Saturday, February 18, 2012

Renting in a Buyers Market

I apologize for my rather length absence, I do have a good excuse though!  We have been consumed with searching for the perfect home to move to, and it proved to be quite a difficult task.  You see I live in a city where it's very uncommon for families to rent, there is an obsession here with being a home owner.  In fact you are rather looked down on as a second class citizen in these parts.  Saying you're a renter, is almost like muttering a dirty word under your breath.

Our local newspaper actually wrote an article about it a couple of weeks back:
Calgary renters rebelling against the 'cult of home ownership'

We knew all of this going into the rental search, but what we didn't realize is what it would mean to us in our home search.  What it translated to from landlords was an awful amount of suspicion about why we wanted to rent.  Some rental applications made me feel like a criminal, wanting credit checks, reports, pay stubs, work references, personal references, credit card numbers WITH expiry dates.... I was surprised they didn't ask for a blood sample and blood testing by the end of it all.

We looked at many houses:  some were too big (who wants to clean and heat 2200 square feet?), some didn't have any storage space, some were on busy roads, some had no amenities in the area and would require a car to go anywhere.  We learned after moving to our current home that in the end the house is not the most important thing, the location of the house is what matters.

So what did we decide on?  In the end we went for a small house with great storage, on a quiet street, with a peaceful backyard with a fenced in vegetable garden and mature lilac bushes.  We can walk to the local rec centre and are just around the corner from the local school.  The landlords are a nice older couple who just retired and are moving to Washington to live with their daughter and her family.

This is our little beauty (only 1060 square feet!)

We take possession in less than four weeks, so if I'm not very consistent on blogging you'll have to forgive me.  I will definitely keep you posted on our moving, downsizing, and simplifying journey.  Each step we take that brings us closer to moving is a huge weight off my shoulders.

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