I will admit that I'm not always the most patient person. When I get something in my head, I want it now. Not in a year, not in three months, NOW.
I have always had a hate-hate relationship with renting. In my perspective, there is nothing at all good about it. Not even the whole "you don't have to pay for repairs" thing, because landlords then have the opportunity to make you wait for the repair (example - when we waited for three weeks without a washing machine) because they are not affected by the situation.
So, no, I will never even consider being a lifelong renter.
With our neighbours being such assholes all the time, it feels like even more incentive to work hard and build up our funding to purchase a home.
Now that I have a REAL job, home ownership can become a reality for us.
Being the most impatient person in the world, I have a hard time waiting, and have had a lot of fun looking at the MLS listings as of late. But, I know I need to wait in order to make the right move at the right time.
So, based on careful calculations, analysis, and reading a LOT of articles, we've decided to start looking in:
This is based on a number of factors, that I would love to get down on paper (or, virtual paper, as you may have it):
Some people seem to think that the housing prices in the areas surrounding Vancouver are good, it's just Vancouver city that has soaring home prices.
This is not the case. The prices in the surrounding cities are, admittedly, much lower than those of Vancouver, but still higher than almost everywhere else in the province.
The Vancouver housing market greatly affects what goes on in the surrounding cities, so when economists forecast a 10% decrease in prices in Vancouver and Toronto, I fully expect that decrease to trickle out to the 'burbs (where we want to buy).
That forecast was said to happen over the course of a year since May, and by January or February, we are sure that the 10% decrease will be well on it's way.
The Canadian housing market has finally turned into a buyers market, and it will likely remain that way for the next few months. With prices slipping, and new mortgage rules (the maximum is 25 years), this is turning into good news for the likes of J and I.
The mortgage rules will discourage a lot of buyers from purchasing, because this makes it a little less affordable. We couldn't imagine being locked into a mortgage for 30 years anyway, so we had planned to pay it off in 15-20 years. That 25 year rule is great, because there will be fewer buyers, thus giving us more power, AND we will have to pay a lot less interest than if we mortgaged for 30 years.
Time of the Year
Everyone knows that June, July and August are the busiest home buying months. BC is no exception to that rule, and of course that is when the prices are the highest.
Winter is slow for home buying, causing prices to decrease. Sellers are proven to take lower offers in the winter months instead of the summer months, which is great news for us.
Also, houses never have as high of a curb appeal in the winter, which will work in our favour.
With my new job, I will be making substantially more (30%) each month and year. We already have a pretty good chunk of change saved up for a down payment, but we would like to have 10-20% of our purchase price.
We are pretty close, but that extra few months will help a lot in being able to save some for emergencies, as well.
We plan to buy a house that either has a roughed-in basement suite, or that we can convert to have a basement suite.
My brother lives on his own in an apartment that he doesn't love right now, and he has expressed his interest in renting our future-suite from us. He really likes the suburb that we are looking to buy in, and January/February would be the perfect time for him because he is out of town working right now.
I don't want to rent out to people we don't know and trust, and of course we would be able to give my brother rent discounts when he is out of town on work (which he is about half of the year). He keeps his apartment while he is out of town because he gets a living out allowance and needs a place to come home to, so this would work out well.
A big reason why we are not rushing to buy now is that I still have my car loan. It's not much, but I would love to have it almost paid off by the time we purchase a home. I would have an extra $220 in my pocket each month, for maintenance and for property taxes.
I likely won't have it completely gone in January (unless some old, rich uncle that I have never met dies and leaves me with money. OR! Maybe I should respond to that Nigerian prince who is always offering me cash), but it will be reduced significantly.
What do you think - does this sound like a good plan? Any arguments against buying a house at this time?