April 18, 2016
It’s true the uncertainty in the economy is making some Albertans anxious about their financial security. It may seem like a daunting time to purchase your first home or upgrade your existing one. But the current environment is also creating opportunities for savvy buyers to get into the market or increase their real estate portfolio. Don’t let fear drive your decision making! Focus instead on your current situation and your long term goals. We have collaborated with our friend Diana Lee of the Mortgage Minds on our top tips to help you get the most out of your spring market opportunities!
1. Consider Outside your Preferred Neighbourhood – This will generally allow you to have more square footage at a lower price. This doesn’t mean you have to be on the opposite side of the city … simply consider a looking 5-10 minute drive outside your preferred area, or in a similar subdivision with slightly different amenities. Although you might add to your commute , you could potentially save thousands on your home purchase.
2. Take advantage of Low Rates – We expect another year of record low mortgage rates. Taking advantage of these rates can save you thousands of dollars of interest and increase your purchasing power when you find that house you love. Lower rates mean lower mortgage payments, which allow your monthly cash flow to be more comfortable. Mortgage Brokers have access to dozens of different lenders, banks and credit unions where often rate specials can be offered, as well as different mortgage products that cater to your financial situation.
3. Keep and Open Mind– Fell in love with a mid size show home with a PERFECT floor plan but it doesn’t fit your budget? Instead of passing up on the opportunity to become a homeowner, why not consider a town home, condo or duplex by the same builder in your price range? The options are endless and they may have similar floor plans, that are more affordable for you for now. There is an abundance of inventory on the market and it is always changing. That being said, if you don’t find the home for you, take your time, it is after all, probably one of the largest investments you will make!
4. Use Existing Equity – Really want to purchase a new home but don’t have the liquid assets saved up? Do you currently own a home and have equity? If so, you can access up to 80% of the value of your home and use this as a down payment on the new purchase. Whether you refinance your existing mortgage, or use a Home Equity Line of Credit, there are many advantages of using the equity. As long as you qualify on the new property, using the equity in the existing home can be an acceptable source of down payment.
5. Adjust Must-Haves – We want you to have your dream home. It’s important to us. However, adjusting your must-haves list to align with your price range can be realistic at times. The end product might be slightly different than what you imagined, but will still work for your lifestyle and family. For example, if you have 5 must-haves in a home, prioritize those and pick your top three. Perhaps the other two can be a renovation project a few years down the road. Also, always check with your homebuilder about what comes as a “standard” when you buy. Parkwood offers several “standard” features that are often considered “upgrades” from other builders. Some of these include Convection Oven with Steam-Clean Option, ‘Energy-Star’ rated Dishwasher & Microwave, along with our ‘Energy-Star’ rated’ Front Load Washer & Dryer. Also, every Parkwood home comes equipped with high-tech Programmable ‘Touch-Screen’ Thermostat with indoor humidity display, providing automation for both Heat & Cool, and is also ‘Wi-Fi Enabled’ for complete control from Smart Phone, or Tablet.