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Securing a Mortgage

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Getting Pre-Qualified

Getting Prequalified for a mortgage is the first step in the buying process. Prequalification lets you know whether you will be able to borrow money from a bank or other lender, what your maximum monthly payment can be, and even “holds” an interest rate for you. The reason that this should be the first thing you do is that you want to set up the framework for what you can spend before you start shopping for homes. The last thing you want to do is start to look at things that you can’t afford, as it is just bound to set you up for disappointment.

But here’s the thing – not all pre-qualifications are the same, and choosing who is to help you is a more important decision than you might think. Many banks will do a pre-qualification based upon your “ratios” only. The ratios are the percentage of your income that you are allowed to spend on housing. For example, at most financial institutions, you are only allowed to spend up to 32% of your total income on your housing needs.

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Why Use a Mortgage Broker?

There’s a lot that should be considered when you go for a mortgage pre-qualification. First, the person doing the pre-qualification should also investigate your credit bureau – it’s a good time to find out if there are any skeletons that you may not know about – particularly if they are going to harm you when you seek final approval. Additionally, this is a great time to rate shop! However, did you know that if you go to multiple lenders who do a credit check each – that it can actually harm your credit? Consider using a mortgage broker, and you’ll have someone shop your “situation” around to the lenders for you. They will give you some options that you can choose from based upon criteria like rates, terms, features and more. There’s typically no cost for this service that the borrower pays – it’s the lenders who pay these folks. You can, of course, get prequalified by your bank or credit union as well, but it definitely pays to get a second opinion via a mortgage broker.

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THE $2 BILLION DOLLAR MEGA-PROJECT THAT WILL TRANSFORM HALIFAX

When completed, the complete re-development of the QE2 Health Sciences Centre will be the biggest investment in the history of our province.

Included in the blueprint is a massive expansion of the Halifax Infirmary, and a brand new cancer centre that will be built to rival any other on earth. The new QE2 Cancer Centre will include all facilities under one roof, meaning that cancer patients will no longer have to travel between buildings in order to receive their daily care needs.

Although this is a multi-year, and potentially multi-decade project, one aspect has already been completed. Hospice Halifax, the largest hospice in Atlantic Canada, opened last month.

The QE2 Redevelopment may be focused on facilities in Downtown Halifax, but it is not limited to the peninsula. A massive outpatient centre is going to be built in Bayer’s Lake, which will treat most all medical conditions that don’t require a long stay at the hospital.

These new facilities will allow Halifax to become a healthcare hub. We already have some of the best medical schools in Canada, and some of the best research institutions. These investments will undoubtably allow more world-class research and development to take place in Halifax.

John Grant – urbanhfx.com

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Why Choose a Summit Group Agent?

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With the wealth of online resources dedicated to helping you search for a new home or sell the one you own, you might be wondering if you even need a real estate agent in the first place. However, you may want to consider why many homeowners choose to enlist the services of a real estate professional.

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A trusted real estate agent who comes recommended by others can increase your satisfaction with the process of buying a home in a number of important ways. These factors will help you determine the value your agent can provide:

There’s the Internet, Then There’s the “Pipeline

While a quick search on the web is a great place to start, you’ll want the inside track. A real estate professional will enhance your property search with a pipeline of properties. They, or others at their brokerage office, will also be aware of buyers who are looking within your area.

Opt for the Guided Tour

When you tour a landmark or attraction your experience is enriched by someone who is familiar with the location who can guide you. As a community expert, your real estate “guide” can provide insights on historical market values, culture, and attractions, as well as local resources relevant to your interests and needs.

A Single Point of Contact

A real estate professional will help you determine how much house you can afford, alert you to potential risks, help you find resources, and negotiate the offer. Often a seemingly simple transaction can grow legally complex and risky. Again, this is where the pipeline comes in, as your agent can help you locate trusted legal counsel, home inspection services, surveyors, and lenders.

Negotiating

A real estate professional can help you objectively consider the offer you plan to put forth. They can recognize the various strategies of a selling agent, which may serve to drive up the price. They can also provide insights that can help you submit a competitive offer on a home you don’t want to lose.

Click here to find your Summit Group Agent!

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Finding the Perfect Halifax Neighbourhood

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What is your Ideal Neighbourhood?

Purchasing the perfect property often involves more than just the home itself. What truly distinguishes a house from a home is the community and environment that surrounds it. Halifax has quite a variety of neighbourhoods and communities, just remember that neighbourhood preferences vary. While you may dream of a smaller, more charming community, others may yearn for big city living with every convenience at their fingertips.

There are many factors that go into buying the perfect home.While choosing the right property is very important, a neighbourhood plays a crucial role in creating lasting memories. The trick is finding one that suits your lifestyle.

Here are a few tips to help you find the right fit:

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Make a list.

Start by jotting down a list of the desired lifestyle factors that are most important to you and your family. Remember to leave no stone unturned — consider location, proximity to work and schools, amenities and local attractions.

Get out and explore.

While lists are helpful, nothing beats experiencing an area for yourself. Once you’ve narrowed down the most important factors, be sure to visit at least a couple of locations around Halifax that match the description. Though one may look good on paper, in reality it may leave more to be desired. The only way to truly determine what’s best for you is by seeing an area in person.

Call in the pros.

Often, the best way to find the perfect neighbourhood is by contacting a professional. Experienced sales representatives are aware of great areas suited to any need and can help narrow your home search and save time.

check out our Your Perfect Life tool to find your dream neighbourhood.

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Maximize Summer Enjoyment With a Screened Patio

A big part of the appeal of owning a home becomes ultra apparent during the summer months when we can spend time outdoors. You can extend your summer enjoyment with screens that are fitted to patio and porch openings. When done right, these options appeal greatly to future buyers.

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Set a budget, then exploring a variety of options to fit your pocketbook and tastes. With a wide range of products on the market – from motorized retractable screens to do-it-yourself kits from your local building store – there’s something to fit every budget. Start with a trip to the library and research ideas through books and publications on decks, porches and patios.

As far as dos and don’ts,  obtain more than one quote if you are looking to engage a professional service to plan and install your screens.  If you plan to do the project yourself, make sure your basic structure is in good shape. If not, be sure to budget for additional material costs and make repairs before you begin. Measure accurately and ask to see assembly instructions in the kit you buy.

More information on enhancing and preserving the value of your home is available at www.royallepage.ca.

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Five Summer Projects to Increase Your Home Value in Halifax

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Assessing the best return for your investment is paramount when undertaking home improvement projects. This means putting a priority on the jobs that are likely to be more valuable than others.

Summer is an ideal time to get outside and invest your time, money and resources in projects that are going to pay back when it comes time to sell your home. We recommend investing in any of these top five outdoor home improvement projects:

1. Build a Deck or Patio 

A deck or patio not only adds visual interest and enjoyment, it is also a way to add to the resale value of your home. Be sure to plan well ahead and to check your municipal building requirements as a building permit may be required for decks above a certain size and height.

summer patio home improvement projects

2. Install a Sprinkler System

On average, homeowners use 50 per cent more water than necessary on their lawns. This increases hydro bills and may subject your basement to seepage and your garden from damage from over watering.

Automatic lawn sprinkler systems are designed to allow proper irrigation through timing and even water distribution. Although there’s an initial cost of installation, you could save money in the long run.

3. Landscape Your Property 

Landscaping is a great way to add visual interest to an outdoor living space. Whether planning a garden or building a pond, landscaping often results in a significant return on your investment. However, always consult a trained professional before tackling a landscaping project to ensure that your project has all the elements of a professional project.

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4. Build or Replace a Fence

Defining the limits of your property is important for a variety of reasons, including privacy, security and safety. Considering your specific needs will help you to choose the right fence. Ultimately, the fence has to fit with how you use your yard. Do your research and consult with neighbors to determine if you can complete the project jointly.

5. Re-Shingle a Tired Roof

A strong, durable roof is an essential component of your home’s overall health and functionality. If your roof is showing signs of wear, such as raised shingles or water seepage, choosing a qualified roofing contractor is a good first step. If you decide to do the job yourself, you’ll want to estimate the materials required accurately, consider disposal options for the old shingles, and ensure that you have plenty of hands available to make light work of a rigorous one-day job.

If you’re a homeowner looking to sell, or simply looking to increase your home’s value, visit our website for more resources

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Summit Group named Top 10% of Halifax Real Estate Agents

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Summit Group achieves Royal LePage President’s Gold Status 

A delivery just arrived at our office – “Congratulations on achieving Presidents Gold so far this year! From your friends and family – Royal LePage Atlantic”

Royal LePage President’s Gold Award is defined as representing the top six to ten percent in their marketplace, Halifax Real Estate 

Congratulations to Gail Naugler and Colin Crawford on this achievement only half way through the year and Thank you to all of our loyal clients who made this possible!

Real Estate, Goal Oriented.

– Cohen MacInnis 
Team Lead, Summit Group

Learn more about the Summit Group, Visit our profiles under About Us 

 

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Summit Group partners with Seven Lakes Lifestyle Community in beautiful Porters Lake, NS

Summit Group is proud to represent Seven Lakes Community, A Nova Scotia Lifestyle Community in Porters Lake, just minutes from City of Halifax featuring Detached, Semi-Detached Homes and Cottages, Waterfront Lots and Custom Build options from our builder Synergy Homes.

Seven Lakes Community is The largest Conservation Community in Atlantic Canada, Seven Lakes offers you a place to walk, a place to play and a place for your family to grow; a natural lifestyle that is simply priceless. By embracing the principles of conservation design, we are developing a community not just for today, but for the future.

A CONSERVATION COMMUNITY MEANS A LOW IMPACT DEVELOPMENT THAT WILL:

  • Reserve over 60% of the existing habitat and significant natural features for your enjoyment- and for generations to come
  • Help protect water sources
  • Give homeowners access to surrounding natural landscapes
  • Maintain the rural character of the community

At Seven Lakes, we believe that a great Community Master Plan is first and foremost a Conservation Design. Inspired by nature, where people are connected to the earth beneath their feet and to their neighbours on the other side of the hedge.

The community’s design incorporates neighbourhood greens that bring communities together. We are creating footpaths and bikeways that connect communities, and we’ve planned places to play that focus on wholesome activities for children.

We are committed to conserving trees wherever we can, and planting new trees to help make our neighbourhoods richer, greener and stronger.

The best of rural and urban living, just 25 minutes from Halifax!

CONTACT US TO SCHEDULE PRIVATE TOUR