For S&G, their city had a program that allowed them to buy a home and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect with low interest rates and waived property taxes for 5 years. I KNOW right? And guess what, if they had waited an additional year, they wouldn’t have been able to qualify for this program.
Age range: Mid twenties
When did you buy your home?
January 2020 (Pre Covid 😂)
In hindsight, do you think Covid would have stopped you both from getting a home then?
Nope the mortgage rates were favourable (under 2% )so we still would have gone ahead with it.
What made you decide you were ready to buy a home?
G: We saw a good opportunity to hop on the property ladder and we were preparing to get married. My wife also said she wanted to get married and move into her own home and not a rental so I guess that inspired us a lot.
Did you buy a home alone?
G: No, I bought it with my then fiancé. Now, she’s my WIFE!
How long did it take you to save up for the down payment
0 years. The city had a grant program where they paid the down payment to a max of $15,000 depending on the property. We just had to cover the small amount that was above what the city paid for.
Could you share more about the grant and program?
S: Essentially the city of Regina, was offering a grant for $10k for 2 bedroom houses and $15k for 3 bedroom houses under a housing incentive program. This was to incentivize developers of new properties in the city. Part of the grant also included 5 years of no property taxes and you could get this as long as your income from the prior year (based on your notice of assessment) was below a certain amount. I had just graduated so I had little income and my husband’s pay from the prior year was low enough that we qualified (if we had waited for an additional year, neither of us would have qualified). We used that to our advantage before our income went up the next year.
What are some things you wish you knew before you got started?
Plan/Save for the closing costs (lawyer fees and what not) and for other decor items like blinds etc.
Did you have to make any decorations or renovations to the place to get it to be your dream place?
Nope I wasn’t living in the place straight away as we were not married yet so I made G essentially fill it with things from his apartment and the plan was to decorate it once I moved in. We didn’t have to do any renovations as the house was brand new and we got to choose the colours and some fixtures.
Do you have any horror stories you would like to share?
Nope our journey to ownership was pretty smooth. Maybe if you are buying a new build, have an idea of all the decor and colour schemes you want in the house. Looking at different samples and what not can be a draining task, especially when one of you is very picky 😂👀.
Well, that’s it for this post. This is your reminder to check what incentives your city has for new home buyers and see if you qualify for this. This could save you a whole lot of money. In Regina, I believe S&G used the Housing Incentive Program. In BC, we have the First time home buyer’s program that waives off the property transfer taxes you pay when you purchase your first home. And as you know, you could always take out of your RRSP to buy your first home, tax free! Hope this post has helped you in your journey to home ownership.