Graham Ogden

B Comm and Realtor®

Direct: 1 780 908-1224 |

I have listed a new property at 992 BURROWS CRES in Edmonton.
Superb location, meticulously maintained, quality updates! This fully finished, 2 story, 5 bed/4 full bath is a must see. You are welcomed by the towering foyer, angled stair case and gleaming hardwood floors. The main floor boasts the comfortable living room, 2-sided gas fire place, formal dining area, bright updated kitchen with high-end appliances, double sink, new lighting and granite counter tops. In addition, there is a MAIN FLOOR bedroom, 4-piece bath and laundry room. Upstairs features the Master bedroom with large 5-piece ensuite with Jacuzzi tub and walk-in closet, 2 large bedrooms, the main 4-piece bath and functional bonus room. The basement is complete with a bedroom, 4-piece bath, rec room, newer furnace and great storage. Outside is park-like with mature landscaping including automated irrigation and large deck. Double garage is insulated/finished. Located within walking distance to the river valley, trails, schools and access roads. Make this remarkable property your new home today!
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How To Prepare For Your Home Purchase

 

Recent mortgage rule changes have had a significant impact on a purchasers' buying power. More than ever, planning ahead for your purchase can impact your mortgage qualification. Knowing what mortgage lenders look for can help you to maximize your purchasing power. 

 

Understanding Your Maximum Purchase Calculation (GDS/TDS)

 

All mortgage lenders and insurers look at affordability ratios when reviewing your mortgage application. There is some flexibility on conventional mortgages (20% or more down payment), but insured mortgages must meet specific maximum affordability ratios. First, your Gross Debt Service (GDS) or the amount of your gross monthly income spent on your monthly housing costs, must be less than 39%. Housing costs include your mortgage payment (calculated at Bank of Canada qualifying rate; currently 4.64%), heating cost (varies by lender but $100/month is common), property taxes, and 50% of condo fees. 


Secondly, your Total Debt Service (TDS) must be less than 44%. Your TDS is the amount of your gross income or the amount of your gross monthly income spent on your monthly housing costs plus your debt and other financial commitments. This would include car payments, student loans, credit cards, lines of credit, and the carrying costs of other properties you own.


Preparing for Your Purchase

 

  • Pay Down Debt - Not only is carrying debt into home ownership difficult for future pay off, but it can also reduce your buying power. If adding your debts to your monthly housing costs tips you over 44% of your income, it lowers how much house you can purchase.

 

  • Buy Less Vehicle - Vehicle payments are often the biggest barrier to buying a home simply because they can eat up such a significant amount of your monthly income. These payments factor into your TDS, so the higher your vehicle loan payment, the more likely it is to drag down your maximum purchase price.

 

  • Build and Maintain Healthy Credit - An underwriter once told me that they would rather see a spotty credit history than no history. When I asked why that was, he told me, "I don't like playing the lottery." With a good credit score and an established credit history, you qualify for the highest allowed GDS/TDS ratios and are most likely to get a lender on board when buying at your maximum.

 

  • More Down Payment - Whether saved or gifted, increasing your down payment allows you to qualify for a higher purchase price. If you are able to hit 20% down payment, it has even more impact as lenders have more flexibility once they do not need to follow insurer requirements.  You can qualify using your contract rate (the actual mortgage rate you get) instead of the Bank of Canada Qualifying Rate, as well as a 30-year versus 25-year amortization. 
Courtesy of

Michelle Lapierre, BComm

Mortgage Associate

VERICO Mortgage Tailors Inc.


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I have listed a new property at 25 3520 60 ST in Edmonton.
Do you need more room than just 2 bedroom condo for the same price? This functional 3 bedroom, 3 bath end unit townhown has over 1400 sq. ft on 2 levels with still more room to develop in the WALK-OUT basement. The main floor has a bright eating area off the kitchen as well as a dining area adjacent to the living room and the open plan allows you to enjoy the corner gas fireplace from both rooms. With an attached garage, balcony and patio area you won't want to miss this one. Great value!
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Clear, concise, and professional.  Graham had 3 offers for us the first day our house was listed, with two of the offers being over list.  We are pleased with how he handled our sale and will not hesitate to refer him to others.

 

19-Apr-17

Justin and Monica

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Graham was super helpful the entire time! He went above and beyond and always helped us to see that even though it was tough that we were almost to our end goal! Thank you so much Graham! We will be telling people about you! :)

 

17-Apr-17

Candace B.

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We had a very positive experience with Graham's help, he sent many properties for us via email and modified the search according to what worked and what didn't. He helped us see what would need to be done to the places if we were to purchase. What would cost us.
It was helpful that he was concerned that we didn't settle for a place that we were not 100% happy with, and we were able to find the right place.
He was always pleasant and helpful, and we felt cared about.
 
17-Apr-17
Annette & Ed
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This being the first time I've bought my own place, I didn't know the ins' and outs of buying a place. Graham was very big help in getting me thru the process of buying a place. He was very informative and quick to reply. Full of imformation and I felt very comfortable working with him. He treated me like a friend and not a client. He was very quick on all paper work. Even sat thru the home inspection with me just to make sure everything went well. I was very pleased with him and have already recommended him to friends and family.

 

I will definitely be using him again if I ever go to buy/sell a house.
 
15-Apr-17
Kyle S.
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Most people shop for mortgages looking only at the interest rate.  While that is important, term selection is actually the key to saving you the most money.  There is no point fighting for a 2.64% vs. 2.69% 5-year fixed rate to save $700 over 5 years, but then turning around and paying $10,000 in breakage penalties when you sell it in 3 years. One of the best ways to save money on your mortgage is avoiding breakage penalties.  You do this by aligning your mortgage product and term to the ownership horizon of your property. 

 

Penalties - Why Term Selection Is So Important


Prepayment penalties would not matter if they were small and no one ever paid off mortgages early, but they can be huge! Depending on your mortgage size and how early you are paying it off, the penalty can amount to tens of thousands of dollars. You may think you have no intention of paying off your mortgage early, but things can change. You may need to sell due to a growing family, divorce, or death in the family. Or you may simply want to refinance to get a lower rate. Any of these things can result in you paying a prepayment penalty.


Most closed fixed-rate mortgages have a prepayment penalty of 3 months interest or the Interest Rate Differential (IRD) charge, whichever is HIGHER. To calculate the IRD, the bank subtracts the mortgage rate you originally agreed to pay from the rate it can charge today, and then multiplies that by the current balance of your mortgage and time remaining to your mortgage maturity or renewal.  Generally, non-bank lenders charge lower penalties than the big banks in Canada but they can still be hefty.


A variable rate mortgage has a prepayment penalty of 3 months interest, a far smaller penalty than most IRDs today.

 

Dont Limit Yourself To A 5-Year Fixed


The 5 year fixed is great...if you actually plan to be in your home for 5 years.  If you do not know how long you will own it or believe it will be a shorter time, consider a shorter-term fixed rate mortgage.  For example, you could get a 1, 2, 3, or 4-year term.  For even more flexibility of exit, consider a variable-rate mortgage because of its lower penalty.

 

Portability Important...BUT


Portability is a feature that allows you to move your mortgage to a new property to avoid or be credited back for a breakage penalty. It is an important feature because it can protect you from a significant cost.  BUT keep in mind each lender has different policies and restrictions on their portability.  Some do not offer portability at all (often value or discount mortgage rates).  Lenders also differ in how much time can be between the sale and purchase to use portability, and have different rules about the rates and options available to you on any new mortgage funds you need over and above the current balance you are porting. So even if you have a portable mortgage, you may find you are not able to actually use the feature.  Term selection still matters!

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As widely predicted, the Bank of Canada announced today that it is holding the key rate steady. While noting that “economic growth has been faster than expected”, the bank said it’s too early to determine if the economy is on a “sustainable growth path”, citing weakness in export growth, business investment and employment. The Bank’s three measures of core inflation, taken together, continue to point to material excess capacity in the economy. While there have been recent gains in employment, little growth in wages and hours worked continue to reflect economic slack in Canada, in contrast to the United States.

 

The bank also took into account uncertainties that include the potential impact of U.S. trade policies. The next rate-setting day is May 24.

 

This announcement means there should be no change to the prime rate. Great news if you have a variable-rate mortgage or line of credit, need a new mortgage, are renewing, or want to save thousands by consolidating debt at the lowest-cost funds. Or perhaps you are thinking of using home equity to invest in a rental property or second home, or cost effectively complete renovations.

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Although going through the pre-approval process is important, the actual term ‘pre-approval’ is often misunderstood.

 

An important point to be clear on is that while you may be pre-approved for a certain mortgage amount, there are several variables that can derail a final approval once you write an offer on a property. As such it is imperative that offers include a condition (or ‘subject’) clause along the lines of ‘subject to receiving and approving satisfactory financing’.

 

This is arguably the single most important clause in a contract (an inspection being a close second), because without the financing, how will you complete your purchase?

 

The pre-approval process should be considered more of a personal pre-screening process than anything. It should include a lender review of a current credit report and review of all required income and down payment documents. You should have a clear understanding of the maximum mortgage amount you qualify for along with clarity on the various related costs involved in your specific transaction.

 

With most lenders pre-approvals involve no formal live review of documents, but your Mortgage Broker can preview them to catch any significant areas of concern such as:

 

         Unfiled taxes

  • Unpaid taxes
  • Employment still in a probationary period
  • Clarity around down payment origins

Ultimately the property forms a significant part of a mortgage approval, and so until an offer is written on a specific property, no true approval can be offered.

 

Furthermore, government changes to lending guidelines and policies can render a pre-approval invalid just a few days later, without warning. Pre-Approvals are not always grandfathered when the lending rules change.

 

So yes, request a pre-approval, as it gives you a good idea as to your maximum mortgage amount and locks down a rate for you. Always a worthwhile endeavour. It may also allow you to address a few smaller issues with ample time prior to writing your offer. Small issues today can be big issues when in the middle of a live transaction.

 

Bottom line, please be aware that aside from these key advantages, a pre-approval is not a guarantee of mortgage financing.

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I have listed a new property at 9368 CAMERON AVE in Edmonton.
RIVERDALE, river valley location! Updated character home on low-maintenance lot. Constructed with Fir, this pristinely kept, 2 bed/2 full bath home boasts fantastic downtown, Quarters, LRT expansion and river valley proximity. Upgrades include, kitchen (cabinets, appliances including gas stove, granite counter tops), engineered hardwood flooring, windows and roof (2007), insulation, plumbing and electrical(100amp). The formal dining area and living room feature original crown mouldings and hardware adding to the character and charm. Upstairs there are 2 bedrooms including the master and updated 4 piece bathroom with a view. The concrete, unspoiled basement houses the laundry, newer hot water tank/furnace as well as lots of storage space. Outside the rear yard is fenced and low maintenance. There is room for 3- 4 vehicles on the side yard parking and enjoy the views and serenity on the covered front porch. If you are looking for quaint character and excellent location, this definitely a don't miss for you!
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I have listed a new property at 205 6220 134 AVE in Edmonton.
Attention Investors and first time home buyer's! Clean turn Key rental with existing tenant or make it your own. Various possession dates possible. Concrete building, 2 UNDERGROUND PARKING STALLS with storage lockers. Excellent two bedroom condo located on the second floor of the Holland Garden complex. This unit boasts a bright and open floor plan. The kitchen with maple cabinets and breakfast bar overlooks the dining area and living room which both have easy care for laminate flooring. Access to the south facing balcony from the garden doors off the living room area. The two bedrooms are a good size and both rooms are carpeted. The master bedroom features a walk thru closet and a 4 piece ensuite. The three piece bathroom (with shower) and in suite laundry complete the unit. Added features are the natural gas BBQ hook up on the deck and exercise room. Condo fee includes all utilities. Great value!
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I have listed a new property at 421 9620 174 ST in Edmonton.
TOP floor with a view of the lake! In convenient West End location, this cared for 902sqft 2 bedroom condo features a bright open plan, formal kitchen and eating area, large bedrooms, insuite laundry, mirrored closet doors and a large storage/laundry room. Other highlights include a large south facing balcony, assigned covered car port parking and all appliances included! Quick possession available. Great value...worth a look!
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Graham asked all the right questions to understand what we were looking for and found exactly what we wanted!  We got the house of our dreams!  He communicated with us and guided us through the process to the very end.  Very professional. 

 

Terry & Shelley

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I have sold a property at 401 10145 113 ST in Edmonton.
Bank Foreclosure "sold as is, where is"! Great central location close to all downtown amenities, shopping, restaurants, and transit. Top floor end unit with 2 bedrooms and one 1 bath. Unit needs updates to the flooring as well as paint etc. Good square footage with excellent potential.
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The Bank of Canada announced today that it is holding the benchmark interest rate unchanged at 0.5% with an optimistic outlook, noting that “federal and provincial measures are still expected to support growth in 2017” and predicting “a return to full capacity around mid-2018” as earlier projected in October. The Bank factored in Trump’s tax policies i.e. stimulus spending, resulting “in a modest upward revision to its U.S. growth outlook” which should benefit Canada. The Bank did not take into account U.S. policy changes that could negatively impact us, noting that there are “significant uncertainties weighing on the outlook".

 

Last fall, the Ministry of Finance introduced four new mortgage tightening measures intended to cool the housing markets (aimed primarily at Vancouver and Toronto), reduce foreign investor home flipping, and control the levels of Canadian household debt. The Ministry also introduced risk sharing on mortgages for the Chartered Banks which puts upward pressure on mortgage rates as lenders need to set aside higher levels of capital for certain types of funds.

 

The Central Bank predicts for 2017 that it expects oil prices and the Canadian dollar to stay close to the $50 US for a barrel of crude (currently around $52.48 US per barrel at January 17th), and 75 cents US for the Canadian dollar (currently at 77 cents US at January 17th). Low interest rates help keep the Canadian dollar low which in turn aids our export market, however global demand for our products has stalled. The European Union members' debt crisis, global oil-price collapse, and Brexit have undermined markets and consumer confidence. In addition, the uncertainty over our trade position with the U.S. as a result of the U.S. election is expected to delay capital spending and business investment in Canada.

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I found the listing and selling of my "fixer upper" home of 36 years a formidable challenge, even before the Real Property Report revealed I had no permit for my attached patio, a noncompliance isue with the permit for my garage, and an encroachment issue with my back fence.  Graham Ogden, experienced RE/MAX River City realtor extraordinaire, patiently, informedly, skilfully  guided me through several months of bureaucratic red tape, until these issues were as nearly resolved as possible, then expertly coached me in marketing my house, with strategic timing, at a "market matched" price, and with professionally accurate, "best foot forward" photos.   Less than a week later, after only two showings, I had a firm offer, and Graham sensitively assisted me in negotiating to a successful compromise, even satisfying the still worrisome "encroachment issue"!  I am happily ensconced in a lovely (rented) seniors' condo, and credit the smooth transition to Graham's skilful, professional, unfailingly thoughtul expertise; I highly recommend his services to anyone seeking to sell or purchase real estate.
 
29-Dec-16
Reta H.
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It is no surprise to anyone that the Bank of Canada maintained its target overnight rate at 1/2 percent today, judging that although the global economy has strengthened, uncertainty continues and is damaging business confidence and dampening investment in Canada's major trading partners. Since the Trump victory, US interest rates have risen sharply with the expectation of sizable fiscal stimulus. Stock markets in the US have risen to record highs and the TSX has enjoyed a huge upsurge reflecting a sharp rise in bank stocks--up more than 20 percent this year. Canadian interest rates have increased sharply as well, as the yield curve has steepened, which is good for bank profitability. However, it is not good for Canadian housing. Mortgage rates have already risen in Canada in the past month and more is likely to come as potential homebuyers are already struggling with more stringent qualifying criteria and particularly non-bank lenders are confronted with new mortgage insurance rules.

 

The Bank highlighted that household debt ratios will continue to rise, but these will be mitigated over time by the announced changes to housing finance rules. Even before the unanticipated rise in mortgage rates in October, the Bank revised down its economic forecast in large measure because of the federal government's new initiatives "to promote stability in Canada's housing market". The Bank of Canada reported that these measures are "likely to restrain residential investment while dampening household vulnerabilities."

 

According to the October Monetary Policy Report, the housing initiatives were expected to dampen 2016 GDP growth by 10 basis points and by 30 basis points next year. Government sources say they expect the growth in housing resales to decline 8 percentage points in 2017 from the forecasted 6.0 percent growth pace this year. Private estimates of the negative impact of the new housing measures on overall economic growth vary, but most expect the contractionary effect to be roughly a 30-to-50 basis point reduction in growth over the next twelve months. Given that baseline potential growth is less than 2 percent, this is a very material dampener.

 

Even before the mortgage rate hikes, we have seen housing resales slow significantly in Vancouver and the surrounding region. Particularly in the single family sector, resales and prices have fallen. This has been attributed to the August introduction of a new 15 percent land transfer tax on non-resident purchasers. Anecdotal evidence suggests that foreign buyers have shifted their sights to some US cities, notably Seattle, as well as Toronto and Montreal, but it is too early to have any hard data. Indeed, CMHC recently reported that foreign ownership of Canadian real estate is less than 3 percent nationwide and only as high as 5 percent in Vancouver and somewhat less in Toronto Central.

 

Even before the mortgage rate hikes, we have seen housing resales slow significantly in Vancouver and the surrounding region. Particularly in the single family sector, resales and prices have fallen. This has been attributed to the August introduction of a new 15 percent land transfer tax on non-resident purchasers. Anecdotal evidence suggests that foreign buyers have shifted their sights to some US cities, notably Seattle, as well as Toronto and Montreal, but it is too early to have any hard data. Indeed, CMHC recently reported that foreign ownership of Canadian real estate is less than 3 percent nationwide and only as high as 5 percent in Vancouver and somewhat less in Toronto Central.

 

Canadian inflation remains in check. The real question is how much further US yields will rise, pushing Canadian bond yields and borrowing costs higher. There is far more slack in the Canadian economy than in the US, despite the spate of strong employment gains. The Bank does not expect the economy to be operating at full capacity until 2018.

 

In contrast, it is all but certain that the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates by 25 basis points when they meet again in mid-December. Prospects are we will see two or three additional Fed rate hikes next year, while the Bank of Canada holds steady. This will put further downward pressure on the Canadian dollar, which might be offset in part if oil prices continue to edge higher in response to the recent OPEC decision to cut production (if it holds). Oil prices had recently risen to over $50 a barrel for West Texas Intermediate, although it has sold off sharply today.

 

The US economy is operating at or near full capacity as the jobless rate fell in November to a mere 4.8 percent. To be sure, there remains troubling evidence of underemployment and the labour force participation rate of prime age workers in the US has fallen sharply, well below the level in Canada (see Chart). President-elect Trump is planning to cut taxes and increase government spending as well as to take initiatives to secure new and existing American jobs. To the extent he is successful, the Federal Reserve will continue to tighten monetary policy, hiking interest rates more than expected.

 

Some have suggested that the Bank of Canada might cut interest rates again next year, particularly if housing slows too much. Judging from comments made by the CEO of the CMHC, a slowdown in housing is the intended result of the new rules. Clearly, Governor Poloz sees the enhanced mortgage stress tests and changes in the insurability of mortgages as mitigating his concerns of overextended homebuyers. It would take a material negative shock to growth for the Bank to cut rates.

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I have listed a new property at 9843 83 AVE in Edmonton.
Opportunity knocks! Outstanding infill or handyman special potential in old Strathcona. War-time style bungalow with single detached garage. Excellent location close to all amenities, Whyte Ave, University of Alberta and Faculty St. Jean. Property and included goods sold "as is".
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I have listed a new property at 6604 94B AVE in Edmonton.
Upgraded Ottewell beauty for the discerning buyer on a 597sqm lot! Extensive reno including plumbing complete with new back flow valve, electrical, all windows replaced with low E vinyl windows and low maintenance exterior. Coming in you are wowed by the bright and open living, eating and kitchen areas. The gourmet kitchen is all new including stainless steel appliances, granite counter tops and functional island. Upstairs also features the 2 large rooms and modern full bath. The basement is bright and useable with large open rec area, large 3rd bedroom, full bath with double sink, utility room with high efficient furnace and additional storage. Outside is landscaped and fenced, complete with an oversized, fully finished, including a gas line, double garage boasting new dry wall, shingles and windows. Close to all amenities including shopping, several schools and transit. High quality workmanship throughout, an absolute must see!
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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.

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Data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton.