Have No Fear...That's the message being translated from local realtors in the wake of the federal government's changing of mortgage rules at the beginning of the year.

"Probably the biggest change is the adding a 'stress test' to those people who are putting 20 percent down or more on their mortgage," stated Lynn Chipley, the owner of Century 21 Border Real Estate in Estevan.

"It's something that we actually lobbied against, because we think those people are the ones that are good at saving their money and are good with their money. But, not our decision, and the Bank of Canada has decided to go forward with it."

"What it means for a consumer is that any consumer now, regardless of whether they're a high ratio mortgage with 5 percent down, or someone putting 25 percent down, you're going to have to qualify at a higher rate than you're actually getting at the bank. That is to protect people from themselves, or from the instance when mortgage rates might go up in the next couple of years, so that they can still afford their house."

She added that people may end up qualifying for less than they hoped. This might scare a few folks off who are looking to purchase their first home, however, Chipley believes that this needn't frighten anyone.

"It's still a great time to buy. The prices in Estevan are as low as they've been in probably 8 or 10 years, and rates are still historically very, very low. If you're looking ahead and thinking of buying in, maybe with prices as low as they are and interest rates still historically low, this is as good a time as any to jump in. There's lots of product available, there's lots of beautiful homes out there for sale."

"I think they shouldn't be afraid of them", she noted regarding new rules, and pointed out that there are plenty of mortgage brokers and financial institutions in Estevan that can help get things squared away.

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