Not that we’re planning on moving any time soon, but eventually Isaac will have a sibling, and we will outgrow our current apartment. And with the nutty state of real estate in Vancouver, thinking about this makes my head swim a little. Even though moving is far from imminent, I can’t not think about it now.
On one hand, it’s a place to live. Above all, it should feel safe & comfortable and be in an area we like living in.
On the other hand, it’s where a significant amount of our net worth is tied up, and losing much (any!) of that makes me feel all squeeby inside.
And none of the options I can think of sound particularly awesome.
Option 1: Wait until we truly feel we are out of space and need to move (dealing with cramped quarters until we found a new place), suck it up and swallow a potential loss (though values would have to plummet around 30% before we actually lost any money from where we initially bought) knowing that if the value of our place is down, the price of the place we’d be buying probably is as well. Try to stop thinking about it in the meantime.
Option 2: Start looking for a new place now, hope we can find a good deal, and start submitting offers subject to (among other things) sale of our existing apartment. Maybe we’d have an accepted offer and a new place in a year, but we’d spend a lot of time touring houses and having inspections done, etc. in the meantime.
Option 3: Sell, sell NOW and rent until prices go back down or we find a place to buy that’s a home we like at a price we can live with. This would likely be the best option to protect our current investment. I don’t actually mind the idea of renting, but I do mind the fact that houses are flipping so fast around these parts (as the last of the speculators try to get their money in and out) that it’s almost certain we’d be moving at least yearly until we decided to buy again. And of course renting is made even more difficult because we have a big dog. Kids and dogs: two big strikes against us as tenants, no matter how well-behaved either of them may be.
Option 3a: Find someone who’s interested in buying our place as an investment property, and rent it back from them for a year or more as a condition of the sale. At least it would shave one move off the experience.
And as much as I don’t want it to be an issue, it seems like having a kid (and someday kids) complicates the question of “where to live next?” Now, it’s not only a matter of finding adequate space suitable for us and the dog, along with our list of must-haves (laundry, dishwasher, balcony, nearby amenities). We also need to start thinking about things like play space, storage space (especially as we’re currently keeping Isaac’s baby things so we’ll have them around for eventual kid #2 – offsite storage is of course a possibility, but comes with a cost), outdoor space (either our own, or nearby parks & playgrounds), and schools.
I can’t be the only one thinking (obsessing) about all this. Gentle readers, what are you thinking about Vancouver real-estate these days? Or are you trying not to? Have I missed any bright, shining options or opportunities that you’re seeing? Commiserate with me.