Owning a home has always been the “Canadian Dream”. Work hard, save your money, buy a home and raise your family. I’ve heard it time and time again, “buying a home is the biggest financial and lifestyle investment you will ever make.” A home, however, is more than a financial asset. The benefits of home ownership are far greater then what meets the eye.
1. BUILDING EQUITY
Equity is the amount of money you can sell your home for minus what you still owe on it. When you make a mortgage payment every month you reduce the amount you owe on your home thus increasing your equity.
2. SAVINGS PLAN
It’s been ingrained in our culture that owning a home is financially smart; it is after all the Canadian Dream. But home ownership is only financially savvy if you buy a home that you can afford. Buying a home with a mortgage you can pay every month, reduces the cost of your principal and works like a savings plan. When you rent, the money you should be saving for your home usually gets spent on other things. As a homeowner you gradually build equity in your home and increase your net-worth.
3. SOCIAL BENEFITS
CMHC recently conducted a study on the benefits of home ownership for low-income families who received Habitat Homes. The results of this study extend far beyond low-income and can really be applied to families in general. “Ownership of a safe and decent home plays a vital role in a families health and happiness; to the point where fewer sick days are taken and kids are getting better grades in school.”
The results from this study speak for themselves:
89 per cent said their family lives have improved and 86 per cent say they are happier;
78 per cent reported improved health of their families, with 31 per cent reporting less frequent visits to the doctor and 25 per cent reporting fewer sick days away from work;
An across-the-board improvement in children’s well-being and school performance;
More than half (58 per cent) reported that they were better-off financially.
The unexpected social benefits of home ownership are undeniable. When you have a safe and healthy home to come home to you are improving the life of your family.
4. CAPITAL GAINS EXCLUSION
Every year your home will appreciate in value. Right off the bat that is a plus to owning your own home. But many people don’t know this; if you buy a home to live in as your primary resident for more than a year (in Canada) then you won’t have to pay capital gains taxes when you decide to sell. This tax benefit comes in handy, especially for new home buyers.
5. BUYING IS CHEAPER THAN RENTING
I say this a lot “why pay someone else’s mortgage when you can be paying off your own”. Depending on where you want to live, your mortgage payments could be lower than the rent you would be paying. Do your research. When you buy a home you are paying off your own mortgage on a home YOU own instead of throwing away your money on your landlord’s home or building.
Owning a home is a big investment, but the unexpected consequences, or should I say benefits of home ownership are worth it. If buying a new home and putting down a deposit seems scary, don’t worry you’re not alone. Empire has some great deposit programs, such as our Easy Buy Deposit Program and 5% Deposit at Rain Condos to help make buying your biggest investment an exciting experience, not a scary one.
Article written by:
Paul Golini Jr. - the Executive Vice President of Industry Relations at Empire Communities. He is also an active board member with BILD (and immediate past chair) and EnerQuality. Follow Paul on Twitter: @RomanBuilder