If you’ve been thinking about relocating, whether for work or for personal reasons, it’s often difficult to factor in the unforeseen costs that can quickly add up, making your move even more costly.


And it turns out, if you’re thinking about moving to Vancouver, it would cost you roughly an additional USD $7,874 if you’re moving on your own or USD $16,565 if you’re moving as a family, according to a new study from relocation experts, Movinga.

The study, which is called the International Moving Index, was conducted by determining how much it would cost both individuals and families to relocate, by calculating the landing costs associated with moving to some of the most in-demand cities around the world.


The study first selected 85 cities around the world that are “known for attracting expats due to their work opportunities and outstanding education, as well as those attracting new talent for their bustling start-up culture and alluring lifestyle.”

The study then looked at essential costs for an individual to move versus a family, these costs included things like the day-to-day living expenses to rental prices, including transportation, food and drink, as well as a new phone plan.

Movinga also factored in the average cost of rent for temporary accommodation in a city and storage fees to keep belongings safe while you hunt for more permanent accommodation.

Finally, Movinga included one month’s deposit for permanent accommodation, in addition to the monthly rent and the cost of setting up an internet connection.

According to the study, San Francisco is the most expensive city to move to, at a cost of USD $13,531 for an individual and USD $24,004 for a family, followed by New York City, USA and Geneva, Switzerland.


Out of the 85 ranked cities, Toronto placed 21, costing a total of USD $7,939 for an individual and USD $16,037 for a family to relocate to.

Vancouver trailed behind at 22nd spot on the list. Montreal was the final Canadian city to make it onto the list, claiming the 51st spot and costing USD $5,371 for an individual and USD $10,069 for a family to relocate to.

“The costs in this price index are designed to be an indicator of the kind of expenses a person may incur by moving to a new city. In many cases, an individual moving abroad may be sponsored by a new employer to do so and will receive financial help or pre-paid temporary accommodation,” comments Finn Age Hänsel, managing director of Movinga.

“However, for those trying to calculate how much money they would need to save to move abroad both for themselves and potentially their family, this price index offers a great benchmark estimate.”


The full 2019 International Moving Index can be found here.

Original Article: Daily Hive

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The spring market tends to be the busiest time of year for selling real estate – but does that mean you’ll necessarily get the best price for your home?

Timing your home’s listing can be tricky – especially in a challenging market for sellers, such as the current one in the Lower Mainland.

Real estate website Zolo has issued a report analyzing the best time to list a home in Canada’s major cities, in terms of the premium that sellers achieve.

Zolo said of the spring market, “The assumption is the increased inventory on the market triggers higher sales activity, making [spring] the ideal time to sell a home. But that’s not always the case. Other factors can influence the best time to put your house on the market, including the specifics of your local housing market, job growth, current and projected mortgage rates, recent and proposed housing regulations as well as tax incentives.”

Zolo crunched more than a decade of data to find out which time of year earns sellers the biggest premium on their home price. They broke it down by area and created a handy infographic map so you can check out when is best to list your home in your area.

In Greater Vancouver, Zolo said, “The best-selling window to list if you’re selling a house in Vancouver, the North Shore, Squamish, Coquitlam, South Surrey and Richmond is sometime in early or late fall. Sellers who skipped the spring market and listed in the fall earned, on average, $15,000 to almost $150,000 more on the sale of their home.”

The report authors added, “Those selling a condo in the Vancouver, the North Shore, Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley regions may also want to wait and list in the fall, when sellers earned, on average, approximately $10,300 to just under $150,000.”

Check out Zolo’s infographic map below to see when you should list for your area, whether a house or a condo.

Zolo Infographic-Vancouver-house
Zolo Infographic-Vancouver-condoSource: Zolo
Original Article: Vancouver Courier 
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Q. We are planning to retire in a couple of years (I’m 60 and my wife is 58) and want to downsize our house. We currently live just outside downtown Toronto and estimate our house to be worth about $1 million. We don’t have a mortgage as we paid off our home several years ago and are wondering if it’s better to sell our large home and purchase a smaller house now—or to sell the house and just rent a place for the next 20 years or so. I realize that we would have equity in another house but anticipate that the smaller house would cost us about $750,000. We could be better off simply investing this money instead. What do you suggest?

A. The right decision for you and your wife depends on what you mean by “better off.” Let me explain.

With real estate prices high in much of Canada, cashing out by selling your home and renting can certainly look like an attractive option right now. But renting so early in your retirement may be premature since it would mean that you may be renting for a long stretch of time—meaning 20 to 30 years or more.

An option you may want to consider is staying invested to some degree in the real estate market for the intermediate term (10 to 15 years) by either “downsizing” or “right-sizing” to a smaller house or condominium unit. You can then reconsider the renting scenario at a later stage in your retirement, perhaps at age 80 or 85.  The equity you have in your downsized home at that time can become a source of income for this later stage in your life. In many cases, the last years of life in your 80s or 90s can often be the most expensive, if you need long-term care. You can think of the home equity from the downsized home as a kind of long-term care insurance that will be there when the house is sold—and you’ll be very glad you have it.

Alternatively,  if you were to sell your home now for $1 million, invest the money and rent a home instead, the money you get from the proceeds, if invested in a portfolio of solid, blue-chip, dividend-paying stocks yielding an average annual return of 4%, will give you a portfolio return of about $40,000 a year. That sounds like a lot of money, but remember that the investment would have to generate enough income to cover both the rent you will have to pay as well as provide the income for other activities or retirement plans you may have for 20 years or more in retirement. And keep in mind that you may also have to pay tax on this amount, depending on your overall annual income.

Of course, other sources of income may be available to you and your wife at retirement—meaning Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Old Age Security (OAS) benefits, employer pensions, RRSPs*, TFSAs, RRIFs, and any dividends or income from non-registered investment portfolios you might hold. All of these sources of income should be factored into the calculation when you’re trying to decide how much more than the $40,000 annually from your investments you will need to cover all expenses.

Once you have a good understanding of what your total retirement income will be, you will be able to make a better choice when deciding whether to rent or downsize/rightsize.

For instance, if you both have ample savings, investments and pension income coming in at retirement, then downsizing to a smaller house or condo and keeping one foot in the real estate market is a strong consideration. Buying a smaller home for cash and having $250,000 or so from the sale of your large home available for investment will give you a cash cushion if money gets tight or, it can simply provide you with some fun money to enjoy the earlier stage of retirement (age 60 to 75 or so). In the scenario you presented, where you would sell your $1 million home, buy a smaller one for $750,000 and investment the remaining $250,000 (not including real estate commission and other closing costs) in a well-diversified portfolio yielding 4% annually, you could expect about $10,000 a year in investment income during your retirement years.

Mike, the key to making the right choice for you and your wife here is to look at your finances in the context of what type of lifestyle you’d like to have in retirement. Plan your finances for retirement based on the lifestyle you hope to have—comfortable; or lavish with lots of travel and hobbies. You will have a stronger financial plan—and a happier retirement—if you link or match your retirement spending to specific goals and activities you want in your retirement years. That way, there are no surprises that require spending beyond your means.

I hope this helps paint a clear picture for you moving forward, Mike—and best of luck in your upcoming retirement years.

Heather Franklin is a fee-for-service Certified Financial Planner in Toronto.

Original Article: Money Sense

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Moe Pourtaghi

"Nothing brings me more joy than seeing my buyers & sellers have success in their Real Estate endeavours. I hope you find the articles on my blog inspiring and educating in your ventures." - Moe Pourtaghi

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