Real Estate

Aurora Townhouse vs Barrie Detached

  • Last Updated:
  • May 25th, 2021 3:38 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Apr 20, 2011
25 posts
8 upvotes
Toronto, ON

Aurora Townhouse vs Barrie Detached

I'm looking into purchasing a first home with a ~$820k budget and considering either a townhouse in Aurora or a detached home in Barrie. I plan on looking in both locations, but I think it's important to focus on one or the other.

I need enough parking space for three cars (family of three, each of us working in different locales), so I know my selection of townhomes will be limited in Aurora with this budget, but there appears to have been several units that sold within my budget in the last 30 days.

What are everyone's thoughts with respect to potential appreciation between the two? Aurora will clearly always have value given its close proximity to Toronto, but does Barrie have a higher growth potential with the coming electrification of the GO train (allowing for travel to Union Station in 50 minutes), the construction of the Bradford Bypass, and the inherently faster appreciation rates of detached properties?

We work in Vaughan, Markham, and Barrie respectively, so there is no need to commute to downtown Toronto. That being said, Aurora will be shorter commute for two of us.
Last edited by XenosIO26 on May 22nd, 2021 11:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
46 replies
Deal Addict
Mar 2, 2017
2206 posts
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Toronto/Markham
Aurora
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[OP]
Newbie
Apr 20, 2011
25 posts
8 upvotes
Toronto, ON
RichmondCA wrote: Aurora
Care to elaborate?

With respect to the appreciation aspect, it appears that in the last 5 years, Barrie detached homes have appreciated by 87%, whereas Aurora freehold townhomes have only appreciated by 59%? That's a significant difference.
Deal Fanatic
Mar 27, 2004
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Toronto
where do you work? you working from home foreseeable future?
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[OP]
Newbie
Apr 20, 2011
25 posts
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Toronto, ON
oasis100 wrote: where do you work? you working from home foreseeable future?
As per the opening post, we work in Barrie, Vaughan, and Markham respectively.
Sr. Member
Oct 30, 2017
552 posts
413 upvotes
Toronto
What about Newmarket? Is your budget capped at 820 or do you have a bit of wiggle room there?
[OP]
Newbie
Apr 20, 2011
25 posts
8 upvotes
Toronto, ON
MetalGear wrote: What about Newmarket? Is your budget capped at 820 or do you have a bit of wiggle room there?
Might be able to go up to $850k, but that's basically the limit. FTHB, so not I'm bringing any equity in from a previous home.

We are looking in Newmarket as well, but prices are not much different from Aurora. I guess you can say our debate is between Newmarket/Aurora townhouse vs Barrie detached.
Newbie
Aug 11, 2020
76 posts
30 upvotes
I think it really comes down to what you value more - eg day to day convenience (Aurora) vs appreciation potential (Barrie detached). Don't forget that both also comes with it's pros and cons, eg are you someone that likes to do work around the house as detached means you'll have more work (lawn care, bigger driveway for snow shoveling etc), but it also means more space and privacy. I think before you think about future appreciation potential, your day to day preference and quality of life should comes first. If you are someone who value shorter commute time and less day to day chores, go with Aurora town, if you want more living space, go with Barrie detached. Also I am not aware of your work situation, but consider the location if you or someone in your family changes job in the future, Aurora is probably more centrally located. Whatever decision you make just ensure it's one that everyone in the family agrees to.
Banned
Jan 3, 2021
151 posts
148 upvotes
XenosIO26 wrote: Care to elaborate?

With respect to the appreciation aspect, it appears that in the last 5 years, Barrie detached homes have appreciated by 87%, whereas Aurora freehold townhomes have only appreciated by 59%? That's a significant difference.
does someone actually need to elaborate why Aurora > Barrie?
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Jun 18, 2020
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pfcresu wrote: does someone actually need to elaborate why Aurora > Barrie?
Not usually.
[OP]
Newbie
Apr 20, 2011
25 posts
8 upvotes
Toronto, ON
pfcresu wrote: does someone actually need to elaborate why Aurora > Barrie?
Of course. Otherwise how do you tell whether the statement was based on prejudice or analysis?

For example, my opening post listed reasons why Aurora might hold its value better in the event of a market downturn, but also why Barrie is likely to see much larger value growth than Aurora in the next 5-10 years. I'm not saying that user's opinion is wrong, but there needs to be some explanation as to the factors that led to his conclusion if it is to be at all helpful.
[OP]
Newbie
Apr 20, 2011
25 posts
8 upvotes
Toronto, ON
Angela2020 wrote: I think it really comes down to what you value more - eg day to day convenience (Aurora) vs appreciation potential (Barrie detached). Don't forget that both also comes with it's pros and cons, eg are you someone that likes to do work around the house as detached means you'll have more work (lawn care, bigger driveway for snow shoveling etc), but it also means more space and privacy. I think before you think about future appreciation potential, your day to day preference and quality of life should comes first. If you are someone who value shorter commute time and less day to day chores, go with Aurora town, if you want more living space, go with Barrie detached. Also I am not aware of your work situation, but consider the location if you or someone in your family changes job in the future, Aurora is probably more centrally located. Whatever decision you make just ensure it's one that everyone in the family agrees to.
Thanks for your input, those are certainly things we are considering!
Banned
Jan 3, 2021
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people actually believe that Barrie will appreciate further?

amazing
Newbie
Feb 3, 2021
29 posts
12 upvotes
York Region, Ontario
If you are buying it to live in, you probably shouldn’t worry about appreciation at all, not for many years to come. That said, to find a townhouse in Aurora/Newmarket for 820k with enough space for 3 cars would be a stretch. That’s IF you park one of the vehicles in the garage. Honestly don’t think it works for you guys since the budget is (relatively) low and the demand for parking space is higher than most 2-car family. I say Barrie would be better for your circumstance.
Deal Addict
Mar 2, 2017
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Toronto/Markham
XenosIO26 wrote: Care to elaborate?

With respect to the appreciation aspect, it appears that in the last 5 years, Barrie detached homes have appreciated by 87%, whereas Aurora freehold townhomes have only appreciated by 59%? That's a significant difference.
The answer is in your own post: where you work vs. where you propose to live. Solve for what's in your control first, appreciation/etc should be secondary. There is way more downside risk with Barrie than Aurora that has much more established market bottom than frothy Barrie. Buying at the peak of the market my concern would be capital preservation, not appreciation.

If you worked/will continue to work in Barrie, then buy in Barrie, no question.
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Nov 30, 2005
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Ottawa, ON
CampFireFly wrote: If you are buying it to live in, you probably shouldn’t worry about appreciation at all, not for many years to come. That said, to find a townhouse in Aurora/Newmarket for 820k with enough space for 3 cars would be a stretch. That’s IF you park one of the vehicles in the garage. Honestly don’t think it works for you guys since the budget is (relatively) low and the demand for parking space is higher than most 2-car family. I say Barrie would be better for your circumstance.
Another option would be to look at properties where he can have space to expand the whole or part of the driveway about 4' which would likely allow him to fit a 2nd far in the drive way.
Deal Addict
Feb 19, 2019
1288 posts
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Stouffville ON
Aurora or whatever works better for your lifestyle.
Closer to Toronto.
Barrie commuter will be going against the traffic assuming typical work hours.
Past appreciation does not guarantee future returns, some areas fall behind in appreciation and than catch up only to allow other areas to catch up again.
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Newbie
Feb 3, 2021
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York Region, Ontario
ZxExN wrote: Another option would be to look at properties where he can have space to expand the whole or part of the driveway about 4' which would likely allow him to fit a 2nd far in the drive way.
This is an option too but that’s too much hassle to do after buying a house. You generally need a municipal permit and if the space needed doesn’t abide by the by-law, then you have to apply for minor variance which would then be taken to the committee of adjustment for approval/rejection. It can be costly (permit, variance application, architectural drawings, expensive to retain a trade these days) and time consuming, and most likely doesn’t help OP since their family already has 3 cars. Also, a townhouse (unless it’s an end/corner unit) will simply not have enough space to add a third parking spot by ripping out the front lawn.
Jr. Member
Apr 20, 2016
131 posts
93 upvotes
Unless this is an investment property you can debate some of your points. If not, then it really comes down to what is more convenient and which community you will feel better living in.....obviously there is a different demographic between Barrie and Aurora. Where are most of your friends living? If most in GTA, do you really want to isolate yourself? At the end, real estate will appreciate over time (maybe one location slightly over the other but its not going to be major when you're talking one property in York region vs. Simcoe). The difference really won't be life changing at all. I also agree with some that Barrie can be a softer market when things slow down. If you buy in Barrie and realize in the winter stuck on the 400 in a snow storm that you maybe should have stayed closer to the GTA, the costs to buy and sell will be high.
[OP]
Newbie
Apr 20, 2011
25 posts
8 upvotes
Toronto, ON
CampFireFly wrote: If you are buying it to live in, you probably shouldn’t worry about appreciation at all, not for many years to come. That said, to find a townhouse in Aurora/Newmarket for 820k with enough space for 3 cars would be a stretch. That’s IF you park one of the vehicles in the garage. Honestly don’t think it works for you guys since the budget is (relatively) low and the demand for parking space is higher than most 2-car family. I say Barrie would be better for your circumstance.
Yes, the parking issue. We visited the area and found that townhouses located on the side of the street without a sidewalk can generally fit 3 cars in total. But yes, the selection is extremely limited with our budget. Thanks for your response!

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