Worried you’ll never be able to buy a house?
Can’t save up fast enough?
Perhaps you’ve just lost hope?
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It’s easy to feel this way, but there are steps you can take to help get into the real estate market here in Metro Vancouver.
We’ve come up with 4 ways you can still afford to get into the real estate market.
Get rid of luxury items and eliminate credit card debt
This is a tough one for many, but it is crucial to put you on the right path to own your first home. High-interest credit cards will put you in a hole quickly and will be very hard to get out of. Cancelling some of your credit cards will help you as well and have you just using one card.
Luxury items and spending should also be cut back. Think twice about that expensive watch or luxury handbag you want to buy. It’s these small cutbacks that’ll allow you to save up and finally get that dream house you’ve always wanted.
Move to the suburbs
This can be a big change for people and it’s definitely not an easy one to say the least. Property values tend to be lower outside of the city and you can get more bang for your buck. Also, some rural municipalities offer incentive programs to attract first-time homebuyers.
Vancouver has priced out many and people are starting to move outwards the Fraser Valley. A good tip for finding a new community is to pick one that has easy access to transit options and major roadways.
Rent out a portion of your new house
Get a house that is a bit bigger than you need and rent out a portion of it to someone. Get a place with a basement and renovate it so that it’s perfect for someone looking for a cheaper place to stay.
This will help you with your new mortgage and lets you possibly save a little on the side. It’s important to do your homework beforehand and choose the right person to live in your house. A student is perhaps a good option for you.
Research assistance programs
See if your city or province provides any assistance for first-time home buyers. Here in BC, there is the First Time Home Buyers Program provided by the provincial government.
The First Time Home Buyers' Program reduces or eliminates the amount of property transfer tax you pay when you purchase your first home. If you qualify for the program, you may be eligible for either a full or partial exemption from the tax.
If one or more of the purchasers don’t qualify, only the percentage of interest that the first time home buyer(s) have in the property is eligible.
For example, if you qualify and purchase a property with a fair market value of $400,000 with a person who doesn’t qualify you would still qualify. If you owned a 60% interest in the property, 60% of the tax amount would be eligible for the exemption.
To qualify for a full exemption, at the time the property is registered you must:
- be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
- have lived in B.C. for 12 consecutive months immediately before the date you register the
- property or filed at least 2 income tax returns as a B.C. resident in the last 6 years
- have never owned an interest in a principal residence anywhere in the world at any time
- have never received a first time home buyers' exemption or refund
- and the property must:
- be located in B.C.
- only be used as your principal residence and
have a fair market value of:
- $475,000 or less if registered on or before February 21, 2017, or
- $500,000 or less if registered on or after February 22, 2017
- be 0.5 hectares (1.24 acres) or smaller