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.

Benefits of Owning a Condo

Buying property can be a frustrating and confusing process for many people. There are many to consider including price, different types of property, size and location. You want to make sure that you can be happy living in the property you choose to buy.

Condos are rising in popularity as an alternative to single family homes. Condo buyers can include individuals, new couples and small families. No matter what type of property you are interested in buying, researching the area and development is very important. Finding a condo that fits your needs takes time, investigation and patience. Condos have many different perks to offer and finding the perfect association is well worth it.

When purchasing a condo, you become a member of the condo association and are able to benefit from all of the extra community facilities. Many condo complexes have gyms, pools, sports facilities, activities for children and much more. Finding out exactly what the benefits of each complex are is important in making the right decision. These fun perks can make your life more convenient and sometimes save you money on entertainment and recreational activities. Most of the time you will pay a flat rate for the use of all of these facilities, making it important to decide whether or not you will use them enough to make it a worthwhile expense. If not, a condo could contain too many extra expenses to make it a good investment.

Maintenance is another important benefit to be aware of when looking into condos. Being a part of the condo association usually includes an on-call maintenance service that will be available to fix a leaky faucet or electrical problem without appointments or large fees. Keep in mind you will be charged a flat rate for maintenance regardless of anything going wrong in your unit. The convenience and speed of this service can be very helpful and it is comforting to know that you will be taken care of if anything does happen.

Choosing an area that you are comfortable living in is important. Most condo complexes are located in more developed areas such as cities and downtown areas. This is perfect for some people who love to be in the middle of action. Take in to consideration the placement of the complex you are looking at. Is it near high traffic streets? Will it be noisy late at night? These are questions you want to ask yourself before purchasing a condo. Benefits to living in an urbanized area can include proximity to shopping and public transportation, lots of entertainment options, and convenient access to other city amenities.

Condos usually have some sort of security system/guards that will make you and your belongings feel safe and secure while living in the complex. This is one of the major benefits of a condo association. You can leave your home for vacation without a house sitter, leave your younger children at home with more security and feel safer when you sleep knowing someone is keeping tabs on what is happening in your building.

Condos are a great investment and can be a wonderful choice for a place to live. Do your research to figure out what is right for you.