Posts in Kijiji Real Estate

How to resolve conflicts with roommates

Living with a roommate has its perks. For one thing, it’s easier on your wallet. Another bonus is there’s someone to share the chores with (assuming they actually share them). But while it may be nice to have someone around, from time to time you’ll likely run into friction and even some tense moments. It’s not easy living with someone else, especially when it comes to different personalities and values, which are often the root of conflict — that and the actions, habits and quirks that each person has that can get on the other’s nerves.

Here’s how to prevent and resolve some of problems that may surface.

Be proactive

  • Set some ground rules at the very beginning and outline your expectations of one another. Divvy up the chores and talk openly about what annoys you in order for your roommate to understand where you’re coming from. You may also want to discuss what to share and not share in terms of groceries, household items and other belongings.
  • Keep common areas clean.
  • Recognize your similarities and differences. Embrace what you both have in common and also make note of the differences so that when a conflict occurs, you can try and emphasize with that person and understand exactly where they are coming from.
  • Be respectful of each other. Clean up after yourself and keep common areas clean. If your roommate is studying for a test or just having some quiet time, don’t blast loud music for hours on end or invite guests until 2 a.m.

 

Resolution

  • Do not ignore a problem and hope it goes away. It will create more problems in the long run.
  • When a conflict does arise, make a point at talking straight with one another. Be openly honest and list what the problem is and how you feel. Both parties should also try to imagine themselves in the other’s shoes.
  • Don’t involve others. It will only complicate matters, especially if the others choose sides.
  • If you’re angry about something, take time to cool off before you address your roommate. In the heat of the moment your emotions could get the best of you and create a hostile environment that isn’t conducive to solving problems. When you attack your roommate could go on the defense. Try to talk to your roommate the way you would want to be talked to.
  • Try and find a solution to the problem or a way to compromise.
  • Make a plan of action to carry out the solution.

 

Mediation

  • If you can’t find a solution between the two of you it may be best to bring in a neutral third party that can help listen to the problem and come up with a solution for both of you.
  • In some scenarios, it makes sense to talk to your landlord. He or she may be able to help mediate and come upon a solution the problem as well.

University and College Living: On Campus of Off?

To live on campus or to live off campus? It’s a classic debate many students across the world face as they enter various stages of their college careers. Check out our interactive infographic on which choice makes the most financial sense.

It’s a huge decision, and it’s not often an easy one. Choosing a living situation can greatly affect not just life as a student but quality of life overall. There are many reasons why living in a private residence off campus would be attractive, but what if it could be more conducive to your success?
Students studying outside together

As students mature during their college tenure, things that they might have found endearing may not be so great the following years. It might be worthwhile to align yourself with like-minded people who share the same values for accomplishing their degree of study.

Making the choice to live alone or to be responsible can seem daunting, especially if this is your first time out from under your parents’ roof.

Pros and Cons of the Choices

Living On Campus Pros & Cons

Living Off Campus Pros & Cons

Comfort vs. Convenience

What’s that old real-estate adage? Location, location, location. That’s one of the most common arguments for on-campus housing.

However, while planting yourself on campus seems like the obvious choice due to the convenience of being around everything, there are some things to consider that might make keeping campus at a distance seem a little more appealing.

Living on campus means living in the dormitories, or “the dorms,” as they’re called. Dorm rooms come in all shapes and sizes. Some are luxurious and can be even more comfortable than off-campus apartments. Some rival closets.

Depending on the school, you may be unable to choose which dorms you’re offered. Some schools give their best rooms to upperclassmen, meaning freshmen are relegated to the low-end rooms.

Due to the limited nature of on-campus housing, the same thing could happen. They may run out of space altogether, leaving you without an on-campus option.

When living off campus, you’ll be able to choose your own apartment rather than worry about what you might get assigned, allowing you to find a space that fits your lifestyle rather than having to work around a space that doesn’t.

Enjoying on Campus Lifestyle

If you like peace and quiet, the dorms may really shock you. Dorm walls are not famous for thickness, and if you get stuck with rowdy neighbors, you’ll be at their mercy.

Due to the size of dorms, you’ll usually be in close contact with whomever you room with, so you’ll have to make sure you love your roommate – if you even get to choose at all. During your stay in college, you will make a lot of friends and run across a lot of personalities. Be warned: Great friends don’t always make great roommates. If you choose wrong, you can watch a good relationship turn sour quickly.

Noisy Room mates Wreak Havoc on Sleep

Another disadvantage to dorms is sometimes you won’t even have your own bedroom, so make sure to buy some earplugs if your roommate snores. Even if you do have your own bedroom, you will be sharing a common area, and you will probably end up sharing your bathroom with someone else, a sure recipe for brewing a war between roommates.

That’s not even the biggest downside of dorm living. Universities even have additional rules for dormitories that are enforced, meaning less freedom over your own living space. Mt. Royal University, for example, has policies that prevent students from displaying messages in chalk on their windows or playing drinking games.

A customizable experience

Off-campus living is a solution to these problems. In addition to having more freedom to do as you please, you’ll be able to choose your roommates – something not always guaranteed with dorm living – and you’ll be able to choose how many you’ll have.

Once you’ve found a roommate or two you like and can live with, you can put your heads together to find the level of privacy you’ll be comfortable with. You’ll have the opportunity to make sure everyone has their own room and bathroom – or not, if that’s what you prefer.

One advantage of living in dorms might be the on-campus meal plans schools offer. If you are attracted to the idea of living on campus because you think you’ll be able to save money on food with your meal plan, keep in mind not all schools limit meal plans to students living on campus. Plus, preparing your own meals in your kitchen could very much lower your food expenses overall.

Also, even the location advantage of living in on-campus dorms is mitigated if you can find off-campus housing within walking distance of your classes.

The big upshot of off-campus housing is the experience is totally up to you. By shopping around online first, you can find a good living situation with relative ease.

And if you don’t like what you see, don’t sign the lease.

What about the cost?

Alright, so living off-campus might sound great and all, but isn’t it generally more expensive?

The short answer is yes.

However, there is no hard and fast rule for which option is going to save you more money because the answer depends entirely on a whole range of factors.

How many rooms and roommates will you have? What kind of area will you live in? What amenities will your place offer? Is it an apartment or a house?

These are just a few of the kinds of questions that determine the price of off-campus accommodations.

We calculated the average price for on-campus housing versus off-campus housing for 84 Canadian campuses, and we found that 70 percent of on-campus housing options were cheaper than the average price of off-campus housing in those areas.

While the dorms may be cheaper on average, in almost every city there will be off-campus housing available for cheaper than the dorm rooms. It just takes a little work to browse around for the best deals.

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Making the best choice for your lifestyle

While it may ultimately be less expensive to live on campus on average, the flexibility of off-campus housing allows you to find a bargain that fits the lifestyle you want, puts you with the people you want, and provides you with the amount of space you want.

Even if you do end up paying a little more to get the setup you desire, there are always 118 other ways to save money other than by shacking up in the dorms.
Graduating with your Roommates
Want to find resources for students or other ways to save money? Check out these articles:

Guide to Finding a Pet Friendly Apartment

Apartment hunting is tough – and can be even tougher if you are embarking on your search with a cat or dog as a roommate. While it is not legal in many parts of Canada for landlords to forbid pets, the fact is, landlords can choose to rent to someone else who is less forthcoming about being a pet owner. Lying about pet ownership is a bad idea, and will start you off on the wrong foot when seeking a new home. What can you do to maximize your chances of landing a great apartment along with your pets?

Finding a Pet Friendly Apartment

Don’t leave it until the last minute. Finding an apartment that is appropriate for both you and your pet will be much easier if you have time on your side. In addition to finding an apartment that accepts your pet, make sure you find somewhere with the appropriate amenities – for instance, a park within walking distance if you own a dog. We recommend giving yourself minimum 2 months to find an apartment with a pet when possible.

Be honest. Mentioning your pet doesn’t have to be the first thing out of your mouth (or in your Kijiji reply), but if you view an apartment, tell the landlord or property manager about your pet. Be sure to mention their good points (quiet, house trained, etc.).

Understand their reservations. Did they have a terrible prior tenant that trashed the place and had dogs? Are they concerned about people who don’t stop and scoop? Is noise the main sticking point? Talk to the owner about what it is that makes them hesitate. Don’t dismiss their concerns – from the perspective of a landlord, these are all legitimate issues that can be a huge pain for them to deal with. Let them know details about your pets and lifestyle that will help to alleviate their concerns. Do you work from home? Do you have a dog walker? Is your cat content to stick with their scratching post? All of these points can help dispel concerns and reassure them that you take getting along with management and neighbours, as well as being a responsible pet owner, seriously.

Talk up yourself, and your pet. If you can provide proof that you are a responsible pet owner, they may be willing to make an exception for you. Documents that prove your pet has been fixed (and thus calmer and less likely to spray or otherwise annoy neighbours), that you take your pets to the vet regularly (your vet likely has a form letter on file for this purpose), proof that you have taken your dog to a training class, reference letters from your current landlord that you are a responsible tenant and pet owner, and any other documents you might have can help paint a picture of you and your pet being a contributing community member. Make it clear that you will be responsible for your pet at all times – list behavhiours that you as a pet owner find unacceptable from other pet owners, and let them know you understand that not everyone wants to deal with another person’s animals. If possible, introduce them to your pet. Your prospective landlord might have a no dogs policy because they have a life long fear of German shepherds or dobermans. If you have a cuddly, unassuming Pomeranian, their reluctance might wane. Invite them to your current home to meet your pet and showcase how clean you keep your current unit. Take your dog for a professional groom and vacuum up any stray pet hair before hand. A well cared for and well behaved pet in a well cared for home will speak volumes.

Be prepared to get creative. If you are having trouble finding options using the pet friendly filter on Kijiji, consider asking your local humane society if they have a list of apartment buildings which are pet friendly, or reaching out to local real estate agents or property managers for suggestions on where to find an apartment in your budget.

While finding rentals that allow pets can be tough, the hard work pays off in the form of a happy home for ALL family members. Happy hunting!

Be the renter: How to create a great rental ad!

Renting out a house or apartment can be a difficult process for rental professionals let alone the average Jane or Joe with an empty basement. Renting an apartment out is a great way to make a few bucks to pay down that hefty mortgage or supplement your income but sometimes it’s hard to find quality tenants.
How to Create a Great Rental Ad
First things first, you need to get the word out there and what better way than to create a free ad on Kijiji that could be seen by millions of people. Here are some tips to help you generate interest in your rental ad:

Pictures, photos, images!

A picture is worth a thousand… dollars per month? Whatever you want to call them it’s extremely important to have photos on your ads. Ads with photos on average attract 10 times the views as ads without any photos. Try to add a range of photos, preferably at least one for each room. Don’t be shy about adding exterior photos or even a picture of a nearby park, shopping plaza or school to add context.

Your description: Search terms

Be the renter. Think about what you might search that would lead you to this ad. Would you look for a certain neighbourhood? Would you search a particular amenity ie. hardwood floors, balcony? These are these key search terms should be included in your title or beginning of your description in order to attract potential renters.

Speak to the renter

Finding a new home is an emotional decision. You are dealing with real people, not just a building and a dollar sign so remember that when creating your ad. Tell them how much the previous tenants have enjoyed the family friendly neighbourhood or student community and perhaps offer some estimates about walking distances to amenities, bus routes, cycling trails and the like. Potential renters already know their budget and what amenities they are seeking so make sure to offer something more in your ads, it’s the emotional attachment to the property that can make the difference.

Our Favorite Fall Vacation Rental Locations on Kijiji

Fall is a beautiful time to get away from the daily grind, and for some, it can be easier to get time off during the cool days of autumn than during the hot summer or winter. Though you may need some sweaters, there are many places to plan a beautiful and memorable getaway during the fall.

Cottage Vacation Rentals in Canada

Ontario. Get away to Lake Eerie & Pelee Island or Niagara region and enjoy a romantic wine tour, or travel to Muskoka and have a cozy time around the camp fire and canoeing before cottages are shut down for the season. Though you may not be able to work on your sun tan as during the summer months, the gorgeous fall foliage and cozy evening around the fire will more than make up for it.

British Columbia. Go for a walk along the ocean shoreline on Vancouver Island and enjoy the comparatively warm weather to the rest of the country, or fill your lungs with fresh mountain air and go hiking and fishing in the Kootenay Rockies.

The Maritimes. Eat fresh lobster by the seaside staying in a cottage on the Acadian Coast in New Brunswick, or hike in rugged Newfoundland and Labrador. Explore picturesque Lunenburg in Nova Scotia, or wiggle your toes in red sand and check out friendly Prince Edward Island.

Quebec. Get away from everything by renting a chalet in Mont Tremblant and going skiing, or party it up with friends in Montreal. Dreaming of a vacation in France? Quebec City has plenty of charm, no need to go overseas or update your passport.

Saskatchewan. Love to hunt or fish? Find a cabin in the land of the living skies to get away from the daily grind and reconnect with nature.

What is your favorite Canadian destination in the fall? Let us know in the comments!