The sad reality of the current real estate market in Canada is that renting is the new owning. The fact of the matter is that the Canadian real estate market may be booming, but that's really only good for people who can actually afford to buy a house in most parts of the country.
What makes things worse is that rental prices in Canada, particularly in large cities like Vancouver and Toronto, will continue to rise due to more demand.
However, one Alberta resident has found a novel way of letting someone have space in their home while allowing them to save some money: they let a woman rent a spare room in exchange for doing household chores.
It may be unconventional, but apparently, it's working out well for both parties.
The decision has prompted plenty of replies on Reddit. Some people look at the situation as a good opportunity, others see it as kind of odd, and some think that it just flat out doesn't work at all.
The Alberta resident, who wishes to go by their Reddit username, Benilla, described the situation to Narcity, "We get along great! I think the bumpy spots were miscommunications mostly. Since this was our first go at this arrangement I think we failed to communicate expectations effectively. We knew this was going to happen so we prepared her for it and made sure she understood that this was going to be a work in progress."
Those who look at the arrangement as a good opportunity for both parties said that it's a novel approach to circumventing housing costs.
Other people weren't so complimentary, however. There were plenty of replies that compared the arrangement to modern servitude. They also pointed out the class division this kind of living arrangement exemplifies.
In response to these reactions, Benilla told Narcity, "At first, I thought it was hilarious but the more I thought about it, the more problematic I felt the comparisons were. I'm at the point where I think it's disrespectful to the history of slavery and to people who were slaves to make that comparison. But it's the internet and people say wild things."
Some users pointed out a few sticking points in the arrangement that would make it a bit less than legal.
There were also plenty of responses where people shared how they were also in similar arrangements, and how it actually worked out for everyone.
The system may not be perfect, and at times it was probably frustrating (as noted in the original post when the user suggested there were "bumpy spots"), but by all accounts, it seems like everyone is happy.
"I think most people value rental income more so than time saved," Benilla told Narcity. "Interviewing people was different though because you're focused more on the person's work ethic/habits/personality as opposed to their ability to pay rent. I feel like we found a much better match this way."
Is this the ideal situation for young Canadians looking to buy property? Maybe, and maybe not, but it definitely shows that young people are starting to think outside the box when it comes to saving money for the future and helping other people do the same.