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04-05-2013, 09:43 AM
  #1
Ko4MAYORov
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Moving Out West

Looking to move out West. Trying to narrow down where to live. Any recommendations based on living expenses, job opportunities, and night life? I have worked in the automotive sector, retail, office administration, and in a restaurant. looking to make some decent coin. Any feedback or advice is greatly appreciated. Please disregard the fact I'm a Leafs fan

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04-05-2013, 09:48 AM
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I personally endorse Calgary. Victoria is my favourite of all the cities I've lived in out here, but cost of living vs pay there is extremely prohibitive. Calgary is awesome, everything's cheaper (restaurants are actually a bit pricier) and it has the most sunny days of any Canadian city

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04-05-2013, 09:53 AM
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Looking to move out West. Trying to narrow down where to live. Any recommendations based on living expenses, job opportunities, and night life? I have worked in the automotive sector, retail, office administration, and in a restaurant. looking to make some decent coin. Any feedback or advice is greatly appreciated. Please disregard the fact I'm a Leafs fan
Portland Oregon is hopping but if you want to stay in Canada and are young I'd go straight into the heart of it and move to Whistler, Vancouver (not suburbs) or Victoria. Probably should sort out a career path and pick from there. Calgary is where the jobs are (were).

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04-05-2013, 10:00 AM
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Portland Oregon is hopping but if you want to stay in Canada and are young I'd go straight into the heart of it and move to Whistler, Vancouver (not suburbs) or Victoria. Probably should sort out a career path and pick from there. Calgary is where the jobs are (were).
Yeah if you really want to be where the jobs are (and the cost of living is nonexistent) try Saskatoon. I've never actually been, but it sounds like the place to be (work-wise).

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04-05-2013, 10:25 AM
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Saskatoons actually pretty nice. Of course like any city east of Calgary you have to deal with ****** winters. lol

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04-05-2013, 11:05 AM
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If you are looking for best climate and recreation - Vancouver or Victoria, but medium (Vancouver) to poor (Victoria) employment opportunities and both have very high cost of living (Vancouver is highest in canada).

If you are looking for job opportunities and low cost of living Regina/Saskatoon would be formost with Edmonton/Calgary not too far behind. Of the four, Calgary would have the poorest job opportunities (but still considerred very good - especially in contruction or oil industry) but weather and recreation twice as good as the other three. Tons of work in Fort McMurray, but cost of living high.

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04-05-2013, 11:07 AM
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Hawaii.

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04-05-2013, 11:17 AM
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For me personally, I'd choose Vancouver or Kelowna.

Kelowna has probably the nicest climate in all of Canada, the summers especially are absolutely gorgeous. I have a buddy there and this week he went skiing, golfing, and swimming all in the same day. Not many places you can do that.

Vancouver is equally amazing in a different way. Its obviously a much bigger city, with endless recreation options. The climate is milder than Kelowna (warmer in the winter, cooler in the summer), and if you dont mind a little rain then its all good.

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04-05-2013, 11:56 AM
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Kelowna and Kamloops are beautiful + they're not too pricey, stay away from the island if cost is your main issue.

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04-05-2013, 02:45 PM
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For me personally, I'd choose Vancouver or Kelowna.

Kelowna has probably the nicest climate in all of Canada, the summers especially are absolutely gorgeous. I have a buddy there and this week he went skiing, golfing, and swimming all in the same day. Not many places you can do that.

Vancouver is equally amazing in a different way. Its obviously a much bigger city, with endless recreation options. The climate is milder than Kelowna (warmer in the winter, cooler in the summer), and if you dont mind a little rain then its all good.
Niether Kelowna nor Kamloops has much in the way of employment opportunities that pay above minimum wage. That is why most young employables move to major cities.

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04-05-2013, 02:50 PM
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As mentioned above, take a job in Saskatoon or Calgary, and don't buy real estate just yet. Perhaps wait a few years on that.

With the money you earn and save (vs Vancouver), you should be able to retire early and buy a place in Phoenix or Hawaii.

Vancouver's economy will go into the sewer as the housing market will only grind lower over the next 3-4 years.

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04-05-2013, 02:51 PM
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Looking to move out West. Trying to narrow down where to live. Any recommendations based on living expenses, job opportunities, and night life? I have worked in the automotive sector, retail, office administration, and in a restaurant. looking to make some decent coin. Any feedback or advice is greatly appreciated. Please disregard the fact I'm a Leafs fan
Victoria is nice. Its about the same cost of living as Vancouver or Toronto I'd say. The advantage to living on the Island is if you're into more ourdoorsy activities, it's a lot more of a community geared towards that. Pretty mild climate, we haven't had snow all year and haven't since Feb 2012. Job market is pretty decent for customer service since our tourist season runs Mar-Oct for cruise ships.

There's a pretty big youth population here since UVic is a fairly large university for the size of city (15K students, 350K population), so there's a decent nightlife if that's what you're into. The WHL team is fun to watch as well as the BCHL team. Really easy to do day or weekend trips to Vancouver by just doing BCFerries walk-ons.

Lots of festivals in the summer in the inner harbour including a 50K person party downtown on Canada Day on the Parliament lawns.

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04-05-2013, 04:30 PM
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I personally endorse Calgary. Victoria is my favourite of all the cities I've lived in out here, but cost of living vs pay there is extremely prohibitive. Calgary is awesome, everything's cheaper (restaurants are actually a bit pricier) and it has the most sunny days of any Canadian city
Unless things have changed (I live in the US), you'll earn more money in Alberta than any other province. And the cost of living is lower than BC. Not as low as Saskatchewan, but Saskatchewan's just depressing.

Calgary is a lot better than Edmonton. I own real estate in Calgary, so I may be a bit biased, but the population is young, there are plenty of big company head offices there, you get chinooks, etc.

If money is no object, definitely Vancouver.

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04-05-2013, 04:34 PM
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Vancouver's economy will go into the sewer as the housing market will only grind lower over the next 3-4 years.
Nonsense on a few levels.

One, the economy is driven by jobs, not house prices.

Two, house prices are driven by supply/demand, which is driven by population. The only thing that could cause a material decline in home values is basically a mass exodus out of Vancouver and a flooding of homes put on the market. How likely do you think that is?

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04-05-2013, 04:48 PM
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If you're thinking BC stay as far away from downtown as possible if you want to actually have money.

I'd looking into cities such as Surrey, Delta, Langley. all relatively close to Vancouver and much cheaper.

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04-05-2013, 04:50 PM
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If you're thinking BC stay as far away from downtown as possible if you want to actually have money.

I'd looking into cities such as Surrey, Delta, Langley. all relatively close to Vancouver and much cheaper.
That depends on where you work.

If you work downtown, and are a single guy, absolutely live downtown. Having a family might make that difficult/impossible, but it's otherwise a no-brainer. Higher rent/mortgage easily offset by commute costs.

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04-05-2013, 05:03 PM
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Nonsense on a few levels.

One, the economy is driven by jobs, not house prices.

Two, house prices are driven by supply/demand, which is driven by population. The only thing that could cause a material decline in home values is basically a mass exodus out of Vancouver and a flooding of homes put on the market. How likely do you think that is?
One, you might want to check out what the historical % of GDP and overall employment is for BC in the construction sector and other areas impacted by real estate. And then look at where we currently are as a % of GDP and employment. It's strikingly higher now. Putting aside whether a real estate decline will/will not happen for a moment, it doesn't make sense to argue that declines in the real estate market wouldn't impact the economy.

Two, the rate of population growth here has declined relative to previous decades. I don't have these data at my fingertips but they are worth looking up. BC is still growing but at a lower rate. And while, for e.g., Vancouver real estate has always had a price premium, nothing about the last decade of price doubling corresponds with a similar spike in immigration. Also, supply/demand is not solely driven by population growth. It's driven by many factors - including credit availability. And over the last decade, record low interest rates and significantly relaxed mortgage insurance rules have contributed to very large increases into household debt levels. As people can borrow more and more people are deemed acceptable borrowers, more is borrowed and prices are bid up.

All of which is to say (to the OP): Vancouver is a good spot if you're in it for the lifestyle and not looking for big money in a career. If you're perhaps young and looking for a place where you can rent a simple apartment and have some good times outside, this is a good place for it. Certainly that was my experience in the past. Other more affordable places are nicer for families and, in my opinion, this region is due for some economic pain due to real estate speculation.

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04-05-2013, 05:37 PM
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Lawzy
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That depends on where you work.

If you work downtown, and are a single guy, absolutely live downtown. Having a family might make that difficult/impossible, but it's otherwise a no-brainer. Higher rent/mortgage easily offset by commute costs.
Depends on your age I guess. Many people have asked me to move downtown with them, I'm 21 and single, but I can't possibly afford that. Worth mentioning I go to school so I can't really afford... anything.

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04-05-2013, 05:42 PM
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Nonsense on a few levels.

One, the economy is driven by jobs, not house prices.

Two, house prices are driven by supply/demand, which is driven by population. The only thing that could cause a material decline in home values is basically a mass exodus out of Vancouver and a flooding of homes put on the market. How likely do you think that is?
What caused a material decline in house prices in the United States and why can't the same happen in Vancouver?

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04-05-2013, 05:49 PM
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Vancouver is the best city but I'd stay away unless you have a lot of money

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04-05-2013, 05:49 PM
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What caused a material decline in house prices in the United States and why can't the same happen in Vancouver?
Widespread mortgage fraud, for one. Canadian banking system far more risk-averse than American - we don't have the same defaults that they do, because mortgages weren't given to people who couldn't afford them to begin with.

There's also a much bigger jobs crisis in the US than in Canada. Vancouver's got a pretty stable employment base, with resources, fishery, etc. What does a city like Phoenix have? Not as stable as a city like Calgary or Edmonton, but supply/demand is always the most important. People need a roof over their heads, so demand is pretty obvious (again, unless there's a mass exodus out of the city), and supply means either buyers or sellers. If there's far more people wanting to buy than sell, prices rise, and vice versa.

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04-05-2013, 07:04 PM
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Widespread mortgage fraud, for one. Canadian banking system far more risk-averse than American - we don't have the same defaults that they do, because mortgages weren't given to people who couldn't afford them to begin with.

There's also a much bigger jobs crisis in the US than in Canada. Vancouver's got a pretty stable employment base, with resources, fishery, etc. What does a city like Phoenix have? Not as stable as a city like Calgary or Edmonton, but supply/demand is always the most important. People need a roof over their heads, so demand is pretty obvious (again, unless there's a mass exodus out of the city), and supply means either buyers or sellers. If there's far more people wanting to buy than sell, prices rise, and vice versa.
Given the ridiculous price to rent ratio that exists in Vancouver you don't need an exodus of people from the city, just an exodus from owners to renters which can easily be driven by any reduction in peoples' ability to support current prices (job losses, higher interest rates, etc.).

I know several people that rent houses that normally sell for about $1M and their rent ranges from $2500-3000. Even under today's historically low interest rates you're looking at about double that for mortgage/tax/insurance as an owner.

I can't fathom why anyone would buy in that scenario. Granted, some parts of the city aren't that extreme in terms of price to rent, but most are pretty out of whack. So either rents are going to jump massively (extremely unlikely) or purchase prices will come back into line.


As to the OP, Vancouver is probably the worst combo of income to living expenses in Western Canada but it's also probably the overall nicest place in terms of climate, natural surroundings, and night life. Victoria has way nicer weather, but it's also more of a small city vibe. Some like that, some don't. I do, but some people think places like that are boring.

For me any way, I'd have to see a massive jump in income before I'd consider moving to Calgary, Edmonton, or Saskatoon on anything other than a temporary basis. Others enjoy those places though, so it'd depend what you're looking for.

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04-05-2013, 07:23 PM
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Nonsense on a few levels.

One, the economy is driven by jobs, not house prices.

Two, house prices are driven by supply/demand, which is driven by population. The only thing that could cause a material decline in home values is basically a mass exodus out of Vancouver and a flooding of homes put on the market. How likely do you think that is?
Both of your points are popular myths.

I don't have the time to write a thesis here, but let's just say that it's my job to analyze market cycles.

1. Price-rent and Price-income ratios are at absurd levels. They've never been this far out of whack and mean-reversion always happens.

2. In the US, prices fell first, driving up defaults, then the economy went into recession. Fannie had record low defaults as late as 2007.

3. Home ownership is at 70%, record levels which have correlated with market tops in previous cycles.

4. Debt-to-Income ratios for Canadians is over 160%, higher than where the US topped out.

5. Lending rules have changed. The OSFI is enforcing tighter lending guidelines now that they are overseeing the CMHC. Proof of income is needed whereas before you could state income, particularly for self-employed. Lending ratios and amortizations have tightened up as well. Basically, banks and the government are worried and lending will be constrained going forward.

6. Over 30% of BC's economy is in real-estate related industries. The highest by far in Canada and completely unsustainable. This sector is cyclical and volatile.

7. Sales are already down 30-50% throughout BC, depending on where you look. Year-over-year prices (HPI) ranges from flat to down 15% in places like Richmond and Van West. The top was in on June 2012.

8. Interest rates have bottomed and have nowhere to go but up. If rates even normalize to 5-6%, the market is screwed.

9. Canadians have no retirement savings and baby boomers are far more likely to sell their homes to fund retirement. This could cause the mass exodus you speak of.

10. Real estate is cyclical, just like any other asset class. And the bigger the boom, the bigger the bust. It never changes. Population is a factor, but a far, far smaller factor than credit.

We might not see a sharp crash like we did in San Diego (Bernanke raised rates to break the market) but a slow grind lower for the next 5 years is a very plausible scenario. There will be significant economic fallout when prices are 25-30% lower than they are today.

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04-05-2013, 07:36 PM
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Nonsense on a few levels.

One, the economy is driven by jobs, not house prices.

Two, house prices are driven by supply/demand, which is driven by population. The only thing that could cause a material decline in home values is basically a mass exodus out of Vancouver and a flooding of homes put on the market. How likely do you think that is?
BCStats thinks GVA will hit 4.5 million by 2030. Prices will be nutso by then, I'm sure.

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04-05-2013, 07:51 PM
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If you like beer, go to Victoria. It's insane how many good breweries there are there. Beautiful city perfect for raising your kids in. Pricey though.

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