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Navigating Homeownership in Manitoba

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With the growing number of immigrants in Manitoba seeking to establish a home, they often encounter challenges securing one. Mortgage Advisor Michelle Zabaro sheds light on the intricacies of the homebuying process in Canada, particularly in Manitoba. 

Zabaro emphasizes the need for clear understanding and strategic planning when aspiring to buy a home in the future. In Canada, the process can be expedited, depending on the province. Zabaro’s expertise extends across the entire country, providing valuable insights, especially for those in Manitoba.

“For newcomers, opening a significant bank account is a crucial step towards demonstrating your economic contribution to Canada,” says Zabaro, and this showcases financial stability and signals to the government that you are actively participating in the local economy. Having a designated account for your financial transactions is a tangible step towards building a financial footprint in the country.

Zabaro advises newcomers to be meticulous in handling rent payments. Many families make the mistake of having only one person in the household responsible for all payments. To leverage the income of both individuals in a short time frame, Zabaro suggests showcasing responsible financial behaviour by consistently paying bills such as rent, water, cell phone, and Internet together.

“In Canada, establishing credit is crucial,” notes Zabaro. She explains that having a good credit history often involves maintaining two credit cards per person for a minimum of two years. However, lacking a credit history doesn’t necessarily hinder the ability to purchase a home. Zabaro assures that various pathways exist for those without an established credit history.

Zabaro acknowledges that many newcomers dream of home ownership, especially in a landscape where renting can be financially draining. “Rent is money we don’t recover,” she emphasizes. Zabaro outlines strategies for potential homeowners, including the possibility of buying a home immediately upon arrival, within a year, or even six months, depending on available savings.

Manitoba is one of the most affordable provinces for living and purchasing a home. Zabaro points out that housing costs are comparatively lower, providing an attractive option for newcomers. She notes that while the down payment may be high, it is still lower than in other provinces. She also addresses the importance of considering family dynamics when choosing a location. Proximity to good schools may be a priority for those with children, impacting the overall decision-making process. 

Michelle Zabaro’s insights provide valuable guidance for newcomers navigating the complex landscape of homebuying in Manitoba. Her expertise extends beyond mere mortgage advice, offering a holistic approach to financial planning and homeownership for immigrants in Canada. 

– Yuliia Kovalenko, U Multicultural

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