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Heather Faulkner

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Buying Edmonton Real Estate, get prequalified for a mortgage first!

January 10th, 2012 by

The first step in home buying is always getting prequalified for a mortgage. It saves you, the buyer, a world of heartache and stress. A prequalified buyer can confidently look at homes they know they can afford and know they can buy.

Who should you go to for prequalification?

Many people think the first place to start is going directly to their bank. While the bank certainly can prequalify you for a mortgage, choose this option ONLY IF you have an established relationship with the bank that includes investment products. In other words, make an appointment with your bank if you have enough money that the bank wants to keep you happy. If this is the case you will likely get good, timely service. The banks want to keep your money where it is, with them. They will likely give you their best rates up front. Sadly, this often isn’t the case for everyone else. I still recommend double checking your rates through an experienced mortgage broker, just to be sure. At the end of the day, if you can save a few thousand, does it matter if you filled out the paperwork sitting in the banks office, or at your home through a mortgage associates?

For everyone else – Go directly to a Mortgage Broker**. Chances are, the mortgage broker deals with your bank anyway. These guys all work on commission, and do not work for the big banks. They work hard for your business. Unlike their salaried counterparts sitting happily in their offices in the branch, if you don’t get a mortgage, mortgage associates don’t get paid. They will do whatever they can to make sure you get the mortgage you want and your file goes smoothly.

Additional, by selecting a mortgage broker you will have a larger variety of lenders to choose from, and typically, you can get better rates.

**Remember, not all mortgage associates or brokers are equally efficient or experienced. Email me for a list of tried, tested and true Mortgage Associates (mortgage brokers) and mobile mortgage specialists.

What information will the lender ask for:

Your bank (aka lender) will start asking general questions about your income and debt load. It is VERY important that you provide them with all the information they ask for. Commonly overlooked items are cars that you co-signed for, or store credit cards you forgot you have. If you have too much credit, you will have a hard time getting a mortgage! Once you are comfortable working with that mortgage agent, they will get your permission to pull your credit report. They may also need a letter of employment from your employer, copies of bank statements showing that you actually do have the down payment and copies of your tax assessments for the last 2 years. If you are self-employed they will need much more than that, so I hope you kept good records. Getting these things can take time – that’s why you need to work on it right away. Many a buyer has lost their dream house to another interested buyer because they couldn’t get their documents to their mortgage broker before their condition date.

Now you have your documents in, you are prequalified (or preapproved)! You are ready to write up an offer. You can look at houses in price ranges you know you can afford and if you see the house for you, you can write the offer with confidence!

Natural Gas or Electric?

November 27th, 2011 by

The vast majority of homes in the Edmonton area have electric stoves. They are cheaper on average to purchase and to install. But are they cheaper to run? What about those gas clothes dryers? How about an electic fireplace?

Atco enegry sense has put out a guide showing consumers just how much they can save by choosing natural gas appliances. I was surprised. Here are some of the numbers

Water heater
Hi Efficiency electric – $42.35
Hi Efficiency Gas – $11.00
Savings: $31.35/month

Clothes Dryer
Electric – $8.36
Natural Gas – $1.80
Savings – $6.56/month

Self-cleaning Electric – $4.84
Self-Cleaning Gas – $1.04
Savings: $3.80

So when you are looking at the cost of appliances, keep this in mind! You are likely to own those appliances for many years… you could have a pay back by choosing the natural gas appliances!

Heather Faulkner, Realty Executives North Star
13202 118 Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta, T5L 4N4
Tel: 780.710.7232 Cell: 780-710-7232 Fax: 780.453.6060
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