New to Canada? Tips For Buying Your First Home Featured Image

Approximately 300,000 individuals move into Canada each year, and many of these individuals choose to live in the Edmonton area. Edmonton offers residents a good climate, beautiful natural vistas, ample employment opportunities and much more. Whether you already live in Edmonton or you are preparing to move into the area, you may be wondering what you need to know about purchasing your first piece of real estate in Canada. With a closer look at how buying Canadian real estate differs from other countries, you'll be able to navigate through the sales process with greater ease and less stress. 

Budgeting Considerations When Buying a Home 

When you buy a new home in Canada, one important factor to consider is the impact of your purchase on your personal budget. Of course, the mortgage payment is the most commonly thought of expense, but other factors like the utilities for the home, the maintenance and repair needs and the property tax rate are all critical components. You can learn more about the utilities expenses from the current owner. A property inspection can reveal maintenance and repair projects that will require your attention when you take ownership. Property taxes can vary from municipality to municipality, so it is important to understand how this will impact your finances. Keep in mind that Edmonton has a fairly average property tax rate compared to other areas in the country. 

Choosing the Right Type of Home 

With more than 1.5 million residents living in the Edmonton metropolitan area, it is not surprising to learn that there are numerous housing options available for you to consider. As is the case in other cities and towns, you can choose to live in a condo, a town home, a duplex or a single-family residential home. These can vary widely in size, amenities, quality, style and cost. When you make your decision, consider factors such as if you have the time or ability to maintain the yard and exterior of the home. With a condo and town home, the HOA may be responsible for exterior upkeep. Also, consider if you need to have a backyard for the pets and kids, if you need to be close to major thoroughfares and other important factors. 

Selecting the Right Real Estate Agent 

There are hundreds of real estate agents that serve clients in the Edmonton metropolitan area, but each agent may have a different level of experience and different areas of expertise. For example, some may specialize in the sale of condos or town homes, and others may focus on selling acreage estates or suburban homes. The best agent to work with is one with experience assisting clients with the type of housing you are interested in. As you search for an agent, pay attention to how quickly the professional responds to your inquiries, how responsive the individual is to providing you with knowledgeable answers to your questions and the individual's general demeanour. You may work with your Edmonton real estate agent for several months, so you should trust the individual and enjoy speaking with him or her. 

Real Estate Financing Options in Canada 

There are numerous residential financing options available to you when buying property in Canada, but you should understand key differences between Canadian mortgages and other options. For example, while most U.S. mortgage programs are heavily regulated, this is not the case with Canadian mortgages. Most Canadian mortgages have a fast closing time, and there may be less paperwork for you to provide. Rates and terms may be rather affordable, but you may pay additional fees if you are a foreign national. It is important to provide your nationality or citizenship status to your mortgage lender up-front so you can be steered into the right mortgage program. 

Buying real estate in Edmonton can be beneficial and help you to settle into the area. Regardless of where you are relocating from, these tips can help you to get into your new home with less stress.

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Posted by Terry Paranych on


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