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Tiny home contentment

As dusk was settling in on a foggy November day in BC’s Bulkley Valley, I parked my car on the driveway next to the home of Matt and Montana Slaa. String lights were glowing around their home, which overlooked a rolling field, and also came equipped with a stunning view of two mountain ranges. It wasn’t hard to find the entrance, as there was only one door. Matt and Montana, along with their daughter Gabriella, welcomed me into their tiny home.

I had to be careful where to put my shoes, as there was no boot room or entryway, and I had a hard time reaching the hanger for my coat as it was about 8’ high. But it only took a few seconds to feel an overwhelming sense of coziness and tranquility, radiated by the character of both the home and my hosts.

In an age where it has become a momentous challenge for young men and women to get into the housing market, I visited with Matt and Montana to discover whether their outside-the-box solution of living in a tiny home with children is a practical solution that others may want to consider, or more of a romantic notion than a practical one.

When dreams and practicality unite

With marriage, God joins two people into one. For Matt and Montana, that happened in the summer of 2020. Montana grew up in Smithers, the daughter of a school teacher and an artist. Matt’s family moved into the area as his father is a pastor who accepted a call to serve in a local Reformed church.

“I always wanted to live in a cabin,” shared Montana. “It was right from when I was young. That was my dream.”

The happy couple as they move in…

Matt was in university while they were dating, preparing to become a teacher. They wanted to get married, but how were they going to afford that? “I felt like I had to come with a financial plan for Montana and her dad,” Matt explained. The problem was that he still had to do more studies to get his education degree to become a teacher. That itself would come with a big cost, as they were planning to move away and study for a year in PEI.

They proceeded to estimate the cost of building a tiny home, using the money they had saved. They had a year and a half to plan the project, using software from SketchUp to design it around the materials they collected.

“We did it very cheaply,” explained Matt. “Wood and windows we collected from someone who was getting rid of them for free.”

At this point in the conversation, Montana kindly offered me a cup of tea. Since a coffee table doesn’t fit in the room, she pulled out a tall block of wood, which they use not only as a coffee table but also a dinner table (when it is laid down on its side), and a stool for their daughter to stand on when helping with the dishes.

I learned that the Slaas didn’t experience tiny home living prior to jumping in with both feet. Most of their inspiration came from online research and books, but they “just learned along the way.” At one point they decided “we’ve seen what we want to see. So we stopped looking at ideas, and worked with what we had liked, to come up with our own plan.”

They purchased a 20’ trailer to go under the home for about $5,000, and built the home 22’ long and 10.5’ wide. That is about the maximum width to still be road legal if it was ever to be moved. Since both Matt and Montana are tall, they didn’t bother with a loft but kept the ceiling vaulted, with a curved ceiling over their bed. Their bed is raised, with a lot of storage underneath, and space too for Gabriella to enjoy some quiet time. Windows dominate two of the walls, to take in the views of fields and mountains.

Freedom from debt and materialism

Spending more time outside was part of the appeal for the couple. The small quarters force them to get outside for more space. A highlight of each morning involves Montana taking Gabriella out to the chickens, which currently live in a greenhouse for the winter, to collect the eggs.

I asked them what else inspired them about tiny house living. For Matt, a big motivation was the freedom that comes from building his own place and living mortgage-free. “That is what came first.” But he was quick to see that it provided so much more, including spending a lot of time together.

“So many people, when we talk about tiny homes are like, ‘we can never live that close.’ But we love it.”

The couple acknowledged that they aren’t naturally bent towards a minimalist lifestyle. But this home forces them to do with less. “We always say you fill the space that you have,” Matt said. “So every few months, we have to do a purge through all our storage space.”

“There’s so many things that you don’t really need because you [already] have something that works,” added Montana. “Just the other night we were talking about how we don’t have an electric mixer, even a handheld one. It’s going to be another thing that we have to put somewhere. I have one whisk and I use it for everything. We make whipping cream all the time.”

They originally didn’t think they needed a toaster either, but decided that toasting their bread over the fire wasn’t a sustainable option.

“We just learned to really love the idea that we can do it with less,” said Matt. “And then there’s the financial benefit of that too. We started to save a lot of money.”

Matt contrasted this with the year they spent in PEI, where they lived in a larger home that was 600 or 800 square feet.

“We saw an espresso machine for sale, it’s like, ‘oh, you should get that.’ And we loved it. But there were so many things that were like, ‘oh, we should get that’ or ‘we should do that.’ Just because it was possible. Before you know it, we had spent quite a lot of money doing all these things. And we had to sell a lot of it when we left, so that we can fit back into this.”

Building from scratch

Tiny homes have become popular, and it isn’t hard to buy them new or used throughout the world. I asked Matt if he had experience building homes before tackling this project. He always loved creating things as he grew up, and did some woodworking. But for the most part, he figured it out as he went and thinks most people can do the same. “I’m convinced that given enough time, and commitment to learning, you can do it.” That even included the wiring, though not without getting shocked once.

Northern BC gets cold over the winter, and the Slaas’ walls are framed only with 2×4 lumber. Yet the home stays plenty warm thanks to a tiny wood stove. The stove requires very small pieces of wood, so they use less than a cord of wood each year. (A cord is 4’ wide by 4’ tall by 8’ long – equivalent to a pickup truck load piled high.) This is about 20 percent of what most homes in the area use. And the stove plays an important role in keeping the home dry, which can be a challenge for a small space with a few people breathing, cooking, and showering in it.

Because the fire burns out after about four hours, the Slaas sometimes wake up to a cool home (about 12 ºC). But it warms up quickly again when a new fire is lit in the morning.

Matt showed me their bathroom, complete with a compostable toilet. A small bin of wood shavings paper sits next to the toilet, to assist with the composting. I don’t notice any smell (an improvement over many bathrooms with flush toilets). They also have an on-demand hot water system for their shower, but the water has to be collected in a bucket so the showers aren’t long.

Their total cost to build the home was about $15,000. That includes the trailer under it, the wood stove, and the propane water heater, which were the more expensive components.

Prioritizing family

With another baby due in the new year, the couple has started building a second unit, with about the same dimensions, next to this home. The plan is to connect the two dwellings with an indoor walkway – a four foot-wide hallway which will also be their new main entrance/ boot room. The added space will make it much easier to put the children to bed without worrying about waking them up, and Matt and Montana are also looking forward to an eating area. The new quarters won’t be built on a trailer, but this new unit can still be loaded onto a trailer if it needs to move in the future.

A little help in the kitchen can always be had.

The Slaas are realistic that this setup is not going to be too long-term, because they hope to have a big family, the Lord willing. That

is why they are building the addition as a separate structure. “The idea is that, very easily, we can pull it apart. And it will be its own tiny home unit,” Matt explained. “We could sell it, or Airbnb it, or rent,” added Montana.

“But we are determined to make it work as long as we literally possibly can. And even after that, we are quite keen to explore other options,” shared Matt. “I’ve looked at yurts that are almost 1,000 square feet. And they’re $40,000 to $50,000. Why not?”

I asked Montana what it is like to be a mom in a tiny home.

“There’s definitely things that you just do differently,” she explained.

“Like sometimes I think, oh, it’d be really nice if I could get up more easily without [Gabriella] waking up in the morning. So most of the time, I would just stay in bed with her until she wakes up because I don’t want to disturb her. [If] I get up, I sneak out of bed and then sit here, in the dark, so that she can keep sleeping, and I quietly just read and do really quiet things….

“As soon as you have kids, it is not about you. It’s a sacrifice that you make. And it’s a really good one….

“But then we just do our morning routine and eat breakfast together and then we try to get out of the house and go outside and do the chickens in the morning and that breaks up the morning for Gabriella. And she does get a little bit cranky in the morning. I think sometimes she just gets kind of bored.”

Gabriella doesn’t get the boatload of toys that many other children experience, even in homes with less means. She plays with kitchen utensils and the kindling for the fires, in much the same way that kids play when their parents are camping.

“So we’ve been really trying to teach her that it’s okay to play or read a book by herself.”

Gabriella also ends up doing a lot with Montana. “She’ll stand at the counter on the stool with me while I make dinner or do the dishes, she loves to help with the dishes. She wants to do what I’m doing. And I think that it’s a big difference to having a house with more rooms.”

Montana admits that some things just don’t work in the tiny home, including her passion for painting. That’s hard to do with a little one in close quarters, so Gabriella will often go up to her oma’s house for an afternoon, which is on the same property.

Hospitality can also be a challenge. “Generally, if we have people over, it’s for coffee. Maybe a cup of tea and chat for a couple hours,” explained Matt. It doesn’t work well to have people over for a meal unless they can eat outside, which is seasonal and weather-dependent.

Saving to buy dirt

A look inside, with bed in the back, play nook underneath, and the wood burning stove to the left.

They are also transparent that this is not meant to be an alternative to getting into the real estate market, but a step towards it. “This allows us to dream of and hope for a future in buying real estate, because we do hope to have our own property, hopefully with a good bit of land, that we can farm and garden and have lots of animals,” Matt shared.
Because they live on someone else’s property, tiny home living allows them to save a lot of money. Some time ago they put a note on Church Social (a congregational app) to see if anyone would be up for having them park their home on their property, and were amazed that four or five families were willing.

Their monthly costs for utilities total about $100, so they are able to save $20,000-$30,000 a year towards buying their own land, which they hope to do in about five years.

“This lifestyle allowed us to go to PEI to go to school for entire year, not even working, and to be loan free and to come out so much further ahead than we could have,” shared Matt. “So financially, it’s a no-brainer.”

“If we had a $400,000 home we’d be struggling to buy groceries. That doesn’t sound at all better than where we’re at now.” Matt later added that because of this arrangement “we’ve never had any financial stress whatsoever.”

This is far less expensive than renting. Most Canadian communities, including Smithers, have seen rental rates skyrocket to between $1000 and $2000 per month for a modest unit with one or two bedrooms.

Matt noted the contrast: “If you live in your tiny house for a year and a half, it’s paid off.”

He also respectfully disagrees with those who challenge them that a tiny home won’t increase in value. “If you build it yourself, you can almost always sell it for what you spent on it if you’re smart with it. And likely more. And you have an option of renting it out.”

Matt emphasized the importance of keeping the costs down by working with what is available rather than insisting on a particular design. “We’re not set on what’s on our walls or whatever we’re going to put on our ceiling. Something might come up that will work good for us.”

“The fact that we built it ourselves makes a big difference too. We built it while we were engaged and it’s kind of part of our marriage story, our love story. I think if you just bought a tiny house for $100,000 you wouldn’t be that attached to it or invested in wanting to stay in it.”

Matt explained that because tiny homes are built on a trailer, they aren’t subject to the rules that governments have about building structures on a property. It is similar to an RV being parked on a property.

Contentment personified

As I left their home and drove to mine, one word was impressed on me: contentment. In 1 Timothy 6: 6-8 we read that:

“godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.”

I also can’t help but be convicted at how much effort we put into pursuing possessions, caring for them, storing them, and then getting rid of them. Instead of giving us contentment, they so often choke us like thorns among the wheat (Matt. 13:22).

“In a sense, we feel very wealthy,” Matt reflected. “We have so much more than what so many people have. And we’re so thankful for how the Lord has directed us along this path and taught us to love it.”

Pictures are thanks to the Slaas. For bigger pictures, read this article as it is featured in the Jan/Feb 2024 issue.


"Be Fruitful and Multiply" tour comes to Albertan April 19-22

Families are having fewer babies, and the world’s population is expected to peak and then decline later this century. The world isn’t prepared for the impact that this is going to have. However, what may be the greatest challenge of this century can also be a huge opportunity for the Church to shine…. if we embrace the blessing of children, and are prepared to raise them faithfully.

In this presentation, Reformed Perspective’s Mark Penninga will unpack data, history, and God’s Word to make the case for embracing the gift of children with open arms.


Ages 16-116, single or married, children or no children, these presentations are suitable for all mature Christians.


Edmonton: April 19 at 7:30 pm at Immanuel Canadian Reformed Church

Barhead: April 20 at 7:30 pm at Emmanuel United Reformed Church

Ponoka: April 22 at 7:30 pm at Parkland Reformed Church


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Economics - Home Finances

Home ownership for Christians: how it happened in the past, and how it might now

As home prices have risen in most of Canada, young people may be wondering if they will ever be able to afford to own their own home In BC’s Fraser Valley, and in the golden triangle of southern Ontario, prices have fallen recently, but a rise in interest rates have kept mortgage payments at a rate that are unaffordable for many. Is a house with a white picket fence to call one’s own an impossible dream today? How should Christians approach the concept of home ownership, and are there ways that we can be of service to one another in this important part of our lives? I interviewed young couples, homeowners, renters, realtors, and others to get some insight into how Christians view real estate ownership, and to provide helpful advice for those who are wondering what the best course of action is for their family. SOME BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES We turn first to Scripture for some general principles on home and land ownership. Psalm 24:1 says, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it!” Christians know from God’s Word that all of creation belongs to our God: He made it all, and He owns every square inch. Because we acknowledge God’s ownership of every bit of creation, Christians view our “ownership” of a home, or a business differently. We acknowledge that the Lord calls us to be good stewards of what He has entrusted to us, and that He expects us to “be fruitful, to fill the earth, and subdue it” (Gen. 1:28). The Lord gave wise laws through Moses that emphasized a family’s ownership of land. One who was in financial difficulty could lend his land to another, but this was not to be a permanent change in ownership: “The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is mine. For you are strangers and sojourners with me. And in all the land you shall allow a redemption of the land.” (Leviticus 25:23-24) Further in Leviticus 25, Moses draws a distinction between agricultural land, and houses in “walled cities.” “If a man sells a dwelling house in a walled city, he may redeem it within a year of its sale. For a full year, he shall have the right of redemption. If it is not redeemed with a full year, then the house in the walled city shall belong in perpetuity to the buyer throughout his generations.” (vs. 29-30). Homes attached to farmland were treated differently; they did return to the family who originally owned them. Since many of us now live in “walled cities” – that is, we do not depend on the fruit of the land for our income – it makes sense that these two types of properties were treated differently. More than 2,000 years later, we may look at the principles laid out in Scripture for guidance as we consider real estate and home ownership. We no longer live in God’s promised land, with guidelines for generational ownership, yet we observe that the Lord commanded His people to care for the land He entrusted to them, and that He blessed Israel as they did so faithfully, from generation to generation. THE CANADIAN DREAM Home ownership has long been part of the Canadian dream. For many in the Reformed community, our parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents emigrated from the Netherlands with the hope of better economic opportunities, and a desire to buy their own farm, homestead, or family home… which may have been out of reach in the old country. Then, as now, a house was a costly purchase, and required diligent saving for a down payment, and prudent money management to make the monthly mortgage payments. Despite the challenges, most families in decades past found ways to get into home ownership, and by living below their means, and perhaps doing without some of the non-necessities, they were able to make their mortgage payments. It was not uncommon among our immigrant community for a couple to make do with one car for the family, and it was likely not a brand new vehicle but one that was purchased at least a few years old. THEN VERSUS NOW These condo apartments in the Niagara area went for $130,000 ten years ago, and are now listing for almost $400,000. And even as prices have recently dipped a little, that’s been countered by a rise in mortgage rates. (Photo: Danyse Van Dam) We are accustomed these days to inexpensive electronic devices, and to Wi-Fi access throughout or homes. A generation or two ago, a television was a costly appliance, and many families did without these: having a screen for everyone in the house was not considered a necessity! Another area that families did without was luxurious vacations. Although a trip to Mexico or Europe would be wonderful, many decided that camping at a lake, or making a road trip to cottage country would be a great way to make memories with their children. From 2003 to 2018, prices for free-standing houses increased up to 330% in parts of Canada. Especially in greater Vancouver and southern Ontario, supply and demand drove prices up to levels that seem unimaginable to those who considered home expensive already decades ago. Immigration to Canada from all over the world drove part of the demand side of this equation: in the last two years, more than 830,000 immigrants have moved into the Great White North, and many of these people have moved to areas that already had booming real estate prices. Construction costs for newly built homes have also ballooned. Higher wages for construction workers, increased costs for materials, and more and more red tape from local government all contributed to the costs that builders incurred, and passed on to new home buyers. At the same time, the earning power of workers has grown exponentially. The average salary of a Canadian wage earner increased 2.45% each year the past twenty years, with large spikes in the past two years (including over 10% in 2020). This is slightly lower than the 3.8% overall inflation rate in Canada over the same time period, but not outrageously different. WISDOM FROM GOD’S PEOPLE Given all of the above, what wisdom can we offer a young Christian couple today? We all have different gifts and abilities; we live in different parts of the country, with different real estate pricing: what Scriptural principles can we apply to our lives today to honor the Lord in all aspects of life? I talked to several couples and families in different stages of their earthly journey, seeking wisdom for God’s people today. Bert and Linda Vane are members of the Aldergrove Canadian Reformed Church in BC, and are parents of eleven children. Bert began his career as an entrepreneur in landscaping, employing many young people in landscape maintenance and new construction. As the Lord blessed them, the Vanes also invested in agricultural businesses, in real estate, and other opportunities. Bert believes that God gives all His creatures the obligation to work, and gives us stewardship of different pieces of life on earth. “God grants us the right to ‘own’ a piece of His creation, to provide shelter and food for our families. He gives us the responsibility to provide for our families, and home ownership is a part of this calling.” Bert believes without a doubt that ownership of one’s own house is a Godly desire, that ownership of property grants many blessings in the course of one’s life. These blessings include financial increase, but also add the stability granted to families when they are able to remain rooted in a location where they can be a dependable part of a church community. MORTGAGE HELPERS Since owning a home has become increasingly expensive, renting our primary residence has become another reasonable choice for Christians. Especially for young couples, needing only a one or two-bedroom home or suite in their first years of marriage, renting can be a wise decision for a period of time. This is most often not a wise choice for the long term (longer than 18 months), since ultimately costs for a rental unit are based on real estate prices, which change with time, and in the 21st century, mostly increase at or above the level of inflation. When we were newly married, way back in the day, my wife Faith and I returned from our honeymoon to a one-bedroom suite in the basement of brother and sister-in-law, Ken and Christine VanderPloeg. I never thought to ask at the time, but I’m sure that our meager monthly rental payments were appreciated in Ken and Christine’s financial journey as they used that suite as a “mortgage helper,” and raised six children in that same home. We lived in that basement suite for a bit less than two years, when we were blessed to be able to buy our own home. It was also in Surrey, BC, and also contained a basement suite that was our own mortgage helper in the following years. I can recall a few sleepless nights as Faith and I wondered whether or not it was the right thing to do, to buy our own home, especially as the purchase price seemed so impossibly high, more than ten times our annual earnings back in 1993. With good council from parents and in-laws, we went forward in faith, and bought our first home. We had enough funds for a good-sized down payment, thanks to my wife’s diligent savings, and we were able to borrow from family instead of the bank for the remainder, at a favorable interest rate. Later I learned that my parents-in-law, Henk and Jennie Schoen, had been able to offer similar assistance to all of their nine children, a result of their own stewardly financial management, and a generous spirit that was a blessing to all of us. Thanks Dad and Mom (since departed to glory)! Readers may glean a few principles from the example above. First, living in less than ideal circumstances, with a suite as a mortgage helper, or a partnership arrangement of some kind, can be a great stepping stone to home ownership. And second, when parents or family are able to help financially or otherwise, they can be a huge blessing to a young couple that otherwise might not be able to afford a house of their own. A FEW CURRENT EXAMPLES Sean and Lauren Stel have been able to buy a house by doing so with Lauren’s brother Ben Ravensbergen. Younger readers might be forgiven for scoffing at my own example of getting into the real estate market: “That’s well and good for you, old timer, but things have changed today! Prices are so high compared to your day!” That is certainly true: real estate prices are far higher today, but income levels are also much higher than past generations. Further, thriftiness as our parents and grandparents practiced, creative solutions like basement suites or partnerships, and tapping into the generous spirit of family and friends, are all still enormous opportunities today just as they were in previous generations. Sean Stel is a software engineer working for L3Harris Wescam; he and his wife Lauren have two children. The Stels have been shopping for the right real estate deal for some time in the Smithville, Ontario area. Sean and Lauren brought Lauren’s brother Ben Ravensbergen into the buying process, and are together on the cusp of buying a home together. Ben works in construction, and hopes to be able to build a suite in the home for his own use. Sean and Lauren are very thankful for the opportunity to make this work, and hope to be able to live in their new home for many years. Sean shared the good advice that he received from family and friends: “Write down whatever you agree to, so that you don’t have any forgetfulness or misunderstanding down the road!” Especially as property values fluctuate, and as life circumstances change, this is indeed good counsel for anyone who buys a home with a partner. Ben and Meagan den Boer are Australian immigrants living in the Fraser Valley of BC. Ben is a teacher at Credo Christian High School, and Meagan, a former nurse in Australia, is a stay-at-home mom. Right now, the den Boers can’t see a way to buying a home in the Fraser Valley. With a teacher’s salary, with home prices as high as they are, and with most family connections being back home in Australia, it doesn’t seem to make sense for the young couple. The den Boers are very grateful for their current living space, as they rent a two-bedroom apartment (mortgage helper) at a reasonable rent. Meagan stated that none of her friends in BC have been able to buy a home yet at this point, and many are renting basement suites or apartments from family and acquaintances. Ben and Meagan do already own a home back in Australia, and are glad they did not sell it upon their move to Canada. Ben and Meagan den Boer, along with their little guy Micaiah. Like many young couples in BC’s Fraser Valley, they haven’t found a home purchase that makes sense for them. OWNING VERSUS RENTING Tim Bratcher and Brian Bratcher are twin brothers, and immigrants to Canada from Pennsylvania. Tim and Brian were born and raised as members of the Blue Bell American Reformed Church; both brothers married Canadian spouses, and both ended up living in southern Ontario with their families. Brian and his wife Alicia bought a home in Dunnville about seven years ago. Although the purchase price was high compared to house prices in other parts of the U.S.A. or Canada where they could have moved, Brian and Alicia were able to borrow funds from relatives that made the purchase work. Seven years later, their home is worth more than double what they paid for it, and they have been able to put down roots in Dunnville. Tim and his wife Amanda have not been able to make that same leap into the market, but have been able to rent a home that has worked for their family. Tim and Amanda moved out of Guelph to Welland, where rents are more affordable. Tim has strong opinions on real estate and landlords, and believes that a part of the increase in housing prices has been small investors who buy homes to rent them out. “I’d advise against buying a $500,000 home as a rental income property, if you know that you’ll have to charge at or above the current going rate. It just bumps that average higher, and each new unit will ‘snap’ to that new rate.” HELP FOR THE NEXT GENERATION Reformed Christians in 21st century Canada have been tremendously blessed in so many ways by our God. This includes incredible financial blessings! On average, “baby boomers” (born between 1946 and 1964) are considered the wealthiest people ever in the history of the world, and members of “Generation X” (born from 1965 to 1982) are not far behind, perhaps on a trajectory to surpass their parents in wealth. How might we use what God has entrusted to us for the good of God’s Kingdom? God calls us to recognize His ownership of everything on earth: even while we think about “our” wealth, or “our” savings, we do well to remember that ultimately it is all the Lord’s. Might we be able to take part of our long-term savings or investments and have it be a blessing for our brothers and sisters, as well as for ourselves? Here are a few ways that family can help younger people get into home ownership: 1. Celebrate the wedding, help with the house! We’ve all seen wedding celebrations that become ostentatious displays, with lavish and unnecessary spending on things that mean very little in the long run. Are there ways that we as parents and grandparents and friends can encourage our children to appropriately celebrate their wedding with family and friends, while not digging a financial hole at the very start of their married life? When young couples are presented with the huge consequences of putting $15,000 towards the down payment on a house, and $10,000 towards a wedding celebration, versus $25,000 towards the wedding, we can help them make decisions that will be of huge benefit to them in the long term. (Hint: no one remembers what kind of napkins you had at your wedding, or what kind of food was served, but everyone remembers the speeches and the gezelligheid!) 2. Sharing our homes Many of us still live in the homes in which we raised our families, and no longer need all the room that we have. Yet, it might not make economic sense for us to move because of the cost of moving, or we might just enjoy the home in which we live. Could we find a way to accommodate our married children in our homes for a few years while they get established? This may be for a few months; it may be for a few years, but however it is accomplished, it can be a huge savings for a young family. 3. Lending funds at a low interest rate, or co-signing a loan With mortgage rates much higher than they were three years ago, interest has become a much larger component of buyers’ monthly payments. Could you lend your relatives or friends some of your savings at a lower rate than the bank would lend to them? Or could you lend them a portion of the down payment at low or no interest? Co-signing a loan, while potentially risky for the co-signer, is also an avenue to helping a young couple to establish credibility with a bank. (Co-signers need to be aware that they are responsible for continued payments on loans, even when things get messy!) 4. Lending funds as a shared investment Many economists believe that real estate prices in Canada will continue to rise well above the rate of inflation. For your long-term savings, could you find a way to invest in real estate with your children or grandchildren, providing part of the capital required in exchange for a percentage of the increase in value? This concept requires careful documentation so that all parties are aware of how increases or losses in value are shared, but may be a good investment for the older generation, as well as a huge helper for the younger generation. CONCLUSION From the examples above, and from our own experience, we can observe that home ownership has been an enormous blessing for generations of Canadian Christians. In the long term, owning one’s own home is foundational to financial stability and good stewardship of the resources the Lord has entrusted to us. May the Lord give wisdom to young couples considering how they may become homeowners, and may He give a spirit of generosity to older generations wishing to help their children and grandchildren in this good and Godly goal....