How 2018 Started

My family and I started 2018 with a daunting challenge. We were expecting our third child in April and living in a one bedroom apartment. I was working longer hours and traveling more which made it harder to search for a new home and help around the house.

I remember looking through rental listings in January and feeling frustrated at the lack of viable options if we wanted to stay in our neighbourhood, let alone the city of Vancouver. It was heartbreaking to begin to consider that we would have to leave our community, where our children have grown up and where our neighbours had become our friends.

The jump in cost from a one bedroom to anything bigger was ridiculously high and many of the options were barely bigger than our one bedroom apartment. The timing wasn't great either since winter generally has fewer vacancies posted.

While we considered all options like moving to a different city, we prioritized finding a home where it would have the least amount of disruption on our children's lives. We looked at co-ops nearby but the waiting lists were too long. We even considered staying put in our tiny apartment and toughing it out for however long we could but we knew the right thing to do for our long term well-being was to find a bigger place.

It turned out that the best option for us would be to pool resources with family members and find a much bigger home to share. My younger brother and his partner were looking for a new home too and we felt the right move was to move in together. Now the challenge was finding a much bigger home for four adults, two children and a dog.

 Despite the dearth of space, there were a wealth of memories.

Despite the dearth of space, there were a wealth of memories.

Luckily after several viewings and dead ends, we found a house not too far away from our neighbourhood. The kids would still be able to go to the same school and there's more than enough space to accommodate the combined households. The catch was that there were already a pile of applications and we needed to move in ASAP, but we still hadn't reached the full term of our lease. Fortunately, our landlord was more than understanding and allowed us to give notice and break the lease.

After a difficult move (most snowfall of the season fell on moving day), we got our stuff into our new house. On top of the stress of moving, I had to travel for work and would only return the night before moving day. Facilitating a move between a five year old, a seven year old and a seven month pregnant woman on 4 hours of sleep over 48 hours is something I'm grateful to never have to worry about again.

We recognize that finding a home that ticked almost all of our checkboxes and how we were able to secure it was like winning the lottery. As we shared our story with other friends and family, we would realize how insanely lucky we were. Ours isn't a typical story and it's heartbreaking to think how many have had to give up living in their respective communities because of the housing crisis we have in our city.

RJ AquinoComment