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How will the Floods in Calgary affect the real estate market?

Posted by Larry Arnason
Larry Arnason
Calgary Mortgage Broker, Larry Arnason - proudly serving Calgary and the surroun
User is currently offline
on Friday, 28 June 2013
in Real Estates News and Updates for Calgary

For the first half of 2013 Calgary was leading the country in the real estate market - high quality (and diverse) listings, average selling price, number of days on the market - and we were continuing to grow upward. Many people are now wondering what impact the massive and destructive flooding southern Alberta experienced last week will do to the housing market in Calgary and if our numbers will continue to lead the nation for the second half of the year.

There were over 700 MLS listings in Calgary that were affected by the flooding waters from the Bow and Elbow rivers, that is nearly 12% of the current market. While it is uncertain how many of these homes actually suffered physical damage, the areas in which they are located were all severely impacted. This has left many buyers anxious about potential price increases and decreased options.

“We would expect in the short term you’re going to see some listings drop, especially in the areas that were impacted. That’s a natural reaction to it,” said Ann-Marie Lurie, chief economist at the Calgary Real Estate Board. “As far as demand goes, it can actually shift demand to other areas as the listings drop off. People might start considering other communities.”

In addition to the potential shift caused by homes impacted by the flood that were already listed in the MLS system, we may see a drop in new listings as homeowners in the impacted areas hold off on their plans to sell or purchase a new home as they focus on rebuilding. After a traumatic event like the massive Calgary flood, many people will re-evaluate their lives and housing choices. This is expected to drive more buyers to new communities that were not affected by the floods and that have available inventory to sell on new lots.

For the nearly 200 homes that were purchased in heavily flood impacted areas in the last 30 days, buyers that have not yet taken possession are being advised to consult with their real estate agents and real estate lawyers. Each case will need to be addressed and evaluated on an individual basis as many properties are no longer in “substantially the same condition” as outlined in the purchase contract.

One thing is certain, the people of this amazing city have shown once again why Calgary is such an incredible place to call home. We are deeply grateful for the overwhelming efforts from volunteers, our public servants (police, fire, emergency, and government men and women), local businesses, and people opening their homes to help people in need. It is an honour to live and work in this city every day.

If you are thinking about purchasing a home, renovating your current home, or need to amend your moving plans please contact us anytime at 403-265-5363 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. – we would be happy to assist you in any way we can and ensure that you have every option available to you for your mortgage or home financing needs.

Best regards,
Larry Arnason
Calgary’s Mortgage Broker
www.larryarnason.com

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How much is my house worth?

Posted by Larry Arnason
Larry Arnason
Calgary Mortgage Broker, Larry Arnason - proudly serving Calgary and the surroun
User is currently offline
on Friday, 24 May 2013
in Real Estates News and Updates for Calgary

By Special Guest Blogger: Greg Kemp, Calgary Realtor – Discover Real Estate Ltd.

Why you should choose a Realtor to do your home evaluation before deciding to sell.

When a Realtor completes a Market Analysis, it is based upon several factors. Style, Size, Location, Utility, Condition (deferred maintenance), how it shows (presentation) and the current state of the market.

The first and most likely approach to value is completed like this: First, we review the information above and then, we look at the most recent SOLD comparable properties to come up with a price based on what we call the Sales Comparison Approach, which adds to the sale price of recently sold properties if the subject property is superior or deducts from the price of those recently sold properties if the subject property is inferior.

The reason we use the SOLD comparable properties is that we know what a property sold for once it is SOLD. AS we all know, a LISTED price means nothing.

Now every Realtor knows, or should know, that we also use another method or principle of evaluation to arrive at the price that is called The Principle of Substitution. Simply put, it means that the buyer will pay no more to replace that property with an equally desirable property of similar utility. In other words, all things being equal, if there are two properties in the same subdivision, of similar size, condition, location and utility, a buyer will usually pick the least expensive. If buyers Realtors are doing their job properly, they are arriving at a similar price that the listing Realtor arrived at based on doing the same type of evaluation.

Why then, do some buyers want to try and steal properties when they know only too well, that the property is fairly priced in the first place?

All that happens when a low offer comes in, is everyone gets their backs up and things go sideways. The Seller does not sell and the Buyer doesn’t get the property they really wanted. Now let us not forget, that some Realtors come up with a price and the Seller says “No, I want it listed much higher”. Then the principle of substitution kicks in and buyers see the property as way out of line in comparison to similar other properties often resulting in the seller eventually selling at below where it should have been sold in the first place. WHY? It’s very simple!

If a property is priced too high to start with, it will sit because the other surrounding properties that are priced correctly will sell. Eventually the Seller ends up following the market downwards, reducing, reducing & reducing, but here’s the problem - When the property eventually reaches the point where it should have been listed in the first place, Buyers now see that it has been on the market for 120.....180 days, whatever, and they say to themselves, “well, it can’t be worth that much, because it would have SOLD already”.

As a Realtor, I am trained to be diligent in pricing property and using the very best means available to ensure that the Seller gets the right price for their home - that of the Sales Comparison approach AND the Principle of Substitution approach. This guides a Seller to offer their home at the right price in the first place and, when a Buyer comes along, the Buyer will see that the property is priced right based on the Realtors evaluation.

If you are a buyer and your Realtor has done their job properly, you will know where the price should be. The facts and data don’t lie. So be you a Buyer or a Seller, as YOUR REALTOR, I WILL LOOK AFTER YOU!

After all that being said, there is no shame in a Buyer paying or a Seller receiving a fair price for a properly priced home.

Greg Kemp CCS
Discover Real Estate Ltd.

Cell - 403-852-5367
iFax - 403-592-2193

www.GregKemp.ca

"Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives" William A. Foster

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New Changes to Zero Down Mortgages in Alberta

Posted by Larry Arnason
Larry Arnason
Calgary Mortgage Broker, Larry Arnason - proudly serving Calgary and the surroun
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 10 April 2013
in Calgary Mortgage Broker News and Announcements

Effective immediately (April 10, 2013) the last lender offering zero down / cash back mortgages in Calgary and Alberta has changed their guidelines, they will no longer allow Cash Back funds to be used for the down payment on a purchase. There are however a few other solutions we can provide for families that need help with their 5% down.    

Our specialty mortgage solutions are a great opportunity for:

People with existing assets (investments, property, savings) but cannot access immediate cash.

People with good credit scores and established credit history but limited cash assets.

First time home buyers with no down payment.

New Immigrants to Canada and Students with a co-signer.

Flex Down: Our flexible down payment program works with lenders that allow you to borrow your down payment.  A borrowed down payment for the program can come from a secured line of credit, a personal loan or credit cards.  To qualify for this program you must have access to funds you can borrow and the loan repayment will be factored into your debt ratio before approval – you must be able to afford to pay it back in addition to your mortgage payments.  The minimum credit score is over 650 to be eligible for this program.

Down Payment Gift: For individuals that have family members who are able to help with the purchase of a home there is another option; we have lenders that will allow you to use a financial gift as your down payment.  The person giving you the money will need to sign a gift letter with you saying that you’re not required to pay the money back at any time and that is not a loan – the person who is providing the funds to you must be an immediate family member.

RRSP Mortgage: A potential home owner can withdraw up to $25,000.00 from their RRSP without having to pay taxes on the amount withdrawn provided the funds are used for the down payment on an owner occupied home. The money would have to be returned to the RRSP over a 15 year period. (1/15th of the original amount withdrawn every year)

While each of our lenders have their own guidelines most of the options available for home buyers who need help with the down payment require the individual to have a good credit history for a minimum of 2 years with a minimum score of 650. 

If you need help improving your credit score to qualify for one of these programs we are happy to do a consultation with you and get you started on the path to being approved.

If you have the required 5% down but do not have good credit we also offer some great alternative mortgage financing options that we can access for you – frequently even if the banks have said no!

To find out more about any of the programs listed above please call us at 403-265-5363 or email us anytime at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

It is our mission to help all of our clients get the home of their dreams!

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Calgary Mortgage Rates Update - April 2013

Posted by Larry Arnason
Larry Arnason
Calgary Mortgage Broker, Larry Arnason - proudly serving Calgary and the surroun
User is currently offline
on Saturday, 06 April 2013
in Uncategorized

The new Calgary Mortgage rates are creating an incredible opportunity for families that are planning on purchasing a house and for existing home owners looking for a way to improve their household budget and save money on their bills or reduce their interest rates on consumer debts like credit cards and loans. 

We are pleased to announce that we're now accepting new clients in Calgary and through out Alberta to ensure that everyone has the ability to become a home owner.  As your Mortgage Broker we can provide these rates to you because we have access to hundreds of banks and lenders from across Canada that will compete for your business making sure you get the lowest rates and best terms available - guaranteed.

Same day approval / pre-approval / rate holds available and there is never any fee or charge to use our services!

           Our Rates *   Bank Rates

1 year     2.39%      3.10%

2 year     2.49%      3.29%

3 year     2.54%      4.05%

4 year     2.79%      4.39%

5 year     2.79%      5.24%

7 year     3.55%      6.35%

10 year   3.69%      6.75%

VIRM      2.60%      3.00%

We are pleased to offer you a no-obligation complimentary consultation to evaluate your mortgage options and provide you with a rate hold and pre-approval so that you can make your purchase decisions or financial decisions with confidence and security. To arrange for a consultation and pre-qualified approval please fill out to Quick Contact form on our home page at Calgary Mortgage Broker or you can reach us by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone at 403-265-5363.

We can provide full mortgage services for:

  • First Time Home Buyers
  • Cash Back Mortgages / Zero Down
  • Move-up / New Home Buyers
  • Traditional Mortgages
  • Investment property
  • Self Employed or Single Income Families
  • Credit Challenges
  • New Immigrants to Canada
  • Retirement Mortgages / Reverse Mortgages
  • Debt Consolidation / Refinancing Plans
  • Mortgage Renewals / 2nd or 3rd Mortgages
  • Commercial mortgages

Let us help you make your dreams of owning a home, being debt free a reality, paying your mortgage off years earlier, or freeing up equity to do the things you have always wanted!

Larry Arnason, your Calgary Mortgage Expert

Call us anytime at 403-265-5363

* All rates are subject to change and available oac

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Cash Back Mortgages now available in Calgary

Posted by Larry Arnason
Larry Arnason
Calgary Mortgage Broker, Larry Arnason - proudly serving Calgary and the surroun
User is currently offline
on Friday, 01 March 2013
in Calgary Mortgage Broker News and Announcements

We are very pleased to announce that we now offer 0 down mortgages / Cash Back mortgages across Alberta through our Credit Union partners. This a great option for anyone that has been unable to save for a down payment but has a good credit history . To apply for a Cash Back mortgage in Calgary or throughout Alberta please click here to be taken to our main page and fill out the 30 second Quick Application, you can also apply by emailing us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 403-265-5363.

What is the difference between a Zero ($0 or 0%) down mortgage and a standard mortgage of 5% down or more and can I qualify for a 0% down mortgage?

In the past home buyers had an option of mortgaging 100% of their home - that option is still possible in Alberta but it is now called a Cash Back Mortgage. This is a great alternative option for people who do not have a down payment as it allows you to purchase a home with less than 5% down. With a cash back mortgage the lender will give you 5% of the mortgage amount back at closing and these funds can be used for the down payment on the property. The cash back mortgage is only available on a 5 year fixed interest term and the interest rate is typically set at the 5 year posted rate. Today’s rate on the 5% cash back product is 5.24%. **

While at first glance you may look at these rates and say wow that is high but what does that actually mean? How much extra would you be paying over the 5 years?

While a Cash Back Mortgage does have higher interest rates one thing to keep in mind is that your property value will in all likelihood continue to rise during the payment period. Even if your property increased its value by 1% per year, at the end of the 5 years you would have gained a little over $15,000.00 in equity which offsets the additional costs.

Monthly residential average prices were up from January 2012 in South Central Alberta (+37 per cent), Calgary (+10 per cent), Medicine Hat (+6 per cent), Grande Prairie (+5 per cent), Alberta West (+3 per cent), Edmonton (+2 per cent), and Central Alberta (+1 per cent)***

Using purchase price of $300,000.00 here is the actual cost of taking a 5% cash back mortgage on a 5 year term with a 25 year amortization.

$1,786.03 Payment on 5% cash back

$1,416.20 Payment if you had 5% down payment

$22,189.80 = Difference of $ 369.83 X 60 months

$14,250.00 5% of $285,000.00

$7,939.80 Cost of receiving the 5% cash back

To sum up, if you do not have the full down payment of 5% you can take advantage of these products and buy that new house without having to wait to save up the down payment. At the end of the 5 year term you can then refinance at the discounted rates available at the time of the refinance.

One thing to keep in mind is that if you refinance or sell the property before the term is complete you may have to pay some or all of the “cash back” depending on how long the mortgage is in place. The cash back is not a gift to you it is essentially a loan that is built into the mortgage and is paid back over a 5 year period.

If you would like to arrange a complimentary consultation with us to explore your mortgage options please visit our main page and fill out the 30 second Quick Application form or you can call us at 403-265-5363. We are committed to making sure that every client gets the best mortgage rates and the best terms: guaranteed. There are no fees or costs for you to use our services and we are available to meet on your schedule.

Larry Arnason, Your Calgary Mortgage Broker

**The above rates are as of February 28th, 2013 and are subject to change without notice**

*** stats taken from http://creastats.crea.ca/area/index.htm ***

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Calgary home sets record sale at $10.35 million

Posted by Larry Arnason
Larry Arnason
Calgary Mortgage Broker, Larry Arnason - proudly serving Calgary and the surroun
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 28 February 2013
in Real Estates News and Updates for Calgary

By Mario Toneguzzi, Calgary Herald

An opulent home described as a ‘French castle’ has set a record for the  highest ever MLS sale price in Calgary as the property in Aspen Woods sold for  $10.35 million on Wednesday.

The two-storey home, listed by realtor Corinne Poffenroth of Sotheby’s  International Realty Canada, was built in 2010 and had a list price of $11.495  million.

It was originally listed in July 2011 at $12 million.

The sale eclipses the previous record high of $10.3 million in August 2009  when the two-storey home, in Elbow Park/Glencoe, of former Calgary Flames  goaltender Mike Vernon was sold.

According to the Calgary Real Estate Board, rounding out the top five highest  priced sales ever are: a three-storey home in Crescent Heights at $7.5 million  in June 2008; a three-storey home in Britannia at $6 million in April 2012; and  a two-storey home in Elbow Park/Glencoe at $5.3 million in February 2010.

The listing for the ‘French castle’ reads: “Opulent Elegance, Distinctive  Address! This majestic French Country Castle sits atop the interior ridge on  nearly 1 Acre in the prestigious “Heights” of Aspen Estates with expansive  grounds and landscaping, gated privacy, utmost security and exclusivity. This  magnificent rundle-stone wrapped estate, custom designed and built by Pacer  Signature Homes, exceeds all expectations with over 14,500 sq. ft. of  luxuriously appointed living quarters including 5 Bedrooms, 9 Bathrooms, 5-Car  Garage, and a separate Carriage House with a fully suited residence. Designed  for grand-scale entertaining and modern living. Exquisitely finished with exotic  materials from around the world. Amenities include: Grand Parlor with Swarovski  Crystal Chandelier, Gourmet Kitchen and Butler’s Pantry, Men’s Parlor, Bar &  Games Room, Wine-Tasting Room, Yoga Studio and Spa facilities. A world-class  residence, this architectural masterpiece is an unprecedented opportunity to own  one of the most exquisite properties in Canada!”

In a previous Herald story, Richard Pelletier, president of Pacer Signature  Homes, said the house took a year to design and another 19 months to build.

“It was built to sell,” said Pelletier.

“We sourced materials from around the world and built the home in the style  of a French Country castle, so it truly is one of a kind.”

Read more and see photos at:  http://www.calgaryherald.com/entertainment/Calgary+home+sets+record+sale+million/8028616/story.html#ixzz2MD5v97iW

 

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Zero Down Mortgage options in Calgary

Posted by Larry Arnason
Larry Arnason
Calgary Mortgage Broker, Larry Arnason - proudly serving Calgary and the surroun
User is currently offline
on Friday, 30 November 2012
in Calgary Mortgage Broker News and Announcements

Calgary Mortgage Broker Larry Arnason now offering Zero Down Mortgage options for families and individuals needing solutions!

In today’s economy there any many people that would like to buy a home who could qualify for a mortgage and cover the monthly payments but simply have not been able to save up the minimum 5% down payment required.  In the past the government offered a program for Zero Down Mortgages unfortunately due to regulation changes that program is no longer available leaving many families thinking they have no options but we have the solution. 

Our special mortgage programs are ideal for:

People with existing assets (investments, property, savings) but cannot access immediate cash.

First time home buyers with no down payment.

New Immigrants to Canada and Students with a co-signer.

People with good credit but limited cash assets.

Flex Down: Our flexible down payment program works lenders that allow you to borrow your down payment.  A borrowed down payment for the program can come from a secured line of credit, a personal loan or credit cards.  To qualify for this program you must have access to funds you can borrow and the loan repayment will be factored into your debt ratio before approval – you must be able to afford to pay it back in addition to your mortgage payments.  The minimum credit score is over 650 to be eligible for this program.

RRSP Mortgage: A potential home owner can withdraw up to $25,000.00 from their RRSP without having to pay taxes on the amount withdrawn provided the funds are used for the down payment on an owner occupied home. The money would have to be returned to the RRSP over a 15 year period. (1/15th of the original amount withdrawn every year)

Cash Back: Our Cash Back program offers you the ability to receive a portion of your mortgage amount back in cash.  This is ideal for people that have been able to save up some money for their down payment but need help to cover the other costs associated with purchasing a home including closing costs (lawyers, taxes, renovations, etc) that you must have in hand in order to be approved for a traditional mortgage.  The interest rate on a Cash Back mortgage is typically slightly higher than regular fixed rate mortgages.  You must have a minimum credit score of 650 to qualify for the Cash Back program.

Down Payment Gift: For individuals that have family members who are able to help with the purchase of a home there is another option; we have lenders that will allow you to use a financial gift as your down payment.  The person giving you the money will need to sign a gift letter with you saying that you’re not required to pay the money back at any time and that is not a loan – the person who is providing the funds to you must be an immediate family member.

While each of our lenders have their own guidelines most of the options available for home buyers who need help with the down payment require the individual to have a good credit history with a minimum score of 650. 

If you need help improving your credit score to qualify for one of these programs we are happy to do a consultation with you and get you started on the path to being approved.

If you have the required 5% down but do not have good credit we also offer some great alternative mortgage financing options that we can access for you – frequently even if the banks have said no!

To find out more about any of the programs listed above please call us at 403-265-5363 or email us anytime at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. It is our mission to help all of our clients get the home of their dreams!

 

zerodownmortgages

 

* Programs and qualification criteria subject to change based on regulatory policies and lender guidelines

www.larryarnason.com

 

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Second mortgage offers a solution to increasing credit card debts.

Posted by Larry Arnason
Larry Arnason
Calgary Mortgage Broker, Larry Arnason - proudly serving Calgary and the surroun
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 14 November 2012
in Mortgage Information

Thousands of families do their financial planning and budget at the end of the year and often realize that they need to change plans for their financial health. Maybe you are you planning to consolidate your debts, need some money for some renovations, looking for some extra cash before Christmas, or just want to reduce the amount of interest you are paying on existing credit cards.

If you own your home there are some great options for you and your family even if you don’t qualify for a bank loan, line of credit, or your mortgage is not up for renewal yet. By establishing a second mortgage you can have access to funds you need right away and if you are consolidating high interest credit cards it will lower the amount of cash you have to put out each month as mortgage rates are lower than most credit cards.

Additionally, a second mortgage is typically a better option than trying to refinance your fist mortgage mid-term which will typically result in very large penalties and in some cases you may not have the option to refinance your first mortgage at all. When your first mortgage does comes up for renewal you can usually just increase it and blend the two together rather than carrying two.

Second mortgages will typically have a shorter term than a first mortgage so they can be set up to renew around the same time as your first mortgage for your convenience. While there are typically fees charged for the setup of a second mortgage, they are incorporated into the mortgage so you would only have to come up with the cost of an appraisal of your property.

If you would like to find out more about second mortgages or get a free no-obligation consultation to review your financial options please contact us anytime at 403-265-5363 or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Best wishes to you and your family for a safe and happy holiday season!

Larry Arnason
Calgary’s Mortgage Broker

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New Calgary Mortgage Rates Now Available

Posted by Larry Arnason
Larry Arnason
Calgary Mortgage Broker, Larry Arnason - proudly serving Calgary and the surroun
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, 30 October 2012
in Calgary Mortgage Broker News and Announcements

Calgary Mortgage Rates For October 30, 2012

The new historically low long-term mortgage rates available in Calgary are creating an incredible opportunity for families that are planning purchasing a home and for existing home owners looking for a way to save money on their bills and reduce their interest rates on consumer debts like credit cards and loans.  As your Mortgage Broker we can provide these rates to you because we have access to hundreds of banks and lenders from across Canada that will compete for your business making sure you get the lowest rates and best terms available - guaranteed.

Same day approval available and there is never any fee or charge to use our services!

Terms

Our Rates

Bank Rates

1 year

2.74%

3.10%

2 year

2.69%

3.29%

3 year

2.99%

4.05%

4 year

3.04%

4.39%

5 year

3.19%

5.24%

7 year

3.69%

6.35%

10 year

3.99%

6.75%

VIRM

2.90%

3.00%

We are pleased to offer you a no-obligation complimentary consultation to evaluate your mortgage options and provide you with a rate hold and pre-approval so that you can make your purchase decisions or financial decisions with confidence and security. To arrange for a consultation and pre-qualified approval please fill out to Quick Contact form on our home page at Calgary Mortgage Brokeror you can reach us by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or by phone at 403-265-5363. We provide full mortgage services for:

•  First Time Home Buyers •  Cash Back Mortgages •  Move-up / New Home Buyers •  Traditional Mortgages •  Self Employed or Single Income Families •  Credit Challenges •  New Immigrants to Canada •  Debt Consolidation / Refinancing Plans •  Mortgage Renewals / 2nd or 3rd Mortgages

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Let us help you make you dreams of owning a home, being debt free a reality, paying your mortgage off years earlier, or freeing up equity to do the things you have always wanted!

~ Larry Arnason, your Calgary Mortgage Expert

  Call us anytime at 403-265-5363

All rates are subject to change and available oac

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Calgary Property Tax Assistance

Posted by Larry Arnason
Larry Arnason
Calgary Mortgage Broker, Larry Arnason - proudly serving Calgary and the surroun
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, 31 July 2012
in Real Estates News and Updates for Calgary

It's summer and that means property tax time again. Did you know that The City of Calgary offers financial assistance to low income homeowners, regardless of age, who are having trouble paying their property taxes? Some home owners have their taxes deducted as part of their mortgage but for many people property taxes have become a struggle and they don't know where to turn for help.

The Property Assistance Program is specifically designed to help homeowners who are experiencing financial hardships as a result of an increase in their property taxes.

To be eligible for the property tax credit, the homeowners must meet the following criteria:
 

  • live in the City of Calgary
  • experience a property tax increase from 2011-2012
  • meet the minimum income guidelines, ( $22,637/one person; $28,182/two persons; $34,646/three persons; $42,065/four persons)
  • owns the property for a minimum of one year
  • live in the principle residence for the majority of the time
  • owns no other property
  • provide a proof of income (i.e. a copy of 2011 income tax return is required)


The Property Tax Assistance Program is administered by Community and Neighbourhood Services - The City of Calgary. For more information or to apply to the Property Tax Assistance Program, call 311, or visit their website at www.calgary.ca/propertytax

Greg Kemp, Calgary Realtor - Carter & Associates Realty
www.gregkemp.ca

About Greg: Greg takes a professional and personal approach in keeping his clients up to date of market trends, news and has in-depth knowledge of the subtleties of purchasing and selling real estate in Calgary and its surrounding areas. To learn more about Greg or to see some of the great listings currently available please visit his website at www.gregkemp.ca  or call him at 403-852-5367

To see if you qualify for a mortgage and to get pre-approved please return to our home page at www.larryarnason.com  and fill out the 30 second quick app for a free no-obligation consultation of your mortgage options.

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Calgary Mortgage Rate: 2.99% for 5 year fixed term - limited time special

Posted by Larry Arnason
Larry Arnason
Calgary Mortgage Broker, Larry Arnason - proudly serving Calgary and the surroun
User is currently offline
on Saturday, 28 July 2012
in Real Estates News and Updates for Calgary

If you're going to look at Calgary show homes this weekend, visiting open houses, looking for a new home, or starting the process to buy a home then we can help. Your mortgage rate can determine the difference between getting your dream or settling for something less. We are pleased to announce that we have an incredible new low rate of 2.99% available for 5 year fixed term mortgages and additional special rates for 3 year terms.

If you are thinking about buying in the next few months please call us to get pre-approved at the special low rates this week. With a pre-approval we can hold your rate for 120 days while shop for the perfect house!  If you have been holdng off on making an offer on your dream then don't wait any longer - this rate special will not last long, call us for a rate hold.

Please give us a call at 403-265-5363 or fill out the 30 second quick application on our Calgary Mortgage Broker to get your pre-approval today.

We also have great rate specials available in Red Deer, Lethbridge, Grande Prairie, Fort McMurray, Medicine Hat, Edmonton, and many more cities in Alberta!

Let us help you make your dream home a reality!

~ Larry

Realtor enquiries welcome.

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Introducing the Calgary and Canadian Olympic Team for 2012

Posted by Larry Arnason
Larry Arnason
Calgary Mortgage Broker, Larry Arnason - proudly serving Calgary and the surroun
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 25 July 2012
in General


The Summer Olympic Games 2012 are almost here, are you ready to cheer for your local Calgary athletes and all of Team Canada?

The opening ceremonies will be broadcast live on CTV (in normal and High Definition) starting at 2pm local time on CTV on Friday July 27, 2012. Olympic organizers are promising a live show that will take your breath away and celebrate the diversity of all the countries participating while showcasing the beautiful history and culture of Great Britain. If you aren’t able to watch the event live and don’t have access to a DVR / PVR you can watch the US broadcast on Friday evening on NBC.

There are 277 world class athletes competing in the 2012 games on Team Canada many of whom call Albert and Calgary home. For everyone wanting to cheer on our hometown hero here is the team roster for Your Calgary Athletes for the 2012 Olympic Games:

Leah Callahan         Calgary, AB           Wrestling               Women's freestyle 72 kg

Nathan Gafuik         Calgary, AB          Gymnastics            Artistic

Grace Gao               Calgary, AB          Badminton             Mixed doubles

Akeem Haynes        Calgary, AB          Athletics                 4x100m

Carol Huynh            Calgary, AB          Wrestling               Women's freestyle 48 kg

Erin McLeod            Calgary, AB          Soccer                   Women's Soccer

Monique Sullivan     Calgary, AB          Cycling                    Track

Jillian Tyler              Calgary, AB          Swimming              100m breaststroke

Jessica Zelinka        Calgary. AB          Athletics                 Heptathlon / 100m hurdles

Canada is predicted to take 22 medals or more at the games if we can hit 23 it would be our best performance at the summer games on record – previous best was 22 medals in 1996. In addition to our medal count Canada is expecting to take a record number of top ten finishes almost every event we are participating in.

To see a complete list of all the athletes representing Canada in the 2012 Olympics including what event they are competing in and what hometown they are representing please visit: http://olympic.ca/2012-canadian-olympic-team

From everyone at Calgary Mortgage Brokers we send our best wishes to all of the Canadian athletes and their coaches who will be representing our country in the coming weeks!

GO TEAM CANADA!!! WE BELIEVE!!!


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CMHC and the New Mortgage Rules in Canada

Posted by Larry Arnason
Larry Arnason
Calgary Mortgage Broker, Larry Arnason - proudly serving Calgary and the surroun
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on Friday, 06 July 2012
in Mortgage Information

On June 21, 2012 the Government of Canada announced new parameters regarding the application of government backed mortgage insurance. This has raised many questions from families that are getting ready to buy a home regarding their CMHC and issues that may affect their application and approval.

The following clarifications are from CMHC and acknowledge industry realities and accommodate delays that may occur that are often beyond the new home owner (borrower’s) control:

•             An application which is received by CMHC between June 22, 2012 and July 8, 2012 inclusive, for a loan where the closing date is documented as and planned to occur on or before December 31, 2012, will be eligible for an exception and will be underwritten in accordance with the pre-July 9th parameters. If closing is later delayed, or the loan is not fully advanced by December 31, 2012 the pre-July 9th parameters will continue to apply.

•             A loan application which relates to a bona fide purchase and sale agreement entered into and dated on or before June 21, 2012 may be eligible for an exception and considered in accordance with the pre-July 9th parameters, regardless of the funding date, even if the loan insurance application is received by CMHC after June 22, 2012.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions regarding the new mortgage rules, applying for a mortgage, or refinancing a home. You can reach us by phone at 403-265-5363 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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New Changes to Canadian Mortgage Policies and Rules

Posted by Larry Arnason
Larry Arnason
Calgary Mortgage Broker, Larry Arnason - proudly serving Calgary and the surroun
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on Friday, 22 June 2012
in Real Estates News and Updates for Calgary

The Government of Canada announces 4 significant changes that will affect mortgage qualification for all Canadians buying a home or refinancing a mortgage.

Canadian mortgage changes announced by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty on June 21, 2012:

1.  Amortizations reduced to 25 years from 30 years
2.  Refinancing limited to 80%
3.  Properties purchased at over $1 million are no longer eligible for mortgage insurance
4.  GDS and TDS set at 39% and 44%

These new rules are to take effect on July 9th, 2012. Any application submitted between June 21st, 2012 till Jul 9th, 2012 will be subject to the current guidelines but the mortgage must fund before December 31st 2012.  If you would like to submit an application prior to July 9th please call us at 403-265-5363 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The first in the list is the reduction of the maximum amortization (the number of years you can spread your mortgage over) for insured mortgages. The current maximum amortization is 30 years, the change is only effecting insured mortgages. The drop of the maximum amortization will reduce the maximum mortgage amount you can qualify for. That means the new 25 year amortization rule may affect your application when buying a new home depending on your income and other factors. 

The second change is the reduction of the maximum amount you can refinance your mortgage. Currently you can refinance your mortgage to 85% of the value of the property, as of July 9th, 2012 the maximum amount you can refinance your property to is 80% of the value. The biggest question people are asking is what happens if I am currently mortgaged to 90% of the value? You should be able to switch your mortgage to another lender assuming you qualify with your income and credit level however you will not be able to increase your mortgage amount or change the length of the amortization. We recommend speaking with a broker as soon as possible to see if you can refinance prior to the July 9th deadline if you have any concerns about this new policy, you can reach us by phone at 403-265-5363 or by email anytime at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for a complimentary consultation.

The third change, it is very simple, if you are buying a property for more than $1,000,000.00 you must put at least 20% down.

The fourth change, previously the standard GDS* (Gross Debt Service) ratio was 32% and for customers with a credit score above 680 the GDS was not factored in. The TDS** (Total Debt Service) ratio has not changed. This will effect is people with high credit scores and very little debt like credit cards or loans that are looking to buy a home to the absolute limits that are allowed. For people that have credit scores between 600 and 679 this can actually increase the amount they qualify for in certain circumstances.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, as everyone has different income and debt levels I would be happy to have a look at your specific situation and let you know how the new rules effect you. To request a complimentary no-obligation consultation of what your mortgage options will be after July 9th or to get pre-approved before the new changes come into effect please visit our main mortgage page and fill out the confidential 30 second quick app or email us anytime at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

~ Larry Arnason, Mortgage Broker

•   *GDS – The percentage of your total income used to service the costs associated with the property (Mortgage payment, Taxes, Condo Fees, Heat)

•   **TDS – The percentage the total household income used to service all debts including credit cards, lines of credit, personal loans and everything included in the GDS calculation 

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Understanding Condominium Ownership and Fees

Posted by Larry Arnason
Larry Arnason
Calgary Mortgage Broker, Larry Arnason - proudly serving Calgary and the surroun
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on Thursday, 21 June 2012
in Real Estates News and Updates for Calgary

Thinking about buying a Condominium? What you need to understand about condo fees in Calgary.

By Special Guest Blogger: Greg Kemp, Calgary Realtor - Carter & Associates Realty

As a Board Certified Condominium Specialist (with designation), I've had a few questions lately about condominium ownership, and rightly so, it can be a complicated and misunderstood form of ownership.

For many, owning a condominium can be their first experience into the home ownership market. Its more affordable getting their foot in the door than a single family home, plus there are numerous benefits to owning a condo. No shovelling snow, mowing lawns, secured parking,... the list goes on. But there's also something known as the condominium fee. What is the condominium fee and what does it represent?

A condominium fee is usually paid on a monthly basis by the owners of the condominium corporation, the corporation being the owners of the building. A condominium corporation is managed by a Board of Directors, a small group of owners in the complex elected by the other owners to oversee the decisions of the corporation.

These fees relate to the individual utility bills you pay on a home, along with care taking services such as exterior maintenance of the building. These can include; snow removal, landscaping, heat, water, electricity and reserve fund contributions etc. Fees are calculated according to the size of your unit – a two-bedroom’s fees are higher than a one-bedroom or a studio apartment, for instance – and are re-examined each year, and will go up or down according to the building’s annual operating budget.

A reserve fund contribution is an allotment of a certain percentage of your condo fee that goes to the upkeep of certain costs of the building that will need replacement, repair or upkeep over the years. Items such as roofs, some condo corporations include windows and doors, deck replacement, eaves trough, exterior painting, heating, plumbing and electrical systems etc. A reserve fund study is done every 5 years by the corporation and its estimations span a 25 year time frame of its study.

One other area to keep in consideration is something called a “special assessment”. These are usually one time fees for repairs not budgeted in to the regular condo fee. These can come in the form of raised condominium fees for a pre-determined length of time, and will usually go back to its regular monthly fee after it has been paid off. Another form is commonly referred to as a "cash call", where everyone in the condo corporation will have to pay a certain amount up front to cover the cost of a special project right away that needs attention.

This can sound very complicated and somewhat scary if you are ever involved in these scenarios. When purchasing a condominium, I always recommend a Condominium Document Inspection. These are inspections done by a neutral party that inspects the corporations books, the budgets, the reserve fund, operating expenses, the minutes from all the meetings etc.

The costs of owning a condominium with its fees and maintenance can sometimes roughly work out to the same costs of owning a home, depending on size, location etc. Do you want to own your own yard and mow the lawns and shovel snow? Ultimately, the decision is based on a lifestyle choice., and can be a very rewarding form of ownership.

~ Greg Kemp
www.gregkemp.ca

About Greg: GregKempRealtor

Having grown up in Calgary and watched the growth of this beautiful city for many years now, Greg developed unique knowledge of its communities and hidden treasures as well as an intuitive feel for its Real Estate Market. Greg takes a professional and personal approach in keeping his clients up to date of market trends, news and has in-depth knowledge of the subtleties of purchasing and selling real estate in Calgary and its surrounding areas. To learn more about Greg or to see some of the great listings currently available please visit his website at www.gregkemp.ca  or call him at 403-852-5367

To see if you qualify for a mortgage and to get pre-approved please return to our home page at www.larryarnason.com and fill out the 30 second quick app for a free no-obligation consultation of your mortgage options.

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How long should I amortize my mortgage?

Posted by Larry Arnason
Larry Arnason
Calgary Mortgage Broker, Larry Arnason - proudly serving Calgary and the surroun
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on Wednesday, 20 June 2012
in Mortgage Information

Mortgage Question of the Week: How long should I amortize my mortgage?

Update: To learn about the new mortgage rules in Canada that take affect as of July 9 2012 - including the new maximum ammortizations of 25 years and the 3 other new policies- please go to: http://www.larryarnason.com/calgarymortgageblog/entry/new-changes-to-canadian-mortgage-policies-and-rules 

----------------------

In Canada if you are putting less than 20% of the purchase price as a down payment the maximum amortization you can take is 30 years.  The most common amortization for a mortgage is 25 years however if you amortize your mortgage over 30 years you may be able to qualify for a larger purchase amount as a longer amortization will lower the monthly payments.

When you are buying a home for the first time I would recommend that you purchase a property that you qualify for with a  25 year amortization and then extend the amortization to a 30 year for the first 5 years. This will lower the monthly payment and help you ease into the joy of home ownership. The first couple of years after buying your first home are typically the hardest as there are always unforeseen expenses so not being financed to your maximum limit would make it easier to deal with the unforeseen. Most lenders will allow you to make extra payments (usually 15% to 20% of the original amount of your mortgage every year) so if you find that you are not having any issues you can always make extra payments on your mortgage to lower the amortization. Most lenders will also allow you to increase your monthly payment 15% to 20%  as well. This way you are not required to make the higher payment but the option to is available.

If you put 20% or more as a down payment some lenders will allow you to amortize your mortgage up to 35 years. People normally use this when they are refinancing their homes to lower their monthly payments.

For more information on amortizations or to see what you qualify for please contact us for a complimentary no-obligation consultation of your mortgage options in Calgary by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone at 403-265-5363.  You can also return to our main page and fill out our 30 second quick app at any time.

Larry Arnason, Calgary's Mortgage Expert

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New 3.09% 5 year mortgage rate special available in Calgary

Posted by Larry Arnason
Larry Arnason
Calgary Mortgage Broker, Larry Arnason - proudly serving Calgary and the surroun
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on Friday, 08 June 2012
in Calgary Mortgage Broker News and Announcements

If you are planning on touring show homes this weekend, visiting open houses, or looking for a new home we can help. Your mortgage rate can determine the difference between getting your dream or settling for something less. We are pleased to announce that we have an incredible new low rate of 3.09% available for 5 year fixed term mortgages and additional special rates for 3 year terms.

If you are thinking about buying in the next few months please call us to get pre-approved at the special low rates this week. With a pre-approval we can hold your rate for 120 days while shop for the perfect house!

Please give us a call at 403-265-5363 or fill out the 30 second quick application on our main mortgage page to get your pre-approval today.

Realtor enquiries welcome.

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News Update For Mortgage Rates In Calgary

Posted by Larry Arnason
Larry Arnason
Calgary Mortgage Broker, Larry Arnason - proudly serving Calgary and the surroun
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 30 May 2012
in Calgary Mortgage Broker News and Announcements

New Calgary Mortgage Rates For May 30, 2012

The new low mortgage rates available in Calgary are creating an incredible opportunity for families to be able to get their dream home.  They are also ideal for existing home owners looking for a way to save money on their bills and reduce their interest rates on consumer debts like credit cards and loans. Because we have access to hundreds of banks and lenders from across Canada we are able to provide you with the lowest rates and best terms available - including zero down mortgages, first time home buyers, traditional mortgages, and more – guaranteed.

Save day approval available and there is never any fee or charge to use our services!

Terms

Our Rates

Bank Rates

1 year

2.74%

3.20%

2 year

2.74%

3.55%

3 year

3.04%

3.95%

4 year

3.19%

4.64%

5 year

3.19%

5.44%

7 year

3.95%

6.16%

10 year

3.95%

6.75%

VIRM

2.90%

3.00%

We are pleased to offer a no-obligation complimentary consultation to evaluate your mortgage options and provide you with a rate hold and pre-approval so that you can make your purchase decisions or financial decisions with confidence and security. To arrange for a consultation and pre-qualified approval please fill out to Quick Contact form on our home page at Calgary Mortgage Broker or you can reach us by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone at 403-265-5363.

We provide full mortgage services for:

•  First Time Home Buyers
•  Zero Down Mortgages
•  Move-up / New Home Buyers
•  Traditional Mortgages
•  Self Employed or Single Income Families
•  Credit Challenges
•  New Immigrants to Canada
•  Debt Consolidation / Refinancing Plans
•  Mortgage Renewals / 2nd or 3rd Mortgages

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Let us help you make you dreams of owning a home, being debt free a reality, paying your mortgage off years earlier, or freeing up equity to do the things you have always wanted!

~ Larry Arnason, your Calgary Mortgage Expert

  Call us anytime at 403-265-5363

 All rates are subject to change and available oac

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Calgary house prices jump 4% from last year

Posted by Larry Arnason
Larry Arnason
Calgary Mortgage Broker, Larry Arnason - proudly serving Calgary and the surroun
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on Friday, 25 May 2012
in Real Estates News and Updates for Calgary

From The Calgary Herald - May 25, 2012
Mario Toneguzzi

Calgary posted the second highest year-over-year gain in home prices in April, according to the MLS Home Price Index released Friday by the Canadian Real Estate Association.

The index in the city rose by 4.02 per cent in April from a year ago, behind Greater Toronto, which saw a hike of 7.85 per cent.

Greater Vancouver saw an increase of 3.69 per cent followed by the lower Mainland, 3.43 per cent, the Fraser Valley, 2.73 per cent, and Greater Montreal, 2.3 per cent.

At the national level, the index rose by 5.24 per cent from April 2011.

“Calgary is also now seeing prices begin to advance in earnest, supported by a strong economic outlook, recent gains in in-migration, and strong full-time job growth,” said CREA.

According to the Calgary Real Estate Board, the following were benchmark prices and their year-over-year change in April in the city: apartment, $243,400, 0.08 per cent; townhome, $276,300, 2.68 per cent; single family, $422,100, 5.47 per cent; one-storey single family, $389,400, 4.51 per cent; two-storey single family, $461,600, 6.31 per cent; and composite, $379,200, 4.23 per cent.

Canadian home price gains are generally expected to moderate, but there are a few hot spots where prices are being fuelled by some very strong housing market fundamentals, said Wayne Moen, CREA’s President.

“Toronto has less than two months of supply compared to six months nationally, so it ranks among the tightest of Canadian housing markets,” he said.

Among the different housing types tracked by the index, single-family homes in the markets surveyed again posted the biggest year-over-year gains in April (6.4 per cent), led by two-storey single-family homes (6.9 per cent). The index for one-storey single-family homes rose 5.6 per cent from April 2011, while townhouses and apartments saw gains of 3.6 per cent and 2.7 per cent, respectively.

“Just as there are some pretty clear differences emerging across markets right now, there have also been some interesting developments in price trends across housing types,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “The one that really stood out in April was accelerating price growth for the townhouse segment right across the board. In Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, it was the only segment in which prices gains accelerated.”

If you are thinking about buying a home this summer before prices continue to increase, we have current Martgage Rates in Calgary starting at 2.79% for variable mortgages and 3.19% for 5 year fixed rates.  Contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information or visit our home page at www.larryarnason.com and fill out our 30 second quick app to see what you could qualify for.

Read more from the Calgary Hearld Here

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How a Realtor can help you with a New Home Purchase

Posted by Larry Arnason
Larry Arnason
Calgary Mortgage Broker, Larry Arnason - proudly serving Calgary and the surroun
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 02 May 2012
in Real Estates News and Updates for Calgary


The Benefit of Using a Realtor When Purchasing a New Home in Calgary.

By Special Guest Blogger: Greg Kemp, Calgary Realtor - Carter & Associates Realty

Why should I use a Realtor for a New Home Purchase? The real question that a buyer should ask is: Why would I not use a Realtor for buying from a builder?

With Calgary's housing market growing at a healthy rate this spring, lots of eager home owners are turning their attention to the idea of a brand new, contemporary designed home! The beauty of modern fixtures, trendy colors, shiny appliances and all the latest fashions in flooring, cabinetry, faucets, backsplashes............well, you get the idea. In fact, for me, there is nothing I love more than grabbing a coffee with my wife on a Sunday, (when I'm not working), and going to all the open houses to check out all the latest renovations and designs out there, we love it!!!!

Now, as a new home buyer, you are walking into a showhome that shows you your wonderful future right in front of you! Beautiful architectural drawings of Calgary's latest community offering, the lake, the paths, the parks, the amenities. Charming right? Right!!! Why can't you enjoy all of that it's your new home!! Absolutely!

Many new home buyers are unaware that a Realtor can represent them in their new home purchase, and here are a few points you might want to consider if you're planning on purchasing a new home.

There's an assumption that the Builder offers a lower price if you purchase straight from the developer without having a Realtor represent the deal, fact is, you might be able to get a better price using a Realtor than negotiating directly with the builder.

In their sales offices, the builders staff it with Realtors....they're using them, why not use one yourself?

The reasoning for all of this.......The Contract........the purchase contract is a LEGAL document, and most buyers do not pay attention to what they are signing, you are sitting in the middle of your future Utopia, it's beautiful, I feel great, sign, sign, sign....There is no standard contract for new construction, every builder uses their own carefully crafted version of the purchase contract. A Realtor can walk you through the finer points of these contracts so you have a full understanding of what you are signing, and help negotiate the contract for your best interests.

"But they provide me with a lawyer to make sure everything is in order Greg!"...........I know, it's a wonderful service isn’t it! They're actually providing me with legal representation, AND paying for it!!!!!!

That’s all wonderful, their lawyer will help you understand the legal aspect of this purchase. Who do you turn to when there is a problem with the home, or a misunderstanding in regards to the contract? Your lawyer? The guy who works for the builder? The guy who makes a steady paycheque from the builder? Who's interest will he go to the wall for? Realtors can provide you with the names of professional Real Estate Lawyers they have been working with to provide independent council, someone with your best interest in mind.

Last but not least, some misconceptions are that, as a buyer, you will have to pay a commission to a Realtor if you use his or her services. While there are some exceptions, (and talk to your Realtor about those scenarios), the commissions are traditionally paid for by the seller, whether its a new home purchase or a listing on the MLS. It's a free benefit to you as a buyer to have someone representing you who's looking out for your best interest.

~ Greg Kemp
www.gregkemp.ca

About Greg: 

GregKempRealtorHaving grown up in Calgary and watched the growth of this beautiful city for many years now, Greg developed unique knowledge of its communities and hidden treasures as well as an intuitive feel for its Real Estate Market. Greg takes a professional and personal approach in keeping his clients up to date of market trends, news and has in-depth knowledge of the subtleties of purchasing and selling real estate in Calgary and its surrounding areas.  To learn more about Greg or to see some of the great listings currently available please visit his website at www.gregkemp.ca or call him at 403-852-5367

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