Author Topic: Should we move or stay put?  (Read 3854 times)

Zikoris

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Should we move or stay put?
« on: October 23, 2013, 09:47:37 PM »
We live in a housing co-op in downtown Vancouver which is great in many ways, but due to some operating agreement complexities that I won't get into here, has a potential for a large rent increase every five years. Well, it's Year Five, we see a large increase on the horizon, and we're trying to decide whether we should stay or go.

Our current apartment is a 5 minute walk to work for me, 20 minute walk for him(but his office is moving next to mine next summer). It's a 600 sqf one bedroom apartment and we pay $732/month total, including utilities. The rent will be going up to $805, which is pretty high in my opinion. After that increase, it would go up by about the CPI for the next four years, and who knows how much next Year Five, and so on and so forth.

I'm pretty confident I could find an acceptable suite or apartment for less money, but it would probably be a bit farther from work(still walking/biking distance).

Pros for moving:
-Cheaper rent(yay!)
-Less volatility around rent increases
-None of the crap that comes from living in a large complex - crazy neighbours, etc(I would probably move to a basement suite or heritage house divided into a few suites, not another large building)
-Probably move somewhere with more green space - we're right in the downtown core "concrete central" of the city now

Cons for moving:
-Moving expenses
-Have to give at least two months notice at my place, so wouldn't be able to find a new place before giving notice
-Having to move - packing, uprooting, etc(boyfriend cares more about this than I do, I've moved a lot of times in my life)
-Likely further from work, our usual grocery stores, etc

I'm happy to provide any other information - I'm an open book about pretty much anything financial, personal, whatever. Should we stay or should we go?

Zikoris

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Re: Should we move or stay put?
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2013, 10:30:36 PM »
I'm pretty confident - I've never had trouble finding apartments before. We would be a little further from work because we would probably move out to the west end(green space, beach), but definitely within a 20-30 minute walk.

This isn't the first rent increase - it was $700 when we moved in September 2010. I kind of cringe at even the price we pay now, since our last apartment was $625(but not downtown) and my apartment before that $600. I might be being unreasonable as far as rent increases go, but it seems pretty high to me to go from $700 to $805 in three years.

Frankies Girl

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Re: Should we move or stay put?
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2013, 05:18:26 AM »
Instead of saying that you'd start looking around for another cheaper apartment, what is to stop you from spending a day now and going to actually LOOK for cheaper apartments... just to see if something you'll like at a much lower price (and still within walking distance) exists?

I also think that the possible rent increase is pretty reasonable for all those amenities, but if something with the same features (utilities included, walking distance to work/fun, ~600 sq ft, decent area) is available for less, then there's your answer.

olivia

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Re: Should we move or stay put?
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2013, 07:44:00 AM »
Instead of saying that you'd start looking around for another cheaper apartment, what is to stop you from spending a day now and going to actually LOOK for cheaper apartments... just to see if something you'll like at a much lower price (and still within walking distance) exists?

I also think that the possible rent increase is pretty reasonable for all those amenities, but if something with the same features (utilities included, walking distance to work/fun, ~600 sq ft, decent area) is available for less, then there's your answer.

Ditto this suggestion-I'd see what's actually out there before making a decision.  You may find that your place is worth it.

Zikoris

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Re: Should we move or stay put?
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2013, 08:06:39 AM »
I keep an eye on the local market and have a pretty good idea what I could get - within the immediate area I live now(5 mins from work, Gastown/central downtown area) are a number of heritage style apartment buildings and converted hotels in my price range, in the west end it would be more basement suites or houses converted into 4 or 5 apartments. We would without a doubt be giving up some amenities(the amenities here are crazy in my opinion) and space, but could probably get a place for right around $700 that would be acceptable. We'd make some bonus money from selling furniture that wouldn't fit :)

daverobev

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Re: Should we move or stay put?
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2013, 10:17:34 AM »
Can you talk to your landlord and say, hey, we'd like to stay but we'll meet you half way at $775? They probably would prefer to keep their tenants rather than have to advertise...

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. But a change is as good as a break? Yeah, look around, see what else is out there.

Zikoris

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Re: Should we move or stay put?
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2013, 11:42:18 AM »
Unfortunately, being in a housing co-op means there's no room for negotiation. There is no landlord. Rents are set based on a complicated formula that readjusts every five years. There's also a huge waiting list since, hey, cheap rent downtown!, so the co-op shouldn't have trouble replacing me. Actually, since I'm on the board of directors, I'll be involved in finding my own replacement.