Nanaimo Real Estate Blog June 2005

BC Hydro provides rebates

BC Hydro provides rebates for heat-saving renovations undertaken by customers living in houses, duplexes, mobile homes, townhouses, condos and apartments with hard-wired electric heat as the primary source of heating. Condominium and apartment buildings with gas fireplaces are not eligible. Houses and townhouses must have annual electricity consumption of at least 15,000 kWh. For houses, duplexes, mobile homes and townhouses, the following rebates are provided:$1.00 for every square foot of window area installed with low-emissivity (low-E) coating, or $1.25 for every square foot of window installed with low-E and argon fill; $0.20 for every square foot of R12 insulation installed in basement or crawlspace walls, and for every square foot of R28 insulation on the floor above the crawlspace; in attics with less than R12 insulation, $0.15 for every square foot of insulation installed in an open attic to equal a total R40 value, or $0.10 for every square foot of insulation installed in a flat roof or vaulted ceiling to equal a total R28 value. For condos and apartments, the following rebate is provided: $0.75 for every square foot of window area installed with low-E, or $1.00 for every square foot of window area installed with low-E and argon fill.

Materials must be purchased and upgrades must be completed between October 15, 2003 and June 30, 2005. BC Hydro also provides a $50 rebate to customers who submit copies of both the pre- and post-renovation reports from the federal EnerGuide for Houses Evaluation program.

What are the Eligible Renovations?
NRCan EnerGuide for Houses program

This rebate supplements the related EnerGuide for Houses Retrofit Grant. For more information:Web site. Phone: 604-431-9463, or 877-431-9463 outside the Lower Mainland.

How to obtain this incentive:Complete the appropriate Rebate Application Form. Forms must be accompanied by detailed receipts for all labour and materials used in the renovations. If a contractor is used to complete renovations, a Contractor Installation Form (available at the same address) must also be completed.

Cuts to Mortgage Insurance Premiums

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and Genworth Financial Canada have announced reductions in premiums for mortgage loan insurance, effective immediately. Genworth, the only private sector supplier of default mortgage insurance, has cut its premium rates by 15 per cent.

The reduction applies to all borrowers with less than a ten per cent down payment. “These immediate savings—about $800 for the average home buyer—will help first time home buyers and current homeowners who wish to move into their dream homes take advantage of continuing low mortgage interest rates,” said Peter Vukanovich, president of Genworth Financial Canada. CMHC’s premiums for first-time buyers with a five per cent down payment will be cut by 15 per cent.

CMHC has also announced plans to waive the premiums for rental housing projects funded under the federal affordable housing initiative.

Forms and receipts must be mailed to the Renovation Rebate Program by July 15, 2005.

Very High Demand for Nanaimo Homes under $200,000

Recent activity in the Nanaimo real estate market has caused intense competition for homes under $200,000. As of May, 26, 2005 22 of the 50 recent sales were sold in less than 2 weeks. If typical subject removal tales 10-14 days, the homes are in real terms “sold subject” within a day or so of the for sale sign going up. It should be noted that 10 of the last 50 sales took longer that 75 days. The curb appeal and proper pricing greatly affect the number of days on the market.

What this means to a buyer?

1) You need to be pre-approved before viewing homes.

2) You need to be ready to make a quick decision. Hesitate and you can loose the home to another buyer.

3) Be prepared to look at homes on a moments notice. Waiting for the weekend may be too late. It is a sellers market. Multiple offers are common!

What this means to a seller?

1) Homes under $200,000 tend to be older and have more defects. Your home may be hard to sell if it is not insurable. Insurance companies do not want oil tanks over 20 years old or electrical services under 100 amps. If you are selling with the intention of buying another home a bad building inspection can be a deal killer.

2) Clean the home up so that it is attractive to buyer. Painting, Cleaning and a little yard work do wonders for curb appeal. You want to be in a position to receive multiple offers and possibly get over your asking price.

If you own a home that you want to sell in this price range I would be happy to give you a free, no obligation current market evaluation. 250-751-1223

Sales of homes double and triple Canadians buy into home ownership En Masse

"More Canadians bought into home ownership during the last 10 years than in any previous decade," says Elton Ash, Regional Vice President, RE/MAX of Western Canada. "Lower borrowing costs and tight vacancy rates helped jumpstart the country’s real estate engine in the latter half of the 1990s. Consumer confidence and solid economic fundamentals kept the market on track. Despite an increase in mortgage rates from historic levels reported in 2003 and an abundance of affordable rental accommodations, Canadians continue to share the dream of home ownership. That appeal has yet to be duplicated by any other investment vehicle."

Home sales across the country rose to approximately 3.6 million units between 1995 to 2004, up 25 per cent over the 2.9 million sales reported in 1985 – 1994. Statistics Canada pinpoints home ownership levels at 65.2 per cent nationally in 2002 and rising. Only Quebec and British Columbia reported home ownership levels under the national average.

The market is so hot in Vancouver purchasers are including ´trump clauses´ in their offers to purchase that allow them to ante up on any higher offers that may be presented. That’s a first for this industry."

Trends developing across the country
CMHC and secondary suites

Two-Unit Homeowner properties

2-unit owner-occupied properties, including single homes with a secondary apartment and duplexes are an important source of affordable rental housing for seniors, young adults, recent immigrants, and the working poor.The associated rental income also helps the borrowers meet the costs of home ownership. Borrowers who wish to purchase a duplex or a single home with a secondary apartment can now achieve home ownership sooner with a minimum down payment as low as 5%. Borrowers can also now use up to 80% of the confirmed gross rental income from the subject property to qualify for the insured mortgage loan for purchase, portability and refinance transactions.

Terms and Conditions

CMHC provides mortgage loan insurance to CMHC Approved Lenders. Approved Lenders are responsible for all aspects of the mortgage loan insurance application. The following table highlights the policy changes that apply to 2-unit owner-occupied properties.

Eligible Properties

2-unit owner-occupied properties (e.g. duplexes, single properties with a self contained secondary or garden suite) that meet the applicable municipal and/or provincial standards, or Band Council requirement for properties on reserve.

Maximum Loan to Ratio

95% for purchase/portability transactions unless otherwise limited by specific product requirements (e.g. maximum 90% for the Line of Credit product). • 90% for refinance transactions.

Rental Income Recognition

Up to 80% of confirmed gross rental income from the rented secondary apartment/unit in the subject property may be added to the borrower's income in the Total Debt Service (TDS) ratio as follows:

RE/MAX is Canada’s leading real estate organization with over 14,700 sales associates in close to 600 independently-owned offices. The RE/MAX franchise network, now in its 31st year of consecutive growth, is a global real estate system operating in 54 countries. More than 5,400 independently-owned offices engage over 102,000 member sales associates.

“Favorite Quote”

If you always do what you have always done, You will always get what you have always got!

Henry Ford

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Doug Belcher REMAX Nanaimo

Have a questions? Need to Buy or Sell a home? Give me a call.

I post both my cell and office number so my clients can reach me anytime. I am always happy to discuss your Nanaimo real estate needs.

Office 250-751-1223

Cell 250-619-6012

Fax 250-751-1300

Office 1-5140 Metral Dr. Nanaimo