I have asked a couple of real estate related professionals to join me on my blog. I felt that it would be beneficial to include professionals in both home inspections and mortgages to share their knowledge and expertise. These two subjects are very important and go hand in hand with real estate.
Introducing Todd Hrycenko from Global Property Inspections here in Kamloops. He will share important information a couple times a month and you are free to post any questions that you have for him here.
The big news in the home inspection industry this month is we are now provincially regulated. What this means for people buying real estate is that EVERY home inspector needs to be licensed by the Business Practices & Consumer Protection Authority of BC (BPCPA). The requirements include membership in one of three governing bodies, including the Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors of BC (CAHPI BC), possession of insurance, and a criminal records check. This is a fantastic step forward for the home inspection industry in Kamloops, British Columbia, and hopefully all of Canada as it requires all home inspectors to meet stringent educational, certification, and continuing education requirements to work in the industry. In the end legitimate, qualified, and knowledgeable home inspectors are thrilled with this development because it provides buyers of residential real estate in British Columbia with a level of protection never before seen in the industry. For more info go to the Home Inspection section of the BPCPA website.
Here are the Kamloops and District Real Estate Association latest statistics for March 2009. There definitely has been a pick up in the number of sales over this past month but it is still far from last year’s numbers. Click on the image to enlarge.
Kamloops Real Estate Comparative Analysis By Property Type March 2009
Amazing home with 180 degree Thompson Valley view. This beautiful estate home has four bedrooms and three bathrooms with over 3,000 square feet of living space. This home has a bright open design with beautiful hardwood floors and tile throughout with custom design features and incredible attention to detail. Large windows, numerous decks and and extra large double garage are all great features of this home.
When you walk in the front door the large open living room with a 18 foot ceiling offers plenty of natural light. The daylight basement in this home doesn’t feel like a basement at all. There is a bedroom, three piece bathroom, games room, theater/family room and laundry room. There is a small patio off of the games room that leads to the park-like back yard and pool.
The open design on the main floor overlooks the living room below. There is an abundance of natural light throughout the home. The large master bedroom has a three piece ensuite, boasting his and her sinks and a large soaker tub. There is a large private deck off of the master bedroom with a beautiful view of the valley. There are two other bedrooms on the main floor, a four piece bathroom with his and her sinks, a family room, formal dining room, kitchen and eating nook. Off of the family room there is a large, south facing tiered deck that leads to the back yard.
The beautifully landscaped back yard is a dream and great for entertaining family and friends. There is enough room to put a children’s playground with room to spare. The kidney shaped pool is fully fenced for safety and there is a private gazebo in the back of the yard overlooking the property. The entire property is fenced but does need to be fully enclosed for any pets.
This outstanding home is situated on a 0.48 acre lot (20,908 square feet) and is located within walking distance of the mountain bike park and playing fields. The furnace and hot water tank have just been replaced adding to the outstanding value in this home. Priced at $599,900.
This article was written by the Vancouver Sun to counter the article written earlier by the Globe and Mail. The Globe and Mail article claimed that Canada has an evolving subprime mortgage problem due to reduced lending standards over the past few years. To read the Globe and Mail article click here. What do you think about this “subprime problem” in Canada, is it just a fear-mongering or is there some truth to these theories?
A foreclosure on a family home is a heart-wrenching human tragedy. As the recession takes its toll on household income, the number of foreclosures is increasing. Fortunately, they remain relatively rare, and pose no systemic threat to Canada’s financial system, in stark contrast to the subprime mortgage meltdown that ravaged the U.S. economy. Despite what you may have read elsewhere, Canada does not have a subprime mortgage crisis. An article in a Toronto newspaper this week carried the alarming headline, Canada’s dirty subprime secret, but it offered little evidence that loans to unqualified borrowers were a secret or dirty — or for that matter, subprime.
The article focused on extreme anecdotes of homeowners using their property as collateral to get loans, and taking new loans to pay off old loans, hoping to squeeze out a profit through repeated refinancing. That hardly supports a case that Canada is awash in subprime mortgages. In fact, its only statistical defence for the thesis was a misrepresentation of a 2006 report by CIBC World Markets economist Benjamin Tal. The article stated that Tal estimated that subprime loans were growing at a “meteoric” pace of 50 per cent and that more than 85,000 Canadian homeowners had subprime loans. He did no such thing. What Tal said was that the market for non-standard and subprime mortgages was growing at that rate and that, in that year, the growth of the non-conforming market enabled no fewer than 85,000 Canadians who would otherwise have been shut out of the market to become homeowners.
Non-standard, or non-conforming mortgages, sometimes referred to as Alt.A, are not subprime. They are given to borrowers with good credit histories and have low loan-to-value ratios. However, they do not meet bank guidelines for conventional mortgages (good employment history, credit score above 700, 25 per cent down, gross debt service ratio below 30 per cent.) Subprime mortgages, on the other hand, are given to borrowers with bad credit and little or no income, have high loan-to-value ratios and often a low asset base. In the U.S., some of these loans were dubbed Ninja mortgages — no income, no job, no assets. Tal estimated that, in the U.S., those with bad credit account for only 30 per cent of the non-conforming market, but two-thirds of total losses.
Non-conforming and subprime loans represented between five and six per cent of all mortgages written in Canada in 2006, 2007 and 2008, compared with 22 per cent in the U.S., and analysts put the maximum potential at no more than 10 per cent. The federal government’s reversal of its ill-considered loosening of insuring criteria governing the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. and the general credit tightening globally will likely keep the share of the market below that potential.
As the housing bubble inflated, U.S. subprime lenders began to aggressively market their services to Canadians, but they have captured only a tiny portion of the mortgage market, which is dominated by the chartered banks, with the vast majority of high-ratio loans insured by CMHC. The recession has curtailed the activities of non-bank lenders, although they may resume when the economy recovers. Individuals must take responsibility for their personal finances, not borrow more than they can afford, be wary of teaser rates and other sharp marketing practices, and understand the terms of their mortgages.
Last month, Prime Minister Stephen Harper told CNBC in New York that Canada has avoided the subprime mortgage problem that has bedevilled the U.S. He was right then and has not “grossly underestimated” the impact of subprime lenders in Canada, as the newspaper article claimed. While there has been a doubling of foreclosures last year over a year earlier, B.C. has the lowest rate of non-conforming mortgages in the country. And here’s another factoid to consider: The percentage of Canadian mortgages in arrears for three months or more was just 0.3 as of December 2008.
Like other nations, Canada is coping with the global recession. While it is better positioned than many others, it still faces job losses, falling exports, low resource prices, weak consumer spending, declining government revenue and rising debt levels. One problem it doesn’t have is a subprime mortgage crisis.
This two year old basement entry river view home offers quality finishings throughout. There are five bedrooms, one den and three bathrooms. The main floor has 1,500 square feet of living space. Enjoy an open floor plan with a large living room and dining room with vaulted ceilings. Three bedrooms on the main floor plus a den and a two bedroom legal suite make this home the perfect family home with a mortgage helper.
The large master bedroom has a spa-like ensuite featuring a two person soaker tub. The main floor is finished with crown mouldings, hardwood floors, gourmet kitchen, granite surround fireplace and luxury carpets. There are two separate laundry areas, separate hydro meters, 50 gal hot water tank, two car garage and security system. This home is located on a large corner lot in Batchelor Heights. The extended back patio is comprised of interlocking brick. The yard is tiered to maximize the use of the space. This home won’t last long, it is listed $27,000 below appraised value at $449,000.
Click here to view other homes for sale in Kamloops.
I found this article on the Vancouver Sun online. I thought it was important to post because there are a number of pre-sale units in Kamloops for sale, specifically in Sun Rivers and the Dunes Golf Course in Westsyde (Westlinks). Buyers have to know what they are signing when committing to these pre-sale contracts. It’s important to get legal advice or involve your Realtor to help negotiate the pre-sale contract. Just because a developer is asking ‘X’ amount for a pre-sale home, doesn’t mean that the price and terms are not negotiable. After all, real estate purchases are negotiable. Buyers have to get educated and informed when it comes to pre-sales. It is very easy to get caught up with the beautiful, colorful displays and convincing sales people. I have included the article below written by Derrick Penner.
When British Columbia’s real estate cycle was on the upswing, many condominium buyers reaped the rewards of buying so-called pre-sale condominiums which, in many cases, were worth more on closing than the agreed purchase price. Now the cycle is on the downside and a growing number of buyers are finding themselves compelled to honour contracts they signed to complete purchases of units that have fallen in value. They have few options to get out of deals even if they don’t qualify for a higher mortgage.
Pre-sales can be “a win-win transaction” for both buyers and sellers, in the words of an advice pamphlet produced and distributed by the Urban Development Institute and the B.C. Real Estate Association. They allow buyers to pick homes they want to live in, and give developers certainty about their ability to sell and finance projects they are taking the risk to build.
If buyers try to walk away after signing a deal, they can be sued by developers, and risk losing not only the deposits they paid to secure units, but the difference between the current, lower market price, and the price they agreed to pay the developer in their contracts. “What the biggest risk [in pre-sales] is,” said Kenneth Pazder, a Vancouver real estate lawyer, “[that] what you essentially are doing is, you’re playing a futures market in real estate.” Buyers put down a deposit, usually about 15 per cent, and trust that the price they agree to pay reflects the home’s value on completion of its construction when they have to take ownership. “How sophisticated is the average [buyer] to do that?” Pazder asked.
At least six different developers are suing some 74 different buyers for not completing the purchase of homes they’d signed contracts to buy. Pazder is in discussions with a number of buyers who want to counter-sue developers. Developers are required to file disclosure statements that outline their projects’ details and pass them on to prospective buyers. Pazder’s advice for buyers considering pre-sale purchases is to seek legal advice to understand the contracts they are signing and the disclosure statements they are agreeing to accept.
The B.C. Real Estate Development and Marketing Act (REDMA) allows developers to sell real estate before it is built, and sets out the conditions developers have to meet in doing so. One of the conditions is that buyers have a seven-day right-of-recision period — the ability to cancel the contract — if they change their minds. Pazder advises clients to use that period to get a legal opinion on the contract, and to bail out if that opinion is negative. It will cost a buyer $300 or $400 for the service, Pazder said, but he reckons it is worth the fee to understand the potential risks a buyer is assuming in signing the contract.
“Sometimes people feel that they know the price, [the purchase] is going to close in two years, and that’s good enough,” Pazder said. “Then the problem is when, like now, things go sideways.” Pazder said one of the most common questions he gets these days is how buyers can get out of their contracts.
Often, Pazder said, the buyers’ problem is that they can no longer secure a mortgage to complete the purchase at the price agreed to in the contract. Their bank or lender can lend them funds based only on their unit’s current, and lower, market price.
Pazder said contracts often contain language that allow a developer to seek damages greater than the deposit, if the amount the developer has to cut the price of a unit to sell it in the current market exceeds the value of that deposit when a buyer walks away from the contract. Pazder added that in the current market, pre-sale buyers will want to try to limit that clause: “You want [the clause] to say, ‘If I don’t complete the purchase, this deposit is forfeited as liquidated damages as the sole remedy of the developer.’ ”
He added that buyers will also want to look at firmer language around the completion dates for construction of the units and clauses allowing the developer to make changes in finishings or unit layouts that also give them an out. The Urban Development Institute and B.C. Real Estate Association pamphlet includes a checklist of items that are required to be in a disclosure statement.
For the latest Tobiano, Savona and Kamloops real estate for sale click here.
Neighbourhood: Savona & Tobiano, Kamloops, B.C. Real Estate. Savona and Tobiano are located south west of the city of Kamloops at the western end of Kamloops Lake. From Kamloops it’s approximately a 15 to 35 minute drive depending on the destination. This is rural living with few shopping areas and amenities.
Properties & Real Estate: Savona
Many of the properties that are located in Savona sit on large parcels of land often over 20 acres in size. Parts of Savona are classified as ALR land, or Agricultural Land Reserve. This means that the land is specifically defined as land designated for agriculture. This was done because of the region’s dwindling agricultural land.
There are also smaller properties on much smaller lots, some of these properties can be found on Savona Access Road, Watson Drive, Buie Street and Ernest Street. There are often a few mobiles or modular homes for sale in the Savona area.
Tobiano is also located in this region.
Thompson River Estates area has numerous waterfront acreages that sit on the Thompson River. There are also riverfront properties on Savona Access Road which are smaller often 1/4 acre lots. This area is also known as Walhachin.
Tobiano is a developing community in the Kamloops region and is home to a beautiful golf course. Previously six mile Ranch, Tobiano is set on a 1,000 acres overlooking Kamloops lake and surrounded by 17,000 acres of wilderness area. Tobiano is still a developing community and some of the amenities are in the process of being built or in the planning stages.
There are numerous homes in Tobiano bordering the beautiful golf course. Summers Landing is a single family home and townhouse development that sits along seven of the golf course fairways. Lake Star at Tobiano is a townhouse development perched on the bluffs above Kamloops Lake. There are 52 homes in total in this town house development. Bluff, golf and resort lots are available for building your dream home at Tobiano. They range in size from 6,000 to 20,000 square feet. Golf bay and equestrian lots at Tobiano. These lots are some of Tobiano’s largest single family home lots.
Tobiano is rural living at it’s best. If you need something away from the city but not too far it’s a beautiful place to call home. The most recent addition to the Tobiano community is the marina where boats can be moored and visitors can rent many different types of equipment and boats.
Savona has a variety of outdoor activities to enjoy year round. Swimming, hiking, dirt biking, ATV riding, snowmobiling and boating. Savona is home to Steelhead Provincial Park which is located on the south west shore of Kamloops Lake. Visitors to this park can enjoy camping, picnicking, fishing, paddling, swimming and hiking.
Tobiano has an 18 hole golf course, numerous hiking and back country biking trails, cross country skiing and snow shoeing are a few of the recreational activities available in and around Tobiano.
Due to Tobiano’s close proximity to Kamloops many city amenities are within a 20 minute drive.
Savona has it’s own elementary school called Savona Elementary School. Secondary students take a school bus to the city of Kamloops and attend school there. Visit School District 73’s website fore more information about schools.
There is not any public transportation in these areas.
To view home and property listings in Tobiano and Savona click here.
To read more about other neighbourhoods click the link below: