STEWART J LOWE & ASSOCIATES

REAL ESTATE BLOG

 


September 2020 Market Update for Calgary Video - for Stewart J Lowe & Associates .

September 2020 Market Update with a look at last months sales in Calgary.

$519,900. MLS # A1031505

 Beautiful family home located on a quiet street in the desirable community of WEST Thorncliffe. This one family owned 4 level split exudes pride of ownership and features an abundance of upgrades with over 2100 sq ft of developed living space on a generous sized lot. Extensive recent updates include new kitchen and bathrooms, hot water tank and professionally re-developed basement. The functional layout of this delightful home provides plenty of room for family gatherings while also allowing for individual space and privacy. The first of many amazing highlights is the gorgeous, spacious rooftop patio over the double attached garage, great for relaxing on those warm summer days! As you enter the main floor you are greeted by an open plan with large windows offering an abundance of natural light. The lovely kitchen features high end S/S appliances, granite counters, custom cabinets, newer window and a built in pantry. Patio doors off the dining room open up to the huge back yard and concrete patio, perfect for entertaining! The inviting living room completes this level. A generous size master retreat with a 2 piece ensuite awaits on the top floor along with 2 additional bright bedrooms and a 3 piece main bathroom. Bedrooms all have newer windows. The walk-out 3rd level introduces 2 great size rooms along with an additional 3 piece bath. There is also a porch to leave your shoes and coats when coming back in from the back yard! Work from home or study in the bright, sunny office/den with built in bookshelves. Then settle into the family room after work and school for some quality family time. Professionally developed basement is absolutely gorgeous. Area can be used as a tv room with the built in wall unit and cozy gas fireplace. Use a portion as an additional study or play area. The possibilities are endless! Here you will also find separate laundry room, tons of storage and a cold room/wine cellar! Enjoy the summer months in the fully fenced, sunny, west facing back yard and patio while looking at the gorgeous apple tree! The large upper portion of this massive back yard awaits your creativity with possibilities of a car porch, RV parking, fresh vegetable garden and more. This beautiful home is ideally located within walking distance of Egert's Park, Nose Hill Park, major transit routes, great schools and shopping. Easy access to Deerfoot Trail and city centre. Book your viewing today!

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On July 1, 2020 CMHC implemented changes to high ratio mortgages purchases/mortgages that have less than a 20% down payment) and I have had a number of clients and realtors alike, call quite concerned about moving forward or even qualifying under these new rules.


In a nutshell, CMHC’s new policy for insured mortgage was an increase in the borrowers’ credit score from a minimum of 600 to 680, a reduction in the sources of the down payment and the ratio of debt to income was being reduced regardless of credit score.

This new policy had the potential of cutting the purchasing power of many home buyers by up to 11% For example, a household income of $100,000, with a 5% down payment (not including any other debts) would qualify for approximately $320,000. Under CMHC’s new guidelines, that mortgage would be reduced to about $280,000. While most people are at least somewhat familiar with or heard of CMHC, many Canadians are not aware that CMHC is just one of three mortgage insurance companies. While CMHC is the most generally known, and is a federal Crown  
Corporation, there are also 2 private insurers, Genworth Canada and Canada Guaranty who are not following CMHCs lead and are both quite confident in the Canadian market. So it’s business as usual moving forward.

As always, any questions on mortgages, feel free to reach out for a no-obligation
consultation.


Cathy McMurrich
Mortgage Broker
TMG – The Mortgage Group
403-568-8817





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The condition of your home will have a huge impact on how fast it sells, and its eventual selling price. Preparing your home for sale can pay you huge dividends.


Many fix ups cost very little and consist mostly of time and some elbow grease. Here are some simple tips to help your home show its best.


1)    Clean the entire home thoroughly. Shampoo carpets, wash walls, clean sills, window screens and blinds. Clean out light fixtures and dust shelving. Get detailed here.

2)    Clean the clutter from all closets, cupboards and cabinets.


3)    Make your rooms look as spacious as possible. Store unnecessary furnishing items that make your home look crowded.


4)    Arrange furnishing so that it is easy to walk through your home.


5)    Scale down the number of photos, pictures, portraits and posters hanging on walls. Make sure you patch all nail and screw holes.


6)    Keep your curtains and draperies open as a rule. You will want your home to show very light and bright. Find ways to screen any unappealing views.


7)    Make your kitchen shine. Remove clutter from counter tops and cabinets and store it. Keep your sink clean and clear of any dirty dishes.


8)    Clean your refrigerator, inside and out. Make sure that you do the simple things like putting an open box of baking soda in your fridge. Also, remove unnecessary clutter from the door.


9)    Clean your oven. Degrease it and keep it looking as good as possible.


10) Keep scented candles burning in the kitchen and bathrooms. Pleasant fragrances will entice buyers to stay longer in your home.


11) Keep bathrooms scrubbed and tidy with fresh soap and neatly hung towels. Try to color coordinate your bathrooms.


12) Keep all sinks in the home clean and repair leaks or slow drains.


13) Go through your entire home and touch up paint. Pay close attention to corners where there is traffic wear. Touch up baseboards, trim and cabinets and cupboards.


14) Place plants or flower arrangements in strategic parts of the home. A splash of color from plants, flowers, pillows or small rugs can give your home some real flair.


15) Make sure that your home is well lit. Put higher wattage bulbs in dark areas or corners. Keep all lights on during showings, even in mid day.


16) Use mirrors on walls if necessary to reflect light and make rooms look larger.


17) Make sure that all door knobs and keyed entries are working. Replace any worn knobs or handles.


18) Clean up all around the house. Remove any debris piles such as wood, firewood and landscape trimmings. Trim all hedges, bushes and shrubbery away from the house. Keep all garden beds weeded and mulched.


19) Put some color by your home's entrance with potted flowers. Keep them watered and looking attractive.


20) Keep all walkways clear, clean and in good repair. This includes your driveways and any parking areas.


21) Keep all outdoor furniture clean and in good repair.


22) Clean your gutters and roof. Keep moss or algae from growing on, in or around them.


23) Keep your yard and lawn areas clean and in good health. A green lawn makes a home look great. Keep your lawn edged and free from weeds.


24) Repair any broken windows, screens, shutter or awnings.


25) Clean your garage area. Remove clutter and make it look organized and as spacious as possible. Try to have nothing in your garage but cars.


By following these 25 fix up tips, you can do a lot to increase the perceived value of your home and make it stand out above the competition!


Call or Text for your marketing Consultation 


Stewart: 403.850.0669  info@calgarydreamhomes.com

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When thinking of buying a property it is not rocket science, but if you don’t have an intelligent approach it could still cost you money. Let us look at some smart strategies to adopt while purchasing a property today.


The first strategy is to always stick to your budget. Don’t get carried away by a property that is being sold at a bargain, or has all the features that you were looking for, but is priced above your budget. The price of the house should be just right for you to afford your mortgage payments, fixed costs as well as other payments.


The second strategy is to evaluate each and every option, and not ignore one just because the listing photographs do not look appealing enough – you will often be surprised by hidden treasures.


The third strategy is to know when to walk away from a deal – for example, if the house inspection reveals certain serious defects. It is better to walk away from the deal than purchase a home that becomes a liability.


The fourth strategy is to always think long-term, we always advise our clients to think “Exit Plan”. Even if you are looking at living in the house for a short period, you should be ready for the possibility that it may not sell at the expected price when the time comes to exit, and you might have to hold the property for a longer period than you wanted.


The fifth strategy is to have a good experienced team helping and advising you. We are here to give advice AND options, way up the pros and cons, have you thought about this or that. As real estate associates with a combined 23 years experience we are in our relationship with our clients, for the long haul.


Go into a possible purchase with knowledge and stats from sold’s in the area and a team you can trust.


Call us on 403.850.0669 or email us on info@calgarydreamhomes.com

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After three months where COVID-19 weighed heavily on the housing market, sales activity in June continued to trend up from the previous month, totaling 1,747 units.


Caution remains necessary as monthly sales are nearly two per cent lower than activity recorded last year. However, this represents a significant improvement compared to the past several months where year-over-year declines exceeded 40 per cent.


“Recent price declines, easing mortgage rates and early easing of social restrictions are likely contributing to the better-than-expected sales this month,” said CREB® chief economist Ann Marie Lurie.


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  1. The First thing is the First-Aid Kit – Very easy to not think about- until you need it! 
  2. Throw out old cosmetics and beauty products, your beatiful enough!.
  3. Wash curtains and dust the blinds.
  4. Clean all tile areas.
  5. Fix any grout
  6. Put the vacum on the extractor fans & wipe after
  7. Wipe the light fittings and switches.
  8. Wash out the trash can after emptying
  9. Put a paper bag in it for the waste
  10. Put some "White Magic" down the plug drains to remove hair and stop them clogging up - This is a GREAT made in Calgary product.
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(that is assuming you are able to travel with Covid-19)


1 Cut your grass as close to the day you head off as possible. Put the mower on it's shortest cut, so you don’t have to worry about it growing too much while you are away. Or, why not ask your neighbor to cut it while you are away! Mowing your yard before a vacation makes it look like you are still at home, and may keep away potential intruders.


 2 Cancel mail if it is delivered to your door. You can pick your mail up at the post office when you get back home and start the service back up. This is not a big deal and will keep things neat and tidy while you are away.


3 If you don’t want your house to stand out as if no one is home is to put some of your inside lights on timers on different time settings. so it looks like you are home.


4 Put your water heater and furnace on vacation mode, you save money while you are away!


5 Set up a security link or App on your cell whilst you are away. I knew a client who had one, and one winter he was away in BC and left his son and girlfriend in the home. The son would put the heating up - but my client would monitor it, and turn it back down!


A vacation is all about relaxing, so with your home safe that is exactly what you can do ...kick back!! (unless you are monitoring the house, switch off your cell lol)

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As of July 1, the Government is about to make qualifying and getting a mortgage a little
harder if you are putting less than 20% down and your mortgage is insured with CMHC.
Their reasoning is that COVID has affected all sectors from housing, job loss and
decreased immigration.
So in order to “protect” future home buyers and reduce risk, CMHC, the Government
mortgage insurance entity has announced the following changes:
- The debt servicing for high ratio mortgages (less than 20% down payment)
will be reduced from 39/44 to 35/42;
- The qualifying credit score will be a minimum of 680 for at least one of the
borrowers;
- You will no longer be able to use ‘borrowed’ funds for your down payment,
such as a line of credit.


For illustration purposes only, assuming both applicants have a credit score of 680 or
better:
Annual income: $130,000
Other monthly debts: $ 950
Annual property taxes: $ 3,000
Pre-July 1 mortgage: $599,567
After July 1 mortgage: $562,095 ($37,472 less)


As yet, we do not know if the other 2 mortgage insurers (Genworth and Canada
Guarantee) are going to follow these new guidelines. But if not, they will be scrutinizing applications closer.


Have questions, call or text 403.660.1169 or email cathy@mortgagesbycathy.ca

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Here is the latest from our Mortgage Expert Cathy McMurrich

You may have read conflicting real estate forecasts recently regarding the housing market. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) reported that house prices are poised for a dramatic drop, that mortgage deferrals could continue to rise, as might arrears.

Some of these predictions have been countered by a number of leading economists in the country, by many real estate and mortgage brokerages and their associations. And, anecdotally, it’s not what we’re currently seeing in the market.

There is no doubt that COVID-19 has slowed down the activity in the housing market, but it has not stopped.

According to REMAX, a dramatic price drop is highly unlikely because of what’s occurring right now due physical distancing – that is, a lack of inventory - there are buyers, but few listings. And since new listings and sales are down the company believes that prices should remain stable this year. In fact, because there are few listings, we are still hearing about bidding wars in some regions.

Benjamin Tal, Deputy Chief Economist for CIBC World Markets said in an interview earlier this month that damage to the housing market isn’t as significant as perceived. And that the CMHC was most likely highlighting a worst-case scenario.

Tal also expects the Canadian economy to emerge from the recovery phase in 2022 and that “the demand for real estate will remain very strong.”

The Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index as reported in May at 39.3% may suggest negative sentiments may be bottoming out.

Here’s what we know: 

  • Current interest rates are relatively low. 
  • The qualifying rate has recently come down to 4.94% from 5.04%. 
  • We continue to see refinances and switch/transfers and consumers are still in the market to purchase a new home.
  • The housing market is a vital component to the success of the Canadian economy.

Please contact Cathy if you’d like more information --  always available for a chat. 403.660-1169

Cathy McMurrich – The Mortgage Group



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Covid -19 : Creb have a list of things that showing realtors are required to do with their clients. The number of potential buyers entering the home has to be strictly adhered to. We carry spare masks and gloves and can be present. So let’s start with a couple of Covid steps first
  1. Try to leave all interior doors open
  2. Wipe down all counter tops and handles, before and after any showing
  3. Hang a wreath of dried flowers to showcase the front door
  4. Have a pretty hanging basket outside the front door
  5. Place a vase of flowers a coffee table
  6. Use a colorful throw blanket to add color to the living room
  7. Put away any kitchen utensils that you are not using
  8. Set the kitchen table with silk flowers or a fruit bowl centrepiece
  9. Lay out an open cook book or cook something in the oven
  10. Make sure all beds are made with fresh linen
  11. Change out the tired towels with fresh white ones
  12. Put a small bunch of flowers on the dresser or side table
  13. Put away all personal bathrooms soaps, toothpaste etc
  14. Change out a well used shower curtain
  15. Organize the garage and make sure there is lots of light, it will seem bigger
  16. Maybe park the car or second car outside
  17. Cut the grass and weed, strim the edges and make sure there are no weeds
  18. Pop a couple of nice flowers in the garden by the pathway
  19. Set the home temperature to a comfortable level
  20. No pets or children should be in the house and ideally neither should you.
#calgaryrealestate #calgaryrealtor #calgarydreamhomes #stewartjlowe #homesinyyc
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Data supplied by CREB®’s MLS® System. CREB® is the owner of the copyright in its MLS® System. The Listing data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by CREB®.
The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.
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