Does it make sense to rent in later retirment?

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Re: Does it make sense to rent in later retirment?

Post by Spidey » 17 Sep 2017 11:29

nomad wrote:
17 Sep 2017 09:15
Spidey wrote:
17 Sep 2017 09:07
Strangely enough, it seems like women don't care for it when you say, "Your just like my mother". :shock: :D
Or just like her own mother! :D
Yikes - just noticed the grammatical error in that quote. :oops:

That being said, I've also walked into nomad's landmine as well.
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Re: Does it make sense to rent in later retirment?

Post by AltaRed » 17 Sep 2017 11:49

Sometimes a family doctor can help in persuasion and/or to leverage the situation of someone the stubborn mother knows personally.

It took my bro and I asking our mother if she really wanted us to find her crumpled at the bottom of the stairs a day or so later with a broken hip or a stroke or whatever.... situations that our own grandmothers ended up in. And then to tell her she needed to move for the peace of mind of all family members and taking her to see an apt in an independent living facility, meeting staff and a few people she already knew there.

Obviously every situation and individual is different but there is a time when even the most stubborn people, who are dependent on others, recognize their options are disappearing rapidly. It can be really tough to be tough.
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Re: Does it make sense to rent in later retirment?

Post by kcowan » 17 Sep 2017 16:31

Dad fell into his bedroom dresser and broke his hip when he was almost 95. He lived in an owned bungalow. A DNR and morphine made his passing painless.

MIL lived in her 2 story TH until she went to the hospital for the last time at 93. I had to install a second railing in the stairwell so she could use both hands to pull herself up and steady herself going down. The TH was owned but it was very good. Not too invasive condo council. FIL had even built mailboxes for everyone, stained to match the siding.
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Re: Does it make sense to rent in later retirment?

Post by SoninlawofGus » 18 Sep 2017 10:54

Spidey wrote:
10 Sep 2017 18:19
As for apartments, I would consider something along these lines:

http://williamscourt.com/?gclid=EAIaIQo ... gJbYPD_BwE

If more people start thinking like I am, perhaps apartment REITs are a good investment.
Getting to this post a bit late. I too live in Ottawa. I lived in the Conservatory (Richmond/Grenon) for 14 year and another higher-end place after that. When I first moved in (1990), the place was two years old and had everything. Eventually, I married had kids, and moved into a house. So, I kind of did things in reverse: I was surrounded by retirees at the Conservatory.

I loved living in that apartment and not having to worry about so many things that I do now in our aging house. I long for that environment almost daily. OTOH, there were serious downsides that I suspect I have downplayed in my mind over the years: elevators (just getting groceries was a pain), noise, insects (yes, even in a new place you can't depend on the cleanliness of your neighbors), and smells. With marijuana being legalized, this is becoming a bigger issue -- and it was for me back then. Right across the hall, four students moved in and smoked up daily. I just mostly hate the smell of it. The students tried to cover it by cooking bacon, which just meant the hall wreaked of bacon and marijuana.

The apartments you've linked above look nice, but the location is not great. I used to think that location didn't matter much in apartments, but when my wife and I moved out of the Conservatory into a downtown building (the Bona Vista, I think, was the name of it), we ultimately disliked the new location and moved out a year later.

One thing never almost never mentioned is the weather. Man, have we had some weather since buying our house! We lived through a microburst in 2014 -- terrifying, took down our 45-year-old maple and most mature trees for two blacks. Damage everywhere. A tree fell and nearly killed a kid. We've had record-setting rain this year and then a one-day record back around 2004. And then a long drought last year (killed our grass completely). None of it good for homeowners. But back in 1997, I was in an apartment for the ice storm -- one of the first areas in the city to get electricity back. And the weather was just something to enjoy back then -- blizzards, floods, wind, whatever, bring it on; I would just watch it all happen out my big window with my Ottawa river view.

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Re: Does it make sense to rent in later retirment?

Post by kcowan » 18 Sep 2017 15:27

SoninlawofGus wrote:
18 Sep 2017 10:54
With marijuana being legalized, this is becoming a bigger issue -- and it was for me back then. Right across the hall, four students moved in and smoked up daily. I just mostly hate the smell of it. The students tried to cover it by cooking bacon, which just meant the hall wreaked of bacon and marijuana.
Wow bacon and bud. Seems delightful. :mrgreen:

In Mexico, we had a renter below us whose son went on to the dead end street to smoke and toke and a group gathered. His mother was a Parisian swinger (very pretty). After three years of trying, we got the owner to evict her.
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Re: Does it make sense to rent in later retirment?

Post by scomac » 18 Sep 2017 23:47

SoninlawofGus wrote:
18 Sep 2017 10:54
Spidey wrote:
10 Sep 2017 18:19
As for apartments, I would consider something along these lines:

http://williamscourt.com/?gclid=EAIaIQo ... gJbYPD_BwE

If more people start thinking like I am, perhaps apartment REITs are a good investment.
Getting to this post a bit late. I too live in Ottawa. I lived in the Conservatory (Richmond/Grenon) for 14 year and another higher-end place after that. When I first moved in (1990), the place was two years old and had everything. Eventually, I married had kids, and moved into a house. So, I kind of did things in reverse: I was surrounded by retirees at the Conservatory.

I loved living in that apartment and not having to worry about so many things that I do now in our aging house. I long for that environment almost daily. OTOH, there were serious downsides that I suspect I have downplayed in my mind over the years: elevators (just getting groceries was a pain), noise, insects (yes, even in a new place you can't depend on the cleanliness of your neighbors), and smells. With marijuana being legalized, this is becoming a bigger issue -- and it was for me back then. Right across the hall, four students moved in and smoked up daily. I just mostly hate the smell of it. The students tried to cover it by cooking bacon, which just meant the hall wreaked of bacon and marijuana.

The apartments you've linked above look nice, but the location is not great. I used to think that location didn't matter much in apartments, but when my wife and I moved out of the Conservatory into a downtown building (the Bona Vista, I think, was the name of it), we ultimately disliked the new location and moved out a year later.

One thing never almost never mentioned is the weather. Man, have we had some weather since buying our house! We lived through a microburst in 2014 -- terrifying, took down our 45-year-old maple and most mature trees for two blacks. Damage everywhere. A tree fell and nearly killed a kid. We've had record-setting rain this year and then a one-day record back around 2004. And then a long drought last year (killed our grass completely). None of it good for homeowners. But back in 1997, I was in an apartment for the ice storm -- one of the first areas in the city to get electricity back. And the weather was just something to enjoy back then -- blizzards, floods, wind, whatever, bring it on; I would just watch it all happen out my big window with my Ottawa river view.
Sounds like renting might just be the best option earlier in retirement rather than later.

We are thinking about moving and DW is keen on a small house with property. Me, not so much. Perhaps that's because I've dealt with the realities of property maintenance my whole life. Home ownership seems to be a very North American centric thing culturally. It's less of a goal in other societies where more emphasis is placed on the commons for the enjoyment of all. Unfortunately the reality is that developers aren't the slightest bit interested in adding rental units as they prefer to get their money out as quickly as possible and pass the on-going costs to someone else.

I know several folks that live in adult lifestyle communities that cater more or less to active seniors. It's a great concept, but extremely expensive in my mind as you must purchase the building while leasing the property and paying for it's maintenance. For all intents and purposes you are owning and renting concurrently which is probably the worst of both worlds, but the demand for these sorts of homes is very strong. In the mean time, I'm thinking that a condo of some sort maybe a reasonable compromise provided that the location is suitable.
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Re: Does it make sense to rent in later retirment?

Post by kcowan » 19 Sep 2017 08:17

scomac wrote:
18 Sep 2017 23:47
I know several folks that live in adult lifestyle communities that cater more or less to active seniors. It's a great concept, but extremely expensive in my mind as you must purchase the building while leasing the property and paying for it's maintenance. For all intents and purposes you are owning and renting concurrently which is probably the worst of both worlds, but the demand for these sorts of homes is very strong. In the mean time, I'm thinking that a condo of some sort maybe a reasonable compromise provided that the location is suitable.
I think you are right. And I would shop for neighbourhood first. Proximity to shopping and public transit will anticipate a declining desire or capability to drive. You will be much more likely to walk every day if you can accomplish something as well. Condo council is another key factor. Look for a group that like local independent contractors rather than companies. Make sure that there are rules about sublets that you are happy with. Most of all, avoid "soup Nazi managers"!
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Re: Does it make sense to rent in later retirment?

Post by scomac » 19 Sep 2017 10:41

kcowan wrote:
19 Sep 2017 08:17
I think you are right. And I would shop for neighbourhood first. Proximity to shopping and public transit will anticipate a declining desire or capability to drive. You will be much more likely to walk every day if you can accomplish something as well. Condo council is another key factor. Look for a group that like local independent contractors rather than companies. Make sure that there are rules about sublets that you are happy with. Most of all, avoid "soup Nazi managers"!
Thanks for the advice Keith! When our oldest son purchased his condo, location, condo fees and finances were the key considerations. His complex is 20 years old. It's quiet even though they are next to a rail line. Unfortunately it's not really amenable to walking even though they have direct access to the trail system in a wooded area. The units themselves are just okay. He has had a couple of HVAC issues to deal with since he has been there. A good starter place, but not really what my wife and I are looking for. Unfortunately new developments are becoming increasingly pricey with $650K price tags along with $500-$600 per month in fees which is really not any better than the adult lifestyle communities. Living in southern Ontario is becoming an increasingly expensive proposition!
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Re: Does it make sense to rent in later retirment?

Post by AltaRed » 19 Sep 2017 11:40

Scomac, I saw on CBC News last night about a new Hamilton based lifestyle community underway by the devleoper of big resort (Disney scale) resorts and the original(?) developer of Wonderland(?) in the GTA area. If that is what you mean by lifestyle commnities? That sort of thing would appeal to us I think but it doesn't have to be of that scale. I wouldn't worry about cost really. If one currently has a big house worth $750k or so, what is wrong with buying a lifestyle community condo for a simlar price if one doesn't really need the equity to supplement their remaining capital? I still want upscale* appliances, granite countertops, etc. even if I am 85 and not overly mobile.

Surely there are 'communities' that have nice units in good locations with a lot of activities, including woodworking and the like, that don't have the 'vacation' effect, but provide amenities. One out here is essentially right on the lake with walking trails and walking distance (for seniors) to shops and restaurants.

We had been thinking about a condo in downtown Kelowna of similar scale (could park a boat out front) but they are older, need complete renos and more importantly, tend to be mostly vacation rentals. No one wants to buy a condo whereby most of the units are owned by absenteee landlords. I would want to be in one that forbids vacation rentals, B2B, VRVO et al.

* The condo we go back to in Maui from time to time is a spacious 1BR with King bed, and nice kitchen with SS appliances, granite countertops, etc, etc. We are going back there again this winter for about 4 weeks. The condo complex has pools, spas, outdoor restaurant by the beach, etc, etc, for all our liesure fun.
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Re: Does it make sense to rent in later retirment?

Post by kcowan » 19 Sep 2017 15:06

scomac wrote:
19 Sep 2017 10:41
Thanks for the advice Keith! When our oldest son purchased his condo, location, condo fees and finances were the key considerations. His complex is 20 years old.
Yes I think you have to be patient. Define what you want and then target the area. Our friends in The Beach are prepared to sell when someone meets their price and rent until their target location comes on the market. Yes that creates storage and disposition problems but it does optimize the important issue which is place! It is not without sacrifices... :)
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Re: Does it make sense to rent in later retirment?

Post by Spidey » 19 Sep 2017 16:25

SoninlawofGus wrote:
18 Sep 2017 10:54

I loved living in that apartment and not having to worry about so many things that I do now in our aging house. I long for that environment almost daily. OTOH, there were serious downsides that I suspect I have downplayed in my mind over the years: elevators (just getting groceries was a pain), noise, insects (yes, even in a new place you can't depend on the cleanliness of your neighbors), and smells. With marijuana being legalized, this is becoming a bigger issue -- and it was for me back then. Right across the hall, four students moved in and smoked up daily. I just mostly hate the smell of it. The students tried to cover it by cooking bacon, which just meant the hall wreaked of bacon and marijuana.
Concern regarding neighbor related issues is my biggest concern and is why I will say in my home for another decade or so - however, when the time comes that a person wants single level living with no yard work, neighbors will likely be a reality. My suspicion is that much of the concern regarding neighbors can be mitigated by living in somewhat higher end rental accommodation. And such concerns are one of the reasons that I'm leaning toward renting - If I do have to bail, I don't risk having to pay realtor fees and sell in a down market. The things that I've found ruin condo living are expensive and inefficient management and the condo atmosphere that regards the condo board as a mini city hall with "citizens" constantly looking for ways to spend my money or complain about their neighbors.
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Re: Does it make sense to rent in later retirment?

Post by scomac » 19 Sep 2017 16:56

AltaRed wrote:
19 Sep 2017 11:40
Scomac, I saw on CBC News last night about a new Hamilton based lifestyle community underway by the devleoper of big resort (Disney scale) resorts and the original(?) developer of Wonderland(?) in the GTA area. If that is what you mean by lifestyle commnities? That sort of thing would appeal to us I think but it doesn't have to be of that scale. I wouldn't worry about cost really. If one currently has a big house worth $750k or so, what is wrong with buying a lifestyle community condo for a simlar price if one doesn't really need the equity to supplement their remaining capital? I still want upscale* appliances, granite countertops, etc. even if I am 85 and not overly mobile.

Surely there are 'communities' that have nice units in good locations with a lot of activities, including woodworking and the like, that don't have the 'vacation' effect, but provide amenities. One out here is essentially right on the lake with walking trails and walking distance (for seniors) to shops and restaurants.

We had been thinking about a condo in downtown Kelowna of similar scale (could park a boat out front) but they are older, need complete renos and more importantly, tend to be mostly vacation rentals. No one wants to buy a condo whereby most of the units are owned by absenteee landlords. I would want to be in one that forbids vacation rentals, B2B, VRVO et al.

* The condo we go back to in Maui from time to time is a spacious 1BR with King bed, and nice kitchen with SS appliances, granite countertops, etc, etc. We are going back there again this winter for about 4 weeks. The condo complex has pools, spas, outdoor restaurant by the beach, etc, etc, for all our liesure fun.
I work at a golf course and several members of Antrim Glen are members/regulars at the course. They even have their own mixed league with regular tournaments. The development is rural in nature, but self contained, made up of single level, single family units where you own the structure and lease the land. All grounds maintenance services are covered. There's a pool, tennis courts and a rec center as part of the package with lots of programs that you can sign up for. The unit prices are running $400K and up depending upon size and finish with monthly fees in the range of $800-$900. This strikes me as being exceedingly expensive, but if you're coming from a higher cost area then it can look fairly attractive I suppose. It's a tough pill to swallow though if you're selling in the immediate area and moving there. Friends of our had been looking at another Parkbridge community that is closer to where we live and it was a non starter for them coming from a freehold bungalow. They decided that they would be further ahead to renovate where they were.
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Re: Does it make sense to rent in later retirment?

Post by AltaRed » 19 Sep 2017 17:11

Ah, but there's the rub. What do you really want as you get into advanced years and reduced physical/mental capacity? The condo fees give you 'worry free' home ownership and a whole bunch of amenities, activities and maybe more importantly, the opportunity for as social interaction as one can stomach. For many, that is precisely what $800/month in condo fees is about...and maybe more.

Our neighbours 2 doors over just put their big house up for sale. They are clearly 80-85 years of age and that house is just way too much for them to handle any more. I haven't yet asked them where they are going but I suspect it is a retirement community, or independent living facility.
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Re: Does it make sense to rent in later retirment?

Post by snowback96 » 20 Sep 2017 04:29

It seems to me there are 2 separate questions here:

1) Does it make sense for someone in their retirement years to move from a house to an apartment (regardless of whether it is a condo or rental unit)? I think the answer to this question will 100% depend on the age, capacity, emotions, social situation, and other personal aspects of the individual in question. Nobody can really help you answer this question; they can only point out things to consider.

Now, if we assume the answer to this question is "yes", that raises the second question:

2) Does it make sense for a retiree to buy a condo or rent a similar quality apartment? For this one, I'm not sure the answer would be any different for a older retiree vs. an early retiree (and not substantially different compared to a younger worker bee either). The problems are similar regardless of stage of life. Condos have the problems of amateur boards, special assessments, creeping fees, bad neighbours, etc. Apartments have the problems of perhaps lower quality neighbours, less control, less of an inflation hedge, etc.

I think one aspect of question #2 that really has not been addressed is the tax aspect. The imputed income of being a condo owner is tax free. (In other words, you are not taxed on the amount of savings between the cost of rent vs. the cost of condo fees + taxes.) The income generated by REITs, stocks, and GICs get taxed and also included in clawbacks for OAS calculations. So, from a strictly financial sense, the playing field is often skewed in favour of owning. (Whether this inequity is more or less in retirement vs working years would depend on a number of factors including marginal tax rates, OAS clawback, etc.)

If you determine that it makes more sense for a later retiree to rent (vs own) in a given market, wouldn't the answer be the same for most people, regardless of age & retirement status?

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Re: Does it make sense to rent in later retirment?

Post by AltaRed » 20 Sep 2017 10:42

Not necessarily. The burden of home ownership is very real for many people, especially as physical and mental capacities diminish. It may well be that paying more income tax as a result of capital investment (as a result of a home sale) and additional OAS clawback is a distant second concern. Those of us still 'desiring' home ownership and with the physical and mental capacity to still 'enjoy' home ownership can't quite comprehend how that burden feels.

I think you also forget there are more options than just a condo or an apartment with incompetent boards (condo), or less desirable neighbours (rental apartments and condos). Lifestyle 55+ communities rarely have many of those concerns and actually provide amenities, activities and social interaction that 'home hostages' typically don't have. IOW, there is a whole other suite of housing opportunities than 'just condos and apartments' as we tend to think of them. I know of a number of them locally, built along the lines of 2 bedroom strata bungalows with single/double car garages of 100-200 units in a gated community with man made brooks and ponds in the backyards.

Added: I would want something more upscale than this, but here are a few MLS listings of the kind of place I am talking about... all strata 55+
https://www.realtor.ca/Residential/Sing ... ank-Centre
https://www.realtor.ca/Residential/Sing ... fieldSpall
https://www.realtor.ca/Residential/Sing ... owna-South
https://www.realtor.ca/Residential/Sing ... fieldSpall
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Re: Does it make sense to rent in later retirment?

Post by snowback96 » 20 Sep 2017 22:52

Yes, I understand for some people, the old folks home makes a lot of sense. And that's great if you live in the Okanagan or other spots where there are lots of these types of options. However, there was some discussion up-thread about locations that found limited choices for these types of accomodations. That's why I was looking at the condo/apartment decision where there is much more selection almost anywhere (except rural).

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Re: Does it make sense to rent in later retirment?

Post by Arby » 22 Sep 2017 15:02

Spidey wrote:
19 Sep 2017 16:25

Concern regarding neighbor related issues is my biggest concern and is why I will say in my home for another decade or so - however, when the time comes that a person wants single level living with no yard work, neighbors will likely be a reality. My suspicion is that much of the concern regarding neighbors can be mitigated by living in somewhat higher end rental accommodation. ...
I agree about sticking with higher end rental accommodations to ensure that your neighbours are compatible. After reading this thread, I checked what was available for high end rental in Ottawa. This place looked interesting. The units look nicer than many high end condos. Great central location overlooking the Rideau River. It was built about 1 year ago, and is completely full, with a long waiting list. It looks like there is a good market for high end rental accommodations.

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Re: Does it make sense to rent in later retirment?

Post by AltaRed » 22 Sep 2017 15:10

AltaRed wrote:
19 Sep 2017 17:11
Our neighbours 2 doors over just put their big house up for sale. They are clearly 80-85 years of age and that house is just way too much for them to handle any more. I haven't yet asked them where they are going but I suspect it is a retirement community, or independent living facility.
Just chatted to these folks this morning. They are 85 and moving to one of these http://www.regencyresorts.ca/ simply... because it is time to do so. Good on them!
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Re: Does it make sense to rent in later retirment?

Post by Koogie » 23 Sep 2017 21:43

My FIL (early 80s) and his girlfriend (mid 70s) have just recently moved into one of these retirement bungalow villages in Newcastle, just east of Toronto (https://www.caprent.com/land-lease/comm ... mot-creek/) They had sold a large lakefront property in Muskoka that had become to much upkeep and with his heart conditions, they were not travelling south as much in the winters as before so the weather was taking its toll as well.

Frankly, the place is fantastic. It is a fairly large development by CAPReit (900 houses) and the layout and upkeep are well done. The amenities are also first rate, it is convenient to a nature reserve and for going grocery shopping nearby. The views out over Lake Ontario are fantastic. The bungalow purchase prices range from very reasonable for "inland" properties to still good value for lakefront. The monthly maintenance fees are also not exorbitant but that may of course change in time.

I despise home ownership and DW loves it. Over our 20 years together we have rented almost exactly half the time and owned the other half. We have generally always enjoyed the locations where we rented more. I have suggested to DW that this isn't a coincidence. She remains unimpressed by logic.
I assume her nesting instinct will keep her in a SFH long after I'm on the wrong side of the grass.
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