It's in the media a lot these days, but recently, consumers have been inundated with the debate of:

Buying vs. Renting.   The Globe and Mail's Home Cents column by Jodi White explored a few different perspectives on this topic. Having dealt with hundreds of buyers over several years, here's what I'd like to share with you on this topic:

1.  Don't buy because of a recent life altering event. If you have experienced the death of a spouse, or been recently divorced, I suggest that you allow a year to pass before any big changes are made to your living situation. Selling immediately, and renting might not be the right decision, and a little time and reflection can provide a clearer perspective. Understandably, this isn't always possible, but rushing into the decision to rent or buy is not prudent. 

2. Don't buy if you're planning on selling within a year. Although our markets have done extremely well year after year, there are certain costs involved in buying that you should account for in calculating the appreciation of your future property. For example, land transfer taxes, legal fees, and moving expenses might not make sense if you're planning to sell in one year.

3. Don't rent with a view that the market is in a bubble, and  you are timing to avoid the crash. It is impossible to time market adjustments, and moving from an owning to renting can be detrimental. Specifically, I was working with a young couple three years ago who wanted to buy a semi-detached home in Bolton (just north of Toronto). They couldn't believe that semi's were selling for $300,000. They decided to rent and wait for a negative adjustment. Unfortunately, they have spent over $50,000 in rent to date, and the same semi's in Bolton are now selling for more than $420,000. 

Here's what I also know about Owing:

1. Owning your own place feels good. Pride of ownership is hard to quantify, but worth every cent.

2. Putting roots down in a community means making connections with friends and local business. Creating local connections leads to a feeling of belonging. I don't think tenants establish the same connections due to the transient nature of renting.

3. Ownership forces a certain level of responsibility. Often owners find mortgage payments lead them to budget and save more effectively. Saving tools like excelerated  payment options also help owners focus on investing in their financial future.