A Money Coach in Canada

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I haven’t been planning to purchase a place here anytime soon, in part because I want to see how I handle this winter.  I’m giving myself full permission to return to Vancouver with my daschunds if we need to thaw out and can’t handle the ongoing cold and snow.

I was minding my own business on Thursday evening, greeting friends via facebook, when the ad appeared on the right.

Never did I think I’d consider a mobile home as a domicile, but, I mean look at those pictures!  In Yellowknife, either because we’ve had lame developers or in combo with difficult conditions (cold, isolation) for building, mobile homes are a-Plenty here and don’t have the connotations of The Boys.

PROS

1. It has the look and feel, nearly precisely, that I would want

  • laminate
  • wood stove
  • soaker tub
  • warm wood and white walls
  • crown moulding
  • stainless steel appliances (oh, to have a dishwasher again.  handwashing begone!)
  • yard that does not require upkeep
  • special bonuses:  the entertainment system (on my to-buy list, right down to the Bose audio system) and the persian rug runner down the length.  Seriously, it’s so.totally.me.
  • 1.5 minutes away from Yellowknife’s best trail and lake
  • close to the Co-op where I shop

2.  The monthly payments are only a couple hundred more than I’m paying for rent

3.  Unlike many people, I’m still gloomy about the long-term prognosis for the economy, and have been debating investing in real estate rather than stocks.  My hunch is that the north is going to continue to quietly boom and that real estate here is a good investment.

4.  I’ll verify this with an inspection (only 1 inspector up here apparently!  grrrrr) but it appears to be in good condition, including a 2007 furnace, a new fibreglass oil tank, and some kind of relatively new pvc (?) piping = not as likely to freeze.

5.  I estimate that in 3 years I’ll have built up about $20K in equity.

6.  It’s affordable.

CONS

1.  I hadn’t planned on this, at least right now, and don’t want to be rushed on at $250K choice.  The deadline, for reasons I won’t go into, is Tuesday (day after tomorrow).

2.  I’m not sure I can pull all my various funds together in time to get my down payment.

3.  The ceiling is rather low.

4.  I don’t know the market up here very well yet.   I suspect mobile homes don’t appreciate the way stick-built do.

5.  One huge, major issue.   The condo corp. is responsible for the roads and pipes and apparently they are well past the due-date for replacement, but the corp does not have the, oh, $20M or so needed.   Each person on the strata could well be on the hook for up to $50K, although then the equity would be higher as well – plus, their may be some federal funding available.

6.  My monthly costs will go up because I’ll now be paying heat, hot water and internet (currently included in my rent)

6.  And last, I’m just not sure I want to commit to a place yet.

Thanks to the fabulous Realtor in Vancouver, Urbanista, for some really great pointers on the real estate angle (like, lenders look at mobile homes differently).

Readers, any comments?  Ideas?  Objective thoughts? YIIIIKKKES! 😉

Squawkfox? Krystal? Canajun Finance? Four Pillars? – opinions?

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FULL DISCLAIMER – this post is *not* about Nancy’s non-existent skills as a videographer (I only got my canon camera last weekend!).

It *is* about getting Fit in 15 in a way that is CANADIAN, fun, and also helps me get reaquainted with my hometown of Yellowknife, NWT (I just moved back after 20 years in Vancouver)

So, my fellow Fit-in-15ers, what’ve you got that can beat 15 minutes dancing at a Dene Drum Dance in Ndilo, Yellowknife, at midnight on summer soltice, on National Aboriginal Day!

And if anyone doubts that this dancing is exercise, you just try it. Just try it. Find a drum dance, and try it.

Readers: 1 point given if you describe a cultural event you’ve participated in that took you out of your comfort zone and gave you some exercise!

So for today’s Fit in 15, I walked to Yellowknife’s character-filled old town, and climbed up to the bush pilot’s monument. As you can see, the view is spectacular. There’s just one problem. This is my first time to use the video function on my camera. Foolishly, I filmed it vertically and for the life of me, I don’t know how to flip it on flickr.

Update – thanks, WoolyWoman, for the picassa tip! It let me rotate the video! That has GOT to have earned you 2 points in my little contest, don’t you think? Alas, I couldn’t seem to upload it to Flickr, but as you can see, YouTube came to the rescue.

If you can help me out on that with a tip that works, you’re entered in for a bonus point for my iPod shuffle and $20iTunes giveaway next week! Help?