To buy or to rent? The only person that can answer this question is you. Blog over.
Kidding! Sort of…
If you ask 5 people if you should buy or rent, 5 people will give you 5 different answers.
As an agent, it’s extremely commission-focused to just say “don’t pay someone else’s mortgage, buy your own place & invest in real estate.” While it’s true that you’ll be helping someone pay their own investment there are many situations where renting is the right decision!
There are many factors that should go into your decision to buy or to rent. I’m not here to tell you what to do, I’m here to educate YOU to make an advised decision. (That of course I can help you execute.)
For now, I’m going to leave you with some guiding questions to ask yourself. If you still don’t have a clear view of what is right, we’ll keep searching for the right answer, together!
Question 1: How long do you planning on living in your new space?
If you don’t know the answer, it may not be the right time to buy. On the contrary, if you’re okay with leasing a property if you move in a year, it could be a great investment.
Question 2. Are you financially prepared?
This could be as simple as educating yourself on the costs of buying. There’s a lot more to it than having a down payment & calculating your monthly mortgage payments.
If it’s education you need, we can work through that. If it’s financial or job stability, time to improve your credit score or save a substantial down payment, renting for a while could be the answer.
Question 3: Are you ready to assume all home ownership responsibility?
No one is ever “ready”, but are you definitely NOT ready?
If you’ve just got everyday life on the go, it might keep you busy, but is it just an excuse not to take the plunge? Maybe there’s really a lot going on & you don’t feel mentally prepared to go through the ups & downs of home ownership. Only you know if it is the right time for you to buy or to rent.
Question 4: What other costs are you responsible for?
You may be qualified for a mortgage despite these costs, but will it make you house poor? Are you prepared for that under the assumption & risk that a real estate investment will pay off? Is an extra part time job to maintain your standard of living something you want to do?
Question 5: Are you comfortable with the risks of owning a home?
The Toronto market is strong right now & investing in real estate isn’t as risky as other markets. However, there are ALWAYS risks associated with home ownership. Whether it’s a house, townhouse or condo, there are unexpected costs & responsibilities that can present themselves at any moment.
Question 6: How would buying vs renting affect your lifestyle?
Are you just moving in with a significant other? Maybe renting for a year before buying property together is the right way to go.
Do you want to live downtown where there’s lots of synergy but have never lived alone? Maybe rent with roomates for a year before you buy a studio condo.
Talk to Family & Friends
While you know yourself best, family & friends might have experiences or opinions to help guide you.
I purchased my first place at 22, fresh out of university with frankly limited knowledge of the real estate market. My entire faith was put into my family reassuring me it was the right decision & guiding me through the process. I was terrified.
Now, over 5 years later, I thank them over & over again for the best investment I’ve ever made.
Yes, I sacrificed a lot. There were no month long trips through Southeast Asia like others I knew. I worked a TON & there were periods of time where I was emotionally & physically exhausted. Trying to make ends meet while maintaining a certain standard of living WAS HARD – but worth it.
This isn’t the right choice for everyone. I knew I wouldn’t be moving anytime soon. Living alone was something I wanted. The location was ideal. The property would lease in a heartbeat if I had to move out. I was scared, but when asking myself the tough buy or rent questions – I had answers. It felt right.
Whatever you choose, make sure the anxiety you are feeling is rooted in excitement & not anticipated regret.
I’m always here to advise, ask the hard questions & listen to you change your mind 10 times before you figure out the right answer. It’s a process & one you can rarely go through alone.
Lara Stasiw • Real Estate Agent & Home Design Connoisseur
You made it to the end! THANK YOU!!
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