Real Estate Questions

How to Avoid Foreclosure?

Not a lot of homebuyers expect to go into foreclosure, but due to the recent economic downturn, it is a consideration or situation a lot of people in Fort McMurray are in. Just know that you are not alone. Hopefully you’re reading this before actually ending up in foreclosure. But even if you’re already in foreclosure, as long as you’re still in the house there may be a way for you to continue to stay in it, long-term.

First things first: What is foreclosure?

Foreclosure is the legal means in which your lender is enabled to repossess or take back your house in order to get their mortgage money back and settle any outstanding fees. Apart from wilful mortgage fraud, where someone has no intention of making payments, most homeowners face foreclosure due to a sudden event that leads to them being unable to make their mortgage payments on time. The most common reasons include:

  • Sudden unemployment

  • Loss of second income

  • Excessive debt obligations

  • Illness or injury

  • Death in the family

  • Divorce or family problems

  • Inability to pay adjusted/higher mortgage interest rate

  • Unexpected major home maintenance expense

How can you avoid foreclosure?

Being proactive is the best way to avoid foreclosure. Lenders do not want to foreclose but they will file a Notice of Default to protect themselves if it comes to that. While it might be hard to admit that you are starting to run into financial issues, if you know you are unlikely to meet your mortgage obligation, the first thing you should do is call your lender. Keep an open line of communication. Ignoring their...

The Best Real Estate Agent in Fort McMurray

THE BEST REAL ESTATE AGENT IN FORT MCMURRAY?

Sometimes you hear people call themselves "the best" this or "the best" that. When it comes to who is "the best" Realtor in Fort McMurray, I am not as worried about whether I am "the best" Realtor. Here's why:

The best is totally subjective. Some real estate agents may claim to be the best because they sell the most. Or maybe they  think they are the " best real estate agent " because they won an award. Or maybe they made the most money. The truth is that just because a real estate agent may have some reason to claim they are #1, truly does not mean that they will be the BEST for you. 

What's My Focus?

So my focus is not about being the best. It is about being the best choice for YOU. Each day I strive to do the best job I can for my clients. My goal is to be professional, efficient, thorugh and put THEIR needs first. It is how I have beena  successful real estate agent in Fort McMurray for a decade and have scores of happy clients and friends for life. 

It's all about being the best choice for them more than it ever is about being "the BEST". Whatever your needs, if you are looking for homes to buy in FortMcMurray, or looking to sell your home, or if you are relocating to Fort McMurray, my team and I are happy to assist you!

But I DO have the BEST Clients! :-) 

While we are talking about the BEST... one...

How much are Home Prices Appreciating across Canada?

Home Price Appreciation / Depreciation across Canada

That is a great question. For parts of Canada where there are major cities and metropolitan areas, the monthly home price appreciation is not only calculated, it is available online here. (Hat tip to my REALTOR friends in Kelowna for the link to that page.) 

Using that online Appreciation map gives us a general idea in the biggest cities in a province how home prices are doing month to month and year to year...and that is good...BUT that does not show us the following:

  • How homes are doing in Fort McMurray?
  • How is YOUR home doing?
  • How much equity do you have in your home?

The good news is that WE can help you with that! Let us provide you with those answers. We are happy to give you at no cost or obligation. Getting started is easy. Simply fill out the information below:

...

What are the Top Reasons Why FSBO Houses Fail in Real Estate?

Why do FSBO listings fail in real estate?

Thinking about going the FSBO route?  You don't have to do it alone.  A highly-skilled and qualified Realtor is here to help you out!  Before you consider selling your house on your own, take the time to read the following reasons why For Sale by Owner listings tend to fail in the real estate market.

Prep Work

Preparing a home for sale properly plays a big role in the success of selling a home.  One of the most common reasons why people who attempt to sell their home without the help of an experienced agent is because they have little to no idea about how to properly and effectively prepare their home before it gets listed for sale.

Some of the most important pre-listing tasks that FSBOs should do before listing their home for sale include:

  • Decluttering
  • Freshly painted rooms
  • Professionally clean carpets and/or floors
  • Complete any neglected repairs
  • Replace outdated light fixtures
  • Make sure your home has good curb appeal

Screening Potential Buyers

An experienced real estate agent talks to buyers and sellers everyday of the week for a living.  This means that they have a certain mastery of how to do this, and they definitely have a keen sense when it comes to screening potential buyers.  A perfected craft is always the best option rather than taking a stab at doing it yourself.  This is another factor that plays a big part on why FSBO sales tend to fail.  The homeowner doesn’t have the same expertise in screening potential buyers like an experienced agent has.  They are unable to quickly identify unqualified buyers, because they do not know how to ensure whether or...

Fort McMurray Mortgage Rates: Where do they go in 2018?

Current Fort McMurray Mortgage Rate Environment:

Fort McMurray 2018 Mortgage RatesThe Bank of Canada announced last month that it would be remaining at current interest rates (for now), but those on adjustable mortgage rates and buyers looking for financing are wondering what’s next. Should they lock in? Which is a better option, variable or fixed? If rates climb, how high will they go? How much extra monthly budget should you allocate for mortgage payment interest increases?

The correct answer is - It depends.


The last two times before the latest meeting when the Bank of Canada met, they raised rates. This time they held the line with the overnight rate at 1.00%, due to their concerns about the increasing strength of the dollar along with the ongoing NAFTA renegotiation.
Variable rate holders after the previous two changes had already seen increases in their interest costs since those mortgages are based on prime rate, which is influenced directly by the overnight target rate.


“Competitive variable rates have risen a smidge over 30 bps since the BoC started tightening this summer,” noted Robert McLister, who dissects mortgage rates at RateSpy.com. “That’s less than two rate hikes. The reason it’s less than two hikes is because discounts from prime have noticeably improved.”

McLister's assessment is that for an average borrower, each 1/4-point rate increase is equal to approximately $1,100 in additional interest cost over five years per $100,000 borrowed.

So if you look at your loan balance, and make a guess at the rate adjustment, you can approximate the additional cost. But the big key is this:

Where Do Mortgage Rates in Fort McMurray Go From Here?...

How do you sell a house on your own? For Sale By Owner Tips

how-do-you-sell-a-house-on-your-own

Selling your house?  You may be thinking about going down the “For Sale By Owner” route.  Here are a couple of things that you need to know before you decide on selling your house on your own.

how-do-you-sell-a-house-on-your-own-negotiation

There are a number of parties involved in a real estate transaction.  People with whom you would otherwise not have to deal with if you were to hire an agent to help you sell your home.  Realtors act as a buffer in negotiations with all parties throughout the entire transaction.  Should you decide on selling your house on your own, here is a list of people that you will have to negotiate with:

  • The Buyer
  • The Buyer’s Agent
  • The Buyer’s Bank
  • The Home Inspection Company
  • The Appraiser
  • The Title Company

how-do-buyers-search-for-listings

With the continuous growth of social media, internet usage, as well as everyone already being equipped with a smartphone, you’ll have to know how to keep up with the ongoing trends to have your house seen by potential buyers.

Nowadays, having an ad on the paper just won’t cut it.  With all the technological advancements available, the most popular way wherein buyers search for real estate listings in by doing an online search.  These buyers...

How to sell you house fast: Top tips on getting your home on top of every buyer's list!

how-to-sell-your-house-fast

Home sellers always aim for one thing - selling their home as fast as possible.  In neighbourhoods with lots of homes for sale, sellers must be willing to take their efforts up a notch in order to beat the competition and make sure that their home is on top of every buyer's list.  Here are some of the easiest and inexpensive tips on how to achieve your goal in selling your home in no time.

how-to-sell-your-house-fast-top-tips-declutter

De-cluttering your home gives way for space to be showcased in your home.  It gives the buyer an idea of the areas in your home that they can utilize for the items that they'll be bringing in once they move in.

De-cluttering is also a way to eliminate the potential of buyers seeing your home as messy or unorganized which might otherwise cause them to steer clear of putting your home at the top of their list.

  • Clear your kitchen counters, night stands, coffee tables, etc.
  • Organize closets, shelves and other storage spaces.
  • Consider renting a storage unit for the sale period.

how-to-sell-your-house-fast-top-tips-donate-sell-throw-away-unused-items...

What Questions Should I Ask During Home Inspection?

home-inspection-tips-questions-to-ask-during-home inspection

A home is one of the most important purchases you will ever make, so the need to make sure that you are getting the best value for your hard-earned money.  It is vital for you to be certain that everything in your target home is checked and evaluated before you buy a home.

Enter the value of home inspection.  A home inspection is an inexpensive way to become aware of the overall condition of a home.  It is important to make sure that you are not making a costly mistake of buying a home that is in need of major repairs or replacements.  In line with this, you also need to know the key questions that you need to ask during the home inspection process - and I'm here to sum them up for you.

home-inspection-tips-questions-to-ask-during-home inspection

The inspector should be able to tell you if the home is in a condition that's ready for move-in, or if you still need to do some work on it.

home-inspection-tips-questions -to-ask-during-home-inspection

If the inspector tries to get work fixing the problems, you may want a second opinion.  The inspector should...

How Do You Stage a Home?

how-to-get-started-with-home-staging

How do you stage a home?  First, we must learn what home staging is.  Home staging is when your home is prepared to be sold in the real estate market.  The goal is to make your home appealing to the highest possible number of potential buyers.  In turn, you will be able to sell your home fast and for more money.

Here are some of the easiest and most effective ways for you to get started in staging your home.

home-staging-tips-an-inviting-porch

Nothing else says, "Welcome Home" more than an inviting porch!  An updated, easy-to-read house number will make sure that your house is easy to locate.  It also immediately gives an impression of a well-maintained home.

If you have a tiny stoop, a clean and cheery welcome mat will do the trick.  Add a potted plant in bloom, and you're golden!  For porches with more room, a few pieces of furniture will also make a huge difference.  A nice rocking chair, a small coffee table and some chairs, or you can also add an outdoor sofa.

home-staging tips-boost-curb-appeal

Many people thinking about touring your home will often do a drive-by first to see if your home is even worth their time.  Make sure that your home is sure onlooker-magnet with these tips:

1. Power wash sidings and walkways.
2. Give your front windows a good wash.
...