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Is residential real estate an affordable option?

A recent survey of homeowners indicated that large numbers of Canadians, including some in Alberta, regret buying property when they did. With the rise in residential real estate prices over recent years, the majority of the responders said they would not be interested in selling their properties due to the high replacement cost. There are even some who feel they would have been better off renting from the start because of rising interest rates.

Purchasing residential real estate is a major event and not a decision to be made without thorough consideration. The prospect of owning a home could be intoxicating, and many people rush into property deals without weighing the pros and cons. It is important to keep in mind that the job of a Realtor is to encourage consumers to buy property -- after all, that is what puts money in their pockets.

Of the survey responders, 33 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 34 said they were already homeowners, and a significant percentage wished they were not. Their reasons included being cash poor due to mortgage and other housing costs and the difficulty in meeting mortgage obligations due to the high interest rates. More than a third of them believed renting would have been a wiser option.

It might be wise to also consult with other professionals about the wisdom of committing to a mortgage that will take a sizable bite out of a couple's dispensable income for many years. With the qualified advice and guidance of an experienced residential real estate lawyer, young couples in Alberta can choose a house of which the mortgage will be affordable. Financial overextension can jeopardise the family's cash flow and cause buyer's remorse. Before committing to a purchase, some number-crunching and weighing of pros and cons might be appropriate.

Source: CBC News Business, "Nearly 2 in 3 homeowners won't sell because of how much it costs to buy again: CIBC", Accessed on April 28, 2017

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