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Archive for the ‘ Buying a Home in Edmonton ’ Category

Edmonton Real Estate Booms with Oil Boom

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

It’s an Oil Boom and it is why you should consider moving to Edmonton.

It is now three years after the global tanking of energy prices and according to an article in the Wall Street Journal, foreign investors are piling into Canada’s Alberta and Edmonton areas as Alberta announces its plan to double its oil production.

As with any Oil Boom comes problems and in those problems, for the right person, you can find opportunity. Case in point: as a result of the exploding demand there is an extreme shortage of qualified workers. According to an article in the Edmonton Journal:

“Over the next two years, the board predicts Alberta will create 132,900 net new jobs — or about 40,000 more people than the entire population of Red Deer — cutting the province’s unemployment rate to 4.5 per cent by 2013. That’s just one per cent above the pre-recession lows of 2007.”

As a result, there is a massive influx of interprovincial and international migrants, but even with all this migration it is predicted that the supply will not meet the demand. When demand outstrips supply it means that wages will go up for those willing to make the move.

The Petroleum Human Resources Council says nearly 40,000 new workers will be needed in the energy sector by 2020 just to replace those who retire, plus 90,000 additional oil-patch workers will still be needed. With China, South Korea, Japan and Thailand all spending Billions of dollars in new investments as well as with ExxonMobil and Imperial are spending $10.9 billion (Cdn) on the Kearl Oilsands Project and Husky is spending $2.5 Billion on its Sunrise Phase One Sit Project, the demand for skilled labor is only intensifying.

This unprecedented job growth will continue, easily, for at least the next decade. This sentiment was echoed and reinforced recently by the Premier of Alberta, Alison Redford and as a result, Federal Immigration Minister, Jason Kennedy, vowed to streamline the immigration system to “speed up” the flow of foreign skilled workers into Canada.

Then there is the whole issue of demographics. The current demographic trends pose a significant challenge to employers as the oldest of the baby boomers reached retirement age in 2011 and the youngest baby boomers are turning 50. That means that for the next 15 years, employers will continue to see a mass exodus of highly qualified workers. Despite the fact that there were over 250,000 immigrants to Canada last year it is still exceptionally difficult to find a quality worker. The reason, so few of those entering Canada have the trade skills or the construction experience that are in desperate demand. According to Merit Contractors Association Chief, Mr. Stephen Kushner; “Of the more than 250,000 immigrants coming into the country every year, less than 700 a year would actually have construction skills.”

What started all of this, the answer is simple: technology. For years, petroleum producers have known about great reserves of oil locked up in “sand.” The problem was that it was not economically feasible to spend the money to extract it. That all changed with advent of technology.

Oil Sands , which is called Tar sands by its detractors, is simply a natural deposits of sand, clay and bitumen. Bitumen is the heavy black viscous oil that needs to be extracted. In order to do so, the oil sands and are mined using strip mining, in open pit mines, or by thermal extraction, using steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) technology. While the two systems of extraction are similar, there is a difference in that the extraction of the oil from the sand matrix occurs on the surface with the excavation methods and underground with SAGD. Once extracted the oil is then purified of all dirt and water and then sent to be upgraded. This upgrade can occur on site or at a separate site. In the case of the distant upgrading site, the bitumen is normally diluted with a conventional light oil to make it flow more easily through the pipeline. The end-result is an oil similar to the more traditional oil obtained by pumping.

As a result, Edmonton and Alberta combined are sitting on what is estimated to be over $16 Trillion dollars (Cdn.) of oil. Obviously the principal problem is getting the oil out of the sand and thus the boon in construction jobs and the need for “roughnecks.” Right now is the time to get involved and start your career in the Oil and Gas industry; ground zero being Alberta/Edmonton Canada.

Moving to Alberta is not without its perks either. Alberta is full of incredible opportunities, it boasts not only a vibrant recreational and sport scene it also has an exceptional arts and entertainments scene. Furthermore, Alberta’s education and healthcare systems are both world class. As an added bonus Alberta is home to the “SuperNet,” one of the worlds most modern systems of communication. Lastly, Alberta has wonderful communities and neighborhoods, from new construction to well seasoned neighborhoods, you are bound to find a place to call home.

To get started you can visit the Alberta Canada Immigration Help Center  We highly recommend starting here as there are a number of way in which an individual with the right skills can immigrate to Canada.

Between world-class health care and education, an exploding job market that pays top dollar for skilled workers to beautiful neighborhoods, the Edmonton/Alberta area is the place to be. Getting in now, at the ground floor of an exploding industry guarantees you top pay, room for growth the resultant promotions. As a result, you can start your life hear, live your life, and ultimately retire with out ever having to leave.

Buying a House – Process In Brief

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

When it comes to buying a home, there’s naturally going to be a lot of hoops to jump through. In a perfect world, you could just throw down a pile of cash and walk into your new home right away. Of course, if that were the case, you would probably see home ownership skyrocket. Not everyone has piles of cash to give away, and the process of buying a house is generally much more complicated than that. It’s not like purchasing a television, and it really shouldn’t be. The idea of being able to look at a home and buy it within the next few hours might seem enticing, but it doesn’t give you a lot of time to really think over your decision. And, regardless, the real world doesn’t work like that.

Even so, the first step you need to take in the buying process is simply deciding that you want to buy a house. This might seem silly and obvious, but it’s something you really need to take to heart. The process is rarely a simple one, and it’s vital that you weigh all the pros and cons to ensure that you know what you’re getting yourself into. Some might even refer to the process of buying a house as a gauntlet. Indeed, sometimes the search can go on for months as you repeatedly fill out paperwork, get credit checks, apply for mortgages, and make offers ad nauseam.

To help you along the way, it would certainly be prudent to enlist the services of a realtor. Nobody wants to go through the buying process on their own if only because it can be confusing and difficult. With a realtor on your side, you can be sure that all the difficulties will be smoothed out and you’ll be guided along in the process by someone with ample expertise.

Once you’ve decided that you do want to buy a house and you’ve got adequate help on your side, you’ll probably want to understand when the right time to buy a house is. Of course, this is something a realtor can help you with, but it’s good to do a little research on your own. For the most part, the best time to buy a house is when there are a lot of listings, fewer buyers, and of course, when the prices are lower. It can be difficult to find a confluence of all these factors at any given time. Some people will tell you that the best time to buy is after September because of the school year starting up and the oncoming winter. It’s natural to have fewer buyers in the market when they can just hold out through the winter without having to pack up their family in the middle of the school year.

Of course, this isn’t always the case, and it really depends a lot on the market at the time. Certainly, if you can find a time when all these factors combine, you’ll have a better chance at snagging the right home in the right neighborhood for the right price. Even so, this point can’t be emphasized enough: a realtor is really going to give you the best opportunity at finding all of these things.

Indeed, when searching for a house in a suitable area, realtors can narrow down the list substantially to meet your needs. They will have a database of listed houses, each with their own prices and information. You can essentially find a place that meets all your requirements in a relatively short amount of time. Whether you want a house in a City Centre or in the suburbs, there are going to be listings for you. Obviously, finding a suitable house isn’t the same thing as buying a suitable house, and it may take some time before you actually find the right one. You can view a variety of different houses, but be sure to take stock of the condition of its composite parts. For instance, plumbing, electrical work, and the quality of the windows are a few things that should be understood prior to making an offer. If you find a house get it inspected and find it has faulty electrical wiring but is otherwise good, you’re going to need to make a decision on sacrificing that cost right at the start. It’s important to get a qualified engineer or contractor to make an inspection of all the inner workings of the house prior to doing anything substantial.

Once you find the right house, you’re probably going to want to make an offer. You’re also going to want to make sure you have the budget for buying a house. In essence, you need to know the figures for your household budget and you annual income if you want to be approved for a mortgage loan. These loans are vital to helping you purchase your ideal home, and they are necessary to have if you want to make a serious offer. Mortgage lenders can come in the form of banks or independent mortgage professionals. For the most part, they will calculate your financial readiness by looking at two different factors: Gross Debt Service (GDS) ratio and Total Debt Service (TDS) ratio.

The GDS ratio is basically a measure of how much of your monthly budget goes into integral costs like taxes, heating costs, and mortgage payments. For the most part, you’re going to want your GDS ratio to be at or below 32%. The TDS ratio describes how much of your monthly budget goes into housing costs and other debt payments like credit card payments or car loans and leases. Your TDS ratio should be at or below 40% ideally. Many individuals can get pre-approved for a mortgage loan, but it’s important to understand that pre-approval doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be approved when the time comes for the loan. Certain factors can change that might lead you to being unqualified for the loan.

There are a variety of different mortgage options to choose from, and a realtor can certainly help you determine the best route for you. If you’ve been approved for a loan, then you basically have the financial wherewithal to make a valid offer. An offer should include the amount of money that you’re willing to spend, but it can also include a number of different conditions. For instance, mortgage approval at an acceptable rate for a term (5 years) and amortized over a specific number of years (say 25). You can also make the sale conditional on an acceptable professional home inspection.

If your offer is accepted, you will be required to pay the amount stated in the offer and each party will have to perform any of the duties outlined in the conditions. There are going to be several costs associated with closing the sale and you will need to arrange for utilities services, but you will essentially be able to move in on completion day.

So, to synthesize all of this information, the buying process can be broken down into these steps:

  • Decide that you want to buy a house and where.
  • Find a realtor.
  • Get approved for a mortgage.
  • View houses.
  • Make an offer (including inspection and other conditions).
  • Close the sale (and pay any closing costs).

In essence, that’s all you will have to do to buy a house. Although it seems relatively easy when in list form, it’s more than likely going to be a long but ultimately rewarding experience.

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The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.

The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license. REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.