of Lloydminster

Your Community Minded Realtors

Contact Us Anytime

Office: 780-808-2700
Toll Free: 866-666-2700

RE/MAX Of Lloydminster
5726 - 44 Street
Lloydminster, AB
T9V 0B6

"each office independently owned and operated"

Many people simply assume that buying a home is always better than renting, but that is not always the case. Owning a home makes sense in certain circumstances, just as renting is a smart move in others.



If you are thinking about buying a home, there are a number of questions you need to ask yourself before you call a real estate agent. Making an honest assessment of yourself, your finances and your goals can steer you in the right direction. So can asking the following questions.


How Long Do I Expect to Stay in the Home?

Over the long run, home prices have appreciated steadily, but short-term price trends are much harder to predict. As homeowners found out in 2007 and 2008, real estate prices do not always go up. Prices can decline quite sharply in just a short time, and that can leave buyers who bought at the top in a very uncomfortable position.

If you are buying a home as a place to live in for the long term, you will probably be quite pleased with its performance in the coming decades. If you are looking for a quick flip, you might be disappointed. You might indeed find a bargain and make a quick profit, but you could just as easily lose money on the deal.


Can I Afford a 20% Down Payment?

Putting a significant amount down on a home can eliminate costly private mortgage insurance and give you additional wiggle room should prices decline in the future. If you cannot make a down payment of at least 20% in the price range you are looking at, you might want to set your sights - and your price - a bit lower.

Stretching to make the mortgage payment and buying more home than you can comfortably afford is a recipe for disaster. If you think you can afford a $200,000 home, looking at properties in the $150,000 to $175,000 can get you more for your money and allow you to sleep more easily in your new bed.


How Much Will the Home Really Cost?

You can find out how much your mortgage payment will be in a matter of minutes. All you need is the purchase price, the interest rate on your mortgage and an online calculator.

The problem is those calculators do not tell you the whole story. Even the most sophisticated mortgage calculator cannot tell you how much your real estate taxes will be in 10 years, or how much you will have to spend for a new roof. Taking home repairs and maintenance into account is a critical part of the equation. If you fail to budget for such expenses, you are putting your financial future, and your home, at risk.


Asking yourself these vital questions can make the decision to buy a lot easier. If you have satisfactory answers to all the above questions, you may be ready for the financial commitment and decades-long responsibility of home ownership. If not, you might want to keep renting and saving money.


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Whether you want to buy a house or just get a better rate on your credit card, your credit score will play a big role in how well you do and how much you have to pay.


If you do not know your three digit credit score, now is the time to find out. There are plenty of places to get a free copy of your credit report and your credit score - some credit card companies are even printing customer's current credit scores on their monthly statements. Once you are armed with that vital information, you can take steps to improve your standing and get a better rate on the loans you need. Here are five ways to improve your credit score today.


  1. Put your bills on automatic pilot. One of the best ways to raise your credit score is to pay your bills on time, but it is easy for payments to slip through the cracks. Avoid late payments and credit score hits by paying your bills automatically from your bank account.

  2. Sign up for payment reminders. If you are not comfortable with debiting your checking account automatically, at least sign up for payment reminders. These reminders are a great way to prevent missed payments and late fees.

  3. Pay down your debt. The less you owe the easier it will be to deal with debt and avoid late payments. Put bonuses, raises and other extra money toward paying down your debt and stay on track to get rid of your existing balances once and for all.

  4. Avoid opening new accounts or closing old ones.

  5. Question errors on your credit profile. You should be checking your credit report at least once a year. Doing so gives you a chance to spot problems early and get them corrected. Question errors on your credit report right away - and follow up to make sure they have been corrected.


Whether you are a recent college graduate just getting your start in life or a recent retiree getting ready for a whole new chapter, having a great credit score can make things a lot easier. If your credit score has taken a hit due to past mistakes or just plain bad luck, the five tips above can help you get back on track.


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MLS®, REALTOR®, and the associated logos are trademarks of The Canadian Real Estate Association.