The Wonderful World of Home Ownership

Or "Would You Like $400 Fries with That?"


I’ve bitten the bullet, and purchased a “cozy” condo of my own. In this context, “cozy” means “don’t swing your arms when you’re moving around.” I get possession near the end of the month, and am caught up in all kinds of wonderful legal minutiae.

For example, it’s a new building, but I bought the unit from the person who put up the deposit before construction started. If the building doesn’t get “registered” with the city by the time I take possession, I have to pay the previous owner interest on the full value of the unit as “rent,” since the mortgage company can’t release the funds until the owner can transfer the “title,” which requires registry with the city. Get it? Me neither. And this is very, very bad, since interest on the cost of the condo is insanely, blow-your-brains-out expensive.

Today I went shopping for my appliances; I’m upgrading to a fridge with an ice maker and water in the door, since there is a water hookup piped in. I’m upgrading to a front-loading washing machine. I’m keeping the standard microwave, and I upgraded the dishwasher, but the real drama is the stove. I want a gas stove and cooktop, but there’s no gas hookup in the kitchen. The cost to install it? $3,500. Thirty-five hundred dollars. Plus GST. To drill through some concrete and run a gas line 10 feet. In my opinion,

Ed’s Note: Read: “My realtor told me”

this is just a “nuisance” charge, meaning that they really don’t want to bother with this, but if I’ll pay a crazy price, it’ll be worth their while. That’s the state of labour in Calgary today.

Regardless, the shopping was lots of fun, and I got the washing machine on sale, and my upgraded dishwasher is a better model that’s on sale for less than the standard machine. Small victories.

The conclusion I’ve come to about the difference between owning and renting is this: anytime you make a purchasing decision as an owner, it seems like there’s an extra zero on the end of the total. Weird.

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