Despite concerns over down payments, job security and overall readiness, more women than men appear to be gearing up to make their first home purchase in the next two years.

According to an RBC study, despite being more cautious than men when it comes to weighing the costs and affordability of home ownership, women appear to be reaching comfortable ground in increasing numbers.

In fact, results of the annual RBC Homeownership Poll reveal that:

49% of women surveyed plan to buy their first home within the next two years, as opposed to just 35% of men;

47% of Canadian women who recently became first-time home owners noted affordability as their biggest obstacle to an earlier purchase;

16% of women were less likely to take on a variable mortgage, compared to 25% of men;

40% of women were comfortable with the prospect of taking on a fixed rate mortgage, reflecting the current trend where Canadians want to lock in at historically low interest rates;

44% of women are likely to consider a combination mortgage, as opposed to just 31% of men.

For those eyeing home ownership in the months and years ahead, here are five helpful tips from RBC for getting your ducks in a row:

  • Assess total costs: Balance the costs of homeownership against your lifestyle, leaving yourself enough wiggle room to enjoy what’s important to you;
  • Get your finances in order: Get pre-approved for a mortgage, with professional advice that will help you understand the long-term costs;
  • Budget for extras: Closing costs, including legal fees, land transfer taxes and new home warranties, can typically run another 1-2% of your final purchase price;
  • Build an emergency fund: Protect yourself against unexpected expenses such as a leaky roof, a defective furnace or an increase in fees or taxes;
  • Increase your revenue: Look for opportunities to help offset expenses in the first few years of home ownership.

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