Top tips for Home Buyers (First Time) in Calgary 

If you’re not into reading articles, but the headline caught your attention, feel free to give us a call 587-578-7653 to get matched with a top REALTOR in Calgary who can provide free real estate advice and answer any questions you may have as a buyer, we have agents who specialize in assisting first time home buyers, investors, move ups, and much more.

first time home buyers in Calgary

If you’re a first time home buyer who’s looking for a few tips on the process of buying a home, we’ve put together 10 tips that you must read before you start the home buying process. 

  1. Don’t settle with your bank for a mortgage.

    There are many options out there when it comes to your mortgage options, book an appointment with both your bank you do business with and a mortgage broker as well, they have access to many markets including the big banks, and you’ll have more available options, potentially discovering better terms, rates, and options for your mortgage needs. 
  2. Create a budget.

    Sure you may get approved to buy a $900,000 home between you and your spouse, but if you’re jet setters who are never home, have no kids or family living with you, and spend more time outdoors, a large home may not be what you need or truly can afford. Consider all the potential new costs you may incur, from property taxes and insurance, to utilities and renovations, there could be a number of new costs that can add up, these can quickly deplete your finances leaving you house broke or unable to make mortgage payments. Setting a budget will give you confidence in your purchase and allow you to plan for the future. Pro tip: For home insurance, call your insurance company and ask for a ball park quote, provide them with details similar to what you’re shopping for and see what their pricing comes in around, if it’s really high, shop around and consider bundling your home and auto insurance for further discounts. 
  3. If you’re buying new, hire a REALTOR.

    You won’t pay for the professional advice, and the agent will be able to give you assistance in all aspects of the deal, from negotiating the right price, to giving advice on upgrades that may or may not be worthwhile from the builder. The sales staff at show homes are exactly that, staff of the builder, and are not compelled by the same code of ethics and rules that licensed REALTORS in Calgary are. A quick example of how one of our agents recently saved clients thousands of dollars on their last transaction with a builder, they initially visited with a builder in Calgary and were ready to sign on the dotted line for their new home, deposit and all ready to go, in most instances if you don’t have an agent with you on the first visit to a showroom they cannot represent you in the deal or be compensated by the builder for their work, and this was the case for the deal, but the buyer didn’t know this and our agent didn’t want to leave them on a lonely island to navigate the deal themselves, and while the builder wouldn’t pay them for their services, the agent on our team did agree to review the deal and contract and give advice. What the buyer didn’t know, and wasn’t informed about was that this builder almost never includes specific appliances (mainly the washer and dryer in their deals) The buyer had walked the show home and seen all that they thought was included minus the decor and furniture, but all appliances were in the house, but not on the contract, and the agent notified them about this and a few other minor elements that they had stated that were important to them (to ask when landscaping would be completed, etc) and once the clients discovered that the washer and dryer weren’t included, they asked for them to be and the builder wasn’t willing to negotiate this in, the buyers being on the upper part of their buying limits, wouldn’t have been able to afford these, and would have taken possession of a home without these appliances. Our agent then reached out to a builder they worked with in the area who they knew had a property that was very similar that had just become available, they brought these clients to this home, and they were even more excited about this layout and property, and that builder did include all appliances, and the agent knowing that the builder needed to move this property was able to negotiate an even better deal for their clients. This may not always happen, and your deal may be smooth without an agent, but having professional advice and representation is likely to always make your home buying experience better in every aspect.
  4. Determine what you’re looking for.

    Is a condominium what you want? Townhome, or single family detached property more up your alley? Talk with you agent about the benefits of each, and why one may or may not be better for your current and future plans. Don’t be afraid to be open and honest with them, they’re here to ensure your needs are 
  5. Get setup on a custom home search!

    Once you’ve figured out what you’re looking for, be ready to get the latest Calgary listings right into your inbox as soon as they hit the market, don’t miss out on the perfect property waiting for your agent to make suggestions or by browsing their website every other day.
  6. It’s important what office your agent works with.

    If you haven’t read the news, the real estate industry is dynamic, but at times can be volatile, and you should always consider the brokerage that your agent is with. There’s a big difference between them, from how files are conveyed, to their financing, how much exposure homes are given via brokerage and franchise marketing, and various other offerings for buyers and sellers. 
  7. Obtain a home Inspection.

    We write about this topic all the time, and our stance will always be the same, a home inspection as an overall cost is pretty minimal considering the investment you’re putting into a property, from infrared image, moisture detection, and the ability to spot things you may not have, it’s a worthwhile investment into your own peace of mind. For first time home buyers, we definitely recommend using the home inspection as a time to also learn about your potential new home, the way certain appliances may run or shut off valves for them, vent locations, age of appliances, hot water tank, furnace, and many other nuances that are often unknown by first time home buyers.
    Closing costs are important to note, you should be saving roughly $200 - $800 for a home inspection, $800 - $2,500+ for legal fees, 
  8. Condo buyers | What does it mean to own a condominium?

    Many of our first time buyers are shocked at the amount of details that are covered in condominium ownership, from how you’re purchasing into a condominium corporation, to voting, condo document reviews, reserve studies, board meetings, condominium fees, special assessments, the list is not short and having an agent who knows how to navigate the ins and outs of condominium ownership will be greatly beneficial to helping you navigate the Calgary condominium market. - Utilize our quick hot search for Calgary Condominiums for Sale by clicking the highlighted text.


  9. Consider what you say at open houses.

    We’ve written an extensive Calgary Open house blog that details how to find them but more importantly what to be aware of in them. Don’t give up valuable information that could cost you thousands of dollars in your negotiation to purchase a home!
    blog that details how to find them but more importantly what to be aware of in them. Don’t give up valuable information that could cost you thousands of dollars in your negotiation to purchase a home! 
  10. Be patient.

    This is likely to be one the biggest purchases you’ll ever make, avoid buyers remorse and be 100% confident in your decisions, take your time, get comfortable, ask your agents any and every question you can think of, and be prepared to walk away from a home if it doesn’t fit your budget. Remember, there are homes that hit the market which are priced very well and sometimes below market value, these typically won’t last long, especially in lower price ranges, be prepared to wrap your head around moving fast on a home, when it hits the market, there are certain properties you should see as soon as possible, and be ready to make an offer if it’s what you’re looking for. 

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Posted by Cody Tritter on
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