Vancouver condo market.. sucks like a $0.50 hooker

As we prepare for our travels next year, one of our hardest decisions we have to make is what to do with our condo here in Vancouver. Over this last year condo selling prices have dropped approximately 10%, meaning it’s wiped out a large amount of our investments. At this point we’re faced with two options

#1) Sell our Vancouver condo – we bought our condo in November of 2006 knowing it was a short term investment, but expected to make some money over a couple of years. After we factor in the provincial purchase tax, renovations, breaking our mortgage and real estate fee’s (about $15,000) we’ll come out not making a dime. This of course is very disappointing, but if the market further “corrects” (read: crashes and burns like a 14 year old teenager asking for his first date) we’ll be losing further money. On the flip side we get out of the market relatively unscathed.

#2) Rent our condo – this is another option, as we’ve done some excellent renovations to our property and it looks pretty damn nice. We purchased at the height of the housing market and so we’ll have to rent it out for a pretty high figure. The upside to this is we’ll have a place when we get back from our travels and the market may make a comeback; the downside is we’ll have to try and rent it for a pretty high dollar amount. Add to this the uncertainty of future markets and condo pricing, and it’s a risky decision. I’m investigating renting it out furnished but don’t know a thing about it.

This is pretty much the hardest decision we’re having to make to date, and it really comes down to the safe bet or taking a huge risk. There’s so much that depends on the upcoming US and Canada elections, and where the economies are going all of which is out of my control. I’d be kicking myself if we sold now, made no money and the markets rejuvenate right before the Olympics. On the other hand we could lose tons of money.

Why can’t it all be easy?

It really does come down to whether we’re risk takers or safety officers. If you never swing for the fences, are you ever going to hit the home run?

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