Now is the time to Buy a Home in Alberta: Affordable Buying Conditions

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Alberta homes most affordable in CanadaWhile home insurance in Alberta tends to vary based on the property that's being covered, as a general rule, the residences that people buy coverage for remained in affordable territory through the first three months of 2013, a new report shows.

According to the latest real estate data compiled by financial services firm RBC, despite asking prices elevating in the first quarter of the year, home prices in Alberta continue to be among the least expensive in Canada overall.

Craig Wright, senior vice president and economist at RBC, noted that Albertans were able to take advantage of favorable housing conditions through affordable lending rates, but also because they have significant buying power, due in large part to their earnings, making slightly more than the average Canadian. As a result of this, the housing market in Alberta should remain robust throughout the next three months as well as the remainder of the year.

Calgary Mounts Market Comeback

Home sales have been particularly swift in Alberta's largest city of Calgary. Wright stated that this is particularly worthy of note, given how real estate conditions there have been rocky as of late.

"Calgary-area buyers continue to benefit from a strong provincial economy, accelerating population growth and attractive affordability," said Wright.

Both based on history and the national average, Calgary is one of the most affordable housing markets in the entire country, he added.

Other cities in which affordability conditions were favorable included Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa, the report stated.

How to Keep Insurance Rates Down

Just as home prices and mortgage rates can be subject to variation depending on the market and economic conditions, home insurance rates can be both costly and affordable. However, policyholders have a substantial amount of control in determining what their insurance costs will ultimately be based on some of their shopping strategies as well as what they do to protect their home from unnecessary damage.

For instance, with respect to shopping, it's a good idea not to select one insurer at the outset. Occasionally, a policyholder who's just recently purchased a property may opt with a specific provider because their family has always used them before. But it behooves them to shop around for an insurer, as they may be able to secure a plan that's even more comprehensive than the one they were planning on getting for an affordable price. Without comparing and contrasting quotes, though, prospective policyholders won't be able to know for sure.

Another way to keep costs down is to simply ask an agent. Insurers want their customers to have the lowest rates possible, as this makes for happy customers. By asking about any deals or discounts that are in place or soon will be, policyholders may be able to take advantage of a plan that keep their premiums in affordable territory.

A sign of responsible homeownership is constantly maintaining the property so that it doesn't fall into disrepair. Though it's not a guarantee to result in lower rates, it may be worthwhile for homeowners to get in touch with their insurer to inform them about the maintenance tasks that have been performed. For instance, if a new roof was installed, insurers may be able to adjust their premiums because the roof is more resistant to damage.

Though keep a deductible low ensures that homeowners won't have to pay for very much of an insurance claim, this can be a double-edged sword, as policyholders with lower deductibles tend to have more expensive premiums. It may be worthwhile to raise the deductible, so the insured assumes more of a claim's cost. This could ultimately result in hundreds of dollars in savings.