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It’s never easy to start saving up for your first home—especially in Vancouver’s white hot real estate market. For those looking to get into the market for the first time, the down payment is often the biggest challenge. So here are a few tips on how to get closer to your first home sooner than later:

1) Reduce your monthly spending with the small things

Little things like buying lunch or a latté every day can add up quite a bit. Instead, make an effort to pack your lunch from home. Consider brewing your own coffee instead of lining up at the coffee shop each morning. It may seem small, but those daily purchases add up over time.

2) Take a vacation closer to home

Resist the urge to pack your bags for an overseas getaway. Instead of the Mediterranean or South Pacific, consider something on a smaller scale like a trip to Whistler, Portland or Seattle. Expensive plane tickets aren’t always needed to enjoy some well-earned relaxation.

3) Downsize your current living arrangements

If possible, see if you can sacrifice some square footage now for a bigger place later in life. Maybe go from a two bedroom rental to a one bedroom if you don’t need that extra room? Or, if you’re really brave, move back home for a year – it will definitely boost up your savings.

4) Take advantage of government programs

The B.C. government has a First Time Home Buyer’s Program where they help reduce the amount of property transfer tax when you purchase a qualifying home. Also, the Government of Canada offers the Home Buyers’ Plan which allows you to withdraw up to $25,000 in a calendar year from your RRSPs to buy or build your qualifying home. This amount you withdraw is not counted as your income and there is also no withholding tax on the withdrawals, and you have up to 15 years to pay it back.

5) Talk to a Mortgage Broker or Financial Planner

Mortgage Brokers/Advisors as well as Financial Advisors/Planners can propose and even help implement creative, possibly even tax savings ways of saving for a down payment. Give me a call should you want to discuss.

Sincerely,

Tony Marchigiano,
Mortgage Consultant
Mortgage Alliance Meridian Pacific Mortgages

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