Sunday, August 26, 2018

Sellers Were Asking: Our Four Legged Friends

Our Four Legged Friends

Pet, companion, guardian or fur-baby... whatever you call them, we can't forget about them when it comes to showing your home!  Having an animal in the home during showings can have an impact not only on how your home is shown but on the animals themselves.  You'd be surprised how different your furry friend acts when there are strangers around and you aren't!  

We'd hate to see Buddy dart out the front door or Fluffy hiding under the bed for a week!  We know, it's unrealistic to rush home during a work day to take them out, so, we find the best solution is to have a loved one care for them for a few days or so to minimize the stress on you both.  

With that said, if your pet(s) will be home during showings, please let us know and we will advise agents accordingly.

Here are some friendly reminders for selling a pet-friendly home:
  • Be courteous to allergies and fears, particularly large dogs... please crate pets whenever possible if not removing altogether for showing appointments. 
  • Remove unnecessary evidence of your pets... put away food and bowls when not feeding, toys should be put away or limited to within a crate, dog beds out of sight, etc.
  • Remember to keep litter boxes clean and tidy as often as possible. 
  • During warmer months be sure to keep your yard free of 'landmines!'
  • Pet hair should be vacuumed or swept as often as possible.
  • Repair any damage from your pets ahead of listing your home on the market. 
  • Be conscious that pets can bring an odour... cleaning carpets, mopping floors and even a small bowl of vinegar hidden in the room they occupy the most can help remove smells without masking with heavy scents!
We know it takes a little extra effort, but, try to keep in mind it is all temporary!  Once your home is SOLD you and your pets can return to your everyday life. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Buyers Were Asking: Could You Pass the Test?

Could You Pass the Test?

By now, you’ve likely heard the buzz about the ‘Mortgage Stress Test’. If you haven’t, it came into effect January of this year. The new rules mean that ALL homebuyers in Canada (including those refinancing or switching lenders) will need to prove they can maintain mortgage payments should they be faced with a rate hike in the near future.

Just beginning your search or about to renew your mortgage? You might be wondering, ‘how will I be tested?’ Well! You’ll have to qualify with your lender at the higher of either the Bank of Canada’s 5-year benchmark rate (5.34% May 2018), or, the rate your bank is currently offering plus 2%.

So how does this translate to those of you faced with the stress test? You may be required to pay down other debts to qualify. These might be car loans, lines of credit or credit card balances. Those who pass may be faced with a rude awakening when your home search parameters are vastly affected. Your price bracket might need to be lowered, which may mean looking at smaller homes, homes in a different neighbourhood...or an entirely different city then planned.

Whether you’re faced with the test or not, it might be good practice
to self-stress test! It’s simple - just take the principal on your current
mortgage and apply either the benchmark rate, or, your current rate +
2% to see how your payments are affected. A four year fixed rate mortgage for $400K at 3.89% translates to $2,144 monthly. Now, stress test that by changing out the 3.89 to 5.89% and you’re talking monthly payments of $2,597...over $450 more per month...over $5,400 per year.

Not sure where this leaves you in your home ownership goals? We’re happy to help. We can put you in touch with our most trusted mortgage brokers who’ll help guide you through the process!