BGRS Military CF - IRP Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome Military Members and Personal!

You've been posted and need to sell or find a home near CFB Edmonton Garrison. This IRP buyer and seller question and answer section should help. It includes some basic information about relocating to the capital of Alberta and common questions our DND buyers and sellers have asked over the years.

Servicing our military members that have been posted in and out of Edmonton and the surrounding area is a major part of our real estate business. Every year we deal with several military moves and are here to help make these move less stressful. Below are some questions you may have on your Edmonton posting.

Selling BGRS related questions when posted from CFB Garrison

I have my posting message but I haven't met with my BGRS rep yet. Can I list or buy a property?

Yes. During the busiest posting season, you may have a long wait before you have your meeting. You may not want to lose that time in selling your home. There is no problem listing your homes for sale or even selling your property before you meet with your Brookfield rep. We can advise you about what to do.

I haven't sold my house here. Can I go on my House Hunting Trip before it sells?

Not unless you are in a financial position to hold both properties or you have special permission. BGRS only pays for one house hunting trip (HHT). There are situations where you can get permission but in most cases, you will have to sell your home first.

I have been told I am posted but don't have my message yet.  Can I list my house now?

Yes, you can list your home for sale, but if we receive an offer prior to your posting message, we will need to add a "Sellers Clause" contingent on receiving your posting message. If a buyer really loves your home, this is usually not a problem. However, buyers are watching how many days your property is on the market and we don't want it to become "stale". The best thing to do is meet with us for photos, measurements and other tips on maximizing your sale price and together, we will choose a "D" day. This will allow us time to pre-market your home for more buyer exposure.

If I am posted and have a mortgage prepayment penalty. Is this covered and how do I handle this?

Most major financial institutions will not charge a penalty if porting (moving your current mortgage to another property). Some banks and lenders may waive the prepayment penalties for our Canadian Armed Forces Members. It is best to check with your current financial lender prior to accepting an offer. Payout penalties can run into thousands of dollars.

Do I need a new real property report and does BGRS cover it?

If you have not made any exterior changes to your current property and have a compliance stamp on your Real Property Report, you do not need another one. Even if it is a hundred years old. If you have made any changes, such as adding a fence, shed (that is not moveable), or deck, you will need a new real property report. This RPR (Real Property Report) forms part of your sale agreement and must have compliance to match the content in Alberta real estate purchase contracts. If you live in a town near CFB Garrison, such as Gibbons, Bon Accord or Morinville RPR rules are different. Yes, Brookfield does cover this.

Does my home need to be spotless when I leave?

In the province of Alberta, title transfers, unlike other provinces are not transferred on the same day as a possession. In Alberta, your lawyer will start the transfer of title, prior to meeting you. Unless it specifically states in your purchase agreement to do a "walk through", the buyer will only know how clean your home is once they have keys and the title has already been transferred. it is common courtesy to leave your home as clean as possible, especially if another military member has purchased your home. Word gets around. BGRS now only pays for cleaning on one side.

Can I list my home with a relative?

No. The TPSP (third party supplier) provider must be at "arm’s length" which means "a transaction is one that is consummated between two or more non-related parties as per Canada Revenue Agency interpretation". Related individuals include direct-line descendants, spouse or common-law partners, brothers, sisters and in-laws. It also includes non-immediate family members such as cousins, aunts, uncles, nephew and nieces. Should a supplier be used that is not ‘arm’s length’, reimbursement of their services is not eligible and will need to pay out of pocket.

What happens if I can’t sell my current residence?

There are relocation benefits in place to assist with the financial burden of dual residency (including grass & snow removal). Your Advisor will discuss the temporary dual residence assistance benefits with you and review your options so you can decide which option is best for you and your family. If your property is sitting vacant, please ensure someone is able to keep checking in on it for insurance purposes. Also, you may not want your address displayed on with all of the internet "rental scams" and will need to agree to a "hold harmless" form in the province of Alberta if you choose to have your homes address showing.

What is the usual closing date in the Edmonton area?

We are currently still in a buyers market and houses prices have plateaued for the last ten years. However, the average days on the market here is only about two months when priced accordingly. Most of our military closings are in mid-July - take or give a month. Keep in mind, several of our DND members may need to take a loss on their homes in order to get it sold within a reasonable time period. Brookfield is currently covering a large portion of the shortfall for our Canadian armed forces members in the province of Alberta.

Buying BGRS related questions when posted to CFB Garrison

Once I dispose of my current residence what is my next step?

Ensure your home is sold (not pending) prior to contacting your Brookfield Advisor for your new house hunting trip. With the changes in mortgage qualifying rates, several offers throughout Canada have been crashing on financing. Once you know your home has been sold, all conditions and contingencies have been met, contact your Brookfield Advisor immediately and inform if you require a House Hunting Trip as soon as possible. The more time you have between your HHT and your COS dates, the more properties available to you.

How far ahead of my COS date should I plan my house hunting trip?

A few months is best if possible. This allows the sellers at your posted designation enough time to find their new home and it opens up more options. The closer your HHT is to your COS date, eliminates properties with sellers requesting longer possessions or any tenant-occupied homes.

My house hunting trip is only for one week. How many days should I spend actually looking for a house?

First, ensure you choose a BGRS approved Realtor who is familiar with the Integrated Relocation Program and the house-hunting process. Your IRP approved Realtor can also recommend inspectors and lawyers are also on the Brookfield list. Realtors who deal with military moves will dedicate their whole week to working with you only. The first day will be meeting up, eliminating properties which do not meet your criteria, educating you on "the Alberta Home buying Process" and setting up the showings. Depending on your wants and needs, you may be house hunting for the first couple of days or may need to add a few more days. You should always have a top pick and a back up just in case anything goes sideways in the inspection or a special assessment arising on a condominium.

If I find a house on the internet and want more information can you email me more details?

Yes. We use a system called "Paragon" which feeds and have access to all the MLS® listing data including how much properties have sold for in the past. We can also set you up on "Autoprospecting", which is an automated system where we add your search criteria and only those homes will automatically be emailed to you. This system can email you the sold prices as well as any price changes. This will give you a better understanding of our current Edmonton real estate market. It will also save you time on your houses hunting trip.

I am not familiar with Edmonton. How do I request information from you about the better communities?

If you would like more information on buying a home near CFB Garrison or would like to know which Edmonton communities have higher crime rates, please feel free to call/text us at 780-910-5179 or 780-237-7074 or simply fill out the form below. We are here to help our Canadian Armed Forces Members.

Can I go on a House Hunting Trip if I haven’t disposed of my current residence?

Answer: Military members are responsible to coordinate a door-to-door move. Without a known dispossession date at the origin, this may prove difficult. However, your COS date may be set in stone or can be moved 30 days in either direction. Brookfield GRS recommends your home be sold prior to taking your house hunting trip. However, the authority for your HHT rests with your employer, who can sign an HHT/DIT application, granting you approval for the trip. The HHT/DIT application can be obtained from your Advisor once he/she has provided comments and signed the form.

What if I go on a House Hunting Trip and don’t find a place to live?

Ensure you have your mortgage pre-approval put in place prior to arriving in Edmonton. We have several properties to choose from, so there is no concern about finding a home for you and your family. However, if your financial situation does not allow you to purchase a property at this time, apply as soon as possible for a spot in the Barracks. If you choose to rent, our average rental prices for a two-bedroom condo will range from $1000 - $1500 per month. 

Can I drive to my posted destination on my HHT?

Although it may be faster to fly to Edmonton and rent a courtesy vehicle once you have landed, there may be options available in your employer relocation policy which allow flexibility with a house-hunting trip, please discuss with your Advisor.

Can I stay with family members instead of a hotel?

Yes, and you may claim the non-commercial accommodation allowance when you stay with friends or family during your relocation. We have several hotels in Edmonton which also catered to our military members. The top picks from our pst DND HHT members have been the Rosslyn Inn & Suites Edmonton on 97 Street, and Holiday Inn Express Hotel on 50 Street which are both six minutes from CFB Garrison. If your family is coming on your house hunting trip, the St. Albert Inn on St. Alberta Trail is only a few minutes from base and has a wonderful swimming pool. If you choose a hotel near West Edmonton Mall, there are several. The commute to the base will be about a half-hour in each direction (without traffic).

What if my furniture arrives before I do?

Answer: Please line up your dates accordingly. (Furniture should be dropped off at least one day after your closing date). If your furniture arrives before you, it may go into short-term storage until you arrive, or it may stay on the moving truck, depending on what the moving company decides. Storage is no longer covered by Brookfield and you will need to pay out of pocket. You should discuss this potential with base traffic personnel.

More BGRS related Questions and Answers when posted

When do I register for my posting?

On receipt of your posting message, proceed to and pre-register, keeping in mind it may take a few days for your employer to download your file to Brookfield GRS. The system will request that you fill in the information according to your posting message, entering your last name and service number (with no spaces) identical to the data on the posting message. Do not leave anything blank. It will delay the process.

Once your file has been authorized by your employer the system will match the information from your employer with your pre-registration and send your password and User ID via email. You will then be able to complete the registration process. If you are a release military member please note that you are required to contact the "release section" in order to commence the process of establishing your final relocation prior to contacting BGRS. On successful registration, a Brookfield Advisor will be assigned and contact you within a few business days to discuss your relocation intentions and book your 1st Planning Session.

What are TPSP suppliers and do I have to use them?

Third-Party Service Providers (TPSP) are suppliers who provide specialized services in accordance with the CFIRP program. TPSP’s are real estate appraisers, property inspectors, Realtors and lawyers. The “Open Broker” policy of the IRP gives you the freedom to select any TPSP regardless if they are on the directory or not, however, if the third-party service provider is not in the IRP-supplier-directory, they may not be familiar with the BGRS process and may cause setbacks.

How can I get an advance and how long does it take?

 Advance requests are submitted through your secure website. Brookfield GRS will process the request within 3-5 business days. Please note your employer will not authorize the release of travel type advances more than 21 days prior to the first travel day.

How is the travel mileage calculated?

Answer: The authorized mileage for travel is calculated based on the postal codes of the old and new place of duty, utilizing the Treasury Board approved ProMiles Software.

Can I take a vacation during travel to my new work location?

Answer: While some people do take a vacation during a relocation it would be best to refer to your employer’s policy and discuss your intentions with your Advisor as your decision may impact the benefits if certain relocation criteria are not met.

How do I get reimbursed for my relocation expenses?

Complete the on-line Itemized Expenditure Summary for the expenses you wish to claim. Print and submit it with original receipts to your Brookfield Advisor for processing. The expense claim will be forwarded to you for signature and funds deposited into your bank account within a few business days after receipt of your signed claim form.

Is there someone outside of BGRS that I can talk to if I experience problems with my move?

The Canadian Forces Relocation Coordinator is a military member who is responsible to act as a liaison between you, BGRS and the Director Compensation Benefits Administration. Please contact your CF Relocation Coordinator if you are experiencing problems that you feel need attention outside of BGRS.

I've uploaded documents but I cannot see them on my file.

Uploaded documents need to be reviewed and accepted by your Advisor in order to be viewed on the Secure Website. As documents are uploaded, your Brookfield Advisor will be notified that documents are waiting for their action. Be patient, CFB Garrison is a large base and we have several postings every year.

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