DO YOU HAVE A REAL ESTATE QUESTION? Join our online Q&A and get FREE Real Estate Advice directly from MarnieBennett! Come back and view our website as we post on a weekly basis our Q&A that have been submitted over the week.


From Oksana M. - Hi Marnie, We bought a condo in downtown Ottawa. In the Purchase Agreement the ceiling height was 8'3", but during pre-delivery inspection we found out that half of the apartment has dropped ceiling around 7'-7'3" only. Do you think this will reduce the value of the condo and for how many percent approximately?

Hello Oksana,
There are so many different components that affect the market value of a condo; the location, the floor plan, the price point, the amenities etc.

All new construction will have dropped ceilings in certain areas of the plan to accommodate heating, mechanical and plumbing. Higher ceilings are a feature of many condos but it is all factored into the price.

How much of your apartment has the lower ceilings? Did you look at any of your neighbour’s suites to determine if they had the same modification? What was the price you paid for the condo? What size is your condo? What is the floorplan like as compared to similar condos? When you purchased the condo there should have been a disclaimer in the specifications about lower ceilings. Who was the builder?

When you did your pre-delivery inspection did you ask the builder about this?
If you truly feel that this was not represented to you properly I suggest you confer with your lawyer.
Best of luck,

From Amanda M.  -
Hi Marnie: I bought a condo in Q West, closing date this Oct.2014. I live in a condo on Powell Ave. If I rent my Condo, do I have to pay capital gains. Thanks in advance for your advice.

Hi Amanda,

Thank you for contacting me! Your condo on Powell Ave will only incur capital gains from the point it ceases to be your primary residence and becomes an investment property. Your best course of action is to get an appraisal done just before you move out of the property to determine the value at that point in time. Years down the road, when you sell the condo, the capital gain will be paid on the difference between the appraised value and the sale price. The remaining gain would be tax free, as it was your primary residence at this time.

I would suggest consulting your accountant to verify this information and get their advice on best practices for all taxation questions.
All the best,

From Josée D. - Would you have a landlord seminar available? Q and A about laws and responsibilities for landlords and tenants... If not, where can I get it?

Hi Josée,

Congratulations on expanding your knowledge of different real estate investment opportunities. At the moment we do not have a Landlord Seminar, however a great place to start is the Landlord and Tenant Board of Ontario. .

Should you need assistances purchasing an investment property or to find the right property management company for you please feel free to call 613-233-8606 and we would be more than happy to help you out!

All the best,

From Benoit V.  - My wife and I are currently renting an apartment until she finishes school and are planning on buying a duplex/triplx/quadplex to start investing in real estate and slowly expand our portfolio. We are planning on living in one of the units and have the other units pay our mortgage for us. What would be the best course of action and where do I begin ?

Hi Benoit,

Congratulations on your goals! Buying a multi-unit building requires a large down payment and can be very expensive. My suggestion, which I provide to all our clients, is to start off small and then graduate to larger acquisitions. We have a few exclusive properties which could provide you income + shelter for you and your wife. These properties might be a better fit for your wants and needs. Although do keep in mind that any property, no matter the size, requires a certain level of income and down payment.

All the best,

From A. Brown - I am thinking of purchasing a house in order to rent, I have heard that if you have a mortgage on the property, somehow, all of the actual interest you pay on the mortgage you get back. This does not make any sense to me. Can you tell me please, is this true?

Hi A.,
Since you are purchasing this property as an investment, the government has certain tax incentives for investors. In accordance with CRA rules and regulations, interest payments can be applied as an investment expense. I am not an accountant or tax consultant but I would recommend speaking with someone at CRA or a tax accountant before you start your investment journey.


From Donna S.  - Is it best to buy a condo in an older building (1970s-1980s) or a newer one?

Hi Donna,

Buying a new or resale condo is a personal choice preference. There are pros & cons for buying in either product.

My suggestion would be to write a pros & cons comparison chart, and a wants & needs list based on your current lifestyle.

This might help you see where you stand with each product.

As you can appreciate not all condos are created equal therefore I will need to address your question in general terms.

1. Location, Location, Location - Do you want to be close to work, your gym, your family? Is there a neighbourhood you must live in?
2. Does the building have amenities? - If so what are they, the size and are they things you want in a building? Pool? Gym?
3. How is the building designed with regards to ceiling heights, interior size and features? - You might absolutely want 9' ceilings; some older condos don't have 9' ceilings.
4. For resale condos what is the financial health of the condo corporation? - Reserve Fund, Special Assessments, and Status Certificate
5. When do you want to move? If you absolutely need immediate occupancy, some new builds will be out of the question, since they will only be built in one or 2 years.
6. Finally work with a realtor who specializes in condos so they can provide you with proper pricing comparisons for both new and resale.

All the best,

From Lawrence B. - Is there an added cost to take advantage of your 'Warranty' program?


Thank you for submitting your Ask Marnie question.

The home warranty service program is just one of the added value benefits that we provide.

You can now purchase a home or sell a home with peace of mind.

This warranty is compliments of the Bennett Property Shop.

This is the new revolution in buying or selling a home.

All the best,


From Sonia R. - I conditionally purchased a home in Orleans (Chapel Hill) but for some reason I can't seem to be able to sell my house in Hull Qc. I only have two weeks left to try and sale it...Can you please help me or give me advises: please!


Thank you for submitting your Ask Marnie question.


Congratulations on the purchase of your new home in Orleans. Buying a new home is always an exciting time.


In response to your question, we are an Ontario licensed real estate Brokerage and are not licensed to sell real estate in Quebec, however here are a few tips you might find useful.


First off, de-clutter. Chances are you’ve got twice as much stuff as you need to show your home to its best potential. In addition to removing obvious messes, this includes things like extraneous furniture, children’s toys, knick-knacks and family photos. This can be emotionally difficult, but remember: the goal is to make it easy for potential buyers to imagine their own possessions in your space.


Next, fix unfinished projects. If buyers see loose floor tiles and cracks in the wall, they’ll wonder what other issues are lurking under the surface. Don’t give them cause to worry.


To make rooms appear larger, replace puffy, over-sized furniture with sleeker pieces. In the bedroom, you’re better off showing a queen-sized bed and two small bedside tables than a king with none. To find the right pieces, you can beg, borrow and, if necessary, lease.


Bright paint or outdated wallpaper? Replace them with neutral wall colours and add vibrancy with throw pillows and vases. Splurge on fresh, sweetly scented flowers for an open house; they’ll pay for themselves. Mirrors are a wonderful tool for filling empty walls. And, whatever the décor in your bathroom, thick white towels will lend a hotel-like vibe.


For extra curb appeal, give your front door a fresh coat of paint and temporarily take your storm door off the hinges. Invest in two urns; plant them with pretty, seasonal flowers. In winter, cedar branches draped with ribbon are just as beautiful.


This might seem like a lot of work, so keep your eyes on the prize. After all, in your brand new home, you can have things exactly the way you want!


If all else fails perhaps the market is telling you it’s time for a price drop.


All the best,


From Sarah M. - Hi Marnie, That article could have been written specifically for me! I am a single woman in my late twenties looking to buy my first home.What is your advice for a sinlge woman looking to capitalize on low interest rates? Condo prices seem higher than usual, and single-family homes are a bit pricey for someone on her own. Is buying outside the city the answer?

Thank you for submitting your question to “Ask Marnie”. I’m very happy you enjoyed the article!


To get you started, first you need to priorities your goals and needs with respect to housing.


Step 1: The only way to capitalize on the current mortgages rates is to buy now. Go to your bank and request a pre-approval mortgage so that you have a good understanding of what you can afford. You wouldn’t want to fall in love with the home of your dreams only to find out you can’t afford it.


Step 2: A condo could actually be a very good option for you. They vary in price from 169,900 upwards. Condo living is a lifestyle; it provides security and a lock and leave concept, which is a great option for a young business professional such as yourself. However condo living is not for everyone.


Step 3: Write a list of all your wants and needs.

- What would be your ideal proximity to work?

- Do you want urban living or suburban living?

- How many bedrooms do you need?

- Which neighbourhoods do you like?

- When do you want or need to move?

These are just to name a few…

I hope you find this helpful.


All the best,


Marnie Bennett is a broker and the marketing director for Bennett Property Shop Realty,a full premium service real estate brokerage specializing in marketing and selling new and resale homes, condominiums and investment real estate.