First Time Buyers

Buying a home in Red Deer

First-time buyers plan: 8 steps to buying smart

Navigating the world of Canadian home buying in Red Deer Alberta

Red Deer Realtor with Royal Lepage Network Realty Corp. Donna Empringham has this great home for sale priced at 209,900.  

Step 1: Figure out how much you can afford in Red Deer and Central Alberta

Falling in love with a house in Red Deer and Central Alberta that you can’t afford can be heartbreaking. As your real estate agent, I can help you avoid disappointment by figuring out your budget before you start looking.
First, decide how much you can afford for your down payment. The Home Buyers Plan lets you withdraw up to $25K per person (or up to $50K per couple) from your RRSPs – tax-free – to be repaid over 15 years. More on that here . The bigger your down payment, the less principal you will owe, and the less interest you will pay.
  • Don’t forget about closing costs, like insurance, legal fees, home inspection costs, land registration and land transfer fees. Add those to your moving expenses and service hookup fees, and they can add up surprisingly fast.
  • Your monthly housing expenses (mortgage, taxes, heat, etc.) shouldn’t use up more than 32% of your income. (If your combined monthly income is $5000, for example, 32% of that is $1600.) If you have car payments or credit card debt, the rule of thumb is that debt repayment shouldn’t be more than 40% of your income.
  • Get pre-approved for your mortgage. It’s a good way of finding out how much you can borrow – and it speeds up the process once you’ve found the home you want to buy.

Step 2: Figure out what type of home is right for you in Red Deer and Central Alberta


As your Realtor, we can sit down together and make a list of must-haves and nice-to-haves. We can make sure that your list is realistic, but be clear about the features you can’t live without. We can review everything on a checklist, such as; the number of bedrooms you require, the number of bathrooms, do you want a home office, attached double or triple garage, big backyard, backing onto a green space, hardwood or vinyl plank floors, large kitchen with an island, and maybe an open concept. Will will discuss and consider your lifestyle and your stage of life. If you’re planning kids in a year or two, the studio loft might not be your best bet etc.

Step 3: Decide where you want to live in Red Deer and Central Alberta

Living in an area in Red Deer and Central Alberta that you like is as important as buying a home you love. As your Red Deer Realtor, I can give you insight on areas that take advantage of the great trail system throughout Red Deer.  I can also advise what ares will be best for your family in relation to what schools best accomodate your children and your families specific needs.  Also, we can discuss where you will be working and what area will be best for your daily commute to work and the recreation facilities as well the shopping centers.  Red Deer offers many great parks and programs for children and young adults.

Step 4: Start looking for your new home in Red Deer and Central Alberta

As a real estate agent in Red Deer and Central Alberta, I host several open houses, as a first time home buyer, you can view these open houses and I can offer my opinion on the pros and cons of each property we view.  I can offer you the service to set you up on MLS listings and this will automatically email you all the homes that fit your home search.  As your Realtor, I will drive you around the neighbourhoods so you can get a feel of what area you would like to purchase your home in, location, location, location ! 

Step 5: As your Red Deer Realtor, I will help you Build a team.

As your Realtor, we can put together the right group of experts to help you buy. I have several  reputable lenders I can refer you to and a lawyer, a home inspector and an insurance broker. I work closely with all of these professionals, and will be happy to recommend people you can depend on.

Step 6: Make an offer.

We have found the perfect place – now it’s time to make an offer. An offer to purchase includes the purchase price you’re offering, chattels to be included in the purchase (like appliances or light fixtures), the amount of the deposit, the closing date and any other conditions.

As your Realtor, I will help you prepare your offer, and I will present it to the vendor, who will either accept it or make a counter offer (which asks for a higher price or different terms). After we discuss this, we can accept or reject the counter offer. If everyone agrees, the home is yours. If not, you can make another offer, or you may have to keep looking.

Step 7: Get a mortgage.

Once you’re approved, you’ll need to decide what type of mortgage works best for your needs. Will you go with a fixed or variable interest rate? Will your mortgage be closed or open? What will your amortization period be? Will you make payments monthly, biweekly or weekly? Your mortgage broker or lender can help you find a mortgage that suits your needs – and saves you the most money in the long term.

Step 8: Move in and enjoy!

As your Realtor, I will be there for this part as well, I will turn the house over to you on possession day.  Any questions you have, you can call me for assistance. 

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