While the dream of home ownership is still a dream for many, it often doesn’t seem like an attainable one if you live in a more expensive market. So when should you pull the trigger—and stretch yourself more than you’d really like to be stretched, financially speaking—and when does it make sense to continue renting?
That’s the question posed in this article in the Globe and Mail. In my opinion, you should only buy a house if you have a firm understanding of the costs associated with it. In addition to making your mortgage payment every month (or every other week), you’re also going to have to pay property taxes, make repairs, pay for unexpected appliance replacements and a slew of other variables. That’s why it’s so essential to figure out what you can comfortably afford—and what you’re realistically willing to give up, lifestyle-wise, if you need to go beyond that comfort zone. It’s also wise to give yourself a little buffer when establishing that comfort zone. Because, like many things in life, the true costs of home ownership often exceed your expectations.
Unsurprisingly, the Globe article doesn’t advocate for stretching one’s self too far. It even offers a handy Real Life Ratio calculator to help new home buyers more accurately determine their comfort level. Give it a try and, if you still think home ownership is something you’d like to go for, give me a call to discuss your mortgage options.