Yes, that title is a little silly. No, you won’t regret reading this blog post. Want to know why buying a condo is a great idea for those on the fence about home ownership? Read on, friend!
We’ve heard it all before: there are many benefits to living in a condo. Obviously, the mortgage payments are usually lower
than on a single-family home. The condo lifestyle offers less maintenance, usually no outdoor work, and fewer worries in general.
Nanaimo Condos: A Taste Test
Here’s one way to think about Nanaimo condos: as the hors d’oeuvres for a great meal. Just a little taste of what’s to come in terms of single family home ownership. For some people, all they need is an appetizer to satisfy their needs, and that’s ok. Others have more of an appetite.
You’re probably thinking “well, obviously. A condo is usually smaller than a home; it allows the owner to get used to the responsibilities of home ownership slowly, rather than jumping in with both feet.” And that’s true. But we’re thinking deeper here.
Save Smart to Save More
With some discipline and planning, you can actually use your condo ownership to help yourself learn what single-family home ownership is like, and, by extension, to save up for it. First, you’ll plan out the monthly costs above what you’re paying for your condo’s mortgage. There are plenty of online mortgage calculators (maybe you used one when you were buying your condo), or you can ask your mortgage broker for her/his help to determine what you’d be paying on a monthly basis. Don’t forget to factor in property taxes, municipal fees, utilities, and a reasonable monthly allowance for maintenance and supplies. “Reasonable” here would be at least five percent of your monthly mortgage payment.
Once you’ve figured out the difference in condo costs and single-family living, you’re going to set up a monthly transfer from your chequing account to your savings account for that amount. (If you don’t have online banking, do yourself a favour and get it. Welcome to the 21st century!) If you stick within your budget, you’ll quickly start to see the savings. Conversely, if you’re not financially ready for the huge responsibility of a single-family home, that will quickly become obvious.
Learn About Your Spending Habits
The great thing about this method is that it’s worry-free. Instead of finding out that you can’t afford a home after you’ve made a couple payments, you get to find out without any risk whatsoever. The only difficult part of this is that you have to be quite disciplined. No cheating and saying you’ll make the larger payment next month! With a little self-restraint, though, this is a fantastic way to learn a lot about your spending habits and your budget. Now go enjoy your entrée. Try the chicken and tip your waitress!