It’s time for me to go to bed, because my eyes are seriously crossing after reading too many classified ads online.
It’s too early for Montréal apartment ads for April, but it doesn’t hurt to look around to get a sense of what’s out there. The first thing that’s striking to me is to price range. I freely admit to making a very decent income and I have been budgeting for a jump of about $200 from what I paying now, with an absolute ceiling with heat and hot water of $300 more. I had been thinking of getting a 3-bedroom, but more and more I’m thinking I’ll have to settle for a large 2-bedroom like I have here in Halifax. Frankly, most of the prices I’ve seen for 3-bedrooms assume two incomes contributing to the rent. And when we start talking prices like that, buying a condo would be a much wiser move — pardon the pun.
Meanwhile, earlier I had said that I have my heart set on the HoMa (Hochelaga-Maisonneuve) area, but that’s a huge area. I realize now that I don’t want to go too far south of Ontario Street and Viau Street is my eastern limit. To the west of HoMa but still in the east, there’s the Village. For a while, my thought was to keep that area as a destination; however, now I’m thinking that as long that it’s not right on Ste-Cat, it might not be such a bad choice. I also saw a stunning place in Villeray, which is much further north than I ever thought I’d consider …although still on this side of the Métropolitaine. And then, in complete contradiction to everything I’ve said so far, MAYBE I shouldn’t dismiss Côte-des-Neiges (CDN) and Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (NDG). Those of you who know Montréal must be gasping because that area — aside from being very anglophone — is almost another world compared to HoMa. I’m not crazy about having to rely too much on the blue line — the subway from nowhere (St. Michel) to almost nowhere (Snowdon) — but closer to Décarie and the orange line wouldn’t be bad at all given there are some charming older buildings that are definitely affordable. I won’t do Pointe-Saint-Charles or Verdun, but MAYBE Saint-Henri? Do note that the Plateau is out of the question: too pricey, and what’s not too pricey is almost always said to have “character,” which really translates to, “It’s a dark little dump with a ridiculous layout, but you’ll be able to say you live on the Plateau.” No, thank you.
This is hard because it is too early, but then I won’t have too much time in February to find something. Apartment hunting is a pain in the ass at the best of times, but doing it from 800 miles is a HUGE pain. But, I know I’ll be pleased when it’s all done and over with.