Buying a new home in Canada is becoming increasingly expensive. Last year, Living in Canada published two charts showing average house prices, and they showed that the price of homes ranged anywhere from C$225,826 to a little over C$1.31 million. Coupled with new requirements, such as the 20% down payment rule, buying a new home is a huge financial burden for most homeowners. However, if you feel that you are ready to buy a new home then don’t be discouraged. There are plenty of budgeting tips that can help you save money.
Meet with a mortgage advisor
It is crucial to understand the financial options available to you, and the best way to get up to speed is through meeting with a mortgage advisor. They’ll explain to you in depth the different types of mortgage loans, their rates, and the differences between fixed- and variable-rate loans. You can also discuss your home-buying goals. In turn, your mortgage advisor will be able to guide you in choosing the right loan and location for your budget. While employing a financial advisor may seem like an extra cost, it could save you a lot of money in the long term, especially if they find you a good deal.
A Globe and Mail article on home-buying tips points out that being flexible about where, when, and how you buy your house can a positive impact on how much money you can save. The biggest deciding factor will be location. A detached house in Toronto, for instance, can cost, on average C$1.3 million, while the same type of house in Niagara will cost significantly less at C$450,000. Therefore, you must be open to the idea of living in smaller cities, like Regina and Fredericton, or in areas such as New Brunswick and Newfoundland. However, this isn’t always feasible, especially when there are commuting costs involved. This is something that you will need to factor into your budget. Be open to all possibilities, particularly when it comes to location, as well as the type of house you are after.
Get your timing right
Timing is everything and if you are looking to save money the time of year you make an offer could lead to a discount. This trend is true across all housing markets. New York real estate experts Yoreevo state that during the winter months there are less housing transactions, which means that it is the best time to ask for a discount on the asking price. For example, if you were to buy a house in New York during January and February you could receive a discount of up to 4%. The same is true in Toronto with December, January, and February the months with the lowest average home price. The advantage of shopping during these colder months is that there is less competition, which means that sellers will be more open to lowering the price, especially if they are looking for a quick turnaround. It doesn’t matter where in Canada you are buying, winter is a good time to look to save money.
Consider the other costs
There are more associated costs to owning a home than just a mortgage. Afford Anything CEO Paula Plant notes that these costs include insurance, taxes, utilities, repairs, and maintenance. You’ll need to factor in these costs ahead of purchasing the home. This way you won’t make the mistake of buying a home and being surprised by how much more you need to spend. A common mistake is buying a home that appears to be cheaper, only to find that the additional costs make it more expensive than another property that was in consideration.
The key is to make sure that you plan buying a home carefully. Don’t rush! As we noted in ‘The Case For Getting Rich Slowly’ that “slow and steady is probably the best bet when it comes to formulating a spending plan.” This same principle also applies to buying a house. Take your time, weigh everything, and make a plan. This way you will be able to save the maximum amount of money.