Buying a Home

If you’re buying or selling a home, typically that means a change in life of some sort. Marriage, unmarried, bigger family, smaller family, transfer, more money, less, retirement these often a need to change homes. Moving is often a by product of one of these events and should be understood in this context.

As such real estate advice really ought be in the context of these changes. The needs of a new home buyer are quite different than someone who is getting a transfer and so forth.

First Time Homebuyers


Buying a home is a process not an event. Often it takes time and research to find out what the options are and what you like before you settle in on a particular type of home or location. We have a few short videos to help give an overview of how to look at your options, please check them out.

Money and Mortgage:

Be clear with not only what you can afford, but also what you want to spend. Banks will happily let you be in a good amount of debt.

Get pre-qualified, if you have a good relationship with your bank speak with them. I recommend talking to a mortgage broker. The advantage is that they know what banks are lending with different qualifications; such as if you are self employed, loan to value ratio, and more importantly they will offer better rates than the what the banks offer to the public. Check what the mortgage brokers rates are and take that rate to your own bank to see if they will match it.

Be prepared:

One of the considerations in getting pre-qualified is the down payment amount you will require. You will need to have that accessible when you are ready to start seriously shopping. The down payment will come in two cheques; the first is the cheque you write when you write an offer on a house, anywhere in-between $5,000 and $20,000 (there are always exceptions).

That is the amount that is held in a trust account by the real estate company. The money to close is the rest you are using as a down payment. For example, you buy a house for $300,000, you write an offer and put down $10,000, you’re getting a mortgage for $270,000. You need to take the remaining $20,000 to your lawyer when you go to sign the mortgage and transfer documents.

There will be other expenses that you need to be prepared for. Legal fees will range from $750 to $1500 depending on additional fees such as land title, insurance, tax adjustments, photocopying (most firms charge you for that) couriers, and other costs. In addition, you will likely want a home inspection; count on a fee in the $400 range.Sometimes utility companies want a deposit, there may be an appraisal fee, but often the bank covers that.

Lastly, there are moving costs. That is dependent on who has a truck, pizza, or perhaps a moving company. It is important to keep in mind the need for an insurance policy on the home; a bank will not allow the funds until a mortgage policy is in place. There is no need for this if you’re buying a condo, except for a contents policy. If you’re buying an older home start sooner, they can be more difficult to get a policy for.

Call me and I’ll recommend sitting down for a latte and talking things over.

Moving up or down?

Real Estate Consulting Service

If you need more space, less space, better space, or a different location, the biggest conundrum is to either buy or sell first. Both scenarios have their tricks. If you buy first, the risk is not being able to sell your home in a timely matter or the sale price is not what you anticipated leaving you with two properties and the resulting costs. You could end up with less equity or both.

Conversely, if you sell your home first and then can’t find a suitable home before your sale date it’s a big dilemma. In many cases the bank won't lend you enough money to buy a second home, so question answered.

In these situations I recommend getting a good real estate professional who is willing to work with you until you are sufficiently comfortable with the prospects.

First, do the homework to see what types of homes are available. You may need to see quite a few homes that work for you and then hope they stay on the market until you’re able to buy. By doing this you will be able to get some comfort that the type of home you are looking for will come available when it’s time to by. Secondly, be honest about the value of your home.

If it’s on the market and not selling, it’s likely overpriced. There is three things that effect saleability. Location, condition, and price. You can do something about condition and price. In unique cases, your home may require a particular buyer and time is an additional ingredient that is required.

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