A new apartment is cool, but owning a new home can be way cooler
July 1st has always been a momentous occasion for Montrealers because the entire city seems to play musical chairs with their accommodations. This year will be no exception, but different for me and my guy because we will be moving into our first real home together! When I say real, I mean we bought our first property and for us, this was a HUGE step! When Scotiabank asked if I would write a post about buying a home for the first time, I said yes because I hope to inspire you to at least look into the possibility of owning your first home. As one of the most important (and emotional) events in my life, it was both scary and exciting at the same time, but also very doable. It’s definitely a #lifegoal worth planning for!
In Quebec, where half the population actually lives in Montreal – half of us are renters because rent is still relatively inexpensive, but according to a survey done by Scotiabank, nearly half of Quebec renters say they would invest in a home if their mortgage payments were less than or around the same price as their monthly rent. Yet, more than half of Quebec renters don’t even know if they would qualify for a mortgage and only 22% have actually talked to their bank to find out. In our case, my boyfriend and I knew we wanted to move in together, but we were both paying ridiculously low rent on our apartments, so we thought to find a mortgage at the same price we were paying for rent would be practically impossible. Although, we did feel it would be more fun to own than rent because you can make it your own with interior design and renovations, having a home is a great investment (instead of just giving money to a landlord) and it would be an amazing project to start and work on together.
For over two years, we were casually searching MLS.ca for properties off and on without even knowing what type of mortgage we would qualify for. When we did find a house that we both fell in love with, we thought it was way out of our price range, but when we sat down with a mortgage counsellor, we discovered that we could afford it and that the monthly payments wouldn’t even be that much higher than what we paid for our combined monthly rents. Had we known that before we started searching for homes, we would’ve saved a lot of time and stress.
When I spoke with Vincent Déziel, Indirect Mortgage Channel Manager at Scotiabank, he said that if you are thinking that one day you would like to buy a home, it costs nothing to set up an appointment with a mortgage counsellor and even if you find out that you’re not yet in a position to buy for whatever reason, they are at least able to help you with a plan of action to save and/or to clear up your credit rating and just to put the whole adventure of home buying into perspective.
One more important reason to start looking into owning is that interest rates are historically low right now, so it’s a really great time to buy. Even if you don’t think you can afford it, it doesn’t hurt to set up an appointment to find out exactly where you’re at along the road to becoming a bona fide home owner. Trust me, I wish we had sat down with an expert a loooooong time ago!
To find out how to get ready for your home-owner adventure, visit: www.banquescotia.com/accespropriete
To find out how to plan for your new home’s new look, watch for my next blog post with Scotiabank (and see before and after photos of our new home!)… on June 17th!