Susan Kramm-Realtor-Realty Executives Battlefords

a wealth of information and practical advice that will empower you as a home buyer or seller.

My goal is to provide you with valuable insights, expert advice, and practical tips to make your home buying or selling experience a smooth and rewarding one. The videos are designed to simplify complex concepts, provide actionable tips, and guide you through the intricacies of the real estate market. We're dedicated to supporting you throughout your journey and ensuring you feel confident and well-prepared.  Together, let's navigate the real estate landscape and empower you to make informed decisions. 

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YouTube videos for home buyers, home sellers, investors and home owners.

Realestate Tips

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Choosing The Right Offer
Choosing the Right Offer

Once your home hits the market, do your happy dance! You worked really hard to get there. But remember, the show isn’t over yet. Your next big milestone is choosing the right offer.

That won’t be too complicated, right? Not exactly. You can’t always just choose the offer with the highest purchase price. There may be some other important factors to consider, like:


  • Ø Closing period and possession date
  • Ø Personal property allowances, home improvements and closing costs
  • Ø Contingency deadlines for home inspection, appraisal and buyer financing
  • Ø Additional contingencies, such as sale of the buyer’s current home

If all this sounds confusing to you, don’t worry. Your agent should be an expert in negotiating contracts with a radar sense for fishy contingencies. They’ll guide you so you’re confident in what you’re signing when it’s time to accept.

If you don’t have an agent you trust to get you the best deal, it’s not too late.



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Why It's Easy To Fall In Love With Homeownership
It's Easy To Fall In Love With Home Ownership
  • Homeownership provides comfort, stability, and security, and it makes you feel more connected to your community.
  • Your home is something to be proud of and is uniquely yours, so you can customize it to your heart’s desire.
  • If you’re ready to fall in love with a home of your own, contact Susan as your local real estate professional to get you started on the path to homeownership.


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The Do’s and Don’ts after Applying for a Mortgage
The Do’s and Don’ts after Applying for a Mortgage

Once you’ve found the right home and applied for a mortgage, there are some key things to keep in mind before you close. You’re undoubtedly excited about the opportunity to decorate your new place, but before you make any large purchases, move your money around, or make any major life changes, consult your lender – someone who is qualified to tell you how your financial decisions may impact your home loan.

Below is a list of things you shouldn’t do after applying for a mortgage. They’re all important to know – or simply just good reminders – for the process.


1. Don’t Deposit Cash into Your Bank Accounts Before Speaking with Your Bank or Lender. Lenders need to source your money, and cash is not easily traceable. Before you deposit any amount of cash into your accounts, discuss the proper way to document your transactions with your loan officer.


2. Don’t Make Any Large Purchases Like a New Car or Furniture for Your New Home. New debt comes with new monthly obligations. New obligations create new qualifications. People with new debt have higher debt-to-income ratios. Higher ratios make for riskier loans, and then sometimes qualified borrowers no longer qualify.


3. Don’t Co-Sign Other Loans for Anyone. When you co-sign, you’re obligated. With that obligation comes higher ratios as well. Even if you promise you won’t be the one making the payments, your lender will have to count the payments against you.


4. Don’t Change Bank Accounts. Remember, lenders need to source and track your assets. That task is significantly easier when there’s consistency among your accounts. Before you transfer any money, speak with your loan officer.


5. Don’t Apply for New Credit. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a new credit card or a new car. When you have your credit report run by organizations in multiple financial channels (mortgage, credit card, auto, etc.), your score will be impacted. Lower credit scores can determine your interest rate and maybe even your eligibility for approval.


6. Don’t Close Any Credit Accounts. Many buyers believe having less available credit makes them less risky and more likely to be approved. Wrong. A major component of your score is your length and depth of credit history (as opposed to just your payment history) and your total usage of credit as a percentage of available credit. Closing accounts has a negative impact on both of those determinants of your score.


Bottom Line

Any blip in income, assets, or credit should be reviewed and executed in a way that ensures your home loan can still be approved. If your job or employment status has changed recently, share that with your lender as well. The best plan is to fully disclose and discuss your intentions with your loan officer before you do anything financial in nature.

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Battlefords Market Report 2020
Battlefords Market Report 2020

Knowledge is POWER. Download your FREE Battlefords Market Report for In-depth information and insights into the 2020 Real estate Market. A comprehensive report of Sales Trends, Neighbourhood Sales, Activity and Sale Prices.


  • Comprehensive In-depth Information About The Local Market
  • Sales To Listing Ratio, % of Sales By Price,Neighbourhoods
  • Insights - Current- History 5 yrs, 10 yrs


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Turning A House Into A Happy Home
Turning A House Into A Happy Home

We talk a lot about why it makes financial sense to buy a home, but more often than not, we’re drawn to the emotional reasons for homeownership.


No matter the living space, the feeling of a home means different things to different people. Whether it’s a certain scent or a favorite chair, the feel-good connections to our own homes are typically more important to us than the financial ones. Here are some of the reasons why.


1. Owning your home is an accomplishment worth celebrating

You’ve likely worked very hard to achieve this dream, and whether it’s your first home or your fifth, congratulations are in order for this milestone. You’ve earned it.


2. There’s no place like home

Owning your own home offers not only safety and security but also a comfortable place where you can simply relax and kick-back after a long day. Sometimes, that’s just what we need to feel recharged and truly content.


3. You can find more space to meet your needs

Whether you want more room in your home for your changing lifestyle (think: working from home, virtual school, or a personal gym), or you simply prefer to have a large backyard for socially-distant entertaining, you can invest in a location that truly works for your evolving needs.


4. You have control over renovations, updates, and your style

Looking to try one of those complicated wall treatments you saw on Pinterest? Tired of paying an additional pet deposit? Maybe you want to finally adopt that fur-baby puppy or kitten you’ve been hoping for. You can do all of these things in your own home.


Bottom Line

Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or a move-up buyer who wants to start a new chapter in your life, now is a great time to reflect on the intangible factors that turn a house into a happy home.

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Home Ownership
Home Ownership

Over the past year, mortgage rates have fallen more than a full percentage point, hitting new historic lows.  This is a great driver for homeownership, as today’s low rates provide consumers with some significant benefits. Here’s a look at three of them.


1. Move-up or Downsize: One option is to consider moving into a new home, putting the equity you’ve likely gained in your current house toward a down payment on a new one that better meets your needs – something that’s truly a perfect fit, especially if your lifestyle has changed this year.


2. Become a First-Time Homebuyer: There are many financial and non-financial benefits to owning a home, and the most important thing is to first decide when the time is right for you. You have to determine that on your own, but know that now is a great time to buy if you’re considering it. Just take a look at the cost of renting vs. buying. 


3. Refinance: If you already own a home, you may decide you’re going to refinance. It’s one way to lock in a lower monthly payment and save more over time.


Why 2020 Was a Great Year for Homeownership

Last year, the average mortgage rate was substantially higher than it is today. If you waited for a better time to make a move, market conditions have improved significantly. Today’s low mortgage rates are a huge perk for buyers, so it’s a great time to get more for your money and consider a new home.


If you’ve been waiting since last year to make your move into homeownership or to find a house that better meets your needs, today’s low mortgage rates may be just what you need to get the process going. Reach out to a local real estate professional to discuss how you may benefit from the current rates.

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Merry Christmas Tours
The Twinkle Tour

Combine this with the Western Development Museum "Light Up The Village" and it's a great way to spend an evening with your family. Merry Christmas.

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Make A Fair Offer

With strong competition, you’ll want to stand out from other interested buyers and convince the seller to accept your offer. Consider these tips to help you make a confident and informed offer while avoiding some of the most common home buying pitfalls.

1. Check your emotions

Buying a home can be both exciting and stressful. And, after a long home search, it’s easy to overlook some red flags because you have fallen in love with a home that checks the boxes on your home wish list.  Remember to let your realtor guide you on your journey, not your emotions. Their support and expertise will keep you from compromising on your must-haves and future financial stability.

2. Run the numbers - again

A pre-approval letter is a great tool to show the seller that you are a serious buyer, but that doesn’t mean you need to bid the entire amount you qualified for. Remember, the amount you are pre-approved for is simply the maximum amount your lender is willing to loan you, not necessarily how much you should spend.  Plus, if you go all-in on your first offer, you might lose room to negotiate if the seller responds with a counter offer.

The amount you borrow for a mortgage should depend on your comfort level given your unique financial situation. Talk with your lender to get a better understanding of how to budget for sustainable homeownership.

3. Come to a fair offer price

While you want the best deal, be careful about submitting a low-ball offer. If your offer is significantly lower than the home’s list price– particularly in a competitive market–  the seller may think you are not a serious buyer.

Your agent will work with you to make an informed offer based on the market value of the home, the condition of the home and recent home sale prices in the area.

4. Put on your negotiating hat

After submitting your offer, the seller can accept, reject or counter your offer by requesting certain changes, such as a higher price or adjusted closing date. This is where negotiations come in.

Flexibility is key as you work with your agent through the negotiation process. Adjusting the closing date or accepting a higher price (within your budget) can help strengthen your offer and increase your chances of getting the home. Your agent will communicate between you and the seller to reach an agreement.

5. Remember contingencies

It’s recommended that you include contingencies with your offer, which are conditions that must be met before the purchase is finalized, to help avoid costly surprises down the road. For example, making your purchase contingent on a  home inspection and appraisal will ensure that the value of the home matches the sales price.

Resist the temptation to waive the inspection contingency, especially in a hot market or if the home is being sold "as-is", which means the seller won't pay for repairs. Without an inspection contingency, you could be stuck with a contract on a house you can't afford to fix.

Finalizing your offer is one of the last steps before getting the keys to your new home. The home buying journey is different for everyone, so it’s important to do your homework and with your realtor throughout the process.

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Process of Making an Offer on a Home
Making an Offer


When you’ve found a home that you’re interested in, it’s time to make an offer. As your buyer agent, we will draw up a contract with your offering price and necessary contingencies into a formal contract.


You will want to review this document carefully and make sure it states your terms exactly. If the offer is accepted by a seller, this contract will become a legally binding agreement.


In addition to an offer contract, you will need to provide an earnest deposit.


The deposit typically equals roughly 1-3% of the property purchase price. You will not be at risk of losing earnest money as long as you do not default on your contract. The amount will be credited towards the purchase price of the house at closing.


After you’ve made your offer, the seller will be able to:

  • Accept your offer
  • Reject your offer
  • Counter your offer

In most cases, a seller will not accept your initial offer outright. Typical counter offers include modifications to:

  • Purchase Price
  • Closing date
  • Possession date
  • Inclusions


When you make an offer on a house, you should be prepared for the negotiations to go back and forth several times before both parties agree to the terms. You might also have to compete with other interested buyers in certain market conditions.


When an agreement is reached on all issues, and both the seller and the buyer have signed the offer, you are both under a legally binding contract.

As a buyer, you will be in a better negotiating position if:

  • You have been pre-approved for a mortgage
  • You are not selling a house at the same time
  • You have not loaded your offer with other contingencies
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Looking For More Space?
Looking For More Space?

2020 has certainly made us aware of the home we live in.  Most families are spending much more time at home due to school closures and working from home.  Looks like some of these factors might become the new norm.  

Good time to consider a larger home.  Often we weigh this out with a renovation for additional space, but with building materials at an all-time high and interest rates at an all-time low, this problem needs careful thought on how to proceed.  If this is a question you have - call me to see if a move to a new home is your best move.  

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Insured Mortgage Update
Insured Mortgage Update!

CMHC rule change will affect home buyers and sellers
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is tightening its rules to qualify for an insured mortgage. At least one applicant's credit scores will need to be 680, up from the previous minimum of 600. To ensure borrowers can keep up with payments, maximum total debt service ratios will be lowered from 44 to 42


The main changes to CMHC lending rules
Gross debt service (GDS) ratios must be under 35, down from 39.
Total debt service (TDS) ratios must be under 42, down from 44.
Borrower's credit score must be at least 680, up from 620.
Borrowed down payments will no longer be allowed.

On the heels of CMHC announcing it was changing some of its underwriting policies, Genworth, a private insurer has confirmed that it will NOT follow suit.  Genworth feels that measures that are already in place will keep them withing their risk tolerance.


GREAT NEWS!

For additional information about how this will affect you call me

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"I'll Know It When I See It"
I'll Know it When I See It!
Why Buyers Like Open Houses. 

Buyers like open houses because it gives them an opportunity to browse properties without engaging their Realtor.  Many buyers get their inspiration by seeing properties in person and open houses provide a great vehicle for this kind of buyer.  (this is the “ I’ll know it when I see it”  buyer)  Some buyers also prefer to direct their own search independent of a Realtor and engage a Realtor only at purchasing time.  Both of these buyer groups may “shop” casually for a property over an extended period of time but are still bonafide buyer prospects and a market segment not to be overlooked.  In many cases, open houses are the only way to attract these kinds of buyers.


Buyers get to see a number of properties casually and can get a good idea of market value over time thus doing vital research by educating themselves on the market and home features most of interest to them.


Some potential buyers do not want to bother their own Realtor until they are really serious about buying.  Others prefer not to have a commission driven professional trying to hasten their buying process.

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