We don't think you need us, or an estate agent, to tell you just what a tricky landscape the Canadian housing market is to navigate right now, so if you are always on the lookout for ways to get on that first rung of the property ladder, stick with us, as we have a host of solutions that could prove to be the difference between owning your own home and renting forever! All of the currently available information seems to suggest that first-time buyers are in a precarious position in terms of being able to afford anything in a major Canadian city, with notable exceptions being Charlottetown, Saint John, Regina, and St. John’s. Halifax and Winnipeg are almost considered affordable, but the really big-hitters are Calgary, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver all demanding a massive percentage of post-tax income, just to cover a reasonable mortgage! Ouch! Let's take a look at the issues that could be negotiable and get you on the housing ladder!
You'll no doubt have a preferred neighborhood that you'd like to live in, but if you could be willing to look a tiny bit further afield, you might be able to get something a little larger or even more affordable. Look for good transport links, so you're not cutting yourself off from regular haunts or necessary locations.
A really good rule of thumb is to always buy a house that comes in at 20% under the maximum amount that the bank says you can afford. Don't think of that initial sum as your top budget, as you'll leave yourself no room for home improvements of unexpected expense and believe us, a 20% buffer WILL be a welcome relief!
If you aren;t already saving as much as you can, you need to get on that! If you can hit that magical 20% downpayment sum in one go, your mortgage rate will be lower and you'll be far more likely to actually be offered a loan in the first place. Remember, you'll be paying interest in this sum, so the more you can save, rather than borrow, the better!
Here's something for you to really think about! While a traditional bricks and mortar home might be what you always pictured, don't overlook possibly more cost-effective buildings! Take prefabs, for example. They are gorgeous, cheaper to build and offer so much customization potential!
See what we mean, here: https://www.homify.ca/ideabooks/1329496/a-neatly-…
If you buy a home that has been finished to a really high standard, but someone else's tastes, you could be wasting so much money, as all of the redecorating will cost you a bomb, on top of the inflated sale price that a finished home commands. Why not consider more of a doer-upper, which you can tailor along the way? They are ALWAYS more cost-effective.
It's no secret that you need to have enough bedrooms for your whole family, but also look to the future. Could you need more? Would you be willing to take on a loft conversion project down the line? These really are the important questions, alongside styling concerns.
Take a look at this fabulous bedroom in more detail, here: https://www.homify.ca/ideabooks/2970449/a-magnific…
Do we all want a lovely large garden? Of course we do, but when it comes to first-time buying, a little reality check won't go amiss! All you really need is a little courtyard with a barbecue, for now, so don;t blow your budget in order to get yourself a large lawn!
A garage is a valuable commodity, we know that, but it IS something that you can live without, at least for a few years! maybe focus on getting a house you can easily afford right now and try to save some extra cash for your next move, when you CAN look for that perfect garage!
For more Canadian housing market tips, take a look at this Ideabook: First time buyer? These houses are for you!