Give Me Back My Five Bucks

On renting or buying in Vancouver

Vancouver is expensive.

Okay, yes, stating the obvious. I’ve known this for years,  yet I never really understood it until I started looking for a place to live close to downtown Vancouver. I’ve always lived in the suburbs – whether it was Burnaby, New Westminster, or Port Coquitlam. Rent and housing is cheaper out here – not by much – but definitely manageable.

Now that I’m about three weeks into my search for a new place to live, I finally understand what people are talking about when they describe how horrible the rental and real estate market is in Vancouver. For $1,300 to $1,400 in rent, I could get a small outdated apartment – that is if I can snap it up fast enough off of Craigslist. It seems like as soon as they are posted, they’re taken down. So after a while, I started increasing the amount I was willing to pay in rent. Because, the lifestyle is worth not having the commute, right? For $1,500 to $1,600 I’ll get a more modern (but definitely smaller) apartment.

And it was at that moment – when I briefly considered spending $1,500+ on rent – that I decided to look at potentially buying a home in Vancouver. With a budget of around what my current home is worth, I got to work with my Realtor to look at my options. I realized right away I wouldn’t get everything on my checklist. Every place I looked at had something wrong with it – no in-suite laundry, too far away from my preferred neighbourhood, sky high condo fees, or needed a ton of work I just wasn’t willing to take on. There are some things I’m willing to overlook (like no parking – I can park on the street, and I’d be willing to do some renovations), but location and monthly condo fees are deal breakers for me.

So now I feel a bit stuck. I don’t want to live in the suburbs. I don’t want a roommate. I don’t want to pay $1,500/month in rent. And I don’t want to buy another condo if I can’t find what I’m looking for.

The good thing is that I have time. I’m in no rush to sell my place. The bad news is that the thought of trying to find a new place to live is making me a bit stressed out at the moment. :)

P.S. I am sorry for coming back to the blog and then disappearing again. Things got crazy for a while with work (summer holidays means a way bigger workload for me) as well as in my personal life, but it has all settled down now.

Seattle & Las Vegas

524406_10151544240740248_311230672_nTomorrow after work I’ll be driving down to Seattle to meet up with my family for our annual Blue Jays trip. I’m really excited to watch my first Mariners game of the year, dust off my Hentgen jersey, and eat a vegetarian chili hot dog. :) I had originally budgeted $200 for this weekend trip, but as it turns out I forgot that in exchange for buying the baseball tickets ($107 each), my parents had offered to pay for our hotel rooms. So, since the baseball tickets were bought months ago, the only expense I need to worry about is gas and food – probably about $100 in total.

In other travel news, I’ve booked a trip to Vegas for October. Actually I booked it last month, but don’t think I told you about it. I know, I always say I’m never going to go back again. And every year I book another trip. :) However, this time I’m meeting up with my one of my oldest blogger friends, Amber, and two of her best friends. The flight down cost me $390, and we are splurging on the suite at the Cosmopolitan for 2 nights at a cost of $385 each after exchange rate. Yes, this will be an expensive trip as far as Vegas goes. But since two trips this year have been cancelled (RV trip up north, and Mexico in November), I had a little wiggle room in my travel budget. :)

Weekly Spending Recap: July 13-19, 2015

Monday 13th
$4 Subway
$10 Starbucks (reload card)

Tuesday 14th
No Spend Day!

Wednesday 15th
$24.38 groceries

Thursday 16th
$11.19 gelato
$48.72 gas

Friday 17th
$4 Subway
$17.80 groceries

Saturday 18th
No Spend Day!

Sunday 19th
$5 parking
$15 deodorant
$10 lunch
$91 Victoria GoodLife Half Marathon registration

Total: $241.09

This was a really social week! On Monday I went to spin class with my friend, and then out for Starbucks afterwards. Tuesday I was treated to beers in the park with a friend. Friday I met up with my realtor to discuss listing prices and strategy, then went running with friends from my old job. Sunday a good pal and I went to an Iced Tea Festival, then headed downtown to Veg Fest Vancouver – where we had so much fun trying different products and walking around Granville Street. :) I even got to try my first vegan bacon cheesebuger, and it was really good!

And for the biggest expense of the week? I signed up for the GoodLife Half Marathon. It was the very first half marathon I ever ran back in 2013, and I’m really looking forward to beating my time from last year … and staying injury-free while training. :)

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