21-year-old homeowner says entering real estate market a 'no brainer'

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21-year-old homeowner says entering real estate market a 'no brainer'

21-year-old homeowner says entering real estate market a 'no brainer'

Jonathan Haché recently moved out of his parents' house into a Moncton duplex he bought himself. The 21-year-old computer programmer says the affordable $120,000 price and the income he'll get from a tenant made buying, a better choice than renting.  

"It's a no brainer," he said.

Haché started saving at 14-years-old, when he started his first job at McDonald's. He's always worked at something over the years, either making pizza or being a deckhand on his grandfather's fishing boat.

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"That made me learn I don't like labour, so now I'm a software developer."

Moving straight from his parents' house into a home he owns himself made sense to Haché .

"Right now instead of throwing money somewhere else I'm getting paid and getting equity on top of that," he said.

"There's a jam area set up in the basement, and I set up some of the things I couldn't do at mom and dad's."

While he doesn't know many people his age purchasing their own homes, he doesn't feel different from other people in their twenties.

"I wouldn't say I'm good with money," he said. "Like a lot of people my age, I love to eat in restaurants, so that's a big expense."

An early interest in investing

But with a kitchen of his own, he plans to start cooking at home more often.

"Now, instead of eating out at restaurants, I'm spending money doing groceries and buying cookbooks."

Haché credits this major purchase at an early age to an interest in investing.

"I've always planned for the future so, started saving young, made some terrible investments on terrible advice, learned from that, read books.

"And, you know, I felt like buying a house was a good way to be in my own space and grow myself and the things I want to do."

Realtor Chantal Albert said it's not uncommon to see people under 30 buying a home.

In fact, she estimates most of her customers are millennials.

"We find that people are coming into the market just when they finished university," she said. "If they get a job instead of renting they'll own a home a lot sooner."

Albert sees a trend in Greater Moncton now.

"We're seeing original Maritimers that have gone to Ontario, Montreal, Vancouver and larger cities that are coming back to put down roots here, and obviously if they've sold something they have a hefty down payment because they've built up some equity in those inflated markets."

Sell at asking price

Where Albert said it's common to see bidding wars in larger centres, houses in Moncton go for more than their asking price about once a year.

Pierre Leduc of the Canadian Real Estate Association said Moncton is a buyer's market. He said the values of homes in Moncton tends to increase slowly and houses can take time to sell.

Haché said he doesn't know what he'd do if Moncton's real estate market looked more like the markets in large cities.

"I can't imagine the salary someone has to have to own a house in Vancouver or Toronto."