In Need of Mortgage Advice?

Fri, 29 Dec by edmontonhomepros

5 Tips for Finding the Right Mortgage Professional for Your Needs

Finding the perfect Edmonton home is only the first step in the journey towards home ownership. The next step is a financial one and comes with many questions: Is the home being bought with cash or is a mortgage needed? Will the buyer be using a mortgage broker or going to a bank? If those questions don’t have definitive answers then maybe it’s time to turn to a mortgage professional for help. Here are five things to think about when searching for the right mortgage professional.

Talk to Recent Homeowners about Their Experience

Some people have negative experiences when buying a home, but most of them loved the team they assembled and would recommend them to anybody who asked. One of the best ways to find a mortgage professional is to talk to friends and family members who have bought a home in the last few years about their experience. It’s the easiest way to get honest feedback and everybody who loved their Edmonton mortgage professional will be more than eager to share that information.

Meet with a Wide Variety of Professionals

The best way to get to know somebody is to meet face to face. Websites, ads and personal recommendations can only reveal so much about a person and nobody can know how much they connect until meeting firsthand. Make sure not to jump the gun and settle after the first meeting, it’s important to talk to as many professionals as possible to make sure the right choice is being made.

Ask for a History of Lenders They do Business With

Mortgage brokers receive a fee from the bank or financial institution where the mortgage is set up. This is to be expected but it can lead to a broker giving preferential treatment to a lender that gives out a larger fee. A professional who does business with many different banks will probably look out for the client’s interest more than one who only does business with one or two financial institutions.

Look for a Professional with Years of Experience

The real estate market across Canada has gone through a massive boom in the last ten years, which resulted in plenty of people switching their professional focus to capitalize on the increased work. This is why mortgage brokers are so popular across the country now, which has benefits and drawbacks. The benefit is that the buyer has more choice.

Make Sure They Have Experience in the Community

Make sure any mortgage broker is local and has experience in the community, just because it’s the buyer’s first time doesn’t mean it should be their broker’s first time. Buying a new home can be scary and stressful, but if you’re surrounded by the right team it can be the seamless experience that other people brag about.

Getting to Know the Types of Condos… Yes there’s more than one!

Fri, 22 Dec by edmontonhomepros

Bare Land vs Conventional Condos

The term “bare land condo” may be unfamiliar to you, so first let’s break the two definitions down, as defined by the Condominium Property Act.

  • Conventional Condos are what come to mind when most people think of a condominium. It’s an apartment-style structure where each unit is the private domain of its owner. The boundaries of the unit are the walls, floors and ceiling, and the owner claims the area within these boundaries. Outside of that individual unit, the entire building is considered “common property,” owned by the owners of all the units. Real Property Reports are usually not drawn up for conventional condos. Instead, a Condominium Plan serves as a survey of the entire complex of condominiums. While the owner of a unit is responsible for the interior boundaries of his/her unit, he/she also shares the common responsibility for the entire complex, along with other unit owners.
  • Bare Land Condominiums are actually defined by the size of the lot the building is situated on. A bare land condo, like freehold land, is identified by a Real Property Report from a surveyor, which will include the structure, landscaping, yard and garage. Like a conventional condo, areas outside of the free-standing structure are common property owned by all unit owners. In other words, a bare land condo isn’t much different from a house or duplex, since the real property includes the entire lot and not just the structure itself. In fact, a single-family house can be considered a bare land condominium.

As part of an entire condominium community, restrictions will apply to a bare land condominium; an owner doesn’t have carte blanche to do whatever he/she might want with the property. Bare land condominiums do have the advantage of enhanced privacy, however, and usually have lower condo association fees. In addition, builders can build units on an on-demand basis rather than having to wait until the entire complex is near completion before any units can be sold.

Condominiums offer a real attraction for many property owners, especially busy professionals who may not have the time to commit to yard work, maintenance, repair work and everything else that goes along with owning a conventional home.

You Ask, We Answer: When is the Right Time to Upgrade to a Larger Home

Mon, 27 Nov by edmontonhomepros

Upgrading to a Larger Home – Are you ready?

Many homebuyers face the question of size when looking for their next home. Do they downsize, stay the same, or upgrade to a larger home? To help answer this question, here are some factors to take into consideration when determining if you should upgrade to a larger home.

 

Affordability

With larger homes come more financial responsibility. Typically larger homes will come with a larger mortgage, repair/maintenance, utilities, and insurance payments as well as increased property taxes. Are you ready financially for these larger expenses? Take into account these estimated expenses when going over your household budget. Remember, ideally you’ll want to be able to maintain a comfortable quality of life and still be able to save for the future when these larger expenses are taken into account with your budget.

 

Down Payments

There is a need in most cases during the property buying process to make a down payment and to pay for closing costs. You should include these expenses in your estimations while keeping in mind that selling the existing property and accessing equity will yield most or all of the funds that are needed to make a new purchase. Working with a real estate professional and a mortgage broker will help you to get more information about these two factors before making a sound financial decision.

 

When the time is right for you to upgrade to a larger home, you should consider working with an experienced real estate agent to sell your existing property and help you in the process of buying a new home.

The Scoop on Home Inspections

Mon, 13 Nov by edmontonhomepros

A home inspection, while not required in all areas, should be an indispensable part of your home buying or selling process. It is worth the cost up front to save you money and headaches down the road.

What a Home Inspection Entails

A home inspector will provide a thorough inspection of the home’s interior and exterior to alert you to any damage that may cause potential problems in the future. He or she will look at the house as a whole and evaluate how the different components work together and affect each other. The inspector will identify any areas that need repairs or are unsafe and advise you on what your next steps should be.

Benefits for a Home Buyer

When you are purchasing a home, you want to know that it is going to be safe for you and your family for many years to come. Obviously, you don’t want to buy a home that is rotting from the inside out. A home inspector can alert you to issues that are minor right now but could potentially become much more serious in the future. Purchasing a home is a major decision. The results of the inspection may lead you to reconsider buying a particular house if it is likely to have a lot of problems in the future. It can protect you from huge unexpected expenses.

Benefits for a Home Seller

If you are the one selling the home, it is a good idea to request a home inspection prior to listing your home on the market. Potential buyers of your home are likely to have an inspection done, and you don’t want there to be any surprises. If there are issues with the house, buyers may rescind their offers or make offers only on the condition that you repair the problems before they finalize the purchase. It is better if you know about any problems in advance. An inspection gives you the opportunity to make sure the house is in its best possible condition when buyers start coming to look at it. This will streamline the purchasing process and make potential buyers feel much more confident that your home is the right choice for them.

When you are ready to buy or sell a home, or have any questions regarding home inspections, get in touch!

Why Use a REALTOR®?

Mon, 06 Nov by edmontonhomepros

Why a Realtor Streamlines the Process of Selling Your Home

So, it is time to move onwards and upwards in life and move house! Moving is a dynamic process that involves much more than a simple transaction. From marketing to proper evaluations and inspections, it is advisable to use the services of an experienced professional realtor to make sure everything goes smoothly.

The following challenges are what a professional can help you avoid when selling your home:

Time Spent on Potential Buyers

Selling a home by yourself will be a significant time commitment that should not be underestimated. Perhaps the greatest commitment to your time will be in scheduling and hosting viewings of your property. Are you ready and able to pick up the phone every time you have an inquiry? Are you able to sift out the simply curious from real potential buyers to avoid unnecessary viewings? Realtors are experienced in asking the kind of qualifying questions that sort out the wheat from the chaff. And how many evenings, weekends, and weekday hours are you able to give up to show interested parties your home? You’ll then have to pro-actively follow up on interest after viewings.

Marketing and Valuation

As well as the time involved in doing your own marketing, there are also practical considerations around how successfully you will get the information out there. Yes, you can list your property on various websites and specialist portals that realtors use. However, realtors also have extended networks of active potential buyers that they will reach out to with information on your property, a channel you will almost certainly not have access to.

You would have to be confident that you could realistically value your property correctly if you chose to put your home on the market yourself. Things you may be oblivious to can be widely considered as flaws by potential buyers. A professional realtor has the experience to point those out and suggest small changes which will make your property more attractive.

Negotiating

Realtors are both objective and experienced, having negotiated hundreds or thousands of real estate transactions. They know how to spot the signs a potential buyer has formed an emotional attachment towards your property and how to leverage that to your benefit. They also know how to spot signs of nervousness that might pose a threat to the eventual sale and how best to allay such fears. They won’t make compromises because they have been charmed by a prospective buyer, or behave irrationally because they don’t like them on a personal level.

Avoiding Getting Sued

This is a genuine concern that owners operating without a realtor must be acutely aware of. There is a lot of paperwork involved in the sale of a property. Getting it wrong can at best delay the sale and at worst lead to putting yourself in danger of legal proceedings. Seller’s disclosure is a particular concern. What can be considered a defect, hazard, or nuisance varies depending on where you live. Realtors know exactly what is required of the seller. If a mistake is made, then they have insurance, ensuring that a seller does not personally suffer.

Merry Christmas from Stephen Lau and the Edmonton Home Pros!

Fri, 19 Dec by edmontonhomepros

2014 is coming to a close, but it’s been a great year for the Edmonton Home Pros Real Estate Group and we hope it’s been a fantastic year for you, too! As we head into the holiday season, we hope you’ll have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, spent surrounded by friends and family. Our homes are a central part of the festivities of this season, and now is the time when some of our most treasured memories will be made within our walls. This time of year, we all understand what makes a “house” a “home”.

Stephen Lau Christmas Card 2014

We’d like to thank all our new and returning clients who worked with us this year, and we look forward to working with you again on your next Edmonton real estate transaction, whether it be in 2015 or years in the future. If you are considering buying or selling and Edmonton home in 2015, you can access all the information on our website 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Check out current Edmonton homes for sale, find out more about our buyer and seller services, or book an Edmonton home evaluation and consult for the new year.

Happy Canada Day!

Wed, 25 Jun by edmontonhomepros

Canada Day 2014

Stephen Lau and the Edmonton Home Pros wish you a safe and pleasant Canada Day. If you would like assistance buying or selling your Edmonton property, Sherwood Park real estate home, Leduc real estate house, or your St. Albert house, look no further than the Edmonton Home Pros. Contact Stephen Lau and his team today. 

Easter Greetings

Wed, 16 Apr by edmontonhomepros

Wishing You The Best This Easter

Easter- Edmonton Homes | Stephen Lau

Stephen Lau and the Edmonton Home Pros wish you and your family a joyful Easter weekend.

Now that Spring has arrived in the City of Edmonton and surrounding areas, keep these Realty Executives in mind for all your home buying or home selling needs. They are a professional, knowledgeable, and bilingual real estate team who have helped hundreds of families search for St. Albert real estate homes, move to Edmonton, buy Sherwood Park properties and find Leduc real estate homes. Best of all, they also work in other surrounding areas such as Spruce Grove and Stony Plain!

Start your Spring with a phone call to the Edmonton Home Pros. Depending on your needs, they will provide you with either a free home buyers consultation or a free home evaluation! 

We look forward to becoming your real estate ambassadors.

New Opportunities For You In The Horizon

Thu, 02 Jan by edmontonhomepros

Calgary Commercial Real Estate & New Horizon Mall

There are new opportunities available for you on the horizon! Stephen Lau and the Edmonton Home Pros Team bring you an exclusive opportunity in Canada’s leading Urban city when it comes to overall retail growth— The City of Calgary. Whether you’re a commercial investor, or an entrepreneur seeking your next business venture, this is an excellent investment opportunity for you in the Calgary commercial real estate market.

New Horizons Mall Calgary Commercial Real Estate
The New Horizon Mall is a revolutionary shopping centre catered to Calgary’s multicultural population. This centre will seamlessly blend Asian retail, businesses, and food with a contemporary Western design. Over 500 upscale Asian retail businesses and oriental-themed entertainment venues shall be found here— making New Horizon the first mall of its kind in Alberta! The mall is situated North of Calgary across from CrossIron Mills and is a mere 20 minutes from Downtown Calgary. Opening day is scheduled in late 2016 with groundbreaking commencing in 2014.

Unlike other commercial spaces in Calgary, New Horizon contains a unique financial structure. All of the commercial real estate spaces inside the mall operate as individual commercial condo units. Which means you can buy a commercial condo inside New Horizon and open your own boutique store, or you can lease the unit to a Calgary retailer— making this the best mutually beneficial investment opportunity for you!

If you would like more information on this exclusive Calgary Commercial real estate opportunity, contact Stephen Lau and the Edmonton Home Pros. Alternatively, you can soon learn more about New Horizon Mall and the commercial real estate opportunities on our website. Real estate investment is extremely rewarding and one of the best financial decisions you can make. So take the plunge into Calgary’s commercial real estate market.

Seasons Greetings!

Wed, 18 Dec by edmontonhomepros

Happy Holidays & All The Best In 2014

The Edmonton Home Pros Team would like to wish you a festive Holiday Season filled with joy and among great company. We also wish you the very best this New Year. May 2014 be your best year yet! Set high goals for yourself this year and you will be amazed with what you can accomplish.

Seasons Greetings from Stephen Lau
If one of your goals is to buy an Edmonton real estate home, contact Stephen Lau and the Edmonton Home Pros Team. We will listen to your needs, wants, and budget then work with you to find the perfect Edmonton property to call home. This Homebuyers Consultation is available to you at no cost!

If you’re interested in placing your Edmonton home on the market, feel free to contact us! Allow us to assess what your home is worth and advise you on selling your Edmonton property. Then, through our extensive Edmonton network, we will maximize your home’s exposure and find you the right buyer!

The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.
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