Have you bought a home during the pandemic and now regret it? In this post, I will talk about the main reasons why people who bought their properties in 2019, 2020, and 2021 regret their purchase, what their plan is and what obstacles they face now.

According to Statistics Canada, 64,000 people left Toronto for the suburbs in 2020. And That’s only in one year. It was a very popular trend in 2019, 2020, and 2021 to sell a condo or a smaller home in town and to buy a big or just a bigger house somewhere in GTA or even beyond. These people went to the countryside, attracted by the generous square footage of living space, bigger lots, quietude, and much lower prices.

Learn more about Toronto East vs. Toronto West when it comes to housing in this blog right here.

Why People Left Toronto During the Pandemic

The main reasons why people rushed into buying a home outside of Toronto during the pandemic years  were:

  1. Needed more space
  2. They were tired of renting
  3. They wanted to change the pace of their lifestyle
  4. They wanted to be close to their family
  5. They needed more affordable housing
  6. They did not need to live close to their work anymore

But things have changed since then. Toronto’s hot housing market has slowed down and the city has completely dropped the pandemic restrictions. Restaurants, arenas, and patios are now crowded, streets are busy, and workers are returning to their offices. Now many of those who left, have started re-considering their real estate decision. They missed their friends, short and easy commutes, and their favorite spots to spend free time or shop. Many people simply miss the vibes and energy of the big city.

Why Are People Moving Back to Toronto Now?

Let’s see what are the main reasons why people are moving back to Toronto:

  1. They feel isolated
  2. They miss Toronto’s vibrancy and diversity
  3. They lack big city amenities
  4. Families with kids lack schooling and extracurricular options for their children
  5. They feel it’s hard to maintain relationships with friends and family who live in Toronto as the commute is always an issue.

Is Moving to the Suburbs a Good Idea?

If you are considering moving from Toronto To the suburbs it is wise to learn from the experience of other people who used to be in a similar situation. Keep in mind that your lifestyle will be changed once you leave the city.

The suburbs are good for buyers who are looking for a relaxed lifestyle and don’t care too much about missing out on what the big city has to offer. There are a lot of advantages of living in the countryside like a slow-paced lifestyle, friendly neighbors, smaller communities where everyone knows each other, fresh air, no hustle, no rush, the charm of farmers’ markets, bigger living spaces, bigger lots and so much more.

Interested in learning more about the Toronto real estate market? Read our FAQ on the Toronto real estate market here.

However, one important thing, which you must take into account is your future perspectives. I mean your plan for the next 5 to 10 years. The main question here to answer is “will I be able to afford to come back to Toronto a few years from now if need be”.

The buyers who sold their homes in Toronto and bought in the suburbs are now facing the most difficult problem – the affordability of returning to Toronto. This is because the prices in Toronto have not changed much since the market cooled down. I mean the prices in the most desirable neighborhoods, while in the Greater Toronto Area, we saw a great drop and the prices have returned to their pre-pandemic numbers.

With people coming back to their offices, the prices for real estate don’t go down much. Toronto keeps its value due to many factors including its world-class amenities, job opportunities, schools, universities, medical system, entertainment variety, restaurants, shopping, transportation, and other conveniences.

How to Leave the Suburbs and Move Back to Toronto

So what to start with if you are thinking about coming back to Toronto?

First of all, check your financial situation. This will include consulting with the local real estate agent and your mortgage broker. A real estate agent will evaluate the property that you own and will define your equity after a sale. Based on this number and your income your mortgage broker will estimate your purchase power which is your budget for a new property. If you need recommendations for a mortgage broker, I will be happy to connect you to one of my contacts.

The second step is to define your absolute must-haves for the future home. This includes the location of a home, its size, its features, and specific attributes which you need. Also, think of a timeline for your move. The timeline should be convenient and should not break your working or life schedule.

The third step, start looking for a home in Toronto while preparing and selling your property in suburbs. I recommend this sequence as in most cases, Toronto’s housing market is faster and more dynamic than the market outside the city and it is important to make sure you avoid the stressful situation of carrying 2 properties at the same time or selling under pressure.

When you receive an offer on your property, besides the price and other regular conditions, check with the buyers for a potential longer closing in case you need it. When your sale firms up start checking active listings in Toronto and even submitting offers. Even though Toronto’s market slowed down, the properties in popular areas with great selling features are still in high demand. That’s why you need to secure some time to make a wise purchase.

When I start working with a new buyer, we discuss and define an ideal location, property type, and features. I explain the purchase process and possible options, we also define the timelines.

If you feel that my team and I can help you with the purchase of your Toronto home, give us a call. Contact us by calling, texting, emailing, or even commenting down below. We are actively using WhatsApp, Viber, and WeChat for your convenience.

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