A Gentle Bull: “Maybe I’m just trying to reassure myself that it’s OK to own a very small piece of paradise, as I do.”

This from MikeOnTheMic at greaterfool.ca 23 Jan 2010 1:47 pm

“As a life-long Vancouverite, I agree that RE prices here are not realistic. When would you all think that we started to exceed realistic prices? In the early 2000’s? Anyways, I’m hoping that we get back to realistic RE pricing at some point over the next few years. Maybe with what’s going on in the markets this past week we will see the start of a return to RE sanity soon.

On the other hand, I am a bit puzzled by the consistently pejorative terms and connotations I often read here [greaterfool.ca] when it comes to describing Vancouver and the implication that RE ownership here is crazy (current unrealistic prices notwithstanding). It was 15C and sunny here yesterday. The cherry blossoms are starting to come out, as they usually do on the West Coast at this time of the year. You can start your day-off driving 20 minutes out of town to go snowboarding all morning and then grab lunch on the way to the beach and windsurf / kitesurf all afternoon.

I have a neighbor who works in Korea full time so that his wife and kids can live here. He visits twice a year for a week at a time. He says that it is a dream for him to have his family live here because his kids’ prospects are so much better. This is not uncommon.

I grew up here and lived through the 1980’s influx of families from SE Asia, many of whom were able to purchase expensive RE. Having travelled to many places in Asia and experiencing first-hand the quality of life in that part of the world, it is no surprise to me that people are still flocking to our shores. As their economies improve, the upwardly mobile should increase in number and many will likely look to follow their emigrated friends and family.

I’ve lived on the East Coast through brutal winters and snow / ice storms through until May-June. A lot of people I knew out there were either dreaming about or planning to move out West at some point.

I’ve had friends visit from Europe who can’t believe the relatively low cost of living here when it comes to basic things like groceries, gas, utilities, etc…

Some posters here have compared Vancouver / Victoria lifestyle / RE / economic issues with those in the SF Bay area – fair enough – but we’ve got free health care and less random crime (OK – crime in Vancouver is a problem, but have you been to Oakland?).

Aside from stupid RE prices right now, I guess one other downside is the earthquake risk here, but if anyone is really worried about that, you could always bury a school bus and use it as an underground bünkerhaus. Not much of a view, but you might get some geothermal heat for free :)

Maybe I’m just trying to reassure myself that it’s OK to own a very small piece of paradise here, as I do. I agree that there is a huge need for folks to ponder the emotion that colours these considerations. Thanks to your advice Garth, I’ll try to ensure that my RE risk is not at foolish levels. Maybe I’m just a local guy who loves living here and thinks that the place gets a bit of a raw deal on this blog, all b/c RE is currently over-priced. But hey, don’t you know that it rains all the time in Vancouver? Who would want to live there anyway? Peace.”

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