Pros and cons of selling your home
It would be less of a hassle because landlording is another job
Won’t have to pay capital gains tax if I sell it now (for a profit) because it will be considered a primary residence
It likely won’t appreciate that much more in value if I continue to hold on to it because it is a condo, and Vancouver’s real estate market is ridiculous right now
Rental income (net deductions etc.) will be taxed the marginal rate. It wouldn’t be very much anyway on an annual basis after you deduct the mortgage interest, property taxes, maintenance fees etc.
Less debt (well, individually anyway)
Fees, fees, fees… Will likely be difficult to sell by owner and avoid using a realtor
Nice to have a ‘back-up’ home, gives me a sense of feeling like a financially independent woman
Less income stream (however, this can be a ‘pro’ because the income stream likely isn’t very much if you add up all the mortgage insurance cost, the maintenance fees, etc.)
More: Getting your foot in the door - first-time homebuyers
Getting more objective
There are some rent versus sell calculators available, like these from All Property Management and Rental Reporter. Not the most unbiased-looking calculators, but they will do. They are also American, so things are a little different including the mortgage duration and capital gains tax (I believe our American friends have to pay capital gains tax on primary residence). I like the All Property Management calculator better because it breaks it down for you and says that you will have $X more money in 5 years (or 10 years whatever your horizon is) if you SELL or if you RENT.
You can adjust for costs like maintenance fees, property management (if you choose to go this route), and property taxes in these calculations.
Based on the calculations, surprise surprise, it said that I would have more money if I sold my place now instead of renting it out. In the first year, I would have more money if I kept the place and rented it out (because of the fees associated with selling) but afterwards selling beats renting it out. I think that I’ll make this decision should we end up needing a down payment for a place. If we don’t, I will continue with renting it out (or perhaps living in it with my guy).