With rising property taxes and real estate prices in Waterloo Region, new home buyers are being enticed daily with lower prices in other cities and towns. It appears to be working as new home sales on MLS in Kitchener Waterloo trended considerably lower this fall. So can a new home buyer really save money by moving from Kitchener Waterloo? The answer is complicated and will depend on your situation.
First, let's consider location cost. In general, the further east you travel(towards Toronto), the higher the prices become. The reason is the shorter commute for those working in the Toronto area. Real estate values tend to be lower if you travel north, west and south of Kitchener Waterloo. Why is that? In Kitchener Waterloo, home builders are currently paying $3500 per front foot for vacant lots. In other words, a 30 foot lot with no house on it already costs $105,000. Add a minimum of $100 per square foot for basic construction and you can quickly see why new home sales in Kitchener Waterloo have slowed to a crawl in recent months.
Next, let's consider what you get for your money. Note in all examples, upgrades are extra and the properties noted are from the Kitchener Waterloo MLS. For $300,000 in Kitchener Waterloo, your options are limited. In the south Kitchener subdivision of Huron Village, you get a new 1400 square foot, 3 bedroom, 1 1/2 bathroom, 2 storey home with a 1 1/2 car garage on a 30 foot lot. In New Hamburg, the same money will get you a new 1774 square foot 4 bedroom, 1 1/2 bathroom 2 storey home with a single garage on a 38 foot lot. In Woodstock, that same money gets you a new 1820 square foot 4 bedroom, 2 1/2 bathroom 2 storey home with a double garage on a 50 foot lot.
What about a new bungalow for the Baby Boomers? In Kitchener Waterloo, supply is limited and the lowest starting price available is $319,750. That buys you a new 1160 square foot 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom with a single garage on a 36 foot lot in Lackner Woods. In Drumbo, $300,000 gets you a new 1355 square foot 3 bedroom bungalow with 2 full bathrooms and a double garage on a 50 foot lot.
It's pretty clear from the examples above that new homes in other cities and towns offer greater value. However before everyone rushes out to buy, there are some factors to keep in mind. For people in the workforce, the cost of commuting shouldn't be overlooked. Everyone will have to calculate costs based on their vehicle but bear in mind that extra tank of gas a week could add up to $5000 per year.
What are some other considerations? Property taxes outside of Waterloo Region are cheaper and your quality of life may improve. That could be offset by the availability of amenities and services that Kitchener Waterloo has and the new locale may not. Examples of these are hospitals, schools, daycare, libraries, pools, arenas, transit, natural gas, municipal sewer and water, hydro and house insurance cost etc.
As you can see, the decision to move out of Kitchener Waterloo to relocate to the country is complicated. If you are thinking about making that move, I'll be happy to consult with you and make sure you have all the facts. This allows you to make an educated decision and gives you peace of mind. Feel free to call or email 519-505-4488 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Century 21 Home Realty Inc. Brokerage
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