5 benefits of renting vs. buying a house

By Danae Ingram

How do you know which makes more financial sense: to rent a home or to buy one? To start, it helps to look closely at the details of your own personal situation.

In Canada, it turns out that about 30% of us are renters, according to this story from Global News. The reasons for renting vs. owning vary, and there are many of them.

Homeowners vs. renters: A breakdown

According to an article published earlier this year in the Ottawa Citizen, homeowners tend to share certain characteristics.

They are at a stage in life where they:

  1.  have consistent, stable employment,
  2.  can save for a down payment, and
  3.  can afford a monthly mortgage payment.

Renters, on the other hand, often:

  1.  have work that is less stable or where their monthly pay fluctuates,
  2.  are students or young professionals at the start of their careers,
  3.  are seniors who no longer wish to deal with the upkeep of a home, or
  4.  are workers who value flexibility and the ability to relocate within a couple of years.

Renting works for a wide cross-section of people and renters certainly don’t fall into one neat category.

Here are the five benefits of renting over buying:


Because home prices have soared, many would-be buyers have been priced right out of the market—or they simply need more time to save up a down payment.

And yet a down payment isn’t the only expense required: many will also need to pay for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) insurance. When buying a home, there are transaction costs that you are responsible for as well.

Chances are you can get a lot closer to a bustling city centre as a renter, because home prices tend to be highest here. Renting gets you closer to the action and there is often a wider variety of housing accommodations available to choose from.

Predictable expenses

Your monthly costs tend to stay the same when you’re renting, so it’s easier to budget and stick to a financial plan.

No maintenance costs

Typically, the landlord is responsible for maintenance and repairs. If something suddenly goes wrong or is in need of fixing, this will not be an added expense you are expected to pay for.

No property taxes or homeowners’ insurance

Property taxes and homeowners’ insurance represent big expenses for homeowners, but they are a necessary part of home ownership. As a renter, paying them is not your responsibility: it’s the landlord’s.


If there is a possibility that you might be moving within the next couple of years, renting is beneficial. It costs a lot to sell a home—you have legal fees, land transfer taxes and real estate commissions to pay for—so if there’s any chance you might be relocating soon, renting is definitely the way to go.

Another benefit to renting that is often overlooked is the access to amenities that many buildings offer. While most homeowners would not have access to complimentary, hotel-like perks such as an onsite gym or pool, these are just naturally part of a renter’s lifestyle.

To inquire about the availability of rental apartments in downtown Ottawa, visit District Realty or call 613-759-8383.

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