Why We’re Not Moving …Yet

Last Updated on August 17, 2020

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!

Amanda Kay

Amanda Kay, an Employment Specialist and founder of My Life, I Guess, strives to keep the "person" in personal finance by writing about money, mistakes, and making a living. She focuses on what it’s like being in debt, living paycheck to paycheck, and surviving unemployment while also offering advice and support for others in similar situations - including a FREE library of career & job search resources.

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11 thoughts on “Why We’re Not Moving …Yet”

  1. For what it’s worth, you only need to put down 5% in order to get a mortgage. You’ll have to pay an insurance premium to qualify, but the difference is totally manageable.

    Using the calculations we did to estimate these things when we bought, if you’re looking at a $200,000 property with a 3% interest rate:
    -5% down ($10 000) means your payments are about $920/month
    -20% down ($40 000, the minimum you need to waive the insurance) means your payments are $780/month

    You may not be ready to start looking yet, but in a few months see if you can get pre-approved for a mortgage. You never know!

  2. $200k for a detached house is pretty awesome! That would be especially awesome if you were able to rent out a room.
    $10k is a manageable downpayment, too. Not ideal because that’s still saving around $850 a month for a year, but that’s a lot more manageable than most places. Good luck!
    I’m impressed that you’re committed to staying where you are, but I am also surprised at how much more expensive it is elsewhere.

  3. Hopefully things get slightly better sooner rather than later! I really stuck it out during my college years to live close to campus and by the end I was so ready to get out. It was awful, so I know exactly what you are talking about. But hopefully you can find a place that is yours and has great people around you.

  4. I’m so excited for you guys to just stick it out and save up your 5% (or however much is required by your bank) for the down payment on your new home! That place sounds like a NIGHTMARE but, if you’re able to save money, it will be worth it once you own a place of your own.

    That’s the Catch 22, huh? Affordable to live but well-paying, good jobs are hard to come by. I don’t think it’s that bad here in Phoenix, but average salaries here are quite low (compared to other cities of our size). That said, housing costs are immensely affordable so, if you are lucky to get a good paying job, you can live in a nice house. Ah, the trade offs! :-/

    PS. I responded to your comment on my blog – totally email me at sunburntsaver@gmail.com if you have more questions!

  5. I’m pulling for you! I can’t believe how many issues you’ve had in your rental. It is a big decision to move because of the costs, time, and labor. We’re happy in our rental, but our lease is up in August and we may consider looking for a more convenient location. The costs and hassle could stop us though.
    Home ownership isn’t a goal of ours, but there are other big things we’d like to save for like a graduation trip. We’re saving by limiting eating out and carefully weighing all purchases.

  6. Ok, was a little freaked out by the ax situation. But, I feel like you two are working so hard that you’re not really around. I do have to say that owning my own home while difficult at times, has been FANTASTIC in terms of feeling empowered about what is going on in my space. I think that $200,000 is pretty reasonable for a home but I would set a deadline to get out of the rental. It has bad juju.

  7. ดิจิตอลเงินสดร่วมตลอดและ มายากล ทองรูปพรรณคว้าน้ำเหลวหรือไม่อยู่ภายในกิริยาอาการเจ็บปวดเกร็งจบชีวิตสรรพสิ่งพวกเขา มายากล ถ้าว่าในที่ขณะโปร่งใสสิ่งมีชีวิตก็ขยันในที่จะก่อสร้างโปรแกรมเหมือนอิเล็กทรอนิกส์เครื่องใช้ตั๋วสัญญาใช้เงิน มายากล พร้อมทั้งเหรียญตราแทบพักดำรงฐานะกำหนดการในบัญชีแบ่งชนิด

  8. This sounds a lot like the issues I laid out in my ‘What is $250, really?’ post ). Since then we ended up moving to another comparably small place, but it’s a house that feels more like a home. Since we’re paying half of what we would if we had a mortgage in the city, I won’t complain, but when your rent is more than a mortgage payment I can see it driving you crazy!

    Save up you crazy kids, you’ll get there sooner than you know 🙂

  9. I can totally understand why will stay a bit longer! I wish I had stayed put after finishing university and saved more money and moving is such a hassle! You have crazy neighbours and I have no idea how you handle it!

  10. 2 months?! Damn that’s a long notice period.

    We were in a sort of similar situation. Really unhappy with our house but T was unemployed and i figured I could stick it out for another year while we saved for a deposit. We did look around a bit but didn’t find anywhere better.

    That went out the window when we got given notice to move out. Definitely a blessing in disguise! But yes, moving is expensive. All up probably only cost us a couple hundred bucks (truck + bits and pieces we had to buy for the new place, like garment racks as our wardrobe doesn’t have a hanging rod).

    • Yah, it’s always been 2 months here in Canada everywhere I’ve lived. It’s sort of a pain! We’re doing what we can to make this place better for us, hoping that investing a few hundred bucks and staying put will work out better than spending that money moving somewhere else… But we’ll see. Glad you found something better 🙂


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