If you’ve been following me on Twitter, then you may have seen me hinting at some big news. Some people thought it was the announcement of my Millennial Money Meetup (which sold out in only two weeks!), but that actually wasn’t it at all.
I’ve been holding out on you big-time guys…I bought a place! And I even made my first ever YouTube vlog to share how it all went down. Make sure to subscribe to my channel, I’ve got some great videos in-store all about personal finance and being a new homeowner!
My First Ever Vlog!
Just like I mentioned in the video, it all went down incredibly quickly. My husband and I started talking about house hunting again seriously in late June. We thought we’d start checking out some places casually in July just to see what was out there. Neither of us thought we’d actually find something we’d end up purchasing on our first outing with our realtor.
Then again, from our past house hunting experience, we knew that if we found a place that ticked off all of our boxes and was within our budget, we needed to act fast. Places like the one we got do not come around often, and I am seriously so thrilled we’re living in this place!
What Kind of Place Did We Buy?
An important thing I didn’t mention in my vlog was what type of place we bought. We ended up buying a two-story stacked townhouse in Toronto’s west end. It’s stacked because there is another unit above ours, but we’ve been here just over a week now and so far we haven’t really heard them. No crying babies or loud kids thank god!
What’s even better about this place is the location. When we went to some open houses in early July it seemed like all the available townhouses were either right downtown or further north of the city. We’ve been living in Toronto’s west end for over 3 years and we really wanted to stay in our neighbourhood. It’s home to us, plus it’s really close to the subway line.
I don’t know how we lucked out, but we found a townhouse that’s maybe a 15-minute walk from our old apartment. It’s also really close to the subway line, and because we no longer have to wait for the elevator to descend 16 floors, my commute to work hasn’t changed at all! Who knew I was wasting so much of my life waiting for that damn elevator?
So How Much Did It Cost?
I know, it’s nice and all that I bought a place, but you’re wondering what the numbers are, right? I’m not gonna reveal the exact number (just because I’m a bit paranoid someone will be able to use that info to find out where I live!), but we ended up putting 25% down on a place in the mid-450s.
That may sound like a lot of money to you depending on where you live and what the housing market is like there, but honestly, we got a deal. If you want to buy a condo or townhouse with 2-bedrooms in Toronto, you’ll be hard pressed to find something below $500,000. So when we saw this place, we almost couldn’t believe it. The building itself is only 12 years old, it’s in a great location…but I guess some people may consider this an “up and coming” neighbourhood.
To us, it’s no big deal since we’re familiar with the neighbourhood. But let’s just say, it’s not like some of the suburb-in-the-city townhouses we looked at north of the city. I like a lot of graffiti anyway. Adds some spice to the city.
How Could We Afford to Put 25% Down?
Now, this is a bit of a tricky subject. I understand most people can’t afford to put such a big chunk of change down on a place, and as much as I’d like to say that it’s because we’ve been diligently saving up for this…that’s not entirely true. We have definitely been living on a budget and saving up as much as we could these past few years, but we did get some help.
Several years ago, a close family member of my husband’s passed away and left him an inheritance. At the time, we were still dating and living in Vancouver, and we didn’t know what the next few years were going to look like. So, my husband put that money into some investments, some squared away for his retirement, and some for a possible down-payment fund. That money grew a bit over the years and helped us big time when it came to putting down a sizeable down payment.
Why Did We Want to Put So Much Money Down?
When we were arranging things with our financial advisor, he was almost angry that we decided to put so much down. He told us debt was cheap, so why wouldn’t we just put 10% down and invest the rest?
Well, it honestly comes to our personal comfort level. We didn’t want a big mortgage. We both hate debt, and we want to be able to pay off our mortgage as soon as we can. Also, we didn’t want to be tied down to huge mortgage payments. Because we put so much money down, our mortgage payments are the same amount as our rent payments. Since my husband is a freelancer with an income that fluctuates, this gives us both some much-needed peace of mind.
This whole home-buying process has been incredibly stressful and crazy. But it’s also been super exciting, and man are we learning a ton! Because we’re learning so much already, I can’t wait to share my experience with you. Watch out for a ton of blog posts and vlogs full of tips and tricks that I’ll be learning along the way.
So make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel, leave me some comments, and let me know what you think!