In 1997, following the death of my father the previous year (Mother had shuffled off this mortal coil in 1992) my brothers and I sold the family manse – the house in which we had grown up. We did so without sentimentality or remorse since depressing memories had supplanted good ones years before.
If memory serves we let the place go for about a half million, which was kind of impressive in the mid to late ’90s for Lower Mainland BC. Of course nowadays we could probably put it on the market for 25 trillion dollars. Damn. Greater Vancouver and Victoria real estate has become insane and represents egregious greed of the vilest sort.
Truly, speculation has drummed the peons out of the home purchase market. Truly I weep for those whose work sends them to those hotspots. And I am here to say it’s not right. Where do such people as firefighters, cops, school teachers and the like find roofs to shelter them in the community in which I grew up.
There is lots of blame afoot. Speculation has run rampant in the real estate industry – and at one level who can blame them? It’s a boom-and-bust calling with lots of lean times. I say this because I have friends who toil in the calling. Yet – yet – somewhere it isn’t right.
Of course the easiest thing to do is blame the government. And, I mean, why not? Christy is selling out to the Chinese for the sake of trade concessions from far-off Cathay. Well, there probably are elements of that, but it’s likely not the whole sale. As goes Vancouver, so goes Toronto. And when you get to a place like London, it’s out of the question for ordinary blokes to live there. There are people who work in London who actually commute from Brussels or Paris, and sometimes even Spain. No exaggeration.
Meanwhile on BC’s Lower Mainland there are those who commute from Chilliwack and White Rock on a daily basis on some of the most congested roads in the known universe. Life’s too short for that shit, bedad.
So, I am grateful I live where I do in the Comox Valley. That is at least until we start getting Mainland and south Island spillover here, or Asian speculators see us as being ripe for rape. Then, of course (since we own our home) our house value will soar and we stand to make a few bucks.
But, should we sell, where would we find a place we could afford?