How to be a vulture

I’m often asked by people who like to prey on others how to buy real estate in a falling market, like this one. The danger of doing so is that you buy before the bottom arrives, and take a capital gains hit. The advantage is you hold absolutely all the cards, and can strike a great deal while the victim-seller is writhing in pain and begging for mercy. That’s the fun part.

So, don’t ask me if it’s time to buy yet, because you won’t like the answer. But if you want some tips on being a vulture, for when the moment’s right, then clip this and stick it on the fridge. (By the way, this is another preview of my coming book.)

* Offer what you want to pay, not what the vendor is asking to be paid. With so many properties listed, and so little sales activity, every offer has to be taken seriously. Only by writing up an offer on your own terms, at your own price, will you get a sign-back showing the true level of desperation you’re dealing with.

* Always submit the offer with a deposit cheque, which is like putting a shiny lure on the end of your fishing line. However, the offer must stipulate the cheque is not cashable until a firm and binding agreement is reached. So, it means nothing, while having a powerful psychological impact.

* Throw in as many conditions as you want. This will create an offer that is completely tailored to your needs and wants while providing elements you can remove in order to gain things you truly want. So, for example, make the offer conditional on the vendors paying all your closing costs, including land transfer tax. While you never expect that to happen, you can remove it during negotiations in order to get what you do want and expect, which is a bargain price.

* Ditto for conditions giving you time to arrange financing or even to sell another property – they are both traditional deal-breakers, and the vendor’s agent will know that immediately. So, by reluctantly removing them you move far closer to getting that price.

* Best, however, to insist on a home inspection. This condition should give you five business days to complete the process, and is normally done at the purchaser’s expense. The reason you want this is because almost all properties need some kind of work done in order to make them perfect, and when you get the inspector’s report you have leverage to help you drive down the price. Simply get an estimate of the cost of the repairs and ask for the deal to be rewritten with a price reduced by that amount. Since the vendor knows the condition is entirely for your benefit and the deal will die unless you sign a waiver, well, guess what? Vulture.

* And remember that the closing date is also an important poker chip to play. Have your agent find out what the vendor wants, and then use that to help leverage the price down. Additionally, you can throw any assets you see around the property into your offer – power tools, appliances, lawn tractor, Harley-Davidson, whatever. The more you put in, the more clutter there is for the vendor to wade through, and the better chance you have of securing the best deal.

* Speaking of which, why not make two offers at the same time on two competing properties, and then let that fact be known (through your agent) to the vendor? That will add even more pressure to the poor guy, as he tries to figure out what he must do to save the deal, and give you what you want. This may be cruel and unusual, but just consider it payback for all those multiple-offer situations greedy vendors placed buyers in during the bubble years.

* And, of course, you can make a low-ball offer, get a sign-back, and then just let it die. Wait a week and go back in with another one, for the same low price. Odds are you will not get the same response this time. The stressed-out vendor may hate you, but he’ll close.


#1 Cyrus on 11.26.08 at 11:41 pm

Wow, some of these are pretty mean; I like. Luckily I’m not a seller.

#2 Dave on 11.26.08 at 11:56 pm

Gee Garth you are worse than me! Two weeks ago I bought a used 4×4. My son had told me the dealers are getting desperate and really low ball my offer. The price they were asking was right in the range I would have expected as it was in great condition.

I took it for a ride and came back and offered him half what they were asking. The salesman gave me a funny look and said “Right now?” and I said yes. I thought he was going to tell me to get lost, but no, he said “Done.”

One thing that irks me when buying property is getting the survey done. Do they think the ground has shifted since the house was built? Just another parasitical fee in the housing market.

#3 POL-CAN on 11.27.08 at 12:01 am


And I thought I was a cruel buyer lol

#4 POL-CAN on 11.27.08 at 12:04 am

Median nominal prices in CA are now down 47% according to CAR and 42% according to DQNews – and those declines are in less than 18 months!

From Mike Shedlock

#5 midas on 11.27.08 at 12:12 am

Citigroup says gold could rise above $2,000 next year as world unravels

Pay attention to the buzz words in this article:

World unravels
Civil disorder
Economic Deterioration
Political instability
Domestic unrest

Want to know what’s coming? Read this article carefully.
Those still theorizing that this is a purely economic problem just don’t get it!

Want to know what to invest in? It’s a four letter word and it is spelled GOLD

#6 OntarioHouse on 11.27.08 at 12:15 am

Love those points. Being a vulture is enjoyable.

#7 run4dahills on 11.27.08 at 12:15 am

Thanks Garth, music to my ears…..

#8 run4dahills on 11.27.08 at 12:18 am

By the way, its on my fridge for my wife to read.

#9 Danny on 11.27.08 at 12:22 am

Great ideas! I especially like the one about making two offers at the same time. Why not make them compete for “our” money, when all these years, they made us compete for ‘their’ house.

Our money is much more precious these days!

#10 reboot on 11.27.08 at 12:39 am

no sympathies to the sellers.
the pendulum has swung the other way and now it’s time to squeeze the seller/speculators for all its worth. :) :) double happiness

#11 Steve in Kitchener on 11.27.08 at 12:43 am

I like those tactics. I would say we are a bit early for those but the time will come soon when every one will be using them. I know some who read this will find it hard to believe that it will get that bad but I think it will. All we have to do it look at our friends down south, builders and home sellers who throwing every thing in (two for one homes, cars, motorcycle’s big screen TV’s etc) just to close the deal. The only downside to this is that some sellers will not be able to go down that low since they brought with zero money down and can’t go lower then the mortgage.

Not a day goes by when you don’t here about some company closing or letting go of staff, when all these people have to sell it will be a nightmare for them. Sellers will have no leverage and the sad fact many may not have a choice since it’s better to sell and be in the hole a few grand then to go bankrupt.

#12 dd on 11.27.08 at 12:53 am

When is it time to buy?

When it is cheaper to buy compared to renting.

#13 Crikey on 11.27.08 at 1:20 am

Now this information is fantastic, Garth. Slightly sadistic, yet eminently practical.

Well done.

#14 observer on 11.27.08 at 1:30 am

“Wow, some of these are pretty mean” “Vultures”
I think we’re going to hear this a lot. In fact I’ve already heard negative comments directed at me for thinking of taking advantage of a situation because I have cash in hand and waiting for the opportunities that are coming. The fact of the matter is, the sellers driving the prices up for the last few years to unrealistic levels were just as guilty of taking advantage of a situation.

#15 Mark on 11.27.08 at 1:36 am

Question for you Garth….

In the event that housing drops, let’s say 30% and a home in Vancouver that has a mortgage of 1,000,000 and with 0 down and 40 year amortization is now worth 700,000 does the bank call you up and say… “PAY UP, or move out?”

I mean. In the stock market it’s a margin call. I wonder if the banks will do that?

#16 JoJo on 11.27.08 at 1:43 am

Well Garth and company (JO,DD)!
Is it possible again low Oil prices $ 47 and gold $ 686?
What Defflation is coming?
I’m positive will be Hyper-Inflatory Depresson.

#17 jesse on 11.27.08 at 1:45 am

Have the offer valid only for 24 hours. Even if the offer expires, the listing agent will be phoning you non-stop in the following days. Adding in competing properties, as you suggest, gives credence to the limited time offer.

Also make the offer look professional, like a reputable building contractor would provide. If the offer looks confusing, that may be a deterrent from being accepted.

Personally I would not budge on the price in this market but others recommend underbidding and raising it towards your target price during negotiations. In ANY market there is no reason to move on price if you know what the property is worth.

#18 Tstump on 11.27.08 at 1:54 am

who da man? You da man. That’s the stuff for us soulless pricks from hell. Thanks sincerely, much appreciated. Off to make an offer. Got those federal reserve notes with the expiration dates written on them.

#19 wealthy renter on 11.27.08 at 1:55 am

Just’n case I gets a hankerin’ fer Squirrel-sicles or Kentuck Fried Squirrel, or some such, is it okay to put in a clause that owner will come back and feed the squirrels? Given the impending economic doom presented by some posters in the last section, we might just need them squirrels fatten’d up fer some good eat’n.

Then again, that clause could be a non-starter. I have visions of mayor Miller slapping me with a squirrel tax. A Toronto paper named after a big celestial hot ball of gas [Sun or Star?] recently quoted him as saying, “You can’t have one person monopolizing all the happy, fat squirrels in the neighbourhood. That would be nuts.”

On a serious note, thank you for a really good lesson on real estate negotiations in a buyer’s market. That’s a damn fine service to your readers and food for thought.

Just not squirrel…..

#20 Peter on 11.27.08 at 1:57 am

Magna is closing 2 plants..Aurora and Newmarket will be in trouble in 2009 with overinflated prices for those nice homes…I foresee those auto parts plants will soon be laying off thousands of people and the EI funds with the government will bleed dry in years to come..

#21 JoJo on 11.27.08 at 1:59 am

Worst thing is comming! Why?
Can you imagine that USA goverment put $8.5 trillion into something unproductive in the past 8 months?

#22 Bottoms_Up on 11.27.08 at 2:09 am

Footnote: To be a vulture you need money to buy…(ie. the rich get richer)

#23 kitchener1 on 11.27.08 at 2:19 am

All is fair in business. Brings back some memories of the early 90’s here in the GTA. Folks were throwing everything in including the car in the driveway to get their properties to move.

In my opinon, I would wait until next summer/fall (at least) to see were the market goes. No one knows when the delfation will end and the hyperinflation will start.

One thing is for sure, here in Canada and the US the average person has hit PEAK DEBT. Without consumer spending the government can print all the money it wants.

No consumers = drop in asset prices

#24 JMayer on 11.27.08 at 2:31 am

Hmmm… these are just standard negotiating & buying tactics.

Used every single one of them when I bought my house back in 2000.

#25 Anon on 11.27.08 at 2:35 am

Good summary!

#26 Chris L on 11.27.08 at 2:37 am

So when is the bottom forming?? lol

#27 BBC on 11.27.08 at 2:56 am


#28 David on 11.27.08 at 3:37 am

Striking a close on house looks more difficult every day. Buyers are not in the mood to catch a falling knife and sellers are desperately hoping for a housing price rebound to at least break even or not pay out thousands out of pocket when the mortgage gets discharged at sale. The current situation creates a lose-lose situation for both parties. It will be impossible to find a happy compromise between current loans to value and increasing down payment requirements. Those that need to sell or those who can afford to sell without losing money will do so. Other sellers will turn a 15% price decline into a 40% by simply waiting for some imagined housing recovery

#29 Sam on 11.27.08 at 3:56 am

I love it! I am gonna start the practice soon ;)

#30 Zoronqueen on 11.27.08 at 4:02 am

I’ve been trying to sell since Sept and received one offer.
Edmonton resale housing market not “plunging” say REALTORS®
are they on crack??

#31 eddy on 11.27.08 at 4:33 am

Great tips Gath! I might add a clause: Vendor agrees to leave existing fridge stocked with fine wines on closing, see attached list.

#32 Merchant of Despair on 11.27.08 at 7:02 am

Commodities (26/11/2008)

Commodity Price Change Percent
Gold 813.98 -6.9 -0.84%
Oil 54.44 +4.57 +9.16%
Lead 1173 -3.01 0.26%
Copper 3723.5 +59.0 +1.61%
Despiar 10101 +1010 +10.1%

#33 Chris on 11.27.08 at 8:11 am

Some would call it mean, others would consider it savvy investing :) The real estate agents and sellers want you to feel guilty for taking advantage of them in a weak economic environment. By doing so, they turn the tables and take advantage of you, making you pay more than fair market value for an item. Just because they failed to plan and bought into an overinflated market doesn’t mean you have to be the one to take a loss and bail them out.

Simply put, if you are going to be getting into the market in the near future, *check your emotions at the door*.

#34 brazer on 11.27.08 at 8:31 am

Tears flow as 850 jobs vanish

Duc La was driving to work as usual, listening to news on the radio, when he heard his future splinter: the Magna-owned plant in Aurora, where he has worked for 20 years and from which he planned to retire in another 20, will shut its doors in June.

“I’m really worried. I’ll have no job,” said the machine operator, who lives in Toronto with his homemaker wife and children, ages 9 and 7.

La covered his eyes and looked away, trying to hide his tears as he got out of his car in the parking lot of the Exterion car parts factory, scheduled to shut along with another plant in Newmarket, wiping out a total of 850 jobs.

Panic etched on his face, La said: “I have a car and a new house. It will affect me a lot.”


only the beginning….more tears to come, sadly.

#35 vulture says 50% by spring on 11.27.08 at 8:33 am

Just to let you know I have been trying the lowball Vulture tactics on the Sunshine Coast here in B.C.
I am trying to buy a home for cash for my retirement. because of divorce we sold our house in Burnaby in May 08… I got 1/2 of our equity… me =$275,000
I think we sold at the peak of the market:)
The people on the sunshine coast are out to lunch with house asking prices in this area. One house they are asking $329,000 I asked the real estate agent what the assesed value was and he said $268,500. So I figure that he added 25% to come up with his asking price.
So I wrote a offer at 25% off the assesed value =$201,825.
He did not want to present the offer …but did.
they came back with a counter at $319,000
I did not re counter but I told them that I would be back in the spring to buy it at more than 50% off the asking price. I like what is happening with the real estate prices but not what is happening with the economy

You gave up too easily. That is a normal sign-back by the vendor, and you should have gone in again with the same offer. Guaranteed, the response would have been different. — Garth

#36 JET on 11.27.08 at 9:52 am

The sad thing is that some of the sellers who will be vultured upon were the same buyers who were vultured upon in the bidding war craziness in the years past. The one good thing is that they are probably already used to the pain!

#37 Anonymous on 11.27.08 at 10:04 am

I tried a lowball offer in the Kootenays and they refused it and then promptly took their place off the market.
Maybe those big ugly turkey vultures you see in Costa Rica will be up here by the spring.

#38 Monty on 11.27.08 at 10:14 am


I cannot see that the prices are falling much in Toronto. How do you see a trend in the following year or two ? I suppose you advise a patience?


#39 lgre on 11.27.08 at 10:32 am

Garth – great advice, I remember when I bought my property a few years back from a builder..he acted like he was doing me a favour by selling me the property. because it was the last house of its kind in the phase before the price increase I bought it, but I tell you..I wouldn’t mind crossing the RE path with this guy again, while the ball is in my court of course. What goes around comes around..never seems to fail.

#40 Mike B formerly just Mike on 11.27.08 at 10:34 am

Love all these strategies indeed… especially the vendor paying closing costs. Do think it is a hair too early for Toronto but not by much. In some parts of T.O. you can do whatever you so desire. Central core not alot of chances for them to do this kind of knee bending for a buyer. January…. will be another world indeed.
To do this kind of thing you need a strong agent because in my experience they are all buddies and don’t want to piss off their listing agent buddy even if you sign a buyer/agent agreement. In my opinion the most important thing is this market is an experienced agent who has negotiating skills. Some of the younger ones are so used to paying asking price minus 1 or 2% or worse 5-10% above asking . This kind of market just sends them for a loop.
I also think it is a great idea to find out what the assessed value is because that adds some credibility to your offer and a somewhat objective base to work from .
AND YES this ones going on the fridge for wife and kids to read. Kudos Garth.

#41 lgre on 11.27.08 at 10:37 am

‘Personally I would not budge on the price in this market but others recommend underbidding and raising it towards your target price during negotiations. In ANY market there is no reason to move on price if you know what the property is worth.’

tip 101 – your property is worth what someone is willing to pay you for it. The imaginary numbers most owners have in their head will quickly fade with time.

#42 peter on 11.27.08 at 10:38 am

good post garth,

Maybe in your next life you should teach negotiations!

I agree on timing — much too soon to jump back in. Sure, prices have started to dip but sellers aren’t yet desperate. Presently they’re just ‘concerned’…

#43 Calgary Rip off on 11.27.08 at 10:54 am

Best post yet!!!!

More useful information for Calgary.

#44 Brian on 11.27.08 at 11:01 am

The true bottom of real estate is when a median home prices equals under 1000 oz. of silver. It happened in 1979 to 1980. Right now silver is really undervalued and housing is overpriced. Right median home price is about $200,000 which equals 10,000 oz. of silver. When silver hits about $100 per oz. it’s time to sell and buy real estate.

#45 Bottoms_Up on 11.27.08 at 11:12 am

Quick reference map to real estate prices in major canadian cities, Oct/07 vs Oct/08:

#46 Crystal Radio on 11.27.08 at 11:33 am

Love that Real Estate Vulture bit Garth, now how about one on ‘The Reupholstering and Care of the Carpet Bag’?

Huh? — Garth

#47 Chris L on 11.27.08 at 11:36 am

Just to let you know I have been trying the lowball Vulture tactics on the Sunshine Coast here in B.C.
I am trying to buy a home for cash for my retirement. because of divorce we sold our house in Burnaby in May 08… I got 1/2 of our equity… me =$275,000
I think we sold at the peak of the market:)
The people on the sunshine coast are out to lunch with house asking prices in this area. One house they are asking $329,000 I asked the real estate agent what the assesed value was and he said $268,500. So I figure that he added 25% to come up with his asking price.
So I wrote a offer at 25% off the assesed value =$201,825.
He did not want to present the offer …but did.
they came back with a counter at $319,000
I did not re counter but I told them that I would be back in the spring to buy it at more than 50% off the asking price. I like what is happening with the real estate prices but not what is happening with the economy

You gave up too easily. That is a normal sign-back by the vendor, and you should have gone in again with the same offer. Guaranteed, the response would have been different. — Garth

I’d say so! If you really want that place go back in now with the same offer. It’s not too late to go back. That’s the golden rule in RE. You can make offers until the cows come home, you are in the drivers seat. I made 5 offers, really low ones in 2001 and ended up with the one who took $15k less than the asking price. I had one agent refuse to put my next few offers in (because they embarrassed him) and so I switched agents. He lost the sale. What a dufus! So if you really want the place, submit another offer in a week or two!

#48 Mark on 11.27.08 at 11:43 am

Wow. Everyone is chomping at the bit.

Well said.

What goes around, comes around. My rage has subsided and now this post confirms that it is just sad for everyone….at some point.

Feeding frenzy. Garth will sell a lot of books and get a cheap house to boot.


#49 Blacksheep on 11.27.08 at 11:45 am

-The economic effects on Canada are lagging 12-18 months behind the US.

-At best we are 20% into this economic event.

-Prices are yearS from starting to increase.

-Im in no rush to re enter the market.

-Cash+gold is king.

-Remeber japan deflation.

-When the time is right, great buy tactics Garth.

#50 Crystal Radio on 11.27.08 at 11:52 am

Re: “Garth ‘Huh?'”Carpetbaggers

Sorry Garth and also that title would read better as ‘The care and feeding of the Carpetbag’.

What are you talking about? Stop being obtuse. I am a one-dimensional guy, incapable of subtlety. — Garth

#51 Crystal Radio on 11.27.08 at 12:09 pm

Heh, oh you kid!:)

#52 Ed Sager on 11.27.08 at 12:15 pm

Can’t wait for the new book! In the meantime, this goes on the fridge.

#53 smwhite on 11.27.08 at 12:26 pm

Home inspections should be done regardless, skipping them was all part of the mad greedy rush to financial freedom!

I concur with Igre, in the same illogical manor prices moved up beyond reason, they’ll do the same on the way down. Its all market psychology.

Look at the big three automakers stocks yesterday they all made major moves up, while BCE drops 33%.

BCE makes money, has a future, GM, Ford and Dodge everyone of them are looking at 0 profit for years to come if not bankruptcy…

Didn’t some guy say be greedy when others are fearful and fearful when others are greedy? There still isn’t enough “fear” in real estate yet to make any kind of rational move into this over priced Canadian asset class… Better off buyer up Imperial Oil and Potash and sitting on it for a couple years, which are at record lows, then moving into the RE market when your stock doubles.

#54 Seeking Knowledge on 11.27.08 at 12:26 pm


When I bought my place in Feb. 2007, there were so many offers (30 or more) to the seller that I had to act quickly and didn’t have time to arrange for inspection or anything else. It was built in 2004 so I thought it’ll be fine.

The seller didn’t even bother cleaning up dog crap in the yard!

Now, I am trying to sell the same place with bonus bedroom set, BBQ and everything else buyers would want in the house. Guess what! It is still floating @

I never bought this place to make money and I bought it in the peak year. If I bought it in 2004, then I would’ve been laughing. Renting in this town is extremely difficult as renters outnumber rentals. Besides 1 bedroom apartment would cost around 2000 right now.

I finally decided that if I can’t sell it, I don’t really care because I am tired of useless showings where I have to get out of the house every time my realtor need to bring people in.

Job is still there and although I cannot foresee the future as long as the price of oil stays @ $25 or above then I am fine.

I guess I am not doing that bad compared to all the other people here in Fort McMurray since a lot of them own multiple homes where they bought them with little or no down since their credit was so good. I know that zero down is HISTORY but imagine what would happen to those BANK OWNED home owners when renters get laid off and leave town? Renters rent here for a reason. They are here for TEMPORARY.

These houses might worth 250K five years ago but they are worth about 700K or more right now so you can see how inflated they are. So many of these homes are bought and sold by the flippers over the past years that most of the current owner are in it for three years or less I would say. These rental homes have 5 or more bedrooms where they are rented out for $1000 or $1200 each room.

I cannot even imagine what would happen once the plants start to shut down. I mean all these IMAGINARY MILLIONAIRES would be in deep trouble and I don’t care about them. Right now, all I am worry about is to pay off my mortgage as fast as possible. Mind you, my place is only a 2004 trailer, 1216sqft, have three bedrooms, two very nice washrooms and I own everything else I have.

Thanks again, Garth! I am going to Edmonton on Dec. 7th and I’ll be buying your books. I’ll get back to you once I’ve read them.

Florence* Fort Mac girl.

#55 JO on 11.27.08 at 12:55 pm

#16 – JOJO – The huge question mark is when does the situation go from deflation to hype inflation. I am guessing we have at least 18-24 months of deflation before the danger of hyper inflation becomes real. That said, anything can happen at anytime, so I am bulding a hedged gold position over time on nasty correction. I do believe we will see a vicious sell off in Q1 2009 that will take SP500 down to within 50 points of 600, gold down to mid 600’s, the CAD down to low 70’s or even high 60s,and oil down to 40-45 before a truly powerful bear market rally takes hold in Q2-Q3 09. The answer to when this changes to hyper inflation is speculative but I am on the lookout for the following signs that may suggest the change is coming:
1) Amount of printing via growth in adjusted base money exceeds my guess of amount of credit being paid down or defaulted on. Since the credit is not being marked to market fully, the data on credit do not reflec the true details on paydown and defaulted debt.
2)The USD Index breaks it previous low just under 70 with impulsive support from the MACD Histogram and a EMA cross over.
3)The mood of the public at large changes course from the current mode of risk aversion and thrift (savings rates have jumped recently) to one of spending money quickly and seeking refuge from a rapidly declining USD.
4) Velocity starts rising. This would accompany an increase in spending by the public at large. Currently velocity last I checked was on a downward trajectory as would be expected with the stunning decline in housing and vehicle sales accounting for much of the slowdown in velocity.
5) Gold bullion breaks its previous high of Q2 2008 on solid volume and holds it.

As you can see, the key here is what happens to the USD since it is currently the reserve currency of the world. If the final wave down in this leg of the bear market completes in Q1 2009 as I expect, the USD seems likely to make a final push into 92-95. I am planning to short the USD if and when it reaches 90 as a long term bet because I am guessing the change into hyper inflation will occur in 2011-2012. The change from deflation into the final stage of hyper inflation should be quick and sudden so that’s why it is important to have something in place to deal with it. I am planning to buy some RE in 2011 regardless of what happens but my goal is to try and manage the risk to my real purchasing power. If we stay in deep deflation for 3-5 years and oil/gold go down 40-50 % and stay down, one cannot rule out a CAD in the low 60’s if not lower. I am using gtu.un for a long term strategic position and plan to add hedge soon as we have had a nice rally in gold. I am waiting for Monday before I decide since there seems to be a risk of a one off major spike in gold if there are problems with the December contract. The data on the gold contracts should be out Fri Nov 28 and if there are problems, there is a risk of a sudden, sharp spike in the price of gold. A possibility only so that’s why I will wait until Monday before looking to add my hedge. As always, this is just my opinion so do your own research before deciding. I’d rather not own bullion but the risk of a currency crisis is high which supports a bullion position in my opinion, even though I think it likely gold will go down one last time before a large record setting run in 18-24 months time.

#56 Calgary Rip off on 11.27.08 at 12:59 pm

Advice to Sellers in Alberta:

Reduce your asking price to HALF and pray that someone will actually pay that. Good luck, you will need it.

#57 Finanzkrise on 11.27.08 at 12:59 pm

Ireland, which fell into recession before most other countries, is really hurting in the real estate market:

Prices are reportedly 30-50% off the peak in certain areas.

One of the key causes for the RE decline? Massive household indebtedness, the worst in the EU. For that reason alone, does anyone still think something similar can’t happen in Canada?

#58 Nicholas P on 11.27.08 at 1:11 pm


Haven’t we had enough of predatory business/banking/R.E practices already?
I know a lot of people have profitted off this empty market but enabling the other would-be-predators is counter puprose to what I perceive you started down this path for in the first place: To inform and to protect the people you serve.
In your last article “Pants O’ Fire” you took a reader (Garth 2) to task for implying that you yourself may be profitting in this downturn and saying of the market conditions “Remember, what goes down must come up (too!).” You replied: “You have no idea what’s coming.”

Well I beg you to continue to do what attracted me to your site in the first place- to inform and to empower.

Empowering people on how they can best destroy others only serves to perpetuate the problem and the problem is “We live in a banker controlled plantation, where the slaves falsely believe they are free”. Henry Makow Ph.D

The bankers and poilticians work for the owners of these banks and this system. It’s up to us to awaken and see this and figure out how we can best release ourselves from this oppressive system.

Don’t loose focus Garth. Stay the course!

The lost focus is yours. Real estate values detached from reality and people’s ability to afford a home. This is a return to long-term normalcy. In addition, most vendors today would be thrilled to have a serious offer, even if predatory. There is no ‘right’ to sell for more than you paid. — Garth

#59 JHO on 11.27.08 at 1:38 pm

OMG – Thank you so much for this post.

Not that I’m a spiteful or insensitve person, but I’ve recently been telling friends that I can’t wait to dress up in a vulture costume and go shopping for real estate. Over the past two years, I’ve sat on the sidelines of real estate not able to bring myself to pay 400-500k in downtown Van for a 500 sq ft piece of crap. I also had an agent tell me that “if you can’t accept the cost of living out here, then maybe Vancouver isn’t the place for you”. And all the while i’ve been listening to my friends brag about how they OWN there own condo/house (0 down + 40 yr mortgage = “own”), and telling me how I’m an idiot because one the super-intergalactic 2010 Olympics come all the Chinese, Russians, outerspace aliens, and highly intelligent talking-chimps will effectively push me out of the market.

Again, not to sound like an assh*le, but “caw! caw! caw!” (or whatever sound vultures make…)

OK, that’s enough smugness for one day.

#60 Jon B on 11.27.08 at 1:39 pm

Good tips Garth. Do you think I could employ these tactics when buying other stuff like new kitchen cabinets and appliances? Hell if things really get rough, maybe I could low ball my groceries at Superstore?

#61 David on 11.27.08 at 1:41 pm

Good advice no doubt. I am waiting for 2015 when housing will find the true bottom and I have 100% equity that is cheaper than rent. I refuse to catch a falling knife. The dumb and the desperate can twist in the wind with those grossly over valued mortgages on poorly built McMansions or aging McSlum homes.

#62 Ratpick on 11.27.08 at 1:53 pm

I disagree with the “vulture” nomenclature entirely, and with the notion driving a hard bargain means you’re trying to destroy people.

If you overpaid for a house in the naive belief that the orgy would never end, you destroyed yourself.

If you sat on the sidelines patiently and were ridiculed by everyone around you, perhaps you deserve a little reward for your discipline!

#63 patriotz on 11.27.08 at 2:14 pm

In the event that housing drops, let’s say 30% and a home in Vancouver that has a mortgage of 1,000,000 and with 0 down and 40 year amortization is now worth 700,000 does the bank call you up and say… “PAY UP, or move out?”

No, because CMHC insures the mortgage and they know they are going to get their money back no matter what. Just keep on making those payments and they will be happy – that’s what they loaned you the money for.

does anyone still think something similar (to Ireland) can’t happen in Canada?

It will happen in the province of Canada which has similar debt, similarly inflated RE prices, similar weather, and similar population to Ireland. Three guesses which province.

#64 613 Happy where I am on 11.27.08 at 2:48 pm

Oh come off it you people!!!!

sorry but there is absolutely nothing new here… what are you all smoking?!!!!!

This is called bargaining for the best deal… I have done this my entire life. With just about every purchase, I have never paid list price for anything…

You can snag awesome deals during economic downturns but not because you are vultures but because you understand (and practice !) economics and psychology… and have t he business smarts to have saved enough money to actually be able to play the game in this kind of environment…

#65 Calgary Rip Off on 11.27.08 at 2:54 pm

The victims in this could be all of us if the “depression” actually occurs. @Garth2

Victims? Speak for yourself. If everything crashes in Calgary, unless there is a mass exodus and people stop getting coronary disease, I will have a job. As it stands right now Im not getting ahead, things are so expensive, housing, fuel costs, food, etc.

Unless the whole thing crashes, unless there is no food available and no water anywhere, as in a Nuclear Holocaust, things will be just fine.

Screw economic recovery. People need to learn restraint and less greed.

#66 Al on 11.27.08 at 3:35 pm

@ @Garth 2,

Have you noticed how much pain is being caused right now by the buyer/seller standoff? Buyers can’t afford the current prices, but sellers are continuing to ask too much. So buyers sit on the sidelines waiting, afraid to insult buyers by making what are in fact rational offers (ie what they can afford.) What Garth is proposing here is good negotiation that will help get the housing market unfrozen.

“Garth’s negotiating tactics only make sense if the buyer eventually *does* see an eventual rise in the home price (instead of the streaking blade of the falling knife).”
Wrong. Even if the house drops in price it can still be cheaper than renting (math required). Even if it does prove more expensive, people may chose to spend more to own because they want to. If someone can afford it, it’s their choice. Your statement is only true if you’re a speculator.

#67 vtj on 11.27.08 at 3:53 pm

I appreciate many of the insights posted on this blog. Unfortunately, I find that the number of counterproductive and downright nasty posts has increased to a level I’m no longer comfortable with. It’s time to move on.

Garth, I’ve been following you on & off for many years – certainly over a decade. While some of your writings over the years have caused me to raise my eyebrows every now and then, I’ve taken those insights which made sense to me and I’ve profited from them. For that I thank you.

All the best with the new book. I’m curious if it will offer any ideas which weren’t covered by Robert Prechter in his book, Conquer the Crash, published in 2002 if I’m not mistaken. A Canadian perspective on things would certainly be welcome.


#68 dd on 11.27.08 at 4:05 pm

#66 Calgary Rip Off,

Always look forward to your positive outlook on life.

#69 Bottoms_Up on 11.27.08 at 4:06 pm

RE: #60 Jon B on 11.27.08 at 1:39 pm
in the summer of 07 I walked into a furniture store and offered 650 for a couch listed at 700. The woman didn’t even hesitate to accept my offer.

#70 dd on 11.27.08 at 4:07 pm

#56 Calgary Rip off,

Looking to get into the housing market?

#71 Bottoms_Up on 11.27.08 at 4:09 pm

RE: #63 @Garth 2 on 11.27.08 at 2:02 pm
“Garth, you WILL sell more books this way… but I don’t see how this populist nonsense makes you a reliable representative of the public interest.

I can’t (or don’t dare) fathom your motives here.”
You weren’t saying this in 2002 when Garth was telling you to buy real estate and how to invest. It seems to me Garth is just trying to inform the public of what’s around the corner (oh yea, he was right in 2002, and right again in the spring of 08…and now your questioning his motives?)

#72 peter on 11.27.08 at 4:24 pm

Everything here got started looking like Garth and Co. “fiddling while Rome burns!”

Thanks JET, Mark, Nicholas P…

#73 Calgary_rip_off on 11.27.08 at 4:30 pm

Yes DD, I would like to buy a home for my family. I dont expect honestly to see a total crash in Calgary, although it would be nice. My wife thinks if that happens I wont have a job. Perhaps, but right now Im paying off someone else’s mortgage. At $1645 per month rent, that’s a mortgage. No one is holding a gun to my head telling me to rent in Hidden Valley, but Falconridge and Temple arent the type of places I want my daughter running around at. Granted, its a nice house in the NW calgary, the nicest house I have ever lived in and I feel blessed by the opportunity provided here. However, the attitude of people who bought their homes here when the houses were worth less than half their current value is disgusting and slimy. Total greed. All I am trying to do is get a decent house for $250-$310K. I dont think that is too much to ask knowing that houses when built in Hidden Valley were probably $180K. Yes its a given that real estate normally increases in value. However, the bubble crap and the hype in Calgary over houses that essentially look like shacks, with no trees, and guaranteed to burn to the ground if your neighbor f*cks up, isnt exactly motivating. I suspect the current buyers or buyers during the bubble peak were either desperate or complete morons who bought into the prevailing bull mentality in this conservative city. I dont care about equity. I dont care about that because when Im dead I dont have the house anyway. Its just a place to live in. All this speculator crap and investment strategies should all go get screwed. The greed, lust, and crap are failing to observe one important principal: Power bestowed on someone is due to decisions and viewpoints of other people. My view: Shacks in Calgary are pieces of shit, not worth more than $180K. That’s enough for the land, the builders costs, the materials. Screw the rest. All I want is a place to live in and then forget about the market, pay the damn mortgage and get on with more important stuff than whether the market goes up or down and stupid crap. I have the solution: Tell all the sellers they should immmediately cut their fees by half and sell the damn property to someone who needs it more than they do. Either that, or lose everything. :)

#74 kitchener1 on 11.27.08 at 5:37 pm

#74 Calgary rip off

Be patient, the time will come when home prices are affordable again. We are following the US down to the dotted i’s on the charts.

A life changing paradim shift is too much for most people to fathom. Most of the new money in RE was from people who had never invested in anything. These people do not understand the market dynamics. Losing a home is a last resort for most people.

Everyday we are hearing about layoffs (in Ontario anyway) once they work through the system (8-12 months) we will see truly desperation selling.

Things will get a lot worse before they get better. I am not sure how many of you remeber the BRE X scandal on the TSX or the never ending Nortel stock nose dive. People that lost money in those markets were not too keen on investing in the markets, the same will be true of RE in the next few years.

#75 wealthy renter2 on 11.27.08 at 5:42 pm

Real estate moves much slower than the stock market.
The reason – much longer time taken for seller attitude adjustment. For people out there waiting, well you’ve waited 5 years for the adjustment. Waiting another 1 won’t kill you. For the speculators out there that bought in 2002, lock in your gains. For the people who bought in 2006 and 7, lets hope you don’t have to sell for another 10 years.
#64 – Your comment about the not bank not possibly calling in the mortgage because we have CMHC,….. News for you. It actually happens. It’s call a margin call on home equity. People that are mortgaged to the hilt, and taken large percentages of home equity out to use will be in trouble. Come time to refinance, the bank will look at the total debt of the HELOC, and if your home value is less than the giant debt you’ve levered up, the bank can ask you to pony up thousands of dollars to meet a required percentage for down payment.
People who are upside down in debt will have no choice but to sell, and realise then that they are truly F*&%ed.

The age of self entitled spending is over, and people who fail to adapt to the new economy and live within their means, do it at their own peril.

#76 Leave it to Beaver on 11.27.08 at 5:47 pm

I like this post Garth. It shows that you have hope.
I want to buy in January and every penny counts.
Northern Ontario ain’t Calgary but prices sure seem high.

Thank you Garth and I enjoyed you on CFTO.

#77 neutral on 11.27.08 at 5:50 pm

Get more money is a greed. Give less money is a greed too. Poor greedy people… All of you…

#78 Waiting for a Deal on 11.27.08 at 6:09 pm

I usually read this with an addiction for how bad things are and what a crappy world this is turning into.

But today, I paid off $10,000 of debt and became Financially Free. Don’t own a property, but plan on Vulturing in the next two years or so.

Yippee!!! This is going to be fun.

#79 Nicholas P on 11.27.08 at 6:10 pm


Please do not misinterpret my “don’t loose your focus” remark as an attack on this resent post, you in general or as an endorsment for Garth 2’s views. After all this is a blog dealing with the issue of “THE TROUBLED FUTURE OF REAL ESTATE”.

What I was hoping to impart was my wish for you to continue informing and empowering your readers to deal with the very possible greater economic catastophe. It is far more than just a real estate issue.

#80 anonymous on 11.27.08 at 6:21 pm

Unfortunately you’re no longer reading this post, so you’ll miss my note.
However, I am with you. Things got quite rude yesterday and this will be the last time I post anything.

#81 POL-CAN on 11.27.08 at 7:02 pm

Time for a little bit of perspective courtesy of

So, Bernanke and Congress have committed over $7 TRILLION so far on the housing gambler mess. How does that compare? Take a look…
• Marshall Plan: Cost: $12.7 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $115.3 billion
• Louisiana Purchase: Cost: $15 million, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $217 billion
• Race to the Moon: Cost: $36.4 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $237 billion
• S&L Crisis: Cost: $153 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $256 billion
• Korean War: Cost: $54 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $454 billion
• The New Deal: Cost: $32 billion (Est), Inflation Adjusted Cost: $500 billion (Est)
• Invasion of Iraq: Cost: $551b, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $597 billion
• Vietnam War: Cost: $111 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $698 billion
• NASA: Cost: $416.7 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $851.2 billion

TOTAL: $3.92 trillion

#82 The First Rick on 11.27.08 at 7:03 pm

#82 anonymous on 11.27.08 at 6:21 pm vtj,
Unfortunately you’re no longer reading this post, so you’ll miss my note.
However, I am with you. Things got quite rude yesterday and this will be the last time I post anything.
Boo hoo. There are myriads of moderated sites online where group think prevails. Go find one, you are seemingly more comfortable in an environment of the flock following the moderator.

Be thankful that Mr Turner is not a censor and allows various views, even ones critical of his own. As for the rudeness? Big deal, one cannot even walk two blocks in any urban city anymore without sidestepping spit on the sidewalks and getting an earful of foul language.

I do agree though, arguing online is like being in the ‘Special Olympics.’ One might ‘win’ but remains retarded regardless.

#83 Jelly on 11.27.08 at 7:25 pm

Bottoms up,

Fifty bucks is nothing off of furniture.
I was looking at some high end furniture that
was already 20% off and while I was pondering
it, the guy offered me ANOTHER 20% off.
No joke, this was at The Brick.
There is obviously something going on due to US
Thanksgiving sales and trying to get rid of stock
before a dismal 2009 sales year.
Anyone buying furniture, cars, or electronics?
Low ball like crazy and then be prepared to walk,
you will eventually get a bite…
Anyone else notice amazing sales at the moment?

#84 Chincy on 11.27.08 at 7:28 pm

Check this out…

“There are now 12 million homes in the United States with a loan-to-value ratio greater than 100 percent. That’s one mortgage in four. The aggregate amount of that is some $2 trillion,” said Feldstein. “If you look at the median (midpoint) loan-to-value ratio in that 12 million group of underwater mortgages — mortgages with negative equity — the median loan-to-value ratio is 120 percent.”

That means about 25 percent of all U.S. mortgages are exceed the value of the homes the mortgages are financing. In the case of half the homes that are underwater, homeowners are paying a mortgage that’s now 20 percent higher than the value of the home.

That’s bad — but it’s likely to get worse.


#85 brazer on 11.27.08 at 7:32 pm

In the event that housing drops, let’s say 30% and a home in Vancouver that has a mortgage of 1,000,000 and with 0 down and 40 year amortization is now worth 700,000 does the bank call you up and say… “PAY UP, or move out?”

No, because CMHC insures the mortgage and they know they are going to get their money back no matter what. Just keep on making those payments and they will be happy – that’s what they loaned you the money for.


the above is correct if the home is insured.

now let’s look at the scenario where the $1,000,000 home had a down payment put on it of 25%, or $250,000 (taking on a $750,000 mortgage).

CMHC insurance not applicable.

now the price drops from a milliion down to $700,000….BUT….you’ve still got that $750,000 mortgage.

what will the bank do when your equity is wiped out and you’re underwater?

it won’t be pretty….

#86 brazer on 11.27.08 at 7:48 pm

CTV television network slashes 105 positions mostly at Toronto operations

TORONTO – CTV is cutting about 105 positions including at least three on-air news personnel as part of a previously announced plan to tighten its operations to cope with a slumping economy…

News anchor Tim Weber and entertainment reporter Jacintha Wesselingh, both of CTV, are included in the layoffs as well as Kate Wheeler of CTV NewsNet, a specialty cable channel.

#87 brazer on 11.27.08 at 7:55 pm

New U.S. mortgage crisis looms over commercial properties

Even as the holiday shopping season begins in full swing, the same events poisoning the housing market are now at work on commercial properties, and the bad news is trickling in. Malls from Michigan to Georgia are entering foreclosure.

Hotels in Tucson, Ariz., and Hilton Head, S.C., also are about to default on their mortgages.

That pace is expected to quicken. The number of late payments and defaults will double, if not triple, by the end of next year, according to analysts from Fitch Ratings Ltd., which evaluates companies’ credit.

“We’re probably in the first inning of the commercial mortgage problem,” said Scott Tross, a real estate lawyer with Herrick Feinstein in New Jersey.

#88 brazer on 11.27.08 at 7:58 pm

ArcelorMittal plans 9,000 `voluntary’ job cuts

Today’s statement offered no details of the impact on specific operations of ArcelorMittal, which employs 326,000 people in more than 60 countries and had 2007 sales of US$105.2 billion.

ArcelorMittal, which claims to produce about one-tenth of the world’s steel, has already slashed global production by one-third, cutting output at Dofasco by 40 per cent through at least the rest of this year.

In Canada, the Hamilton plant will shut down for two weeks over Christmas, requiring 5,000 workers to take vacation time or unpaid time off.

#89 Jelly on 11.27.08 at 8:00 pm

JO, Re: #55

Why do you think Gold will fall to 600 or so
in 2009?
What is your reasoning please?
Have you heard experts say this?
I would love if you turn out to be right,
I am dying to buy more Gold!!

#90 The Coming Depression on 11.27.08 at 8:14 pm

.. being a realtor for 25 years I watched all of these scenarios, of a similar nature, attempted. ANYONE who attempts in trying any of these tactics is out of their mind. MEANING.. don’t even LOOK at buying a house these no tactics needed. We are going into a DEEP depression.
If you can believe this..Bangladesh has more money in their bank account than the US! We are not talking about DEBTS but actual money reserves..CASH! Read it here: Take a look at the RETAIL companies going BANKRUPT! Is your FAVOURITE store there? Probably!

#91 LOL on 11.27.08 at 8:16 pm

Jelly… LOL the brick has NOTHING high end! It’s already been marked up 200%

#92 The Tallyman on 11.27.08 at 8:23 pm


#93 CalgaryRocks on 11.27.08 at 8:36 pm

Victims? Speak for yourself. If everything crashes in Calgary, unless there is a mass exodus and people stop getting coronary disease, I will have a job.. As it stands right now Im not getting ahead, things are so expensive, housing, fuel costs, food, etc.

Hehe, I hope that you follow up on this post with one about what a great socialist you think you are and how people should look out for each other like they do in Sweden or some other bullshit.

If you were a socialist, you’d be living in a 1 bedroom apartment like real socialists used to live in eastern Europe. Not in a 1700$/month mansion in Hidden Valley.

Even as a socialist in training, you could save at least 500$/month on lodging if you had more realistic expectations given your income.

#94 dd on 11.27.08 at 8:37 pm

#74 Calgary_rip_off,

If you think that houses up in the NW should be $180k then wait. The value is in the eye of the investor or the person buying the house. House prices up in your area still might be $400+. Obvisouly you don’t think so (neither do I).

You should worry about equity however. House in not a house. Paying that mortgage off is hard hard work (as you know). It matters what you pay of it. Pay less = working less. It matters if your money is working for you.

You are saving money … you are renting. The more you wait the more money you are saving.

Give it time. The adjustments are happening. Prices will fall more into line. They might actually decrease to the point there housing could be undervalued.

Time will tell.

#95 dd on 11.27.08 at 8:39 pm

#78 neutral,

How about smart rich greedy people

#96 Soylent Green is People on 11.27.08 at 8:40 pm

That book that Garth is writing about how to survive the crash has already been written by Harry Harrison in 1966. I’ve been reading it while going some of the squirrel and gun posts and was amazed at the similarities.!_Make_Room!

It opens with overworked police detective Andy Rusch, who lives in half a room, waking in the middle of an intense heatwave. He chats with “room-mate” Sol who is on the other side of the thin partition that makes two rooms out of one. Sol is a retired ex-army engineer who has adapted a bicycle generator, connected to old car batteries, to power an old television set and a refrigerator.

After Andy queues for their continually reducing water ration he is called to work and becomes involved in dealing with a riot, which starts as a protest by the “Eldsters”, people 65 years and older who have been forcibly retired.

This demonstration quickly turns to pandemonium when it becomes known that a nearby food shop is having a “bring in, sell out” sale on “soylent” (soya and lentil) steaks. Andy follows the crowd to find that the shop is under attack, with the front glass being smashed just as he arrives and people involved in looting the contents.

#97 Kate on 11.27.08 at 8:47 pm

Why is it improper/immoral for “vultures” to make lowball offers on properties that are not selling in a low market, but “good sense” for sellers to force buyers to compete against each other in time-limited bidding wars in a peak market? Both practices show the same amount of greed or good financial sense, depending on how you look at it.

I also find it hypocritical that realtors were happy to preside over bidding wars, but don’t want to “insult” sellers by presenting lowball offers. Same game, different playing field.

#98 Tstump on 11.27.08 at 8:48 pm

Anyone looking for dicks on this thread should maybe google drill sargent man muscle dot com or something like that and click. First of all a house was never really an investment, it’s a consumer item. Second, like one astute poster has stated a house is only worth what someone is willing to pay for. FREE market capitalism is where buyer meets seller sans manipulation. Like all the holy sages of real estate have consistently informed me when i pointed out they were total man muscle for putting a young family starting out into a house they had no business being in they were cool to reply that no guns were put to the head of any fine people during the sales process. We’re a global community of human beings time to help out our future generations and start melting those RE prices. (Garth, you think I’ve got game with the political skills?}

#99 brazer on 11.27.08 at 9:05 pm

Ottawa balances books — barely

The government also said it is injecting $700-million into the capital base of government-owned banks in order to boost financing to exporters and small business.

It is also making legislative changes to give it leeway to bail out commercial banks if need be. And it is reducing the required minimum withdrawal amount for Registered Retirement Income Funds by 25 per cent for 2008.


read the bolded section…then read it again; and remember that canada has the “strongest banking system in the world”….

#100 cmp on 11.27.08 at 9:23 pm


When I bought a house in 2005 (Mississauga), the condition of house was not exactly same as what they showed me.I had to spend 1200$ to clean it and fix a few things.

When I sold the house 2 years later (moved to Red Deer,Alta), the buyer’s agent put a condition that her lawyer will held back 2000$ from the check until he get the key and look the house .Once the buyer got the key and satisfied that all was good, they released remaining amount.

I think my agent did not put any such condition when I bought the house …….

A sane seller should never agree to such a condition, replacing it instead with allowing an inspection immediately prior to closing. — Garth

#101 Rick on 11.27.08 at 9:36 pm

#85 Jelly on 11.27.08 at 7:25 pm Bottoms up,

Fifty bucks is nothing off of furniture.
I was looking at some high end furniture that
was already 20% off and while I was pondering
it, the guy offered me ANOTHER 20% off.
No joke, this was at The Brick.
There is obviously something going on due to US
Thanksgiving sales and trying to get rid of stock
before a dismal 2009 sales year.
Anyone buying furniture, cars, or electronics?
Low ball like crazy and then be prepared to walk,
you will eventually get a bite…
Anyone else notice amazing sales at the moment?
I’m sorry, I mean not to digress from the intent of this blog. I just bit my tongue in hysterical laughter when ‘high end furniture’ and The Brick was used in the same context. Kinda like suggesting Realturd and professional ethics in the same sentence. Simply not possible.

#102 pjwlk on 11.27.08 at 9:49 pm

Great post Garth, but seems like there’s a lot of wanna-be-vultures getting really excited by it. I believe it’s way too early to start thinking about buying just yet. We’re just seeing the beginning of what I’m sure will be a huge slide in prices over the next 12-24 months. Part of being a vulture is being patient…

#103 Another Albertan on 11.27.08 at 10:00 pm


I’ve been wanting to use variations of that last statement for quite a while but was biting my tongue. Thanks for that!

#104 CTA on 11.27.08 at 10:01 pm

Vulture tactics have been tried in bubble crash Florida. Most sellers will take their homes off the market or send their keys back to the mortgage company and foreclose If you’re upside down and put no money in the game i.e. (no down payment), there is nothing to lose.

There’s lot to lose in Canada. — Garth

#105 bin Laden cave on 11.27.08 at 10:10 pm

Obama is Jesus because


#106 patriotz on 11.27.08 at 10:25 pm

Real estate moves much slower than the stock market.
The reason – much longer time taken for seller attitude adjustment.

No that’s not the reason. The reason is lack of liquidity. If you could short RE and it traded on exchanges it would move as quickly as stocks.

#107 Waiting on 11.27.08 at 10:49 pm

#74 Calgary rip off

Totally agree with you. In the same boat. The prices in Calgary are absolutely ridiculous. People who put down payments on a condo a couple years back and waiting for their shacks to be built are in for a rude awakening. HELOCS will suffer the same fate as the 0/40 cause rates will be so high.

#108 nonplused on 11.27.08 at 10:53 pm

#56 Calgary Rip off

they are still selling some houses in Calgary. all you got to do is be the nicest house and the lowest price in the area, and it will move. it’s only the higher priced houses that need work sitting around for months.

of course everyone trying to be the best value is moving the average sales price down and will continue to do so over time.

#109 Pete on 11.27.08 at 10:58 pm


You can short RE

#110 nonplused on 11.27.08 at 11:09 pm

I don’t know why anyone wants to buy in the first place. Most people move on average every 5 years as job and life changes create new needs or elliminate existing needs. When you rent you don’t have to pay property taxes, repairs, real estate fees, etc.

It probably takes a half to a year of rent to pay the realty fees if you have to move. Then throw in property taxes and repairs and mortgage interest, and I’d say you need to live maybe 5 years in a house to break even. Longer term it makes sense to buy if you are staying say 10 years and up.

The exception being if you expect houses to appreciate strongly. That makes buying the clear winner.

#111 DumpNowOrRegretLater on 11.27.08 at 11:10 pm

My dad was telling me today that in the Vancouver RE bust of the early 80’s, some people became so desperate to sell that they were even willing to give their houses way as long as the buyer assumed the whole mortgage. The economics of those days were no where as poor as those today. Might be a sign of things to come.

#112 David on 11.27.08 at 11:20 pm

Negotiating a deal is a great game for certain patient folks. I bought into a huge bust in Alberta real estate. I pre calculated an acceptable cap rate and comp rent and set an acceptable price that I was willing to pay. To make things simple, the cap rate was set at MINIMUM 7% and 100 times monthly rent or 2.5 times family income. I offered 25% down equity on serious no bullshit offers. I was very lucky that my realtors were actually educated and intelligent and found a good house in short order.
Meeting those basic fundamental criteria will require a massive pre bubble price adjustment on the part of sellers. It will take 10 years of NORMAL inflation and income price adjustments for the 0/40 crowd just to barely break even (if that and doubtful) under the current market conditions.
Driving a hard bargain in a market on the precipice of collapse seems like wasted energy, it might be fun, but as far as affordable housing or catching falling knives, the point remains moot.

#113 POL-CAN on 11.27.08 at 11:47 pm

# 113 David

Excellent coments.

We know that based on the average family salary the average house in T.O. needs to fall another ~ 120 K to fall within the 2.5 to 3 times multiplier.

The rent ratio is a bit different…. I have tried many times now to apply it and what I come away with is another 50 % drop is required.

I think at minimum we will return to the pre bubble years of 2001 and 2002 but do not want to guess as to how long it will take. IMO it will be faster then in the USA so if they dropped 20 % in 18 months we might do 20 % in 9 months. But it could be even faster then that based on world economic conditions. How often do we get to see the future. Look at Ireland, Spain, UK, and the USA. We will get the the same place but we will get there faster…..

#114 Kelowna Gal on 11.27.08 at 11:52 pm

Hi Garth,
Thanks for your great input once again.

We are not planning on buying for at least another year. In the meantime, we keep saving for a bigger down payment.

My dad is trying to sell his place. He had it on the market for over 6 months. He did have someone who gave an offer but, he is NOT willing to drop the price at all. I told him that if he is not willing to lower his asking price he wouldn’t get a buyer…….he just went and took his place off the market. He is planning on listing his house again in the spring. He just would not listen to anything I had to say. Some people just don’t get it.

Food prices have NOT come down at all. Gas prices obviously are much lower. Having just purchased a car recently we noticed, that the price had come down considerably. We test drove this car when it when it was brand new last year. Asking price was $ 26,000 (before taxes) for a base model. We went back to the very same dealer this year and purchased the car used 19,000 kms only, for $ 13,800.00 (before taxes). This car is loaded with everything and gets 45 mpg. We are absolutely thrilled. So there are advantages to our slowing economy. If you don’t ask, you won’t receive.

#115 Jelly on 11.28.08 at 1:01 am


You don’t call a $12,000 diningroom set, “high end”
when most of them are typically a quarter of this price?

I know what you mean though, there is such a mark up at the Brick…

#116 JoJo on 11.28.08 at 1:05 am

Helloo JO!
You just think that gold will going $ 650/oz.
Look at the gold stocks alredy up 50% from October bottom.So maybe will see another speculation just for couple days $ 690 in Dec/Jan.
However you didn’t read my posts that very soon $ US is dead.

#117 marcus aurelius on 11.28.08 at 1:21 am

Garth – your best column yet. And to Mike B (#40) I’d add for Toronto: Don’t listen to your agent (if you have one) or fire him/her the minute they try to pressure you into doing what you know in your guts is wrong. (Subrule – stay away from Iranian agents).

On LTT, that’s now an offer factor anyway in Toronto – buyers just lower the Offer by another 2-4% on top of what they’ve figured out they want to pay. Not sure I’d let anyone but my lawyer handle that one, as it’s the buyer’s legal obligation, so leaving that as part of the vendor’s liability maybe more heartburn you don’t need.

Unless you are trying to sell too, shorter closings often work to win the other conditions – there’s a time value to cash / getting out from under in a dying market. For trade-ups, if you can’t get your bank to give you the same rate on the bridge as they would on the first charge on the new house, short closings on the buy side can end up costing a lot more than the inconvenience of a two-stage move (bridge financing isn’t cheap).

And remember – NEVER let an agent who is working ‘for’ you see you sweat – it’s just brick and mortar, so keep the wife and kids away – if your agent isn’t sure you’ll say “F**k It” when the vendor or his agent buddy on the other side try to squeeze you, you’ve lost. Never fall in love with a house. Ever. You have to be able to move quickly on to the next carcass, if you want to Vulture properly. (Although having 2 Offers outstanding at once is probably not what Garth intended to advise! )

Be prepared to be disappointed. I’ve seen several properties either try to hook in a bid war with lowball pricing or just take the listing down when they got a reasonable (meaning, 30-40% off ask prices we haven’t seen since 2007) Offer. The pain isn’t really hitting TO yet, but as job losses mount, and all those mid-level worker bee lawyers, accountants, marketing managers and other spineless wonders get downsized, the hardball Offer will be more prevalent. Just remind the agents involved that 3.5% (yes – that’s where commissions go in bad times) of your price is better than no sale. The whoring agents only get paid for sales.

OK GANG…..let’s go out there in TO and get some PAYBACK!

#118 squidly77 on 11.28.08 at 1:53 am

calgary rip off..for peets sakes quit your constant whining and complaining
life owes you nothing..but gives you many opportunities to prosper..

#119 charliegosurf on 11.28.08 at 3:16 am

hey, theres real vultures around my hood, they feed on road kills, they are humongeous birds, makes me think that i could feed the family for a week with one!

in B.c now, thx to gordo, anybody wanting to make a mine claim on your land can come in and shovel in, coz a land title only applies to surface land….fun no

so, what if the greatestD gets bad enough to the point, that the queen decides that all land goes bck to the crown, it’s possible isnt it technically, and canadians wuld probably say, Eh what???lol

what if she decides that evbody has to vacate the land of the dominion now, and go bck were they came from …for the protection of all natural ressources to the benefit of the royal family,planet savior,lol

hope Liz doesnt read this blog…or maybe ill send her an email, yu would be surpised of the power of the internet,,,well maybe this scenario fits in a wwIII schemes, nostradamus ghost told garth and i many things..

keep in touch, and relax, the surfin is gettin big, the next few months are the biggest of the year on planet $ and something tells me that you better buckle up on the beach and enjoy the show…hope you dont mind gettin wet!

#120 Sylvia in Vancouver on 11.28.08 at 3:35 am

Jelly @ 85…

“High-end furniture” on sale at The Brick????? You don’t say!

*wipes tears from eyes* Lawrd, that’s the funniest thing I’ve heard in ages…

And for all those who post their virtual cringe over vulture buying tactics, get a grip. There were vulture selling tactics for years, and the pendulum is swinging back. Garth’s not necessarily advocating these tactics (just like the ‘surprising a depression’ post), but giving you the heads up on what may come.

We first came to him for the other side; those alternative ideas that RE shills didn’t want potential buyers to know and government officials were too scared to say.

If ya can’t stand the heat, step away from the fire folks.

#121 Sylvia in Vancouver on 11.28.08 at 3:39 am

oops… meant “surviving a depression”

no more wine and commenting for me!

#122 vulture says 50% by spring on 11.28.08 at 4:43 am

Thanks for the vulture advice…
in regards to the sunshine coast…post #35
I will be going to the Coast to write a new offer in the new year.
Of course with your vulture tactics in hand the offer will be 30% less than assesed value rather than the first offer of 25% less than assesed value.
I know for a fact they have had no offers to date…

I also wanted to say that people will be in some big trouble when they go to refinance their mortages in the future…
I had a mortage variable rate at prime -1/2 % then I sold my home because of divorce. I went to the bank to see what a new mortage would cost this week and my banker told me I would be paying prime +1 1/2 % for a new mortage
so thats a 2 % lift on my mortage…
I pity the person with a $300,000 to 400,000 mortage
and thats almost every greater fool who bought during
this unpresidented rise in and fall in real estate.
I have a new plan since my divorce I want a home…..
mortage free… because I have payed enough interest to the banks in my 28 year mortage history since 1980.
I was paying 14 % in 1980 which was cheap because the next year it went to 21%.
I had a 25 year amortization and I payed for 28 years and I still had a mortage….
Because I had a bit of a life and remortaged for stuff…
… of which I have none of now …so all I did was pay
…. no more mortage next year on the sunshine coast -50% by spring

Vulture says 50% by spring

#123 Jesse on 11.28.08 at 4:46 am

Check out this prediction by Peter Schiff. Garth is right on the money. Notice the so called “experts” who thought they knew too much.Pride is a deadly sin.Cheers.

#124 Stu on 11.28.08 at 8:16 am

Very useful post. Thanks.

#125 Tiger-in-the-Woods on 11.28.08 at 9:24 am

Hey Garth—great site–keep up the good work.

Is it true that recreation properties are often the first to see a drop in values?

When you do reckon it is time to “swoop” down in Muskoka and peck away for some lakeside bargains?

#126 Rasputin on 11.28.08 at 10:56 am

So the opposition parties are planning to hijack the will of the voters and kick out the Conservatives. Wow talk about arrogance! A quick prediction. If they do that it will lead to a very fast breakup of Canada. People in the West are PISSED about this.

#127 Calgary Rip off on 11.28.08 at 10:57 am

Attention anyone wanting to move to Calgary:

1)There are some good paying jobs, but you will need $120K or more to get a house that’s decent. Keep in mind the real estate is priced double at what it is worth here. This is due to the oil industry’s offices and deluded conservative mentality here.

2)Traffic is horrible. You either have nuts who tailgate, people who drive too slow in the fast lane, no warnings on lights about to change, and photoradar cops at night. You’ll need a nice place to live because you will avoid going out. Forget about going downtown, it’s dangerous.

3)Enjoy paying the conservative party’s salary. That’s how it goes in Alberta more taxes paid to pay people who dont do anything. Best approach? Vote NDP so your taxes actually do something. Some people did this in Edmonton and a couple officials got in there.

4) Watch out for the meathead mentality. Bigger is better. That’s not necessarily true in selecting a life partner(generally hypocrites), but you can see it in the vehicles driven. The real difference is that smaller cars have gas pedals and can rely on the law of inertia to not go for the “truck has right of way” Alberta mentality.

5)Make sure that you use all the tips on real estate negotiations to screw the sellers and realtors who are deluded into thinking that real estate is worth DOUBLE its actual value. The goons at Calgary Herald and conservative farmers keep up the uneducated and unenlightened mentality of what things are actually worth. Offer the seller HALF of what they are asking. If they get enough lowball offers, they’ll start to panic. This is what is needed, short of a nuclear holocaust to get the greed out in Calgary.

6)Be prepared to encounter antagonistic viewpoints from older people who own their homes. They actually believe their equity is real. They didnt start out when houses were worth double what they are worth.

7)Use the above to your advantage. Dont come here unless you have a really good job. Unless you have pretty people in your life to look at, there isnt much else here, houses too close together, no trees, and wall to wall traffic.

#128 Dave on 11.28.08 at 11:30 am

#127 Rasputin,

Remember it was Chretian who changed the donation rules before he left, capping the amount of corporate donations.

The idea of an electorate paying for political parties to run in an election just shows how conceited some politicians have become. Talk about a culture of entitelment!

It should have been scrapped years ago. Imagine Layton as deputy PM. I gotta see this one happen.

Get educated. This money is not to run elections, but rather to finance the operations of political partuies so they can hire staff, do research and represent those who voted for them in Parliament. It was meant as a replacement to traditional financing which came mainly from interest groups, like unions and corporations. The idea was to make politicians less beholding to monied interests and more responsible to taxpayers. — Garth

#129 Dave on 11.28.08 at 11:57 am

OK Garth, now I am educated. But I still don’t like it.

#130 smwhite on 11.28.08 at 12:08 pm

In order for a real vulture to start “picking” he wants to make sure that the prey is dead, a little early yet to be picking up RE on the cheap in Canada, even in the USA it hasn’t hit bottom. I mean here in Canada we’ve only received our first major trauma to the multi-headed RE hydra!

Way to early on this one Garth old boy, but some great points for buying a property in ANY market, seller’s or buyer’s.

Am I the only one seething about this bullshit in the commons yesterday…

Jimmy F and his magic book of magic numbers….

So if Jim is taking his talking points from CIBC and other economic think tanks that have been listening to the IMF, we’re fudged, because I think we all know that everyone has under estimated the pain we’re about to receive for our greed and stupidity.

PS Is it just me or does it not seem like the big three are actually trying to bankrupt themselves in order to be done with the unions… Build that super inter-continental highway and ship up those cars from Mexico and Brazil made at slave wages!

#131 Larry on 11.28.08 at 12:13 pm

Some news from the UK and Ireland
I really love the 2nd comment, greedy buyers what a hypocryte :)

#132 dd on 11.28.08 at 12:26 pm

#127 Rasputin,

A break up of Canada?! Hasn’t that talk been going around since the 1800.

What are they talking about $30 Million? We need opposition. We need someone or a party to keep the fire to the feet of the government. It is worth every cent.

#133 Jelly on 11.28.08 at 12:27 pm

Sylvia in Vancouver,

Excuse me if I have never witnessed 40% off of
furniture when it is already on sale!
I am used to walking in a store and offering 20%
off and not getting it.
You must be, what, 60 years old or so?
I can tell…

#134 dd on 11.28.08 at 12:34 pm

“Attention anyone wanting to move to Calgary” AKA Calgary rip off:

“1)There are some good paying jobs, but you will need $120K or more to get a house that’s decent.”

Rent until prices come down. Prices are coming down hard.

“2)Traffic is horrible.”
True. Rent downtown and walk to work.

“3)Enjoy paying the conservative party’s salary. Vote NDP so your taxes actually do something.”

I wouldn’t want the job. To little pay for the long hours they put in.

“4) Watch out for the meathead mentality. Bigger is better.”
Yes Alberta is bold. Alway has been. Get over it.

“5)Make sure that you use all the tips on real estate negotiations.”
Goes without saying.

“6)Be prepared to encounter antagonistic viewpoints from older people who own their homes.”

Prices are what they are. If you believe houses are worth less wait it out and rent.

7)Dont come here unless you have a really good job.
True. Or if you are young and have time to build a life.

#135 Bottoms_Up on 11.28.08 at 1:17 pm

Another reason why ‘condensed’ living is so ‘great’:

“Residents returning home from school and work were kept out of the building. The front entrance and part of the parking lot were cordoned off by police tape. Residents were told about 7 p.m. there was an OC Transpo bus parked across the street where they could sit and keep warm.”

#136 squidly77 on 11.28.08 at 1:26 pm

#137 MikeB on 11.28.08 at 1:47 pm

Yaah Yaah Rasputin lover of the russian whatever the song is… Get bent Alberta has as much chance of leaving as Quebec. What a bone head comment.
What a hi jacking the Conservatives are doing all nicely wrapped up in the so called financial statement. These guys are clowns and you are the ring lead Raspy.

#138 MikeB on 11.28.08 at 2:21 pm

My God David and POL CAN 113/114 are so on the money.
We simply cannot expect that we will EXACTLY MIRROR the US on the way down. We will , certainly in Toronto, catch up in my opinion and , given the gutting of our manufacturing base, see considerable acceleration in deteriorating prices. Still, some sellers are in denial. Prices are always going to go up in their minds. That is so true here in Toronto… however reality will set in by Feb of next year at the latest.
THE US is on the BRINK OF ECONOMIC COLLAPSE, they are essentially insolvent on a second order. Basically nothing left to sell off the shelves. Next sell the shelves themselves. Just look at the banking system and credit markets. Bernanke and Paulson have but 6 weeks left and they hand over the live grenade to the Obama “team”. Pushing down interest rates will only push the shit farther down the street. Something must give and eventually it will…. and that will effect housing even here in the almighty Toronto. Hell, its not likes it’s even warm here or has mountains. The middle class who were banking on hefty profits from their houses , and believe me I have many many friends who are banking on this, are in for a big surprise. They argued with me this very summer that their 1.5 million house would double in price in ten years… that is 6 years from now since they bought 4 years ago. They argue they have no intention of paying it off but just using the ever increasing value to support their lifestyles and put their 4 kids through university. Must be growing pot in the basement or something …

#139 JHO on 11.28.08 at 2:46 pm – can someone ban this shameless link troll already.

yeah, we get that you want to drive people to your website to get those google SEM dollars rolling for you, and trying to sell you BS depression guide.

this isn’t a free advertising forum. post something useful.

#140 The Tallyman on 11.28.08 at 2:52 pm

#128 Calgary Rip off

A calgary murder gets 1 minute news coverage
A dog or cat abuse story gets a half hour.

Barking mad out here in the west.

#141 dd on 11.28.08 at 2:56 pm

#123 vulture says 50% by spring,

IT is not going to happen. The government would not allow it because it would run counter to the stimulus of a lower fed rate.

The Fed (Cdn Gov) took bad mortgages off the Cdn banks balance sheet in return for lower mortgage rates.

All governements are worried by deflation / depresssion. One quick way to push the economey over the edge is by having rates up.

Inflation is not a problem at the moment.

#142 The Tallyman on 11.28.08 at 3:10 pm

Walmart worker trampled to death.

And this is over useless Xmas junk,
wait till the jostling for food comes into play.

for article
click here

#143 Bottoms_Up on 11.28.08 at 3:11 pm

Written over 3 years ago (how to hedge against deflation and hyperinflation):

“Put some money in gold, some in long-term bonds to insure against hyperinflation and deflation. About 5% in each should be enough, depending on how scared you are.”

#144 Jim_s on 11.28.08 at 3:17 pm

September employment figures were a lie. 107,000 jobs…. poof!

What’s more puzzling is the fact that Statistics Canada was off by 100%.

Our banks and gov’t lie about what’s really happening so that a panic run on shares and bank deposits won’t occur. I think it will happen eventually, anyway.

Interesting that the “real” numbers are released some 60 days later and at a time when many delusional “experts” feel the stock markets have calmed down and are at or near their bottom.


#145 nonplused on 11.28.08 at 3:35 pm

107 patriotz

you can short real estate, either short the banks or short REIT’s.

Looks like it’s finally starting to pay off for the shorts:

#146 nonplused on 11.28.08 at 3:49 pm

Interesting perspective on what’s really causing the economy to collapse:

#147 patriotz on 11.28.08 at 4:22 pm

So the opposition parties are planning to hijack the will of the voters and kick out the Conservatives

FYI, the will of the voters was 62% to 38% to kick out the Conservatives.

So who’s hijacking what?

#148 dekethegeek on 11.28.08 at 4:55 pm

To Rick ( #102 )
Jayzus man, ya gotta warn me when you write funny stuff like that ! I almost choked on my coffee and one of my Realturd friends laughed at that expression also

#149 Dawn in Calgary on 11.28.08 at 5:06 pm

Poverty spreading in suburbs: study

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Poverty in the United States is spreading from rural and inner-city areas to the suburbs, according to a study, a situation that can worsen as the economy confronts what may be a protracted recession.


Calgary Rip-Off;

You have most of it right about moving to Calgary. But really, why would anyone want to at this point? If it weren’t for our jobs, I doubt we would stay — it’s mean, cold, rude, overpriced and greedy.

I say better off to give advice to those looking to leave! ;-)

#150 charliegosurf on 11.28.08 at 5:14 pm


all my economic teachings are in the garbage now in relations to the interest rates, ireally dont get it, or i do, just prooves for anything that we all are manipulated.

anyhow, in the american and canadians news this morning, it’s the Black friday, and wal-mart is gettin all the free coverage it can thcitching on…

just show th main problem were people care little arund north-america to the real problems, like we are the contry’s that are at war, declared it, but the war is not waged in lifeloss for the invader…

well, i start to wonder will strat yhinkin twice, before the choose their nex holiday… the life of the greedy tourist,, travellin the world and showi 80 percent pf the population who’s the boss around.

country anyhow dont exist much anymore ourdays, they are just control check zone, were they let you go fromone pen to the other,aaahhh, that’s why it feels so good to be on a ocean.

unless you see little boat coming at you on the horizon, than you better know diplomacy or. maybe i better get aspaceship on ebay and take a long holiday….its’ tickin, tic tic tic

#151 smwhite on 11.28.08 at 5:28 pm

I love this whole west separation “threat” thing(Like we haven’t heard that before from Quebec or Alberta), hypocrites all of them. Like the whiny kid threatening to take their hockey net home and break up the street hockey game because things are going their way.

Give and take girls and boys, give and take. Its what makes this nation deverse and as solid as it it. I’m hoping the holds true if the other three parties decide to play nice. Last time I checked, the other three parties combined had more votes then the conservatives, so I guess it does come down to the will of the people.

With oil at $50 a barrel of oil and nobody driving V8 SUV’s some of you out west are going to need those social programs like UI, provided by the Government of Canada…

This is what happens when you think with your balls instead of your brain, the conservatives back the other three parties into a corner in a game of chicken, guess they forgot who has the majority.

So please, if your out west, out east, in Quebec, in the Yukon, and you don’t like the way things work here in Canada, grab some tissue and leave, I’ll even help you pack.

#152 APCM on 11.28.08 at 5:36 pm

Honestly, the most ominous sign is to me it looks like Harper is trying to quit – He’s proposing something that he knows all other parties are again hoping they form a coalition against him . He’s trying to make it look like he was forced out.
He doesn’t want his legacy to be associated with what happens next.

#153 Rasputin on 11.28.08 at 5:49 pm

MikeB…all I can say is that the conversation at my workplace was pretty hostile this morning. Like it or not the people of Canada elected a Conservative goverment. So are you telling me that a coalition headed by separatist Gilles Duceppe as Prime Minister is ok with you? Even worse, how about Bob Rae bringing his special version of crushing poverty to the entire country instead of just Ontario. Or maybe communist Layton? Those idiots were REJECTED by the people and now they are trying to hijack the country.

Duceppe, Rae or Layton will never be PM. Don’t be an idiot. — Garth

#154 john on 11.28.08 at 6:00 pm

Markets up 500 plus points…I just don’t get it.

Where’s the good news to account for this upward swing????

#155 Jelly on 11.28.08 at 6:08 pm


“A calgary murder gets 1 minute news coverage
A dog or cat abuse story gets a half hour.

Barking mad out here in the west.”

The above might seem “mad” but its because
murders happen all the time and animal cruelty
is hard to prove so the bastards rarely get caught in the act. Both are awful.

I think there are more important reasons that humanity is “mad” instead of that example.

How much TV time do you think butchered Africans get,
murders have been going on for years-MILLIONS of
people, innocent women and children.
Guns that have been given to them by the US.
People have no idea how many starve as well-everyday!
How many times has “911” been mentioned and people act so upset about it, like it was the worst thing that has ever happened in history.
Americans have no idea what kind of tragedy others
go through around the world
Now THAT is sickening,
I’d be pissed if I was from Iraq or Africa.
Not fair that tragedy is so subjective and depends
on where you are from…

#156 Rasputin on 11.28.08 at 6:31 pm

With all due respect Mr Turner, who would be PM if the PC’s got tossed? I hear talks are underway to fast track Dion out the door before Monday because of exactly this problem. Maybe you can let us know if my sources are wrong. Also to all the those who wanted some sort of stimulus…would you bail out GM Canada right now if you were the Finanace Minister? I sure wouldn’t.

Dion. Then Ignatieff. But Harper has just moved in to prevent a vote. — Garth

#157 squidly77 on 11.28.08 at 6:32 pm

john #153..think suckers rally
do you really think it all past us by that quickly ?

#158 Rasputin on 11.28.08 at 6:42 pm

Thank goodness saner heads have prevailed. I tend to see things in a conservative way (big surprise) but I didn’t agree with the whole funding thing they tried to do. As another poster said, having an opposition is very important in our system of government. My whole problem is the fact that the BQ can help topple an elected government. They stand for the breakup of our country. If Rasputin ran the world they would be tried for treason, instead they get all the perks of a sitting MP. Makes me want to puke.

#159 Calgary rip off on 11.28.08 at 6:43 pm

On Canadian Voter turnout:

There are some who believe that a conservative government was “elected”. It is true that that is what is happened. What is also true is that a minority voted. Where are all the others? I find it shocking that Canadians would vote in a party similar to the Republicans in the U.S. But those are the facts. If you dont like the confusion opportunity up here for all the parties available to choose from, perhaps you can embrace the beauty of the American electoral system. I and many others voted Gore into office in 2000, the electoral college did not, and consequently Bush was sworn in by the Supreme Court. Subsequent to that event the entire planet was sodomized by George W. Perhaps if more people in Canada voted, this so called “outrage” would never occurred as the proper party would be in power, not a conservative minority(“majority”) government.

Why is the market up? It’s run by Donald Duck!!!! Probably the good news is that its Friday and there will be action with the significant other over the weekend, as accounting for the stock upswing.

Dawn in Calgary: Your comments reflect those of my wife, who is from B.C. She almost vomited when she drove in from Nanaimo on highway 1 to Calgary, nice looking at what looked like a giant Brooklyn. Your assessment of the city, I agree with you. I think many would leave Calgary if they could, however the job availability is what keeps many bolted here. However, unless housing is proportionate with wages, there are many who wont come here, and many who will leave. I personally dont dislike Calgary at all, I like many of the things here(except 30 below temps) and I love the high altitude which makes it harder to exercise. Its one of the nicest cities I have ever lived in. HOWEVER, the cost of houses is the worst. Contrast, Houston, Texas, where I also lived 3 years, and the disparity between housing and income here is very obvious. Houston housing has been and always will be a bargain. Perhaps I will retire there, but then again the meathead goliath attitudes there were nauseating as well.

#160 pjwlk on 11.28.08 at 6:46 pm

I just spoke to a co-worker of mine, who only a few short months ago was bragging about his house in “Milcroft” (Burlington, ON) being worth “over $800k”, and who just mentioned to me today that if he loses his job he’s going to have sell his house! Now you’ve got to understand, he blew me off a number of times over the last 2 years when I told him about the bad times ahead and real estate taking a dive. Even told me he thought I was stupid for selling my house. Anyhow, he wasn’t too impressed when I asked him who he was going to sell it to…

#161 Rasputin on 11.28.08 at 6:59 pm

Since I’m on a ranting roll…the other thing I have a problem with is the fact that there are 2 private, unelected people (Chretien and Broadbent) trying to broker a coup of an elected government in Canada. This makes us look so little league in the eyes of the world.

Kinda like everyone in Obama’s cabinet, right? — Garth

#162 Bobby in Victoria on 11.28.08 at 7:02 pm

Let’s be honest here. This political brinkmanship on the part of the opposition has nothing to do with a stimulus package and everything to do with a cut in funding for political parties. The Liberals are broke and need the cash. Plain and simple.

Mr Harper is sticking the pointed stick into the Liberals and they don’t like it. Yet, Chretien did the same thing when he was in power and it was seen to be okay.

What kind of stimulus package are the Opposition looking for. In the US they have pumped over $8.5 Trillion into bailouts and still housing prices are falling and no one is buying GM cars. No I don’t support pumping money into save GM jobs. My Honda Civic, that is also made in Canada, is a tremendous auto that I wouldn’t hesitate to buy again. Where is their handout? And it will be worth something in two years.

Auto prices have appreciated at a greater rate than the salaries that are supposed to buy them. Imagine if airline fares appreciated at the same rate. Holidays would become unaffordable. The auto industry has priced itself out of the market place so let the weak players fail. Other companies will quickly rise up to fill their place if there is indeed the demand. And yes the CAW did play a significant role in this debacle so should share the pain.

I looked at a GM Tahoe Hybrid last year and they wanted $70k plus when the same vehicle was only $53k in the US. I phoned GM and they said their pricing was set for the demands of the Canadian marketplace. That same vehicle is now marked down to $49k and still for sale. I’ve moved on to another vehicle but did they ever get that wrong.

It’s gonna get ugly out there!!!

#163 wealthy renter on 11.28.08 at 7:22 pm

I think it is time to close this blog now. The National Post cites CREA findings that current housing numbers are “skewed” for various reasons. Time to move along…the debate is now over. Housing is fine! :)

#164 dd on 11.28.08 at 7:26 pm

Sellers in Calgary not desperate enough.

Friend selling home:
Buyer wants conditions put on contract for home inspection.

Friend buying off a builder:
Will not accept condition on their house passing inspection.

WOW. Give it a couple more months and it will change.

#165 Rob5 on 11.28.08 at 7:41 pm

Agree with those who says it might be a little early to actually start using these tactics, but regardless probably the best post in a while.

Many thanks Garth.

#166 donny on 11.28.08 at 7:43 pm

#167 BC Resident on 11.28.08 at 8:11 pm

Global Warming And Global Financial Meltdown Crushing European Ski Chalets

Hello BC

#168 dotava on 11.28.08 at 8:51 pm

#151 APCM on 11.28.08 at 5:36 pm

U R right on spot – but this is his legacy anyway like Mr. Mulroney who never have any dealings with Mr. Schreiber.

#169 dotava on 11.28.08 at 8:56 pm

#152 Rasputin on 11.28.08 at 5:49 pm

did U have any chance in your life to live in socialistic country i.e. Norway, Sweden and like? I am sick and tired hearing people criticize something that never experience. Tat is one of the reason why we are here where we are. BTW Garth – now U (and people like U) R missing there.
ABC – should take a place – 62% of Canadians choose other options.

#170 dotava on 11.28.08 at 8:59 pm

#155 Rasputin on 11.28.08 at 6:31 pm

Dion. Then Ignatieff. But Harper has just moved in to prevent a vote. — Garth

Don’t exclude Ray – looks that he learn his lesson and have experience in tough time – unfortunately one that we are facing are much more tough but anyway his experience can be valuable.

#171 nonplused on 11.28.08 at 9:08 pm

It’ll be happy news in the markets until Christmas. Fed intervention to make everyone feel ok in a maybe I can spend a little more on that credit card kind of way. Q1 ’09 should be interesting though. Look out below!

#172 My_view on 11.28.08 at 9:16 pm

What a joke!

The simple fact is that any comparison between the Greater Toronto Area condo market and what is happening in the United States is about as valuable as discussing whether Batman or Spiderman would come out on top in a fight. It has no relationship to reality.

#173 My_view on 11.28.08 at 9:17 pm

#174 john on 11.28.08 at 9:46 pm

squidly77…without a real meltdown in the stock market this prevents all the other dominoes from falling. This in conjuction with falling real estate prices are the necessary ingredients to squirrel soup. Paper wealth must retreat in order for those with their fiscal house in order to be finally rewarded. Stock market jumps like today remain a concern. As crazy as this sounds I wonder if the next immediate bubble is the stock market itself. All this “bottom” talk is reminicent of how the real estate bubble formed with agents, media and homebuilders proclaiming the need to enter now as the market inevitably heads higher.

#175 Bottoms_Up on 11.28.08 at 9:55 pm

“Markets up 500 plus points…I just don’t get it.

Where’s the good news to account for this upward swing????”
American Thanksgiving. Traders slept in today–too much turkey.

#176 squidly77 on 11.29.08 at 1:35 am

First, facts about Canada. Canada is a Northern European welfare state in the worst sense of the term, and very proud of it. Canadians make no connection between the fact that they are a Northern European welfare state and the fact that we have very low economic growth, a standard of living substantially lower than yours, a massive brain drain of young professionals to your country, and double the unemployment rate of the United States

#177 Zoronqueen on 11.29.08 at 4:47 am

Edmonton on Dec. 7
I can’t find the location/link for book tour??

#178 islander on 11.29.08 at 4:58 am

Garth, good list, but I have a concern with this one:
“Speaking of which, why not make two offers at the same time on two competing properties, and then let that fact be known (through your agent) to the vendor.”

Unless I’m misinterpreting what you say, I would point out that making simultaneous offers carries risks for the buyer. If more than one of the sellers in this situation decided to accept the buyer’s offer, the seller is legally obligated to follow the terms and conditions as set out in those contracts.

I know there are plenty of buyers backing out of contracts right now, and with some people the prevailing notion is that “we can always pull out over financing,” or “we’ll just refuse to waive the condition relating to the inspection,” etc. But this is a tricky game to play, as any lawyer would tell his client.

As sellers get increasingly desperate, they will have their lawyers attempt to enforce those sales contracts. Getting untangled could become messy and costly.

A much less risky strategy is to give the seller a tight deadline for accepting the offer. If the deadline passes without an accepted deal, the buyer can always move on to the next property.

#179 Bottoms_Up on 11.29.08 at 10:51 am

“…whether Batman or Spiderman would come out on top in a fight.”
Easy. Spiderman’s spidey sense would alarm him of Batman’s presence, then he would shoot his web and entangle Batman, effectively immobilizing him. He might proceed with giving him a wet willy or wedgie. The rest is history.

#180 CalgaryRocks on 11.29.08 at 11:24 am

Canadians make no connection between the fact that they are a Northern European welfare state and the fact that we have very low economic growth, a standard of living

Amen to that, why do you think I spent my 20’s, and made my money living in the US.

#181 Yura on 11.29.08 at 12:34 pm

Three years ago I sold my first home without any Net resources. But it was very difficult for me. I heard that some services can publish ads about my home in the Internet. Can you help me to choose between and ? Do you know anything about these services? My friend said that “Fizber” better than “Trulia”. But maybe he wasn’t right. So I need help.

#182 Trekie2 on 11.30.08 at 9:35 am

What a joke!

The simple fact is that any comparison between the Greater Toronto Area condo market and what is happening in the United States is about as valuable as discussing whether Batman or Spiderman would come out on top in a fight. It has no relationship to reality.

Pfffttttttt… would be Batman!!!

#183 Johnny on 12.01.08 at 12:11 am

I like your tips big-time. I have been waiting for years for these conditions to arrive, waiting in anguish while watching bidding wars being manufactured to raise the price of a home. What a crock that was. Non-transparent bidding. Only a fool would bid under those conditions and I wasn’t one of them. Greed and more greed by all involved…sellers and brokers. So here I am now, on the other side of the table. heheheh Now it’s my turn to do a bit of slurping and I deserve to for waiting. What goes around comes around. So yeah, I agree whole-heartedly at his tips for being a vulture. Eat or be eaten. It’s dinner tiiiiiime !

#184 dontcallmeshirley on 12.02.08 at 11:22 pm

To #180 (Islander),

A buyer need not be jammed on having multiple offers accepted.

Simply make each offer contingent on no other offer being accepted.

Of course a seller may not accept this but beggars can’t be choosers.

#185 beauty in lala land on 12.07.09 at 10:26 am

thanks for the tips on how to spot and avoid vultures