How do I prepare for my house hunting trip to Edmonton?
First and foremost, make sure you find the best BGRS Realtor in Edmonton! We can answer as many questions as you’d like on the phone or over FaceTime about your move to CFB Edmonton Garrison. Some of the most important questions to think about in the planning phase are:
What are the important features to have in a house?
Do I want a double, single or no garage?
Am I comfortable doing minor renovations like paint and carpet?
Am I comfortable doing major renovations like kitchens and bathrooms?
Do I want a home in mint condition that doesn’t require work?
Should I spend extra money for a home with a finished basement?
Is a large backyard important to my family and I?
What communities are the best?
Which areas have the lowest crime rates?
How close do I want to live to CFB Edmonton Garrison?
What can I spend on a house? (see next question)
What can I spend on a house?
Before we even start discussing homes, neighbourhoods and amenities, we need to determine your budget. The first step to the whole process is to get a free pre-approval with one of our top mortgage specialists in Edmonton. Usually this can be done in under 20 minutes over the phone. We have specialists and mortgage brokers available at all major lenders. Many of our lenders and mortgage brokers even offer preferred rates and terms for military and RCMP members!
Can I buy a home without a pre-approval?
Unless you are buying with cash – no! There are two main reasons why you need a proper free pre-approval. First, we need to know how much a bank will allow you to spend on a monthly mortgage payment. This helps determine our budget. Second, because of the state of the economy in Alberta right now, sellers frequently ask for a pre-approval letter to accompany an offer to show proof that you can afford their house. Many times, sellers will not even look at an offer without seeing a pre-approval letter. Bonus tip: having a pre-approval letter makes your offer much more competitive and allows us to negotiate a better price!
What should I expect from my Realtor when I get to Edmonton?
As mentioned on our Military & RCMP Relocation page, your house hunting trip is an absolute priority for us. We do our very best to clear our schedules so that we are committed to you during your entire house hunting trip. We want to do everything we can to find you the right house for you and your family. Most of our house hunting trips look like this:
Day 1 & 2
Many agents that are not experienced with military transfers spend the first few days discussing house styles, neighbourhoods, booking showings and planning showing routes. Not with The Esposito Team! Your HHT time is limited, so we make sure that we are 100% prepared before you even get to Edmonton. As we discussed above, we spend hours preparing and planning with you over phone or FaceTime weeks or even months in advance. The first two days are all about showings. Our goal is to find the perfect home for you and we won’t stop until we find it.
Day 3 & 4
We’re hopeful by day 3 and 4 that have found your dream home. Most of our military & RCMP buyers begin the offer process by day 4. Here’s the good news – this is where your Realtor really shines. Besides saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’ during negotiations, there is not a lot you have to do during this time. There may be dozens of phone calls going back and forth, but that’s why you’ve hired the best RCMP & Military Realtors in Edmonton to represent you! Once the offer is successfully negotiated, the contract is signed by both parties and the home goes into what’s called ‘pending’ status. This means that we as buyers have 7-14 days to do our due diligence on the home such as financing approval and home inspection. Having the home under contract in pending status also means that the home is secured under our names and that our offer cannot be bumped by another better offer.
Day 5 & 6
If all goes well on the first few days, we will likely be booking the home inspection for one of the last days of your house hunting trip. We work with excellent BGRS approved home inspectors that take great care of our clients. We always prefer to have the inspection while you are physically present so you can ask the inspector as many questions you’d like in person. Sometimes we are unable to book the home inspection before you leave. Not a problem! We are happy to FaceTime or video call you during the inspection so you can still ask all of your questions directly to the home inspector and get detailed visual explanations. We also recommend using day 5 & 6 of your trip to do things like look for schools, daycares, recreation activities or anything else you may need. We’re happy to help you with all of this! We also can recommend a BGRS Brookfield real estate lawyers in Edmonton to complete your transaction.
Do I need to meet a BGRS approved real estate lawyer in Edmonton?
No. There is no need to meet with a lawyer in Edmonton during on your house hunting trip. The real estate documents and mortgage documents will not be ready until a week or two before you take possession. The BGRS approved real estate lawyers that we work with will coordinate document signing with a local lawyer/notary where you live. Most military and RCMP buyers have a real estate lawyer in Alberta to execute the transaction plus a second lawyer/notary where you live only to witness the signing of documents in person.
What are the best communities for military families?
There are so many great communities that offer an amazing lifestyle for military families around CFB Edmonton Garrison. Some of our top choices for military families include:
This is such an important question, that we dedicated an entire article to it: Best Communities for Military Families near CFB Edmonton Garrison
How many houses can we look at?
As many as we need to find you the perfect home! Edmonton has been a buyers market for a few years, which means there are plenty of properties to choose from. Whether you need to look at 4 homes or 40 homes, we are here every step of the way. Sometimes we need to look at homes for 3 days straight. And sometimes we look at dozens of homes, only to offer on the very first home we looked at. Seriously, two of our military buyers in 2019 circled back and bought the very first home they looked at!
Should we bring our kids on our House Hunting Trip?
This is one of the most common questions we get asked. Most of our military clients do bring their kids on the house hunting trip. With kids tagging along, we may take a bit longer going from showing to showing. This is yet another reason why we are so keen to prepare before you arrive in Edmonton.
What is a normal deposit in Edmonton?
After an offer is accepted, the buyer must provide a deposit to be held in trust until possession. For most homes, this is usually $5,000-10,000. A deposit must be certified funds such as a bank draft. This amount is the first part of your down payment. For example, if your total down payment is $20,000 and you give a $5,000 deposit, then you’d only have to bring $15,000 to your lawyer for the remainder of the down payments. If all conditions go well (financing + inspection) then the deposit is forwarded to your lawyer to meet up with the rest of your down payment. If the conditions do not go well (financing + inspection) then the deposit is fully refundable – they send you the bank draft back and we go find you another house.
What if I am selling my home at a loss?
No problem – part of your IRP plan allows you to be reimbursed for a specific percentage of the appraised value of your home. Some areas of Canada will not have this problem, but others will. This is something that has been put into place to ease the burden of military members moving on short notice or in markets that have declined.
Do I need to sell my home before I buy in Edmonton?
Maybe. For most people, the answer is yes. Few families can carry more than one mortgage at a time. However, it is very important that you speak with one of our Mortgage Specialists or Mortgage Brokers in depth about this. Having a home that is not sold could be a deal-breaker during your house hunting trip in Edmonton.
I saw a house online that I like. Can you send me more info?
Yes. The best Realtors in Edmonton have access to about 3x the amount of information that the general public does online. We also have years of experience in finding neighbourhoods that are great for military families. We can set you up on an email search as well to ensure that we don’t miss any new listings or price reductions.
I want to buy a brand new house. Do builders work with Realtors?
Yes! Showhome salespeople work for the builder — not you! Far too often we see new home buyers get taken advantage of on crazy prices and failed promises. We’ve helped hundreds of families buy brand new homes from builders and have always negotiated better terms, upgrades and pricing for our buyers! There are plenty of new neighbourhoods near CFB Edmonton Garrison.
What is a normal possession period in Edmonton and Area?
The ‘normal’ possession timeline is 30-60 days from the time of offer. But, as we like to say: everything is negotiable! If you don’t want possession for another 90 days, we can make that happen. If you need possession immediately, we can speed things up to 19 days or sometimes even quicker if the house is vacant. These details are part of the offer process and negotiation.
Should I look at Edmonton realtor reviews?
Yes. Yes. And yes. Far too many buyers come all the way to Edmonton for a house hunting trip just to find out that the agent that they selected lacks experience with military relocations or is simply a sub-par agent. A great way to find the best military Realtor in Edmonton by reading Edmonton Realtor Reviews.
Ready to discuss your house hunting trip to Edmonton?
The Esposito Team is a family team of Real Estate Agents with Century 21 Masters serving Edmonton & Area. We are BGRS approved real estate agents and specialize in helping RCMP and Military families relocate to CFB Edmonton Garrison and Alberta RCMP Headquarters.
Learn more about relocating to Edmonton.