Looking for an extra special gift this holiday season? We created this list of Squamish’s most expensive homes, perfect for that person in your life who has everything. Whether you are looking for a riverside estate, a farm in the Valley or a custom home with stunning ocean views, there is a property in Squamish for the dreamer in you. Here is a look at Squamish’s most expensive homes currently on MLS.
Mortgage: You either have one or you’ve heard of one. And if you’re in the latter group, maybe you’re at a point where you ought to learn more. But it can be intimidating as a first-time buyer, if not downright terrifying, to admit your ignorance about such a big, seemingly important part of adulting.
It’s never too late to learn the basics about mortgages and mortgage pre-approval, especially in a place as real estate-focused as BC. That’s why we talked to Annie de la Chevrotiere at The Mortgage Centre, Peak to Peak Mortgage and asked her to dig through the 20 years of industry experience she has for the three things every single person living in BC needs to know about mortgages, how they work, and how to get one for yourself.
So get ready to learn, and read along.
Rejection isn’t the end
There are three insurers in Canada that provide high ratio mortgage insurance, CMHC, Genworth, and Canada Guaranty. If a lender receives a decline from an insurer due to the property, lending policy dictates they can’t proceed with the application. That doesn’t mean you can’t approach a new lender to try through a different insurer.
Working with a broker can be beneficial in these cases because they have the ability to work with different lenders if necessary. What may not fit policy for one lender/insurer, may be acceptable to another. Sometimes you go through all three insurers before you find the right fit.
Situations where a property may not meet an insurer’s guidelines include (but are not limited to): age, location, square footage, and/or overall condition.
Rental property purchase vs. owner occupied purchase
The lending environment now emphasizes the difference between financing for a rental property and financing for a property that is owner-occupied and/or a second home. The financing rates are lower for owner-occupied properties, because this lending scenario is deemed to bear the least amount of risk for the lender.
If your purchase agreement is written with possession that honours an existing tenant agreement, it will be treated as a rental purchase. If you are relying on high ratio approval (less than 20% down, for example) you will need the purchase agreement to be written with vacant possession. Rental property financing is approved with different lending guidelines due to the difference in risk for the lender. Financing for a rental purchase requires a minimum downpayment of 20%, and the available interest rates are higher.
Purchasing a fixer-upper
If you want to purchase a home that needs a bit of TLC, there are purchase + improvement programs that can help. Generally, this is for improvements up to $40,000. This type of financing must be arranged at the beginning of the approval process, so you might need a little extra time for your subject to financing. Keep this in mind when you’re writing your Offer to Purchase and let your realtor know.
The lender will need written estimates/quotes for the work that is to be done, and these are submitted up front in the process, along with your income and downpayment documents. The lender will issue an approval based on the higher value after the improvements, but will hold back the additional funds until you can provide confirmation that the work is 100% complete. The lender may request an appraisal of the property and copies of the paid quotes to confirm the Improvements are complete. You are reimbursed through your lawyer or notary’s office once the lender is satisfied.
The Mortgage Centre, Peak to Peak Mortgage has a wealth of knowledge and experience on hand at all times. This BC mortgage broker can be a valuable resource to assist and guide you through the ever-changing mortgage approval process. This is just the beginning.
Visit The Mortgage Centre, Peak to Peak Mortgage to find out more.
Squamish used to be considered an affordable place in the Sea to Sky to buy a home, however, in recent years our little secret gem has been discovered with demand for housing increasing prices on a large scale. We compiled a list of Squamish’s Million Dollar Listings to show you how far your money will go. According to TD Trusts affordability calculator, with a 20% down payment of 200,000 and a household monthly income of 200,000+ means you could afford to finance a million dollar listing, with an approximate monthly mortgage cost of 4000.
The neighborhoods around Squamish are easy to learn. Each one has its advantages and drawbacks. One neighborhood simply might fit your unique needs better than another. Squamish is composed of five distinct neighborhoods. Each neighborhood has its own unique vibe, and as our community grows we wanted to give you an introduction to the different neighborhoods in Squamish.
The Five Neighborhoods of Squamish
Brackendale is located in the northern region of Squamish. It will typically only take you 10 minutes to reach downtown Squamish. It is also only 30 minutes away from Whistler. The neighborhoods sit in the vast expanse of a valley with the picturesque Squamish River cutting a pathway through. There are commercial businesses such as a cafe, art gallery, coffee houses, restaurants, bike store, and salon that serve the residents. Eagle Run, located in Brackendale, boasts beautiful homes and ample landscaping.
The layout of Brackendale makes it ideal for walkers, bikers, and hikers. The entire area is a balanced mix of older homes and new construction. There is a post office. In the north region, is the Brackendale Elementary School and Don Ross Middle School.
2. Garibaldi Highlands
In Garibaldi Highlands, the streets are lined with trees to create a cozy, enchanting community. Located on a hill, the Highlands features lovely single family homes that boast large yards. Many of the houses also have a picturesque view of the Pacific Ocean, Squamish Valley, and the mountains. Outdoor enthusiasts will love the many bike paths and walking/jogging trails. Quest University, a liberal arts school, lies within the neighborhood.
The Valleycliffe neighborhood is the southernmost so it is usually best for people who commute to Vancouver, as the lack of traffic lights heading south from here can cut your commute time by 20 min. The higher levels of Valleycliffe overlook the Howe Sound. It is a popular location because it places residents close to Vancouver and Squamish. The large family homes in the area feature wonderful views. While Valey cliff can be know to be in the shadows in the winter, most of Squamish experiences the same lack of sun. Our tip for this – get up early and get your self outside to play. Family-friendly trails run throughout Valleycliffe. There are also cafes, restaurants, a gym, post office and a centrally located elementary school.
4. Central Squamish
Central Squamish is made up of Garibaldi Estates, Tantalus, The Northyards/Dentville, and the Brennan Park area. The entire area is a mix of commercial and residential properties that include condos and townhomes. Northyards and Dentville have experienced an explosion of growth with many condos and townhomes constructed. There are numerous shopping and dining choices available to residents.
5. Downtown Squamish
In the last few years, downtown Squamish has undergone a growth explosion.Townhomes and condos dot the area. The waterfront region is slated for even more expansion which means that would-be home shoppers will have a larger market of homes to choose from. Residents of downtown Squamish appreciate the many shops, restaurants, coffee houses, and other opportunities that are all within walking distance.
Squamish is a thriving and flourishing town that is drawing new residents faster than homes are being built. If you are considering moving to the area then you will want to pick from one of the five neighborhoods and focus all of your efforts on finding your dream home.
Starting January 2018, many homebuyers are facing much stiffer guidelines when it comes to getting a mortgage. The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Canada (OSFI) announced on October 17th, that all borrowers will be required to qualify for a mortgage that has a two percentage point higher rate than they are actually applying for. This new rule even includes borrowers who have down payments of 20 percent or higher and do not require mortgage insurance.
The changes were proposed to curb the buying ability of individuals who are already suffering from a high degree of indebtedness. During the last few years, the soaring house prices in Canada have forced many households to live in a state of virtual indebtedness. One small unforeseen financial calamity and indebt families won’t be able to pay their mortgage payments which will cause many to default. This cycle ultimately creates instability and the potential for a devastating crash. The new guidelines are being put in place to prevent people from overextending themselves and perhaps purchasing a home that they will be unable to afford down the road.
Currently, uninsured mortgages account for 45 percent of all home loans so these changes have the potential to have a dramatic impact on the housing market, especially in regions where home prices are already high. In such areas, people are already on the cusp of their buying potential when they find a home so the effects of these new financial changes may prevent many from being able to purchase a home.
Many people in the Squamish area wonder what impact the new financial changes will have on their region. To date, the Squamish housing market is red hot and a true seller’s dream but, ultimately, these changes may mean a decrease in the home sales in 2018. Many potential homebuyers will no longer be able to qualify for a mortgage at the amount they require to purchase a home in the region. Some would-be buyers may not even be able to buy a house.
In a high sale price area like Squamish, many buyers already barely qualify to purchase a home so with dramatic changes many will be unable to attain their dream of homeownership unless home prices come down or they experience an increase in their wages. This means that many who live in the area will be forced to look for long-term rental housing which is very difficult to find. The worse case scenario for Squamish is that people who work in the area may be forced to live further afield and commute because ultimately they will be able to afford to buy a home.
Many homebuyers hope that with a limited supply of qualified buyers then the availability of homes for sale in Squamish might increase but others fear that the housing boom may come to a screeching halt. Homes may sit on the market longer as sellers are forced to wait for qualified buyers.
Ultimately, would be buyers in Squamish are hopIng that the prices will start to drop to more affordable levels if the homes do not continue to sell rapidly. Perhaps a swing might occur and it may become a buyer’s market as opposed to a seller’s market.