Realtors

wolf1

Realtors often get the crap kicked out of them on this site. Some deserve it. Some don’t.

As I’ve said, because real estate’s the biggest thing most people buy, consumers need and merit professional guidance. So when young couples are pushed into too much debt, sellers are seduced with an unrealistic asking price, buyers are spooked by phantom competing offers or a real estate board president fabricates market facts to manipulate the media, the beating’s richly deserved.

But many experienced and professional real estate agents and brokers know this hurts everyone. Especially now. We’re into the start of a multi-year decline in housing values and if buyers and sellers are herded into rash decisions by lies and misinformation, this market could be poisoned for a long, long time.

Two snapshots from my inbox. First this weekend note from a real estate broker. We need more guys like Kyle, who writes:

“For about the last 4-5 months I have spent the first 30-45 minutes of my listing presentation apologizing about the misleading press releases our real estate board/president of our board have been issuing. Although I feel that most people including myself should have a personal residence for their family needs, comfort & enjoyment, I do feel that owning second properties for investment reasons is a mistake.

“Personally, I have taken a big hit in the stock market but I feel that I will make my money back there a lot quicker than I would in the real estate market. In fact I doubt that real estate will come back during the rest of my career as an agent ( probably another 10- 15 years), given the present money crisis/recession and then when that is over the baby boomer effect should just start kicking in more every year for about 15 years. This will result in an over-supply of listings for the number of buyers available during that span. I find that other agents & the general public have their head buried in the sand saying ” IT WON’T HAPPEN HERE, WE HAVE TECH INDUSTRIES”. Unless I am wrong they are under estimating the effect that the mass number of boomers are going to have on the downward pressure on prices of the housing market in ALL  centers across Canada.

“I have an appointment to try to keep an existing listing. My vendors are happy with our relationship but are frustrated that their home has not sold in many months. They recently said to me that they are thinking of renting their home for a year or so in the hopes that the market will get better. I am taking 2 of your books with to read a few of highlighted paragraphs to show them that there is a good chance that their home if worth more today than it may be 5 or even 10 years from now.”

Now, let’s contrast that sentiment with what Gary encountered last week in one of our big cities. He’s 59, the father of three young kids and he and his wife both work, live in a paid-for house in midtown and have ambitions.

They’ve been eying a bigger, very expensive house in a nice hood, and put in an offer conditional on financing – without yet selling their existing home. Gary sent me an email asking for advice and said, “the financing is tight and if we need to bridge finance on the chance we don’t sell our house, we are screwed, to put it mildly. The question is, can we sell our place? We have two days before the offer expires and we need to waive the condition. The bank is nervous about approving the possible loan if the worst case scenario happens, which is not selling in three months. Any suggestions on what to do?”

My response: “Do you have a death wish? This is an insane idea. The last thing you want to do is gamble like this in a falling market. List your home first and only act when you have a firm offer. Things are about to get worse.”

Three days later, this report:

“Wow , that was close and yes completely insane idea to purchase a house at this time before selling ours.  We got out of the deal by not signing the waivers on financing. The seller’s agent and our agent were on us like a pack of wild dogs to get the deal to happen, but my wife and I held tight and didn’t even answer the phone or  email messages that kept coming the last day before the deal was null and void….we are now waiting for our $30,000 deposit back and needless to say they don’t seem to be in a big hurray to deliver!!! Thanks for tipping the scale and being blunt, I think your advise tipped the balance and wake me up to the potential disaster we could be headed for had we proceeded in this deal. My wife and myself are realizing we should be thankful for what we have now and not try to get more and bigger when we really don’t need it. Life is not about that at all as we know deep down.”

Some realtors are shepherds. Some are wolves.

But on this blog, we know what matters.

155 comments ↓

#1 Kevin on 01.24.09 at 6:31 pm

It is criminal the way that the real estate industry is allowed to promote the product that it sells.

On a different topic, the first foreclosure listing of the year has shown up in Victoria. The mls listing describes it as a court-ordered forclosure.

http://www.realtor.ca/propertyDetails.aspx?propertyId=7820389

What is interesting is that the house has a BC assessment value of $452k (2007) and was sold in April/08 for $517,750. Asking price is now $475k.

#2 TheComingDepression on 01.24.09 at 6:38 pm

I am also a realtor since 1984. I begged my friend to sell his house at $624,000 when it was at the HIGH.. I told him real estate will crash and burn. Your house will be worth 100,000 less next year I said. Well he took it off the market. A similar house just sold for $525,000. I then stated if you don’t get out now it will be worth $425,000 by the spring. Now is your chance to get out before they all file through the keyhole at once. Put your house at $499,000 or LESS. Nope, I’m still a dumb agent and it will all come back he says. I could be wrong it will probably be worth $350,000 after the spring market about where he bought it 5 yrs ago..

#3 TheComingDepression on 01.24.09 at 6:42 pm

Oh yes I just read in today’s VANCOUVER SUN in SMALL PRINT, The Canadian Gov’t just bailed out the banks to the tune of 8 BILLION DOLLARS! Does that make us a recovered nation? Man that was a quick recession..wow

#4 hmm.. on 01.24.09 at 7:02 pm

anybody for ski condo?

http://www.kelownadailycourier.ca/stories_local.php?id=160318

#5 islander on 01.24.09 at 7:04 pm

Sellers do not want to hear the message your realtor/correspondent is delivering to them. They don’t. I spent three days on email and on the phone explaining to a potential client in Victoria that he needs to be priced at his assessed value or lower. He insisted on being priced higher despite all the evidence that it’s a strategy guaranteed to fail. I turned down the listing.

Does that make me a bad guy? I’m sure the obsessives will say I’m cutting & running now that houses are “no longer selling themselves.” Maybe, but then, I never claimed I had magical powers to sell real estate. I always told sellers that if they pick the right price and get it on MLS, it’ll sell. If you choose that route, here’s what it’ll cost. If you choose otherwise, good luck and no hard feelings.

It is not my fault that real estate boards and provincial regulators enforce conformity in ways that stifle innovation and curtail competition. That the prevailing wisdom among “high producers” is to sell the cult of personality instead of the power of technology.

I have no control (other than, I suppose, who to vote for at the annual board elections) over the lies and deceit peddled by the various board presidents, the board economists, or the realtors who get quoted in newspaper stories.

Realtors can be blamed for a lot of things. As with all walks of life, there are liars, cheats, scumbags and jerks. I cannot control those people.

I cannot control the fact that your second correspondent probably had a bad or unethical or negligent realtor. I gasp in disbelief that anyone would buy a house these days without selling their current residence. That lucky couple should mail you a cheque for saving their financial lives.

I can only act honestly and ethically. If I do not, I have no business beyond the next sale.

I take personal responsibility for my actions. Similarly, critics of realtors might do the same. Admit that no realtor, no matter how persuasive, ever put a gun to your head and said, “sign, or you die.” At the end of the day, everyone who has ever bought a house, a car, an HDTV, did so of their own free will.

YOU the buyer ultimately what price you were willing to pay. And YOU the seller decided what price you were willing to list at, or to sell for. I merely facilitated the transaction. To believe otherwise is to believe in withcraft and hob-goblins.

Always enjoyed your books, Garth. Love the blog. And BTW I think Kim Campbell deserved a lot more respect than she got. I don’t think it’s coincidental that you were in her cabinet because she was too darn honest for her own good.

Best of luck with the new book.

#6 R on 01.24.09 at 7:10 pm

Why do you think Obamas first visit to Canada has been delayed? Could it be that dealing with Harper and the boys is like dealing with G.W.Bush. I think so!

#7 Kitchener1 on 01.24.09 at 7:18 pm

Garth there are some good ones out there, but for the most part they are a bunch of commissoned sales people looking out for their best interest. Not yours or mine.

Your example of the second gentleman is case in point, anybody that had watched the news or read the papers in the last three months knows how bad things are going to get, yet his agent was pushing him to do the wrong thing??

I would say that its something like 10-1 ratio, for every 10 bad ones there is a good one, sadly most of us only use one or two realtors in a lifetime so the odds are against us

#8 dekethegeek on 01.24.09 at 7:20 pm

Garth,
Please warn us when you post the photos at the beginning of your articles!
I opened this and almost snarfed coffee through my nose ! Jayzus ! Hilarious !
Great stories as well. They Realtor actually makes me feel sorry for some of the things i have said about ALL realtors. It’s a shame the other 99% dont get it.
As the old saying goes(with my humble addition)
Fool me once,shame on you.
Fool me twice,shame on me.
Fool me thrice,I’m and idiot!(North Van Citizen agrees!)
Caveat Emptor or Buyer beware

#9 Waiting for a Deal on 01.24.09 at 7:37 pm

How many years do you think the cycle will go down before balancing out and having horizontal 0% growth?

I have thought the Baby Boomers will be wanting to dump their huge homes which will put more product on the market in the higher end of stuff.

I am currently renting a two bedroom condo with sun room. I have my office from home, and we are expecting our first child in June 09.

We have about $50 K saved up and will rent a home, but some of the rental prices for home are $1350 plus, plus, plus.

My goal is to have all expenses come in at the price they are right now …

I know that in two years home will be 25% cheaper and have a feeling the mortgage rates will be approximately where we are up or down 1 or 2%.

Cheers.

#10 eddy on 01.24.09 at 7:43 pm

there is a lot of anger against agents that should be directed at three levels of government and the bank of canada.
Of course those other agents in the above example were trying to keep the deal alive- That’s their job!

It may make sense for an agent to quote Garth to a seller to get a price reduction, or a 3 year extension on the listing, but if You are paying an agent to sell your house, especially in a crappy market, and a buyer brings up Garth’s name, a proper response from your agent is : ” Garth Turner has a house, you don’t, how much do you want to offer?” we pay agents to sell our houses. the agents job is to facilitate and not get in the way of the deal, (although many do get in the way. )

#11 Cendrine on 01.24.09 at 7:50 pm

Golly, that was close!!

Shame on the realtors for pressuring the deal to close – but, heck, they’re desperate to make a sale. Do they work on strictly commission basis? If so, that may be the root of the problem….

BTW, thanks again for the book, Garth! Starting the bad day box for now.

#12 Another Albertan on 01.24.09 at 7:53 pm

Yes – on this blog, we all know what matters:

– Ad hominem attacks
– Bashing all regions of the country (except, it would seem, the Yukon, the NWT and Nunavut… no one appears to be big on real estate in those places)
– Narrow-minded biases

;-)

#13 North Vancouver Citizen on 01.24.09 at 8:03 pm

…What about a major recession/depression scenario?

Canada is the safest G7 country with amazing natural resources and a small population.

…Should Canada reassess its immigration laws and close its borders to refugee status potential visitors?…because in a major economic downturn everyone will want to live in Canada…even Americans.

Its why I posted earlier about not allowing uneducated visitors including pregnant females and Muslim families…may sound racist…but check out London England and Paris France.

…thinking outside the box

#14 Jordan on 01.24.09 at 8:03 pm

So Garth –how does one go about finding a good, honest agent?

#15 Midas on 01.24.09 at 8:04 pm

Realtors, like investment bankers and car salesmen are comissioned sales people. Unlike bankers they will get no handouts, oops bailouts from the Govt. at taxpayer expense. So I suppose it’s safe to assume they’ll protect their livelihood at any expense and ethics will be sacrificed at the first sign of trouble assuming some were ethical to begin with.

#16 Third Chimp on 01.24.09 at 8:05 pm

The vehemence that people here show for RE salespersons is of course directly related to the stakes as you point out. But the level of hurt displayed also has something to do with the duplicity and misleading allegiances of the RE person in many deals. Yes, the good ones will provide decent counsel, but the incentives are so strong for them to do the deal that not all Garys will avoid troubles. I believe there is something structurally amiss in the RE buying situation, but it is not immediately apparent to me what that is. Maybe others have an idea…

#17 Kevin on 01.24.09 at 8:11 pm

For those realtors that recognize the track we’re on must be tremendously frustrated with their REB’s have been spouting. As much as talking about how prices are stable or rising may reassure sellers, it’s doing nothing but driving down sales… and it’s transactions that really drive realtor compensation because of the commission structure, high prices are just a bonus.

I suppose that’s why they also keep talking about all this mythical pent up demand that’s apparently bubbling just under the surface. They keep dangling that carrot out there to keep the masses under control.

But I guess if these boards are willing to mislead consumers/customers, it’s only right they’re also misleading their own members.

#18 Jmack on 01.24.09 at 8:13 pm

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#19 go green on 01.24.09 at 8:18 pm

Garth – glad that Gary saw the light. But, what surprises me totally is how people such as he, can be so naive, or can I say stupid, for lack of the proper word. Maybe I misread, but I got the impression that they were fairly well to do people & thus thought they’d have some financial common sense. Forgive me if I’m interpreting this incorrectly.

#20 go green on 01.24.09 at 8:39 pm

#4 islander on 01.24.09 at 7:04 pm

I really appreciated what you said. As I said a day or so ago, my husband & I were pleased with our R E agent who sold our previous house & was our agent for our current one.

BTW, after I’m retired I watched a lot of those HGTV shows & know what you’re saying re home owners thinking their homes are worth more than they actually are. I don’t envy you your job.

Good luck with your current & future endeavours.

#21 Jonathan on 01.24.09 at 8:53 pm

Hey all,

As we all know, huge economic crisis can turn really ugly. War, such as what happened in Germany in the 30s can become possible.

This is my most pessimistic post that you might see from me so please forgive me. A rational argument could be made for the following time series.

So here is a scenario. There are alot of what ifs, but there is also alot of possibilities. Starting now, what if:

1. Industrialized world seeks unaffordable stimulus
2. China decides whether to lend to US or fund internal stimulus
3. US pressures for China to increase value of Yuan fail, Obama implements tarrifs on Chinese products, anger on both sides grow
4. China’s economy sinks further, social unrest results
5. China’s dictatorship must rely on arms to control society, builds army further to keep power
6. China’s internal conflict pits free world against China’s Communist Party.
7. US needs more money, but China does not want to lend more
8. G8 can’t find money to fund deficits, only option is to print money.
9. Results in very high levels of inflation
10. Bond markets collapse, resulting in worldwide panic
11. Worldwide currency drops as debtor countries insolvency starts to show.
12. Chinese, Russian and Middle East savings crashes as US treasuries crash in value.
13. US trade with China sinks as combination of tariffs & falling greenback make Chinese goods unaffordable.
14. China’s economy rapidly shrinking
15. China’s communist party directs citizens anger towards US in order to maintain control.
16. China continues to use unused manufacturing capacity to build arms and maintain control in order to keep in power.
17. G8 inflation reaches unbearable levels, ends in something similar to Chapter 11, China, Russia & Middle East lose trillions
18. US greenback worthless, hyperinflation takes over freeworld, worldwide central banks lose massive reserves and go bankrupt
19. China & Russia & Middle East demand payment from G8 of all national assets
20. Europe, North America and India join arms
21. Europe and North American currencies replaced with common currency and create new ‘free world’ economy leaving the old global model behind.
22. Anger in China, Russia and Middle East funds axis of evil.
23. Pakistan government loses control, axis of evil takes over nuclear arms

…. war

#22 hmm.. on 01.24.09 at 8:58 pm

back in 1989 the house prices peaked, and did not bottom
until about 1995 – 97, then it took another 10 years after
to reach new peak (2007) so it would appear that real estate cycle is about 18 – 20 years long so prices should
go down for the next 6-8 years . Unfortunately babyboomers retiring and dying off will put even more properties on the marked hence more price decay.
Only strong inflation could move price up (relatively) but
it will be hard to start up inflation during economic downturn. It is not easy to forsee the next few years since this downturn seems to be very ..hmm..”unusual”

#23 no one expects the . . . on 01.24.09 at 9:32 pm

#20 Jonathan on 01.24.09 at 8:53 pm

“So here is a scenario. . . . Starting now, what if:”

Scenarios are quite accurate, especially when looking at the ‘big’ (worldwide) picture. E.G., social unrest in China began a while back when their economy started tanking.

Add in the riots thruout Bulgaria, Greece, Lithuania, the protests against Israel’s bombing of Gaza becoming a lot more vociferous, the US backing of Georgia and Israel, etc., etc.

Right now, China is building two nuke power plants in Pakistan to supply clean electricity to their people; Russia is doing the same in Iran, and is helping Syria obtain nuke missiles.

China holds US$1.3T of debt. The Middle East countries want greater amounts of nuke missiles and, of course, Israel takes the opposing view.

Sooner or later, something’s gotta give. This whole thing has become a large can of worms, and no one knows what to do or how to handle it.

#24 ThumbsUp on 01.24.09 at 9:32 pm

Garth – But on this blog, we know what matters.

-yes , our own financial well-being matters.

Individual realtor are just ordinary Joes who try to make a living, misled by their ‘governing body’-the RE industry/Central Bank/CMHC/Finance Minister/Prime Minister

the current recession/depression, be it Canadian or US, is a result of sucidal policy of cheap credit (subprim & 0/40) made available by the (mis)regulators.

each sector in our economy need a balanced environment to grow, Like an ecosystem, too many sharks will endanger all other species and eventually terminate themselves.

A good example – why Toyota chose woodstock instead of Toronto/Vancouvour for their new site.

Speaking of RIM, It’s sad that it’s co-founder had nothing better but invested in Real Estate (an International Relations Research Institute?) with his money made from the troubled options.(after two unsuccessful NHL bids)

High housing price is the shark, especially for export oriented economy like ours (cars made in Ontario or Barrels of oil from Alberta).

Any effort to re-inflate RE in the coming budge is short-sighted and unacceptable.

#25 Sail1 on 01.24.09 at 9:35 pm

Kyle wrote:

Although I feel that most people including myself should have a personal residence for their family needs, comfort & enjoyment, I do feel that owning second properties for investment reasons is a mistake.

Kyle, may be mistaken. Personally I feel Real estate can and has been a part of a balanced portfolio.

I am sure it will be again when times get better.

Assuming your principal residence is almost or free of mortgage, I see no problem with an investment in Re.

Garth please correct me if I am wrong.

#26 Bill-Muskoka (N.A.M.) on 01.24.09 at 9:59 pm

Hey! All you Big Shot Investors in RE. Here is your Golden Opportunity.

Houses in Detroit are selling for $625 USD. That’s right, get on the horn and make those offers NOW! Please note that the chain link fencing to keep the riff-raff, unemployed homeless, drug addicts, and other undesirables out will cost and additional $3000. Still a Steal at such a price.

Yes, you too can be the Slum Landlord you’ve always dreamed of being. Yes, you too can be the Slum Landlord you’ve always dreamed of being. Call them today while supplies last!

#27 dd on 01.24.09 at 10:12 pm

#12 North Vancouver Citizen

Could you please keep to the story line.

Your comments about “uneducated visitors including pregnant females and Muslim families…may sound racist” are not wanted

They sound racist because they are racist. Poverty affects more that just pregnant Muslim females.

#28 Future Expatriate on 01.24.09 at 10:14 pm

#5- Obama’s first visit to Canada has been delayed because Harper hasn’t quite figured out how he’s going to tell the Canadian people that they’re soon going to be paying taxes to the US as well…

#29 dd on 01.24.09 at 10:18 pm

#21 hmm

“Unfortunately babyboomers retiring and dying off will put even more properties on the marked hence more price decay.”

I can see the price decrease for the next 6-7 years but Boomers selling homes … selling home to move into what? Another home? The big homes of the burbs will decrease but not all homes.

#30 Future Expatriate on 01.24.09 at 10:19 pm

As far as worst case survival scenarios, Canadians should be prepared for survival in the case of all out nuclear war between China and the US over Iran. What the neocons couldn’t accomplish because of the American People, the neolibs with Obama’s mandate just might be able to pull off.

Different folks; same demonic suicidal policies.

#31 dd on 01.24.09 at 10:24 pm

#12 North Vancouver Citizen

“Should Canada reassess its immigration laws and close its borders to refugee status potential visitors?…because in a major economic downturn everyone will want to live in Canada…even Americans.”

If you haven’t updated your thinking … If it wasn’t for immigration Canada’s population would be decreasing. And who is going to pay for this bail out package? Canada’s population is getting older by the day. For us to have a great standard of living more people have to move to this country and have children. More people = less tax per person.

“THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX YOU FOOL”

#32 Leasa on 01.24.09 at 10:44 pm

Hey Garth. Have you missed me? Sure you have…I have finally come up with a couple of money questions that I think the answers would be most interesting…

If money is the root of all evil, why do Churches want it so much?

If greed is a sin, why do churches amass such huge, huge fortunes and still ask for more?

I know…it’s deeeeeep. LOL

Your favourite pain the butt, Leasa

#33 landlord on 01.24.09 at 10:48 pm

#24 Sail1

real estate can be a good investment if you buy on income and not on the hopes of capital appreciation.

#34 Torquemada on 01.24.09 at 10:57 pm

Check this link out:

http://www.theviewateastcoast.com/

This condo developer is offering to buy back it condo from you in 5 years for 110% of the purchase price.

I can’t imagine a present day condo developer being in business in 5 years; but otherwise it’s a great deal.

#35 Greg W., Oakville on 01.24.09 at 11:12 pm

Hi Garth,

I just finish reading your new book. Thanks!
(I can’t say that it helped my stress head ache though.)
I started my bad day box! (I would do much more but have limited funds for now.)
Do you know the best way to store the seed I just got?
Is it ok to put them in the freezer, or what?

Did you listen to the CBC show ‘Quirks and Quarks’ today about the,
Fruitless Fall: The Collapse of the Honey Bee and the Coming Agricultural Crisis.
(Know one knows why this is happening, for sure yet!
I hope it doesn’t get worse! I may want to add some small paintbrushes to my bad day box to spread the pollen around if needed.)
http://www.cbc.ca/quirks/archives/08-09/qq-2009-01-24.html

Question(s); I need your advice/clarification on were to put/keep my RRSP at this piont.

The majority of my RRSP are still in equities/mutual funds. And as most of us know they have come down in value quit a lot. (The TSX dropped 35% in 2008, significantly less than many markets around the world.)

Would you say I should hold on to my equities at this point and not try to time the markets next big drop,
or recovery?

At least that is what my investment advisers is basically telling me. Since it’s a long term RRSP investment. My wife and I still have 15-20 years to age 65. And if I put them into bonds now I’d just be locking in my paper losses, right? It’s my understanding that historically equities have grown faster than inflation?

Also, does your money manager have a minimum amount you need to invest, to be one of his clients?
Might you know what his fee is for advice?

Thanks for any suggestions/clarifications you could give.

#36 Joren on 01.24.09 at 11:28 pm

Just finished After the Crash – an interesting read and confirms pretty much everything I suspected about the road we’re on.

I’m a Realtor and have been having the same trouble with clients and potential clients (and other Realtors) for months. Telling friends that are getting up in age to price aggressively and sell NOW. (They decided to wait until spring because they’re going to Florida for a month) This, after them already having the house on the market for 3 months with someone else, and me offering to give them a deal on commission. Also said that if they want to go with someone else – great… just get it on the market asap. They’re screwed… the house is in a bad neighborhood to begin with.

Another house is owned by a builder. They refuse to recognize that the house is overpriced. Buyers don’t seem to be out in any force at all – even to throw a lowball offer at them. I’ve told the them to just lower the price, even if it means taking a loss.(That went over real well ;-) Nope. They’re holding firm and giving me grief as to why we haven’t had an offer yet.

Got an appreciation for some of the flack Garth must get. Even before reading the new book I was at a party and people were talking real estate – as they usually do. They asked what I thought of the market and I said flat out that it was going to get much worse, lower house prices, negative equity, people defaulting, possible depression and likely civil unrest. “Oh it won’t get that bad – we don’t want to hear stuff like that!”.

So why’d ya ask me then? ;-)

Personally, I’d rather consider the possibility of things going bad and be wrong, than not considering it and being wrong.

#37 Dale on 01.24.09 at 11:43 pm

What da heck, why would you give a 30k deposit??? I hope you get it back.
If you want to buy any home a dream home, first home or vacation home what ever costs over 100k should have 2-6 months of researh done by you both pro and con. How many working hours after taxes, fiances and etc.. is it going to take you to pay for this thing called shelter. Realestate agents will do what is best for a sale and most who want to make a living we be making you think your so smart by buying now. “It is a good time to buy” and “Invest against the trend and you will will be laughing in a few years when all those sellers clamoured for the exit”.

#38 StillWaiting! on 01.25.09 at 12:08 am

Hi Garth,

I just got your book and it’s been a good read. I’m pretty much almost done reading it. I was wondering I’ve been always interested in buying some gold. I see it went up a lot this week and I was wondering if now would be a good time to get gold for safe keeping?

#39 Investx on 01.25.09 at 12:12 am

When will retiring and dying baby boomers decrease demand in real estate?

2015?

#40 jl on 01.25.09 at 12:27 am

Aside from pre-sales, what other real estate deals would have someone put down a $30,000 deposit? That last story has me thinking of developers going after people who renege on their pre-sale contract to sue them for the difference between the agreed upon price and what the developer ends up selling the unit for:

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2009/01/22/bc-developer-lawsuit-presale-contract-deposits.html

#41 poorguy on 01.25.09 at 12:28 am

This lamb looks familiar.

#42 TheComingDepression on 01.25.09 at 12:49 am

Some sites stating banks will COLLAPSE next week!
http://www.thecomingdepression.blogspot.com

#43 North Vancouver Citizen on 01.25.09 at 1:32 am

dd

You want me to tone it down because I sound like Bush?

I’m calling it the way I see it…in a Depression the Canadian Mosaic could collapse, as will the American Melting Pot…Various Races will likely become scapegoats…

…The inextraordinary wealthy, controlling Wahabie Saudi’s are the cause for World Terrorism and the oncoming Depression….explain why that is please?…why do they want to bring down the Western World…they are the wealthiest group the World has ever had.

…to this point, Canadian Realtors are scapegoats…that is a big joke…95% of them, car salesmen and Service Industry staff will go the way of the DoDo bird…leaving what kind of Canadian Society….. ??????…these are questions to figure out.

Here in Vancouver we have hard working/business minded, established Sikhs, Asians and Persians…but hey, let us allow in, say…200,000 Palestinians, 200,000 Pakistanis, 200,000 North Koreans.

…Right….lets open the floodgates and let millions of refugees in…because Canada is a compassionate Country full of compassionate citizens.

What woule Pierre Elliot Trudeau have to say on today’s scenario…too bad he’s gone, he’s the one who got us here.

Now that is a subject truly worth discussing.

#44 Demand Gold on 01.25.09 at 1:38 am

#24 Sail

read Garth’s book, Greater Fool.

#45 Happy Renter in North Van on 01.25.09 at 2:04 am

#4 Post – Islander… I totally agree this “cult of personality” seems so appealing to realtors… Is it a need for love and attention which wasn’t filled when they were children? Which other “professionals” put their picture on business cards? Which other “professionals” put “B.A.” next to their name? If you want a really funny example of this “cult of personality” check out the “STYLISH” sex kitten realtor Alexis Palkowski – http://www.propertiesbyalexis.com First time I saw her billboard, I thought it was an ad for a stripper bar…

#46 Happy Renter in North Van on 01.25.09 at 2:11 am

Wanted to ask for some feedback…

Is the MLS monopoly sustainable or will it be disintermediated just like real estate agents were in the mid-90s?… In other words, does it make sense with the Internet to continue paying 5% commission to buy/sell a property where a potential buyer can do 90% of the work traditionally done by an agent?

#47 Steve on 01.25.09 at 5:38 am

I always figured we as Canadians could just keep our oil in the ground or trade it amongst ourselves.

#48 D Griffiths on 01.25.09 at 7:10 am

RE agents earn their living by way of commission. That is their only source of income when they sell a home, much like a car salesman. As long as their compensation remains tied to commission only, these people (even the good ones with integrity), will find it difficult to divorce themselves from the ultimate motivation to get the sale completed. Their individual economic interests will almost always trump all other interests, including those of the client. Let’s face it, we all tend to “circle the wagons” and look out for own interests when we are threatened, be it with personal harm or financial ruin. Some agents are better at reconciling these forces with the interests of their clients, but only to a point. In the end, it is up to each of us to realize these hard realities, understand this paradigm, and look out for our own interests when dealing with a real estate agent. In other words, take your agent’s advice with a huge grain of salt! Learn to be a little cynical when dealing with any sales person.

#49 go green on 01.25.09 at 8:05 am

#34 Greg W., Oakville on 01.24.09 at 11:12 pm

Greg, I’ve had good success storing seeds in an airtight tupper type container in the bottom of my fridge. If you grow tomatoes, save some of the seeds in a small pill (prescription) container and label them.

See http://faq.gardenweb.com/faq/lists/seedsave/2002084456024410.html on how to prepare the seeds for storage.

See also http://growingtaste.com/storage.shtml

Good luck.

#50 TS on 01.25.09 at 8:20 am

Like most people we have had some excellent experiences with well trained, ethical real estate agents. And, we have met many real estate agents which whom we would never do business (with this type it is always advisable to check for your rings after you shake their hands).

We have bought and sold a number of houses over the years and have lived by a few simple IRON CLAD rules that have served us very well:

1. NEVER buy before your house is sold.

2. NEVER let a real estate agent know what you are really willing to pay for a home, or what you are really willing to accept for your home, since they will use this information against you.

3. NEVER show any obvious motivation to buy or sell. The power in a real estate deal always tips in favour of the party who is least motivated.

4. NEVER buy a home that you would not be able to afford if your income was cut by 30% unexpectantly.

5. NEVER accept ‘comparibles’ that a real estate agent shows you to determine a home’s value. A home is only worth what you are willing to pay – and no more. NEVER be bullied out of putting in a low ball offer.

6. NEVER pay any attention to how a home is decorated. Make sure the bones are in good shape. Cosmetics are easy and inexpensive to change.

7. NEVER become emotionally attached to a home you are trying to buy. If you do, you will overpay.

We have ended buying homes where our starting bid was 21% below the listing price, and after negotiations ended up paying 15% under the listing price. Were they tough negotiations? Sure. Would we have walked if we didn’t get the right deal? Absolutely.

We lived through some interesting times including the days of 22% mortgages and learned some good lessons. A simple rule of thumb when interest rates are very high is to go for the shortest amortization possible since a large proportion of your payment is interest, shortening the term will have very little effect on your monthly payment.

When mortgage rates are very low if you are debt free then it still makes sense to shorten your amortization schedule. If you have consumer debt (credit cards, car loans etc.) then keep a standard 25 year term and use your additiional cash flow to pay down your highest interest debt first.

#51 TS on 01.25.09 at 8:32 am

“Leasa on 01.24.09 at 10:44 pm Hey Garth. Have you missed me? Sure you have…I have finally come up with a couple of money questions that I think the answers would be most interesting…

If money is the root of all evil, why do Churches want it so much?

If greed is a sin, why do churches amass such huge, huge fortunes and still ask for more?

I know…it’s deeeeeep. LOL

Your favourite pain the butt, Leasa”

Pardon the pun…but churches are treated as ‘sacred cows’ in society.

Since the majority of churches take an active role politically and lobby for their specific points of view in terms of trying to affect legislation, I believe they should be treated like corporations. They should file annual income tax statements and pay taxes on the ‘profits’ that are generated in excess of the cost of the services they provide to the countries in which the money is collected.

Money given to churches disappears into huge, unaccountable, black holes. What is done with all of it remains a mystery….and yet our Federal and Provincial governments give us tax breaks on our church donations. At least with registered charities they need to provide financial statements and demonstrate how the funds they receive were spent.

#52 JET on 01.25.09 at 8:34 am

Seems fewer and fewer GTA buyers are putting in unconditional offers. If you look at the charts, the number of conditional sales are approaching the number of firm sales for the month of December 08.

http://thenumberstheydontpublish.blogspot.com

#53 U.B.A.B. on 01.25.09 at 9:18 am

#12 North Vancouver Citizen on 01.24.09 at 8:03

Its why I posted earlier about not allowing uneducated visitors including pregnant females and Muslim families…may sound racist…but check out London England and Paris France.

Your of lack of understanding of is completely baffling – your not a racist – just stupid.

Canadian Muslims are more educated and more loyal to this country than their non-Muslim counterparts. Muslim kids are part of the college and university population at a higher percentage than their counterparts (been to SFU or UBC lately?) and more likely to be your doctor, pharmacist, lab technician, teacher or engineer than a homeless person you meet on the street. Their problem is that they may be too overeducated for this society (lack of recognition in society for Masters and PhDs).

Their commitment to the value of traditional marriage and family means they get married earlier and having more kids in wedlock (remember that term?). Even having kids are not preventing their education – many Muslim girls continue their university degree with the support of their families while having a child (my sister had three

It’s these kids that will grow up and will be working and contributing to CPP, EI and paying taxes to maintain your Canadian way of life while at the same time having their elderly parents live with them and not straining the limited senior resources available in this country.

It’s a well know fact that a rate of two children per woman is considered the replacement rate for a population, resulting in relative stability (http://www.indexmundi.com/map/?t=0&v=31&r=xx&l=en)

Canada’s rate is 1.57 and declining fast – what’s worse is that 1 in 3 Canadians are retiring in the next 16 years. Who will be paying for your health care, the existing infrastructure, the existing way of life? We can barely hold on to what we have today.

#54 mod monkey on 01.25.09 at 9:19 am

I find it very interesting that real estate agents continue to have a positive outlook about the market yet they are dumping their second homes|investment properties in hordes.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090105.WBhometurf20090105103941/WBStory/WBhometurf/

Perhaps since they will be getting very little business in the future means that they can re-focus their full efforts on getting rid of their places…oh wait, there will be no buyers!

#55 David on 01.25.09 at 9:34 am

Property conveyancing and realtor fees should not cost 6% of the price on a big ticket item. Real estate is the only industry where agents can purport to represent both the interests of the buyer and the seller simultaneously. When it comes to real estate due diligence takes on a nebulous quality. There are a few good honest realtors extant in the real estate industry, like Kyle, mentioned in this post. The reward system does define the behavior for most people, realtors included.
The long term outlook for the housing industry is lousy. Baby boomers trying to sell en masse and lower levels of new household formation. Financing will not be available except at a premium and an economy shedding jobs at a much faster rate than new jobs are created points to lower sales volumes and declining prices.

#56 g on 01.25.09 at 9:54 am

O.K. what am i missing? house prices are down. times are tough. people are out of work. i get that. but where is all of this end of the world crap coming from? let’s pick a target. are we really talking about digging a hole and getting into it? if we are than this is the wrong freaking blog my friends. lots do a much better job of scaring the shit out of you. if this is about the economy and real estate, then let’s deal with that. for god sake even mighty GARTH says that, at some point, house prices will rebound. so what if house prices don’t recover for ten years? so what? you’ve paid off ten years of your mortgage and you’re now ten years closer to being rent (debt) free.

this blog is starting to piss me off. g

#57 Jmack on 01.25.09 at 10:03 am

Bob Rennie speaks in the vancouver Province today.
” I think there’s some really good buys out there, you’ve got to look at interest rates and take advantage of them”
“supply is really going to quickly show that the taps been turned off”.
” Financial and corporate blowouts will be done by next september”
“If you want to give yours away and buy a good buy in this market, that’s another decision”

“today, the vancouver housing market is in a cyclical correction characterized by low volume and weak prices” said the founder of Polygon homes

yes, such weak prices……the highest in the country. I guess if my job depended on sales, I’d wouldn’t want to know the truth either.

#58 prairiegopher on 01.25.09 at 10:09 am

If you want a look into the future, come to Arizona. There are “For Sale” signs on every street. Prices are down 40-50%, in some cases more. Lots of businesses in receivership. It’s a mess. There are lots of vultures trying to buy, but the question is when will they see some gain.

#59 North Vancouver Citizen on 01.25.09 at 10:10 am

#50 TS

….Excellent “outside the box” post.

“”Money given to churches disappears into huge, unaccountable, black holes. What is done with all of it remains a mystery….and yet our Federal and Provincial governments give us tax breaks on our church donations. At least with registered charities they need to provide financial statements and demonstrate how the funds they receive were spent.””

TS

Let me put it another way.

…Canada remains that giant desert oasis to any and all types of refugees.

Simply land on its shores claim refugee status or give birth to a child there and

DELETED. Your bigoted comments will no longer be tolerated. — Garth

#60 dd on 01.25.09 at 10:40 am

#54 g,

Houses will be worth something today and in the future. Value will come back to this market. And it is not the end of the world.

#61 hmm.. on 01.25.09 at 10:44 am

everybody should remember that realtors, (i’m not one,nor i care for them), will drive the house prices both ways to extreme. Since they live off commission from sale, in the end they dont care about the price as long as they make the sale happen. It is better to make a sale at 180k then no-sale at 450k.

#62 dd on 01.25.09 at 10:45 am

#42 North Vancouver Citizen on 01.25.09 at 1:32 am dd

“I’m calling it the way I see it…in a Depression the Canadian Mosaic could collapse, as will the American Melting Pot…Various Races will likely become scapegoat”

Hitler had the very same argument.

#63 David Bakody on 01.25.09 at 10:51 am

From CNN…… If those 36% ers still think Harper & Co are not now running a dog and pony spin show ….. they best hold on to seats ….. the Harper roller coaster is about to take them on one hell of ride and all the stomach pills on the market will not help.

Earnings, economy – here comes ‘terrible’

The week ahead: Investors gear up for a deluge of weak earnings and the biggest plunge in GDP in 26 years.

http://money.cnn.com/2009/01/25/markets/sunday_weekahead/index.htm?postversion=2009012508

Whoa!

#64 Torquemada on 01.25.09 at 10:52 am

#58 dd on 01.25.09 at 10:45 am

Godwin’s Law strikes again. Garth please shut this thread, ban dd’s ISP, and start a new thread.

#65 Gord In Vancouver on 01.25.09 at 11:18 am

Based on what I’ve seen, speculators, not realtors or even developers, have created the most resentment among potential buyers.

Now that many speculators have negative equity and/or are being sued by developers for trying to back out of agreements, it looks like there is a god after all.

Here in Vancouver, the level of desperation that’s being exuded by real estate bulls is reaching an unprecedented level. Worn out statements such as “it’s a seasonality problem” and “2010 will save us” are emerging again.

http://www.canada.com/theprovince/news/story.html?id=7f1be2f7-8cd4-40e8-be64-793e68704581

#66 David Bakody on 01.25.09 at 11:23 am

All that we have chatted about on this site wrt the world’s economic crisis is tied to a complex simple fact the world itself is going through some very drastic no so friendly changes…

Global warming kills old-growth forests at stunning rate

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090122.wtrees0122/CommentStory/Science/home#comment

#67 JO on 01.25.09 at 12:12 pm

Garth, thanks for deleting and blocking that North Van guy. What a racist.

Anyway, I see some good comments about RE and the long term picture. The reality is that caveat emptor applies in any potential purchase, so why would someone not be cautious in buying the largest asset (lousy asset) of their life?

A quick list of the major issues which will hold down most RE values in North America and especially Western Europe for most of the next 3-5 years at least:

1) Deflationary tendencies in the global economy as the contraction of credit and a public focussed on saving repairs the balance sheet.
2) If by some miracle, the economy rebounds and large enough numbers of people decide to start buying houses/cars en masse, high inflation will ensue causing the value of fixed income assets (long term gov bonds) to crash, thereby raising interest rates massively – think what the value of your house will be in real terms in a period of high rates.
3) More likely than # 2, massive gov’t deficits and “bailouts” result in a loss of confidence from investors in long term gov’t bonds. They will rightly see that all gov’ts are running huge deficits and experiencing a collapse in tax revenues thanks to the powerful deflation taking over the world. End result, gov’t will be forced to offer new bonds at much higher rates in order to get the necessary funds. Worse case, investors say no thanks even with the higher rates, and a total collapse in long term gov’t bonds occurs – killing the economy, already in deflation, and beggining the high deflation/depression scenario as crashing bond prices are deflation. Imagine what happens to pension funds and insurers who own long gov bonds ? This scenario is most likely, probably 2011-2013. The CDS spreads on long gov’t bonds have been rising very sharply and are a good indicator to follow to help guess when the tipping point is close at hand.
4) Demographics – Most RE will be in less demand. Relative outperformers should be small free hold townhomes with few stairs, bungalows, and low cost condos.
5) Thanks to the “stimulus”/bailout nonsense making the rounds in the media and gov’t, income and consumption taxes are guaranteed to rise sharply after this period of stupidity by gov’t ends. And lets not even add in the cost of health care/CPP/OAS. Our long term GDP/wealth creation ability and standards of living are going to come down in a big way. Imagine what kind of RE market this will result in.
JO

#68 North Vancouver Citizen on 01.25.09 at 12:18 pm

Garth, mine are not bigoted comments, definately opinionated though..and for the following reason(s).

…Your predict there is a good chance for a “Depression” but now you won’t mind allowing in many 100’s of thousands of immigrants…in my books they are really refugees because there won’t be jobs for them when they get here.

It was different in our recent “Manufacturing based” economy…..there were plenty of jobs which needed skill workers.

…So much of the Manufacturing has moved to China and Asia….and Ontario can’t compete now with China and certainly not when China devalues their currency even more.

I am surprised at your reaction.

#69 Bill-Muskoka (N.A.M.) on 01.25.09 at 12:18 pm

Well, one great thing about it all is that perhaps now, once the market is rid of these speculators (aka investors) the price of a HOME will drop and people can again actually afford one.

NOTE: It is your HOME, not your damn investment. If you can’t grasp that try living on the street for a while until it sinks in, or renting from some slum landlord who has not put even a penny back into his/her ‘investment.

Personally, I would make it illegal for anyone to buy a new home or any for that matter, unless they occupy it. You assholes have driven the market up and left the upcoming generations with a mountain leading to a financial cliff.

Now you are whining about your scheme failing. Your god is money. Behold your powerless god!

A pox upon all of you.

#70 daystar on 01.25.09 at 12:28 pm

#54 g on 01.25.09 at 9:54 am

You are missing the point, g.

Where we are at right now is just the beginning. We’ve had a crash, true and the reset button has been pushed on valuations… you know, some of them. But there are others to follow.

There is a timeline to all recessions and a depression is possible without some form of government spending. The big question is where, how much, and where the government is going to get the money to keep the private sector from devaluation capitulation freefall.

The first stages of a recession have come and gone. They are as a general rule, preceeded by extremely high valuations. We had them. We had unaffordably ugly high housing and commercial real estate valuations, we had insanely high energy costs and the general overall cost of living has gone up while the average income in the U.S. over the last 8 years dropped by $2,200 dollars per person and while Canadians faired better, we are about to join them. All of these record high valuations of everything globally straight across the board, highly encouraged by our world’s governments I might add, created a level of consumer debt that is unparalleled and unsustainable. And over the last number of years, sub primes world wide, the ugliest regulatory governmental policy failures of all, created a banking environment that allowed banks to lend beyond their means and out of competition with each other, most did.

So now our banking industry is in trouble, g. It came from bankrupcies and little things like 2.5 million U.S. citizens losing permanent jobs last year, a.k.a, bankrupcies. And keep in mind that this is the beginning of it.

So while you talk of a simple correction in valuations and the problem is solved, its not. Approximately 7% of all U.S. homeowners will go broke. In Canada, the prediction is 3 to 4% and thats just with Harpers 40 year no money down subprime here for a mere 2.5 years. These consumers will no longer consume, nor support valuations to realistic levels, never mind unaffordable ones. As the recession drags on, the stresses to the social safety nets will show. With bankrupcies come skyrocketing divorce and social abuse rates. People will skip meals out of necessity, g. It will get ugly.

So right now, its beyond learning from our immediate past mistakes. Its beyond the ugly lessons learned from our past greed orgy, the ugly ineptitude of governments who had neither the morality or the mentality to regulate such greed factors, or doing nothing but watch it capitulate as it has under George Bush.

We’ve had recessions before. And we racked up debt from governments that had the same losers in them as the ones that created the mess we have now. We need to cleanse our political system of such leaders and followers that led us into the mess we are in now because they did, and they are still in power. Here in Canada, they are still in power, in a prorogued government I might add and this situation will not get well without them gone.

And here’s why.

Rolling forward, our GDP, government revenue and taxbase will shrink. By how much, its hard to estimate but lets assume its by 15%. The government really has only a handful of general goal options, g. Under less government revenue, it can:

– cut spending to balance the books which would be extreme cuts to get there.
– raise taxes to generate more revenue and balance books which would be extreme to get there due to the current levels of spending untouched.
– do nothing and run the beginning of a series of major deficits as Harper has already done (Canadians for the most part just don’t know it yet).
– cut taxes, increase spending and run whopper deficits as Harper is suggesting. (and we haven’t got his CMHC bill coming due yet folks, a real whopper)
– cut/redirect spending and raise taxes and balance books.

The last option is the one I’d go for which is cut/redirect spending, raise taxes and try to balance the books even in the face of heavy CMHC losses about to come and here’s why.

If we run deficits, our government will have to borrow money in an environment that is less than kind to nations borrowing throughout the world. This will effect our currency and interest rates to come, particulary with debt with higher interest rates, the sale of Treasury bills and government bonds that, in case people haven’t been doing their reading on this site, has been sold to prop up CMHC losses in realestate to the tune of $75 billion by our Harper government. The long and short is that this nation, as it runs deficits, will need to borrow money and that money will come at a price with interest and that interest will capitulate interest rate rises in the banking sector and that bodes extremely ill for real estate. In the long term, massive deficits also bode ill for our own recovery as each taxed dollar goes more and more to paying down interest.

If you think real estate is tanking now g, wait til’ the unemployment rate continues to rise and wait until interest rates start flirting with double digits. In short, we don’t want a government that runs major deficits. If we do, we as voters either don’t know what will happen as a result, or don’t know the full effects of runaway interest rates, or have no clue as to what a good government should do in these times. And what should a good government be doing in these times?

Well, try one thats honest with its own people. We don’t have that. We don’t have a government that recognized the effects of unaffordable valuations on the system as a whole to begin with. Its evident with Harper’s CMHC subprime regulations and its evident with his belief that oil was going to remain above $100 bucks a barrel forever that this is an economist that has no clue as to what he doing doing, someone who fancies himself as a CEO of which, if he ran a corporation like this, would have already seen his corporation de-listed. His politics, to be blunt, has been to encourage unaffordably high valuations on everything, g.

And so my main point in all this is to head hunt. Get rid of those who created this mess to begin with or things will not improve. And I know that voters have pride and don’t like to be made fools of, but our own media has let us down for their own self interests and CRTC rulings and wants to move in from a CBC privatized void in the mainstream media sector of this nation, so our media has and still is, letting us down. We aren’t getting the facts that are needed to make the decisions we need to make to make our government and nation work, and its showing.

The first order of this day is replace this government with a government that has a realistic goal of balancing or near balancing books and redirecting spending on things that create permanent jobs and streamline efficiency straight across the board from transportation to housing to healthcare. And, g, it can be done.

We have blown it with our regulatory boards in food & drugs. We’ve failed miserably in setting higher standards of efficiency for our transportation sector. We’ve lost all perspective with environmental standards swallowing some assinine belief that tigher regulations means less profit without factoring the healthcare cost equation into our environment (not to mention shrunken energy export sales).

We need a national food and drug program that works far more cost effectively than it does today, not by cuts, but by regulatory measures that keep our citizens from poisoning ourselves with our own food. Our healthcare expenses have soared provincially and federally the feds have been reluctant to regulate, but what of the levels of unsafe foods being imported and manufactured within this nation that is making people sick, from hydrogenated oils to unnecessary preservatives and chemicals in our foods?

And what of our toxic lifestyles on other levels? Diabetes is skyrocketing along with Cancer and we seriously believe our governments have done their job? No one can tell me with a straight face that this government (or past ones) have done their job when diabetes is nearing 7% in the general population. No, not one. We need a government that is willing to overhaul all of its regulatory boards and implement an economic strategy that combines cuts in spending (military would the first place to start if I was running the show), with tax increases (roll back the GST to 7%, its a recession folks, swallow the bitter pill) and maybe, just maybe, we won’t have to raise corporate or personal income taxes. Get rid of programs that don’t work or wasteful government spending straight across the board. There is waste there, believe it. We have for an example, spent close to $800 million dollars just studying mass transit. Just… looking at it. A full third of that spending fell under Harper. Do we need to spend that much money on a what if project that has never seen a friggin’ nail driven into a 2 x 4?

And what of government spending. Why is it, that in the face of Chev & Dodge going broke, does this nation not have the stones to nationalize its own car manufacturer 50/50 with our own private sector? Why haven’t we tested the waters? Why haven’t we looked at infrastructure redesigned for lower speed vehichles and create a market for it with lower energy costs… do greedy oil corporations have that much control, do we really have to “promote consumption” til’ every consumer is maxed to death with debt til’ the the last drop and tree is gone?

THINK!!!

There is money in efficiency!!! There is money in home heating systems that cut their bills in comparison to other homes just as insulated, by half. Heat to water to air systems blow all other systems out of the water in terms of bang for your buck. Pellet stoves are an option in smaller, old and somewhat timed out dwellings.

Where is the government in all this?

Bribing us with more tax cuts in the face of huge deficits that they themselves are responsible for, aren’t Canadians pissed off yet? What, are some of you still in denial? Stock portfolio’s haven’t shrunk enough? What, you think this recession is a sneeze, the world will be out of bed in no time, is this what you all think? Your jobs are that secure, really?

This current government has let us down. They need to be replaced with a government that won’t. We have people that can step in with the vision and hearts that are required to turn it around, but people (and that includes you, g). It takes your efforts as well. It will take sacrifices. It will take cuts to spending on areas we might not like, or tax increases in places we won’t want. And you all can complain if you want to, thats your choice. But don’t stand in the way of what needs to be done. Others won’t knock you over… no, thats not how it works. The ground will shake below you and you will still fall for this nation was not built on the foundation of self-centered illusion or by hearts of forefathers and mothers who never gave a shit for anyone but themselves.

There’s a tone being set by the higher ups in this nation that is ugly. They too, have jobs that aren’t secure. Its high time that we as a people did some firing of our own, hiring new leaders that breathe new life in this already old problem. Don’t cha think?

#71 Accremonium on 01.25.09 at 12:38 pm

#34 Greg W., Oakville on 01.24.09 at 11:12 pm

Greg, try Q-tips instead of the paint brushes. That maybe more effective. And why store those seeds, get them started hydroponically! Just remember, no ganja, OK!

#72 Accremonium on 01.25.09 at 12:52 pm

Money given to churches disappears into huge, unaccountable, black holes. What is done with all of it remains a mystery….and yet our Federal and Provincial governments give us tax breaks on our church donations. At least with registered charities they need to provide financial statements and demonstrate how the funds they receive were spent.
#50 TS on 01.25.09 at 8:32 am

What are the chances that some if not all have a political arm or branch to funnel the funds into “grease spot ads”! Naw, that would be a violation of Elections Canada rules, or would it not?
It is my contention that all “churches” be required to incorporate and be audited by Rev. Canada, that is Revenue not Reverend Canada! All funds must be accounted for, deposited in regulated banks, and all transfers of funds documented on cheques, NO CASH TRANSFERS , only drafts, cheques! CAPICHE! That does not mean brown paper envelopes or bags, either!

#73 dd on 01.25.09 at 12:54 pm

Latest from Nouriel Roubini …. Stay in cash for a while.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/15840232?video=999306334&play=1

#74 Darryl on 01.25.09 at 12:56 pm

g
You (or Garth) make a good point that re will be back one day. So what if we don’t upsize every 5 years…No biggie. But you also comment on the doomers? You have to admit that this is not a normal run of the mill downturn.

We should also talk about possibilities other than RE losses. Even if they may require tin foil hats.That’s what blogs are for.The fact that Garth has the Xurbia site would show a level of preparedness on his part as well. That site deals with disasters.History has shown that when the sh#t hits the economic fan like this, all bets are off.Famine and strife become major factors. It’s every country /man for himself .
Wars start in these times and I personaly would not be suprised if several countries went to conflict this year. Bring on the doom and gloom scenerios. It’s up to me to accept them or reject them. JMO

REE aka NVC
Man, your level of stress has been elevating on a daily basis. Take it easy man . Your gonna hurt yourself.

#75 dd on 01.25.09 at 12:57 pm

“#62 Torquemada on 01.25.09 at 10:52 am #58 dd on 01.25.09 at 10:45 am

Godwin’s Law strikes again. Garth please shut this thread, ban dd’s ISP, and start a new thread.”

Ban my ISP because I said that houses have value?
Sell me your house for $1.00 then.

#76 dd on 01.25.09 at 1:02 pm

#66 North Vancouver Citizen

“I am surprised at your reaction.”

The problem paying too much for real estate. The problem is thinking that real estate will always go up in value. The problem is borrowing on that false sence of equity. The problem is over spending.

The problem is NOT race.

#77 dd on 01.25.09 at 1:18 pm

#67 Bill-Muskoka (N.A.M.)

“Personally, I would make it illegal for anyone to buy a new home or any for that matter, unless they occupy it.”

So what happens to rental units? Ban the investments of apartment blocks? Now if that was the case you will have a lot of homeless in years to come.

#78 g on 01.25.09 at 1:28 pm

68 daystar at 12:28

i appreciate your thorough response but it is you who is missing the point. we are ALL consumed with conjecture, speculation and hyperbole. you know not a single thing more than i do. nothing. tomorrow morning will surprise both of us, perhaps just in different ways.

#79 dd on 01.25.09 at 1:30 pm

Peter Hodson … Sprott:

http://www.sprott.com/pdf/View%20From%20the%20street/01_21_2009%20Rosy%20Forecasts.pdf

#80 TheComingDepression on 01.25.09 at 1:33 pm

“There is a timeline to all recessions and a depression is possible without some form of government spending”.

Thats the PROBLEM! Government spending. Stay out of bailouts, quit SPENDING! This is how we came into this mess to begin with. If spending continues the government will OWN everything. It all will be NATIONALIZED! If you own a company and FAIL should or will the government spend money to bail you out? NOT A CHANCE! GO BANKRUPT. The gov’t should stay out of things and let it run its course. The “free” interest rates, cheap money got us into this problem. We borrowed and spent like drunken sailors. Its time to save your money, quit buying stuff you don’t need, grow your own food, drive one car, have one TV , ditch your credit cards and get out of DEBT. Don’t let anyone own you! If each person did this we would be COMPLETELY free of our “slave masters”. But no instead we are going into a MASSIVE DEPRESSION due to government spending and cheap interest rates!

#81 Bill-Muskoka (N.A.M.) on 01.25.09 at 1:45 pm

#68 daystar on 01.25.09 at 12:28 pm

Nice book on the topic Daystar! LOL

What you say is true, but the Sheeple will never get it until things are at critical mass.

All I know is that if I ran my personal finances the way the government runs this nations (or Bush ran the U.S.’s) I would either be filing bankruptcy, running for the hills, or considering suicide to escape the consequences.

Canada is in the midst of a political leadership crisis. we have a PM who is two fundamental clicks short in the making of a aclue, is only interested in politics, power, and preserving his ideology (Never mind the fact that is has expired worldwide in civilized countries), and surrounded by the largest group of incompetetnts in Canada’s history.

Ignatieff and Layton are also both living in an outdated ideology. We have reached the point of a Quantum Shift, a paradigm, and we have no leadershp willing to bite the bullet, take the pain necessary to save the people, just their precise ideology and friends.

Somewhere straight, honest, meaningful debate and rhetoric has been exterminated in favour of BS for short term power gains.

All those thinking things are coming back to what they were are delusional. We are, in fact, undergoing a long needed surgery that will remove this boil of illogical, short term ideology, and make room for sensible, responsible fiscal management by individuals, business, and government.

I know, I for one, have more than had enough of this childish insanity every 10 years. I truly feel sorry for those who have not been through it before, because it is one damn scarey experience. All I can say is, welcome to the real world you helped create. Now, help bring in the new world order, which is actually real and stable order based on sustainable stability.

#82 Bill-Muskoka (N.A.M.) on 01.25.09 at 2:00 pm

BTW, anyone wonder why there is no vaccine for the Avian Bird Flu? In B.C. they just ‘culled’ (a nice PC word for slaughtered and wasted) 60,000 birds because two had the virus. Now watch poultry prices LEAP UP. That is the real ressurection that happens following such poor foresight (or is it?)

I guess pigs will be the next because there are too many of them driving down market prices.

Maybe Realtors will be deeemed ‘too plentiful’ and a natural culling of them will happen as well? Let’s add developers to that endangered species list (meaning you are in danger of being exterminated by the market you created out of your own arrogant, lieing, greed).

We all know better, but follow like mindless slugs to lastest fad or scheme.

Start doing something about it TODAY!

#83 R on 01.25.09 at 2:08 pm

Assessment values are a crock of s**t. It’s to dictate property tax and not what the house/condo might be worth. Does your doctor assess your condition without seeing you? ….NO…Until the assessment guys start doing a walk through of each and every property I don’t think this should be used as a tool to dicate selling price. Buyer Beware!

#84 Leasa on 01.25.09 at 2:12 pm

#50 TS, yes, if the Pope had a garage sale he could feed every poor child in the world. He (his church) has such a vast fortune that it cannot be counted. The United Church owns shares in mega breweries and an unimaginable plethora of other interests. So many elderly

#85 Leasa on 01.25.09 at 2:19 pm

#50 TS, If the Vatican had a garage sale the Pope could feed every single starving child in the world. The Pope (the Catholic Church) has such a vast fortune it cannot be counted. Imagine. I once read years ago that the Catholic Church was the biggest land owner in the world. The United Church owns interests in breweries and a plethora of other investments in businesses. Huh? Some other organizations gather money in the name of religion and use it to buy bombs and artillery. Some of these bombs find their way onto school buses and into schools. Is this what man made organized religion is all about? I don’t condemn or disrespect other’s for the belief. However, for me…I am spiritual, yet I just cannot fit my opinionated square head into the round peg of any current religion for the aforesaid reasons.

#86 Leasa on 01.25.09 at 2:21 pm

#71…sorry Garth. I shouldn’t post while talking on the phone, I hit the send by accident…

#87 Nick on 01.25.09 at 2:24 pm

I think the biggest problem is the public, and media, are lazy and look to realtors, who by their nature are boosters, for “news” stories.

Realtors are not objective, and for the most part, still are saying the market is turning around/bottomed out/on an upswing almost constantly. Not their fault. We need more objective voices, and a less lazy/boosterish local media who (at least in Saskatoon) who honestly point out weaknesses in the local market, and admit to there being a likely ONGOING drop in housing prices, even in western Canada.

You wouldn’t trust a used car salesman for advice on the reputation and resale value of the cars he sells – why trust a realtor to honestly tell you to hold off buying a home for another year?

#88 EW on VI on 01.25.09 at 2:33 pm

68 daystar. I had to take a break from that post – just too long and Im sure many skipped over it. I finally finished it. For those who did skip it, I will try to summarize:

1) we need a “stupid” law, so people and politicians cant be/act stupid or do stupid things.

2) We need a “greedy” law so no one can be greedy.

3) We need a “fat” law so that people wont have related health problems.

OK I’ll admit to infractions of 1 now and then, 2 only occasioanaly and 3 never, at least not yet.

Next please….

#89 DumpNowOrRegretLater on 01.25.09 at 2:43 pm

Here’s some information in the Vancouver Sun today about the ‘Smith Manoeuvre’ for those interested in being able to right off the interest on their mortgages.

http://www.vancouversun.com/business/fp/money/Investment+loans+still+used+write+mortgages/1187174/story.html

#90 John on 01.25.09 at 3:11 pm

#35 You are a Realtor, lets be honest you know how to move homes not deal in complex mathematics. I think it may be best you reserve your doom and gloom for those who buy it. Garth takes a sobering view on things of what COULD be not what WILL be, you need to learn the difference. The variables are in place to potentially have a serious economic crisis, but it will not help by advising people to drop their prices to sell now… creating a state of panic to sell off their homes may benefit you, but not the economy as a whole. The underlying message YOU as a Realtor should convey is that they need to list their home at what a realistic price is based on market conditions currently not what you speculate.

#91 Barb the proofreader on 01.25.09 at 3:20 pm

The real estate interlopers who bug me the most are the ones who knock down quality, properly sized, well laid-out single-family bungalows, only to slap up two duplexes, fancy (but poor quality), and multi-storey, that are just shiny enough to sucker naive, short-term buyers. In their aftermath, the neighbourhood suffers from unplanned density parking problems and transient buyer/sellers who become discontent with the narrow confines of those boxes, and move on. Secondly, the buyers suffer the nightmare cost fall-outs from latent flaws and poor quality work. And the future price of these places is gloomy, as aging baby boomers can’t always walk up and down 2 to 3 floors, with replaced hips, knees, MS, and other degenerative diseases (it’s already happened to many a close friend, and several family members of ours).
…….

On the flip side, I know a real agent who I think very highly of… a family member who buys dilapidated homes and makes them comfortable and affordable rentals. And as an agent he’s honest to a fault with his buyers and sellers. Over the decades, they’ve returned to him again and again. And since his clients know they can trust him, they refer their friends and family to him.
…….

Some real estate agents, or any other cons or politicians who deceives people, may make more money, but, they have to live with their dishonesty. Their net result is they do not enjoy the real fruits of life — the trust, friendship and admiration of good, intelligent and caring people. Call it a small victory in life but honesty is one of the few worthwhile pursuits.

#92 nonplused on 01.25.09 at 3:23 pm

Well, list prices in Calgary are still not dropping. Sales are collapsing but no drop in list prices.

I think “the plan” is to ultimately allow a bunch of foreclosures, and then have the banks withhold these properties from the market, subsidized by the bank bailouts. I think this is happening in both the US and Canada. In the US the number of foreclosures is way above the number of foreclosed houses listed on the MLS service.

http://money.cnn.com/2009/01/21/real_estate/ghost_inventory/index.htm

I don’t know how you would find out such things in Canada because our banking and real estate sector is so much more secretive.

If my crazy conspiracy theory is correct, the banks and the government are conspiring to withhold properties from the market using tax payer bailout money in an effort to artificially support prices.

So once again there’s your hard earned tax dollars hard at work supporting one group (banks and homeowners) against the interest of other groups (home owner wannabe’s, renters, etc.)

#93 nonplused on 01.25.09 at 3:25 pm

FYI folks Harper isn’t running the country anymore, Layton is through his puppet Ignatieff. Maybe that’s one of the reasons Obama delayed his trip! Layton threatened a coalition if Obama didn’t meet him first!

#94 nonplused on 01.25.09 at 3:27 pm

What’s with all the angst against churches? Not that I am particularly religious, but it’s nice to see that at least one major institution managed to fully fund it’s pension plan without government assistance!

It’s hard to justify taxing churches without going into other non-profits. For example should you tax youth soccer clubs that run a surplus? But that’s what many do in the hopes of securing their own training facility down the road. Or how about the Boy Scouts? But they pay for those Scout Halls out of surplus.

#95 daystar on 01.25.09 at 3:32 pm

#76 g on 01.25.09 at 1:28 pm

I can’t agree. I believe I do know more, I’m not alone and if I don’t know more, I’m certainly practicing the knowledge I do have more effectively.

Case in point. If you know what I know or applied what I know you would not have the level of frustration you have now. Its simple, g. We only have control over ourselves.

I don’t want to sound like I’m talking down to you or preaching to you here, its not my wish or goal but freedom only comes from self control. Your frustration with your government, its voters, their influences, with the macro environments around you, come from the reality that you can’t control it. At the most, you can only influence and the level of influence you do have from where I’m standing isn’t the level you believe you should have (my guess is you want more) because you believe you do have the answers but think…

Freedom only comes from self control. Don’t sweat what is beyond your control. Sweat what you can control. Empower yourself beyond what you know now (there is no such thing as a knowitall). Learn the art of communication more effectively and above all, recognize your own boundaries, your own limitations. It is through that recognition of interconnectivity, and yes, dependency, that you realize where your true power and role to play in all of this is found.

#96 daystar on 01.25.09 at 3:39 pm

#79 Bill (NAM)

Much agreed.

#97 rory on 01.25.09 at 3:42 pm

TS for you

Use this link as a start to see the huge difference between private and public sector wages…you might want to start bashing CUPE + many others or getting the gov’t to come back down to earth.

http://www.londontopic.ca/article.php?artid=12072

#98 David on 01.25.09 at 3:48 pm

A truly efficient market would not need realtors. Something about rational buyers and sellers making rational choices to maximise personal gain. Realtors quite simply do not rationalise the market unless one considers irrational consumers making irrational choices and buying from irrational sellers to be an efficient market. Realtors do not produce any value added production, nor does any of the information the information they provide help consumers make more rational choices. A true advocate can not represent both parties to a transaction, but that is exactly what realtors claim they do.
In an age of high speed information technology consumers and sellers really do not need realtors and their steadfast 6% rule. A rational and efficient market does not need hype and hope to function.

#99 Barb the proofreader on 01.25.09 at 3:53 pm

Geez, more examples of this government’s glaring hypocrisy:
On one hand Finance has detailed instructions about what kind of “security zone” it expects to see, the budget’s ‘cone of silence’ where even the phone lines must be disconnected, doors locked, nobody gets out for 27 hours, going to extremes to shield the federal budget from prying eyes. “It’s like Fort Knox,” one former Finance Department official said of the secrecy and security”. “The first rule of the budget is don’t talk about it.. At all” “The contractor shall not make public, in any way, information related to the project, including the existence of the project itself,” Finance warns.
And TOTALLY hypocritically on Thursday and again on Friday Senior Government Officials leak details from the federal budget:
“PM playing games with irresponsible budget leaks”
Sheesh, just who the hell do they think they are?
…….
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090124.wbudget_lockdown23/BNStory/politics/home?cid=al_gam_mostrecom
…….
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2009/01/23/ignatieff.html

#100 daystar on 01.25.09 at 3:57 pm

#86 EW on VI on 01.25.09 at 2:33 pm

“68 daystar. I had to take a break from that post – just too long and Im sure many skipped over it.” – EW on VI

Sounds like it was quite a mental challenge for you. When you buy a newspaper is it just for the pictures? (lol) Are you sure you didn’t mean to say EW on IV? ;-)

“I finally finished it. For those who did skip it, I will try to summarize:

1) we need a “stupid” law, so people and politicians cant be/act stupid or do stupid things.

2) We need a “greedy” law so no one can be greedy.

3) We need a “fat” law so that people wont have related health problems.

OK I’ll admit to infractions of 1 now and then, 2 only occasioanaly and 3 never, at least not yet.

Next please….”- EW on VI

Well, how about the stupid, greedy unhealthy things you won’t admit to? (I know, I know, another book)

Just askin’ :-)

Hey, I’m just funnin’ with you, no hard feelings, no worries. Its just a blog dude, where some are sheep and others are wolves and we do know what matters.

#101 go green on 01.25.09 at 4:12 pm

70 Accremonium on 01.25.09 at 12:52 pm Money given to churches disappears into huge, unaccountable, black holes. What is done with all of it remains a mystery….and yet our Federal and Provincial governments give us tax breaks on our church donations. At least with registered charities they need to provide financial statements and demonstrate how the funds they receive were spent.
#50 TS on 01.25.09 at 8:32 am

What are the chances that some if not all have a political arm or branch to funnel the funds into “grease spot ads”! Naw, that would be a violation of Elections Canada rules, or would it not?
It is my contention that all “churches” be required to incorporate and be audited by Rev. Canada, that is Revenue not Reverend Canada! All funds must be accounted for, deposited in regulated banks, and all transfers of funds documented on cheques, NO CASH TRANSFERS , only drafts, cheques! CAPICHE! That does not mean brown paper envelopes or bags, either!

Agree that all funds must be accounted for and also feel that the church should not be involved in politics, nor should they receive tax exempt status. We’ve seen how McVety & his supporters here in Canada & the Evangelicals in the US have influenced our governments. So much for the separation of state & religion. I happen to be pro choice & pro gay marriage. Yeah, I expect others will attack me for my views

BTW, I grew up in Quebec when the priests would provide a receipt for double your cash donation to their church. Though we were not Catholics, the priest would visit my Mom & encourage her to have more children. Right, she had 6 already & lost her 7th.

We don’t need to go to a church. We know how to treat our fellow mankind. Based on my exprience. most devoted church goers I’ve found are hypocrits.

#102 North Vancouver Citizen on 01.25.09 at 4:26 pm

#60 dd

“”Hitler had the very same argument.””

lol, Which one dd, lay blame of all of Canada’s problems on Realtors,(might work if all Realtors were Jews)… or allowing a potential Depression to exaserbate, by not being prepared, and allowing an open border policy to remain unchecked?

2/

#63 Gordie Howe in Vancouver et al

It’s not the governments or speculators or developers, Big Business rules North America…They lend out money for a profit and deregulation found the “greeed factor” from top to bottom.

3/

#64 David Kabody

“”Global warming kills old-growth forests at stunning rate.””

It feels more like Global Colding in Vancouver these last two winters.

4/ Jo

“”Garth, thanks for deleting and blocking that North Van guy. What a racist.””

Ya, that NVguy is creepy.

5/

#68 Daystar

If i submitted as long a posting as yours, everyone here would call me a long winded, racist bigot.

#70 Accremonium

“”It is my contention that all “churches” be required to incorporate and be audited by Rev. Canada, that is Revenue not Reverend Canada! All funds must be accounted for, deposited in regulated banks, and all transfers of funds documented on cheques, NO CASH TRANSFERS , only drafts, cheques! CAPICHE! That does not mean brown paper envelopes or bags, either.””

Brilliant postings by you and TS…..really
Time Canada called a spade a spade, Religion is for suckers…let the world follow Canada’s lead when we “categorize” Religion for what it is….. a business.

#72 Darryl

Me, stressed?…my friend…I haven’t yet swallowed the “Kool Aid.

#74 dd

“”The problem is over spending.””
…Big business manipulated the easy money syndrome…so everyone played the game….the smart ones got out at the top and moved to a remote Polynesian Island.

“”The problem is NOT race.””
If Garth is right and things go from bad to worse, Race will become a problem…jmo

Now, help bring in the new world order, which is actually real and stable order based on sustainable stability.

# 79 Bill-Muskoka (N.A.M.)
“”Now, help bring in the new world order, which is actually real and stable order based on sustainable stability.””

Like one world currency, one government, one religion?

#81 R

“”Assessment values are a crock of s**t. It’s to dictate property tax and not what the house/condo might be worth. ………………..…Until the assessment guys start doing a walk through of each and every property I don’t think this should be used as a tool to dicate selling price. “Buyer/Seller” Beware!””

good post

#83 Leasa

“”If the Vatican had a garage sale the Pope could feed every single starving child in the world. The Pope (the Catholic Church) has such a vast fortune it cannot be counted. Imagine. I once read years ago that the Catholic Church was the biggest land owner in the world. The United Church owns interests in breweries and a plethora of other investments in businesses.””

…Saving this, the best post for last…honest injun.

CANADA SHOULD NATIONALIZE RELIGION, THE MONEY PROBLEMS WOULD SUDDENLY DISAPEAR.

#103 $froma$ia on 01.25.09 at 4:31 pm

Please be advised, the longer your comments are the more likely readers are going to pass over.

#104 Barb the proofreader on 01.25.09 at 4:35 pm

Daystar 68, 93 and Bill Muskoka NAM 79, etc:

Greetings, on a very sunny day in Calgary. Hope you two have equally good stuff going on in your necks of the forest!

Re:
"frustration with your government, its voters, their influences, with the macro environments around you, come from the reality that you can’t control it. At the most, you can only influence at the level of influence you do have"
Daystar, if only more people would simply realize all that, and do their part, eh? Great rant BTW and ALL so true and relevant.
Frustration alleviated when ‘brain’ is properly used
;)

"What you say is true, but the Sheeple will never get it until things are at critical mass... Somewhere straight, honest, meaningful debate and rhetoric has been exterminated in favour of BS for short term power gains."
Bill, you sir are correct. BTW, do you feel the correction coming? People’s ‘discomfort’ works well to bring change. (ie: They’ll only go for a facelift when they truly dislike what they see in the mirror and they can ‘afford’ it.) The needed shift comes when there’s enough repulsion from one end and attraction to the other.
Personally I’m good with Iggy now that I’ve read lots of his writings — and I realized some people from my youth whom I admire are his acquaintances.

Plus, I think Harper’s childish character assassination attempts are toast now. Harper can’t fly by on a shrugging Iggy attack ad. Hell, if Canadians got past Harper’s icy cold eyes, they can at least get past Ignatieff’s unruly eyebrows.

#105 go green on 01.25.09 at 4:55 pm

95 rory on 01.25.09 at 3:42 pm TS for you

Use this link as a start to see the huge difference between private and public sector wages…you might want to start bashing CUPE + many others or getting the gov’t to come back down to earth.

Rory – agree. When I moved to my current province & realized what private business wages were I immediately said I would only apply for a prov. govt. job. I found out later that I should have set my sights higher and gone with the Feds. They paid about 10% higher with better benefits. I was looking out for myself. I tried to convince my sis to do likewise, brought home apps. but she never did. As the saying goes, you can drag a horse to water but ……!

I feel no regrets for taking advantage of the system. But I wasn’t a sloucher, either.

#106 Andrew toronto on 01.25.09 at 5:02 pm

The Essential Need for Transparency.. why it’s so inportant.. on utube

http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=6Io-4eIKY7o

#107 North Vancouver Citizen on 01.25.09 at 5:12 pm

“””Ethnic cleansing?…

Plan would buy airfare to send Hawaii homeless to Mainland”””

“””But not all recent arrivals from the Mainland who find themselves homeless are interested in going back. Bill Lukasik, 54, came to Hawai’i from Chicago about a year and a half ago and said he is here to stay.

“There’s nothing to go back to,” said Lukasik, adding that he lost his job in Chicago and found himself homeless before heading to the Islands for a fresh start. As he ate a bowl of rice, veggies and meat from Saint Augustine’s soup kitchen, Lukasik said nothing would persuade him to pack up and go back.

“It’s so great here,” he said.”””

…Is this macro look a harbinger of things to come?

How would Canada look like to say….250,000 unemployed and unskilled Chinese farmers who have lost their jobs as menial labour in Chinese factories?

http://investorshub.advfn.com/boards/read_msg.aspx?message_id=35070590

#108 dd on 01.25.09 at 5:22 pm

#100 North Vancouver Citizen,

You sure write a lot. But you really don’t say anything.

#109 go green on 01.25.09 at 5:30 pm

Totally OT but interesting. Long gone are the days of a Head of State in a convertible caddy.

Some of you may not find this interesting but I had to share for those who would! Obviously with security being the number one priority for Obama’s inauguration today, here are some amazing things to consider:

The presidential limo called Cadillac One is being unveiled for the first time today and has between 5 and 8 inches of military grade armour covering every inch of the car including underneath which designed to resist a bomb explosion if one were planted under the car. The windows are actually not made of glass, but transparent steel (who know there was such a thing). They are strong enough to resist fire from steel peircing weapons and do not roll down for safety reasons. Actually the drivers window can be lowered by 3 inches in the unlikely event that it needs to pay a toll. The windows in alone in the car weight approximately 6000 lbs and the car in total more than 4 tons. The doors at the push of a button can also be sealed like a bank vault and this seal would also prevent any sort of chemical attack. See the attached picture for some of the creature comforts and facts about the car. It also has storage for the president’s blood in case he needed an emergency transfusion as well as oxygen. Estimated cost is approximately $500,000.

AS IF that was protection enough, in case someone was crazy enough to plan an attack, check out the link for the video below. You know those big black SUV’s that follow the president? One of them is equipped with a Dillon Aero Mini Gun capable of firing 3000 shots per minute for a sustained period of time (notice the amount of bullet casings falling on the truck during practise).

http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=MOyt6imlgLo

Apart from that there is also apparently more than 25,000 security personnel including police, military, secret service agents, and rooftop snipers lining the parade route.

All part of parcel for the biggest day in political history!

See also: pres-limo-full.jpg

#110 vulture says 50% by spring on 01.25.09 at 5:46 pm

Was wondering …
what you are talking about has to due with the topic > Realtors???

#111 eddy on 01.25.09 at 5:52 pm

The photo is right on the money. In a bad market, i want an agent to list my house who has a killer instinct and who knows how to dress for success. Agents should take Garth’s photo as a compliment.

http://video.google.ca/videoplay?docid=-5524526231174165759&hl=en

#112 vulture says 50% by spring on 01.25.09 at 5:57 pm

The realtor on the sunshine coast in bc was very candid when I asked which of the properties I liked were in need of a sale he explained that one of the homes I was interested in needed to be sold by spring.
So all I have to add is the Vulture Says 50% and I should have a deal…
Vulture says 50% by spring

#113 an f-ing joke on 01.25.09 at 6:02 pm

HEY #44 Did you check out the “stripper” realtors site enough to find the page where she lists the SEVENTEEN different charities she donates her money and time to???? how many charities do you give time and money too huh? You ass.

#90
What do you mean list prices arent dropping in Calgary? They have been dropping non stop since the peak in July 2007? They have dropped 22% in 18 months! I just listed a place for $80,000 below the last realtor!!!!!!!!!

#114 EW on VI on 01.25.09 at 6:14 pm

93 daystar – No worries here either! Did enjoy your
rebuttal about taking control. Lets consider 90 non-
plused conspiracy theory on the foreclosures. Or is this
an infraction of the proposed “stupid” law on my part?

So we have a $75b “bailout” of “toxic” mortgages from the banks. Is it actually a purchase of these mortgages? So do the taxpayers now own these mortgages? It
seems to me that if we insure deposits through CDIC,
and insure mortgages through CMHC weren’t we ultimately on the hook for them in the first place?

So, if the banks have been paid, are they out of the picture, is it the taxpayers who will foreclose and
own these properties, or do the banks give back proceeds from the foreclosure? Or is it impossible to identify which properties they are because its all been bundled in with other more secure debt? If it can be separated out, then there is a chance for the taxpayers to recover a good portion of this money.

Can somebody provide a brief but concise explanation of what this bailout actually is, or maybe a link to a suitable
site?

#115 Barb the proofreader on 01.25.09 at 6:23 pm

31 & 50 Leasa and TS, good points. With religion, real estate, politics, as with anything, it’s the bad leaders at the top. When the public’s trust is broken, look out. Long term somewhere down the road, I bet they no longer get our tax dollars/breaks, and also, monitoring of their financials will be beefed up to protect the public from scams.

#116 Wealthy Renter on 01.25.09 at 6:55 pm

David 96″
A truly efficient market would not need realtors. Something about rational buyers and sellers making rational choices to maximise personal gain. In an age of high speed information technology consumers and sellers really do not need realtors and their steadfast 6% rule.

David, I have often wondered if the net will render real estate agents, car salespeople and travel agents (and other comissioned salespeople obsolete in the coming years. I guess that realtors have done a good job at monopolizing information re. residential real esate, and they mostly sell to cohorts more comfortable with face to face transactions.

I wonder if today’s 16 y/o future homebuyer will give a squirrel’s butt about face to face contact and personalized service. Middle class teens live in an online world now, and they pay for *nothing* they can get for free online. I can’t see this generation accepting 6% commissions, when they have the net.

I think that there is HUGE business opportunity for a Google Real Estate, or a Facebook Realty where people of that generation (with basic i.t. skills) will network with each other to buy and sell homes. The young’ns will want to instantly post their opinions about the home, and get instant access to information about the neighbourhood (demographic, crime stats etc.)

Virtual killed the realtor star?

#117 Barb the proofreader on 01.25.09 at 7:03 pm

“We didn’t see it coming, but we acted before it happened by cutting the GST” ~ MP Ted Menzies
“Is it just me or does this not make any sense? How can you not see something coming, yet act to pre-empt it?” — cms

:-o

cms,
Soooo hard to believe what comes out of these guy’s mouths — yet people really voted for them!?

#118 Barb the proofreader on 01.25.09 at 7:07 pm

#110 EW “Can somebody provide a brief but concise explanation of what this bailout actually is, or maybe a link to a suitable site?”
Here’s a good explanation:
http://www.garth.ca/weblog/2008/12/06/toxic-cash/

#119 no one expects the . . . on 01.25.09 at 7:11 pm

A trip down memory lane, for those of us beyond repair, redemption and hope . . .

http://moreoldfortyfives.com/TakeMeBackToTheSixties.htm
——
In http://progressivecomrades.blogspot.com/ headline says “Inflation falls, but not grocery”, and Comrade One (formerly Okie) has posted links pertaining to same.

In The Cycle Of Nines, which is part of The Cycle Of Life and affects every living thing, as much as night follows day follows night, so deflation (now) is followed (quietly) by rising inflation then — http://tinyurl.com/cuz57g

Some headings: “Hyperinflation Will begin In China And It Will Destroy The Dollar”, “The US’s trade deficit requires China to print money”! and “So far China has been able to contain inflation, but…”

Main stuff is on the link supplied, but added to C.One’s post, we are living in extremely uncertain times, and someone is profiting from all this.

The greenback has been surging higher recently — http://tinyurl.com/bdmslp / http://tinyurl.com/cc6vfc / http://tinyurl.com/akcbv4 — witness the declining loonie, collapse of the pound and Euro, along with other currencies.

However, if the greenback is decimated, what happens to other currencies? Would this bring forth a NWO, as Henry Kissinger has recently advocated? I was under the impression that it already existed, and it was going to be brought out into the open anyway. I guess now is the time.

“Control Inflation” — the only thing we control is ourselves, no more. The term sheeple comes to mind, as they let the msm inadvertently control them, by spoonfeeding them garbage.

Frank Zappa’s lyrics in “I’m The Slime” still hold true today, and anyone can read them on the ‘net. Frank spoke the lyrics in a deep, drawl-style with a light musical background.

Now, different reports from rense.com, but they cover one issue — the upcoming scrap between Iran and Israel. Both sides of the coin are taken into account.

http://tinyurl.com/bw4je8 http://tinyurl.com/bfoqcx

That should give y’all a good understanding of who the aggressors are, especially as the U.S., Russia, China and Israel are in the top 10 countries with nukes.

#120 Bill-Muskoka (N.A.M.) on 01.25.09 at 7:15 pm

#102 Barb the proofreader on 01.25.09 at 4:35 pm

How do you get the neat colour added? Will the color HTML command work here?

BTW, thanks. Good to see you participating here.

#121 wjp on 01.25.09 at 7:16 pm

#100
Empty vessels make great noise…buy ear plugs!

#122 TheComingDepression on 01.25.09 at 7:33 pm

#109- There is no link to any site before a crash on mortgages. Peter Schiff, in the US, warned of a crash in real estate a year earlier and NOBODY listened. My advice is to call CMHC and ask them what the total mortgage amount they hold in insurances with 40 yr. mortgage at no money down. They probably won’t tell you.

#123 jess on 01.25.09 at 7:35 pm

City Minister Paul Myners disclosed that on Friday, October 10, the country was ‘very close’ to a complete banking collapse after ‘major depositors’ attempted to withdraw their money en masse.
The Mail on Sunday has been told that the Treasury was preparing for the banks to shut their doors to all customers, terminate electronic transfers and even block hole-in-the-wall cash withdrawals.

Only frantic behind-the-scenes efforts averted financial meltdown.

If the moves had failed, Mr Brown would have been forced to announce that the Government was nationalising the entire financial system and guaranteeing all deposits.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1127278/Revealed-Day-banks-just-hours-collapse.html

#124 Torquemada on 01.25.09 at 8:20 pm

In the midst of all this economic doom and gloom, some of us forget that there are real people suffering. I’m of course writing about unemployed ex-trophy wives and spoiled rich kids.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/25/business/25every.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=stein&st=cse

Someone please lend me a hand getting the world’s smallest violin out of storage.

Oh, and dd, I was referring to post #60, not #58. My mistake. Godwin’s Law. Look it up.

#125 grandeprairiegirl on 01.25.09 at 8:51 pm

Slower housing market triggers lawsuits between sellers and buyers.

http://www.straight.com/article-198187/slower-housing-markets-triggers-lawsuits-between-buyers-and-sellers

#126 daystar on 01.25.09 at 9:14 pm

#110 EW on VI on 01.25.09 at 6:14 pm

To my knowledge, what the feds have done is give lenders with CMHC approved loans money before the defaults have occured. Access to information is tricky with the timetables involved but I believe our feds have doled out over 40 billion already to all lenders participating in CMHC approved mortgages and plan to dole out the full 75 billion before voters have had a chance to ask why through representation in parliament.

Why Harper/Flarehty’s Conservatives have done this for sure, we don’t know. Parliament has been prorogued, MP’s haven’t sat in the commons since August now… it’s January and if the proposed budget is defeated, the opposition will ask the Governor General to form a coalition. Stephen Harper will then have to ask the Governor General for an election, or relinquish control. He won’t. My guess is that it will be an election that follows sometime in March, but I’m not sure exactly when.

So lets keep this all in perspective, shall we? We have one Stephen Harper who called a needless election in August, claiming he needed a mandate when what he wanted was power amidst of a global economic crisis he himself wanted to “get in front of”… and since the election, we have an opposition who couldn’t support Harpers throne speech tone to want to freeze wages in the public sector for 3 years and bust unions abilities to strike, not to mention roll back wages for women and lets not forget his want to roll back public election financing campaign laws to the draconic corporate/private donations back in the day where every politician is beholden to their corporate/private donations for winning & existence, lets make it a pissing contest concerning who takes the most bribes political theatre once more… and naturally the opposition, not wanting to go back the old days of the NDP getting propped up by union money or the Libs and Cons competing for bribes for campaign financing to get re-elected (and we’ve always kind of known who would do better at it, particularly from U.S. contributers), breathed the words coalition out of survival making the enemies of enemies friends. The Bloc? The Greens? Public campaign financing survival dependent. NDP? Libs? Their own financial futures and morality also at stake. So what choice did they have other than breathe the words, “coalition”?

But Harper wouldn’t have a coalition, no… who would negotiate with those separatist bastards, eh? We need a unity crisis and a constitutional crisis on top of an economic crisis so parliament must be prorogued. (and lets not forget what a coalition government means, folks. It means access to this nations books!)

And while the economic crisis is being dealt with by all the other nations around the globe, our parliament sits… with doors locked. And when this budget bill is defeated on tuesday because Harper thinks it prudent to keep taxpayers in the dark with CMHC’s actual losses and why he and his colleges would dare to give taxpayers dollars ahead of actual losses to banks themselves, trading money earning interest on “speculation”, all voters can do is wonder why we are about to have two elections that Harper himself will have called unforced through the Governor general, elections that no one wants, amidst a world wide economic crisis where time is of the essence and all the while, parliament will have ceased to function for a full 7 months plus.

One can only speculate as to why Flarehty would want to get “in front of” CMHC mortgage defaults that haven’t yet occured because this government deems it unnecessary to explain it to laymen, so I’ll take a stab at it.

By giving banks money before mortgage defaults occur, Flarehty will be able to delay the actual numbers of the losses of incurred by CMHC covering insured mortgages for a large number of years.

This does one of two things. Firstly, it buffers any large short term mortgage default losses from bank shareholders and secondly, the actual losses incurred by CMHC can’t be tracked with 75 billion going to banks before mortgages default (theoretically at this point in droves). Only until the banks/feds list these same mortgage defaulted homes and they sell can their numbers be counted in terms of true losses but even so, there are ways to delay those counts mounting to big losses for CMHC from the taxpayer… except through, perhaps, a change in government that is more… transparent?

Also, only 10% of Bank losses from mortgage defaults will actually hit the books in the loss column this way (ah, those Conservatives) keeping investors confidence intact, along with a false sense of security that things aren’t as bad as they seem. To my knowledge, last summer banking regulations were changed with mortgage defaults. It used to be that there was a grace period where when a mortgage defaulted, it was counted as a 100% loss until insurance covered the initial loss. Now, insurance payments are automatic (sameday) so banks only claim 10% of the actual mortgage default as a loss (the 10% they aren’t insured for).
And to the shareholder, losses count but if the mortgages are 90% insured… Bay Street won’t be shaken so… why give money to banks before mortgages have defaulted? To hide the losses from the public. Its the only real valid reason I can think of. If Harper ever won a majority, he could theoretically hide such CMHC losses from voters/taxpayers for at least one more election (yeah, I know, at least 4 years).

But what of the rest of the streets of Canada? Homes that were bought with a Nortel job are no longer getting Nortel cheques and they aren’t the only ones. Unexpected layoffs in energy and elsewhere are beginning to mount. How broad and sweeping is this recession going to get? Analyists are predicting between 3 to 4% of Canadians will lose their homes before this is over, approximately half of what is expected in the U.S.. The big question is how much will the taxpayer lose directly due to CMHC’s 40 year nothing down Harper/Flarehty born subprime. My guess is that there will be between 80 to 150 billion dollars worth of mortgage defaults that are 40 year nothing down amortizations all by themselves and of those, the recovery of capital upon resale will mirror U.S. subprime, ranging from .30 to .50 cents on the dollar. As it is, the 75 Billion dollar figure is there for all to see by the Conservatives themselves (mind you, covering mortgage defaults of all kinds and ages, not directly 40 year 0 down related). But what the true cost of such a policy has done (40/0’s) is much greater as it pushed real estate levels to a grossly unaffordable, unsustainable bubble not to mention commerical real estate and rentals. Rentals is what is hurting the poor and middle class the most here, not to mention a weak construction sector in real estate that will last a good decade due to overdevelopment spawned by such failed mortgage regulations.

Oh yeah… the short answer you were looking for EW? Outside of a speculative guess, “I don’t know” :-)

#127 cmp on 01.25.09 at 9:29 pm

Garth,

I dont know if North Van Citizen’s comments are bigoted or not.But he certainly makes a point worth dibeting .

Look at what is happening in France,Holland,Belgium and England.In coming 5 decades these countries will have Muslims as large portion of population(maybe majority in Holland).And when that happens the Sharia law will be a way of life in those countries….In my opinion those countries has no future..

Good thing I don’t care about your opinion. — Garth

#128 dd on 01.25.09 at 9:42 pm

#120 Torquemada

“Oh, and dd, I was referring to post #60, not #58. My mistake. Godwin’s Law. Look it up.”

Blaming races for unemployment and for the country going down the tubes is an old stategy. It is a stategy that is used by weak and pitiful men.

#129 dd on 01.25.09 at 9:44 pm

#120 Torquemada

“Oh, and dd, I was referring to post #60, not #58. My mistake. Godwin’s Law. Look it up.”

Blaming races for unemployment and for the country going down the tubes is an old strategy. It is a strategy that is used by weak and pitiful men.

#130 ThumbsUp on 01.25.09 at 9:49 pm

0 down is still available! in the form of “Social Housing”, is that the $1 billion in the leaked info from the coming budget

http://www.cityofkingston.ca/residents/social/housing/ownership.asp

http://www.peelregion.ca/housing/home-in-peel/resources/faq.htm#1

http://www.region.waterloo.on.ca/WEB/Region.nsf/97dfc347666efede85256e590071a3d4/b04441c236936a038525724b006c0434!OpenDocument

#131 Barb the proofreader on 01.25.09 at 9:52 pm

95 “huge difference between private and public sector wages…you might want to start bashing CUPE + many others or getting the gov’t to come back down to earth”
http://www.londontopic.ca/article.php?artid=12072

Rory,
Huh. Huge? On par is more like it. And have you forgotten you already bashed CUPE yourself [Garth’s “Strong & Free” #120] and bashed Liberals, twice [“Don’t Wait Too Long” #39] and you cheer-leaded and liked what Real Estate Expert aka NVC says [Denial Show #69]. Hmm.
And now a link that leads to a study by a conservative lobby group? Shades of NCC. Please pass the grain of salt.

My sister-in-law and niece work for the Feds, a combined 50+ years, and they work hard, on par if not more dedicated than any other office worker, anywhere, and their wages are on par too, which BTW, are modest. They proudly belong to the middle class because of their jobs! In recent years one brother and brother-in-law have joined the middle class thanks only to unions. So where’s the beef.

#132 rural route on 01.25.09 at 10:08 pm

#68 Daystar

Thank you for your comments. I didn’t have a problem reading it all . You have a lot to say, and that’s fine, it takes time to make a rational arguement.

Sometimes I wonder, how on earth did the Harper Conservatives get elected? But when I talk to people I inevitably hear the comment “well, they’re all the same.” To which I argue NO! They aren’t all the same! People need to pay attention. And we shouldn’t let that comment slip past without question.

Perhaps there is a “lack of leadership” because of the lack of respect Canadians have for politicians. Afterall it’s easier to say “they’re all the same” rather than spend time studying individual politicians and their words and actions. Perhaps the best and brightest avoid politcs or retreat when they realize it doesn’t matter what they say or do, they’ll just be lumped in with the unscrupulous anyways.

I spent some time last winter watching CPAC. (Not this winter though, since apparently our democracy is on hold.) Anyways, I felt it was my duty to take some afternoons and sit and listen to live parliament and committees. I was shocked at the useless partisan rhetoric and lack of respect SOME of the politicians displayed. Noteably a large percentage were Conservatives. A lot of negative posturing and refusal to answer questions. What a frustrating environment to work in.

There were however, some very eloquent, thoughtful and caring individuals, obviously just trying to do their job, most were Bloc Quebecois, NDP and Liberal. The Conservatives that were more civilized and respectful made me wonder though, why would they get behind a man like Harper?

Those thoughtful members of parliament, were a stark contrast to the MP for our constituency Gerry Ritz. He consistantly shows lack of respect, with his flippant and arrogant comments. The fiasco with the listeria outbreak and his embarrassing joke was no slip of the tongue, that’s the way he always talks!

I listened to him speak in our town, he was appalling. When asked if he regretted calling farmers that support the Wheat Board ” the tin foil hat and decoder crowd” , he couldn’t do the right thing and apologize. Instead he said something to the effect that he was sorry he offended anyone, but if you’d been there where these people were protesting, you’d know what he was talking about. Ha ha. Another insult instead.

Regarding conservative agricuture policy he has been quoted as telling anyone that disagrees with him to “lead follow or get out of the way.” Hardly statesman like. Harper made him the minister of Agriculture and stands behind him still. That says a lot about Harper. These are the kind of people leading Canada in this world crisis. THAT’S the real problem Canadians face.

At the same speaking engagement I watched the Liberal candidate struggle to speak publicly, but talking to him afterwards, you could see he was nothing like Gerry Ritz. The young NDP candidate was well spoken, and didn’t make his points by putting others down. So, no, they’re NOT ALL THE SAME.

Yet people consistantly sluff off any debate, by lumping all politicians together. It’s just lazy thinking, and lack of engagement in politics that allows that kind of attitude to prevail. Perhaps this crisis will shake people up and they’ll sit up and pay attention, and do the work of trying to figure out what’s really going on, rather than accept what is spoon fed to them by the media.

Anyways, it’s refreshing to hear well thought out comments such as yours Daystar.

#133 Joren on 01.25.09 at 10:12 pm

#88

Wow, how flattering to be analysed by someone thru email and never met me. How would you know whether I “deal in in complex mathematics” or not?

For your information, I could care less whether someone selling their house “benefits” me or not. I am more concerned that they get a fair price for it and are happy with the results. Nor do I try to “create a state of panic”. I don’t need the money that badly. See the thing is, I know what the real market conditions are like right now. Frankly, they suck. I don’t subscribe to this bs put out by my illustrious President (who I didn’t vote for btw) When I know how much someone paid for a place, is trying to flip it and asking too much for it, and I have a good feeling that it’ll sell at or just below what they paid for it, loss or not, I’ll tell them. They want to keep it listed at 200 grand higher than that? Fine. You know what? When it expires they can take it to someone else. Thats right, I’ve “fired” clients before and I’ll do it again.

Finally, I’m well aware of what my responsibilities and obligations are as a Realtor. I don’t need you to dictate them to me.

#134 Investx on 01.25.09 at 10:25 pm

#101 $froma$ia on 01.25.09 at 4:31 pm Please be advised, the longer your comments are the more likely readers are going to pass over.
——————————————

I agree. Post #63 is ridiculously long. Some people need their own blog.

#135 Don A on 01.25.09 at 10:29 pm

What I don’t get is that I work for one of the largest employers in my area, and bring in a salary that is likely on par with the better paid around, yet when I go to the bank to discuss a mortgage loan I am told that with a $30,000 down payment I qualify for max $167,000. Now I have looked around and being relativly close to the Halton area I can’t even see one single home that is priced in this range. How are all these people buying these expensive 350-450,000 dollar homes? Even with a second income how could anybody possibly manage it. I would need to at least double my income just to qualify so maybe there is my answer. I’m looking to move closer to Halton and realistically it seems rent is the only possible option available. And that is after working hard and full time.

Just don’t get it!!

#136 ThumbsUp on 01.25.09 at 10:37 pm

#122 daystar
very good analysis on the $75 billion

one more purpose the $75B is suppose to do: it provides fresh, good reserve to the bank so the credit keeps cheap and lending can start flow again, in an effort to keep the RE price inflated so that less 0/40 mortgages are underwater, less people will walk away and default. so that their 0/40 policy won’t look too bad.

I think the damage is the moral hazard done to the public (individual & corparate). It manipulates the cost of capital (lowered mortgate interest rate while it should have gone higher), favours those with ‘real asset’ than cash. encourage capital invested in RE instead of productive industry that can reproduce value (Microsoft , Nortel, Car, manufacture etc), the revenge — people get laid off.

Don’t mess with market!

#137 Joren on 01.25.09 at 11:01 pm

Don A.
Consider yourself lucky.
Stick with renting.
There was an article in the paper this weekend about how bad EI is these days and not covering very many people for very long. What happens to all the homeowners who are being laid off/terminated when their 15 weeks of EI come to an end?
There may be other issues in your case (such as other debt) that the bank is looking at and coming up with that figure. The banks have wizened up somewhat. Have you come right out and asked them where and why they’ve come up with that figure?

#138 EW on VI on 01.26.09 at 12:03 am

122 daystar. What can I say, that was great! And your dollar estimates arent much worse than mine either, particularly the 35-50% captital recovery (Lets hope for 35 if we are vultures!)

I had to brush off the old economics text to read the chapter on the Bank of Canada. The basic concept that its really all just backed by the govts ability to tax and print money seemed clear enough. I will search VIU bookstore for a more up-to-date one.

Keep smilin!

#139 coll in SW Ont on 01.26.09 at 1:44 am

#112 Wealthy Renter on 01.25.09 at 6:55 pm

…”I think that there is HUGE business opportunity for a Google Real Estate, or a Facebook Realty where people of that generation — will network with each other to buy and sell homes”….
_____________________________________________

Great Idea!! How can I get in on that?
We need a new system.

As you said, also (#112 Wealthy Renter): “Realtors have done a good job at monopolizing information”…

Most of us mainly just need the exposure…the MLS, not the agent. (Sorry, you good, ethical, agents who also maybe negotiate a little on your commission even…and, whom I don’t know how to find when I need you — maybe because there’s so few of you!)

#96 David on 01.25.09
“In an age of high speed information technology consumers and sellers really do not need realtors and their steadfast 6% rule.”
____________________________________________
Yes, you are right.

Unfortunately, until there is a truly viable online alternative to the MLS, especially in this type of market for a seller, we’re screwed.

And this is (one reason) why people dislike realtors, because many of us also work at jobs that have high risks and expenses involved, but sure don’t get paid like that, 10-15k in one shot, +/- , when we the sellers are allready bleeding from every end…

At least lawyers have a standard fee for sale of house.

But with realtors, how is it, ie; they deserve more from my house then from a 100k house they have to (possibly) bust their butts to sell, including advertising…?

It’s just that much of their justifications for different scenarios, to the average joe, just don’t jive.

#140 Barb the proofreader on 01.26.09 at 2:44 am

#116 Hi Bill-Muskoka (N.A.M.),
I purely stumbled on it. It’s the ‘code’ command. In this new format it shows up that way. I really just wanted smaller letters to save space, and to differentiate quoting. It’s a bit loud isn’t it.
Now can you explain how to link from a word instead of the whole url? I’ve looked it up and tried it, but it failed. I don’t dare experiment again. Dube once posted some explanations but that one is elusive to me so far.

Daystar and ThumbsUp, 122 and 132 respectively, thank you both for ‘splainin’ the $75B.

And I’ll add to that with a question to Garth — has PMSH been hiding a big deficit for much more than half a year — a year?

And to anyone, how ridiculous is it that compared to the U.S. who had HUGE debates and votes over a lesser per capita bail out, Harps just waves a wand and voila, no debate, no vote, no democracy?

#141 HalifaxFamily on 01.26.09 at 5:42 am

Way to go Garth! I advised someone back in October that the market was crashing, and that they shouldn’t help their son purchase a condo in Alberta.

Hope they heeded my advice. I did point them to your website!

#142 Bill-Muskoka (N.A.M.) on 01.26.09 at 9:13 am

#136 Barb the proofreader on 01.26.09 at 2:44 am

Barb,

Links are really quite easy. They consist of three parts as follows:

1. The command is ‘a href=’

2. The actual url including the http part

3. The Title for the link

As with all HTML commands they are enclosed between the left and right arrows (which act as delimiters telling the computer and web that it is a command, not text)

Unfortunately, one cannot post the actual command because it becomes, TADA, a command on the blog page.

So, remember this order.

1. Start with a left arrow ”

3. Then following the right arrow you insert the Title for the link and close the entire command using a left arrow /a right arrow. This tells the system the ‘a href’ command is complete. Note, the Title will be between the url’s ending right arrow and the command closing left arrow.

This follows the same structure as all other HTML commands which begin with a left arrow, then the command, and close with the backslash which closes the command ‘<command start….’

Now, if only this prints as I hope it will. LOL

#143 Bill-Muskoka (N.A.M.) on 01.26.09 at 9:36 am

For some reason # 2 got dropped. Here it is:

2. Next you place the url in full (no matter how long it may be) following the ‘=’ and between full quotation marks “url” and close that part with a right arrow ‘>’

#144 Bill-Muskoka (N.A.M.) on 01.26.09 at 9:38 am

Hmm, so did the ….” (No apostrophes BTW)

#145 Joanne on 01.26.09 at 10:25 am

I recognize the sheep from the movie “Babe”. Except in this picture the wolves slaughter the sheeple….Babe was a hero and lived another day. The sheeple’s lives in the photoshop will be trying to forget the day they signed thier freedom away. Forever living their lives in debt. Not such a happy ever after .

#146 Accremonium on 01.26.09 at 11:13 am

On CNN Headline News channel this morn they said that the home sales figures for the month of Dec.’08 were a surprising +6.5% above a year ago. I believe this to be a USA national figure. Does this indicate an anomaly, ie. just an isolated blip, or a sign of the end of the recession? I would think it to be the latter, since I have also read this morning that there is a huge lag in the placing of repossessed homes on the market by the banks. If and when these repo’s hit the market that should depress prices even more, so is this a concerted attempt to stabilize prices to reduce losses? And how much does it cost to keep repo’ed unoccupied homes from deteriorating due to lack of heat, air circulation, frozen pipes, etc?

Those are foreclosures being sold. — Garth

#147 Accremonium on 01.26.09 at 11:27 am

#46 Steve on 01.25.09 at 5:38 am

I always figured we as Canadians could just keep our oil in the ground or trade it amongst ourselves.

That is not the case in S/W Ont. The oil bearing structure under ground is a huge saucer that underlies L.P. Michigan, Lake Huron, and S/W Ont. If we stop pumping then the American companies will be sucking out some of what would have migrated to us. Also this field is a candidate for secondary or tertiery recovery methods like pumping water down hole to repressurize the structure. It also leads me to believe that if holes were drilled into the deepest part of the saucer under Lake Huron then water could flow downhole naturally by gravity eliminating the necessity of expending energy to a pumping project. It is also far less complicated than the fire flooding method. BUT, it requires a negotiated joint effort by all those companies who will benefit and by the governments who collect royalties from the subsequent increased production to plan, fund and participate in this project. I am not aware of the full extent, but this may also include Lake Michigan, and ILlinois/Wisconsin, too! The only safe guard required is that the water is fed through a downhole casing to below the oil so that no oil escapes up hole into the Great Lakes concerned. The technology is simple and exists now.

#148 Greg W., Oakville on 01.26.09 at 12:27 pm

#48 go green on 01.25.09 at 8:05 am

Thanks for the information on seed storage. :)

#149 Greg W., Oakville on 01.26.09 at 12:45 pm

#69 Accremonium on 01.25.09 at 12:38 pm

Thanks for that info.
Yes, hydroponically sound good but for my space and $ situation. But for some others it sound good.

#150 Joe on 01.26.09 at 3:24 pm

Well Garth why don’t you put Politicians in the same category, you where one of them

MPs don’t sell houses. — Garth

#151 Barb the proofreader on 01.26.09 at 3:30 pm

138-40 Thanks Bill !

#152 Leasa on 01.26.09 at 3:58 pm

133 Joren on 01.25.09 at 11:01 pm Don A.
Consider yourself lucky.
Stick with renting.
There was an article in the paper this weekend about how bad EI is these days and not covering very many people for very long. What happens to all the homeowners who are being laid off/terminated when their 15 weeks of EI come to an end?

Joren, where did you get the 15 weeks from? If someone is laid off and they have worked 900 hours during the last year of employment, they will get I believe, at least 8 months of EI. If at the end of their EI cycle, they enter into a training program, their EI is extended for the duration of the program and a few weeks after.

I would never tell someone to ‘stick with renting’. Renting to me is like flushing away money. You pay someone’s mortgage (plus profit)for them and years of renting gets you what? Certainly no equity. If housing prices are down (haven’t seen it here yet) then now for anyone with a stable income, is the time to buy.

For those who do get laid off, your first line of defence is to make an appointment post haste and TALK to your bank manager. If you are a client in good standing, you can with your manager’s help do a few things, you can consolidate your debt and even arrange to pay interest only on your mortgage sometimes up to a year. Banks really don’t WANT your house and will work with you. If it turns out you are truly in way over your head, that gives you time to liquidate some of your assets before you lose it all needlessly.

On the other point, if you are considered high risk by a bank, then yes, your down will be larger.

:) Leasa

#153 Denis on 01.26.09 at 6:25 pm

Why is every analysis constantly making comparisons to only last year’s (pie in the sky) real estate values ???

Realistic real estate values should be compared to values from years that reflected reality. By this I mean values based on a fair and reasonable price to have a roof over your head based on income. Taking out speculative percentages – fueled by greed and compounded by instant gratification desires for unecessary “today’s style” luxury nonsense – gives a much better picture of the true value of a home. For that go back at least 5 years or more.

Denis

#154 Shawn on 01.26.09 at 9:31 pm

Its a tough start to the week in the US

http://money.cnn.com/2009/01/26/news/economy/job_cuts/index.htm

Bloody Monday: Over 71,400 jobs lost
Seven companies announce massive job cuts in a scary start to the week.

They list each corporation laying off in the USA in 2009, and the tally to date. Trying to search for an industry type pattern buts it is broad based ie retail, finance, telecom, pharmceuticals, aerospace. Guess the real challenge is to find a group not representated on here.

Pepto Bismo anyone? (At least Proctor and Gamble dodged this weeks list)

#155 Tom Dampsy on 01.27.09 at 6:10 am

I am a REALTOR & I will have a great year. I will help people that need to sell or buy…that is what we do help.

The Law of supply & demand dictates our market.

The persistent press dictates peoples atitiude.

The auto industry will build 20 million cars this year for a market that will only sell 8-10 million.
That’s a buyers market!