February 18, 2011


http://ca.news.yahoo.com/blogs/dailybrew/saskatoon-paying-renters-buy-houses-20110218-135012-409.html

I found this article on Yahoo! this morning when I was checking my e-mail. I really had to see what it was all about. To look at this article, you may have to block and copy to your browser.

Nonetheless, what an opportunity! As a person growing up in these times, without the assistance of family, it is very difficult to buy property. I have been living on my own since for a long time. I have never had or been given the opportunity of being able to purchase a home. The down payment alone is daunting enough. For people purchasing homes in these times, it would take what, almost your whole life to pay back the mortgage?

However, when I think about all these years of paying rent, how many homes would I have been able to purchase anyway?

Quite honestly, I never really had the desire to purchase a home. It’s kind of like owning a car. Sure, at a few times throughout my life, I did own a car. The cost of the vehicle itself, repairs, insurance, license… and realizing that the moment you drive it off the lot, the value of the vehicle has already dropped. You will never recoup the cost of the vehicle again. You can only hope that you get a few years use out of the vehicle.

It did take a couple of thumps to the head to figure out that, when necessary, renting a car was a hell of a lot better idea than actually purchasing. Also, I find that people begin to become dependent on their vehicles.

How many times have I seen this: person hops in car, drives two blocks to the convenience store, then back home. OH, and while in the store, leaving the car running, because, well, it uses more gas to turn off and on the engine!

But this article is about buying a home. Now, as much as I’d love to have a place that I can call MY home, technically, it would never be MINE until the last mortgage payment. However, during all those years of payments, and after it is paid back, there are repairs, insurance, day-to-day maintenance, and the fact that this is where you will spend over 60% of your life.

Renting is, in my opinion, a better option – sometimes. For the most part, any major maintenance is covered by the owner. After the term of the lease (usually 1 year), you are no longer ‘obligated’ to stay in that dwelling. If you so choose, you can find another place.

However, stability is a bit of a problem at times. I have found over the years that businesses and at times, homeowners, are judgmental to renters who move from one place to another. I don’t think there is anything wrong with wanting to find a bigger or nicer place for a lower rent. I shouldn’t be penalized or judged negatively simply because I don’t OWN a home!

Now, another thing about this article is location. We’ve all heard the saying about whether a business will do well, or a home is in the right neighbourhood – location, location, location.

As much as I am proud to be a Canadian, I have had the pleasure or chance of driving across most of my country. Granted, I haven’t seen EVERYTHING, but I have seen enough. When I and a couple of friends moved from Ontario to British Columbia, we rented a truck, and drove across the country to our new home in New Westminster, BC.

I must admit, it was one of the highlights of my life thus far. One of our former Prime Ministers had suggested that everyone in Canada should see their country at least once in their life. I, for one, was excited and intrigued at the opportunity to be able to see my country for the first time. I still have not stepped foot in Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, or the three territories, but I have actually ‘touched’ all the other provinces. Something I will always treasure in my heart.

That being said, I had always heard about how flat Saskatchewan was. Well, until you’ve actually seen it, it’s hard to imagine. Driving through Saskatchewan, it was exactly as people had told me. It was flat! Miles (or kilometers!) of nothing but flat land.

I like the views I have seen in other provinces. Lakes, mountains, ocean views… unfortunately, Saskatchewan just doesn’t have that.

I’m also a city boy. Granted, some of the cities I have lived in may not have been the largest cities in their respective countries or provinces, but I like living in the city. I like to be able to get away for a day trip at times. Saskatoon just doesn’t strike me as being a city that I would want to live in.

I know, I’m probably going to get a lot of flack over this. I suppose had my relatives stayed in Saskatchewan, I would have a different opinion. Also, considering I haven’t lived in Canada for the past 10 years, things have changed. I’ve always thought of Saskatoon as a small, somewhat isolated city, somewhere in the wheat fields of the flattest province in the country.

It is mentioned in this article on Yahoo! that Saskatoon is one of Canada’s largest growing cities. I also like the idea that the city is willing to give renters a chance to own their own homes.

I was born in Ontario, so my heart will always be in Ontario. “A place to stand, a place to grow, Ontari-ari-ari-O!” Now, if Ontario would give the same opportunity to renters, then I would seriously consider applying. Saskatchewan just doesn’t ‘do it’ for me…

That’s it, that’s all… for now!

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