About Serge Guenette


Throughout my career, I have always considered that the key to success is turning passion into profession. This has fueled my work ethic from day one; I believe it is the reason I quickly became one of the city’s top-producing bilingual REALTORs, and I suspect it is why people tell me my positive attitude is infectious.


My job is to listen to you; to understand your needs and priorities, and to use my expertise to help you realize your real estate goals. My objective is to provide you with the best possible advice to help you make confident and informed decisions. By following this simple formula, I have helped hundreds of individuals, families and businesses find exactly what they were looking for, and have built long-term relationships with so many homeowners.


To give you your edge in the market, I believe it is important for me to invest in personal and professional training. I keep up to date with the latest trends and techniques in real estate so that your strategy is always effective, and I am a consistent and reliable source of information.


Merging my background in internet marketing with over 20 years’ experience working with multi-unit investments and condos, residential and commercial properties, I provide unique market insight (and perspective – watch this!) and an innovative property marketing approach. As a Master Certified Negotiation Expert (MCNE), you can be confident that when your property reaches ‘sold’, you will have gotten the best deal possible.


It would be my pleasure to meet with you and discuss your needs in either official language.


Recent Blog Posts

Gardening in the city, regardless of how small a space you have, is possible! Urban gardening is the perfect way to utilize your space, whether that’s an apartment balcony or a small corner in your backyard, to bring to life the garden you always dreamed of having.

 

Not sure where to start? Our beginner urban gardening guide offers step-by-step tasks to lead you to your very own green space. 

 

  1. Find your location: Whether you build your garden in your own home or choose to plant vegetables in a local Ottawa community garden, picking a location to plant is your first step. Consider asking yourself questions related to the space: Where can you plant and maintain your plants easily? Does the space have sunlight (a must for most vegetables and herbs)? Will the space fit all the plants you hope to have? Once you’ve answered these questions and found your location, you’re ready to move to the next step. 

 

  1. Choose what to grow: Now that you have chosen a location for your garden, it’s time to choose what flowers, vegetables or herbs you wish to grow. In Ottawa, it’s possible to grow a variety of plants outside from spring through fall and the choice of what to plant really comes down to personal preference. Most flower bulbs, plant seeds and starter plants have information on when to plant, but if you are wondering when to start growing vegetables, check out the Ottawa vegetable planting guide. (The May long weekend is generally the time most planting is done, but you can plant earlier or later depending on the plant.)

 

  1. Prepare your materials and space: There are a few starter items you’ll want to get your garden underway. Consider purchasing containers, fertilizer and potting soil, a watering can, garden shovels, clippers and signs to label your plants. If you are growing in a smaller apartment space, consider hanging baskets or a plant box to make use of the vertical space available. 

 

  1. Purchase and plant: Now that your space is set up, the last step is purchasing the seeds, bulbs and starter plants you need to create your urban garden. Make sure to read the instructions for each before you buy, as all flowers and other plants differ in how much water, sunlight and care they need. For instance, if you have a south-facing balcony, you should probably avoid shade-loving flowers.

 

  1. Maintain and enjoy: From being surrounded by nature and eating fresh food, to boosting your mood and reducing stress, gardening has many benefits. Once your urban garden is finished, all you have left to do is maintain it — weeding, watering, pruning or dead-heading, harvesting — as needed and, most of all, enjoying your new pastime.
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Moving can be a challenge. The upheaval of packing, preparing our old and new home, the move itself: we can feel stressed and exhausted from the entire task – and so can our pets. 



There are steps we can take before, during and after the move to make our pets feel as comfortable as possible and make the transition from old home to new one easier. Here are some tips.


1. Move your home before your pet: The best tip for moving your pets? Move your belongings and unpack before introducing them to the new home. Our pets become so familiar and comfortable with what they like and don’t like in their environment that having familiar things in the new space will help them adjust. If your new home is full of boxes, they may feel anxious and uncomfortable.


Make the space welcoming by adding some of their favourite furniture or other spots to sleep and have their familiar toys available. 


2. Place familiar objects in familiar places: Placing familiar objects like couches and coffee tables or toy bins and dog beds in similar places to the old home can help them make the connection that this new space is home. The less upheaval there is in the new home, the easier it will be for them to relax. 


3. Pet proof your home: Check the yard or balcony for anything that may harm your pets, including poisonous plants, broken fences, gaps in railings or dangerous objects, and remove them as soon as possible. 


Inside, check that there aren’t any sharp materials on the floor or spaces they may be curious to explore that can trap them or otherwise harm them.


4. Update your pet’s info: Update any tags with the municipality and contact a local veterinarian to see if they can take a new patient (if you’re moving too far away from your current vet). 


5. Patience is key: Although you may not think the move will take a toll on your pets, remember the change is just as disruptive for them as it is for you and your family. It takes our pets time to adjust to a new environment, so you may find them more anxious or clingy. Let them explore their new environment at their own pace, be encouraging and give them lots of attention to help them adjust. 

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Choosing whether to rent or buy your next home is a major decision and ultimately comes down to what is right for you and your family’s lifestyle and needs, as well as your financial health. It’s not unusual to bounce back and forth between the two when making this decision because both have pros and cons worth noting. 

 

To help you organize those pros and cons, we’ve created a list of the advantages and disadvantages of renting and owning a home to help you understand what both have to offer.

 

RENTING A HOME

 

Advantages: 

 

  1. No maintenance costs: When renting your home, your landlord oversees any maintenance, repairs or issues that may arise. When there is a problem, your landlord is a call away to fix these issues, unlike a homeowner, who is fully responsible for the maintenance of their home and the associated costs.

 

  1. No down payment: The cost up front for renting a home is significantly less than owning, which includes things like a down payment and closing costs. Although most rental agreements ask for the first or last month’s rent as a deposit, the payout for homeowners is much higher. Renting allows for a quick and easy transition into a new home. 

 

  1. Easier to move: With month-to-month rental agreements, if a renter needs to move quickly due to a lifestyle or work change, they can give their notice and move out easier than a homeowner. Lifestyle preferences and whether you hope to be permanent in the location you’re in is something to consider when renting a home.

 

Disadvantages: 

 

  1. Unexpected rent increases: Although you pay a set amount of rent on a home and how much your landlord can raise it during your tenancy is regulated, rents in general between tenancies can rise sharply. Being financially prepared for these increases — or even for incremental yearly increases — can be an issue for some renters, making it hard to consider renting. 

 

  1. Unable to build equity: One of the biggest issues that people have with renting a home is not being able to build any equity. The monthly rent payments you make are not being invested into you, they are benefiting your landlord. 

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  1. Landlord is in control: Your landlord will be in complete control of the rules and regulations of the home and whether renovation changes can be made. To make changes to your home, you must consult with your landlord to see if what you hope to change is something they are willing to agree upon. This can make your home feel less personal and can make renters feel a disconnect towards their own living space.

 

BUYING A HOME

 

Advantages: 

 

  1. Investment: Buying a home means that you are investing in a property that, in the future, should become more valuable if you want to sell. Compared to renting and making payments to your landlord or a rental property company, you are making payments into an asset for yourself and your family.

 

  1. Ability to renovate: You own the right to do any renovations or maintenance to your home without needing to check in with a landlord when you purchase your property. The freedom to redecorate and renovate your home can help increase its value with each change you make, which helps with the future of your home if you wish to sell.

 

  1. Control of the home: With owning your home, you have full control of the property. You oversee the rules of your home, what changes can be made, and any maintenance work that needs to be completed. Being your own landlord allows for more freedom and privacy and let’s you personalize your home exactly the way you want.

 

Disadvantages: 

 

  1. Longer commitment: When you rent your home, you can put in your notice and leave whenever you want. Homeowners, though, are tied to their homes and must go through the process of hiring a Realtor, putting their home on the market, and waiting until they receive and accept an offer. If you have a lifestyle or work position that involves quick moves, settling in one location may be difficult to do. 

 

  1. Unexpected costs: Maintenance costs, regular upkeep and repairs can pop up unexpectedly when you own your home, so being prepared for this is important. Setting aside money regularly for any emergency repairs that may arise can be difficult and is one important consideration when purchasing a home. 

 

  1. Regular fees: Fees such as property taxes, utility costs, homeowner’s insurance and mortgage payments are just some of the regular fees that go into homeowning. Check with your financial adviser to ensure purchasing a home is within your budget and your financial health can accommodate the expense of owning a home. 

 

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