Buying a Home in a Competitive Neighbourhood


Imagine you’ve dreamed of living in a particular neighbourhood, perhaps for years, and then, when you’re finally ready to make a move, finding out that the area is competitive and buying there is definitely a challenge.

A disappointment? Not necessarily.

There is a lot you can do to buy into a popular neighbourhood, even in competitive offer situations. Your first step is to start targeting that area now. Find out about property types, prices and trends. In particular, you’ll need to know what price range you should be thinking about, and making sure that it’s going to fit your budget. To do that, you might need to get a determination of the Fair Market Value of your current home.

Next, begin making preparations so you can get a jump on opportunities in that neighbourhood quickly. You don’t want to see a great property come on the market and not be ready to make a move. So, get your current home in order so it’s ready for a quick listing. If possible, make arrangements to get alerted to new listings as soon as they come on the market. Keep in mind that a new listing may not appear online for several days.

By getting advance notice, you can be among the first buyers to see the home and have an early advantage over other buyers. If it’s likely there’s going to be competing offers for the home you want, there are many strategies that can increase your chances of winning. These involve going in at the right price, minimizing conditions to the offer, presenting the offer appropriately, and negotiating effectively.

Is there a neighbourhood you want to get into? We can help make it happen. Call today!

A Frank Lloyd Wright Inspired Home Blazing With Character



This midcentury modern house designed in line with iconic style of Frank Lloyd Wright is blazing with character, inside and out. Situated in a posh suburb of Ottawa, The Weiner Residence was designed by the prolific architect James Strutt in 1958 for Eleanor and Paul Weiner. Spanning over 3,800 square feet on the main level and an additional 2,000 square feet in the basement, the elegant home is an eyecatcher, to say the least.

There’s nothing modest about this house; from the outside, white Georgian marble establishes the sides of the home, accented with California redwood trim. Looking from the street, the Strutt house has the appearance of a refined ornament. Calculated details such as clerestory windows, raised roofs and a cluster of skylights, which allow sunbeams to pour in throughout the day.


Inside, a mix of terrazzo and wooden flooring lay down the color scheme for the interior. Sunken living rooms paired with custom designed screens to separate the spaces fall nothing short of flamboyant and throughout the house, the redwood trimming is consistent. 

It comes as no surprise that this modern midcentury home used to become alive with cocktail parties; the home was as if made for it in all its extravagance, from the large central foyer to the stunning living and dining room spaces. Rumor has it that legendary party host himself, Frank Sinatra, has been among guests of the residences glamorous cocktail parties.


The grandeur begins from the moment of entering the home. The same white marble from the home’s exterior adorns the corridors walls, met with large redwood doors decorated with white detail. On either side, narrow windows extend from floor to ceiling, one window interrupted by a beautiful wooden mailbox in the middle. An additional skylight ensures plenty of light to beam in.

The interior layout allows for the various spaces to be either open or closed off from one another and many of the areas are accessible from more than one side. When all spaces are opened, the entire home has an open plan feel while the option for privacy is conveniently there. 

From the meticulously selected materials to the tastefully synchronized interior decor, this midcentury home is an exceptional treasure in Ottawa’s suburban landscape. 



Images: Greg Tilley of Yellit Media

Condo of the Week: $1.699 million for a Hobin-designed loft on the edge of Hintonburg


POSTED FEBRUARY 15, 2019 2:26 PM

This week, we peek inside a luxurious condo designed by Hobin Architecture in a 1930s-era schoolhouse .

Address: 12 Stirling Ave., Unit 303

Neighbourhood: Hintonburg

Agents: Dominique Milne and Lyne Burton, Engel & Völkers, Ottawa Central, Brokerage

Price: $1,699,000

Previously sold for: The original condos were put up for sale about five years ago, with the project finished a couple of years ago. The BuzzBuzzHome real-estate tracking database reported that the larger units were priced around $1 million.

Each of the nine lofts runs from the front to the back of the building:


The history
Originally a 1930s-era schoolhouse, the four-storey building that was most recently home to Odawa Friendship Centre was renovated into nine luxury condos, each of which extends from the front to the back of the building. Designed by Hobin Architecture, the Yard & Station lofts retain the red-brick façade that makes the building so unique.

The place
A two-storey penthouse loft with a massive rooftop terrace and views across downtown to Parliament Hill and across the river to the Gatineau hills.

Who wouldn’t want a living room couch big enough to sleep a family of four?


With windows taking up two sides of the living room, there are no bad views.


Why, yes, the drapes and ceiling fan do come with the house.


Big selling point
With its soaring windows and rooftop terrace, this is an ideal spot for an urbanite looking for commanding views over the city and proximity to the restaurants of Hintonburg. It’s a half-kilometre stroll to such hipster haunts as Carben Food + Drink and Tennessy Willems, and a bit further to the coolest coffee (Ministry of Coffee and Social Affairs) and doughnut (Suzy Q) shops.

The kitchen counters are NeoLith, a high-tech surface that’s scratch- and heat-resistant.


Doesn’t everyone deserves a steam shower?


And here’s the master bedroom:


So this is what Ottawa looks like in the summer.


For the pyrotechnics fan
Invite friends over on August nights to ooh and aah over the Casino-du-Lac-Leamy Sound of Light, visible from the terrace. Apparently, the condo’s Sonos sound system can be tuned to the radio station that plays the accompanying music so you really can enjoy the sensation of being there — but with your own snacks and drinks.

The rooftop hot tub (comes with the condo!) is a nice touch. There are also hookups for a gas barbecue.


Possible deal breaker
While Hintonburg may have gone upscale of late, this is the grittier end of the ’hood, just a stone’s throw from Mechanicsville.

By the numbers
2,258 square feet
$1,724 in monthly maintenance fees
2 bathrooms
1 rooftop terrace
1 hot tub
2 bedrooms
1 fireplace
2 parking spaces
650-metre walk to the new LRT station



Strutt for Sale — Inside a Landmark Modernist House in Alta Vista


POSTED JANUARY 25, 2019 3:16 PM

James Strutt was both a prolific architect and a bon vivant. As a designer, he was known for imagining beautifully flowing spaces with distinctive undulating roofs and large expanses of glass that let the light flow through.

As an early version of the celebrity architect, he hosted chic cocktail parties at his own spectacular residence, with Pierre Trudeau a frequent guest. 

Around town, he designed unique churches, a few government buildings, and a smattering of iconic private residences.

Local architectural geeks with some spare cash now have the rare opportunity to fulfil a life goal — to live in a James Strutt-designed dwelling. The Weiner Residence is up for sale. 

Photos by Greg Tilley, Yell It Media

Photos by Greg Tilley, Yell It Media

The House: Think of it as a time capsule of sorts. It’s a beautiful example of mid-century architecture, the bungalow was designed in 1958 for Mr. and Mrs. Paul Weiner. From the front, the marble-clad house resembles a pagoda, with clerestory windows under raised roofs. Sunlight streams in all day long. Even more light pours in through a series of skylights framed with red cedar.

A spectacular central foyer with terrazzo flooring is made for cocktail parties. Ditto the sunken living room. Visitors would do well to spend time taking in the raised ceilings, perfect room proportions, wood detailing and — it is January, after all — the original wood-burning fireplace surrounded by built-ins.

Photos by Greg Tilley, Yell It Media

Photos by Greg Tilley, Yell It Media

Fame Partied Here: Apparently ol’ blue eyes Frank Sinatra hung out here, as did extravagant showman Liberace.

Notable Owners: Originally built for local property developer Paul Weiner, it was acquired in 1970 by Mrs. Frank Ryan, whose husband founded CFRA radio. (It was Mrs. Ryan who hosted the likes of Sinatra and Liberace at her grand parties.) Charlotte Whitton, Ottawa’s first female mayor and the sister of Mrs. Ryan, lived in the home in her later years.

Photos by Greg Tilley, Yell It Media

Photos by Greg Tilley, Yell It Media

The Specs: About 3,800 square feet on the main level; 2,000 square feet in the basement.

Asking Price: $1.365 million

Open House: Fittingly, listing agents Lyne Burton and Dominique Milne (Engel and Völkers Brokerage) will showcase the Weiner Residence with a 1960s-style party. Home-grown crooner Johnny Vegas will be on hand to set the mood with Frank Sinatra tunes. Thursday, January 31 from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m., 418 Roger Rd. Itching to take a look? You must RSVP to


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