New property listed in Cranston, Calgary
I have listed a new property at 38 Cranarch LANDING SE in Calgary. See details here Welcome to 38 Cranarch Landing! Pride of ownership ...READ POST
I have listed a new property at 38 Cranarch LANDING SE in Calgary. See details here Welcome to 38 Cranarch Landing! Pride of ownership ...READ POST
This spectacular Country acreage home is nestled into the rolling Foothills, and has some of the most uninterrupted and picturesque ...READ POST
Here is why so many people are coming to Calgary- Check out this property! If you are looking for a house that feels like a home this ...READ POST
I have sold a property at 45 Mcrae STREET in Okotoks. See details here What a property!! If you're looking for an amazing location ...READ POST
I have listed a new property at 38 Cranarch LANDING SE in Calgary. See details here Welcome to 38 Cranarch Landing! Pride of ownership is evident in this thoughtfully designed 3 bedroom ...
This spectacular Country acreage home is nestled into the rolling Foothills, and has some of the most uninterrupted and picturesque mountain and countryside views the Foothills has ...
Here is why so many people are coming to Calgary- Check out this property! If you are looking for a house that feels like a home this is it. This upscale 3 bedroom, 3 bath with a Bonus ...
I have sold a property at 45 Mcrae STREET in Okotoks. See details here What a property!! If you're looking for an amazing location that is zoned for Residential or Commercial use, look ...
I have listed a new property at 38 Cranarch LANDING SE in Calgary. See details here
Welcome to 38 Cranarch Landing! Pride of ownership is evident in this thoughtfully designed 3 bedroom home with a FULLY Developed 9' basement (professionally finished) with over 3100 sqft of developed space, just steps from the walking path to Cranston’s Ridge/Fish Creek Park as well as walking distance to the school. This home was built to impress, starting with the open to below over the front entrance. The main living area is spacious and open, perfect for large families or entertaining. The upgrades in this home are Immaculate, starting with the hand scraped engineered hardwood flooring through the main floor, two toned kitchen with solid wood painted cabinets, 7.5' x 5' island with cabinets on all sides, stainless steel appliances, and that is just a start. The Kitchen has premium granite, a cabinet style pantry, as well as a full walk-in pantry for all your storage needs. Every corner of this elegant Kitchen was well planned out with functionality and storage in mind. The Mudroom has a built-in cabinet for all seasons of jackets and shoes, and the Half Bath has a built in vanity to tuck everything away. Included on the main floor is a beautifully designed Office, and a Great Room with an 8' wide stone gas fireplace and tons of natural light pouring into the home. Just off the Dining Room the 3 panel garden door welcomes you onto the 2 tiered 24' x 12' deck, with a no maintenance yard with turf, irrigation, and mature trees for the family to enjoy on summer and fall nights. Upstairs the Primary Bedroom is stunning with a gorgeous Vault, along with a reading nook off to the side, and the Ensuite Bathroom is a perfect balance of luxury and comfort with a fully tiled 10 mil glass walk in shower with a bench that will make you feel like you live in a spa. The Ensuite also features a custom built linen cabinet, 2 tier dual sink vanity, and a separated water closet. The Oversized Walk-in Closet is equipped with built-in drawers and hooks to keep everything organized. Separating the second bedrooms from the primary suite is the central Bonus Room with tray ceiling and pot light detailing. Having this central bonus room separates the additional two bedrooms from the primary suite for extra privacy. The kids wing has 2 oversized Bedrooms, each with its own Walk-in Closet and the Main Bathroom. Don’t forget the upper floor Laundry with built in cabinets, countertop over the laundry and sink, along with a storage closet. Moving into the lower level, the professionally developed 9’ Basement has a 4th Bedroom, full Bathroom, Hobby room/Workspace, Wine/Cold Room and large Family Room. This home is designed for function and finesse, floors are heated in the ensuite and mudroom, there are 2 furnaces, Air conditioning and irrigation in the front and back yard. Don't let this home slip away, it is the perfect home for a family. **CLICK 3D VIDEO** for virtual tour and Walkthrough video on YouTube.
I have sold a property at 45 Mcrae STREET in Okotoks. See details here
What a property!! If you're looking for an amazing location that is zoned for Residential or Commercial use, look no further! This lot is in the heart of Downtown Okotoks, located across the street from Home Ground Coffee on the Main Street of Okotoks. Don't miss out on a great investment. Zoned for Residential, Commercial, or Mixed use.
I have listed a new property at 418231 2nd STREET E in Rural Foothills County. See details here
Own a little slice of paradise! This spectacular Country acreage home is nestled into the rolling Foothills, and has some of the most uninterrupted and picturesque mountain and countryside views the Foothills has to offer. This gated, private, and well treed property is 6 minutes to Okotoks and 20 minutes to Calgary, the perfect balance between having the city close by but being able to return to your country retreat. The stunning tree lined driveway (with a roundabout) hints at what’s to come as it opens revealing the grandeur of this 5-acre homestead. This 2700 sqft Country home is a spacious walkout bungalow, and takes full advantage of the idyllic setting and views with oversized windows and multiple deck, one Covered to find some shade on those hot summer days and the other off the back facing west. You’ll instantly appreciate the beautiful natural elements this home offers the moment you walk in the door. It has a spacious front entrance that offers a beautiful curved staircase to the lower level, a greatroom with incredible views that opens up the a Kitchen and dining room, and an office in the front of the home that takes full advantage of the morning sun. The kitchen has tons of cabinets and counter space as well as an Island with a bar large enough for the whole family to sit at, in addition to the Dining room panoramic mountain views, and an abundance of natural light not to mention a deck off each side of the dining room. This home also features a multi-functional Enclosed sun room with sky lights and walls of windows to enjoy as a space to relax, a yoga room, and Art studio… anything you want. After entertaining you can cozy up in the lower level where there is a greatroom for movie night, and all the bedrooms for your family. The Primary Suite is off the back of the home, again to take advantage of the stunning views, offers 2 closets and access to the walk out portion of the home. Connected to the Primary suite is a powder room along with a sink, and a 5 piece ensuite that is large enough to be an entire spa, with over 200 sqft. To complete the lower level there are 2 great sized additional bedrooms, a 3 piece bathroom, and slab heat. Bring some Horses!! With the set up this property has it is perfect for a small horse operation with an Arena complete with wind fence, 4 Pens, 3 Grazing Pastures, a Shelter, Outdoor Hay storage area, and an outdoor tack room. Bonus double attached heated garage, with a space for a workshop Additional features: This property is unique, in that it has the potential opportunity to subdivide with a separate entrance pending all approvals off the back see drawing. There was a new ceiling on main floor, and wind resistant shingles put on 2 years ago, a Garden Shed for additional storage, and an underground cistern. Check out the YouTube walkthrough video!!
I have sold a property at 16 Deerfield GREEN SE in Calgary. See details here
Steps from Fish Creek Park! Welcome to the beautiful community of Deer Ridge! Located on a quiet street and backing onto walking path and green space, this rare duplex condo is move-in ready. As you enter, you will be greeted by a bright and specious living room with hardwood flooring. The original kitchen has ample cabinetry and large window for natural light, and connects with the dining room that has doors that lead to your private deck and backyard. A 2pc powder room finishes this level. Upstairs you will find 3 good sized bedrooms and one 4pc bath. The basement is awaiting your finishing touch, with ample room for storage as well as laundry. The backyard is fully fenced and overlooks the vast green space. There is one parking stall conveniently located right outside your front door. Close to all amenities including schools, parks, playgrounds, shopping, and transit, this home is perfect for a small family. Come and view it today!
I have sold a property at 20685 Main STREET SE in Calgary. See details here
Come check out this newly built semi-detached home in Seton that will be ready for possession this August! This open concept home features a large galley kitchen separating living and dining space and a well placed private half bath on the main. It's loaded with features including 9' ceilings on the main, large windows, vinyl plank and tile flooring, and plush carpeting. The kitchen features built-in stainless steel appliances, a wall to wall pantry, chimney hood fan and stone counters. The upper floor features upper laundry and a master ensuite that includes double sinks, and soaker tub, and walk-in shower. The home also includes a 10 year warranty, energy efficient features such as triple pane windows and high efficiency furnace, and many other conveniences only a new home can offer. Located within Seton's residential area and close to the new Seton Commercial District, South Health Campus, High School, and future LRT Park n' Ride, this community has everything you need!
8 Strategies to Secure a Lower Mortgage Rate
Interest rates have risen rapidly this year, triggered by the Bank of Canada’s efforts to curb inflation. And the July MNP Consumer Debt Index found that 59% of Canadians “are already feeling the effects of interest rate increases.”1
Why has the impact been so widespread? In part, due to the rising popularity of variable rate mortgages. According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, in the latter half of last year, the majority of mortgage borrowers opted for a variable over a fixed interest rate.2
Variable mortgages are typically pegged to the lender’s prime rate, which means they are immediately affected by rising interest rates. Homeowners with fixed mortgages aren’t impacted as quickly because their interest rate is locked in, but they will face higher rates, as well, when their mortgages are up for renewal. And many homebuyers are finding it increasingly difficult to afford or even qualify for a mortgage at today’s elevated rates.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to strengthen your position if you have plans to buy a home or renew an existing mortgage. Try these eight strategies to help secure the best available rate:
1. Raise your credit score.
Borrowers with higher credit scores are viewed as “less risky” to lenders, so they are offered lower interest rates. A “good” credit score typically starts at 660 and can move up into the 800s.3 If you don’t know your score, you can access it online from Canada’s two primary credit bureaus, Equifax and Transunion.4
Then, if your credit score is low, you can take steps to improve it, including:5
● Correct any errors on your credit reports, which can bring down your score. You can request free copies of your reports through the Equifax and Transunion websites.
● Pay down revolving debt. This includes credit card balances and home equity lines of credit.
● Avoid closing old credit card accounts in good standing. It could lower your score by shortening your credit history and shrinking your total available credit.
● Make all future payments on time. Payment history is a primary factor in determining your credit score, so make it a priority.
● Limit your credit applications to avoid having your score dinged by too many inquiries. If you’re shopping around for a car loan or mortgage, minimize the impact by limiting your applications to a two-week period.
Over time, you should start to see your credit score climb — which will help you qualify for a lower mortgage rate.
2. Keep steady employment.
If you are preparing to purchase a home, it might not be the best time to make a major career change. Unfortunately, frequent job moves or gaps in your résumé could hurt your borrower eligibility.
When you apply for a new mortgage, lenders will typically review your employment and income history and look for evidence that you've been financially stable for at least two years.6 If you’ve earned a steady paycheck, you could qualify for a better interest rate. A stable employment history gives lenders more confidence in your ability to repay the loan.
That doesn’t mean a job change will automatically disqualify you from purchasing a home. But certain moves, like switching from corporate employment to freelance or self-employment status, could force you to delay your purchase, since lenders will want to see proof of steady, long-term earnings.6
3. Lower your debt service ratios.
Even with a high credit score and a great job, lenders will be concerned if your debt payments are consuming too much of your income. That’s where your debt service ratios will come into play.
There are two types of debt service ratios:7
What’s considered a good debt service ratio? Lenders typically want to see a GDS ratio that’s no higher than 32% and a TDS ratio that’s 40% or less.7
Low debt service ratios will also help you pass a mortgage stress test, which is required by all Canadian banks and some other types of lenders. The stress test is designed to help ensure you can continue to afford your mortgage payments even if interest rates rise. You can use the government of Canada's Mortgage Qualifier Tool to calculate how much you can afford to borrow.
If your debt service ratios are too high, or you can’t pass a mortgage stress test, you may need to consider purchasing a less expensive home, increasing your down payment, or paying down your existing debt. A bump in your monthly income will also help.
4. Increase your down payment.
Minimum down payment requirements vary by loan size and property type. But, in some cases, you can qualify for a lower mortgage rate if you make a larger down payment.
Why do lenders care about your down payment size? Because borrowers with significant equity in their homes are less likely to default on their mortgages. That’s why you will be required to purchase mortgage default insurance if you put down less than 20%.8
It’s important to note that some lenders offer discount rates for borrowers who put down less than 20% – because the required default insurance protects them from any potential loss. However, the cost of CMHC or private mortgage default insurance will typically exceed any interest savings. You'll also have to pay interest on that insurance if you add it to your mortgage.9 The bottom line: you’ll save money in borrowing costs if you can afford a larger down payment.
Fortunately, there are a couple of government-initiated resources designed to help eligible first-time home buyers with a down payment, including:9
● Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) – Buyers may withdraw up to $35,000 (tax-free) from their Registered Retirement Savings Plan(RRSP). The money must be used to build or purchase a qualifying home and repaid to the RRSP within 15 years.
● First-Time Home Buyer Incentive – Buyers can take advantage of a shared-equity mortgage with the Government of Canada. Essentially, the Government will put 5% or 10% towards your down payment, interest-free, in exchange for a limited equity share of your property. The repayment is due in 25 years or when you sell your home.
We’d be happy to discuss these and other programs, tax rebates, and incentives that might help you increase your down payment.
5. Weigh interest rate options.
All mortgages are not created equal, and some may be a better fit than others, depending on your priorities and risk tolerance. For starters, there are several interest rate options to choose from:10
● Fixed — You’re guaranteed to keep the same interest rate for the entire length of the loan. Many buyers prefer a fixed rate because it offers them predictability and stability. However, you’ll pay a premium for it, as these mortgages typically have a higher interest rate to start. And if rates fall, you’ll be locked into that higher rate.
● Variable — Your interest rate will rise or fall along with your lender’s prime rate. You can choose either an adjustable or a fixed monthly payment. However, if you opt for a fixed payment, the amount that goes towards principal and interest each month will fluctuate depending on the current rate. Variable-rate mortgages typically offer lower interest rates to start but run the risk of increasing.
● Hybrid – Can’t decide between a fixed or variable rate? Hybrid mortgages attempt to address that dilemma. A portion of the mortgage will have a fixed rate and the remainder will have a variable rate. The fixed gives you some protection if rates go up, while the variable offers some benefit if rates fall.
What’s the best choice if you’re looking for the lowest mortgage rate? The answer is…it depends. If mortgage rates don’t rise much higher, or drop back down in a couple of years, you could win by opting for a variable rate. However, if they continue to climb, you may be better off with a fixed rate.
Keep in mind that the spread between variable and fixed rates has narrowed as rates rise.11 However, it's still easier to meet the stress-test requirements for a variable mortgage, since the threshold is lower.12 So, your choice may be limited by your ability to qualify.
6. Compare loan terms.
A mortgage term is the length of time your mortgage agreement is in effect. At the end of the term, a mortgage holder will need to either pay off their mortgage or renew for another term.
There are three major types of mortgage terms:13
● Shorter-term – These can range from 6 months to 5 years, and they are the most popular type in Canada. Borrowers can choose between a fixed or variable interest rate.
● Longer-term – These are longer than 5 years but generally no more than 10 years in length. Longer-term mortgages are more likely to feature fixed-interest rates and hefty prepayment penalties.
● Convertible – Offers the option to extend a shorter-term mortgage to a longer-term mortgage, typically at a different interest rate.
Which loan term offers the lowest rate? A shorter-term mortgage will typically feature a lower interest rate than a longer-term mortgage. However, the rate on a 1-year or a 3-year mortgage could be higher or lower than a 5-year mortgage depending on the current economic climate and whether it’s fixed or variable.
Many lenders offer especially attractive rates for 5-year mortgages due to their popularity.14 But to find the best rate, you’ll need to compare your options at the time of purchase or renewal.
7. Get quotes from multiple lenders.
When shopping for a mortgage, be sure to solicit quotes from several different lenders and lender types to compare the interest rates and fees. Depending upon your situation, you could find that one institution offers a better deal for the type of loan and term length you want.
Ideally, you should begin this process before you start looking for a home. If you get preapproved for a mortgage, in most cases, you can lock in the mortgage rate for 90 to 120 days. This is especially important when interest rates are rising.15
Some borrowers choose to work with a mortgage broker. Like an insurance broker, they can help you gather quotes and find the best rate. They’re paid a commission by the lender, so it won’t cost you anything out of pocket to use a broker. However, make sure you find out which lenders they work with and contact more than one so you can compare their recommendations.16
Don’t forget that we can be a valuable resource in finding a lender, especially if you are new to the home buying process. After a consultation, we can discuss your financing needs and connect you with loan officers or brokers best suited for your situation.
8. Ask for a discount.
When shopping for a mortgage, don’t be afraid to negotiate. In Canada, it’s commonplace for lenders to discount their advertised interest rates, which are called posted rates. And in many cases, all you have to do is ask. Of course, the strength of your application will come into play here – so don’t neglect strategies 1 through 4 above.17
Keep in mind that interest rates aren’t the only thing on the table. You can negotiate other contract terms, as well, like prepayment options and rebates. And if you get a great offer from one lender, you can leverage it by asking your preferred institution to match or beat it.17
Unfortunately, the rock-bottom mortgage rates we saw during the height of the pandemic are behind us. However, today’s 5-year fixed rates still fall beneath the historical average — and are well below the all-time peak of 20.75% in 1981.18
And although higher mortgage rates have made it more expensive to finance a home purchase, they have also ushered in a more balanced market. Consequently, today’s buyers are finding more homes to choose from, a better value for their investment, and sellers who are willing to negotiate.
If you have questions or would like more information about buying or selling a home, reach out to schedule a free consultation. We’d love to help you weigh your options, navigate this shifting market, and reach your real estate goals!
Have a great day