The “if you complain so much about this place, why don’t you leave?” cries have reached another wave of high intensity on local RE blogs. The couple in this eloquent anecdote demonstrate how it is not inconsistent to both love Vancouver and, at the same time, harbour misgivings about the obscenely overvalued RE market & its deleterious effects on our society. -vreaa
Royce McCutcheon at vancouvercondo.info 20 Aug 2010 12:13 pm -
“My wife and I – both in health research – have decided to have a crack at setting up here because we felt it was somewhat worth taking a professional hit in order to 1) have closeness to people we care about and 2) to stay in Canada and, especially, in an area where we grew up. We’re here because we are Lower Mainlanders. I don’t mean that in the sense that we’re straight out of a leaky-shoebox-lovin’ condo ad, stacking fresh-cut flowers in the front basket of our mint Vespa scooter. I mean it in the sense that we are actually OF this place. For better or worse, this place will always be HOME. I learned how to ride a bike when I lived in family housing at UBC, I grew up listening to Robson & Larscheid call Canucks games, I’ve enjoyed everything from Expo 86 to the celebration of the recent hockey gold, and my heroes are people like Terry Fox and Doug Coupland. My wife has similar bona fides. We’ve spent time in dozens of countries between us and we return here because it is in our blood.
But even with us personally loving it here, we reserve the right to mock the “best place on earth” tag. Just because WE are acclimated to the craggy beaches, hefty rainfall, and lack of cultural and industrial infrastructure, doesn’t mean we’re incapable of seeing the insanity of pricing our real estate way ABOVE places like Hawaii, NY, etc. We know that outsiders who don’t have Vancouver in their blood are unlikely to feel like we do, so we think the hype is reprehensible. And even though we personally are not in the real estate market, we can’t simply ignore real estate in the Lower Mainland. Why? Because it’s clear that this incredibly delusional and out-of-whack market has the ability to impact the majority of people in this region (not just those who invested directly in real estate)! THAT is why we express anger and frustration and why we deride this place. The vitriol you’re witnessing towards Vancouver – and Lower Mainland real estate in particular – is a symptom of the Cassandra complex that’s developed in people in this city who can think rationally. We see the HUGE amount of misallocated effort and money wrapped up in this market and we see the hurt that’s coming down the road, yet we’re pretty much powerless to affect the situation. Some of us may personally benefit from a massive correction and are gleeful, sure. (There’s a very decent chance that my wife and I will benefit hugely in the time ahead – and even if a correction takes a long time, we love where we rent.) But if things get bad enough, many might also have to leave (for us, research funding has already started to be cut BEFORE a massive correction has occurred). And we take no pleasure in seeing people we care about – or the city we love – struggling to move forward.
So, regarding why we stay here even after ‘grass is greener’ comments, it comes down to simple personal math: [(Being ‘of’ the Lower Mainland) – (Poorer work circumstances)] > [Better working circumstances somewhere else]. Some days the equation flips. Once that happens enough times, we’re gone. Till then, most negative comments are just blowing off steam in an obviously frustrating situation.”