Featured Property: 237 Sunhill Court, Upper Sahali, Kamloops, B.C. $499,900

Sunhill Court, Sahali, Sold

Sunhill Court Foyer Real Estate For SaleThis beautiful 3,200 square foot two storey home Sunhill Court Living Room Home For Salewith a full basement is located in a cul-de-sac in desirable upper Sahali. This home has three bedrooms on the top floor and one in the basement. There are two full bathrooms, one two piece bathroom and one three piece ensuite.The master Sunhill Court Kitchen Sahali Real Estatebedroom is huge, boasting a large walk-in closet and a private balcony. There is oak hardwood floors Sunhill Court Upper Sahali Denthroughout the main floor.

Other great features include three gas fire places, built in book cases, main floor laundry,Back Yard of Sunhill Court Property Sahali two car attached garage and five appliances. Beautifully landscaped yard with lush gardens, underground sprinklers and numerous trees provide considerable privacy.

Located on the desirable Sunhill Court nearSunhill Court View of Thompson Valley to the popular Sahali Coach Hills and Albert McGowan water park. The elementary school is within walking distance and Sahali Secondary school is a short drive away.

The lower Sahali area has numerous places to shop as well as a variety of restaurants. Click here to find out more about upper and lower Sahali.

For further information about this property or any other homes for sale in the Kamloops area click here.

Canada’s Subprime Mortgage Secret

The Globe and Mail recently published an article detailing what they called “Canada’s dirty subprime secret”. They looked into over 10,000 Canadian foreclosure proceedings and uncovered a subprime mortgage problem that many (including PM Stephen Harper) claimed does not exist in Canada. Here are some of the main points of the article. Some readers claim the article is fear-mongering and exaggerating the situation while other readers claim that we haven’t seen anything yet. I will let you form your own opinions.  I would love to hear what you think. You can view the entire article by clicking the link at the end of this post.

– Data from both B.C. and Alberta governments and two private companies that specialize in tracking foreclosure proceedings show that lenders are foreclosing on homes at an “alarming rate”.
– More than half of foreclosures in 2008 were initiated by a number of subprime lenders who targeted riskier borrowers with poor credit histories.
– Thousands of homeowners borrowed more than they could afford and lenders lent money too easily.
– The number of unsold homes in Canadian cities is building which has ultimately depressed the value of homes of even people who haven’t overextended themselves.
– Canada does not report court ordered sales or foreclosure numbers like the USA which uses the data to gauge it’s economic health. In Canada it is hard to get these detailed numbers.
– In B.C. and Alberta private companies collect foreclosure data from the courts. Ontario handles their foreclosures through a process known as “power-of-sale which effectively removed the issue from the courts and shielded the scope of the problem”.
– Canada’s real estate sector has not suffered as much as the USA.
– It was common in the past couple years to hear companies who had relaxed lending practices state “We say yes when the banks say no” and “No income verification”.
– We do have a subprime problem in Canada, lenders significantly reduced their lending standards over the past five years.
– Vancouver courts are overwhelmed with the flood of foreclosure applications. It now takes six weeks to process an order vs. one day six months ago.
– Subprime lenders “trashed the market”. These lenders gave loans that no sound financial institution would touch.
– Many wealthy individulas offered private high-interest-rate mortgages to homeowners who already had high debt and are now foreclosing on the properties at lower values than projected.
– Canadian government agencies don’t publish numbers on the scope of high-risk lending also banks and other mortgage lenders don’t disclose details about these loans know as “non-conforming” loans.
– Until the early 2000’s: subprime mortgage lending was often done by private investors or mortgage lenders who would take a gamble and charge high interest rates to home buyers who didn’t meet conservative lending requirements. This was a very small percentage of mortgage lending.
– Mid 2000’s: this small percentage mortgage lending changed into the fastest growing segment of the country’s mortgage market. This brought aggressive U.S. mortgage lenders to the Canadian real estate market which happened predominantly in the west.
– The mentality was as long as real estate values continued to increase the lenders were not taking on a high amount of risk because they could always foreclose homes and sell at a profit.
– Aggressive U.S. mortgage insurers that were approved by the Canadian federal government in 2006. These mortgage newcomers further minimized their risk by selling mortgages to entities that sold securities backed by mortgages to investors.
– Benjamin Tal, an economist with CIBC world markets was one of the first to sound the alarm. He published a report in late 2006 that estimated subprime loans were growing at a “meteoric” annual rate of 50 per cent by the end of 2006, becoming the fastest growing segment of Canada’s mortgage market.
– In 2006, Mr. Tal estimated more than 85,000 Canadian homeowners had subprime loans.
– Late 2007 easy money and soaring real estate prices tempted many borrowers and lenders into viewing homes as cash machines. Numerous second and third mortgages at high rates of interest were taken out to fund a lifestyle that was not financially responsible.

Link

Kamloops Real Estate Open House Weekend: March 14 & 15, 2009, North & South Kamloops & Juniper Heights

Open houses this weekend will be in North Kamloops, South Kamloops and Juniper Heights.

Saturday, March 14th: 693 St. Paul Street, South Kamloops: 11:30-1:00

693 St. Paul Street, South Kamloops2+1 bedroom, 1 bathroom Bungalow. One of the cheapest single family homes in the area. Den and bedroom in the basement. Bring your updating ideas. $214,900

 

Saturday, March 14th: 625 Windsor Street, North Kamloops: 2:00-3:00

Windsor Street, North Kamloops Real Estate3+2 bedroom home in quiet area of North Kamloops. Close to elementary school and river’s trail. Main floor has all been extensively updated. 2 bedroom suite in basement. $289,900

 

Sunday, March 15th: #22-2050 Qu’appelle Blvd, Juniper Heigts: 12:00-1:15

Qu'appelle Blvd Juniper Ridge Home for Sale4 bedroom 2 full bathroom Juniper Heights town home. Newer kitchen, open design and private patio off of the living room. Two car garage. $289,900

 

Sunday, March 15th: 1969 Kechika Drive, Juniper Heights: 1:30-3:00

1969 Kechika Juniper Heights Home For Sale

Beautiful family home with 3 bedrooms and two dens plus 3 full bathrooms. Two car garage, large kitchen and fully fenced yard. Immaculate home. $489,900

To view more listings in Kamloops and Area click here.

B.C.’s Real Estate Sales Are Half What They Were A Year Ago

Here is an article published today by Derrick Penner of the Vancouver Sun.

Sales in British Columbia’s real estate market so far in 2008 are about half of what they were a year ago, although the pace has risen from a particularly dismal low point, according to the British Columbia Real Estate Association.

In February, B.C. recorded 3,653 sales through the Multiple Listing Service, down almost 47 per cent from February 2008. The average property price of $421,023 was down 12 per cent. Over the first two months, B.C. saw 5,768 sales, down 51 per cent from the same period in 2008. The pace of sales, however, increased 17 per cent in February, association economist Cameron Muir said in an interview, to a seasonally-adjusted annualized rate of 47,000 sales from the low of 40,200 units in January.

Recreation-oriented markets such as the Okanagan, Kamloops, Kootenays and Vancouver Island — which boomed in recent years due to an influx of wealthy Alberta buyers — are seeing some of the steepest declines. “That’s not surprising,” Muir said. “Recreational-property and investment buying decisions are much more easily put off.” Alberta is suffering its own economic contraction with consequent job losses, and Muir said Albertans have seen their property markets and values decline, curbing their enthusiasm for discretionary purchases.

The Okanagan Mainline board, which includes Kelowna, saw 230 MLS sales in February, down 60 per cent from the same month a year ago. The region’s average price of $276,776 was down 28 per cent from February 2008.

In Kamloops, MLS sales plummeted by almost 60 per cent to 92 units compared with the same month a year ago. There, the average price was down almost 14 per cent to $277,088.

The South Okanagan board, which includes the summer hot spots of Osoyoos and Penticton, saw sales drop almost 59 per cent to 61 units in February. The average price dipped just over 10 per cent to $283,634.

Vancouver Island saw its sales dip almost 50 per cent to 328 units compared with February 2008. The average price was down just over 11 per cent to $291,085.

Muir said that given the weakness of B.C.’s economy, he would expect real-estate sales levels to be similar to those during the downturn of the late 1990s. He said that means there is room for more activity in the market from current levels, which mirror the recession of the early 1980s. He said buyers are being drawn in by declining prices, and low mortgage rates have helped reduce the carrying cost of an average home to a three-year low. However, Muir still expects 2009 sales to drop from 2008 levels and has forecast that the decline will be about nine per cent. “A rebound in home sales [in 2009] over past highs is not on the radar,” Muir added.

Kamloops Real Estate: How To Determine Your Homes Value

Kamloops Home Evaluation & AppraisalThere are many reasons for a seller to want to sell their home, but the main goals are to sell it fast and for the highest price possible. It is important that before you list your home on the real estate market that you establish a list price. To figure out your homes value, you don’t base it on what you bought your home for or how you have improved or renovated your home. The value of a home is solely based on market value or simply what a buyer would pay for the home. “Market value is the price at which a particular house, in its current condition, will sell within 30 to 90 days.” Three things make up market value: The specific Home, the present condition of the home and what it will sell for in 30-90 days.

The best way to determine the value of a home is to either get an appraisal or a comparative market analysis (CMA). Appraisals must be conducted by a certified appraiser and a CMA is conducted by a Realtor. Each assessment is based on recent sales of comparable properties, location, construction / upgrade quality, floor plan, and distance to schools, shopping and transportation etc. A CMA is free of charge on the other hand an appraisal commonly costs between $300 and $500.

Specific Home:  Market value of a home is limited to the specific home. Often homes in different neighbourhoods in the city are not comparable because there are many factors that are different about each neighbourhood. This is why when considering the value of a home you have to compare it to similar homes in the same neighbourhood.

Present condition of the Home:  The second aspect in order to determine the market value is the condition of the home. Often the condition is referred to how the home “shows”. Things like improvements, renovations, maintenance and cleanliness are important factors to consider when assessing your home’s ability to show well. Homes that require work typically take longer to sell. Some people believe that to determine market value they subtract the amount of estimated fix up costs from the selling price. This is not the correct way to evaluate a home. If a home that is in good condition sells for $100,000 and your home needs $5,000 in updates the list price should not be $95,000. To attract buyers, the home that needs updates has to be reduced beyond the cost of the repairs.

30 to 90 days:  A competitively priced home typically sells within 30 to 90 days. If a home doesn’t sell in that time period, the simple explanation is the price is too high. Many people believe that Realtors are in charge of market value, but the only determining factor of a home sale, is that a buyer is willing to buy that home at the agreed price, plain and simple.  We are experiencing a slow market currently in Kamloops. Homes are taking longer to sell, but homes that are priced competitively do sell within this time period.

It is important to get a number of professional opinions about the current real estate market. It is essential to get educated about market conditions, recent sales in your neighbourhood, condition of the home, your urgency to sell, financing, additional items (i.e. redecorating allowance, appliances), and outstanding repairs. In a buyers market, there are many more homes for sale than the demand from buyers. Buyers take more time choosing a home and when they place an offer they have much more negotiating power.

Price is the most important factor to consider when selling your home. An overpriced home will sit on the market and may not sell. Price reductions are not a bad thing, think of a price reduction as a market adjustment. Sellers need to adjust their price to what the  market dictates. If a seller prices too high to begin with, the seller may receive less than if the home was priced competitively in the beginning.  Currently many sellers in Kamloops are chasing the market down. As they adjust their price downwards they are only pricing to the current level of the market. In order to sell your home today, you have to price it under the curve and catch the buyers as the market adjusts downwards.

Kamloops Home Evaluation Interested in finding out what your home is worth? Click here to find out. Contact me directly if you have any questions.

Mortgage Rates: Time To Get Pre-approved or Rethink Your Mortgage

This article is from the Vancouver Sun written by Fiona Anderson. Many Kamloops residents are getting great rates on their mortgages; both refinance and pre-approval rates. Now many first time buyers have a chance to own a home. Read below for the full article.

Have a fixed-rate mortgage at 4.5 per cent or higher? Then you should be refinancing, says Steve Moffitt, senior mortgage consultant with Equimac Mortgage Centre in Vancouver. “There’s never been a better opportunity historically, never, for doing a refinancing, ” he adds.

If only it were that simple. In fact, determining whether you should refinance or not depends largely on the penalty you will pay to get out of your current mortgage, and the amount of money you could save with a new one.

The first part of the equation — the penalty — is not easy to calculate. Most fixed-term mortgages charge the greater of three months’ interest or what’s called the “interest differential.” This latter amount is the difference between the interest you would have paid for the remainder of your mortgage term and the amount the bank can earn lending out the money now.So if you have a five-year mortgage at 5.25 per cent with three years left to go, and the bank’s current three-year rate is 4.5 per cent, you’ll have to pay the difference.

Often the amount of the penalty is about the same as the savings to the borrower, “so it’s a wash,” says Feisal Panjwani, a senior mortgage consultant with Invis. Moffitt’s magic number of 4.5 per cent uses the penalty of three months’ interest, which he says he sees often. But which penalty will apply really depends on the particular mortgage. So both Panjwani and Moffitt encourage people to ask their mortgage professional to crunch the numbers for them.

The current best five-year fixed-rate available is 4.19 per cent for most borrowers, Panjwani says. And he believes the rate could go as low as 3.99 per cent in the near future. The best variable rate is the prime lending rate set by the banks plus 0.8 percentage points, which today translates into 3.3 per cent. With rates that low, everyone who currently is paying 4.5 per cent or higher should probably do the math because there could be thousands of dollars in savings.

One way to save may be switching from a fixed- to a variable-rate mortgage, because with the variable rate so low, the savings are more likely to outpace the penalty costs, Panjwani says. But because the rate does change, “that’s risky,” he adds.

Some people are refinancing their mortgages not for the savings but rather to lock in today’s low rates for five years, Panjwani says. For example, if someone has three years left in their mortgage term, they may not save any money in the first three years of the new mortgage because of the penalty. But they have guaranteed today’s rate for two years after that. Keep in mind, however, that there are costs associated with refinancing that have to be added to the equation, Panjwani says.

One group of borrowers who need not worry about refinancing are those who were already in variable-rate mortgages. In the past, those rates were calculated as prime less a premium, and some outstanding mortgages chop off as much as 0.9 percentage points. With prime now at 2.5 per cent, those people are paying 1.6-per-cent interest. That number can’t be beat, especially considering prime could go down even further. “Anyone on a variable floating below prime, I would say those people should probably hang onto that mortgage,” Panjwani says.

The low mortgage rates also have buyers knocking on lenders’ doors. Last month, 40 per cent of Panjwani’s business came from purchasers rather than those looking to refinance. While the split is normally 50-50 between the two, in the last few months only about 20 per cent were purchases, he says.

Carolyn Heaney, an area manager with BMO Bank of Montreal’s business development group, says her bank has seen a lot more first-time homebuyers. The combination of low mortgage rates and lower prices means people who have wanted to live in a particular area but couldn’t afford it now can, she says.

At the current variable mortgage rate, a $200,000 mortgage with a 25-year amortization, would have payments of about $980 a month, she says. At a fixed rate of 4.39 per cent, the payments would be about $1,100. “So it’s very affordable for people to get into the market,” Heaney says.

Kamloops Real Estate Open House Weekend: March 7 & 8, 2009, Aberdeen, North Kamloops & Juniper Heights

Open houses this weekend will be in Aberdeen, North Kamloops and Juniper Heights.

 Saturday, March 7th: 625 Windsor Ave, North Kamloops: 11:30-12:30

Windsor Street, North Kamloops Real Estate3+2 bedroom home in quiet area of North Kamloops. Close to elementary school and river’s trail. Main floor has all been extensively updated. 2 bedroom suite in basement. $289,900

 

Saturday, March 7th: 2410 Abbeyglen Way, Aberdeen: 1:00-2:30

2410 Abbeyglen Way AberdeenLarge, fully finished basement entry in Aberdeen home with 5 bedrooms, den & 3 full bathrooms. Living room, family room and formal dining room on the main floor. Fenced yard. 2 gas fireplaces, central air, central vac & underground sprinklers. $398,000

Saturday, March 7th: 22-2050 Qu’appelle Blvd, Juniper Ridge: 3:00-4:00

Qu'appelle Blvd Juniper Ridge Home for Sale4 bedroom 2 full bathroom Juniper Heights town home. Newer kitchen, open design and private patio off of the living room. Two car garage. $289,900

 

Sunday, March 8th: 1969 Kechika Street, Juniper Heights: 12:00-2:00

Kechika Juniper Heights Home for Sale

Beautiful family home with 3 bedrooms and two dens plus 3 full bathrooms. Two car garage, large kitchen and fully fenced yard. Immaculate home. $489,900

To view more listings in Kamloops and Area click here.

More Canadians Plan To Buy A Home: Study Conducted By Ipsos Reid

Here is an article written by Becky Rynor of the Financial Post. She summarizes a survey conducted by Ipsos Reid that details Canadians’ feelings about the current real estate market. It would be interesting to find out how Kamloops residents feel about the current real estate market here in our city.  I would love to hear your opinion. Read below for the full article.

Most Canadians believe it is a home buyers market, with more first-timers planning on purchasing their own homes, according to a study released today by Royal Bank of Canada. “The current economic environment does not appear to have dampened Canadians’ overall confidence in the housing market,” says Royal Bank spokeswoman Karen Leggett. “Canadians continue to have an overwhelming belief in the long-term value of a home and we’re seeing this in the buying intentions of many first time home buyers this year.”

In its 16th annual RBC home ownership survey, 65% of Canadians said they believe it’s a buyer’s market, with 27% saying they intend to buy a new home over the next two years. RBC says that’s up from 23% in 2008.

The survey, conducted by Ipsos Reid, shows that almost half of respondents, 48%, said it makes sense to buy a home now instead of waiting until next year.

Younger Canadians, those under 35 years old, are most likely to spark an upsurge in homes sales, with 48% saying they plan to buy a home. That’s up sharply from 36% last year. And even renters want to get in on the action: 38% of them want to buy in the next two years.

“Low mortgage rates and favourable housing prices are influencing home purchase intentions this year and may be the reason why more Canadians are poised to purchase over the next two years,” RBC says.

A large majority of Canadians, 83%, remain positive that home ownership is a good investment. That is down slightly from 85% in 2008 and from the all-time high of 90% in 2006. Fifty-four percent of respondents said they believe house prices will be lower in 2009, a substantial change from 31% in 2008.

Nationally, respondents in Alberta expressed most interest (35%) in buying. Quebec was lowest at 22%. Those in British Columbia believed most that now is a buyer’s market (78%), compared with Saskatchewan/Manitoba, where only 34% believe so.

In Ontario, home-buying intentions have increased over past year, with 30% saying they are likely to purchase a home within the next two years. That’s up from 21% in 2008.

The online survey of 2,026 adults was conducted between Jan. 6 and 9, 2009. Ipsos Reid said the results are accurate to within plus or minus 2.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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