025 – To Rent or to Buy, that is the Question?

In this episode, the guys consider the age-old question of rent vs. buy, but from an FI perspective. If you found this podcast you’re probably familiar with the FIRE movement that has grown in popularity recently. Here at the FI Garage, we’re all on the path to FI, however, we consider the RE part optional.

Beer – Persephone’s Mocha Porter [0:45]
Useful Tool – BC Ale Trail [2:20]

Rent or Buy? [4:15]

Our New Feedback Form is now up! [40:45]

Make a comment on our show notes page for Interview #8 – Robinson Smith and the Smith Manoeuvre by the end of February 29th, 2020 to enter our draw to win Master Your Mortgage for Financial Freedom and access to the Smithman Calculator [40:55]


  1. This was a really fun episode to listen to. I like that you guys touched on how buying a house comes down to a lifestyle choice for many people.

    I calculated the financial benefits of renting vs buying back when I was house hunting. I found that renting won out, as long as housing prices didn’t rise too quickly. As soon as you start seeing home prices increasing 5%+ per year I found homeownership was more profitable in the early years. That’s mainly because when you buy a home you’re typically leveraged 5 to 1. However, I primarily bought my house for lifestyle reasons, and not to optimize my path to FI.

    Buying a home within your means is also great from a diversification standpoint. You can invest in the markets (as I do), while also accumulating equity in an asset that insulates you from rising rent costs and price inflation. It’s great to not worry about “never being able to afford a house” when you see prices increase 10% or more in a year, or worry about your kids needing to switch schools when your landlord decides to rebuild.

    Also, with the power of the Smith Maneuver, I’m not so sure that renting wins out so definitively these days.

    1. That’s a fantastic last line…I’ll bet that if you modeled out the SM for the full amortization of a mortgage, it would beat renting hands down! We live in Victoria and have seen the 5%+ appreciation you mention. However, there are lots of places that are still the same or have actually lost value. I guess the point is that one shouldn’t assume property will always go up in value. Since we recorded that episode, I think my mindset has shifted. I am pro owning because it is a store of wealth that you can put to work, all the while having a stable roof over your head.

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