“I finally moved out of my parents’ home in the suburbs”

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Adventures in real estate: “I finally moved out of my parents’ home in the suburbs”

Once the pandemic hit, I realized how much the rental market had dropped. I found a one-bedroom condo on King West for $1,800

Sasha Farid, 25

Business development manager, King West

I’ve lived with my parents for most of my life. Last year, when I turned 25, I had a quarter-life crisis and felt the urge to move out of my parents’ house and live downtown. I’m young and wanted to meet people and network to advance my career. But rent was too expensive and I couldn’t afford it. I thought if I could keep saving for another two or three years, maybe I’d have enough for a down payment for a condo.

Once the pandemic hit, I realized how much the rental market had dropped. Because of my work in the real estate industry, I’m always researching the market. Units that used to be Airbnbs were being put on the rental market, and people who didn’t need to be close to their offices were leaving the city. That was all pushing rent lower and lower.
Luckily, my company didn’t let anybody go during the pandemic. We were actually hiring people, so I felt secure in my job stability and decided to move out on my own. At the end of June, I sold my car, which gave me some cash to help with a deposit.

I looked at a few listings online and found a one-bedroom condo unit on King Street West for $1,800 in early July. It’s a 550-square-foot loft-style condo with floor-to-ceiling windows and an open kitchen with beautiful white cabinetry. It probably would have gone for $2,100 or $2,200 before the pandemic. I didn’t even see the place in person before putting in the offer. I’d seen units there before and I know people who lived in this building, so I already knew it was a good spot. I just sent the paperwork in, put in an offer and that was that. The unit was already vacant so I moved in on July 14.

It was a big adjustment moving downtown. I miss my family a lot—we’re pretty close. And it’s just so busy all the time. There are people everywhere. But I’m enjoying the convenience. Everything is close by. I can walk and grab groceries, or I’ll go read a book or play basketball in Stanley Park. I’m already meeting a lot of new people. There’s always something going on.

If it weren’t for the pandemic, I’d be living at home. The difference between $1,800 and $2,200 doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you’re trying to save, it’s huge. I’m hoping to buy a condo in a few years. Now I can enjoy downtown and save. That wasn’t the case back in February.