Welcome to the December issue of my monthly newsletter!
This month’s edition looks at the debate between Gen-Xers and
Millennials and pride in homeownership.
I would love to hear back from you if you have any questions
or feedback regarding anything outlined below.
Thanks again for your continued support and referrals!
The great debate: Gen-x Vs. Millennial
If you’ve ever been around a Gen-Xer and Millennial together, you’ve probably heard this debate before: Who had it easier trying to get into the housing market?
Undoubtedly, the millennial will claim there is no struggle greater than the one they currently face, while the Gen-Xer will tell their younger cohort that they are spoiled and don’t understand how hard it was to adult in the 90s.
So, are millennials better or worse off than Gen-Xers at the same age?
A report earlier this year from Stats Canada set out to settle the debate with some interesting findings.
For starters, the study found on average young millennials earned more than young Gen-Xers. Specifically, Gen-Xers between the age of 25 and 34 in 1999 earned on average $51,000 annually compared to millennials who earned $66,500 in 2016.
The study found that millennials in 2016 also had higher assets and net worth then their grunge-era counterparts in 1999 at $154,000 to just $76,700 respectively.
However, millennials were found to be more indebted, with a debt-to-after-tax-ratio at 216 per cent compared to 125 per cent for Gen-Xers.
The study also found millennials are taking on larger mortgages than previous generations. The median mortgage debt on the principal residences of a millennial between the ages of 30 and 34 in 2016 was $218,000 compared to $117,500 for Gen-Xers in 1999.
Interestingly, though their median net worth is higher, there are greater differences in economic well-being among millennials, specifically, millennials in the top 10 per cent held 55 per cent of all total net worth accumulated by their generation.
The study also found that millennials are entering the housing market at similar rates as previous young generations.
So, who can claim the biggest hardship to getting into the market? That would depend on how you want to spin the facts. Instead, maybe the key is in the finding that millennials are getting into the market at the same level as their parents and grandparents did before them.
Of course, there have been a number of market factors and challenges each generation has had to face. Consider late boomers trying to get into the housing market with interest rates at nearly 20 per cent in the early 80s, or the recession and economic malaise of the 1990s.
At the end of the day, and this study proves it, young people in every generation have found a way to look past the challenges in their face, and fulfill the dream of homeownership. And if you’re a young person ready to buy or soon to be, a mortgage broker is your best bet to help get you there.
Pride in ownership can pay off
Any prospective homebuyer knows this situation well. You’re set up for a viewing but when you get there the condition is less than ideal. Maybe the toilets are dirty, or the cluttered kitchen is hiding its full potential. Immediately, you’re turned off and you’ve moved on to another property.
For the owner, that’s sale opportunity lost.
In a lot of cases, buyers can’t really see beyond what’s in front of them. A messy place not only makes your home harder to see, it can cost you money.
Depending on who you talk to in the real estate industry, a messy home compared to a clean house could fetch up to a $20,000 swing.
That’s a lot of money for a weekend of washing walls, decluttering, taking the trash out, running the vacuum and putting some elbow grease.
There are few simple things during this time of year that can help make your home stand out above the rest.
1) While winter can be lovely, it can also get a little messy. Especially around the yard with all those snowy and muddy days. If you want to boost the curb appeal before prospective buyers step foot in your home, you’ll want to make sure you clean your walkways. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of a dry day to keep your garden looking presentable. A little maintenance goes a long way!
2) Winter is all about colour. It’s time to put away all those bright colours for the more earthy tones of the season. If you’re not sure, those are browns, greys, orange and greens. Change your bed spreads, pillows and rugs to match the season. It doesn’t hurt to throw up a fresh coat of paint or an accent wall in an olive or burnt orange hue.
3) Winter also seems to have a smell. And you can recreate that in your home. The fresh scent of cinnamon or ginger are perfect for the season. You don’t want to go overboard, but nothing feels more welcoming then a home that smells of love and food. You can also decorate your home with the fruit of the season in a decorative bowl. It doesn’t even have to be in the kitchen. It can be right at the front entrance.
Don't like doing much in the winter? Once the cold season has lifted, here are some other ideas.
4) The change of season is a great time to make sure your maintenance is up to date. For the exterior, that means cleaning your gutters, windows and deck. If you have a pool, making sure it’s properly covered and tucked away for the winter. Inside, make sure the furnace and all your electrical components are working including your appliances. Nothing turns off a buyer more than looking at a home in disrepair.
5) The days are short and the weather tends to be a little unpredictable, so you’ll want to ensure your home is bright. If you’ve got some burned out lights both inside and out, replace them. And before a buyer comes in for showing, turn on all your lights. Keep your blinds and curtains open to let in as much light.
If you’re about to put your prized possession on the market, treat it like one and take pride in ownership.
If your holiday is just not complete without a live tree, the American Christmas Tree Association has a few tips to keep the danger at bay.
- Fresh trees are less likely to catch fire, so look for a tree with vibrant green needles that are hard to pluck and don’t break easily from its branches. The tree shouldn’t be shedding its needles readily.
- Always place your tree away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights, and keep the tree base filled with water to avoid a dry out.
- Make sure all your indoor and outdoor Christmas lights have been tested in a lab by the UL or ETL/ITSNA for safety, and throw out any damaged lights.
- Any lights you use outdoors must be labeled suitable for exterior placement, and be sure to plug them into a ground-fault circuit interrupter protected receptacle.
- Keep all your holiday candles away from your Christmas tree, surrounding furniture and décor.
- Bedtime means lights off! Don’t forget to turn your Christmas tree lights off each night.
DID YOU KNOW...
If you have a Canada Student Loan, one of the following measures may be right for you:
- Through the Repayment Assistance Plan (RAP) you may qualify for a reduced monthly payment or no monthly payment.
- Through the Repayment Assistance Plan for Borrowers with a Permanent Disability (RAP-PD) you may qualify for a reduced monthly payment (or no monthly payment at all) and receive financial help with expenses related to your disability.
- You may be eligible to have your loans forgiven through the Severe Permanent Disability Benefit if you have a severe permanent disability.
- Under the Revision of Terms measure, you can ask to have your student loan payments decreased if you are having difficulty repaying your student loan debt or increased if you wish to pay off your loan debt more quickly.
- If your Canada Student Loan is in collection, Canada Student Loan Rehabilitation may be able to help you.
- You may be eligible for Canada Student Loan Forgiveness for Family Doctors and Nurses if you are working as a family doctor, resident in family medicine, nurse or nurse practitioner in an under-served rural or remote community.