Author Topic: Opinions on Where to Buy a Home/Condo in Greater Toronto Area for $350 K or Less  (Read 539 times)

Trevor

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Hey all! Looking for your opinions!

I'm a first time home buyer and currently work in Oakville. I want to be reasonably close to Oakville as a result.

My main question is this: Would you buy something smaller (condo, townhouse, or house) and live closer to work or would you live a little further away (say Hamilton area) and get a larger place that costs a little less? Hamilton to Oakville is roughly 30-40 minutes or so, and that's a commute I can live with.

More details below:
  • $140 000 down payment
  • Maximum price willing to pay: $350 000
  • I'm on contract for work; possible I may have to find a job elsewhere in the Toronto or Greater Toronto Area
  • Prefer 2-3 bedrooms
  • Would rent out the basement if possible

Shinplaster

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Have you actually looked at listings in the area?  You will be hard pressed to find a house, or even a townhouse for that price anywhere in Oakville or Burlington.  If you want to be close to work, it would most likely be a condo apartment.  If you are set on a house, the decision as to where would be made on availability of something suitable.  If you are leaning toward a condo apartment, why not Mississauga?  If you have to look for work in Toronto in the future, it would give you more commuting options.

Have you done the drive from Hamilton to Oakville during rush hour?  The 403 is not a highway I would ever choose to be on at those times. If you can shift your commute times, then Hamilton might be an option.  Prices have been rocketing up there also for the past couple of years, so your options still might be limited.
When life closes a door, open it again. It's a door. That's how they work.

Trevor

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Yes, I've looked. You're right, I can only find a condo in the Oakville or Burlington area, but I don't like those condo fees. So I think right now, I'm leaning towards buying a house in Hamilton.

I'm familiar with most of the 400 series highways and their long commute times. I know, not pretty. On the QEW, I know lots of people that say it's roughly 30 to 45 minutes during rush hour (Hamilton to Oakville).

Thanks for the response though. Appreciate it.

Freedomin5

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The good thing about buying in Hamilton is that you can rent the basement to McMaster students if you buy within walking distance from the university.

terran

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For what it's worth, MMM wrote a post that used Toronto as THE case study on renting instead of buying: https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2015/07/27/rent-vs-buy/. Some places it makes sense to rent, others to buy, others it's a wash. From my understanding Toronto is one of the places that's more heavily weighted towards renting being a better financial move, so it would seem choosing to buy must be based on a quite strong lifestyle preference to buy, while realizing you're making a consumption decision (not an investment in lower future housing costs).