Affording a home in Saskatoon, it pays to be creative
While most would be surprised to hear, affording a home in Saskatoon is becoming more of a challenge than in other centers such as Calgary or Edmonton. According to the latest affordability report issued by RBC Economics Research, housing affordability is on the rise in Saskatchewan.
The Housing Trends and Affordability report measures each province’s proportion of pre-tax household monthly income needed to service the costs (mortgage payment, utilities, property taxes) of owning a home at market value. The higher the measure, the more difficult it is to afford a home at the current market values. For example, a measure of 40.0 per cent would mean that the homeownership costs would monopolize 40.0 per cent of a typical household’s monthly pre-tax income.
RBC measures rose by 0.9 points to 37.2 per cent for bungalows and 0.5 points to 40.8 per cent for two storey homes. Condominiums decreased by 0.3 points to even out at 25.0 per cent. For comparison, bungalows in Edmonton also increased, rising to 34.0 per cent while Calgary remains unchanged at 33.0 per cent.
With a strong and diverse economy in the province, and the continuation of job creation, it will be no surprise to see incomes increase in the near future as well. But if you are a homeowner, or thinking of buying a home, what can you do to assist with your affordability now?
1. Utilize any rental possibilities.
Rent out the basement suite you are using as storage. Rent out a room to a friend or co-worker. Even rent out your garage to someone looking for a workspace or place to store a car over the winter and maximize on your income earning potential.
2. Open your mind to new neighborhoods.
Perhaps you’ve always dreamed of owning a home in a particular area or neighborhood in Saskatoon. But if affordability is tight, open your mind to areas you may have otherwise overlooked and you may just find a home you love in a less expensive neighborhood.
Be realistic. Sure, who doesn’t want a house with granite countertops, gleaming hardwood floors, and that dream ensuite bath? Decide what is actually a need vs. a want and consider doing some of the renovations yourself later on to save money today.
4. Shop around.
Getting the best interest rate possible is important. A difference in .5% means that for every $100,000 of mortgage amount, you are paying an extra $26 a month. Do the math and this equates to over $7,800 per $100,000 extra in interest costs over the length of the mortgage.
These are just a few of the many ways to save on the affordability of a home. Considering all the different housing possibilities and not just what you think you want, may help to save you money. Use a trusted Saskatoon Realtor® such as myself to help with the process and rising affordability may not become an issue for you.
Saskatoon Real Estate Agent
Century 21 Fusion