How to Conquer Your Fear and Overcome Homeownership Hurdles

There are many benefits of homeownership. It creates a level of stability in a person’s life and provides a safe environment for children to grow and learn. A home can also have several financial benefits, creating borrowing power for the homeowner and the opportunity to build wealth that can be passed on to children and grandchildren.

Still, many Canadians are sitting on the sidelines because of all the negative news they have heard on the radio, seen on television or read in newspapers. Others may not have enough extra money to save for a down payment or have other financial difficulties, such as poor credit scores that make it difficult for them to get approved for a mortgage.

This article will help you overcome these hurdles and take advantage of one of the best times in recent memory to buy a home in one of many wonderful communities across Canada.

First, how to conquer your fear of a falling market?
1- Stop listening to negative news and people. If you are waiting for "all lights to be green" then you will wait forever. You must stop every negative source of information from coming into your mind and concentrate on the positive aspect of the current market such as lower mortgage rates, lower prices and more selection.

2- Read a self-help book on how to set up goals and achieve success. Every successful person that I know has had to overcome fear of failing in order to reach their goal. You need to fill your mind, body and soul with positive thoughts that keep you encouraged as you embark on your journey towards homeownership.

3- Speak with your real estate agent. He or she will be able to show you many bargain deals that will make your mouth water. Imagine snatching up a beautiful home in your favourite neighbourhood which is priced twenty thousand dollars below market value because the owners have to move in eight weeks.

Stop listening to advice from family and friends. When the market turns back to a seller's market, the deals and the selection will quickly go away. If you find the right home, and the price is below other similar homes that are comparable then go for it.
Second, how to come up with the down payment?
Using a $300,000 purchase price as an example, the following chart shows the different down payment options available for you and the amount of down payment money needed to qualify for a mortgage:

Type of Mortgage % Down payment Amount of down payment required
Conventional 25% $75,000
High Ratio 5% $15,000
No Down payment 0% $0 ($4,500 must be available for closing costs)

Once you have established the amount of down payment you need, you must put in a solid plan to raise this money in the shortest possible time. Here are a few ideas to help you:

  • Simply start saving by having a pre-determined amount of money transferred from your chequing account to your savings account each month.
  • If you are a first-time buyer, use money from your RSP as a portion of your deposit.
  • Consider moving to a less expensive rental unit and save the difference each month toward your down payment.
  • Pay off your credit cards or consolidate them to reduce your debt and the interest you’re paying.
  • Consider a second job with the income going directly toward saving for your down payment.
  • Borrow from family; relatives may be happy to help.
  • Sell some investments or possessions.
  • Pass up luxuries such as movies and eating out, and deposit the money you would have spent into savings.
  • Take your lunch to work, clip coupons and use them, drive more slowly to avoid unnecessary fuel consumption or take local transit, cut back on long-distance calling – it all adds up.

By cutting back on your day-to-day expenses you will be able to put more of your earnings away in a savings account. Budgeting doesn’t have to mean economy meals and nights in with just a book for company – there are many ways you can cut back without feeling like you are depriving yourself.

Work up your plan vigorously. Many first time buyers that I know were able to save up the required down payment in around two years, and now are the proud owners of their own dream homes. It only takes some planning, will power and discipline.

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