Attention Students!

RE/MAX of Western Canada annually awards $16,000 in bursaries of $1,000 each to graduating students through the RE/MAX Quest for Excellence Bursary Program! One recipient (in addition to his or her bursary) will also win a hot air balloon ride for two!

The Quest for Excellence Program recognizes the pursuits in leadership and community contributions of Western Canadian students. High school students graduating in 2017 from British Columbia, Alberta,Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Yukon and Northwest Territories are encouraged to write an essay to convey the contributions they have made to enrich the lives ofothers and their communities through leadership, motivation, volunteering and participation in charitable events or fundraising.

The RE/MAX Quest for Excellence is now open and accepting applications! Application deadline is March 13th, 2017.

Click link for more info and to apply: http://www.remax-western.ca/blog/2017-quest-for-excellence-bursary-program-now-open/

The New Industry Buzzword – What You Need to Know

“Deleverage” – it’s the new buzz word in banking and financial circles. It seems to mean, what happens after interest rates rise and house prices drop when we can no longer afford to pay our bills. This has come on the heels of study which showed that average Canadians owe 11/2 times approx. what they earn. So… our banks are moving from the not so distant mode of offering borrowers more than they wanted or needed, to denying solid, loyal customers who don’t fit in the new frame.

What this means in terms of today’s real estate purchasers is that when you talk to lenders in financial institutions, be sure to get their commitments in writing. Do not accept a verbal preapproval – especially for bridge financing – when you are buying before selling. We have recently experienced some very stressful situations where the preapprovals were not what they seemed, and the bank didn’t care. If a bank is not prepared to give you written preapproval spelling out the terms, move on to the one which will. The real problem is that the bank employee will receive their pay cheque whether or not you get your mortgage or bridge financing. The mortgage broker is the person who is rewarded financially for making it happen, and therefore has the incentive to work with you for what you need.

No one has the crystal ball and the market forecasts are all over the map. But this does not give the big banks license to ride roughshod over their customers and move the goalposts part way through the game. Be careful out there . If you have any doubts, call us. We are here to answer questions and keep you as risk-free as possible. Feel free to call us – we always want to keep you covered. At 2.34% with 5 year term, interest rates still look rosy. Take advantage while you can.

Your partners in real estate – Sheila and Michelle.

Not Playing Ball

Changing the goalposts part way through the game seems to be par for the course these days. Just enough to keep us off kilter, but somehow we are always still surprised.

As our Federal Government talks of legalising marijuana and local dispensaries sell it, who would have thought that an admission of having once smoked marijuana to the US border officials would place you on the no go -no entry – no fly list for ever?

The fall out from the provincial government’s implementation of an additional 15% property purchase tax for non resident buyers continues. The goalposts changed for those buyers who purchased weeks, months, years ago before the introduction of the tax. Suddenly, their purchase price increased considerably and in some cases the tax amount was impossible for the buyers to raise. Then…the goalposts changed for our local sellers who were left owning two properties!

As children prepared to return to school, many had to ask “which school” as their neighborhood schools closed arbitrarily to help out a stressed school district budget. Big goalpost move!

Was life always this unpredictable where cavalier attitudes and arrogance prevail, so that we can never be sure that our best interests are top priorities? Or is it that we just know more about what is going on these days? If this were the case, the movers of goalposts should be embarrassed – but no evidence of that. Never mind – election time coming up.

When did we start to accept that the goalposts would not stay in place? Doesn’t take long to form a habit!
Let’s be on the lookout – tough to score goals when the posts are moved!

Enjoy the beautiful start to Fall. This unexpected welcome weather is keeping our spirits up.
And, as always, we have you covered.
Sheila and Michelle

TGIF: Happy Labour Day Long Weekend!

Here it is – the last long weekend of the summer and everyone says the same thing – it flew by! This means we were all busy enjoying what summer had to offer. All the new beginnings start next week – another year of school, sports activities, clubs & organizations, choirs and theatre programs.

But first…. Labour Day on Monday, signaling the end of summer. Do you know that the very first Labour Day was on September 5, 1882 in New York with picnics organized by the city’s central labour union? The first Canadian federal Labour Day holiday was in 1894 with its origins in the labour unions’ push for the ’8 hour day movement’ – advocating 8 hours for work, 8 hours for recreation and 8 for rest. Still sounds like a great balance not many of us achieve!! So we should follow the tradition and celebrate our workers on Labour Day.

Traditionally too, September is a time for homes to go on the market with their owners looking for a move before Christmas. It’s a time for maintenance while the weather still cooperates – clearing out the gutters, rebuilding fences, Fall garden clean up, servicing gas fireplaces & furnaces, cleaning chimneys etc.
If you’re wondering about your Fall options, trying to navigate the teal estate market statistics or thinking about preparing to sell or buy, give us a call.

We’re here for the long haul and always have you covered. Have a wonderful, lingering, last long weekend of summer.
Sheila and Michelle