Tag Archive Lethbridge Mortgage

Tips for selling your home in a buyers’ market

In this market, sellers need to be realistic about the price they set

Any home will sell if the price is low enough but that’s of little comfort to people trying to sell their homes during a buyers’ market.

In this market, sellers need to be realistic about the price they set. Forget about last year’s property tax assessment or what homes in their neighbourhood sold for during the last two years, as those valuations are long gone.

Instead, to prevent overpricing your home in a slumping market, base your list price on active comparable sales not recently sold homes.

I like to underprice my property to make it stand out. Next, I give my home, inside and out, a thorough clean. An unkempt house and/or landscaping gives the impression that you haven’t been maintaining the house properly and that there could be other issues.

If need be, hire a professional to do a deep clean. This means cleaning such things as the inside and outside of all your appliances, restoring your grout, and getting rid of any unpleasant smells.

Presenting in best light

At this time, I wouldn’t recommend doing a major renovation. We are nearing the end of spring so you should be listing your home as soon as possible before we hit the slow summer months. Instead, work with what you have but present it in its best light by using a professional photographer.

You may also want to consider hiring a home stager or borrowing some furniture, paintings and the like, to make your home more appealing to potential buyers.

Painting and doing some minor renovations are a must. In a hot market, buyers are willing to look past imperfections like chipped tiles or a broken bannister but not in a slow market.

Don’t give the buyers any excuses to grind down your selling price. Clean, paint and fix what you can — as my handyman friend is fond of saying “do your best and caulk the rest.” A fresh layer of caulk around your moldings in the kitchen or bathroom does wonders.

If, after a couple of months, your property is receiving little or no interest from buyers then it might be time for a change. Consider pulling your listing and re-listing with another Realtor.

If you did your part by setting a realistic price, making yourself available for showings, and taking the time to clean/paint/stage your home, then the problem is likely due to the valuation/appraisal or marketing — which is the Realtor’s responsibility.

I’ve only replaced my Realtor once in my life and it wasn’t easy. He was a great guy who spent a fair amount of time and money to market my home but for whatever reason it didn’t work.

When you are trying to sell your home, which for most people is their largest financial asset, it’s okay to put your needs before those of your Realtor’s.

My top takeaways for sellers

  • Many of my recommendations seem like common sense, but so many sellers fail to adhere to them. All the cleaning, painting and repairing pays major dividends in the long run. Do not underestimate the importance of first impressions.
  • When choosing a Realtor be selective. Don’t make the mistake of choosing the realtor who says they can get the most money for your home. Have them justify their appraisal and grill them on their marketing strategy. They also need strong negotiation skills.
  • Be accessible for short-notice viewings — particularly in the first two weeks after listing.
  • Consider every offer. Even if you believe an offer is too low it doesn’t mean you have to accept it. But I would still try to negotiate.


Mark Ting

Top 10 tips from the best mortgage brokers in Canada

Are you looking to refinance your mortgage? Looking to consolidate debt? Searching for a HELOC? Then you’ll want to read this article. We picked the brains of the best mortgage brokers in Canada. We asked them for their top tips when shopping for a loan product, and they certainly delivered.

Home transactions such as second mortgages, investment property purchases, HELOCs, and refinancing, are the largest financial decisions you will likely ever make. By reading this article, you’ll be better prepared the next time you’re looking to make such a decision.

Without further ado, here are our top 10 tips from CMI’s top brokers.

It’s not just about the lowest rate

Finding the ideal mortgage product isn’t just about finding the one with the lowest rate. While the mortgage product with the lowest rate may be the best mortgage for you, it’s no guarantee. It’s important to consider other factors like prepayment, mortgage penalties, and portability, which we’ll discuss below.

This is particularly true for second mortgages and investment properties. Your interest rate is really just one piece of the puzzle, and may not even be the most important.

Not all prepayments are created equal

Is your goal to pay off your mortgage or HELOC as quickly as possible? Then you’ll most likely want a product with generous prepayment privileges. Prepayments are extra payments you’re able to make above and beyond your regular mortgage payments without incurring a mortgage penalty.

Some lenders are more generous than others. For example, some lenders will let you prepay 20 percent of your loan balance as a lump sum on any of your regular mortgage payment dates throughout the year, while others will only let you prepay 10 percent once a year on your anniversary date.

If this is important to you, you’ll want to choose a lender with more flexible prepayments.

Consider loan penalties

When you’re refinancing a mortgage or buying an investment property, probably the last thing on your mind is mortgage penalties, but by ignoring penalties you could be making a big mistake.

Most Canadians choose five-year fixed-rate mortgages for their safety and security, but did you know that they often to come with the highest mortgage penalties of all? The big banks tend to have the highest penalties of all.

If you think there’s a chance you could break your mortgage, it could be worth choosing a mortgage with a slightly higher rate and lower penalties.

Read the fine print on portability

Do you think there’s a chance you could sell the property during your mortgage term? Then you’ll want to choose a mortgage that’s portable. With a portable mortgage, you can take your mortgage with you without incurring a high mortgage penalty when buying a new property.

But be sure to read the fine print. Some portability clauses are more generous than others. Don’t just assume you can port your mortgage end of story.

Standard or collateral charge

When choosing a loan product, make sure to ask if it comes with a standard or collateral charge. A first or second mortgage with a collateral charge means that you may be able to take out a home equity line of credit later on, however, it makes it tougher to move your mortgage when it comes up for renewal.

Because of that, your lender is less likely to offer you its best mortgage rates upon renewal. Make sure you know what you’re signing up for before signing on the dotted line.

Don’t forget to budget for closing costs

When buying a property, don’t ever forget to budget for closing costs. Closing costs include land transfer tax, real estate lawyer fees, and home inspection. Contrary to popular belief, your bank won’t typically cover them, you’re responsible for them. The same goes for HELOCs, you will likely be expected to pay for an appraisal.

Budget up to four percent on closing costs. If you’re buying a $500K home, you should set aside up to $20K for closing costs.

Don’t put your mortgage application in jeopardy

When applying for a mortgage, don’t do things to put your application in jeopardy. Examples of things that can hurt your mortgage application and even cause it to be declined, include quitting your job in the middle of the application, or making big purchases on your credit card or taking out an auto loan.

Those most likely will affect your income and credit, two major factors lenders look at when considering your application.

Shop around with a mortgage broker

Your local bank branch can be a good first step, but if you want to do your due diligence, be sure to shop around with a mortgage broker. A broker can shop the market for various mortgage products on your behalf, saving you time and money, along with protecting your credit score.

Consider monoline lenders

You might hesitate to use a lender outside the big banks. But by considering monoline lenders, you could save yourself thousands of dollars in interest over the life of your loan product, not to mention pay a less costly mortgage penalty if you end up breaking your mortgage down the line.

Shop around at your renewal date

Last, but not least, be sure to shop around with a mortgage broker when your mortgage comes up for renewal. By simply signing on the dotted line, you’re potentially leaving thousands of dollars in savings on the table.

There you have it, our top tips from the best mortgage brokers in Canada. Now, next time you shop for a mortgage, you’ll be a savvier consumer.

17 December 2018 / by canadianmortgagesinc.ca

‘Sell before you buy’ is the new housing market battle cry


It’s spring, but the real estate market in much of Canada has yet to exit hibernation.

Home sales in Metro Vancouver for the month of March plummeted to the lowest level since 1986, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. Activity in Alberta and Saskatchewan was more than 20 percent below its 10-year average for the month, the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) said. In Toronto, sales volumes were flat.

Granted, there are still signs of life in some parts of the country. Sales in Quebec and New Brunswick, for example, were well above average.

But many Canadians who need to sell a house this year will likely meet unfamiliar market conditions — those of a slow-moving housing market. Real estate agents, meanwhile, are dusting off their playbook from a decade ago, before the housing craze began.

So what does it take to sell your house in these conditions?

Curb your price expectations

The first step to get your home sold in this kind of market is to think hard about your pricing strategy.

In Vancouver, where the April housing market is looking a lot like March, real estate agent Steve Saretsky says buyers should price ahead of the market.

There were less than 1,800 recorded transactions in the Greater Vancouver area last month, CREA numbers show.

“If you want to be one of the few houses that sell, you have to set the market, not react to it,” according to Saretsky.

Given the current downward price trend in the city, that means a home that may be worth $1.4 million today may have to be priced at $1.375 million he said.

Know that the spring housing market isn’t everything

Many people believe the best time to put their home on the market is somewhere between March and June. That’s understandable since the spring is when most buyers start house hunting, said Romana King, director of content at Zolo.ca, an online real estate marketplace. The common wisdom is that parents, in particular, are keen to seal a deal by the start of the summer to be able to resettle the family in time for the start of the school year in September, she added.

The spring is often when you should list your home if you want to sell it fast, according to King.

But if you want to sell a home for top dollar, you’re not necessarily selling it the quickest,” she added.

When Zolo analyzed housing transaction data going back around 15 years in both Greater Vancouver and the Greater Toronto Area, it found that there was often a price premium for sellers who listed in the fall. Your home may remain on the market for longer but net you a higher offer in the end, King said.

King also cautioned against reading too much in some of the larger estimates, like Whistler’s $250,000 premium for April listings. Those are areas that have seen significant volumes of new buildings added to the local housing supply over the past decade. Newer homes tend to sell for more so that can skew averages, King said.

‘Sell before you buy’ is a thing again

Some agents are advising some clients to sell their home before they commit to buying a new one.

These days, the market for sellers is “a bit less predictable” than it has been in the recent years, Pasalis said. People who buy first are typically under pressure to sell quickly so they can free up cash to finance their new home. That means “they don’t always have the luxury to be patient with the marketing of their home,” he added.

Typically, selling first makes sense if you’re in a buyer’s market, King said. When buyers have the upper hand, selling is the difficult part. Vice versa, once you’ve cleared that hurdle, finding a new home should be relatively easy, King noted.

Her rule of thumb is to sell before you buy in a buyers’ market and buy before you sell in a hot market that favours sellers. A balanced market is always a bit of a toss-up, she said.

But figuring out what market you’re in requires some legwork, she cautions.

“Work with your agent to determine which kind of market are you working in for your particular property [type] and neighbourhood,” she said.

And keep in mind that if you’re changing neighbourhood or transitioning from, say, a house to a condo, the conditions of the market you’re selling in may be different than those of the market you’re buying in, she added.

Longer closing times and conditional offers are back

If your plan is to house hunt only after you’ve accepted an offer on your home, you may want to make sure that you can find and take possession of your new place before you lose ownership of your old property, King cautioned. This means the closing time — the period between when an offer is accepted and when ownership is transferred — needs to be longer on the property you’re selling than on the property you’re buying.

Closing times as short as 30 to 60 days have become the norm, but in a slower housing market, there’s nothing wrong with telling a buyer that you’re going to need 90 to 120 days, according to King.

If you’re buying first, consider submitting an offer that is conditional on you being able to sell your home. In a sellers’ market, such conditions may scupper the deal. But that is less and less the case in a slow market, according to King.

“In the last 10 years these conditions disappeared … because everyone was rushing to try and get into the market,” she said.

Now, though, she added, they’re making a comeback.

De-personalize your home and punch up your curb appeal

If you’re showing the house while still living in it, you and your agent won’t be able to stage it the way you would if you had moved out. But you should still de-clutter and de-personalize your space, according to King.

Ideally, your home should be a “blank canvas” in which other people — your prospective buyers — can see themselves living, she said. Your job as a seller is to enable that fantasy.

That means things like family photos, children’s artwork pegged to the fridge, and knickknacks from your trip to Mexico that only mean something to you have to disappear, King said.

And creating a blank slate may also mean repainting your walls white — or some mainstream-trendy shade of light gray, she added.

Another kind of sprucing up you should invest in if you’re selling a house, rather than a condo, is improving your curb appeal, King said. Things like hiring a gardener to fix up your front yard or filling up the cracks in your driveway pay off, she added.

What to do if your home isn’t selling

If your “for sale” sign has been sitting on your lawn for a while with no sign of the dream offer you were expecting, there are usually two main courses of action. One is reducing your asking price, the other is re-listing at a later date.

If you’re getting few showings and no strong offers, “that’s usually a good clue that the issue may not be your list price, but rather the current market conditions,” Pasalis wrote in a recent blog post. If you can hold out for a few months, it may be a good idea to postpone selling until the market picks up.

But if you realize your pricing wasn’t realistic, you should look at reducing your ask “sooner rather than later,” Pasalis told Global News.

Most sellers are inclined to do so only gradually, but a series of small reductions of $10,000-$15,000 won’t cut it if your price is significantly out of whack, he said.

At the end of the day, Saretsky mused, “you’re only worth what you sell for.”

“Everybody wants to get a little bit more than their neighbour did. But if you can keep your emotions in check, that’s going to serve you well.”

Coaldale Mortgage - Market Update January 2017

Lethbridge & Coaldale Market Update – January 2017

Being Lethbridge and Coaldale mortgage professionals, the team at Mortgage Worx is consistently monitoring the housing market performances of each town and its surrounding communities.

In doing so, we can confidently provide our clients with the best advice and services possible when it comes to getting a mortgage.

Per the Lethbridge Real Estate Board Association, home sales in December 2016 were just under what they were in December 2015. Last month there were 126 units sold, a 2.6% decrease from the same month last year in Lethbridge.

For the 12-months of 2016, home sales in Lethbridge reached a nine-year high thanks to a 1.2% jump from what 2015 sold.

The average home sold for $262,265 in December 2016, a small decrease of 1.7% from the same time last year, while the average selling price for a home in all of 2016 experienced a 1.3% increase to $266,801.

Looking at Coaldale specifically, the average price that a residential home sold for in 2016 was $269,110, a drop from the $287,065 average recorded in 2015. Also falling was the number of total home sales as they dropped from 165 units to 148 units year-over-year.

The number of listings in Coaldale stood at 266 units for all of 2016, a number that was slightly higher than the 249 we saw in 2015. The average sale-to-list price fell from 65% in 2015 to 55% in 2016.

However, the number of new listings for all property types in Lethbridge equalled 135 units last month, the exact same as December 2015.

Overall, the number of residential months of inventory was 8.4 months at the end of December 2016, up minimally from the 8.2 months we had in December 2015. This number is calculated by taking the number of homes for sale on the market and determining how long it would take for them to sell based on the current pace of sales.

Although there were no major changes in the area in December, we can expect things to start to ramp up once again as we get further into 2017. With oil prices on the rise and a new season upon us, it wouldn’t be surprised to see sales increase over the coming months.

If you’re interested in buying or selling a home in the area, consulting a Coaldale mortgage broker from Mortgage Worx is a great way to ensure that you get the right deal for your situation.

We are here to help people Lethbridge and the surrounding areas find the right financial plan suited for their needs. For more information, reach out to us today!

Source: http://www.ldar.ca/dataimages/MLS%20Statistics%20-%20December%2031%202016_1.pdf

Source: http://creastats.crea.ca/leth/


Lethbridge Mortgages - Buying a home

Are You Really Ready To Buy A Home?

Buying a home is a big step in a person’s life and there are many factors that must be considered before you can sign any agreements and move into your new space.As Lethbridge mortgage professionals, the team at Mortgage Worx Inc. – The Mortgage Centre deal with many first-time homebuyers on a consistent basis and are able to help clients evaluate whether or not they are truly ready to buy a home.

With interest rates experiencing some favourable lows over the past year, many first-timers are eager to enter the homebuying market. However, taking advantage of good interest rates shouldn’t be the main reason you decide to purchase a home.

There are many reasons why you may or may not be prepared to purchase a home and our team has identified some of these for you to review before taking the plunge.

Know what you can afford

This applies to a down payment and your overall mortgage amount. Before speaking with a mortgage broker or agent you should have a general idea of how much money you can contribute towards a down payment on a home.

As of February 2016, the minimum amount for a down payment on new insured mortgages increased to 10% for part of the home price for homes above $500,000 while those under $500,000 stayed at 5%. Typically, the majority of people choose to pay a down payment of 20% as anything under this amount requires the purchase of mortgage default insurance.

A Lethbridge mortgage broker at The Mortgage Centre can help you determine how much you can afford to put on a down payment as well as how much you can afford to pay monthly towards a mortgage so that you’re not breaking the bank right off the bat.

Don’t purchase based on anticipated income increases

Some homebuyers anticipate a future promotion or hike in their annual income and therefore believe they can buy a more expensive home. This is something to avoid doing for obvious reasons.

Not only do expected promotions or new job hiring’s go as planned, but there is also the potential for career changes. Things can change quickly and this is why you should never purchase a home driven by the expectation that you will be making more money in the future and can thus afford to get a higher-priced home.

You plan on staying for awhile

Purchasing a home is a big deal and a serious process, so if you’re not planning on staying at a home for at least 5 years, it might not be the right time to purchase. There are many people who purchase homes and end up moving within 5 years, however it’s wise to buy a lower-priced home that you feel you could sell quickly if needed should you not envision staying in it for a long time.

Set money aside for unexpected costs

Plumbing repairs, a broken air conditioner, a new roof and faulty electrical units. These are just some of the things you can expect to repair or replace if you stay at a home long enough.

In the case of such events occurring, having an amount of cash set aside strictly for these unexpected occasions can help you in the long run. This will undoubtedly bring you peace of mind and limit any stress caused by these events without throwing a wrench into your monthly budget.


By considering these factors, you should have a better idea as to whether or not you are actually ready to buy a home.

As we mentioned, the purchase of a home is a big deal. If you’re considering buying a home, talking with one of our Lethbridge mortgage professionals can help you get an advantage and ensure you are being looked after properly. Contact us today to learn more on how we can help with the homebuying process!

Source: http://www.investopedia.com/articles/mortgages-real-estate/10/ready-to-buy-house.asp

Source: http://www.fcac-acfc.gc.ca/Eng/resources/publications/mortgages/Pages/BuyingYo-Acheterv-10.aspx