FOUR of FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYERS’ BIGGEST MISTAKES

Tue, 06 Feb by bastedogroup

Buying a home for the first-time is an exciting time. It’s quite possibly the most significant financial transaction of your lifetime.

You’re also making the exciting jump from renter to homeowner. While buying a home is something to celebrate, it’s important to do your homework.

Here are four of the biggest mistakes first-time homebuyers are prone to make and how to avoid them:

Mistake #1: Buying Too Much Home

Before house hunting, it’s a good idea to get pre-approved for a mortgage. When you’re pre-approved, you’ll know exactly how much you can afford to spend on a home.

Your mortgage professional is going to tell you the maximum amount you can spend, but keep in mind, that doesn’t mean that you should spend the entire amount.

Set a housing budget and take some time to crunch the numbers and see if you can afford the mortgage payments on a monthly basis. Don’t forget to take into account property taxes and strata (condo) fees.

You’ll want to leave yourself some financial breathing room in case mortgage rates go up or you run into a financial emergency.

By overspending on a home, you could find yourself “house rich, cash poor,” with very little money to save, let alone to spend on having fun (say goodbye to dining out at restaurants and going on vacation every year). Don’t make this mistake.

By buying a home within your home-buying limit, you’ll be better prepared the next time life throws a financial curveball at you.

Mistake #2: Forgetting to Budget for Closing Costs

If you’ve never bought a home before, it’s easy to overlook closing costs.

They’re just a drop in the bucket, right? Wrong. Closing costs can add up to four percent of your home’s purchase price.

And your lender won’t cover these costs, so it’s your responsibility to put this money aside in addition to your down payment.

Examples of typical closing costs include land transfer taxes in some provinces, real estate lawyer fees and home inspection fees.

Mistake #3: Buying Based Solely on Looks

Have you ever stepped foot inside a house and it became love at first sight? You see everything you’re looking for in a home: granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and an open kitchen. You’re ready to make an offer right then and there.

But before you do, take the time to look at the bones of the home.

We’re’ talking about the roof, windows, furnace and structure. Anyone can install a new backsplash in a kitchen or toss some fresh paint on the walls, but replacing something significant like the roof can cause a lot of heartache.

Don’t get distracted by the stuff that’s supposed to “wow” homebuyers. You want a home that’s sizzle and substance, not just sizzle.

Mistake #4: Skipping the Home Inspection

In red-hot housing markets, a new trend is for homebuyers to skip home inspections. And it makes perfect sense – when you’re competing against 10 other buyers for a house, including too many conditions can cost you your dream home.

What’s worse than losing your dream home? Winning what turns into your nightmare home.

For example, the home could have flooding issues. But if you don’t know the signs to look for you’ll totally miss it. That’s an expensive mistake.

A home inspection sounds like a lot, but once you get the report you’ll be happy you did it. This is especially important for older houses. The report will provide you with a handy checklist of all the things you should do to make sure your home is in great shape. Don’t cheap out on it.

CREB Monthly Stats – Two sides of the story

Tue, 02 Jan by bastedogroup

Sales activity for all product types improved in December and pushed monthly sales to long-term averages for the second month in a row.
However, new listings also rose, keeping inventory elevated compared to typical levels for December. With more supply remaining compared to sales, benchmark prices edged down for the fifth consecutive month.
“Many of the economic indicators continue to post modest improvements, including improving sales. However, demand gains have not outpaced the additional supply coming into the housing market.
This is creating some of the bumpiness in terms of price recovery,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie, who added that prices have stayed comparable to last year.
The gap between detached supply and demand closed in the first half of 2017 and supported early price growth. As prices improved, this was perceived as a signal for many who delayed selling their home, and caused a late rise in inventory that limited price growth.
Overall, the detached benchmark price in 2017 averaged $504,867, 0.63 per cent above last year’s levels.
Challenges continue to face the apartment sector, with elevated supply in the resale market. The new home and rental markets weighed on this sector. The excess supply caused average annual benchmark prices to decline by four per cent this year. This is a total annual adjustment of nearly 12 per cent since the start of the recession.
In the attached sector, the first half of the year saw an improvement in sales relative to inventory levels. This supported stronger price gains in the second and third quarter. However, a late rise in inventory levels took some of the momentum away from price growth. On an annual basis, attached prices totaled $332,325, comparable to last year’s levels.
“This year, we saw a rise in the number of consumers willing to purchase in the market with the expectation that the economy had already shifted. There were also many who waited to list their property until prices showed more stability,” said CREB® president David P. Brown.
“Those who acted were typically driven by long-term plans that best suit their current lifestyle. We are ending the year with stronger sales in the last quarter, but supply levels are holding back price gains. The year played out as expected with a transition from price declines to general price stability in most sectors of the market.”

 

Click here to view the full City of Calgary monthly stats package. 

Bank of Canada Announces Interest Rate

Wed, 06 Dec by bastedogroup

The Canadian Press December 6, 2017

The Bank of Canada stuck with its trend-setting interest rate Wednesday _ but it offered fresh, yet cautious, warnings to Canadians that increases are likely on the way.

The central bank has now left the rate locked at one per cent for two straight policy announcements after the strengthening economy prompted it to raise it twice in the summer.

In announcing the decision, the bank pointed to several recent positives that could support higher rates in the coming months. They included encouraging job and wage growth, sturdy business investment and the resilience of consumer spending despite higher borrowing costs and Canadians’ heavy debt loads.

On top of that, there’s increasing evidence in the economic data that the benefits from government infrastructure investments have begun to work their way through the economy, the bank said.

But on the other hand, the bank noted exports have slipped more than expected in recent months after a powerful start to the year, although it continues to predict trade growth to pick up due to rising foreign demand.

It also said the international outlook continues to face considerable uncertainty mostly because of geopolitical- and trade-related factors.
“While higher interest rates will likely be required over time, (the bank’s) governing council will continue to be cautious,” the bank said in a statement Wednesday that accompanied its decision.

It will be “guided by incoming data in assessing the economy’s sensitivity to interest rates, the evolution of economic capacity and the dynamics of both wage growth and inflation.”

The bank said inflation, a key factor in its rate decisions, has been slightly higher than anticipated and could stay that way in the short term because of temporary factors like stronger gasoline prices. Core inflation, which measures underlying inflation by omitting volatile items like gas, has continued to inch upwards.

Governor Stephen Poloz raised rates in July and September in response to an impressive economic run that began in late 2016. The hikes took back the two rate cuts he introduced in 2015 to help cushion, and stimulate, the economy from the collapse in oil prices.

From here, the bank must assess how to proceed with the interest rate while taking into consideration that Canadian households have amassed high levels of debt and the presence of still-hot housing markets in areas like Toronto and Vancouver.

Last month, the Bank of Canada flagged the steady climb of household debt and these real estate markets as the financial system’s top vulnerabilities.
The bank’s statement Wednesday said recent economic indicators have been in line with its October forecast, which projected a moderation following the country’s exceptional growth in the first half of 2017.

Getting pre-qualified now will lock in rates for 120 days and can drastically increase your buying power.

Hello world!

Tue, 21 Nov by bastedogroup

Welcome to my new blog! I look forward to sharing new and exciting updates about the Real Estate Market and what is happening around town! Stay tuned for new posts coming soon!


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