Making a down payment: 5 tips for becoming a homeowner

May 16, 2023

Prêt à devenir propriétaire de votre première maison Pro‑Fab? Voici cinq trucs qui vous permettront d’amasser votre mise de fonds plus rapidement.

Ça y est, vous êtes enfin prêt à devenir propriétaire d’une maison usinée Pro‑Fab! Mais avant de pouvoir dire « Home Sweet Home », il vous faudra accumuler la mise de fonds minimale de 5 % exigée pour une propriété de 500 000 $ ou moins[1]. En lisant cet article, vous découvrirez cinq astuces qui vous permettront d’adopter de saines habitudes financières et d’amasser votre mise de fonds plus rapidement.

1. PAINT A PICTURE OF YOUR FINANCIAL SITUATION

The first step to home ownership is applying for mortgage pre‑approval. In addition to a favourable credit history, you’ll need to demonstrate to your financial institution that you can manage your income and expenses. 

To do this, you can first draw up a budget that will help you assess your assets and liabilities. Knowing that will help you maintain a debt‑to‑income ratio of no more than 30%. You’ll be able to gauge your financial health and determine the actions you need to take to save money more efficiently for your down payment. If necessary, consult a financial advisor to confirm your borrowing capacity or improve your credit rating.   

Once you’ve completed this analysis, you’ll be able to narrow down your needs and search criteria so you can find—or build—a home that fits your reality. The downpayment required to become a homeowner will then be much more concrete. 

2. SET REALISTIC SAVINGS GOALS

Becoming a homeowner requires a good savings plan! To purchase a home worth $500,000 or less, you’ll need a minimum downpayment of 5% of the purchase price. This could be higher, for example, if the house is worth more than $500,000, if it’s a rental property, or if you have a bad credit history. 

What’s more, a larger downpayment will reduce the amount of your mortgage and the interest on your loan. If it’s at least 20%, you’ll also avoid paying mortgage loan insurance to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)[1]. 

To find out whether you can afford the costs of your future home, do the test for six months. Set aside the difference between your current housing costs and those you’ll have as an owner. This includes: 

  • Mortgage payments 
  • Insurance 
  • Property and school taxes 
  • Electricity costs 
  • Condominium fees, if any

3. CHANGE YOUR LIFESTYLE HABITS

When you draw up your budget, you may be surprised to see how much you spend in certain areas. Lunches on the run, dinners out, leisure activities and travel: life is expensive! Sometimes, taking a closer look at the way you spend money is a great way to save a considerable amount in the long term. In other words, save every day, because every little bit can make a difference at the end of the month. 

a family play chest

4. BUILD UP YOUR DOWN PAYMENT THROUGH PRE‑AUTHORIZED PAYMENTS

To make saving easier, don’t hesitate to have an amount deducted from your pay or to set up automatic withdrawals to a savings account or TFSA, for example. This way, you can set aside an amount equivalent to the difference between the cost of your current rent and the mortgage payment you’ll have to make when you become a homeowner. It’s another way to build up your savings—without turning your life upside down! 

5. BORROW TO REINVEST IN YOUR RRSPS

There are a number of financial incentives available for first-time home buyers. Among the best‑known are the Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) and the Tax‑Free Home Savings Account. 

In addition, the HBP allows you to withdraw up to $35,000 from each buyer’s RRSP. The main advantage of this way of collecting your downpayment is that you won’t have to pay income tax on it. However, you will have to pay it back within a maximum of 15 years[1]. However, it is not possible to participate in the HBP for the purchase or construction of a second home. 

You can also borrow to reinvest in an RRSP, which is a lesser‑known tactic that can be highly advantageous. To be eligible, this tax strategy must first be approved by your financial institution and carried out at least 90 days prior to the purchase of your home. It can also be used over the longer term if your project is not immediate. 

Whether your desire to become a homeowner is in its infancy or has been in place for several years, one thing is certain: a sound savings strategy developed with a financial advisor is sure to provide you with the downpayment you need. In the meantime, we invite you to discover the seven‑step process for purchasing a ProFab manufactured home, so you can start making your dream a reality today. 

 

[1] https://educaloi.qc.ca/capsules/mise-de-fonds-differentes-options/