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At some point during the home buying process, every Buyer is faced with an important reality: in Toronto’s real estate market, compromise is a necessity. It doesn’t matter if you’ve scraped up your loonies and have a $275,000 budget or if you’re buying a $2 million condo – very rarely does anybody truly get everything they want. As a home Buyer, you’re at the mercy of what’s available on the market at a given time, competition from other buyers and of course, your budget.
We find that most Buyers end up having to choose between the following:
Sure, you want to live in a great community, with nearby parks and shops, easy access to transit and in a neighbourhood that will appreciate in value faster than everywhere else, but you don’t generally find both. Transitional neighbourhoods have lower prices and tend to be lower on services and amenities (and sometimes safety), but if it’s already headed in the right direction, then property values are likely to increase faster than average. Established communities that offer great lifestyle choices are more expensive and tend to go up in value at an average rate.
Are you a granite and stainless steel loving Buyer? Or is an old kitchen with laminate counters OK? Style and luxury finishes come at a price (in fact at a price that’s often more than what you would pay to upgrade them). Many of today’s Buyers are prepared to pay more for the house they can just move into – what is style worth to you?
It comes as no surprise that as houses and condos get bigger, they cost more money. If you have a $450,000 budget, you can get a 1,000 sqft condo in one of Toronto’s older condo buildings, or you can get a 500 sqft at a swanky new luxury building. In the last 5 years, we’ve seen average condo sizes decrease, so older buildings generally have more sqft. Of course that probably comes with fewer amenities, less fancy finishes and higher maintenance fees.
Yes, you can get your dream location, style and size – IF you have an unlimited budget. Wouldn’t that be nice? (NB: if you have an unlimited budget, please call me 🙂 )
The good news is that as a Toronto Buyer, you won’t have to give on everything. We’ve found hundreds of Buyers homes they love: we’ve introduced people to new neighbourhoods, watched people downsize to live in a luxury building and watched budgets increase to support a more walkable lifestyle. While you don’t want to compromise on your biggest priorities, an open mind will go a long way to improving your home buying experience. What’s most important to you?