A newbie buyer’s account of the Toronto housing market

by Ephraim Vecina05 Oct 2016
Toronto has long played host to some of the country’s most expensive residences, and the recent tale of a new buyer emphasized just how formidable the price barrier is for millennials, young families, and middle-class buyers.
In a contribution piece for Yahoo! Finance Canada, Jonathan Rumley outlined the long, hard road that he and his fiancée are currently trekking in their search for their first home in Toronto.
“We’ve lost bidding wars time after time in heart-wrenching fashion and went through the emotional roller coaster that goes with potentially making the largest investment of our lives. It’s become clear to us that getting a house in this market requires a lot of patience and a bit of luck,” Rumley wrote.
The challenges mounted in spite of the couple paying off all of their debts beforehand and doing their due diligence in their mortgage and purchase budget.
“We quickly realized that if we liked a place, we weren’t going to be alone. Agents also took notice of this and began setting up offer presentation nights, which is an opportunity to round up all of the potential buyers to provide them with a chance to bid on their dream house,” Rumley said. “We never knew what others were offering and we never knew if our offer was good enough. We just knew that the more money we offered, the better our odds would be, but with more people involved, the less likely we were to win.”
The author pointed at the extreme level of competition—which had him and his fiancée going head-to-head with 16 other offers—as the most difficult aspect of the Toronto market.
“In a precarious move to make our offer look more appealing, we removed conditions such as financing and inspection, which are normally in place to protect potential buyers in case something goes awry. Much to our chagrin, we’ve been told these risky measures have become the new norm if we want to entice a seller to get a deal done in this competitive market,” he added.
“While we’ve found it difficult to stay motivated after coming up short time and time again, we’re not willing to give up on our dreams so easily. We know that eventually, things will work out for us, we just don’t when it will happen.”

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