My Reasoning for Buying a House

I’m writing this post while getting ready to pick up my HB from the airport in just a few hours. He actually really scared me by texting me at 9 a.m.

Saying that he was at the airport already. Luckily, he followed up with “in Vancouver” and not Toronto, because I was seriously two seconds away from running out the door in my pajamas and into a cab!

It has been a crazy week. So crazy that I obviously haven’t been able to keep up with my regular blog schedule of Monday, Wednesday, Friday. And I honestly don’t know if I ever will perfect that schedule. But to be fair, I have kept up the schedule to the best of my abilities for almost 3 years. Wow, I can’t believe I’m only a few weeks away from my 3rd biodiversity. Time sure flies!

So, as I mentioned in Monday’s post, me and the HB are going to start our journey of buying a house. Thank you so much for all of your comments about it! It was great hearing all of your different perspectives on the subject. One comment that really stuck in my mind highlighted the risks involved, especially when owning a rental suite within the property. Risk is definitely something I’m fully aware of.

It would be so much easier to just continue renting and just having to call the rental company when there was a problem. I mean, it’s way cheaper than having a mortgage and having to pay for house repairs and property taxes out of my own pocket. But we have enough for a substantial downpayment now, and I’m sick of living in a place that’s mine but not really mine.

Well, that and I really do see homeownership as a type of Longterm investment. I’m not naive in thinking that once we buy a place it’ll just be sunshine and rainbows. We still want to stay pretty conservative with our budget, and I know that means we’ll be buying a house that needs a bit of work on it. Houses in Toronto are old, and the ones that we can afford look old on the outside and the inside.

I’d love to be able to afford a fully renovated house, but for right now, I’m actually excited to get a bit handy. Plus, if buying a house that needs work means whatever we put into it will help raise its value, then all the better reason to find a house we can improve upon.

I remember when my parents bought our family’s first house. It was a tiny rancher where my sisters and I grew up. It was so cute, all one level, and it had a huge backyard I used to call the park. They bought it in the 80s for about $90,000, and man did it need some work.

There was water damage in the bathroom, so they had to gut the whole thing. They needed to replace the entire roof and rip out all of the carpets. And the amount of time they had to spend to maintain our front and backyards is still crazy to me.

But they held onto that house for over ten years, and it went up in value by $100,000. After that, we moved on up to a bigger house for about $350,000 in 1999, and they still live there today. At the time, I remember they were worried that the price tag for the house was just too much.

There were older houses going for less, but they didn’t want to have to do any major renovations in their new house. They bought well because after 15 years their current house has more than doubled in value, and the only things they’ve had to repair (to my knowledge anyway) are the two upstairs bathrooms and they had to replace the water heater.

Now, I’m not expecting the same thing to happen for me, however if we can find a house in an up-and-coming Toronto neighborhood, I know in 10 or 20 years it will greatly increase in value. They’re saying that the population in Toronto is going to increase to 3.1 million people by 2036 (we’re currently sitting at 2.5 million), so I know buying right now when we can afford it is a good idea.

But I also know a number of things will come up, and we’re prepared for those things. We’re not plunking down our life savings into our downpayment, we’ve set aside some money for the unexpected as well.

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