People yearning for home ownership and parenthood can face an uphill battle, with soaring housing prices and costly daycare fees. But the dream can be within reach, so long as house hunters and future parents are willing to compromise on a few things.
When it comes to a couple’s mortgage pre-approval, “the bank may say they can afford X, Y and Z,” says Laurie Campbell, CEO of Credit Canada. But if a couple plans on having children, “they need to factor in what those costs might be and how that could affect their overall budget,” she adds.
She says they likely would have had a child before buying a home if they had stayed in nearby Burlington. But she says their new home gives them the budgetary breathing room needed for the two maternity leaves she expects to take.
After maternity leave, many parents will also find themselves having to pay hundreds of dollars a month for daycare. In Toronto, parents pay an average of $ 1,033 a month, according to a study published last year by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
Looming daycare fees are one of the things Desirae Odjick and her partner are anticipating as they look to upgrade to a larger home from their current living arrangements in Ottawa sometime next year.
Odjick, who is also a personal finance blogger, and her partner plan to have at least one child within three or four years, she says, and they need to leave room in their budget for daycare while looking for a new house.
Instead, it may be wise to opt for a starter home or condominium in a less expensive neighbourhood, she says.
“If you’re buying a home and you’re going right up to the top of your budget and still planning to have children, you are going to have to find another way of making up those additional costs.”