“I recently left Vancouver with my family, we sold our house and moved to the island. If we had stayed we would have had a mortgage for 20 more years, pouring all our extra money and time into our house.”

“I recently left Vancouver with my family, we sold our house (Feb 2012) and moved to the island. We were in Vancouver for 11 years and both our kids were born there. We traded our large mortgage on our old house (we did a ton of work on it but it still needed about a 200k reno on it) for a brand new house with a mortgage that will be paid off in one year (it also has a rental suite). You would not believe the amount of stress that has been removed from our life. There is no more stress as what would happen if one of us lost our job or don’t make bonus one year. My wife and I will be 42 and mortgage free, time to travel with our kids, save for retirement and RESP’s. If we had stayed in Vancouver we would have had a mortgage for 20 more years, pouring all our extra money and time into our house just so that we can live in Vancouver? Its just not worth having that debt hanging over our head for the next 20 years just to live in Vancouver, Vancouver isn’t that great. I don’t get why someone who has 1 million to 2 million in equity (paper equity???) would not sell and leave Vancouver. I understand for some people its not possible, but take a look around the rest of the world, real estate does not always go up, and no its not different in Vancouver. People work their whole lives and don’t make that kind of money especially after tax. You could put that amount of money in a diversified portfolio of dividend stocks and make $50,000 a year in income or more. Take the money and run… run away and live a life with less stress, more travel, discretionary income and a more secure future. Just my two cents worth, but its coming from someone who has done it and has never been happier. If one day I begin to miss what Vancouver has to offer I will go over for a weekend and stay at the Pan Pacific…guess what I can afford it now!!!”
‘debt free = stress free’ at VREAA 5 Jun 2012 9:59am

10 responses to ““I recently left Vancouver with my family, we sold our house and moved to the island. If we had stayed we would have had a mortgage for 20 more years, pouring all our extra money and time into our house.”

  1. “People work their whole lives and don’t make that kind of money…”

    But they’re *paying* that kind of money, somehow.

  2. pricedoutfornow

    Great anecdote. I think if RE doesn’t crash we will be out of here in ten years (that’s my timeline due to family reasons which I won’t get into here). We’ll go to the interior where I grew up, and will likely also be mortgage free by 50.

  3. I hope you factored rent into your retirement costs.

  4. Not on the boat.

    We sold this last December. Have not moved out of Vancouver, yet. Will stick around for a couple years and see what happens. We lucked out and walked away with just shy of 2m free and clear in the seven years we owned on the west side. I thought we were being punked.

  5. West Side Survivor

    We sold last year in Kits, making a huge profit. Happily renting in a bigger, better house now. Watching the market and waiting for things to calm down so if the time comes, we can make a move on another house on the west side. But I won’t do it until I see a serious correction in housing prices. I still can’t believe we sold our house for what we did! (nearly triple what I bought it for in 2006) I was born in this city, and agree it’s an amazing place. But one trip to New York, London, Paris, etc and you’ll see what a real world class city is.

    Vancouver IS a fantastic city, but it’s smallish and the weather stinks. We all get excited when the sun comes out and it warms up – when it does – Vancovuer is the most beautiful city in the world. But those amazing days are in the minority (and I know – I’ve lived here all my life)

    If you are the sort that spends a LOT of time on the water, skiing local hills and enjoying the natural surroundings, and can afford it – it’s the perfect place. But most people I know only do those things occaisionally, and stress out about their daily existence of bills, mortgage, taxes and general costs of living. You can’t spend every weekend at whistler when you’re worried about paying all you bills.

    I cannot agree more with the amount of stress relief you get by having no debt, a pile of money in the bank and the freedom to make life changes if needed/desired.
    Good for you Debt Free – I’m totally agree.

    • But you left the next 5 years’ 200% increase on the table or so I keep hearing from the Vancouver RE bulls!

      Apparently, buying RE is the one of only a few ways to make a decent living in that city. Now that even HAM can’t afford the city, I can’t imagine how bad the economy will get there.

    • What’s wrong with you people?!? STAY INVESTED LOL

  6. A bit off topic but there is a terrific write up on the Canadian RE bubble on Dr Housing Bubble blog that is definitely worth reading:

    http://www.doctorhousingbubble.com/canadian-housing-prices-canada-housing-real-estate-bubblereach-apex-set-for-deep-fall-foreign-money-speculation-housing-debt/#comment-205138

    The article pulls no punches and paints a pretty grim picture for Canada in the not so distant future. What I found particularly interesting, and something that has received little or no attention on Canadian blog sites (as far as I know), is the buying and selling of “rights” to Canadian properties by (mostly?) foreigners. This process, if true, takes RE speculation to a whole new level, as it appears to bypasses the whole RE transaction process involving agent fees and property transfer taxes, etc. I’m not sure who gets left holding the bag when the market tanks but it would not surprise me if it were the taxpayer, thanks to lax and/or poorly regulated gov’t policy.

    • That is mostly from the Dianne Francis piece in the national post. Presales are trading rights, who knows what the regulation is.

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