Categorized | Society

Suburban homes might be cheaper, but beware the extra costs

Posted on 27 April 2017 by admin

As prices in major cities move out of reach of many homebuyers, some are casting their search further to areas where they can afford bigger properties with smaller mortgages.

But suburban living can come with extra costs, like higher transportation and daycare fees, and may not add up to great savings over the long term.

About three to four years ago, about 10 per cent of clients coming to Toronto’s Stomp Realty sought properties outside the city, says co-founder Erica Smith.

Now, about half of her clients look at surrounding areas, with some moving more than 100 kilometres away to Barrie, Kitchener or Waterloo, while continuing to commute to Toronto for work, she says.

“The space that you get going outside of the city is just a lot more favourable,” says Lorena Magallanes, Stomp Realty co-founder.

Last month, the average home price in the Greater Toronto Area hit $916,567 — up 33.2 per cent from a year ago — according to the Toronto Real Estate Board.

Both realtors recently sold a one-bedroom plus den condo in the heart of downtown for $755,000. In the suburbs that price tag can net a house, says Magallanes.

But while suburban houses tend to be cheaper, that decision may come with daily expenses that don’t crop up with city living, they say.

Suburban life typically demands at least one car. If two people continue to work in the city, two vehicles may be necessary — which then means additional insurance, gas and parking costs.

Commuters using public transit may pay more living further away and may still need a car to get to the closest station.

Families may experience higher daycare fees if increased commute times keep them away from home for longer hours.

People may travel frequently to the city for social and entertainment reasons, adding to their transportation costs.

Homeowners may choose to outsource their yard work and house cleaning if they’re strapped for time.

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