There was a time when young professionals routinely became homeowners a few years into adulthood. Of course, things have changed. First-timers tend to be older than they once were, and (as a general rule) they’re buying less space.
In recent years, that’s meant an influx of Millennials buying condos. Even now, in the midst of a pandemic that has some buyers moving to the suburbs, purchasing a unit hold great appeal for many in their mid-20s through late 30s.
If you’re a Millennial interested in purchasing, check out our Toronto condo guide for tips on making your move possible…
If you aren’t in a position to buy quite yet, shoring up your resources is going to be the first step. Start with an honest assessment of your income and ongoing expenses (from car payments and student debt to your monthly phone bill).
Once you have a clearer picture of where your money goes, it’s time to cut back on spending where you can. Those extra expenses will include things like UberEats, online shopping, and gourmet grocery items.
Finally, set aside money every month for your condo deposit—and don’t touch it. One of the most effective ways to do this is by setting up a TFSA account. Consider having a certain amount from each paycheque deposited into it automatically.
Understand your finances
To determine your buying timeline, you’ll need to do some basic math. Start by getting a strong sense of how much you have to save. The first consideration? Your down payment.
At minimum (for a condo $500,000 or less), you’ll put down 5 per cent. Be aware that if you pay less than 20 per cent, you’ll also have to cover mortgage default insurance. Of course, there are other closing costs to consider (from legal fees to land transfer taxes) and they’ll typically tally around 1.5-4 per cent of your purchase price.
When you’re budgeting, keep in mind that experts recommend you spend no more than 30 per cent of your income on household expenses—including mortgage payments. Don’t forget maintenance fees! They vary considerably from one building to the next, so you’ll want to ask about them when you’re comparison shopping.
Know the market
Of course, the market is an important factor in any real estate purchase. To a certain extent, Millennials have been conditioned to be cautious in the face of economic challenges. That said, sometimes securing the right home comes down to seizing an opportunity!
At the time of writing, many condo owners are upsizing. Toronto’s newly-enacted short-term rental registry also has a number of Airbnb owners looking to sell. In other words, now might be the right time to find a great deal (if you feel ready to buy). Stay-up-to-date if you’re planning to purchase in the next couple of years, and keep an open mind.
Consider your lifestyle
If you’re looking for a condo, chances are good that you love city living. Of course, there are many factors you’ll want to consider when choosing a location. For example, the Distillery District, Yorkville, and Cabbagetown are all very different neighbourhoods—and they offer very different day-to-day experiences.
Do you drive or take public transit? How close do you need to be to grocery stores, retail, and other conveniences? There are all things worth considering.
Then there are features. Whether you’re most interested in high ceilings or hardwood floors, make a must-have list. Patios, in particular, are in high demand right now (given how many people are working from home but want to get outside).
When it comes to amenities, many Millennials appreciate things like shared green spaces, sustainable technology, and storage for bikes. For dog owners, a building that allows for lovable pooches (and provides the space they need to thrive) is also an important consideration.
Of course, it’s all a matter of preference—the important thing is to ensure your agent knows what matters most to you.
Lean on a professional
Last but not least, working with an experienced agent who understands the condo market is key. It should be someone with a strong track record of navigating the buying process and overcoming associated challenges.
No matter the generation you belong to, make sure you buy your next home with a qualified local professional. It could mean the difference between a purchase that exceeds your expectations—and one that leaves you with regrets.
When you’re ready to find the right place, we’re here to help. Reach out to learn how we can ensure that your transition is as smooth as possible.