• Edmonton Real Estate Buying Tips

Edmonton Real Estate Buying Tips

How to Save for a Down Payment When Purchasing A Home

If purchasing a home is one of your goals in the next few years, planning to save money for a down payment should be your top priority. In order to qualify for a mortgage in Canada, banks require a minimum of 5% of the sale price of a home. Depending on the price of the home you ultimately wish to purchase, this will necessitate accumulating a substantial sum of money.

Putting some thought into the amount you're willing to put down as a down payment is crucial; it will have a significant impact on the size of your mortgage payments. Naturally, a larger down payment will translate into smaller mortgage payments. Also, if you pay a down payment of 20% or more, you're not obligated to pay for mortgage default insurance, which can add anywhere from 1% to 3.5% of the principal amount.

Once you've calculated your ideal down payment amount, it's time to brainstorm...

Benefits Of Buying A Home In The Winter

Buying a home in the winterFor many people, Winter is the least favorite season. The roads are slippery, dressing up takes longer, and leisurely strolls to the local cafe become a hassle, especially when its 30 below with the windchill. And let's not forget having to put on those winter tires!

If you're seeking to get a great deal on a home, however, the winter season could be a blessing.

Here are some of the benefits of buying a home in Edmonton in the winter:

Fewer buyers to compete with

During winter, people are less keen on venturing out to search for a home. The poor weather conditions make the entire process more cumbersome. Unsurprisingly, most homes are sold in late spring and throughout the summer.


5 Energy-Saving Tips for New Homeowners

5 Energy Saving Tips For New Home Buyers

Congratulations on the purchase of your new home! Now that you’ve unpacked all the boxes and set up your furniture how you like it, there are some easy home maintenance jobs you can do that will help improve your home’s energy efficiency and reduce your energy bills. 

1.    Seal the windows and doors.

Give all your windows and doors a visual inspection inside and outside of the home. If you’ve noticed any cracks or damaged seals, they could be allowing energy to escape. Your windows are the number one culprit for energy loss in the home, so you want to install new weather stripping and caulking right away. If your windows are noticeably warped, damaged or very old, you should contact some ...

Are You a Collector or Hoarder?

Do you have a fondness for collecting, be it comic books, coins, sport memorabilia, shoes, or ninja weapons?

Stars Wars fans fork over insane amounts of money for anything even tangentially related to the Star Wars franchise. Basketball fans wait for hours, even camping out near stores, in order to get their hands on the the latest sneakers. Bibliophiles search far and wide to acquire rare and elusive first editions of iconic books.

Most people have at least one personal obsession they dedicate time and money to. The question is: Are you a collector or a hoarder?

The Characteristics Of A Collector

CollectorCollectors have a keen eye for what is valuable and worth procuring. They are passionate and dedicated, and ensure what they purchase is cared for and has some underlying...

Tips For Buying and Selling a Home at the Same Time

Buying and Selling At The Same TimeSelling your home can take up a lot of time and energy. Showcasing your home to prospective buyers, advertising, negotiating, preparing a mountain of paperwork, etc. Now try doing that and buying a new home at the same time! While this may seem like a monumental task, some shrewd and careful planning can make the process smoother than you think.

Assess Your Personal Financial Situation

Is it economically feasible for you to buy and sell a new home at the same time? You should review your income, expenses, job stability, level of debt, and credit rating, among other things.

Given the difficulty of the undertaking, you should ensure that you have the financial flexibility to weather any contingencies that might arise.

Research The Real Estate Market...

Home Buying During the Holidays: A Smart Decision?

Edmonton Holiday Home Buyers

Anyone who is familiar with the Art of War will know that military deception can be a key to success, in particular, diversion tactics. If a commander is outnumbered in warfare, creating a diversion can be what decides the outcome. Create a diversion, then, while the enemy is distracted, attack. Home buying during the holiday season is very similar, the only difference being the diversion is already provided. While everyone else is busy marveling at lights and eating copious amounts of sugar, you can slip in and snag yourself a pretty great gift – the home that you want at a great price.

Home buying during the holidays gives you, the buyer, an advantage in...

Re-Model Your Home Or Built A New One?

For Karen Becker, the sale of her home in the Southwest Edmonton neighbourhood of Skyrattler will be the end to an almost year-long saga. More than three years ago, Becker bought a 1980s-built house in the mature, treed neighbourhood with the intention of coming within inches — the width of the house’s external walls — of tearing it down. But, instead of demolishing the four-level split, 1,400-square-foot home, she hired contractors to strip it down to the studs, turf the popcorn ceilings and start over.

“It was an opportunity to build a house in a mature area without having to start right from zero. It was fun — it was something you want to do once in your life, and that’s good enough,” explains Becker.

Located on a tree-lined street and featuring an easy-to-landscape yard and quick access to Blackmud Ravine, Becker’s house should have sold quickly. Undertaking a large renovation to...

The Art of Making the Low Ball Offer

If you’re looking to buy a piece of Edmonton real estate in the near future, you’re probably planning out strategies you can use to get the best possible price on your ideal home. Buying a starter or move-up home can include lots of different costs, which is why negotiating for the lowest possible selling price is always in your best interest. A lower selling price will give you more room in your budget for repairs or renovations, closing costs, and furnishings. But if you’re planning to low ball a seller, you’ll want to take some steps to make your offer more appealing. Low balling puts you at a disadvantage in a bidding war and could even offend the seller – but with these smart low balling strategies, you’ll have a much better chance of getting your home at your preferred price.

Offer to Handle Repairs and Closing Costs...

Buying in a Buyer's Market: How to Ensure That You Find the Home of Your Dreams in Your Price Range

Just because a city is experiencing a buyer's market does not mean it will be easy to find the perfect home at the perfect price. Too many people go into a buyer's market expecting to have money thrown at them from the rooftops for the luxury of taking the seller's home off their hands. Just because there is more supply than there is demand is only a reflection of the current real estate market, it's not necessarily an accurate reflection of the type of deal a buyer is guaranteed. While it is the best time to find a home at a great price, it's important not to get too eager and make a lasting mistake. With that in mind here are some tips for buying a home in a buyer's market.

Go Into the Search with the Right Expectations

A buyer's market is the best time for a first time home owner to find a new house or condo, but nothing is guaranteed. Just...

What Is The Best Season To Sell A Home In Edmonton?

Spring in Edmonton can be very tempermental, snow and gloom one day, bright sunshine and warmth the next. It takes a few ups and down for spring to finally arrive permanently in Edmonton, but when it does, it's a beautiful thing.

With Lilacs blooming and the bright green of new leaves on the trees, the whole city comes alive. Home owners are outdoors cleaning up the debris that winter and late fall left behind, trips to the greenhouse for plants start and the thoughts of gardens, vacations and back yard bar-b-ques are everywhere.

Talk to any real estate agent, and they will tell you that there are certain seasons that are more favorable to sell your home than others. Often, the best time to list and sell a single family detached home is in the spring.

Most families want to make the purchase of their home and complete...

Can You Guess The One Word That Makes You Rich?

Buying a home, especially your first, can be a challenge; a challenge that teaches you many things, like setting a goal and working towards it's completion, determination, perseverance, overcoming obstacles along the way, planning a budget and sticking to it. Many wonder how it is that some manage to do this with seeming ease, while others struggle and never get there. It's often assumed that they are smarter, or richer than the others. Achievers are not that much different than anyone else. They have the love of one word in common.

There is one word at work that is a true gift. One word that will make you feel happy and bring a jolt of joy to everyone who sees it in an email, IM, or text. It’s the one word you love reading more than any other – you’ll always hear it spoken to you before a raise, a promotion or an announcement of an achievement.

The reason you love this word is that it's written every day. It shows team progress, and is free to everyone, anywhere to use at...


meeting with a realotr

A question we are often asked by buyers is who should I talk to first, a Mortgage Broker or Lender or a Realtor? In this article we’ll try to explain why meeting with a realtor should be your first step.

Often people assume the best place to start is the bank, which can be a negative since regardless of which bank you choose, they have very stringent criteria that must be met before they can put a loan in place and, secondly, if you don’t fit the requirements of the items on their “Mortgage Menu”, they will turn you down. That can be very discouraging to the first time, or anytime buyer.

Our recommendation is that you first speak to a Realtor. They know the real estate market, they don’t benefit from putting your mortgage in place with any particular broker or bank and their only interest is what is best for you in...

Why Are Buyer Agent Commissions Important?

When selling your home, your first consideration is to keep as much of the selling price as possible. That’s why agencies like ComFree, Help You Sell and other so called commission free agencies prosper. Before you opt for this option one of the most important questions you can might ask yourself is, “Would I work for free and if I did, how much dedication and energy would I put into my job?” 

You work hard for a living. Your income is used to support yourself and your family, pay your mortgage and car payments, cell phone charges, food and auto expenses, activities and entertainment for yourself and your family and hopefully invest in a retirement, and savings plan.

If your employer were to suddenly ask you to come to work, work just as hard, be just as loyal, prompt and dedicated, but now you will be working for free, would you show up for work the...

8 Steps for Smooth Home Buying

Buying a home is a process and too often people start with step 4 only to become frustrated when they discover that their credit score isn't where they thought it was which means their interest rates will be higher. This has a huge effect on the amount they will be qualified for. Your credit score is the benchmark for determining what the best interest rate that a Lender can offer you will be. Lenders take a risk when lending so it makes sense they will want to know what your repayment habits are on the credit you currently have. A good credit score, indicates good repayment practices which gives the lenders confidence that you will repay the loan. The reward for you is a lower interest rate.



Now that you've determined your credit score, it's time to sit down with your spouse or significant...

5 Reasons Why Buying a Home in Winter is Smart

   5 reasons to sell in winter

 For many years now, the Edmonton real estate markets have been highly competitive, often this creates a battle ground for first time buyers and seasoned veterans alike. Everyone is vying for the best money can buy in any every range.

This is why we’ve gathered the 5 biggest advantages for buying a home in Edmonton in the winter. Typically, Real Estate sales are slower in December and January when compared to the rest of the year. This slow-down in sales could be a great opportunity for you.

home for sale in winter1.  Less competition:  It’s very noticeable that there are simply less buyers and therefore less competition from other buyers.   Who really wants go house hunting in -20° weather? Since the driving conditions...

Should I Buy A Home Near An Edmonton School?

old scona high school

There are many different criteria to consider when purchase a home. One of the most common requests, especially from families with children, or young couples planning on having a family, is if there are schools nearby.

There’s a good reason for this. If you consider the average home owner stays in the same house for at least five years and young couples planning on having families even longer, then, where the children will go to school becomes one of the most important aspects for choosing a home.  kids walking to school in edmonton alberta

If, and yes this still happens, Mom stays home and doesn’t work outside the home, the children can walk to and from school without the added expense of bus fees or driving to and from. Depending on...

Can You Buy A House with An Alberta Private Mortgage?

Alberta Private Mortgage Can Help You Buy A House Even With Poor Credit

you can buy a home with poor credit using an Albert Private MortgageBanks generally require a credit score of 680 or above, in order to put a mortgage in place. This, of course, bars many from the mortgage from a bank or traditional lender. Although it is only one of the requirements for obtaining a mortgage, the does play a large factor when attempting to get a traditional mortgage.

It isn’t just poor credit that will keep an otherwise worthy buyer from purchasing a home.  Many people such as contract workers or self-employed, for whatever reasons, do not disclose all their income or have not been in a contract or self-employed long enough (typically able to show 2 years of steady contract or self- employed earnings) to qualify for the traditional mortgage.

Of course, there are other factors that play a part...

Should You Have A Realtor Represent You When Buying Your Home?

When you’re negotiating a real estate transaction, you will be likely be working with a realtor. In that transaction you will either be a customer or a client and there is a big difference between these two which is important that you understand it.

A Client has an agreement with the real estate agent and his brokerage firm. He’s signed a contract and thereby has a commitment that the realtor will represent his best interests in the purchase or sale of his property. Anyone else who is part of the transaction is considered a customer.  The real estate agents primary fiduciary duty is to the client, since that is the person that is paying him and he is obligated by contract to represent.

In any real estate transaction, there are two methods of representation:

  1. Seller Representation: If you are selling a property and enter...

Don't Forget The Licenced Home Inspector When Purchasing A Property

Always Use A Licenced Home Inspector

Buying a House in Edmonton? Don't Forget to Have the Home Inspected by a Licensed Inspector - and Here's Why A lot of first time homebuyers shrug off the opportunity to have the house professionally inspected by a licensed inspector before signing the contract. The reasons are always the same: ‘it’s a new house so it doesn’t need it,’ ‘it’s an unnecessary cost’ and most commonly, ‘I didn’t know I was supposed to.’ It doesn’t matter what the reason is, the end result will always be a massive expense to fix something that could have been caught early. Here are three major reasons to always hire a licensed inspector before buying a new home in Edmonton.

Even New Constructions May Have Structural Problems

An inspector will look over the entire structure and system of the house. Electric wiring, plumbing, septic, heating, air and the sewer system will all be looked over as well as all the appliances in the house. They are trained to know...

An Experienced Agent That Listens Makes the Buying Process Easier

Buying real estate requires a certain amount of effort. By following a tried and true method of home shopping you can reduce that effort and at the same time make a dent in the anxiety that normally goes along with the process. The difference is as glaring as fixing a near microscopic crack in a sidewalk compared to repaving an entire slab.

Find a Real Estate Agent That Listens

It’s a given that you’d want a real estate agent that is familiar with the neighborhood you’re interested in and all the legalities that go along with a real estate deal. But, consider this; you’ll be working with this person for several weeks at least. You may get lucky and find a home quickly but it still takes a while to close. Sometimes the search goes on for months in a tight market, especially if you have a limited budget. Finding a real estate agent that really listens to your wants and needs can make the process easier. A sharp agent won’t show you a three bedroom, one bathroom home when you have a family of six, unless you ask them...