Paying rent: Am I really wasting my money?

Throwing Money Out The Window I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer when it comes to renting and wasting money or purchasing a home but there certainly are pros and cons to both. Why do I choose to pay rent? While the freedom of owning my own home sounds great getting there on my own may not be a reality but I am certainly going to try. I am saving my money right now and enjoying it, though what I am saving for exactly is not set in stone. For the next 10 years I am choosing to continue to pay rent. As a single mother I want to make sure I am fully prepared for all the costs and fees that come with being a homeowner if I do decide to make that choice down the road. I have my mindset that in 10 years, if I am still single, I could be close to or have enough money saved for a reasonable down payment on a  house if desired. While budgeting and saving money regularly and wherever I can I figure I could have a decent down payment saved through investments and other means in […]

Reader question: When should you renovate your new home?

Renovate Your Home When It Is Right For You A fan sent me an email the other day and asked me the question, When should you renovate your new home? He said that him and his wife had just bought a home and they weren’t sure if they should renovate before they moved in or after they moved and wanted to know what we did when we bought our house. Home renovation checklist It was a question that I really didn’t have to think much about because we are in this position now. We did not renovate before we moved in and preferred to save the cash first before renovating. When we bought our home I created a checklist so I knew exactly what I needed to do although over the years it seems the list keeps growing. It was easier to read my list as I was going along rather than trying to remember in my head. Every smart planner will have a list so they have information to fall back on. There is no custom list here, you design your own. Grab a piece of paper and start making notes. I also wanted to have the opportunity to […]

Buying my first property: Was I too young?

Minimum Pay For Maximum Workload I bought my first property at the age of twenty-one even though some of my friends thought I was too young and crazy. I loved to work hard and equally play hard afterwards. It would have been comparable if I were to buy my first condo here in Canada or flat for those of a British background. I wanted to buy vs rent because with my down-payment I knew that my mortgage would be less than rent. My parents already had a few homes on the go and were renting them out so the mortgage would pay for themselves. It was the best decision they ever made, investing in real estate. They are still enjoying the benefits today of those mortgage-free homes and rental income. Somehow I wanted in on the action early so off I went and I found my first home fresh out of University. How much do you need to buy a home? More than I bargained for and many people suffer because they fail to plan. I was almost one of those people. Living pay to pay Contrary to popular belief, I know what waiting for the next chunk of hard-earned money […]

Buy or Sell First: One Home, One House, Two Mortgages And A Pool

Deciding whether to buy or sell first can be a difficult decision that face home owners. It is a decision that if not executed properly could leave a homeowner with 2 mortgages and lots of stress. Owning two houses sounds like a great real estate investment but not when one is a home and another is a house you are trying to sell. This is the case with a neighbour of ours who is living the stress yet fails to see the problem, is the price of the house. Typically in the UK we would sell our home first with a reasonable closing date and then look for a new home to purchase. Research What to do when buying your first home? That’s easy, research! Talk to professionals and get tips and advice so you aren’t heading down a path where you want to tear your hair out. The same goes when you’re looking for things to do when selling your home, research. When I sold my home I did my research first, granted I wasn’t buying a second home I was moving to Canada. I had estate agents come around and value my home and I averaged the values out […]

Should I Rent Or Buy? The Million Dollar Question

Never have so many Canadians today faced such a tough question in “Should I Rent or Buy?” It’s the million dollar question but I’m not going to make it any easier on you because the answer to the question really is – it depends. There are a number of questions we can ask ourselves to determine and narrow down the grey areas here and provide you some clarity for your own situation. Should I buy a property? The fact of the matter is that we are just coming off of the greatest housing boom in the history of the world. This is no small statement. Many fortunes have been made over the last decade in the western world by buying property. But what now? First let’s look at the three reasons why you would buy a property: To use as a primary residence – this is the main reason to purchase property for the majority of Canadians. We occupy the home for our own use and derive value from using it as our family’s shelter. To gain capital growth – the last 10 years have been a wonderful time to rise with the tide of increasing property values. This is […]

Open Houses and Nosey Neighbours, Are They Worth It?

We admit we are nosey neighbours when it comes to some open houses in our neighbourhood but for good reason. Yes, we have the “stop the car” moments when the “for sale” sign just happens to show up and we just have to go inside. It’s not often homes in our area go up for sale as we live in an area where people don’t tend to leave. Most of the homes were built about 15-20 years ago and the area is becoming quite diverse in demographics since we moved in. Back a few years ago most, OK almost all of our neighbours were either a bit older than us or retired seniors. We bought our house from a senior couple who were downsizing their home  and moving into a rented condo. Funny how some people go from owning a home to renting a home later in life. Needless to say, everybody knows everyone in our small neighbourhood which can be a good thing or a one of those situations where you want to go bury your head in the sand. Over the last year or so as the silent and baby boomer generation start to move out we are seeing younger families move […]

Becoming A Single Homeowner – Part 3 “Mortgage Options”

In our previous post Part 2 of this 3 part series- our potential Single Homeowner had their budget, credit, downpayment, and type of property all mapped out. But what about the mortgage itself? Understanding your mortgage options is the final and a critical step in order to increase your shot at owning your own home and not one to consider lightly. Related: Becoming A Single Homeowner – Part 1 “The Plan” Mortgage Options  With over 400 different mortgage products available to the Canadian consumer – it can be overwhelming to navigate this marketplace. I will cover off some of the major differences in the mortgage products here. Fixed vs. variable rate mortgage – when considering the potential savings of a variable rate mortgage we need to consider that this is tied to the Bank of Canada’s prime rate and the fact that this can change from time to time. Outside of this – on both fixed and variable rate mortgages – it is very important to ensure that we get the deepest discount to the interest rates available for the mortgage term on closing. One way to accomplish this is to wait until 30 days before the closing date of […]

Becoming a Single Homeowner – Part 2 “Property/Down Payment”

In the last post, part 1 Becoming a Single Homeowner-The Plan I talked about how Single people are looking to become homeowners and the preliminary step in making a plan and the aspects to consider with your credit. Once these are in place – it is time to look at how to come up with your down payment and the type of property you are eligible to purchase. Down Payment Considerations This is an area where my Single clients are usually deficient. The demands of a Single person’s budget can be unrelenting and there are always important areas that your dollars are required. This is another reason why planning and budgeting are going to be the cornerstone of your Home Purchase plan. There are essentially four ways to achieve the down payment and they are to get it gifted, save it, borrow it, or qualify for a forgiveable loan. Get a gift – well we would all like to have a well endowed benefactor in our corner however the reality is that unless our parents or grandparents are looking to help us make the jump to becoming Homeowners – this one is a pipe dream. Save it – the minimum down payment […]

%d bloggers like this: