Calgary Home Buyers Guide
Buying a home in Calgary and surrounding area
Let Me Streamline Your Entire Home Purchasing Process
Congratulations! Purchasing a home or even thinking of buying a home is an exciting adventure. You will be joining the ranks of numerous families who realize that home ownership offers a number of beneﬁts including building equity, saving for the future and establishing a home your family can call their own. Your hard-earned dollars contribute to your mortgage, not a landlord’s and over time your home will increase in value and the equity you earn is ultimately yours!
In this Home Buyers Guide, I will take you through a step-by-step process to help you determine the type of home ownership that is right for you. To make your home buying experience as pleasant as possible, I have included information on topics such as mortgages, house-hunting, the offer, closing details, moving and more.
Identify Your Wants and Needs
Before you start shopping for your home, give some thought to your lifestyle, the features you need and want, affordability, and the neighborhoods you prefer. Determining the features that are most important to you will bring you closer to ﬁnding your perfect home.
Take a look at the questions below and answer them honestly. If you are buying a house with someone else, it is best to answer these separately and then discuss each answer. Remember, all answers are correct…there are no right or wrong answers here!
- What do you see yourself doing in this home? You may want a home that has lots of space for entertaining, or you may want a house that has lots of storage for your outdoor gear.
- Where do you the location of this home to be? Perhaps you need a home close to work, transit or medical facilities. You might just want to be close to your friends and family.
- What style of home are you wanting? Large suburban house, condo, townhome etc.
- What do you need and want to have for amenities around you? Consider if you want to be able to walk or bike to these amenities or if a little drive is okay too.
- When you envision yourself in your new home, how does that home make you feel? This may seem odd, but it’s essential to understand – sometimes we can’t logically justify a home, but we know we want that feeling attached to it.
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is critical and should be your ultimate ﬁrst step to insure a ﬂawless home hunting experience, increase your negotiating power and ensure you only view homes in your budget. It is also important that you understand the difference between pre-qualiﬁed and pre-approved.
A pre-qualiﬁed is something anyone can do online based on the information you provide. The majority of the time, the purchase price you will get is not accurate as there is a lot of information on the online application which is not collected such as: your credit score, length of employment, self-employment status, if you are fairly new to the country, etc.
A pre-approval is a formal pre-qualiﬁcation with way more details and requires proof of the information you put in your application. Your mortgage broker will ask you for proof of employment via an employment letter, proof of down-payment (must be saved for at least 90 days), proof of savings, perform a credit check etc.
Once you are formally pre-approved, you will get a pre-approval letter with the mortgage and purchase price, the interest and what your monthly mortgage payment will be. Then we can get shopping!
Organize Home Showings and Provide Information on Target Markets
Choosing a home is both an emotional and a ﬁnancial decision for your future. By making the most out of your home viewing experience, you can learn how you can avoid costly errors that could lead to future problems.
You can access properties on-line at the same time real estate professionals do. Together we will select the right homes to view, within your pre-approval purchase price, at a time that is most convenient for all. When there are changes to your search criteria or changes to one of the listings, you receive an immediate email notiﬁcation.
You just found your “dream home”, now what?
This is the most exciting part! It is time to write your offer with the terms and conditions which ﬁts your needs.
Most people list their homes expecting to negotiate so there can be room for negotiation on many listings. Knowing a property’s selling time on the market and neighborhood prices is valuable when negotiating. I can assist you through the entire buyer experience making sure you have all the information at hand to make the right decisions. And you get the best purchase price for your new home.
I will call the listing agent to make sure the property is still available and will take the opportunity to ask any questions we may have.
I will do some research as far as title on the home, similar sold comparable in the same neighborhood to see what other buyers have been willing to pay for a home similar to this one. This will help us to determine a fair price while drafting your offer.
Once your offer to purchase is fully written, we will review it together in order to make sure you are completely satisﬁed before I send it for acceptance. Negotiating an offer can be done in a few hours or can take a day or two depending on the situation, such as with out-of-town sellers. I always stay very close to the phone during all negotiations and will keep you informed every step of the way.
Remember, an offer to purchase is a valid, legal binding agreement. Having a well written contract with terms and conditions which protect your best interest at 100% is crucial.
Organize Financing and Home Inspection
Chances are your offer – which was just accepted by the sellers – is conditional to ﬁnancing and home inspection. These 2 conditions are very common and highly recommended in order to protect your best interests.
Even though you are already formally pre-approved for a mortgage, the ﬁnancing condition is considered a formality but still needs to be in your offer for the following reasons. First is that you will need to get CHMC approval, unless you are putting more than 20% as a down payment. The second reason is that the bank will not release ﬁnancing until they have done a building appraisal.
The other factor contributing to your comfort is hiring a professional home inspector. Having the right professional is the way to gain peace of mind and guard your pocket book. A proper inspection will cover all areas of the house, both structurally and mechanically, and give you an objective view of the property. A qualiﬁed home inspector will provide you with a written report indicating areas of concern and the estimated cost of repair.
Waiting for your moving day!
Now that your conditions are removed and your transaction is a ﬁrm sale, it is time for you to call your insurance, connect your utilities, phone, cable and internet, and make your change of address with Canada Post.
About a week prior to your possession date, you will need to meet with your lawyer in order to sign all the documents related to your home purchase (mortgage documents, land transfer) and bring the remaining of your down payment.
Your offer to purchase mentions that key release always happens at noon on your possession date. However, occasionally some delays occur with the transfer of funds and keys are not releasable until mid-afternoon. As a result, I would really recommend not to book any services or movers for the same day if you don’t want to have to pay for your moving truck sitting on the driveway, simply because possession date was delayed for a few hours.
Through my strategic alliances, I offer you reliable and professional contacts, in both French and English with local lawyers, movers, mortgage brokers, appraisers, and other skilled experts to help you ﬁnd and secure the new property for your family. As part of your transition into a new home, I will help you coordinate all required services. That makes your part a whole lot easier.
Drum roll please…
Time to do the “happy dance” and call everyone you know because you did it. Congratulations, you just got your dream home!
Buyers Guide Form
It’s not difficult to be dedicated to your job and to become an expert in your field when you’re passionate about what you do. l love to please people, I love real estate and can honestly say that becoming a realtor in 1993 is the best choice of career I could have ever made. My expertise, knowledge and passion for the public and real estate is reflected in my involvement with the Calgary Real Estate Board in the Investigation and Education committees. I am here to give a 5-star experience, to protect you and make your real estate experience memorable.Read Nadine’s Full Biography