How ANYONE can take advantage of today’s Fort McMurray’s housing market! Renters, Buyers, Owners, and Sellers!
Today’s housing market in Fort McMurray is a difficult one. Oil is on the rise from the previous low but low compared to the past. Construction is up with all the new developments but the new homes could flood the market. Employment is down but we (Fort McMurray) still have some of the highest salaries and Alberta has the current highest employment rate in the country. There have been less single family homes sold in the first couple months this year than last year, but there were more than double the amount of duplex’s, condos, and mobiles sold year over year.
So with all these confusing contradicting economy drivers how are YOU going to get ahead during these times?
Below I provide some tips for you whether you are a renter, home owner, buyer or seller on how to take advantage of this fluid, moving and confusing housing market.
YOU THE RENTER – You might be fed up with giving your money away each month with nothing to show for it in the end, but, you are in a very powerful position. You have options. You can negotiate your rent or even gear up to buy your first place with these low prices.
If you want to keep renting. Fair market rent is slowly dropping around Fort Mac. A house that used to rent for $3000 is now $2600. A two-bedroom basement suite that used to rent for $2200 is now $1600 and so on.
Negotiate! Always negotiate. If you are looking at moving into a place and the owner is asking $2500/m maybe offer to sign a year lease if he will do $2350/m. That’s $1800 a year savings! Even if you like the place you are in, if your rent hasn’t changed in the past year it’s time to have a conversation with your landlord. Don’t forget to do your research and get some comparable properties. Keep in mind that they need to actually be comparable. Consider square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, location, finishing, etc. The closer the similarities the better. You never know if you don’t ask!
If you want to buy your first place, you are also in the driver seat. The average town home or duplex price has dropped roughly 20% form last year!! And single family homes are down roughly 5%. There are also lots of places on the market to choose from. Read the next section or click here to learn more on how to become a home owner with damaged credit or a low down payment.
YOU THE HOME BUYER – You want to buy a home to call your own but you are unsure how to get started or saving the down payment seems near impossible. Also this market is low and scary. The first thing you need is knowledge. Think about this: When toilet paper goes on sale at an all-time low at Wal-Mart, everyone rushes in and buys it all to save money. When houses go on sale across the town… “this is a bad time to buy. The market is low.” Think about that.
Now is a great time to finally get yourself out of the renter’s world and own! This is a great market for you to take advantage of with these low home prices and low mortgage rates. Like I said in the renters section, the average town home or duplex price has dropped roughly 20%!! And single family homes are down roughly 5%. There are also lots of places on the market to choose from. Many people don’t make this leap because of a simple lack of knowledge of what they need to do to get there. You don’t know exactly what you need to buy a house whether its improving your credit or the down payment. Mortgage rules have been changing a lot this past year and its tough to follow but rates are still very low and so are home prices!
If you are a working individual up here in ‘The Mac’ there is a good chance you could be ready to buy your first home within one or two years and even live in the home you want to buy while you prepare yourself with structured assistance from a mortgage broker, a credit coach and a fixed savings plan that fits your budget. All while locking in today’s low price. All you need is the proper knowledge and plan. It is easier than you think. Contact us to learn more. (Easy to understand video on how this can work for you)
YOU THE HOME OWNER – You are probably in one of two positions. You either love your home and want to stay where you are because this is where you work and where you have made a life for you and your family –OR- you want to sell but think you can’t because you will lose your shirt with your upside-down mortgage (a mortgage that is higher than the current home value). If your situation is the later, skip to the next section on tips get ahead while selling your home.
First off, you are probably not in as bad of a situation as you think. People have this nasty habit of comparing themselves to others when we should be comparing ourselves to ourselves. There will always be someone with more money, a nicer car, or got a better deal. But take a look at yourself compared to yourself 10 years ago. You bought your family a lovely home and you are still paying monthly toward your mortgage and not someone else’s. Also you are probably saving a bit on property taxes. Just because some numbers say your house is worth less this year shouldn’t mean that you are any worse off. If you are lucky enough to still have your job and your house you are fortunate.
Tip one: See if it’s possible to turn a section (the basement) into a suite! That is an excellent way to earn some extra income. Even though there is competition in the renter’s market, it’s never a matter of if you can rent it out, it’s how much. If you can already afford your home, every bit of rent would be bonus.
Tip two: Refinance a portion of your home with a better rate. If you owe $500,000 at 7% and can refinance even just $250,000 at today’s 2.9% that could be a $10,000 savings every year! Talk to your mortgage broker for details and eligibility.
Tip three: Move! Moving is never easy, but if you can turn that mortgage around by selling (see details below on how to get a profit and not a deficit) and take advantage to today’s prices yourself, then you could end up being further ahead financially than you thought.
YOU THE HOME SELLER – If you have a home and want to sell to move away but are stuck because you think you will lose money with these lower home values I am excited for you to consider the following.
There are lots of buyers out there that want to get into homeownership and buy your home but you simply owe more than you can sell for! My tip for you is to consider rent-to-own. This is a way to turn that mortgage around and actually PROFIT from the sale of an upside down mortgage! You and the rent-to-own buyer agree on selling at a FIXED price of fair market value, the buyer puts down a non-refundable deposit toward the down payment, moves onto your home and rents it from you for 1-3 years. During this term they are on a fixed saving plan to save the full down payment and works with a specialized rent-to-own credit coach and mortgage broker to turn them into an A+ applicant so there is no hassle when its signing time. This way you sell at a fixed price all while they bring that mortgage down. They even are responsible for all repairs and maintenance of the home because they are buying it! The place is looked after by the rent-to-own professionals to keep you free of managing and doing nothing but having the cheques roll in month after month. And if something happens and they can’t or don’t want to buy, then they lose all of their down payment savings and it goes directly to you for compensation. Worst case scenario they pay down your mortgage for a year or two and then pay you $20,000.
If they pay just $2,000 / month for two years that is an additional $48,000 toward your mortgage and you are still selling at a fixed price. If it’s a three year (max allowable) term and they are renting at $2,500 / month, now you have sold your house for fair price with an additional $90,000 toward your mortgage! A good mortgage broker will find lending to get you into your next home whether it’s here or anywhere in Canada while your home in ‘The Mac’ gets paid down and sold for you.
I strongly recommend sellers to work with rent-to-own professionals to insure all the details are sorted out ahead of time for a stress free successful transaction. Contact us to learn more. (Easy to understand video on how this can work for you)
This will give you the edge on the selling market, open the door to more buyers, and insure you turn that mortgage deficit into profit so you can finally move on with what is best for you and your family.
I hope this article has helped you learn some options available in this confusing market to give you the edge. There are always options for you it’s just a matter of figuring out what is best for you and your family and being open to different strategies to get ahead.