Dollars and cents

The costs associated with selling a home

Deciding to sell your home is a big decision, so it’s always good to remind yourself of what that decision entails, including the associated costs you might incur. Many real estate industry groups have resources available to the public on the home-selling process, such as the Real Estate Council of Alberta’s Home Seller’s Guide. However, most resources don’t specify selling costs, in part because they can vary greatly depending on the individual property and circumstances of the sale. To provide a frame of reference, here is a summary of costs associated with selling a typical $500,000 home in Calgary: (more…)

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Generational divide

The complicated relationship between millennials and the housing market

When Juliet Burgess, 29, bought her 110-year-old home in Inglewood for the above-list price of $350,000, she says she became the first among her circle of millennial friends to become a homeowner.

“I personally don’t know anyone in my age group who owns property,” said Burgess, who works in the not-for-profit sector. “We’re super lucky to be able to afford to buy.

“I’ve been saving my whole life, since I was 14. Even with that, my partner’s savings and our parents giving us a little bit, we could only put down the minimum for a down payment.”

(more…)

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Don’t delay, start saving

Putting together your first down payment is all about planning and prioritizing

With changes to mortgage regulations and the Bank of Canada’s qualifying rates, buying a first home might be tougher than expected, especially for those already carrying a large amount of debt. Currently, the total cost of a mortgage payment, property tax and utilities must be less than 40 per cent of a borrower’s gross income.

“The debt ratio makes a big difference to your purchasing power when buying a home,” said Calgary mortgage broker Monika Hägele. “Some people might work really hard, save up five per cent towards their desired home, and then that amount might not even be enough if they are carrying too much debt.”

(more…)

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Mortgage madness

Making the right decisions during this crucial part of buying a house can set you up for long-term financial success

For anyone buying real estate, arranging a mortgage is a sure sign that you’re about to make your dream home a reality.

But with the all the options that are available, how do you find the mortgage that’s right for you?

Greg Miller, a mortgage professional with SmartCap Inc. in Calgary, says step one for him is “finding out what are the client’s short-term needs and long-term needs, their goals, and what does their budget allow for in terms of a payment?

“After that you can tweak a mortgage to cater it to them.” (more…)

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