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5 Questions For Todd Talbot On First Time Home Buying

Hey everyone, Shay here, with Jillian in Maui this week we thought Todd Talbot taking over the blog was the perfect time to start a realtor blog series. I recently sat down with Todd as I am looking at buying my first home. As a first time home buyer at Trumpeter, Edmonton, I asked him SO many questions and he gave me so many great answers. With his background in real estate and being very knowledgebale in home buying I thought some of YOU might be in the same boat as me. SO, we’ve decided to start a series of blogs (with the help of Todd of course) to bring you real estate advice and home buying tips and tricks. I thought we would start the series off for the first time home buyers out there (like myself) and work our way up so that we can learn together and eventually be as knowledgeable as the pros (or almost).

After asking so many questions, we broke it down to the ones that we thought most of you would also relate to.  If you have specific questions you would like answered let us know in the comments below.

Do I Need A Realtor?

No. You don’t need to use a realtor but the buyers agent gets paid by the seller so it’s in your best interest to be protected and utilize an expert, especially for your first purchase. I recommend you build a team to help navigate the process. They should have the experience and connections to make sure that every aspect is handled and that you have the right people to assist, anyone from a mortgage broker to a locksmith. A Realtor has a fiduciary responsibility to act on your behalf and put your interests in front of theirs (and others) at all times. Plus they’ll buy you a sweet housewarming gift!

How do I get the best mortgage rate?

I have always used a mortgage calculator and broker as opposed to a bank. I like a broker because I don’t pay for the personalized service (they get paid by the lender) and they work with a number of different lenders to shop for the best rate for you. If you go to a bank then you have to use only the products that they have.

mortgage application form

photo credit

How many homes should I look at before making an offer?

There is really no exact formula but here is a good rule. The 100/10/1 Rule. With the internet this is way easier now, what if there’s troubleshooting internet connection problems? Don’t let your home network scare you, call experts for help. You need to look at 100 places. Once you narrow it down then you need to walk through and analyze 10 properties. From those, expect to find one that you might want to pull the trigger on. Also, be prepared to lose out on something you fell in love with. It’s like dating, you might get your heart broken but the next property will inevitably turn out even better!

We are in the business and have built our reputation on sourcing and providing solutions to fixing problems where others were unsuccessful.

Which is better, fixer-upper or new-build?

I’m a fixer-upper kinda guy. You want to make sure that you buy something that has ‘good bones’ as they say. Especially as a newbie. I think that adding value through sweat equity is one of the best ways to add value. You can have a ton of fun and give an older condo, townhouse, or detached house a cool new look while saving money at the same time. Just make sure you cost out the renovations before you buy so you aren’t surprised when you get started.

How do I know if I’m overpaying?

I love this question. There is a lot of fear out there around overpaying. There are a number of safe guards in place to help you avoid a mistake.

  1. A realtor will advise you based on current market conditions and comparable sales in the area  so that your offer will be inline with current value. Our job is to protect you from making an uninformed decision.
  2. In order to get financing the property needs to have an appraisal and if the appraiser doesn’t think it’s worth what you are paying the lender won’t give you the mortgage.
  3. An inspector can shed light on fixes now and in the future that will need to be done and that gives you another opportunity to analyze the price.
  4. Once you have seen enough properties and done all your homework, you get to decide what you think is fair market value. If the asking price is too high and the seller won’t negotiate, it’s time to move on. Sometimes it will still be on the market weeks or months later and you can take another shot at it.

Do you have any questions for Todd that weren’t answered above?? If so, make sure to comment below!!! Stay tuned for our next blog in this series!!



Shay & Todd

Leave a Reply

  1. Hi! I wanted to know what Todd’s words of wisdom are for renovating appropriate for the value of your home. I’m worried that if I buy a place that needs some work and I renovate that the market won’t reciprocate what I’ve put into it! Thank you

    Annie B

  2. Hi! I would like to know what is Todd’s opinion about the Vancouver Market. Does he think the market will stay as it is (price keep rising) or does he feel sometime soon the bubble will burst. As we are trying to get in the market, it would be very helpful to have his opinion! Thanks !! 🙂

  3. Hi I am wondering what Todd and you think of buying a renovation property versus building! What ends up being cheaper?

  4. There are very few people in the world who can speak with authority about what it’s like to buy a first home. When you’re ready to buy your first home, you’ve got a lot to consider.

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