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Renting vs buying

​Is homeownership for you? Use this buy or rent calculator to help you do the math. It will tell you if you’d be better off buying or renting – and how many years you would have to own your home before you come out ahead. But you need to look at much more than the cost of rent or a mortgage payment to know for sure.

A quick comparison

Renting Buying
Costs
  • ​Likely lower monthly costs
  • Fixed monthly costs
  • Pay a deposit of a month's rent
  • May pay a deposit for damages
  • ​Likely higher monthly costs with mortgage, property taxes, utilities, maintenance, furnishing and decorating
  • Pay interest to the bank on mortgage
  • Possible unexpected repair costs
​Investment potential
  • ​Rent money goes to your landlord
  • ​Build equity as you pay off mortgage
Income potential
  • ​May be able to create income by renting out rooms or subletting
  • ​Can create income by renting out or borrowing against your home
Maintenance
  • ​Not responsible for maintenance, but dependent on landlord to make timely repairs
  • Responsible for maintenance and repairs
Commute
  • ​Higher rents in prime areas but you save time and money on commute
  • ​Affordable houses in suburban areas mean you spend more time and money on commute
Flexibility to move
  • ​Can move out almost whenever you want
  • ​Harder to move quickly as can take time to sell
  • May face a mortgage penalty

4 questions to ask yourself

  1. What kind of housing are you looking for?
  2. How much can you afford?
  3. How soon do you think you'll move again?
  4. How important is home ownership for you? 
 

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