Blog

Buying a House in Edmonton

So, it’s time to upgrade your rental apartment and buy your first house. But, where do you start? Where do you get yourself a good mortgage deal? How do you know the house you’re considering is in as perfect a condition as it appears to be?

If only buying a house was as easy as looking up a few and choosing one.  Like all things good in life, it takes a little more effort than that. But, don’t worry! We have a handy guide to break it all down for you.

The Finances

  1.     Determine your financial position: The first, seemingly obvious, question to ask yourself is can I afford a house? Unlike a rental, owning a house comes with some additional bills. In addition to your mortgage payments, expect yourself to be paying property taxes, property insurance, as well as utilities like heating that were previously paid by your landlord or condo. A good financial situation would be paying 32% or less of your gross household income for monthly housing costs. Now that you’re aware of your financial position, you can start to set up a budget for your purchase.
  2.     Prepare a budget: Paying more than you expected to for something never feels good. You don’t want that feeling to cloud your excitement of purchasing a new home. Buying a house will include additional fees that you need to budget for. Some common expenses incurred during the home buying process are:
    1.  Adjustment costs. ($300 – $500) – Reimbursing the previous owner for any utility payments or property taxes that have been paid beyond the closing date.
    2.  Legal fees. ($500 – $1000) – Paperwork done for the transfer of ownership.
    3.  Title insurance. ($300) – Although not required in Alberta, your mortgage provider might require this.
    4. Property insurance. ($700 – $1000 at closing, and then annually) Your mortgage provider usually requires you to have insurance to cover the replacement value of your home and its contents.
    5. Moving expenses.
    6. Utility service charges. ($35 – $50 per utility) Check with your utility providers to find out what your exact moving fees will be.
    7. Home inspection fee. ($350 – $600)
    8. Mortgage insurance. (Between 1.25 and 3.15 percent of your mortgage amount) If you have a down payment of less than 20 percent of your mortgage amount, you need to insure your mortgage. This cost can be paid up front or added to your mortgage.

The Mortgage

  1.     Get pre-approved for a mortgage: Getting pre-approved for a mortgage will put you in a relatively better position when making an offer on a home. So, how do you get this process started? Mortgage lenders include banks, mortgage companies, insurance companies, loan companies, trust companies, and credit unions. You should talk to several lenders to get what you’re looking for. You can also talk to a mortgage broker. Mortgage brokers find a lender for you and may be able to give you different terms to choose from. You can find a broker on the Mortgage Professionals Canada website. Your mortgage lender will look at your finances to pre-approve you for a mortgage.

With a pre-approval, you can know the maximum amount you may get as well as interest rates you will be charged. A pre-approval does not guarantee that you’ll get a mortgage loan for that amount. The approved mortgage amount will depend on the value of your home and the amount of your down payment.

Psst…by now your wallet might be feeling drained but there is a sliver of relief. First time home buyers get a First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit which reduces your federal tax amount for the purchase year.

The House

  1.     Look up listings online: Now that you have your finances in order, it’s time for the good part. Research houses and neighborhoods within your budget to get a better idea of your likes and dislikes.
  2.     Get yourself a realtor: Getting a realtor will open doors for you. The doors of homes that might not be listed online. A realtor will also know the best places to look to suit your needs. Realtors are generally paid a commission on the sale price by the seller. It is a win-win as you get the expertise without paying for it. You can find one online at realtor.ca or ask family and friends.
  3.     Book a home inspection: You’ve found a house you like. But, is everything as perfect as it looks? The best way to find out is to get a home inspector. A home inspector will make sure everything is in order, so you don’t get any awful surprises after moving in. Your home inspector will check the physical condition of the house which includes roofing, walkways and driveways, retaining walls, patios and decks, structure, electrical, heating, insulation, and plumbing.
  4.     Putting in an offer: When you get the go-ahead from your home inspector, you can make an offer on the house. Your realtor will help with the communication during this step.
  5.     Get your house: You got your dream house. Congratulations! For the possession day, your lawyer will get your mortgage lender to release funds to the sellers for the keys of your new home.

 

Once you’ve bought your new house in our lovely Edmonton make sure you check out these top tips of things to do after you buy your house! As always it’s a pleasure.

 

Your Edmonton Home Inspection Team

Growing your Home Inspection Business

So you’re Ready to Grow your Home Inspection Business?

Starting off the Traditional Way

Many Home Inspectors start off slow. Almost all of them follow the same path:

  1. Get the licence and insurance
  2. Register a company
  3. Get a logo and a home inspection kit
  4. Brand your car
  5. Hope someone calls

This is the 5 steps most home inspectors follow. It should be no surprise that they find difficulty acquiring clients in the beginning.

The idea is that after you get a few clients they would refer their friends to you when the time comes. That is a very slow way to build a business. To grow your business you need a lead generator that feeds the leads into a sales funnel. In the sales funnel you need a process to maximize your conversion rate. Turn these leads into customers. There are different ways of doing this but today I will talk about the way you can target the right audience and why that matters.

Focus on the Right Audience

This idea was first shared with me with a Marketing Guru based right here in Edmonton. He approached a startup I was working at offering his services for $2000 per day of consultation or becoming the VP of Marketing. He called this idea the “Temperature Theory of Marketing” it is as follows:

In any service that you are offering (including home inspection) all the people in your market fall on a scale. Just imagine a simple triangle like the one below.

 

At the top of the triangle there are only a few people and as you go down it gets wider with more people respectively. If you are in a city like Edmonton with 1 million people then all the people in this triangle add up to 1 million. Different services have a different triangle shape as the distribution of people from top to bottom will change.

The people at the top of the triangle are actively looking for what you have to offer. They are few, but they are also the ones that cost you the least to acquire and are your most valuable to acquire. The higher up a person is in this triangle the more they are searching for the service you have to offer. It would cost you a lot less to acquire this customer than someone at the base of this triangle. In addition, these people at the top are the ones that will spend the most money on your services.

What does this mean?

So, we briefly talked about the “Temperature Theory of Marketing” but what does this mean for Home Inspectors? Home Inspectors are following the traditional way of marketing, the traditional way focuses on everyone. When a Home Inspector brands their car and drives around the city, the message is getting splashed around to everyone. If 1000 people see the car in a day it’s highly likely that 99% of the people are “cold customers”. “Cold Customers” are the people at the base of the triangle that have little interest in home inspection at the moment. Same goes for distributing flyers to a neighborhood or sending out a radio or tv ad. The message simply splashes everyone and the business doesn’t realize any significant increase in business. The Return on Investment (ROI) is simply too low. It would be a lot more useful to spend less and target a smaller audience but have that audience composed of 99% “Hot Customers”. “Hot Customers” are the best customer type you can have, these are the people at the top of the triangle. Complement this with good branding and you will reap many rewards.

So now what?

Over the next few posts I will talk about what exactly is ROI and how do we measure it? I will also do a post on how you can target the right audience and get those “Hot Customers” all at the lowest Customer Acquisition Price.

Read on and learn how you can Grow your Home Inspection Business!

 

Your Edmonton Home Inspections Team

 

 

Do I need a Home Inspection?

Absolutely. You’re not just buying a home to relax in, you’re also buying any problems that come with it in the walls, crawl space, or attic. Getting a home inspection is your chance to avoid those problems or, at a minimum, negotiate with the seller to pay for repairs. For a detailed guide to buying a house see our article “Buying a House in Edmonton”.

A typical inspection will cover everything from the roof to the foundation. In between, the inspector will also cover every major house system (plumbing, electrical, heating, septic,  etc.). Most also include tests for water safety and exterior. Usually Radon is not included in a standard home inspection, thermal imaging on the other hand is included in the standard package for some companies. A good inspection costs about $400-$500 and takes 1 to 3 hours (for a detailed look at Home Inspection Cost in Edmonton see our article “How much does a Home Inspection Cost in Edmonton?”). The cost varies depending on the size and age of the house as well as the company. Skipping inspections on new properties is not advised since despite it being new it doesn’t mean it’s flawless.

Given that the average home price in Edmonton is roughly $400,000, an investment in home inspection dwarfs in comparison. By having a home inspection you are ensuring that one of the largest investments in your life is in good condition. Avoiding this step could lead to surprises that end up costing you a lot to fix.

After you receive the findings report from your home inspector, review it and see if there are any deal breakers. In case there are defects, ask the seller to pay for repairs or negotiate a better price. Many sellers also get a pre-sale home inspection to know what to expect from the buyer’s side. They then go on to fix most of the issues they discover.

If you are considering buying a house, request a quote today and get a call from a professional home inspector. Remember, if you are buying your largest investment yet get in touch and get the peace of mind you deserve.

Your Edmonton Home Inspections Team

If you have any questions shoot us an email at youredmontonhomeinspections@gmail.com we’d love to talk!