Canadians Are Opting Out Of Home Ownership But These Expert Tips May Help To Restore Hope
People wanting to own a house in Canada are apparently a shrinking group, but they don't have to be!
According to a new study by Finder, the number of Canadians wanting to buy a home, or seeing themselves owning one, is dwindling.
In fact, around 16% of Canucks say they're no longer interested in buying a home in Canada – that's about 5 million people!
But, if you're somebody who worries about renting forever, all hope is not lost.
Romana King, the senior financial editor at Finder, has some tips for anyone who might be looking to hopefully one day buy a property of their own, even if that still seems far off for you.
Figure out what you can afford
While this might feel like a no-brainer to some, King says taking the steps to sit down and have an honest look at your financial situation can save you a lot of headaches.
You can also look into getting a pre-approved mortgage, which helps set you up for a housing situation that you know you'll be able to afford.
Just be sure to do all your research into your own finances and debt before seeking pre-approval.
Get your down payment set up
This is one of the hardest parts when it comes to buying a home, so start saving up for your down payment as soon as you can.
While you might not have a place in mind right now, you can start saving up that down payment for when the time comes.
King also recommends you put it in a risk-free, or close to risk-free, savings account or even start investing in your RRSP.
You could also use the federal first-time home buyers' plan to help out with that down payment.
Write a checklist
If you know exactly what you need and what you want out of a home, you're way less likely to be swayed by any bells and whistles at a home showing.
If you stick to your checklist, King says you'll be able to keep track of exactly what you're after, including the less shiny things like a proper furnace, plumbing and all that good stuff.
It's also a great thing to refer to when looking for a property, to help narrow down your search.
Find yourself a real estate team
Looking for a house is made all the easier when you have a good realtor on your side.
And, to find one, King suggests shopping around a bit.
Meet at least three real estate agents before you make your choice and be sure to ask around friends and family to see if they have any recommendations.
It's also useful to find somebody who is familiar with your area and the type of home you're after.
And, depending on your needs, you should also do your research into getting a real estate lawyer, a building inspector or even a contractor.
Hey, there's no "I" in "team!"
Research your loan options
There are actually a ton of different types of mortgages out there.
While you've got your classic fixed-rate and variable-rate options, there are also conventional and even high loan-to-value mortgages.
A conventional loan is available to you if you have 20% or more saved up for a downpayment, while a high loan-to-value mortgage is for folks who have less than 20% and come with mortgage default insurance fees.
Finally, be sure to shop around for a good mortgage rate.
Hopefully, with these tips, your aspirations can maybe turn into your reality. Or, at least, maybe you feel a little less daunted by the Canadian housing market.
Plus, if you want more of a chance of actually affording a place, there are a few places in Canada where you can still buy a house at a pretty affordable rate. Some houses in Alberta and the prairies are still going for under $200,000, which is a lot better than what you can find in the real estate bubbles of Vancouver and Toronto.
Good luck out there, folks!