Author Topic: $350-500k FI family house where in BC? or YT??  (Read 1955 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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$350-500k FI family house where in BC? or YT??
« on: October 28, 2016, 01:21:12 AM »
Topic Title: $350-500k FI family house where in BC? or YT??

Life Situation: Young family of 3(35, 35, 2), hoping for a fourth. Living in east van, bc.

Gross Salary/Wages: $225k CAD household.

Pre-tax deductions: RRSP defined benefit pension contributions ~$8k+$8k employer-matched

Other Ordinary Income: none!

Qualified Dividends & Long Term Capital Gains: barely.

Rental Income, Actual Expenses, and Depreciation: nope. But there is a separate 1bdrm suite in our basement we could rent out for $1300/mo if we weren’t using it for visiting family. And we hated the noise/privacy issues of having a tenant downstairs. This is irrelevant!

Adjusted Gross Income: After taxes and pension contribs, about $156k take home.

Taxes: oh.. I included that above..

Current expenses: about $6000 monthly.
$3k mortgage ($1250i/$1750p), $450 property taxes, $200 internet, gas, electric bills.
$250 car+ home ins., $1500 grocery+eating out, $1000 travel/vaca.

Expected ER expenses: itemized estimated expenses at $2600, but could be up to $3500/mo as not sure what to input for health costs which we’re not yet incurring.
Prop tax $400, Household util+comm bills $500, Home ins. $100, car ins $150, food $600, kid stuff $200, Health costs $200, vacay/travel $350, gas $100.

Assets: $2M house, $100k RSP’s. Cabin ~20k. 3 Cars, 2 motorbikes. All together worth only about 50k if sold (maybe just sell a car for $4k, no loans)

Liabilities:  mortgage @ $630k, 5y fixed 2.38%. 3.8 years to renewal. $3k/mo.

Specific Question(s):
Ultimately my wife and I will be answering this for ourselves, but I’d love to hear input from others in BC or Ontario or Whitehorse. We can’t afford to stay in our current home in the city AND retire at 35/36. To do so we need to downprice from $2M to $500k or less. That sadly means leaving our beloved neighbourhood in east van near commercial and broadway. But happily quitting! We are looking for another community that would still offer some amenities, schools, etc., but in the $500k or less price range. My wife loves walkable city life (the parks, amenities, people - not the shopping!) especially the people, and drives almost never, so a small acreage in the sticks is not an option. I’m a DIY guy. I just want a place where I can have a big 25 x 25 garage with 12-15’ ceiling. We don’t need a huge house. 1350SF in our last 3 bdrm duplex was great. Outdoor space is important though. We’re thinking something ‘family friendly’ (ie walkable residential area, not on a highway/industrial area) on Vancouver Island, or maybe Squamish. We’ve spent some time in Whitehorse for work and vacations so we’re considering there as well, but cost of living is quite high there, and travel is expensive, especially for family coming to visit from Toronto. Our families are all around Toronto. But we love BC and plan to stay here (fair maybe for Whitehorse).
This is a very open question as it’s so personal, but I’m looking forward to some discussion, and input from those who live in communities in BC I’m not familiar with. Basically we’re looking to use our FI to quit, spend time with our daughter, have another kid, and when they’re in school, then a high likelihood of part-time jobs for one or both of us, but I don’t want to need such income.
I ran SWR numbers for investing the balance after three potential house purchase amounts: $350k, 500k, 650k, and 4% rule would net us monthly incomes of $3400, $2900, and $2400 respectively. That’s if we bug out NOW. In a year those numbers are up to $3800, $3300, $2800 respectively. That’s a reasonable and likely timeline. I don’t want to wait two years, my daughter will almost be in school by then!
I’m comfortable allocating $500k to our new family home but less would be preferable. Where do you live and why is it great?!
« Last Edit: December 07, 2016, 02:54:39 PM by scapee »


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: $350-500k FI family house where in BC? or YT??
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2016, 04:56:12 AM »
Is my math right 1.4 million if you sell the house and then 3k a month in expenses without mortgage? Then you buy a house in whitehorse and are left with 1.1 million.

I guess that would be fi but I don't think I saw property taxes. Try to control those vacation and grocery bills holleee shmokes!

Never lived in or visited van but have visited whitehorse.

You sure the spouse and kids are on board to move up there?

Houses aren't as expensive in van and since you are ok with a small place a relatively cheap place in whitehorse should be easy to find. I would stay away from the newer developments they screwed up that man made lake and now they have to fix it and whistle bend seems to still be up for sale.

I didn't buy groceries up there but I imagine they are more expensive. There is at least a walmart.

I'm a dawson or haines junction kind of guy myself but I can see the attraction to whitehorse if you have kids.


  • Bristles
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Re: $350-500k FI family house where in BC? or YT??
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2016, 06:49:52 AM »
Posting to follow. We are in a similar situation, more house rich than money rich. We're looking into places in BC to retire to - Victoria (very pricey, so it would have to be a condo), Duncan, Nanaimo, Sunshine Coast, or maybe one of the smaller islands. I'd like to sell our 1.5M house eventually and buy something in the 500-750k range.

If you can handle the cold, and don't mind Ontario, Collingwood is quite nice, and very affordable. It would be easier to visit your TO family. You could get a very nice place for 250-500k there.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: $350-500k FI family house where in BC? or YT??
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2016, 07:27:49 AM »
I too am house rich, but in Victoria rather than Vancouver. Unfortunately the best alternative to urban life in Vancouver is pseudo-urban life in Victoria, but that's not going to save you enough money, anymore (or, maybe it will, you can get fixer-uppers in walkable neighborhoods in the $700K-$900K range).

The only things I've found that seem remotely close are the small towns on the island that still have functioning cores: Ladysmith, Courtenay, and Chemainus. Ladysmith is the most reasonably priced, all houses under $400K, some well under, with a functional main commercial street and food store down town. Also, the town itself is just south of the Nanaimo airport, so links to the rest of the world are convenient. Chemainus and Courtenay are similar, but slightly more expensive (Courtenay is a bit bigger, so more amenity, but still small town.)

Trouble is, can you really take the transition from city to town? My kids are already in middle school, a move is out, I just have to finish building the stash the old fashioned way.

south of 61

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: $350-500k FI family house where in BC? or YT??
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2016, 12:05:13 PM »
I cashed in my real estate in another high price city and moved to YT. I love it!

Feel free to message me if you want to discuss specifics (it's pretty easy to identify YT MMM contributors - so I would be happy to share with you, but more comfortable doing so off the board!)