BUYING A HOUSE IN CALGARY – HOW-TO GUIDE
Buying a house in Calgary – or anywhere else for that matter – is not easy. It takes a lot of research, time, and patience to find the right place for you. But it doesn’t have to be difficult. This article will help you get started on your homebuying journey in Calgary – and avoid some of the common mistakes along the way!
To help make this process easier for you, we’ve compiled a general how-to guide that will walk you step-by-step through the process of buying a house in Calgary. If you follow this guide, it should lead you to purchase a house that’s perfect for your needs and budget!
Before you start the work of finding a new home, make sure you understand how to go about looking for one. Many first-time homebuyers don’t understand the complexity of the real estate process and instead dive right in. This is a common mistake that you can avoid by researching before you start looking for your house.
You can access countless resources to learn about real estate, the biggest one being the Internet. There are plenty of how-to guides like this one, which explain the process in detail. There are also hundreds of online forums where current homeowners have answered other people’s questions about buying a house. Some local real estate offices will offer classes on buying houses too, and these can be helpful if they’re done well.
Once you’ve gotten a handle on the process, it’s time to get out there and find a real estate professional to work with.
Find A Reliable Calgary Real Estate Agent
Many Calgary real estate agents are out there, but not all of them are highly qualified or committed to providing you with the best possible service. So how do you know which one to pick?
Use a referral – friends and family members might already have recommendations for great agents that they can recommend. Of course, referrals from strangers are also a possibility. Get online and check out ratings from reputable websites, such as Yelp or Google.
Finally, meet with them in person to see how you get along. Does the person have a friendly and inviting personality? Can you see yourself working with them for the long term? When it comes to picking an agent, don’t be shy – you need to feel confident in your decision!
Determine Your Payment Method
When buying a house in Calgary, you’ll have to consider your payment method. The three most common forms of payment include traditional banks, mortgage brokers, and creative financing. Banks and mortgage brokers are the most popular, but creative financing might be a better option for you if you want to avoid interest rates.
The bank is your classic, tried-and-true method of buying a house using a mortgage. Banks will give you a loan that must be fully paid off within 15 or 30 years. When you pay back a “mortgage” each month, you are making a payment towards the principal. This is one of the most common ways to buy a house but not necessarily the best option for everyone.
A mortgage broker will help you get pre-approved for your loan before you start looking at houses. They can also provide lots of useful information and let you know about the latest mortgage deals. They don’t charge you until they find a deal that fits your needs. This is an increasingly popular option and one you should seriously consider if you aren’t sure where to start from.
One of the biggest advantages of creative financing is credit flexibility. It allows those with bad credit or no credit history to buy a house. Check with your Calgary real estate agent to find out more about the various alternative funding options and what they can do for you.
Search for the Right Home
Your home will be the biggest purchase of your life – and one that you will probably make multiple times throughout the course of your lifetime. As such, it’s important to take the time required to find a great deal.
For example, if you rush through the process to save time, it might come back to bite you in a few years when you find yourself stuck in a home that wasn’t ideally suited to your needs and wants. It’s far better to spend extra time searching for the right house, knowing that you’ll end up with a place you can truly be happy with. If you’re buying a house in Calgary, you’ll have plenty of amazing options to choose from.
Your real estate agent can help you find the right home for your needs, but the entire process is ultimately up to you. Be sure to consult with friends and family members about any homes that might be of interest. Also, you can try searching online for recent home listings in your area, contact local agents and ask them for their best deal on a large house or a condo, and visit the Calgary real estate listings on Kijiji.
This is a very important step to take as it can help you find that perfect house without any surprises!
Make an Offer on the House
When you’re ready to put in an offer, talk to your Calgary real estate agent. Be sure to keep a couple of things in mind before you make the decision:
- Think about adding in a clause that gives you the right to back out of the sale if your financing falls through. You don’t want to lose everything if this happens, but you can make sure that the seller actually has your money by adding this clause.
- Talk to the bank or mortgage broker first. You want to know that they can provide the money before you make an offer. If not, you should make a counter-offer – but be prepared to walk away if your financing falls through!
The contract will need to go through a lawyer before it’s finalized. Luckily, this is a relatively painless process and it can be done in a matter of days.
Get a Home Inspection
Home inspections aren’t mandatory, but they can be very useful when buying a house in Calgary. A professional inspector will look for any problems with the current state of the house, alert you to potential future issues, and give you an idea of how much it will cost to fix them. Even if a house looks great at first glance, small problems might be hiding under the surface. Therefore, a home inspection is invaluable!
If you’re worried about the cost of a home inspection, remember that it can ultimately be less expensive than fixing problems after they crop up. An experienced inspector might catch issues with the house before you decide to buy it.
This will give you peace of mind when buying a new home!
Go Through the Closing Process
After you’ve made an offer, the contract is sent off to a lawyer for approval. This typically takes less than a week. There are some cases where the legal fees can get rather expensive – so make sure that closing costs are included in your budget.
Your real estate agent will be able to provide you with the specifics of your home’s closing costs. Additionally, they will typically be able to help you negotiate a lower price as well. The entire process should take about as long as it would for a conventional financing option; however, if you have no credit or bad credit this can take longer as you’ll have to wait for your new lender to get loan approval.
Close on Your New Home
Once the closing date arrives, your dream of owning a house in Calgary will become a reality. Some paperwork will need to be filed and the title to the home will be transferred from seller to buyer. But, once this task is complete you’ll officially own your home!
This doesn’t mean that there won’t likely be any more work still left to do, though – you’ll possibly have to remodel the kitchen or bathroom, repaint, and do other minor tasks that will make your new house feel like home. Of course, you’ll also have to move furniture, clothes, and other items from the place you’ve been living. You might even need to sleep on an air mattress for a few nights!
Closing on your home is a rewarding process and one that shouldn’t give you too many headaches. Buying a house in Calgary is just another step closer to attaining the dream of full homeownership.
Buying a house in Calgary will take some time and effort, but it’s worth the investment – you’ll be able to rest easy knowing that you’re not chained down by a lease any longer. By following the steps above, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a homeowner in no time.
Are you looking for other moving tips? Check out our moving checklist!