Prime Edmonton Real Estate - Securing Your home investment is just as important as making the right decision when you buy. In fact, it may even be more important than the home buying process itself. It is not a single step, but a series of consistent measures that you take to protect yourself from downturns and maximize the homes value long term.
There are many things you can do with your bank, with your utility providers, and with your home and landscaping upgrading that can put thousands of dollars in your pocket. Here are my top 3 suggestions:
- Arrange an aggressive mortgage repayment plan - This is the number 1 thing I suggest. Simply making the minimum payment every month will not allow you to pay off your mortgage in a timely manner. It may allow you to have a nicer lifestyle in the present, but may end up costing you more long term. It is very important that you speak with your mortgage expert and try to establish a plan for you to be able to repay the mortgage quickly. Some examples are changing the frequency of payments from monthly to weekly, rounding your payment amounts up to the nearest $50 dollar mark, or having the option to make an 'anniversary payment' on top of your regular payments that can be up to 20% of the balance of the mortgage. Know your limits, though - you don't want the repayment plan to make you 'house poor'.
- Shop around your utilities - as deregulation becomes more of a reality here in Alberta, there becomes more options for where you purchase your retail utility services. Shopping around and leveraging competitors against each other can save you thousands a year if done correctly. It should be noted, though, to make sure that you carefully read any long term contracts in regards to your utility provider, as there may be clauses in the document that could end up costing you more should you move again before the contract is up. Try to make sure you find the best companies to serve your utility needs at the best rate possible,
- Have a home and yard maintenance/renovation schedule/ budget - This is especially true for new homes buyers. Many new home buyers think 'my house is new, I won't be need to fix anything for years'. This is almost never true. There will always be things to fix, things to replace, and things to upgrade. Heck, my 2 month old refrigerator just blew a light bulb today - but it's not a problem because we have a budget for it. The reality is that there will always be a need(and a cost) to maintain a home. Carpet cleaning, window washing, landscaping, furniture...the list is extensive. Have something pout away each month so that it can be addressed quickly - an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
Finally, it is always an excellent idea to speak with your Realtor a few times a year to check in on the market, your area, and your home value. It's the same idea as receiving your semi-annual statement from your financial planner, or you monthly statement from the bank. The combination of all of these measures are an excellent way to help secure your home investment long term and help you 'win' in real estate!