HOW CAN ANYONE AFFORD TO BUY A HOUSE IN TORONTO TODAY?
The media’s asking it — and, more significantly, everyone around the dinner table, too.
Then come the follow-up questions from prospective buyers, progressively incredulous as they get to be despondent.
HOW DO TWO FORTYSOMETHING SCHOOLTEACHERS MANAGE TO LIVE IN RIVERDALE?!
WHY IS A 25-YEAR-OLD ABLE TO BUY MILLION DOLLAR HOME IN WEST QUEEN WEST, BUT I CAN’T?!?!
WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND INFLATED THE MARKET BY OFFERING 70% OVER ASKING FOR THAT BUNGALOW UP THE STREET?!?!?!
YOU’VE GOTTA MAKE $200K IN ORDER TO PURCHASE ANYTHING!! FAT CHANCE I EVER WILL!!!
I WILL NEVER OWN A HOUSE AT THIS RATE, IT’S NOT FAIR!!!!
I’m not trying to fan the flames here, or in any way condescend those facing this predicament.
Quite the contrary, actually.
My support goes out to anyone this blistering market has so far denied the natural next step of home ownership. Believe me, I’ve represented a lot of these exasperated buyers, and it’s rough out there. No doubt about it.
But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t find some of the public outcry a little shortsighted, as well as counterproductive.
And truth be told, I’d rather help my clients understand what they must to do to come out on top, rather than reflexively moan about the world not being fair.
To do that, I like to encourage them to consider all the different methods people afford real estate in Toronto these days.
I mean, look at smart early investors, who made good money despite really being poor in actuality, built up amazing credit, then got promptly involved with inexpensive investment properties.
When he was in his early 20’s, one such client of mine bought a cheap townhouse in Guelph. He proceeded to sell the unit for a substantially higher amount before he turned 30, providing him enough cash to put a good chunk on a downpayment for a house in Toronto.
Buyers like this are working their way up the property ladder over time. In other words, they don’t expect Rome to be built in a day.
Or how about those savvy savers out there who refuse to fritter away their funds on costly wines, or splurge on exorbitant weekend dinners, hit every concert that comes to town and take annual vacations? They live in low-cost rentals, or even in their parent’s basements while they accumulate a nest egg.
When the moment is finally upon them, they proceed to buy at really good prices, typically in areas which haven’t yet become gentrified.
Again, there is a long-term strategy at play for these buyers — and it doesn’t entail crying woe is me once prices skyrocket and they find themselves insufficiently prepared.
Furthermore, consider the sacrifices made by double income, no kid couples. Or the people who bought a house for $30K a zillion years ago, then finally list it and use proceeds from the sale.
Or, what about the increasing role of parental gifts and guarantors — a phenomenon characterized in modern times as the ‘bank of mom and dad’? Earlier this year, an HSBC survey estimated 37% of young homeowners have no recourse but to make withdrawals from said ‘bank’.
I guess my point is that you don’t have to be rich to buy a house in Toronto.
I repeat: YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE RICH TO BUY A HOUSE IN TORONTO!!
You also don’t need to accuse the market of conspiring against you when things don’t go your way.
Of course, I mean that as politely as possible. But I remain quite firm.
While your current income, wealth and financial standing is important, they alone do not dictate the outcome of you landing a house in Toronto.
Instead, you must also plan ahead, live in a fiscally responsible manner, make prudent economic decisions that could take years to pay dividends, potentially rely on family and follow the examples carved out by successful buyers before you.
Look, nobody said it was going to be easy. But believe me, everyone will tell you it’s worth it.