New Mortgage Rules – Renewing and Refinancing January 1st, 2018 Canada’s new mortgage rules came into effect and it was big news. These new rules appear to have the greatest impact on those looking to qualify for a new mortgage but if you are looking to renew or refinance your mortgage, you may be impacted as well. At the centre of the new rules is a stress test requiring applicants to qualify at a rate at least 2% higher than the rate they will be paying, regardless of the down payment they are making on the home. The new rules may limit your options but rest assured, you will not lose your mortgage over these changes. Mortgage Renewals If your mortgage is up for renewal, lenders do not need to apply the stress test to renew an existing mortgage. This means that as long as you stay with the same lender and don’t change any of the terms of your mortgage, you will have no problems. But, if you want to shop around for the best rate, you will need to pass the stress test with any other financial institution. This may limit your options and may force some Canadians to accept a higher or uncompetitive rate if they are unable to pass the stress test. Mortgage Refinancing If you are planning on refinancing your mortgage, even if it is with the same lender, you will need to qualify at the higher stress test rates. This will affect Canadians who are looking to borrow money against their homes for renovations or repairs. If you are looking to refinance, you will have to qualify for the new loan at a rate that is 2% higher than your existing rate. This may mean that some Canadians may have to settle for a smaller loan or forego plans altogether. Take Aways The most important thing to remember not to panic, you will not lose your home over these new rules. Many Canadians will be able to pass the stress test for renewals and refinancing, but in any case as long as you stay with your existing lender, you will remain approved for the entire term of the mortgage. To better understand how these changes may affect you, it is always advisable to speak to your mortgage broker or bank well before your renewal date; it is best to understand your options in advance. If you are looking to buy a home in 2018, especially in the Ottawa real estate market, getting your financing in order before you start serious house hunting, is increasingly important. It will help you act quickly and with confidence when you find your dream home! Let us know how we can help!
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It’s hard to believe November is over but here we are! If you’ve been following Ottawa real estate you’ll know it’s been a busy 2017 and December will likely be no exception. With the new mortgage rules coming into play in a few short weeks, many buyers are motivated to have firm deals completed before January 1st, 2017. We’ve included the latest news release from the Ottawa Real Estate Board below. Please note: average sale price information can be useful in establishing trends over time but should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. The average sale price is calculated based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold. We have access to current statistics and trends in our neighbourhoods and communities, it’s our job to stay on top of the market trends! We have up to date Real Estate Market Reports readily available for you and we love to chat real estate – contact us anytime! Ottawa Real Estate Update | Latest News and Highlights in the Ottawa and Area Real Estate Market OTTAWA, Dec. 5, 2017 – Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,239 residential properties in November through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System compared with 992 in November 2016, an increase of 24.9 per cent. The five-year average for November sales is 1,001. “November numbers are upholding the robust year we have been experiencing in the real estate market in 2017,” Rick Eisert, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Boards states. “Both residential sales and condo sales continue to steadily increase.” November’s sales included 294 in the condominium property class and 945 in the residential property class. “This is not surprising though,” Eisert remarks. “The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institution’s (OSFI) announcement regarding the new stress tests for low- ratio borrowers may have buyers rushing into the market before the stricter mortgage regulations come into play in January 2018. If this keeps up, I expect December could be a busier than usual holiday season for REALTORS®.” The average sale price of a residential class property sold in November in the Ottawa area was $418,354, an increase of 3.2 per cent over November 2016. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $257,212, a decrease of 7.6 per cent over November 2016. The Board cautions that the average sale price can be useful in establishing trends over time but should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. The calculation of the average sale price is based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold. Price and conditions will vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood. “It is crucial in a market that is moving quickly, such as the one we are experiencing, to ensure you are pricing your property correctly. Having the guidance and market knowledge of a REALTOR® is essential for home buyers and home sellers,” suggests Eisert. “The most active price point in the residential market is the $300,000 to $450,000 range, accounting for 46 per cent of the market. While the most active price point in the condo market, between $150,000 and $275,000, accounts for 66 per cent of the market,” says Eisert. “In addition to residential and Condominium sales, OREB Members assisted clients with renting 2,821 properties since the beginning of the year.”
It’s no secret: the cost of living is expensive. Regardless of who we are and what we do, we live and breathe steep living costs day in and day out. It’s a fact of life: if we’re not saving our pennies, we’re spending them; if we’re not paying off one bill, we are another. It’s the never-ending cycle of our (financial) lives. Enter: mom and dad. For the vast majority of us, mom and dad means home; and home is where the heart is, after all. It’s become a common trend among many baby boomers to take part in one of two things: either move back in with their parents to help save money, or assist in the renovations or expansions of their parent’s current home in order to accommodate their living requirements under the same roof. A circumstance such as the latter would be to avoid downsizing for mom and dad, and, of course, cut the costs of living for all parties involved. For some, this is simply how it’s always been; for others, it’s become a necessity. Today, we’re seeing a similar trend skyrocket among another popular generation: the millennials. Leaning on the bank of mom and dad is something that isn’t quite out of the ordinary in this day and age as living costs are expensive and are only estimated to get higher. Therefore, young adults are moving out of their parent’s homes a lot later in life than perhaps they had originally mapped out for; and when they do, they’re receiving an increasingly large amount of financial support from their families so that they can. Ratehub.ca, a company who interviewed about 1000 people from across our country between September and November of 2016, conducted a survey to shed light on the approximate percentage of millennials who are are obtaining family financing in order to become a homeowner. The results? 35% of buyers received help from relatives while 38 per cent were able to put down 20 per cent or more on their homes in our province alone. Of course, with several regulatory changes and rising home prices in 2016, these results are only expected to increase and reach new records in 2017 – creating potential hurdles for those entering into the market for the first time. Needless to say, adults – both young and old – often rely on mom and dad, and there isn’t anything wrong with that. “With a larger share of young adults staying home longer due to economic considerations, the need for space will remain important”, says the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation. And sure, a loan arrangement with a family member is far better than one from a financial institution, but “a financial plan should [always] come before home ownership, and affordability should [always] fit into that plan”. The post The Bank of Mom and Dad: Living as Millennials appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog
How many times have you moved (so far) in your lifetime? Once? Twice? For a brief time while in school? Work? Or have you moved far too many times to even count? What about those times that you have moved from one place to another, were they on your own? Were they with your family? Your partner? A few friends? And did you live in these homes for long enough to consider it a home? Sure, the vast majority of us may answer differently to each of these questions, but we do share one common factor: the overall experience. Truth be told, moving from one home to another is not a simple task. Take the multitude of varying questions asked above, for instance. The process of moving can, unmistakeably, be that of a strenuous, complex task that requires much consideration and absolute certainty. So choose wisely and with reason in mind. Canadians tend to, on average, move every 5 years; but there is that 14% of us who get that 12-month itch and move every year. This is where the aforementioned advice of having a reason to move comes into play. Here’s a small breakdown of why Canadians move according to ComFree Living: Job relocation (53%) Increase in family size: marriage, kids etc. (42%) Family size decrease: divorce, empty nest etc. (20%) Retirement (18%) Came into more money (14%) Home was in need of renovations (14%) Evidently, we move as life happens. Young, old, together, and apart – we move. Homeowners acting on their urge to move every five years, however, could result in financial hardships. Over a span of 60 years, this could equate to as much as $180,000 [and above] in traditional real estate agent commissions and, of course, other required real estate fees. Needless to say, decipher a plan that works for you. Moreover, the real estate market undoubtedly foresees a hefty increase in both first-time homeowners, as well as new buyers within the next several years due to the growing millennial generation. According to Dana Senegama, market analyst for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp, “[millennials] are going to be a force to be reckoned with over the next decade, especially as they move into their prime child-rearing years and [in need of] more space”. This said, it is with these 15-34 year-olds that new jobs, larger families and more spacious homes will be pursued, obtained, and thus required in the next coming years. Moving can be quite overwhelming for some. However, if you look to your future and sit down with your family in order to plan your move accordingly, the process will become that much more seamless. So come up with a strategy – a roadmap of where you see yourself growing and building a home – and live in that home for as long as you see fit. The post Why Move? A Look into Canada’s Homebuyers appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog
The milestone has arrived – our country’s 150th year. What better time than now to stand proud and represent our Nation as a united community? We are very fortunate to be living in Ottawa – our Capital. We’ve certainly come a long way since our founders first settled here 190 years ago. Originating as Bytown, Ottawa was initially built to house labourers who had been recruited to help build the Rideau Canal. Times have changed between then and now. We are no longer considered the “town that fun forgot” nor are we solely known for being “the highway to Montreal“. We are a thriving, united, Capital with an approaching 1 million residents – and that’s just the beginning. In fact, according to Mayor Jim Watson, “we’re going through one of the most significant transformations in our history“. It’s only a matter of time that we see these spoken of – and otherwise unimaginable to longtime residents – changes come to fruition. With the countless short-term and long-term transformations that are predicted to be completed around our Capital City between now and the next 25-30 years, Ottawa is nothing short of booming. We are an ideal place to live – one that is family-friendly, employment-friendly, restaurant-friendly as well transportation-friendly. There is an “unprecedented number of major redevelopments in the works: LeBreton Flats, the islands around Chaudiere Falls, the former Canadian Forces Base Rockcliffe, the Oblate lands on Main Street, parts of Natural Resources Canada’s Booth Street Complex, Tunney’s Pasture and the shopping centres at Lincoln Fields and Westgate” (to name a few). And that’s not to mention the most current of projects that will transform our city’s way of transportation: the highly anticipated Light Rail System, with its first phase Confederation Line to open in 2018. Moreover, Ottawa has an incredibly steady real estate market; one that’s only predicted to move upward over the next several years. According to the Ottawa Business Journal, January of this year brought in an 11.5% increase in home sales. Kick-starting 2017 at a five-year high says a lot for this time of year, and with the continued anticipation of changes being made within our City in the next coming years, along with members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board selling 667 homes in the last month alone, it is expected to only increase further. If you’re one to enjoy a lot of hype within our city, then 2017 will definitely make your heart sing. Ottawa will be hosting several high-profiled events this year including (but not limited to) the Juno Awards, the Grey Cup, and the Red Bull Crashed Ice event. Mayor Jim Watson “looks to 2017 as a year that will reshape the City’s tourism image” with the hope that Canadians and tourists alike will “identify Ottawa as the place to celebrate the 150th“. In fact, our City is expected to see an increase of 20% in tourists throughout the year, and is targeting both youth as well as new Canadians as a means for improving several areas of programming: arts and culture, sports and physical activity,
We are proud to announce the 2016 recipients of the Ed O’Connell Memorial Award: A person associated with Royal LePage Team Realty Brokerage who has made a substantial commitment and a significant difference in the real estate community. The recipients have achieved outstanding success by: • Being a leader and/or role model • Exemplifying the best of the profession • Providing mentorship • Providing inspiration to others Congratulations to Brian Sukkau, Madat Kara & Luigi Aiello, we are truly proud to work with you! The post Ed O’Connell Memorial Award appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog
It’s winter time in our Nation’s Capital! The New Year is well underway, and as we’ve carefully selected our resolutions (and have spent the majority of these last few weeks trying to abide by them) we reminisce on the post-joys of Christmas and the excitement of a New Year. However, regardless the amount of joy in our hearts and happiness in our homes, the cold weather tends to overstay its welcome far too often. Admit it, we’ll soon catch ourselves wishing for less snow, warmer weather, and oodles upon oodles of sunshine. Wishful thinking, I’ll say. Truth is, we live in Ottawa – and let’s face it – Ottawa is just simply cold. This said, however, our City just so happens to be celebrating its 150th Anniversary this year, and has planned for an endless list of fun-filled, family-friendly, wintery activities that are sure to help kick those winter blues. We’re very lucky to be home to the largest outdoor skating rink in the world: The Rideau Canal Skateway. Measuring a whopping 7.8KM in length, this skateway is a great way to spend your mornings, your afternoons, or even your late evenings with family and friends. With its location being so centralized in the heart of our beautiful City, it’s both an “ideal place for a romantic stroll or a playful day with the kids”. Don’t have skates? Don’t worry! Skate rentals are one of the many services that the Canal has to offer alongside, of course, it’s many change rooms and food/beverage kiosks where you can indulge in what many of us consider to be our City’s dynamic duo: a beavertail and warm cup of cocoa. (Touring the ByWard Market instead? Awesome. Keep an eye out for these delectable goodies around town!) After a good skate or two, why not enjoy the rest of the activities that our Capital has to offer at our largest winter celebration: Winterlude. Officially underway, Winterlude has been a “unique way to celebrate Canada’s unique northern climate and culture since 1979”. You’ll welcome the Ice Hog Family as they travel once again to our City, as they do each year. Bring your family along and pay them a visit at the Snowflake Kingdom in Gatineau. From there, you’ll walk among the many ice sculptures that are created for the ice sculptor competitions, and frolic in what’s considered to be North America’s largest winter playground. Winterlude 2017 wraps up on February 20th – won’t want to miss out! Follow this link to the event’s website for more details. Maybe you and your family appreciate a good, healthy challenge or two once the snow falls – kudos to you! If your family is one for the slopes (and perhaps even a small weekend getaway) then you’re in luck! Ottawa is surrounded by multiple snow hills and downhill skiing sites that are bound to keep you and your loved ones busy and buzzing with adventure this winter. Pack up the car and head to Mont Cascades, Mont