Call 403-465-0210 ReMax Login or Sign Up

What Ultra-Low Mortgage Rates Mean For Homeowners

Sun, 19 Jul by Bryon Howard

What Ultra-Low Mortgage Rates Mean For Homeowners

Canada’s low mortgage rates have been in the news for so long that they have essentially become the norm.  The 18 percent plus rates of the 1980’s are ancient history.  It seems that we have become so accustomed to cheap money, that we have forgotten that it might be temporary and just maybe, it may also become a thing of the past.  Although the Bank of Canada hasn’t given us any indication of a rate increase in the immediate future, it’s still important to use our (borrowed) money wisely and plan for the future.  After all, most of us are locked into 25-year mortgages, and we know just how much change can occur over two and half decades.

Be aware of how much a change in interest rates will affect your housing costs.  To put things in perspective, a $350,000 mortgage would cost the average buyer $1570 per money at a borrowing rate of 2.5%.  If rates went up just 1%, the same mortgage would cost $1750 per month.  That’s a $180 difference.  What’s even more significant is that same 1% increase would add an additional $54,600 to your cost of borrowing over the lifespan of your mortgage.

Take advantage without over extending yourself.  It’s hard to predict what will happen to interest rates over the next few years.  Even some of Canada’s most educated economists were surprised when the overnight rate went down instead of up.  That being said, it’s a wise idea to be prepared for a rate increase.  If your mortgage renews at a higher rate at the end of your current term, what will it mean for your household budget?  Do you expect your income to be the same, or are you planning on starting a family?  Talk to your mortgage professional about your long term plans so they can choose a financing option that meets your needs.

Take advantage of your pre-payment options.  The best way to protect yourself against a future rate increase is to decrease the size of your mortgage.  Some mortgages allow you to increase your payments each month, or make a lump sum payment up to a certain percentage of the balance.  In most cases, it makes more sense to tackle your higher interest debt first, but if your credit cards are clear, you will never regret knocking a few thousand dollars off your mortgage.  Remember, the quicker you pay it off, the more you will save in interest over the long haul, and that could amount to tens of thousands of dollars in savings.

Are  you looking to Sell or Buy a home in Calgary and need someone who won’t rest until you’ve found your dream home or until your home is sold? I’ll work hard to earn your trust and to deliver exactly what you need. Contact me at 403-589-0004 or at TheHowardTeam.net.

About Bryon Howard

Bryon Howard and his team of Calgary real estate professionals sell an average of two homes a week. He is a member of the MLS Million Point Club, which ranks him roughly in the top 1% of productive realtors in Calgary. His aim is not just to please clients but to help them buy/sell a home in Calgary at the best price, in the shortest time, and with the least hassle. He is a member of the RE/MAX House of Real Estate that leads in the Canadian market. Learn more about Bryon at TheHowardTeam.net.

Was it the Chicken or the Egg? How Consumers Respond to Dramatic Headlines

Sun, 12 Jul by Bryon Howard

Was it the Chicken or the Egg

Fear is a powerful emotion.  It shapes the way people think and react.  Have you ever read a news article and wondered how the story applied to you, your job, or your financial situation?  Most of us have.  We view the media as a current and often reliable source, to tell us what’s happening in our city and province.  Over the last few months, there is no doubt that economic headlines have had an impact on consumer confidence in Calgary.

Our access to information has never been as fast and widespread as it is today.  By the time you finish your morning coffee, you have probably checked out your local newspaper, read about a variety of recent events south of the border, and brushed up on your global current events.

Social media adds a whole new layer of complexity to the way we perceive the world around us.  While it’s interesting to hear what others have to say, we are often bombarded with uninformed opinions lead us to question our own position on important events.

Earlier this year, the headlines in Calgary’s news reports had a dramatic effect on consumer confidence.  People read about job loss and questioned their own security.  We heard that the housing market was in for a major correction, and many buyers put their house hunt on hold.  Experts and analysts voiced their predictions and consumers adjusted their behaviour accordingly.

Now that we are halfway through the year, we have hindsight in our favour.  Did sales take a dramatic hit?  Absolutely, but according to the latest figures from the Calgary Real Estate Board, home values in our city are holding strong.  The average sale price is down slightly, but the median price is actually up nearly 1% compared to June and July of last year.  Skeptical buyers who were standing by hoping for a dramatic drop are likely questioning their strategy as the market begins to gain momentum.

We know one thing for sure after watching our friends south of the border weather a real, drawn-out recession.  Bad news sells newspapers – or rather, it promotes “clicks” in 2015 – but it doesn’t necessarily give us an accurate picture of what’s going on, and more importantly, predictions don’t always come to be.  We teach our kids to think critically about the things they see and hear, but sometimes we need a gentle reminder to do the same.  Where is our information coming from?  Do the statistics make sense?  Is it fair to compare this year’s mediocre sales data with last year’s – a record setting period in the Calgary real estate market?

How we respond to headlines often creates a self-fulfilling prophecy.  In any economic situation, you need to take the good with the bad.  If sales are down, what kind of opportunity does this create?  In real estate, we guide our clients to work with the market, not against it, and find ways to capitalize on the opportunities, rather than miss out on great deals because of the looming uncertainty.

Are  you looking to Sell or Buy a home in Calgary and need someone who won’t rest until you’ve found your dream home or until your home is sold? I’ll work hard to earn your trust and to deliver exactly what you need. Contact me at 403-589-0004 or at TheHowardTeam.net.

About Bryon Howard

Bryon Howard and his team of Calgary real estate professionals sell an average of two homes a week. He is a member of the MLS Million Point Club, which ranks him roughly in the top 1% of productive realtors in Calgary. His aim is not just to please clients but to help them buy/sell a home in Calgary at the best price, in the shortest time, and with the least hassle. He is a member of the RE/MAX House of Real Estate that leads in the Canadian market. Learn more about Bryon at TheHowardTeam.net.

The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the Calgary Real Estate Board. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.