It’s different here (3)

So I read the 400-odd comments posted here over the last two days as I mused on selling Canada and buying America. Holy crap. We’re in trouble.

Not that I disagree with the notion that risk swirls around snapping up a distressed American property. That’s evident. This note just in from Harold in Florida reinforces it:

“I thought I would give some boots on the ground about Florida. I am Canadian living in Winona, Ontario. I have owned a house here in Palm Harbor Fl since 1978. I spend rough 5-6 months here.

“I started predicting what has happened since 2000. Anytime I talked about it to anyone I took a ton of abuse but now those same idiots are saying “how did you know” I watch everything going on here In Fl everyday and I can tell you in spite of what “they” say it still has a long way to go down. There are houses for sale everywhere, a very large portion sitting empty and abandoned. The banks and the VA owned a ton of them. The shadow inventory is huge. There are a lot of people sitting on property with their head up their ass about its value.

“I have a home down the street from me that was originally listed for $799,000 and has been reduced to $450,000 and “no takers”. Golf courses are closing or about to go broke. The retail industry has been devastated. Auction sales of all kinds, condo, houses, industrial and commercial properties every day!”

It takes confidence and courage to buy when others sell, to turn and walk against the crowd, or realize the greatest opportunity lies buried and unwanted in the deepest moment of despair and capitulation. I don’t expect most Canadians to act on my premise. They won’t. They’ll neither harvest profits when real estate here is inflated and dangerous, nor realize a generational opportunity to the south of us. It’s the same inertia, temerity and ignorance responsible for a scant 1% of us having a million dollars in investible assets. In contrast, the US has four times the millionaires per capita.

Why? Maybe it’s the confederation-versus-revolution genesis of the two countries. Maybe we’re less entrepreneurial. Maybe we eschew risk and they embrace it. Maybe its rugged individualism there and societal rights here. Or maybe we’re just a smug, spoiled little country, believing our own myths, swilling maple Kool-Aid, with a giant legume up our butt.

So, here’s the real danger. Canadians think they’re immune from a real estate-led economic downturn because our banks are superior to US banks. Because we’re more prudent borrowers with more cautious lenders. Because everybody wants to move here. Because the government will look after things. Because we don’t have Oakies with subprime mortgages buying houses with no money. Because home prices are justified and always go up anyway. Because it’s different here.

In other words, an insufferable superiority not only dripped off many comments posted on this degenerate site this week, but it’s now pervasive in our society. How else to explain the reckless borrowing of the last two years, even as the economy wobbled? Or the constant justification of SFH prices which are 8 times incomes in Toronto and 13 times in Vancouver? Or the fact our government and banks encourage people with no savings to mindlessly buy half-million-dollar assets? Or denial that only teaser interest rates stand between many families and disaster

Nope, we all coked up. It’s hopeless. Instead of learning from the American experience, we mock it. And then we repeat it.

Interesting to note Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman had this to say some hours ago in the New York Times: “My take on the US economic crisis has increasingly been that banks were less central than many people think, while the housing bubble and household debt are the key players — which is why financial stabilization by itself wasn’t enough to produce a V-shaped recovery. But if I take all that seriously, I should be very worried about Canada.”

And I am. We’re delusional.

But I’ll leave it for Chad to articulate the essence of our times:

Garth man I’m bummed out. I’m 28 years old and I have been very responsible. I’ve kept my expenses in check, have my money (85% of it) in a great mix of individual stocks, ETFs, bank preferreds and some exposure to bonds. I’ve had a great year on the stock market and I’ve managed to save almost 200k. Sounds good right?

Here’s the problem. The dating scene in Vancouver in brutal. I live in a small suite in a house that I pay $475 a month for (in Vancouver proper….seriously), my dividends almost pay for my yearly rent, I drive a 1994 used car that’s paid for, is cheap on insurance and gas, and bus it to work. I have a government job that I love with a defined benefit pension……..

You give advice on here on real estate, stocks, and other financial things. The question is how do I go about attracting Vancouver women? You see, every 3rd guy my age in this city is driving a bimmer, living downtown in a condo with stainless steel and granite, and have $20k worth of vaneers on all their teeth. This is what the girls here are used to and expect! My used car instead of screaming “who’s your daddy” is more like “who’s your granddaddy”, my killer deal rental can’t compare to the high life downtown, and my teeth will never be Simon Cowell white.

I can’t compete man, but I’m sick of Vancouver girls telling me I’m “broke ass” and that “it’s never a bad time to get into the market.” I think secretly the thought of riding in a leased Lexus daydreaming of 550 sq ft of steel and concrete does it for them. I wish for a day some fine girls would find stocks sexy, but until then they just see me as a low income guy living in a cheap rental with a crappy old car.

— Dateless in Vancouver

If you are a babe with brains, Chad is waiting, pining, panting, collecting tax-efficient dividend income. And I have his email. We’re different? Prove it.


#1 tiger baby on 03.04.11 at 10:30 pm

“> A wise man once said “don’t bet against the USA”.
Two words: black swan.”
We’re getting closer to the point where the black swan event is that it actually works out in the USA LOL

While no empire lasts forever, they tend to take their sweet time collapsing. So the eventual payout for betting against USA may well be much further down the road than some seem to assume … in the mean time there will be plenty of money to be made in the US. That’s why Buffett said don’t bet against America, not America Ru13z 4ever.

#2 hobbygirl on 03.04.11 at 10:43 pm

Try to keep this picture here for a full 24 hours – since it’s the weekend make it 48. You are confusing me with new pics on the same blog entry – I’m not as bright as I’d like. Has the wife been at you for the naked debauchery??

#3 Eric on 03.04.11 at 10:45 pm

How the heck does a guy save $200K working for a government job by age 28? I assume that he’s got a university education, so we’re looking at about 6 years on the job at the most. Makes no sense.

#4 Tim on 03.04.11 at 10:54 pm

I think the majority of the comments have illustrated that other than hot weather and cheap housing, people can’t think of many reasons why they would want to live in the States. Why would you want to invest in a property in a country in which you don’t want to live? With all the hassles of not knowing the local market, being susceptible to unpredictable and unfavorable tax treatment, owning an illiquid investment. Unless you plan on spending at least 4 months there every year, how can you justify buying property? Given the taxes, legal fees, transaction costs, maintenance costs, it makes more sense to rent there.

#5 MKUltra on 03.04.11 at 10:58 pm

Attention young man:

You have the discipline to save – you’ve proven this. This is your nature. So don’t be afraid to buy a nice used $15,000 car that women won’t be embarrassed to sit in. Once you ‘get the girl’ – go back to your saving ways.

Balance is key to a life lived. Don’t save at the expense of romance, don’t romance at the expense of your future. You will be alright.

Ps. confidence, humour and charm beat out $20K veneers any day – so chop to it young man! Bring her home!

#6 ash on 03.04.11 at 11:01 pm

Personally, I am getting out while I can. I sold my home while there is stil value in it and I am clearing any debt I have, becoming completely liquid. I am buying precious metals and useful tools, things such as seed and land. Things are too wishy washy right now, something is going to happen and it’s going to happen soon. Perhaps this year? We are so much farther in everything than the states was right before they collapsed. Should be interesting

#7 LJ on 03.04.11 at 11:01 pm

Note to Chad: Those girls who have “Lexus Lust” will, at the end of the day, max out your credit card, take the overpriced house and part of your pension (but, being 28, don’t expect it anyhow). There are girls with common sense out there but they are few and far between in our day and age. Just don’t expect to find them in some swanky bar or restaurant living off daddy’s credit cards.

#8 Dubble on 03.04.11 at 11:03 pm

Hi guys,

I blogged a few weeks ago about changing careers. I have a few updates to share.

I visited a high school that offers quarter classes for adults, where you take each course for 2 hours a day and complete the course within a few months. I require Math A30, B30, Chemistry30, and Biology 30 to get into the Nursing program at the University here. I never bothered to take these classes in my younger days. I was more concerned with beers and the female anatomy. I now dread going to work every day, and realize that those good times borrowed from future good times. I’ll be starting these classes on Aug. 28th. It’s official.

I spent a week wondering how much notice to give my boss. I decided to tell him right away. I want to continue working for the same company, but move to a different department and take on part time hours once school begins in August. I felt the best opportunity to do this would be to let my boss and his superiors know that I would like out of my department asap and that I plan on returning to school. I excelled in my previous position and this is what led to my “promotion” to the business accounts role. We’ll see how this works out.

To my surprise, my grumpy-ass of a boss was happy for me. We had a bit of an awkward conversation, it really seemed like he wants out too. I mentioned I couldn’t see myself as a sales guy forever. He said he was thinking of writing a book called “accidental salesperson”. He must be under a lot of pressure, and I suddenly understood why life at work is so miserable. No one wants to be here…

I have updated and edited my resume, and I am ready for anything. For the first time in a long time, I feel excited when I think about tomorrow.

Wonder what happens next…

This was an excellent post. I know what you mean Chad. Don’t worry, smart will be sexy again one day soon. ;)

#9 ash on 03.04.11 at 11:04 pm

people are too…. distracted… if they cannot see it. All the signs are there.

#10 Just a tech on 03.04.11 at 11:06 pm

Buy America… girls that is. They’re alot more easier going than their canadian counterparts. They also like sports which is a bonus. Toss in a cheap house too. It’s win win!

#11 Rick in Japan on 03.04.11 at 11:07 pm

Hi Garth,

I doubt that there will be a large number of people on this blog (or anywhere in Canada) who will have the nerve to go to the US to buy. Lots of talk, but that will be about it.
Having said that, they might be better off because of the shit that can happen (well, at least what I experienced first hand in my 2 years in Buffalo and Detroit owning rental properties) such as being robbed at gunpoint, told by police (by the police!) that all ni##ers look the same when reporting one of the times that I was robbed, having a gun toting realtor threaten an African American man to get out of our way (the realtors were all white), having to deal with gangs, smelling and learning what crack was. . . and this list goes on.
I guess the best advice that I would give to anyone who is serious about going into the US is to do their homework and buy quality. You still might get ripped off, but you’ll increase the odds of success.
BTW-I still really liked the US and recently contemplated applying for a faculty position at a college in Buffalo. I just think that being an absentee landlord can be a really tough way to make money in America if one is not really careful.

#12 McSteve on 03.04.11 at 11:07 pm


Stop being an idiot. The best car is one that’s paid for.


If I didn’t want to invest in real estate per se, what other vehicles exist for US real estate? Are you recommending REITS?

How do you play America without getting into the dreaded index funds?

P.S. I see blue chips like PG are looking more affordable everyday.

#13 tunano on 03.04.11 at 11:10 pm

Sorry, but I get the feeling that there is a bit more wrong with this guy than the colour of his teeth. He has 200K in the bank and he takes the bus? It would seem perhaps his idea of a date would be a free buttermilk biscuit at McD’s and a gratis coffee to wash it down. Something tells me he gets his jollies from reading his bank statements. I’m all for eschewing the stainless snobery, but a $475/month rental in Vancouver (anywhere, for that matter) has to be a little scary. Maybe any dates he does get are girls that are afraid to take off their Manolos – in case a rat should run off with them.

#14 Mark on 03.04.11 at 11:12 pm

Being a civil servant, its probably a good thing that he’s used to poverty, because, by the time governments do all the cutbacks in response to rising interest rates and plummetting tax revenues, they will barely be able to afford to pay workers.

If the dude could save up $200k by the time he’s 28, he’s obviously, as a civil servant, severely overpaid. Renter or not.

#15 Mr . Lee on 03.04.11 at 11:13 pm

Mr. Turner:

Chad should not feel bad, I went through the same thing in Calgary a couple of decades ago. Nothing that an Escort ad can not solve. May sound harsh but women and men that are taken by borrowed bling are “hoes” in thier own right.

You sir have taken great amounts of time to explain to the masses, “what time it is”. For your efforts some on this blog appreciate your insight while other chastise you. I for one appreciate your insight because it reinforces what I believe to be true…….never follow the heard. The heard has driven up the SFH price because it allowed itself to. We Canadians pride ourselves to be fiscal conservatives and prudent……yeah right my ASS. You are correct that we did not learn anything our of Americas malaise or for that matter GB, the EU and Japan.

In the end with $100 oil, inflated food prices, interest rate increases….many of the SS and Granite crowd will be forced to sell at cents to the dollar for what they bought. Just as in the US the blame will be focused on F, C, CMHC and the Chartered Banks…. the real blame lays with the reflection in the mirror and how anyone could get so suckered.


#16 Danforth on 03.04.11 at 11:24 pm

Just be well dressed, well groomed, and well mannered, and keep your place nicely decorated and cut the clutter.

And if its a basement apartment, get out. Live above ground. And no studios, have a separate bedroom.

With your equity, you’re “worth it”.

After that, if the ladies don’t like you because they percieve you too cheap, its their problem.

Congrats on the equity you’ve built on a frugal lifestyle. But don’t be shy to spend just a wee bit more to enjoy what life has to offer. We’re only young once. (which we must balance with “we’re only old once”)

#17 BrianT on 03.04.11 at 11:24 pm

#3Tunano-You summed it up. He sounds like he wants to attract hot chicks who are impressed by displays of wealth, yet he doesn’t want to spend a penny. If he had any brains he would hook one of these hot chicks the conventional way, THEN go back to his penny pinching ways.

#18 len on 03.04.11 at 11:27 pm

“My take on the US economic crisis has increasingly been that banks were less central than many people think, while the housing bubble and household debt are the key players”
so let me recap: housing bubble and household debt (because of the housing bubble) had nothing to with the banks who loaned the money? Is this Krugman guy – a quasi Nobel winner – for real? Are you serious?

#19 MoMoney on 03.04.11 at 11:31 pm

Hey Dude, you should move to Montreal ..

#20 EJ on 03.04.11 at 11:33 pm

Chad, be thankful that the shallow women you’ve been meeting have been quick and up-front about giving you reasons not to date them. Far better to find out you need to run away NOW than to find out after you’ve made a commitment years down the road.

Trust me, you do not want this type of woman. Short term pleasure, long term pain.

You sound like a condom ad. — Garth

#21 andrewS on 03.04.11 at 11:34 pm

475/mo in Vancouver? I get itchy just thinking about it.

Let the 200k multiply, spend a bit more of your own income on rent (I mean, really? How many different vermin do you have?) and perhaps go buy a decent 5 year old Honda if you must – though I would say if the ’94 is clean and well maintained it’s not a big deal either way. A beater wins nobody any favours. If that’s not good enough, you’re better off single. I’d say get out of Vancouver (best choice I’ve ever made … yes, born and bred in lotusland and don’t ever intend to return! Best place on earth my … ) but the women aren’t any better anywhere else. They’re less shallow in Toronto but pickier in other ways. There’s a reason nobody gets married until they’re 35 anymore. The average is about 32 now, and that’s driven down by the hicks in the hinterland.

Re how he got 200k? Let’s think about that. he says he did well on the market, so that may well have been 120k 18 months ago. Count back over 5 years and that’ really only about 20k a year one needs to save. 1600 bucks a month when you’re clearing 2800-3200 after taxes – at that rent level he can very easily live decently on 1400/month. Rent + 900, which is very comfortable for a single guy.

I’m a government worker myself, I know what the payscale is like, and I’m caching 15k a year myself – while renting one of those shiny stainless steel and granite condos on the Toronto waterfront for about 2.5x what he’s paying.. 20k a year is perfectly reasonable for Mr Frugal.

#22 GenXer on 03.04.11 at 11:39 pm

Chad – good job, you’re smart. Now lighten up.

Really want to find someone? You are a product – time to start thinking of yourself as one.

You have a whole lifetime to build up equity. Odds are, if you’re saving that much coin, you don’t spend money on anything.

If that’s the case, here’s my advice:

1. Spend some of your mountain of money on some decent clothes. Get some nice suits for work, and something nice to wear on the weekends. You’ll feel better.
2. Verify with a REAL hairstylist that your haircut isn’t scaring women away.
3. Get a gym membership and work out 3 times a week religiously.
4. Never talk about the upcoming housing crash on a date, and never bring up anything you read on this blog. Ever. Actually, make this one number 1.

I heard that. — Garth

#23 Northern_dirt on 03.04.11 at 11:39 pm

$20k invested each year for just under 7 years with a compounded return of 6 percent will get you $200K

You can do it in 5 1/2 at 12 percent..

#24 Makadoo on 03.04.11 at 11:41 pm

dont worry chad you fit the new fashon….*those who look rich are broke and those that look poor are rich and* the stuff people want is cheap but the things they need are costly . dont go to the places where the guys with rolexs are looking for the girls with enhanced parts.

#25 Timing is Everything on 03.04.11 at 11:43 pm

Chad…Date prairie girls….If one ‘connects’ with you…Marry her. Seriously.

#26 It's Time on 03.04.11 at 11:45 pm

Chad : 4 words for you…. Revenge of the Nerds

#27 dave in calgary on 03.04.11 at 11:47 pm

@ 3 “How the heck does a guy save $200K working for a government job by age 28?”

You have just discovered probably the single greatest benefit of being unattractive to females.

#28 Tim on 03.04.11 at 11:56 pm

Re Rick in Japan

Gun Toting Tea Party Activists Rally in Montana

Not surprised Rick. Despite having a lust for guns and probably the highest murder rate in the developed world, they have the highest polarization of rich vs poor in the developed world, with many going into bankruptcy because they can’t pay their health bills, yet the inept bankers continue to get bonuses. Despite almost bringing the world economy to near collapse, none of the criminals in the finance industry have gone to jail.

#29 Leanne on 03.04.11 at 11:58 pm

It’s none of the above.

Women don’t date men named Chad.

Change your name, Dude and things should turn around for you.

#30 The American on 03.05.11 at 12:03 am

Chad, a.k.a “Dateless in Vancouver,” your letter to Garth was great. Here’s the deal… I have a lot of friends in Vancouver in your same boat. Unfortunately, they’re all taken with what appears to have been the last remaining few women who care about the content of a man’s character as opposed to the size of his, eh hem, leased Lexus (seriously, though, why would you drive a Toyota with a fugly “L” on the front of it and pay a premium for it? Americans refer to Lexus as a poor-man’s poser Benz just as an FYI, and I give you full right to begin using that around all your friends who are driving one). Okay, maybe I’m being too harsh on Lexus as they are decent vehicles, but I’m more of a BMW and Porsche man myself.

Anyway, my friends in Vancouver have all experienced the same situation you’ve been through, believe me. So, if you cannot find anyone left who may be right for you in Vankong, may I invite you to Seattle? I can introduce you to a load of completely hip, edgy, sexy, highly-educated, intelligent, in-shape, beautiful, successful women who put very little into material possessions, even though many may have these material goods themselves. What I’m saying is its perfectly okay to have those nice things, but don’t EVER hook up with a person who puts self-worth or status value into them. Hell, I have a multi-millionaire girlfriend who is happily dating a good man who has very little to his name. They couldn’t be happier because they do not let the material matters define them individually or as a couple. I love it here… I know several legit multi-millionaires (not on paper) who drive Prius, live in 1700 sq. ft. condos, and dress ultra casually. That’s how you can tell someone REALLY has money…. Its when that person is comfortable enough in his/her own skin that they don’t have to prove to the world he/she HAS money. It is called discretion, and there is a ton of it around Seattle. I have noticed a lot of “poser” type people clammering the streets of Vancouver in the fake Louboutin stilettos, clutching their fake Balenciaga bag (very easy to spot a mile away), all for the appearance of having money. They just try SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO HARD to impress. Its pretty funny.

#31 Crazy on 03.05.11 at 12:03 am

Because we don’t have Oakies with subprime mortgages buying houses with no money. Because homeprices are justified and always go up anyway. Because it’s different here. -Garth


I think that IS the difference here. At least people in Canada do have SOME downpayment. Down south six years ago, HOARDES of people were buying with NO money down, despite very low income. When they had their rate reset (as was in their agreement), they could not handle it. One forclosure led to millions.

We will not have this situation here in Canada, as rates will never rise enough to become a problem.

Rates are low, and even if they go up 3-4%, they will still be low, but by that time, folks will be penny-pinching more, and before you know it, the BofC will drop rates again.

I mean, we ALL know rates should be higher NOW, yet they are not. That tell you something.

Regarding the USA, the deals are good, but only if you want to deal with life and business in the USA. I think most Canadians would rather just visit.

Thank you for verifying my points. — Garth

#32 Kurt on 03.05.11 at 12:09 am

Hey Chad,

Keep looking. If you save like that, you don’t need a hot-looking chick, you need one that is as careful with her money as you are with yours. Work on your self-confidence and your communications skills and have patience. When I finally found “the one”, she turned out to be pretty hot too (at least in my opinion, and no-one else’s counts!)

#33 tiffa on 03.05.11 at 12:09 am

Chad is unusual… there aren’t a lot of guys out there like him. Relatively small portion of the population, as the subject of this blog attests.

It therefore follows that the right girl for him is also going to be unusual. A small portion of the population of ladies will see the world the way he does, and therefore be attracted to him and his lifestyle.

Unusual things are by definition less abundant and harder to find. Add “in Vancouver” to the mix, and things get extra crazy. I’ll bet Chad doesn’t have a heap of guy friends who admire his way of life, either. If you’re going to be different, you have to acknowledge that the pool of people like you is relatively small.

There are good, sane people of depth and intelligence in Vancouver. Just…. not a lot.

#34 Concessionman on 03.05.11 at 12:10 am

Bout time you threw us a fresh word…

Temerity – “unreasonable or foolhardy contempt of danger or opposition”, rashness, recklessness

Got it. Thanks Dude..:)

#35 Off-Gridder on 03.05.11 at 12:15 am

hey Chad, I am 25 and if I didn’t already have a fine man I would date you for sure! Think of it this way. If those babes won’t date you because you are “broke ass” they are judgmental self serving individuals who don’t deserve your time. You are going to find a humble modest girl who is worth your time and the time you have waited. The guys who get those babes you think you are missing out on, are only going to lose half their money to a spend happy woman. my mother was one such woman. Trust me it doesn’t end well.

#36 girl version chad on 03.05.11 at 12:16 am

you haters.. i’m 27 and I have 120k saved up and i don’t even know how to do ETFs and stocks etc.. i pay rent at 900/mth, brand new in mt pleasant. i am by no means cheap and cuz i better be wearing the lastest fashion on the scene…*snaps finger* i travel once or twice a year, ie: already booked ticket to athens and istanbul in may, NYC in june. I go to the gym 5days/week and i get $60 haircuts. what do i do? i’m a healthcare worker, not a doctor, nurse, or specialist.

I always wonder how many of the people out there have 400k condos but can’t even save a dime. How the heck do you expect to pay a mortgage when you can’t even practice the fundamentals of saving some cash??

btw chad, i’ll match your vehicle with my 2003 paid off corolla.. and i looovveee talking RE. you can ask garth for my email.

#37 AG Sage on 03.05.11 at 12:22 am

Chad, the secret is you need to make a lady feel like she’s a million bucks when she’s with you. People gravitate to those who make them feel good about themselves. That’s all that matters. Listen 3x more than you talk and process what you hear and turn it around into more conversation. I’m always amused when I’m out for a Saturday dinner and the guy at the next table over is essentially out to dinner with his own mirror at home, even when the lady is really something to look at.

However, do rent a nice car for dinner with the parents, or going on a drive with a group of her friends.

#38 BrianT on 03.05.11 at 12:24 am

#Rick-Just for perspective on the USA crime situation, I saw a guy go into the bank in Daytona Beach Shores a few yrs ago and he not only did not lock his car, he left it running-there are a great many American towns where crime is virtually non-existent, that crime wise make Vancouver look more like Detroit or Baltimore.

#39 Zarathustra on 03.05.11 at 12:26 am

$475 in Vancouver won’t buy a downtown eastside SRO hotel room complete with debugs, a hotplate, and a dozen crackheads sharing your dirty communal bathroom.

#40 AG Sage on 03.05.11 at 12:27 am

>#30 The American on 03.05.11 at 12:03 am

Reminds me of San Francisco when I lived there. Especially around Mountain View, Palo Alto. I loved hanging out and watching how any wandering unshaven guy in torn jeans would get top notch service in any store or restaurant, because, heck, they might be a billionaire.

#41 Devore on 03.05.11 at 12:29 am

Garth, what have you done? I don’t turn to this blog for dating advice, which is what it’ll be filled with before the day is over.

#42 martin on 03.05.11 at 12:29 am

I gotta say Sir Garth Turner that you are A phenomen and make me super lough with this pictures and this blogg. Best regardz

#43 Patz on 03.05.11 at 12:29 am

Whether you’re pumping iron or pumping RE you gotta work out at least a few times a week. So would seem to be the programming philosophy at Glow–Ball TV. Tonight they had a heart warming piece on a sweet young late 20s blonde who bought a one–bedroom closet er, condo at the newly renamed Village on the Crick. According to her she signed a confidentiality agreement not to disclose the price. Holy crap is this some kind of divorce or suit settlement?

We were treated to a video tour of her dream box er, condo but no artful camera angle could hide the stunning blandness of her digs.

At the very end of the piece we see her parents who apparently were a big influence on her to buy. Shame on you for being stupid and not protecting your daughter! Her happy satisfaction will be short–lived.

#44 BrianT on 03.05.11 at 12:30 am

We aren’t superior to Americans-there are a lot of great Americans-this guy is the purest example of that

#45 bridgepigeon on 03.05.11 at 12:34 am

“Chad”….dude, what up?
You sound about as exciting as watching paint dry.
The only thing you have to say about yourself is economic statistics. Wow, how adventurous. You’re young, successful, get it together. Take a holiday overseas for a month, learn to kiteboard or something, yes, get your ass to the gym, do some artsy things where cool women hang, sounds like you need a makeover, as mentioned…
You’re almost 30, better get it together soon. Screw the call girl BS, as mentioned, be a real man. Go do something, dare I even say it, less responsible…

#46 Mike B on 03.05.11 at 12:44 am

Canada is nothing without the US. They are our largest trade partner. Just take a short drive around the city. How many retail entities are American… Home Depot, Lowes, WalMart are but a few. Having said that I would not sink a penny into US real estate UNLESS I lived there.
YES Americans are big time high rollers. Anyone would understand that if they went to Las Vegas. Now that takes some stones to build a gambling casino fest with multi billion dollar resorts in the middle of a desert. Hey they even built the HOOVER dam and the Golden Gate Bridge in the middle of the great Depression. Yes they are risk takers. Just take a look at their banks… leveraged to the teeth but so are the banks in UK, all of which are still nationalized. Canadians are the highest insured people in the world. That should say it all. We are not risk takers. Having said that, my idea of risk is buying ETFs not buying Real Estate in a country that its own citizens are leery about the future of their country.
BNN just recently interviewed PIMCOs CEO El Erian .
Please watch it and you will see how he is very concerned about the US being downgraded for its debt.
Contrast that with what he says about Canada. Take what you will from it. US investing? Whatever.

#47 Lexie on 03.05.11 at 12:45 am

To Chad – Keep the 1994 car. Met my husband in 1997, (he was 32, and driving a 1980 GM pick up (ok, he’s from Calgary) and I was driving a 1985 VW Gti. We were both paying cheap rent where we lived. But we seemed to understand money things about each other. Fast forward 18 months, we got married and had a 25% down payment on our first house. Still drove the same vehicles till our twins turned two and we splurged on a 3 year old minivan for $10K cash. Neither of us ever thought we’d spend that much on a vehicle (and we both love cars) but the back of the V-dub was getting crowded. The van is paid for and we still drive it with 250,000 km on it. Friends of ours have $700/mo payments on their van cause they wouldn’t buy domestic. And they get a new one every 5 years or so. (I have to say, for a minivan, the only difference an import makes is to your bank account balance)
IMO you are right on track, you will meet your match and when you do you’ll be glad you waited for the right girl.

#48 Not Fooled By Property Spruikers Hype on 03.05.11 at 12:53 am

AH yes Garth … But AUSTRALIA is DIFFERENT?….

But in Perth western Australia we are Really Really Different. In the middle of a mining BOOM & everyone expecting house prices to double despite 50% plus already going to home ownership?

Despite this these people managed to lose money (Takes no Special Skill I guess?)

The only thing I am uncertain of is if Canada’s Houses prices crash before ours?… But tit is a race that Australia seems determined to win?

#49 Jason on 03.05.11 at 12:56 am

BC’s new premier has set the date for the HST referendum: June 24. If approved by voters could mean a whopping 7% reduction in real estate prices for new homes in the country’s hottest market!

#50 Small Steps on 03.05.11 at 12:59 am

Better dateless in Vancover than divorced in Vancover…

#51 Morry on 03.05.11 at 1:00 am

chad: you are looking in the wrong places AND at the wrong women.

#52 TS on 03.05.11 at 1:04 am

More time spend here on Chad’s inventory than the U.S. housing inventory.

#53 dd on 03.05.11 at 1:04 am

“The question is how do I go about attracting Vancouver women?”

Grow a set of balls. …. AKA, find a gal that speaks the same language. There are some. Just keep looking.

#54 Carlyle on 03.05.11 at 1:05 am

February 2011 sales at toronto’s Cityplace condos.

Interesting to note that prices seem to have gone up in some cases with people buying over list. No doubt we have march 18th to thank for that.

#55 Burnt Norton on 03.05.11 at 1:12 am

Chad – you are not attracting the right kind of women, if you catch my drift. Tire-biters, gold-diggers, and the kind of chick that we glimpsed earlier this week who allows herself to be photographed at a birthday wearing nothing more than 3 party hats and a bow-ribbon are usually much more trouble than you would ever expect.

As with principle-based investing, principle-based relationships pay dividends, survive market turmoil, and grow over time.

#56 westCoastRoller on 03.05.11 at 1:16 am

Oh man Chad is so right; in Vancouver if you dont own you dont play. Within the first 30 min of any contact with a girl you get asked where you live and if you own/rent. The reality is if you own, and especially if you bought early in the bubble you are wealthy. If you went to school, got a education and have a good career, but got into the housing market late, or not at all, your trash. Thats Vancouver, where the single biggest factor in your net worth is when you bought in. Everything else…. irrelevant.
Thats why I packed up and moved out, taking all my education and skills with me. Atleast four other people I know have done the same. Small/medium sized towns all over BC are benefiting from us economic refugees who have decided its not worth taking a mortgage that I will pay off five years after I die just to live in VanCity.

#57 Michael on 03.05.11 at 1:23 am

There are good, sane people of depth and intelligence in Vancouver. Just…. not a lot.

Having made similar experiences as Chad here in Vancouver I have to wonder where they are hiding.

Anyway, thinking a bit about my circle of friends they all have one thing in common: None us was born or raised here, most are (like me) from Europe, some from eastern Canada.

I still wonder what’s in the water here.

#58 Dave in Victoria on 03.05.11 at 1:27 am

It’s sad that we’re talking about Chad, but i suppose it provides a nice transition to the next blog entry.

#59 BC Bring Cash on 03.05.11 at 1:28 am

Real Estate issues in Florida for example go a long way back. My ex. back in the early 80’s was given a beautiful time share beach home on Sanibel Is. The place ended up being a monkey on my back. You can always rent it out if you can’t come down and stay was the thought. Well guess what? When it was not convenient to use ourselves we put it the rental pool. It never delivered tenants or rental income but of course I was always stuck with the weekly maintenance payments of $350 per week. Welcome to Florida everyone!!!
The Florida RE scene is fleecing people like they always have in the past, present and future. The more things change the more they stay the same.

#60 Morry on 03.05.11 at 1:30 am

Instead of learning from the American experience, we mock it.

I would say Mr Turner that you are slightly delusional and you are not painting a true picture.

Why Isn’t Wall Street in Jail?
Financial crooks brought down the world’s economy — but the feds are doing more to protect them than to prosecute them.

Nice. This is behaviour is what you hold up as the model of the future?

#61 Mark on 03.05.11 at 1:36 am

Chad, buddy, you are not doing something right. The women in Vancouver are hot to trot and willing to jump all over you. Something that you should learn about women is that they aren’t into your $$$. If you have money it just means you “have money”. It doesn’t define who you are.

Money comes, money goes. When I was 19 I had 200K in paper wealth, when I was 22 I had -60K…. at 27 +280K, 32 -35K….

Go figure… I wonder where I’ll be in 5 years.

I’m 32, 35K in the whole, no house, 1 kid, ex wife, granted I’m a techie, I too have a 1998 Jetta.

However, I’m dating a girl who currently makes 300+K/year, HOT, athletic and she wants me.

The girlfriend I had before that lived in a camper van downtown near the aquatic center with me. Yes, a vw camper…. What a trooper, oh and she was hot too.

Ok. I’m not a hot guy. Average at best, I have no money, however I have one thing…. (No not my YANG) I’m athletic. My advice is start doing something, climbing, running, biking… Actually if you want to meet a girl, take up running. So many single women running around…..

So this alludes to this: “If you want love, don’t buy a house, get a camper van, enjoy the next 4 years and have a wild trip with a girl who could be a lifemate!”


#62 Burnt Norton on 03.05.11 at 1:42 am

#29 Leanne on 03.04.11 at 11:58 pm

You’re joking right? If not, allow me to point out that not only have you won the award for worst comment of the week, in only three short sentences you’ve managed to out yourself as exactly the kind of shallow bimbo that Chad, Brad, and even Le Mad Vlad would do well to avoid. Congrats.

#63 Jeannie on 03.05.11 at 1:44 am

You’ve got to feel some sympathy for this young man, however lets be honest here. Chad is not lacking in material wealth, but possibly is lacking in the real attributes that make him attractive to women.
I suggest he spends some of that money on a life-coach,
one who’ll be brutally honest about Chad’a inability to attract a ‘soulmate’
Not all the money in the world will be ‘sexy’ to the ladies if there’s no chemistry, charm, humor,and a genuine ability to listen rather than make it all about you and your financial assets.

#64 Jeff Smith on 03.05.11 at 1:47 am

Nice chicks with no clothes on! Wow!

#65 US Investor on 03.05.11 at 1:54 am

I lived in Vancouver for ten years – loved it – awesome city for twenty something year old. Never was able to buy like everyone else cause prices kept rising too fast. In 2005 I was head-hunted by a big So Cal housing firm, offered a pile of cash so rolled the dice and left, knowing I could save some money and come back.

In 2006 one day in August the phones stopped wringing, I mean just like that. I was shocked just how sudden a bubble burst could be. A few months later I was let go, that was fun – great for the ego.

I found another job, had some kids, bought a house in 2008 when the world was crashing. My wife said “We have to buy when things are crashing and people are panicking, if it hits bottom we will be too late.”. My place was worth 860g in 2006, it was listed for 650, we got it for 520. According to Zillow it is now worth 650.

Funny thing is, in the early days we really missed Vancouver and thought a lot about moving back. Things have changed, I like walking out in flip flops every day, my kids go to an awesome school, I drink Ca wine that costs 30 bucks a bottle for 12.99, I like my job, all I see is opportunity, and all my Cdn friends come visit me in the winter.

For those of you seriously looking into Garths advice, try Orange County Ca. Tons of different towns and communities of all types, lots of smart people moving in, close to big job centers, awesome weather, good schools, and a great airport. WestJet is going to start flying direct from YVR and Calgary soon. Prices are still soft, but things are picking up.

Last weekend my wife and I were strolling on the beach licking ice cream watching the sun fall into the ocean, and she asked me “I wonder what they are doing in English Bay right now?”

#66 SophieZombie on 03.05.11 at 1:55 am

Dear Chad ! Don’t give up !!!
I moved from Montreal to Vancouver two years ago. As the new clinician of the department, here were the presentation-question asked to me : Were do you come from ? Why did you move here (my answer: — common-law from BC) ? Do you own (no) ? Do your husband own any realestate (no) ? Then it was: Why did you move here??? or just Good luck ! And then not talk to me anymore. We are both professional (real one with a license that involve 5 years in a real University), no realestate, no expensive car (I still drive my 2002 Honda Civic, rusty in the inside, clean on the outside), just liquid saving. I was snobbed from most conversation. Because I did not own or have an owner-landlord husband. Specialist Surgeons from back East were renting, even with a 500k yearly income: too expensive to buy, they were thinking about moving back . An ophtalmologist-surgeon that I knew did not keep any of his residents in 2009: realestate, cost of live and cost to start a practice is too high in Vancouver.
They make 700k-1 million+ a year. And not coming from Vancouver. When you come from elsewhere than Vancouver or China and when you are the one paying for the damn property, working everyday, 10-12 hours a day, that you are not the trophy wife meditating in Hugg-lululemon about your next reno or pug-treadmile, you know what it is.
Sadly, the wanna-be-trophee wife is way too common in Vancouver. I found no reasonnable female co-worker or friends there , so I moved out to regional BC. I am feeling a little better. Took 3 months instead of 3 minutes to be asked about my relaestate situation.
Chad, travel to Montreal to find a woman more down to Earth or move there. You can buy something decent there for a fifth of the price and your wage will be about the same. But don’t were a fleece and MEQ pants on a first date. It is not consider as fashionable there. :)

#67 Jeff Smith on 03.05.11 at 2:04 am

Hey Chad man, you can always rent a nice car for those special dates. After you bang her a few times, show her the real 1994 car that you drive. If she really loves you, she stays, if not, rinse and repeat. Might as well enjoy it while you are at it. Hang in there buddy, there is a nice girl for every guy.

#68 Debtfree on 03.05.11 at 2:06 am

I have been reading your blog but not the dogs for a while . Seems even da has been breathing in a paper bag . Can’t blame him . ok is under water as per credit union report . Nice pic finally. I love chicken. No mad cow or pig for me!
Funny though it really is different here . Copper at 4.50 and going to 5.00 . And 15 billion dollars coming our way .And hooking up to Wrangle . Not to mention the LNG plant . You should have a look. it really is different here …. dam newbees . Buy America! screw that for the first time in my life I’m at the right place at the right time . And it’s Canada . O Canada.

#69 Mr Big Balls on 03.05.11 at 2:09 am

Let em loose son

Get a carbonfiber commuting pedL butt machine

Those buns are like lipstick to womannn

Lite up the fat flame of olympe on kits beach

Boléro of BoDerek thump and tunga licious rollercoaster

Wall street numbers or Wild heaven lust

Commun mofo, showitup%++*^%##


#70 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 03.05.11 at 2:10 am

Good for you, Chad. Sam Walton lived a similar lifestyle, and he was quite well-off.

#26 It’s Time — “Revenge of the Nerds”, #33 tiffa — “. . . that the right girl for him is also going to be unusual. Unusual things are by definition less abundant.” and #35 Off-Gridder — Kudos — y’all said it very nicely, esp. It’s Time — Revenge of the Nerds means paying off most, if not all debts and living a frugal, simple life, just as Sam Walton did.

“I started predicting what has happened since 2000.” — Which was just about the time of the dot com crash, dubya’s first illegal election and since then, pretty much everything has gone downhill. Canada is about to experience what the US went through, with one marked difference — Household debt, the inability to manage it properly but add to it incessantly.

Jobs will be leaving faster than the space shuttle; cheap labor, cheap goods, fatter profits. North America and Chindia can swap places.
HSBC suspends 4closures. Wrong (or no) paperwork.

China Spending more on its military than previously stated? That’s one way of cashing in on those T-Bills.

Record Gas Prices in Europe, and Ben Bernanke — You read it here first.

7:16 clip Dad (Nostradamus Jr.) is right — although the US is sinking, it’s gonna bankrupt TROTW first, then go down. That’s what Benny’s funny money is for — Inflate Or Die!

Borrowed time and Dollars is what North America is living on. The days of Nero are here once more, albeit on a much larger scale.

New Chart Presented by We R Screwed.

If RE starts moving, there may be a chance of keeping some jobs, but it’s unlikely for the short term.

#71 zara on 03.05.11 at 2:18 am

#13 , #17 and Chad
How true !!! The best belly laugh I’ve had all week. Hey Chad try a little humour.

#72 wes_coast on 03.05.11 at 2:28 am

Chad, the only girls that see you as broke are the kind of girl that would spend you out of house and home anyways. Finding a good woman takes the same patience and contrarian mindset as investing. Be patient. After the crash, you’ll be a rock star.

#73 Edmontonian on 03.05.11 at 2:28 am

For Chad: Wait it out! The right girl shall come along…
IN the meantime a little dental work is an investment in yourself! You be amazed at what they can do for $1000 or so…

#74 Jernikfra on 03.05.11 at 2:30 am


Get out of Vancouver and western culture asap! I am doing the same. I am 38, have paid of my mortgage and am debt free now! I am planning my exit strategy within 2 years. The Vancouver and North American dating scene is appallingly awful. It is due to two main factors: Capitalism and Feminism. You will find the exact opposite of the dating scene here in a tropical paradise where it is very cheap to live, almost everyone speaks English and 18 year old Asian beauty queens will flirt and ask YOU out: The Philippines! Trust me, go there and you’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven! Funny how they don’t tell you this when the UN ranks cities for quality of life. Anywhere is better than Vancouver, but The Philippines will put a big smile on your face so wide it will hurt. The girls will be begging you and fighting each other for dates with you! It will start the moment you get on the Philippines Airlines flight at YVR…the flight attendants might ask you out!

I only date foreign girls here, they are for the most part a breath of fresh air compared to the local “merchant maureens”

If you want to meet foreign girls join this language exchange program here:

If you want to see how many Filipina’s will want you join here:

If you want to read more about the inequality in the western dating scene and how Vancouver is in fact not even close to being “the best place on earth” read here:

If you want to know how to treat the local girls read here:

Good luck…

#75 Adventures in Sea-Tac with Moneta on 03.05.11 at 2:35 am

Well groomed in Vancouver? Chad would have better luck
looking for a boyfriend.

OK Garth let me have it……

#76 wes_coast on 03.05.11 at 2:37 am

#31 – Crazy said: Rates are low, and even if they go up 3-4%, they will still be low, but by that time, folks will be penny-pinching more, and before you know it, the BofC will drop rates again


1) The BoC is not the sole influence on rates or they’d never change at all.
2) 3 or 4 percent back in the day may have been nothing. With so many people taking out half million dollar mortgages – three or four percent in dollar terms is huge. Go to and play with the numbers and you’ll see what I mean. In Vancouver, the average mortgage sucks up 70percent of house hold income. A four percent rise in rates would be a financial nuclear bomb to this place.

3) As my now deceased realtor (God rest his soul) would say: Never say never. No one beleived rates would go up in the 80’s either. 17 percent rates on homes averaging 100K back then. We don’t need to see those rates again because the underlying debts are 5 times larger now.

They don’t call it ‘leverage’ for nothing.

#77 nonplused on 03.05.11 at 2:39 am

Chad, my friend, you never show your teeth unless you mean to bite.

For women, it’s a little different. They will show tooth when smiling as a sign of health. And a man may show his teeth to a woman for similar reasons. But then veneers are like breast implants, designed to deceive.

A man does not overtly show his teeth to another man unless he is trying to make a point.

#78 Grooby on 03.05.11 at 2:46 am

… Link to Krugman’s article:

People who predict the demise of the U.S. and reference previous empires are placing the U.S. at the wrong point in the timeline of an empire. They are at the nascent ‘Republic’ stage (i.e. Rome at 40 B.C.), without the full public realization and acceptance that they are an empire.

There’s a good 100 years + of American superiority. Might makes right (and determines who can trade with whom), and the U.S. won’t be challenged for decades. All these other ‘urgent’ issues about finance and the economy is window dressing, and a drop in the bucket compared to the total assets of the U.S., which are near 92 trillion.

#79 Mojo on 03.05.11 at 2:49 am

I’m kinda in the same boat as Chad, though I have my reasons for living frugally. I honestly don’t think Canadians in general want to talk about the nightmare that real estate will become in a few years (or months). My greatest fear is that the bubble will be prolonged as long as necessary in hopes that a US recovery will save Canada from a real estate collapse. If we’re stuck in the bubble zone for any longer, more ppl will stop being patient and take on the crazy housing debt. In the end, as Canadians, we lose irrespective of whether the bubble bursts or property prices stay put.

#80 hobbygirl on 03.05.11 at 2:59 am

You want a girl who will have just as much fun with you in a bimmer as you two would on a bus. If only I was 20 years younger you would have my undivided attention. Don’t envy shallow people.

#81 debtified on 03.05.11 at 3:14 am

Chad, dude, stop feeling like a loser. You sound desperate. Girls pick up on it and that’s a turn off. You’re only 28. You’ve got lots of time to find lots of girls.

The lack of a fancy place and a fancy car is not the problem. It seems to me the problem is a lack of confidence and/or you’re chasing the wrong girls.

I lived in Vancouver when I was your age (I am just a few years older than you). When I moved to Vancouver from Toronto I didn’t know anybody there. I met plenty of decent people I now consider long-term friends. I can tell you most girls I got to know in Vancouver are not like the ones you described (I bumped into those kinds also – not my type).

Get out there. Play recreational, non-competitive, sports (co-ed volleyball is great). The Roundhouse downtown has friendly players. In the summer, there are tons of beach volleyball leagues you can join. You don’t need a team to sign-up. Just register and the league can find you a team (or join the drop-in leagues). ( There are other sports if volleyball is not your thing.

Go out dancing. I find the swing crowd in Vancouver is the coolest and the least materialistic bunch (no, not that “swing”, you dirty bastards – Lindy Hop!). Take dance lessons if you don’t know how to dance, yet. Avoid the clubs; that’s where you’ll bump into the kind of girls you mentioned (most salsa dances are in fancy clubs – not my thing). Swing dances are held mostly in halls like the Legion on Commercial Drive and, in the summer, the Showboat stage on Kits beach. Most girls who dance swing don’t wear fancy dresses – I mean most people wear just jeans and t-shirts (at times they wear retro on theme nights). And here’s the kicker: Girls DO ask guys to dance. If you aren’t that good yet, girls who are also beginners ask you to dance because they don’t get intimidated by you and feel that you can learn together. Once you get good at it, all sorts of girls want to dance with you. Swingers tend to stick together and go out dancing as a group – some kind of camaraderie develops. You get to see the same faces and that gives you time and opportunity to get to know girls in a less informal setting (and them getting to know you). My best friend married a girl we met in a swing dance – and he can’t dance! She’s a great dancer and a member of a swing dance troupe. (

Stop feeling sorry for yourself and get out there. It’s a beautiful place, Vancouver, with lots of decent and beautiful women. Sadly, though, the same cannot be said about its real estate situation.

#82 confused and a little crazed on 03.05.11 at 3:21 am

Chad Dude,

I feel for you man. I ‘m 38 single and dating casually…trying to find the right one I ‘ve done a little better than you monetarily but I am very impressed at your success so far. I …maybe had half as much as you do $$$ when i was your age.

as for the dating scene some girls fancy the material things even in their 30’s you can’t get away from that this is vancouver. Lots of Guys I talked to from areas outside such as Europe say lower mainland girls are cold…u get me?

but some woman who are established who make their own $$$ do not care so much as long as you make a respectable living and can hold your own.. they are rare

but it is better to marry / date someone who cares about you not just the ” Bling” so to speak

the used card idea maynot be a bad idea. but if it older car that’s cool like an older bmw comvertible …that’s alright.

they also may misunderstand your saving tendencies and being ” Cheap”…just a thought
good luck to you and all the other single dudes

#83 PPP on 03.05.11 at 3:32 am

Off-Gridder. Can you give us more details please? Like how “off-grid”? Nice advice to Chad.
Chadlie: Get a sheila on-line. Easy – everyone’s into it. Then get a pre-nup, after lots of rooting, mate.
Thanks as always, Garth. I’ll probably die dirt-poor but at least I get a laugh from your site.

#84 Listening on 03.05.11 at 3:56 am

There are great girls in Van who do not put money first – my beautiful – sorry, she’s taken – daughter is but one and many of her friends hold her views of not making the material things the most important things. She dated a guy awhile back who kept hounding her to move to a ‘better’ place with ‘more class’ so she said go away as she didn’t want to be around someone who’s values were so shallow. (She has a great place in Kits, super cheap, everything is new in her apt but the building is old and there isn’t a fancy foyer) When you find a girl who thinks like you, the two of you will end up being the couple with all the real money while the gold diggers will be with the guys who hold equally shallow views and they’ll be in debt hell together. Patience, she’s out there.

#85 Midas on 03.05.11 at 3:56 am

Sam Zell on US commercial real estate:

#86 Waiting and waiting on 03.05.11 at 4:01 am

Chad seems to be bright enough to make good choices but not bright enough to see that the good choices may not be the right choices.

He has done well for himself financially, but seems unhappy with the end result. There are lots of suggestions about what to do, but the right choice is dependent on what he wants.

Are you looking for a date? or a fling with a girlfriend? or a life partner? Be clear about what you truly want.
Recognize what the price for it is, not just financial but also your principals.
Then do what it takes for success if you feel it is worth the price.

Just watch out for the unexpected costs.
Like having to go see a doctor after or going to “john school” or paying child support for 20 years or the worst, falling for someone completely wrong for you who will ruin the rest of your life.

#87 New Era on 03.05.11 at 4:02 am

Expect Gas prices to rise and also food prices to rise 5 %

Welcome Inflation.

Time to go out and hoard some food staples. Expect prices to rise even more. This should not come as a shock to anyone. Its happened in china and now its happening in Canada.

#88 Saskboy on 03.05.11 at 4:27 am

I had a woman tell me they wouldn’t date me because I didn’t drive a car I owned. Women who don’t respect your lifestyle will make you sad, perhaps as much as loneliness. Just head back to Plenty of Fish, take some of the advice in the comments, and find a unique woman who accepts you and your unique frugality.

#89 Bilbo Bloggins on 03.05.11 at 5:03 am

What’s the problem. Just pick up a 20yr old trophy girlfriend with your millions when you hit 40.

#90 Andrew on 03.05.11 at 5:10 am

Expectations this city, country, continent and even the entire globe has lived with unrealistic expectations. It starts with kids and the expectation of having cool toys, clothes, etc. We look at teenagers they have expectations of having smart phones, designer clothes. Parents expect their kids to attend university, get married, buy a house, etc.. University graduates expect a high paying job so they can get a new luxury car, a home and go on vacation when they are 25. Their parents want to have a McMansion, be able to retire at 55 living in Florida for six months of the year. Yet still have the 60″ tv, yearly vacations and a couple of luxury suvs. Everyone wants free health care , social services and low/no taxes. Government wants to cut taxes but still buy votes by spending and expects no one to pay for it. The big problem in Canada are the we seem to feel that we our entitled to meet all are expectations without any of the sacrifices required. We live an unrealistic life, pretending to an idea of non-reality. This why people are buying homes, cars, vacations properties they can not afford. We will unfortunately all suffer even the prudent guys like Chad when this bubble bursts.

#91 Brian1 on 03.05.11 at 5:36 am

Chad: Sounds like you haven’t lived yet. Fix your teeth. Seems you don’t know you are in control. Next two years you will pick up a used Lexus for nothing. Going to a gym will only expose you to a lot of losers. Take Taoist Tai Chi in Vancover.The best teacher there is a gwai lo. If you want a bad girl short term take one that smokes.Always guaranteed a good cheap time. One that is good would know what struggle is and dedicated to family. Only get married if career is in order.

#92 WINNIPEGER on 03.05.11 at 6:01 am


Bank of Montreal says housing overvalued—-wow!

#93 SquareNinja on 03.05.11 at 6:21 am

Chad, you’ve obviously gotten a tonne of excellent advice from other blog-readers (and lots of stupid advice, too). These are my advice picks: #20, #24, #32, #33, #35.

There are some semi-good advice posts that ask you to become a little less frugal; but without knowing your exact situation, who here can accurately assess whether you’re painfully cheap, or just a thrifty guy?

So, we should give you advice on the premise that you won’t be changing who you are.

Maybe it’s time for you to find a Chinese or Indian girl! As others have pointed out, there are indeed girls out there that share the same frugal values as you, but they are far and few between. In the Asian world… they are easier to find. Sure, you may go to Richmond and see all the Chinese driving BMWs and Porsches with the “New Driver” sticker on the back… but those are more-than-likely newer immigrants. Stay away from those.

What you want is the girl whose parents or grandparents came to this country with nothing to their name… worked hard and instilled that sense of frugality into their children. You won’t find them in bars or clubs… this type of entertainment is just not worth it to them.

Whatever you do… make sure to only hook up with a woman that shares your same values. If she doesn’t, you’re going to have a hell of a time. On the other hand, if your woman is just like you… it’s heaven.

Coincidentally, I have a frugal cousin, also named Chad. He is almost 30 and has saved up a similar amount as you, and has found himself a wife that shares his frugal values. If he wants to take her to an expensive restaurant for their anniversary… she doesn’t want to go because it’s a waste of money. She really doesn’t want to go! She will literally stop them from going. And they’re both extremely happy.

You may need introductions from friends… or maybe join some volunteer organizations. Yes, that’s the answer: volunteer! You ain’t gonna catch a girl with Jimmy Choo’s and Prada helping the needy.

You could also get in on the handmade/craft scene… girls who like that stuff normally eschew anything that is considered “haute tauty”.

If you need any more awesome advice, e-mail me!

SquareNinja AT

#94 dangeresque2 on 03.05.11 at 6:24 am

Hey Chad, women are looking to “invest” their eggs. We all look at prospective mates with respect to what the other person can provide.

Was having this same conversation with other single guys in Edmonton, how girls look past you if you’re not driving a Range Rover.

But this is what it means in our society today to be successful, secure, stable, etc. Even if it’s only perception. Stocks are the opposite, they can’t provide warmth, food or luxurious handbags, the comforts of life today.

Living in a basement and taking the bus to work doesn’t say to a woman that this man has mastered his environment and can provide things that she can otherwise get from other men. Those men have “high value”, and it’s about demonstrating value.

If I could offer advice, it is to live the life you want to live – if living frugally is what you want, then do it and do it well. Find women who are into freecycling or some similar group where you can meet like-minded people. Then, stand out, make yourself the best at whatever you do… To women, you will seem like the best “product” as said by #22 – GenXer (good post). Then, you’re desirable. Women go less on looks than men do. But I feel for you, they do have to look at us, lol.

Just don’t come to Edmonton, the odds don’t need to get any worse here… ;)

#95 observer on 03.05.11 at 6:43 am

According to the World Wealth Report 2010, there were 2,886,200 millionires in the USA in 2009 and 251,300 millionaires in Canada for the same year.

Given that the U.S. has roughly ten times the population of Canada, how praytell is it possible that the U.S. has four times the number of millionaires per capita than the U.S.?

1% of Canada. 4.1% of US. — Garth

#96 dissin on 03.05.11 at 6:55 am

has this become a help line for Chad???

#97 rifles on 03.05.11 at 7:04 am

Chad – Think deep value, possibly a smoker. Always surprising and worthwhile. Much better than the plastic-Vancouver-yoga-stress-hag-sheilas with everything in the shop window and nothing between the ears.

#98 NP on 03.05.11 at 7:27 am

Hi Chad – When I met my husband I wasn’t at all physically attracted to him. His great personality, sense of humour, self confidence and optimistic attitude won me over. He earned far less than I & owned the cheapest car available but that didn’t matter. We’ll be celebrating our 25th this year.

You’re only 28 Chad. When I stopped looking for Mr. Right, I finally found him. Get out and enjoy life with your friends and when you least expect it, you’ll find the one who appreciates you for who you are and not for a false display of wealth.


PS – Our former MF advisor – LOL – was a gorgeous hunk, dressed in the best of suits, etc. He drove a Porsche in the summer, had a beautiful home & beautiful RE wife & child. They divorced a few years ago.

#99 Moneta on 03.05.11 at 8:40 am

Utopia on 03.04.11 at 10:13 pm
#110 Moneta `
I think it goes even farther than that. Every time something is good, people want more of it. Then we see the hockey stick effect in the growth chart.

If you look at this chart on a worldwide basis, you will notice that over the last 20 years, most of the growth has been appearing in the least livable areas of the planet.

In the US, this has been the South. Even California is problematic. They will be dealing with erosion. Theit dikes are getting old plus they are farming products that do not grow naturally in this area. I think Ca produces 50% of the Americans’ fruit and veggie consumption.

Ca’s political system is driven to get water. Their next goal is to divert the Great Lakes. Then we have to look at Arizona…

As it takes more and more energy to get energy, these projects/regions will get harder to maintain.

Even if we develop some miracle techology to easily get some form of energy, we have to remember that we have huge sunk costs and huge dislocations would occur.

It’s more than burbs are going to die and the city will live.

#100 Moneta on 03.05.11 at 8:45 am

Balance is key to a life lived. Don’t save at the expense of romance, don’t romance at the expense of your future. You will be alright
Although I practice balance in my own life, I do realize that most fo the stuff that makes my life very comfortable was invented and developed by totally unbalanced people.

#101 Rick in Japan on 03.05.11 at 8:47 am

I’m not sure why we are now talking about Chad’s dating. . . anyway, as oil just hit $104, I thought that the movie ‘Blind Spot’ is appropriate. At first glance it may not have any direct relationship to housing, I think that it will have a far greater impact on where we will be living (and how) in the not too distant future:

#102 Wally on 03.05.11 at 9:27 am

#27 Dave- Vancouver is a dump, clueless men and shallow women. As a woman that has spent some serious time there I can tell you that Chad could easily be gorgeous but that wouldn’t matter to a pathetic Vancouverite mindette.

As for taking transit, the infrastructure in Vancouver where cars are concerned makes Toronto seem like Utopia. He lives in the city and works in the city so unless he’s an idiot, which he’s not, he’d take the bus to work. (even the transit sucks there though).

Chad, you’re awesome. Ignore any dolts on here and understand that a great girl will have the intellect to see beyond the borrowed flash. I will say though, if you’re in a studio it’s time to switch that up, and if the car is dated but your sentimentally attached, maybe jump ahead 10 yrs on your vehicle. Hopefully you’re reasonably fashionable and keep yourself well groomed, (humans are mammals with mating rituals, don’t forget that).

Don’t get discouraged. Good catches are rare from both sides of the table. There is a girl out there who thinks like you do, but don’t test her on fundamental mating feathers. A lot of us girls see a BMW and our first thought is “hmmm, lotsa debt, maybe, maybe not, and a herd guy, yuk, and if his mentality is generally like this yuk, and most importantly, we don’t want to carry his ass if he’s actually hanging by a thread. Success and financial independence is sexy, to both men and women, but combine them with down to earth values and being an independent thinker and wow, just smokin’ !

Chad, don’t compromise, be patient, but even great girls are mammals so shine up your car and your pad a tad, and get the he’ll out of that awful city and come to
fabulous Toronto! Take it from a woman who’s lived a little. (yes, Wally is only a nickname)

#103 Wally on 03.05.11 at 9:40 am

…. and just in case 29 Leanne has scarred you… Chad is a GREAT name. Like I said, ignore the dolts.

#104 jerry on 03.05.11 at 9:40 am

Dim Sons…….nope, not Chinese food.

Mother and I have become cognitively impaired once again! Or so it seems. During the ages of 14 through to 20, our sons were convinced that as parents we suffered from brain damage so severe that even the local anatomy department at the university wouldn’t want our brains.

Suddenly by ages 21, it had become apparent to the boys that Mother and I had had a miraculous recovery in the regeneration of brain cells and IQ.

But we are once again dementing as the boys have come up with 5% ( between the two of them) and have had very “positive” discussions with CIBC about easy money and a Toronto condo market that has no where to go but up.

Thanks for your articles Garth. Mother and I are starting to look a little brighter in the dim world of real estate.

#105 Wally on 03.05.11 at 9:52 am

Chad. #36 created a Username on this blog just to meet you! What are you going to do about it? : )

#106 Leanne on 03.05.11 at 9:55 am

Women also do not date men named Norton, for obvious reasons.

#107 Stevie Why ? on 03.05.11 at 9:58 am

“Business Is Business And Love Is Bullsh*t”[email protected]/5268154874/

Chad, stay the course and you will succeed.

“Good Things Come To Those Who Wait” ( except in the current real estate world if you are a seller )

#108 observer on 03.05.11 at 10:01 am

1% of Canada. 4.1% of US. — Garth

My post at 6:43 a.m. clearly illustrated that the per capita number of millionaires in Canada and the US are similar. And I cited my source – “The World Wealth Report 2010.”

Your reply simply restated your unsupported assertion that the U.S. rate was four times higher – without citing a source.

US Census Bureau. Did you think I made it up? — Garth

#109 Wally on 03.05.11 at 10:04 am

#45 Bridgepigeon- he was writing on an economically statistical blog you silly dolt, and without the ego to embellish.

Chad could be hot, socially active, engaged in life, and have a positive vibe. None of this would matter in that dump of a city. In Toronto he would be happy.

#110 Love this Blog on 03.05.11 at 10:06 am

#3 Eric,

I agree.

#111 observer on 03.05.11 at 10:14 am

Here is what I can’t get my head around. If the implementation of ultra-low interest rates provided artificial life support for the Canadian real estate market, why didn’t it do the same for the U.S.?

It did, and then rates rose. The pattern is about to repeat here, and when it happens low rates become irrelevant. — Garth

#112 Herb on 03.05.11 at 10:21 am

… inertia, temerity and ignorance responsible for a scant 1% of us having a million dollars in investible assets.

– Garth

Is it inertia, temerity and ignorance that are responsible for so few millionaires? Not everyone is born with a grubstake to invest, not everyone can make CEO rates or has enough lifetimes to let compounding work its magic. Take a well-paid worker at $30/hour working 40hours/week, and it will take him 16 years of full-time employment at $62,400/year to earn that 1M cushion – assuming, of course, that he pays no taxes, has other deductions, and has no living expenses during that period.

It is simply unrealistic to expect everyone to be able to pile up $1M in savings, investments or whatever during a working life. Our pension problem is not the 1% who’ve made it or the 5-10% who could, but the 90% who have no chance to do so regardless of how ambitious, risk-tolerant or clever they may be.

If there is a wizard out there who can turn that sow’s ear into a well-filled silk purse, step forward.

It’s called entrepreneurship. — Garth

#113 Wally on 03.05.11 at 10:27 am

Chad, let me clarify #76 for you: If you don’t have money they won’t go anywhere near you. Sounds like what Chad is looking for! Shame on you 76.

#114 Aaron on 03.05.11 at 10:39 am

Hey Rick, agreed! Great film and well worth it. Notice how all the experts quoted in it have advanced degrees? Unlike some of the commentators on this blog, no doubt. Anyway, put up or shut up. And for all you naysayers: check out the Jervons paradox.

#115 JC on 03.05.11 at 10:53 am

#95 Square Ninja

What you want is the girl whose parents or grandparents came to this country with nothing to their name… worked hard and instilled that sense of frugality into their children. You won’t find them in bars or clubs… this type of entertainment is just not worth it to them.

You should read “The Millionaire next door”. Its particularily that generation who’s immigrant parents came next to nothing, budgeted, and built equity that does the squandering. The author refers to it as “economic outpatient care”.

What Chad needs is to fine-tune his Spidey senses for attractive, intelligent women who’s greatest subconscious fear is being broke in old age.

#116 Throwstone on 03.05.11 at 10:54 am

200k by 28…yeah ok….

Made possible for an individual by having no preliminary or operating cost in life…

no tuition-
no rent-
no board-
no car/insurance
+ GOVERNMENT JOB with BLOATED salary + investments (made possible by said bloated salary) +
wallet tighter than two coats of paint= $200K…

Chad…Dude your not frugal your CHEAP!…Your like a hoarder except its cash not creepy dolls or clowns!

In regards to your chick situation!…

Pry open the leather envelope and pull out $1000, and take the girls out….Unless you can’t handle reducing your net worth to $199,000.

Now don’t get stupid about it. Ya know… getting all wide eyed and loose with the leather envelope to try and keep the girl happy.

You should travel…and trust me the women in other parts of the world are far more liberal, they don’t have the expectations of men that women in Canada do; are more relaxed and seem a bit more exotic in bikini’s not birkenstocks.

#117 Kim on 03.05.11 at 10:56 am

I am in the same boat as Chad. I am female, I’m single but in the reverse boat.
I work for the airline, rent an apartment downtown. I am a minimalist and have saved saved saved. (Mainly because of the fear of the airline always going bankrupt.) I don’t want to buy now. I have been a follower of your ideas for years, so has my dad.
Every guy I meet here in Vancouver is broke, but they are dressed in Armani, driving new SUV’s, lease lexuses, and live the high life on credit. One guy I dated told me “Credit is King!!” Can you believe that?Anyway I didn’t save all my money to bail out a guy who partied his life away and got the tats to prove it.
I am clean, simple, pretty and smart, but the guys here in Vancouver are total opportunist. ‘Like what can you do for me’ not the other way around. And I have been had, not by much but because I had a soft heart for sufferers.
So Chad …. “Lets do Lunch”

This pathetic blog may have just found its calling. — Garth

#118 David B on 03.05.11 at 10:56 am

Keep your cool Chad and continue on your path, most educated women to-day do not get serious about men until they are in their mid 30’s so keep fit and do not be shy about asking women out. You see Chad …. asking a women out is still a cool man thing and even if a women says no, it does not mean she did not feel good about the fact she was asked. Just move on the next one.

#119 Pr on 03.05.11 at 11:22 am

Were it not for food stamps and extended unemployment benefits and other forms of government aid the US would look like it looked in the 1930s. In 3 years the US will begin to experience 3rd world At the same time $100.00 oil along with food price inflation signals a loss in consumer buying power. SALE canada and sale usa and go to…?

#120 stage1dave on 03.05.11 at 11:27 am

Timely column…I used to wonder about that Canadian “smugness” too, it’s a lot more obvious to someone from Ontario who spent most of the 80’s & 90’s in the U.S.

(But hey, I moved back, so what do I know?) My work experience with America could be summed up in one phrase…down there, it was “when can you…” up here, it was “how much will it cost?” Americans just wanted to get it done!

I was aware that certain destitute areas of their large cities resembled war zones, but I very seldom felt any differently in Orange County or SLC than I did in Calgary…

The “it can’t happen here” scenario (that’s heard everywhere re: RE) requires a willful blindness; I left Saskatoon when newer bilevels were reaching 450K & a tradesmen couldn’t get $30/hr…did people forget about grade 5 math? Broad-based income rise is the only thing that supports a huge increase in broad-based debt over the long term.

I’m also hearing a lot about the “prudency” of Canadian Banks, how lending standards are “different” here, etc. etc. etc. I’ll defer to Galbraith here, & his comment that there is nothing so exotic as the assumption that the association with large sums of money denotes economic insight. Anyone familiar with the banks inability to puzzle out the GTA market in the 90’s, Smilin’ Jack, the Reichman’s; & the losses that were incurred will realize that bankers don’t have any more (or less) ability to recognize good bets from bad…either that, or they’re working for somebody else. (If you’re not sure about the last sentence, google John Crowe) They won’t think any farther ahead than the end of their own noses & will do today what passed for excellence yesterday…

Chad, I got nothin…the newest vehicle I own is a 94! The GF & I own a baker’s dozen, but I prefer pre-87…they can be worked on, repaired, have more room, & no air bags are present to plaster a freshly-lit cigarette on my cheek…I also don’t have to be an electrical engineer with a VooDoo laptop to troubleshoot one!

And as far as some girls in VA wanting to know whether you own or rent, & are perhaps judging you by your vehicle; I can attest from considerable personal experience that those girls won’t be any fun, anyhow. Count yourself lucky & find some poor broad with an 85 Mustang GT in her garage!

#121 Dodged-A-Bullit-in Alberta on 03.05.11 at 11:28 am

Greetings: #65 [Expand Your Means] “It’s laughable to think that $200K is a lot of money.”

This statement is a prime example of why our society is in the trouble we have today. Our first home, early 70s, cost 57K, two car garage, and great lot. There is something wrong when people will spend more for a boat or RV than their childrens education will cost. Is it any wonder we have debt up to our arse in Canada. If you think $200K is not much, try living without knowing if you can pay the rent next month. Is it any wonder the banks, realators, mortage brokers etc. have been able to sucker in Canadians. In Alberta, a pop can brings in .10 tax free and a milk jug .25. Doesn’t take much to pay for a liter of gas, even at a buck / liter. Your comment is pathetic!!!! If you have an extra $200K in the cookie jar, send it to me. I will wager you have never seen that much cash!!!

#122 Wally on 03.05.11 at 11:29 am

One more thing Chad, whenever you need inspiration, a push to glory on a shitty day, CRANK the Stones’ “Exile On Main Street” album (the original, not the Remastered), and dance your tail off! You’ll be completely renewed and ready to take on the world again. :) (and measure a girl by her willingness to join you !)

#123 gentleInvestor on 03.05.11 at 11:39 am

Seems folks on this site have as many opinions on how to nab a broad as they do about real estate.

Garth, you can fire up a dating blog after the housing crash – – and keep all your subscribers.

As for me, I’m off to the gym to pump a bit o’ iron – gotta keep those pecs in top babe-magnet form.

#124 jess on 03.05.11 at 11:40 am

… automated systems

“the FBI suggested 80% of reported mortgage fraud in the U.S. involved industry insiders”
Investigators allege that the suspect accepted personal funds, entrusted to him by his clients who believed that they were investing in registered mortgages. Instead, the clients discovered that their investments were worthless and that their money had disappeared.

Investigators also allege that the suspect acted on fraudulent mortgage and bank refinancing applications. In this scheme, fraudulent documents were provided to financial institutions, by individuals pretending to be legitimate purchasers looking to either secure a new mortgage or refinance an existing mortgage.

Once approval had been obtained, the financial institutions were instructed to advance the funds into a trust account, from where the money was diverted into the suspect’s account.

To date, the investigation has identified forty (40) victims and ten financial institutions that have been victimized, for a total loss of over $12 Million

Lawyer charged for $12 million fraud,

Brampton Friday, 04 March 2011 18:13

automated computerized appraisals. Lenders use them to significantly speed up the approval process and reduce costs for consumers.

#125 Mr. B on 03.05.11 at 11:46 am

Hey Chad, I have three friends where their wife works at a bank. All three couples are mortgage free owning a nice home. They are in their early 40’s. I’m in my 50’s and I envy all of them. You are onto something Chad. Don’t give up!

#126 Willa on 03.05.11 at 11:50 am

Article in the Economist about how risky real estate is:

Chad, I think it’s because you care too much about how you look to others. People pick up on that kind of insecurity, and instead of listening, you conclude that it’s just shallowness on their part. So maybe listen and learn. If you treat everyone like the messenger, maybe you’ll get the message.

I briefly dated a guy like Chad. He loved to save and invest money, but he never spent anything. His life was a very small box, he wasn’t at peace with himself at all, and it was hard to stay interested in him. The relationship didn’t last three weeks.

Life is for living, not just for saving.

#127 Otto Doppelganger on 03.05.11 at 12:00 pm

@Expand Your Means:
“It’s laughable to think that $200k is a lot of money.”

Spoken like a man who takes much in his life for granted. You’re clearly part of the problem, not part of the solution.

#128 maxx on 03.05.11 at 12:02 pm

Chad- you’ll find her, probably just not when you expect to. 200K @ 28? Brilliant!

#29 is a total loser, likely for life- way short on IQ and shorter on EQ.

Be with the right match- married 25 years, going strong and because of our compatible frugality, retired @ 47. Keep going- your next lesson, dear grasshopper, is to grow and keep what you have. Remember: ALWAYS keep banks and investment “professionals” under an electron microscope and stay current with what’s going on in government and central banks.


#129 Otto Doppelganger on 03.05.11 at 12:04 pm

And anytime I have walk downtown, I go out of my way to avoid Yaletown by a good three blocks in any direction.

The place makes me weep for the down-to-earth people who live there and have to put up with the fashion-zombies that roam Mainland and Hamilton.

#130 observer on 03.05.11 at 12:17 pm

US Census Bureau. Did you think I made it up? — Garth

Well, I can understand that the U.S Census Bureau would provide numbers for the U.S., but how were you able to contrast that data with the numbers for Canada?

Additionally, assuming that your calculations are correct, how would you account for the wide disparity between the World Wealth Report (Complied by Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management and Capgemini) and the U.S. Census Bureau? Obviously they both can’t be accurate.

Leaves me a little perplexed, I must say.

I feel for you. * Hug * — Garth

#131 Matthew on 03.05.11 at 12:22 pm

Dear Chad,

Congratulations on being so well-versed in personal finance! Although some may poo-poo your $200K, at 28 you are doing great

(I’m at 22 with about $40K, after paying for school myself. Hopefully I can beat you at 28!)

Anyways, on the topic of girls and money, the only piece of advice I can offer is pay attention to how her parents handle money as it will tell a lot about her attitude.

For example, my ex’s parents went on 3-5 vacations per year, drove BMWs, were about 45 and worked white collar jobs. They ended up going bankrupt. The ex was the type who became angry when a birthday gift was less than $100.

Current administration’s parents talk to me all the time about my job (Chartered Accountant in training) and have saved/invested diligently over the years. Each January, they quiz me on whether or not I have topped up my TFSA! The girl is the type who is spectacularly happy with a home-cooked dinner and a great book for birthdays.

This rule does not go for everyone but it is a good indication of what her real attitudes towards money are like.

And for attracting women, don’t talk about boring subjects, iron your shirts and generally look better than your peers.

Stand up straight ,and with a bit of a smile, they will drool.


#132 Albertaguy on 03.05.11 at 12:24 pm

Back to US real estate….sorry chad dating advice is over.

In 1996 I took the contrarian view that the US market was bottoming out after the cold war killed the S CA market. Military contracts in silicon valley dried up, a lot of people lost their high paying tech jobs and had to sell their “weekend” properties in the Palm Springs area.

There were 10,000 foreclosures per month in southern CA at the time so the sentiment against RE then was probably not much different than it is now.

My thinking was then that the boomers from Canada were about to turn 50 and would begin to look for a reasonable place in the Sun Belt areas to call home for 1 or 2 months a year during the winter.

I bought a 2 bedroom 2 bath town house for $35k. The bank was happy to paint, put in new appliances in and replace carpet to get it off their books.

I furnished the place for next to nothing going to flea markets on a couple of “work weekends”. I maintained a web site to market the property and hired a local lady that held the keys and cleaned the place between tenants. I must say that without this kind of trusted local manager I would not have been able to make the project work. Bottom line, I rented the place out 3-4 months a year which essentially covered all my costs and allowed me to visit the property twice a year on maintenance trips – got a couple rounds of golf in too and read a few books sitting around the pool between trips to home depot.

Fast forward to 2004 and the value of the property was 150K US and my long term plan to keep it for 20 years ended. I took a 4x profit and bought land in Calgary, built during the boom and sold just last month for a reasonable profit – although no where near what it might have fetched in 2006.

Garth is right. Now is the time to cast the eyes south once again and look for opportunity. The process is not for the faint of heart and the logistical hoops are probably considerably more difficult to pass through than they were 13 years ago before 911 and recent foreclosure issues.

Garth, please continue featuring this idea. I am all for putting our collective heads together to start a VULTURE-CLUB! where in we could share lessons learned to help each other prosper with US RE.


#133 Herb on 03.05.11 at 12:24 pm

“It’s called entrepreneurship. — Garth”

Too easy; let’s try it.

The entire working population of Canada has been turned into entrepreneurs by a wave of a magic wand. Pension problem solved.

How do the economy and country operate without non-entrepreneur employees to produce anything or provide any service to anyone? We’re all entrepreneurs now on our way to becoming pension millionaires, so less than stellar profits or executive wages are out.

Any other suggestions?

Yes, be realistic. If 10% of the population did so, and 3% succeeded, we would be considerably better off. Did the cat pee in your bran flakes this morning? — Garth

#134 Sven on 03.05.11 at 12:26 pm

I would highly recommend stainless steel underpants. They worked wonders for me when I was in Vancouver!

#135 Trendy on 03.05.11 at 12:26 pm

Chad: Forget the crack shack suite you’re living in. Buy yourself 40 feet of 20 year old sailboat (most are practically brand new – just sitting at the wharf month after month). Then when a gal asks where do you live, just respond “On the water, and where ever the wind takes me”. If you want romance, live a romantic life.

#136 Abitibidoug on 03.05.11 at 12:39 pm

I don’t know what else to say except that when the bubble bursts and the tide turns, Chad will have the last laugh. Just the fact that women, or the men dating them, are all caught up in this materialism (probably financed by a lot of debt) says a lot in itself about the delusion of endless wealth and the good times going on forever.

I haven’t been to Vancouver in many years, but it’s obviously not the Vancouver of many, many years ago where you might actually find Bohemian hippy chick types who aren’t so intoxicated by all this materialism.

#137 The American on 03.05.11 at 12:39 pm

At #46: Mike B, you forgot to add McDonald’s into that mix of American corporations doing business in Canada (although Canadians try to make McDonald’s “their’s” by putting a friggin’ maple leaf on the signage).

At #60: Morry, no, YOU are delusional. Being an American, I can certainly attest to the fact that many Canadians HAVE INDEED mocked the situation in the U.S. in hopes of a U.S. collapse, constantly calling out the mantra “We’re different! it would NEVER happen here. We’re Canada, and we’re conservative!” Canadians have needled Americans for well over 5 years about it. Hell, I even read commentary along those lines even within this own blog and it is absolutely laughable.
What cracks me up are the reasons I continually hear as to why Canada won’t realize a U.S.-style downturn. These reasons include, immigration, or “everyone wants to move to Canada.” I have news for you, the U.S. has more immigration to it every year than ALL OTHER COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD COMBINED, and it didn’t save the U.S. Also, in a recent Gallup poll, 700 million people were interviewed and asked if they could move anywhere in the world, where would it be? The U.S. was BY FAR the #1 choice, nearly FOUR TIMES that of Canada. Those arguments are trivial because, as an American, I’ve already lived it and I realize it is b.s.

Garth is right, Canadians haven’t leaned a thing from what happened here in the U.S. In fact, I’d venture to say they’ve behaved worse than Americans on several, several fronts. I believe Canadian home prices of today prove that. After all, they now exceed what prices were in the U.S. at peak. Do you know what the definition of insanity is? Insanity is doing precisely the same thing as has been done in the past and expecting different results. Canadians have only repeated what Americans did, and they have squandered an opportunity to have learned what happened to the U.S. and not repeat the downturn to come.

Canadians have been manipulated beyond belief with fake “news” excerpts around RE, banks issuing reports stating everything is okay (which when a bank does that, it clearly means you’re screwed… I know, I’m a part of the global banking system), and special mortgage products just to help people afford ridiculous prices at stupid low rates. Yep, sounds like you ARE different, if you know what I mean. Canadians have MORE HOUSEHOLD DEBT than Americans do now. Conservative? Canadians save -2%, while Americans save 7%. Conservative? Canadian banks have run with ridiculously low rates with 5% down for years, some amortorized over 40 and 35 years!!! Conservative? Canadian banks provide liar loans or NINJA loans! Conservative? Canadians now exceed 70% home ownership. Conservative? NO, NOT CONSERVATIVE! DELUSIONAL. Instead, I ask YOU why aren’t Canadian banksters and C and F in jail for what they’ve done to the Canadian people? See, its Canadians like you who think you’ve actually behaved any differently that are the REAL problem. You truly do believe you are “different,” when in fact you’ve only confirmed Garth’s points in every way imaginable. Canadians earn less on average than Americans. Canadians are taxed more than Americans. And, Canadians have more debt than Americans. So, if Americans couldn’t pay it back, what makes you think you will have the ability to pay it back? The fundamentals of economics remains the same, even as it crosses borders. You need to grow up and take some responsibility.

I love Canadians. No wait. I ADORE CANADIANS, and I feel horribly for what is about to unravel there. But, it angers me to no avail when I hear a Canadian friend or stranger make a comment along the lines of why it is so different there. The tonal quality of it is a superiority complex, which isn’t really the problem as it is what makes me laugh about it. I get angry because I can hardly believe the ignorance that backs it. Effectively it is the HYPOCRISY that is so difficult to stomach. It is one thing to be at the forefront of the economic collapse and realize in hindsight the damage that has been done, like the U.S. However, it is entirely another thing to have been watching what happened to you OVER FIVE YEARS AGO and stick your head in the sand and act like the exact same thing, if not even worse so, isn’t being repeated there in Canada. Simply put, it is like a parent watching his/her child deliberately TRY to hurt himself/herself, but then you realize you have to let them do it so they’ll learn a lesson because they won’t listen to you.

#138 Nemesis on 03.05.11 at 12:41 pm

Chad, as other/prior commentators have remarked, may I suggest, first, that you implement a rigorous personal fitness regime – and secondly…

Buy (and learn to safely use) a motorcycle. Go ahead, indulge your inner ‘bad-boy’ and go ‘FullFabio’; you’ll never look back.

And now, in the interest of equal opportunity ‘prurience’…


Leaning on a bicycle. Obviously gay. It needs to be a Harley. — Garth

#139 observer on 03.05.11 at 12:46 pm

Here is what I can’t get my head around. If the implementation of ultra-low interest rates provided artificial life support for the Canadian real estate market, why didn’t it do the same for the U.S.?

It did, and then rates rose. The pattern is about to repeat here, and when it happens low rates become irrelevant. — Garth.

Perplexed here once again. My review of the U.S Federal Funds Rates Data indicates that interest rates were aprox. 4% in 2006, rose to a little over 5% from 2007 through to approx. 2008 and then dropped like a stone to virtually zero, where they sit today.

History does not agree with your assessment. If the U.S. is no different than Canada, then we should be experiencing the same market influences.

The facts further indicate that it was the Bank of Canada that raised interest rates (3 times), not the U.S.

Logic dictates that the two markets are not the same; therefore it must be concluded that they are different.

Dig deeper. The Fed dropped rates to near 1% after 9/11, sparking a real estate boom which turned into a bubble. When rates jumped in 2006-7, the bubble burst. A return to low rates did not revive that. In Canada our rates dropped in 2009, sparking a real estate boom which turned bubble. In late 2011 they will start to rise, with similar consequences to the US. No substantial difference, as you will see. — Garth

#140 incubus on 03.05.11 at 12:48 pm

I wish we could have the same graph for Canada!

#141 The American on 03.05.11 at 12:49 pm

At #66: US Investor, good points. I really like Orange County too as a place for investing and everyday living. The towns are so nice there and the communities are very sweet. I also believe the buys in Orange county are terrific now and prices are back to normal, sustainable levels overall.

#142 Dubble on 03.05.11 at 12:54 pm


Herb pointed out that it is difficult for a person who makes more than todays average salary to save a million dollars, even with compound interest and no expenses. You dismissed this, and said “Entrepreneurship” is the answer.

Big corporations are replacing most forms of business oppertunities. I see this every day as a business sales representative. Many business owners are struggling, as their competition with numerous locations, better inventories and bigger budgets take more and more of the market share. I disagree. Entrepreneurship is not the answer.

Franchising can also be difficult. I have had indepth conversations with owners of Franchises like Kelsey’s restaurants, Subway, etc. The Kelsey’s guy is closing in a few months. His franchise fees have just been raised, and his building lease is set to take a big leap. He is opening a new restaurant soon, his own, and I wish him the best.

It will get harder and harder to save a million dollars. You blog daily about how rising energy costs, food costs and interest rates will eat away at what little free income people have left. Nothing is for certain anymore.

It’s tough for people 30 years and younger to get ahead. Tough, but not impossible. Our prospects are just are not as bright as the previous generations were.

So give up. Interesting that we have hundreds of comments here dumping on the US for being an economic basket case, while it is so much better here. If that’s truly the case, what are we moaning about? — Garth

#143 S.B. on 03.05.11 at 12:54 pm

Some Kool-aid Lite from a known or suspected Realtor ;)

He’s banding about $800,000 houses and $500,000
1-bedroom condos like it’s the new normal. And of course, calculating by use of a 35 year amort. Will end well?

#144 incubus on 03.05.11 at 1:00 pm

Las Vegas is incredible, prices are back to their 1990 level!

#145 incubus on 03.05.11 at 1:02 pm

Sorry, it is 1999 not 1990

#146 Dorothy on 03.05.11 at 1:03 pm

Your advice to sell Canadian and buy US Real Estate is useless to most of your readers, as the majority don’t seem to be able to even pay their bills, much less buy US Real Estate.
That said, even if they could, I don’t think it’s very good advice because even though RE has fallen down there, I doubt it’s reached bottom yet. Also, depending on the area, lower prices still doesn’t necessarily mean CHEAP prices. I was recently in AZ visiting friends, and took the opportunity to look around. Yes prices have fallen, but in the 50 something retirement neighbourhoods they are still fairly pricey. And you wouldn’t want to live in the neighbourhoods where it’s really cheap!

Buyers are on the hook for property taxes, hydro bills, maintenance costs to the house and pool, as well as yardwork when they are absent (otherwise they have the homeowners association on their back). My friends’ not so cheap investment has already cost them thousands of dollars over and above the initial price. Add to this the cost of getting there, and the cost of medical insurance, and I’ve come to the conclusion that if you want to spend a few months in the States every winter you’d be further ahead to rent.

But I’m not sure I even want to do that after reading through the local paper down there. The crime rate is fairly high, and the attitudes of the law abiding citizens can be quite scary by Canadian Standards. They nearly all carry a weapon of some sort, be it a gun or a taser, and the streets in my friends neighbourhood are deserted after dark. Anyone can walk into a gun store and buy almost any weapon you can think of, and there was an article in the paper about someone who owned over 200 semi automatic weapons which he claimed were for personal use.

Given that there is already a lot of unemployment down there, and given that the economy is still in disarray and probably going to get worse, do you really want to be percieved as a wealthy unarmed Canadian whose “ripe for the picking”?

#147 victoria boy on 03.05.11 at 1:06 pm

I just had to post in Chads defense today.

Im 42. My first wife was a spender, though she was a saver when we met (womens perogative I guess). I realized that I would never meet my financial goals with her and it became a real sore point with me. Toughest decision I ever made was to leave and make a fresh start (together 13 years, and left with 20k after separation). That was eight years ago. Today, im remarried to a real saver. We have two kids together, and have modest incomes. We owe under 200K on our 500K house and have 130k in the bank. We live very frugally to make this happen (ie: I ride a scooter to work because its cheaper than the bus). My wife and I are of the same mind and that makes all the difference.

Your mature beyond your years. As you age, your peers will begin to understand how much of a head start you have over them, and come to respect your wisdom. But most of all, you will respect yourself for making those tough choices and seeing the big picture. Hold your head high Chad. The ladies will notice that.

One more thing. You have the financial smarts. Apply the same philosophy to women. Find a lady of a similar mind with her own assets to bring to the pool. Due diligence will pay off here more than any investment you can make. I’m not saying find a rich lady, just one that has the same respect for prudence and careful panning as you do. You will need to respect each other to enter into a successful partnership.

And #16 is right. Dont be a slob, dress nice, shower. rinse, repeat.

Well done Chad.

#148 Cellar Dwellar on 03.05.11 at 1:08 pm

Chad……are you my neighbour ?

#149 The American on 03.05.11 at 1:10 pm

At #113: Observer, rates were ultra low in the U.S., and these low rates helped create the the housing bubble and provided artificial life support to our market. Rates rose, and everything collapsed. Rates went down again, but it wasn’t enough to get the taste of sh*t out of everyone’s mouth. Once the bust happened, nothing could stop it, even bringing back ultra-low rates. Canada is about to go through this as well as rates rise there.

#150 Cellar Dwellar on 03.05.11 at 1:17 pm

@67 SofieZombie
Has the “zombie” portion of your body affected your typing, spelling and grammatical abilities? I liked what you “rote” “aftre” I transcribed it.

She is a francophone. Comment votre français? — Garth

#151 Kuwaiti on 03.05.11 at 1:20 pm

Hey Chad,

Here you go buddy, let us know your progress in a month.
If this book does not help, you probably need a beemer.

#152 Cellar Dwellar on 03.05.11 at 1:22 pm

@71 Mr B B
WHAT in HELL are you babbling about?

#153 Wally on 03.05.11 at 1:23 pm

GARTH, re #119 Kim: Just in case you missed it, you have to email her privately and get her permission to give her email address to Chad. She didn’t include permission in her post. Don’t delay, there are 2 competing for his affections. lol. (if Kim happened to be “the one” you are messing with the natural order of the Universe and preventing a tribe of Chadlings and Kimlings from being born!

#154 Dave on 03.05.11 at 1:23 pm

Accents are sexy even when typed!

#155 AACI-Okanagan on 03.05.11 at 1:27 pm

Real Estate issues in Florida for example go a long way back. My ex. back in the early 80′s was given a beautiful time share beach home on Sanibel Is. The place ended up being a monkey on my back. You can always rent it out if you can’t come down and stay was the thought. Well guess what?

Time share’s are the WORST real estate investment out there, no matter where you buy it.

#156 Kuwaiti on 03.05.11 at 1:29 pm

holy cow it took me a long time to get through the comments… So Garth, given that Chad has scored a few dates from the responses, could I post my dating vows on the site?

This could be the new eharmony… the house horny edition.

#157 Cellar Dwellar on 03.05.11 at 1:31 pm

@ #99 Rifles
“…… Much better than the plastic-Vancouver-yoga-stress-hag-sheilas with everything in the shop window and nothing between the ears…….”

CLASSIC ! One of the best one-line observations ive heard in a long long time.
…..She’s as real as her boobs……

#158 Wally on 03.05.11 at 1:32 pm

And Garth, she asked him out, trust me, she meant it. Write that girl immediately! : ) She just forgot to include permission.

#159 Cellar Dwellar on 03.05.11 at 1:33 pm

@ #142
Oops . Didnt realize she was french. Sorry about that folks.

#160 Chaos on 03.05.11 at 1:35 pm


It’s so woof’n obvious what you need to do…

You need a weekend alter ego with a different name…( like Kyle)(Kyle could do all of things that you are afraid to do)(Kyle could be your weekend warrior)(Kyle could have the road rash that most 28 y/o men have)(Kyle could actually live life and be attractive to women)(Kyle could have attitude)
(Kyle could live dangerously)(Kyle could be the leader of the Pack!)

and the biggest HARLEY that you can lift

#161 Northern_dirt on 03.05.11 at 1:37 pm

Must be a Vancouver thing. Girls out here in To land aren’t as bad..

I always thought Vancouver was the land of Hippies and Birkenstocks.. Didn’t think materialism was associated with that so much. I must have spent too much time in Toronto..

(This is all subjective and anecdotal.. )

#162 Dubble on 03.05.11 at 1:41 pm


I don’t think Canada is in much better shape than the US. We are looking at our very own “Made in Canada” recession. We are too deep in debt to avoid it.


I spent my early years partying and chasing tail. You should be proud of what you have done. I’m going to spend the next 5 years of my life in School and many more years saving to get to where you are today.

Come to the prairies, you would be a rock star here.

#163 The American on 03.05.11 at 1:45 pm

Enough of the millionaire commentary already…

Lists it by country.

#164 mkultra on 03.05.11 at 1:52 pm

@ The American (post #30)

Look, if Chad doesn’t want to take you up on your offer of down-to-earth, edgy, and stylish Seattle women….I’d be more than HAPPY too!

Garth my good man – send this southerner my email! Yes, this real estate site has temporarily morphed into a dating site : ) hahaa!

#165 Moneta on 03.05.11 at 2:04 pm

In contrast, the US has four times the millionaires per capita.
Because they have the reserve currency and constantly crush us when we start doing well?

#166 Cellar Dwellar on 03.05.11 at 2:05 pm

Ahhhhhh , sat. morning, coffee, reading Garths blog.
Im Listening to the weekend radio CKNW “Money Talks” show with Michael Cambell( Former BC Premier Gordon Cambell’s brother). The endless pumper.
Interspersed between the endless Ozzie Jurock Real Estate seminar advertisements ( $475 dollars ! Take the Real Estate Action Group Seminar! You can realize your potential too!),
Michael prattles on about “investments”, break to another Ozzie commercial then ….. the Sage himself….
Ozzies recommendations this week????

The Vancouver market is “crazy”
US markets(Pheonix) have “bottomed”.
The difference between the two markets?
Canadians have “confidence” Americans don’t.

Ozzies Hot “Tip ” of the week……..
Condos in Arizona

He hasnt pumped anything in the VanLower Mainland in AGES…….
Makes one wonder , when a “pumper” like Ozzie doesnt see deals in Vancouver. You know trouble is coming

#167 An Cat Dubh on 03.05.11 at 2:05 pm

Chad (dateless in Van)
When women get tired of bad boys\thugs in their late 20’s and early 30’s and get baby rabies, you will be in “demand” all of sudden. Advice, travel to foreign countries: ie eastern europe, asia, latin america, phillipines and see how women there are. It’s very eye opening. Vancouver, it’s like paying Rolls Royce prices for a 1990s Dodge Neon.

#168 Moneta on 03.05.11 at 2:08 pm

Honestly, I’m frugal and I find Chad kind of scary.

Does he do anything interesting but live to save money?

#169 freedom_2008 on 03.05.11 at 2:12 pm

Hi Chad,

When my son studied in UBC, a dark basement room without kitchen usage would cost $500/m, or a tiny enclosed balcony cost $650/m, and that was 3/4 years ago. So I am not sure what is your living condition at $450/m now.

It is probably more to do with who you are as a person than what you have money wise, the root cause of the dating issue.

#170 BPOE on 03.05.11 at 2:13 pm

Don’t try to apply logic or compare the US to The Best Place On Earth. A fair comparison is , Hong Kong, Paris and Monte Carlo. The whole US is a dump compared to Vancouver and this is why Vancouver continues to soar and the US crashes. Bottom line is rich foreign investors want Vancouver they do not want a third rate country like the US. Folks, I have been pounding my fist on the table here, Vancouver is the BEST that is why it is going up. The US on the otherhand is considered third rate at best by foreign investors. So dig depp, buy and borrow like there’s no tommorw to get that car of your dreams. Trust me, anyone who owns real estate in Vancvouer will never have trouble getting a date.

#171 North van dude on 03.05.11 at 2:16 pm

You gotta heed the word of ice cube

Sometimes i used to wonder
How the hell an ugly get a fine girls number
He gettin juiced for his duckets
I tell a girl in a minute
Yo-I drive a bucket
And won’t think nothin’ of it
She can ride or walk
Either leave it or love it

#172 BPOE on 03.05.11 at 2:17 pm

Close your eyes
Relax, smile, you are content. You own, You have arrived
You are now truly free
in complete Peace of Mind in the Best Place On Earth

#173 Rick in Japan on 03.05.11 at 2:27 pm

BPOE. . . sounds like just another troll-or the same troll as always.
Anyway, please don’t feed.

#174 Leanne on 03.05.11 at 2:39 pm

…. and just in case 29 Leanne has scarred you… Chad is a GREAT name. Like I said, ignore the dolts.

This spoken by a man named Wally, a dating expert no doubt.

Apparently Wally is a woman. What a blog… — Garth

#175 Jen on 03.05.11 at 2:46 pm

I’m hot, blonde and 26.

Let’s do coffee. At Timmy’s.

#176 Nemesis on 03.05.11 at 2:50 pm

“Leaning on a bicycle. Obviously gay. It needs to be a Harley.” — Garth

I could well be mistaken, GT – but to all outward appearances that throttle assembly and front brake circuit/fluid reservoir looks vintage Harley…

Now, as to the ‘cultural politics’ of sexual orientation as expressed in motorcycle tastes/preference, in whose iconography are Harleys most prevalent???…

Hint: ;)

But let’s conclude with George Clooney’s take on Fabio, shall we?….

[AccessHollywood] – George Clooney On Facing Down Fabio, Those Gay Rumors & Donald Trump

“LOS ANGELES, Calif. – George Clooney has admitted Fabio would likely come out victorious if the two engaged in a physical fracas.”

Well, it is the weekend… speaking of which – pssst, GT… you do know that ‘RealMen’ ride Italian, don’t ya?… (and wear one piece racing suits).

#177 TR on 03.05.11 at 2:53 pm

Chad’s Paradox could easily be made into a Play or Film. Interesting.
So Tragic, Comedic, post-modern Romantic, and somehow Disturbing. A Short psychological thriller, perhaps.
I could see this at the Fringe Festival! Yes!

#178 debtified on 03.05.11 at 2:55 pm

One last thing from me for Chad (there is something about real estate at the end of this)…

Dude, I’ll share with you my best kept secret: B A C K PA C K I N G!

I don’t mean one-week to an all inclusive spring break type places. I mean backpacking in “exotic” places. Stay in hostels. It’s a cheap way to travel and the best way to meet people (especially if you are travelling alone). Be out there for at least a couple of weeks – gives you enough time to really get to know the destination (and pick up chicks – of course – if that’s what you’re looking for). NOTE: I am not insinuating that these are *bad* girls. They are actually mostly decent people who are trying to have a time of their lives – a fling is a powerful experience.

I’ve been backpacking and have hit over a dozen countries so far. Last year, I was in Peru and was joined by an awesome girl from Switzerland whom I met in the Cook Islands in 2007. The year before a German girl I met in New Zealand flew over here and we did a road trip from the Rockies to Tofino. This year I am doing the same trip on my motorcycle with a friend I met while travelling; and then travelled with in several countries in the South Pacific (this one is a great guy – and no, I don’t swing both ways, he’s getting his own bike – I just don’t discriminate on sexes when it comes to friendships).

I would even recommend you take a sabbatical for a few months (6-12 months). Buy a one way ticket to somewhere without any plans and just follow where the wind takes you (or buy a RTW ticket). You will love it – guaranteed. Do it before you turn 30 because most countries will give you a working tourist visa. That way you don’t have to spend much of your hard-earned money if you’re willing to work a little. I’ve met 20 year-olds who financed their year-long travels by working part-time everywhere they make a pit stop.

There you go. I sure hope you do something with this. This is not going to get you a date in Vancouver right now but this will surely make you more attractive when you get back – imagine the stories you can tell. This, the sports and the social dancing – life is not all about fancy cars (I have a 12 year-old car) stainless appliances and granite countertops (I rent).

You’re doing great with your money. Don’t change a thing. Just live a little.

Now back to our regularly scheduled program: the ugly state of our real estate. Re-posting a nice interactive chart that compares world-wide real estate statistics from the Economist. The more I play with it, the more I am convinced that we are following the path of the countries that are already in trouble..

#179 Scare Crow on 03.05.11 at 3:05 pm

Regarding Chad’s poor situation [what-ever] – I first call BS to his 200K at 28 .. or this guy is one super cheap prick – Chad, go out and buy a few nice suit’s – get a real hair cut – and if you saved that much coin – you’re probably living a life of a hermit – life is about living – (again, within your means) –
My grandfather said this to me a million times – if you believe being rich makes you happy, and you can buy that dream home and walk on that private beach – if you can’t enjoy what you have now – having money won’t change a thing – Becauseeeeee – it’s all in the attitude – not in the substance – those marketing folks have fooled most in believing otherwise…

Chad, your post is just as pathetic as you – I believe I know why your social life sucks – cause you suck! I drove a used Hyundia pony in university – but I looked at it as if it was a BMW – wheels with a purpose – I got the girl of my dreams (and married her too) – she came from a well to do family – and guess what – she loved me for who I am – not what I owned – (and think about it guy – if a girl is into material things only – why do you care – what a dolt!)

Believing in yourself – that’s the ticket – you attract others to you and live life like everyday was the best day ever –

#180 Chris in Langley on 03.05.11 at 3:09 pm

Great post Garth,

Emotionally charged topics like marriage and money should be connected more in conversation. A person’s beliefs and attitudes about one usually impact the other heavily.

For those posters who find it a poor topic choice for a real estate/finance blog, it’s a safe bet your dating/marriage life sucks.

Being rich and lonely is no way to go through life. Learning how to avoid a crappy marriage should be a top priority for everyone.

A huge part of Garth’s confidence resides in the quality of his marriage. Hat’s off to Mrs. Turner! You go girl!

#181 observer on 03.05.11 at 3:10 pm

Stil far from convinced. My query has still not been satisfied. It has been argued that it was the lowering of interest rates which “saved” Canada from the impending real estate crash.

Why did it work here after a mild dip? We were in the same boat as the USA at the time, weren’t we? Or is it possible that our lending practices and other financial regulations are far different from America. Our motgage default rate is currently 0.44% !

Also, interest rates have risen three times in Canada, mortgage rules were tightened, highly-leveraged speculators were flushed out of the market due to Flaherty’s 20% down payment rules, and yet the market in Canada continues to thrive.

Now it is postulated that the impending rise in interest rates (which will be gradual and modest) will kill the market, when it had little effect before. I’m just not buying the logic, it appears convoluted in order to fit one’s already firmly fixed thesis.

I must say I do enjoy the discussion, however, I will require further verifiable and quantifiable data and bettter supported arguments before I buy into the notion that the real estate market will inevitably crash. Cheers.

#182 observer on 03.05.11 at 3:21 pm

On the topic of U.S. real estate. I purchased building lot near Kissimee, Florida over twenty years ago from my father for $2,000 (he paid $10,000 – but just wanted to get rid of it).

Called a realtor recently to see what the lot is worth. He told me it was worth about as much as I paid for it (ouch!). Oh well, I probably bequeath it to my children who perhaps one day will realize some profit.

#183 Abitibidoug on 03.05.11 at 3:23 pm

Another comment for Chad:

Wow, you’re only 28 years old and have accumulated almost 200 grand in net worth? I’m duly impressed, as that’s an awful lot more than I had at your age and similarly, any woman with an IQ bigger than her shoe size should be similarly impressed.
So why aren’t so many more women impressed? As Andrew said in posting #92, we’ve become spoiled rotten with ridiculously high expectations. While I don’t like to pick on the younger generation (as old fogies like me at age 50 do) I do find many at Chad’s age do have higher expectations than our generation. Don’t believe all that nonsense about falling standards of living, they grew up in an era of far more affluence than our generation and it shows.

#184 Timing is Everything on 03.05.11 at 3:26 pm

Oh ya…Chad

9’s with 9’s and 3’s with 3’s….Nature.

Your $ can move you up the scale 2 or 3 notches, more if you’re uber rich.

You can’t buy love, but you can rent it for an awful long time.

You are what you are and you ain’t what you ain’t.
#165 The American

Probably a few less Yank millionaires since the 2009 numbers. I see less Canuck millionaires in the future too.

But, a million ain’t what it used to be…That’s for sure.

#185 Mr. Vmax on 03.05.11 at 3:27 pm

Garth…Harleys (1947 technology at futuristic prices) isn’t the only Motorcycle that makes men…men. For Chad, get a regularly priced, reliable, new MC AND keep your money…

#186 comfortably numb on 03.05.11 at 3:40 pm

GT – thanks for todays post and the resulting belly laughs ! It was a much needed kickstart to my day and a good break from an all too serious world.

#187 Wally on 03.05.11 at 3:43 pm

#176 Leanne, girlfriend, you is not too bright if you’ve been reading the comments and didn’t know that I am a woman and Wally is a nickname. (UK term of endearment). Garth, PLEASE change my Username to Wallyette ! Thanks , and I’m serious.

Oh, and Leanne, you little female dolt, a Norton is a classic motorcycle. The guy’s probably hot! You lose. ;)

#188 Tess on 03.05.11 at 3:43 pm

Dear Chad,

In your twenties you shouldn’t need a glam condo with granite to get a girl. (at least, not anybody you’d actually want to be with long term.)

In his twenties my then boyfriend (now husband) was sleeping in a Seattle basement with two friends, a lotta pizza boxes, seven computers, and some mice running around. I don’t think women expect bachelors to be all home-deco.

Maybe by-pass the club/bar scene and check out social groups, outdoor clubs, volunteer for movie societies, ect.

And if Vancouver women are really that bad, check out Seattle.

#189 Moneta on 03.05.11 at 3:51 pm

Jen on 03.05.11 at 2:46 pm
He’ll probably make you pay and ask you to sign a pre-nup.

#190 John on 03.05.11 at 3:52 pm

Sounds to me like Vancouver is full of shallow, high maintenance, Toys-R-Us little women. Walk away from them…….and keep looking for a frugal down to earth woman who cares about YOU, not all the material trappings. All those other guys are living in a fantasy world while all those women are hoodwinking them. In the end they will all end up alone and lonely high in debt with aging out-of-date material posessions that will be needing constant repairs and upkeep.

Stay the course……….keep taking the “road less travelled”, I guarantee you will come out victorious in the end…….I know, because I did!


#191 Michael on 03.05.11 at 3:52 pm


Not all the money in the world will be ‘sexy’ to the ladies if there’s no chemistry, charm, humor,and a genuine ability to listen rather than make it all about you and your financial assets.

You know what my experience is with women here? They all expect the big *flash* and *My soulmate* moment in the first five seconds.

I blame TV and our “instant gratification” culture.

But luckily, TV is here to explain this:

#192 early mid life crisis on 03.05.11 at 3:54 pm

@dateless: That goes for both sexes here. It’s probably even a little harder on the ladies b/c men are so visual. No one even notices I’m alive when i walk in to the hardware store in my work clothes with no make up on covered in drywal dust b/c i do 75% of my own renos to save money and increase my property value. Even before i owned a home i wasnt noticed in my second hand clothes, the wearing of which helped me save my downpayment. I’ve observed things over the years here and noticed that it seems the only ladies that seem to get noticed (and get dates) here are the frequent shoppers. I understand. They do look good. However, as much as i would like more dates i just dont have the energy to primp every time i leave the house. Who has time to for full body primping when they just need to pick up some tile? Not I. I know a lot of women who have great dating/sex lives but dont own a home or have a cent towards a downpayment. I can even think of a few who are in relationships that they arent thrilled with yet cant get out b/c ‘they cant afford it’. They can afford those sexy new boots though. I just sold, made a decent profit, and will live in my trailer until prices are lower or bottom out. I think to celebrate the closing i’ll hit value village and get a sexy new blouse. Maybe things will pick up now that i’m free from renos? Maybe I can meet someone handy with tools (ahem) before the next reno?

#193 GregW, Oakville on 03.05.11 at 3:58 pm

Hi chad, re: “and my teeth will never be Simon Cowell white.”
FYI, ask your dentist about this produce for teeth whitening. You might find it helpful depending on your personal circumstance?

#194 Crazy on 03.05.11 at 4:09 pm

Debtified said:

Re-posting a nice interactive chart that compares world-wide real estate statistics from the Economist. The more I play with it, the more I am convinced that we are following the path of the countries that are already in trouble..


Assuming this chart is accurate, I do not see how you can conclude that Canada is in trouble.

Between 1997 and 2006, prices in the USA tripled, and since then, fell 50%. Ok. So between 1997 and 2011, the US housing market increased about 200%.

The data for Canada shows a 180% increase between those same dates.

If you agree now that housing prices in the USA are reasonable, how do you conclude that Canada is overpriced?

Perhaps you could argue that Britain is due for a correction (400% since 1997), but that is not what we are talking about here.

If this data is correct, then any home in Canada should be about double its price from 1997 levels. If that is you, then it is a reasonable level. If you are more than that, then perhaps you could argue there is a problem.

#195 Crazy on 03.05.11 at 4:15 pm

Compare Canada, Britain, US, Spain, and Ireland, from 1996 to 2010

And relax!

#196 Steven Rowlandson on 03.05.11 at 4:24 pm

Garth are those the new world order chickens after enough people wake up?


#197 Timing is Everything on 03.05.11 at 4:26 pm

#170 Moneta

Maybe Chad should do the ‘mail order bride’ thingy….

from Scotland!

Thanks for the entertainment Garth. I’m easily amused these days. I’m gonna go get a sno-cone now…Ha!

#198 No crystal ball... on 03.05.11 at 4:33 pm


Someone once said to me that it really doesn’t matter if you share the same interests as your partner but you must share the same values in order for the relationship to work. Hearing that was a total light bulb moment as to why my former marriage didn’t work out. He valued status and all the spoils of wealth at the expense of living with incredible debt, which made me very uncomfortable and deeply unhappy.

You clearly value saving for your future, not worrying about where you live or what you drive, and the satisfaction you get from your job or else you wouldn’t be doing it. You need to find a woman who values the same things that you do and they are obviously out there based on some of the offers you have received here today! (Go figure – on Garth’s blog of all places!).

#138 Antibidoug said it right – you will have the last laugh when the bubble bursts. If you let some material girl entice you into changing who you are, you will jeopardize what you value. Your savings will be gone and she will soon follow. Then you will really know the meaning of miserable. Sounds corny but google “Doc Love” to get some pointers on the common dating mistakes guys make.

Good for you taking the road less traveled and not blowing all your savings to impress the chicks.

#199 Devore on 03.05.11 at 4:34 pm

#135 Herb

The entire working population of Canada has been turned into entrepreneurs by a wave of a magic wand. Pension problem solved.

That’s the same kind of nonsense as “well, if everyone sold and rented, who would we rent from?” A logical fallacy.

Not everyone can be an entrepreneur, just like not everyone can be a renter. People are NOT created equal. But that’s the beauty living in a world filled with people who are all different and have different abilities, aspirations, goals, priorities, and views and beliefs.

If it is possible for you to wrap your mind around this idea, then you can easily see how some countries can have more wealthy people and be more successful economically overall.

#200 bill on 03.05.11 at 4:37 pm

Great advice here in garths column today for you lad.
while things have changed in the 35 years since I was your age, may I offer this:
whatever your hobbie is you will find like-minded females there. I married the one who played keyboards in the band I did the sound for. NO regrets there. not one.
if you like motorcycles ,the only females that like these are at motorcycle events for the most part.
if you like to drive fast on a bike [or car] or race [mx or track],do not bring this up in casual conversation with chicks you meet. ever. later is better.
you plainly need a lesson on cool cars.
they are not bmw or mercedes or anything that pretends to be like that.
the exception to the mercedes is the diesel or smart car that they manufacture.
subaru or any car used in in rallies is cool.
any econobox with a ‘pipe’ is laughable. dont do it.
while an econobox that is stock and nicely maintained is cool.
campervans or conversions are cool.
suburbans with barndoors are cool but ones with the conventional back doors with tailgate are not.
vintage cars ,of course, are cool.
custom anycar can be cool if executed properly…
best to stay stock .
trucks are cool. but will limit your choice. rural women have no problem with a pickup. truck I mean.
and of course the rural girls are just fine.great even.
if you enjoy a recreational activity that is dangerous or perceived to be dangerous the only girls that will be interested are already doing this and thats where you will find them.
never ,ever, mention that you like guns or hunting to the city female. better to bring this up at a later date. rural females are far more tolerant in this respect.
i hope this is some help and carefully reread the other messages of advice.
absolutely great advice for the most part. pay close attention to the ones that the contributing females have written.

#201 BrianT on 03.05.11 at 4:41 pm

#194early-Yes men are very visual but you need to understand that they don’t view women the way women view women-that is a common misperception. No guy alive cares if you wear expensive shoes, boots or any other piece of clothing-only women care about that stuff. You can dress literally from the dollar store and visually attract all guys if you look good (and looking good for women has NOTHING AT ALL to do with wearing expensive clothing).

#202 Michael on 03.05.11 at 4:46 pm


Must be a Vancouver thing. Girls out here in To land aren’t as bad..

I always thought Vancouver was the land of Hippies and Birkenstocks.. Didn’t think materialism was associated with that so much. I must have spent too much time in Toronto..

(This is all subjective and anecdotal.. )

Actually it’s a Western thing. Though Vancouver is clearly the epicentre.

Simple put: Vancouver is all about image. You do get the “alternative” type out here too, but mostly that’s just a “mask” to pretend not to be like the rest.

A guy I know who’s lived and worked in Vancouver for well over a decade in the fashion photography industry told me: They may all pretend (in east van) that they want to make art for arts sake, but the reality is that what they really want is make a lot of money, so they copy whatever seems to be successful with very little creativity of their own.”

After experiencing some of the “East Van” crowd I would have to agree, and others I have met in the meantime too.

Vancouver may have been the land of hippies once, and I am sure there still some hiding in some nooks and crannies on the Gulf Islands, but in general that period has long gone.

It will be interesting to see what happens when it all goes bust here. It somewhat feels a little bit like the tail end of the .com bubble, thankfully the IT field has mostly been cleansed from all the wannabes a decade later. Maybe the same will happen in Vancouver, though I am not quite sure what hippy would want to life in Yaletown.

#203 BrianT on 03.05.11 at 4:50 pm

#186Timing-You said it-anyone can go to Phoenix and count all the residents with 2 or 3 million in net worth-it is a very small club at this point.

#204 bill on 03.05.11 at 4:51 pm

one more thing
any porsche is cool.they are however expensive.
poser cars cars such as z-28 ,mustangs,vipers corvettes,ferraris lambo’s ect are best left for the gold chain set.
the only exceptions are if they are being raced and then they are cool. and that narrows the field somewhat.
ferrais and lambos gave up their racing creds years ago.
vipers are a joke. even the one that set a hot lap at the ‘ring. its a truck motor.
the ones that were tested at ‘cycle world’ all left the track on a hook. ie towtruck.
street racing does not count.
please click on my name to see what fast really looks like on the ”street’ its of course supervised.

#205 rental monkey on 03.05.11 at 5:03 pm

Betcha Leanne with the attitude, is DA’S HOT 50 something wife! HAHAHAHA!

Kinda fun on the blog here today. Thanks for letting us all breathe a little Garth!

#206 CalgaryRocks on 03.05.11 at 5:19 pm

#187 Mr. Vmax on 03.05.11 at 3:27 pm
Garth…Harleys (1947 technology at futuristic prices) isn’t the only Motorcycle that makes men…men. For Chad, get a regularly priced, reliable, new MC AND keep your money…

One of the bikes I owned while living in Florida was a red hot Kawi ZX6R. It was only 7K brand new and paid for cash.

One Saturday, 2 girls followed me from the rest stop on alligator alley all the way to Ft. Lauderdale.

Another time, I waved a girl over at a red light and she followed me into a parking lot.

But then again, on another occasion this scary looking dude on a Harley gave me the finger simply because I was riding a crotch rocket. I wasn’t really worried, it’s not like the dude could catch up to me in his rolling la-z-boy.

But the moral of the story, when it comes to motorcycles, I guess you’ve got to play to your market. lol!

#207 Pat on 03.05.11 at 5:23 pm

Thanks to Chad, now we have some material for a psychoanalysis of this blog. What kind of people just love giving advice?

#208 Travelite on 03.05.11 at 5:35 pm

I found my Vancouver girl in Australia!

Frugal as anything but loves to travel and has the same view of housing as me and this blog.

Come down under Chad…

#209 Jen on 03.05.11 at 5:51 pm

The pickin’s are slim. No student debt and a steady job already puts him a cut above most men in our age bracket.

#210 Hoof-Hearted on 03.05.11 at 5:56 pm

Dangling Chad….

Youth is wasted in the young…

The babes will start to dry up…watch ” Mummy” re-runs.

The old High School re-union story….the jocks have put on about 100 lbs,bald,….. the hotties are on their 3rd marriage, 4 kids about 10 pounds of make-up , boob jobs….beauty is oh so subtle.

They certainly weren’t that materialistic when I was your age…

#211 Form Man on 03.05.11 at 6:00 pm

#183 observer

while lowering the interest rates undoubtedly helped Canada weather the economic downturn, the more likely answer is that we are simply a few years behind the U.S. They deregulated their mortgage industry starting in the the late 1990’s under the Clinton administration. It was accelerated under Bush, combined with low rates after 911. Canada did not begin deregulating in earnest until Harper and Flaherty came to power in 2006 ( about a 6 year lag ). By autumn of 2008 it was apparent to Flaherty what might happen here. He moved quickly and had CMHC take all the subprime mortgages off our banks. This exercise might be referred to as ‘extend and pretend’. In addition, Flaherty has not changed the downpayment requiremnts to 20% ( although that would be a good idea ) they are still at 5%. It is the U.S. that might move to a 20% requirement if Fanny and Freddy are dismantled. Given the deregulation time lag of 6 years
we might see the correction begin in Canada as late as 2014, although I think it will be 2012.

#212 Leanne on 03.05.11 at 6:05 pm

#176 Leanne, girlfriend, you is not too bright if you’ve been reading the comments and didn’t know that I am a woman and Wally is a nickname. (UK term of endearment).

Is that what your parents and friends have been telling you? Try googling the definition of wally – “a silly and inept person; someone who is regarded as stupid.”

I’m sure they mean it in an endearing way…Wally.

#213 S.B. on 03.05.11 at 6:23 pm

“Pastor” Garth, here is this week’s tally of souls saved: one

A mid-20’s co-worker of mine is getting married soon and was almost sold on a new 2000sq foot townhouse in Whitby, under construction

Cost: almost 370k, downpayment was to be 30k at best.

I ranted, raved, and unloaded as much fire and brimstone as possible: that CMHC, closing costs, land tax , propery taxes, interest costs would result in *zero* equity added within the first few years. And if prices dropped, then lookout.

A townhouse, any townhouse, in Whitby – just a bedroom community – is worth 280k at best, in my opintion. A new SFH should be in the 300’s, in normal times.

Thankfully he backed out, ostensibly because the location of the unit was too near the railway tracks. Divine intervention? Or cold feet? We’ll never know, but surely a miracle took place here. :P

Blog Dogs, grab the good book (Money Road) and hit the streets! Go door-to-door, saving the great unwashed masses. Smite the Realtors(r)! ;)

#214 S.B. on 03.05.11 at 6:28 pm

To add, here’s brand new Whitby townhouse corner unit for rent at $1550/mo. Maybe it’s the same development.

#215 Wally on 03.05.11 at 6:51 pm

Uh huh Leanne, I think I would know what it means. lol. You youngins don’t have enough life experience to even understand that ‘contex’ can play a role. The next time you’re in England ask a person (with at least a few wrinkles) if they’ve ever called a good friend a “Bloody Wally” whilst laughing their guts out. We Wally’s are treasured by our pals. Can you say that?

Oh, oh, you lose again. ;). Now behave.

#216 Wally on 03.05.11 at 6:54 pm

Sorry, ‘contexT’. iPhone mishap.

#217 VICTORIA TEA PARTY on 03.05.11 at 7:00 pm

Good stuff Chad, so far. You have a lot of friends out there in Garthland.

You’ll be one of the thrivers once all of this economic catastrophe/capitulation/collapse starts happening, thus leaving the economy everywhere looking, METAPHORICALLY, like Berlin, April 1945.

The first victims of this ongoing “change”, in Vancouver specifically, will be the recent skinny concrete and stainless tower dwellers/”owners,” and their, applicable, bimmer babes. The essential difference between them and you, is that they don’t know how to boil water. That’s an important aspect in the squirrel cooking process, I do believe.

This long-anticipated implosion of Vancouver (and Victoria) real estate will begin sometime after March 18, with those mortgage rules changes, ably assisted by oil prices punching into the high 120s, and outragous food prices.

By about June, when the stock and bond markets should start heading south (unless the US Central Bankster decides to unleash QE3, and flood the economic channels of the world with more hundreds of billions of useless US bucks) that overdue reckoning will also pile on top of the plastic tower crowd.

Meanwhile stick to what you’ve been sticking too. But ALSO look in all the right places for a girl friend. A lot of community-support groups and events attract very worthwhile women, some of whom may be terribly lonely and would appreciate your intelligence, awareness and companionship.

Go with optimism in your foot-steps, young man, and remember to always make sure the water has been properly boiled in order to make a fine cup of tea! Women do like tea! Tea as it should be. Civility.


So many lines in the sand and so much damned sand. From Morocco through Pakistan; from Ras Lanuf to Bahrain to Khartoum. Egypt is going up again. And Libya’s new tribal civil war is starting to grow very long legs.

Ras Lanuf, a huge oil refinery complex in eastern Libya is in “rebel” hands. It is one of a number of Libyan Mediterranean ports from whence refined oil and gas products are shipped to the world.

Libya has, arguably, the finest light crude to be found anywhere on the planet. It also has the largest oil reserves in Africa. Libya is CRUCIAL to the West’s insatiable desire for the black stuff.

Bahrain, looks like it could be a “problem” for “us” too. It is a major Mideastern financial hub.

And Saudi Arabia. What’s going on there that we’re not being told? Is the famous Ghawar (elephant) field going dry or not? What about the other big fields some of which can only be accessed by deploying huge off shore rigs and platforms in the Persian Gulf?

The “oppressed” Shi’ites encircle the Gulf from Iran in the east, through southern Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the Emirates, a point always worth mentioning. “We” are on tenter hooks, therefore.

I await with interest the oil price on Monday: Brent and WTI.

Load up the old chariot before then!

#218 Moneta on 03.05.11 at 7:07 pm

The pickin’s are slim. No student debt and a steady job already puts him a cut above most men in our age bracket.
Maybe he’s a real catch but I guess I’m stuck with too many years of people reading and a stereotype in my head. Not enough details to change my idea. In fact, if I were single, I’d dare go on a date just to see if I am right or wrong!

Unless he got financial help from someone, it means he does not spend much on anything, never mind hobbies.
He does not need to be that frugal. His saving is excessive. **Bells ringing *** If he can’t even spend on himself, imagine on a woman and the kids. She’ll be spending her time shopping around for the best deals on Kleenex boxes for the next 45 years.

I just can’t help wonder why an Alpha female would settle for a mattress on milk carts and rough toilet paper when she could probably win some Alpha male with a high paying job who would spend some on her. If she has a good income, she could put hers aside for protection.

I’m sure there is a woman out there for him, like 1 in a million.

But I could be wrong and this guy could be a frog that just needs a kiss.

#219 BrianT on 03.05.11 at 7:36 pm

#211Jen-What is hilarious is that this post has somehow thrown all the normal political correctness right out the window-can you imagine any guy saying “I don’t want anything to do with that smoking hot chick-she has student debt and no job”.

#220 Moneta on 03.05.11 at 8:00 pm

#211Jen-What is hilarious is that this post has somehow thrown all the normal political correctness right out the window
I’m finally getting even for all of Garth’s girlie pix.


#221 DARLENE on 03.05.11 at 8:02 pm

194 early mid life crisis on 03.05.11 at 3:54 pm

I think you have the wrong definition of work clothes. I always buy jeans that make my butt look good, even if they are second hand. I buy T shirts that are not crew neck so that they have a bit of femininity to them. My work clothes are my weekend clothes that are casual in nature but are flattering. When they are faded out they become work clothes. If your not getting hit on in the hardware store it’s because you look like your wearing a sack. Trust me on this one, you’ll only have to lift a few cases before some gentleman will come to help you. It works for me and I’m no Miss Bunny.

#222 Zenith on 03.05.11 at 8:15 pm

What is amusing about humans is that when they don’t get what they think they deserve (ie. the attention of women in the case of Chad), they blame out on others (ie. women all want bimmers and stainless) rather than looking for reasons from within.

Chad is not different. The attitude is that of the typical loser.

Blame out. Always.

#223 Moneta on 03.05.11 at 8:16 pm

And BTW, there has never been much political correctness on this blog.

At the risk of being politically incorrect once more, perhaps men have been more oblivious to its manifestation.

#224 Mean Gene on 03.05.11 at 8:18 pm

Hey Chad,

Take advantage of a working vacation visa before turing 30 year old, take off for Australia or some other far away land and meet some different people.

I work for the feds and took a year off and disappeared, it was a wonderful experience, something you can’t do when you are married or living common law; The best part, my job was there when I got back :-P

It is BS to accept the notion of enjoying your life when you retire, by that time your health maybe poor or there is something else stopping you.

How about going to Thailand and learning to scuba dive??

Good luck.

#225 pigeon patties on 03.05.11 at 8:31 pm

Sorry, I can’t take a whole weekend of dating advice for Chad!

I’m leaving now, I’ll close the door quietly on my way out.

See you monday.

#226 Moneta on 03.05.11 at 8:47 pm

Not all the money in the world will be ‘sexy’ to the ladies if there’s no chemistry, charm, humor,and a genuine ability to listen rather than make it all about you and your financial assets
When I met my husband, it was on a blind date.

We clicked. He had debt and I paid it off because I knew he’d always be there for me and our children, if we ever had any, no matter what.

So yes, there’s more to it than a big stock portfolio. It’s called chemistry, commitment and sharing.

#227 Macrath on 03.05.11 at 8:57 pm

Sheesh ! A cat fight on the dog blog !

Chad #137 – 40 feet of 20 year old sailboat. Best advice all day. Cheap on fuel although there are other expenses. But you won`t mind after a few Regatta parties. Sign up at the local Power Squadron. Unlike real estate the fun can begin even before you buy.

#228 Ret on 03.05.11 at 9:06 pm

Maybe US health care isn’t that expensive after all. If I saved $100-150000 on a house, I can afford a $16,000 by-pass.

How much does OHIP pay a hospital here for the same by-pass in Ontario? They should give Canadians the opportunity to pay the difference if the go stateside and get rid of the wait times here in Canada.

Link form the Globe & Mail today.

#229 Love this Blog on 03.05.11 at 9:19 pm

#69 Jeff Smith,

You slay me dude!! Let’s go lookin’ for chicks!

#230 early mid life crisis on 03.05.11 at 9:45 pm

@#223. I’m actually not looking to be hit on when i go to the hardware store or looking period. my point to dateless was: ‘live your life and your values for yourself and you will attract the same integrity’. For myself, i care more about saving, living, and planning a future. if there’s a decent man in that future great. If not at least my house will be paid off and i wont have to settle for financial reasons. Dateless: dont settle and be careful with the asian bride suggestion. I know a guy that is still in court. She turned on him before the paper was even dry. Now she’s got her citizenship, and he has to support her and her kid who’s not even his. To quote a friend: “It’s amazing what some guys will do out of loneliness”. 2 weeks later he met his own bride from hell and is still in court 15 years later. Ahhhh, being single has its advantages.

#231 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 03.05.11 at 9:52 pm

#136 Sven — “. . . stainless steel underpants . . .” Hmmm. Curious perspective.

Anything like this?

#180 debtified — Great post. Backpacking is a terrific way to go on the road less traveled, discover how people live in the real life, not in glitzy condos on the 377th floor somewhere.

#195 GregW, Oakville — Hi Greg — Good to see you’re still around!
4:05 clip Revolutions are coming and spreading, and Saudi Arabia.

Rupert Murdoch and FOX News “Worse still, it’s a threat to democracy.”

1:11 clip Inside Job trailer. “It’s an outstanding movie, but Lehman was a house of fraud…an over-leveraged cesspool of deception.”

US Nukes “The country is making more nuclear bombs, has been building them virtually non-stop for 65 years, . . . Nine thousand warheads, about a quarter capable of being triggered tomorrow, is a lot of product sitting around.”

3:30 clip “The Inner Harbor is Baltimore’s jewel and its model of economic development. But just a few blocks east or west, the streets tell a different story–a city crumbling under the weight of foreclosures, unemployment and deepening poverty.”

Small Town in Spain re-introduces the Peseto. “Kill them. Now.”

0:53 clip “YT comments: “1. Zbigniew Brzezinski is a mass murderer?! 2. Do the opposite? of whatever this fuck wants. Period.”

7:42 clip Greenback done and dusted? Plus L’End Part Deux “So, we really have no choice but to conquer the rest of the world to force them to use our paper money! Just line your children up in front of the recruiter’s desk over there.” — Official White Horse Souse (Actually, bankrupt TROTW).

4:10 clip Very interesting re: GC and GW.

Privatizing So city workers end up on welfare. US, then here. Same as what that California muni did a few days ago — outsource and offshore the work.

Don’t Worry, Be Happy! The fiscal collapse was canceled due to lack of interest. Whoa! Hold it there! Fiscal F*%&k Ups.

3:31 clip Silver at US$175 / oz.? Stay tuned!

#232 Jeannie on 03.05.11 at 9:55 pm

We’ve probably exhausted this subject (Chad), but must add that the comic-relief is a welcome respite from all the usual gloom n’doom.
Some of the advice from the well-meaning dawgs had me in stitches… ‘Iron your shirts’ ‘Stand up straight’ ‘Learn to make a nice cup of tea’ and more, hilarious.

My vote for the best advice to Chad comes from #180.

Get yourself a backpack and go explore this fascinating planet.
I met my spouse when we were both traveling around the world, and two of my boys met their significant others in foreign countries, Australia and Brazil.
Nothing sexier than a guy with a backpack, and scruffy hiking boots…it spells ‘Adventure’.

The words ‘Romance’ and ‘love’ haven’t been mentioned much here, so I hope you find the love of your life. Plenty of time for mortgages, baby bottles, and a ‘secure’ gov’t job.

#233 jen on 03.05.11 at 9:59 pm

Paul Krugman is worried about Canada!

#234 Herb on 03.05.11 at 10:01 pm

#201 Devore,

speaking of logical fallacies, I’ll tell you what the real one is: Poverty is the result of “inertia, temerity and ignorance”, prosperity the result of their opposites.

Isn’t that what’s being propounded at great length on this site? If you haven’t got $100K on the side by the age of thirty, you are toast. If you haven’t got the smarts (never mind the money) to hire a good advisor and invest in ETFs and Pfds, there is no financial salvation for you. If you haven’t got $1M when you retire, you are going to run out of money before you run out of life. And Canada is going to go broke because of the pension problem resulting from so many people not saving their shekels and having $1M on retirement.

I should have known that countering that with a reductio ad absurdem would be too subtle. Do we have a pension problem? Of course. Is that due to inertia, temerity and ignorance? Well, in some cases, perhaps, but what about the vast majority of Canadians who couldn’t accumulate $1M during their lifetimes no matter how hard they worked or frugally they lived? Do we “renew” them as in “Logan’s Run”? Do we ignore them because we’re all right? Do we try to solve the problem?

Some people are smarter and more capable than others, and some countries are wealthier than others. (I have no problem wrapping my mind around that, Devore, although I don’t recall raising personal or national disparities.) But consider the fact that there is no equality of talents and no equality of opportunity. Let’s not add insult to injury by pretending that there is, and that those who do not wind up fixed for life screwed up. Where is the realism in that?

#235 The American on 03.05.11 at 10:11 pm

At #230: Ret, or you can just purchase health insurance through your employer for about $150/month for 90% coverage. You’ll have a deductible of $1,500. After the deductible has been fully honored, the rest is on the insurance company. If you have that bypass, you’ll only be out $1,600 for a year’s premiums, plus your $1,500 deductible. Grand total for the year, contingent you even have the by-pass, $3,100. Additionally, you’ll be completely covered in all other matters for the year up to 100% because the deductible has been met. I’m sure Canadians spend at least that amount in additional tax basis each year to cover their healthcare.

I had a 4-day sting in the ICU on a respirator a couple years ago, and then another week in a private hospital bed after I was release from the ICU. Then another 6 sessions of follow-up care. Grand total for everything was a little over $137,000. However, I had insurance through my employer (most are required to provide it). My total out-of-pocket expenses for the entire year, including monthly premiums, were $3,100 and about $200 for all prescription medication (that would have been near $2,800 had I not had coverage).

Every other year in my life, my total out-of-pocket expenses for my policy, doctor’s visits, all blood work, check ups, any kind of body scans, and any medications runs about $2,000/year.

The problem with people living in the U.S. and Americans, is many are too lazy and cheap to purchase the coverage. And, of course, many just cannot afford the premiums. Today, there are about 50,000,000 people, not all Americans, without coverage (of course, this number includes all illegal-Aliens too, so that is a bit of a “fudged” number to outsiders, considering about 12,000,000 are illegal). Although the health care law signed by President Obama in March last year is designed to insure an additional 32 million people in public and private programs, it doesn’t fully kick in until 2014. We’re working on it, as you can see. You should ALWAYS consider insurance coverage as a monthly expense and work that into your monthly budget. Many Americans, including illegal aliens, just don’t do it though. It should be mandatory in my opinion. Also, legislation should be passed banning insurance companies from denying or adding surcharges to people with preexisting health conditions. That REALLY pisses me off. One way or another, Americans definitely pay for it, whether or not a person is covered. Six eggs in one, half a dozen in the other.

#236 S.B. on 03.05.11 at 10:13 pm

In the Land of the Free, Home of the Brave… :roll:

“Day(s) of Rage” will come to USA soon enough. We’re no different than “over there”. WW3 began in 2001 or slightly earlier, and we’re the enemy make no mistake.

Why do America’s police need an armored tank?
Law enforcement says vehicles save lives; other experts say it’s just overkill

America’s most in-demand police vehicle is a 10-officer 16,000-pound armored tank that takes bullets like Superman and drives 80 mph. The federal government buys dozens each year for local police departments. Do America’s local police need tanks?

#237 poco on 03.05.11 at 10:13 pm

#183 Observer–I will require further verifiable and quantifiable data etc etc –you sound like a character from The Wizard of Oz
–do you rely on CREA numbers for your data or the spin from unreliable media and realtors??? that’s how most of the uninformed determine how the re market is doing
there’s 100 thousand realtors in Canada–you must have a friend or relative in the business-get the true facts

#213 Form Man–2014–you’re joking,right?

i will reiterate once again –prices are dropping on the west coast–another new complex just lowered their asking price 20k-25k–can’t sell them 1988 suffolk poco

sales to list ratio still around 30 to 35 %
last week over 60 price drops in the tri-cities
there are still sales,but property still on the market from last spring –price drops and still not moving

#238 Throwstone on 03.05.11 at 10:24 pm

Funny how the girls magically appear with comments and availability about some story about a dude with $200K….

Hmmm…wonder what the motive is their….

#239 Devore on 03.05.11 at 10:29 pm

#236 Herb

Too much passive-aggressive in this post, and on this blog in general. Seems a common Canadian trend. Perhaps that’s why we’re not as entrepreneurial as our southern neighbours? Maybe you should just make your point so we can move on, instead of reducing yourself to impressing us with your reductio ad absurdum skills.

If you define prosperity as having a million dollars, then you are right, many will fail before they even start. But the point of prosperity is not about becoming a millionaire, but ending up better off than when you started. Better than if you just keep doing what you’re doing now. And EVERYONE is capable of that.

#240 Love this Blog on 03.05.11 at 10:31 pm

#131 The American

Good post. People should heed your words, even if at first blush they don’t like them.

#241 tran, Calgary on 03.05.11 at 10:32 pm

Richmond and Vancouver’s west side are still piping hot; mainland Chinese’s effect

#242 Form Man on 03.05.11 at 10:49 pm

*239 poco

ya, kind of joking. I’m in Kelowna and the bubble popped here 2 years ago. prices are now down 20% from the peak in 2008. Kelowna has 20 months inventory at current rate of sales. Vancouver and Toronto are likely peaking now. As you note, going into the Fraser Valley east of downtown Van seems to be dropping now. Media does not seem to have picked up on any of it yet. I will say the March 18 change in the mortgage rules seems to have caused a small buying spurt here in the last couple of weeks, but only for the absolutely lowest priced stuff. Nothing else is moving. So to re-phrase; meltdown in Vancouver starts in 2012 at the latest ( but maybe 2011 ) media will pick up on it by 2014. The Kelowna media have been absolutely silent so far, and our meltdown is 2 years in !

#243 robert james on 03.05.11 at 10:59 pm

Price drops, indeed!!! In the kelowna paper today this ad appeared,, Terrivita Security Gated Golf Course Living (condo developement near a golf course) Was $344,900 Now $151,900…

#244 Utopia on 03.05.11 at 11:03 pm

137 Trendy

“Chad: Forget the crack shack suite you’re living in. Buy yourself 40 feet of 20 year old sailboat (most are practically brand new – just sitting at the wharf month after month)”.”

Not a bad idea actually. You can rent a good size comfortable boat and live aboard year round for under 600. Why buy it?

#245 robert james on 03.05.11 at 11:06 pm

Sorry… Terrivita Was $344,900 Now FROM $151,900 Anyway,,you get the idea..

#246 CalgaryRocks on 03.05.11 at 11:11 pm

Many Americans, including illegal aliens, just don’t do it though. It should be mandatory in my opinion. Also, legislation should be passed banning insurance companies from denying or adding surcharges to people with preexisting health conditions. That REALLY pisses me off.

I agree with you and this is exactly what Obama’s plan is all about.

I don’t think that the costs that you quoted include the portion of healthcare premiums that your employer pays. It gets really expensive if you are unemployed. I know because when I quit my job I had the opportunity to pay for the coverage myself through Cobra(sp?) and it was 300$ for a single guy in his twenties.

I can only imagine the cost for a family of 4.

#247 Love this Blog on 03.05.11 at 11:27 pm

#220 Moneta

WOW! You proved everything Chad said, when YOU said:

“I just can’t help wonder why an Alpha female would settle for a mattress on milk carts and rough toilet paper when she could probably win some Alpha male with a high paying job who would spend some on her. If she has a good income, she could put hers aside for protection.”

I especially liked the part where the female could live off the male’s wage, and “put hers aside for protection”

I guess, “Equality” only applies to the earning end, not the spending end??

#248 bill on 03.05.11 at 11:33 pm


”I could well be mistaken, GT – but to all outward appearances that throttle assembly and front brake circuit/fluid reservoir looks vintage Harley…”

you called it man…if it isnt a hog, it is a hog clone. Its no bicycle.
I wonder if garth rides a fulldresser and feels all other bikes are , shall we say ..lesser? or did garth really reply?
I think garth needs a little two stroke noise…
harley riders often hear this sound passing them…quickly

incidently the second bike had more horsepower than a harley did at the time.
ahh the memories.

#249 Timing is Everything on 03.05.11 at 11:35 pm

#80 Grooby

Things change much quicker today than in 40 B.C.. Information moves at the speed of light.
It’s a small world after all….

#250 tmg on 03.06.11 at 12:03 am

Hey Garth, if you can get Chad a date, can you find me a 5 bedroom rental on the westside of Vancouver? (not the dump on 24th and Crown….there’s a reason that puppy’s sitting!)

#251 Michael on 03.06.11 at 12:03 am


Unless he got financial help from someone, it means he does not spend much on anything, never mind hobbies.
He does not need to be that frugal. His saving is excessive. **Bells ringing *** If he can’t even spend on himself, imagine on a woman and the kids. She’ll be spending her time shopping around for the best deals on Kleenex boxes for the next 45 years.

I just can’t help wonder why an Alpha female would settle for a mattress on milk carts and rough toilet paper when she could probably win some Alpha male with a high paying job who would spend some on her. If she has a good income, she could put hers aside for protection.

I’m sure there is a woman out there for him, like 1 in a million.

You sound like my ex: “I don’t like spending my money, but I have no problem spending yours.”

As she wasn’t kidding that ended. Enjoy your “Alpha Male”, if he’s that pussy whipped he clearly must be a “top Alpha”. *snort*.

#252 Rick in Japan on 03.06.11 at 12:21 am

#233 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad
“Inside Job” is well worth seeing. Well put together and presented.
I am glad we are seeing a move away from some guy’s dating life. . .

#253 45north on 03.06.11 at 12:24 am

Instead of learning from the American experience, we mock it. And then we repeat it.

pretty funny

S.B. Go door-to-door, saving the great unwashed masses. Smite the Realtors(r)!

also pretty funny. I think that most here would rather die than go door-to-door.

reminds me of the old movie: Family Business with Mathew Broderick, Sean Connery:

“you better hope that God does not have a sense of humour”

#254 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 03.06.11 at 1:13 am

Utah has taken the first step in coming out of the closet. So there! Plus Tariffs On the edge of revaluation.

Everybody wants to invade Libya! What do they have that we don’t?

Flip Flops in the snow. Yes, GW does indeed cause bigger snow drifts, and warped, stained science proves it.

An Arabian Union? That may screw the west’s plans up if they bypass the WH and go with China and Russia, and Brzezinski Seems he may have something to do with all of this; he is the spreading cancer.

Gas Getting pricier.

Remember PIIGS? Passing the buck (onto taxpayers).

Obama’s Big Box.

5:52 clip Hate comes to Orange County, and Worst Recession in 50 years.

Engineered Chaos in Africa. Not you, Chaos, just the orchestrated stuff!

Link in. Never mind Houseageddon, Moonageddon takes centre stage shortly.

Links in. Edgar Cayce was an interesting person. Read his stuff eons ago. He only covered the lower psychic regions, not the higher spiritual ones but at least he opened some eyes.

#255 Moneta on 03.06.11 at 1:16 am

Love this Blog on 03.05.11 at 11:27 pm
Of course I proved what he said.

Just being pragmatic.

#256 Nemesis on 03.06.11 at 1:32 am

[email protected]#250…

Thanks for that 2-stroke flashback, Bill – sweet, sweet nostalgia indeed! All the more so when you allow that I ‘popped my motorcycle cherry’ on one of these…

Ah, but that was then…

Ah, a man’s first bike… like his first ‘proper’ kiss, is a memory to cherish (and although a motorcycle, improperly used, may kill you – it will never break your heart)… [just kidding, girlz]

More to the point, Bill what follows is now… (Caution, no peeking GT – viewing either of the following could permanently impair your attachment to AmericanIron – an orthodox predilection I always regarded as curious for an otherwise erudite and discerning man of letters – but never mind, as your taste in wives is unassailably impeccable we’ll cut you some slack)…

On the dyno, Nemesis’ ride sounds like this…

And in it’s native habitat, like this…

Bring your Hog to the HillBillyRiviera, GT – and we’ll see how it handles on GreenMountainRoad… ;)

#257 Bruce on 03.06.11 at 1:52 am


I live in a small city in SW Ontario. A town of roughly 43,000 people. Some rather interesting developments here. We spent over $20 million dollars and 15 years restoring an old movie house into a beautiful new performing arts centre. Though many were split on this project right from the beginning, the place finally opened after much fanfare and hoopla last September.

Merely six-months later, the place is now bankrupt and has been taken over by the city. To say that people are livid is an understatement. With unemployment running in the double-digits and the threat of a double-dip recession growing every day, this project is/was a colossal waste of money and resources. They were told right from the outset that it wouldn’t fly–but chose not to listen and now we’re going to be stuck with a money-losing cesspit that will only cater to a privileged few. This theatre had no business model, was grossly over-budget and now only 6 months into its new life has racked up half-a-million dollars in debt. When I think of what kind of other things that money could have been spent on, it makes me sick to my stomach…

The point I’m trying to make here is that this theatre was a perfect example of government waste, and how daftly incompetent our society has become in taking on a venture and buying property they KNEW they couldn’t afford in the first place! Some even argue that it was DOOMED to fail. Now we’re stuck with a white elephant that’s going to become a drain on our municipal resources. And since we, the taxpayers, are basically stuck with this thing(something the majority didn’t want in the first place), I’m curious to see exactly how they’re going to handle this boondoggle. What a three-ringed circus.

#258 Stevie B on 03.06.11 at 3:01 am

Ever heard of catching a falling knife? I would rather wait for a rebound in US housing and pay 10% more than to try to time the US housing market on the downside. Contrarian investing, I’m all for it, when I see things beginning to stabilize. In the last Depression stocks fell 90% and real estate fell 85% before things stabilzed. If history repeats itself, or even comes close, we still have quite aways to go. When we do hit bottom I don’t believe there’s a V recovery in the works.
One thing is for sure that has held true for me. Due your own due diligence and when you make YOUR decision be prepared to live with it.

#259 OttawaMike on 03.06.11 at 4:00 am

Oprah called. She wants her blog back.

According to Schiller, US housing is at 1890’s pricing with inflation factored in. Of course Detroit and Cleveland probably skew the average a bit.

#260 HatingVancouverAlso on 03.06.11 at 4:24 am

Chad, I just turned 24, am living in the Lower Mainland, and am not really looking for a date. Just wanted to say that I am sorry you (we) are surrounded by stupid people. FYI, whenever I see a guy under 30 with a brand new car that I estimate to have cost even $30G – $40G I guess that he is likely A. living with his parents still or B.heavily financing (which makes me think that he’s either dumb, or lacks priorities.)

I would take a beat up old truck with a guy who has a good head on his shoulders over a man with shiny teeth who lives off plastic any day. We both know which of these two life styles is sustainable, and it will hopefully soon become apparent to the rest of the (especially young) population too.

I was actually just speaking to a co-worker, (25 yo female) and she expressed to me that one of her biggest concerns when looking to the future and thinking about finding a mate will be finding a guy who’s financially responsible and has self restraint in that regard. Seem’s she’s not to impressed with what she see’s going on either. We’re not all crazy.

And my god, $200G’s at 28, congrats! I wonder what percentage of your working class piers could say the same.

#261 mel on 03.06.11 at 5:12 am

Well, as usual I have heard recent CBC housing porn on TV, and as usual, there is no limit as to how much a house is in demand…yada…yada…

Well, I have taken a look on those impressive house prices, and came to a decesion I would rather buy a house in Germany, house in Florida, house in Arizona, and I would have enough money left over to invest so that all my housing expenses would be covered for years to come.

After seeing some of the beauties, I would not even consider these ugly houses for my renting needs. Some of them look like a crack houses.

Honestly, all of this is becoming a mental character problem for all of those who participate in this housing crap.

#262 SafetyBear on 03.06.11 at 5:33 am

“It takes confidence and courage to buy when others sell, to turn and walk against the crowd”

Noble words Garth but you and I are gonna have to disagree on the last 50% of your “Sell Canadian, Buy American” campaign. I agree with your boots on the ground in Florida. USA is starting down the back of a GFC mkII or at least a mighty aftershock from GFC I. And people in Christchurch New zealand’ll tell you those aftershocks can be deadly too if the original event softened things up a bit.

USA hasn’t hit bottom yet and looking down from the twin precipices in Australia and Canada that should be enough to frighten the living crap out of any mortgagee who’s waking up.

#263 palebird on 03.06.11 at 6:24 am

#250 That is funny..I too love to antagonize harley of the great sports..

#264 palebird on 03.06.11 at 6:31 am

#212 too funny..they are even worse these days..most are thirty to fifty pounds overweight and it is just tooo brains whatsoever..oh it’s so heavy..

#265 David B on 03.06.11 at 8:04 am

Top 37 cities in the world for pay …..No Vancouver

#266 Rural Rick on 03.06.11 at 9:44 am

#259 Bruce good synopsis of the current situation but you forgot to mention the part where we were assured that no public money would be needed for the project. The theatre does provide some entertainment value for the population just not on the stage. Sure hope the people wake up a boot out the politicians that allowed this to happen. Now if I can just find a hospital bed…

#267 eddy on 03.06.11 at 10:50 am

I agree that Florida looks like it is still dropping.
Check this site, it has an article about Florida toll booths and `legal tender“

#268 Gov't worker on 03.06.11 at 11:14 am

With all the talk of RE losing it’s value. What do we think the average price per square foot should be? I also assume there will be a lot of tradespeople unemployed too. These are things that no one has really discussed. Will prices from Home Depot/Lowe’s/Rona/etc will they all come down as well?

Being in Ottawa our houses aren’t quite priced like Vancouver/Toronto our average house price last I heard was 320k.

#269 Macrath on 03.06.11 at 11:17 am

#259 Bruce

Same situation in my southern Ontario town except the grand plan is a 16 million + cost overruns sports complex. Those chickens in the tub are municipal politicians. The water here is terrible and expensive but what`s more important good drinking water or sports ?

#270 Mr. Vmax on 03.06.11 at 11:22 am

And for the Harley Lovers!!!
Check out HD’s latest innovations!!!

#271 Ex-Cowtown on 03.06.11 at 11:43 am

bill on 03.05.11 at 4:51 pm

one more thing
any porsche is cool.they are however expensive.


Technically not. A mid 80’s 911 with low miles will cost you less than most new cars. They are also bullet-proof, reasonably easy to maintain, simple, extremely well built, tons of aftermarket parts are available so you aren’t at the mercy of the dealership, computer systems are minimal, and a hell of a lot of fun. Insurance isn’t outrageous either.

And then you can drive it for 5 years and sell it for what you paid for it. Try that with a new Bimmer.

And chix dig 911’s more than Bimmers. Just ask my wife!

#272 Pr on 03.06.11 at 11:44 am

Nothing gonna happen, as for real estate correction, until interest rates going higher. But the rulers can play the game for years, accept that, sheep’s, are do something about it.

#273 Popeye the sailor man on 03.06.11 at 11:46 am

It is possable with some capital gains to save a lot of money I was able to save 22,000 in 9 months when I was newly single in 2000, because I was saving for a place. Then made 45 grand in flipping it, others can make a good bet in the stock market. I maxed out RRSP using venture capital funds in BC which gave back about 65-70 of my money back which I folded back in massed 60 grand in 7 years with about 1,600 a year out of pocket.

I also know of others that work two jobs to save up money. Read the millionair next door.

As a sailor I know I can live with very little for a whole month; one dufflebag of work cloths, a USB stick with some software, a Garth Turner book to read, and talk to people.

But I do agree with one comment for Chad, you have proven to save, balance is good, so get a good used car and dress fairly normal to nice; it does matter to the ladys even none material ones they are judged by there friends and family and so will you, a new relationship can go off track for the smallest of reasons.

Good luck in finding your other half; cheers.

#274 Still waiting on 03.06.11 at 12:00 pm

Don’t know if we should be listening to advice from someone who respects the views of Paul Krugman. Anyway, here’s a bit of reading for youall.

Is Canadian housing the next domino?

#275 jess on 03.06.11 at 12:19 pm

#127 Mr. B
…forgive my ignorance but,do banks give cheaper mortgage rates to their employees? and if so is, is this a wage supplement that goes untaxed as income.

#276 The American on 03.06.11 at 12:21 pm

Meanwhile, in other new: China’s getting interesting…

#277 Adventures in Sea-Tac with Moneta on 03.06.11 at 12:25 pm

267 Dabe B – the list is hardly exhaustive. I hardly think
people in Nairobi earn more on average than Van,
Calgary, Ottawa, SF, Boston, DC……..

#278 Adventures in Sea-Tac with Moneta on 03.06.11 at 12:26 pm

Oops – sorry – Dave B

#279 S.B. on 03.06.11 at 12:26 pm

Here are pictures of the bleak Cityplace condo ‘ghetto’ in Toronto that Caryle mentioned:

#280 Ret on 03.06.11 at 12:30 pm

Re: #259 Local tax dough squandered on the arts center.
If a government says that something is needed and will be good for the local economy, it is definitely not needed and will cost the taxpayer lots of $ forever.

Hamilton loses $7 million a year on the HECFI entertainment division. The farmer’s market loses $30,000 a month and it is open 3 days a week. Maybe 3 of the stall holders grow what they sell. The rest are hucksters. We have a $10 million art gallery that probably <1% of the population have ever visited. How about a $9 million dollar pedestrian bridge over the QEW used by less than 100 people a day to walk their dogs or bike ride over to Confederation park?

Meanwhile residents suffer because roads and sewers are falling apart. Lots of homes in the lower city have basements filled with raw sewage after any "100 year" storm. How do you have three, 100 year storm events in five years? What would you expect when you let your developer buddies hook up thousands of new "mountain" homes to a 1940's sewer system.

Council diverts millions away from infrastructure to spend on pet projects such as the upcoming Pan-Am games while residents live in fear that their basement will fill with sewage and they will denied another insurance claim.

Ghadafi said it, "ballot box democracy is for donkeys." When it comes to local government outside the Ford Nation in T.O., truer words were never spoken.
RE in Hamilton? Consider yourself to have been advised.

#281 S.B. on 03.06.11 at 12:33 pm

When is the next installment of Moneta’s exciting adventures at Sea-Tac?? :D

#282 OttawaMike on 03.06.11 at 1:12 pm

#272 Mr. Vmax on 03.06.11 at 11:22 am
That is funny.

Cut Turner some slack on his ride, you have to understand he’s an Eng. Lit. grad. They don’t teach you about good engineering there.

Besides he’s done extremely well for himself and broken free from the rest of his Eng. Lit. peer group serving fries over at Harvey’s.

#283 Burnt Norton on 03.06.11 at 1:18 pm

#108 Leanne on 03.05.11 at 9:55 am

#189 Wally on 03.05.11 at 3:43 pm

Thanks Wally – cool, glad u got the classic bike reference. The double-entendre of my handle is also the title of one part of TS Eliot’s Four Quartets.

Hey Leanne – Wally is right, I am hot, and well off / own in Vancouver. You two can fight over me. The winner gets to join me surfing in Tofino for the rest of the weekend. (but if Wally wins she’s gotta change her name).

Boys, looks like we got a cat scrap going. LOL.

#284 WesternCanadian on 03.06.11 at 1:22 pm

This is why I think Alberta is different.

#285 jess on 03.06.11 at 1:33 pm

gun registration and “straw buyers” what good is that if the gun that kills you is the gun your employer sells “tracks” is the gun that ends up killing you. Taking it on chin has returned to bite ya on the ass….while in the meantime, the gun lobbyists must have enjoyed those forward looking statements….

#286 jess on 03.06.11 at 1:38 pm

MONTPELIER, Vt. — Chances are you’ve never heard of Peter Shumlin, who last month was sworn in as the 81st governor or Vermont. That’s about to change. If Shumlin makes good on a signature campaign promise, he might end up as well-known and beloved in the United States as Tommy Douglas is in Canada.

OK, maybe you’ve never heard of Tommy Douglas, either. A former Baptist preacher and member of the Canadian parliament, Douglas is considered the father of Canada’s popular government-run medical insurance program.

If you’re surprised to learn that Canadians like that system, it’s probably because you’ve been convinced otherwise by a years-long propaganda campaign from American insurers — a campaign I used to help carry out as an industry PR executive….

Shumlin is hoping to do in Vermont what Douglas accomplished first as premier of Saskatchewan — implement a publicly financed system that guarantees universal access to medical care and controls costs better than private insurers. If Shumlin pulls it off, other states undoubtedly will attempt the same thing, just as other Canadian provinces followed Saskatchewan’s lead.

News analyst Wendell Potter, a former insurance company executive, is the author of Deadly Spin: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans.

#287 Daisy Mae on 03.06.11 at 1:48 pm

“robert james on 03.05.11 at 10:59 pm
Price drops, indeed!!! In the kelowna paper today this ad appeared,, Terrivita Security Gated Golf Course Living (condo developement near a golf course) Was $344,900 Now $151,900”

……in Scottsdale, Arizona.

#288 Macrath on 03.06.11 at 2:18 pm

#282 Ret
Thanks for the caveat emptor. The more I research the region the more I`m convinced to stay a tenant. Mobile and liquid.

#289 NP on 03.06.11 at 2:21 pm

Moneta said she paid of her husband’s debt. I did too, but it was only $1K back then. I met my husband via telephone originally. He was a next door neighbour of a friend’s bro. in Mtl. The 3 of us would get together for dinner and wine and she’d call her bro. My husband was at her bro’s place across the hall. We 3 went to Mtl and stayed w/her bro. Labour Day wkend. My husband came for dinner one eve. I wanted a coloured TV so he took a day off and took us everywhere to get the best deal. Friend’s bro, his g’friend and we went to a nearby club one eve and my now husband turned up. Day later sis, g’friend & I left for QC to spend a few days on our way back. Three of us went out to supper and a jazz club after. Sis & friend took a taxi back and I stayed to listen to jazz. When I arrived back at the hotel, my now husband was at the reception desk – 1 am in the morning. He stayed with us and left Sun. 12pm to drive back to Mtl to go back to work. I flew up each month (he didn’t have the money). He arranged to fly down at Christmas to spend it with ALL of our large family. Week before Xmas he was offered a well paying trade teaching position. Our LD calls were exorbitant. He came for Xmas, baked cookies with my Mom tho they did not speak the same language, went out with my 3 bros who could not fully communicate with him. The following June he moved down and lived with my sis and I in our TH. Took English as a 2nd language for 6 mos. Sis & I got married same day a year later. He had several difficult years, taking year long robotics training and then another yr long IT. His English is almost better than mine now :-)


PS – Yesterday, IIRC, I said I was not originally physically attracted to my husband. True. But looks, etc. fade with time. Personality, integrity, etc. lives on.

#290 Kitchener1 on 03.06.11 at 2:24 pm

#281 S.B

Its the same story the city over. Condos are built to max spec and work tendered to the lowest price contractor.

I was downtown last week and thought to myself about how the cityplace ghetto resemebles the housing blocks seen in Moscow and Eastern Europe, even the UK.

#291 Daisy Mae on 03.06.11 at 2:33 pm

Re Chad’s dilemma. I believe it’s important to ‘woo and win’ and that means spending a few bucks — in the beginning. I recall a man who was late arriving at the coffee shop, so I paid for my own coffee. Strike 1. He asked where I’d like to go and, of course, being a woman I suggested a fine meal in a nice restaurant with lots of ambience and candlelight — something ROMANTIC. He told me he was on a diet and suggested a nice bike ride, instead…. Strike 2. The end. LOL

#292 Daisy Mae on 03.06.11 at 2:36 pm

Oh, by the way….as you can see I didn’t stick around for Strike 3.

#293 Dating advisor on 03.06.11 at 2:42 pm

Dude, no reason you can’t have a fantastic girl who appreciates your thrift. First, ask a brutally honest neutral observer friend if your hygiene or fitness could use some help, nothing to do with $20k smiles. Then ask yourself if you’re being a hypocrite. If you go after nicely-clad, brazilian-waxed, mani-pedi-cured, glossy-maned lovelies, you are a jerk. It’s two-faced to pride yourself on your thrift if you also prize the arm-candy look. That look costs a lot of time and money to maintain.

Live by your values. If you scorn the choices the arm-candy look demands, choose another look to admire. Pine instead for women who live a life that’s consistent with your financial values. You must not have looked, because they’re everywhere: at half-marathons, volunteer venues, flea markets, art fairs, concerts, museums, libraries, schools of Vancouver. Or, fall in love with an heiress who doesn’t care about your teeth and the stained passenger seat of your car. In any case, stop pointing the “shallow” finger at others.

Regarding Florida vs Vancouver real estate: perhaps it’s not a question of whether Florida has yet bottomed, but whether near-term Florida real estate vagaries would destroy less net worth than might Vancouver’s in the next couple of years, and regain value faster. I don’t know, but that is the question. Relative hazard.

#294 Secondisbest on 03.06.11 at 3:27 pm

Wow almost 300 comments. What is the record Garth?

#295 Secondisbest on 03.06.11 at 3:32 pm

forget RE talk just turn this website into a dating site and your good to go.

#296 confused and a little crazed on 03.06.11 at 3:35 pm

chad dude,

this is probably one f the most fun discussions in this blog dating in relatin to realestate/ materialism

Most bloggers are just ignoring the real estate bulls entries…but that goes to show how obsessed they are

just to reaffirm the other points
Yes…stayng fit and active very important. I play either basketball or floor hockey once a week and work out twice. End result I’m still wearing the same jean size when I was going to university. I have some grey on my temples but essentially everything else is the same

Clean yourself up. the general grooming stuff wwith nice haircut and dress for the situation . no sweats for pubs

highschool reunions: yes the jocks / party hard …drink harder. Alot are overweight and bald/ balding. Some guys can carry the look but most cannot

the popular girls. let just say smoking and partying for them has really changed them

bottom line : take care of yourself- Physically, emotionally and financially then your ready for your soulmate hunt

I may take up dancin…sounds like a bit of fun…thanks bloggers……maybe that is??? definitely out of my comfort zone

#297 Hoof-Hearted on 03.06.11 at 3:40 pm

#282 Ret

Yeah…IMHO, the warning signs of a black swan clusterf*ck is when Local Gov’ts start delving into bread and circuses issues.

For them to tackle basic infrastrucuture is not sexy and an admission of failure .

Most of these elected airheads want their name on a brass plaque…

#298 S.B. on 03.06.11 at 3:58 pm

They are talking up the latest version of the 1 Bloor St. condos in Toronto:

The 204 units average $550 per sq. ft. plus a maintenance fee of 51 cents per sq. ft. (excluding hydro, cable and phone) and are spread amongst three eight-storey buildings, which Mr. Invidiata says will create a culture “of people getting to know each other.” Two-thirds of purchasers hail from the area and average in their mid-50s, though Mr. Invidiata says they have a youthful mentality – “If you’re 60 you’re thinking 30 and if you’re 70 you’re thinking 35” – and appreciate the ambiance.

#299 on 03.06.11 at 4:00 pm

# 281. S.B

I drive past the CityPlace condo site everyday. They remind me of low-cost HongKong ghetto apartments.

Entirely made of cheap concrete, cookie cutter design (right down to the postage-size balconies that the people tarp over to create an extra “room” or “kitchen”) and high density (where you can look right into the building next door to see the tenant-couple fighting).

In 3-4 years after completion, the CityPlace is gonna look like socialist housing. Renters (cf. as a reult of who need to rent them out cuz condo prices collapsed) don’t care if the place rundown to crap. It’s not their place!

#300 Arianne on 03.06.11 at 4:04 pm

Interesting post. As a 28-year old woman in Vancouver with a Masters Degree with nearly the same amount of assets as Chad saved up for that seemingly mythical day when housing crashes and I can finally get in on a balanced market, reading about Chad is like finding out I have a male equivalent. Who knew he existed? Are you sure you’re not making this guy up Garth? To torment already beleaguered decent women in Vancouver? There are awesome women in Vancouver, but I find too often that guys get too distracted by the vapid, Yaletown Princesses to notice all the great women in this town who are attractive, well-educated, friendly, responsible and career-oriented. Call it the flaw of the male gender to get fixated by “altered” boobs and exposed skin not to notice these gals. We’re around, office-buildings full of us. All single, all wondering if there are guys in this town who do something other than smoke pot, use porn, and play video games all day.

That being said, who knows why Chad is still single? It could be anything, it could be beyond teeth that aren’t perfectly white. What does Chad look like? Hey, guys judge women by looks first (let’s be honest here), so in all fairness, I’d need at least a photo of this guy before I would go out on a date with him. Also, earlier posters point out important things: how fixated is he by his savings? For me, money is an means to an end: a house, a comfortable, possibly early, retirement, etc. but I do spend my money. These are some of the best yeas of my life. I’m not going to spend them huddled in a corner squirreling away every dollar. Yes, I’ve been wise and saved a lot in the years after university (which was paid for via scholarships in case you were wondering), but I’ve also shelled out for vacations (I’ve been all over Europe and Asia in the last 5 years with a couple of all-inclusives to Mexico and Cuba thrown in – Solo-style.); gym memberships; occasional night out with friends; nice clothes (not designer… there are smart way to look good without breaking the bank…) Does Chad do any of this? What’s his idea of a first date?

I don’t care about the car you drive (in fact, I get nervous if a guy is driving a ridiculously expensive car), but if your idea of a first date is McDonalds I’m outta there. Something creative like a picnic with a decent bottle of red? Now that’s thoughtful without breaking the bank…

I’m game if conditions are right. If anything it’ll make for an interesting story to add to the dating diaries.

#301 BrianT on 03.06.11 at 4:05 pm

#295Dating-Yes-a large % of the general public doesn’t understand math-when you buy a highly leveraged expensive Vancouver residence which is basically your main asset, even a small decline in value will hit very hard. OTOH a winter place in Florida purchased for peanuts can only do limited damage. The other thing is your potential gain is very limited on Vancouver or Toronto homes at this point-many don’t understand this because they feel a 1.5 million dollar place going to 2 million is a huge gain-it is only 33%. A place in Florida purchased at auction right now could easily triple or quadruple-that doesn’t mean it will, but the potential is there. At these prices, Vancouver simply doesn’t have that upside potential-it is similar to all the MSM pumping of CSCO back in the day-the price doesn’t matter because it is CSCO! The price going in is always more important than the price you sell for. Anyways, IMO USA RE is heading a lot farther down from here, but the opportunity to get great buys actually exists down there right now as it is not an efficient market-in Vancouver or Toronto it is impossible to get a buy at this point. Literally impossible.

#302 Williston Geo on 03.06.11 at 4:18 pm

#245 ***Price drops, indeed!!! In the kelowna paper today this ad appeared,, Terrivita Security Gated Golf Course Living (condo developement near a golf course) Was $344,900 Now $151,900…***

Actually $251,900. Check out their $100,000 Terraliving loan plan. The Realtor pumping these units took his ethics training with those high flying Chinese ‘investors’ in Vancouver me thinks.

#303 Secondisbest on 03.06.11 at 4:48 pm

While we are about to end our 35 year mortgage here in Canada look what they are doing down south:

The end of 30-year fixed- rate mortgage?

#304 AG Sage on 03.06.11 at 4:53 pm

>#302 Arianne on 03.06.11 at 4:04 pm

Aw, springtime and the promise of new love . . .

. . .Or of mutual companionship with much discussion of budget tips and tricks.

#305 Timing is Everything on 03.06.11 at 4:55 pm

#273 Ex-Cowtown -said “And chix dig 911′s more than Bimmers. Just ask my wife!”

Yup, Those 911’s look really cool with a BABY seat strapped in…Just ask your wife! Real coool daddy-o. Ha!

#306 BrianT on 03.06.11 at 5:21 pm

#302Arianne-To all the girls out there like yourself that have gotten interested in Chad because he has 200 K -I gotta say you should be setting your sights a little higher as it appears that money is a major priority. There are lots of seriously wealthy guys that are hookable-at least if you land one of these whales it might pay off.

#307 robert james on 03.06.11 at 5:22 pm

#289 Daisy Mae Terrvita is by the Shannon Lake in West Kelowna or Westbank if you prefer… #304 Williston Geo.. I did not see the loan plan.. I was just quoting the price that is written on the ad… Williston Geo sounds to me like a geologist in the Williston basin or someone from Williston ND.. I would guess the basin…

#308 bill on 03.06.11 at 5:22 pm

ex cowtown
totally agree. might be hard to find a person to part with one though for reasons you mentioned.
hard to get a cooler car than a vintage porsche.

#309 BrianT on 03.06.11 at 5:27 pm

#300SB-Lana is excited about sharing 1000 sq ft with a husband and two twenty something pot smoking, porn viewing sons (to quote another poster)? Sounds like a close knit family-kinda nice actually but rather unusual to say the least. I would be surprised if the average woman chasing Chad on this site would be willing to share 1000 sq ft with him.

#310 bill on 03.06.11 at 5:34 pm

that was a fine looking samurai.
i was always a yamaha guy except when i bought a used[raced] cb750 honda. production class. despite it being proddy it was not stock.
higher compression and a few teeth more on the back .cut the topend speed but handily smoked the newer dohc 750’s
at the stoplight .
then a rd 350 lc and crashed repeatedly so sold it and went to a 490 maico mx bike which I still have.its not a runner tho’.
yeah the first ride on that was a real eyeopener.thats where I got my first grey hairs.

#311 Nemesis on 03.06.11 at 5:37 pm

…”All single, all wondering if there are guys in this town who do something other than smoke pot, use porn, and play video games all day.”… – [email protected]

Evidently you’re not alone…

[WSJ] – Where Have The Good Men Gone? – Kay S. Hymowitz argues that too many men in their 20s are living in a new kind of extended adolescence..

and for the guyz…

[DailyBeast] – Why Are Men So Angry – Men in their twenties and thirties are fed up with women, but author Kay Hymowitz says you can’t blame them when women are demanding equality except when it comes to romance.

However, as a ‘licensed’ cultural morphologist, Arianne – I believe Susan Faludi’s definitive tome, ‘Stiffed: The Betrayal of the American Man’ – may offer more prescient clues to the phenomenon of male alienation/arrested development [figures, doesn’t it – written by a woman… ;) ]

[Amazon] – Stiffed: The Betrayal of the American Man

#312 Nemesis on 03.06.11 at 5:41 pm

…”All single, all wondering if there are guys in this town who do something other than smoke pot, use porn, and play video games all day.”… – [email protected]

Evidently you’re not alone…

[WSJ] – Where Have The Good Men Gone? – Kay S. Hymowitz argues that too many men in their 20s are living in a new kind of extended adolescence..

#313 Nemesis on 03.06.11 at 5:42 pm

and for the guyz…

[DailyBeast] – Why Are Men So Angry – Men in their twenties and thirties are fed up with women, but author Kay Hymowitz says you can’t blame them when women are demanding equality except when it comes to romance.

#314 Nemesis on 03.06.11 at 5:47 pm

However, as cultural morphology goes see Susan Faludi’s definitive tome, ‘Stiffed: The Betrayal of the American Man’ – for more cogent analysis/prescient clues to the phenomena of contemporary male alienation and arrested development. Figures, doesn’t it – written by a woman… ;)

#315 observer on 03.06.11 at 5:48 pm

Evidence of a real estate bubble has been greatly exagerated. If the GTA is any example, the latest TREB stats indicate an affordabity index of approximately 33% of income. In 1989, just before the last big real estate crash in Canada, the TREB affordability index was 55%.

Despite all of the hyperbole, there is very little substance. Are we headed toward a bubble, nobody knows. Will the impending change in the amortization limits and the inevitable rise in interest rates help to cool the market – I hope so. But will those same measures precipitate a full-on real estate “crash” – hardly.

The average SFH in 416 is $720K. That’s eight times average household income. So much for your 33%. — Garth

#316 Priced out in Cowtown on 03.06.11 at 6:02 pm

Things could not look worse for the US housing market.

(US) Home prices: The double-dip is near


“There’s a substantial risk of home prices falling another 15%, 20% or 25%,”

#317 CalgaryRocks on 03.06.11 at 6:05 pm

#293 Daisy Mae on 03.06.11 at 2:33 pm
Re Chad’s dilemma. I believe it’s important to ‘woo and win’ and that means spending a few bucks — in the beginning. I recall a man who was late arriving at the coffee shop, so I paid for my own coffee. Strike 1. He asked where I’d like to go and, of course, being a woman I suggested a fine meal in a nice restaurant with lots of ambience and candlelight — something ROMANTIC. He told me he was on a diet and suggested a nice bike ride, instead….

Lol. I guess he didn’t hang around long enough for you to quiz him on how soon he wants to get married, the number of kids he’s willing to put up with and how he’s going to support you when you decide you’d rather sit home and watch Oprah instead of going back to work.

I think a bike ride is a better way to get to know someone than a totally predictable overpriced dinner in a stuffy place.

#318 Mackie on 03.06.11 at 6:25 pm

Ok someone explain to me about the Americans and their weird money saving habits. I’m watching Suzy Ormin show and everyone seems to owe 100s of thousands of dollars on their mortgage but they also have hundreds of thousands in savings and 100s of thousands in their retirement accounts. I can only think that they owe so much on their mortgages because they can write off their interest. And they have lots of money in savings because they don’t pay the kind of taxes we do and they need lots of money because their social safety net sucks compared to ours… Comments.

#319 Mr. B on 03.06.11 at 6:29 pm

#277 Jess

I am not the expert hence I still have a mortgage. Had to consult one my expert friends.

” And some F.I. in the past gave preferred staff rates but I think that has gone by the way side. BNS no longer officially gives what one would call a staff rate on MTG. We would receive the same as a customer….. DISCOUNTED RATE. Therefore it is not a taxable Benefit”

Mr. B here. It’s not only a possible lower interest rate for an employee mortgage, but the over all knowledge of money in the bank. If you are around money all day I believe you have a higher chance of learning how to invest with profit. Chad is already doing this with out working at a bank (not sure where he works). Good for him and I’m sure he will find a woman with a common interest even in Vancouver.

#320 betamax on 03.06.11 at 6:45 pm

#122 stage1dave: “I prefer pre-87…no air bags are present to plaster a freshly-lit cigarette on my cheek”

So you’re driving vehicles that provide less protection because they don’t get in the way of you giving yourself cancer. That’s what Charlie Sheen calls “bi-winning”.

Chad, as others have suggested, get involved with physical activities: there you’ll meet attractive women who are both intelligent and physically fit, and they’re more interested in where you go hiking than what car you drive. You’ll meet them while doing those activities, so there’s no ‘first date’ stress or expectations. And you’ll get in shape yourself, which is an added bonus. Regardless of how off-white your teeth are, anyone can build a great body with hard work and perseverance.

The women you mention tend to be the downtown business mercenaries looking to land someone as equally superficial and grasping as themselves. That you don’t qualify is no shame.

I met a lot of mercenary women when I first came to Vancouver, then I started going to the gym again and doing the Grind, kayaking, etc. I was amazed at how many great single women there are out there. You just have to look in the right places.

#321 miketheengineer on 03.06.11 at 6:50 pm

Hey Nostradamus le Mad Dude: (and Garth et al of course)

The way I see it….

1) Next Friday is key event. Big protest in Saudi Arabia. If that goes the way of Egypt and Libya…well lets say things get interesting.

2) Full moon coming up…then lots of shaking rattling and rolling…hope everyone has their camping gear ready.

3) Inflation and “Food” hyperinflation set to spring apon us like a bad cancer. Article in newspaper, Loblaws is raising prices 5% April 1. Where I work, the lady that does the price changes, told me last night, that she had never seen soo many price increases come through, and she wonders what is going to happen in April…with the additional 5%? Baby Formula up like $3.

4) By April, RE is going into a down swing, and no matter how things work out…it has to go down. (ie Gas prices inflate, food prices inflate, incomes not going anywhere ===RE going down)

5) Sell before April if you can….otherwise, join the sheeple for the biggest price reductions in Canadian RE history.

Squirrel Report:

Just in case you need some extra info….

Ricters Seeds

Richters seeds….sells all kinds of interesting seeds.

Check out “Burdock”….it is an edible weed, leaves, and root. The evil plan. When the SHTF, or better well before, take some seed, find the local natural green space and do some creative planting. It is a natural weed…grows across this beautiful land. But you know exactly where it is, and how to use it. So if you run outa food….just walk over to you favourite local green space and look for your plants. Best part, 99% of the people around you most likely won’t know what it is, and walk right by it.

And this is just one plant. Richters has a whole book full of edible “weeds” and such.

Good Luck and God Bless


#322 Sid on 03.06.11 at 6:53 pm

Ladies, you do not need fake boobs, fancy clothes or $400 shoes to attract a man in Vancouver or anywhere for that matter. All you need is a great smile and some confidence. A good push up bra and some daisy dukes (from Value Village) do not hurt either.

#323 incubus on 03.06.11 at 7:02 pm

He is not a moron (in french).

There is a bubble in Canada. Houses prices overvalued by 25% to 35% (average).

#324 observer on 03.06.11 at 7:04 pm

The average SFH in 416 is $720K. That’s eight times average household income. So much for your 33%. — Garth

Not everyone lives in a SFH. Plenty of townhouses, semi-detached homes and condos help normalize the numbers. Those who live in $720K single-family homes have higher incomes on average and can apparently afford them. See how averages can be misleading?

I’d wager they have more debt than more income. See how assumptions are misleading? — Garth

#325 BrianT on 03.06.11 at 7:11 pm

3314Nemisis-What is classic is that women who don’t understand the first thing about men can sell books to other women explaining men.

#326 Nemesis on 03.06.11 at 7:38 pm


The RD350 was a total ‘screamer’!… Rather like my current naked, crimson, full throttle Italian… So, nice one, Bill! But getting back to bikes – after the Samurai I graduated to one of these…

And now for some final thoughts for Chad…

Chad, in some regards women are rather like motorcycles – in either case be sure to choose your ‘ride’ carefully, a ‘trophy wife’ like a ‘trophy bike’ can present enormous problems ‘down the road’; whether its the initial ‘up-front’ or continuing ‘high-maintenance’ issues, try to think in terms of preparing for a marathon tour vs. a ‘quick’ sprint (hint: character/integrity are prime)… And know that if you endeavour to take care of ‘her’, she will most certainly return the favour (scrupulous pre-flight inspections are not only a must – they’re fun!)…

On that saucy note, it is only fitting that Zorba have the last word… (A cautionary tale for bachelors everywhere) ;)

Zorba The Greek – ‘The Full Catastrophe’

#327 Makes Cents on 03.06.11 at 7:55 pm

ENOUGH ABOUT CHAD! HE WILL BE FINE. Garth, I blame you for this. Can we pleeeeeease talk about ETF’s now. Pretty please?

#328 jess on 03.06.11 at 8:10 pm

Mr. B.

tax laws playing one against the other–Us&feature=player_embedded
whose narrative?
The ‘Michigan fish test’ and the Middle EastBy Sheena Iyengar, Special to CNN
March 6, 2011 3:31 p.m. EST

#329 BrianT on 03.06.11 at 8:14 pm

#321Sid-Yes-if a guy can tell the difference between $400 female shoes and $40 female shoes there is about a 99.99% likelihood he is gay.

#330 Daisy Mae on 03.06.11 at 8:16 pm

309 robert james on 03.06.11 at 5:22 pm
#289 Daisy Mae Terrvita is by the Shannon Lake in West Kelowna or Westbank if you prefer… #304 Williston Geo.. I did not see the loan plan.. I was just quoting the price that is written on the ad… Williston Geo sounds to me like a geologist in the Williston basin or someone from Williston ND.. I would guess the basin…

My apologies! You are correct.


#331 Daisy Mae on 03.06.11 at 8:22 pm

CalgaryRocks “Lol. I guess he didn’t hang around long enough for you to quiz him on how soon he wants to get married, the number of kids he’s willing to put up with and how he’s going to support you when you decide you’d rather sit home and watch Oprah instead of going back to work.”

You have no idea how amusing your reply is! LOL

I think a bike ride is a better way to get to know someone than a totally predictable overpriced dinner in a stuffy place.

#332 observer on 03.06.11 at 8:24 pm

I’d wager they have more debt than more income. See how assumptions are misleading? — Garth

Isn’t a wager a form of assumption? But I digress.

Back to the facts. In the 15 districts that comprise Central Toronto on TREB the average sale price this year (Jan. & Feb. combined) is $561,214, for all property types.

The numbers are skewed slightly upward due to the fact that district C12 had 40 sales that averaged $1.58 million and district C09 had 49 sales with an average of $1.24 million.

It is generally accepted that a better measure when analyzing real estate sales is the median sale price, rather than the mean, as it tends to lessen the statistical effect of a relatively small number of high-end sales.

The median sale price in central Toronto year to date is $407,500. The average family income is just under $100,000. A ratio of 4 x family income, which is quite manageable.

Sure, fabricate a multiple of average income and median price. Nice try. — Garth

#333 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 03.06.11 at 8:30 pm

3:34 clip Not The Nine O’Clock News and 6:21 clip Collection from The Two Ronnies.
2:17 clip A very good reason why the US is in the mess it’s in. If they stopped interfering in other countries’ business, taking care of their own instead things would not be that bad for them.

Four Time Bombs Wall St. may take a dim view.

Cass Sunstein ‘Net and computer buffs.

Sixteen States killing pensions. “More confirmation that Wall Street, not the teachers, wrecked Wisconsin’s budget.”, and curious how many states (or provinces) are on the verge of doing this?

0:52 clip That man Brzezinski again. Funny how the world is at supposed ‘peak oil’, yet most of the leaders of the west are more than prepared to use what’s left on a quite ridiculous level.

Solar Storm Valentine’s Day. Coincidence?

March 19 March 18 is when F kills 5-35s, and when the WH could (theoretically) shut down, due to lack of money.

Instant Karma The UK clearly interfered in Libya’s in-house troubles. Now, payback time.

1:14 clip Benny gets some help, ‘tho it’s not psychiatric.

How many knew this WH dept. existed?

London Tube Chinese firm given all-clear to build mobile phone system underground.

#334 jess on 03.06.11 at 8:44 pm

We will not allow Oregon to be used like the corner ATM for people in foreign countries,” said Arthur Balizan,

A state as a atm hum…could this be applied to provinces?

PORTLAND, OR—Dwight C. Holton, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon, announces that Victor Kaganov, 69, pleaded guilty today to operating an illegal money transmitting business. Kaganov, a naturalized citizen living in Tigard, Oregon, emigrated from Russia and set up on behalf of Russian clients, numerous shell corporations in Oregon. Through these shell corporations, Kaganov moved more than $172 million in and out of the United States to more than 50 countries worldwide in approximately 4,200 wire transactions.

Using shell corporations to hide his illegal activities, Mr. Kaganov funneled more than $170 million into the United States and then back out to more than 50 countries around the world,” said Assistant Attorney General Breuer. “Following the money trail is a hallmark of good law enforcement, but those efforts depend on transparency in financial transactions. Now more than ever, we are determined to bring to justice those who attempt to hide funds in U.S. financial institutions.”

#335 bystander on 03.06.11 at 8:44 pm

Pizdets is the word that describes the current state of the Real Estate in this country in particular, and economy in general. I’ve been waiting on the fence since late 2007, and starting to notice that F and C are running out of bullets. This suggests this year is going to be the tipping point. Of course there is commodities…, but really, printing presses can’t run that fast. All that we really see is leveraged positions in the commodities. We are facing stricter Basel III requirements, Boomers to downsize and to start liquidating their RRSP positions. More money will be coming out of markets than coming in, the stocks will correct and pull commodities with it. Since these are all leveraged markets, the correction will be amplified. The speculative money hiding in the commodity based Canadian economy will run for exit at the speed of light. Just as quick as they came in. In order to retain the international “investors”, the rates will be raised. This will bring the brutal awakening for many “prudent” borrowers led by F,C, and H straight into the slaughterhouse. The pizdets of Canadian real Estate will arrive. And just before that happens the CAD will shoot into space, but that of course will not help. And then Chad will become popular. :)

I think you have it wrong. The avalanche of Boomer money will be into financial assets, not out of them. That pretty much sinks the rest of your cogent argument. — Garth

#336 AG Sage on 03.06.11 at 8:48 pm

>#318 Mackie on 03.06.11 at 6:25 pm

Yes. As an American I would concur with your assumptions.

401Ks et al are not only generously added to by decent employers (mine doubled my total contribution at my first job) they are also protected in bankruptcy. The gov and courts are well aware of that lack of safety net too.

Most citizens in bubble states bought into the “buy now or be priced out forever” fear wagon and only a fraction of those have actually walked away. There are a lot of people with money AND huge mortgages. Which in a non-recourse state is entirely rational, frankly. The bank gave them a sheet of paper that said in essence, keep giving us payments or you owe us the title. Only someone brainwashed to believe they owe thieving banksters a life of servitude would read more into that than was really there. Paying off the mortgage with your savings makes no sense if you think about it. Although fewer can really maximize the tax deduction than believe in the magic of it.

However, if we get hyperinflation these former suckers will make out like bandits.

#337 Painted Toenails on 03.06.11 at 8:52 pm

The dating advice here is killing me! ROTFL! Get a Porsche. No! make it a bike. Meet your dates for romantic dinners. Don’t be a putz, date dinners are for losers. Pot smokin’, porn-using, video game playing mama’s boys vs. fake-boobed, fake-nailed, fake-everything gold-diggers.

Too funny!!!

Like others have mentioned, looks fade (BUT DAMN THEY HELP) and integrity and brains remain. Best thing about my boyfriend? Aside from the aforementioned brains and integrity? He’s cute and major fun. Fun to play sports with. Fun to travel with. Fun to watch Amazing Race with while swilling wine and laughing about who would have to do which challenge. Fun to do darned near everything with. Something else he’s good….well, never mind. But it is important ;-)

Um Chad?

Lighten up.

#338 Jeff Smith on 03.06.11 at 8:57 pm

Brace yourself!

#339 bystander on 03.06.11 at 9:10 pm

“I think you have it wrong. The avalanche of Boomer money will be into financial assets, not out of them. That pretty much sinks the rest of your cogent argument. — Garth”

There is no doubt the smartest of the boomers will be getting into the financial assets when crowd runs for the exit door during the recession, and I really believe you capture enough of their business. However, I talk about the statistically significant cohort of population called boomers who rely on their RRSPs to fund their retirement. Selling financial assets is part of the retirement plan, as it was contrived long time ago. Unless they take their paper gains with them.

FYI: I represent the very through of the bust generation.

Wrong again. Only half of Canadians have an RRSP, and the average saved is less than $50K. There is no way these folks can finance five years, let alone twenty. That’s why real estate will be liquidated and the funds used to earn income. Hence, a flood into financial assets. BTW, most Boomers are still screwed but have yet to figure that out. — Garth

#340 Utopia on 03.06.11 at 9:39 pm

“It takes confidence and courage to buy when others sell, to turn and walk against the crowd, or realize the greatest opportunity lies buried and unwanted in the deepest moment of despair and capitulation.

I don’t expect most Canadians to act on my premise. They won’t. They’ll neither harvest profits when real estate here is inflated and dangerous, nor realize a generational opportunity to the south of us”. ~~Garth

Amazing how the mention of Chad has stirred up the gals and overtaken any discussion of real estate today, and in particular distracted from the discussion of US real estate which was this posts theme (I thought).

One thing is sure, we know who the women are now as several have suddenly declared which gender they belong too. Am I getting all turned on now too?

Maybe there is a future for combining discussions of real estate lust with forlorn singles in cities where everyones mind is so rotted from the froth of the R/E mania bubble that some actually complain about being broke while sitting atop a million dollar row-house.

Poor pathetic Vancouverites. Life is a bitch out there.

I loved your remark about harvesting gains in the comment above Garth. There is a season for everything, a spring and an autumn. Another poster today wisely added that Vancouver and other bubbly markets have virtually no upside potential anymore. He is right.

There is certainly considerable downside risk though. Whether the bottom is in South of the border at this exact moment is not relevant though and so that should not impact the decision to escape a market that is very clearly in the process of rolling over.

Are Canadians so spoiled that we need to have our market be at the very top exactly at the moment that the US market sees its final bottom?

Good luck to all those who are trying to time their way out of this one. After eight months of Canadian national sales declines and virtually guaranteed interest rate increases on the horizon, the future should be pretty damn clear for all as to where prices will be going in this country.

Yeah, that’s right. South.

South indeed. Which reminds me that now is an ideal time to start investigating our neighbors market before our own hits a shoal and we join them as our equity starts to slip through our fingers. Misery loves company I suppose.

But now even Paul Krugman, the king of Keynsianism, is expressing doubts about Canada’s property prices. Perhaps he might finally be backtracking and admitting in a deflected sort of way that you can not in fact buy your way out of a major structural recession as the US has attempted. So will the pillar of Government spending there now be pulled out from under the economy? I think so as QE3 looks like a non-starter.

Meanwhile, I worry our relative advantage will soon be lost. Possibly for many years to come. Only the tea leaves can tell us the future if the US ends up returning to recession by embracing austerity and ending the QE’s.

It sure as hell won’t be good for our housing prices though.

#341 observer on 03.06.11 at 9:43 pm

Sure, fabricate a multiple of average income and median price. Nice try. — Garth

I hoped you might catch that – very observant. However, average income is far more valid statistically than average sale price for a whole host of boring technical reasons that have to do with the nature of real estate sales versus income.

Mainly the wide variance in the number of data points and the quirky nature of real estate sales that tend to have distributions skewed to the right moreso than “normal” distrubution curves for income related data.

Standard deviations, coefficients of variation and all that jolly-rot. Stuff that bores the average reader to tears (in fact, I’m going a little cross-eyed myself as I type this).

Having said that, and even if you do not accept my analysis, the average numbers (for properties of all types, not just SFH) works out to a ratio of approximately 5.5 times income to average sale price. Still significantly below your original assertion of 8 x income.

Still wrong. But even if you were not, it’s worth noting the US market collapsed at 4.6. I’d say 5.5 in Toronto is anything but safe. — Garth

#342 Dan in Victoria on 03.06.11 at 9:44 pm

Vlad @ 256
Cayce reading 5748-6

#343 InvestorsFriend (Shawn Allen) on 03.06.11 at 9:46 pm

Number 334 bystander says:

More money will be coming out of markets than coming in,

And Garth responded:

The avalanche of Boomer money will be into financial assets, not out of them.

But keep in mind that there is actually zero money “in the stock market ” as such.

Before you hit the comment button, let me explain.

Companies raise money by issuing shares at their Initial public offerings and sometimes with subequest secondary offerings. That money flows from investors straight to listed corporations. So this is money invested in companies.

Companies then pay dividends and that is money flowing from corporations to investors.

The Stock market is a place where people trade shares with each other. When shares are traded ZERO money is flowing to the corporations. Money changes hands THROUGH the stock market. At the end of the day investors own the shares of companies.

Individual investors can pull their money out of stocks but only by selling to someone else.

Investors as a group CANNOT pull money out of the stock market or from companies. They can refuse to buy new IPO and secondary offering shares but they cannot pull a single dime out collectively. For one to take cash out another must put cash in.

Investors as a WHOLE can vaporise wealth by bidding share prices lower. But the money does not “come out” it merely dissapears. Same when sharse get bid up, it creates market value out of thin air.

An guess what?

The same applies to houses. Wealth is created out of thin air when house prices rise and when they fall wealth goes back into thin air. In order for one boomer to cash out of his house equity someone else must put that cash in. If prices drop by half then $billions are vaporized. It’s strange but true…

Where did I say “stocks”? — Garth

#344 Arianne on 03.06.11 at 10:01 pm

#308 BrianT on 03.06.11 at 5:21 pm

#302Arianne-To all the girls out there like yourself that have gotten interested in Chad because he has 200 K -I gotta say you should be setting your sights a little higher as it appears that money is a major priority. There are lots of seriously wealthy guys that are hookable-at least if you land one of these whales it might pay off.

BrianT, I think you’re missing the point. I thought Chad sounded like an interesting fellow because we sound like equivalents of each other. As I mentioned in the post. I have a similar amount of assets. I’m not interested in his money. I have my own, and I plan to continue earning my own. I’m looking for someone who lives a responsible, purposeful life, but is still able to enjoy it in simple ways.

I’ve dated rich, and rich is not necessarily where it’s at. I value equality, and in a relationship where one party is far richer than the other, you tend to get marginalized. That’s a tough sell for a woman who wants self-sufficiency. I have no problem making my own way.

Which leads me to this: I’m not going to attach myself to deadweights either.

Don’t get me wrong. Just because I said money is not my top priority in a guy, it doesn’t mean I’m going to date a guy who’s $80,000 in debt and still has no idea where he’s going (I’ve dated that type too).

As I said, I admire a guy with a sense of responsibility. I see relationships as partnerships. I don’t need nor want a guy to take care of me.

#345 Onemorething on 03.06.11 at 10:19 pm

Chad, to the last man standing, the spoils! Wait and take your pick! But honestly, you cant change the spots on a woman so who wants to be associated with a Gold, Silver and Oil Digger!

My wife is from VAN, she moved away 20 years ago and have nothing in common with the delusional anymore.

Choices Bro….Make One!