Buying a Home

Why Choose Wally When Buying?

When you have decided to buy or sell a home, the services of a qualified real estate professional are of utmost importance. The ideal sales agent will have a good working knowledge of local real estate market conditions, be prepared to deliver a high standard of service to customers, and have the support of a large real estate company. Most importantly, a good agent will save you time and money. Here are the advantages of working with an agent:

When buying a house:

  • As an experienced negotiator I will help manage your offers and counter-offers
  • An agent familiar with the neighborhood I can give you information on local real estate values, taxes, utility costs, services and amenities.
  • An agent familiar with the entire home purchasing process I can advise you of your legal and financial options as well as recommend appraisal, home inspection and contracting services. -An agent I can pinpoint homes that fit your needs and dismiss those that do not, saving you time.
  • An agent knows the potential problem areas in a home and can guide you away from “lemons.”

“Guide to Buying a Home” has been prepared to offer you practical information about the buying process. It outlines steps that you and I will follow during your search for the ideal home.

Determine What You Can Afford

  • Purchasing a home involves a one-time costs plus monthly expenses.
  • The largest one-time cost is the down payment. It usually represents between 5-25% of the total price of the property.
  • In addition to the actual purchase price, there are a number of other expenses that you might be expected to pay for in the home buying process.

MORTGAGE: In obtaining a Mortgage there are certain fees that may be applicable; administration fees, CMHC Insurance, house appraisal. Some of these may be waived by the lender. COST: Varies. Usually incorporated into your Mortgage.

LEGAL FEES: Legal fees are charged for, Tax & Title Search and Transfer of Title, Registration of Mortgage at Land Title. COST: $500 – $1500 depending on services rendered and value of property.

HOUSE INSPECTION: A House inspection is an option that most Home Buyers utilize. This is for your protection to know what structural state and general condition your anticipated home is in. The House Inspector should provide you with a full written report within 24 hours. COST: $275 – $400

TAX ADJUSTMENT: Tax adjustments are made according to the Date of Possession ,this amount will be calculated up to June 30 or after June 30 depending on the possession date and will appear in the Legal statement as Amount Owing to close the transaction.

NOTE: Taxes may be paid through your mortgage lender with your Mortgage payment; or on your own to the City of Edmonton annually or on a monthly payment plan.

The Seller of the home may provide:

  • A Real Property Report
  • A Letter of Compliance from the City of Edmonton or applicable Municipality.
  • Generally Speaking Closing Costs in buying a home are usually in the $1,500 to $2,000 range. Obtaining a pre-approved for mortgage
  • Having a pre-approved mortgage will give you confidence of knowing exactly what you can spend on a home before you start looking. You will also be protected against interest rate increases while you look for your new home since most banks will hold the interest rate for 90 days.
  • Your Mortgage Specialist will answer your questions and help you determine which financing terms and options are right for you. Your Mortgage Specialist and Real Estate Professional work as a team to help you find the right home and select the best financing.
  • Once you’ve found the home you want to purchase, there are some documents you’ll probably be asked for in order to finalize your financing. They will include:
  1. A copy of the real estate listing of the property. If the home is still to be built, the mortgage lender will need to see the architect’s or builder’s plans and details on lot size and location.
  2. A copy of the offer to purchase or the building contract.
  3. Documents to confirm employment, income and source of pre-approval.

* If you have a Pre-Approved Mortgage, it’s a simple matter of finalizing a few details which your Mortgage Specialist will explain to you.

Make A Offer

* When it comes time to make an offer, I can provide you with current market information and will assist you in drafting your offer.

* I will communicate your offer, sometimes known as an Offer To Purchase, to the seller, or the seller’s representative, on your behalf. Sometimes there may be more than one offer on a property coming in at the same time. I can guide you through this process.

* The offer can be Firm or Conditional.

-Firm Offer To Purchase; usually preferable to the seller, because it means that you are prepared to purchase the home without any condition. If the offer is accepted, the home is yours

-Conditional Offer To Purchase: means that you have placed one or more conditions on the purchase, such as “subject to home inspection”, “subject to financing” or “subject to sale of buyer’s existing home.” The home is not sold until all the conditions have been met.

* Your Offer To Purchase will be presented as soon as possible. The seller may accept the offer, reject it, or submit a counter-offer.

* The counter-offer may be in reference to the price, the closing date, or any number of variables.

* The offers can go back and forth until both parties have agreed or one of you ends the negotiations.

Hiring a Solicitor

* A legal professional is there to represent your interests and to process the legal documentation required.

* I can provide you with the names of legal professionals who specialize in real estate.

* I, along with your solicitor will advise you on the steps to be taken before the keys to your new home are presented to you.

Major Elements Of An Offer

  1. Price: Depending on local market conditions, your opinion of value or the price you offer may be different from the seller’s asking price.
  2. Deposit: The deposit shows your good faith and will be applied against the purchase of the home when the sale closes. I can advise you on a appropriate amount.
  3. Terms Includes: the total price offered and the financing details. You may arrange your own financing or ask to assume the seller’s mortgage, especially if it has an attractive interest rate.
  4. Conditions:. These might include “subject to home inspection”, “subject to you obtaining financing” or “subject to you selling your property”.
  5. Inclusions and Exclusions: These might include appliances and certain fixtures or decorative items, such as window coverings or mirrors.
  6. Closing or Possession Date: Generally, the day the title of the property is legally transferred and the transaction of funds finalized unless otherwise specified

First, pick a business day. This will ensure that all the money will be end up in the right hands at the right time. If you pick a weekend or statutory holiday, your bank and lawyer’s office will probably be closed. You could he faced with late interest to the Seller over the weekend, unless you arrange for your mortgage to he funded on the preceding business day. When you choose a business day your mortgage can be funded that morning and your lawyer will be around to make sure the deal closes smoothly. Second. pick a day that is earlier than the day that you must vacant your current residence. Whether you’re renting or selling your existing home, it – makes the move much easier, if you give yourself a few extra days to avoid the last minute rush. Third, try to avoid the first and last days of the month. These are the busiest days for people moving. You could have difficulty booking the right movers and other service people to clean, paint, shampoo carpets, hook-up utilities, and last minute renovations before you movie in. Fourth, consider your family’s schedule. If your children are young move during summer vacation. If you don’t like moving in the middle of a winter blizzard, buy your home in the summer. By following these basic suggestions, you can pick a Possession Date that will ensure you have fewer hassles and less expense on moving day.


  • Get the “Change of Address” cards from the post office and send out well before moving day.
  • Have the post office forward your mail to your new address.
  • Cancel any contracted services and pre-authorized cheques.
  • Inform gardening, dry cleaning, garbage pickup, newspapers, magazines, and other home services. Arrange for services at your new address.
  • Cancel or transfer social, athletic, civic, religious, or business affiliations, and memberships.
  • Arrange for transfer of medical, dental, prescription, and optical records.
  • Change the address on your driver’s license(s) effective the day of the move.
  • Collect all items out for cleaning, repair, or storage, e.g. dry cleaning.
  • Make special arrangements for the moving of perishables, such as plants.
  • Make special arrangements for the moving of your pets.
  • Safely dispose of all flammable liquids as it is illegal for movers to carry them.

Glossary Of An Offer

AMORTIZATION PERIOD: The actual number of years it will take to pay back your mortgage loan.

APPRAISED VALUE: An estimate of the value of the property. Conducted for the purpose of mortgage lending by a certified appraiser. This appraisal is not to be confused with a building inspection, or comparative market analysis.

ASSUMABILITY: Allows the buyer to take over the seller’s mortgage on the property.

CLOSED MORTGAGE: A mortgage that locks you into a specific payment schedule. A penalty usually applies if you repay the loan in full before the end of a closed term.

CONDOMINIUM: The owner has title to a single unit, as well as a share in the common elements such as elevators or surrounding land.

CONDOMINIUM FEE: A common payment among owners which is allocated to pay expenses.

CONVENTIONAL MORTGAGE: A mortgage loan issued for up to 75% of the property’s appraised value or purchase price, whichever is less.

DOWN PAYMENT: The buyer’s cash payment toward the property. The difference between the purchase price and the amount of the mortgage loan.

EQUITY: The difference between the homes’s selling value and the debts against it.

HIGH-RATIO MORTGAGE: A mortgage that exceeds 75% of the home’s appraised value. These mortgages must be insured for payment.

INTEREST RATE: The value charged by the lender for the use of the lender’s money. Expressed as a percentage.

LAND TRANSFER FEES OR PROPERTY TAX: A fee paid to the municipal and/or provincial government for the transferring of property from seller to buyer.

MATURITY DATE: The end of the term, at which time you can pay off the mortgage or renew it.

MORTGAGEE: The person or financial institution that lends the money.

MORTGAGOR: The borrower.

MORTGAGE INSURANCE: Applies to high-ratio mortgages. It protects the lender against loss if the borrower is unable to repay the mortgage.

MORTGAGE LIFE INSURANCE: Pays off the mortgage if the borrower dies.

OPEN MORTGAGE: Allows partial or full payment of the principal at any time, without penalty.

PORTABILITY: A mortgage option that enables borrowers to take their current mortgage with them to another property, without penalty.

PRE-APPROVED MORTGAGE: Qualifies you for a mortgage before you start shopping. You know exactly how much you can spend.

PREPAYMENT PRIVILEGES: Voluntary payments in addition to regular mortgage payments.

PRINCIPAL: The amount borrowed or still owing on a mortgage loan. Interest is paid on the principal amount.

REFINANCING: Paying off the existing mortgage and arranging a new one or re-negotiating the terms and conditions of an existing mortgage.

TERM: The length of time the interest rate is fixed. It also indicates when the principal balance becomes due and payable to the lender.

TITLE: Legal ownership in a property.

VARIABLE-RATE MORTGAGE: A mortgage with fixed payments, but fluctuates with interest rates. The changing interest rate determines how much of the payment goes towards the principal.

VENDOR TAKE-BACK MORTGAGE: When the seller provides some or all of the mortgage financing in order to sell their property.

Home Inspection

Buying a home is one of the most important investment decisions you will make in your lifetime. Having the property inspected by a qualified home inspector is a must especially on a used home it will give you the added confidence that you’ve made the right decision.

As such, it makes sound financial sense to enlist the services of a qualified home inspection company to ensure your home is as solid and secure on the inside as it is on the outside.

Before hiring a home inspector, check out his or her background and expertise as carefully as a good inspector will check out the house. Ensure the inspection has liability insurance, just in case a mistake is made or problems being overlooked usually Your offer to purchase is conditional on the You being satisfied with the inspection so if the house fails the inspection you can walk away from the deal.

A home inspection will determine the structural and mechanical soundness of your home. Your home inspector will identify existing and potential problem areas, suggest practical low-cost solutions, and provide estimates regarding costs for any work required. Shortly after the inspection has taken place, a report summarizing the findings is generally provided to you ask for estimated costs for any necessary repair.

It will be extremely beneficial to be present at inspection time especially if this is your first home, you can learn many valuable tips.

Home inspection costs often range according to size, age, and location of the home. Ask friends, family or I can provide a list of reputable, qualified, licensed home inspection By hiring a home inspection prior to purchase, you’re protecting both yourself and your investment, and this is a small price to pay for the information provided a little peace-of-mind.

Moving Tips

  1. 1. If You Book a Mover:*You can choose to have your movers pack everything, or just the breakables, or you can pack yourself. It is a good idea to obtain estimates from several different companies.
  2. 2. If You Own Your Present Home:*Arrange to have your gas, water, and electric meters read on the day you leave and have the bills forwarded to your new address.*Have the oil tank read and filled before your sale closes, and provide a receipt to your legal professional if required.*If the water heater or furnace is rented, arrange for a transfer of the rental agreement to the purchaser.*Disconnect your telephone, cable TV, and water softener.
  3. 3. If you Rent Your Present Home:*Give the necessary written notice to your landlord and make arrangements for the return of any money you have on deposit.
  4. 4. At Your “New” Home:

*Make arrangements for the gas and electric utilities, water softener, telephone, and cable TV to be connected on the day the sale closes.

How To View A Home

Remaining objective can be a difficult task when viewing an open house. It is easy to fall in love with a home’s appearance, blind to problems that may make it unsuitable.

While aesthetics can be an important consideration, it is necessary to look beyond window-dressing. A qualified home inspector should be hired before purchasing a home, but there are areas that consumers can examine on their own. This will shorten your list of potential homes and reduce the likelihood that a home inspector will reject it as unsafe or unsuitable.

Here are some considerations and common problem areas to look for when touring or open house:

General upkeep: Much can be surmised from the general state of the home. Is the home clean? Are lawns left uncut? Are the walls chipped and in need of paint? If smaller chores have been ignored it may be an indication of a broader disregard for home maintenance.

Water leaks: Check ceilings and drywall for stains, bulges and other signs of water damage. Water that works its way inside via a leaky roof or a cracked foundation can rot wood, create mildew and mold, destroy possessions and can be expensive to repair.

Does it work? Test lights, faucets, the heater, air conditioning, major appliances (that are to be included with the home) – even flush the toilets to ensure everything is working as it should.

Floors: As you walk across the floors be aware of ‘spongy’ (soft or springy) sections. Excessive squeaking and uneven, bumpy floors may also be indicative of expensive forthcoming repairs.

Doors and windows: Check that doors and windows fit snugly in their jambs and operate smoothly. Look for flaked paint and loose caulking. If the wood around windows and doors is not protected from moisture, it can rot away. Feel for drafts in these areas too.

Poor drainage: On a wet day walk around the yard and look for areas where water collects. This can be an especially bad sign if there are soggy areas near the home’s foundation.

Grout and caulking: If the grout and caulking around bathroom and kitchen tiles is loose and crumbly, there is a good chance that water is finding its way into the wall or under the floor.

Structural: Although this is definitely an area where you want the services of a qualified home inspector, you can get an idea about possible structural problems if you see deep cracks in the foundations or loose mortar and bricks.

Miscellaneous concerns: Naturally, one the most important factors will be determining if the house suits your family’s needs. If you do not want to replace all of your furniture, make sure it will fit into the rooms of the new house. This is difficult to do by eye, so be sure to bring a measuring tape. Also, take note of storage space. If you are moving from a home with large closets and a shed, make sure your new house is able to store an equivalent amount of belongings.

Remaining objective can be a difficult task when viewing an open house. It is easy to fall in love with a home’s appearance, blind to problems that may make it unsuitable.

While aesthetics can be an important consideration, it is necessary to look beyond window-dressing. A qualified home inspector should be hired before purchasing a home, but there are areas that consumers can examine on their own. This will shorten your list of potential homes and reduce the likelihood that a home inspector will reject it as unsafe or unsuitable.

About The Neighborhood

It is important that the neighborhood you choose to live in is well suited to you and your family. The following is a list of considerations and possible problem areas:

Environment The quality of air, water and soil is a top concern as a polluted neighborhood can be detrimental to both your health and property value. Ask your real estate agent, neighbors and local media about any known environmental issues in the area.

Appearance The home you are considering may be tidy and attractive inside and out, but how does it compare to the surrounding area? Explore the neighborhood, keeping an eye open for signs of neglect (overgrown lawns, houses in need of paint, trash and junked appliances littering yards). No matter how diligent you are in the upkeep of your property, a run-down neighborhood can drive your property value down.

Crime rate Check with the local police department to find out if the home you are considering is in a safe neighborhood. Police may be able to provide statistics regarding break-ins and other crimes.

Schools If you have children, the proximity and quality of schools is an important consideration. Talking to neighbors with school age children can be helpful. In some areas schools will provide data (such as average test scores) that can aid you in determining a school’s quality.

Transportation Convenient access to public transportation and/or major highways can mean the difference between a pleasurable and not-so-pleasurable commute to work.

Amenities Amenities like a grocery store, parks, recreational facilities, post office, dry cleaner and a doctor’s office can make life easier if they are located nearby.

Property Values By researching the selling prices of homes in over the past decade or so, you may be able to predict future trends. Your real estate agent may be able to provide helpful data.

Utilities Avoid unpleasant surprises by finding out what utility costs are before you decide to purchase. Fees for water, electric, cable TV, phone and gas vary greatly by region.

Noise and Nuisances It can be hard to get an accurate impression of a neighborhood in just one visit. Be sure to return to the neighborhood at different times of the day and night. Listen for traffic noise, barking dogs, low-flying airplanes and any other noises that could bother you as a resident.

Edmonton MLS® Listings By Email

One of the best tools we have as REALTORS® is the ability to provide timely information from the MLS® system. If you would like to have access to the latest listings that match your criteria, please fill in the information below. A little known fact here – there is a lag or a delay when a REALTOR® submits a listing into the system. These automatic searches provide these listings to interested buyers within a couple of hours, but the public side of may not show these listings for 1-2 days (depending on what time of day the REALTOR® submits the information). Access to this search is the most timely way to see the latest listings.