Your first home may not be “for­ever”

The Telegram (St. John’s) - - MY HOME -

Home own­er­ship is a goal for most of us, and mil­len­ni­als ap­pear to be the most op­ti­mistic group. Ac­cord­ing to a poll con­ducted by a Cana­dian char­tered bank, two in five mil­len­ni­als said they in­tend to buy a home in the next two years. But the cost of home own­er­ship and things like reg­u­la­tory changes can make sav­ing for a down pay­ment more dif­fi­cult and, for many, put the dream of home own­er­ship out of reach. Some­times, how­ever, first-time buy­ers may not be look­ing at all their op­tions. A lit­tle flex­i­bil­ity and com­pro­mise can help make own­er­ship more ac­ces­si­ble when con­sid­er­ing the fol­low­ing:

Be­gin with a starter home. Few peo­ple spend 50 years in one home these days. Think about your lifestyle for the next five to 10 years and make a de­ci­sion based on that. Your dream home in your dream neigh­bour­hood may still be yours, just a bit later in your life.

Get a renter. Could you af­ford the home you want if you rented out part of it? Many peo­ple cre­ate a base­ment apart­ment or rent out a se­cond bed­room as a way to off­set their mort­gage pay­ments.

Con­sider co-own­er­ship. Buy­ing a prop­erty with fam­ily or friends is a great way to get your foot in the door. Dis­cuss op­tions with your mort­gage spe­cial­ist and be sure to es­tab­lish a solid con­trac­tual agree­ment that will help avoid or me­di­ate any fu­ture dis­agree­ments when sell­ing the prop­erty, rene­go­ti­at­ing terms or buy­ing each other out.

Be re­al­is­tic. Don’t ex­pect per­fec­tion. Ev­ery home has some is­sues and you may have to com­pro­mise or de­cide what you can and can’t live with. What is a per­ma­nent fea­ture ver­sus some­thing that’s an easy aes­thetic fix? Set your pri­or­i­ties, but be re­al­is­tic and flex­i­ble.

Be pa­tient. Style your home slowly and re­sist the temp­ta­tion to fur­nish it from top to bot­tom the day af­ter you move in. Get cre­ative with chic but less ex­pen­sive, gen­tly used fur­ni­ture or pieces that may not last a life­time but will save you money to­day.

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