Crunching the numbers

How much home can you afford?

Shopping for the home of your dreams requires knowing how much you can afford to spend, which for most buyers ties directly into a mortgage.

Financial institutions in Canada look at a buyer’s Gross Debt Service (GDS) and Total Debt Service (TDS) ratios to help determine how much mortgage to approve, and therefore, how much home a person can afford.

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Real-estate rookies

Five tips for first-time homebuyers

The financing, the finagling, the legwork and the looking – buying your first home is one of the most exciting times of your life, but it can also be one of the most intimidating and stressful things you’ll ever do.

An experienced REALTOR® can help guide you through every step, negotiate on your behalf and streamline the entire purchase process.

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Real estate education

It’s the biggest investment we are ever likely to make, yet too often buying and selling a home comes with a bunch of misconceptions about making the most of that investment.

Len T. Wong, broker/owner of RE/MAX Len T. Wong and Associates, chalks these misconceptions up to a lack of information, rather than any fundamental misunderstandings about the buying and selling process. Providing that education to the client, he says, is the role of an experienced REALTOR®.

Here are the top five buying and selling misconceptions Wong has seen throughout his 25-year real estate career: (more…)

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Dollars and cents

The costs associated with selling a home

Deciding to sell your home is a big decision, so it’s always good to remind yourself of what that decision entails, including the associated costs you might incur. Many real estate industry groups have resources available to the public on the home-selling process, such as the Real Estate Council of Alberta’s Home Seller’s Guide. However, most resources don’t specify selling costs, in part because they can vary greatly depending on the individual property and circumstances of the sale. To provide a frame of reference, here is a summary of costs associated with selling a typical $500,000 home in Calgary: (more…)

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