On Tuesday, 5 June, I paid a deposit and signed a lease for a two-bedroom, one bath, ground-floor suite in a private home in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, for occupancy on 1 July 2018. Mission Accomplished!
The above floor plan image differs from my actual leased suite in that (1) the entry is between the master bedroom and the walk-in closet creating a hallway the length of the suite from the entry into the common living area of kitchen, dining, and living; (2) there is no walk-in closet; and (3) the bathroom is between the two bedrooms. I never could find an exact image among the hundreds on the world wide web and my attempt to draw one using a floor plan software program proved me an abject failure as a draftsman, or more likely just too impatient to learn the program.
I will not give here now or ever the details of the identity of my landlords, a retired couple living on the floors above me, or the street address of the home, this being a public blog. I need to know you personally to divulge such private information. The home does reside in one of the many municipalities that make up the greater city of Victoria, BC.
Rachel of Rivers Relocation showed myself and Mary Nell Baird, who made the trip with me, three separate properties, all of which that met my preferences in the main. With Mary Nell’s advice and counsel I ultimately signed for the first one we viewed. More on that one later. Before our arrival Rachel had lined up six places to show us, but three of them were leased over the weekend.
The third one was a two-bedroom, one bath, condominium apartment on the ground level with a patio offering a laundry, an enclosed pool, tennis courts, and a club house. Utilities were included save for internet, cable television, and phone. All for $1,500 CAD monthly with immediate occupancy, as the condo was already vacant.
The second one was a two-bedroom, one bath basement suite in a private home with laundry and 1,010 square feet of living area available on 15 June for $1,500 CAD monthly excluding all utilities. The landlady and her husband had just purchased the property and planned to live on the upper floors above the basement suite in one to two years, whenever their transfer requests came through at their present place of employment far, far away. In the meantime, other tenants were to live above me had I chosen this property. Then there was the lack of curb appeal for this property in its neighborhood. I easily excluded this one from consideration due to cost, curb appeal, and the lessors living in another city. Mary Nell heartedly agreed, not here.
The first property mentioned above, the one I leased, appeared to have close to a full 1,000 square feet of living space. Not bad for $1,450 CAD monthly including utilities, save for internet, cable television, and phone. As for the interior, essentially the long hallway ran down the right side from the front entryway door into the kitchen, living, dining area. One door on the right of the hallway led into a shared laundry room with the lessors, also the door under which my lessors would shove my mail onto the floor of my hallway. Packages would be left on top of the washing machine. Immediately to the left as you enter the hallway the door opens into the master-bedroom with closet space, the next door on the left accessed the bathroom with sink, toilet, bathtub, and shower head. The final door on the left opened into the second bedroom which I will outfit as a home office.
As the hallway ends in the the larger living area, directly on the right wall and to the front are the kitchen cabinets, sink, cooktop, and refrigerator. To the left you encounter the large living area, square in shape, and ahead of you and to the left exists the dining area giving the larger room an L-shape (not reflected in the above image). Being the ground floor, there are large windows letting in the sunlight in the two bedrooms, living room, and around the dining area; also there are smaller windows in the bathroom and kitchen. No windows exist along the right side of the hallway, just the door to the laundry room.
Being a private home there are front, side, and back yards lush and green with colorful flowers and even trees. I should note that the entry door is actually on the left side of the home as you face it from the street. Once I acquire a car I will park it along the curb on the street, saving the driveway for my lessors. Only downside? None of the three properties permitted pets. My lessors advised me that they have weekly visiting grandchildren who are allergic to cats. I asked. So, no Maine Coon kitten or cat for me. Oh, well, sacrifices must be made. Oh, and the curb appeal of this first property was outstanding in its neighborhood.
So, condo or private home ground suite? First or third property viewed? Either one would have done me quite well. And the condo even had pool, clubhouse, and tennis courts available for use. One would think the condo a better choice. Apart from being a condo among many condos, the surrounding area was quite attractive with water nearby. Had I been a decade or two younger, the condo would be the thing. But, mid-way through one’s seventh decade, living in an “apartment” again seems such a downer. Been there. Done that. In Dallas. In Abilene. Living again in an apartment down a hallway with a three-digit number prominent on my front door to distinguish it from the other doors on the same hallway? No thanks. At the end of the day I just could not bring myself to sign a lease to live again within an apartment, nice as it was. Mary Nell concurred.
So, my primary goal for the first week in June was to find and sign for a place to live in Victoria. And I did. I got that goal met. I did other things too that Victoria week and I will tell you about them in later posts, as this one has run overlong for your reading patience, I am sure. Cheerio till next time.