The Drive Until You Qualify Phenomenon is where buyers who can't afford to buy in their area move towards less expensive areas to search for a home that they can afford. Brantford is a prime spot for this situation being right off the highway and not too far from the GTA for those looking not only to move out of the city, but also find an affordable home that they can raise a family in.
This can but doesn't necessarily make it harder for locals to find a home they can afford without being outbid. Even fixer-uppers are selling for a lot more than the usual first time buyers can afford. The phenomenon creates a ripple affect and continues outward towards Woodstock, Ingersoll and London, driving up prices outward as well. This isn't just affecting the Brantford Area and the west of GTA area, it affects every direction outward.
Part of the reason this is happening is the new immigrants coming to Ontario, looking to settle, work and have families. New residents need and deserve homes too, they aren’t to blame for the housing shortage. Everyone is entitled to a home they can be proud of and raise their family in. Suburban areas are commonly more family friendly and feel much safer than raising your family in the city which draws big city dwellers to our area.
This isn't something that has just popped up either, this has been building on an upward trend for years, as housing prices do.
A way that this can be combatted is by building more homes. With less bidding wars home prices should resume the trajectory they were on, and home buyers won't have to leave their local area. During the recent election most parties had a plan for affordable housing and building more homes to help the situation.
In many cases, these drivers aren't saving as much money as it would seem by moving farther from the city, they may be just getting a bigger home with more space and a yard for their families. The downside is they may be paying a excessive amount more than the house is and will be worth in the future, as well as extra fees like moving expenses and taxes.
So, should you do it? Leave Brantford, Paris or the surrounding area you call home just to find an affordable house?
That's really up to you.
If you're in need of a quick move, it might be your only option if you aren't open to renting for a bit until you find a home that works for you. Renting would give you time to sell your home and wait for a good opportunity to come up.
The waiting game is an option too. Wait on a home that's in your price range and that you can see yourself living in for a while, it doesn't have to be your forever home, you could build equity fix it up and sell it for more than you paid for it in a couple years.
In the end, there’s many ways to look at this phenomenon. If you’re interested in learning more about the housing market check out our page Ask Real Estate Experts Jody & Paula