Frequently Asked Questions by Saskatoon Home Buyers

Aspiring home buyers in Saskatoon have a million questions when considering the largest purchase of their lifetime. Here are a few frequently asked questions that may help in making your decision easier and more informed.

Am I Ready to Buy a Home?

There are a number of considerations that will go into such a decision.  Think about your lifestyle, future plans and goals, financial position, job/career position and location, and current knowledge. Talk to other home-owners you know, friends who have recently purchased a home, financial advisors, a mortgage broker, your bank, maybe even your boss or family members, and of course - a Realtor®.

How Much Does a Realtor cost?

Realtor fees are payable by the seller in Saskatoon. When you're a buyer, wether its your first home or you 20th, you do not pay any Realtor fees when you are a buyer.  Should you use a Realtor? Maybe you should ask yourself why you wouldn't. Realtors are full of knowledge and experience that will contribute greatly to your decision and success.

How Much Money do I need Upfront?

Depending on the price of the home you're buying, you will need to have a minimum of 5% of the purchase price as a down payment. That will include a portion which you'll need to provide along with the offer as a deposit.  There will be additional costs for a home inspection (roughly $500), legal fees (dependent on the price of the home and any complications with title transfer), property tax adjustments at closing, and moving costs, utility hookup fees, home insurance, mortgage insurance and taxes (PST on insurance must be paid upfront, and new homes are subject to both taxes), and any renovations that you may want to do when you move in. There are no 'hidden' costs.  Ask your Realtor® about what to expect and feel free to ask your lawyer for a quote for fees.

Do I use a Bank or a Mortgage Broker?

Everyone who purchases a home will have different needs in terms of financial assistance.  It's always best to get educated in preparation to make the decision of who to use.  Talk to both your bank and a mortgage broker.  See what they both offer, what makes them different from each other and what rates and terms they might be able to offer you.  Ensure these professionals have experience and longevity in their industry. There are no fees that you will pay to utilize their services - they get paid by the lenders. Your Realtor® may have recommendations for you.

What Should I look for in Terms of Re-sale?

If this is your first home, or one that you will only live in for a handful of years, try to choose something that would appeal to a general audience. 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms are a good minimum standard with a finished basement. Open floor plans seem to appease families in general.  For condominium purchases, try to choose a complex with reasonable condominium fees and good management. Extra parking is always a plus.

Should I Sell my current home before Buying my next one?

There is no right or wrong answer to this question; it will depend, as each situation is unique. Are you financially capable of carrying two properties? What is the current market like? Buying first means spending as much time as you like shopping for your next home, but it also means carrying both homes.  Ask your mortgage or financial specialist if there is an option that might suit you in this situation. Selling first means not having to give a discount on your house in hopes of a quick sale. It also means you may not find what you're looking for when you do sell, and have to move out by a certain date.  Some home-owners consider a rental in between, but as mentioned above - each situation is unique, and will be affected by different factors.