All posts by gordholio

Where does it get you?

My girlfriend and I aren’t looking to do anything outrageous. All we want to do is buy a detached home within an hour commute of her Richmond employer. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. A 25-year-old, 1700 sq ft rancher that needs a little fixing up would be just fine.

Problem is, we want to buy with cash. We just sold our home in Delta for $650,000 because we no longer wanted to make $800 mortgage payments, especially with all the telltale signs of a correction/popping bubble in the air. We walked away with $450,000 cash and no debts.

But what have we been able to find for nearly a half million dollars? In Vancouver/West Van/North Van/Burnaby, nothing. In Richmond, a one-bedroom crack shack tear-down where airplanes fly so close you can count the rivets. In White Rock, $450,000 buys you a either a 600-sq ft “cottage” on its last legs or an empty view lot.

Yes, we can find something in Surrey, but it’s in a neighborhood where you’re scared to walk down the street. So that leaves us with Langley.

Here, $450,000 buys you an old yet serviceable detached home in a bland, distinctly blue-collar neighborhood. Far from what we’d prefer, but at least there’s an iota of hope that something will pop up that isn’t directly across from a school or on a busy, noisy, truck-filled thoroughfare. Of course, we’d then have to sink a few tens of thousands into the place so it doesn’t look like a total relic, but there is hope. Moreover, you can actually see signs of a correction out there. Listings are staying on the market for months at a time and price reductions have begun.
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