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Sean Cleary and Stephen Foerster wrote this case solely to provide material for class discussion. The authors do not intend to
illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a managerial situation. The authors may have disguised certain names and other
identifying information to protect confidentiality.

This publication may not be transmitted, photocopied, digitized or otherwise reproduced in any form or by any means without the
permission of the copyright holder. Reproduction of this material is not covered under authorization by any reproduction rights
organization. To order copies or request permission to reproduce materials, contact Ivey Publishing, Ivey Business School, Western
University, London, Ontario, Canada, N6G 0N1; (t) 519.661.3208; (e) [email protected];

Copyright © 2014, Richard Ivey School of Business Foundation Version: 2015-06-05

In May 2013, Rebecca Young completed her MBA and moved to Toronto for a new job in investment
banking. There, she rented a spacious, two-bedroom condominium for $3,000 per month, which included
parking but not utilities or cable television. In July 2014, the virtually identical unit next door became
available for sale with an asking price of $620,000, and Young believed she could purchase it for
$600,000. She realized she was facing the classic buy-versus-rent decision. It was time for her to apply
some of the analytical tools she had acquired in business school — including “time value of money”
concepts — to her personal life.

While Young really liked the condominium unit she was renting, as well as the condominium building
itself, she felt that it would be inadequate for her long-term needs, as she planned to move to a house or
even to a larger penthouse condominium within five to 10 years — even sooner if her job continued to
work out well.

Friends and family had given Young a variety of mixed opinions concerning the buy-versus-rent debate,
ranging from “you’re throwing your money away on rent” to “it’s better to keep things as cheap and
flexible as possible until you are ready to settle in for good.” She realized that both sides presented good
arguments, but she wanted to analyze the buy-versus-rent decision from a quantitative point of view in
order to provide some context for the qualitative considerations that would ultimately be a major part of
her decision.


If Young purchased the new condominium, she would pay monthly condo fees of $1,055 per month, plus
property taxes of $300 per month on the unit. Unlike when renting, she would also be responsible for
repairs and general maintenance, which she estimated would average $600 per year.

If she decided to purchase the new

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