I could have been $25 trillion to the good if I’d played my cards right

monopolyIn 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?



7 responses to “I could have been $25 trillion to the good if I’d played my cards right

  1. We had guests from Vancouver staying in our B&B last week. Their avowed intent was to buy a house, or property. Had to have a view. The woman did at least have the grace to say that we, as long term residents, must see them as pariahs driving up the price of our real estate, as has happened in Vancouver. Of course they had the cash in their nicely tailored pants with which to go shopping.

  2. The blame lies squarely upon homeowners deciding to ask for more than what they paid for the home when the time to sell comes, and I am just as guilty as they are. Why wouldn’t you want to sell and make a profit, if you can? The altruistic approach would be to sell for the price you paid, plus improvements but I bet that rarely happens.

    As an aside, Nevada home prices are about 1/3 of California home prices, so when those folks sell they come here and can afford to pay above asking price and next thing you know prices are through the roof.

  3. Prices are going up in Montreal, but we’re nowhere near the Toronto and Vancouver level, thank god. Real people can still buy homes around here.

    • No TO and Vancouver are just vile and Victoria is working hard to catch up. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay out in the burbs from Vancouver houses are still buyable.

  4. Huh, WordPress ate part of my comment. It ended: But of course the ‘burbs are much cheaper, thus young families still tend to go out to the boonies to buy.

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