They have five children, ranging in age from less than a year to 9, all of whom will go to private school. They have substantial earning power – although Ilsa is on mat leave at the moment – but Eric chooses to work for less money than he could.
They are living rent free in a relative’s house (they pay taxes, utilities and upkeep) and “regret not having bought a house years ago,” Eric writes in an e-mail. Houses in their Vancouver neighbourhood have doubled in price in the past two years. The house where they live is going up for sale soon, so they need to move quickly.
Last fall, they bought a building lot for $1.1-million and are planning to build a house large enough for their family and a live-in nanny. But with a combined income of $360,000 ($450,000 when Ilsa returns to work) and an $800,000 mortgage, can they afford the builder’s $1-million price tag? Who will lend them the money?
“Two professionals should be able to afford a modest house, but we can’t get the numbers to work and would appreciate some help,” Eric writes. He earns $200,000 a year working one day a week in a medical clinic. But his real love is teaching, which he does one day a week at a university; this earns him $100,000 a year.
“I have no pension whatsoever, but like my parents, colleagues and mentors, I love my work and plan to keep going well into my 80s, so retiring is not a big concern, just living,” Eric writes.
We asked Warren MacKenzie, principal at HighView Financial Group in Toronto, to look at Ilsa and Eric’s situation.
DIANNE MALEY Globe and Mail | Ishmael N. Daro PostMedia Reportage