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Access key for new owners - Metro US

Access key for new owners

When it comes to your first home, price will likely be a big consideration, but first-time homebuyers will want to consider the location.

First-time homebuyers are usually young people, who want easy access to interesting restaurants and day-to-day shopping.

“They want to be able to walk to shops and get their morning coffee,” said Jim McKeown, a broker of record with Coldwell Banker Rhodes & Company in Ottawa. “They want accessibility. They want to be able to walk out their doors and, within a 10-minute walk, have access to coffee shops, interesting restaurants and a small grocery store.”

They also want access to the outdoors — “the Rideau River, the Rideau Canal or the Ottawa River, and bike paths for biking and running.”

Right now, the five most popular areas in Ottawa include the Glebe, Centretown, Ottawa West, Old Ottawa South and Wellington Village.

In Old Ottawa South, a semi-detached home runs from $400,000 to $600,000; in the Glebe, a semi-detached starts at $500,000 and a single at $700,000; Centretown, stacked condos and townhouses run from about $325,000 to $450,000 and singles run from $500,000 to $800,000; and Ottawa West, from $325,000 to $600,000, depending on the area, McKeown said.

It’s challenging to get a condo between $280,000 and $350,000 in Wellington Village, while semidetached homes start at $400,000 and singles, $500,000 to an excess of $2 million.

In Westboro, a semi would cost $400,000 to $500,000 and a single, up to $700,000.

It’s a toss-up as to whether people are looking for modern places, or older buildings, but “most people don’t have the time, inclination or cash to take on a full renovation,” he said.

Anyone buying in the core area should “expect to spend at least $270,000,” McKeown said. “But it’s a challenging price point, so be prepared for a bidding war.”

Condos are a hot part of the market, McKeown said.

While the best value, square-footage wise, is found in the older buildings, “it’s a matter of what you want,” he said. Condos start at $275,000 in the five most popular areas, while new luxury condos about five minutes from Parliament Hill start at $450,000.

There are other opportunities for first-time buyers if they are willing to leave central Ottawa, McKeown said. “Five to 10 minutes out of the core, you’re looking at whole different price points, where it’s closer to $325,000 to $350,000 for a single-family home. It may not offer you the opportunity to walk down the street for a coffee and to pick up groceries, but you’re getting a nice home in a nice neighbourhood.”

These areas include Elmvale Acres and Manor Park East, where a first-time buyer could start as low as $270,000 for a stacked condo or townhouse that would cost $325,000 in the core.

Areas to look at

• Manor Park East: A first-time buyer could start as low as $270,000 for a stacked condo or townhouse that would cost $325,000 in the core.

• Centretown: Stacked condos and townhouses run from about $325,000 to $450,000 and singles run from $500,000 to $800,000.

• Glebe: A semi-detached starts at $500,000 and a single home at $700,000.

• Elmvale Acres: Cheaper than buying in the core, if a first-time buyer is willing to commute — a stacked condo or townhouse could start as low as $270,000.

• Wellington Village: It’s challenging to get a condo between $280,000 and $350,000. Semi-detached homes start at $400,000 and singles run from $500,000 to an excess of $2 million.

• Old Ottawa South: A semi-detached home runs from $400,000 to $600,000.

• Westboro: A semi would run you from $400,000 to $500,000 and a single, up to $700,000. Condos start at $275,000.

• Ottawa West: Singles run from $325,000 to $600,000, depending on the area.

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