Buying April 2, 2020

5 Saskatoon Neighbourhoods You’ll Want to Call Home

Home to a fantastically diverse population, Saskatoon features many different neighborhoods to choose from. Whether you’d prefer mature and settled or new and bustling, you can find it here in the City of Bridges!

If you’re looking for the right neighbourhood to start your home search, there are many things to take into consideration, like lifestyle, access to amenities, and community life. Here are some of the most popular neighbourhoods in Saskatoon right now:

Nutana

The original settlement of Saskatoon, Nutana is situated right along the South Saskatchewan River and is one of the most popular neighbourhoods in the city. Not only does it offer easy access to the natural beauty of the river views and Rotary Park, but it’s also just a quick trip over the bridge to the downtown core. Plus, it features the bustling Broadway Avenue business district, allowing you to effortlessly find both culture and convenience right on your doorstep—with festivals and heritage buildings just around the corner.

With most of the houses in Nutana being built prior to 1980, it is the perfect place to start your search if you have your sights set on a character home. And if you’re still wanting to buy new, you can still find it here, with many infill properties cropping up, affording you the additional benefit of the mature landscape!

City Park

Located right at the heart of Saskatoon, City Park is home to some of the most stunning real estate to be found along the river valley. Originally known as Central Park, it boasts some of the greatest outdoor spaces in the city, including Meewasin Park, Wilson Park, Kinsmen Park, and Mendel Site Park. Not to mention, it is conveniently located alongside the downtown core for the easiest access to amenities that you can imagine.

One of City Park’s best features, though, is the City Park School, a unique multi-use school that caters to meet the needs of all students struggling to learn in traditional methods. Their specialized learning programs include an Ecoquest outdoor classroom, a FLEX Program for athletes and artists, and the Online Learning Centre!

As a mature neighborhood, much like Nutana, most homes in City Park are character homes. However, it is also an excellent neighbourhood to find many condos for sale, as well!

Silverwood Heights

One of the largest subdivisions in Saskatoon, Silverwood Heights is a fantastic family neighbourhood, home to 5 schools and over 75 acres of parkland! Priding itself as an active and beautiful community, residents of Silverwood Heights will love the all-season access to the Meewasin Trail in their backyard, as well as the close proximity to all the amenities that Lawson Heights has to offer! This includes the Lawson Height Mall and the ever-popular civic centre, featuring a wave pool, sauna, and fitness centre that the whole family will love!

As a family-oriented community, Silverwood Heights is a great place to start your search for single-family homes for sale, with many options available to suit your family’s needs.

Evergreen

Evergreen is one of Saskatoon’s newest neighbourhoods, with a focus on nature and outdoor living. Named after the 50-year old Scots pine trees that can be found on the south-east corner of the community, Evergreen prides itself on its outdoor spaces. Surrounded by parks and agricultural land, it is the perfect neighbourhood for nature-lovers and those who prefer living outside of the city without losing the easy access to amenities.

As a newer community, only having started construction in 2010, homes in Evergreen are newer properties and come in a wide array of options—from condos to townhouses to single family dwellings. And with 9 kilometres of looping trails throughout, it’s easy to get around by both foot and bike!

Kensington

If you’re looking for the convenience of modern living with the luxuries of traditional style, Kensington may just be the perfect neighbourhood for you. With a focus on quality of life first, this community was built to seamlessly blend accessibility and urban convenience. All the essentials you need can be easily found just minutes from every door in town, as well as a vast network of outdoor space, including greenways, pathways, ponds, and sports fields.

The community of Kensington also prides itself on its commitment to environmental sustainability, with over half of the single-family homes designed to take advantage of solar power. So if saving on the electricity bill and helping the environment sounds good to you—look no further!

 

No matter what your needs may be in for your future home, you can be sure there’s a Saskatoon neighbourhood perfectly suited to you! And if you’re not sure what your needs may be or would like more information on the neighbourhoods available to you, never hesitate to reach out and ask your REALTOR®!

Buying January 9, 2020

6 Questions to Ask Before Becoming a First Time Home Buyer

You’ve heard it over and over again, “Why are you still renting? You’re just paying someone else’s mortgage!” And, while that’s technically true, making the move from tenant to owner is a huge step, and one that should never be taken lightly! If you think you’re ready to start wading into the water of being a first time home buyer in Saskatoon, here are a few questions to ask before getting started:

1. Am I Financially Ready to Become a First Time Home Buyer?

Just because you’re “paying someone else’s mortgage”, doesn’t necessarily mean you can afford to pay your own just yet! The benefit of tenancy is the option to call it quits after the conditions of your term are met; you can just wipe your hands and walk away. As a homeowner, however, you’re making a 25 year commitment not just to the purchase of the home, but the upkeep, as well!

Some of the costs you’ll need to be financially prepared for when becoming a first time home buyer include:

  • Upfront Costs: the down payment (5-20% of the purchase price), closing costs (1.5 – 4% of the purchase price), and moving costs.

  • Ongoing Costs: monthly mortgage payments, property taxes, home insurance, utilities, condo fees (if applicable), repairs, and ongoing maintenance.

If you’re not sure how to calculate all this on your own, a Mortgage Calculator can be a great tool in giving you an idea of where you stand financially!

2. Am I Going to Use a REALTOR®?

For first time home buyers there is often quite a bit of confusion around real estate agents, especially when it comes to how much they cost. Well, I’m here to clear it up for you once and for all: as a buyer, using a REALTOR® will cost you absolutely nothing at all! That’s right—whether you decide to purchase or not, a home buyer will never pay a cent to use the services of a real estate agent, which means you are getting quite the bang for your buck.

For the low, low price of FREE, here are just some of the things your REALTOR® will help you with when buying your first home:

  • Market insight and years of experience to educate you in buying a home in Saskatoon

  • Writing offers & counter offers

  • Negotiating terms on your behalf

  • Post-sale assistance, up to and beyond possession day!

 

3. Do I Need to Get Preapproved for a Mortgage?

While it’s not an essential step in the process of buying your first home, getting preapproved for a mortgage can help better define what it is you can afford and set you up with some very realistic expectations as a first time home buyer. That way, you can keep your budget in mind and prevent yourself from falling in love with that riverfront home in City Park you just can’t afford.

Similar to working with a REALTOR®, getting preapproved for a mortgage is absolutely free and relatively painless if done right with the help of a professional mortgage specialist. Not sure who to work with? Our preferred partners at RBC work right here in the office and work with home buyers and sellers of all sorts each and every day, so you can trust that they know what they are doing!

4. What Am I Looking for In My First Home?

With so many listings to choose from, it can often be entirely overwhelming to know where to even start with your home search. And while a REALTOR® can be a great help, only you will know what you need in your home. Take a moment before you start your search to narrow down the playing field a little and save yourself the hours of scrolling through listings in the future. Think about everything from space to accessibility to what’s important to you. Don’t focus on the face value—paint colours, fixtures, appliances—which can all easily be brought up to snuff on a long weekend. Instead, look at what can’t be renovated away, like the number of bedrooms and the neighbourhood.

Then, with your narrowed search criteria, your real estate agent can better define which homes to show you and which ones to steer clear of. They can even set you up to receive automatic updates on new listings that match your exact criteria, so you’ll never miss a potential perfect property!

5. Am I Buying with My Partner?

Whether you are married or not, if you are considering buying your first home with your partner, the very first thing you’ll want to do is talk. Talk about your financial histories and how you plan on managing the payments moving forward. Will you be making separate monthly mortgage payments or opening a joint bank account where payments will automatically be withdrawn? And especially if you’re not married, you’ll want to strongly consider drafting up a contract about the expectations for each of you moving forward. No one is expecting the partnership to fail, but it’s always a good idea to be prepared just in case.

6. What Financial Assistance Options Are Available to Me?

To help first time home buyers make their way into the world of real estate, the Government of Canada has actually set out quite a few fantastic options for getting your finances in order. This includes:

The First Time Home Buyer’s Incentive, which helps eligible first time home buyers with the necessary down payment to finance between 5-10% of their home purchase on a shared equity plan with the Government of Canada. This helps to lower your monthly mortgage payment, and you won’t need to worry about repaying it for 25 years or until you’re ready to sell!

The Home Buyer’s Amount is a $5000 non-refundable income tax credit for qualifying homes purchased during the calendar year. It provides up to $750 in federal tax relief, helping to alleviate the costs associated with purchasing a home.

The Home Buyer’s Plan allows you to withdraw up to $35,000 in one calendar year from your RRSPs if you are buying  a home for either yourself or a relative with a disability.

The GST/HST New Housing Rebate allows you to recover part of the GST/HST you had to pay in buying your new home, if you qualify.

Becoming a first time home buyer can be a tricky and confusing time for many Saskatoon residents, but it can also be a very exciting one, too! And by asking the right questions up front and consulting with real estate experts, you’ll be more than prepared to handle the big change in your life, as soon as you’re ready to make it happen.