[twitter]Mortgage rates are at an all time low. The housing market in Alberta is softening. I have an email alert set from a friend who is a real estate agent. He sends me the listings for our neighbourhood so I can see what’s up with the Joneses. Part of why I have it so I can track what our home is worth, and also to see if there’s a deal across the road on the fancy side of our community.

This week I got the news. Our dream home is for sale just around the corner.


I immediately forwarded the listing to my wife. We sat on the couch on the weekend salivating at the pictures, asking ourselves “is now the time to take on $400 000 in extra debt?”

The house:

My wife misses the waterfront ever since we moved from Vancouver to Calgary. While we didn’t live on it, every drive you took from point A to B involved some wonderful vista of ocean. She misses the water.

In Calgary, grabbing a home on private lakefront is well out of our reach, so my wife would settle for the ‘drainage ponds’ masquerading as wetlands. The back deck of this dream home find has a view like this:

Cougar Ridge lakeview

The pros:

The home is 5 yrs younger than our current home. We’re starting to run into issues with decks falling apart, siding being tired, carpets needing replacement, and the kitchen needing work. The new home is younger, bigger, and has higher ceilings


It’s tricked out from top to bottom with 3 bedrooms up, a walkout basement, and in-law suite downstairs. It has everything we’re looking for in a bigger, brighter, newer package.

The cons:

Despite this ‘dream home’ being ‘on sale,’ it’s still very highly priced for our budget. Our own home has decreased in value, and judging by what our neighbours are trying to sell houses similar to ours for, we’ve dropped at least 10% in value this year.

Our jobs haven’t changed, so buying into a bigger house would mean other budget items would have to move. We wouldn’t be able to afford the private school the boys attend, vacations would be curtailed.

We’d be house rich, and cash poor, and any fluctuation in work status, mortgage rates, or housing market would crumble us.

The decision:

We’re going to stay where we are – for now. In the meantime, I’m going to keep checking that email list, I’m going to pursue career advancements, and look for ways to lock down a higher salary. We’re going to need it, really. From the impending repairs on our current home, to the dream of a water view, things need to get done.

I was inspired by #RBCFirstHome to write this post.

Join in on Tuesday, October 27, for a Twitter chat where you can have all your home buying questions answered and win 1 of 3 $100 Visa Gift Cards before the chat even takes place!

RBC First Home October Chat

Submit your home-buying questions using the hashtag #RBCFirstHome, October 27th @ 8:30p ET

RBC has invited a lawyer, realtor, designer, home builders, and home mortgage experts to participate as well to answer home buying questions.

Chat participants have a chance to win 1 of 5 $100 gift cards

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