Let’s talk homeownership! Part 1: Mortgage Affordability
Some of you probably already know that I am a realtor and I absolutely love my career! It is so rewarding to help buyers purchase their first home and help them really start their lives.
I get to see so many clients achieve their goal of being homeowners and then they move on to getting engaged, getting married and starting a family. It really makes my heart so happy!!!
Being a realtor, the number one thing I hear is “I can’t afford my own home!”
Home ownership really is possible and I am going to be doing this 3 part series to tell you more about mortgage affordability and how you can stop paying all that money in rent for something you don’t own!
I have so many friends that have great careers and don’t think they can afford owning a home without having to sacrifice the life they want to be living. I even thought the same thing before we purchased our own home 6 years ago.
Kyle and I were both working downtown at a bar making really good money. We were travelling often and living our best life and we certainly didn’t want that to change.
I had always dreamed about owning my own home some day but I just never thought it could actually happen! I remember at the time we were paying a fortune in rent and utilities every month and I absolutely HATED the area so much.
We had ZERO privacy!
I couldn’t even sit out in our backyard peacefully because it was end unit town home and it was right beside an alley that was constantly being used as a hang out for the neighbourhood children.
They would seriously just stand there staring into our yard driving our dog nuts or bouncing their basketball off the side of the house.
I still remember very clearly the day my grandfather said he wanted to give us a down payment to purchase a home.
We were all sitting in the living room and I remember saying “I really appreciate the extremely generous gift but there is no way we could afford our own home, it would be too expensive!”
My grandfather asked me to at least reach out to a lender and see what they had to say. We decided we might as well but I was sure they would say no way it’s going to happen.
I was genuinely shocked when the mortgage broker explained that we really could afford our own home and she gave us a budget that had actually been more than I could have even hoped for!
Let the fun begin!
Once we started looking for homes, I really wanted to max our budget and get something really fancy and new.
After taking a step back and seeing what the monthly payments would be, we decided to purchase a home that was a bit older.
We wanted something that we could update over time and make our own without breaking the bank! Something that we could afford and still have money left over to continue travelling and doing the things we enjoy!
I find this happens quite a bit with buyers, they don’t think homeownership is possible and once they hear they are approved for a certain amount, they want to look at the very top of the budget and max it.
It’s very important to not only look at the pre-approved purchase price but to also really take into consideration the mortgage payments as well as the other monthly expenses!
I always tell my buyers that when owning a home, things will go wrong and to make sure they have room for upcoming surprises!
Surprise! Two days after we moved into our home, we woke up to giant leak in our living room and found out we needed a new roof! It’s important to take into consideration that things do go wrong and to have some sort of a safety net.
Live your best life!
Think about the things you love doing now, the things you aren’t willing to give up. Do you want to be able to travel or go out to eat often?
Sit down and see how that fits into your budget. Are there things you’re willing to sacrifice like cutting back on going out to eat all the time?
I can honestly tell you I always hated cooking and never wanted to but I actually really love it now. I really love making a delicious meal together as a family in our own kitchen!
We still go out to eat sometimes but certainly not several times a week like we used to but that was something we didn’t mind sacrificing to achieve our goals of homeownership.
Purchasing our own home was such a huge achievement for us and it feels so amazing being homeowners.
I won’t lie and say it’s always easy, things need to be fixed or updated. But it is absolutely worth it!
It feels so good to be able to do whatever we want in our home! We don’t have to worry about a landlord raising our rent or having to follow someone’s rules!
Your goal of homeownership may just be closer than you think!
Here are some tips to help you figure out what you can afford:
- Meet with a lender and get your pre-approval done! I will not show homes to buyers that don’t have their pre-approval in place. Getting your pre-approval done before house hunting is a MUST! You need to know your budget prior to shopping. Learn more about the pre-approval process here.
- Use this mortgage affordability calculator to help calculate expenses and give you an estimate of costs.
- Really think about your current lifestyle. What are you not willing to give up? Budget your lifestyle with your mortgage affordability budget to see how it all works out.
- Do not go over budget when purchasing your home and make sure you have a safety net for unexpected problems.
I hope you enjoyed part 1 of this series part series. If you have any questions, leave them below in the comments!
Next month I will be bringing you Part 2: Finding The Right Home! Stay tuned!
*This post was sponsored by BMO, however all opinions expressed are my own.