Although I'm not originally from Toronto, after living here for eight years I now consider it home. Growing up in a military family, we moved around quite a bit. Its refreshing finally feel like I have a city that I can see myself staying in for the long-haul. With each passing year spent in Toronto I feel as though my roots grow stronger in the city.
That being said, Toronto can be a tough city to live in sometimes - especially when it comes to housing. Our housing market is definitely not for the faint of heart, and it seems like lately it's all that's being talked about in the news. Between rising interest rates and changing mortgage rules, the Toronto housing market is now more confusing than ever to navigate.
Brian and I have always rented our condo in the city, with our eyes open to buy either a larger condo or a small house of our own. Whenever I tell people that we're still renting our condo in Toronto, they're shocked; after all, we're both working professionals with steady income coming in and are both natural savers with our money. Although I would love to buy a place of our own in a year or two, I don't want to stress our finances too much and becomes house-poor. Keeping this in mind, I started doing some research to see what we could comfortably afford down the road, especially with the new stress-test mortgage rules that came info effect this year. I found that BMO’s mortgage site was really helpful in giving me the information I needed
As someone who is cautious about not stretching our finances to the maximum when purchasing a home, I really love how BMO's mortgage site really focuses on true affordability and gives you a realistic picture of what your family can comfortably afford in today's housing market.
What I discovered is that I definitely overlooked the importance of stress-testing mortgage rates, especially now that we're seeing mortgage rates on the rise for the first time in almost a decade! If you're like me and are looking to buy a home in the next year or so, I would highly using
BMO’s mortgage calculators to stress test yourself. Just use your lender’s rate plus 2%, or the Bank of Canada’s rate (5.14% right now) whatever is higher; it’s so important when it comes to affordability, and very eye-opening.
Knowing your pre-approved mortgage rate is one of the most important facts you'll need when looking to buy a property. With the information that I got using the calculators on BMO's site, I feel more prepared than ever while navigating the pre-approval process. I also wanted to mention that BMO has increased the rate guarantee period to 130 days, which is amazing because it's the longest among all Canada's major banks. Really helpful, especially since if I've learned anything while looking to buy a home in Toronto is that any any bit of convenience we can get goes such a long way.
All in all, I'm so grateful for BMO's mortgage site and I love how it focuses on affordability and totally aligns with my housing philosophy of wanting to own comfortably without sacrificing lifestyle. With all of the different narratives of the Toronto housing market in the news, I'm happy to just focus on the facts and know exactly where I stand mortgage-wise.
While we're comfortable renting now, I'm so excited to be able to buy our own place in the near future. Toronto is my home, and I'm looking forward to growing my roots in the city with a property and still being comfortable enough to enjoy everything the city has to offer.
What do you guys think? Do you rent or own? Have you gone through the process of buying your own property or done a stress test? Let me know!
This post was created in partnership with BMO. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.