How to take financial control of your living situation
Getting professional advice can help you feel more confident about making big (and small) financial decisions
For many Canadians, housing can eat up more money than any other cost. Add in inflation, low inventory, and interest rate hikes, and it can be a very intimidating time to enter the real estate market.
According to the TD 2023 “Beyond Banking” survey, more than half of Canadians living with roommates are doing so because they’re saving money, and four in five of them say it would be difficult to own or rent if they were living on their own. This squeeze on wallets makes it all the more important to seek professional advice, not just about how we save and spend money, but also in terms of how and where we live.
Interest rates affect affordability
“The importance of establishing and maintaining financial health in today’s changing market, whether you are a buyer or a renter, cannot be overstated,” explains Natasha Struminikovski, Associate Vice-President of Homeowners’ Journey at TD. “At a high level, low interest rates often increase demand for property and therefore drive prices up, whereas higher interest can do the opposite. With current higher interest rates, for many customers, this elevated rate environment can impact customers’ ability to pay for a new home as well as their cash flow.”
If you’re exploring the possibility of buying a home, a smart first step is to speak with a professional. “TD Mortgage Specialists can help you understand what you may be able to afford and what your financing options are, and help you with the pre-approval process,” says Struminikovski.
When it comes to existing homeowners, changes in interest rates could mean changes to monthly payments. “TD Mortgage Specialists can take a holistic view of an overall household budget and recommend options to help manage cash flow.”
Go back to basics
One of the best ways to prepare your finances during uncertain times is to simply go back to basics. “Review your budget and reassess your priorities to make sure you’re on top of day-to-day expenses, all the while not losing sight of your long-term goals,” says Struminikovski. “A good strategy for Canadians is to keep their perspective on their long-term objectives such as saving for a house.”
The TD 2023 “Beyond Banking” survey also showed that 75 per cent of Canadians have financial goals but only a third are very confident they can reach them. TD can help you understand how changes in your spending impact your financial situation and cash flow, and build an effective financial plan to meet your goals. If buying a home is your objective, don’t let market uncertainty deter you.
“Canadians must remember that the market ebbs and flows,” affirms Struminikovski. “The homeownership journey is a long road, from initial savings to finding and buying a home, renewals and ultimately paying off a mortgage. Changing market conditions are a normal part of that process.”
Get professional advice early
Do your research and talk to a professional so you can better understand potential impacts on your finances and the options available as you look to buy a home, refinance for renovations, or renew your mortgage. “Reach out early in the process so you can get your questions and concerns confidently answered,” suggests Struminikovski. “This is vital in helping understand the options available to you as well as the next steps.”
Having a trusted advisor to guide you through the process can also help you take control and make what may feel like an unattainable goal less overwhelming and more achievable. “Buying a home can feel equal parts exciting and exhausting—especially in a market that feels a bit like a rollercoaster,” says Struminikovski. “The key thing to remember is that you’re not alone and seeking help and advice from a professional can help make the ride feel more comfortable.”
To learn more, visit td.com to connect with a TD Mortgage Specialist or a TD Personal Banker to help you with all things financial.