Friday 28 September 2012

Single home buyers face different challenges than couples

Recently released information from Statistics Canada shows that the percentage of Canadians purchasing homes alone is increasing. According to the recent statistics, 27.6% of all homes in Canada are occupied singly. A shift in lifestyles (including people choosing to marry later in life or not at all) combined with low mortgage rates, is believed to be a significant factor influencing this increase. In a recent Globe and Mail article, readers learn that along with the many rewards of home ownership, single home buyers will likely face challenges that differ from those couples face.

Budgeting methods are bound to change slightly when making the transition from renting to owning. Home owners are solely responsible for maintenance, repairs and emergencies that occur within a home, and saving for the unforeseen can be more difficult when there is only one income supporting the household. Mortgage payments will become the number one priority, meaning some will have to sacrifice other expenses. Experts suggest making small changes where possible, such as cutting down on evenings out or forgoing vehicle ownership in favour of public transit. Some home owners take advantage of their new property by renting out parking spots, spare rooms or basements to provide extra income.

Saving for a down payment can be one of the largest hurdles a new home buyer will face. Saving as much as possible will not only cut down on monthly mortgage payments, but will decrease the total amount of interest over the lifetime of the mortgage. One should also be mindful of the extra costs associated with purchasing a home, such as legal fees, closing costs, land transfer tax and moving expenses. When it comes to home ownership, saving as much as possible is key. For those who are still unsure if it's the right time for them to pursue home ownership, experts suggest making a detailed budget to see if they can realistically carry a mortgage. There are multiple resources available, such as online mortgage calculators and professional Mortgage Brokers, to assist in making this important financial decision.

Click here for the full article from the Globe and Mail.

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