View Full Version : Frugality in a military town/city?
This may seem obsessive to some but I'll ask anyway. My husband is in the Canadian Military and we are currently posted to Winnipeg. We have little say in where we move to next, but we can strategize and narrow our chances down enough to increase our chances of landing in a place we prefer.
Anyway, this is our situation: We love larger cities, we live most car-free, we cycle or walk almost everywhere. We have always had at least one roomate (generally students or international visitors) and want to continue having roomates for various reasons, one being extra income.
Some of the stronger possibilities of where we may be moved to include Edmonton, Comox, Petawawa, Trenton, Halifax, Greenwood (NS), North Bay.
Since we like having student roomates, a city or town with at least a community college is preferable. A bus system would be great (even if it's a bit lame, better than nothing) as well as the ability to live centrally and walk/cycle almost everywhere.
Ideally we would purchase a larger house near a university or college that is also close to ammenities such as a grocery store.
If you've ever lived in one of the above mentioned cities/towns, or a city/town neighbouring one of the above places (ie Petawawa/Pembroke) and can give any insight into neighbourhoods that you feel would be ideal for us, I'd very much appreciate it.
Again, this may seem a bit obsessive to some, but because of my obsessiveness we have done well by me being so inquisitive about cities we may possibly get posted to. Once the posting message comes, we often have four or five weeks to buy a house in our new town/city, do the move, get settled in and hubby starts work. Viola!
Comox has amazing bike trails for you along the roads and whatnot and you can bike almost all year but the houses cost a small fortune. People I know posted there this summer could not get a PMQ
North Bay has Nippissing University near the base. Something to look into if you get posted there is where the shad flies show up. I know downtown gets them. The smart thing to do in North Bay is get a PMQ, buy a nice place on the lake and rent it to a USAF pers. You'd have to look into it though because people in my trade already know most of the USAF pers because we spend most of our postings with them either NATO/NORAD
Greenwood is not exactly a large city lol but you could live near Acadia University if you bought a car and commute 45 mins to the base
Halifax is not my cup of tea but sounds like a good place for you. It's the only place that makes sense to not have a car imo because of traffic and lack of parking on the base
Kingston is not an option? I love Kingston and it suits you as well
That said the way I look at a military career is you have to go where you get the best/diverse experience if you want to get promoted faster and the sweet postings (Europe etc) Don't stress the little things and overlook the bigger picture. All those options are perfectly feasible, it's not like he's posted to Whitehorse or Cold Lake
Thanks mode3sour! I used to live in Parksville many moons ago, at a time where a coworker of mine bought a acerage lot in Comox for $17k! Those times are long gone now I know! :(
We own property in Van and Winnipeg outright because of me obsessing over where to live, close proximity to a uni or college (so we can rent a room easily to a student), walking distance to possible employment for me and grocery stores, etc etc. I know city living isn't for many, but since we enjoy it we just like to know as much before hand as possible.
Kingston as far as I know isn't an option, although I wish it were.... I would love to live around Queens.
Right now, when I weigh the cost of housing (in close proximity to a post secondary school) against what we can rent a room (or two) for, plus the "walkability" of those areas, it seems like Halifax would be ideal. My husband cycles a lot, so he could bike to the dockyards which would alleviate the parking issue, and he could bus it in inclimate weather if he so choose.
To confuse matters even more, I want to weigh the cost of housing against what we would actually get for renting a room (or two) and compare that to say, Trenton where we could live in Belleville where housing is much cheaper than Halifax. Or Pembroke (not sure how much demand there is for room rentals to students at Algonquin though), etc.
I'm sure some people reading this think I'm absolutely crazy :) But, like I said, so far my obsession has paid off for us, and paid off well.
I wonder if there's a way to calculate what I'm concerned about? I realize it would be approximate, but I could figure out the approximate cost of a house in a neighbourhood I think we may like, then figure out the average room rent, etc.
2010-06-15, 05:14 PM
I've lived in Edmonton all my life, and it's a pretty nice place to live. Being close to the University of Alberta also means you're close to the river valley, with 150km of trails to enjoy. This also means that housing costs for the University area are very high. Fortunately, there is a train system that runs through campus, connecting it to downtown and the North-East part of the city. And it was recently expanded to the South-central area as well. Students will often look to rent housing that is near one of the train stations, especially those that are near shopping centers. Thus there are many neighborhoods to choose from, with houses of various ages, sizes, and prices.
You didn't mention if being near the base is a priority or not, but if so, it is located in the far North part of the city and thus your best bet might be to look near the train stations in the North-East. Or take a look at the city of St. Albert which is just outside Edmonton to the North-West (I'm not very familiar with it though).
Our bus & train system is pretty good, but the bike paths (except for the river valley) are fairly limited.
2010-06-15, 10:00 PM
I lived in Halifax for several years, as a kid when my Dad was a student, and later when I was a student. With 6 universities, there are a lot of areas to chose from with students nearby. Property prices are highish, but so are rents - lots of demand from students. You should check out the North end and near Quinpool Rd for a "deal" on property. The north end has a bad rep, but its getting better, and lots of art students live there. You do have to be careful about where though, when I was last there there were areas that were definitely gentrifying, but also areas that live up to the reputation. For biking it is very hilly. Buses are infrequent - unless you are near the route for the spring garden bus. I lived near Dal and almost never took a bus - downtown is walkable.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.1.11 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.