Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Are you too good for your home?

All I want to do is post pictures of my lunch today so I can got on with my life but no! Blogger is disagreeable tonight. Maybe in a bit it'll work. In the interim I'll bring you up to date on my newest deliberation.

The question of the day is where to live next year. Living in the suburbs with my parents is out because of all that independence and draw of city living and such. The other options are to rent an apartment, invest in a condo or loft, or live in residence.

My immidiate thought was that I would rent a bachelor apartment. I don't want to share because I'm not very good at sharing. And I call myself a kindergarten teacher... Really, I like to live alone and don't want to have to worry about someone else's stuff, habits, personality, or whatever might come up. I also don't want any friendships to suffer.

Then I got offered all this money so my next idea was to invest in real estate. I can buy (AKA get a huge mortgage) and avoid throwing money away on rent. I will be in Toronto for eight months definitely and probably a lot more but I'd like to eventually live there (well, I think I do) so if I leave for a little while I can always rent it out. I think certain neighbourhoods are very up and coming and by buying now I could be setting myself up well.

I was getting all excited about this idea.

But then I thought that I really don't have that much money. And I have no idea what my bank account will look like next year. I'll either find a job (and with an MA in Sociology I won't be able to go all that far) or I'll move on to a PhD. Who knows what my financial situation will be like, but likely it won't be great and I won't have a large sum sitting in my bank account from a year spent in Korea.


That led me to my most recent tentative decision to live in the graduate house at U of T. It's that terrible building that looks like it has no windows. The set-up is three or four person apartments with private, SMALL bedrooms and shared bathroom, kitchen, and living room. At first the idea of living in residence again repulsed me - the terrible furniture, the terrible smell, the terrible sharing. But it's starting to sound pretty damn good. I only have to commit to the eight months of my program (instead of a year long renting contract). It only costs $600 a month including utilities, where the kind of apartment I'd want near U of T costs around $850 without utilities (or roommates). It's right on campus and close to everything. I don't have to worry about moving furniture. It's quick and easy. I don't know how it'll be having friends over, or whether I'll feel too controlled by my roommates, though. Who knows, maybe I'll actually like my roommates and meet some decent people in my building.

Has anyone lived or known someone who lived there? Any thoughts or impressions about all this?


At March 23, 2006 12:28 a.m. , Anonymous katie said...

Hey Jess! I can provide some insight seeing as I am living alone in T.O and I have a friend who lives in the graduate house. I would not live there- it's very sterile and they do not let you view the rooms before you move in..which I don't think is a good sign! My friend doesn't like it too much because it's kind of like you have no privacy other than your little bedroom as the common area/kitchen is shared with three other people.

I live at Bathurst and St.Clair (right near the big Loblaws) and I pay $850 for a 1.5's way bigger than my friends' places and my rent is cheaper. My friends who live right at Yonge-Bloor and Bloor-St.George are paying about $1200 for a 1 bedroom. If you want a bit more space and at a more affordable price, I'd check out my area. Plus it's super close to the grocery store, Forest Hill Village, Shoppers', Second Cup, etc... However, sometimes I wished I lived more in the core but sometimes it's nice to get away from that area when you've been there all day for school.

At March 23, 2006 5:22 a.m. , Blogger Jessica said...

Hey Katie,

Thanks a lot for your insight and advice. I appreciate it! The thing is that my program is only for 8 months and I actually am kind of into sterility these days, so I think I'll probably apply for the residence and see what happens. At least it's a month by month rental and it's very cheap - utilities included.

Also, my parent's house is not too far away if I need to have privacy once in a while.

OR, I can come and visit you in your 1 1/2 bedroom!! Ha ha.

We'll see what happens.

At March 26, 2006 10:39 a.m. , Anonymous katie said...

Sounds like a good plan! If you are only there for 8months than it'll be perfect for what you need! Do you think you'll have a Professor by the name of Peter Sawchuk? I have him for a Sociology of Industrial Relations class and he's a wonderful guy!


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