Smart ass condo math

Boxes from hell, part deux:

It costs $1,800 to rent a one bedroom-plus-den apartment in a swishy downtown condo in Toronto. Or, you could buy it for $353,496, putting 25% down – that’s $85,000. Then the monthly cost would be $1,218 for the mortgage, plus $312 for condo fees and $283 in property taxes. It comes to $1,813.

Yes, spend $85,000 and then pay $13 more a month to live in the same unit. Why the hell would anyone do it? Especially in light of what I told you yesterday – condo fees (and taxes) can and will rise frequently (over which you have no control) and modern buildings are being thrown up with little regard to long-term structural integrity.

After all, buying a condo is not like scoring a house. You don’t own any actual dirt. If the pipes on the 15th floor burst, then your 10th floor unit is toast. Worse, if the building needs new plumbing in 15 years, you could face a special assessment of gargantuan proportions. You can never add a room or a window. Factors materially affecting your unit’s value – like a homeless dude in the lobby or a leaky underground garage – are beyond your ability to change. In short, it’s a massive leap of faith requiring significant cost/benefit analysis.

And how are these things being sold? On emotion and misinformation. Tens of thousands of them, imperiling the entire real estate market in cities like Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal and Toronto as legions of buyers assume liabilities they never expected, and discover losses they never imagined.

Cue Brad Lamb.

He’s now the condo king of Canada. His marketing sets the tone for an entire industry. He has amassed significant wealth, and works at showing it. His rise from salesguy flogging cheesy waterfront boxes two decades ago to developer deity, TV star and the coolest guy in the room is legendary. But lately there’s more than a tinge of desperation in his message. His weapon against a gathering storm of fear is simple. Greed. For Brad Lamb knows, greed works.

So, back to that one bedroom-plus-den condo renting for $1,800 in the heart of 416.

According to Lamb pitch to naive investors, buying this baby and renting it out (at a loss) will give you an annual yield of 23.9%. Hang on to it for ten years, and the return on invested cash is a gigantic 314%. Wohoo! How could anyone walk away from that?

Of course, it’s an illusion. The rental income is negative, but Lamb’s guaranteed return adds in a $13,596 annual capital gain (at a time when condo prices are falling), plus repayment of some of the mortgage principal ($6,890 in year one). Trouble is, to have that $6,890 repaid, you have to subsidize the tenant for $160 in rent plus put up $85,000 in cash which, at a 7% return if invested elsewhere, would yield almost $6,000. So the actually return is less than 1%.

Remove that from the equation, and you’re left with only the capital gain on the value of the unit, which in this market is probably phantom. In fact, with 63,000 more units in the pipeline, 5,500 resale condos currently for sale and 17,000 vacant, it’s a safe bet capital losses are more likely.

“This (Toronto) is the only big city in the world where all of the fundamentals are positive,” Lamb tells his flock. “Behave like the successful and wealthy; and use this buying opportunity to your advantage. Below is a real example of what you can do at a Toronto condominium development, a potential 349% gain over 10 years.”

As I’ve said before, if this was a pitch for an ETF or an IPO (initial public stock offering), anyone making such claims would be out of business, shut down by the regulators. Compared to the selling of liquid assets, flogging condos is a complete gong show. Worse, investors are encouraged to use leverage to buy assets which are often illiquid, and entirely speculative.

Plus, sometimes they leak. Read what Paul just sent me:

Garth: enjoy your blog, and have something to add in terms of another cautionary tale re condo costs.

My mother was fortunately only renting a Port Coquitlam condo where water damage was discovered.  I’m told the contractor had built the balconies sloping inwards so water drained into the building envelope.  Owners were notified of costs of about $75K per suite.  (Builders long gone of course; probably a numbered company disbanded after each project.)  Scaffolding and tarps went up and work started.  The strata council managed to get a series of inept builders in and the building was covered in scaffolding and tarps for two years during which no-one had a hope of selling, and sunlight was severely restricted.  Noise was a problem all day long.   Contractors announced doors had to be left unlocked all day in case they needed to come in.  It was a comedy of tragic errors.  Some poor retired souls had exhausted their wealth just getting into the building.

At the end, yet another contractor somehow convinced strata council that all windows needed to be replaced as the outside envelope went on.  My 85-year old mother’s apartment was without a  glass balcony door for a day in freezing weather.  The one they fitted had the latch so out of line with the door that it would not lock.  We had to put a stick in the runner to secure it.  Weeks went by before it was fixed (badly).  Her previously nicely locking while partly open window was replaced by one that had to be fully closed to lock.

Following all this, residents were notified the roof was going, for another $20K (I think) per apartment.  My mother passed away around this time, grateful that she was poor and could only afford to rent.

244 comments ↓

#1 JimH on 11.30.12 at 8:48 pm

More excellent points raised, Garth!

My family sold my mother’s old Vancouver West house in November 2011… a year ago. Thank god all three of us siblings agreed to sell at that time.

I still have kids living in BC who refuse to believe that this is anything more than a hiccup in the Canadian market! (I live in the US)

Ever feel like you’re just preaching to the choir?

#2 tkid on 11.30.12 at 8:49 pm

Why rent downtown Toronto? Try http://www.drewloholdings.com/ – $1450 gets you a two bed brand new apartment close to both Aldershot and Burlington GO train stations.

#3 Bean on 11.30.12 at 8:49 pm

Sorry Garth, I can’t help myself…..furrrst

#4 syfon on 11.30.12 at 8:51 pm

Pick a number

#5 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 11.30.12 at 8:51 pm

Full frontal nudity of Brad Lamb in his birthday suit in the lead pic. Quality fairytale storytelling!
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#128 Buy? Curious? — This is journalism. That is noise. — Garth”

That’s why Garth is not m$m — he doesn’t fit in. BTW, kudos for your videos on Smoking Man. Well done!
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Economic Dictatorship Speaks volumes for the mess the west is in; 57 Channels and Nothing’s On To be accurate, it’s 57 maggots found in a patient’s ear in nursing home; 1:21 clip Rick Santelli becomes a tad upset while being interviewed; Whistleblower? He was telling the truth all along; The Temple of Inflation 1986 and today; 7:19 clip Nassim Taleb’s how to profit from black swans; BoJ’s big bang on deflation; EZone Talk is cheap. Unknown events will change things in a flash; Kung Fu The eviction was not for financial reason, but a land developer trying to force homeowners to sell their homes using strong-arm tactics. This story will wind up as a movie!” wrh.com; The 1% want austerity so badly, they’re jumping over themselves and orgasmaning at the same time; 10:43 clip Golfing the streets of Detroit.
*
CC false assumptions “We the undersigned, qualified in climate-related matters, wish to state that current scientific knowledge does not substantiate your assertions.” and 1:42 clip Club of Rome got the ball rolling on the GW scam and further, the new carbon taxes; Agenda 21 exposed; Review “Which will mean the loss of the US’ claim to be a neutral arbitrator in the Mideast, which will only encourage more Arab oil nations to abandon the dollar and trade their oil for more stable currencies. “ wrh.com; GoM Dirtied more from the clean up than the original spill; Panetta Yet in Syria, The Toilet is the west’s ally but in Af’stan they are the enemy? Type 2 Diabetes and high fructose corn syrup; White Hot Chili Peppers China and things; Record Low Birth Rate Need more illegals to sustain the continent; EU rejects French report on GMO crops; Seven Foods the experts won’t eat; Whisky and Vodka Good for some things other than downing.
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22:52 clip Smoking Man, 4 U. Can’t fight the machine, just take different avenues.

#6 unbalanced on 11.30.12 at 8:51 pm

Another great article

#7 Sebee on 11.30.12 at 8:52 pm

Ha ha ha. Lamb needs to be zapped like that other lamb from SNL Remember the 80s? bit.

Teachers, next time a kids asks you why they should take math, show them this Lamb document.

Karma, where are you? Lamb needs a dose of you.

#8 DogWalker on 11.30.12 at 8:57 pm

How can fixing a balcony and some exterior work cost $75,0000? That is way too much…

#9 Old Man on 11.30.12 at 8:59 pm

There is nothing worse than having water damage from a roof problem, and as far as the water piping goes today in an apartment building or a highrise condo have no clue, but this junk gets pitted in about 10 years today, and needs to be replaced, as starts to leak water doing damage. This means that walls need to be cut out, and new piping replaced from top to bottom with the same junk. Who is making the copper piping? China on the cheap?

#10 from mississauga with love on 11.30.12 at 8:59 pm

Hold on. What about taxes paid on rental income? Why is that not factored into his calculation? Or is tax evasion expected in this industry?

#11 Charlie on 11.30.12 at 9:03 pm

Scary stuff. I’m very attached to my condo. I know I should sell, but it’s my first home and I’m happy to live right in the core. Time will tell how wise that was.

#12 CalgaryRocks on 11.30.12 at 9:05 pm

So generous of Brad Lamb to let the little people rake in so much money.

Gotta wonder, if there is so much money to be made by renting these little boxes in the sky, for 10 years, why he himself or maybe in a joint venture with a pension fund isn’t all over this.

#13 Lilyflor on 11.30.12 at 9:05 pm

What a horror story, no going to be able to sleep tonight. Glad to be renting.

#14 Picasso on 11.30.12 at 9:17 pm

Well I never won the half billion last night so i’ll stay in my $750 a month all inclusive extended stay.

#15 Ralph Cramdown on 11.30.12 at 9:18 pm

No question — this IS how the rich get rich. Brad drives (drove?) a Bentley Continenal. Any fool who buys a cash flow negative property is certainly helping the rich get rich.

#16 Smoking Man on 11.30.12 at 9:19 pm

Sitting in the bar at senica casino again.
My mind deep in la la land try to figure out why I hate teachers.
Drawing blanks till this post. The donkey teacher by the green board it hits me like the sun breaking threw after a thunder storm.

It the competitive nature of school. The judgment, the casting aside. The promotion.

We all learn different and peek at different stages of our lives.

This is the cancer of education.

Yes bartender another wine please.

Beach Girl welcome back we missed you.

#17 wes coast on 11.30.12 at 9:24 pm

This is how the rich get rich – they pump crap to idiots who grossly overpay and then they laugh all the way to the bank.

#18 Dodged-A-Bullit-in -Alberta on 11.30.12 at 9:28 pm

Greetings; Dear Mr. Turner– I have been following your blog for over three years, had the opportuity to see your presentation in Red Deer, Alberta. With these posts on condo ownership, you have done a great service to Canadians; at least those who know about this site. Thank you very much!!

#19 min in mission on 11.30.12 at 9:29 pm

Never could understand the “buying a box in the sky” mentality. However, I certainly can understand the “I’ve got to own something” mentality. And it doesn’t help that there are some powerful marketing gurus helping to convince people that the “box” is a great “investment”

#20 MC on 11.30.12 at 9:31 pm

It is indicitive of the complacency of those involved in gov’t when there is no warning put on these ads. In contrast forex brokers almost always state the real possibility of losing all your deposit. So what now of all the virgins who think they will be rich after speculating on condos. They will need sleeping pills to get through the night within a year.

http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/121130/dq121130a-eng.htm

#21 Tim on 11.30.12 at 9:33 pm

I agree with you about the risk condos entail and that they are usually not good investments and you don’t own the land, fees increase and the building depreciates, but what’s the alternative in Vancouver, even with a 40 percent correction, most people couldn’t afford a house

#22 Smoking Man on 11.30.12 at 9:37 pm

The Writer In Me

I sit with someone new  for a few minutes and a few beers,  the imagination kicks into over drive as the first sip of beer goes down. My new friends are talking, while I pretend to listen, nod yes, all the while I am deep in la la land….How is this for a movie Script Bubble Heads.Plot:We have Man, a Super Man, code name Smoking Man who’s CPU clocks in at a zillion miles an hour but he can’t spell to save his life.Conquers everything he sets out too, He has a very  low boardroom tolerance so takes to drinking and blogging as boredom relief.

Slowly he starts to believe he is the character he has invented, Pushes the envelope too far and attracts the attention of the spy services of the machine.So they send in their hounds and collect data, Smokey within 3 minutes knows his new beer buddy’s  are  spy’s.They ask,  Who is Yoda, Is bubble heads the name of the gang. What’s  a Track 6er. your militia,  and what about  basement dwellers is that code for  the fort? They come across his text inscription tool that has zillions of downloads from Russia which really sets of the alarm bells.  It’s primary design was to have a tool where he could communicate with his many mistresses in secret and make a little loot in ad revenue.But the machine being not too logical throws in more of tax far slave revenue. They decrypt the algo, read all old emails and discover he was indeed sexting as they giggle while reading..Still not convinced he’s not a neo nazi or Ala worshiper and fearing the power of that beautiful drunken mind they go to Greater Fool and get copies of all his great historical posts.They discover to their amazement 95% of his predictions and timing of the markets are correct. They get very worried this is not possible, no mortal human should have that ability as they need to know all, after all they are paid to be paranoid.

They spend millions trying to figure out the imbedded code in all the selling mistakes. Only to discover that he really can’t fk-ing spell. Still not satisfied that SM, the hater of all religious (except for capitalism) feel he is  still up to something……………It’s that SM piercing gloss eyed glaze.They now track his every move and wonder if they should come up with that 7 fig to get him to help them fight evil, or try and nail him for something, anything to satisfy the egos of certificate collectors.. Hum?To Be Continued…………………………………

Based on a some what of a true story…………………………….

#23 Country Girl on 11.30.12 at 9:47 pm

Smart and handsome, too.
(The mathematician)

Let’s hope Brad Lamb’s manipulative messages are ineffective now with MSM’s daily mention of concern about Canada’s housing market, slowing economy and consumer debt levels.

#24 Young Investor on 11.30.12 at 9:48 pm

75K per unit to redo the balconies? I just don’t believe it.

#25 claudius emperor on 11.30.12 at 9:52 pm

Garth, would you post link to Brad Lamb’s BS?

#26 X on 11.30.12 at 9:55 pm

Promoters with advertisements like that should be held accountable for the results the have indicated. It can be equally devastating to an individuals assets, retirement etc, to be taken in by these ads.

#27 happy renter on 11.30.12 at 9:57 pm

I’d rather rent a condo than buy any day.My friend bought a condo in Victoria and his condo fees went from $188 to over $340 in less than 4 years.
Just recieved facts by e mail by Ozzie Jurock and sfh in Victoria is only down by 1% in prices but outlying areas down by 18%
People have to realize Vancouver real estate is really a extension of China or Hong kong.Thats why prices are so high. Renting in Vancouver is the only option unless your rich.The Chineese have made a lot of people wealthy,thats for sure.

#28 Keith in Calgary on 11.30.12 at 9:58 pm

We need to have the equivalent of the “Nuremburg War Crimes Trials” for certain politicians, real estate developers, bankers, and real estate agents.

The only reason this kind of thing “continually” happens is because developers and bankers fund the politicians, who turn their heads at the incredible financial crimes being committed against the populace.

The smallest book in the world is the “list of cheques cut by the new home warranty” underwriters of Canada.

I am not nuts either, I am a dyed in the wool conservative capitalist who believes in regulated markets. It is time to borrow a page from the Chinese……..charge these people, and if they are guilty, execute them.

#29 Grim Reaper/Crypt Speculator on 11.30.12 at 10:09 pm

Brad Sheepdip..err Ram….err Lamb is bald right?

I think he would increase sales if he got a Link (ModSquad) ‘fro or Don King special

#30 Grim Reaper/Crypt Speculator on 11.30.12 at 10:13 pm

#16 Smoking Man on 11.30.12 at 9:19 pm

Sitting in the bar at senica casino again.
My mind deep in la la land try to figure out why I hate teachers.

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

You have had to go to school FIRST …..dumbkopf

PS Senaca eh….thanks..my scythe drone is on it’s way

#31 Eaglebay - Parksville on 11.30.12 at 10:13 pm

Brad Lamb, the smart man.
Can’t even spell “principal”. It goes with his math.

#32 jess on 11.30.12 at 10:14 pm

How about how these few got rich!

Kabal Bank Fraud
Investigators from Kroll found 114 rubber stamps for fake companies used to give forged documents a more legitimate look, the Times reported.

…when the bank’s assets were seized, the vast majority of its loans – almost $900m (£561m) – were made to just 19 people and companies.

#33 AprilNewwest on 11.30.12 at 10:21 pm

#24 Young Invester. BELIEVE IT!. I know a person who has been charged $150.000 for her unit in a leaky condo on West side Vancouver. Now the work crew are asking for more money. I know someone in New West who had to pay $40.000 for one corner in her high rise apt due to water infiltration. She also paid #14.000 applied to her unit {1400 sq ft] for the plumbing to be redone. Building was then approx 15 yrs old, now about 20 yrs old. She had another $9.000 assessment as well as smaller ones for repairs. She does not have the money so it will be paid when she sells or dies. She is in her 80s now.
Do some research and you’ll find out how condo owners are being ripped off.

#34 jess on 11.30.12 at 10:32 pm

This is the most despicable ….
death put bonds
Caramadre’s scheme went on for about 15 years—from 1995 to 2010
http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2012/november/estate-planner-victimized-terminally-ill/estate-planner-victimized-terminally-ill

#35 Nodebt on 11.30.12 at 10:34 pm

Hi Garth! I thought Rennie was the condo dink of Canada?

#36 jo on 11.30.12 at 10:34 pm

My parents were living in a approx 25 year old condo building. Smaller building, didn’t look cheap, lots of beautiful mature trees, nice landscaping. Then the assessment arrived $100,000, to fix the numerous problems. Thankfully the Contractors hired to fix everthing were excellent. However we were forced to sell this year, took 6 months finally sold at $280,000. Last year BC Assessment valued this unit at $360,000. All of this in beautiful burnaby BC.

#37 CrowdedElevatorfartz on 11.30.12 at 10:36 pm

Paul’s story of a “leaky condo” debacle in Port Coquitlam has been repeated everywhere in the Greater Vancouver area for over 25 years. Google “vancouver leaky condo” to enjoy the sad show…
Scaffolding and Tarps encapsulating poorly built “California stucco’ style condos in this rainforest bog we call home, are so common in the lower mainland no one even notices them any more.

Anyone who purchases a condo in Vancouver best be prepared to pay and pay and pay.
Jan 1st, 2013 the new condo inspection survey rules take effect in BC.
Cant wait for the bitching and moaning to start.

Thats why i sold and am now renting…….

Oh and the weather for the next 5 days ? Heavy rain.

Gotta luv livin in Bee-you-tee-full British Columbia. The Best Place on Erf.

Right B.P.O.E?

#38 Smoking Man on 11.30.12 at 10:38 pm

DELETED

#39 CrowdedElevatorfartz on 11.30.12 at 10:38 pm

Brad Lamb….. How to describe him……?

Starts with a “W”
Ends with an “E”
Rhyme’s with “Bore”

#40 Julia on 11.30.12 at 10:44 pm

A friend of mine moved to Toronto from Edmonton where she had bought a condo so now she rents it out long distance. The horror stories I hear from her would make your hair curl.

Apparently the majority of units in the building are owned by one man and until recently he controlled the condo board and the money from fees. Despite all the fees being collected the building was degenerating and looking worse and worse to the point where finding tenants became a problem.

Eventually the rest of the owners had to find each other and band together and threaten legal action. The process meant trips back and forth from TO to Edmonton.

At one point she thought about selling but the market was going down and the place was in such a bad state no one would buy it.

Hearing the story unfold week after week was certainly a cautionary tale for me because at the time I was in the process of selling my house and thinking about buying a condo. Now I happily rent in a solid rental building without exploding glass balconies.

#41 Ralph Cramdown on 11.30.12 at 11:04 pm

If there’s one thing funny about the comments on stories like this, it’s imagining the West coast reactions to typical GTA condo fees and vice versa. Yes, they are really that cheap/expensive over that-a-way.

#42 george on 11.30.12 at 11:05 pm

The U.S. stock market has more than doubled from 2009 lows. Financial conditions seemingly couldn’t be looser. November saw a record $165bn of U.S. corporate debt issuance. This year will see near record corporate debt sales. Junk bond issuance will be a new all-time high. System Credit growth will be the strongest since 2008. Recently, consumer confidence has jumped to a four-year high. The nation’s housing markets are showing signs of life. GDP would be generally OK, except for the matter of the unprecedented fiscal and monetary excess necessary to generate such limited economic expansion.

http://www.prudentbear.com/index.php/creditbubblebulletinview?art_id=10733

#43 Ezmerelda Fitzmonster on 11.30.12 at 11:09 pm

If i was on the phone pitching a stock guaranteeing rates of return i would be charged with fraud. This guy can take out ads in the paper promising profit!.

I guess i should of taken the 5 week real estate course and skipped the B.Ec and internship… 8 damn years wasted.

#44 The Iceman on 11.30.12 at 11:11 pm

$1,800/month rent in a $354K apartment. What is this?…amateur hour.

Try my place in Richmond, B.C.: $1,550/month rent in a $466K apartment. (When I moved in last April, this is what an identical unit was asking for next door…too bad I don’t know what it eventually sold for).

Yes…I did the math: I am about $800/month better-off in cash-flow every month; plus…no worries about assessments or the market tanking. I would’ve been utterly stupid to have bought this place.

#45 Smoking Man on 11.30.12 at 11:17 pm

DELETED

#46 Bo Xilai on 11.30.12 at 11:18 pm

I don’t know how Brad Lamb gets away with this… I complained to the federal Competition Bureau about his misleading advertisings and their claims of future profit… They had no interest in pursuing this. I’ve kept the correspondence for when the SHTF… and people start pointing fingers.

#47 Bo Xilai on 11.30.12 at 11:19 pm

In Brad Lamb’s assumptions, isn’t it interesting capital gains are assumed to be 4% per annum and rental income increases at a 3% rate, yet condo fees and taxes never go up?

#48 Ralph Cramdown on 11.30.12 at 11:20 pm

While I agree completely that municipal building inspectors should be more diligent, I also feel that buyers have been hosed — by their parents and their teachers.

We’re imprinted from an early age that bargaining/haggling is something that the lower classes do in countries ‘over there’ and that genteel people here pay sticker and don’t complain about it. If you do that for 25 or 30 years. then your first experience with a long contract is likely to be a condo purchase, and if you ask the $700 flat fee lawyer (the one your agent recommended) if there’s any problem with it, he’s likely to say (and I’m paraphrasing here) “not if you don’t think so.”

Read the contract, understand it, and strike out or change anything you don’t like. Make the builder indemnify you, not just his numbered company for this project. Add guarantees that you want but you don’t see. Strike the BS charges. Likely, the builder will tell you to take a hike. Your response should be “here’s my number. Call me… maybe.”

Yep, lots of people will think “Cramdown doesn’t understand who has the power in modern condo markets.” Power belongs to those who take it, and if you put yourself in competition with a bunch of others who don’t think they have any negotiating power, you won’t either. Remember; as long as you’ve got a bunch of money (or credit), you’ve got lots of negotiating power in any market you should be playing in. If condo builders don’t give you any respect, buy one that’s already built.

#49 Smoking Man on 11.30.12 at 11:27 pm

38 deleted. You drinking Gartho. Story of Brian. I’m confused. It was true or was it the United Way thing. Help me understand.

Don’t wimp out talk to me damb it.

#50 Coho on 11.30.12 at 11:31 pm

As if poor construction and special assessments to the tune of many thousands isn’t enough, there is the strata council, the seats of which are often occupied by ignorant people on power trips. Personalities get into it and knowledgeable people giving good advice to the strata council are met with deaf ears because the strata executive membership which are usually door knobs don’t like to listen to anyone smarter than them. Factions form, at least two, maybe more each thinking they are right. Usually it’s the uninformed equally stupid brown nosing to council whose recommendations are taken in order to spite the informed and reasonable ones.
There may be a representative from a strata management company presiding at the council meetings to offer advice and to quell the bickering and personal attacks between factions within the council and in the general ownership which is usually divided. The strata management company sets out to obtain quotes for work needed to be done on the complex. This is usually better than leaving the ‘no minds’ dominating the council to obtain their own quotes. They don’t have a clue and are ripe for harvest from greedy contractors, much to the chagrin of the smart ones on council who are usually ignored and/or outvoted.
However, strata management companies, in my opinion, and from what I have discerned from personal experience are in bed with their ‘favourite’ contractors who typically overcharge and under perform. I would suspect that there is one hand washing the other in this arrangement.
So, condo owners, be prepared for a lot of grief if and probably when major repair work is needed because you’ll be paying a dollar for a dime worth of service.

#51 Smoking Man on 11.30.12 at 11:33 pm

Gartho is going to stay. Go to bed smoking man

#52 Van Isle Renter on 11.30.12 at 11:39 pm

When we first moved to the Island we rented. Fortunately. The house turned out to have massive leakage issues with every storm and eventually the whole front had to be removed and replaced, including the rim joist which were rotten and falling apart.

$60k later, the owner took his licks and dumped the place. Feel sorry for the people that bought it, but at least it wasn’t us.

#53 Count Flipalot on 11.30.12 at 11:40 pm

Vancouver is in a geographical area that’s a temperate rain forest, therefore we have loads of condensation. Is anybody surprised how fast the current condo buildings are falling apart. I find it amazing how fast people forgot about the 1990’s leaky condo ordeal.

Anybody on this list living in the Olympic Village ?

#54 Smoking Man on 11.30.12 at 11:42 pm

What. Is it about thin old Chics brushing thier hair, chin up Dimond arrogance.

Move out of the way grandmother, liken your daughter.

#55 Chickenlittle on 11.30.12 at 11:53 pm

#16 Smoking Man….It the competitive nature of school. The judgment, the casting aside. The promotion.

We all learn different and peek at different stages of our lives.

This is the cancer of education

*****
I seriously agree with you! I did a placement in a school an all it is all about is crippling imagination and eliminating critical thinking in children. They know that what they are learning is useless, but they have to learn it or they get labeled and put in a “special” class. Compulsory schooling is just making us dumber, not smarter.

Buy low, sell high. That is the smart alec answer I get when someone says they are going to give me a “tip” at work, but, really, who does this anymore? Everyone wants to buy high, why? Because we have been trained to consume, not produce, hence the rush to buy a home that costs literally 1000 times as much as their grandparents first home. The more something costs, the more people seem to brag about it. At least thats how it is in Woodbridge with all of those ‘special’ Italians up there. I am Italian so I am allowed to say that.

I love this blog because I learn so much from it every day. Thank you Garth!

#56 coastal on 11.30.12 at 11:54 pm

It’s disgusting what these scumbag agents get away with spewing to suck in the sheep as the barn begins to burn. Victoria has a few golden boys like Brad Lamb who kiss the developers ass while posting HD pics of condo construction sites on blogs like some bizarre obsession. It’s all so sick but I relish the coming tank job, the economy needs a good flushing out of the greed and bloated agent egos.

#57 DonDWest on 12.01.12 at 12:12 am

It is indeed true that the rich get rich by manipulating and coning others. The majority of rich people don’t produce anything of value and lack innovation. That’s why I hold zero remorse if tomorrow they were taxed 100%. It’s a case of live by the sword, die by the sword. So you lost your money to an even bigger fish that plays the same game you do, booo fricken hoo!

While I don’t believe taxing the rich 100% solves anything, after all the money is moving to an even bigger sociopath making the situation much worse, I won’t pretend to feel any sympathy to these rich people if it were to happen.

Freedom will only come the day people stop admiring/worshiping rich and powerful people. . .

#58 Chickenlittle on 12.01.12 at 12:13 am

AK:

Thank you for recommending “The Intelligent Investor.” You rock! I have looked it up and so far it looks great. Thanks!

#59 Hugh Jasz on 12.01.12 at 12:18 am

One of his stated assumptions is that rent rises 3%.

His half-ass spreadsheet then runs the numbers as though rent is increasing 12.5% for year 2, and then another 16.5% for year 3.

So, my question to the experts:

If the bullshit is in plain view such that anyone with half a brain can evaluate and challenge it……has fraud actually been committed?

Anyway, it’s over soon. A friend was recently musing how they were going to pay something like $600 per sq. foot (plus fees!) for a condo in Downsview so they could rent it out. I think he got the advice from his barber or his cab driver.

We’re at the point where the idiots haven’t quite finished piling on. Grab on tight, it’s a helluva ride down!

#60 rp1 on 12.01.12 at 12:22 am

If you’re renting why don’t you get the hell out of there? Isn’t that the point?

#61 Hugh Jasz on 12.01.12 at 12:25 am

Oops, my math is almost as dumb as Lamb’s! That was five years later before you realize 12.5% gain in rent price and 10 years before you’re up another 16.5.

Even so, a quick scan of Kijiji tells me that rent for a 1bdrm in a stylish condo building in a desireable area of downtown hasn’t gone up all that much in the 20 odd years since I last rented there.

By my reckoning, rent might have gone up by about 1.4% per year.

If you can expect similar rate over the next 25 years, that might just skew the calculation a little.

#62 Dr. WAYNE on 12.01.12 at 12:26 am

#3 Bean on 11.30.12 at 8:49 pm

Sorry Garth, I can’t help myself…..furrrst

I’m not sorry ‘Bean’ … at all … and I ‘can’ help myself if I wished to, but I don’t … you’re an a$$hole, Bean.

#63 Land guy on 12.01.12 at 12:26 am

Brad Lamb and Bob Rennie are snakes, why does the mainstream society not get this. To buy any condo or townhouse today is like financial torture, the buildings are built as fast as possible to get the best profit. At least if someone buys a house with dirt, and they plan to live in it for the long term, it might work out…and please bid low…low..and low as some sellers are desperate, or wait 1 or 2 years for the best deals.

in my opinion only.

#64 CrowdedElevatorfartz on 12.01.12 at 12:29 am

Hmmmmm,
its still raining here in beautiful Van-goober, a wind driven rain ……..

Perfect.

So many leaky condos, so little time……

#65 Maximum on 12.01.12 at 12:32 am

Hi Garth,
Again, too busy working, doing 12k per month in QC & self employed, could you tell me what would your best fiscal strategy? Having spoke to some tax specialists, it seems to me that I have no choice than to pay around 45% of my income in tax (quite sad actually) !!! Since you seem to be on top on that subject, I am pretty sure that you have ideas on what can be done to save some money (expenses, tax shelters, etc…)… Can you please give some tips on what to do?!?!? I am pretty sure I am not the only one reading you having this “Problem”…

Thanks again for your blog and your time.

Max

#66 Dave on 12.01.12 at 12:36 am

Here’s a building from Calgary that had major leaks in it after just a few years. Special assessments per unit were between $80k to $180k!

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/story/2012/09/12/calgary-condo-feature-wednesday.html

#67 Coho on 12.01.12 at 12:38 am

For property virgins with toddlers or their first baby on the way thinking (and wrongly so) that they must own their own place if they are to ‘control their destiny’, DO NOT buy a condo. Not if you feel you need to control every possible aspect of your shelter. You’ll find out how ‘sweet’ it is being powerless at the hands of petty, ignorant people making foolish or unwise decisions, your share of which may cost many thousands of dollars.

It may be typical that most good and reasonable people are not attracted to positions of power. It is not their nature. They may lead if they have to, but do not desire to rule over others. It is often the power hungry, inept, selfish ones attracted to these positions whether they be ruler wannabees in strata councils or ones occupying halls of power. The system promotes these ones. They are easier to control…like drug junkies addicted to money and power. Sincere, principled ones doing what is right and who truly want to help people are marginalized when it becomes clear they won’t climb into bed with the devil.

#68 earlybird on 12.01.12 at 12:44 am

Excellent post!! Having no control over costs is a big issue for me personally, unless the future costs are reflected in the current price, they are nothing but very overvalued money pits.

#69 Hoof-Hearted on 12.01.12 at 1:00 am

Drove by a condo unit near completion here in Hamville..

“SOLD “sign in window of one unit…,beneath it is a ” FOR RENT” sign……sign of Developer desperation?

#70 Herf on 12.01.12 at 1:08 am

(I’ve never posted web links before, so if the links I’ve tried to post below don’t work, my apologies. Do visit the web site and links for a sobering history of BC’s leaky condo fiasco of the past 25 or so years).

I don’t know if the following web site is still being actively maintained since some of it’s embedded web links no longer work, but I think the site is worth checking out for a sobering history of the leaky condo fiasco that engulfed BC (particularly the Lower Mainland) in the ’80’s, ’90’s and early 2000’s.

myleakycondo

Although dated and containing broken web links, the site still contains a lot of potentially useful reports, information and advise (i.e. warnings/cautions) regarding buying a condo anywhere in BC (or Canada for that matter). Read the site’s FAQ, in particular, this one:

http://www.myleakycondo.com/buying.htm

When I lived in N. Van. in 2001/2002, I considered whether to purchase a place, but after doing a few walking and driving tours around the Lower Mainland and seeing many low-rise condos encapsulated in scaffolding and tarps (such as you see in the photo on the MyLeakyCondo home page) and finding the MyLeakyCondo web site, I decided it wasn’t worth the risk.

Also, check out some of the Court decisions on the My Leaky Condo Blog portion of the main web site:

http://blog.myleakycondo.com/index.php?blogId=1060

If you scroll down the left side-bar menu far enough, you will find a list of locations under the “Categories” heading, including Edmonton, Halifax, and New York. It would appear no geographical location is immune to leaky condos. Click on the city/location name and you will obtain court decisions, technical reports and/or news articles about the particular situation described. Note that some links may no longer work.

From the above link’s left side-bar menu for North Vancouver, here is a court docket about a condo that is located a couple of blocks from where I used to live. It’s worth reading just to see what kind of $$$$$$$ amounts the consulting engineers’ estimated were required to rectify the problems. Scary. And in spite of the engineers’ report, it appears the judge still couldn’t agree that one or the other party’s claims to damages was valid or had enough supporting evidence concerning claimed costs.

http://blog.myleakycondo.com/index.php?op=ViewArticle&articleId=3911&blogId=1060

#71 Van guy on 12.01.12 at 1:17 am

Isn’t that ad false advertisement? Is there fine print somewhere that states the gains are not guaranteed?

#72 min in mission on 12.01.12 at 1:21 am

Yes, condo owners do get ripped off. While I undoubtedly sympathize with them, I hope that I never have to buy one.

I worked on a condo restoration near Cap College. Started out as just one deck, then it was all the decks on that side of the building, then it was “jacking up” the building where it had settled, then take off all the stucco, re-do the sheathing, install rain screen, re-do the stucco, then new handrails.

I had to move on to a different line of work. I couldn’t stand the way that the owners were treated. Once the engineers got involved, there was no stopping until they were happy. And that usually involves lots of money.

#73 GTARealEstateCorner on 12.01.12 at 1:26 am

#22 Smoking Man

They spend millions trying to figure out the imbedded code. They now track his every move and try and nail him for something.
_______________________________________
Mr SM, great post again! Creativity as a form of escapism is a wonderful way to remain on the right side of happiness. :). I used to do something much like that back in the day when my life was probably quite similar to yours. Again, not trying to be passive aggressive in any way, just relating since I can empathize. Basically, things weren’t always the best, had very little money and couldn’t get the cute girl if my life depended on it. So I’d read and write to escape and for those brief moments, I’d forget my worries. Sure, reality would eventually come rushing back but the moments in written paradise, made life bearable. Keep up with the imaginative stories or ideas. Maybe write a book but don’t worry about whether or not it gets published. That’s not the point. The key is to use creativity to escape the harsh realities. It’ll give you respite and hopefully some time to eventually get back on track! I’m a big fan and supporter.

#74 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 12.01.12 at 1:51 am

-
For BPOE and Mikey the Realtor New designs in Vancouver RE; 2:52 clip Which states are opting out of ObombaCare. Why are several states also seeking secession? LIBOR stuff Hmmm. May get interesting; Cdn. Friday links; Kannaduhh has lost its economic bragging rights; Turbulence as Republokrats stymie fiscal cliff talks, and 3:17 clip Fiscal Cliff for Dummies; Planning for Success in a lousy economy; Retailer in NDakota has to fly in employees from other places; Investors Women are smarter than men; Global Shipyards are Sinking Oversupply; Dissolving Detroit; Curacao US$11.5 mln. gold heist.

Susan Rice Guess who has a major stake in the tar sands? Japan’s mfg. plunges; Merry Clickmas Buying online seems cheaper than buying at stores; Mother starving but feeding kids; John Mauldin and popular delusions; College Degree not required.
*
The Borg Resistance is futile, so die happy! Plus 2:28 clip Earth as seen from space using time-lapse film; CC from 1966;Unicorn Lair Barmy? Try telling that to the North Koreans; The Kali Yuga This is the fourth of four ages, at the end of which the lower psychic regions will be destroyed then rebuilt to start the cycle again; 1:12 clip Ohio sinkhole; 1:31 clip China’s new aircraft carrier with landings etc.; Every 19 minutes a person kicks the bucket from this one incident; Kissinger Just as Ehud Barak was the architect of 9-11, so Kissinger is the architect of the NWO; Britain to Oz in four hours with new engine; New Mercedes Looks quite nice.

#75 Muddy Waters on 12.01.12 at 1:55 am

How to speak Realturd, lesson 1:
“Prices aren’t dropping but they’re coming off of the levels that were inflated to begin with.”
– Royal LePage, GTA

#76 Jim on 12.01.12 at 1:58 am

#21,

“I agree with you about the risk condos entail and that they are usually not good investments…but what’s the alternative in Vancouver, even with a 40 percent correction, most people couldn’t afford a house”

It’s called renting. Duh.

#77 Dazed & Confused on 12.01.12 at 2:01 am

Dont’cha know, folks? “B.C.” means “Bring Cash”. Yes, hubby and I owned a condo on the beautiful Quay in New West. Bought it after previous owner was charged $60,000. by strata to fix water damage to four buildings in the complex. Can you imagine having to cough up $60,000.?? We lived there one year, read many blogs about the economy, and decided to sell. Glad we did. We have rented for two years since, and never looked back. Should you decide to own a condo in the Lower Mainland, be prepared to pay, pay, pay. Everyone we know who owns a condo here does nothing but pay for continued expenses. Check out the internet regarding elevator repairs that must be done for each and every building in BC. That, alone, should bring you to your senses. It’s non-stop. Renting actually SAVES you money. And headaches. Gee, it’s pouring more rain right now…and it probably will last for the next 40 days or more. The building we are renting in already has elevator repairs going on, it needs new carpeting, but before they do that, they have to repair faulty balcony drainage for the penthouses. Whenever strata meetings are being held, owners in the building look at “low-life” renter hubby and me, and tell us mockingly, of course, how much they envy us. I just tell them, please get me some new carpeting in the hallways. HA! HA! HA! No pressure here!!

#78 John T on 12.01.12 at 2:04 am

He uses annual 3% increase in rent for 10 years? My rent hasn’t gone up in the past 5 years. In fact, it goes down by about 0.5% due to reduction in taxes.

If rents actually did go up 3% per year. that would mean their is inflation, and that means intrest rates are going up. that would kill the condo prices and you would end up with a huge capitol gains loss.

#79 Tom from Mississauga on 12.01.12 at 2:12 am

No condo fee or property tax hike, 5 years? Guarantee capital gains? 1,800 rent a month for a 1 bedroom apartment requiring tenant with a 60K salary. But Brad’s plan has it rented each and every month for years. Our host went over repairs to the building but don’t forget maintenance. Painting between tenants, changing locks, replacing kicked in closet, unclogging unclogibles. Would somebody that saved 85,000 be dumb enough to believe that schedule?

#80 Freedom First on 12.01.12 at 2:14 am

Garth, your posts rock! Well maybe not for everyone:)……..eh, Brad?

Now, all of you renters with a net worth in the 6-7 figure range, doesn’t it feel terrible to be throwing away your money on rent? Tell me, does it bother you, that even if people don’t know your net worth, they no longer bring up the subject of RE, and maybe even kind of shy away from you altogether? ………I mean of course, the people who have a clue.

#81 A Nightmare On Bay Street on 12.01.12 at 2:18 am

#8 DogWalker
#24 Young Investor

If water “drained into the building envelope” I suspect they had to rip the brick wall itself, fix the wood structure and rebuild the whole wall from inside out.

The same is currently happening to a good friend of mine. Water infiltration inside a brick wall. So far, estimations are at 25-30k bill per condo unit to be paid entirely in 4-5 months when works will be done(spring 2013). She is young and has a good job. Some in her buildind are devastated.

#82 live within your means on 12.01.12 at 2:29 am

Sis & I bought a condo townhouse 27+ yrs ago. Got hit with a big assessment. When she & I married the same day, DH & I bought her share. Thankfully, we managed to sell it a few yrs later after renos. & dealing with a corrupt Condo board. Sis & her hubby still live in one on the same street. I hate the area now. I’ll never, ever again buy any type of condo.

#83 Nancy on 12.01.12 at 2:33 am

Why doesn’t anyone know how to spell mortgage principal any more?

#84 sunpack on 12.01.12 at 3:16 am

Here is the link to the full newsletter

http://email.bradjlambmarketing.com/Nov2012Newsletter/FromTheDeskOfBJL_November2012.pdf

#85 Tony on 12.01.12 at 3:30 am

Re: #42 george on 11.30.12 at 11:05 pm

The U.S. stock market is in a bear market that started around October the 9th this year. The bear market rally is over.

#86 TRT on 12.01.12 at 3:31 am

Oh, #4…

After 25 years, give your kid a paid off condo. Do you think he will have an advantage compared to the Renters kid who has to start from scratch??

#87 Mr. Anderson on 12.01.12 at 4:20 am

# 39 CrowdedElevatorfartz

Dude, you are on fire…good one.

#88 Onthesidelines on 12.01.12 at 4:36 am

No doubt Brad lamb is a scumbag. But why is it always about extremes? Your 7% claim with absolutely no mention of associated risk is likewise an irresponsible brag.

One thing you two probably have in common though is in your reactions to anyone questioning your numbers.

You’re more alike than you think.

A conservative, balanced, fully-invested but 100% liquid portfolio with 40% fixed income and 60% growth (not a single stock) has returned 8.4% this year. The return for the last two years was 7.44%. The return for the last eight (including the financial crisis) was 6.46%. This works. I suggest you spend less time being hostile, and more learning. — Garth

#89 Jane24 on 12.01.12 at 4:39 am

Garth re Brad Lamb,

Surely Canada has rules that control false advertising through the CRTC?

Or at the very least the ability for owners to form a class action suit?

I think Brad Lamb will be the next Donald Trump in the courts as owners final wise up that they were sold and brought a turkey.

It is hard in life to protect stupid people,though.

#90 Martha on 12.01.12 at 5:59 am

Garth ~ Your post yesterday and today both highlight an area of construction (I worked in construction for 15 years when I was younger) that few think about.

No matter what is built, a bridge, a road, a condo, a house…a nuclear power plant….they are all built by the lowest bidder…. you get what you pay for….

#91 Canuck Abroad on 12.01.12 at 6:05 am

24 Young Investor, yes it can happen.

The building I am in now, every single apartment owner had to write a cheque for £40,000 two years back to fix exterior brick work because the previous management company had let the building deteriorate. Now they are fixing the roof. Not sure what that cost because I rent, but that is definitely on top of the brick work costs. And I noticed a leak starting in the corner of my dining room ceiling from guess what? Blown bricks. So, I let the landlord know and again more work will need to be done to fix this.

I owned in the past a condo in a BC ski resort town. Not only did the maintenance increase from under $400 to nearly $700 in the space of five years, but every single year I got a special assessment for something: one year the pool needed to be re-tiled. Another year it was painting the corridors. Another year the lifts needed major repairs. Every single year!

Many condo buyers don’t seem to understand that you are not buying only your interior space – you are suddenly, as an owner, responsible for the cost to maintain the entire building, everything from the parking in the sub-basement to the roof and the lifts, hallways, and front lobby in between. And any outdoor space on the property too. Let any of that slide and you are looking at either a very expensive repair bill in the future or difficulty selling your unit later because the building has become a slum.

If Brad Lamb really thought you could earn 3 times your money on these units he would be buying them all up with both hands, not selling them.

#92 Canuck Abroad on 12.01.12 at 6:34 am

Garth do Canadian buildings not have “reserve funds”? The last place I lived over here, I owned my apartment and also was a director on the building board (and the accountant). Our building had a fairly massive reserve fund accumulated over several decades, such a cushion that we even considered discontinuing the reserve fund component of the maintenance for a while. We decided against it because we knew roof repairs would be coming up and its much harder to start up a cost for owners after it has been stopped…

It always seemed to me that a reserve fund was a much more equitable way to cover building costs that special assessments. With special assessments, it seems that you want to live in a building only when it is brand new and fairly repair-free, because once a building is 20 years old the owners are looking at scary repair bills. Why do condo owners not contribute to sinking funds in Canada?

#93 mark on 12.01.12 at 7:24 am

Sounds like condos everywhere are dumps. My brother’s employer rents out the penthouse for him in an Australian city. The place is 3 years old, and a complete dump with endless faults. In this instance it’s filled with old people who wanted low maintenance living!

#94 Q on 12.01.12 at 8:10 am

Lamb seems to be using the same accounting methodology as our various inept levels of government use to trick the citizenry into believing they can spell and define budget….. Math for Morons 101

#95 Robert on 12.01.12 at 8:18 am

Number 3 Bean. What a total as#hole and jerk.

#96 House on 12.01.12 at 8:35 am

Isn’t this what the taxpayer is for, fixing the shoddy work of business. By the way valuation is no longer the worth of an item, its the ability of the buyer to pay!

#97 george on 12.01.12 at 8:35 am

Ottawa dials down support for Northern Gateway pipeline, citing ‘huge challenges’

#98 Grantmi on 12.01.12 at 8:39 am

“In Canada, only 15 to 20 per cent of new mortgages have less than 15 per cent equity, and the negative position is nil, he said.” – Benny Tal

Mr Turner… This statement is in the Flim fLamb Man’s bird cage dropping piece.

Doesn’t this differ hugely from your stats?

Benny’s a sweet guy. But he made that one up. — Garth

#99 Buy? Curious? on 12.01.12 at 9:10 am

I will make a video using clips of Brad Lamb, Silence of the Lambs and various Cheech and Chong films. If you think my Smoking Man tributes were funny wait until you this one.

Can’t comment too much about condos or then to stay away from them. I’m going to an After Movember party where sexy chicks shave our moustaches. I hear there’s going to be a great seafood platter. I hope everyone got their prostate checked. I did, twice.

#100 I'm stupid on 12.01.12 at 9:11 am

Just a few more points to add to the post.

Pests, smells and noise.

It only takes 1 tenant to carry in a Cockroache or bedbug and the building can become infested really quickly and the costs can be huge.

Or your neighbour who cooks food with a nasty odor that makes the hallway smell like a dumpster. If I was a renter I wouldn’t even want to rent a condo let alone buy one. On paper condos sound fantastic. No need to shovel snow, no maintenance, lots of amenities and usually in a convenient location. In reality they are more like an idea that makes sense in your mind but in reality is moronic.

#101 Eaglebay - Parksville on 12.01.12 at 9:22 am

#57 DonDWest on 12.01.12 at 12:12 am

Socialism at it’s best.
Your so called ‘rich people’ do what with their money?

#102 Sydneysider on 12.01.12 at 9:46 am

I would like to sign up for the 7% return “if invested elsewhere”. Where do I apply?

Outside of your mindset. — Garth

#103 live within your means on 12.01.12 at 9:54 am

#92 Canuck Abroad on 12.01.12 at 6:34 am
Garth do Canadian buildings not have “reserve funds”? The last place I lived over here, I owned my apartment and also was a director on the building board (and the accountant). Our building had a fairly massive reserve fund accumulated over several decades
………………………….

We had a reserve fund, but it wasn’t enough to cover required work. After we sold, the condo corp. increased the mo. strata fees & eventually the members replaced most of the board members. We had very weak prov. legislation at that time also.

#104 AK on 12.01.12 at 10:14 am

I am still trying to figure out how the Dude came up with a 23.9% after year 1.

Don’t condos incur closing costs? – ie.. Land transfer tax etc..?

#105 NickyT on 12.01.12 at 10:17 am

This is the first post I’ve read on this site so excuse me if I’m missing something. I’m also not a fan of Brad Lamb and have had a few friends and family who have had problems with condos, but I don’t think think they’re all bad. I live in a condo and love it. I bought a unit in a building that’s over 20 years old. The unit is larger than what you’d get in new builds and when I bought it was significantly less money. Sure things in the building are needing to be replaced based on its age, but I did my research before I bought and made sure the building was well run with an active board of directors with a strong reserve fund and a plan for future expenditures. I’ve potentially made a significant amount of money since I bought it (I realize that the amount may decrease with the softening market), but it’s still more than I would have had had I been renting. Many of the condo problems I’ve heard about are in new builds. I don’t believe the same workmanship is used to build condos that was in the past and reserve funds aren’t sufficiently built up for any problems.

#106 2centsCdn on 12.01.12 at 10:38 am

#57 DonDWest
Those pesky Rich. Don’t worship (or punish) the wealthy. Personally work and plan to become financially independent. It can be done, and is still being done every day in this country. It’s tremendously freeing. All the noise and games that you’ll experience on your path to that goal are best blocked out. Stick to a plan. I don’t personally like people who rub your nose in their wealth. But that’s their own insecurities speaking out. Pity those people. And don’t fooled by the “rent-a big lifestyle” gang. They’re mega leveraged and running on borrowed (literally) time. Their lives will eventually settle (sink) to where they should be. I still think there’s great opportunity to be financially independent in this country. And as usual, it’s a plan, hard work and patience that will get you there. Only listen to the hype and noise when it’s in your favor.

#107 Daisy Mae on 12.01.12 at 10:49 am

#50 Coho: “…..there is the strata council, the seats of which are often occupied by ignorant people on power trips. Personalities get into it and knowledgeable people giving good advice to the strata council are met with deaf ears because the strata executive membership which are usually door knobs don’t like to listen to anyone smarter than them. Factions form, at least two, maybe more each thinking they are right…..”

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

You hit the nail on the head! In my community, there aren’t enuf willing to run for council so we accept what’s offered. Therefore, they are ‘self-appointed’ and not ‘elected’. Fortunately, recent changes proposed by a previous council and not ratified by the membership were all vetoed…by the native band, lawyers and the Human Rights Tribunal. They lost every court case they were involved in. They broke one of our very own bylaws! I could go on, but you get the gist…

#108 Joe on 12.01.12 at 11:15 am

When ads like these can be allowed , it shows you how messed up and slimy our RE Industry is and how desperate the government is to NOT stop it. Cause they know CMHC is screwed. Like Garth said, if this were an investment bank, financial advisor or IPO , they would be banned and maybe jailed. Instead , our RE regulators (whoever they are) allow this junk from Brad Shyster Lamb to be posted.

P.S. I hope Lamb keeps sending these out , as the majority of people do know how amateur this ad sounds and it just makes him look more slimy and unprofessional every day.

#109 Daisy Mae on 12.01.12 at 11:15 am

#67 Coho: “It may be typical that most good and reasonable people are not attracted to positions of power. It is not their nature. They may lead if they have to, but do not desire to rule over others. It is often the power hungry, inept, selfish ones attracted to these positions whether they be ruler wannabees in strata councils or ones occupying halls of power. The system promotes these ones. They are easier to control…like drug junkies addicted to money and power. Sincere, principled ones doing what is right and who truly want to help people are marginalized when it becomes clear they won’t climb into bed with the devil.”

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

So very true. We’re like-minded, Coho. I find the councils’ ignorance and stupidity unbelievable. And yet, there is an amazing number of members who don’t seem to ‘get it’….

#110 GTA Engineer on 12.01.12 at 11:42 am

A conservative, balanced, fully-invested but 100% liquid portfolio with 40% fixed income and 60% growth (not a single stock) has returned 8.4% this year. The return for the last two years was 7.44%. The return for the last eight (including the financial crisis) was 6.46%. This works. I suggest you spend less time being hostile, and more learning. — Garth

————————–

Garth – as in real estate, past performance is no indicator of future results. Aren’t you the one preaching that the excesses in real estate won’t continue? This could well be set for equities too.

I like how you picked an 8 year term, since conveniently 2004 was almost the best case for picking a year that maximizes your ‘annual return’ rhetoric. I’m surprised you didn’t pick late-2002/early-2003, since your numbers would have been even better. Perhaps your attempt to show you’re providing a balanced/fair number (intentionally not picking the ‘best’)?

Well here’s a cherry-picked statistic for you showing the opposite. The annual return for equities over the last 13 years (since July 1999) on the S&P500 is *ZERO*. That’s why it’s called the ‘lost decade’. And there’s no indication of things improving – as I’ve said, recession is already here (not your 2 quarters of negative GDP -> GDP is staying positive primarily on the back of government spending in the US, and in Canada Q3 was just revised to under 1% too).

Granted, fixed income would have saved your returns in a balanced portfolio – equities over the past 8 years have only provided just over 2% annual compounded growth (S&P500 1200 in 2004 to 1420 today). However, today – with fixed income rates at all time lows, they will NOT be dragging your returns higher anymore. So if equities are set to drop (or even say they yield just like in your ‘8 year’ scenario at little over 2% a year), and fixed income is providing lower returns than ever, how can you honestly think that the 6.5% returns you’ve seen for the past 8 years will continue into the future?

Now there’s smart ass math.

So don’t invest in a balanced portfolio. Problem solved. But I will carry on. — Garth

#111 CP on 12.01.12 at 11:45 am

#105 NickyT

Give it time…. give it time…

#112 CrowdedElevatorfartz on 12.01.12 at 11:48 am

@ #87 Mr Anderson

Why thankyou kind sir.
I dont usually “wax poetic” however……

It came to me after my 6th beer of the evening and i was standing in front of the toilet………..

Funny that I should think of Mr Lamb whilst voiding my bladder but …… stranger things can happen.

#113 Form Man on 12.01.12 at 11:51 am

When Europeans first arrived on Canada’s west coast a few hundred years ago, they found the ‘stone age’ First Nations people living in longhouses constructed of cedar shakes. These buildings were ideally suited to a wet climate, and easily lasted over a hundred years before needing replacement.

Fast forward a few hundred years to the 1980’s and we find ‘southwest style’ buildings designed and constructed by highly educated and highly paid architects and engineers, lasting, in some cases, less than 3 years.

This is fantastic progress. The First Nations must be impressed…….

#114 CrowdedElevatorfartz on 12.01.12 at 11:57 am

Im now on my 2nd cup of coffee of the morning and STILL thinking of Brad Lamb…….

The toilet awaits further “inspiration”……..

#115 AgAu on 12.01.12 at 12:08 pm

No thermodynamics knowledge is required for investing, but common sense is not that common.

The only thing that always goes up is age.

This blog is great to help readers think and live outside the box, not their means.

#116 The real Kip on 12.01.12 at 12:08 pm

Maybe I should invest in the companies that make the replacement glass on these building? According to you, they are going to do big business soon! Thanks for the sage advice!

#117 former strata council president on 12.01.12 at 12:10 pm

If you live in/own a building with a crappy strata council, the person responsible for that problem is you. If you can’t be bothered to get involved, do the work, and make it better, then you are just a lazy ass complainer. I don’t care how busy you are. Everyone is busy. The only way to fix a problem is to do something.

Back when I owned a condo, I started attending council meetings as an observer to get the lay of the land. It was obvious that the building was in need of maintenance when I bought into it. In the next council election, I joined the council, and yeah, that mostly means I volunteered to be on it because the majority of people who live in/own a condo are to lazy to actually do any work and just want to complain so it’s not like there was a real election or anything. In that year, I got the maintenance ball rolling. I also recruited a bunch of people who wanted to make a meaningful difference. I won’t lie – a number of those folks wanted things to get fixed so that they could sell in the future. The next year we staged a coup and took over the council. We got full inspection/engineering reports done so we had a clear picture of needed repairs/maintenance. We raised strata fees so that we could build up a fund to do those fixes. And oh, the outcry about paying $25 more a month. We honestly had people telling us that they’d rather receive a bill for a special assessment instead of do the smart thing and save up a maintenance fund.
We put together work parties to save money on maintenance that any able bodied person can do (fence painting, spring cleanup, yadda yadda, with strata paid bbq as a thank you to the workers). Nobody would show up but the strata council and their partners. Worked like dogs to make improvements with very little assistance from anyone. We also turfed the extremely crappy strata management company we had. They basically did nothing without being nagged to because our manager had 30 condo buildings plus 30 commercial buildings to manage, meaning only the squeaky wheel got the grease. We replaced them with a small management company with 16 buildings, 2 managers, and half a dozen support staff. Paid a little more money, but the service increased 10-fold.

Anyway, got the easy, noticeable things fixed over the next few years, put together a depreciation plan so that folks could see the actual costs that would be coming if they wanted a decent place to live, sold after 5 years and got the hell out. I will never live in a strata again. Too much work to do it right and never anything but from complaints from people who can’t be bothered to get involved and try to make things better. You don’t have to be stuck with a shitty strata council, but that means you have to shoulder some responsibility and stop making excuses.

#118 HogtownIndebted on 12.01.12 at 12:20 pm

Re: #84 sunpack

Thanks for that Brad Lamb promo link. Wow, that is an eye opener. I couldn’t help but notice a particular meme at work in the quotes he uses there, in the words of David Rosenberg and Benjamin Tal, respectively:

“…..isn’t as bad as it looks…” and then “Less attention should be paid….”

Do these guys know how obviously bad that sounds?

Am I the only one who was instantly reminded of this much adored childhood movie moment…….?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWyCCJ6B2WE

#119 Dazed & Confused on 12.01.12 at 12:22 pm

Yeah, don’t get me started on corrupt strata councils. Good Lord. They do attract power-mongers. Repair contracts going to family members, your every actions being monitored via cameras everywhere, coming into your suite when you are away on holidays so they can router-rooter the toilet, (read: check up on everyone’s condo under a guise), and rules, damn rules…they make George Orwell’s 1984 look like a picnic. I don’t think one can have a moment’s peace when you own a condo, because the strata is comin’ at you, one way or another, just keep lookin’ over your shoulder and open your wallet!!

#120 Gunboat denier on 12.01.12 at 12:29 pm

92 Canuck abroad – where do reserve funds come from? Are they not just accumulated over the years thru strata fees? It’s just a case of pay now or pay later. You could apply the same principle to fee simple ownership.

#121 Herb on 12.01.12 at 12:35 pm

Smoked Man #22 etc. etc.,

sigh

#122 2centsCdn on 12.01.12 at 12:35 pm

#99 Buy? Curious?
Sounds great …. look forward to it. Just please give us a little more time to read the quotes before the screen changes. I couldn’t keep up. I’m a little slow …. but not “that” slow : )

#123 Hoof Hearted on 12.01.12 at 12:42 pm

GOVERNMENT TELLS NJ HURRICANE VICTIMS TO DEMOLISH THEIR HOMES IMMEDIATELY OR PAY $2,000 PER WEEK

http://www.republicbroadcasting.org/index.php?cmd=news.article&articleID=4559

According to a local newspaper:

“This weekend, Joe Biden visited this oceanfront community in Ocean County, but local residents, some who saw their homes for the first time, were also greeted by demolition notices.

Dated November 13th, one noticed by a resident who wishes to remain anonymous, stated “Your structure has possible structural of footing failures.”

It went on to say the structure would be demolished by November 30, 2012, just 17 days from the notice. The order allowed the residents to request a hearing, but also threatened by fines of up to $2,000 per week if they did not comply with the order and fix their homes before the 30th.

To date, homeowners have been allowed to hire contractors for damage assessments, quotes, winterizations and insurance inspections, but no plans have yet been made for any reconstruction, leaving homeowners in a difficult position with very little time to decide what to do before their homes are demolished by the township.”

#124 in the doghouse on 12.01.12 at 12:45 pm

Was checking out another blog on house price reductions in Richmond BC . Apparently there a number of houses priced 20-40 % below assessments : eg , org ask 1.3 m -assessed @ 1.2m -reduced to 899000. Im still scratching my head as to how the house was assessed at 1.2m to begin with . Was the city caught up in the house mania and increased the assessments as the the property value bloated over the last 5-6 yrs? As far as I’m concerned the Crack Shacks assessed value should be far lower than what it is. As it stands now , most people still can’t afford a place that is selling at 40% below assessed value .

#125 Helga on 12.01.12 at 1:08 pm

# 3 Bean,

thank you, don’t let the bullies # 62 and # 95 win.
If Garth does not like it he can delete it.

#126 Hoof Hearted on 12.01.12 at 1:16 pm

Fellow Posters..please keep the Condo Horror stories coming !

ALSO: Can someone explain to me some of the outrageous assessments for condo repairs…like how can one unit be assessed say over $100,000 ? and multiply that by the number of units.

What would the materials cost…..lets overestimate and say $20,000….then labour…

There must be huge profit margins..is there a cabal of price – fixing amongst restoration companies ?

#127 Canadian Watchdog on 12.01.12 at 1:19 pm

Posted at Zero Hedge: Mark Carnage

The age-old misperception that this time is different, that Chinese investors will continue to spend millions on crack shacks in Vancouver, that an industrial boom in East Asia will continue to support demand for Canadian commodities, that Canada’s subprime slush isn’t vulnerable, that hot inflows from capital rich low-interest rate environments like Japan and America will continue forever.

In the short term what is going on is that the ex-Goldmanite Carney has pumped up a huge bonanza of securitisation and quick profits for big banks and their management who are laughing all the way to the Cayman Islands (or in Carney’s case, Threadneedle Street). Once the easy money quits flowing into the Canadian financial system from abroad, defaults will begin to accumulate, cracks will quickly appear, and Canada will spiral into debt-deflation. Taxpayers in Canada (and in other similar cases like Australia) may well end up bailing out the banks profiting so handsomely now, just like their American and British and Japanese cousins.

—–

Here's one of many recent Canadian banks' exective fat cat trades:

Richard Nesbitt Seller Activity

 

 

#128 Dr. WAYNE on 12.01.12 at 1:30 pm

#125 Helga on 12.01.12 at 1:08 pm

# 3 Bean,

thank you, don’t let the bullies # 62 and # 95 win.
If Garth does not like it he can delete it.

Garth, I suspect, secretly supports those of limited intelligence who post ‘fuurrssttss’ … it gives them a forum to express themselves fully. Such opportunities may be limited for these mindsets … and Garth is too much of a gentleman and of a ‘sensitive’ nature to ‘delete’ them. SO … it is left to us, who are less sensitive, to hold a mirror up to these unfortunates.

#129 Daisy Mae on 12.01.12 at 1:34 pm

#117 Former Strata: “We raised strata fees so that we could build up a fund to do those fixes. And oh, the outcry about paying $25 more a month. We honestly had people telling us that they’d rather receive a bill for a special assessment instead of do the smart thing and save up a maintenance fund.”

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

I don’t live in a condo. But we are governed under the condo act. We have a contingency fund….but it won’t be enuf for replacement roofs. When it was proposed to raise condo fees so there WOULD be enuf, there was a huge outcry. Excuse was: “We might not BE here, so why should we pay NOW?!” Overturned. Now we will receive a levy when the time comes….fortunately, years down the road.

Home owners are misinformed and it would appear from the lack of info from council, that the members are told what’s going on just on a ‘need to know’ basis, and we don’t need to know anything. Councils are dictatorial, strata management firms are useless.

I just divorce myself from it all.

#130 live within your means on 12.01.12 at 1:35 pm

#117 former strata council president on 12.01.12 at 12:10 pm
If you live in/own a building with a crappy strata council, the person responsible for that problem is you. If you can’t be bothered to get involved, do the work, and make it better, then you are just a lazy ass complainer. I don’t care how busy you are. Everyone is busy. The only way to fix a problem is to do something.

……………

Believe me, I tried. Unfortunately, the same board members had held their positions for many years. We exposed some of the financial ‘irregularities’ we discovered while reviewing the books. We spent 2 full days taking notes, etc. I did up a letter to all 100+ owners and we dropped them off to all the townhouses. On a separate issue, I drew up a petition which about 98% signed. Spent many evenings talk to owners. Board would not recognize it. Thankfully, only 1 of the previous board remains. Sounds a lot like our current con govt.

#131 Old Man on 12.01.12 at 1:37 pm

Smoking Man just got a special invitation from Santa Claus to meet him at 750 Runnymede Road in front of the CP Lambton yard office at 5:30 PM when his train pulls in for showtime. Rumour has it that they will be splitting a 24 before the train pulls into Vaughan at 8:00 PM, and Smoking Man might sing a song or two for the big crowd there.

#132 live within your means on 12.01.12 at 1:46 pm

#127 Canadian Watchdog on 12.01.12 at 1:19 pm

Been reading a lot about the ‘Carney’ in recent days- much of it not that flattering.

#133 Aussie Roy on 12.01.12 at 1:51 pm

Mark Carnage

Take a moment to look at the mess he is leaving behind in Canada, the home of moose, maple syrup, Jean Poutine and now colossal housing bubbles.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2012-12-01/guest-post-mark-carnage

#134 PoorgEoisie on 12.01.12 at 1:54 pm

Keep on trying bean you’ll get there!

Our dear condo board installed a new system for the underground parking. To gain access to my spot that I’ve had for more than a year they wanted some basic info: name,car make, liscense and phone number. They also wanted some less basic info: employer name and phone number, relative’s name and number, my SIN number and a signed letter stating I understood and would abide by the “condo act of 19xx”.
I explained that the basic info was no problem but I would not give them anything else as I could not see any possible parking related event that would require my bosses or relative’s being bothered, and my SIN number why?
So now in their view I no longer have access to my spot, in reality it took me 30mins to crack the new system, I suspect an actual thief will take much less time. Money well spent idiots.

#135 Daisy Mae on 12.01.12 at 1:55 pm

#117 – Former strata:

In Canada we elect our representatives. That is democracy. If councils aren’t elected, I understand they don’t have the same powers as elected reps. And, they shouldn’t.

There’s a huge difference in simply offering to run for council, and being accepted because there is no alternative except to see fees skyrocket for paid council.

Councils then proceed to run things their way — without consultation. And that’s dictatorship. Fortunately, they rarely get away with it because legal action then commences….

#136 TurnerNation on 12.01.12 at 2:16 pm

#85Tony

Why are US – or Canadian markets, in a Bear market rally?

TSX 60 ETF’s been trading well above its 200 weekly moving average for 3 years now. And the VIX is firmly in the 13-17 range. This is bullish territory, so far.

http://stockcharts.com/h-sc/ui?s=XIU.TO&p=W&yr=3&mn=0&dy=0&id=p53892741340

#137 Mister Obvious on 12.01.12 at 2:23 pm

#117 former strata council president

You bring a refreshing point of view to the discussion and I thank you for taking the time. You are unquestionably an energetic, take-charge sort of person and your council is lucky to have you on board. I suspect your building does not represent the typical case for the average strata-titled property.

That said, you certainly don’t make a case for the desirability of shared ownership. It sounds like a recipe for heaps of extra work and responsibility performed mostly on behalf of ingrates and slackers who expect to profit while others do the heavy lifting.

Might as well rent.

#138 DonDWest on 12.01.12 at 2:24 pm

101 Eaglebay – Parksville

“Socialism at it’s best.

Your so called ‘rich people’ do what with their money?”

If they are anything like the rich people in Canada, they use their money towards speculating on property, creating financial Ponzi-schemes, cheap beer, black market Mary Jane, bribing politicians, and whores. Nothing particularly productive and if anything counter-productive. . .

We have no high tech sector so to speak, no manufacturing, no breakthrough research in medicine or engineering, and when you enter our so called “businesses” they remind me of a scene in the 1940’s. Many of these businesses are also highly subsidized by the government and debt. Need I go on?

If it wasn’t for oil Canada would be a 3rd world dump. Throughout my travels, I discovered a 3rd world dump always has one distinct characteristic – useless rich people. You can somewhat overcome useless rich people if you’re lucky to have oil and grant your people some limited freedoms, but it’s short lived. Eventually, capitalism is at the mercy of the rich making smart investments with their money to achieve success. I would say most of Canada’s rich fall into the useless category. At the end of the day, seeing that they have the resources it’s up to them to prove me wrong. So far, I would have little remorse if most just packed up their bags and left.

We’ll see if a much needed economic real estate crash here in Canada will finally incentivise the rich to take much needed risks with their money to the benefit of the rest of us. . . Maybe the rich will have to actually start productive businesses to keep their wealth rather than park it in real estate. However, based on the characters I’ve seen here in Canada that have money, all I can say is we don’t make them like the United States. I’m not holding much hope. . .

That being said, I don’t hold any resentment or envy towards the rich. It’s just been my observation that many rich people (barring some exceptions) here in Canada are not particularly bright nor care about producing anything of value.

Most only try “to game” the system, whether it’s Brad Lamb on the high end of game theory, or that unionized teacher on the low end of game theory, the problem is people are just playing game theory and nothing is getting produced. . .

Now if you have a solution to this problem rather than just labelling me a socialist, let’s hear it! I will still make the argument that any possible solution involves removing the incentives to profit off “gaming the system” and increases the incentives to profit from genuine production.

#139 Rob on 12.01.12 at 2:26 pm

Hey blog dogs, somebody’s got to do the dirty work and it’s Blue Collar Workman, entertaining blog from the scaffolding looking in:)

Blue Collar Workman

note: no relation beyond a dedicated reader

#140 Rob on 12.01.12 at 2:30 pm

“So don’t invest in a balanced portfolio. Problem solved. But I will carry on. — Garth”

Garth keep preaching. For every idiot like that here are a dozen who are listening and trying

rob

#141 Dr Waynes Condo Repair crew... on 12.01.12 at 2:37 pm

Hey Doc…

We’ll be tearing off the walls Dec. 24…have to shut down the utilities….

PS .Well be off from Dec 25, 2012 to Jan. __? 201_?

#142 Smoking Man on 12.01.12 at 2:45 pm

Buy Curious

You inspired me:)

I’m doing a Vid soon, starting me, Real film, to the sounds of Ca Ira

Need to wait for the next wind storm by the lake to shoot it.

#143 Ralph Cramdown on 12.01.12 at 3:10 pm

#110 GTA Engineer — Well here’s a cherry-picked statistic for you showing the opposite. The annual return for equities over the last 13 years (since July 1999) on the S&P500 is *ZERO*

You’d be up 18.75% if you kept your dividend cheques under the mattress instead of lighting your cigars with them. It takes about ten seconds to create a portfolio with SPY in it on google finance.

#144 Triplenet on 12.01.12 at 3:14 pm

No land value (or actual dirt) as you state in your comment.
It’s fee simple ownership, which includes land.

#145 No Sympathy on 12.01.12 at 3:25 pm

The problem here isn’t Brad Lamb, it’s the stupidity it requires to fail to see that the analysis in the ad wrong. Anyone who reads that ad, believes it, and signs up, deserves what they get.
If you think regulation is the answer (similar to that seen in ETFs and IPOs), fine. That’s one way to do it. But you know what else would absolutely put Brad Lamb out of business: A requirement for an IQ test prior to getting a mortgage.
But I say leave the system as is, and just accept, as has always been true: A fool and his money…

No Sympathy

#146 Daisy Mae on 12.01.12 at 3:25 pm

126Hoof Hearted: “Fellow Posters..please keep the Condo Horror stories coming!”

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

Okay! How about this? Our esteemed council told us to: take down your bird feeders, take down your wind chimes, do not wash your vehicle in your driveway….

Whaaat? They went from the sublime to the ridiculous.

Well, of course, most of us told them to pretty much go to hell. I figured if I had a RAT problem on MY property, I’d deal with it. I didn’t, by the way….but to hear council tell it, rats were running amuk.

Then we had a council member yelling at us from across the street….threatening $250 fines if we didn’t adhere to his demands. LOL Such ‘power’. What fools.

#147 Country Girl on 12.01.12 at 3:26 pm

#91 Canuck Abroad
If Brad Lamb really thought you could earn 3 times your money on these units he would be buying them all up with both hands, not selling them.

My thoughts, exactly.

#148 Daisy Mae on 12.01.12 at 3:33 pm

It’s ‘amok’. Not ‘amuk’.

I hate misspelling words…

#149 Coho on 12.01.12 at 3:52 pm

#117 former strata council president,

I could’ve written your post. Due to the same situation you experienced I got involved and became VP, although it was a few years later. In my townhouse complex however, major repair was needed. New roof shingles, cupped and cracked cedar siding, and new exterior paint needed to be attended to. All these were overdue. Members of the strata council which had been in charge for 10 years because other owners were apathetic and not paying attention were dragging the place into the ground by having had shoddy expensive work done such as roofing and exterior paint that lasted for a few years only. And this under ‘guidance’ of a big strata management corporation, which was alarming.

The council president, a petty and vindictive old bag viewed the monthly maintenance fees we paid as if the money was her own personal finances to be disbursed to those in her favour. Topping this off was that she and a few of her crony friends had a love affair with vinyl siding. She wanted to have the cedar siding, most of which was still pristine replaced with vinyl — quotes of which ranged from $70K to $140k plus! We had 2 dozen units only.

To make a long story short sanity prevailed and we eventually got the wood repaired and a nice paint job done, but only after I quit the council a year and a half after joining. As long as I was on it, the former guard would gather just enough votes to defeat the resolution for wood repair and paint. And one of the people who would side with my ‘faction’ switched sides. Why? Because her son was a painter and I had someone else lined up to paint. When I resigned, council went about hiring a different wood repair company and the owner’s son’s company to paint the complex. Yes, family does crop up.

In the end, the other faction had agreed to my approach, but wanted to execute it their way. Fair enough. I didn’t care, as long as we weren’t going to go with hideous vinyl siding, which would have cost an arm and a leg for a decent job of it, and not have suited our complex anyway because of its design. The smart and right approach (in my opinion) was taken and that’s what mattered. And the cost of replacing damaged exterior siding with a top quality paint job was $57K. The roofing was replaced a couple years later.

Yes, sometimes we need to take charge. After we swept out the old guard and fired the big strata management corporation, we hired a smaller one to come to the odd meeting and manage the books. Reasonable people had stepped up and partook in the council. They were knowledgeable and hands on enough to obtain their own quotes. And they organized work parties as well.

#150 bill on 12.01.12 at 3:53 pm

#113 Form Man on 12.01.12 at 11:51 am
good one form man.
the carpenters working in the traditional coast native manner are master woodworkers for sure.
their ocean going canoes remind me of clipper ship hulls a lot.

#151 45north on 12.01.12 at 4:16 pm

former strata council president: If you live in a building with a crappy strata council, the person responsible for that problem is you.

you da man ( I think )

#152 Victor V on 12.01.12 at 4:30 pm

http://www.yourhome.ca/homes/realestate/article/1294571–the-fall-condo-market-is-perception-reality

With all the gloomy headlines this fall declaring a declining Toronto condo market, one has to wonder: What’s really been happening out there?

An insider’s look at the monthly sales activity yields insights that may challenge some commonly held perceptions.

Take new condo sales in October, for example. Were they way down or just average? It all depends on your perspective.

There were 1,914 new condos sold in October. While that’s 38 per cent lower than the total sales in October of last year, remember that 2011 was a record year.

Over the long term, there has been an average of 1,821 new condos sold during October. So if you compare this October to the average October, new condo sales were actually 5 per cent higher than the average.

This interpretation of market activity doesn’t lend itself to sensationalistic headlines quite like the perception that sales have dropped off by 38 per cent.

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

Spin spin spin.

#153 Marco.R on 12.01.12 at 4:49 pm

Read the comments section. It covers Mr. Lambs reputation quite nicely:

http://www.blogto.com/city/2012/07/new_in_toronto_real_estate_the_brant_park/

#154 oceanside on 12.01.12 at 4:54 pm

We have had a 2 bedroom condo in Victoria for 9 years, it is 998 sq ft, has two parking spaces and is close to UVic, Camosun, Beach Drive etc..We don’t live there full time but have used it for our children to use when attending university. The building is 32 years old and is in need of a new skin, balconies and windows. An engineering firm offered 3 choices, full repair for $40k per unit, partial (no windows or doors) for $25k and just patching up the rot for $12K.

We had 4 votes on which way we wanted to go, presentations by engineers, lawyer and strata management company. The building needs the first option in the worst way but so many owners don’t want to spend any money on maintenance…..It got really ugly until we finally settled on the middle option.

It was an eye opener to see how many felt that the building needed no money spent on it, if they owned their own freehold property and thought the same way the place would fall down……..

With all the bickering we had to put the job off for a year and now won’t be done until Christmas 2013. Haven’t decided on some of the details yet, will be interesting to see if we get “wagon wheel” or purple painted balcony railings to save money….We will never get involved in strata again. Rent or Freehold.

#155 Hoof Hearted on 12.01.12 at 4:55 pm

#146 Daisy Mae on 12.01.12 at 3:25 pm

Thanks !

My in-laws moved for a SFH to a condo 6 years ago(Richmond BC)….he has since passed away, but we visit her at least once a week.

Its a nice building, good layout, nice architecture…(BUILT in 1986 ..approx 80 units ) etc,etc. ..units re -sell quickly….have an on site manager , strata is quite well run…but its STILL been a money pit.

Major overhaul on the outside..as we speak they are retrofitting all the interior plumbing.

( A bit surprised..using plastic for water lines, I thought code on Multi Family stated ALL metal for plumbing for both potable water and drains…)

I am not sure what is next on the horizon…. probably windows? …I pointed out that in outside common areas the drywall in parts of the ceilings is starting to sag and pull the drywall tape….but I am more and more convinced I do NOT want to get into a strata situation.

#156 Hoof Hearted on 12.01.12 at 5:10 pm

#149 Coho on 12.01.12 at 3:52 pm

Yes, sometimes we need to take charge. After we swept out the old guard and fired the big strata management corporation, we hired a smaller one to come to the odd meeting and manage the books. Reasonable people had stepped up and partook in the council. They were knowledgeable and hands on enough to obtain their own quotes. And they organized work parties as well.

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

When my in-laws place was re-done..(BTW they have a no Children policy and mostly Seniors live there)….they benefitted from a retired Engineer and Retired architect to draw up plans and specs and saved thousands via that volunteer contribution.

Management Companies? I am not sure how many they have gone through…some are just fee collecting boiler room operations.

Strata Councils…my in -law was on a committee….not even on for 6 months…..but there was a coup..and they were turfed….and a new one voted in… not sure why.

Strata living ? = somewhere between Socialism and Communism.

#157 Canadian Watchdog on 12.01.12 at 5:11 pm

 

#152 Marco.R

Looks like something you'd see in a communist style apartment block over in Mother Russia.

It does look Russian.

 

 

#158 Canuck Abroad on 12.01.12 at 5:12 pm

120 Gunboat denier – “..where do reserve funds come from? Are they not just accumulated over the years thru strata fees?…”

Yes, pretty much. In the case of the London flat, owners made separate contributions for maintenance (gardening, cleaning, insurance, etc) and for the reserve fund (savings for major work). In the case of the BC condo, the maintenance did not cover major work at all; for any repairs the strata issued special assessments. I think in an ideal world the maintenance should be high enough to cover both ongoing expenses and major work – this seems fairer to me.

#159 Bill Gable on 12.01.12 at 5:55 pm

Strata Meetings, (*there’s always one PAIN IN THE POSTERIOR, to drive the rest of the members nuts), were one of the many reasons I realized that selling our condo was the only way to go.

In the three years since we sold – they had to put on a new roof, get a new elevator, and with one half the building on bedrock and one half on a slight slope – the building is starting to crack in half (I could see the cracks in the hallways on all three floors).

The pain in the butt on Council has sued the Strata, and it has been draining the contingency fund.

Condos = Money Pits, and as Mr. Turner points out – you own NOTHING – but air – and are liable for every repair and impending disaster.

Here in Vancouver, where it rains about 12 months a year – the building codes in the 80’s and 90’s were from CALIFORNIA – and so that’s why all these stuccoed buildings are, sooner or later, covered with tarps as the envelope of the building is replaced.

Get out the check book!

The other thing that gave me pause – the number of my friends in that condo had taken out HELOCS on the “ever rising value”, of the property.

There are many of my ex neighbours are in a world of fiscal hurt.

The stress must be incredible. Renting – we save money, hassle and worry – and if there’s a problem – the owner is quick to fix it. No charge.

If you are even thinking of selling – be aggressive and go for it – even if this is NOT high season.

GET OUT NOW.

Just start reading Mr. Turner’s incisive posts over the past year, and you will see why.

Good luck. Happy December!

#160 detalumis on 12.01.12 at 5:59 pm

Using #54 as an example, 32 year old building needs new windows, doors skin, etcetera, not sure what people think happens with a house, I know my bungalow eats up 4K in repairs a year. I live in a neighborhood where there are old people who haven’t touched the place in 25 years and it’s not pretty, the house basically collapses around you and it sells as land value.

Condos are absolutely no different, you get just as shoddy construction in a new build detached house as you do in a condo, the only difference is that in a condo you are forced to pay for repairs, something that many people don’t do in a house. Seniors who are happy to live with ratty 30 year old carpet get upset about having to upgrade a lobby and the hallways every 10 years, something that you should also do in your house.

#161 GregW, Oakville on 12.01.12 at 6:04 pm

Hi Garth, Someone might be interested.

“The hottest American economist” on BIG IDEAS this weekend‏

BIG IDEAS airs on TVO every Saturday and Sunday at 5:00 pm. To download our podcast, please go to our website
http://bigideas.tvo.org/

“According to Tyler Cowan, our speaker this weekend, much of the problem with modern democratic societies is that voters know what they would like but have very little understanding of economics.

What most would like is for our economies to perform the way they used to for about 30 years after WWII. And even though they have not done so in many years, the memory of that golden era is still presented by politicians as the standard by which the performance of their political opponents ought to be judged.

The issue we are contending with is that we have a political culture premised on 3-4 % growth with an economy that can only perform at 1-2 %.

Tyler Cowan has been called America’s Hottest Economist by BusinessWeek Magazine and he teaches economics at George Mason University. His blog Marginal Revolution carries a telling subtitle, Small steps towards a much better world. His ideas on the slowing of economic growth are contained in a 2011 e-book The Great Stagnation; How America Ate All The Low-Hanging Fruit, Got Sick, and Will (Eventually) Feel Better.

Tyler Cowan will be joined on stage by National Post columnist Andrew Coyne.”

#162 Canadian Watchdog on 12.01.12 at 6:25 pm

Who needs government statistics when private stats can paint a far better picture of Canada's economy.
See Google trends for "collection office" and just to confirm the parabolic spike is for credit collections, see the latest related jobs posted at workopolis, and if that's not enough, one more chart showing banks' impaired non-mortgages loans (credit cards, student loans, auto loans, etc.)

Last note: winter time is high season for foreclosures and delinquency payments. Good luck with that soft landing.

#163 Linda Pearson on 12.01.12 at 7:02 pm

#134PoorgEoisie on 12.01.12 at 1:54 pm

They also wanted some less basic info:… my SIN number…
***********************************
Tell them to blow smoke. No one and no company, except someone reporting your earned income to CRA, is entitled to have your SIN. It can’t be required to prove identity or in application for a credit card or car rental, nothing of that sort. And certainly not to maintain access to a parking spot.

#164 Hoof-Hearted on 12.01.12 at 7:06 pm

#160 detalumis on 12.01.12 at 5:59 pm

House built like a Brick SH*THOUSE stopped being built in about the late 1960’s..now they are just SH*TTY HOUSES.

Once accidentally met one of BC’s best known Building Inspector Ed Witzke, near his own home in East Van……which was a typical post- war bungalow with an in ground basement 1950’s vintage..and we talked about the quality of homes then versus now.

They don’t build houses to last anymore….I look at all the McMansion’s they built when HAM from Hong Kong came over in the mid 1980’s…they look hideous now… so out of style,….and I know they have to be leakers with all the cheap stucco on them, but because they are SFH…the often absentee owner doesn’t have to fix it…simply let it go. I know sooner or later all the “in floor radiant heating” will go..and the houses will be write-offs.

My guess is in about 5 years these will depreciate to Lot value…and they will be demolished…and repeat the 25-30 year cycle.

#165 Doug in London on 12.01.12 at 7:37 pm

I see a lot of high rise rental apartment buildings, 40 or more years old, that are still standing and structurally sound. They only require regular maintenance work like replacing locks, appliances, elevator maintenance, or the odd broken window. Why can’t these new condos be built to the same standards? For the exorbitant prices they sell for, they should be built strong enough to withstand a direct hit with an atomic bomb.

#166 McLovin on 12.01.12 at 7:54 pm

There are a lot of whack jobs on this blog.

Garth don’t give up the fight of trying to educate the great unwashed!

#167 Daisy Mae on 12.01.12 at 8:21 pm

15145north: “former strata council president: If you live in a building with a crappy strata council, the person responsible for that problem is you….”

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

None of us moved into a gated community to do battle with dictatorial councils.

We’re entitled to ‘quiet enjoyment of our properties’ and as long as we abide by the (original) bylaws, pay our strata fees and our property taxes, we should be left alone. I appreciate that we need order…but we don’t need our lives monitored at every turn.

#168 hangfire on 12.01.12 at 8:27 pm

Talk about smart ass math….the ‘fed’ is printing like crazy…….17% more paper in circulation this quarter alone………got gold?……and kleenex?

http://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/h6/current/h6.htm

yeeeeeeehhhhhaaaaawwwwwwwww….we’re all gonna die….at least those of us who expect 5% returns will save the day.

Only the gluttons in the civil service on defined benefit pensions will survive.

#169 Freedom First on 12.01.12 at 8:29 pm

#75 Muddy Waters……….thank you for the laugh of the day:)

#170 Julia on 12.01.12 at 8:37 pm

For anyone out there feeling weary of reading condo horror stories and would like a 101 tutorial on the fiscal cliff http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2012/11/30/all-your-fiscal-cliff-questions-answered/

#171 Daisy Mae on 12.01.12 at 8:37 pm

163Linda Pearson
#134PoorgEoisie
They also wanted some less basic info:… my SIN number…
***********************************
Tell them to blow smoke. No one and no company, except someone reporting your earned income to CRA, is entitled to have your SIN. It can’t be required to prove identity or in application for a credit card or car rental, nothing of that sort. And certainly not to maintain access to a parking spot.

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

Exactly. Tell them to go to hell. Just goes to show you — these condo councils have no experience, no legal knowledge. And no common sense. They just are NOT qualified for the job.

#172 CalgaryRocks on 12.01.12 at 8:44 pm

Now, back to unit sizes. The smallest units at The Brant Park, dubbed “One Bedrooms,” scantly measure in at 400 square feet.

My dog has a bigger kennel than that and she’s a 12lb Shih Tzu. Am I spoiling my dog?

#173 Daisy Mae on 12.01.12 at 9:02 pm

#149 Coho: “After we swept out the old guard and fired the big strata management corporation, we hired a smaller one…”

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

Our previous council decided to turf the old strata management firm and hire a new one. However, they didn’t tell us who they chose ’cause to do that was ‘illegal’.

We were required to vote…not knowing what we were voting for. It wasn’t a private vote — it was a show of hands! With a rep from the current strata management in the hall!

And the final count? Fraudulent. I was there. I know. I didn’t vote. And will never attend another AGM….

#174 CrowdedElevatorfartz on 12.01.12 at 9:05 pm

@#165 Doug in London
The difference between the buildings built 40+ years ago and todays’ shitty condos?

40 years ago ONE construction company was responsible for everything. Their name was on the line. A warranty actually meant something because they could be sued.

Fast forward to today where there is a Head contractor and multiple variations of numbered companies that usually win the job because they are lowest bid. The building takes a year or two to complete and “poof” gonzo! Fold that company. Start another up.

Thank the “Justice system” for the loopholes, the lawyers just found the easiest way for contractors to “escape” their obligations.

Either way, crappy, slimey construction companies are here to stay. Caveat Emptor

#175 CrowdedElevatorfartz on 12.01.12 at 9:13 pm

@ #172 CalgaryRocks(bwahahahahahaha)

Your shih tzu weighs 12lbs? WTF?

This raises several questions……
a) You live in Big Oil soaked testosterone central and own a foo foo “kick me” dog?

b) Your tiny little “foot warmer” weighs in at 12lbs? What the hell are you feeding it? Prairie Oysters?

c) When was the last time you visited an optometrist? Cause I think that shih tzu is actually a raccoon…….

#176 CrowdedElevatorfartz on 12.01.12 at 9:15 pm

……still pouring rain in Van-goober……..

…….Calgary does Rock

#177 Victor V on 12.01.12 at 9:35 pm

Family with six-figure income broke every month

http://business.financialpost.com/2012/11/30/family-with-six-figure-income-broke-every-month/

Ted, as we’ll call him, earns a good income at age 53 as a corporate information systems manager in British Columbia. With his wife — we’ll call her Mary, 49, who works part-time for a few thousand dollars a year — the family has gross annual income of $104,000.

Yet, at the end of the month, they are strapped for money.

They spend $1,450 a month for food, which is high for a couple with two children aged 12 and 20, both living at home. Still, they are not extravagant. After taxes and other fixed expenses, they are left with little for basics, just $200 a month for dining out, $75 for entertainment and $300 to clothe four people.

With little spare cash to add to their retirement funds and six figures of debt, they wonder if Ted can quit work when he is 58 or 60 at the latest.

“We have a large line of credit that is incurring more interest charges,” Ted says. “What we’ll do in retirement to maintain our way of life — it’s all up in the air.”

#178 Eaglebay - Parksville on 12.01.12 at 9:46 pm

#138 DonDWest on 12.01.12 at 2:24 pm

You should visit Canada more often.
Check this out:

http://list.canadianbusiness.com/rankings/rich100/2011/Default.aspx?sp2=1&d1=a&sc1=0

These are only the richest providing you with your entitlements.

#179 Hoof Hearted on 12.01.12 at 9:47 pm

#174 CrowdedElevatorfartz on 12.01.12 at 9:05 pm

=====================================
A lot of post war homes were built under the OLD CMHC rules…

My in law told me about their house,built in early 1960’s , under the OLD CMHC rules.

A CMHC inspector came and inspected the framing…and found a spot where ONE NAIL was missing and informed them.

BTW, the house still stands .

Like anything else..the more complex you build it..the more things to F*ck up.

#180 Eaglebay - Parksville on 12.01.12 at 9:51 pm

#144 Triplenet on 12.01.12 at 3:14 pm
No land value (or actual dirt) as you state in your comment.
It’s fee simple ownership, which includes land.
_________________
There is no land ownership in Canada. Only an illusion.
There are no property rights in our Constitution.
Beside, so called ownership is only after the mortgage and HELOCs have been paid off.

#181 CalgaryRocks on 12.01.12 at 9:52 pm

#175 CrowdedElevatorfartz on 12.01.12 at 9:13 pm
@ #172 CalgaryRocks(bwahahahahahaha)

Your shih tzu weighs 12lbs? WTF?

This raises several questions……
a) You live in Big Oil soaked testosterone central and own a foo foo “kick me” dog?

Yeah man shih tzus rock. As for it being a “kick me” dog, I guess you didn’t read the story about the shih-tzu that ripped a woman’s face off at Home Depot a few years back.

#182 Hugh Jasz on 12.01.12 at 10:07 pm

#163 Linda Pearson on 12.01.12 at 7:02 pm
#134PoorgEoisie on 12.01.12 at 1:54 pm

They also wanted some less basic info:… my SIN number…
***********************************
Tell them to blow smoke. No one and no company, except someone reporting your earned income to CRA, is entitled to have your SIN.

Went through this years ago on a rental application.

It came down to “If you don’t give it to me, you’re not getting the appartment…..”

Even in the uber-tight rental market of 15 years ago, I found the courage to tell them to F— their socks and kept shopping. In the end, I found another place. Cheaper, bigger, better located, no SIN.

#183 Smoking Man on 12.01.12 at 10:14 pm

Amazing how the pathetic comments section of the greater fool has evolved.

Garth calls it noise, lmfao, he’s just as addicted to it as we are. fricken fibber. :)

The character development of all of us trapped in this evolving relativity book is incredible. text soap opera.

But I need need warn you all,

I am now under official state observation. WTF can’t say how I know. but I do.

So thinking back to all the posts, what was the trigger. nothing I can think of, I do mostly comedy.

But then again I don’t remember my deleted posts in seriously drunken state, who knows wtf I said.

But in comparing me to other stuff I have read on line my shit is tame.

what is it the fear.? Is what I am now consumed to figure out. School system, Middle east, i couldent give a shit about it, but then again Fat bastered and his cronies are a bit fanatical about it. Who the hell knows.

Then I go to the stat’s section of my blog. WOW 2000 hits a day. by internet standards that’s nothing. But trow in my insane posts, my in-predictably , and very favorable emails that all go threw his computers, who knows what algo I triggered.

Some one took note of it.

Oh by the way machine, your human spy’s are so fk-ing stupid is that the best you can do, they dress the same, ask the same random political questions, and they have the same facial expression, body language when I hit them with the special secret find out if they are spy’s comment.

Hum.

Hire me losers I am so board……………..

#184 Hugh Jasz on 12.01.12 at 10:14 pm

Also, never had to deal with strata council in a condo building, but once lived in a co-op whose council was hijacked by the same types of individuals.

I used to go to the AGMs for amusement, and to be a prick.

They were all set to ram through increases to parking, laundry, unit rents, etc.

I did a quick headcount, opened my copy of my bylaws, and found that we didn’t have quorum (10% of members)……quick motion to shut down the meeting deferred all the increases until after I was moved out.

I don’t really have a moral, just that the councils for things like this are usually run by petty people with an agenda.

If you’re not prepared to be on the council to provide a voice of reason (or to enjoy the fruits of corruption yourself), or, if you’re not prepared to inform yourself and be a pain in their ass whenever they’re out of line, they can make some decisions that really affect your life in the wrong way!

#185 Bottoms_Up on 12.01.12 at 10:32 pm

#147 Country Girl on 12.01.12 at 3:26 pm
——————————————–
You have to read the wording VERY carefully. He’s not claiming 3x the money, he’s claiming:

“Annual rate of return from total profit”

Which seems obviously planned to obfuscate the reader into thinking you will triple your money.

But it’s simply highlighting the RATE of return, and uses some funny math to get there.

#186 Form Man on 12.01.12 at 10:36 pm

#150 Bill

When Captain Cook first visited Haida Gwaii, the natives paddled out to meet him in canoes that were longer than the boats he had sailed from Europe.

They were dugouts made from giant red cedars, well over 100′ long.

Needless to say, the Europeans were impressed.

#187 Smoking Man on 12.01.12 at 10:37 pm

Vlad I watched the vid.

My call, we can’t beat the machine still holds.

It has drones, reads every text communication, knows to within the size of a dime where we are standing. Calls and communication intercepted and evaluated.

There will be no revolution of, for the people by the people.

But there will be a coup, as power consolidates it corrupts it self.

It will force its military to do injustice on it’s own brothers and cousins, it will be a rouge drone pilot that turns his plane toward the real enemy and sets in the motion to destroy sky net.

Yoda told me

#188 Beach Girl on 12.02.12 at 12:09 am

#16 Smoking Man

Hey bud, have been here all along. But the condo shit is crazy. Why would any one buy into something they have absolutely no control over.

I as born at night, but not last night.

#189 Mithan on 12.02.12 at 12:16 am

I live in sask, where it is different and housing will go up another 2136% in the next two years because the world “needs to eat”.

Back on planet earth though, people are predicting the end of all sorts of comodity bubbles….

http://www.businessinsider.com/why-people-are-starting-to-talk-about-saudi-america-2012-12

I expect the west is going to run into some major shit in the next couple years.

Historically, when everybody believes something to be fact, is usually when reality creeps back in…. It’s sad because we have all behaved foolishly…..

#190 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 12.02.12 at 12:52 am

-
Lotsa good comments 2day. Muddy Waters, luv your music! Saw you at Ontario Place about three decades ago. Great stuff!
*
BoE, Mark Carney, GS and the BdB’s; 3:17 clip Barclays got ravished, or How to crash the international investment awards show; Obomba wants no debt ceiling at all; Five Card Stud “Economic Warfare: Big Banks, Imaginary Cliffs, And Genocidal Austerity.”; Top Economists and Iceland So who are our govts. working for? Euro Crisis Like a soap opera, it never ends; 28:04 clip Bob English, Tim Geithner and derivatives; <a href="EUSSR shattering Europe, EZone Depression time and Czech President The (financial) destruction of Europe is almost complete. Graph here and Almost 2/3 of UK’s mlnaires. have left to avoid high tax rates, High tax? 5:02 clip Not so safety deposit boxes, being ripped off and having to go through the legal system; Two Charts The downside of easy money.

Housing Collapse? Not necessarily; EZone and Japan decline tandemly, but GS — 2013 Everything is sunshine and lollipops; Saudi America Not until the west has looted TROTW; Major Divide Rich City, Poor City; Politicos It’s so much fun being a politico, screwing people by lying to them.
*
7:32 clip “High Treason — Obama and Pentagon Declare Congress Invalid 2012. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s testimony asserting that the United Nations and NATO have supreme authority over the actions of the United States military, words which effectively declare Congress a ceremonial relic, have prompted Congressman Walter Jones to introduce a resolution that re-affirms such behavior as an “impeachable high crime and misdemeanor” under the Constitution.”, and Anonymous = CIA Wouldn’t be a surprise; HAARP and Tesla Looking at this, the US could destroy Dimona and Iran’s nuke power plant, along with several other things; Brzezinski (and Kissinger) Telling it like it is or just glossing over the realities? Communist Party USA Go Obama Go! New Evidence “Now who would do a thing like that?!?” wrh.com; 5:28 clip Mutated kiwi fruit. GM? Please shut up Nullification and secession; Fracking 60% of UK will be opened for fracking; 2:57 clip 16 ft. Burmese Python. Found Monty’s Flying Circus! 2:54 clip Ten worst cities to live in (for now); True Ghost story; NFL suicides The game is a little rougher than is known; Chocolate Pudding? Show your ID first.

#191 InvestX on 12.02.12 at 2:04 am

Great job, Garth.

I hope anyone considering buying an “investment” condo with Mr. Lamb read this blog post first.

#192 GTARealEstateCorner on 12.02.12 at 2:57 am

#142 Smoking Man

I’m doing a Vid soon, starting me, Real film, to the sounds of Ca Ira Need to wait for the next wind storm by the lake to shoot it.
______________________________________
Smoking Man, can’t wait to see the video. You’re doing great and glad to see you’re taking my advice :). Keep the positive attitude and creativity up. You’ll get paid in dividends for this. Good luck with the video and do share!

#193 new-era on 12.02.12 at 4:21 am

I lived in a townhouse unit which needed roof flashing repairs to all it units(20 total).

The leader of the strata said the total bill would cost 4000 per unit. Now anyone who has had to complete strip and replace thier roof knows you can get this done for around 2,500 to 4000 for a asphalt roof. But flashing is just the cosmetic part of the repairs and should cost less that 1000 dollars, The units were small the pitch was not steep.

After some investigation we found out someone from the strata counsil hired his buddies to do the work. No doubt he probably go a piece of the action too at the expense of the owners.

I join the strata later on and it painful, because some of the strata was power hungary vampires wanting to suck the lifelines out of the current owners.

#194 NoName on 12.02.12 at 6:49 am

GOLDMAN: The Economic Crisis Ends In 2013
(i gues he is not following Mayan calendar…)

“What can we expect in coming years? If our estimates and assumptions are correct, 2013 is likely to be a more extreme version of 2010-2012, with a bigger positive private sector impulse that is offset by a bigger negative public sector impulse but still leaves growth around trend. But we expect the net impulse to turn positive in subsequent years, assuming that 2013 marks the peak rate of fiscal contraction. By 2014-2015, the decline in the ex ante private sector balance should be contributing around 11⁄2 percentage points to the overall growth impulse, but we currently assume that fiscal policy will subtract only 1⁄2- 1 percentage point, for a net impulse of 1⁄2-1 point. This ought to be a recipe for clearly above-trend growth.

The economy for years has been characterized by below-trend growth and a private sector that remained in massive surplus (meaning excess savings). That’s been the essence of what we’ve seen, and Goldman believes that’s almost over.”

http://goo.gl/4KCBp

#195 Dr. WAYNE on 12.02.12 at 9:17 am

Garth …

In the mining/investment business if a prospectus is presented to potential investors containing off-the-wall projections of ridiculous profits, such may be deemed fraudulent and subject to prosecution. Why, in your estimation, is the ‘return of investment’ by Lamb not subject to legal action?

Lack of regulatory oversight and control is a major failing of the industry and government. — Garth

#196 happy renter on 12.02.12 at 10:51 am

With B.C. lax laws ,the developers had a great scam.Build a shoddy condo and have a restoration company on the side, you will always have work.Leaky condos destroyed a lot people,just another form of a ponzi scheme.Fraud is part of the Canadian culture now.

#197 Daisy Mae on 12.02.12 at 10:54 am

#184 Hugh Jasz: “…be a pain in their ass whenever they’re out of line, they can make some decisions that really affect your life in the wrong way!”

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

Oh, I wrote letters. Which were ignored. As a matter of fact, they tried to silence me with threats.

Lawyers and the Human Rights Tribunal had to step in…and told them exactly what I told them.

Then, and only then, did they conform.

#198 salonist on 12.02.12 at 10:57 am

“How did we create such bleak job prospects for Canada’s youth?”

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/1296040–how-did-we-create-such-bleak-job-prospects-for-canada-s-youth

my two university daughters will be shown how to work for themselves and be self sufficient this summer.
should they choose to step off the path they have chosen, they will know what to do.

#199 Ret on 12.02.12 at 11:37 am

Canadians only pay for regulatory oversight and control, they don’t get any benefit from it. This is news?

There are thousands of laws and statutes but somehow (?) our stores are jammed with questionable food and goods from third world countries. Does anyone think those dollar store crayons and toys from China have been inspected? Pickles from India, no thanks.

To be fair, lots of food processing plants in Canada have had major contamination problems while inspectors were right there on-site. I bet that that is an interesting story.

Tarion new home warranty in Ontario? Condo building inspectors? By-law enforcement, other than municipal parking? Fire code enforcement of basement suites? Ontario Securities Commission?

Thousands of civil servants who have learned to play the game, all collecting large salaries topped off with gold plated pensions and benefits.

Dream on Canada. Ignorance is bliss and every politician and regulator knows it.

#200 Ronaldo on 12.02.12 at 11:40 am

#154 Oceanside – ”We will never get involved in strata again. Rent or Freehold.”

Since you have owned the place for 9 years you likely have a nice chunk of equity so you should fair quite well. It’s the poor bugger who bought in recently who will take a major kicking when he has to pony up another $25 grand in a place that is declining in value. This is another good reason to stay away from these things, new or older. So what happens if you try to sell now? Who would buy it knowing that they would have to come up with an additional 25 grand since you would have to disclose that. Seem to me that none of these would be saleable right now unless you want to eat the repair bill.

#201 Daisy Mae on 12.02.12 at 11:49 am

#193 New Era: “After some investigation we found out someone from the strata counsil hired his buddies to do the work. No doubt he probably go a piece of the action too at the expense of the owners…”

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

That appears to be the case here with regards to the hired maintenance crew. Friends of a council member. And, by the way, the worst crew we’ve ever had. As a matter of fact, volunteers are finishing up the pruning….

#202 Smoking Man on 12.02.12 at 12:06 pm

#192

My posts are always positive. But thanks. You a preacher, it’s Sunday praise the Lord.

#203 Eaglebay - Parksville on 12.02.12 at 12:10 pm

#199 Ret on 12.02.12 at 11:37 am
Canadians only pay for regulatory oversight and control, they don’t get any benefit from it. This is news?
_________________

That’s it. Lets have laws and regulations for all aspect of our lives from all levels of government.
What? Thinking for ourselves and ‘voting’ with our dollars is out of fashion or our ability to think and make our own decisions.
Maybe education and self education would be the preferred choice?
The government role should be limited to protect life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Even Canadian municipalities are telling us what to eat (sharks), where to smoke, how to park, etc… How about managing the place.
Thank technology so we can keep up with all the laws, rules and regulations.
We’re in trouble.

#204 Herb on 12.02.12 at 12:25 pm

#162 Canadian Watchdog,

you’re a cheerful bastard, but required and invaluable reading.

#205 CalgaryRocks on 12.02.12 at 12:28 pm

#198 salonist on 12.02.12 at 10:57 am
“How did we create such bleak job prospects for Canada’s youth?”

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/1296040–how-did-we-create-such-bleak-job-prospects-for-canada-s-youth

I graduated from McGill (full disclosure, lol) and I believe that McGill is touted as being Canada’s Harvard, not UofT, as mentioned in the article.

But hey, it’s the Toronto [RED] Star, so you can hardly expect any serious news.

#206 Grim Reaper/Crypt Speculator on 12.02.12 at 12:30 pm

#183 Smoking Man on 12.01.12 at 10:14 pm

I am now under official state observation. WTF can’t say how I know. but I do.

So thinking back to all the posts, what was the trigger. nothing I can think of, I do mostly comedy.

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

When the President Orders a Killing
Published: May 31, 2012

If President Obama is allowed to execute American citizens without judicial review and outside the theater of war, that astonishing power will forever reside in the hands of future presidents.

No president should be given that breathtaking level of power — essentially serving as judge, jury and executioner without any check or balance. This abuse of power must be curtailed, not merely because of the possibility of current abuses but because of the certainty of future abuses.

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

SmoKingKong man…

Comedy eh..well quite dressing up like Bin Laden and telling old racist jokes in front of the White House.

#207 City Slicker on 12.02.12 at 12:33 pm

#66 Dave on 12.01.12 at 12:36 am

Here’s a building from Calgary that had major leaks in it after just a few years. Special assessments per unit were between $80k to $180k!

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/story/2012/09/12/calgary-condo-feature-wednesday.html
———————————————————
Nothing like having to work 60 hours a week to pay off your dues on a leaky condo. poor sap.

#208 CrowdedElevatorfartz on 12.02.12 at 12:38 pm

@#181 Calgary Rocks

No…. didnt hear the story of the shih tzu at Home Depot.

But I did hear a story about a Labrador puppy that nibbled a parapelegics toes off while the owner was sleeping……. pesky little “shoe chewer”…

Anywho, give an ant enough time…. it could move a mountain of rice…..
Its still an ant….

#209 steve p on 12.02.12 at 1:07 pm

ahh brad lamb

right up there with dr phil and kim kardashian as good solid contributors to our society

#210 Form Man on 12.02.12 at 1:13 pm

Some thoughts on the problem of substandard construction practices ( and musings on the need for, and adequate enforcement of regulations):

As a builder I am interested in the comments lately regarding poorly built buildings. I agree with most of what has been said, however some things need to be clarified:

1) There is always pressure on builders to keep prices as low as possible. Customers insist on ‘lowest bid’.
Inspectors are routinely disparaged by customers who see the building code as overkill. Indeed, customers regularly ask if there is ‘any way to get around the code to save money’

2) With regard to condo buildings; in Canada, multi-unit housing projects are designed by architects working in concert with engineers. Each category ( structural, electrical, envelope, etc ) is inspected and approved by the consulting engineers who have to sign off on the work prior to a building being certified for occupancy. The contractor must follow the design in order to pass inspections. As an interesting side note, the engineers and architects stamp all their drawings with the typical following note:

‘all dimensions etc must be verified by the builder on site. consultants are not responsible for errors or ommisions’.

In other words, the high school dropouts and ex-cons who make up a good part of the building trades are expected to find and correct the errors made by the highly paid university educated consultants…….

3) Common sense must also play a part. Buildings designed for semi-arid deserts in the southern United States are obviously not good candidates for a temperate rain forest.

There are good builders out there who use common sense and take pride in providing a good product. These builders cannot compete on price alone. Consumers need to realize that like everything else ‘ you get what you pay for’.

#211 Herb on 12.02.12 at 1:20 pm

#181 Calgary Rocks, #208 Elevatorfarts,

if you’re referring to the incident at the Innes Rd. Home Depot in Ottawa, I was there, about 30′ from the incident. The dog didn’t rip the woman’s face off, but did split the side of her nose/nostril. Of course, going buy the hysterical screams, you would have thought that all of her face had been ripped off an inch at a time.

#212 “I still have kids living in BC who refuse to believe that this is anything more than a hiccup in the Canadian market.” | Vancouver Real Estate Anecdote Archive on 12.02.12 at 1:32 pm

[…] that this is anything more than a hiccup in the Canadian market! (I live in the US)” – JimH at greaterfool.ca 30 Nov 2012 8:48pm Share: This entry was posted in 01. He Said, She Said, 02. Profiting from the Boom, 16. Missed […]

#213 TurnerNation on 12.02.12 at 1:38 pm

Let’s all chip in – a present for Smoking Man this holiday season.

https://www.boaterassist.com/EN/membership/index.cfm

The dedicated Boater Assist Canada staff of boating experts have created a large towing fleet, a comprehensive insurance policy with coverage designed specifically for recreational boaters, a network of partners that provide substantial discounts to members throughout the province, and much much more!

Boater Assist service providers are standing by 7 days a week from May 15th to October 31st to help you when the unexpected happens on-the-water. <–

#214 periwinkles on 12.02.12 at 1:38 pm

Brad will survive, one thing he isn’t is stupid. His herd and the modern [Toronto] condo image will take a beating.

#215 TurnerNation on 12.02.12 at 1:41 pm

From that Financial Post article posted today. This comment about sums it up.

“In the 1970’s we had OHIP, CPP, Welfare, public transportation that worked and much more. We also had the ability to have a middle class lifestyle with one parent staying at home while the other worked in a blue collar job.

Now we oversized governments and everybody feels entitled to their benefits, unionized government workforce, and a lower standard of living for most.

Governments have not done a good job at governing. Too busy buying our votes to stay in power never looking further out than the next election.

Bottom line, the current form of democracy does not work and it is coming home to haunt us. The next decade or two is going to see widespread poverty for most. The only ones that are going to have a good quality of life are those that belong or did belong to the Unionized government workforce and the wealthy”

#216 Chris Scott on 12.02.12 at 1:55 pm

#65 maximum

I’m in a similar situation as you in Montreal.

Incorporate, pay yourself a small salary (I use ADP for payroll, it’s very easy to manage. Tell ADP you’re a majority shareholder in your Corp to pay no EI premiums).

Pay yourself the rest as dividends, taxed at ~18%.

Pay for an accountant.

Use http://freshbooks.com to manage invoicing and expenses, produce reports for your accountant.

#217 Beach Girl on 12.02.12 at 2:03 pm

Hey, just started reading the blog. But that looks like my new boyfriend. LOL.

This one is richer, lonelier and stupid. Perfect combo.

Will read and get back to the great unwashed. That is you.

#218 Hoof - Hearted on 12.02.12 at 2:13 pm

Another poor feature that passes inspection..
VINYL DECKS

I see numerous buildings that have a vinyl decks over living areas…in essence you are walking on your roof and wearing it out.

The pinhole leak develop, then it gets worse….

#219 Big Block Power on 12.02.12 at 2:13 pm

Garth,

It is a pleasure reading your blog everyday!

I have a favor to ask of you?

Could you please blog a bit about the Edmonton real estate market?

Me, still renting but running out of space…lol.

#220 Canadian Watchdog on 12.02.12 at 2:22 pm

#215 TurnerNation

Brand new condo foreclosures in your favorite area. Parade and The Hudson

#221 John Prine on 12.02.12 at 2:28 pm

Bear Mountain , Victoria. 71 active listings and only 1 sale in November….$300K on asking of $315. Pretty much flat..Even Fairwinds had 3 sales….

#222 CalgaryRocks on 12.02.12 at 2:46 pm

#215 TurnerNation on 12.02.12 at 1:41 pm

Bottom line, the current form of democracy does not work and it is coming home to haunt us. The next decade or two is going to see widespread poverty for most. The only ones that are going to have a good quality of life are those that belong or did belong to the Unionized government workforce and the wealthy”

And now they can split their pension income so they get to pay even less income tax.

I wish my mom had enough pension income that splitting it would make a difference in her income tax. But hey, she’s just a highly educated, highly qualified person in her field. She’s not a government paper pusher with a high-school degree that can retire at 55 .

#223 Old Man on 12.02.12 at 2:47 pm

There is a shortage of funds for older widows to buy food on small pensions. One old gal, May, got an idea, and she disclosed it to me, as was eating well out of desperation, and hooped a few major grocery stores. The home was sold, and funds were running out, so being Scottish did her thing.

I kid you not as from her purse would throw some type of food article on the floor when nobody was looking and faked a fall. Them she moaned about being hurt, and when management came for assistance yelled out am going to sue your asses off, and will call a lawyer.

Well there was a quick settlement that took place at the management level with coupons or a food credit for about $1,000 for her pain and suffering which she accepted and agreed to, and that kept her going for another year until she scored her next victim by taking a bus to work another side of the city.

I never turned her in, and her favorite product to drop on the floor was some lose grapes near by the produce counter which she worked her foot upon, and then faked her fall.

#224 DonDWest on 12.02.12 at 3:00 pm

#178 Eaglebay – Parksville

http://list.canadianbusiness.com/rankings/rich100/2011/Default.aspx?sp2=1&d1=a&sc1=0

I see a lot of real estate and “pro sports” on that list. . .

Argument stands, most rich people in this nation are utterly useless.

#225 CalgaryRocks on 12.02.12 at 3:08 pm

There are good builders out there who use common sense and take pride in providing a good product. These builders cannot compete on price alone. Consumers need to realize that like everything else ‘ you get what you pay for’.

Well, the consumer doesn’t say, hey buddy, build me a condo that will have to be redone after 10 years. And also have it built by a numbered company that will be folded as soon as the project is over.

At least not the ones paying 400$+/sqft. For that price, you’d expect at least some basic quality standards.

#226 DonDWest on 12.02.12 at 3:31 pm

#209 steve p on 12.02.12 at 1:07 pm ahh brad lamb

Now , now, now Steve; you don’t want to be seen bashing Brad Lamb, Kim Kardashian and Dr. Phil. Have you not heard? These people are considered job creators! My Mitt Romney t-shirt says so!

Careful, you don’t want to be a socialist, do you?

#227 brainsail on 12.02.12 at 3:57 pm

‘all dimensions etc must be verified by the builder on site. consultants are not responsible for errors or ommisions’

I’m not trying to pick on you. That statement is made to remind builders and contractors that everyone must work together to achieve the final goal. The working drawings were prepared on paper and define the expected final results and as we all know things happen during the actual construction. If the builder and the contractors didn’t verify dimensions and report the differences then the Architects and Engineers are saying that they are not responsible for any “Errors and Omissions” that resulted.

#228 Realtors in an all out PANIC! on 12.02.12 at 4:54 pm

It’s going to be a NASTY housing crash realtor, A NASTY crash!

It’s going to be a NASTY housing crash builders, A NASTY crash!

It’s going to be a NASTY housing crash mortgage brokers, A NASTY crash!

It’s going to be a NASTY housing crash bankers, A NASTY crash!

It’s going to be a NASTY housing crash flippers, A NASTY crash!

It’s going to be a NASTY housing crash T.O condo owers, A NASTY crash!

It’s going to be a NASTY housing CRASH, A NASTY crash!

#229 eddy on 12.02.12 at 4:57 pm

Hi Garth, please delete this if it’s already been posted, it seems to touch on some of the themes here–

Josh Altman // I Sell the Dream // Official Music Video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25S76myXwxQ&feature=player_embedded

#230 Old Man on 12.02.12 at 5:09 pm

I am shocked about all this stuff in regards to home residential construction; never knew this was on the page at all. This is a wake up call – bigtime -; not at all like in England when I checked in with a young babe at the desk asking me if I wanted her to knock me up in the morning; just slang for a call.

I say without any reservation that a future buy for a condo or a residential residence at the proper time in a few years must never be discounted for looking at a much older property in a well established area as they were built to last; might be renovated well, and if not; it would be fun to do it right.

#231 DonDWest on 12.02.12 at 5:37 pm

Anyways, I know this is a bit off topic, but I’ve broken down the list Eaglebay has supplied. I found the results quite interesting, and I imagine others might find it interesting as well as it gives a good indication of the sorry state our economy is currently in. . .

What I’ve done is I’ve broken down the fields our top 50 richest have actually gone into business. Many are listed in multiple fields, however with a bit of research I found out that most actually have a primary field (over 50% of their assets allocated into that field) and only two candidates are what I would consider diversified (no one industry takes up over 50% of their assets). I have labelled these candidates as misc.

When I compiled all of my results I have discovered all of our candidates fall into the following categories: Real estate, entertainment (I define this as categories such as sports and media), pharmaceutical, apparel, food production, energy, automotive, manufacturing, technology, and transportation.

For the sake of this exercise I have decided to combine real estate and entertainment into one category in order to make a point. Once plugged into my Excel Spreadsheet, the results were shocking, here they are:

Total amount of candidates in each category (out of 50):

Real Estate and Entertainment/Media: 27 (54%)
Energy: 4 (8%)
Pharmaceutical: 4 (8%)
Food Production: 3 (6%)
Finance: 3 (6%)
Manufacturing: 2 (lol – 4%)
Technology: 2 (lol – 4%)
Misc.: 2 (4%)
Apparel: 1 (2%)
Automotive: 1 (2%)
Transportation: 1 (2%)

In other words, over 50% of our revenue generated from our top 50 industries are either in real estate or entertainment/media. One could argue that our entire economy is merely run off trading houses and all the associated entertainment/advertising venues that accompany it. Indeed, when I researched many of these “entertainers,” they often had many active partnerships/contracts with real estate giants.

It turns out the situation is far worse than even I could have ever imagined. I’m tempted to email these results to Jim Flaherty just to see if he can come up with an explanation. . .

Of note, I was being conservative in my research. Out of the two misc. candidates, real estate is indeed the top investment in their portfolios (it just doesn’t meet the over 50% mark). And of course the wealthy financiers (lower percentage than I thought it would be) are most likely attached to real estate as well.

Given all the results, it’s not a far-fetched argument that an estimated over 60% of Canada’s top 50 wealthiest individuals have chosen real estate (and its advertisement) as their primary means of investment.

We’re screwed!

#232 TurnerNation on 12.02.12 at 5:40 pm

Canadian Watchdog – the Cityplace one looks like a 3 bedroom unit? Not much demand for these. The Hudson building commands some kind of premium I’ve noticed. The ‘Charlie’ building is up, right beside it. Across where the LBCO stands Brad Lamb plans his very tall Charlotte condos.

About the Brandt condo’s location: Its problem is fronting onto Adelaide St. Three lanes one-way, straight, and fast something of an arterial route into the city. Will be very noisy.

There’s a Dollarama just around the corner. About my DOL.TO puts…it’s come down a bit but Friday’s volume was 6-8x higher than usual with 375,000 shares bid in the MOC session alone. Somethings up. Maybe private equity will make a bid? Or it will continue its fall next week. Last chance for me…

#233 Hoof - Hearted on 12.02.12 at 6:27 pm

#231 DonDWest on 12.02.12 at 5:37 pm

Yeah I was in that reflection mode as well…

All these “suits” that walk around…one wonders what they actually “produce”…shuffling paperwork ? What does a lawyer produce…what does an accountant produce…

As noted in an article…people are choosing careers that they are trying to make themselves indispensable…but the problem is, the career is not stable aka it is dispensable.

That would imply many careers are dependent on the Financial Ponzi Scheme

#234 Canadian Watchdog on 12.02.12 at 6:44 pm

#232 TurnerNation

C01 is going to be a disaster after the spring.

As for DOL, this is a recession stock that is managed for growth by tactically opening stores in rural and metro areas near competitors and offering similar or cheaper products. The have capital financing and can deploy it with results. That’s what matters. Their stock price is consolidating, although a little high which may call for a 2:1 stock split. Anything sub-$60 will drive investors to buy.

#235 Herb on 12.02.12 at 7:02 pm

#231 – DonDWest,

I’d be very interested in what your spreadsheet reveals about the “sportainment” industry by itself, i.e., professional sports and other fields of entertainment such as music, movies, theatre and events. To my mind, real estate, advertising and non-entertainment media also should be considered by themselves, although “diversification” by rich individuals is a given.

#236 Macrath on 12.02.12 at 7:50 pm

#231 DonDWest
“In other words, over 50% of our revenue generated from our top 50 industries are either in real estate or entertainment/media.”

Good work Don! Here in Niagara Falls It`s 99% real estate speculators, gambling tycoons and circus operators. RioCan has a lot of money riding on a lame horse.

#237 Form Man on 12.02.12 at 8:34 pm

#227 Brainsail,

Agreed.

My point simply was that responsibility for substandard construction often begins with design and specifications, is exacerbated by poor assembly techniques, and confirmed by sloppy inspections. Robust regulations accompanied by rigorous enforcement is the only effective way to improve quality meaningfully.

#238 driesdtl on 12.02.12 at 10:53 pm

In Australia the realtors have the whole thing so rigged that the cops now have to attend auctions to make sure they don’t cheat. Back at the office they apparently help themselves to the client trust funds!

#239 DonDWest on 12.03.12 at 12:57 am

#235 Herb

Good question. I’ve been trying to figure out what types of entertainment/media they are offering. The results have been interesting. From what I can gather, it’s very well diversified within the sector. The days of an executive being in “the sports biz”, or “the news biz”, or “the music biz” are over. It seems to remain competitive they have to be in EVERYTHING.

Most in the entertainment business are noticeably attached at the hip to real estate, and many of our top 50 richest are PURELY (that’s right) into real estate. As hard as it is to believe, there are billionaires in this nation with ALL their wealth attached to ONE asset! Madness!

What I find absolutely hilarious about the situation is I just opened up a link on this website where there was an article from the Toronto Star about young college graduates being unable to find work. Baby boomers were condescendingly yelling that their kids should have taken up a trade or get a bachelor’s in engineering. Yet, if we look at Canada’s wealthiest individuals, it seems the Bachelor of Arts is the way to go. Boomers are giving bad advice again? Not surprised. Seriously guys, with our anaemic tech and manufacturing sector, telling little Johnny to become an engineer or computer programmer isn’t too bright.

So why do these art majors having trouble getting jobs? I can think of a few reasons:

A) They got a degree in art. This field is better self-taught.

B) They’re too specialized and trying to “get a job”. Success in arts, entertainment, and media involves being highly diversified in many areas. For example, you can’t just be a “science fiction writer,” you have to write about everything and you have to do it across multiple medias. The schools are simply not teaching this. . .

C) It may not be possible to be competently diversified in many areas, which means you have to hire people, which means you shouldn’t be looking for a job, which means starting you own business, which means the schools would be better off just handing you the diploma and allowing you to use that 50K in debt towards starting your own business, etc.

But I have a much darker theory as to why so many rich people have oddly found success in the “infotainment” industry:

D) NEPOTISM. Notice how movies today suck? Notice how music today sucks? Notice how news anchors can’t even tell the difference between their head and their toes? Notice how our athletes can’t seem to perform without drugs? These rich families are actually aristocrats who pass on art/entertainment businesses to their relatives who don’t have any skills so to speak – so that they can have a job. They fool us into believing the art is good, the sports is good, the movies are good, etc. through BRAINWASHING. Therefore, denying REAL TALENTED ARTISTS from entering the industry. The “Illuminati conspiracy” may contain a small kernel of truth, however I believe this is just a case of nepotism reaching its epoch.

Anyways, here is the breakdown of the 27 who make up media/real estate category. What I’ve done is I’ve included their primary business and their secondary business (if they have any). As I said earlier, I found it truly difficult to sub-categorize the percentages in the types of media/entertainment offered by said companies in the short amount of time I have available. Short of phoning the CEOs themselves, which would violate that stupid Canadian privacy act law, this is the best I could come up with:

Real Estate: 8 (yes, that’s right, 8 out of our top 50 richest have over 90% of their money parked into real estate); 29.6%
Media/Entertainment: 7; 25.9%
Real Estate – Media/Entertainment: 3 (lol, realtors and the Lady Gaga effect); 11.1%
Real Estate – Technology: 2; 7.4%
Real Estate – Food Production: 2; 7.4%
Real Estate – Energy: 2; 7.4%
Real Estate – Retail: 1; 3.7%
Real Estate – Transportation: 1; 3.7%
Media/Entertainment – Automotive: 1; 3.7%

I then put the Media/Entertainment primaries into their own separate category on the master list and did the same with the Real Estate primaries. The stats now look something like this:

Real Estate: 19 (38%)
Media/Entertainment: 8 (16%)
Energy: 4 (8%)
Pharmaceutical: 4 (8%)
Food Production: 3 (6%)
Finance: 3 (6%)
Manufacturing: 2 (4%)
Technology: 2 (4%)
Misc.: 2 (4%)
Apparel: 1 (2%)
Automotive: 1 (2%)
Transportation: 1 (2%)

Of note though is that the media/entertainment industries here in Canada are highly subsidized in advertisement revenue by the real estate industry. I believe Garth wrote an article about this topic, if real estate goes down, it’s logical to assume much of the media sector will go down as well. Our finance sector, which is minuscule compared to the United States, might take a bit of a hit but it seems they have found a way to vacate out of real estate influence for now (probably because the government bailed them out and is taking on most of the burden with the CMHC, *barfing*).

So 38% of our top 50 richest have over 50% of their assets directly tied to real estate, although when we consider indirect relationships and the fact that many have also selected real estate as their secondary investment, the total GDP invested into real estate by our top 50 richest is likely higher than 38%.

#240 Herb on 12.03.12 at 10:37 am

#240 DonDWest,

thanks. Instructive reading.

On the education factor, the arts vs practical (engineering etc.) studies split was explained in my day (early ’60s) as the difference between getting an education and job training. That discussion goes back to the 19th Century (Newman) and continues merrily. (I have an arts degree, of course.) You’d really have to use a fine-tooth comb to determine the role arts education played or did not play in financial success.

#241 Zlotco on 12.03.12 at 11:32 am

“renovation/upgrades/repairs” on condos. Something to watch out for older buildings and a good topic for another post.

A trend with older buildings is for an “investor” to buy a suite in a large older building and get himself on the condo board. He will impress the board with his wealth of construction experience and convince them to let him take care of renovations to the building. He will then parcel out repairs, some needed, some not, to his “preferred” list of contractors, who will give him a large kick-back.

This investor will have done the same in several other buildings he owns suites in. A typical construction mafia scam, not limited to any specific ethnic group.

#242 nelsonfineart on 12.03.12 at 1:19 pm

DonDWest, you are right about one thing. A lot of the art today sucks.

Not mine, though! :D (website link in name, above.)

As for RE, I own after trying renting for a while and literally being driven to an anxious wreck from the noise of my downstairs neighbour. I bought strategically (I hope) but am waiting for sellers to realize their folly before moving (again, I hope) to a Big City where my business (I hope) will grow. :D

cheers all. This is the greatest blog ever.

#243 TurnerNation on 12.03.12 at 8:01 pm

DonDWest well done you’ve finally quantified your bitterness! Great analysis. Business case worthy. But you’ll stuill require an Official Obedience Certificate in order to get ahead. Better luck in a later life :).

#244 antiflakflak on 12.04.12 at 3:47 pm

Yup condo buildings are a hassle to live in, lived in one before, fussbudgety people are drawn like magnets to those places , couldn’t even wheel my bike through the halls to get to the suite, without one particular old bitty complaining severely to the strata , that old bitty just happened to be Kate Moss’ aunt. That makes me laugh just thinking about it, no more condos that’s for sure for me, ….. Lived in another condo building and I swear that the den was just coated in mold, and I told the management, they got in a profesional guy with mold control and meters that would tell them if there is mold in the unit, it came out negative, but I knew the effects were still there. Finally they got one of the narly occupants around there to do some work on the balcony below that suite, it was Bill Buckets and when he puttered around there, he found there was not a good bracing for that balcony on that wall, and the whole wall outside that den was totally mouldy and had to be seriously repaired. So much for that company they had hired to inspect for mould, useless, inept, incompetent…..