Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Heart trumps head among buyers

A new study into the behaviour of Ontario’s home owners, released by the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO), paints a sobering snapshot of a sometimes contradictory experience – where rational decision-making is valued, but the heart overrules the head when it comes to purchasing a home.

Among the key findings: While more than 90 per cent rank price (96 per cent), functional fit (95 per cent), structural integrity (91 per cent) and neighbourhood quality (91 per cent) as the top factors when purchasing a home, 51 per cent admit to having been influenced by emotion when buying their home. This jumps to 64 per cent of owners aged 18-34.

“Despite the fact that Ontarians are fairly home smart, we’re seeing more and more people – especially younger home buyers – getting swept up in the frenzied market, making emotional decisions they could later regret,” said Joe Richer, Registrar of RECO. “This is why we are launching Be Home Smart – a public education campaign to remind Ontarians of the tools, resources and protection available to help them make smart home buying and selling decisions.”

This study of Ontario home owners was hosted on the Angus Reid Forum for RECO as part of the province-wide public-education campaign. It revealed that while just 15 per cent report going over budget and bidding over asking price to secure their dream home, the figure jumps to 25 per cent of home owners 18-34.

Further, first-time home owners are more at risk for costly surprises due to a lack of experience, especially when it comes to closing costs. While 43 per cent of home owners found closing costs higher than expected, this rose to more than half (54 per cent) of those aged 18-34.

“Working with a registered real estate professional will help you understand your rights and prepare for the real costs of home buying,” said Richer. “It’s all about being home smart versus acting with your heart – a message that’s particularly important for younger buyers who may feel increased pressure to overextend themselves financially to find their dream home.”

Full press release found here.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

$560 Billion Outstanding - May 30th CMHC Change

CMHC is tightening the home mortgage market once again which will make it bit more difficult for certain Canadians to qualify for a mortgage.

As of May 30, 2014 Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation will no longer insure purchases by self-employed workers without third party income validation, and will offer no insurance on Canadians seeking to purchase a second property.  CMHA says self-employed Canadians can still qualify for CMHC insurance, but must be able to provide proof of their income levels.

Former Finance Minister, the late Jim Flaherty and the Bank of Canada have for several years expressed concerns that too many Canadians risked becoming over-extended in the mortgage markets, especially once interest rates begin to rise.  However, earlier this week, Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz said he believes Canada’s real estate market is heading for a soft landing.

CMHC currently has about $560 billion in outstanding mortgage insurance on its books.  More on the announcement here.

CMHC provides mortgage loan insurance that enables you to buy a home sooner with a minimum down payment of 5%. More on CMHC assistance here.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Make Your Home Extremely Awesome

When the title said, "30 Relatively Simple Things That Will Make Your Home Extremely Awesome," I couldn't help myself. I just had to check it out.

I don't know if I would describe all 30 as extremely awesome, but some of these ideas are interesting.

Check out the full list here.