Helping Frustrated Renters Become HAPPY Homeowners

Seven years ago I met Nick on my Southern African trip. He was an Aussie, perhaps in his late twenties. He’d already been back-packing his way around the world for the better part of a year. Me? On a short, pre-packaged tour.

He was one of the younger members of our group, I the oldest. I was also the only North American, along with six Germans, four Irish, four Brits, four Aussies and one New Zealander. For 21 days we camped and travelled together, visiting sites from Capetown to Victoria Falls.
 
Despite our contrasts, Nick and I hit it off—as I did with most members of the group. That’s what tends to happen when you travel together, all with similar goals.

He was one of the younger members of our group, I the oldest. I was also the only North American, along with six Germans, four Irish, four Brits, four Aussies and one New Zealander. For 21 days we camped and travelled together, visiting sites from Capetown to Victoria Falls.
 
Despite our contrasts, Nick and I hit it off—as I did with most members of the group. That’s what tends to happen when you travel together, all with similar goals.
 
My next international adventure, two years later, led me to Vietnam. Somehow, Nick and I discovered that we would both be in Hanoi on the same day. Coincidentally, it was also his first international venture after the Africa trip.
 

So, he and I, and his then girlfriend met in a Hanoi hotel, for a great hour or two of reconnecting.
 
Last Fall, now five years later, I get this email from Nick. He and his now wife are coming to Canada on a one-year work permit. “Where do you live in Canada?” he asked.
 
I told him near Vancouver which, he enthused, was the City at the top of their list, given Canada’s diverse climate. The planned move was to be in our Spring, timed to match our improving weather.

So, it came about that yesterday (as I write this) a friend and I had lunch with Nick and Eva in a Granville Island restaurant. They’ve already been here for six weeks.
 
We talked about the many things to do and see in Vancouver and area, and further afield, as well. Turns out, they’ve already done many of them. And they’ve done a lot of research, and have a lot of big plans for taking in everything possible in this year. They’re counting the number of weekends between now and the end of the year, hoping there are enough.
 
There wasn’t really a lot new that we could introduce them to, except to confirm their expectations and perhaps advise with a little of the logistics of life in this area.
 
There were even things they informed us about.
 
Isn’t that the way it so often goes? It takes visitors to a region to identify and appreciate the many wonderful options we have. We so often fail to appreciate that with which we’re too familiar!
 
Have I visited all the museums, galleries and other attractions in the Fraser Valley? Do I even know where to send visitors when they show up in our community?

When we lived in Winnipeg, did we ever visit the Canadian Mint? No. It was only after we went back there for a visit two years later, that we went and visited that noteworthy site.
 
When we were in Peru last month, my son and I mused about the dearth of few Peruvians visiting Machu Picchu. Do they appreciate what the rest of the world does? Do the Egyptians say “ho, hum” when they pass by the pyramids? Do the Aussies marvel when a kangaroo crosses their path?
 
When I saw big birds in the Amazon jungle or the flamingos of the Bolivian altoplano, did I snap pictures? Of course! But do I care if there are a thousand bigger Canada Geese in the ponds around the Fraser Valley? If a visitor came over from some other part of the world, would they be awed by the Canada Geese, or the Mallard Ducks, or the Blue Herons? That’s one thing I’ve been wondering on my morning walks around Mill Lake.
 
Let me reiterate: We so often fail to appreciate that with which we’re too familiar!
 
It’s often only when we begin to see things through the eyes of a foreigner that those eyes become big enough to recognize the attractions of our own surroundings.
 
At least, that’s how I see it. . .

Rent 2 Own tip
Rent to own is a good option if you are being forced from your home because your landlord has decided to sell. If you are in a reasonable position to take on a rent 2 own scenario, then why not consider having us buy the home from your landlord, instead of having him/her list it on the open market. We might actually get it under-priced because there won’t be any real estate fees. And, if your landlord likes you, he may also be inclined to facilitate your buying of the property. Isn’t it at least worth a try?

Quote of the Week:
 

Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more.

If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough

– Oprah Winfrey