REMAX Real Estate Mountain View

DEAN MARTIN | 403-837-0909

Experts say you should buy a home with your head and not your heart, but it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement when you find a home that seems perfect for you.


That’s why a home inspection is a crucial step. It can uncover problems that might require walking away from a potential purchase or at least mean reassessing your offer.


According to Jared McIntyre, a home inspector with Canadian Property Inspections Ltd. and REALTOR® with Redline Real Estate Group, these are five red flags a home inspection might uncover:


Foundation issues
Since the foundation is literally what holds up a house, McIntyre says this is an enormous potential red flag. Settling of a foundation is one kind of problem, but another is underground water seepage. Both can threaten the structure of the home.


Roof problems
If a home needs a new roof, “it’s an expensive thing to do, and if the people who are selling are not willing to negotiate on it that can obviously compromise the sale of a house,” said McIntyre. He adds if the roof structure also needs repairs, the job could become even more expensive.


Water stains on ceilings can be a warning sign that the roof has leaked for quite some time.


Electrical, heating, and plumbing
McIntyre says this is an area where home inspectors sometimes find do-it-yourself nightmares that can cause serious damage or even injury.


“We’ve walked into a house and opened up electrical panels that we actually have to condemn and say ‘sorry, but we’re turning off power to this section of the house,’ ” he said.


Pest infestation
Raccoons or mice making themselves at home in an attic space might seem more comical than serious, but McIntyre says they can do a lot of damage.


He says mice like to burrow through attic insulation and will chew through whatever gets in their way, including electrical wiring.


Overall McIntyre says a knowledgeable home buyer looking to repair and then flip a home might find some issues less daunting than a first-time homebuyer, but a home inspection is still a smart investment.


“It might be an extra cost up front, but it’s well worth the knowledge that the house is fine structurally and is safe,” he said.

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Minimum Downpayment rules are changing in Canada effective February 15, 2016

On February 15, 2016, the minimum downpayment rules are changing in Canada for homes worth more than $500,000. The change is straightforward: for any portion of the house price over $500,000, buyers will need to provide 10% downpayment for an insured mortgage. The minimum downpayment for the first $500,000 will remain unchanged at 5% of the purchase price.

 

How much difference could it make? Here’s a simple example:

 

Right now, you could get a mortgage for a $750,000 home with a downpayment of $37,500: a simple 5% of $750,000. Once the new rules kick in next month, you’ll need $50,000 downpayment for the same house: 5% for the first $500,000 ($25,000), plus 10% for the $250,000 over the limit (another $25,000).

 

The change was announced in mid-December by the new Liberal Finance Minister, Bill Morneau. While most Canadian homebuyers will be unaffected, the move is designed to protect Canadian homeowners by ensuring a stronger equity footing in their homes.

 

 

If there’s a house purchase in your future, let’s talk. You will need a mortgage approval before February 15, 2016, to qualify under the 5% rule, and your purchase must also close before July 1, 2016.


For a free, quick pre-approval, call our trusted in-house Calgary Mortgage Broker Expert,

Cam Brown, at 403-650-5509

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Housing Market Characterized by Slow Demand

Elevated supply levels placed downward pressure on prices in December.


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With the focus shifting toward the holiday season, December sales activity slowed to 878 units in the city, 18 per cent below last year at this time and well below the five and 10-year averages.

December 2015 Real Estate Chart

 

As a result, the unadjusted benchmark price dipped to $448,800, a 0.42 per cent decline over the previous month and 2.33 year over year.

 

CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie noted December followed a pattern established early on in 2015, which was characterized by slower housing demand.

 

“Economic uncertainty, followed by weak economic conditions and job losses, contributed to slowing housing demand throughout the year,” she said.

 

“That said, while aggregate prices trended down in 2015, it was not to the same extent as some had speculated. Supply levels were low moving into this cycle and thus provided some cushion to absorb the inventory gains.”

In December, monthly inventory levels declined, as expected, to 4,336 units. Yet they were still 28 per cent higher than the same time last year, and at the highest December level recorded since 2008.

 

Inventory levels were notably up in both the apartment and attached sectors, which neared the highest December total on record.

 

“December showed that buyers in this market are continuing to be much more cautious as the impact of further oil price declines weighs on their confidence,” said CREB® president Corinne Lyall.

 

“Some sellers, meanwhile, are concerned about what supply levels may look like next year and are not delaying their decisions.”

 

On an annual basis, sales activity declined by 24 per cent in the detached sector and 33 and 28 per cent in the apartment and attached segments, respectively.

 

While months of supply in 2015 trended higher in all sectors, the apartment was the only one to average above four for the entire year. As a result, the apartment sector was also the only one to record an annual decline in average benchmark price, by 0.82 per cent.

 

While December prices for both the detached and attached sectors were 1.91 and 1.29 per cent lower than levels recorded at the beginning of 2015, on an annual average basis, they remained 1.35 and 1.84 per cent above 2014 numbers. “Aggregate statistics often do not provide the full story as activity varies by product type, price ranges and location,” said Lyall.

 

“While prices have trended down this year citywide, there are some areas of the city where prices for detached homes have improved compared to the start of the year.”


If you would like to discuss buying or selling a property in Calgary, please feel free to call me directly at 403-837-0909. Dean Martin

 

Elevated supply levels placed downward pressure on prices in December

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Finance Minister Announces Down Payment Rule ChangeDown payment on a house

New down payment rules will go into effective February 15, 2016.

 

“The Government’s role in housing is to set and maintain a framework that is equitable, stable and sustainable. The actions taken today prudently address emerging vulnerabilities in certain housing markets, while not overburdening other regions,” Finance Minister Bill Morneau said in a release. “They also rebalance government support for the housing sector to promote long-term stability and balanced economic growth.”

 

The minimum down payment for new insured mortgages will increase from 5% to 10% for the portion of the house price above $500,000, the finance ministry wrote.

 

Minimum down payment for properties up to $500,000 will remain at 5%.

 

The changes are meant to reduce taxpayer exposure while supporting long-term stability of the housing market, according to the ministry.

 

“This measure will increase homeowner equity, which plays a key role in maintaining a stable and secure housing market and economy over the long term,” Morneau said. “It also protects all homeowners, including many middle class Canadians whose greatest investment is in their homes.”

 

Try our online Canadian Mortgage Calculator here.

 

For quick online mortgage pre-approval,  visit our mortgage specialist online application here. 

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CALGARY HOUSING MARKET CONDITIONS FAVOUR BUYERS

Weak sales activity relative to inventory places downward pressure on prices  

 

Click here to view the full monthly stats package.

 

Calgary, Dec. 1, 2015 – Persistently high inventory levels within Calgary’s residential resale housing market, combined with weak sales activity, contributed to buyers' conditions in November.

 

Monthly sales totaled 1,263 units, a 28 percent decline from last year and nearly 20 percent below the 10-year average. Meanwhile, the number of new listings in the market increased by five per cent over last November and moved five percent above 10-year average.

 

The combination of both soft sales and elevated listings caused months of supply to rise above four months. It represents the third consecutive month that housing supply in the city has remained near four months, which is an indicator that supports buyers' conditions.

 

“The housing market is reflecting the realities of the economic conditions,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “Calgary has continued to post job losses in the energy sector, unemployment levels are high, wages are down and recovery expectations have changed. All of these factors have contributed to the weak demand we have seen throughout the year.

 

”CREB® president Corinne Lyall pointed out that inventory levels still remained 27 percent below the November highs recorded in 2008.

 

“Furthermore, price declines have not been as steep as those recorded during the last downturn,” she said.

 

The unadjusted benchmark price in November declined to $450,700, a 0.5 percent drop compared to last month and two percent from last year.

 

Calgary’s detached housing sector faired the best in November as months of supply increased to only 3.4. Nonetheless, the unadjusted benchmark price declined by 0.6 percent compared to October, and 1.52 percent from November 2014, to $510,700.

 

In the attached category, buyers’ conditions emerged as months of supply increased to 4.8. As a result, the unadjusted benchmark price declined to $352,400, a 0.5 percent drop from last month and 1.5 percent from last year.

 

The apartment sector continued to be the hardest hit of the three sectors. Months of supply increased to 6.9 in November, causing benchmark prices to slide 0.5 percent from October to $287,000. Meanwhile, year-over-year prices were off by 4.6 percent.

 

Despite weaker absorption rates for most of 2015, residential benchmark prices have only recently started to decline – while average and median prices have dropped more dramatically. Lurie attributed that to slower activity in the higher-priced segments of the market, which can skew average and median prices.

 

Benchmark prices represent changes for similar-type homes, minimizing the impact caused by changes in distribution.

 

“It is not a surprise that the average price has recorded a steeper decline than the benchmark price,” she said. “Last November, detached sales in the city over $700,000 totaled 159 units or 15 percent of the market sales.

This November, there were only 103 sales representing 13 percent of the market sales."

 

Lyall said knowing the difference between indicators such as average, median and benchmark prices is important for sellers.

 

“There is no question that this can be a challenging market,” she said. “However, because of these circumstances there is a greater need for market intelligence."

 
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It's a 5-year variable rate at 2.15% (oac, rates subject to change without notice) and you get $1000 cash back to do whatever you want with...  offset moving expenses, upgrade appliance, buy some furniture... you decide.

 

To find out if you qualify, simply fill out this simple online application form or give Cam Brown a call at 403-650-5509.

Cam Brown Mortgage Broker


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Market moves toward balanced conditions

Calgary housing prices change direction in May

Click here to view the full monthly stats package. 

 

For the first time since December 2014, Calgary’s residential unadjusted benchmark prices improved over the previous month. Within the city of Calgary, housing prices totaled $454,100 in May, a monthly and year-over-year increase of 0.55 and 0.96 per cent.

 

“For the third month in the row, new listings have eased compared to last year, helping push the market toward more balanced conditions, despite the current environment of slower sales activity,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “This has helped prevent further declines in the unadjusted benchmark price.”

 

New listings in the city of Calgary totaled 3,161 units in May, a 27 per cent decrease over last year. Meanwhile, total inventory levels for the month were 5,342 units, 16 per cent higher than last year, but eight per cent lower than May levels recorded over the past five years and three per cent lower than average levels over the past 10 years.

Two measures of balance are the months of supply and the sales to new listings ratio. In May, the months of supply decreased to 2.43, while the sales to new listings ratio was 69 per cent, both within the norms for balanced conditions.

 

“Back in January, higher inventory levels relative to sales activity caused months of supply to rise above five months,” said CREB® president Corinne Lyall. “While some challenges continue to exist for sellers, depending on the property type, price and location, the decline in the months of supply points toward more stability for both buyers and sellers.”

 

Year-to-date the detached sector recorded the largest decline in new listings at eight per cent. While overall inventory levels are 12 per cent higher than last year’s levels, they remain well below the five and 10 year averages for May.

 

Detached sales activity in May totaled 1,366 units, with the majority of transactions occurring below $500,000. While conditions are not as tight as last year’s market conditions, which favoured the seller, over the first five months of this year activity in this price range has remained relatively balanced.

 

“This segment of the detached market continues to have a good amount of consumer activity, as many have taken advantage of the improved selection compared to last year,” said Lyall. “While some have waited for steeper price declines, to this point it just hasn’t happened across all areas of the market. This is partly related to activity in the under $500,000 segment.”

 

Meanwhile, year-to-date apartment sales and new listings totaled 1,383 and 3,229 units respectively. The May apartment benchmark price of $294,800 increased by 1.20 per cent compared to last month, but remains 0.2 per cent below May 2014 figures.

 

The apartment sector continues to remain the only sector where prices have contracted relative to last year’s figures.

 

“While the resale market has recorded an easing of upward inventory pressures, the new home sector has started to record some gains in inventory,” said Lurie. “Current new home inventories remain relatively low. However, the overall impact on Calgary’s housing prices will ultimately depend on the duration of the economic slowdown and the amount of inventory build-up in the new home sector.”

 

 

Click here to view the full monthly stats package. For the first time since December 2014, Calgary’s residential unadjusted benchmark prices improved over the previous month. Within the city of Calgary, housing prices totaled $454,100 in May, a monthly and year-over-year increase of 0.55 and 0.96 per cent.“For the third month in the row, new listings have eased compared to last year, helping push the market toward more balanced conditions, despite the current environment of slower sales activity,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “This has helped prevent further declines in the unadjusted benchmark price.”New listings in the city of Calgary totaled 3,161 units in May, a 27 per cent decrease over last year. Meanwhile, total inventory levels for the month were 5,342 units, 16 per cent higher than last year, but eight per cent lower than May levels recorded over the past five years and three per cent lower than average levels over the past 10 years.Two measures of balance are the months of supply and the sales to new listings ratio. In May, the months of supply decreased to 2.43, while the sales to new listings ratio was 69 per cent, both within the norms for balanced conditions.“Back in January, higher inventory levels relative to sales activity caused months of supply to rise above five months,” said CREB® president Corinne Lyall. “While some challenges continue to exist for sellers, depending on the property type, price and location, the decline in the months of supply points toward more stability for both buyers and sellers.”Year-to-date the detached sector recorded the largest decline in new listings at eight per cent. While overall inventory levels are 12 per cent higher than last year’s levels, they remain well below the five and 10 year averages for May.Detached sales activity in May totaled 1,366 units, with the majority of transactions occurring below $500,000. While conditions are not as tight as last year’s market conditions, which favoured the seller, over the first five months of this year activity in this price range has remained relatively balanced.“This segment of the detached market continues to have a good amount of consumer activity, as many have taken advantage of the improved selection compared to last year,” said Lyall. “While some have waited for steeper price declines, to this point it just hasn’t happened across all areas of the market. This is partly related to activity in the under $500,000 segment.”Meanwhile, year-to-date apartment sales and new listings totaled 1,383 and 3,229 units respectively. The May apartment benchmark price of $294,800 increased by 1.20 per cent compared to last month, but remains 0.2 per cent below May 2014 figures.The apartment sector continues to remain the only sector where prices have contracted relative to last year’s figures.“While the resale market has recorded an easing of upward inventory pressures, the new home sector has started to record some gains in inventory,” said Lurie. “Current new home inventories remain relatively low. However, the overall impact on Calgary’s housing prices will ultimately depend on the duration of the economic slowdown and the amount of inventory build-up in the new home sector.”Click here to view the full monthly stats package. For the first time since December 2014, Calgary’s residential unadjusted benchmark prices improved over the previous month. Within the city of Calgary, housing prices totaled $454,100 in May, a monthly and year-over-year increase of 0.55 and 0.96 per cent.“For the third month in the row, new listings have eased compared to last year, helping push the market toward more balanced conditions, despite the current environment of slower sales activity,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “This has helped prevent further declines in the unadjusted benchmark price.”New listings in the city of Calgary totaled 3,161 units in May, a 27 per cent decrease over last year. Meanwhile, total inventory levels for the month were 5,342 units, 16 per cent higher than last year, but eight per cent lower than May levels recorded over the past five years and three per cent lower than average levels over the past 10 years.Two measures of balance are the months of supply and the sales to new listings ratio. In May, the months of supply decreased to 2.43, while the sales to new listings ratio was 69 per cent, both within the norms for balanced conditions.“Back in January, higher inventory levels relative to sales activity caused months of supply to rise above five months,” said CREB® president Corinne Lyall. “While some challenges continue to exist for sellers, depending on the property type, price and location, the decline in the months of supply points toward more stability for both buyers and sellers.”Year-to-date the detached sector recorded the largest decline in new listings at eight per cent. While overall inventory levels are 12 per cent higher than last year’s levels, they remain well below the five and 10 year averages for May.Detached sales activity in May totaled 1,366 units, with the majority of transactions occurring below $500,000. While conditions are not as tight as last year’s market conditions, which favoured the seller, over the first five months of this year activity in this price range has remained relatively balanced.“This segment of the detached market continues to have a good amount of consumer activity, as many have taken advantage of the improved selection compared to last year,” said Lyall. “While some have waited for steeper price declines, to this point it just hasn’t happened across all areas of the market. This is partly related to activity in the under $500,000 segment.”Meanwhile, year-to-date apartment sales and new listings totaled 1,383 and 3,229 units respectively. The May apartment benchmark price of $294,800 increased by 1.20 per cent compared to last month, but remains 0.2 per cent below May 2014 figures.The apartment sector continues to remain the only sector where prices have contracted relative to last year’s figures.“While the resale market has recorded an easing of upward inventory pressures, the new home sector has started to record some gains in inventory,” said Lurie. “Current new home inventories remain relatively low. However, the overall impact on Calgary’s housing prices will ultimately depend on the duration of the economic slowdown and the amount of inventory build-up in the new home sector.”

 
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Learn how to get your home ready for sale. Here is a short video that explains 10 mistakes you want to avoid to ensure your home is “Fit to Sell”.

If you are thinking of selling your home and want to know more about the process and costs and preparations, please feel free to call me anytime to arrange an appointment.

 

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Home buyers in Calgary will feel the impact of the 2015 budget because of a shocking hike in land titles and mortgage registration fees that start July 1, 2015.

 

According to Service Alberta Minister Stephen Khan, lawyer and real-estate associations say that Alberta’s registrations fees are low comparative to other provinces.

 

There are two parts of land title and mortgage registration fees. The flat-fee portion for each type of registration goes from $50 to $75.

 

But it’s on the “variable” or per-dollar fee that homeowners will see the biggest increase in fees. That fee will rise to six times its current level.

 

For example: Starting July 1, someone buying an average-priced home in Calgary of $500,000 with a $400,000 mortgage will pay $675 for land title registration and $555 for mortgage registration, a total of $1230. Registration fees are up 424 percent from the current fees of $290.

 

To keep home buying costs and fees in perspective, buying a home Alberta is still well below what homebuyers pay in provinces that have land transfer taxes. Using my example of a home purchase of $500,000, the land transfer tax in Vancouver would be $8000 and in Toronto Ontario $12,200.

 

Are you considering buying a home in Calgary and not sure of all the steps and costs associated with a home purchase? Give us a call today and book an appointment to meet with one of our buyer specialists, where we will show you all of your out-of-pocket expenses plus show you how to save thousands on your mortgage. Call Dean Martin at 403-837-0909.

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Categories:   buying a home
Data supplied by CREB®’s MLS® System. CREB® is the owner of the copyright in its MLS® System. The Listing data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by CREB®.
The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.
The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS®, and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.