Rent or Buy?

Published: February 21, 2024

Rent vs Buy: Should I buy a house or rent an apartment?

The decision to buy a home or rent an apartment is often a big decision in many people's lives. Each path comes with its unique set of advantages and considerations. Finding affordable apartments or affordable homes to buy in today's market can seem daunting, but with the right research and preparation, the right decision will often make itself clear.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the pros and cons of renting vs buying, helping you make an informed choice that aligns with your lifestyle and financial goals.

Renting an Apartment

The Pros of Renting an Apartment

Flexibility: Renting an apartment provides unparalleled flexibility, making it an ideal choice for those who anticipate changes in their life, career, or location. It allows the freedom to move without the hassles of selling property. 

This type of flexibility is great for young families, students, newcomers to Canada, and independent seniors looking to enjoy retirement.

Financial Freedom: Renting often involves lower upfront costs than buying. While rental deposits are often required, this usually costs the equivalent of one month's rent, give or take - compared to a massive downpayment that can be tens of thousands of dollars.

In addition to avoiding a hefty down payment, property managers and landlords take care of the ongoing property maintenance and landscaping expenses. 

Maintenance-Free Living: Renters enjoy the luxury of not worrying about major maintenance and repairs. The responsibility for fixing leaky roofs or faulty appliances typically falls on the landlord. In harsh Canadian winters, it is still important for renters to understand how they can keep their units in top shape.

At Boardwalk, our buildings all have access to dedicated maintenance teams and landscaping teams. When something goes wrong in your unit, our team is here to help! Not having to shovel the snow in the winter or mow the grass in the summer allows residents to focus on other things.

Access to Amenities: Many rental properties offer access to amenities both on-site or nearby.

Many apartments for rent, including more affordable apartments, can include amenities such as gyms, pools, community spaces, playgrounds, dog washes, and more. Some buildings even have businesses on-premises, such as pharmacies, hair salons, coffee shops, and more. 

Apartment buildings also offer ideal locations in both urban and suburban areas, being close to things like grocery stores, public transit, restaurants, schools, and more. These perks provide a very convenient lifestyle!

Uncertain Market Conditions: In volatile housing markets, renting can be a strategic choice. It allows individuals to wait for more favorable buying conditions while maintaining a stable living situation.

With home interest rates going up the way they are in Canada, renting an affordable apartment can be the more financially secure decision. While rent prices do increase during these times due to landlords' mortgages increasing, renters don't often feel the pinch as intensely as homeowners might.

Increased Security: Apartment buildings often have security and plenty of cameras located across the property. At Boardwalk, we have a 24/7 on-call security team available to residents if they ever need it. While homeowners will be responsible for purchasing their own home security systems

The Cons of Renting an Apartment

Limited Equity Building: Unlike homeowners, renters do not build equity over time as they don't own their units.

Rent Pricing: Subjects renters to rising living costs outside of their control.

 

Buying a Home

The Pros of Buying a Home

Equity Building: One of the primary advantages of homeownership is building equity. With each mortgage payment, you own a little more of your home.

Stability: Owning a home provides a sense of stability and permanence. It's an opportunity to create a long-term living space. 

If you can lock down a good fixed-rate mortgage (an interest rate can be locked in between 6 months to 10+ years), this could be a good option for you. Understanding how mortgages work and determining what term is best for you is crucial before purchasing.

Personalization: Homeownership allows for personalization and customization. From paint colors to landscaping, homeowners have the freedom to make their space truly their own. When renting, you can usually make smaller changes that are easy to reverse, but larger projects need permission from the landlord.

Potential for Investment: Real estate has the potential to appreciate over time, making homeownership a potential long-term investment. If your home increases in value while you live there, you could be making money when you go to sell. However, this is not a guarantee; it completely depends on the housing market when you go to sell.

The Cons of Buying a Home

Financial Commitment: Buying a home requires a substantial financial commitment, including a down payment, closing costs, property taxes, and ongoing maintenance expenses. You might also be responsible for paying condo fees or homeowner association fees, depending on where you buy.

Housing Market Fluctuations: Property values can fluctuate, and homeowners may experience losses if they need to sell during a downturn. The housing market is hard to predict, so there is no guarantee you will make any money from the potential future sale of your home. 

The decision to purchase a home has fluctuated greatly between generations, and the future of homeownership is up in the air for many.

Maintenance Responsibility: Unlike renting, homeowners are responsible for all maintenance and repairs, which can be both time-consuming and costly.

 

Apartments for rent with Boardwalk

In conclusion, the decision between renting and buying ultimately depends on individual circumstances, financial goals, and personal preferences. Weighing the pros and cons will guide you towards the housing solution that aligns perfectly with your aspirations.

If you're looking to rent an apartment near you, explore bwalk.com and search for available units in your city. We have affordable apartments for rent all across Canada, and our team is here to help you find your perfect rental!

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