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Header Playing the waiting game Steps can you take to start preparing for home ownership
• Jul. 2, 2024

Even in the face of rising real estate prices and a rocky economic environment, many Canadians are unwavering in their desire—and goal—to buy a home, according to the results of a new TD survey.

Nearly three quarters (74%) of those surveyed said they’re hopeful they’ll be able to purchase a home within five years. But half also said a challenging market means it will take them at least two years to be financially ready to buy.

Two years might feel like a long wait for home ownership. But 24 months can be ample time to make a solid financial plan, fill your knowledge gaps, get familiar with the mortgage and home buying process, and manage any feelings of anxiety or stress by seeking professional advice.

If you're one of those Canadians hoping to prepare your finances for eventual home ownership, here are some tips on how you can help prepare:

Make a personalized financial plan

How much income does your household bring in? How much are you saving? How do your monthly expenses stack up against your income? What about investing?

One of the best ways to help answer these questions is to create a personal or household budget. Use it to evaluate your personal spending, make changes to your spending habits and create a financial plan that includes saving towards making home ownership a reality.

To achieve homeownership, 56% of prospective buyers surveyed said they are reducing their non-essential expenses. Fifty-two per cent say they planned to invest more of their money.

The survey results also suggest that proactive planning can pay off. Sixty-three per cent of prospective homeowners who had either established a personalized financial plan or met with a financial advisor about how to achieve their goals said they felt more confident about achieving home ownership.

“The first step when buying a home is knowing how much you can afford to spend,” said Natasha Struminikovski, Associate Vice President, Homeowners Journey at TD. “In addition to how much mortgage you’re comfortable with, you will also want to consider your expenses, plus the new ones that come with homeownership. By looking at your budget, you’ll get a better idea of what’s possible and achievable for you.”

By regularly revisiting your budget to factor in any changes to your circumstances, like a new job, a vehicle loan, or the birth of a child, you can better determine if you will need more or less time towards a home purchase. Mortgage tools like the TD Mortgage Affordability Calculator can help with planning.

Explore creative homeowner options

In a bid to make home ownership a reality, some Canadians are also exploring alternative buying arrangements.

Eight per cent of prospective homebuyers surveyed are embracing the rising trend of the "modern homeowner" by looking to purchase property with someone who isn’t their partner, such as a friend or family member, the survey found.

Seek guidance about your options

Part of getting ready to purchase a home should include getting more informed about your financing options. If you’re a prospective buyer with concerns about mortgage rates and the home buying process, you’re not the only one.

Eighty-five per cent of prospective homeowners surveyed said they’re not very comfortable with the home buying or mortgage process, and 95% said they have concerns related to either process. Sixty-one per cent of survey respondents also said they had concerns around interest rates.

What would help them feel better equipped to keep up with the Canadian housing market? Quick advice from a professional would help them be “more confident,” 53 per cent of respondents said.

When you use the TD Mortgage Direct service, you can get matched with a TD Mortgage Specialist who can learn more about your unique financial situation and provide you with personalized mortgage insights, as well as explain the process of buying your first home and help you start your mortgage application at TD.

“The TD Mortgage Direct service is a way to quickly connect with a TD Mortgage Specialist who can help you understand TD mortgage rates and help you feel more confident about the decisions you’re making in this housing market – one that often moves quickly,” said Struminikovski.

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