Graham was a pleasure to work with in the purchase of my home. Since it's was my 1st house purchase, I was a bit overwhelmed but having Graham as a Realtor really made a difference. He's friendly, professional, trustworthy and very knowledgeable when it comes to buying a home. He even recommended a mortgage broker and lawyer who were both excellent choices. I would recommend Graham to my family/friends and hopefully can use him as my Realtor when I decide to purchase my next home.
I have listed a new property at 11 Heron CRES in Spruce Grove.
This bright and 2 storey home is located in the desirable Harvest Ridge on a quiet crescent, just steps away from a green space and playground for the kids. Lots of extras, home features Central Air Conditioning, hardwood floors, maple cabinetry, granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances, central vacuum system, and a gas fireplace with custom built-in shelving unit great for media storage and your personal touches. Upstairs your family will enjoy your massive 20x15 bonus room versatile enough to serve as a media room, family room and playroom all in one. You will also love the convenience of upstairs laundry and 3 good sized bedrooms including the large master bedroom complete with a walk through closet with access to a 4 pc ensuite. The basement is unspoiled with rough-in for a future bath and high efficient furnace & tank. Enjoy the summer in your fully landscaped yard with custom built privacy deck perfect for entertaining. This house is a great value!
I have listed a new property at 15736 141 ST in Edmonton.
Are you looking for a full sized lot without a full sized price. Located on a cul-de-sac, don't miss this 3 bedroom half duplex (no condo fees) on a huge fully fenced pie lot. Main floor is open concept with large inviting entry way, functional kitchen with lots of cabinets, eating area, bright living room, and 1/2 bath. Upstairs has 3 good sized rooms and the main 4 piece bath. Basement is partially developed with rec area, laundry, utilities and rough-in for a bathroom. Additional upgrades include new shingles, new hot water tank, alarm system, and roughed in central vac. Plus an attached single garage to keep your car snow free! Close to all amenities, walking paths, school, parks, rec centre, shopping and easy access to the Henday. Great value!
I have listed a new property at 1405 10130 114 ST in Edmonton.
Upgraded 2 bed/2bath sub-penthouse unit on the 14th floor of desirable Hudson House with 2 underground TITLED parking stalls! This well managed executive property includes a social room, exercise room, additional common storage area, guest suite, on-site building manager, and ample visitor parking. This unit has it all...central A/C, huge balcony with breath taking views and extra storage. General upgrades including hardwood and tile flooring, paint, lighting, custom window coverings, and hardware throughout. The living room complete with gas fireplace is large with views north and west. The modern kitchen boasts upgraded appliances, granite counter tops, and clear glass back-splash. The master is large featuring a double closet and updated 4 piece ensuite. The 2nd bedroom is also large and complete with a double closet. The main bath is updated and includes a jetted soaker tub. Insuite laundry completes this can't miss property. Close to all downtown amenities, shops and transit. Definitely worth a look!
I have listed a new property at 8918 179A AVE in Edmonton.
Exceptional fully finished, 4 bedroom Landmark home loaded with extras: central A/C, security cameras, newer hot water tank, central vacuum system, and new windows. On the main floor a powder room, modern kitchen, stunning granite countertops, gorgeous back splash, loads of cabinets, hardwood floors, living room with corner gas fireplace, granite countertop island with room for several stools, new French doors out to fully fenced yard, landscaped with grass, concrete block and large deck with gas BBQ hook-up as well as hot/cold taps. Upstairs is the main 4 piece bath, family friendly bonus room and 3 good sized bedrooms including the master complete with a huge walk in California closet, an oversized spa-like ensuite with makeup table, soaker tub and shower. The basement is finished with 3 piece bath and 1 large bedroom and a flex room that could be used for a rec room or bedroom. Double attached garage is fully finished, heated, has a new garage door and opener as well as hot/cold taps. Shows very well!
I have listed a new property at 301 263 MACEWAN RD SW in Edmonton.
Open concept, modern and well maintained two bedroom and two bathroom condo in MacEwan Gardens II. Conveniently located across from a park and walking trails with easy access to the Anthony Henday, schools, public transit and only a few short minutes away from the Century Park LRT station. This corner unit boasts 9 foot ceilings, a large wrap around balcony that includes a bbq gas line, kitchen with eat in bar (all appliances included), in-suite laundry, large master bedroom with walk thru closet and a three piece ensuite, a good size second bedroom and another full bathroom. Other features include cork flooring, granite counter tops, 1 underground titled parking stall and large storage cage located on the same floor. This building is very well maintained that includes a large amenity room on main floor with also a 2nd floor exercise room. Condo fees include ALL utilities including electricity! Immediate possession available. Amazing value!
5 Tips to Gain Traction and Find the Home of Your Dreams
1. Take control from the start! Get a Pre-Approved Mortgage; this puts you in the driver’s seat, and ready when that perfect home reveals itself. Combine that with continuously changing mortgage rules and rate’s make a full pre-approval a necessity. You will shop with confidence, clarity and on budget, with a rate, terms and conditions to suit you. I have an excellent data base of experienced mortgage professionals I can refer.
2. Write Your Wish List . . . What do you want? Where do you want to live? This is a balancing act between the luxuries and functionality, proximity and commute, and of course budget. Your wants vs needs will determine on your lifestyle as a home owner and when you are clear on what is realistic, you will save countless hours, and frustration.
3. Consider the Age of the Home you want . . . Do you want a fixer-upper, or move-in ready? Deciding on what you are comfortable taking on in the way of updating, repairs and maintenance will focus your search and lead to happy ownership.
4. Timing is everything! There are many driver’s behind deciding on when is the right time for me to hand you the keys to your new home. Factors like the school year, seasons, ending of a lease, start/completion of work, growing your family and others will play into this. Knowing that most seller’s will require 30-60 days to vacate a property can help you on deciding when to start your search and negotiate more favorable terms.
5. Think long-term. You are buying a home now and your current housing needs may be obvious. Your home should accommodate your plans, and your lifestyle. Will your family size change? Do you want a pet? What is changing in the community? Ask the questions. If the LRT is planning to add an extension in the area you are considering, will it be at your front door? Future resale will be affected by outside factors.
I can help you navigate through your wish list and determine what makes sense. Edmonton has been my race track for 14 years, I know the Edmonton market, and have a team of professionals to cover all the corners.
Graham Ogden Realtor, RE/MAX River City
I have listed a new property at 171 1804 70 ST in Edmonton.
Great value in this 2012 built townhouse complete with central air conditioning and DOUBLE garage. The main floor is open concept with a large living room featuring hardwood floors, modern kitchen and eating area. Upstairs boasts the main 4 piece bath, 3 bedrooms including the master with it's own ensuite and walk-in closet. Out front a small fenced yard for your BBQ and enjoying warm weather. Close to all amenities, schools and exclusive Summerside Home Owners perks including the lake, tennis courts, and club house. Definitely worth a look!
The Bank of Canada announced today that it is raising the overnight rate .25 per cent given a strong economy and despite the uncertainty surrounding NAFTA. The Bank noted that the Canadian and global economies continue to strengthen, but that NAFTA is a definite concern so they will be cautious about any future rate hikes. The next rate-setting day is Wednesday, March 7.
Homeowners with variable-rate mortgages will see their rate increase along with a possible modest payment increase. Lines of credit will be similarly affected.
In a very difficult market, Graham managed to bring many perspective buyers through our home, providing timely feedback after each showing. Graham was always professional, courteous and pleasant to deal with.
Rob & Carolyn H.
I have listed a new property at 8004 136 AVE in Edmonton.
Everything is done, welcome home! Conveniently located in Delwood close to all amenities, schools, shopping and transit. This fully upgraded home is a can't miss property. Located on a large lot plus included public utility lot equate to nearly 775sqm. Great for kids, pets and RV/Toy parking. Upstairs features bright and open living room, new kitchen with extra large 40 inch cabinets, quartz counter tops, all new appliances, gourmet cooking island, 3 bedrooms and 5 piece bath. The fully finished basement includes large open rec room, a 4th bedroom, full bath with gorgeous tile shower, laundry and additional storage. All new windows, plumbing, new high efficient furnace/hot water tank, lighting, flooring bathrooms and new shingles/eaves in 2016. Add in the oversized double detached garage, fully fenced yard and the package is truly complete. Amazing value for a beautiful, modern, move-in ready home.
I have listed a new property at 4043 30 ST in Edmonton.
Fully finished bi-level ready for its next family! Convenient Larkspur location close to all amenities, schools and transit. This home boasts several recent upgrades, including, furnace(2012), hot water tank(2017) shingles(2016), garage door, and front window. Upstairs features a full bath, 3 good sized bedrooms including the master, complete with it's own walk-in closet and 3 piece ensuite. The kitchen is functional and bright with lots of cabinets and large eating area. Downstairs was professionally completed in 2012. Big and beautiful rec/media/family area, corner area currently used as office space, gorgeous 2-sided gas fireplace, laundry, extra storage and crawl space. Outside is fully landscaped, fenced and features a gorgeous two-tier deck with Gas BBQ hook-up. Topping it all off is the attached double garage for your vehicles and extras. Amazing value, make it your own today!
I have listed a new property at 121 GREAT OAKS in Sherwood Park.
Fantastic end unit location with views of the golf course and lake. This 2 bedroom, 2 and half bath unit is large and bright. Main floor is open and inviting with the functional kitchen, living room complete with built-in-cabinetry and a half bath. Upstairs boasts 2 large rooms including the over-sized master, serviced by the main bath complete with Jacuzzi tub. Basement is developed with wet bar, rec area, full bath and laundry/utility area. Easy to enjoy the nature and golf course setting on the huge deck. Conveniently located close to all amenities and includes an assigned, serviced parking stall. Additional stalls can be rented if available. Building has newer shingles, eaves, all underground water lines, windows and doors. Well managed complex. Unit has tons of potential and a great value!
I have listed a new property at 27 BIRCHMONT DR in Leduc.
Fantastic, fully finished, 3 bedroom, 2 storey located in Bridgeport with lots of extras including central A/C, 3.5 baths, maple kitchen, California knock down ceilings, over sized double garage, extra wide front drive, and large deck at the back. Spacious front foyer with ceramic tile, arched niche that opens to the large living room. 2 piece bathroom & a mud room provides access to the garage. Living room is open to the kitchen & eating area. Other upgrades include laminate flooring, large window, corner gas fireplace with river rock, slate, maple mantle and TV niche above. The kitchen boasts newer appliances, a centre island, abundance of maple cabinets, corner pantry and built in desk. The adjacent eating area has a garden door to deck. Backyard is fenced & landscaped. The master bedroom is complete with a walk in closet & 4 piece ensuite. Basement is fully finished with spectacular games room, wet bar and 3 piece bath. Great location, amazing value. A must see.
The Home Buyers' Plan (HBP) is a program that allows you to withdraw some of your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) tax-free to use towards the purchase of a home. Even if you are aware of the program, there may be some things about it that you do not know.
Home Buyers' Plan - How It Works
The program allows you to pull out up to $25,000 of RRSP's per person to be used towards a primary residence purchase. If you are a couple and you both qualify to use it, your max would be $50,000 if you each have $25,000 invested. As long as you meet the program guidelines for eligibility and withdrawals, you can do this without being taxed on the money you pull out. And, of course, the investment you have your RRSP in must also be cashable. It is possible one person in a couple will qualify to use the program and the other will not. You then pay the amount you pull out back 1/15 per year over 15 years. If you ever miss a repayment, that payment is considered income in that year and Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will require you to pay taxes on it.
- Moving In With Someone Could Take Away Your Eligibility To Use The HBP - The elibility guidelines state that you are considered a first-time home buyer and can use the program "if, in the four-year period (defined specifically by CRA; see their definition to determine your exact timeline), you did not occupy a home that you or your current spouse or common law partner owned." In other words, if you move in with your girlfriend or boyfriend into a property they own and live with them for a year, this could prevent you from using the program until you are outside the four-year period, which is actually 4 - 5 years depending on the timing.
- You Can Use the HBP If You Previously Owned Or If You Have Only Owned An Investment Property - If you previously used the program, that does not prevent you from using it again. Your previous account has to be paid to zero in January of the year you plan to withdraw again. You must also meet the same first-time home buyer requirement of not having lived in a property you or your spouse or common law partner owned for the CRA definition of the four-year period prior to your purchase. You can also use the program for the first time even though you previously purchased an investment property, as long as you meet these same requirements now.
- It Can Be Used For Things Other Than Down Payment - The program states that the funds go towards the purchase or build of an eligible property. But, it can be used for things other than down payment related to a home purchase. For example, you can use it to help pay legal fees or closing costs on a purchase.
It is the individual withdrawing their RRSP funds who is responsible for confirming their eligibility to use the program, so you should not rely upon anyone except CRA regarding your eligibility. You can click here to review the rules and guidelines carefully:
You can also call CRA to clarify or ask questions. If you do not meet the guidelines and pull that money out, you could face an unexpected tax bill when you file your taxes.
Courtesty of Michelle Lapierre, Mortgage Broker with Mortgage Tailors
I have listed a new property at 8205 SHASKE PL in Edmonton.
Outstanding home on quiet South Terwillegar CUL-DE-SAC! Bright and modern, this 2 Storey home features several recent updates including fresh paint, carpet, some light fixtures as well as bathroom flooring and vanities. The main level boasts hardwood floors, main floor laundry, 1/2 bath, as well as an brand new kitchen with modern cabinets, stainless steel appliances, under cabinet lighting and quartz counter tops. Upstairs features the large master complete walk-in closet and updated 4-piece ensuite. There are 2 additional bedrooms, the updated main 4-piece bath and the bright, spacious bonus room for family fun. The basement is unspoiled. The large south facing backyard is fully fenced complete with large deck and low maintenance landscaping. Add in the attached and insulated double garage and this home really has it all. Fantastic location close to schools, shopping, access roads, transit and lots extras make it an amazing value. It might just be the one!
You made the entire process very clear, easy and much lower stress than I expected. I really appreciated the low-pressure and honest opinions of each house we looked at. I didn't think finding the perfect home would be that easy!
I can't recommend Graham highly enough for any buyer. He definitely puts the client's needs above all and is really knowledgable about Edmonton's housing market. From day one, he listened to my needs, helped me find a place that fit my wish list and budget and made the experience a real pleasure.
Graham came recommended from a coworker of mine, and I'm glad I went with him. Friendly, knows what he's doing, and always got back to me quickly whenever I needed any help with anything.
Article Courtesy of Michelle Lapierre, Mortage Broker with Mortgage Tailors
This is a heads up to buyers and the Realtors who assist them! A couple of weeks ago we got to see an unintended consequence of the mortgage rule changes that now require a stress test on insured mortgages. Buyers with less than 20% down need to qualify at the Bank of Canada Benchmark Rate, not the lower contract rate they are actually getting.
The stress test has been in effect since last October. But, two weeks ago the Bank of Canada Benchmark Rate moved up for the first time since these new rules rolled out, increasing from 4.64% to 4.84%. It left banks and other mortgage lenders scrambling as they realized that any pre-approved clients immediately had a drop in their maximum purchase price. It was a small change but for those shopping at their maximum it can be the difference between a lender approval or a decline.
Your Rate Can Be Held, the Bank Of Canada Benchmark Rate Cannot
The requirement for buyers to qualify at the Bank of Canada Benchmark Rate is triggered when a mortgage is submitted to the insurer for approval once they have an offer on a property. A buyer can hold their contract rate by doing a pre-approval with a lender, but this does not protect them if the Bank of Canada Benchmark Rate moves up. They will still have to qualify at the current Bank of Canada Benchmark Rate when they actually write an offer. If the Bank of Canada Benchmark Rate moves up while a pre-approved client is out shopping, their maximum mortgage amount will drop.
So How Do We Pre-Approve People Now?
Pre-approvals were never guaranteed. The have always been subject to lender and insurer approval when an offer was actually written. This just adds another variable that can impact that final mortgage approval.
My approach to pre-approvals is educating buyers on how a maximum purchase price is calculated and providing them with the assumptions that go into their maximum purchase calculation. When I pre-approve clients, they will be given a list of the variables or assumptions that go into their maximum purchase calculation. These include condo fees, property tax amount, the current Bank of Canada Benchmark Rate, and heating costs. These assumptions should be shared with the buyer's Realtor. If any of these variables change while they are out shopping, it is important for them to revisit their maximum purchase, particularly for those buying near their maximum.
What Should Buyers Do?
Buyers can prevent failed financing attempts by working with a mortgage broker or lender who will help you understand how mortgage qualification works and the variables that go into their approval. Once pre-approved and out shopping, remain in contact and if properties you are looking at no longer line up with the parameters when you first did your pre-approval, it is time to call your lender and confirm that you still meet qualification guidelines.
Buyers should also protect themselves by writing any offer on a property subject to satisfactory financing so you can confirm a lender and insurer will approve your mortgage before your deposit is on the line.
Where Does The Bank Of Canada Benchmark Rate Come From?
The Bank of Canada Benchmark Rate has become key in lending, but where does it come from? It is currently 4.84%. Each week the Bank of Canada polls the big banks in Canada on their current 5 year fixed posted mortgage rate. The Bank of Canada Qualifying Rate is the average of those numbers. As mortgage rates move up, so will the Bank of Canada Qualifying Rate. It is identified as the Conventional mortgage - 5-year on the Bank of Canadas Daily Digest:
Bank of Canada Daily Digest August 11
Today’s Bank of Canada rate hold announcement marks almost four straight years that the key benchmark rate has remained unchanged, since September 8, 2010. Great news if you have a variable-rate mortgage or home equity line of credit; the prime rate stays at 3%.
The announcement noted that “the risks to the outlook for inflation remain roughly balanced, while the risks associated with household imbalances have not diminished.” With these considerations, the Bank is maintaining its monetary policy stimulus, and remains neutral with respect to the timing and direction of the next change.
The next rate-setting day is October 22nd.