What are all the single, independent, strong and driven ladies up to? They're buying Real Estate, of course!
“The most dangerous woman of all, is the one who refuses to rely on the sword of a man to save her because she carries her own...”
The statistics show that single women make up one of the fastest growing segments of Toronto’s real estate market – and based on how many single women Buyers we help, I’m not surprised. Today, I offer my advice to solo women Buyers:
Don’t be afraid of home ownership.
True, it’s cheaper to buy a condo than a house, but you can always offset the price difference by buying a house with a rental apartment. If the maintenance of owning a house intimidates you, you’re in good company: plenty of men and couples are afraid of mowing the lawn and dealing with a leaky basement too. The good news: help is just a phone call away and there are plenty of resources to help you deal with the quirkiness of old Toronto houses. Just make sure you have available cash to deal with emergency repairs. And remember: townhouses make a great compromise – the feel of a house without all the maintenance and risk.
Don't worry about what to do ‘When you meet HIM".
It was one of my biggest set backs before purchasing a condo that I would meet the man of my dreams and then he wouldn't want to live in my tiny condo. But then as I got older, I realized that purchasing a condo at an early age, single and employed, was one of the best financial decisions I’ve ever made. Of course, if you do fall in love, there are plenty of options: 1. He moves in with you (and don’t worry, that doesn’t mean he gets half your home); 2. Rent it out and enjoy rental income while your property increases in value; or 3. Sell it and buy a new home together. Some of the best non-real estate advice I ever got when I was in my twenties was to make a list of what I expected my life to be like if I found the man of my dreams – and to get out there and get all that for myself.
Don’t spend as much as the bank is willing to give you.
Of course, you want a nice home, but pouring all your money into a place to live won’t give you the flexibility to live that luxurious spontaneous life that all us married people think you’re having.
Involve your mom and girlfriends and make it an experience to remember.
You don’t have to make this decision on your own – involve friends and family to make sure you make the right decision. I have helped a lot of single women find homes and having the opinion of someone who knows you and your lifestyle can be reassuring.
Only get a second bedroom if you really plan on using it.
I’ve met single Buyers who are searching for a second bedroom in case the baby dream came to life along with the dreamed of husband. Recognize that you’re likely paying more than $200 a month for that second bedroom. If you do buy a two bedroom condo, put it to good use: a home office, yoga room or space for your suburban friends to crash on the weekends. Of course, you can always consider a roommate and pay off your mortgage faster with their rent!
Location, location, location.
I’ll never forget the single man I met who was living in a small community outside of Toronto. Sure, it was affordable, but it was about the worst place in the world to meet a mate. He was spending thousands a year on taxis to and from the city and he was miserable. What was he thinking? Where you choose to live impacts the kind of life you’ll have.
Safety and security.
It's so important to feel safe and comfortable in your own own and neighbourhood. I love walking in the evening during summer and that is a huge selling point for me. Before you agree to buy a house or condo, make sure to walk around the neighbourhood during the day AND at night. Consider the security features (security system, concierge, attached neighbours, etc.) and decide what’s right for you. If you aren’t comfortable on the main floor of a condo, focus on upper units.
There’s no doubt that buying a home on one income is harder – you’re paying the whole mortgage, all the closing costs, all the maintenance costs, etc. But the good news is that you also get to keep the whole profit when you sell! Make sure you have a decent downpayment and plenty of emergency cash.