Choosing Convenience Over Size
|One of the many Chinese grocery stores we visit.
This isn't surprising.
If money wasn't a factor, I'd pick convenience over size as well.
Unfortunately, money IS a factor for most people when choosing a house in Toronto.
The last report I heard, single detached houses in Toronto were selling upwards of $900,000! That's more than double the price of our semi-detached house wifey and I picked up over two years ago.
Not only that, but house prices only continue to skyrocket. In our area, new townhomes are started from the 500s ($500,000+).
However, what is convenience?
For us, one of the main reasons for choosing to live in Markham was access to the GO Station. Since we couldn't afford a house in Toronto and wifey didn't know how to drive, wifey needed a way to get to her job in downtown Toronto. She has since changed jobs. Fortunately for her, there is an express bus that takes her to a TTC subway station and the bus stop is only a 1 minute walk from our house.
Another factor was the proximity to the Chinese supermarkets and restaurants. This wasn't really for wifey and I as much as it was for wifey's parents. They don't speak any English so going out to do anything would be problematic.
A bonus to this point is the fact there are a lot of Chinese people in Markham. The in-laws have since made many friends in our area. So much so that they are usually out of the house taking walks with their friends.
Another reason for choosing Markham? There are a lot of regular supermarkets within a 5km radius. We have a Walmart, Food Basics, Fresh Co, No Frills, Loblaws, and Longos. In addition to these, there's a Shoppers and Home Depot close by as well.
The final reason for choosing Markham? It's close to my job. I only need to drive 13km. In the summer, it's close enough that I can bike it once a week. Granted, I may need to take another job in another location, but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.
We could have moved to East Gwillimbury or Newmarket (for example) and gotten a much bigger house for much less. But then wifey would need to take a GO bus before boarding a GO Train, I'd need to drive much longer to commute to work, and the in-laws wouldn't have many places to go where they would understand and be understood... Although, I'm quickly learning that there are Chinese people everywhere...
In any case, for us, convenience is a short commute, close proximity to grocery stores, and access to the Chinese community.
For someone who has lived in downtown Toronto all their life and doesn't drive a vehicle, living in Markham isn't likely to be convenient for them.