“I am 36, an IT consultant, and my wife, 34, is a teacher. Combined we make 140k/yr. We live in Cloverdale. You have to make sacrifices in life. It’s not unusual to have to make these tradeoffs in a large city.”

“I am 36 and an IT consultant and my wife is 34 and a teacher. Combined we make 140k/yr. We bring home roughly 7k/mo and our mortgage payment is $1200/mo. We live in Cloverdale.
Instead of buying up more and more house for myself, I put $1500/mo into my RRSP’s and another $200/mo in my kids’ RESP’s.
And if it wasn’t for the daycare costs (to the tune of $1200/mo), we’d be doing even better. I have no car payments btw either as both my cars are currently paid off as is my motorcycle.
You have to make sacrifices in life – live in an East Van condo or live in Langley. You can get a nice place in Langley for under 500k. But you’ll spend a lot of time commuting.
It’s not unusual to have to make those tradeoffs in a large city.”

– rainman_104 at reddit.com discussion of ‘Going Going Gone’, 13 Oct 2011

It’s common in Vancouver that, when owners are advising prospective buyers, they talk of ‘sacrifice’.
But there are different kinds of ‘sacrifice’: the ‘sacrifice’ that comes with austerity and prudence, which is admirable, and the ‘sacrifice’ of accepting very poor value, which is foolishness.
– vreaa

17 responses to ““I am 36, an IT consultant, and my wife, 34, is a teacher. Combined we make 140k/yr. We live in Cloverdale. You have to make sacrifices in life. It’s not unusual to have to make these tradeoffs in a large city.”

  1. Yeah, you do have to make trade-offs in a large city, but nowhere are those trade-offs as lopsided as in Vancouver.

  2. And…. $140k/year in cloverdale is FAR above what the average declared family income is there. How do you like those pot-busting helicopters buzzing overhead daily?

    Oh… and then there’s the fact that 140k is 2x the average family income for the region. Yeah, good luck with the cultural mecca that is Cloverdale!

  3. nobody you know

    Want to live in Vancouver? Just make twice as much as everyone else, sacrifice and move to Cloverdale. Easy!

    I was never fortunate enough to buy in the first place so instead of kicking myself for missed opportunities I can only sit in awe of the madness. Yesterday it was Kamal and Raman with the “an iron grip on their spending” (not counting that one time they borrowed half a million dollars for a house they’re forced to share with a stranger). The day before it was the young woman who couldn’t wait to take out a mortgage so she could enjoy the “freedom in being debt-free”.

    This is great stuff. Really world class performance art. Unspoofable.

  4. A better sacrifice would be to rent and suffer the derision directed at you by your peers. Think of all the extra investment capital that could be freed up if this family decided to go that route.

    BTW, I live in a townhouse in Mississauga and this guy pays more for daycare than I do in rent.

  5. Royce McCutcheon

    From the IT interviewee: “It’s not unusual to have to make those tradeoffs in a large city.”

    Yes, it is. The scenario this dude is describing is off-the-charts unusual.

    There is the primary, most baffling point of disconnection. The single biggest challenge facing many people here RE: having perspective on Vancouver real estate is the total lack of understanding about situations elsewhere. Hordes of Lower Mainlanders simply have no clue about house prices, salaries, commute times (and commute infrastructure), etc. in other Canadian and American cities.

    I’ve talked about interest rates/CMHC manipulation, local price-to-rent ratios, etc. with friends/family and it’s often been met by skepticism. Where I’ve made progress in changing people’s opinions on Vancouver real estate is by showing these same people what even 500k gets you in almost any other Canadian or American market.

    • “Hordes of Lower Mainlanders simply have no clue about house prices, salaries, commute times (and commute infrastructure), etc. in other Canadian and American cities.”

      And the few who do have a slight clue give you a confused look when you extoll such virtues of “elsewhere,” and then ask… “but don’t you get snow there?”

  6. These people need to watch shows like House Hunter more because geez…at $140K/yr, you can buy yourself a mansion in 75%+ of US markets and have shorter commute time, better living/parks/communities/etc. Seriously, @ $140K/yr, you shouldn’t really be talking about makign sacrifices to live in a big city that’s not a tier 1 city like Tokyo, New York, Paris, London, etc.

    For the record, Cloverdale is not a big city! If you are living in Cloverdale, you aren’t living in a big city! I guess the irony is lost on these people.

  7. if you’re living in vancouver you’re not living in a big city, more like an oversized town or village

  8. Im suspect about his alleged combined salary

  9. Teacher salary rankings: http://www.bctf.ca/BargainingAndContracts.aspx?id=23599
    So if she makes $74,000/yr, then he would make $66,000/yr, which is low for an IT consultant.

    • teachers don’t make that much, I know teachers and IT folks

      • I posted their own source, but I understand that this is a maximun for a certain category (the one where most teachers are).
        But even is she makes $20k less than the maximum – $54,000/yr, then the IT Consultant would have to make $86,000/yr. That sounds very realistic. Many consultants make more than that.

  10. Royce McCutcheon

    Would be interesting to know the commuting situation for this couple. If she teaches in Langley and he works from home, that could have a pretty large impact on their choice. The prospect of driving daily from Cloverdale to where I work fills me with… what’s the fully polar opposite of complete satisfaction and happiness?

  11. at 36 and 34 I’m guessing you’ve had these high paying jobs for a while now. So why didn’t you and your wife buy when the market dropped in 2008? I bet you could have bought a nice detached home for <600K

  12. cuz they only wanna pay $200k for it.

  13. Nothing to be proud of here. Vancouver has ridiculously low salaries such that if the couple were in any other north American metropolitan they could be pulling in at least $160k. Combine that with lower house prices in other NA cities and this people would be living in the premier suburb of whatever city they choose. I am talking the Shaugnessy/British Properties/W.Point Grey of that city. And they will still be left with plenty of change for nice toys.

    Also, they are a very mobile couple. With their professions they qualify for NAFTA TN visas to the states. For the price of their cloverdale home they could buy a 4000sqf home, with a triple garage, subzero-wolf appliances in any major US city. They could even get one in a golf themed gated community in the warm American sunbelt. Instead, they chose Cloverdale. A suburb like Oakville in the GTA would have been miles ahead of Cloverdale. If they really feel that they love the pacific north climate then Seattle would have offered them the same house for at least a 3rd of what they paid here. I guess a case of more money than sense.

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