Edmonton Homes for Sale

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The first step to buying a home is deciding if you are ready to become a homeowner and start building equity for your future. There’s a lot to know when it comes to buying a home in Edmonton. Whether you’re buying your first condo, moving to a bigger house or downsizing, our in-depth 5 step home buyers Guide will take you through all the steps.



Not all financial institutions are the same. If you choose to use a who works at your personal branch, keep in mind, most persons who work in a bank get paid by the hour, unlike a mobile mortgage specialist who only gets paid when they have completed, processed and get your mortgage application approved. For a list of mortgage brokers, contact us.

The first step to buying a house or condo in Edmonton is finding out how much your bank is willing to lend you based on the lenders' rules. Keep in mind with the change of Canada's new mortgage qualifying rules. You must qualify at two per cent higher than what your current interest rate will be.

Your lender will look at your income, your debts, your down payment and your credit rating. Having a verbal or online pre-approval is a waste of time and is not a real pre-approval. Your lender/Mortgage Broker will ask for a list of items to be provided including a recent bank statement, pay stubs, job letter, last 2 years of T4's for a true pre-approval.

A mortgage pre-approval will be in writing which is normally valid for 90 or 120 days. Pre-approvals will also include an interest rate guarantee - get this in writing from your lender to ensure you have documentation in the event interest rates rise prior to purchasing your new Edmonton home.

LEARN MORE ABOUT MORTGAGES

Our Edmonton Real Estate Agent Team is here to help you. We have several mortgage brokers we deal, feel free to reach out and ask us for a list of mortgage specialists.

If you’re like most people, you want to find a Realtor who is a good fit. Both real estate agents and Realtors have had to undergo a certain amount of training in order to qualify to help you buy or sell real estate. However, in Canada, in order to be considered a Realtor, a real estate professional must be a member of the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). There are several Realtors in Edmonton who choose not to work with buyers, while others choose to work solely with buyers. These Realtors are known as Buyer Agents.

There are several ways to find a buyers agent who will be a good fit. Most Realtors in Edmonton have their own websites. Some of these websites are very generic, while others provide personalized extensive real estate information. Some Realtors will also specialize in a specific part of Edmonton or have a real estates speciality such as condominiums, luxury homes, relocation moves or acreages. Another great way to find a buyer's agent is to visit open houses. However, if you fall in love with the house, it is in your best interest to seek out a different agent.

Interview a few different Realtors before signing a commitment called a "Buyer Brokerage Agreement". Remember this agent will be helping you make the biggest investment of your life and you should make sure they have your best interests in mind. Below is a list of questions which may help in the interview process when buying.

  • How long have you been a REALTOR?
  • Do you have any other real estate designations?
  • How much commission do you charge?
  • Will you show properties that are at a lesser commission offered?
  • How will you keep me informed on new properties which meet my search criteria?
  • What is your real estate niche or speciality?
  • Do you have a list of references I can contact?
  • How many homes are you willing to show me (If this number is less than ten - move on to another agent)
  • If I cancel my agreement, is there a fee?
  • When are you available to show me homes (Note* Part-time Realtors may not be able to accommodate your schedule)


LEARN MORE ABOUT BUYER BROKERAGE AGREEMENTS


To book an appointment for your personalized Edmonton home buying consultation, contact us.

Let's face it. You have been house shopping for your home online and have seen a few "bad real estate photos", or a property with no photos or wonder why a particular house has been on the market so long. The reality is, there may be great homes, but the sellers chose the wrong agent to market their home.


When you come across those bad real estate photos, try to look beyond the photographer, the horrific lighting and the messy house with clothes on the floor, pets or worse yet, the seller's children in those photos. If the selling agent has not taken the time to properly market a home, the sellers are not happy and want their home to be sold.


When there is only one exterior photo on a property, read the comment section. Odds are, this home is tenant occupied, or not in showable condition (Very messy) or the sellers have chosen really ugly paint colours for the walls. These homes are usually fantastically priced properties that need a little TLC and some cleaning. If you are looking for a home in a particular area, learn to calculate the absorption rate to make the best financial purchase and make a great real estate deal.


Don't be fooled by pretty homes. Both a Seller and the Sellers Realtor want as many potential buyers into their home, but don't be fooled by how lovely it looks inside with that sparkling granite counter-top, cutest little girls rooms or awesome man cave. Take a deep look at the finishings. This is the best indicator for how well the home has been built and taken care of. A great buyers agent will point out imperfections they notice.


Don't overlook homes which have been on the market for a while. These properties may have had several price adjustments, especially in Edmonton's real estate market and may now be below or at the proper market value. Take a second look. There may also be other reasons which factor in a long time on the market which can include the property was "tied up" a few times with other offers which have fallen apart on financing or an inspection. Remember, when a pending offer is on a home, it can be conditional for a few weeks at a time. Another reason, a property may be longer on the market could be due to a "lis pendens", probate, civil enforcement or other government enforcement contingencies.


HOW TO CALCULATE THE ABSORPTION RATE IN ANY NEIGHBORHOOD Normally there are two basic (three when purchasing a condominium or more with rural properties and acerages) conditions or "subject to's" when purchasing a home in Edmonton.


  • Financing: Although you have completed your pre-approval, this does not mean you have been qualified to purchase that dream home. Once an offer has been accepted, your financial institution will need to submit your offer to the underwriter and your credit will be checked again. Do not go out and purchase any major items which would require financing such as a new vehicle during this time frame. If you are obtaining a CHMC Mortage, the credit check will be done for a minimum of the last seven years.
  • Inspection: Hire a certified residential property inspector with a good reputation and credentials. The cost in Edmonton for a certified residential home inspector usually costs between five to six hundred dollars. No matter what type of home you are buying, including foreclosed properties to new builds. This small fee can save you thousands of future dollars.
  • Condominium Documents (Condo purchases): Always double check you have received all condominium documents and review them. If you do not understand the legality or do not have the time, have your real estate lawyer review them for you. There is a lot of information in the condominium documents and you do not want to be surprised with a $30,000 special assessment when you move in.
  • Rural and Acreage: Septic inspections are beyond the scope of a standard home inspection but when purchasing an acreage in Alberta, they are crucial.  Other conditions you should add to your rural purchase agreement include a satisfactory water well, water flow, water quality tests and pumping equipment inspections

Calculating the cost to purchase a home in Edmonton is pretty simple. Calculate your total downpayment plus add one and a half per cent of the total purchase price of your home. For example on a $300,000 home, with a five per cent down payment, you will need a total of $19,500. Your financial institution will ask to see this additional amount to ensure you have enough money for closing costs such as lawyer fees, title transfers, mortgage application, and appraisal fees. Additional mortgage fees like CHMC can be added into your mortgage or can be paid up front.



If you have added certain terms into your purchase agreement, such as "Seller to repair a broken window, steam clean carpets, remove dog faeces from the backyard, etc, you may also want to add an additional clause


"Seller will allow the purchasers to complete a satisfactory walk-through regarding the terms of the property prior to possession"


In Alberta, the transfer of real estate titles is processed a bit different than other provinces and keys do not get released until monies have been received by the Sellers lawyer. In the event and terms were not completed, it is more difficult to remediate this after.


Note* If you are purchasing a foreclosure, keep in mind, that this property is sold "As Is, Where Is".


If you have any other real estate question about purchasing a home in Edmonton or the surrounding area, contact us.

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Should I get title insurance in place of a real property report?

If possible, it is still best to have a current Real Property Report with compliance when buying or selling a home to ensure all property buildings are within the municipality guidelines. If an RPR is not an option, title insurance is a good substitute.



Title insurance without a Real Property Report and compliance is acceptable to most major mortgage lenders and will often provide coverage for the lender for known defects. Unlike other insurance products, there is only one premium paid at the time of closing which provides coverage to the owner throughout their ownership of the property. It also offers a wide range of protection for issues that are not covered by an RPR and compliance.


Title Insurance Benefits include

  • Intervening registrations – Anything registered on title between the time the lawyer submits to the Land Titles Office and the time of actual registration.
  • Unknown Liens, encumbrances, tax arrears or defects in the title to a property.
  • Unknown special assessments on condos that were implemented prior to closing.
  • If an RPR or compliance is not obtained, it covers any defects that would have been revealed by an accurate up-to-date RPR and compliance.
  • The forced removal of an existing structure with the exception of a boundary wall or fence where there is only limited coverage
  • Forced compliance with work orders or deficiencies on an existing building permit.
  • Loss of priority due to matters such as construction liens, agreements on a title, and other mortgages.
  • Another party claims an interest in the property.
  • Protection against title defects or encumbrances that were unknown or undiscovered at the time of closing.
  • Protection against identity theft, mortgage fraud, and fraud against the title.
  • Cost savings. Typically, the cost for title insurance is far less than the cost of an RPR and compliance and is available on short notice

Drawbacks of Title Insurance

  • It is an insurance product. This means when an issue arises, it may not be covered by the policy and if there is coverage the insurer can decide the method used to solve the issue which may not be the preferred choice of the insured party.
  • There is a lack of disclosure and certainty, especially for the buyer, at the time of closing. If an issue is discovered later, it is more difficult to pursue the seller for a fix after closing.
  • There is no coverage for known defects, except for some coverage for the lender only.
  • There must be some form of enforcement or government action to trigger coverage in most cases.  For example, the previous owner did renovations that do not meet the requirements of the building permit or development permit.  The title insurance will only pay for the cost to fix these deficiencies if there is some form of enforcement and not simply due to the deficiencies.
  • It does not guarantee that all structures will remain ‘as is’. For example, if the municipality mandates the alteration or destruction of a certain structure, the title insurance company may pay for the cost of appealing that decision however they cannot guarantee a favourable result.
  • The coverage of Title Insurance is for the buyer only (not the seller).
  • If a buyer or their lawyer purchases a lender only policy that is sufficient to close the deal however the buyer still has no title insurance protection.  
  • There is no specific protection or coverage for the seller.  If a claim is made and the title insurance company determines it is the seller who created the deficiency, the title insurance company can pursue the seller for recovery of the costs they have paid.
  • In most instances, title insurance only defers the need to deal with a particular issue.  It does not solve it.  The issues will still be there when the property is resold.
  • Title insurance cannot be passed onto a new owner.  Every new owner must purchase their own policy.
 
For more information on real property reports and the effects on the resale of your residential dwellings and a free Edmonton Home Evaluation, contact one of our Homes & Gardens Realtors.
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EXTRA HOME COSTS FOR BUYERS


Are you ready to purchase your new home? Often, buyers find themselves overwhelmed with the cost of purchasing a home and should be aware of these extra home costs to ensure you won't be struggling at the last moment to find more cash to complete your purchase.


When a home is sold, the buyer incurs various closing costs in addition to the property sale price. Although most of the expenses of the house are paid for by the seller, usually including real estate commissions, the buyers pay a variety of fees such as mortgage origination charges, appraisal fees, title insurance, lawyer, home insurance, homeowner association fees (HOA) and property tax adjustments. Depending on the buyer and the home purchased, there may be additional fees including CHMC Fees, which can be added to your mortgage amount and other costs. agreed upon and not covered by the seller costs.


Don't forget your moving and utility hook-up costs.  As a rule of thumb, one to two per cent of the cost of your home will cover all closing costs. Learn more about how to buy a home in Edmonton.


If you would like to know more about purchasing a home, contact one of our Edmonton Real Estate experts today for help and free advise.

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What is a Real Property Report?

A Real Property Report (also known as the RPR) is a legal document that clearly illustrates the location of significant visible improvements relative to property boundaries. It is a plan or illustration of the various physical features of the property, including a written statement detailing the surveyor’s opinions or concerns.


Who needs a Real Property Report?

Part of the standard real estate contracts in Alberta will have a term in the document states the seller will provide a current real property report with the compliance report to the purchaser upon closing. Prior to putting your home on the MLS System and/or Realtor.ca, Sellers should order a new RPR to protect themselves from potential future legal liabilities resulting from problems related to property boundaries and improvements. YourREALTOR® can assist you with this process to ensure your property complies with municipal requirements.

Do I need a Real Property Report for a Condominium?

Bareland Condominiums require Real Property Reports. Conventional Condominiums do not require an RPR.

How does a Real Property Report protect you?

Purchasing a property may be the largest financial investment you ever make. With a Real Property Report, owners are aware of any boundary problems. They know whether their new home is too close to the property line, or part of their garage is on their neighbour’s land or vice versa. Since legal complications may occur if a sold property fails to meet requirements, a Real Property Report protects the seller.

What is on a Real Property Report?

The legal location description of the property and municipal address, dimensions and directions of all property boundaries, any improvements on the property, right-of-way or easements, any visible encroachments, a duly signed certification and opinion by an Alberta Land Surveyor and a permit Stamp where applicable.

How much does a Real Property Report cost?

The amount of work to prepare a Real Property Report varies between properties. Lot size and shape, number of buildings, natural features, age and availability of the property boundary information all affect the cost. However, if you are planning on selling your home in the near future, the sooner you order your Real Property Report, the more economical it will be plus any problems can be identified and resolved before a sale is finalized.


READ MORE ON THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN REAL PROPERTY REPORTS AND TITLE INSURANCE

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Five Per-cent Down Payments are Still Possible



Investing in Edmonton's real estate market is relatively simple. For a small amount of money down, usually, five percent, (plus closing costs) and can own an asset worth significantly more and build your net worth. Your down payment must be from your own savings or a gift from a family member. You cannot use a loan or line of credit.

To use the 5% down payment option, the following rules apply:

  • The home must be your principal residence - in other words, you will actually live in the home. So if you plan on buying a condominium or other property for residual income, you won’t be eligible for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s 5% down payment option.
  • To calculate your GDS or Gross Debt Service ratio, factor in your monthly mortgage payment, utility costs, property taxes and condo fees, if applicable. This number cannot exceed more than 32% of your gross taxable income. Plus, all your consumer debt, loans, and housing-related payments cannot exceed 40% of your gross taxable income—this is your Total Debt Service ratio or the TDS.
  • Finally, you must have good credit and a minimum of one year with your current employer.
 


Keep in mind, as of January 1st,  2018, the government has imposed more qualifying restrictions on Canadians and you must now qualify at two-per-cent higher interest than your current rate. Once you have your pre-approval completed. Contact an experienced real estate agent with their ABR designation and start house shopping!

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CAN YOU AFFORD TO SELL YOUR HOME

The Edmonton real estate market is soft and house prices have been dormat for the last decade. Before you sell your home, do your homework and estimate your closing costs to ensure you have enough money to make your move. There is nothing worse than sitting with your lawyer and not having enough funds to close your sale.



When a home is sold, the seller incurs various closing costs in addition to paying out the remaining balance on their mortgage and payout penalties. Typical closing costs for a seller may include any property taxes which are in arrears, encumbrances, the cost of a real property report with compliance and/or title insurance, any permits which were not obtained earlier, real estate commissions, any provincial, GST revenue, agricultural or business taxes, liens and legal fees. If the property is a condominium, the seller may also have costs of condominium documents, unpaid condo fees, levies and the estoppel certificate. When selling a house, the seller's costs vary from a few thousand to several thousand.


Since our Edmonton economy is not in the best shape and buyers have become nervous about making large purchases, there are several ways to maximize the value in your home without major renovations including staging and a little bit of home maintance. Pricing your home correctly in todays Edmonton Real estate market is crucial and timing is also a factor. Read more on your community absorptaion rate.


If you are not sure if you have enough equity in your home, contact one of our real estate experts for a free home evaluation.

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Data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton.