12/04/2009

...So what will we do if we don't find a roommate

A couple of days ago I mentioned that our roommate is moving out.  Joy.

I want to thank everyone for all their support as we go through the roommate finding process once again.  It will be a challenge - but we're up for it.

One reader, Manshu, asked if we have so much trouble with roommates (which it seems we do lately) - why don't we try moving, and renting some where cheaper.  Well, there's a few reasons for that (I responded to his comment, but I thought I would post it here as well).

I've lived in this place for over three years now...it's not just a house to me anymore, it's where I'm making my home (up until the point where Jordan and I buy something of our own). There are also a few, less emotional, reasons why we choose not to move:
  1. Moving is expensive, and not a fun time in the winter
  2. We risk losing our down deposit 
    1. ...and another should we move into another rental before buying a home
  3. We know this landlord well, and although she's sometimes a pain - things do get fixed when they break down
  4. We just recently got a rent decrease from $1,500/month to $1,350/month
  5. Jordan and I can handle $675/month each (although we would prefer not to - which is why we look for roommates).
  6. In all the years I've lived in this place - the last six months has been the only when we've had roommate trouble...
and finally - when my brother moved out a few months ago, we spent a lot of time looking for a new place to see what was available.  We didn't find a thing that fit our needs and our budget as well as this place does.

So, all that was to say - that we won't be moving.  Here's what we will do:

We're lucking out a little bit because December Jordan get's three pays, but our deal was that we would make the 'extra' payment into our joint account - sticking to the bi-weekly schedule.

We have enough money in our joint account (including what's there now, and the next four payments before January) to cover Dec/January's Rent, paying Jeff his damange deposit back, and paying all utility bills owing for November's usage with about $200 left over.

Come January, if we haven't found a roommate - we will have in increase our bi-weekly joint house account contributions to $437.50 from $287.50 - that's a $150/bi-weekly increase.  That works out to $875/month/each to cover rent, utilities (gas, water, electricity, recycling etc), TV, phone, & internet.  Another way to see that is $1750/month total ($1350 rent and $400 bills).

The increase of $150/bi-weekly is effectively, our house fund.

I did round up when guessing what our utility bills will be - because it's only going to get colder - but after a  month on our own we could re-asses to see if we need to be stashing $400/month for bills.  It seems a little high, but I would rather error on the safe side which will just build us a buffer if it's not accurate.

I'm going to wait before changing the 2010 budget until closer to the end of the month - when we know if we have a new roommate or not.

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8 comments:

  1. I am sure that you will find an awesome roommate. Do people ever advertise in the newspaper that they are looking for a place? Do places like COP hire out of town workers for ski season? It might be worth a drive to check if they have a message board. Have you looked on student message boards yet? J could check at SAIT when he is at school. Keep positive - you will do it.

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  2. Also, as a last resort, are there schools that need homes for exchange students?

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  3. Well, at least you know you CAN make it on your own if you guys have to. So I would just take the time to find the RIGHT roommate.

    Since your current roommate is leaving so unexpectedly I assume that they don't have to sign a lease? You might consider having them sign a 6 month agreement or something of that nature to protect you in the future.

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  4. Jessie - after reading htis post and the accompanying comments, I realized there is somewhere you may want to advertise you have a place - Hydro One often has out of town workers coming in to help on contracts what not. Although turn over may be a little more frequent then you may want, it is a place to start. I had luck with sublets through this - always finding some really great people.

    Best of luck on this second journey for a roommate! I'm sure this is just leading you to a really great person in time!

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  5. Well it makes sense why you guys don't want to move. And at least yourselves covered for a couple of months! :D

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  6. I hope you find a roommate easily -- but it is nice to know that you will be ok if it takes awhile.

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  7. It's so easy to say, "Just move!" when it's not you in the situation. There are a ton of expenses that come with moving and with Calgary being a tricky city to even find an appropriate housing, it has to be really worth it to move.

    When I lived in Calgary, I had the best luck finding roommates through the off-campus housing website at U of C. https://www.su.ucalgary.ca/ooch/. I got one really good roommate that way. I also used http://www.planetstudents.com/ to advertise as well. This one is free.

    Just an update on something non-related from the past: I got my yearly refund from my CIBC Dividend card! $70.42 for doing nothing but use my card (and pay it off every month) like I always do. It's definitely worth it.

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  8. Thanks for your reply Jessie, and all the very best for your search. I hope it goes smooth.

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