“I work long hours to be able to pay for a house. I drive long distances to get to and from work. I barely do anything in my expensive house other than sleep and go back to work each day.”

“A caller on the Bill Good show this morning [29 July 2011, as recalled by E.G. at VREAA] was saying something to the effect of his being not sure why he bothers living in the Lower Mainland anymore:
Caller (Paraphrased): “I work long hours to be able to pay for a house. I drive long distances to get to and from work. I barely do anything in my expensive house other than sleep and go back to work each day. And on top of that (speaking about the upcoming additional gas tax) every time I turn around I’m being taxed for something else.”
Mr. Good: “I think that you’re speaking for thousands of people right now.”

When the speculative bubble deflates, as all bubbles inevitably do, these “thousands of people” will be in an even worse situation, as their “expensive homes” will be significantly less expensive, but they won’t be in a position to benefit from that. Their mortgages, workload, commutes, and taxes will all be just as onerous as before. And because our economy is so overdependent on RE, some will have the added burden of their employment and/or income being in jeopardy.
Can we imagine how demoralizing all that is going to be?
The misallocation of resources caused by speculative manias is deeply detrimental to a society, in so many different ways.
– vreaa

19 responses to ““I work long hours to be able to pay for a house. I drive long distances to get to and from work. I barely do anything in my expensive house other than sleep and go back to work each day.”

  1. 4SlicesofCheese

    I was at a wedding 2 weeks ago, sat at a table with a bunch of couples.

    One of the couples was chatty and asked everyone what they liked to do for fun. One replied well we have a mortgage so not much anymore, and that ignited a yeah everythings too expensive we used to go out and eat alot but not anymore, and said something along the line of “pay the mortgage… or eat”, in a joking fashion and everyone laughed and nodded and agreed.

    I was smart enough to smile and keep my mouth shut.

    • Home “owners” are the ruling class. Just ask Rusty. It’s normal for the ruling class to make difficult choices between food and shelter. We renters have no idea. 🙄

      • it’s called forced savings bubbly. Rather than blow their discretionary income on rent/toys/trips they’re paying more toward their future. They’re also likely raising their family in the home.
        In spite of the comments to the contrary renters here don’t have two dimes the rub together. This really is the difference in life between the successful and the failed…delayed gratification. It only takes a total of 20 years to reduce a life renter to third class status – the owner will always win this war.

      • Haha, rusty, you have no idea what you are talking about. I, as a renter have a lot more discretionary income than any home owner I know. I also have a lot more freedom. I am not forced to spend 2 to 3 hours every day commuting to and from work, I can move anywhere any time, I can go on more vacations than the average debt slave and I can (and do) invest in a variety of investments and not bet everything on one illiquid asset.

        70% of Canadians “own”, but only a small fraction of that can be described as wealthy. You never bothered to explain this “conundrum” and you can’t because you don’t know shit.

      • nobody you know

        “This really is the difference in life between the successful and the failed…delayed gratification. ”

        Truer words were never spoken. And that is why I delay the gratification of owning and choose to rent. The forced savings accrued by the money renters (aka “owners”) are far lower the retirement savings I build up with the money I save by renting.

        Hint: it’s not about owning or renting, it’s about retiring with an actual retirement fund. A house is just shelter.

      • “They’re also likely raising their family in the home.”

        As opposed to us renters who raise our children in the backyard with the chickens. 🙂

        Sorry, couldn’t stop myself from feeding the troll. Ack!

      • Rusty, housing should be no more then 30% of household income.

        Vancouver blew past that line a long, long time ago.

  2. After talking with this very situation with co-workers, it was suggested that people that find themselves upside down on a mortgage with significant money owing will just easily walk away from the mortgage by declaring bankruptcy. I am totally convinced that people in Canada are watching all the media revolving around bankruptcy in the States, and assuming that just like there, banks will be unable to force you from a home even though you are in default just because they can’t prove who actually holds the loan.
    I think if more people in Canada understood bankruptcy law, they would be a little more apprehensive about taking out large mortgages.

    • Very true. Or conversely we could become like Spain; no way out of bankruptcy — children become debt slaves because of our actions. Japan too I heard.

    • in many state in the US, you don’t have to declare bankruptcy to walk away from a home.

      • That’s right – mortgages in the US are non-recourse. This is not the case in Canada where you have a personal liability when you sign a mortgage – one can not just hand the bank the keys and walk away with just a blemished credit record. This is one of the reasons why Vancouver will burn a lot of middle class people who bought in the last five years and another reason to short Canadian financials.

  3. But at least he will leave something for his children: A nice house made from wood chips and glue, a big pile of debt and a dead corpse.

  4. thankfully, because of his sacrifice he can buy a home free and clear almost anywhere else in the world. I’m not feeling sorry for him one bit

    • Haha, you are making the same point that the bears are making – move somewhere else for a much better quality of life. If you own and have equity, then sell, buy elsewhere and live a better life. But most won’t do that, because they like to look at their paper gains until they disappear in a US style crash.

  5. pricedoutfornow

    “In spite of the comments to the contrary renters here don’t have two dimes the rub together.”

    Really? I would disagree. True, I know some renters who don’t have two dimes to rub together-and they do not hang around housing blogs because no matter what the house price, they will likely never own. Those of us who hang around here DO have some cash, we just don’t want to blow it all on overpriced housing. There are other investments in this world besides real estate, believe it or not. And I agree with bubbly, there is a lot of freedom in being a renter. Life’s good 🙂

  6. Back to the headline, it reigns true for people I know who moved out to the burbs’ to get a sfh etc, and spend long times commuting and little free time. I also have some friends who refuse to drive from vancouver to Maple Ridge, Abbotsford or Langley to visit people. They say it is too far and maybe go once a year if that. This day and age people almost need to live and work in the same community. gas prices, transit , taxes etc will only go up. If you can live in Vancouver, than hopefully you have some money left over to enjoy it. Many young families make the choice to stay in Vancouver and be forced into a condo or townhome or move to the burbs for the single family home.

  7. yltnboomerang

    My parents have always suggested I buy a home in “the valley” because it is more affordable. I’ve contested that if I have to move that far from Vancouver to afford, I might as well leave the lower mainland and move to calgary or the US; somewhere where buying actually may make sense over renting.

  8. Yep, that’s right yltnboomerang. Why bother, especially if you work in Vancouver. But that’s all you can afford because the pay is lower in vancouver. Remember it’s the best place on earth. Ski in the morning and golf in the afternoon. Maybe we should also blame HGTV for some of the housing hype going on. Everyone wants the latest trends, best location, blah blah blah. Calgary is similar in some ways in that you almost need to live close to where you work because the city is so spread out, but at least you can have a nice home for a reasonable amount.

    • Vancouver has a hopeless transportation infrastructure unlike Calgary which has continued to expand to serve it’s huge geographic size. It helps that gasoline in Calgary is 20% cheaper than Vancouver.

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