8 steps to buying a home in the Edmonton area

Why do you want to buy a home in the Edmonton area? Do you want to build up home equity? Do you need more space for your growing family?

No matter what propelled you to want to become a homeowner, the process of searching, finding and purchasing your home is where the rubber meets the road. Home buyers in Alberta should prepare themselves carefully to achieve the best results. Here are the 8 steps to buying a home in the Edmonton area.

Maximize Your Home Buying Experience

Start by making a “wish list” of the ideal features for your future home. Then, prioritize them so that you know what you can forego if the price is too high. Create a little flexibility in your home buying plan.

There is a two-step financing process when applying for a mortgage in Edmonton: 1. Pre-Approval and 2. Qualification. This ensures that you are financially capable of affording your home. Your Edmonton mortgage broker can guide you through these 8 steps to buying a home in the Edmonton area.

Step 1: Mortgage Pre-Approval

Once you have your “wish list,” look through the Edmonton area for houses that match the criteria you are seeking. A 2017 survey found that the average Canadian home was 1,792 square feet. You might also complete additional research into whether home prices are rising or falling to identify current Edmonton housing trends.

Can you afford a mortgage?

Once you know what you want, contact us at Advantage Mortgage to see if you can afford a mortgage. This process is called “Pre-Approval.” Bring your employment, tax and credit score records to us, and we can begin the process with you.

Mortgage lenders recommend that you only look for homes that are 3 to 5 times your annual household income. There is a standard 20% down payment for mortgages. Some lenders will offer mortgages for less than 20% down, but you might be required to purchase mortgage insurance.

Step 2: Hire a Realtor in your area

Buying a home is probably going to be the most significant purchase you make in your life. Shouldn’t you hire a professional realtor to make sure it goes right?

Find the best realtor for your area.  An Edmonton realtor knows the Edmonton property market.  A Leduc realtor knows the Leduc property market.  

You might have a general idea of the best neighbourhoods, but your real estate agent has access to more detailed information, including unique listings. Your property agent can negotiate on your behalf and provide you with the closing paperwork. The home buying process runs more smoothly after you hire a realtor.

Step 3: Go House Hunting

image of house selected among many others, depicting a house-hunting experience in Edmonton for home buyersGet out your “wish list” and turn it into a “checklist.” You can print out several copies – one for each home you visit. Then, compile the addresses of the homes you want to view.

Two heads are better than one.

You only have a limited amount of time and might not know specific neighbourhoods. Instead of getting lost driving around the Edmonton area, you can give your “wish list” to your realtor. He or she can provide you with advice on viewing homes.

You have two different vantage points – your realtor’s and yours.  This can prevent you from missing anything during the house hunting process. Your realtor is experienced and knows the latest Alberta home buying trends. This removes a burden from your shoulders, so you can concentrate on kicking the tires.

Be very thorough with your home search. When you get to the home, check out the amount of traffic, the number of trees in the yard, the smells when you enter and whether the appliances work. Turn on the light switch. Does it work?

Write down all that you find. Take your time and be thorough.

Step 4: Make an Offer

Once you’ve completed the house hunting process, you can review the checklist and compare the various properties. You might notice certain price trends for specific features or neighbourhoods. Which types of features can you afford?

You could gradually filter the list down until you have your top 3 chosen. Some will suggest that you have an official Home Inspection or Home Appraisal – these can be included as conditions for home purchase.

When you are ready, contact your Edmonton realtor to provide a home buying offer with the amount, conditions, deposit and closing date.

Some people are good with negotiations; others are not.

With an Edmonton mortgage broker, you can make a realistic offer that matches market conditions. The home seller will do one of the following:

  • Accept
  • Reject
  • Counter aka “Signing Back”

When the home seller is “signing back,” he or she wants you to make a counter-offer. The realtor can continue the negotiations on your behalf.

Step 5: Specific Property Qualification

When your offer is finally accepted, you will feel excellent. You have found the home of your dreams, and the seller has agreed to the price. Now, you need specific financing, called “Qualification.”

Mortgage lenders will now offer you loans to purchase this exact house.

This is the second step of applying for a mortgage in Edmonton. Tell us about the home you want to purchase. Your dream of buying a home in the Edmonton area is close to being realized.

Step 6: Put down a deposit payment

Once a mortgage lender provides you with financing, you can place a deposit on the property.

Place a down payment on the property to hold it, during closing.

This places it in escrow while the closing process is completed. Others cannot buy it while it is escrow.

Step 7: Real Estate Lawyer Closing Process

Edmonton real estate agent showing a couple a modern style home for sale in the Edmonton areaThe home buying closing process will include checking the Alberta land titles registry to guarantee that the seller is the owner of said property, all taxes have been paid, and there are no outstanding liens.

You don’t want to buy a property with high back taxes on it, do you?

Find a well-qualified Alberta real estate lawyer to make sure that the property is unencumbered.

This is the legal verification that everything is above board. After this check, you will know that the property is exactly what it is purported to be.

Step 8: Keys to New Home

Once everything is signed and paid for, you can take possession of your new home.

Can you hear that “jingle-jangle” of your new home keys, yet?

You can crack a smile or do a little dance; you deserve it. You are officially an Edmonton homeowner, welcome to the neighbourhood.

Home Ownership Advantage

At Advantage Mortgage, we allow you to compare the offers of multiple mortgage lenders.  We also team up with some of the best real estate agents in Edmonton and Leduc so you can choose the right one for you. The best realtor has the expertise that helps you find the perfect home.

We want to make sure that you feel comfortable during the entire process, and we’re here to help if you have any questions.  At any time, grab the phone and call us, your Edmonton real estate agent, or your real estate lawyer. It is better to be safe than sorry.

If you are diligent in completing each phase of the home buying process, you will find the best home for you and your family.  Take care of your business.  Then, when you check off the final step, you will be able to relax in your brand-new Edmonton area home.