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My advice • May 14, 2020
modified on April 13, 2021

Mortgage series - Buy or rent?

Here are a few things to think about if you’re stuck.

Image of Louise Vézina Louise Vézina
Senior Advisor, Credit
Private Banking

It’s a big question isn’t it? This decision will surely not only depend on your personal and financial situation but also on your lifestyle. Are you single or in a couple? Do you have any children? Where do you live? What are your sources of income? There are a lot of things to consider, so it’s appropriate to start with a Financial Health Assessment. Then, find your priorities before making a decision.

Where you are in life greatly influences your decision

When studying or starting out in your career, renting is often the best option to avoid too many financial responsibilities. Pay attention to your rental choice and make sure it’s priced within your means. There are many benefits to renting: greater freedom and no repairs or renovations to do and nothing else to pay. It’s a life choice, that’s why many people choose to stay as renters rather than owning a home.

During your career, if you want your own home, this is the time to purchase as your income is higher. Some people prefer stability with no big surprises and renting is more appealing to them. For those that are ready to own, a home is an investment that adds to their wealth and affects their lifestyle.

When the family grows, the need for space becomes more acute. Adding new rooms and having a backyard are both motivations to own a home. Inter-generational ownership may gain popularity as it’s an alternative to seniors’ residences. Moreover, cohabitation can be financially and socially beneficial.

When you retire go over your priorities. If maintaining your home is getting too hard or if the money you’ve saved up is not enough, moving to rental condo may be a wise choice in that case. It can give you a good quality of life while leaving you with more breathing room in your budget.

Homeowner or tenant forever?

One question you need to answer when deciding to buy or rent is: How many years are you planning to live on the property? Generally, if you plan on staying for a long time buying is preferable. If you don’t plan on staying long then it’s better to rent. The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) calculator will be very useful to see which option is better for you.

It’s worth noting that there are surprises for both buying and renting. Interest rates can fluctuate and appear on mortgage payments. As a matter of fact, when purchasing as a couple, it’s imperative that you determine who pays what so things are clear. Tenants also have their share of surprises. They can’t choose their neighbours who frequently change. The landlord may decide to increase rent prices or rent the apartment to someone else like a family member who has priority over all other tenants. There are a lot of things to consider.

Talking it over with an expert is key to making an informed decision. Come see an advisor, they will help guide you and come up with a plan based on your values, situation, lifestyle and future goals.

A Financial Health Assessment is the first step to better manage your personal finances. It helps paint a clear picture of your financial situation, define and prioritize your objectives, and suggest what you should do. Take your first step now and meet with your advisor.

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