Millennial expects to use 40% of income on condo
Condo shopper Seema Akram, 27, works as an assurance manager for a public accounting firm downtown. She views her future apartment as a home and an investment – one for which she has sacrificed.
Akram lived with her parents while studying at York University and, except for a brief stint working abroad, she has remained in their Markham house commuting three hours, round-trip each day to work downtown.
“When I first graduated and started to work full time I just didn’t have the money (to move out),” she said.
Now she’s paid off the car she uses for client visits and she’s saved a 20-per-cent down payment for a condo. Her budget is $580,000 – max.
The average price of a re-sale condo in the city of Toronto last month was $554,069, according to the Toronto Real Estate Board.
But all that planning and saving hasn’t made house hunting easy.
“I’ve felt for the last two years I’ve been trying to chase (the market),” said Akram.
“I feel like I do have enough money to pay a sizeable down payment and get what I want. It’s just the real estate market is a bit of a game with the bidding wars and so forth,” she said.
“I sometimes wish that the seller would just say, ‘Here’s what I want, give it to me or keeping looking,’ ” said Akram.
She expects to spend 40 per cent of her monthly income on housing.
“It will be a little bit of a stretch but still comfortable,” she said.
In exchange, Akram thinks her wish list is pretty reasonable. She wants a bedroom separated from the living room by a real door, parking and a kitchen with counter space – an island or something more than a wall of cupboards and appliances at one end of the unit’s living space.
She doesn’t need a balcony or a view. “I just need sunlight and I’d be happy,” she said.
Akram briefly considered buying farther outside the city, but reducing her commute is a key reason for the move. Friends who have bought homes have done it with the help of their families, she said.
“Back in the day (our parents) were able to afford a house at our age or before they turned 27 and it didn’t put so much of a dent in their financial situation as it would for people today. We recognize the cost of housing has increased and it hasn’t increased in proportion with people’s salaries,” she said.
Still, Akram likes cities. Outside of Toronto, she says she would only ever consider living in Montreal and Vancouver. She expects to stay in the city, even when, one day, she looks at moving up to a house and yard.
Edited on 6 December 2017