Should you rent or buy a place to live? This is a personal decision. It depends on your needs and financial circumstances.
Reasons you may want to rent:
Your rent often includes utilities, water and other expenses that you would have to pay for separately if you were a homeowner.
You can avoid costs and fees associated with buying, such as real estate agents’ fees, legal fees, property taxes and home maintenance.
You can save the difference between your monthly rental costs and your monthly home ownership costs.
Usually, you are not responsible for the exterior maintenance of a rental unit. For example, you don’t have to cut grass or clear snow. However, you are responsible for taking care of the interior of the property and may have to give a security deposit to cover any damage you might cause while living there.
You have someone to call if something goes wrong in your rental unit. For instance, if the oven stops working, you can call the building superintendent, who will arrange to have it repaired. However, you could be held responsible for repair costs if you were negligent and contributed to the problem.
Rental units may be available in areas where you would like to live but where you might not be able to afford to buy right now.
You need a place to live only for a short time. The costs of buying and selling would not be worth it if you know you have to move in a year’s time.
If you are considering home ownership, read more about buying, maintaining and selling a home in the Owning a Home section.