Tag Archives: housing

Moving Up

I’ve given up my princely pad on Beach, the guy palace I shared with Dan to move into a lovely one-bedroom apartment with Emily in the trendy Main Street area. Although it was tough leaving Dan, who’s been an awesome roommate for the past 2 1/2 years, I’m looking forward to living with Emily. Change is always good, and this change will grow our relationship.

The move went pretty smoothly. I rented a set of reusable bins from Frog Box, which arrived 4 days before our move date and slowly packed up all my possessions during the week. I have a lot of stuff. A small percentage of it I was able to get rid of (mostly clothes that haven’t been worn once since I moved to Vancouver), but the there was also a lot of stuff I’ve slowly acquired of the past 2 1/2 years in Vancouver that I never thought much about – recreational gear, electronics, books, board games, and lots of furniture.

Emily and I were lucky that we were able to move into our place a few days before December 1, so the weekend before we got a crew of volunteers, Dan rented a moving truck, and we moved all of our stuff into our new places. With Dylan, Christina, Rhea, Brian, Theresa, and Ambrose helping (thanks again!) we made short work of the move. We still have some unpacking to do, but we’re starting to settle in.

Our new place is really nice. I love the location. It’s on a quiet residential street 2 blocks from Main and Broadway. So we get the benefit of all the shopping and bus routes, but without any street noise. There’s a brand-new community centre being built a block away, and some of my favourite vegetarian restaurants are within walking distance – The Foundation, Budgies Burritos, Bo Kong, and Radha. The only downside is the distance from work. I still haven’t tried to bike it yet – hopefully I’ll be able to a few times next week, but it will take close to an hour.

The apartment is really nice inside – hardwood floors, big bedroom and living room, and new appliances (including a dishwasher!). The only downside is the tiny kitchen. We bought a mobile counter to put just inside the living room to give us a bit more kitchen space. Some of the changes I’ve still getting used to, like having a dishwasher; not having to listen to automobile noises off the bridge all night; not having an XBox (I’ll end up buying one soon); and picking up free digital TV channels. Our little antenna picked up crappy channels downtown – the shopping channel was the only one that came through cleanly. Now we get CBC, CTV, and Global in crystal clear digital. Why would anyone pay for cable?

You would probably expect moving in with the girlfriend would be the biggest change to get used to, but Emily and I have been spending so much time together lately, that we’ve pretty much been living together, but in two different homes. The only tension so far has been around squeezing all of our stuff into a one bedroom apartment. We’re going shopping for a dresser today, because our closet is bursting at the seams.
Leaving Beach  Gear  Moving Into Main  Bursting  Together at last

Vancouver Housing Market Starting to Crash

I really hope the real-estate bubble is bursting, especially here in Vancouver. I know that it’s probably not good for real estate agents (sorry Dad), or people who bought in the last year (sorry cousin Adrian), or the economy in general, but it had to happen eventually. Prices just don’t reflect reality any more. Check out the slope on the graph of prices in Vancouver – they’ve gone exponential in the past 3 years. The average home in Vancouver costs over $500,000. Who can afford that!?

The signs the the bubble is bursting are starting to appear:

Maybe in a year or so when the market finishes crashing I’ll be able to afford something in this city. Until then I’ll keep on renting.

Photo from Emily’s trip to Uganda.

Sleeping Around

Bedroom Before and AfterThe other day I had one of those disorienting moments where you wake up and don’t which bed you are sleeping in. The weird part was I didn’t know which bed I should be in. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a permanent bed to sleep in. I did a quick count, and realized that over the past year I’ve spent the night in 34 different beds. About half of those were during the Grand European Adventure with Ben. I think the longest I’ve spent in any one location was the 4 months I spent in Waterloo.

Hostels/Hotels 15
Friend’s 9
Primary Residence 5
Buses/Trains 3
Campgrounds 2
Total 34


On Saturday I bought my first pair of $100 jeans. No more Zeller’s specials for me. These are styling jeans from Mavi. They’re nice, and more importantly they fit well. I can’t remember the last time I had a pair of pants that were the right length and width. Mom, take note: 30 waste, 34 length.

I was pretty much forced into buying a new pair of jeans. My old pair had a giant whole in the crotch, not that it stopped me from frequently wearing them. I just figured it was a good sign to invest in a new pair, and the hole made me vulnerable to unpleasant probing.

In other earthshaking news, I was awoken at 4:30 this morning by what I thought was an earthquake. In reality it was just severe wind gusting at over 50 km/h coming off Georgian Bay and rattling our windows. The wind was actually strong enough to open the sliding window in the living room, so I had to bungy-cord it shut. For a while I thought our building was actually swaying in the wind, but it was just the grogginess wearing off.

It definitely reminded me of the recent discussions I’ve had with people at work about earthquakes. It’s weird living in an area that could experience a quake, even if a minor one. Maybe I’ll go through the earthquake preparedness check list and see what I should buy.

Apartment Photo Tour

People have been asking for pictures of the apartment now that it’s inhabited and furnished – where furnished is relative to the state it was in when we got it. There’s still lots of stuff to buy, but it’s coming along.

We’re having a Halloween party here, so maybe having guests over will be extra motivation to pimp it out.

Show me the pictures

Furniture Shopping

My goal today was to buy some furniture. We still need a futon, kitchen table and chairs, and lamps for the common areas and I need a desk and bedside table for my bedroom. I visited a few stores this afternoon, but didn’t see anything I liked. I did manage to buy a pair of new Rockport shoes though. They’re super comfy.

When I got home, I went down to the basement to see if anyone was throwing stuff away. The last couple of days people have been moving out and leaving stuff behind in the laundry room. I saw a ratty couch in their yesterday and some kitchen stuff – from which I grabbed a punch bowl ladle (never know when you’ll need a punch bowl ladle). When I went down tonight, there was a newish looking futon bed and an ghetto tv. I quickly grabbed Daniel and we hauled up the futon. We couldn’t believe people were just giving it away. It looks pretty new and is in good shape.

As we quickly grabbed it and moved it up in the elevator, we felt like we were stealing it and didn’t want to run into anyone. On the elevator on the way up, a guy in a suit joined us on the 17th floor. It’s really weird to see someone going up from their floor. He got off on the 27th floor were a classy party was going. After the door opened another partier said hi to our friend and then went “Hey, you got the couch”. Then the door closed. I hope that means he was in deed giving it away and not just storing it down there to make room for the party. He seemed amused we were taking it.

The couch looks really good in our living room (especially compared to nothing). It’s a great find, but I’ll keep my eye open for signs next week asking if anyone knows about a stolen couch.

We grabbed the ghetto tv anyway. We just wanted to see if we were getting free cable without our knowledge. Sadly, we only pick up a few stations full of static and one crystal clear foreign language channel. It was showing some 80s sitcom dubbed in Spanish and after that Chinese news.