Buying a home is an exciting time and a significant milestone for many people, but it can also be an intimidating and costly process, particularly for first-time homebuyers. Fortunately, the Canadian government has introduced a new savings account to help prospective homebuyers save for their downpayment. Below, we will share what you need to know about the new First Home Savings Account and other downpayment options for first-time buyers.

What is the First Home Savings Account?

The First Home Savings Account is designed specifically for prospective first-time homebuyers. It's a savings account that offers tax incentives to help prospective home buyers save up for a down payment.

Eligibility Requirements

You need to be a Canadian resident, at…

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What is radon gas?

Radon is an invisible, odourless, cancer-causing, radioactive gas that comes from the ground. When inhaled, radon breaks down into radioactive particles, releasing bursts of radioactivity that can cause injury to lung tissue. Exposure to high levels of radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after tobacco smoking. Radon enters homes where the house comes into contact with the ground and can accumulate into high levels, posing health risks to the occupants. The health implications of radon exposure depend on both the level and length of exposure, and the risk of developing lung cancer is especially high for smokers. The only way to find out if your home has high radon levels is to have your home tested. A reading of 200…

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Here is our update on the Edmonton real estate market. (Previous week’s numbers are in brackets). For the past 7 days: New Listings: 679 (627, 672, 771) # Sales: 433 (376, 408, 492) Ratio: 64% (60%, 61%, 64%) # Price Changes: 484 (443, 445, 470) Expired/Off-Market Listings: 223 (380, 211, 186) Net loss/gain in listings this week: 23 (-129, 53, 93) Active single-family home listings: 3362 (3265, 3250, 3179) Active condo listings: 3024 (3010, 3108, 3121) Homes 4-week running average: $474 ($473, $469, $468) Condos 4-week running average: $242 ($239, $242, $232)    

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A friend of mine recently moved to a Vancouver suburb and I was shocked to hear how much it really costs to buy a home there. I think everyone has an idea how expensive homes are in and around Vancouver and Toronto right now, but many people aren't aware of the additional closing costs buyers face across the country. With so many people working remotely, we're starting to see people moving based on housing affordability, so I wanted to share what it actually costs to buy a typical single-family home in major Canadian cities, including the extra expenses buyers pay at closing that are not included in their mortgage. Since averages and medians can be misleading, I'm going to base these calculations on the MLS® Home Price Index. The HPI basically…

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Here is our update on the Edmonton real estate market. (Previous week’s numbers are in brackets). For the past 7 days: New Listings: 621 (481, 440, 467) # Sales: 262 (309, 280, 283) Ratio: 42% (64%, 64%, 61%) # Price Changes: 241 (261, 164, 170) Expired/Off-Market Listings: 290 (107, 114, 124) Net loss/gain in listings this week: 69 (65, 46, 69) Active single-family home listings: 2187 (2142, 2133, 2111) Active condo listings: 2184 (2117, 2047, 1967) Homes 4-week running average: $429 ($425, $415, $420) Condos 4-week running average: $ 203 ($214, $219, $220)     Act as if what you do makes a difference. It Does. - William James

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Here is our update on the Edmonton real estate market. (Previous week’s numbers are in brackets). For the past 7 days: New Listings: 450 (433, 437, 360) # Sales: 249 (188, 213, 161) Ratio: 55% (43%, 49%, 45%) # Price Changes: 175 (190, 170, 54) Expired/Off-Market Listings: 145 (176, 143, 530) Net loss/gain in listings this week: 56 (69, 81,-331) Active single-family home listings: 2148 (2125, 2135, 2095) Active condo listings: 1940 (1887, 1838, 1784) Homes 4-week running average: $422 ($432, $430k, $412k) Condos 4-week running average: $210 ($195, $209, $212k) This week, a new survey revealed what I think all of us already know: Albertans are less confident in the housing market and the economy than the rest of Canada. When it came to real estate, 45…

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April 29 updates in green. When I first wrote this article, we had been socially isolating for just over a week. No one knew what it was going to be like, or how long it would last. While we still don't know the answer to how long this will last, we have a pretty good sense of what it's like, and we've gotten pretty used to sanitizing, wearing masks and staying physically distant from each other. Agents have found creative ways to show homes online, and reduce the number of properties that are actually shown in person. No matter what's happening in the market, buying or selling a home is a personal decision, that only you can make.  We are here to help our clients in any way that we can, but we do want to let you know there is good reason to hold off…

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Awards season is not just for celebrities, real estate agents receive awards at this time of year as well. In the industry, agents are typically given awards for selling a lot of real estate, which in our minds, does not necessarily equate to being a great real estate agent. We know that our clients want to be well represented and that they want to have a positive experience buying or selling real estate, and the only way to know if we've done a good job is to ask our clients. Our brokerage uses an online service called RealSatisfied that allows customers to rate their agent on three key performance indicators: customer satisfaction, agent performance and recommendation. Customer ratings and testimonials are available on each agent’s bio page on our…

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For the first time in a long time, I'm seeing a lot of positive headlines related to Edmonton, and Alberta as a whole, the economy and the real estate market. I don't know about you, but I kind of forgot what that's like! Here's what people are saying... A report released Monday by the Real Estate Investment Network named Edmonton the top spot to invest in Alberta, and one of the top 10 in Canada, saying Edmonton is poised to outperform the rest of the province for the next 5  years or so. Our stable economy, affordable housing, falling rent and rising vacancies indicate that Edmonton is in the middle of a slump, making it a good time to buy. “The fix-and-flippers, the HGTV-watching guys, it’s not the greatest market for them, because it’s a slower…

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Considered long overdue by many, there are changes proposed to the condominium property act in Alberta that may arrive sometime in the not too distant future. We first wrote about the proposed changes on this blog in June, 2011. The government is looking for changes and open houses have been scheduled in the coming months as follows:

  • July 25, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. – Red Deer, Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery
  • July 26, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m – Calgary, Macdonald Hall, Heritage Hall Building, SAIT Main Campus
  • July 27, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. – Edmonton, Lister Centre, University of Alberta
  • Aug. 1, 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. – Lethbridge, City Hall Foyer
  • Aug. 3, 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. – Fort McMurray, Clubhouse Atrium, Syncrude Athletic Park
There are more…

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