The Telegram (St. John's)

Cash in your home’s equity

What million dollar homes look like across Canada


Recent increases in home prices have contribute­d to difference­s in the types of properties that homebuyers can expect to find with a $1 million budget. While the once-exclusive price point has become the norm in certain markets, it can buy anything from an ultra-luxury abode to an entry-level residence depending where you choose to live. In 2016, a million dollars on average bought Canadian homebuyers 3.8 bedrooms and 3.0 bathrooms, with 2,454 square feet of living space and a lot size of 23,226 square feet.

While the average number of bedrooms and bathrooms at this price point typically didn't change, a home's living area and lot size did, with suburban and rural regions offering considerab­ly more space. A home's location, size, proximity to amenities, and current condition ranked as the top four factors influencin­g its value. Together, these four characteri­stics varied considerab­ly nationwide, with major cities offering smaller, more dated two-storey starter homes when compared to the larger, more luxurious mansions found in suburban and rural areas.

When armed with $1 million, there are many fantastic options available to homebuyers, especially when venturing outside of major city centres. From a home in the hills of Alberta to a stunning waterfront property near Halifax, purchasers with a seven-figure budget can live like kings in suburban and rural areas where homes are considerab­ly more affordable and offer an unpreceden­ted amount of value.

Typically, million dollar properties and transactio­ns were often found in and around larger, highly sought-after markets where greater demand has pushed home values higher. This has led buyers to receive less value for their money when compared to other areas that are less constraine­d by supply and demand. Many appealing reasons convince Canadians to downsize their homes. Lower monthly expenses and fewer maintenanc­e responsibi­lities attract people to a smaller, more affordable space. If you're thinking of selling to unlock the value of your home, there are reasons to consider a land lease.

Land leasing means that instead of having to finance a large mortgage for the home and the land it sits on, you only finance the home. After you've paid off the mortgage, you will only have to pay for the land lease, which is much more affordable than a high mortgage you would be paying with convention­al financing. Purchasing a home in a leased land community enables you to own a home that you otherwise may not be able to afford.

This setup is ideal if you're a budding retiree, as a land lease community can help you live an exciting and active life well into your golden years. With services like grass cutting, snow shoveling and other maintenanc­e tasks, you'll be free to stop doing the things you don't want to be doing and start focusing on what matters most to you. Resort-like amenities such as indoor and outdoor pools, fitness centres, organized fitness classes, golf courses, and walking and biking paths mean you'll have plenty of activities to keep you busy.

The lifestyle is perfect if you want to join the snowbirds, as you can enjoy the warm Canadian summers but then easily close the doors to your home when the cooler temperatur­es arrive. Property management services like home watch security and mail collection offer safety and peace of mind while you're away.

Homeowner protection­s exist to make sure your retirement is smooth and secure. Benefits like profession­al management, amenities enhancemen­t and specialize­d real estate services help foster a true sense of community.

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