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Renting vs. Buying: Financial Comparison

Your parents, your friends, maybe even your financial advisor – if you rent, you’ve probably heard people talk about you ‘throwing your money away’ as though you were folding $100 bills into paper airplanes… and then lighting them on fire without even throwing them. The reality is, buying a property is making an investment, and not all investments are good ones. Overpriced homes in heated markets (are we past that yet?) don’t necessarily appreciate in value and on top of it there are maintenance costs, bank interest, real estate and legal fees, and so on. On the other hand, renting isn’t an investment at all, it’s paying for a space to live! There are much more wasteful ways to spend your money! You’re also relieved of a lot of the headaches and expenses of owning, or at least renting brings its own headaches but usually much less expensive than, say, replacing a roof.

Of course what those well-meaning associates are getting at is that your rent isn’t an investment, where at least the non-interest part of your mortgage is. We experienced something unusual in Saskatchewan over the last 15 or so years where artificially low prices suddenly caught up with demand. People with $80,000 homes they’d bought in 1990 could turn around and sell those home for about double that only 5 years later. That sort of investment return is hard to forget and may be part of the reason for what might be considered a bit of excess enthusiasm.¬† If you’re renting, you’re paying someone else’s mortgage, or at least part of it, but if you, for example, go to a restaurant and have a meal, you’re paying part of that restaurant owner’s mortgage on their home or business, not to mention the servers, cooks, and others that the restaurant pays to provide you with that meal and somewhere to eat it. If you pay for a service, in this case, a roof over your head, what the service provider uses the money for is irrelevant and ultimately, a large business expense that if it wasn’t paid for, would mean you’d have to find a new place to rent.

All this is really preamble for a great comparison of renting vs buying by the Globe & Mail that is worth a watch for anyone making a financial plan for their future:

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3 Tips: Getting Started on Anikio

Hi there, thanks for checking out Anikio.com – we hope to make renting a much better experience for landlords and tenants! While you’re getting started, here are some power-user moves that can really help you make the most of the website. Hopefully you found some of these features yourself, but if not, here are some of the most important ones:

Secrets of the Search Box

You might not have realized it, but that search box on the homepage actually let’s you get pretty specific about things like location. Have you seen those little arrows by the cities? You don’t have to search only properties in Saskatoon, for example, but you can actually click on them to filter down to specific neighbourhoods. The hierarchy is City -> Planning Area / Region -> Neighbourhood. Looking for somewhere near Confederation Mall (but maybe not as far up as Dundonald)? No problem! Not interested in apartments or absolutely need a place that is non-smoking? The more options you select, the better tailored your results will be for you! Oh, and don’t miss the section below on how to REALLY tweak your search using the Preferred Search setting. That’s where you can choose to only show places that will consider letting you move in with Fluffy, your hairless cat!

Update Your Profile

When you sign up with a Google or Facebook account, we don’t take much information from them. We get your name, your email address (so that people can contact or reply to you) and, if you have one, a profile picture. Take a second to open up your profile and add some information to help people get to know a bit about who they’re talking to. Maybe you want to use a different profile photo than what is on your Facebook page. Or the email you signed up for Facebook with isn’t one you use anymore. Other items you may want to add:

  • Phone Number – some people prefer texting or voice calls.
  • Description – Aside from telling people a bit about yourself, you may want to include information like your preferred means of contact, information that should be included in an inquiry, and so on. Think of this as a small resume combined with a space for any information you want to share before you’re contacted.
  • Website – This is a good place to link to your social media profile (we don’t put that link in by default, at least not at the moment).

Preferred Search and the “For You” Section of the Homepage

While you’re in the profile page, you may have noticed on the right (or at the bottom for those on mobile) a section called Preferred Search. This lets you create a custom search with all sorts of filters (cat/dog/other pet friendly, properties with fenced backyards, you name it!) beyond what you can search for on the homepage. Even better, this search will follow you around on the site. On the homepage, the For You section will now show properties that meet the criteria you’ve selected and the search/map will automatically filter to show your settings. It really takes a lot of the work out of sifting through properties that don’t meet your criteria. And if you’re a landlord with a single rental property looking for comparables, it will help you quickly look at similar properties to yours… just make sure not to make the criteria too specific or you may not find all the really close ones.¬†