How Is The Housing Market Where You Live?

by Susan

Susan here…

I’ll tell you something about myself that if you knew me well in real life, you’d find out pretty quickly.

I hate talking about money, heck I hate thinking about money. I’ve never even really been motivated by money… well not by a true love of money… I just want enough of it so that I never have to think about it. LOL. Yes, I say that with my tongue in my cheek and aware that to reach that goal, I need to have lots more of it.

The truth is I grew up not really paying enough attention to money. Some may say I was spoiled. They wouldn’t be wrong. After college, I worked through my twenties, had a decent salary and still didn’t worry much about the details of my finances.

Then I got married, had kids and I still didn’t pay enough attention to it. But a year ago my marriage ended. So now I’ve had to think and talk about money more than I’ve ever had to in my entire life. It hasn’t been fun.

And a part of talking about money, is talking about rent and/or mortgages. Again. My response, “I don’t want to think about it.”

I live in a beautiful suburb of Vancouver, BC, Canada where we don’t have to worry about hurricanes, tornadoes or ice storms, but we have to put up with a lot of rain and very high real estate prices.

I love living here… sure the long rainy winters are depressing, but then the sun comes out and I fall in love again.

Unfortunately, the cost of living is high. Most of my house-owning neighbors are double income families and have high mortgages to pay. (I live in a very small townhouse and still it is expensive.)

Now, I find myself in a different category and I have to refinance my mortgage on my own. And as I think about housing prices and mortgages, I think about all the stories I’ve heard recently of friends losing their houses to foreclosures in US cities where the housing markets have crashed.

Here in Vancouver, we felt a softening in the real estate market as it slowed in recent years, but prices remain high. And renting is no easy solution either. The rent for the townhouse next door to me is higher than the mortgage payment.

It’s tough… I love where I live and my children are settled in with the neighborhood school and friends, so I’m committed to doing all I can to continue to live here. But it isn’t easy.

So I’m wondering, how is the housing market where YOU live?

Did the market crash in your area leaving you wishing you could sell? Or are you in an city where prices are high and you wish they weren’t so high?

Do you feel safer to rent or to own these days? Do you feel hopeful about the housing market in the US and Canada in general? What about in your area specifically?

 
This sponsored post is part a series we and several other bloggers are writing for Genworth Financial to raise awareness amongst moms about the importance of taking an active role in planning for our financial futures. To find out more about mortgage insurance or to talk to a financial professional about homeownership, visit Genworth Financial.

Written by Susan Carraretto, co-founder of 5 Minutes for Mom.
Wanna chat? Find me at: @5minutesformom, @susancarraretto and Facebook.com/5minutesformom.

Image Credit: 123RF Stock Photos



Email Author    |    Website About Susan

Susan Carraretto and her identical twin, Janice Croze, created 5 Minutes for Mom in 2006. Susan loves all social media, but her top addiction these days is Pinterest. She recently published a children's book titled "The Pest Detectives" which you can download now in digital format for free.

View all articles by

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 shelly November 7, 2011 at 6:14 am

We too live in area that has a high cost of living and the homes are still high. Our home has decreased in value and they are making new homes for less than what we are paying for our older home. We can’t refinance b/c we don’t qualify and we’re trying to keep our heads above water. Food and clothing costs are raising but incomes are not so it’s pretty rough. It’s a buyer’s market too; selling would mean a huge loss right now.

Reply

2 Jennifer November 7, 2011 at 8:17 am

I live in Houston, and I think it’s really stable here. But last year, when we sold our house in Connecticut to move back here, it had lost 25% of the value in the 6 1/2 years we lived there! But then buying a house here probably cost as much or more as it did when we left to move to Connecticut.

We don’t consider our home to be an income or investment source. If it increases, great. If not, then we’ve still had a place to live, so it’s not even really like “losing” money. But I do feel for people who have to sell a home due to job loss or a new job in a new city and can’t afford to sell because of the shift in the market.

Reply

3 Aly November 7, 2011 at 12:03 pm

Hi All –

Hi Susan – First of all, @Lolli I’m so sorry to hear about your situation. Losing your home is a terrible thing, you and your husband are in my thoughts and I hope that you’ll have lots of support from family and friends.

I also live in Houston and like @Jennifer said, the market here is relatively stable. I have a bit of a different view of the market because I happen to work for a home builder here in the city. While the market here is much better than other areas of the nation, it is still difficult to manage from a builder’s perspective – housing prices haven’t plummeted but there are so many foreclosures, short sales that new home building has been a struggle.

Anyways, thanks for sharing! – Aly

Reply

4 Jacquie November 7, 2011 at 9:30 am

Hi Susan,

I am so sorry to hear about the ending of your marriage! I have a sister-in-law in Alberta who is in the middle of a divorce and they had to sell their house and she had to get a smaller one for her and the kids. This was a difficult thing to manage with child support and a smaller income, etc. It’s so sad that on top of all the emotional pain, there is the added financial burden.

We live in Manitoba and in Winnipeg the vacancy rate is practically 0%, so it can get very expensive to buy or rent right now. Thankfully, we’ve not felt the pressure ourselves in an extreme way, but money is always tight. I have never enjoyed house-hunting – it can be so stressful! And I have no idea what’s involved with refinancing – I’m definitely ignorant about a lot of stuff when it comes to mortgages – it can be very intimidating.

I pray that God gives you much wisdom, grace and peace in this area of life!

Blessings,
Jacquie

Reply

5 Lolli November 7, 2011 at 9:42 am

The housing market in the DC suburbs is horrible. We bought our townhouse 13 years ago during an all-time LOW in the market. We were lucky. We’ve watched the house prices around here triple…and then go back down (but thankfully never as low as what we payed). Now, though, we’ll probably lose the house after all this time. We simply can’t pay for it on my income…and my husband isn’t bringing anything in right now. It’s a horrible place to be.

Reply

6 Audrey November 8, 2011 at 3:58 pm

“I don’t want to think about it”- that’s exactly how I feel. Our housing market (Florida) did crash, & we sold our home through a short sale.

At this stage, prices are continuing to drop, and I have no idea where they’ll end up. It’s hard here because the downward spiral has brought a lot of stress to everyone, because even if people aren’t thinking about selling, they’re worried that their home is now a liability instead of an asset.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: