Is Now a Good Time to Buy a Home?

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There is no “one size fits all” answer to this question. It is not always a good time to buy depending on your stage in life and your future plans.

The recent changes in the mortgage qualification rules have either taken some buyers out of the market entirely, or reduced the price of the property they are qualified to buy. This has prompted some buyers to become creative, whether by having family or a friend go on title of their new property, and be included in the mortgage calculation, or by borrowing money to increase the downpayment to over 20% to avoid the higher threshold of qualification. Both of these approaches have their risks, and should be carefully considered before using one of them to buy a home. It is possible that now is not the time for you to buy. Perhaps taking more time to increase your downpayment, or time to consider what you really need in your new home is the right approach. It is possible that a lower price home may be the right fit for you right now.

Some ‘experts’ are predicting that home prices will ‘adjust’ (as in decrease) due to the new mortgage rules, as fewer buyers will be able to qualify at the current price levels. We have not seen this happening in the market as of yet, but it is possible. We are seeing less competition for homes compared to the frenzy we saw through the spring and summer.

If you are fortunate to not be subject to the rules for less than 20% down, now may very well be a great time to buy a home. If you are at the stage in life of downsizing, you can maximize your sale price on what is likely your biggest asset, and reinvest in a lower price home. If you are upsizing, it is hard to beat the current mortgage rates that are being offered. One of the big banks just increased their mortgage lending rate, but we have not seen any others as of yet. The Bank of Canada has indicated that they may even decrease the bank rate, which might result in lower still mortgage rates (hard to imagine!)

If you are an investor, with mortgage rates where they are, and the number of people in the rental market, now is a great time to buy that duplex/triplex etc.

As you can see that answer to the question I posed is perhaps. There are many things to consider. How long do you intend to live in the home you are buying? Are you starting a family? Are you retiring soon. These are just some of the questions to ask yourself. The best way to find out what is the right answer for you is to call one of our Coldwell Banker Community Professionals and discuss your current wants and needs, and perhaps even more important discuss your future plans. They will help you determine what you can afford to buy, and if it is right for you. It costs you nothing, but may very well save you a lot of heartache in the future.

Some Like it Hot!

imagesBut some sellers don’t like a hot market!

The question many sellers ask their sales rep in this market is “What if I under price my home?” Experience would tell us that the bigger problem in a hot sellers’ market would be “What if I over price my home?”

In the type of market we are currently experiencing, under pricing a home will result in many showings and likely a number of competing offers. By under pricing, I mean being close to market value, but just under. Buyers know the prices in the market and can be put off by a seller grossly underpricing their home as easily as by a seller grossly over pricing their home. If the sellers price their home too low, buyers may assume the seller is just fishing for a sky high offer, and wait to see what happens. Buyers don’t like to guess what the asking price should be.

Speaking of over pricing… Some sellers believe that they can’t over price their home. They believe that there are so many buyers looking that one of them will buy their home regardless of the asking price – they just have to wait for the right buyer. The buyers looking in our current market are well versed in prices. Odds are they have lost out at least once in competition, and know the market almost as well as their REALTOR®. They may be prepared to pay top dollar, but they will not pay well over market just because the seller is asking. By pricing their home too high, sellers take the risk of being ignored by the buyers. The buyers will wait for the seller to drop the price, and often by then the seller’s home has been sitting on the market long enough that buyers perceive that there is a problem with the home. Over pricing the home at the start can result in the seller receiving less money for their home than they would have, had they priced it closer to the market value initially.

If you are considering selling your home, call one of our Coldwell Banker Community Professionals. They can help you determine what your home is worth today!

Thinking of Buying a Home? 3 Questions Every Buyer Should Answer First

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If you are thinking about buying a home, you are likely getting lots of advice from friends and family. They no doubt have your best interests at heart, but there are three questions you should ask yourself to decide if NOW is the right time.

 

 

1. Why am I buying a home in the first place?

This is the most important question you should ask yourself, as if will determine if you should be buying, and if so, what is most important to you in your home buying process. Financing doesn’t matter if you don’t know what you really need.
Many studies have been conducted, and 4 major reasons consistently turn up. These reasons are:

  • A good place to raise children and for them to get a good education
  • A place where you and your family feel safe
  • More space for you and your family
  • Control of that space

What does it mean to you to own a home? What benefits will moving provide you with?

Once you have answered this question…

2. Where are home values headed?
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s outlook for 2016 indicates that the Hamilton-Burlington area will experience a moderate price increase this year. This area is an exception to the general expectation that prices will cool across Canada. For an in-depth review of the local market, be sure to speak to your REALTOR®

3. Where are mortgage interest rates headed?
A buyer must be concerned about more than just prices. The ‘long term cost’ of a home can be dramatically impacted by even a small increase in mortgage rates. If you have been watching the news lately, you will notice that a couple of the large banks have already increased their mortgage rates. While the increases are small, and likely will have a small impact on affordability, you should ensure that your financing plans consider the possibility that rates may increase over the next few years, as that could affect the affordability of your mortgage payment when your current mortgage comes up for renewal.

Bottom Line
Only you and your family will know for certain if now is the right time to purchase a home. Answering these questions will help you make that decision.

Be sure to speak with one of our real estate Professionals. They will advise you on the current market conditions, and help you make an informed decision.

3 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Home

kcm copyThis is an interesting post on the  KCM blog just this week…

 

 

If you are thinking about purchasing a home right now, you are surely getting a lot of advice. Though your friends and family have your best interests at heart, they may not be fully aware of your needs and what is currently happening in real estate. Let’s look at whether or not now is actually a good time for you to buy a home. There are three questions you should ask before purchasing in today’s market:
1. Why am I buying a home in the first place?

This truly is the most important question to answer. Forget the finances for a minute. Why did you even begin to consider purchasing a home? For most, the reason has nothing to do with finances. A study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University reveals that the four major reasons people buy a home have nothing to do with money:
A good place to raise children and for them to get a good education
A place where you and your family feel safe
More space for you and your family
Control of the space
What non-financial benefits will you and your family derive from owning a home? The answer to that question should be the biggest reason you decide to purchase or not.
2. Where are home values headed?

When looking at future housing values, Home Price Expectation Survey provides a fair assessment. Every quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a nationwide panel of over one hundred economists, real estate experts and investment & market strategists about where prices are headed over the next five years. They then average the projections of all 100+ experts into a single number. Here is what the experts projected in the latest survey:
Home values will appreciate by 4% in 2015.
The cumulative appreciation will be 23.5% by 2019.
Even the experts making up the most bearish quartile of the survey still are projecting a cumulative appreciation of over 15.1% by 2019.
3. Where are mortgage interest rates headed?

A buyer must be concerned about more than just prices. The ‘long term cost’ of a home can be dramatically impacted by an increase in mortgage rates. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the National Association of Realtors, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have all projected that mortgage interest rates will increase by approximately one full percentage over the next twelve months.
Bottom Line

Only you and your family can know for certain the right time to purchase a home. Answering these questions will help you make that decision.

Back to School Survival Tips

The “back to school” days are right around the corner.

Adjusting to “back to school” mode is simple if you prepare in advance and set up a regular routine. Here are a few tips that’ll help make the transition a little easier:

Back to Bedtimes – Your little night owls will benefit from having bedtimes rolled back a couple of weeks before school starts.

Get Organized – Designate a central “information station” where schedules are housed and school notes can be processed.

Adjust Chores – Responsibilities may need to be adjusted depending on the type of chore and change in morning routine.

Plan Ahead – Get in the habit of doing as much as you can the night before. The morning routine will be smoother if you lay out clothes and make lunches in advance.

Stay Positive – Returning to school is an emotional adjustment for children so help them stay positive and ensure you’re available as much as possible.

Back to school doesn’t have to be about forgotten lunches, unlabelled belongings and lost permission slips! With a little organization and planning, you’ll be able to enjoy the rest of the summer knowing that September will be smooth sailing.

 

Some more good advice from realestateword.com… check them out!

Moving With Pets

Like any family member, pets feel the stress of moving.

When moving, it’s important to organize ahead of time so that your pets will be comfortable. Here are some tips that’ll ensure a smooth move:

Plan Ahead – Create a detailed checklist ahead of time so that you can avoid any last minute stress that your pets will pick up on.

Pet Doc – Ask your vet for a referral if you’re moving out of town and make sure all of the shots are up to date.

Dog Tags – Remember to update all your pet’s tags and microchips with your new contact information.

Keep them Calm – Have someone look after your pets on moving day but if that’s not possible, keep them calm by housing them in a quiet room.

Doggie Bag – Prepare a well labeled and easily accessible overnight moving kit with everything you need to keep your pets happy.

Butter ‘em Up – Keep outdoor cats inside for at least a week so they can get familiar with their new home. Putting butter on their paws will help imprint the new house as home.

Moving can make pets extra anxious so try to keep to their usual routine as much as possible before, during and after the move as this will make the transition much smoother. Once you’re all moved in, give them lots of extra TLC!

 

This information was provided by the folks at  www.realestateword.com .  For more great ideas, check out their site!

REAL ESTATE IS A LOCAL MARKET! WHAT DOES THAT REALLY MEAN?

Every day we are bombarded with news and information regarding the real estate market. The Canadian real estate bubble is about to burst. Canadian homes are 20% overvalued. There will be a soft landing in real estate. Canada is due for a major price correction. You’ve all heard these comments time and time again over the last couple of years.

The crazy thing is all these statements are true! The problem is these are just the headlines. These headlines sell newspapers. If you read the whole article it will refer to specific markets. When talking about overvalued homes or overheated markets they are usually referring to housing markets in the major centres such as Vancouver, Calgary, and Toronto.

Let’s look at the Hamilton-Burlington real estate market for example. Our local REALTOR® association reports sales statistics on a monthly basis. They report such things as average price increases/decreases, number of sales increases/decreases, what is selling better this month, detached homes or condos. This is all great information but this data represents a large geographic area.

What you have to remember is the real estate market can be different in each area. For example: Ancaster vs Burlington, Dundas vs Hamilton, Lower City vs Hamilton Mountain, Stoney Creek vs Grimsby. It can even be different from neighbourhood to neighbourhood.

So what is really happening in YOUR neighbourhood? You need to call one of our Coldwell Banker Pinnacle Real Estate professionals to analyze all the statistics and information that is floating around out there. They will provide you with all the necessary information to help you make the right decision when it comes to buying or selling real estate.