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03/12 - Buying, Investing

Is a Toronto Home Possible with a $1M Budget?

Helping You In Toronto Real Estate

You’re determined to buy a home in Toronto with a million-dollar budget:

At Fox Marin Associates, we often receive the question: Can you buy a home in Toronto with a million-dollar budget?

The answer is complex, as it depends on several factors.

Firstly, finding a small starter home in an up-and-coming area such as Danforth East, Corso Italia, or Wallace Emerson within a million-dollar budget is possible. However, these properties may require repairs and renovations, adding additional costs. Generally, you’re looking at a small bungalow, a two-bedroom home or something that needs some elbow grease!

On the other hand, Toronto’s housing market is notorious for its supply issues and population growth, leading to continuously rising prices. Consequently, a million dollars may not get you too far in the city’s market, and you may need to compromise on the property’s location, size, or condition if you can find anything at all.

It’s worth noting that there have been 278 freehold sales under a million dollars in the Greater Toronto Area year-to-date (03-02-2023). But remember, once you cross the one-million-dollar threshold, your downpayment requirement goes up to 20%. So this means you’ll need at least $200,000 for a downpayment to purchase a one-million-dollar home.

While a 20% downpayment may seem daunting, it can significantly benefit the borrower. Just think about it! A larger downpayment can help reduce the overall interest cost of the loan, and lower monthly mortgage payments make lifestyle decisions easier. Furthermore, some lenders may offer a lower downpayment option for borrowers with excellent credit and a solid financial history.

So, how do people have a million-dollar budget for a Toronto home anyways?

Move-up buyers may have the financial resources to make a 20% downpayment on a million-dollar home in Toronto. These individuals or families generally sell their current condominium or house and use the sale’s equity to purchase a higher-value property. Additionally, some may have received financial assistance from family members to cover the downpayment and closing costs. Parents assisting with a downpayment is more common than you would think! We’ve seen many parents acquire a house in all cash for their children (we’re secretly envious, too, BTW)!

Suppose you’re determined to buy a home in Toronto with a million-dollar budget. In that case, working with a reputable real estate broker or team who can guide you through the process and help you find the right property within your budget is crucial.

It’s also important to have realistic expectations and be willing to compromise on location, size, or condition to find a property within your budget.

Buying a home in Toronto with a million-dollar budget may take some hustle and grind to find something beyond a “dilapidated shack,” considering the city’s current supply and demand challenges.

However, with realistic expectations, compromise, and an experienced real estate team on your side, you’ll undoubtedly find a property that fits your budget and needs (even if that means you start with a condo and move up the property ladder over time).

Heck, I lived in a house with five people and one washroom for years before I could start saving for my first condo! So, I know how far-fetched owning bricks & mortar feels when you’re just starting out!

Regardless of your situation or budget (or the lack of a wealthy Auntie May), it’s essential to keep an open mind, be creative with your strategy and explore various asset types to find your next Toronto property.

Kori Marin is a Toronto Broker & Managing Partner at Fox Marin Associates. For high-energy real estate aficionado Kori Marin, a well-lived life is achieved by maintaining an “all-in” attitude that realizes every last ounce of one’s full potential. This mindset has driven successful results in every aspect of her life – from her corporate sales and account management experience to her international travels to her years of fitness training and leadership – and is the hallmark of the exceptional work that she does on behalf of her clients in the residential real estate sector in downtown Toronto.