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移民当初,在加国买房是可望不可及的梦
If marginalized newcomers can realize their Canadian dream, why can’t our children do the same?

 
随着新一轮的购房狂潮席卷多伦多市,多伦多房价在2017年初再创新高。在这些狂热的购房者中有许多都是和我同龄的加国华裔,他们在为其千禧一代子女能得到一栋房产而鼎力相助。

Toronto home prices hit yet another new high in the beginning of 2017 as waves of buying frenzy washed over the city. Among these frantic buyers were many Chinese Canadians of my generation who are frantically trying to secure homeownership for their children – many of whom are millennials. 


在1990年代来到加国的Min是我的朋友之一,他称:“对于一个家庭来说房子就是一切。但是鉴于房市的走势和房价的飞涨,如果我不帮把手,我儿子仅靠他那点儿微薄工资根本买不起房。” 

“Home is everything for a family. But given the trend of the property market and skyrocketing home prices, my son is unable to afford a home with his meager salaries if I don’t help,” said Min, one of my friends who came to Canada in the 1990s.


对华裔父母想帮子女购房的焦虑之情,我完全能够感同身受。事实上,拥有一套房产是大多数华裔移民征程上的重要里程碑,它不仅能提供最稳定的经济保障,也是加国梦的重要组成部分。但是,如果说没有父母的援助我们的下一代就很难成为房产主,那么对我们当初以留学生身份来加的一代来说,买房根本就是可望不可即的梦想。

I can totally relate to the Chinese parents’ anxiety over buying a home for their children. Indeed, for most Chinese Canadians, homeownership goes a long way on an immigration journey. It is considered one of the central tenets of financial security and a big part of the Canadian dream. But if owning a home seems as far fetched as the desire for our next generation – without parents pitching in, it was totally an unattainable, beyond reach dream when we came to Canada as foreign students.

 
我是随早期出国留学潮来到加国的,当时已年近三十,而口袋里只有几百块钱。由于没有适应市场需求的技能,同时又面临语言和文化障碍,我们这些留学生在加国创业的征程中面临重重挑战。

As an early flood of students pursuing foreign studies abroad, I came to Canada in my late twenties, with a few hundred bucks in my pocket. With no apparent marketable skills and facing language and cultural barriers, establishing a life in the adopted country presented daunting challenges for us foreign students. 


对我们这些在国内生活贫困,住房状况简陋,一家四口蜗居于500平方英尺的小公寓中穷困留学生来说,一栋面积达到2500平方英尺,带有后院、花园和车库的住房简直就是豪宅,是天堂乐园。有时候,当我走进一个宁静葱郁的社区,或是在开放日参观一栋维多利亚风格的房屋时,我总是会被这些房屋的开阔空间,优雅装饰和无限美景深深吸引。但是,尽管当时的平均房价尚不到$20万元,远远低于当前的房价,可对于我们来说这仍是一个天文数字,是一道无法逾越的障碍。

Coming from a life of poverty and poor housing in my home country -- where a family of four squeezed into a tiny 500 square foot apartment, a 2500 square feet home with a backyard, a garden and a garage seemed to be a massive mansion and merely a lifestyle in paradise for the marginalized poor foreign students back then. Occasionally, when I was walking into a quiet, leafy neighbourhood, or visiting a Victorian style open house, I would be fascinated by the vast space, elegant decoration, and immense beauty of the homes. However, despite the fact that the home price was much cheaper back then – with average price less than $200,000, it was an astronomical number and an insurmountable obstacle.  


但是在短短十年内,那个时代的大多数迫切渴望将梦想化为现实的移民都实现了自己的加拿大梦。加国向他们提供了大量发展机会,而他们辛勤的工作和努力带来了丰厚回报,他们节俭的消费习惯也成了最佳理财方式的写照。在父母没有为他们提供任何经济援助的情况下,他们都成了房产主,过上了中产阶级生活。

But within a decade, most immigrants of the era, with the powerful desire to turn that fascination into reality, have realized their Canadian dreams. Provided with abundant opportunities in Canada, the hard work and efforts have paid off and their frugality turned out the best financial choice. They’ve become homeowners, living a middle class life – without any financial help from their parents.


铺就这条梦想之路的基石是信心、激情和对成功的渴望,而不是来自父母的免费馈赠。如果我们这些一代移民可以凭借自己的努力在加国站稳脚跟,为什么我们在这里出生成长的后代就不能呢?虽然与20年前相比,当前持续飙涨的房价可能会导致首次购房者花费更长时间积攒首付,但二代移民拥有其父母一代所没有的竞争优势,他们接受的是加国基础教育,并具备了满足市场需求的职业技能,此外他们也不会具有我们当初所面临的语言和文化障碍。

What has paved a way for that dream was the confidence, motivations and desire to succeed, rather than a free handout from parents. If we, the first generation immigrants can lay down roots in adopted countries by relying on our own efforts, why not our offspring who were born and raised here? With today’s skyrocketing home prices, it may take much longer for first time buyers to save up a down payment compared to two decades earlier. But the second generation of immigrants possess competitive edges that we didn’t have as their parents– a Canadian education and marketable job skills, and they lack obstacles we were faced with back then – the language and cultural barriers. 


我们所欠下一代的包括基本生活必需及良好的教育,有责任帮他们树立自信心并培养其远大抱负和理想,但我们并不欠孩子们物质财富,当然也没有帮子女购房的义务。如此大笔的馈赠将会助长他们奢靡的消费习惯,剥夺了他们获得财务自由和实现加国梦的机会,且最终会催生出巨婴一代。

We owe our kids a basic necessity, a good education, a sense of self-belief and the aspiration for success, however, we don’t owe them materialistic possessions, and we certainly don’t owe our children an obligation to buy a house. Such a big freebie will fuel their extravagant spending habit, deprive them of the opportunities to achievement financial success and to fulfill their own Canadian dreams, essentially giving rise to a generation of grown-up babies.
 

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