Rational price for an apartment in Toronto in Jan 2001

wjiang (wjiang)
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An rational price for an one bedroom apartment in Grand Toronto Area in
2001 Jan is 900 to 1,000 canadian dollars . Please take that as a reference
when you start to find your first place to live in Toronto.

I subletted my apartment out recently. From what I have experienced,
many new arriving immigrants don't know what is a rational cost for apartment
living in Toronto. I posted to sublet my one bedroom apartment for 850 per
month in the forum, but I got many e-mails trying to negotiate the price to
around 500 dollars. Such a request is very irrational, let along to say the
price is set by the landlord and I have no chance to change it.

I guess there are two reasons that make people think a 500 dollar one bedroom

FIRST is the articles that describe life in Toronto by older immigrants.
The problem is the time the article was written is very early and only at that time,
I guess, such price is right. The rental price rises every year according to the
extent of property value increase. Just a couple of days ago, I was informed by
my landlord that my rent would be raised for some 6.9% for next year which is only
3 months later.

SECOND is we can still see many advertisment posting in the ineternet and
newspaper asking for only 500 dollars for a "one bedroom apartment". This is,
if not for all, a very vague way of saying originally invented by our dear
HongKong brothers. Actually such an apartment is not a conventional apartment
at all. It is a bedroom or a seperate bedroom plus necessary facilities
inside a house. But when we say apartment, we really mean a building, usually
a high rise with many apartments and inlcudes free utilities and maintainance. It
is what we called "Gong Yu4" in china. Pointing out the difference here is not
to imply that some people use that to confuse you, but to let you better prepared
to make a right decision and a budget before you come.

If you are single, it doesn't hurt to live in a house. But if you are married
and have a kid, you'd better be prepare to spend at least 950 dollars per month
for housing. Normally, the 'apartment' inside a house doesn't welcome kids.
Generally speaking, there will be NO such an one bedroom apartment in Jan 2001
in Toronto area that costs you under 800 dollars. Or any 'apartment' that labelled
under such price is not the apartment you are looking for. Simply ask yourself
if the price is too good to be true.

When you look for an apartment, let's still use one bedroom as an example, don't
go for the lowest priced but for the normal price, i.e., if the range is 900 to
1,000, don't go for 850. Sometimes, that 50 dollars make difference.
Many facets determine the value of a housing. Following is what I would think of

1. Transportation.-- a delimma
-- good public transportation means you don't need a car. poor guys don't have cars
and hence tend to gather around such a place. poor guys devalue a neighberhood.
you don't want to live with a guys whoes main job is to deliver kid and live
on warefare.
-- new arrivals often rely heavily on public transportation because they usually
don't have a car at once. And even after you have a car, your dependents, for
example wife, parants and kids still need to take the public transportation.
check in person very carefully before you decide to sign the lease

2. facilities
must be in very clean and solid condition. check if refregirator, cabinets, mirriors,
toilet sittings, and basons are new and clean. if you rent directly from the
landlord, these area must have been cleaned. If you can still see dirty, that means
the dirty is perminate. You may want to request the landlord to change for you.
apartments with newer facilities price higher.

3. neighberhood
ask yourself what people you want to live with and what people you intend to avoid
contact with. I can't tell you too much. Canada is a multi-cultured country. There
are many kind of people. I would suggest you respect whomever you meet and be aware of the
of difference.

But how can you save the cost of housing if you must live in an aprtment?

The only way I know is to take over the old lease of your friend. The landlord
has all right to mark the price for a new lease according to the market value.
But there is a law to limit the percentage of rental increase for exsiting tenants.
That means, the older the lease is signed, the more difference is there between
the actual rent and the market rent. Finding an old lease to take over is not easy
and unless it is between friends, people are often reluctant to do so.

I hope my posting can help you and wish you have a happy landing experience.

Good luck
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2000-12-6 -04:00
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