Owning a home in this day and age is now harder than it has ever been. If you’re reading this, you’re likely aware of this, even if you’re not already in the market for a place. Whether you’re looking at a property in the heart of Vancouver or elsewhere Lower Mainland, the recent stress testing measures, increase in prices, and the continued increasing cost of living is making home ownership looking like an unachievable dream. However, there are a few tips we’d like to offer you that can make home ownership look less daunting. Below are 5 tips you can keep in your arsenal for when you are in the market for a home.
1. Look Outside Of The City
If your evaluation set has been limited to metro areas, perhaps take a look out of town. Typically, properties right in the heart of the city are more expensive due to high demand and convenience. Stepping out to one of the outlying suburban areas can offer more affordable options and can also lend you with an increased inventory of properties within your price point.
2. Consider Rent-To-Own
Consider finding an RTO property. A Rent to Own (RTO) property can allow you to rent a property while subsequently saving up for a down payment. Similar to leasing a car, this can be an economical option if you don’t readily have a down payment handy.
3. Talk To A Mortgage Broker
Speaking with a broker and going through a pre-qualification process can help you by allowing you to see the areas in which you will need to improve to help make you more attractive to lenders. This can include things such as:
- Increasing your credit score
- Decreasing your overall debt or consolidating your current debt.
- Looking at increasing your overall income options and the ways in which you can do that.
4. Look For A Co-Signer
Consider using a co-signer(s) for your mortgage to start with. One solution we have found that works well for certain clients is having a co-signer(s) on the mortgage with a planned exit strategy to remove them once the client’s personal income increases or they are able to qualify for the mortgage on your own (ex. By paying down debts and/or improving their credit score). This solution is situation specific, so speak to your broker for more details.
Save, save, and save some more. We know this is common sense but speaking with a financial advisor can help show you ways in which you can save and make your money work for you. We can happily recommend a few as can your mortgage broker.
We know that the state of real estate can seem overwhelming and depressing at times. Keep in mind though that not all hope is lost, and you do have options available to you! Remember the “dream” of the white picket fence detached home is not for everyone…now more than ever multi-family properties such as townhouses and condos are offering more and more amenities and beautiful properties for less. The bottom line is considering all your options and work with a dedicated broker who can help you reach your goals—whatever they might be!