So I went to see my accountant today. What I was expecting would be a twenty minute chat turned into a grueling two hour session involving assets, liabilities, flow-charts, and lots and lots of math. My decision to deal with certain outstanding issues has opened up a host of new outstanding issues which, as I mentioned in a previous post, involve the house. Either I keep it and take on debt or sell it in favor of a far less attractive lifestyle. I’ve already outlined the pros and cons of both decisions –
Keep the house: Pros (home ownership, a great place to raise my dogs, don’t have to deal with noisy neighbors or nosey stratas, a fairly solid investment, not sure where I’d put all my stuff if I downsize) and Cons (I only use about half the space, the market is softening and now “might” be a good time to get out, Akemi feels isolated here).
Sell the house: Pros (I’d be debt free, the dogs were in the best shape of their lives when we were living in a condo in T.O., opportunity to broaden our social horizons) and Cons (the potential for strata headaches, annoying neighbours, taking the dogs out would be so much more of a hassle – especially Jelly who can barely walk much less do stairs, to say nothing of the pain-in-the-ass move).
Originally, I thought maybe selling wouldn’t be such a bad idea. My house is paid off and would command a handsome price. I could get a gorgeous condo for half the price. Now would be the time to sell as the local real estate market is showing signs of a downturn for the first time in over a decade. BUT the more I thought about it, the more I realized that if the real estate market did take a dive, condos would be feeling the hurt A LOT more than detached homes. Every 5% drop in home value would probably see a commensurate 15% drop in the value of condos since there are so damn many of them and they just keep on making more! I thought that settled the issue until Akemi rightly pointed out that a 5% drop in the value of my home would see me lose significantly more than a 15% drop in whatever condo I bought.
And sadly, no, downsizing to a smaller home isn’t an option. I couldn’t get one any closer to downtown (a big reason for selling the house in the first place). Downtown Vancouver is all glass and steel boxes with little green space –
ALSO, the smaller detached dwellings would be even harder to sell if things go sideways. Yes, I could keep the house and get Akemi a car but that only addresses one small issue of the many I’m juggling. Renting out the house while living in a condo would actually be the worst case scenario as I would then ALSO have to take out a loan for the downpayment on the condo and be faced with financial catastrophe in the event the real estate market goes bust and I’m stuck with two rapidly depreciating properties.
I can’t help but think that if I had seriously applied myself to winning the lottery instead of slacking off, all of these problems could have been avoided.
Well, maybe this will cheer me up. Pictures and video of Lulu (in the stylish blue sweater) at the last French Bulldog meet-up:
And, finally, on the subject of dogs –
Does a dog have the right to protect itself from an abuser? Not in Montrose, Colorado apparently. Read Dutch’s story here: http://www.examiner.com/article/valentine-s-day-may-prove-deadly-for-one-dog?cid=db_articles