Moving to Edmonton
If you are planning to move to Edmonton, Alberta, and need a mortgage, you have come to the right place. This guide will help you navigate the process of obtaining a mortgage in Edmonton, from understanding the local real estate market to finding the right lender and mortgage product for your needs. So, let’s dive in!
Benefits of Living in Edmonton
You may have heard or seen ‘Moving to Edmonton’ style advertisments are all over a few other Canadian cities (i.e. Vancouver and Toronto) where home prices are much higher than they are here in Alberta. Moving to a new city can be a daunting task, but it can also be an exciting adventure. If you are considering a move to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, there are many things to consider.
First of all, Edmonton is the capital of Alberta and one of Canada’s fastest-growing cities. It offers a high quality of life, affordable cost of living, and diverse cultural and recreational opportunities. One of the biggest advantages of living in Edmonton is its thriving economy. The city is home to a number of industries, including oil and gas, healthcare, and education. This has created a strong job market and a high standard of living. Also, the city is home to several post-secondary institutions, including the University of Alberta, MacEwan University, and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, which attracts students and professionals from around the world.
Edmonton is also known for its vibrant arts and culture scene. The city is home to numerous museums, galleries, and performing arts venues, including the Art Gallery of Alberta and the Winspear Centre for Music. In addition, Edmonton offers a wide range of recreational activities, from skiing and snowboarding in the winter to hiking, biking, and camping in the summer. The city is also home to several parks and green spaces, including the North Saskatchewan River Valley, which is one of the largest urban park systems in North America.
What about sports teams in Edmonton, you say? Well sports fans will be delighted to know, Edmonton is home to several professional sports teams, too, including hockey with the Edmonton Oilers (NHL), football with the Edmonton Elks (CFL), basketball with the Edmonton Stingers (CEBL) and soccer with FC Edmonton (CPL). We understand if moving here from other Province, it may take some time before you start to cheer for one of these teams (but rest assured, we’ll still accept you with open arms).
Edmonton is also known for its diverse culinary scene, with a variety of restaurants offering everything from traditional Canadian fare to international cuisine. Whether you are in the mood for sushi, pizza, or a classic Alberta beef steak, you can find it all right here in Edmonton.
In terms of transportation, Edmonton has an extensive public transit system, including buses and the Light Rail Transit (LRT) system. The city is also home to the Edmonton International Airport, which offers direct flights to several Canadian and international destinations.
Overall, Edmonton is a great place to live for those seeking a welcoming community, a high quality of life, thriving job market, and diverse cultural and recreational opportunities. Edmonton has something to offer for everyone. And with a stable real estate market and affordable cost of living, it is an attractive destination for those looking to purchase a home and settle down.
Now, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the mortgage process, don’t worry – there are many resources available below to help you. Whether you choose to work with our team as your mortgage broker or someone else, there are many great professionals in Edmonton who can guide you through the process and help you find the right mortgage for your needs.
Understanding the Edmonton Real Estate Market
Naturally, most people when considering a move to a new city consider their housing options. You’ll be happy to know, Edmonton has a variety of housing options, from apartments and townhouses to single-family homes. The cost of living in Edmonton is relatively affordable compared to other major Canadian cities, but it’s still important to research and compare housing options before making a decision.Before you start looking for a mortgage, it is important to understand the local real estate market. Edmonton’s real estate market has been stable over the past few years, with a steady increase in housing prices. As of April 2023, the average price of a single-family home in the greater Edmonton area is $409,000, while the average price of a condo is $193,000.
Preparing for a Mortgage Application
Before applying for a mortgage, there are a few things you should do to prepare. Start by checking your credit score with Equifax or TransUnion and making sure it is in good shape. Your credit score will play a crucial role in the mortgage application process, as lenders use it to assess your creditworthiness. You can also obtain a free copy of your credit report from Equifax or TransUnion.
Next, determine how much you can afford to borrow. This will depend on several factors, such as your income, expenses, and debt. Feel free to use Benchmarks mortgage affordability calculator, which is available for both iPhone and Android, to get an estimate of how much you can afford to borrow (Click here for details). Our app will give you a “ball park” idea of what is affordable, as well as run test scenario’s and obtain a pre-qualification using your own credit rating.
Choosing the Right Mortgage Product
When it comes to mortgages, there are several types of products to choose from, including fixed-rate mortgages, adjustable-rate mortgages, and hybrid mortgages. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to understand the differences before making a decision. Of course, we’ll gladly help you with this, too.
Fixed-rate mortgages offer a predictable monthly payment and are a good option for those who want stability and certainty. Adjustable-rate mortgages, on the other hand, have a variable interest rate that can fluctuate over time. These are a good option for those who are comfortable with a bit more risk and want to take advantage of lower interest rates.
Finding the Right Mortgage Broker
You’re ready to move forward and it is time to start shopping around for a mortgage broker. But not just any broker will do. You can start by getting contacting several brokers to compare their process, rates and if they charge any fees (i.e. application fee, origination fee, appraisal fee, or commitment fee). Be sure their a good fit and most importantly make sure they are licensed by the Real Estate Council of Alberta.
When choosing your Edmonton mortgage broker, it is also important to consider their reputation, style of communication, and customer service. Look for a mortgage broker who has a good track record of working with clients in Edmonton and who is willing to answer any questions you may have.
Applying for a Mortgage
Once you have found a mortgage broker, it is time to start the application process. This will usually involve submitting an online questionnaire, followed by documentation such as proof of income, (tax returns, employment letters from your HR department, pay stubs), and bank statements. Once you have an accepted offer on a property, the lender may request that your broker orders an appraisal of the property you are purchasing to confirm its condition and value.
During the application process, it is important to be honest and upfront with your mortgage broker. Any misrepresentations or omissions could result in your application being denied or your mortgage being rescinded.
Closing on Your Mortgage
Once your mortgage application has been approved, you will receive a mortgage commitment letter from your broker on behalf of the lender. This document outlines the terms and conditions of your mortgage, including the interest rate, repayment terms, and any special conditions. Review the commitment carefully and sign it to indicate your acceptance. You’ll also need to think about hiring a real estate lawyer to handle the legal aspects of the mortgage closing process. Be sure to engage the services of a reputable lawyer who specializes in real estate transactions.
- Your lawyer will conduct a title search to ensure there are no outstanding liens or encumbrances on the property. They will also advise you to obtain title insurance, which protects against potential defects in the title or ownership of the property. Also as a condition of the mortgage, you will need to have home insurance in place in the event there are losses and damages to the property. Shop around for insurance providers and secure coverage that meets the lender’s requirements.
- Your lawyer will work with your lender to arrange for the transfer of the mortgage funds. They will coordinate the payment with the lender and ensure that all outstanding fees, taxes, and other adjustments are taken into account.
Finally, once the closing process is complete and all funds have been transferred from the lender, you will receive the keys to your new home, officially becoming an Edmonton homeowner.
- What is the average down payment required for a mortgage in Edmonton?
- How long does the mortgage application process typically take?
- The duration of the mortgage application process depends on various factors such as the complexity of the application itself, and the type of mortgage you are applying for, such as high-ratio mortgages, conventional insurable mortgages, an unconventional mortgages, all due to specific requirements and regulations. Remember, every mortgage application is unique, and the timeline can vary. To help ensure a smoother and quicker mortgage application process, it’s recommended to be well-prepared.
- Can I get a mortgage if I am self-employed?
- Yes, it is possible to get a mortgage even if you are self-employed. However, you may be required to provide additional documentation to prove your income, such as tax returns, business financial statements, and bank statements. There are even programs which involve using less traditional guidelines.
- What is the minimum credit score required to qualify for a mortgage in Edmonton?
- The minimum credit score required to qualify for a mortgage in Edmonton will depend on the lender and the type of mortgage product you are applying for. Generally, a credit score of 660 or higher is recommended, howver give our team a call to discuss in great details, as we do have lenders offering several options.
- What is mortgage pre-approval and is it necessary?
- A mortgage pre-approval is when a mortgage broker and/or lender reviews your financial information and determines how much you can afford to borrow. While it is not required, it is highly recommended, especially if making plans before you move to Edmonton, as it can be helpful to know what a bank or lender will need from you prior to shopping for a home. It also gives you a better idea of your budget and can make the home buying process much smoother.
- What is the difference between a mortgage broker and a mortgage lender?
- A mortgage broker acts as an intermediary between you and multiple lenders (like Scotiabank, TD Canada Trust, Manulife Bank, First National, MCAP, ane more) to help you find the best mortgage product for your needs. A mortgage lender, on the other hand, is the financial institution that actually provides the loan to you and may only offer you their own products.
- Can I transfer my existing mortgage to a new province?
- It depends on the terms and conditions of your current mortgage. Some mortgages are portable, meaning they can be transferred to a new property or province, while others may not have this option. Contact your existing lender to discuss the possibilities.
- Do I need to change lenders when moving to a new province?
- Not necessarily. Your current lender may operate in the new province or have partner institutions that can handle your mortgage. However, it’s advisable to explore all options and compare rates and terms from different lenders to ensure you are getting the best deal.
- Are there any provincial-specific requirements for obtaining a mortgage?
- Yes, each province may have specific regulations and requirements for mortgage applications. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the rules of the province you are moving to and work with a lender who is well-versed in that specific region.
- How does moving to a new province affect my credit score?
- Moving to a new province itself does not directly impact your credit score. However, applying for a mortgage and other new credit accounts may result in credit inquiries, which can have a temporary impact on your score. Ensure you manage your credit responsibly during the transition.
- How can I find a reliable real estate agent and mortgage broker in the new province?
- Seek recommendations from friends, family, or colleagues who have recently purchased property in Alberta already. You can also research online, read Google reviews (like ours), and interview potential agents and brokers to find ones with expertise in the local market.
Remember, these FAQs serve as a starting point for your research and understanding. It’s always recommended to consult with professionals such as lenders, real estate agents, and mortgage brokers who specialize in the province you are moving to for personalized advice and guidance. So, ready to get started?
Benchmark Mortgages Inc. is an Edmonton brokerage designed to establish meaningful long-term relationships with clients and help them achieve financial freedom faster with diverse and customized mortgage options. The term “benchmark” originates from the chiseled horizontal marks that surveyors made in stone structures as an established point of reference. By definition, it is a mark that serves as a standard by which others may be judged or measured.