Are you ready to purchase a home in Calgary? There are a few things that can help make your home buying experience successful!
1. Get a pre-approval and get a few quotes from a bank and a mortgage advisor.
- Most common way to get a mortgage is to schedule an appointment with your bank. They will often give you a good rate with what the current going rate is. Did you know that bank interest rates can vary from bank-to-bank and some mortgage advisors at banks can give better rates than others. Shop around and see if you can getting the best rate you can get. Mortgage brokers can often provide a better rate, but also do your shopping around as they can give you more options than the banks.
- A good reason to get a pre-approval for a mortgage is that you can lock in that rate for 6 months (at least 6 months) and you can figure out your budget and plan for what you can afford. It's easy for you to assume that's how much you can afford based on going online and looking at the mortgage calculators found for free online, but that's not an accurate way to estimate how much you can afford. And the most heart wrenching thing that we see is that people find their perfect house, and after putting in the offer, they find out that cannot purchase the house due to not qualifying for the funding for purchasing the house.
- If you do not have a mortgage advisor, we can provide you with a list of our preferred mortgage providers
- Stress Test! What is a Mortgage Qualifying stress test? It sounds very stressful, but it's not bad at all. Essentially what the Mortgage stress test is that Canadians getting a new mortgage, renewing or refinancing a mortgage might have to undergo a stress test, proving that they would be financially OK even if interest rates were to rise substantially above their actual mortgage rate. "They require all federally regulated financial institutions to vet borrowers’ applications using a minimum qualifying rate equal to the greater of the Bank of Canada’s five-year benchmark rate or their contractual rate, plus two percentage points." - In summary - This test essentially brings down people's purchasing power and ultimately affecting what house price they can afford. Getting a pre-approval from the mortgage advisor can help reduce the stress you may have regarding your purchase price prior to looking! https://globalnews.ca/news/4097215/canada-new-mortgage-rules-stress-test-2018/
- Even when the mortgage advisor gives you an estimate for what you can afford, but sure to have a safety net so that you are not spending more than your means. The pre-approval is often a guideline to determine what you can afford, but even that number can be generous where you may need some buffer for any fixes (or emergency fund) that you may need.
2. Do some research about the Neighbourhood or area (and the must-have features in your perfect home) you are looking to buy in. Make the perfect wish list so that we can help you find the perfect house. The more information we have, the better picture to help us find you the perfect house.
- What is your reasons for why you want to move at this time? Here are some questions that one may ask at this stage. I'm looking to live near a school as my kids are 3, 5, and 12 so that me and my kids can walk to school everyday. I am looking to live inner city (Calgary Infill) as both me and my spouse work downtown and we want to cut down on our commute time. I want to live in a neighbouring town/city (i.e. Airdrie, Cochrane, Okotoks, Chestermere) as I don't want to be in the hustle and bustle and don't mind commuting to the city of Calgary once or twice a week when I need.
- Are you looking to be close to green space, close to transit, close to major roadways/highways, many schools, no schools, trendy area with lots of restaurants. close to shopping centres?
- Do you want features like mountain views, downtown views, beach/lake access?
- Do you mind commuting for a bigger house, or a smaller house but close to everything?
- Do you mind a fixer-upper, or something that is low/no maintenance and ready to move in?
- 3 beds? 4 beds? 1 bath? 2 bath
- Garage or No Garage?
- Developed basement, or undeveloped and ready to build yourself?
- East/West facing, North/South facing?
- Feng Shui or layout for the home matter to you?
- How big and what max price you are willing to spend?
- Does it matter which quadrant in the city you are located in?
- We enjoy seeing Avenue's top neighbourhood's list for 2018 as reference: https://www.avenuecalgary.com/Best-Neighbourhoods/2018/The-Full-List/index.php?cparticle=1&siarticle=0&requiressl=true#artanc
3. Schedule some time with the IW Calgary Real Estate Team to view some properties.
- It's great to look online and see photos of your next home. But all homes look different online than in person. A photo can show you part of the story, but to view a house in person will really make the difference to whether the house is perfect for you. Drive around the area, see what else is around, get to know the area, sometimes is good to talk to the neighbours before you buy.
- We also have in-depth statistical analysis in the community to see past sold statistics, what have sold in the area to give you a better idea of what houses go for in that specific area.
4. Found your perfect house? Now what?
- Get the offer in. Timing matters. If it is a hot community and the property is very attractive (often price, location, potential), houses can be sold in a matter of days. You may not be the only person looking at that property too. What we would hate to see is that you've found your perfect house, but you didn't have a chance to put in your offer in time and the property gets sold. Sometimes houses are almost perfect, but you are unsure about a few things, remember sometimes things can be very easy to fix, wall colours can be painted, carpets to be updated, those things can be negotiated in the offer, sometimes you can also work the cost into your mortgage to fix and it for only a few dollars extra in your mortgage. Offers can include a mortgage and property inspection condition that if it has something that makes you second guess your offer, you can get out of it. Get a qualified inspector to ensure that your home is safe, in good condition, and no major issues found that they may see.
- Once the offer is accepted, finalize the mortgage, get the inspection completed, and book an appointment with your real estate lawyer (we also have a list of qualified lawyers throughout the city and a variety of price points and experience).
We are here to guide you through this process every step of the way. We do all the work so you don't have to. As experience real-estate professionals, we provide you with the most up-to-date and in-depth market research, negotiation tactics to get you the best price, and our experience to give you the most informed decision for finding you the perfect house sooner.