For Home Buyers

Insider tips for metro Edmonton home buyers.

Found 19 blog entries about For Home Buyers.

Many home buyers particularly first-time home buyers are drawn to new homes and its easy to understand why. Nobody but you will have lived in the home and in some cases, you can tell the builder what you would like to have included in the specification. Other people are drawn to ‘pre-owned’ or resale homes. In this blog we examine the pros and cons of each option.

New Homes

Pros: Buying a new home, particularly if you can have some input into the design process, may be the closest you will ever get to owning that perfect home. All the materials that go into your new home will be new and therefore maintenance should be minimal at least for the first 5 to 10 years.

In most cases, the overall design of the home will suit your modern lifestyle

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What Would a Lawyer Say?

Many of our clients ask at what point they bring a lawyer into the process of buying or selling a home. Ask many lawyers this question and they suggest you bring them into the process as quickly as possible.

In some regards this makes sense as they are simply being protective of you the client.

What Do We Say?

Until you have a contract to purchase or sell a home, there’s really nothing to protect and as most lawyers charge by the hour, having a lawyer review every single document or consult with you on each step of the process could be expensive.

If you have chosen your REALTOR® carefully, they will help you take care of drafting a properly worded contract that gets you what you want. Lawyers sometimes forget

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At Ambergate Realty Advisors we help many Edmonton area home buyers each year search for and move into wonderful homes, both single family and condos.

Are you serious about buying a home? Do it in the week, do it during the day. Be first.

One thing that we constantly face is home buyer complacency. Many of the clients we work with initially want to see homes when they are not at work. This normally means evenings and weekends. This approach has several downsides for you and we suggest you start thinking a little differently.

Here are 4 reasons why you should shop for homes during the day, in the week:

1. You See the Home More Realistically

Want to shop for home in the evening? Depending upon the time of the year this could be big

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1. The service is readily available so why not use it?

Here in the metro Edmonton market its quite normal for home buyers to start a relationship with a REALTOR® to help them sleuth out ALL homes for sale. The good REALTORS® will also help you to identify homes that are not even on the open market. We do this all the time.                  

2. The listing REALTOR® is not working for you

It might seem smart to contact the listing REALTOR® and ask her to show you the home that she has listed for sale. You can ask direct questions and get the inside track on the home. Be aware however that the listing REALTOR® will also use this opportunity to get the inside track on you. If you tell her that you really love the home, that

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Thinking of selling your home? Getting a paid for appraisal might be a great place to start determining your property value, providing you are aware of the limitations.

Pitfalls of Appraisals

An appraisal is an entirely theoretical exercise which is based on the application of a number of traditional approaches to establishing and calculating a home's value. The best an appraiser can do is to establish a “notional” value based on these principles.

Appraisers are most often called to apply these theories for the purposes of establishing: finance value, insurance value, tax value, value for estate planning and when a divorce is happening, a notional market value to allow one party to buy the other out.

Only the Market Can Dictate Actual

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We find that many consumers use in the mistaken belief that they are looking at the actual MLS® System used by Realtors®. They are NOT. (formerly is nothing more than a data feed provided by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) in Ottawa, taken from all of the different Realtors® Associations across the country and presented to the general public as a kind of ‘shop window’. Only Realtors® can access the actual MLS® System. There is some distinct disadvantages in relying solely on when you search for a home.

For example:

1. Not Easy To Search in Detail

Because the website has to present information from a large number of actual MLS® Systems (all of which collate data differently) the ability

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Did you hear about this in the media?

Motivated home buyers should act by October 17th or face the unenviable position of having to settle for a less desirable home. The government has introduced some changes to the mortgage qualification rules and October 17th is the deadline.

The new rules require that all insured mortgages undergo a ‘stress test’. The test will ensure that you can qualify for a mortgage at the Bank of Canada posted rate of 4.64% (even though you will be able to shop for market rates).

What does this really mean? You may not be able to borrow enough money to buy the home you want.

Here is an example (as provided via AREA & by a mortgage professional)

Let’s pretend the follow scenario applies to you:


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At this brokerage we find that there is a plenty of confusion by our home selling clients and our buyers as to how they secure financing and make sure that this piece is handled properly during both the negotiation phase and the due diligence phase of buying (or selling) a new home.

There are essentially 2 steps.

Step 1 – Initial Approval

Must be completed BEFORE you start looking at homes. Most good quality Realtors® will not spend much time showing you homes until this part of the process is complete.

As a buyer, you need to find out how much a lender will actually advance you and you need to be comfortable with the payments.

To get this information, your mortgage broker will need to determine if you can borrow money and this decision

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Want to buy a home in the Edmonton area soon? Beware.

Your behavior during the home search and purchase process could directly effect your chances of success. Here are 3 things you MUST avoid before you buy and move into your new home.

1. Switching Jobs

Mortgage lenders are cautious. If you switch jobs just as you are applying for a mortgage, your ability to borrow money may simply evaporate until you have passed a suitable probation period, which is most often 3 to 6 months. If you have your eye on that dream home now, chances are it will be long sold before you quality for a mortgage. Our advice: Stay in your job until you move in.

2. Buying That New Car

We have seen this happen several times. A prospective buyer ‘stops in’ to their

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1. You Will Be Responsible For Home Maintenance, Snow Clearing & Yard Work

Perhaps the main reason that potential home buyers balk at condo fees is that they don’t really understand what they are paying for. What does your fee buy? Apart from putting some money into a slush fund for longer term maintenance or unforeseen circumstances, condo fees pay for essential home owner services including: insurance, snow clearing, gardening and in many cases onsite management. And the most attractive part is that as a condo owner, you are sharing these costs with other owners, so your risk and expense is usually lower than if you were paying for all of the costs by yourself.

2. No Need to Save Extra

If you are not paying condo fees, you had better be a

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