Alternative Living in Vancouver

We Love Kits
We Love Kits
Published on April 26, 2020
View of Vancouver on a cold blue new years eve day morning.

So you moved to Vancouver because friends told you about it, you always wanted to visit, or, you travelled here from another country.

This blog is for you. But, only if you have a sense of adventure, otherwise, this might be too much 😉

Let me share a conversation that happened a few years back. It was December 2018, I was waiting to get a haircut. It was just before our family was heading to Guatemala for a Christmas vacation.

There was a young man waiting to get his haircut. We started talking. Sometimes life brings people together for a reason. Well, he had just returned from an extended trip through South and Central America. His favourite country, Guatemala.

He gave me some great insight into the Country and told me about some of his favourite adventures. He asked me what I did for a living. I told him I was a Realtor. No, he didn’t run screaming from the shop.

He had just made his first home purchase that month. A fixer-upper project that he took on. It wasn’t a House, it wasn’t a Condo, it was a Boat 🛥️

He loved Vancouver like the rest of us. His budget though prevented him from getting into the housing market. He still loved the ocean and the mountains and wanted to stay in town, so he got creative. He was a backpacker and adventure traveller, so it was in his blood.

Check out the video below. This was a woman renting in San Francisco who decided to live outside the box. Or should I say, she gave up her box for something a little more interesting. Oceanfront property with a view, priceless in California.

A starter Condo in Kitsilano is going to cost about $500,000, that’s for a 1 bedroom. You need a 25% downpayment, so $125,000 plus the land transfer tax of $8,000. So $133,000 not including inspection costs, legal costs etc. Add another $1,500-$2K to the total.

Welcome to the world of home ownership. Now, let’s look at some other expenses coming your way:

  • Property Taxes: $125/month
  • Condo Fees: $275/month
  • Hydro: $100/month
  • Insurance: $35/month

Yes, Vancouver is an expensive city, but we all want to live here for. Finishing work and going for a walk or a run on the seawall. It’s an amazing city to call home. Great hiking 20 minutes from our doorstep. Skiing, snowboarding, golfing, cycling. Being active year-round. You can’t put a price tag on that. Well you can, it’s called healthy living.

Living aboard a sailboat or powerboat is an alternative to expensive rent or housing. Living under the burden of something called a mortgage isn’t fun. Especially when Covid-19 is in town. Time to leave town Mr. 19.

Do you consider yourself a minimalist? How are you going to deal with getting rid of most of your “stuff”. Living on a boat has a few challenges, the biggest is lack of space. You have to live life with less. Maybe being able to experience more out of life and having less “stuff” might be a good thing.

How does this sound?

  • Going green
  • Being free from financial worry
  • Getting rid of clutter that doesn’t add value to your life
  • Being happier and less stressed
  • Spending more on experiences rather than stuff
  • Developing better relationships

It sounds good to me. I better start checking out Vancouver Craigslist for sailboats for sale. So talking about that, let’s see what we can get! Sailboat For Sale

So just under $40,000 Cdn get you a used Sailboat. It looks like it could use an update in the interior but otherwise looks pretty good. Under $40K and you have a place to live. Vancouver Oceanfront property! You even have some room for guests if you like. That’s a far cry from $500K. I saw some other nice Sailboats for only $30,000.

This Sailboat probably doesn’t have it, but, you can purchase solar panels specifically designed for boats. You would need to retrofit internally as well, converters, and battery packs. But, another way to live off the grid.

So you buy the sailboat, MORTGAGE-FREE! You still have $93K leftover. You renovate, upgrade a bit and don’t forget you still have some monthly fees.

I looked into the Marina fees for you courtesy of Burrard Civic Marina for 2019:

It’s going to cost you $575/month for your sailboat. So that’s $6,900 annually. The Marina fee includes your parking spot (boat slip) and hydro every month. This was just an example. Not all Marina’s allow you to live onsite. That’s something to figure out in advance. Many of the Marina’s have waitlists as well. So something else to figure out. It’s not impossible though.

That Condo at the top is going to cost you $32,592 annually. That’s a $25,000 difference. Money in your bank account. The boat depreciates in value, the condo appreciates in value. It just depends on what you want. So make sure you invest that extra money you are saving. Send me an email and I’ll give you an idea of how to make that $25K grow through stocks! You can do it yourself 💰

Now, I will leave it with you to ponder. But take it one step further. Learn how to sail that boat and eventually get off the grid and start travelling the world.

Have a view of the cool video below. It’s about a couple that has been living life to the max at sea for 10 years. No Marina fees 👍

PS: I’m putting myself out of business writing this 😇 We all have options in life. Try something different for a change. Oceanfront living in Vancouver, it doesn’t get any better…

PPS: I’m not a boat broker so I’m not going to be able to help you buy that boat. Sorry about that.

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