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Is Renting in Toronto a Waste of Money?

You’ve probably heard this a few times before: Paying rent in Toronto is just lining someone else’s pockets for absolutely no gain. Why bother wasting time and money on renting a place in Toronto when everyone’s ultimate goal – obviously – is to buy their own place?

But, actually, renting in Toronto is anything but a waste of money. It can be more affordable, more flexible and way more stress-free than attempting to buy a Toronto condo or house way out in the ‘burbs. Here are five reasons why.

You aren’t tied down to any one place

One of the biggest drawbacks to owning a Toronto house or condo is being stuck in one location. What if the one viewing and 36 hours you got to put in an offer weren’t enough to decide if the neighbourhood would actually suit you?

Renting? Give the landlord notice, pack up your stuff, and peace out. You have the ultimate freedom when renting a place: the freedom to leave whenever you want or at the end of your year’s lease. Don’t like your neighbourhood or got a new job and need to move across town to be closer to work? Give notice and start your search for a new Toronto apartment in a desirable location. Want to live abroad? It’s easy to pack up and get out.

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You don’t have to worry about repairs

What if your toilet all of a sudden won’t flush or gets clogged? As a homeowner, you better have an emergency fund ready to pay for something like this or other repairs such as electrical outlets not working, a water heater malfunction, or a broken window. As a renter you make one call for all of these repairs or fixes and that’s to your landlord or property manager.

These types of repairs are usually covered in your lease unless, of course, you caused the damage.

You could face issues with some of the older rental apartment buildings in Toronto, but it’s easier and cheaper to have issues you don’t have to pay for than to buy a lemon of a house that ends up costing you tens of thousands of dollars in repairs and maintenance.

You’ll save commute time by renting in Toronto

You might want to buy a more affordable place in one of the nicer suburbs of Toronto if you have a family for the convenience of shopping centers, schools, kid-friendly parks, and to be with other like-minded families.

But depending on your lifestyle, work location, desire for culture and great restaurants — consider the commute to downtown Toronto. Not only will you pay a lot more in gas mileage, and/or transit fees, but you will also spend a lot of time on the road. But if traffic jams are you thing….

So, renting in the city might save you a few bucks in transportation, and if you want to be near work, enjoy museums, art galleries, and desire the nightlife, you’ll have more time for all of the above.

You can test-drive living with your partner, with an easy out

Thinking of moving in with your boyfriend/girlfriend? What better option than to test out the arrangement in a property neither of you own. If the worst happens, the only drama is who threw whose shirts out the window. You won’t have to go to court, and you won’t have to worry about divvying up assets – just pack up your things and get out of dodge.

You don’t have to trade your lifestyle for a down payment

Not everyone has the $60,000, $100,000 or more it can often take to scrape together a down payment on a new home, let alone the cash to pony up the mortgage payments every month. Let’s say you make a generous $5,000 net per month, and when the bills are paid and you’ve put enough aside for food, gas, rent and everything else, you’ve got $500 a month in savings. At that rate, it could take you almost 10 years to save for your $60,000 down payment.

Renters: Revel in the freedoms homeowners just don’t have.