Author Topic: Convincing the Better Half to Sell House in Toronto and Retire  (Read 1916 times)

princeradar

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Greetings fellow Mustachians,

My wife and I own a single family home in Toronto, that is nearly paid off.  We've done well with our investments too, so I figure after selling in Toronto and moving to a LCOL area, we could buy a nice house for cash and have around $2.5 million on which to retire which if you use the 4% rule, would leave us $100k gross per year, more than enough to live comfortably.  We just had a baby as well, so like MMM, I dream of spending time with her, doing cool stuff.  I told her I have 5 more years left, then I'm done with the corporate world.  I am 47, she is 40.

The wife loves the house, and Toronto in general, but how do I convince her that we are giving up our valuable time, by staying there and not using the equity in the house to generate income.  I grew up in a small town, so moving to a LCOL area is actually appealing to me, she's always lived in big cities and fears there will nothing to do.

Anyone had a similar situation?

2Cent

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Re: Convincing the Better Half to Sell House in Toronto and Retire
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2017, 05:04:05 AM »
Maybe renting in Toronto could be an option:
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2015/07/27/rent-vs-buy/
Also, LCOL doesn't have to mean in the middle of nowhere. There are other cities that are still quite Urban and have all the perks of a city. The real attraction of Toronto is the jobs, which you'll not need. And the people you know. So get to know some people in potential moving areas. Especially when you have kids, a social network is great to have nearby. Alternatively you could find a place that has a good train connection to toronto. If you don't have to go in rush hour, it is quite comfortable.

kjulez_83

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Re: Convincing the Better Half to Sell House in Toronto and Retire
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2017, 05:14:03 AM »
Hello! I am in a similar situation, but I am trying to convince my husband to move from inner Melbourne (Aus) to somewhere a bit further out but still only a 40 minute or as far as 1.5 hour drive to Melbourne. I have not had any success though so I basically have no advice, I am interested to see if others offer you any good advice and wish you luck!

I have no idea how to convince someone else of an idea that just makes so much sense to me...your situation seems like a no brainer to me, but if you are used to city living then I can understand the hesitation on your wife, and going against the grain is always a hard thing to do. For my husband I think the hesitation comes from selling our house and never being able to get back into the property market if prices keep going up and if things don't work out for us in the new town.

I wish you luck though, that sounds pretty awesome to me having a little family of three being able to hang out together all the time and your little one having his/her dad around all the time is an amazing thing most kids don't get.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Convincing the Better Half to Sell House in Toronto and Retire
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2017, 06:46:35 AM »
You should look around at other, cheaper towns and find out what there is to do in that place: theater, clubs, events, shops. And indeed, a train connection to the big city would also help. And then leisurely discuss it with your spouse.

My DH didn't like the idea of selling our house when we start FIRE. But I have convinced him now that we need to invest the value into funds and need the cash. It helped making an Excel sheet that showed all the cash we would have if the house was sold, applying a 3% or 4% safe withdrawal rate. I let my DH make suggestions for corrections in the sheet. And now he sees that we need the cash from the house to live off.

ElleFiji

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Re: Convincing the Better Half to Sell House in Toronto and Retire
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2017, 06:52:44 AM »
This is a values issue. You value retirement more than living in the city. She values the city more than retiring now.

And it sounds like she wants to live in the city, not a city. So no, renting won't save you money, and it's most likely that your house value will continue to rise, even if the pace slows.

And....just realized this is a gauntlet thread. So not joining, as I am currently trying to centralize my SO.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Convincing the Better Half to Sell House in Toronto and Retire
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2017, 07:44:02 AM »
You are looking at a 5 year timeline yourself?  She likes the city.  But is it TORONTO, or is it city amenities?  Look at everything you do and see if you could do it in another city.  Ottawa has all sorts of things, but is a lot colder.  Hamilton? Guelph? London?  They are not super LOC but certainly a lot lower than Toronto.  And things are closer to each other - anything in Toronto seems to be at least an hour drive from anything else. 

Of course recent newspaper articles seem to be hinting the Toronto bubble could burst, especially if there are changes to foreign ownership like the ones implemented in Vancouver.  This could affect your planning.

Mmm_Donuts

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Re: Convincing the Better Half to Sell House in Toronto and Retire
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2017, 06:48:07 AM »
Yes, my husband and I are in a similar situation in Toronto. I am the one who keeps floating the idea to move, and have several places in mind that appeal to me.

The key for me has been finding a place to go that has the same amenities. We live in a part of the city that has parks, groceries, a library, etc within walking distance. Wherever we move to, has to have these amenities. Nature is a big plus too - I've visited places that appeal to me because it's possible to live near the water, for example.

It might take a while, it might be a slow process, but given that your wife is a "city person," I would start by visiting places that might appeal to you both, with the amenities that you both enjoy. I slowly started getting my husband on board with the idea of moving by actually visiting places with him that I want to live in.

Granted, he's not ready to move yet, and might not be for a while. I have an outside date that I'd like to move by, and I just hope house prices don't collapse by then ;)

In terms of the prices in Toronto - I have been saying this for years, and have been wrong so far so take it with a grain of salt, but I believe prices to be at or close to their peak here. There's no way that this 25-30% per year increase is sustainable. House prices could fall, or they could stay flat for 20 years. Who knows? I freaked my DH out the other night by showing him a Garth turner blog post. He seemed to show an inkling of maybe considering the idea of selling. Check out the chart on Toronto housing increases YOY:

http://www.greaterfool.ca/2017/03/27/last-call-2/

Dicey

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Re: Convincing the Better Half to Sell House in Toronto and Retire
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2017, 10:47:21 AM »
Great read! You could substitute "Anywhere in the Bay Area" for "Toronto" to get the sunny Northern California version of the story.

Our crazy custom-built (but not for us) clown house has appreciated more than DH's annual salary every year we've owned it. How can that be sustainable?

One quibble: flippers are NOT the problem. When there are no buyers, flipping comes to a screeching halt. Most flippers are buying crappy-ass, neglected houses and making them nice again. The flipper's holy grail is the neighborhood eyesore. Improving that house benefits the entire neighborhood.

We're debating between two properties for our next flip project. One has never been maintained and has major foundation issues, the other has been a drug addict's flop house for years. Believe me, one set of neighbors is going to be doing the happy dance when we're through. Of course, we do not take the lipstick-on-the-pig approach. We do this for personal satisfaction, as well as extra dough, so we always keep the safety and comfort of our Future Family in mind as we work.

Last Night

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Re: Convincing the Better Half to Sell House in Toronto and Retire
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2017, 11:21:04 AM »
Glad I am not the only fighting the urge.

We were offered 1.7M cash offer with 1% realtor fee from foreigners in early march and I've been thinking about it a lot.  House isn't for sale, just another random door knock followed by a legit offer.

Unfortunately we would like to continue living here for the foreseeable future so we will stay the course for now.  More to life than just money, but in the right context of course.  If we were in debt, didn't have other investments and not on track to FIRE I suppose I'd consider it a lot more seriously.

The problem is that living in Toronto is incredible, save for the traffic and the crap weather Jan-Mar, there are only a handful of places in the world that can offer up the same thriving/safe environment.  Moving out of the city would be a big downgrade for us personally in our early 30's with a newborn.  Only other place we'd consider is Vancouver, but we can't afford it lol
« Last Edit: March 31, 2017, 11:30:14 AM by Last Night »

princeradar

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Re: Convincing the Better Half to Sell House in Toronto and Retire
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2017, 08:49:59 PM »
Yes Toronto is a great place to live, and I agree that home prices at some point have to hit a ceiling.  In five years we can FIRE for sure, but it sure would be nice to hit the exit button early.  It is nice to have this as a backup plan though, in case we both decide we are ready to give up the rat race.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Convincing the Better Half to Sell House in Toronto and Retire
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2017, 05:58:44 AM »
The problem is that living in Toronto is incredible, save for the traffic and the crap weather Jan-Mar.

Your crap weather is our semi-tropical weather.  Try Ottawa.  Lots colder, lots more snow, just as hot and steamy in the summer.

The ROC still remembers when Toronto called in the army for a piddly little snowfall.  ;-)

I'll grant you the traffic, it is a nightmare.