If you read this blog you will know that I’m given to quoting song lyrics, generally ‘classic’ but I say The Clash from 1982 is now classic!
The decision to uproot and change a lifestyle by leaving Toronto is a big one. I know, I’ve done it and I love Toronto. Personally I don’t like expressions like ‘world class city’, there’s a handful of those and we know what they are, Toronto is an exceptional city, there’s no need to justify it further.
But, in the city home ownership is not just expensive it’s unattainable for many. First time buyer, moving up buyer, three kids needing more space—if you have a budget, who doesn’t, and if you also feel ‘but I don’t want a massive mortgage!’, well, you might have some challenges. The REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington just posted its best May ever, the most transactions in a month ever. People are discovering the big value proposition in the Hamilton area. Yes there absolutely is a lifestyle change to consider if following the trend to move west, it’s an adjustment but it can be positive change you can’t get, or afford, in the city.
We launched our The Weekly feature focusing on a Toronto property vs a Hamilton area property to illustrate what your money can do for you. Maybe you’re in one of the above categories, I myself moved for a bigger house outside the city to address an elder care situation, or maybe you’re just contemplating what would life be like…here’s a shortlist, are you on it?
1. Day to day traffic gridlock. You might have traffic here but it’s not the fight, the grind, and there’s parking…. in Dundas it’s free on weekends!
2. More space for kids to play outside. While I always found Toronto super safe, there’s space, nature and safety for kids here.
3. You will likely have a yard! I had a yard, an outdoor dining space really, in Toronto, no grass. My dog likes the grass 🙂
4. Get to know your neighbours in a different way. Feel a different sense of community, people are out in the neighbourhood and there’s a slower pace once you get home, there seems to be more time and energy.
5. Priorities redefined. Maybe you continue working in Toronto but once you’re home you’re home, you feel separation. Of course this doesn’t stop your iPhone from invading but still….
6. It’s 2014, be a telecommuter!
7. Less of a wait for community services. Daycare spaces and other services you may need to access don’t put you into competition with nearly the same number of people.
8. Space. Big one. My house in Toronto, though I loved it, was 12′ wide. Literally. 1.5 bedrooms and 12′ wide. For much less I have a charming four bedroom Cape Cod with woodburning fireplace and the aforementioned grass. Oh, and a big deck.
9. Cottaging. If you have one you’re lucky. If you live in the city and long for cottage life but can’t afford one, or dread yet another gridlock adventure getting there, you don’t need one! The Dundas area is surrounded by beautiful conservation lands, hiking trails, a bike/running/horseback riding trail that stretches all the way to Brantford and the region is big with birdwatchers. And we have waterfalls, everywhere.
10. Friendly faces. Yes this is a default position when talking small towns but it’s true. I always found Toronto to be a friendly city, some would argue, but I marvel at the daily hello and smiles, and ‘hon, dear, sweetheart’ I get from local retailers, cafes, restaurants. And yes it is sincere, a constant warm reinforcement of positive community connection 🙂
Whether you consider Burlington, Hamilton, Dundas, Waterdown, Ancaster or something more rural you’ll be pleasantly surprised (understatement) at how far your money will take you. Yes in some areas it’ll take you further than others but it will definitely buy you more for less and who doesn’t love that kind of bargain?