If you are a customer, a REALTOR® will:
If you are a client, your REALTOR® will:
When you’re looking for a new Edmonton home, you want to find one in a great neighbourhood – or, at least, in a neighbourhood that is on the upswing. How can you tell if a particular area is improving? Here are some common indicators:
• Pride of ownership. Take a walk around the neighbourhood. Do you get a sense that people take good care of their homes? Are the lawns mowed? Is the landscaping trimmed? Are flowers planted? Are the sidewalks & walkways shoveled from snow? Homeowners are more likely to look after their properties when they like where they are living.
• Home improvements. Are people investing in their homes? Are they getting their driveways re-done? Their windows replaced? Are there signs of home improvement projects? If so, this is a clear indication that homeowners like the area enough to invest in their properties.
• Real estate sales activity. Do homes tend to sell quickly in the area? Do they sell for a good price? If so, the neighbourhood is probably in demand. If people want to live there, it's a desirable area.
• Business investment. Are businesses investing in the surrounding area? Is there an increase in the number of upscale shops, health clubs, restaurants, and other commercial enterprises that often locate near desirable neighbourhoods?
• Community involvement. Are there signs that the community plays an active role in the look and lifestyle of the neighbourhood? Are there neighbourhood picnics, yard sales and other get-togethers? Check Facebook.com to see if the neighbourhood has a community page.
• City plans. Find out what plans the city of Edmonton has for the area. Will there be road improvements done in the near future? Are there any major construction projects on the schedule, such as LRT, new school or community centre. Although such projects can be disruptive in the short term, they may improve the neighbourhood – and, as a result, boost the value of any home you buy – in the long-term.
Plan ahead to make your move as smooth as possible and to avoid forgetting something in the shuffle!
As soon as possible.... Notify family & friends, companies and institutions that your address will be changing, either by phone or by mailing the change of address cards available at Canada Post.
The following checklist will serve as a convenient reminder:
I would also submit your change of address thru Canada Post to ensure nothing was forgotten.
If you have any other contacts, please let me know thru my contact page.
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 competition 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 …. 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, I viewed the existing house which I live in a between Christmas & New Years & had it pending by first week of January. I know I saved money as they "had" to sell & there wasn't many qualified buyers looking in the cold. 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 me thru my website or call me direct 780-242-5229 & I'll show you some great deals.
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 & 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. Bottom line – make your new 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?
3. Not getting pre-approved for a mortgage. Speaking of monthly payments, most experts (including myself) 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.
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. I 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…
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 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.
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 my buyers pages as I have plenty of preliminary info for you. When you are ready to look for your home or have general home ownership questions, please call me direct 780-242-5229 or thru my contact page.
When shopping for a new home in the Edmonton area, it's a good idea to try and see the potential of the property you're viewing. It may not be exactly what you're looking for "as is", but it may have the potential to become your dream home after some redecorating or renovating. The challenge is, judging how much work is required. You don't want to buy a home with the expectation that it requires a $20,000 renovation, only to discover that it really needed three times that much. OUCH!
That’s where myself, can help. I will help you get a realistic estimate of the cost of repairs, upgrades, renovations and even recommend some reputable interior designers and/or contractors. That way, when you see a home with "potential", you'll be able to make a more informed decision.
Want more tips on finding and buying your next dream home? Please call me direct at 780-242-5229 or message me thru my contact page.
As your Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®), I'm always here to help.
The Internet is full of checklists and resources to use if you are planning the move. There are definite packing timelines & there are lists with packing supplies. There are even directions on how to pack boxes properly! Moving is MUCH more than purging and organizing your personal things. There are legal tasks you need to also take care of. Here are 5 legal tasks you should complete before your move:
Can you think of anything else to add? If so, please contact me or call direct at 780-242-5229
Believe it or not, even in these rough 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 (my youngest 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.
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%.
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.
4.) Am I ready? Every first time 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) 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 fix it up a bit.
Can you add to these questions young buyers need to ask themselves? If so, please reach out thru my contact page.