Mary McLean takes over Blog

I am pleased to report a change of author for this blog. From September 1, 2011, the new author will be Mary McLean of Sutton Group Lethbridge. Mary offers the same level of expertise in real estate as myself, with a similar level of experience. Mary can be reached by calling 403 320-6411 or emailing her at:- info@teammiller.ca, or mmclean@sutton.com

For more information contact:
Mary McLean
Sutton Group Lethbridge
1010 3d Ave., South.
Tel: 403 320-6411

Published in: on September 15, 2011 at 2:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

Lethbridge Real Estate in 2011

This is perhaps the most difficult year yet to make predictions about where Lethbridge real estate will be heading. As I write, Libya and other middle eastern countries are in a state of unrest. The concern of course is the price of oil and the uncertainty that will cause in world financial markets.

For Alberta, high oil prices are usually a driver of our economy and a positive for the real estate market. However, if the price goes too high, then a world wide recession can, and usually does follow, taking the real estate market down with it.

The other unknown quantity is Canadian interest rates and how high they may go. I have read a multitude of predictions recently, including one which claims real estate prices could fall sharply once rates start to rise. I consider that to be wildly speculative and highly unlikely to happen. However, there is no doubt that steep interest rate rises would make it harder for people to finance and pay down mortgages, thereby reducing demand in the real estate market.

My best guess is that $100 a barrel oil (or close to it) is here to stay. I believe this will revitalise the oil patch and be a positive for Alberta. I think interest rates will rise, but only by very small amounts (because the economy is still uncertain), meaning the negative effects on real estate will be minimal.

For many years, prior to the boom, Lethbridge real estate prices rose only 3 or 4% a year, basically in line with inflation. The conditions for another property boom are no longer there (easy credit, strong economy, etc.). However, conditions are ideal for a return to a balanced market with price increases in line with inflation.

So what does that mean for buyers? In short, it is a great time to buy, there is an excellent selection of homes available and interest rates are still at historically low levels. For sellers, it means more competition and a need for realistic pricing. Whether you are a buyer or seller a professional realtor is essential to represent your best interests and negotiate the best deal on your behalf. My fees for sellers are reasonable and negotiable and there is no fee whatsoever for buyers.

If you would like further information
I am happy to provide help or advice with the buying or selling of Lethbridge real estate, please view my primary web site at www.teammiller.ca, send me an email at info@TeamMiller.ca, or call at 403-329-0479. I look forward to hearing from you.

Allan Miller
Sutton Group Lethbridge
1010 3rd Ave S
403-329-0479

Published in: on March 4, 2011 at 4:56 pm  Comments (2)  

Don’t Miss the Boat!!

Real Estate Changes you Need to Know About……

All home buyers need to be aware that new government rules will be implemented on April 19th, 2010, regarding qualifying criteria for mortgage applications.

If a buyer chooses to take a term fixed between 1-4 years or a variable rate mortgage, they will have to qualify at the higher posted rate indicated by CMHC. This rate is presently 5.35%.

If a buyer selects a 5-year fixed term or longer, they will have to qualify at the term rate. For example, today we have a 5-year fixed rate at 3.69% meaning the buyer would qualify at that rate.

To avoid these mortgage changes, approval on a proposed purchase must be completed prior to April 19th. The closing date can be after the 19th but approval must be in place prior.

This also means that if a client is pre-qualified now, but does not make a purchase until after April 19th, their rate will be honored, but they would have to re-qualify the deal under the new rules.

Revenue Property

Revenue Property
The following changes are to be made regarding revenue properties:
– 20% down payment instead of 5%.
– 50% rental offset towards mortgage payments, rather than the previous 80%.

The information above is the most recent I have received, and was supplied by Bryce Kirkpatrick of The Mortgage Centre, call him at 403-380-2211 if you have any further questions.

Interest Rates

Interest Rates
It seems pretty much a foregone conclusion that interest rate will rise this summer, affecting the amount of money buyers can borrow. It was easy to swallow historically low interest rates, but that was too good to last. It’s unlikely rates will rise excessively, but with a more robust economy, higher rates are necessary to keep inflation in check. If you have a variable mortgage, or your term is coming to an end, this may be a good time to lock in your mortgage at today’s low rates.

Existing Rates:
5-year fixed 3.69%
5-year variable 1.85%
The Best Time to Buy or Sell
Government intervention and interest rates suggest it would be prudent to make that buying or selling decision sooner rather than later.

If you would like further information
I am happy to provide help or advice with the buying or selling of Lethbridge real estate, please view my primary web site at http://www.teammiller.ca, send me an email at info@TeamMiller.ca, or call at 403-329-0479. I look forward to hearing from you.

Allan Miller
Sutton Group Lethbridge
1010 3rd Ave S
403-329-0479

Published in: on April 3, 2010 at 9:54 pm  Comments (1)  

Lethbridge Real Estate Outlook

Any speculation about the Lethbridge Real Estate Market this year has been put to rest. I can say without hesitation that the market is very active. In fact the price range below $300,000 could be described at hot!

Many agents have found themselves in multiple offer situations reminiscent of 2006/2007 – the boom years for Lethbridge Real Estate.

Clearly the Government’s stategy of reducing interest rates to rock-bottom levels has paid off handsomely. As real estate is one of the biggest driving forces in the economy, this bodes well for an early end to the recession.

The only “fly-in-the-ointment” has been the market above $300,000, which is still struggling from a surplus of properties. However, there is no question the market is pushing from the bottom up, and I believe that the $300,000 plus sector will come into it’s own next year.

There is no business were the principles of supply and demand are more evident than real estate. Lethbridge has seen a drop from a high of about 700 houses for sale last year, to our present 550. This includes every conceivable type of property within Lethbridge’s boundaries. This means less choice for buyers and most likely a modest increase in prices during the next 12 months.

Suited homes have been selling well, as investors flock back to real estate to take advantage of high rents, low interest rates and the probability of price increases in the next few years.

My advice if you are “sitting on the fence”, is to buy now and lock in at historically low mortgage rates for the next five years. Real Estate is rebounding.

This information is brought to you by Allan Miller of Sutton Group Lethbridge. For more information about buying or selling Lethbridge Real Estate, please view my primary web site www.TeamMiller.ca or e-mail me at info@TeamMiller.ca. Telephone 403-320-6411.

Published in: on September 15, 2009 at 6:45 pm  Leave a Comment  

Mortgage APR vs Interest Rate

Mortgage APR vs Interest Rate: What Should You Go For?

When you’re shopping around for a mortgage loan, comparing loan offers from different lenders can become an intimidating task. The interest rate (also known as the note rate) that is applied by the lenders to work out your monthly payment is just a portion of the total cost of a mortgage. This is the reason why it becomes so confusing for the borrowers to compare mortgages when they only take the interest rate into consideration. A better technique of comparing mortgage loans is the mortgage APR or Annual Percentage Rate.

The Mortgage APR Formula

The mortgage APR formula merges the interest costs of a loan with other charges required by a lender for the duration of the loan. Mortgage APR is expressed as a yearly rate. Hence, Mortgage APR lets you know the actual cost of borrowing and is a better tool than interest rate to compare loan offers. Borrowers can use it as a helpful yardstick.

The Truth in Lending Act

The Truth in Lending Act necessitates lenders to clearly mention the APR on the advertisements of their loan products. It is typically stated just after the note rate. The goal is to stop lenders from advertising cheap interest rates to attract consumers and at the same time, covering fees.

Limitations of APRs

Though comparing APRs is more helpful than just comparing the interest rates while looking at various mortgage offers, it has some limitations:

Some upfront fees are not incorporated in the formula – like credit report fee, home appraisal fee and title fee. These fees might differ from one lender to another. You should remember to request your lender for a Good Faith Estimate for closing costs and question them to know which ones are not included in the APR.
Mortgage APR is handier for fixed rate mortgages than adjustable rate mortgages. As nobody can forecast how interest rates would vary with time, the APR for adjustable rate mortgages is calculated on the basis of predictions, which might prove to be incorrect.
The APR takes for granted that you would bear the loan for its entire tenure, which might be 30 years, however, only a small number of homeowners hold a mortgage for such an extensive period. If you intend to refinance within 5-7 years, a loan with bigger upfront charges can land up being costlier than what its APR implies.

This information is brought to you courtesy of Max Harper – Visit Max’s web site at http://www.mortgagefit.com/apr.html or email Max at maxharper2@gmail.com

For additional information about Lethbridge Alberta Real Estate, please view my primary web site www.TeamMiller.ca, or contact me at 403 329-0479, email: info@TeamMiller.ca.

Published in: on July 22, 2009 at 5:06 pm  Leave a Comment  

Lovely 3 Bedroom Half-Duplex

Don’t miss this super duplex, ideal for first time buyers, students or investors. Deceptively spacious with 1300 sqft developed. Large open floor plan with great kitchen and plenty of room for the whole family. Features include living room with gas fireplace and spacious dining area. New carpets throughout, good sized yard and convenient location to U of L, shopping and schools. On bus route. This property is a must see.

View more photos and information about this home at:
http://www.teammiller.ca/listings.htm
Please call Allan Miller today for details or a personal showing, 403-320-6411.

For more information about buying or selling Lethbridge Real Estate, please view my primary web site www.TeamMiller.ca or e-mail me at info@TeamMiller.ca

This information is brought to you by Allan Miller of Sutton Group Lethbridge.

Published in: on July 10, 2009 at 8:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

Wonderful Family Home in Riverstone

Front AspectThis lovely Riverstone family home in immaculate condition, just move in and enjoy. The Sentra design by Daytona Homes never fails to impress. Large master over the garage with en-suite & walk-in closet, 3 additional bedrooms, island kitchen with large pantry, office, double garage and underground sprinklers.

You will be impressed by the tilework, stylish decor and layout. The central air will keep you cool during summer days and the sauna will warm you during the cold winter months.

View more photos and information about this home at:
http://www.teammiller.ca/223_rivermill/index.htm
Please call Allan Miller today for details or a personal showing, 403-320-6411.

For more information about buying or selling Lethbridge Real Estate, please view my primary web site www.TeamMiller.ca or e-mail me at info@TeamMiller.ca

This information is brought to you by Allan Miller of Sutton Group Lethbridge.

Published in: on April 27, 2009 at 7:47 pm  Comments Off  

Quality Bungalow in Riverstone

Charming Riverstone Bungalow
Ideally situated in a desirable Location.

Price: $349,900
Bedrooms: 4 Bathrooms: 3 Age: 2 years.
Fully Developed with A/C. 1,171 sq. ft.

Don’t miss out on this lovely two year old bungalow in immaculate condition. Quality is evident in this charming home. Enjoy lots of light, cathedral ceilings, central A/C, a spacious garage with double driveway and a quiet side street in desirable Riverstone.
The property is close to the coulees, schools, university and Riverstone Park lake. Just one year young, this Greer built home is very energy efficient, benefiting from the latest insul-wall insulation – say goodbye to high utility bills.
The front and sides of the home have been tastefully landscaped in a low maintenance style with lawn in the rear. The basement was finished by a professional contractor. Enjoy all the benefits of a newer, modern home, in move-in condition.
Please call Allan Miller today for details or a personal showing, 403-320-6411.
View more photos and information about this home at:
www.teammiller.ca/234/index.htm

Published in: on April 9, 2009 at 7:04 pm  Comments (1)  

Lethbridge Real Estate Picking Up Steam?

After a very slow winter season, April has seen a substantial rebound in Lethbridge real estate. While some of the increased activity can be credited to the onset of good weather; the real driving force is undoubtedly the historically low interest rates and lower house prices.

For the first time in two years, many Sutton real estate agents are finding themselves involved in multiple offer situations. Homes are selling in shorter time frames and for higher prices. If things continue that way, it could be a very active real estate season in Lethbridge.

The last recession in 2001 was ended by a property boom which was caused by rock bottom interest rates. Could we see the start of something similar this year? It is anyone’s guess at this point, but there is no doubt that the spin-offs of a healthy housing market are enormous, and benefit numerous local trades’ people and manufacturers alike.

With house prices down compared to last year and the cost of financing being as low as possible, it is easy to get excited about the prospects for real estate in 2009.

This information is brought to you by Allan Miller of Sutton Group Lethbridge.
For more information about buying or selling Lethbridge Real Estate, please view my primary web site www.TeamMiller.ca or e-mail me at info@TeamMiller.ca

Published in: on April 8, 2009 at 10:35 pm  Comments (1)  

Lethbridge Real Estate in 2009

The outlook for Lethbridge Real Estate in 2009 is more complicated than usual. A general downturn in the economy at the end of last year was countered by aggressive interest rate cuts by the Bank of Canada in March this year.

First time buyers in Lethbridge are being enticed by these historically low interest rates. As a result, I would anticipate the market for homes under $250,000 will be very active this summer. Real estate investors are also seeing the advantages of low financing costs, coupled with high rents and low vacancy rates.

January was a flat month in real estate sales in Lethbridge. The big question for most realtors in January was whether demand for real estate in Southern Alberta would be down compared to 2008. However, February saw a substantial increase in sales suggesting this will not be the case.

Perhaps the biggest impact on the Lethbridge real estate market has been a tightening of credit requirements. We are seeing a number of properties go under conditional offer, only to be re-activated a short time later. The reason is that people with margin credit are being turned down by their lenders, in some cases even after being pre-qualified for financing.

The best news is that those with good credit will have no problem; mortgage interest rates and payments are presently at an all time low. Real estate prices are stable and coupled with favourable financing; buyers have the opportunity to get a lot more home for their money, compared to last year.

If you would like further information, or need help with the buying or selling of Lethbridge real estate, please visit my primary web site www.TeamMiller.ca, e-mail me at info@TeamMiller.ca or call 403-320-6411 and ask specifically for Allan Miller.

Best regards
Allan Miller
Sutton Group Lethbridge

Published in: on March 17, 2009 at 5:51 pm  Comments (2)  
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