A young man named Matt and his wife want to buy a house in Toronto, but not badly enough to make the usual compromises of over-paying, settling for a less desirable neighbourhood or moving to the suburbs.
And so, as described in this blog post, they're off to Quebec City. Houses are much cheaper there, and daycare costs for their son are much lower. Question: Why aren't more people in expensive housing markets such as Toronto and Vancouver making decisions like this?
A story in the recent edition of Report on Business Magazine talks about how Canadians have become much less willing to move for work in the past decades. The main reason is that they or their spouse do not want to leave family and friends. But if you really want a house, moving can be a solution.
What makes Matt's story so interesting is that he and his wife are exactly the kind of people who should be thriving in a city like Toronto. Matt is a lead programmer at a video game company, and his wife works at a university in marketing and sales. They've been renting, but want more space. Nothing they've seen in the housing market offers a viable alternative.
Some might see Matt and his wife as being too picky, but I think they're smart. They know what they want, and how much they're willing to spend. Toronto can't fill their requirements, so they're moving. More people should consider this avenue to affordable home ownership.
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Rob's personal finance reading list…
Saving more for retirement vs. working longer
New research suggests this isn't even a contest – working longer has a much bigger positive impact on your financial position than upping the amount you save every year. Caution: Working longer may not be possible if you're downsized or have health issues.
Insurance companies are watching social media
A Montreal man claims his insurance company refused to pay his disability claim partly because of his posting on social media. A reminder that your social media posts are available to anyone trying to size you up.
Why she's asking for more money
A call for women to step up their efforts to negotiate salaries and raises.
Is an MBA worth the cost?
An investing blogger talks about the benefits he got from his MBA. I'm including this item because of a conversation I had with a young woman at a financial literacy event I did for the charitable group WE Families recently. She was agonizing over whether to spend the considerable amount of money required to get an MBA.
Today's featured financial tool
A guide to help couples get on the same page with their financial goals. It's from the non-profit group Credit Canada
The question: "We've sometimes thought that if our children ended up going to university in the same city, it might be worthwhile buying a house which they could live in, possibly with rent-paying roommates. If we did this, would we be able to use RESP funds to make the mortgage payments?"
The answer: "You have to show proof of enrolment in a postsecondary educational institution to make an RESP withdrawal on behalf of a beneficiary. But I can tell you as a parent who has seven times made RESP withdrawals that there is no oversight of what you use the money for."
Do you have a question for me? Send it my way. Sorry I can't answer every one personally. Questions and answers are edited for length.
Carrick Talks Money: Rethinking your budgeting
In case you missed these Globe and Mail personal finance stories
- What to know about buyout packages before taking voluntary departure
- Increased competition in the remittance industry means it's a good time to shop around
- Hot shot traders used to make millions – now they're being replaced by computers (for Globe Unlimited subscribers)
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