Housing and becoming a Land Baron

So, it’s been a few years since I have taken the time to write something here. A number of things have happened over the last 4 years and I think it’s about time that I say something about that.

I have been a home owner for approximately 8 years. I have managed to keep the house from falling into disrepair or from burning down. I had to take down the trees in my yard as they were becoming dangerous to the structural integrity of my house, and potentially my neighbour’s house as well. The Saskatoon bush beside the house has steadily grown, and now puts out a decent crop of saskatoons… enough for pies.

One of the things that I wanted to do was to do some renovations on the house. You know, build a deck, get a new countertop for the kitchen. There were some minor issues with the house, but my salary didn’t really allow me to invest for my retirement and also do the kind of renovation I wanted to do on the house. I’ll come back to this.

This year I also made a leap with a very old friend who I’ve known for the better part of 30 years (or more). I asked her to go on a date and she said yes. Since the end of January of 2016 she and I have been going on an adventure that I would say has been the best part of my life. Earlier this year we made the decision to move in together. She too owns a house. We decided that we would live in her house, and I would turn my house into an income property.

So getting back to house renovations and such, I still don’t have the money for large renovations to turn the house into a proper income property. That, and I really don’t want to be a landlord.

It just so happens that my mother was really hating living in an apartment. Too many doors and floors. This year my mom will have been retired for about 5 years. She was looking to buy a house again, but getting a mortgage at her age is more trouble than its worth. My mom needed a place to stay and I needed a tenant. We worked out a deal that if she wants to do renovations, she can, and the rent that she pays would be just enough to cover my mortgage payments (Winnipeg, so nothing ridiculous like you see in Toronto or Vancouver). That rent pays for the mortgage and hydro/gas, and it is still less than she was paying for an apartment.

The house is the perfect size for one person or a couple. My mom has a lot of stuff, but she is paring down now, so once she is down to just what she needs the house should feel comfy for her, like it was for me.

Now that I have that rent coming in, it means I can actually save some money for if I need to do any actual renovations or repairs. Like a high efficiency furnace and water heater. Mom can renovate the look and feel of the house to the way she likes it, and I can take care of the structural maintenance. It’s a good deal, and Mom likes the situation as well.