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DIGITALVERSION AVAILABLEAT HOMEOWNERSHIP.CA SPRINGSUMMER 2016 TODAYS FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYING EXPERIENCE coast - to - coast snapshots LOCATION LOCATION FINANCING. Homebuyer 95 program For Canadians looking to make the move to homeownership the Genworth Canada Homebuyer 95 mortgage Insurance program provides qualified borrowers with an opportunity to own a home with as little as a 5 down payment. Watch the HomeOpeners video series and learn more about Genworth Canadas Homebuyer 95 program www.homeownership.caH95 800.511.8888 Genworth.ca Homeownership.ca Genworthsmartshopper.ca 04FEATURE STORY TODAYS FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYING EXPERIENCE Coast-to-coast snapshots 22SHARED EXPERIENCES Mortgage professionals share their steps to homeownership. SPRING STARTS HERE Thinking of buying a home and not sure where to start what to buy how much to spend or who to hire for professional advice In this issue of A Better Way to Home Ownership well get you started on the right foot with practical insights into first-time homebuying experiences across the country. We reached out to new homebuyers and seasoned mortgage professionals from coast to coast for their lessons learned and best advice to help you make the right personal and financial choices. For each region we also provide a snapshot of housing market statistics based on what the average Genworth Canada insured borrower purchased in 2015. And for those not sure where to settle in Canada read on to see what 320000 can buy you in different cities across the country. To make your house hunting experience even easier sign up for our newsletter at homeownership.ca and receive a practical checklist to keep you on top of some of the most important things to consider when shopping for your first home. And for more shared best practices and professional advice follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn and join the homebuying conversation. Were here to help. Happy house hunting Debbie McPherson Senior Vice-President Sales Marketing Genworth Canada Produced by CoverPhotosiStock.comRonTech2000ArpadBenedek GENWORTH CANADA SPRINGSUMMER 2016 3 Source Genworth Canada 2015 New Insurance Written purchase business only. Canadas average first-time homebuyer is a millennial born between 1980 and 1995. In 2015 the typical Genworth Canada-insured borrower spent an average of 321982 and made a down payment of just over 8 of the purchase price. These mainly first-time buyers earned an average household income of 96414 and the vast majority 72.2 purchased a detached house. Thats a composite of todays first-time homebuyer. It paints a picture but it leaves out a lot of detail about the dreams ambitions and hard work that go into the typical Canadians path to homeownership. TODAYS FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYING EXPERIENCE coast - to - coast snapshots 4 GENWORTH CANADA SPRINGSUMMER 2016 So we decided to dig deeper. We asked homeowners and real estate experts across the country to share their experiences and expertise to inspire and motivate other first-timers as they embark on the biggest investment of their lives. We also share Genworth Canada statistics on key real estate markets as well as examples of what the typical first-timer budget will buy you in certain markets. Ready to learn more Read on for snapshots of todays first-timer journey. GENWORTH CANADA SPRINGSUMMER 2016 5 AT A GLANCE Average Home Purchase Price 387957 GVA 429803 Average Down Payment 8.6 GVA 8.7 AverageHousehold Income 103026 GVA 103468 Source Genworth Canada 2015 New Insurance Written purchase business only. WE WON A BIDDING WAR Jenna and Luke Filiatrault were ready. Now married the then engaged couple were looking for their first home. But they knew theyd have to weather some high-adrenaline multiple-offer scenarios to get into their desired neighbourhood in Langley British Columbia. Working with mortgage broker Angela Calla of Dominion Lending Centres and REALTOR Rob Boies of Royal LePage West Real Estate Services Jenna and Luke got down to the nitty-gritty. We had a strategy to keep our emotions out of it says Jenna. Before bidding on a house we would check with Angela to ensure there wouldnt be any surprises with our pre-approval and to BRITISH COLUMBIA TYPE OF PROPERTY Condo 15.3 GVA 23.8 Detached 68.3 GVA 53.2 Row 14.1 GVA 21.4 Semi 2.1 GVA 1.7 ensure it was still affordable. Then after consulting with Rob we put our best offer forward. Things didnt always go as planned. It was so emotional explains Jenna. Rob and Angela helped when I would cry because we lost a house or when I was stressed and calling them with questions. Eventually the Filiatraults put in the winning offer on a detached house in their chosen neighbourhood. When we did get the house of our dreams we got it for a fair price says Jenna. Angela and Rob helped us understand that no house was worth not being financially comfortable or paying over our price range. The couple have been in their house for several months and couldnt be happier 6 GENWORTH CANADA SPRINGSUMMER 2016 Tammy and Ian Johnson were living the life in a cool downtown Vancouver apartment. But like many renters they craved more space. Meanwhile Tammys parents Roger and Rodlynn Cheetham were having a dilemma of their own. They were recently retired and considering renting out their basement says Tammy. They werent thrilled about having a stranger in their home but felt they needed the extra income. Their daughter had a better idea she and Ian could be tenants. After a year things were working out better than wed hoped says Tammy. Wanting to expand their home-based business and start their own family Tammy and Ian approached her parents with another proposal to co-purchase a larger home with separate units for each household. Being self-employed Ian and I would have never been able to afford the down payment required to buy our own home in the Vancouver area explains Tammy. After months of searching the foursome found the perfect house in Abbotsford British Columbia. Purchasing a home with my parents allowed us to own a beautiful home with more space than either family had previously says Tammy. Its also allowed all of us to pay off our other debt. Teaming up meant that they would split the total shared cost of 500000 430000 for the purchase price plus 70000 to put in the full basement suite and do other renovations. To avoid the hassle of monthly payments Tammys parents used funds from the sale of their home to cover the reno and the 180000 down payment. Meanwhile Tammy and Ian took out a mortgage for the remaining 250000 thanks to the larger down payment they can easily afford their monthly payments. Communication collaboration and respect for one anothers privacy are the keys to successful co-ownership says Tammy. If someone had told me that Id own a place with my parents in Abbotsford Id never have believed them. But here we are and its amazing CONDO LIST PRICE 319000 A one-bedroom one-bath corner unit this downtown condo features floor-to-ceiling windows. The 527-square-foot home has newer laminate and tile flooring. The building boasts an indoor pool and exercise centre. Includes parking and a locker. Rentals are allowed for buyers seeking an income property. Listing agent Century 21 In Town Realty Home may no longer be available but was for sale as of press time and is used to illustrate variety in the local real estate market. Images are representational only. MY HUSBAND AND I BOUGHT A HOUSE WITH MY PARENTS AND WE DONT DRIVE ONE ANOTHER NUTS WHAT 320000 BUYS IN VANCOUVER GENWORTH CANADA SPRINGSUMMER 2016 7 CALGARY CATCHES THE MICRO-LOFT TREND Could you live large in under 600 square feet Increasing numbers of first-time buyers say its not only possible its desirable if the space is laid out right and close to all the action. We asked Christine Hourd a REALTOR with Royal LePage Benchmark for the scoop on the citys growing micro-loft trend. Q Whos the ideal micro-loft resident A The ideal buyer is someone just starting out in homeownership someone who doesnt have a lot of stuff and who has that urge to travel and wants to keep home expenses low so they can spend more time ALBERTA snowboarding or just hanging out with friends. Q Wheres the trend strongest in Calgary A The East Village. Its a well-planned community that promotes a livelier environment. It speaks to people who seek a little more adventure in their life. Already this up-and-coming development along the river has amazing bike paths and even water fountains for dogs Once complete it will have all the amenities it needs to support itself plus a music hall and a library. Q Any tips for those considering a micro-loft A Consider this a part of your long- term real estate plan. Start with something simple and low cost. AT A GLANCE Average Home Purchase Price 378899 GCA 417389 Average Down Payment 7.5 GCA 7.8 AverageHousehold Income 110883 GCA 109659 Source Genworth Canada 2015 New Insurance Written purchase business only. TYPE OF PROPERTY Condo 7.2 GCA 13.4 Detached 79.2 GCA 67.6 Row 7.8 GCA 12.1 Semi 5.7 GCA 6.9 8 GENWORTH CANADA SPRINGSUMMER 2016 Even though Lindsay Thompson and Dan Wallace had spent almost four years saving for their 10 down payment taking advantage of their employers long-term incentives and the federal governments Home Buyers Plan for first-time homeowners they were a little nervous about entering Calgarys condo market. Between open houses and online listings would it be possible to buy their first home without hiring a real estate agent Maybe but both Lindsay and Dan say that hiring a pro was the right decision. Heres why. EXPERTISE We had spent time researching online before approaching Darcy Brown a REALTOR with REMAX iREALTY INNOVATIONS. But he took everything to the next level says Lindsay. He immediately realized what we both wanted in a home and he was able to add important insight into each listing we had researched and also recommend others we had missed. We went from just looking at pictures of listings to doing full walk-throughs in no time. The new homeowners also say that the unflappable personality of their REALTOR put them at ease during crucial times in their search. TRUST Dans mom and sister each had a great experience working with Darcy says Lindsay. That made the couples confidence in their REALTOR immediate. When searching for a real estate pro be sure to ask your friends family or professional circle for recommendations. Its the best way to find a REALTOR or sales agent you trust. RESULTS As first-time homebuyers we were a little nervous says Dan. But Darcy quickly put our minds at ease. There were stressful moments for us throughout the process but having an experienced REALTOR who knew the ropes was a calming presence. We were constantly impressed at how our REALTOR always had a plan no matter what situation developed and he clearly explained what the next steps were. The couple have now been living in their condo for over a year and are confident they made the right choice. During the next few years create equity in your micro-loft and then when youre ready to move on to something bigger hold on to it and rent it. Having this diversity in your investment portfolio adds much security down the road. WHY WE CHOSE A REAL ESTATE PRO CONDO LIST PRICE 319900 This two-bedroom two-bath end unit on the top floor of a low-rise feels bright and spacious thanks to an open-concept floor plan vaulted ceiling and large windows that overlook Pearce Estate Park in the Inglewood neighbourhood. At 890 square feet the home features a breakfast bar and gas fireplace. The balcony has a gas barbecue hookup. Includes storage and heated parking plus the buildings gym recreation room and Internet. Listing agent Tim Olynik REALTOR and Foat and Associates REALTOR Century 21 Summit Realty Home may no longer be available but was for sale as of press time and is used to illustrate variety in the local real estate market. Images are representational only. WHAT 320000 BUYS IN CALGARY GENWORTH CANADA SPRINGSUMMER 2016 9 NEW TRENDS IN SASKATOON REAL ESTATE PRAIRIES Wondering whats new in the Saskatoon real estate market We were too So we asked Brandon Moore owner of real estate marketing firm Black Dog Republic and a REALTOR with Royal LePage Vidorra for the lowdown on the first- timer scene in his hometown. Q First-time buyers in the Prairie provinces favour detached homes but is there some variety in this demand A Actually the condo lifestyle is a good fit for many first-time homebuyers. Theres a robust inventory of condo options for first-time buyers to choose from however theres an increasing segment of first-time consumers purchasing new detached homes with fully completed legal basement suites. Paying a full mortgage on a single- family dwelling can be out of reach for the first-time buyer and builders are starting to accommodate this segment with the suited option. Banks consider the income generated from the legal suites when approving a prospective purchasers mortgage. That allows the AT A GLANCE Average Home Purchase Price 276397 Average Down Payment 7.2 AverageHousehold Income 90601 Source Genworth Canada 2015 New Insurance Written purchase business only. TYPE OF PROPERTY Condo 4.5 Detached 87.2 Row 5.7 Semi 2.4 10 GENWORTH CANADA SPRINGSUMMER 2016 DETACHED LIST PRICE 319900 This four-bedroom two-bath 1036-square- foot bungalow in the Pacific Heights neighbourhood features a spacious living room and a bright kitchen that opens to the dining area. The large familygames room is plumbed for a wet bar. Updates include newer laminate flooring front windows outside doors and siding plus a new furnace. Listing agent Helen Hyde REALTOR and Brad Hyde REALTOR Royal LePage Hallmark Home may no longer be available but was for sale as of press time and is used to illustrate variety in the local real estate market. Images are representational only. WHAT 320000 BUYS IN SASKATOON first-time buyer to extend their credit reach a little more than they could have without the income-generating option. Q What are the top three neighbourhoods youd recommend for the first-time buyer looking in Saskatoon A Rosewood is a new neighbourhood thats very family friendly. Families will find lots of living options no matter their budget. Riversdale is definitely the up-and-coming hipster part of town. And City Park is a neighbourhood close to the city core with some great entry- level buys if youre not afraid to get your hands dirty. GENWORTH CANADA SPRINGSUMMER 2016 11 Known for its steady real estate market Winnipeg has some of the most affordably priced homes in the country. Jeff Sparrow a mortgage broker with Castle Mortgage Group tells us whats attracting first-time homebuyers in the city. Q How are first-time buyers navigating the market A First-time homebuyers tend to be younger and are doing a lot of research online but they still want to sit down DETACHED LIST PRICE 319900 A five-bedroom four-bath 1860-square- foot detached house located in the Wolseley neighbourhood. The century home has updated electrical and mechanics as well as a newer high-efficiency furnace and central air. Theres plenty of original woodwork hardwood floors and a double detached garage. Listing agent Marcia Bergen REALTOR Century 21 Bachman Associates Home may no longer be available but was for sale as of press time and is used to illustrate variety in the local real estate market. Images are representational only. WHAT 320000 BUYS IN WINNIPEG with a mortgage broker to take them through the whole process from what to expect when viewing homes to what mortgage insurance is so they are comfortable before they start looking. I encourage them to ask questions throughout the homebuying process. The education part is a holistic approach. Q Theres a high demand for rental properties in Winnipeg. Why A Our market is extremely stable. Were the tortoise in the race we like slow and steady growth. Although the cost of a rental property can be half the cost of a similar property elsewhere in the country we can collect the same rent so its very affordable for a family to buy a duplex. Theres a strong inventory of duplexes and triplexes all across the city. A good area is St. Boniface it has a lot of duplexes and is only a 15-minute walk to downtown. Q What are the top three neighbourhoods for first-time buyers A Winnipeg is a neighbourhood-based city yet its geographically spread out so that drive to work is a bear. First- time buyers usually look for a home that is affordable and close to a lot of amenities and work. St. James North Kildonan and St. Vital are mature neighbourhoods with big trees and plenty of parkland plus a lot of schools and well-built affordable homes. Those areas are undergoing revitalization as kids who grew up there are moving back buying their first home and starting a family. WINNIPEGS SLOW AND STEADY MARKET WINS THE RACE 12 GENWORTH CANADA SPRINGSUMMER 2016 ONTARIO AT A GLANCE Average Home Purchase Price 277340 GTA 458060 Average Down Payment 8.3 GTA 10.2 AverageHousehold Income 90922 GTA 105678 Source Genworth Canada 2015 New Insurance Written purchase business only. TYPE OF PROPERTY Condo 2.6 GTA 16.6 Detached 81.1 GTA 48.2 Row 10.7 GTA 18.6 Semi 5.5 GTA 16.6 CONDO LIST PRICE 318000 Boasting a spacious 200-square-foot terrace this one-bedroom one-bath condo is within walking distance of the downtown waterfront. The home features central air conditioning full-height windows and a nine-foot ceiling. Building amenities include a 24-hour concierge rooftop lounge theatre gym billiards party lounges and kitchen facilities. Listing agent Century 21 Atria Realty Home may no longer be available but was for sale as of press time and is used to illustrate variety in the local real estate market. Images are representational only. WHAT 320000 BUYS IN TORONTO BUILDING THE DREAM IN THE GTA With more developments being built in Greater Toronto Area communities more buyers are looking beyond Torontos city limits for their first home. Don Stoddart a mortgage broker with Key Mortgage Partners in Brampton Ontario explains why. Q How have GTA first-time homebuyers changed A In the past people graduated and bought a house. These days people graduate become gainfully employed and then they buy. Younger dual- income couples without kids are buying in the core because it suits their lifestyle but families look outside the city to purchase a home with more space. Also GENWORTH CANADA SPRINGSUMMER 2016 13 first-time buyers who are saving for a down payment on their own without help from family are more apt to buy outside because of affordability. Q What else is attracting them outside the core A Theres a limited amount of growth in the city so if youre looking for a new home and a lot of space youre going to leave the core. Theres also more and more development throughout the GTA and as companies move to the smaller communities outside Toronto people will follow because the costs of living and housing are lower. Plus they will only go so far for work distance and transportation costs dictate where you can afford to buy. But as long as people have access to transportation into the city they are fine looking farther and farther outside. One of those bedroom communities thats growing greatly is Bradford. The development is unbelievable Families started moving there because of the lower cost of housing within an hours drive of Toronto. That migration created a population boom which created demand. And that led to the development of the infrastructure to support that growth. Vaughan is doing it differently. Its building the towers to attract businesses to a manufactured downtown core that its developing on vacant land. Its also implementing transportation by building its own rapid transit system. What Vaughan is doing is ingenious because it is first building the industry and that will attract the people. Build it and the homeowners will come DETACHED LIST PRICE 319900 A fully renovated four-bedroom two-bath two-storey detached house located in the north end. The 2200-square-foot home features hardwood floors throughout and updates include a new roof furnace and central air plus newer vinyl windows. Sliding doors off the main floor open to a large backyard that boasts a covered deck. Listing agent Joulia Tropinina sales representative Royal LePage Niagara Real Estate Centre Home may no longer be available but was for sale as of press time and is used to illustrate variety in the local real estate market. Images are representational only. WHAT 320000 BUYS IN ST. CATHARINES WHY ST. CATHARINES ROCKS As first-time buyers in the Greater Toronto Area expand their house hunting beyond mid-gentrification Hamilton into the Niagara Region St. Catharines is the next great find. Michael Mazzolino a broker with REMAX Garden City Realty explains why Niagaras largest city is emerging as a GTA alternative worth considering. Q St. Catharines is on the upswing. Whats attracting buyers from across the GTA A On one side we have Niagara Falls with its casinos on the other we have 14 GENWORTH CANADA SPRINGSUMMER 2016 Niagara-on-the-Lake with its historical charm and tourist draws. We are perched on the Niagara Escarpment a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve and the shores of Lake Ontario and Port Dalhousie just across the lake from Toronto with views of the CN Tower. And in the very heart Downtown St. Catharines The FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre is world class with four breathtaking theatres that accommodate the Niagara Symphony Orchestra ballets and countless other performing and visual arts. Its construction was the game changer for St. Catharines. We also have pedestrian- and cyclist-friendly streets new restaurant patios and terraces and city plans to widen the sidewalks and create a civic square. Montebello Park was designed by the landscape architect who master-planned Central Park in New York City St. Catharines also has an amazing culinary scene a local wine route and a great marina to sail out of and I honestly think the best is yet to come. Q What are the top three neighbourhoods for first-time buyers A For families the north end. I grew up in the north end and I think its a good spot to establish roots. For arts lovers Q Logistically whats the best way to look at distant properties A Have your REALTOR set you up to receive automated emails with detailed listings that fit your criteria the moment the listings come on the market. When a property that fits your criteria is sent to you ask your REALTOR to preview the home on your behalf and FaceTimeSkype the home with you while they walk through making the experience interactive. They should also be able to send you a video of the property if the listing agent has completed one. Have fun online and explore what is out there Old Glenridge a great residential neighbourhood right on the cusp of our thriving downtown. And in the York Street and Henry Street areas you can get a downtown feel for much less money. These neighbourhoods are definitely experiencing new gentrification. HOW TO SUCCEED AT LONG-DISTANCE HOUSE HUNTING GENWORTH CANADA SPRING 2016 15 WHATS HOT IN MONTREAL REAL ESTATE Wondering whats buzz-worthy in Montreals first-timer real estate market We got the lowdown from certified real estate broker Nick Dimakis of Royal LePage Classic in Laval Quebec. Q Whats the top family-oriented community for first-time buyers A Laval has always been the up-and- coming suburb that every family set their eyes on when it came time to buy QUEBEC their first home. Its very affordable and a stones throw from Montreal. Chomedey is considered the heart of Laval with houses and condos at any price point. Families love it for the large lots the homes square footage and the proximity to parks and activity centres. Singles and couples love it for its shopping nightlife and restaurants. Q What about for hipsters seeking a vibrant arts and culture scene A Rosemont is a trendy Montreal location. Its mostly duplexes built in the early and mid-1900s as well as industrial builds that developers are AT A GLANCE Average Home Purchase Price 245407 GMA 278468 Average Down Payment 8.6 GMA 8.6 AverageHousehold Income 82889 GMA 86115 Source Genworth Canada 2015 New Insurance Written purchase business only. TYPE OF PROPERTY Condo 14.9 GMA 22.2 Detached 66.4 GMA 58.8 Row 3.7 GMA 4.2 Semi 14.9 GMA 14.8 16 GENWORTH CANADA SPRINGSUMMER 2016 converting into modern industrial-style condos. When you walk out of your door you are in the middle of the art scene restaurants and everything that is entertainment. Young professionals love it for its combination of work and play. Youre very close to downtown and its an excellent value. Q And for those seeking a budget- friendly steal A Nouveau St-Laurent is an affordable entry-level community. Its suburban living in the city with condos townhouses and detached homes. Development in this area started in early 2000 and hasnt stopped. And youre only a 15-minute drive from everywhere. DETACHED LIST PRICE 309900 This four-bedroom two-bath bungalow boasts a huge lot with an above-ground pool and two-level deck ideal for kids and outdoor living. The midcentury home features an updated kitchen bathrooms and windows plus hardwood floors throughout. The finished basement has a wood-burning stove. Excludes the fridge washer and dryer. Listing agent Bahador Abadi residential real estate broker and Ramin Rafeyan certified real estate broker Century 21 Immo-Plus Home may no longer be available but was for sale as of press time and is used to illustrate variety in the local real estate market. Images are representational only. WHAT 320000 BUYS IN MONTREAL GENWORTH CANADA SPRINGSUMMER 2016 17 ATLANTIC AT A GLANCE Average Home Purchase Price 214586 Average Down Payment 7.7 AverageHousehold Income 88819 Source Genworth Canada 2015 New Insurance Written purchase business only. TYPE OF PROPERTY Condo 1.4 Detached 90.6 Row 2.3 Semi 5.5 DETACHED LIST PRICE 318900 This three-bedroom two-bath bungalow boasts a beautifully landscaped front yard plus hardwood floors throughout. The 1746-square- foot home has a bright spacious living room with a propane fireplace. The elevated deck is perfect for alfresco dining and the main floor has an extra bedroom office or den. Listing agent Carolyn Davis Stewart REALTOR Royal LePage Atlantic Home may no longer be available but was for sale as of press time and is used to illustrate variety in the local real estate market. Images are representational only. WHAT 320000 BUYS IN HALIFAX DETACHED LIST PRICE 309900 A four-bedroom two-bath executive bungalow in the Hartts Island Estates development this home features a layout designed with feng shui principles in mind. The home has hardwood throughout and the living room leads to a spacious deck for outdoor entertaining. The roomy basement walks out to the backyard and has a playroom or man cave. Listing agent Jessie Yerxa REALTOR and John Yerxa REALTOR Exit Realty Advantage Home may no longer be available but was for sale as of press time and is used to illustrate variety in the local real estate market. Images are representational only. WHAT 320000 BUYS IN FREDERICTON 18 GENWORTH CANADA SPRINGSUMMER 2016 DETACHED LIST PRICE 316000 A six-bedroom two-bath ranch-style house in Brighton. The 2694-square-foot brick home has hardwood floors is on a quiet street and has a large patio designed for entertaining in the spacious backyard. Listing agent Joe Lisi REALTOR Century 21 Colonial Realty Home may no longer be available but was for sale as of press time and is used to illustrate variety in the local real estate market. Images are representational only. WHAT 320000 BUYS IN CHARLOTTETOWN ROWHOUSE LIST PRICE 319900 A two-apartment three-storey rowhouse that allows first-time homebuyers to live in one unit while subsidizing their mortgage by renting out the other unit. The main-floor apartment has an expansive living space with a fireplace that divides the living and dining areas. The 2100-square-foot home is renovated and has a mix of carpet laminate and tile flooring. Listing agent Century 21 Sellers Choice Home may no longer be available but was for sale as of press time and is used to illustrate variety in the local real estate market. Images are representational only. WHAT 320000 BUYS IN ST. JOHNS GENWORTH CANADA SPRINGSUMMER 2016 19 HALIFAXS HOTTEST NEIGHBOURHOODS The Halifax Peninsula is the most in-demand place to live in Halifax says Jeremiah Wallace a REALTOR with ViewPoint Realty. We asked Jeremiah who blogs at halifaxrealestateblog.ca for insider info on which neighbourhoods first- time homebuyers should check out. BEST FOR FAMILIES Families are usually looking for proximity to work recreation shopping and great schools says Jeremiah. For those who work in Halifax or in the area west of the Bedford Basin Jeremiah recommends North End. For those seeking an affordable area with plenty of room to sprawl he suggests Hammonds Plains and the communities of Timberlea and Beechville. 20 GENWORTH CANADA SPRINGSUMMER 2016 GENWORTH CANADA FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYERS VIDEO SERIES Follow a Canadian couple as they navigate the real estate market in our Own Sweet Home video series Join Adam and Sarah as they shop for a mortgage house hunt and close the deal on their dream home. Share the excitement while gaining real- world insights for your own real estate goals. Watch Own Sweet Home at Homeownership.caOwnSweetHome. BEST FOR HIPSTERS Try West End a neighbourhood on the western side of the peninsula for unique homes in a vibrant community thats within walking distance of trendy shops coffee bars parks and restaurants says Jeremiah. Properties here encapsulate the original character and history of our city but theyve been updated with artisan touches and modern conveniences. BEST FOR SMALL BUDGETS For a great deal on a new home theres a development in Spryfield called Governors Brook says Jeremiah. It has townhouses semi-detached and fully detached homes at affordable prices. For good deals closer to the city Fairview has started to undergo a transformation. Its attracting buyers not afraid to put in a little sweat equity into their first home. GENWORTH CANADA SPRINGSUMMER 2016 21 We were pre-approved with a bank and wrote an offer lucky the realtor told us to write subject to financing in. When we went in to the bank with the accepted offer the bank took the usual 2 weeks to get back to us with a decline. The person had made a mistake. Luckily the receptionist in my office was married to a mortgage broker and set us up with him. He came to our house for the application and then when we were approved he came again for document signing. I was so impressed I decided I wanted to become a mortgage broker...and I did...True story - Deborah Lewis Fehr We bought our first house and paid 40000 for it because back then we were investing in GICs at 16.75 while we lived with parents. Mortgage interest rates were 18 and we decided to make our first house purchase without a mortgage. Everything is very different today when you look at very high property prices and very low mortgage rates and GICs saving rates are nothing to talk about. - Laurent Charbonneau shared experiences BECOMING A HOMEOWNER FOR THE FIRST TIME IS AN EXPERIENCE FILLED WITH PRIDE EMOTION AND LIFE LESSONS. HERES WHAT MORTGAGE PROFESSIONALS SAID ABOUT THEIR OWN FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYING EXPERIENCES. 22 GENWORTH CANADA SPRINGSUMMER 2016 I remember tromping around for 2 weeks and looked at a dozen places. When we pulled into the driveway of the one I bought I said to my Realtor...this is the one...I wasnt even out of the car yet it was and Ive lived in my home for 15 years now and still love it - Joy Caravello I remember buying my 1st property like it was yesterday. I was nervous scared and excited at the same time. I was 19 years old and had saved enough for a down payment. My father was acting as my buyers agent. I fell in love with the 1st condo that I looked at mostly because of the beach location. I was very happy there for many years and feel extremely lucky that I got into the market when I did... - Michelle Perreault When I bought my first property the 5-year fixed-rate mortgage was 5.29. My Dad told me Take the 10-year at 6.99. Rates will never be this low again Did we ever think wed see 2.59 You learn a LOT from your first purchase and those lessons - both good and bad help you to move forward and evaluate future purchases. The most important lesson Ive ever learned is change. The market and everything in it is constantly changing. Rates change. Prices change. Areas change. Styles change. Incomes change. Market climate changes. The process of buying and selling changes. You need to keep up with all the changes or risk being caught off-guard when its your turn to jump back into the market. - David Fleming GENWORTH CANADA SPRINGSUMMER 2016 23 THE GUIDE TO HOMEOWNERSHIP The journey to Homeownership is filled with excitement challenges and choices. Wherever you are on that journey we can help you to achieve the dream of homeownership with expert resources and tools at each step. 800.511.8888 Genworth.ca Homeownership.ca Genworthsmartshopper.ca House Hunting Checklist The indispensable tool for your homebuying journey Download at www.homeownership.cachecklist httpwww.homeownership.cahttpwww.homeownership.ca