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Joe Gaglione and Matthew Gaglione (780) 488-4000


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Archive for the ‘Tips and Need To Know’ Category

Mortgage Insurance Fee Increases

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

What started as an announcement of rate increases by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) will surely lead to an industry wide change in mortgage insurance costs.  While mortgage insurance is available to a wide variety of lending situations, it is mandatory for consumers who wish to purchase a home with a down payment which is less than 20% of the purchase price.  Not all of the rate increases are equal, and while it is being reported that the average increase will be around 15%, there are different percentages depending on how much of a down payment you are willing to do.

Below is a breakdown of the breakdown of the old and new rates.  The fee is based on a percentage of the mortgage amount and is most often rolled into the mortgage:

Down Payment %     Old Rate         New Rate       Increase          % Increase    

15%                             1.75%              1.80%              0.05%              2.86%

10%                             2.00%              2.40%              0.40%              20.00%

5%                               2.75%              3.15%              0.40%              14.55%

On a $300,000 Purchase, here would be the changes in the premiums:


Down Payment %     DP Amount    Old Fee           New Fee         Difference

15%                             $45,000           $4,462.50        $4,590.00        $127.50

10%                             $30,000           $5,400.00        $6,480.00        $1,080.00

5%                               $15,000           $7,837.50        $8,977.50        $1,140.00


On a $300,000 Purchase, at 3.50% interest on a 25 year mortgage, this would be the impact on the approximate monthly payments:


Down Payment %     Old PMT        New PMT      Extra/mth

15%                             $1,298.93        $1,299.57        $0.64

10%                             $1,378.72        $1,384.12        $5.41

5%                               $1,466.01        $1,471.72        $5.71

While no one wants to pay more, these numbers show that there is no need to hasten a purchase or jump into a situation due to the fear of increasing costs.  As with anything in Real Estate, doing your proper due diligence and making a purchase when you are on sound financial footing should be a far greater determining factor than the recent changes in the mortgage insurance market.  Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions regarding this or any other aspect of real estate and be sure that you have a good mortgage broker or specialist who is willing to take the time to explain, in detail, all of your mortgage options.

To see a PDF of some additional examples, click here.  For additional tips, links, and downloads, please visit and scroll down to the Document Downloads section.



10805 – 120 ST
OFFICE: (780) 488 – 4000
CELL: (780) 909 – 3171
FAX: (780) 426 – 5700
TOLL FREE: 1 (800) 275 – 8191

What Happens on Possession Day?

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

In a Real Estate transaction in Alberta, the closing and possession days are typically the same day.  While there are exceptions for tenancy-at-will scenarios and other possibilities, most commonly on Possession Day (Completion Day), quite simply, money for the property is transferred to the sellers and keys are released to the buyers.  While this sounds straight forward, there are a lot of parties involved in this process and by understanding how it unfolds will help ease the stress of this important day.

Rule #1: Buyers, Do Not Book Your Moving Van To Arrive For Noon on Possession Day!!!

On our standard Purchase Agreements, transfer of funds and ownership of the property is supposed to occur at 12:00pm on the Possession Day.  In reality, if all participants to the process are prepared and things happen smoothly, this will more likely happen closer to 2:00pm on a typical day.

If all the paperwork has been signed on time with the bank and the lawyers prior to the possession day, this is the sequence of events that is typically needed to unfold here in Alberta:

  1. Bank sends mortgage funds to the Buyer’s lawyer;
  2. The Buyer’s lawyer couriers the sale proceeds to the Seller’s lawyer;
  3. The Seller’s lawyer confirms receipt of the funds with the Seller’s Realtor;
  4. The Seller’s Realtor makes contact with the Buyer’s Realtor and arranges to release keys;
  5. The Buyer’s Realtor picks up keys at the Seller’s real estate brokerage; and
  6. The Buyer’s Realtor contacts their clients and meets them to hand over the keys.


Delays in any of the above steps can cause a delay on closing resulting in a delayed key release.  Late mortgage funds, busy couriers or law offices, and distances between law firms, real estate brokerages, and the Property are all factors in the timing of the key release.

What can you do to help ensure a smooth possession day?

  1. Try to avoid Friday, Mid Month, and End of Month Closing Dates.  Nothing is worse than a Friday possession that gets delayed to the following Monday causing an entire weekend worth of moving to be wasted.
  2. Ensure plenty of communication is occurring between all parties to the transaction.  A Lawyer that is reminded the day of possession that they are to be transferring funds will not contribute to a speedy transaction. This especially can occur when there is an amendment changing the date of possession and either the mortgage company or the lawyer are not made aware of it or do not adjust their dates.
  3. If you have any questions at all about the process, DO NOT HESITATE to contact us and we’ll do our best to answer any and all of your concern


To Download this as PDF, click here.  For additional tips, links, and downloads, pleave visit and scroll down to the Document Downloads section.

10805 – 120 ST
OFFICE: (780) 488 – 4000
CELL: (780) 909 – 3171
FAX: (780) 426 – 5700
TOLL FREE: 1 (800) 275 – 8191

What Your Real Estate Lawyer Appointment Entails

Monday, December 16th, 2013

When conducting a real estate transaction in Alberta, you will at one point, typically after all your conditions have been removed and approximately a week before possession, meet with your lawyer to sign your transfer paperwork.  Below are some of the items you will be required to bring with you to make this a smooth process.  For a downloadable summary of this blog, please download my Lawyer Appointment PDF.


When you set your appointment to sign the documents with your lawyer, there will be certain items that you will need to bring with you. While the Law Firm should be outlining this with you beforehand, here is a list to get started:
1. Piece of Government Issued Photo Identification (Driver’s Licence, Passport, etc)
2. 2nd Piece of Identification (Alternate photo ID, Credit Card, SIN Card, Birth Certificate)
3. Void Cheque: Some banks require this as part of the mortgage automated debit paperwork
4. Proof of Insurance: Most mortgages require that the home be insured as a condition to having a mortgage placed on it. Condominiums typically have the Corporation insure the building but you are still responsible for insuring your unit and contents. This is often called Condominium Property Insurance which is similar to Tenant’s Insurance in that it insures your contents, but you want to make sure there is an additional Liability Rider in there as well that may protect you from things like leaving the tub running and damaging neighbouring units. Be sure your insurance company or broker explains ALL the coverages in DETAIL with you and that you ask a lot of questions to see what cases are covered and what events are not looked after by your policy.
5. Cash to Close: This is the amount that your lawyer will have calculated which figures out how much remaining that you owe for the transaction. It takes the Purchase Price, subtracts what you have paid in deposits and the mortgage to come up with the Balance Owing and then adds the Legal Fees and Disbursements as well as any Adjustments (Tax/Condo Fee)

Example: Purchase Price: $300,000.00
Mortgage Amount: $240,000.00
Deposits: $20,000.00
Leaves a Balance Owing of $40,000 which is the rest of your down payment. In this scenario, there is also a $1,500 Tax Adjustment that needs to paid to the seller and a $200 Condo Fee Adjustment that also needs to be paid to the seller. Legal Fees and Disbursements are $2,000. That would mean your Cash to Close amount that you would need to bring via certified cheque or bank draft would be $43,700.00.

When selling your home, the list is similar with the exception of needing proof of insurance. The Cash to Close is also calculated but if there is enough equity in the home, will result in a cheque being written to you. It takes the Sales Proceeds (Purchase Price), subtracts the mortgage payout amount, your real estate and legal fees, adds or subtracts any applicable tax or condo fee adjustments, leaving an amount to be paid out.

For additional tips, links, and downloads, pleave visit and scroll down to the Document Downloads section.

10805 – 120 ST
OFFICE: (780) 488 – 4000
CELL: (780) 909 – 3171
FAX: (780) 426 – 5700
TOLL FREE: 1 (800) 275 – 8191

Ending of Canada Post’s Door to Door Mail Delivery

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

According to releases from Canada Post, there is now a timeline in place for the complete termination of all remaining door to door mail delivery within the next five years.  This will signal in the ubiquitous adoption of their Community Mailboxes not only in newer communities, but throughout all centres.  This decision impacts approximately one third of households who still receive mail delivery straight to their homes.  While common in younger neighbourhoods, those who have not had experience using them may encounter unanticipated logistical challenges with regards to obtaining keys after a residential purchase in one of these evolving areas.  For more information, you can go to view our Canada Post Mailbox Rekeying instructions.


For some background on the issues and impacts of this decision, here are a few news articles:


For additional tips, links, and downloads, pleave visit and scroll down to the Document Downloads section.

Understanding Your Credit Score & Report

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

The Government of Canada has published a great document about understanding your credit report and score. We have added it to our Document Download section on the Buyer’s Page, but here it is as well.


Understanding Your Credit Report & Credit Score

Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

We hear about it all the time, but it’s still so abstract. Someone steals your identity and starts to open up credit cards in your name. It can take a huge amount of time to fix and to restore your credit history.

There is insurance to cover you in case of identity theft, but please ensure that they provide someone who will help you should your identity be stolen.

Of course, the best way to deal with identity theft is to do your best to prevent it from happening. I went to a conference recently about just this topic and wanted to share a couple links that I found useful.

Be careful when using a Tablet  since security settings can be set by default to not protect you. This article talks about how the newness of tablets creates a security loophole and it offers a few ideas to help you protect yourself.

7 Simple Ways to stop the Suckers if you have an iPad. This article gives you practical advice if you use an iPad to help lock down your settings and protect yourself.

Sometimes a little bit of work spent preventing a theft can save you hours of time trying to fix it after the fact if it is stolen.

Surrounding Yourself

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

After struggling to pick the topic of my first real entry in this blogging series, I witnessed something today that helped reinforce my views on the importance of teamwork in this business.  Real Estate can be an unwieldily beast with lots of moving parts and uncontrollable aspects.  Despite the most polished advertisements, content filled websites, virtual tours, and eager sellers, if it is a slow market with no buyers, there may be no sale.

Real Estate depends on so many people doing their jobs correctly, many of whom have no control over the others in the process.  This is the starting point where many who work or participate in the business find themselves.  In a typical residential real estate transaction, there are the sellers, their realtor, the buyer, their agent, a home inspector, a bank, an appraiser, a mortgage company’s broker plus the mortgage insurance company’s approval, two lawyers, and as I have run into lately, construction contractors whose repair estimates can sink or swim the whole thing.

I tell my clients that they are more than free to use whomever they feel most comfortable, but to be sure they are experienced and competent in what they do.  I do have lists of most service providers, with many options on each.  I provide these to anyone looking for someone that I have worked with, generally many times, and have witnessed, obviously, good things.  I also make sure that they know I receive no kick-back or referral from these providers for passing their name along.  My benefit is knowing that I can count on that area of the transaction to be handled professionally, and that frees me up to focus on the other areas.  

Just because you are related to someone, went to school with them, or any number of other loose connections does not obligate you morally, ethically, or professionally to use them.  Use them because you are sure they will do a great job for you, and hopefully teach you about the process in a way that the next time you do a transaction, you will know more than you did the last time.  I have had friends use other realtors to help them buy and sell homes.  While I would have loved the opportunity to work for them, I respect their comfort zones and wish them the best.  If there was something that came up and they needed my advice, they know that I’m always there.  Red flag number one is if someone guilts you or gives you a hard time because of the choice YOU made.

In my following posts, I will do my best to give you many detailed examples of good and bad providers from my own experiences, and what to search for specifically when dealing with each of them.  Just remember that these people are there to serve you well, educate you as to the ‘why’ behind the decisions, and lastly provide you with competent advise, not just tell you what you want to hear.

Joe Gaglione and Matthew Gaglione, RE/MAX Real Estate Central
#100, 10510 - 121st Street, Edmonton, Alberta, T5N 1L4
Tel: (780) 488-4000 Fax: (780) 426-5700
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