Advice

Calgary Real Estate Market: December 2018

Calgary Real Estate Market: December 2018

The REALTORS® at Renzo Real Estate, a Calgary real estate brokerage and team brings you the real estate market info, news, trends and predictions for December 2018.

In November 2018, new listings slowed across most sectors, however, the decrease in the home sales was more pronounced. This lead to continued rising inventory in the detached and attached sector. For condos, inventory came down slightly when comparing to this time last year, but prices have continued to fall.

Learn more about the Calgary real estate market and about selling in the winter months.

How To Find a Top REALTOR® in Calgary [Step-By-Step]

How To Find a Top REALTOR® in Calgary [Step-By-Step]

Finding a Top Calgary REALTOR® is a time consuming task. Going through a REALTOR® directory and searching the most recent reviews are great ways to get started. In this how-to guide, you will learn a step-by-step way find the best agent and real estate company to help you through the buying or selling process. Learn a number of questions you should ask your REALTOR® and learn more about commissions and fees.

Calgary Real Estate Market: November 2018

Calgary Real Estate Market: November 2018

Calgary real estate and housing market for November 2018. Brought to you by REALTORS® at Renzo Real Estate (Brokerage) in Calgary, Alberta.

Moving into November is always an interesting month in Calgary real estate as we are beginning to move out of the fall months and into the winter months. It is a transition month where we can see some natural shifts in buying patterns. From a market standpoint, it is common to see persistent sales in the fall as buyers work to lock down a property before the snowy season. Once we move into the winter months, sales usually drop off, as do listings.

How Much Are Calgary REALTOR® Fees?

How Much Are Calgary REALTOR® Fees?

Quickly learn all about Calgary REALTOR® fees and explore the Calgary Commission Calculator. Calgary based Renzo Real Estate brokerage, breaks down how fees work, how they are calculated, and how you can work with your real estate team and REALTOR® to understand the costs when selling your home.

Stress Test Mortgages in Calgary, Canada

Stress Test Mortgage - Calgary, Alberta

Stress Test Mortgage - Calgary, Alberta

On October 17, 2017, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) announced they will be implementing a "stress test" for uninsured mortgages. Previously, the stress test was only used when a borrower had less than 20% down. Now, the stress test will be extended to all mortgages, regardless of the down payment amount. This goes into effect on January 1, 2018, and will also affect mortgage renewals if the borrower switches lenders. 

What does this mean for the average Canadian home buyer? The new guidelines now require lenders to vet applicants for uninsured mortgages by using a minimum qualifying rate equal to the greater of the Bank of Canada’s five-year benchmark rate (currently 4.89%) or their contractual rate plus two percentage points.

Therefore, the amount you were previously pre-approved for is about to shrink. 

An example from Global News: 

Here’s how the rules would play out for a family with $100,000 in annual income.

First consider a scenario in which the family is offered a mortgage rate of 2.83%, which is more than two percentage points below the current Bank of Canada five-year benchmark of 4.89%.

If they were to apply for a mortgage today, with 20 percent down payment, a five-year fixed mortgage, and a 25-year amortization period, they would be able to afford a home worth $726,939.

If they were to apply for a mortgage on or after Jan. 1, they would be able to afford only $570,970, with a 20 percent down payment.

That is more than 20% less purchasing power. 

It is important to understand you do not pay the higher rate; you are just approved at the higher rate. 

What should you do?
If you are planning to purchase a home in 2018 and you planned on putting 20% or more down, you should discuss with your mortgage professional to see how this will impact your purchase. If you currently have a pre-approval, it's advised that you learn how your purchasing power will be changing in 2018. 

Why would OFSI do this?
They are describing this update to Guideline B-20 as a strong, and vigilant approach to protecting Canadian families from potential interest rate increases. Concerns over household debt are not new, and there are more discussion around steady increases to interest rates. Also, many believe this to be a blanket solution to slow potentially overheated markets like Toronto and Vancouver.

Please discuss this further with your mortgage professional and do not hesitate to reach out to your Renzo Real Estate agent to be put in touch with a great Calgary mortgage professional. 

Stress Test Mortgage Calgary

Can't Choose a House? Ask This One Question

You just finished a full day of viewings and you are spent. You walk into your kitchen, lay out the feature sheets and start narrowing down the list. After a while, you arrive at 2 properties and you can’t quite make the choice. Both have pros and cons. Both could potentially work. But how do you make the right decision? Ask yourself this question.

If both homes were the same price, which home would you choose?

We tend to get caught up in the details of home buying and this can detract from what we truly want in a property. We go back and forth on the properties because both could work - but which one do you really see yourself in?  

Now, this only works if you are shopping within your budget. Comparing homes that have a 15% difference in price will not cut it. But let’s say the properties you are comparing have a 3-5% difference in price and you are shopping within your budget. Asking yourself which one you would choose if the price was the same can reframe the way you are looking at the properties.

The reason differences in price can throw us off track is certain pros and cons have a subjective price in our eyes. Take for instance an open concept kitchen: what is an open concept kitchen worth? Well, the depends greatly on the person. When you have price in the mix, you start to ask “is the closed kitchen worth X to me”? When this happens your focus narrows and you forget the endless other differences in the properties. For example, the kitchen is closed but there is an extra bedroom, and the bathroom has just been remodelled - now what are each of these worth and how does it compare to the asking price. It gets messy quickly, so never lose sight of what you want in your property.

Two caveats to this approach are if you are buying as an investment, or if you plan on selling the property again soon. But if you are buying a home to build a life in, ask yourself the magic questions: which property would you choose if both properties were the same price?

Calgary House For Sale - Beltline, Calgary

Calgary House For Sale - Beltline, Calgary