With the change in upcoming qualifing mortgage rules, there is some good news.
Pre-Approvals committed before January 1st will remain valid up to 120 days following the initial credit decision. Approved applications closing beyond January 1st will remain valid; no re-adjudication is required as a result of the qualifying rate update.
Expect the average Canadian's home purchasing power for a given income to be reduced 15-20%. Here's an example of the impact a new qualifying rate will have on the maximum mortgage proceeds and home purchase price. Amounts are based upon a combined Canadian family income of $75,000, 5-year fixed term mortgage at a target rate of 3.39%, 25-year amortization, $100,000 available for down payment, and $700 in other monthly debt obligations:
With a qualifing rate of two percent higher after January 1st, with a 20% downpayment changes dramatically. For example - qualifing purchase price prior to January 1, 2018 would be $400,000 and on January 1, 2018 would be $325,000.
If you would like a contact information for one of our in-house mortgage brokers for your pre-approval, contact us.
Have you ever asked yourself that question? I know I have. I’ve questioned the idea in my head once or twice. What makes it so great from a business stand point, what is the job market like and is it really worth buying in Alberta? The short answer is: yes… wait, the answer is HECK YES! There is something great about Edmonton besides the Roger’s Place at the Ice District in downtown.
According to The Culture Trip, houses on average are roughly $350K. Which, for the most part, is true. Prices have not doubled in the last 10 years and have been surprisingly steady and unchanging in this period of time. Edmonton is one of the cheapest Canadian cities to live. With over 1.3 million people in surrounding areas and roughly 900K living in the city, the capital of Alberta has so much more to offer than our rival city, Calgary (there's that "Battle of Alberta" happening).
Our Real Estate market has been receiving some hate due to the increased growth of the city within the last six months but it benefits those eager to buy. This means you'll receive a steal-of-a-deal that you won't get anywhere else. The best places to buy are downtown and the south side right now!
So the question is, why Edmonton? Why buy here? If you want more bang for your buck, Edmonton is relatively cheap. Cheaper housing than Calgary, one of the best job markets, minimum wage is one of the highest across Canada, awesome people and lower gas prices because we’re an oil province! Go here to get started
Is 5% really what you need to purchase a home in Edmonton....
You've been looking on line and found that perfect home, calculated and saved your 5% downpayment and want to make an offer to purchase. But are you really ready to buy your Edmonton dream home?
Your down payment is the amount of money that a home buyer contributes in cash towards the purchase of a home. Down payment is usually described as a percentage of the total sale price.
Before you make an offer on any home, ensure you have calculated all buying costs. Talk with your mortgage broker or your buyers agent and inquire on CHMC, legal, property tax adjustments and closing costs. If you don't have a mortgage broker or bank mortgage specialist, ask us with your choice of bank or financial institution as we know some great people in that sector of the industry. Mortgage lenders offer more attractive loan terms for borrowers with large down payments. Putting down 20% or more of a home’s purchase price will avoid mortgage insurance, also known as CHMC and offer the most attractive interest rates. As the down payment percentage goes down, the lender is at greater risk if they have to foreclose on the property, so they offer less attractive loan terms and higher interest rates.
When you’re buying or selling an Edmonton home, it’s crucial to work with a qualified REALTOR or real estate agent. Not just a professional, but an amazing agent and a market expert. So how do you ensure you’re hiring an amazing real estate agent (or team)?
There are currently more than two million real estate professionals in North America.With so many options to choose from, how does a prospective home buyer or seller choose the right agent or broker from the REALTORS Association of Edmonton? According to the National Association of REALTORS®, trust and reputation are the top deciding factors consumers use when hiring an agent.
But how do you measure trust and reputation ... and what criteria can be used to help you make your decision?
In this guide, we've outlined the top attributes that amazing agents possess to make sure you’re working with the right Edmonton market expert(s) to achieve your Real Estate goals.
5 ATTRIBUTES OF AN AMAZING Edmonton AGENTS
As we mentioned above, not all real estate professionals are the same. And it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the options and information about working with real estate professionals to buy or sell your home. In fact, many Alberta Real Estate markets are oversaturated with agents.
To help you understand what makes top agents and market experts stand apart from the competition, following are five key attributes of an amazing agent:
1. A Pricing Specialist
Whether buying or selling a home, pricing can be tricky. Market experts can help navigate best-possible pricing strategies, and also secure the home you want within your budget.
2. An Effective Time Manager
Even a well-intentioned agent may not have the skills, tools or technology to make the experience easy for you. There are lots of hidden activities that may take up unexpected time, and a market expert will save you time and energy.
3. A Market Insider
Getting relevant and specific market knowledge can be difficult and time
consuming, which is why many real estate agents don’t have it. Whether you’re buying or selling a home, an experienced real estate agent is often the best source of information about a city, neighborhood, or even street … we’re literally conducting market research every day.
4. A Strong Negotiator
Many agents can feel the stress of the negotiation process, and may agree to terms of the buyer/seller. Working with a market expert will help ensure you get the best deal, not just the fastest deal.
5. An Effective Closer
Many agents don’t have a firm understanding of contracts. Because a real estate transaction often involves a significant investment, even a small mistake can mean serious trouble. With that in mind, it’s often best, and most responsible, to work with a true market expert.
LET'S GET STARTED!
Now that you’re armed with the 5 Attributes of Amazing Agents to ensure you work with the best possible real estate agent, you’re ready to start interviewing agents. Here is an awesome downloadable version.
Audrey & Mike would love an opportunity to win your business. Schedule a free consultation with us to find out how true market experts can help you achieve your real estate goals! Just drop us a line on our contact page. Thank you.
Griesbach demonstrates urban design success at many levels, creating a new community unlike anything else in suburban Edmonton. It raises the bar for quality of the public realm in Edmonton.
Redevelopment of the 620-acre former Canadian Forces army base, designed for 13,000 people, is about 25% built and will be completed over the next 10 years. Given its context, it is primarily residential, but includes a village centre and transit-oriented mixed-use centre. The builders are upper scale including Homes by Avi, Dream Homes by Krisner, Landmark Classic & Legacy Homes and Coventry Homes.
Tree-lined roadways focus on a central man-made hill. Paths integrated into the overall green system and adjacent neighborhoods accompany a waterway system. This design, combined with traffic calming, heritage interpretation, and the dispersal of parks makes it very people-friendly.The neighborhood names program is based on regimental history, peacekeepers, famous battles, war heroes, military nurses, and Victoria Cross winners.
Griesbach’s guidelines promote diversity, with an eclectic mix of housing forms and styles from garage suites to apartments; homes for families, seniors, and a veterans’ centre. Subdivisions have been designed around existing housing; some were relocated on new foundations. Right in the community is the Major General Griesbach Elementary School from Kindergarten to Grade 9.
Saving and relocating existing vegetation creates the feel of an established community; plans are to integrate evergreen rows into ‘green streets.
Various design elements pay homage to the Griesbach neighborhood military heritage. William Griesbach, Edmonton’s second mayor, First World War hero, MP and Senator, is honored with an equestrian statue. A pedestrian crossing of Patricia Lake replicates a Bailey Bridge, a prefabricated bridge used by combat engineers.
When determining the value of your home, there are two main ways. Comparative Market AnalysisA (CMA) or an appraisal.
A written justification of the price for a property, primarily based on an analysis of comparable sales of similar homes nearby normally completed by an independant third party through a bank or financial institution. When an appraisal is lower than the agreed upon price of a property and it is a CHMC mortgage, the bank or financial institution may not agree to forward funds to complete a sale, there for real estate negotiations begin again.
A Comparative market analysis or home evaluation is an examination of prices at which similar properties in the same area recently sold, properties currently on the market and properties with offers on them (pending offers). Real estate agents perform a comparative market analysis for their clients to help them determine a list price when selling a home or a price to offer when buying a home.
The true value of a home is the value of what a seller wants, what a buyer is willing to pay and of course what the bank thinks!
Knowing the perfect time to reduce the price of your home?
In Edmonton's current real estate market, it's not unusual for sellers to point fingers at the agents and agents to point fingers at seller's unrealistic expectations for a price. It's a catch 22 situation. Sellers say, "Why don't do you do more to sell my house?" Price reductions, price improvements, price adjustments, it doesn't matter what you call it, no seller wants to hear about lowering thier asking price.
Before you agree to reduce the price of your home, ask yourself these questions
How many hits has your listing received in MLS? Do the marketing comments sell the benefits or features? How does the house show online; are there a lot of beautiful pictures? Is your signage in a prominent location, contain several phone numbers, plus a Web site? Do you have a virtual tour published? What kind of feedback have you received from agents and buyers? Are you offering enough compensation to selling agents? Have you had showings and how many?
How many offers have you recieved?
How many of your nieghbors have reduced thier asking prices to stay competitive?
Has your home been on the market longer than the average Days on Market (DOM)?
Purchasing a home today in Edmonton's current real estate market is great. Low interest rates and plenty of inventory to choose from and if you want to sell your home, it may be time for a price adjustment.
The best way to know if Edmonton or any city is in a buyers market or a sellers market is to determine the current absorption rate.
An absorption rate is the rate at which homes sell in a given area during a given time period. Absorption rate is calculated by dividing the number of sales in a given month by the number of available homes for sale. It is the inverse of months of supply.
For example, if there are 20 properties listed for sale in a certain area, and 2 properties sold over the last month, the absorption rate is 10/100=10%. Which means, assuming no other homes put on the market, it would take 10 months for buyers to purchase enough properties to absorb the real estate demand.
As a rule of thumb, an absorption rate of 20-25% or higher means that homes are selling quickly and the market favors sellers. Lower absorption rates mean that homes are not selling quickly and supply is much greater than demand, favoring buyers.
Grab the kids and come out to Edmonton's corn maze only a few minutes west in Parkland county!
Are you up for a challenge full of gut decisions, clues and unexpected turns? From the air, the maze looks like a beautiful artistic pattern. On the ground, the Edmonton Corn Maze tests your sense of adventure and direction. The labyrinth of paths and corridors is cut into a 15 acre field of corn, and offers a series of clue cards for guidance along the way, with questions for all ages. Don't worry about taking your time to find your way out, getting lost is half the fun! For prices and location -click here
Top 3 Things To Know Before Purchasing a Condominium
Purchasing a condominium in Edmonton can seem over whelming. Below is some helpful advise to make buying an Edmonton condominium a little less stressful.
1. Research The Neighbourhood
There are no guarentees, your condo fees will be the same when it is time to sell. Odds are, your condominium fess will increase. Purchasing a condo in a sought after Edmonton neighborhood, such as downtown Edmonton, University Area and Westmount can off set future condo fee increases.
2. Less Amenities Doesn't mean Lower Condo Fees
Everyone thinks that if you're in a building with more amenities you’re going to pay higher condo fees, but this isn't necessarily true. Larger highrise condominimus with gyms, pools, guestrooms etc. are able to spread the cost among the higher population of tenants. Trendy boutique or smaller walk up buildings can have fees that are just as high or higher without any amenities. One of the main factors of condo fee increases is how the building is managed. As a condominium owner, having a say on what needs to be done to help budget your complex can avoid any future levies or special assessments.
3. Does Your Building have a Reputation?
Yes, buildings have reputations! Ask your agent to give you an idea of the building's desireability in the market. Some questions to ask include: how long does it take for units to sell in the building you're considering vs. others in your area? If it's priced below market value, find out why, and be okay with those reasons before going forward.
Timing is one of the key factors when it comes to purchasing real estate. The key to making money is buy low, sell high and real estate is no exception. RE/MAX.ca has just unleashed Canada’s Housing Market Outlook for 2017 and Edmonton is doing well. If you have been considering "up-sizing", now is a great time to invest before Edmonton's real estate market soars again.
Detached, single-family homes are the most sought after property type in Edmonton, and older homes in mature neighbourhoods typically receive multiple offers as a result of low inventory. A wide variety of inventory across the rest of the market provides good opportunities to move-up buyers who drive demand in Edmonton.
Stable prices have created good value in the upper-end of the market, resulting in 33 properties selling for over a million dollars in the first quarter of 2017. New approvals for high-rise condo developments in Edmonton’s downtown core and the Whyte Avenue district are expected to fuel condo market activity in the region moving forward.
The housing markets in Calgary and Edmonton remained relatively stable, with moderate declines in the number of sales and average residential sale price as a result of the prolonged recovery of the oil sector over the past two years. The average residential sale price in Edmonton decreased slightly, by two per cent year-over-year in 2016, while Calgary’s average residential sale price decreased by four per cent. Buyer activity is expected to pick up slightly in the second half of 2017 if employment opportunities in the oil sector continue to gradually come back to the province.
Highlites of Edmonton's real estate market for the first quater of 2017 include the stability of home prices, an increase of multi-million dollar homes being sold, more infills being built and several multiple offers on single family detached homes. Way to go Alberta!
Just in from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) newsletter. For the 70% of Canadians (including us Edmontonians) who own a home, it is a place to live, raise a family, and connects them to their community. Due to Canada’s tax system’s Principal Residence Exemption, when we sell our homes, any increased value or “capital gains” are not taxed. This tax break matters to Canadian homeowners. Collectively, we have about $3 trillion in home equity and our homes are often our largest financial asset.
However, starting with 2016 income tax returns, there are some changes in how homeowners qualify for the Principal Residence Exemption. Until now, the Canada Revenue Agency has not required Canadians to report on a home sale during a tax season. However, if you sold your Edmonton home in 2016 or later, you will need to complete a Schedule 3, Capital Gains of the T1 Income Tax and Benefit Return in order to report your sale.
The good news is that, in terms of taxes, nothing has changed. The same tax benefit is available to anyone who sells their home, provided the property was the principal residence for every year you owned it – even if you use part of your home for business purposes. There is no “new tax” involved, only a requirement you report the sale details on your tax returns.
As always, talk with your accountant. The small fee you pay for professional help can easily outweigh the mistake you do if filled out by yourself by either not getting a deserved refund or worse by having to pay back more taxes.
If you need more clarification, please get a hold of us thru our contact page.
Another one SOLD by Audrey Abuan & Mike Muranetz with RE/MAX Real Estate. A perfect home for a young family. This 3 bedroom offers a completely renovated kitchen with high quality cabinetry, soft close drawers, Magic Chef stainless steel appliances including microwave hood fan and dark counter tops. The main floor features a large foyer, wood burning ceramic tiled fireplace, real light oak hardwood flooring, large patio window to the fenced back yard with a covered deck, perfect for year round BBQ's and a renovated bathroom with dual flush toilet. Upstairs offers 3 bright bedrooms with newer vinyl windows, ample closet and storage space and another spa like bathroom. The basement of this home is fully finished with a large family room, laundry area and more storage. Both the furnace and hot water tank have been upgraded. Pet friendly complex, Cedar West is professionally managed and conveniently located between Whitemud Drive & West Edmonton Mall. Walking distance to Aldergrove Elementary, Thorncliff After School Care, community restaurants and other amenities. Was listed at $212,800.
Did you just buy your first home in 2016? Well, you can claim up to $5,000 (cha-ching!) for the purchase of a qualifying home in 2016 if both of the following apply:
- you or your spouse or common-law partner bought a qualifying home; and - you did not live in another home owned by you or your spouse or common-law partner in the year of acquisition or in any of the four preceding years (first-time home buyer).
How cool is that? That $5,000 (cha-ching again!) taken off your gross income will be like money in your jeans. To get full details, go to Canada Revenue's website THEN talk to your accountant. Don't forget to share with all your first time buyer friends.
If you don't have an account, let us know and we can recommend an excellent one. Did this help with your 2016 personal taxes?
What Is Retrofitting? Retrofitting a house is simply upgrading it so that it will keep the heat in. This means adding insulation, caulking and weatherstripping, improving or replacing windows and doors, and improving the heating system. Retrofitting also means including energy-efficiency measures in all your renovation and repair activities. In our Edmonton climate, retrofitting usually makes a lot of sense. This book tells you how to go about retrofitting your Edmonton house. It deals with houses of all kinds in all parts of Canada. It does not deal with apartment or commercial buildings, although some of the information presented here may be useful. This book is designed to serve both the experienced do-it-yourselfer and the novice willing to give it a try. It is also a useful consumer guide for homeowners who intend to hire a contractor to undertake retrofit work. If you want a copy, just email us or comment below and well send you a .pdf copy.....free. If you want an actual book, let us know and we'll get it to you either in person or thru Canada post. Do you have any friends who could use this to save few bucks on your heating??
Just a reminder our Quest for Excellence Bursary program closes this Monday March 13th at midnight! All grade 12 students in Western Canada INCLUDING Edmonton are eligible including grade 12 students of RE/MAX affiliates.
RE/MAX of Western Canada has renewed the Quest for Excellence bursary program. This year RE/MAX is once again offering (16) $1,000 bursaries for a total of $16,000 to grade 12 students.
This program was established by RE/MAX of Western Canada to recognize the success and ongoing pursuits of Western Canadian students in regards to leadership and community contribution initiatives. Go to RE/MAX Western Canada and apply. Any questions, reach out to us on our contact page. Good luck!
How a Buyer's Agent Represents Your Best Interests
Purchasing a home is about making a commitment to living in the same property with a long term mortgage to a financial institute. If there are mistakes made with the home purchase, you can not go back and return the property to the sellers. In the event of major defects by a home seller a home buyer may be able to sue the seller and demand that they take the home back. The buyer may be able to recover money from the home seller assuming they have money to give back to the buyer.
In a normal real estate transaction, there are usually 2 transactional parties (the Buyer&the Seller), 2 lawyers (Buyer's Lawyer&Seller's Lawyer) and 2 Real Estate Agents (the Buyer's Agent&the Seller's Agent). Sometimes there is only one real estate agent who is representing both the buyer and the seller. This practice has become less common for several reasons. Whether you are purchasing a for sale by owner property or a home listed by RE/MAX Real estate, there are several benefits of having your own representation including privacy in which Sellers don't know anything about your finances (except, you have your pre-approval in tact) or anything personal which could be used as a negotiation threshold to their advantage. To find out more how a buyer's agent works in your best interest, contact us today or you can read more info about buyer representation on this page.
I was chatting with a potential seller yesterday and he was told by two other real estate agents the Edmonton Real Estate Market crashed. I was a bit surprised by this statement, so to clarify what is really going on with our market.
The real estate market in Edmonton is soft. There are more than the average number of homes on the market, creating more property choices for buyers and keeping sellers competitive. However, Edmonton and surrounding area house prices are still holding and by no means has "crashed".
Now is great time for a first time buyer and investors to invest in condominiums. We currently have a surplus of condominiums in Edmonton, and all "real estate educated" condo home owners, know they have plenty of competition, thus creating more flexible terms and possession for new buyers.
Tell us what YOU think is happening to Edmonton's Real Estate market
Bathrooms are the most important rooms in your home and where you spend a lot of time. Bathrooms are usually the smallest room in a home and need to be kept clutter free and clean. Use wall space rather than floor space. Place shelves strategically on the walls to allow for the most floor room possible.
Renovating an older bathroom prior to selling your home can be the difference between selling and not selling. When it comes to bathroom renovations, it can be as simple as replacing flooring, a vanity, tub surround or toilet to extensive renovations. Keep in mind, although most bath companies do a fantastic job, you may not recoup the money you put into the reno.
Using a light paint color on the walls will make your bathroom also feel larger. If you are thinking about selling your home and are contemplating a renovation prior to putting your Edmonton home for sale, Contact us for a free in-home, market evaluation.