How we can keep the homeownership dream alive

By Debbie Cosic
October 27, 2023

On a recent to trip to Germany, I was impressed with the medical attention and the assistance we received. I also witnessed a lifestyle that appeared to be more in keeping with a dignified appreciation for all of their citizens. They, too, are struggling with inflationary housing prices, and many factors are contributing to this, including an influx of refugees arriving in Germany from the Ukraine. Planned subsidies are being introduced to help promote homeownership. One such program is restricted to the sale of new-build housing, and offers loans at preferential interest rates.

Canada is also an attractive destination for refugees seeking safety and a better quality of life. So many factors are contributing to the housing crisis. There are delays at every level of government when it comes to getting building permits and planning permission. New homebuilders can’t even get started on projects in a timely manner, further exasperating the housing situation. More has to be done to expedite the process so the problems can actually be fixed. And more has to be done to assist Canadian citizens with homeownership.

Buyer assistance

We have the first-time homebuyer incentive. This program offers five to 10 per cent of the home’s purchase price to put towards a down payment. This assistance is supposed to lower the mortgage carrying costs. Still, with rising interest rates this initial injection does little to soften the monthly expenses, and you have to pay it back. And, what’s available for someone who finds themselves all alone, or raising kids on their own, during their 30s, 40s and 50s following a death or divorce? How are they supposed to manage? And what about our aging population? Someone who was self-employed, or relied on a spouse, won’t have a pension to help support themselves or their household.

For the first time in our living history, homeownership may not be a credible dream for some Canadians. Many people struggle with this reality, and are constantly weighing the pros and cons of owning or renting. Homeownership has always been a secure investment that increased in value over the years, and provided equity for the advancement of a family. If seniors don’t have a house to sell later in life, then we’ve come full circle as it relates to how people will support themselves in their golden years. It’s getting more and more difficult.

With these concerns in mind, there are many building projects that are offering amazing incentives to attract homebuyers during these times of uncertainty – ones that are tailored to all types of purchasers.

Counterintuitive approach

Flex. Boutique Condos in Waterloo is offering fully furnished units with a lease guarantee, free property management fees for two years, parking discounts and capped development fees, as well as the right to lease during occupancy.

Located east of the GTA in Pickering is the Grand Condos, by Chestnut Hill Developments. This project is offering a cash flow-positive incentive program, with the intention of lowering the carrying costs for up to two years. This type of assistance is more in keeping with pre-pandemic levels, and offers the investor peace of mind knowing that their rent will cover the monthly expenses. These types of programs haven’t been seen in years, and are a perfect opportunity for savvy investors and prospective homebuyers – but the time to act, is now.

We sometimes have to look at a counterintuitive approach when fulfilling a dream that is not in keeping with outdated formulas. For those who are new to the housing market, they might have to look for a property that has an auxiliary income. Perhaps a larger home could be reconfigured into a duplex or a triplex to assist with carrying costs? There are many possibilities when you stretch your creative ingenuity. The world of housing is changing, but we all deserve a roof over our heads – one that offers us comfort, security and a sustainable way of life.

About Debbie Cosic

Debbie Cosic, CEO and founder of In2ition Realty, has worked in all facets of the real estate industry for over 25 years. She has sold and overseen the sales of more than $15 billion worth of real estate. With Debbie at its helm, In2ition has become one of the fastest-growing and most innovative new home and condo sales companies. In2ition has received numerous awards from the Building Industry & Land Development and the National Association of Home Builders.

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