Tag Archive for: edmonton real estate advice

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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. 

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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. 

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Want to Buy Houses in Sherwood Park then here are 5 Goals to set in 2023

Happy new year everyone! 2023 is finally here and we are excited to bring you this year’s content. If you have plans of purchasing houses in Sherwood Park in the new year, this article is for you! Buying a home is one of the most challenging and important purchases that a person can make. In addition, buying a home requires extensive planning and lots of prior tasks. In order to make your dream of buying a home come true, it is important to set yourself some goals. In this article, we have listed the top five goals that you should set in 2023 if you are looking to purchase a house.

Continue reading below to learn more to get inspiration for your new year’s resolutions!

Goals to Help you Purchase Houses in Sherwood Park!

  1. Improve your Credit.

Your credit score is a crucial part of the home-buying process. In fact, your credit score can significantly affect the amount of money you pay for a home. Furthermore, it can determine whether or not you qualify for a mortgage. Depending on how good or bad your credit score is, you may need to pay a larger down payment and get charged higher interest rates on your loan. If homebuying is a near-future goal for you, then we recommend you start taking the necessary steps to raise your credit score. 

You can improve your credit rating by doing simple tasks every month. For instance, lowering your monthly spending, paying dues on time, eliminating debt, and not opening or closing credit accounts. Additionally, you’ll want to avoid applying for things that require a hard inquiry. Keep up to date with your score by checking your credit report via a credit bureau or by a creditor.

  1. Pay off Debt.

The amount of debt you carry will also significantly impact your ability to purchase a home. Not only does debt affect your credit score, but it also affects the size of the mortgage loan you can acquire. Most mortgage lenders will want to see a debt-to-income ratio of 40% or lower. Anything higher than 50% generally prevents you from attaining a loan with better interest rates. Focus on one payment at a time and make minimum payments on other cards or loans while you work to pay off debt. 

  1. Avoid Big Purchases!

If buying a home is your main goal in 2023, then we suggest that you avoid making large purchases. This means no vacations, no new cars, and anything else that is non-essential. Making an effort to reduce spending will help fast-track your way to buying a home. 

More Goals!

  1. Save for a Downpayment.

Any person who is planning on buying a home should have “saving for a down payment” as their number one priority. Downpayments are one of the most challenging and tedious processes of buying a home. It takes lots of planning and effort in order to wrangle the funds for a down payment on a home. Moreover, the larger your down payment is, the more you’ll save in the long run on interest and insurance. In order to successfully save for a downpayment, it is important to budget each month, spend less, and find resources like grants in your local area for first-time home buyers!

  1. Don’t Start a New Job!

Many people make the mistake of switching jobs when they are looking to purchase a home. Especially at the beginning of the year when most people have new year’s resolutions to improve their lifestyle or change their career path. While it might seem like common sense that a higher-paying job would make you look better at a lender’s office, it’s not necessarily true. In reality, most lenders require you to be at your current job for a specific amount of time in order to prove financial stability. However, if a job change is absolutely necessary, there are steps you can take to mitigate risk. For example, staying in the same field or providing proof of a four-year degree in a similar field. 

Contact Me Today!

For more information about what new year’s resolutions, you should consider setting as a first-time buyer, contact me today! I would be happy to help you set the right goals to buy houses in Sherwood Park in 2023. If you have any questions about buying or selling a home in the new year don’t hesitate to reach out. Be sure to check back on my blog each month for more real estate-related information. For now, happy new year’s everyone! I look forward to working with you all in 2023.

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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

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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!

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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. So, it makes sense if you get protective during the selling process. 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’d like to first answer some common questions that I get asked during the selling process. For instance, what areas to focus on when preparing your home for sale? How to correctly price your home for sale? And, what are your commissions like? Follow along below to learn all of the answers to these questions. 

Edmonton Real Estate Agent On Preparing Your Home For Sale.

In my experience with sellers, most questions usually pertain to what could be done inside the property prior to listing. Everyone is always focused on what they can do in order to guarantee top dollar during the selling process. However, there isn’t a blanket answer to this question. Oftentimes, there is a very specific answer for each home. Although, in general, the answers I provide are typically geared toward maximizing the current space available. This is most easily solved by decluttering and deep cleaning the home. Some of the biggest areas to pay attention to are closets, countertops, the kitchen, and cupboards. These are areas that prospective buyers always look at! The ability to show that your home has more than enough room is always key in making a good first impression. 

How to Prep Your Home For Sale? 

When preparing for your showing, ensure that there are as few items as possible on your countertops. In the kitchen this means putting away unused appliances, emptying your dish rack, and removing random knick-knacks. Your kitchen countertop(s) should have nothing but the essentials on them. The same thing applies to bathroom countertops. Only soap and a hand towel should be present on your bathroom countertops. Everything else can be neatly organized in the cabinets. 

Another great trick to make it seem like there is more storage in your home is to pack up all of the items you don’t use that are in your closet(s). For example, if you are selling your home during the summer, pack away all of your winter clothing and put it in storage. This will make your closet appear much emptier and give sellers the impression that there is plenty of space. 

Additionally, it might be worth it to reorganize your cupboards and pantry. Buyers often will open cupboard doors, and having them neat and tidy makes a much better first impression. You can find affordable organizers at your local dollar store or department store to help with this.

Pricing Your Home Correctly.

The second question that I often receive from sellers is about finding the right price for their home. In this game, the longer you sit, the riskier selling your home becomes. For instance,  your property may begin to appear stale, dated, and/or look like something is wrong with the home—even when it’s not the case.  In every listing appointment, I touch on pricing increments. Additionally, I go over what demographics we can appeal to. Of course, there’s always a “test the market” price that might get a seller a touch more money than they expected. However, in specific markets, it usually makes more sense to price aggressively. Thus, hopefully, sparking a bidding war for the property. In any event, the property usually sells in less time using this tactic. 

Finding the right price is done on a case-by-case analysis. Unfortunately, there isn’t a specific guide on how to price your home correctly. Through in-depth market research, I will be able to help you find a price that works!

My Commissions As An Edmonton Real Estate Agent

Lastly, the biggest question I get from sellers is about commissions. This is a fair question and a necessary component of the selling process. I pride myself on offering amazing, personalized services. Compared to my industry peers, most clients would agree that I am more affordable in many respects. All the while, providing an experience that’s generally more hands-on. Because I’m not the biggest name in Real Estate, I usually work with 50-60 client’s a year and have a better opportunity to treat them like family, rather than a number in a database. To me, the selling process needs to be about more than just getting something sold. Clients looking to sell their homes are a priority to me. This means that I am available to answer their questions at all times during the day. In addition, it means that my relationship with industry colleagues is about respect and professionalism. Clients must have a good idea of who I am, in order to entrust me with selling their homes.  

For more information on selling homes, contact me today. I’d be happy to answer any other questions you have about the selling process. 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.