Author: Olivia Reitsma
Date: March 20, 2023
Everywhere you look online there is always talk about houses, the housing market and interest rate, and sometimes it can be hard not to wonder what homeownership would look like. But is owning a home right for you?
Before you start wondering about interest rates or mortgages, there are some things to consider before making a down-payment.
Well, they’re not really “hidden”, however many people forget to remember that when renting, you don’t have all of the same expenses. For example, in Canada there’s an annual property tax that generally increases each year, there are also other utility bills that you don’t always need to pay when renting. Or perhaps just regular maintenance that you might not have to worry about when renting.
For example, your toilet that broke down in the middle of the night, the bill to repair it won’t haunt you tomorrow if you’re renting, but it may be a different scenario if you’re the owner.In addition to the normal maintenance expenses, there’s also many fees that come with buying and selling, like the real estate agent fee, taxes when buying a property and other renovations you may want to do to spruce up the house.
Current Life Stage
Everyone has different plans and are in different stages of life. If you’re someone who enjoys moving around and isn't sure they want to stay in one place for the next 5-10 years, is buying a home really the right option?
Can you imagine yourself in that location for the next 10 years? Is this the place where you want to be, and potentially raise a family? Does your job need you to move around a lot? Is traveling and working remotely an interest for you?
Does dropping everything and moving on the dime sound like something you’d be willing and potentially can see yourself doing? Getting out of a mortgage isn’t as easy as breaking a lease and it may take longer and it may not be as spontaneous as you’d like. Or perhaps, you are wanting a place to finally call your own, being able to change things in the home whenever you’d like, not being restricted by the landlord.
We’re all at different points in our lives and although it may seem that all your friends are saving for a down payment, it doesn't mean you have to follow them as well.
Other Financial Considerations
And maybe if you have decided you would like the town, and you are wanting to settle down a bit more, you might need to consider other financial expenses. How is your credit score doing right now? Do you have a lot of other debts that you’re trying to pay off? Some of these things can really affect if you are able to get a mortgage and it's crucial that these are on the right path before owning a home.
Will you be renting out a portion of your living space to help pay for the bills? Can you find a tenant easily? Or maybe you will live with a roommate? Will your income cover the costs of owning a home, oftentimes a mortgage is more expensive than renting as you have additional fees. And if it does cover the costs, will you still have discretionary income for yourself? IIt is important that you are able to still do the things you enjoy while owning, or else owning a home may not be as fun.
Overall, even if it may seem like the financially “right” thing for you to do, it may not always make sense with the other parts of your life and that’s okay. Owning a home seems as though that is most peoples dream, but is it right for you is a different question. Remember to factor in more than just being able to pay your bills on time.
Rent vs Buying Calculator: Renting vs Buying Factors
5.1.3 Reasons to rent or own - Canada.ca. (2023, February 21). https://itools-ioutils.fcac-acfc.gc.ca/yft-vof/eng/mortgages-1-4.aspx
Alini, E. (2022, December 7). Renting vs. buying a home. The Globe and Mail. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/investing/article-renting-vs-buying-home/
Young & Thrifty. (n.d.). The Rent vs. Buy Debate in the Current Canadian Housing Market. https://www.youngandthrifty.ca/rent-vs-buy-property-canada/