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The Perks Of Renting Over Ownership Is A Selling Point At The Livmore

Renting over owning is a debate the newly named development The Livmore has embraced as both a selling point and a rallying cry.

“We use the slogan ‘Lease is More’,” said Todd Nishimura, director of leasing and marketing of the property management company Vertica Resident Services. “The idea being that whatever you want to do in life, this allows you to do more of it.”

The purpose-built rental apartment The Livmore will open to its first occupants in June.

At the corner of Gerrard and Bay, The Livmore will eventually rise to 43 storeys and feature 594 one-, two- and three-bedroom rental units and penthouses. 

Designed by architecture firm Page + Steele, the purpose-built rental project will include such amenities as balconies, individual hydro and water metering, a fitness facility, an in-house dog run and on-site staff.  

First occupants for the building are scheduled to take residency in June.

“The location is a strong asset,” Nishimura said. “It’s close to the universities and everything downtown. It’s that whole live-work concept. In a city like Toronto, you can live, work and go out in the same neighbourhood.”

The Livmore was recently unveiled as the name of new Gerrard/Bay rental project. On hand for the event were Director of Leasing and Marketing of Vertica Resident Services Todd Nishimura, GWL Realty Advisors President Paul Finkbeiner, City of Toronto Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, real estate analyst Alex Avery and City of Toronto Chief Planner Jennifer Keesmaat.

Even in Toronto, where a downtown detached home averages nearly $1.6M, getting people to consider renting as an option can be a hard sell. The Livmore’s promotional fact sheet makes a strong case for renting, pointing out The Livmore requires no down payment, no mortgage, no personal upkeep and more future flexibility.

“You consider mortgages, down payments, maintenance fees, condo fees and taxes, and you have to question whether investing in real estate is truly a good investment,” Nishimura said.

To help sell this message, The Livmore’s recent launch featured a talk by former CIBC real estate analyst Alex Avery. The author of the 2016 book "The Wealthy Renter," Avery is a proponent of renting over ownership, but under the right circumstances.

“I think that renting is a form of housing that can fit your lifestyle extraordinarily well. If you need flexibility, if you like to travel, if you don’t happen to be particularly handy,” he said.

Avery said the belief in homeownership is something that has been drilled into people's heads for decades, though it is not necessarily all it has been made out to be.

A rendering of The Livmore

“The business of selling people on homeownership is big business," he said. “People don’t see the math. They want to feel that pride of ownership. So it can be easy to sell people on homeownership.”

Avery said a fiscally responsible renter with a financial plan could easily make more money over time than a homeowner. Still, renting is not necessarily for everyone.

“In my book, I write that I’m not taking sides. But I care about people being informed and educated,” he said.

For the renter, Nishimura said The Livmore has one key advantage — 24-hour, on-site staff.

“We wake up every morning with our job to service our tenants, which is definitely preferable to an owner addressing problems from many time zones away,” he said.