Purchasing a home is one of the most significant expenses one can make in their life. For many first-time buyers, their entry point into the real estate market is through the purchase of a condo. As people recover from the impacts of COVID-19 and young people move back to the city, potential homebuyers wonder: Is renting better than owing in Toronto, is rent getting cheaper in Toronto, or can they afford to buy in Toronto?
According to the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) Q2 2021 Condo Market Statistics report, second-quarter 2021 GTA condominium apartment sales increased substantially compared to Q2 2020. There is an ongoing competition between buyers, which is sparking an increase in average house prices. “In the City of Toronto, which accounted for close to 70 percent of Q2 condo transactions, the
average selling price was $721,109 .” A sizeable 9 percent increase compared to the second half of 2021.
Aside from the price, there are some other things to consider when weighing the pros and cons of homeownership. Here’s how to make the best decision for you.
Consider the following when looking to purchase a condo:
Owing your own home can help build equity while renting does not. Buyers have complete control of the property, and the long run investment is a capital gain.
Condo prices have steadily increased over the years, which means if you were to sell, you are more likely to get more than you spent.
Buyers experience several tax advantages. Tax deductions and interest rates on second mortgages are deductible. There are also perks of buying a condo over a traditional detached home.
When mortgage payments are made on time, buyers can achieve a higher credit rating. As each payment you make reduces your debt.
Buyers experience fewer restrictions and much more freedom. Buyers can decorate or remodel as they see fit. There are fewer rules when it comes to pets, children and noise.
Purchasing a condo gives you access to fitness rooms, swimming pools, and other lifestyle amenities that come with buying a house.
Condo owners don’t have to worry about major structural repairs or the general upkeep of the building.
Buying a condo in a great location close to work can yield significant returns.
One of the biggest cons to buying a condo is that the buyer is responsible for more than just the mortgage payment. Be prepared to pay homeowner association (HOA) fees. HOA fees are monthly and cover maintenance of the building and common areas as well as amenities.
Some HOAs have stipulations that restrict things like pets, excessive overnight guests, and loud parties.
The housing market and home prices fluctuate. Buying is a risk, and the appreciation/depreciation of the home depends on the period of time the property was bought.
Consider the following when looking to rent a condo:
Renting costs significantly less money. In today’s market, buyers need to have anywhere from 5-10 times their income to get approved for a mortgage. Whereas renters only need an initial first and last deposit with some security fees. Making the initial investment to rent a home or condo much lower.
Getting approved for a lease is more straightforward and much faster than getting approved for a mortgage. A mortgage loan approval can be tricky and depends on several factors, while renters just need a decent credit score and proof of income.
Renting doesn’t put you in debt like purchasing a home does. Buying a condo with a mortgage loan will have you paying interest over the next 15-30 years.
Renters are not impacted by property taxes that often fluctuate.
Renters have little to no responsibility when it comes to repair/the general upkeep of the home. Landlords are typically responsible for all repair costs.
Insurance rates are cheaper for renters because renters only have to ensure their items and not the structure itself.
Because rent is fixed for the duration of your lease, it may be easier to budget and save.
Renters have flexibility. As we’ve learned over the last year and a half, nothing is for certain except uncertainty. If you are suddenly unable to pay your mortgage, homebuyers take a much harder hit as their credit and home are at risk. While rental agreements, on the other hand, are a lot less risky and easier to get out of.
Know your rights. Renters should read their lease thoroughly and get familiar with the laws surrounding renting in Ontario. A renters lease is legally binding. It is your responsibility to know what can and cannot be done before signing.
Some property owners require the renter to purchase a separate insurance policy called “Tenant insurance.” Tenant insurance protects the renter against damage and losses due to flooding, fires, robbery, and other adverse events.
Renters are unable to make any drastic changes to the interior of the home. Sometimes even minor changes, like repainting the wall colour, can breach your leasing agreement.
People may consider renting to be a waste of money. However, if buying a home does not make financial sense, renting is the better option. Instead of looking at it as a waste of money, view it as paying for a place to live. At the Junction Factory, find the home that’s made for you. Take a look at floor plans, see suite configurations here and start planning your move.