Real Estate

Buying a house to live in only 2 years?

  • Last Updated:
  • Sep 5th, 2020 3:09 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Apr 30, 2013
77 posts
34 upvotes

Buying a house to live in only 2 years?

Hi all, would appreciate any advice you have on whether or not we should buy a house.

Spouse got a job in a rural area for 2 years with great pay. I'll be on maternity leave for most of the contract so will be moving up too. Our plan was to rent a home or apartment however the rental market there is horrible at the moment. There are very few rentals available. The ones that do come up are geared towards single people i.e. a room in a house for $800+. The only option we have found is to stay at this old inn for $2000+ a month. It's ok, but not somewhere we would want to stay for 2 years.

The houses in the area are reasonably priced. We could purchase a 2-3 bed detached home for 200-250k. We could certainly afford it, and the monthly mortgage payments would be much lower than renting. I would feel more comfortable being in my own home but I realise that buying a house to live in it only a few years doesn't usually make financial sense.

We feel that it would be easy to rent after we move out, however we will be 1000 kms away so will need to hire property manager once we return to our hometown. If we sell, I'm not expecting there to be an increase in value in 2 years time.

Another option would be to rent a place in a nearby city and commute in to town. It's just over an hour's drive (more in the winter). Spouse isn't used to snowy conditions so would prefer to avoid this.
33 replies
Jr. Member
Dec 12, 2011
121 posts
94 upvotes
Toronto
There's no easy answer here. Would you be comfortable with losing $50k on the sale of your house? What about if the market dips and you stand to lose $100k? Would that be worth the comfort of being in your own place for 2 years? Is that better than making the long commute every day? Personally if I was certain is was only 2 years I "might" endure being in a rental if I could atleast make the place semi comfortable? Heck I could prob even live separate from the wife if it was only 2 years and if I didnt have children. Idk, these are tough questions but the money I would have to make to take a rural job and uproot my whole life would have to be seriously worth it. Best of luck. Give us an update later please.
Deal Fanatic
Feb 22, 2011
7296 posts
7771 upvotes
Toronto
If it were me I would rent, buying for only 2 years has so many potential issues. Renting a long commute away also makes no sense.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 2, 2012
3908 posts
1755 upvotes
Toronto
LiquoriceTea wrote: The houses in the area are reasonably priced. We could purchase a 2-3 bed detached home for 200-250k. We could certainly afford it, and the monthly mortgage payments would be much lower than renting. I would feel more comfortable being in my own home but I realise that buying a house to live in it only a few years doesn't usually make financial sense.

We feel that it would be easy to rent after we move out, however we will be 1000 kms away so will need to hire property manager once we return to our hometown. If we sell, I'm not expecting there to be an increase in value in 2 years time.
Keep in mind that if you sell with zero appreciation, you'll take losses for initial land transfer tax to buy, realtor fees to sell, lawyer fees to buy/sell, and any number of other miscellaneous items. I'd ballpark at least in the $15K range for all this. Also in rural areas homes don't always sell as fast, so you might have to continue paying mortgage for months after you move out while waiting for a sale.

Although if as you said the rental market has literally nothing suitable for you, then you may need to consider buying and just factor all the sunk costs into your decision.
Member
Nov 26, 2012
278 posts
247 upvotes
Toronto
Could you rent somewhere in between - say halfway to the nearest city? You are pregnant/will have a newborn so your partner commuting 1+ hour in rural conditions would be a nightmare.

I would also go to the area and chat with the locals. Try to see what options there are that are not publicly listed. lol
Sr. Member
Feb 19, 2019
847 posts
923 upvotes
Stouffville ON
Buying for couple of years doesn't make sense, it would only make sense if you want to keep it after that.
Full Time and Full Service Realtor
Deal Guru
Feb 29, 2008
12544 posts
7732 upvotes
I would suck it up and rent. Buying property is a long term play.
Member
Jan 29, 2007
270 posts
57 upvotes
Markham
Where's the location we're talking about?
Deal Addict
Jan 15, 2017
3514 posts
2866 upvotes
I would probably buy. If the most suitable place that you can rent is $2000+ a month, that's $48,000 over 2 years. If you bought for 2 years for $250k with 20% down, even if it doesn't increase in value, you are on the hook for interest costs, property taxes and closing costs which won't come close to $48,000.
Deal Addict
Mar 27, 2015
1393 posts
498 upvotes
Thornhill, ON
I'd rent. Who wants the hassle of being a long-distance landlord and/or trying to sell a house in a rural area, where houses often sit for a long time. Especially if you have no connection to the area and as soon as your two years are up, you're gone forever. Two years will go by in heartbeat, I'd rent and then be happy to just move on with no restrictions.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Nov 5, 2018
1593 posts
2422 upvotes
Toronto
Rent.
I do not need approval, I do not need friends. I do what I want.
[OP]
Newbie
Apr 30, 2013
77 posts
34 upvotes
clydelee2020 wrote: There's no easy answer here. Would you be comfortable with losing $50k on the sale of your house? What about if the market dips and you stand to lose $100k? Would that be worth the comfort of being in your own place for 2 years? Is that better than making the long commute every day? Personally if I was certain is was only 2 years I "might" endure being in a rental if I could atleast make the place semi comfortable? Heck I could prob even live separate from the wife if it was only 2 years and if I didnt have children. Idk, these are tough questions but the money I would have to make to take a rural job and uproot my whole life would have to be seriously worth it. Best of luck. Give us an update later please.
It's a tricky situation for sure. Of course, losing 50K on the sale of the house would be hard. At the same time, we would be paying 50k in rent over the 2 years anyway. The 1+ hour commute each way to next next town would be tough, especially considering we will have a newborn. It certainly is not what we had planned, but it is a great opportunity for career advancement. The pay is of course a huge part of it as well. It is a 60k per year pay raise compared to if we remain in our hometown. Not to mention contract bonuses and moving allocations. This will be a huge help as I will be on maternity leave/EI.
[OP]
Newbie
Apr 30, 2013
77 posts
34 upvotes
niche54 wrote: Could you rent somewhere in between - say halfway to the nearest city? You are pregnant/will have a newborn so your partner commuting 1+ hour in rural conditions would be a nightmare.

I would also go to the area and chat with the locals. Try to see what options there are that are not publicly listed. lol
Unfortunately there isn't much between this town and the next city, pretty much just highway. My partner has been there for a few months already. Currently renting a small room in a house and has been actively searching for an apartment or home to rent. Seems like the rental market is tough. A lot of young people come to the town to work for a few months/years and make some money. The rental market is geared to them, mainly furnished rooms and short-term stays.
Member
Feb 5, 2015
300 posts
348 upvotes
Toronto
rent, the closing costs, agents fees etc, are probably going to be worth 6 months rent.

if you dont like the rental market, offer a 2 year lease to some of the owners who have units up for sale. i am sure a couple of them might consider them.

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