3 ways a storage unit can help Vancouver homeowners through the inflation crisis

It isn’t just the summer heat; Canadians were already sweating from inflation being at a 40-year high. When the Bank of Canada announced a 1% interest hike, mortgage-bound homeowners and investors really started to tremble.

With a 2.5% interest rate – the highest it’s been in years – the market is heading toward what could finally be that ‘bubble pop’ realtors in Canada’s biggest markets have been speculating about for years.

Vancouver is already experiencing the repercussions, which some might argue include an overdue drop in value. Prior to the recent interest hike, you needed an annual household income of over $200k to afford property in Vancouver

If you’re one of those people looking to bow out of the mortgage and downsize – or reduce stress at home while you’re deciding if you can afford to move forward with your payments – here are some ways self storage can give you a much-needed break:

  1. Downsize your home

    While high interest rates are stopping some people from entering the market, not all is lost. Buyers are still snatching up properties, albeit not at the rate (or price) they were five years ago. A buyer’s market means you should be able to unload your property, even if you have to cut your losses.

    If you don’t want to sell, think about bringing in tenants to soften the mortgage blow while you rent a smaller home or apartment. A smaller property means lower utility bills, too. 

Rent a storage unit to hold furniture, valuables, and any other belongings that don’t fit in your downsized property. One day you’ll be in a better position – or you’ll find that a simpler, scaled back lifestyle is actually just what you needed.

  1. Maximize space to reduce stress

If things are starting to get tense at home, make more space. “How can you say that when stress is the reason we’re thinking about selling?” Well, you can get more space without physically increasing your square footage: by decluttering. Less clutter means more space, more mental freedom, and more control of your environment.

We may not have control of inflation and interest rates, but we can take back some of that control at home. The process of cleaning and decluttering alone can reduce stress. And that’ll hopefully result in less tension between family members.

Moving lower priority items into a storage locker will free up a ton of space at home. You’ll still be able to access your belongings when you need them while knowing they’re just as safe (if not safer) in a secure self-storage facility.

  1. Say no to warehouse space

If you own commercial real estate and can downsize part of your operation, this is the time. If you have inventory or lower priority items clogging up a warehouse, move them into offsite storage and relocate your office into a smaller space. Chances are a monthly storage unit will cost you less than the difference in monthly mortgage payments.

Even though we’re dealing with the highest one-time interest rate increase in over 20 years, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. There are always options, but it can be tough to see them during stressful times. 

Trust that you’re doing the best you can and regain a little control over your finances!

One Way Canadians Can Support Ukrainian Refugees In Your City

When you think about reasons to be grateful to be Canadian, look no further than local mom Stephanie Clark and other volunteers in North Vancouver who have come together to help Ukrainian families displaced by war.

Over 12 Million Ukrainians have fled their homes following the Russian invasion in March 2022 and over 55,000 of those arrived in Canada between January 1 and June 26.

The government of Canada is offering a program for Ukrainians to work or study in Canada for up to three years, but they’re only providing limited financial assistance. Finding housing is the biggest hurdle for these refugees, says Ihor Michalchyshyn, executive director of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress – especially in expensive cities like Vancouver.

Stephanie wanted to do more to help, so she decided to band together with neighbours and open their homes to refugees through a public bulletin website called Ukraine Take Shelter. They connected with three families – all extended relatives of each other – whose homes were destroyed and who escaped with only a backpack.

While they had some savings, the value of Ukrainian currency was so low compared to the Canadian dollar they knew it wouldn’t go far once they got to Canada. Thanks to Stephanie’s act of kindness, they were able to get past the initial challenge and not worry about money while they figured out their next steps.

As of June 29, the families – 6 adults and 3 children – are now living in their interim homes in North Van.

Getting to Canada was one major hurdle, but the family breadwinners are now in the process of finding employment, working on their English skills, and getting their kids into school.

Generous people have been donating things like furniture and clothing for the refugee families, but until they’ve secured long-term housing there isn’t enough space in the hosts’ homes. We’ve donated a locker at our North Vancouver location to store donated items in the meantime.

Because of Good Samaritans like Stephanie, three families have places to live while they get settled. And they finally have a chance to breathe after months burdened by stress.

If you have the space to host a refugee family, please consider it. If you’d like to donate and support the families staying with Stephanie and her neighbours, click here for the GoFundMe page.