Housing is a major cost of living expense and, whether you are renting or owning, housing in Ontario is particularly costly compared to the rest of Canada except B.C. The average rent in Ontario for an apartment is currently $840 for a bachelor, $972 for 1 bedroom, $1,121 for 2 bedrooms, and $1,371 for 3+ bedrooms. The average Ontario house price is $518,000, up 13.9% from the previous year, and many homeowners would struggle if their mortgage payments grew.
Housing expenses are easy to overlook as we consider them necessary rather than optional. You have more choice in the matter than you may realize. There are several ways you can save money on housing, many of which are outlined here below. Being aware of these cost-cutting strategies can help you avoid serious financial issues that could lead to overwhelming debt.
Move to a Cheaper Area or Smaller Home
Downsizing, both physically and in terms of location, can effectively save you money. Your dream home may have four bedrooms and three bathrooms when you only really need two bedrooms and one bathroom. You may prefer to live in the heart of the city, but you will likely find living in the outskirts enticing, as suburban and especially rural homes tend to be significantly less expensive than their urban counterparts. You may struggle with the initial adjustment but may come to enjoy the benefits of living in a quieter neighbourhood with more land and parking.
If You Are Buying, Consider a Foreclosure Property
Homes that are for sale via foreclosure can often be a great deal as creditors want to sell them quickly in order to get paid on money their debtors owe. However, keep in mind that these properties are more likely to have some underlying issues, so it is even more important to hire a reputable home inspector to inspect the property. The home inspector can confirm the condition of the home and report back on whether it could require expensive repairs. It is also crucial to obtain insurance as quickly as possible to prevent costly problems if something did go wrong.
Learn Basic Repairs
If you are a homeowner, you can save tremendously by learning basic repairs. Educating yourself about plumbing, electrical work, and other handy housework can help you save a great deal on hiring tradespeople. An added bonus of knowing how to fix simple things in the home is avoiding having to wait for the availability of hired help. If possible, enlist a friend or family member as an extra set of hands.
Contact Harris & Partners Inc., Bankruptcy Trustees in Ontario
If you are having difficulty meeting your housing costs or having difficulty staying on top of your debts, you may need the assistance a licenced insolvency professional can provide. An experienced bankruptcy trustee in Oshawa, St. Catharines’s or Hamilton can evaluate the situation you are facing, explain your options, and help you to make the best choice. We can also help you save money in other areas that may be vital as a consumer, including on car insurance. Contact us at Harris & Partners Inc. at 1-800-268-8093.