Low pay, student debt, have SAIT grads choosing to rent a place

As the cost of buying homes continues to rise in Calgary, Business Administration students graduating from the SAIT program in 2018 are leaning toward the rental market, at least for a few years.

Students graduating from this two-year program say despite their training in navigating the world of business and finance, they aren’t ready yet to jump into the housing market.

“I’m renting right now and I plan to continue that upon my graduation, at least for some time,” said Sol Digaoan.

In an ideal world, Digaoan said she would like to own a home in Calgary within five years.

But the uncertainties of the job market, and the cost of housing, have given her pause.

“I wouldn’t want to take on the responsibility and maintenance of owning a home without a stable job and feeling like I have matured a bit,” said in a recent interview.


“I won’t move out from my parents after I graduate,” said Newton Galicia.

“I want to give myself the time to save up and be able to buy once I do leave.”

Galicia said he plans to become a homeowner in Calgary in the next five to seven years, but not right away.

Bruke Alemayhu said that he too plans to stay at his parents’ place upon graduation, and for quite some time.

“I will aim to save and move out five years after graduation, but I still probably won’t buy right away when I do,” he said.

“I want to figure everything out. I’m kind of fed up with this place.”

Alemayhu said he would love to move to Vancouver or Toronto, but knows that his chances of buying a home are much better in Calgary.

Piper McArthur agrees with the majority of young students plan on renting for a while after graduation.

“I will be at a starting salary at my office for the first year out of school, and I am uncertain where I want to settle location-wise,” said McArthur.

Paying off her student debt was something McArthur took into consideration in deciding to rent for now.

Adriana Kazic will be doing some traveling once she graduates and has no plans to purchase a home within the next few years.

“I don’t want to tie myself down to one place just yet. There is still a lot of traveling I plan on doing and I’d like to get work experience in different cities first,” she said.

On the other hand, Bryce Whittingham plans on buying a home before graduation.

“From a very early age, I was taught the importance of saving for the future,” said Whittingham.

“I came to the belief that renting is just paying someone else’s mortgage and what a waste of hard earned money that is.”

Whittingham made a of point of understanding the importance of building equity in a home early on because of the potential benefit it can bring in the future.

“But this is not to be misunderstood with the fact that sometimes renting is the more practical option on a short-term basis,” he said.

Many students also are worried about the direction the housing market is headed.

“I’m not so concerned about never owning a home, but rather with the recent changes in mortgage money lending rules,” said Whittingham.

Whittingham is concerned about the quality of home he will be able to afford because of the recent change and tougher conditions for obtaining a mortgage in Canada.

Jason Mendez, a senior financial advisor for Scotiabank, believes that the sooner one is able to buy, the better off they will be.

“Owning a home is simply not as easy as it was 10 or 15 years ago,” said Mendez.

“Buying when you graduate allows you to build up equity faster, a lot faster than if you decided to rent,” he said.

“However, there are factors that would make renting more appealing to young graduates, including mobility and cost,” Mendez added.

Mendez said that mobility makes it easier for you to seek employment opportunities and that owning would not allow you the same option.

FINALLY… SOLD!: This home on 10a Street N.W. in Kensington was torn down and remodelled in 2016. Not too long after, it has already been put up for sale! Taking a few months, and a couple decreases in the asking price, this home has finally sold. (Photo by Alexa Warren/The Press)
About Natalie Galarnyk 3 Articles
As a writing and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Natalie Galarnyk worked as a reporter for The Press during the 2017-18 academic year.

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