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- 2011 TD Canada Trust Repeat Home Buyers Report finds many repeat buyers in the province feel they compromised on features of previous home -

CALGARY, Aug. 23, 2011 /CNW/ - Albertans are the most likely in the country to feel they compromised on the layout and features of their current home and are not willing to do so again in their next house hunt. The TD Canada Trust Repeat Home Buyers Report, which surveyed Canadians who recently bought or intend to buy a home that is not their first, found that six-in-ten (59%) Albertan repeat buyers are moving on to larger or more luxurious homes. Even though many are upgrading, they are among the least likely to need a mortgage to finance the purchase (58% versus 69% nationally).

"If you are moving because you want more room or certain features in your home, a renovation could be an option to save the expense of moving by making your current home work for you," says Jessy Bilodeau, Mobile Mortgage Specialists, TD Canada Trust. "A Home Equity Line of Credit allows you to use the equity you've built in your home to finance the renovation. Further, if you do ultimately decide to sell, the renovation could increase your resale value. Explore all options before making the decision to move to ensure that the new home will suit your changing needs and lifestyle."

The TD Canada Trust Repeat Home Buyers Report found that seven-in-ten Albertan repeat buyers were moving earlier than they expected (40%) or had no intention of moving but now find themselves on the house-hunt again (30%). Further, the number of people intending to buy a home that is not their first in the next two years increased twenty-one percentage points over 2010 (84% versus 63% in 2010).

Forty-nine percent of repeat buyers considered a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC). Interestingly, Albertans are much more likely to say they would use a line of credit simply to have as a cushion (49%), rather than for a renovation (21%). Twenty percent would use the line of credit to invest.

The large majority of Albertans (84%) plan to sell their current home before buying a new one. More than one-in-five (22%) say market conditions played a factor in their decision to buy another home. Seven-in-ten Albertans expect to sell their home at or above asking price (69%). This is despite the fact that they are least likely to plan to try and improve resale value with activities like staging or renovating or improving the curb appeal of their home before putting it on the market (70% versus 75% nationally).

"Buyers should keep in mind that if they are expecting to sell above asking price, it is important that they work with an experienced realtor that can help them price their home in-line with current market values. The reality is that it's still a buyers' market, and homes need to be priced correctly to sell," explains Bilodeau. "A home is obviously a very big purchase - especially if you will not be selling your previous home to put towards the cost. A mortgage expert at your bank can walk you through your financing options and show you strategies and products that may save you money and provide flexibility over the course of your mortgage."

Alberta buyers turn their focus from leisure to business

Last year, one-third of Albertan repeat buyers who weren't selling their home before buying another, said it was because the new home would be a vacation home. This year, that number dropped to 12%.

Albertans are more likely this year to say they are keeping their current home as a rental property (46% versus 25% last year) or that they will stay in their current home and the new home will be a rental property (41% versus 25% last year).

Albertans are savvier sellers than last year

Sixty percent of Albertans have a mortgage on the home they are moving from. More Albertans this year are using their mortgage as a selling feature (16% versus 7% in 2010). Thirty-six percent will bring their mortgage with them to their new home.

In 2010, nearly three-in-ten Albertans (27%) who planned to sell their home didn't know they had options when it came to their mortgage. This year, that number decreased to only 7%. Still, though they say they are aware of the options, 41% haven't considered what they will do with their mortgage.

"It's just as important to consider your mortgage options as a seller as when you are buying. You may be overlooking your mortgage as an important selling feature of your home or you may be able to save money by keeping your low rate and bringing your mortgage terms with you. Talk to an expert to find out what options might work for you," advises Bilodeau.

About the 2011 TD Canada Trust Repeat Home Buyers Report

Results for this study were collected through a custom online survey conducted by Environics Research Group. A total of 1,025 completed surveys, including 130 in Alberta, were collected between June 16-28, 2011 of people who have either purchased a home that was not their first home within the past 24 months, or intend to purchase a home that is not their first home within the next 24 months.

About TD Canada Trust

TD Canada Trust offers personal and business banking to more than 11.5 million customers. We provide a wide range of products and services from chequing and savings accounts, to credit cards, mortgages and business banking, to credit protection and travel medical insurance, as well as advice on managing everyday finances. TD Canada Trust makes banking comfortable with award-winning service and convenience through 24/7 mobile, internet, telephone and ATM banking, as well as in over 1,100 branches - most open 8 'til late and many now open Sunday. For more information, please visit: TD Canada Trust is the Canadian retail bank of TD Bank Group, the sixth largest bank in North America.

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