This vast, untapped client base has the will to buy but not the means; but that doesn’t mean agents can’t offer a wealth of advice on how to save, says James Hankinson, a franchise service advisor with CENTUM Financial Group Inc., who offers these pieces of advice for agents to share with prospective clients.
Scale down Your Lifestyle: Finding less expensive ways to do the things you enjoy, or foregoing them for a period of time could save you thousands over the course of a year.
Dial down your vacations: Try a stay-cation in your own city or go somewhere close by.
Eat out less: This could mean halving the number of times you eat out over the course of a month or eating at less expensive restaurants. If you bring your own lunch to work every day you could save yourself upwards of a $1,000 a year.
Spend less on hobbies and entertainment: Do you read a lot? Instead of buying books start using the library more often. Do you go to see a lot of movies? Try subscribing to an on-demand video streaming service and watch more movies at home. Do you spend a lot on your hobbies? Spend less this year, or try finding a different hobby for a period of time. Look for small day-to-day ‘luxury’ expenses that you can cut down on – at least until the down payment is saved.
Save More From Work: Make up a spread sheet with all your monthly expenses. Try to set aside a fixed amount from your pay cheque for savings. Even if it’s a small percentage, every dollar will count. If you get a raise at work, allot the difference between your previous salary and your raise for savings.
Pay off your credit card debt: It is difficult to save money when paying substantial interest to someone else. Begin by paying down the smallest high interest loan. Once that has been paid off, take the minimum payment from that debt and use it towards another. This will snowball until all debts have been paid off. If you have numerous outstanding debts you could always inquire about a debt consolidation loan. These loans typically offer a lower interest rate and mean you only have one monthly payment to worry about.
Use a Tax Free Savings Account: Tax Free Savings Accounts are a fantastic way to save money. The money in a TFSA can grow tax free, meaning any income you earn in this account is entirely yours.
Borrow from your RRSP If you already have some RRSPs you can withdraw up to $25,000 to buy your first home. Though you should be cautious with this method, if the money you took from your RRSP is not repaid with 15 years it will be treated as income. You will thereby have to pay tax on the money you withdrew as if it where income.
“At the end of the day saving for something like a home is all about priorities,” says Hankinson. “If saving for a home is a priority then find some areas that you can cut expenses back on. This best way to do this is draft yourself a budget and identity key areas where you think you can save.”
Real estate agents are assisting clients who want to buy but don’t have enough for a down payment – taking a proactive approach to growing that book of business in hope of drawing future clients.