Scroll through your Instagram feed and you'll likely see hundreds of photos documenting your friends' renovation progress, interior décor choices and house hacks. Social media has given us a sneak peek into the best parts of other people's lives. What were once intimate celebratory moments are now carefully-curated photo-ops to share with followers. REALTORS® are even setting up photoshoots for their first-time home buying clients to document the occasion (and subsequently post to their social media pages). And, the Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) is real; 27% of millennials report being inspired to buy after seeing photos of homes posted by their peers on Instagram.
The dream of homeownership is alive and well with millennials–among those who don't yet own a home, 86% say they'd like toand more than two-thirds consider themselves passionate about owning.
However, most millennials feel it has become more difficult to buy a residential property and consider the down payment, monthly payments and mortgage interest rates the biggest obstacles. But, don't be deterred … or get caught up in FOMO. If you aren't yet a homeowner but would like to be, make a plan and consider these next points.
Do you have enough saved up?
You can buy a home with as little as 5% down, but unless you put down at least 20% of the home's purchase price, you'll also be required to pay mortgage insurance.
There are many mortgage calculators to help you determine what you can afford. REALTOR.ca’s mortgage affordability calculator can help guide you through this process. Remember, even if you have enough saved up for your down payment, owning a home comes with expenses beyond your mortgage. Up front, you'll have lawyer fees, closing costs and home insurance. Once you're moved in, you'll have monthly utility costs, maintenance and property taxes. You should also have an additional contingency fund set aside in case of unforeseen expenses.
How stable is your job?
If your goal is to travel the world in the next five years or if you're in the middle of a career change and don't know where you'll be working next, it might be wise to hold off buying a property. .
And who knows? If you've been eyeing a coveted promotion at work, that extra income might be the boost your budget needs to help land your “forever” home.
Do you plan to get married, have kids or get pets?
A studio apartment might be all your single self needs, but a lot can change in five years. If you plan to have kids or get a pet anytime soon, take that into consideration when house hunting or hold off until you're ready to look for something better suited to your needs and lifestyle.
Turn FOMO into JOMO (Joy Of Missing Out)
Remember, social media is like your “highlight reel.” Homeownership is an exciting milestone, but only when you're financially and emotionally ready for it. If you don't own yet, consider it an opportunity to save more toward your down payment, work toward your dream job and get to know the features of a home and neighbourhood that are important to you. REALTOR.ca listings offer enhanced neighbourhood information including, commute times, nearby schools, restaurants, parks, shopping and whether the community is pedestrian friendly.
Another plus: if you're the last of your friends to buy a home, you'll have plenty of experiences to learn from.
When you're ready to start looking for your first or next home, a REALTOR® is your best ally to navigate the ins and outs of home buying … and maybe even help you capture that perfect Insta shot, too. Oh, and don't forget to create an account so you can save your searches, make notes on your favourites, and get access to our monthly newsletter that covers all things “home”.