Excuses

excuses

Some people who shall remain nameless, like Brad Lamb, Phil Soper, Sherry Cooper and Cameron Muir, think I hate real estate. Pshaw. I love this stuff. In the last few weeks I’ve sold two houses, bought a commercial building and leased a condo. There’s nothing like the thrill of acquiring something, except the relief of walking away.

The premise of this blog hasn’t changed. Real estate’s a declining asset for economic, financial and demographic reasons. People who own a house and not much else are rolling the dice. If you want to survive the next decade, here’s the advice: get liquid.

But all the logic and good arguments around don’t change the fact most people treat houses like babies. They don’t need ‘em. They just crave them. Then they try to justify them.

Here, for example, are three stories from three couples in three different places who seek my Holy Father blessing to take plunge at this, the worst moment.

Great blog.  I used to watch you all the time on TV during the news when I was a kid.  Hoping you can provide some of your expertise. My wife and I recently sold our home in Bowmanville Ontario making about 18% after commission/closing costs (after 4 years in the home, our first home).

We were worried about the crash and if we held onto the home we’d have difficulty selling.  We’ve  been trying to move closer to Toronto for work/family reasons. We want to have kids, and free babysitting has been offered and being closer to grandparents was important (they don’t drive).   We both have stable jobs with good pensions.

Unfortunately, we took the ‘old school’ approach and attempted to pay down the mortgage rather than investing in our portfolio.  I’m very afraid of debt, and the idea of being mortgage free was luring.  If we’d have stayed with our investment strategy we’d have some nice returns.

Here’s where it gets odd.  I’m writing this in the basement of the home I grew up in. We’ve been here close to a month now.  We’ve got roughly 220k in fairly liquid assets, and no debt.  Maybe we’re taking these real estate warnings too far…but when do you think this impending real estate crash will happen.  Or a better question, how long do I tell my wife that we have to stay in the basement?

We don’t want to take part in this crazy Toronto real estate market just yet (buying homes over asking price, with no conditions).  I know you don’t have a crystal ball, but do you have any advice for us?  Tom

No crystal ball Tom, but more of them than you. Sounds like you sold for completely emotional reasons, and now understand how dumb that was. Sure, you made some money (although 18% in four years is only inflation) and you may have sold out before losing it all. But, dude, where’s the logic of selling and then buying within a month or two, and into the same market?

Right. There is none. You sold because she wants to be closer to her parents and have kids. Now you have no house, live with spiders, and have I-told-ya-so parentals above you. And I bet your fortune is moulding in ING.

Man up. Leave the basement. Invest the money. Rent a townhouse close to mom and never, ever write me again.

I’ve been a loyal reader of your blog for years and really appreciate the advice.  I’ve been renting, saving and waiting to buy since 2008.  With a growing family, I just can’t wait out the market any longer.  The rental market for SFHs in Winnipeg is virtually non-existent, unless you want to live in the hood.  So, I will take my lumps from your blog dogs and purchase a home with the advanced knowledge that its 20% overvalued.

My question is this: given that sales have slowed substantially, and that I think that real estate agents are parasites, is it possible for a buyer (me) to write an offer to purchase that demands either:

1. a kickback from the selling agent of say 1-2%?; or

2. that the price the house be reduced by 1-2% by the agent, which represents the amounts that would be paid to the buying agent?

In both scenarios, the seller gets the same money at the end of the day, and we’ve reduced the purchase price by the commissions that would have otherwise gone to the buying agent.  I would love your advice on this. Thanks! Scott in Winnipeg

Nice try. It took me 14 seconds on Kijiji, Peg Edition to find this: “Very nice 3BR home in St. Boniface in great neighborhood. Dishwasher, central air, 1.5 baths. w/d in laundry room, rec room and office in finished basement. Garage with carport, Nice patio area in back yard. Near Hospital, Schools, bus stops and the Forks No smoking. No pets. Available IMMEDIATELY. Rent is $1495.”

for rent   C’mon, we both know Winnipeg real estate prices will be falling significantly over the next few years. Already sales have started to decline and in a regional, isolated market like that it doesn’t take much to shift the power from sellers to buyers. Why on earth not rent for a year or two and save yourself tens of thousands?

But, yes, if you do jump in you can certainly be prickish and try to gouge the listing agent. But it’s Winnipeg. I wouldn’t walk anywhere alone for several years afterwards.

Garth: When we lived in Cambridge Bay I worked as a bylaw officer so I dealt mainly with dogs in rough shape and I ended up adopting two huskies and we already have a german shepherd. So finding rentals isn’t the easiest and I won’t give up my dogs. The only place we could find in Yellowknife is a trailer for 2200 a month plus 400 in electrical and 400-600 in fuel. The pipes constantly freeze as this place hasn’t been maintained and is lacking the necessary insulation BUT we can rent it with 3 dogs. We pay so much for this trailer that smells like someone smoked daily in here since 1972. Not to mention we can’t use the front bathroom because its frozen. The landlords say they’re doing the best they can. They’ve had numerous plumbers over. This place just sucks. It makes me want to buy a house no matter what the consequences. Now I wish we could find another rental but there’s none. We’ve been looking since we arrived in September. Housing prices are ridiculous here.

I look up to you and I will take your advice even if it means I have to stay in this shag carpet smoke box house. Please can you give us some advice. I’m not giving up the dogs:). Alison.

Finally, a reasonable letter. A women with attitude from the frozen north who collects giant dogs and lives in a gold-plated, shagged trailer without toilet water, huddled in the dark reading a pathetic blog. Go forth, Alison, and get thee a home. I know there are only 37 properties for sale in the entire town, but this one doesn’t look too bad, and there’s room for more dogs.

Or, come south and move in with Tom. He deserves you.

Now, regarding yesterday’s plaintive request from a writer at Maclean’s to do his work for him, he sends this along: “Hey everybody, thanks so much for your help. We were originally hoping to just get Garth’s picks, but this was a far better idea. The challenge will be whittling it down to just ten items. I guess that’s why I have editors…Thanks again!”

144 comments ↓

#1 KG on 03.13.13 at 8:43 pm

Disagree – babies and house – apples and oranges.

#2 a prairie dawg on 03.13.13 at 8:45 pm

That gal is hot, and I like her dog too.

#3 TurnerNation on 03.13.13 at 8:49 pm

It’s Bandit’s nemesis; Big Shaggy.
So that’s why Garth takes the dog for a walk.

#4 Tom Vu on 03.13.13 at 8:50 pm

Not turd…..? I go for Bronze .

#5 CrowdedElevatorfartz on 03.13.13 at 8:52 pm

Mother of all that is Holy!
WHAT breed of dog is THAT!

#6 QQ on 03.13.13 at 8:53 pm

3 bedroom, 1572 sqft going for $389,000?

what kind of income r they making up north? is there a goldmine i don’t know about?

#7 guelphstudent on 03.13.13 at 8:54 pm

I finally figured this blog out, it’s full of boomers/zoomers. While you guys are talking about how expensive it is to own, we can barely afford to rent a one bedroom that’s not in a rough neighborhood and/or crawling with bed bugs.

And yes, with a masters and a full time job it is impossible to afford a condo that starts at $1100 for a 420 square foot bachelor and $1400 for a one bedroom. Student loans take a large chunk of our very small income already. Well good luck to boomers selling their places to us in the next decade.

#8 AisA on 03.13.13 at 8:55 pm

It’s the tap water, it’s the food supply, heck maybe it’s the signals from the cell towers and the wifi modems burning out our frontal lobes. Canadians are real-estate-batshit-crazy!

#9 been there on 03.13.13 at 9:01 pm

so, there is no bubble….Garth and Gang what is going on?
Here near steeles and yonge nothing has changed and prices going up like crazy !

#10 East Van on 03.13.13 at 9:02 pm

A good article:

http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2013/03/11/Canadian-Housing-Bubble/

#11 *NAKED APE* on 03.13.13 at 9:08 pm

As a few of our esteemed Canadian Senators, (of sober second thought of course – forget which house they live in), would say,

“When it comes to messing with the hind end of a dog, or sniffing up the Canadian taxpayer’s ar$$ for that matter, we will always come FFFUUURRSSSTTTT……”

#12 Toronto CA on 03.13.13 at 9:10 pm

#7 guelphstudent on 03.13.13 at 8:54 pm

What is your Masters in? What is your profession? Just curious!

#13 Ray Skunk on 03.13.13 at 9:12 pm

The Toronto Star and Susan Pigg are going into pumping overdrive… not only is the article from Friday re: the Junction house “going for $200k over asking” still up on the front page, they’ve pruned the 70+ (mostly pessimistic) comments down to a spritely and positive 28!

I know they like to push the RE agenda, but this is the first time I’ve seen them retroactively delete comments that don’t meet the politburo line.

#14 Smoking Man on 03.13.13 at 9:14 pm

First home for sale in a long time in longbranch thats with in walking distance to train. To boot its on the water.

Listed for 799.990 a steal..If I could get it for a million I would samsung it to them instantly. this is a BWB

Bidding war bait…It will go for around 1.5 at which point not a deal.

http://www.realtor.ca/propertyDetails.aspx?propertyId=12921832&PidKey=-1284378397

The clincher
…………………………………………………………..
Offers Reviewed On Tuesday March 19th At 3 Pm. Please RegisterBy 12 Noon. Please Attach Sch.’B’ Thank You.
…………………………………………………………..

If you look at the pics, the one next door was just built, its nice..That guy paid 1.5 then knocked down old house and built that beuty

#15 ChickenLittle on 03.13.13 at 9:18 pm

Hey Garth! I put my vote in for you today for Pope. I’m sorry you didn’t get it. You’re not that old so you would have lasted longer than the last one. Pope Investus Maximus.

#16 guelphstudent on 03.13.13 at 9:25 pm

#12 Behavioral therapist for kids with autism

#17 Realtor # 1 on 03.13.13 at 9:32 pm

C ‘ mon, enough with real estate is evil.
1. RE will not drop past the 2008/09 price mark
only those who purchased in the last three years will hurt
2. Still waiting for interest to rise, wait its NOT and no time soon. (so everyone is renewing for cheaper)

We are coming down the stretch where we will find out who is right – THE SPRING MARKET

#18 charade on 03.13.13 at 9:33 pm

#13 Ray Skunk on 03.13.13 at 9:12 pm
The Toronto Star and Susan Pigg are going into pumping overdrive… not only is the article from Friday re: the Junction house “going for $200k over asking” still up on the front page, they’ve pruned the 70+ (mostly pessimistic) comments down to a spritely and positive 28!

I know they like to push the RE agenda, but this is the first time I’ve seen them retroactively delete comments that don’t meet the politburo line.
—————————————

Wow. That’s crazy. I’d love to hear them address why they thought they needed to do that. Doubtful they ever would though.

#19 Tim on 03.13.13 at 9:34 pm

Do you think the banks earnings will get hammered with this softening market?

#20 Blue Steel on 03.13.13 at 9:35 pm

Re: #13 Ray Skunk

That isn’t all the star does to pump RE.

Looking at their most recent “What they Got” about a house in Davisville selling for 125% of the asking price. Which is nice, but the reality is that house sold in June of 2012. The other house featured sold in October of 2012.

If the real estate market was so healthy, why publish sales that are months old? What a scam!

#21 Smoking Man on 03.13.13 at 9:44 pm

#12 Toronto CA on 03.13.13 at 9:10 pm
#7 guelphstudent on 03.13.13 at 8:54 pm

What is your Masters in? What is your profession? Just curious!
………………………………………………………

Obidiance,
paying for an expensive certifate, and books who’s shelf life exipres the day the term does that will lead to a low paying job……..and years of debt.

And you guys think real estate is a gamble…..

Could not resist……………………SM

#22 Smoking Man on 03.13.13 at 9:50 pm

“Hey everybody, thanks so much for your help. We were originally hoping to just get Garth’s picks, but this was a far better idea. The challenge will be whittling it down to just ten items. I guess that’s why I have editors…Thanks again!”
……………………………………………………………………

No you have editors to keep you in a well defind boundry. Lets not offend anyone. Building 7 boy, do a story on that………

Or how about 80% of high school grads in NYC cant read or write…… Not that there is anything wrong with that…..

Or why do ontario drivers pay 4 times national average on auto insurance or 15 times more that drives in old geezer land Florida.

Your editors will love you Not

#23 Tom Vu on 03.13.13 at 9:51 pm

#5 CrowdedElevatorfartz on 03.13.13 at 8:52 pm

Remember…

In crowded Elevator, Midget/s have whole different perspective.

#24 Smoking Man on 03.13.13 at 10:00 pm

Did LaughingCon buy a house…..I miss his chirping….

Where are you old freind, have you dropped from exhustion putting in vulch offers only to be laught out of town…….

#25 a prairie dawg on 03.13.13 at 10:07 pm

#5 CrowdedElevatorfartz on 03.13.13 at 8:52 pm

Mother of all that is Holy!
WHAT breed of dog is THAT!

- — -

A buddy of mine has a Great Pyrenees that looks very similar, but they are usually all white.

Might be a related breed? Or mixed?

#26 lawboy on 03.13.13 at 10:08 pm

#13

Actually Ray, the story back up on the Star main page is the first of two stories on that Junction Triangle home – the pre-offer day story. The story on the sale 200,000 over asking price is now somewhere in the archives, I guess. I think that article got more comments, negative ones. I was surprised they posted my comment so I think they aren’t being unreasonable with comments. You’re right though, Susan Pigg is just awful. Awful.

#27 Devore on 03.13.13 at 10:08 pm

A few days ago I told you guys about an email from my bank, offering a limited time offer to increase my credit card limit. I thought that was rather odd, but banks shoving money into people’s closed hands is just a gift that keeps on giving.

These guys are serious. Now they sent an actual snailmail letter with same offer, but are willing to pay ME money to increase my credit limit. A handy application form is included, which I need only to sign. No need for literacy. I know it’s only 15 bucks, but money is money. What do you all say, should I do it?

#28 Uwinsome on 03.13.13 at 10:10 pm

“In the last few weeks I’ve sold two houses, bought a commercial building and leased a condo”

Garth, what does mean? Do tell.

#29 Old Man on 03.13.13 at 10:12 pm

DELETED

#30 guelphstudent on 03.13.13 at 10:15 pm

#21 I agree, my friends in their twenty who never went to college make more than me. In fact twice as much, one in car sales and other is contractor for home depot. The only thing is that the only reason they are making so much money is because of debt that others take on themselves, Be it car financing or equity withdrawal for renovation.

#31 As Is Old Man on 03.13.13 at 10:15 pm

TD Bank called me out of the blue yesterday offering 2.90% 5 year fixed. What could I get if I haggled as am good haggler?

Old Man – Lived in Kapuskasing in my youth – I seem to recall tormenting an odd drifter camped in a baby blue VW wagon…

#32 blok existentialist on 03.13.13 at 10:16 pm

That Maclean’s copy writer must be sweating all over his thumbs. Nothing like going for an easy kill only to find there’s a real story out there that needs to be ‘managed’ (with the help of an editor, natch.)
Since spellcheck and the accompanying dumbing-down of the populace, the sole function of a news editor has been to ensure nothing rocks the boat. It’s been like wartime reporting under a censor for two decades in this country.
Garth, you’ve been ‘used’ again. No wonder you’re so fond of floozie pictures. I think I’m reading a British tabloid replete with ‘Sunshine Girls’ some days.
NUTS to Macleans, I say. In an earlier era, Garth would have been one SMOKIN’ national columnist.
(But no one, in any era, would be crazy enough to let him into the Senate. Lots of tame journalists rewarded with THAT place and he would kinda spoil the party mood.)

#33 Smoking Man on 03.13.13 at 10:19 pm

About 15 years ago figured out the universe is shrinking; dyslexics see in pictures, words don’t work. My near death experience proved it……

Every year or so I Google (shrinking universe theory), see if any rocket scientists have caught up to me…Nothing even last year. Well I just did it know. Amazing it’s catching on……..

Smoking Man always a head of the curve……..

https://www.google.ca/webhp?hl=en&tab=iw#q=shrinking+universe+theory&hl=en&ei=pi9BUezaCIme2AWVh4DwDw&sqi=2&start=10&sa=N&bav=on.2,or.r_qf.&fp=f4f8682e9a78fa0f&biw=1366&bih=643

#34 Turtle on 03.13.13 at 10:23 pm

RE: #27 Devore

“I know it’s only 15 bucks, but money is money. What do you all say, should I do it?”

…………………………….

No. You will feel much better if you DO NOT do what THEY want.

#35 marcp on 03.13.13 at 10:27 pm

You have earned the highest honour I can bestow on someone:

You are a SPECIALISTA.

#36 Patient in Richmond on 03.13.13 at 10:47 pm

Great story about the being sold out scam that is now going around vancouver /
http://whispersfromtheedgeoftherainforest.blogspot.ca/2013/03/what-does-sold-out-mean-is-it-another.html

#37 Dean Mason on 03.13.13 at 10:51 pm

The TD report saying that Canadian housing would rise by only 2.00% on average over 10 years basically flat after inflation is a bigger deal than most people buying houses,condos than they think.

I was looking at fixed income yields specifically for TFSA’s,RRSP’s tax free and tax sheltered accounts. Here are a few,Bell Canada 3.56%,407 International 3.42%,Quebec 3.35%,TransAlta Company 4.04%,Hydro-Quebec 3.37%.

The point I’m making is a total return of say Bell Canada 3.56% compounded over 10 years is 41.88%,Transalta 4.04% is 48.59% 10 years total return,Hydro-Quebec 3.37% is 39.30% 10 year total return. The 2.00% compounded over 10 years is just 21.90% total return.

Take inflation into account and all the expenses,costs,fees,H.S.T.,condo fees,property taxes,utilities,real estate commission,insurance,maintenance etc. It is much worse. I don’t see the point of seeing a house an an investment when you can get between 39% to 49% in fixed income investments total return over 10 years which is double or more than buying real estate plus a lot of costs,fees,taxes,expenses on top it.

#38 Jeff on 03.13.13 at 10:51 pm

Hopefully with all the cheerleading about how high the stock market is, average schlubs will take their money out of houses and put it into the market. I think it’s easier for a bubble to deflate if the air goes into another.

#39 Lost Soul on 03.13.13 at 10:52 pm

Garth…what is the outlook for the commercial property market…can we look fwd to declines in it?

Depends what kind, and where. Multi-family res will be fine. The rest affected largely by type, tenant quality and location. — Garth

#40 Herb on 03.13.13 at 11:01 pm

#21 Smoking Man,

don’t knock Guelphstudent. You sure could have used his services (see #16) when you were a kid.

#41 Stupesing in Cabbagetown on 03.13.13 at 11:15 pm

#5 CrowdedElevatorfartz and #25 a prairie dawg – methinks that is a Newfoundlander or maybe a Newfie and Landseer cross: Canadian breed.

#42 raider on 03.13.13 at 11:25 pm

@guelphstudent: The good news is that your tuition and other full-time student expenses become a non-refundable tax credit. After I finished my PhD and had the first job, I was surprised to have my nominal income tax rate coming out at 0.9%. Unfortunately, I do not know of ways to apply that credit during the year. You are just in for a massive (tax) year end refund. Maybe Garth can help. That said, do not blow that refund on an RRSP, or worse, real-estate.

Also note, Canada appears to be terribly over-educated thanks to student loans and ever-expanding universities. As long as you benefit from that system, it is nice. Your field should be in need South of the Border. Maybe ride the tax break, get liquid, and move when opportunities arise.

#43 cranbrook on 03.13.13 at 11:39 pm

I Think the dog is a Tibetan Mastiff

#44 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 03.13.13 at 11:42 pm

-
Exc. post, and still holds true — renting and investing extra moolah, setting oneself up for a decent pension makes far more sense than buying a declining asset.
*
#30 guelphstudent — “In fact twice as much, one in car sales and other is contractor for home depot.” — See following for the trials and tribulations of a car salesman — 3:46 clip Ever seen a salesman scared shitless? Jeff Gordon and PepsiMax present a new commercial.
*
Diamonds are 4Ever Nice, but too expensive; UK Headline and subhead are good; Profits How much is enough without raising rates? Big Sugar’s bailout In so doing, the WH will increase taxes to help subsidize it; Alter Ego Accepting stimulus funds, now laying off; Home Ownership vs. renting; Europe imploding; Gold and drinking the blood of a cobra; Ten Denials We never saw it coming. That’s why they’re lying politicos — they all knew what was about to happen, and encouraged sheeple to borrow more; Black Market What do Greece, Span and Egypt have in common? Corporations and Taxes Good question; America’s retirement crisis. We’re not alone; Erosion of Economy Jobs and wages; GS tries to profit from GW. Simple. Slap everyone with carbon taxes then do a deal with Al Gore.
*
Number 13 The first several lines are quite revealing, and The Draft Demokrats demand its reinstatement; Dog prevents woman from suicide; Color clash Pink wins, Aston Martin DBS loses; Retirement Age, not physical inability took its toll; Pencil Art Very lifelike; Photographic perspective; 87 years old Hope for us boomers? Revenge is sweet Best served frozen cold; DHS stockpiling guns / ammo; Unclear on the Concept Men continue to provide proof of how inept they can be; Cinnamon and Honey Great foods; 2:07 clip Another exploding meteorite over Cape Town, South Africa; Short clip on GW <cite?"Snow is a thing of the past." Pope St. Gorgonzolas of the Als; Social Media Be aware the local constabularies are watching; al Quada’s (The Toilet) white trash.
*
Smoking Man – Wonder if this is happening across the continent?

#45 Ronaldo on 03.13.13 at 11:46 pm

#19 Tim on 03.13.13 at 9:34 pm

”Do you think the banks earnings will get hammered with this softening market?”

Is the Pope Catholic?

#46 Clevernam3 on 03.13.13 at 11:50 pm

#40. +1
Guelphstudent: your job sounds a helluva lot more interesting and personally rewarding than your friends’ jobs. So they make more money, big deal.

#47 Ronaldo on 03.13.13 at 11:52 pm

#25 a prairie dawg on 03.13.13 at 10:07 pm

”A buddy of mine has a Great Pyrenees that looks very similar, but they are usually all white.

Might be a related breed? Or mixed?”

Looks like it could be part Collie and part Black Bear.

#48 new on 03.14.13 at 12:00 am

For the young couple who just moved from Bomanville to Toronto, I do can share with you a story of mine.

Right before and during the years of the RE bubble burst back in my native country, I and my sister were both newly-weds. As RE was so expensive, we both could not afford to purchase. My sister rented a very nice apartment from her friend at a very reasonable price, close to my parents. I rented a very decrepit apartment at a very low rent. You see, I was “old-school” and petty those days, and was unwilling to pay for somebody’s mortgage. The problem was, I didn’t want to stay in my own rented apartment. Years down the road, my husband and I kept going property shopping even I knew it was the bad time to purchase, and I did end up jumping in the market and got myself underwater for years until I finally become able to get even when it turned out to be the beginning of another RE market ballooning, karma! And my sister enjoyed her years of RE bubble burst in her apartment, raised her kids with the help of my parents, then bought her new house which was at the bottom, which I believe was at only 30-40% the price of the peak!

Mind you, you can also claim you rent payment for tax credit in Toronto! So, why not just negotiate a nice long-term rental with a landlord instead of jumping when you know the market is bursting.

#49 Tony on 03.14.13 at 12:11 am

Hi:

I am looking for an ETF that holds (Canadian) banks preferred shares. Appreciate your advice.

Tony

#50 Old Man on 03.14.13 at 12:17 am

I was just watching my computer clock, and it is now March 14th or after midnight, but reminded me of the world famous song by Wilson Pickett called ” In The Midnight Hour.” Now in this room we have a Birthday Boy in hiding, and just want to say Joyeux Anniversaire and a Happy Birthday to none other than Mr. Garth Turner, and many more to come.

#51 Dr. Hoof-Hearted on 03.14.13 at 12:19 am

#259 Dr. Hoof – Hearted on 03.13.13 at 5:50 pm

Good Investment advice (from me) coming in Garths’ next post.

Stay Tuned !!!!

Care to share? — Garth

===================================
Oui !

Scroll to about the ” 54 Minute ” mark

http://grizzom.blogspot.ca/2013/03/dennis-fetcho-inside-eye-live-20130312.html

See how yer a$$ is theirs !!!….

#52 WhiteKat on 03.14.13 at 12:23 am

@GuelphStudent

If you decide to take raider’s suggestion of moving south of the border, take note: USA will tax you on your Canadian income if you move back to Canada. Once a US taxpayer always a US taxpayer.

#53 Smartalox on 03.14.13 at 12:24 am

@Guelphstudent,

You’ve picked a noble career, but a lousy job, with charge out rates capped by bureaucrats who do nothing all day but siphon off a portion of what they charge the people who pay you for your services, and figure out how to trim costs from your side of their balance sheets.

You want to make more money? Practice privately, figure out how to have your services covered by extended medical, or offer after school care for working parents. Set your own prices, because if it’s for their kids, parents will pay anything. Barter your services for another parent’s book keeping, or another’s deck building, or another’s investment advice. It’s how they did things in the old days.

Your career choice is noble, but that doesn’t mean that every day of your working life has to be a penance.

#54 Cici on 03.14.13 at 12:25 am

#7 guelphstudent

Well said, that pretty much sums the situation up in a nutshell!
And on the subject of nuts, don’t follow your crazy peers into the debt trap. Stay sane, and if prices don’t level, get level-headed and go elsewhere!

#55 Gunboat Denier on 03.14.13 at 12:27 am

Guelphstudent – the problem isnt your friends making more money, the problem is you are not charging enough.
Fix that.

#56 Richard and Zeus on 03.14.13 at 12:32 am

#12 Behavioral therapist for kids with autism
——————————————————-
Write a book linking vaccines with “an abundance” of how they hurt people. Gather all the facts…from around the world. (because Cdn doctors claim their fine. 35 million pop in Canaduhhhhh. World 7 billion. Many more say they are not)Make it good…..you”ll make a small fortune. TRUTH makes more money today than fiction…..

#57 tedfiftyfour on 03.14.13 at 12:46 am

#40. +1
Guelphstudent: your job sounds a helluva lot more interesting and personally rewarding than your friends’ jobs. So they make more money, big deal.

SO MONEYS NOT THAT IMPORTANT? Money is the sole purpose of this blog. Why are you here?

#58 betamax on 03.14.13 at 1:05 am

#30 guelphstudent: “one in car sales and other is contractor for home depot”

Years from now, your loans will be paid and you’ll be making more money besides.

Probably can’t say the same for your friends.

#59 Tom Vu on 03.14.13 at 1:30 am

I am into quality control:

I up my standards ….so why not you Up Yours !

http://www.joe-ks.com/archives_aug2007/K-MartShopper.htm

#60 Tom Everitt on 03.14.13 at 1:31 am

Looks like there is no crash happening in Van. I think we saw our low point already and stabilization is taking place in the market. The opportunity has already been missed. I’m talking about Vancouver only. All other areas are not looking as good. I’d stay away from Richmond at this time.

#61 dosouth on 03.14.13 at 1:45 am

#7 guelphstudent -

Can ya’ stop blaming everyone else for your choices, please.

Other than that the other posters here on the blog have pointed out what you can do and how you can get tax breaks with my tax dollars that helped pay for your education.

Just like the generation before that helped pay for my education and tax breaks. I don’t blame them for having to make it on my own. Get out and work at something instead of looking like you expect to be given everything, man/girl up …IMHO

#62 Fiendish thingy on 03.14.13 at 1:50 am

Guelphstudent-

My degree and job are similar to yours, and I can afford a $2000 2500sqft house in Maple Ridge- of course, my student loans are long since paid off, and my kids are grown. Have you looked for positions with your provincial health agencies?

#63 blase on 03.14.13 at 1:53 am

Well’s Fargo economist just declared that he is very sure that interest rates will rise in the third quarter this year. Get ready for the fed to start turning down the tap very soon.

#64 Oceanside on 03.14.13 at 2:46 am

Happy Birthday…..14th, right?

#65 Bubu on 03.14.13 at 3:39 am

#44Nostradamus
Social Media Be aware the local constabularies are watching
…………………………….
Pinterest? Really? PINTEREST?

Now I’ve heard it all, I’m floored!
Are they on the lookout for new recipes? Fashion, new hair-do’s or are they looking for some weird stuff making the DIY craft section?
Doesn’t matter, they got my number from all the other “tinfoil” sites anyway!
Pinterest???

#66 Buy? Curious? on 03.14.13 at 3:53 am

Garth, not only are you doing the work of a thousand Financial Advisors slaving away at a thousand laptops getting people modest returns on their money, you’re doing the work of journalists at Cana-duh’s most popular national magazine all the while making people laugh by handing more one-liners to realaturds, gold pumpers (“Now push it REAL good) and tin foil hat wearing doomers, than one of those hot marketing interns on the corner of Dundas and Yonge!?!?!

What kind of hero are you?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hohnzMe0cWw

#67 Danforth on 03.14.13 at 5:36 am

Happy Birthday, Garth!

#68 eagle eyes on 03.14.13 at 6:15 am

Garth, with you platform here on this high traffic blog, your endorsement of this home in Yellowknife will have advertising beyond this seller’s wildest dreams. You have just promoted this piece of real estate. Are you actually starting to use your talents for the evil solicitation of real estate? I never thought I would see this day………What next, Garth getting his real estate license?

For you I have a love split-level igloo in Frobisher. — Garth

#69 T.O. Bubble Boy on 03.14.13 at 7:40 am

@ #49 Tony on 03.14.13 at 12:11 am
Hi:

I am looking for an ETF that holds (Canadian) banks preferred shares. Appreciate your advice.

Tony
__________

There are at least 4-5 of them, just google “preferred shares ETF canada” or something similar…

CPD – the old Claymore (now iShares) ETF. I believe that this is still the most popular.

HPR – Horizons Preferred Share ETF

PPS – Invesco PowerShares Canada Preferred Share Index ETF

ZPR – BMO Laddered Preferred Share Index ETF

#70 guelphstudent on 03.14.13 at 7:40 am

#46 Clevernam3, Thanks!
#52 I don’t think US is viable option for me, when moving there are more things to consider than job
#53 Once I get more experience I can make more money by doing private lessons. I don’t think the issue is the job per se, but inflation of certain things. If one bedroom costs 1400$, add utilities and internet to that, than a car (required for job) which costs 250$ to insure plus renting parking as most condos many condos come without one. Add 400$ student loan, and on 2500$ a month you’re screwed.
Four fifth of my friends with university degrees still live with parents or roommates. They won’t move till they pay off their debts, and when is that? At 30?

#71 Dwilly on 03.14.13 at 8:07 am

Hey Garth, a few posts back I wrote a comment asking that, if you were so inclined, you might share with us some greater elaboration regarding the types of homes/neighborhoods/areas that might suffer most vs. least? You since made a post that talked a bit about cottages in BC, but not much else that I saw. Without writing a giant list, I am interested to learn more about the particular attributes of housing that you expect to suffer most? Is it homes closer to the city? Suburbia? The boons? Newer homes on the 26′ wide lots, vs the smaller older ones on larger lots? Proximity to transit, overall price range, etc..?

#72 TurnerNation on 03.14.13 at 8:30 am

I suspect Pigg will be a shoo-in for a job with the Provincial CONs. With Tim Who-Dat?.
The kind of creatures they hire.

#73 ExWinnipeger on 03.14.13 at 8:34 am

Winnipeg is a REALLY tough place to find decent rentals! He isnt kidding.We owned 6 rentals there at one time and got flooded with applications.This is due to the fact that the government controls everything with rentals and is a terrible place to be a landlord.They protect the deadbeats,too bad because most tenants are good,but Winnipegers are scared to be landlords and take the chance.A lot of people there buy due to frustration finding rentals.

#74 Tom from Mississuga on 03.14.13 at 8:54 am

Oh Garth, I know I shouldn’t but want to anyway! What do I do?!?

Um, grow up…

#75 CrowdedElevatorfartz on 03.14.13 at 8:59 am

@#23 Tom Vu

I didnt know they have elevators in prison my vertically challenged little cigarette “earner” ……

When did you get out ?

#76 zak on 03.14.13 at 9:02 am

#70 – I have to agree with guelphstudent here, I’m 28 and the vast majority of people that I know are either living with parents (only a few), renting apartments, renting condos, or renting houses with several roommates.

This has been our perspective of the economy: a major stock market crash during high school, a few years of relative calm during university, crash of ’08, shoddy job market after graduation, and now a major housing bubble. I’m quite confident in volatility going forward =)

#77 Smoking Man on 03.14.13 at 9:08 am

To all the people who are sending touchy feelee encouragement to guelphstudent are not helping him….

He’s got to quit school now and get the skills of a smoking Man

As we continue with globalization the chairs in the musical chairs game are vanishing. The educated elite are getting stupider….

F comments from scientists at CERN on Higgs particular.
(We need to explained why matter has mass) are you serious – SM

Few months ago they had no proof it existed, now they need more funding to find out what kind of Higgs it is. LMAO

They spent billions on CERN for the sole purpose of finding Higgs, all the scientists are paid to find it…. Of course they found it… But the tax payers will never be in a position to challenge..

Waste of money…. No such thing as dark matter or energy… The universe is shrinking…..

#78 bigrider on 03.14.13 at 9:08 am

Garth, I am actually surprised that you think multi family dwellings will hold up ok.

Tons of illegal homes converted to apartments in C3 area T.O .
500k a piece for these things and rents are totaling 2500 ish a month max.

30k a year to cover all costs, maintenance etc.

Seems kinda lean to me.

No, not rinky-dink home conversion basement suites. Legal four-plex, six-plex and apartment buildings. — Garth

#79 AK on 03.14.13 at 9:32 am

The Almighty Dollar Is Back

Could higher rates be just around the corner?

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/almighty-dollar-back-010900259.html

#80 afraidit allmightend on 03.14.13 at 9:38 am

Garth..suggesting that a real estate agent has a right to set a couple of crack heads on you if they don’t get full commission is stupid naive ….and irresponsible…..and really shows that you invest like a rookie dentist without ever having delved into the finer points of real estate investment. Of course you demand a shave from either side before you sign…..its one of the standard tactics a professional buyer/seller can do in the heat of the transaction. Agency greed is a powerful tool worth thousands on every transaction….if you play as often as you say you’re either rich from an inheritance and don’t care or are as I suspect naive to the money game overall.

Trying to shave a commisison upon which a seller and his/her agent have contractually agreed to a bully tactic I would never employ, since the reputation consequences are negative and long-lasting. You’ve been warned before of being stupidly ad hominem in making your points. Don’t do it again. — Garth

#81 Buy? Curious? on 03.14.13 at 9:39 am

Hey Garth, two questions: when do you see a wave of foreclosures happening in these new property developments on the outskirts of the GTA? You know, these people who barely qualified for even the riskiest of loans. I’m seeing pawn shops popping up all over Scarborough.

And past or present, which professional wrestler would you like to be?

#82 gladiator on 03.14.13 at 9:46 am

@52 WhiteKat:
I used to be a US taxpayer, have a SSN and stuff. Now I am in Canada and don’t pay US tax (not a US citizen or present/former green card holder – was there on student visa and worked for a short while, legally, based on it).
Am thinking I don’t owe that country anything.
Are you still saying “once a US taxpayer – always a US taxpayer” now?
Cheers.

#83 AK on 03.14.13 at 9:51 am

#59 Tom Vu on 03.14.13 at 1:30 am
“I am into quality control:

I up my standards ….so why not you Up Yours !”
————————————————————-
Tom, do you have a personal computer in prison? or do you use the community desktop?

#84 Dupcheck on 03.14.13 at 10:17 am

$389K for Yellowknife? WTF? Why?…..I do not understand. What is so special about that house in that cold place of earth that no one should be living in. Cold……

#85 live within your means on 03.14.13 at 10:25 am

#27 Devore on 03.13.13 at 10:08 pm

We used to get these types of letters years ago. Called them to say DO NOT increase our credit limit. Been meaning to get a separate credit card – really low limit – just for online purchases. We always pay off credit cards in full when due.

#86 IM in C on 03.14.13 at 10:28 am

Garth
saw this in the Star
http://www.thestar.com/business/real_estate/2013/03/13/new_website_meant_to_shine_light_on_underground_segment_of_condo_sales.html

Wha tis your take on it ?

Hardly ‘underground.’ I dealt with this here a few months ago. — Garth

#87 Dupcheck on 03.14.13 at 10:30 am

Garth I have two questions:

What happens to the Canadian stock market when the boomers start to withdraw their RRSP’s starting this year since half million of them retire each year after?

Any strategies to be prepared so we can get ahead soon?

Nothing happens. THere are too few retail investors to make a ripple. Besides, people with money in the market need income, which is a reason to stay invested. Myth. — Garth

#88 Tony on 03.14.13 at 10:42 am

@#69 T.O Bubble Boy. Thanks for the info.

#89 HD on 03.14.13 at 10:43 am

#76 zak on 03.14.13 at 9:02 am
#70 – I have to agree with guelphstudent here, I’m 28 and the vast majority of people that I know are either living with parents (only a few), renting apartments, renting condos, or renting houses with several roommates.
This has been our perspective of the economy: a major stock market crash during high school, a few years of relative calm during university, crash of ’08, shoddy job market after graduation, and now a major housing bubble. I’m quite confident in volatility going forward =)

Same here. I am 28 and went through a similar situation.
I’ve always lived with roommates. I spent 4 years in Kits with roommates and that enabled me to save a lot of money.

You can only do roommates for so long tho…..I made the plunge and recently moved on my own in the South Granville area. More expensive but I will never look back.

Best,

HD

#90 sciencemonkey on 03.14.13 at 10:46 am

Regarding the education tax credit, sweet jeebus am I excited. I have over 50k each of federal and provincial tax credits and I’m about to do my taxes for my first year with a real job. Are the federal and provincial counted separately so that I actually have over 15k of taxes I will receive back over this year and the next?

guelphstudent, I am similar to you. I have a PhD in chemistry and I’ve been working at a biotech for 1.5 years. My salary isn’t great but isn’t terrible, and living moderately let’s me invest about 15k a year. However, my gross salary is only 1/5 the cost of a non-downtown GTA condo, which I would never consider worth buying given poor construction and other risks; I don’t even want to consider how unaffordable an actual house is.

Granted, there are things I can investigate to improve my salary, such as job searching and maybe a certification like PMP (anyone have an opinion on this?), but until a detached house costs no more than 3x my gross income I am simply not going to play the game.

#91 Blair on 03.14.13 at 11:06 am

18% in four years is only inflation. Hmmm, not quite #fail

Take the CPI for Ontario during 2009-12 and figure it out. — Garth

#92 Snickers on 03.14.13 at 11:13 am

This is abit off topic – some in here have a field day with those real estate agents that are called unethical -my cousin may have upped that in the noted case below.

My cousin opened a garden centre last year – spent what was left in the budget in a modest advertising stint to get the word out -

The first few days were pretty much dead, was the economy that bad – or was he missing his target market. I told him that people are like sheep – they see the flock and instintively must converge. He told friends to park their cars at his store, fill their carts with items but just walk around and look like this is the best place ever.

No kidding – the first 6 days without the “show” he had on average 3 customers per hour (sales on average of $14)- with cars in the parking lot and about 11 staged customers walking around with carts filled – he was averaging 17 people per hour and an average sales of $49 per customer -

Funny, people see something, they think they are missing out on – and they need to be part of it – I guess the housing market is the perfect example of reacting before thinking!

I guess that explains why they post pictures of lineups at building sites – it creates the “what am I missing factor” -

#93 chickenlittle on assignment on 03.14.13 at 11:20 am

Guelphstudent:
I hear ya! I’m at college right now, wiping snotty noses and all I can hope for is $13 an hour afterwards….I don’t thin our parents started out with tonnes of debt like we did!
I should have kept on bartending! I just hate drunks, that’s my issue.

#94 Holy Crap Wheres The Tylenol on 03.14.13 at 11:37 am

I met an old acquaintance of mine yesterday for lunch and he mentioned he going in for the kill on condos downtown. His intention is to start scooping them up at ridiculously low prices and flip or rent in the near future. At which point I figured he could pay for lunch, as I was about to go to a seminar on real estate that I wanted no part of. He figures rightly so that the condo market is crashing and a lot of these units are now going to hitting the market as investors want to unload them as fast as possible to thwart possible financial losses. I’m listening…….blah, blah, blah, it was just like Charlie Brown talking to his teacher, whaaa, whaaa, whaaa, whaaa, whaa! At the end I said to him I get it but don’t you think everyone else has figured this angle out as well? His answer yes but……(fill in the blank with moronic expression here). I could not talk him out of it. Then I said when you go to purchase find out how many of these properties are actually lived in by owners and find out the ratio of owners to renters. These glorified concrete coffins in the sky are all going to be rental apartments. Most likely going at a rate that may not actually pay for the mortgage and fees. Now your high end nicely finished casket with oak and marble is competing with ramshackle Russian row apartments from the 1950’s. Oh yes the fees, I mentioned this to him as a note keep in mind that you have no control over these condo fees and after the first year surprise! They won’t go down, they will however go up. It will be interesting to see how long the near future is for him. I am thinking until bankruptcy is declared!
Oh well I tried.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWsJcg-g1pg

#95 Shawn Allen on 03.14.13 at 11:43 am

SHAVING REAL ESTATE COMMISSIONS:

At 80 Garth responded:

Trying to shave a commission upon which a seller and his/her agent have contractually agreed to a bully tactic I would never employ, since the reputation consequences are negative and long-lasting.

“”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"
This issue arose when a potential home BUYER said he wanted both the buying and selling agents to shave their commissions.

So he seemed more concerned with the real estate fees than the price he would pay for the house!

I don’t think a buyer has any business whatsoever doing this. A buyer makes an offer of a price and may have certain conditions attached like subject to inspection and financing. But what the seller does with the price paid is not the buyer’s concern.

If a SELLER wants to play the game of asking an agent to cut the fee that might work. At least he is in a position to do so. But it’s very dangerous business. If a buyers agent brings an offer perhaps the selling agent could be asked if he is willing to take a cut (since he never brought the buyer) but it does seem like very bad business after having contractually agreed to a certain fee.

But the notion of a BUYER asking for real estate fee cuts is ridiculous. Just state your offer price.

#96 Holy Crap Wheres The Tylenol on 03.14.13 at 11:43 am

#77 Smoking Man on 03.14.13 at 9:08 am

F comments from scientists at CERN on Higgs particular.
(We need to explained why matter has mass) are you serious – SM

Few months ago they had no proof it existed, now they need more funding to find out what kind of Higgs it is. LMAO

They spent billions on CERN for the sole purpose of finding Higgs, all the scientists are paid to find it…. Of course they found it… But the tax payers will never be in a position to challenge..

Waste of money…. No such thing as dark matter or energy… The universe is shrinking…..

What? They found the God Particle,
when? Today,
wow Smoking Man said it was a waste of money, it can not be true.

http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2013/03/14/higgs_boson_particle_physicists_confident_god_particle_discovered.html

#97 Chris Mewhort, EA on 03.14.13 at 11:46 am

54 WhiteKat

“If you decide to take raider’s suggestion of moving south of the border, take note: USA will tax you on your Canadian income if you move back to Canada. Once a US taxpayer always a US taxpayer.”

Completely false. You confuse residency with citizenship.

Christopher Mewhort, Enrolled Agent

#98 Holy Crap Wheres The Tylenol on 03.14.13 at 11:52 am

Well Garth now I really need a Tylenol. This has to be one of those Gaseous Anomalies in the real estate field. Go figure!

http://www.thestar.com/business/real_estate/2013/03/12/junction_triangle_fixerupper_attracts_40_offers_and_sells_for_almost_200000_over_asking.html

#99 Tom Vu on 03.14.13 at 11:53 am

I and entourage escape in Yellow Helicopter.

Joke: How can hi – rise not need elevator ?

http://www.joe-ks.com/archives_jun2009/ChinaBuildingStandards.htm

#100 Von on 03.14.13 at 11:57 am

Why doesn’t statcan include condominiums in calculating the house price index? Isn’t condominiums considered real estate?

http://www.bnn.ca/News/2013/03/14/Canadian-new-home-prices-rise-in-January.aspx

#101 Ogopogo on 03.14.13 at 12:14 pm

#17 Realtor # 1 on 03.13.13 at 9:32 pm
C ‘ mon, enough with real estate is evil.
1. RE will not drop past the 2008/09 price mark
only those who purchased in the last three years will hurt
2. Still waiting for interest to rise, wait its NOT and no time soon. (so everyone is renewing for cheaper)

We are coming down the stretch where we will find out who is right – THE SPRING MARKET

Folks, don’t feed the troll.

#102 HogtownIndebted on 03.14.13 at 12:15 pm

Signs, signs and more signs…..

1. I take this article, mentioned above and discussed by Garth previously, as an expression of the possibly growing volume of condo speculators looking to ‘flip out’, with or without a profit…….

http://www.thestar.com/business/real_estate/2013/03/13/new_website_meant_to_shine_light_on_underground_segment_of_condo_sales.html

2. Fake listings are here in Toronto, too:

http://www.realtor.ca/propertyDetails.aspx?propertyId=12751198&PidKey=22689363

This “semi” is only imaginary. the location is nice enough, but the angular, steep lot is awkward with little backyard and the house there is old. It is at the worst point in the neighbourhood, just above busy traffic, so worth maybe $800K – nowhere near this price.

3. I stopped in at a barber’s on St. Clair west in midtown Toronto, C2 area on MLS. Barbers are as good as bartenders for inside local info sometimes. The barber told me about the RE unease in the hood, normally considered a desirable area in C2 for the house horny set.The Hungarian cultural centre near Winona has been bought and demolished for condos, as soon will be the TD bank building, the KFC across the road and the muffler shop across the street to the southwest, all for condos on spec. Local residents are getting very concerned about enduring years of construction headaches.

Lots of shops are boarded up and vacant or about to close on St. Clair west, looks like about 20% from Bathurst to Dufferin in many stretches. Lots of underperforming retail tenants, tarot card readers etc… moving into the vacancies. Two payday loan companies have moved in within a block of these planned condos. The fancy new condo just to the east at Arlington, “The Rushton”, has been flogging 420 square foot matchboxes for two years, starting at $330,000 and up. Recently there has been a sign fluttering high above, promoting “25,000 Cash Back – One week only”. Looks like it has been there a while.

Not the signs of a booming economy, for real estate or otherwise.

#103 CP on 03.14.13 at 12:25 pm

@ #96: Hows Hawaii Chris?

#104 Calgary_rip_off on 03.14.13 at 12:41 pm

Real estate is to be avoided IF you have a place to live. You cannot justify renting when rent is the SAME as a mortgage in Calgary can you? How is one supposed to be “liquid” if all or almost all is going towards rent? And suppose one wants to buy a place not as an investment but as something to live in assuming one can eventually retire? Is it really best to keep saving and investing while renting while prices keep increasing? You can, if you decide ultimately that when you retire you will get out to someplace like Houston, Texas, where housing prices are reasonable and housing taxes are a bit steep. Logically a person must look at past history rather than possibly forthcoming crashes due to high interest rates. Is it somehow better to keep paying rent to the tune of around $40K every two years while having meager investments? After all that rent you dont own the place. Sorry I just dont agree that renting forever is ideal, unless there is some magical guarantee that interest rates will skyrocket and all housing value will go to pre 2005 levels. There are online calculators that will do math for you and determine at what point you start losing money. I think it is around 4-5 years in Calgary, and most people will be working here longer than that. It seems that government intervenes before anything like a crash happens. So maybe the smart advice is to keep waiting until you are priced out forever(sarcasm). With anything there is risk. I would rather risk owning a mortgage and not having to be accountable to some schmuck but instead to the bank. If things become problematic you could be booted out of the rental or lose the house, both ways you lose. The argument to just invest so you can move around may seem justifiable on paper however it doesnt confront the reality of the annoying people in control of most real estate dealings. One of the reasons to buy specifically is so that you can minimize your dealings with most of the deluded “homeowners” that think their $100K house in Calgary is the $600K Taj Mahal. Come to Calgary and you will understand.

#105 Bottoms_Up on 03.14.13 at 12:47 pm

Just got an email from RBC:

“Exclusively for you,
Mr. xxxx xxxxxx,
Get GIC rates as
high as 1.80%”

#106 MP on 03.14.13 at 12:52 pm

@ #6 QQ
“what kind of income r they making up north? is there a goldmine i don’t know about?”

Think diamonds. 3 mines online, one more going in. The largest diamond production on the planet outside of “blood diamonds” in Africa.

#107 elchavo on 03.14.13 at 12:56 pm

From yesterday’s entry #82 Mrs Hubris
“I note the blogdogs’ ‘Craziest Stories from Canada’s Housing Market ‘’ are less about properties and more about how RE and mortgage industry manipulation has replaced quality journalism.”

Spot on! Shameful media manipulation and contradictory reporting. It got to a point where freaking blogs were doing better journalism than the actual “media”. It should totally be a story on media manipulation. They’re as guilty (and stupid) as the liar realtors, marketers, and speculators.

Global, CBC, CTV… you guys have no credibility at all.

#108 Xindai Shan on 03.14.13 at 1:00 pm

Trying to shave a commisison upon which a seller and his/her agent have contractually agreed to a bully tactic I would never employ, since the reputation consequences are negative and long-lasting.

You are right, but your ethical standards are miles removed from the reality of at least one community Canada.

On Chinese blogs in Toronto, there are realtors who trip over themselves to offer “commission back” offers to homebuyers. Several months ago, my wife put a message on the most prominent Chinese Canadian blog to ask about good realtors, and she had the name of 30 realtors within two days. It was too many to work through, but at least two were well established.

It is impossible to generalize, but it is fair to say that a large portion of Chinese Canadian buyers would choke at the prospect that a buying agent would receive a full commission. Negotiation is an expected cultural norm. Before I get blasted, this is just an observation of very common conversations in a very large community.

As an aside, it would be interesting for you to do a full blog posting on why it is best to use an experienced agent, earning full commission – especially in the case where buyers have pinpointed the exact house, neighbourhood, understand it fully (lived in it and even know recent selling prices*) and have a trusted real estate lawyer and house inspector.

* Immigrants have full access to recent selling prices in any neighbourhood in the GTA. Agents and brokers will be glad to give them to you.

I love this blog, but many topics are miles removed from ethnic communities.

Regards,

#109 Bottoms_Up on 03.14.13 at 1:00 pm

#77 Smoking Man on 03.14.13 at 9:08 am
——————————————-
You do not seem to understand the basic tennet underpinning the purpose of scientific research: to push the boundaries of our knowledge and to confirm hypotheses and theories with facts (the world use to be flat and God use to sit above the clouds don’t you know!).

The Higgs has been known about (as a theory) since the 1960′s. It’s taken 5+ decades of scientific advancement to get to the point where we are capable of confirming the theory. What a fascinating discovery!

Was sending the rover to Mars to discover that regular drinking water use to exist on the surface not a worthwhile endeavour?

Isn’t it exciting to be alive in an age where we might discover alien life forms (even if fossilized)?

#110 Bc boy on 03.14.13 at 1:01 pm

Van west seeing some big sales this month. Many selling at peak pricing. :(

Garth, I think there’s almost zero chance of a national 15% decline this year.

#111 MP on 03.14.13 at 1:05 pm

@ #68 eagle eyes
“your endorsement of this home in Yellowknife will have advertising beyond this seller’s wildest dreams”

Don’t worry. No one wants to live on that side of town. Unless you drive a lifted F350 and like to idle in Timmy’s drive thru – the busiest Timmy’s in all of Canada for a couple years running.

#112 Bottoms_Up on 03.14.13 at 1:06 pm

#70 guelphstudent on 03.14.13 at 7:40 am
——————————————
Basically you’re screwed until you get a better paying job, or a partner with a job in order to split expenses. You will have to live like a student until either or both of those things happen.

For me, that happened at the age of 30 (got a job, got married). The 20′s are a rough go with the high cost of living in Canada. Find some good roommates and let the good times roll.

#113 Freebird on 03.14.13 at 1:28 pm

@#69 tobubbleboy

Is it just me or does seem like Garth should do a short post on how to Google his site or the internet in general for questions that are asked in comments? Your reply reminded of a similar comment I gave…to do a search and offered an example. It took me literally 5 min to search Garth’s site for old posts on the topic the commenter said Garth had never covered and a few others. To help Garth (not that he needs or wants it I’m sure) and others, to search this site simply type in “greater fool” to any search engine and your topic, i.e. “rrsps” or “preferred shares” etc. You may have to sift through a few blog posts but you will get your answer plus other sites covering similar info. At least try doing this before posting the question and you can either use as a reference or ask a more specific question. FYI I’ve gotten some helpful suggestions/ replies (and others just smart a**) from other bloggers…just use common sense and do your own research.

Cheers,

#114 Freebird on 03.14.13 at 1:29 pm

I guess Garth doesn’t have to do that short post now.

#115 Freebird on 03.14.13 at 1:34 pm

BTW: to avoid confusion when I said my comment was to (partially) help Garth, I meant to avoid being asked questions on topics he’s already covered and/ or can’t answer because its too specific and would require more specific info. Just do some surfing first.

#116 elchavo on 03.14.13 at 1:53 pm

Feliz Cumpleaños Garth !!!

#117 Dr. Hoof - Hearted on 03.14.13 at 2:49 pm

I wish I could be more optimistic, but my suggestion especially to the younger crowd is to ignore the lifestyles you have grown up with and continue to be indoctrinated in. Not sustainable.

Many of us have lived through these cycles….but I have to say this one will prove to be the biggest bust. There is no sense being a part of it.

Ride it out till the dust settles.

#118 G2tha on 03.14.13 at 2:52 pm

Who is the most trustworthy expert on Toronto’s real estate market?
Vote here: http://goo.gl/cS9WW

#119 Snowboid on 03.14.13 at 3:17 pm

The latest release from Cameron Muir…

http://www.bcrea.bc.ca/docs/news-2013/2013-02.pdf

Don’t worry BC, “pent up demand” will save the RE market.

#120 TS on 03.14.13 at 3:28 pm

#37Dean Mason on 03.13.13 at 10:51 pm
The TD report saying that Canadian housing would rise by only 2.00% on average over 10 years basically flat after inflation is a bigger deal than most people buying houses,condos than they think.

I was looking at fixed income yields specifically for TFSA’s,RRSP’s tax free and tax sheltered accounts. Here are a few,Bell Canada 3.56%,407 International 3.42%,Quebec 3.35%,TransAlta Company 4.04%,Hydro-Quebec 3.37%.

The point I’m making is a total return of say Bell Canada 3.56% compounded over 10 years is 41.88%,Transalta 4.04% is 48.59% 10 years total return,Hydro-Quebec 3.37% is 39.30% 10 year total return. The 2.00% compounded over 10 years is just 21.90% total return.

Take inflation into account and all the expenses,costs,fees,H.S.T.,condo fees,property taxes,utilities,real estate commission,insurance,maintenance etc. It is much worse. I don’t see the point of seeing a house an an investment when you can get between 39% to 49% in fixed income investments total return over 10 years which is double or more than buying real estate plus a lot of costs,fees,taxes,expenses on top it.

Don’t forget the risk exposure is different!

#121 Old Man on 03.14.13 at 3:48 pm

Happy Birthday Mr. Garth Turner, and here is hoping your beloved wife will be taking you out tonight for dinner with a nice cake and some candles to have a good time.

#122 bigrider on 03.14.13 at 4:22 pm

#78 _Garth to Bigrider on the difference between legal four and six plexes verses rinky dink home conversion basement suites.

Ok cool, get your point but here is real life example(verified my uncle).

He bought a 4 plex at Eglington and Dufferin area, 2006 for 420k, yielding just over 41k gross rent.

The building right next to it, owner appraoches him 4 months ago, very ill and offers him a private deal to purchase so he does so for 650. Again a four plex with a yield just over 40k and needs about 20 to 30k of work upfront. He liked the proximety and ease of transaction

I think the second is a not so great a purchase .

Whats your opinion?

#123 jess on 03.14.13 at 4:29 pm

http://bankersnewclothes.com/

Anat Admati exposes the flaws in the banking system that could trigger another financial collapse, and lays out a plan to fix it in her new book “The Bankers’ New Clothes: What’s Wrong with Banking and What to Do about It.” Admati is the George G.C. Parker professor of finance and economics at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She co-wrote the book with Martin Hellwig, an economics professor in Bonn, Germany
===

#124 jess on 03.14.13 at 4:41 pm

lawsuit accusing the country’s biggest private-equity firms of conspiring to drive down prices on deals is moving forward after surviving its biggest legal challenge yet.

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/business/collusion_course_eIMheVVy3lvwiD5Q35SVvO

#125 zeeman1 on 03.14.13 at 4:46 pm

#77 Smoking Man.

Same as “global warming”, or “climate change”, or whatever they’ll call it next.

#126 mark on 03.14.13 at 5:02 pm

Vote for Garth

http://blog.buzzbuzzhome.com/2013/03/most-trustworthy-expert-toronto-real-estate-market.html

Unbelievable Brad Lamb could win a poll on trust

#127 Blair on 03.14.13 at 5:06 pm

CPI is different than inflation. May not agree with what goes into ‘inflation’, but let’s call a spade a spade here

#128 Rainclouds on 03.14.13 at 5:18 pm

#110 BCBOY

Dream On

Pretty sure you will find Van West in this list

http://vancouverpricedrop.wordpress.com/

#129 Herb on 03.14.13 at 5:22 pm

#109 Bottoms_Up,

the Great Smoking Man don’t need no steenking research. He knows sees it all.

#130 Anonymous Guy in the Biz on 03.14.13 at 5:31 pm

@ Tony # 49

ETF that holds Preferred Shares

ZPR.to

#131 palebird on 03.14.13 at 5:31 pm

#84 Yellowknife is a dump, plain and simple. Anybody living there is delusional. Paying over $100,000 for anything up there is extremely delusional. So that pretty much says it all.

#132 Tom Vu on 03.14.13 at 5:35 pm

Happy Birthday to Garth.

We all chip in and buy you floor mats for your KIA. (We call them Smoking Man)

Q: What do you call 25 parachuting lawyers ?
A: Skeets.

#133 HogtownIndebted on 03.14.13 at 6:09 pm

#125 mark

OK blog dawgs – Garth is #5 with a bullet, moving up fast. Let’s see how fast he can overtake the others in this poll.

http://blog.buzzbuzzhome.com/2013/03/most-trustworthy-expert-toronto-real-estate-market.html

#134 GregW, Oakville on 03.14.13 at 6:15 pm

Happy B-Day Garth!

#135 CW-Alison in Yellowknife on 03.14.13 at 6:24 pm

#131 “Yellowknife is a dump, plain and simple”

Well guy it could be worse. Heard of Cambridge Bay? I’m not delusional, we’d rather make more money, have more time for igloo building, and wear expensive parkas. Even if it means we live in an ugly 1972 smoke stained trailer.

I’m from North Vancouver and I’d rather be here….maybe I actually am delusional!
Happy Birthday Garth!

#136 Shawn Allen on 03.14.13 at 6:42 pm

Toronto Real Estate Expert vote…

links posted at 118 and 128…

I (rather safely I think) predict Garth storms to the lead. The other guys have to try to get the vote out too. If this link gets posted on tonight’s article then it should be all over for the other guys by mid-morning on Friday.

#137 salonist on 03.14.13 at 6:51 pm

Newsflash: Time May Not Exist

http://discovermagazine.com/2007/jun/in-no-time

#138 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 03.14.13 at 6:54 pm

-
Happy B-day Garth! Make sure you post before Dorothy and Bandit take you out 2nite!
*
#117 Dr. Hoof – Hearted — “Ride it out till the dust settles.”
– and –
#119 Snowboid — “Don’t worry BC, “pent up demand” will save the RE market.”

Am I missing something, or is this a second-hand conspiracy theory?!
*
Thought For The Day! (wrh.com) — “If Congress has the right under the Constitution to issue paper money, it was given to be used by themselves, not to be delegated to individuals or corporations.” — President Andrew Jackson
*
1970 “The US Census Bureau reports that 146 million Americans are either near the poverty line, at it or below.”, Demographic Nightmare “142 Million Workers Supports 102 Million Not Working”; wrh.com and China’s debt bomb but the US can’t afford to let China go under; Obummer cite>There is no debt crisis, but we need austerity cuts;Welfare Cuts Easy come, easy go (to ssshhhh . . . u-know-who), and Peacekeepers “With those pesky UN peacekeepers now out of the way, Israel is free to invade Syria from the Golan Heights.” wrh.com; Gold, Silver and Libor The three amigos; Italy Exit the Dragon; Like Wall St., Monsanto has now entered the realm of “above the law”; Skilled Tradespeople There’s a lot to be said for having a blue-collar, rather than a white-collar job; Carnival Cruises Not doing that well.
*
1:22 clip with Conan O’Brien Humor — how the m$m works with one scriptwriter; Russia “Russia is sending a not-so-subtle message to NATO and the US government, both about the missile shield, and about any outright invasion of Syria and/or Iran.” wrh.com; 19:00 clip Fossil fuels are greening the planet? Oh my; 11:00 clip “A short expose on secret government infiltration operations to discredit protest movements and eliminate 1st Amendment rights.”; Manhattan Mother “A police source said Wachenheim was taking antidepressants and that pills were found in the apartment.”, and 1:41:11 doc. Vaccines and autism; High-tech Assassinations Chavez was not the first; Red Tide in Florida Hundreds of Manatee deaths, but humans are okay.

#139 maxx on 03.14.13 at 7:36 pm

#119 Snowboid on 03.14.13 at 3:17 pm

My spidey sense tells me that a lot- no, a huge amount of that so-called “pent-up demand” will eventually sublimate. Boredom and distraction with RE will lead many on to greener (more profitable) pastures.

#140 Dr. Hoof - Hearted on 03.14.13 at 7:44 pm

#138 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 03.14.13 at 6:54 pm

-
Happy B-day Garth! Make sure you post before Dorothy and Bandit take you out 2nite!
*
#117 Dr. Hoof – Hearted — “Ride it out till the dust settles.”
– and –
#119 Snowboid — “Don’t worry BC, “pent up demand” will save the RE market.”

Am I missing something, or is this a second-hand conspiracy theory?!

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

Not sure what ya mean.

What I refer to is that something is going to give….and soon. Problems of biblical proportions, and not via random SHTF events but orchestrated SHTF events..

Forget the US Constitution….that served as a false “last” hope lifeboat for the citizens while their entire country was being undermined. Its a h-u-g-e topic, but it gets into all sorts of bizarre definitions and interpretations of what is a corporation, natural person….etc. is Canada? is simply “Americas hat”.

Iran recently executed 4 crooked bankers….yet is being deemed the bad guys?….yet not one bankster has even gone to jail in the US.

Is there something wrong with this picture.? …methinks so !

#141 maxx on 03.14.13 at 7:58 pm

#137 salonist on 03.14.13 at 6:51 pm

Coool read! Guess we’re all just bopping to the rhythms we can perceive!

#142 Old Man on 03.14.13 at 7:59 pm

#122 bigrider – tell him to take a pass, and keep what he has, and buy nothing more, as that deal smells.

#143 Van grrl on 03.14.13 at 11:58 pm

Guelph Student (because everyone seems interested in your post today :):
‘If one bedroom costs 1400$, add utilities and internet to that, than a car (required for job) which costs 250$ to insure plus renting parking as most condos many condos come without one…’

Where exactly do you plan to pay as much as $1400 for a one bedroom? I live in Vancouver and pay just under $900, friends pay $900-1200 for two bedrooms. And $250 for car insurance?? I had a used car until last summer and my rate was $80/mth. In a province with provincial rates.
Zak- I had roommates until my early 30s, the only year I lived alone before that was overseas as the cost of living was so low. Your generation is not the first to sort of rough it, trust me. I’m a gen x-er and that was pretty standard; some of the best years of my life were living with people who have remained good friends/family to this day.

#144 Bubba on 03.15.13 at 10:05 am

In Calgary, I am on a mailing list of Foreclosures & Judicial For Sale. It seems that the numbers have been escalating lately. I do not trust the stats of either CMHA or GENWORTH. Can anyone direct or tell me how I can see ACTUAL stats of Foreclusre in Calgary for the past few years as I would like to compare and know whether Foreclusres are actually picking up here in Calgary over the past6 months.