“We’ve previously felt tied to Vancouver because of my six-figure salary, but lately we decided that we might just move anyway. Given the cheaper housing elsewhere, it might pay to take a pay cut.”

“It’s nice to see prices finally dropping, but at this point my wife and I don’t give a rats. We’ve decided to keep renting and stay mobile regardless of further drops.
We’ve previously felt tied to Vancouver because of my six-figure salary, but lately we decided that we might just move anyway. Given the cheaper housing elsewhere, it might pay to take a pay cut and live somewhere where it doesn’t rain most of the time. It won’t happen for a year or two until we get all our ducks in order, but we’re no longer committed to living in a sub-arctic rainforest. Life’s short, money isn’t everything, and there’s better places to live.”

betamax at greaterfool.ca 16 Feb 2013 5:43am

46 responses to ““We’ve previously felt tied to Vancouver because of my six-figure salary, but lately we decided that we might just move anyway. Given the cheaper housing elsewhere, it might pay to take a pay cut.”

  1. My goodness, is this coming up a lot recently amongst *bearish* friends. I find that so interesting: that part of the turning is almost that people are watching the top come in and thinking – is it worth it anyway? Even if it drops, is this REALLY where I want to be?

    I work with young families these days, and in every new batch, at least half are planning to leave the Lower Mainland within two years. If this actually turns out, there will be a whole lotta leavin’ goin’ on of people in their late twenties, early thirties.

    • Just tell them not to come here. The last thing we need is a zillion soggy Vancouverite economic refugees on our doorstep.

      • Sad. We will be losing people who would contribute to society and economy and in return the people who leach off the system come here for the weather, better healthcare and welfare

      • Don’t worry. Must of them will be underwater on their mortgage(s) and therefore immobile.

  2. pricedoutfornow

    I can understand this sentiment, the high housing prices make you think twice about the cost of living in the lower mainland. It’s not just that housing prices are high, it’s also the rain, it’s also the somewhat low paying jobs (could be more elsewhere,as far as I know, Vancouver is not known for paying top salaries) …and then one starts looking around and realizes that life overall could be better elsewhere. Also one looks at the quality of housing available in Vancouver and feels kind of depressed….some of these houses I wouldn’t even buy if they were 75% off the cost! I’m not even sure we will buy if (when) prices crash, might just stick it out here till retirement then take off with the savings from renting all these years.

    • QUOTE = “Also one looks at the quality of housing available in Vancouver and feels kind of depressed….some of these houses I wouldn’t even buy if they were 75% off the cost! ”

      Hear hear!

      People forget that although it’s neato and dandy to have funky location, you spend most of your non-working hours *inside* and not outside your house. It’s where you sleep, cook, eat, raise your children, keep your stuff, watch TV, and have sex. These are a lot of the things that we buy houses to enable, and buying a crappy house reduces the quality of these activities.

      A soggy, run-down dump of a bungalow with 57 coats of paint on the trim inside and beaten old floors and a poor layout and no storage space and no garage may be tolerable because it’s in Kitsilano, but that does not make life inside it *good*.

      I know a dump when I see one, and Vancouver has to have the highest concentration of paper millionaires living in student-ghetto-grade repainted teardowns (or miniature concrete shoeboxes) that I’ve ever seen.

      • Kits has one of the highest infidelity rates according to the website that help people have affairs. Maybe these paper millionaires are so stressed about their over price piece of shoddy shit that they need some good feeling, excitement and stress relief from an affair

      • Ralph Cramdown

        Is the sex really better in nicer houses? I’d have thought realtors would have stressed that. Maybe it’s a subtext that I missed.

  3. Good… go…i’ll bet they’ll be back in a few when they realize that this may not be The BPOE, but it’s still livable, compared to the rest of the world. Sure we have our problems, but for goodness sakes look around at the rest of the world…it’s a s**t hole!!

    • Have you traveled much in your life?

    • Real Estate Tsunami

      Myopic garbage.

    • Real Estate Tsunami

      Please tell us all the dump you visited.
      Really, I’m interested.

    • C’mon, kids. Doesn’t a place with seriously above average housing prices without commensurate wages imply a fair number of people who think “BPOE for me, or good enough, anyway”? Here’s one in the wild.

      • It might not be the bpoe but its still the best place in Canada. And Canada is one of the best countries in the world to live in. Im guessing you were born here, because if you weren’t you would appreciate how lucky you are to live in a democracy with universal health care. There are more important things than money and sunny weather my friend.

      • Ralph Cramdown

        I wasn’t being sarcastic (for once). I may make my home in the BigSmoke, but I spend enough time in “Super, Natural” that I felt it prudent last fall to relieve a Fraser Valley mortgage broker of his BavarianBirdOfPrey merely for my occasional use while visiting. Yes, at a discount. Yes, substantial (both the car and the discount).

    • tribalism/nationalism is effective to the extent one is deficient in self esteem, self confidence … ergo ‘canada’ is a brand designed for infliction upon canadians … aside – i suspect mr rennie understands well the primary target of his ‘vancouver’ brand

    • Just came back from Miami, Florida, I was quite shocked when I saw ok-looking houses in Coral Gables that resembled what you see Commercial Dr to go for $150K-$300K. It’s 30 C degrees in February, city is not as nearly congested as Vancovuer is (hello North Shore), and in all honesty, there were much less signs of homelessness and poverty that you’ll see in your average lower mainland neighbourhood. … I used to be the kind of guy who would not stop talking about BPOE, but my mindset has definitely changed recently…

  4. Real Estate Tsunami

    I’m hearing the sentiment quite often lately: “What’s the point of waiting for the house prices to drop. Even if they drop by 20%, the average house will still cost 800k. For that money, I can get myself 3 houses in X. Wondering if I will live all my life in a basement or with my parents”.
    Once these sentiments gain focus and strengts, they could lead to a serious stampede towards the borders.
    With many of the young and productive people gone, what will happen to the elderly?
    I guess, bring more foreign temporary workers.:)

  5. This is heresy and heretics need to be stamped out for they are agents of chaos. We the Inquisition of the God Emperor must seek out and destroy heresy, lest it takes hold among the lesser people and requiring the Exterminatus.

    Ok ok….yeah, seriously who came up with this BPOE thing and how could so many people believe this? Is this like a form of the Stockholm kidnap victim syndrome??

    • Well… as it happens, Space889… it all began with a LicensePlate.

      Sadly, this is not a PrisonWorkShop drama… albeit, if some NotoriousWags had their way – the LeaderIllustration’s antagonists would, in a more just universe, be stamping out license plates in perpetuity…


  6. Retirement abroad seems to be a popular topic lately too. Developing countries in the Americas seem to be presented, or marketed, as places where Americans and Canadians can retire to see their savings go farther. Maybe with the impending loss in home equity many people in Vancouver will be facing there will be more interest in relocating.

    My girlfriend and I definitely are researching the option for retirement. Any one else out there thinking the same thing? Have heard places such as Belize, Panama, and Ecuador are developing nice retirement places for ex- Pats. I understand that it isn’t comparing apples to apples but was just wondering what others see as decent real estate options.

    • Not interested. Doesn’t rain enough, cost of living is too low, not enough drive-by shootings, food is too fresh and varied.

      I totally agree, Vancouver is pretty nice on a world scale, but you would have to perform that patented Rennie calculation and remove the top 20% before you could possibly call it TBPOE, and even then it would rain too much and be lacking in the food and cultural choices.

    • Real Estate Tsunami

      Of course, it’s not comparing apples to apples,
      It’s comparing daily sunshine to daily rain 🙂

  7. I am in my early thirties; my wife and I always talk about leaving; we both have good jobs.
    I hear this also in my circle of friends. All educated and have well paying jobs.

  8. Just did that, quite.. Shut down regular business, sold property and poached seriously down. Cash in pocket and time to think….
    wow… is all I can say.


    • Realtor behavior

      Congratulations! You definitely did a good job in selling your crown property.

      With all these backing up, various cuts and looming deficits in BC economy, cash in pocket is way better than “norminal profit” on paper! Honest investment advisors in my hometown where I came from actually told people not to get overly-invested, and not to invest in high-risk investment tools even the Leiman Brothers might tell you are safe to go when you are about retirement age – missed gains is way better than total loss.

      • thanks Realtor behavior;
        …another best part is that I now have a Document from the Crown Proving and providing Proof that my New Crown property is actually worth less than the Assessment the Crown Produced. I can now back my Facts, with their own paper.
        …. It’s the looming change’s to the tax structure’s coming that frightens me… something/someone has to pay for all this…its not an if or but….
        There are losses to me now… but I believe that will be offset by the problems coming to Vancouver and the GVRD.(olympic Village anyone). The Public coffers are Drunk on the revenue stream from real estate value increases and the used to be booming volume of sales. I spent 4 years exploring the way they taxed my business property.
        The result was me and two other business’s on my block sold (1/3 the block).. two of us have basically quit for the moment…
        Its not a time to set up a non financial business right now… too dam vulnerable to the muni tax police(we are land based business). We have to many public employees that we pay for getting plush raises on my coin…. and never see anything from them except a bill…
        A small house…
        A hill with and a veranda sounds real good right now…
        and a half mill in flexability….. hmmm.

        Almost every small business on commercial street I have talked to about this is getting murdered by the tax’s and fees being shoved at them… its about the margins folks.

        If a stupid bloody long hair dope smoking self employed Commie can get this… why can’t the rest of these educated idiots…
        … Oh right they are socialist and use public force to back their extortion.
        And as the council face Angela Rimmer said..I deserve to pay more tax’s as I have to much personal land and I am depriving people of a place to live by not developing it…

  9. 4SlicesofCheese

    The last couple years I have gone on trips outside the country, I stopped getting homesick and actually started to dread coming back, whereas when I was younger I would get really homesick.

    We are pretty close to packing up and leaving, if I were to lose my job, I am gone. Maybe not Canada, but Vancouver for sure.

  10. I have had the same thoughts for the past few years. My business was tying me down here. I have downsized a bit, but as long as my income is good, I am staying put.
    Some of the target destinations on my list are getting really cheap, though…

  11. Yeah, yeah, you’re all leaving… soon.
    In the meantime keep paying my mortgage.

    • I’ll pay your $1200/mo mortgage if you pay the $250,000 in depreciation, transaction costs, and debt servicing costs over the next 36 months.


      • And do not forget to pay taxes on a property and to service the appliances/furnace every year – otherwise I move to a better rental and cheaper too, soon!

    • 4SlicesofCheese

      I already count at least 6 friends who have left in the past 3 years.

      • I had an entire circle of close friends –4 couples– pull up stakes and go east within a period of about 6 months.

        If you count immediate family doing the same, it was almost everyone I was close with within a couple of years.

        All had nearly identical stories: educated, professional, and either drawing stable salaries here from the government or making *relative* pauper’s wages in industry.

        Each couple was nearly ready to have kids, and was faced with the usual choice of buying one house here vs. 2 in Toronto, 3 in Ottawa, or 4 in Kamloops.

        Then there were the syringes in the streets, the poor relative career prospects, the inability to get out of the city on Friday after work or back in on Sunday, and the persistent threat of economy-crushing socialists regaining their usual throne.

        I can’t remember why I stayed.

    • Real Estate Tsunami

      “Paying someone’s mortgage” is sooo 20th Century.

  12. We left the BPOE in our mid-thirties 15 years ago and moved to Toronto where we actually get paid what we’re worth. Bought a really solid, 80 year old house (very well maintained) 13 years ago and are almost mortgage free. That’s the difference between well paid work and appropriately priced housing. My wife and I are both self-employed.

  13. Speaking as a guy who left, Vancouver isn’t the BPOE or even the best place in Canada. I admit I check out this blog out of morbid curiosity still, but there’s very little I miss about the place.

    I’m not a huge fan of Toronto but I’ll tell you this: I landed a very nice 6 figure job building cloud based applications for financial services. I got myself a nifty apartment on the 27th floor of a building on Bloor and Sherbourne, a stone’s throw from Rosedale and Rogers headquarters. It’s AWESOME, it’s vintage 70s but kept in good shape and the kitchen is a true chef’s kitchen in that (1) there’s lots of storage (2) it’s well – lit (3) Lots of counter tops and (4) it’s very easy to clean…. and it’s only costing me $1,225 including heat water and power.

    I guarantee you, even renting is cheaper in Toronto – or at least the quality of rental stock is higher.

  14. I have lived in Europe, the Middle East and Vancouver. Vancouver is the worst place by far, expensive rainy and low wages. I think it is time to move on again, this time permanently. Born in Vancouver but thankful for my European passport.

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