Tag Archive for: Downtown Edmonton REALTOR

condos for sale in edmonton alberta

A Buyer’s Guide to Edmonton Condos for Sale!

Buying a condo is very different from buying a single-family home. There are several advantages that condos provide that single-family homes cannot. This is a determining factor as to why so many Canadians have made the decision to own a condo. If you’re thinking about making the switch to condo living, there are a few things to understand about the buying process. From rules and fees to the age of the unit, it’s good to do your research about what you’re investing in. To help you out, I have compiled a list of tips to help you as you work towards buying your first condo! Follow along below to learn more.

Edmonton Condos for Sale: Buying New Vs. Resale 

  1. Buying a New Condo

Buying a new condo often means buying a pre-sale condo. Pre-sale condos are condos that have been listed for sale before construction has been completed/started. This usually means that you will have to choose your unit based on a set of floorplans and a visit to the showroom. Buying a presale condo has its advantages and disadvantages. One advantage is that you may be able to request changes. However, the final product may not look like the plan or what you imagined. Additionally, the date of completion could be later than what was initially proposed. 

It’s worth noting that when you buy a new (presale) condo, you typically need to pay occupancy fees—colloquially known as phantom rent. These fees are paid to the developer until the building is registered. According to the Globe and Mail, “[t]he Condominium Act allows a developer to charge tenants for three main expenses in the period between occupancy and condo registration: property taxes, a prorated share of common operating expenses and interest on the unpaid balance of the purchase price”. 

  1. Buying a Resale Condo

While resale condos do not have the same new home feel, you do get the benefit of seeing the unit before you buy it. This makes it abundantly clear how much space there is, the quality of materials, building amenities, noise levels, etc. Additionally, you can get a feel for the condo community to see if the building is in good condition and if the people living there match your lifestyle.

Moreover, when buying a resale condo unit, it’s a good idea to research the building’s operating budget and financial status. You will also want to look into the reserve fund, bylaws, and who manages/maintains the property. 

Understanding the Building

  1. All About the Fees

Before you sign off on buying a condo (new or old), it is important to understand the condo fees and what they cover. Nearly every condo has a monthly, quarterly, or annual fee that must be paid by each resident. These fees are collected so that the building can pay for expenses like insurance and maintenance. However, you should talk with the developer or property manager to get a better sense of what your fees include. Understanding the cost of these fees can make a big impact on whether or not you can afford the unit. Lenders add condo fees to the monthly debts of the buyer. So, if the building has a steep association fee, there’s a good chance that some buyers will be priced out. 

  1. Know the Rules 

In condo buildings, there are often a set of rules and guidelines put in place to keep peace within the community. Unlike living in a single-family home, you cannot always do what you want, when you want to. Finding out about what rules are in place in the building is a good idea. After all, some condos have strict rules against pets, noise, age of residents, smoking, and more. Check to see what these rules are to make sure that they align with your lifestyle. 

  1. What Does the Condo Include?

Although it may seem silly, understanding what your condo comes with is important in the buying process. After all, you don’t want to assume that your unit comes with something it does not—for example, a reserved parking spot! Before you buy make sure you understand what’s available to you. Some common amenities include:

  • Additional storage
  • Guest parking
  • Reserved parking
  • Underground/covered parking
  • Bike storage
  • Pool
  • Gym
  • Outdoor common space

Contact me Today About Edmonton Condos for Sale!

Living in a condo comes with many benefits. From more time to better amenities, you’ll love the lifestyle that a condo affords. Contact me today to learn more about buying Edmonton condos for sale. I’d be happy to answer any questions you have about how to achieve your real estate goals. Feel free to reach out to me at any time! Be sure to check back next month for more real estate-related information. I look forward to working with you in the near future. 

edmonton real estate mortgages with cashback options

Real Estate in Edmonton: Pros and Cons of Cashback Mortgages

Buying a home in Edmonton is a big purchase. And, it often comes with unexpected expenses like closing costs, moving costs, and any immediate repairs that need to be made. After saving for a down payment and getting approved for a mortgage, you might find yourself scrambling to afford these additional costs. This is why many Canadians have been opting for cashback mortgages to aid in the purchase of real estate in Edmonton. With a cashback mortgage, homeowners receive a lump sum of cash on closing day to assist them in covering the additional costs of buying a home. In this article, I will be going over the pros and cons of a cashback mortgage. Follow along below to learn more. 

What’s a Cashback Mortgage? How Does it Help Me Buy Real Estate in Edmonton?

A cashback mortgage is a type of mortgage that provides homeowners with a lump sum of cash at closing. With a cashback mortgage, a person will take out a loan that is more than what is needed to pay off the house. The excess amount is then provided to the person once their mortgage closes. Homeowners can then use this additional money to pay for an assortment of expenses like closing costs, making renovations, moving, or furnishing their new residence. Typically, lenders offer 1-7 percent of the purchase price in a cashback mortgage. The most common amount is 5 percent. 

There are several lenders in Canada who offer cashback mortgages. In order to receive a cashback mortgage, you need to meet some specific criteria. These criteria may differ from lender to lender, however, they generally are as follows:

  • You need to have a reliable job where you earn a specific salary or are paid by the hour. (Self-employed individuals do not often get approved for cashback mortgages)
  • A credit score of at least 650
  • You are going to occupy the home you are purchasing—ie: you don’t have plans to rent it out. 

Pros of a Cashback Mortgage

A cashback mortgage can be advantageous for a number of reasons. For instance, it can help homeowners pay for the initial expenses of buying a home. Or, refinancing a current mortgage. This is especially helpful for those who are buying a home for the first time or homeowners who need a little extra cash. 

Another benefit to taking out a cashback mortgage is that you can complete any renovations you anticipate need to be done once you move in. It’s also smart for homeowners who need some extra wiggle room to cover basic expenses during the first few months after moving. Some homeowners even use this money to pay down high-interest debt or student loans. 

Those who are looking for some added financial security and flexibility can benefit from a cashback mortgage. The ability to use the lump sum for any expenses makes it an incredibly versatile option. However, this is not to say that a cashback mortgage is an entirely positive decision. 

Cons of a Cashback Mortgage

While a cashback mortgage certainly comes with its pros, it also has some significant drawbacks. One of the biggest being high-interest rates. When comparing the average interest rate of a traditional mortgage with a cashback mortgage, it’s easy to see that borrowers of the cashback option will pay more interest over time. Thus, resulting in a higher overall cost. 

Additionally, since the lump sum is tacked onto your mortgage, you will end up paying more for your mortgage and it will take longer to pay off. 

Besides being more expensive, cashback mortgages are also very restrictive when it comes to refinancing or prepaying. In turn, making it difficult for borrowers to switch their mortgages down the road. There are also major penalties for breaking/changing your contract! As well as, no variable-rate option. 

Lastly, if you have plans of paying your mortgage off quickly, a cashback is likely the wrong fit. This is because borrowers will delay paying off their mortgage and accrue more interest charges over time. 

Contact me Today About Real Estate in Edmonton!

Deciding on a mortgage is a big deal. This is why it is important to understand all of the details before you sign off. Contact me today to learn more about mortgages for real estate in Edmonton. I’d be happy to answer any questions you have about how to achieve your real estate goals. Feel free to reach out to me at any time! Be sure to check back next month for more real estate-related information or visit me on Facebook! I look forward to working with you in the near future. 

condos with pools edmonton

Condos in Edmonton: All About Condo Fees.

Often, condos are praised for their affordability compared to traditional homes. They are seen as a great option for young people looking to get on the property ladder or retirees that don’t want to maintain an entire house. At face value, condos boast better prices. However, once you dig past the surface, you might find that condo fees are the catch. Condo fees are monthly dues that condo owners must pay in addition to their mortgage payments. In general, condo fees cover the maintenance of common areas in the building. This might mean, landscaping, window washing, snow removal, pool maintenance, etc. If you’re curious about the fees associated with condos in Edmonton, continue reading this article.

Below, I will go over the basics of condo fees in Edmonton!

How do Fees get Calculated for Condos in Edmonton?

Usually, condo fees are calculated as a percentage of the total amount of maintenance required for the building. Annual maintenance costs and additional money for the reserves will comprise the condo fee. The reserve fund is set aside for any unexpected expenses or long-term repairs like redoing the roof. Finding a building with a healthy reserve fund is always ideal when searching for a condo. All of these costs are managed by a condo board that oversees the budget and tracks annual maintenance expenses. 

Typically, the amount that you contribute is calculated based on the value of your unit. To provide an example, Sterling Homes writes that “if there were 100 condos of equal value in the building, each condo owner would be responsible for one percent of the total annual charge, divided into 12 monthly payments.” Obviously, not all condos in a building will be of equal value because of size, amenities, view, etc. So, when you purchase a condo, you can expect that the more valuable your unit, the more expensive your condo fees will be. Be sure to inquire about condo fees prior to purchasing a unit. 

Condo Fees Aren’t Set in Stone

A diligent condo board will maintain an organized budget and follow it. However, depending on the age of the condo the reserve fund might be sparse. In this case, any unexpected costs that cannot be covered by the base condo fee will require a “special assessment”. A special assessment must be paid by all owners. 

Although, special assessments can happen whether there is enough money in the reserve or not. For example, if the board uses all of the money in the reserve to repaint the interior and then the elevator breaks, you and all other occupants are on the hook to cover the cost of the repair. 

For newer buildings, you will generally have to pay a greater condo fee at the start to help build up the reserve fund. Contrastively, you will have more special assessments. 

Average Fees and What to Consider

Condo fees vary immensely from building to building. And, it is almost impossible to give an average because the range is so large. Some condo fees may be at the low end of $200-300 per month. Whereas, others may be closer to $1000. While you search for the right home for you, be sure to factor in this expense. A high condo fee can sometimes equate to being the same or more expensive than owning a single-family home. 

Before you sign anything, make sure you understand what is covered by each condo fee. Take a close look at the fine print and ensure that you aren’t paying for a ton of amenities that you aren’t going to use. For example, if your building has a pool, but you hate public swimming, you might resent paying for the upkeep each month. Especially, if/when something breaks. In general, you want to be sure that your condo fee covers the important stuff. For example, landscaping, heat and water, insurance for the structure, security as needed, reserve fund contributions, etc. Looking into condo fees is essential in preventing yourself from being hit with a bunch of surprise fees. 

Contact Me About Condos in Edmonton

Contact me today to learn more about the fees associated with owning condos in Edmonton. For more information on selling or buying condos, contact me today. I’d be happy to answer any questions you have about how to achieve your real estate goals. Feel free to reach out to me at any time! Be sure to check back next month for more real estate-related information. I look forward to working with you in the near future. 

downtown edmonton condos steve leddy

Owner’s Rights of Condos in Downtown Edmonton

Buying a condo and buying a house are two very different things. While the process of buying may be similar, the differences in living are apparent. Condos and homes both come with their pros and cons. If you’ve decided that owning a condo is right for you, it is important to consider your rights as an owner of condos in Downtown Edmonton. In this article, I will be answering your most commonly asked questions about owning a condo. For instance, what do you actually own? What’s the difference between a condo and an apartment? And, are there benefits to condo ownership? Follow along below to learn more about this topic.

Differences Between Condos in Downtown Edmonton and Apartments.

Condos and apartments share many similarities. However, the biggest difference lies in ownership. Generally speaking, an apartment is owned by a leasing company that will lease out units. On the flip side, condo units are owned by individual condo owners. Thus, as a person looking for a home, you can: a) rent an apartment unit, b) rent a condo unit from a condo owner or c) buy a condo unit and become a condo owner. 

Those who rent an apartment will generally have a managing company that oversees everything to do with the apartment building. However, if you rent a condo, your landlord will be the condo owner. This can result in frequent check-ins, and delayed problem-solving. Especially, if your landlord has never managed a property before. On the contrary, if you own a condo, you don’t have to worry about landlords or management companies. 

In general, condos and apartments both have companies that deal with exterior maintenance. However, apartments also have companies who manage the interior. This means that you have less freedom and control over your apartment. But, it also means that an apartment is less maintenance than a condo. 

What do I Own When I Buy a Condo?

Before you buy a condo, it is important to determine if you are buying a conventional condo or a bare-land condo. A conventional condo means that buyers own everything inside their property based on the boundaries set in the bylaws and rules. Moreover, owners of conventional condos share ownership of the land with all other investors in the condo complex. 

Differently, bare-land condos allow buyers to purchase the plot of land on which the property is built. This usually means that bare land condos cost more. Although, for owners who want control of the exterior and interior of their property, a bare-land condo is ideal. Bare-land condo owners can modify their landscaping, and change up the exterior of their units. As well as, make changes to the interior. 

Both conventional and bare land condos share one common feature: common spaces. Typically, common spaces like sidewalks, parking garages, games rooms, and fitness centers will be maintained by a separate company. This maintenance is usually paid for through fees collected from the unit owners. Furthermore, amenities such as balconies, private parking spaces, and patios are usually considered exclusive-use common spaces. Thus, they are owned by the community association.

If you aren’t sure what kind of condo you are buying, be sure to figure this out. Ask your real estate agent for further clarification on what areas are exclusive and what areas are common. It is important to know everything about your condo before you make the decision to buy!

Why Own a Condo?

Owning a condo comes with a host of benefits. Whether you choose to buy a conventional or bare-land condo, your freedoms are plentiful compared to living in an apartment. In addition, condo units go up for sale in a number of different price ranges. This means you can find affordable units or luxury ones! 

Moreover, you won’t have to worry about much outdoor maintenance. This gives you the freedom to spend your time how you’d like! Further to this, most condo buildings offer several amenities that you wouldn’t otherwise have access to. For instance, fitness centres, security, games rooms, gated boundaries and more. 

Lastly, owning a condo means that you can live in a centrally located area like Downtown Edmonton! Unlike other property types that allow ownership, condos are generally available in all areas of a city – from rural to ultra-urban!

Contact me today to learn more about owning condos in Downtown Edmonton. For more information on selling or buying condos, contact me today. I’d be happy to answer any questions you have about how to achieve your real estate goals. Feel free to reach out to me at any time! Be sure to check back next month for more real estate-related information. I look forward to working with you in the near future. 

property for sale in edmonton ab

Year-end Wrap for Properties in Edmonton!

Over the course of the last year, I’ve written lots of blog articles about all things properties in Edmonton. With December quickly passing us by, I thought it would be fitting to write a year-end blog recap for our 2022 blog content. This way, you can check out all of the posts I wrote and catch up on any missed information about properties in Edmonton. In this article, I will provide you with a short summary of each post, categorized by season. Continue reading below to discover the content you missed from 2022!

Properties in Edmonton – Spring & Summer Blog Recap

May – Why Choose Sherwood Park Real Estate?

Sherwood Park real estate is an appealing place to put down roots. This highly sought-after neighbourhood is located just east of Edmonton. Residents can enjoy a relaxed suburban lifestyle only minutes from Edmonton’s downtown core. Sherwood Park real estate is the perfect balance between big city living and community comforts. Learn more about the various perks of owning Sherwood Park real estate in this article!

June – Why Choose Real Estate in Downtown Edmonton?

Real estate in Downtown Edmonton is an exciting place to call home. Homeowners of real estate in Downtown Edmonton can enjoy superb nightlife, great restaurants, new architecture, and plenty of green spaces! Living in Edmonton’s downtown core provides you with endless opportunities for work and pleasure. Discover why you should choose to live in Downtown Edmonton, here.

July – Seller’s FAQ With An Edmonton Real Estate Agent.

When selling a home, many tough questions can arise. For most individuals, your home is your most valuable possession. As your Edmonton real estate agent, I want to ensure that you get the best deal possible for your home. In order to do so, I answered some common questions that I get asked during the selling process. Learn more about this article now! 

Aug – What Makes a Good Sherwood Park Real Estate Agent?

A good Sherwood Park real estate agent is quantified in a number of ways. Your agent will be responsible for negotiating, finding you the right property, helping you market your home for sale, and/or guiding you through the process. There are three major qualities that any great real estate agent must possess. Continue reading this article to find out what these qualities are!

Fall & Winter Blog Recap

sherwood park holiday homes for sale

Sept – Sell Your Home Fast & Move Into a Sherwood Park Property.

If you want to sell your home quickly, this is the article for you! Getting your home sold can be a lot of work. However, with the help of a trusted agent and some tips, you’ll sell your home in no time. Move into your dream Sherwood Park Property right on schedule with these home-selling tips!

Oct – Fall Maintenance For Homes in Sherwood Park!

Fall is the perfect time to get ahead on your chores list! Getting your home ready for cooler temperatures is essential. This will help you to avoid issues with your heating, roofing, drainage, and overall safety. Take care of these mundane tasks now, so you can enjoy your winter worry-free! Most of these items are easily completed without the help of an expert. Check out this article for some fall maintenance tips!

Nov – How to Prepare Real Estate in Sherwood Park for the Holidays!

The holidays have a funny way of sneaking up on you. November and December tend to fly by without warning. So, it is important to prepare your real estate in Sherwood Park for the holidays as early as you can. Especially, if you are planning to host guests and holiday events. From deep cleaning to checking that the essentials are in order, it is crucial that you get a head start on the holiday season. In this article, I went over the best tips for preparing your home for the holidays!

Contact Me About Properties in Edmonton!

Properties in Edmonton are a great investment for the new year. I’d like to thank all of my clients for another wonderful year in the Edmonton real estate market. For more information on selling or buying homes, contact me today. I’d be happy to answer any questions you have about how to achieve your real estate goals in 2023. Feel free to reach out to me at any time! Be sure to check back next month for more real estate-related information. I look forward to working with you in the near future.

Happy holidays everyone!