Spring is here! The mountains of snow and ice have finally melted away in the GTA and we were blessed with a 21 degree day on Sunday. What better thing to do than get outdoors? With the arrival of spring, it also means that my snowbird parents will be back in Canada shortly from their usual winter escape. This means I’m prepping the house for their return, including doing the yardwork. My logic is I live here and for fairly low rent, so I should make a contribution whenever I can.
As I raked the front lawn, clearing leaves and old dead grass, I got to thinking that my situation isn’t really all that bad. So what if I live with my parents and I’m 38 years old? Big deal. I pay them rent, I pay my own bills, make my own meals (and for them on weekends) and I clean. Just because I only pay $150 in rent, does not mean I’m lazy by any means, it isn’t a free ticket to lounge around or shop. I will be the first to admit that yes, it does suck not owning my own home but having a $300,000 mortgage sucks too.
My inspiration for this post was reading Another Visit with the real Millionaire Next Door from Get Rich Slowly. It’s about an older man, a millionaire named John, that regularly has a roommate so that while he’s out of the country doing volunteer work or out on his boat, he has someone to take care of his home (not to mention the extra income).
Even though John is a millionaire, and even though he owns his home outright, he still prefers to live with a roommate. For one, that means somebody’s around to take care of the place as he’s gallivanting across the globe. For another, it brings in extra income. He doesn’t charge much for the place, but because he spends very little, it’s enough to pay for most of his personal pleasures. The modest rent is a win-win for both John and his renters.
The situation I find myself in is not that far off from his, my folks are usually away for 6 months of the year and I have really reasonable (almost disgustingly) low rent. Yes, I miss my privacy for the other 6 months of the year but I think it’s a good deal.
What Are The Pros and Cons?
- Extremely low rent – $150 a month
- No hydro, water or gas bills (I pay my own TV, phone and internet)
- 6 months of the year I have the whole house to myself
- My own room and bathroom
- A garage to store my car in the winter
- They’re ok with me having a cat (some landlords ban pets)
- A nice washer and dryer to do my laundry (I only pay for my own detergent and softener)
- I am able to help my aging parents and be there for them
- No privacy the other 6 months of the year
- Living with your parents can be challenging (read: they treat you like you’re 16 again and are all up in your business)
- Dating – for 6 months it’s awkward bringing someone home, not to mention the convo that I don’t own my own place
- Shovelingl the driveway in winter sucks!
- Deciding who’s going to use the kitchen first for meals