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Finding it hard to get by and trying to figure out how to reduce housing costs? You’re not alone. Affordable housing comes down to the amount of money we make and how much we have available for expenses. 

To help you brainstorm ways to solve financial difficulties or even prevent them, let’s look at a few ways to save money and make money as it relates to housing. 

  • Save money in the home you’re in
  • Earn money from your existing home
  • Sell your home and buy a new one to save money
  • Buy an investment property to make money
  • How to save money when selling your home

First, let’s consider ways to save money in the home you’re in.

Make small changes.

As you’re figuring out how to reduce housing costs, it’s important to decide which costs are most important to you. Ask yourself: What do I care about? What is the most important thing for me right now in my life? Is it paying off house debt, building an emergency fund, or saving up for home improvements?

If you want to save money on housing expenses and still live in a nice place that fits your needs, consider making some changes that will help reduce housing costs without sacrificing comfort or convenience. A few things to consider include:

Cartoon hand with scissors cutting the wire of a light bulb. Energy cost saving concept.
  • Implement energy-saving tips like installing LED light bulbs, reusing rainwater for plants, sealing air leaks, and using a programmable thermostat.
  • Negotiate better rates for phone, internet and television.
  • Learn how to do basic home repairs yourself.
  • Keep up with regular maintenance to avoid bigger expenses down the road.
  • Confirm information used to calculate property taxes is correct
  • Raise your insurance deductible to reduce monthly payments.


Refinancing your home can be one of the most effective ways to reduce housing costs. You can use refinancing to lower your mortgage interest rate, extend the length of your loan, or make other financial changes that can help you save money on monthly mortgage payments.

Lower Your Interest Rate:

The first step in refinancing is usually lowering your interest rate by getting a fixed-rate mortgage instead of an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM). A fixed-rate loan will have a set annual percentage rate for its entire term; ARMs adjust as market conditions change and often start out with low rates but increase over time.

Change Your Loan Term:

Refinancing also provides an opportunity to extend or shorten the length of time it takes to pay off your home loan. A 15-year mortgage means you will pay less interest but your monthly payments will be higher. Choosing a 30-year mortgage can reduce your monthly payment but you will pay more over time because of additional interest.

Make a Lump Sum Payment:

You can pay your mortgage off early by reducing the principal. This is a great way to spend an annual bonus or tax refund or if you are paid bi-weekly but most of your expenses are monthly, use the extra paycheque from those months you get paid three times.

Pay Bi-Weekly:

Instead of paying monthly, pay your mortgage bi-weekly. Making 26 payments per year instead of 12 can save a lot of money on interest and you’ll retire your mortgage earlier.

Consider alternative financing options.

One way to reduce your monthly housing costs is to consider alternative financing options such as seller financing, owner financing or rent-to-own agreements to avoid paying traditional mortgage interest rates and fees.

Seller financing involves the seller lending you money for your home purchase by accepting lower monthly payments over time. The seller retains ownership of the property until all loan payments have been made in full. Seller-financed loans typically require low credit scores, making them an attractive option for many potential homeowners who may not qualify for a traditional loan due to their credit history.

Next, let’s look at ways your home can be an investment. How can it help you make money?

Find a roommate.

A popular recommendation for those wanting to know how to reduce housing costs is to find a roommate. Once you’ve decided that this is the best option for you, here are some tips for finding one:

  • Look for someone who has similar interests and lifestyle preferences as you do. You’ll be living with them, so it’s better if they share your interests! 
  • Make sure your rent to someone reliable. You want them to pay their rent on time and not cause problems in the house! Make sure you meet their references.
man standing in front of house holding boxes with sign advertising roommate wanted

Convert a room in your home into an income suite or rent out your unfinished basement.

Consider turning a guest bedroom and bath or extra space in the basement into an income suite to rent out and help offset housing costs. You could be a landlord or a short-term rental host. Weigh the pros and cons to determine if this is the right solution for you.

Pros of renting out a room in your house:

  • Easy way to generate extra income if you don’t need to make additional renovations or changes to your home to accommodate.
  • Gives you company if you live alone.
  • Possibly get help with chores around the house.

Cons of renting a room in your house:

  • Potential for conflict if there are shared spaces such as bathrooms and kitchens.
  • May require some time-consuming paperwork and additional responsibilities.
  • Risk of damage and additional costs for repairs.

Sell your house and buy another one to save money.


If you’re paying a lot of money to live in a big house, downsizing may be the answer how to reduce housing costs. You can probably find a smaller place and save a lot of money each month by making the switch.

A smaller house typically means lower homeowner’s insurance, property taxes, utility, and maintenance expenses. Homeowners who buy homes smaller than what they are used to generally discover paying smaller bills more than makes up for the lack of space.

Plus, you might be able to sell some of the extra stuff that won’t fit into your smaller home to offset your moving expenses.

Get Tips on Downsizing your Home for Retirement here.

Move closer to work or to a cheaper neighbourhood.

When you sell your house and move to a cheaper neighbourhood, it can be a great way to reduce housing costs. Moving just outside the city can result in significant savings on property taxes. Making a bigger move to a city with a lower cost of living could mean more life for less money.

Moving somewhere closer to work can also save considerable money on commuting costs such as gas and wear and tear on your car. It may even affect expenses like after-school care if you can get home faster.

Rent instead of buying.

When considering how to reduce housing costs, selling your home and renting can be a good choice. If you don’t plan to stay in one area for long, moving expenses can stack up and you won’t see the long-term benefits of owning a home. 

Rent is typically less expensive than a mortgage and many of the extra expenses associated with home ownership like long-term maintenance and repairs and taxes. You also save on insurance and possibly even utilities. 

Now let’s consider both options: Selling your home and buying an investment property to make money.

Buy a multi-family home and live in one of the units. 

You may wish to consider buying a multi-family building like a duplex where you live in one of the units while renting the others to help offset costs. 

landlord passing keys to new tenant holding a lease agreement

Research different types of rental properties, including condos, townhouses and duplexes. Consider the size of the building and its location. Investigate all the expenses and responsibilities associated with being a landlord. The goal is to make more income than you will need to spend.

How to save money when selling and buying a home.

If you’re looking to lower your housing costs, selling your house and buying another one is one of the most direct options. And if your primary motivation for selling your home is to save money, you want your home sale to be as affordable as possible.

Sell Your House for Cash

Selling your home to a cash home buyer can be a great way to reduce costs. A cash sale allows flexible closing dates and you can sell your house fast. You don’t need to pay real estate agent fees or commissions, which can save thousands of dollars in the long run. 

It also means that there’s no need for cleaning or repairs on the home before showing it to potential buyers. Cash offers are hassle free when compared with other traditional sale methods such as an auction or listing on the market.


There are many things you can consider when trying to determine how to reduce housing costs. You can save money on basic expenses by making a few changes, refinancing, getting a roommate, downsizing and moving, or even renting.

The most important thing is to evaluate your situation and make sure that any decisions you make are good for your future financial security. If you need help doing this, talk with a financial advisor or someone who is educated about the subject matter.

Give MJS Properties a call. We’re here to help!