How to Buy a House in Calgary: Step by Step Guide
As you begin to age and your family starts to grow, you quickly realize that your modest two-bedroom apartment no longer provides enough space.
A growing family needs a lot of space in order to function properly. The best way to provide your family with ample space is by buying a new home in a thriving city like Calgary.
That being said, buying a property in Calgary is much easier said than done. You need to spend years saving, researching and scouring local neighbourhoods before you're ready to make an offer on a home in Calgary.
If you don't have the time to go through multiple websites or articles about buying a home, you're in luck! We've put together a comprehensive step-by-step guide that you can use to learn how to buy a house in Calgary like a pro.
Continue reading to learn more.
The eight steps to buy a house in Calgary Alberta
Here are the eight steps you should take if you want to find the perfect property in Calgary (or the surrounding areas):
Step #1 — Save up for a down payment
For most people in Calgary, a house is the biggest (if not one of the biggest) investment they'll make in their lifetime. And with property values on the rise, saving up for a home can seem daunting.
Thankfully, buyers don't have to pay for their homes in one fell swoop; instead of buying their homes outright, most buyers choose to make a down payment and get a mortgage.
A down payment is a portion of the property value you pay upfront (the rest of the funds are provided by your mortgage lender).
Through CMHC, buyers in Alberta can use the following amounts for a down payment:
- Home value is less than $500,000 = minimum down payment of 5%
- Home value is between $500,000 and $1,000,000 = minimum 5% of first $500,000 and 10% on the remainder to 20%
- Home value is more than $1,000,000 = minimum down payment of 20%
Step #2 — Work on your credit score
If you intend to buy a house in Calgary, you'll want to ensure that you have a strong credit score. Most mortgage lenders consider a score of 600 (or more) to be a "good" credit score.
Earning an impressive credit score can help you obtain better interest rates from a wider selection of mortgage lenders in Calgary.
Step #3 — Stabilize your income
Having a reliable source of income is a vital aspect of not just buying a home but keeping it in the long run.
When you buy a home in Calgary, you need to have enough income to cover the down payment, along with the other costs associated with buying a home, including:
- Property taxes
- Deposit fees
- Closing costs (more on this shortly)
- General property maintenance and repairs
- Moving fees
- Home insurance
Step #4 — Assess local neighbourhoods before you buy a house in Calgary
One of the essential steps of learning how to buy a house in Calgary is knowing how to assess a neighbourhood properly.
There are several fantastic neighbourhoods in Calgary, some of which include:
- Downtown Commercial Core
- Lower Mount Royal
However, just because these neighbourhoods are generally sought after doesn't mean that they're perfect for everyone who wants to live in Calgary.
While assessing neighbourhoods in Calgary, be sure to consider a wide range of factors like:
- Level of traffic
- Proximity to grocery stores, schools, local shopping areas, etc.
- Nearby amenities and perks
- The crime rate in the area and nearby areas
- The commute distance
Step #5 — Calculate closing costs and set aside funds
As mentioned earlier, buying a house in Calgary comes with a lot of additional fees, like closing costs.
The closing cost is the amount that you pay when you finalize a home purchase. Closing costs generally include additional fees like home inspection fees, lawyer fees and miscellaneous taxes.
As a rule of thumb, the closing cost is roughly 3% to 4% of the home's value. However, if you want to get a closer estimate, you can use a tool like an online closing cost calculator. Online closing cost calculators are easy to use and can help you get more accurate results.
Step #6 — Team up with a real estate agent
Even if you're familiar with the home buying process, no one knows more about how to buy a house in Calgary than professional real estate agents.
Professional real estate agents have a comprehensive understanding of the various markets in Calgary. You can use their expertise to find the perfect home, make an offer and finalize the sale.
Step #7 — House hunting
House hunting is one of the most enjoyable yet important steps of buying a house in Calgary. While house hunting, it's easy to get distracted by the polished appearance of each potential home. However, you need to stay focused and assess all of the good and bad qualities of each option.
Remember to ask yourself the following questions while hunting for a house in Calgary:
- Does it fit your price range?
- Does the home feature everything you want and need? Or will you have to compromise?
- How long do you see yourself living in the home?
- Does the home have the potential to increase in value in the future?
- Was the home recently renovated, or does it need work?
Step #8 — Make an offer
The time has finally come — you've just made an offer on a home! If your offer is accepted, then congratulations! You've officially purchased a home in Calgary.
If your offer wasn't accepted, don't feel discouraged! There are plenty of family-friendly homes to choose from in Calgary.
Save up to 25% on home insurance in Calgary with Surex
As mentioned earlier, a home is a huge investment. If you want to keep your investment safe, then the best thing you can do is have high-quality home insurance.
Finding the best home insurance in Calgary is easy when you compare insurance quotes with a reputable brokerage like Surex.
At Surex, we work with a number of the top-rated home insurance companies in the province, allowing us to provide you with a variety of quality quotes.
Call or click to contact a Surex insurance advisor today and receive your quotes in ten minutes or less. While you're comparing insurance quotes with your advisor, don't forget to ask about the benefits of bundling multiple policies with the same insurance company; the savings can be as massive as 25%!