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Top neighbourhoods to consider for first-time homebuyers

March 7, 2023

As a first-time buyer, affordability is your biggest pain point. You want a home close to work, quick access to subways, streetcars, buses, and near family and friends.

Possibly buy a townhouse or condo in a top neighbourhood for first-time buyers, with great amenities and shopping stores.

A home that is moving-in ready, with minimal maintenance and upkeep, because you are nervous about home maintenance costs. 

It should appeal to young families because it’s close to good schools, has outdoor space, and ample parking. Plus, you’re excited about the neighbourhood and lifestyle.

You want to buy an affordable home in Toronto, but you’re aware of the high real estate prices in the city, high mortgage rates, and stress tests.

So you’re looking at the best neighbourhoods in the GTA, hoping you’ll get lucky and find an affordable townhouse or condo in Toronto or the GTA.

To help narrow your search, we’ve compiled a list of the best neighbourhoods for first-time buyers.

  • Top neighbourhoods for first-time buyers

The average price of a home in the GTA in January 2023 was a little more than the $1 million mark $1.04 million), which is still unaffordable for many. 

A detached home costs $1.34 million, while the average price for a semi-detached house averaged $1.02 million. The average prices for condos and townhomes were $687,696 and $776,698, respectively.

So townhouses and condos are a good choice for first-time buyers, and here are some ideas for where to look.

1. West End Toronto High Park neighbourhood 

Toronto’s High Park neighbourhood offers highly sought-after upscale condos.

The neighbourhood is excellent for raising a family, with nearby Bloor West Village and access to the city’s largest park. It is quiet, close to downtown Toronto and has high-performing public schools. Some of them are:

  • Ursula Franklin Academy 4th best in Ontario
  • Runnymede Junior Public School
  • Runnymede Senior Public School
  • Swansea Junior and Senior Public School
  • St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School
  • Bloor Collegiate Institute, a short distance away
  • Humbercrest Public School
  • Garden Avenue Junior Public School

At just $639,900, you can own a condo in this strategic location where rental income rises with demand.

2. Richmond Hill in the York Region

Richmond Hill, the Rose Capital of the World, has beautiful surroundings, and it’s near Toronto.

The population here is highly educated, and the neighbourhood is high-end and expensive. Yet, at $650,000, you can easily buy your way into the top community.

Top reasons to buy Richmond Hill

  • Good for young families
  • Great schools
  • Great outdoor spaces
  • High-end shopping
  • Avant-garde restaurants
  • Numerous entertainment options

The southern part of the city is the best, near Highway 7 and Yonge Street.

3. Durham Region

Durham Region has some of the most affordable homes for first-time buyers, and the City of Oshawa tops the list.

The average cost of a home in Durham is $886,849 (as of January 2023), with the average price for a semi-detached house being $798,941. 

The average price for townhomes was $652,545, while condos averaged $531,781. 

Brock, Scugog and Oshawa are the best locations for a detached home.

Oshawa offers water views (a great asset), a strong sense of community, quiet neighbourhoods, and affordable homes for sale. 

It is close to downtown Toronto, and the average price of a home in Oshawa is $785,471 as of February 2023. 

Whitby Houses for first-time buyers

Whitby is closer to Toronto than the other eastern Durham Region cities. It is between Ajax and Oshawa on the north shore of Lake Ontario. 

The population is predominantly white, but the community is friendly and welcoming.

It’s a commuter suburb, and most residents drive to work in Toronto and neighbouring GTA cities via Highways 2, 407 and 401.

Commuters can use Via Rail, although the stop is in Oshawa, a 10-minute drive to Whitby. The GO train also serves the area. You can take a bus or a train to the GTA.

If you contact platinum access realtors, you can get a large condo for $703,000. Bigger than the condos in Toronto.

You will enjoy a relaxed, quiet life close to the city with access to beautiful Lake Ontario. You can ski, sail and take advantage of the more than 100 parks in the area. The neighbourhood is also safe, and the crime rate is low.

The best neighbourhoods in Whitby for first-time buyers

The Rolling Acres neighbourhood sits between Highways 401 and 407 and has many parks with walking trails.

Port Whitby has waterfront views because it’s near Lake Ontario. It also has excellent amenities.

Williamsburg, on the west side of town, is picturesque and has an elite community living in large detached homes (3 or 4 bedrooms). 

It’s close to two major highways, highway 4 and Highway 412. Dundas Street and Brock Street also access the neighbourhood.

Next Steps

Talk to us today if you’re a first-time buyer unsure where to start and which location to choose.

We’ll guide you through the process, and you’ll get experience and statistics-based information.