“I live in Calgary and work for a Vancouver based company. I refused a promotion involving a move to Vancouver because of the cost of housing.”

“I live in Calgary but work for a Vancouver based company and refused a promotion involving a move to Vancouver for this very reason… This was the only reason I refused the promotion… Cost of housing = reduced standard of living.”
– ajau at city-data.com/forum/vancouver  5 Jun 2011  [hat-tip Polly]

14 responses to ““I live in Calgary and work for a Vancouver based company. I refused a promotion involving a move to Vancouver because of the cost of housing.”

  1. I live in Vancouver and work for a multi-national with an office in Calgary as well. I declined a promotion involving a move to Calgary because it would mean giving up our 1 car lifestyle and fantastic rental condo on the seawall, trading in a temperate climate (albeit rainy) for cold snowy winters, and longer commutes to the outdoor activities we enjoy outside of the city. I’m a regular reader of this blog and do believe housing prices are ridiculous here and wouldn’t buy even if I had the means. But despite having lots of options to move, for some reason we haven’t yet. Also had an opportunity come up in Toronto which I didn’t take either. And I have previously lived in both those cities so have a pretty good idea of what they would have to offer.

    • Thanks, alter. A valid perspective, and one we’ll headline.
      (Most of us reading here live in Vancouver, and most of us choose to do so, “for some reason”. It’s a good city, as you imply, even though home purchase prices are indeed “ridiculous”).

  2. I declined a move to Alberta and paid twice as much for my house here in Vancouver. Why? I thought the cost for an Alberta home was too high even though it was 50% less than Vancouver. You get what you pay for. If owning a home is the only thing you care about and can’t afford it here then move

    • Yeah -it is too high for fundamentals. I suspect Alberta is in a bubble. I wouldn’t be surprised if some Calgary houses end up droping 20-40% in the next five years.

  3. “I thought the cost for an Alberta home was too high even though it was 50% less than Vancouver” ??!! Can you explain that Jai. There are lots of great neighborhoods in Calgary, and you actually get to know your neighbors unlike people in vancouver I know who don’t know who lives around them. I think Calgary is good value, with bungalows similar to what you would get in the Oakridge, Cambie area that sell for 500-600 K in a very nice area with good schools, and a 10 minute drive downtown. Also Calgary has a better job market. I meet many people, and hear of many people who can’t find work in their field in Vancouver. Calgary’s jobs pay more and people want to utilize their university degree instead of staying in Vancouver and not being able to work in your field. I know of a guy who retired early and went to vancouver and came back to calgary after this winter because he said it was too depressing. Calgary has its problems but there are many people from all over Canada coming here for jobs and a better standard of living.

    • Some people just can’t handle it. I came to like Calgary after I was there for two years. Edmonton is nice too, especially the people. I found Alberta to be quite refreshing, but my first impression was “it’s cold”. I was a BC baby 🙂 I got out of there when truck nuts started showing up.

      • lol!!

        my buddy and i did our hydrogen sulfide courses for rig work in AB – i pussied out and never went – when he came back after 14 months i asked him what alberta was like these days, as i haven’t been back to calgary in maybe nearly 20 years? anyways as i said this, a large jacked up red dodge ram drove by, and he pointed to it and said:

        “THAT’S alberta.”

        for the record, i love trucks, just only toyotas and rovers 😉

      • Rovers! Egads. That’s so…


        What you want, DerpDerp… is a Tatra!*


        *Illustration may include optional ‘extras’ available at additional cost.

    • The question is: Can buyers afford those 600K houses if interest rates go up, say, 2 percentage points?

      Paying more then half a mil. for a house is a lot of $$$. Who says that house can’t drop 15% – 20%? It’s fine to buy that house if you’re going to live there for more then 7 years and the house is not more then 3 time income — but I’m seeing people get in only because they can get a variable rate at less then 3%.

      And: growth in Canada is slow, Americans are buying less oil, natural gas prices aren’t coming up for many, many years (revolutionary technology means there’s lots of reserves for frakking.)

      That said: considering average salaries and hosue prices — a buyer is less likely to be over-extended in Calgary then in Vancouver.

      • Median home prices in Calgary are no where near 600K – its 423K. You can buy fixer-upper with good bones on a double lot half hour walk to downtown for under 400K. I you want to commute 50% less than average commute times in Vancouver, you can buy new for well under 400K. Calgary is still less expensive than Abbotsford and rents are up 20% since home prices peaked backed in 2007 and remain down by 20% . Average salaries in Calgary are high enough that the average smart person 5 years out of school can buy a single family dwelling with 25% down. That’s the story for almost every tenant I’ve had for the past 10 years. This wasn’t even the case for Vancouver pre -2000. Historically, mortgage rates are of very little consequence to the Calgary RE market since the average person only spends 30% of their income on housing. Interprovincial migration and energy prices are what moves prices in Calgary just as overseas money moves prices in Vancouver. People don’t bring bags of cash when they move to Calgary – they earn their money locally by working in their chosen trade/profession. The other major difference to Vancouver is that Calgary’s economy doesn’t depend on real estate speculation as it’s a business city – not a resort town.

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