As of yesterday, R and I have lived in our rental townhouse for exactly one year. That means that the lease we signed is now over, and we are free to move out whenever we want to. (After giving the required 2 months notice, that is.)
It’s no secret that I don’t like living here, and that I kind of desperately want to move.
We’ve had nothing but problems here including but not limited to: our landlords trying to pull a bait and switch with us before even moving in, mold (twice) that took a total of 9 weeks to fix, a flying ant infestation, bees living in our walls, kids scratching my car with their bikes, neighbours parking in our backyard, neighbours stabbing each other with an axe, the police not responding to a 911 call, random vehicles (a car, a camper, and a boat) parked in my assigned space, and now a leaking pipe that the landlord won’t even call me back about, let alone fix.
So why aren’t we getting the hell out of here?!?!
The short answer is, of course: money.
Our Employment Situations
R has a good job. But I don’t. Even though I’m working my ass off and picking up extra shifts every chance I get, I’m making about 65% less then what I making this time last year, and about 45% less than I made over the summer while on E.I.
This is even further complicated by the fact that neither of us are full time, so our shifts can range anywhere from 8 hours a week to 44 hours a week. Thankfully we’ve been averaging out somewhere closer to 30 hours a week each, but it still makes budgeting difficult.
And at the moment, there’s also a lot of “strike” talk within the organization R works for, so we’re being extra careful with our money until that’s figured out and/or I can find a better job.
The Cost of Moving
Another reason we’re not moving yet is because moving in itself is expensive. It cost us about $630 to move last year between renting a moving van, providing food and beer for our friends that helped us out, and an increase in our tenants insurance.
But it actually cost us a lot more than that to get everything set up, including another $380 for deposits on our utilities, and $1450 for the new furniture we needed. Our additional expenses likely wouldn’t be this high if we were to move now, but it would still cost us. We would need to pay to restore our current rental (like repainting the walls back to their original colours and patching any holes in the drywall), we’d need to pay for a bigger moving van and maybe additional help, and we might need to spend money on furniture and/or home decor in the hypothetical new place, too.
There’s also the fact that we’d need to pay first and last for this new place upfront, and would probably have at least one month overlap where we’re paying rent for both places…
The Rental Market
…That is assuming we could even find a new place. I’ve been keeping an eye on the rental market all year, but have been paying extra attention as the end of our lease approached. I’ve been hoping to find to that listing for a hidden gem, but much like my job searching, I’ve had no such luck.
Current listings for places comparable to the one we’re in are approximately $250 a month higher than what we’re paying now, and that’s only if we stay in a less than desirable area. It’s closer to $550 a month more for places in the better neighbourhoods. As long as we stay here, they can only increase the rent a few per cent per year.
The Next Time We Move
But the biggest reason we’re not moving yet is because we’d rather suck it up for now and save our money for a downpayment on a house. The cost of housing here in Northern Ontario is actually very affordable, with an average of about $200,000 for a single detached home. Meaning we pay more in rent than most people we know pay for their mortgage.
Ideally, the next time we move it will be into a place of our own.
What have you (or would you) sacrifice in order to achieve a bigger goal like home-ownership?
Do you have a nightmare tenant tale of our own? You could be featured here in an upcoming post! Please contact me for more information and let’s make this happen!
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