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Old 07-07-2008, 10:37 PM   #21
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We loved our vacation in Victoria, we stayed in a bed and breakfast right behind that famous hotel you have pictured.

I highly recommend the zodiac trips to see the pods of killer whales. Getting that close to something that big and fast is simply amazing.
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Old 07-08-2008, 07:18 PM   #22
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It is a great place, but unless you have a familial connection to Canada, you can't stay there indefinitely. No retirement visas anymore and no state health care for foreigners. You could live up there as a tourist up to the limit (about 6 months/year, if memory serves--but you better check that for yourself), then go elsewhere for the rest of the year, though.
I am a Canadian citizen.

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By the way, I am expecting a property value crash in Canada similar to the US in a year or three. When the jobs engine sputters, a lot of property speculators are going to be trying to sell. Keep your powder dry and cash on hand.
Exactly.
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Old 07-09-2008, 06:26 PM   #23
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With regard to real estate values in Canada....the values could come down in next couple of years as has been suggested. But I'm thinking that British Columbia is a little different in that that province, at least in many areas, has the best climate Canada has to offer and I think that gives it some protection. I will definitely take a look, with cash in hand, if the values do dive.

BTW, I'm a Canadian citizen and an American citizen.
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Old 07-09-2008, 06:35 PM   #24
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With regard to real estate values in Canada....the values could come down in next couple of years as has been suggested. But I'm thinking that British Columbia is a little different in that that province, at least in many areas, has the best climate Canada has to offer and I think that gives it some protection. I will definitely take a look, with cash in hand, if the values do dive.

BTW, I'm a Canadian citizen and an American citizen.

Replace BC with San Diego and you'll be saying what all my neighbors said 2 years ago! People will pay a premium for a house in a good climate, all else being equal, but pretty soon the math becomes inescapable. Our local bubble got way out of hand though, so it may not be so bad up there.
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Old 07-10-2008, 02:30 PM   #25
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Our local bubble got way out of hand though, so it may not be so bad up there.
globeandmail.com: Ottawa tightens mortgage rules to avoid 'bubble'
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Old 07-10-2008, 04:29 PM   #26
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This was my first visit to Victoria and I had expected it to be veddy veddy British, but in fact I found it refreshingly unstuffy and relaxedly Canadian. I love this province and it has become my ER location of choice.
I hope that you will have the opportunity to travel around Vancouver Island, and if possible get to some of the Gulf Islands as well. There are lots of great places to see besides Victoria.

I haven't been back to B.C. since my navy days, but sometime I hope to return.
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Old 07-10-2008, 08:09 PM   #27
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You're welcome!



Banff is in Alberta. It's about 700 km from Vancouver. About 10 hours by road (my estimate; I have not driven the whole route). A good way to go would be to fly to Calgary, see Banff, drive west to the BC Interior via the Okanagan wine country, then continue to Vancouver, Whistler and take the ferry to Vancouver Island. Fly home from Victoria or Vancouver.
It's a long difficult drive on two lane roads up through Kamloops and the Thompson River Valley(More like a gorge). Did it once; and once was enough. On the other hand Banff and Jasper are astounding-as is much of the Thompson valley.

Ha
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Old 07-10-2008, 08:13 PM   #28
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Replace BC with San Diego and you'll be saying what all my neighbors said 2 years ago! People will pay a premium for a house in a good climate, all else being equal, but pretty soon the math becomes inescapable. Our local bubble got way out of hand though, so it may not be so bad up there.
And, people are not exactly trapped in Canada. They could keep residence in a small apartment somewhere in Eastern Canada and spend most of their time in a much better winter climate like Florida.

Ha
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Old 07-10-2008, 09:12 PM   #29
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Replace BC with San Diego and you'll be saying what all my neighbors said 2 years ago! People will pay a premium for a house in a good climate, all else being equal, but pretty soon the math becomes inescapable.
I have been to Vancouver/Victoria a few times (short day trip from Seattle base), and in fact we are heading up there in late Aug for a longer stay (DW happened to snatch cheap airfare). You could tell we love the place, but we were surprised to hear the following from a friend of mine, who grew up in Vancouver.

Upon hearing that my ultimate desire is to move to somewhere in the Puget Sound, he shook his head and said I should spend a winter there before deciding. He said the gloomy sky was depressing, and he rather lived elsewhere. The sky is not at all year-round nice like San Diego. I backpedaled saying maybe Whidbey Island would not be as bad as Seattle and Vancouver, weatherwise. He still shook his head.

About real estate, I read that it was driven up by influx of rich Oriental, mostly from HongKong, emigrating away when mainland reclaimed HK. They were called the "yatch people", totally at the opposite wealth spectrum from the better known Vietnamese "boat people".

So, about San Diego, I recently saw that condo prices in Chula Vista were getting a lot more reasonable, and might fall further. Something for retirees to consider. Hmm, where's that real estate link ... And where's the nearest Costco for some Dungeness crab ...
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Old 07-10-2008, 10:36 PM   #30
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I have been to Vancouver/Victoria a few times (short day trip from Seattle base), and in fact we are heading up there in late Aug for a longer stay (DW happened to snatch cheap airfare). You could tell we love the place, but we were surprised to hear the following from a friend of mine, who grew up in Vancouver.

Upon hearing that my ultimate desire is to move to somewhere in the Puget Sound, he shook his head and said I should spend a winter there before deciding. He said the gloomy sky was depressing, and he rather lived elsewhere. The sky is not at all year-round nice like San Diego. I backpedaled saying maybe Whidbey Island would not be as bad as Seattle and Vancouver, weatherwise. He still shook his head.

About real estate, I read that it was driven up by influx of rich Oriental, mostly from HongKong, emigrating away when mainland reclaimed HK. They were called the "yatch people", totally at the opposite wealth spectrum from the better known Vietnamese "boat people".

So, about San Diego, I recently saw that condo prices in Chula Vista were getting a lot more reasonable, and might fall further. Something for retirees to consider. Hmm, where's that real estate link ... And where's the nearest Costco for some Dungeness crab ...
Be careful where you buy in Chula Vista. There are some shady neighborhoods. And just cross National City off the list (we call it Nasty City). If you are seriously looking, avoid Vista in the north county as well. Parts of Oceanside are kind of seedy as well. Just about any place in Carlsbad, Encinitas, Del Mar, La Jolla, Carmel Valley, Carmel Mountain, Rancho Bernardo and Poway are going to be nice. Everything else has it's good and bad. Stay west of the 15 if you can, that way it's not 100 out all summer long. I'm about 4 miles west and it nears 100 about 10 days a year max in a bad year.
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Old 07-10-2008, 10:57 PM   #31
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From google map+realtor.com+redfin.com, I saw this new development further inland, near a man-made lake (reservoir). It is so new that not all maps got street filled in. Condos there still cost as much as a house in AZ, but again they are coming down. Is that area OK? Hot in summer?

Thanks for info.
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Old 07-10-2008, 11:22 PM   #32
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[quote=NW-Bound;681503]
Upon hearing that my ultimate desire is to move to somewhere in the Puget Sound, he shook his head and said I should spend a winter there before deciding. He said the gloomy sky was depressing, and he rather lived elsewhere. The sky is not at all year-round nice like San Diego. I backpedaled saying maybe Whidbey Island would not be as bad as Seattle and Vancouver, weatherwise. He still shook his head. quote]

I live in Calgary so Banff is practically in our backyard and we have views of The Rockies from our house.

Yes, Vancouver and Victoria are milder than Calgary but the local joke is that it's always raining and/or overcast whereas Calgary gets a lot of sun. According to Environment Canada, Calgary is ranked first out of Canada's 100 largest cities for the number of sunniest days year-round and has more than 2,300 hours of sunshine annually. I'd rather take a sunny cold day over a wet and dreary one anytime (but that's just me )
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Old 07-10-2008, 11:24 PM   #33
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From google map+realtor.com+redfin.com, I saw this new development further inland, near a man-made lake (reservoir). It is so new that not all maps got street filled in. Condos there still cost as much as a house in AZ, but again they are coming down. Is that area OK? Hot in summer?

Thanks for info.
Eastlake? Otay? The area has some nice homes, but the thing to remember is price is king in San Diego. If the price is lower, it's probably due to crime. A lot of Mexican nationals who have made a lot of money in T.J. live in southern San Diego for a safer, better place for their kids. Unfortunately sometimes trouble follows them. But there is trouble everywhere. Just rent a place out here and if you find a possible property, cruise the neighborhood around 11 pm on Saturday to see what's what.

Here's a good crime map of the area:

Crime Statistics for Eastlake, San Diego, CA - REALTOR.com

Zoom out and check out all of the county. I live in the center of the northern big blue blob. East Vista seems to be just fine, I guess it's west Vista with the Oceanside influence that has a problem.

Overall San Diego is 1000% better than L.A. Get as close to the coast as you can, get in a low crime area, and you'll be in heaven.
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Old 07-10-2008, 11:31 PM   #34
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Eastlake? Otay?
Here's a good crime map of the area:

Crime Statistics for Eastlake, San Diego, CA - REALTOR.com

Zoom out and check out all of the county. I live in the center of the northern big blue blob. East Vista seems to be just fine, I guess it's west Vista with the Oceanside influence that has a problem.

Overall San Diego is 1000% better than L.A. Get as close to the coast as you can, get in a low crime area, and you'll be in heaven.
Yes! It's Eastlake/Otay. Thx for the crime map. 100% agreed on comparison to L.A.
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Old 07-11-2008, 01:54 AM   #35
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According to Environment Canada, Calgary is ranked first out of Canada's 100 largest cities for the number of sunniest days year-round and has more than 2,300 hours of sunshine annually. I'd rather take a sunny cold day over a wet and dreary one anytime (but that's just me )
I agree. I have spent most of my life in the soggy Pacific Northwest and am currently working in Calgary. I prefer my precipitation in solid form now.
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Old 07-11-2008, 10:00 AM   #36
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I agree. I have spent most of my life in the soggy Pacific Northwest and am currently working in Calgary. I prefer my precipitation in solid form now.
Are you tired of the Stampede yet?
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Old 07-12-2008, 05:47 PM   #37
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Are you tired of the Stampede yet?
Didn't make it this year, but I DID go to a breakfast and two BBQ lunches. God bless vendors!

The weather has been great (but you knew that, didn't you, CG? :-)
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Old 07-12-2008, 05:51 PM   #38
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You're in! (I mentioned it because some Yanks don't know and think they can just go and stay.)
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Old 07-12-2008, 10:45 PM   #39
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I visited Vancouver Island last year with my father and agree with all that it was beautiful. The Butchart Gardens on the island were particularly beautiful. It took my breath away and I don't say that kind of thing lightly.
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Smile Weather and other 'natural' considerations
Old 07-20-2008, 04:55 PM   #40
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Smile Weather and other 'natural' considerations

Some of my family live on Vancouver Island..in Victoria and we love to visit. I do think though it would be an adjustment to live there year round or in the pacific n.w. year round if you are used to having sunshine most days as, say, in the western part of the US. I do know there are many times I'll be talking with them in Victoria and ask how's the weather, and their most common answer is, "bright"...meaning overcast, but not quite rain (high humidity though). However you don't need a green thumb to make things grow there, so gardening is much more enjoyable! I've always wanted to retire close to the water somewhere on the West Coast....but I've been seeing alot of recent documentaries and news shows on global warming and rising sea levels, nevermind the overdue Cascadia fault line earthquake that runs along the W.C. of US & Canada ... and it does make one think! Maybe I'd better stop watching National Geographic!
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