Horny in Hamilton

Helen hates her house. “Well,” she demurs, “maybe hate’s too strong a word. But you should see it – it’s so small.”

She and Duane bought in Hamilton eleven years ago. But he’s a problem. “My husband reads your blog every day,” she says. I am truly sorry, Helen.

“He and I are 37 & 39 years old, recently paid the house off, have 2 kids, and some pets. Our place is 900 sq feet small, 2 bedrooms and our neighbourhood has turned into a student rental area. We live near McMaster University and I would like to move about 10 minutes away to a 1200 sq foot house, 3 bedrooms, garage, pool and mainly no students.

“There is a not so great house available now for a reasonable price (ours about $300 000, this one about 350 000).  I am self employed and will work more as of next September, when our youngest goes to JK and my husband makes $60,000. We have a small amount of savings and my parents that will give us $20,000. I think we could move with almost no mortgage, my husband thinks the market will go down and we should wait. My worry is that our house, in this student rental area, will go down much more than regular residential areas. We would love to hear your thoughts. “

I brought you Helen’s letter for a couple of reasons.

First, Hamilton. This is an urban area of 721,000 people spilling over a gorgeous escarpment and embracing a massive harbour which was once a grimy, hectic, major Great Lakes port defined by the belching coke ovens of butt-ugly world-class steel mills. But this is the post-industrial age when cars are made of plastic and marketing. Steeltown is cleaner, greener and awakening.

Toronto is 68 km away, past the Lakeshore mansions and endless subdivisions of Burlington and Oakville, then through the wannabe urbanity of big-box Mississauga. You can get on a commuter train in downtown Hamilton at 7:20 am and emerge at King & Bay in time to get a Grande Bold and be at your desk at nine.

But is the distance worth it? Is this really a godless-GTA alternative?

For some, absolutely. The average property (detached and condos combined) in Toronto is $488,647 and the average detached home in 416 currently sells for $761,273. In Hamilton the average property costs $296,973 and the average SFH is $320,525. Yes, a 58% discount. You can put up with a lot of ugly for that.

What’s more, average detached house prices in Hamilton have risen 11.7% in the past year, compared with a 1% annual gain in Toronto. And while homes in 416 are taking longer to sell now, days-on-market numbers in Hamilton are shrinking. Besides, does Mississauga have a bigtime football team, or Markham boast a soaring Skyway? Hell, Hamilton even has a castle. Plus an actual downtown. And a mountain, sort of.

Second, Helen reminds us that – even in an affordable place – house lust is a deadly sin. It looks like she’s using poor, downtrodden students as an excuse to snap a bigger home. She’s suggesting Duane and her use all of the proceeds from selling their paid-off home, cash in their meagre savings, and suck money out of parents to move ten minutes away, and still have a mortgage. That’ll leave these almost forty-year-olds with no liquid assets, a new debt, two kids, no savings or investments and only one steady income of a modest sixty grand.

In a flash, Helen and Duane will be fifty with two expensive teenagers expecting to go to college. Probably still no liquid assets or retirement nestegg – just a house. That means no diversification and a ton of risk if real estate stagnates for a few years. Houses may be ridiculously cheap in Hamilton for a city of that size and location (homes in icy, sad Saskatoon cost far more) but they don’t pay dividends or interest, while sucking off money for taxes, insurance, maintenance and renos. In short, emotional security is not the same things as financial security – an epiphany that usually comes far too late in life.

So, Helen, suck it up. The best thing you can so for your family is stay put, get those savings into growth assets inside some TFSAs, start an RESP for the kids filled with ETFs, and be nicer to the students.

For the rest of you, check this out. And what a great name for a street.

214 comments ↓

#1 Bman on 11.23.12 at 8:59 pm

Furssssst?

Cut it out. — Garth

#2 bailing in bc on 11.23.12 at 9:00 pm

first

#3 bailing in bc on 11.23.12 at 9:05 pm

Who lives a 666 Garth St?

#4 T.O. Bubble Boy on 11.23.12 at 9:06 pm

Wow – that Garth St. McMansion would be $1.8M+ in North Toronto.

I think that these 2 should become slumlords… They have a house surrounded by students, which tells me some students would pay nicely to live in their house. They could hopefully rent a nice 3-bdrm for way less than they’d take in from students, and pocket the difference each month (maybe even start saving, which apparently they haven’t been doing).

#5 Grim Reaper/Crypt Speculator on 11.23.12 at 9:07 pm

Dr Wanker

Donald TRUMPED again

ahahahahahhah

#6 JO on 11.23.12 at 9:09 pm

It may not be the prettiest city in Canada but as far as RE value and future potential, I like Hamilton….loads of potential if you pick the right spot…they just need to improve access into and out of Hamilton to Toronto..GO sucks and is too costly and that 403 is a disaster…if they dramatically improve public transport and also add an extra major highway, i would be there in hearbeat..go steeltown go..
JO

#7 The end is nigh on 11.23.12 at 9:09 pm

The house number even has an 8 in it.
The overseas German buyers will snap it up in no time.

#8 bailing in bc on 11.23.12 at 9:09 pm

Dr Wayne, I am an A$$hole. There- saved you the bother.

#9 Old Man on 11.23.12 at 9:13 pm

Imao, as any home near a university or college will have a support of asset value because of the potential cashflow from rental income going forward. It is just a fact that a residential home near a potential cashflow source will do better than others in a downturn within the context of the general state of the economy.

#10 TurnerNation on 11.23.12 at 9:18 pm

Possible titles of Smoking Man’s upcoming book:

- How to talk to a Track6er (If you must).

- Batman and robbin’.

- Leg, the Spread.

- Jim, Jack, and Johnny.

- Alan Code-Smithee.

- Cigarette boat-er.

#11 a prairie dawg on 11.23.12 at 9:27 pm

Any property within walking distance of a major University will always have huge rental value. (for that very reason) If it were me I’d build a 4-plex onsite with parking front and rear.

It’s a cash cow.

#12 Mr. Anderson on 11.23.12 at 9:27 pm

#10 TurnerNation

Jim, Jack and Johnny……..most definitely.

#13 Westcoaster on 11.23.12 at 9:28 pm

If Helen really wants a bigger house and Duane accepts that the real estate market is down, they should sell their house and rent a bigger one — then they’ll have a savings AND more room for the family :-)

#14 45north on 11.23.12 at 9:28 pm

webmaster – why doesn’t hamilton.jpg load on my Mac?

Try standing up. — Garth

#15 a prairie dawg on 11.23.12 at 9:31 pm

TurnerNation, you forgot one.

‘Inglorious Lying Basterd’

#16 Pr on 11.23.12 at 9:36 pm

The Real Estate Industry, Mark Carney, schl, Flaherthy, Banks, does not give a dam if a house cost $10 mill, as long as they make a sale and the, poor unknowing individual , will be paying for it for the rest of his/her live. I am sorry but everyone see the real estate as very over evaluate and problematic, including the less fortunate in the QI department.

#17 Hammertown on 11.23.12 at 9:40 pm

Hamilton…where we don’t let mother nature push us around

#18 TurnerNation on 11.23.12 at 9:46 pm

Using OPM (other peoples’ money).

They could borrow 150,000 against the house, invest it stuffed into RRSPs, TFSA and open accounts, using the proceeds plus their income as rent towards a larger house (rented) of their choice.
(The interest costs will offest any non-registered capital gains).

Then rent their once-proud house to a motley crew of students, claiming all carrying costs and expenses against the rental income.

At least this will diversify their holdings into Real estate, rental, investments.

#19 sue on 11.23.12 at 9:56 pm

If the prices in Toronto correct 20%, wouldn’t Mississauga, Oakville, Burlington, Hamilton adjust as well? Would the domino effect apply here?

#20 ken s on 11.23.12 at 9:56 pm

There was a little boy who cried ‘Wolf.’ The Prefecture Governor, while neither confirming or denying the existance of a wolf, vociferously condemned the spreading of ‘Baseless Rumours’.
Local radio stations and newspapers repeated the governors words (and all other of his words: he was, after all, the Governor). Eventually this occured in many
Prefectures, until the supreme governors in the
Imperial City, even more vociferously condemmed “Baseless Rumour”.
Yes, there is a wolf they said, but there were always
‘Wolves’, and the Imperial Administrators always did,
and always would control these Wolves.
At school his teachers scolded him for his ‘Baseless
Rumours’ and scolded him for refusing to eat the prefecture mushrooms or rice. Among the staff, his parents were criticised as being ‘unpatriotic’, except
for a few teachers who said nothing.

The point of the story is not about the existance of
wolves. The point is that little boys, still in the wonderment of a childhood filled with beautiful
sea and mountains, caves holding dragons, and
samouri riding to battle, -protected and encouraged
by mama san and papa san could clearly see the wolves,
and honestly tell everyone about it.
The clear view of little boys who see the world as it is,
and unclouded by wishes, desires, fears and hopes, soon becomes drowned in natures hormones (nature intened nothing less), then, thereafter, the need to ‘pay
the rent’…/mortgage. The world of the ‘Samouri’ becomes more urgent with unachievable desires, larger
mortgages, more work and responsibility. His success (or not) is expressed in the vanity of his beautiful geisha, his luxurious Lexus, a bigger mortgage, his official Title.

Some little boys retain the simlicity and clarity of a child, in which the world is always new, always wonderous, always an adventure. Waste no pity on this man, for whom the samuri’s wife or mistress, will break every rule, every convention, to briefly relive the few moments on a beach, or flowered recess, which she
remembers with the clarity of crystal and the warmth of an August breeze: her first kiss, her first love. She will wreck formidable institutions for him, but never marry him. He has retained the ability to See and to Love. All else, he sees as pointless. (all else IS pointless??)? The Samuri considers this to be a practical arrangement, which enables more time for his now powerful position
[cute digression :-) ]
My internet searches are only _slightly_ advantaged by
technical or informal ‘study’. Anyone capable of broken
English and a desire to Know can do the same (or better). So, Nothing Will Change: New wars will be packaged and sold with Bonus miles, free trips, and extra whatevers Armaggedons will be fluffed into
Cream puffed, carmel coated teasees. Why?
Because No One wants Bad News. -If there is a shootout
2 floors down, please dont tell me till -after- the ‘heroine’ has the orgasm. Entire Human Knowledge base –meets:– I Dont Want to Know.
So we are still in the 17 C: the Same people who went the to library for the day with a brown bag lunch then, now have a 1000x more efficient search tools, but 10,000x more sources and documents.
Who searches the parameters of a war with Iran?? -History majors and parliamentary aides.
The latest multi cpu chip, 10 terabyte HD, T1++ speed,
instant printing, 500 Meg Google or Oracle Analytical
Engines, But: >>> I DONT WANNA KNOW!<<<
(continues…. )

#21 TurnerNation on 11.23.12 at 9:57 pm

I found a Canadian entity with as much integrity as The Canadian Real Estate Association!

http://www.ucda.ca/

The UCDA is a not-for-profit association of over 4400 motor vehicle dealers across Ontario. Our goal is to help foster a fair used vehicle buying experience that safeguards both the consumer and the dealer.

The mission of the UCDA is to enhance the image of the used vehicle industry. This mission is built upon three pillars: representation, education and mediation

#22 trevor on 11.23.12 at 10:00 pm

668 Garth St, eh? Your narcissism knows no bounds.

#23 blase on 11.23.12 at 10:01 pm

That’s a gorgeous house. A house for $500,000 in Calgary looks like an outhouse compared to that!

#24 prairieperson on 11.23.12 at 10:05 pm

Calculated Risk has just posted a graph showing that visitors to Las Vegas are at an all time high but conventions are down. The biggest buyers of lottery tickets are those who can least afford them. When there is nothing one can think of to do to make one’s financial situation better, one can spend a dollar or so on a lottery ticket and pray. Gambling also is often the purview of the desperate. However, conventions are paid for with other people’s money, business and government. Neither has the money to squander that they used to squander. There is, in many different ways, a disconnect between what private individuals are doing with their money and business/govt. It doesn’t bode well for the future.

#25 Freedom First on 11.23.12 at 10:10 pm

Money is the #1 cause of divorce. One person is money smart the other is money dumb. Guess which one you are Helen? However, a true sign of humility is the ability to be open minded and accept counsel. Big problem in Canada: “Entitlement”. I feel for you Duane, it is not only Helen, but the dreaded “House brainwashed MIL”. Good luck to you both. You are doing well so far…..don’t screw it up!

#26 habbit on 11.23.12 at 10:12 pm

One modest 60K income. The average industrial wage 23 bucks an hour (46K). Doin’ ok for average working people. No?

#27 Chaddywack on 11.23.12 at 10:13 pm

I’d live on Garth street! Too bad in Vancouver that place would be a cool 2.5

#28 Old Man on 11.23.12 at 10:18 pm

#19 sue it will all apply, so will be splitting to Key West after Xmas to worry not, and will be probably be staying at the Tropical Inn on Duval for the free buffet breakfast daily, and the free booze poolside from 4:00 to 5:00 PM for some R&R.

#29 LJ on 11.23.12 at 10:20 pm

#3 bailing in bc on 11.23.12 at 9:05 pm
Who lives at 666 Garth St?

Yep, that would make you “Neighbour of the Beast.”

#30 eddy on 11.23.12 at 10:23 pm

Helen, tell Duane “men buy the cars, women buy the houses”
You need more space, not advice

#31 Mean Gene on 11.23.12 at 10:25 pm

When the kids NEED their own bedrooms and privacy, build an extension to the existing structure.

#32 will on 11.23.12 at 10:32 pm

thank you so much garth. love the blog. just in case anyone is interested, here is the environment canada link for current conditions in saskatoon:

http://www.weatheroffice.gc.ca/city/pages/sk-40_metric_e.html

it’s frigid out there. hamilton sounds pleasant.

#33 butugly on 11.23.12 at 10:34 pm

Can somebody please get me a bucket….and a can of paint. I won’t even try to guess the name of that green stuff, but puke would be way too kind. lets call this the rainbow house: I see pink, yellow, green…

#34 happy renter on 11.23.12 at 10:35 pm

Just talked to an American couple who bought a condo in Naples Florida for $450 000 a few years ago and then later sold it.The couple is still in contact with their old neighbours and said that the condo they used to own just sold For $125,000.I couldn’t believe it and he told me it be a great time to buy there now.I hope Canada sees this kind of price reduction.It be awsome!!!!

#35 Derek R on 11.23.12 at 10:48 pm

#19 sue on 11.23.12 at 9:56 pm asked:
If the prices in Toronto correct 20%, wouldn’t Mississauga, Oakville, Burlington, Hamilton adjust as well? Would the domino effect apply here?

Well, yes it would, sue. But there’s a big difference between losing 20% of $1,200,000 and losing 20% of $300,000. Most people could just about handle the latter but the former would be a much bigger deal.

#36 Mixed Bag on 11.23.12 at 10:53 pm

It might not be a bad idea to sell this house, buy the larger one, and have a small mortgage. Then take half the principal out as an investment loan, write off that interest on taxes, invest as Garth recommends, and thus maintain half net worth in liquidity. Most banks are advertising around the 3% mark for a 5-year mortgage, great rate to have for five years.

They can also follow this formula and stay put in the current house, which may be the wiser option based on their current income.

#37 armpit on 11.23.12 at 11:06 pm

Home prices in Hamilton are reasonable….it’s the property taxes that hurt. Since that is a new house…probably from a tear down property, the property taxes are not listed.

However, the property taxes next door, # 674 Garth, is $6900.00 for 2012….and you have to shovel your sidewalks (There is no 666). So taxes should certainly be over 7 grand for #668.

http://www.hamilton.ca/CityDepartments/CorporateServices/FinanceBudgetTaxes/PropertyInformationTaxes/PropertyInquiry.htm

House is also on a very busy artery from the “mountain” to lower city (downtown) during rush hours. If it was the interior of the neighbourhood, the traffic would be quieter and it would be valued at a lot more. (but not more than our Garth)

Just an opinion….

#38 Bottoms_Up on 11.23.12 at 11:07 pm

Hamilton, ah, The Hammer. Great place. Fished often in the harbour. You’d never believe the fishing is quite good there, and the fish in pristine condition. They have really cleaned things up.

#39 kreditanstalt on 11.23.12 at 11:07 pm

$60,000 a year is NOT “modest”. It’s FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS A MONTH, plus whatever the wife brings home.

You could live like a KING on that sum in most other countries. Even assuming they pay a net $1200 a month in various taxes and have no mortgage in the 900 sq. ft. house, how difficult would it be to live on $3800+ a month???

They could probably SAVE half of it…

Move out of your swamp, get two kids, and find out. — Garth

#40 Bottoms_Up on 11.23.12 at 11:13 pm

#11 a prairie dawg on 11.23.12 at 9:27 pm
——————————————
Yep, good point. Their property would be worth around 70% less if it was located 10 minutes east by car.

3 bdrm, 109k:
http://www.realtor.ca/propertyDetails.aspx?propertyId=12624221&PidKey=-63376687

#41 Zoids on 11.23.12 at 11:23 pm

Wow… anyone can lend me 600K so I can get that nice affordable house? Hahaha

668 is super nice # to have too! With that awesome street name, the price should go up 10% a year! Hands off, everyone! I am calling dibs on this. ;P

#42 DJIM on 11.23.12 at 11:31 pm

The whole point of owning is that eventually the mortgage is paid off, and you never have to worry about payments again. So normally I’d say they’ve paid it off, time to relax. But 900 sq ft is awfully small. I think moving up is a necessity here, even if it means a small mortgage.

#43 TRT on 11.23.12 at 11:34 pm

Christy Clark and all the Premiers want total control over Immigration. They want the power to fill up Canada’s Tier 2 (saskatoon, edmonton, etc.) and Tier 3 cities (Sudbury, Prince george, etc)

Christy made it clear they want the power to direct new immigrants to certain areas.

IF this happens, there will be a massive boom. She made it clear that our economy is now a PONZI scheme…wasn’t shy about it. That’s why they say get in or be priced out forever.

#44 TRT on 11.23.12 at 11:34 pm

http://www.thespec.com/news/canada/article/842117–premiers-ask-ottawa-for-more-control-over-immigration

#45 Maverick on 11.23.12 at 11:43 pm

The worlds top real estate expert talks about bubbles.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgwiaRFYT0Y

#46 Dr. WAYNE on 11.23.12 at 11:48 pm

#1 Bman on 11.23.12 at 8:59 pm

Furssssst?

I don’t care how you spell it … you’re an a$$hole.

#47 Dr. WAYNE on 11.23.12 at 11:48 pm

#8 bailing in bc on 11.23.12 at 9:09 pm

Dr Wayne, I am an A$$hole.

Now THERE is an honest man for you …

#48 Trader on 11.24.12 at 12:09 am

Garth, you gotta buy the place just for the digits alone… Imagine sending Carney some tips with a self enclosed letter for his reply!

#49 Ozy - For Helen on 11.24.12 at 12:20 am

Helen, Don’t listen to the pope, DO what the pope DOES. Capisci?
So go and buy the house, but get a BETTER one from all aspects, not only size. For example, superior quality of construction, ravine lot, or a nice layout for entertaining guests, or sound-proof (when you make love, kids in the house can’t hear). Get the hell out of the 900SQF. You are low-income anyway, 50000 won’t make you richer anyway. Live the life and be very very thankful to your husband. Same for him.

Don’t listen to the pope, DO what the pope DOES.

#50 Ozy - Insanity in Ontario on 11.24.12 at 12:27 am

They want more than 250000 like that is not enough?
There are no jobs no infrastructure, why do you want to fool those innocent immigants?
Be damned for their probbale failure and strugle here, you are intentionally deceiving, luring them for your own personal and your master puppets benefit.

When was the last time Ontario advocated tenant rights to break any term lease when bedbugs,mice, coakroach investations are present? Never, like collonial kanata 300 years ago, slaves under the whip.

http://www.thespec.com/news/canada/article/842117–premiers-ask-ottawa-for-more-control-over-immigration

#51 Sask Girl on 11.24.12 at 12:29 am

People can always move to Regina to live in a renovated match box for $320,000 like this one.

http://www.realtor.ca/propertyDetails.aspx?propertyId=12352778&PidKey=-1915953058

#52 Francis on 11.24.12 at 12:46 am

Sorry Garth, you gave Helen the wrong advice. Asking a housewife imprisoned in a too small house with two children to suck it up is not the appropriate answer.

Particularly since she believes they can make the move without a mortgage (almost).

If the comparison of the evaluation of the two homes is reasonably accurate, buying now before the fall will make little difference in finances but the move will make all the difference to this family. They will require three bedrooms before F’s mess is cleaned up anyway.

#53 Grampa Hindsight on 11.24.12 at 12:48 am

Perhaps Duane and Helen need to add a carport or some kind of a shed or something to move all the stuff we seem to accumulate in our lives, but hardly use, that take up living space
You know,.. think outside the box

#54 Ronaldo on 11.24.12 at 1:06 am

And this is what you can get in Langley for $599,888. My guess is it should be about 50% less.

http://www.ecorealtyinc.ca/listing?id=259794543

#55 Vangrrl on 11.24.12 at 1:09 am

Aw, I was born in Hamilton and learned to ski at Chedoke when I was six… it was a mountain to me then :) Nice to hear it’s “greener” these days.

#56 CoreyMc on 11.24.12 at 1:19 am

#42 TRT
Christy Clark and all the Premiers want total control over Immigration. They want the power to fill up Canada’s Tier 2 (saskatoon, edmonton, etc.) and Tier 3 cities (Sudbury, Prince george, etc)

Christy made it clear they want the power to direct new immigrants to certain areas.

IF this happens, there will be a massive boom. She made it clear that our economy is now a PONZI scheme…wasn’t shy about it. That’s why they say get in or be priced out forever.
______________________________________________
What planet are you from? You are at the the point (Like Smoking Man) that truly believes in your own BS!

#57 Grim Reaper/Crypt Speculator on 11.24.12 at 1:28 am

#45 Dr. WAYNE on 11.23.12 at 11:48 pm

#1 Bman on 11.23.12 at 8:59 pm

Furssssst?

I don’t care how you spell it … you’re an a$$hole.

===================================
Dr Wanker

Queen of the come-backers..or is it back comers?..not that there is anything woroong with that.

PS Not to worry. …..we’ll save you options on Hostess Twinkies

#58 Grim Reaper/Crypt Speculator on 11.24.12 at 1:30 am

Doc Wanker…..

Re Photo

Hows the research in breeding Identical Twins….is that the best you can do ?

#59 Humpty Dumpty on 11.24.12 at 1:34 am

Nice one G…

If there was 666 Garth St, would you consider to call that your crib and perhaps a new office in this place rather than the 53…

http://vigilantcitizen.com/sinistersites/sinister-sites-the-manitoba-legislative-building/

I stand corrected, TO is not the centre of the universe…

#60 Bob on 11.24.12 at 2:17 am

Usually when I read your blog, I already know what you are going to say before the end.

This time, you didn’t tell them to sell and RENT!

Otherwise, 900sqft with two growing kids is a problem… you really do need a bigger place, so the options really are to RENT a bigger one or BUY a bigger one. We know that size matters.

#61 new canadian on 11.24.12 at 2:28 am

Walk Score®: 43, good enough to gain some belly fat, if you don’t have already.
I don’t think they add temperature factor while calculating this. For Saskatoon and Calgary walk score must be 0 for whole winter.
But when it gets -20/-30 range, even car won’t easily start if not plugged in. Maybe we also need Drive Score.

#62 Waterloo Resident on 11.24.12 at 2:43 am

MY ADVICE:
= Keep the house in Hamilton and rent it out to students,

= Buy 6 houses in Brampton, 2 to rent out, 2 to live in, and 2 as investments.

Houses are cheap, so get them while they are low in price.

#63 bailing in bc on 11.24.12 at 2:53 am

#29 LJ

Very nice sir, you are a scholar and a gentleman.

#46 Dr. WAYNE

In all honesty, you suck the big one.

#64 Tony on 11.24.12 at 3:18 am

I must admit Hamilton does have some nice bars but the last time i was there one-third of the city stunk of steel stench. A 900 or 1200 square feet house either would give me claustrophobia i’m used to houses at least ten times that size.

#65 Tony on 11.24.12 at 3:20 am

Re #11 a prairie dawg on 11.23.12 at 9:27 pm

University students are more apt to skip out on the rent than the average renter. Believe you me being close to a university is not a cash cow.

#66 Canuck Abroad on 11.24.12 at 3:51 am

Garth thank you so much for posting about Hamilton. I have been looking into it as an alternative to Toronto since I work from home and don’t need to be central. Family members have told me its “up and coming”. For any Hamilton readers out there (eg Helen or hubby), if you had to chose between St Clair and Kirkendall North/South or Durand which would you choose and in what order? Thanks.

#67 Canuck Abroad on 11.24.12 at 4:05 am

TO Bubble Boy – your slumlord suggestion is a good one, no joke. I have a child at a Cdn university sharing a house with several others. They pay rent basically by the room and the landlord is making an absolute killing to rent out a dump. It’s shocking, but probably common in every university town. Helen, have you thought of joining the party? Can you convert your dining room to a third bedroom and rent out your little house for say 600 per bedroom per month. And definitely insist on one year leases. Helen if your work is not full time in the fall you would easily have time to manage the property? Worth considering…

#68 Canuck Abroad on 11.24.12 at 4:47 am

36 armpit – thanks for the link!

Now I have a question on how property taxes work in Hamilton. Say we take a look at this house as an example:

http://www.realtor.ca/propertyDetails.aspx?propertyId=12603769&PidKey=1271830037

Now, if I go to armpit’s link, and type in 47 chedoke (try it, its fun!) I get not only the last three years property taxes but also the assessments for the last two years. Now here’s my issue…the house is listed for sale at $550k, but its assessed value is only $337k. So they are asking more than 63% above assessment! Now does this mean the buyer will be looking at much higher taxes than in the past because the assessment will go up? How does this work?

#69 Nathan on 11.24.12 at 5:14 am

Bottoms Up #39 has it right – the real value in Hamilton lies on the east side of downtown where there are blocks and blocks of SFH to be had for less than $150k. Most of these require a lot of work and some of the neighborhoods can generously be termed ‘gritty’ but the bones of good urban living are there. I expect that the mini renaissance that pockets of centre-west Hamilton have experienced will spread east as a critical mass of home buyers start to recognize the value, affordability, and potential of the area.

#70 Rob the Dividend Trader on 11.24.12 at 5:50 am

The real problem here isn’t the housing lust as much as a lack of savings. It’s not easy but some time spent over at Mr Money Mustache or other great blogs will show them that a saving rate of 50 percent is not impossible.

For you others check out this insane blog dog

From $33,151.00 to $636,140.48 in Seven Years. Our Net Worth Explosion

#71 Buy? Curious? on 11.24.12 at 6:17 am

I remember talking to a co-worker as to why she lived out in the Hammer yet commuted into Toronto for work. She said she got more house for her money, wanted her kids to grow up with a backyard and a few other points but I stopped listening to her after that because she had that glazed look in her eyes the way religious people do when they tell you why they believe in HeyZeus. She was nice, but worked from home once a week, was late once a week and had her computer shut down, coat on and was out the door by 4:55pm to catch the GO Train (probably from Track 6. I miss my Smokey. *sob*). I don’t know how or why she did it. Is this mythical, Norman Rockwell-esque house out in the backwoods with a white picket fence where everyone on the street says “Hi” to you, really worth that much that you can safely smoke pot in the car because your commute home travelling 20km/hr for 2hours? There are plenty of places to go for green spaces in Toronto and so much more to do that will enlighten your kids with. The cost of running a car will eventually eat away at any gains made from moving into the Boonies. I guess there are two types of people in this world, those that think out 3 moves ahead and those that don’t.

Merry Christmas, Everybody!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgrVP_J0BHk&feature=related

#72 DA2 on 11.24.12 at 6:41 am

Okay, that’s enough. The woman is going to go crazy living in 900 sq ft with 2 kids and hubby. There is a price for sanity – $50,000. That may also buy you your marriage because if you stay there you may just blow up and leave. Life is too short to live in a place that you don’t like. I’ve been there, done that.

The million dollar question is – Is the price of real estate in Toronto and Vancouver going to see 2005 prices again? I’m sure even the Garth the Great cannot answer this one.

You’ve got to do what is right for your family, regardless of being financially prudent. You’ve got to be happy.

#73 Pr on 11.24.12 at 8:13 am

ACCHA and those, who are crying that the government is to hard with the new rules in real estate, are the good exemple of what greedy people look like.

Just ask your self why those *specialist* where so silent in 2006 at the introduction of the 0$ cash down and 40 years amortization from the government. They new they where about to make….money! Now its the reverse.

#74 Some Common Sense for H&D on 11.24.12 at 8:20 am

Helen & Duane….Don’t listen to Garth on this one;

Lets get real here. H&D are talking about borrowing at most 50,000. A mortgage that small, if you get some work H, should be easily paid off in 5 years, or less. This means H&D will be still in their EARLY 40′s and have plenty of time to work and save. At the same time they will have a large home for their growing needy family. Garth you try raising two kids in one tiny bedroom when they have both have got to go to school!

What you are promoting Garth is absolutely ridiculous, whether they are in their present home of $300,000 or their desired newer home of $350,000 the outcome is the same. The difference on $50,000 is going to make little difference on their futures.

Oh by the way on another matter, you keep using this RIDICULOUS 7% investment number. Yeah right as if this 7% will be around for the next 20 years! And it isn’t even available now, you keep promoting it, but you never SHOW where it is….just a lot of BS.

Helen and Duane, for a LOUSY $50,000…go buy the place. And stop reading Garth Turner afterwards, this website is for foolish people who have squandered their personnel savings on ridiculously over priced housing. YOU TWO DO NOT FIT THAT CATEGORY.

H&D buy the house, and never come back here again. You two are doing just fine.

Best wishes to both of you….as for you Garth…SHAME ON YOU!

You’re right. Screw the future. Get what you want now. — Garth

#75 Regan on 11.24.12 at 8:21 am

Helen – $50,000 for another bedroom, garage, pool AND better neighbourhood? That sounds good to me. The cost of daycare/staying home has probably been burning a hole through your cash flow so you’re living well below your means. You will be able to hammer down a $50,000 mortgage pretty fast. My only caveats would be to a) make sure how much you are walking out with, there will be transaction costs to consider and you’re next mortgage might be bigger than you think and b) make sure you won’t want to move again in 5 years because you have another kid, or it’s too far from work or something like that. Okay one more – make sure that going back to work is as easy as you hope. Can you secure that and have a firm budget before you leap?

#76 willworkforpickles on 11.24.12 at 9:04 am

Every real estate downturn has seen a destructive rouge wave of a sudden steep price decline. Wait for it.
Hmmm…all the tents sold at Canadian Tire are now made in China.
Gotta love this blog where you can say shit and asshole and the like and not get blotted out for it.

#77 Stupesing in Cabbagetown on 11.24.12 at 9:33 am

#22 trevor on 11.23.12 at 10:00 pm – Wow, that was hostile. Maybe our blog host was paying homage to that noble knight in The Frog Prince.

#78 Eaglebay - Parksville on 11.24.12 at 9:47 am

#25 Freedom First on 11.23.12 at 10:10 pm
“Money is the #1 cause of divorce. One person is money smart the other is money dumb.”

Isn’t love grand?

#79 Herb on 11.24.12 at 10:03 am

#67 Canuck Abroad,

whatever the price achieved in a transaction with an arm’s length buyer will become the base of the new current value assessment. MPAC will know that price right after the transfer of ownership is registered.

Have not seen this done, but I suspect that MPAC could issue a new assessment right away and the municipality could raise a new property tax bill from the date of sale.

#80 willworkforpickles on 11.24.12 at 10:15 am

#55- “That’s why they say get in or be priced out forever”

Do you not remember 1989? That same line was the most famous of famous last words then.

Many a semi for instance sold in downtown TO. in 1989 for half a million $ driven by the buy now or be priced out forever hype of the day and wound up being power of sale re-sold out the front bank door – some for as little as $165,000.00 CAD in 1992.

#81 House Horny Housewife on 11.24.12 at 10:15 am

Garth,

I think the real issue is what is making Sue unsatisfied. She originally purchased her property with her husband so she must have at least liked it at one time. What is different now ? If it is simply the neighbourhood changing over time and her family outgrowing her home then I can relate to this.

I can understand this unsatisfaction since my husband and I recently purchased a beautiful property in a lake community and sold our house in the city. The city was becoming extremely busy after about 10 years of living there (our city is exploding with people and cars for some reason) and the neighbourhood is nothing like the quiet place we originally moved into. I also found that with age comes a greater need for privacy and security.

That being said, I think that Sue may be making a huge mistake because: a) she does not seem to LOVE the property she is currently thinking of buying and for that much trouble, you really need to want it badly b) she is only moving 10 minutes away so it will still be near the university I should think c) she is taking money from her parents, a mortal mistake if I ever saw one d) her financial situation is not totally secure and at this age a priority equal if not more important than her house should be her eventual retirement income.

If size is truly a concern, then she can always try to rearrange the space to suit her needs and spend a bit of money to spruce and update. If the neighbourhood is an important issue then this is a bit more complicated. One can always put up privacy fences and landscape the backyard in order to “shut the neighbourhood out” so to speak but as soon as you walk out the door, the area will still be there.

Sue, have you ever thought of truly changing your location and finding something a bit outside that would actually be much cheaper than your current home ? Perhaps you can find something bigger for less money if you go out further than you are. However, you need to take the time to really do your homework and find something you truly love in a decent area. If you can find something for around $240,000.00, you would be able to cover all closing, moving and settling in costs and perhaps even put a little something extra away in your pocket. Your hubby would probably love THAT.

I totally disagree with many on this blog who have suggested that you get into the rental market for students. If you want to destroy your current property and have to run after students for the rent, then go ahead. I totally love how people think that the rental business is easy peasy money coming in at no expense (it most definitely isn’t). For selling the place, though, this could be a good angle to use to get a potential buyer (excellent potential for revenue generation).

Look at ALL of your options, Sue, and then think about it carefully. If you are unhappy, do something about it but take the time you need to make the right decision that will better your life and not make it worse. Taking on a more expensive property may not necessarily be the solution and may make you even more unhappy in the end.

HHHW

#82 Bigrider on 11.24.12 at 10:22 am

MoneySense Magazine for December2012/January2013 issue.

Quote: “First of all ,there never was a housing bubble. So it hasn’t burst, because it never existed” says James McKellar, academic director of the Real Property Program at York University.

2nd Quote: ” Lets be clear. Despite what some in the media would have you believe, Canada’s housing market is not on the edge of a cliff, ready to plunge into a freefall” says Jane Londerville, a real estate and hosuing advisor at the University of Guelph.

Thoughts? Host or anyone?

Exaggerated statements are unworthy of debate. — Garth

#83 Darlene on 11.24.12 at 10:46 am

It’s beyond me why people buy places that don’t work for them. The other day someone buys a too small condo then a house with ridiculous driving to get to work. Then today a couple with 2 kids in a 2 bedroom.

Houses have always been the most expensive thing you’ll ever buy, so put some thought into it before you purchase. Planning to have a family? Then don’t buy until you can afford at least a 3 bedroom. Want to spend time with the ones you love? Then don’t get yourself into long commutes.

Common sense has fallen off a cliff in exchange for fear of being priced out of the market.

There is a difference between needs and wants. You need to eat , sleep and shower. Figure out how much space this will require for your family. Your wants are finishes that can be achieved at a later time once you are in a financial position to do so. It’s not rocket science. So figure it out before you buy the most expensive thing you’ll ever buy!

#84 Canuck Abroad on 11.24.12 at 10:59 am

Garth I’m afraid I have to pile on. 900 square feet is too small for one person, never mind a couple and two kids. They will be teenagers soon – are they meant to share a bedroom then? Hope they’re not brother and sister. You should have consulted with your wife on this one before answering. Ask her if she would have been happy to live with you and two teenagers in 900 sq ft.

#85 Deano on 11.24.12 at 11:04 am

I guarantee this woman wants to move to Dundas. Every middle class social climber within an hours drive seems to want to move there.

Brantford still trumps Hamilton for value btw…mind you it would make the commute to T.O. even more miserable.

http://www.realtor.ca/propertyDetails.aspx?propertyId=11834829&PidKey=1383929187

#86 Just Park It on 11.24.12 at 11:05 am

Ah, Hamilton – 12 years ago when I got married we looked for our first home. Since I grew up in Oakville and being a cheap bugger – I looked at the West end of Burlington and Hamilton. Gotta admit – Hamilton has both charm and grime all on the same street. The city always reminded me of Buffalo’s smarter cousin. We searched, but what was affordable to us – well, the area was questionable and we figured it doesn’t get better with age.

Thus we moved north of Toronto – in a perfect town called Barrie. Today – almost a foot of snow – that’s awesome – as a x-country skier and a guy who loves out doors things – this is a perfect town. Lots of open space, homes on 50 foot lots are the norm – a GO train that has 5 departures every morning to the Big Smoke. If your looking for value and a well rounded community – dump Hamilton and head north…Life is better!!

#87 Ret on 11.24.12 at 11:11 am

We live 5 blocks from MixMaster U. Undergrad enrollment is at currently around 24,000 and two projections by the U have indicated a 5% yearly increase until at least 2020 topping out at around 33,000 students. Mac U has no more land to build on at that point.

The place has thousands of foreign students (guess from where?) all claiming Permanent Resident status, paying Canadian tuition rates, getting Canada Student Loans and OHIP coverage.

Two out of three houses have illegal rooms and multiple fire and electrical code violations. Don’t waste your time phoning by-law or the local Councillor unless you like to hear pathetic excuses for inaction.

Lots of slumlords screw the foreign students over pretty badly but no one seems to care. Foreign students don’t know their rights so it’s easy to take advantage of them especially if you are the same race or culture. Property values have been propped up by rents, unreported to the CRA, from illegal student rooms.

The local churches are struggling and the local school will probably close after one more year. The neighbourhood is littered with garbage and abandoned grocery carts. Slumlords don’t plant flowers, put up Christmas lights, give out Halloween candy, shovel snow, regularly cut grass or make any cosmetic improvements to their properties.

We’ve got in 28 years as owners and 59 years as residents in West Hamilton. We both grew up here and never left. We hope to be living in Burlington by this time next year. Retiring in a student/slumlord ghetto is not what where you want to be after a lifetime of working. We won’t be the last SFH standing on our block.

Helen, bail while you still can get a good dollar from the greedy slumlords who are still circling. You can get a much nicer home in Hamilton in a better area for a few dollars more. Oh, and put lots of “8′s” in that listing price for good luck!

#88 Tony Right on 11.24.12 at 11:15 am

Gold bugs need to chew on this article. A Harvard historian says the U.S. is about to enter another ‘Golden Age’ (supporting Garth’s adage to never bet against the U.S.):

http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/23/business/america-shale-gas-ferguson-stevens/index.html?hpt=hp_c3

#89 maxx on 11.24.12 at 11:21 am

#69 Rob the Dividend Trader on 11.24.12 at 5:50 am

Excellent post.

This kind of wealth is absolutely attainable….and easier if done by a couple as you can live frugally and bank an entire salary or more. Your dreams are then no longer fantasy.

When the kids come, you can teach them to hoard their wealth before daddy commerce slithers in from all MSM sides to stake his claim. Show them how to get what they need for far, far less by comparing, waiting for sales, coupon clipping, hunting for loss leaders, buying at discount, second-hand and charity shops, bartering, trading and last but not least, really thinking about whether or not they need that thing. Maybe plan a “white elephant” trade party- it’s a total blast! These kids are very smart and they’ll see the value for themselves.

Then one day comes a hellish economy (for instance, now) and there you are, debt-free and fully enjoying your stay on planet earth. No lost sleep and your time belongs to you. You can actually enjoy the taste of your coffee in the morning because you have a beautifully unfolding plan….and NO DEBT!

The great majority of people are conditioned to spend far too much, letting their future potential wealth slip through their fingers unnoticed- cable, cell ‘phone plans that bleed them dry, subscriptions, designer crap at full price, trophy house and its attendant fiscal hemorrhage……..then come the upgrade, maintenance and replacement treadmills. It never ends.

Every day I see people realize that they can regain control of their financial destiny and taking the necessary steps. This builds strength, confidence, is empowering in the extreme and makes me very happy.

In this world, old and poor is a hellish place to be.

#90 Mr Buyer on 11.24.12 at 11:36 am

DO NOT BUY NOW. YOU CAN LIVE IN 900sq ft. NO QUESTION ABOUT IT.

#91 tkid on 11.24.12 at 11:37 am

Helen, why not sell your current home (making your hubby happy) put the monies from the sale into decent investments (GICs even if it makes you happy) rent a bigger place (making the family happy) until the real estate market plunge levels out and you can buy a bigger home without needing a mortgage?

Three years ought to do it. You get three years to save towards getting a bigger home, you aren’t beholden to your parents, your hubby is happy, and the kids get a bigger place to rocket around in.

#92 tkid on 11.24.12 at 11:44 am

Link for #69:

http://freeat33.com/from-33151-00-to-636140-48-in-seven-years-our-net-worth-explosion/

#93 Fortunate Fool on 11.24.12 at 11:46 am

Garth, I didn’t know you were a University drop-out!

Here is the latest message posted by your friend Larry at Yatter Matters…

No End In Sight

Our good friend Cameron Muir Chief Economist of the British Columbia Real Estate Association says that he is “now convinced that we will never hear the end of housing bubble speak.”

Impending Doom

The premise is now as firmly entrenched in popular consciousness as carbon emissions and TMZ. It has taken the form of idolatry in the blogosphere, where any countervailing narrative is demonized. It has catapulted university dropouts into media darlings because of a hackneyed webpage and an opinion. It has been tarted up by so-called experts who predict impending doom year after year, despite being completely wrong every time.

No To Tinted Glasses

Now, I’m not wearing tinted glasses. Housing markets go up and they go down. However, my point is that sharp and significant
declines in home prices are usually created by massive economic shocks, like the 21 per cent mortgage rates and recession of 1982. Yes, there can be short term speculative bubbles that float back to earth after the circus leaves town, but home prices in Vancouver, for example, have been incongruous with other Canadian markets for decades.

Doom Sayers

The big test was 2008. That was the year of the doom sayers, when the largest financial crisis since the Great Depression besieged us and the collateral damage hurled us into a global recession, one from which we still haven’t fully recovered. The airwaves were all a buzz with end of the world prophets and those predicting home prices would be chopped in half, at least. It was going to be the big one! The housing market had gone through a significant inflationary period leading up to 2008. Unlike today, speculation was clearly evident. Accusations abounded that Vancouver was overvalued, unsustainable and frothy. One financial institution even had a publication called Housing Bubble Watch, now defunct, in which Vancouver was always the straw man.

Back In Droves

So what happened? Home prices fell 15 per cent from peak to trough, but that was short-lived. Indeed, once the clouds of uncertainty dissipated only a few months later, buyers came back in droves.

Record Level Trigger

The most dramatic turnaround ever recorded occurred in Vancouver during 2009, when the year began with 1980s level consumer demand and ended with sales tracking near record levels. Prices came right back to where they were before the crisis, and have stayed there, for the most part, for the past three years. If such a severe financial crisis and global recession couldn’t trigger a meltdown of the housing market or pop any asset balloon, what could?

Misconception

The main misconception about housing markets is that they behave like the stock market. They don’t. Bad news can drive stocks lower in a matter of seconds, whereas homes are relatively illiquid; they take a long time to sell and have higher closing costs. In addition, owner-occupiers typically don’t speculate with the family home. In times of hardship, the home is typically the last thing to go. Instead, they hold off on other expenditures like lattes, movie tickets, new TVs and vacations.

Catastrophe

In a market that has a well-diversified economy and expanding population, fire sales are extremely uncommon. Unless there is household financial catastrophe on a large scale, potential home sellers simply wait until market conditions improve.

Place Your Bet!

I write this piece as home sales in Vancouver and many other markets stagnate and homes prices tread water (see the Canadian Real Estate Association’s Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index for an accurate reading). I have no doubt that the voices of impending doom will soon renew their bellicose refrain. Perhaps their tea leaves will be right this time and the market will indeed collapse, leaving homes selling for 50 cents on the dollar. I’d put my money on that refrain continuing for a long time to come.

A worthless, but well-written, piece. Larry is one of the few literate realtors in the country. But no economic genius. Witness this statement about the 2008-9 correction: “So what happened? Home prices fell 15 per cent from peak to trough, but that was short-lived. Indeed, once the clouds of uncertainty dissipated only a few months later, buyers came back in droves.” Of course it was only a torrent of cheap money unleashed at emergency rates which bloated the market, and now we have the unfortunate twins of unaffordable prices and historic debt. No matter how hard he paints this as normal and digestible, it is neither. There will be no ‘collapse,’ but consumers are best served by knowing their will be a long storm. BTW, I graduated. Then started to learn. — Garth

#94 Not 1st on 11.24.12 at 12:02 pm

Garth when are you going to take another crack at Calgary? 12 months ago you said the prices would be significantly lower by this time. They aren’t. F’s changes have hardly dented that place.

#95 valyrian_steel on 11.24.12 at 12:04 pm

Our current savings rate is 75% – of course it helps to have two solid incomes, paid off mortgage, paid off car, and no kids.

At age 40, we have 450k (increases 5k monthly) in investable assets, and 4 mortgage free properties.

Umm… proof that not all 40 something Canadians are not all finanical screwheads? Reading this blog, you sometimes wonder what the hell is going on out there.

And apologies for any perceived smugness in this post.

#96 Silver on 11.24.12 at 12:09 pm

I’m not sure what the problem is?
The house sounds payed off…
The only secure income is $60,000 a year, (is that $5 grand a month before or after tax…)
And how much time will the kids get out off this…
and the education fund is how much…
and retirement funds…
A maybe job…
The wrong questions are everywhere….

My grandparents on one side raised 8 kids in a 30′ x 30′ house… with bedrooms built into the attic space they all got degrees….
My “side-kicks” parents raised 11 in a 15′ x 40′ box with an unfinished concrete basement… on a bakers wage…( $3.50/hr) they turned out reasonably well adjusted…

I don’t think the size of your home raises good kids…
… because the kids we get out of these “big box” homes now aren’t worth their “Salt” by and large…
there is way to much “I’m Special” stuff out there now…
But “time with them” does….

With no debt you can spend a world of time with those kids you value so much… instead of commuting.

Silver

#97 a prairie dawg on 11.24.12 at 12:25 pm

#64 Tony

University students are more apt to skip out on the rent than the average renter. Believe you me being close to a university is not a cash cow.

- — -

That’s BS. First and last month rent in advance, plus a damage deposit. And a “very” detailed lease agreement. The above money is forfeited upon eviction if any rent payment is missed. And of course you vet any applications thoroughly to weed out the deadbeats first. This isn’t rocket science. People have been using this rental model successfully for decades.

#98 Canadian Watchdog on 11.24.12 at 12:29 pm

#86 Tony Right

The U.S. has a math and debt problem, not an oil problem.

#99 Hugh Jasz on 11.24.12 at 12:41 pm

#38 kreditanstalt on 11.23.12 at 11:07 pm
$60,000 a year is NOT “modest”. It’s FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS A MONTH, plus whatever the wife brings home………

They could probably SAVE half of it…

Not a lot to say that Garth didn’t, but give your head a shake.

Property taxes: I dunno. $200 a month in Toronto, I hear Hammer is high….$300 a month?

Utility Bills: $300 ish, although it’s a small house.

Groceries for family of four: $600……and that’s certainly not eating deluxe stuff!

Car costs: Whether it’s paid for or not, each car costs a minimum of $400 a month to insure, fuel, and change oil. I’m going to guess that distant suburbanites have two, and I’d be surprised if both were owned free and clear. I’m'a throw $800 at this line item.

What else counts as essential? I guess you need clothes, shoes, hats and stuff. Let’s call it $150 per month for the family.

The kids need school supplies, hockey equipment, registration fees, swim lessons, etc.. I’ve got a few rugrats myself and I know this shit all costs money. I’m into about $200 a month average and I’m not even busy relative to other families I know. Let’s say $200 a month.

Cable/phone/internet? Modest as hell home package could be had for a hundred a month. A few household members on mobile devices drives this to a guaranteed $200+

I’d sort of like to retire one day, and if I’m in my late thirties w/o a good start, well, I guess I need to start ramming $500 a month into an investment account.

Got a few hundred left, eh? Don’t worry, car repairs, home maintenance, Christmas shopping, the odd Ti-Cats game, etc. will take care of that……..and more if you let it.

The bottom line, if you manage your finances fanatically carefully and don’t even try to keep up with the joneses, you can survive on $60,000 per year, but you ain’t going to live large and you certainly ain’t banking half……even without a mortgage to pay for.

#100 Dr. WAYNE on 11.24.12 at 12:44 pm

#5 Grim Reaper/Crypt Speculator on 11.23.12 at 9:07 pm

You’re fricken amazing … I simply can’t keep up with you !

#101 Dr. WAYNE on 11.24.12 at 12:52 pm

#57 Grim Reaper/Crypt Speculator on 11.24.12 at 1:30 am

Doc Wanker…..

Actually, I’ve done some ultra-highresolution spectrographic adaptive resolution electron scans on the photo … the entity on the right in the photo seems to share a few chemical structures similar to that of your moniker on this post … do you bark in your sleep?

#102 tony b on 11.24.12 at 12:55 pm

Several points here and Garth please refute if you think I’m bananaz
1- If houses have gone up 11.6% over the last year in the Hammer they will continue to rise for a couple more years. Hammer is not condo Toronto or Van—the only new developments are on the outskirts of town and those prices are above the average –houses also tend to sell quickly as you noted and this is a HUGE indicator of where prices are going
2- To all interested and this is from someone who moved to Ham from T.O 40 years ago—the top area is Durand–Kirkendall for appreciation–the is south and west of downtown—but also the priciest part of town–stay away from MAC and westdale unless you just want to rent to students
–the burbs–Ancaster-Dundas Stoney Creek are pricier and move you further from TO access
3-If you want to buy a pretty nieghboorhood with mature homes and a full backyard then either far east or far west mountain or far south moutain—these were built in the 60-70-80′s and large lots–I have a 95 X190 lot
4-Taxes are higher-definitely–but prices in the Hammer are moving up as people see the large diff in house prices even between Ham and Burlington-Oakville -Miss -this is on-going and will continue
5-GO service keeps getting better–the 403 Hiway to TO is plugged from 6-930 AM and 230-630 PM–generally in both directions

Helen–get out of Westdale–recommendation because—I lived there around Aberdeen and Queen for 20 years–brought my kids up there–Locke st–Westdale school–the mountain behind you for trails and nature–walk to downtown and market–quick access out of town–also the priciest part and the fastest appreciating if you check LePage quaterly reports

#103 Dr. WAYNE on 11.24.12 at 12:58 pm

#62 bailing in bc on 11.24.12 at 2:53 am

THANK YOU … few would consider that a ‘complement’, as I do.

#104 tony b on 11.24.12 at 1:01 pm

Helen–My last statement is confusing–I apologize–I lived around Queen and Aberdeen for 20 years—-get out of Westdale

#105 a prairie dawg on 11.24.12 at 1:14 pm

I hope H and F are proud of the legacy they’ve left us.

http://business.financialpost.com/2012/11/23/canada-urged-to-get-act-together-as-national-debt-to-hit-600-billion-saturday/

#106 Ric in gta on 11.24.12 at 1:19 pm

Oh yea rent to students. My son was in a rental in London the townhouse needed a complete reno, no thanks.

#107 kreditanstalt on 11.24.12 at 1:43 pm

#97 Hugh

Still hard to believe that family can’t manage on $60,000++ gross income a year.

Here on Vancouver Island, I too have no mortgage, 1 (one!) sub-compact car and 1 (one) teenager.

Food (no eating out; it’s a luxury at Canadian prices): $350/month. You shop at No Frills or Walmart but you can eat well and healthfully too.

Utilities: gas ($40, for hot water), electricity ($90+), Highest-speed Internet+basic cable+home phone ($111) plus municipal water/sewer/recycling/garbage = $55/mo.

Gas at three/four fill-ups per month = $45 x 4 = $180

Property taxes $2100/yr. = $180/mo.

No money wasted on insurance (a Canadian addiction!).
No eating out. No hockey. No cell phones, IPads/Pods or expensive luxury gadgets. Zellers, etc., for clothing – or we buy it on trips to visit family overseas (FAR cheaper). No credit or debit card costs as I pay everything in cash.

We have a woodstove in basement which heats the house in winter for cost of maybe three cords wood @$140/cord = $450.

Looks like about $1500/month and this is a 2800 sq. ft. house on 3/4 acre. The result of all this is I have built up a good base of savings which I don’t (yet) need to touch.

Bottom line: If Canadians want to BUY their happiness they’re going to have to find high-paying jobs, manage to keep them and work their butts off.

They’ll save nothing and constantly be “making payments”…

#108 Tony Right on 11.24.12 at 1:48 pm

#96 Canadian Watchdog

Good luck if you’re in gold! I’ve got a lifetime before I’m retired, so I’ll be betting on the American economy to rebound very nicely (getting hot just thinking about those seductive, low prices of American equities). Gold prices are tied to the U.S. dollar, which is bound to go up, in a country about to be swamped with oil and gas. If you’re looking for Armageddon, not gonna happen in our lifetime, sorry.

#109 Grim Reaper/Crypt Speculator on 11.24.12 at 2:01 pm

#99 Dr. WAYNE on 11.24.12 at 12:52 pm

#57 Grim Reaper/Crypt Speculator on 11.24.12 at 1:30 am

Doc Wanker…..

Actually, I’ve done some ultra-highresolution spectrographic adaptive resolution electron scans on the photo … the entity on the right in the photo seems to share a few chemical structures similar to that of your moniker on this post … do you bark in your sleep?
——————————————————–

No, I am basically a calcium based entity with enough ligament to keep the structural components aligned for expeditous kinetic movement. Last chunk of meat fell of about 450 years ago, so pretty buff right now.

I can swing that scythe like Tiger Woods or Babe Ruth

No need for 4/ 5 of senses,especially hearing, when clients start screaming.

Lacking any soul, mercy or empathy,I keep getting recruited by Politicals Parties, Wall Street, Real Estate Companies, Toronto Maple Leafs, Amway…

However…I am like Gov’t …I am here to help you.

#110 dm in c on 11.24.12 at 2:11 pm

Hhw. 79

Who the heck is Sue?

#111 Bigrider on 11.24.12 at 2:14 pm

#80- Garth to Bigrider -”exaggerated statments are unworthy of debate”

In all fairness, how are their comments exaggerated?

I would think that some of the comments you make are much more exagerrated than theirs.

In any event, although I do not agree with them, their comments are as worthy of debate as any of yours.

#112 Mark on 11.24.12 at 2:24 pm

Will the banks get bailed out again when Canadian real estate busts?

Yes…the Canadian banks got bailed out in 2008/2009. This is something the banks and the government don’t want you to know.

http://www.planbeconomics.com/2012/10/23/guest-post-the-great-canadian-bank-bail-out/

#113 Old Man on 11.24.12 at 2:27 pm

I don’t know real estate in Hamilton, as just checked it out with mls, and there are nice properties everywhere for under 200K. Thus, do not get it! A 2 bedroom home with 900 sq. ft. with a market value of 300K?

#114 Canadian Watchdog on 11.24.12 at 2:35 pm

REBGV Daily Stats Chart

This is the first major stage in declining average home prices as an increase in price changes and sales volume (relative to net supply) chases less dollar volume of total demand, driving average prices lower.

#115 Buy? Curious? on 11.24.12 at 2:43 pm

Maybe Helen should think outside the box. TMZ reported that former NFL wide-receiver, Tyrell Owens, sold his condo that he bought for $300k+, for $180k. I don’t know how people can deal with that type of loss. I wonder what’s going to happen here when I hear friends and family taking those kinds of losses.

#116 Buy? Curious? on 11.24.12 at 2:44 pm

Sorry, here’s the link.

http://m.tmz.com/#Article/2012/11/24/terrell-owens-sells-georgia-condo-massive-loss

#117 Gunboat denier on 11.24.12 at 2:50 pm

69 Rob/ 88 Maxx – this couple has done 2 of 3 things well. They have invested in themselves (trade and a teacher) and have lived well within their means. But
their investments have been too concerntrated and
leveraged. It has worked out for them – so far.

#118 daystar on 11.24.12 at 2:53 pm

Duane, Helen, I can’t help you. I need more information. I don’t know your average combined incomes over the last 5 years, don’t know the local RE market or which markets to look, all I know is you likely need a third bedroom in time of which you can either add on or upsize but since I really don’t know what you both can afford to do or for that matter what your parents can afford to do and since affordability for me is the decisive factor, I can’t suggest how to proceed from here.

So… lil’ help? Give us some idea of true income here, any possible curveballs (health, an extra possible dependant, things like that) and which hoods you are interested in selling and buying into? I’m sure myself and the rest of the pack can do much more in the way of advice than we can right now if we had more intel.

#119 Fisc on 11.24.12 at 2:59 pm

Why I’m not surprised…:

http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/11/23/buyers-at-torontos-trump-tower-say-they-were-suckered-into-deals-by-an-investment-scheme-and-conspiracy/

#120 Daisy Mae on 11.24.12 at 3:28 pm

#110 Bigrider: “In any event, although I do not agree with them, their comments are as worthy of debate as any of yours.”

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

Only if you want to take the time to do it.

#121 Daisy Mae on 11.24.12 at 3:32 pm

“Never make the mistake of arguing (debating) with someone whose opinion you do not respect.”

#122 Victor V on 11.24.12 at 3:34 pm

http://www.thestar.com/business/article/1292521–trump-hotel-buyers-fail-to-get-court-to-intervene-in-disputed-purchases

Panicked buyers of hotel-condo units in Toronto’s Trump International Hotel & Tower were unable to convince a judge Friday that they need an emergency hearing — and an investigation by a court-appointed inspector — into financial dealings at the ill-fated project.

Five buyers who lined the back of the tiny courtroom, some on the verge of tears, were alarmed to hear that tens of thousands of dollars in deposits they have been trying to retrieve from developer Talon International Inc. “are gone,” according to their lawyer, Javad Heydary.

“It’s an absolute mess,” Heydary told a motions scheduling court, where he was seeking Friday to fast-track a hearing date for buyers who have alerted Talon they want to rescind their deals and get back deposits averaging more than $175,000.

At least five more buyers are set to join the lawsuit, said Heydary. He’s also been contacted by representatives of 40-plus buyers, many from the U.K. and Europe.

All of them were shocked to find out last February, when Talon issued new financial estimates for the much-delayed project, that the hotel-condo units weren’t quite the Hollywood gold they were billed to be in slick marketing materials graced by Donald Trump’s smiling face.

===============

Greed is not good.

#123 2centsCdn on 11.24.12 at 3:39 pm

#118 Fisc
Condo buyers want money back because gains not as claimed.

Here we go. Investors now want a guarantees. This isn’t Wal Mart or Canadian Tire where you’re money will be cheerfully refunded if you aren’t 100% happy. When you put your name on a 5-6-7-$800K condo to be built … you are not escaping. These are smart shrewd business people and as friendly as the sales people may have been … the building owners and their lawyers will not be. I’m sure fine print in the document you signed when you plunked down your money(s) has you hog-tied and powerless. There will be thousands of people trying to get out. The builders can’t let any escape or the flood gates will open. This is going to get shitty very soon.

#124 rob on 11.24.12 at 4:03 pm

Hey Garth,
How long to you think it will take the news media to jump ship and actually start reporting the truth?

#125 SydCixel on 11.24.12 at 4:04 pm

Helen is correct in being concerned about the effects of an influx of students upon her neighbourhood. Just ask the homeowners in the Uptown or Parkdale areas of Waterloo.

#126 AprilNewwest on 11.24.12 at 4:45 pm

#83 Canuck Abroad
900 sq ft is plenty big enough for one or two people. Maybe it depends on what one gets used to.

#127 Devore on 11.24.12 at 4:49 pm

Re 668, you can apply to the city and have it renumbered, unless they won’t give you 666 for some silly superstitious reason.

#128 Devore on 11.24.12 at 5:31 pm

#96 a prairie dawg

That’s BS. First and last month rent in advance, plus a damage deposit. And a “very” detailed lease agreement. The above money is forfeited upon eviction if any rent payment is missed. And of course you vet any applications thoroughly to weed out the deadbeats first. This isn’t rocket science. People have been using this rental model successfully for decades.

It’s no BS. Why are student rents so much higher than other forms of rentals? Risk.

People have also successfully built business based on loaning money and leasing things to deadbeats, but that doesn’t mean anyone can do it, or that you don’t have to know what you’re doing.

There’s a business model for everything. Renting rooms to 18 year old students is not the same as renting rooms to 80 year old grandmas.

#129 Dr. WAYNE on 11.24.12 at 5:35 pm

#108 Grim Reaper/Crypt Speculator

You say you are a ‘calcium-based entity’. Jeeezzz … most ‘living’ things on this planet are ‘carbon’ based. OH MY GOD … you are not of this planet !!! Just where in hell is Steven Spielberg when you need him !

#130 Devore on 11.24.12 at 5:38 pm

#96 a prairie dawg

Oh, and finally, your “detailed lease” is irrelevant. You can’t sign away your rights, which are spelled out in the residential tenancies act. A renter can easily stay put for months while they work the process to their advantage, even paying no rent. If they’re getting kicked out anyways, they won’t be in a hurry to leave on their own. Hope all your permits are in order too, or you’ll end up paying fines on top of everything.

I’ve seen Income property too, I see how Scott McGillivray casually throws around the “rent to students” idea. It’s not free or easy money. You’re taking on much more risk and work for potentially more reward.

#131 Hugh Jasz on 11.24.12 at 5:58 pm

#106 kreditanstalt on 11.24.12 at 1:43 pm
…….Looks like about $1500/month

I noticed that there was no toys, and no recreation other than basic cable TV in your budget.

I also noticed that urban Ontario is apparently fantastically more expensive than rural BC for some things. I also noticed that you clearly don’t drive too far or to too many places

I guess you’re the guy that is fanatically frugal and can do it.

Congratulations for finding a way and deciding you’re happy.

#132 Devore on 11.24.12 at 5:59 pm

#110 Bigrider

When’s the last time Larry sold a house? How’s that “hot” market working out for him and his $8M listing?

He’s a drama queen. Says one thing one day, and completely opposite thing a month later.

#133 Hugh Jasz on 11.24.12 at 6:05 pm

And, I’m not really being disrespectful, kreditanstalt

I know I could not be happy anywhere in North America limited to post-mortgage budget of $1500 a month.

I admire you for deciding “this is enough” and making a life out of it.

#134 45north on 11.24.12 at 6:40 pm

prairie dawg: First and last month rent in advance, plus a damage deposit. And a “very” detailed lease agreement.

the government could launch a new program:

“Stupid people needed to be landlords -must sign mortgage agreement which completely favours the banks and then rent to people where the law completely favours the tenants.”

#135 REBear on 11.24.12 at 6:50 pm

I live near the Garth St house, and let’s face it, it’s a microcosm of the risk facing homeowners in Canada today. Demographics and the local economy(gov’t employment) will make this type of property a sinkhole for the person buying it today. And that awful green/dark brown colour scheme is all the rage today… but the decor… is it modern? Or is it traditional/antique? Or some combination of the two? Give it a few years and this tacky trash pit will be a tough sale at anywhere near this price. Oh, and any bets on the owner’s nationality?

#136 Karie on 11.24.12 at 6:54 pm

I’m with Helen – bail! 900 sq ft is small but manageable if you have a basement. It’s the living amongst students that’s the killer. If she truly isn’t happy, what’s $50,000 in the long term? 1200 sq ft and $50,000 more a year is very reasonable. That is not entitlement. Their house is paid off. This would be a very small mortgage – they could still save. Spend money where it matters most to you and save money on things that don’t matter as much. Where you live is very important in my opinion!

#137 Stoopid Idiot on 11.24.12 at 7:22 pm

Sorry #87 Tony Right…. Your wrong. The production curve on fracked natural gas well’s and the net energy loss of shale oil recovery is nothing short of silly and foolish. Unless of course you would like to subsidize it thru tax payer dollars. CNN…? Please, get educated not indoctrinated. The world uses 88 million barrels per day, 22 million is used by 5% of the world populous very unsustainable.

http://www.peakprosperity.com/video/234/playlist/153/chapter-17a-peak-oil

http://www.peakprosperity.com/video/235/playlist/153/chapter-17b-energy-budgeting

http://www.peakprosperity.com/video/236/playlist/153/chapter-17c-energy-and-economy

Stoopid (dump on purpose)

P.S. Long Gold & Silver Short U.S. dollar

#138 Mr Buyer on 11.24.12 at 7:23 pm

I graduated. Then started to learn. — Garth
……………………………………………………………..
There is a spirit that rises and falls on this blog that goes something like school is bad it breeds losers at worst and ill-prepared at best. I came to the understanding in my teens that the general purpose of our educational institutions are to condition the populous to accept getting up and going to spend the day at a place that most do not want to be and thus fully preparing good citizens for a lifetime of work and training them to employ a good proportion of their mental capacity in the act of willful misunderstanding and denial. I wish to emphasize the teen-aged nature of this understanding and how it served a purpose which was to rationalize leaving school and wander aimlessly through a wilderness of limited perception. The University of life teaches baser courses that can likely learned over the span of three or four 30 minute screen-casts or webinars. The great advances in our society have occurred in spite of financial manipulation and opportunism and not because of it. There are not many “I invested money, exploited financial instruments and discerned the molecular mechanics behind colon cancer” types out there. Thinking of the great unwashed as sheep is not advisable as most of the members of the flock can likely pummel me into a gelatinous pudding. I think it is much wiser to think of the masses on a whole as a wild beast that only appears to be tamed and orderly (no small thanks to educational institutions around the globe). Error on the side of caution. Convince enough people there is no future in working together and
reward enough predators handsomely and you can kiss any reasonable rate of progress goodbye.

#139 a prairie dawg on 11.24.12 at 7:56 pm

#127 Devore

Why are student rents so much higher than other forms of rentals? Risk.

- — -

Partly risk, but mostly because of the proximity to the University and the premium that it commands. And you can mitigate risk with the right type of lease, and proper screening.

#140 pencil on 11.24.12 at 8:17 pm

Usually I agree with Garth, but I wonder why, when he was so understanding of a previous gentleman who was down on his luck, he is so hard on a couple with kids and a house that is too small. I would suggest they tough it out, save some money and then buy a house that is just a bit bigger. I think they bought their present house just before or after children arrived. Time to move just a notch up to a place that suits their needs and then bear down to rid themselves of their mortgage. They are trying to raise their family right now, I guess that should take a complete back seat to the all important retirement. Keeping retirement in mind, don’t drive yourself crazy. Its not like they want a recreational property, condo or McMansion. Just a bit more room, is that too much to ask? Is that really house lust? Just to live in a house that fits? Will that entirely blow their retirement out of the water? Does retirement trump all? Are they really bad people if they consider their options and do what suits them best? Is this woman a complete nut, to even think of moving for a small difference in price? Chill out on these people in their 30′s, they are doing just fine. Garth makes them out to be absolutely crazy, but I know that if I still lived in my first house I really would be crazy by now. Sometimes it is just time to move on, Garth be damned.

#141 Grim Reaper/Crypt Speculator on 11.24.12 at 8:24 pm

#128 Dr. WAYNE on 11.24.12 at 5:35 pm

#108 Grim Reaper/Crypt Speculator

You say you are a ‘calcium-based entity’. Jeeezzz … most ‘living’ things on this planet are ‘carbon’ based. OH MY GOD … you are not of this planet !!! Just where in hell is Steven Spielberg when you need him !

=====================================
Actually …..a lot of calcium phosphate or more specifically calcium hydroxylapatite

Given your healthy skepticism What I suggest you do is disguise yourself as a Turkey…jump in the Oven..heat to 1000 degrees (Celsius)…and render yourself to a carbon(?) copy of moi…Then do an analysis as to the elemental composition.

But Good news !!!!!….we are about to sign a book /movie/ HBO deal for my life story…mind you it will have to be broken down into mini series.

Just the advance funds allow me to snap up deals in HotAsianMoney- ILTON aka HAMilton

#142 willworkforpickles on 11.24.12 at 8:32 pm

There isn’t much that can be said that hasn’t already been said in this column regarding the r e turn down but the consistencies with the early 90′s are much the same.
There is…widespread denial
-The downturn won’t last, it won’t be too lengthy
-Prices aren’t going to slide too far
-It is different this time around (don’t ask me how but it’s just what i keep hearing)
-It’s my estate, it’s my money dammit (so it can’t affect me too much, the downturn won’t hit me that hard)
-blah blah blah …. and on and on and on
All said and done though – the month to month decline in prices in the early 90′s didn’t seem that steep either. Not until you bring the accumulative drop from mid 1990 to late 92 into the picture which turned into a jaw dropping mind bending time through hell for those who bought in the late eighties.
High unemployment ,overpriced real estate and personal debt were then and are again the contributing factors this time around and are to be the bearer of the same hell that awaits those who bought in the last 2 to 3 years.
The only thing different this time around over the early 90′s downturn are the means that contributed to the same factors affecting real estate today.
……It’s really the same pile with a different shovel.

#143 Daisy Mae on 11.24.12 at 8:58 pm

#106 Kreditanstalt: “Bottom line: If Canadians want to BUY their happiness they’re going to have to find high-paying jobs, manage to keep them and work their butts off.”

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

Canadians want it all, and they want it now. We’re now being pulled up short…and will have to re-assess our living standards. We haven’t learned yet. Has anyone seen the crowds in the malls for BLACK FRIDAY?

Sue and her husband could, perhaps, expand by going up or out — add another bedroom to existing home?

#144 Daisy Mae on 11.24.12 at 9:04 pm

#109dm in c: “Who the heck is Sue?”

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

Good point! It’s not ‘Sue’ — it’s Helen and Duane! Where did we get ‘Sue’?

#145 Daisy Mae on 11.24.12 at 9:15 pm

#121 Victor B: “All of them were shocked to find out last February, when Talon issued new financial estimates for the much-delayed project, that the hotel-condo units weren’t quite the Hollywood gold they were billed to be in slick marketing materials graced by Donald Trump’s smiling face.”

===============

Greed is not good.”

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

Too bad, so sad. These investors made a choice….and now they’ll live with it. “Greed is not good”.

#146 Daisy Mae on 11.24.12 at 9:20 pm

#122 2CentsCdn: “There will be thousands of people trying to get out. The builders can’t let any escape or the flood gates will open. This is going to get shitty very soon.”

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

The lawyers and the courts will nip this in the bud.

#147 winter's coming on 11.24.12 at 9:21 pm

I totally agree with #73

and having lived on a street that turned student, I can say that it is nightmarish. totally worth the modest $50,000 at what.. 3%? yep.

Move.

#148 Daisy Mae on 11.24.12 at 9:25 pm

124SydCixel: “Helen is correct in being concerned about the effects of an influx of students upon her neighbourhood. Just ask the homeowners in the Uptown or Parkdale areas of Waterloo.”

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

What’s the problem? Are the students terrorizing the neighbourhood? Geez…..leave ‘em alone!

#149 Aaron - Melbourne on 11.24.12 at 9:35 pm

Hee’s one for the China watchers….

Knock offs of picturesque European cities and towns: These ambitious projects are a perfect example of the massive over supply and over valuation of property across China. So why build? Because it promotes GDP growth– the government’s number one priority.

http://www.messynessychic.com/2012/11/20/made-in-china-european-clone-towns/

#150 Daisy Mae on 11.24.12 at 9:39 pm

#134 RE Bear: “…but the decor… is it modern? Or is it traditional/antique? Or some combination of the two? Give it a few years and this tacky trash pit will be a tough sale at anywhere near this price…..”

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

I know I didn’t like the decor…at all!

#151 The American on 11.24.12 at 9:40 pm

At #97: Canadian Watchdog, I’m the previous strong, you stated that 48% of Americans are on food stamps. This is purely and completely inaccurate. The U.S. topped at 48,000,000 people on food stamps – not 48%. The number is trickling down slowly now. Latest figures report 42,000,000 Americans on food stamps. In a country of nearly 320,000,000 people this is about 13% of the population. This includes students, mothers and children on WICA or EBT, even illegal immigrants (of which we know are about 24,000,000 in the U.S.), people who cannot support themselves, mentally disabled, physically disabled, and those without work.

#152 The American on 11.24.12 at 9:43 pm

At #97: Canadian Watchdog, even in the absolute best of times, the U.S. will have about 27,000,000 on “food stamps” (a very antiquated term and stamps haven’t been used in years. It is all electronic debit). That number is about 15,000,000 higher now in the worst economic recession since the Great Depression.

#153 Dave on 11.24.12 at 9:50 pm

Garth’s advice is silly and out-of-touch….He fails to use common sense and consider the couples quality of life into the equation.

Yes, this couple would certainly be able to build their liquid assets more quickly by staying in their current home. However taking into consideration their age and their ability to service debt: this couple should take the plunge and take on $50,000+ worth of debt for a major uptick in their quality of life.

#154 Dr. WAYNE on 11.24.12 at 9:56 pm

#140 Grim Reaper/Crypt Speculator on 11.24.12 at 8:24 pm

Just the advance funds allow me to snap up deals in HotAsianMoney

AGAIN … your spelling is atrocious … it’s ‘Honey’, not ‘Money’ … sheeesh …

#155 VT on 11.24.12 at 10:01 pm

Toronto realtors are getting nervous. Check out this website that is beginning to get widely promoted to try to get the land transfer tax abolished. If you want a chuckle, check out the altruistic reasons given by these real estate insiders as to ‘why’ they are doing this.

http://www.letsgetthisrighttoronto.ca/about/

#156 Jager99 on 11.24.12 at 10:13 pm

Buy$ Courious$
Smoking Man gave you the torch.

Waiting……………

#157 Art Vandelai on 11.24.12 at 10:16 pm

668 Garth St.

Neighbour of the Beast!

#158 a prairie dawg on 11.24.12 at 10:20 pm

A Scottish castle cheaper than average Toronto condo.

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-buzz/scottish-castle-had-less-average-condo-toronto-165206345.html

#159 Bottoms_Up on 11.24.12 at 10:32 pm

#137 Mr Buyer on 11.24.12 at 7:23 pm
————————————————
If you want to know what the reverse of our educational system is, take a look at Somalia. An entire generation or two completely uneducated in the scholastic sense. All the know is guns, violence and blackmailing.

I think our educational system is doing something a little more than just preparing us to be ‘tax farm slaves’.

#160 willworkforpickles on 11.24.12 at 10:36 pm

Do you have what it takes to be a successful slumlord?
Few do with any real degree of success.

Slumlord rule #1…..Take last the months rent if it’s offered but never ever give monthly receipts for rent paid. (to this i will explain why further down)

Keep in mind as a slumlord that there is only one official city department that you ever need to show full respect and compliance to. (which one and why will be explained further down)

If you are unfortunate enough to have been conned into renting to a lying crack addict on welfare – you can expect a multitude each and every hour of every day and every night of what they will call their personal friends continuously showing up and leaving .
The real deal there will be your new crackhead tenant who goes through his or her welfare cheque in a new york minute will need to feed his or her addiction and will do so by allowing a local crack dealer of his or her choice to sit on their couch , cell phone in hand – taking orders and having his customers coming and going Expect a steady flow of bodies all day and night that is, if the tenant has a couple of crack dealers working separate shifts out of their unit.

Now the way to get rid of bad tenant or a non paying tenant is to simply start tossing their crap and belongings out the door.
When they start screaming bloody blue murder, landlord and tenant act -911 and the cops show up when they call them down on you, this is where not ever supplying a rent receipt comes into play. You can make up any story then such as this person occupying the unit is merely a friend of a previous tenant who appears to have vacated and as the landlord you are clearing the unit. The police will then demand to see a rent receipt to which none can be produced and will escort the bad tenant off the premises. A situation that the landlord and tenant act admin (as toothless as they really are anyway) won’t touch with a ten foot pole. Problem solved.
Next….which city authority has teeth and can bite and which don’t.
-Zoning authority…nevermind them – reactive at best , never proactive …..just ignore them and they will soon go away . They rarely if ever make their presence known anyway.
-Property Standards Control….. they too will go away eventually by ignoring them but may return one day accompanied by the one real threat to any slumlords existence .
and they are>
-The Fire Department. Never do you ever disregard an order by the fire department as they are the one true city division that can and will have you shut down and shut out.
All other city depts can be ignored as they are little more than chihuahuas with just a bark and no bite.
The successful slumlord learns in time to never play into any of their little games but to ignore them instead and watch them eventually go away.

So what can be gained by this on the road to becoming a long term successful slumlord?

Just remember the 3 simple rules to becoming a successful slumlord.

1- Never give monthly rent receipts to tenants
2-Always comply to Fire Dept issued orders
3-Never play into the hands of other city depts – learn to ignore them and they will turn their attention to much easier prey than you.

Happy Land-lording and just remember….nothing is ever easy.

#161 Bottoms_Up on 11.24.12 at 10:37 pm

#112 Old Man on 11.24.12 at 2:27 pm
——————————————
It’s because their house is close to McMaster university. That guarantees a certain value for their property based on renting to students.

#162 LuckyRenter on 11.24.12 at 10:41 pm

Canada urged to ‘get act together’ as national debt to hit $600-billion Saturday

OTTAWA — The country is about to pass a red ink milestone that the Canadian Taxpayers Federation says is completely unnecessary.

The national debt is set to reach $600-billion just seconds before 11:19 p.m. ET Saturday, says the federation, which has set up a “debt clock” to let everyone view the event online.

That works out to nearly $17,200 for each person in the country.

http://business.financialpost.com/2012/11/23/canada-urged-to-get-act-together-as-national-debt-to-hit-600-billion-saturday/

#163 Canadian Watchdog on 11.24.12 at 10:44 pm

#151 The American

That number is about 15,000,000 higher now in the worst economic recession since the Great Depression.

47 million users and heading into another recession with i) the biggest food shortage in 50 years and ii) high gas prices sustaining while iii) US debt-to-GDP is running at 102% with another debt ceiling hike in two months and lastly iv) the fiscal cliff.

I’ll bet against America any day.

#164 Bottoms_Up on 11.24.12 at 10:50 pm

#98 Hugh Jasz on 11.24.12 at 12:41 pm
——————————————
Completely agree. To live a decent middle income lifestyle in a major Canadian city for a family with kids and cars (without daycare costs) you’re looking at needing $7000/mo. This considers a mortgage payment of roughly $1500/mo, house maintenance of $500/mo, property taxes of $300/mo, heat/hydro/water at about $400/mo, cars at about $1000/mo (lease, maintenance, tires, gas, insurance, licensing, parking), food at about $800/mo.

There you go, I’m at $4500 and we haven’t even started living yet. Or putting money aside for retirement. Or RESPs. Or family vacations. Or emergency fund. Or clothes. Or recreation.

#165 Bottoms_Up on 11.24.12 at 10:57 pm

#106 kreditanstalt on 11.24.12 at 1:43 pm
———————————————
I truly feel sorry for you and your teenager. No hockey? No anything? Scrimp to the utmost? It sounds like you’re proud of this lifestyle. If I were you I’d be ashamed. What kind of life are you teaching your child to lead? To be a scrooge? That memories and experiences don’t matter in life…and only what matters is how much you saved by shopping at no frills?!

#166 Ford Prefect on 11.24.12 at 11:25 pm

#158: National debt to hit 600 billion.

If only that were all.

The diversion in the past 6 years of a great deal of the country’s resources into real estate via government backed mortgages etc. has potentially got the taxpayer on the hook for an additional 850 billion or more, ie. CMHC at 600 billion and Genworth at around 250 billion.

Some estimates, by foreign academics, put the total at 1 trillion.

Of course it is unlikely that the full amount will ever be called by the banks as mortgages go into default but even a 30% claim would be enormous. In other words Harper in six years has possibly increased the national debt, which took since confederation to get to 600 billion, to around 900 billion.

#167 a prairie dawg on 11.24.12 at 11:34 pm

#130 Devore

I’ve seen Income property too, I see how Scott McGillivray casually throws around the “rent to students” idea. It’s not free or easy money. You’re taking on much more risk and work for potentially more reward.

- — -

You’ve seen income property?

Well I deal directly with owners and developers in this exact situation, frequently. No one is running for the hills because it’s too much hassle for them. Properly done, it makes them money.

And my original post above stated “If it were me…”

You must have missed that part.

#168 a prairie dawg on 11.24.12 at 11:41 pm

#134 45north

- — -

So we should all brush up on obscure regional Ontario rental laws. No matter where we live in Canada?

Sure, I’ll get right on that. lol

#169 True Animal Lover on 11.25.12 at 12:21 am

Helen, sell your place in the west end and move up to the west mountain or Stoney Creek mountain..we just saw a billboard for new homes for 270k…lots more big box stores and shopping out that way too..not that I prefer the mountain, we live close to Dundurn and Locke streets. We like being more urban and downtown, but it’s more expensive here.
http://www.buzzbuzzhome.com/victory

Also some views of our beautiful city on the escarpment, for those of you not familiar.. http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=146487

#170 Canadian Watchdog on 11.25.12 at 12:28 am

Investor confidence is breaking down. Chart That means no more loans for poor Canadians.

All these analysts calling a soft landing will get it wrong. They don’t see what’s coming.

#171 Toronto Tonto on 11.25.12 at 1:27 am

I think I saw Buy? Curious ? and Smoking man drinking Scotch at Casino Niagara discussing the “book”

#172 bailing in bc on 11.25.12 at 1:36 am

#103 Dr. WAYNE

It seems that I have misread you. I’ve always thought that you were trying to insult people by calling them “A$$holes”. Based on this new information I see that it is in fact a ‘complement’.

#173 Mcexpat on 11.25.12 at 1:58 am

#95 valryan
Just a weird post from you…,like what is your point?
450k invested or potentially investable? Four properties why? Buddy you should have sold them 2 years ago and invested that money…..deflating as we speak.
I hope you don’t talk that way around your friends….sheesh

#174 Waterloo Resident on 11.25.12 at 2:22 am

I know that hourly workers work 40 hours a week (8 hours each day), 52 weeks a year, so that adds up to about 2000 hours a year, but I’ve read that in this recession companies in Toronto are making salaried employees work from 3,000 to 4,000 hours per year, up from the 2,000 hours they used to work in 2007, but they are not getting any raises in pay.

I just read of one certified accountant who works for one of the big banks was making $49,120 per year in 2007 (he put in 2,400 hours that year), and since then his pay was cut to $39,600. Then suddenly he told that the bank expected him to put in 14 hours of work each day, including Saturdays (4,000 hours per year), with no holidays (other than statutory ones) and no benefits. When he said he would gladly agree but only at his previous salary, he was promptly TERMINATED. The company said that workers today were being OUTRAGEOUSLY unrealistic and demanding.

So really, if that is how certified accountants are getting the BOOT in today’s working world, and there is demand for them, imagine how everyone else is faring?

Now imagine how these newly laid-off workers will be able to afford a new house? YES, NO?

I don’t think so.

#175 kreditanstalt on 11.25.12 at 3:08 am

#165 Bottoms_Up

We don’t lack anything. And we don’t “scrimp”!

Don’t you too sometimes get that feeling of being ripped off when you pay $2-$3 for a plastic bottle of some fake “juice” drink or $10-20 + tips + tax for a too-small restaurant meal? Then WHY do it??

When just about everything one buys in this country costs less in most other countries, one quickly learns to buy as little as possible here.

It’s not “being cheap” or “skimping”. It’s being WISE. And frugal…like our parents were…my mom would re-use plastic bags, save zip-lok bags and shop wherever milk was cheapest…and we never “suffered”!

Where are you coming from? I sure hope you have a secure job…not many of us do.

But one can save up a hell of a lot of money just by being aware of what you really need and by buying only when something is a true bargain.

I know I won’t end up like 95% of North Americans: loads of toys and gadgets, a negative net worth, mortgages to pay, car loans to pay, credit card debt AND no savings. And always just one missed paycheque away from trouble.

If one has to sacrifice saving and/or borrow to fund ones’ lifestyle, I’d say that’s a problem.

#176 JustTryingToProtectEquity on 11.25.12 at 3:38 am

Vancouver and Victoria popped first…and many more cities, suburbs and rural areas will surely follow.

For many of us, here in Toronto…it really comes down to this… Good luck everybody.

Mid-May: $835,522
http://www.torontorealestateboard.com/market_news/release_market_updates/news2012/nr_mid_month_0512.htm

October: $779,484 (-6.7%)
http://www.torontorealestateboard.com/market_news/release_market_updates/news2012/nr_market_watch_1012.htm

#177 Mr Buyer on 11.25.12 at 4:57 am

#159 Bottoms_Up on 11.24.12 at 10:32 pm
#137 Mr Buyer on 11.24.12 at 7:23 pm
————————————————
If you want to know what the reverse of our educational system is, take a look at Somalia. An entire generation or two completely uneducated in the scholastic sense. All the know is guns, violence and blackmailing.

I think our educational system is doing something a little more than just preparing us to be ‘tax farm slaves’.
……………………………………………………..
I completely agree. The swimming with sharks types living among us in Canada are of the 1st world variety and would likely have a hard time preying upon others if they had to contend with a host of people similar to themselves or likely much more hardened as is the case in many parts of the world. From a societal perspective education is a worthy investment without a doubt and people who think otherwise may need to spend a little more time outside the relative utopia that is Canada.

#178 Canuck Abroad on 11.25.12 at 5:30 am

For those who like house porn, I found this website which has some super pictures of Hamilton homes. You can click though the various neighbourhoods near the top.

http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=118098

#179 Mr Buyer on 11.25.12 at 5:56 am

As for the globalists. Setting us up against a command economy that is ideologically opposed to our society and then shipping high tech manufacturing to the command economy is a recipe for disaster. If it comes to war with such societies that have surpluses of people with little regard for them (and great ease and comfort threatening war) then every single North American advocate and beneficiary of the globalization of our economies should be tracked down and placed in infantry units on the front line (not that there will be sustained front lines but that is another rant) irrespective of their age or health. Ethics are often seen to be of little utility in the absence of accountability and direct consequences.

#180 House Horny Housewife on 11.25.12 at 9:14 am

#160 willworkforpickles

Holy Smokes ! Does that ever sound like a messy way to do business, man !

What if the tenant pays you with a cheque instead of cash ? This is a receipt that can be produced in case of a dispute I imagine (if not to the police, then in a court of law later on).

Also, wouldn’t you normally sign a lease or something ? This is also proof of a contract with the tenant’s name on it.

And last but not least, I imagine the tenant would have some sort of utilities happening in the apartment .. like hydro, telephone or whatever. The bills would be in their name I should think .. No ?

I suppose this plan would work with crack addicts who pay in cash, use a cell phone and heat their place using either a fake name or with a wood stove or something (and eat by candlelight ?? .. very romantic). But even then, don’t you need a permanent address to even collect welfare ? This means that the welfare office would have that address connected to that tenant .. just don’t get your plan at all.

I suppose if you want to be a real slumlord, this is the way to do it (?!) though. Never having been one, I wouldn’t know.

Why would anyone want to do this .. doesn’t sound very profitable and it definitely sounds dangerous, since I would imagine that a crack addict has “friends” that can break your bacon if you try to ruin their comfty operation.

I think if you are in the rental business you should hire a good and trustworthy manager who can deal with all of the headaches. You should also do your best to rent to people who are gainfully employed and have good credit (although some governments do not allow credit checks anymore .. an assinine policy since other suppliers are allowed to do these before extending credit). A good solid lease which outlines EVERYTHING is also good, in case you end up in court, and doing everything by the book is also not a bad idea .. again, in case you end up in court (your manager should be well versed in rental law as he or she is acting on your behalf). In addition to a good manager you also need a good caretaker who can fix things in a jiffy. All of these things have to be factored into the rent (manager, caretaker, administrative etc..) in addition to the mortgage, taxes and insurance.

You can see, therefore, what a headache being a landlord can turn out to be .. especially if you are forced to pursue legal proceedings in order to throw someone out for trashing your place or not paying their rent. Not to mention it will cost you between tenants to clean up and repair anything the previous tenant screwed up (like painting the walls black and leaving broken furniture and appliances behind, just to name some minor things .. plugging up the toilet or the dishwasher or destroying the hardwood floors are less minor).

Renting ain’t easy money, that’s for sure.

Oh, and my apologies also, I also referred to “Sue” in my post way back … I read Garth’s blog too quickly and my brain saw “She and Duane” as “Sue and Duane” .. sorry Helen, I did not mean to dehumanize or insult.

HHHW

#181 Ken R on 11.25.12 at 9:17 am

#164Bottoms_Up on 11.24.12 at 10:50 pm
#98 Hugh Jasz on 11.24.12 at 12:41 pm
——————————————
“Completely agree. To live a decent middle income lifestyle in a major Canadian city for a family with kids and cars (without daycare costs) you’re looking at needing $7000/mo.”

Then don’t live in a major canadian city and don’t critcize those who choose to live a more humble and frugal lifestyle in rural Canada. I admire those that are thrifty and live an inexpensive lifestyle. There is much to be learned from people who are wise with a dollar.

#182 sue on 11.25.12 at 10:39 am

#165 Bottoms Up.
Refusing to “piss away” money is not being cheap. I am teaching my son to think long and hard before he spends his hard earned money. Identify his priorities and spend consciously but only after he pays himself first. (savings) He’s 11 and already is halfway to buying a car for cash..used of course.

I choose to work part-time (even as a single mom) and am essentially “checked out” of the economy. I make less, pay less tax, buy less, pay less HST etc etc

In return for not buying a bunch of stuff, I get TIME, health, improved relationships and a great feeling knowing I’m not on a perpetual hamster wheel. You can have plenty of memories without going bankrupt.

#183 Herb on 11.25.12 at 10:46 am

#179 Mr. Buyer,

“Ethics are often seen to be of little utility in the absence of accountability and direct consequences.”

No accountability and expectation of direct consequences (heaven, hell, applause, feel-good feeling, or jail), no ethics. Ethics in our modern world boils down to an inversion of the Pascalean Gamble: unless the expected negative consequences exceed the expected benefit, go for the benefit.

#184 brainsail on 11.25.12 at 10:50 am

#163 Canadian Watchdog on 11.24.12 at 10:44 pm

” US debt-to-GDP is running at 102% with another debt ceiling hike in two months and lastly iv) the fiscal cliff.

I’ll bet against America any day.”

There is alot of mystery surrounding the Canadian Government’s debt to GDP calculation as compared to the US.

“But the federal government reports its debt in a number of ways. The debt clock merely tracks “accumulated deficits,” which excludes other sources of debt. At the end of the fiscal year 2010-2011, for example, the federal government reported its net debt (debt minus assets) at $616.9-billion and its gross debt (debt from all sources) at $920.8-billion.

For our purposes, let’s go with net debt. By this conservative measure, Canada’s public debt – provinces and territories included – reached a milestone in the past fiscal year. With $616.9-billion in federal debt and $434.9-billion in provincial debt, Canada has broken the trillion-dollar barrier with a combined federal-provincial debt of $1.05-trillion.

This isn’t one of Canada’s greatest achievements. In abstract terms, a trillion-dollar debt takes us close to 100 per cent of GDP, putting Canada’s debt right up there, in relative terms, with Greece, Ireland, Spain and Portugal – and, for that matter, with the United States. In absolute terms, a trillion-dollar debt puts every man, woman and child in the country $33,333 in hock without counting credit cards, car payments and mortgages.”

http://m.theglobeandmail.com/commentary/welcome-to-2012-all-debt-all-the-time/article4181913/?service=mobile

#185 salonist on 11.25.12 at 11:18 am

“San Francisco approves tiny 220-square-foot apartments

Some lawmakers worry the tiny units will drive up apartments in a city where the average studio rents for more than $2,000 a month.”

http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/real-estate/san-francisco-approves-tiny-220-square-foot-apartments-article-1.1206029

#186 Buy? Curious? on 11.25.12 at 11:48 am

Toronto Tonto #171, I think one of your feathers from Head Dress obscured your vision. Only fools drink and gamble at the same time. Do you notice how many security guards hover over drunks gambling until they lose everything then “escorts” them out to a cab. Did you really come up with that joke yourself? Tonto, pluh-leaze.

#187 Old Man on 11.25.12 at 11:58 am

#182 sue – I agree as all moms should teach a son to think long and hard.

#188 Grim Reaper/Crypt Speculator on 11.25.12 at 12:13 pm

#187 Old Man on 11.25.12 at 11:58 am

#182 sue – I agree as all moms should teach a son to think long and hard.
=================================

Weren’t you raised by a couple of “light in the loafers”?

#189 Dr. WAYNE on 11.25.12 at 12:30 pm

#172 bailing in bc on 11.25.12 at 1:36 am

Last time I checked, it’s a free country … free to take comments any way you would prefer … cheers.

#190 Canadian Watchdog on 11.25.12 at 12:38 pm

#184 brainsail

Gross, net, general or whatever. The next major impasse for Canada’s government is the transferring of household debt to its own balance sheet. This is what’s happening in the US. Chart

The only way out of debt is by default, money printing or war. That’s it.

#191 Ginger on 11.25.12 at 12:49 pm

Garth – what’s your prediction for the growth/decline rate in sales prices for Hamilton? We are thinking of renting for another 3 years to save up a large deposit for a before purchasing our first home but were wondering if it would be more sensible to purchase within the year with only 10% down to avoid the price increases. Do you think Hamilton will decline a bit in sales values? We also have savings (ie wouldn’t put all $ into a home).

#192 willworkforpickles on 11.25.12 at 1:30 pm

HHH-180
I didn’t say it was going to be easy. I did say there are ways to succeed not getting screwed over playing their game.
Their power is derived from you playing their game . They are powerless when you don’t.

Start by renting your units all inclusive, no lease , no receipts.
95% of tenants will agree to this glad to just be accepted.
95% of tenants will give you no headaches. It’s the other 5% you need to protect yourself in advance from.
Give yearly receipts to your tenants for tax purposes after they have resided in your building for 1 year. This gives you more than enough time to see what kind of tenant they really are .
This approach isn’t for everyone but the tough as nails landlord exclusively.
Once a real deadbeat tenant hauls your (but never mine) behind through the LTA system and costs you many thousands of dollars and close to a years worth of grief and turmoil just because you were willing to play along with the system and become the victim of a professional deadbeat , you will begin to look very hard at revamping the way you operate as a landlord.
The system stinks. It’s not right . But it is reality.
NEVER PLAY THEIR GAME AND YOU WILL NEVER BE THEIR VICTIM!
see my earlier post #160 to see what i am talking about

#193 Old Man on 11.25.12 at 2:23 pm

The only way to find a good tenant is to have them fill out a detailed application, and check everything out. I eliminate the deadbeats quickly, more or less, and if it is a student scenerio the parents must sign a separate agreement as guarantors for the rent, and damages that may occur. Late rental payment is not welcomed, but will sail with a good story, and if all else fails will call Bruno who will knock on the door asking when the payment can be made. :)

#194 Blacksheep on 11.25.12 at 2:33 pm

With Canadian national debt in the news this weekend, has anyone given thought to what % of said 600 billion in debt, actually represents principle?

How much of the 600 billion is interest only?

“Historically, the Bank of Canada functioned as the financier of Canadian public deficits in the Federal, Provincial, and Municipal budgets providing loans to fund government spending at interest rates as low as 1%. This practice allowed for public debts to be more quickly repaid, while also keeping employment high and inflation and taxes low.”

“In 1974 when the Government of Canada abandoned this method of financing in favor of borrowing from private, for-profit banks, several years of modest deficits and high interest rates hyper inflated Canada’s national debt from a modest $18 billion to an enormous $600 billion. Political action groups in Canada are fighting for the return of Canada’s government deficit financing from private banks back to the low-interest financing only available via the Bank of Canada.”

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=KJuQ0w9aGc0#!

take care
Blacksheep

The government finances its debt with the issuance of bonds, not borrowings from publicly-owned banks. — Garth

#195 45north on 11.25.12 at 3:15 pm

willworkforpickles: The real deal will be your new crackhead tenant who goes through his or her welfare cheque in a new york minute will need to feed his or her addiction and will do so by allowing a local crack dealer to sit on his or her couch , cell phone in hand – taking orders and having his customers coming and going. Expect a steady flow of bodies all day and night.

being a landlord was rough but not that rough, look me up if you’re in Ottawa

[email protected]

#196 Richard and Zeus on 11.25.12 at 3:20 pm

Fire 100000 useless guvmint paper pushers forcing them to find real productive jobs producing real things and the deficit will drop like a stone.

#197 Old Man on 11.25.12 at 3:27 pm

#194 – they are called Canada Bond issues which trade on the TMX aka Toronto Stock Exchange, and are bundled elsewhere with short, medium, and longterm stuff with CMHC as well. The yields are too low now, but there was a time that for a balanced portfolio they needed to be included – not anymore! I laugh at those who buy GIC’s from a bank, as you can buy a preferred share with a tax advantage with a much higher yield – oh well.

#198 Canadian Watchdog on 11.25.12 at 3:39 pm

#196 Richard and Zeus

Not likely to happen when the government’s sole purpose now is to steal your money to service the national debt and pay for broke citizens.

7th Ontario Liberal contender vows to erase deficit

Harinder Takhar Tweets
@harindertakhar

“Finally… my Action Plan will bring together experts and consumers to ensure fair auto insurance rates for all.”

“My Action Plan will bring in “pay what you see pricing” to make consumers lives easier. 7/8 ”

“My Action Plan includes immediate consultations to implement a fully integrated GTA wide transit system. 6/8 ”

“My Action Plan gives businesses who pay tuition fees for students a 30% tax credit on the cost of that tuition. 5/8 ”

“My Action Plan includes an Ontario Job Creation Tax Incentive to reward businesses that hire in Ontario. 4/8 ”

“My Action Plan will Create of a Small Business Development Corporation to empower Ontario’s small business jobs engine. 3/8 ”

“My Action Plan will balance the budget a year ahead of schedule. #onpoli #olpldr 2/8 ”

“2day I launched my “100 Day Action Plan for Jobs and Family Prosperity” with of hundreds of supporters in Mississauga. 1/8 ”

——

She warned us it was coming: Ayn Rand – Liberty vs Socialism

#199 Old Man on 11.25.12 at 4:00 pm

I am going to give you another tip, as the posted rates at any given bank for a GIC, term deposit, or even a mortgage rate is bogus, as all can be negotiated if the amount is above the norm. The same scenerio holds for booking a hotel room, as all hotels have several levels of room rates, so do not be hooped when they have an occupancy rate of say 70%. They will take your money if you demand a discount; they say $300 a night for room # 1004, and guy will check saying we have one for $250, and tell him or her can only afford $200 tops, and he will come back, as has one – it will be room # 1004.

Now with the money game the same holds true, as use to bring in cash from USA for a 30 day term deposit and they like to see $60,000 plus, and my gal would phone head office; not for the posted rate, but to get me an extra 3/4% higher – done all the time with a rollover. Never take what is posted, or you too will become the greater fool.

#200 Herb on 11.25.12 at 4:28 pm

#196 Truth Hammerer,

there aren’t 100,000 unfilled production jobs left in this country, thanks to the rampant greed of your ilk. You’d better have the Government work on arranging visas for whatever country you are going to export them to to marry up with your jobs.

By the way, hope you ensured that there will be enough government workers left to make such arrangements.

#201 detalumis on 11.25.12 at 4:59 pm

Hamilton is not a smart place to move to especially with the upper tiers of government cutting social service budgets. You cannot commute to Toronto daily from there, it will suck the life out of you, I’m talking 12 hour work days. The city has the philosophy that the poor are morally superior and they run it like a social services agency. Instead of spending money on say replacing the sewer pipes that burst like clockwork every spring they instead give seniors uber cheap transit and top welfare payments when the province cuts back. This encourages more low-income people to migrate over and the poverty cycle repeats itself.

There is no actual economy – the biggest “employer” is health care – enough said. The property taxes are some of the highest in the province and no, do not be tempted by the houses east of downtown you are entering crack house, hooker, group home and baby mamma territory, that’s the reason the houses are so cheap.

#202 Old Man on 11.25.12 at 5:26 pm

I have a government of canada postal address for all my mail, so pick it up twice a month. Well just got this from the TD concerning a high interest savings account which is fully taxable. The posted rate is 1.10%, but for a deposit of $5,000 or more will get a bonus of .65% = 1.75% until March 31, 2013 – what a deal! Now, give me a break, as the taxation will wipe me out, so this garage is going into my armour shredder like all the other garbage mail that I receive.

#203 House Horny Housewife on 11.25.12 at 5:43 pm

#192 – willworkforpickles

No deadbeat tenant will ever haul MY ass through the LTA because I would never in a million years even consider renting my property to complete and total strangers.

I have, however, seen relatives of mine go through hell when they attempted to rent out property to cover the mortgage payments. They thought it was an easy way of getting a property to pay for itself with barely any work on their part. They were sorely mistaken. I happen to think this is a risky business that is more trouble than it’s worth.

If you’re interested, however, Detalumis has some great ideas for buying up cheap properties east of downtown Hamilton to rent them to the type of tenants that you are talking about. Since you seem to be up for the challenge, here’s an opportunity for you.

HHHW

#204 Victor V on 11.25.12 at 5:55 pm

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/why-investors-have-reservations-about-trump-tower/article5614268/

It’s something that sets the Trump tower apart from other luxury hotel-condo buildings, such as the Ritz-Carlton or the Shangri-La. “Our goal was to provide the opportunity for regular investors – not superwealthy, but regular investors – to invest in the hotel industry,” Mr. Levitan said.

An OSC exemption allowed the developers to market the units with reduced regulatory hassle and the suit alleges that this made it easier to attract novice investors who did not have all the information they needed to make a sound decision.

“Over 90 per cent of them are middle-class with limited resources,” Mr. Heydary said. “By no means are they a sophisticated investor. … Some of them don’t even speak English.”

Among his clients is Ilsan Kim, a 27-year-old who lives in St. Brides, Alta. He heard about the Trump tower in 2007 and contacted a Toronto real-estate agent to look into buying a unit. Now, he is suing Mr. Levitan, Talon, Talon’s billionaire chairman, Alex Shnaider, and Donald Trump.

The suit, filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, claims that a salesperson with the developer provided a PowerPoint presentation containing very specific information about projected returns from the purchase of a hotel unit. A salesperson allegedly said also Mr. Kim would be able to obtain mortgage financing if he put 25 per cent down.

Mr. Kim agreed to buy a $867,000 unit in January, 2007. He took interim occupancy of the unit in February, and since then the fees he has had to pay have outweighed the revenue from the room. A statement he received in October said the quarterly occupancy rate was 30.43 per cent and the average nightly rental rate was $444. His unit was rented out only one night in August.

The net revenue for the three-month period came to $8,865.92 and the occupancy fees were $24,879.90, according to the lawsuit. This adds up to a loss of $16,013.98 – about $175 a day.

Mr. Kim is also struggling to find a mortgage, which he alleges he was told would be readily available from lenders. He has been turned down by the banks and would have to put down 50 per cent to get one because banks have deemed the units to be commercial investments, according to the lawsuit.

=======================

This is why Trump investors have been shedding tears in the courtroom this past week.

It will only get worse.

#205 Richard on 11.25.12 at 6:01 pm

” #196 Truth Hammerer,

there aren’t 100,000 unfilled production jobs left in this country, thanks to the rampant greed of your ilk. You’d better have the Government work on arranging visas for whatever country you are going to export them to to marry up with your jobs.
By the way, hope you ensured that there will be enough government workers left to make such arrangements.”

Herb…..what the hell are you talking about? Greed of my ilk? Like Garth….I also own an H1 Hummer. The super coolest one in Canada probably as I USE mine offroad. Guess what? I EARNED that money MAKING stuff. As opposed to money sucking parasites in Guvmint that push paper around double and triple tripping over themselves in bureaucracy.

Yeah….it would take time…..but if the Guvmint said “We are firing 100 000 useless people AND charging ZERO TAX to corporations for ten years who manufacture high quality goods HERE in Canada not China”…..Those jobs will spring up like weeds.

#206 TurnerNation on 11.25.12 at 6:51 pm

Hey realtor, bring me a beer! The Stupidbowl’s on. :)

http://www.thegridto.com/life/real-estate/in-the-market-for-a-home-in-weston-village/

Cradled between two belts of parkland, Weston Village is just 20 minutes northwest of downtown via the GO train. The lots are huge, the community is thriving, and the crime rate is going down. All you need are the guts to move up to Lawrence.

BY: Denise Balkissoon

WESTON: 38 Gibson Ave., Unit 4. (pictured above)
The price: $329,900, maintenance fees $378

#207 willworkforpickles on 11.25.12 at 7:30 pm

HHH#203
Nah- I was a landlord for 30 years already (40 tenants when full up) Out of hundreds upon hundreds of tenants I rented to in total I had close to 3 dozen bad tenants threaten the LTA down on me after I flung their worthless deadbeat asses out in the street. Never once did i stand in front of an LTA tribunal or was summonsed to.
– End of story.

#208 Canadian Watchdog on 11.25.12 at 7:33 pm

Another example of the shenanigans going on: This listing was a foreclosure last week in the Bloor West area (remember those bidding wars?) that was assigned a new MLS number and re-priced 29% higher then last week.

The next buyer may never know this.

#209 Daisy Mae on 11.25.12 at 8:44 pm

#208Canadian Watchdog: “Another example of the shenanigans going on: This listing was a foreclosure last week in the Bloor West area (remember those bidding wars?) that was assigned a new MLS number and re-priced 29% higher then last week.

The next buyer may never know this.”

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

Already blocked? I couldn’t access this. (4:44pm Pacific time)

#210 Herb on 11.25.12 at 10:07 pm

#205 Richard,

your faith in the benevolence of enterprise is touching.

#211 Ralph Cramdown on 11.25.12 at 10:21 pm

I don’t know why, but I always get a kick out of broke-ass people arguing about how much life’s “necessities” cost. It doesn’t matter whether your family income is $30k, $60k, $120k or $240k, somehow you’re just barely keeping body and soul together because of the ruinous monthly costs, and surrounded by families who face the same awful problems.

If you’re single and you can’t get by with 500sqft, a cellphone and a library card, while saving a bunch, you’re doing it wrong. If you’re a family of three or four and you ‘need’ two cars while unable to max out TFSA and RRSP contributions, you’re doing it wrong. You can either have the discipline to save and eventually become financially independent, or you can moan about the high monthly cost of everything and hope you’ll get around to saving “later.” At least you’re keeping the economy going.

#212 Richard and Zeus on 11.25.12 at 11:31 pm

Herb

Better than faith in our communist system of guvmint

#213 Kingarthur on 11.26.12 at 12:09 am

Another gorgeous day in East Van. We may be down, but never out:

http://www.weatheroffice.gc.ca/city/pages/bc-74_metric_e.html

#214 Realistic Hamilton on 11.26.12 at 11:08 am

Like many have said, this is not a major purchase. That said, H & D should look at this place. Less than 300k, close to an amazing park and good school. http://www.realtor.ca/propertyDetails.aspx?propertyId=12624796&PidKey=373401180