Sometimes it feels like I eat, breathe and sleep real estate. From 9 to 5 at my desk, I’m engrossed in housing market news and all the speculation that comes with it. My free time is often spent browsing “For Sale” listings and attending open houses. My sleep, too, is invaded by home ownership – visions of dream homes and housing market nightmares.
I know I’m not alone here. Indeed, Finance Minister Charles Sousa said in his 2016 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review that home ownership has become the key to many people’s long-term financial security. And with the way prices and demand have been rising across Canada, I’m not surprised.
If you’re on the fence about home ownership, here are three things you need to know.
First of all, there’s nothing that beats the feeling of pride of ownership – stepping through your front door; kicking back in your living room; mowing your lawn. Enough said.
Second, you have to live somewhere. If you’ve done the math and have determined that the downpayment and mortgage payments fit within your budget, why would you fatten some landlord’s pockets when you can invest in your own financial security?
Finally, timing is everything. I went to an open house on my street just this past weekend. My keen interest in real estate, coupled with a touch of ‘nosey-neighbour syndrome’ lured me in to tour this property, which I can confidently say is easily out of my price range – today, anyway.
Since buying my own house two doors down, two years ago, I’ve seen prices on my street skyrocket. I live in the suburbs, but the price gains have been making headlines all across Canada. Even if the market sees some blips in the future, history has taught us that real estate is an appreciating asset. Now, I plan to sit back, love my home for the time being, and hope that my investment pays off in the future.