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5 Essential Tips For First Time Condo Buyers

If you’re ready to purchase your first condo – congratulations! Once you’ve reached this point, it can feel exciting, daunting and even a little overwhelming. But with all of those emotions fluttering about, it’s important to stay focused and be clear when making important decisions during the purchase process. One of the best ways to keep your condo-buying process smooth and exciting is to do your research and be prepared in order to avoid the common pitfalls. Learn more with these essential tips for first-time condo buyers.

Expert Team

Hire Experts To Help

Every home buying process involves layers of information and important, financial, and legal jargon that can sometimes be complicated to fully comprehend. That’s why having a few experts by your side is not only helpful – it’s essential. If you’re just beginning your condo hunt, it’s always worth it to hire these three experts: a real estate agent, a mortgage advisor, and a lawyer.

An agent will do the legwork with property searches, helping you navigate through the complex purchase process and drafting up necessary documents. The mortgage advisor will help you find the right lender for your financial situation and future needs. Finally, a lawyer will provide their meticulous eyes to ensure that all legal documents are accurate and with your best interests protected. Having these three key experts to assist during your condo hunt will not only save you time and stress, but they can also help to ensure you are not left with any financial or legal burdens after everything is said and done.

Dig Deeper

Although your agent will provide you with pictures and descriptions, they mostly work off of multiple listing services. This means they’re sometimes limited on the depth of information they offer. However, it doesn’t mean it’s all the information that’s available. In our current digital age, you can easily hop online to do some research of your own and dig a little deeper.

Many developers are now heightening their online presence. Today, you can find entire websites dedicated to offering the detailed information you need to make an informed decision. Some developers, like Beaverbrook in Edmonton, are even hosting pop-up shops that let visitors explore their different properties using virtual reality. This is a big time saver since it allows you to get a realistic tour of condos without having to visit each one.

Pre-Approval

Get A Mortgage Pre-Approval

Have you heard about the latest government changes to the qualification process? These new set of rules have made it a little more complicated when it comes to getting a mortgage for first-time condo buyers. Fortunately, a mortgage advisor can help. They can find an appropriate lender who will grant a mortgage pre-approval. This one important step will lock in a rate for you and place you miles ahead of your competition.

Use Government Programs To Your Advantage

There are also a number of government programs that have been put in place for first-time home buyers. If you qualify, you can take advantage of the Home Buyer’s Program to withdraw up to $25,000 from your RRSP to help fund your down payment. You may also be eligible for the First-Time Home Buyer’s Tax Credit that offers a non-refundable tax credit of $750 to help you offset some of the closing costs. And, if you don’t have 20% down payment saved up, CMHC offers Mortgage Default Insurance which can help you get financing from a reputable institution.

Closing Costs

Be Clear On the Closing Costs

Before you sign on the dotted line, make sure that you are clear about the overall closing costs. Your lawyer and realtor can help you calculate these before you commit. Not having a thorough understanding of these costs before you enter into a contract, could put you under financial strain later on and even land you in significant debt.

It also doesn’t hurt to have a reserve fund saved up to cover your first-year expenses – maintenance fees, property taxes, insurance — and to also cover any reno projects that you may want to be done once you move in, like painting and decorating.

When you’re ready to begin condo hunt, remember these essential tips for first-time condo buyers so you can steer clear of those costly errors and find the right property, hassle-free.

While you’re exploring, don’t miss out on touring CX Lofts & Townhomes in Grandin. Located in a quaint area just minutes from downtown, here you can relish in comfort and luxury with modern, industrial designs and elegant finishes. With on-site amenities, like bike storage, pet-friendly green space, a dog wash station, a fitness space, and even electric cars for rent, CX is designed to make your life better than ever. When you’re ready to explore CX Lofts & Townhomes, come by our pop-up shop in Edmonton City Centre Mall to learn more and take a virtual tour.


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Which Canadian Cities Experience the Highest Quality of Living?

Did you know that in North America, Canadian cities ranked among the highest for quality of living in the Mercer’s Annual Quality of Living Report 2018? In fact, we dominated the North American rankings with four of our favourite cities placing in the top 25. Thanks to a stable political environment, attractive social benefits, and a safe environment overall, our quality of living continues to remain high here at home. However, there is a noticeable growing trend that is beginning to reshape how these cities will continue to grow in the future – and that’s the cost of living.

Despite the attractive qualities of some major Canadian cities, being able to realistically afford a condo or property is now becoming more of a challenge than ever for first-time homebuyers. This is why other areas of Canada are starting to experience a rapid surge of emigration and growth. Take Edmonton, for example. As a city that has remained under the radar for many years, today, it’s undergoing unprecedented growth. With a surge in demand and development, buyers can find the type of luxury urban lifestyle they want for a quarter of the price in comparison to Toronto. Lower rates and a better quality of life are just a few of the influencing factors that are making cities like Edmonton the new ‘hot spot’ of Canada.

If you’re on the hunt for the best area to purchase and settle, here’s a brief comparison of which Canadian cities experience the highest quality of living and which ones are still affordable for the average first-time buyer.

Vancouver

Vancouver

This year, Vancouver ranked #5 in the world for the second year in a row on the Mercer’s Annual Quality of Living Report. No surprise here since it’s generally safer than many of the other cities in North America. It’s also a very clean city with excellent health care, environmental and educational services, and not to mention – the stunning, picturesque backdrop of the mountains and coastal views. Of course, if you’ve been tracking the Vancouver condo market lately, it doesn’t take long to recognize the drawback to this gorgeous city – the extreme cost of living. With homes and even condo prices starting closer to the million-dollar range, this city has become one of the most expensive places to live in Canada.

Toronto

Toronto

Another city that scored high on the Mercer Report was Toronto, coming in at the 17th spot. Thanks to its booming business sector, diverse and vibrant lifestyle, and a glowing reputation on the world stage, Toronto still remains a desirable, thriving metropolitan. But, with recent patterns showing a decrease in its score each year, what’s holding it back? The straight answer is a lack of planning for infrastructure and services, along with high rental rates and an overall cost of living that’s noticeably strangling the middle class. So despite the vibrant and exciting reputation that this city is known for, it’s becoming increasingly taxing on the quality of life for the average citizen.

Ottawa

Ottawa

Our capital city was another winner of the top 4 Canadian cities, placing in the top 25 countries with the highest quality of living. Ranking 19 out of 231 major metropolises around the world, Ottawa was praised for its ‘sanitation’, tying for 2nd place worldwide. This may not sound very important but sanitation and cleanliness play a key role when companies decide where to establish their offices abroad, making it an attractive location. Ottawa is also one of the safest and more affordable places to still live in Canada, with an established and growing reputation for being one of the top tech hubs in North America.

Montreal

Montreal

Ranking as the 4th best city in North America and the 21st in the world for quality of life, was our largest French-speaking city, Montreal. With its unique bilingual culture, exciting nightlife, and a glowing reputation for financial opportunity as the former “financial capital” of Canada — it’s deemed as one of the most comfortable places to live in North America. And, although it has experienced a lower cost of living, it’s quickly becoming the next hot spot for overseas investment in real estate because of the Ontario and B.C Foreign Buyer’s Tax. Over the course of last year, the city hit a 10-year high, which means that finding an affordable rate will become increasingly more difficult to find here.

Edmonton

Edmonton

Even though it still remains below the radar and excluded from the Mercer report, Edmonton has been rapidly gaining momentum and popularity in recent years. As Canadians and others worldwide search for more affordable alternatives that offer a better quality of life, this city has been quickly stepping up to meet that demand. Aside from ranking considerably high in comparison to Calgary and Ottawa on the Numbeo Quality of Life report, Edmonton’s scenic landscape, booming economy and affordable cost of living make it an attractive option for buyers who are looking to explore other areas of Canada.

As one of Canada’s youngest big cities, it’s attracting more of a working population, especially among young professionals. A large population of working-age citizens,  a desire for more sustainable and walkable communities, and better opportunities for more entrepreneurial minds to thrive, make the outlook for Edmonton’s future very bright.

If you’re ready to improve your quality of life and plant your roots in a city that offers the type of luxurious lifestyle you desire, CX in Grandin could be just for you. With a variety of condos, lofts and townhomes to choose from, including over 20 different designs, finding your dream home has never been easier or more affordable.


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Best Take-Out Locations in Downtown Edmonton

Sometimes, after a long day of work or an intense workout at the gym, the last thing you want to think about is what to make for dinner. Finding the time and energy to cook isn’t always easy, and thankfully, we have take-out to the rescue for those occasions! Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner, when you’re looking for some of the best take-out locations in downtown Edmonton to appease your need for a speedy meal, we have you covered! Here are a few of our top choices in and around the Oliver area.

District Coffee Co

District Coffee Co.

If you need a good grab-and-go breakfast place located close by when you’re rushing off to work, head to District Coffee Co. This popular café offers just about everything you need to fuel your morning and get your day off to a good start, like fresh baked goods. They also serve up full brunch and lunch-style dishes.

 

Indian Fusion, The Curry House

Craving Indian food? When you’re looking for big flavours that satisfy, Indian Fusion – The Curry House is the place to go. Butter chicken, Chana masala, beef vindaloo, coconut naan, samosas, lamb masala, and Palak paneer are just a few samples of the mouth-watering items you can find on their large menu.

Earls

Earls

Did you know that Earls offers take-out service, too? When you don’t feel like dressing up, you can order any of their dishes to go, like their Jamaican jerk wings, Ahi tuna poke bowl, garlic fries and more when you’re planning a nice evening curled up on the couch.

 

Japonais Bistro

When you’re not in the mood to stuff your face full of sushi in public, take it to go at Japonais Bistro, located on Jasper Avenue. They fuse Japanese and Pan-pacific flavours with North American influences to serve up some exceptional dishes. So when you have a sushi craving that you’d prefer to enjoy in the comfort of home, try out this popular spot!

Take-out locations in Downtown Edmonton

Co Co Di

At Co Co Di, dive into bold Mediterranean flavours with their tasty Lebanese dishes. You can pick up a number of flavoursome Lebanese staples, like their chicken fattoush salad, falafel platters, shrimp skewers, kafta, dolmades, Lebanese sausage, pita sandwiches, and so much more.

 

Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria

Sometimes, nothing’s better than picking up a hot, cheesy pizza on your way home after a long day of work. If you’re itching for a pizza night in, Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria will get your order ready on your way home. Unlike many other pizzerias, this one has a big menu that covers much more than just pizza, including meatball sandwiches, pasta, a wide range of soups and salads, and mouth-watering desserts.

The Marc

The Marc

Who says you can’t enjoy fine dining to go? If you’re on your way home from downtown and craving a steak, you can stop in at The Marc to order one for take-out. It’s been named one of the “Top 3 Dining Experiences in Edmonton” and a “Four-time Winner of Best Steak” by Avenue Magazine. This bistro has a nice selection for the upper-scale foodie. Enjoy delicious options like their braised short rib sandwiches, pork shoulder, arctic char, 10oz ribeye, or a rack of lamb for dinner.

 

As you can see, there are plenty of great options for take-out in the YEG when you don’t feel like cooking and want to pick something up on-the-go. Be sure to keep this list on hand when you’re looking for the best take-out locations in downtown Edmonton when you’re on your way home to the Oliver and Grandin area.


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Should I Invest In An Income Property In Edmonton?

Owning an investment property is one of the easiest ways to build equity – that is if you find the right property. If you purchase in a city that has poor job growth, more supply than demand, or high operating costs, chances are you’ll struggle to generate a steady cash-flow which can put a damper on your future nest egg. The key to buying a successful income property is to first pick the right area.

With a booming economy, thriving job growth, and an increasing influx of new residents, Edmonton is an ideal city to consider when it comes to investing. If you’ve been on the fence wondering, “Should I invest in an income property in Edmonton?” The answer is yes!

Here we break down a few of the top reasons why.

Edmonton

 

Population Growth

Edmonton has become a popular place to live over the past few years. In fact, since 2011, the city has welcomed over 120,000 new residents! In addition to that, just last year, Edmonton became Canada’s second fastest growing city, ahead of Vancouver and even Toronto. If that’s not enough to get you excited, the city has also estimated that by 2044, it will have roughly the same population as Vancouver – over 2 million people.

So naturally, as the population continues to grow in Edmonton, urban developments will have to keep pace in order to accommodate future supply. And, with estimates of about 150,000 new housing units required by 2041 to meet those numbers, purchasing an investment property now will ensure you stay ahead of this curve before prices increase to meet that demand.

Thriving Job Growth

The 2017 Growth Monitoring Report also predicts that by 2044, the labour market in Edmonton is projected to grow by a whopping 909,000 jobs! This growth is expected in all sectors — not just in petrochemical, oil, and gas. In fact, there are many new jobs emerging in tech, healthcare, and finance which will continue to attract young, educated Canadians to this city.

 Vibrant City

Vibrant & Affordable City

Aside from having a stable and growing economy, Edmonton is also a very vibrant and affordable city. It houses a broad range of unique communities, it offers a low price-to-income ratio, and it has an abundance of stunning natural landscapes to explore and enjoy.  Also, unlike other metros, the YEG is where city life blends well with the warm and inviting character of small-town living. So for those who are looking for a city that offers a mixture of excitement, safety, charm, and comfort – this city has it all!

 

One of the Youngest Cities in Canada

Fortunately, for investment property owners, Edmonton is home to six post-secondary institutions, including the University of Alberta and MacEwan University. So it’s no surprise that young professionals and students make up a majority of condo renters in the YEG. It’s also one of Canada’s youngest cities, with an average age ranking in the 30s. These factors combined make it an ideal place for renting an income property since you’ll never have to search long for suitable tenants.

 

Great Property Managers

It can take a lot of time and effort to run an income property. But thankfully, you can easily hire a property management company to take care of the property for you. Edmonton has a number of professional property managers that will run your entire rental operation so you can sit back, relax and enjoy that extra income, hassle-free.

 

Quality Developments

An investment property has one purpose – to make you money. But the real money is made when you find a quality property to purchase that will appreciate over time. Fortunately, Edmonton has a number of high-quality developments for sale that are ideal investments for owners. The type of materials, construction, and finishes that are incorporated into property designs are what make all the difference between having a short-term investment, and a worth-while investment that will benefit you now and well into the future.

 

As you can see, Edmonton is the perfect place to invest in right now. So if you’re considering purchasing an income property in Edmonton this year, come by and visit our CX pop-up shop to learn how you can get into the market before everyone else catches on.

 


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