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Signs you aren't ready to own a Toronto houseEvery week, we meet condo owners who are thinking of making the leap to a house. But owning a house isn’t for everyone. Here are 5 signs you aren’t ready for a house:

  1. You don’t change the lightbulbs. I know, it seems like such a minor thing – but if you can’t be bothered to change your light bulbs in your condo, you probably aren’t going to be love getting your gutters cleaned, changing the filter on the furnace and dealing with the other dozens of things you’ll need to do with a house.
  2. You like shiny and new. Who doesn’t like shiny and new? The reality of the housing stock in Toronto is that most houses (at least downtown) are OLD. They were built for life in the 1900’s. The walls may be cracked, the basement is too low and the floors creak. Even in a fully renovated house, the bones are old – there’s no way around that.
  3. Your plants are dead. Houses come with yards that come with the need for yard work. Weeding, trimming trees, mowing the lawn and shovelling the snow are necessary evils of house ownership. Yes, you can outsource a lot of this (we’d know – we don’t have a green thumb), but the buck stops with you.
  4. You live pay cheque to pay cheque. Houses come with headaches – many of which you can’t predict. And a lot of them unsexy. Leaky basements, clogged toilets and broken furnaces are just the beginning. If you own a house in Toronto, you need a house emergency fund, and maybe a line of credit.  (see Top 10 Things about Old Toronto Houses)
  5. You get stressed out by the unknown. Even if you have the cash to deal with unsexy repairs and renovations, you need to be emotionally prepared to deal with it. Contractors don’t show up when they’re supposed to and everything costs more to fix than you expected.

Don’t get me wrong, I love living in my old 1887 Victorian house. But I’m one of the people who should live in a townhouse or condo. Thankfully I married someone who isn’t afraid of scary house stuff, and shields me from most of it. There’s no shame in admitting house ownership might not be for you.

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