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Home buying advice for Calgary, Alberta residents by Justin Havre & Associates.

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Home buying advice for Calgary, Alberta residents by Justin Havre & Associates.

Questions You Should Ask Your Real Estate AgentYou've been saving for a down payment, planning to buy your first home, and now it's time to pick a real estate agent. As a homebuyer, you want to pick a fair and honest agent and protect your financial interests. Buying a home is likely one of the largest investments you'll make, and it's important to choose a real estate agent whom you can trust to get the job done right, with your best interests in mind.

When choosing a real estate agent, here are 10 questions that you should ask them before you sign on the dotted line.

For informational purposes only. Always consult with a licensed real estate professional before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

What Homebuyers Should Ask Their Agents

  1. How long have you been in real…

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Types of MortgagesLooking to buy a new home? Buying a home is a big financial commitment. Potential homebuyers must understand what's involved with getting a mortgage. For example, there are different rates, amortization periods, and potential penalties to consider. Discussing options with a mortgage broker or bank is a good starting point. Which one is the best? Well, it all depends. Here's a brief overview of the different types of mortgages and how they differ from each other.

For informational purposes only. Always consult with a licensed mortgage or home loan professional before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

Types of Mortgages

Open Mortgage

Lets buyers pay off debt whenever they want, without what's known as a prepayment penalty. This…

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Why You Should Hire a Real Estate AgentBuying or selling a home is a big investment, financially and emotionally. While For Sale By Owner (FSBO) may seem cheaper, there are many benefits to hiring a real estate agent that you miss out on when managing the sale on your own. Overall, real estate agents aid in the reduction of stress throughout the whole process. Hiring a real estate agent also gives you the advantage of selling your home competently and professionally.

Here are 10 reasons why you should use a real estate agent when buying or selling a house:

For informational purposes only. Always consult with a licensed real estate professional before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

Market Timing

Real estate agents know the housing market, and they know the best time…

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How to Lower Your DTI to Get the Loan of Your DreamsThe debt-to-income (DTI) ratio is not the only number that lenders use to decide on a candidate, but it is an important tool that can augment the buyer's credit score. Unfortunately, even those with impeccable credit may still miss out on their dream home if their debt levels are too high. Find out more about how to calculate the ratio and what it takes to make it a little more palatable to lenders.

For informational purposes only. Always consult with an attorney, tax, or financial advisor before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

The Golden Ratio

DTI is calculated by debts to income. These debts include the following:

  • Credit card debt
  • Car loans
  • Student loans
  • Mortgage payments
  • Official home fees (e.g., condo, HOA,…

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Home Architectural Styles for Home Buyers in CanadaCanadian homes may be built in all different architectural styles. Mahogany home buyers seeking a home that matches their personality should be aware of all these styles. Knowing which kinds of homes are out there and available can help you decide which type of home is right for your personality. Once you know the types you like, you can focus on those homes in neighbourhoods where you would like to make a home purchase.

Victorian

The Victorian era lasted from sometime in the mid-19th century up to the beginning of the 20th century. Homes constructed at that time were generally multiple storeys high, made up of many rooms and laid out in an asymmetrical shape. Today, these homes are often easily identified because of their elaborate shingles,…

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What You Need to Know About Mortgage Interest RatesWhen purchasing a new Auburn Bay home, buyers have a lot of things they need to keep in mind - one of which is their finances. Interest rates can vary wildly depending on choices the buyer makes, and those interest rates can add a lot of extra costs to what they’re already paying. Before settling on the type of loan a buyer wants, they need to understand interest and what affects it.

For informational purposes only. Always consult with a licensed mortgage or home loan professional before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

How Interest is Determined

When someone purchases a home, they first put a down payment on it. This down payment can be anywhere from 5-20%, and it exists to build equity and provide proof to the lender the new…

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What Types of Real Estate Can I Invest In?A real estate investment doesn't just mean buying a residential property and then renting it out. Those who want to enter this market should know that they have plenty of options available, and most of them don't include being a full-time landlord. Regardless of how much spare money or time a person has, it's likely they can find a real estate investment that works for them. Learn more about what it takes to jump in the game.

For informational purposes only. Always consult with a licensed real estate professional before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

Quick Refresher

Property terms are complex, and it's impossible to share them all in one article. However, there are a few that investors should note from right off the bat:

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What Parking Options Are Available in Calgary?Did you know that there are a million registered vehicles on the streets of Calgary? That's a crazy number of cars, trucks, SUVs and mini-vans on the road, and of course, all one million of these vehicles need parking spots. We love to drive but hate looking for parking. If you're shopping for a condo and have one or more cars, adequate parking is just as important as the number of bathrooms. Here's what you might expect when considering a purchase in a multi-family development or condo tower:

In A Parking Lot Or Underground

Condo and townhome developments on the outer fringes of Calgary and suburban neighbourhoods most often have a parking lot, also called surface parking, which is not as secure as underground parking which is typically…

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Myths about Millennials and Home BuyingMillennials are different from other consumers. Their behaviors and priorities are different from Gen Xers, Boomers, and all who came before them. If you're a Millennial, you might be curious to know that there are many myths and rumors around the Millennial home buying process and habits. Knowing the reality of Millennial home buyers can help you decide whether you're ready to enter the real estate market.

For informational purposes only. Always consult with a licensed real estate professional before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

Myth 1: Millennials Only Want to Live in the City

Many Millennials start off their professional life living in the city. They're attracted to the city by the job prospects, the convenience, and the…

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Everything You Need to Know About Buying a Plot of LandBuying an empty plot of land is very different from buying an existing home. The mortgage process is different, and of course, choosing the property can be different as well. When buying a plot of land, it's helpful to know in advance what you're looking for, and what your priorities are. Doing extensive research and working with an experienced real estate agent can help. Here's what you need to know.

For informational purposes only. Always consult with a licensed real estate professional before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

Challenges to Expect When Buying Land

Buying land isn't usually as competitive as buying an existing home, but it does come with its own challenges.

Securing a Mortgage

Securing a mortgage for an…

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