Home Buyer Profile: Jumping on the Property Ladder
Sara is 29 years old first time home buyer.
After university, Sara travelled and worked abroad before retuning to Canada and landing a nice job at a major pharmaceutical company in north west Mississauga. Ready to jump on the property ladder and start building her own equity, Sara is aiming for a newer, freehold townhouse that is close to the highway and also has access to walking trails and outdoor spaces where she can jog and walk her dog. Budget is $380k.
The 3 areas I will have her look, based on her initial indicated housing style preferences, are Lisgar, Churchill Meadows and Milton.
If staying close to her work is a priority, the first area I would recommend Sara look is the community of Lisgar located in North West Mississauga.
- Lisgar would be a 10 minute drive from her work.
- While there are no condo high-rises, Lisgar does have a number of Freehold town houses and low maintenance condo townhome developments that will fit her budget.
- Lisgar has a good number of parks, outdoor spaces such as Osprey Marsh and walking trails which will be perfect for her lifestyle.
- There are a number of big box outlets and shopping within a short driving distance.
- Lisgar has excellent highway access, it’s within minutes of highways 401, 403 & 407.
- Lisgar is one of the most affordable areas in Mississauga. Average Freehold Townhome sold price in Lisgar for 2013 was: $388,094
- Depending on Sara’s lifestyle, Lisgar may prove to be too quiet for her. The area is almost completely residential and there’s not much in the way of nightlife. She would have to drive to areas like Mississauga City Centre or Downtown Toronto.
- Being a family oriented area, it may be harder to find similar neighbours like herself to make friends with.
- While not old, the town homes in Lisgar will fall into the 5-15 year range. Many will require some cosmetic upgrading to meet her décor taste.
Located further south in Mississauga, Churchill Meadows is another option for Sara.
- Still within a 15 minute drive of her work.
- Homes are newer on average, meaning a better chance at getting a unit with modern décor that needs little maintanence.
- Churchill Meadows has very nice design, and the community looks very nice aesthetically, which appeals to today’s home buyer.
- Churchill Meadows is closer to more amenities, including walking distance to Erin Mills Town centre, and very close to highway 403.
- There will be more people like her in the area, especially in the Daniel’s stacked townhomes.
- Easy access to transit and Sqaure One.
- Condo’s in Churchill Meadows are newer, have modern décor and low maintenance fees which is ideal for a first time home buyer.
- Just Like Lisgar, Churchill Meadows is more geared to families and while there are more amenities, it still may prove to quiet for the single lifestyle.
- Prices are more expensive in Churchill Meadows compared with Lisgar. Average Sold Price for a freehold townhouse in 2013 was $458,626, way above her budget. Even a 3 bed condo townhouse would be too high, coming in at $402,794. She would be looking at a 2 bed townhouse or low rise condo.
Newer like Churchill Meadows although more affordable than Mississauga, Milton is another good option for Sara. A little further away, she would be looking at a 20-35 minute commute depending on what area in Milton she chooses.
- There are many options available in Milton that are newer and affordable. Areas I would recommend include Hawthorne Village and the north east section of Milton near Derry Rd and James Snow Parkway.
- The newer areas of Milton are master planned and have access to walking paths and parks.
- Located off of the 401, Milton has good highway access and plenty of big box stores and shopping nearby.
- Over the past few years Milton has attracted a lot of younger home buyers from the surrounding areas of Mississauga and Oakville, due to more affordable home prices.
- Milton is the land of freehold townhouses, with too many sales to count. It’s safe to say that she can well afford a nice freehold townhouse in Milton for under $380,000.
- Milton is a small town growing in to a big city, so most people commute. Traffic can be heavy at times.
- Just like the areas in Mississauga, Milton is more of a quiet family area. Main street has some nice shops and restaurants, but it’s small. Aside from that she’s looking at chain restaurants.
- Prices are more affordable for a reason. Milton is further away and if she likes visiting downtown Toronto often than she’s looking at a 1 hour commute either by Go Train or driving.
- Much of the new home construction happening in Milton now is occurring in the south west area, near Bronte Rd. For someone like Sara who commutes to Mississauga, she will have to seriously consider the added commuting time of driving across Milton.
After looking at all 3 areas, you might have noticed that while all of these areas will deliver the home described by our buyer, all of them have some disadvantages and might prove a little dull and boring for a young single person. This scenario is very typical among home buyers I work with, who may be searching for a specific home based off of what they’ve been told to look for by friends and family. The truth is that in this instance, Sara will have to make a sacrifice in lifestyle to do this and this is why I always say that searching for your preferred lifestyle is just as important as the searching for the home.
Often, this is where I step in to show other options that offer great potential for building equity and appreciation (makes the parents happy) but still will also give her access to a more vibrant lifestyle. If Sara is willing to consider a condo town home or apartment, she can now consider other areas such as Mississauga City Centre, Port Credit, Clarkson and Uptown Oakville.
I hope you enjoyed the first instalment in my Home Buyer Profile series. No two home buyer profile’s will ever be exactly the same, but hopefully this will point you in the right direction and show you how I work with my clients. Looking for a home in Mississauga or the West GTA? Let’s Talk!