The National Post spoke to Gen Z and Millennial homebuyers about how they were able to purchase their first home
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Where: Brampton, Ont.
Initial budget: $1.2 million
Sumi wanted to buy a condo in Toronto and rent it out through Airbnb to bring in passive income. After looking at the cost of condos in Toronto, he opted to look for a house closer to home in Brampton, that he could live in.
“Slowly realizing the price between a condo and house, it just made sense to buy something pre-construction, wait some time and then you’ll get equity,” he said.
Sumi works in the film industry and said it’s important to supplement his income and invest in real estate. He had even considered working with friends to buy and flip homes for profit.
Once he decided to buy a place, his dad came into the deal with him, and they split the cost 50/50.
After three months of looking, he found a pre-construction home. “I didn’t actually do any, like, in-person viewings or anything like that because I want to do pre-construction investments. Like, I couldn’t really see the house that was built yet. And I felt like that was the smartest way to get a house without spending more than $2 million.”
He ended up paying $100,000 over the asking price for a total of $1.3 million. He closed the sale in 2020 and took possession July 2021.
Saving money to buy the property took time and a lot of hard work, said Sumi. Throughout the pandemic he and his dad became workaholics, prioritizing work above most things. They have also been running a business together. They tightly budgeted and tried to put as many savings from their work into the house as possible.
“I didn’t have a work-life balance. I was doing a lot of work and minimal sleep,” he said.
It wasn’t easy and getting a mortgage was complicated.
“Seeing people say that it is difficult to get a house, it is difficult. Like, I lost half my hair, like, trying to get a mortgage for this. That was so stressful. I agree with a lot of people, it is hard and it sucks with the market values going up super-high.”
Sumi believes it is possible for millennials to own their own home. Even if they can’t get help from a family member like he did, starting small is the first step.