First-Time Home Buyers in Edmonton

Thinking about buying your first home? 20 years ago I was in the same position and it was an exciting but scary proposition. Living in my parents’ basement was cheap and all but was a real drag on my lifestyle. Instead of renting, a friend and I decided to pool up our savings and buy a 2-bedroom condo together. It was my first major step in #adulting after buying a new car. A condo seemed practical based on the price and low maintenance as a young person at the time. My situation may resonate with some of you.

Skyrocketing rents in our community, and many new Canadians moving to our great city, Edmonton has become one of the epicenters for first-time buyers in the last year due to our affordable real estate prices in Canada. If you are a first-time homebuyer looking to buy, use the guide below to avoid common mistakes when buying your first home in Edmonton, Alberta, and surrounding areas. If you are new to Canada in the past 5 years and looking to buy a home, please visit our "New to Canada" page for additional information.

  • Pre-Qualification: Meet with a mortgage broker and find out how much you can afford to pay for a home.
  • Pre-Approval: While knowing how much you can afford is the first step, sellers will be much more receptive to potential buyers who have been pre-approved. You'll also avoid being disappointed when going after homes that are out of your price range. With Pre-Approval, the buyer actually applies for a mortgage and receives a commitment in writing from a lender. This way, assuming the home you're interested in is at or under the amount you are pre-qualified for, the seller knows immediately that you are a serious buyer for that property. Costs for pre-approval are generally nominal and lenders will usually permit you to pay them when you close your loan.
  • List of Needs & Wants: Make two lists. The first should include items you must have (i.e., the number of bedrooms you need for the size of your family, a one-story house if accessibility is a factor, etc.). The second list is your wishes - things you would like to have (pool, den, etc.) but that are not absolutely necessary. Realistically for first-time buyers, you probably will not get everything on your wish list, but it will keep you on track for what you are looking for.
  • Representation by a Professional: Consider hiring your own real estate agent, one who is working for you, the buyer, not the seller.
  • Focus & Organization: In a convenient location, keep handy the items that will assist you in maximizing your home search efforts. Such items may include:
    1. One or more detailed maps with your areas of interest highlighted.
    2. A list or file of the properties that your agent has shown to you.
    3. Paper and pen for taking notes as you search.
    4. A camera to snap pictures of homes you have toured to help you remember your favorites and features you really liked.
  • Visualize the house empty & with your decor: Are the rooms laid out to fit your needs? Is there enough light?
  • Be Objective: Instead of thinking with your heart when you find a home, think with your head. Does this home really meet your needs? There are many houses on the market, so don't make a hurried decision that you may regret later.
  • Be Thorough: A few extra dollars well spent now may save you big expenses in the long run. Don't forget such essentials as:
    1. Include inspection & mortgage contingencies in your written offer.
    2. Have the property inspected by a professional inspector.
    3. Request a second walk-through to take place within 24 hours of closing.
    4. You want to check to see that no changes have been made that were not agreed on (i.e., a nice chandelier that you assumed came with the sale having been replaced by a cheap ceiling light).

All the above may seem rather overwhelming. That is why having a professional represent you and keep track of all the details for you is highly recommended. Please contact us directly to discuss any of these matters in further detail.

Post a Comment