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Westcoasters: Is the future of opportunity in Alberta and not BC?

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  • Jul 12th, 2012 12:03 am
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[OP]
Member
Feb 2, 2010
348 posts
8 upvotes

Westcoasters: Is the future of opportunity in Alberta and not BC?

With housing going up, you'll have to be a millionaire to afford a house if you want to live in Vancouver. Thanks to the international investors driving up the prices here. Basic supply and demand, but with so many people coming to BC, is the future of jobs and quality of life going to be in Alberta?

I know people who left Vancouver for cities in Alberta for stability and job progression and it's starting to make me ponder. Or is the grass just greener?
5 replies
Sr. Member
May 29, 2012
743 posts
40 upvotes
MAPLE RIDGE
Plus relatively speaking, money-finding prospects here are poor. The job market is mediocre at best.

Vancouver is a nice place to be if you have money, not if you don't :p
You see all these nice cars zipping around here, but I bet you the majority of that money isn't even from here, or it's people in considerable debt :lol:
I came across one guy with a Ferrari California once. At first I thought "Wow, rich dude", but then later found out he was financing it with thousands/month payments.. basically destroying the majority of his paycheques :lol:

Everything is expensive here...

The majority of the people I know who love to death this place just because it's "Vancouver" save little to no money and are stuck driving old beaters or nothing at all. I calculated that to live somewhat comfortably here you're going to be easily burning 2500 - 3000/month:

- 1200+ /month rent apartment- no roomates, in mid to West Van
- 600/month car ownership- gas, insurance, maintenance, providing that you drive something reliable and doesn't guzzle gas
- 400/month food, eating out once a week at cheaper restaurants
- 100 - 200/month in misc. items, phone bill, etc.

That's being cheap while not going to student-like extremes such as abandoning your car, living with roomate(s) in an old basement, eating canned food, etc.. If you want to have a bit of fun such as drive something a little nicer, go drinking, smoke, eat out more, have hobbies like photography, guitar, etc.. I can see yourself easily going over 3000.

If you can stand to live in East Van, you could perhaps halve your rent in some cases and pocket a few more hundred.

Given that the average university grad hovers around a 30-40k salary for a while, after taxes he/she pockets roughly 26 - 34k; ~2200 - 2800/month.
You can "live", but you won't save very much or anything at all.

We know people who make even 100k and can't find a way to get a house around here without resorting to drastic measures.
I guess if you continue to live a similar standard all those years like this until you hit the 6-digit mark, you could perhaps own an apartment and maybe a condo putting a 15 - 25 year mortgage down (depending on down payment)... but personally I'm not too stoked about it because I certainly don't plan to be a dad by the time that becomes even slightly a realistic possibility, and I do want to enjoy my life while I still can!

I don't realisticly see myself getting a house here...
Deal Guru
May 29, 2006
10154 posts
2731 upvotes
A decent size house (2400 feet) on a average city block in a decent neighborhood in Edmonton is around 450-500,000$ (I built new for 480k)

We only pay 5% GST
my property tax was 3600$ this year (i live just west of Edmonton in Spruce Grove) And they actually plow the streets in my city, and do good upkeep in the summer.
Salarys are high, we pull in 130k combined and I swear everyone we know makes more then us, and we are pretty comfortable.
There are now hiring signs everywhere, and not just mcjobs, alot of trade jobs.

I read the other day the unemployment rate in Edmonton is 4.5% You cant get much lower then that.
Deal Addict
Jul 14, 2010
2360 posts
385 upvotes
At the moment, sure, but as much as I'm enjoying Alberta's economy I question how sustainable it is in the long-term. A lot of the economy is invested in the creation of O&G facilities and hardware, not in their actual operation. Once the new projects dry up Alberta's economy won't be as rosy. When will that happen? No idea - I know I've got about 4-5 years projects right now.
Jr. Member
Apr 27, 2011
114 posts
12 upvotes
forthewinwin wrote: - 1200+ /month rent apartment- no roomates, in mid to West Van
- 600/month car ownership- gas, insurance, maintenance, providing that you drive something reliable and doesn't guzzle gas
- 400/month food, eating out once a week at cheaper restaurants
- 100 - 200/month in misc. items, phone bill, etc.
If you move to another cheaper city they only thing here you will save on is rent, and it won't even be by that much. The high housing prices in Vancouver are mostly to purchase single family homes. The disparity on renting apartments is not as high. Other cities will easily cost $800/month to rent a 1 bedroom apartment.

Also, the property tax in Van is lower than AB if you own.
Member
User avatar
Dec 1, 2008
395 posts
6 upvotes
I moved to Alberta from North Van back in 2005 and as much as I miss the rain and hitting the hiking trails whenever I want, I can't see myself going back. The money is too good here for me. If I were to go back I'd be taking a very significant pay cut and then have to deal with a higher cost of living (not that Calgary is cheap these days)... It's taken me a long time to get used to living here, even though I am originally an Albertan before moving to BC many years ago, but things aren't so bad, there are things to do if you go out and look for them.

I don't think projects are going to dry up any time soon. There's still money in the ground, and a lot of the projects I work on (I'm in engineering) are looking at maintaining, improving or expanding the existing plants. That is where you could find a long term career. Unless the Chinese engineering and design sweatshops become reality, then we might be in trouble...

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