Home ownership may not seem easy at times. However, it is possible to achieve with the right mind set and the right team on our side.I remember vividly my parents’ struggles with becoming homeowners, when I was a kid. They moved from one place to another about fifteen times, until finally my parents bought their first home with rent to own option, which for us at the time, was a major family milestone. Being part of a big extended family from my childhood to my teens and adolescence, I witnessed a variety of financial ups and downs, gains and losses in my surroundings, and I soon learned that it is not about how much one earns, but it is mostly about what home ownership means to oneself. My own lifetime experiences taught me overt time what home ownership means to me:
We had everything we could want for at our fingertips, from the doctor to the butcher to the local dairy or farmer store etc. We shovelled snow together, we gave back to people in need together. We helped each other. We were one. There is definitely a certain amount of pride that comes with home ownership, which helps to anchor you to the community.
2. Credit standing
Homeownership definitely increased my parents financial credibility, from applying for a mortgage to getting a loan to buy appliances, CAC, wood stove etc. Your credit rating improves with mortgage or loan payments, which means you can get access to loans for bigger purchases and investments to grow your nest egg and personal wealth.
3. Fixed housing payment
Buying a home allowed my parents to have a regular predictable shelter cost, much more stable than paying rent. This meant a lot to my parents with their modest income. A fixed rate mortgage creates a great stability and predictability in housing costs.
Freedom to be, to do and to have the home that the family envisions. I have so many great memories of us sleeping on the roof top, making tomato sauce, having feasts in our yard in the summer or painting exterior and/or interior walls of our modest home, the way we wanted and the colour we wanted, and they are still so alive in me. Home ownership gives you the freedom and creative control to have your home set up in any way you desire, free from landlords’ restrictions and is an important experience in personal growth.
5. Income opportunity vehicle
Home ownership sparks creativity. For a family of modest means, homeownership is definitely not a “lack”, but an “opportunity.” My parents were a great example of that. In their life time, they have had several rental income producing properties, renovated and sold their investment properties at the right time and price, travelled around the world, immigrated and finally settled to have a peaceful and secured life in their retirement years.
6. Increase in value
Homeownership allowed my parents to build wealth, while they raised us. By the time we were grown up, their home value also increased tremendously in value without any additional effort on their part. Home ownership lets you build your equity every month making you a little wealthier every time and growing substantially in the long term.
I know this with absolute certainty that my parents could have never built up their equity without that first bold and creative step into “rent to own” option, which allowed them to save the money they were paying for rent, year after year, and invest in themselves, while raising their three kids.
Home ownership primarily allowed us as a family to experience a sense of stability and belonging. I cannot place a value on the morning walks with my father to elementary school, to going to secondary or high school with neighbourhood friends with whom I grew up
9. Tax benefits
Home ownership allows homeowners to deduct several items such as: mortgage interest, home equity loans, some closing costs and property taxes on primary and/or vacation home, for income tax purposes. Homeowners also get a capital gains exclusion on their primary place of residence.
10. Wealth building machine
Homeownership allowed my parents to buy a few more properties over time and to build up a solid real estate investment portfolio, just because of that initial bold step to become a homeowners.
Why I am saying all of this about homeownership? It is simply because when I look back over the last five decades of my own life experiences, I see that most of the points above are still valid today and are valuable to consider homeownership as a way to build wealth worth spreading.
What does homeownership mean to you? Who do you want to team up with to build and grow your personal wealth? Do you have a financial advisor, a real estate lawyer, a realtor that you know, trust and are committed to? Real Estate market is dynamic and constantly changing. So whether you are a first home buyer, a real estate investor/renovator or simply a repeat home buyer, make sure to connect, reconnect with one of the best professionals in the industry. We are here to help you every step of the way on your journey to homeownership.
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With love & gratitude