The 2016 Home Buyers’ Plan

You’ve heard of the Home Buyers’ Plan, right? That thing that helps you buy a home by letting you use your RRSP as part of your down payment? Sure you have. But do you actually know how to use it? And if you did, did you know the plan changed when the Liberal government took over last year?

Let’s say you’ve looked at whether renting or owning is best for you, you’ve calculated the up front costs, you’ve figured out the continuing costs as part of an ongoing budget, and you’ve decided you want to join the world of home ownership. Yay you!

That’s a huge decision and you probably put a lot of thought into it. So now that you’ve decided to become a home owner, how do you actually get there?

One of the ways is by taking advantage of the Home Buyers’ Plan, which is available to first time home buyers in Canada. Continue reading “The 2016 Home Buyers’ Plan”

Can You Afford to Buy a Home? Part Two: The Monthly Costs

If you’ve decided that home ownership fits your lifestyle, and you know how much you need to cover the upfront costs, the next thing you’ll need to know is whether your budget can actually support the ongoing costs of owning a home. I can hear you right now going “when does it all ennnd“.


I promise though, the pain of calculating all of these costs early on is so much easier to bear than the later realization that you’re house-poor because you didn’t factor in all of the ongoing costs. Let’s do this together, shall we? Continue reading “Can You Afford to Buy a Home? Part Two: The Monthly Costs”

Can You Afford to Buy a Home? Part One: The Upfront Costs

So you’ve considered it and decided that buying a home fits with the lifestyle that you want. But can you afford it?

Before you start seriously looking, make sure you have an accurate budget so you have a realistic idea of what your current monthly expenses look like. Once you have that as a starting point, you are ready to develop a budget for your home purchase.

When preparing that budget, don’t forget that there are also a number of upfront costs involved with purchasing a home that go beyond the down payment.

Typically, the rule of thumb is to estimate between 1.5% to 4% of the purchase price of the home for your closing costs, but be sure to look at each upfront cost and do a bit of digging to figure out just how much you can expect to fork over.

Continue reading “Can You Afford to Buy a Home? Part One: The Upfront Costs”

Is Home Ownership Right for You?

Owning a home is (apparently) considered the “Canadian dream” (at least, since February, when Mike De Jong said it was). Maybe not surprisingly, it’s a goal of many millennials.

In 2015, 51% of people born between 1980 and 2000 owned a home, and despite our reputation for living with our parents until we’re 30 and wasting our money on iPhones, millennials are actually buying houses earlier than our parents did.

Buying a house is likely going to be the biggest purchase you make in your life, and like any big purchase, it’s always a good idea to evaluate why you want to make that purchase. Continue reading “Is Home Ownership Right for You?”