McDoomed

milton-mcmansion1

He usually makes money while breathing. Real estate flips been kind to this dude. It shows in his Mercedes.

But how can anyone buck this: Seven big ones invested in a tired north Toronto suburban McMansion. Another hundred grand into glass, tile, granite and steel. On the market now for two years. The price is already two hundred off, and he’s way underwater. “This thing,” he says, toeing the $18,000 whirlpool bath with the sticker still on it, “has been a total nightmare.”

Later, after I did a hit for Calgary suppertime news at the CBC’s downtown Toronto studio today I went and cruised the streets of my old political stomping ground. Yeah, the neighbourhoods that elected somebody else just because I told them they were doomed. I mean, can you imagine that? The nerve.

Anyway, they’re still doomed – at least those who must sell. This is Canada’s future Stockton, CA, a place where the only reason anyone moved here was to get a big mini-McMansion cheap. And thanks to willing builders, and our own 0/40 subprimes, you didn’t even need money.

Of course no equity made sense only when the market was escalating, filling young buyers with dreams of even-larger homes as they rode the property rocket higher. But like my Benz-driving flipper buddy, reality has a way of making things look different.

Milton, Ontario, on the 401 west of Mammon, has 65,000 people living in approximately 14,000 houses. Right now more than 1,500 of those houses are for sale, or one listing per 40 residents. Compare that with the GTA where there are 21,000 active listings and 5.3 million, for a listing-to-pop ratio of one to 260. Did I mention they were doomed?

In fact last month, of the 1,500 homes for sale just 60 sold, and even fewer the month before. This means a homeowner listing today (and new offerings are flooding in by the vatfull) could expect a two-year wait to find a buyer.

This is what happens when you let inexperienced people buy big houses without money. They paid too much because financing was cheap and easy. They didn’t need to save or struggle to own – just have a job. They took possession without equity. They believed their ‘investments’ would never decrease in value. They were greedy and myopic. They wanted more in their first homes than their parents had in their last. They paid a big premium for new and shiny.  They had absolutely no financial reserves. And now they are being hollowed out by the market.

Who’s to blame?

* The banks who gave these pups big loans.
* The feds who mandated that subprimes come north.
* The developer who did deals for only closing costs.
* The municipality, drunk on growth and property tax.
* And the buyers who wanted, and wanted, and wanted.

Hours later, I left.

The burbs with their fake turrets and faux beams faded in my rearview. I had seen things this day no man might forget.

xurbia-banner19

For today’s blog, ‘Beyond the grid’, go here

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167 comments ↓

#1 squidly77 on 02.27.09 at 10:33 pm

well you could certainly blame flip this house as people were looking for easy and sure money but you could also blame this horrendous looking graph
http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=pKhf_Qhx1jfrbTbcuR-dHSw&gid=1

i noticed that towards the end of the last post lots of people are looking for advice on gold
i dont have any as its to emotional and goldbugs are adamant that its the only way to make money
but consider that there are hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars out there looking for some easy profit
when gold moves down to $800 theres a short run on it
when it approaches a $1000 they all dump taking quick easy consistent 20% profits

anyhow my cash when compared to the S&P indice has returned me a 53% profit + the 3.5% guaranteed interest rate from my bank for a total of 56.5% profit over an 18 month period..and its not taxable

#2 squidly77 on 02.27.09 at 10:38 pm

that graph takes about 10 seconds to open but its worth the wait..my last post is not accurate the 53% is not taxable the 3.5% is

its also returned 46% profit when compared to the TSX

#3 Blair on 02.27.09 at 11:16 pm

I guess if there is blame to be handed out, it has to go squarely in the hands of the buyer.

Face it, finanical institutions offer the products, but it is the buyer took the bait in the form of zero down mortgages, aggressive sales pitches and buying what the bank said could afford.

It’s time buyers not rely on others to decide what they can afford. People need to take financial responsibility for what they do.

#4 Borrow to buy bank shares on 02.27.09 at 11:27 pm

Garth, as an employee of a big bank, I can borrow to buy our shares. The interest rate is fixed at 3% for 15 years. So the after tax cost is about 2.1% with monthly payment of $64 for $10000 loan amortized over 15 years. With our bank’s dividend yield currently at 7.5%, the dividends received is enough to make the loan payment. So after 15 years, I get all shares for free. My risk is the bank may reduce the dividend, which the 5 big banks only did during 1930s. I have enough cashflow to make the payment if the dividends get reduced. The much bigger risk is our bank fail so I lose all shares and my job.
Should I do it for $100000? Anyone’s opinion is welcomed.

#5 dd on 02.27.09 at 11:39 pm

Oh … it just keeps getter better. And what did they do then Uncle Garth?

#6 kc on 02.28.09 at 12:01 am

Garth, Why haven’t you made any real comments or given your opinion about what has been happening with CITI & BofA (nationalization and falling DOW)? not to mention Europe’s melt down or the derivatives bubbles? What is your take on the truth of the financial situations that face N. America (banks)? not to mention Obama’s budget of 3.6 Trillion, and that nasty expection of others bucking up to pay their shortfalls?

I know that there is tons of information about all these things out in webland, however:

I would really like to hear your take on it all, you are the one here with the economic studies (and not to mention the blog following). you can start the entry with a disclaimer: THESE ARE MY THOUGHTS ON THESE TOPICS, I DO NOT WANT YOU TO TAKE THIS AS ADVICE NOR FOR INVESTMENT PURPOSES.

thanks and cheers

#7 Bobby on 02.28.09 at 12:17 am

I once heard that real estate only goes up. A realtor told me, the one that just finished his correspondence real estate course, so it must be true.

The sad reality is that so many are so naive. They believe whatever some salesman tells them. Houses at one time were something you lived in, raised a family and called a home. Now, they are a cheap commodity, to buy and sell, much like day trading. Your house is only worth what someone is willing to pay, not what some realtor, see above, says that it is worth.

Obama is correct, we have reached that day of reckoning, and no, don’t expect any sympathy from me when you cannot sell. Ask your real estate professional how many properties they own, it may be rather enlightening. Better yet, ask why they are not buying if it is such a great deal.

It’s gonna get really ugly.

#8 Investx on 02.28.09 at 12:22 am

Encouraging Canadian real estate comparison to the US market. From January 06, 2009 Financial Post:

“We did not experience the same housing boom conditions that occurred in the U. S., and there is no reason to expect that we are in for the serious pain they are currently suffering,” it said.

To support its argument that the Canadian housing market is not going the way of the U. S. market, it cited a variety of differences:

-Unlike in the U. S., underwriting standards for qualifying mortgage borrowers in Canada have been maintained at prudent levels resulting in mortgage borrowers here being much more creditworthy.

-Canadian mortgage lenders never offered low initial ‘teaser’ rate mortgages that led to most of the difficulties for mortgage borrowers in the United States.

-Most mortgages in Canada are held by their original lender, not packaged and sold to third parties as is typical in the United States, and consequently, Canadian mortgage lenders have a vested interest in ensuring that their mortgage borrowers are creditworthy and not likely to default.

Full article: http://www.financialpost.com/related/links/story.html?id=1146831

The myth continues. — Garth

#9 nonplused on 02.28.09 at 12:27 am

#1 squidly77

You can’t really blame a graph. The people who behaved in such a way as to cause the graph on the other hand….

#10 crazyguy on 02.28.09 at 12:29 am

I have a question:

I was reading my property assessment for 2009 and it said that due to the increase in the value of the housein 2008, the proerty taxes will be raised accordingly. HOWEVER, the increase will be “incremental” over the next 3 years.

In other words, we were about to make you regret having a house by raising the tax this year, but since we are good guys, we decided to give you 3 years to absorb the raise.

My question is: What happens when property value drops 30% this year? Do I still keep paying the same as before since I have to pay them for the next 3 years for last year’s increase?

Have you noticed what they are doing? Is it only our municipality (Pickering, ON)?

#11 Davinci on 02.28.09 at 12:45 am

Wow, Garth does not do math very well.
He says governments will be in debt and there will be $100 oil but hold your cash not gold.

Ok um, where do governments get the money to borrow?
You and me?
What happens if I don’t give them the money because on the other side at best I will lose 50% of my purchasing power. ($50 oil going to $100 means I by half of what I could today)
Where will the get the money? mmm They do have access to a printing press.

In all time, in all cases gold is money. If that statement was not true then why are central banks holding 75% of all the worlds gold in deliverable form. They think it’s shiny and cool to look at? lol
For a smart guy Garth is dumb when it comes to gold.

#12 Basil Fawlty on 02.28.09 at 12:45 am

Maybe one can blame the consensus opinion that convinced people that real estate always goes up, while failing to recognize the disaster that was clearly approaching. This same consensus opinion is now saying that the economy will start to turnaround in the fourth quarter of 2009. These characters were dead wrong for two years and only woke up about four months ago. Rather then having to blame them again, maybe it’s time to just quit listening to them.
I read on a blog today that the IMF is calling it a depression in the advanced capitalist countries.

#13 Sun Yat-Sen suit on 02.28.09 at 12:54 am

Near term pain definitely. But one thing – Milton bedroom community has Go access to help balance against future $100 oil. That’s about it right now. The town needs to move on from parks & museums and get the smarts to attract new green industry. I mean is there a wind turbine anywhere in the area? And they can’t do a local hydro supply with that Kelso dam?

#14 its not so bad on 02.28.09 at 1:01 am

Sheep are sheep. Nobody pulled the wool over anyones eyes. The wolfs are crafty and know their prey. Big Brothers from Ottawa who we dilegently send a portion of our harvest to watch over us have been serving a different master. Would I have invested in a ESP or an RRSP that has risk if I knew the real accounting figures. We have been lead asray. Garth don’t point your finger at the foolish, but rather the wise. Sheep are sheep, Wolves are wolves and many of us have been set up to be slaughtered. May the judges who sit on hearings for the sheep who walk away from their financial obligations to the wolves have the wisedom to judge who was pulling the wool over who. The illusion that a house is the gravey train that leads to paradise is fading fast. On anouther thought; What is my return on my investment for investing in groceries that will meet my nutritional needs

#15 dd on 02.28.09 at 1:38 am

#1 squidly77,

Great graph. I see that in 1982 the high was $100k and it took until 1986 for prices to end up at $68K. A whopping 32% decrease. I would think that prices will fall at least to the start of the last uptick … that being in 2005 at $200k or within that area. Prices sure have a long way to fall!

#16 Bemused in BC on 02.28.09 at 3:06 am

“Who’s to Blame? …The municipality, drunk on growth and property tax.”

Ayup. Case in point:

“Municipal Stimulus – Free building permits and tax holiday offered by Langford, B.C.

A municipality near Victoria B.C. is taking a novel approach to kick starting construction within its boundaries.

Mayor Stew Young and Langford city council is offering it’s own $2.5-million stimulus package that will waive building permit fees for residential construction and provide a 10-year tax holiday for new federal and provincial office space, as well as new rental accommodations…”

http://www.joconl.com/rss/id32497

#17 gold bug on 02.28.09 at 4:02 am

Squiggly’s investment advice suffers from end bias.

He looks at the most recent set of events and voila, he’s a genius for holding his net worth under his mattress.

If you hold (only or even mostly) cash, long term you are impoverished.

It’s practically the single worst place to park your wealth.

#18 Sail1 on 02.28.09 at 7:04 am

Yeah, the neighbourhoods that elected somebody else just because I told them they were doomed. I mean, can you imagine that? The nerve.

I imagine revenge is starting to taste pretty sweet by now. I wouldn’t blame you, honestly.

Too busy for revenge. But not regret. You can’t help people who do not want it. — Garth

#19 Ron on 02.28.09 at 7:16 am

To hell with 0/40, It’s all about the 0/100. The “small infant” demographic has been overlooked in the recent boom. Just think of all the profits banks are missing out on; Tooth Fairy income, Paper route/milk money income, not to mention weekly allowance.

Shackle em young, they might learn to run.

#20 Brian Poncelet, CFP on 02.28.09 at 7:24 am

Hi Garth,

I was talking to a client in Milton who went a seminar put on by an investment group. The speaker to her credit was talking about real returns (stock market) of about 4%! When I started my career with this investment group in 1994 rates of returns were talked about in terms of 12%. Times have changed!

The real estate market has held up much better than the stock market but I think it is a matter of time before this looks like someone’s RRSP statement.

Dealing with banks, I can tell you the underwriting has got a lot tougher over the last 24 months. Which means less mortgages!

Regards,

Brian

#21 Grantmi on 02.28.09 at 7:39 am

Has everyone seen the piece in the Vancouver Sun this morning??

I love this Patsy Hui – “Just Trade up, trade down, but stay in the market – 25 years later it’s your RETIREMENT INCOME. We actually encourage this as a great time to buy.”

http://tinyurl.com/moreBCfromtheMSM

Yup! I’m sure there will be plenty of Boomers who did that.. and are now trying to off load their homes to pay for cat food, now that their Trust Fund income have disappeared.

#22 Pierre on 02.28.09 at 7:45 am

Who’s to blame?

Politicians, bankers and brokers who lied and cheated the honest people!!!

Got that off my chest… though you can still see the steam coming out of my ears :-).

#23 Madame Guillotine on 02.28.09 at 7:58 am

Worked in Milton in the seventies and what a great place it was then.
I suppose this is a fine example of what happens when true and moral values are usurped by community “planners.”
It was glaringly obvious this was going to happen when they brought the waterline from Lake Ontario.
The destruction of the great farmland should stand alone as a criminal act.
It is to weep
Must go now, nurse says I have to get back in bed.

#24 Herb on 02.28.09 at 8:06 am

Halton homeowners showed the same level of sophistication in buying real estate as they showed in electing their current MP. Raitt’s trained-seal performance in the House should be of great comfort to them.

Yes, I’m bitter, and I want Garth back as my virtual MP!

#25 squidly77 on 02.28.09 at 8:25 am

Squiggly’s investment advice suffers from end bias.
i never gave any advice..and i never have

its funny though..people like to buy commodities weather it be gold houses stocks or oil when prices are very high if not bubbled up

gold bugs and housing specs are immaturely emotional to a fault..and that fault usually costs them dearly
as they are far more prepared to spend hours and hours defending their purchases than they ever committed to studying their investment before hand preferring instead to rely on the *self professed professionals for their buying advice* and tv land

i dont like realtors and i dont like financial advisors
but apparantly lots do as more people bought houses gold and stocks when they were all in bubble than they ever did when they wernt

i never gave any advice
i simply said that sometimes cash is king

#26 David Bakody on 02.28.09 at 9:13 am

Thanks Garth, another point, even though these McMansions may sell at deep reduced prices many people to not want to live in an empty neighbourhood where they drive to and fro past one For Sale sign after another especially with those flashing red lights “Reduced” coupled to the fact homes sitting for a year or more could have some serious damage …… oh well Harper`s $3500 fixer upper rebate will fix all that eh???

Now this might seem like good news, then again?

Fr. this morning Washington Post

Law frim lays off 190 Lawyers

Global firm Latham & Watkins also lays off 250 others as its clients struggle during recession.

#27 Grantmi on 02.28.09 at 9:17 am

Garth… I respect your views.. and you’ve been spot on on a lot of things these last 2 years.

Politically I couldn’t care one way or the other on what gold is or isn’t good for! I agree with you that it will not be coming the new barter form of buying and selling stuff.

(Side note: To me… BARTER system will be the new form. I have a trade, you have a trade.. lets exchange and put a value on it.. no money exchanged hands, and no taxes collected by ALL levels of government. To ME this is the biggest threat to the government coffers. But I digress!)

But from an INVESTMENT stances.. .. gold has never looked as good as it has now. The charts show it… and until it doesn’t or I see signs of topping.. I’m still in from an INVEST stance. (Not to buy my Biggie Mac! lol)

I use GLD ETF since it gives you volume which $GOLD does not on stock charts.

http://i41.tinypic.com/js1vyb.png

#28 Darryl on 02.28.09 at 9:25 am

Why did people forget the lessons that they would have certainly been taught at some point of life? Buyer beware, don’t count your chickens before they hatch, save money for a rainy day, and most importantly ,there’s a sucker born every minute. This is the buyers fault only. The lessons learned when buying a new car or even furniture should prepare people for RE . No difference. Just a bigger item.

You can’t blame the other people involved because they are just acting out thier role.

Oh ya, did I mention keeping up with the Jones.

#29 chuckd on 02.28.09 at 9:42 am

I agree that people bought more than they could afford and really more than they deserved to have. When my parents came to Canada in the 1960s they lived in a rental apartment four five years before buying a modest bungalow and slowly over 20 years buying larger homes. That was common practice. I think of the home they ended up in after working for 30 years and it isn’t as fancy as some of the homes 27 year old secretaries are buying with their cable installer fiances.

#30 Calgary37 on 02.28.09 at 9:45 am

For B.C. readers: Tsunami alert

Over the past two months there has been much discussion about the Victoria and Vancouver real estate market. However, this discussion overlooked one very important potential future event. I considered mentioning this event but did not. Now the CBC is going to do it for me.

On Thursday, March 5, the CBC-TV main channel will be showing a 2-hour documentary that examines the implications of a tsunami washing over the Pacific coast. The title is: Shock Wave: Surviving North America’s Biggest Disaster.

I am aware that a major earthquake is predicted in the ocean off the Seattle coastline. This could generate a tsunami that could flood Seattle, Victoria and Vancouver. Apparently, there is a fault line that starts off shore and angles down to the American SW States. Over the past few years, there has been tremor activity on this fault line.

It will be interesting to see how much detail this documentary provides.

***********
Once again, I find it appropriate to recommend George Ure’s timely Saturday column at:
http://www.urbansurvival.com/week.htm

Be Prepared.

#31 East 905 on 02.28.09 at 9:48 am

Responsibility and Property Taxes

#3 Blair – I totally agree with you.

#10 crazyguy – I’m in Ajax. The phased-in approach is across the board.

#32 Toronto C9 Renter on 02.28.09 at 9:59 am

#25 Squidly 77 said: “..gold bugs and housing specs are immaturely emotional to a fault..and that fault usually costs them dearly..”

Huh? You are equating investment preferences with emotional intelligence for the entire investment world? I’ll have to disagree with you there, but you are entitled to your opinion of course.

No doubt many on this blog have made muliple 100k’s perhaps millions in both those investments. (and tax free in the case of primary residence) If thats being immaturely emotional, then my response is…”I know you are but what am I!?”

P.S. all, time to sell Yamana and buy BMO

#33 mikef on 02.28.09 at 10:16 am

I’ve got a solution for Hongcouver’s RE woes.

Bring back the Grizzlies!!!
All those multi-millionaire player,coaches etc.
will need a place to stay.
Don’t laugh,8 to 11 NBA teams will be moving in the next couple of years.

It is amazing how fast everything is unraveling,
TV,newspapers,pro sports are all being hit big time.

[url]http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/090227[/url]

#34 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 02.28.09 at 10:30 am

Seems to me many trying to ‘flip houses’ need to learn to use a spreadsheet?

Meanwhile back to the consequences part of it all. Last nights ‘Flashpoint’ (a Canadian series filmed in Toronto and aired on American CBS network) depicted the coming reality some of these greedy arseholes will be facing from displaced people, while they still take huge personal profits.

BTW, do not forget to check the past mortgages at the Ontario Land Registry Office. Then you will actually know how much non-recoverable debt has been added to the selling price so they can escape their own idiocy.

#35 dd on 02.28.09 at 10:41 am

#32 Toronto C9 Renter

“P.S. all, time to sell Yamana and buy BMO”

With BMO main market being Canadian real estate … are you sure? CDN prices are on there was down down down. And with that all main banks in Canada … profits will go down down down.

Now is not the time to buy Canadian bank stocks. Wait for this real estate mess to be over first.

#36 Cendrine on 02.28.09 at 10:43 am

LEAP 2020 predicts the US government will default on its debt and have a currency crisis in the summer 2009.
Thomas Walkom is warning of this now as well. Yet, a new bull market is announced! Wondering if this is a suckers rally – the timing is quite close to stock market events in 1929-30. Opinions?

http://www.thestar.com/Business/article/594454

http://www.thestar.com/News/Insight/article/594406

#37 dd on 02.28.09 at 10:46 am

#27 Grantmi,

If Obama’s bail out package has the appearance of smoothing over the banking crisis, gold is coming back down to earth in the short term. I said the “appearance.”

Gold is only for safety (some people what it) and inflation.

#38 dd on 02.28.09 at 10:51 am

#4 Borrow to buy bank shares,

1) Once your job is secured then you can think about it. Not until then.

2) If you bank is raising money buy selling shares common and preferred and paying out a dividend do not buy. Selling equity to pay a dividend is not great business practice.

Most banks in Canada should cut their divs to build equity.

#39 dd on 02.28.09 at 10:55 am

#17 gold bug

If you hold (only or even mostly) cash, long term you are impoverished.

True but who is suggesting holding cash long term?

#40 Alberta Ed on 02.28.09 at 10:58 am

Mattamy Homes has come to Airdrie, and the Calgary Herald has another “great time to buy for first-time owners” piece in the real estate section today. Should we flee?

#41 Taxpayer like you on 02.28.09 at 11:10 am

Good recovery Garth! You’re welcome!

#42 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 02.28.09 at 11:22 am

#29 chuckd on 02.28.09 at 9:42 am

Boy, you nailed that one right regarding 27 y.o. secretaries with Cable Installer fiances. LMAO!

When I immigrated to Canada from the States I’ve lived in basement apartments that were not even close to compliance with the Building Code, but that is how I saved money. Then progressed upward in small increments. Today, my wife and I own a modest home and we are as happy as we could be. No McMansion, but a real HOME!

Back when I was 23 I dreamed of owning a home someday, and have owned several, including a quad condo in the CHocago ‘burbs. None of them were McMansions because I neither desired one, nor wanted to be enslaved to a mortgage that stripped me of the ability to live life freely.

Like Joe Walsh of the Eagles sings ‘Life’s Been Good To Me!’, but only because I let my brain and calculator do the thinking, not my emotions.

#43 Kash is King on 02.28.09 at 11:31 am

Since the discussion on gold appears to be carrying on here…

I was a gold sceptic for a long time after seeing someone close burned very badly in the early ’80′s.

But I’ve recently observed a few points which has made me look at it differently.

Disclaimer, I now have the recommended 10-15% allocation of PMs..

Curiously of late, gold price has been tracking closely with the USD. Namely, the USD has traditionaly been a “safe haven” in troubled times and gone up, and gold’s performance was usually the inverse… ie pricing like a commodity.

I’m wondering if some of those seeking “safe haven” aren’t now parking in gold and eschewing the USD? Certainly we are seeing some policies from the US that some might view with alarm? Huge deficits…Yes I know these are miniscule compared to the unwinding(deflationary) that has to be done…. but???

Take the following foreshadowing words from Alan Greenspan himself in 1997 :
“gold still represents the ultimate form of payment in the world. Fiat money in extremis is accepted by nobody. Gold is always accepted.”
Source: just google “”Fiat money, in extremis”

I’m left wondering if 10-15% may be too small?
Going to reconsider, if we are presented with a good pullback… that is if there aren’t too many in the same boat also waiting.

Sorry Garth I know it’s off the topic in this particular thread.

#44 HalifaxFamily on 02.28.09 at 11:41 am

Calgary37

People often forget that there is a risk of earthquake in Vancouver. The worst thing is that there would be loss of life. It’s impossible not to have that in such a populated area.

It’s like a ticking time bomb waiting to explode.

#45 apocalypse now on 02.28.09 at 12:15 pm

# 11 DAVINCI: For a smart guy Garth is dumb when it comes to gold.

Garth is not dumb, he has an agenda, he is an operative for the powers that be and therefore cannot guide people into real truth. His job is to keep people asleep in a different part of the matrix and delude them into believing that they are actually awake. If this were not the case he would address real issues such as many others are bringing to the forefront, as for example #6 KC above. The truth is that all paper products be it cash, bonds, or stocks are headed towards zero, and when that happens the only MONEY left standing will be gold and silver, as they have done time and again through 5000 years of history. O yeah I forgot that we are smarter now than those who have gone down this path before, we have Mr. Garth Turner to guide us now. He is a half truth man, and a half truth is ultimately a full lie. Beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing.

Say that again and I’ll maul you. — Garth

#46 go green on 02.28.09 at 12:37 pm

My rant today. I spent almost a full day last week entering tax info into Quicktax. We’ve used it since 02. Today when I went to enter more receipts it said there were more updates so I said OK. All my data has been lost. Had my DH, a techie, check it out. Yep, he figures that update over wrote my data. I’m paranoid – always save data. But, as most of my data is not critical I don’t do backups often. My hubby will show me how to use a memory stick. But damn, a whole day’s work has gone down the tubes.

To continue my rant, our 07 taxes still aren’t resolved. Will have to call CRA Monday. They said I should receive info in 4-6 weeks and they’re past due. And, on top of it I did not receive some T3′s last year and didn’t include them, of course, on my return. Now I’m worried that I may not receive all the T3′s & T5′s, etc. as we switched to a lower risk portfolio – too late unfortunately. I’ll have to go thru one year’s worth of statements just to figure out what we paid out in management fees. Seems to me that we should receive annual statements at the end of the year detailing everything. Maybe I’m just not as organized as I should be, or just naive. Anyway, for novices its frustrating.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think one can only deduct fees to a CA or H&R block type of co. if one has a business or rental property.

Right now I wish we had never gotten into the stock market.

Rant over.

#47 Barb the proofreader on 02.28.09 at 12:59 pm

Here’s an uplifting article :)
Global hunt for tax cheats rocks offshore centers
http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSTRE51Q3V220090227?pageNumber=1&virtualBrandChannel=0&sp=true

#48 Barb the proofreader on 02.28.09 at 1:14 pm

#24 Herb: “Yes, I’m bitter, and I want Garth back as my virtual MP!”

Herb,
What a great comment. I agree.

#49 Barb the proofreader on 02.28.09 at 1:41 pm

#141 Cendrine 02.27 "I just want the chance to restart my business (healthcare related) is a bigger, brighter market.
All I’ve got left is prayer….and the knowledge that we will still be OK even if we don’t sell."

Cedrine,

Your comment the other day struck a cord and may hold a clue to getting your house sold.

Make sure your RE agent tells buyers those three things about you. Your truth, that you are not in a hurry, but you have plans to go back into healthcare, and this is your motivation for selling. That’s a compelling story, and you should be very proud to use it to leverage good will. Your altruistic intention has value, so use it, to appeal to the buyer’s goodness. They may choose your house over another simply because they would prefer to support a good-hearted person who is not desparate, ergo, your house is probably in better repair than someone who urgently has to sell and has unknown motives. Make sure you repeat these instructions to your RE broker and any others, to tell every looker that you don’t need to sell. Buyers will look more favorably on a house that is not under financial distress circumstances. I dare say break every rule to let the buyers know more about you — personalize the appeal of getting your house sold over someone else’s, so the potential buyer can embrace the fact that they are supporting good behaviour, not bad.
Oh, and bake that apple pie before each showing :)

#50 Whacked Out Winnipeg on 02.28.09 at 1:42 pm

Borrow to buy bank shares

Which bank do you work for? I also work for the bank and am thinking of borrowing to purchase bank shares.
It sounds like the bank you work for has a better deal for the loan my fixed rate would be at 5% not 3%.

I think that it is a pretty risky time right now to be buying canadian banks. Loan losses are going to be increasing and that should put downward pressure on the bank shares. I think it may be best now to wait until the share prices get cheaper. I think for this plan to work we need to get the timing right. Remeber that the US housing market is almost 2 year ahead of the canadian market. I think im going to wait at the minimum of 6 months before I look at buying any bank shares.

Borrow to buy bank shares this could be a huge opportunity to buy a big position in a canadian bank that could pay big dividends in the future.

#51 Ray MacDonald on 02.28.09 at 1:54 pm

I lived in Georgetown for 26 years -same house all that time. I watched the population go from 12,000 to 40,000. My daughter grew up, got married and moved to the Nation’s Capital.
We sold in 2005 and relocated to a little town just west of Ottawa. Haven’t seen a penny of that “huge capital gain” we made since we had to buy another place. But hey, a house is somewhere nice to live, not a cash machine.

#52 Dan in Victoria on 02.28.09 at 2:08 pm

Who’s to blame?Heres one I ran across when i was checking out a fishing site in the USA,Limo driver with 20K income buys 1.5 million dollar condo in Seattle http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2008764830_belletowers20m.html

#53 Irene near Campbellville on 02.28.09 at 2:22 pm

#10 crazyguy on 02.28.09 at 12:29 am

I have a question:

I was reading my property assessment for 2009 and it said that due to the increase in the value of the housein 2008, the proerty taxes will be raised accordingly. HOWEVER, the increase will be “incremental” over the next 3 years.

In other words, we were about to make you regret having a house by raising the tax this year, but since we are good guys, we decided to give you 3 years to absorb the raise.

My question is: What happens when property value drops 30% this year? Do I still keep paying the same as before since I have to pay them for the next 3 years for last year’s increase?

Have you noticed what they are doing? Is it only our municipality (Pickering, ON)?

—————–

You misunderstand how the assessment/property tax system works. What is being increased incrementally (everywhere in Ontario) is your assessment, not your taxes. Your taxes are calculated by multiplying your assessment by a mill rate determined yearly by your municipality (and/or region, and/or school boards). As long as your assessment goes up the same as everyone else’s in Pickering, and Pickering doesn’t need more tax revenue, your taxes stay the same because the mill rate falls. Your taxes go up only if (1) your assessment increases more than the average or (2) Pickering does need more tax revenue and raises the mill rate. If your assessment increases less than the average and Pickering is flush and doesn’t raise the mill rate, your taxes could even decrease.

#54 Dan on 02.28.09 at 2:23 pm

McDoomed is no laughing matter as a friend of mine just lost his McMansion in Milton. After losing his job a few months ago and having their home for sale for over seven months and no takers the end result was foreclosure by the bank. Just talking to him almost made me want to cry. There was no point in pointing out the mistake of buying a home with 40 years and nothing down as being stupid. He said many other friends he knows in Milton are desperate to sell as many have lost their jobs. If people were smart no one would buy in Milton and just wait for the countless hundreds who are a month or two away from going bankrupt. The situation is bad in the economy and people are so close to losing everything.

#55 Calgary37 on 02.28.09 at 2:26 pm

Gold: Musings & Peptalk

After reading through Jim Willie’s recent article, I felt that this should be shared with the group in view of the recent discussion on gold and the American dollar.

Sudden Shift, Fickle Folks

What a difference one week makes! With a gold price daring the $1000 mark in defiance, boldness prevailed, investors took heart, analysts cheered, and the establishment cringed. This week, with a very ordinary selloff in consolidation, optimism has vanished in what can only be characterized as silly. Gold & silver will take over the globe as anchors in a sea of shifting sands, all in time. We have seen the crude oil price fall from $140 something to $40 something, the Dow Jones Industrial stock index fall from 14,000 something to 7000 something, the housing price index fall every month by over 10% on an annual basis, and hundreds of billion$ vanish in bank equity. But gold falls from $1000 to $940 or $950, and suddenly the precious metal story is repudiated? Utterly absurd! The currencies of the world are one by one being discredited. Gold and only gold can take the mantle within the financial sector. Gold and only gold can grab the reins of the horse team run wild. Watch as crude oil and energy supply generally takes a different mantle within the barter arena of the commercial sectors. They will bypass the corrupted commodity price discovery system. New currencies have already been agreed upon. Their inception requires only the passage of time. They will be launched amidst the growing crisis whose script has been written.

Another pertinent excerpt:

The Arabs, Russians, and Germans have already made decisions for new global reserve currencies. They will not only have a gold component, but a crude oil component as well. They might have other commodity components such as iron or copper. Include cotton too, which is needed to make the paper! The objective is to seek stability in both the banking sector and commodity price sector. Due to US$ foundation, and US$-based trading, the banking sector has been rendered insolvent and the commodity price arenas have been rendered fallacious. That cannot stand. For now, the new global reserve currencies have been shoved in a drawer at a guarded conference table. What are they waiting for? Simply stated, they are waiting for the US$ to die a horrible death, for the global US$-based banking system to demand an alternative amidst crisis, for the political interference to fade from the passage of time and the expedience of need. The foreigners need not act, since nature is taking its course. The liquidation process underway inside the US is painful and inexorable, yet certainly unstoppable.

Read the rest at:
http://www.321gold.com/editorials/willie/willie022709.html

Enjoy.

#56 Bobby on 02.28.09 at 2:29 pm

Big ad in today’s Victoria paper regarding an auction of unsold condos at a development in Langford. Seems like many buyers are walking away from their deposits.

Hey, I thought real estate only goes up and it is supposedly different here in Victoria. Oh, I forgot, a realtor told me that.

It’s gonna get really, really ugly!!!

#57 kc on 02.28.09 at 2:31 pm

Paper wealth backed by hopes and dreams, paper wealth backed by debt, paper wealth backed by placing faith in others, and more importantly, paper wealth created from decimating industrial backbones. Does any of this sound familiar? It should. We as a society have been brainwashed to believe in this state of perpetual created wealth, or as it is known in laymans terms “the new economy”. Simply put, “financialization”.

This new world mentality has given us over the last 25 years bubble after bubble, and all creating one thing, greed. 1% control 90%… and the remaining 9% are what you could call the driving forces. These are the big minds of the world, the bankers, the major CEO’s and we can’t forget the puppet governments who grease the wheels and feed MSM sheep food. The explosion over the last 15 years of do nothing and expect something in return has come to roost heavy on the backs of those who were blind, now they sit and point the blame unto others while they should look inward.

Give the people what they want and live in perpeptual bliss – however, with out building and reinvesting into factories and agriculture; where is the “new money” going to come from? Wealth creation in a country can not come from re-circulated money in a service society forever, somewhere down the line implosions are going to happen. Albeit the needle has played the last note as the record slows towards that last never ending groove.

That last groove is where we are today. More people dumping dreams into the vanishing future of high finance and not aware that wealth will not come back to them in simple terms, for the wealth has been invested off shore. Charles Ponzi had it all figured out many years ago, let the new blood pay for the old blood. Very simple concept and it is playing out in the dieing moments of the “new economy” that was this dream of many.

I can only guess that many of the posters in here are too young to relive these words … however, every thing old is new again and will not be changing any time soon.

Now Main Street’s whitewashed windows
and vacant stores
Seems like there ain’t nobody
wants to come down here no more
They’re closing down the textile mill
across the railroad tracks
Foreman says these jobs are going boys
and they ain’t coming back
to your hometown

#58 MWJ on 02.28.09 at 3:17 pm

Grantmi writes:

“(Side note: To me… BARTER system will be the new form. I have a trade, you have a trade.. lets exchange and put a value on it.. no money exchanged hands, and no taxes collected by ALL levels of government. To ME this is the biggest threat to the government coffers. But I digress!)”

FYI: if you barter anything related to that for which you have income, you are required to pay tax on the fair market value of the barter. If you have no other income, I’m sure RevCan will decide that you must pay tax on everything you barter (since that is then your business).

The Man will get you either way.

#59 Almost Papa on 02.28.09 at 3:20 pm

Out of all the investments out there having kids is probably the best route to long term financial stability.

Having offspring with 40 years of earning potential just when we’re retiring will provide a good financial buffer.

In turn we’ll buffer their financial security, helping with education costs and supporting efforts to find employment.

Having a family is probably not a great way to get rich but it does give a measure if stability in tough economic times.

We’ve got pensions and RSPs, too. Kids just diversify our portfolio.

#60 CalgaryRocks on 02.28.09 at 3:21 pm

Garth, as an employee of a big bank, I can borrow to buy our shares.

This is no different than buying stock on margin which usually is not a conservative strategy. I guess the question is, if you had 100Gs sitting in your bank account, would you buy bank stocks with it right now.

If you wouldn’t then it doesn’t really make sense to borrow the money. Also, I am assuming here that these 100Gs worth of bank stocks will be an order of magnitude bigger than all of your other investments which make it a problem if you believe in diversification.

#61 ThumbsUp on 02.28.09 at 3:58 pm

Before bet your retirement on the house or rental prop cashflow, look at the younger generation, are they going to do better than us?

Before buying stocks for your RRSP, check and see if the company you’re buying is able to finance their own employee’s retirement.

If you believe their will be inflation, stay in cash. start saving today.

If you believe their will be deflation, stay in cash, start saving today.

#62 Murray on 02.28.09 at 4:05 pm

Milton has a history of bad growth management. In the 60′s Council channelized the 16 mile creek in cement. The reason was so they could develop flood plain lands in the centre of town. They directed the clear cutting of lands for Hilton Falls Dam and Mountsberg Dams and Scotch Block Dam, to retain spring water in order to augment summer flows in the Sixteen Mile Creek so more development could be supported at the sewage treatment plant, with increased discharge. Then the “big pipe” from Lake Ontario, 18 kilometres north to Milton to support the McMansions. Lots of growth, lots of debts both private and Municipal. And, higher property taxes for all of the small town people caught by the developer supported pro-growth politicians. But, the Members of Council got their names on the plack at the new Town Hall expansion. That’s politics.

#63 Dithers on 02.28.09 at 4:11 pm

What a depressing website/blog/whatever this is.
People dashing to the keyboard to report how BAD everything is.

And all useless opinion based on what they want to hear, not on what is real.

Most people have a house to LIVE in, and as long as they can pay the mortgage, its all OK.

There are NO mass redundancies in Canada, the banks are still functioning and making a profit, the land is full of resources, especially food and fossil fuels, and thats we really need.

Cant buy a new car or a new computer? Thats NOT a big deal.

Most of you on here need to calm down, and stop crowing at others misfortune. Life doesnt run smoothly, it has ups and downs.

The test of character is how you deal with the good and the bad, not how much money you have in your ‘retirement’ fund.

Anyway, if you havent got enough to sit around doing nothing in your old age, you will just have to work. Is that so bad?

#64 Future Expatriate on 02.28.09 at 4:41 pm

Gold will prevail; all paper and cash will crash.

There’s no saving the corrupt broken system. Not this time.

If you believe firehoses filled with gasoline are the best way to put out a fire, by all means, believe in paper.

If, on the other hand, the elite are buying and hoarding physical gold like there is no tomorrow, while dumping all their gold paper (the ONLY way you can achieve falling price fluctuations when there is virtually NO SUPPLY), the prudent thing to do is to copy them.

It all comes down to what you personally choose to believe and put your faith in; something God created that man cannot create, and in all likelihood, will never be able to create; something that has been the measurement of value on this planet in every major religion since the beginning.

Or a manmade corrupt Ponzipaper scheme (all paper “investment” instruments AND cash) based on inherent greed and a complete abandonment of ethics and morality. Like I was taught, in this world you don’t get something for nothing. If that is not the textbook definition of “investing” in paper, I don’t know what is.

Oh, once the bottom is in, will the pushers start it all up again? Probably, given human nature. But like in the first Depression, it will take decades to build it up to where it was. The mother of all rallies won’t ever be occurring, but rather a long hard slog up over the course of many decades. Probably after the tenth suckers’ rally lures the greatest fools in and hurtles them into the abyss and daytraders go the way of the dinosaur.

May you have enough in gold when everything else fails. I’ve made my choice, and yes, it is an act of faith; may yours be the right one in any case.

#65 ThumbsUp on 02.28.09 at 4:45 pm

#62 Dithers
People here I find on this blog are very wise and have lots of insight in life and wealth.

As I applaud your positive character, here are some of the data I found:

Single-unit inventory is 75% above normal
Multi-unit inventory is 100% above normal

You said “you will just have to work. Is that so bad?”
Good luck finding one.

Canadian banks are sound and functioning- for now. hey, I thought US banks were better 8 months ago.

#66 jess on 02.28.09 at 5:02 pm

financial sector are the parasites why bail them

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pwAFohWBL4

#67 Grantmi on 02.28.09 at 5:04 pm

#57 MWJ
if you barter anything related to that for which you have income, you are required to pay tax on the fair market value of the barter. If you have no other income, I’m sure RevCan will decide that you must pay tax on everything you barter (since that is then your business).

The Man will get you either way.

MWJ: lol…. try and prove it! Where’s the records! (Ask any cocktail waitress… you think they claim all the tips they get)

#68 squidly77 on 02.28.09 at 5:23 pm

he sounds quite choked

http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2009/02/buffetts-letter-to-shareholders.html

#69 Shifty on 02.28.09 at 5:28 pm

I’ve been watching Canadian bank stocks as an investment opportunity as well. I think they are over priced by 15% or more given the current economy. Thoughts???

#70 jess on 02.28.09 at 5:28 pm

http://www.brennende-autos.de/

The Arsonists in Berlin like Porsches, BMWs I wonder why?
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=auZeM63nrgzo&refer=home

#71 Sail1 on 02.28.09 at 5:30 pm

#62 Dithers

What a depressing website/blog/whatever this is.
People dashing to the keyboard to report how BAD everything is.

Hey Dithers, lighten up, try not to let it stick to the peanut butter. Eat what you like and throw away the rest.

#72 dekethegeek on 02.28.09 at 5:42 pm

#30 Calgary37 and #43 HalifaxFamily.
Gee… thanks for the “Surf’s Up !” warning.
Unless you can’t speak/read engrish ( in which case your tsunami warning is useless anyway.) and have been living in a cardboard box in Vancouver ( uh oh, I’ve contradicted myself twice already).
Most Lower Mainlanders are well aware of the Earthquake fault lines and calamitious damages that are due.
( historically speaking, Vancouver has a 8+ “whopper” every 250-500 years ( the last recorded “whopper” was January 1700, but I digress).
The real question is not When it will happen but, ARE PEOPLE PREPARED FOR THE AFTERMATH.
Nope.

p.s. Attention North Vancouver Citizen aka Real Estate Expert. Afetr the earthquake and the tsunami ,chances are the Lions gate and Second Narrows Bridges will be sold for scrap metal so if your stuck on the “Vancouver side”and want a place to stay. I’ll have a bedroom to rent out in Burnaby for , oh $500/night( Olympic sized fees of course)

You heard it here first. :)-

#73 Sondra on 02.28.09 at 5:43 pm

#63 Future Expatriate

(Gold) “something God created that man cannot create, and in all likelihood, will never be able to create; something that has been the measurement of value on this planet in every major religion since the beginning”.

Gold was created by a star that went super nova.

Religion was created to keep the masses under control, to rule the people, and explain the unexplainable.

#74 TakingResponsibility on 02.28.09 at 5:53 pm

#62, Dithers

Hey, this blog is a fabulous support group.

Most of us have been industrious busy beavers who have squirreled away and we like to know that we are secure and virtuous. Rather than eating crow, we are crowing.

Think of it as a “I’m Okay, You’re Okay” type of support group and as another commenter pointed out, Take What you Like and Leave the Rest!

#75 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 02.28.09 at 5:56 pm

#62 Dithers on 02.28.09 at 4:11 pm

I could not agree MORE!!!

#76 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 02.28.09 at 6:03 pm

#57 MWJ on 02.28.09 at 3:17 pm

Ask the Bartender about he little man who sat there, tiny and inconsequential.

The Bartender bragged that he could squeeze a lemon so hard that no one else could possibly get even one drop from the one he had squeezed.

In fact, the Bartender wagered a $1,000 that no one could.

The little man took him up on his offer.

The Bartender squeezed everything possible from the lemon and handed it to the little man.

The little man then squeezed, one, Two, and THREE drops from the spent lemon.

The Bartender said “No one has ever been able to do that. How could a little man like you?’

The little man replied ‘I am an Auditor for Revenue Canada!’

#77 David on 02.28.09 at 6:16 pm

McMansion flippers like him are well deserving of their personal misfortunes. The bad thing news is that these guys played such a big hand in destroying the real economy. In more sane times, people like him would have justice meted out in the village common. Wannabe real estate moguls like him should go and soak in their $18K tubs waiting for a qualified buyer to show up.

#78 ralph on 02.28.09 at 6:21 pm

Borrowing money to buy bank stocks sounds like a bad idea. Even if you are an bank employee and can get a discounted interest rate.

Isn’t this why the economy is in the mess it is in the first place? Cash is what will pay for groceries and other day to day living expenses. Remember you are just a bank employee and one day your ass could be grass and the bank is the lawnmower.

As for buying gold what good is it when you need money to buy the essentials? As far as I know (please correct if I am wrong) gold has never been used as currency. You would still have to cash it in, that is if you can.

#79 Toronto C9 Renter on 02.28.09 at 6:28 pm

#68 Shifty said: “I’ve been watching Canadian banks…. think they are over priced by 15% or more..”

Shifty, interestingly, on Tuesday that’s roughly where they were — 15% lower than Friday’s close. So of course you’re right they can easily lose another 15 or more since they were just there.

Having said that, I’m starting to move cautiously back into our banks. Still lots of risk, but I like the yields and I’m pleasantly surprised that they’ve held it together so far, and guidance isn’t too terrible.

Still, I would be dissapointed but not shocked if they lost another 30%+ if things keep deteriorating.

(but then I’ll only have myself to blame)

#80 hmm.. on 02.28.09 at 6:52 pm

different take on the economy

here
http://www.rense.com/general85/no.htm

#81 electrician boy on 02.28.09 at 8:04 pm

I do have an overseas contract for three years.Signed and better deal than a job here in Toronto.My mortgage is still 120k to be paid.Should I rent, sell or keep it.No ohter debts at the moment.
Your point of view is important to me.Thank you.

#82 dd on 02.28.09 at 8:17 pm

Shorting the housing Canadian housing market.

How does one actually short this market? CDN has a long way to drop, but how can we gain from this?

#83 Investx on 02.28.09 at 9:05 pm

Encouraging Canadian real estate comparison to the US market. From January 06, 2009 Financial Post:

“We did not experience the same housing boom conditions that occurred in the U. S., and there is no reason to expect that we are in for the serious pain they are currently suffering,” it said.

Full article: http://www.financialpost.com/related/links/story.html?id=1146831

The myth continues. — Garth
———————————————————-

Garth, are you saying that the Canadian banks’ are just as bad as the US banks? Do you expect real estate to crash like it did in the US then?

How are 0/40 mortgages as bad as subprime? 0/40 mortgages aren’t just for people with low credit worthiness (subprime), right?

I’ve written two books on this. Read them. — Garth

#84 TomOfMilton on 02.28.09 at 9:39 pm

I’m a little puzzled when people believed that realestate could only go up. Ok, maybe you are slightly younger than me, maybe mid or early thirties. But surely you would have parents that remember that large crash where all the speculators lost trying to flip houses they didn’t live in? Remeber that? I do, and I was a student or early wage earner. And so how many people involved/hurt in the realestate fiasco can say they didn’t know it could happen. How many are old enough to know better? How many should have had a conversation with an “old fart” and learned something. People can not with honesty say “I did not think the price of a house would ever go down”. They can just stop at the word “think”.

#85 Rural Rick on 02.28.09 at 9:55 pm

Should I be in gold or stocks? Will real estate recover?
Talk about fiddling while Rome is burning and rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
Our planet is undergoing an extinct event equal to that which killed off the dinosaurs.
And yes it is caused by us.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3q3upFx4FcA
Time to invest in reality. Act locally. Think globally.
It is a tiny blue planet.

#86 Jake on 02.28.09 at 10:08 pm

Ralph #78
Great line man….”your ass is grass and the bank is the lawnmower.” Highlight of the night…..even if the oilers win.

#87 kc on 02.28.09 at 10:14 pm

Garth be nice to #83 investx

maybe he just woke up from a bad dream that has lasted the past 6 years and is still trying to shake that falling feeling as he is typing… what else could you compare these questions to if not a dream state?

Garth, are you saying that the Canadian banks’ are just as bad as the US banks? Do you expect real estate to crash like it did in the US then?

How are 0/40 mortgages as bad as subprime? 0/40 mortgages aren’t just for people with low credit worthiness (subprime), right?

I’ve written two books on this. Read them. — Garth

#88 Investx on 02.28.09 at 11:46 pm

“How are 0/40 mortgages as bad as subprime? 0/40 mortgages aren’t just for people with low credit worthiness (subprime), right?

I’ve written two books on this. Read them. — Garth”

I just recently read “Greater Fool”, but I don’t recall an explanation of how 0/40 was the equivalent to subrime, just a statment that it was.

If you you or someone else wouldn’t mind explaining, I’m sure many would appreciate it.

#89 kc on 02.28.09 at 11:51 pm

here is a straight goods article from the van sun. they actually seem to be telling (somewhat) how it is and where things might be headed. (lengthy)

http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Talking+real+estate+Welcome+roundtable/1337554/story.html

Talking real estate: Welcome to The Sun’s roundtable

A panel of experts share their predictions about what the future holds for the Lower Mainland’s property market

#90 01 0111001001111000110000001 on 02.28.09 at 11:52 pm

1. Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.
2. Guide reproduction wisely – improving fitness and diversity.
3. Unite humanity with a living new language.
4. Rule passion – faith – tradition – and all things with tempered reason.
5. Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts.
6. Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court.
7. Avoid petty laws and useless officials.
8. Balance personal rights with social duties.
9. Prize truth – beauty – love – seeking harmony with the infinite.
10.Be not a cancer on the earth – Leave room for nature – Leave room for nature.

Limiting the population of the earth to 500 million will require the extermination of nine-tenths of the world’s people. The American Stonehenge’s reference to establishing a world court foreshadows the current move to create an International Criminal Court and a world government. The Guidestones’ emphasis on preserving nature anticipates the environmental movement of the 1990s, and the reference to “seeking harmony with the infinite” reflects the current effort to replace Judeo-Christian beliefs with a new spirituality.

The message of the American Stonehenge also foreshadowed the current drive for Sustainable Development. Any time you hear the phrase “Sustainable Development” used, you should substitute the term “socialism” to be able to understand what is intended. Later in this syllabus you will read the full text of the Earth Charter which was compiled under the direction of Mikhail Gorbachev and Maurice Strong. In that document you will find an emphasis on the same basic issues: control of reproduction, world governance, the importance of nature and the environment, and a new spirituality. The similarity between the ideas engraved on the Georgia Guidestones and those espoused in the Earth Charter reflect the common origins of both.

#91 Investx on 03.01.09 at 12:22 am

Further on 0/40 and subprime, here’s a statment from Genworth, in response to a Globe and Mail article comparing 0/40 to subprime:

“It was the easing of traditional underwriting standards in the U.S. – not extended amortizations – that put so many subprime borrowers in loans they could not afford. Here in Canada, the overwhelming majority of 40-year mortgages are prime loans held by customers with solid credit – and who would have qualified for mortgages with 25-year amortizations. Arrears here are near all-time lows.”

Source: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/Page/document/v5/content/subscribe?user_URL=http://www.theglobeandmail.com%2Fservlet%2Fstory%2FLAC.20081216.COLETTS16-5%2FTPStory%2FComment&ord=105824570&brand=theglobeandmail&force_login=true

#92 patriotz on 03.01.09 at 2:42 am

“Garth, are you saying that the Canadian banks’ are just as bad as the US banks?”

You are missing the forest for the trees. What matters is not the financing, but the ratios of house prices to rents and incomes. If they are higher than historical norms, they have to come down. Period.

The reason house prices have crashed in the US is because THEY WERE TOO HIGH. Everything else is just details.

#93 Vancouver_Renter on 03.01.09 at 3:15 am

With regards to the assertion that gold is in a bubble, consider this. Bubbles historically follow a number of well defined stages; the “first in” speculators make an absolute fortune and investors who get in somewhat early make enough to retire. Throughout these early stages, there is doubt and the masses don’t recognize the bull market that is unfolding.

Finally, as the bursting of the bubble approaches, almost every private and institutional investor suddenly decides that they’ve been missing out on the greatest get-rich-quick opportunity of a lifetime and piles in at any cost. And then the market collapses. THAT’S a bubble.

Now let’s look at some examples:

Internet Stocks. The early guys made BILLIONS, bought yachts, and built castles for themselves. The investors who jumped on board in the mid-1990s made millions. I know several of these people. Finally, suckers piled in once P/Es went exponential in the late 1990s. They bought ANY company associated with the Internet, for insane prices. Practically everyone believed in and owned tech stocks, either directly or through their investment funds. Then the bubble burst.

Real Estate. Same story. The guys who speculated early on made a fortune. Those who got involved in the early and mid-2000s – the individuals, developers, flippers, mortgage companies, and other supporting industries – made a mint. By 2006 practically everyone was panicking into real-estate, for fear of being priced out forever, and was willing to leverage themselves as much as possible in order to get a piece of the action. It was the talk of every dinner party. It was on the front of every newspaper and magazine. When the market finally started to roll over, a huge segment of the population found themselves highly leveraged into a grossly overpriced asset class.

Oil. Same story, except this time it can be measured on a national scale. By the summer of 2008, every major resource country had recalculated its budget for the next 10 years to account for the endless massive profits they were realizing from oil. This includes Canada, Russia, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, Brazil, and countless other African and Middle Eastern countries. Everyone was in. Everyone was getting super rich. All the new billionaires were coming out of Russia. Brazil went cuckoo and secured all future supply of offshore oil rigs for insane prices because the oil revenue justified it. And then… BANG!… the bubble popped and oil plunged from $147 to $30.

Now let’s look at gold. Where are all the billionaires? Where are even the millionaires? Where are all the early shareholders who have made a fortune and are driving to AGMs in their Porsches and Range Rovers? Yes some early speculators have doubled or tripled their money in bullion, but this is a very small number of people given gold was completely out of favor and rejected as an asset class from 1980 to 2000.

And gold shares have performed EXTREMELY poorly given mining costs were rising faster than the increasing gold price between 2000 and 2008. And to add insult to injury, last year gold stocks were DECIMATED. Many juniors fell by 60%-90% off of their already unimpressive levels.

So I would argue that a true bubble needs a frenzy – and we have NOT had this in gold and gold stocks. All we have had in gold and gold stocks is doubt. Ask around… Who amongst your friends and coworkers actually own gold and gold stocks? Probably very few people. And for those people, gold likely only represents a small percentage of their net worth. Yes, the amount of gold held by the GLD gold ETFs has increased to $25 billion but, hey, this is only pocket change for the US government with its multi-trillion dollar stimulus packages.

As I stated in a previous post, I think that gold will be in a dangerous bubble once Time and Macleans Magazines start seriously asking what can stop gold from spiking to $10,000. Millionaire gold investors will be flaunting their wealth and everyone will be panicking into the market. Now THAT’S a bubble.

Will that ever happen? I don’t know. But as long as many gold stocks sell for not much more than their cash in the bank and gold bugs are considered to be oddballs, this is no bubble.

That’s just my opinion, and I might be proven to be completely wrong. It wouldn’t be the first time. ;-)

#94 Future Expatriate on 03.01.09 at 6:48 am

I would be remiss if I didn’t pass this along, for what it’s worth. It is being reported that the Chinese are counterfeiting gold and silver coins of all kinds and even old copper pennies. So far the weights aren’t matching up, so with a digital scale it’s easy to spot the fakes.

Coin counterfeiting

Of course, while this is just the Chinese doing what the Chinese do, it will be extremely handy to scare the little people off gold, and leave it for the uber-riche at bargain-basement prices.

Don’t be a little person. Forewarned is forearmed.

#95 Future Expatriate on 03.01.09 at 6:52 am

Next item for sale on xurbia.ca… digital gram scales.

Opportunity in every market…

#96 BOB on 03.01.09 at 7:42 am

Apartment Buyers Abandoning Six Figure Deposits

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/01/realestate/01walk.html?ref=business

#97 BOB on 03.01.09 at 7:59 am

Condo King Battles To Survive Downturn

http://www.miamiherald.com/

#98 Cendrine on 03.01.09 at 8:39 am

#91 Investx

What I don’t understand from that quote is why solid credit worthy buyers would put no money down, accept long 40 year amortizations and pay huge amounts of interest – doesn’t make good financial sense to me. Perhaps we have not seen the arrears because the job market is not bad enough yet and there is less incentive for buyers to walk away because they’d be sued for the amount owing by the banks.

#99 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 03.01.09 at 8:41 am

Perhaps this explains reality better than all the diatribe going on? I think it does, at least for those who have the Big Picture!

Sun setting on old political ideologies

On Nov. 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall came down, leading to the end of the Soviet empire. We thought it was the victory of democracy over dictatorship, capitalism over socialism.

After 20 years, I still believe it was a triumph of democracy over dictatorship, but I would be cautious in proclaiming the victory of capitalism over socialism. In fact, I believe that capitalism is now resorting to socialism to survive the present economic turmoil.

Obviously the seed of capitalism has been planted in places where once it was considered a crime. But, while the area is expanding, its “thickness” is shrinking, and risks suffering the same fate as the Roman Empire, which collapsed at the time of its maximum expansion.

more…

And here we see two REAL Problems of Stephen Harper:

Iran’s ideology ‘evil,’ Harper tells U.S. paper

Using the same wornout, dissing rhetoric of Reagan and Bush Steve just doesn’t understand, because he is simply willfully ignorant and blinded by ideology, that these is NOT the marks of a democratic leader, and not a statement a Canadian would make in our multi-cultural society!:

1. ‘Iran is evil’ is a biased, ill-informed slight against an entire people who have been around civilization for millenia. Same old FUD as usual!

2. And when he says “My government is a very strong supporter of the state of Israel and considers the Iranian threats to be absolutely unacceptable and beyond the pale.”

‘My government!’? Stalin would be so proud!

#100 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 03.01.09 at 8:54 am

The reason house prices have crashed in the US is because THEY WERE TOO HIGH. Everything else is just details.

#92 patriotz on 03.01.09 at 2:42 am

Careful now. Actually explaining the reason is detrimental to the funnymentalist ‘believers’ who have magical answers and books to sell, columns to write, and Talk Shows to attend! You will destroy the fastest growth industry in decades ‘The Financial Guru’ industry!

#101 Herb on 03.01.09 at 9:13 am

#81 Electrician Boy,

don’t know if Garth passed on his thoughts privately, but I’ve been there, done that, and will give you mine.

First consideration: is it “a house”, or “your home” and you want to come back to it. If “your home”, you might prefer to keep it regardless of financial implications (as long as these are acceptable to you.)

Second, what will the market in TO do? Consensus is that it will go down substantailly for another year or so, so there will be at least a paper loss if you hang on. Your nickel as to how much you might be prepared to lose.

Third, tax. If you are moving overseas for the same employer, you will retain primary residence status. Mortgage interest will be deductible from rental and other income, as will repair and maintenance, property taxes and utilities. It will cost you only your payment on mortgage principal to hang on.

Fourth, property management. You will need someone to collect rents, pay bills and look after tenants and your property. It will cost either a flat fee or a percentage of rental income (deductible). Of more importance is the quality of the management, over which you will exercise little control from overseas. My experience: one great, one unsatisfactory, and one criminal (cost me around $35K of which I recovered $23K in court – the guy was a real estate agent and financial planner!)

Long and short of it: if you do not consider the house your home, sell it, park the money for a guaranteed return, and buy another house when you come back. We didn’t, because we wanted to retain that house as our home, and not for sentimental reasons. It lost 15
% in value in our first three years overseas, but recovered over the next five. We did, however, forego a good bit of change by not investing the proceeds of a sale. The decision for a home definitely is long-term and not all financial.

#102 JET on 03.01.09 at 9:17 am

#93 Vancouver_Renter,
Excellent analysis of bubbles. That bit about resource countries calculating their budget based on oil price is akin to how the City of Toronto calculated their budget on real estate prices (using their greedy land transfer tax). Now, there’s a short-fall and they have to raise property taxes anyways. Can anyone say “lose-lose”?

#103 Torquemada on 03.01.09 at 10:10 am

#54 Dan on 02.28.09 at 2:23 pm

McDoomed is no laughing matter as a friend of mine just lost his McMansion in Milton. After losing his job a few months ago and having their home for sale for over seven months and no takers the end result was foreclosure by the bank. Just talking to him almost made me want to cry. There was no point in pointing out the mistake of buying a home with 40 years and nothing down as being stupid.

What did your friend really lose? A few months of overpaying living expenses as his mortgage payments were more than what he would have spent renting? HE DIDN’T PUT DOWN A DOWNPAYMENT! He didn’t lose “his house”. Yes, technically he did since his name appears as the owner at Land Titles. However, youccan never really own something until you’ve paid it outright. If you don’t even put down a downpayment, you can’t even claim to have lost a portion of the house.

Dan, in your friend’s situation, I feel more sorry for the bank that is going to take a massive loss than for your friend who lost something that was never really his.

You don’t know what to tell him? Here’s what I’d tell my friend.

He will have to move and uproot his family. This is unfortunate. However, he’ll be free and clear of the worst financial decision of his life. In a few years he’s going to look back and laugh. It’s better to escape now, even under bad circumstances, than to live in a mistake for the next 40 years.

Every once in a while I post the following satirewire (an old onion.com knockoff) article that resonated with me. It’s very applicable in your friend’s situation:

http://www.satirewire.com/news/0106/dream.shtml

#104 The Other David on 03.01.09 at 10:34 am

#83 Investx on 02.28.09 at 9:05 pm

What else do you expect builders to say? It is in their best interest to say the market is stable, else people will stop buying their junk.

Stop drinking the CREB/builders koolaid.

#105 MBS-guru on 03.01.09 at 10:53 am

i thing i’ve noticed is that entry level homes in TO are inching lower past the $300k mark which makes first time buyers forget about condos. Although some argue that it’s a lifestyle, i would reckon that more people still prefer living in a house rather than a condo. If you’re planning to buy a condo, i’ll wait until next year b/c demand for condos are starting to drop like a rock as detached homes continue to fall in prices.

This past weekend, Mattamy was offering homes for sale starting at $259,900 for fully detached homes in milton. These homes would have cost people $40-50k more a few months ago. I remember seeing towns for over $300k in milton a while back so if you want to talk about being underwater … this is it.

#106 Bottoms_Up on 03.01.09 at 10:56 am

Regarding ‘thinking that real estate always goes up’:

I am 30 yrs old, and became interested in real estate about 7-8 years ago (2001/2), but the pursuit of higher education kept my yearly salary low (~$16,000/yr) so there was no opportunity to buy a home. Rather I rented a small apartment and shared expenses with various roommates, while watching my friends make tens of thousands of dollars just because they were fortunate enough to either have decent paying jobs and therefore qualify for a mortgage, or come from a wealthy family with supportive co-signers. I had neither. So watching real estate go up during these years, and being fed the line that ‘real estate always goes up’ from family, friends, realtors, I can see why the myth exists, especially for people in my age group.

It was not until I spoke with my parents (in their early 50′s) and boss (late 50′s) that I learned there can be much pain associated with real estate. I could not believe that people walked away from houses in the 1980′s. I didn’t understand how that was possible, how people could make such mistakes. Now I see. And it’s unfortunate that really it’s a matter of timing (especially for the uneducated, which I was, before finding Garth’s site). Had I had a great job 1-2 years ago I may have enter the real estate market at the peak, with a 0 down 40/yr, none the wiser, and be underwater. Now I will batten down the hatches, save for a 20% downpayment, and not go longer than 25/yr amortization. It takes pain to do it right, but easy come easy go eh?

It pays to listen, to really listen, to your elders. So thank you. I enjoy this site, and learning from the people kind enough to post their stories.

#107 Gord In Vancouver on 03.01.09 at 11:32 am

#21 Grantmi


Has everyone seen the piece in the Vancouver Sun this morning??

I love this Patsy Hui – “Just Trade up, trade down, but stay in the market – 25 years later it’s your RETIREMENT INCOME. We actually encourage this as a great time to buy.”

http://tinyurl.com/moreBCfromtheMSM

Yup! I’m sure there will be plenty of Boomers who did that.. and are now trying to off load their homes to pay for cat food, now that their Trust Fund income have disappeared.

Trade up? Trade down?

It looks like Patsy wanted to have it both ways. Within the same interview she also said

“All these years, I’ve never dealt with flippers. Never. If they wanted information, I’ve told them to go line up for themselves. I don’t believe in it.”

“Rent it out, don’t sell it, never sell anything: that is really the essence of real estate investment. ”

Patsy, who’s been in the industry for years, probably doesn’t need the extra sales but was pressured by her younger peers to pump the industry.

#108 rory on 03.01.09 at 11:40 am

Hi all …when and how did 20% become the new accepted downpayment …always thought it was the traditional 25% …assume it was because no one can raise 25% anymore but if you can do 20 then 25 seems pretty reasonable …tried to find answers but I am having no luck as of yet …ty.

#109 Canadian Banks on 03.01.09 at 11:47 am

Garth,
Do you think that the pre-emptive bailout of $75B of the Canadian Bank’s mortgages is helping to keep them from reporting losses like we are seeing in the states?

#110 dboy on 03.01.09 at 11:57 am

The following clip sums things up and makes total sense:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ca_aOvZPh-g

#111 Gord In Vancouver on 03.01.09 at 12:17 pm

#97 BOB

Condo King Battles To Survive Downturn

http://www.miamiherald.com/

” In retrospect, Pérez said he wished that he had done more to weed out speculators from buying units.

He also said builders — including him — should not have started to believe that South Florida was different, casting aside traditional methods of gauging housing demand. And he said he was wrong to assume that second-home buyers would continue to stream in from the Northeast, Latin America and Europe.”

You can easily substitute “South Florida” with “Vancouver, BC”.

#112 Bobby on 03.01.09 at 12:25 pm

In response to the comment that subprime is different than 0/40 so our market will fare better.

Just wait until these 0/40 mortgages come due and the homes are worth a lot less than the initial mortgage. The banks, and yes they can be ruthless, will want some money from the owners to make up for the difference. And of course, the owners have nothing available to pay because that is why they chose 0/40 in the first place.

The end result, foreclosure, and I saw a lot of that here in Victoria during the last downturn.

Oh yes, real estate never goes down. Didn’t a realtor tell me that.

It’s gonna get extremely ugly!

#113 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 03.01.09 at 12:31 pm

It pays to listen, to really listen, to your elders. So thank you. I enjoy this site, and learning from the people kind enough to post their stories.

#106 Bottoms_Up on 03.01.09 at 10:56 am

If Elders fail to pass on learned wisdom, and especially that from their own mistakes in life, then what the heck are we here for? LOL

When I was fresh out of the Marines I was happy to make more than $5 per hour, because that was a livable wage, and $10/hr was fat city. That was quite a step-up from the HUGE $81 (Before Taxes of course) per month I initially earned as a Private and I didn’t even have to get shot at in the job anymore! LOL In fact I made more in one week than I did at my highest pay grade.

Houses could be bought for about $20K+, a car was $2-3k for good one, gasoline was $0.25 per gallon, and pop was a quarter, candy bars 10 cents (Darn inflation they had been 5 cents for years.

The entire inflationary BS has decimated societal stability, and wages have NOT grown accordingly for the majority of people. Minimum Wage is still atrocious compared to the COL (Cost of Living).

Sure, I make a LOT more today than back then, but to be honest it barely feels better because all the other costs have skyrocketed with this idiotic globalization.

At least I can find some things that make price/value sense and usally at WalMart. Do I feel bad about shopping there HELL NO! My first obligation is to my family and OUR budget, not to support the Yuppy Set and their childish Gucci, Gucci, Goo ideology.

Yesterday I found what I really wanted, silly as it sounds, but DARN, once in a great while something comes along that is so charming I find I want to have it for memory’s sake…I bought a ‘Wall E’ replica at WalMart for $5.62 and it sits proudly on my display shelf! LOL

Next is ‘Eve’ and then, the must have ‘M-O’, the little cleaner robot that constantly is cleaning up after ‘Wall E’ on the Buy & Large’ space ship! LOL Yogurt was right ‘Merchandizing, That’s the ticket!’ ;-)

The beauty if it was I felt no guilt in buying such a frivolous thing because it was not denting my wallet thanks to proper financial management. There have been tough times when I would simply not have bought it because I needed the money for necessities.

Now, the only problem is my two grandsons will see it, want it, and then fuss until they get their own! LOL I know their mom wishes she had a real Wall E to clean up their rooms!

That is how real life works. Ain’t it great?

#114 Kettle...Pot Calling on 03.01.09 at 12:34 pm

“Canadian Banks” – the mortgages swapped with the government are all CMHC insured. Whether they are on the banks’ balance sheets or not, the government is on the hook for any losses (after the homeowner, of course).

Rory – the CMHC used to require a 25% down payment to avoid having to pay mortgage insurance. That hurdle was lowered to 20% in recent years (don’t remember when exactly). That is likely a partial answer to your question.

#115 Bottoms_Up on 03.01.09 at 12:43 pm

Bill, thanks, true, I think we have lost the art of family time, family conversation and passing on wisdom through the ages.
_____________________________________
The 20% down is now acceptable because insurance standards have changed. 20% down is the new 25% and doesn’t require insurance. Again a move to make it ‘easier’ to enter the market.

#116 Toronto C9 Renter on 03.01.09 at 12:47 pm

to #93 Vancouver Renter,

Good, logical analysis.

Also think it possible that mass bubble-phobia / bubble-fatigue may be present and result in a less predictible behaviour with Gold i.e. bubble not build to the same extent

#117 Lance Naismith on 03.01.09 at 12:55 pm

I certainly agree with your blame list but, it all comes down to greed. Too many think they can buy/sell and make a profit without even moving in. Look at the condo market. Yes, for some it works (in early-out early) but for those of us that want a reasonable home for a long term, we get shafted with the speculation. And builders promote this thinking, even letting their real estate agents load up on houses to push the price/demand up and get rich on the average guy who just wants a house. Yes, we all want the best but you won’t get it unless your willing to pay the freight. And, builders, they have been known to do illegal shortcuts to ensure the sale, especially in tight times. http://www.oakvillehomes.wordpress.com tells more on this topic.

thanks for the drive down the trail of crushed dreams Garth – splashes the face with reality.

#118 BOB on 03.01.09 at 1:07 pm

#97

You are right but where would anyone want to live if you had a choice? Miami Beach or Vancouver? Southern Florida has much more to offer than Vancouver yet prices there are in free fall. Yet some people think Vancouver or Toronto will survive this tsunami of a real eastate market.

#119 jess on 03.01.09 at 1:24 pm

Who’s to blame? Good question and it looks like humans are asking this question in other countries. Why is it that corruption seems to follow development /real estate?

“Some fear people are being made scapegoats. “There is a lot of face-saving to be done,” said one Melbourne property player well versed in business in Dubai. “The sheik can never be responsible, so somebody else has to be.”

http://www.smh.com.au/world/now-13-aussies-arrested-in-dubai-collapse-20090301-8li0.html

#120 EcoInsurgent on 03.01.09 at 1:34 pm

Our venerable PM just spoke on CNN and assured the American people that Canada had no subprime problem and that while our housing sector is going through a “cyclical downturn” it is not any major problem and will not need any kind of government intervention. In fact, everything must be rosy in Canada as CNN titled the segment “The Canadian Miracle”. That might just come back to bit them in the ass.

#121 HalifaxFamily on 03.01.09 at 1:56 pm

Garth,

I disagree with your view on deflation. I think there is stagflation.

When you look at the CPI numbers, it would seem that there is deflation, but those numbers are cooked up and can exclude things that have a ‘seasonal’ variation by quoting a ‘core’ CPI. Autos, home carrying charges, big screen TVs, and alike are included in the CPI. Fuel, one doesn’t hear anymore quoted outside core CPI…. or am I wrong? The stuff that matters – food – doesn’t really seem to have gone down any.

I think that we’ll find out sooner rather than later that stagflation is what we’re in… and not deflation. Yes, prices for big ticket items have decreased, and are pulling down the CPI, but who really needs to buy TVs on a regular basis?

Groceries, I’ve noticed, have not gone down in price at all. Bananas in Halifax have gone from 69-75c/pound to now 85c/pound. Rice has gone up from 16/20kg to 33/20kg. We’ve switched to cheaper rice as a result. Gasoline has started rising in price even though a barrel of crude has gone down.

I can go on and on – ice salt, windshield washer fluid (all more expensive).

Strip away the large expensive items, and you have the beginnings of stagflation.

#122 Jeremy on 03.01.09 at 2:02 pm

Humanity ticks me off sometimes, how greedy and ignorant we are. Sometimes I just want to watch it all come crashing down and watch the world burn….

#123 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 03.01.09 at 2:11 pm

Okay, Let’s play a game similar to ‘Where’s Waldo?’ only this game will be called ‘Where’s The Truth?’ starring our very own minority government PM, Stephen Harper.

A Resolute Ally in the War on Terror: Canadians are with us in Afghanistan. We should be with them on free trade.

Yes Sir, Wall Street Journal, the Quid Pro Quo is alive and well, regardless of the connectivity!

Would that qualify as Blood Money? Moi thinks so!

#124 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 03.01.09 at 2:28 pm

Here is a home that is going to be ‘Flipped’ by FORECLOSURE! a Genuine McMansion and National TV Star as well!

Atlanta ‘Extreme Home Makeover’ Home In Foreclosure Again

So much for the Hype of TV and all the Players, eh?

#125 robert on 03.01.09 at 2:28 pm

And here’s a classic RE pitch… watch for the punchline

ATTENTION First Time Home Buyers, Renovators & Builders!! Great opportunity to purchase a home in sought after Strawberry Vale area…to renovate or hold as an investment property for a New Build! A little bit of “sweat equity” will bring this home a long way! Level 6227 sqft lot in beautiful West Saanich District…an area full of new homes & acreages..

“just over 1/2 km from Wilkinson Road Prison, the largest inmate detention facility on Vancouver Island”

Hurry and buy now in this desirable neighborhood :>) Please…

#126 Investx on 03.01.09 at 2:41 pm

Bobby on 03.01.09 at 12:25 pm:

” In response to the comment that subprime is different than 0/40 so our market will fare better.

Just wait until these 0/40 mortgages come due and the homes are worth a lot less than the initial mortgage. The banks, and yes they can be ruthless, will want some money from the owners to make up for the difference.”

Why? Does the agreed on purchase price of the home change all of a sudden?

#127 Grantmi on 03.01.09 at 2:43 pm

To me… this week (and possibly next) will be the final determination on what’s going to happen to the USD$ and the POG. Something has to break!

POG disconnected from the USD$ in Oct 2008… and hasn’t looked back.. even with the USD rallying on everyone trying to buy it to pay off all this unwinding!! (Well documented on why the USD has rallied the last year)

http://i42.tinypic.com/2yvl7hh.jpg

Either the USD$ drives through it’s Nov 08 highs.. or it doesn’t! The RSI and MACD look like to it ain’t!!

;-)

#128 Investx on 03.01.09 at 2:47 pm

#98 Cendrine on 03.01.09 at 8:39 am #91

“Investx

What I don’t understand from that quote is why solid credit worthy buyers would put no money down, accept long 40 year amortizations and pay huge amounts of interest – doesn’t make good financial sense to me.”

I don’t know either. To free up cashflow? Maybe they have good credit rating but can’t afford greater payments.

#129 jess on 03.01.09 at 3:35 pm

I guess the bulldozers are coming for the greening of Detroit!

The median price of a home sold in Detroit in December was $7,500, according to Realcomp, a listing service…

Kilpatrick’s election in 2001 lured Henry Hassan back to Detroit from Minnesota. Hassan, who opened a restaurant on the city’s northwest side, said he was quickly disillusioned.

“You remember the riots in ’67?” Hassan said, referring to the cataclysmic five days that left 43 dead and more than 2,000 buildings burned down. “It’s a little worse than that right now. … We need somebody to come in and care for the city more than they care for themselves.”

The problem is more than a $300 million budget shortfall, said John Mogk, a professor at Wayne State University Law School.

“A thousand people are leaving the city every month,” Mogk said, “and the city does not have the financial resources and the economic base to solve its own problems.”

To be sure, progress has been made downtown: two new sports stadiums, a reinvigorated neighborhood around Wayne State and new lofts and casinos. But unlike Pittsburgh, which successfully reinvented itself after the decline of Big Steel, Detroit displays only islands of prosperity amid a dismal landscape. Neighborhoods have suffered, and foreclosures have aggravated the long-festering ill of abandoned homes.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-detroit-housingjan29,0,5435392.story

#130 dekethegeek on 03.01.09 at 3:47 pm

#90 010010001 . . .
Uh yeah, 9/10ths of the planet has to die to create your vision of “Nirvana”. Ri-i-i-i-ight. LOOOOSER!
Carefull the NSA has your phone/email tapped. The CIA are following you. And CSIS knows your real name.
Burn your laptop and contact Ted Kascynski for “survival” tips via snailmail.
We’ra ALL DOOMED !
(until the next playstation game comes out and you can go back to your “training”)

#131 Wealthy Renter on 03.01.09 at 4:11 pm

“This past weekend, Mattamy was offering homes for sale starting at $259,900 for fully detached homes in milton. These homes would have cost people $40-50k more a few months ago. I remember seeing towns for over $300k in milton a while back so if you want to talk about being underwater … this is it.”

MBS, I was a little stunned by that ad when I saw. If it is legitimate, (and not some bait and switch routine,) real estate is going to become affordable in the GTA in a hurry.

Those houses are 1200 square feet, certainly big enough to raise a couple of kids if you live efficiently. The last time I saw the Stats Canada numbers for Halton, the average family income was around $90K.

Of course, most young people are not making that much money, but 259K is starting to get into the affordable range.

For all of the other unaffordable housing – look out below.

#132 David on 03.01.09 at 4:24 pm

I can’t understand people who at this late stage question how different 0/40 Canadian mortgages were from sub prime loans in the USA. These issues have been discussed numerous times in previous threads.
Phrases like unqualified buyers and over priced houses should be jumping to mind. Historically low interest rates could be assumed to exist for the next 40 years? Home prices would continue to show increases far in excess of income growth or the rate of inflation? The price/rent ratio would continue to exhibit widening distortions?
The best example of a flawed business model one can find.

#133 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 03.01.09 at 4:56 pm

#129 dekethegeek on 03.01.09 at 3:47 pm

Hey, you forgot to mention the Orion Battle Cruiser orbiting our fair planet, just looking for an excuse to incinerate us!

Hmmmmmmmm…Could Klatu and Gort be out there too?

Someone, plase call ‘J’ at the MiB! I think we have a Bug?

LMAO! Glad you responded because after reading the bit and Byte Head I decided to not say anything.

#134 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 03.01.09 at 5:03 pm

#128 jess on 03.01.09 at 3:35 pm

I used to call on clients in Detroit back in the ’70′s. It was so bad then that even the suburban businesses had their doors locked and you had to show ID to gain entrance. These were professional offices, not pawn shops, eh? The Big Three I called on had all kinds of security as well.

At least today you can buy up lots of homes in Detroit for a mere pitance, like $625.

However, be aware of whom you deal with. Poor Old Jimmy Hoffa is reputed to have met his end in the trash compactor at the Red Lion Restaurant.

Maybe they will do a Make-over and rename the city using the French pronounciation of Detroit? That’ll fool ‘em for sure! LOL

#135 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 03.01.09 at 5:07 pm

#124 robert on 03.01.09 at 2:28 pm

Wow, now THAT is a genuine investment opportunity. Just think of the Half-way Houses you can own? Close to Mama in case the tenants break their agreement. BUY NOW! There is a government grant ready for your signature. No need to do a Fixer-Upper either. Anything will be a vast improvement for the ‘clients’!

#136 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 03.01.09 at 5:13 pm

#117 BOB on 03.01.09 at 1:07 pm

Oh really? I suggest one learns fluent Spanish before moving there because English and French won’t cut it…not even with the Taxi drivers. Trust me.

BTW, Hope you like torrential downpours at 3PM and hurricanes? Did I mention alligators?

Oh, and the beach in Boca Raton is wonderful, a little bit North of the fun spot, but hey, where else can you sink up to your knees due to the oil spill that turned the beach into a slimy quicksand?

#137 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 03.01.09 at 5:17 pm

#119 EcoInsurgent on 03.01.09 at 1:34 pm

To grasp how little CNN understands about Canada I suggest watching the old Ricker Mercer segmnents ‘Talking To Americans’ from THH22M!

Never forget that Bush, his campaign manager, and the Governor of Michigan all thought our then PM’s (PMJC) name was Poutine! Heck, Dubya even said ‘I personally know Prime Minister Poutine! One of the great leaders in the G-8!’

#138 Avenge Rachel Corrie! on 03.01.09 at 5:18 pm

#128 jess – WHITE FLIGHT has been Detroit’s problem for half a century now. Little else.

Even the blacks don’t want to live with the blacks anymore.

Grow up, open your eyes, and get over all the politically-correct horse shit.

You’re black. Right? — Garth

#139 Avenge Rachel Corrie! on 03.01.09 at 5:32 pm

128 jess, etc

One more thing to knock all the sugar off the top:

Said Celente, “The government has yet to fix the levees in New Orleans. There is still a hole in the ground where the World Trade Center once stood. Washington has started two wars it can’t win and doesn’t know how to finish. The massive bank, brokerage, auto and insurance company bailouts have done nothing to resuscitate the sinking economy. The Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) that candidate Obama championed has not “relieved.” President Obama’s $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will not lead to recovery and the nation will not ‘emerge stronger than before,’”

#140 Avenge Rachel Corrie! on 03.01.09 at 5:35 pm

You’re black. Right? — Garth
———————————————————

Garth – enjoy:
http://www.white-history.com/hwrdet.htm

Find a new blog. Bye. — Garth

#141 Increasing that 1% on 03.01.09 at 5:48 pm

#121. Jeremy
“Humanity ticks me off sometimes, how greedy and ignorant we are. Sometimes I just want to watch it all come crashing down and watch the world burn….”

This blog can do that to you…
make you feel like throwing up your hands, and punish the many a$$h#les that caused this. But, I think you know there are many (or some), who are innocent, and undeserving of what’s going to happen to them, so for them I hope you press on and try to make things better wherever you can. NEVER give up!

#142 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 03.01.09 at 5:50 pm

#137 Avenge Rachel Corrie! on 03.01.09 at 5:18 pm

Chicago had the same problems and then came the Muslim movement which sent an army of good men into the government housing units to clean up the drugs and crime. President Obama knows first hand what real life is like in the ‘Hood!

Katrina showed the under belly of America, but the Southside should its arsehole!

Yes, I LIVED in Chicago and SAW it first hand. The Old song ‘You Don’t Mess Around With Jim’ came from that reality! The Southside of Chicago was NOT a place anyone not part of the community would travel unless they had a Death Wish! Scarborough, by comparison, is a Safe Haven for all people!

When Louis Farakhan brought in his Nation of Islam things started changing. The police were incapable of dealing with the situation and the politicians simply did not care!

#143 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 03.01.09 at 5:54 pm

#140 Increasing that 1% on 03.01.09 at 5:48 pm

YES! We CAN!

#144 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 03.01.09 at 6:03 pm

Garth,

I think you are being really hard on the commenter. Reality is a Bitch at times, and Detroit has been one for decades. We are talking about Real Estate, and this is the hidden reality investors do not want to talk about!

I remember back in the early ’70′s a riot in Lockwodd Gardens in Indianapolis, IN. The fire department tried to go in to put out the fires and were plummeted with Molotov Cocktails, bricks, and anything else handy, plus being shot at.

The Mayor went on the radio and TV and said ‘Go ahead and do what you want. We are not sending in the police or the fire department. After you have burned it to the ground we will send in the bulldiozers and make the largest municipal parking lot in america.’ The riots ended within a few hours and peace was restored.

This happened because of blatant racism and an attitude of segregation with no social policies, the very things that tore America’s fabric to the core.

Canada knows NOTHING about such situations, just fighting with Francophones and Aboriginals.

I lived through those times and they should Never Be Forgotten, nor repeated!

#145 mikef on 03.01.09 at 6:08 pm

Real Estate downturn?
Death Spiral?

Nah,watch this about the US real estate market
We are just headed back towards a historical equilibrium

[url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrW6UO5Zkok[/url]

#146 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 03.01.09 at 6:08 pm

#137 Avenge Rachel Corrie! on 03.01.09 at 5:18 pm

You might want to cut President Obama some slack (as the Admiral said to the Captain in ‘The Hunt for Red October’), he has been in office 5 weeks and has already climbed the Mountain called partisan Congress.

Personally, I can think of no one more qualified to bring a soothing balm to the situation, but he does NOT have carte blance authority as President to resolve every issue. that takes the Congress, unlike our PM who thinks he can act on his own using ‘My Government’ to make his will Law!

#147 go green on 03.01.09 at 6:25 pm

#140 Increasing that 1% on 03.01.09 at 5:48 pm

Agree #140. Never give up.

#148 go green on 03.01.09 at 6:47 pm

#73 Sondra on 02.28.09 at 5:43 pm #63 Future Expatriate

(Gold) “something God created that man cannot create, and in all likelihood, will never be able to create; something that has been the measurement of value on this planet in every major religion since the beginning”.

Gold was created by a star that went super nova.

Religion was created to keep the masses under control, to rule the people, and explain the unexplainable.

Sondra – you’ve said it so more succinctly than I recall ever having read it.

#149 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 03.01.09 at 7:17 pm

Okay Troops, Stand by! William Shatner, aka, Captain James Tiberius Kirk, is thinking about running for Prime Minister of Canada. Hey, he is Canadian, has experience dealing with hostile aliens, and can charm most! Couldn’t hurt, eh?

We already have Spock without the half human side!!

Think I am kidding? Watch Global national News.

God knows we already have Trouble With Tribbles in the HoC!

#150 go green on 03.01.09 at 7:27 pm

#141 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 03.01.09 at 5:50 pm #137 Avenge Rachel Corrie! on 03.01.09 at 5:18 pm

Yes, I LIVED in Chicago and SAW it first hand. The Old song ‘You Don’t Mess Around With Jim’ came from that reality! The Southside of Chicago was NOT a place anyone not part of the community would travel unless they had a Death Wish! Scarborough, by comparison, is a Safe Haven for all people!

Bill, recall in 71 or so I drove down w/a girlfriend to the windy city to visit w/her girlfriend in the burbs. Girlfriend’s boyfriend took us out for the eve downtown, drinks at the top of the Hancock (?) tower – elevator vibrated nearing the top floor – :-) then to dinner & then to a bar for drinks. But, he said we won’t even drive thru a certain part of town for fear of our lives!! I recall how amazed I was hearing that. I grew up in Mtl, shopped on the main, had been to the Big Apple, lived/travelled alone at times in Europe & never felt intimidated. Maybe he was talking about the southside.

#151 G on 03.01.09 at 7:45 pm

Was hoping for the daily blog post yesterday the 28th…but it didn’t come…guess I will have to wait till new one is posted.

#152 Bobby on 03.01.09 at 8:53 pm

For Investx #125,

The original mortgage is based on the initial purchase price of the home. However, when the 3, 5 or whatever year term comes due and the mortgage is up for renewal the bank takes an objective look at the mortgage it is holding. If that 0 down house has now decreased in value the bank does not want to hold a mortgage greater than the value of the house. So they go after the owner to make up some equity. The same holds true for 10% down etc. I saw a lot of this in the last downturn, leading to many foreclosures.

Banks are certainly your best buddy in the good times but become ruthless when the economy goes the other way.

Of course your realtor doesn’t know anything about this. They just finished the course.

#153 Barb the proofreader on 03.01.09 at 9:22 pm

My numerous Detroit relatives all fled ever further out the last 30 years. They don’t recognize the bigger picture. Detroit has been PURPOSELY neglected in political scuttling – for a century. It’s the sleight-of-hand of bigotry. In the bigger picture it’s certainly not the blacks fault. Racists love to blame the victim.

If you enslave and suppress a race, then continue to discriminate against them for another 100 years, with no graceful will to make up for the damage, it’s of epic naiveté to blame the victim, and of epic ignorance and bigotry to think there’d be a different result. Until whites admit their ongoing culpability and malfeasance, Detroit has no hope of rebuilding, no hope of change. Blacks were, and still are discriminated against. Until true helping-hands stand shoulder-to-shoulder and respectfully help rebuild that city with responsibility and co-operation, expect no changes. I expect no changes because white ignorance and bigotry won’t let it happen.

Detroit is a very dangerous city only due to the gaping holes in the minds and political will.. of whites.

[I miss going to Greek Town.]

#154 Future Expatriate on 03.01.09 at 9:41 pm

9#148: William Shatner for PM? Absolutely awesome. Too bad James T. Kirk isn’t running for President of the US as well. His solution to the Mideast conflict would be to arm Iran and Palestine with exactly the same number and power of nukes Israel has.

The episode? “A Private Little War.” Highly recommended for folks who truly want to end war anywhere instead of stealing billions from tax treasuries in the biz of shedding innocent blood for global conquest.

Upside? Balance of power insures no war as long as MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) is assured. Downside? Both warmongering enemies destroy the other and the planet is better off.

Oops. Looks like there IS no downside.

That Kirk… what a genius. I have a feeling he’ll make a tremendous PM.

#155 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 03.01.09 at 9:48 pm

#149 go green on 03.01.09 at 7:27 pm

He was!!! You had the same emotional experience I did when I first went to Natchez, Mississippi in the mid ’60′s where saw signs in store windows that read ‘All Money received From Sales To N****** Wil Be Donated To The United Klan of America!’. I could not believe people were so RETARDED! (and that is being PC and kind)

Ah, the Hancock Tower. Did a sway analysis on that building decades ago! ;) The Sear’s Tower was blocking their antennas and they wanted to heighten the building. The Sear’s Tower is an experience. It sways about 6 feet when the wind blows, and the wind always is blowing in the Windy City!

#156 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 03.01.09 at 9:56 pm

#153 Future Expatriate on 03.01.09 at 9:41 pm

Aye Lad, but President Obama is like Tuvok, the Vulcan in the later series. Things are in good and capable hands. We need to ‘Get Some!’ here in Canada.

I see the Harperites are, again, preparing their Attack Ads! The last groups were about the same level as ‘Mars Attacks’, a cast of celebrities, but mindless, boring, ineffectual, and crass. Why are WE paying for these Grade C extravaganzes into the Dark Side?

Oh, right, so sorry, I forgot, Harper hasn’t anything positive to say about his V.I.P. (Vicious Ignorant Pissant) time in office!

#157 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 03.01.09 at 10:01 pm

#152 Barb the proofreader on 03.01.09 at 9:22 pm

Gee, sounds like the typical Redumblican social and foreign policies that led to 9/11! Funny how people tend to get pissed off when they are abused, eh?

Oh, did you catch Rush Limburger at the Conswervative Party’s Action Committee (CPAC) meeting in Washington.DC on the news tonight? He hopes President Obama’s plans fail. What a great American, eh? NOT!

#158 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 03.01.09 at 10:12 pm

#153 Future Expatriate on 03.01.09 at 9:41 pm

Personally, my favourite original ST espisode (Other than The Trouble With Tribbles) is where Spock re-programs the War Computers to make the deaths real? Funny how they all decided to ‘negotiate’ a peace treaty when the ‘statistics’ turn into their family members for real!

Imagine Bill Shatner entering Parliament with Phasers set on STUN! and blasting away! LMAO! Would any of the MP’s notice a difference?

Probably not but the MSM would be all in a tizzy over their use. Could they edit their previous stories from TASER to Phaser? It would be ‘shocking’ to watch, I am sure!

Somewhere, I expect the Ferrengi to show up claiming their rights to the profits in it all! Some thing about Lathium, which is a known isodope of Governmentium!

#159 M I K E in Ajax on 03.01.09 at 10:41 pm

Allright I’ll jump on the bullish wagon of Gold.
I’ve had gold for a just over a year now and it’s up more than 32% respectively. (That is in CDN $ “fiat currency”)
Definitely can’t say that about real estate value nor on equities nor on anything for that matter, so it’s hard not to be bullish on it in this environment.

Gold has been up on ALL currencies not to mention the ratio to the dOW has also been gaining. in 1999 it took 45 oz to buy one unit of the DOW.
2001…..42 ounces
2003….. 25 ounces
2007…..20 ounces
2008…..12.5
currently 7.4
It’s on its way to converge at 1 – 1 AGAIN.

with all that said I’m a strong believer that gold is ONLY a STORE of WEALTH not a way to make money … it does PRESERVE your wealth in bad environments like we are in and allows you to come out on the other side in which case you can use that wealth real economic gains once again.

I know Garth would say I’m crazed not to sell it and take the profit, but until I feel secure to park it somewhere else, I’ll stay the course.

#160 Bailing in B.C. on 03.01.09 at 10:58 pm

#127 Investx #98 Cendrine

One reason that someone with good credit and decent cash flow might want to go with a 40 year amortization is that they are putting their money towards paying off a non tax deductible debt before a deductible one.

If you have two properties, a principle residence and a rental property the interest on the mortgage on the rental will be tax deductible while the principle residence interest will not. It makes sense to reduce the payments on the rental property as much as possible and use the savings to pay off the principle residence as quickly as possible. You always want to pay off non deductible debt before deductible.

#161 Investx on 03.01.09 at 11:38 pm

151 Bobby For Investx #125,

“The original mortgage is based on the initial purchase price of the home. However, when the 3, 5 or whatever year term comes due…. If that 0 down house has now decreased in value the bank does not want to hold a mortgage greater than the value of the house.”

Thanks for your response Bobby.

Why does the bank care if the house went down, they’re still making money as they would like on any other loan repayment, no? I thought the value decrease
would only matter to the buyer?

#162 BARB the proofreader on 03.02.09 at 2:12 am

#156 Bill-Muskoka (NAM)

Bill, I watched part of Rush’s speech on CNN yesterday. I think it was weird that his speech was even televised, he’s such a fraud. And what a loud mouth, self promoting, deceitful, arrogant coward Limbaugh is! He doesn’t give a damn how much he misleads sheep as long as he can make a buck off ‘em. If Americans can’t figure out that these twisted, sick, snake oil salesmen such as Limbaugh and Coulter ARE the PROBLEM, then that nation is doomed, plain and simple.
I think I’ve mentioned my cousin’s husbands, in Chicago and Rochester, won’t watch any news but Fox. They are also verbally abusive to my other cousin who is gay. Of course they are gun-toting narrow-minded holier than thou bigoted Republicans. If I never see those fellows again it will be too soon.

#163 patriotz on 03.02.09 at 2:39 am

“If that 0 down house has now decreased in value the bank does not want to hold a mortgage greater than the value of the house. So they go after the owner to make up some equity.”

The mortgage is CMHC insured so the bank is guaranteed to get its money back anyway. They don’t want the house, they just want to borrower to keep paying.

#164 Ben on 03.02.09 at 8:37 am

RE: Milton Houses
Yes, Mattamy is offering detached houses for low prices. They are calling this line SPIRIT. Reading the boilerplate description, you pick out words like practical, sensible, etc – this tells me that they’ve removed all the finishes that became standard over the last 5 years, and any upgrades will cost you a mint. They still carry the regular models in similar sq.ft. for more money.
Houses in Milton have another 15-20% to fall from current levels.

#165 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 03.02.09 at 10:42 am

#162 BARB the proofreader on 03.02.09 at 2:12 am

Barb,

I think Americans DID figure it out in November. It took eight long years of worldwide embarrassment and violation of the most fundamental of American Constitutional principles by He whose name will no longer be mentioned to bring them to their senses. The Redumblicans are already seething at the smacking they got and trying every and all things they can think of to get their flock of Sheeple back into the fold under their Mesmerizing Glare.

Limburger (The stench is overwhelming) has been mouthing his hate for a long time. He is nothing more than a White Supremecist Hate Monger using the tried and true methods of Goebbels. He has a few key associates like Bill O’Reilly, Ann Coulter, and pretty much the entire Fox News Talking Head collective.

There are lesser ones still promoting the same old rhetoric as well. Each having their unique area of focus. For those who listen to them it is like a severe drug addiction. If ever they got free they would realize how horrid of enslavement mentally and physically (yes, the stress of such diatribe will cause heart attacks and strokes) is.

Logical or rational reasoning with people like them is impossible. They are Died in The Wool Screeching Narcisists for the extreme Right. I still like the bumper sticker that says ‘The Moral Majority Is Neither!’ Short, sweet truth. Falwell, Swaggert, Roberts, Robertson, and most of the new ‘evangelical’ (should be Evilangel, perhaps another one of those little ‘edits’ the Vatican did centruries ago?) Bible Thumpers have been discredited by the thinking people.

I have some family members too that refuse to open their minds, but they learned long ago I am NOT going to play their game. I send them information and it is up to them to peruse it. They live in FUD, and not even a ERT could get them out of it.

Freedom of speech is what we get to practice, but these people exercise their Freedumb of Speech!

I gave up playing Don Quixote long ago. Canada has their own, but a very few of the same class, like Ezra Levant. Our PM is slyer than most, but when the flags go UP then we know how to tell the signs, eh?

These people are mentally ill and need to be seen for what they are. That responsibility is everyone’s to exercise for themself.

If you haven’t read ‘The Great Awakening’ by Jim Wallis, I would suggest doing so. He details the Funnymentalist Movement and its recent demise in the U.S.

It was/is no different than Al Qaeda and the typical Islamic Jihad mantras, just allegedly Christian by religious choice. The doctrines they preach cannot be recognized by any true Christian as being true. But then, religion has always been more popular than real spirituality for the masses. They like being led.

I prefer to take responsibility for what I believe and know WHY I believe it. That requires a lot of research, study, and self-examination. Those efforts are too hard for most people. Look at the nutbars on Dr. Phil’s show. Sheesh, these people breed and vote.

I also think we are passing through the end of a horrid age when mental health was considered right up there with the Big Scarlet ‘A’, evil spirits, etc. Witch hunts are still alive and well at Fox News.

#166 linda on 03.02.09 at 7:52 pm

Hey Barb and Bill! Just on what you were talking about, I saw a Christian extremist on tv-CTS, say ‘M.Moore, C.Sheehan and the rest of the left are United in Hate (that’s the title of his book) against the Right, I guess. Not those centre-Liberals though. Just those who hope and work for peace. I can’t remember his name, just a young man. I couldn’t get over the ‘hate and rage’ I felt from him. It’s their fuel, in a sense.

#167 grey on 03.03.09 at 2:40 pm

I find the whole Milton story fascinating, b/c we have a lot of friends who bought their first home there.

That being said I don’t see much of an impact in pricing in Toronto’s market yet. There have been homes for sale asking well over what it’s worth and no one is budging. I am talking worn down 2-bedroom semi’s with street parking that need a serious renovation.

So when are Toronto owners going to come to grips with the market and lower their prices? B/C we have seen the same houses on MLS now for months and their prices aren’t getting any lower.