Top 5 Things to Consider When Buying a Home in Edmonton

Unlike buying a pair of shoes on sale at the mall, your house has to fit – fit your personality, fit your lifestyle, fit your marriage or partnership, and of course, fit your price range.

There are a lot of requirements that your dream home has to fulfill! Buying a home is truly one of the biggest transactions you will ever encounter, so it must be done with care. It would be terrible to find out a couple of years down the road or a few years deep into your mortgage that you are unhappy living there.

Whether or not you are in the market for your ‘forever home’, it is essential that you consider these 5 things when buying a home in Edmonton.

Top 5 Things to Consider When Buying a Home in Edmonton

1. Are you ready to buy?

Owning a home is a big deal. If you have just been renting most of your adult life, it can be hard to adjust to the costs associated with maintaining and upgrading your very own place. It is also a much bigger commitment than just a 6-month lease.

Here are 5 good indications that you are ready to buy a home:

  • You have money tucked away for a down payment, and you’re not spending more than you make.
  • You have a rough idea of how much you can afford to spend, either by discussing your options with a REALTOR® or mortgage broker.
  • You are ready to settle down. For example, you don’t foresee moving across the continent anytime soon.
  • You don’t have a pile of outstanding debt from credit cards or student loans.
  • You and your partner are on the same page. This is sometimes a huge hurdle – one person wants this and the other that, and not being able to agree on your needs and wants can add to home buying stress.

2. Is it a good time to buy?

The real estate market conditions in Edmonton can fluctuate up and down, which can make buyers hesitant to jump in. An experienced REALTOR® can help you navigate the sometimes confusing and murky waters of an ever-changing market.

As a buyer, winter can be a great time to purchase. Sellers are typically eager to sell at this time, whether it’s to meet tax deadlines, pay off their Christmas debt, or simply move on to something new. There is also less competition from other buyers at this time.

If you are looking to make a long-term investment in a home, you should be protected from short-term market fluctuations. As long as you are happy with your home and it meets your needs as an individual, couple, or family it will continue to be the greatest investment you’ve ever had!

3. Do you know what you want to buy?

Now that you’ve figured out that you are ready to buy, it’s time to consider what you want to buy! This is a big topic to contemplate it includes the type, size, and layout of your prospective home as well as the neighbourhood and amenities that are close by.

To help with the process, has put together a couple of worksheets to keep track of your ideas: House Hunting Checklist and Dream Home Checklist.

Before you begin, some great questions to ask yourself should include:

  1. Do I want to live in an urban area, suburban area, or a rural area?
  2. How close do I need to be to schools, shopping malls, and recreational facilities?
  3. Do I need a brand new home or an existing home?
  4. Do I know what type of home would be best for my family and I?
  5. Do I know my needs, wants, and must-haves and do they match up with my partner/spouse or family?

What is the difference between a need, want, and a must-have feature?

To put it simply, a must-have is something you simply cannot live without. For some, this could include an ensuite bathroom. Anything that could make or break a home in your eyes would be considered a must-have.

A need is very similar to a must-have because you pretty much have to have it in order to be interested in the home. For example, if you are moving out of a cramped 2-bedroom house, you obviously won’t settle for less than a 3 or 4-bedroom home.

A want is just that – something that you want because it would be nice to have, but you could live without it if you had to. This could include a wood stove, a hot tub, a large shop, etc.

The best strategy you can follow is to work with your REALTOR® to find a home that fits all of your must-haves, needs, and as many wants as possible – all within your budget.

Other points to consider when buying a home in Edmonton:

  • Do I need an in-law suite or guest housing of some sort?
  • Do I need an office space? Will clients need to be there? This could affect the location of your office.
  • Do I need to be walking distance from transit and shopping centers, or will I be driving everywhere?
  • How important is the proximity of a park, green space, or walking trails to my family and I?
  • Am I interested in a legal basement suite for earning extra income?

4. Do you need to sell your current home?

One of the most asked questions in real estate is, “Do I sell my home before or after I buy?” The best rule of thumb is to time your purchase so that you do not have to pay for the maintenance of both homes.

You can do this by making your new offer conditional to the sale of your current home. You can also try to extend the closing period of your sale to give you more time to look.

When is a good time to sell?

For sellers, spring is usually when the market picks up. There is a larger inventory of homes for buyers, which means more competition for you!

Other perks of selling in the spring would be that your home shows better in nicer weather, buyers want to cash in their tax refunds, and school is out, which makes moving easier on parents.

If you need to sell your home fast or are concerned about market conditions, the best way to navigate this process is to work with an experienced REALTOR®. They know the markets well and can help you price your home accordingly so that it sells in a hurry!

5. Do you have a REALTOR® yet?

Buying a home is a complex process with a lot of legal documentation. A REALTOR® can simplify it for you.

If you are asking yourself whether or not to work with a REALTOR®, there are some important facts to consider. Here’s what a REALTOR® can do for you:

  • Discuss and review your list of wants, needs, and must-haves to help you determine your price range.
  • Answer any questions about the markets you’re interested in and help you compare homes and neighbourhoods.
  • Utilize the MLS® System on your behalf, which allows them to see property details that the public cannot.
  • Preview properties to ensure you’re only shown homes that meet your needs and budget.
  • Make appointments, walk you through potential homes, and answer all of your questions.
  • Negotiate with the seller, smooth out any potential conflicts, and draw up a legally binding contract (offer).

Need help buying a home in Edmonton? Nichola Elise Ryhanen is a highly motivated and knowledgeable REALTOR® who can make the process quick, easy, and fun!

Learn about her Home Buying Process or simply contact her today to get started 780.504.1182.