City a ‘promised land’ for homes - Metro US

City a ‘promised land’ for homes

Thinking of buying your first house this spring? Well now may be just the right time.

According to Mark Meincke, a real estate agent with RE/MAX, the interest rates for home purchases are expected to go up in the near future, which may mean now will be the best chance to purchase a house at the lowest cost.

“The demand is high, the inventory is low, but the market hasn’t responded with the prices yet,” Meincke said.

“With the interest rates, the prices are poised to go up for housing.”

The Toronto Dominion Bank and RE/MAX expect an approximate 10 per cent increase in pricing for the housing market, so purchasing your first home now could save you tens of thousands, he explained.

But why stay in Edmonton?

Well for Meincke, it’s actually quite simple. He called Edmonton the “promised land of real estate.”

“As far as Canadian investment, for things like our employment rate, it’s all better here then it is nationally,” he said.

Yet Edmonton is a large city, and growing by the year. There are dozens upon dozens of neighbourhoods for first time buyers to look at.

But Meincke lists off five areas that should grab all first time buyers’ attention for a simple reason: the opportunity to rent.

The benefit to renting out a basement suite in your first home allows for a major portion of the mortgage or interest to be taken care of every month.

Many of these renters would be post-secondary students. That makes areas like Ritchie, Holyrood, Bonnie Doon, Forest Heights and Strathearn great spots since they have easy access and are central to both downtown and the University of Alberta campus.

• Buyers looking for a detached home should expect to spend about a minimum of $290,000 to $360,000 and over for higher-end home.

• Building a suite and renovations could cost in the upwards of $35,000 to $45,000

• Townhouses and condos are popular in the Forest Heights area, but can be quite expensive. One smaller townhouse was listed at $234,000, while another, more luxurious ones could run nearly $355,000.

• There were also many listings for detached homes near Forest Heights Park. A house right by the park could cost around $300,000 to $380,000.

• Many townhouses and condos are also listed in the area of Ritchie, which is right next to Whyte Avenue and walking distance to the University of Alberta Campus. While you are most likely unable to rent out space, it can cost quite a bit for it’s great location. Listings in the area range from $199,000 to approximately $283,000.

Buying your first home can come off as a daunting task, but the only way to get started is to jump into the market.

“Get locked in today for your rates. There is no obligation when you lock into your rates with pre-approval,” Meincke added. “And never do it through the bank. Always use a mobile specialist or a mortgage broker, because the bank won’t tell you what you need to here and they won’t give you the best rates.”

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