While price is super important when considering the house you want to buy, it is only one of a long list of things to consider. One of the most important in real estate is location. It is so important that it often decides the type of lifestyle you will lead and the type of house you will live in. This is especially true for families who desire a family home in a nice community with a good school and amenities close by.
When my husband and I started to look for a house to raise our family in, location was what mattered most to us. We placed more value on this as opposed to buying the biggest house we could afford because we wanted a quieter lifestyle in a good community where we could have more outdoor space. We found that in the Township of Guelph Eramosa. But for many, location often gets sacrificed due to rising house prices which forces people to look for something outside of their desired area. I often speak with people who think small communities such as Rockwood (in Guelph Eramosa) are too expensive to buy in but they dream of raising their family there.
My brokerage TrilliumWest just released their Q3 2018 data report http://docs.trilliumwest.com/2018_Q3_DataReport_Web.pdf) and it gives great info on the cost of real estate in Guelph, Kitchener Waterloo, Cambridge and surrounding townships. These communities are located just outside of the GTA and many people have flocked to them in recent years. Now, due to increased demand, prices have increased significantly over the past years. If you look at the report, specifically Guelph Eramosa (see page 39), house prices can seem unaffordable for many.
I want to focus on Rockwood, which is where the majority of the township’s population lives. It is desirable for many families due to it being a small suburb that is close to the GTA, highways and the GO train, has amenities in town and has a great sense of community. At first glance of the report, you would assume many families looking to move from their first home to their first house would bypass this area as the housing costs are too high. The stats show that the single-family median sale price is $674,000. The good news is that the market has corrected itself a bit and prices are down 7.7% from this time last year. But, unfortunately, the lower median price is still unaffordable for many.
But don’t fret! Not only can you afford to live in Rockwood, but you can also potentially get a house that is the cheapest in the region. Even cheaper than Milton and Guelph, which are the closest cities. You see the median price is the number in the middle. There were 40 sales in Q3 of 2018 so that means that the sale price of $674,000 is right in the middle with almost 20 sales above that price and 20 below that price.
In the past year, 78 houses have sold in Rockwood. Out of that, 23 (29%) houses sold below $600k. Of that, 7 were detached houses averaging 1480 sq ft. While you won’t find a brand new showhome in that price range, you can get a respectable three bedroom, two bath home with a good sized lot. The remainder of sales were townhouses averaging 1596 sq ft. Most were under 10 years old with the remainder being 20- 30 years old. And of these townhomes 8 sold for under $450,000. With these numbers, even first time homebuyers can afford to live here!
I want to emphasize that when you are searching for a home don’t discount an area because you think or have heard it’s too expensive. The best first step you can take is to contact a local Realtor®. Having a local agent who knows the community and the real numbers, not just averages and medians, can help you immensely when you want to place an emphasis on location. Buying a family home is a big deal and being happy with where you live is just as important as buying a house you can afford.