I imagine that by now most Canadians know about the new mortgage rules that went into effect last month. Am I right? There is a strong possibility that I am wrong.
Below is a great summary by the CBC of what the changes mean in dollars and cents.
Essentially a reduction in amortization period from 30 years to 25 years means that your monthly mortgage payments will increase but that you will be paying significantly less interest in the long run. In addition, you must put down 20% (increased from 15%) of your home’s value.
What does this mean to us?
Now that I’ve paid off my debt, I’ve been zeroing in on some new financial goals. I’ve come to the conclusion that within the next few years, I’d like to own a home. Although these new changes will make it more challenging to do so, I think they are certainly a step in the right direction. Lax mortgage rules caused much of the economic chaos that has run rampant within the past few years. Tight mortgage rules will force us to think twice before committing to home ownership. Too many of us buy too many homes that too few of us can really afford.
Rent vs. buy?
Just kidding, there is way too much material online pertaining to this debate. Do what makes you happy.
The American/Canadian dream?
To many North Americans, owning a home is the ‘American’ or ‘Canadian’ dream, but there’s nothing dream-like about being house poor. Perhaps the new dream should be to enjoy life, save as much as you can, and buy a house when you’re ready to put a sizeable payment down and can afford a higher monthly payment with a shorter amortization period. Or perhaps the new dream should be to rent if you don’t want to commit to buying. I recently met someone that owned a condo, sold it, and now rents an apartment in a great part of town. She is happy with her choice and loves the freedom.
The dream can be whatever you want it to be as long as you know your limits, spend within your means, and create achievable goals. What are your immediate goals pertaining to home ownership? Are you content renting?
Blog note: In an effort to reduce the number of posts about blogging, I’ve decided to include blog notes within posts to update you guys. In case anyone has noticed, I have indeed been gone for the past few weeks. I’ve recently started a new job and it has required a bit of adjusting. I’m hoping to slip into some sort of routine soon enough so bear with me! Another reason for my absence is that yet again, I wasn’t sure what direction I wanted to take the blog. I think I’ve decided and as a result, you may see some changes visually and content-wise.