into consideration the level of convenience and luxury that you enjoy in life. After all, when you purchase a home, it may not always be a great package deal depending on the neighbourhood that naturally comes along with it.

So ask yourself: what matters most to you? Is proximity to transit important? Do you prefer to be within walking distance of amenities, shops and restaurants? Are you looking for a pool and gym within your building to maintain your active lifestyle? These will help guide you to your answer.

Always Look Towards the Future

When purchasing your home, it’s always important to keep in mind what your estimated timeframe will be for living in it. If your plan involves settling in with your family and growing old, then consider the location of your condo. Is it central enough for you to easily get around to stores? Is it located close to schools and parks for your children? Is it somewhere that you can envision both your and your family growing in and loving, years from now? If your answer is yes, then you know what to do.

Whatever the priorities are, if your condo residence and accompanying neighbourhood can keep up with your lifestyle and goals, then you’ve found the right place for you. Visit Qualicum Woods Crossing for yourself and see if you find that spark!

Spring Cleaning Made Easy

Winter isn’t easy, and after the cold and snowy February we just endured, the thought of spring has powered us through. But with the dawn of a new spring season comes spring cleaning, a dreaded time of year for many condo owners. Nonetheless, it’s an essential project that can’t simply be overlooked. Find out how you can make your spring cleaning easier with these simple strategies.

3 Simple Strategies for an Easy Spring Cleaning

Plot Out Your Game Plan

When cleaning your entire house, it would be smart to start in strategic rooms to minimize the chances of spreading dust and dirt. If for example your living room is centrally located that it leads to all other rooms in your space, you might not want to start cleaning there. Why? When you finish cleaning the living room first and move on to the other rooms, you will have to clear out some items and move things out of the house from those rooms through your living room. The result is that you would probably have to clean your living room a second or third time just to get rid of residual dust and debris from other spaces.

Buy a Cleaning Basket

Keep all of your cleaning materials organized and accessible at all times by providing a cleaning basket where you can keep them. You can also opt to have several basket containers for specific types of cleaning materials and detergents for particular jobs. Those you use for cleaning windows can be all placed in one basket, those for dusting and wiping surfaces are also in their own respective container. This makes it easier to gather all your tools and materials, saving you time from having to look for every item and carry them to your location separately.

Set a Schedule

One of the biggest rivals you will have during the spring cleaning process is laziness. What you want is to be able to accomplish everything as soon as possible so you can be free of the stress faster. Set a cleaning schedule and aim to achieve it. Dedicate one day for bedrooms, another one for the kitchen, and the rest of the week for the kitchen and bathrooms. Scheduling will allow you to accomplish everything in a timely fashion and maximize your time for a speedy spring cleaning.

Even spring cleaning your home is a pleasure when you own a condo at Qualicum Woods Crossing. Our new condos in Ottawa are the best value in the city, with stunning nature views and modern design. Get in touch to learn more about our condos for sale in Ottawa!

 

West Ottawa Living

If you’re looking for a place where you can truly feel relaxed and at home, maybe it’s time for you to consider West Ottawa living. And with Qualicum Woods resort-style new condos, you’ll have everything at your fingers tips to feel right at home in this beautiful neighbourhood.

Shopping and Convenience

In West Ottawa, you’ll be mere steps away from all of the finest retail stores you could possible imagine in the newly renovated Bayshore Shopping Center. Additionally, nearby, you will find great places such as IKEA, Starbucks, Algonquin College for those budding scholars, public transit stations, the Queensway Carleton Hospital, and even the Department of National Defence. This area has truly got it all, no matter your particular interests. This is a great community for young professionals and couples.

Active Lifestyle and Sports

If staying active is your hobby, lucky for you, this area is home to a variety of sports clubs. There are many adult recreational sports leagues for hockey, volleyball, soccer, and touch football. Goodlife Fitness is around the corner and yoga studios abound. And for those who may be simply looking for some recreational fun, you can head to the Walter Baker Sports Centre, which is renowned for being one of the best recreational facilities in the city.

Green Spaces

This vicinity boasts progression and modernization. That is why green space is such a large part of the community. Promoting the environment so that we can live in harmony with our natural surroundings is the best way to progress, for ourselves and for our children. The community and natural parks and gardens throughout Ottawa West are what make it so inviting.

For these reasons, West Ottawa living not only offers you the luxury of convenience but also the serenity of nature. Each morning, you’ll wake up and be able to step outside to the lush and natural full-scale park that’s just steps away from your front door. With pathways dotted with lilacs and cherry trees, it’ll become your own little piece of paradise in the city. You can take a peaceful walk through the perennial gardens or play amongst the snow-tinted spruce and fir trees in the winter.

Whether you’re a young professional or a family, this neighbourhood truly has something for everyone to enjoy. It marks the perfect balance between luxury and convenience, matched by beauty and nature. And that’s what makes Ottawa West living, simply perfect. Contact us to learn more about buying a condo for sale at Qualicum Woods Crossing.

Social Media Security for Condo Owners

There is a lot of scaremongering nowadays about social media pages being hacked into but there is also a lot of truth in the stories that abound. It is a sad fact of modern life that Facebook and other social media websites can be, and have been, hacked into and used by unscrupulous people for their own questionable motives.

As the owner of a condo in Ottawa, or any home, you should be aware that everyday, ordinary, innocent posts or photos you place on the internet can be accessed and, unfortunately, used with ill-intent. Here’s how to protect yourself.

Social Media Security Risks

You’ve signed the papers, decorated your condo to your own tastes and it’s time to share the latest news with your nearest and dearest on your social profile. What could be more natural than posting a few photos of the new decor and a few words about your plans? However, in the words of the old song “A picture paints a thousand words” and to an experienced burglar it also paints a map of the layout of your home and, with a bit of further digging, probably your full address. If you share any facts like that you’re visiting your sister in Toronto for the weekend, you may be unintentionally extending an invitation to unwanted guests.

Profiling

Skilled burglars who access personal information through social media sites can quickly build up a profile of possible future victims. Simple comments and mundane photographs can be very revealing to someone looking for specific details about your condo, possessions, and movements.

Address

Personal friends and family already know where you live and there’s no point making a burglar’s research any easier. A common mistake is to post a photo taken outside the front door which clearly shows the number. Burglars are particularly good at locating the address but it is even easier if you live in an apartment block or condo, a photo of which probably also appears on your page.

Valuables

You don’t have to be wealthy to attract unwanted visitors. A decent stereo system or television is more than enough and if you can afford decent equipment then what else can you afford? Never post pictures of valuable items no matter how tempting it may be to impress your friends.

Schedule

Based on your history of social media activity it doesn’t take a genius to work out that you never post between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm except on weekends. You don’t happen to work 9 to 5 do you?

Holidays

Planning a ski vacation at Mont Tremblant or a sunny getaway in Punta Cana? Of course you want to share the pictures on social media. But this is a clear sign that you’re not home.

Simple Precautions for Condo Owners

NEVER reveal your address or even area location. Posting photos of your condo and front door are also bad ideas.

NEVER post holiday plans or times you will be away from home. That can wait until you return to an undisturbed home.

NEVER allow unlimited access to your social media pages. Use the security features to only allow people you know and trust to browse through your posts and photos.

NEVER assume that it can’t happen to you. It’s happened to countless others who thought the same and it continues to happen. If you have ANY suspicion that something is amiss with your social media page or site, contact the providers for information and assistance.

Qualicum Woods Crossing provides expert advice to condo owners in Ottawa. Have any more questions? We’re happy to help – give us a call at 613.693.0808.

Valentine’s Day in Your Ottawa Condo

As the proud owner of a new Ottawa condo, it’s amazing how holidays are given whole new meaning. There is nothing like decorating your home for Christmas, hosting a Superbowl party, or opening your doors to neighbourhood kids dressed in their spookiest costumes on Halloween. Another holiday given a whole new life to Ottawa condo owners is Valentine’s Day. No longer do you have to stress over a reservation at the city’s hottest restaurants or fight to find parking in the market in -20°C weather. Now you can cook up a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner for your partner in the comfort of your very own Qualicum Woods Crossing modern kitchen.

Flawless Pan Steak with Red Wine Reduction

Steak is the ultimate Valentine’s Day food, with its red colour and melt-in-your-mouth texture. Head to Around the Block Butcher Shop at the corner of Iris and Cobden and ask for the best steaks in your price range. A particular favourite are dry aged steaks from O’Brien farms in the nearby community of Winchester. Also make sure you pick up your favourite red wine from the LCBO at College Square. Rich wines like Merlot and Pinot Noir pair particularly well with steak.

Making the sauce

Let your steaks rest at room temperature for about half an hour, then get cooking. In a small saucepan, bring one cup of your wine of choice and ½ cup of pomegranate juice to a boil for 12-15 minutes, reduce. Add one cup of chicken stock to the mixture and bring back to a boil for 12-15 minutes. Remove from heat and vigorously whisk in two tablespoons of cold butter, cubed. Put the sauce to the side.

Making the potatoes

Preheat the oven to 450°F and roast one-two heads of garlic (sliced and seasoned with olive oil, salt, and pepper) for 35-40 minutes. Boil a pound of potatoes in salted water, simmer for 12-15 minutes. Remove the garlic heads and mash until smooth. Drain the potatoes and combine in the pan with the garlic and one stick of butter, cubed. Add half a cup of cream. Season with salt, pepper, and parsley.

Making the steak

This is a Gordon Ramsay recipe, and it’s flawless. Heat a large skillet over high heat with a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the steaks. Your time will vary depending on the thickness of the steak, but sear until you get a good sear on one side, then flip. Add a smashed clove of garlic to the pan, along with a couple sprigs of thyme and two tablespoons of butter. Carefully baste the steak in the melted garlic butter mixture, turning once or twice. Remove from heat and let the steak rest (for 5-10 minutes).

Slice the steaks and drizzle with the red wine reduction, serve with the garlic mashed potatoes.

Valentine’s Day in Your New Condo

This is just one of the elegant yet simple meals you can make in your modern kitchen to truly impress your partner. Who’s hungry?

 

 

A Quick Guide to Settling Into Your New Condo

Settling into a new condo in Ottawa can be exciting. You are starting a new chapter in your life, and with your new property purchase and investment, things can be really looking up. Nevertheless, purchasing real estate and moving can be stressful life events, even though they are also positive and exciting. Stress can make it easier to overlook or forget about key details that are important, so here is a quick guide to settling into your new Qualicum Woods condo!

 

Make necessary transfers

Are you going to be living in the condo exclusively, or dividing your time between the condo and another residence? Get your mail forwarded, or contact the post office to find out what you need to do to divide your mail between the two locations. Contact local utilities to get your electricity, water, and other amenities turned on. Nothing is worse than trying to settle into a home with no utilities.

 

Prepare for a chaotic move

You’ve closed on your Ottawa condo, and now you’re moving. Gather up receipts, and other important documents, including paperwork from realtors, utilities, the post office, and tax records. Place all of these in a centralized location, such as a labeled envelope or file folder, so that you do not misplace or accidentally discard anything that you will need later. Bonus tip: take photos of important documents and use cloud storage for easy access no matter where you are.

 

Plan your move

Do you need a mover, or will you just rent a truck? It’s up to you, but you’ll want to plan ahead and make arrangements for your things getting to the condo. If you’re keeping two residences, you may want to consider buying new furniture for the condo, but if you’re moving your things, it’s important to plan ahead.

 

Do a final walkthrough

Check everything in your new condo before you start moving things in. Check light fixtures, outlets, appliances, locks, and keys, to make sure that everything is in good working order. If you find that things are out of order or missing, check with the management of the condo or the realtor you have been working with in closing the deal.

 

Get to Know the Community

When you purchase a new Qualicum Woods condo, you are getting more than a home – you are becoming part of a community. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the amenities like the fitness centre and gym. Tour around the beautiful walking paths and natural space with the Dharma Pond and Zen Falls. Meet and greet with neighbours!

 

Decorate your space

Now that you’ve taken care of the business end of documentation, transfers, and inspections, you’ve reached the fun part – personalizing your condo! You can research websites, magazines, and even visit neighbors for ideas, but settling into your new condo by decorating and personalizing your home is one of the fastest, most fun ways to feel at home and settled in your new home. Once you decorate, the reality of your new condo will really begin to settle in.

For more advice about settling into your Ottawa condo at Qualicum Woods Crossing, we’re happy to help! Get in touch at 613.693.0808.