To buy or to rent?

This seems more of a question for a real estate blog; however, it is an issue that affects newcomers. Being new in the country means starting over and the place where you live plays a big part in this process.

The current state of the housing market makes things complicated enough. There is already a lot of debate on whether it is best to rent or to buy a home right now. For newcomers, the issue becomes a bit worse when taking culture into account.


courtesy of phanlop88/

Coming from different countries, newcomers may have preconditioned ideas regarding owning vs. renting.  For example, in Mexico it is a given that people will buy a home as soon as they get married or after a few years of working. The system there is different. There is a government institution that facilitates getting a mortgage.  The houses people get through this system are simple but customizable. So it is expected that people will own rather than rent a home. Renting is seen like wasting resources on someone else’s home.

In the current housing market in Canada, homes are said to be overvalued; especially in areas like the GTA. This means a lot of people need to save more and for a longer period of time before buying a house. For newcomers, it is best to realize that the market conditions and the system itself may differ from that of their countries of origin. It makes sense to analyze what the best option is for them at the moment. Jumping to a decision based on preconceived notions about what is more socially acceptable may not be wise. Whether you decide to buy or to rent, remember to keep in mind your own personal circumstances. Make an informed decision; in the end, that may be the deciding factor to living a happy life.

As a newcomer, what is your opinion on buying vs. Renting? How is the Canadian housing market different from that of your native country?


About Diana Massimi

As a newcomer in Canada, I've had some really great experiences. Every day, I continue to learn and adapt to my new country. As I've just passed the three year mark as a permanent resident, I'll soon be applying for citizenship. It's an exciting step to take and I'm looking forward to being "officially" Canadian. This blog is to share what I've learned so far and my everyday experiences and feelings being a newcomer to this country. More than anything I'll be looking forward to hearing from other newcomers and exchanging impressions and anecdotes about our new life in Canada. Feel free to share and ask questions, I'm also always happy to help a fellow newcomer!
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8 Responses to To buy or to rent?

  1. My parents rented for 3 years and then bought a home. Since they have 3 kids, it made sense. You are right about the home prices in GTA. we recently moved into a new home and around us are new constructions that are even more expensive. They are also building new homes in the plot in front of us. I guess you will have to do a lot of research on the area before you buy a place. The city we live in has lots of immigrants coming in and the demand for homes is always there. Plus, we picked a location that is walking distance to bank/stores, schools, parks and community centre so it will always have value. BTW, In India also people try to purchase a place rather than rent. Hence, so many Indian immigrants end up buying homes in Canada and the reason for Brampton’s housing boom.

  2. It does seem like a booming market. Research is key like you said, perhaps for some it will be worth taking a longer commute in order to be able to afford a home; others (like myself right now) will prefer to rent in a more central area. In the end it depends on your personal circumstances. It’s cool your parents were able to buy after three years of renting. I hope I can say the same about myself in a few years!

  3. smurphy03 says:

    Great points. I’m not a newcomer but I meet a lot of newcomers working at a bank and they always start by renting first. Renting allows them transience and the freedom to pick up and move to a new city. Just because they arrive in Hamilton doesn’t mean they will want to stay here. I often meet newcomers who have lived in more cities across Canada than I have in my whole life.

  4. For some people once they get into the renting loop, it can be hard to get out of it-paying rent and saving up to purchase a home can be a huge challenge. Research is key, whatever your choice at least you will feel comfortable about it. Where I live it seems the population almost doubles every week, ha ha. the most important thing about selecting a place to live… location, location, location!

  5. When my parents came to Canada, newcomers tended to rent together for a while in order to save money quicker. Much tougher to do now.

  6. Mark Darovny says:

    There’s definitely a lot to think about. Home ownership can be a wise financial decision, but all the other expenses have to be weighed in as well (taxes, utilities, regular upkeep, maintenance costs and periodic replacements/upgrades, even the cost of things like appliances)

  7. Pingback: Alquilar de nuevo | Del Calor al Frío

    • Si, es mejor estar 100% seguros y mas que nada bien informados antes de dar el gran paso de comprar. A nosotros nos han dicho muchas veces que si no compramos ahora, luego sera imposible por los precios. Por otro lado nos dicen que esperemos porque los precios bajaran en algun momento. Para nosotros la clave esta en nuestra situacion laboral y financiera. Ya que estemos preparados, nos aseguraremos de saber bien todos los factores. Mientras, vivimos felices donde estamos y disfrutamos la ubicacion centrica de nuestro departamento.

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