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yer
Stop the Alberta Taliban
05:10 PM on 11/21/2012
The thing is that a condo is not a house. You pay a monthly administration fee and eventually you realize you're paying rent again on your own home. All three friends of mine who got a condo sold them. Two got a house and the third went back to renting. They're happy since their timing was good to get out of the current market.

Think as well of all the stupid condo buildings in the downtown not built for families and you don't have a future house unless you're willing to travel.

Thankfully there are enough houses around the downtown to not hollow out the city, but the condo towers aren't helping and will eventually overtake the city. This will cripple what remaining services that are left since transit hasn't been built to handle the increases.

St Lawrence Market style size development in Toronto was fine, and about the upper limit to reach where it gives density without destroying the city. But 20 to 40 storeys elsewhere will blot out the sun and put too many people at one spot. Not enough amenity versus population. It's too much and it's just going to ruin the city

When no one can afford them maybe we'll tear them down? They can't all be hotels.
03:31 PM on 11/22/2012
With a condo you are even more answerable to the condo board than you ever were to an apartment landlord. At least the landlord had a profit incentive to keep you happy. Your condo board will be stocked with the most annoying and opinionated of your neighbours.

Then 5 years down the road some investors will build an even nicer building across the street with better amenities and will drive down the value of your condo in addition to ruining your view.

Someday all of these condos will end up as crappy apartments.
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carledgar
Eschew the passive voice in breaking news stories
04:25 PM on 11/21/2012
Here in eastern Ontario, in the country but close to lovely small towns, a decent house is only $140-$160K . . . a quite good house is $180 - 220 and at $250-$200K, you have a recently built executive home.

So, the equationis radically different than if one were paying city prices
yer
Stop the Alberta Taliban
05:05 PM on 11/21/2012
I wonder about the future of our smaller towns. I don't drive. Don't even have a license. And I've lived in international cities as well. The lack of car ownership is another related topic. I walk to work, get food, or go out. I take transit when I want to not because I have to. People of mixed ages live around me. If a town is to become attractive to people like me they need to get transit, as in a streetcar and not just buses and most definitely not nothing.
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carledgar
Eschew the passive voice in breaking news stories
05:59 PM on 11/21/2012
I agree - but my nearest town is too small to have transit. If you lived in it you'd have a maximum 400-600 yards to walk anywhere necessary - once you get to the downtown supermarket you're ionly say 100-250 yeards from anywhere (various pubs, library, book shops etc)
fisch123
Stuck in pending.
02:16 PM on 11/22/2012
"as in a streetcar and not just buses"

What the advantage of a streetcar over a bus?
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GeoToronto
Nik Nak Paddy Wak, Still Ridin' Caddy-Laks
04:18 PM on 11/21/2012
When I got marries we couldn`t afford to live at mid town Toronto, so we moved to Markham.
Stop whining and move to Pickering.
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cameron d
Good Guys Win
07:56 PM on 11/21/2012
Gross. Pass. I`d rent in a place I want to live before settling.
04:18 PM on 11/21/2012
I'm a single Generation X'er living in Vancouver. Home ownership is not just a dream, it's an impossible dream.

The next generation (Z?) will never be able to afford to buy a home. Then what?
04:39 PM on 11/21/2012
Relax!!! It's going to be an inter-generational gong show in just a few short years. With boomers retiring and looking to downsize and with scores of Gen X, Gen Y, and millenials now renting, it's going to be a buyers market. Many boomers are counting on the income from their homes for retirement, but when they all flood the market at the same time, it's going to be awesome : )
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dread
05:04 PM on 11/21/2012
Then what? It's called supply and demand. When the generation Y quit buying houses that they can't afford and generation (Z?) don't buy homes, the prices of existing homes will have to drop to affordable prices.
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valar84
03:23 PM on 11/21/2012
Buying a home is really settling down somewhere. You're suddenly stuck with a 20-25-year contract on a home that you will have to pay for. That's an amazing engagement, considering the "flexibility" (aka precariousness) of the job market. That's fine if you get yourself a good safe job that you expect to keep for decades, but for everyone else?

Again, this is the work of economic efficiency by precariousness. People who don't know if they'll have the same job in 5 year, or even next year, cannot sign a contract binding them to 25 years of mortgage payments. Maybe if some kind of flexible mortgage was invented whereas you could simply resell your mortgage to your bank, keeping the part of it that you had paid for, any time you wanted, buying homes would fit more in modern lives.

Plus I think Gen Y is also taking more time to marry, and this is further delaying buying a house. You don't buy a house if you're not in a couple with someone with whom you expect to spend most of your life, if not all of it.
02:49 PM on 11/21/2012
Lack of affordable housing in Canada isn't an accident. It's deliberate corporate and government policy. Along with huge student debt loads, dearth of affordable apartments to rent let alone a house to purchase, keep the work force obedient and submissive, scared to move, scared to change jobs, for fear of becoming homeless.
That fear makes workers compliant wage slaves.
Furthermore, Canada is the only industrialized country in the world without a national housing program. Various factors are at work to make building low income housing unprofitable for developers. That's the way the economy functions to make the rich independent and the rest dependent on the whims of local landlords or huge real estate owners with offices thousands of miles away.
05:00 PM on 11/21/2012
Well said! F&F
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cameron d
Good Guys Win
02:34 PM on 11/21/2012
The way I see it is this, houses in my neighbourhood (Roncesvalles/High Park, Toronto) routinely sell for $700,000 to $1,000,000. I can't afford that. I'll never afford that. Now I could conceivably purchase a home in another area of the city for less money - but I don't want to live there.

But renting in this very beautiful neighbourhood that has all of the amenities I could ever hope for, including 24hr transit, is incredibly reasonable.

Why would I not just continue to rent, invest savings in a diversified portfolio and continue to not have to pay property taxes or for repairs and still get to live in one of the best areas in all of Canada?

I don't understand this whole desire to own. What's the big deal?
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04:36 AM on 11/22/2012
My brother and his wife live in Berlin, where most people with good jobs rent. There is no stigma attached to this at all. Fact is that home ownership in Germany is less than 40%.
fisch123
Stuck in pending.
02:20 PM on 11/22/2012
"continue to not have to pay property taxes or for repairs"

you pay for those with your rent.
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cameron d
Good Guys Win
04:59 PM on 11/22/2012
But I don't pay a mortgage, for repairs, or for the people who take care of my gardens/lawn or snow in the winter.

What I do have is money for investments and the ability to live in one of the nicest places in all of Canada.
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Warren Yuill
Jesus Built My Hot-Rod
02:22 PM on 11/21/2012
Most people I know bought their first house in their mid thirties.
About the same time they got married.
Or a few years after.
I think thats just how it goes with most people.
Get married.
Buy a house.
Start a family.
I think all this talk about all the pressure thats been placed on the Y's is just putting a lot of pressure on the Y's.
Relax and enjoy your youth and carefree days.
Cause when you get married and buy a house and start a family...
That s**t is over.
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cameron d
Good Guys Win
02:39 PM on 11/21/2012
Boy, really making me want to get married and buy a house now.
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Warren Yuill
Jesus Built My Hot-Rod
02:45 PM on 11/21/2012
thats the thing.when you 'do' do it.you'll be ready
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littlestar
What is life without dessert?
02:48 PM on 11/21/2012
Warren, for once I agree with you ;). I'm a Gen Y'er and these articles the past few days about being a Gen Y'er are frankly quite depressing.
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Warren Yuill
Jesus Built My Hot-Rod
02:54 PM on 11/21/2012
Not to disparage the whole marriage thing cause when you find the right person you'll be glad to have waited.I don't think the next generation are at risk.I think they'll find their way through this world and make good lives for themselves just like their parants and grandparents did.Different but good.
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08:39 AM on 11/22/2012
awww !!!!
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HopperRox
Going bankrupt for Safety & Security!
02:14 PM on 11/21/2012
Over all wages for many people have stagnated over the last 30yrs or are declining. How have prices for goods, food and houses been over the same 30 yrs? If the pressure is to move out jobs and keep wages, benefits as cheap as possible; while banks want to inflate housing prices for the largest mortgages possible, something has to give. Housing prices either come down with wages or they become unaffordable to the what's left of the average Canadian. A cop married to another cop......those are people with incomes to buy the big houses and rent out another to some kid making $10/hr at a McJob. Government or bust these days!
01:34 PM on 11/21/2012
IMO, buying a house is the best and safest long-term investment out there.
01:56 PM on 11/21/2012
Try telling that to all those that were foreclosed on.
02:51 PM on 11/21/2012
Right.

The risk of foreclosure should stop all home-buying immediately. The govt should pass a law making the purchase of a home illegal.
This comment has been removed.
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Tiger of BC
12:56 PM on 11/21/2012
I own a rental property, and let me tell you - *every single dime* that I spend on it, is actually paid for entirely by my tenant.

its a free investment, at this point.

So, IMHO - renting is like treading water - you may not die, but you certainly aren't going anywhere.
01:16 PM on 11/21/2012
Yeah, we know.
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GoldDustDreams
12:56 PM on 11/21/2012
Just a side note but as someone from Toronto, I can't imagine what kind of downtown view ("overlooking the city lights") this guy has if he lives on Yonge & Bloor. I lived in several condos there for a loooong time and only moved recently. The northern view was always of Holt Renfrew or another condo building and the southern view is basically completely obstructed at this point. Haha yes, THAT is what struck me most in this article.
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cameron d
Good Guys Win
02:23 PM on 11/21/2012
I was thinking that too. Also, not really a view I'd want. All of those places in that location look the same too. Pretty dull area if you ask me.
12:05 PM on 11/21/2012
It's basic arithmetic.

The first thing to get straight is that the interest portion of your mortgage payment is RENT. Your landlord is the bank. At this point a similar sized dwelling may well be had in your market for LESS than what you'd pay for interest.

The capital portion of your mortgage payment is KINDOF savings. Only once you have paid off your land transfer tax and the future real-estate commission at sale time. Until then it too is RENT. If your home is depreciating in value faster than you are paying down capital then everything is rent until you are above water again.

Maintenance costs on a home are RENT too. Renovations that you like but that add less value to the home than they cost are just improvements, not investments.

I own my home in Ottawa. In a market that seems to be in slight decline. I'm under no illusions that it was a good investment at this point. I don't think it would be possible to rent something as nice as we have though and don't truly regret the decision but in no way do I think it was fiscally prudent to buy 2 years ago. If we were to leave Ottawa today and sell using a real-estate agent, the only question is how much cash we would have to add in to the deal to break even.
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Poster999
A promise made is a debt unpaid.
06:12 PM on 11/21/2012
All good points. I think you mentioned property taxes but depending on where you live they can be brutal and for what it's worth I sold one house at a loss and one at a profit so I've been on both sides of the equation.
03:17 PM on 11/22/2012
Yea property tax definitly qualifies as rent. Right along with condo fees.. but don't get me started on condos!

I own because I got sick and tired of living in deferred maintenance plan rental properties. I KNOW that it is costing me more to own than it did to rent, nearly double and I live in the same neighbourhood. Rent was ridiculously cheap but the house hadn't been updated in decades.

I don't consider my home to be an investment, I simply hope to break even on it over time. Just had the roof redone, that sets back the return on investment clock too.
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PiperSniper
11:28 AM on 11/21/2012
I know of at least 4 early 20s that have recently bought homes ... I was almost 40 ... so there ya go
01:18 PM on 11/21/2012
Your anecdotal evidence doesn't really buck the statistics though. Also, what did these young people pay for their homes, and is that sustainable?
01:23 PM on 11/21/2012
And which parent gave them a hefty down payment for that purchase?
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PiperSniper
01:28 PM on 11/21/2012
Not one ... hard work ... tradespeople not uni students
11:15 AM on 11/21/2012
He's 23 right? So how much debt would be appropriate for a kid?

When he has a family and 2-3 kids, he may want to own something.
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Rhiness
01:15 PM on 11/21/2012
How much debt is appropriate for a geezer? You are over 25 right?