Home buying just requires a little compromise: Study



rafe arnott/metro vancouver


First-time home buyers Jason Toth, 32, and Ginger Pottin, 31, share a laugh with their Rottweiler Sydney at their West End condo yesterday. The couple said people need to jump into the market, and not drag their heels fearing a down turn.

Homeownership in Vancouver is not a pipe dream for first-time buyers if they’re willing to make some practical compromises, according to a Century 21 study released yesterday.

People are making lifestyle sacrifices, like living in smaller homes or accepting longer commutes, to buy a place in Canada’s priciest city, the Century 21 Canada National First-Time Buyers Survey found.

Josh Devins, 28, a software developer, bought his first home, a one-bedroom $240,000, 600-square-foot condo, near Cambie Street and Broadway three years ago.

"We knew that we wanted to live in Fairview Heights, but we had to live in a smaller apartment than we would have liked (to)," said Devins.

Jason Toth, 32, and Ginger Pottin, 31, both of whom work in the film industry, bought their first home, an 800-square-foot, $400,000 condo in the West End in April.

They said they love being homeowners, but they had to live without some features to find a place they could afford.

"If we would have had a balcony … it would have been an extra $20,000, and to have a (better) view." said Pottin.

And according to a Statistics Canada study released yesterday, people who live with their parents to save money to buy a house don’t achieve that goal any sooner than those who move out at 18 or 19.

According to StatsCan’s Study: Staying At Home Longer To Become Homeowners, people who move out after 25 are even less likely to buy a home.