I've been waffling about the idea of moving to a new condo for about a year. On one hand, I love my small home and the low cost of ownership that goes with it. It allows me to save, to travel, to treat myself to fun new things, and to basically not worry about money. Not to mention- less to clean! But more and more I have been wondering if the time is coming to move. I've been here four wonderful years, but I am not the same 23 year old who moved in here with only two camping chairs and an air mattress. Maybe it is time.
Recently I started crunching the numbers- calculating my net worth, my accessible cash (I will not have the option to access my RRSP this time), my equity in this condo, and my monthly expenses. I was surprised to learn that a bigger place might actually be an option for me! I have enough saved up that even after the "costs" to selling, I might even be able to have a mortgage pretty close to what I originally took out for this condo, yet have a bigger place! hmmm....
I have been floating this idea around with friends and family and a lot of people ask if I am buying a house. Nope. Houses in Toronto are double (minimum!) what I can possibly afford on my income and I have no desire to move to the suburbs at this point in my life. Even if I wanted to, the houses out there are STILL tight to afford on a single income. People have also asked if I plan on moving to the subway line. Probably not. I would love to, but basically I would be buying another bachelor with my budget if I wanted subway access.
So I think I may creep a bit more towards the downtown core, but overall a streetcar line neighbourhood is more affordable to me. I also intend to get a real bedroom; No lofts or anything like that (even though I love the look of a loft!). PS- I hate how MLS doesn't let you search for homes with zero bedrooms. I want to see my comparables without a bunch of 1 bedrooms muddled in! My list for a new place is basically:
- 1 bedroom
- Good layout (seriously...some of these places I've seen...)
- Newer building
- Amenities or close to a gym (I don't need a pool)
- Somewhat private windows
- Near TTC stop
- Washer/dryer (shouldn't be an issue in a new build)
- Closer to shops and restaurants
Right now I am working to save more and checking MLS for what is available in my price range to get an idea of where I will end up price-wise. I am contemplating maybe another year here? It is tough because I know my area is growing fast and property prices might skyrocket in 2-3 years, but I am not sure I want to be entering my 30s in a bachelor condo... I need a grown up place. No offense to any 30 year olds in bachelors, though! I bet if I lived in New York this condo would be a palace :) However, you can't hold out forever for a "maybe" and there is no guarantee where prices will go.
Oh, and I think I would go for a 30 year mortgage (not get bit by the CMHC again) so I would need 20% down- hence the saving for a bit longer. Plus, it really is smart to put down as much as possible to save on interest. Right now I have a 35 year mortgage and I love the flexibility the low monthly payments has offered me. Right now I only have 15 years left on it so I have clearly been taking advantage of extra payments when my wallet allows!
There you are- my plans for the next year or so. It will definitely change where I focus my money on upgrades in the condo, but we shall see where I end up! I am constantly changing my mind!!