Thursday, February 16, 2006

Back to the joys of commuting

So I arrived back from Victoria on Wednesday, with a relatively effortless flight back. The plane was a wide-body and there weren't many people, so we all had lots of room.

I left Victoria at 11 am and arrived back in Toronto at 7:20 pm. I was home by 8, for a "real-time" commute of about 6 hours.

Then this morning, I left the house about 6 am (morning came really early) but didn't get into the office until about 9. Add in another 3 hours of travel time to get home again tonight (at least, since the commute home is always longer) and I'll end up spending as much or more time travelling back and forth from work today as I did yesterday to go from one end of the country to the other. What a screwy way to spend my time.

Anyway, the weather in Victoria was beautiful -- sunny and warm. As opposed to the freezing rain I'm looking at right now here in beautiful downtown Scarborough. But the lasting impression I'm left with after touring around Victoria is -- We'll never be able to afford a house!

The housing market in Victoria is red-hot right now. Which is nice, if you already have one, but not so good if you're looking to buy. Heather is staying in a nice place right now that reminds us a lot of the house we used to own in Regina. Unfortunately, it's probably worth about $1 million or more in Victoria. We could never move into that neighbourhood.

We spent some time looking in the part of town we hope to live, near where Heather's practice will be. While the houses are more "affordable" there, we're still looking at paying twice what we'll be able to get for our Hamilton home, just to get something with a roof. If we want a basement, or a back-yard, or anything else, we'll be looking at a lot more than that.

It was certainly a reality check. It underscored for me that I need to ramp up my consulting business considerably in order to pull my weight in the mortgage department. And if we decide to rent instead of buy (which is looking likely at this stage) it will be tough to find a place that will welcome our two dogs. Most of the rentals we saw listed were decidedly pet-unfriendly.

Oh well -- we knew we were starting a new, grand adventure. This trip merely clarified just how grand it's going to be. I can't wait to get started.

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