Moving Again

Five years ago, we moved to Lachine from Nun’s Island and I declared that the next time we moved, it will be to a house that we buy.

Well, we’re moving again. But it’s to another rental. So I lied. If we want to buy a house/condo for a family of three on the island of Montreal, according to my credit union, we collectively need a lot more money than we have and commuting in from Terrebonne where there might be houses for our budget just isn’t going to happen.

So we’re rentahs 4 life. And Gail Prue (formerly Vaz-Oxlade) says that’s ok.

The main reason we’re moving is for family. Our wee man has no friends on our street and I always feel bad that he spends his weekends hanging out with his middle-aged parents. It’s an older neighbourhood with few young families. The new place, a townhouse and apartment rental complex in Pointe Claire, does have a lot of children and the shared green space that the backs of the houses sit on will allow him to run around a little more freely than living on a busy street corner will. So for now, the plan is that he grows up a typical bilingual West Island boy (he speaks French to us now) and I expect that he’ll get bored of the suburbs and move downtown when he’s done university. Or he gets the Rhodes scholarship to Oxford. Or his skills as a carpenter are badly required for all that solar-powered housing they’ll need in the newly emerging African economic powerhouse. But no pressure or anything.

This time last year, there was a possibility that I was going to move back to Saint John but it never panned out. I’d still like to, but I have to admit that I like the life I’ve built here. As much as I love having access to downtown, particularly in the summer, I just prefer quieter neighbourhoods. Although Pointe Claire does have a lot of traffic noise, the closer you are to Boul. St-Jean.

My life would have been different had I gone to school in Toronto or Montreal but both U of T and McGill rejected me due to crappy high school grades. Had I gone, I would likely have stayed in the city after graduation. But I moved to Montreal in my thirties and just didn’t have the desire to live right in the city. Nun’s Island was an interesting experiment in that I could be downtown in 7 minutes by bus but it was a very alienating place to live. It wasn’t the friendliest, most neighbourly place.

There’s another reason for moving to another rental: laziness. I have no desire at all to be maintaining a property that I own. I just can’t be bothered clearing gutters on a Sunday morning when I’d rather be drinking a pot of coffee and watching Fareed Zakaria on CNN.

But son of Jor-El, do I ever hate moving. The cost of the hired movers, the packing, the purging, the unpacking, the stressing, the even more purging. The sudden realization that your hardwood floor actually looks that bad when the furniture’s off it.

But did I mention the indoor/outdoor pool? ‘Cause there’s that.


4 thoughts on “Moving Again

  1. Think of it as ‘mega’ Spring Cleaning.

    I just thought about it, and the longest I’ve ever lived in one place is 7 years.

    This is what you married – a former base-brat with constantly itchy feet.

    Sorry ’bout that. I’ll try to break the record with this move.

  2. Yeah, we’re homeowners way out in the middle of nowhere. 3rd house, 2nd time being in the boonies.

    while we do have to do our own upkeep and have a puzzling addition to buying fixer-uppers (them promptly moving when it’s done), the breathing room is worth it. Most of the time. 😉

  3. Actually one of our reasons for moving here was for more affordable housing if you can believe that. Back home we would have had an insane commute (by car or train) for someplace we could afford. Although we couldn’t afford somewhere on the island, we did get a place in a nice neighborhood just across the river from downtown. It’s not odd like Nun’s Island but is still within a quick bus, car, or bike ride.

    I envy you for not going the house route. It sometimes seems like our summers our spent maintaining the growing things around the house. Then there’s the snow to shovel in winter. But then I’ve dealt with condo associations or landlords that got us completely stressed out. Sometimes if it’s not one thing it’s another.

    • Don’t get me wrong – I’ve often seen my own inability/unwillingness to get on the property ladder as a personal fault. I often blame it on external factors like housing prices/income and while those things are a deterrent, the fact is I’ve spent most of my adult life not being particularly forward thinking. I could have created a modest savings account when I was 20 for the purpose of a down payment later in life but why do that when there are pubs I haven’t been to yet?

      If/when I do buy, however, it will probably be more or less the same kind of place I’m renting as of this month – a small townhouse, close to things via walking or public transit, with condo fees to take care of all the maintenance I can’t be arsed to do. It’s really as much housing as I’d ever want.

      Of course, they don’t build “small” townhousesanymore.

      But like anything else, renting and owning both have their advantages and disadvantages.

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