Not To Be Trusted With Knives

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That’s *DOCTOR* Surrey Girl To You

So, I’ve found a new place to live.  I have to tell you I was ridiculously stressed out when I got the news that I had to move.  Like stressed out enough that I couldn’t eat for two days1. There were a variety of reasons for this extreme stress reaction2, including the fact that I *hate* apartment hunting, I hate packing, I hate moving and that this forced me to face a decision that I knew I should be facing.  That decision: Do I move to the ‘burbs?

I am not a suburbs kind of girl.  I grew up in the suburbs and I hated it.  I hated that everything is so sprawling you have to drive places instead of walking.  I hated that you can’t get everywhere you need to go by using public transit3.  I hated all the chain restaurants and big box stores.  I hated that there was nothing to do (though this isn’t quite the same in the suburbs around here as it was in my teeny tiny hometown).  But the fact remains that I work in the suburbs now and I currently spend 7.5 hours per week commuting from Vancouver.  And that’s 7.5 hrs that I can’t use for running or other forms of exercise, sleeping, blogging, or doing freelance work4.  It’s a full workday every week that’s wasted5.  In addition, I spend my weekends primarily at Tod’s, so my place really is more of a weekday home base.  I have to admit that it doesn’t really make sense to pay the higher rent of living in Vancouver and commit all that commuting time when I’m only in my place weekdays anyway. I still will spend my weekends in Vancouver and any weeknights I want to hang out with friends, it’s no big deal to drive to Vancouver, seeing as I’m used to driving from Vancouver to Surrey and back every weekday anyway!  (If it sounds like I’m trying to justify this choice to move to the ‘burbs, it’s only because I am.)

And so I have decided to take a place in Surrey.  A place that is five minutes from my work, in fact.  It’s bigger than anything I could reasonably afford in Vancouver, as well as nicer than the places I looked at in the city6.

Here are the deets:

  • 850 sq ft
  • all new appliances include a freaking DISHWASHER!!7
  • lots of counter space (and very pretty countertops!) in the kitchen
  • a bathtub (my current place only has a shower) with pretty sliding glass doors
  • good sized closets for storage
  • alarm system8
  • rent includes heat, hydro, water, cable9, but not Internet

The major drawback of this place is that there’s no laundry.  It’s actually a pattern I noticed – any basement suites I looked at in Vancouver had laundry included (you just share it with the people who live upstairs), but all the ads for places in the suburbs say “no laundry, sorry.”  I’m not sure what it is about driving over the Oak and Knight Street bridges that makes above-ground dwellers unwilling to share their washer and dryer, but that just seems to be the way it is.  And for me, the inconvenience of going to a laundry mat once every week10 is outweighed by the glory of not having to wash my own dishes EVER AGAIN.

I signed the lease on my new place yesterday and take possession today!  The plan is to move in over February (i.e., moving in a few things here and there and then book movers to move the furniture and heavy boxes on one day).  It means I’ve had to scuttle my plan to do the 30-day yoga challenge, as I just won’t have time for it while packing and moving11.  On the plus side, I’d kept most of my weeknights free with the intent of doing yoga, so I don’t have to cancel a bunch of dinners/coffees/other social occasions (as I would on a normal month).

So – anyone know of any good moving companies?

Also, consider this your forewarning: many of my blog postings this month will likely be about moving!

  1. well, I did have about three things to eat in those two days, but I had to force myself to eat them []
  2. some of which I’m not going to talk about in a public forum []
  3. at least not in a reasonable time frame []
  4. not necessarily in that order! []
  5. I do listen to audiobooks to make it not entirely wasted, but I could listen to audiobooks in the comfort of my own home when I feel like it rather than basing my listening on my commuting schedule []
  6. except for one that was equally nice, but way, way smaller and dishwasher-less, and most costly []
  7. I’ve never in my life had a dishwasher.  And I LOATHE doing dishes. LOATHE! []
  8. though anytime a place has an alarm system, my first thought is “oh gawd, why do I need an alarm??” []
  9. of course, I don’t have a TV currently, but my friend Kim has an extra one! []
  10. or two – I have a lot of clothes []
  11. I’ll be keeping my eyes open for the next 30 day yoga challenge though, you can be sure! []



So, my landlords sold the house I live in.  When they first told me they were going to sell the house a few weeks ago, it sort of freaked me out as I have a pretty sweet deal on my basement suite and with new owners, anything could happen.  In BC, if you live in a rental, a new owner can’t kick you out unless they or a direct family member are going to live in the suite1).  But the house I live in is 80+ years old, so it’s not impossible that someone would buy it to tear down and re-build on the lot.  At any rate, I didn’t have to wait very long to find out – the house sold within two days of it being listed!  And in that time, there were several offers, so I’m guessing they got even more than they were asking for.

The deal happened pretty fast – the new owner officially took possession yesterday, but is renting the house, other than my basement suite, to the former owners until their new place is ready.  And the new owner isn’t planning to tear the house down or to move into the basement, so I get to stay, which makes me pretty happy.

I am going to miss my former landlords when they leave though.  They are really nice, always looking out for me2.  They’ve lived in this house since 1956 and paid less for it than many people pay for a car these days – and with Vancouver’s real estate the way it is, you can imagine the price they must have sold it for.  The are getting on in years though, and a two story house is just too much for them, so they are moving into a retirement community.  It makes me sad that they aren’t able to stay in the home they’ve had for more than half a century, but I know that it will be safer for them in the new place.

I spoke to the new owner on the phone the other day to arrange for some post-dated rent cheques and a rental agreement – he seemed nice, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that all works out well when he moves in upstairs.

  1. They also can’t change how much they charge you for rent, except for the once a year rent increase that’s allowed (I believe it’s a maximum of 4% per year []
  2. and for Danielle when she lived here too []