Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Renters 4 Ever or How I Learned to Stop Worrying, and love the Housing Bubble. Part II

Last posting I started giving some background on our decision to continue renting in the city, and go the cabin route...

Seeing as hastily built townhouses in East Van are now selling for $550k, and that our budget was at best suited to a two bedroom condo in a mediocre neighbourhood, we quickly realized that we'd be crazy to give up renting our current digs. We, a standard Mom, Dad, and Boy operation currently share what I would describe as a very cozy dump just off of Commercial Drive with our roommate of 10 years. We're mere steps to shops, restaurants, delicious coffee, and funky family friendly community services that draw in yuppies from across the Lower Mainland like moths to a flame. So than why the hell would we leave for a box in nowheresville?

The house hunting process left us tired, and demoralized but it got us thinking seriously about what we were going to do. In the unlikely event that we did find a place we liked and could afford, did we really want to get into a situation where all of our disposable cash went into our home? We would be living pretty lean to make payments, but what would we do if our income was affected by job loss, or another baby? We would no longer be working to live, but living to work.

The recent announcement that banks will now be offering 35 year mortgages sealed the deal by making us realize how utterly retarded the current real estate climate has become. At what point does borrowing on an investment turn into indentured servitude? Will people finally finish paying off their mortgage just so they can swing one of those deals where the bank buys the house back so they have enough money to live on? Screw that.

It took a while for the reality of the situation to set in, but finally we realized that the Vancouver housing market has passed us by. We will never be able to afford the home we want unless A) we somehow start making another $50k per year, or B) the housing bubble bursts, and doesn't take the rest of the economy and us with it. On the other hand, we could pursue our dream of owning a cabin - something we've always wanted to do anyway - without feeling like we were making a stupid decision.

The challenges of finding land were similar to finding a place in the city... too little land for too many people, but the cabin idea had been percolating for years, and so we were no stranger to what was available within three hours of Vancouver. After a tonne of research, and a few false starts, we settled on the previously mentioned water view property on Gambier Island.

Now don't get me wrong... a house would have been great, but not a house that would become a millstone around our necks. If we can manage to put a cabin on the land for around $40k, then, who knows... maybe we'll get a condo. But for this to happen, the numbnuts developers in Vancouver are going to have to stop building the cracker-box shit currently going up around town, and they're going to have to build something in the Commercial Drive area. So if anybody is reading this... and you build something down in that useless light-industrial area near Clark, give us a call.


flatlander said...

Ha ha! I have tracked down a former Brock P. alumni attempting to "get off the grid", or at least find a place to live without leasing his soul.

Heard T.E. on DNTO talking blogs and thought I would investigate.

Hope things are well with you in the west. It's been a while, and I can't give away my secret identity without losing my position as C.E.O of Fakiegrind, but I used to be into the 'toons and my name rhymes with "Rhym n' Go".

Anyhow, if I have the wrong guy, just ignore this message, or delete it.

All the best from Fakiegrind Corp!

John Paolozzi said...

You have us totally stumped! Now you've got us scared that we won't remember you once we do get this figured. Can you give us more info?