Open House - The Real Estate & Mortgage Show

Real Estate and Mortgage Answers

CFRA_Open_HouseEvery week Paul Rushforth and mortgage broker Frank Napolitano join CFRA's Steve Gregory on Open House.

They provide expert answers to real estate and mortgage questions from people just like you. You'll find plenty of information on how the market is doing and why, and they also have plenty of fun along the way!

Whether you're new to real estate or have plenty of experience already, you'll find the latest updates you need to prepare for your next home purchase or sale.

You can play the episodes by choosing a show from the list directly below, or click here to get a list of transcripts.

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Highlights From Recent Episodes

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July 22, 2017: Real Estate Market Numbers and Getting a Mortgage Rate Hold

Paul and Steve were joined by Barb Kramer of Mortgage Brokers Ottawa to talk about the Ottawa real estate market numbers and getting a rate hold.

2017 Real Estate Market Numbers

Paul gave us a rundown of the current market numbers for Ottawa. So far, there have been 12, 677 houses sold in 2017, which puts the Ottawa real estate market on track to smash records. Coupled with the fact that there are currently 8,100 active listings, and the market is looking good.

In June 2017, the number of home sales was up 8.8 per cent, with the average home price up 8.9 per cent compared to 2016. According to Paul, Ottawa’s real estate market is remaining strong and steady, while over 70 per cent of other Canadian real estate markets are starting to trend downward.

Getting a Mortgage Rate Hold

There are so many options available for home financing, but Barbs says the most important thing to talk to a mortgage broker about is a rate hold. The recent hike in the prime rate hasn’t diminished how reasonable the rates actually are, but with upward trends speculated to be coming later in the year, now is the time to lock in.

Other Useful Ottawa Real Estate Information

July 15th, 2017: Prime Rate, Renovations, and Millennial Buyers

Steve, Frank, and Paul celebrated the nice weather by talking about the prime rate increase, what happens when a minor renovation becomes major, and what millennial buyers are looking for.

Prime Rate

The prime rate went up a quarter point for the first time in seven years, with talk going around that it may go up again later in the year. While nothing is certain yet, Frank stressed the fact that a quarter point increase won’t have a drastic impact on your mortgages. In fact, it is a sign that the economy is doing well.

Remember: If you have questions or concerns about the increase in prime rate, talk to a financial advisor or mortgage broker.


Paul admitted that he has fallen into several of the traps he spends so much time warning clients about, especially when it comes to renovations. When making minor upgrades, first think about how they’ll impact the rest of your house. For example, if you change your flooring, your stairs may no longer match. This could lead to more changes.

Millennial Buyers

Millennials are a growing fraction of homebuyers in Ottawa, and Paul explained that they have different values than the buyers from Generation X. They want flexibility; shorter work weeks, fluid hours, the option to work from home. This means that they want different things in a home. According to Paul, they are looking for a house that is technologically advanced, in a good location, and with a smaller lot.

How's the Market Doing?

July 8, 2017: Raising the Prime Rate and Double-Ending

Steve, Paul and Frank were joined by Barb Kramer of Mortgage Brokers Ottawa on Saturday morning to discuss what it would mean if the prime rate was raised, and how outlawing double-ending could be bad for everyone involved in the real estate market.

Rate Changes

That talk we’ve been hearing about the Bank of Canada raising prime rates is getting more serious with their upcoming meeting. If it does go up, it will go up a quarter point, and banks will be quick to follow.

Getting a pre-approval will secure you for four months on a fixed rate. However, Frank says that even if you have a mortgage already maturing, it may not be a bad idea to try to lock in a fixed rate now. The four month hold will let you take three months to follow the rates and see what happens, and one month to start the process of locking down a rate. You may have to pay a penalty for breaking an existing mortgage, but it will give you security for next five years.

Remember: Talk to your mortgage broker about rates if you have questions.


Double-ending is when a real estate company represents both sellers and buyers. Currently this is a common and legal practice, but can have ethical problems if not handled correctly.

There is currently a discussion going on by the governing body of real estate to eliminate it due to some unethical situations that have come up. This would mean that an agency representing a sale on a home could not represent a buyer interested in that home. If a buyer was interested in a house, a realtor would not be able to sell it to them unless they were represented by a different company.

While no decision has been reached, Paul firmly believes that this will hurt the industry and make it more difficult to provide quality service to clients. His suggestion is to provide proper education on multiple representation so that these situations are handled responsibly. 

Did You Know?

June 24, 2017: When to Close and Watching for Rogue Brokers/Agents

Steve, Frank and Paul were at it again Saturday morning, letting listeners know the best time to close on a house, and the difficulties of monitoring real estate agents and mortgage brokers who have broken the rules.

More and more buyers are looking for closings between 30 to 90 days on homes, with the average being 45-60 days. That means putting your house on the market now gives you a good chance of finding a seller and closing on your home before the fall. When you do close on a house, all three gentlemen recommend picking a date that is closer to mid-month. Lawyers are less busy and more likely to get your paperwork done quickly than on the last day of the month, when everyone and their aunt wants to close their own deals.

Rogue mortgage brokers and real estate agents are hard to punish when they do things that may not be legal, or if they make errors, because it takes a long time to process the complaints. 91% of complaints made to the Real Estate Council of Ontario are real estate agent against real estate agent. These range from advertising mistakes to theft from clients. Frank admitted that he has heard about cases of fraudulent paperwork from mortgage brokers. They all agreed that while most representatives are upstanding and honest, there is good and bad in every industry. The important thing when choosing a broker or realtor is to do your research before agreeing to any deals.

Keep In Mind

June 17, 2017: Mortgage Penalties, Renegotiating Rates and Hot Neighbourhoods

Steve, Frank and Paul spent the morning discussing what happens when you move mid-mortgage, renegotiating mortgage rates, and which pockets of Ottawa are hot and why.

Mortgages are important to consider when buying and selling your home. Many people don’t realize that moving before a certain amount of time is left on your mortgage can result in large penalties that you have to pay out. Frank says if you’re with a bank and have 1 to 3 years left on your mortgage, the way to figure out your penalties is to multiply 4.5% by your mortgage amount.

There has been some talk suggesting that the prime rates may go up in the near future. Some people may be looking to renegotiate their rates with their bank or lender if this should come to pass. However, if you want to renegotiate, Frank recommends doing it within 120 days of your renewal date. This is when you as a customer will have the most power, because as a free agent, you are free of penalties. 

Paul gave a quick rundown of where the hot neighbourhoods are. He said that communities like Barrhaven and Kanata continue to do brisk business while neighbourhoods like Rockliffe are a bit slower. This is because of homeowners’ desires to be within walking distance of all the amenities a city has to offer, like public transportation, restaurants, and shops. They like to be close to all the action.

Is Now the Time to Sell?

Open House Transcripts

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