Takes One to Own One

Single homeowners represent a quarter of Canadians buying or intending to buy a home, according to a new TD survey.

A large part of this trend is driven by unexpected life circumstances, with Canadian homebuyers who are divorced (69%) or widowed (35%) saying they are more likely to purchase a home on their own, along with a growing number of single Canadians who say they’ll go it alone (67%).

To help make solo home ownership a reality, TD offers some creative ways to help a single buyer successfully make one of the biggest purchases of their lives.

  • Buying solo doesn’t mean living solo:

Just over one-quarter (27%) of single Canadians who have or intend to purchase a home alone say they did or would consider having a tenant to make solo home ownership more affordable, while just under one-quarter (23%) said they did or would consider a roommate.

Having rental income can help pay down the mortgage principal more quickly. Be sure to qualify for your mortgage without rental income so you have flexibility if you decide a roomie or tenant is not for you.

  • Think beyond the picket fence:

Before you make any commitments, do your research and seek out professional financial advice to know what you can afford. For example, you can check out the TD Mortgage Affordability Calculator online to see what budget works best for your situation.

Remember, it’s not just a mortgage payment you have to manage – other costs including property taxes, insurance, and ongoing maintenance will add up.

Your mortgage payments should be low enough so you can take care of all your monthly expenses, meet your savings goals and still have some wiggle room. It’s also important to have a contingency budget or slush funds set aside, to cover off emergencies and household maintenance.

  • Protect your investment:

As a new home owner or landlord, it’s important to protect your newest and biggest investment. Be sure to research what type of insurance coverage will best fit your needs and give you peace of mind.

For instance, fire replacement coverage is something people typically think about, but, depending on where you live, you might also consider sewer back-up and ice damming coverage.

For example, even newer neighbourhoods can have issues with water backing up into basements, if grading and drainage are not well managed. And finally, remember to tell your insurer if you decide to rent out part of your home, make any renovations, or other changes as this will affect your coverage.

  • Enlist a home-buying buddy:

If you’re on your own, it’s important to have a support system in place, like a trusted friend or family member, throughout the process of buying a home. Having support will help you stick to your home-buying plan and can provide an objective voice as you visit properties, negotiate and close on a property, and set up your new home.

Getting into the housing market is top of mind for many people— regardless of their marital status— and there are more options than ever to help you afford the condo, townhouse, or detached house of your dreams.

Before making the big move, be sure to speak to a mortgage specialist about your individual needs to find ways to make the process more affordable and achievable, and ultimately to attain your home owning goal.

(❚ Written by TD Bank Canada. More detail information: 204-985-4620. 2030 Corydon Avenue WPG.)