In the last week, I’ve see three clients in similar situations. All three clients had good paying jobs, where in their late 30’s and had over $20,000 of consumer debt outside of traditional car loans. Should they be considering buying a home?

A home is one of the only appreciating assets you’ll own. The trouble with these particular clients is that they have kept waiting to pay off their debt and are now almost 40 years old and still do not own a home. My recommendation would be to review their family budget with them and find a monthly mortgage payment that will help them get into a house, while also developing a plan to pay down their debt.

If they had savings to put as a down payment they could also look at paying their debt down with their savings and getting a cashback mortgage, which gives them the money for the down payment. Remember that you can withdraw up to $25,000 from an RRSP the year you buy a home under the RRSP Home Buyer’s Plan.  That money does not need to go to the down payment, it could go to paying off debt.  Now that’s a good idea!