Home Buying Tips

Vacation Homes and Cabins

Do you dream of waking up surrounded by nature, whether that’s opening your eyes to a sea of spruce trees and glistening mountain tops or hearing the gentle waves from the lake washing ashore on the beach below?

Cottage season is just throwing open it’s shutters and for many it reawakens the dream of owning a second home. Prices of recreational properties have sky rocketed in recent years and like the housing market as a whole, there’s a serious shortage of homes available in Canada. Before you turn that dream into a reality, here are some pointers to guide you..

Location, location, location…

Distance is key. It is so tempting when scrolling through MLS to see a beautiful property and stretch the travel time to put it in reach. The reality is…

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Canada Home Ownership 2022 Liberal BudgetThe liberal budget & your new home. 

So you want to buy a new home but it feels like the mountain ahead of you is too steep. House prices keep rising. Interest rates and inflation mean your mortgage now costs more and so does your cost of living. If you’re looking at a new build, add to that lumber prices, aluminum prices and supply chain delays. Enter the Liberal budget with it’s focus on housing. Is relief finally in sight?

Doubling the number of new homes

We constantly hear it’s a sellers market. That’s because there’s a lack of available homes for sale across the country. Basically to catch up with demand the government aims to double the number of new homes being built in the next ten years. The budget put forward a host of new measures. Top…

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Cameras EavesdroppingAs more homes are equipped with “smart” technologies for everything from surveillance to home automation, the real estate purchase process is changing.

Home sellers are increasingly using video and/or audio surveillance to eavesdrop on potential buyers, using the information gleaned as leverage. This places the buyer at an obvious disadvantage during negotiations.

With many of today’s sellers using technology to their advantage, it pays to exercise caution. If you are viewing a home, a good rule of thumb is to assume you are being recorded and act accordingly.

Although it can be a challenge, especially since a home purchase can be such a personal and emotional process, try to keep any comments to yourself. The home showing is not the time to gush…

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Inspecting your Home

Finding a home, you know you can live with can be difficult business. Whether buying a brand-new house from a builder or a resale home there are a number of things you should look for. It’s also important to keep in mind that new homes can be just as problematic as older homes. First of all, let me start by saying it almost always makes sense to hire a qualified home inspector and it can potentially protect you from costly surprises down the road. 

However, if you anticipate serious problems (that you’re not prepared to remedy) in the house, you’re better off saving the cost of a home inspection and moving on to a more suitable prospect. Here are some things to watch for to determine a house’s overall quality before you commit to the cost of hiring…

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Everyone knows that buying or selling a house is a big deal. It is most likely the most expensive purchase you will ever make, so you want to make sure it’s done right. Whether it is a condo, a townhouse or a single-family home, there are always hoops to jump through and tricks of the trade that will help make the process easier. This is where a REALTOR comes in. This professional knows the market well, understands the process of buying/selling and knows how to do it efficiently. Here are some of the top reasons you should use a REALTOR® to assist you in buying or selling a home.

Excess of Resources

A real estate agent is generally associated with a large realty company with countless resources and other professionals able to provide you with…

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Whether you’re buying your first home or your third home, there are still some very common pitfalls to avoid. Many times these mistakes are made because of ego or ignorance. However, it should be noted that working with the right REALTOR® (or team of REALTORS®) can help you avoid costly mistakes altogether. 

But, for education sakes, let's go through some common mistakes that buyers can make: 

  • Buying the most expensive home on the block. Remember that your home is an investment. Homes within the neighbourhood escalate in value when the homes around it go up. If your home is the highest standard by which all homes are measured by, your value will increase much less than others.
  • Falling in love with a house that is unattainable or out of your…

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Are you a prospective homebuyer? Onto your second or "forever" home? Whatever your situation, preparing for homeownership requires you to a good look at your finances and your expectations so you can put your best foot forward dealing with your mortgage, taxes and home maintenance.

That is why we are going to share our top 7 tips for homebuyers! The first three points all come down to questions you should ask yourself before you start the process of looking for a home. 

  1. Why do you want to buy? Are you tired of paying rent to a landlord? Would you like to have a yard to enjoy? Are you looking to buy your first investment rental property? Would you rather live in a different part of town? Do you want a shorter commute to work? Having a clear sense…

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Mortgage Stress Test Calgary

Starting on January 1, 2018, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) set a new minimum qualifying rate, or “stress test” for all prospective home buyers, even those with a down payment of over 20%.

Before the new rule, only buyers that had a down payment of less than 20% had to make sure they could pass a stress test. Now it doesn’t matter how much money you save for a down payment, if you don’t pass the new stress test, the bank will not give you a mortgage.

Under the new mortgage stress test, potential home buyers need to qualify for a mortgage at a rate that is either 2% higher than the mortgage rate they qualified for, or the Bank of Canada’s five-year benchmark rate.  For most, that will mean qualifying for a home…

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The house hunting process can be fun and exciting, and visiting open houses is all part of the action. If you finally find a home (or two) that appeal to you, and you make your way to an open house or showing, now what? With a few tips, you can ensure that your next open house visit is a successful experience.

Look at all the elements that are important for you and your family:

  • Are there enough bedrooms or bathrooms?
  • Is the house the right size?
  • Is there enough storage space?
  • Is it in the right location?
  • Is it close to schools?
  • Is the house in good repair?
  • Does it fit your needs?

You may walk into a home and fall head over heels in love with it. But is it because it's beautifully decorated and furnished? Remember,…

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Thinking of making the move to homeownership? Great! First there are some questions you should ask yourself to properly prepare for the exciting process ahead of you.

  • Are you ready to buy? Owning your own home is about more than just being able to decorate any way you like; it's about being prepared to maintain your home over the years, realizing that part of your income and time will go towards repairs and maintenance. It's about being willing to take the risks of home ownership with a realistic expectation of the rewards.
  • How much can you afford? It can be discouraging to find that your salary won't stretch as far as the home you want to own. However, sacrificing a huge part of your income just to pay the mortgage can very quickly make home…

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