To Buy or Not to Buy - Ottawa Med School and Residency

To Buy or Not to Buy in Ottawa During Med School or Residency

This is an article that is written for those entering med school or residency. You can find the full section HERE.

At some point you are going to be told that you shouldn't be throwing away your money to pay off a landlords mortgage, and to just buy instead. The best advice I was given was to do your own research and find out for yourself (listen to your gut), and then decide. Don't let one source influence you, read multiple view points. Every single person has different goals and you need to figure out what makes the most sense for you. Let me try and break it down a little more. Keep in mind the biggest factor is going to be time (how long are you in one place), and budget.

Med Students

For most of the med students, you are looking at minimum four years in Ottawa. At this point it really starts to make sense to buy, and then certainly does if you are planning to come back either for residency or for work. Keep in mind, the CaRMS match could send you anywhere depending on what you are specializing in, so there is no guarantee that you will match back at "home".

Resident (Family)

Typically for most of you who are planning on doing the two years (even with a plus one), it doesn't make the most sense to be buying. With such a short period, you will be spending more on fees that it is worth. However, we have helped those who either plan on staying for work in Ottawa, or plan to keep it as an investment property afterwards. This is where you should have an idea of what your longer term plans are, and where you see yourself in 4 or 5 years.

Resident (Everything Else)

Having the longer four or five year periods, you are back to a point where it will most likely make sense to buy. Even if you are unsure of where you would prefer to work (or where you will be lucky enough to even find a job), this is enough time be seriously considering it.


Should be pretty clear that if you are only doing a one year fellowship, that is does not make sense to buy. Obviously, this changes if you are planning to stay afterwards for work, but generally not. Usually ask yourself where you plan to be in four or five years.

Okay but $$$

Even if you have a good idea of where you see yourself in five years, you still need to be able to pay for the house or condo. Many families will help out with the deposit (5-20% of the price), but if not then you will need to come up with the money. The deposit is usually the largest deterrent for first time buyers who are looking at entering the housing market. Yes, you have that giant LOC which is calling out your name, but depending on where in the process you might need it later!

Essentially it is a very personal choice and will vary dependent from person to person. If you are unsure where you see yourself in five years, then hold off. Take the time now before jumping in!

Want to chat? If you are looking to get a better sense of everything, feel free to reach out. We can set up a time to chat (phone, skype, email) and answer any questions that you might have.

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