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Figure out how to set up your home for the market and sell it for the most cash

Here are some tips:

1. De-personalize
Store those pictures and keepsakes. REmoving those things enables buyers to envision themselves in the home.

2. Pricing it right
Regardless how well you stage, revamp and arrange your home, it is as yet essential to price the home properly. Discover what your house is worth. Consult a local real estate agent to see what comparable homes are going for in your area. It is important that the listing price is not out of line with other comparable homes in the market.

3. Declutter
Give away what you can, discard as much as possible of what remains, and pack the rest to prepare it to move. The more swarmed the house is, the smaller it appears.

4. Update the Kitchen
The kitchen is the most important room in a house. The advantages of redesigning your kitchen are endless. The most inexpensive kitchen updates include painting and new cabinet hardware. Use a neutral-color paint so you can give buyers a clear canvas where they can begin imagining their own particular style.

5. Stage the Outside of your Home
Stage the exterior with new paint, flawless landscaping and even furniture.

6. Allow an Open House.
Few out of every odd home is a candidate for an open house. Numerous a home buyer wants to purchase a home until the point that she spots an open house and falls in love subsequently.

7. Change the Light Bulbs
Lighting can be similarly as critical as furniture feng shui with regards to attracting home buyers.

8. Hire a Professional Photographer
Strong listing photographs have a major effect with regards to getting buyers over to your home.

9. Don’t Over-upgrade
You most likely won’t recover your cash back if you do an immense change before you put your home on the market.

10. Hire an Agent
You don’t need to know everything about selling real estate if you hire a real estate professional who does it right.
Why not hire a person with more education and experience than you? We’re all looking for more precious time in our lives, and hiring pros gives us that time.

Looking for help selling your home quickly and for the best price? Contact us today!

The Practically Perfect Open House

If you plan to have an open house to help sell your property, you will obviously want to make the best impression possible on potential buyers.

It is very important that all minor repairs be completed before the open house. Even a squeaking door can be a distraction to buyers.

Obviously, you’re going to make sure everything is clean and uncluttered. Also consider the lighting. Check that every room is well lit and that there are no burnt-out bulbs. This is especially important in darker spaces.

If you have pets, consider taking them to a “pet day camp” or kennel, or just take them for a long walk in the park. Pets and open houses are rarely a good mix. You don’t want buyers with allergies feeling uncomfortable.

If possible, remove personal items such as family pictures and trophies. Remember that buyers want to visualize themselves living in the home, and your personal items become a distraction.

Finally, avoid being home during your open house. Let me, as your REALTOR® be the host!

New Mortgage Rule Changes – What You Need To Know

MORTGAGE TERMS YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Insured Mortgage / High Ratio Mortgage = Less than 20% down payment
Non Insured Mortgage / Conventional Mortgage = 20% or greater down payment / equity
Bank of Canada Rate = the 5 year fixed posted rate (currently 4.99%)
Contract Rate = the actual rate offered by the lender to the consumer
Benchmark Rate/Qualifying Rate = Stress Test: Bank of Canada Rate OR Contract Rate +2%, whichever is greater
LTV (Loan To Value) = the size of a mortgage compared to the value of the property
securing the loan

OSFI has implemented 3 new mortgage rule changes starting January 1, 2018:

Change 1:  QUALIFYING RATE STRESS TEST TO ALL NON INSURED MORTGAGES

Non insured mortgage consumers (buyers with a 20% or greater down payment) must now qualify using a new minimum qualifying rate. The minimum rate will be the greater of the five-year benchmark rate published by the Bank of Canada OR the lender contractual mortgage rate +2.0%.

How does this affect the mortgage consumer with a down payment of 20% or more?
The biggest impact will be on the amount in which the homebuyer will be able to qualify. Previously, the homebuyer qualified at the rate offered by the lender. Now, the homebuyer must qualify at the benchmark rate which is the higher of the Bank of Canada Rate (currently 4.99%) OR the rate from the lender plus 2%. This applies to all terms, fixed and variable rates.

Do I still have the option to refinance my home?
Yes, homebuyers will still have the ability to refinance up to 80% of the value of their property. You will have to pass the same stress test which is the higher of the Bank of Canada Rate (currently 4.99%) OR the rate from the lender plus 2%.

Change 2: LENDERS WILL BE REQUIRED TO ENHANCE THEIR LOAN TO VALUE (LTV) MEASUREMENT AND LIMITS TO ENSURE RISK RESPONSIVENESS

Mortgage lenders (excluding credit unions and private lenders) must establish and adhere to appropriate LTV ratio limits that are reflective of risk and updated as housing markets and the economic environment evolve. We are awaiting more details on this policy from lenders. As we have new information, we will update this document.

What does this mean?
OSFI directs lenders (excluding credit unions and private lenders) to have internal risk management protocols in higher priced markets (sometimes called “hot real estate markets” like Toronto and Vancouver). This is a continuation of a policy already in place. Many mortgage lenders have been following the principles of the policy for the last 10 to 12 months.

Change 3:  RESTRICTIONS WILL BE PLACED ON CERTAIN LENDING ARRANGEMENTS THAT ARE DESIGNED, OR APPEAR DESIGNED TO AVOID LTV LIMITS

Mortgage lenders (excluding credit unions and private lenders) are prohibited from arranging with another lender: a mortgage, or a combination of a mortgage and other lending products, in any form that circumvents the institution’s maximum LTV ratio or other limits in its residential mortgage underwriting policy, or any requirements established by law. This is often referred to as “bundling” or “bundle partnership”.

What does this mean?
For example: a consumer applies for 80% LTV mortgage and the lender can only approve 65%. The lender then partners with a second lender for the additional 15%. The original lender then “bundles” the 15% LTV mortgage with the original 65% mortgage to form the complete 80% LTV loan. This is no longer permitted as per OSFI.

Should You Buy the Latest Home Automation Gadgets?

You’re at work when the thought hits you, “Did I lock the door when I left this morning?” You check your smartphone, see that you didn’t, and click the “LOCK” button. Now your house is secure.

That’s home automation for you!

But, is home automation a good idea? That depends on a number of factors.

On the pro side, home automation can improve your quality of life. There are automation products that will adjust heating/cooling depending on whether or not you’re home, make your morning coffee when you get out of bed, and the list goes on and on. These conveniences save you time.

Home automation can also give you peace-of-mind. It’s comforting to be able to remotely see the inside of your home and check that everything’s okay.

Home automation can also make your property more appealing to buyers. Traditionally, buyers like homes with security systems and will appreciate other automation gizmos, too.

The only downside is the cost. Like most new technology, home automation products can be pricey and may become out-of-date within just a few years.

Thinking about it? Experts advise you to do your research first. Check out product reviews online. Then, if you determine that a particular product is going to benefit you, go for it!

10 Reasons to List Your Home This Month

Is selling your property the furthest thing from your mind? Well, here are some reasons for listing your property that you might not have considered.

1.    Your property may be worth more than you think. (It’s difficult to determine market value on your own. I can calculate it for you. Give me a call.)

2.    You might qualify for a better home than you anticipate.

3.    Perhaps you are tired of your current property and want a change.

4.    There may be homes on the market in a neighbourhood in which you’ve always wanted to live.

5.    Your current property may no longer meet your needs.

6.    Your neighbourhood may have changed in ways you don’t like.

7.    You might be ready to downsize or upsize and you no longer want to put that off.

8.    You may want to sell in the fall, so you can have a fresh start in a new home in the new year.

9.    Depending on the type of home you’re considering, you could end up with lower mortgage payments or no mortgage at all.

10. You might want to move to a home that’s more conveniently

located near work, family and hobbies.

Of course, you may have your own reasons for listing this month. Why not discuss them with a real estate expert? Me. I can answer your questions and explain the options available to you.

BBQ Safety Tips You Should Know

According to a recent study, the average homeowner pays more attention to kitchen stove safety than they do BBQ safety. But, the fact is, a BBQ mishap can be just as devastating. So, it pays to know the latest safety tips.

  • Keep BBQs at least 8 feet away from your house.
  • Check for venture tube blockages regularly. (Spiders are notorious for spinning webs in there.)
  • Clean the grill frequently to prevent flare ups. A grease fire on the grill can continue burning even after you’ve turned the BBQ off.
  • Don’t position your BBQ close to foliage, such as under a tree or next to shrubs.
  • Never BBQ in an enclosed area, such as a garage, even if the space is well ventilated.
  • Avoid leaving the grill unattended, especially when cooking greasy foods such as sausages, beef burgers or steaks.
  • Do not let children BBQ.

Finally, make sure your BBQ is turned completely off after use. It’s a good idea to double-check this when making the rounds and locking up your home for the night.

Experts say you should treat a BBQ as you would a camp fire — with care.

3 Reasons to Talk to a Realtor Today

You might naturally assume that it is most important to talk to a Realtor when you’re selling or buying a home. But there are many other circumstances in which it makes sense to give me a call. Here are a few examples.

1. When you’re at the “thinking about it” stage

If you’re just thinking about selling your home, and haven’t made a firm decision yet, you might feel uncomfortable calling a Realtor. Don’t be. In fact, I welcome your call. We can discuss what your current property will likely sell for on today’s market, and determine the type of home you qualify to buy. That way, you’ll have some clarity and be able to make a more informed decision.

2. If you’re nervous about the selling process

If you haven’t sold a home before, you might be concerned about what’s involved in the process. You might even worry that putting your home on the market is going to be a lot of work and create a lot of turbulence for you and your family.

Fortunately, selling your home doesn’t need to be scary. In fact, a big part of my job as a Realtor is to make the process as smooth and trouble-free as possible.

So if you have concerns about selling your home, you should give me a call.

3. If you have questions

You likely have questions about the local real estate scene from time to time. You might have questions like: “How much did that home around the corner sell for?”; “Is now a good time to make a move, or should I wait until the market changes?”; and, “How much is my current home worth?”
When you have questions like those, you don’t need to dig for answers on your own. You can give me a call. As an expert in the local market, I can give you the answers you need.

Testimonials

As a first time home buyer, I was really nervous when I first started looking at properties. Danny Greene was so incredibly helpful and patient throughout the entire process, and my experience buying my condo couldn’t have been better! Very knowledgeable about condos and what to expect when purchasing this type of property. I would recommend Danny to anyone looking for guidance with buying a property, and will definitely seek him out for my next purchase! – Breean Haslam

What Do Interior Designers Do?

If you want to transform a room into something that’s functional, beautiful and perfectly matched to your taste, then you might want to hire an interior designer.

It’s an interior designer’s job to come up with imaginative ideas that will wow you.

It’s a myth that interior designers just deal with paint colours, décor and furnishings. In fact, according to the Interior Designers Institute, these professionals have the training needed to handle all aspects of a renovation or remodeling project, including selecting and managing contractors. They can direct a project from beginning to end.

If you want to renovate your basement into a stunning home theatre and gathering place, an interior designer can:

  •  Draw out several concepts for you to choose from,
  • Purchase the best building materials,
  • Hire the contractors, and
  • Manage the project.

He or she can even pick out classic movie pictures for the walls!

There are many professional associations that have “Find an Interior Designer” links on their websites. In the U.S. check out the Professional Association for Interior Designers (www.asid.org). In Canada, it’s the Interior Designers of Canada (www.idcanada.org).

CREB Statistics

Mid-Year market update shows stability

CREB® forecasts a process of recovery for the remainder of 2017

The first-half of 2017 marked a shift in Alberta’s economy from recession to recovery, with conditions supporting stability rather than expansion.
“Economic challenges continue to exist, as high unemployment rates, weak migration levels and more stringent lending conditions are weighing on the housing market,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.

“This will continue to cause some adjustments in the housing market for the remainder of this year. However, this is not expected to offset earlier gains supporting general stability in 2017.”

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