I didn’t originally plan on writing this post. I generally try to save my Home Ownership posts for whenever I had a major change, renovation, or something else along those lines. But this weekend has been crazy. I worked a mandatory overtime shift on Saturday, had Father’s Day today, and had a number of other things to do. I also had an interview for a permanent office spot at work this past week, one that I at least have a decent chance of getting. That took a lot of my focus. I was going to write a blog post about 2019’s Joker this weekend, but haven’t even found the time to watch it yet.
Although this month is the 2-year anniversary of moving into my house, it was actually at the start of the month, with most of my stuff moved in on June 1, 2019. In those two years, house prices have gone crazy in the part of the country I live in. Toronto is now ranked as the third most overpriced housing market in the world according to Swiss Bank UBS. I’m living about 2 hours west of Toronto, and their prices are now affecting small towns 20 minutes west of me.
My town house is just over 1,200 square feet. I’ve got 3 bedrooms, 1.5 bathrooms, an open concept ground level floor, and a garage in my basement along with a finished rec room. It featured a furnace for heating as well. It now costs 60% more than what I paid to get a 1,000 square foot townhouse with no garage, your parking in a combined lot about a minute’s walk away, and electric base heaters and a gas fireplace for its main heating. Oh, and a smaller front porch plus higher monthly condo fees. Their kitchen is tiny too, with no room to expand it, whereas mine is part of my open concept main floor.
I’m feeling really glad that I bought this place when I did, because there’s no way I’d be able to afford a house now. Not unless I wanted to move several hours further West, where I know nobody. On the upside, considering I’ve already made several noticeable improvements, including replacing the mismatched, poorly installed floorboards on the main floor, central air conditioning, and the subject of the next paragraph, I’m sure I could sell this place for a pretty decent price.
In the meantime, there are a handful of minor updates that are worth sharing. Since my last post, I’ve upgraded my place with a water softener. For someone with sensitive skin issues, it’s clearly been beneficial for me. The town I live in is known for mineral heavy water, to the point where there were a lot of mineral stains in the sinks, the main bathtub, and even on dishes. Since installing the water softener, the bathtub pretty much cleaned itself, I’m no longer getting stains on anything, and my skin problems aren’t nearly as bad. I also wanted to do that before I redid my main bathroom, which is my next main project.
Apart from that, I’m strongly considering adopting a couple of kittens. I generally prefer dogs, but when I’m working a rotating shift, cats are much easier to take care of – especially if you get two from the same litter. They tend to take care of each other. They’ll also more likely get along with other animals than if you get two. They’re generally cheaper to adopt and take care of than dogs, and easier to find on short notice. The breeder that we got our Sheltie from back when I lived at my parents house now has a full year waiting list.
Not sure when the next Adventures in Home Ownership post will be, but if I do end up getting a couple of cats, it could very well feature a video or two of them. Might also include a quick video of my brother’s Border Collie as a bonus. But since I’ve never owned a cat before, feel free to drop in a tip or two in the comments. I hope to review Joker sometime between now and the end of next weekend, but like this weekend, sometimes life just gets too busy. I’ll think of something to post here if I can’t get to Joker though.
Wow, it seems like just a short time ago you were talking about having just bought your house! Congrats on the two-year anniversary!
And YES about getting cats. (I’d definitely want to see videos.) All cats are different, so I don’t feel super qualified at giving tips/advice (even though I have a cat), so this is more of a general observation: even if your cats seem standoffish, they’ll probably care more about you than they let on. My family’s cat all but ignores us many times when we call for her, but if most of us leave the house, she’ll run around yowling for us. 😀
I do know that cats have their own ways of showing affection. They just tend to be much more independent than dogs, which are naturally pack animals.
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You’ve been really busy by the sound of it. We moved a few years ago now, like you think we did it at the right time, and are happily settled in our new home. There’s still lots to do but all going ok. A few of my friends have cats and they are easier to look after than dogs I think. So glad to hear you are settling into your new home. 🙂
I’m not sure when, but at some point, there’s going to be some sort of market crash. Might even take a few more years from now. But if I’d be able to predict it and time everything right, I could seriously upsize.
Actually, a friend from work managed to do that recently. They bought a new house in their town that’s currently being built, and lumber prices started surging up within weeks of them landing their deal. Since then, sale prices started surging in their town as well, so it looks like they’ll be moving into a nice new, noticeably bigger house yet still have a smaller mortgage.
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Congratulations on keeping your head up and doing all this despite being busier than bees! I plan to be a “home”-owner soon too (more of a condo than a full house) and I can confirm that buying anything during the pandemic (and even now) is chaotic. I didn’t realize that you were pretty close to where I’m at though! Hope your upcoming projects continue to work out for you.