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on changes

2008-07-25 - jjackunrau

My post-Folk Fest time has been sort of weird and momentous. Lots of stuff happening what with getting a new job and all. The new job means I can afford to move out of Alison and David’s house, which is sad because I like living here, but also important to give them their space to be married and all. When I told Alison I was looking at places to move, she seemed sort of relieved that she didn’t have to bring up kicking me out (though that’s what I tell people she did, since that’s what heartless landlords do).

The looking at places to live situation has been sort of odd on a couple of levels. One is that rent in Winnipeg is cheap, but not as cheap as living at Alison’s. I’m going to be making more money in my new job, but I’d rather not have my entire paycheque eaten up in housing costs. It’s also important to me not to have to work too much, so keeping rent low is a priority. Even in Winnipeg that’s not entirely easy to do.

I looked last week at a bachelor apartment in a nice little West Broadway building. It was cute and old and near the river but was also expensive (in my terms that means >$500/month - I realize that would buy a closet in most real cities) and small. “Whatever,” I thought, “I can live in a small place. It’s not a big deal to not have a bedroom. I did it in fakeLondon.” But I hemmed a bit and hawed a little more, especially when the property management person told me it’d be gone in a couple of days so I’d better snap it up. I hate being pressured. So I let it go.

The other odd level came from realizing how much more sense it made for me to buy something than rent. When my grandparents died I received a chunk of money. That money paid for my year at Jskool and was invested in stuff that made back the amount my master’s cost me. So it’s been sitting there not growing an more and I realized that it could be used to put enough money down on a place of my own that mortgage payments would be small. I started looking at things to buy. This was last Thursday.

I scanned condo listings (I knew I didn’t want a house because I’m not a big fan of maintenance. I do like having a porch but it’s something I knew wouldn’t be in the cards.) and went downtown to check one place out. It was okay but not as bright as I wanted. The real estate agent was young and seemed desperate to get rid of the place. “The price, you know, we can negotiate a bit” he told me repeatedly. The condo fees were comparatively high too.

On Monday I took a look at a condo near Health Sciences Centre and really liked it. Brought my mom back to take a look that evening. She was reassured it was in an area where families live, not just gangsters and drug dealers. On Tuesday I thought a lot and started reading a book about WW2 in North Africa. Wednesday I placed my offer. Barring any catastrophe at the bank, I’ve become a home-owner.

It’s a small apartment condo thingy with two bedrooms, one of which I’ll use as a library/games/writing space. My cat will be able to move in with me again, saving Sri’s house from her invasively shed hair when my mom moves in there in September. It’s closer to my job at Intrepid as well, super easily bikeable. Yeah. I’ll save my response to the weirdness of all this for another post.

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