Congratulations! You’re ready to buy your first home in Calgary. The real estate market in Canada has been seeing record highs, but Alberta is still one of the most inexpensive provinces to buy a home. Whether it’s a home close to the mountains or a new condo in Southeast Calgary, we want to help you take the first proper steps on your home buying journey.
Get to Know Calgary Communities
Calgary is the third-largest city in Canada, but it’s not all urban! The Rocky Mountains are only an hour away (or closer depending on where in the city you choose to buy your home), not to mention the two rivers (Bow and Elbow) that flow through the city. The community versatility in Calgary makes it a great place to find a unique area to meet your lifestyle. Calgary is divided into four quadrants: northwest, northeast, southwest, and southeast. As Calgary continues to grow, the center of the city shifts, but there is also a downtown core that is home to business and residential areas. Certain parts of Calgary have a more industrial footprint than others, and the University of Calgary is located in the middle of Calgary’s northwest. Whether you are looking for a golfing community, a family-friendly area, or exciting nightlife, it’s all there for you in Calgary. Search our community list to find out more information. (Link to communities)
Home Buying Incentives
First-time home buyers can take advantage of federal incentives. The First-Time Home Buyer Incentive is available for qualified homebuyers and is meant to reduce monthly payments. It is a shared-equity mortgage with the Government of Canada. It means homebuyers won’t have to have a significant down payment associated with smaller mortgage fees. People who take advantage of the incentive will have to pay back, so look at their detailed website.
First-time buyers can also withdraw up to $35,000 from RRSPs tax-free to purchase their first home through the Home Buyers’ Plan. There are conditions; check out the Government of Canada website for all details.
If you haven’t already, apply for a pre-approved mortgage. Right now, home buyers will have to get their finances stress-tested, and the benchmark is 5.25%. A pre-approved mortgage will allow buyers to know exactly what is in their budget for a more focused search. Also, remember that budgets should account for moving fees, utility set-up fees, and even some furnishing fees. There are also fees for appraisals, title insurance, closing fees, etc.
Take Your Time
Buying a home is very exciting, especially buying your first home, but there is no need to rush any decisions. A few months ago in Calgary, home buyers felt the pressure to forego home inspections due to the competing offers in a hot market. That is never recommended. Now that the market is cooling down, there’s less of a worry that buyers will lose their “perfect home” to someone willing to overlook an inspection. When buying such a large purchase as a home, buyers should have any information before making any final decisions.
If you’re moving to Calgary from out of town, make sure you have an expert that knows the area. As we mentioned before, a realtor who knows Calgary inside and out will be the best choice to ensure you’re making an informed decision that works best for you and your ideal home.
Contact a Fully-licensed Real Estate Agent
Looking for an experienced REALTOR® who specializes in real estate across Calgary? At Royal LePage Benchmark we are here to help you.