Favourite Books

  • The Green Mile
  • Animal Farm
  • Lord of the Flies
  • Lord of the Rings
  • To Kill a Mockingbird

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

To Rent or Own

I have been reading a whack of stuff about high rentals in these parts. I do find the prices unreal, and in comparison to the high rate one pays in Vancouver. We certainly do not have the same perks as one living in the big city, but, hola...the cost of living around the north is pretty steep.
  As one who has been on all sides of the spectrum, renting, owning, and landlord, I can actually understand the extreme rent prices. Hey, not saying they are O.K., but..in truth, they are NOT the fault of the landlord.
 Take Fort St John for example. The average cost of a decent home, and I say decent, not high end, is close to 400thousand dollars. That itself, is insane! O.K. not the million it costs to buy in Vancouver, but..this is NOT the lower mainland. So, that hard part is managed, by a purchaser. Add onto that, all your closing costs, then your insurance...that has gone up at an extreme rate of speed, and averages about $1,500 a year. Read the fine print on that sucker, because...renting a home, will up that cost dramatically, and...the increase does not protect the landlord, it is there simply to click in if a renter files a liability case against the landlord if they are hurt on their property. That does not cover a speck of damage caused by nasty renters, that..well that price comes out of pocket. So, we will say $2000 for insurance. Ahhh..then come property taxes. Well, again, living in the north, one would think they would be reasonable, but..they are not, add on another 1500, or 3000, depending of course on the value of the property, which is pretty steep in FSJ.  Those are the basics. Then you have the essentials, heat, hydro, gas, and....the new one...water. That is a humdinger, price of that stuff goes up all the time. So, if they are included, that has to be calculated into the rent price.
  Then we have the unexpected. Repairs...Not a cheap proposition, and simple fixes can run into the thousands If a landlord has a nasty renter, well, that will negate a whack of that high rent they received, because every penny will go to fix the mess.
  So, put it all together, the mortgage cost, the insurance, the taxes etc. you are not going to find a place that is cheap, unless, it is a stink hole, that gets no repairs, and no upgrades, one that you will dish out for all utilities, and suck up the displeasure of living in the "hood".
  As one who had the teaching of my parents ring in my ears from a young age, I believed the most important thing a grown up had to do, was ensure they owned their own home. Well, as time has gone by, I question that. I have ran into the issue of owning a home in places that have hit economic down turns more than once. We have had to move, and...carry the costs of these homes each time, because selling them, would take a huge clump of cash out of our pockets, we would lose everything we put into them. Now, working to pay mortgages is not fun..when you carry two homes, with mortgages, insurance, taxes, and utilities, not much is left for living. We tried the renting thing, granted there were a few, the first renters we had, were wonderful, they actually improved our first home, but they were not the "norm", which we learned the hard way. Many times we simply accepted that all we were getting allowing someone to live in our home, was the fact that hopefully, they were paying utilities, because rent payments seldom arrived. To get a person out of a rental, is quite the ordeal, and takes a very long time (time without rent payments).
  Once again, the fact that we followed our parents instructions, and bought our home, we are faced with the problem of having it hang over our heads. This area is not Vancouver (as I have said more than once) it has it's own issues, and hurdles, all of which an owner has no control. Owning a home, does not allow one to give notice, a homeowner can't just head off to the bank and say they want their money back, because they wish to move.
  So....as one who has considered renting, I would have to calculate what it costs me. each year to pay for my home. I would have to calculate wear and tear, and I would have to ensure I had someone trustworthy to keep an eye on things, because I wouldn't be close by. I can tell you, the rent would not be cheap! It costs me an awful lot to have the "pleasure" of being a homeowner. So....I agree with renters, the costs are extreme, but, I also understand from the landlord's perspective, there is good reason they are high!