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A reader in Vancouver has a housing question that pits sensible personal finance against a raging hot housing market.

Should he buy a home now, or try to save a bigger down payment? “If I were to hold off for a year or two, I could save about $40,000 to aid in a down payment,” this 31-year-old wrote. “My only fear is that if I hold off on buying and housing prices rise, I’ll be priced out.”

The latest numbers on Vancouver housing support this reader’s concern about being priced out. The MLS Home Price Index for the city rose 0.6 per cent in July from June levels to $1,031,400. Let’s say that momentum holds up for 12 months – the total price gain adds up to $74,250 or so, almost double what our reader sees himself saving.

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The strength of the summer real estate market is definitely a worry if you’re barely able to afford a house. Should you jump in, or wait to build a bigger down payment and hope prices to fall or take a breather? I’m inviting readers to weigh on this question.


This week’s poll

Buy now or later: What advice would you give this 31-year-old Vancouver resident about home buying? Click here to vote in our poll.


Subscribe to Carrick on Money

Are you reading this newsletter on the web or did someone forward the e-mail version to you? If so, you can sign up for Carrick on Money here.


Rob’s personal finance reading list

The end of aimless shopping

The New York Times lists some supposedly fun things we’ll never do the same way again, including ’mindlessly wandering the mall.’

The many ways advisers get paid

An ex-investment adviser guides you through all the ways advisers charge clients and wonders why we don’t look at better options.

Best financial website for visible minorities

Personal finance blogger Enoch Omololu picks his favourite personal finance websites for the BIPOC community – black, indigenous and people of colour. Mr. Omolulu’s Savvy New Canadians website is a great resource for all savvy Canadians.

Home insurance and remote work

If you’re working at home instead of your usual workplace, give this article a read to see if there are any potential issues with your home insurance.

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Ask Rob:

Q: We have $300,000 invested at EQ Bank. Only $100,000 of that, as I understand it, is covered by deposit insurance. How do I evaluate the risk for the uninsured portion and what would happen if the bank failed? Is the $200,000 too exposed to risk?

A: First off, it’s important to note that EQ Bank is a member of Canada Deposit Insurance Corp., which covers combined interest and principal in eligible accounts to $100,000. You get that level of coverage for each insured category, including regular accounts in your name and joint accounts. The risk if you have deposits in excess of the deposit insurance coverage amount is that your bank fails and there are not enough assets to fully cover the amount you had on deposit. I see no reason to take on this risk, and that’s not a comment on EQ or any other bank. It’s simple caution. Parcel out your deposits to maximize, but not exceed, the amount of deposit insurance you can get at each bank you use. Note: Some credit unions have provincial deposit insurance plans with higher coverage limits, or no coverage limit at all. But they are not backed by CDIC.

Send us your money questions. Globe and Mail personal finance editor Roma Luciw will tackle questions about money and parenting, and I’ll tackle the rest. Sorry we can’t answer every one personally. Questions and answers are edited for length and clarity.


Today’s financial tool

This asset allocation calculator will be a big help to DIY investors looking for ideas on how to weigh bonds and stocks from Canada and globally in a portfolio.


The money-free zone

Can’t believe I just discovered this prime bit of 60s pop music candy – Cass Elliot singing Make Your Own Kind of Music.


More Rob Carrick and money coverage:

Subscribe to Stress Test on Apple podcasts or Spotify. For more money stories, follow me on Instagram and Twitter, and join the discussion on my Facebook page. Millennial readers, join our Gen Y Money Facebook group.

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Even more coverage from Rob Carrick:

Are you reading this newsletter on the web or did someone forward the e-mail version to you? If so, you can sign up for Carrick on Money here.

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Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

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