To buy or to rent – that seems to be the question on everyone’s minds these days.
For me, it’s a no-brainer. If I rent, I get to live where I want. If I buy, chances are I’d have to live on a farm in rural Ontario where the land is cheap and modern-day luxuries are nothing but an urban myth.
The smartest decision, of course, would be to take advantage of my parents’ big hearts and scrimp and save until I can buy something tiny to call my own.
But I’ve always been impatient, and right now, I can’t help but feel that buying is more trouble than it’s worth.
After all, if I am to enjoy the twentysomething single life, do I really need to be burdened with property taxes and home repairs?
Renting rids me of most responsibilities while allowing me the benefit of living in the community of my choice.
It also allows me to put off the future for just a little while longer.
Buying a house comes with an expectation that I should fill it with a cute husband and even cuter kids.
Sure, a condo is always an option, but then it becomes a matter of “accepting” rather than “expecting.”
You might expect to fill a house one day, but buying a condo might make me feel like I accept the fact that I might be single for a long, long while.
It’s a silly way to rationalize things, I must admit, but something tells me I shouldn’t tempt fate.
I look at many of my friends who have been in home-buying mode lately, and almost all of them are thrilled when they tell me about their purchase.
Still, I can’t help but think of one friend who called me and sounded extremely dejected.
“Hi, I’m moving to Barrie,” she said.
It turns out she was moving to Richmond Hill, but to this urbanite, it might as well have been Orillia or some other quiet town up north.
When I asked her why she was settling for something so far away, she said, “Because it’s a good investment?”
I could tell the phrase was meant as a statement of fact rather than as a question, so I let it go.
Another friend of mine said that while she had to sacrifice location, it was well worth it to satisfy her expensive tastes.
“In our case, we can’t even afford a crappy house south of Steeles Avenue,” she said.
“Young couples are craving new homes with all the upgrades – hardwood, staircases, the whole shebang. That can only happen north of Steeles at this point in time, so we say OK and play in our new lovely homes up near the North Pole!”
I don’t think she minds too much, though.
When I asked her when she was coming down to see my new pad on Bloor Street, she told me she’d visit when her newborn daughter goes out on her first date – in 25 years.
I guess for some people, suburbia has more appeal than the downtown life.
Choosing to rent does make me feel like I’m quite a few steps behind my more mature friends who are investing in their future, rather than a fleeting good time.
On the other hand, I feel pretty lucky to be able to enjoy my fast-paced lifestyle for at least a few more years.
I don’t doubt there will be a time when I will want to exchange the city’s bright lights for the lights coming out of the new 24-hour Wal-Mart.
But for now, I think I’ll bask in my youth for just a little while longer.