Hi Garth,

I am starting a family, and have been reading your blog for over two years. I continue to rent and save as much money as possible as per your advice. I have two people to thank for that. You, and the person who referred me to your blog.

I have another friend who is about to make a huge mistake and buy a house. He and his wife have a young child and want to enter the real estate market at the worst time in history. I understand that you might not want to reiterate the same key points over and over again on your blog, but I think a “Back to Basics: why NOT to buy a house” would be helpful for a few new readers.

My friend just walked by my desk and said “I think I found a pretty good house”

– Want to help a friend from ruining his life

On Friday my latest house deal closed. This time I was a seller. In the last five months I have sold two and bought one. At the moment I own a couple more. You might realize why I chuckle when told I’m a property bear or simply a doomer. In fact, I love the stuff.

There are many reasons to buy and own real estate, and I think I’ve lived them all. Investment. Emotional refuge. Shelter. Capital gains. Convenience. Social statement. Wealth. Architectural rescue. Income. Whimsy.

Real estate is like any other asset, which means there’s a time to buy and a time to unload to a greater fool. At the same time, it’s unlike most assets, since it seduces and tricks us. We think home ownership is synonymous with security, when it can epitomize risk. Too many of us have blindly placed our entire financial future in one piece of earth, and confused debt with equity.

My books, and this blog, speak in an unvarnished fashion about real estate – which is why so many people cannot stand me. Usually they make a living from selling or financing houses, or have gambled everything on a home and fear I’ll talk the market down.

Whatever. I just make my opinions known, to be heeded or ignored. Meanwhile I’ll go on following my own personal rules. Here are a few you might want your buddy to know.

(1) It’s a really bad idea to have more than half your net worth in your house. Personally, at my stage of life (between the quick & the dead) I’d never have real estate as an asset class (including my principal residence) amount to more than 40% of my money. A home can be disastrously illiquid or equity turn negative, making this more of a wealth trap than any stock, bond, commodity or fund.

(2) Never buy real estate in a bubble. You will pay too much. You’ll buy too fast. You’ll rush a key decision. Bad deal.

(3) Debt’s to be paid off, not rented. That’s why 35-year amortizations are nuts. If you can only swing home ownership with an unrepayable loan, why bother?

(4) If you don’t have money, don’t buy a house. No-money-down purchases are for losers. This is extreme leverage which can be a few bad headlines away from financial ruin.

(5) Be ready for rising rates. Nobody alive today has seen mortgage rates this low, which means you cannot expect them to last. The cost of money will at least double over the next five years, wiping out a large measure of affordability and playing hell with your resale.

(6) Realize the structural threats to real estate have not been this great since the 1930s. To rising mortgage rates add a massive aging population of house-heavy Boomers, rapidly ballooning energy costs, the ugly effects of climate change, a giant shift in real estate tastes, stubborn unemployment, deflating family incomes, deficit-fuelled tax hikes, and peak oil. The burbs have little future.

(7) Buy real estate to make money, but don’t confuse a house with a home. It makes perfect sense to rent shelter. Most people in the developed world do exactly that.

(8) The financial goal is not to have a giant house making people think you’re wealthy. It’s to be wealthy. Diversify. Kill debt. Constantly reap your capital gains. Reduce risk.

(9) The only reason to buy real estate in a recession is if you can be a vulture. That’s why US markets are moving again, after prices have fallen by half in the South and the West. In Canada, no such declines yet, and no reason to swoop. Wait.

(10) Be a contrarian. Works for me.


#1 CalgaryCop on 06.27.09 at 11:35 pm

Came across this the other day – foreclosures are spiking big in Calgary, double or triple what they were last year and apparently more and more are falling in arrears.

The REIC can polish this thing till it shines, but it’s still a turd

#2 nonplused on 06.27.09 at 11:40 pm

Or, to simplify, do the same thing only less so as everyone else until every one is “all in”, and then take the opposite side of the trade with what you didn’t commit and anything you can get out.

Or to sum a different way, from a Jessie Livermore type perspective but paraphrased, take your position slowly, and only add to it as the previous purchases or shorts are showing a profit. Never add to a loosing position, but always add to a winning position. If your position is large and no longer showing gains, sell it all as fast as you can (or buy back if you are short).

Point is you step in to the market a little bit at a time and only as the original small positions are profitable, and you exit quickly.

Unfortunately, for most people a house is such a big investment and they have to live in it that buying in slowly and dumping quickly is not possible.

However, people who are buying investment properties while the equity in their residence is showing year over year declines are doing it all wrong. Never add to a declining position. But at least when you do get to owning rental income, either a rental house or a share of a commercial type structure, you have some leverage you can dump quickly without pissing off your wife and kids. But now is not the time to acquire it, if you ask me. People should be nervous about buying the primary residence right now. Renting isn’t that bad, and there are plenty of spec homes for rent in nice communities.

#3 WillsDad on 06.27.09 at 11:42 pm

Post of the Year for you Garth. Bingo.

#4 Charles T. on 06.27.09 at 11:51 pm

Pensions have become a major issue for our society. A crisis has been building for several years. Now due to the economic meltdown the level of the crisis has risen dramatically. This Blog is an attempt to stay on top of the current issues and to provide relevant information about the issues

Fair Pensions For All

I suspect the topic of private and public sector pension plans will be thoroughly discussed as (to borrow a phrase from Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer) the economy “goes through an unprecedented reset”

Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer said in Chicago on Thursday that the economy “is going through an unprecedented reset” and contrasted that with a recession.

Rather than a recession—which ends after a while—Ballmer sees a lasting economic change, or what he and others are calling “a new normal.”

The “reset” involves an economy that no longer is driven by debt, productivity and innovation. Rather, debt will no longer be plentiful. So productivity and innovation will be the drivers.”

Ballmer sees an economy deprived of debt

#5 Nostradamus jr. on 06.28.09 at 12:36 am

>>(3) Debt’s to be paid off, not rented. That’s why 35-year amortizations are nuts. If you can only swing home ownership with an unrepayable loan, why bother?<<

…that should be rule # 1…

You are now on parole. One inappropriate post, and it’s back to the Big House. — Garth

#6 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 06.28.09 at 1:19 am

“Rules” — Stuff the rules.

I are an old, decrepit wannabe renegade, using one line from Indiana Jones and The Raiders Of The Lost Ark — “I’m just making this up as I go along!”

To a certain degree, he should let the friend have the experience of digging himself a hole. The whole purpose of life is to have as many experiences as possible, for the short sojourn we’re all here.

It matters not whether the experiences are positive or negative. The point is to have and learn from a particular experience, and move on from there.

Life itself is not always a bowl of cherries, as someone has to live with the pits, too.

“. . . a time to unload to a greater fool.” I checked out the listings on a For Sale By Owner site; seems as if those Greater Fools are slowly drying up, as almost all the Central Okanagan listings either had been there for some time, or reduced their prices.

Had to happen sooner or later!
Not so sure if this can be believed, as m$m outlets are well known for putting out propaganda that favors certain types.

Bernanke, the Fed and RE sharks, to drum up business come to mind. Nevertheless —
Happy North American Union Day! Ponder, see and separate for a moment where all this is headed. Things are happening so rapidly now, a version of this may already be in the works.

Mexico and the US have plenty of people, but not enough water. Canada is the second-largest land-mass, with slightly more water, but fewer people.

All three govts. are financially running on empty — pure debt, trillions in electronic cashless transactions which can be deleted with a single keystroke, and the printing presses are going 24/7/365, gargantually inflating the money / debt bubble.

A pandemic pops out of nowhere, m$m helps to create angst by feeding sheeple false-flag lies saying, “if you don’t get vaccinated, you’re gonna die.” Well phooey, ‘coz we’re all headed to The Great Yonder anyway.

But sheeple, wetting themselves through their pathetic, unbridled stupidity go forth to mass injection sites, getting themselves forcibly filled up with ‘dummy drugs’ from Baxter and then promptly kick the bucket anyway.

Govts. no longer have to pay out social security / CPP / OAS / GIS and whatever the Mexican one is, three countries become one, change to a single currency, spread the remaining sheeple out and VOILA! — no more social unrest and / or problems!

Third link is Obama’s supposed new immigration bill. — \/ \/

Speaking of the above — — Comments courtesy

“The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently provided a shield against damage claims related to the use of the antiviral drugs oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza) in the current H1N1 influenza pandemic.”

Webmaster’s Commentary: “How convenient for the makers of these vaccines, and how much more a reason to ‘just say no’ if these become ‘mandatory’.”
Madoff made off with 150 years in the clink. Check the chart out as well! —
From The Herald-Sun in Oz, on climate change. —

#7 confused and a little crazed on 06.28.09 at 4:18 am

thanks for the refresher :)

#8 David Bakody on 06.28.09 at 6:03 am

“Ditto” Garth …… off on a short adventure see y’all when I return.

Note: A Home is wonderful place and worth every year of sacrifice …. it is not a mortgage pit where you live to make payments/repairs …. A home is a place to live while you enjoy life …. and life is away from home in the avenues of this world. We all get only one shot at life so why would anyone want to spent it Wall Mart and Home Depot from sucking up to the Bank.

#9 Mike B on 06.28.09 at 6:45 am

Yes agreed .. however I will take some issue with the 40% rule. Hard to imagine anyone here in Toronto has a house worth 700K and has another 800K lying around. NOT… On the street that we rent on (sold in late 2007) save for a couple of spinsters who were given their mcmanasions by parents and two couples in their 60s and older who bought 40 years ago EVERYONE has a mortgage, the doctors, dentists and even lawyers have them. If someone has a mere million in net worth it is very hard to believe that person has a 400K home and 600K in the bank.. Maybe somewhere but not here in Toronto. At best people can be 50/50 that I know of…. Warren Buffet made all his cash in stocks/bonds/equities and lives in the same modest home he has for decades , drives a chev or something like that. Selling a non principal residence means taxes of course, no free ride.. I know of a few builders who have been buying, building and living in and then selling their principal residences for years.. Very hard to be a vulture in Toronto real estate… 30,000 agents will find a deal well before anyone else will.
Definitely be a contrarian… when others are selling (like in the March stock market) you should be buying ( although I still believe in a bear rally) .
Sorry final point here about rates. Unless they go up to say 10% or more the market in major centres will stay very active. Possible but not likely..

#10 SaraBeth on 06.28.09 at 7:06 am

My handicapped husband and I rent now for $400/month. We have neither one owned a home in our entire lives….He has lived in this house for 30+ years with no lease. I joined him here when we married almost 6 years ago.

His disability/retirement payments bring in about $32K/year. I will continue at about 90% of that should he die. We have about $167,000 in savings (money market, Canadian bonds, and a spousal RRSP). We have NO debts… our car is paid for. We do not use credit cards. If we cannot pay for it, we do not buy it.

The house we are renting was nice once, but is now falling apart, as is the neighborhood. And the 80+ year old land lord is either going to sell it or die and his sons will sell it out from under us. There is just too much work to be done on it (The basement is crumbling and is always wet and nasty), the electrical and plumbing all need to be replaced, the windows and doors too. It costs a fortune to heat and cool… We had a water fall down the stairs just this last Thursday when we had a gully washer of a rain… put a 1/2 or more of water all over the floor… That is where our washer, dryer and his wood shop tools are…as well as the gas and electrical hook ups to the city.

If they put us out, or hike the rent up to match the area in which we live now (Hamilton Mountain), we won’t be able to afford to rent here, or really anywhere within this geographical area. Well, unless it is another house or apartment (I shudder at the thought of living in a box like that again) that is falling apart too.

I have found a NICE house, bigger than this one, in a very nice town (Elliot Lake, ON) for $79,900.00 and figure we could put half down, and pay less on the mortgage than we pay now in rent. And still have a bit of a nest egg.

We are both in our mid 50s. He will never work again, and I am his full time care taker/driver/chief cook and bottle washer…that IS my job now…

So, for people like us, do you still think renting is the way to go?

#11 wjp on 06.28.09 at 8:22 am

All one can do is offer an opinion to his friend, the decision is not ours to make, offer it in good faith and then drop it. Friends are more important than whether they make good or bad financial decisions…you will have done your part by offering an alternative to the way he is thinking at this time.

#12 Onemorething (aka DaHKkid) on 06.28.09 at 8:22 am

Alt A’s and Option Arm’s starting to take hold to a total of $469B to reset. At one point the US didnt think the majority of these would matter as they would reset positively however lets face it, the RE market in the US is going into the next downturn and it is unlikely (as most of these types of loans were for RE investments) in high bubble areas, ie CAL-FLA on 3-5 year terms.

2009-2010-2011-2012 are the main reset years with close to 650,000 loans in Cali alone on the market. Reports show that in the month of March 09, only 3,400 or so did reset.

I guess you have to look at this way, if this trend continue due to the negative RE market it would take more than 15 years to reset all these loans.

I look at it the only reasonable way and that we will be lucky to 1/6 of these leaving over 500,000 homes foreclosed and added to the inventory which we believe is now 18 months in the US (not counting the current shadow inventory) and all of these above coming due!

I would be interested to see everyone’s thoughts on these which as you have noticed are completely downplayed in the press.

#13 Paul on 06.28.09 at 8:28 am

Kelowna residents can finally sleep again. It’s all good news here from the people that really know whats happening.

Kelowna Capital News
Housing prices have bottomed out

Local representatives of the real estate, banking and construction industries say when it comes to property prices in the Central Okanagan, the current level is likely as low as it will go.

“There were opportunities in January and February to get some good deals,” said Cliff Shillington, owner of Re/Max Kelowna.

“But sellers have recognized the change and adjusted their prices. You can’t steal a property from somebody any more.”

Shillington said unlike a few months ago, sellers are now regularly getting between 90 per cent and 94 per cent of their asking prices. As a result, he said prices are similar to where they were at this time in 2007.

Shillington, along with Central Okanagan Home Builders’ Association president Howard Rensler and Bank of Montreal mortgage specialist Guy Cole, told reporters this week the bottom appears to have been reached in the property market here and sales and sale prices are picking up.

Rensler even went so far as to boldly declare the recession, as far as residential construction in the Central Okanagan is concerned, is over.

“That’s the good news. The bad news is that this is what recovery looks like,” he said.

Like Shillington and Cole, Rensler said the recent downturn in the property market was caused as much by consumer confidence as anything else. And Cole, whose bank organized the media briefing, admitted the gathering was, in part, to address that lack of confidence by consumers.

He said the numbers bear out the “good” news. As an example, he pointed to the fact his mortgage specialists at the bank—throughout the entire Interior—are fielding more calls from people looking for mortgages now than they were a year ago

“It feels good to have the phones ringing off the hook,” he said.

But while the trio tried its best to put a positive spin on a picture that was being painted as pretty bleak up to a month ago, it was not all good news, especially for people looking to get into the property market for the first time here.

While mortgage rates are still low and are expected to stay that way for the foreseeable future and the price of housing has come down somewhat, it is still high, making it tough for first time buyers to realize the dream of owning a single-family home.

Shillington said today, the entry point for many is a condominium.

Rensler sees it a little differently.

He said there will always be pockets of affordable housing, but they may be farther out from Kelowna proper, meaning longer commutes.

He added while that is something that is not unusual in larger centres elsewhere, it will require a change of thinking for many people here.

Bank of Montreal senior economist Sal Guatari, who joined the panel by phone from Toronto, said while house prices have come down across B.C., they are still relatively high in the Kelowna area. He felt prices may have stabilized here and will not likely see the spectacular rises that were experienced over the last four years for some time to come.

As for the amount of housing available here, the local trio feel the market is balancing out from where it was before the downturn in the economy last fall.

Rensler said he believes that the shift in the housing market has also forced construction speculators—people who build individual houses with the express intention of immediately selling them at high prices to make a quick profit—to quit the local market.

“Speculating is for those with deep pockets and white livers,” he said.

#14 c9 renter on 06.28.09 at 8:34 am

Best post yet!

#15 peter wiener on 06.28.09 at 8:49 am

While it is laudable to step up and tell your friends and loved ones to avoid a real estate purchase now, you are really doing yourself a disfavour.

If you are correct about a market drop and they bought, you are resented. If you are incorrect, the market rises and they miss out, you are similarily resented. Either way you lose and jeopardize

The letter’s author has done his work more than once in alerting his friend. He should do no more and he should not lose sleep over the issue. Some people simply have to make their own mistakes and are going to regardless of the intentions behind or the sagacity of good advice. Often saving someone from a disaster just defers their meeting with the next one.

“Experience keeps a dear school and often charges a large tuition, but some will learn at no other……”

#16 pjwlk on 06.28.09 at 9:07 am

Want to help a friend from ruining his life:

As someone said here before there are a great number of people who don’t want to be saved – I know many myself including my own daughter and her husband.

Its been two years but I have finally been vindicated. After ignoring my advise and telling me that “nobody can tell the future” my son-in-law admitted that a)They should have waited before buying, and b) A new house wasn’t the greatest idea after all because he still has to do a lot of expensive work.

Hopefully your friend will listen to reason but be careful not to push too hard because as I’ve learned it may lead to resentment.

#17 hagbard on 06.28.09 at 9:09 am

Don’t buy because of climate change, 2012 and the tooth faerie. :-)

Cute. However, climate change will likely have a noticeable impact as we enter a new age of energy insecurity and rising values. The combination will have meaningful consequences for real estate investors, from the kind of homes people want (vastly smaller and more self-sufficient) to those areas where property will lose a substantial amount of its worth (coastal, prairies, areas of insect invasion). You are free to ignore this, however it is as much of a factor to consider as long-term interest rates and demographics. — Garth

#18 Sean Maguire on 06.28.09 at 9:24 am

@Sarabeth: I am curious to see the reaction to your situation from Garth and others.

Normally I’d say that giving up a rent-controlled place which is laughably below rental market levels would be a bad idea. You could go hard-core with the landlord and demand that repairs be made…but then they would have the right to jack the rents on you as it sounds like they would be capital improvements.

My take: I think that for your own health and safety, both physical and financial, you should make the move to Elliot Lake.

First, 80K out of your 167K fulfills Garth’s 50% in real estate rule (and almost gets you to 40%).

Second, it’s hard to imagine how much money you could lose on a reasonable house priced at 80K, even in Elliot Lake. Even a 20% loss of value is 16K, which it sound like you could handle, due to your financial prudence (congrats!).

Third, it sounds like you may be facing a forced move anyway, either from your landlord (greed) or because the house becomes uninhabitable (mould, flooding).

There are some intangibles to consider:
– quality of health care in Elliot Lake vs. Hamilton.
– do you have family/friends in Elliot Lake?

Lastly, it sounds like your current nestegg could be diversified a bit, depending on what is in that “spousal RRSP”. (Whenever I hear people put it that way, it’s usually code for GICs). You may be able to improve returns for minimal risk – such as Garth’s continuous references to bank preferred shares.

#19 Rick on 06.28.09 at 10:06 am

Even Dilbert agrees on renting :)

#20 SaraBeth on 06.28.09 at 10:30 am

@ Sean Maguire ~ Thanks for your reply…

Yes, I figured putting 40K on it and that would make our payments roughly $375/including taxes and interest… But of course, I would try to negotiate the price down if I could… I ALWAYS dicker ;-)

OR – if I could get it down some, then perhaps just buy it outright… for cash…

Elliot Lake has pretty good medical care from what I have been able to discover…It is looking to become a retirement mecca… but no, we have no family there… mine are all in the States, and hubby’s family is pretty much non-functional… So that really doesn’t figure into this equation. We are on our own…

I am a novice at investing and it really does scare me to even think about it… we have so little and so long yet to live…we have to be VERY careful…

I have never looked at owning a home as an investment, although I know it is. I look at it as roots… a HOME rather than a house…. and I would probably remain there until I pass through the vail myself… leaving it to my daughter to do with as she wants ….


#21 random guy on 06.28.09 at 10:34 am

for me, being 25 years old, rules one and four are contradictory. I’m proud to have put down 90K on my house, with 15K in the bank, I’m way over the 40% rule. But at this point in my life I have no problem with it. It’s kind of like the rule where as you get older you have to diversify your portfolio from a large stock position to a relatively safe bond or dividend type portfolio. So, in my situation I’m pretty cool with where I sit. Rules be damned

#22 Solitario on 06.28.09 at 10:46 am

Onemorething (aka DaHKkid),
I believe many of those Alt_A and ARM loans that were supposed to reset, are already in default or foreclosed…that would place us much closer to the bottom than many people think…

On a separate note, exceptional piece of advice from Mr. Turner starting with:
“There are many reasons to buy and own real estate, and I think I’ve lived them all. Investment. Emotional refuge. Shelter. Capital gains. Convenience. Social statement. Wealth. Architectural rescue. Income. Whimsy.”…
I would add “forced saving” on the list…many people/families don’t have the discipline to save without being somehow forced to…especially true in case of families…where one member is aware of the need to save, but can’t stop the other ones from pissing away the savings…

#23 peter on 06.28.09 at 10:51 am

CANADA PENSION – A Must Read. Only in Canada.

Do not apply for your old age pension…
Apply to be a refugee. It is interesting that the federal government provides a single refugee with a monthly allowance of $1,890.00 and each can get an additional $580.00 in social assistance for a total of $2, 470.00. This compares very well to a single pensioner who, after contributing to the growth and development of Canada for 40 or 50 years, can only receive a monthly maximum of $1,012.00 in old age pension and Guaranteed Income Supplement.
Furthermore if you had the wisdom to have a RRSP and made other income generating investments you may have earned the right to receive nothing from the Federal Government as they claw your Old Age Pension back because in their opinion you do not need it!!!!!
Maybe our pensioners should apply as refugees!

Let’s send this thought to as many Canadians as we can and maybe we can get the refugees cut back to $1,012.00 and the pensioners up to $2,470.00, so they can enjoy the money they were forced to submit to the Canadian government for those 40 to 50 years.

This is crap. It is racist and intolerant and shame on you for posting it to this board. There is no ‘monthly allowance’ paid to refugees, and this has been discredited endlessly. Only the ignorant and intolerant would pass along misinformation that seeks to victimize those victims among us. This post is what earned a banning of one visitor in recent days, and you are now joining him. Go wallow in your prejudice. — Garth

#24 taxpayer like you on 06.28.09 at 11:09 am

#18 Sean

“……either from your landlord (greed)…..”

Why is the landlord “greedy” if he sells the house? He’s
old, it’s old, it needs work, and who knows if the sons
want to be landlords?

#25 Increasing that 1% on 06.28.09 at 11:22 am

#20. SaraBeth

Perhaps you can get out on a trip to see some other properties that are much cheaper, in Canada, and still in decent areas near health care, – may be worth it – ie: could get something half the price, totally pay it off..

#26 Grantmi on 06.28.09 at 11:23 am


I prefer Chuck’s 10C’s version!!!!


#27 Nostradamus Jr's Analyst on 06.28.09 at 11:47 am

EI recipients in BC are up 80% from 8 months ago – even worse in Alberta.

In the U.S. the banks are so far behind on foreclosures that people are begging them to get their asses in gear and take the house back.

Sounds like a great time to buy a house here in “The best bubble on earth”.
Do you know what people think of when they think of BC?

Where does that leave us after the Olympics?

#28 RG on 06.28.09 at 11:52 am

Sara Beth, Maybe you should check out Windsor before moving to Elliot Lake, way too much snow up there.

#29 taxpayer like you on 06.28.09 at 12:04 pm

#4 Charles – thank you for the link “Fair pensions”

As a taxpayer (like you) I am very concerned about the confiscation of my income and the wealth I have
accumulated fairly and within the rules in order to support
others pension plans, both public and private.

Barb – I know we had a go-around about this some time ago, but Charles link provides some good material that presents how many of us feel about pension bailouts, as well as articles proposing possible solutions.

And please remember this is not the lady gaga blog….tx

#30 Charles T. on 06.28.09 at 12:08 pm

Welcome back Nostradamus jr.

Could you please tell us what is in our future, inflation or deflation.

#31 Barb the proof reader on 06.28.09 at 12:11 pm

#10 SaraBeth: “I have found a NICE house, bigger than this one, in a very nice town (Elliot Lake) for $79,900”

Sara Beth,

My family vacationed at Elliot Lake and Manitoulin Island… I’ve always kept up on development of the area. Lovely, but it’s just so far north.

What about something a little warmer and closer, and with a similar or better climate like areas such as St. Thomas? St. Thomas home prices fall within your range, especially in some lovely, older and historic areas. And it’s still just a nice country drive from your present area for visiting acquaintances and family. As a matter of fact, I have several family and friends who have moved there, and Aylmer, Tillsonburg, Chatham, etc., in the past 18 years and they all very much enjoy the location, weather, towns. (But of all those I prefer St. Thomas.)

My sister has rented entire homes (in the $700/mon. range as far as I recall) as they have a few in St. Thomas. Actually, they’re very fussy about who they rent to but you are an ideal client who landlords clamour to find. If you have a stable income, that’s your bargaining tool. You are very attractive for worried landlords whose clients have precarious incomes. Hold your stable income up as a bargaining chip and landlords will melt in your hands. Be choosy.

In St. Thomas, the downtown has taken a hit, (as has many small towns), but the older, historic, residential areas just west/south of downtown there, are lovely, and I highly recommend. If the time comes to buy…. I looked on MLS and easily can see places like a one storey ravine property for $92,500 and other properties at lower prices…. prices are falling there too. So if you take the bull by the horns and position yourself in a rental home there, you’d be ready to pounce if the right home came along to own. Take an afternoon to go to St. Thomas this summer and look around. At the very least you will really enjoy the drive and the fresh produce, and don’t forget to pick up some fresh strawberries just outside of town at Ferguson’s

#32 Nostradamus jr. on 06.28.09 at 12:39 pm

# 139 Solitario….good post…

>>deflation is easier to control than inflation…as long as you own the world’s reserve currency…just print money…this could be a long discussion, (but for now take my word on this one)…to make controlling deflation a even easier job you need: 1) turn “printing money aka quantitative easing into a global phenomenon…check; 2) have captive creditors (they already own too much of your debt…)…almost check;…Now you only have to worry about the price of gold…<<

#33 kc on 06.28.09 at 12:40 pm

#23 peter on 06.28.09 at 10:51 am CANADA PENSION – A Must Read. Only in Canada.

This type of post is some crap someone made up and is flogging it around the NET, I have seen it in my email junk box a couple times. it ranks right up there with “you have won 1M send us your bank info and a credit card number for a small fee.” why do you even bother with the band width to post it Garth?

#34 Barb the proof reader on 06.28.09 at 12:41 pm

taxpayer like you barb/dave99 couldnt we just call lady gaga “sexy” and leave it at that

Taxpayer Like You, not in my opinion, and he was just trying to cover-up his mistake and his lack of responsibility. I suggest you make donation too.

#35 Dan in Victoria on 06.28.09 at 12:41 pm

Let your friend make his own mistakes…believe me it’s better that way.”IF” he asks for advice give him the links to this blog ,THE Automatic Earth and If he comes back and talks to you,then he is thinking, only then offer your views.I’ve been down that road before and it usually won’t end well for you to jump in.What a great post Garth,I too follow a simple set of rules and self disipline,it works well.About the 40% real estate deal,the wife read that and quickly figured out that we were a little high on that,so She said to go and make some more money to compensate.Damn, I was just getting used to this three day work week…..

#36 SaraBeth on 06.28.09 at 12:50 pm

#25 Increasing that 1%

Thanks so much for your reply… but I have yet to find anything for 40K that didn’t require A LOT of work. Don’t have the money or the time to take on a fixer-upper…

#37 Dan in Victoria on 06.28.09 at 12:51 pm

Post #10 Sara Beth I wish you and hubby the best,hope it turns out well for you.I think you are probably pretty accurate on what is going to happen in the future so it would be wise to start on a course of action now,while you have the time to plan.Things will happen in a hurry if(when) the landlord passes on.Best to be fully prepared,it is coming your way.If you own its yours and thats it,If you rent well, who knows?Good Luck!

#38 kc on 06.28.09 at 12:55 pm

#27, The fist sentence pretty much sums up BC…

BC = Bud Capitol …. BC = Best Crooks… BC = Bring Celebrities…

“VANCOUVER – When Canadians picture British Columbia, they think of the Olympics, marijuana and violent criminals, a poll revealed yesterday.”

and BC = Bring Cash,


#39 SaraBeth on 06.28.09 at 12:55 pm

#31 Barb the proof reader ~ Thanks for your suggestions! I WILL look into renting but owing seems way more stable to me…but you’ve given me MUCH food for thought.

As to the “why so far north?”….well, climate change.
;-) I figure within a few years it will be pretty temperate there… LOL!

That, and coming from the States as I do, and watching my country self-destruct… I would prefer to be as far from the border as possible with it does…Call me crazy, but I really DO see a terrible bloody crisis coming down south, and soon… :-(

#40 Nostradamus jr. on 06.28.09 at 12:55 pm

#23 Peter

…Your post is “incorrect”…The statistics are wrong…way wrong.

I posted it earlier, assuming the statistics were correct, and I was banned.

ftr…I am in agreement with Ottawa’s current Immigration Policies.

But let me be clear, imo, your post is not Racist…simply incorrect.

…In the coming months or years it is very possible Canada will be inundated with + 500,000 Refugee landings….maybe more!

Look at the world around us….Powder Kegs everywhere.(Garth aint no dummy preparing his own bunker.)

…Canada is a freaking Paradise compared to the rest of the world….imo, Canadians are naive about what’s happening elsewhere.

Is Canada prepared?

lol….Heck, California w/ 35 million citizens are even possible refugees.

The parfole officer is on his way to your IP addy. — Garth

#41 Smart on 06.28.09 at 1:07 pm


there is some info that in August- Sept Obama will announce “banking holidays” for uncertain period of time, during this time people won’t be able to withdraw cash from their account or it will be a limit for that.
Please make a comment.

Source? — Garth

#42 rory on 06.28.09 at 1:24 pm

Greg at his site, said:

“Honestly, I never heard the 3.5 times salary, 40% of net worth example before. You probably don’t want to hear this, but I think close to 100% of young buyers today would be violating your rule. In fact i [sic] would say that the lions share of the Canadian homeowner population would have more then 40% of their net worth in their home. Not sure where we could get that stat, seems intuitive to me.”

This is exactly the point that this blog is trying to make to the RE industry and the big bad world …the 3.5 (+/-) rule and the 40% of net worth are being violated which says RE is too expensive and the ‘pushers’ of the industry are ignoring these violations (including gov’t) – proof is the worldwide collapse in RE …end of story.

And Greg you need to read more dude …try this one …. and for fun for the 3.5 figure.

As to the rest of the story …I think GT’s post today pretty much sums it up …Greg, would like to hear all your ‘buts’ on these points.

We, the GT blog dogs, are not bad or intentionally mean, we are just pragmatic and tired of the people that do not take responsibilities for their own lives and feel entitled to it ‘all’…IMHO.

#43 palebird on 06.28.09 at 1:26 pm

re #13 I don’t think there is anyone from the Okanagan valley that I would give any credibility to, you want to talk about a bubble, that valley is classic…the article is sure good for a laugh…

#44 TJ on 06.28.09 at 1:37 pm

After being lucky enough to travel to just about every continent, except Antarctica and Oz – I can say with alacrity, that Canadians have it better than 98% of the rest of the human race.

BUT – to have that standard of living and freedom – you have to guard it, nurture it and participate. What happens when you don’t?

To quote and earlier blogger : “VANCOUVER – When Canadians picture British Columbia, they think of the Olympics, marijuana and violent criminals, a poll revealed yesterday.”

I won’t get into a justice system rant here, because we discuss real estate and the economy – but, IF you take your eye off the ball, or get fat and lazy, the darker elements have a field day.

I have lived in Vancouver, on and off, for 35 years, and I can say with alacrity that the quality of life here is sinking faster than Barack Obama’s approval rating.

Taxes, crumbling infrastructure,criminals and a lax judicial system are going to start to take their toll on home prices, besides our ‘quality of life’.

Whenever I see the Propaganda from Victoria saying “British Columbia – the greatest place in earth”, I just about throw my Ben Mulroney bobblehead doll at the TV set.

Vancouver has a case of ‘ain’t we great’ and we better smarten up and fast.

#45 TJ on 06.28.09 at 1:42 pm

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — The top-performing letter that predicted the Crash of 2008 now predicts a confiscatory Franklin D. Roosevelt-style “bank holiday.”

In its current issue, THE HARRY SCHULZ LETTER reports rumors that “Some U.S. embassies worldwide are being advised to purchase massive amounts of local currencies; enough to last them a year. Some embassies are being sent enormous amounts of U.S. cash to purchase currencies from those governments, quietly. But not pound sterling. Inside the State Dept., there is a sense of sadness and foreboding that ‘something’ is about to happen … within 180 days, but could be 120-150 days.”

#46 taxpayer like you on 06.28.09 at 1:45 pm

34 Barb – sorry just trying to lighten up the blog a little.
I didnt know it was your sensitive spot. Oh and I do take
responsibility for my treatment of others EVERYDAY.

Just a reminder that this is a real estate blog, with obvious financial and economic underpinnings. Suggest
we keep it there. Thank you.

Nosty – glad to have you back. Behave.

#47 Mike (Authentic) on 06.28.09 at 1:47 pm

#38 Smart “there is some info that in August- Sept Obama will announce “banking holidays””

I heard this too, on 2 sources from the Alex Jones show. Alex has had some reliable sources on his show in the past and it’s a hot topic right now. But no real details other than the above.

If I remember correctly, the term “Bank Holiday” came about from the 30’s depression of closing down the banks (so some could forever close) and others could refi with the gov’t.


#48 Smart on 06.28.09 at 2:02 pm


there is some info that in August- Sept Obama will announce “banking holidays” for uncertain period of time, during this time people won’t be able to withdraw cash from their account or it will be a limit for that.
Please make a comment.

Source? — Garth

Source is another blog in foreing language, don’t have anything in English at the moment.
So can you make any comment ?

#49 taxpayer like you on 06.28.09 at 2:39 pm

Just when you thought it might be safe to move to VI
(and to particularly send barb over the edge….)

#50 Jimster on 06.28.09 at 3:01 pm


Perhaps this would be more to your liking;

In feudal age of pensions, renaissance must come


On his blog and in articles and talks, Tufts has been arguing that the average public servant in Canada will end up with a pension valued at close to $1-million – while the average taxpayer is looking at retirement with less than $150,000 in RRSPs or a small company pension.

The world financial meltdown, he says, has created a situation in which private-sector pensions are under siege – some to the point of vanishing – while public plans are not only protected but, in certain cases, will be topped up in the event of a shortfall by taxpayers who will never collect such a pension themselves.

“People are resentful,” he says.

#51 Jerry_Tonley on 06.28.09 at 3:12 pm

The parole officer is on his way to your IP addy. — Garth

Did you mean the parfait officer? WTF? Doesn’t matter. Without a warrant the ISP will tell you to ram it no matter what. Google “tor” Garth and learn something about the media you post on . . .

Sheeesh, amateurs . . .

Sheesh…get a sense of humour, numbnuts. — Garth

#52 Barb the proof reader on 06.28.09 at 3:13 pm

#39 SaraBeth call me crazy :)

Sara Beth, I agree with your sentiments. I think it’s easy for people, you and I included, to see what Garth means about the “timing” of a purchase (mixed in with all the other factors he’s outlined). But isn’t it funny, with all the servings of logic, opinion, advice and strategizing he dollops out, we still fallback to that position of wanting to own… the stability as you say. You have a special situation depending on your darling husband’s disability, as some of us (like me) anticipate moving as a drudgery or even stressful. Others are lucky and they move with ease.

It’s good to know you have these options in front of you though. But just one thing, what about your daughter? If you can re-locate near her, sometimes the quality of seeing each other as often as you’d like is worth part of that investment. I known a lot of parents over the years who moved to be near their older children and grandchildren and it worked out well. Less family-visit travel, closer contact, two commodities to consider. It’s just not the same when you’re more than a car drive away and I know that from my own experience.

Elliot Lake sounds great in several ways, love your logic about it. Oh, and I wasn’t saying don’t buy, I was just saying I think you have plenty of time and renting in the interim would give you a chance to get a feel for a new area to see if it’s really for you. That’s sort of a trade off, moving twice, but at least the house purchase will be (a) well-timed, financially and on your own terms … and (b) no surprises after you move in — you’ll know all you need to know about the new town within a year or so … and if it’s location is right for you. And you’ll be able to do your real estate search and purchase in person, rather than long distance. It wasn’t clear if you considered Elliot Lake purely because it caters to retirees, or is it near your daughter, or both?

And coming from the States as you do — crisis coming, yes, but then, it always has been. I’m glad you’re in Canada. All of my father’s ancestors have been here a long time, and always very happily so.. well, except for the ones who barely escaped with their lives from the U.S. — attacked quite literally by their own brothers — or those who had to ward off American attacks a couple of hundred years ago! Nothing changes, historically speaking. LOL! :)
All the very best to you and your hubby.

#53 Dawn in Calgary on 06.28.09 at 3:32 pm

Re: #41 – I’ve read about the bank holiday prediction recently too — I think it was on Karl Denniger’s site. Main source was the Harry Schultz Letter, and covered by Market Watch

“In its current issue, HSL reports rumors that “Some U.S. embassies worldwide are being advised to purchase massive amounts of local currencies; enough to last them a year. Some embassies are being sent enormous amounts of U.S. cash to purchase currencies from those governments, quietly. But not pound sterling. Inside the State Dept., there is a sense of sadness and foreboding that ‘something’ is about to happen … within 180 days, but could be 120-150 days.”

Yes, yes, it’s paranoid. But paranoids have enemies — and the Crash of 2008 really did happen.

HSL’s suspicion: “Another FDR-style ‘bank holiday’ of indefinite length, perhaps soon, to let the insiders sort out the bank mess, which (despite their rosy propaganda campaign) is getting more out of their control every day. Insiders want to impose new bank rules. Widespread nationalization could result, already underway. It could also lead to a formal U.S. dollar devaluation, as FDR did by revaluing gold (and then confiscating it).”

#54 905er & Spouse on 06.28.09 at 3:38 pm

Nope, can’t be anywhere near bottom…. I can’t believe this POS in Mississauga went for $478 according to the RE agent today! Gimme a break, what a dump, the place was boarded up and dishevelled.

#55 Solitario on 06.28.09 at 3:38 pm

I wonder what would be an appropriate punishment for garbage posts like the ones with the “refugee allowance” and “bank holiday”.
Should we just ignore these scum posters infecting the Internet with their “news” or legal action should be taken against them?

#56 Darryl on 06.28.09 at 3:45 pm

#45 TJ

“NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — The top-performing letter that predicted the Crash of 2008 now predicts a confiscatory Franklin D. Roosevelt-style “bank holiday.” Bla Bla……..

This was originaly stated on a Bob Chapman radio program . It was from “Bobs inside sources” . He had no proof to back up his story . Bob Chapman is on the same wave legth as Alex Jones and is a semi regular on his program.

Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad should have the big picture on this. Always enjoyable posts and good entertainment.

Speaking of Nosti. That’s one short leash you have him on.

Sit Nosti Sit.

#57 Darryl on 06.28.09 at 3:51 pm

#49 Taxpayer

I wonder where Pamala will get the silicon for the solar energy panels. (PVPs)

#58 Nostradamus Jr's Analyst on 06.28.09 at 3:53 pm

#44 TJ,

“Vancouver – the best place on meth”®

#59 Investx on 06.28.09 at 4:07 pm


“My books, and this blog, speak in an unvarnished fashion about real estate – which is why so many people cannot stand me. Usually they make a living from selling or financing houses, or have gambled everything on a home and fear I’ll talk the market down.

Whatever. I just make my opinions known, to be heeded or ignored. ”

You go, Garth! We need more guys like you.

#60 hagbard on 06.28.09 at 4:51 pm

#31 Barb the proof reader

The situation in St. Thomas much be very different than Essex country. We’ve been here nearly a year, and while we’re renting a nice waterfront property (got our scuba gear ready for “global warming”) we’ve been looking for another place to rent. We’ve seen very few offerings, most are tiny houses in Leamington. At most, you’ll see a couple of listings for anything over 3br in the local papers.

I’ve concluded that there are no good rentals here, and if we had to move, we’d end up buying (I don’t think prices were effected to the same degree here as elsewhere).

#61 Investx on 06.28.09 at 5:05 pm

“But let me be clear, imo, your post is not Racist…simply incorrect.

…In the coming months or years it is very possible Canada will be inundated with + 500,000 Refugee landings….maybe more!

Look at the world around us….Powder Kegs everywhere.(Garth aint no dummy preparing his own bunker.)

…Canada is a freaking Paradise compared to the rest of the world….imo, Canadians are naive about what’s happening elsewhere.

Is Canada prepared?

lol….Heck, California w/ 35 million citizens are even possible refugees.

The parfole officer is on his way to your IP addy. — Garth”

I am not a fan of Nostradamus Jr., but what was wrong with his last post, Garth?

#62 Jon B on 06.28.09 at 5:25 pm

Excellent list for the newbies Garth. I take issue with #6 and the decline of the burbs. Highly doubt it will happen. #10 on the list should be #1 in my opinion.

#63 David on 06.28.09 at 5:25 pm

Tough to stop a moth from heading toward an open flame. This gentleman tried his best to warn of the dangers to his friend. Reading the one post about the comments about the bottom is past tense reminds me J.K. Galbraith’s Principle of Maximum Ruin where those who believe the bottom has been reached rush headlong into a punishing false bull market and really pay for their folly.
Vulching is several years away at best and most likely will require 100% cash sales on homes.

#64 Barb the proof reader on 06.28.09 at 5:38 pm

#29 taxpayer like you And please remember this is not the lady gaga blog Ha! Ha! Last time I looked, Garth makes the rules. Garth’s referenced gaga on more than one posting. I prefer Garth’s rules.

#46 sensitive spot?
No, I just see the world in a bigger picture, everything taken into balanced account. Unfortunately others, if others don’t understand or don’t like what’s being said — they go and shoot the messenger, or try to disfigure them, by trying to frame them as some exaggerated or negative caricature that they are not.

re: pensions.. It’s all crap to me, one mistake after another, but what I’d disagreed with was an extreme lumping and re-framing by one person that people like my ill, amputee father-in-law was “golfing”. The next thing you know the NCC Winged Oz monkeys swooped in and tried to frame me as a cigar smoking union boss. That’s just plain ignorance if you believe their reframing act, but some fall for it.

#49 taxpayer like you, re: link to Pamela
Thanks for that, she’s actually a good example of what happens to the co-perpetrator, after the fact. I was going to give her as an example regarding what happens once they have time on their side and look back, they re-consider their non-contribution, and negative contribution, to society. Over time, she’s had that “a-ha” moment and she’s doing everything she can “after-the-fact” to “ease her pain” as they say. She carefully chose charities that wouldn’t point too harshly at her, but meanwhile they appreciate and co-benefit from her celebrity-powers and influence over ‘some’ people. Other sell-outs choose to ‘ease their pain’ through drugs once they realize their little piece of damage they contributed to the planet. There’s always going to be people who will disfigure themselves and plasticize themselves — and people who will do any thoughtless act to grab a buck.
But in her case, she did it for money and fame and now she’s living in a compromised immune system, she doesn’t look well, and may be eventually be left in debilitating pain — getting all that silicone removed may have only temporarily saved her life. But then, you’d think it’s hysterical.

So let’s LOL together, taxpayer, but I’ll just whisper a hint, you’re not that good at “lightening things up” as you say, when your method is seemingly so-oooo NCC-ish.. poor thing, it’s like a disease, and I know you wouldn’t want to seem that way, as smart people see through that sort of thing. So, ‘just like you’, I’m just tryin’ to be helpful.

And Tax, oh my, how you blew your cover with those subsequent mocks, which only mean that you just can’t let go of your habit of reframing people here to suit your purposes. If you use a shallow tactic like that, people notice.

And in response to your suggestion to me, why don’t you re-arrange your subtle dabs of jokin’ and ‘reframing ‘who other posters are’ by just letting people speak for themselves. I think that’s a better suggestion. Just my opinion.

But nice try, you really came across in some of those posts as being light-hearted and apologetic and funny and all, I almost fell for it myself, LOL! :)

#65 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 06.28.09 at 6:13 pm

Re: Banking holiday. — \/
#10 SaraBeth at 7:06 am — “So, for people like us, do you still think renting is the way to go?”

Rent until summer / fall 2011, as there will be a much clearer view on the way the world is headed.

However, should you find a really good deal one thing to keep in mind is rising energy costs. A home inspection will tell if the home is adequately insulated. A good supply of fresh water is a must, too.

Sean (#18) on a moderate amount going into bank preferreds is right as well, as the dividends can go straight into a TFSA, $5K for each person.
#27 Nostradamus Jr’s Analyst at 11:47 am — “Where does that leave us after the Olympics?”

So far in the hole that all we can do is turn off, tune in and drop out of life!
#46 taxpayer like you at 1:45 pm — “Nosty – glad to have you back. Behave.”

Ditto! Do you want your moniker back?
#56 Darryl at 3:45 pm — “Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad should have the big picture on this. Always enjoyable posts and good entertainment. ”

Glad you enjoy the posts — lotsa fun finding really weird stuff!
As to the stuff that is racing along at present, look to tons of rhetoric from all sorts of political nutbars left and right, three super volcanoes going off within a one-year time frame, Pandemic At The OK Corral, climate change overheating and freezing at the same time — as Ted Turner said, that will leave about 250 – 350 million people to inherit what the Spiritual Hierarchy refers to as “The Ashcan Of The Universe”! (This planet).

#66 taxpayer like you on 06.28.09 at 6:57 pm

Re: Barg 64

” getting all that silicone removed may have only
temporarily saved her life. But then, you’d think it’s

Barb you’ve completely lost it. Why would I think that?

“And in response to your suggestion to me, why don’t
you re-arrange your subtle dabs of jokin’
and ‘reframing ‘who other posters are’ by just letting
people speak for themselves. I think that’s a better

What are you talking about? My suggestion for you to
read something? What other posters?

“But nice try, you really came across in some of those posts as being light-hearted and apologetic and funny and all, I almost fell for it myself, LOL!”

OK, I wont try to be funny or provide useful info to you
anymore. Garth – could you confirm for Barb that I do not
post under multiple nicknames?

First Rick/Dave 99/Rory. I’m with you guys. Barb is nuts and Lady gaga is “sexy”.

#67 molson cdn on 06.28.09 at 7:17 pm

message to nostradamus jr,

“What we have here is a failure to communicate.
Some men you just can’t reach. So you get what we had here last week, which is the way he wants it… well, he gets it. I don’t like it any more than you men”.

#68 South of 49 on 06.28.09 at 7:18 pm

SaraBeth, for low house prices, check out any small town in northern Ontario that has had a saw mill/pulp mill close down or any small town in south-west Ontario that is/was dependent on the auto parts industry.

There are many small towns in northern Ontario where you can get a nice home for $79,000. Towns like Wawa, Marathon and Manitouwadge also have new hospitals.

One problem with these towns is that property taxes will be higher than the big cities because the main industry has closed and the commercial tax base has evaporated too. In our town the residential tax rate is about 2%. The taxes on a $79,000 home would be around $1,600.

Look for towns that medical professionals would find attractive (outdoor sports; good schools; etc.). Elliot Lake, with its emphasis on retirees, could be attractive because of health care and social activities geared to older residents.

Go for a drive and check out your options.

#69 Barb the proof reader on 06.28.09 at 8:07 pm

#66 taxpayer like you, honestly, the part about hysterical is a typo, a cut and paste error. Sorry about that!

But, sure enough, you pulled another one..

I did not say you post under other names. I said, clearly, reframing ‘who other posters are’.

Hint: you reframed what I said. You’re just plain starting to sound like you’re ‘playing dumb’ and you know it.. here’s your stumble: You did not simply post your suggestion for me to “read something”. You said @ 49 “(and to particularly send barb over the edge….)”

Did you just “forget” that you said that?? You know you’re acting like an ass. Don’t play innocent.

And because you’ve decided to ride that topic, and rub your reframing all over that too, let me just wonder aloud, why is it that you won’t allow me to say my opinion that I agree with Garth, and that a wannabe pop star who denigrates women is a con, a sideshow who takes commercial whoring to a whole new level, without you deciding that you’ll just accuse me of being some sort of prude so you can diminish my opinions. You wanna talk about important issues? One of the most important issues in the world is how women and children are treated, but cons will always find a way to make a buck while making the problem worse. Don’t bother bating the topic as being anything other than gaga denigrating women for money.

And again, sorry about the ‘hysterical’ typo, it didn’t belong to that paragraph.

#70 rory on 06.28.09 at 8:12 pm

#66 taxpayer like you …

I like Pam, she is a hoot + she sticks up for the animals (as far as I own she walks and talks her beliefs) using her fame, damn her …lol…all good enough for her to make it into my book.

To all, I like the discussions on pensions that is starting to brew. I have always said this was going to be a battle royale between the haves and the have nots’.

Problem is no gov’t, as of yet, has the backbone to deal with it. We will see if some trendsetters (as in broke states) like California can make a dent in pension reform, then maybe we can migrate it north…it will take years.

#71 rory on 06.28.09 at 8:25 pm

Hi again, after reading this blog I migrated over to Mish’s site …pension talk again on “Bloated State Police Pension Plans – Something Has To Give”.

Give it a read and apply it to every public pension plan …trouble coming …problem is the gov’t owns and controls most everything that prevents radical or even common sense change – Canada revenue, the police, the army, and things the don’t like CUPE and other public unions, etc. …we the people at some point are going to have to stand up and oppose it somehow …I have no solution except through politics …okay all stop laughing…yeah we are so screwed…every citizen needs to get a gov’t job …then maybe someone will get it.

#72 Uncertain on 06.28.09 at 9:21 pm

#54 905er & Spouse,

that property sucks…. very discouraging… I thought the market was supposed to be going down… so much for buying property!!! When is that 15 to 30% correction supposed to happen….

please comment

#73 Victoria opinion on 06.28.09 at 9:26 pm

another greaterfool in Victoria, just read her post, the bloody house isn’t even built yet????

Her quote,

“Well who knew that one day I would have to eat my words. I said that would never be able to afford a house in this market. However, the market dropped and we were able to buy. It was pretty quick as we weren’t looking two weeks ago and now we own a house.

However, it was one of those things that we got the place we wanted within a 15 minute window so if we hadn’t moved on it we would have lost it”

it’s going to be a NIGHTMARE for people like this, when their mortgages reset…and an unbelievable buying opportunity for everybody else:

#74 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 06.28.09 at 9:55 pm

Here it is! The first true Bernie Madoff 30-second lullaby! —
Hotel California is For Sale! —
Y’all know there’s sum Dirty Dancin’ goin’ on, but explains it better. —

“The European Union has demanded the immediate release of Iranian staff at Britain’s embassy in Tehran detained on Saturday over post-election unrest.

“EU ministers meeting in Greece warned that “harassment or intimidation” of embassy staff would be met with a “strong and collective” response.”

Webmaster’s Commentary: “In other words, Great Britain left their staff in Iran in the hopes they would be arrested, creating a new “hostage” crisis justifying a military intervention.

“If Ahmadinejad is smart, he will declare the entire British Embassy Staff persona non grata and send them back to Great Britain. This is a public slap in the face to Britain (and the US) for attempting an overthrow while removing the excuse for a follow-up invasion.”
The link is okay; it’s the comments from following that are more interesting! —

“On Friday, President Obama signed a new war spending bill into law, but “not without taking a page from his predecessor and ignoring a few elements in the legislation,” the Hill reports.

“The Obama administration announced in the statement it would disregard provisions of the legislation that, among other things, would compel the Obama administration to pressure the World Bank to strengthen labor and environmental standards and require the Treasury department to report to Congress on the activities of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF).”

Webmaster’s Commentary: “In these signing statements, Obama has effectively isolated the Treasury Department, the IMF, and the World Bank from any possible congressional scrutiny or oversight.

“Something smells here, and it sure as heck isn’t the fragrance of roses!”
If anyone needed proof that 9-11 was an inside job, check out this almost-completed 13-storey Shanghai apartment building which fell over. — — Compare this to the IMPLOSIONS at the WTC, a few seconds prior the two aircraft hitting.
If you have 10:17 to spare, this will take the space up nicely! —

“I am one of those who do not believe the national debt is a national blessing… it is calculated to raise around the administration a moneyed aristocracy dangerous to the liberties of the country.”

Andrew Jackson, Letter to L. H. Coleman of Warrenton, N.C., 29 April 1824


#75 Barb the proof reader on 06.28.09 at 10:16 pm

#66 taxpayer like you: “First Rick/Dave 99/Rory. I’m with you guys. Barb is nuts and Lady gaga is “sexy”.
. . . . . . .

Well, well, well, taxpayer. I hate to be the bearer of bads news, but after a thorough search, I just can’t seem to find where Rory said anything like that.. Have you out-ed yourself???

Look back at ‘Rory’s’ posts.. Not today, not yesterday, not the day before. I’ll save you some time. I went back quite far, past Gaga, past June and beyond.

As Arte Johnson’s character on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In used to say… “Ver-rrry interesting. But shtupid!”

And isn’t it ironic …. that’s in your same post where you stumbled, and very mistakenly you thought I’d said something about you having multiple post names — but I didn’t say that at all. I’ve never even thought that! Is it your guilty conscience perhaps? Freudian slip?

Quick, think up how you knew Rory said that. Mind reading? This is fun. And thanks for serving that up on a platter.

And it all started because I’d made one comment after wondering why Garth was jesting a couple of times about something named Lady Gaga.

#76 WillsDad on 06.28.09 at 10:42 pm

It’s funny when people say they “own” their house, when in reality they will not own it for 25 years.

Simple explanation to those who don’t “get it”. If you stop making payments, the true “owners”, the bank, will throw you out on your a**.

Can someone take the shirt on your back if you lose your job and have no money? No. See, that’s ownership!

One more thought: To those who are stigmatized by friends and family for renting; why don’t you just tell them you bought the place? It’s splitting hairs anyway, since the people coming down on you for renting are most likely renting the house from the bank.

#77 Samantha on 06.28.09 at 10:57 pm

Wanting to help –

You want to help your friend, and I hope that you can by steering him to this “Rules” entry. Perhaps, you can ask him to consider the “what ifs’ – job loss, an unplanned pregnancy, or illness and if he and his wife have included these considerations in their plans to purchase a home. The house purchase should be planned carefully – budget, timing, location, resale marketability in case of an emergency contingency as listed previously with a very definite vision of exactly what kind of house they want (age, condition, size).

However, no matter how good your intentions or how aware you are of the risks in real estate these days, please be prepared for the fact that he might not be receptive to changing his position on this issue or his plans. At least you will know you care and that you tried to help him. I hope he values your concern and friendship. Good luck.

#10 SaraBeth

There are additional considerations surrounding home purchases for those of us who are disabled. My husband and are I both disabled and I hope the following can be of help to you and your husband:

Medical condition and prognosis should be considered when planning for a change in shelter, be it rented or purchased. Issues related to aging also need to be factored. Proximity to physicians, emergency services, specialists, home support, meals on wheels, and personal care are part of the health care issue.

Rural shelter is less expensive, however, rural hospitals can and do cut back or cease service. We looked at demographics in the area we selected and the size of the area our hospital services when we made a decision to relocate. The quality of health care is important so it helps to research the physicians where you plan to relocate to ensure it will be a good fit. We interviewed our physicians before committing to their care and the community. It isn’t so easy to change physicians without a considerable drive in a rural area.

If you move to a community you do not know, a very clear sense of what you and your husband require from your environment and community is critical. Will the community be compatible with your lifestyle and sensibilities? We spent time speaking with local people and mingling to get a feel for the community we selected. Community mindset also shows in how homes are maintained.

If you plan to be a homeowner, then your research should consider practical things such as availability of plumbers, electricians, roofers and an idea of their rates. Some communities pay high travel time rates to have a repair done. Or, in some cases the tradespeople are in the community, but charge very high rates. Access to automobile repair is another concern.

Property taxes are another issue and it is worthwhile to check out recent or pending improvements to see what their impact might have upon taxes.

The type of house you select should consider your ability to maintain it, inside and out. An 800-900 sq. ft bungalow with excellent roof insulation and a simple roof line is much easier and less expensive to heat, paint and reroof. An upstairs is not always viable with disability or the changes as one ages. Many seniors meet a sad end to an independent life in their own home and arrive in personal care because they fell using the stairs to an upper level or the basement stairs.

We also looked at worst case scenario with respect to the times we live in. I have practiced emergency preparedness for many years and being disabled has only reinforced this mindset. For example, our yard is not only sufficient for a good sized garden, it is large enough to handle large container and raised bed gardening. Our house, while not large, is able to handle the type of food storage and food reserves I store.

Financial missteps are always a concern when one lives on limited income. In our case, we ensured that our shelter cost would be workable in the case of one of us not making it to a statistical life span. This included the house owned free and clear with forecasting for future maintenance cost and determining if one person could still live in the house, factoring in all other expenses.

We bought in 2007 after living in the house since 2006. The deal was written in 2006 with a year to arrange financing, $5000.00 off the asking price for a sale price of $35,000.00, and $350.00 per month rent in the interim.

We were able to work such a deal because the house had been on the market for over a year and the seller was desperate to sell. Unfortunately, the seller did not realize, nor did his agent tell him, that if he cleaned the house thoroughly and did some basic, relatively minor cosmetic repairs, the house probably would have sold much quicker and for a much higher price than his asking price.

It helps to looks at listings in the area you are interested in over time and note how long a house is on the market, especially in the smaller towns and rural areas. This can be one way to find a decent home on a rent to own basis. You then can “try before you buy” and get a real understanding of how energy efficient the house is and the true cost of living in it.

You could also advertise in the local newspaper of the area you are interested in and possibly find a suitable home and deal this way.

Good luck to you and your husband.

#78 taxpayer like you on 06.28.09 at 11:09 pm

Barb – youre reading way too much into this (and me)

I must also apologize – I see I typed “Barg” but we both know b and g are close on the keygoard. (!)

This is garths reference to Lady gaga from days ago:

“and anyone who thinks we will go from a rerun of the 1930s to a rerun of the 1980s in eight months has been watching way too much Lady Gaga”

I dont see a whoring reference and I didnt know who
lady gaga was, and didnt care, but I did google her after
all the blog references. Checked one video,
concluded “nothing to see here” and moved along. I cant give an opinion as I dont have one.

Anyway you’ll see in my comment 29 acknowledging
charles’ No 4 as my original suggested reading material
for you. Yes, the Pamela link was a little jab – a “barb” so to speak. No disrespect intended. I didnt expect such a
tirade in response. Sorry I brought it up. Rory enjoyed it though.

#79 nonplused on 06.28.09 at 11:17 pm

#22 Solitario

A mortgage is a pretty expensive way to do forced savings. That’s a lot of interest to pay as you “save”. Why not get an ING account with an automatic monthly deduction from your regular checking account. There are a hundred options similar to this including RRSP automatic deductions that are more cost effective than a mortgage.

Also, there is a way to keep the other members of the family from blowing through savings. It’s called a prenuptial agreement. Nobody should marry without one these days, as marriage is no longer for life but only for as long as the relationship is mutually beneficial. Not saying that is a bad thing, but it means one should look at the nature of the contract a little differently. Keep your money in a separate account, and then both spouses contribute to expenses and possibly a joint account based on some reasonable negotiated agreement. But this idea that once married, your spouse can just run up the credit anytime she happens to pass a Holt Renfrew is ridiculous. He or she can run up their own credit, but not yours.

Bank Holiday People:

This item hasn’t been picked up by any of the blogs I think have a good track record, and it’s something that they would have been all over. All we have is a rumor passed along by one sketchy newsletter writer who has a relatively good record, but I find to be a bit of a flake and an alarmist.

A bank holiday in 2009 would be a national disaster and the authorities know it. Nobody has any cash. In 1932, you could do it, because most people had enough cash and food in the pantry to last a few days. In 2009, shutting down the electronic transaction system for even a day would cause riots. It won’t happen unless it cannot be prevented.

All the stops will be pulled to see that it is prevented. The authorities also know that a bank holiday would have a deep psychological impact on people, causing bank runs, hording, and a preference for cash rather than debit cards. They don’t want that outcome no matter what.

That said, anything is possible. Visit Garth’s Xurbia site or go to Canadian Tire and stock up on some essentials to get you through your “72 hours”. Even the government of Canada thinks it’s a good idea and has a site up.

#55 Solitario

In a free speech society, there is limited recourse against false information. Moderated sites like Garth’s address it and it is within their rights to do so (it’s Garth’s site, he can control the content). But banning misinformation is too close to censorship for a free society. Best to get yourself a “baloney detection kit” as Carl Sagan and Michael Shermer. (actually has a video about this very subject up right now)

#80 Basil Fawlty on 06.28.09 at 11:35 pm

“To rising mortgage rates add a massive aging population of house-heavy Boomers, rapidly ballooning energy costs, the ugly effects of climate change, a giant shift in real estate tastes, stubborn unemployment, deflating family incomes, deficit-fuelled tax hikes, and peak oil. The burbs have little future.”
Here in BC we are building a new 10 lane bridge to the suburbs, while tearing down a perfectly good 5 lane bridge. This way tolls can be charged on all the new bridge lanes. The bridge will be redundant right around completion as energy prices force people to convert their Cadillac Escalades into single family dwellings.

#81 barb the proof reader on 06.29.09 at 12:10 am

#60 Hagbard, you lucky duck — living on the shore — meet you at the Seacliff (lol).

The prices of the waterfront properties actually have dropped a good bit everywhere else along there — we’ve been watching them as they peaked, then began dropping. You wouldn’t believe how many of those places have been on the market for ages, then off, then on again. The agents chorused that the old Michigan owners have been selling off for several years.

But that’s very interesting to know that the rental market is so limited and the rest of the town prices are holding.

#82 taxpayer like you on 06.29.09 at 1:35 am

70 Rory

CBC Sunday night repeated a show on pensions and investing. Really exposed how we get hosed from fees in
mutual funds (assuming you look after your own
retirement as I do) while those in most pensions have those fees paid by the employer. A 2.5% annual fee can cost you nore than a third of your assets over 30 years.

And of course the pensions dont really invest in anything different than us – stocks, debt of all types, commodities, precious metals – so they are no more “protected” than our own. Makes it all that much tougher to take.

Alas, when it comes to Pamela, due to the virtual-world
actions of others, I am now concerned for my blog-life, so
I can only offer “no comment”.

#83 SaraBeth on 06.29.09 at 7:32 am

To: #52 Barb the proof reader ~

My daughter lives in New Jersey… You couldn’t PAY me enough to move there.. ;-) I wish she would move here… and perhaps one day she will.

And, perhaps you are right about renting in an area first.. I will look into the possibilities. I was hoping that this would be my last move though… I have moved over 25 times since childhood, with no where to call “Home”….

#84 SaraBeth on 06.29.09 at 7:58 am

#77 Samantha ~ Hello! :-)

Thank you for your thoughtful reply…I really DO appreciate it.

As I am rather new here…I have posted only a few questions…Y’all should know that I have been doing my homework… I have 16+ years of Emergency Management in healthcare organizations in the States at the Corporate level…and growing up I lived EM having grown up in Kansas and having lived through 4 tornadoes raging from F3 through F5 spanning three states, OK, TX, and Kan. I am a survivor of the 1966 F5 that tore through Topeka, Kan when I was 10.

I am what some folks would call a “Doomer” or a “Survivalist”….I think it is just prudent planning…

My motto is a quote from Louis Pasture, “Chance favors the prepared mind.” and having done “The work of worry”…I would make sure we could be as self-sufficient as possible… a garden, wind/solar power, a well or cistern if allowed…etc… I even built and have used a solar oven in our back yard… It is a GREAT slow cooker. :-) And have about 6 months of food and medicines stored… would be more if I had the room and the basement was dry.

You have given me something else to think about though, and I thank you for it…!


#85 wjp on 06.29.09 at 8:52 am

# 75…Barb…
I wouldn’t even go there Barb….personal insults from others to you are just a example of the small minded who seek to annoy and be recognized, you provide way too much good content to this blog, and have now for almost two years, to spend your time defending and rebucking such comments…if I might suggest something I do, read from the top down and ignore those who contribute only nonsense…this is not an attack on any individual here…just a suggestion to someone who has brought a lot of insight to this forum…

#86 hagbard on 06.29.09 at 8:57 am

#81 barb the proof reader

Then with the prices already dropped, sounds like a good time to buy. The agents around here keep saying that the air has been let out of the bubble around here for the past few years. Maybe its true. All the same, there are few places to rent.

#87 wjp on 06.29.09 at 9:03 am

Oil opens $1.60 higher this morning…
Seems to be a contradiction here??

#88 CM on 06.29.09 at 9:11 am

Sorry. This is not real estate but it does have a huge effect on our economy.

Not satisfied with sinking in quicksand by themselves, Obama and the Warmongers (good name for a band) want to grab us and drag us down, too.
U.S. tests waters on longer Afghan mission

“Obama Democrats have quietly sounded out power-brokers in Ottawa looking for advice on how to convince war-weary Canadians to keep military forces in Afghanistan after 2011.”

“Conscious of the deep political and public opposition to extending the mission further, American officials — political and military — are struggling to understand those concerns and identify the right arguments to make to the Harper government to “keep Canadian boots on the ground,” said defence sources.”

They WOULD have a struggle understanding our concerns, since these guys have never seen a war they didn’t like.

I can think of a really good place to put our “boots”, and it ain’t on the ground.

#89 Wealthy Renter on 06.29.09 at 10:13 am

Realize the structural threats to real estate have not been this great since the 1930s. To rising mortgage rates add a massive aging population of house-heavy Boomers

Isn’t this the 500 pound gorilla in the room that economists and businesspeople ignore?

Beyond the most ardent workaholics, most people seriously consider retirement by about age 60, provided they can afford it. For hardworking people, their bodies give out, and older office/technical workers face structural changes such as new technologies etc. Others will just decide to enjoy the last quarter of their lives.

I think there is a perception that all boomers are mega-rich, but I wonder if this is true. Every time I walk into a Timmies, Swish Chalet, Sears, Zellers (yes I frequent the most snobby establishments,) it is either staffed by they very young, or by 50-somethings. Seriously, hundreds of thousands of boomers work $10 an hour retail jobs or $15+ an hour office jobs, and it is reasonable to assume they do it for the money, and not some pie-in-the-sky desire to be “productive.”

If Garth is right and 80+ percent of family equity is in housing, and if many boomers don’t have defined pensions, a massive home cash out is coming in the next decade, which may well drive up prices in inexpensive, senior friendly towns.

#90 Wealthy Renter on 06.29.09 at 10:14 am

Oops, that is swiss, not swish :)

#91 Devil's Advocate on 06.29.09 at 11:25 am

#89 Wealthy Renter on 06.29.09 at 10:13 am “”Realize the structural threats to real estate have not been this great since the 1930s. To rising mortgage rates add a massive aging population of house-heavy Boomers”

Isn’t this the 500 pound gorilla in the room that economists and businesspeople ignore?”

Living off what little savings they may have withered away by inflation sure to follow these massive stimulation fiat currency notes added to the economy.

Inflation is good for government… more dollars in circulation to tax. Consider one extra dollar printed and added to the system. You get it pay $0.25 in tax and pass on $0.75 to the next guy who pays $0.1875 in tax and passes on the remaining $0.5625 to another who then pays $0.140625 in tax and so on and so on and so on. Working people are happy because that dollar is multiplying through the system. Government is happy because they are bringing in more tax. Retired folk are screwed because their savings are robbed by the effects of the ensuing inflation.

Interest rates have to rise! That 500 lb gorilla is getting very hungry watching everyone else being well fed. And so they will.

#92 Nostradamus jr. on 06.29.09 at 12:08 pm

1 sq meter = 10.7639104 sq feet

>>Shanghai China, A nearly finished 13-story apartment building collapsed…

Lotus Riverside has 11, 13-story apartment buildings, and units in the building that collapsed had sold for 14,297 yuan (about $2,100) a square meter, it said<<

#93 taxpayer like you on 06.29.09 at 12:12 pm


“Quick, think up how you knew Rory said that. Mind reading? This is fun. And thanks for serving that up on a platter.”

Sorry Barb, my mind still remembers lots of minor details.
See comment 97 May 26. If you want the ultimate put-down, see first rick May 28 #167. IMO it was over the
top, and I’m surprised Garth let it go. From about those same days, you also went at it with Calgary Rocks and Jo,
who toned it down, and in return you called her a “pig”. I
sided with Jo et al on the principle, but apologized to you on behalf of other bloggers. Jabs in jest? Yes, that’s me, but I wasnt a cheap shot artist ’til now.

And I like Rory, but if Garth can confirm IP addresses, he can confirm that this, my home computer, is not the same as any of those aforementioned bloggers.

I’m expecting a long winded rebuttal (that doesnt say much) but the more you accuse, the more you lose
credibility. I’m happy to stop here.

#94 barb the proof reader on 06.29.09 at 12:49 pm

#85 wjp on 06.29.09 at 8:52 am

wjp, thanks very much for your suggestion.

Actually, I wouldn’t even have noticed or commented back to them, but as you know, sometimes things just don’t add up, landing in your lap to explore. At “Glowing Hearts” I looked past their insults and distortions to see if they had the qualities that a real person would show, or if they just had an agenda. I think the future of blogging, at certain points, needs and deserves, to seek honesty and fairness so everyone can speak. So, on that thread their ‘baiting’ comments, never wavered from distortion, which pretty much answered that question.

And wjp, I very much appreciate your comment and concern. I just wanted to reassure you I learned well reading good people such as yourself over the years. So, I think we should copy Dim Jim.. (lol!) just as he called for Canadians to learn about finance — so we’ll call for Canadians to educate themselves about payola bloggers (and how to discern them from nasties who just plain act dumb). Here’s the test. If they misunderstand you and back off, no problem. If they distort your comment: red flag. If they reverse that stance but take a new stance of derisive commentary: red flag. If you see winged monkeys come in with the same attack mode: flag’s on fire. Even our government is now PROUDLY claiming their false negative attack ads work, Harper announced yesterday. And that’s another trait, they get cocky.

I sure wish Garth would get his digital democracy thing worked out so that many more real people would stay in and get past their fear of these rather agenda’d and perhaps corporate-styled blogging attack dogs.

I wondered, after seeing Garth post “Sigh” which no one commented directly about, if there could be an eventual change in the air.

#95 Nostradamus jr. on 06.29.09 at 12:58 pm

Last five detached sales North Vancouver

…Someone other than first time buyers here

I don’t get West Van det sales, but you can bet they are 30% or more higher.

MLS# V748120 sold $1,135,000

MLS# V769991 sold $1,865,000

MLS# V769363 sold $915,000

MLS# V769232 sold $870,000

MLS# V771783 sold $822,000 (1,800 sq ft)

MLS# V764436 sold $970,000

…I have previously mentioned the North Shore is unlike anywhere else in Canada…

#96 David on 06.29.09 at 1:00 pm

One can not help but think of those B Horror Movies at the drive ins with those dusk to dawn long weekend marathons with titles like “THE BUBBLE THAT WOULDN’T DIE!”

#97 Gerry on 06.29.09 at 1:26 pm

905er & Spouse

Did you notice where that old POS property was? It was clearly listed as “Land Value Only”, which is very high in that area. You’ll see some speculator put $400k+ into that lot, building a monster marble palace before it’s all done. Watch for a $million+ listing on the same lot in a year or so (unless everything blows up).

#98 X on 06.29.09 at 2:28 pm

I can’t help but think in the differing mentality of some current home buyers. They seem to be primarily concerned about the finance rate, or the monthly payments.

Whereas, previously home buyers were primarily concerned with the purchase price, and how quickly could they pay it off.

It almost seems as if some are not realizing that they will be paying for these houses for the rest of their lives.

#99 TheFirstRick on 06.29.09 at 2:30 pm

#93 taxpayer like you on 06.29.09 at 12:12 pm

I’m expecting a long winded rebuttal (that doesnt say much) but the more you accuse, the more you lose
credibility. I’m happy to stop here.
You may as well, Barb the

DELETED. Stop being an idiot. She beat you. Move on. — Garth

#100 barb the proof reader on 06.29.09 at 2:34 pm

taxpayer like you @ #78

It would be good if you would answer the question I asked you above, but I’ll clarify and ask it again, because it’s very simple. It would just be nice for us all here to see a hopeful, simple answer.

In an unsolicited remark you said ” I do not post under multiple nicknames” and figured you had misread my post, because that’s not at all what I’d asked. Although your answer did catch my attention. Anyway, then you said “First Rick/Dave 99/Rory. I’m with you guys. Barb is nuts and Lady gaga is “sexy” and logically one would assume Rory had made such a jest somewhere here that you would have read.

So… when I noticed later that “Rory” hadn’t made any such comment about Lady Gaga or me on these threads, I ask if you’d direct us readers here, truth in advertising and all, to his actual posting, to prove it existed. Because otherwise, one might wonder how you “know” what Rory says. That seems fair and justified and safe to ask, isn’t it? I’m sure you have some sort of legitimate explanation. Let’s hear it.

This is a pretty simple and similar to truth in advertising and such, so I bet even Garth would like to know:

Please, simply, provide the thread and Comment # of the post by “Rory” about his opinion of me and his opinion of Lady Gaga which you read, that called to you, to comment that you’re “with” him on it.

That’s simple enough to do isn’t it? Is it fair for me to ask that?

I don’t expect that mind-reading is going to be your answer and inquiring minds want to know.

#101 D from London, ON on 06.29.09 at 2:51 pm

# 94 – Barb the proof-reader

I think a good future post for Garth would be a post about people who post comments on other’s blogs for money (hired guns) and/or politics (party hacks). I am not talking about people with an agenda (e.g. goldbugs, pump-and-dump stock manipulators, etc.), but people who do it for pay and/or as part of their Party work. Surely he could stir this in with some of his experience in politics and the media.

I would be interested, and it might be a good primer for all of us blog dogs.

What say ye, Garth?

#102 smw on 06.29.09 at 3:56 pm

#95 Nostradamus jr.

Your obviously right, first time buyers are now religated to buying < only $500K homes.

So its most likely boomers or property ladder climbers trading up.

But like #98 X says, doesn't anyone do the math on the principal of the debt being borrowed?

They can't be, because they'd cry if they seen how much they'll pay back.

Its like walking into a car dealership and trying to cut a deal on a car, they are preoccupied with "affordibility" or monthly payments.

I'm sure this will all end ok.

#103 dave99 on 06.29.09 at 4:08 pm

When someone writes something, they have a thought in mind and are seeking the proper words to communicate the thought. Sometimes the thought changes, or migrates.

Consider the following example: “First Rick/Dave 99/Rory. I’m with you guys. Barb is nuts and Lady gaga is “sexy”

Does this mean the writer intended to say “these three all think barb is nuts and these three all also think lady gaga is sexy”

Or did the writer intend to say “”these three all think barb is nuts, and (also I think) lady gaga is sexy”

The punctuation leads one to the former. However, this is an internet blog. Proper punctuation and grammar is rare, and people often don’t reread their posts before they post.

I point out that I myself have never said that I think lady gaga is sexy.

#104 Downsized and Delighted on 06.29.09 at 4:11 pm

Of course if you choose to invest in the stock market rather than buy a house you will pay tax on your income (provided there is some). You will pay rent with non deductible payments.

If you decide to buy your home you will take advantage of the best tax shelter that the Canadian government offers in the form of tax free capital gains.

Personally, I think those over age 60 should not have more than 25% of their wealth tied up in their house. I certainly don’t. As far as borrowing on your principal residence to invest in the market, it was a Templeton Group manager who in 1987 after the market crashed made the statement that anyone who borrowed to invest in the market was an idiot because they would not be able to HOLD the investment when it went down – they would be forced to sell and take the loss. Those who don’t borrow can hold on till the market recovers.

The same logic applies to buying a house. If you leverage it too much you will have the same problem – you’ll have to sell if the market goes down. So don’t buy a house with 5% down. Save up and put down 25%, and then pay off the mortgage as quickly as you can.

Believe it or not, you can actually build wealth this way.

#105 barb the proof reader on 06.29.09 at 4:24 pm

taxpayer like you, I’m glad you pointed out that Calgary Rocks was way over the top when he said to me: “sob stories about your family, all of whom seems to be on some kind of disability”.

And Jo’s over-the-top reply to me: “go back to your GM/Chrysler line or government bereaucrat cubicle and serve us civilians. Or better yet, get a real job where you don’t live off our income.” Which she’d said to me after she’d broad-brushed some people out there with no voice, like my father-in-law who has never enjoyed a day of golf, with Multiple Sclerosis, but he enjoyed working up to retirement. But that was resolved and my thanks for your voice.

But it is peculiar that anyone would think it’s wrong of me to respond to someone distorting what I say. Distortions are a methodology that has no place in good discussion. And I don’t mind posting because that let’s Garth know who is posting distortions, so he can fairly moderate.

But here you are, a couple of posts back you pop up to assist dave with his lame distortion of a minor post I’d made. My credibility isn’t in doubt, but yours was then. I’m just a simple voice, people know that, and I don’t want others to have to put up with the antics and tactics. So I speak up, and I reply if someone tries deceitful tactics on me.

So your final derisive crack: “I’m expecting a long winded rebuttal”. ….. which kind of proves you are just not able to ‘let it go’ without serving up yet another?

Readers are, and should be aware of wolves in sheep’s clothing. You are not exactly convincing anyone today, but your future actions can.

So how about this. If we see distortions, we can refute. And hopefully others will quit with the character assassinations. Garth obviously encourages wide-ranging discussion, and we’ve already read from people who’ve been on Garth’s blogs in the past that they get scared away because they think they will be attacked. Wouldn’t it be nice if they all felt comfortable to have their say. That’s what I’m talking about. Pretty simple.

#106 barb the proof reader on 06.29.09 at 4:50 pm

#102 dave99 on 06.29.09 at 4:08 pm

But Dave, do you think that I’m sexy? That’s all I really care about.

Oh, pardon me, you were busy obfuscating.

#107 Dawn in Calgary on 06.29.09 at 5:01 pm

Barb, dave99, taxpayer like you et al;

As we all know, this is a real estate blog.

Don’t you think this back and forth about ‘he said, he didn’t say, she said” be taken offline, or at least somewhere more appropriate?

#108 lgre on 06.29.09 at 5:10 pm

Garth, you may need to consider getting Dr Phil on the blog for a psychiatric session, as some members are swimming off in the deep end.

#109 Erasmus on 06.29.09 at 5:29 pm

It’s spreading – I thought that Garth’s use of “SHEEPLE’ was a new introduction to English. Here, an investment analysist, Michael Fulp uses it in exactly the same maner.

Below I copy the first paragraph from his essay on Stockhouse.

“There have been volumes written about psychology of the marketplace and numerous articles, commentaries, newsletters, and books have addressed the twin emotions of greed and fear and how they contribute to a herd instinct or mentality amongst both lay and professional investors. I prefer to collectively call these people “The Sheeple.” But it is simply human nature to get caught up in the emotion of the moment and react without thorough analysis and clear thinking. At various times in my long investing career, I have found myself part of this unsavory crowd.”

#110 rory on 06.29.09 at 5:39 pm

Barb the proof reader & taxpayer like you …you guys are cracking me up …seriously.

I am just sitting, reading, smiling seeing how this will play out or just frizzle away…does anyone remember how this even started …rofl.

To be fair, I did get mad at Barb once before but I cannot remember why and I do not remember commenting on Lady Gaga????

After a rant (sorry, I mean meaningful, logical, truthful, & insightful comments) on a topic or someone everything resets back to zero and I start fresh (I try to anyhow)…IMO.

With all the lady gaga stuff going on I had to look her up and watch a few videos …couple of beautiful Great Danes in the one…she appears to be just about like every other rocker her age…I have actually heard a few of her songs previously – well one anyway.

Later you two bad asses.

P.S. -#102 Barb said: “do you think that I’m sexy? That’s all I really care about”

Yeah baby – You and the Gaga lady –

Too funny …sorry had to…and how about those RE prices …lol.

#111 Bob and Doug .....the Canadian Bro's on 06.29.09 at 5:48 pm

Garth why is the Bozo from N Van back?

#112 rory on 06.29.09 at 5:57 pm

#107 Bob and Doug …..the Canadian Bro’s you said: “Garth why is the Bozo from N Van back?”

Same reason you are …digital democracy …and to quote from the boys – “Take off you hoser.”

#113 Nostradamus Jr's Analyst on 06.29.09 at 6:18 pm

I’m with Dawn from Calgary,

Get each other’s e-mails and take it somewhere else, once and for all – so we can get back to discussing the imminent collapse of real estate.

The way it was meant to be:)

#114 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 06.29.09 at 6:33 pm

All Quiet On The Western Front today. Same for the Northern, Southern and Eastern Fronts, plus all points in between! 8-) Guess this planet should be given a few days’ break from humanity!
Three guesses as to who was responsible for the coup in Honduras (mainly because they failed in Iran). —

Re: Dimona, the nuke facility in Israel, where it builds its own nukes. Iran signed the NPT in Dec. 2003, and does not build nukes. Israel still refuses to sign. From Wikipedia:

“Only four recognized sovereign states are not parties to the treaty: India, Israel, Pakistan and North Korea. India, Pakistan and North Korea have openly tested and declared that they possess nuclear weapons. Israel has had a policy of opacity regarding its own nuclear weapons program. . .” — Para. from the article is interesting, only as it refers to Iran, not Israel.

“. . . And any nation – including Iran – should have the right to access peaceful nuclear power if it complies with its responsibilities under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. That commitment is at the core of the Treaty, and it must be kept for all who fully abide by it. And I am hopeful that all countries in the region can share in this goal.” — Pres. Barack Hussein Obama, June 4, 2009
From The Daily Reckoning (especially the paras. about lottery winners), the other side of winning big! There’s a good reason NOT to play. —

Speaking of not getting lucky —

The first sentence of this article makes too much sense for most sheeple to understand! —

“How do you put together a consumer economy that works when the consumers are out of work?”
If George Galloway does nothing else, he has certainly made a name standing up for the underdog — he coes not conform to the ‘norm’. Way to go! —
This — — may be one of the reasons why Harper called an early election.

#115 Dave on 06.29.09 at 7:19 pm

This post is what earned a banning of one visitor in recent days, and you are now joining him. Go wallow in your prejudice. — Garth


hey Garth, don’t you think you were a little harsh on this person? He/she was just assuming that the information was true. I too read something like that a few years ago and I didn’t discredit it. It was an honest mistake that this person made, and I could’ve made the same one had I not read your comment that the information wasn’t true.

Sorry, I think you should turn the cheek on this one, regardless of how personal it is to you.

#116 Samantha on 06.29.09 at 7:21 pm

Hmmm…somebody was really big on gold:

#117 Bob and Doug .....the Canadian Bro's on 06.29.09 at 7:22 pm

#111 Rory

Nice ….. I like the lingo.

I hope you aren’t as obsessive as our Bozo from N Van.

Digital democracy…..I like the lingo. But there is a point when you just have to pull the plug.

#118 TheFirstRick on 06.29.09 at 7:24 pm

#99 TheFirstRick on 06.29.09 at 2:30 pm
You may as well, Barb the

DELETED. Stop being an idiot. She beat you. Move on. — Garth
Garth, you are running the risk of allowing your blog to become one big “group think.” Hey, it’s your blog, do what you like. Barb’s an internet bully, hell bent on building allegiances and banning. I’m surprised you don’t see that. What was the title of your last book? I forget.

Being a novice at investing I have contributed little here, but have learned alot. For that I thank you. I will continue to sit on the sidelines and read. Just do me a favour, don’t let your blog become another Rabble or G&M.

And to Bab’s, I’m sorry, as Garth said, “you win.” You certainly pissed a hell of a lot more people off here than I did.

#119 barb the proof reader on 06.29.09 at 7:40 pm

Dawn, I couldn’t agree with you more (lol!). But it was starting to look like some nipping dogs expect Commenters to just roll over and play dead if they up and decide to snarl your way. Heaven forbid anyone should stand up to them. I don’t actually care what they say about me, just others. And there’s some with agendas, let’s face it. And if they doggedly keep yapping.. it kinda shows who they are. But some puppies have to piddle too.
So please forgive me Dawn, I was just doing a bit of scrubbing and cleaning.
Heck, at the least, it certainly shows they can dish it out, but they can’t take it. :)
And, good link at #53.

#109 Rory, too funny.

#120 taxpayer like you on 06.29.09 at 7:57 pm

102 Dave 99. Sorry didnt mean to put words in your mouth. Your interpreation is essentially correct, I try to re-read before I post, just never saw it that way.

Rory -sorry to you too. The word you used was actually “flipped”, and you have watched more LGG than me. Consider it fizzled. We’re still good, right?

First Rick – I think you’re just mean.

Can somebody tell me whar NCC is? I googled it and got “National Coaching certification”. Also “payola blogger”. Thanks.

Dawn, Garth – gladly

103 downsized:

I’m not sure why anybody is forced to sell investments when they are secured by a mortgage or HELOC. The banks security is the house, not the stocks.

#121 Onemorething (aka DaHKkid) on 06.29.09 at 8:09 pm

Garth, digression run a muck! New Blog Topic Please!

#122 taxpayer like you on 06.29.09 at 8:33 pm

Garth re: rule 1

“It’s a really bad idea to have more than half your net worth in your house.”

I think that’s an oversimplification for the different stages of financial life. Sometimes it just happens that way. It would be nice to build one year of
net income first, then continue to pay yourself 10% for retirement, and additional for 25% downpayment, then buy house and agressively pay down debt. Problem is, you may not be able to control the value of your
investments perfectly, and certainly not the value of your
house, so you could get “house heavy”. Picture the little old lady in Van. She may have $1M cash/investments, but her house is $1.3M. She still has plenty to live on.

Likewise a young couple. Is it better to pay down the debt
or invest? Keep in mind the extra mortage payment effectively yields the mortage interest after tax.

We went over this once before, (yes I remember these things, no I am not a blog ho – vaguely recall Milton) and
your last repsonse at the time was “net worth is net

#123 taxpayer like you on 06.29.09 at 9:39 pm

117 first rick – you may be mean, but you make a good point.

One thing I’ve become over the last decade or so is independent-thinking. I dont like big government, big biz or big labour. Much rather deal with the little guy so I can go “gaga” er “mano-a-mano”. Unfortuneately because they are so big, I wind up working for the first two quite often. The only way to deal with it is break it down to the people you have to deal with, and you find on an idividual basis it can be quite workable.

So it looks like I’ve been labelled NCC though I’m not sure for what sport. And I have an agenda. I don’t know
what it is, but apparently Ive got one. I also saw “corporate minded”, but I’ve never met a
corporation with a mind.

I’ll tackle Garth again when I’ve recovered…….zzzz…..

Oh, and your closer? Second best put-down ever….

#124 Linda Pearson on 06.29.09 at 9:55 pm

to #119 taxpayer like you

NCC could be National Citizens’ Coalition or National Capital Commission but I’d bet likely the former on this blog

#125 taxpayer like you on 06.29.09 at 10:55 pm

Thank you 123 Linda, yes probably the former. They
needn’t worry.

The basic reason I chose my blog nickname was to equate myself to (hopefully) everybody, as I do pay taxes, just like you. I thought that would have gained
some acceptance. Hey I’m not against taxes, I just want to pay my fair share (not a penny more) and see them spent wisely.

#126 MenWithHats on 06.30.09 at 1:13 am

Edmonton Real Estate Board bombs the city with a barrage of bullshit .
Suckers . One born every minute .
Was a time when journalists had to back up a story with facts ,not pure fantasy .
I am beyond caring if these idiots invest in quickly depleteing assets .
Maybe their children can pay off the note .
“Here’s your inheritance son . Only $225,000, left until you own this pile of sticks and cardboard “

#127 Downsized and Delighted on 06.30.09 at 7:55 am

Taxpayer Like You: If you don’t mind losing your house it’s not an issue. But most people when they lose 30 percent of their investments in one day like to cover themselves.

#128 Barb the proof reader on 06.30.09 at 8:08 am

#101 D from London “Barb..I think a good future post for Garth would be a post about people who post comments on other’s blogs for money (hired guns) and/or politics (party hacks).”

Hi D,
On Garth’s old blog he mentioned it so many times (I think they still hang around here) because then, his political foes attacked constantly. It was a real eye opener. I recall the first time I saw Garth remarking to one visitor about their IP address and I assume he pretty much knew who it was and what they were up to. I learned a lot of interesting things, not just from what Garth writes about, but through the comments section. Others who posted, about the MSM, etc. And groups like the National Citizens Coalition (who have nothing to do with citizens by the way, it only works on behalf of corporations to push their agendas, just clever advertising and media campaigns, etc. to make us all think that screwing the little guy is a good idea.). They’re a powerful and devious bunch and they represent corporate interests only, they’ve been lobbying their agendas, pretending to be citizens, for 40 years through advertising and such. You wonder what’s wrong with the world… I don’t wonder anymore. I suppose Blogs and Comment sections of papers must be just a bonus for them. But they’re not the only ones who lobby. When you look past the headlines, past the MSM, it’s amazing how manipulated things are.
After seeing people’s comments attacked for no reason, you could sort of tell which ones were just ignorant people or which ones had an agenda.
So if I see the ‘bully’ type, (and by the way, they would therefore accuse someone like me of being a bully), they are probably just trying to scare off someone’s voice or make that Commenter, or their comment, seem less credible. Everybody can only speak for themselves, but I saw some ridiculous, uncalled-for bashing here, absolutely out-of-the-blue, so it seemed time to take it on and see what flushed out. But I can only take them on if they come after me, and risking looking stupid in the process, but ya take one for team as they say. People will judge my posts for what they are, just me reading, learning and wanting to make a comment.
And you mentioned the goldbugs and stock manipulators, etc. Those types are hilarious but Garth seems to be able to swat them away like flies.

#129 dave99 on 06.30.09 at 9:36 am

#127 Barb the proof reader on 06.30.09 at 8:08 am

“So if I see the ‘bully’ type, (and by the way, they would therefore accuse someone like me of being a bully), they are probably just trying to scare off someone’s voice or make that Commenter, or their comment, seem less credible.”

So the mark of the ‘bully’ type is that they accuse others of being a bully in order to discredit them?

Good to know. I’ll keep an eye out for that sort of behavior

#130 taxpayer like you on 06.30.09 at 10:37 am

126 Downsized.

I’ve cut and pasted from your original

“As far as borrowing on your principal residence to invest in the market, it was a Templeton Group manager who in 1987 after the market crashed made the statement that anyone who borrowed to invest in the market was an idiot because they would not be able to HOLD the investment when it went down…”

Sorry I’m still missing some info here. If I borrow and use my house as security, that is a mortgage. To my understanding, the bank doesnt really care what I do with the money, as long as I make payments. I could take trip, pay for kids education, get a middle aged-crazy sports car or yes, buy stocks. The trip is done, your kid drops out, the car depreciates and the stocks could tank.
You just owe a “mortgage” and continue to pay.

Now if I use the stocks themselves as security, and they drop, then yes the bank will want something else as well. Easiest thing is to come up with cash for the difference in stock value and principal owed. But I still dont have to sell. If I did sell, the bank has lost its security and will want ALL their coin back.

I also think in either example, becuase the money is borrowed to invest, you can deduct the interest payment. If you sold you would also have a capital loss. But you may need a cap gain to offset. Too complicated.

Borrowing money to invest does carry great risk. I’ve never done it.

Secured loans are non-callable. Period. — Garth

#131 D from London, ON on 06.30.09 at 11:47 am

# 127 – Barb the proof-reader

Thanks Barb. I didn’t know Garth had addressed this in other blogs (this is the first and only “Garth” blog I have visited).

#132 on 06.30.09 at 1:42 pm

#103 – All anyone has to do is start a home based business and they can write off up to 25% of their rent, plus part of their utilities, internet bill, transportation, etc. Granted, you can only show losses for about 3 years before having issues, but I wanted to point out that the government has also given everyone this loophole, and very few people use it to their advantage.

The so called fact that paying rent is “throwing money out the window” is ridiculous. By renting, I currently pay about 50% of what I would if I was an owner (based on Vancouver prices), plus I write off part of my rent, have no property taxes, maintenance fees, or additional “suprises” to deal with. :)

You are allowed to deduct a portion of expenses which corresponds to the area your business activity takes up – and be ready for an audit.– Garth

#133 on 06.30.09 at 2:57 pm

You are allowed to deduct a portion of expenses which corresponds to the area your business activity takes up – and be ready for an audit.– Garth

You’re absolutely correct Garth. My home office space takes up at least 25% of my place. I have a pretty conservative accountant by the way. :)

In my case, I’m in profit because I earn a living on the internet, but I did file losses for the first two years, with no issues (Not huge losses). Most people can easily claim 15-25% of their rent with a home business, unless they live in a loft style apartment that’s zoned for commercial use), in which case, they can write off even more, if it applies to their business.

#134 on 06.30.09 at 3:09 pm

I should add that the 15-25% deduction I mentioned only applies to someone living in a smaller space like I do (1 bedroom apartment). Obviously, write offs for space used in a 4 bedroom house would be a different scenario.

#135 FortMac.ab on 06.30.09 at 4:10 pm

Well….not wanting to be another young couple “greater fools” I read Garths’ blog couple times a week. Every time I’m feeling weak or stupid.
We live in Fort McMurray and are renting ($2200 month) townhouse on the “wrong side” of town.

Trailers are still going for $500,000 and crappy new houses are $650,000. People are still losing their jobs and there are over 1500 houses on the market. This time, last year there were only 100 houses on the market and they were going like hotcakes. Mind you most of them are owned by realtors.

I’m getting a little tired of people telling us to buy; Who are they? Why would we want a crappy new house with a huge mortgage? And one more cheap interest comment and I think I might snap!! I answer back with: “Well sure it’s cheap right now….but what about in 5 years when our payments double?” People look at me like I’m the most stupid person around.

Thanks Garth for another awesome post! And for keeping me sane.

#136 TJ on 06.30.09 at 6:52 pm

When I was a kid – my Family had one car. We kept, and maintained the same car for years. My Parents didn’t take two week trips to Maui. Mom and Dad had a total of two ‘charge cards’. Esso and Eatons.

The last few decades we have seen McMansion, BMW’s and fancy wine clubs and the Club Med lifestyle as ‘the norm’ or at least the ‘expected’.

What changed?
It has to be the cheap credit.

The banks and the Government are so terrified of markets making the call, that ‘stimulus’, debt, and easy credit were the plaster to cover the cracks in the ‘lifestyle’ of Developed Countries.
Credit cards and mortgages were thrown at anyone with a pulse.
We can only expect the creaky economy to walk this multi-trillion dollar tightrope for only so long.

As soon as Bill Clinton got the Glass-Steagal act wiped out – the banks and insurance companies and private equity firms realized that they could manufacture Structure Investment Vehicles, that could pool blenderized debt obligations and sell them off as equities.

Derivatives were a gold mine for Wall Street.

Now this toxic paper is killing everything in it’s path

This $500 Trillion dollar market makes Godzilla look like a gecko.

#137 Barb the proof reader on 06.30.09 at 8:33 pm

#128 dave99

“So the mark of the ‘bully’ type is that they accuse others of being a bully in order to discredit them? Good to know. I’ll keep an eye out for that sort of behavior”.
— dave99


Well, we’ve been here before Dave. I didn’t say it was the “mark” of one.

You’ve already proven that you are very clever and very smart, and that, if you make a mistake, you are capable of throwing your talents into not backing down as per the tail end of Garth’s ‘Glowing Hearts’ thread. In my opinion you were pushing far too hard to try to prove that I did not have good intent – and I wanted to see where you were going with it. I’m hoping you are not an agenda driven sort and that you continue to put up good postings.

I’ve read only a few of your posts in the past, and if you are just an individual with your own voice, you have had valuable things to say. So why don’t you let it go. You know darn well that you risk discrediting yourself severely. You’ll figure I’m just being condescending, so maybe I should just beg you.

Hear me out.. I take it you’re a numbers guy so you bring that talent here. And you’re a stickler for accuracy. Me too. And I’m a stickler for the truth too.

But I do not enjoy responding to someone pecking at me. Nor does anyone else. And forgive me if I’m wrong, but your post to me just smelled when I saw the word ‘mark’ in it. I can just see the next twist. Again, if I read your statement wrong, only you can appreciate why, after that other go round.

Blogs are prone to a lot of discourtesy and misunderstanding but there’s also people who look to disrupt and discredit good opinion. How do you tell misunderstanding vs bad intent apart. Only time and intention tells.

Overall, readers don’t get into each other’s posts that much, so they don’t necessarily see an overall pattern nor get a feel when it’s developing. Above I pointed out some negative carelessness being unwittingly built by some other commenters – you might say I took the ball and went defense to offense to get the play over with.

If you want to waste your good talents painting me as something I’m not, you’re only going to piss people off and their conclusion will be one that you may not have intended them to come to. I believe you’re a lot smarter than that. Your cleverness isn’t in question and I would calculate you’re probably a bit of a genius, but your motive is not looking very attractive and you are selling yourself short. And I say that in the nicest way.

Gotta go catch the Daily Show.

#138 dave99 on 07.01.09 at 1:55 pm


If one posts, then they have to accept that people will respond to the post. Just because they don’t like the responses, it doesn’t entitle them the right to deny the others their right to post them.

And if someone goes on offence against perceived conspiracies and/or bullies, they run the risk of becoming the bully.

No-one is forced to agree with anyone, and no-one can force anyone to agree with them. Such is life.

So how’s about you worry about your posts, and leave me to worry about mine?

Gotta go catch the Colbert Report.

#139 Barb the proof reader on 07.01.09 at 7:56 pm

“If one posts, then they have to accept that people will respond to the post”


Of this, there was never any dispute.

Had you just disagreed with the gaga “post” instead of making it into a personal attack, this would never be. Garth has addressed that very thing so many times on his blogs. And just to reassure you, I will quote Mr. Turner himself:

“I am interested in debate.. no gratuitous personal attacks.” — Garth

I truly give you the benefit of the doubt, I truly do, that you misunderstood my intent and you didn’t realize you crossed a normal line when you went after the poster not the post. Dave, we have all made similar mistakes but if you look back you’ll see I only returned in kind, and I know you agree everyone has the right to defend themselves.

#140 dave99 on 07.02.09 at 8:53 am