Archive for February, 2011

Housing Pricing Predictions all over the Map!

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Watching the housing sales pricing predictions has been as unreliable as watching the weather network lately!  Previous housing forecasts predicted the market dropping in price and slowing this year! Remax forecasts a listing price increase and sales increase as people try to beat stricter mortgage regulations and an increase of interest rates, possibly followed by a slight second quarter dip before they pick up steam for the second half of the year.  One thing we can all agree on is the Canadian housing market, despite a recession and global financial uncertainty has had a remarkable run!  In summation, it is still a fantastic time to buy or sell real estate!

So if you are looking to buy or sell a home in St. Catharines don’t hesitate to contact the Atalick Team, St. Catharines Real Estate Agents.

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Is your Home the Best Savings Vehicle?

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011
A photo of housing growth.

Our Rent-to-Own Home Purchase Program allows you to purchase a home today without having to meet the typical qualifications required by conventional lending institutions.

The most meaningful advantages of owning a home are not really financial in nature. You can pursue hobbies you enjoy, decorate as you wish and keep a pet of your choosing – all without the approval of a landlord.

More often than not, a real estate purchase involves a lifestyle decision, so it’s a nice bonus that paying a mortgage promotes savings discipline and can actually help you build wealth over time.

Making payments on a fully amortizing mortgage requires you to set aside money every month, because a part of each installment is allocated to the repayment of the borrowed principal.

Each month, both the loan balance and the amount of interest due will drop, and the principal portion of the payment will increase until it is paid off.

Shorter Terms Get You There Faster

The typical amortization period in Canada is between 25 and 30 years. Some borrowers, especially first-time buyers, stretch the amortization period to 35 years for more affordable monthly payments or to qualify for larger loan amounts in areas with more expensive housing. Of course, that choice significantly reduces the amount of equity they can earn in the early years of the loan.

Those who can afford a larger monthly payment might want to consider a shorter 10-15 year amortization period and save thousands of dollars in interest over the life of the loan. Also, a much higher percentage of each payment goes toward principal from day one, so homeowners can build up savings more rapidly.

Today’s low interest rates make a shorter repayment schedule realistic for a greater number of buyers, but it’s also a great option for refinancing homeowners who want to stay on track to pay off their mortgage before retirement.

You don’t Qualify for a Mortgage but want to Own your Own Home?

Our Rent-to-Own Home Purchase Program allows you to purchase a home today without having to meet the typical qualifications required by conventional lending institutions. It is specifically designed to help people who are having difficulty obtaining conventional financing. If you can afford a reasonable monthly payment, this program might be for you!

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Is Your Home Ready for More Severe Weather?

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011
A photo of a home improvement contractor.

Sever weather can bring new challenges to homeowners who need to protect their property from damage.

Many meteorologists agree that extreme weather situations are becoming more frequent, although not necessarily more predictable. Whatever the cause, sever weather can bring new challenges to homeowners who need to protect their property from damage. The following quick checklist for winter-readiness will help you prepare against unnecessary heat loss and unwanted surprises caused by extreme weather conditions.

Heat Retention

-         Get a furnace efficiency checkup, and replace dated parts, including filters, etc.

-         Install or upgrade weatherstripping around windows and doors, both inside and outside.

-         Ensure you have adequate attic insulation and proper roof venting.

-         Invest in an automatic setback thermostat.

-         Keep an emergency kit with a portable heater in case of power failure.

Storm Protection

-         Check that all roofing components are secure, including shingles, flashing and fascia boards.

-         Clean out all eavestroughs and downspouts.

-         Make sure rain and melting snow does not collect near the foundation of your home.

-         Inspect all windows and doors for smooth operation and snug fitting closures.

-         Consider installing storm shutters in high risk situations.

Our Home Owner Resources Page lists several home improvement contractors you can contact to help you with your home improvement needs.

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