Help for your clients who want to buy a home on their own

There are ways to make your solo purchase, a solo success

Guest article from TD Canada Trust

Everyone wants a place to call home. And when it’s time to start looking to buy, rising house prices and shortage of inventory can make it daunting for people who want to buy solo, especially in the city. But it can be done.

Marc Kulak, Associate Vice President of Real Estate Secured Lending at TD Canada Trust offers some creative ways to help a single buyer confidently make one of the biggest purchases of their lives.

Know what you can really afford: There is a big difference between your maximum approved mortgage amount and how much you can really afford month-to-month. Remember, it’s not just a mortgage payment you have to manage – other costs including property taxes, insurance, and ongoing maintenance will add up. Your mortgage payments should be low enough so you can take care of all your monthly expenses, meet your savings goals and still have some wiggle room. It’s also important to have a contingency budget or slush funds set aside each year, to cover off emergencies and household maintenance.

But before you make any commitments, do your research and seek out professional financial advice – check out the TD Mortgage Affordability Calculator online, talk to a mobile mortgage specialist and get a pre-approval for the mortgage to help you better understand your overall financing situation.

Don’t need the space? Maybe you should rent it out: As housing prices continue to rise in major Canadian cities, especially Toronto, making the most of your investment has never been more important. Consider buying a home with extra space, that way you can decide later if you’d like to rent out an extra room or your basement. You won’t miss the extra space if you don’t need it, and the rental income can help pay down the mortgage principal more quickly. Be sure to qualify for your mortgage without rental income so you have flexibility if you decide a roomie or tenant is not for you.

Protect your investment. Going solo as a buyer and a landlord means you also need to protect your newest and biggest investment; with a mortgage, you need insurance. Be sure to do your research with your insurance advisor to secure coverage that gives you peace of mind. Fire replacement coverage is something people typically think about, but should you also consider sewer back-up and ice damming coverage. Especially in older Toronto neighbourhoods with old clay pipes and big mature trees, back-up issues in basements are more common than you think. Remember to tell your insurer if you decide to rent out part of your home, make any renovations, or other changes as this will affect your coverage.

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