Buying a Home with Bernie



Bernie A. Krec, FRI, CRES


When Experience Matters



Profile: I have been a licensed Realtor since 1991 and in that time I have helped hundreds of clients purchase a home. Whether it be your first home, the next home, or an investment property I have the knowledge and experience to help you with what will probably be the largest purchase you will ever make. I have gone above and beyond most Realtors in achieving a higher level of education in Real Estate. I hold two professional Real Estate designations FRI (Fellow of the Real Estate Institute) and CRES (Certified Real Estate Specialist). Very few Realtors in Edmonton hold these prestigious designations. I have also obtained the highest level of licensing by obtaining my Broker license in 2006.  My past experience has helped me fine tune my techniques in negotiating, customer service, and most importantly I have excellent listening skills which enables me to truly understand your needs.


Philosophy: There is a great difference between finding a “home” or settling just for a “house”. Matching a Buyer’s needs with that special home takes care and a special brand of listening, skill, imagination, and Realtor perseverance and integrity.

Knowing what is really important to a client means recognizing and matching the physical attributes of the home and the neighborhood they may want but also caring to realize their priorities in life, what makes them happy, secure, and comfortable and where they picture themselves 5-10 years down the road. Discovering the whole picture of somebody’s desires means finding “dream homes” that can become sure realities, and where home buying can be a pleasant and rewarding process.

As your Real Estate Consultant, I define your success by uncovering and understanding your needs so that I may respond to them promptly, professionally, and with integrity. Valued service will be provided before, during, and after the transaction, so that your changing needs are always addressed and satisfied. It is my pledge to provide you with ongoing sound Real Estate advice, helping you make the most informed intelligent decision possible. Now, isn’t that what buying a “home” should be all about!!


As a licensed Realtor and member of the Realtor’s Association of Edmonton this is what I can do for you:

            Resale Homes:

·       Being a member of the Realtors Association of Edmonton MLS, I can show you any property listed within this service. This means I can show you any property even if listed by another Real Estate Company.

·       If you should see an ad in the paper, Real Estate magazine, or a sign in the yard, call me to find out additional information. If you want to see it I will show it to you. Remember, as a Buyer you want to be represented by your own Realtor. The listing Agent has already signed an agreement with the Seller and is representing their best interests.

 New Homes:

·         I can work with most builders in our area. Most builders in the Edmonton area belong to the Builder/Realtor cooperation program which means I can get all the information you will need to make any decision regarding a new home, but I will need to accompany you to the property on the initial visit

 Investment Properties:

·         I have extensive knowledge and experience in the sale of investment properties. I also have an extensive client base of Real Estate investors. I have taken several courses in Real Estate investment analysis and Property Management. I also own several of my own properties so you can be assured that I “walk the talk” in this area. Being part of an asset management company also offers many property opportunities that most Realtors don’t know exist

·         Whether you are looking for your first investment property or are an experienced investor you can be assured that I will provide you with the best advice and service available in the Edmonton region. I believe that everyone should own Real Estate as part of their investment strategy and would be happy to show you the benefits of owning just one additional property.

 For Sale By Owner

·         A homeowner trying to sell his home himself is usually doing so in hopes of saving the commission. Coincidentally, this is the same reason a Buyer wants to deal directly with the homeowner, however, a For Sale by Owner (FSBO) home does not mean a lower price for you because the homeowner usually has it listed for the same price range as other homes that are listed with Realtors. It only means that the owner is retaining more of the profits. You on the other hand are paying the same price and getting none of the benefits of the Realtor’s services.

·         Many FSBO homeowners will work with a Realtor and pay their commission when that Realtor introduces the Buyer to that home.

·         If you should see a FSBO and still want all of the advantages of my services, please let me contact the owner and set the appointment.

  Buyer’s Service Promise

If at any time during the Buyer agency period, you feel I am not performing the services I am promising to keep, you may cancel our Buyer Agency Agreement.

During the Buyer Agency period, I promise to perform the following services:

1.      Perform a Buyer’s counseling session to determine the criteria for your new home or investment property.

2.      Assist you in obtaining a pre-qualification letter from a lender in order to determine the best price range of your new home or investment property.

3.      Provide you with a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) based on your criteria to show you what previous buyer’s have been willing to pay for similar properties.

4.      Provide you with a list of properties currently for sale, including For Sale By Owner, based on your criteria.

5.      Assist you in choosing which properties to view.

6.      Continually update your list by automatically matching properties to your criteria via the MLS, and having these properties sent to you automatically via email, so you become aware of them as soon as they are listed. This ensures you are continually on top of the market.

7.      Show you properties based solely on your criteria, assist you in eliminating properties you do not like, and categorizing those properties you do like.

8.      Advise you of the benefits of a home inspection.

9.      Assist you in completing the offer to purchase contract and all other documents that are necessary to complete the purchase.

10.  Advise you and consult with you during the negotiation process.

11.  Provide you with all the relevant information you will need to make an informed decision regarding the purchase of your new home or investment property.

12.  Help you find the best current financing option for your particular situation.

13.  Assist you in obtaining any inspections you have chosen to perform.

14.  Give you a list of all local Real Estate service providers (ie, Appraisers, home inspectors, mortgage Brokers, Lawyers, moving companies, utility companies)

15.  Coordinate and Oversee all facets of the transaction to ensure a smooth and hassle free closing.

16.  Remain in contact with you after you take possession, and always be available to answer any and all Real Estate questions and concerns.

  Pre Qualifications

 To be able to determine the maximum purchase price and loan amount available to you, I must obtain some personal financial information from you. Please be assured that this confidential information is not shared with anyone without your full permission. This is only a pre-qualification and therefore does not guarantee you financing on any home. It is highly recommended that you speak with your own personal banker or a Mortgage Broker, to obtain a pre-approval letter from a lender.


Here are the benefits of a pre-approval letter:


1.      You only look at homes that are in your price range thus saving you precious time in your home search


2.      Your offer to the Seller, once you find your home, is more solid because you have been pre-qualified for the loan. This helps the negotiation process of the contract.


3.      You close more quickly because the process of the loan application has already been started.


4.      You minimize the trauma of knowing whether or not you qualify for a loan.




Fill in the blanks!


Name:__________________________________                  Phone:________________________


Address:________________________________                  Cell:__________________________


_______________________________________                  Work:________________________



Annual income:                       $_____________________________


Monthly debt:                         $_____________________________


Cash Assets:                            $_____________________________


Monthly rent or mortgage:      $_____________________________


Do you currently rent or own?______________________________



Items Needed for a Loan Application


·         Physical addresses for two full years

·         Social Security numbers for all parties involved in the purchase



o   Gross monthly income

o   T-4 slips for the previous 2 years

o   Proof of pensions, retirement, disability, or other income

o   Proof of income from rentals, investments, etc

o   Proof of child support or alimony paid/received

o   Year to date pay stub


If Self Employed:


§  Two years Revenue Canada notice of assessment

§  Current year profit/loss statement





·         Each creditor’s name, addresses, and type of account

·         Account numbers

·         Monthly payments and approximate balances

·         Amount of child care expenses





o   Names and addresses of savings institutions

o   Account numbers for all accounts

o   Type of accounts and present balances





§  List of assets in stock, bonds, Real Estate, etc.

§  Life insurance cash value

§  If applicant is selling a home, a copy of the sales contract

§  Gift letter if down payment is coming from a relative



REALTOR will provide:       Copy of purchase contract and listing information sheet



Mortgage Information


Fixed Rate Conventional Mortgage: A conventional loan is made to a buyer without a third party participant such as C.M.H.C. or GE Capital. Typically a conventional loan has a loan to value ratio of 75/25 which means the buyer would put down 25% of the purchase price. Fixed rate conventional loans offer the most flexibility to the borrower. The loan can be locked in for a short term such as 6 months or for as long as 10 years. A conventional loan can be open which means the borrower can pay out the loan at any time without penalty, or can be fixed for a term of 1-10 years.

Advantage: Quick processing and stable payments.


Adjustable Rate Mortgage ( ARM; also “ Variable Rate” ): The interest rate may go up or down over the term of the loan as this loan is tied to the “bank rate”. Typically the payments are fixed but the amortization will change with each rate change. Many Variable Rate Mortgages offer rate cappers so the interest cannot go beyond a certain point. For the most part the interest rates on Variable Rate mortgages are lower than conventional mortgages, but can change (either up or down) over the term of the loan, so there is some risk involved. If you are risk adverse this loan type may not be for you.

Advantage: The lower interest rate and monthly payments allows the buyer to pay less for a larger loan. In times of declining rates the borrower may take advantage of extremely low rates, resulting in lower interest paid over the term of the loan.


High Ratio Mortgage: High Ratio Mortgage financing refers to any loan exceeding 75% up to and including 95% financing. These loans are all insured loans. The cost of the insurance is based on the loan to value percentage and is paid by the borrower. Usually, it is added to the total amount of the loan. The insured loan protects the lender from default by the borrower. In Alberta

Most insured loans are through C.M.H.C

Advantage: Low down payment, allowing most first time buyers the opportunity to enter the market.



Mortgage Qualifications


As stated earlier, it is highly recommended to be pre-approved by a qualified lender or Mortgage Broker. Here is how the loan amount is determined.


1.      Gross Debt Service Ratio – This means that 30% of the applicants gross income can qualify for principal, interest, and tax payments. If the property is a condominium, the 30% must also include half of the condo fees. If the loan is a high ratio insured loan CMHC rules state that principal, interest, insurance, taxes, and heat cannot exceed 32% of the gross income of the applicant.


2.      Total Debt Service Ratio – While buyer’s may qualify for a mortgage based on their GDS ratio, the lender also wants to check their other contractual debts. This would include such things as car loans, bank loans, credit cards, or any other monthly commitments. Lenders recommend a maximum TDS ratio of 40% to include PIT payments plus all other debt. CMHC states that the PIT plus other debt and heating cannot exceed 42% of the buyer’s gross income.


3.      Credit - This is an examination of the applicants credit record and includes information on how the applicant has handled debt in the past. Typically a lender is looking for a credit or “ Beacon”score. The score must be at a level the lender feels comfortable with. Where a bankruptcy record is disclosed, the applicant may not have been able to re-establish the necessary credit management and stability of income to qualify for a loan. Such re-establishment could take up to two years from the date of discharge. If you have had a bankruptcy it is highly recommended to discuss your situation with a qualified Mortgage Broker.


4.      Employment and Income – The reason for reviewing the employment and income of the applicant is to ensure that their incomes are sufficient to meet their obligations under the mortgage. If the applicant is employed they must be able to demonstrate the stability of their employment. Borrowers are expected to have been continuously employed by their current employer for at least one year. If the applicant is self-employed, they are expected to be able to demonstrate at least three full years of successful operation. This is dome through a review of the financial statements of the business or the individual’s income tax returns.


5.      Equity – The greater the amount of equity the applicant has invested from their own resources, the fewer chances are they will default on their mortgage. The lending institute will want to ensure that the borrower has sufficient equity for the down payment and for all associated closing costs. The down payment and closing costs are to come from the borrowers “own resources” which means bona fide savings, an outright gift from an immediate relative (must be supported by a gift letter), or borrowing against an equivalent amount of proven assets or equity from the sale of another property.



                               Edmonton and area Mortgage Consultants


Anna Manoulik

CIBC Mortgage Specialist



Carmela Durante

Mobile Mortgage Specialist







Home Inspection


The inspection of a property is a very important step in the home buying process. It is the best way to find out if there are any existing problems, or potential problems before you buy the home. It will also show the maintenance required for certain components of your home ie; furnace, hot water tank, plumbing, etc. The cost of a home inspection can vary depending on the type of home (typically a home inspection on a condominium would be less than for a single family home), but the cost is generally in the $500.00 range. The value of a home inspection is unsurpassed, as it offers peace of mind about your home purchase.


The home inspection industry has grown rapidly in recent years as it is becoming more common for Realtors to recommend that a home inspection be performed. In fact, many Realtors will insist on a waiver signed by the home buyer should they wish to for-go a home inspection. In todays market more home buyer’s are seeing the need for an objective expert to look beyond the paint and finishes and thoroughly inspect the major systems of the home they plan to purchase.


Professional home inspectors are hired today to visually assess the condition of the structure and installed systems of a home before closing the deal. As the buyer it is prudent to make sure that the home inspector you hire is experienced and familiar with the type of property you are buying. They must have the technical knowledge to assess the over-all condition of the property. Keep in mind no house or condominium will ever “pass” or “fail” this type of inspection. The inspector may suggest further inspections from structural engineers, building contractors, or architects should they see something beyond their scope or area of expertise.


The home inspection is designed to educate the buyer about the condition of the property. If the inspector finds evidence that repairs are needed, the buyer may choose to not waive the inspection condition, or may be able to re-negotiate with the seller if the repairs are substantial and warranted.


A home inspector, ideally, is an impartial examiner. He, or she, is not hired to give opinions as to whether or not to buy the property, estimates about the value of the property, or suggestions on who to hire for repair work. The inspector should not be confused with the city or county inspector, or an appraiser. They are hired to represent the buyer and to inform the buyer about the physical condition of the property. It is the buyer’s prerogative to get objective information about the house or condominium which may become their home.  



What can I expect from a professional home inspection?


·         The job of the home inspector is to look over every major part of a home, and write a report that judges the home quality and condition.

·         A well-qualified home inspector can spot problems that you might not be able to see or get to. In order to better understand the report and not receive the information secondhand, it is wise to accompany the inspector on the inspection.

·         Expect problems to be clearly explained. Possible solutions to the problems, and approximate costs to repair should also be expected from the home inspector. You should expect a written or emailed report on the spot, or within a day. Remember, if you are purchasing a re-sale home you should expect some issues to arise in the inspection. There is no such thing as a perfect home, and the price of the home should reflect this fact.



What is covered by the Inspection?



1.      Foundation (for holes, cracks)

2.      Gutters and down spouts (for gaps in joints, sagging)

3.      Siding (for cracks, warping, missing sections)

4.      Paint (for peeling, blistering)

5.      Windows and doors (for cracks, loose caulking, sealing)

6.      Roof (Age and condition of roof and material)

7.      Chimney (for loose material, leaks)

8.      Driveways, retaining walls and sidewalks (for cracks, sagging, and proper grade)

9.      Grounds (for proper grading, and healthy landscaping)



1.      Electrical system (for age, condition, adequate voltage, outlets, switches, proper grounding, type of wiring and signs of wear)

2.      Plumbing (for condition of pipes, and fixtures, leaks, clogging)

3.      Insulation in walls, attic, and basement (for thickness and efficiency, R value)

4.      Heating/Cooling systems (for age, condition, and capacity)

5.      Floors and Stairs (for squeeking, shaking, bowing)

6.      Walls (for cracks, loose plaster, signs of leakage in basement areas)

7.      Appliances (for age, working condition)


How much is a home inspection?


·         Prices vary, but generally if the home is a single family dwelling (one kitchen), the cost is roughly $450-$500. Fees may be higher if the house is very large, over 3,000 sq.ft, or if the home is on an acreage.


  Special note!


I will always suggest the importance of a home inspection, and recommend that one be performed before buying any property. Should you as a Buyer opt-out of an inspection you will be required to sign a document, or on the purchase contract that you are opting out of the home inspection.

Home Inspectors


Final Grade Inspections

"Infra Red" scan included

Claude Gaumont




Buyer's Choice Home Inspections

Judy Schuller




Inspection Proof Home Inspections

“ Infra Red” scan service provided

Ph. 780-998-9563



 Estimated Closing Costs


The information provide below reflects estimates of the charges you will likely incur in the purchase of your new home.


Purchase Price: $__________________________________________________


Mortgage Amount: $_______________for ___________years at ___________%


Down Payment: $ _______________________________


Items payable in connection with the Mortgage:


Application Fee: $_____________________________________

Appraissal Fee:    $_____________________________________


Mortgage Fee: ($35.00 + $1/$1000 of mortgage amount) $___________________________


Prepaid home insurance: $__________________________


Land Title fees: ($15.00+$1/$1000 of purchase price)      $___________________________


Legal Fees: $____________________________________


Tax Adjustment: $________________________________


Moving Expenses & Hook-ups: $____________________


Incidentals: (immediate repairs, appliances, furniture, etc.)$__________________________





Total Closing Costs:   $____________________________________



·         Note – rule of thumb suggests that 1.5% of purchase price is required for closing costs. New government program allows first time buyers to claim $750.00 on tax return for closing expenses.



Resume of


Bernie A. Krec, FRI, CRES


1991 – Became a licensed Realtor and a member of the Edmonton Real Estate Board, Alberta Real Estate Association, and the Canadian Real Estate Association.


1993 Became a “Commissioner of Oaths” in the province of Alberta


1995 – Received certificate in “Land Economics and Real Estate” from the University Of Alberta. (Received George Grover award for highest grade point average).


1998 Received CRES (Certified Real Estate Specialist) designation from the Real Estate institute of Canada.


2002 Received “ Medallion Club Award” from the Edmonton Real Estate Board for top 5% in sales for the Edmonton Region.


2006 Completed the “ Brokers” program through the Alberta Real Estate Association and became the Broker of York West Realty Group Inc.


2007 Received FRI (Fellow of the Real Estate Institute) designation from the Real Estate Institute of Canada.


2008 Became Edmonton chapter president of the Real Estate institute of Canada.


2012 - Joined Royal LePage ArTeam Realty.


2012 - Received Presidents Gold Award


2013 - Received Presidents Gold Award


2014 - Received Directors Platinum Award