5 Hurdles to Becoming a Homeowner – and How to Leap Right Over Them

Flickr/OrangeCounty_Girl

Flickr/OrangeCounty_Girl

If you were to grow up in New York City or London, England – or even Vancouver – owning a home might not have been one of your fantasies of grown-up life. For most Canadians, however, the idea that we’ll grow up, get a job and buy a house is almost a given. Indeed, in most parts of the country, there’s space galore for suburbs and two-car garages and tidy backyards. And it’s places like these where many of us were raised. Unfortunately, higher prices, tighter lending conditions and more debt are making it increasingly difficult to make that dream a reality.

According to a recent poll by TD Canada Trust, today’s first-time homebuyers say they’re up against challenges their parents never had to face – and they’re right. The real estate market is a lot less affordable than it was 30 years ago or even 10 years ago. According to a report released by TD in April, home prices have risen by about 7 percent per year over the last decade, considerably faster than both wages and inflation. Top that with five-digit student debt loads and tighter lending standards, and it’s no wonder that young people report feeling that prices are too high (53 percent), their wages too low (48 percent), and a solid down payment too hard to scrape together (57 percent).

Fortunately, aspiring homeowners seeking the property-owning dream don’t have to give up. I asked Farhaneh Haque, director of mortgage advice at TD Canada Trust, for some tips on the hurdles new homeowners are facing – and how they can leap right over them. Check it out in my new article on GoldenGirlFinance.com.

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