There’s times when people feel sorry for us when we say we live in Scarborough. But we don’t feel bad at all. Scarborough is our home and we love it.
Here’s why we chose to buy a house in Scarborough:
1. Didn’t want to live in a condo/townhouse
There’s not many options in Toronto even with what we thought at the time was a sizeable budget of $600-700k. One bedroom condos were going for over $500k. Condos/townhouses weren’t for us because we wanted to have some privacy. After a long day at work, we didn’t want to come home to a nightmare neighbour who plays loud music and makes all kinds of weird noises. Living in a condo/townhouse meant we had to make a compromise for which neither of us were prepared to do.
The only choice for us was really a detached house so that’s what we started looking for.
Options for detached homes in Toronto in our price range were few and seldom and got snatched up really quickly whenever it got listed so we really had to be open with location and Scarborough happened to be the only area on the list that met this requirement.
2. Detached houses for under $700k near the subway line
We bought our house in 2016 for $650k very close to Warden Station (Warden Ave & St.Clair Ave) about 2 minutes by bus or 10 minutes if walking. This meant we could get to downtown Toronto (Eaton Centre) in about 40 minutes or under 20 minutes by car.
We wanted to be as close to the TTC subway line as possible and the reality was that there were only a handful of subway stations with houses selling within our budget and Scarborough presented itself as the only option. At the time neither of us had a car and we both worked in downtown Toronto so public transit was going to be our only option.
3. Large lots, big backyards, a garage
There’s something rewarding to us about owning a house/plot of land and being able to do whatever we wanted to do with it. Our house is 40 feet wide and 107 feet deep and came with an attached garage.
We liked having the flexibility that came with a house with a large lot which meant we could potentially extend the house or demolish and reconstruct a brand new house with a double car garage if we ever needed to.
Scarborough was one of the only areas left where we could live in the city and own a decent size plot of land.
4. Separate Entrance to the Basement (Potential Secondary Suite)
Being first time homeowners meant there’s a lot we don’t know about being homeowners and costs we weren’t used to.
We were scared when we bought our house and what was on the back of both our minds was what we would do if either of us lost our jobs. What definitely eased some of that worry was when we recession proof our home purchase with a home that came with a finished basement with separate entrance to the basement and it’s own kitchen. It was nice to know that we had the option to rent out a potential two bedroom basement unit for about $1,000 a month and that would end up cutting our $2,000 month mortgage in half.
When we were looking at houses with a separate basement unit to generate potential rental income if we needed to, Scarborough was once again top on the list as a lot of the bungalows in the area already had a separate entrance.
Living in Scarborough gives us the freedom to live our lifestyle and help meet our financial goals. These four reasons alone outweigh any negative misconceptions or concerns we ever had about living in Scarborough.