Canadians are into owning their own homes—older generations are always touting a 25-year mortgage as the road to security and freedom. For many of us born somewhere between the mid-80s and before the year 2000, security and freedom are mutually exclusive. The realities of being young and house-poor are in thousands of opinion pieces and Buzzfeed articles. But you know what, it’s not that bad, there are a lot of benefits to home ownership and the line between security and freedom is like a fun slackline that us young people can get down on.
First of all, you can be nomadic but still benefit from a purchase and sale. You don’t have to own a house for 25 years to be successful at the real estate game. Short term gains are a real thing, even with the minimum down payment, (which is all I could muster). If you’re buying within your means, your mortgage will likely be less than what you’d pay for rent.
Of course this isn’t true for the Vancouver market but this was 100% true for Kamloops. The general recommendation is to spend about 30% of your gross monthly income (before taxes) on rent. I was never able to do this while renting, (except with roommates or living in what I’d call a cheese cave) but could do this owning a cute, comfortable, contemporary place (without roommates).
Yes, there are those extracurricular expenses, like property taxes, house insurance, a potential strata fee and some maintenance. But I did the quick maths and after almost two years of home ownership, these extra costs brought my mortgage payment to the level of rent. And then when you’re ready to sell, if the market is bumpin’ you make all that back and then some. The amount you spent on mortgage payments, is back to being way less than rent.
And the security I got while I lived in my own home was a dream compared to landlords telling me it’s time to move because they’re selling, having to ask permission to paint the walls Pantone’s colour of the year—Ultra Violet—or dressing my dog up like a fish because, ‘no dogs allowed.’
Randy Em and Robin Phelan, preparing to Celebrate the Sale with a Classic Hough Bros Champagne Pop
Lastly, the whole selling experience was, to my surprise, even easier than the buying transaction. Except for the part where we cleaned and tidied for an entire day to make sure the place looked like a high-end Airbnb. Ty and Torrey could not have made the deal more simple.
Meet, discuss, take photos, list, receive offer the next day, counter offer, agree, sign paperwork over an app and then go meet the nicest Notary Public, (for a total of ten minutes). All of those steps happened in a span of two weeks.
Mostly everything was done over an app on my phone and I probably could have been in Chiang Mai the whole time.
Which is the whole reason I sold, because I’m going to be out of country a lot in the future. I could have kept the place. Townhouses, condos and apartments are amazing investments if you don’t mind dealing with or paying someone else to deal with tenants. But I could not be bothered to keep this tether.
Am I the stereotypical lazy millennial who doesn’t want to deal with too many responsibilities? No because that actually doesn't exist, stop stereotyping groups of people based on their age. All I am saying is that holding on to property is great too.
And based on the research I’ve done, the Kamloops market is only set to warm up further—to Sriracha fire hot—in the coming years. So basically if you haven’t bought a place here, and you’re thinking about, get in touch with Ty and Torrey. They’re the best!