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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. 


Closing Costs to Consider When Buying Edmonton South Real Estate

There are often more costs associated with buying a home than meets the eye. Unfortunately, when you purchase a home, it’s not just the house you have to pay for—there are an assortment of closing costs that must be paid before the home is officially yours. If you are a first-time home buyer, you may not be aware of what closing costs are or what they include. To help you out, I have created a list of typical closing costs associated with buying Edmonton South real estate. In addition, I included an overview of what closing costs are and an estimate of how much you can expect to pay. Follow along below to learn more about closing costs in Edmonton!

What Are Closing Costs in Real Estate?

After years of saving, you’ve finally gathered enough cash to put a down payment on a home. You’re overjoyed with your purchase, and possession day is rapidly approaching. But, amid your excitement, you find out that you need to pay closing costs. What are they? And, how much do they cost? 

Closing costs for homes in Edmonton depend on a few different factors. However, generally speaking, it is best to set aside two percent of your purchase price to cover these additional fees. Typically, closing costs are the expenses that are incurred outside of the property’s price that buyers and sellers must pay in order to complete a transaction. These costs might include, appraisal fees, title insurance, lawyer fees, taxes, home inspections, and more. It is important to note that both buyers and sellers can be subject to closing costs. 

Although it is not a closing cost per se, buyers should also be aware that if they do not put 20% down on the purchase price, they will need to pay for default mortgage insurance. This can add an extra 1.25 to 3.15 percent to your total mortgage amount. However, this is usually factored into your mortgage payments. Either way, be sure to keep this in mind when forming your budget. 


The Buyer’s Closing Costs for Edmonton South Real Estate

  1. Legal Costs

When buying a home, a real estate lawyer will generally be needed to facilitate the transaction of the home purchase. Your lawyer will provide you with title insurance and make sure that all documents pertaining to your new residence are registered on your behalf. In Edmonton, the cost of your legal fees will vary depending on your unique circumstances. Generally, most homeowners expect to pay between $500 and $2,000. 

  1. Property Insurance

Typically, mortgage brokers will require that you can provide proof of property insurance to cover the value of your home and belongings. This value varies from homeowner to homeowner.

  1. Home Inspection

A home inspection is a step that you don’t want to skip as a buyer. It can prevent you from investing in a residence which will only cause you headaches down the road. Most buyers budget between $250 and $600—the lower end being for smaller homes, and the higher end being for larger homes.  

  1. Moving 

Once the house is in your name, it’s time to pack up and settle in. You’ll want to factor in items like moving supplies, vehicle rental, hiring movers, professional cleaning fees, utility setup costs, and other moving day expenses. This cost is different for everyone, so evaluate your scenario and make a budget that matches your needs. 

  1. Property Appraisal

In some cases, your mortgage broker may ask that you have a property appraisal done to get the most up-to-date information about the value of your new property. This usually costs between $300 and $600.

  1. Adjustment Fees

If the seller paid any costs for utilities or property taxes extending beyond the closing date, then you will be required to pay the seller for those amounts. These costs are specific to each real estate transaction. 

Contact me Today!

Closing your first home purchase is extremely exciting. But, it is important to stay focused until the transaction is complete. Contact me today to learn more about the closing costs involved with buying or selling Edmonton South real estate. 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. 

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. 

sherwood park first time buyer advice

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.