News / Toronto

Canadians thinking outside the box when it comes to snagging dream home

Half of Canadians aged 18-34 would consider purchasing a home with a family member, according to a new report from RE/Max.

Lower floor family Mandy Wintink (stair), and Mike Lovas, kissing their son, Ashar, 1, share a Leslieville home with another family who lives on the upper floor, Bronwyn Whyte, holding their son Nyjah, 1, and Lindsay White.

staff / Torstar News Services

Lower floor family Mandy Wintink (stair), and Mike Lovas, kissing their son, Ashar, 1, share a Leslieville home with another family who lives on the upper floor, Bronwyn Whyte, holding their son Nyjah, 1, and Lindsay White.

With home ownership getting more expensive in places like Toronto, Canadians, especially younger ones, are open to unconventional paths towards finding their dream home.

A new report published Thursday by Re/Max shows one in three Canadians would consider purchasing a home with a family member.

Younger Canadians, aged 18-34 are even more open to the idea of sharing a mortgage. Half said they’d be willing to buy a home with a family member and 20 per cent even said they’d go in on a house with a roommate.

Christopher Alexander, RE/MAX INTEGRA’s director for Ontario and Atlantic Canada, said it’s “encouraging” that so many Canadians are looking at other means to get into the market.

Joint home ownership is something Mandy Wintink knows well.

The 41-year-old and her husband bought a semi-detached Leslieville home last spring with their friends Lindsey White and Bronwyn Whyte.

One couple lives in the main floor with their young son, and the other on the upper level with theirs.

“We all think of each other as family,” said Wintink, noting that neither couple would have been able to afford a home on their own.

While they’ve had a great experience so far, she “wouldn’t recommend going in blind” and advised people to get to know their real estate partners before signing on the dotted line.

“It’s like committing to a marriage,” she said.

Bosley Real Estate agent Chris Cansick, who helped the couples buy their home together, said there’s been “a lot of talk” about join ownership, but not many other takers.

“It’s a very viable thing it’s probably going to happen more and more going forward,” he said.

“Everyone still wants that cookie cutter home that’s perfectly staged,” he said. “But you have to make some trade offs.”

BY THE NUMBERS:

-50 per cent of Canadians aged 18-34 would consider purchasing a home with a family member, according to the Re/MAX report.

-28 per cent of Canadians aged 18-34 would rent out a room on a vacation site like Airbnb

-37 per cent of Canadians aged 18-34 would rent out a separate suite in their home

-19 per cent of Canadians aged 18-34 would consider purchasing a home with a roommate

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