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Calgary Real Estate Law Blog

Homebuyers 101: Qualifying For A Mortgage

Last week, we discussed some basics about shopping for a mortgage. After a lender pre-approves you for a mortgage, you must prove to the lender that you can repay the loan amount. The lender will calculate your total monthly housing costs and your total debt load. It will then calculate your gross debt service ratio and your total debt service ratio (more about these below). If these calculations show that you can pay your housing costs and your additional debts, you will probably get your mortgage.

This week, we’ll look at what factors are considered in the qualification process.

Homebuyers 101: Shopping For A Mortgage

Buying a house is the biggest investment most people will make. Getting the money to buy the house will be your greatest challenge. Borrowing the money is the only option for most people. That means obtaining a mortgage: a loan in which the lender can seize the house and sell it to pay off the loan if you cannot meet the mortgage payments.

Tips To Make Moving Into A New Home A Breeze

Moving into a new home is both an exciting and a stressful time. You may have a long to-do list, family and friends helping you move, as well as paperwork to review from your bank, lawyers and broker.

While the last few items require a bit more focus and detail, the actual moving process can be made easier by following some helpful tips. Published by Styleathome.ca, the Canadian publication has listed some tips to help make transitioning into a new home as stress-free as possible.

A Homeowner’s Guide To Property Maintenance

The process of purchasing a home is both exciting and stressful. For well-prepared residential real estate buyers, the hope is that the everything goes as smoothly as possible and that come closing day, they can finally breathe easy.

While the steps leading up to the home purchase are important, so are the responsibilities that come after all the papers have been signed and the dust begins to settle. In Calgary, there are a range of bylaws that property owners must respect to avoid facing fines. From keeping your porch tidy to trimming the lawn on a regular basis, a little knowledge goes a long way in keeping the community happy.

Condo Unit Owners: Make Your Space Work For You

Moving into a new condo unit can be an exciting, and frustrating, experience. Some people find it challenging to make the most of their new space.

According to Clutter B Gone, an east coast service that helps home owners maximize their living spaces, there are some tips all condo owners should consider when packing loads of items into a small space.

Residential real estate experts offer advice for new buyers

Buying a home is a big decision, and the process can be intimidating. Getting advice from experienced real estate experts is a good idea for people looking to get into the residential real estate market in Alberta. Here is some of the more common advice real estate professionals tend to offer prospective buyers.

People shopping for residential real estate may have misconceptions about the process because of how it is portrayed on television. In a hot market, looking for perfection and being too picky will lead to missed opportunities. Homebuyers should be prepared to miss out on a few homes before putting in a winning bid, especially in more active Alberta markets like Calgary and Edmonton.

Interest rate hikes may impact residential real estate markets

A recent report from a Canadian bank is comparing how rising interest rates will affect the residents of different provinces differently. The report speculates that Alberta's households will be hardest hit by the increase. Residential real estate is typically more affordable than properties in Ontario and British Columbia, however experts say that they are more vulnerable to interest rate hikes than these provinces.

The report measures the increase in debt-service payments that individuals in different provinces would expect in the case of interest rate hikes. In Alberta, a 1per cent increase in interest rates would annual debt services costs to the tune of $1,200 to each household. British Columbia is the next hardest hit province at $1,100, and Ontario is slightly lower at $1,000. Residents of every other province can expect debt-services costs to increase $800 or less.

How to decide whether to buy or rent residential real estate

One of the biggest questions facing adults across the country is whether to rent or purchase a home. Prospective homeowners in Alberta should consider several different factors before jumping into the residential real estate market. From personal finances to lifestyle, the decision whether to rent or buy is not always an easy one.

One of the first considerations is how long a family is planning to live in the location. Generally, buying is a better idea for those who plan to stay in one place for a number of years. Selling a house can be expensive, with transaction costs eating up an average of 1.5 to 4 percent of the purchase value of a property. Without giving a property time to appreciate in value, this cost may not be worthwhile.

Title insurance can protect residential real estate from fraud

When making a major purchase such as buying a home, many people want to take steps to protect their investment. One of the most common ways to protect a purchase of residential real estate is by purchasing insurance. Title insurance is one type of insurance that is less understood but can be very advantageous for Alberta homeowners.

Title insurance typically costs between $300 and $400 dollars in most cities, but its benefits can be worth thousands should certain conflicts arise later down the line. Title insurance can protect residential real estate owners from a variety of scenarios. These include a home encroaching on a neighbour's property, property tax defaults from previous owners and title fraud.

Luxury residential real estate sales up 45 percent in Calgary

Real estate trends can sometimes be unpredictable. In Calgary, an increase in the sale of luxury residential real estate has caught local professionals and investors by surprise. In fact, the growth of sales in million-dollar-plus home sales in the Alberta city may be track to surpass Toronto and Vancouver in terms of growth.

According to a recent report, sales of luxury homes were up 45 percent in Jan. and Feb. 2018 compared to the same time last year. A luxury home was defined as residential real estate priced over $1 million. The report says that most of the homes being purchased are detached houses between one and $2 million.

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