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First time residential real estate buyers wait longer

Rising property prices have changed the homeownership demographics across the country, including in Alberta. However, first-time residential real estate buyers still find ways to finance their first homes -- even if it happens a few years later in order to save for a down payment. Many young families choose to settle for condos until they start families -- which is also later than in previous years. Once children enter the equation, many parents start looking for houses.

Despite the time delay, many people still recognise the wisdom of owning homes as financial and lifestyle investments. To become a first-time owner of a home, some research about financial options may be necessary. It may be wise to consult with an experienced real estate lawyer to learn about the pros and cons and legal intricacies of each option. These may include Canada's Home Buyers' Plan that enables people to make limited annual withdrawals from their registered retirement savings for this purpose.

Another option is borrowing from family members. Popularly coined the "mom and pop bank," financing by family members can give first-time homebuyers a head start. However, to avoid future contention or arguments with family members, it is typically preferable for such financing to be in writing, with the guidance of legal counsel. Some suggest that young couples should calculate how much their proposed mortgage payments would be, and then put the difference between their current monthly rental and the calculated monthly mortgage payment into a savings account toward a down payment.

Purchasing a first home is an exciting process, and typically provides young couples with a significant sense of achievement. However, those that rush into the process may not be homeowners for very long. It makes sense to utilise the available knowledge and advice offered by realtors and residential real estate lawyers in Alberta to make sure the necessary procedures are followed, including home inspections by a qualified professional. Purchasing property has many hidden costs, and the right guidance can help buyers anticipate and plan for the full cost of a home purchase.

Source:, "Homeownership a wise goal for all Canadians", Bob Finnigan, Accessed on April 21, 2017

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