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Going to be relocating to Edmonton soonish and am looking at all housing options: renting or buying, including all property types: condos, townhouses, duplexes, houses, etc. What is the best deal for a frugal person? I'm not seeing any good deals. The only hard requirement is 3 bedrooms.

I have a family of 4. We've owned for the last 15 years but have gotten burned every time we've sold. I'm not against buying again, but I'm also of the mindset that it's not really an investment. I'm also not handy, nor do me or my family have any interest in home repairs or renovations. From a lifestyle standpoint I think renting would suit us, but I don't know how I'd feel about all that money going out the door every month with no chance of recouping it.

Most of my work comes in contracts so I can be unemployed for months at a time. When I do have work it's in the 100k/yr range.

In terms of savings we have about $200k that we could use to buy something. That's not enough to buy a place outright and I'm hesitant to get another mortgage because of the periods with patchier income.

Looking for any thoughts/experiences/opinions, esp. from someone living in Edmonton.

Thanks.
 

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I'm also not handy, nor do me or my family have any interest in home repairs or renovations. From a lifestyle standpoint I think renting would suit us, but I don't know how I'd feel about all that money going out the door every month with no chance of recouping it.
I can't offer any advice about Edmonton, but my take is that even if you own a home outright the property taxes, insurance, utilities, maintenance, etc will run anywhere from $1,000 to $1,500 a month. More if you're not handy or don't have the inclination to do things yourself.

Based on that I'd rent and not worry about recouping what may turn out to be little or nothing when compared to stress free rent.
 

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If you are looking for a 3 bedroom on a budget, your best bet would be to rent a townhouse. Three bedroom apartments may be harder to come by and the savings in rent may not be that much. You could also look into smaller towns outside the city, depending on where in town you are going to be commuting to. For example Stony Plain if you work on the west side of town, etc.
 
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