Julie and Mike were recently married last summer and after saving for a few years, are ready to ditch their city condo in Toronto for a modern 3 bed house in the ‘burbs’. Julie works as a nurse at a local hospital in Mississauga while Mike is self employed and works from home. They are looking for a modern, open concept space that is good for entertaining. Mike’s biggest must have is a home that has good appreciation potential and Julie’s greatest concerns are: 1) finding a community that is safe with excellent schools and 2) being within a 25 minute drive MAX of her work. While both of them originally grew up in Erin Mills in Mississauga, their first choice to live would be Oakville however they are open to either Mississauga or Burlington if the right opportunity presented itself. Budget is $650 Max.

The 3 areas I will have them look, based on her initial indicated housing style preferences, .

West Oak Trails- The Suburban Dream

Since I’m dealing with a young, educated and upwardly mobile couple who place a high value on schools, I couldn’t possibly leave out West oak Trails in Oakville. Located in the North west area of the city, West Oak Trails is one of the hottest family destinations in the west GTA. West Oak Trails is known for it’s parks, trails and excellent schools. It’s a very safe and quiet community where neighbours take care of their homes and the area has a  ‘keep up with the Jones’s’ feel which appeals to many upper middle class families.

West Oak Trails Pro’s

  • Excellent area for families.
  • Top schools and plenty of family friendly amenities including parks, trails and community centres.
  • Homes are typically in good condition and the neighbourhood itself shows pride of ownership.
  • The new hospital being built at Third Line and Dundas will help keep demand high in this area.

West Oak Trails Con’s

  • Price. Even with a healthy budget of $650,000, they might not be able to get what they are looking for.
  • Related to price, layout may be a problem also. Sure there are open concept homes in this area, but it may be tough to find them at this price point.
  • Even homes that may need work are selling at a premium, meaning that it may not be financially worth it to buy a home in this area and invest thousands fixing it up.


Clarkson- The Village With Great Potential

Everyone likes the idea of having a walking friendly community, complete with shops, parks and nightlife. The challenge with the urban village is that since everyone likes them, they are getting extremely expensive. That’s why I’ve chosen Clarkson and a possibility. Yes, I think that Port Credit and Old Oakville are fantastic and I know that’s what comes to most aspiring home buyers mind when they think of where they want to live but the reality is that on the budget we have to work with they just aren’t feasible. Based on this scenario I am recommending Clarkson in Mississauga as suitable urban village with a high upside for appreciation.

Clarkson has been undergoing tremendous price growth over the past decade as the demand for real estate near the water continues to increase. Mature tree lined streets, good sized lots, close to amenities and transportation make this an opportunity to look.

Clarkson Pro’s

  • Go train is only 20 minutes to downtown Toronto
  • Residents are close to excellent lifestyle amenities including Port Credit, Clarkson Village, Rattaray Marsh, Jack Darling park and the lakeshore.
  • Depending on where you live in Clarkson, the schools ran very high.
  • There is huge opportunity for buyers not afraid to do fixer uppers to add equity.

Clarkson Con’s

  • Depending on what area of Clarkson you live in, the schools can either be great or ok at best.
  • The most desirable areas of Clarkson have become very expensive and anything that falls within the Lorne Park School district will always be in high demand.
  • This area is older than most suburban areas, and older homes deter many home buyers who are looking for something more turn key. The true value in this neighbourhood is finding a home to update.

Headon Forest- Suburban Affordable

Since Mike and Julie indicated being open to Burlington, I will recommend exploring options in Headon Forest. The area is a safe, family oriented area where you can still get bang for your buck when compared to Oakville. There are many classic 1980’s era homes with double car garage, and nice layouts. There are some great homes available within their budget and also options that exist below their max budget which would leave them room to add their own personal touches.  

Headon Forest Pro’s

  • A quiet family area with good schools.
  • While the demographics are similar, homes are more affordable when compared to Oakville.
  • While still more affordable, Burlington has experienced tremendous price growth over the past few years as the GTA continues to expand.
  • Mature area with parks and trees.

Headon Forest Con’s

  • Located in north west Burlington, Headon Forest will be pushing the commuting limit to Mississauga.
  • If you buy a home in this area, there’s a good chance that there will be some upgrading involved.
  • The backyards are typically wide but shallow in this area, so if the home doesn’t have a lot of trees you can feel pretty close to the neighbours.


Julie and Mike are a good example of home buyers that I regularly work with. Young, professional, upwardly mobile, looking for a great home in an excellent community. While I would show them 3 options based on our initial conversation, there are many more options that exist within Oakville, Burlington or Mississauga that would work for the lifestyle they are seeking.

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