Whether you’re about to be a first-time home buyer, or if you’re looking to downsize, or even if you’re thinking about spreading your snowbird wings, we have tips for you, the diverse Calgary home buyer!
The First-Time Home Buyer:
Before jumping into a new investment, don’t be afraid to start small. A starter home might be just right for you, and will keep you from getting in over your head with a large mortgage payment. If you already have a budget in mind, try living with it for 6 months prior to buying a property. You may be considering a fixer-upper, but keep in mind that these are not always as successful of an investment as the TV shows make it seem. You may need to invest up to $100,000 dollars in home improvements before you can expect a worth-while return, while some properties, like condominiums, generally don’t offer significant return-on-investment at all. If you’re considering a flip, talk to your Calgary real estate agent, who will be able to help you conduct a cost-benefit analysis.
The Downsizer / Condo Buyer:
Whether you’re an empty-nester looking to downsize, or a busy professional who prefers the low-maintenance lifestyle, a condo might be just right for you. When you purchase a condo, you often have the benefit of central locations close to a variety of community amenities, in addition to a wonderful collection of building amenities. Often, you’ll be able to walk to shops, services, and have great access to transit, while the building may offer inclusions such as a clubhouse/social room and fitness center. Another bonus of living in a Calgary condominium is the building maintenance and upkeep. You won’t have to shovel snow, repair the room, or paint the exterior! If you’ve found a particular building you’re interested in, do some research to see how reliable the board and management company is at maintenance and repairs, along with addressing concerns from current residents. You can ask to review the past meeting minutes from previous board meetings to get a feel of the building’s management.
The Upgrading Home Buyer:
You might have a growing family that is simply outgrowing your beloved family home, or you might just be ready for a more upscale home; if you’re upgrading your home, it’s important to remember that you’re also signing up for an upgraded mortgage. Like we recommended with new home buyers, sticking to a new budget for 6 months before making a new investment will help you determine whether or not you feel comfortable with the new payment plan. While you’re off looking at different properties, don’t forget about your old home – now is the time to prepare it for sale, through repairs, renovations and beautifications. You’ll want to make sure you can get as much equity out of it as possible.
The Second Home Home Buyer:
If you’re a home buyer who is looking to purchase a second home, here are some tips for you. A condominium purchase is a great bet - while you’re at your primary home, you’ll be able to enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your vacation property's building is locked and often coded, in addition to your individual unit being locked. Buildings often have security and surveillance cameras to protect your home. But don't forget: despite these security measures, you still need to have liability insurance, just in case a pipe bursts while you’re away! If you’re looking to buy your second home in Canada, waterfront properties providing plenty of recreational options are the soundest investment. These types of homes are in constant demand and will retain their value, year after year. Snowbirds drawn south of the border will be interested in knowing that Florida’s Canadian home buyer base peaked in 2011 with 31% of home buyers being from Canada. If you’re looking for a home away from home, be sure to work with an agent who is familiar with international buyers, so you can avoid any law or tax issues.
Please contact us at 403-253-7774 if you have any questions or would like some free Calgary real estate advice. We’d love to hear from you!
Krista Kehoe, Calgary real estate agent & REALTOR®