Creativity is alive and well in Toronto. As house prices have continued to increase in Toronto and the GTA we've seen first time home buyers get more creative in finding ways to make it affordable to buy their first home. Often the down payment required and not the monthly payments are the stumbling block for first time buyers.
Many first time home buyers are getting cash gifts from their parents to put towards the down payment for their first house. Parents are giving their kids their inheritance now instead of waiting. This allows them to establish a foothold in the market and helps them begin to build up equity in a property that can later to be used to leverage a second home in the future.
Other first time buyers are purchasing a home with a basement apartment with the intent of renting it. This option could be used in addition to receiving a gift or as a way to create more income and help pay for the mortgage. This can also apply to rooms within the house, if you're a people person and don't mind sharing space. Any home buyers considering this option should be aware of fire codes and the legalities of such an undertaking. It also wise to read up on the responsibilities of a landlord as defined in the Residential Tenancies Act.
Another creative idea is to look for duplexes or triplexes with friends in a similar financial position. If the house is set up properly, one person or family can live on the first floor and the others on the second floor and if available, third floor. Of course the basement is always an option depending on it's state and the apartment strategy could work in this case as well. This way, the residents can share the down payment in order to get into the market.
Finally, financial vehicles, such as RRSPs can be a good source of a down payment as a loan to yourself. Of course you have to pay this back in order to avoid paying income tax, but the idea is that your income will increase over time, so that you will be able to pay the loan back at a later date.
Necessity is the mother of invention and we're seeing plenty of inventive ideas. If you've got some ideas for getting creative in this tight Toronto Real Estate market, we'd love to hear yours.