Lessons

Posters on this alarming site flummoxed and vexed all weekend about that Chinese girl-student who snatched a T.O. bungalow for $1.1 million, 40% over asking. This unleashed a torrent of anti-immigrant sentiment matched only by the invective and venom saved for the wrinkly ruling class of Boomers. Now, Boomer-bashing I can understand. The people who invented Duran Duran and K-cars deserve unending scorn.

But the Tale of the Bung was actually not about bags of Chinese money, a yellow tide washing over the heartland or how immigrants are making real estate unaffordable for the indigenous masses of former immigrants. Idiots from Asia are just as capable of making dumbass financial decisions as good ol’ buys from Sarnia or Lethbridge.

Instead, I want you to contrast all this with a small story out of Florida, which also made headlines. Willow Tufano is 14 and recently bought a house in a foreclosure auction that last sold for $100,000. But she paid $12,000. And where did a kid get twelve grand?  From selling furniture on Craiglist that she collected in abandoned, foreclosed properties in her neighbourhood.

  When Willow was seven, Florida real estate boomed. There were bidding wars in the Miami area and values were at historic highs. For example, the median price of homes in Pompano Beach was $355,000, having increased 133% in five years with another 20% forecast for 2006. Investors were pouring in from Europe, snapping up condos and new subdivision houses with fresh little palm trees in the front yard. Locals complained all this speculation was making housing permanently unaffordable.

That’s no longer an issue. Today the median price in Pompano is $183,000, a loss of 48.4%. There are 1,400 listings in a place with less than 100,000 people, and you have a good selection of condos selling for less than $25,000. At last count, 24.5% of the houses in the area were vacant. The unemployment rate in Miami crested at 12% a year and a half ago (now 10%). When Willow was seven, only 3% of people were jobless.

This is what happens when real estate dies. The same houses that fueled the economy and made foreign investors drool are now worth half, and nobody wants ‘em. Foreclosures are rampant as property values fall below the mortgages slapped on them a few years ago. So an enterprising kid like Willow can collect old coffee tables and golf clubs, flog them and buy a house with her mom. (It’s now rented to a young couple with tats for $700 a month.)

So what, the realtors in Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver cry? It’s different here. We have rising prices. We have horny buyers. Bidding wars. And HAM.

All true.

But the juxtaposition of these two young women should be lost on nobody. One represents the top of a market, and one the bottom. One’s shrewd, the other a fool. One has only known rising prices, the other’s only seen them fall. One will see profits, and the other losses.

There’s continuing evidence the American real estate market is forming a bottom and the US economy starting its slow renaissance. Over 227,000 more jobs were created last month, at the same time we lost almost 3,000. US corporate profits are near record levels, equity markets are robust and Obama will romp to a second term. The largest economy in the world will remain that way for decades, no matter how much national debt it accumulates.

It’s as illogical for the average US house to cost $173,000 as it is for the average SFH to sell for $818,000 in 416 or $1.2 million in Vancouver. The pendulum’s swung to extremes on both sides of the border, and only a fool would fail to see what happens next. Over the next five years, American residential home prices will swell, just as ours will fade. Willow’s little story will epitomize opportunity. The Bung Girl will define folly.

Remember, real estate is the most emotional of assets. Prices always revert to the mean. Always.

So let’s say you’re interested in buying 141 King Street, in Dunkirk NY. Nice character house. Two rental units. Long-term tenants paying $500 a month each. And not a bad price: $38,500. Although you can probably get it for less, after sitting on the market for six months.

But the best part of this listing? Instead of a pic of the water heater, you get to see one of the renters. And he’s hot!

Blog updates throughout. Follow @garthturner

210 comments ↓

#1 Something on 03.11.12 at 8:16 pm

lol

#2 Randy on 03.11.12 at 8:18 pm

Looking for horny buyers…yeh !!!

#3 LS in Arbutus on 03.11.12 at 8:22 pm

Bought a 649 at Arbutus shopping centre yesterday and said to the clerk after he wished me good luck, “Enough to buy a home on the West side!” Before he could confirm or deny, he had to look at the jackpot – $8 million – and conclude, enough money to buy a house on the West side.

One has to know you’re in a bubble when you need to check the size of the 649 jackpot before you can say whether it’s enough to buy a house on the west side of Vancouver.

Lol!

#4 Devore on 03.11.12 at 8:22 pm

Best part about the $12000 Florida house is that it rents for $700 a month. Do the math.

#5 peter on 03.11.12 at 8:25 pm

frizzzzssttttsss!!!!!!!!! can’t believed…firsszzzzzzztt!!!

#6 TurnerNation on 03.11.12 at 8:25 pm

I just found a Toronto real estate horror story.

Toronto Life mag, new April edition; page 76; well know men’s columnist/author Russell Smith states:

“…I had bought my first house just a few week before — with no home inspection (a stupid Toronto fast-bidding scenario). We now owned a narrow old row house on a grimy street — and I was certain I had done the wrong thing. Sure enough, on the day before closing, two insurance firms told us the house was uninsurable for various reasons.”

His article talks about losing his eyesite, his partner’s drinking. This will not end well.

Later on, I read that: pipes froze and burst; toilet leaked, stove failed, wall had to be ripped out. So that’s what a bidding war gets you!

#7 Sigh on 03.11.12 at 8:32 pm

Open house day today. These prices actually give me anxiety. People are listing for more then they were asking last year. Realtors are keeping sold signs up longer. Life just seems crazy. The speculators are rushing to get the houses up in the market by may… Because you never know what will happen…. I’ve concluded that the market is crazy and people have lost their minds :) luckily I bought in the low and own my house. In theory puts me in a good position to take advantage in the future if there is a downturn. Gotta have patience… But on certain days you feel like your patience is being tested lol! I’m definitely house horney… But I not stupid enough to get into this disaster, I’d rather purchase in low markets frankly. Wish I could rent, but that wouldn’t work for our family. Interesting that everyone seems stretched to the max even though they are living it up!

#8 Uh Oh Canada on 03.11.12 at 8:40 pm

We were actively house hunting during 2009- while the dip on the graph started to climb up again. Everyone thought the worst was over. Yay! Canada made it through the recession…time to spend again. Glad we didn’t buy then as I am thoroughly convinced that we will see a housing crisis that is similar- if not worse- to the US. My new goal is to get a Canadian home for $12,000!

#9 Phoeey on 03.11.12 at 8:44 pm

Hi Garth,
I posted earlier commenting about immigration and you called me a xenophobic idiot. I may be an idiot but I’m not xenophobic – I only fear rich foreigners!
Seriously though I explained how Sydney house prices have remained at approximately 10x wages for 22 years while many immigrants have come here and bought. They obtained their money under a different regime, paying different taxes, employing workers under different workplace rules. Local young people cannot compete with them.
I call this unfair and use my vote to stop them. I am appalled that local boomers outvote me so they can “benefit” from high rents at my expense. Does wanting a fair-priced house in my place of birth make me a xenophobe or racist?
Rent for a very ordinary house in Sydney is more than $2000 per month. Even that option is crippling.

#10 When I come to this blog and it says "0 comments", I know that 25 blogdogs are typing their 1st comment on 03.11.12 at 8:45 pm

#5….. Loser and can’t spell

#11 Observer on 03.11.12 at 8:47 pm

Obama will romp to a second term….

With Romney looming larger in his rear view mirror, things will have to get a lot better fast.

R can’t even rally Repubs. — Garth

#12 not 1st on 03.11.12 at 8:56 pm

Garth, your comparison of these 2 girls is totally bogus. And calling into question a student who some how has 1.1 million dollars in cash – enough to invest in your precious equities and live off the investment for the rest of her life – and chooses to invest in the money on that grotesque bung calls into question her intelligence and financial sophistication as Truth Hammer put it. Its not xenophobic or anti-immigrant. If she was white I would have the same questions.

It obviously wasn’t earned in the traditional sense so until I hear a report about how its an inheritance or how she collected bottles or something, I am going with my original thesis – its off shore funds buying assets and valuation be damned.

A consortium of chinese investors just bough $25 million dollars worth of land in central sask. For what purpose? Obviously, they are locking down foreign resources and assets, like oils sands and like real estate. They are flush from cash from the americans who go into more debt by the day. Someday they will farm that land or product that oil and go right off shore with it and make the profits from it on both ends. They are planning 100 years out, not 2 months like Wall Street. And its 100% true that funds from the homeland are helping.

Last time I heard, Saskatchewan land was also available to Canadians. — Garth

#13 Tom from Mississauga on 03.11.12 at 8:57 pm

Great story of our creative and entrepreneural neighbours to the south.
I’ve got US equities in my portfolio, but Garth, when are you going to shower your adoring fans with bouquets of US REIT’s to catch?

#14 AG Sage on 03.11.12 at 8:58 pm

>#6 TurnerNation on 03.11.12 at 8:25 pm

If you, or your aging relatives, have a deficient property you will need to get out of in the next five years. Now is the time to sell. Gains aside, just the ease of getting the heck out.

Romney is going to need a miracle to make himself appealing to Evangelicals. At least he seems to be sane. I’m grateful for that.

#15 Shane on 03.11.12 at 8:59 pm

Garth, I’m interested what is the best way to buy this house for an investment from Markham

Shane

#16 dd on 03.11.12 at 9:12 pm

227k jobs created last month in the US? Lets not get too exited about the headlines. Dig a little deeper and you will see over 92% of the jobs were in the service sector. For a true recovery the US needs export related jobs.

Paul Roberts gives a great breakdown. He was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic under Ronald Regan.
http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/

#17 not 1st on 03.11.12 at 9:14 pm

Another point about China. Not xenophobic or anti-immigrant, just truth and trends.

China will be a major economy one day, but before they do, they will need to win their freedom first and become a democracy. If people get wealthier, they will demand more freedoms and its coming in that country. Hundreds of mini protests are quelled each year. When China truly has a real recession – and they will, then all hell will break loose and the country will really see some fireworks.

The central gov’t knows this, thats why they use every trick in the book to keep GDP high, like building ghost malls and cities, using american funds of course, but it can’t last forever.

The rich and well to do in that country know its coming so they are trying to move themselves, family members and money offshore into anything they can, especially hard assets. For now they are content to make a buck in the current system, but when the day of reckoning comes, they will have an off shore nest egg ready to go.

#18 Seven Stars and Orion on 03.11.12 at 9:16 pm

Hey,
If I knew the landlord was taking a picture of me, I would have at least put on a clean pair of jeans. He’s going to hear from my lawyer.

#19 neo on 03.11.12 at 9:21 pm

“The largest economy in the world will remain that way for decades, no matter how much national debt it accumulates.” – Garth

So leverage and unsustainable debt has consequences in every article you write including this one. Yet, for the U.S. you seem to think they can continue on the path they are on for DECADES to come with no repercussions? Besides the Chinese ponzi will overtake the U.S. ponzi and have the largest economy in the world in a few decades so even that part of your statement is false. I guess you believe rates will stay zero for decades to come as well, because they won’t be able to service that debt you speak of otherwise. That’s the lesson.

You are so 2008. — Garth

#20 earlymidlifecrisis on 03.11.12 at 9:21 pm

Interesting tour on the island, I wonder if they will pop up here?

http://bcove.me/8pydpgko
(hopefully it works)

#21 Bryan on 03.11.12 at 9:21 pm

Wow! Never in my life have I seen so many angry renters. Guys, you don’t need to feel sorry for homeowners and investors because they are miles ahead of you. While they are busy building their net worth and make some good use of their life, you are here venting out your anger and blaming everybody for your failures. That’s just pathetic. Why don’t you do something to better your life and so you won’t be looked down upon. If you can’t afford a house, why not work harder, save more, choose a better career…I mean be more motivated. This blog is around for close to 5 years now. How many 5 years do you have in your life? The fact that you want to boot DA out because he speaks the truth only makes you more pathetic.

By the way, I’m not any of the people you hate (agent, mortgage broker, banker etc). I’m a real estate investor and I absolutelyove renters like you; the more the better because you work hard to pay my mortgages and make me rich. Thanks and love you all.

#22 Expat on 03.11.12 at 9:23 pm

Excellent post! The examples of the 2 investors couldn’t be better, the chart shows the price story, and the exceptionalism is deflated by the labour market and long term outlook information.

Doesn’t matter. Nobody is listening on the left coast. Until enabling of this behaviour is ended, prices are going up. The GOC is the enabler of this bubble and don’t seem to want to stop the ride, unless you count a couple of limp press announcements. So party on! No end out here until the banks stop lending, which they certainly won’t while CMHC backs the loans.

That last photograph, OUCH! Can you throw in a photo of the smart Florida kid’s female tenant to offset, maybe a study of her tats? Not that I’m into that kind of thing…

#23 T.O. Bubble Boy on 03.11.12 at 9:24 pm

Yes, we have HAM — check out all of the lucky 8s in Toronto pricing these days… just from today’s new listings:

$888,800
and
$1,888,000

#24 gladiator on 03.11.12 at 9:29 pm

there’s a good book called “How to lie with statistics” and looks like chaps at BMO have studied it thoroughly: that gap between home prices will be much smaller if you look at it starting from 2000. PLUS, looks like they like to compare apples with oranges (average and seasonally adjusted prices in Canada with median prices in the US) because those Van outliers will drag the Canadian average up quite a bit, while the US median leaves the hot Manhattan, Boston, LA, SanFran and other areas out of a possible average number.
There’s drivel everywhere…
Why would you post such a chart, Garth? It’s skewed towards doomers’ views.

#25 X on 03.11.12 at 9:29 pm

I am going to go out on a limb and guess that the RE agent did not use a professional photographer.

#26 Pr on 03.11.12 at 9:34 pm

…the US economy starting its slow renaissance.. Can it be…election year?

Actually that is a barrier. — Garth

#27 squidly77 on 03.11.12 at 9:37 pm

Ill bet you that the guy in the picture googling is a realtor on the run, maybe from Calgary or Edmonton.

#28 Canadian Watchdog on 03.11.12 at 9:43 pm

#17 not 1st

Democracy has failed if you didn’t notice. A new ideology is needed to govern a 21st century globalized economy.

#29 Trailer Park Boys on 03.11.12 at 9:44 pm

We thought this was a soft porn site?

BTW..I see Garth posted a photo of the runner up of “416 Mr Greece ” contest.

#30 John on 03.11.12 at 9:48 pm

“US corporate profits are near record levels, equity markets are robust and Obama will romp to a second term. The largest economy in the world will remain that way for decades, no matter how much national debt it accumulates.” (Garth)

The macro-oni and cheese is a bit hard. I’m a fan of al dente Kraft Dinner, but, living here in South America, I’d love to know why “it’s different there”.

Like, a real reason or something.

#31 Chris on 03.11.12 at 9:50 pm

Interesting story Garth. What I find to be the most interesting part of it is what you left out.

Willow Tufano’s mother is a (gasp) realtor. She took her daughter Willow to all of the homes that had been abandoned by her clients and foreclosed by the banks.

Her daughter Willow took the furniture that the owners left behind, and sold it on eBay to help investors recoup the money from each foreclosure.

Don’t believe me? Check out the full story:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/09/willow-tufano_n_1335347.html

So in effect, you have a realtor mom, who scavenges through foreclosed homes with her daughter, and sells the abandoned possessions to assist the investors (the bankers). She does this often enough to raise $12000 and buy a 2 bedroom home.

Is that a good news story? I guess so. It speaks to the ingenuity of the realtors. It contrarian thinking at its finest. You CAN make money even in a down market.

That is just what I said. But it was Craigslist. — Garth

#32 John on 03.11.12 at 9:51 pm

“A new ideology is needed to govern a 21st century globalized economy”( Canadian Watchdog).

Uh…I think that’s on the way. You will be involved.

#33 Al on 03.11.12 at 9:55 pm

A friend’s son bought a condo on impulse here in Calgary a few months ago. She disagreed with my renting as it is throwing away money. Well now she tells me units in her son’s building are now listed for $35,000 less than they paid.
I just agreed to a two year lease in my luxury condo rental an easy walk to work. That $35,000 more than covers the two years rent not to mention this is all included. The landlord is a charming woman who wants to keep her tenant happy.
I am enjoying my Rocky Mountain views with a glass of wine. Life is good.

#34 Don on 03.11.12 at 9:59 pm

The market is slowing in the G.T.A. there are power of sales.Homes that were bought five to seven yeas ago and the owners tried to sell just to get out and could not.The banks have them on the books and are piece mealing them out as not to flood the market.

#35 John G. Young on 03.11.12 at 10:00 pm

#20 Bryan

“The fact that you want to boot DA out because he speaks the truth only makes you more pathetic.”

If you had been following DA’s comments you would know that he was booted out (past tense) because of his disrespectful name-calling, eg. “pathetic”.

#36 Timing is Everything on 03.11.12 at 10:01 pm

Why would you post such a chart, Garth?

Good question. Maybe someone (Canadian Watchdog?) can purify the chart to either apples OR oranges. I don’t like fruit-salad. You never really know what’s in it.

#37 Uh Oh Canada on 03.11.12 at 10:02 pm

Laws in NY strongly protects the renter- they are very difficult to evict. Therefore, the dog and the half naked renter comes along with house. Water heater may or may not be included.

#38 Stinky the Fish on 03.11.12 at 10:14 pm

House prices going down. Now cue the music, greater fool – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Q9rewnLFYw

#39 Canadian Watchdog on 03.11.12 at 10:18 pm

Desperate for workers, BC seeks immigration powers. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/desperate-for-workers-west-seeks-immigration-powers/article2365979/

What Christy Clark really means is BC needs more immigrants to fill empty condos and streamline mortgages to. With nearly 250,000 temporary worker immigrants entering Canada per year, the claim of a shortage for skilled workers is an absolute joke.

The government is losing control people.

#40 Sebee on 03.11.12 at 10:23 pm

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/propertynews/9137248/500000-home-loans-backed-by-the-taxpayer-as-NewBuy-Guarantee-scheme-launched.html

This on top of BofA forgiving 100K on loans to flake home owners.

See, governments everywhere will do anything they can to lock people into houses and mortgages. Who cares what government says, it’s what they allow in policy that matters. And they will not do anything significant to impact “the dream of home ownership”.

#41 martin9999 on 03.11.12 at 10:24 pm

educative and fun

#42 live within your means on 03.11.12 at 10:26 pm

“Now, Boomer-bashing I can understand”

Sorry Garth, but I disagree. I and all my ‘boomer’ friends in Mtl. worked our asses off Thurs, Friday eve’s, all day Sat. & all holidays when we were in our teens. Please stop bashing the boomers. We had a work ethic. Most of our parents couldn’t afford to pay for anything other the basic necessities. Damn, from the age of 13 I bought/made all of my own clothes, including my winter coat. I’m really ‘pissed off’ about the younger/spoiled generation blaming my ‘boomer’ generation for their problems. I’ve enough nieces/nephews who are ‘TOTALLY SPOILED’.

#43 Extron on 03.11.12 at 10:47 pm

# 21 Bryan

Obvious troll is obvious

#44 Devore on 03.11.12 at 10:49 pm

#17 not 1st

China will be a major economy one day, but before they do, they will need to win their freedom first and become a democracy. If people get wealthier, they will demand more freedoms and its coming in that country.

This is not true, there are plenty of wealthy people in China, none of whom are demanding more freedoms.

But it is true that for a country to become a true superpower, it will need to unleash the creativity and entrepreneurship of its citizens, and that can only happen when there is freedom. Beggar thy neighbor (or rather beggar thy citizens) only works for so long, and for only so many people. I don’t know if it is possible for a middle class to rise in China under its current economic and political/social systems.

Of course, China will remain a significant player, simply due to its sheer size and short term transformations possible via centrally planned command economy.

#45 ony active on 03.11.12 at 10:50 pm

Garth, I think you should check your sources!
For the past two years I’ve been visiting the East Coast of Florida, I have a U.S. Citi Bank account so I could put a bid on a condo down in the region from Titusville down to Miami, I’ve visited over 100 realtors over 6 months, and not one place was less than $45,000.

On that one small place I did bid $48,000 it was snatched up by a German couple for $60,000 !

I don’t know WHERE you get your prices from but they are WAY OFF.

Prices are current MLS listings. All researched. — Garth

#46 NYCer on 03.11.12 at 10:53 pm

Garth you mentions prices always revert back to the mean. Where does one get what the “mean” is in any given area/city/neighbourhood?

Get a chart and a ruler. — Garth

#47 Real Estate Idiocracy on 03.11.12 at 10:54 pm

#23 T.O. Bubble Boy

Incredible!

Who the heck does a million dollar deal with a real estate agent who types like this?

::::::>

“An Absolute Desirable Location Of Vibrant Yonge @ Davisville Waiting 4U 2 Take Action!This Stunning Legal Duplex Which Tastefully Reno. & Maintained Has Lots Of Features 2 Vu & 2B Apprecited!Awesome Investment…”

I mean…c’mon people…buy!!!…it’s got electrolytes!!!

http://www.realtor.ca/PropertyDetails.aspx?PropertyID=11659341&PidKey=1464510879

#48 Chris on 03.11.12 at 10:58 pm

I say, “Good on Willow and her mom.” They have proved that even when real estate goes sideways, there is always money to be made. BPOE and DA have a bright future ahead of them.

Now the questions one could ask though are:

1. Would you or I ever be able to snag a $100,000 home for $12,000 if you were not a realtor, or didn’t have an “insider” who was? How much of a coincidence was this? How much of it depended on being in the right place at the right time?

2. Was Willow’s mom in a conflict of interest position, selling the belongings of her former clients, once they lost their homes to the banks, and splitting the profits with the bankers?

3. Did Willow really make half of that $12,000 or was it her mom’s doing, and a clever way of masking that the realtors won after the original buyers were all screwed.

I don’t know the answers to those questions. It all depends on perception. What I do know is that if I bought a home from the profits of others’ misery, I wouldn’t be sharing the story with the mainstream media, lest someone with a computer found my address and the my home spontaneously combusted…

Finally. A person on this blog with a moral compass. We are saved. — Garth

#49 Devore on 03.11.12 at 11:06 pm

#19 neo

I guess you believe rates will stay zero for decades to come as well, because they won’t be able to service that debt you speak of otherwise. That’s the lesson.

Banks handing out 3.99% 10 year mortgages seem to think so.

#50 Tim on 03.11.12 at 11:08 pm

You miss the point that many of these wealthy Chinese have so much money that they don’t care if we have a 20% correction. They want to live here and many have paid cash for their houses. What are they going to do if we have a correction? Move back to China?

Who cares? They form a tiny portion of the market and will be inconsequential in any correction. The negative influence is now, in fostering the impression (thanks to media) that demand is insatiable. — Garth

#51 Devore on 03.11.12 at 11:11 pm

#21 Bryan

By the way, I’m not any of the people you hate (agent, mortgage broker, banker etc). I’m a real estate investor and I absolutelyove renters like you; the more the better because you work hard to pay my mortgages and make me rich. Thanks and love you all.

“Hate” is a strong word.

If your phone company, utility company, mechanic, grocery store, corner Starbucks, cable company, and countless others had the same crappy attitude towards their customers, who put food on their table, it would be a very sad world to live in.

#52 Tim on 03.11.12 at 11:13 pm

Re#9 I agree with you and many others do but as polite Canadians, they are afraid to be vocal about it. We have been disenfranchised by rich immigrants. They have bid up the cost of real estate in Vancouver to ridiculous levels. That is a fact. Our spineless politicians and greedy bankers are encouraging this because they want the money. This has changed the face of Canada. In many other countries foreigners are not allowed to own property. Thanks to Canadian politicians for selling us out.

Blame the immigrants. Nice. — Garth

#53 ony active on 03.11.12 at 11:16 pm

Garth, you have GOT to read this !
I don’t think it will have any effect on stocks right away, most likely stocks will continue to go up because corporate profits are really great, but in about 10 years time from now it spells sinking stock prices for the next 30 years:

http://money.msn.com/mutual-fund/boomers-big-retirement-problem-wsj.aspx

(” This very year, for the first time in U.S. history, the population of senior citizens rises faster than the working-age population. Less than 10 years ago, when the baby boomers’ kids were coming into the labor force and the very skimpy roster of Depression babies was retiring, we had 10 new additions to the working-age cadre for each one new senior citizen.

It goes to 10-to-1 in the opposite direction in 10 years. There will be 10 new senior citizens for each new working-age citizen. If that’s not a political, economic and capital-markets game changer, I don’t know what is. ” )

Wrong. An aging population will be positive for mostly equities and decidely negative for real estate. — Garth

#54 Tim on 03.11.12 at 11:19 pm

Who cares? They form a tiny portion of the market and will be inconsequential in any correction. The negative influence is now, in fostering the impression (thanks to media) that demand is insatiable. — Garth
—–
Dude, have you been to Richmond lately? Or East Van? The West side of Vancouver? Do you think these folks are all tourists?

Because they are of Asian heritage does not mean they just arrived from China. What stupid questions. — Garth

#55 Scott in Gibsons on 03.11.12 at 11:29 pm

US Fed prints boatloads of dollars to lend to Americans. Americans send boatloads of dollars to China for crap. Chinese want a nice safe place to live so they send boatloads of dollars to Canada to buy real estate. Garth says American economy is OK and admits they are printing more boatloads of dollars but somehow these dollars will stop coming to Canada to ovepay for real estate. Garth is wrong.

I didn’t know you let immigrants into Gibsons. — Garth

#56 Spiltbongwater on 03.11.12 at 11:32 pm

Are these houses not owned by someone? Is there not a lock on the door or is it wide open? Do the properties not have a no trespassing sign on them? I think that Willow should be charged with break and enter and theft of property. This little harlot, Willow should be locked up for 2 years.

#57 Tim on 03.11.12 at 11:32 pm

Because they are of Asian heritage does not mean they just arrived from China. What stupid questions. — Garth

What difference does it make if some came here 7 or 10 years ago?

Yeah, I guess they all look the same. Good point. — Garth

#58 kimi on 03.11.12 at 11:33 pm

the states are still going down… what the hell people when the states sneeze…
Canada catches a cold!!!
Wake up!!

The US economy is actually in recovery – slow, halting, but moving into higher GDP and employment numbers. I think you need to wake up. — Garth

#59 Mark on 03.11.12 at 11:36 pm

Is there an easy way to invest in US residential real-estate without buying directly and having to worry about maintenance, tenants, etc?

#60 J-man on 03.11.12 at 11:44 pm

Garth,

Stop posting self images! The second I saw the beard, those chiseled six-pack abs, the iPad and comfy couch, I knew it could only be our faithful blogger, readying tomorrow’s meat and potatoes for our digestion!

ps. I would have sworn you’d have the Harley parked in the living room……

#61 Debtfree on 03.11.12 at 11:49 pm

Hey Tim. I bet you were the same guy bitching about the Vietnamese boat people. Coming here with no money . Stealing welfare and restaurant jobs twenty odd years ago from all us real Canadians. I bet they put more food on our table than we ever put on theirs . You should see them fish the north coast , they are fearless . I put their shrimp on my barbie .

#62 Debtfree on 03.11.12 at 11:52 pm

kimi I think your looking at our unemployment numbers .

#63 Carpe Diem on 03.11.12 at 11:53 pm

#51 …. Devore + #21 Bryan

If it isn’t for the money (and hope of being rich), why else would someone have to fix toilets that are spilling and full of crap?

Personally, I rent a nice home one 3 acres and I sure don’t lift a finger when the landlord needs to fix something.

I like renting, cost less than buying homes these days and I can save that cash and invest in REITs, ETFs and other investments. So far we are super happy and stress free.

I know some folks that both parents need to work are over their heads with debt and tell me they couldn’t imagine paying someone rent. I stay silent since I can’t help them.

Meanwhile, I have a wife at home taking care of us and saving on insurance, repairs and taxes. And my cash is well invested.

Bryan, don’t try to convince yourself renters are losers when you are pumping that toilet with crap in it.

#64 Island renters on 03.11.12 at 11:55 pm

People, really! Garth has his hands full warning of the impending end of the world, let alone taking the time to fight xenophobia. Let’s focus on the harlots shall we?

#65 Victoria on 03.11.12 at 11:59 pm

What is my husband doing in that photo?

#66 Devore on 03.12.12 at 12:06 am

#62 Carpe Diem

If it isn’t for the money (and hope of being rich), why else would someone have to fix toilets that are spilling and full of crap?

It is the attitude that I find objectionable. I bet Bryan’s lawyer or realtor or roofer or contractor does not think he is a loser for putting his kids through college. You don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

#67 YVROptimist on 03.12.12 at 12:15 am

Garth, I read your blog because I need a contrarian opinion to my Pollyanna-ish mindset with real estate. I bought in YVR in 2003 and with a lot of hard work (and, of course, a lot of dumb luck) I’m now mortgage-free in a modest home that is worth twice what I paid. I don’t like your style or your delivery, but you today, grudgingly, I agree whole-heartedly with you:

Remember, real estate is the most emotional of assets. Prices always revert to the mean. Always.

And the graph above this quote is only one I’ve ever seen on this site that illustrates the current real estate situation in Canada in all its alarming clarity.

I’m sure I’ll continue to disagree with your rants as well as with your point of view, but I can’t disagree with those two tidbits you posted today.

Thanks. (and I mean it)

#68 oslec on 03.12.12 at 12:15 am

#57 Tim on 03.11.12 at 11:32 pm

Because they are of Asian heritage does not mean they just arrived from China. What stupid questions. — Garth

What difference does it make if some came here 7 or 10 years ago?

Yeah, I guess they all look the same. Good point. — Garth
—————————————————-
Uh, okay. I’ll bite. Better English?

By the way, we all do not look the same, just similar…LOL

#69 Ted on 03.12.12 at 12:21 am

Fantastic blog tonight! One of the best in recent memory. The compare/contrast laid out beautifully.

#70 Cristian on 03.12.12 at 12:28 am

“The largest economy in the world will remain that way for decades, no matter how much national debt it accumulates.”

Now isn’t that a bit pessimistic, Garth?… I thought you would say centuries, not just decades… It’s so unlike you.
I hear gypsy-witches in Romania predict that the US is going to stay the largest economy for millennia. Care to comment on that?… ;-)

#71 Timing is Everything on 03.12.12 at 12:33 am

“…because her [Willow's] mom is a real estate agent, she got to observe Florida’s housing market collapse up close, tagging along when her mom started working with investors who wanted to bid on suddenly cheap foreclosed homes.”

http://jezebel.com/willow-tufano/

Garth, do you have pic of Willow’s real estate agent mommy? You know, the ‘brains’ behind the operation.

#72 hosencal on 03.12.12 at 12:34 am

@ #12 Not 1st.

Do you have a source about the consortium of buyers buying 25 million dollars of land in central Saskatchewan?

I really just wanted to clarify a few things before you go running off your keyboard again about Chinese invaders.
1. No Oilsands in central Saskatchewan
2. 75% of Saskatchewan mineral rights are crown owned. That means, you own the top soil, but everything under that is crown property.
3. If your consortium wanted to produce oil, they would first have to lease the mineral rights from the crown, or buy the lease from the current owner. Upon producing that oil/gas, they would pay a royalty per bbl just like any other regular person.
4. That consortium would pay corporate taxes if they decided to become ‘oil tycoons’.

#73 Mike on 03.12.12 at 12:37 am

Hey Garth – I think you need to teach #21 how to calculate a Cap Rate so that he learns that his “pathetic” renters are actually making more on their investments than he is on their rent. Talk about a dumb-ass that can’t see the forest through the trees. A Classic Greater Fool indeed.

#74 JSS on 03.12.12 at 12:37 am

Garth –
For those who are interested in profiting in US real estate long-term, but do not want to purchase physical real estate in the US, do you recommend shares of US REIT companies?

#75 noodles 79 on 03.12.12 at 12:45 am

Who in their right mind would pay 400k more than asking?There must be alterior motives.My guess is that someone is flooding the market with morons so more morons will follow suit.My other guess is that a group or an individual owns a lot of houses in that neighbourhood and their trying to inflate prices in the erea.Someone in authority should be questioning this transaction,but instead of questioning it, they use it to fuel a fire thats already out of control.
It all sounds like a big scam to me. Scams are against the law and someone should be looking into it. But the tax revenue involved, clouds politicians vision,instead of doubting such a tranaction they wave the flag and brag about our great banking system and unending growth,while scam artist are invading and inflating prices.The powers that be who should be questioning such a rediculous transaction are closing their eyes, they to have alterior motives and should be questioned.Politicians love a captive tax base, home ownerhip is just that. The more homeowners, the bigger the tax base and the more money to mismanage.Id say their plan is moving along just fine!

#76 Randman on 03.12.12 at 12:52 am

Just a contrary opinion to “America is recovering”

People should see both sides of the arguement and decide themselves From Jim Willie

“U.S. Economy Moribund Without Income

The concept of a jobless recovery is a bad joke. Such a concept does not appear in economics textbooks or its legitimate lexicon. The expectation of recovery without vast income machinery is a fantasy. The decision to ship US industry to Asia in the 1980 decade saw a climax in the 2000 decade with the advent of China. In doing so, the USEconomy lost its legitimate income sources and turned to inflating assets to power the national economy. It was the singlemost destructive trend in modern United States history on a financial basis. Income was replaced by debt, and the rest is history, where economists should be forced to inscribe the epitaphs. Stimulus programs at the USGovt level are mere plugs for state deficits. Infrastructure projects turn out to be funnels for Chinese contracts. As Kurt Richebacher told me in August 2003, as best recalled, “A nation that lacks industry is doomed, as it must at least dominate in transportation and steel, but the United States does not anymore.” The financial press and banking leaders curiously serve up endless nonsense in viewpoints, that the US consumer is the engine. It is not. The engine is industry, and the USEconomy sorely lacks it. Unless and until the USEconomy brings back industry, factories, and all the supply chain encoutrements, the nation will remain moribund and without adequate income. The latest data, the December trade gap, shows a record setting $52.5 billion monthly deficit. This is not an economy in recovery. The rising energy prices are yet another crippling factor. A loud echo can be heard in Japan, where the nation is shocked by the reality of steady trade deficits, never seen in recent history. The power structure is to be turned on its head.”

http://www.financialsense.com/contributors/jim-willie/handicapping-the-collapse

#77 Will on 03.12.12 at 12:55 am

@12:
“…They are planning 100 years out, not 2 months like Wall Street. And its 100% true that funds from the homeland are helping.”

Please, how did that workout for the Japanese? Didn’t they plan X years out and were about to take over?

Try and plan an IT project more than a few months in advance (if that!) and see how far you get. Now your saying they have a crystal ball to plan an economy 100 years in advance, must be nice.

#78 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 03.12.12 at 12:57 am

-
“Willow Tufano is 14 and recently bought a house in a foreclosure auction that last sold for $100,000. But she paid $12,000.” — A female Richard Branson in the offing. He has done quite nicely for himself.

“Obama will romp to a second term.” — Not if TPTB decide Jeb Bush is a better alternative to any of the above.

“Investors were pouring in from Europe, at the same time we lost almost 3,000. Prices always revert to the mean. Always.” — The Eurozone is Dead Man Walking now, and NAmerica is closely following it, but it’s good that you give us the freedom to express opposing views.

#39 Canadian Watchdog — “. . . BC needs more immigrants to fill empty condos and streamline mortgages to. The government is losing control people.” — Absolutely right. BC Libs (and citizens) have been sinking since Gordo Campbell attended a Bilderberg conference in 2009. Their austerity policies have been implemented here, with little to no reaction from citizens (‘tho it is heating up).
*
Oausterity “President Barack Obama’s energy plan involves radically increasing gas prices to the European rate of $9-10 a gallon.”, and 5:21 clip US$ one reason for high gas prices. But North Dakota doing extremely well; Re-evaluating the rat race “I’m investing in dividend stocks and the yield income is approaching $500/month.I also invested in rental properties and plan to have about $1000/month of rental income.”; Something for the CPC to consider. On the other hand, they don’t think at all, just follow orders from Harper; Rent-to-own scheme across the pond; Sarkozy barking mad Possible that France is not doing as well as it says; Insanity Not owning PMs; Five Stages Of economic stupidity; Chart of where in the world banker resignations are most prevalent.

Survival Banks and govts. are interested in one thing only; Pericles “Europe declared war on Keynes, and Keynes is winning.”; Phone Wars Samsung beating Apple in China, and Not Buying the iPad; Perfect Storm Because it’s silent; Read the Fine Print Otherwise get stiffed; Infrastructure taking 50% of economy; Alchemists responsible for financial crisis; Chart for em- and unemployment.
*
Scroll down a little US military now controlled by NATO – UN; Puritans Another war, not economic; Divide and Conquer Harper’s mantra; DNA Fortunately, I was made from flotsam, super glue and particle board; CC Cycles “Cold (GC) = Barbarism; Warm (GW) = Civilization.

#79 The Real Jimbo on 03.12.12 at 1:11 am

#9 Phoeey… “Does wanting a fair-priced house in my place of birth make me a xenophobe or racist?”

A huge part of the problem lies in the word “Chinese”, which had dual meaning. To some it means “Non-Canadian. People from China, of Chinese nationality”. To others it means “People with Chinese ethnicity.”

So it is racist to say, “Chinese are coming here and bidding up prices!” because “Chinese” is interpreted as a certain ethnicity.

But is is not racist to say, “Americans are coming here and bidding up prices!” because “American” is not interpreted as ethnicity.

So even though, in both cases, you are complaining about wealthy foreigners bidding up prices, the Chinese comment will be censored in blogs but the American one will not. Chinese (people of Chinese nationality rather than the ethnic-Chinese definition) therefore enjoy special privilege. You’re not allowed to complain about them like you would Americans because the race card will be played.

It’s twisted. If people from China and Korea were white, we would have put a stop to Vancouver’s offshore speculation a long time ago. Higher taxes and other restrictive measures would have been implemented because they wouldn’t have been prevented due to calls of “racism”.

#80 Bryan on 03.12.12 at 1:14 am

#63 Carpet Diem

No, I’m not the guy pumping the toilet with the crappy in it. I pay somebody to do it…with your rent money.

#81 NoName on 03.12.12 at 1:15 am

stereotypes…

http://youtu.be/XXN9-lTaTH8

http://youtu.be/PkuwYX2hpZs

#82 Van guy on 03.12.12 at 1:15 am

I’d like to see RE cheap like the one you post about, but there’s needs to be a serious disaster for prices to become that cheap. And, you don’t expect a collapse so why compare to these kind of homes down south? I’d love a TH like that for that price.

#83 not 1st on 03.12.12 at 1:21 am

#72 hosencal

I have my own source because I own land in and around were it was snatched up by this consortium. The prices per acre were raised by $500 once this went through last year. It happened.

And yes, I realize there are no oilsands in central sask. That reference was to chinese oil companies buying leases and stock of of oil companies in northern alberta with big oil sands plays. One company was taken over this year and relisted on the chinese stock exhange, not the TSX even though 100% of its assets reside in Canada.

#84 TRT on 03.12.12 at 1:22 am

Garth,

I got even more disturbing news today than even the Chinese Girl-Student!

Hrithik Roshan (Bollywood’s biggest star – Mumbai, India) has just bought and closed on a mansion in White Rock, BC (Vancouver suburb).

Also, he has an accepted offer on a $13 million mansion in Burnaby, BC!

Anyone with more info re the $13 mill mansion? realtors?

2 houses for one movie star?? What’s going on?? If Bollywood starts moving here, its boom times for some areas of the Fraser valley.

Also, rents are skyrocketing Garth. bro-inlaw just rented his house out for $72,000 for 6 months… to another Hollywood movie star.

Something tells me that when big money starts rolling in, there’s no going back.

#85 mr gadget on 03.12.12 at 1:29 am

Here in the US of A, the “recovery” is perceived by the ‘average person’ as weak indeed. Gas prices are higher now than when they spiked durng the Bush Asministration. Personal debt (including school loans) is astronomical. IMHO, what “recovery” is happening is due to anticipation of a Republican takeover of the White House and Congress. Businesses are, IMHO, positioning themselves for that event. Obama’s re-election will trigger, again IMHO, a double dip.

#86 Colin on 03.12.12 at 1:34 am

I rent a basement suite in east-van and the owner is selling the house. There was an open house on both Saturday and Sunday and I decided to stay in while the random people came to walk through my living space.

It was interesting to note that each day there were maybe 2 groups out of the 30 or so that came through that could even potentially fit the HAM description.

Unless the house is purchased by some other party sight unseen, I would have to agree with Garth’s assessment that they form only a tiny portion of the market.

However, it seems there are still quite a few 2nd+ generation Canadian folks interested in million dollar plus homes in East Van (unless they were all just snoops from the neighborhood).

#87 wollyone on 03.12.12 at 1:36 am

76th…………………..

#88 not 1st on 03.12.12 at 1:39 am

#72 hosencal

And just to be clear, I never used the word “invaders”, but we need to have our eyes open about these things. Garth just thinks these are more fools paying $400k more than asking or buying a VC crack shack for a $2million tear down.

I offer to you these are not fools, nothing of the sort. These are canny super long term investors with an ulterior strategy, one in the west we cannot fathom because our time horizon is so skewed.

And while I have nothing against foreign investment in Canada, it also has the same effect as cheap borrowing does – it artificially raises the cost of living and prices out more and more people. Mark my word, the Chinese are going to take all those U.S. treasury dollars and buy up the west and already are.

#89 Onemorething on 03.12.12 at 1:56 am

The chinese will always need investments outside of China to place money. With the restricted investment mix in the Mainland, RE is the only real option understood.

China had very few heavyweights pre Asian Financial Crisis 1997 but the new generation has money.

The Chinese (small population who can actually afford to buy Canadian RE) who ARE buying are not savvy investors. All they know is China RE has the potential for huge downside.

These investors are the last to drive up the RE market (assisted with the MSM) in Canada. Once their primary homes in China suffer, and the bubble then pops in Canada, the money will return home.

This Asian play for CAN RE is just the overshoot providing an even greater downside.

All my Asian investor friends as said have been out of CAN RE for at least 12 months now.

#90 T.C. on 03.12.12 at 2:06 am

Picture of the renter?

Ha Ha – I thought it was a picture of you!

Barry may win, but it is unlikely to be a “romp,” particularly as many Americans are uncomfortable with a president that murders U.S. citizens, either through proxy Mexican drug gangs or drone strikes. Take your pick. Nixon was impeached for a far lesser crime.

#91 ravishing rick on 03.12.12 at 2:09 am

In five years Canada’s housing market will be rock bottom and Willow Tufano will be barely legal….. things always go my way!

#92 patsan on 03.12.12 at 2:16 am

Bryan #21
What is the reason behind the statement that renting equals being a loser? Apparently MSM has succeeded in their brainwashing strategy, eh?

I’ll tell you what.
Yes, I am a renter by choice as I sold my primary residence two years ago. I do not feel sorry for what I’ve done and I do not feel sorry for real estate investors as well. I actually love all RE investors with mortgages every single month at the moment a hefty dividend payment from few of our big five lands on my accounts tax free and, note, I am doing absolutely nothing to make it happen. The same love I feel when I see crowds in Wal-Mart, TNT, or Superstore to name a few.

I perfectly know that my co-workers feel sorry for me being a renter and sometimes I spot these pathetic looks. They just make me more thick-skinned.
I never discuss perspectives of real estate with my co-workers. I know that most of them cannot afford to miss a paycheck and almost everyone has a mortgage they are now thinking it would be difficult, if not impossible, to repay. At the same time, they do not know that I can buy almost everyone’s home without financing. And I only chuckle when they guess that it must take me many months to repay my visa debt after family vacation to Europe each year.

As for booting DA, people are visiting this blog to read Garth’s mature wisdom and to pick some jewels off the comments section. I believe that flicking that officious fly will simplify goldwashing and save traffic for mobile readers.

#93 mark on 03.12.12 at 2:31 am

There’s an interesting scam the governments’ run in Australia. Things start looking a little scary and they loosen the immigration reigns and the requirements for foreigners to buy property. All this is done on the sly (keep it as low profile as possible) and at exactly the same time they ramp up the rhetoric on refugees to make it look like they’re tough on immigration – demonize them and throw them in detention centres in the middle of nowhere. It’s some really classy stuff.

#94 Basil Fawlty on 03.12.12 at 2:41 am

Garth, if the US economy is in recovery, why do municipalities continue to go bankrupt? In addition, why are interest rates below the rate of inflation and why does the goverment continue to buy their own treasury bills?
Real GDP is negative,where is the recovery?

#95 new-era on 03.12.12 at 3:09 am

So garth whats your prediction on what the government will do with Canada’s freddie and Fanny (CMHC)

1) give the a teaser
2) fund them to keep the real estate inferno burning…
3) cut them off at the kneecap

http://business.financialpost.com/2012/03/09/ghost-of-fannie-mae-haunts-canadas-housing-agency/

#96 DM in C on 03.12.12 at 3:10 am

“I’m really ‘pissed off’ about the younger/spoiled generation blaming my ‘boomer’ generation for their problems. I’ve enough nieces/nephews who are ‘TOTALLY SPOILED’.”

I’m more pissed off that the younger generation will never be able to afford a house in the city we live in, given price levels today. $350-$450k is NOT a reasonable price for a home.

My GenY sons aren’t spoiled (GenXer here) — in fact, for special holidays (xmas/bday) — they say they don’t NEED/WANT anything, just to spend the day with family.

There’s NO WAY I’ll ever finance a down payment for them, and though it’s a long time away, they know to look at rent/buy and not be emotional about the purchase, if they ever.

#97 ony active on 03.12.12 at 3:42 am

(“Wrong. An aging population will be positive for mostly equities and decidely negative for real estate. — Garth”)

Phew! That’s good news ! Thanks for the good news, I’m going to keep my fingers crossed and hope you’re right about that.

As for that lady in Florida who bought that house: WOW, I have $50,000 cash saved up, I would love to buy a house in Florida ! Its just that I have memories of when house prices were way out of reach, over $1 Mill and more. I guess things have changed?
I’m going to have to go down to the West Coast and see what I can get for $50,000 these days. If nothing there, then I’ll head inland and see what I can get, maybe something in the scrub?

#98 Deliverator on 03.12.12 at 3:52 am

Dude, have you been to Richmond lately? Or East Van? The West side of Vancouver? Do you think these folks are all tourists?

Because they are of Asian heritage does not mean they just arrived from China. What stupid questions. — Garth

*sigh*
I live in the West Side. Talk to them Garth, if you’re so incredulous. You’ll have to learn Mandarin or Cantonese if you want to understand them, though.

Lots of Cdns speak thusly. Does not denote nationality. — Garth

#99 Timbo on 03.12.12 at 4:20 am

http://www.comstockfunds.com/html/TheBubble.htm

“Precipitating the deflation of the 1930s was the inability of the banks to lend out money supplied by the Fed. While the banks had the funds to lend, qualified borrowers didn’t want the money and the others were not creditworthy. ”

-an interesting read

#100 P & T S on 03.12.12 at 4:22 am

Nothing wrong with the Chrysler / GM K series cars Garth! At least they were economical and roomy. Reliable too (as long as you avoided the Mitsubishi-designed 2.6 litre engine – famous for the oil leak problem!). OK they look “old” now but at the time they were pretty good and as you must know Chrysler sold heaps, right up to the end. There was even a rumour going around that these cars staved off bankruptcy for GM at a time when the Far East competition was really hurting the US Manufacturers.

#101 VanLarry on 03.12.12 at 4:33 am

Neat. A couple of us, commenters, posted links to the Willow Tufano story on Friday.

The same idea was going through my head–who cares about anti-immigration, HAM, etc,. When the real story is about something else.

By the time she’s 18, not only will she paid off this house, the income should be more then enough to get her own car.

#102 Kip on 03.12.12 at 5:53 am

“Over 227,000 more jobs were created last month, at the same time we lost almost 3,000.”

The US would have to repeat that jobs performance every month for at least two years and still might not make it to 2008 employment levels. That’s why the economy there is stagnant.

I am glad there seems to be encouraging signs for unemployed Americans but they have a long way to go to even match Canadian job growth in spite of a loss of 3000 last month. You love to hate this country (Canada) don’t you?

#103 Deb on 03.12.12 at 5:56 am

The antithesis to the Greater Fool is the first person to hire Willow. Just imagine where this young lady will be when she turns 21.

#104 Kip on 03.12.12 at 6:42 am

“And where did a kid get twelve grand?  From selling furniture on Craiglist that she collected in abandoned, foreclosed properties in her neighbourhood.”

So I guess we should feel good about capitalism and the entrepreneurial spirit of some 12-year old in Florida? Or, are you saying this is what we can expect here, 12-year old kids selling all our possessions. This story simply underscores how desperate the situation is in many states.

Maybe you should adopt Willow as it looks like she is going to grow up and be just like you!

#105 Steven Rowlandson on 03.12.12 at 7:01 am

Property ownership in Canada should be reserved for citizens only. All foreigners and tourists can rent…
As a citizen it is bad enough wealthier citizens have priced me out of the country. What is worse is the government importing people to keep prices of real estate high and thus keeping me priced out even longer.
Does money talk and citizenship and loyalty to nation and race walk?

#106 Kip on 03.12.12 at 7:29 am

#80 Deb

“The antithesis to the Greater Fool is the first person to hire Willow. Just imagine where this young lady will be when she turns 21.”

She’ll be a slum landlady in Toronto!

#107 T.O. Bubble Boy on 03.12.12 at 7:32 am

After buying that $1.1M bungalow, you can celebrate with a nice bottle of wine…

http://news.yahoo.com/chinas-faux-bordeaux-stirs-wine-market-055809164.html

That is, unless you bought it in China.

The most shocking part of this story – apparently there are bigger rip-offs than the LBCO!

#108 ordinery joe on 03.12.12 at 7:42 am

#42 How true

#109 Gypsy Kid on 03.12.12 at 8:24 am

Garth, what “real” economic impact does foreign ownership, whether American or Chinese, have on our economy??? And is there such a large percentage of foreign owned real-estate in Canada??
I’ve vaguely read about commercial buildings on Bay street belonging to “foreigners” from all over the world, and companies being bought up by foreigners as well.

So, what would be the economic impact to everyday normal Canadians if foreign ownership of real-estate, commericial and residential, were now allowed?
Have I and others been misled when we were somehow told that foreign money coming into Canada is good for us? Or is foreign money just benefiting a few, already rich corporates and individuals???

Also, go to any generic mall and most of the retail chains are American….what happened to Canadian entrepreneurs??? Are we okay with this???? I think losing real estate to foreigners is not as bad as inundating our retail world with foreign owned chain stores. Apples to oranges, but really, the “big” money is being drained out of the country….

Garth, please comment on this . There must be SOME good as to why our government is allowing foreign ownership. Otherwise, we will just become more and more jaded about our government, blue or red, as they are selling this country brick by brick….

#110 neo on 03.12.12 at 8:30 am

You are so 2008. — Garth

Actually more like 1945 and 1980. All years national debt or the explosion of which mattered in material fashion. 2008 provided neither the fiscal restraint (reduction in spending or higher taxes) or monetary restraint (higher interest rates) that allowed the system to reset and another economic boom and credit expansion to occur. So wrong again. Debt matters, even in the largest economy in the world. The Fed can put off the day of reckoning for years, which has been demonstrated with their interest rate policy and free market manipulation. But they can’t put it off for decades with zero rates. The U.S. isn’t Japan. Their citizens aren’t starting the process with a monolithic culture and a 20% savings rate.

#111 TurnerNation on 03.12.12 at 8:39 am

#14 AG Sage , the article also states they borrowed from a parent’s retirement funds, to fix the house!
This means they are completly maxed out for the house.

This will not end well.

“In Soviet Russia, house owns you!”

#112 amos811 on 03.12.12 at 8:47 am

You hate HAM, but if they pay big bucks for your house, you will more than happy to surrender. Will you?

simply jealously

#113 Herb on 03.12.12 at 9:07 am

And who was holding Willow’s ears? Mother. Let’s have credit where credit is due.

#114 Herb on 03.12.12 at 9:15 am

#44 Devore,

Beggar thy neighbor (or rather beggar thy citizens) only works for so long, and for only so many people.

It’s worked in free, democratic, capitalist societies forever. Why shouldn’t it work in China?

#115 TurnerNation on 03.12.12 at 9:20 am

#92 patsan on 03.12.12 at 2:16 am

About co-workers, if you dig deeper, playing dumb, asking questions, they will spill the beans: one coworker of mine owns big house in GTA yet used all available credit to buy a pre-construction Toronto condo. Condo closed and he’s now scrambling for tenants. I wonder how tight is his cash flow.

Another co-worker, newly married, with wedding bills, several vacation trips past year, bough another (used) car, 10k kitchen reno, condo fees going up, owns an inexpensive rental condo, spent tons on Xmas presents, bought another more expensive condo for living in. In his words: if rates go up, he will be affected. All this at the tender’ age of 25!
I highly doubt he even touches an TFSA or RSP.
Will not end well?

And two co workers recently bought BMW 328is. Company froze wages and bonus this year. Everyone’s rich!?!!

#116 TurnerNation on 03.12.12 at 9:27 am

#100 P & T S on 03.12.12 at 4:22 am

K car was Chrylser. GM’s K body is something very different:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GM_K_platform

And on those FWD Caddys, the 4.6l all aluminum engine would melt down if not perfectly maintined. Aftermarket warranty would not even cover these cars due to engine. Mid 80s-90s and GM could not even make a decent all aluminum engine. This is why import cars will always be superior in nature.

#117 Sebee on 03.12.12 at 9:33 am

Anything to the fact that M1 money supply in G7 peaked before the winter and is dropping? Real economy lags liquidity indicators by about 6 months apparently, meaning this forecasts a slowdown in second half of 2012.

#118 Hoser on 03.12.12 at 9:45 am

“Realtor buys a house” is not much of a headline, but more accurate than the BS that a 14 year old kid did.

Come on people, she is not the next Donald Trump. Her mother bought the house. A 14 year old isn’t even old enough to legally do so.

#119 Guan-Di on 03.12.12 at 9:50 am

#80:

No, I’m not the guy pumping the toilet with the crappy in it. I pay somebody to do it…with my income.

There, I fixed it for you!

#120 gladiator on 03.12.12 at 10:14 am

sorry, meant 1990 in my previous post.

#121 jess on 03.12.12 at 10:16 am

9 Phoeey

unfair?

..”woman go for fertility drugs , have eight at a time or use paid surrogates?The penalty for breaking the rules on planned birth is the imposition of a fine and a loss of some benefits .

Unequal enforcement
Government officials and especially wealthy individuals have often been able to violate the policy in spite of fines.[66] For example, between 2000 and 2005, as many as 1,968 officials in central China’s Hunan province were found to be violating the policy, according to the provincial family planning commission; also exposed by the commission were 21 national and local lawmakers, 24 political advisors, 112 entrepreneurs and 6 senior intellectuals.[66] Some of the offending officials did not face penalties,[66] although the government did respond by raising fines and calling on local officials to “expose the celebrities and high-income people who violate the family planning policy and have more than one child.”[66]

[edit] Circumvention through “birth tourism
Circumvention through “birth tourism”A way to escape the strict rules of the one-child policy is for chinese women to give birth to their second child overseas. A favourite destination was Hong Kong. Hong Kong is exempt from the one-child policy and the Hong Kong passport, which is different from a China mainland passport, provides additional advantages. Recently though, the Hong Kong government has drastically reduced the quota of births set for non-local women in public hospitals. As a result fees for delivering babies there have surged. As further admission cuts or a total ban on non-local births in Hong Kong are being considered, mainland agencies that arrange for expectant mothers to give birth overseas are predicting a surge in those going to North America.[67] As the US practices birthright citizenship children born in the US will be US citizens. The closest option (from China) is Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands, a US dependency in the western Pacific Ocean that allows Chinese visitors without visa restrictions. The island is currently experiencing an upswing in Chinese births. This option is used by relatively affluent Chinese who often have secondary motives as well, wishing their children to be able to leave communist China when they grow older or bring their parents to the U.S.. Canada is less popular as Ottawa denies many visa requests. [68][69]wiki

The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees U.S. citizenship to those born on its territory, provided the person is “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Local
Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Birth tourism on the upswing
http://www.saipantribune.com/newsstory.aspx?cat=1&newsID=116516

#122 live within your means on 03.12.12 at 10:18 am

78 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 03.12.12 at 12:57 am

#39 Canadian Watchdog — “. . . BC needs more immigrants to fill empty condos and streamline mortgages to. The government is losing control people.” — Absolutely right. BC Libs (and citizens) have been sinking since Gordo Campbell attended a Bilderberg conference in 2009. Their austerity policies have been implemented here, with little to no reaction from citizens (‘tho it is heating up).
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Correct me if I’m wrong Nosty but from what I’ve read in the MSM lately, Christy Clark is more a Harper con than a Liberal, IMHO.

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/business/Premier+Christy+Clark+lauded+iron+snowbird/6280029/story.html

#123 SJ on 03.12.12 at 10:27 am

For the value of a town house in Oakville, here is what you get in a nice surburb in Atlanta

http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/4144-S-Berkeley-Lake-Rd-Nw_Berkeley-Lake_GA_30096_M63954-24598?ex=GA548346954&source=web

#124 CD on 03.12.12 at 10:28 am

#118:

When I was 14 I found out that I could watch Pay Per View channels late at night, albeit the channels required purchase for view, however the audio, and the occasional corner of unscrambled delight permeated to view. Was that a leg or elbow!?

I wonder what the taxable rental income is for a 14 year old girl, probably a lot less than it would be for her Mother.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Willow was a full salaried staff, because opportunities plenty exist for 14 year old entrepreneurial minds.

– Not trying to be a “hater”, maybe I am wrong and “Willow” did it all on her own, but I doubt it…… Unfortunately many people incorrectly mistake critical thinking/analysis with cynicism.

#125 Adviser on 03.12.12 at 10:50 am

“Wrong. An aging population will be positive for mostly equities and decidely negative for real estate. — Garth”
_____________________________________________

Garth, wouldn’t be so sure here. Most will sell off market assets and liquidate everything else before the house goes. Human mentality, my home is my castle.

Most don’t have market assets, but will be acquiring them after they sell off the only thing they own – a non income-producing home. – Garth

#126 Sky on 03.12.12 at 11:10 am

Was what Willow and Mom did 100 % legal? I wouldn’t count on it. The brownshirts are everywhere.

Knock,knock. Who’s there? The Agency of Collecting Goods in Foreclosed Properties.

John Stossel’s Illegal Everything :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=nBiJB8YuDBQ

#127 eaglebay - Parksville on 03.12.12 at 11:31 am

#28 Canadian Watchdog on 03.11.12 at 9:43 pm
#17 not first
“Democracy has failed if you didn’t notice. A new ideology is needed to govern a 21st century globalized economy.”
……….
How about real democracy?
Not this thing that we call “democracy”.
I’ve never voted for a Premier or Prime Minister for example. I don’t live in their ridings.
Freedom, liberty, responsibility, sense of worth, etc…

#128 Sean on 03.12.12 at 11:40 am

Does anyone know how we as Canadian’s can get in on this this auction action to snap up some properties down south???

I rather buy and rent it out there than trying to make it work in Downtown Toronto…

25 years old and zero debt. I need a mentor!

#129 Last (great pic) on 03.12.12 at 11:47 am

Hey who was first kind of lost here:)

#130 Abitibi Doug on 03.12.12 at 11:48 am

First I say congratulations to Willow for outstanding entrepreneurship and having a good sense of value. Her parents should be proud of a daughter that is not only smart, but has a generous amount of common sense.

As for these foreign buyers from Europe why isn’t there a massive flood of them, bigger than the tsunami that hit Japan a year ago, all mercilessly and ruthlessly swooping in to buy all that dirt cheap Florida property now?

#131 Canadian Watchdog on 03.12.12 at 11:49 am

#127 eaglebay – Parksville

This is real democracy, and when you don’t vote you’re making it easier for corrupted politicians to get elected. This will not stop until the public revolts. The best way to fixing the problem is to take responsibility by educating others. That’s what politicians are scared of.

Keeping the country divided is how they conquer a nation until the public has a general interest to push back. It’s never been different throughout history.

#132 Uh Oh Canada on 03.12.12 at 11:55 am

#115 TurnerNation

Thanks for sharing your true co-worker stories. I personally know many others living paycheck to paycheck, yet spending as if they can afford the high life. It’s these real stories that make me believe that the bubble will pop and that the worst is just ahead of us.

Although I enjoy Garth’s facts and numbers, he’s not the sole reason why I believe in the bubble. Sadly, some of these people I consider friends, so I take no delight in the oncoming downfall. Since most people refuse to learn during the good times, they will have to learn in the hard times. Sigh…

#133 Canadian Watchdog on 03.12.12 at 11:59 am

#122 live within your means

Forget the con and lib debate. Why is the first idea always to import more immigrants instead of training unemployed Canadians who want to work? All I hear politicians say is ‘Canadians don’t want these jobs.’ That’s BS.

This is why Christy Clark is in panic mode. http://i43.tinypic.com/219w77a.png People are fleeing BC.

#134 truth hammer on 03.12.12 at 12:00 pm

Knee jerk name calling has always been the first weapon of the politically correct liberals. It is not racist or ‘anti-immigrant to suggest that foreign nationals be restricted against purchasing residential property. They are after all…foreign nationals not immigrants……no one suggested any ethnicity was in the cross hairs…ergo the commentary against foreign nationals was neither rascist nor xenophobic by definition. When will the liberals wake up from the soma soaked pap and join the discussion being brought forth by Germany, Scandanavia, Britain and France that the big ‘Kum By Ya’ idea was a huge freaking mistake. Instead of trying to oppose our world vision on the rest of the world…maybe the liberals should have had some worldly experiance before embarking on their mad cap social experiment. The leaders of the free world have all admitted that neither immigration nor globalization haven’t worked. When is garth going to ‘get with the global discussion’. And uh………what happened to ‘Kyoto? Wasn’t that supposed to be ‘good’ for Canada?

#135 arctodus on 03.12.12 at 12:05 pm

The US economy is actually in recovery – slow, halting, but moving into higher GDP and employment numbers. I think you need to wake up. — Garth

Garth, Garth, Garth…tsk tsk tsk……head shaking all round…..

You need to spend some time looking at national petroleum statistics before you lay out such ideology….

OECD countries across the board are in hard decline with MBPD oil consumption down to levels of 2002 and showing no signs of rising. Non OECD countries (thats Chinidia for those in the know) are scarfing up the world “excess” like its going out of style (actually it is).

The american monetization of its debt along with an economic plan hatched by humans raised in a different world (growth economic paradigm) garantees all sorts of entertaining diversions (war, depression, starvation, cats and dogs living in split levels etc)…but what it does not harbinger….is economic recovery……not a chance….

But ya’ll keep drinking the koolaid…..cause in fact its antifreeze….and that as they say….is that.

#136 eaglebay - Parksville on 03.12.12 at 12:06 pm

#60 J-man on 03.11.12 at 11:44 pm

Look closer, it isn’t an iPad.
This guy needs a BRA.

#137 NoName on 03.12.12 at 12:14 pm

Rate hike, without raising interest rate…

“For example, if Canada further reduced its maximum amortization period to 25 years from 30, it would be the equivalent of a 95 basis-point rise in the five-year fixed rate mortgage.”

Paul Ashworth, chief North America economist with Capital Economics, instead forecasts an interest rate cut to 0.50% in the second half of the year due to what he sees as an inevitable housing collapse.
“I have no problem saying housing will blow up. We don’t see it so much as a risk as something that is going to happen,” he said. “The governor is in a difficult situation. If he stands up and says ‘You’re all idiots for buying homes,’ then he might trigger the very thing that he is trying to avoid.”

#138 Network Admin on 03.12.12 at 12:18 pm

#51
> If your phone company, utility company, mechanic,
> grocery store, corner Starbucks, cable company, and
> countless others had the same crappy attitude towards
> their customers, who put food on their table, it would be
> a very sad world to live in.
My phone company and cable company have the attitude…

#139 live within your means on 03.12.12 at 12:24 pm

#96 DM in C on 03.12.12 at 3:10 am
“I’m really ‘pissed off’ about the younger/spoiled generation blaming my ‘boomer’ generation for their problems. I’ve enough nieces/nephews who are ‘TOTALLY SPOILED’.”

I’m more pissed off that the younger generation will never be able to afford a house in the city we live in, given price levels today. $350-$450k is NOT a reasonable price for a home.

My GenY sons aren’t spoiled (GenXer here) — in fact, for special holidays (xmas/bday) — they say they don’t NEED/WANT anything, just to spend the day with family.

There’s NO WAY I’ll ever finance a down payment for them, and though it’s a long time away, they know to look at rent/buy and not be emotional about the purchase, if they ever.

………………..

Glad that you raised ‘Non spoiled’ children who just appreciated being with the family on Christmas/birthdays.

We’re DINKS and now realize we were part of the problem re our nieces/nephews. But, so too were their parents. On my street, most of the parents did & still do ‘pamper’ their kids & grandchildren. When you’ve got a 40 yr. old living with his parents – cause he can’t afford his car if he didn’t live at home, etc. Another family whose 3 – 20+ children live at home, but are so lazy that the parents shovel the driveway & mow the lawn. I could go on about other seniors on my st. whose children take advantage of their parents’ goodwill and love for them. Last summer a chap (high school VP) bought a large mobile home, planted it on his Mom’s land at her cottage and hooked all his electrical to his Mom’s cottage. He smirked & laughed – cause he knew he was ripping off his Mom. He & his wife have since bought a large, new home a few streets away from his Mom.

Pardon me if I don’t feel sorry for the younger generation. My niece & her fiance just bought a place in Mtl. She doesn’t have a full time job and is pregnant. I tried to tell her they should wait, but ‘she knew everything’.

#140 eaglebay - Parksville on 03.12.12 at 12:37 pm

#83 not 1st on 03.12.12 at 1:21 am

So… You were wrong.
This so called Chinese Consortium purchasing land in Saskatchewan is nothing compared to the $100s of millions that the Sprott Group is spending on farm land in Saskatchewan.
Ever heard of them? You could also invest through them.

#141 Industrial Guy on 03.12.12 at 12:37 pm

David Olive of the Toronto star writes today: “Canadian real estate prices are falling – not the sky”.

Well, if it’s in the Star it must be true, eh?

#142 DonDWest on 03.12.12 at 12:52 pm

#125 Adviser

“Most don’t have market assets, but will be acquiring them after they sell off the only thing they own – a non income-producing home. – Garth”

And this is why capitalism doesn’t work – the assumption human beings are rational – when truth be told human beings are irrational.

Knowing the psychology of many boomers – having worked under them as bosses or customers – I can tell you they will never sell the home. For most boomers – it will come down to having them depart their homes from a stretcher.

If they have to eat dog food in order to keep the home – they will. If it comes down to them starving to death clinging on their homes – they will. The last thing they will do is liquidate the home and put the money into equities. A select few smart boomers will, I would go on to say the smart boomers have already, but this is a select few.

The economic consequences will be devestating as we’ll have a huge portion of the population that will neither invest nor spend, but yes – they will be home owners.

We mock the Dorothy boomers of the world, but the fact of the matter is she’s a representation of the majority of boomers in this nation. Just sit at the family dinner table during the holiday seasons – boomers babbling on about their homes and how their kids are losers for renting dominates the conversation.

Where did I say, ‘equities’? Nor did I say ‘all’. Arguments are stronger when they are tighter. — Garth

#143 Conservative on 03.12.12 at 12:56 pm

When I read that Carney and F express their concerns about record level personal depth and do nothing about it I am wondering why police officers s do not do express concerns on number of speeding events on highways, but ticket speeding drivers? Should we have police officials to replace C and F and enforce what is right rather than “expressing concerns?”

BTW, Carney is rather mediocre banker if measured against other countries national bank leaders. He is “C” rated. Do Canadians deserve “C” rated banker? I got feeling that C and F just have no vision and do not know what to do.

#144 betamax on 03.12.12 at 12:59 pm

#88 not 1st: “These are canny super long term investors with an ulterior strategy, one in the west we cannot fathom because our time horizon is so skewed.”

LOL. They’re herd investors. Nothing more, nothing less.

#145 eaglebay - Parksville on 03.12.12 at 1:00 pm

#98 Deliverator on 03.12.12 at 3:52 am
“*sigh*
I live in the West Side. Talk to them Garth, if you’re so incredulous. You’ll have to learn Mandarin or Cantonese if you want to understand them, though.”
……….
Go to Quebec were they speak French. Does it mean that they are French immigrants. Many of them have been here over 400 years (20 generations or more).
What language do they use in Surrey? Toronto?

#146 Kilby on 03.12.12 at 1:05 pm

00 P & T S on 03.12.12 at 4:22 am
Nothing wrong with the Chrysler / GM K series cars Garth! At least they were economical and roomy. Reliable too (as long as you avoided the Mitsubishi-designed 2.6 litre engine – famous for the oil leak problem!). OK they look “old” now but at the time they were pretty good and as you must know Chrysler sold heaps, right up to the end. There was even a rumour going around that these cars staved off bankruptcy for GM at a time when the Far East competition was really hurting the US Manufacturers.
——————————————————————

K cars came out in 1981, Boomers were between 18 and 35 years old at the time so they really are not responsible for them. Decision making in the auto industry at that time was reserved to wrinkly old men from the previous generation.

Who bought them? And how can we get so diverted? — Garth

#147 eaglebay - Parksville on 03.12.12 at 1:17 pm

#109 Gypsy Kid on 03.12.12 at 8:24 am
“Garth, what “real” economic impact does foreign ownership, whether American or Chinese, have on our economy???”
……….
“Foreign ownership” spend their money with Canadian.
By investing in foreign ownership companies, as I do, I’m also a foreign investor, owner?

#148 DM in C on 03.12.12 at 1:27 pm

Live within your means:

Some people’s children, eh? I blame the parents.

;-)

#149 eaglebay - Parksville on 03.12.12 at 1:33 pm

#131 Canadian Watchdog on 03.12.12 at 11:49 am

I didn’t say I didn’t vote.
I said I couldn’t vote for who the Premier or PM would be. Only the local boy.

#150 Van guy on 03.12.12 at 1:35 pm

Because they are of Asian heritage does not mean they just arrived from China. What stupid questions. — Garth
——————————————————————-

10 years ago these Asians were mostly speaking Cantonese. Now, most are speaking mandarin. Their kids used to drive BMW’s and Benz’s to school. Now they drive maserati’s, ferrari’s, R8’s, Lamborghini’s. They are coming. That’s a fact.

Man the barricades! Hide the women! Cue the jealousy! — Garth

#151 Bill Gable on 03.12.12 at 1:38 pm

The for sale signs have exploded along the Cambie Corridor, and on the West side.

Today’s great post shows how delusional Canadians are, and how much pain is ahead.

I also have to stop talking about Real Estate, at parties. One chap, ex- coworker went white when I told him to take a peek at this pathetic blog. He sat with his IPhone and looked like he had been hit by a shovel.

I asked what was wrong.

” We just closed on a townhouse”. I think he aged 10 years in about 15 minutes.

Great post, and so clearly a roadmap to financial armaggedon for a lot of folks.

#152 amy on 03.12.12 at 1:42 pm

Garth,

You are irresponsible to tell people to load up on equities & bonds when it’s likely that we’re going to get hyperinflation from all the money-printing the central banks in the Western world have undertaken. It’s the biggest ponzi scheme going – i.e. printing money to bail-out bankrupt countries & banks, finance unsustainable deficits, and stimulus programs to try to gin up growth. With all this money printing, of course the prices of stocks & bonds go up. It’s a reflection of the intrinsic value of currency declining, so it costs more to buy things. Did you know that the best performing equities are in Zimbawbwe? Would you buy there?

This is not Zimbabwe, and there will be no hyper-inflation. Hyper-ventilating, yes. — Garth

#153 Still Renting on 03.12.12 at 1:43 pm

A Chinese university student with more than a million in cash and who now owns a house in a nice neighbourhood? Forget all the ranting from the xenophobes and racists on this comment board…. All I want to know is if she’s single!

I work a few blocks from that house. Maybe I should drop my business card and a copy of my eHarmony profile in her mailbox on my way home. It seems good as any other investment strategy.

#154 Nuke on 03.12.12 at 1:53 pm

I have always preferred someone else cut the lawn, change the water heater, replace windows, redo the kitchen in ceramics and hardwood, put a new roof on, pave the driveway, upgrade the worn out patio fencing etc, etc. That frees me up to do what I like to call living. I put $40 aside a day to cover all those hassles. That gives me 24 hours a day to work, play, study, exercise, cook, go on great trips and best of all I like to invest the $40,000 I save each year by renting over owning. 70% of the rest of the country prefer to lose sleep over leaking roofs, rotting basements, empty bank accounts and all the headaches of having to deal with all the crap that keeps you from enjoying life. In my job and income bracket, being a renter likely puts me in less than 5% of my peer population, so I might be wrong about being so content about letting someone else handle the daily grind of the house I live in, but until then I will enjoy my ignorance.

I like investments and have worked in the industry for almost 30 years. Personal real estate property isn’t an investment. I like going on-line and seeing how MY bond portfolio is doing, how my stocks are doing, how my ETFs are performing. This tracks in real dollars and I can sell as much as I want instantly with immediate feedback.

When someone looks at the real estate market and then projects the gains/losses onto their property, its no different than seeing someone else in a nice suit and daydreaming how that would look on you. It’s an assumption highly jaded by personal attachment to the house you live in.

Unlike an investor there is so much turmoil and real upheaval and expense for a home owner to realize the home’s actual cash value. If they want to convert a part to cash, they have to use a HELOC to get any money. But at what cost, interest expenses paid with aftertax dollars, a charge on their home by a big bank that can turn nasty and a long term commitment of payments that eat into one’s already tight budget. And worse of all, they have to pay it back?! That is not how an investment works.

#155 Freedom 55 on 03.12.12 at 1:56 pm

Underwater and locked in

Jose, 47, hoped to build a life with his wife Maria, 43, and three children in Phoenix, Arizona where he took a new job at a plastic bag factory in 2007.

Unfortunately, he was unable to sell a home he and his wife bought in 2002 in La Puente, California, six hours away by car. After five years of frustration, Jose moved back there in September to take a lower-paying job at a factory he had previously worked at.

Like many of their neighbors in La Puente, a community of about 40,000 located 15 miles from downtown Los Angeles, they are “underwater,” which means they owe more than their home is worth…

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/underwater-locked-130036830.html

#156 debtified on 03.12.12 at 1:57 pm

#150 Van guy on 03.12.12 at 1:35 pm

10 years ago these Asians were mostly speaking Cantonese. Now, most are speaking mandarin. Their kids used to drive BMW’s and Benz’s to school. Now they drive maserati’s, ferrari’s, R8′s, Lamborghini’s. They are coming. That’s a fact.

Soon you will have a family member speaking Mandarin. You’d pee yourself when they take you for a ride on their Lamborghinis.

I like the attitude of this guy better: #153 Still Renting on 03.12.12 at 1:43 pm.

I used to have a Chinese girlfriend who was very materialistic. My next girlfriend (she doesn’t know it yet) is also Chinese but she isn’t all that materialistic at all. In fact, most Chinese friends I have are not all that interested in fancy cars.

P.S. I am not Chinese.

#157 amy on 03.12.12 at 1:58 pm

Garth,

Nope, not hyperventilating. Just being prudent in looking at the history of debt bomb explosions, brilliantly studied by Ken Rogoff & Carmen Reinhardt. If anyone thinks the US government is going to pay off in full all its debt, then I’ve got some swampland in Toronto to sell to auction to the highest bidder. The US & Europe, at some point, will inflate away their debt. By the way, this financial repression is already underway, as savers get 1% if they’re lucky on their GICs, and the government’s official inflation rate – if you believe them – is over 2%. Kyle Bass, a hedge fund manager who foresaw mortgage meltdown, counsels people to buy income producing assets, and gold.

#158 John G. Young on 03.12.12 at 2:08 pm

#63 Carpet Diem

“I’m not the guy pumping the toilet with the crappy in it. I pay somebody to do it…with your rent money.”

So are you saying that you’re somehow “better than”?

If so, no need to apologize — it’s a stupid belief but one that many people seem to hold.

#159 Poorgoisie on 03.12.12 at 2:18 pm

This reminds of Christmas with granddad:
Nonno:”deesa imagranti, day a come a over here, day don’t spoke a d’english, don’t spoke d’french, they breaka everyting”
Me:” grandad, what did they say about Italians, when you came here?”
Nonno:(claps hands and spreads arms) they de best, everybody all over da whirl know Italian people de best people
………………..
Grandad, are you on here?

#160 realist on 03.12.12 at 2:20 pm

i just went to a few house opens yesterday.
There was a development in coquitlam that was built in 2011 and had 4 of its townhomes listed for sale near $400k. I went into all 4 house open houses and turns out 3 of them were bought by investors and are wanting to sell because they cannot make much money from the RENT because of competition. The best part was when i walked in one of the open houses there was a realtor that asked right of the bat, “have a look and make me an offer”, “ANY OFFER”, “the seller if very motivated”. I looked around and was fairly impressed with the place but at 400k NO THANKS. the realtor approached me as i walked towards the exit and asked “HOW MUCH WOULD YOU PAY FOR THIS PLACE?” i laughed and jokingly threw out 325k (lowballed), and the said “LETS SIGN THE PAPER WORK AND ILL PUT IT FORWARD TO THE OWNER” I laughed and said sure because i knew the presale price of the unit originaly was 350k. desperate TIMES AHEAD. these guys want OUT.

#161 John G. Young on 03.12.12 at 2:30 pm

Sorry I was addressing #80 Bryan

#162 eaglebay - Parksville on 03.12.12 at 2:31 pm

Hitachi to more than make up for Caterpillar.
SW Debtario gets help.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/hitachi-construction-has-big-plans-for-its-big-trucks/article2365992/

#163 Kilby on 03.12.12 at 2:53 pm

#156 eaglebay – Parksville on 03.12.12 at 2:31 pm
Hitachi to more than make up for Caterpillar.
SW Debtario gets help.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/hitachi-construction-has-big-plans-for-its-big-trucks/article2365992/
—————————————————————–

Nice positive bit of information, Thanks

#164 Abitibi Doug on 03.12.12 at 2:54 pm

@DonDWest, post #142 said: And this is why capitalism doesn’t work – the assumption human beings are rational – when truth be told human beings are irrational.

Actually, capitalism DOES work, and works quite well for people like 14 year old Willow who saw an opportunity others missed. Most kids her age are more interested in things like pop culture and things other than buying houses. By paying attention to what’s going on around her, she scored a good investment at a bargain price. Similarly, if you pay attention to what’s going on around you, what’s cheap and should be bought, and what’s pricey and should be sold, you too can do well in the capitalist system.

#165 groovin123 on 03.12.12 at 3:07 pm

US recovery? Where’s my green shoots?

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/us-rakes-largest-monthly-deficit-history-2012-tax-revenues-net-refunds-trail-2011

Oh right, public debt doesn’t matter. Only mortgage debt does. LOL.

#166 DonDWest on 03.12.12 at 3:41 pm

#164 Abitibi Doug

Nothing undervalued in Canada right now; everything is overvalued. That’s why I traded way all my worthless Canadian fiat.

#167 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 03.12.12 at 3:51 pm

#122 live within your means — You are correct.

The divide between the left / right paradigm has long become blurred, much like a pea souper (thick fog). Wanna switch provinces?!

#168 Van guy on 03.12.12 at 4:04 pm

#156 debtified on 03.12.12 at 1:57 pm

______________________________________

Most of your Chinese friends don’t care for fancy cars? Are they mainlanders or hongers? CBC’s don’t have as much money.

#169 patiently waiting on 03.12.12 at 4:27 pm

FYI: Stats may change a bit as the day is not over yet but Fraser Valley Real Estate Board residential home sales stats to March 12th, 2012 show a whopping 30% year over year decline. 367 sales to March 12th, 2012 as compared to 523 sales reported to March 12th, 2011. Something is up . . . interesting to see how the msm isn’t talking about this . . .

#170 Van guy on 03.12.12 at 4:32 pm

Man the barricades! Hide the women! Cue the jealousy! — Garth
__________________________________________

Jealous? Not at all. I just say what I see. I’ve been in Van & Richmond for 26 years and that’s my opinion. For me I feel it’s a good thing more and more Chinese are coming. It makes me feel better and fit in. It’s been a while since I’ve been called a ch!naman by a white dude.

#171 Westernman on 03.12.12 at 5:03 pm

DonDWest@#142,
Your back to being wrong again, I see. Capitalism works wonderfully for the hard working, ambitious, innovative, persistant, aggressive risktakers and works terribly for the lazy, unimaginative, self-entitled whiners…
Now you understand why you are getting nowhere…

#172 OkanaganInvestor on 03.12.12 at 5:20 pm

Just in case you’re thinking of getting in on the US foreclosed home market, read the following:

Evolving Global Financial Crisis. Selling “Foreclosed Homes”

Bob Chapman
International Forecaster
March 11, 2012
“The government is preparing to package and sell foreclosed homes. We do not know what discount to the current market there will be but you can guess it will be 20% or more. This event will cause home prices to trend lower dependent on whether the houses are put up for sale or rented. These homes will only be available to big buyers such as hedge funds and others with enormous amounts of capital. It is expected that the homes will be sold in lots of 5,000 to 10,000 and the minimum bid would be $1 billion. This is corporatist fascists busy at work. You could call it the largest transfer of wealth from the private to the public sector in history. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could be sellers of 250,000 or more homes with more in the wings, perhaps another 250,000. Can you image what further damage that would do to home prices?”

http://www.infowars.com/evolving-global-financial-crisis-selling-foreclosed-homes/

#173 Bryan on 03.12.12 at 5:59 pm

John Young, I’ve been reading this blog for over a year now but never made a comment because I feel that I’m not in the same league with the majority of the blog dogs. Unlike people on this blog who blame everybody, from bankers, mortgage brokers, agents, HAM, boomers etc for their failure…DA thinks that they have nobody to blame but themselves. This did touch a lot of nerves and thus they wanted him out.

And to the dude who wanted to teach me about cap rate. Thanks but you don’t need to. I didn’t get to where I am today by being a financial idiot. Although I may have many expenses but your one rent cheque covers them all, including the time I’m spending to read and reply to your comments. Don’t tell me you’re naive enough to think that I’m in this business to lose money.

Renting or owning is an entirely personal or circumstantial choice (like many of you who can’t afford to own), but hating people who are better off than you because they invest wisely will not make your situation any better.

#174 Snowboid on 03.12.12 at 6:02 pm

#145 eaglebay – Parksville on 03.12.12 at 1:00 pm…

Don’t often say this, but well done on your post!

P.S. Even without Peter Cetera, Chicago put on a great concert last night (my off-topic item of the day)!

#175 Mister Obvious on 03.12.12 at 6:05 pm

#171 Westernman

I don’t always agree with you but that particular comment was absolutely dead nuts.

#176 Abitibi Doug on 03.12.12 at 6:23 pm

@DonDWest, post #166:
Many Canadian stocks, and mutual funds, have been underpriced for the last 7 months. They have gone up since then, but there are still some good buys out there.

#177 DM in C on 03.12.12 at 6:52 pm

Bryan;

‘but hating people who are better off than you because they invest wisely will not make your situation any better.’

And having the hubris to believe that renters cannot possibly be better off because they rent doesn’t change the fact that many are.

There’s a time when it’s smart to rent and a time when it’s smart to buy — denigrating or mocking those who do as ‘paying your bills’ denotes a smug superiority complex that is ill-founded.

And DA is a self-important a$$. Sounds like you want to take his place.

#178 DonDWest on 03.12.12 at 7:03 pm

#176 Abitibi Doug

Who cares? It’s just paper. I’m not exactly planning to retire right now – and that’s all stocks are good for – earning retirement “credits” for day to day living.

I’m 30 years old – yet I’m living/using my money like a retiree because of how skewed this market currently stands. Learned the hard way – can’t fight it – we’re navigating the waves.

I admit I’m house horny, and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out why, because a house is an investment you can actually get to LIVE IN AND USE! Damn, sure wish I was alive during the real estate cycle – nothing beats, you break two birds with one stone.

Stocks are boring paper work. . .

#179 John G. Young on 03.12.12 at 7:05 pm

#173 Bryan

“DA thinks that they have nobody to blame but themselves. This did touch a lot of nerves and thus they wanted him out. ”

Someone who has been “reading this blog for over a year” would know that our host made it very clear that DA was banned because of his abusive disrespectful, comments to others on this blog, not because of his opinions.

“I’ve been reading this blog for over a year now but never made a comment because I feel that I’m not in the same league with the majority of the blog dogs.”

And what league would that be? I’m a physician, self-employed, own my own home, financially independent and secure. I work because I want to, not because I have to.

And I’m a blog dog.

With a big bite. Woof! — Garth

#180 live within your means on 03.12.12 at 7:18 pm

#167 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 03.12.12 at 3:51 pm
#122 live within your means — You are correct.

The divide between the left / right paradigm has long become blurred, much like a pea souper (thick fog). Wanna switch provinces?!

\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

No way, Nosty. DH & I were talking the other eve. about where we’d move when he retires. He likes Moncton – right – all that snow to clear. No way. He mentioned Calgary – less taxes, etc. NO WAY would I ever consider moving to Alberta or Sask. We finally agreed we’d rather move back to Montreal – sell our place and rent a small home there. We both love the multicultural atmosphere/availability of different foods, etc. & I love speaking French when I’m there. My French is not perfect, but I have great conversations with French people in Quebec. I grew up in Mtl. If I REALLY had a first choice, I’d retire in the south of France.

#181 Coho on 03.12.12 at 7:39 pm

Regarding this whole ‘hate speech’ issue.

From what I understand, it is OK for governments to conquer and then go on to abuse indigenous peoples. It is OK for governments to gang up on and bomb Muslim nations into oblivion under false pretenses. It is not OK, however, for anyone to criticize a person that is not of same ethnic background lest he or she be labelled as a ‘hater’ and potentially turned into the authorities.

There is a wide net being cast to monitor, magnify and scrutinize what was once free speech. Soon everyone will be involved in criminal activity by merely airing a grievance.

#182 Canadian Watchdog on 03.12.12 at 7:45 pm

Stock volume is still dead—this means banks’ and financials’ profits are going to tank in Q1. http://i40.tinypic.com/2lusb2d.png HIX is still cheap right now—HIF even cheaper, but you’ll have to wait for volume on the downside of the market.

HIX http://tmx.quotemedia.com/charting.php?qm_page=95799&qm_symbol=HIX

HIF http://tmx.quotemedia.com/charting.php?qm_page=25043&qm_symbol=HIF

#183 Freedom 55 on 03.12.12 at 7:49 pm

New Proposed Medicare Program

You’re a sick senior citizen and the government says there is no nursing home available for you. So what do you do?

Our plan gives anyone 65 years or older a gun and 4 bullets. You are allowed to shoot four Politicians.

Of course, this means you will be sent to prison where you will get three meals a day, a roof over your head, central heating, air conditioning and all the health care you need!

Need new teeth? No problem. Need glasses? That’s great. Need a new hip, knees, kidney, lungs or heart? They’re all covered.

As an added bonus, your kids can come and visit you as often as they do now.

And who will be paying for all of this? It’s the same government that just told you that you they cannot afford for you to go into a home.

Plus, and because you are a prisoner, you don’t have to pay any income taxes anymore.

Is this a great country or what?

#184 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 03.12.12 at 7:55 pm

-
Prancing through the forest tripping on acid with Dr. Phil on steroids

Dr. Phil was conducting a therapy session with four young mothers and their small children.

“You all have obsessions,” he said.

To the first mother, he said, “You are obsessed with eating, you’ve even named your daughter Candy.”

He turned to the second mom. “Your obsession is with money. Again, it manifests itself in your child’s name, Penny.”

He turns to the third mom. “Your obsession is alcohol. This, too, manifests itself in your child’s name, Brandy.”

At this point, the fourth mother gets up, takes her little boy by the hand and whispers,

” Come on Dick, we’re leaving.”
*
2:57 clip Corporatism, GM style; Insurance CCTV will shut off gas pumps if drivers are not insured; The Fourth Reich’s New Constitution It’s Germany; Greek Gas Prices See if Obomba tries to match them, and Gas Prices up in America; Silver Uses for it; Transformation from a wealthy into a poor nation.
*
Canada ‘Net “Internet law expert Michael Geist recently revealed that behind-the-scenes, Big Media is pushing for copyright legislation (Bill C-11) to include such strong powers that, if accepted, could lead to “a radical reform of the Internet in Canada.”; American Democracy “From the Homeland Security Act, to Obama’s signing of the NDAA, including language allowing the President to order indefinite detention of American citizens without due process, the protections which used to be afforded through the Constitution and Bill of Rights have vanished. We now live in a post-Constitutional America, where the might of the Federal Government makes right, and where the legal system serves the interests of the very wealthy, and crucifies the rest of us.” wrh.com; Connection? Consuming trans fats leads to aggression. What’s in Monsanto’s wallet? Speaking of Monsanto’s failed crops; Ocampaigner Yep, he’s on the USAF trail; Sunspot 1429 still gushing forth; 10:39 clip A century in ten minutes (1911 – 2011).

goOGGel – NSA Why are they staying silent about their collaboration? Wind Farms Full of hot air; Big Brother’s Biometric time bomb; Raw Milk California prosecutes, France allows; Ronn Paul won the US Virgin Islands, but the m$m didn’t bother reporting it; Can’t wait for spring? Move closer to city.

#185 dd on 03.12.12 at 8:06 pm

The US economy is actually in recovery – slow, halting, but moving into higher GDP and employment numbers. I think you need to wake up. — Garth
………………………………………………………………………….
The US still “spends” over $1.6 trillion more than it takes in every year. I would certainly hope there is some GDP generated from this debt.

However lets not kid ourselves. The trade deficit slipped into more negative territory this month and this trend is reverting back to the norm (greater imports over exports).

#186 Herb on 03.12.12 at 8:11 pm

#171 Westermoron,

yawn.

#187 Not Buying It on 03.12.12 at 8:11 pm

@Bryan, post 173

“Renting or owning is an entirely personal or circumstantial choice (like many of you who can’t afford to own), but hating people who are better off than you because they invest wisely will not make your situation any better.”

You discuss making money from renting and put down those that can’t afford to buy the same homes you rent out in the same breath. According to your statement, you have turned misery into profit, since you state that those who rent hate wise investors such as yourself. However, in your narrow-minded view of the world and perverse greed, you have missed the point entirely.

If it is the case that most people here cannot afford a home, then what is your motivation in taking time out of your day to put them down? Let others have a space in which to vent their frustration. Your choice to goad others, who, according to you, are less fortunate than you, is merely indicative of your character. How can the jealous and disillusioned, who are clearly not as ‘wise’ as you are, be a threat to you?

Let me explain the point that you are clearly missing. This is NOT about money, as antithetical as that may seem to you. This is about humanity and decency, traits which you are clearly lacking.

#188 jess on 03.12.12 at 8:13 pm

muni trouble?

http://articles.latimes.com/2012/mar/10/local/la-me-stockton-bankruptcy-20120312

… historic Stockton Hotel, one of downtown’s beautifully restored buildings, now given over to low-income housing.

Port city of Stockton faces bankruptcy
Posted By: Jerome Adamstein
Posted On: 5:36 p.m. | March 10, 2012
Within the next three months, the Central Valley city of 300,000 could become the nation’s largest municipality to file for protection from creditors under U.S. bankruptcy code. The City Council is trying to slow or stop the bust by entering mediation with creditors, including public employee unions. This is what it looks like when a city is close to going under.

Read Diana Marcum’s story, “Stockton residents watch their port city slip away”

#189 Herb on 03.12.12 at 8:19 pm

#134 Truth Hammerer,

The leaders of the free world have all admitted that neither immigration nor globalization haven’t worked [stet].

This sentence is the summit of your political wisdom.

#190 Ont-T on 03.12.12 at 8:25 pm

I have never posted before – but can’t let this go by:

“141 King Street, in Dunkirk NY. Nice character house. Two rental units. Long-term tenants paying $500 a month each. And not a bad price: $38,500″

Did you see the TAXES!! Property Taxes for 141 King St
Year Value Land Improvements Total Tax
2011 Market $24,633
2011 Assessed $2,200 + $18,800 = $21,000

so $12,000 income ‘guaranteed’ $9,000 plus LOSS per year.

“Owner is a licensed realtor.”

#191 Daisy Mae on 03.12.12 at 8:33 pm

YVROptimist on 03.12.12 at 12:15 am

“Garth, I read your blog because I need a contrarian opinion to my Pollyanna-ish mindset with real estate…..I don’t like your style or your delivery…”

*********************

I remember long ago a popular saying: “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

#192 Devore on 03.12.12 at 8:36 pm

#104 Kip

I think you’re vastly overanalyzing the situation, and reading way too much into it.

The point is simple. Prices for real estate in many US cities is so low, buying is quite a bit cheaper than renting. So cheap, even a teenager with pocket change can buy it. But a population so fearful and terrified of real estate, it takes a fearless and innovative teenager to make a move. All those people didn’t blink an eye when paying $500,000 for a Florida shack, but are too timid to buy a property that will pay for its purchase price after less than 2 years of renting (and it even comes with renters).

There is a lesson in there, a lesson that you have completely missed in an effort to start some pissing match with Garth.

#193 Devore on 03.12.12 at 8:53 pm

#138 Network Admin

My phone company and cable company have the attitude…

…and? For 90% of the population, there’s more than one, in case you haven’t noticed. There would be even more, but too many sheep living in Canada lining up to be sheared.

#194 Freedom First on 03.12.12 at 8:55 pm

#152 Amy…….I think it is always prudent to have money invested to hedge against inflation. Like Garth, I totally believe in diversification, and his recommended allotment in real estate, be it your own dwelling or REIT’s……etc.
However, having some money in precious metals, say gold/silver, perhaps 5-15%, is, I believe always prudent. There is many “solid” items that people invest in that hold their value through inflation/hyper-inflation. A person does not have to lose sleep over possible gloomy scenarios, but it is fine to cover all the bases with a fully balanced portfolio. I have said before, and I will repeat: I do believe holding all of ones net worth in any one asset is foolhardy……..and severely foolhardy, if it is also highly leveraged….which can end up being a financial disaster.

#195 Devore on 03.12.12 at 8:59 pm

#109 Gypsy Kid

I’ve vaguely read about commercial buildings on Bay street belonging to “foreigners” from all over the world, and companies being bought up by foreigners as well.

I’ve said it before, in response to someone complaining about not receiving his share from Canada’s resource wealth: if Canadians aren’t willing to buy a chunk of Canada’s wealth and productivity, foreigners will happily do so and receive the dividends and capital gains in their place. It seems Canadians would rather commit a lifetime of their earnings to providing a roof over their heads.

#196 The Thing in the Basement on 03.12.12 at 9:05 pm

Interesting replies to Landlord Bryan’s post today. Seems there are two camps:

1) Those that have to rent due to finances
2) Those that choose to rent, but could own

My question would be for those people who fall into
category 2 that “rent large”, often bragging about the
great digs they have. Wouldnt the more financially prudent choose to rent the lowest cost premises that meets their needs?

#197 live within your means on 03.12.12 at 9:05 pm

#183 Freedom 55 on 03.12.12 at 7:49 pm

So funny, but sadly so true.

#198 Ret on 03.12.12 at 9:07 pm

Everybody, now join in….

“If I had a million dollars – if I had a million dollars
Well, I’d buy you a house – I would buy you a house
And if I had a million dollars – if I had a million dollars
I’d buy you furniture for your house – maybe a nice chesterfield or an ottoman
And if I had a million dollars – if I had a million dollars
Well, I’d buy you a K-Car – a nice Reliant automobile
And if I had a million dollars I’d buy your love,”

See the K-Car/RE tie-in Garth? Pretty cool eh?

http://www.guntheranderson.com/v/data/ifihadam.htm

#199 Devore on 03.12.12 at 9:07 pm

#154 Nuke

That gives me 24 hours a day to work, play, study, exercise, cook, go on great trips and best of all I like to invest the $40,000 I save each year by renting over owning. 70% of the rest of the country prefer to lose sleep over leaking roofs, rotting basements, empty bank accounts and all the headaches of having to deal with all the crap that keeps you from enjoying life.

It is interesting that as a people we have continued to consume and accumulate material goods at a frightening pace, including real estate (ownership at all time highs), but are less and less happy and fulfilled, with less time and money left over to enjoy living life. I wonder if there is a link. Too much gets sacrificed in the name of building equity.

#200 John G. Young on 03.12.12 at 9:08 pm

#179

“With a big bite. Woof! — Garth”

Actually I only bark, never bite.

But thanks for the compliment.

#201 Westernman on 03.12.12 at 9:13 pm

Herbie@#186,
The truth bores you doesn’t it?

#202 live within your means on 03.12.12 at 9:15 pm

Nosty

He turned to the second mom. “Your obsession is with money. Again, it manifests itself in your child’s name, Penny.”

I’m offended – that’s my nickname – LOL

#203 disciple on 03.12.12 at 9:21 pm

Here is incontrovertible proof of how the media employs actors and celebrities. Rockefellers and Greenbergs behind it all… Alice in Wonderland stuff… Free your mind…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=JKRUx3eozTU#!

#204 The Original Dave on 03.12.12 at 9:37 pm

Amy, post 157, I’ve read that book too. You should read it again.

#205 eaglebay - Parksville on 03.12.12 at 9:52 pm

#178 DonDWest on 03.12.12 at 7:03 pm
“Stocks are boring paper work. . .”
……….
Houses are boring, cheap 2X4s and vinyl siding.
Sometimes they even have a so called garage in the front. Don’t know what the house looks like.

#206 TurnerNation on 03.12.12 at 10:51 pm

#146 Kilby on 03.12.12 at 1:05 pm

You must keep in mind this weblog’s stated focus – when commenting: Bikes, Babes, and Balanced Portfolios.

#207 betamax on 03.13.12 at 7:32 am

#187 Not Buying It: “This is about humanity and decency, traits which you are clearly lacking.”

Succinct and accurate. Well said.

#208 betamax on 03.13.12 at 7:44 am

#196 The Thing in the Basement: “Wouldnt the more financially prudent choose to rent the lowest cost premises that meets their needs?”

I recently moved into a more expensive place, but the price difference is still a tiny fraction of my income, so no big deal. I’m happy to pay more for a nicer place with a great view.

I’m sure I could save more by living in a tent in the woods, but I prefer a reasonable level of luxury.

#209 The Thing in the Basement on 03.13.12 at 10:25 am

208 betamax – “reasonable” works for me!

#210 Uneducated on 03.14.12 at 6:47 pm

Tell me if I am wrong, but that is a picture of yourself on that couch right? :-) I am a fan.