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Considering Moving Out?

Toronto and Vancouver are two of the most expensive cities to live in Canada with rents and property prices continuing to skyrocket to new heights. Before crunching the numbers to decide whether to rent or buy residential property, there are some qualitative factors to consider in your decision making.

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1. Need

The first thing that one should consider is whether there is a need to move. The idea of moving out stems from the privacy, start of adulthood and new stage in one’s life. However, it comes with financial costs and responsibilities in exchange for living on your own. Unless one cannot live with their parents or relatives in the city where they work or study, one can save money to be more financially stable before considering moving out. In Asia, many continue to live together with their family even after marriage or kids.

2. Flexibility

Flexibility means priority of finding a unit and the attributes that match their requirements. This could include location, condition of unit / house, possibility of roommates, and size to name a few. Being flexible will help find a place to live faster but obviously having some minimum requirements is needed to narrow your search.

3. Maintenance

Being handy and able to fix things in the unit is another consideration. If one rents, you can simply call your landlord. However, if one owns the unit, you will either need to fix the appliance on your own or call a handy person at a cost.

4. Affordability 

Budget that one is willing to spend affects whether they can move out and what options are available. With moving out, there are additional costs that are spent regardless of rent or buy. These include hydro, internet, cable / Netflix, groceries, laundry and others that would otherwise be paid for by parents and relatives when living with them. Buy a condo / house comes with some initial costs such as land transfer tax, lawyer fees, down payment and mortgage insurance.

5. Location

Location is key as you want to find a place that you will be spending a lot of time in. With location comes the price as ones with high demand tend to cost more either in rent or purchase price.  If one finds a place that is near work / school and areas that are commonly frequented, it will save both time and money commuting. Although it may be more expensive to live downtown, walking or biking to work and activities in the area will be a healthy option that also helps financially. 

6. Time

Time relates to how long one foresees to remain in the area as a place to live in. If one is more adventurous and plans on working / travelling abroad in the next few years, it may make more sense to rent rather than buy. There is an uncertainty of the property price and the market demand when it is up for sale along with transaction fees. Converting to a rental unit will require someone to help manage the property while the owner is away.

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