Turnkey or Fixer-Upper – now that is the question!!!

Two homes in hand to choose from, between turnkey and fixer-upper

We’ve all seen the home design shows that turn old ragged houses into stunning, modern, and even a little over the top, homes.

  • How do they do it… and on such a small budget?
  • What’s right for you? Should you buy a move-in-ready home or one that requires some much-needed TLC? states that you should consider these 3 components when making the decision whether to purchase a turnkey home or a fixer-upper:

  1. Financial Consideration:
    Compared to a freshly remodeled home, a fixer-upper will get you more bang for your buck, allowing you to purchase something bigger and/or in a more established neighbourhood.

    On the flip-side, renovations are costly and can uncover unbudgeted issues that need fixing, even if a professional home inspection was done.

    In either case, we always recommend you hire a professional home inspector to evaluate the home and identify, as much as possible, any issues the house may have.

  2. Lifestyle Considerations:
    A turn-key home allows you to start getting settled in as soon as you move in.

    A fixer-upper might require you to find other accommodations, for a short period of time during the renovations, or may require you to live in a construction zone for some time.

    Renovations are dirty, encumbering and can be extremely stressful. Choosing to purchase a fixer-upper means living through the difficult times in order to reap the benefits later. We can help make you aware of what it all means and help you decide whether you are willing to go through it or not.

  3. Logistical Considerations:
    A more cost-effective way to fix up a property is doing it yourself (DIY). A DIY project of this scope requires a lot of resources, often limited to homeowners, such as time.

    Hiring professionals to do the renovations reduces the time required on your behalf but increases the budget.

    Either way, resources need to be invested in the fixer-upper that would otherwise not be required from a turnkey home. If a fixer-upper is right for you, we can help you make the right decision on professional or DIY solutions.


We can help:

Buying a home is a big decision and adding yet another decision on top of it can add more stress to the process. We can help you through it all to make the process a more pleasant one for you and your loved ones. Contact us and we will ask you the right questions to help you make the best decision for you and your current and future situation.

BGM is recognized as 2017 REP Top Teams

BGM recognized as 2017 REP Top Team

REP 2017 Top Teams

In business, like in life, there are certain moments that tell you: “Hey, you’re doing great!”

These moments sometimes take us by surprise but they are always welcome and they always feel good.

We recently had one of these moments. We found out that our team was recognized as one of the top teams in the Canadian Real Estate industry in the 2017 Real Estate Professional (REP) Top Teams report.

In honour of this wonderful recognition, we want to share a bit of our history and journey with you. You’ll understand where we came from and why our efforts and dedications are being recognized nationally.

Our Coffee Story: BGM’s History

The First Sip: 2011

After being in the business on their own for many years, Christine and Laurie’s individual success reached a point of critical mass. To maintain their recognized quality service, they were each looking for someone to work with, mostly to cover time off. In 2011, after Christine called Laurie, together they sipped the first of many shared cups of coffee.

The Double-Espresso: 2012-2013

For two years, Christine and Laurie worked side-by-side, yet independently. This “double-espresso” ensured they could provide their clients with uninterrupted services 360+ days a year.

The Single-Serve: 2014

Seeing the continued client satisfaction and the synergy they had while working side-by-side, Christine and Laurie decided to really join forces as full-partners. They became a “single-serve” operation known as Bussieres-Gagnier.

Many More Shared Sips: 2014

In 2014, after doing a deal with Jeff, Christine saw how compatible his work ethics and values were with theirs. Christine and Laurie then shared many sips of coffee with Jeff while discussing further possible partnerships.

The Triple Brew: 2015

In 2015, after many successful deals, a lot of happy clients and a whole bunch of empty cups of coffee, Bussieres-Gagnier-Miller, also known as BGM – Your Ottawa Team, was officially born.

Quality Beans: present

We hear it all the time: we have something unheard of in the real estate world. Together, we are three highly successful individual veteran REALTORS® who came together in a full partnership. The decision was made over a shared set of values and an understanding that client service is what matters most. The values that still drive us today are:

  • complete honesty,
  • caring, and
  • integrity.

You could say that we carefully picked the top-quality coffee beans to make sure you got the best cup of coffee available. Although our flavours are individually distinct, you can rest assured knowing that no matter which bean you fall on, it will be one of quality.

What is the Real Estate Professional’s (REP) Top Teams report:

REP understands that in real estate, teams are built in order to maintain the great level of service that is sought out at an intensifying pace. In this business, reaching a point where starting a team is necessary is a fine accomplishment, but turning that team into an equally successful entity is even more impressive.

2018 Housing Market Outlook by RE/MAX

Even though it would be fantastic, we don’t have a crystal ball. We can’t tell you exactly what the Ottawa market will look like in 3, 6 or 9 months from now, but we certainly can help you make the right decisions for you, based on the information we do have.

One of the information sources is the 2018 Housing Market Outlook published by RE/MAX. Since a lot of our clients have mentioned it would be useful, here’s a summary:

Expected trends:
  • The average residential sale price is expected to increase to approximately 3.5%
  • The LRT is expected to increase demand close to planned station stops

  • The strong local economy will contribute to a positive overall real estate market outlook for 2018

  • The new mortgage stress test is expected to decreased buyer purchasing power and result in slow activity during the first few months of 2018


2018 Ottawa Housing Market Outlook infographic

2018 Ottawa Housing Market Outlook


What MPAC Property Assessments Really Mean?

When opening the MPAC property assessment received in the mail, a lot of people are filled with questions:

  • What does this mean?
  • Is this what my house is really worth?
  • Why doesn’t the assessment match what I thought my house was worth?

In this short video, our very own Laurie Gagnier, licensed REALTOR®, explains what the MPAC really means for your home value, in the simplest way possible!


Simple Answer

As Laurie explains, there’s no need to worry if the numbers “don’t match” because one has to do with the taxing of your property and the other has to do with the real estate market value of your property.

If you have any questions or would like to chat with us, don’t hesitate to give us a call.
It would be our pleasure to chat with you.

Military personnel residence in Ottawa

At BGM Real Estate Team, we provide full service relocation for RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police), corporate and federal employees, and military personnel planning to relocate into or out of Ottawa. Moving to a new city with your family can often be a tedious and time-consuming endeavour, which is why our goal is to make the process quick, seamless, and hassle-free as possible for you.

If you’re about to start a new life in this beautiful city, some of the things we can do for you include:

  • Get in touch with you to talk about your specific goals, what type of home and neighbourhood you’re looking for, and other special requirements you might have.
  • Give you a selection of handpicked listings that match your preferences and requirements, and help you arrange appointments to view those homes.
  • Help you book hotel reservations and assist you with car rentals and other services during your stay.
  • Provide you with detailed maps, public transportation routes, restaurants, school information, and up-to-date information on different areas around the city.
  • ake you to different destinations around Ottawa so you can get a firsthand look at what the lifestyle in the area is like.
  • ork with you so you’ll be able to find the ideal home for you and your family, and help you with any pre-move appointments you have scheduled prior to your relocation.

Department of National Defence locations in Ottawa

The Department of National Defence has several headquarters located around Ottawa:

  • Carling Campus – Encompassing nearly 150 hectares, this site is located at the intersection of Carling Ave. and Moodie Drive. It was originally the property of Nortel, before it was acquired by the Public Works and Government Services Canada in 2010. More than 8,500 military personnel are expected to relocate here by 2020.
  • 1600 Startop Road, East Ottawa – This location houses several Operational Commands Canada COM, CFSU, CANOSCOM, CANSOFCOM, and CEFCOM.
  • Gatineau Locations – Four HQ locations in Gatineau, Quebec are located close to Ottawa, all of them less than a 40 minute drive away from the downtown area. These locations are Cite des Jeunes, Hotel de Ville St., 455 Carriere Blvd., and Sacre-Coeur St.
  • Canadian Forces Health Services Centre Ottawa

    The Health Services Centre can be found at 713 Montreal Road, Ottawa. It is one of 32 Canadian Forces across the country committed to providing quality health services to CF members. The clinic’s mission is to optimize the health of all eligible personnel through the provision of first-class health care services.

    Clinic hours are from Monday to Friday, 0730 to 1530. Walk in services are available Monday to Friday from 0730 to 1500 at the Day Treatment Unit on the 3rd Floor. Psychosocial walk-in services are also offered at the clinic from 0800 to 1200.

    You can get in touch with the clinic at (613) 945-1111.

    If you need more help with military relocation in Ottawa, give us a call at 613-558-8000, or send an email to

    Ottawa’s April Showers bring….leaky basements!

    Ottawa spring thaw

    Wow Ottawa, was that a crazy two weeks or what?! From 40cm of snow to 90mm of rain all in 14 days! Apart from not knowing whether to take out your parka or your umbrella, the past two weeks of Ottawa April showers have seen a definitive influx of calls to our inspectors about basement water seepage and leakage and conversely, we have seen evidence of seepage in the homes we have shown.

    Ottawa's april showers

    Being homeowners ourselves, and knowing that at some point 98% of all basements will have a water leakage issue at some point in its lifetime, we are still taken aback when we step into our finished spaces and draw back a wet sock!

    Immediately you have visions of peeling back carpet, replacing underpad, what if it’s in the walls, what if there’s already mould, what if there’s a crack you missed, what if the foundation needs to be fixed, what if….what if….next thing you know you’ve spent $100,000 on a basement/foundation redo!! Well let’s roll it back a bit and go over the list of things to check before you start shopping for contractors.

    With this kind of winter to rapid spring thaw, some yards became lakes and the melting snow had no way to work it’s way down the frozen ground. With water sitting close to the foundation the subsoil around your house is likely to thaw first, given that your home is giving off heat. So, following the path of least resistance, the water will make its way downhill, following the grading around the house.Ottawa's april showers

    What to do?

    So here is check No. 1….walk around your house this spring and look at the grading – does the land slope in towards your house, or away? It is the nature of back-fill to settle over time, and most of us don’t pay a whole lot of attention to what happens at the sides, back or front of our homes. A nice gentle slop away from the house in all directions is what you are going for.



    Check No. 2 – look for any downspouts that are letting water sit next to your foundation – if they are, run out and pick up some inexpensive downspout extenders to get the water at least 6ft away from your home.

    Ottawa's april showers

    Downspout extenders

    Nine times out of 10 this will take care of the seepage issues. Remember, concrete is a porous material. Any amount of water that stays near the foundation will make its way through. With seepage that migrates through concrete over time, the evidence is in something we call efflorescence – it looks like chalk on the inside of the concrete. Completely normal if your grading lets water sit close by.

    Ottawa's april showers

    water migration through concrete

    If the efflorescence is on the floor instead of the walls – then this may be an indication that your weeping tile system is blocked, or due for a change.

    Ok – now the outside of the house has been dealt with but you still have seepage – NOW call a professional, but 9 times out of 10 the simple grading and downspout fixes will work!

    For more information, or to know what professionals to call contact us at!



    Miracle Home For Sale

    When we sell a home we donate a portion of our earnings to the Children's Miracle Network

    Another Miracle Home for Sale

    From RE/MAX and BGM Real Estate Team – Canada’s Housing Market Outlook for 2017



    The average residential sale price increased 13 per cent in Greater Vancouver to approximately $1,020,300 and rose 17 per cent in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) to an estimated $725,857. Although demand remains high in both urban centres, limited inventory in the freehold market, the new 15 per cent foreign-buyer tax in Vancouver and the recent tightening of mortgage rules by the federal government are expected to soften market activity in the short term. In 2017, RE/MAX estimates average residential sale price will increase by two and eight per cent in Greater Vancouver and the GTA respectively.

    Regional markets in close proximity to Canada’s highest-price cities continued to experience steady interest from local move-up buyers and buyers from these cities (“move- over” buyers) who are looking to nd a balance between affordability and square footage. This year there were considerable year-over-year average price increases in Barrie (16 per cent), Hamilton-Burlington (20 per cent), the Fraser Valley (20 per cent) and Kelowna (14 per cent).

    Click to Read the Full National Summary

    The RE/MAX 2017 average residential sale price expectation for Canada is an increase of two per cent as Canadians continue to see home ownership as an important milestone as well as a good investment.



    The average residential sale price grew one per cent year-over-year, from $367,632 to $370,940. The number of sales between January and October rose to 13,834 in 2016 compared to 12,964 during the same period in 2015.  For more information, please call the BGM Real Estate Team at 613-558-8000!



    Striving for Excellence

    Downsizing – 10 Things to Ponder


    There are many life situations that may lead you to consider selling your current home and downsizing into a smaller one: Kids leaving for university, cashing in on a retirement plan, or the pressure of property upkeep. Whichever reasons you’re facing, make sure you’ve really done your homework before making any decisions. Here’s a list of 10 helpful hints to kick-start that conversation.

    1. Facing Finances

    Take a long, hard look at your financial input and output—especially if you’re on a fixed retirement income. If your savings aren’t substantial enough to constitute a “nest egg,” then tucking away the profits from the property may be the way to go. Downsizing may come down to finances but you should be able to show the evidence, one way or the other.

    2. Community Connections

    The costs of moving can go well beyond dollar bills. Consider your emotional wealth before taking any critical steps. Ask yourself, “Will this downsize take me away—intentionally or unintentionally—from the family, community and friendship supports I depend on or do I need new support systems for my physical, spiritual, medical and emotional well being?” Downsizing isn’t always about size and cents, sometimes it’s critical for your well-being.


    3. Real Estate Market

    Is your area a buyer’s market or a seller’s market? What can you hope to make on the sale? Finding the right real-estate agent to answer these questions is key. Ask friends and family members who’ve gone through similar transitions for referrals, and try to gather evaluations from two or three REALTORS® to ensure you’re getting a clear picture of the market.

    4. Independent Thinker

    Potentially selling the family home brings up a lot of emotions for everyone involved. Kids don’t want to see their childhood home go and family members are hoping for a chunk of change; it’s imperative that you seek out independent, unbiased advice. A REALTOR® can give you market feedback on your situation without any personal baggage.

    5. Home Maintenance

    Look at the work it takes to keep your current home clean, your garden weeded and your lawn maintained. It is too much to handle, or will it be in a few years? It’s best to downsize before it becomes imperative, because by then, a move will be even more physically challenging and emotionally draining.

    6. Lifestyle Limitations

    Maybe you feel a great wave of excitement at the idea of living near the ocean, or maybe the idea of leaving behind your veggie garden is too much. Moving comes with gains and losses, and you have to be prepared to give up certain aspects of your current lifestyle and adapt to new ones.

    downsizing questions
    7. Square Footage

    Think through your floor plan and look at different ways that square footage can be used. Can the kids’ old bedroom become a long-awaited art studio? Would the basement work as a private theatre? If you conclude that extra room is more hassle than it’s worth, maybe downsizing to a cozier home is for you.

    8. Property Payments

    Yearly taxes and property insurance payments can take a chunk out of a modest budget. Would those expenses be less if you downsized and lived in a different neighbourhood, on a smaller plot or in a more compact house?

    downsizing questions blog
    9. Be a Realist

    Think carefully about the realities of aging. Remaining in a family home as you age often means adapting your home and relying on the help of others. These things can come at a cost, both financially and emotionally. It’s important that you discuss your plans with any family members or friends that might be affected by your decision to downsize, and ensure everyone is in agreement with your plans.

    downsizing stressfree
    10. Don’t Rush

    Luckily, you already have a place to live, so take your time and assess all the angles before making such a profound decision. When you are ready to start looking, don’t rush into anything. Sit with your REALTOR® and write down criteria for must haves in your new place. When the time is right, you’ll know.

    For more information, or just to chat, contact us anytime at 613-558-8000, or visit our website at

    (courtesy of RE/MAX Integra)

    Contact Us

    Address:3B-2160 Montreal Road
    Ottawa, Ontario
    K1J 1G4


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