Should You Own a Home?

With the Toronto real estate market just reaching its peak, or many thinking that it already has and we’re just starting to see the decline it’s about to embark on, many experts and analysts have started to talk more about the idea that Canadians, and Torontonians in the hottest market in Canada, have become “house-obsessed.” That we’ve become so crazy over the idea of home ownership that we’re willing to do just about anything to become a part of it – including putting everything we have up for offer in order to get it. Gail Vaz-Oxlade, respected financial guru, also believes this theory, and often tells the couples and individuals she works with that they shouldn’t be so quick to snub their noses at renting a home rather than owning one. The trick, she says, is to know whether you can actually afford one or not. She says that you should in fact consider buying a home – if the following statements are true:

  • You have a realistic budget
  • You have a steady, reliable income
  • You work in a permanent, year-round industry
  • You have the time, skills, desire, and money todeal with maintenance on teh home
  • You will still have savings after the home has been purchased
  • You won’t be moving any time soon
  • You can afford to own a home in the neighbourhood in which you want to live
  • You are financially responsible
  • You have little, or no, consumer debt

It’s true – there are plenty of people that simply should not own a home. On the other hand, if most of the things above hold true for you, then owning a home is still the financial dream that you’ve always thought it would be. And it won’t be a money pit that will leave you cash poor!