Terri Stephens | 403-827-4663

 


Whether you've missed only a single mortgage payment, multiple payments, or you are a week away from losing your home, you're not too late.

WE CAN STILL HELP!

Foreclosure can be a very scary and sensitive situation but can be resolved easily and in a timely manner when dealing with the right people. There is a lot of corruption, intimidation, and false information provided to people when they are going through the foreclosure process. We are here to give you honest facts and to help you stop the foreclosure process.


The foreclosure process takes place as follows:

  1. Your mortgager/bank/lender will hire a law firm to sue you for the full amount owing on your mortgage.
  2. The law firm will file a claim against you for that amount, and will make an application at the court to re-possess your home. The court will generally grant you a redemption period, in which you need to come up with the entire amount owing. This period ranges anywhere between 1-6 months, depending on the equity and occupancy of the home.
  3. Once the redemption period has passed, the bank's lawyer will go back to court and obtain an order from the judge to transfer the property to the bank's name, at which point you will be removed from your house and they will list it for sale with their own agents.
  4. Once the property is sold, the bank will pay out all the legal fees (which can accumulate to anywhere between $8,000-$20,000), as well as commissions to their agents involved in the sale. If these expenses exceed the sale price of the home, you will receive a bill for the difference. This is usually a substantial amount of money that most people cannot pay, and they are then forced to file for bankruptcy.
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From CIR REALTY President 
 
I'm happy to report that we continue to outperform the overall market (CREB). For September 2016 CREB's total sales were up 2.06% compared with 2015. CIR's total sales for September was up 7.80%. For the year-to-date picture, CREB's total sales for the first 9 months is down 8.52%. CIR's total sales for the first 9 months is up 1.0%.   
 
Congratulations to everyone at CIR for continuing to outperform the main CREB benchmark by a wide margin this year. Well done!    
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The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) recently launched a proposal that could push future Canadian mortgage rates higher.

When OSFI makes changes, it first issues a proposal that is “open for public consultation” up to a certain deadline, which in this case is October 18. But OSFI is making this proposal in the same way that I propose to my kids that they brush their teeth before bed – while technically I am asking, one way or another, it’s going to happen.

In its recently revised Capital Adequacy Requirement (CAR) Guideline, which is designed “to ensure that capital requirements continue to reflect underlying risks and developments in the financial industry”, OSFI has made allowances for increased risk at both the individual and market levels.

To account for increased market risk in future, OSFI will add a “countercyclical buffer” to its toolkit. This buffer will require lenders to put aside more capital if OSFI perceives that market risks have become unduly elevated. So, for example, if house prices continue to accelerate in hot regional markets, OSFI could increase lender capital requirements, thereby increasing the cost of the funds that are being lent out. 

Bluntly put, this buffer gives our policy makers a clever way to increase mortgage rates while leaving other interest rates unchanged, something that they see as desirable.  And while it’s true that lenders will be given a grace period of six to twelve months to raise the required capital, you can bet that they will move rates higher immediately after being notified that a countercyclical buffer will be implemented.

At the individual lender level, OSFI also reminded lenders that “credit risk insurance is a risk mitigant (guarantee) that relies on the due diligence of a mortgage originator”. To that end, if OSFI perceives that lenders have not met the agreed upon standards when underwriting insured loans, it will require them to put up more capital to account for their lack of adequate due diligence.

OSFI is effectively warning lenders that they should apply the same credit standards to loans that are backed by Canadian tax payers as they do when lending their own money. This emphasis is an attempt to address “moral hazard” risks whereby lenders loosen their standards on loans where default insurance protects them against potential loss.

There have been far more radical proposals to address moral-hazard risks of late. One idea making the rounds is the introduction of a first-loss deductible that would require lenders to participate in any losses incurred on their insured loans. While this would certainly give lenders pause before applying looser standards to insured loans, it would be difficult to superimpose this type of change on our existing default-insurance framework. For example, CIBC Deputy Chief Economist Benjamin Tal recently speculated that introducing risk sharing could both push rates higher and limit the availability of mortgage credit. As such, each of these changes would be destabilizing.

Canadians have grown accustomed to reading headlines about housing-bubbles with their morning coffee but these warnings have grown increasingly ominous of late, even by our own jaded standards. Our still relatively new federal government is facing increased pressure to do something, and thus far, their handling of the housing file remains an open question.

Will they be satisfied with allowing OSFI to continue with its existing oversight and to add to its toolkit as needed, while allowing regional markets to implement area-specific policies to address local imbalances such as the new Vancouver real-estate tax on foreign investment? Or will they implement more radical reforms that might play better at the ballot box but come with a greater risk of unintended consequences? Time will tell (and I will be watching for you).

Five-year Government of Canada bond yields rose three basis points last week, closing at 0.74% on Friday. Five-year fixed-rate mortgages are available in the 2.29% to 2.39% range, depending on the terms and conditions that are important to you, and five-year fixed-rate pre-approvals are offered at about 2.49%.

Five-year variable-rate mortgages are available in the prime minus 0.40% to prime minus 0.50% range, which translates into rates of 2.20% to 2.30% using today’s prime rate of 2.70%.

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MLS C4084133

 

Panorice Mountain Views - just listed  1950 square foot 10 foot ceilings walk out bungalow with finished lower level

 

4 bedrooms if you wish, or make into an offer or personal gym.

 

In Floor Heat

Air Conditioned

Heated Garage

Upper Main floor laundery

5 Piece Ensuite

Hardwood flooring

open concept

3 sided fireplace

built in cabinets

Murphy bed

Front Covered Porch

Large West Facing deck - Mountain views

 

 

This home is loaded and Ready for you

 

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what are you dressing up for Halloween...........

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Pet Friendly Realtor® - working hard to find YOU the right home along with your fur babies. 

- which condos are pet friendly

-city rules on pets 

-bylaws for pets

-cost for pet licenses

-mobile Vet recommendations


Allow me to help you find YOUR next home for the entire family


call:  403.827.4663


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I met a wonderful lady by the name of Jocelyne from Moncton who was at a conference I was attending in Toronto.  

To my surprise and delight - I recieved a card just to say hello - and how she enjoyed meeting me and her take away from the conference.  

I so enjoy attending Conferences for this alone, I met someone who I can refer to for Moncton in the future.  

I also have met someone who is growing her business - who has challenges and victories just like me.  Thanks Jocelyne - Royal Le Page Atlantic 

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Home buyers are flocking to Airdrie. 


Recent stats show an influx of buyers coming from Calgary to consider living in Airdrie.


With very limited inventory, homes are selling fast.  Some in a matter of days.


Looking for a home in this kind of market can be challenging.  With more buyers looking at the same home - you have to be prepared to get into a mulitple offer situation.


Having lived in Airdrie 17 years - will help with this - I know the communities and the history of homes here.


Having all your ducks in a row will help too.  Need mortgage advice, get qualified or just need to get some sound information - I have you covered.


Give me a jingle or text - would love to chat  403.827.4663

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There are 147 properties for sale in Airdrie today


126 are single family homes  


86 Homes have sold in the last 30 days


we have less than one month of inventory on the market


over 70% of the home's statistically to sell in the next 30 days


Market Condition:  Sellers


Average List Price: $ 398,257.000


Average Sold Price:  $393,485.00


Average Days on Market:  42


Average list to sale price ratio:  98.8%


Property priced at market value will attract more buyers than a home prived above market value.  Consider that a competitively priced property will also attract a greater number of potential buyers and increase your opportunity for a quick sale.


Sellers can take a slightly more agressive approach to pricing but it's not recommmened to step out of the realm of realsitic. Due to inventory being limited buyers may be more willing to over the unique/uncommon features that they generally may not need.  Or wait for spring 2014.  


Terri  403-827-4663

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DINING OUT

When Albertans aren’t working or playing, we have a record-breaking appetite for dining out.

In August, spending at restaurants and bars in Alberta reached a new record high of $685-million (adjusted for seasonality), according to Statistics Canada. That builds on the previous high of $678-million set in July. And, the trend is ongoing. Over the last 12 months, spending is 6.3 per cent higher than the previous 12-month period.

On a per person basis, diners in Wild Rose Country spent around $170 per person in August on food and drinks outside the home, which is about $37 more than the average Canadian (see chart).

What explains this dramatic difference? The most significant factor is income. Albertans earn, on average, $1,117 dollars per week—about 20 per cent more than the average $918 earned across the country. Higher income means more dollars available for discretionary purchases.

But there are also less positive factors behind the flurry of spending. Albertans may be facing higher menu prices. It’s rare not to hear someone gripe about the cost of a standard burger and pint of beer. Albertans also work more hours each week than other Canadians, which may leave us strapped for time. Grabbing take-out food on the way home or a sandwich in the food court may be less about choice, and more about having little available time to cook or pack lunches. 

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Close the purchase


Your offer has been accepted and you can't wait to move in. But don't break out the bubbly just yet. You have to close the deal. Your REALTOR® and lawyer will do most of the closing work, but here's your checklist.



Immediately begin satisfying any conditions of the agreement that require action on your part. Your REALTOR® can fill out the documents stating that the conditions have been satisfied.Have your lawyer begin searching title to the property. This can take a while, so make sure you allow ample time


Well before closing, get your homeowner's insurance to be effective on your closing date. Your insurance broker will give you a 'binder' letter certifying that you're covered.


You can't get a mortgage without this letter! 


Contact your lender and have them finalize your mortgage documents.


Have your lawyer review them before you sign.


Your lawyer will transfer essential utilities like hydro and water, but you'll have to make sure telephone and cable companies switch their services to your name.

(your realtor can also help you with names of utility providers & numbers)


If you rent, give notice to your landlord or sublease your apartment.


Begin planning your big move!


Where are those cardboard boxes?

(ask your Realtor they may have a contact for boxes)


Send out your change of address information and fill out a card at the post office.  (do this in advance if you can)


Contact the Ministry of Transport about changing your driver's licenses. 

* new address 

 


Walk through your new home one more time with your REALTOR®.

* ensure this is writen into the purchase contract 


A day or two before closing, you'll meet with your lawyer to sign the closing documents.


Your lawyer will tell you in advance what certified cheques you'll need to seal the deal.

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Get a Mortgage Pre-Approval

It’s a very good idea to get a pre-approved mortgage before you start shopping. Many realtors will ask if you’ve been approved. A lender will look at your finances and figure the amount of mortgage you can afford. Then the lender will give you a written confirmation, or certificate, for a fixed interest rate. This confirmation will be good for a specific period of time. A pre-approved mortgage is not a guarantee of being approved for the mortgage loan.

Even if you haven’t found the home you want to buy, having a pre-approved mortgage amount will help keep a good price range in mind.

Bring these with you the first time you meet with a lender:

  • Your personal information, including identification such as your driver's license
  • Details on your job, including confirmation of salary in the form of a letter from your employer
  • All your sources of income
  • Information and details on all bank accounts, loans and other debts
  • Proof of financial assets
  • Source and amount of down payment and deposit
  • Proof of source of funds to cover the closing costs (these are usually between 1.5% and 4% of the purchase price)
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Workin' hard for the money 

The Owl examined median family income earlier this week and showed that Albertans earn considerably more than households elsewhere in Canada. But just how many hours are spent each week at work to bring home those big paycheques?

In July, the average employee in Alberta worked approximately 32.2 hours, including overtime, a week, which is 5.9 per cent longer than the national average. According to Statistics Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador came in a close second at 32 hours, while workers in British Columbia had the shortest week, clocking 29.6 hours.

Perhaps even more interesting is how the workweek has changed over the last ten years. Albertans now work an extra hour and 20 minutes—or 4.2 per cent longer—than they did in July, 2003. That’s the second highest rate of increase among the provinces. Yet, across the country, the average employee worked about 30 minutes less per week over the same 10-year period.

The fact that Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador have the longest workweek is a reflection of the strong economies and the amount of overtime required. However, employees in New Brunswick rank third for working long hours even though the province has a high unemployment rate of 10.7 per cent. Employers may be requesting more overtime to avoid hiring more workers.

While logging a lot of hours at the office may be a badge of honour to some Albertans, it comes with distinct drawbacks. Workplace stress and illness may also be rising. The most productive employees are those who can balance work and life most appropriately—and for some that might mean working less. 

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One conversation with the man the bedding industry has dubbed the “Wizard of Ahhs” is all it takes to be convinced that with his mattress-design expertise he can and will solve the greatest sleep discomfort.


“Mattress making is like cooking to taste: We have the idea and we make the first rendition and we keep remaking and tweaking it until it's perfect,” Earl S. Kluft, owner of the luxury bedding brand E.S. Kluft & Co., told FoxNews.com.

Priced at $33,000, Kluft’s Palais Royale bed, sold exclusively at Bloomingdale’s, is his hand-tailored take on the 1940s “Rolls Royce” of mattresses -- the “Aireloom.”


Bloomingdale’s wanted to develop an “ultra-premium bed” and tapped Kluft to design “a line that would accommodate their customers’ affluent lifestyles,” he said.

The Palais Royale features monogrammed handles and more than 10 lbs. of cashmere, mohair and Joma wool. Inside the mattress, layers of Talalay latex and certified organic cotton felt allow for airflow, while thousands of hand-sewn cotton-wrapped steel springs give it a strong support.


“This mattress is fabulous!” reads a costumer review by looking4comfort on Bloomingdales.com. Another customer, Balzacnyc, writes, “This is far and away the most comfortable mattress I’ve ever tried.”

With his mattresses he aims to merge exclusivity and accessibility. The goal is to get consumers hooked on the brand, so that they stay loyal and eventually graduate from the “entry-level” mattresses offered to the pricier models.

Kluft is a third-generation mattress maker. In 2004, he founded the company hoping to revitalize Aireloom luxury mattresses -- a beloved American mattress brand.


What distinguishes from other luxury mattress makers -- think Sealy Posturepedic, Shifman, Tempur-Pedic, Stearns & Foster -- is that it is a very basic design handcrafted with top quality products.

“It’s not designed in mass based on a single test,” Kluft said.

For those who can’t afford Kluft’s higher-end beds, there’s a new design, the “Aireloom Aspire,” which starts at $1,999, also at Bloomingdale’s. He compares it to Mercedes-Benz’s C Class.

The Aspire Collection will be available in three models. Each mattress is finished with a unique heavy-weight, double-knit cover, and features a stylish chenille fabric.

Kluft promises that once you try one of these beds, “you won’t want to sleep on anything else.”

For more information visit KluftMattress.com.

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Terri Stephens 

CIR REALTY

403.827.4663

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Calgary

Throughout 2013, Calgary has led Canada’s upper-end real estate market in nearly every category.


Calgary ended the summer with a strong finish and experts predict sales momentum to continue into fall, as resale and rental inventory remains tight. Strong employment and migration numbers reflecting the city’s continued economic health will drive demand- it is estimated that for every 300 square feet of new office space created, an additional person is added to downtown Calgary.


The high number of executive level jobs created will continue to fuel demand for top-tier real estate specifically, as newcomers take advantage of the city’s relatively affordable real estate market to “buy up”.


In spite of the floods experienced by the city this summer, there is not enough data to date to show any long-term impact on the housing market, particularly in the high-end.

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According to Statistics Canada, about one-quarter of Canadians are spending too much on housing costs. “Too much” is defined by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) as 30% or more of household income. Are you house rich and cash poor?


First off, it’s important to understand what CMHC’s “household income” refers to in order to measure if you are over or under the suggested 30% threshold. They define household income as pre-tax household income, which is a questionable metric due to our tax code.


We have a graduated tax system in Canada where every taxpayer files their own tax return, so there can be a big difference in after-tax income between two households with identical household incomes. A household where two people are earning $50,000 each in Ontario, for example, has after-tax income of about $75,840. A household where one person is earning $100,000 – the same gross income as the $50,000 times 2 household – has only $69,841 of after-tax income. That’s a difference of about 8%, so not immaterial.


What are “housing costs”? According to CMHC, these costs include rent and utilities for renters. For homeowners, included are mortgage payments, property taxes, condo fees and utilities.


Several factors are ignored by the 30% rule of thumb. What if a couple has two cars and they drive long distances to work, so transportation costs are higher than a couple with no cars? What if they have kids? They’re not cheap either.

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Airdrie has seen more sales this summer than in recent years.


With limited inventory - buyers are out there 


Call Today 

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Ottawa’s latest housing crackdown has some wondering — why now?

  

By Garry Marr, Financial Post August 7, 2013

 

 Last week, realtors in both Vancouver and Toronto released results showing a strengthening market. Toronto July sales were up 16% from a year ago and Vancouver 40%.

The latest tightening of mortgage rules might come down to a couple of thousand dollars for the average Canadian consumer but that still has many wondering why Ottawa is cracking down once again on housing.

Don Lawby, chief executive of Century 21 Canada, said if the latest changes raise borrowing costs, housing is going to get more expensive.

“In the eyes of the government, housing must be out of control again, but I don’t see it,” he said, adding the warning, “if you push hard enough, there will be a correction.”

CMHC has notified banks, credit unions and other mortgage lenders that they will each be restricted to a maximum of $350-million of new guarantees this month under its National Housing Act Mortgage-Backed Securities (NHA MBS) program.

The federal Crown corporation was given authority to guarantee up to $85-billion this year under the program — of which about $66-billion was committed by the end of July and approaching the total of $76-billion in all of 2012.

Ultimately, the limit will increase bank funding costs because insured mortgages held on balance sheets under the NHA MBS are easier to securitize. More expensive funding will just be passed on to homeowners.

The move comes as the housing market has shown some nascent signs of taking off again. Last week, realtors in both Vancouver and Toronto released results showing a strengthening market. Toronto July sales were up 16% from a year ago and Vancouver 40%.

Rob McLister, editor of Canadian Mortgage Trends, downplayed the latest changes and said they amount to about 20 basis points or 0.2% percentage points on a five-year mortgage.

“At that rate it’s $1,900 on a five-year fixed rate, $200,000 mortgage. It’s real dollars and cents to most consumers but I don’t think it’s going to have a real dampening effect on credit,” he said.

Mr. McLister said he has heard that some larger lenders were asking for big guarantees on some of their pools “and that made the powers that be nervous” and led to the crackdown.

The decision likely has been dictated by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, whose department took control of the program after recent changes to the National Housing Act.

Mr. Flaherty in the past has expressed concern about the housing market being overheated, and has tightened mortgage rules on four occasions. His department even got directly involved in the lending market, discouraging the major banks from engaging in a rate war that lowered five-year fixed mortgages below 3%.

Peter Routledge, an analyst with National Bank who says the latest changes could add anywhere from 0.15% to 0.45% percentage points to the mortgage rates, said he’s been expecting more changes but not right away.

“I thought with the changes they made last fall, that they were done,” said Mr. Routledge. “I’m a bit surprised by the timing. I’m surprised they didn’t wait for a couple of more months of data.”

He also wonders whether Ottawa is reacting to the past mortgage rate wars that occurred in March. “There was the price war. Put yourself in the government’s shoes as a stakeholder. About 62% of residential credit is insured. Who is holding the bag if it goes bad? Most of the credit risk lies with the federal government,” said Mr. Routledge. “You are trying to progressively manage the flow of credit without damaging the value of the underlying collateral which is [potential] loss to the government in home prices.”

Doug Porter, chief economist with Bank of Montreal, wonders if housing statistics over the last couple of months showing sales and prices rebounding might have spooked the CMHC.

“I think this step is being taken because we have seen some signs in recent weeks that the market is not cooling as much as had been expected,” said Mr. Porter. “All the debate has been whether we will have a soft or hard landing and I would question whether the market had any landing whatsoever.”

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