Harrison and Shanna’s money challenge

They couldn’t agree on the right time to buy a house

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From the December 2014 issue of the magazine.

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(Photograph by Jason Franson)

(Photograph by Jason Franson)

Harrison and Shanna Blizzard 29 and 26, Red Deer, Alta.

The money challenge: Harrison, a dietician, had lived in rented apartments his whole life and was hesitant about buying a home, especially so early in their marriage. But his wife Shanna believed strongly in becoming a home owner. “I thought owning a home would break our budget,” says Harrison. “But I didn’t want to let Shanna down.”

The fix: Shanna sat down with Harrison at the kitchen table and showed him that their mortgage payments would be no more than they were paying in rent. When they viewed several houses that were below their $250,000 limit, they realized they were good value. “I had him do the legwork and look for a mortgage so the numbers became real for him,” says Shanna. “Educating Harrison about real estate and having him take an active part in the process has made him comfortable with the idea of buying our first home soon.”

Expert tip. “Fundamental money beliefs are extremely hard to shake,” says financial therapist Amanda Mills. What helps? To have the more hesitant partner do the research and gather information before both spouses run the numbers together. “That’s key when it comes time for the two of you to make a final decision, especially about longer-term goals like home ownership, taking a sabbatical or paying off large debts.”

One comment on “Harrison and Shanna’s money challenge

  1. That’s a fix? I hope Harrison sat Shanna down and showed her that buying a home is far more than just mortgage payments. Maybe she hasn’t factored in real estate fees, potential mortgage insurance, legal fees, repairs and improvements, and opportunity costs from not investing their money instead. Seems to me like the fundamental money belief that needs to be broken here is the notion that home ownership is some kind of social milestone.

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