We all remember our firsts. Our first day of school, our first bicycle and our first love. It’s no different for our first home. And I remember mine like it was yesterday.
I bought my first home shortly after turning 19 in the late 1980s. It was a single-family home in the River Springs neighborhood of Port Coquitlam B.C. I paid $83,600. I took advantage of a government program at the time that let me use my RRSPs to come up with part of the down payment. I also needed two roommates to help make the mortgage payments, so it ended up feeling a bit like a frat house. Being a typical starter property for the time, all the homes on the quiet cul-de-sac were like little Hobbit houses, scrunched together.
But I sure was proud of my little home. I kept my yard in great shape; the driveway was always swept, and I filled the house with plants and hosted dinner parties.
Even as a teenager, I couldn’t wait to buy my first home. Not only did I want to impress my mother, but I figured home ownership would give me a sense of independence and accomplishment.
A year later, I decided to sell. Not because I’d grown tired of the home, but prices had skyrocketed in the area. I sold the home for $113,000. Not too bad for one year. I figured the property value had risen so quickly, I was never going to make that kind of money again. The house today is probably worth 10 times what I originally paid.
I’m often asked, when is a good time to buy? We know the last few years, especially here in B.C. and in Southern Ontario, home prices have really taken off. And in recent months a cooling off period appears to have set in. Watching the markets closely can make a prospective buyer question the right time to jump into the market.
I’d say it was the best time 10 years ago, it’s the best time now and it will be the best time in 10 years from now.
I believe everyone should make an investment in their first home as soon as they possibly can.
You have to pay for shelter anyway, and home ownership is the best form of forced savings.
So if you decide to take the plunge into home ownership this year for the first time, enjoy it. I can tell you first hand, it’s something you’ll never forget.
Courtesy of Gary Mauris – Dominion Lending Centres – President and CEO – Dominion Lending Centres in Port Coquitlam, BC.