Real Estate

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

  • Last Updated:
  • Jan 17th, 2018 2:39 pm
Deal Fanatic
Jan 27, 2006
8729 posts
3000 upvotes
Vancouver, BC
S52B wrote:
Jan 12th, 2018 3:26 pm
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?
Yes as long as you are willing to do the maintenance on it (either looking after hiring someone or doing it yourself). With Strata life, you are more often than not stuck with either a substandard job or one that is overpriced for what it is.
Newbie
Feb 24, 2017
39 posts
17 upvotes
I bought a smaller detached house instead of a townhouse.

It's nice because of the privacy you get , large garage and large land space all around the house.

You learn to utilize the space to the fullest. It's also nice being fully in control of your house and not have to pay maintenance fees or have to hope you get good neighbors.
Deal Addict
Sep 5, 2009
2857 posts
1045 upvotes
I just moved into a 1200sqft bungalow that we are in the process of putting an addition on. We are living in the bungalow as we work through permits. Honestly, I am shocked about how big a 1200sqft bungalow feels and I am coming from a 3000sqft house. I am loving bungalow living so far, I am still going through the addition because I have a kid and promised my spouse we would do it.
Current cell plans:
Fido $15 3gb
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Affordable wireless is possible, just takes some creativity.
Newbie
Nov 9, 2016
56 posts
4 upvotes
S52B wrote:
Jan 12th, 2018 3:31 pm
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.
I think if you are already planning a move in 5 years then don't move...What is it you will want in 5 years? Could you not try to move to your "forever" home now or sooner than 5 years instead?
[OP]
Jr. Member
User avatar
Dec 17, 2009
183 posts
107 upvotes
care73 wrote:
Jan 12th, 2018 8:31 pm
I think if you are already planning a move in 5 years then don't move...What is it you will want in 5 years? Could you not try to move to your "forever" home now or sooner than 5 years instead?
We would want a bigger detached in 5 years time, but that is just a guesstimate.

I just think in case anything happens and we aren't able to move for the next 5 or even 10 years, it might be able to be in a detached than a townhouse?
Deal Addict
Oct 29, 2010
4216 posts
595 upvotes
S52B wrote:
Jan 12th, 2018 8:41 pm
We would want a bigger detached in 5 years time, but that is just a guesstimate.

I just think in case anything happens and we aren't able to move for the next 5 or even 10 years, it might be able to be in a detached than a townhouse?
Your 3 stories townhouse is about 700 sqft per story where the bungalow is 1,200 sqft, I'm sure it will feel bigger because you will have more things on a single floor.
If you think about it, your 2,200 sqft townhouse is comparable to 1,500 sqft townhouse with 2 stories and a basement, I'm guessing (I could be wrong) that your basement is above ground which is why they count it and call it 3 stories.

In certain areas if you're ok with 3 bedroom detached, you can find some pretty good deals on relatively new houses. Just as one example, I've seen a few like that in Kleinburg go for around 1.1M recently which is interesting because I have a 1,900 sqft townhouse which is new and I believe I can get 0.95-1M for it, so it's a small gap between townhouse and a detached. If I wanted the same thing with 4 bedrooms, then it jumps quite a bit more which makes it not as affordable.
Newbie
Feb 24, 2017
39 posts
17 upvotes
S52B wrote:
Jan 12th, 2018 3:27 pm
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.
How are you builders allowed to include the sq ft of a garage as part of the house? That seems wrong..

Also, why do a lot of new townhouses not have a basement?
Banned
Dec 22, 2017
322 posts
128 upvotes
S52B wrote:
Jan 12th, 2018 3:26 pm
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?
Nope, it's a lifestyle choice. Freehold is good if you can't afford to have others do yard work, plow driveways and landscaping. When you move to freehold, you will need to hire people to cut grass, landscape, weed, fertilize and etc. Or you can buy equipment and waste time doing it yourself

I live in a freehold detached and I essentially pay "condo" fee in form of paying others to do the work. I hate doing any work outside for the house and hate yard, wish I could pave it all. So I spent a fortune to landscape it and have grass in front yard only now

Spent 50k to landscape the backyard and have Gardner's come maintain it all for front and back
Last edited by TrafficEng on Jan 13th, 2018 8:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
Banned
Dec 22, 2017
322 posts
128 upvotes
S52B wrote:
Jan 12th, 2018 8:41 pm
We would want a bigger detached in 5 years time, but that is just a guesstimate.

I just think in case anything happens and we aren't able to move for the next 5 or even 10 years, it might be able to be in a detached than a townhouse?
Wouldn't the old cheap bungalow require a lot of renos since it's quite a bit older? You would to consider that as well in your calculations. How old is the bungalow?
Deal Addict
Oct 7, 2007
3833 posts
1132 upvotes
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 :)
All things being equal I would move into the detached for sure. However, the biggest question you have to ask yourself is whether the LOCATION of the detached is more or less convenient than where you live now. If it is further away from your work and will burden you with extra commuting, I would hold off and look for something that doesn't move you further away.

You will have more independence in a detached and benefit from saying goodbye to those monthly maintenance fees.
Deal Fanatic
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Jun 26, 2005
8475 posts
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Toronto
Remember any profits from your primary residence is not taxed. Your home is the biggest investment that you will ever make.

So if you can afford it, it's a no brainer, go to the detached. In Ontario, especially Toronto, all properties appreciate but the rate differs. From real stats in the past, Your property value will double on average:

Condo: every 10-11years
Townhouse : 8-9 years
Detached: 7-8 years or less depending on location

So owning a detached means you are on a faster train. Even if you don't need the money (when you finally sell it), wouldn't it be nice to gift that to your niece or nephew later? Or donate $1 million to your favorite charity?

My philosophy is, if you have the ability to earn money, you should earn as much as you can. Then donate it to those who don't have that ability. It is extremely difficult for a homeless person or a person with only high school education to earn moeyn like you or I can. So don't waste your abilities.

Of course, with any property, buy in a good location.

All the work, etc you can do it or hire someone to. Any costs you spent on hiring, fixing, will be covered and more by the increase in value of your detached house.

Imagine you did this 20 years ago. How much would your detached house be worth in 2018?

Go for it!!
Jr. Member
Aug 29, 2011
193 posts
146 upvotes
GTA
rfdrfd wrote:
Jan 13th, 2018 7:18 pm
Remember any profits from your primary residence is not taxed. Your home is the biggest investment that you will ever make.

So if you can afford it, it's a no brainer, go to the detached. In Ontario, especially Toronto, all properties appreciate but the rate differs. From real stats in the past, Your property value will double on average:

Condo: every 10-11years
Townhouse : 8-9 years
Detached: 7-8 years or less depending on location

So owning a detached means you are on a faster train. Even if you don't need the money (when you finally sell it), wouldn't it be nice to gift that to your niece or nephew later? Or donate $1 million to your favorite charity?
I don’t know what is funnier. Your property will double every eight years on average. Or donate your $1M to charity.
The Duke
Deal Addict
Dec 28, 2007
3286 posts
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Land owner vs strata slave.

The choice is clear.
[OP]
Jr. Member
User avatar
Dec 17, 2009
183 posts
107 upvotes
Thanks for all the input guys! Very helpful!

I found the floor plans for both the detached and the townhouse.

The only concern is, since we will not be staying at this house forever, which one will have a higher resale value? I know the logical answer is detached, but this is a very small detached so I am not too sure...
Images
  • Detached.png
  • Townhouse.jpg
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Dec 27, 2009
5237 posts
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Ottawa, ON
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.
They have a dog. Our dogs love playing in our fenced in yard all year long.

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