Edmonton Real Estate and Community News

Feb. 24, 2024

The Differece Between Foreclosure And Judicial Sale

Are you currently in the market for a home in the Edmonton area? Perhaps you've encountered listings indicating that a property is either "In Foreclosure" or a "Judicial Sale"? These properties can present excellent opportunities for buyers seeking to invest in homes with potential for equity growth. However, there are crucial distinctions that buyers should bear in mind when considering these types of properties.

When a property is labeled a "Judicial Sale," it signifies that the sale of the mortgaged property is overseen by the court system. Various reasons may lead to such a scenario, including:

  • Inability to resolve outstanding property debt
  • Insolvency of the borrower/owner
  • Default on mortgage payments with no feasible means to continue
  • Existence of equity in the property after settling mortgage, taxes, and legal fees following an appraisal.

The process of a "Judicial Sale" tends to be more intricate compared to buying a property "In Foreclosure." This complexity stems from factors such as potential occupancy by the seller, involvement of multiple parties (lawyers, banks, realtors, appraisers), adherence to court dates, and procedural requirements. Moreover, courts typically prefer offers, possibly multiple, without contingencies (e.g., Financing, inspection) as once an offer is accepted and stamped by the court, the property is considered sold. However, buyers still have the opportunity to conduct due diligence on the property before submitting an offer, but this must be completed prior to the offer being presented to the courts.

In contrast, when a property is "In Foreclosure" or a "Bank-Owned Foreclosure Sale," the lender has taken possession of the property to recover owed funds. Reasons for a property entering foreclosure may include:

  • Job loss or resignation by the owner
  • Medical conditions preventing the owner from working
  • Unmanageable debt levels and outstanding bills
  • Relocation of the owner to another province or city.

Transactions involving properties "In Foreclosure" typically follow a more straightforward process than "Judicial Sales." Financial institutions often permit due diligence conditions such as Financing and Property Inspection. Additionally, there's no requirement for court dates, providing more certainty regarding closing and possession dates.

While both "Foreclosure" and "Judicial Sale" properties offer potential opportunities for buyers to invest in properties with equity-building potential, it's crucial to note that these properties are sold "As is, where is," without representations or warranties. It's advisable for buyers to review specific clause insertions and deletions within the Residential Purchase Contract with their Realtor, Lawyer, and Mortgage Broker before proceeding with an offer.

Jan. 25, 2024

The true cost of buying a home in Alberta

Buying a home is an exhilarating journey and a significant milestone in life. However, to make this dream a reality, it's crucial to consider more than just the purchase price. Alberta, like any other place, has its unique set of expenses associated with home buying. In this guide, we'll delve into the true costs of purchasing a home in Alberta, helping you navigate through the financial aspects and ensuring a smooth transition into homeownership.

Understanding Additional Costs: When preparing for homeownership on a tight budget, it's essential to be aware of the various expenses beyond the purchase price. Generally, plan on allocating around 2% of the purchase price for additional costs. If your down payment is less than 20%, an additional 2.8% - 4% of the mortgage amount may be added to your overall costs.

Breaking Down Additional Costs: Let's take a closer look at the different components that contribute to the additional costs associated with buying a home in Alberta.

  1. Costs You Always Have to Pay: a. Adjustment costs (Varies, budget for $1000–$2000) b. Legal fees ($1000–$2000) c. Title insurance (around $300) d. Property insurance ($1500 to $3500 at closing, then annually) e. Moving expenses (Varies) f. Utility service charges ($35–$50 per utility)

  2. If You Put Less Than 20% Down: a. Mortgage insurance (Between 2.8%-4% of your mortgage amount)

  3. Costs You May Have to Pay: a. Property appraisal ($300–$500) b. Property survey ($1,000–$2,000) c. Home inspection fee ($350–$600) d. Estoppel certificate fee (up to $100) e. Other costs (decor updates, small renovations, cleaning fees)

  4. If You're Buying a Brand New Build: a. Goods & Services Tax (GST) (5% of the purchase price) b. New Home Warranty ($2,000)

Conclusion: While many of these costs can be rolled into your mortgage, it's crucial to have a clear understanding of the financial implications before embarking on your homebuying journey. Consult with your lender to guide you through the process and help you make informed decisions. By comprehending the real costs associated with buying a house, you can confidently find a home that not only meets your needs but also fits seamlessly into your budget, ensuring a joyful and financially sound homeownership experience.

*Note: The information is based on a 25-year amortization and is subject to change. Always consult with professionals for the most up-to-date and accurate advice.

Posted in Buying a Home
Jan. 11, 2024

Navigating Real Estate Transactions in Edmonton: The Role of Real Estate Lawyers

In the bustling real estate market of Edmonton, Alberta, navigating property transactions can be a complex process filled with legal intricacies. Whether you are a buyer, seller, or investor, having a knowledgeable and experienced real estate lawyer by your side is essential to ensure a smooth and legally sound transaction. In this blog post, we will explore the crucial role of Edmonton real estate lawyers and how they can help you navigate the intricacies of property transactions in the region, including an overview of the average cost associated with their services.

Understanding the Legal Landscape: Real estate transactions involve a multitude of legal processes, from drafting and reviewing contracts to conducting title searches and handling negotiations. Edmonton real estate lawyers specialize in these areas, ensuring that all legal aspects of a property transaction are thoroughly addressed and in compliance with local laws and regulations.

Key Responsibilities of Edmonton Real Estate Lawyers:

  1. Contract Drafting and Review: Real estate lawyers play a pivotal role in the preparation and review of purchase agreements, ensuring that all terms and conditions are fair, clear, and legally binding. They help clients understand the implications of contractual obligations and can negotiate on their behalf to achieve favorable terms.

  2. Title Searches and Due Diligence: One of the crucial steps in any real estate transaction is conducting a thorough title search to verify the property's ownership and identify any potential liens or encumbrances. Edmonton real estate lawyers conduct comprehensive due diligence to protect their clients from unforeseen legal issues that may arise during or after the transaction.
  3. Closing Procedures: Edmonton real estate lawyers guide clients through the closing process, facilitating the transfer of funds, ensuring the proper execution of legal documents, and overseeing the registration of the property in the buyer's name. Their attention to detail helps prevent delays and ensures a seamless closing experience.

  4. Resolving Legal Issues: In the event of legal disputes or issues, real estate lawyers are equipped to provide expert advice and representation. Whether it's resolving boundary disputes, addressing title defects, or handling breach of contract issues, these professionals work to protect their clients' interests and rights.

Average Cost of Edmonton Real Estate Lawyers: The cost of hiring a real estate lawyer in Edmonton can vary depending on factors such as the complexity of the transaction, the lawyer's experience, and the specific services required. On average, clients can expect to pay anywhere from $500 – $2500+ CAD  for legal representation in a standard real estate transaction. It's essential to discuss fees and services with potential lawyers upfront to ensure transparency and avoid any surprises during the process.

Choosing the Right Edmonton Real Estate Lawyer: Selecting the right real estate lawyer is a critical step in any property transaction. Look for professionals with extensive experience in Edmonton's real estate market, a solid understanding of local laws, and a reputation for providing reliable and efficient legal services.

Conclusion: Edmonton real estate lawyers are indispensable partners in the intricate world of property transactions. Their expertise and dedication to ensuring legal compliance and protecting their clients' interests make them essential allies for anyone navigating the dynamic real estate market in Edmonton. Whether you are a first-time homebuyer, a seasoned investor, or a seller, having a trusted real estate lawyer by your side can make all the difference in achieving a successful and legally sound property transaction.

Jan. 11, 2024

Navigating Edmonton's Real Estate Landscape

The Edmonton housing market witnessed a 4.3% decline in the average sale price from $418,713 in 2022 to $400,827 in 2023. Concurrently, the number of sales dropped by 11.4%, shifting from 22,388 in 2022 to 19,825 in 2023. Although currently a balanced market, Edmonton is poised to transition to a sellers' market in 2024, projecting a 4% increase in average residential prices and a 5% decrease in sale transactions.

Anticipated to be the most sought-after neighborhoods in 2024 are Oliver/Downtown, Rutherford/Heritage Valley—a newer development in the deep south perimeter—and Terra Losa, situated north of the West Edmonton Mall. Single-detached homes are expected to experience the highest demand, with a focus on new, denser construction developments, reflecting the rising cost of living and the popularity of in-home rental suites, including short-term rentals.

Housing supply dynamics are influenced by an influx of Ontarians moving to Edmonton, impacting first-time homebuyers who find themselves competing with investors from Ontario and BC for entry-level properties. Immigration also plays a significant role, driven by the region's relative affordability compared to other major cities.

John Carter, Broker Owner at RE/MAX River City, notes, "Rising interest rates have had a cooling effect on the Edmonton market, but due to the city's affordability and high overall incomes, we're witnessing strong migration, particularly from out-of-province buyers, keeping property values stable." He adds that Edmonton's affordability is attracting international immigration directly to the city, a departure from historical patterns where newcomers used Edmonton as a transit point to larger cities like Vancouver or Montreal.

Key Trends for 2024:

  1. Edmonton is poised to shift from a balanced market to a sellers' market in 2024.
  2. Rising interest rates and interprovincial migration from Ontario are identified as the top trends influencing the housing market.
  3. Single-detached homes are expected to see the highest demand.
  4. First-time homebuyers are targeting condos under $200,000 to enter the market.
  5. Unlike move-up buyers in the $600,000-$900,000 range, first-time buyers are not waiting to enter the market, driven by reduced buying power due to interest rate hikes.
Posted in Market Updates
Jan. 3, 2024

A Comprehensive Guide to Preparing Your Home for Sale

Selling your home can be an exciting but challenging endeavor. To ensure a successful and lucrative sale, it's crucial to invest time and effort into preparing your property for the market. Follow this comprehensive guide to make your home stand out, attract potential buyers, and secure the best possible deal.

1. Start with a Clean Slate: Declutter and Depersonalize

Before showcasing your home, embark on a decluttering mission. Remove personal items, excess furniture, and anything that may distract potential buyers. Aim for a clean, neutral look that allows buyers to envision their own belongings in the space.

2. Boost Curb Appeal: Make a Lasting First Impression

The exterior of your home is the first thing buyers see. Enhance your curb appeal by:

  • Mowing the lawn, trimming bushes, and planting flowers.
  • Power washing the exterior to remove dirt and grime.
  • Repairing or repainting the front door for a welcoming touch.

3. Repairs and Maintenance: Address the Little Details

Fix any visible issues, from leaky faucets to squeaky doors. Attend to minor repairs, such as cracked tiles or chipped paint. A well-maintained home signals to buyers that it has been cared for, easing concerns about hidden problems.

4. Neutralize Your Space: Paint and Décor Tips

Consider repainting walls in neutral tones. Neutral colors create a blank canvas for buyers, making it easier for them to imagine their own style in the home. Additionally, update any outdated fixtures or hardware for a modern touch.

5. Showcase Functionality: Organize Every Space

Organized spaces appear larger and more appealing. Arrange furniture to highlight the functionality of each room. Consider hiring a professional stager to optimize the layout and create an inviting atmosphere.

6. Let the Light In: Brighten Your Home

Well-lit spaces feel more open and welcoming. Ensure all light fixtures are working, and maximize natural light by opening curtains and blinds during showings. Clean windows to allow sunlight to filter through.

7. Deep Clean: Leave No Corner Untouched

A spotless home speaks volumes about its care. Deep clean carpets, scrub bathrooms and kitchens, and pay attention to often overlooked areas like baseboards and window sills.

8. Address Odors: Make a Fresh Impression

Eliminate any lingering odors, especially pet or cooking smells. Use air fresheners sparingly and consider baking cookies or using subtle scents before showings.

9. Enhance Outdoor Spaces: Highlight Potential

If you have outdoor areas, such as a patio or garden, ensure they are well-maintained. Consider adding tasteful outdoor furniture and potted plants to showcase the potential for enjoyable outdoor living.

10. Invest in Professional Photography: Capture Your Home in its Best Light

Quality photos are a must for online listings. Hire a professional photographer to showcase your home's best features. Great visuals will attract more potential buyers and set the stage for successful showings.

By investing time and attention into preparing your home for sale, you increase the likelihood of a swift and profitable transaction. Follow these tips, and you'll be well on your way to making a lasting impression on potential buyers. Good luck with your home sale!

Posted in Selling Your Home
Dec. 27, 2023

First Home Savings Account

Unlock Your Dream Home with the First Home Savings Account (FHSA)

Are you eager to turn the key to your dream home? Meet the First Home Savings Account (FHSA) – your ultimate ally on the exciting journey to homeownership! 🏠💰

Tailored for First-Time Homebuyers

The FHSA is not just a savings account; it's a specialized tool crafted for first-time homebuyers like you. Its primary goal is to assist you in saving smartly and efficiently for that all-important down payment, bringing you one step closer to unlocking the door to your dream home. 🗝️💪

Fantastic Advantages for Savvy Savers

What sets the FHSA apart? It's not just about saving; it's about saving with style! Enjoy incredible advantages that make the process a breeze. One such perk is tax-free growth on your savings. This means your money can grow faster and stronger compared to a regular savings account. 🌼✨

A Dedicated Approach to Homeownership

Imagine having a savings account solely dedicated to your homeownership goals. The FHSA empowers you to save strategically, ensuring that you're well-prepared for that exciting leap into homeownership. It's your key to building a robust foundation for your future and creating a place you can truly call your own. 🌈❤️

Embark on Your Journey to Homeownership

Are you ready to take the plunge into homeownership? The FHSA is your starting point – where dreams are nurtured, and savings grow. Don't wait any longer – open your FHSA today and take that pivotal step towards the home you've always dreamed of! 💫💰

In conclusion, the First Home Savings Account is more than just an account; it's a tool designed to make your homeownership dreams a reality. Start your journey today and watch your savings flourish as you get closer to unlocking the door to your dream home. 🏡🔑 https://www.sunlife.ca/en/investments/fhsa/


Posted in Buying a Home
July 31, 2017

Curious About Local Real Estate?

Receive the Latest Local Market Stats

Curious about local real estate? So are we! Every month we review trends in our real estate market and consider the number of homes on the market in each price tier, the amount of time particular homes have been listed for sale, specific neighborhood trends, the median price and square footage of each home sold and so much more. We’d love to invite you to do the same!

Get Local Market Reports Sent Directly to You

You can sign up here to receive your own market report, delivered as often as you like! It contains current information on pending, active and just sold properties so you can see actual homes in your neighborhood. You can review your area on a larger scale, as well, by refining your search to include properties across the city or county. As you notice price and size trends, please contact us for clarification or to have any questions answered.

We can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please try out our INSTANT home value tool. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our neighborhoods and local real estate market better.

Posted in Market Updates