When you’re in the market for a new home, it’s important to consider the neighbourhood in addition to the property itself. After all, purchasing a home is a big investment and you want to ensure you get a good deal in a safe and desirable area. Aside from the property itself, the neighbourhood’s condition can directly affect your home’s value. Here are some red flags to look out for when shopping for a new home in a neighbourhood!

1. High Crime Rates

If the neighbourhood has a higher crime rate than average, it’s a red flag that could indicate a lack of safety or security. Make sure to research the crime rate of the area you’re looking at and consider how it could affect your safety and the value of your home.

Another way to check if the area is a safe space to live in is whether or not kids are playing outside during a beautiful day. If you don’t see people walking around or sitting on their front porches, and not even one kid riding their bike, this could mean that these people don’t feel safe outside. Check with the local police department about the crime rate in the neighbourhood.

2. Poor School System

If the schools are subpar, it could affect the value of your home and the quality of life for your family. Consider researching the school system and deciding if it’s a fit for your family’s needs. If you have kids or planning to have one in the future, this is something that you have to consider.

One sign that the local school has a poor school system is a low number of enrollments. The local school might have a reputation for poor management, or perhaps the residents are mostly grown-ups, potentially leading to fewer possible friends and playmates for your kids.

3. Proximity to Amenities

When buying a home, check if the location is close to essential amenities. If the neighbourhood is lacking basic amenities like grocery stores, banks, and restaurants, it could be a sign that it’s not a desirable area.

Aside from current amenities, you should also look up plans for the area. Plans for new schools, hospitals, public transportation, and other commercial buildings can greatly impact the value of the location. If there are little to no commercial plans, it could mean that development in the area is stagnant. Always consider if the location is convenient for the amenities you need.

4. Noise Levels

You might not realize it, but high noise levels can also be a red flag. Excessive noise from traffic, neighbours, or nearby businesses can be a major nuisance to people living within the vicinity. For example, people living near an airport, stadium, or train station can experience excessive noise regularly.

While a certain level of noise is okay, you don’t want to live having to wear earplugs daily. Excessive noise pollution can also cause stress-related illnesses, sleep disruption, hearing loss, and more. It might not be healthy for your family, especially if you have kids, grandparents, or even pets living with you. So before buying a property, consider the noise level in a location. Take a drive around the area at different times of the day to get an idea of the noise level.

5. Property Values

Look into the property values in the neighbourhood. Are the homes in the area well-maintained or are there many homes in need of repair? Do the homes have similar features and are they similar in size? You can also check market reports online or with your real estate agent to see whether the property values in an area are consistently going up or not. If the homes in the area have lower values, it may be a sign that the neighbourhood isn’t a strong investment.

When looking for a new home, paying attention to the neighbourhood and considering the potential red flags is important. Research the crime rate, school system, amenities, aesthetics, and neighbourliness of the area to ensure you’re making the right decision. While you may be in love with the house, it’s important to look beyond the walls and consider the potential risks or red flags a neighbourhood may present. Consult your trusted local real estate agent to help you evaluate if the neighbourhood fits you.

Click here to consult our team of trusted Real Estate Agents today to help you find the best neighbourhoods in Ottawa.

Tyler McCune REALTOR® - RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Group, Kanata Office

Garett McCune REALTOR® - RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Group, Kanata Office


When it comes to buying vacant land, the opportunities are endless. You can build your dream home as you want and it can be a great investment, but it also comes with a lot of risks. Before you decide to purchase a piece of land, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons.

What is vacant land, exactly?

A vacant land is an undeveloped piece of real estate that could be the perfect space to build your dream home. It’s more commonly found in rural areas such as off-country roads and can be used for many other purposes, such as a farm, storage unit, vacation rental, and other recreational uses.

Pros of Buying Vacant Land

1. Flexibility

Buying vacant land will give you the freedom and flexibility to build whatever you want on your land. You can build a home, start a business, or just use it for recreational purposes. The sky’s the limit as long as it’s legal and you follow your town’s zoning rules and building rules. This is perfect for anyone who’s looking to build their dream home from scratch as they will be free to create their design and follow their preferences.

2. Less competition

When buying vacant land, you’ll have less competition compared to buying manufactured homes. Most people nowadays are opting to buy properties that they can move in right away and the competition can be challenging. Building a house from scratch is not everyone’s cup of tea, especially since it takes more effort and more time. With the fluctuations of the housing market, buying vacant land is an excellent choice to avoid intense competition as well as overpaying for a property.

3. Low Maintenance

Unlike a home or other property, vacant land requires very little maintenance. When owning a home, maintenance and repairs can add up to 1%-3% of the purchase price. If you are looking for a low-maintenance investment, buying a vacant land is perfect for you. A vacant land can benefit you if you don’t have the time or resources to take care of a more complex property.

4. Great investment opportunity

Buying vacant land is a good investment opportunity. Whether you decide to build something on your land or just wait for its value to appreciate over time, it can be a great way to make a profit if you decide to sell the land in the future, especially if your property is located in an area that’s growing in popularity.

Cons of Buying Vacant Land

1. More tedious process

Unlike when buying a house, the process of buying vacant land requires more research. You might even experience difficulty in loan approval. For lenders, land is considered a riskier investment than a house. So, some lenders will require a better credit score and debt-to-income ratio, and down payments and interest rates may also be higher. In some cases, they might not even provide land loans.

Also, boundary disputes are a common problem when buying vacant land. It is a must to always get a land survey to confirm that the surface area listed is the same as what you are buying.

2. Fewer options

When looking for vacant land, you might notice that there are fewer options downtown as this area is most likely developed already. With this, you might find more options in rural areas. This is not entirely a problem, especially if you are working remotely. But if your office is far from the rural area and if there aren’t enough local amenities to support your lifestyle, buying rural land may not be a good idea for you.

3. Zoning restrictions

Depending on your location, different zoning laws dictate how certain pieces of land can be used, which could limit your intended purpose for it. Make sure to do your research on the area’s zoning laws. While you’re at it, check the needed permits for building a property and how much they cost. There are several permits that you may need to build a house on undeveloped land, so it is best to know them beforehand to allow you to prepare for them and include them in your budget.

4. Time

If you are hoping to move into your new home soon, buying land might not be the best option for you. You will need to consider the timeline if you plan on building on your raw land. And even if you already know what type of house you’d like to build, you still need more time to secure permits, find contractors, prep the land, and gain access to install utilities. So if you don’t have a lot of time to spare and can’t put in too much effort for your new property, reevaluate your options.

Click here to consult our team of trusted Real Estate Agents today to help you determine if purchasing vacant land is right for you.

Tyler McCune REALTOR® - RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Group, Kanata Office

Garett McCune REALTOR® - RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Group, Kanata Office


Do you also dream of being in two places at once? We are not talking about being on two different sides of the world at the same time. That one would require some special spell or something. But if you love the comfort of staying at home but also appreciate the beauty and tranquillity of nature, you will probably understand what I’m trying to say. You are a home buddy but you also long for some fresh air and the warmth of the sun – it can be frustrating, we know! So with this article, we will help you get the best of both worlds!

Because of varying interests among homeowners, there has been a growing trend in modern home design that focuses on creating a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor spaces. It is all about embracing nature and blurring the lines between the interior and exterior of a home.

Here are 5 key elements of seamless indoor-outdoor living and how you can incorporate them into your home design.

1. Open Floor Plans and Large Windows

Let natural light in and make your space brighter with open floor plans and large windows. One of the most prominent features of homes with seamless indoor-outdoor living is an open floor plan. Imagine being able to move freely inside your home, just like how you would outdoors.

Large windows are another essential element for connecting the indoors with the outdoors. Floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding glass doors help create a natural flow between indoor and outdoor areas and provide easy access to exterior spaces.

2. Outdoor Living Spaces

Being outdoors still feels different than just viewing it from inside your home. To truly embrace seamless indoor-outdoor living, you can create inviting and functional outdoor living spaces. These areas can be designed for relaxation, entertainment, or dining, depending on your preferences and needs. By doing this, you get to enjoy the open air while relaxing at home.

Consider incorporating elements such as comfortable seating, outdoor kitchens, fire pits, and dining areas to make your outdoor space as inviting and enjoyable as your interior one.

3. Natural Materials and Finishes

Worried that the look of your indoor and outdoor spaces might not feel the same? Of course, we won’t be sacrificing the aesthetic of your home! It’s not just merely about being able to experience both indoors and outdoors in your own home. While you’re at it, you also need to ensure to create a cohesive look for your new home design. Incorporating natural materials and finishes can help. Consider using similar materials for flooring, countertops, and furnishings to create a seamless transition between your indoor and outdoor spaces.

Some popular materials for achieving this look include natural stone, wood, and various metals.

4. Indoor Plants and Greenery

Ah, who doesn’t love having some plants at home?! Embrace nature in your home design by incorporating indoor plants and greenery. It not only adds visual interest and a touch of the outdoors but also improves air quality and promotes a sense of well-being. Consider adding a variety of plants in different sizes and species to create a lush, verdant feel in your indoor spaces. Just make sure to take care of them so they don’t wilt away!

5. Smart Home Technology

Last but not least, give your home a modern touch by transforming it into a smart home. Trust me, once you experience the convenience of smart home technology, you’ll never go back! Having a smart home makes your indoor-outdoor living experience seamless. Features such as outdoor lighting, climate control, and entertainment systems can be integrated into your home’s design to provide a consistent experience both indoors and outdoors.

By incorporating open floor plans, large windows, outdoor living spaces, natural materials, indoor plants, and smart home technology, you can create a modern home design that truly embraces nature!

For more tips and resources on creating the perfect indoor-outdoor living spaces, check out www.FindOttawaHomes.com where we provide a wealth of tools, content, and strategies to help guide you in your real estate journey!

Tyler McCune REALTOR® - RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Group, Kanata Office

Garett McCune REALTOR® - RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Group, Kanata Office


When it comes to purchasing a new home, the allure of new construction is undeniable. The advantages of being the first occupant, enjoying a builder's warranty, benefiting from smart-home features, energy-efficient appliances, and embracing a contemporary design are just a few reasons why many opt for new builds. However, not all new construction homes are created equal. In this article, we will delve into the four different types of new construction, each offering unique advantages. By understanding these options, you can determine which type aligns best with your preferences and needs.

  1. Production Homes: Affordable and Efficient - Production homes, often found in suburban or rural areas, are built in large quantities. Sometimes referred to as "cookie-cutter homes," they are constructed from a selection of pre-designed floor plans and materials within a relatively short timeframe. The systematic approach employed in production homes makes them more affordable for buyers. Although customization options are limited, buyers can typically choose their lot, floor plan, exterior design, and select from a range of fixtures and finishes. While choices may be somewhat constrained, production homes provide an excellent value proposition for those seeking an affordable, efficient home.
  2. Fully-Custom Homes: Bringing Your Vision to Life - For those with specific tastes and a desire to personalize every aspect of their new home, fully-custom homes offer the ideal solution. Buyers can either purchase a lot from a builder or utilize their existing land. With a fully-custom home, you collaborate directly with the builder to design and plan every detail of construction, layout, and finish. Alternatively, you may choose to hire an architect to create a custom floor plan tailored to your exact specifications. While fully-custom homes come at a higher cost, the ability to create a residence that perfectly embodies your personality, style, and lifestyle is a truly rewarding experience.
  3. Semi-Custom Homes: The Perfect Balance - Sitting between production homes and fully-custom homes, semi-custom homes strike a balance between affordability and personalization. Certain production home builders also offer semi-custom options within planned communities. Buyers are provided with a selection of home plans to choose from, and minor modifications such as lighting fixtures, luxury flooring, high-end appliances, and energy-efficient systems can be incorporated. This type of new construction allows for greater flexibility and choice compared to production homes, providing a happy medium for buyers who desire more options without the complexities of building a fully-custom home.
  4. Spec Homes: Convenience and Immediate Occupancy - Spec homes, also known as speculative or inventory homes, are pre-built by builders with predetermined floor plans, finishes, and landscaping. These homes are ready for immediate move-in once purchased. Typically located on individual lots within established communities, spec homes are designed to attract buyers who appreciate the features and style already incorporated into the property. Although customization options are limited, the advantage of a spec home lies in its convenience. Buyers can avoid the lengthy construction process and immediately enjoy the benefits of a brand-new home.

Determining the Best Fit for You: Now that you have explored the four types of new construction homes, it's time to evaluate your needs, preferences, and budget to identify the most suitable option. With a plethora of choices available, you will undoubtedly find a new construction home that aligns with your vision. To embark on a hassle-free journey toward finding your dream home, feel free to reach out to us. We are committed to assisting you in making an informed decision and finding the perfect home that meets your requirements.

Investing in a new construction home provides numerous benefits, and understanding the different types of new builds allows you to make an informed decision. Whether you opt for the affordability of production homes, the customization of fully-custom homes, the balance of semi-custom homes, or the convenience of spec homes, each type offers distinct advantages. By assessing your goals, preferences, and budget, you can confidently navigate the world of new construction and discover the home that fulfills your aspirations.

Tyler McCune REALTOR® - RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Group, Kanata Office

Garett McCune REALTOR® - RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Group, Kanata Office


The kitchen has always been the heart of any home—a place where loved ones come together to enjoy good food, forge lasting memories, and create a sense of comfort. In recent times, however, the rise of minimalism has taken hold of kitchen design. While granite countertops, white cabinets, and stainless steel appliances exude elegance, an excessive dose of such elements can sometimes drain the life out of your kitchen. It's time to rekindle your kitchen's personality by embracing kitschy design.

If you're a fan of all things retro and kitschy, get ready to embark on a journey to create your very own retro-inspired kitchen. Designing your kitchen can be both gratifying and challenging, but with the right materials, accessories, and guidance, you can infuse your space with vintage charm and nostalgic vibes.

Here's a comprehensive guide to help you create your dream retro-inspired kitchen:

  1. Selecting the Perfect Color Palette - When it comes to a retro kitchen, the colour scheme plays a pivotal role. Opt for colours that evoke a sense of nostalgia and capture the essence of the era you wish to recreate. For a 1950s-inspired kitchen, consider using red, white, and turquoise. To capture the spirit of the 1960s, embrace vibrant and cheery colours like yellow and orange. Remember, it's all about mixing and matching designs and decor to curate a personalized retro vibe.
  2. Incorporating Vintage Accessories - To truly capture the essence of a retro kitchen, vintage accessories are a must. Seek out vintage kitchen appliances, utensils, cookware, dishes, and even furniture. Thrift stores, antique shops, and flea markets are treasure troves for finding authentic vintage pieces. Even repurposing old bourbon bottles and incorporating vintage light fixtures can infuse your kitchen with oodles of character.
  3. Embracing Retro Fabrics - Choosing fabrics that exude nostalgia is crucial for a vintage kitchen. Look for bold and colourful prints such as polka dots or playful patterns featuring coffee or fruit designs. Consider wallpapers with bright hues like teal, yellow, or pink. Adding a splash of colour to your walls will undoubtedly breathe new life into your kitchen.
  4. Brighten Up with Retro Appliances - Kitschy kitchens are synonymous with retro appliances that harken back to grandma's era. Fortunately, this style has regained popularity, and manufacturers like Kitchenaid and Smeg now offer vintage-looking appliances with vibrant and funky colours that seamlessly blend with modern-day technology.
  5. Delightful Dishware - Extend the kitschiness to your cupboards and shelves by displaying dishes adorned with whimsical floral or bird patterns. These charming additions not only enliven your storage spaces but also uplift everyone's mood during meals. Colourful and patterned serving trays or cookie bowls can further complete the retro ambiance of your kitchen.
  6. Explore Family Heirlooms - You don't need to break the bank to achieve a retro-inspired kitchen. Many vintage yet functional items can likely be found in your own home if you know where to look. Take a peek into your mother's or grandmother's cabinets, and you're sure to discover interesting treasures waiting to be rediscovered.

The key to a fun and playful retro kitchen lies in embracing bold patterns and vibrant colours. Consider it as an opportunity to infuse your kitchen with a whole new personality. If you're accustomed to white cabinets and granite countertops, you can start by gradually integrating neutral elements with pops of colour. The beauty of this design trend is that there are no mistakes—let your creativity soar.

Are you ready to embark on the journey of transforming your kitchen into a retro paradise? Contact our team of real estate experts in Ottawa today for more tips and tricks!

Tyler McCune REALTOR® - RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Group, Kanata Office

Garett McCune REALTOR® - RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Group, Kanata Office


If you want to freshen up your home and increase its value, repainting the walls can be a simple and effective solution. However, before you choose a paint colour, it's essential to consider the finish that would be the most suitable for each room. There are six types of paint finishes: flat, matte, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss, and gloss, and they all have unique characteristics, such as sheen and durability. Let's dive into the details of each finish.

  • Flat paint finish

Flat finish is a non-reflective paint that has no sheen at all. It's an excellent choice for concealing imperfections, bumps, holes, and scratches on any surface. However, it has low durability and is non-moisture resistant, making it unsuitable for high-traffic areas like the kitchen, bathroom, and bedrooms. It's perfect for ceilings and low-traffic rooms that have a lot of natural light, formal dining rooms, and office walls.

  • Matte paint finish

Matte finish has a subtle, low-lustre, and smooth appearance. It's similar to the flat finish but with slightly more sheen. It provides maximum pigment and coverage, which makes it perfect for hiding imperfections. However, it's prone to holding dirt and is challenging to clean. It's an excellent choice for low-to-moderate traffic areas, such as adult bedroom walls, living and dining room walls, and ceilings.

  • Eggshell paint finish

Eggshell finish is a popular paint finish that has a soft lustre, making a room look brighter. It reflects more light than flat and matte finishes and is more resistant to dirt, stains, and scuffs. It's ideal for medium-traffic rooms like entryways, hallways, family rooms, living rooms, and bedrooms. However, it can be difficult to touch up.

  • Satin paint finish

Satin finish is a versatile paint finish that can be used indoors and outdoors. It provides a soft sheen, resists fading and mildew, and is easy to clean. It has a higher gloss than eggshell and is ideal for moderate-to-high-traffic areas and those that have some exposure to moisture, like kids' bedrooms, playrooms, home offices, kitchens, baths, laundry rooms, and outdoor areas such as siding, trim, and shutters.

  • Semi-gloss paint finish

Semi-gloss finish has more shine and a sleek look than satin. It's perfect for high-traffic areas and those that are frequently touched because of its high durability. It's resistant to mildew, moisture, and wear, making it ideal for walls that are prone to drips, grease, and stains. However, it's more reflective and shows blemishes and scratches more clearly than other finishes. It's ideal for bathrooms, laundry rooms, kitchen cabinets, doors, and wall trim.

  • Gloss paint finish

Gloss finish is the hardest, ultra-shiny, and most reflective among the finishes. It provides a glass-like appearance and is the most durable and easiest to clean. It's ideal for surfaces that are often touched like cabinets, trim, and doors. However, it highlights imperfections on walls, making it unsuitable for interior walls.

Choosing the right paint finish is just as important as choosing the right colour. Each finish has unique properties that make it more suitable for certain rooms and surfaces than others. Consider the room's traffic and exposure to moisture before choosing the finish, and don't forget that touch-up can be challenging with certain finishes.

Before prepping your home for an upgrade or renovations before listing, be sure to click here and contact our team today!

Tyler McCune REALTOR® - RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Group, Kanata Office

Garett McCune REALTOR® - RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Group, Kanata Office


Everyone dreams of having their perfect home, but the question is, should you build or buy? Both options have their advantages and disadvantages, and ultimately the decision comes down to personal preference and circumstances.

Buying an existing home is often the more affordable option, and there are many great properties available that could meet your needs. However, it's rare to find an existing home that doesn't require some form of compromise. It might not have the right number of bedrooms, the kitchen may not be big enough, or the decor may not be to your taste.

Building a new home allows you to design and create your dream home, tailored to your specific requirements. However, it's important to note that building a new home is generally more expensive than buying an existing one. This is due to the cost of land, building materials, and labour expenses. Additionally, taxes may be higher in new areas as infrastructure is developed to support the growing population.

When considering ongoing costs, existing homes tend to have more predictable expenses, but they also require more maintenance and tend to be less energy-efficient than new homes. Commuting costs may also be a factor to consider, as new subdivisions are often further out from major population centres.

If you decide to build in a subdivision, there may be ongoing fees and covenants that limit your ability to enhance your property. Landscaping is also an additional cost to consider, even if it's included in the overall price.

It's important to be aware of potential construction delays when building a new home. Research your builder's track record and be prepared for unexpected weather delays. Also, consider the impact of living in a subdivision during the construction process, as it may be disruptive.

If you decide to build, be prepared to stay for a while, as the value of new homes can depreciate quickly if a lot of new homes are being built in the same area.

Ultimately, the decision to build or buy comes down to your individual circumstances and preferences. If you decide to build, make sure you do your research, factor in all the costs, and be prepared for potential delays. Whether you're looking for a new subdivision or an existing home in an established area, click here to contact the McCune Real Estate Team in Ottawa to get started.

Tyler McCune REALTOR® - RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Group, Kanata Office

Garett McCune REALTOR® - RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Group, Kanata Office


It's an age-old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words, and in the world of real estate, that statement holds more weight than ever before. With the constant advancement of technology, potential buyers can now take a virtual tour of a property from the comfort of their own homes. As a result, the quality of the photographs used to showcase a home is more critical than ever before, as it can be the deciding factor in whether or not a buyer will visit in person.

When browsing online listings, buyers typically filter through properties based on location, price, square footage, school districts, and other factors. Once they have narrowed down their search, they will quickly scan through the photos, hoping to find images that will capture their attention and make them want to see the property in person. This is where high-quality, professional photographs become invaluable.

If your property's photos don't showcase it in the best possible light, you risk losing potential buyers. Even if your home is stunning, if the images don't do it justice, buyers may scroll right past it. Therefore, investing in professional photography is crucial, as it can set your property apart from the competition and pique buyers' interest.

A professional real estate photographer understands the importance of lighting, angles, and staging, and will ensure that your property is presented in the best possible light. They will capture the unique features of your home that make it stand out, and make sure that each room looks its best.

Remember, your property's photographs are the first impression that buyers will have of your home, so it's essential to make them count. Don't make the mistake of cutting corners or settling for mediocre photos, as this could lead to your property sitting on the market for months.

As technology continues to evolve, buyers are gaining more and more insight into a property before ever connecting with the seller or agent. Digital floor plans and drone photography are just a few examples of the tools available to today's buyers. Therefore, it's essential to hire a professional photographer who can showcase your property's unique features and make it stand out from the crowd.

Professional photography is an investment in the successful sale of your property. Don't miss out on potential buyers due to subpar photographs. Click here to contact our team in Ottawa today for more advice on how to prepare your home for sale.

Tyler McCune REALTOR® - RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Group, Kanata Office

Garett McCune REALTOR® - RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Group, Kanata Office