karen justin-5007

Buying a home

Are you on the hunt for your dream home in Winnipeg? Let me help you find the perfect property! As a dedicated buyers agent, I am committed to providing exceptional service, personalized attention, and expert guidance throughout the home buying process. With extensive knowledge of Winnipeg's most desirable neighborhoods, including the trendy areas of Osborne Village and the Exchange District, as well as the family-friendly suburbs of River Heights and Charleswood, I know what makes each area unique and can help you find a home that fits your lifestyle and preferences. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, a growing family, or an empty nester looking to downsize, I am passionate about helping you find the ideal home for your needs. With my expert negotiation skills and attention to detail, I will ensure that you get the best value for your investment. Let's work together to make your dream of owning a home in Winnipeg a reality!

Supporting you every step of the way

If you're buying, I can enhance your search process by helping you uncover what you may not have considered. Whether it is schools, lifestyle, or the investment value of the property. Using my property search tools, you will be able to find the home that best meets your needs. Finally, with the knowledge of the market, real estate expertise and negotiating skills, I will help you get the best possible deal and handle all the critical details.

Branded Background


There are a few things that need to be in place before you start shopping for a home. If you are not prepared and leave these items until the last minute, it can collapse a deal, and cost you time, money… and your dream home.


A pre-approval letter from a bank or mortgage broker is required before you start looking at properties. It is based on your actual income, credit and debt history and will let you know exactly what you can afford. It will save you the grief of looking at houses that are out of reach, and will put you in a better position to make a serious offer when you do find the right house. Keep in mind that a mortgage pre-approval doesn’t guarantee that you will get a mortgage for the property you write an offer on, even if it’s within your budget. Before you finalize a deal, your lender will want to do their own research on to the house to make sure that you are paying fair market value for it, and that it isn’t a financial risk for them or you.


A deposit cheque needs to be included with any offer written. It is cashed when your offer is accepted. The amount will vary depending on the price of the home and market conditions. Your deposit shows that you are a serious and strong buyer. It’s best to have personal cheques on you when you are viewing properties because you never know when you will want to pull the trigger and write an offer. Bank drafts or certified cheques are also acceptable, but not recommended as they cost money to get and tend to delay the process. If your offer falls apart due to a condition that can’t be fulfilled (ex. unsatisfactory home inspection, financing terms that don’t meet your needs), your deposit cheque will be returned to you in approximately 10 business days. If your offer falls apart after all conditions have been removed, or if you wrote an unconditional offer that you can’t close on, the seller may be entitled to keep the whole deposit, along with damages.


The minimum down payment is 5% of the purchase price of a home. The deposit that you include with your offer will be subtracted from the down payment amount owed upon closing. If you can afford to do 20% down, you can avoid CHMC mortgage insurance, which will save you a lot of money in the long run. For investment/rental properties, vacant land, vacation homes and international buyers relocating to Winnipeg, the minimum down payment will differ so make sure to check with your financial specialist to understand what will be required from you.


Average closing costs are 2 - 2.5 % of the purchase price that you will need to pay upon closing. This includes lawyer fees, property tax adjustments, survey certificate, zoning memorandum, mortgage registration, land transfer tax, title insurance, etc.


Once you figure out what you can afford to pay for a house and have been pre-qualified for a mortgage, you are ready to start your search. To get the process started I will set you up on a personalized online web portal that you can access on your computer, cell phone, or other devices. It will be tailor made to fit your search criteria and will only send you properties that are suitable for your needs. With just a few clicks of the mouse, you will be able to read detailed property descriptions, view virtual tours, and photographs, all within the same portal. Email alerts will keep you on top of the newest listings and eliminate the need for you to manually check the Web again and again for updates. On top of that I have the ability to offer you homes not listed on the market through other clients, business connections, personal contacts, or by hitting the streets and knocking on doors, phoning home owners, and sending out personalized letters. This is especially helpful if you want to live on a particular street, get in to a neighbourhood that doesn’t have much turnover, or purchase a home that you have just always loved. If you have ever thought, “I wonder if they would ever sell their house?” I can do the work to find out for you. You are also more than welcome to read newspapers, local magazines, and visit open houses and new home developments. Just remember that it is a courtesy to let the agent hosting the open house or show home know that you are already working with me as your agent. Once you have short listed properties that you would like to view in person, I will take care of scheduling and organizing all showings to work within your schedule. It can be during the day, in the evening, on a weekend, or even on a holiday. I will be at every viewing with you, guiding you through the homes with an objective eye and pointing out things to take notice of and look out for. When you go out to view the homes you have selected, it’s a validation process. Either they will work perfectly just they way they are, they will require renovations to work for you, or they just won’t work at all. Sometimes all it takes is a quick step through the front door, or a second or third viewing at a home to know.


When you have found a home you are interested in buying, I will walk you through the process of drafting an offer to purchase. I will communicate the offer to the seller or the seller’s real estate agent for you. Some properties are in demand and you will not be the only interested party making an offer. I will assist you in generating an offer that is reasonable and protects your interests using specified terms and conditions. An offer can be drafted with or without conditions; an offer without conditions is known as a firm, unconditional or subject-free offer and one with conditions is known as a conditional offer. A conditional offer protects one or both parties with the placement of certain conditions on the purchase. Some of these conditions could be “subject to financing approval”, “subject to the buyer’s house selling”, “subject to a satisfactory home inspection”, “subject to the seller filling out a satisfactory property disclosure statement,” among many others.


As you view properties online, you will notice that many listings have a showings start date (or SS for short). This means that you cannot view the property or write offers until or after that date. There may also be an offer to purchase date listed along side (or OTP for short) that specifies a particular date when the seller will review offers. You cannot submit an offer before that date. There are no exceptions to these rules once they appear on a listing.


There may come a time when you find yourself in a multiple offer situation (aka bidding war) where your offer isn’t the only one the seller is considering. This often happens for houses in desirable areas that have an offer date listed. I will inform you if you are in a situation where there are competing offers, but will not know any of the details of the other offers or that you are within a certain dollar amount of the best offer. The only thing you can do is make your first offer the best offer possible in terms of price, possession date and favourable conditions. One of three things will happen when you submit an offer. The seller may accept your initial offer, reject your offer or present a counter-offer. The counter-offer may different from your original offer in respect to price, conditions, deposit, the possession date or included items. Offers can be countered back and forth between the parties until one of you accepts or rejects, ending the negotiations. There are many components of an offer that you should be aware of and understand. I will answer your questions and explain the entire process to you so that you are comfortable with the steps involved.


Once your offer is accepted, you’ll be under contract and will have to proceed with satisfying the conditions you added in to your offer. This process usually involves performing a home inspection, getting all your personal information and property details to your mortgage broker or bank, getting home insurance, and meeting with your lawyer. As a REALTOR ®, I will play a huge role in helping you to make the necessary arrangements to ensure the process runs smoothly before the deadline.


Once all conditions have been satisfied in your offer, the home is officially yours. Congratulations! You are a homeowner. Before you take possession, there are a number of items that you will need to take care of before you can start unpacking, and more importantly, pop open a bottle of champagne to celebrate!


Once again you will have to meet with your bank to finalize the loan terms, and sign off on the paperwork to secure your mortgage, or another form of financing that you have arranged.


When you meet with your lawyer they will ask to see a copy of your home insurance policy/binder letter, as it is a requirement of the mortgage. This step usually involves an in depth phone call or email survey with your insurance broker. Have a copy of the MLS listing available with all of the specifications of the home on it as it will answer many of the questions that your insurance agent will ask. If you had a home inspection done, the report will be another great resource to help fill in a lot of the blanks. Be prepared to answer questions regarding the age of the house, furnace, hot water tank, roof, the type of plumbing, electrical, and mechanical systems as well as general questions regarding square footage, and proximity to fire hydrants and fire stations.


A few days before possession, you will meet with your lawyer to sign all the final purchase documents. At this time, you will be required to bring a certified cheque for the downpayment and closing costs.


When you take possession of your new home it is very important to change your utilities over to your new address. This includes your phone, cable, Internet, power, water, and gas
services. Also, don’t forget to cancel the utilities at your previous residence if applicable.


Once you move in to your new home, you can expect the same great service from me to continue. I will be available for all your real estate needs well beyond possession date; anything from trade/contractor recommendations to discounts for home furnishings. And once you are ready to climb the real estate ladder, I would be happy to help sell your home and find the next one for you!



The number of years it takes to repay the entire amount of the financing based on a set of fixed payments.


The process of determining the market value of a property.


A mortgage that can not be prepaid or negotiated for a set period of time without penalties.

Closing date

The date on which the new owner takes possession of the property and the sale becomes final.


An asset, such as term deposit, Canada Savings Bond, or automobile, that you offer as security for a loan.


A sum of money deposited in trust by the purchaser on making an offer to purchase. When the offer is accepted by the vendor (Seller), the deposit is held in trust by the listing real estate broker, lawyer, or notary, until the closing date of sale, at which point it is given to the vendor.


The difference between the market value of the property and any outstanding mortgages registered against the property. This difference belongs to the owner of that property.


A mortgage is a loan that uses a piece of real estate as a security. Once the loan is paid-off, the lender provides a discharge for that mortgage.


The period of time the financing agreement covers. The terms available are; 6 Month, 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,10 year terms, and the interest rate will be fixed for whatever term one chooses.

Take the next step in your journey

I look forward to working with you and helping you reach your home ownership goals. Reach out to get in touch and start the process today. I offer:

Personalized service

Local market knowledge

Excellent communication

Strong negotiating skills

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