Should I rent or buy a home -the age old question. Some people like the “freedom” of renting, while some people like the security
Toronto is an expensive city to live in. It is notorious for its lack of affordable housing, and yet there is never a shortage of people who want to live here.
What continues to drive housing costs up is basic supply and demand. Toronto is currently experiencing a high demand for housing, and available units disappear quickly as prices continue to climb. This year, housing prices in the city saw their biggest year-on-year gain, clocking in at just over 7.3 percent.
For some, these prices limit how close they can live to the city centre where they work, at least not on their own. Lately, we are seeing a new trend emerge as many Torontonians get creative with their housing options.
Shared Homeownership? Why Not
For some aspiring homeowners, the solution is to share. The most common example of this is sharing your home with a roommate – or several.
Shared living space is no longer just a university student’s milieu; these days, mature adults are also relying on the roommate model to make housing more reasonable. There is no shortage of people looking to share, either. Facebook, Kijiji, and Craigslist are filled with them. In addition, there are verified sites, like Apartmate and TorontoRoommates.ca, that specialize in connecting prospective roommates with homeowners in Toronto.
Pooling Resources Makes Homeownership Possible
Taking the roommate scenario a step further, some people are electing to purchase homes with their friends, a trend known as ‘co-buying.’
Co-buying happens when two parties come together to invest in a property. A couple and one of their friends did just that, co-buying a three-bedroom house in the heart of Little Italy for $1.1 million.
There are lots of benefits to living this way. They have the advantage of living in a great house in a trendy neighbourhood that they would not have been able to afford on their own, and it’s working out just fine.
Making It Work: Home Edition
The key to a shared housing arrangement like this is to consider it a business partnership. While being friends great, your housing situation shouldn’t rely on goodwill.
Draw up a joint venture agreement and spell out all the financial details on paper before making a commitment. Anticipate the unexpected. Like any good relationship, co-buying a home is all about communication. Make sure everyone involved knows the rules and expectations beforehand, so there are no surprises.
A Word About Expectations
If you’re having trouble finding a house you can afford in Toronto, and you don’t know anyone you want to co-own with, another approach might be to lower your standards a little.
Reprioritize your wish list and keep an open mind. You might have to compromise on square footage, location, and certain amenities, but keep in mind that whatever you buy, you don’t have to live there forever. Getting a foothold into the Toronto housing market, even if it’s a small one, is a great way to get started.
Ultimately, owning a home in Toronto is expensive, but if you love it here, there’s no place you’d rather be. If you consider alternatives such as co-ownership and think outside the box, you might just find that hidden gem you’ve been looking for.
If you’re looking for a place to call home in Toronto, the One Percent Guys are here to help. Reach out today to learn more about what we can do for you.