I have had the privilege of working with dozens of Calgary home buyers in my career, and there are some tips and suggestions that have been constant for everyone I have worked with. Here are my top 5 suggestions/tips for buyers:
1) Talk with your Calgary mortgage professional
Before you run around seeing homes and get your heart set on a particular dream home, make sure you can afford it. Sitting down with a Calgary mortgage professional is absolutely the first step in buying a home. What the home will REALLY cost you is something you need to understand before you venture out into the market. This will also help define the search that a Calgary Real Estate Agent and REALTOR® will setup for you. There is no point in viewing $500,000 homes when your ceiling is $400,000.
2) Take time to plan
This is something that I think is often overlooked in the home buying process. Buyers get excited after they understand what they can afford, and want to get right at it. I have seen hundreds of hours in my career as a Calgary REALTOR® that could have been better spent had the clients sat down and created a plan. Key components of this plan include neighbourhoods, price, schools, home size, and nice-to-haves vs. show-stoppers. This won’t take long, and you you’ll most likely receive assistance with this from your Real Estate Agent.
3) See as many homes as needed
I have had clients walk into the first home they see and buy it, and I have had clients see 70+ homes before making a decision. Everyone is on their own journey. Make sure you see a good cross-section of what is available in the Calgary market prior to making a decision. You may not be seeing anything that overtakes what you currently have ranked as #1 on your list, but you could very well be confirming your decision. Take your time.
4) Keep notes
I provide all my clients with an iPad to take notes on during their tour. The iPad is loaded up with all the properties we are going to see, and the client is able to insert notes onto each individual listing. At the end of the tour, the client is able to email themselves a PDF of the tour booklet. You will most likely see several properties before buying one, and many of these properties will start to blur together. It is very important that you keep good records of what you are seeing to help make your decision.
5) Do your due diligence
If you work with a Calgary Real Estate Agent and REALTOR®, chances are they will point you in the right direction when you have a need for a qualified professional. Usually a Real Estate Agent will have suggestions for good property inspectors, lawyers, and other professionals you might need along the way. If you are buying a condominium, make sure you have the condominium documents reviewed by a qualified professional. This is critical. If you are buying any property, make sure you have a property inspection. This is also critical. It is the buyer’s responsibility to perform their own due diligence when buying a property…..your Real Estate Agent will play a large role in helping you with this.
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