Post # 1
I have had insane baby fever for months now, pretty much since DH and I got engaged (about 16 months ago). We got married in October and are both 26. We’ve been together for 5+ years.
When we discussed it in the past, DH and I agreed that we wanted to be mostly prepared to buy a house when we start ttc. That means having $60,000-$80,000 in savings to put 20% down on a $250,000-$300,000 house.
I’ve been looking at real estate listings for close to year, though, and am realizing that we’re not likely to find our dream home as a starter home in Toronto. You’re lucky if you can get a condo for that price and a house is completely impossible.
Because of the baby fever and crazy house prices, my inclination is to go for a spacious condo as a starter home outside the city (in a nice suburb we’ve already scoped out) which we could afford around December 2014, and maybe start ttc this summer. We currently have no debt, both work full-time salaried jobs (income before taxes combined is $80,000+), and have $35,000+ in savings.
I’m hoping that going to some open houses in the spring will get DH excited for the kind of condos that are available, but I suspect he’ll be reluctant to settle for a condo (he has big expectations of his dream house, though acknowledges that it’s more of a second-home type of situations).
So what would you do? Find an affordable condo you love and have kids sooner or continue to save for 1.5-3 years so you can afford a big house with property (renting a small apartment and delaying kids for now). Obviously, in the end we have to both be happy with our decision, but I’d love to know what you all think.
Post # 3
Babies need a lot of things, but your dream home isn’t one of them. It’s okay if you don’t have an extra bedroom or a formal dining room 🙂
Post # 4
- Wedding: September 2014 - Banff, Alberta
Our combined income is $60,000. Condos start at $450,000 and houses are $600,000. Since FH became debt free last year we have saved $20,000. Make sure to take advantage of the first time home buyers RSP advance of $15,000 each! Have you been contributing to RSP? We have $14,000 in it now and it will get us a $7,000 tax refund and if you withdraw RSP investments for your first house you don’t pay tax on it! We plan on renting out the spare rooms and basement if possible until baby arrives, as rental spots are super rare and profitable in our town. Looking to buy a house after the honeymoon so Summer 2015, baby summer 2016.
I think it is best to take full advantage of all the first time home buyer perks so go big and try to get your dream home right off the bat.
Post # 5
I would say get house that doesn’t cost as much. Those prices are crazy high lol
Post # 6
I’m all wide-eyed over here. Houses are that much there? JEEZ. Our combined income is $80,000+ and houses (that have what we want) start around $170,000. I…never realized there was such a HUGE gap between here and other places.
That being said, I’m not sure what I would do. I am completely set against apartment/condo living, BUT that’s because housing here is apparently much cheaper than other areas of the nation. If we were in your situation, we would end up weighing all our options. I don’t know how much rent is there, but would you consider continuing to rent until you saved up enough for a house? (And start TTC now, that is.) Also, you’ve gotten remember that TTC might not come as fast as you want, so you might possibly have more time to decide even once you start (but obviously, don’t rely on THAT, because you might be a lucky duck and get it right the first month!)
Post # 7
@Laurenplusalex: That’s the realization that I’m coming to, now it’s just about getting DH on the same page. Realistically, he knows we don’t need those things for a baby, he just grew up where the real estate is much cheaper and kind of thought the formal dining room and huge backyard were a given.
Tell me about it, sigh. In Toronto (and the surrounding suburbs 45 minutes in every direction), one bedroom condos begin at $250,000. One or two bedroom houses begin at $400,000 and those are usually the smallest, oldest ones. One time I found a listing for $300,000 and got really excited, but it was a gutted grow-op – no thanks. I always figured I’d be spending around $250,000 on my first home but didn’t realize until this year that that only buys you 500 square feet and a long commute.
We found a neighbourhood just under an hour away that has beautiful new-ish condos/town-homes for $220,000 and I think it’s a pretty great solution.
On a sidenote, our rent is low (under $1000/month) and I’m game to continue renting until we’ve concieved. I guess I just want a really clear gameplan on the change that that happens quickly.
Post # 8
A baby couldn’t care less where you live. If you want to keep renting and ttc, I would say that’s totally appropriate. Also, your eggs aren’t exactly risking imminent expiry, so you could also wait. I’d base my decision more on whether now is the time for kids, because there will always be another reason behind a reason to delay!
Post # 9
If you and DH are both ready for kids, I would look into the condo option. As long as the resale market is strong in your area, I think it’s a smart choice (especially if you’d be paying less on your mortgage than you are now on rent), because you could start building equity, continue to save, and get your dream home once you’re ready.
Post # 10
One of the biggest piece of advice I remember when it comes to starting a family, is as long as you’re not living in a bad place, a baby can be raised anywhere! Babies don’t care where you live 🙂 you could continue renting and still be successful parents.
I do know that you have personal goals and totally understand that too! I’d go into a condo if it’s going to take you a lot more years to afford the big grand dream house!
Post # 11
@anonybee0810: If I were you, I would wait. I grew up near Toronto and get how expensive it is (and I now live in DC and condos start over $500k and a stand alone house is $1 million for a fixer uper). I would wait. Kids are crazy expensive and I would rather be in a position where I could afford a house and day care and college. Kids don’t take a ton of space, but they do take a lot of resources. It is good to be in a strong financial place (meaning not saving for a down payment) before kids.
We put off TTC for about a year to buy a house (or really a large, double story, 3 bedroom condo). We wanted to be sure we could afford a house and all of the expenses that come with it before we got a house. I say that it is good to look at condos– we ended up loving ours more than a house (and it is a lot less).
Post # 12
My fiancé and I bought a two family home. We have 3 bedrooms, living room, dining room basement, two car garage and good size back yard. Half of our mortgage is being paid by the tenant. We are getting married in 7 months, want to wait at lease a year before we ttc. We can have one baby in this house, once we are ready for baby #2 we will buy a single family home and rent out our apartment.
Post # 13
@Pixienickie: Just a side note, I took my rrsp out as first time home buyers and yes its tax free….but you have to pay it all back into the fund, a set amount each year for 15 years and you dont get a tax credit on it again. If you dont pay it back they add it to your income every year and tax you on it!
Post # 14
Oh, I feel you. I want a baby now, and it’s just not going to happen for at least a year and a half. I won’t even be pregnant till then, so realistically 2 1/2 years till a baby arrives at the very least. My fiance and I aren’t getting married until May 2015, and that’s if all things go well with visas, etc. (He’s Aussie, I’m American.) And, I don’t think we would start trying right away either. I FEEL YA.