Is It a Good Time to Buy a House in Edmonton?
Trying to predict the future of the housing market is never an exact science, and that’s especially true right now. Back at the beginning of 2020, nobody could have foreseen the arrival of COVID-19 and the huge effect it had (and continues to have) on our economy.
This provides a particularly unique challenge to homebuilders and our clients – people still need a place to live so the whole housing market can’t simply shut down. But, whether or not this disruption makes for a good time to buy a house depends on a few things we will cover in this article.
Self-isolation and social distancing affect almost all aspects of the home-buying process —but that doesn’t necessarily mean it isn’t a good time to buy a house.
So does it make sense to buy a home in Edmonton during the current climate? Let’s take a look at some of the current events that are affecting home buyers, and what these can mean for the immediate future.
You Can’t Buy a Home in the Traditional Way
Here at Sterling Homes, our top priority is to keep people safe while they buy a home from us. Because of this, we’ve had to make some big changes to the way we show our homes. As well as rigorously cleaning all our showhomes in between viewings, we’re conducting self-guided and virtual showhome tours, as well as restricting the things that people viewing the homes can touch and interact with.
Because of this, you may find that it takes a little longer to arrange a viewing than it would under normal circumstances, but we ask you to bear with us, as this is for everyone’s health and well-being.
We’ve also made some big changes to the way you’ll actually pay for your home and sign the documents once you do decide to buy, which we’ll cover in more detail below.
Does It Make Financial Sense to Buy Now?
The best time to buy a house may be right now. From a purely financial perspective, there are actually some big benefits to buying a home at the moment. The government has lowered interest rates in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, so you could be able to get an even lower rate on your mortgage. This is also good news for existing homeowners who might be looking to refinance.
The banks are also allowing for mortgage payment deferrals in order to give people some more breathing room during the crisis, so it couldn’t hurt to check with the bank to see if you’re eligible. However, be aware that if you’re currently applying for a mortgage, the credit checks might be a little more strenuous than usual due to the current financial instability so make sure you have everything in order.
Is There a Difference in How the Down Payment Works?
When it comes to securing a down payment, the process is still largely the same. If you’ve already saved up enough, you’re good to go. If you’re still saving, you can keep using the same government programs that were in place to help you before.
These programs include the First-Time Homebuyer’s Incentive, the Home Buyer’s Amount, the Home Buyers’ Plan and the GST/HST Housing Rebate. For more information on these programs, take a look at our Guide To Down Payment Basics.
Will House Prices Go Down?
One of the good things about the housing market is that it tends to be very stable, and doesn’t fluctuate quickly in response to current events as, say, the stock market would. Of course, at this moment it’s impossible to say how quickly it will take for the COVID-19 crisis to be resolved – if we’re lucky it’ll be over relatively soon and everything will return to normal. In this case, there’s little to worry about.
If the crisis does continue for an extended period, it’s possible there might be a slight shift in the market in the short term, but again this will likely recover once the crisis resolves and things start to settle down again. Regardless, now is still a good time to buy a house as the market won’t fluctuate in any hugely significant way.
When Is the Best Time of Year to Buy a House?
Many people ask us when is the best time of year to buy a house. While it’s difficult to pinpoint the perfect timing, some factors can help you make an informed decision about whether now is good for you.
For example, if you’re looking for a deal on your next home purchase, then January and February may be better months to buy than October or November because prices are typically lower in those months due to less demand. It also might be easier for buyers with children who need new schools at this time of year since many kids go back after Christmas break in December.
Is Now a Good Time to Buy a House in Edmonton?
If you’re looking for the best time to buy a house in Edmonton, it could be now. With low interest rates and affordable home prices, you should consider your options and the possibility of things rising in the future—especially with the economy looking like it is slowly turning around. If you want to learn more about how much it will cost for an average family to build their dream home in Edmonton or if you just need some advice on where to start looking for your new home, call us.
How Do I Buy A Home?
Showhomes aren’t the only area where we’ve had to make big changes – we’ve also had to overhaul our buying process. Once you decide to purchase a home, you can now go through the sales process online via our website, and you can even sign the final documents online.
Once this is completed, you’ll still have to move in, which presents its own set of challenges. We’ve got you covered here too – take a look at our Guide to Moving Safely During The COVID-19 Crisis to find out how to make this process go much more smoothly.
As you can see, there are certainly a few challenges when it comes to buying a home in the current climate, but it’s by no means impossible. In fact, in certain circumstances, there may even be some advantages and be the best time to buy a house. While it’s impossible to say exactly what the next year or two might bring, history has shown that housing is an extremely stable investment and it’s one that can grow a great deal over time as you start to build equity.
If you feel that now might be the right time for you, get in touch with us today and speak to one of our Area Managers to find out how the current situation might affect you.
Originally published April 2, 2019.
Photo credits: depositphotos.com
About the Author:
At Sterling Homes, our mission is to provide the opportunity for affordable homeownership without compromise. Over the last 70 years, Sterling Edmonton has quickly become one of Edmonton’s most popular builders. We bring more than seven decades worth of exceptional customer service, superior design and unparalleled craftsmanship to the greater Edmonton area. As a member of the Qualico Group, Sterling Homes focuses on greater Edmonton’s finest family communities, while being able to offer some of the region’s most family friendly prices thanks to volume purchasing power for materials, trades and land. This has not only made Sterling one of Edmonton’s bestselling, move-up builders, but also one of the industry’s most respected home providers.
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