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EDMONTON HOUSE HUNTING

 EDMONTON'S ADVANCED MARKETING REALTORS®

 

Edmonton Real Estate Blog, Market Information & Well-Balanced Advise

Top 5 Mistakes Edmonton Buyers Make

So you're ready to meet the challenge of buying a new home? With common-sense planning, you can avoid these five common buyer mistakes and steer yourself towards success:

1. Impulse buying

To skip this mistake, do some serious research on what are your specific needs. Example is, how are the local schools? Are there parks or gym facilities that fit your needs? How is the traffic to shopping centres, work, friends &

Good choice, bad choice when buying your Edmonton home image

family? Is shopping close by? In other words, compare areas in terms of what is important to you personally. You

might find your "dream house" only to discover that resales are slow, schools are terrible, traffic is a nightmare or that aircraft fly right over the front yard ~yikes~. Bottom line – make your new Edmoton home earn its stripes. Before you commit to a long term home relationship, make certain you are both compatible.

2. Not setting any budget limits

Don't make the classic mistake of buying more than you can afford. Your first responsibility is to pay your mortgage, taxes and insurance. If you're set on upgrades or remodeling, can you fit them into your budget? What about furnishings? Can you afford the extra furniture for those extra bedrooms or for that huge new living/family room? And what about utilities? Those cathedral ceilings are breathtaking, but have you considered the additional heating costs?Foreclosure is not fun and that what happens if you don't pay those bills.

Edmonton mortgage pre-approval image3. Not getting pre-approved for a mortgage

Speaking of monthly payments, most experts  (including us) consider it absolutely crucial for buyers to seek pre-approval from a lender before even looking to purchase. While pre-approval doesn't mean you are approved for a loan, at the very least it establishes precisely what you can afford. Once you have that info, you can avoid the heartbreak of finding the perfect home only to discover that it's beyond your financial reach. In addition, pre-approval substantially improves your status as a buyer in the eyes of a seller... BIG TIME. If you don't have a lender, ask and we know some great people who can help.

 

4. Not working with professionals

So, you've found a lender. Now you need to complete your professional support team. Too many buyers believe they can do this on their own and they disregard professional input. Avoid a nightmare later by assembling a group of professionals who will suit your needs, represent you, and whose expertise you respect. Begin your search with a buyer's agent (preferably an ABR®) . Resist the urge to call the REALTORS® number on the For Sale sign. The seller's agent works for the seller. You need a REALTOR® who will work on your behalf and negotiate with your best interests in mind. Will you need a lawyer? It's a great idea to find an excellent lawyer as your search begins, rather than in the midst of it. To say that Real Estate documents are confusing is an understatement. A lawyer specializing in Real Estate is best suited to protect you from unexpected terms or surprises when it's time to sign on the dotted line. We have a list of recommended lawyers you may want to choose from. And what about a home inspector? Which brings us to the next mistake…

Don't cut corners, use a licenced Edmonton home inspector image 5. Cutting corners on the home inspection

Some lenders may require a home inspection before they will approve a mortgage. Buyers are wise to pay for a thorough inspections to include structural components, electrical, piping, roof integrity, sewage or leaks, etc. A minor investment with a home inspector is a small price to pay in exchange for enormous deficiencies later. I have a list of recommended licenced home inspectors you may want to choose from. Even thou your friend or family member (uncle, dad, brother) may work in the trades or contruction doesn't mean they are a home inspector.

Ultimately, with smart planning and a realistic approach to home buying, you really can enjoy the dream of owning your perfect home. Please browse thru our buyers pages as we have plenty of preliminary info for you. When you are ready to look for your Edmonton home or have general home ownership questions, please call us direct Audrey 780-910-5179, Mike 780-242-5229, thru our contact page or even down below in the comments.

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5 Questions Young Edmonton Home Buyers Need to Ask

Young Edmonton Buyers Searching for Their First Home image

Believe it or not, even in these rough Alberta economic times, the average age of the first time home buyer has been gradually decreasing. In 2008 the average age was 35 years old, and in 2011 the average age dropped to age 30. Personally, I think of all the people I know that bought a home in the last few years and many of them are 27 years old or younger (our youngest Edmonton home buyer was 19 years old!), which has raised the question: are they different challenges to first-time home buyers because of their age?

It turns out, yes, different circumstances call for different situations, and if you’re a 30 something or younger individual thinking of buying a home, here are some things you need to consider:

 

1.)  Do I have a substantial down payment?

An obvious challenge of buying a home at a younger age is clearly not having as much time to save money for a down payment as your older counterparts. A smaller down payment means a higher monthly mortgage payment, which is often why so many people choose to wait a few years more to save up enough money in order to have a monthly payment they can afford. Today you need minimum of 5% of purchase price to meet CMHC criteria. More is better as you will have a small CMHC premium.

 

2.) What will my mortgage rate be?

Part of the criteria in applying for a loan is job stability, meaning you need to show that you have been working at a particular job for a long amount of time. For many 20-30 year olds, the length of time they have been at a job is particularly small simply because they haven’t been a part of the workforce very long. It’s perfectly natural to skip from  job to job to job during your college years, as you often have different requirements that need to be met (class schedule, moving, wage changes, seasonal work, etc.). However, this doesn’t particularly reflect well when applying for a home loan. Rates today are in the low 3% which is great as we have seen 6+% in the past. Yes, people still bought homes.

 

3.) Are my expectations realistic?

Many young home buyers simply have no idea just how much certain features cost. A “decent amount of space” might be a completely unreasonable requirement for a 25 year old looking for an affordable place to live in SW Edmonton. Let’s be honest, the words ‘SW Edmonton’ and ‘affordable’ don’t often appear in the same sentence.

 

 

Young Edmonton Home Buyers Dream of Their New Home

4.) Am I ready?

Every first time Edmonton home buyer will need to ask themselves this question, but a young home buyer especially. A younger individual usually has more variables in their life. Are you in a stable job that you will most likely stay in (or even want to stay in) for the next 10 years? Are you sure you won’t have to move (career, relationships, family issues, corperate relocation) in the next 10 years? In addition, research has shown that the brain isn’t even fully mature until around age 25, so are you sure you will even want to still own a home in a few years?

 

5.) Am I able to put in the work?

For any first time home buyer, you have to be ready to put in a little bit of elbow grease, but for a younger home buyer, you really need to be ready to do some home renovation projects. A smaller down payment and a likely higher mortgage rate means you will probably have to limit your search to homes that need a little bit of work, and you’d better be ready (read: have the energy and skills to complete these renos) to fix it up a bit. Are you up to the task?

 

Can you add to these questions young Edmonton home buyers need to ask themselves? If so, please reach out thru our contact page or comment below.

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There are Advantages to Buying a Home in Edmonton's Winter

Here’s some advantages to buying a home during the off season in Edmonton, which means that you’ll be buying from November to February.


1.  Less competition …. There is less Edmonton winter home for sale giving buyers a great advantage picturecompetition from other buyers.   Many buyers don’t want to brave the cold and icy roads by driving the neighbourhoods and looking for properties during this time of the year.  This can translate into lower prices and better deals for the buyer.


2.  Prices decline …. Prices are typically less this time of the year, proven by the statistics from the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton (RAE) and from Realtor.ca.


3.  More time from your REALTOR®…..  Your real estate agent isn’t as busy this time of the year, you may get more of their time and expertise (so true compared to the busy spring rush).


4.  Not as many properties are receiving multiple offers …. We can remember during the summer season of 2012, many houses in Edmonton that were priced correctly had multiple offers on them, which translated into higher prices for the seller. All great news for sellers, not such great news for buyers. There is an emotional trigger than happens in multiple offers, and buyers can sometime offer more for the house than they had originally planned on.


5.  Ugly Ducklings….. Some houses that are still on the market in December and January may have been on the market for a long, long time. This could be for a variety of reason, including the home has been overpriced.  Or it could just be that the property doesn’t show well, it’s an ugly duckling.  Maybe it’s too crowded with personal belongings, maybe the interior paint colour is horrible, maybe the lighting is bad, or maybe the home is dirty.  All of these are easy things to fix once you own the property, and if you can look through these items, you may be able to get an ever better deal.


Now is a great time to buy. A few years ago, when Mike viewed the existing house he lives in a  between Christmas & New Years & had it pending by first week of January. He knows he saved money as they "had to sell" & there wasn't many qualified buyers looking in the cold winter. Good for Mike, the buyer &  bad for the sellers. There are many other great deals out there right now! If you are thinking about buying in the spring, why wait? Shop now & save. Contact Audrey and Mike thru our website or call Audrey direct 780-910-5179 or Mike 780-242-5229 & I'll show you some great Edmonton Real Estate deals.

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 How a Buyer's Agent Represents Your Best Interests

Purchasing a home is about making a commitment to living in the same property with a long term mortgage to a financial institute. If there are mistakes made with the home purchase, you can not go back and return the property to the sellers. In the event of major defects by a home seller a home buyer may be able to sue the seller and demand that they take the home back. The buyer may be able to recover money from the home seller assuming they have money to give back to the buyer.

In a normal real estate transaction, there are usually 2 transactional parties (the Buyer&the Seller), 2 lawyers (Buyer's Lawyer&Seller's Lawyer) and 2 Real Estate Agents (the Buyer's Agent&the Seller's Agent). Sometimes there is only one real estate agent who is representing both the buyer and the seller. This practice has become less common for several reasons. Whether you are purchasing a for sale by owner property or a home listed by RE/MAX Real estate, there are several benefits of having your own representation including privacy in which Sellers don't know anything about your finances (except, you have your pre-approval in tact) or anything personal which could be used as a negotiation threshold to their advantage. To find out more how a buyer's agent works in your best interest, contact us today or you can read more info about buyer representation on this page.

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