Mortgage series: I can afford my rent, this means I can afford my mortgage!

Before you get too far ahead of yourself, there are many other things that you should consider.

I don’t know how many times I have heard this justification as the reason to support that it is time to buy a home.  While the statement may be true, there is so much more to consider than this fact alone.  Many of us have figured out that a monthly mortgage payment would be the same as what we are paying in rent and immediately hit MLS to browse all the housing options available.  Before you get too far ahead of yourself, there are many other things that you should consider.  

Mortgage payments are just the beginning of your expenses!

Once you own your own home, there are many other expenses that you will face other than the mortgage.   You will now be on the hook for things like hydro, gas, home insurance, cable and Internet.  Don’t forget about property tax, depending on where you live this can be quite hefty.  

Responsibility!  Financial and More…

I remember when I rented a house; there was a leak in the roof.  My job was to phone the landlord and tell him.  I now own my own house and recently came home to ten shingles on the driveway.  Panic begins.  What if the roof is leaking?  Will it cause water damage?  Dollar signs are flashing before my eyes.   I can’t pick up the phone and call the landlord.  I’ve now called three different people to come out and give me a quote and expect that it will cost me about $7000 to replace the roof.  Awesome!    The very next day, as I was transferring my clothes from the washer to the dryer I stepped in a big puddle of water.  Perfect!  The washing machine is broken.  You know who I don’t call? – The landlord.  Instead I call the repair shop.  They will be arriving on Monday to see what is wrong.  I can’t wait to see how much this will cost.  These things happen regularly and not just to me.  My good friend had to miss a night out on the town with the girls a couple of weeks ago because her pipes were frozen.   If she left, and the pipe burst she would be on the hook for thousands of dollars of repair.  So while we all were out having a good time, she sat at home watching the pipe.  Being a homeowner doesn’t just take money; it takes time and responsibility as well.

Never mind what you have to spend. Let’s talk about what you want to spend!

Once you get those shiny new keys in your hand you will be hit immediately with this little thing called “pride of ownership”. You will want to change the colours on the walls, buy a really cool couch to match the brand new TV that you just had to buy for your new place!  All of these things add up.  It takes money and time to make your brand new house your home.  

With all this in mind, is it the right time for you to buy a house?  Before you contact a real estate agent, I would sit down and prepare a budget.  It is important that you are informed about all the costs that come along with being a homeowner.  Make sure you are financially ready for the burden that comes along with home ownership!  

About the Author

Sara Wick


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