Yes. It IS possible.
We all know Vancouver is the most expensive city in Canada to live in. Yet, many of us still choose to make our home here. Let’s face it, from a climate and activity point of view, it’s a great place to raise a family.
Nevertheless, families have to be pretty savvy when figuring out how to afford to live in lotus land. Personally, we have had to make many sacrifices as a family in order to afford a home here. But, there are many proactive things one can do to ensure buying a house isn’t going to mean you can’t afford to ever leave it!
These are a few ways we have made sure that affording our home in Vancouver doesn’t prohibit us from enjoying life in the city we live in.
Vancouver has SO much to offer as soon as you step outside your front door…and so much of it is completely free! We go for bike rides, walks on local trails, swimming at the beach, attend free outdoor concerts…the options are really endless. You don’t have to spend a lot of money in order to have fun here.
Our kids don’t need us to venture very far to find some outdoor fun!
Owning a home in Vancouver has meant that we cannot take a lot of extravagant holidays. Yet, we still manage to get away at least once a year. This is because the rest of the time we do our best to enjoy local attractions. We’ve visited Harrison Hot Springs, Whistler, Parksville and Birch Bay regularly. These destinations are right in our backyard and are very inexpensive to get away to for a fun-filled family weekend.
This summer we went on a few local camping trips. In BC, this is a relatively inexpensive way to vacation!
Limit big purchases
We have had to accept that we will never be a “toy” family. No sports car for my husband, no endless supply of designer shoes and handbags for me, no truckloads of toys for our kids. We have embraced living within our means and, in all honesty, it feels pretty good to know we’re teaching our kids that material things aren’t all that matter in life. We are a one car family (aside from my husband’s work truck). I ride my bike to work and the kids walk to school…not having to commute also saves us money, which can instead be used to pay down our mortgage.
Our house is over 100 years old. When we came to see it when it was for sale, there was a TON of other people looking at it. However, most of them were scared off by what were really easy cosmetic fixes. We didn’t need to do huge renovations to our home to make it livable…we kept a strict budget and were able to create a space that we love spending time in and where we enjoy welcoming family and friends. A little paint, some elbow grease and the ability to see potential is really what it took.
I’ve decorated my home with lots of old pieces that I have personally restored…designer look for a fraction of the price!
By taking advantage of reward programs, we are able to accumulate points, which can be used towards fun purchases for the family. The President’s Choice Financial MasterCard has been my go-to. I’m sneaky, though, and use my points to purchase Christmas presents, which allows me to put more money in the bank – towards our home.
I also recently discovered PC Financial offers PC points on some of their mortgages. Currently, you can earn up to 2,500 PC points for every full $1,000 of your total mortgage balance once approved, which on a $400,000 mortgage can add up to 1,000,000 PC points. The points can be redeemed at participating stores where President’s Choice products are sold, for items ranging from groceries to Joe Fresh fashions. Pretty amazing, right?
So you see, while crazy expensive, if you can afford to own a home in Vancouver, it doesn’t have to mean that you give up your life. There are so many ways to cut corners…you won’t even notice…I promise!
To learn more about PC Financial Mortgages, visit an in-store PC Financial pavilion or visit pcfinancial.ca/home
Disclosure: I am a PC Financial Ambassador and have received compensation for this post. However, I am truly a loyal PC Financial customer and all opinions expressed are my own.