Thursday, November 18, 2010

Housing Starts Will Stabilize in 2011

A "normal" real estate market- they say?

Housing starts will return to stable ground in 2011, according to the latest forecast released by CMHC. The expectation in the meantime, is that housing starts will continue to ease through the last quarter of 2010.

This current forecast puts housing starts at between 176,700 and 194,700 units in 2010, and between 148,000 to 202,300 units next year as the market makes its’ way back to levels that are appropriate to demographic requirements.

While the economic climate will still foster growth, it will be less than it has been- although that is not all bad news. Says Bob Dugan, Chief Economist for CMHC, “High employment levels and low mortgage rates will continue to support demand for new homes in 2011. Nevertheless, housing starts will decrease to levels are more in-line with long term demographic fundamentals next year.”

Similarly, there is an expectation that existing home market conditions will be balanced over the next two year period where inventory levels are high, and sales slow down. CMHC predicts that existing home sales will be in the range of 423,800 to 455,900 units in 2010, with a point forecast of 440,300 units. In 2011, MLS® sales will be lower and are expected to be in the range of 390,600 to 483,700 units, with a point forecast of 438,400 units.

Ushering in a yin and yang of demand to supply, it is expected that the result will be only a moderate MLS® price increase, indicating a comfortable balance in the market.

This return to stability is expected, for the most part, nationwide, with balance and moderate price increases in various provinces, including Ontario, British Colombia and Manitoba, helped along by low interest rates and to employment levels slowly returning to normal.

"While Ontario home sales and prices have moderated since early this year, Ontario housing activity is now more in line with economic conditions. This ensures more stability in housing markets in the months ahead," said Ted Tsiakopoulos, CMHC's Ontario Regional Economist.

"This transition in housing activity has been orderly thanks to improving job markets and historically low interest rates."

Friday, October 22, 2010

Olde Meadowvale Village

Looking for a new family for this cute & cozy pristine home in the Village of Olde Meadowvale.


Monday, October 18, 2010

Stabilization in the Canadian Housing Market

By now, as professionals in Canadian real estate, most are feeling that the market is experientially stabilizing, but Friday’s announcement of September 2010 statistics by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) affirms that with subjective numbers. The national resale housing activity moved slightly upward for a second consecutive month, while supply of homes on the market and number of months of inventory declined also for the second consecutive month. It may be too early to celebrate, but it is certainly time to breathe a sigh of relief.

Seasonally adjusted national home sales activity through MLS was up three percent month-over-month in September, reaching their highest level since May. Breaking it down to local markets, about 66 percent of those posted increases in their seasonally adjusted activity, so it was a fairly healthy, nationwide result. Comparably, the actual sales activity, without seasonal adjustment saw a volume decrease of 19.8% over September 2009’s record sales, but is just slightly below and far more in line with September sales from 2006 through 2008. What this tells you is that if you felt busier than you have in months, you probably were, and yet if business seems quieter than last September, that is also an accurate gauge of the market reality.

“Supply and demand are rebalancing, and that’s keeping prices steady in many markets,” said Georges Pahud, CREA’s President. “Local and national housing market conditions often differ, so home buyers and sellers should consult their REALTOR® to understand how sales, inventory and pricing trends are shaping up in their market.”

Clients are typically far less concerned with volume and far more interested in prices, even though this only ever paints a portion of the picture. Fortunately there is good news for them here as well as the national price trend continues to stabilize. The national average price remains consistent with September 2009 pricing at $331,089. And this does not seem to be a blip in the market, as we are now experiencing the second consecutive month in which average price remained even with year-ago levels.

For the number crunchers out there, note that the weighted average price trends are also moderating. There was a 3 percent year-over-year rise in the national weighted average price in September 2010, making it the sixth month of diminishing gains. Similarly, the residential average price in Canada’s major markets rose 1.3 per cent year-over-year, while the weighted major market average price rose 5.7 per cent.

“Mortgage lending rates eased in the third quarter, which helped support sales activity over the past couple of months,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “Interest rates are going nowhere fast, so home ownership will remain within reach for many homebuyers.”

“Since Canada’s interest rate outlook is tied to a weakening outlook for economic and job growth, consumer sentiment will remain under pressure until economic prospects improve next year. In the meantime, many Canadians will be focused on paying down their debts in anticipation of interest increases next year. That means the continuation of low and stable interest rates is unlikely to cause housing demand or prices to take off, especially since the hangover from accelerated home purchases earlier this year is expected to persist for some time.”

Friday, September 10, 2010

August Sales and New Listings Down, Prices Up

Toronto - Friday, September 3, 2010: Greater Toronto Realtors reported 6,232 sales through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) in August 2010. This represented a 22 per cent decrease compared to the 8,035 sales recorded during the same period in 2009. New listings decreased by one per cent year over year to 10, 488....READ MORE...

Friday, July 9, 2010

Planning a Move

There's little doubt that Canadians are on the move. Whether moving from an apartment to a home, apartment to apartment or home to home, moving is no simple matter. With careful planning, however, your transition can be facilitated in an organized and efficient manner, allowing you the peace of mind you need to settle into your home. The following moving tips are provided by the Ontario Real Estate Association.

Advance Planning
Planning should begin at least two months in advance. Confirm with your REALTOR® your closing date before scheduling your moving date. If you are renting, confirm your move-in date. Make a list of all records that must be transferred to a new location, such as children's school records, and financial and medical records.

Whether moving two blocks or 2,000 miles, decide what must go with you. This may be a good time for a serious cleaning of the closets or the basement where you've been storing your "valuables." It can be expensive and time consuming to move things you really don't need, or worse, to find that there's no place to put them in your new home.

If you are disposing of a large number of items, consider holding a garage or moving sale to offset some of your moving expenses. If you're donating items to charitable organizations, ask for a receipt for tax purposes.

New Address
Send change of address cards to magazine publishers and organizations who you are affiliated. Most magazines request 4 to 6 weeks notice. Provide change of address notice on credit card bills and leave forwarding instructions with the post office. Let your friends and neighbours know your new address. This also is a good time to request help you may need with packing and moving. If you are moving yourself, schedule a moving party providing pizza and beverages for anyone who can help.

Take inventory of borrowed or lent items. Return what is not yours and retrieve your items. Mailing that hedge trimmer across the miles to its owner will be expensive as well as a nightmare to package. Dispose of flammable liquids, such as gasoline or oil. Is there gasoline in your lawn mower?

Two weeks before you move, contact local utility companies to advise of a date to disconnect service. Arrange for utility service in your new home. Clear up outstanding accounts, particularly if you are leaving the area. Plan carefully for the transfer of checking and savings accounts. Open an account in advance in your new community so you have access to money, but make sure your old account stays open until all checks have cleared.

If you are driving any distance, service you car before you move. Car problems in an unfamiliar community can be troublesome. This is also a good time to make appointments with doctors and dentists arranging for a final check-up and discussion of potential problems of which to advise a new doctor.

Packing up
Begin packing early, particularly those items seldom used. If you have a hired a moving company, request boxes and packing paper. A local grocery store is a good source for boxes and packing paper. Ask for boxes in advance. Smaller stores may receive shipments only once a week and will only give away boxes if you are there at a specified time to pick them up. Collect both large and small boxes, keeping in mind that filling a large box with books or records will make moving them difficult at best.

Have plenty of packing supplies handy. Save old newspapers for packing material. For delicate items, you may want to purchase special packing boxes to materials to ensure safe moving.

Be creative in your packing particularly with odd-sized or fragile items. For example, move mattresses with old sheets on them as a protection from dirt. An antique floor lamp rolled up in a rug, or a crystal decanter packed in the middle of bath towels adds increased protection.

Of course, creative packing can lead to confusion when unpacking. Make sure all boxes are clearly labeled with their contents. Mark boxes "fragile" which have breakable items. For those items too precious to risk damaging move by hand.

Make a list of items to pack separately; items needed on the road (maps, prescription medicines, toys for children); items needed to settle in (cleaning supplies, light bulbs, tools); and those items you will need within the first few days of arrival (food and utensils for the first meals). Pack a suitcase which you could live out of if it should become necessary. Keep important papers such as medical records and insurance policies in one place where they can be retrieved quickly if needed.

Moving Day
When the moving day has finally arrived, makes sure someone is home to meet the mover and point out items to be loaded onto the truck. If your are handling your own move, organize loading to maximize space in the truck and to ensure that the heavy box of books does not get loaded on top of the china box.

Before leaving, make a final check of all rooms, closet shelves and other spots where items may have been overlooked. Have an empty box handy for those "found items," or items which didn't seem to fit in anywhere else. Turn off all lights and close and lock all windows and doors. Leave your keys with the REALTOR®, Landlord or new owner.

Make sure you are there to meet the movers to avoid possible additional charges. During warm weather, have cold beverages available for movers--professionals or volunteers. Finally, don't try to unpack everything at once. Unpacking carefully and in an organized manner, keeping in mind which boxes can be stored as they are, will save time in the long run.

The Ontario Real Estate Association suggests that by following these tips, your move into a new home or apartment will be a smooth and enjoyable experience. Source, Orea.com

You Bought a House, Now What's Next

Understanding The Next Step After Your Agreement of Purchase & Sale has Been Accepted

It's an exciting time. Your offer has been accepted. You can't wait to move into your new home. But don't start celebrating yet. There is one final stage involved in purchasing a home -- closing the deal.

Closing is the point at which ownership and usually possession of the property is transferred from the seller to you. It takes place after the parties involved agree that all legal and financial obligations have been met. Your lawyer and your REALTOR® will do much of the work, but here's a checklist that will show you what to expect as the process unfolds:

• Make sure a copy of the signed Agreement of Purchase and Sale is sent to your. Your REALTOR® will usually do this for you. Your lawyer needs to see any conditions that exist, and the date you and the seller have agreed to close. The lawyer will ask you how you (and others involved in the purchase) want to be registered on the title to the property.

• Immediately begin satisfying any of the conditions of the agreement that require your action. These have definite dates attached to them and if you miss one you may have to arrange an extension or possibly risk losing the entire deal. As each condition is met, the REALTOR® will fill out a waiver form for signatures. Note that most lawyers won't be doing many of the tasks they need to do for closing until the conditions are waived.

• Upon your direction and after the conditions have been met, your lawyer will begin searching title to the property. This is an exercise of going back through government records to ensure a clear title that is transferable. Electronic registration and title insurance have significantly changed the way titles on properties are transferred.

• If you decide to have the home inspected, your offer should contain a condition that the property passes inspection.

• If no current land survey exists on the property, arrange for one soon. Your lender may require it, and you'll want it for your own peace of mind, anyway.

• Contact your lending institution to begin the process of finalizing mortgage documents. Ask if your lawyer can draw up the documents; this will usually save money.

• Your lawyer will contact the seller's lawyer with any questions or issues regarding title and costs.

• Your lawyer will check with local utilities (hydro, gas, water) to ensure there are no outstanding claims and to get final meter readings on the day of closing. You should contact the utilities and telephone and cable companies well in advance to arrange for services in your name.
• Meanwhile, your lawyer is busy making sure that property taxes on your new home are up-to-date, local zoning and building restrictions have been met and there are no liens on personal property, such as appliances, to be sold with your house. You want your lawyer to make sure that what you've agreed to buy is what you'll get -- nothing more or less.

• Well before closing; contact your insurance agent to arrange homeowner's insurance coverage to become effective on the date of closing. Your agent can give you a "binder" letter, certifying coverage is in place. If you're moving from your current owned (rather than rented) home to another, your agent will handle the homeowner's insurance transfer for you.

• Your lawyer will review and verify the draft deed, statement of adjustments and other closing information provided by the seller's lawyer, and will deal with any problems as they arise.

• A day or two before closing, you'll meet with your lawyer to go over and sign the closing documents. Bring the certified cheque(s) to cover costs involved. Your lawyer will let you know the amounts in advance.

The big day arrives. You don't need to be present, usually (this can be pre-arranged). The lawyers for both parties exchange documents, keys and cheques and then register the deed and mortgage. Soon thereafter you'll be given the keys to your new home.

Source: Orea.com

Understanding Real Estate Terms

If you're buying a home for the very first time, the process may seem a little daunting. After all, buying a home is probably one of the biggest investments you'll ever make. It helps to have a REALTOR® on your team -- someone who speaks the language of real estate very well.

A REALTOR® has the experience and the knowledge to guide you through the process of buying your first home and can help take the mystery out of the many terms, phrases and clauses you will encounter.

The following glossary, an excerpt from the Ontario Real Estate Association's "How to Buy Your Home" book, provides definitions of some of the most common real estate terms you are likely to come across.

The book also fully explains the process of buying a home and is available free-of-charge by calling 1-800-563-HOME or talk to your local REALTOR®.

Amortization: The number of years it takes to repay the entire amount of a mortgage.

Appraisal: An estimate of a property's market value, used by lenders in determining the amount of the mortgage.

Appreciation: The increase of a property's value over time.

Assessment: The value of a property set by the local municipality, for the purposes of calculating property tax.

Assumable Mortgage: A mortgage held on a property by the seller that can be taken over by the buyer, who then accepts responsibility for making the mortgage payments.

Blended Mortgage: A combination of two mortgages, one with a higher interest rate than the other, to create a new mortgage with an interest rate somewhere between the two original rates.
Blended Mortgage Payments: Equal or regular mortgage payments, consisting of both a principal and an interest component. With each successive payment, the amount applied to interest decreases and the amount applied to the principal increases, although the total payment doesn't change. (Exception - see variable rate mortgages.)

Bridge Financing: Money borrowed against a homeowner's equity in a property, usually for a short term, to help finance the purchase of another property or make improvements to a property being sold.

Buy-down: When the seller reduces the interest rate on a mortgage by paying the difference between the reduced rate and market rate directly to the lender or to the purchaser, in one lump sum or monthly instalments.

Closing: The real estate transaction's completion, when the parties involved agree that all legal and financial obligations have been met, and the deed to the property is transferred from the seller to the buyer.

Conventional Mortgage: A first mortgage issued for up to 75 per cent of the property's appraised value or purchase price, whichever is lower.

Counteroffer: One party's written response to the other party's offer during purchase negotiations between buyer and seller.

Debt Service Ratio: The percentage of a borrower's gross income that can be used for housing costs, including mortgage payment and taxes (and condominium fees, when applicable).

Deed: A legal document that conveys (transfers) ownership of a property to the buyer.

Easement: A legal right to use or cross (right-of-way) another person's land for limited purposes. A common example is a utility company's right to run wires or lay pipe across a property.

Encroachment: An intrusion onto an adjoining property -- such as a neighbor's fence, storage shed or overhanging roof line that partially (or even fully) intrudes onto your property.

Equity: The difference between the price for which a property can be sold and the mortgage(s) on the property. Equity is the owner's "stake" in a property.

Foreclosure: A legal process by which the lender takes possession and ownership of a property when the borrower defaults on the mortgage obligations.

High-Ratio Mortgage: A mortgage for more than 75 per cent of a property's appraised value or purchase price.

Land Transfer Tax: Payment to the provincial government for transferring property from the seller to the buyer.

Lien: Any legal claim against a property, filed to ensure payment of a debt.

Mortgagee: The lender.

Mortgage Insurance: Government-backed or private-backed insurance protecting the lender against the borrower's default on high-ratio (and other types) of mortgages.

Mortgagor: The borrower.

Multiple Listing Service (MLS): A system for relaying information to REALTORS® about properties for sale.

Prepayment Privilege: A mortgage feature that allows the borrower to prepay a portion or all of the principal balance with or without penalty. This privilege is frequently restricted to specific amounts and times.

Principal: The mortgage amount initially borrowed, or the portion still owing on the mortgage. Interest is calculated on the principal amount.

Status Certificate: A written statement of a condominium unit's current financial and legal status.

Variable-Rate Mortgage: A mortgage for which payments are fixed, but whose interest rate changes in relationship to fluctuating market interest rates. If market rates go up, a larger portion of the payment goes to interest. If rates go down, a larger portion of the payment is applied to the principal.

Vendor-Take-Back Mortgage: When sellers use their equity in a property to provide some or all of the mortgage financing in order to sell the property.

Zoning Regulations: Strict guidelines set by municipal governments regulating how a property may or may not be used.

Source: Orea.com

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Economic recovery fuels significant upswing in sales in Canada’s recreational property markets, says RE/MAX

79 per cent of markets report upward trending in recreational sales in 2010

Mississauga, ON (May 20, 2010) -- Serious year-over-year gains have characterized sales in most major Canadian recreational property markets this year, according to a report released today by RE/MAX.

The 2010 RE/MAX Recreational Property Report, highlighting sales, prices, trends and developments in close to 50 markets from coast-to-coast, found that 79 per cent of recreational areas reported an upswing in the number of properties sold during the first three months of the year. Starting prices for recreational product were also on the move, with 43 per cent posting a nominal increase. Inventory levels, with the exception of the coveted entry-level price point, were healthy and balanced market conditions prevailed in most areas.

“While sales have been strong out of the gate, the number of waterfront cottages, condominiums, and back lot properties sold in the first quarter still fall short of pre-recession levels,” says Michael Polzler, Executive Vice President, RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada. “However, with peak season fast approaching, stimuli such as softer values, greater selection, and relatively low interest rates may prove difficult for recreational property buyers to resist.”

Similar conditions existed in residential housing markets across the country last spring, setting the stage for heated second, third, and fourth quarters of 2009. Affordability was top of mind then, as it is now, with many prospective purchasers cautiously venturing into the market.

“Stronger than expected economic recovery, combined with additional incentives such as rising interest rates, stricter lending criteria, and a new sales tax, have served to kick-start activity in recreational property markets from coast-to-coast,” says Elton Ash, Regional Executive Vice President, RE/MAX of Western Canada. “Entry-level product is experiencing the greatest demand this year, as value-driven purchasers look to stretch their dollar as far as it will go. This is especially true in Western Canada, where values have softened considerably year-over-year, but are now starting to firm up.”

The rebound in stock portfolios and greater stability in personal finances has added fuel to the fire. Baby boomers and Generation X – aged 35 to 55 years – are working in tandem as a result, snapping up modest properties located on prime waterfront. Despite the upward pressure on starting prices, the RE/MAX Report found that one in every four recreational property markets still offers winterized, waterfront product priced below $250,000.

The most affordable starting prices were found in: Newfoundland Coast, NL ($105,000), Shediac Bay ($230,000), and South Shore/North Shore, NS ($230,000 to $240,000) in Atlantic Canada; The Laurentians ($175,000) in Quebec; Prince Edward County ($200,000 - $250,000), Elliot Lake ($215,000), Parry Sound ($219,900), East Kawarthas ($225,000), and Bancroft ($235,000) in Ontario; and South Central Cariboo ($180,000), Lake Winnipeg ($250,000), Canmore ($270,000) and Ucluelet ($499,000 for oceanfront) in Western Canada.

“Opportunities exist for savvy purchasers across the country at virtually every price point,” says Sylvain Dansereau, Executive Vice President, RE/MAX Quebec. “Recreational property buyers in the mid-to-top end have a definite edge in the market, with greater purchasing power than in years past. Those in the lower end will find that there are more waterfront options available than ever before. ”
Highlights:

- Of the markets that experienced an increase in starting prices, half were value-priced, with winterized waterfront product available under $350,000. The remainder was typically comprised of prime, sought-after markets favoured among purchasers such as the Georgian Bay and Lake Simcoe areas and the Muskoka Region.

- The most expensive recreational property markets included: Sylvan Lake, AB ($1.2 million); Vernon, BC in the North Okanagan ($1.15 million); Tofino, BC ($875,000); Cultus Lake/Harrison Lake, BC in the Fraser Valley ($800,000); Whistler, BC ($799,000) and Salt Spring Island, BC ($750,000).

- Americans have virtually fallen off the map in Canadian recreational properties. Only Shediac Bay, where recreational property values are a fraction of those in the US, continues to draw eager purchasers from the eastern seaboard of the United States.

- Bargain-priced properties in the Southern United States are still having an impact on Canadian recreational property markets, drawing some purchasers south of the border to areas such as California, Arizona, Nevada and Florida.

- Pent-up demand will continue to prop up recreational property sales in markets from coast to coast this season, as buyers who sat on the sidelines in 2008 and 2009, finally enter the market, spurred on by better prices, good affordability, and economic recovery.

RE/MAX is Canada’s leading real estate organization with over 17,500 sales associates situated throughout its more than 680 independently-owned and operated offices across the country. The RE/MAX franchise network, now in its 37th year, is a global real estate system operating in 80 countries. Over 6,450 independently-owned offices engage over 92,000 member sales associates who lead the industry in professional designations, experience and production while providing real estate services in residential, commercial, referral, and asset management. Source: www.remax.ca.

Retirement - Canadians Feel Retirement of Their Dreams is Not Attainable

TORONTO - 2010 — Nearly all Canadians (90 per cent) feel they will have enough income to cover their necessities in retirement but only one-in-four Canadians (25 per cent) feel they will have enough money to fulfill their retirement dreams, according to the 20th Annual RBC RRSP Poll.

The poll found that most retired Canadians (75 per cent) didn't know how much they spent in their first year of retirement, virtually unchanged from 2008 (76 per cent). Those who know how much they spent had lower costs in their first year of retirement, having spent close to $35,000, down from $51,000 in 2008. However, half of these respondents (52 per cent) said they spent more than expected, up from 46 per cent in 2008.
Rbc key to retirement poll may 2010
"How much money you'll need in retirement depends on how you'll be spending your time, with many Canadians underestimating the amount they will need," said Lee Anne Davies, head, Retirement Strategies, RBC Royal Bank. "Financial planning is more than just number crunching and your retirement is not a single phase of your life, but a series of stages. A personalized financial plan can look at options to make your nest egg last and help ensure your retirement needs and dreams are met."

When thinking about retirement, the study found that Canadians who have not retired were most worried about having enough savings (48 per cent), while only 29 per cent of retirees had this concern. Both pre-retirees and retirees are concerned about maintaining their standard of living (40 per cent). Retirees are also more likely to be worried about healthcare (33 per cent) than pre-retirees (28 per cent).

"All of these concerns are valid. Whether retired or not, your life will be somewhat unpredictable at times and you need to be ready when life throws you a curve ball. This is where having a plan can provide peace of mind - you'll know you've considered the unexpected and you've taken the steps to save for your retirement," said Davies.

These are some of the findings the RBC 20th Annual RBC Poll conducted by Ipsos Reid between October 21 and November 2, 2009. For this survey, a national sample of 1,457 adults from Ipsos' Canadian online panel was interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100 per cent response rate would have an estimated margin of error of ±2.56 percentage points 19 times out of 20 of what the results would have been had the entire population of adults in Canada been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.
Source: RBC.com Newsroom

Marketing Your Home

If you're thinking of selling your home in the near future, you may think that all that's required is a "for sale" sign strategically placed on your front lawn -- but any real estate professional will tell you there's much more to it than that.

While a sign on your lawn is of paramount importance to the sale of your home, a well-thought-out marketing plan is also essential. Your REALTOR®, of course, is another vital component in the process, and one of the first things he/she will discuss with you is a marketing strategy designed to give your home maximum exposure.

Keep in mind that effective marketing of your home requires a lot of communication between you and your REALTOR® and there are several things you can do to make sure your home gets the best possible exposure.

Be Candid with Your REALTOR®
First of all, disclose everything you can about your property and the neighbourhood in general. This information will help your REALTOR® a great deal and he/she can choose how and when this information can be related to prospective purchasers. For example, there may be something about your home or the area you live in that you may take for granted, but that characteristic could be a major selling point for your home -- such as its close proximity to local schools and recreation facilities.

It's also wise to be candid about any potential drawbacks as well, so both you and your REALTOR® can be realistic in arriving at a suitable list price. Where possible, your REALTOR® is likely to have some suggestions as to how these problems can be improved upon.

As well, your REALTOR® may notice some serious flaws in you home or even some basic elements that are missing. They may not bother you, but could work to your detriment when it comes to selling your home. As a result, your REALTOR® is likely to make helpful, reasonable recommendations that will enable you both market your home successfully. It's important to keep an open mind and follow his/her advice.

Operating Costs
It's also a good idea to have information on hand that will give the REALTOR® an idea of the costs of running your home -- annual heating bills, along with documentation of any recent major repairs or upgrades -- such as a new roof or new wiring or plumbing. These can be very effective marketing tools.

Open House
Your REALTOR® will also tell you that an open house can be another effective marketing tool. While some homeowners are adverse to this idea, it's one you should discuss with your REALTOR® if you really want your home to receive maximum exposure to interested buyers. During an open house or prearranged showings, it's a good idea to make sure that you and any other members of your family (including pets) are absent. Many buyers are intimidated by the presence of homeowners and tend to rush through a home as a result.

Clean and Clutter-Free
Before any showing or open house, it's imperative to make sure your home is clean and uncluttered -- both inside and out. Get rid of junk (don't forget the garage) and any unpleasant odours from smoke, cooking or pets. A neat exterior is inviting and a clean and neat interior just makes good, plain marketing sense.

Consider having your home painted. It's a relatively inexpensive way to show it in its best light.

Financing and Closing
Financing is another area where you may be able to help market your home more effectively. You can make your home more attractive to some purchasers by taking back a mortgage. It's an excellent marketing tool, especially if you're trading down to a less expensive home.

Flexibility on the closing date is another important factor in the successful marketing of a home. Real problems can arise when vendors and purchasers can't agree on a closing date. Again, it's important to work with your REALTOR® and listen to suggestions. Some deals are lost simply because the vendor and purchaser can't agree on a closing date.

Stay Informed
Your REALTOR® should keep you informed by following up after each showing and providing you with a weekly update on how the marketing of your home is progressing. By the same token, if you have any questions or ideas, don't hesitate to share these with your REALTOR®.
Article Source: Orea.com

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Federal Government Changes Mortgage Rules

The federal government has announced changes to the rules for government-backed insured mortgages (less than 20 percent down payment) as follows:

All borrowers will be required to meet the standards for a five-year fixed rate mortgage even if they choose a mortgage with a lower interest rate and shorter terms.

Reduced maximum amount that can be withdrawn in refinancing a government-backed insured mortgage to 90 per cent from 95 per cent of the value of the home.
Require a minimum down payment of 20 per cent for government-backed mortgage insurance on non-owner occupied properties purchased for speculation. Borrowers purchasing owner-occupied residential properties will still be able to access government-backed mortgage insurance with a 5 per cent down payment.

New Mortgage Rules

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