Dear Friends,What can we say this month except “we’re in this together” and, because of world circumstances, we’re exercising extreme caution.
This month, we’ve curated some advice for you if you’re committed to selling that house or buying that new condo during these difficult times. We’re here for you. Despite the unprecedented situation, we’ve put together an article about some great reasons to buy a condo. They range from accessible price points for first-time buyers to the spectrum of amenities that still beckons, promising better times ahead.
The Canadian government has announced that due to the pandemic, the stress test revisions scheduled for April 6 are now suspended until further notice. The changes were to make it easier to secure approvals on mortgages.
In other news, our regular Neighbourhood Profile is back, and in this issue it’s Edmonton’s Downtown Core, loaded with condos offering views of the North Saskatchewan River Valley.
Please review our tips on the current rules and good sense advice around showings, whether you’re selling (and need to go out for a drive) or buying (and need to arrive in your own vehicle).
Wherever you’re at with all of this, and whatever you’re planning to do next, please know that although we’re trying to be as lighthearted as possible about the world right now, these are difficult times.
Let’s continue to care and support one another as best we can.
Ph: (780) 271-8326
Consumers could face hit to credit scores, jump in payments from mortgage deferrals – CBC
Home viewings go virtual, as realtors say Edmonton market remains healthy – Edmonton Journal
Average Canadian house price rose to $540,000 last month, up 15% in past year – CBC
Edmonton, Vancouver RE forums postponed due to COVID-19 – Real Estate News Exchange
Housing market activity varies widely across Alberta – Calgary Sun
Upscale by downsizing
Selling a single family home and moving to a condo can give you a whole new lease on life! When the hectic years of raising a family flow into the tranquility of retired or semi-retired empty-nesting-for-two, your equity can go a long way. And this switch to condo ownership can work for all generations, not just retirees. Downsizing to a cozy and secure condo can free up money while simultaneously upgrading your lifestyle.
Minimal maintenance – No shovel required
In condo land, there’s no grass to cut and no exterior maintenance. As a condo owner, you can watch the work happen while you continue with what you do for a living. Also, the work you actually do yourself (cleaning and minor repairs) isn’t going to take as long as it might in a mansion.
Awesome amenities – Gyms, pools, patios, parties
The condo lifestyle can be as active as you want it to be, with plenty of options via amenities. Work out in gyms. Attend yoga sessions. Swim. Relax on the patios. When the timing is right again, organize parties! Great amenities have become important selling features of urban complexes everywhere.
Community – Exciting shared experiences
Living in a condo development during non-crisis times, you’ll often meet an interesting, varied assortment of neighbours. Most of the time, sharing “community space” in condo developments tends to be a great experience for all. At the moment, please exercise caution.
Affordability – Entry level price points
While condos in high density urban zones like New York City and London can be pricey, most condos aren’t. In Western Canada, many outstanding condos can be found, around town, at reasonable entry-level price points for first-timers.
Keep watching the news for updates on Canada’s mortgage regulations.
On February 18, Bill Morneau, Canada’s Minister of Finance, unveiled changes to the “stress test” that were scheduled to come into effect on April 6. “The new benchmark rate will be the weekly median 5-year fixed insured mortgage rate from mortgage insurance applications, plus 2%,” he announced at the time. These changes are now on hold, pending further review as a result of the current COVID-19 situation.
Industry experts had recently suggested the “stress test rate” be adjusted to make it easier for people qualifying for mortgages. The Canadian government heard them and had initially acted on their recommendations. The basic idea behind the stress test? Even if interest rates rise or you run into financial difficulties, you’re approved for an amount you’d still have a good shot at paying back.
For information on federal and provincial financial support right now if you need it, please visit Canada.ca (Government of Canada) and alberta.ca (Government of Alberta) websites where you’ll find information regarding COVID-19 on each home page.
Downtown Edmonton is loved by residents and visitors alike for its forests, pathways and parks along the banks of the North Saskatchewan River.
Most downtown Edmonton condo properties come in under $1 Million, with some entry level units in older buildings in the low six figures. Living here, you’ll find quick access to exciting night spots, world class cuisine, coffee shops and bars galore, arts, fashion, culture and more.
There are five districts in the zone: Commercial Core, Government Centre, Warehouse District, McKay Avenue and Rice Howard Way.
There’s also an exciting new arrival on the skyline: The Pearl. It’s topped by a condo with this description: “On the market at $2,295,000, this 3,476-square-foot Edmonton penthouse is situated at the top of a 36-storey masterpiece offering breathtaking panoramic views of the city."