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The edge of Edmonton

First time homebuyers in Edmonton are going to the edges of the city to look for their housing dreams.

First time homebuyers in Edmonton are going to the edges of the city to look for their housing dreams.

Areas of the city once hard to reach have been made more accessible by the extension of the Anthony Henday Drive, the ring road highway that will encircle the city once completed. That coupled with an improving house market has made the area an attractive option.

“First-time homebuyers are most active in the newer neighbourhoods in the outskirts,” said Shami Sandhu, broker with REMAX River City. “The market is ideal (because) the housing pricing has dipped eight and nine per cent lower ... and interest rates are quite low.”

Sandhu said some of the more popular neighbourhoods for first time home buyers were in the northeastern portions of the city, and down by Ellerslie road on the south side of town.

He said getting to these far edges of the city is getting easier to do and packages are sometimes offered to lure them out by the companies building the homes.

“These once-called remote areas have access now,” said Sandhu. “They’re attracted by incentives (given) by home builders.”

Sandhu said that these weren’t the only areas first time buyers were looking at, but more likely they would be looking at smaller places in more established neighbourhoods.

“Those buying in the older areas are probably the ones buying condos ... (or) apartments converted to condos,” he said.

Jason Scott, mortgage associate at Urban Mortgage, said that with the falling prices of housing, it’s a good time for first time home-buyers to look into the market.

“With house prices down it’s really making it a sweet time to buy,” said Scott. “There’s lots of condos and lower cost homes.”

But Scott said one thing he tries to focus on is educating people on his site www.refinancealberta.ca is the process of getting into mortgages and helping to handle debt, something he sees people fall into when they aren’t properly informed.

“People get caught up in the emotion and chase the house and pay too much. That’s the deadly mistake,” said Scott. “You don’t want to eat Kraft Dinner to afford house payments.”

Scott said that the typical five year fixed rate now for mortgages is 3.99 per cent, so the monthly payment on $100,000, based on a 35 year amortization is $440.21.

He said a person can get an idea on their mortgage payments by multiplying by however many hundred thousands they’re borrowing.

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