Real Estate

Stay in big townhouse or "upgrade" to small detached?

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  • Jan 17th, 2018 2:39 pm
[OP]
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Dec 17, 2009
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Stay in big townhouse or "upgrade" to small detached?

Me and my partner currently live in a 2200 sqft townhouse in Richmond Hill (3 storey and the sqft includes a double car garage), it has 3 bedrooms and 3 washrooms.

We are thinking of moving to a detached, since our current townhouse does not have a yard, only a small balcony.

We found a really tiny detached bungalow near 404 and Steeles area, first floor is about 1200 sqft, with 3 bedrooms and 2 washrooms, and an additional 700 sqft basement apartment (an extra bedroom and washroom), also double garage.

We did some calculations, it will cost us about 25k upfront to move from the townhouse to the detached. The mortgage amount every month will be around the same.

We also pay a monthly maintenance at our current townhouse ($225 a month).

What are your opinions on this? The only thing holding us back is that the detached is pretty small compared to our current townhouse, and we are not sure if we will be used to it. On the other hand, a detached is a detached, and it has a decent sized yard and is freehold.

Any opinions will be welcomed, just want to get some different perspectives on this :)

EDIT: Added floor plans for both houses.
Images
  • Detached.png
  • Townhouse.jpg
Last edited by S52B on Jan 12th, 2018 11:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
38 replies
Member
Feb 20, 2017
264 posts
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Barrie, ON
S52B wrote:
Jan 12th, 2018 11:21 am
Me and my partner currently live in a 2200 sqft townhouse in Richmond Hill (3 storey and the sqft includes a double car garage), it has 3 bedrooms and 3 washrooms.

We are thinking of moving to a detached, since our current townhouse does not have a yard, only a small balcony.

We found a really tiny detached bungalow near 404 and Steeles area, first floor is about 1200 sqft, with 3 bedrooms and 2 washrooms, and an additional 700 sqft basement apartment (an extra bedroom and washroom), also double garage.

We did some calculations, it will cost us about 25k upfront to move from the townhouse to the detached. The mortgage amount every month will be around the same.

We also pay a monthly maintenance at our current townhouse ($225 a month).

What are your opinions on this? The only thing holding us back is that the detached is pretty small compared to our current townhouse, and we are not sure if we will be used to it. On the other hand, a detached is a detached, and it has a decent sized yard and is freehold.

Any opinions will be welcomed, just want to get some different perspectives on this :)
It's all personal preference, if you like the bungalow more and can live with the smaller space do it. My partner and I are currently in a detached three story, and are looking for a bungalow but have had the same problems bungalow's are just smaller overall and need to get use to the smaller space, we haven't found one we could actually see ourselves living in yet as most of the time the kitchen/living room/dining room is all one space and crammed together.

But it's what we want so we'll find one eventually.
Deal Addict
Feb 23, 2009
1389 posts
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Oshawa
Buy a bigger detached further away. Get a bigger yard and enjoy the space.
Bungalow will be easier to maintain, clean, get around and you will have a larger basement and be happier. Lots of deals to be found in resale as the market falls.
Deal Addict
Dec 6, 2006
4053 posts
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Toronto
*I* would do it. I assume the detached as a decent sized yard anyway since that's why you want to move. Honestly i'll all be personal preference. I would do it because (1) I don't really care or desire for a large sqft home and (2) I definitely want a yard and basement.

But a side... your current townhouse is 2200 sqft including the sqft of the garage? Don't think I ever see any property that include the sqft from garage.
[OP]
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pkrash wrote:
Jan 12th, 2018 1:39 pm
Buy a bigger detached further away. Get a bigger yard and enjoy the space.
Bungalow will be easier to maintain, clean, get around and you will have a larger basement and be happier. Lots of deals to be found in resale as the market falls.
We definitely won't need a big detached as it's just me, my partner, a cat, and a dog. No plans on having kids ever.

How much use can someone get out of a basement really?
[OP]
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boyohboy wrote:
Jan 12th, 2018 1:43 pm
But a side... your current townhouse is 2200 sqft including the sqft of the garage? Don't think I ever see any property that include the sqft from garage.
Yes we bought the townhouse as a pre-con, and that is what was written on the floor plan.
Deal Addict
Jul 3, 2011
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Thornhill
If the bungalow is livable and won't cause any unexpected expense upon possession then it seems you should seriously consider the move here's why:

- you can add on to a bungalow which you can not ever do to your townhouse in RH

- 1200sf for 2 people is very good allowing you greater room flexibility and mobility. Consider your 3 storey is about 600sf (excl. garage) per floor and even less because of stairways and configuration

- the basement apartment is a huge plus right now allowing you to offset your expenses

- the basement traditionally was used as the relaxation area long before family rooms became the norm. They're still coveted and invaluable in a small home and so of you need additional space the basement adds another 900sf which, because of configuartion on 2 floors would be larger than and far more efficient than your 3 storey.

- if you plan on having a family, the layout of a bungalow will be more welcome than the 3 storeys you have. look around now and imagine how the space would look for your family of 3 or 4 when not sleeping and with tots and stairs.

- the yard is an extension of private indoor space far more accommodating and welcoming than a balcony for family and gatherings

- Steeles and the 404 is a great area.
Deal Fanatic
Jan 27, 2006
8837 posts
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Vancouver, BC
Remember that the monthly maintenance that you would be 'saving' from the townhouse will probably be plowed right back into the house for the first year or two as you 'fix' things that you find which should have been fixed in the first place so don't count on that for any savings near to mid term.
Sr. Member
Jun 12, 2007
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GTA
S52B wrote:
Jan 12th, 2018 11:21 am
We found a really tiny detached bungalow near 404 and Steeles area, first floor is about 1200 sqft, with 3 bedrooms and 2 washrooms, and an additional 700 sqft basement apartment (an extra bedroom and washroom), also double garage.
Do you like spending most time inside or outside? To me at least, a yard is usable only 4 months a year, 5 tops if the year is having a wonderful weather. Some years even the summer is awful, raining all the time.
I personally wouldn't move from 2200 sqft to 1200 but that's just me. You didn't mention if you current townhouse has a basement? If not, then it's more like moving from 2200 to 1900 sqft + yard, which is a very different ballgame.
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licenced wrote:
Jan 12th, 2018 1:58 pm
If the bungalow is livable and won't cause any unexpected expense upon possession then it seems you should seriously consider the move here's why:

- you can add on to a bungalow which you can not ever do to your townhouse in RH

- 1200sf for 2 people is very good allowing you greater room flexibility and mobility. Consider your 3 storey is about 600sf (excl. garage) per floor and even less because of stairways and configuration

- the basement apartment is a huge plus right now allowing you to offset your expenses

- the basement traditionally was used as the relaxation area long before family rooms became the norm. They're still coveted and invaluable in a small home and so of you need additional space the basement adds another 900sf which, because of configuartion on 2 floors would be larger than and far more efficient than your 3 storey.

- if you plan on having a family, the layout of a bungalow will be more welcome than the 3 storeys you have. look around now and imagine how the space would look for your family of 3 or 4 when not sleeping and with tots and stairs.

- the yard is an extension of private indoor space far more accommodating and welcoming than a balcony for family and gatherings

- Steeles and the 404 is a great area.
Awesome input, thank you! The area is a big factor as well since it will be closer to work for both me and my partner.
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craftsman wrote:
Jan 12th, 2018 2:13 pm
Remember that the monthly maintenance that you would be 'saving' from the townhouse will probably be plowed right back into the house for the first year or two as you 'fix' things that you find which should have been fixed in the first place so don't count on that for any savings near to mid term.
Yeah we are not really too concerned with not paying maintenance, but I assume owning a freehold is always better than a condo townhome in the long run?
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NuclearBlast wrote:
Jan 12th, 2018 2:23 pm
Do you like spending most time inside or outside? To me at least, a yard is usable only 4 months a year, 5 tops if the year is having a wonderful weather. Some years even the summer is awful, raining all the time.
I personally wouldn't move from 2200 sqft to 1200 but that's just me. You didn't mention if you current townhouse has a basement? If not, then it's more like moving from 2200 to 1900 sqft + yard, which is a very different ballgame.
The 2200 sqft is 3 storeys including the sqft of garage, no basement.

I do enjoy spending time in the yard in the summer, and we probably will build a nice deck so we can have BBQs and stuff, which is not possible to do right now.
Last edited by S52B on Jan 12th, 2018 3:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Deal Addict
Dec 5, 2009
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A yard (especially a big one) also provides way more privacy, even if you never use it. So you would gain a lot from that perspective.
[OP]
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Dec 17, 2009
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Just want to also mention, this won't be our forever home, as we are both still in our early 30s. So would also like some perspective on the resale value of each property.

We will probably stay at the current property for another 5ish years.
Deal Fanatic
Dec 11, 2008
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Do keep in mind that you will need to begin the joy or yard work and other outdoor maintenance requirements.

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