August Market Update

September 14, 2017
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in News

Home sales stay strong in Alberta, even as national levels are beginning to drop.

According to the latest report that was released by the Alberta Real Estate Association in July, the number of sales that were reported in the Alberta area last month rose to 5,282, which is a 3% increase over the same month last year. These sales have contributed $2,096,668,732 to the year to date total sales volume for residential sales in Alberta.

In contrast, the number of home sales there were recorded on a national level dropped nearly 12% on a year to year basis for the month of July.

The great news is that even while sales are still up in the Alberta market, prices aren’t!

In July of 2017, the average sales price of homes in the local area was recorded at $396,946. This figure is down 1.8% in comparison to the average sales price of homes recorded in July of last year.

The average sales price also fell nationally, decreasing 0.3% from July of 2016 to $478,696 in July of 2017.

With prices dropping and sales increasing, it’s no surprise that the number of new listings is also on the rise. As the Alberta market continues to remain hot, despite the cooler weather, more sellers are listing their properties and more buyers are snatching them up!

There were a total of 10,648 new property listings added to the market in July, bringing the active residential listings total to 34,109 at the end of the month. This total is 15.6% higher than the total at the end of July 2016.

These 34,109 listings give Alberta a 6.5 months supply of inventory, which is almost a full month more than the supply at the end of July last year.

If you are interested in purchasing a home in the area, give me a call today! As a trusted Red Deer mortgage broker, I am extremely knowledgeable about the local real estate market and I can’t wait to help you purchase the home of your dreams here!

For your free consultation, call (403) 606-2158!




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Benefits of a Pre-Approval

August 8, 2017
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Throughout my experience as a Red Deer mortgage broker, I have seen first-hand the benefits provided to a borrower by acquiring a pre-approval.

The process of getting pre-approved involves completing an official mortgage application and while it is much more in-depth than the process of getting pre-qualified it is well worth the time! A pre-approval can benefit you as a borrower in many ways, from accurately planning your budget and increasing your bargaining power, to opening your eyes to additional fees and saving you time in the long run.

Accurate Budget Planning

Perhaps the largest benefit of obtaining a pre-approval is that you will be able to accurately plan your budget. With a pre-approval, you will know exactly what price range you should be searching for your home in, which can help to quickly narrow down your search.

If you are going with a fixed rate mortgage, you will also know what to expect for your monthly payments and can accurately plan your budget around that figure.

Increase Bargaining Power

If you want sellers to take your offer seriously, it is important to get a pre-approval before you make your initial offer. This will show sellers that you are serious about your offer and that you have the documentation to back it up.

A pre-approval can even help increase your bargaining power, especially if there is competition among buyers for the same property. Sellers don’t want to risk agreeing to an offer made by someone who may not get approved for their loan, even if they are offering more money.

A pre-approval will also show sellers that you are already working with a professional and will be able to act quickly to complete the transaction.

Spot Additional Costs

There may be fees associated with your mortgage that you were unaware of before sitting down to begin the process. This is especially true for most first-time home buyers.

Going through the process of applying for your mortgage will lay everything out for you and give you the opportunity to discuss anything you are unsure of with your mortgage broker who can help you prepare for any unexpected costs.

Save Time

As long as you do not make any major changes (quit your job, get married, take out another loan, etc.) after you are pre-approved for your loan, the closing process will move along much faster since quite a bit will have been done already.

If you are interested in purchasing a home in the local area and would like to discuss getting pre-approved for your mortgage, give me a call today! As a trusted Red Deer mortgage broker, I am happy to get your mortgage process started and to answer any questions you may have along the way!




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Want to Raise Your Credit Score?

June 1, 2017
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As I’m sure you are aware, your credit score is one of the main determining factors when it comes to what mortgage options are available to you and how likely you are to get approved for the loan you want. In other words, usually the better your credit score, the better the rate and terms you will qualify and be approved for.

Because your credit score is such an important aspect of the mortgage process, I wanted to share some tips with you about how to raise your credit score. Being proactive about your credit and following through with these tips can help dramatically improve your mortgage options.

The first thing you will need to do is check your credit. You will need to find out what you are working with and compare that to where you want to be. While it is important to have a decent credit score, you don’t need to be striving for perfection. Find out where you stand and set a realistic goal of improving to a certain point that meets the qualifications for the mortgage loan you want to get approved for.

Once you are familiar with your credit score, it is time to get to work!

One of the fastest ways to improve your credit score is to reduce the amount of debt you currently owe. If you are not already paying off your debts, start now. Use the information pulled with your credit report to start tracking the debts you owe and begin making payments as soon as you can. If you can afford to make more than one payment a month, do it. The more debt you can pay off, the faster you will start to see the positive results.

It is also important to remember that once you begin this process, you should try not to add any additional debt. If you have to use your credit card, keep the balance as low as you possibly can and set reminders to pay your bills on time, so you can avoid paying interest or late fees.

Another great way to improve your credit is to open a new account. Remember that your goal is to have as little debt as possible, so if you do decide to open an additional credit card, follow the tips above to stay on top of your monthly payments and keep your balance low. Don’t make the mistake of opening too many accounts at once, though, which can have the opposite effect on your credit.

If you are unsure about how to view your credit report, or still don’t feel that you will be able to raise your credit score in time, give me a call today! I will review your finances with you to help you find the best options and create a plan to get you moving towards your goal of homeownership!




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Market Update – May 2017

May 2, 2017
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Do you know what the average price for a home in Alberta is?

Do you know how the average price of homes in Alberta compares to the average price of homes nationally?

As a Red Deer mortgage broker serving clients throughout Alberta, this is exactly the sort of information I gather to make sure that I am prepared to the best of my ability when it comes to serving my clients and helping them finance the home of their dreams.

I want to make sure that all my clients get the most competitive rates available to them and I am determined to use my professional lending contacts, my experience in the mortgage industry and my regularly updated market knowledge to make that happen.

To answer the questions above, the average price of homes sold in Alberta, during March 2017, was recorded at $404,804, while the average price of homes sold national, during the same month, $548,517.

Both of these figures are increases from the year before, with the average for Alberta rising 3.2% and the average for the Nation rising 8.2%, year over year.

In comparison with the national average, Alberta home prices are slightly lower than most other areas in Canada and are rising at a much slower pace.

This is great news for anyone looking to make a move to Alberta!

As a Red Deer mortgage broker with the backing of Dominion Lending Centres, I am proud to be able to help my clients purchase their dream homes in this wonderful city!

Whether you are interested in purchasing a home or in renewing or refinancing your existing mortgage, I have the skills and experience needed to make the mortgage process as quick and painless as possible, while saving you the most amount of money.

Give me a call if you would like more information or to set up your mortgage consultation today!



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Traits of a Great Mortgage Professional

April 4, 2017
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As I strive to be the Best Mortgage Broker Red Deer, I am committed to helping my clients surpass their dreams of home ownership to become secure in their finances as they proceed through the mortgage process.

Throughout my years in the mortgage industry, I have maintained my philosophy of putting my clients first. Every product and service I offer are designed and personalized by myself based on the specific financial needs and goals of each client. This is done to ensure that the mortgage they close on is the best fit for them.

I know that the mortgage process can seem overwhelming at times with the seemingly endless amount of questions and options to choose from. I also know that choosing the right mortgage broker is a large part of that equation and can add stress if you aren’t sure what you should be looking for.

A great mortgage professional will be eager to work with you on your financial situation, being proactive about moving the process along and clearing any hurdles you may be facing.

They will also be qualified to act as a mortgage professional on your behalf and should have the experience and knowledge necessary to help you make sound financial decisions. A great mortgage broker will do their best to accurately communicate this wealth of knowledge with you to help you feel as informed as possible about the choices you are making. They should be willing to take a step back and answer any questions you have or take the time to explain an aspect of the process that you are uncomfortable with.

The most important traits a great mortgage broker will have are honesty and integrity. Their knowledge of mortgages and experience in the industry are practically useless if you don’t trust them to take care of your financial future. Securing a mortgage is a big deal that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Of course, there are other traits you may be looking for that could include things like personality, but these main characteristics are important for any great mortgage broker to have.

When it is time to secure your mortgage, remember these traits as you are searching for the Best Mortgage Broker Red Deer for your home purchase needs. If you are looking for someone who meets the above criteria, give me a call today for more information or to get your mortgage process started!



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Is it Time to Renew? Tips from a Red Deer Mortgage Broker

March 8, 2017
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As a Red Deer mortgage broker, I have been through the mortgage process with my clients countless times. From applications to pre-approvals and renewals.

Sometimes the process can seem never ending and it might be tempting to just sign your mortgage renewal paperwork without reviewing your options. This can cause you to miss out on locking in a lower interest rate or adding better terms and options to your existing agreement. For some, this might be because you were unaware that you had options when it comes to renewing your mortgage, but I’m here to let you know that you do!

The following checklist has been created to guide you through the process of renewing your mortgage and getting the most out of it:

One to Two Months Before

_ Research current mortgage rates and market statistics

_ Lock in a test rate to track before bringing up that rate in negotiations

_ Use a mortgage calculator

One Month to Two Weeks Before

_ Begin negotiations on rates and other options

One Week Before

_ Double check your agreement before committing to the renewal

Of course, all of the steps above are things you can do on your own, but having an experienced Red Deer mortgage broker on your side will help ensure the renewal process goes as smoothly as possible.

Mortgage brokers work with you and for you! We can research and negotiate rates on your behalf. This step of the process is usually where clients request the most help because negotiating with financial institutions can definitely feel intimidating. I have worked with many of the local financial institutions over the years and the relationships I have built through these business dealings gives me a “leg up” on negotiating your rates with them.

I hope you have found this information useful and I am looking forward to helping you through your renewal process!

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5 Reasons to Use a Red Deer Mortgage Broker

January 13, 2017
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Having trouble deciding whether to secure your home financing through a bank or a Red Deer mortgage broker? 

If this is the case, then look no farther than DLC Regional Mortgage Group in Red Deer. As a Red Deer mortgage broker, I understand that the process of finding the right mortgage and purchasing a home is a major financial decision. I also recognize that it can be an intimidating process, especially for first-time homebuyers.

If you are unable to decide between a bank or a broker, here are five reasons why I believe you should go with a Red Deer mortgage broker for your mortgage needs.

Brokers Work for YOU

As a Red Deer mortgage broker, I work for you, not for the bank. Because I am not employed by any banks or lenders, you can rest assured that any advice or recommendations you receive from me are guaranteed to be in your best interest.

Brokers Offer More Choices

I have access to a huge selection of the top lenders and financial institutions in the nation. As a part of the Dominion Lending Centre family, I can confidently shop around to get you the best mortgage options and rates possible.

Banks can only offer a small handful of options, which doesn’t benefit you when it comes to getting the best mortgage package for your situation.

Brokers Provide Everything You Need, All in One Place

Instead of searching tirelessly for the best mortgage rates, why not have me do the work for you? I can also handle all the negotiating and legal paperwork for you.

Brokers Are Experts at What They Do

I am an experienced, qualified mortgage professional in the Red Deer mortgage industry. I have worked hard to stay up to date with all the different mortgage and lending options that are currently available.

My years of experience in the Red Deer area have also given me a greater understanding of the local real estate markets.

Brokers Form Lasting Relationships

When dealing with something as important as securing financing and purchasing a home, it is important to have a trusting and professional working relationship.

If you obtain a mortgage through a bank, you won’t connect with the employees you do business with in the same way you would with a mortgage broker. You may even have to work with a different employee every time you go in!

It is my hope that this list has helped make your decision between bank and broker a bit easier.

Whether you are planning to purchase a home or interested in refinancing your existing mortgage, I am here to help. Give me a call today at 403-392-5808 for more information or to set up a consultation!

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How to become mortgage-free sooner.

October 12, 2016
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Tania Grozelle - Mortgage free soonerPaying your mortgage off the traditional way takes 25 to 40 years and costs about TWICE the purchase price of your home. Here are some effective ways to pay off your mortgage sooner, build equity faster and save thousands in interest.

•    Change your payments. Simply increasing your payment frequency to bi-weekly or weekly costs nothing and can save thousands of dollars over the life of your mortgage. If you can afford to pay a little extra, consider accelerated bi-weekly or weekly payments—these are equivalent to making one extra monthly payment per year which results in substantial savings. Or you can make a lump sum payment which can realize savings several times as great over the life of your mortgage.

•    All-in-one mortgage. Instead of making extra payments, consider switching to a mortgage that pays off the principal faster without costing you anything more. All-in-one mortgages combine a line-of-credit mortgage with a chequing account to reduce interest costs and pay off your mortgage in as little as half the time, without changing your spending habits. You deposit your pay into the all-in-one account and pay bills as you normally would. While you’re not using your money, it’s used to reduce your daily loan balance. Over the life of the loan, this can save hundreds of thousands of dollars in interest!

•    Merged account mortgage. If you’d rather not refinance your existing mortgage to switch to an all-in-one mortgage, consider a merged account mortgage. This system uses your existing mortgage (any type of first mortgage will work), an advanced line-of-credit (ALOC), and specialized software that makes a connection between your bank account, ALOC and mortgage. Each time you deposit income into your account, the software automatically generates an interest cancellation on your mortgage. The result is that a 30-year mortgage can be paid off in about 8 to 11 years, with no change to your lifestyle or refinancing of your existing mortgage.

To help decide which of these options is the best way for you to become mortgage-free sooner, call me today at 403-392-5808!

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New Mortgage Rules

October 5, 2016
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Tania Grozelle - bank secretsIf you or anyone you know is thinking of buying a home, now would be the time to take action. New mortgage rules may affect your buying power effective October 17th. Our finance minister has announced that all insured mortgages must qualify using 5 year benchmark rate currently 4.64% instead of the actual interest rate currently around 2.39% for 5 year fixed. What this means is that you could potentially have a significantly lower pre-approval amount.For example: Suppose your pre-approval amount today is $450,000 purchase price. AFTER October 17th your new pre-approval amount would be closer to $360,000. That is a HUGE difference. You must be lender and insurer approved before October 17th for current guidelines to apply. Contact me to find out more.

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July 19, 2016
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  1. Tania Grozelle - bank secrets Make a double mortgage payment whenever you can. Doing this once a year can shave over 4 years off the mortgage! Sometimes you can skip a payment later on too…if you really, really need to. Try not to. If your payment is $2,000 a month, four years of no payments is $96,000!!
  2. Increase frequency of payment. For Example going from monthly to bi-weekly accelerated can shave over three years off your mortgage! $2,000, three years of no payments is $72,000!!
  3. Increase your payment. For example a one-time 10% increase can shave 4 years off the mortgage. That’s $96,000! Imagine if you bumped the payment 10% every year from the get go!!! You would be mortgage free in 13 years! Start to finish! Can’t do it? How about 5% every year….you would be mortgage free in 18 years! How about increasing the payment by the amount of your annual raise?
  4. Lump sum payments…same idea…mortgage is gone way faster! Even just one payment a year equivalent to 1 monthly payment will give you similar results as #2 above! How about using your annual work bonus?
  5. Renegotiate whenever rates drop to save interest and pay mortgage faster! Generally a good idea however *Caution* get independent professional advice (a cost benefit analysis) to make sure it makes sense for you at that time. I can help. A 1% reduction on a $300,000 mortgage will save $250 a month…times 5 years…that’s $15,000!!
  6. Keep your credit rating high for best rate. Always pay on time. Never let payments slip past their due date. Always keep balances low in relation to credit limits on credit cards, lines of credit, etc. 50% or less is best even if you pay the balances in full every month. What generally reports to the credit bureau is the statement balance each month. So if your credit limit is $3000 and you are running $3000 a month through the card each month (to collect all those points you never spend or can’t use in blackout periods) and paying in full, it will look like you are maxing out your credit limit and your credit score will drop accordingly.
  7. Increase your mortgage! Yeah I know sounds backwards! Do it to roll in your credit cards, line of credit, car loan etc for a better rate and a set payment plan. Oh you say you don’t want to extend the repayment period of that stuff by rolling it into your mortgage or you have a low or promo rate credit card (those never end well) I agree! Then keep the total payment amount the same but pay it in one neat monthly payment to the increased mortgage.
  8. Make an RRSP contribution and use the refund to pay down your mortgage.
  9. Go variable rate with your mortgage but keep payments as if fixed rate. Variable rates usually win out over fixed rates. By paying a higher payment you will pay off the mortgage faster. It’s also a buffer in case the rate rises above the fixed rate for short periods of time. *Caution* variable rates are not for everyone. Get independent professional advice to find out what is best for you. I can help!
  10. Take your mortgage with you when you change properties to avoid penalty or higher rate on a new mortgage. This is called “porting”. Make sure that your mortgage has this feature. It is not widely known and could save you a ton of dough.
  11. Set up auto savings every paycheque, even $10, when it reaches the amount of one mortgage payment, apply it to the mortgage. This concept goes nicely with #4 above.
  12. Unhook from the money drip…stop paying with your fancy points credit or debit card. Way too easy to overspend! Go old school, go off the grid…PAY CASH, it works!
  13. Don’t ever buy on layaway, you know, six months don’t pay schemes. You think…No problem I’ll just pay it in six months, it will be okay. Yeah right!
  14. Downsize your house. Two good friends and clients of mine, having followed many of the tips here, are in great shape except they have a six bedroom house! Two people, six bed house – go figure! They are nearly debt free so no biggy, but can you say the same? Circumstances change, make the adjustments along the way!
  15. Don’t want to move? Convert the basement/rooms to rental and use the income to pay down debt.
  16. Convert your mortgage to tax deductible. If you are self-employed, own rental property or have investments, this is likely possible. I won’t go into details here, just ask me how.
  17. Have a payment priority.
  18. Pay off the highest interest rate first.
  19. If you have tax deductible loans, pay them off last, slowest. Pay the non-tax deductible loans first and fastest.
  20. Pay off ugly debt first. Stuff like credit card purchases.
  21. Payoff bad debt next. Stuff like car loans, boat loans. Things that depreciate in value.
  22. Pay off good debt (or shall I say “not so bad debt”) last. Stuff like mortgages, investment loans. Things that hopefully appreciate in value.
  23. Buying a car? Finance it if you have to, don’t lease! *Exception* If you are self-employed it might make sense.
  24. You have $20,000 in a secret bank account for a rainy day fund and $20,000 owing on a line of credit. Seriously? The bank account is paying you next to nothing (which is taxable income to boot) and the line of credit rate is way higher (and not tax deductible). You know what to do. You can keep the line of credit open and on standby for rainy day funds. Make it the secret line of credit that you have but never use.
  25. Give your Banker more money. No really. Keep enough in your chequing account to meet the minimum requirement to waive your service charges. My bank charges $10 a month for 25 transactions and nothing, zero, zilch, zip if I keep $2,500 in the account. Let’s see $10 x 12 is $120 a year to pay off debt. I’d have to earn 5% with the $2,500 in my savings account to come out ahead. No brainer here. Oh yeah, if you need more than 25 transactions a month…see #12 above.
  26. #26? BONUS TIP and MOST IMPORTANT. Let’s face it, you’re not the Government and you’re not a Bank, you can’t run deficits forever and you won’t get a bailout….stop procrastinating already! See 1 through 24 above and take action now!
    Sidenote: *Caution* beware of some too good to be true ultra-low rate mortgages. These “no frills” mortgages are often loaded with restrictions like pre-payment limitations, fully-closed terms, stripped-out features, or unusual penalties. You really need to compare product to product. If you’re not looking at what you’re giving up, you may regret it in the future. This alone could prevent you from taking advantage of tips #1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 16 and 22!
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