There is no bigger nightmare than competing for housing in a growing city.
Ever-more intrusive rental applications
Self-explanatory. With a growing population and not enough housing to meet needs, this is what happens.
For some reason, there’s a fair few properties being advertised as available for only 3-6 months, and others are advertised as longer fixed term leases with no mention of possible extension. Weird.
Renting out houses in two parts
Bigger houses are increasingly being rented out as separate upstairs and downstairs floors, self-contained.
More heat pumps
More properties than ever before now have heat pumps installed, which is a good thing. And I’m seeing more frequent mentions of insulation as a selling point… since, you know, having proper insulation is still the bloody exception. Still the minority, though.
The misery is widespread #solidarity
Why yes, I have been devouring everything on the internet related to our property clusterf***. What’s new?
“I don’t want to be a landlord – I just want to own my own home so I stop getting kicked out of rentals. It just happened again last week and I’ll have to find somewhere else to live, yet again. It’s exhausting and demoralising…”
“Our lease is up in April. Not looking forward to this shit. Saw so many places with obvious damp or complete lack of weather tightness last time around. Property managers get outright aggressive if you ask about landlord’s plans to resolve damp, usually saying it’s already solved (despite damp smell and to the touch).
“Bring on WOF, willing to pay more to not get sick from shitty housing.”
“The amount of money I would need for a deposit on a house is astronomical but trying to rent is making me want a house just so I don’t have to worry about renting ever again.”
Our new place
After 5 years of living on our own (wow, it feels longer) it will be strange to live with others again. The good thing is we have our own bathroom – we’ve moved into the downstairs floor of a house, so we’re largely self contained. And the others aren’t home much.
I am SO excited to have:
- room to breathe! To swing a cat, even! There’s actually a cat, no kidding. No more constantly tripping over each other. Space to do stretches, play guitar, and just live alongside, rather than on top of, one another. Even if I wasn’t married to a hulk, I hate small spaces. Micro apartments and tiny houses can bugger right off. Unpopular opinion, I know. Lack of living space has caused us a lot of misery over the years.
- a full kitchen! A real stove and oven, and a DISHWASHER (thinking back to previous places where we had a dishwasher, life was vastly improved.)
- a dining table (I have never lived anywhere with a dining space since leaving home)
- a bathtub (in the main bathroom)
- outdoor living space (the deck is epic)
- no sharing any of the following with neighbours – driveway/water meter/bins/yard etc
And we won’t know for sure for a little while, but it seems like a decently warm and dry house. (Fun fact: I now have a new warning sign to look out for, thanks to a random person who was at one of the same open homes as we were. “There’s a bit of dampness – you can feel it in the carpet,” she said to her daughter. Indeed, upon further reflection, there’s definitely something to that). It was a family home for decades, so that bodes well.
I was really not sure I could make it through another winter in our last place. Also, our neighbours were becoming even bigger pains in the ass, and traffic along my bus route was getting downright unbearable. Now my commute is shorter despite having a longer walk at the city end from the bus stop.
Still, there will be no rest until we are owners. Your place is not your own otherwise – you’re at the mercy of leaseholders/head tenants, property managers, landlords. I can’t wait to have a permanent home – one we never have to budge from as long as we make our payments, and that we can truly make our own. I want a heat pump and/or amazing insulation. A spare bedroom. A garage/workshop for him. A pizza oven, that we’ll build in our yard. And a dog. I can’t express how intense my nesting urges are.
I know my property fixation is not good for my mental health and happiness, and I’m trying to get it under control. I almost feel a physical stab every time I hear of someone I know managing to buy their first home.
Example: A former coworker who failed to buy property a few years ago and bowed out of the game, calling it a bubble, has just bought a place. Prices have only gone up since then, so I presume she saw the light and got in while she could. Interest rates can only go up so much before they fall; the same is not true of house prices, and I see nothing that actually points to a real reason for a crash (the way things are going, nothing short of a nuclear explosion would reverse population growth, and we don’t have nuclear plants here).
So: trying to get this real estate thing down to ‘motivational’ levels rather than ‘obsession’. Which should be easier now we don’t live in such a tiny hovel.