Homeownership has always been important to me, even at a young age. I spent my teens thinking about my future home and I spent my early 20s working towards it. I rationalized that I had to live somewhere. Why not pay myself rather than pay a landlord?
The details of the property didn't matter as much as having my name on the deed. For me this was the ultimate prize. I read books and magazines on the topic of mortgage rates and I followed the newest trends in design.
My plan was to live with my parents, work two jobs and save for a down-payment. In my free time I walked through open houses and combed MLS listings.
My future vision included hosting dinner parties, choosing paint colours and imagining a master ensuite. I was ready to be an adult. After years of extra shifts, non-existent weekends and few vacations, I found my dream home when I was 25-- a small townhouse in a community well east of Toronto.
I had that fabulous dinner party and chose designer colours but didn't bank on the major roof repair and increasing property taxes. My dream quickly met reality.
In between watching my savings dwindle and researching night courses in plumbing, sometimes I would ask myself, what was I thinking? I could free up this money to travel the world, get another degree or rent in the big city. After all, most of my friends were world travelers living interesting lives, was my decision the right one?
I spent five years in that house, and in a way, I grew into my adult self there. I learned slowly how to manage my finances, how to be accountable and self-sufficient. Every now and again I would complain about the sacrifices I had to make, such as living further away from my friends and commuting longer hours to work, but I never really regretted my decision.
About a year ago I decided to sell my townhouse and move to the city. I had built up some equity and could start my search for the elusive Toronto condo. I would return home on weekends discouraged by my real estate options. Condos were so small and so much money!
After multiple failed bids I took a step back to re-evaluate. Eventually, I landed in the Toronto real estate market with a condo that fit my needs. Despite a bidding war, I managed to go just above my budget.
In order to maximize the profit on my townhouse, I decided to sell privately. Even though I had a good friend who is a realtor (sorry Mike). With a "For Sale" sign from Staples and a balloon bouquet, Mom and I held an open house. Within four days I had an offer on the table and a good lawyer to hold my hand through the close. The real estate savings added to the affordability of my downtown purchase.
All I can say at this point is no regrets and the dream continues...
The Huffington Post Canada and Abacus Data surveyed 1,004 Canadian millennials from across the country on a variety of issues. Here's what we found:
We asked 1,004 Canadian millennials to rank the biggest challenges facing their generation.
2% rank the decriminalization of marijuana as No. 1 or 2.
5% of millennials rank internet regulation and online privacy as one of their top two issues.
7% rank bullying as the first or second biggest challenge.
8% of millennials rank retirement security No. 1 or 2.
11% of millennials say access to quality health care is one of the generation's top two challenges
20% of millennials rank pollution and environmental protection as No. 1 or 2 of the biggest challenges faced by this generation.
20% say affordable housing is in the top two.
24% of millennials peg the cost of education as their first or second choice for the generation's biggest challenge.
27% say the cost of food, gas and consumer goods are in the top two.
32% of millennials chose "student debt and personal debt" as the first or second biggest challenge.
We asked 1,004 millennials between the ages of 18-30 what it takes to be a good Canadian citizen.
15% of millennials say it takes being active in political parties...
28% of millennials say donating money to charity makes a good citizen..
35% of millennials say that being active in social organizations is important to citizenship..
63% of millennials say being informed about current events is important..
64% of millennials say being able to fluently speak one official language is important..
74% of millennials say a good citizen is someone who always votes in elections.
81% of millennials say good citizens honestly pay their taxes.
43% of millennials rank the availability of quality jobs as their first or second choice.
We asked 1,004 Canadian millennials what were their generation's biggest health challenges
3% say pollution
4% say sexually transmitted infections
7% say disease
11% say poor nutrition
16% say obesity
17% say addiction
19% say mental health
26% say lack of physical activity
Some views from 1,004 Canadian millennials on marriage and family..
18% of millennials are in a common law relationship
66% of millennials are single
15% of millennials are married
63% of unmarried millennials say <strong>yes</strong> 13% say <strong>no</strong> 24% say they are <strong>unsure</strong>
65% of <strong>unmarried women</strong> say <strong>yes</strong> 13% say <strong>no</strong> 22% say they are <strong>unsure</strong>
61% of <strong>unmarried men</strong> say <strong>yes</strong> 13% say <strong>no</strong> 26% say they are <strong>unsure</strong>
33% agree 67% disagree
12% of millennials surveyed have children 88% do not
64% of millennials say yes 12% say no 24% are unsure
Huffington Post Canada's series on millennials, Asking Y. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/news/generation-y" target=blank>Visit it here</a>.
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