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Life at University

January 9, 2013

I have been searching for a topic for my first official real estate blog, and, thanks to my daughter’s next big challenge I think I’ve got one!

Our oldest daughter is starting her second semester at Queen’s University.  Last summer she registered her preferences for a spot in residence on campus and we sat back and waited for her assignment.  She is sharing a room with another girl and we’ve spent the last four months listening to the pros and cons of living in a co-ed residence full of first year students.  The young men in the surrounding rooms love to party.  The tiny washrooms down the hall are often deemed toxic due to various things that don’t belong in this blog. The students can’t control the heat, have terrible overhead lighting, and have to trust that each other remembers to lock the door when they leave.

On the plus side, she is just minutes away from her classes, various cafeterias, an awesome athletics wing and her part time job at the pool.  There is a fabulous security program that encourages students to call for an escort home if it’s late and they feel the need.

But, all good things must come to an end.  This is January and the hunt is on for real housing.  Our daughter has found three other students that are roommate-worthy and now the hunt is on for a home to rent for the coming year. Katie, our daughter, is very independent and studious and isn’t afraid to take on new challenges.  Of the four girls, only one has a parent who lives in Kingston.  This means the girls are pretty much on their own to hunt for and secure acceptable housing.  Katie has shared with us that they have booked a few showings of homes.  They saw one last night and she ‘Facetime’d me to tell me all about it.

I’ve been in real estate in Barrie, On for about nine years and am familiar with many aspects of renters and rental homes.  It made me smile last night when Katie told me how the four girls were drawing up lists of their ‘wants’ and ‘needs’ in their new home.  They are all discussing what type of home they are looking for and making sure everyone is on the same page so there are no surprises. Then Katie asked me for my professional opinion about what they should be looking at during the showings.

Then it hit me.  My daughter would no longer be renting a tiny piece of a room in a dorm.  My daughter was about to pick a home and sign a rental agreement! I explained to her that it would be a wise idea to run the taps in the kitchen and the bathroom, run the water in the shower.  Listen for noise, watch the water pressure.  I also told her they should open up the cupboards in the kitchen and bathroom.   Have a look for mouse droppings or anything else that didn’t look clean.  We also discussed security, distance from campus, and accessibility to public transit.  Only one of them will have a car and their safety is still a big issue.

This is a big step these girls are taking and I am sure it will be a learning experience.  I’ll update you on what they choose and how the process plays out in the coming months. First, I have to accept the fact that I have a daughter old enough to be taking on these new challenges!


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