Since moving back home, I’ve been contemplating the idea of moving out all over again, except this time doing it solo.
After my last experience living with someone – I was hesitant with the thought. I’d be doing it on my own and the thought of failing again plagued me.
I can’t say the first time I had to move back home was completely my fault, but I still saw it as a failure. I couldn’t keep my relationship from falling apart for even a year since moving out, so who says I’ll be able to succeed my second time out the door?
Having to pack your bags and drive home to your parents house at midnight because you no longer feel at home in your home is awful. It’s even worse to have to do it because you over estimated what you were capable of and now owe your soul to the banks since your paychecks just aren’t cutting it. This is especially scary when living in Toronto, and living expenses seem to cost a fortune based on salary.
However ignoring the very important factor that is affordability – everyone has a goal, and mine is to own my own space.
Though living at home with my amazing family is a blessing, in my new mission for independence and self realization, I know deep inside that I need to take this step.
My search for the perfect condo started a few months ago. I put together a budget, planned out all my expenses, based it all on my salary and found that I can definitely afford to live on my own. I may have to give up the luxuries of eating – but everything has its pros and cons right?… Second and third job here I come!
When moving out on your own there are certain steps you really should follow.
MORTGAGE PRE – APPROVAL
The second you start thinking about moving out, the first thing you should be doing is going to a few different Bank Branches and finding out their mortgage rates. You’d be so surprised what you can learn about payments and how little of a monthly payment difference there is between what you may think you can afford, and what you really can afford.
You can always do a quick pre-approval so you can see what you are budgeting against for when you start your condo hunting.
Excel has created some AMAZING layout for when it comes to budgeting. They have already pre-set lists of what most people pay for so all you have to do is just fill in the blanks month to month. This is a great way to budget your expenses versus your monthly salary so you don’t get in over your head.
Of course you can’t budget your monthly grocery costs or gas but at least you will get an idea of whether or not you’ll still be eating or not.
PICKING YOUR IDEAL LOCATION
Location isn’t always a big deal for people – but having a radius of where you want to live will help your hunt a lot.
My whole life I was dead set on living close to my family. That was until I lived in an area about 30 minutes from home that if you told me a few years ago I’d be living there I would have argued until I lost my voice… The same area I am now planning to move back to.
I’d highly recommend checking out one or two places in locations other than your ideal spot just to see if you are willing to branch out or not. Doing this alone I very quickly narrowed down where I wanted to live to practically a set street.
DO YOUR RESEARCH & MAKE A LIST – IDEAL LAYOUT, SQ. FT, FURNITURE COSTS, etc.
I love lists. I love making lists about lists I need to make. There is nothing better than lists.
Making a list about what you want in your future home is a great way to stay organized. You can even color coordinate if you want to be as extra as me.
Jot down what form of layout you’d prefer, what furniture you’d like to have so you know if it will fit or not. Do you want dark floors or light floors? Balcony or no Balcony? High floor or low floor? Even if you over specify, knowing what you want will save you from looking at things you hate.
I went and looked at 3 of the exact same condos hoping that I’d magically change my mind about liking it and of course I hated it more and more each time. No point wasting your time and your realtors if you already know what you want. Sure it may take longer, but if you’re spending that much money already you have to have it feel like home.
FIND A REALTOR & VIEW SOME OPTIONS
Before I reached out to the agent I am currently using, I spent weeks sitting on realtor.ca and looking at all the options available in my price point. I then did the same thing out of my price point which I highly do not recommend doing. It was so important to me to continue doing my research at all times so I knew what was out there and what it was exactly that I wanted before I jumped into buying anything.
Your realtor will greatly thank you for this as you are making their job that much easier by being prepared. Know your budget and stick to it.
Once I signed a contract with my agent, we began looking at condos weekly. Viewing options can get annoying as everything starts to look the same and you start loosing hope. Its not a one week process like you originally hoped for and will take a lot more work.
On the bright side – once you do find something you like, you will instantly feel at home there.
START PUTTING IN OFFERS
Putting in offers is intimidating. You spend so much time hoping to find something that you love, so when you do, if you’re anything like me you start fearing that the second you sign those papers you lose out on finding something better.
Buyers remorse is real.
Signing my first offer was an experience like no other. The night before I knew the papers were coming, I was tossing and turning anxious about the thought of leaving home again. I don’t think it matters how many times you move out – the unknown of it all never gets less scary. But the second I sent the offer in, I felt relieved. It was real and it was going to be my home. To bad an offer isn’t the last step and it can and very often does get rejected.
On the bright side – the hunt continues and there is always something better to be found. Everything happens for a reason right?
Everyone around me keeps telling me I should spend my money on travelling, going out with friends, or shopping (I will one day live in my shoes at this point). But the practical, stubborn person I am sees every one of those options as not good enough.
I have this image in my head of me opening my very own door everyday after work and entering a beautifully decorated one bedroom (plus den if I’m lucky) condo, with grey and white furniture. Decorated with pops of pastel colours all over the place and beautiful fake flowers because the real ones just keep dying. Picture frames of my family and friends everywhere, and a little fishy who I will very originally name fishy swimming around in his tiny tank. I walk in and just feel at complete peace, pouring myself a very large glass of wine to drink away the thought that my fridge is empty and I really do need a second job… Its utter heaven.
People don’t seem to understand the dream especially since I keep pointing out just how broke moving out can make you. Its a huge commitment that you can’t just turn away from once you’re in. Why would I ever want put myself in a position where I’m living from paycheck to paycheck?
If you would have told me this a year ago I’d say its crazy too… But its the first dream I’ve had about a new future for myself since the breakup and it just feels so right to be on a path towards something again.