Wednesday, November 03, 2010

How to Win This Winter

We're getting ready to have a chilly winter here in Edmonton according to the Farmer's Almanac and the local paper. One headline read "Winter fit for a devil" and a witty reader commented, "Does that mean Hell's going to freeze over?" Whatever the case, we had our first sprinkle of snow last week and it has since melted.

This can be a blessing or a curse. If you have vacancies, the start of November is the big PUSH to get everything tenanted as many folks tend not to move in December, and January can be too cold and awkward to move. Imagine lugging that big screen TV up a frozen flight of stairs in minus 40 weather. Of course there are exceptions, and working with relocation services can aid in winter tenanting.

If tenanting is the curse, then what is the blessing? Seller's become more motivated in the winter, especially if they have a vacant property that they are paying a mortgage on. Less people are shopping for real estate due to the weather; it is difficult to assess landscaping and certain aspects of foundation and roof quality.

Fixed rates in 1-3 year terms are incredibly cheap from 2.5% and longer terms of 5-7 year rates are competitive. Unfortunately the media-spin on dead ducks puts a damper on the renewed growth of the oilsands. But, then again that can work in favour when buying properties in this climate - both politically and seasonally.

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