I just had a great conversation with Mike, a gentleman perusing the listings at the Century 21 In Town Realty Kiosk at the Denman Place Mall. The conversation revolved around the decision to buy or rent.
There are so many factors that come in to play when deciding to enter the real estate market. No longer is the decision a ‘no-brainer’ like in our parents’ days. Most of us grew up with a life plan already set out for us—go to school, get a job, buy a house. In a market like Vancouver, where the price of a one-bedroom apartment could buy you a detached home almost anywhere else in Canada, this is no longer a viable plan for most.
Mike and his wife currently rent in the West End. They have been saving for a down payment for years, and yet, they still can’t decide whether to buy, or continue to rent. What are some of their hesitations? Well, for one, they are originally from Ontario, and still can’t quite wrap their heads around Vancouver prices! It’s hard to part with your hard-earned money for that small apartment downtown, when you know that you could return back east and be mortgage-free. The cynical would say, yes, but then you would have to live there, and that’s definitely true. Mike and his wife feel that they live in the coolest neighbourhood in the most beautiful city in the world, and many would agree.
So what are their options? Mike and his wife could buy an apartment in the West End, but they might have to downsize. They could also head out to the suburbs, where they would get far more value for their money. The trade-off with that is losing the lifestyle they enjoy in the city—like being able to step outside their door to go for a run on the seawall, and having everything within walking distance.
It’s important to remember when buying your first home that it’s rarely your last. You might not be able to afford your dream home right away—you might have to sacrifice size or location at first. Think of each real estate purchase as a stepping stone to the home you eventually want to have. It’s really the journey, not the destination. Only you can decide whether or not to take the first step.
If you would like more information on buying your first home, or how to make the decision, please contact me. I would be happy to meet with you.