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How long do you plan to live in your home before reselling?

Admiral Beez

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I've owned two houses in my life. One, my wife and I bought in Cabbagetown in 1998 after graduating university in 1995 and starting our careers, where we still live today. The other in 2004 in Fredericton, NB where I had a three year job contract, after which we returned to the Cabbagetown house. My friends, about my age (48) have bought and sold multiple properties over the years, starting with a smaller home, then a larger home, followed by an even larger home, and now returning to smaller homes. I think of all the realtor fees, VAT and land transfer taxes, but perhaps they made money on the resells, IDK. Our home has always been a small'ish semi, and we've made do with its size, never wanting to move elsewhere for the sake of the home space or school district, etc.

How long does the average person live in their home nowadays before selling? Given how unreliable and cheaply built appliances (compared to my now 21 year old Kenmore stove, washer, etc) and most fixtures are now, I think the average home must flip every five years. And with the cost of real estate being so much higher relative to incomes (in 1998 our pre-tax combined income was equal to 25% of the total house cost, in rough shape, sketchy area, before gentrification took off) combined with the terrible rental market, I can fully understand Torontonians grabbing at the tiniest property they can afford and hoping it will appreciate in value while they save for the property size they wanted in the first place. I have the home I always wanted, so will never leave, until health or mortality demands it.

So, how long do you plan to live in your home before reselling?
 
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Neutrino

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I can't stand the idea of buying real estate as an "investment." The way I was raised is that a house is home, first and foremost. That's the way I'm treating my first property that I bought a few weeks ago. I'm planning to live in my 2 bedroom condo until I have kids. So about 10 years away for me as per my current plan. Ultimately I want a medium sized detached (no more than 1,700 sq. ft.) on a larger lot somewhere in Richmond Hill or Thornhill. That house I'll probably keep until my kids move out - 18-24 years. After that, who knows. Too far out to plan.
 

Admiral Beez

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@Neutrino Sounds like a good plan. When we arrived in Canada in 1976 we bought a house at Derry Road and Winston Churchill. After moving to the Beach(es) in Toronto in 1988, I swore to myself I'd never again live in a subdivision. For me, walkability and convenience combined with middle to high income, house proud neighbours in a dense area but with a lack of condo towers is ideal for me.

Here's my approximate Walkability score. Anything lower than 70% is not for me. https://www.walkscore.com/score/200-winchester-st-toronto-on-canada
 

gabe

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I work in sales for a railing contractor. You'd be surprised how many baby boomers are buying houses right now. The kids move out, so they downsize to a condo, they absolutely hate condo life, so they buy another house again.
 

canarob

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Lots of boomers are building custom "bungalofts" in the older parts of suburbs these days that are bigger than the houses they had when they had kids in the house. Often 3-4k square-feet of one-level living and guest bedrooms in loft above or in basement.

I'm a Gen Xer that is never leaving my smallish suburban house unless my life circumstances change dramatically. Many of my friends are in different types of housing, but likely won't sell for decades. It's too expensive to move these days unless your current housing becomes inadequate or you need to move to a new location.
 

lenaitch

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I grew up in Toronto and left in the early 70s for career. Came back in the mid 80s when work moved me back to the city but lived in York and Durham. Most of our moves have been work-caused but some personal. The longest we've lived in a house is 9 years. The line around our house is that every 8-10 years we fear that real estate agents and lawyers are starving and in need of our help. I've said they'll take me out of this one in a pine box but I think I've said that about the last two.
We're all retired now but of the two close friends I grew up with, one was moved around at least as much as us, but the other bought his first house in Scarborough and is still there.
Like I think most of my generation, I consider a house as a place to live rather than an investment. Unless you are moving from a high growth area, when you factor in all the costs, moving can be a net cost that can take several years to recover.
 

lenaitch

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I moved so often as a kid from 1976 to 1996 (Lewisham, UK followed by four houses in Mississauga, another in Toronto) that I wanted firm roots once I bought.

I think the same sentiment has rubbed off on our kid - she endured five moves. She works for the CAF (civilian) and feels for the kids of officers who move around so much. A kid of one family she came close to and has moved four times between three countries. That has to have an impact. Not necessarily always negative, some just accept it as a lifestyle and often carry it on.
 

vic

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12 years now in our first house, a semi in the Junction Triangle. I've also joked that my next move will be in a pine box.... I don't like the process of moving, and I really like where we are now anyway.

A typical Toronto semi, with small family (2 adults, 1 kid, dog, cat) is already much bigger than I really think we need. I've actually been thinking it will be nice when it's time to downsize into something (a bit) smaller.
 

cdr108

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Typical Toronto semi is a 1,300-1,400 SF (+ 600-650 SF low ceiling basement) 2-storey 3 bedroom 1 or 2 bathroom house.

I wouldn't consider that too big for a small family (2 adults, 1 kid, dog, cat) unless the basement is lowered & finished, thereby providing almost 2,000 SF total living space.

I'm considering buying/moving into a 1,300 SF 2 bedrooms + 1 den. 2 bathroom condo - the den is big enough (10' x 10') to be used as sleeping quarter if needed (but it doesn't have a window) which is about the same size as the bedrooms.
 

vic

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Typical Toronto semi is a 1,300-1,400 SF (+ 600-650 SF low ceiling basement) 2-storey 3 bedroom 1 or 2 bathroom house.
I wouldn't consider that too big for a small family (2 adults, 1 kid, dog, cat) unless the basement is lowered & finished, thereby providing almost 2,000 SF total living space.

Yeah, that's pretty much exactly ours. Basement is finished but not lowered (6 to 6.5', I'm hunchbacked throughout most of it). Oversized garage on laneway as well...so that keeps the clutter out of the house. We could get by without the third bedroom, laundry room, and some of the (poorly-partitioned) living room space without cramping our lifestyle much at all. More space leads to more crap. :)
 

Admiral Beez

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Yeah, that's pretty much exactly ours. Basement is finished but not lowered (6 to 6.5', I'm hunchbacked throughout most of it). Oversized garage on laneway as well...so that keeps the clutter out of the house. We could get by without the third bedroom, laundry room, and some of the (poorly-partitioned) living room space without cramping our lifestyle much at all. More space leads to more crap. :)
I hate clutter and crap. In my house every horizontal surface has crap on it. I joke to my wife that when I die she can put all my possessions into two boxes and make room for the next chap. We have four floors and five bedrooms full of crap.
 
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