There's more to buying a home than location, of course – a lot of factors come into play when deciding what you need, want, and must have. Be sure to ask yourself the following as you make your wish list:
Type of home: Do you want a single family detached home that's separated from your neighbours by physical space? Are you willing to live in an attached/row/townhouse that shares a wall with the neighbours? Or even a condo, where common areas and amenities are shared with many neighbours? Of course, this decision will be impacted by whether or not you plan to live in the home yourself or rent it out for income.
New or resale? As we've outlined in the section New vs. Resale – Finding the house or condo that's right for you, each option has its distinct advantages and disadvantages. Please read this chapter of our Buyer's Guide if you need more information.
Renovated or needs work? Do you want to be able to move right in to a turnkey home, or are you willing to buy a fixer-upper or a home with dated décor, and invest in renovations and upgrades (like painting, flooring, new appliances etc.) that will make your house a home?
Budget: Are you planning to look near the top end of your budget, getting the largest possible loan to buy the most house you can afford? Or would you rather play it safe and start with a more modest property that will allow you to live a certain lifestyle without being house-poor? How are you doing in terms of leverage if buying an investment property?
Photo by Laura Appleyard
Buy or Sell First?
Before we go out looking at homes, we will discuss your future plans. Do you already have a home to sell? Does it make sense to sell it with our team? If you're remaining in the same community, it makes very good sense. By the time we have found your new home, we will be very familiar with your needs and goals, so it will save you a lot of time and energy instead of starting all over again with someone else.
Everyone wonders whether to buy or sell first. There is no answer that's set in stone; it depends on market conditions, and there is also the question of what timelines and motivations you are working with, what properties are currently available for sale in your price range, and a host of other factors. Generally speaking, though, it often makes sense to sell your Calgary home first. That way, you'll have the sale out of the way. Yes, you will have a limited time to buy your next home before you have to vacate your current one; but you will know exactly what you have to work with financially, and you won't be under the same kind of pressure that sellers face when they know they will have to either sell fast or risk carrying two mortgages.
Many people are able to time their sale and purchase so they happen on the same closing date (or within one or two days). When selling your home, we will ask for a closing period that's on the longer side, to give you more time to find your next home. Of course, if you are planning to buy a secondary property for income or investment purposes, this won't be an issue for you at all; you will have the leisure to buy whenever the best possible opportunity arises.
Overview of the Buying Process
Here's what you can expect when buying a home with Calgary Real Estate™. We will:
- Make appointments and walk you through potential houses, answering all your questions
- Explain what to look for in the neighbourhood, such as nearby schools, shopping and recreational areas as well as not-so-great features like large industrial areas, railway tracks and airports nearby that might affect your property's appreciation
- Keep you focused on your ultimate goals when it comes to the properties you're viewing, so you don't get distracted by one feature of a home (like a gorgeous hot tub, for example); we will honestly encourage you to keep your eyes on the prize
- Alert you to upcoming public open houses that you can attend in your search areas of interest, so you can gain valuable experience viewing homes
- Give you up-to-the-minute information on financing and explain all your mortgage options
- When you find a home you love, we will negotiate with the seller, smooth out any potential conflicts, and draw up a legally binding contract so the home can be yours
- Guide you through the closing process, liaising with the seller's agent and other professionals on your behalf so there are no unexpected surprises when you take possession
- Be there for you on closing day with a set of keys and our promise to continue advocating for you even beyond this sale; we want to earn the right to be your real estate brokerage of choice, for life!