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Few questions about first time buyer in Calgary

Few questions about first time buyer in Calgary

Old Aug 29th 2007, 6:37 pm
  #16  
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Default Re: Few questions about first time buyer in Calgary

Originally Posted by Underworld
I assume rates have stayed stable over there for some period of time?
No, they most certainly have not!

Based on the house next door to us that sold in the early summer of 2007 and other house sales in our neighbourhood, our house is worth three times what it was worth when we bought it in 2000.

When I joined the BE forum in early 2005, newcomers to this site were being told that Calgary was a bargain. It had the amenities of a city, was close to skiing and hiking in the Rocky Mountains, and yet provided housing that was much cheaper than the housing in Toronto and Vancouver. As 2005 slipped into 2006, that advantage started eroding, and as 2006 slipped into 2007, the advantage was completely whiped out. Calgary's house prices have overtaken Toronto's house prices, and now are second only to Vancouver's house prices.

There is a major oil boom taking place at the moment, and there is something of a gold rush mentality around here.

That was the case when we arrived in Calgary in 1977. Then there was a crash in the mid 1980s, when house prices fell dramatically. In many cases house prices dropped below the value of mortgages, and several people sold their houses for $1 just to get out from under their mortgages. In the last couple of years there has been another oil boom, and house prices have risen dramatically again. People say that this oil boom will be more sustained than the last one.

Ann m, who is one of the posters around here, can attest to the change that took place between 2005 and 2007. She and her family started researching Calgary real estate in 2005. When they actually moved earlier this year, house prices had risen dramatically, and they were much more limited in what they could buy than would have been the case if they'd been able to move in 2005.

Because of the cycles that the oil industry goes through, Alberta is a unique case, and does not necessarily follow the trends in the rest of Canada.
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Old Aug 29th 2007, 6:37 pm
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Default Re: Few questions about first time buyer in Calgary

Originally Posted by Underworld View Post
I assume rates have stayed stable over there for some period of time?
No, interest rates have been steadily rising in Canada over the last year or two. With a big deposit (35% + ) you should be able to negotiate something around 5 ¾% for a five year closed (fixed rate) mortgage at the moment. Have a look at ING Direct’s Canadian Website. Their mortgage rate should be the starting point of your negotiation with other banks.

It is possible the Bank of Canada may raise its rates again to counter inflationary pressures. This is difficult to predict because rising energy costs pushes inflation up, but the weakened US economy is taking the heat off Canada’s. Actual mortgage rates tend to follow the bond market and I don’t see any indication of lower rates just yet.
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Old Aug 29th 2007, 6:40 pm
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Default Re: Few questions about first time buyer in Calgary

Originally Posted by Underworld
I assume rates have stayed stable over there for some period of time?
Sorry, I read your message in haste, and mis-read rates as house prices. Hence my explanation of price trends in Calgary in my previous message.
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Old Aug 29th 2007, 7:54 pm
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Default Re: Few questions about first time buyer in Calgary

I personally think the morally decent thing to do is to stick with one realtor when you're buying a house. Many realtors put in hours and hours showing prospective clients around houses, only to have those clients abandon them and go with other realtors.



probably first time i've seen morally decent & realtor in the same paragraph...

i'm surprised more people don't just go directly and employ the lawyer to draw up the paperwork upon completion - which you have to do anyway

in the UK we had the equivalent of MLS , from which we could schedule viewings

i must admit the closing deal is bizarrely complicated (offer, holding deposit etc) but surely this can be done by the prospective buyer
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Old Aug 29th 2007, 7:56 pm
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Default Re: Few questions about first time buyer in Calgary

I want to add my views to Judy in Calgary’s post about realtors.

I guess we all know by now that a realtor’s services are effectively free to a first time purchaser. Sometimes we don’t always value things if they are free. Realtors in Canada are licensed, trained professionals and you can expect ethical standards – it’s a whole different experience from the UK.

Good realtors are experts in the area in which they work. This will not be a whole city, especially one the size of Calgary. Each district will probably have two or three realtors who work in that area and know it well. Drive round and look for names on “for sale” signs. Also look at the local real estate papers but the “for sale” signs are the real clue.

It is difficult to decide which Province you want to live in if you are still in the UK, never mind which city or district. A realtor will not be much help with this. If you are coming without a job offer you will have to decide on a reccie, or friends you trust. I seriously recommend renting for a year.

If you have a job to come to this is easier as your tolerance for commuting will help to define where you can live. Still keep in mind that a realtor who specializes in a district 20 minutes to the west will likely not know much about a district 20 minutes to the east.

At this point it is worth contacting realtors that work in each of the areas you have identified as possible locations. This is fine as long as you explain you are still trying to decide where to live and want to get to know each neighborhood. They can then decide how much effort they want to give you at this stage.

Once you have decided where to live, make sure you work with a realtor who really knows the area well. The realtor will know the area street by street. They will know what is to be developed and what isn’t, which are the best schools and their catchment areas, they will probably know the lousy neighbors to avoid, and can give you lots of non-PC advice if this is important to you. They will also know off the top of their head within a couple of thousand dollars what each home will sell for. This may have little relation to the listing price.

A good realtor should make the effort to get to know you and what you want so if you don’t get a good feeling from the start then back off. If you are comfortable with them make it clear that you will buy through them and you should get good, unbiased advice. They can, and do, work very hard on your behalf so unless you are given good reason you should stick with the same person. Most realtors build their business by recommendation and despite JIC’s reservations the ones I know and have worked with would much rather have a commission and a happy client next month than just a commission this month.

It is also worth bearing in mind that what goes around comes around. The very best real estate deals never make it to the MLS. If you are looking for hard to find property or a development opportunity in the future it really, really helps to have a realtor who knows it is worth going the extra mile for you.

Of course, you must get an independent inspection of a home before you buy it. This should always be a condition of purchase. However, building inspectors vary in thoroughness and expertise. The trouble is, if you a new how do you know who is good and who isn’t? Unfortunately, the person who knows best is your realtor.

Last edited by JonboyE; Aug 29th 2007 at 8:00 pm.
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Old Aug 29th 2007, 8:36 pm
  #21  
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Default Re: Few questions about first time buyer in Calgary

Originally Posted by gryphea View Post
Any news on your LMO Dobbie?
Hi Gryphea,

Finally arrived today, I will be visiting the lawyers later this afternoon....Happy days..

Total time - 16 weeks LMO application - 3 weeks WP application.....

Now for the PNP and permanent residency.......(fortunately the company is both sponsoring and paying for it )

Cheers

Dobbie
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Old Aug 29th 2007, 8:52 pm
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Default Re: Few questions about first time buyer in Calgary

Originally Posted by DOBBIE View Post
Hi Gryphea,

Finally arrived today, I will be visiting the lawyers later this afternoon....Happy days..

Total time - 16 weeks LMO application - 3 weeks WP application.....

Now for the PNP and permanent residency.......(fortunately the company is both sponsoring and paying for it )

Cheers

Dobbie
Brilliant news and very jealous as we are at 17 weeks 5 days- but it can't be long now! When do you start your new job?

Gryph
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Old Aug 30th 2007, 5:22 am
  #23  
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Default Re: Few questions about first time buyer in Calgary

Although Calgary has gone through a number of boom and bust cycles over the last 45 years there are a number of mitigating factors that will shield Calgary's economy from going completely into the shitter. Firstly, Calgary and its economy has grown to a certain critical mass that notwithstanding a downturn in the price of oil the local economy can still carry on albeit at a slower pace. Secondly, with the massive demand for oil from India and China and the instabilty in the world the price of oil will not be returning to the old prices of $10-12 a barrel any time soon, if at all.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, the biggest threat to Alberta's oil economy are potential future federal environmental laws that may throw a spanner into oilsands expansion. If that occurs look to a rather nasty constitutional battle.
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