Dear First Time Buyers,
Let us start off by saying that we love and support your dreams of home ownership. We know that you have been diligently saving, resisting vacations, living with your parents and sacrificing the extras to save for your first home. You’ve been busting your butts for a dream that we as children were promised that we could accomplish. Our parents told us that if we go to school and get a good stable job, we too could enjoy the perks of home ownership like they have!
It is a difficult reality when something we grew up believing we could achieve feels out of reach. The market these past few years has been tough for buyers. Many first time buyers have been beat up, priced out, and even scared off by the market as of late.
Seeing home prices slip further and further from your grasp can feel defeating, but we are here to assure you that you need not lose hope.
While the path to home ownership may not be as straight forward as we had once believed, it is surely not impossible. The absolute key to achieving home ownership in today’s climate is to be brutally realistic with yourself and manage your expectations.
There will be more and more people that decide that purchasing a home is not for them, because they aren’t willing to make the adjustments and sacrifices in the short term, in order to own long term. And that’s okay. Renting is the optimal choice for many peoples lifestyles.
However, for those of you, still dreaming of home ownership, here are some tips for you.
Do the prep work
The more prepared you are entering your home ownership journey, the better!
It is important that you start by meeting with a mortgage broker. We recommend a broker over a bank, because they will have more lending options available for you, and should be able to optimize your borrowing capability. The intake process with a mortgage broker can feel like a lot… they will ask you for a multitude of documents, and you will feel like you have sent them everything but your fourth grade math test, but please, do it! They take in all of these documents so that they can get a full picture of your financial position, and help you borrow as much money as possible toward your purchase.
It is also important in this prep stage that you understand additional costs to the buying process, as well as incentives that you can take advantage of. This would be a good time to learn about closing costs, which include land transfer tax, lawyers fees, and additional costs that you will want to prepare for. You will also want to note factors like the double land transfer tax if you are purchasing in Toronto, and the First time buyer incentive that will actually lower your land transfer costs.
And of course, you will want to connect with a trusted realtor so that you can map out a plan together, considering all of these factors, and identify where, what and how you can purchase.
Be open minded
This is crucial in the pursuit of first time home ownership. Many people envisioned their steps into home ownership looking like a trendy townhome, or a charming detached. As much as we love that vision, for most, that will not be a realistic purchase for your first home.
One of the best options for your first purchase, can actually be to purchase a home that you will not live in. I know, you’re thinking ” but the whole point is to purchase a home for us!”. Sometimes there are multiple steps before achieving a local home that you can live in. If you currently live in the GTA and you have been priced out of the homes you would like to purchase, in order to step into homeownership, you may have to turn to alternative markets. But remember, the key is to get your foot in the door and to start building equity. Building equity now, will allow you to purchase that “dream home” down the road.
Another highly proven model to purchasing, that could lead you closer to home is to “house hack” . This is when you purchase a property that you can rent out in some capacity in order to assist with mortgage payments. By renting out a basement unit or even rooms in your home, you can increase your affordability and work towards a position where you no longer need the additional income.
Trust the process
The road to home ownership, may be a journey, but we promise it is an exciting one! Ensure that you have a strong support team around you, in particular, your mortgage broker and realtor, and allow them to guide you and support you along the way. Your first home, may not be your dream home, but is an exciting step towards that goal!
If you want to know more about they buying process, or speak to us about starting your own journey, check out our Buyer’s page and don’t hesitate to reach out in the form below!