Toronto is an expensive place to exist. Mostly due to rent and housing prices. You don't appreciate this sort of thing when you're in high school, or even when you're in college. I moved away for college, and I was shocked by rent costs in my GTA apartments. Living with roommates cost me over $400 a month.
Oh, but living with a roommate in actual Toronto was $675 a month. And then living alone was-- never mind. I once found a charming one-bedroom for $750 in the west end, a convenient two-minute walk on either end from halfway houses and a needle exchange. And I'm not being sarcastic calling this art deco place charming. It was an adorable nook of a place.
But I saw a filthy homeless ass, there were drug dealers lurking in the shadows, decrepit locals hanging outside of dingy bars, dog feces on the sidewalks and I felt very ill at ease being out past 10:00 p.m. It was the neighbourhood that was the problem, specifically the southeast end of Parkdale. Shortly before we moved out, a neighbour was shot in the leg with a shotgun. I never really regretted leaving. They say it's up-and-coming, and I'm sure it is. But I wasn't prepared to invest more of my time and sanity to wait it out.
The Dude and I fantasize about home ownership. First thing's first, of course: the wedding. We have a good handle on how we're going to pay for a decent one without going into debt. A home, though, is another beast entirely. Here we pay for rent and 1/3 of the gas and hydro bill. Home ownership means you pay 100% of all the utilities. Something breaks, it's your problem, so you need an emergency fund. You also need monies for property taxes.
And a nice Toronto home that's not soaked in cat urine or out in non-Toronto need-a-carland? Starting around $400,000 in neighbourhoods that aren't so great yet. Once they are great, toss on another 100 to 150 grand.
Condos then, yes? A two-bedroom not in a horrible area, you're looking at $250,000 minimum. But maybe only 700 square feet. And don't forget the condo fees. *Sigh*
On top of everything, the Dude is a freelancer. So only my income will really matter when pre-approving us for a mortgage, as I'm the one with the reliable job, 'cause that's how banks like to do things and they're the ones in charge.
There was a time a home cost a person a year's salary. Now they cost many, many year's salary. How is that reasonable? Well, I suppose I do get it. There's only so much land, and way more people than ever. Demand, demand, demand.
And this, my friends, is the sort of blog post you get when the writer can't fall asleep and watches a couple hours of Property Virgins on HGTV.