Personal Finance By Evelyn Kwong 295 Views

This 37-year-old millennial lives with roommates and is hoping to get her own spot. With $10,000 in student debt, should she rent or buy in Toronto?

Lola, 37, works in the pharmaceuticals industry making $87,000 a year, plus bonuses. Having spent most of her adult life living with roommates, it’s time for her to be more independent.

Though the plus side to her living situation is her rent comes in under $600 in Etobicoke, there is a downside: lack of privacy.

“I really need my own space,” she said.

She started looking into renting her own place, but found that listings started at around $1,500 to $1,600 a month. “It’s too expensive,” she said.

The high prices got her thinking: if she would be paying $1,500 a month to live alone, how different is that from monthly mortgage payments if she chooses to buy?

Though she’s earning more than ever before, she notes that her work contract is set to end in June 2022. She also has $10,000 to pay off in student debt.

Before jumping into home ownership she wants to make sure she can be financially stable in case her contract doesn’t get extended.

“I want to rent for now and maybe buy later once I get a permanent job. That makes financial sense to me now. But on the other hand I am thinking that instead of paying $1,600 in rent, I might as well pay that in mortgage. So I’m confused between these two ideas,” Lola said.

Luckily during the pandemic, Lola has been able to save around $300 monthly as she hasn’t been incurring public transit or grooming (hair and nails) expenses.