Rising house prices have made Canadians richer on paper, but the financial burden of larger mortgages is taking a toll. Although the vast majority of homeowners are making their mortgage payments, many are living close to their financial edge.
Not only are they struggling to cover everyday expenses, they are not saving for emergencies, their kid's education or retirement. What are the short- and long-term repercussions of this housing wealth? Are Canadians giving up too much to fulfill a dream of home ownership?
Personal finance columnist Rob Carrick took a deeper look at how widespread housing-related stress is, and how people are coping.
As part of our investigation into the financial health of Canadian homeowners, we asked our readers to share their stories with us. In the end, we profiled six households, each of them offering their own perspective on the costs of home ownership.
The individuals profiled were offered a consultation with a pair of certified financial planners at Money Coaches Canada – Annie Kvick and Noel D'Souza. We want to thank them all for their contribution to our package.
They joined Rob Carrick for an online chat, answering reader questions on Monday Dec. 12. You can read that conversation here.
If you are worried about whether you can afford your home, have money left over to save, and live the lifestyle you want, try our online tool. The Globe's Real Life Ratio calculator looks beyond your mortgage at how much of your take-home pay remains once you have covered all of your financial needs.
There were several other parts to our housing package. Report on Business reporters Dave Parkinson and Brent Jang looked at how the housing and renovation sectors are impacting Canada's economy.
We had an opinion piece from Will Dunning, the chief economist for Mortgage Professionals Canada. He argued that housing affordability in Canada is better than most people think.
And there is a video on Alyssa Gowing, a 27-year-old living in rural Ontario, who showed us her home, and took us through her monthly budget and the sacrifices she is making to afford a home on her own. Ms. Growing's story was also presented Monday in an Instagram feature so check the Globe's account @globeandmail to see that.