Common questions I get asked from clients is whether they should own or rent.

This is a complex topic, and there’s no wrong answer. A lot will depend on the lifestyle you want, your budget, and the type of neighborhood you want to live in.

It’s important to determine the pros and cons of renting vs owning.

Housing can be stable with a corporately owned buildingRenovictions can happen and with individual landlords, a sale could result in an evictionStable environment, you control your home.  You can’t be evictedMay need to weather housing market ups and downs
Rent control in older buildingsNo rent control in newer buildings  Not paying someone else’s mortgageLarge cash outlay to buy
No big surprise maintenance costsMaintenance may not be to your standards.  Landlords will do the bare minimumYou are in control of the quality, when, and how much maintenance you doNeed to budget for maintenance items or in a condo, for special assessments for big-ticket items. Maintenance may be physically difficult as you get older
Capital is freed up to spend on lifestyleYou aren’t building equityReverse mortgages and lines of credit can free up cash if you need itCapital is tied up in a home
Freedom to moveLow inventory, new rent could be double, triple, or quadruple what you pay todayBuild equity over time which you can leverage if you need toThere are more significant costs to selling and buying (realtor fees, transfer taxes, legal fees)
No outlay of cash for home improvementsLimited freedom for décor or upgrades over timeFreedom to renovate or decorate to your tasteIn condos, board approvals are required
You cannot be evicted for having a petA landlord can refuse to rent to someone with a pet (and many do)You have the freedom to buy and bring your petCondos may have size and number restrictions on pets

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Beth’s Story

Beth was referred to me by a past client because she wanted to buy her first home, later in life. She was approaching retirement within the next few years and felt it was important to own her home and have a nest egg as she aged.

The Purchase

What made Beth unique as a first-time buyer was that she was a cash buyer, she did not want to carry any overhead, this was a determining in both her budget and the types of homes she could consider. Beth determined a condo worked best for her for several reasons: 

  1. Security and low maintenance: Beth loves to travel and the security and low maintenance of a condo while she travels offers her peace of mind. 
  2. Underground Parking: Beth was attracted to maintenance-free parking.  Climate control, a short walk to an elevator, and no snow shoveling.
  3. Location: Beth wanted to be within walking distance of most of the amenities she frequented; her doctor, grocery store, and coffee shops in central Scarborough. 

Based on Beth’s criteria, I knew we were going to be looking at central Scarborough condo buildings.  Given her location, I suggested we target some Tridel buildings in that location. 

In my previous career selling safety products to builders, I had exposure and relationships with most of the large builders in the GTA and was able to see who was good and who to avoid.

My experience with Tridel is that those buildings are well-made, and managed and tend to grow in value over time.  It is a recognizable brand that buyers have confidence in. I knew we would be able to find her something in her budget and location that would work for her.   In just under a month, we successfully secured a lovely 1+1 condo that had all the amenities and features she wanted, in the perfect location.  

Curious about working with a seniors real estate specialist? Read more about why this designation matters right here.

An Experienced Real Estate Specialist Can Help

Being a Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES), I offer the kind of expertise and specialization people value when they are transitioning into their next chapter in life. My extensive experience working with older adults helped me quickly identify what would work for Beth’s needs and propose solutions that would work for her. My advice helped Beth feel confident in her decision. I’m happy to report that Beth has gone on to retirement, enjoys her lifestyle filled with travel, and most importantly loves her new home.

If you have questions about buying a starter home in Toronto, I’d be happy to help! You can call me at 647.283.2127, send me an email at, or complete the form on this page to get in touch.

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