So I'm happy to report that the long search is over! We found a place this past weekend in East Vancouver close to the PNE that's a little similar to our current situation. We will be renting the main and top floor of a house with the landlady having stuff in the basement suite but not really living there. The square footage is bigger then our place, but still has 3 bedrooms. We won't have the yard or view we have had, but there is a great back patio and a cute front porch, with really friendly neighbours and big beautiful oak trees lining the streets. I can boast about the high ceilings, nice mouldings with a couple of beautiful windows, 1.5 bathrooms (that's up .5 from now!), and a huge dining room. There are also lots of parks nearby for the boys, and it's a closer commute to the studio, so at this point, I'm overlooking the really old terrible carpet (over hardwood???) and nasty peel-n-stick laminate that really never should have happened in a heritage home like this. We don't move in until June 15 and I'm already scheming a way to cover over some of the backsplash or sub-in light fixtures.
The decision to rent again was a tough one. We are easily paying rent that's equivalent to monthly mortgage payments. I recently read the book Rent vs. Own by Jane Hodges, which takes into consideration a lot of the rise and falls of the real estate market in the US. I really appreciated her honest approach to what the true cost of owning is. The average person usually can't afford to buy where they really want to live, so they opt for longer commutes and less desirable neighbourhoods or housing in order to buy a place. While ideally owning a home is an investment, the recent housing market crashes have shown us that it's only an investment if you are able to buy low and sell high- which really only happens when a person is able to hold onto a property for an extended period of time, riding the waves of the high and low markets. Of course there are a wack of other considerations to make, but all in all, Dean and I felt like we weren't ready to move away in order to afford to buy place that suited our family's needs quite yet. We felt like we needed a couple more years here in the city to sort through what that move would look like for us in the future.