Condo chick

condo chick1

In case you missed it, the folks from Calgary who wrote me for advice are not coming back. Their letter, published here yesterday, did not earn them the response they sought. On top of my telling them they had a screw loose for wanting to buy a $1.6 million house in Cowtown, far too many blog dogs sashayed up and lifted a leg on their plight.

Twenty-eight years old, just a couple of years out of school, working in the healthcare business with hundreds of thousands lying around in money market funds, and earning an income of $500,000. Oh, the pain. I mean, why not go to the Internet for comfort in a cold world?

“I asked you the questions not because we don’t have financial advisors, but because you have a blog about finance, investments, real estate, etc and nobody is sure what’s going to happen,” the young doc later wrote. “But since you and your readers and you, Garth, love to make assumptions and judgments with no real advice, I’ll move on.”

Hmmm. That may have been more of an insight into the health care system than my system can take. I’ll be careful to double my ration of bran flakes. And let’s look forward to someone buying that medical mansion five years from now for $900,000.

Anyway, normal people write me too. Here’s one now.

Hi Garth: I’ve read your book, and have been visiting your blog for a couple months – ever since I started researching how to buy a home.  I made the decision to buy very recently, and only after spending six highly frustrating months trying to find a decent rental in the GTA.  Your book was interesting – frightening really, and your blog equally so, but it seems to be aimed at people interested in purchasing a large home primarily as an investment.  I’m just interested in a place to live that doesn’t give me the creeps.  I’ve applied the 3X your salary guideline to figure out what size mortgage I can carry (it’s not much), and my down payment would have to come out of my RRSPs (not something you recommend).  I’m not keen to take on this kind of debt – particularly as I’m in my mid forties – so I’m approaching things with extreme caution.  What I’m wondering is this:  even if I purchase a condo within my extremely limited budget (no easy task in the GTA, but do-able), is it still your staunch view that buying any time in the next year is a bad idea?
Your (not snarky) feedback would be greatly appreciated. Regards, Joyce.

How refreshing, Joyce. No throwing around of salary figures with five zeros. No veiled boasts about sitting on mounds of cash. No attitude. So, no snarky response. You have brought out that feminine, caring side of me that the guys in my Harley club so love.

Good for you for setting a budget for starters, which is a necessity in this market dominated by hormonal twentysomethings desperate to find a bidding war so they can impress their Vespa-riding little friends. You are also smart to be buying a condo in a price range which has the best chance of withstanding the inevitable real estate correction. There will always be a universe of buyers for units in good buildings in (I’m presuming) the $300-400K range, unlike the fate which lies in wait for, say, $1 million Leaside houses on 30-foot lots with neither privacy nor garages.

As for the RRSP-down payment thing, go ahead. Just pay it back in a timely fashion to avoid a tax surprise, and also to minimize the amount of tax-free compounding you’ll lose. If you have unused RRSP contribution room (and who doesn’t these days, except medical snots in Alberta), then put a whack of money into your plan immediately (borrow if you have to), so you can withdraw it in 90 days for the down. That contribution will net you a tax refund equal to half the contribution, which means Ottawa will foot 50% of the condo downpayment for you.

I’d suggest you go to medical school to really make a killing, but that would be… unethical.

141 comments ↓

#1 Onemorething on 11.13.09 at 9:46 pm

Ha, missed that previous Calgary Couple, the very tip of the problem can be found with them, the rest are in lessor camps down through the middle class. Sheeple come in all shapes and sizes.

I agree, this lady asking for advice deserves our attention. If you can shift gears a bit, may I suggest you raise the bar on your rental budget to find something within your acceptance.

For good reasoning, take the Purchase Price of what you would typically buy (carrying cost of your presumed mortgage P+I+T) it may be 25-30% more than your rental of that property. Add this to your rental budget and see what you can get.

Even though you are not netting the difference to save for your purchase over time, you are in fact postponing what IS GOING TO BE A DANGEROUS RIDE IN RE.

You can then live in a very nice pad, within your budget (given you feel you will qualify and make those payments today), and watch from the most comfy seat on the sideline.

What will happen? RE will tank, you will watch the property you are renting not only come down in RE value but so will your rent, they move together eh!

Mortgages are locked, rental agreements are not! There is liquidity there!

Flexibilty! When interest rates rise and RE property tanks further and your rental another dip, you can begin saving money like a bandit for likely 3-5 years.

When you think there is a bottoming process plunk down 30-50% (which is now doable) since a $600K property comes back to $350K-$375K and rule the day.

Property that has adjusted to affordable, with this level of downpayment will be easy to carry even if interest rises. I know my first home in Unionville was easy to carry at 10% as the purchase again was AFFORDABLE!

Good Luck!

#2 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 11.13.09 at 9:58 pm

“. . . my ration of bran flakes.” — Uh oh, I mistook it for brain flakes. My bad!

“. . . that feminine, caring side of me that the guys in my Harley club so love.”

Iz this column about Horny Harleys, Condo Chicks or Boston Pizza’s Apple Torte a la Mode?

The last one is particularly addictive!
——
#107 Grantmi on 11.13.09 at 8:06 pm — “Link please!!!!!”

I posted the original link a few months ago, and I can’t be bothered to find that one. But this link wasn’t too difficult for me. For you, even the Gods don’t know.

I understand that you would have trouble comprehending the expression “$42.20 per ounce of gold”, and using Alta Vista, a very good search engine waayyyy beyond the landfill between your ears.

No matter. I did all the work for you, and post this 3:52 clip pour vous. If you require any further assistance, please learn how to do research and investigation yourself. It’s not that difficult. — Here
——
New war? Basic boot camp lessons first.

It will mean the re-institution of the draft — Slaughter — this will drop the unemployment rate, so it may happen here as well — Fake Al Quada — “Relinked now that phony Jihadist Yousef al-Khattab ( real name Joseph Cohen) is doing his bit to sell Americans a new war on the designated bad guys.” (Comment courtesy wrh.com).

Recall Pearl Harbor? and The Memo?

“Obama is trying to goad Iran into an act that can be used to justify a war.

“This is a replay of the 8-step plan (memo second link) authored by ONI Lt. Cmdr Arther H. McCollum used to goad Japan into the attack on Pearl Harbor.” Who are those driving Obama on? They are the ones responsible.
——
Remember when autos used to be manufactured here, then left and went to Brazil, Russia and India? They’re also too expensive, so they are Moving On
——
Swine Flu Vaccines. Now two people in two days (different parts of the world) have contracted the GBS disease. How many are the elite shooting for?

Methinks the WHO, IMF, bankers and plenty of others are in bed together — Ukraine

#3 hal smith on 11.13.09 at 9:59 pm

Funny or sad ?

I was listening to a local Kelowna radio station this morning. Some developer was flogging condos and never mentioned the price, only the monthly payments. Seems like price doesn’t matter any more, only the monthly payments. I heard the advert 5 or 6 times and chuckled about it but then I thought ” this is really f***ing sad, not funny at all”.

#4 Claudius Emeperor on 11.13.09 at 10:01 pm

Could somebody please explain to me why the condo fees in Canada are the highest in the whole world on average? Why are there so many ‘luxury’ condos?
We are manifacturing folks after all, who can afford to pay condo fees that equal rent?

Why the only choices we have are condos with ridiculos fees, houses and townhomes?

Have been to Spain and France, would love to live in a lowrise (4-6 floors) ‘non-condo’ apartment (non-rent) building with fees of 50 euros per month. With own heating and electricity. And a balcony that I can really use (table for 4, 4 chairs).

Nothing compares to the charm of the small cofee shops and restaurants where you could have a cup of coffee or a beer in the patio; no police will watch if you drink your beer on the street or not.

The other think I don’t get is why we live in basements.
Who has seen the new townhouses where your living room is bellow ground?
This is Canada after all, plenty of resources and land…

Go and find me somebody in the purest country in the world (I

#5 Claudius Emeperor on 11.13.09 at 10:03 pm

Go, find and show me somebody in the poorest country in the world (I am not talking about G7 here) that lives in a basement and I will eat my hat. literally.

Too bad we can’t modify our previous postings. Hit enter accidentally, has to continue from here…

#6 Grantmi on 11.13.09 at 10:32 pm

Here’s a tell-tail sign that B.C. RE is starting to hit the peak. Check out Google News hits on ‘BC Real Estate’ traffic…. (could be good OR bad… but it’s getting coverage! My experience.. .. if it’s the MSM… it’s always POSITIVE!!)

http://i33.tinypic.com/2l89cmh.png

hmmmmm. Seems to be a peak-out!

“Move along! Nothing to see here!!”

#7 Watched Bubble Never Pops on 11.13.09 at 11:11 pm

Mid 40s, no property and no money. Pathetic.

#8 Cory on 11.13.09 at 11:22 pm

I was reading a Calgary real estate magazine tonight while we sipped our yuppie overpriced coffee and tea and noticed the gap is closing between “high end” homes and middle lower range. Lots of reduced prices and several under 1MM in areas that were easily so in the past few years. Acreages no less.

The doc obviously doesn’t read the same magazine.

#9 Jon B on 11.13.09 at 11:33 pm

I like where this is going. From yesterday’s filthy rich medical professional to today’s modest income first-time buyer, the spectrum of Canadians seeking advice on buying RE is nearly complete. Garth may I suggest you offer some advice to a representative from the downtrodden community on how they might also get on the indebtedness bandwagon?

#10 nonplused on 11.13.09 at 11:56 pm

#4 Claudius – We live in basements because the frost line is 4 feet down, and if you have to put the foundation there anyway it is absolutely the cheapest way there is to add additional living space.

But if you’ve been out looking at houses any time recently you will have noticed that a great many people never use the basement for anything but storage.

Back to the $500,000/y kids…

If I were in the medical profession right now about the last thing I would be doing is loading up on a $1.3 mil mortgage. Governments across Canada are facing record deficits only one year into this “correction”. The last time we had record deficits, they were followed promptly by government austerity programs that heavily targeted health care and education. Not that anyone favors cuts in those areas, but they are the largest government expenditures so when times are tight the belt squeezes them too.

But then, nobody else is fairing any better. I’d be afraid of a mortgage no matter what my income level or job was at this juncture. Green shoots aside, I don’t think it’s time to wave the “all clear” signal just yet. There is plenty of evidence in continued job losses, expiring EI benefits, declining rail car shipments, declining tax receipts, lackluster sales numbers, and other indicators to indicate that all the government has been able to do so far is slow down the rate at which insolvent banks go belly up (and restore the bonus orgy on Wall Street). There is no recovery yet where it matters, which is in jobs and production.

And of course, the next big topic under discussion across North America is how to raise taxes to close the budget gap. Memo to government: There isn’t anything left to tax out here! They might be able to stick it to a few Wall Street executives but the amounts involve are a pittance compared to the problem. The budgets have got to be cut.

I read some convincing arguments last time the tax the rich argument came around. The fact is, there is a large concentration of wealth in today’s society. But this is more of a result of the fact that most people don’t have anything at all once they tally up their debt than the fact the rich have such obscene amounts. The numbers as I remember them come out to if you confiscated the wealth of the entire Forbes 500 list, it would cover the current US deficit for a few months.

In modern society, most wealth is in circulation. Very little of it has been accumulated in big piles. It’s all securitized and remonitized back into circulation. People get a bit of equity built up in their homes, and it’s off to the broker for a HELOC, which is turned into a new BMW and a winter vacation in Hawaii. Either that or people buy government bonds, which the proceeds thereof are then spent on all kinds of crazy things of questionable value.

So what do the rich own? Well, a few own stocks of Microsoft like Bill Gates. But one would expect that since he built the company along with others. So if we confiscate his wealth, he would have to sell his shares. To who? I don’t have the money to buy it and they are probably coming after what money I do have too. Does the government take the shares in kind? Oh great, and you thought Windows Vista was bad. Wait until you see an operating system designed by politicians. I can’t wait to see the Apple attack adds on that one. Except that Apple will be owned by the government too and the iPhone will cost $7000 and resemble the 1980’s cell phone from the movie “Wall Street” in size and functionality.

#11 Taxpayer like you on 11.14.09 at 12:02 am

I dont get a chance to blog until the evening out West. That last blog was pathetic. Not the original post (well OK it was) but the bloggers (including some regulars) who
come out at the end only looking for a fight, or have “Con-
troll” issues. Does garth still have a political blog for that sort of thing?

So, to get back on topic, “Condo chick” looks kinda hot –
picture Harley D – Friend of yours Garth?

OK OK. Now for Joyce. Unlike Garth, I am sorry you didnt
give some numbers. I especially don’t know the rents in TO, but I recall other blogs stating they are high, giving some credence to buying. Compare the rent you would
pay on a comparable place to the interest, taxes, condo
fees and any extra utilities you pay if you buy. This you can call “owners rent”. It is all dead money either way.
The remaining part of the mortage is repayment of principal, which you can consider an investment (which is what you do with that money if you only rent) and ask yourself if you’re OK if RE values drop 20%. re-work numbers in 5 years with 7-8% rates. If OK, then buy!

Oh and amortize 20 years, I mean given your young age.

#12 Aizlynne on 11.14.09 at 12:23 am

Garth … calling that couple from Calgary “not normal” was pretty rude, don’t you think? You are a better man than that … aren’t you?

#13 Roial1 on 11.14.09 at 12:27 am

http://www.pattayamail.com/current/columns.shtml

This guy just keeps on sounding so “Garth like” that I wait s-s-s-s-o-o-o-o-o- impatiently for his weekly column.
The main reason that I do is because, here is a view from so far out of our perspective that it is relevant.

His business is to advise investors. If he gets it wrong he is out of business.
If Garth gets it wrong, well,—– he has his generators and bunker.

Totally off the wall and subject,
Garth, did you go to Central Peel Composite School????

Just curious, That was my high school in the ANCIENT past. (early 60s)

#14 dd on 11.14.09 at 12:38 am

…Builders Downsize The Dream Home… todays WSJ. And with that downsized prices!

#15 Calgary_rip_off on 11.14.09 at 12:54 am

Anyone would be better off dead than being a mortgage owner to a condo priced like a house.

#16 $fromA$ia on 11.14.09 at 1:25 am

Garth, Garth, I just realised why Vancouver RE is so expensive. Because most of the people that are living in Vancouver are medical professionals!

@[email protected]$!

#17 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 11.14.09 at 1:36 am

3:01 clip on a Paradigm Shift. Some naughty language here.
——
More on Ukraine.
——
Her Highliness Queen Al (“I’m nearly a billionaire, and YOU’RE NOT!”) Bore had only one thing to say after learning of this Big Freeze — “Dammit Dammit Dammit #*&)+ing Dammit!”
——
http://yayacanada.blogspot.com/ — Great site, and good link on Population control

#18 Bogdan on 11.14.09 at 1:51 am

Garth, I think you should go ahead and prepare some entries on bankruptcy strategies for this emos. This is going to be the next hit, it’s a hot topic in US now.

Joyce – after spending six highly frustrating months trying to find a decent rental in the GTA I just found an excellent place without searching for long. Most of the buildings in my neighborhood are showing vacancies, which they didn’t in years, because of the long waiting lists.
You make no sense… you can’t find a nice place to rent in the tiny GTA!?!? but you can get into debt and buy a nice condo with your “extremely limited budget”? What, you still dream for prince charming to come from nowhere and bail you out?

#19 Chaostrology on 11.14.09 at 1:58 am

OMG what is wrong with those people.

Whaa, Whaa, Whaa….

Would somebody please call the Whaaambulance for those cry baby doctors.

The buy-in at the table is 1.6 million. Put-up or shut-up.

Ride that pair of cowboys. Just remember there are sharks in the river and the blood is about to be spilled.

But hey, you’ve been to med school, you don’t need this blog or the hounds that patrol here.

It ain’t called Texas Hold-up for nuthin’… someone always gets their horns lopped off.

Oh man, Calgary is gonna be love’n you guys, and I don’t mean in a nice way.

When you start bleeding remember to apply pressure! If that doesn’t work, call a Doctor.

#20 Ghost of Tom Joad on 11.14.09 at 1:59 am

Wow – those 28 year olds making $500K a year. I’ve sure done something wrong as I also make $500K — a decade! Oh well, we can’t all be superstars.

Interesting stories on the struggles of the people of Detroit: http://www.detroitblog.org/

And for those interested in economic news from two US patriots, tune in for an awesome 1 hour program daily. If you like Garth (who doesn’t??), you’ll like these guys — guaranteed:
http://patriotarchives.blogspot.com/

And of course, listen to the great Alex Jones who’ll teach you all about the evil New World Order.
http://www.infowars.com

Great weekend everyone!!!

#21 kansai_92 on 11.14.09 at 2:23 am

Calgary couple sounds like bullshit.
What kind of people making $500K/yr and come to a blog for financial advice.
Go ahead and buy that $1.6M McCrackhouse.
It’s only 3.2X their salary!

#22 Jack the Lad on 11.14.09 at 4:47 am

Garth wrote:

“You have brought out that feminine, caring side of me that the guys in my Harley club so love.”

I’m sure they do Garth!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdbt-sx5MDc

#23 SaraBeth on 11.14.09 at 5:40 am

Onemorething ~ You wrote; “What will happen? RE will tank, you will watch the property you are renting not only come down in RE value but so will your rent, they move together eh!”

If everyone is renting instead of buying…why do you think rents will come down? It would seem to me that a glut of houses/condos that won’t sell, will be rented out at higher and higher prices…

Hell, on a fixed income right now and renting at a VERY low price (hubby has lived in this house for 30+ years)…if we had to move anywhere else our rent would take half or more of our monthly income…

#24 David Bakody on 11.14.09 at 7:13 am

Well done Joyce and great thinking ….. a home is place to live in with the comforts you have accumulated …. mainly art .. yes art a place you can sit back, kick back with a good book or even watch TV look up and around at your personal things in your home. Size matters not, price matters not, but clean, neat and safe does.

Garth advice is sound, I trust you have a good banker, tell her what you want, find a good veteran RE person and be specific preferably a women you have a good feeling for and let her fingers and mind work for you … move in and enjoy life!

As for our poor rich kids ……..grow up! nuff said.

#25 Future Expatriate on 11.14.09 at 7:57 am

#7 – “Mid 40s, no property and no money. Pathetic.”

You really need to emigrate to the US, where you can be with more vicious hateful truly pathetic people similar to yourself.

Canadians (of all origins) are better than you.

#26 Jake on 11.14.09 at 8:37 am

#7 Watched Bubble Guy,
Checked out your website and was thoroughly annoyed before I even got to your list of strategies. It reminded me of an early morning infomercial where the rich guy just cannot stop talking about his greatness. All you need to do now is find an out of work 80s TV personality to endorse you. See you at 3 AM on public television when you hit the big time.
With regards to the young rich couple from Calgary, I think most of you were jack asses to them yesterday. I mean seriously people, they are in their 20s and just got out of school. Of course they need financial advice. They have spent the last 20 years studying everything but finance. Finance and economics are not part of the med curriculum. Making a lot of money does not equate to financial competence (Mike Tyson?). So lay off of them. They have actually saved quite well considering the fact they haven’t been making the big money for that long. I agree with Garth that they do have to get some thicker skin though. Get used to criticism guys, it comes hand in hand with being a professional. Right realtors?

#27 Lest we forget on 11.14.09 at 9:24 am

#3 hal smith on 11.13.09 at 9:59 pm
“Funny or sad ?

I was listening to a local Kelowna radio station this morning. Some developer was flogging condos and never mentioned the price, only the monthly payments. Seems like price doesn’t matter any more, only the monthly payments. I heard the advert 5 or 6 times and chuckled about it but then I thought ” this is really f***ing sad, not funny at all”.”

Hal – I thought most car leases used to be advertised for 48 months. Now I see they’re promoting 60 mo. leases. Used to be carpeting was sold by the the sq. yard, now its advertised by the sq. ft. Sounds so much cheaper. :-)

I don’t know how low income families afford the cost of food and basic staples. If the price stays the same, the quantity is reduced or the price increases by at least 20%+. We buy lots of bulk items at Costco. Husband purchased some laundry detergent the other week. He paid the same price for 5L as I had paid for almost 9L about 4+ months ago. Is that not inflation. When the cost of oil was way up, higher prices were blamed on transportation, mfg. costs. Prices never seem to lower when oil costs go down. I seem to recall reading that for the average consumer wages have been not kept pace with the real cost of living for at least 20 years.

#28 CalgaryRocks on 11.14.09 at 9:26 am

If everyone is renting instead of buying…why do you think rents will come down? It would seem to me that a glut of houses/condos that won’t sell, will be rented out at higher and higher prices…

During the 90s nice condos were more expensive to rent compared to appartments. This was true even though they were impossible to sell. So you are right, no accidental landlord is going to allow you to live at 1/2 what it costs him in carrying costs.

The people that say, I pay rent of 1600/month for a house that would cost me 3200/month to buy conveniently forget to mention that the owner of the house bought it 10 years ago and his carrying costs are 800/month, if that.

#29 NOBODY on 11.14.09 at 9:51 am

That rich Calgary couple… The problem is some folks earn so much money that the DO NOT care if they take a loss.
They’ll buy that $1.6M house in Calgary and ENJOY it because that is want they want.
If it’s only worth $900K in 5 years, they won’t care as it is NOT for sale…

Capitch?

#30 Devil's Advocate on 11.14.09 at 9:54 am

“GOLD isn’t going up, the dollar is dropping”
http://tiny.cc/8b3qw

Money for nothin’, social housing…
http://tiny.cc/ZQHs4

#31 The Great Gazoo on 11.14.09 at 10:00 am

Garth, you mentioned a little while ago the murder in the Toronto Danforth area, despite the madness of 800K homes, I mentioned the gradual decline of that area – well here is further evidence:

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/725794–danforth-s-decline-drugs-prostitutes-now-in-the-open?bn=1

Bet the re agent don’t mention that!

#32 double mike on 11.14.09 at 10:08 am

Garth, I love your sense of humor. 300-400K for a shoe box in the sky, condo fees not included? You got to be kidding me. Average household income in GTA, last time I checked was around 70K. What happened with 3x-3.5x rule? And the rule applied to fully owned houses, not condominiums when the carrying cost can go up virtually at whim.

#33 Devil's Advocate on 11.14.09 at 10:26 am

“The people that say, I pay rent of 1600/month for a house that would cost me 3200/month to buy conveniently forget to mention that the owner of the house bought it 10 years ago and his carrying costs are 800/month, if that.” CalgaryRocks on 11.14.09 at 9:26 am

Correct. The problem is that the current state of the market prohibits prudent investment in revenue properties. Who is going to incur, as per your example, $3,200 per month expenses to achieve a $1,600 per month revenue stream? No sane person. So one or a combination of two things must happen a.) property values must fall and/or b.) rental rates must rise. My bet is it will be a combination of the two in the coming years just as has always been the results under similar pressures in the past.

It is simply a matter that properties were undervalued at some time in the past given the then economic fundamentals. Consequently they increased rapidly closing that gap with such momentum that they passed through the point of equilibrium to the point of being grossly overvalued. How did this happen? In a word – Greed. Now fear, among other things, is driving them back. Will they pass through equilibrium once again? Yes, but I think not quite so exaggeratedly so as they did on their way up. The big variable of course is that government seems intent on keeping the pendulum swung in this direction and the longer they do that the more momentum it is going to have as it heads back through equilibrium on it’s way back down so… clearly then, with such momentum, we are bound to head toward as much or more reeked havoc at the other end of the spectrum as had occurred at this end. Wild ride at the carnival…

Life Is A Carnival lyrics by THE BAND

You can walk on the water, drown in the sand
You can fly off a mountaintop if anybody can
Run away, run away–it’s the restless age
Look away, look away–you can turn the page
Hey, buddy, would you like to buy a watch real cheap
Here on the street
I got six on each arm and two more round my feet
Life is a carnival–believe it or not
Life is a carnival–two bits a shot

Saw a man with the jinx in the third degree
From trying to deal with people–people you can’t see
Take away, take away, this house of mirrors
Give away, give away, all the souvenirs
We’re all in the same boat ready to float off the edge of the world
The flat old world
The street is a sideshow from the peddler to the corner girl
Life is a carnival–it’s in the book
Life is a carnival–take another look

Hey, buddy, would you like to buy a watch real cheap
Here on the street
I got six on each arm and two more round my feet
Life is a carnival–believe it or not
Life is a carnival–two bits a shot

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgWU2kUKX5o

#34 double mike on 11.14.09 at 10:27 am

#22 SaraBeth

“If everyone is renting instead of buying…why do you think rents will come down? It would seem to me that a glut of houses/condos that won’t sell, will be rented out at higher and higher prices…”

I bet they wish. I doubt they can. The supply & demand will makes a short work of an overinflated rental market. If anecdotal evidences mean anything – my rent hasn’t increased last 4 years and this is not a bad area and 5 min from my work. Sure they tried every year, but just one fax with a hint of us moving to greener pastures made the trick. Another one – a friend of mine sold a condo last month because he just couldn’t get a satisfactory tenant. He didn’t overcharge, just a carrying cost and he isn’t a greenhorn in the landlording business, but supply of people who would qualify simply dried out. Well, he made a killing on the sale, I should admit :)

#35 miketheengineer on 11.14.09 at 10:56 am

Garth:

If that Ukraine bug makes it here, and it appears to be different than the one we currently have, this will be a very interesting event. Thanks to guys on this list for the last link. I give this bug (virus or bacteria) about 1 month before it eventually makes it here. (maybe less time)

One last call, stock up on:

Medicine
Canned Goods
Clean Water

Make sure you have enough for a 30 day siege. Stores will be wiped out in 3 days, and take 3 weeks to re-stock. Remember Hurricane Katrina? Quebec Ice Storm? Power outage in 2003? Be prepared.

God, I hope this Ukraine bug does not kill to many people.

Good Luck

#36 SaraBeth on 11.14.09 at 10:56 am

#27 CalgaryRocks

Indeed….and really, what IS the difference between an apartment and a condo? One you buy, the other you rent…if you are renting a condo…then it is an apartment…eh?

#37 SaraBeth on 11.14.09 at 11:01 am

#33 double mike

Supply and demand…if no one is buying and everyone is renting… rents WILL go up…or do you imagine that people will just let those non-sellers sit empty?

#38 jess on 11.14.09 at 11:13 am

food prices and nutrition

To maintain my boomer physique ,i need approx.1500cal to maintain my body mass index based on my level of activity /week (walking 5hrs. week +badminton 2xweek) . This of course is a healthy balance of fat to carb to protein.

This comes out to 200 bucks /mo
I would much rather support the sink hole of my diet as opposed to the black hole of condo fees. ;)

#39 Devil's Advocate on 11.14.09 at 11:28 am

The saddest thing is that I have completely lost interest in achieving financial growth. I just don’t think it is worth it anymore. There is too much risk and even if you are successful it appears government is just going to piss it away through increased taxes and stricter regulation.

Were I to do it all over again I might make only one, all-be-it significant, change and that would be to have sought a secure government job. You know the 9:00 to 4:00 gig with benefits, no stress, weekends and evenings off, paid vacation and retirement plan – (sweet!).

As it stands now, I really don’t have that much more time before I retire although I will never completely retire. Heck I have retired already in a sense. I’m not going to be contributing any significant taxes to the system. I’m happy just treading water. Why would I do otherwise? What incentive is there to do otherwise? Life is too short. I’m going to enjoy the rest of it like I did when I was in my 20’s. I was behind a lot of my piers then just as I am now… but I did and am having a whole lot more fun than a lot of them appear to be.

Time has taught me that I am in no way unique. I suspect there are a lot like me. What is that going to do to the economy when those of entrepreneurial inclination loose it and simply stop? The wheels of the economy will fall off that’s what will happen. Why would such a thing happen? Because our government is sucking the entrepreneurial lifeblood out of this country and it is that lifeblood which we ALL rely upon, NOT stimulus packages, government run bureaucracies or the government take-over of financial systems.

Nah… you are all right… free enterprise is bad. Capitalism is what got us into this mess. Only our governments can save the day. Ya Right! Good luck on that one. I’m content to watch this story unfold as you all scurry about like chickens with your heads cut off. Meanwhile as I sit seemingly idle I will cultivate my young for the coming re-emergence, understanding and appreciation of capitalism… which is THE ONLY way out of this mess. That’s my only investment in the future… your future. Which brings me to another matter…

You had all better embrace that Gen-X group close on the heels of the Boomers. Yes it is a new world and only they truly know how to navigate it. Not just that… they have watched us collectively blunder our way through our lives making horrific mistakes along the way. Everything from global warming to greed induced Ponzi schemes that most, hypocrites as they are, envy despite their public displays of distain. We are very near passing the torch but reluctant to trust the new keepers of the flame. Get over it… they certainly can’t do any worse and we have certainly been a good lesson in what not to do. Yes history repeats itself, but I do think this new generation will be one of the first to actually learn from history. They are a pretty smart lot from what I see and could likely now teach us a thing or two. Pass them the keys now… after all you have financed your today at the expense of their future, does that not give them the right to choose which fork in the road we shall take from here forward?

#40 Gord In Vancouver on 11.14.09 at 11:52 am

#7 Watched Bubble Never Pops

Mid 40s, no property and no money. Pathetic.
_____________________________________________

Your post makes you look like an extremely desperate person. I see that you reinstated your HTML link – you must be struggling to get people to sign up for your seminar.

I don’t belong to any of those categories but those who do were probably hit by nasty divorce settlements or are disabled.

#41 Devil's Advocate on 11.14.09 at 12:12 pm

“Mid 40s, no property and no money. Pathetic.”

Pathetic? Maybe… maybe not; no worries, down at the bar with friends on friday night after their end of the work week Friday shift, drive later that evening to their rented home in their 1970 Ford F-150. Wake up Saturday morning go fishin’ with some buds. Come tax time take their single T4 down to H&R Block to get an advance on the “REFUND” and start it all over again.

Hey doesn’t sound half bad to me. At the end of the game, for all we know, ends up in the same spot… maybe better.. if in fact, in the whole scheme of things, we are here to learn a lesson.

#42 Soylent Green is People on 11.14.09 at 12:17 pm

I wish she wouldn’t buy that condo.

You really should rent and force yourself to save money for your retirement.

Get your arse on PoF and find a life companion asap.

#43 pjwlk on 11.14.09 at 12:24 pm

Joyce, one rule of thumb you should always remember:

The quality and desirability of any given neigbourhood is, in most cases, directly related to the average price.

Believe me I’m not advocating spending above your means but buying at the bottom end of affordability may not be what you want either. At this time I think renting is still the best option until the future becomes clearer.
——————–
And Garth, I also think you’ve been a tad bit rude to the people yesterday as well. Hey, some people aren’t even aware of the hardship others have to endure, but I don’t think that’s a reason to break out the tar and feathers…

#44 Dave on 11.14.09 at 12:26 pm

Why would taking the money out of her RRSP result in a nasty tax surprise? Can’t first time home buyers can take the down payment out of an RRSP without tax?

What tax surprise? Put money in and get a tax rebate to help with the downpayment. Take it out for free. Leave the existing funds in to compound. — Garth

#45 bigpictureguy on 11.14.09 at 12:28 pm

Gord In Vancouver on 11.14.09 at 11:52 am

What I find hilarious the self proclaimed millionaire can’t afford a descent website peddling his Tom Vu get rich scheme. LOL LOL

#46 Watched Blog Zit Never Pops on 11.14.09 at 12:30 pm

Wow, and what is Watched Bubble’s brilliant economic advice? Buy K-Swiss stock!! K-Swiss!! But but but all the condo kings are wearing them!

#47 Cory on 11.14.09 at 12:35 pm

“The people that say, I pay rent of 1600/month for a house that would cost me 3200/month to buy conveniently forget to mention that the owner of the house bought it 10 years ago and his carrying costs are 800/month, if that.”

That is absolutely false to “assume” all landlords are in this situation. I have seen it with my own eyes where people have had to become landlords because they overpaid, tried to sell, and could not get the price they needed. I also know several wannabe Donald Trumps in a negative cash flow situation because they had to drop their rents on their speculative buys they made at the peak. Your assumptions are just that, assumptions.

#48 jess on 11.14.09 at 12:48 pm

Sara the link is in regard to rent controls notice the % has been diminishing over time. Just as the wealthy(ownership class) fight against taxes on their gains, the
rental class fight against rising rents. Finding Equilibrium or trying to be fair is always a struggle.

http://www.ontariotenants.ca/research/rent-increase.phtml

Benjamin Dulchin is the director of the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development, it’s an advocacy group in New York. And he says the real-estate boom really changed that.

BENJAMIN DULCHIN: Starting at about 2005 is that these private equity funds began to notice rent-regulated real estate as an undervalued potential investment.

He says in New York alone developers backed by private equity firms bought up about 100,000 units. That’s about 10 percent of the city’s rent-regulated housing stock. The idea was to make more money from the buildings by raising the rents dramatically.

Emily Youssof is a housing consultant. She says this is how the developers planned to do it…

EMILY YOUSSOF: In the future, three or four years down the road, the new owner would be able to turn over the tenants and make these buildings into more luxury buildings, as opposed to middle class, working class or even lower-income units.

The prices the developers paid for the buildings were based on much higher rents than the apartments had been getting. And the developers took out big mortgages to pay for them.

But they haven’t been able to get low-paying tenants out of the building fast enough, and they underestimated how much it cost to operate these buildings. So the developers just aren’t getting the income they need to pay their expenses.

Youssof says the money problems are starting to show.

YOUSSOF: In a number of buildings, you’re beginning to see the owners milking the building for the money that is there. They’re not paying their mortgages, the maintenance of the building is going down, the violations are going up.
http://marketplace.publicradio.org/display/web/2009/11/12/pm-pe-real-estate/

#49 Toronto C9 Renter on 11.14.09 at 12:51 pm

#7 Watched Bubble: “Mid 40s, no property and no money. Pathetic.”

You were voted off the island because you don’t have anything worthwhile to say. So why won’t you just go away??

#50 Potato on 11.14.09 at 12:53 pm

Joyce, what strategy are you using to look for rentals? For virtually every condo you could care to try to buy, there’s a nearly identical unit available to rent, often in the same building. And with the valuations where they are in Toronto, it’s usually a safer bet to go with the rental.

I’m looking to move back to Toronto in early 2010 and we’ve started to look already (a little too early, but we like having a plan in place). While we haven’t found a perfect place for us yet, there have been a plethora of units that easily satisfy the “not creepy” criteria.

The rental multiplier in Toronto in our experience is somewhere north of 200X. So, if your mortgage budget is say 300k, that means you should be able (indeed, better off), renting a place at $1500/mo, and they should be essentially identical options/units. Be sure you’re not kneecaping the rental option by low-balling your rental budget and stretching for your mortgage budget!

#51 A kid from oversea on 11.14.09 at 12:54 pm

“buying a condo in a price range which has the best chance of withstanding the inevitable real estate correction.”

Why condo has the best chance to hit the correction first? Is it because of supply and demand? Does this apply to nation wide? Thanks.

#52 Barb the proof reader on 11.14.09 at 1:01 pm

#7 Watched Bubble Never Pops:
"Mid 40s, no property and no money. Pathetic"

Watched Bubble,

The way you attempted to demean the lady makes quite a statement about your weaknesses — she is probably a far better, kinder, and more interesting person than you could ever hope to be, so you thought you could pump yourself up by grinding your hate on her. So as concerns pathetic: you’ve illustrated that you are the poster child.

#53 Chris no longer in England on 11.14.09 at 1:04 pm

Is this blog becoming the vaguely literary equivalent of the Jerry Springer show? Judging by some of the comments, it seems that any information offered by those emailing with a question is seized upon with hoots of derision, quickly followed by insults and a good deal of self-preening by posters. Are we really going to judge whether people deserve a sensible answer or an insult, and if so, on what basis? Oh yeah, we are all perfect. Forgot about that.

#54 Chris no longer in England on 11.14.09 at 1:16 pm

Power cut causes chaos!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1227752/Millions-unable-use-bank-cards-HBOS-breaks-down.html

Garth, one of your pet scenarios demonstrated at work in the real world. Time to stick the banknotes under the mattress?

#55 NKVD Black Raven on 11.14.09 at 1:21 pm

Joyce – beware condo fees.

Why not continue to rent and move round a bit until you find a spot you really like?

I don’t care for Liberty Village – too many whackos around from the Clarke up at Queen/Dufferin. I don’t care for the former railway lands either. Too many traffic woes whenever anything’s on at the Dome and you need to dash somewhere and the alternative transit will be packed by animals too. This entire area has a problem with theft and illegal parking – right inside the condo – right in your parking spot.

#56 jess on 11.14.09 at 1:24 pm

efficiency hum…interesting might give a better idea of ehealth /gov.agencies /small business etc.

Why it is Important that Software Projects Fail
An essay on computer productivity
DRAFT

Dr Anthony Berglas, February/October 2008
[email protected] (Feedback welcome.)
Copy at will but provide attribution.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parkinson's_Law
http://spectrum.ieee.org/computing/software/why-software-fails

Market Crash: After its new automated supply-chain management system failed last October, leaving merchandise stuck in company warehouses, British food retailer Sainsbury’s had to hire 3000 additional clerks to stock its shelves.

This story has been floating around the information technology industry for 20-some years. It’s probably apocryphal, but for those of us in the business, it’s entirely plausible. Why? Because episodes like this happen all the time. Last October, for instance, the giant British food retailer J Sainsbury PLC had to write off its US $526 million investment in an automated supply-chain management system. It seems that merchandise was stuck in the company’s depots and warehouses and was not getting through to many of its stores. Sainsbury was forced to hire about 3000 additional clerks to stock its shelves manually
===

#57 Tory Times are Tough Times on 11.14.09 at 1:25 pm

We are going to be in pain for quite some time

Economic panel pulls no punches — or pain

http://thechronicleherald.ca/Editorial/1152595.html

Stimulus stampede and deficit madness

By CHARLES W. MOORE

http://thechronicleherald.ca/Letters/1152648.html

Tho I’m not an NDP’r I agree with Selina’s comments on many of the articles. The cons had been in power for 8 years. Anyone remember the Buchanan years? As they say, Tory times are Tough Times. I well remember those expensive toilet seats.

#58 EJ on 11.14.09 at 1:28 pm

#36 SaraBeth

Just look at the USA to see what happened to rents. All these people who thought they couldn’t lose buying their “investment” property panicked when they saw prices dropping and everybody selling. They thought to themselves “I KNOW this place is worth $X and I’m not selling for less. Instead of bleeding out on my monthly payments, I’ll rent it out. I’m so smart, nobody else would think of this tactic!”

Take thousands of new rental units getting dumped on the market, and it’s not difficult to see why the renters have the power to negotiate prices.

Being a landlord actually requires some work. If you’re not prepared for it, you can get taken for a ride by tenants who don’t pay, have unusually high demands, or simply wreck the place and you’ll get dragged through the court system trying to get your money.

#59 Chris no longer in England on 11.14.09 at 1:29 pm

Another cautionary tale ….

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1227624/Mortgage-arrears-couple-rode-buy-let-boom-estimated-350-000.html

UK’s biggest buy-to-let landlords in trouble. I saw them on TV a few years ago. They targeted an entire street by putting leaflets through all the doors offering less than the average house was worth, and then relying on the fact that those who wanted to sell would browbeat their neighbours into going along with it (the offer only on the table if everyone agreed to sell). Looks like lots of people took them up on it!

#60 Patiently Waiting on 11.14.09 at 1:31 pm

I suspect rents and real estate prices go up and down independent of each other. For instance, in Vancouver right now we have another orgy of real estate stupidity while vacancy rates are rapidly increasing. So there’s increasing condo prices and decreasing condo rents at the same time. I wonder how long this can go on.

#61 curious on 11.14.09 at 1:55 pm

Hi Claudius the Emperor:

Montreal is known to have new apt. style condos in Plateau Mont-Royal with condo fees of $90./mth. Heat & hydro not included. I suspect that there might be a similar range on small condo buildings also in Hull, Qc (across the Ottawa river).

In Ottawa I have never seen anything lower for apts than $360 heat & hydro not included . Even townhouse condos are known to cost $350. a month.

#62 Kurt on 11.14.09 at 1:55 pm

@ 50 A kid from overseas: it isn’t the house that appreciates so much as the land underneath it. Conversely, when prices crash, it’s the land that crashes, not the building. Because most condos are aparment buildings or similar developments that share a tiny piece of land among a very large number of units, there is very ilttle land associated with any single unit, resulting in a smaller percentage volatility in the price. So, if you are forced to buy in at the peak of the market, look at *used* condos (new ones tend to be over-priced.) Especially, look for one oriented towards providing shelter, not status (that’s what is meant by “the right price range”.) Conversely, if you are buying in at the bottom, buy a single-family detached home, and buy as much as you can possibly afford. What is happening right now in the Canadian market is that a general belief has developed that we are at a bottom, not a top. Most of us on this blog believe that is incorrect.

#63 Taxpayer like you on 11.14.09 at 2:02 pm

Joyce – a $300K mortage at 4% 20 yr am will cost
$1800/mo of which $1000 is interest at the start. After
5 years, you have balance of $245K. Re-amortize for 15 at 8% (approx historical norm) and it runs you $2300/mo. of which $1600 is interest to start, but that will drop more quickly as you go. Try a mortgage calculator to find total interest paid over these periods and work it back into the “owners rent”.

And dont forget that your downpayment is GONE FOREVER even if you “pay it back”. That payment could
be used for investment.

Potato @49 (knows the market I dont) still says rent is
cheap.

#64 curious on 11.14.09 at 2:08 pm

Hi to Potato no. 49 posting.

Good comment. How does one find out the rental multiplier for a given cdn locale? I am particularly interested in Ottawa.

#65 Happy Renter in North Van on 11.14.09 at 2:26 pm

#7 Watched Bubble Never Pops…

Not everyone has your entrepreneurial flare to self-promote himself like you do and charge people to come to your cheezy “non” investment seminars. Ease off on the critiques of someone you know nothing about…

#66 gordon on 11.14.09 at 2:27 pm

#58 Patiently waiting, makes an extremely good point about rising vacancies in Vancouver.

In the 1980’s and mid 1990’s the economy tanked in BC and the vacancy rate shot up as people left the city to find work in Alberta and Ontario. As homes and suites went vacant, the owner could no longer make their monthly payments and the marketplace was characterized as being “soft” with declining prices and at times the majority of homes that were selling were under duress circumstances. If you wanted to sell your home, then you had to compete with these properties.

Today, the low interest rate, fast approval times and low documentation requirements are causing a similar affect. Those renting suites and homes are buying properties and the vacancy rate is shooting up once more in cities like Vancouver and Victoria. Those home owners that needed premium rents are now facing a longer lease up period and having to lower their rents.

The BC economy is tanking now, but Alberta and Ontario are not doing that much better. What I do see is that renters are buying because of the government stimulus of low interest rates and those that have lost their jobs are doubling up or moving back in with their parents.

This not a good time to buy real estate as an investment or speculate on future price appreciation.

#67 X on 11.14.09 at 2:51 pm

#7 – “Mid 40s, no property and no money. Pathetic.”

Just like your comments on canadianmoneyforum.com. One liners and no constructive advice.

You don’t know this woman, or anything about her. To call her pathetic is uncalled for. If you are going to log on to these forums/blogs at least offer advice or criticism, but don’t insult.

My advice for her…you have obviously put some thought into this, you have a budget in place, but to wait one more year and rent might be a reasonable option to consider.

#68 hal smith on 11.14.09 at 3:04 pm

Here’s the problem: We are mostly all dinosaurs on this blog and we are set in the old reality. There are at least two generations behind us have created a new housing market reality and we don’t get it. It makes them feel rich and powerful and fulfilled while we scratch our heads. The government understands the new reality and enables it as much as it can and govt. popularity is growing. Everyone wants this new reality.As long as we have the public mindset that we have and the government that we have the reality will not change and we will continue to scratch our heads. And the government will do ANYTHING to keep this thing inflated. If not, we crash and burn like the USA.

#69 kitchener1 on 11.14.09 at 3:47 pm

RE: Condo and fees, I work on the commercial side of the business so I can give some insight into the maint fee problem.

First problem:
I’ve seen this happen to a lot (read 6-7) diff friends at diff brand new condo’s built by diff builders. First year maint fee is really low, 2nd year a sizeable increase, 3rd year you are paying 50-60% more then 1st year.

Reasons are:

Max engineering spec in new builds, using the cheapest possible equipment and labour available.

The tendering process, many companies(landscaping, maintenance, cleaning etc..) only tender for 1 year contract terms, that have options to renew for another 3-5 years. First year the bid low to get the job, still turning a profit but its marginal. When they renew, they bump there cost, most management companies don;t care, its a go with who you know deal, that and the condo owners are paying for it anyway.

Management companies:
In the property management world, its either pay a flat fee for the management services or a percentage of total management cost. If the cost to manage the property is more, the management company gets paid more, hence, no real incentive to lower operating costs.

Condo’s are the last to go up in price in an RE boom and the first to go down.

Personally, I would look at a townhome/semi/detached/row house in that range and buy it instead, more privacy and think long term.

A lot of first time buyers buying condo’s are only doing for the short term, they fail to factor in legal/mortgage penalities etc.. when selling.

#70 Dorf on 11.14.09 at 3:54 pm

Garth, I wish I had a Dad like you.

Wise, knowledgeable, and full of good, common sense advice. It is 25 years too late for me, although I love reading your blog. I learn so much.

My problem is this:

I have managed my financial choices with very little knowledge of how finances work, and very little desire to know. My parents have never been any good with money or finances and taught me nothing about it.

Therefore, I have always ran my finances by comparing myself to other people my age. How am I doing compared to others ?

Well, we are only indebted by a $125,000 mortgage, have no other debts and we make about $90,000 annually between us. We were, until recently, notorious spenders. We have just recently awakened and are now saving, but have very little saved thus far. All I am worried about is maintaining our current simple lifestyle and continuing to have a safety blanket in the bank for the unknown.

How I wish I was G. Turner Jr., and you had sat me down and said, “Son, this is what you are going to need to know about finances and the economy. This is how all of it works, and how things go up and down and sideways at times. Don’t always count on sunny days. Here is what history has shown us and it will repeat itself. Here is a book to guide you through all of your decision making processes, from spending to saving, from investing to buying real estate. Here is how you should split up your paycheques and how much debtload you should aim for, the less the better. Here is how much extra, things will cost you when you use credit.”

So Garth, before the time comes that we lose all of your wealth of knowledge and experience, why don’t you sit down and write another book ?

You can call it whatever you want, but I am thinking of a theme like advice from your Dad, a simple, easy to understand guide for young people to help guide them through all of their financial decision making processes, including an explanation of how the economy works and what it does. Include all of the pitfalls, and things that go boom.

Garth, I could have been so much further ahead of the game if I had a Dad like you 25 years ago. If I only knew then what I know now.

From the sounds of the letters you receive, just about everybody needs a no nonsense guide to living financially smart and planning for the future, instead of living for the day until the day comes that there is no more work, and no more money.

Thanks Dad !

Gosh, you’re welcome Beav. But yer creeping me out. — Garth

#71 S on 11.14.09 at 4:26 pm

Well, that’s a disappointing post from you, Garth. You had a well educated, well to do couple asking for advice. Rather flattering, don’t you think? And what is it that I detect… a whiff of resentment towards people that bothered to stay in school, obtain good education and are now reaping the rewards? Assuming that the hubby is a doc (lady didn’t actually say so, he could be an administrator and these do very well, believe me) obtaining that profession comes at a great deal of sacrifice. A person of your intellect and imagination surely realizes that. So why the sarcasm? More so than in any other country here everyone actually is a master of his own faith. Education and success are readily available to anyone willing to work hard and take on insane amounts of student loans betting on themselves. Why beat them up?

#72 calgaryrenter2 on 11.14.09 at 4:26 pm

Interesting piece on Calgary foreclosures

http://calgary.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20091111/CGY_Foreclosure_Scam_091111/20091111/?hub=CalgaryHome

#73 Calgary_rip_off on 11.14.09 at 5:44 pm

Hal Smith #67:

Dinosaurs? I dont think so. Im not a dinosaur. I listen to loud and fast electric over the top guitar solos that sound like Paganini gone berzerk, I lift weights and play video games. I do have a job in the hospital with a bunch of old farts who generally are annoying and get in my way(50 year olds) but I keep it cause the money pays for the crap shack rental in Calgary. I’ll probably be priced out forever, but at the same time I get to read this blog as the older screwups are panicking as their house values plummet their stocks go in the tank and they generally have nothing left. It’s pretty funny what some of the elders think is important. They would be better off listening to kids who have a fresh perspective on life, not worrying about their stupid mutual funds and irrelevant crap.

It’s liable to maybe get very juicy and moist in Calgary when the interest rates skyrocket and foreclosures go wild. Currently the political dynamic has taken a massive dump and the people want to purge the Ed Stelmach whack jobs. It will be fun to watch. I always read the paper and watch for the comedy as it all goes to hell.

#74 jess on 11.14.09 at 5:57 pm

What is a Queen to do? Charles latest attempt at trying to remind us of that we are not a republic?

http://www.cnbc.com/id/31652752
The total cost of keeping the monarchy increased by £1.5 million ($2.5 million) to £41.5 million pounds ($69.23 million) during the last financial year, according to royal accounts published on the UK monarchy’s official web site. The Queen had to tap the reserve fund by £6 million to supplement the cost of running the Royal household, the accounts showed….

But accounts show travel expenses for the Royal family rose to £6.5 million in the last financial year, while salaries amounted to £9.9 million, administration £1.5 million, housekeeping and furnishings £700,000, £1.1 million was spent on catering and hospitality and £600,000 on garden parties.”

#75 CS on 11.14.09 at 6:11 pm

#7 Mid 40s, no property and no money. Pathetic.
_____________________________________________

‘Pathetic’ is someone who insults another with zero knowledge of their situation. Having seen the financial fallout of an unwanted divorce and illness not brought on by one’s own bad habits or lifestyle, coupled with completely unexpected job loss (so-called ‘secure’ senior managment position eliminated with zero warning), only good fortune has put you in a financial situation that allows you, rather than feeling grateful and blessed, to feel smug and superior. When the time comes, your fall will only be all that much harder due to your choice of attitude.

#76 jess on 11.14.09 at 6:44 pm

efficient programmers

Two computer programmers who worked for fraudster Bernard Madoff were arrested today on charges of helping to cover up his $65bn (£39bn) swindle.

#77 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 11.14.09 at 7:28 pm

For Joyce: #66 X — “. . . wait one more year and rent might be a reasonable option to consider.”

Sound advice. There will be plenty of really good bargains to choose from 12 – 18 months or so. Hang in there.
——
#125 nonplused on 11.14.09 at 12:47 am — “N. le Mad and N. Jr. are trolls.”

Glad to see that you, too, nonplused along with a few others are able to make judgment calls on things you know nothing about. Out of interest, am I a female / male troll?

One day you will advance to the Caveman Level, bashing one another over your heads with clubs. Later, you will be promoted to grunts.

For a clearer understanding of the reality of life, watch the 1976 movie “Network”, as there is presently an awful lot of anger among people who have lost their jobs, and are not likely to get them back.

If unable to do that, drop a nuke on Dimona (Israel’s not-so top secret nuke facility, located about 50 miles from Gaza in the Negev desert, which holds at least active 200 WMD).

Sure, it will destroy and poison most countries around there, but that is part of war.
——
#34 miketheengineer — Simply another de-population technique. BTW, MDs released the latest info.; apparently, the virus is indeed a lethal bio-weapon. — Ukraine 1 / Ukraine 2 / Alternative

#40 Devil’s Advocate — “. . . we are here to learn a lesson.” — Good comment, and right on the money. Freedom of thought and speech are included here, although some don’t yet realize it.

#78 X on 11.14.09 at 7:40 pm

#69 Dorf

Read as much as you can about investing. Soak in everything.

Live below your means. Max your RRSPs and TFSA.

Keep it simple.

#79 Tory Times are Tough Times on 11.14.09 at 8:19 pm

#52 Chris no longer in England on 11.14.09 at 1:04 pm
Is this blog becoming the vaguely literary equivalent of the Jerry Springer show? Judging by some of the comments, it seems that any information offered by those emailing with a question is seized upon with hoots of derision, quickly followed by insults and a good deal of self-preening by posters. Are we really going to judge whether people deserve a sensible answer or an insult, and if so, on what basis? Oh yeah, we are all perfect. Forgot about that.

————-

Totally agree Chris. I’m amazed by those who make atrocious presumptions of those who ask Garth for advice. Many seem to be either jealous or just plain ignorant. It says more about them than those who ask for advice. Garth can only offer ‘general’ rather than ‘specific advice. If he offered the latter he’d be likely subject to a lawsuit. Sorry if I’m not explaining myself as well as I could. – I’m tired.

#80 Elle on 11.14.09 at 8:39 pm

# 69 Dorf aka G. Turner Jr

Most of us wish we started out with a little more direction & wisdom, but, ….sometimes learning it the ‘hard way” makes a better teacher…..the lessons stick! Just put one foot ahead of the other and have a little faith in …….. YOURSELF!

If Garth wrote a new book, in this vein…..he could title it
Rich Dad Poor Dad…..ooops guess that’s been done.

elle

#81 Tory Times are Tough Times on 11.14.09 at 8:44 pm

#68 kitchener1 on 11.14.09 at 3:47 pm

I bought a condo/townhouse about 25 yrs ago. Condo law here was extremely lax, all in the developers’ favour. So pleased I managed to sell it after a few years. Even tho the law has been beefed up since then, I’d never buy a condo again. I’d rather rent.

#82 Tory Times are Tough Times on 11.14.09 at 8:48 pm

#73 CS on 11.14.09 at 6:11 pm

Right on!

#83 Onemorething on 11.14.09 at 10:45 pm

#22 SaraBeth, I think #57 EJ summed it up well.

What percentage of Canadians are renting? 5%. Very little! By the time rents go up the damage will have been done, and RE purchases will be back but only the few that sold and are renting today will take advantage of it.

Those that dont sell in time get stuck sitting in properties not able to sell, then the foreclosure comes! All within a 3-5 year period, why so long, because Canada Is Different!!!!! Hell, I knew people still holding Nortel stock at $0.30 cents.

Sounds like your renting right now….what’s the issue then? Get ready for affordable housing either way.

#84 GenXer on 11.14.09 at 11:11 pm

http://www.thestar.com/business/companies/nortel/article/725739–daw-retirees-look-at-plan-b

Here’s a sad story on where society is at with real estate – this couple is retired, pensions lost, but clinging to their expensive house. This property is literally draining the life out of them. How many others are in this same boat? This is insanity.

#85 Dan in Victoria on 11.15.09 at 12:15 am

Joyce,may I recomend reading The Automatic Earth blog for Nov.12.There are some interesting points raised and some good, understandable graphs.Also there is a link on the left to Patrick Killelea, when you go to the site read the left hand column.Keep in mind that these discussions are about the US,not Canada…..yet.
Good for you for taking the time to think through what is going to be the biggest purchase of your life.Run all the situations you can think of that may occur eg.interest rates,reduced income,health,maintenance,AGE of the building,roof,heating system,electrical etc.etc.The purchase price may be cheap, but not so good if you get clipped for a bunch of repairs.
Balance it out and see where you end up.
Always at the end do what I do.Is this good for me?Is this bad for me? If yes continue.If not pass.
And NEVER,EVER assume ANYTHING,it’ll bite you in the butt.Call their bluff and have it in WRITING.If it is so they will write it down,if not why not?
Good Luck.

#86 confused and a little crazed on 11.15.09 at 12:37 am

Hi garth,

I can sense your frustration in your more recent posts. People keep asking the same “sshould I buy or shouldn’t I ”

aand you are saying I think “Prices will go lower because of record low % rates will go up with increasing unemployment, increase taxes and energy prices affected by low dollar …something like that

but if you can afford it go ahead ..buy just don’t expect appreciation. Afterall it’s their money.

Well I didn’t buy housing . my rent is a 40 % of what it would cost to buy and my divdends plus interest on investments are around 3.5 % ( yes I did buy stocks May- June 2009…thanks) so i doing ok.

I hope my recap is right. and that Garth jr. blog was a little freaky. But I think he was just looking for a role model in this craziness. you are as good one could hope for…at least your honest…crass at times but honest.

peace man :)

#87 confused and a little crazed on 11.15.09 at 12:49 am

however garth,

i thinking there won’t be that much of a correction because we aare caaught in a huge herd mentality. Just imaagine yourself trying to get out of the way of a massive stampede of huge buffalo going off a cliff. Try as you might you can’t seem to get away.

but that doesn’t mean we won’t try

#88 Joe Realtor on 11.15.09 at 1:10 am

People are mentioning rents not being raised if theres any mention of tenants leaving if theres an increase. I haven’t seen this yet. Not saying its not happening though. I look forward to it. Alot of Landlords are too greedy for their own good.

Here in Toronto on Church St. there’s been two “midnight moves” in the last month of businesses that decided that their landlords were being too greedy. Right across the street from each other. One LL was upping his tenants rent to over 30,000 a MONTH from 27,000 or so. The building is now vacant. Smart move huh? Looks good on him. Especially with heating season kicking in. That 27,000 per month must look pretty good about now.

Directly across the street there’s another restaurant closed up and moved because of jacked-up rent and same thing – landlord now not getting anything on a vacant space.

I look forward to residential tenants starting to revolt against, or “calling the bluff” of some of the increases Landlords will be pushing for.

Interesting times.

#89 Watched Bubble Never Pops on 11.15.09 at 2:24 am

[4:30]
Unemployment is the most lagging indicator and has never in history peaked during a recession.

Unemployment has always peaked well after a recession has been over.

The historical average is that the unemployment rate peaks 6 months after a recession is long gone.

http://tinyurl.com/y8nh69c

#90 Potato on 11.15.09 at 4:00 am

Curious #63: “Good comment. How does one find out the rental multiplier for a given cdn locale? I am particularly interested in Ottawa.”

It’s a very simple yet valuable thing to keep in mind, so I’m glad you asked. I’ve seen people mention it when talking about/trying to analyze the real estate market, but as far as I know there’s no convenient source to just look it up, which is just as well since it will vary a bit depending on area and also on housing type (e.g.: 1-bedroom condos might be different than 3-bedroom detached homes). The best way is to just try to investigate it yourself for the area and housing style you’re interested in living in.

All you have to do is find a potential place you want to live – a building, or a neighbourhood, whatever. Then find a place you’d like to rent, and what the rental rate is. Find a unit that’s as similar as possible on the ownership side, and find out what it’s selling for (or better yet, actually sold for if there are some recent sales). Just divide one by the other. (If utilities are included in the rent, try to estimate what those would be and back them out for accuracy)

The rule of thumb is that at approximately 125X or less, it’s worthwhile to own the home, and would even make a good investment (buy two!). Around 125-150X it’s roughly break-even to own. At 150+X and you’re paying a premium to own. 200X+ and it makes zero financial sense to buy, so you better attach a pretty hefty premium to “pride of ownership”!

I outlined the math before, but basically it’s the inverse of the cap rate, but a little easier to do with whole numbers.

So, hit MLS/homebase/viewit/craigslist to find rentals and sales in your area, and just do some quick division.

In Toronto, one house we looked at sold for $562k in August 2009. By September, it was up for rent at $2400 — the purchase price was 234X the rent! I wouldn’t want to be that “investor”. Both the sale price and the rent were typical for the area. Here’s a one-bedroom from MLS for rent at $1300, and another one-bedroom on a lower floor in the building next door for sale at $240k, for a 184X multiplier.

Now, I’m not too familiar with Ottawa, but I quickly looked at a few condos around Parliament/UofO and it looked like the multiplier was around 180X, but it’s best to do your own research. I found one upscale unit that was up for either rent or sale, at 200X: 2 bdrm for rent at $2950/mo or for sale at $600k.

Hope that helps!

#91 solipsist on 11.15.09 at 5:22 am

China Chic – http://www.wimp.com/emptycity/

#92 Emma on 11.15.09 at 5:42 am

#67 hal smith
As a gen Xer, I am quite scared of the near future. We and the Yers seem to have very bad math skills as a general rule. You are right to scratch your head!! The reason the government looks to be in agreement is because the advisors are gen X and the decision makers are composed of ever more gen Xers each day. Basically, no one is doing the math!

By the way, am I alone in thinking a mortgaged home should be 3 – 3.5 times NET income, as opposed to gross?

#93 Linda Pearson on 11.15.09 at 5:55 am

#69 Dorf on 11.14.09 at 3:54 pm

My husband and I were given a book like that 3 weeks into our marriage 38+ years ago. I don’t now remember the title but, long story short, about finances and marriage it said, “Give 10%; save 10%;, spend the rest in joy and thanksgiving.” And you know what? It works!

#94 unbalanced on 11.15.09 at 7:01 am

# 69 Dorf

So very true ! I also wish I had the knowledge, but parents did not discuss any financials. I am learning the hard way, but remember when the going gets tuff, the tuff get going.

#95 David Bakody on 11.15.09 at 7:07 am

Stop and listen closely … rapids are approaching and the sounds are ominous. Yesterdays news here in NS are the governments finance panel recommendations for higher taxes, government cuts and a hike in the HST as deficit rises, beyond belief. Anyone with an once of perception will understand the true reasons why so I shall not ex-pond again on past predictions here at greaterfool.ca . Good news CFL is alive and well this afternoon in Hamilton …. Eat em raw.

#96 Kent on 11.15.09 at 8:22 am

They must pay doctors way more in Alberta than Ontario. My wife doesn’t make $500k a year, I can guarantee you that. Maybe they’re plastic surgeons?

#97 NOBODY on 11.15.09 at 9:22 am

In some parts of Ontario, RE values went up by 8% yoy.

Let’s all start flipping home$ ’cause the interest rates are low.
I will buy 2 homes, reno them and flip ’em by springtime before rates go up…

#98 Chris L. on 11.15.09 at 9:58 am

Garth did you move into your bunker in response to peak oil?

Am now reading “The Long Emergency” and will read a few more books about peak oil to get a sense of the best recourse. By the sounds of things, the best course of action is to 1) continue business as usual i.e. the money game until it’s insufficient at some time (not too distant future) and then to 2) move to hamlet cities with arable land nearby to farm or lease land to farming i.e. hiring city folk to grunt out farms.

What does one do to prepare for the immediate future and the distant future, the one without oil?

#99 David Bakody on 11.15.09 at 10:09 am

Judge for yourself if words here have paralleled these or not.

http://money.ca.msn.com/investing/jon-markman/article.aspx?cp-documentid=22599027

#100 vreaa on 11.15.09 at 10:25 am

#88 Potato

You likely know that in Vancouver the price to rent ratios reach unbelievable heights for SFHs… 300, 400, even 450.
Rents are about the same as GTA, but prices are significantly higher.

#101 Taxpayer like you on 11.15.09 at 11:42 am

81 – Onemorething

Only 5% of Canadians renting? Where did you get that stat?

http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/english/census06/data/topics/RetrieveProductTable.cfm?Temporal=2006&PID=96272&GID=837928&METH=1&APATH=3&PTYPE=88971%2C97154&THEME=81&AID=&FREE=0&FOCUS=&VID=0&GC=99&GK=NA&RL=0&TPL=RETR&SUB=814&d1=1

Now the above link refers to “households”, and the ownership rate is about 75%. And of course its 2005. Other figures I’ve seen for the western industrialized
world range from about 65-80%.

#102 CalgaryRocks on 11.15.09 at 11:49 am

Those that dont sell in time get stuck sitting in properties not able to sell, then the foreclosure comes! All within a 3-5 year period, why so long, because Canada Is Different!!!!! Hell, I knew people still holding Nortel stock at $0.30 cents.

Oh, what happened to your predictions of an imminent crash in September, and then October? Maybe you’ll have better luck with predictions 3 years from now than you’ve had so far.

Suggest, you check your Chinese made crystal ball. I think the quality is still not there yet.

#103 CalgaryRocks on 11.15.09 at 11:51 am

#99 Taxpayer like you on 11.15.09 at 11:42 am

81 – Onemorething

Only 5% of Canadians renting? Where did you get that stat?

Same place he gets his predictions. Chinese made crystal ball. No good.

#104 Peter Wiener on 11.15.09 at 12:14 pm

ATTENTION: Garth Turner

re # 7 Watched Bubble Never Pops

Garth, if you are going to allow that kind of comment go by without censure (perhaps you missed it) AND allow this troll to link to his self-serving BS website then you have gone too far in my opinion and this blog has lost its way. I can deal with anything you or anybody wants to dish out – I can take and give it back because I am fortunaute and strong.

The comment at #7 and its author need to be removed and banished IMHO and are the worst thing that I have ever seen you allow on this blog. I do not believe I am alone in this feeling.

#105 Jmack on 11.15.09 at 12:24 pm

http://phoenix.craigslist.org/nph/reb/1466920901.html

http://phoenix.craigslist.org/nph/reb/1466923073.html

http://lasvegas.craigslist.org/reb/1467006618.html

http://lasvegas.craigslist.org/reb/1466992532.html

#106 Jojo on 11.15.09 at 12:40 pm

Any comment Garth?

November 4, 2009 — In October 2009, Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 8,476 sales, up 64 per cent from October 2008. The average price for October transactions was $423,559 – up by 20 per cent compared to the same month last year.

Commented when the numbers were fresh. — Garth

#107 Cory on 11.15.09 at 1:03 pm

Joe realtor,
“or “calling the bluff” of some of the increases Landlords will be pushing for. ”

I called my landlords bluff and then had my rent dropped immediately. The dirty buggers sent me and several others a “rush” letter mentioning documents need to be signed asap. So I went down to look at what they were. they were rental increase documents 90day notice.

After I finished laughing I saw where they had “scratched” out the rental increase and rent would remain the same…….*whew* where do I sign….but WAIT! this notice is the required 90 days notice for a rental “increase” so again, after I finished laughing, I said why do I need to sign this one year lease then if it is only for the mandatory 90 days notice for a rental incease? I said raise the rent or don’t, it matters not to me. Raise it, I am not signing since I will be moving. Leave it the same? Wheres the incentive? I am still not signing. Drop the rent and we can talk. They did immediately and my lease is still to come so I fully expect more decrease. If they don’t we will simply leave.

I said why would you risk losing a current tennant paying on time every month (i.e cash flow) and risk leaving the apartment empty trying to rent it out AND you WILL have to dorp the rent anyway…makes no sense. They said we do not reduce past “sales”. They compared it to car sales and how you cannot go back to the dealer for reduced price at a later date, but I said I am not a sale, I am cash flow. I said if I rent a car for x amount, and across the street they are less x amount I will return the more expensive one and rent the other….

Of course they know this but they are banking on tennant stupidity. And you know what? I saw many others breathing a sigh of relief and signing on for another year at the same rental rate….

Conclusion: there are many stupid people out there.

#108 Taxpayer like you on 11.15.09 at 1:09 pm

Further to 99: Oops, the 75% is for my community. Canada overall in 2005 was more like 68%. (8.3M of 12.2M “households”)

Ferguson notes in “ascent of money” that there was only
about a 3% rise in that figure in the states between
2000 and time of writing (c. 2008). Probably similar for Canada?

#109 Dorf on 11.15.09 at 2:06 pm

Tongue in cheek, people….tongue in cheek. I am just trying to convey an idea.

Thanks to those who offered advice.
I’m serious about the book, Garth. You should think about it.

-Beav.

;-)

#110 Dorf on 11.15.09 at 2:13 pm

BTW, I am a GenXer… and I too, am afraid of what the future holds for us all. All I can do, however, is ride it out and play my cards the best I can.

An example:

The world is scheduled to end in 2012, so I only took out a 3 year mortgage instead of a 5 year.
Hey, why pay unnecessarily higher interest rates for nothing , right ?

Maybe I should write a book !

:-)

#111 GregW. Oakville on 11.15.09 at 3:52 pm

Hi Garth, I hope you take the time to see this link from #75 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 11.14.09 at 7:28 pm,
(Nostradamus, Thanks for your links!)

Every one should watch the second one he gave.
Only 8.75 minutes on YouTube. Tell all your family and friends! Send them the links below.

“Medical Doctor Retracts H1N1 Vaccine Advice After Reading Insert!”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r051fXtfng8

Garth & Nostradamus, Here is another important health issue I believe you should know about.
Have you seen this site with upto date
good science based info as to why water fluoridation need to be stopped at, http://www.fluoridealert.org
FYI, brital filters do not remove it. Boiling water only makes it more concentrated. Expensive R-O filters can take it out. But Why is it still being added in the first place???
(If you don’t have your health or lose it, no amount of money you may amass will really mater then.
Wishing you all good health!)

#112 Marie T on 11.15.09 at 4:12 pm

“The comment at #7 and its author need to be removed and banished IMHO and are the worst thing that I have ever seen you allow on this blog” – #102 P. Wiener

Peter, the following and many other rude comments were once said here by U:

-Are you that profoundly stupid?
-I’ll just call you anillinformedeconomicsimpleton.
-hope you haven’t reproduced and don’t plan on it
-Don’t worry fella – maybe one day your ship will come in! Till then wallow in whatever muck you have made of your life. (+ lot more in same vein, some quite more rude)

Guess Watched Bubble isn’t only insensive person in the blogosphere – imagin that

#113 DaBull on 11.15.09 at 4:31 pm

#102 Peter Wiener

You disagree with someone so your solution is to censor them. mmmm….. I think Canada is still a democracy the last time I checked. If it isn’t I may have missed that memo, please forward it ASAP?

#114 Kash is King on 11.15.09 at 5:51 pm

#108 GregW.Oakville, regarding adding fluoride to drinking water…. here’s a bit of a backgrounder:

The nazis were the ones who figured out that fluoridated water kept it’s victims docile and dumbed-down. They used it on their own civilians, and on occupied territories where there was some resistance.

The soviets were the next to use it… this time on their German POW captives.

Then, after “Operation Paperclip” (google it) the Allied “victor” countries began to have our water fluoridated.

Another interesting point is that a fluoridated compound is alledgedly the primary ingredient in Prozac.

We need to start lobbying local/provincial/federal politicians to end this travesty.

Fluoride is also an iodine uptake inhibitor, and when one doesn’t get enough iodine, thyroid and other issues can arise.

If TPTB were interested in our health, they would be adding vitamines to our drinking water.
They would also be purifying it with UV treatment instead of cancer-causing chlorine compounds.

#115 Mickey on 11.15.09 at 5:55 pm

#109 Marie T on 11.15.09 at 4:12 pm

Here here!

#102 Peter Wiener on 11.15.09 at 12:14 pm

Nice to see a hypocrite like you get called out…

#116 Future Expatriate on 11.15.09 at 6:22 pm

I dunno, isn’t there something creepily fascist about that image? Like she’s pointing over the border to a country her country just took over?

Maybe that’s their target audience. Scary.

#117 Darryl on 11.15.09 at 7:05 pm

Future Expatriate

The picture just looks like the first frame of a Penthouse spread. Pun intended. :)

#118 Taxpayer like you on 11.15.09 at 7:09 pm

111 Bubble has said:

“If you want to throw stones at one strata of society,
you should be able to accept stones being thrown at
another”

Maybe I’m reading too much into this, but a strata is a “level”, implying that somebody is “higher” or “lower” in society. Do you feel Joyce is “lower” than you, or that our doctor/med friends from last time are “higher” than many of the bloggers?

Just asking. I support your privilege to post. Its not a love-in. You certainly liven things up.

Dave B – Lions rule!! Although I notice that generally the
CFL is on continuous recycle. The guy you hate on the
other team today will be on your team tomorrow!

#119 Devil's Advocate on 11.15.09 at 7:33 pm

#114 Future Expatriate on 11.15.09 at 6:22 pm

No, no, no… that’s Sara Palin pointing out that you can see Russia from Hongcouver…

#120 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 11.15.09 at 8:06 pm

A Cheek A Day Helps You Work, Rest and Play! — Ahhh! You Have Beautiful Thighs
——
Another pat on the back for Vitamin D + calcium supplements — Beating Cancer

In the case of “One Flu Over The Bird’s Nest Soup”, and further to Ukrainian Super — Bug 1 and Bug 2
——
The fiscal slump is happening in some unexpected places. The interview is quite interesting, gives a look at a different part of the world.

Good Advice

#121 Not Garth on 11.15.09 at 8:15 pm

OK Garth, when does the most bubbilicious market in North America (Vancouver) start to fold?

#122 Not Garth on 11.15.09 at 8:16 pm

Garth, gold just hit a new high tonight. Do you see this as a harbinger for higher interest rates (in the bond market)?

#123 Not Garth on 11.15.09 at 8:38 pm

http://www.globeinvestor.com/servlet/story/GI.20091113.escenic_1362404/GIStory/

RBC predicting dollar parity by Feb 2010, and a V shaped recovery of the housing market in
western canada.

#124 Coho on 11.15.09 at 8:52 pm

#108 GregW. Oakville,

Sources of Fluoride.
http://www.fluoridealert.org/f-sources.htm#I

It is everywhere. Gosh, such an effort to combat tooth decay. Too bad cancer rates and diabetes are skyrocketting, though….

#125 Onemorething on 11.15.09 at 8:56 pm

What occured when the ecomony tanked in the US last year, people left! Many of my Asian associates moved back to HK/China and SE Asia.

If that is not a big enough exedus, then look now at those leaving as well for work OR boomers looking at the obvious on the retirement front.

When the Fannie and Freddie offer to rent your property back to you, you know the gig is up.

Same will happen in Canada, rental property will be abundant for years to come, especially when you can no longer afford it but worse, there is no value in owning.

Turn is on our doorstep!

Rental properties will be

#126 Frugalistas on 11.15.09 at 8:57 pm

I would question the professionality of people who would ask you questions about buying a house when their salary is so large. Free and public disclosure, especially with the tone of voice that the posting had, is not really asking for help but a form of bragging/arrogance.

Salaries, anywhere, are taboo subjects. Keep your professionalism and focus on your job.

#127 Onemorething on 11.15.09 at 8:59 pm

abundant

#128 Josh on 11.15.09 at 9:04 pm

This post has nothing to do with the topic of the blog!
We need to quit trading with the very unfair trader China. China is an unfair trader of giant proportions. There are so many ways I’ve lost track yet we keep going back for more simply because we worship at the feet of cheap instead of value, quality and fair trade.

#129 OttawaMike on 11.15.09 at 9:06 pm

Head Chinese Banker to USA:Raise your interest rates sooner rather than later!
http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory?id=9086640

#130 HouseBuster on 11.15.09 at 10:08 pm

#111 Watched Bubble Never Pops

Those who ask stupid questions are ridiculed regardless of their economic background. And it seems to me that your so-called ‘affluent’ people are the ones who come up with the dumbest questions.

And let’s face it, if you are truly affluent ($100 million+) you’re not hanging around the blogosphere.

#131 Joseph on 11.15.09 at 10:12 pm

Uh-ohhh … Maybe we’re not there after all …

Royal Bank currency strategist Matthew Strauss said Friday,

“Higher energy, gold and base metal prices point to a V-shaped housing recovery in Western Canada, while the U.S. housing market will have to overcome a number of obstacles, including dealing with the exiting of government support.”

#132 dd on 11.15.09 at 10:28 pm

#7 Watched Bubble Never Pops

“Mid 40s, no property and no money. Pathetic.”

But no debt. WBNP, You add no value to this blog.

#133 Kelly McMae on 11.15.09 at 10:34 pm

#88 Potato on 11.15.09 at 4:00 am

Many thanks.

#134 eddy on 11.15.09 at 10:51 pm

mid 40s is a bit late but i think Joyce should buy a principal res. i don’t believe in waiting for a ‘correction’ in TO. the big graph shows that principal res in not a big risk- if the last 40 yr trend repeats, TO average will be around 8 million 40 years from now/ if you told people in 1969 that the average TO price would be 400k in 2009 they would laugh

#135 mattbg on 11.16.09 at 9:14 am

“this market dominated by hormonal twentysomethings desperate to find a bidding war so they can impress their Vespa-riding little friends.”

This line is very precise and I think it is exactly what’s going on in a lot of cases. The “impressiveness” carries a dual-purpose, kind of like the seven-patty supersized hamburger: people will not only buy it and therefore support it but also complain about the gargantuan size as a means of impressing people with their capacity for hardship and risk-taking. It is a massive, indecent, and unneccessary obstacle, but you are not afraid to jump off the cliff overhanging a hole with an uncertain bottom.

Also like the woman who complains aloud and often that men are always staring at her chest — a dual purpose statement designed to simultaneously lament the state of an indecent world and identify herself to other women as someone who is desirable.

#136 Soju on 11.16.09 at 1:55 pm

If everyone is renting instead of buying…why do you think rents will come down? It would seem to me that a glut of houses/condos that won’t sell, will be rented out at higher and higher prices…
——————————————————-

During the 90s nice condos were more expensive to rent compared to appartments. This was true even though they were impossible to sell. So you are right, no accidental landlord is going to allow you to live at 1/2 what it costs him in carrying costs.

The people that say, I pay rent of 1600/month for a house that would cost me 3200/month to buy conveniently forget to mention that the owner of the house bought it 10 years ago and his carrying costs are 800/month, if that.

——————————————————-

Finally…. Commentary that makes sense. I’m tired of people being so proud about their strategy to rent all their lives as if that makes any sense at all. Obviously these renters are in that osition for a reason.

#137 Peter Wiener on 11.16.09 at 3:11 pm

re# 112 read WBNP comments again buttwipe – refers to her means of which we are not told how she arrived at – I have NEVER written anything that reprehensible

re#116 Hypocrite? hows that? I guess you agree with his (WBNP)comments? Then you have problems. I also have never linked a website to this blog. Whatsa matter – just stupid AND cranky sh!tface?

#138 Future Expatriate on 11.16.09 at 4:22 pm

#120 – LOL,Thanks! I didn’t recognize her without the teased bun and porn glasses….

#139 Marie T on 11.16.09 at 9:00 pm

Peter Wiener on 11.16.09 at 3:11 pm

Mr. Wiener, did you not see, right above the text entry box on Garth’s blog, the “helpful reminders from your host” It asks posters to avoid abusive, obscene or disrespectful comments.

Your childish comments, i.e. “buttwipe, stupid cranky sh!tface, blah, blah” lead readers to assume that either:

a) You cannot read;
b) You are an ill-mannered loser that cannot contol his anger;
c) You flunked english (and most other subjects no doubt) and do not understand the meaning of abusive or disrespectful

In any case, I’ll wager that you are a friendless dork, whose inability to control his anger relegates him to unfulfilling jobs and sub-par income and lifestyle.

Enjoy!

#140 nonplused on 11.17.09 at 5:07 pm

I just read a new catch phrase, didn’t make it up myself but thought others might like it:

“Sell now or be priced in forever.”

#19 Watched Bubble Never Pops

That is true. Bubbles pop when the credit conditions that are driving the bubble are removed. That is supposed to be June 2010 or so but I don’t believe it. Carney will not be able to exit the zero interest rate policy ever again without being blamed for collapsing the economy, so he won’t. It’s zero all the way out from here boys! Party hardy and don’t be done drinking until your last dollar is spent!

That is unless some geopolitical event like bombs falling in the middle east gives cover. Then we’re toast.

#31 Chaostrology

The American empire is probably somewhat more robust than people assume. It isn’t going to blow away just because the economy is weak.

Also, no need to fight or even think about how to fix things. Indeed fixing things only makes them worse because the face is humans are not smart enough to design systems as complex as modern society. Societies are “self organizing”, like a bee hive or an ant hill. Any attempt by some deranged “bossy bee” to design a better hive would lead to some grotesque and barely functioning anomaly. And that’s what happens to societies that end up with governments that try to design the society. Oh shoot.

#35 Emma

That is funny. And guys like this influence government policy, so beware. Our beehive is going to have a very unique look to it.

#77 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad

I meant “trolls” as in people who hang around on blogs and put up nonsensical posts the rest of us have to skip over, not the big furry child eating half human kind. Sorry.

#96 Kent

Everybody exaggerates their income when asked. That’s why banks used to make you give them pay slips.

#141 Dark Wettler on 11.20.09 at 4:21 pm

Holy crap. I thought I was a cynic. The blog has taken a turn since I last dropped in. I actually can’t believe some of these posts.