Stewart J Lowe - Calgary Dream Homes
Record high sales seen again in March - CREB
City of Calgary, April 1, 2022 – For the second month in a row, sales activity not only reached a monthly high but also hit new record highs for any given month. Gains occurred across every property type as they all hit new record highs.
BUYING ACREAGES / RURAL LAND
Big City living in Calgary isn’t for everyone, some people like to look up at stars instead of the city lights. So moving out of a City or suburbs to a rural area might be next on your bucket list. If it is, here are a quick glance at what you need to look at, but we always advise to talk to a lender who understands rural sales, we can suggest a few.
How many acres are we talking? 5-10 acres is usually easier for a buyer because the mortgage generally qualifies parallel to a regular city home. The minimum down payment will normally be 5% of the purchase price if the property is under $1 Million. Over a million and a minimum down payment will be 20%. Remember that an appraisal will be required in most instances, and a lender will generally only give value for up to 10 acres, the house and garage. "Outbuildings" such as shops, barns, and Quonsets are almost always not included in the value of an appraisal.
Zoning of the property must comply if we are treating it as a regular residential mortgage vs. agricultural land. "Country Residential" is commonly the zoning for these types of properties. Rural is a larger acreage frequently 40, 80, or 160 acres (160 acres =1/4 section). Agricultural land is for farming use and cannot be financed by normal mortgage companies or banks.
Septic tanks and wells are typically found on acreages, which means a water potability test must be completed and a septic certificate is required from the municipality to confirm best practice. The lender needs to know that the water is safe. (Your realtor will help you with this.)
Potability reports are needed for all well water and flow rate, this will be required either upfront with the lender approval or at the lawyers before closing. We don’t suggest leaving it that late, it should be done before waiver day, before the conditions are lifted. No suprises!
- Note. The income generated from a Calgary area acreage will not be included to help you qualify for a mortgage. Remember, if a lot of the income is being generated by the owner from things like mineral rights, or leasing to a farmer, this may raise a red flag to lenders who could consider this more like a farm or business loan instead, which is a completely different process.
There are lots to consider before you purchase the land to build your Calgary Dream Home, so take your time and speak to your lender, make sure they have a rural loan expert on hand, then call us.
Bank of Canada Raises Rates by 25 bps - Cathy McMurrich
The Bank of Canada has just raised its key lending rate by 25 basis points, citing…
This marks the first change to the Bank’s overnight target rate in two years and the first rate hike since October 2018.
In its statement accompanying the decision, the Bank said: “As the economy continues to expand and inflation pressures remain elevated, the Governing Council expects interest rates will need to rise further.”
CREB : March 1 2022 Report
Sales continue to surge as listings rise.
City of Calgary, March 1, 2022 – Thanks to a surge in new listings, sales activity reached a record high for the month of February with 3,305 sales. The rise in new listings caused adjusted inventories to rise above last months levels. However, with only one month of supply, the market continues to favour the seller.
JUST LISTED- Tuscany NW
JUST LISTED - 193 TUSCARORA CIRCLE - TUSCANY - CUL DE SAC HOME - 3 BEDROOM - $539,000 : Call 403-850-0669 - A1183960
Take a good look at this well located 2 storey home in Tuscany minutes from shopping and schools in a premium cul-de-sac. Built by Acclaim Homes for the seller originally. As you enter the home you are aware of the openness with lounge area to the right next to what could be the formal dining room. But you will be amazed at the size of the kitchen with lots of storage, walk-in pantry and a huge Granite center island. With a really good open and airy feel on the main floor it is perfect for entertaining family or friends, the main dining table is set up next to a cozy natural gas fireplace. Three bedrooms up central bathroom and master en suite wide bright upper landing area and a cozy bonus room to relax in. The lower area awaits your vision for future potential development with high ceilings. and open space. Double attached garage is insulated and roof was replaced in 2015/16. Tuscany is one of Calgary's best family communities and you are a two minute drive away from Tuscany LRT and Sobeys,Canada Post, Starbucks and a huge shopping center and clubhouse. Schools are all very close.In the summer you can be part of this vibrant community family activities. Easy access to the Downtown or the mountains via Stoney Trail to Highway1 East or West.
Keep your Calgary Home Safe & Secure
Keep your Calgary Home Safe & Secure
Home security often comes up at this time of the year. Calgary has a balanced budget again! But Residential and Rural Real Estate homeowner’s still have to be aware of security for the winter months.
Door locks and alarms especially, but there is also a lot you can do around your property to prevent the possibility of a break-in.
A good way to deter the burglar is your outside lighting. Your home doesn't need to light up like a Christmas Tree but your exterior lighting should illuminate your land around the home enough to be a deter anyone up to no good in the area. Last winter I bought 2 solar lights off Amazon for $39.99 cdn and they have been excellent (except for the dog not liking them when they suddenly come on!)
Some burglars hide around the property and wait for someone to arrive and open the door so they can use that opportunity to force their way into your home. There have been police reports of burglars accessing garages that have been left up, some people leave their keys in the car, so it is an ideal opportunity to steal it.
One of the best things you can do is to walk around your property and see if you can spot any areas where someone could hide. Can they get in behind your garden shed, a large garden shrub or next to a parked car. Make sure any of these areas are well lit or have solar lights on them. Pay particular attention to lighting around your exterior doors, especially the back door and the man door to the garage, which is always a favourite with burglars.
Some experts also recommend that exterior lighting be installed with a timed dimmer. The lights can then be set to cast a bright light in the early evening, and then a dimmer light throughout the rest of the night. There also some very good Neighborhood-watch online communities that send out information of people up to no good in your area - well worth checking out!
Our favourite lights are installed with motion detectors, which can be very effective in the areas we mentioned before. These sensor driven lights turn on or brighten when someone comes onto that part of your property. Most thieves will run as soon as they see a bright light go on.
If you have a spare key that you want kept outside “Just in Case” make sure it is hidden in a good spot but easy to access (and easy to find in thick snow!). Here is a smart place to hide your spare key!
Or why not go to Home Depot and buy a builders lock box for any access “emergency”. Don’t just put the key under the front door mat or plant pot, the experienced thief can fast track his way in, especially if he spots a member of the family reaching down to pick up what he suspects is a key.
So keep safe and warm till next time. 403-850-0669
Sellers Market Top Tip - Get Pre Qualified!
Direct : 403-850-0669 | info@CalgaryDreamHomes.com
6 - F.A.Q’s – Before your Calgary Home is Listed for Sale
1) What is today’s Real Estate Market Like?
We are currently in a Seller’s Market with limited inventory.(February 2022) One of the big indicators that show the state of the market is the average days a property has been on the market, and at the moment it is not long. Another example which we show to the seller on our Market Consultation is the number of closed transactions year-over-year for any given month, average list prices, and what they Sold for.
2) What should I do to get the home ready?
We did a Blog before this one covering this. But it is all about the first impression and always giving your home its best shot. Curb appeal when the potential buyer drives past or before they reach the front door is important. So make sure there is no outside mess, and in summer cut the grass and weed-wack the garden edges. Remove all clutter. Remember - if you don’t need it – put it away. Fix any small paint jobs or broken tiles, they want to see that you looked after the home.
3) In this Market what is your home worth?
In our Market Consultation we show you our Marketing plan, with market comparables, actives and solds in your area we present a full CMA price range of where the price of your home sits. We adjust it by upgrades and condition and we arrive at the competitive price your home should be listed at.
4) Is the City Assessment an indication of market price?
No not really, there are many homes that are sold for more than assessed value and many sold for less. The assessed value is used by the City to determine your yearly tax rate. However, some buyers believe that if a home is listed over assessed value, it is overpriced. If it’s below they don’t mention it!
5) At the Market Consultation, what is in the CMA?
The Camparative Market Analysis gives us a snapshot of the current market and we take “comparable” solds in your area within the past 6 months and current “comparable” Actives to see what your listing competition looks like. Comparables means square footage, number of bedrooms & bathrooms, developed or not basement, walkout vs. basement, roof age, lot features, kitchen upgrades, style of home, windows condition, and flooring type.
6) Is it the right time to sell?
If a home is well priced and in good condition will always sell quickly in most markets. Seasons ofcourse are important, it could take longer to sell in the snow covered winter months. Selling in the fall is sometimes good, and buyers need in before schools start. But also February or March can be good if it is mild weather, before most sellers wait for the grass to green to list in the spring, and you can have a lot less competition to sell against.
Call today to book a market consultation, we will be happy to go over everything in detail, including our Marketing Strategy to get your home Sold!
E: info@CalgaryDreamHomes.com Direct: 403-850-0669
THINGS TO FIX BEFORE SELLING YOUR CALGARY HOME
If you’re putting your Calgary home on the market, there’s a good chance you’d sell it quickly in the current market —and preferably over asking price. We are in a Seller’s Market, but before you get too far into the process of selling your home, take a look at some of the most important things to do first!
Fix the broken stuff
If you want to sell your house quickly and at the best price , you’re going to have to make it shine. All those small repairs that you kept putting back - need to be done. It is time to give your house maximum TLC! This will include: repainting your baseboards, tightening the cabinet hinges, and re-caulking and cleaning the tiles in the kitchen or bathroom.
Fix up your curb appeal
If the potential buyer drives past your home – and most of them will before they take a closer look! You want their mindset to be “I can see us living there.” Doing some minor work to the exterior can greatly improve your home’s first impression – it can be as simple as making sure the outside is well-kept, tidy and inviting. If its summer cut the grass and weed-wack all the garden edges.
Fix and locate your documents
Locate all your utility bills (Direct Energy etc), and brochures if you still have them for appliances. Take a proactive approach by gathering all your service records so you’ll know ahead of time if something needs to be serviced before listing your home. The buyer will want to know about maintenance schedules, which companies you used to do the maintenance etc.
Finally - Take Pictures
Take some photos on your iphone, because the home you’re about to sell holds a lot of memories. If your kids grew up in the home you will wish you’d kept a few pictures to remind you of this period of your life!
Creb: Calgary housing market expected to remain strong in 2022
Calgary housing market expected to remain strong in 2022 - after record- breaking 2021
City of Calgary, Jan. 25, 2022 – Housing market activity in 2022 is expected to moderate relative to record levels of activity in 2021, while remaining stronger than historical levels.
“Despite challenges with COVID-19, we are starting to see a turnaround in our job and migration numbers, and while interest rates are expected to rise, they remain relatively low. All these factors are expected to support strong housing demand into 2022,” said CREB® Chief Economist Ann-Marie Lurie.
Buying a Calgary Home While Selling Your Current one.
Are you in the position where you want to find a new home – but need a buyer for your current home? Fortunately there are a few options for people who are buying one home while selling another:
Buying using financing
If you need the equity in your current home to purchase another home, you will need financing to buy before you sell. Most people with a firm sale on their current home go for a short term bridge loan. Yes, it is a high-interest loan intended to help you fund your down payment and other costs that you will repay when your sale goes through.
Another option is a home equity loan, which creates a lien on your property. The bank has the right to repossess your home if you can't pay it back. Of course reducing the equity in your home whilst increasing your debt, won't look good on a mortgage application.
Selling with a delay
You have to have your timing right, but the best way to get approved for a mortgage is to have a buyer lined up for your house with a waiver to buy in place. Give yourself a longer possession period, your buyer is already ready to move and won't want to wait for you to find a new place. Buyers may agree to a relatively long closing period, maybe include in the contract, closing time can be reduced subject to agreement by buyer and seller.
Have a contingency plan
You may make the purchase of your new home subject to the sale of your own. This buyers clause is not always acceptable by a seller, especially if the seller has only just listed his property and is seeing a lot of action on it. You'll still be responsible for the deposit, but you'll get it back if the sale falls through. Unfortunately, this isn't a very great deal for the seller, they may be trying to manage the timing on a home purchase as well. With a “subject to the sale of the buyers home” you may have to show that your home is priced competitively to persuade the seller to accept your offer.
If you are going to need to make a home sale and a home purchase at the same time, we will need to go over your options with you.
Contact us today on 403-850-0669.
Are You Ready To Kick-start The Home Buying Process?
So – You started looking at homes, but now you are starting to get serious. Well here are some important things to get you ready to move!
1. Check with your lender – How much do I qualify for?
You may want to get a couple of options from a couple of lenders (we can help), but by getting prequalified for a mortgage loan it puts you on the road to buying your home. They will tell you how much you qualify for, you can then you can go shopping. Don’t automatically decide you’ll borrow the maximum you’re offered. Take a look at your budgets and then decide how much you actually want to borrow, it may not have to be the full amount.
2. What would be a good sized home for you?
Remember the bigger the home, the more you will pay in insurance, property taxes and heat! Depending on the age and condition of the house, factor in for the cost of repairs and maintenance. It could be around 1% of its value per year. Figure out rooms needed for the family, maybe you need a guest room or have older parents.
3. Look at comparable home prices in the area- Don’t over pay – Walk away.
Go through the current Actives and previous Sold homes with us. Consider what other people paid for similar homes in the same area. Try not to be emotional, be objective, will the home work is the location correct, am I paying the correct amount.
4. Don’t buy a Money Pit
The home inspection will tell you the condition of the home, and forecast what you will need to address down the line. If the home is a Rural home you will also probably need a Septic test, Well test, water condition test. You want to know exactly what you are buying, not just for yourself but from a resale point of view also.
5. Check out extra buyer costs.
Costs will include (but may not be limited to) lawyer fees, home inspection, maybe condo inspection, property taxes, the down payment. It is best to know upfront what your closing costs are. Your lender and lawyer will estimate costs at their end. When you are buying - The Seller pays all commissions.
6. Check out the area ahead of time
So – you have got the OK from your lender and are ready for us to start sending you homes for sale in the areas you like with your criteria – you can trim down the list – and we can go and look at possible homes. It’s always a good idea to drive around areas you like, does the location work for work and schools, in summer are the gardens cared for. If you can, have a chat with someone who lives in the community.
After 20+ years experience in the Calgary & Area market, we can answer any of your questions and walk you through the whole process. Let’s have coffee! Call us on 403-850-0669
What to Expect in the Calgary Market in 2022- Cathy McMurrich - The Mortgage Group
I'd like to wish you a very happy, healthy and prosperous 2022!
Not many forecasters anticipated the extent of the housing market's performance in 2021.
The year ended with both home sales and average prices up over 20% compared to the previous year, driven largely by historically tight housing supply and low interest rates.
So, what can homeowners and homebuyers expect in 2022?
Creb: 2021 record year for home sales
City of Calgary, Jan. 4, 2022 – Thanks to exceptionally high sales in December, 2021 was a record year for home sales. Calgary sales reached 27,686 units this year, nearly 72 per cent higher than last year and over 44 per cent higher than the 10-year average.
“Concerns over inflation and rising lending rates likely created more urgency with buyers over the past few months. However, as is the case in many other cities, the supply has not kept pace with the demand, causing strong price growth,” said CREB® Chief Economist Ann-Marie Lurie.
Let's Talk - Stewart J Lowe Video
6 Mistakes to Avoid When You Have Smaller Rooms
Let’s look at mistakes clients make with restricted spaces in their homes.
Mistake 1) Filling up smaller sized rooms with lots of medium or small sized pieces of furniture. Many may even justify this act by saying that small pieces of furniture are in proportion to small rooms. However, the right strategy for smaller rooms is actually just the opposite.
Mistake 2) Never cover up windows in smaller spaces by blocking out part or all of it’s natural light. Let the lights make the room appear bigger.
Mistake 3) Don’t go for dark colours when painting walls in small rooms. Going dark for one feature wall is OK, going dark for all the walls will make a small room look even smaller.
Mistake 4) The big NO NO, don’t clutter rooms in confined spaces, clutter is a notorious space-eater – it eats up physical space as well as makes small rooms appear even cramped to the eyes.
Mistake 5) Never stop the flow of a room, people like to walk easily through a small room, not weave their way through furniture. Light and Space make the eye see the room as bigger than it actually is.
Mistake 6) With the right strategies, you can make compact rooms look even more impressive than large rooms. And, you can make a smaller room look impressive on a lower budget, as the amount of premium finishes and elements required to ‘fill’ a restricted space is lesser than that required for larger spaces.
We can chat with you and see it from the eye of a potential buyer 403-850-0669 info@CalgaryDreamHomes.com
CREB: Persistent sellers' market conditions drive up prices
City of Calgary, Dec. 1, 2021 – Driven by growth in demand for all property types, there were 2,110 sales in November, just shy of the record for the month set in 2005.
“Lending rates are expected to increase next year, which has created a sense of urgency among purchasers who want to get into the housing market before rates rise,” said CREB® Chief Economist Ann-Marie Lurie.
“At the same time, supply levels have struggled to keep pace, causing tight conditions and additional price gains.”