Archive for March, 2010

Banks bump up mortgage rates

Monday, March 29th, 2010

Mortgage rates have begun to rise from their record lows, with news Monday that several Canadian banks are increasing several fixed mortgage rates by up to 6/10ths of a percentage point.

The biggest jump is attached to the popular five-year fixed closed rate, which moves from 5.25 per cent to 5.85 per cent at Royal Bank, TD Canada Trust, and Laurentian Bank. That’s the posted rate, which is routinely discounted by the big banks.

RBC’s new discounted rate for the five-year term also rises 6/10ths of a percentage point to 4.59 per cent. TD’s rises the same amount to 4.55 per cent. The discounted rate at Laurentian moves up to 4.54 per cent.

How much difference will that make? A $200,000 mortgage amortized over 25 years costs $1,051 a month at a rate of 3.99 per cent. At 4.59 per cent, that jumps $66 a month to $1,117.

P.O.V.:

Mortgage rate increase: Is it time to lock in?

The banks also raised their three-year and four-year fixed closed rates. The posted three-year rate at Royal Bank and Laurentian climbs one-fifth of a percentage point to 4.35 per cent, while the posted rate at TD jumps 4/10ths of a point to 4.70 per cent.

The posted four-year rate at all three banks jumps 4/10ths of a percentage point to 5.34 per cent.

Other banks are expected to follow suit. The new rates, effective Tuesday, represent the first hike in Canadian mortgage rates since last October. The posted five-year rate is now back to where it was for much of last summer.

New mortgage rules that go into effect next month require borrowers to qualify at the five-year rate, rather than the old three-year standard, even if they are applying for a variable rate mortgage.

Variable rates expected to rise soon

Variable mortgage rates, which rise in tandem with the Bank of Canada’s key overnight lending rate, are not affected by Monday’s announcement. But they are likely to be heading up soon too.

Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney warned last week that inflation was higher than expected. That had some market watchers forecasting that the central bank could move to raise its key lending rate as early as June. The possibility of an earlier rate hike sent bond yields up, and that appears to have prompted Monday’s mortgage increase. Fixed mortgage rates tend to move higher when long-term bond yields rise.

The key rate has been at a rock-bottom 0.25 per cent since April 2009 to help the economy recover.

A report out Monday from CIBC World Markets said rising rates shouldn’t be enough to derail the stock market rally — pointing out that the market is historically strong six months before and after rate increases.

A survey released last week by RBC found almost two-thirds of respondents expected the cost of servicing a mortgage to rise this year.

New Listing – Contemporary In Evanston – $569,900

Friday, March 26th, 2010

Looking for contemporary high end living? This impressive 3 bedroom + den/loft JAYMAN home is perfect for you.  The open concept main floor offers a great room, formal dining room, 2 piece bath, main floor laundry and upgraded kitchen. The functional and luxurious Nordlund Style kitchen offers huge island/breakfast bar, walk in pantry, high end  GE Monogram stainless steel appliances , gas stove, warming oven,  garbage compactor, wine fridge and  wall mounted TV all accented by stainless steel tile and granite countertops.. The master suite is very spacious and includes a California style walk-in closet & 5 piece ensuite with a corner tub & separate jetted shower. Upper level  also boasts two bedrooms, 4 piece bath & lofts area. Basement is unspoiled and features roughed-in plumbing & 9 Ft ceilings. Other upgrades include gleaming hardwood floors, 2 high efficiency furnaces, built-in vacuum system, Hunter Douglas blinds, gas fireplace and granite throughout.  Exquisite home that simply must be seen!

For more Information or to book a viewing, please Call Jeff LeBlanc  at 403-542-6926 or email jeff@homesweethometeam.ca

TOP 10 Neighbourhoods in Calgary & Edmonton Voted By YOU!!!!!

Friday, March 19th, 2010

I found this article online at http://cityspice.travelalberta.com/#/16

Im gonna keep it short and sweet and only list the Calgary Communities chosen! Sorry Edmonton :)

# 9 – Marda Loop – http://www.mardaloopbrz.ca/

#7 -  17th Ave – http://www.uptown17.ca/default.asp

#4 – Mission – http://www.cliffbungalowmission.com/

#2 – Inglewood – http://www.calgary-inglewood.com/

#1 –  Kensignton – http://www.visitkensington.com/

Lots of fun stuff, and tips in the aritcle. ENJOY!

kensington_0011

For more information on any other Calgary Community  shoot me an email!

NEW LISTING – # 206 15 EVERRIDGE SQ SW – $244,900 OPEN HOUSE Sunday March 21, 2-4PM

Friday, March 19th, 2010

Immaculate one of a kind Penthouse Style Townhome in Fabulous  Evergreen!  Located close to Sobey’s, Starbucks, Shoppers, restaurants/pubs, Fish Creek park, Glenmore Academy and LRT. This immaculate condo is both stylish and economical with west views the seasonal pond, green space and sunsets.  Rooms include a large bedroom , full size den, open plan kitchen/nook/great room and a full bath/laundry room with front loading washer/dryer . The Open Plan features a stunning kitchen with maple cabinets, huge corner pantry, ungraded black appliances, island, pot drawers and a cozy bright family room with beautiful architectural designed vaulted ceilings and west views!   This complex is very well maintained with great landscaping and LOW ($130) CONDO FEES.  Reduced your Energy Costs with In-Floor Radiant Heating and Rinnai Tankless Water Heater (Endless Hot Water).  Price includes all appliances, window coverings, pre-wiring for an alarm system, assigned parking with plug in and New Home Warranty.

For more pictures please visit the Virtual Tour – http://vt.realbiz360.com/Listing-313441.html

OPEN HOUSE SUNDAY, MARCH 21 from 2-4PM

For more information or directions please Call Jeff LeBlanc @ 403-542-6926 or email jeff@homesweethometeam.ca

Creative and Unusual Bookshelves

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

Creative and Unusual Bookshelves

The most creative modern shelves and unusual bookshelf designs that will allow you to display your book collection in style.

Pulseline Shelf

Inspired by a line that illustrates human heartbeat, this shelf is made from 3mm metal sheet. The edge is painted with fluorescent green. [link]

Pulseline Shelf

Distorted Bookshelf

Extremely unusual plywood bookshelf design by dbd Studio. [link]

Distorted Bookshelf

Flybrary Bookshelf

Books hang on metal strips, creating the levitation effect. [link]

Flybrary Bookshelf

Infinity Shelf System

Cool never ending shelf system designed by Samuel Accoceberry. [link]

Infinity Shelf System

FlexiTube Shelving

Modular shelving by Doris Kisskalt. Inside each tube is a shelf for storage which serves as a visual horizontal line. [link]

FlexiTube Shelving

LIEUL Bookshelf

Contemporary bookshelf by the industrial designer Ahn DaeKyung. [link]

LIEUL Bookshelf

Branch Shelf

Hand painted tree branch inspired shelf made from solid wood. [link]

Branch Shelf

Wind Shelf

“Shelf in the Wind” designed by Olivia Bradateanu. [link]

Wind Shelf

Storyline Bookshelf

Sound finds a physical identity in this beautifully crafted bookshelf. [link]

Storyline Bookshelf

Coffee Table Bookshelf

Unique coffee table comes with cool compartments for your books. [link]

Coffee Table Bookshelf

Comic Bookshelf

Creative bookshelf inspired by speech bubbles from comic books. [link]

Comic Bookshelf

Tree Bookshelf

Beautiful tree inspired bookshelf by Korea designer Shawn Soh. [link]

Tree Bookshelf

United States Bookshelf

Bookshelf by Ron Arad shaped like the United States of America. [link]

United States Bookshelf

Modern Electrical Outlets and Power Strips

Monday, March 15th, 2010

Modern Electrical Outlets and Power Strips

Modern electrical outlets and creative power strips from all over the world.

Socket Pocket

Creative phone-pocket for your electrical outlet. [link]

Socket Pocket

Hang On Outlet

It is a basic power outlet with a little extra lip to hold on to your lose plugs, keeping your power management neat and tidy. [link]

Hang On Outlet

Hang On Outlet 2

Hang On Outlet 3

Wall Cleats

What use is an electrical plug when you’re not plugged in? Two simple tabs on the ends of a standard cover plate increase its function. [link]

Wall Cleats

Hidden Wall Safe Electrical Outlet

These unique wall safes allow you to hide valuables inside one of many identical looking wall outlets you already have in your home, the last place someone is likely to look. [link]

Hidden Wall Safe Electrical Outlet

WirePod

Electrical “power pod” made of thermoplastic rubber and with four plug outlets is the first in a series of Artecnica products called Wiremore, which will make electrical cables more, rather than less, visible. [link]

WirePod

WirePod 2

Swivel Sockets

Swivel sockets rotate 90 degrees for compact use in tight spaces. [link]

Swivel Sockets

Donut Power Strip

Each outlet can spin inside its socket for the best fit. The donut shape also helps to keep cabling organized. [link]

Donut Power Strip

Donut Power Strip 2

E-Rope Power Strip

Power strip that allows users to add or subtract sockets as needed. [link]

E-Rope Power Strip

Picket Fence

The Picket Fence adapts to older homes and cleanly manages the electrical necessities of the occupants. [link]

Picket Fence

E-Ball Multiplug Connector

Modern power strip concept by MASHALLAH.DESIGN. [link]

E-Ball Multiplug Connector

E-Ball Multiplug Connector 2

Plug with a Hole Concept

Pulling out a plug is not a hard work, but it is not always an easy task. Therefore, you need a better solution. This plug comes with a circular cut-out which can help you pull it out easily. [link]

Plug with a Hole Concept

360 Electrical Outlet

360 Electrical is an electrical outlet plate where the two sockets spin 360 degrees to help manage bulky plugs. [link]

360 Electrical Outlet

Socket Deer Outlet Cover

These electrical outlet covers let you put your mobile phone on the wall as it recharges. [link]

Socket Deer Outlet Cover

Power Aware Cord

Electrical power strip in which the cord is designed to visualize the energy rather than hiding it. The current use of electricity is represented through glowing pulses, flow, and intensity of light. [link]

Power Aware Cord

Rozetkus Power Strip

Power strip that gives you free choice of which way to plug. [link]

Rozetkus Power Strip

Electroman Surge Protector

Here he comes to save the day – especially if you have more plugs than outlets. [link]

Electroman Surge Protector

Housing affordability in Alberta improves, bucks national trend

Monday, March 15th, 2010

Construction of new homes in Auburn Bay S.W.on Monday, January 11.

 

Construction of new homes in Auburn Bay S.W.on Monday, January 11.

Photograph by: Archive, Calgary Herald

CALGARY – Housing affordability improved in Alberta in the fourth
quarter of last year amid slower economic recovery, compared with other
regions across the country, according to the latest housing report
released today by RBC Economics.

“The downturn in the housing market has created a large surplus of
homes available for sale. This has held back the pace of price
increases in the province since the market rebound took effect,” said
Robert Hogue, senior economist, RBC. “This subdued pace has kept
Alberta’s affordability in check.”

The RBC Affordability measures for Alberta, which capture the
proportion of pre-tax household income needed to service the costs of
owning a home, declined across all housing types in the fourth quarter
of 2009. The measure for the detached bungalow benchmark moved down to
33.7 per cent (a drop of 0.4 percentage points over the previous
quarter), the standard townhouse to 25.8 per cent (down 0.4 percentage
points), the standard condominium to 22.5 per cent (down 0.1 percentage
point) and the standard two-story home to 37.9 per cent (down 0.2
percentage points).

The Calgary housing market continues to be attractive with
affordability measures at or below long-term averages, said RBC. The
strong rebound in resale activity slowed last summer and has reversed
since the fall. However, the tight availability of homes for sale in
Calgary has continued to provide a slight advantage to sellers, moving
housing prices in a slight upward trend, said the report.

“With the exception of townhouses, price gains in the Calgary market
have still been relatively modest and below the highs seen in 2007,”
added Hogue.

mtoneguzzi@theherald.canwest.com

© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald

NEW CHANGES TO SELF-EMPLOYED BORROWERS

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

“CMHC is tightening the criteria needed for self-employed borrowers to get mortgage insurance, changes that will come into effect on April 9, 2010 according to Canadian Mortgage Trends.

Borrowers who apply under CMHC’s self-employed stated income product will need a 10% down payment instead of the 5% down payment now required. These borrowers will also only be able to refinance up to 85% ltv instead of 90%.

Debbie Thomas, partner and broker of record at The Mortgage Group, recently told CMP she has noticed a trend of insurance guidelines tightening for self-employed borrowers, who often write off a large portion of their income for income tax purposes.

“The whole issue of reasonability has now been forced back and self-employed deals that used to be approved are not even close to being approved today,” said Thomas. “It hasn’t been announced or anything that has come out from the lenders or insurers, but it’s something we’ve definitely noticed.”

As well the criteria for using stated income has changed. If the business is less than three years old stated income can be used. After 3 years it has to be proven income.

Canadian Mortgage Broker News – Teusday 9, March, 2010

10 Unusual Vacuum Cleaners

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

10 Unusual Vacuum Cleaners

Collection of modern vacuums and unusual vacuum cleaner designs that will help you clean your house in style.

USB Vacuum

This cool retro designed vacuum plugs into your computer’s USB port to help you keep your work area dust free. [link]

USB Vacuum

Alessi Handheld Vacuum

Beautiful handheld vacuum cleaner design by Stefano Giovanonni. [link]

Alessi Handheld Vacuum

Zamboni Desk Vacuum

This scaled down version of the Zamboni Ice Cleaner is a perfect little companion for your desktop. Re-created as a desk vacuum, Zamboni will help keep your desk clean. [link]

Zamboni Desk Vacuum

Computer Mouse Vacuum

This cool gadget is a combination of a simple 800dpi optical mouse and a miniature vacuum cleaner that keeps your desk free of dust. [link]

Computer Mouse Vacuum

Tango Autonomous Vacuum

Samsung’s new vacuum features 13 sensors, built in camera, and a new crash avoiding system. It can even vacuum your bed. [link]

Tango Autonomous Vacuum

SwivelNeck Vacuum

Miele vacuums break the boundaries between upright and canister, combining the very best of both worlds into one maneuverable design and allowing you to effortlessly move the vacuum in any direction. [link]

Miele SwivelNeck Vacuum

Vacuum Shoes Concept

Electrolux has designed a pair of vacuum shoes that suck up dirt from the floor as you walk from room to room. [link]

Vacuum Shoes Concept

R2-D2 Vacuum

Cool vacuum design inspired by the iconic droid from Star Wars. [link]

R2-D2 Vacuum

Food Sealer Vacuum

Frisper makes a tiny opening in the bag, removes air and creates an airtight heat seal to protect your food. [link]

Frisper Vacuum Food Sealer

Backpack Vacuum

Ergonomic backpack vacuum moves with you so you don’t have to drag a heavy regular upright vacuum cleaner around your house. [link]

Backpack Vacuum

Open House – 416 BRIDLEWOOD CO SW – SATURDAY MARCH 13, 2PM-4PM

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

OPEN HOUSE SATURDAY MARCH 13, 2PM-4PM. Fully developed spacious, Sterling Built, family home with 4 bedrooms, a den, 2 family rooms, 3 baths and a 21′deep double  attached garage. This one owner home is located on a quiet cul-de-sac near a green space and walking distance to schools. The bright, open plan main floor features a cozy family room with a gorgeous fireplace and a huge white kitchen with nook and ample storage space. Upstairs all 3 bedrooms are a good size.  The master comes with his and hers closets and a 5 piece en suite with a jet tub, 2 sinks and separate shower.  The basement is fully finished with a large guest bedroom, a den/office/playroom and a family/tv/media area. The back yard has a large 24′x16′ deck and a full fence.  There is lots of room for you to put your patio set, bbq, play structure, and fire pit. Some of the hidden upgrades include a basement wrap, upgraded floor joists, sound   proofed furnace room and a rough in bath in the basement den.  Drive by 416 Bridlewood Court.

For more information please call Jeff Leblanc @ 403-542-6926 or email – jeff@homesweethometeam.ca.

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