After a crazy few weeks, we’re so excited to share that we’re on to our next home project! That’s right, if you follow me on IG you’ll know we’ve sold #thecozygables (home tour, here!) & are moving into what *will be* our forever home and affectionately called #holyguacamolehouse —
Thank you SO much for sending in all your notes of congrats, excitement and your questions! Home transformations/tours are prob my fave thing ever, so I’m glad you’re all pumped for the process too, bc it’s going to be a process lol.
I’ll get right into them…
The most frequent question is where we bought. We are staying in Toronto, very close to our current area of South Etobicoke, towards the Kingsway. Seems everyone is shocked we’re able to stay this close to the core, and while we’re definitely shocked with the lot we found, this has been part of our long term strategy and something we’ve been working up to for years (since we bought our condo). It’s obviously not for everyone, but renovating vs. buying new is also key in how we’ve managed this in a very pricey market.
A lot of you also asked about the difference with buying land vs. a home.. I can’t speak to that exactly aside from that to my understanding it’s very similar, because our new property DOES have a home on it. It’s a small bungalow that we’re actually going to be moving into as-is while we get all our permits lined up. We have loads of permitting needs bc our property is adjacent to a conservation area, so we could be living in the house for anywhere from 6 months to a year. Again, it’s not all glamourous lol and will definitely not be nearly as comfortable for us as our current place, but short term pain for long term gain, right?
A lot of you also were curious how the process was during COVID. I’ll be honest, it was an extra layer of pain-in-the-ass just because I hated having people I don’t know coming through our space. We have been really strict with our social distancing, largely because of Isla, and I’m already a germaphobe so that was hard. Luckily, we were able to stay at my dad’s place for the week that staging/showings were happening so that was a huge luxury. I then sanitized and cleaned everything before we came back in. We also only did private showings (vs. an open house), which is what we prefer anyway but I think that’s wise right now if you’re looking to sell. On the plus side, realtors are very on top of trying to enforce precautions and we had masks, gloves and sanitizers at the entry for anyone coming in. I also do feel like the current climate weeds out some of the window-shoppers you might otherwise get (no open house also helps that). I don’t think it impacted price we paid for the new property or what we got for our current home, but I do think the property we bought sat longer on the market than it would have pre-covid. So overall, some annoyances, some advantages, but the market is still very much moving.
A lot of you also asked about financing and getting into investment properties. We got into the market several years ago so that has been helpful in that we have equity to leverage from other investments when prices weren’t *quite* as high – as I mentioned above, this whole process has been years in the making. Ryan and I always joke that this has been our 6 year home glow up lol. Generally speaking though, if you’re looking to get an investment property, our personal philosophy is to buy homes in need of work that have potential, and put in the work ourselves because quite frankly, that’s the only way it makes sense financially for us. You’d also have to consider whether it’s a property you’d want to sell (if so, and not your primary residence, you need to consider taxes), or if you’re going to rent it and hold it, in which case you have to pre-determine if it’s a desirable rental area and what you could realistically charge to see if it make sense with what you’d be investing up front. Also good to speak to your mortgage contact and see what you’d be pre-approved for (always speak with an expert!). You could also look to find a pre-construction opp with a deposit structure that works for you where payments are more spaced out and you don’t have to manage the labour yourself. This is a larger topic for sure with so many variables, and I’m still learning as we go still, but hopefully answers some of your questions!
Lastly, the fun part muahaha – what we’re planning for the home! It’s still not concrete, but we should have our conceptual renderings in a few weeks and I’ll update then. BUT, balls to the wall, we’re hoping to add 2 additional storeys to the existing frame and reconfigure the first floor and basement slightly. We want the space to be big enough for entertaining and for us to grow into, if that’s in the cards for our family. Also, we’re both extremely excited for the yard bc I am getting my pool and Ryan is getting a basketball court lol!! Having the space for those things was HUGELY important in our buying process. Neither of our families have cottages so we really want to create an outdoor space that everyone can enjoy. I always say my dream is that our friends can just let themselves in the back, bring food to grill and there just be dogs and babies all over.
So that’s where we’re at, and our plan is to share everything as we go – I feel like I kinda dropped the ball with that on this house so I definitely want to document it more.
Thanks for reading, and I’d love to hear how you prefer to see these home updates and anything else! x