Real Estate Agent in East York - Better Homes And Gardens Real Estate

Lucrative London Ontario. A 200 km commute to work? Worth it for a cheap mortgage or profitable investment?

13 September 2017
Kevin Hartley

With August 2017 reporting an average $330k home price in London ON, I posted a link to Facebook; story about one woman's choice to relocate from Toronto to London Ontario, an area I now practice in, helping buyers relocate and invest in the area.

I wanted to share an exchange of comments as I felt both sides contextualize the important assessments and choices that a buyer has to make against carbon footprint, time, health, lifestyle, housing and finances.

COMMENT by Rick Rose (TORONTO): Just bought a place, in Toronto. I prefer my time, and paid for it, happily, over the commute. I got an affordable place, which surprised me. But I believe long run that it's better for my health and community engagement. Studies show longer commutes go against that, in general

Having said that, I see an upside in the value in what she's doing. My dad sold his house, a cookie cutter town home in Milton for $600k. Good for him, but why is a community that far away so expensive? My brother lives in east Gwillimbury and houses (towns) on his street are fetching $700k. In both these places you have at least an hour commute each way, not to mention the added expenses associated with at least one car, if not two. can't believe how crazy that is. I sacrificed space for time saved, a 10 min commute and pay less than either of those, in a 2 bedroom. 

Why not commute further at that point, London, work your hours and work from home around it, so you can live a good lifestyle. That's great. Because from what I see, home prices in the Toronto suburbs are overpriced for the fact of traffic and time spent commuting, unless you can find a house under $400k.

MY REPLY: Hi Rick! Congrats on your purchase! Your comment brings up a lot of good points that every buyer needs to consider against their own carbon foot print, needs, goals and personal values. You've inspired a blog post! Thanks for sharing you news and congrats!

To contextualize our exchange against my experience with clients, one couple in particular, I have a client who while living in Toronto was spending 90+ minutes commuting 38km each way going from a downtown lakefront condo to work around the 401/Mississauga Rd area, plus gas on trips to shopping and entertainment etc., much of this in idle, congested traffic on top of additional road trips to visit family in Southwestern Ontario. Traffic was actually making this client and his partner feel exasperated and detached from Toronto.

Previously, for work alone, that was 900 minutes of time in the car each week, much of it idle time with the car running, getting 0 Kms per liter of gas**, and stress-filled time wishing he was anywhere else but stuck in traffic.

Now, this commuter drives into the office 3 times a week, works from home the other 2 days. Granted, while now covering about 840 KM a week commuting, actual time in the car has reduced to about 540 minutes. This is significantly less running idle time, maximizing miles per liter…winning back 6 hours a week, a somewhat reduced mortgage for a freehold home that is easily 4-5xs the size of the Toronto condo, and a community lifestyle that much more closely matches their needs.

Again, I feel it’s all about finding the personal balance every buyer needs against carbon footprint, time, health, lifestyle, housing and finances.

As to the other market values, believe me, many of us Realtors are shocked too. We don’t set the market, we navigate within it. Value is what a buyer is wiling to pay for a home in any given market, and is further set by what sellers are willing to accept (or not accept).

But quite simply, the GTA and surrounding areas are immensely popular and growing. This is an economic hub of the province and the country, with many sectors growing. Our infrastructure, as much as we locals feel it needs improvement (and in many cases does), is looked upon and modeled by other cities around the world. And, our diverse culture of beautiful people, draw many here to call it home.  

It's about options and choice. And, aren't we lucky if we have both.

**Two minutes of idle time uses the same amount of fuel as driving a mile.

Thanks for reading. Questions or ideas for a future blog? Feel free to contact me here.

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Kevin Hartley, Broker is a Toronto based real estate Broker with Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate | Signature Service, Brokerage. @Home is his lifestyle blog, an expression of his passion for home keeping though MAKING (Recipes), DOING (DIY), BEING (Health/Wellness) and DWELLING (Home Ownership, Sales & Maintenance).  Content not intended to solicit clients under contract.

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