A story of massive debt, near foreclosure and renting after owning

There’s a great article on Toronto Life that actually encourages homeowners to sell and get out of the mortgage game. Why? Owning a home in Toronto is terribly unaffordable and puts people at risk of truly losing it all – their money, their credit, even their families.

The story goes like this. A Toronto couple named the Millers bought a house for $317,000. They asked their families to help put together a down payment of $70,000. Some minor renovations turned into major structural issues, and the need for cash to get the fixes done ballooned. Their mortgage debt started as $247,000 and skyrocketed to $370,000, most of which was with an assortment of private lenders. That’s because along the way, the husband unexpectedly lost his job. They couldn’t make the payments and their credit went down the crapper, so to speak. On several occasions, the lenders threatened foreclosure on their home.

In the same article, a woman named Locke went through a similar situation. She bought a home in Scarborough for $285,00 with $14,000 down. The death of a loved one, a job loss and tenants who paid rent late meant she was at risk of foreclosure too.

Until she sold, and moved to renting.

Philip Preville, who wrote the article, wrote, “If you’re already in over your head, sell now while prices are inflated.”

It’s a crazy time to be playing in the Toronto housing market. If you’re thinking of buying, think twice. Putting yourself into debt that’s even remotely beyond your means can spell disaster should an unexpected situation arise and, as we’ve seen, it happens to the best of us. And when that happens, private lenders and risky loans can be the only way to keep a roof over your head – but at what cost?

There’s no argument that the city’s housing market is inflated, by a lot. And while so many experts predict a correction, where prices will tumble, the question is, when? And since no one really knows the answer, we’ll all remain happy to sit back and rent in comfort until it does.

Erin Cardone

Born on the Prairies, Erin Cardone grew up knowing there was more to life than canola fields and AAA Alberta Angus. So she escaped, living in Europe and Australia, white-knuckling it through plates of calf brains and raw horse meat, and learning languages she can't remember anymore. After a stint as a jaded, skeptical journalist, she changed tack and began writing rather awesome blogs and showing businesses that advertising is dead, so long live social media, with her businesses Legendary Social Media. She now splits her time between various Canadian cities, Costa Rica and wherever else the wind blows.

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