The greatest barrier to home ownership for low-income earners is, by far, coming up the down payment.
Anyone who wants to purchase a home or buy a condo in Canada first needs to come up with a down-payment that is at least five percent of the purchase price. This can seem like a lot of money, and far too daunting a task for someone who may already be struggling financially. Even though you really want to buy a home or condo one day, because, in the long run, you know it could be a smart investment, it seems an impossible feat, especially for cash-strapped individuals. But in Calgary impossible is not a word associated with home ownership. In fact, with new condos available for as little as $119,900, it’s actually quite easy to buy a condo with a low income. People do it all the time. Here’s how:
Make it a calculated decision
Step 1. Grab calculator.
Step 2. Punch in the purchase price of your dream home (say that gorgeous $119,900 condo).
Step 3. Multiply the price of the condo by .05 for a total of $5,995.
Step. 4 Celebrate and then start saving.
Behave, save, and wave goodbye to debt
It may seem unimaginable now, but even low-income earners can save money and own a home or condo. No matter what your budget is, there are always ways to cut costs: borrow movies from your local library, start cooking at home, stop buying so many clothes, cut your cable (Our new condos come with free digital TV & Internet for a year). It may take a few years to come up with a down payment but it’s totally doable.
Gifts are always welcome
If you’re a first-time home buyer, you could get help from immediate family members in the form of “gifted” money. With 15 percent of mortgage down payments “gifted” in 2016, this is definitely one way for low-income earners can purchase a home or buy a condo. In the eyes of a bank, gifted money is much better than money that needs to be paid back.
Ask Mom or Dad to co-sign the dotted line
Another way to buy a home or condo with a low income is to ask a parent to sign as a guarantor on the mortgage. It’s probably a good idea to get your monthly budget sorted out before popping the question.
Help is on the way
Attainable Homes is a non-profit organization created and owned by The City of Calgary to help low-income Calgarians attain quality homeownership. In 2015, the organization helped over 200 families purchase homes and condos with just a $2,000 down payment.
Borrow and invest
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has a program called “Flex Down” in which buyers can access a line of credit to borrow their five percent down payment but this option is not highly recommended for low-income individuals as it simply increases their debt and monthly expenses.