Oswald says Carp’s ‘been good to me’

By Jake Davies - West Carleton Online

CARP – Realtor Andy Oswald has called Carp home since 2001.

While 22-some years seems like a long time to be settled in one small community, West Carleton residents are only too happy to put that in perspective.

Oswald fondly remembers a time just before the start of the COVID-19 outbreak. He was enjoying a coffee at Alice’s Village Café, sitting at one of the small tables along the walls. Café owner Todd Hirtle stopped by to inquire why Oswald wasn’t sitting at the locally well-known Table of Knowledge that dominated the centre of the room, a table Oswald was a regular at. The Table of Knowledge is a popular seat for Carp locals to discuss the comings and goings of the village.

Oswald replied with a smile, “there’s no room, and I’ve only lived in Carp for 18 years.”

It was a joke of course, but a sly wink at the pride West Carleton residents have in their community and the value placed on the community’s elders.

Oswald knows the West Carleton community well, which is why the Realtor has earned the Red Diamond Award (being in the top two per cent of sales nationally) as well as regularly being the Number 1 top sales producer for the Kanata Office.

Oswald entered the Real Estate industry in 1982, and his focus has mostly been west Ottawa.

“It’s been good to me,” Oswald told West Carleton Online about Carp from his West Ottawa Real Estate office Friday, July 7. “It was a great place to raise my son. He could walk to school, soccer, hockey, all that stuff. I always called it the Friendly, Quaint Village of Carp.”

And Oswald takes an active role in the Carp community. He was on the ground floor with the commencement of the Friends of the Carp Hills (FCH), a non-profit organization that protects environmentally sensitive land just east of the village known as the Carp ridge. Oswald doesn’t take much credit for the work the FCH has done over recent years led by FCH executive director Janet Mason, but he keeps a keen eye on the group’s progress.

“The stewardship they have put in place is amazing,” Oswald said. “Janet and Bernard (Proulx) and all the volunteers have done so much and have taken it so far.”

It might seem odd a Realtor working so hard to protect land from development, but Oswald says the important thing is making sure Carp retains its character which is one of its biggest drawing points for home buyers.

“I tell people for the past 41 years, I’m just a farmer pretending to be a Real Estate agent,” Oswald said. “We’ve spent many years helping people move on to the next phase of their life. We take a ‘client for life’ philosophy. In some cases, I’ve served three generations of clients. That’s the most satisfying part of the job, is having those relationships. I have 41 years of experience and knowledge in the Real Estate sales and Real Estate appraisal industries, providing a background perfectly suited to lead my team of real estate professionals in the buying and selling of your home, waterfront, recreational, cottage or ICI property.”

Oswald says 90 per cent of his business is either repeat or referral.

Since COVID, the Real Estate market has been on a wild ride. For the last couple of years, the market was red hot, and a lack of supply drove housing prices up in a short amount of time. Now, with interest rates on the rise, the market remains in a state of flux.

“The West Carleton market is seeing rapid change,” Oswald said. “High interest rates, I don’t like that, is putting a slight downward pressure on pricing and has created a wait-and-see approach amongst sellers creating a lack of inventory.”

But people still need places to live, and the City of Ottawa is a growing one. City council, through staff research, believes over the next 24 years the city will grow by more than 400,000 new residents and will need about 195,000 new dwelling units to house the new Ottawans.

“The market is stabilizing, and appropriately priced houses are selling,” Oswald said. “But the interest rate hasn’t affected the demand, or improved the supply.”

Oswald says west Ottawa has the ability to withstand those challenges with a strong workforce growing in Kanata’s “vibrant and growing tech sector.”

With Nokia and Apple soon coming to Kanata North, that will only bring more well-employed people to the area “creating positive spin on Kanata, Carp, right through to Almonte. That’s where the workforce is coming from.”

Oswald says new Canadians are choosing to settle in the nation’s capital and West Carleton is ready to provide them with whatever kind of home they desire.

“West Carleton has a great variety of homes, from townhomes, to estate homes, to hobby farms, to full working farms,” he said.

For more information, or to contact Realtor Andy Oswald, you can visit his website here.

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