I read this article the other day at the Globe and Mail and found it both interesting and practical. The author goes through a number of reasons why, even though she could technically afford to buy a house, she is choosing to continue renting for the time being.
There is always a lot of chatter about how it is always better to buy than to rent: you can pay your own mortgage instead of your landlord’s; you can do whatever you want in terms of renovations. Everyone has heard all of the reasons and all of the pressure. In this new financial era, however, it is quite refreshing to hear of someone who is showing restraint. Renting has clear benefits, as she notes: someone else pays for repairs; no additional expenses for utilities, taxes and insurance; even being able to live in a better neighbourhood than you could afford to buy in. I would add to that, that if you move more than once every five years, you will have fewer expenses renting than owning.
Owning has its benefits; so does renting. The point to remember is to be mindful of what is right for you, not what others think is best.