The Fianancial Decision of Home Ownership

Home ownership is one of the biggest financial decisions we make and usually the costliest.  For some people they would prefer to be life time renters for reasons their own personal reasons.

The permanence of having your own place means being responsible for the maintenance and upkeep rather than leaving it to a landlord.  I believe the ratio of maintenance percentage is 10% of the value annually to attain this.

Our home is nearly twenty years old so some upgrades have been completed.  All the bathrooms have been renovated have been re tiled, the floors and tub surround also a new glass shower in the master bathroom. These were done just in time as we found the start of mould forming in both bathrooms. The home was constructed prior to the cement wallboard used now to prevent mold from forming.

Although the windows are double glazed we are now considering upgrading them to vinyl.  Also the extra insulation factor will help muffle the growing traffic noises since we moved here. One other thought is to install double French doors in place of the existing sliding glass door.

There are many questions to be answered as this is a new experience for us.  Just wondering if this affects the inside finish, drywall or window sills in any way.  And how much mess is left to clean up afterwards, it’s a given decision that we will have the install completed in the warmer months.

We have done new home construction previously, however this is really living in a construction zone. One or two estimates should be sufficient for comparison purposes as well we will check the Better Business Bureau for complaints. Hopefully we will not be required to cut back too much of the landscaping, which makes me think the early Spring may be the ideal time of year. Usually after we trim all the shrubs and trees close to the house it would allow easy access to complete the installation.

Relatives bought a new condo and the soundproofing the newer glass provides will be welcome to deaden the murmur of cars driving on what has become a very heavily used route. And really that’s the biggest issue that concerns us, aside from that it’s not like a new kitchen or something to stand back and admire how lovely it looks.  Although the new French doors onto our back deck will be much more appealing to the whole look of that area.

It’s a large cash outlay but it is important to keep your property in good repair in order to recoup your investment later on.  At some point, whether or we downsize or just feel ready for a change moving will become an option.  The decision now is to use our savings or apply for a small line of credit to cover the cost involved.

Like all projects once you do one change another one comes to mind pretty quickly. The idea is to spread these upgrades out over the years instead of tackling it all at the same time.

Renting vs Owning a Home

After many years of being renters we were discussing the possibility of once more entering the world of home ownership   Renting in the long term is paying someone else’s mortgage and helping them reach their financial goals.

There is also the lack of freedom to choose decorating or landscaping ideas, and a person never can be certain that the property owner may choose to sell the home at any given time. So we felt it was time to explore the feasibility of home ownership once more.

When you are buying your own home you feel you have some control over your  life and cannot be asked to move without warning just as you are getting comfortably settled.

With that in mind we explored our options within the parameters of our budget. Townhouse, condo or a house, would a new build, or an existing residence, which be our best choice. Each option has it’s benefits and of course challenges so which would be the better choice for our family. A condo might be too small and confining for our growing family, and there is the strata fees to be taken into account, The townhouse although a bit larger has the issue of little yard space and proximity to your neighbor  The next step up could be a home built on the smaller lot or a custom home built on a larger plot of land.

In the past we envisioned a home that would encompass all  of our creative ideas.  We had  blueprints drawn up by an architect, our dream home, five bedrooms, four and a half baths, two story Colonial with a walkout basement.

The prospect of building that once in a lifetime home was extremely appealing but budget as a major factor.

So off to see our friendly banker or a mortgage broker is always another route to take. Once we have the monetary concerns settled we could consult a realtor and talk to a general contractor or custom home builder to discuss price and options and compare.

Being able to have control over everything from the colors, counter tops, cabinets, light fixtures, and whether hardwood, carpeting or tile would be a good choice. Although very exciting it can be very stressful and overwhelming to take on such a huge task. With the right professional working with you this will proceed much smoother as they have the knowledge and experience to guide us.

We  will ask for referrals and for homes or any developments locally that they have been involved with.

A search of any available bare land will be one of the first steps and comparing the costs of purchasing a spec home over going with the custom build, it will be an interesting experience no matter what the outcome.

Whatever choice we decide on it will be nice to be a home owner once again.