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Realistic Opinion of Vancouver Living Costs

Realistic Opinion of Vancouver Living Costs

Old Jun 6th 2023, 6:30 am
  #31  
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Default Re: Realistic Opinion of Vancouver Living Costs

Hi All thanks for the comments. I lived in Vancouver back in 2013/14 so things were a lot cheaper then especially housing.

TBH my wife and I have worked our asses off here in the UK to be able to afford nice cars, nice house, go on multiple holidays per year. Whilst I can live a non materialistic life, I still can’t afford to spend the best part of £30k to move and still have no solid evidence for the life we may have. I wasn’t aware that nurseries had long waiting lists either.

At the end of the day I have to do what’s right for my family, I think I’ll stick it out here in the UK for a while, you never know. The opportunity to move to Canada might come up again and n years to come. We are both comfortable here and have job which pay well and still have lots of progression so I’m not exactly hard done by in the grand scheme of things.
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Old Jun 6th 2023, 6:42 am
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Default Re: Realistic Opinion of Vancouver Living Costs

Originally Posted by Mark109
Hi All thanks for the comments. I lived in Vancouver back in 2013/14 so things were a lot cheaper then especially housing.

TBH my wife and I have worked our asses off here in the UK to be able to afford nice cars, nice house, go on multiple holidays per year. Whilst I can live a non materialistic life, I still can’t afford to spend the best part of £30k to move and still have no solid evidence for the life we may have. I wasn’t aware that nurseries had long waiting lists either.

At the end of the day I have to do what’s right for my family, I think I’ll stick it out here in the UK for a while, you never know. The opportunity to move to Canada might come up again and n years to come. We are both comfortable here and have job which pay well and still have lots of progression so I’m not exactly hard done by in the grand scheme of things.
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Old Jun 6th 2023, 9:35 am
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Default Re: Realistic Opinion of Vancouver Living Costs

Originally Posted by JonboyE
"Opinion" is the sanitized version, after christmasoompa's (not unreasonable) request for decorum.
I'm sorry I missed the unbowlderized version.

Obviously there are lots of poor people in Vancouver, many of whom will be happy to be there as their circumstances are an improvement on wherever they came from. There will also be lots of households where the house was purchased long ago and the property taxes have been deferred until death, these people can maintain a decent standard of living. There are very many people who arrived with what we would consider to be a fortune.

None of this applies to the case of a family newly arriving from the UK. Such a family is likely to be willing to deal with a temporary financial setback while becoming established but probably does not want to move to another country to be permanently worse off. I think the same arguments apply to Toronto, the scenery is worse, the built environment better, than Vancouver, but those considerations are secondary to being able to maintain a reasonable standard of living. I don't see either place as being attractive to immigrants from the UK in the current circumstances.
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Old Jun 6th 2023, 9:39 am
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Default Re: Realistic Opinion of Vancouver Living Costs

Originally Posted by JonboyE
<< dbd33 files another notch on the side of his laptop.>>
It's not a competition, in the end it doesn't matter to me whether people take up a life of relentless toil in Canada or continue to enjoy their many opportunities for holidays in attractive European destinations from the UK. It just strikes me as odd that anyone without specific reason would choose Canada.
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Old Jun 6th 2023, 9:43 am
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Default Re: Realistic Opinion of Vancouver Living Costs

Reading this post and responses has been quite interesting and made me reflect a bit on how to best answer. As other posters have mentioned, it's not impossible to live on the 110K salary and as you already have the job offer, that's put you in a better position than most of us who emigrated.

Anytime you make a major move, most times you will gain in some areas and lose others. You need to work out if the upheaval of a move is worth the potential reward of a new experience.

What really resonated with me is your comments about living in the Lower Mainland in 2013 and how much more expensive things are now and you are right. But maybe something not considered is what the exponential rise in house prices over the last 10 years, and the lack of housing security has done to society here. You mention renting an apartment or townhouse, but the reality right now is so many people are fighting for rentals that it's difficult to secure a place. And many of the rentals are private, so when the owner wants to sell, you are evicted and have to secure new shelter in a rising, competitive market. Buying offers no real relief right now either, I am in a great position to buy a property and gain some housing security - but I keep getting outbid by cash buyers who pay well over the asking price.

And more holistically, the social and economic conditions of Vancouver and the lower mainland of 2013 are a different planet to the one now - the homelessness is heartbreaking, crime of all sorts has increased. Cynicism abounds.

I think if you want the experience and are willing to accept that somethings will be hard....then you should absolutely jump in. But if you are craving security and have a nice house and comfort then it may be better to stay put.

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Old Jun 6th 2023, 3:37 pm
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Default Re: Realistic Opinion of Vancouver Living Costs

Originally Posted by Mark109
Hi All thanks for the comments. I lived in Vancouver back in 2013/14 so things were a lot cheaper then especially housing.

TBH my wife and I have worked our asses off here in the UK to be able to afford nice cars, nice house,go on multiple holidays per year. Whilst I can live a non materialistic life, I still can’t afford to spend the best part of £30k to move and still have no solid evidence for the life we may have. I wasn’t aware that nurseries had long waiting lists either.

At the end of the day I have to do what’s right for my family, I think I’ll stick it out here in the UK for a while, you never know. The opportunity to move to Canada might come up again and n years to come. We are both comfortable here and have job which pay well and still have lots of progression so I’m not exactly hard done by in the grand scheme of things.

This comment stood out for me .............."go on multiple holidays per year."

Have you checked the holiday allocation for the position you are offered??

Workers do not generally get as much holiday time in Canada as you enjoy in the UK.

In fact most get only 2 weeks per year, plus Stat holidays of which there 11 in BC.

That means long weekends, usually only 3 days, and some of the Stat holidays are held on the date, eg Thanksgiving, while others are on the Monday or Friday closest to the date. If the Stat falls on a weekday, then that is only 1 day off, unless you wangle an extra one.
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Old Jun 6th 2023, 4:09 pm
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Default Re: Realistic Opinion of Vancouver Living Costs

Originally Posted by JonboyE
FWIW the opinion of someone who doesn't live thousands of miles away is that:

* Construction manager covers a multitude of roles. If you are just running a job site $110k is reasonable. Not tops, but reasonable.
* $110k a year is way more than most people earn.
* A single income of $110k will get you by in suburban Metro Vancouver. Not an aspirational expat lifestyle but all of life's needs met.
* $200k + joint income is really good. It will put you in the top 10% of household incomes. Even after childcare costs you will have enough left for what most people consider a good lifestyle.
* Typically, I would say that the cost of living in suburban Metro Vancouver is similar to suburban London.

Two caveats. The first is that this is all very subjective. I can introduce you to a single person who earns over $250k and is always broke and borrowing money off his parents. I can also introduce you to a family of five that live on less than a 1/3rd of that and are happy as happy can be. If you measure quality of life in terms of spending it all depends on how much you want to spend and on what. The second is that you seem to be very concerned about your material standard of living. If that is your motivation I would think carefully. It can take a few years to establish yourself and your new lifestyle.
this is excellent advice. If OP can cope with not comparing his situation in the early years with how much further on he’d be financially if he’d stayed then that is a big plus for the move.
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Old Jun 6th 2023, 5:08 pm
  #38  
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Default Re: Realistic Opinion of Vancouver Living Costs

Originally Posted by scilly
This comment stood out for me .............."go on multiple holidays per year."

Have you checked the holiday allocation for the position you are offered??

Workers do not generally get as much holiday time in Canada as you enjoy in the UK.

In fact most get only 2 weeks per year, plus Stat holidays of which there 11 in BC.

That means long weekends, usually only 3 days, and some of the Stat holidays are held on the date, eg Thanksgiving, while others are on the Monday or Friday closest to the date. If the Stat falls on a weekday, then that is only 1 day off, unless you wangle an extra one.
yeah it’s 20 days per year so pretty good for a job in BC.
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Old Jun 6th 2023, 5:17 pm
  #39  
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Default Re: Realistic Opinion of Vancouver Living Costs

Originally Posted by Left Eye
Reading this post and responses has been quite interesting and made me reflect a bit on how to best answer. As other posters have mentioned, it's not impossible to live on the 110K salary and as you already have the job offer, that's put you in a better position than most of us who emigrated.

Anytime you make a major move, most times you will gain in some areas and lose others. You need to work out if the upheaval of a move is worth the potential reward of a new experience.

What really resonated with me is your comments about living in the Lower Mainland in 2013 and how much more expensive things are now and you are right. But maybe something not considered is what the exponential rise in house prices over the last 10 years, and the lack of housing security has done to society here. You mention renting an apartment or townhouse, but the reality right now is so many people are fighting for rentals that it's difficult to secure a place. And many of the rentals are private, so when the owner wants to sell, you are evicted and have to secure new shelter in a rising, competitive market. Buying offers no real relief right now either, I am in a great position to buy a property and gain some housing security - but I keep getting outbid by cash buyers who pay well over the asking price.

And more holistically, the social and economic conditions of Vancouver and the lower mainland of 2013 are a different planet to the one now - the homelessness is heartbreaking, crime of all sorts has increased. Cynicism abounds.

I think if you want the experience and are willing to accept that somethings will be hard....then you should absolutely jump in. But if you are craving security and have a nice house and comfort then it may be better to stay put.
yes you are right, my wife joined a Facebook group for mums in Vancouver. We have been overwhelmed by the amount of people who have unexpectedly been told by landlords that they are selling up. These people are now struggling to find a new place which is suitable for a family and within an affordable price range for them. TBH that’s actually quite scary but also the harsh reality of Vancouver.

We have quite a few friends across Vancouver to Whistler. All have been in Canada for 10 years now, all have very different circumstances. Some were lucky to earn big money in the mining industry but are grinding it out in the city and others have had a lot of financial support from family so have a real decent lifestyle in Squamish (even bought land in Whistler to build a house!).

I guess ultimately it comes down to a better lifestyle for my family, at the moment with everything I’m finding, there isn’t any hard evidence that we’ll have that on the salary I have been given (I thought it was quite low as well if I’m honest). Pointless leaving all our friends and family to then just live in a city 1000s of miles away and not be able to utilise what it has to offer because of money is tight.
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Old Jul 4th 2023, 6:53 pm
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Default Re: Realistic Opinion of Vancouver Living Costs

I work 2 jobs and have side hustles. Salary is about $200k before taxes. The income tax is what gets me. Even tho I was making 45 cents for every dollar I made, I had to do my taxes and still had to pay an additional $20k in taxes. Ughh. I used to think $200k salary would afford me a luxury lifestyle but I am finding myself still budgeting and pinching the pennies. It is really expensive here and I am stressed out everyday over money. Anywho. I'm born and raised here. I don't recommend coming here as your mental health will take a noise dive.
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Old Jul 16th 2023, 6:27 am
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Default Re: Realistic Opinion of Vancouver Living Costs

Originally Posted by christmasoompa
For a LMIA the wages are province specific. I've just looked it up and the median wage (on Job Bank, which is the minimum it must be for the LMIA to be granted) in BC is only $38ph which seems crazy low to me.
I've been using the Randstad salary guide - cant post the url but easily searchable . There seem to be some huge discrepancies with Job Bank. Eg - Construction Mgr median hourly $81.4 - $108.6 ph compared with $38ph. Any idea what is more realistic?

Yeh 110k seems far too low for a Construction Manager, but as mentioned that title can mean different things.
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Old Jul 16th 2023, 6:34 am
  #42  
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Default Re: Realistic Opinion of Vancouver Living Costs

Originally Posted by cardozolto
I've been using the Randstad salary guide - cant post the url but easily searchable . There seem to be some huge discrepancies with Job Bank. Eg - Construction Mgr median hourly $81.4 - $108.6 ph compared with $38ph. Any idea what is more realistic?

Yeh 110k seems far too low for a Construction Manager, but as mentioned that title can mean different things.
No idea about the Randstad one, but the Job Bank average figures are from LMIA applications and EI data (as well as info from stakeholders and others), so presumably is pretty accurate for what foreigners being hired in Canada will get. They don't take years of experience in to account though, that figure is for everybody under that one NOC code, so somebody with much more experience could (should?) expect more.

I'd imagine it's more realistic than Randstad, which will be the 'best you can get' figure, and probably would be for those with Canadian experience. But ultimately, all you can do is wait and see what employers think you're worth I guess, and see what you're offered.
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Old Jul 24th 2023, 6:52 am
  #43  
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Default Re: Realistic Opinion of Vancouver Living Costs

We have lived here for 13 yrs, we own both our cars and our house having sold in the UK and bought here with the proceeds. Two teenage kids and 2 dogs. Skiing went out the window when lift passes and hotels skyrocketed in Whistler 6-7 yrs ago, We ski once or twice a yr at Cypress or Grouse off peak and choose our times wisely, it gets packed up there. We can no longer financially justify going to the theatre or concerts here, they have become too expensive for most people even if you buy a season pass.
The general price of food and alcohol is staggeringly high compared to the UK and if you choose better quality food that will be a shock. House insurance, car insurance, life insurance, pet insurance and mobile phone /internet plans are very expensive compared to the UK. Going on vacation is huge money. Check out the hotel prices on Vancouver Island and Whistler at the moment, check out BC ferries to see how much to go to the Sunshine Coast for the weekend with a car to give you an idea. We book everything in January now including campsites as soon as the websites open. Its still very expensive but you save a little amount. Check out the cost of flights from Vancouver to anywhere (incl in country flights), its becoming unaffordable. You will say goodbye to cheap foreign travel.
I will give you an honest idea of what we spend without having to pay a mortgage and car loans, without buying clothes, holidays, eating out or doing anything basically. For us it averages out around $3,900 per month when you include dental, medication, prescription glasses, braces (after the company medical insurance has paid out their portion). We eat well at home, enjoy wine at the weekend, have Netflix and Disney, our kids have braces through necessity and we all have prescription glasses/contact lenses. Everyone's circumstances will of course differ, this is what we spend.
House rent is now verging on insanity in the whole of the Metro Vancouver area, a single family home near to us which is basically a tear down is now $5500 pm. I wouldn't want to live in it and in the UK, the government wouldn't allow such a property to be rented out (I used to be a landlady and I know how strict the rules are there).
You really need to do your research before you come and keep asking for honest answers to specific questions. There will always be disappointed people on these forums and many new arrivals with rose tinted glasses. Their experiences also depend on where they settled as each community in Metro Vancouver is unique and how much money they brought with them.
We do not regret coming here but we were fortunate that we had enough money to buy a house outright.
The kids have an outstanding Elementary and High school. They walk and catch the bus everywhere and they have a huge group of local friends. We feel safe here compared to the UK and feel we have given them a great childhood growing up outdoors and living in a beautiful part of the world. We do miss certain aspects of the UK and Europe though and travelling back to see relatives is becoming impossible financially. Good luck with your decision.
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