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Got myself a real estate agent

So I was given the information of a real estate agent here in Vancouver, and I just spoke with him on the phone for about 15 minutes. He seems really nice, and comes highly recommended from one of our business partners.

Anyway, I told him that I’m not in a rush to buy at all, but I wanted to be sent listings for properties with my search criteria. And if I saw a property that I was interested in, I’d like to be able to go see it. I told him that while I’m realistic in my expectations, I want to be picky. I’m not in a rush to buy, and as this is my first time buying property, I want to take my time in choosing a place I can feel comfortable in. That’s the main reason why I wanted to contact a real estate agent so soon … I’ll be done my 3-month probation period in 2 weeks, I have about $21k I can use as a down payment, and I’d like to feel things out. Not saying that I would buy right away … but it’s just nice to be able to go see places with someone who knows the market, and knows what I’m looking for. That’s all.

And who knows, maybe going out to see places will make me want to hold off on buying for a few years, or until I’m married. As a single gal making a modest little income, I won’t get a lot for my money in Vancouver, but I won’t know what I can afford unless I get out there and see these places for myself.

The average price of a home in Vancouver is $1 million

My next big financial goal is to own property. But I live in Vancouver. And according to the Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board, the average price of a detached home right now is $921,000 and rising. The average price for a townhouse is more than $500,000, despite falling sales and more homes on the market.

So like I was saying yesterday, what’s a single person to do? You most definitely need two incomes to think about buying anywhere. I don’t have two incomes, and I don’t even really make that much to begin with. I mean, I work for a not-for-profit. Do I have to wait until I get married to become a property owner?

It doesn’t seem fair. I don’t even have high expectations for my first place. I know I’m priced out of the Vancouver area, so I have to look farther out … and I know I can’t afford anything more than an older condo, and that’s okay too … but it’s just so deflating to see all these beautiful new condos and walk-ups being built, and knowing I don’t stand a chance in hell of owning one of those.

I guess that’s the price you have to pay to live in such a beautiful city. And I know if I just move away from the West Coast, I’ll be able to afford to buy a place by myself. But I’m not willing to move. So, instead I’ll keep on saving and complaining.

I just keep hoping that … if I can put together a decent sized down payment, I’ll be able to afford something. Maybe a place like the one I’m currently renting – the couple that owns the property, they live upstairs, and the back of the house has 2 self-contained suites. Mine brings in $600/month, and the one beside me brings in at least $800/month. So that’s a possibility. But I’d need a massive down payment to even think about doing that.

“The bubble is going to burst.” That’s what everyone is saying. But is it really? I mean, housing keeps getting more and more expensive … but people keep on buying. There are people that can afford to pay these ridiculous housing prices … and the gap continues to widen between people like that, and people like me.

Saving up for a down payment seems so silly. But, I’m still going to do it. Because even if I’m priced out and can’t afford anything now, one day I’ll be able to. And maybe I do have to wait until I’m married to have that dual income coming in … but that’s okay too. I don’t mind waiting. This dream of being a property owner will become a reality for me.

I make more $$$ than I thought I would

Well, I just received my first full pay cheque from the new job. I anticipated and budgeted receiving $1,100 bi-weekly after taxes, but as it turns out I’ll be bringing home $1,225 bi-weekly. That’s a $125 difference! Awesome.

At my old job, when I was making just over $50k, I was only bringing in $1,460 bi-weekly. While that’s still a big difference from what I’m getting paid now … for some reason, it’s doesn’t seem like as much of a decrease in pay as I thought it would be. Plus, once my 3-month probation period is up, I’ll be getting a raise which will bring in at least an additional $75 bi-weekly (before I signed my offer letter, my boss told me what my minimum raise would be after 90 days, since the salary I’m starting at is below what I told him my bottom line was), so that’ll help out even more.

That extra $250/month, any raises/bonuses I receive, GST cheques (I’m pretty sure with all my 2007 deductions, I should still qualify), and any $$ made from PPP or a PT job … all that money from here on out will be dumped into the Down Payment fund. There’s no need to increase my discretionary spending if I can live comfortably on the budget that I have right now.

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