With the hot real estate market in the Greater Toronto area for the last couple years, many first time home buyers, with a budget of under $400,000, feel that they can only afford condo apartments if they want to buy within Markham or Richmond Hill. Is this true?
I am delighted to find that there are actually more options for these homebuyers than it seems. There is a number of condo townhouse complexes with smaller units sold for under $400,000 in the last 4 months, with many of which sold for low to mid $300’s. Examples of locations are as follows:
- 75 and 95 Weldrick Rd at Yonge and Weldrick in Richmond Hill
- 79 Sunrise Drive at Old Kennedy Rd and Steeles
- Condo townhouses on Louisbourg Way and Bur Oak Ave at Bur Oak and Markham Rd
- Condo townhouses on The Carriage Way at Bayview South of Langstaff.
- Condo townhouses in the area at John St and Don Mills.
So what about freehold homes? Freehold homes are usually more expensive because of the following advantages they have to offer:
- Owners have more freedom to alter the property to their your needs
- Since the owners are responsible for upkeep, they have a bit more control over their maintenance costs (ie. they can keep expenses down by cutting their own lawn and shoveling their own drive)
- Market trends from the past few years showed a greater increase in freehold home prices compare to condo prices
So is it really possible to find a freehold home in Markham or Richmond Hill under $400,000?
A search in the Toronto Real Estate Board MLS showed that in the past 4 months, a total of 4 freehold homes were sold for under $400,000 in Markham and Richmond Hill.
In Richmond Hill, two detached bungalows with 2 bedrooms, 1 baths were sold for under $400,000 in the past 4 months at Bayview Ave and North Lake Rd, steps from lake Wilcox. Despite the compact size of the home, the lot sizes are very good compared to newer developments. However, chances that similar homes will be on the market for the same price are very slim, as most homes in the area are larger, newer, or are on much bigger lots.
In Markham, two freehold townhomes were sold for under $400,000 in the last 4 months. One is a 2 bedroom, 3-storey townhouse at White’s Hill Ave and East of 9th Line. The other is a 3 bedroom, 3-storey townhouse at Main St Markham North of 16th Ave. The homes are under 20 years so these are definitely not fixer-uppers. Because there are a number of comparable homes in the subdivision, with patience and effort, you may still find similar listings in 2014.
On the day this blog post is written, only one freehold home is available in Richmond Hill listed for under $400,000. It’s an older (35 years and up) semi-detached bungalow at Bayview Ave and Major Mackenzie Rd in the Crosby Neighborhood. There are 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom on the main floor with a 2 bedroom, 1 bath basement apartment. The listing agent is anticipating lots of offer so it might not be sold under $400,000 after all.
Conclusion: if condo lifestyle is not for you and you have a budget of under $400,000, don’t lose hope yet!
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