I wrote "A Piece Of Property For Peace Of Mind" after attending a local event in the community that focused on homeownership and mortgages. As I have worked in the financial industry as an investment representative, I enjoy researching and writing about financial matters.
This article is below and on LinkedIn here

A Piece Of Property For Peace Of Mind
I am not a homeowner, but I have always wanted to own property. My grandfather worked in real estate, and always advised family members to “own a piece of dirt” (because they’re not making any more land). I'm in my early thirties and I have yet to achieve this goal. In pursuit of answers, I attended the Fireplace Financial Chat, hosted by Cashflow Planning & Group Benefits Advisor, Joy A. Adams, this past Saturday at the Lakeshore branch of the Innisfil Public Library. This month's guest speaker was Renee Dadswell, a mortgage agent from The Mortgage Station. To my surprise, I found not only answers but peace of mind. 
After attending the Fireplace Financial Chat, I have a better understanding of my options, and I look forward to accomplishing my goal of homeownership far sooner than I originally anticipated. The Fireplace Financial Chat illuminated numerous topics, but for yours truly, the following are a few important details I will consider as I move forward:
Interest is not a four-letter word.
Interest (or, rather the fear of rising interest rates) should not deter or delay the average person from pursuing homeownership. During the Fireplace Financial Chat, I was reminded that the Big Six Banks in Canada have recently raised their mortgage rates. Why might this be?
A recent blog post on CanadianMortgageTrends.com titled, "Big Bank Mortgage Rates Rising: What it Means for You" by Steve Huebl highlights David Larock's blog (movesmartly.com) in which he cites

...a recent CIBC survey that suggests up to 47% of all residential mortgages will come up for renewal in 2018, and the fact that mortgage renewers are now more inclined to shop around for more competitive rates… 

Though this is one of many possible reasons to consider, I found this to be incredibly fascinating. When I am ready to buy a home, I will be sure to utilize such online resources to ensure that I understand the financial landscape.
Mortgage options
Prior to the Fireplace Financial Chat, I had some anxiety about the daunting task of saving 20% of the purchase price of my future home for a downpayment (in order to qualify for the best interest rates on a mortgage). Like so many, I am a hard worker, but with news of ever-fluctuating prices on homes and reports of low-interest rates that just can't last, I have felt a considerable sense of dread in regards to entering into a 'high-ratio mortgage' (a mortgage with a downpayment of less than 20% of the property's purchase price). As per Renee Dadswell's wisdom, a high-ratio mortgage is nothing to fear; it is just another option to (potentially) utilize in the pursuit of homeownership. (If the choice is between either: paying rent and continuing to funnel your hard-earned money into your landlord's pockets, while you save another 15% over many years; or paying a 5% downpayment and owning your own home today, why would you wait, if there is only a minimal increase in your monthly payment due to interest?)
Customizing a Dream
With countless interior design shows, magazines and Pinterest pages devoted to interior design and home care, there is so much we can do with our homes. Whether I buy a fixer-upper, tear a structure down and build my dream home, or purchase a turn-key house that includes all of my desired features from day one, there are a variety of financial options available to me that can be tailored to suit my unique situation and goals. 
It was mentioned that people do so much research when buying a home- they may evaluate school districts, the surrounding area, square footage, amenities and the like, but understanding your unique financial situation and options- before making the biggest purchase of your life- are oftentimes rushed and/or overlooked.
For someone like me, pursuing homeownership can begin long before I start looking at properties.
Partnering with trusted professionals, understanding the economy and financial products available to me, strategizing for stringent financial stress tests and planning to meet a specific long-term savings goal will ensure that buying my dream home doesn't turn into my worst financial nightmare. 
After attending the Fireplace Financial Chat with Joy and Renee, I feel that I am better equipped and closer to achieving the goal that my grandfather advised all of us to pursue so many years ago.
Give your life the green light. It's A Go!
Amber Green
Disclaimer: The above does not constitute financial advice. Kindly consult a trusted professional to discuss your unique situation.
Disclosures: none
© 2018 Amber Green (This article is also posted on: www.ambergreen.ca)
Art © 2018 Dixie Foxton
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