Guide to Buying a Home in Selkirk: A Step-by-Step Guide

Selkirk Bridge

Whether you’re looking to make the move out to Selkirk or are already living there, it is important to be aware of what to look for specifically in the Selkirk housing market.

Follow these 9 steps to simplify your journey towards home ownership.

1. Save for your down payment and other upfront costs

If you are thinking of becoming a homeowner, you will need to start saving up for this very important purchase.

  • Down Payment. A minimum down payment of 5% of the price of the home is required.

    First time home buyers have a few additional options to fund your down payment:

  • Mortgage Default Insurance. If your down payment is less than 20%, you will need mortgage default insurance. The financial institution will arrange this insurance for you. You can pay it up-front or add it to your mortgage. Mortgage loan insurance will cost between 2.8% and 4.0% of your total mortgage, depending on the size of your down payment.
  • Closing Costs. Expect to pay approximately 1.5% - 2% of the home’s purchase price in closing costs, which include legal fees and land transfer fees. These must be paid when you take possession of the house.
  • Home Inspection. It is prudent to complete a home inspection before putting an offer in on a home. A home inspection can cost $275 - $500+.
  • Appraisal Costs: The financial institution may require an independent appraisal of the home. If an appraisal is necessary, the cost is typically around $300.
  • Moving Costs. Moving costs can add up quickly if you decide to hire professional movers.

If you don’t have enough saved, setting up a savings account specifically for your future home and setting up a pre-authorized transfer to this account every month can help with the saving process.

2. Know your Price Range

Know your price range and avoid getting attached to any single home you look at. Otherwise you risk over-paying and stretching your finances too thin.

With Cambrian’s Mortgage Affordability Calculator, it is quick and easy to learn how much home you can afford and it won’t affect your credit rating.

Before going out on the hunt for your home, put together a monthly budget to ensure you are comfortable covering all the associated costs. Here are some things to include in your budget:

  • Mortgage payments – Use our mortgage payment calculator to estimate what your mortgage payment might be.
  • Monthly utilities – Include hydro, water, heat, internet, phone and cable costs.
  • Property taxes – Make sure to research the property taxes in the area. Also note that property taxes vary by home.
  • Home and contents insurance – Talk to your insurance provider or go online to get a quote.
  • Condo fees (if you’ve decided to purchase a condo) – Monthly condo fees are often listed so consider looking online at condo listings for Selkirk to get an estimate.
  • Home maintenance – When the furnace breaks down or the roof needs replacing, you’re going to want money saved for it. Budget at least $5,000 a year towards home maintenance.
  • Home renovations – If you’re wanting to buy a fixer-upper, you’ll need to consider the cost of home renovations. You may need to add an additional amount to your mortgage, which will increase your mortgage payment.
  • Estimated living expenses – In addition to regular living expenses, make sure you budget for contributions to your savings and any loan or credit card payments you may have.


3. Get Pre-approved

Getting pre-approved means that a financial institution has reviewed your financial situation and has determined the maximum amount of mortgage you would qualify for. Your Cambrian mortgage specialist will give you a written letter detailing the details of the pre-approved mortgage (rate, amount, payment, etc) and how long we will hold your mortgage rate for you while you go find the home you want to buy. This means that when you find a home within your pre-approved amount, you can make an offer immediately.  Once your offer is accepted, we will formally approve a mortgage for you based on the details of the home you are purchasing.

Getting pre-approved establishes you as a serious buyer and provides you with peace of mind of knowing you can make an offer to purchase with confidence. We also offer a 120-day rate guarantee from the date you get pre-approved, quick mortgage approval, and personal advice from mortgage experts in Winnipeg and Selkirk.

It takes as little as 15 minutes to complete our online mortgage application

Prefer to speak with a Cambrian mortgage specialist at our Selkirk Branch? We offer appointments by phone, video or in-person, and you can book your appointment online

4. Use a Selkirk-based Realtor

Jeannie Sasley, a Realtor in Selkirk says that the market in Selkirk cannot be compared to the Winnipeg market. “It’s a rural market,” she says, “so realtors have to live and work in this area to know our market.” If you’re looking to buy or sell a home in Selkirk, using a local realtor is extremely important.

When someone from Winnipeg is looking to buy a home in Selkirk, it is common to use a Winnipeg-based realtor. While you may have a relationship with this person and prior experience working with them in Winnipeg, Sasley says it will still put you at a disadvantage.

“When a Winnipeg realtor comes in who doesn’t know our market, they end up suggesting you under or over-bid on a property. Selkirk realtors know the homes and why they have been listed at the price they’re listed at.”

5. Know what to Watch Out For

Sasley says that a lot of the homes in Selkirk were built in the 1970s. This means that knob and tube wiring is generally not an issue, as that was used in homes in the early 1900s. However, aluminum wiring is something to watch out for.

As in Winnipeg, you’ll also want to watch for foundation issues. “Two of the things we’re looking for are cracks in the foundation and water infiltration,” Sasley says. Repairing a home’s foundation and water damage can both be very pricey so it’s important to watch out for these issues when looking at a home. 

You’ll also want to understand how the home was maintained. Have renovations been completed? If so, were they done well? “Dated kitchen flooring and other home improvements add up, so there is a lot of value if the home you’re considering has had renovations completed,” Sasley says.

Other things to look at include the condition and age of the furnace, windows and roof. A new furnace can cost between $5,000 – $7,000 and new windows can $10,000 or more – expenses that add up quickly.

6. Make an Offer

Making an offer that has little or no conditions can be enough to get your offer accepted, even if it isn’t necessarily the highest offer.

Sasley suggests agreeing to the possession date that the seller is wanting. “That always helps when there are two deals close in value on the table” she says. She also suggests noting in the offer that there is flexibility on the possession date. “This shows that the buyer is flexible and easy to work with.”

Keep your price range in mind, and work with your realtor to make an offer that you can comfortably afford.

7. Protect your Investment with a Home Inspection

Your home inspector will do a thorough review of the home, from foundation to roof, and report on what they have discovered.

Keep in mind that in a hot market, including a home inspection as a condition can be enough to take your offer out of the running. Sasley suggests doing the home inspection prior to writing an offer and not making it a condition.

When looking for a home inspector, seek someone who has a construction background and experience in the area of inspecting homes. “They will know first hand what they’re looking at when inspecting,” Jeremy Winton, a Manitoba-based home inspector says. Check to make sure your potential home inspector has been certified by the Canadian Association of Home & Property Inspectors (CAHPI).

In Manitoba, home inspectors do not need a license to perform home inspections so ask questions and do your research to understand the qualifications of a home inspector.

“Before hiring your home inspector, talk to them and ask questions. Treat it as a job interview,” Winton suggests. Make sure the inspector is able to confidently answer your questions because your home is likely the biggest investment you will make. 

Here are some questions to ask your potential home inspector:

  1. What experience/training do you have?

    (Tip: Look for trade experience, construction background and experience inspecting homes)

  2. Are you CAHPI certified?

  4. Do you have experience specifically in this neighborhood and with this style/age of home?

  6. Can you provide references?

    (Tip: Hearing from someone who has worked with your potential home inspector is a great way to get feedback) 

  7. Will there be a written contract?

  9. What will be included in the report?

  11. How quickly could you get the inspection and report completed?

Their answers should leave you feeling confident in the fit between the home inspector’s training and experience and the home you are looking to buy.

After a thorough review of the home, your home inspector will give you a full report on the condition of the home, helping you determine what repairs would be needed as well as the value of the home.

Some home inspectors may provide a rough estimation of cost but you may wish to obtain formal quotes from various contractors if it is determined the home would need major repairs. Think carefully on whether this repair work is something you wish to take on – either yourself, or by hiring a contractor, and adjust your valuation of the home accordingly.  

8. Secure your Mortgage

At the financing stage you are going to have an important decision to make: choosing the right mortgage for your financial situation, either variable rate or fixed rate

Keep in mind that not all mortgages are the same and the terms and flexibility of the mortgage are equally important to the rate.  For instance, some mortgage brokers offer deeply discounted mortgage rates that come with very limited options to repay the mortgage more quickly or pay it out prior to maturity. Often you will be required to pay a broker fee when getting a mortgage through a broker, which can cost 1% - 3% of the total cost of your mortgage. Alternatively, some brokers are paid directly through a fee from the financial institution. Because of this, it may be in the broker’s best interest to get you a mortgage at a specific institution, which may not align with your own interests.

With a Cambrian mortgage, our focus is on saving you time and money.  We save you money with our everyday low mortgage rates and by making it easy to pay off your mortgage more quickly. Want to be mortgage-free sooner? You can choose to pay up to an additional 20% of your original mortgage balance every year, without penalty. Make one lump sum payment or make additional payments throughout the year.  Check out our low mortgage rates.

We also offer a 120-day rate guarantee from the date you get pre-approved, quick mortgage approval and personal advice from mortgage experts in Winnipeg and Selkirk.

You can talk to a mortgage specialist at any Cambrian branch to discuss financing and determine the mortgage option that is best for you. We offer appointments by phone, video or in person, and you can book your appointment online

9. Move in!

You’re now a homeowner – congratulations! Your next big decision: which local pizza joint to order from for moving day.

Happy house hunting!


Have more questions about purchasing a home? Check out Cambrian’s home buying and mortgage resources to learn more. 

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