Four Real Estate Experts Share Their Take on Buying Into the Toronto Housing Market

When it comes to buying a new home, it’s easy to get caught up in the numbers and financial aspects of the real estate market. While these factors are undeniably important, it’s equally crucial to consider how your new home will fit into your life and contribute to your overall well-being. In this article, we’ll explore the insights of four real estate experts who offer a comprehensive perspective on the Toronto housing market. Lauren Hesse, Karima Mabtoul, Jacob Manishevitz and Mariano Lowy share their unique take on not just investing in real estate but also investing in your lifestyle. From the location of your new home, its affordability, and even considering opportunities in multi-dwelling properties, these experts shed light on the various facets of real estate that can help you design a life you love in the vibrant city of Toronto. Let’s dive into their perspectives and discover how you can make the most of your real estate investments while prioritizing your happiness and quality of life.

The Home Designer’s Perspective:

Investing in your home is so much more than just a business transaction. Your surroundings can make a big impact on your daily happiness and quality of life. That’s why I offer this advice to clients who are deciding whether it’s the right time to buy a new home in Toronto. There are two main things I suggest you consider through the lens of your life as a whole, rather than focusing solely on the financial aspects, and they are location and functionality.

Location – Toronto is filled with amazing neighbourhoods that have something to offer anyone’s taste. The first thing to ask yourself when looking for your perfect neighbourhood is, “where are you in your life”? If you’re new parents, it would make sense to look for a property with walkability to great parks, schools and shops, as you’ll most likely be spending more time in your neighbourhood. If you live alone or work long hours, it might make more sense to think about accessibility to transit or highways to make your daily commute a breeze. Deciding on the right neighbourhood for your lifestyle is the first step in designing your life in Toronto. If you yourself are drawn to the neighbourhood, then no doubt other people will be too when it comes time to sell in the future. You can transform and change the house, but the location won’t change, so don’t let an outdated kitchen deter you from buying in your perfect location.

The second thing to consider is the Space and Functionality. Does the space function for your daily life? Let’s use the example of a young family again. People in this life-stage could be focused more on open sightlines on the main floor and functional storage that can be reached by even the smallest family members. An older couple looking to downsize into a condo may aspire to a more minimalist lifestyle. For them, a wall of storage shelves and cabinetry may not make sense if they do not desire the clutter of stuff that would fill them.

Keeping the lifestyle you desire in mind when looking for a property will create a clear picture of what you want and make it easier to find that perfect space. Let’s remember that rarely will a property tick all the boxes. A floorplan can be changed to suit your daily needs and you may need to reserve some of your equity for creating your vision through renovations. Flawed properties can be reinvented to fit your life if you have the money or skills to do so. Toronto is filled with great homes looking to be recreated for the next generation. You may just need an expert eye to help you find your diamond in the rough. Keep these two main factors in mind when designing your life in Toronto and you won’t be a victim of buyer’s remorse.

Lauren Hesse

Interior Design + Renovations

The Commercial Realtor’s Perspective:

Multi-Dwelling: A Smart Investment

Investing in multi-dwelling properties such as multiplexes, multi-use commercial properties (retail/office with residential units above), or apartment buildings, offers several advantages that make them an attractive option for first time buyers and investors. Here’s why:

 Diversified Income: With multiple units in a single property, you enjoy the benefit of diversified income streams. Each unit contributes to your monthly rental revenue, creating a steady cash flow and reducing the risk of vacancy.

 Strong Rental Demand: Toronto and its surrounding areas boast a thriving rental market, with a high demand for quality housing options. Owning multi-dwelling properties allows you to tap into this lucrative market and secure reliable tenants such as businesses and professionals.

Appreciation Potential: Toronto’s real estate market has been historically strong with steady appreciation over time. Prices historically double every 10 years. Investing in multi-dwelling properties positions you to benefit from both rental income and the potential appreciation of the property’s value.

 Scale Your Investments: Investing in a multi-dwelling property provides the opportunity to expand your real estate portfolio efficiently. As you generate profits and gain experience, you can gradually add more properties to your portfolio, increasing your overall wealth.

Investing in multi-dwelling properties involves careful research, due diligence, and understanding local regulations. We run spreadsheets with the rental income and associated costs to understand the cash flow that an expert can help you navigate.

Commercial Real Estate Professional
KW Commercial – Park Cap Group

The Mortgage Broker’s Perspective:

     As a mortgage broker, I often get asked whether it’s a good idea to buy a home when mortgage interest rates are high. It might sound counterintuitive, but there are actually some compelling reasons to consider making a home purchase when rates are on the upswing. The interest rate is only temporary, but the property is a long-term investment. Let me point out a couple of reasons why buying a home when rates are high can be a smart financial move.

Favorable Negotiation Position: In a market with higher interest rates, there might be fewer buyers in the market due to increased borrowing costs. This could give you a stronger negotiation position when it comes to the purchase price of the home. Sellers may be more willing to come down in price, potentially resulting in a better deal.

Build Equity Faster: When mortgage rates are high, home values usually come down, which allows you to get a great home at a better price. Lower prices mean lower mortgage amounts and less money owing to lenders as you pay down the mortgage. This enables you to build equity in your home more quickly as values bounce-back when interest rates start to come back down.

Payment Affordability at Higher Rates: Higher mortgage rates can often mean higher monthly payments. While this might seem like a downside, it allows you to budget for a higher payment today, which can translate into more aggressive payments in the future. If you know you can afford today’s payment, it likely means that when rates come down you can continue to make this level of payment, but have a lot more contribution to the principal and pay the mortgage down faster.

     Buying a home when mortgage rates are higher may seem unconventional, but it comes with its own set of advantages. You can lock in a rate before they rise further, build equity faster, negotiate from a position of strength, and enjoy predictable payments. Savvy home buyers and investors know that when demand is down, it’s the right time to buy. Ultimately, the decision to buy a home in Toronto when rates are high should align with your personal financial goals and circumstances. Be sure to consult with a qualified mortgage broker who can help you navigate the market and make an informed decision that suits your needs.

Jacob Manishevitz

Mortgage Broker at Outline Financial


The Residential Realtor’s Perspective:

     Buyers shouldn’t fear entering the real estate market today. Real estate has consistently been a smart way to invest in their future. Prices may go up, making it harder to afford a home later. Mortgage rates may not be what we want them to be, and that’s ok! Where one door closes, a window opens. This means that with higher interest rates, there is less competition out there. You can finally negotiate seller’s down from their listing price. There are deals to be had!
When rates begin to go down, prices will go up. Your monthly payments may be similar. When rates come down, competition/demand will go up. Multiple offer scenarios may not be as common now, but they’ll be back.

Owning a home provides stability and a place to call your own. It’s like growing a money tree for the future! Be sure to do your research and work with a trusted real estate agent to find the right home for your family. Don’t wait too long; opportunities may not last!

Bottom line, crunch your numbers, do the math. If you can get what you want within the numbers/payments that work for you, then why not? It can be confusing and scary, so reach out to a seasoned realtor to discuss how to make your dream a reality!

Mariano Lowy

Broker, Re/Max Realtron Realty Inc., Brokerage.

     In a dynamic and ever-evolving city like Toronto, real estate isn’t just about making a financial investment; it’s about investing in your life. Our experts have offered valuable insights on how to find a home that suits not only your budget but also your lifestyle. From Mariano’s emphasis on seizing opportunities in the market to Lauren Hesse’s focus on functionality and space, Karima Mabtoul’s take on multi-dwelling properties, and Jacob Manishevitz’s advice on embracing higher interest rates, one thing is clear—your home is more than just a property; it’s a place where you’ll create memories, build a life, and find happiness. So, whether you’re a first-time buyer, a seasoned investor, or someone in between, remember that your real estate decisions have the power to shape your future. As you embark on your journey to design your life in Toronto, consider the wisdom shared here and let it guide you toward a home that not only makes financial sense but also adds immeasurable value to your daily life in this vibrant and bustling city.