Like many of my clients… I’m a 28-year-old millennial living in downtown Toronto and I know what its like to live, work, commute, socialize etc.. downtown. To say the least, with housing prices on the rise we need to find elaborate ways to enter the housing market without sacrificing too much of our financial freedom.

I think the thing which is so infectious about Toronto right now is the tech and entrepreneurial atmosphere which is so robust. This city is a living organism which is full of opportunity and is growing so quickly, that it’s exciting to be a part of. We as a generation are realising that time is our most precious commodity and we need to make sure we are living in neighbourhoods which fit our desired lifestyle, but also are in proximity where we are not commuting for 3-4 hours a day between Burlington and our office downtown. That time can be spent building our business, relationships or let’s be serious… Staring at our phones! Hah

Housing prices have really picked up speed over the past 2 years and with many millennials still paying student loans and working to establish their professional careers, its tough to say the least, to navigate a competitive market. I’m going to make a few suggestions which I’ve seen work first hand for millennials to sneak into the obnoxious Toronto market.

Ways you can ACTUALLY get into the Toronto Market as a single professional (buying or renting)

  1. Sacrifice size for location.
  2. Understand your financing and what you can navigate in terms of carrying a property.
  3. Have your pre-approval in hand ready to go.
  4. Be ready to hustle and move quickly when the right property surfaces.. This is a BIG one!

This makes me think of a 23-year old client I had. Let’s call him John… John worked in the financial sector and was working about 14-17 hours a day. I was blown away by this guys work ethic! I connected with John through a listing I had on Adelaide St. West downtown. He emailed me for more information and I happily connected with him in person to show the unit and elaborate more on the listing. During our interaction in the condo, I was sure to provide detailed market info on the downtown condo market and what his best chances were to “get in”. John and I then began working together hunting for his new home.

I was actually inspired by his hustle… The guy was working INSANE hours. We would jog from showing to showing while he would skip out for “lunch” at work. Several times we actually viewed units at midnight and even as late as 2:00 am. Crazy right?! But this is what it takes! If you want to get into this market you need to be creative, attentive and prepared to pounce when that property which works for YOU arrises from the abyss. At the end of the day, John locked down a stunning 1 bedroom plus den in the Distillery District which was a short walk from his work at First Canadian Place in the Financial District. I’ve always had a chip on my shoulder when it comes to people out-working me… So the fact John was ready to view units at 2:00 am, I said “lets do it!”

Another story which comes to mind is one which took place last week…

I have a client who is looking to upsize from a smaller 2 bedroom condo/townhouse to a small freehold home in the relative core.. We’ve been hunting for a little while and working on a tight budget for the type of property we are on the search for. We found a property last week which was suitable! The property was priced over our budget, although we had to take an aggressive approach to sneak in… We submitted an offer $100,000 under asking as the property was sitting for over 2 weeks on the market (properties in the neighbourhood priced right are moving in under a week currently) there were several factors which indicated the property was listed too high…

Did I think going in $100,000 under we would get it? No… But I made sure we kept some space to negotiate once we received a sign back. The listing agent was a middle-aged woman who I’ll leave anonymous… Once I submitted the offer I didn’t hear back for a couple of hours.. When I did, I received an incredible email.. One where the listing agent literally explained that I had no idea what I was doing and that I completely wasted her time.. She was even obnoxious enough to suggest I go to a negotiations coursre at the Toronto Real Estate board and explained to me that “this was not the way to attain a good relationship with her” This boggled my mind! How is it my job to make her happy… So often I find agents telling a seller that their property is worth $1,000,000 just to get the listing, when the property is only worth $800,000…. She was upset that she looked bad in front of her clients.. But its not my job to make her look good infront of her clients, its my job to get my client into the competetive Toronto market. Would I like to make friends along the way, sure… But am I afraid to ruffle the feathers of other agents?… NOPE!

Creative Ways To Actually Get A Pre-Approval

  1. Get rid of your car… Move close to your workplace so you wont need a vehichle!
  2. Ask your parents to co-sign on a mortgage.. This is going to give you more purchasing power and show the bank that your purchase is “insured”
  3. Cut out those $7 latte’s!!! This is a no brainer, but I figured I would telll you again.
  4. Buy a subscription so you can keep your eye on your credit report monthly… This helped me raise my credit by hundred of points in a short time period.
  5. You might not want to hear this one… But get a weekend job! Doesn’t have to be forever, but you need to show you are able to generate income if you want to borrow hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Long story short is that we are a generation which consists of some of the biggest risk-takers and entrepreneurs we’ve seen to date. Technology is developing at a rapid pace and Toronto has an atmosphere which is welcoming of start-ups, entrepreneurs and immigrants looking for a chance to “make it” we need to ensure we are not tying up our capital and resources in excessive real estate costs.

Email me or call me directly at 416-770-6971 to chat more about how with the right strategy, you can sneak into the market.