Buy the House or Rent the Apartment?

The Story 

“Lily” as we’ll call her for this example is a young professional that is moving out of her University residence and getting into the workforce. She has some big choices to make.  She wants to move closer to the job that she just accepted, but she understands that the cost of real estate could leave her house (or condo) poor. Her options are to rent an apartment that has all of the facilities that she needs and less overhead costs to manage, or dive in and buy something where she is responsible for every part of maintaining that property. Tough choice.

She fits the millennium profile, quick learner, digitally savvy, and health and fitness are a big part of her life. Her parents live overseas and come to visit once a year for 2 weeks in the summer, she has to accommodate them somehow, this is one of her biggest criteria in making her next move. As expected, going out into the housing market, she owns no tools, no lawnmower, washer/dryer etc. This weighs heavily on her, understanding that it’s not just the house (or condo) you buy, it’s all that you are responsible for when you own a property. Many hidden costs or repairs can come out of nowhere to bite you.

The House? Or the Apartment?

Apartment building With Services (I think you can see where this is going)

The apartment building that Lily is looking at is well furnished, a gym, laundry facilities, internet, cable, security and security cameras, dry cleaning, dog walking services and of course power and water. It has all of the services that Lily needs to live comfortably and it gives her peace of mind knowing that if she meets the person of her dreams, takes a new job, or even chooses to join her parents, there is virtually nothing from holding her back from change (put in your notice and you move).

The House is an investment. Lily struggles with the fact that a house is an investment and has earning potential, yes it’s true. At what cost? At what point in your life? Certainly being single and in her 20’s, she’s got a way to go yet. The unknowns of owning a house bring a lot of vulnerability to Lily, interest rates, maintenance etc. Is it worth it?

The Analogy

Using a traditional hosting facility or colocation facility is like buying a condo, you offload a portion of the tasks, but still need a long-term commitment and have to provision resources for the yearly peak and plan few years in advance. Buying a server and software stack and maintaining it in house with costly maintenance and resources is like buying a house (this time with no investment).

Renting an apartment has less risk. Public Cloud has less risk. Build up, tear down, move. You only pay for what you use, when you use it. Much like renting an apartment as you await what life brings you.

Based in Montreal, Michel Lalonde is a certified Amazon Web Services Architect at BrantTel, and an evangelist for Public Cloud and it’s benefits.

Out of the box solution engineer with 20 years of experience on the customer side allows inherent insight into the real-world user experience. Previously leading teams in IT Service Management with platforms such as Unix, Windows, Network Infrastructure and design, unified communications and contact centre gives me the toolset to know and manage the customer journey. Currently a Solution Engineer and Cloud Architect, I leverage my experience on the customer side to ensure that the offerings and approach with our customers is consistent and beneficial. I bring new ideas and emerging technologies such as Cloud and SD-WAN to the marketplaces we serve.