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How to read an Ottawa Condo MLS Listing

If you’ve made the leap from browsing MLS.ca and Kijiji to having MLS listings emailed to you (and if you haven’t, click on the “Contact” link above and let’s take care of that), you may have noticed that things look a little different. There’s a lot of information to take in, and it can be a little confusing.

Deep breaths, we’re here to help.

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Top Section – Basic Property Information

The top section contains information identifying exactly what property you’re looking at, where it is, and how much the seller is asking.

What’s important:

Address: The full address will be at the top of the listing. The number before the street name is the street number; if there’s a number preceded by a # after the street name, that’s a unit number.
LP: This is the current listing price. That little downward arrow means that the price has been lowered. If you see an arrow pointing up, that means that they’ve raised the price.
LD: This is the listing date. You may have a bit more room for negotiation if the property has been on the market for awhile.
NeighNm: Neighbourhood Name will tell you where in the city it is. This is often the name that your friends might call the neighbourhood, as opposed to what the Real Estate Board calls it.

Roll and Legal are two fields that you don’t have to worry about right now. These contain identifying information about the property. Every property has a unique roll number (used for property taxes) and legal description to distinguish it from surrounding properties.

 

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Middle Section – The Good Stuff

The middle section is where you’ll learn all about the property itself. The first part of this deals with rooms and room sizes. These numbers are always in feet and inches!

Style and Type: These fields describe the type of property. For instance, this condo on Southgate Road is a 2-storey row unit.

YB: Year Built. This unit was built in 1973.

BBG/BAG/BD/TB/EB: Although it looks like alphabet soup, this section actually deals with bedrooms and bathrooms.

Poss Info: Info relating to the seller’s preferred possession dates. If you see a TBA or a TBD here, it means that they’re negotiable.

#Gar, #Cover, and TotalPk: #Gar refers to the number of garage spaces; that is, the number of spaces in an enclosed garage. #Cover refers to covered-but-not-enclosed parking, such as in a carport. TotalPk is the total number of parking spaces, including garages, carports, and driveways.

Appl: These are the appliances that will be included with the purchase. Right below this section, you’ll see “Feat”, which will tell you what other features are included with the home, such as blinds, drapes, auto garage door openers, and more. Keep an eye on the nearby section “Exclus”, as this will detail things that the seller specifically wants to exclude in a purchase.

Heat/AC/Water/Sewer: Here you’ll find out what types of utilities are involved with this home. Heat refers to how the home is heated, such as forced air or baseboard. Fuel, directly below, is where you’ll see if that heating system is powered by natural gas, electricity, oil, etc. AC stands for air conditioning; in this field, you’ll usually see “central”, “window” for a window unit, or “none”. Below these fields, you’ll see information about any fireplaces the home may have. Finished FP and Roughed-in FP will be numbers, but FPFuel will tell you if they’re wood, gas, or another type of fireplace.

 

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Bottom Section — Condo Info, Taxes, and Remarks

Condo Fee: Keep an eye on the condo fee field, as this will tell you how much per month you’ll be spending on condo fees. Don’t forget to factor these into your home buying budget!

Fee Incl: Many condo fees will pay for building insurance (although you’ll need to provide your own insurance on your belongings), water, management of the  building, and a caretaker. However, you might see some extra perks in this section like hydro, heat, and recreation facilities.

Taxes/Yr: Another cost to factor into your budget, this field will let you know approximately what you’ll be looking at in municipal property tax.

Addit Images: Click away —this is where you’ll find the truly good stuff like virtual tours.

The bottom of the listing will give you directions to the property, and tell you a little bit about it. See an abbreviation you don’t understand? Check out our primer on common real estate abbreviations.

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