For a few months now (since June) Chris and I have been tossing around the idea of buying a house. Mostly because ever since I can remember, I picture my kids and dog growing up running around a big yard like I did when I was a kid. Unfortunately, in today's day and age buying a house isn't nearly as easy as it was back when our parents were buying homes.
Ideally, we want a fully detached house with a big yard for the kids to play in and a little garden space. So with that idea in mind and no frame of reference, Chris and I set out to check out the market.
Talk about discouraging...
First of all, there aren't really any detached houses in the area we would like to live in. And the ones that are are old heritage homes that are way out of our price range. Although beautiful and massive, they just aren't something we can even consider because of the price tag. Where we live is all high-rises and apartment buildings. You're lucky if you own a town house with a little tiny patio.
We started looking at prices of the things that were available. Condos, townhouses, semi detached. Anything we could find, just to start getting an idea of what is out there and what prices we are looking at. It's safe to say we got very discouraged looking at the ridiculously priced houses in the Vancouver area. If we move out to the Fraser Valley are we could buy. But that's not where we want to live and currently out of the question. Our lives and hearts are here in Vancouver.
What we have concluded is that we have to decide what luxuries and comforts we want to give up in order to move forward with buying a home. If I want a detached home we have to move out of the Vancouver area. If we want to stay in this area and keep the way we live I have to sacrifice my dream of owning a home and a yard.
For us, the way we live is a huge part of this decision. We LOVE our location. It is walking distance to everything. There are parks, out door pools, farmers markets, breweries. There are always events going on like yoga in the park, food truck festivals etc. The whole city is beautiful to walk and we are right next to the quay. This area is so active and family friendly we are completely in love with this place. It's hard to picture our lives anywhere else. (I could seriously go on and on listing all the things I love about this place but I will spare you the monologue.)
We've been watching the market, we have our down payment, worked out a budget and cut back on expenses but it still isn't enough. The market is so inflated right now.
It is safe to say the start of this journey has been very discouraging. The number of places that are on the market is minimal and the cost on those houses are ridiculous. For fun we looked at houses in my home town of William's Lake. If we bought there with our rough budget we could get a 6 bed, 3 bath house with detached garage and acreage. Here we can hardly find a one bedroom apartment for the same price. What the heck!
This location is tough and we haven't decided whether or not we are going to extend our search to the Fraser Valley and interior or not. For now, we are very happy in our super cute two bedroom apartment in our ideal location and are content being here for the next few months, even years to come. The market has got to change sometime, hasn't it? In the meantime, we will continue to watch the market and pray something becomes available that is perfect for our family.
There will be many additions to this 'Home Buying' series to come as we navigate the market and make some tough decisions. Thanks for following along on our journey. Do you have any suggestions for first time home buyers or are you in the same boat as us? Let me know in the comments!