First-time Home Buyers

As a first-time home buyer in Lethbridge, Alberta, you may feel overwhelmed with the real estate market. However, with the right knowledge and guidance, the process can be quite enjoyable. Here are some things to keep in mind as you begin the journey to becoming a Lethbridge homeowner.

1. Determine Your Budget

Before you start browsing homes, you need to determine what you can afford. Consider all the costs associated with owning a home, such as the down payment, closing costs, property taxes, homeowners insurance, and maintenance costs. You can use online mortgage calculators to estimate your monthly payments and determine your budget.

2. Research the Neighborhoods

Lethbridge offers a range of neighborhoods, each with its own unique character and amenities. Research each area before you start house hunting so you can find a neighborhood that aligns with your lifestyle and needs.

3. Work with a Professional Realtor

Working with a professional Realtor is highly recommended when looking to purchase a home for the first time. A Realtor can offer valuable advice and guide you through the process. They can also help you with paperwork, negotiations, and any questions you may have.

4. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is an important step in the home buying process. This helps you determine your budget and shows sellers that you are a serious buyer. Lenders will consider your credit score, income, and debt-to-income ratio when determining the amount you can borrow.

5. Don't Rush Your Decision

Purchasing a home is a significant investment, and you do not want to rush your decision. Take your time and view multiple properties. Ask questions, and do not hesitate to negotiate terms that are not favorable.

6. Be Prepared to Close

Once you have found your dream home, be prepared to close. This includes providing all necessary documents, such as proof of income and identification, and ensuring that you have the funds to close the transaction. Your Realtor can guide you through the closing process and ensure all documents are properly signed and filed.

In conclusion, becoming a first-time home buyer in Lethbridge, Alberta, can be an exciting and rewarding experience. By following these tips, you can find the perfect home that fits your needs and budget.



When you own your home, things are going to break and, unless you want to spend your money on visits from a neighborhood handyman, you’re going to need to fix them yourself. Luckily, you don’t need an arsenal of tools to handle most home maintenance fixes. These five tools will cover most of your basic projects.

  1. Cordless drill. A cordless drill is a must-have for installing cabinets, drawer pulls, hinges, picture frames, shelves and hooks, and more. Whether it’s for do-it-yourself projects or repairs, you’ll use your cordless drill just about every month.
  2. Drain cleaners. Shower and bathroom sink drains are susceptible to clogs because of the daily buildup of hair and whisker clippings. You can use chemical clog removers like Drano, but they’re expensive and the lingering chemical scent is unpleasant. Instead, buy some plastic drain cleaners that can reach into the drain to pull out the clog of hair and gunk. You can purchase them on Amazon or at a local hardware store for a low price.
  3. Shop-vac. No matter how careful you are, spills and accidents will happen and there are some tasks that just can’t be handled with paper towels or a standard vacuum, like pet messes or broken glass.
  4. Loppers. Even the minimum amount of care for your landscaping will require some loppers to remove damaged branches, vines, thick weeds, and any other unruly plants in your yard.
  5. Flashlight. You’re going to want something a little more powerful than your iPhone flashlight when you’re in the crawlspace!

Finding the home you want in a seller's market

Solid homes located in mature areas with large trees lining the streets are a sought after commodity. For instance, this three bedroom, Illegally suited home located at 1014 18 St S recently hit the Lethbridge MLS and the interest in this home has been high. Another home at 2509 14 Avenue South that recently came up for sale, sold the day it was listed on the Lethbridge MLS. 

What does this mean for you, the buyer? To find houses for sale in Lethbridge and area it is important to contact a Professional Real Estate Agent. Whether you choose Century 21 Lethbridge or me at Lethbridge Real Estate, an agent will be equipped to help you find the home you want and in some cases before they come onto the market. In a seller's market , quality homes typically dont last long and receive offers in the first days of being listed. I keep track of what my clients are looking for and do my best to get them into view homes as soon as possible, so be ready to go! 

When THE home comes onto the Lethbridge Real Estate market, be ready. This means having your finances ready and knowing what you want. The stronger your offer is with the least conditions the better chance there is of the seller wanting to work with you. 


Suited Properties

If you have been looking on the MLS listings you know that legally suited properties do not come on the market very often. Legally suited homes are those that have been inspected by the City of Lethbridge and meet or exceed the requirements, which include safety requirements.

Suited homes present different options to buyers such as:

        • Living up and renting the basement suite;

With the increasing value of Lethbridge Real Estate, this is a good option for buyers looking to subsidise their home purchase having someone else pay for part of the mortgage. It is possible to use this income to increase the amount the mortgage you qualify for. Definitely something to talk about with your lender. 

  • Investment;

Rent the entire home and have renters pay for your investment. Historically homes have also increased in value over the long term which adds to your investment portfolio. Homes near the University of Lethbridge such as 479 Mt. Sundance Landing can be popular amongst renters.

A home like 479 Mt Sundance offers completely separate entrances and utilities making it easier to manage for the owner. This home was built in 2014 and was specifically designed as a suited home. No costly renovations needed.

If you have any questions about permitted and non-permitted homes in lethbridge and area please do not hesitate to call me at 403-635-9284.

For a full list of suited homes in Lethbridge click HERE.


Home Ownership vs Renting

Are you sending one or more of the kids to school in the fall or are you looking for a reasonably priced home in Lethbridge but are stuck in a rental cycle? Along with everything else, the cost of rent is going up. Add to this, low rental inventory and increasing home prices and its getting harder to find an affordable home in Lethbridge. 

Have you considered apartment style living? For example #35 3410 23 Av. S is conveniently located on the south side of Lethbridge; close to the Lethbridge College and several big box stores and priced at $125,000. Current interest rates are at or below 2%. That will be some of the cheapest money you will ever borrow making it a great time to buy real estate in Lethbridge. 

For more information on this or any other real estate topics, call Rod at 403-635-9284


Your Very Own Theatre

In these times of being cooped up in our own homes wouldnt it be great to have your own theatre to wind down with the family, keep the kids occupied or just spend time on your own? Your MLS Lethbridge listing search can end here with this local home for sale at 39 Heritiage Green West Lethbridge. The theatre room in this large three bedroom home includes a 100 inch screen with a high definiton projector and all the components.

This home has something for everyone, come home and relax in your secluded hot tub located just outside the walkout looking onto a quiet park. For those of you who have lived in Southern Alberta, you know the value of an east facing back yard making it possible to enjoy all year round.

For more information, give Rod a call at 403-635-9284



Ever get the itch to do a DIY project? Whenever we do, our favorites involve getting outdoors and mixing up our landscaping features. 

Whether it's as simple as installing some lighting or a little more time-consuming like re-plotting plants, a fresh look for the lawn always gives your home a fresh look as well. Here are our top five easy landscaping projects!

Create a pathway.

To guide you and visitors throughout your yard and link different areas together, install a pathway. You can use materials from a variety of materials, including reclaimed pallet wood, flagstones, gravel, and more to add texture and color.

Add a wall or border.

Installing a flagstone, rock, or brick wall around flower beds or trees adds a sleek, clean look to your landscaping and helps separate different sections of your yard.

Install a water feature.

Nothing says zen quite like the sound of trickling water as you relax in your backyard. You can start simple with by purchasing and installing a small feature powered by a solar panel or create a larger focal point in your yard by installing a waterfall wall or small pond.

Light your way.

An easy way to transform your yard is to strategically use lighting. Place cool-colored lights high in trees to recreate a moonlight feel, use pathway lights to naturally guide the eye, or highlight objects or plants.

Plant upwards.

Expand your yard space by drawing the eye to the sky with a trellis fence or screen made of wood or metal. Once you install your trellis, select your climbing plants and vines and get to planting!



Ever wish you could become one of those rare morning people? The ones that wake with a start, feeling refreshed and energized. The ones that get in that morning workout or wrap up some work before many of us even hit the snooze button for the first time. Here are five tips to help you achieve that early bird status!

  1. Create a morning schedule. Physically write down the things you’d like to complete in the morning and set a time for each. Then stick with it. Once you force yourself out of bed early one or two weeks consistently, you’ll find it gets easier and easier to do.
  2. Let the light in. Whether natural or artificial, light tells your brain its time to get up and get going. If your room lacks large windows where you can open the blinds up, consider investing in a timed lamp or alarm clock with a light.
  3. Prep and eat breakfast. Although there are many of us who chose the skip breakfast, it is key to perking up your energy in the morning. Try prepping protein-focused meals the night before or grab a yogurt or fruit and try to consume it right after you wake.
  4. Get your body moving. Whether it’s a short walk around your neighborhood or a rigorous 5:30 am spin class, getting your blood pumping will help wake up your body and has a ton of other benefits, like stress and anxiety reduction.
  5. Feed your mind. Stimulate your brain and do something you enjoy first thing in the morning. Try reading a favorite book, catching up on the news, doing daily meditation, or setting intentions.


“Refinancing” is a scary word for many people, but that shouldn’t be the case for you. For many homeowners, refinancing can not only lower your monthly payments and help with your monthly budget, but it can save you thousands of dollars in the long run.


For years now, we’ve been hearing that interest rates will be on the rise, and although there have been some small increases, you’re still in a great position to drastically lower your interest rate. The general rule is if your mortgage interest rate is more than one percent above the current market rate, you should consider refinancing.


Don’t brush off refinancing just because it seems like a long and daunting process. An informational call with a lender to see how rates compare will only take a few minutes. There are also some programs for streamlining the application process. And besides, isn’t the amount of money you could save worth the time and effort?


Seeing your Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) increase after the introductory period can be incredibly stressful and place a squeeze on your budget. Many people assume they’re stuck, but ARMs can be refinanced, just like fixed-rate mortgages. You can even switch to a shorter term fixed-rate mortgage, such as 15 or 23 years. The longer you’re planning to stay in the home, the more sense it makes to look into refinancing.



Hanging out with your family or hosting friends on your old, dingy deck is not very appealing. Lucky for you, refreshing it doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. Try your hand at the makeover ideas below!

Restore your decking. Depending on the shape it’s in, sometimes all your deck needs is a little love. If it’s still fairly new, your deck might just need a deep cleaning and a new coat of sealant. There is a multitude of deck finishing and cleaning solutions on the market to choose from to achieve this. However, if it's more worn down, the rejuvenation process may be a bit longer, including searching for larger repairs, tightening any hardware, giving it a good cleaning, applying a stain, sealant, and paint, and more.

Add lighting. Ambient lighting can completely transform your outside space into a relaxing, cozy oasis. Consider adding solar lights that don’t require a plugin or battery replacement. The lights turn on automatically when the sun sets, making your deck come alive. You can also consider paper lanterns, rope lights, mason jar lamps, or small twinkle lights, depending on the style and mood you’d like to set. 

Build a privacy screen. Privacy screens come in all styles, shapes, and sizes. Consider purchasing and installing bamboo fencing or lattice panels for a quick and easy solution. Or, if you are feeling a little more adventurous, you can build a wooden frame and grow climbing plants or vines or stretch outdoor fabric in between. Whichever route you end up choosing, make sure you get the most out of your efforts by evaluating all lines sight before building.

Home Equity. Getting a home equity line of credit allows you to borrow money against the value of your home. You receive usually up to 80 percent of your home’s value, minus the amount of your loan. 

Retirement Funds. Homeowners can consider pulling money from a 401K or IRA account, even though they aren’t specifically meant to cover a home renovation. This option might incur additional penalties or tax payments, but maybe worth it when making improvements that will benefit them financially in the long run.



When you’re getting ready to list your home, it’s of the upmost importance to ensure you are showing it in the best light. Taking time to highlight its strengths and fix up some of its possible weaknesses can make a big difference in how fast it sells. Here are our top four recommended repairs to make before selling your home.

Repaint walls.

Giving your home a fresh coat of paint is one of the most cost-effective ways to spruce it up, and generally, it can be a do-it-yourself project. Make sure cover any walls with scratches and chips and consider updating any accent walls with a more neutral coat.

Repair floors.

Hardwood floors are a very desirable feature in a home, so you want to ensure they look their best by fixing scratches or dull areas. If your carpet is worn or stained, consider replacing them. And don’t forget the tile in your kitchen or bathrooms. Re-grouting can go a long way in making dingy tile work look brand new!

Refresh the landscaping.

Show buyers your home is the full package by dressing up the outside as well as the in. Clean walkways and driveways, plant seasonal flowers and plants, trim hedges and trees, install outdoor décor pieces and fill in mulch and gravel.

Fix your fixtures.

Leaky faucet? Rusted drains? Loose drawer handle? Making these small fixes can make a big difference to potential buyers with detailed-orientated minds. Improve your kitchen. An outdated kitchen can be a real eyesore in a home. Updating cabinetry, repairing or replacing countertops, and installing new faucets and sinks may be worth the investment.



Refinancing your mortgage is something most homeowners consider at least once throughout the lifespan of their home loan. It allows you to pay off your previous loan by applying for a new one that has better financial advantages. While there are many good reasons to refinance, here are five common ones.

  • Scoring a lower interest rate. The number one reason homeowners decide to refinance is to secure a lower interest rate on their mortgage. Not only does this save you money in the long run and decrease your monthly payment, but you can start building equity in your home sooner.
  • Using an improved credit score. Even if interest rates have not dropped in the market, if you’ve improved your credit score over the last few years, you may be able to reduce your mortgage rate.
  • Shortening the loan’s term. If interest rates are decreasing, there is a chance you may be able to get a shorter loan term with little to no change in your monthly payment, allowing you to pay off your loan sooner.
  • Switching from an adjustable rate to a fixed rate. If you chose an adjustable-rate mortgage with great introductory rates when you initially financed your home, that rate may increase significantly over the years. By switching to a fixed rate while interest rates are low, you can protect yourself from future increases.
  • Cashing out home equity. If there is a big purchase or payment on the horizon, such as funding a wedding or going back to school, your best option may be to use the equity you’ve built in your home to borrow money at a lower cost.
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