Is it reasonable to pack everything up and relocate?

At one point or another, most people fantasize about packing their lives up and going somewhere for a new start. Wouldn't it be nice to simply leave all troubles behind and start fresh wherever the road takes you?

Sooner or later, most of us brush this idea off and resume life in precisely the same spot. Others, however, hold tight to the idea and relocate when the first opportunity reveals itself. This is most often easier said than done, especially for homeowners.

Having to sell a house when housing prices are higher than ever is a task in itself and can take time and require real estate fees that could make a person's toes curl. Unfortunately, that isn't the only risk or expense to pack up and relocate.

For starters, the housing issue is a big deal. A really big deal, which may be lessened if a person is moving from a high-cost area to one with a lower cost of living, such as from Calgary to Halifax or Vancouver to Winnipeg, according to Statistics Canada. Average housing ranges from $250,000 in Winnipeg to more than $700,000 in Vancouver – numbers that are nothing to sneeze at.

Leaving home to pursue the dream job
Dream job, in this case, may be the incorrect term, but how can a person manage a mortgage if he or she needs to relocate to a better – or better-paying – job? Statistics show that more than half of jobs grown in Canada in the last year have been in Alberta, with lots of people rushing to find jobs in the oil, gas and mining industries because there is less competition per available job.

Western provinces in particular are ultra-appealing to Canadians right now, sending them away from their homes and towns to find work in the West.

"In Canada, gains made on houses of condominiums are tax-free as long as they are your primary residence," according to a Canadian Press article. "However, if housing costs are significantly higher in the new jurisdiction, you may have difficulty finding a similar living situation for the same money and you may have to borrow to afford it."

And that's just what Canadians – or anybody, for that matter – need: More debt.

Don't pull out the moving boxes just yet
Experts suggest people not give up on their dreams to move west or relocate – just as long as they think long and hard about their decision first. People without spouses or children may have an easier time making such a life-changing decision, but the best policy is to discuss options with mortgage brokers and financial professionals to avoid losing money and decreasing the quality of life, post-move.

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