Growing up as a military brat meant moving every three or four years. As an adult, I moved to go to College, living with my grandmother. When she sold her house, I moved into an apartment with her. After college, I moved around trying to balance my career aspirations with my desire to remain close to the woman I was in a relationship with. I’ve continued to move around nearly every year, changing jobs, or just feeling the need to have a chance of scenery. I always assumed I’d just know when to put down roots, and everything would come together and I’d feel home and never need to or want to leave. That intangible draw to somewhere, an instinct that it was home.
I am turning 33 this winter, and my wife and I continue to look at real estate hoping that we can find a way to afford a house in a place we want to call home. We feel happiest together, and I don’t want to belittle the sense of “home” that I get when I’m with her, but I also want to find a place where I can put down roots.
She lived most of her life in Georgetown, a smaller city at the western edge of the Greater Toronto Area. Of course, she had assumed that as an adult, she would buy a house and live there, near her family and friends. Unfortunately, the popularity of the area meant that house prices increased so much that our wages wouldn’t let us afford even a worn down condo.
We started to look westward and found that houses in Guelph were between $50,000 to $75,000 cheaper for comparable features. Unfortunately, as the years pass and the market continues to increase in price, the entry level detached home is quickly exiting the realm of affordability.
I currently work for a company in the U.S., and while I love working at 10up, the Canadian government sees me as running my own business and that makes getting a mortgage and owning a home a bit more difficult. It is one of the only drawbacks of working for a company not registered in Canada.
So we wait, living in our nice and comfortable apartment, hoping that something will change and we will either open up our options on where to live, so that we can move to a place where a house would be financially viable, I’ll have run my business long enough that mortgage brokers don’t see me as high risk, or that prices will adjust downwards slightly, putting more options into the affordable range, or that we will find the comfort to continue to be renters.
In the end, and despite living in Guelph for nearly half a year now, I still don’t feel like I’ve found a location in the world to call “home”.