Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Buying a Home on Your Own Could Be a Great Investment with the Right Plan

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Buying a Home on Your Own Could Be a Great Investment with the Right Plan

Article excerpt

Singles buying homes can get a leg up in market

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TORONTO - The thought of buying a home on your own may seem a little daunting, but that's exactly what many single professionals are choosing to do.

And that's a good thing according to real estate and financial experts, who say the investment is worthwhile.

"The rental market is very expensive in Toronto and mortgage rates are so low that, in a lot of cases, it makes more sense to buy," said realtor Miranda McKenna of Life and the City, Remax Hallmark Realty Ltd., who says nearly half of her clients are single.

People understand that it's worth buying a property to get into the market and build equity as early as possible, she said, and many of her clients use that first purchase as a stepping stone toward buying the home they really want.

That also means buyers are getting younger, McKenna said, noting that more people in their 20s are buying, and that many of them are single professionals.

Jordan Allison was 23 when he bought his first condo. At the time, he just wanted his own place and figured it would be a good investment, given how quickly home prices were climbing.

"The condo was a dress rehearsal in a way," said Allison, now 30. "After going through it with the condo, I knew what I was in for with the house."

He sold his Toronto condo to buy a house four years ago, and rented the house as two units while he did his masters degree in Boston.

Once he moved into the house, he kept one of the units as a rental to help cover the mortgage -- something he'd recommend to other single home buyers.

"Those tenants are really your second spousal income," Allison said.

David Stafford, managing director of real estate secured lending at Scotiabank, said one of the biggest differences between buying as an individual, versus a couple or group, is income instability.

"If you have a couple, or a partnership of some sort, buying a home - there's two incomes to service the home. If somebody gets sick, or loses their job, then you don't go from all to nothing," said Stafford.

"If you're on your own, (you should) make sure you have a backup plan. …

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