Understanding Rentals

Some people seem to think that $1600/month for a one bedroom/studio is unreasonable. My family bought a condo for a family member around 2012, and this family member subsequently passed away, so we rent it out. Our operating costs, including mortgage debt, insurance, strata fees, etc. are around $1500/month. The cost to anyone buying a similar apartment today would be well over $2000/month, because it has appreciated significantly since 2012. The cheapest 1 bedroom I can find in the same neighborhood is $400k, which would mean the mortgage would be somewhere over $1500, then strata fees, etc. So you're looking at $2000/month, or thereabouts, for a similar unit, including insurance, strata fees, maintenance, etc. What we have on council are a bunch of well meaning people who seem to have this view of what the world "should be" that is divorced from the mathematical reality. One problem is that they don't teach what money is in school. The value of a loaf of bread, in Canadian Dollars, is not proportional to any intrinsic "a loaf of bread should cost thins," it is proportional to the relative value of other things (the bread-mixing machine, the cost of transporting the loaf, cost of grain, etc.), which are in turn costed relative to other things. This is a very complex system, the likes of which nobody really understands in the sense that they have every variable in mind at once. We're talking hundreds or thousands of variables. But on the front of making money, most of the tradespeople I know do fairly well, but they work jobs that are difficult. Most of them didn't go to University, or, if they did, it wasn't what gave them their job in the trades, though, if htey are University educated, they often have a better understanding of the business side of things. So, if you want to make money, get a trade. Don't go to University. You don't need a 4 year degree in Gender Studies to make money.


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Mar 23, 2019 at 11:03pm

You said it right there - "our mortgage debt". That isn't the renters responsibility. You bought outside of what you could afford and now you expect the tenant to make up for your lack of financial responsibility. You then proceed to ramble off and fail to connect your points so I don't even know why I'm leaving this comment but do know that if you actually bought your condo outright or could at least afford not to carry a big mortgage, your fees (mostly strata) would be well under $1,500 or your proposed $2k.

Your point?

Mar 24, 2019 at 2:41am

What started as a rant about renting turned into a swipe and Uni and the classic "gender studies get you no where" argument. If you don't like the condo that was left to you then sell it and keep all the profit.

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Mar 24, 2019 at 5:13am


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So close

Mar 24, 2019 at 7:29am

It's great to see a libertarian or classical liberal come so close to actually understanding economics, but not quite making it. Yes, you're right. Those houses (built by the tradespeople you're talking about) are quite expensive. Now, why is it that those same tradespeople aren't paid the full value of the house? Maybe they don't understand money? Or maybe the difference between what the tradespeople are paid for building the house, and what the house is subsequently sold for, is the capitalist practice of expropriating the value of other's labour. It's unsustainable, and young people reject it. Get over it. Capitalism is done.

Your stream of consciousness

Mar 24, 2019 at 8:01am

... is bizarre.

How about...

Mar 24, 2019 at 8:43am

Instead, you sell the place you don't need/can't afford on your own? This is the thing owners don't seem to understand today: it's not a renter's job to pay down your mortgage. You don't have to make their rent relative to the mortgage. You're making a conscious decision to charge what you do. Using someone else's labour (wages) to profit without any return for them (housing is a human right under UN law, you're providing a fundamental human right, not a privilege) is a wholly unethical way of keeping the market where it is. If everyone who couldn't afford their own mortgage payments, instead of passing their debt down to the working class, sold the homes they couldn't actually afford, the market would adjust, prices would drop, and people who previously couldn't could once again afford their own home and to pay off their own mortgages. Just stop being greedy. That's all.
Sincerely, someone who bought a condo for a reasonable price in '01 and is now living mortgage free by his own hard work, and no one else's.

Trade Schooling vs. Uni

Mar 25, 2019 at 9:04am

No need to mention, as it's not either or, just different paths for different types of people. Engineers, Chemists, Medical people, Lawyers, Professors and the like all must go to University. They make money. People cut out for mental work don't often look to the trades and vice versa. If a person can get into a good trade, more power to them. But it takes all kinds to make a world.

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Mar 25, 2019 at 1:37pm

I see where you're coming from, but it's not quite right. The person we bought it for was paying the mortgage, they died, so now, what do we do? Sure, we could have sold it and pocketed some of the appreciation, but we decided to rent it out.

The real point is that a similar unit in the neighborhood is going to cost $2000/month or so, as I said. The issue is rent vs. buy, talking about what rental cost "should be" in terms of what it costs once it is bought is silly.

At least you didn't degenerate into talking about "capitalist practice of expropriating the value of other's labour" or how "housing is a human right under UN law" (not unecated in Canada, the UDHR is not Canadian Law).

I made the comment because I was mostly interested in seeing the ratio of likes to dislikes, seems a few people understand what's what.

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Mar 25, 2019 at 2:55pm

The "mathematical reality" has very little to do with your mortgage and everything to do with supply and demand. If a one bedroom apartment is going for $100 a month because supply was outstripping demand, you wouldn't be able to rent yours out for $2000.
Of course, our governments severely restrict supply through zoning. Don't act like high rents are just a function of the free market, the market is controlled by the government and the government acts to the benefit of homeowners not renters.

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Mar 25, 2019 at 3:32pm

Could someone tell me when rent in a large City has ever been "cheap"? I was in Toronto in the late 1980's and the rent was crazy and your choices were non-existent.

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