On September 18th, 2023, my wife and I bought our first (and only) house all in cash in downtown Toronto. We rented and invested our money for 19 years in the stock market, and today, after pulling out our investments at the age of 40 and 41 respectively, we finally closed.
Here’s a screenshot of the final land transfer/final deed! (I’ve blacked out most of it, obviously…)
Total cost of house: $740,000 CAD.
I don’t earn a lot, or even work particularly hard. But almost 20 years in the market is a long enough time, that our combined, regular contributions grew big enough to make the purchase. I started my savings back in India, and it’s one of my biggest regrets that I didn’t shift my investments over to the US when we moved to Florida in 2009. I would have done far, far better. But I was young, and didn’t think about it too much.
Throughout this time, central banks all over the world have whispered to us “Borrow. Interest rates are low”. But I refuse to go into debt. Philosophically, I will not owe someone money, ever. I’ve never even had a credit card.
Last month, on the 22nd of August, my landlady asked my wife and I to vacate our condo in downtown Toronto. So we finally decided to bite the bullet and bought the condo eleven floors above. We bought it 4 days later on the 26th and made the initial deposit, three days ago we transferred the money to our lawyer’s trust account, and today the deed closed.
It’s funny because while creating the bank drafts in TD, the person told at the bank counter told us to get a HELOC, lol! Sure, buddy, after 19 years of avoiding debt, this is the moment I choose to take a loan against my house :D .
One pertinent fact. This January, I received half a million as an early inheritance. I’m not going to lie – even though I didn’t need this money to buy the house, it gave me the security to dump the rest of my savings into this condo. This way, I still have plenty of money left over in my investments as a buffer. Would I have still purchased it without the inheritance? Maybe. Renting in downtown Toronto is expensive, and right now, it makes financial sense. But still…
I fully recognize that this is a massive privilege, and I got super duper lucky.
We never plan to leave this place, and hopefully I will die here. It’s why I don’t view my condo as an investment, and don’t really care if it appreciates in value. But yes, it’s nice to have options, as people mentioned in that CMV.
But the bottom line is that central banks everywhere have been pushing us to go into debt with artificially low interest rates. And over the years, we could have, of course, taken out a mortgage. But no. I will die without ever having soiled myself on that account. (This is only a personal standard. I don’t judge others for taking debt – not my business).