I’ve been so positively anti-home ownership for the longest time. I write about how it’s a thing your parents tell you to do with no understanding of today’s reality or how I’d rather buy a good mattress instead. I’m so anti-house, I laugh at those spending hundreds of thousands on dinky properties within the city.
Until I fell for one.
“$500,000” I said out loud, while staring at a one-bedroom bungalow right off the subway line in downtown Toronto. It had a yard. It had a parking space. It had a garage. I was in love.
Immediately I started crunching numbers. How high could I bid? How much of a down payment should I put down? Questions cycled through my head a mile a minute.
I promptly called my girlfriend, explaining what I had just found. She ecstatically voiced it was a great opportunity. We started talking about our life in this home together. We went as far as imagining the layout, what furniture would go where, how we’d commute to work, the type of yard we’d landscape… until we reached out to the real estate agent asking what the seller was looking for.
“Close to $700K, I think” she said without batting her eye. “It’s what the neighbours sold for.”
My heart sank.
Of course – I thought to myself. They posted it at $500K to lure suckers like us in and jack up the price. As of Monday it had sold for just over $700K.
It was at that point I lost faith in the whole real estate system. A system that falsely advertises in a predatory manner.
I think about any other marketplace that exists out there – the idea is to barter down, not up. With housing, bartering down isn’t in the vocabulary.
So it’s back to the drawing board. I still have my lovely apartment, my high savings rate, and my frugal lifestyle.
But for a second, I thought I had a real opportunity. Alas, it was all a damn lie.