Last year, we chatted with Charlotte (named changed for privacy), a mother of one renting a home in the Junction neighbourhood of Toronto. She explained why she was happy renting and had no plans to buy.
With the resale market showing some signs of calming down after a record high year, we followed up with her to see if her plans have changed. Spoiler – they haven’t. We’re obviously all for buying a home if you’re ready to, but Charlotte is proof that homeownership isn’t the dream for everyone.
Newinhomes.com (NIH): Last year, one of your fears of renting was that your landlord may need the home for their own use. Is this still a fear?
Charlotte: Yes. Although last year we gave up the basement of our house as we weren’t using it at all. The landlords renovated it into another apartment and have tenants in there now…makes me think they may want to keep it as an income property. Hopefully this is the case.
NIH: As of February 2017, you weren’t saving for a home. Now that the market has calmed down a bit, are you considering it?
Charlotte: Sadly, the market it still out of our reach unless we move too far from the city for our liking. That said, we have talked about starting to save in case the right place comes along or the market dips even further.
NIH: In your opinion, has the cost to rent gone up, dropped, or changed the same over the past year?
Charlotte: It seems to me that rent has gone up. I was shocked when a very young couple rented the basement of our house (A very small one-bedroom) for $1,250 a month! My stepdaughter is looking for her first place and her starting budget is $1,200+ and for that she isn’t finding much more than one-bedroom basements.
NIH: Are you aware of the new standard lease that that all landlords in Ontario are required to use starting April 30th? Have you ever had issues with lease agreements?
Charlotte: I did read a bit about it. We’ve been very lucky with the landlords we’ve had. Honestly, I’m picky and if a potential landlord seemed untrustworthy or shady, I was willing to sacrifice a good place for the peace of mind of renting from good people. The landlords we have now are super professional and really lovely. They want someone to take care of their house and treat it as home, just as much as we wanted trustworthy people to rent from. We won the landlord lottery with them!
NIH: Would you ever consider taking advantage of a down payment assistance program like the kind Daniels offers?
Charlotte: Probably not. A mortgage is daunting, and we are very fortunate to be renting almost a whole house for a lot less than people are charging these days. If we were faced with the choice of renting for a super high price or buying with some help, I might feel differently. I also have no desire to live in a condo!
NIH: You mentioned wanting a three-bedroom house with a big yard. Would you sacrifice these things to own a condo you could afford in your desired neighbourhood?
Charlotte: No way! I’ve been visiting friends and family frequently lately and they all live in condos…it appeals less and less to me. I appreciate some features that condos offer – a pool, a gym and underground parking. And while I know owning is a “smart move,” I can’t sacrifice gardening, having coffee on my front porch in the summer and BBQ’s in the backyard.
Big thanks goes out to Charlotte for taking the time to fill us in on her plans to keep on renting in Toronto!