The Advantages of Renting an Apartment vs. Owning a Home

Compared to owning a home, living in an apartment rental is incredibly easy. Why do the work yourself when you can enjoy the following benefits:

· Dedicated property and maintenance staff to call if anything goes wrong

· No back-breaking snow shoveling, lawn maintenance or pool/sauna care

· One single monthly rent cheque usually pays for everything (instead of several separate bills and fees when you own a house or a condo)

You Get More for Your Money

Believe it or not, you can usually rent an apartment or house for much less than the cost of buying it – especially if you live in a larger city. And if you want to be right downtown, renting is almost always more affordable than owning a condo (and you get a lot more living space, as well, as downtown apartments are usually much larger than downtown condos).

As well, apartment renters don’t have to come up with the thousands of dollars in down payments, closing costs and fees for things such as building inspections, legal counsel, land transfer taxes and insurance.

And this doesn’t even factor in the cost of borrowing – in the first five years of ownership, most mortgage payments are applied only to the interest, not the capital. This is money that you won’t get back when you sell your home (and you’ll still have all the hassles and extra costs of putting your house on the market).

That Tax Break is Not Guaranteed

Getting a big tax break is supposed to be one of the greatest advantages of owning a home – but you can’t always rely on getting this break. If your annual mortgage interest payment, plus any other deductions you are entitled to, isn’t greater than your standard tax deductions, you will not receive any tax benefit from owning a house.

If you rent an apartment, however, you’ll always receive some form of tax relief, as a large portion of your rent is tax deductible every year.

Maximum Flexibility

Renting provides an enormous amount of flexibility. You can pack up and leave immediately at the end of your lease (which can be monthly or yearly, whatever best suits your lifestyle) – there’s no waiting to sell and no agonizing about the housing market before you move. For many people, the freedom to live where you want and when you want is a huge benefit that simply cannot be overlooked.

Minimum Risk

For homeowners, the stakes are enormously high should their finances crumble. When they can’t pay the mortgage, the lender has great leverage – the house and all the equity invested in it could be in jeopardy. That’s not to say there aren’t consequences if a tenant can’t pay the rent – but the financial devastation that comes with losing your home is far greater than being evicted from your apartment.

In addition, there are several social service programs that are run by all levels of government to help people in need pay their rent so they won’t be evicted. Are the banks as lenient or supportive when it comes time to pay the mortgage?

Ultimately, making the decision to either rent an apartment or buy a home involves much more than simply comparing rental rates, mortgage payments, lease lengths and tax breaks. It’s a combination of all of the personal circumstances happening in your life – both now and several years down the road.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Living in a Condominium

Living in a condominium seems to be a good choice for people who like to be in the heart of the city. For many it is better than living in an apartment. Condominium living has so many great things to offer than an apartment. But let me tell you now, before you finally make a purchase, that living in a condominium is different from living in a single family home unit. This is mostly because of its particularities.

• Condominiums are located in the cities and when living in a condominium, you own the space between the walls of your unit and share ownership of the common areas with other owners, but you do not own the land where the building is built. You just share an interest in it with your neighbors.

• Most people who live in condominiums own their spaces. Therefore, you can have long term neighbors and build relationships with them, but you also have to share walls and common areas with them. If you are not a very social person, this could become a problem for you.

• Condominiums offer better security than apartments. Condominium buildings often have security features, be they buzzers or a guard service. Plus, you find it easy to leave the place for a trip or vacation knowing that you’ve got neighbors whom you are familiar with. The thing that you might find a problem is the sharing of amnesties with your neighbors and whenever there’s a association meeting, as a part of the community you have to show up, attain, and coordinate.

• Living in a condominium could be less expensive than living in an apartment, but with the maintenance and repair of the common areas, your monthly pay could go upward. You will be charge with the swimming pool fee, but you didn’t use it.

• More people, especially first time buyers prefer condominiums because it is less expensive than those residential single family homes. But in real estate market, when there’s a downfall, condominiums are the last to recover. Therefore, it will be hard to sell a condominium after a tough climate.

• In condominiums, you have access to gym, swimming pool, and other common areas that you would not be able to afford on your own. But the problem is, there’s what we call Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs), a set of rules that forbids space owners to bring pets or make a renovation and many others.

I hope you found this article helpful in making decision whether you like to buy a condominium or go for a single family house.