Issue 27 – To Rent or Own?

“What do you mean you have to buy it?,” Charlie was practically pacing now across the living room floor, muttering to himself and shaking his head. They had spent the better part of the week making a list of things that were important to them to inform their selection process of a new home. Hazel was more practical, placing things on the list such as “being close to grocery stores, clinics and pharmacies” as well as “a building that offers a care unit or something similar when the time comes.” Charlie just wanted it to be affordable, take pets, and have a place nearby that he could have a sip of scotch if he was so inclined. Hazel found one building that seemed to meet all their needs and wants, but it was in Edmonton. Charlie wasn’t completely sold on moving into the city, and now it would seem, he wasn’t too thrilled at hearing that it didn’t offer rental options. If you wanted to live there, you had to purchase your suite.

“Lloyd and Marilyn didn’t have to buy their place, I’m sure of it!,” Charlie huffed. Hazel rolled her eyes in frustration. Why did Charlie always seem to get hung up on this sort of stuff? “That’s because Lloyd and Marilyn’s place isn’t a condo,” Hazel tried to explain. “Well, what’s the difference? Why are some places condos and some places apartments? They all look the same to me! I’d rather part with a bit of my money at a time, rather than someone getting everything we’ve got all at once. What if we don’t like the place in a few months? Then we’ve got to try to sell it? How does that work?” Charlie was rambling now. “I sure would hope that you wouldn’t change your mind in a few months, Charlie. Packing up our stuff and moving it all over the city every time you don’t like a place isn’t exactly how I envisioned this all to go, thank you very much.” Hazel gave him ‘the look’ to tell him that she wasn’t at all impressed.

“Who says I’m the one who will change my mind? All you’ll need is some chatty Cathy moving in next door and a nosey Nelly across the hall prying into your business and you’ll be slapping a For Sale sign on the door quicker than you can say Jack Robinson,” Charlie snorted matter-of-factly. Hazel looked away, because Charlie definitely had a point. What would happen if after all this hard work with the downsizing and selling and buying, they got stuck in a suite beside the worst neighbour imaginable? They had enjoyed decades without any neighbours at all. Purchasing meant they would be tied to the suite until resale. At least with renting, there could be options. The problem was, this condo was EXACTLY what they were looking for. It would be such a shame to not even look at it in the off chance they could have a bad neighbour – something that could happen with all options.
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What are your thoughts on this situation? Do you have any advice for our couple? Like if you think they should pursue ownership in their building of choice, or if they should give up some of the things on their list and look into a suite they could rent somewhere else.

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