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The Edmonton Real Estate Blog, Market Information, Advise & Opinion

 

CMHC to Increase Mortgage Insurance Premiums

Edmonton CMHC Rate Increase ImageWell, it seems CMHC is raising it's premiums for new mortgages by approximately 15% starting 1 May 2014. What this will do is increase the cost of buying a new home, estimated to be $5 per month to the average Edmonton home buyer. Not a lot of cash but still, will be your cash. The trick is to have a firm sale on your new home before the deadline. This will beat the premium increase. Here is a quick breakdown:



Loan-to-Value RatioStandard Premium (Current)Standard Premium (Effective May 1st, 2014)
Up to and including 65% 0.50% 0.60%
Up to and including 75% 0.65% 0.75%
Up to and including 80% 1.00% 1.25%
Up to and including 85% 1.75% 1.80%
Up to and including 90% 2.00% 2.40%
Up to and including 95% 2.75% 3.15%
90.01% to 95% – Non-Traditional Down Payment 2.90% 3.35%

 

Apparently, the other two private mortgage insurance companies Genworth and Canada Guaranty have already matched this increase, too. You can read the full information on CMHC's website. How do YOU think this will affect home buying within Canada? Please comment below or privately thru my contact page.

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Committing to a Mortgage with Your Honey? Consider These Edmonton House Hunting Essentials

Edmonton House-hunting couples have many important decisions to make together – from deciding on a new-build condo or century-old bungalow to agreeing on the ideal neighbourhood and the type of mortgage that will work best for them.

According to research from TD Canada Trust, 73% of Canadians bought or expect to buy their first home with their significant other. Since a home is the biggest purchase most couples will make, Farhaneh Haque, director of mortgage advice at TD Canada Trust, provides her top three tips to ensure couples are on the same page before hitting any open houses.

  • Air out financial closets – Couples should be open and honest about their current financial situation and financial history. If anything could affect the ability to secure a loan together, afford monthly mortgage payments, or interest rate increases, be upfront about it.
  • Start on the same foot – From a home office to a kitchen made for entertaining, couples should set a budget and discuss the key characteristics they want in a home, and what they are and are not willing to compromise on.
  • Saying 'I do' to a mortgage – Couples need to give as much thought to their mortgage as they do to their Edmonton dream home. This includes discussing the size of the down payment, amortization period, type of mortgage and payment schedule.

"The last thing couples want is an unwelcome surprise when they're about to sign on the dotted line," Haque said. "By speaking with a mortgage specialist well before you've entered the pressure-cooker of the house hunt, couples can make informed decisions that can save money and stress in the long run."

 

Check out my mortage calculator page where I also have contacts for excellent mortgage specials to help you find that great mortage deal.

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5 Questions Young Buyers Need to Ask

Young Edmonton Buyers Searching for Their First Home

Believe it or not, even in these rough economic times, the average age of the first time home buyer has been gradually decreasing. In 2008 the average age was 35 years old, and in 2011 the average age dropped to age 30. Personally, I think of all the people I know that bought a home in the last few years and many of them are 27 years old or younger (my youngest home buyer was 19 years old!), which has raised the question: are they different challenges to first-time home buyers because of their age?

It turns out, yes, different circumstances call for different situations, and if you’re a 30 something or younger individual thinking of buying a home, here are some things you need to consider.

 

1.)  Do I have a substantial down payment? An obvious challenge of buying a home at a younger age is clearly not having as much time to save money for a down payment as your older counterparts. A smaller down payment means a higher monthly mortgage payment, which is often why so many people choose to wait a few years more to save up enough money in order to have a monthly payment they can afford. Today you need minimum of 5% of purchase price to meet CMHC criteria. More is better.

 

2.) What will my mortgage rate be? Part of the criteria in applying for a loan is job stability, meaning you need to show that you have been working at a particular job for a long amount of time. For many 20-30 year olds, the length of time they have been at a job is particularly small simply because they haven’t been a part of the workforce very long. It’s perfectly natural to skip from  job to job to job during your college years, as you often have different requirements that need to be met (class schedule, moving, wage changes, seasonal work, etc.). However, this doesn’t particularly reflect well when applying for a home loan. Rates today are in the low 3%.

 

3.) Are my expectations realistic? Many young home buyers simply have no idea just how much certain features cost. A “decent amount of space” might be a completely unreasonable requirement for a 25 year old looking for an affordable place to live in SW Edmonton. Let’s be honest, the words ‘SW Edmonton’ and ‘affordable’ don’t often appear in the same sentence.

 

Young Edmonton Home Buyers Dream of Their New Home

4.) Am I ready? Every first time home buyer will need to ask themselves this question, but a young home buyer especially. A younger individual usually has more variables in their life. Are you in a stable job that you will most likely stay in (or even want to stay in) for the next 10 years? Are you sure you won’t have to move (career, relationships, family issues) in the next 10 years? In addition, research has shown that the brain isn’t even fully mature until around age 25, so are you sure you will even want to still own a home in a few years?

 

5.) Am I able to put in the work? For any first time home buyer, you have to be ready to put in a little bit of elbow grease, but for a younger home buyer, you really need to be ready to do some home renovation projects. A smaller down payment and a likely higher mortgage rate means you will probably have to limit your search to homes that need a little bit of work, and you’d better be ready (read: have the energy and skills) to fix it up a bit.

 

Can you add to these questions young buyers need to ask themselves? If so, please reach out thru my contact page.

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