from an expert in the field:
As the president of the Canadian Federation of Apartment Associations
www.cfaa-fcapi.org), John Dickie advocates for the interests of
landlords, tenants and taxpayers to the federal government.
Should governments make policy
based on “happiness research”?
FOR MANY PEOPLE, renting a home is a better investment than buying
one, both financially and for lifestyle purposes.
Renting means your monthly costs are fixed. If the roof needs to be
replaced or the furnace dies, those costs are for the landlord to take care
of. Renting is less costly than buying, when you take into account the
mortgage payments, property taxes, utilities or condo fees, insurance,
and repair and maintenance costs.
A lower monthly cost and not needing a down payment mean that as a renter you have
money for other purposes, whether to invest in stocks or other financial assets, in education or
in starting a business. New homeowners often have no assets other than their home, and if the
housing market turns down in their city, they can lose all their equity.
Percentage reflects votes received
by March 20, 2012. Results
may reflect Debate being
picked up by blogs.
Renting usually comes with more convenience. When repairs are needed your landlord will
send in a repair person. And unlike in an owner-occupied house, in an apartment building a long
absence does not require frequent house checks by a neighbour to keep your insurance in force.
Renting usually provides more amenities. Rental complexes often have recreation facilities,
such as swimming pools, fitness centres or party rooms, within the rental community. In apartment buildings, renters can engage with neighbours without going outside, which is especially
beneficial for seniors or people with disabilities, particularly during the winter months.
Rental buildings are often located in or near downtown, or next to a transit line, for quick
commutes. Young people often like rental locations for easy access to downtown.
It is easy and economical to move from one rented home to another, whereas selling a home
comes with risks and costs. Unless you stay in one location for many years, you may have to sell
at less than you bought, and will always pay a real estate agent’s commission and other transaction costs. In today’s economy, having the flexibility to move to get a better job is a big advantage. Renting gives you that flexibility.
Whether you are a young adult starting out, a middle-aged person who changes jobs or
likes to travel, somebody who wants to diversify your investments or a senior citizen, renting
can easily be the best choice for you. C
from an expert in the field:
Ron Abraham is the 2012 president of the Ontario Real Estate
Association Institute (
ALTHOUGH THERE ARE circumstances when renting a home may be
preferable, for many Canadians home ownership is the more fulfilling and
financially savvy choice.
For most people, the freedom and security of one day owning their
home is enough incentive to work hard and find a way to save a down pay-
ment for a first home. Twenty-five years down the road, homeowners who
have made their monthly payments will be mortgage free. Not only that,
Renters, on the other hand, will still be paying rent after 25 years. Even if their incomes
have kept pace with the rising cost of housing over the years, once they enter retirement their
rental costs will continue to grow while their income remains the same. They may no longer be
able to afford their rent without dipping into savings, and might even have to move into smaller
accommodations or move in with children.
A house, in essence, is a terrific forced savings plan. Each mortgage payment buys you a
larger portion of an appreciating investment. One might argue that you could accumulate this
substantial nest egg through mutual funds and other investments. Unfortunately, many people
lack the discipline required to maintain an ongoing savings program.
Also, several programs can help first-time buyers, including federal tax breaks to help with
down payments. For example, government programs allow qualified buyers to tap their RRSPs
to purchase a house, and tax breaks are offered on the purchase of a first home. Other programs
offer help with down payments and rebates.
With these incentives, today’s low interest rates and a variety of home ownership options,
buying a home is more attractive than ever. But the best part of buying a house is that along the
way you and your family will enjoy many years of shelter, security and the shared joys only your
own home can provide. C
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individuals or organizations represented
and are presented to foster discussion.
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