Jessica Gares is a producer of the popular CKNW Radio program, The Bill Good Show. Recently, Jessica spoke with Bill about why she and her husband have deferred homeownership for the immediate future in favour of renting. I know many of you who visit The Thirties Grind, share Jessica’s view, so I asked her to share her rationale with us as to why she prefers to rent…for now.
I was born and raised in Port Coquitlam and was accustomed to my long commute downtown. I didn’t know how much better life could be until I sold my car and moved into the city. Oh the freedom! My husband and I are currently renting a stylish, new 690 square foot apartment at Homer and Robson and we’ve been here since December of 2010.
We adore the downtown lifestyle and are happy to be renters right now — that’s right, we don’t want to buy a place at this time. This is something that shocks some people who aren’t shy about pushing their opinions on real estate on us: “you NEED to get into the market as soon as possible because it’s the best investment you can make. How long are you going to pay someone else’s mortgage?” The truth is that my husband and I really value the flexibility that renting provides. Having initially signed a one-year lease we weren’t committed for any amount of time beyond those twelve months. Renting also provides more cost certainty because outside of our monthly rent, there isn’t much else to worry about; any special assessments or repairs are the responsibility of our landlord. We also feel that when you consider all of the costs associated with a real-estate transaction, such as property transfer tax, conveyancing fees, realtors commissions, and in some cases high-ratio mortgage insurance premiums, a home purchase makes more sense when you’re intending to hold it for five years or more. The real estate boom we’ve seen in Vancouver over the last ten years has made it possible for people to make big gains on short-term transactions but it isn’t reasonable to think that prices will keep going up at the same rate forever. I should also mention that before we made the decision to rent we compared the cost of renting with the cost of paying the mortgage for an equivalent apartment. Not surprisingly renting allows us to bank about seven hundred dollars per month, so while we’re not building up equity in a home, we are certainly building our savings.
So, for now, we’ll continue to ignore the people in our lives who are pushing us to buy a place. We’re happy to rent our trendy little place downtown and we’ll continue to enjoy all the city has to offer. We have a small place but we treat the city as our backyard and did I mention that I have a five minute walk to work?
- Jessica Gares