Back to the edge

Two years ago Anna and her husband decided to sell their house on the west side of Vancouver. “At the time it seemed like a good idea,” she says, “because interest rates were forecast to rise and we were seeing a housing recovery here after the global recession. Our goal was sell high and buy low, anticipating a decline in the market.” The five-year-old house went for $1.2 million. They were ecstatic. That was $1.1 million more than they had the day before. But joy has turned into gut-wrenching, debilitating stress.

The same house today sells for $1.4 million. Meanwhile Anna, her husband and 15-month-old daughter have been living in a 500 square foot suite for $1,100 a month – with $1.2 million sitting in cash in the bank. Idling. Coiled. Waiting to pounce. In their minds only one asset class exists – a house.

“We are getting very claustrophobic. My husband is getting anxious and wants to re-enter the housing market.  I want to wait.  However I am also very scared because it seems the market keeps rising.  There seems to be no end in sight for increased prices.”

The ‘buy now, or buy never’ fear has etched their minds and strained their lives. The clear logic they felt before – sell high, buy low – has been replaced with an icy, pervasive terror that real estate will rise forever, and a confused couple with only $1.2 million in cash will be locked eternally in a basement suite. Deprived. Wanting.

Yesterday Anna wrote: “This afternoon we are putting in an offer on a 1979 boxy Vancouver Special listed for $1,328,000, in the same neighbourhood as where we sold. We already have the inspection lined up before the offers are presented.  I can’t believe we are doing this, never did I think I would get caught in this frenzy of bidding wars.  I’m scared and confused about our decision.  Not able to sleep, so here I am writing my thoughts to you.  I’m really confused what to do. And how long will we have to wait before the market comes down.  Any ideas?   We are already at a loss of $200,000,000 and can’t afford any bigger loss. Anna.”

We live in a world where too many are lost. Blinded and manipulated, disoriented, awash in bad decisions. Never before has so much information and knowledge been so available, and yet people take action based purely on perception and emotion. This has already led us back to the edge of the precipice.

On the same day that stock markets raged dangerously higher, commodity prices soared and the cost of living erupted with $1.40 gasoline and $2.29 cauliflowers, came news of a systemic financial failure in Canada. According to two major bank surveys 30% of people can no longer pay their monthly bills. Almost 40% have no savings. None. And four in ten retired people say they’ve run out of money and must return to work.

These sound like numbers you’d expect in a developing nation – three in ten families running out of money and almost half the population with no reserves. This leaves the whole nation, where consumer spending equals 60% of the economy, exposed and susceptible to any kind of shock. On any given day, it is a few shards of confidence away from crisis.

But this is also a country when seven in ten families own a house – one of the highest margins in the world. And, ironically, it’s been this very obsession and fixation with real estate that has come to destroy the very fabric of personal financial security. And with it, put us all at risk.

Nor does it stop.

This week the real estate industry in Ontario, for example, released numbers saying 70% of renters want to own while 90% fear if they don’t buy now, they will buy never. So in the months leading to a provincial election, the realtors are lobbying for reduced land transfer taxes, and a permanent reservoir of government money to help people renovate.

Meanwhile in the US, where real estate is the most affordable it’s been in a stunning 40 years and home prices have tumbled nation-wide by 32%, owners are flocking to become renters. The home ownership rate is tumbling fast, and 18.4 million houses are now vacant. But the personal savings rate is on the rise.

There’s little doubt where this will end. Canadian real estate values will fall, which means 70% of the population will be negatively affected. Close to half the population have no savings and very likely all of their net worth in their houses. Already a third of us can’t make ends meet. Gas and food costs are swelling. And there’s only one way for taxes and interest rates to travel.

In short, we’ve beggared ourselves with granite and stainless. Traded security for debt. Confused an address with self-worth.

Like Anna and her husband, sitting on enough cash to make them free but desperate for what they don’t have, we’ve lost our way. This week they’re making the mistake of their lives.

When all this becomes evident, there will not be enough buyers to save the sellers.

So save yourself.


#1 Phil Indablanque on 04.20.11 at 10:01 pm

Last … from yesterday
hee hee

#2 not 1st on 04.20.11 at 10:04 pm

Now this is where investing the money and letting it pay your new mortgage makes sense. Put it into one of Garth’s growth funds and that 1.1 could double, all while it takes care of your new abode expenses for free.

#3 T.O. Bubble Boy on 04.20.11 at 10:05 pm

Forget renting – buy 2 houses and build a McMansion on your $1.5M double-lot!


#4 Ayn Rand on 04.20.11 at 10:09 pm

I am currently reading Greater Fool. My perspectives on the last 3 books:
After the Crash – scared the Hell out of me. Even long after those heady days where I was sure we’d be in Grapes of Wrath conditions. Bunkers and squirrel stew, and generators.
MoneyRoad – confusing, but literate and full of great financial ideas – made me think of the tools and mentors needed to implement.
Greater Fool – goodness, the things GT is speaking of today is front and centre in the book; 3 years later.

Where is that RE crash, and when it comes, we’ll be idiots 1000x over since we heard the same old, same old for 3 years now. And there will be no excuse.

Thanks for the cerebral words. I will wait until October for the formal ones once again.

Greater fan.

#5 just a tech on 04.20.11 at 10:11 pm

here it is!–bank-survey-says-saving-is-often-a-struggle

#6 kc on 04.20.11 at 10:11 pm

I am looking into a crystal ball and can foresee this day’s entry turning into “Jerry springer part deux” (as was stated yesterday).

The kool-aid is getting super sweet here in Van Area… no other way to describe the stupidity. if these people are tired of waiting in a small place why not just rent a bigger one? Stuff the 1.1M into GIC’s (I know you hate them Garth) however, the bits of interest will supplement the rent of the newer digs and still have the cash… I wish to be in the problems that dumb people have….

#7 Mister Obvious on 04.20.11 at 10:11 pm

Now that is a truly sad and disturbing account. “Confused an address with self-worth” pretty well nails it. If you can’t convince them of the mistake they are about to make then nobody can.

#8 Mr. Lee on 04.20.11 at 10:11 pm

The above post Sir is the reason why many on this blog appear to want to crucify you. You are telling people what they do not want to hear. Many folks are in deed, too deep to get out in time. Not that I believe we will face a correction to the scope of magnitude of the USA, however we will face a correction. The traditional house to income average soared when interest rates fell after the tech bubble, zero at 40 years and psy-op of convincing many that their homes was an equity that would increase forever. My fear is not housing implosion but rather over stretched home owners trying to hold on to properties for dear life and therefore not spending on anything else. That scenario may be even scarier than home value depression.

#9 Min in Mission on 04.20.11 at 10:13 pm

WT? are they thinking?? They have cash, why are they buying, in the same neighbourhood, at a higher price? Why are the living in 500 sw. ft? There are lots of great places in the LML to live that are way cheaper. And roomier. It is really just a “place to live”. Hopefully, if I were in that situation, I would be able to “hold out”. Sometimes we are such fools!

#10 Jeff on 04.20.11 at 10:15 pm

1.2 million in the bank and poor Anna is losing sleep… f-me, life is tough.

#11 Randis on 04.20.11 at 10:15 pm

All cash sitting in bank and idling? … Could’ve done better than that … a good fixed income portfolio for the last 2-3 years could’ve easily yielded 6+%, safe and decent return there.

Anyhow, just so everyone knows, 2 of my friends are RE agent in GTA and they share my concern and view on the soon-to-be-completely-melted-like-the-glacier RE market and they are basically advising people to get out now while its still possible … Conclusion? 1) Its bad for real I truly hope people can get real and stop denying facts … and 2) There’s still some good RE agents out there with heart, I believe.

#12 T.O. Bubble Boy on 04.20.11 at 10:16 pm

Oh ya – and those Chinese Millionaires are turning away from RE investments:

#13 Mikey the Realtor on 04.20.11 at 10:19 pm

Anna is doing what needs to be done, if the Joneses get ahead of them then that will be catastrophe.

Anna, I would drop the inspection and offer at least $200k over asking if you really want it, I can hear the Chinese footsteps now, not a pretty sight if they make it before the deal is sealed, hurry or be priced out forever!

#14 Thetruth on 04.20.11 at 10:20 pm

$170,000 incomes in the oil patch…

RE will go down to maybe 4 times single earner income now in Alberta?? $680,000?

#15 S.B. on 04.20.11 at 10:20 pm

Companies Shrink Packages as Food Prices Rise
Shoppers across the U.S. are desperately trying to figure out how to cope with rising food prices, but unfortunately for them it seems that the increases are just beginning. A sharp jump in commodities’ prices this year will soon result in sticker shock, making the summer barbecue just that much more expensive.

Large food companies have recently announced that they will raise the prices they charge grocery retailers for commodities-based products. For example, a chocolate bar will cost more soon: Hershey last week announced a 10% increase for most of its confectionery goods

#16 Cellar Dwellar on 04.20.11 at 10:22 pm

patience is a virtue. You’ve waited a year. Whats another 6 months(the Fall when everything traditionally turns to shite).
For God’s sakes. wait a bit longer. 1.3 for a Vancouver “Special”! Are you NUTS ?

#17 mid-Ontario on 04.20.11 at 10:26 pm

I think that it is fair to say that people in general, not everyone mind you but people in general in the Vancouver area are either stoned or just plain nuts.

This stories that Garth relates on million dollar postage stamp “homes” are totally unbelievable to people in this area.

Tonight, the US dollar is almost in free-fall.
Commodities are skyrocketing.
Ben and a few others will be trotted out to calm the waters but I fear we have passed the point of no return.

In late spring, just after we return to a minority party to govern our fine nation, we will wake up and watch the carnage with the US$ and RE in Canada.

It will be visible to all.

We will not make it out of May thinking Garth is wrong about the downturn. He is very wrong about the rate of downturn but we will see it clearly before the end of May 2011.

Think about what Garth said “According to two major bank surveys 30% of people can no longer pay their monthly bills. Almost 40% have no savings. None. And four in ten retired people say they’ve run out of money and must return to work.”

What are we going to look like as a nation when our blessed RE is 30-40% lower??

West coasters–search all the news and understand what is almost upon us. You are in big trouble!

#18 Cato on 04.20.11 at 10:27 pm

Gut check time Anna, back away. Regroup, rent a decent pad and do some research until you have confidence your making right decision. If your buying on gut feeling your gambling, and at end of day most gamblers lose.

Are stocks really raging dangerously higher, or is the USD raging dangerously lower. I suspect its the latter, we might be seeing the currency crisis predicted to arrive by 2015 coming sooner then expected.

Number of people hanging by a thread will get far worse. True scale of inflation monster has yet to work its way through supply chain – watch walmart light the fuse this summer. Maybe we’ll finally see central banks react, then again according to most keynesians gas and food aren’t important. After all, if consumer is getting a good deal on an iPad the rise in cost of living doesn’t matter. Kind of doubt working poor will see it that way.

#19 Jake T. on 04.20.11 at 10:29 pm

When gold hits $5,000 an ounce and the Dow Jones hits 5000 inflation will be the more pressing problem. it is going to get really bad in 2012.

#20 Jon B on 04.20.11 at 10:32 pm

Hang on a minute. How did this pathetic young couple acquire this amount of money in the first place? I didn’t think dumb people could amass this kind of cash. Give us the full story Garth. Something doesn’t seem quite right. With over a mil in the bank they are nuts putting it all into Vancouver RE.

#21 BrianT on 04.20.11 at 10:33 pm

She is scared and confused, but not too scared and confused to make an extraordinarily reckless financial decision-she might need a shrink more than a financial advisor. She better not calculate that price in greenbacks-the US dollar is melting tonight-loonie at 1.0545 and silver at 45.83.

#22 PeeGee on 04.20.11 at 10:34 pm

Come on…this is pure fiction. The numbers don’t add up, and no one can be that thick. Buying now is f***ing dumb.

#23 xyz on 04.20.11 at 10:36 pm

Fools and their money are soon parted

#24 Bill Grable on 04.20.11 at 10:38 pm

From Canadian Press (* if this doesn’t scare the heck out of you, you haven’t been paying attention to Mr. Turner)


Sit down.

“Many Canadians are finding themselves caught between the struggle to save money and repay their debts, says a survey from TD Bank.
And with interest rates expected to rise this summer, clearing debts probably won’t get any easier.
In the report, 38 per cent of Canadians surveyed said they had no savings at all.”

In other words = a lot of people are going to be on the breadline.

Spending with mindless consumption = insanity.

The definition of insanity is the repetition of behaviour, expecting a different results.

Oy vey.

#25 Mark on 04.20.11 at 10:39 pm

So what options are available to take advantage of increasing food prices?

#26 T.O. Bubble Boy on 04.20.11 at 10:40 pm

ALmost all Preferred Shares are still yielding 5-6%… on $1.1M, that is $55,000 to $66,000 a year.

(almost the average household income in Vancouver!)

#27 casanova on 04.20.11 at 10:40 pm

I think Garth can congratulate himself in ruining this couple’s life.
This is what happens when you listen to end of the world obscure blogs and financial charlatans like Garth and go and sell your house.
Anyone following Garths advise since he has been giving it so freely (that is why is worthless in the first place) in this blog has been big time looser.
Shame on you Garth for destroying the financial security of this family and I dont care if you censor this. You are to be ashamed of yourself.

Actually they sold their house before they heard of me. And you’re not worth deleting. — Garth

#28 Calgary Illusion on 04.20.11 at 10:40 pm

@The truth:

Exactly how few people in Alberta make $170,000? Those that do, waste it buying a house in mosquito infested bush near the Mac. With oil clocking above $110, I see zero signs of the wealth that was sloshing around the city of Calgary back in days of 2007 and 2008. Just a few fools left buying a pile of woodchips worth $400,000+. Guaranteed this doesn’t spare Alberta. Just look at poor Red Deer.

#29 "first-world" problem on 04.20.11 at 10:41 pm

#10 Jeff

This is what we call a “first-world” problem.

I’m nostalgic already.

#30 The American on 04.20.11 at 10:42 pm

The answer is simple. Anna, don’t you DARE buy that house. If you are feeling confused, you SHOULD. You have a baby and a baby’s future to think about. You CLEARLY are not fully on board with this decision, or you wouldn’t be feeling this stress and writing to Garth Turner of all people! You feel it because your instinct tells you that you’re doing the wrong thing.

Solution? Rent a bigger place for $2,500 a month! Anna, you MUST trust me on this. You WILL be able to buy at a significantly lower price point if you will just WAIT. Do NOT buy in a year or two. As I’ve said before, prices will begin coming down, and it will take a very, VERY long time for it to hit bottom – just like in the States. RENT RENT RENT RENT RENT RENT RENT. When in doubt, just repeat the mantra… RENT RENT RENT RENT RENT….. repeat…

#31 Cognizant on 04.20.11 at 10:43 pm

Great post! What’s amazing is that once this thing blows sky high no one is really going to be that surprised. What is so hard to see from our perspective now will be painfully obvious in retrospect.

#32 groundzeropat on 04.20.11 at 10:53 pm


My advice: DON’T BUY and instead go rent a bigger place. I’m renting a 1200 sq/ft townhouse for $1440/month. I couldn’t imagine trying to raise a family in 500sf/ft. I feel your need to get a larger home but 1.3M for a boxy 1970’s Vancouver Special… Yuck. However, they’re large at 2600sq/ft on average.

Also, 1.2 Million in CASH???. Canadian Tire Bank has 1.5% for a savings account so 1.2 Million should make $18,000/year or $1500/month to cover the rent. Also, Presidents Choice Financial (CIBC owned) has 1.5% for their savings account. I would suggest that it would be safe to split that much money between several banks. I’d split between 4 banks 300K a piece and put 100K joint and 100K my name and 100K my wifes name. That way CDIC coverage is in effect. Sorry Garth, I know you’re frowning right now.

Actually I just threw up. — Garth

#33 Randis on 04.20.11 at 10:54 pm

I hope #13 Mikey is just joking there … As for Anna, now I assume you and your husband are still working, hence making adequate income for living and have no worry on that front … with that 1 mil principal, if you want to play it safe you can totally invest in fixed income i.e. REIT or corporate bonds and with the income distribution, you can totally rent a better place and ride out the hype.

I mean, the very fact that you asked Garth for advice shows that you are in for the truth, and the truth is the housing price growth is built on shaky foundation and is not sustainable and is bound for a correction. Patience is key, don’t let mass psychology fools you. You want to listen to people with appropriate financial industry background and knowledge for advice rather than random joe on the street who puts your interest in drain.

#34 Eric on 04.20.11 at 11:12 pm

Sun news network is on air!
Canada Inflation nation:

#35 not 1st on 04.20.11 at 11:13 pm

Garth, just reading some synopsis of your book ‘After The Crash’.

Do you really think we are destined for the mad max society? That seems to be a theme of the book.

#36 groundzeropat on 04.20.11 at 11:14 pm

Is it just me or has anyone else noticed that there has now been a few cases about BEARS giving up and are going back into Real Estate. This is a classic sign of a market top. Same thing happened in the early 80’s and 90’s RE bubbles and the 2000’s Tech bubble. Those who don’t study the patterns of history are doomed to repeat it.

On another topic. Over the past couple weeks people have been in a foul mood everywhere I go. Anyone else noticed this too? I think it is due to the recent bad real estate forecast news in the Globe and Mail and Global TV or is it just my imagination?

#37 Paolo on 04.20.11 at 11:15 pm

Wow – – emotions rule in these times.

1.2 million??? Just wait it out. Why oh why would you plunge back into debt when you are sitting pretty.


Yes, housing values will continue to rise. Get in now or be locked out forever.

Come on…

#38 Timing is Everything on 04.20.11 at 11:16 pm

#278 The American – “Its AMAZING if you like watching hookers in fights with their ex-lesbian pimps.”

Well, Garth and Jerry could be related then. Sorry about that G. Ha! ;)

Double Sno-cone.

#39 Crazy on 04.20.11 at 11:19 pm

The Canadian Dollar is at a new high as I write this: $1.04 US.

Conclusion: Carney will raise rates this Spring.


#40 Kevin on 04.20.11 at 11:50 pm

Canadians real estate wealth vs net wealth

Net wealth in Canada is near 50%, the last time it was near this level is…you guessed it 1990, another housing bubble time.

The richest 20% of Canadian households control about 69% of the wealth in Canada. The next quintile down possesses a further 20% of our national net worth. Not much is left over for other people. The bottom 60% of households control only 11% of Canada’s wealth. In fact, the bottom fifth of the population possess no wealth and actually owe a few thousand dollars more than they own.

#41 Devore on 04.20.11 at 11:50 pm

#24 Bill Grable

In the report, 38 per cent of Canadians surveyed said they had no savings at all.”

But I thought people had another several hundred to throw at debt servicing, at least they did a couple of months ago.

What, did they finally try balancing their checkbook?

#42 Gord In Vancouver on 04.21.11 at 12:00 am

Great post, Garth.

#43 McLovin on 04.21.11 at 12:01 am

Could Anna be the GREATEST Fool? Perhaps a bronze bust of her beside Terry Fox in front of BC place?

#44 Timing is Everything on 04.21.11 at 12:03 am

Ah well, ignorance is bliss….

#45 wilde-at_heart on 04.21.11 at 12:03 am

Gawd, these people are retards. Sitting on 1.2 million? WHY do they live in Vancouver?
They could retire on that amount somewhere cheaper, warmer and never have to work a day in their lives ever again.
Sitting on 1.2 million – they could just rent a nicer, bigger apartment even!
What is wrong with people’s brains??

#46 Joe on 04.21.11 at 12:11 am

My only question is what the hell were they thinking renting a 500sf apartment with a baby or baby on the way? Did you think the market would correct overnight and you just needed a hotel room to stay for a few nights? Mm-hmm. There are so many things wrong with this scenario, I can’t even wrap my head around it. You had good sense three years ago but lost it along the way? Primary mistake was renting the shoebox. Obviously you underestimated how long you’d be renting for. Any married couple would murder each other living in that kind of space, especially with a baby. Totally get how you got seduced into buying.

#47 BPOE on 04.21.11 at 12:13 am

More FACTS for The American and other Naysayers of BPOE
House has risen $200000 tax free dollars
The five-year-old house went for $1.2 million. They were ecstatic. That was $1.1 million more than they had the day before. But joy has turned into gut-wrenching, debilitating stress.
The same house today sells for $1.4 million

#48 tommy boy van west on 04.21.11 at 12:14 am

Anna, buy it. If you are really serious. And from Vcr.
But your numbers don’t add up. April ’09 was the Vcr bottom. Prices since then have almost doubled here on the westside. Lots in West Pt. Grey were going for under $800k EXACTLY 2 yrs. ago. I know. I bought 2 al fresco for $775k. No bidding wars. Actually they begged me to take them. Now they are over double. Was offered $1.6 mill last week for one. I said $2mill. They emailed back $1.75mill.
What we are seeing in Vcr is unlike Hong Kongers 20 years ago. The mainland China wealth is astounding and real. They are tearing down 20 yr old houses in Vcr. Now that’s Liberace wealth.

Good luck. Listen to your husband. Nobody else will understand it here unless they actually own here. RE is blackjack here. With a million dollar buy in. Minimum. But in Vcr proper. Ruchmond. Slowly West Van. And Chinese love gambling more than any others. Renting is for losers. There are 1. how many billion wanting in here. Not in Langley. Or anywhere in the valleys past Vcr.
This is not Stettler or Windsor. The rest of Canada will be over cooked like Garth discusses. I think worse. Stagflation beyond belief.

Bon chance

#49 Maxamillion on 04.21.11 at 12:15 am

There is only one solution to increasing food prices, dormice. The Romans loved them roasted and covered with honey, yummy. On your next visit to Canadian Tire just ask if they carry any glirariums.


#50 martin on 04.21.11 at 12:16 am

DOLLAR AT 0.94640

what you think about the dollar garthyQQ???

#51 Jsan on 04.21.11 at 12:19 am

“#14 Thetruth on 04.20.11 at 10:20 pm

$170,000 incomes in the oil patch…

RE will go down to maybe 4 times single earner income now in Alberta?? $680,000?


Do you live in Alberta? If you do, have you forgotten when house prices started their dive in this province? If you can’t remember, let me refresh your memory. House prices in Alberta began to dive when the Alberta economy was going beyond ballistic, it was stratospheric. There was no hint of any recession brewing and no hint of the Alberta economy even slowing slightly yet house prices peaked and than starting coming down fast. A coworker lost 90K on his house when he bailed as it was dropping in price.

The vast majority of Albertans work in jobs that have zero, ziltch, nadda to do with the oil industry. How many people in this province do you know that work in the oil industry. I know hundreds of people, I was born and raised here, and I only know 2 that work in the industry. When oil prices skyrocket, 90% of Albertans wallets get hit as hard as anyone in this country.

The one guy I know who works up in Fort Mcmurray makes decent money but hates his job. He has to get up every day at 3 am to get ready to than catch a bus that takes a couple of hours to drive through a traffic jam every morning to get to the plant. He gets home at 8pm, eats and than goes to sleep. This is his routine every day. This might explain why so many people drink and abuse drugs up there. I know more people who have left the oil patch, happily taking a large cut in pay because they hated it, than those that have stayed.

#52 LS on 04.21.11 at 12:22 am

OMG – don’t you dare buy. Your $200k “loss” will double or triple!

Get a fee based advisor and get your money working for you.

If you actually got a “dream home” for $1.3 that would be one thing, but you’re not getting much. 33 foot lot and a barely renovated place. Get the price history on the house, look long and hard at that.

Give it another year, come on, this market is NOT going to keep rising.

#53 Slow Learner on 04.21.11 at 12:26 am


Try saying it out loud, 1.3 million dollars for an ordinary house. 1.3 million dollars. Think about it, more.

Things look like they are cooling fast in Victoria, seafront place down the street from our (rented) home. An ordinary 20-year old house with the original appliances, faded carpet, and a bad roof. It has been up for sale for over 200 days, started at 1.8 million, which was high for last summer but seemed possible as real estate was white-hot then.

Walked through a couple of weeks ago, lonely realtor was friendly, and slightly desperate. The price was down to 1.3 million, no bites. Seems insane, dropped the price half a million dollars, HALF A MILLION DOLLARS, rather than do some basic upgrades to make it more presentable. Shows contempt for the buyers, trouble is , nobody is biting. Sellers are out of step.

Where Victoria is now, Vancouver will bo soon enough.

#54 Lance on 04.21.11 at 12:27 am

Anna… girl… take that wad of cash and put it in to a diversified portfolio… growth, income, the works. Making 3-4% on the income aspect (plus more from growth). Take 3% of that on your $1.2 million, that’s $36,000 and put that towards rent. $3,000 per month should land you a very nice rental, you’ll just be spending the income portion of your earnings, your nest egg will still grow above that and you have none of the worries and headaches associated with home ownership. Wait it out a couple of years and survey the landscape… you’ll be able to buy it for far less, leave a few hundred grand in the bank in your aforementioned portfolio AND have a paid-off house.
I beg of you… DON’T DO IT!!!

#55 Utopia on 04.21.11 at 12:27 am


One point two million sitting in the bank cash and they want to pour it all in one single Vancouver Special (of all things) and carry a mortgage on top of it all. Oh God. I could puke too. How freaking stupid.

A Vancouver special!!!!…..Waiter!!!! Pour me a triple Scotch. Wait, wait……double that drink and keep the tip you poor sap. HaHaHa. I almost split a gut reading this post. That poor baby.

A Vancouver special. Har Har. How money wrecks brains.

#56 45north on 04.21.11 at 12:28 am

Mid – Ontario: Tonight, the US dollar is almost in free-fall.

no kidding

Canadian Dollar at $1.05 US!

Dollar hits 15 month low against the Euro:

I posted the following before but it’s important:
USDCAD moved a good 50 pips from 0.963 to 0.958 in seconds

tomorrow morning the 905 belt is going to be paying $1.30 for a liter of gasoline

We will not make it out of May thinking Garth is wrong about the downturn.

I thinking the end of April

#57 a prairie dawg on 04.21.11 at 12:29 am

And as bad as everything else is, and will get, 1/3 already can’t pay their bills. Add some future interest rate increases, higher taxes, and a touch of inflation, and it’s danger time.

Duck and cover.

#58 Love this Blog on 04.21.11 at 12:32 am

Another good article Garth. Thanks! The writing is on the wall.

#59 Jsan on 04.21.11 at 12:32 am

“#39 Crazy on 04.20.11 at 11:19 pm

The Canadian Dollar is at a new high as I write this: $1.04 US.

Conclusion: Carney will raise rates this Spring.



Does he have a choice anymore? He cannot sit idly by and watch as inflation takes off. You have to hit it hard now or pay the price later. Do you remember the 80’s when inflation went to the moon? The Fed chairman back than Paul Volcker took rates to over 20% to try to control inflation. Carney will not have a choice and neither will Bernanke . The US population and many countries outside of the US are absolutely po’d about the FED and their money printing, Quantitative easing which is definitely helping to stir commodity inflation around the world.

#60 randman on 04.21.11 at 12:35 am

Everyone do yourself a favor and read these two articles

Chris Martenson

“n order for the financial system to operate, it needs continual debt expansion and servicing. Both are important. If either is missing, then catastrophe can strike at any time. And by ‘catastrophe’ I mean big institutions and countries transiting from a state of insolvency into outright bankruptcy.

n a recent article, I noted that the IMF had added up the financing needs of the advanced economies and come to the startling conclusion that the combination of maturing and new debt issuances came to more than a quarter of their combined economies over the next year. A quarter! ”

Also…” BEIJING (MNI) – Prices of new homes in China’s capital plunged 26.7% month-on-month in March, the Beijing News reported Tuesday, citing data from the city’s Housing and Urban-Rural Development Commission.

Average prices of newly-built houses in March fell 10.9% over the same month last year to CNY19,679 per square meter, marking the first year-on-year decline since September 2009.

Home purchases fell 50.9% y/y and 41.5% m/m, the newspaper said, citing an unidentified official from the Housing Commission as saying the falls point to the government’s crackdown on speculation in the real estate market.”

Then Gonzalo Lira..better explaining my post yesterday

“An additional $150 billion in interest payments is something the Federal government simply cannot afford. The United States cannot afford it.

So in other words, the United States cannot afford inflation. Or more properly speaking: The United States’ fiscal balance sheet cannot afford to fight inflation.

Think about it: If there is a rise in inflation, then the Federal Reserve would have no other option but to raise interest rates at least a couple of percentage points—

—but the Federal government cannot afford such a drastic rise in rates. Not when a 1% rise in rates translates into an additional $100,000,000,000 in yearly vigorish.”

#61 Victoria on 04.21.11 at 12:36 am

Devore and Bill Grable,

But But that nice lady from the Vancouver Sun just said that 30 or 40% of the people could pay their mortgage if payments went up $1,000. “RE in Canada is in great shape”. :-)

#62 (low density) Sam on 04.21.11 at 12:39 am

#36 groundzeropat on 04.20.11 at 11:14 pm

Is it just me or has anyone else noticed that there has now been a few cases about BEARS giving up
IMHO actually bulls/RE agents posing as bears

#63 HouseBuster on 04.21.11 at 12:41 am

Doesn’t Anna know what’s going to happen?

House prices are going back to 2003 levels. When they get there, there will be a small bounce and then they will go down to 1998 levels.

It’s not pleasant but that is what is going to happen. Use this information to protect yourselves.

#64 clan on 04.21.11 at 12:46 am

A Vancouver special indeed. Enjoy,

#65 Dr. WAYNE on 04.21.11 at 12:53 am

“Canadian real estate values will fall” … sure Grant, but not as fast in Vancouver, and not as much.

#66 Kelli on 04.21.11 at 12:53 am

I’m in the same position as Anna. Except 2 babies and we arn’t buying. We could buy a 2 million dollar home with no debt. I struggle with this every day. Garth helps me rationalize renting. My brain is fighting my heart and holding this type of conflict is really hard on a person.

#67 Ralph Cramdown on 04.21.11 at 12:54 am

Hi Garth,

One Q: When real estate busts, what do you think the Finance Minister will do? BoC can say “tough nuts”, but I think Finance will have to at least be seen to be doing something — Homeowners vote. So what will he try?

#68 Chris on 04.21.11 at 12:58 am

When you are up substantially at the casino, how easy is it for you to walk away from the table when the adrenaline is flowing, and you are thinking to yourself, “This is so easy. I could do this all night!”

It takes strong will power to walk away, even when you know that statistically you’ve made more money already than you could have ever expected to make.

Gambling’s a drug, and the excitement it brings makes people do crazy things…

What’s even harder though than walking away when you are winning is not chasing after your money when you are seriously down. The temptation is to stay in the game for another hand, or another shoe when you are losing. You tell yourself, what’s another $200? what’s another $400? What’s another $600? I’ll make it back…

It’s very sad though when that casino is real estate, and you want to chase after $200,000 in lost equity that was never really yours to begin with.

Think about it. When you are willing to put $1.2 million in winnings back on the table, just to get a chance at another $200,000 there is something seriously wrong.

A lot of people play that way though. They don’t think about what the $1.2 million could buy them right now, and how much more it will hurt them to lose even a portion of the winnings by chasing money that was never yours…

Wonderful game, the RE is…

#69 pen pal on 04.21.11 at 1:00 am

Anna and her husband are morons on many different levels as Garth and they, through their own admissions have so eloquently illustrated.

I for one encourage them to buy – if for no other reason than it keeps their track record of stupidity intact.

#70 Utopia on 04.21.11 at 1:02 am

OK, Sorry.

Maybe my last post was a little harsh. But seriously, those people have no perspective whatsoever. Try this instead for a change of pace and scenery Anna.

Take that 1.2 mill. Invest it at 6 or 8 percent dividend income. Pack your bags and move to a nice warm climate. Take sunscreen, a 4G phone and a little attitude.

Like try Cambodia, or Kenya, or a nice South Pacific Island. Live like absolute Royalty on three thousand a month. You know, groundskeepers, cooks, drivers and housemaid (or two).

Never work another day in your freaking lives. Change the world. Volunteer. Make a difference and invest in the local economy where a little capital invested goes a long, long way indeed.

Maybe freelance. Start a new career. Get out of the rat-race and daily hassle of the Lower Mainland commute and leave Vancouver behind for good. I doubt you will ever regret it.

Now that is perspective on 1.2 million cash in the bank and you will never have to suffer the indignity of living in a bloody Vancouver Special at those sick prices.


#71 Mean Gene on 04.21.11 at 1:05 am

I don’t know what is more unbelievable, somone having 1.1 million in a bank account or using it to purchase a Vancouver special shit hole.

#72 IndustrialGuy on 04.21.11 at 1:13 am

No way!! This can’t be ….

Our Prime Minister says his brilliant economic management of the economy has turned us into the envy of the G20.

30% of people can no longer pay their monthly bills?
40% have no savings?
Retired people say they’ve run out of money?

Our Minister of Finance and our head of the Bank of Canada are geniuses. These numbers must be wrong.

If this is indeed true, then we have a major catastrophe developing.
A permanent underclass of chronically poor. Both working and retired. Not the news you want to hear when the Governments .. Federal, Provincial and Municipal are drowning in debt themselves. Where will the tax revenues come from?
When you add the report that family debt is now greater than 150% …… oh, This is getting depressing

Invest in Bankruptcy trustee firms. I see them doing very well in the not too distant future.

#73 Basil Fawlty on 04.21.11 at 1:15 am

Good read Garth!

#74 Sea Wave on 04.21.11 at 1:26 am

Pure and simple, “bear capitulation” … the end of the housing bubble is truly nigh when former bears such as Anna plunge back into the market … the last of the Greater Fools being expunged.

Famously, Isaac Newton did the same thing in the South Sea Bubble; sold early, made a tidy profit, then bought back in near the top of the Ponzi, and lost a fortune. Smart guy, too.

Emotion and herding trump reason (almost) every time …

Newton’s summation of his time in the bubble: “”I can calculate the movement of the stars, but not the madness of men” …

#75 jas on 04.21.11 at 1:36 am

#15 S.B.Companies Shrink Packages as Food Prices Rise


Look around you, what an OBESITY there is in this society. Oh what an obese society we live in!!

I hope that increase in food prices will contribute towards reducing obesity and crushing burden on our healthcare system.

#76 bby88 on 04.21.11 at 1:39 am

Did anyone notice where the US dollar is heading?
It won’t be a pretty sight.
Review the graph in this attached link.

Garth, keep up the great blog

#77 In Van on 04.21.11 at 1:40 am

Wow. In west-side Van 1.3 mil will get you an extremely unremarkable house (Exhibit A):

And this is something to get lathered into a frenzy over? I really don’t get it. Competing to hand over all of your cash to some lucky stiff who bought some average house in 1980 for $150,000. If we were talking the last waterfront mansion on Southwest Marine, fine…but this…all the vacations and nice restaurants and other great experiences lost, to sit around eating soup out of a can in some dump until retirement.

#78 poco on 04.21.11 at 1:40 am

#255–OttawaMike on 04.20.11 at 7:16 pm (last post)
Reading some of the comments today makes me wish for the good old days on this blog when the gold bugs, tin foil hatters, Jewish banker conspiracy theorists and Satan’s Helper the OCD Kelowna realtor were regulars.

Some of you commentators are unreal and pretty boring at the same time, obsessing over Eddy’s salary and ego…

have no fear — DA has been with us for quite some time –just changed his handle and again is a regular poster–more than regular—though he wasn’t here today (Wed)
changed his style slightly but those multiple personalities creep into his postings from time to time–watch for it–his postings still have that pompous,i’m always right attitude –think he said he flips houses for a living–he’s so full of it —DA –you just couldn’t stay away -could you?

#79 Dan in Victoria on 04.21.11 at 1:41 am

Anna, go to this link and read all of it.
I think in your case you need a gentle reminder of why you sold.
Its better to be too early than too late.

#80 Whistle punk on 04.21.11 at 1:41 am

You can’t fix stupid, if I had 1.2 million in the bank I sure in the hell wouldn’t be buying realestate. Find a nice place to rent and invest the rest.

Let them go for it, they will be the ones trying to get a sob story on Global news that they lost everything they owned.

#81 Fool me once... on 04.21.11 at 1:45 am

I have to agree with some of the other comments here, how on earth does this young couple amass over 1 million dollars in equity? This is so very much the exception. And to think she is losing sleep. Indeed, perhaps it’s stressful having to go back to whatever well they drank from to begin with, maybe mom and dad.

#82 Not Fooled By Property Spruikers Hype on 04.21.11 at 1:45 am

More Bad news from Perth Western Australia.

House bought in 2007 by professional home renovator & property Flipper to live in for 12 months & then sell & make a $1 million dollar profit.{TAX FREE} Or so the plan goes.

However 3 years later no one is buying & she can expect to take a $500K Hair Cut?

But I am unable to shed a single tear!!

#83 tiedattutu on 04.21.11 at 1:56 am

I went to grad school with someone who got their Phd EE in 1992 and went to work for major chip maker in their theoretical division. One of the first things to be eliminated in a downturn. In ’00 he called me and told me he was a millionaire. I jokingly asked him what took him so long. He kept his stock and it plunged from 65 to 12 and he lost even more because he was buying calls while it fell. He almost made it through the wipe out but eventually lost his job. Now he was broke and jobless. And this from a guy with a stratospheric IQ. One day I got a call from his father. Well you can guess. And this on the eve of the semi industry’s rebound. A tragedy of errors.

#84 Jane on 04.21.11 at 1:59 am

Anna, I have half your cash, live in a 2000 sf house in Kits, and I stay home with our two little kids while my husband works. How? Our rent is mostly paid for as we invested the cash. It costs us $400 a month out of our own pocket. Don’t buy now!

#85 Phil on 04.21.11 at 2:57 am

#39 Crazy

I’ll bet you a case of Kokanee that the Bank of Canada’s overnight is up at least 200 basis points between now and end of 2012.

Investor tip for you: The reason the loonie is so high, is the smart ones have already priced in the interest rate rise.

#86 Phil on 04.21.11 at 3:01 am

#39 Crazy

I’ll make it even easier for you: The high loonie is the best possible signal that rates will be going up soon!

#87 islander on 04.21.11 at 3:10 am

You let her off too easily.
Over a million bucks sitting there in cash? Even a pathetic 5% return would throw off enough cash to rent them something considerably nicer than a 500sf house, yes?
Are people really this financially [email protected] in Canada?

#88 VanLarry on 04.21.11 at 3:14 am

“ALmost all Preferred Shares are still yielding 5-6%… on $1.1M, that is $55,000 to $66,000 a year.

(almost the average household income in Vancouver!)”

Since it’s about a week left till taxes are due:

At $55,000, if all of it is dividend and you live in BC you pay: $930 in taxes.

If it’s all Employment income(T4): $10,000 in taxes

If it’s interest income(Sitting in bank): $10,400 in taxes

I’ll let the Real Estate Agent tell you how much you’ll pay in taxes if all that is rental income. Betcha if you ask they won’t know.

#89 Joe on 04.21.11 at 3:28 am

Bought my bungalow In Kitsilano (west side of Vancouver) 6 years ago for 600k.
Sold in February for 1.6 million.
Renting a house in the same area now and am happy to wait for things to correct to reasonable levels. The feeling of being debt free is incredible!

#90 BOOTS ON THE gROUND on 04.21.11 at 4:04 am

I have seen you mentioned about price declines of real estate prices in Florida of 32%. Being a snowbird since 1978 I can tell you that prices have fallen more like 50-70% and still dropping.
I wish there was enough space to tell you about how many dumb Canadians have gone down there in the past couple of years to steal something. They find in a very short time there are further price drops from when they bought.

The US average is 32%. Many markets far exceed that. — Garth

#91 blase on 04.21.11 at 5:23 am


Grow a set. I can just see it two years from now, your house is worth half of what you paid, and you’ll never let your husband hear the end of it. “I told you so!” you’ll say. Meanwhile, you could be putting your foot down right now and refuse to sign off on this. But no, instead you will play the docile wife and let your husband have his way, and then you’ll crucify him when the fit hits the shan.

Now cancel that offer and go rent a house that’s bigger than a shoebox, and stop hording your money. Think of your child for crist’s sake.

#92 Hosehead on 04.21.11 at 5:35 am

Holy crap Anna, wake up and bail out on the deal based on the home inspection. The choice is not between renting 500 sq ft and buying for 1.3 million. You can rent a beautiful place in the best parts of Vancouver for 2000 a month. Your 1.2 million invested properly will yield double that monthly. That covers the rent and provides a steady cash flow while keeping your principle liquid. Wow, I’m starting to sound like Garth! Have I spent too much time on this blog? Anna you are absolutely beyond nuts to buy that house at that price at this time.

#93 Dade on 04.21.11 at 6:04 am

Why on earth are people so averse to spending money on rent, but will drop over a million on a house? Bizarre!

If you’re cramped, move to a more appropriate home. Enjoy the freedom and flexibility of renting. In 2 years of renting, you will spend a mere 48000 dollars. That’s not even the cost of the fees you would pay to buy.

And invest that money! Sitting on cash or housing right now is plain stupid. You easily could have made the difference in the last two years.

And finally, DO NOTE THINK YOU ARE SO SMART YOU CAN TIME THE MARKET AT PERFECT HIGHS AND LOWS. Especially when the market is manipulated by politicians looking to extend their career. When fundamentals are broken reality always follows, no matter what you want to believe.

#94 eddy on 04.21.11 at 6:26 am

Irish real estate collapse documentary

#95 market top on 04.21.11 at 6:28 am

Hey casanova Why do read this blog then?

Hey groundzeropat Sorry even though it was an attempt at good advice could not help but laugh at Garth’s comment.

Hey not 1st You did not read the book very well, there are three predictions for which you make the choice of what you think will happen. I actually really liked the booked, Have not had time to follow the advice. Besides a good generator is 5 grand.

To Anna loan me the money at 5% tax free! that’s better than Garth’s after tax balanced portfolio!
Happy Easter and if your another faith have a nice long weekend anyway!

#96 Oasis on 04.21.11 at 6:49 am

#171 Utopia on 04.18.11 at 9:50 pm

Nonetheless, it is worth noting that the dollar has begun to reverse course and I fully expect this to continue through summer.

how’s that been working for you lately? been making money? and once again, you have proven to everyone here, that you don’t know what you’re talking about. the USD COLLAPSE is ACCELERATING. you ARE and CONTINUE to be clueless to real events that are occuring. simply clueless. better luck tomorrow.

#97 eddy on 04.21.11 at 6:55 am

I nominate this song to replace our national anthem
read the comment by ‘mouser’
friends, his assessment is exactly what will happen, guaranteed, the financial system is toast, boycott globalist corporations and puppets,
turn off your tv

#98 House on 04.21.11 at 7:10 am

Luckly we have those sexy economists to give us the lowdown on how the economy is doing and how we should plan for the future.

Meanwhile those boring accountants are off running marathons.

#99 SMOKING MAN on 04.21.11 at 7:34 am

Just trying to figure out if the guy hanging from the cliff is a home owner or a bubble head that was sitting on the sidelines for the last 10 years. :)

#100 S.B. on 04.21.11 at 7:49 am

#282 The American on 04.20.11 at 10:28 pm
from yesterday always follow the rah-rah USA USA party line. But his own CIA’s facts cannot lie. Life exptency in USA is lagging, healthcare not withstanding.

Country Comparison :: Life expectancy at birth
Canada ranks #12 in world, USA is at spot #50 8-O

#101 S.B. on 04.21.11 at 7:54 am

to add, The American reported the following. This sounds sick: who wishes to live as a ‘frankenstein’ medical monster? Is the medical system to cure diseases or treat them? They have not cured anything in decades. There’s no money in cures.

I guess removing say 25% of the body ‘treats’ a whole lot of diseases…but really, is this any way to live?

“However, a little over a year ago, she was diagnosed with breast cancer in her twice-yearly mammogram. Since then, she had to have a double mastectomy, radiation, several treatments of chemotherapy with marijuana for pain management, a full hysterectomy (unfortunately, it was an estrogen-fed cancer), and now the first phase of reconstructive surgery where they remove her lats from her back muscle and move them under the skin where her breasts used to be. Next steps are for her to have actual implants place under the skin and a “nipple” tattooed where the areola once was located. Additionally, her lymph system in her left arm is failing as a result (this is common) and they are simultaneously working to correct this issue (this is complicated). All of this in about a year. That’s a lot, and access and quality was abundant.”

#102 fancy_pants on 04.21.11 at 8:02 am

Anna and hubby, I hope you read this:

Nothing like acknowledging danger and sidestepping a trap only to flirt with it afterwards and get caught by it.

These fearful emotions always result in impulsive decisions which in turn so often end up leaving a bad taste in your mouth. I sold a condo in fall of 2008 and invested the gains into futures and lost $30k. considering I had $35k to start you can see how emotions can encourage one bad decision after another – you no longer can even think straight.

relax! Can you believe you are safely sitting on $1.2 mil? Why don’t you just rent something nicer while you wait this out?

I guarantee your regret will be far greater should you buy and the market falls then if it keeps going up. The kick on the way up is not too bad (you can never exactly predict the peak) but on the way down it will stomp you again. I would be happy to park the 1.2 mil and rent a beautiful place off the interest.

I hope you haven’t signed anything yet. Give your head a shake! DON’T BE A GREATER FOOL!

#103 darren on 04.21.11 at 8:03 am

This story doesn’t make any sense. These people had a million dollar house with no mrtg?? If they were able to pay off a million that must mean they are high income earners. Assuming they pull in 250,000-300,000. Why in the hell would they move into a 500 sqf place for only 1100 a month? They could easily afford 2000 a month and still be swiming in cash! These people are either really stupid or this story is a myth!!

Given the trajectory of Van prices, they more likely had a home purchased for half or less of the selling price. Surely you know that. — Garth

#104 MrC on 04.21.11 at 8:07 am

This couple is trying to time markets. Sounds like a classic case of sell low and buy high. If prices retreat, they will sell and once they start going up they will buy back into RE again. This couple sounds like they will have no problem turning 1.2million into 500k.

#105 fancy_pants on 04.21.11 at 8:20 am

another thing Anna,

you have to change your mental outlook regarding your investments – you didn’t lose $200k , you gained 1.2 mil.

If you mentally punish yourself every time you don’t sell at the top of the peaks or exit at the bottom of the lows, you end up impulsive and unsensible in your decisions.

Nobody can predict the exact peaks and valleys so why punish yourself when you can’t?

Give your head another shake then go and give your hubby’s a boot.

#106 CalgaryRocks on 04.21.11 at 8:47 am

#90 BOOTS ON THE gROUND on 04.21.11 at 4:04 am
I have seen you mentioned about price declines of real estate prices in Florida of 32%. Being a snowbird since 1978 I can tell you that prices have fallen more like 50-70% and still dropping.

You’ve been retired for 30 years or do you work in a profession that allows you to spend the winters down there?

It’s something we’d like to do and we’re on the fence wether we’d like to establish residency down there at this point.

#107 arctodus on 04.21.11 at 8:50 am

When are you (and this means Garth as well) going to really get how bad this situation is??

The developed world is in the throes of fiat currency death driven by industrial civilization hitting the absolute unbreakable wall of energy restriction.

I saw this clearly back in 2006 when we hit peak oil worldwide. We will now see hyperinflation rage across multiple nation states in a never before seen frenzy of paper dollar death.

Canada is in some ways worse off than others…..a northern climate will drive scenes that are out of “Gulag Archipelago” in the near future.

Just see how useful your “protected assets” in your RRSPs and your TFSA are in a world of rapacious
governments and paper currency death are.

The blinders that 99.999% of you have on are shocking to the few that understand history and get what Peak Oil really means……..

A World Made by Hand is coming fast now…….

Shall we Repent? — Garth

#108 Timing is Everything on 04.21.11 at 8:53 am

#66 Kelli – said “I struggle with this every day….My brain is fighting my heart and holding this type of conflict is really hard on a person.”

Sno-cone….5:40 AM…On a Thursday! Thanks Kelli.

#109 Diana on 04.21.11 at 8:55 am

@68 Chris : Very well, and eloquently put!

#110 Brandon on 04.21.11 at 9:12 am

If the economy is based on consumer spending, why are we taxed so much before we see a penny of it? Doesn’t this seem a little counter-intuitive?

#111 Dan M on 04.21.11 at 9:15 am

Anna you really only need to ask one question. For the income from the proceeds of my house sale, could I rent a nicer house? Personally I rent a house worth double what I could afford, on the income from invested funds. I’m betting you could do the same after half an hour with Garth and a little investing. Get out of your cramped quarters, rent a better place than you had before, keep your principal, and stay the course. The dominos are falling all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before they reach Canada, and buying now is financial suicide. The top has very seldom been so obvious.

Good luck, I do sympathise. However, invest in something with a chance of appreciation, unlike housing which has virtually nil. I’ve made 120% profit on silver since you sold your house, believe me it compensates for watching small movements in the housing market. PS, not suggesting you should invest in silver, it’s also looking a bit toppy. Just an illustration.

#112 JohnnyBGood on 04.21.11 at 9:22 am

Anna and her husband made the same fundamental mistakes being made by many Canadians today:

The are treating their home as an investment. Worse, they are treating it as a risk asset. And they are risking too much.

Attempting to time the market using your home as a tradable asset, like a stock or bond, is beyond stupid.

First of all, no one can time the top or bottom. Anyone who thinks they can are deluding themselves. I did happen to perfectly time the all-time high (so far) in the S&P/TSX back in June of ’08, but I lucky and I was only risking money I could easily afford to lose.

Second, one should never risk their home, unless circumstances can’t be helped. Aside from the potential financial loss, there is the terrible disruption this can cause to your family life and relationships and the personal emotions stress it can cause. It’s no longer money you are risking. It is your very well being.

I sincerely feel for Anna and her family. But what they did was just plain irresponsible. I hope other Canadians will heed the warning and stop this speculative nonsense–for all our sakes.

#113 arctodus on 04.21.11 at 9:27 am

Shall we Repent? — Garth

Not at all….there is no God! ;)

Investment in “Potato Futures” long term and gold silver short term are my portfolio…..

But I always have been a bit contrarian.

#114 45north on 04.21.11 at 9:36 am

TiedAtTutu: A tragedy of errors. sorry to hear that. You got to know yourself before you start playing.

Blasé: Anna, I can just see it two years from now, your house is worth half of what you paid.

you a player Anna?

#115 Skeptic on 04.21.11 at 9:38 am

Is this lady and her husband for a house for 2000 and invest the money!

I think we all wish we had this 1.1 million dollar problem….the greater fool exemplified!

#116 Dmitri on 04.21.11 at 9:43 am

Easy come, easy go. It sounds like they did not pay for that house themselves. Somehow they got it already paid for. It was easy money for them, like winning the lottery. And easy money very easy to loose. It can not get into their brains (if they have ones) how hard is to make 1.2 millions dollars and what 1.2 million dollars can really buy in this world. So go AHEAD! buy this crappy house, you don’t deserve this money, let somebody smarter have it!

#117 BrianT on 04.21.11 at 9:50 am

IMO what Anna is missing is that one metric of how “rich” one is, is the net worth/market value of the principal residence. Anyone that has a net worth of 1.2 million and can happily live in a house valued at 120000 is in a totally different situation than someone with a worth of 1.2 million who needs to live in a 1.35 million dollar house. One reason for this metric is that your expected yearly expenses rise with the value of the house. Yes, some could live on cat food, but in reality your neighbours won’t be so you will be compelled to spend on average (from estimates) roughly 30% per annum of the value of the residence. So even if the house does OK Anna is going to be miserable and she is going to make the whole family miserable.

#118 Mr. Reality on 04.21.11 at 9:54 am

Anna is the reason why banks make money. She and her husband are acting like humans. Making decisions based on emotion not facts. The banks figured this out long ago and make a killing off using people’s emotionsfor their own profit.

Add shady realtors and people who can trade stocks with a click of a button and you can erode all your self worth with the click of a mouse. It’s almost comical what a herd mentality mixed with a whole lot of emotion can do……

The few with foresight and a little patience will do very well.

Mr. R.

#119 Boombust on 04.21.11 at 9:57 am

“1.2 million in the bank and poor Anna is losing sleep… f-me, life is tough.”

Yeah. Boo hoo.

#120 mississaugasold on 04.21.11 at 9:58 am

Eh, let Anna buy her home. At least the RE agents and banks will make good use of that money. Hopefully that seller too.

So after selling my home, another home got listed for $450k, I sold for a bit above $440k. They had a finished basement, extra parking spot because they widened the driveway. However, they did nto have upgrades I had inside.

Within a week, the asking price drops to $440k. 5 days later (today) I check and it drops to $425k!. $25k reduction in asking price within a week and a half.

I truly believe the tide is turning and QUICK! Condos in the area I was looking at buying are already dropping their asking prices and they are lower than 1 month ago when similar unit sold.

I am so glad I sold when I had the chance and will now happily rent. Thanks to this site!

#121 Boombust on 04.21.11 at 9:59 am

Oh well.

A fool and his (her) money are soon parted.

#122 The American on 04.21.11 at 9:59 am

At #47: BPOE, you need to learn the difference between “facts” and “hearsay.” A person writing in doesn’t make anything one is saying a “fact.” Geesh. How dumb can you be?

#123 The American on 04.21.11 at 10:01 am

At #50: Martin, compression of the dollar’s value is methodical and deliberate. Watch and wait. Seriously.

#124 The American on 04.21.11 at 10:04 am

At #50: Martin, remember the Fed has the ability to print money until the cows come home. They also have the ability to destroy paper currency when the time is right. :-)

#125 The American on 04.21.11 at 10:06 am

At #63: HouseBuster, you said it best. Not sure where you are getting your information, but you are probably close within range on your predictions.

#126 bubble town on 04.21.11 at 10:10 am

Garth is correct with his theory, however he was not thinking people were so ilogical….I start looking this blog 3 years ago when I want it to buy a house. The one I liked was 525K so I decided no to buy….now similar houses are selling for 690K and up. If there is a correction of 20% now the house will worth 560K….I think I have been PRICE OUT because I dont feel I shoud pay 690K for a house that 3 year ago was 525k….

#127 The American on 04.21.11 at 10:18 am

At #101: S.B., First, I never wrote what you said I wrote. Second, how dare you refer to my friend as a “frankenstein” because she had a double mastectomy and hysterectomy. Perhaps she should have just been laid to die, right? If anyone is sick, it is you.

As stated, I find it unfortunate there is no baseline coverage for all citizens in the U.S. If you remove these uninsured from the averages (a little over 15% of the U.S. population), the life expectancy surges ahead for the insured. Get it?

One last thing, my friend with Muscular Sclerosis was trying to immigrate to Canada by marrying his sweetheart on Vancouver Island. He was denied citizenship because he has a “preexisting medical condition.” So, she’s moving this way instead.

#128 Fuzzy on 04.21.11 at 10:23 am

Sheesh, the couple is up $1.2M, and they’re bitching about missing out on $0.2M.

With the earnings they netted, they could put it in the dumbest of dumb GICs and cover a year’s rent. Or, they could go to wealth advisor, set up a somewhat conservative portfolio and probably earn about 6%, paying off the rent of a swankier $6000/mth.

Of course, you’ll have some douches saying “it’s too risky, you’ll lose a lot of money” … As if a shock in the equity/bond markets won’t cause a similar shock in RE markets.

#129 Liquid renter on 04.21.11 at 10:27 am

Go for it! Buy another house in the same place for an even more inflated price. It wasn’t your intelligence that made you a millionaire, it was the greedy government policies, a culture based on HGTV and being in the right place at the right time. You don’t understand how you got the million and because of that, you should give the money back to the market to learn the money lessons you missed.

#130 bill on 04.21.11 at 10:31 am

what would little ren say???


1.2 down the drain i reckon….

#131 Feedthegreed on 04.21.11 at 10:34 am

Here it is , straight from the guy who fills helicopters with those “house horny” Asian buyers.

#132 Daisy Mae on 04.21.11 at 10:38 am

“I think Garth can congratulate himself in ruining this couple’s life”

This couple is doing precisely what Garth says NOT to do — invest in pathetic GIC’s and buy in this over-heated market. He can’t stop them from making this mistake, he can only advise. If people don’t listen, well….their choice.

#133 kilby on 04.21.11 at 10:51 am

I understand how Anna feels, we are renting a condo in Vancouver for $1,600 per month, waterfront, very fancy and VERY overpriced building for buyers. We sold our house in the Okanagan last month and will be buying another home on Vancouver Island. have over $500k sitting in investment and am not even considering until spring 2012. Watching all the listings slowly dropping in price is tempting but they have just started, little drops for the most part except for some of the places on the market for long periods are down $40 to $60k and not many sales except for very inexpensive properties. It is easy to see a pattern of change starting. Anna, just rent a better condo and stay patient…..

#134 jounetsu on 04.21.11 at 10:58 am

I found this article interesting:–sympathy.html

particularly the last paragraphs about renting.. seems like the troubles are world-wide…

#135 Utopia on 04.21.11 at 10:59 am

#96 Oasis, sensing a moment of victory (that is just fleeting) wrote to his arch nemesis “Utopia” the following insulting and disparaging words (which he will eat at a later date because in the end Oasis will be proven to be a greater fool)….

“you have proven to everyone here, that you don’t know what you’re talking about. the USD COLLAPSE is ACCELERATING”.

What you are showing Oasis is a complete lack of understanding of fundamentals. We will see who is correct in the end. You though appear to be forgetting that despite US debt woes and its current recession that America is still the worlds biggest economy.

Gee, how can that be? And you thought they were Zimbabwe.

My impulse is to just call you an idiot but it is clear that you are just being childish. Generation “Z” perhaps, just a babe with no experience who is suckered in to the words a few panic driven newsletter writers. So I don’t want to be too hard on you.

You ought to be careful though. Like all herding behaviors, this belief that the dollar is about to collapse means that folks like you are all going to be stampeding over the cliff together along with all the other Lemmings.

Just watch, my little friend. The Euro is set to decline on bad news regarding bailouts there and the extension of credit to its bankrupt states. The dollar will rise. Make no mistake about that. In the process there will be a negative impact on most commodities including precious metals and guys like you will be left holding the bag and scratching your heads wondering..

How can this be? This can’t be happening to me!

But it will, sadly, and then you will learn.

#136 Abitibidoug on 04.21.11 at 10:59 am

In response to posting #10 by Jeff: That’s what I thought. If I were sitting on $1.2 million, I would leave Vancouver, move to some economically depressed area where the cost of living is cheap, take some of Garth’s recommendations of where to invest that money and retire. Simple as that. Let some greater fool work for the rest of their lives to pay for a grossly over priced house.

#137 Heart of the World on 04.21.11 at 11:04 am


Again, another great read. I have become quite addicted to reading your blog, and I have also found the comments to often be quite insightful. By way of background I just unloaded a principle residence in the lower mainland in March, just ahead of the amortisation changes. I made a tidy bundle, and for the first time in my life I’m in the black. Now I need to find a place to stash some cash. These are good problems!

Courtesy of one of your blog comments, I ran across this and watched it — three times.

It is rather a brilliant Swedish documentary offering an analysis of what happened starting with, moving on to housing and then to 2008, and soon to culminate in something much, much bigger. The problem, as it is analysed here, is that post 2008 we have had a GLOBAL (not US centric) effort to reflate the bubble by means of ’emergency’ interest rates. In consequence we now have a plethora of bubbles all over the place, including of course, Canadian housing. The thing is this: since 2008 stock and bond markets have also doubled in value, and as you point our here ‘raged ahead’ again yesterday. So while many of your posters speak of 8% portfolio yields, I wonder how market valuations will hold up when a clutch of bubbles pop simultaneously — say for instance Spanish sovereign debt, Chinese and Canadian housing? It would seem to me that to cover losses there will be fire sales in all asset classes (as in 2008: remember silver at $8 ounce?). So maybe (at 1%) cash GICs are the place be right now, since my sense of things is that she’s gonna blow really soon.

Your thoughts appreciated.

#138 Cellar Dwellar on 04.21.11 at 11:11 am

@ #87 Islander
“….Are people really this financially [email protected] in Canada?…..”
No not all Canadians are that stupid financially, Just current house buyers in Vancouver.

(Bought in Burnaby in1993, Mortgage paid 2005.)


#139 Who's the Greater Fool? on 04.21.11 at 11:12 am

Wondering who’s the Greater Fool? Those who jump in the real estate market with cash and have a tangible asset or those who wait with money in the bank or in stocks for when they all become worthless pieces of paper. After waiting out the market for seven years, I’m going house hunting this weekend. Then I’ll have some place to store my PMs, food and ammo.

#140 JohnnyInAb on 04.21.11 at 11:17 am

Thank you Garth!
We too have recently sold a house and are renting our primary residence. We own a rental property (result of blending households) and the cash flow on it is barely positive.
Let’s just say we took it on the chin when we sold the house we lived in (job relocation). My wife is now getting spring fever. She is tired of renting and wants to nest. We rent month to month and are ready to pounce at a moment’s notice. My comment to her is “be patient. I bet we get a great deal in the fall or next spring.”
Let’s just say every time I start to agree with my wife on purchasing our new money pit right away I come here and read your blog and it snaps me out of it.
I look at the listings on MLS where we live now and see many of them have been listed for months. Most of the open houses we go the houses are vacant. A major home builder packed it in and is leaving town (with oodles of cash from the boom in 2006-07).
Why would anyone buy a house today when prices are certainly not going to go up and will most likely go down? I ran the numbers, I can rent a house I cannot afford to buy for cheaper than what my occupancy costs would be on a house I can afford to buy. I sock away the difference and actually am further ahead in 5 years. The trick is being disciplined enough to do it.
A house is a an asset, a home is what you make of it, whether you own it or not!

#141 Cellar Dwellar on 04.21.11 at 11:19 am

@ #107 arcdotus
The “redicgilous” doctrine is really unnecessary here. We all bow down to the almighty God … Profit. :)
Please push the antiCapitalist “we all doomed” agenda somewhere else.
See you in church ;)

#142 Westside Couple Do An ‘Isaac Newton’ – “This afternoon we are putting in an offer on a 1979 boxy Vancouver Special in the same neighbourhood as where we sold. I can’t believe we are doing this, never did I think I would get caught in on 04.21.11 at 11:26 am

[…] story as told by Garth Turner at 20 Apr 2011 – “Two years ago Anna and her husband decided to sell their house on the west side of […]

#143 refinow on 04.21.11 at 11:31 am

#27 Casanova (wrote)

“I think Garth can congratulate himself in ruining this couple’s life.
This is what happens when you listen to end of the world obscure blogs and financial charlatans like Garth and go and sell your house.”

I dont really understand the term ruining that couple’s life.

They had a house paid in full, sold for 1.2MM.. And are now sitting on the same amount of cash… Poor $client with a $1,2 MM in the bank so hard done by with their 500 sq ft appartment… They should go rent one of those lakefront appartments near Eddy and use one his 3 girlfriends as a nanny…

I am sure they did not buy it for that price and have likely made a significant profit from the sale of that house.

Why does everyone like to play the “VICTIM CARD”… There are no guarantees in real estate, there never were. It is always about timing.. 2 years ago there was some very clear signs that real estate had the potential to correct and it did in the US, Europe, England, and other parts of the world.. They decided to sell, they signed the papers, and likely felt pretty good at the time when they deposited the money in the bank.

But what will leave a far worse taste in this couple’s mouth is taking a big drink of the kool aide, jumping back in to the market that they were in such a big hurry to leave 2 years prior.

They can’t afford to lose anymore money??….. I want to look this couple up in six months and see how much they think they have lost then.

You have to know when to hold’em, and know when to fold’em …… I think it is time to run !!!

#144 Mr. Plow on 04.21.11 at 11:31 am

As soon as these folks made the decision to sell they were locked in to renting until the market drops.

This makes no sense at all to buy back in $200K behind. I’m not gonna go into detail about what they should do, enough people here I’m sure will do that for them, but buying now makes zero sense unless you want to piss money away or unless they truly believe real estate will always go up.

I guess they shouldn’t of sold when they did, but since they did they should hold off.

#145 Mr. Plow on 04.21.11 at 11:33 am

Its funny how she said she can’t sleep at night.

Its funny cause that is barometer I have always used when buying investments, and investment properties.

We had one we were going to do last year, but it didn’t feel right and I confessed to my wife that I didn’t think I could sleep at night so we didn’t do it.

If you can’t sleep at night, its hardly worth it and the universe is likely trying to tell you something.

#146 Mr. Plow on 04.21.11 at 11:39 am

#43 McLovin

You’re back. Since Devil’s Advocate got deleted wasn’t sure you would have a reason to post again.

#147 Elizabeth on 04.21.11 at 11:40 am

I think Anna and her family should buy that property and here’s why.

I have been trying to help a friend of mine who’s son and daughter in law want to “buy now”. I have been bringing Garth’s blog into her work place for the past 2 years. I warned her that if they bought at the top of the market, they would regret it (for reasons too numerous to list here). I spent endless hours trying to enlighten her. My friend understood but after 2 years, her children just bought a condo in Richmond.

I promised myself that the next time I saw her, I would tell her that her kids should buy something now. Why? Well, same reason Anna and her husband should buy…it’s the only way that they will learn and it’s the hard way. I will be in the wings to say “I told you so”; and “Garth told you so”. I tried to educate them by presenting Garth’s information but to no avail.

So Anna, go ahead and buy…could you be any more insane?

Thanks for your help Garth……

#148 randman on 04.21.11 at 11:45 am

#70 Utopia

you are my hero!

A great post

But you don’t even need $3000 to live like royalty

$1500-$2000 will do in many places

Teach English , experience life

Sadly most won’t ever leave their postal code

#149 Mr. Plow on 04.21.11 at 11:46 am


I sure hope both these folks are on board with the decision. Husband sounds like he is pushing it on her.

If their 1.2 million ends up being $700K in a couple of years I have a feeling they could be heading to divorce. That could cause a lot of resentment.

Oh well, hopefully they do what is best for them.

#150 jack on 04.21.11 at 11:55 am

A friend of mine went to look at some houses in the GTA, near UofT to be exact. i did not ask what prices were, but he did reveal that both houses he looked at, there was a banker in the house explaining to him financing and how they finance the house to make it more affordable.
its come down to that.

#151 debtified on 04.21.11 at 11:59 am

Anna, please buy that house at all cost. Don’t let anyone outbid you. You might lose even more if you don’t buy now.

Looking forward to hear from you again in a year or two.

#152 Rusty on 04.21.11 at 12:06 pm

it’s never wise to sell your principal residence. What motivated the couple to sell was greed, not stability. They deserve ever ounce of this

#153 Utopia on 04.21.11 at 12:11 pm

None of the board members liked the head of the Strata Council. He was arrogant they said and did not cooperate with their demands to give all the tenants free washers and dryers.

They really wanted free appliances though. They wanted them a lot. And it was not because the head of the council was really a bad guy. He was in fact a very good manager. He was the only one on Council properly trained and experienced in building management in truth.

They just didn’t like his attitude when he turned down all their wasteful, silly requests.

So they got together. They held a secret meeting of the Strata Council. “What will we do about this guy” they chimed in together in angry tones? “My dog was limping this morning!” shouted one. Then they all agreed, the head of the Strata must have kicked the dog. He was not a fair person they assured each other. Nobody else in the building was mean enough to do that.

“OK, lets take a vote then” said the rebellion leader. We will show him who’s boss. And so they did. And the council members agreed in unison that the Strata Head was a dog-kicker and he had a bad personality to boot. They went further.

“He can’t be trusted” hissed the lead conspirator.

Then they announced the conclusion of the vote to all the tenants at a big meeting. There was even a camera there. “The head of the council kicks dogs” they reported sombrely.

“This has never, ever happened in the history of our building” one of them gushed to the ladies gossip group (as if he had nothing to do with creating the accusation in the first place). They even wrote about it in the buildings newsletter. Pretty soon, a lot of people were upset. Some even kept their dogs in at night.

As it turns out the dog was just a natural cripple. Nobody ever kicked him. By the time the Annual General Meetings and Strata elections came around later that month most of the tenants had already figured out the truth. Many were not impressed to say the least. In desperation the lead conspirator went to the podium and began to rant.

“Rise up, rise up against the dog-kicker” he blithered!

“This is not Libya, you fool” retorted a dog-lover in the audience. Nobody was really listening anymore anyway. Well, except one sage old grizzled veteran with a cane. He had his own plan to lead his followers to the promised land. But now I am getting off track, dear readers.

And that is the story of why the dog-kicker is still the leader of the pack.

#154 Taiwan is not China on 04.21.11 at 12:18 pm

These folks are just plain greedy..How can you explain someone with 1.2 million in Bank rent a 500sf box ??

They are stressed about money they lost that they didn’t have in the first place… What a bunch of morons ???

I say let them buy, it will be a valuable lesson. There is no other way to learn for people with such mindset.

Make sure we get in touch with them 2 years down the road.

#155 The American on 04.21.11 at 12:20 pm

At #134: Utopia, AMEN!

#156 Williston Geo on 04.21.11 at 12:20 pm

#88 VanLarry
“Since it’s about a week left till taxes are due:
At $55,000, if all of it is dividend and you live in BC you pay: $930 in taxes.
If it’s all Employment income(T4): $10,000 in taxes
If it’s interest income(Sitting in bank): $10,400 in taxes”

Thanks for the reminder on tax avoidance. I sure know what I would do with 1.2 million, and it wouldn’t involve buying residential real estate.

#157 Taiwan is not China on 04.21.11 at 12:29 pm

#131 Feedthegreed on 04.21.11 at 10:34 amHere it is , straight from the guy who fills helicopters with those “house horny” Asian buyers.

Looks like Vancouver Sun has started allowing Realturds to write their own article. IDIOTS

Look at the end …
Teh Author Cam Good is president of, a real estate sales and marketing company

#158 Devore on 04.21.11 at 12:41 pm

#145 Mr. Plow

I guess they shouldn’t of sold when they did, but since they did they should hold off.

In 20/20 hindsight, they should have not sold. They were in a hot area, that is still selling well, so the recent price increases likely apply to their property. If we were talking a condo in PoCo, probably not so much. No one can time the market top with any reliability, especially with real estate. If you’re off by even a day, it can mean your property will sit on market for months, and sell for substantially less.

What they SHOULD have done after selling is find themselves a nice place to rent, so they can continue to enjoy their life. They remind me of that guy Garth wrote about a few months ago, who put all his money into gold bars, barricaded himself into a basement, and waited with his increasingly annoyed fiance for the world to end.

You can have a position of safety, while still living your life.

#159 Sea Wave on 04.21.11 at 12:42 pm

According to Realtor Cam Good (he of “Asian” helicopter tour fame) in today’s Vancouver Sun (prominent op-ed piece):

“If you suffer from real estate impotence, don’t blame Chinese people. Besides, getting all worked up about it will only make it worse. Have a glass of wine. Relax. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and pick up the phone to call a realtor or a mortgage broker, either of whom will be more than happy to show you how easy it can be to get your real estate groove on!”

And, in conclusion, this gem:

“Real estate is the best investment you’ll ever make!”.

All sunshine and lollipops in Mr. Good’s world: absolutely nothing but upside. No other investment class trumps real estate. Buy now or be priced out forever.

Read more:

#160 DJ on 04.21.11 at 12:43 pm

We are already at a loss of $200,000,000 and can’t afford any bigger loss. Anna.”

Me think there are a few too many zeros there.

#161 We'll lymidlifecrisis on 04.21.11 at 12:44 pm

I can relate. I close next week and i woke up this morning really sad about the loss of my home and terrified that i will be priced out forever and may not be able to get back in again. I want a home more than i want $ in the bank. I hope this turns out OK, I’m having major doubts. It doesn’t seem to be slowing in van at all. It’s not all about $, there’s a lot of value in a home that has nothing to do with $. Maybe I’m just sad . . . But, i have to say it. I CANT WAIT TO BUY AGAIN. I can really relate to Anna, I’m not even out yet and i want back in. It’s just that my building is great, and i will likely not find a comparable here again. Sure, I’ll be OK if i relocate, but not sure if i want to do that. Thanks for letting me get that off my chest. We’ll see if i am celebrating or crying on moving day. from what I’ve been reading i should be celebrating but i feel like crying.

#162 Alex on 04.21.11 at 12:45 pm


Thank you for posting this link:

If you frequent this blog, you MUST read this piece. As a guy who believes the real estate industry-backed mainstream media is more responsible for this bubble than anything else, and has complained vociferously again and again to editors, “journalists,” and the CRTC about it, I’d have to say that this particular piece is more bogus, more immoral, and more potentially illegal than anything I’ve seen to date. Yet there it is, at the Sun site, as written by Cam Good, and posed as “news.” PLEASE, read the article and react accordingly. Don’t just bitch about it here – let Sun head honcho Patricia Graham know you see through this veil of lies and pure bullshit. Just sickening.

#163 Ex-Cowtown on 04.21.11 at 12:54 pm

My wife and I were surfing channels the other night and happened to hit on “Til Debt Do Us Part” on one of the house porn channels. Wow…. great show. Everyone who’s even thinking about buying a house should watch a few episodes.

All in all, it shows how unrealistic many homeowners are regarding the all-in costs of owning and maintaining a home.

The show, while demonstrating that it is possible for many people to get their financial houses in order does inadvertently point out one depressing fact about today’s housing market:

If you work really hard, scrimp, save, and live like paupers, it is possible to be a slave to your home for the next 25 years.

Tough lessons on this TV show. I really recommend everyone watch it. Kind of surprised that they put this on a house porn channel, but then again, they never once advocated selling the house to get out from under, it was always on how to hang on at all costs and keep those mortgage payments going!

#164 not asian on 04.21.11 at 12:57 pm

I personally know a investment portfolio manager who did something similar to Anna recently. He sold his house in Richmond, then panicked and repurchased another lesser home in a blink of an eye. He was nervous that he couldn’t get back into the market if he waited. He works for the government.

#165 Alex on 04.21.11 at 1:03 pm

Just FYI, here’s a selection from the Cam Good-penned Vancouver Sun “news” article today. Read it and try to decide if its more ignorant than it is racist, dangerous, fraudulent, or deceptive. Regardless, it’s blatant “yellow” journalism. I can’t fricking believe the media push has gone this bloody far:

“If you suffer from real estate impotence, don’t blame Chinese people. Besides, getting all worked up about it will only make it worse. Have a glass of wine. Relax. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and pick up the phone to call a realtor or a mortgage broker, either of whom will be more than happy to show you how easy it can be to get your real estate groove on.

Real estate is the best investment you’ll ever make, but don’t take my word for it. Ask any of the 70 per cent of Canadians who are already owners. Or a Chinese person.”

FYI, I have already contacted Patricia Graham at the Sun to beg for the chance at a rebuttal.

#166 moloko on 04.21.11 at 1:04 pm

I just sold my one bedroom apartment in Vancouver’s Westside last month. I sold for very close to $400,000 and I’m renting back from the new owners for $1400 a month.
The apartment was paid off, so it was only costing me $250 in maintenance fees and about another $50 a month in property taxes to live there when I owned (total $300 a month).

I invested the $400,000 in big Dividend paying companies and income trusts and I’m yielding just over 6%, which gives me around $2000 a month in income. So I’m actually making an extra $900 a month by having sold. Instead of paying $300, I’m now making $600 ($2000-$1400 in rent).
I pay VERY little in taxes because of the dividend tax credits.
So In my case it made sense to sell.
Now this crazy market can go down!

Probably running any numbers with the argument to rent or buy right now in Vancouver you’d be much better off to rent. Now is the time to sell not buy.
And seriously? a Vancouver special????

#167 WesternCanadian on 04.21.11 at 1:04 pm

.3 Bedroom Condo Style Duplex In Killarney
Address:2638 27th Street SW, Calgary, Alberta – Killarney.Status:Active.
Rented Status: Not Rented Rented
(Marking Rented, will stamp your listing as RENTED and archive the ad within 48 hours.).Views:1067 (since last activation).Stats:Daily | Weekly | Monthly | Bulk

Last week Garth made a big deal about how there were 3,000+ rentals available in Calgary.

He called it “3,000 reasons why renters are better off” or something to that effect.

I manage rentals in Calgary and wanted to offer some perspective on Garth’s little post.

He is a print out from the activity report for one of my listings: Average 3 bedroom upper level duplex in SW Calgary community…

OVER 1000 views on this one listing alone on

This is Garth’s freaking problem. He comes out in his blog and throws out a number: “over 3,000 properties for rent in Calgary!” but there’s ZERO context provided.

When ONE listing gets 1000 views that means there’s thousands of people looking for rentals.

#168 Gary in Alberta on 04.21.11 at 1:13 pm

Great post Garth.

This type of volatility in everything is literally driving so many to the brink of insanity.

Another great read to support the insanity venue is at

Everything is bloated and none of the current political parties conning you for your votes are worthy of being elected to parliament. In fact in order to clean house they all ought to be taken out and imprisoned for what they all have done to this country and the people in it.

At least that way we could perhaps have a chance at starting with a clean slate.

#169 betamax on 04.21.11 at 1:14 pm

500 sq/ft? I once lived in bachelor suite larger than that.

Get a room. In fact, get a couple. Rent something larger. (Does this really need to be stated?)

As for the US dollar, yes it’s tanking hard. I had some US stocks that I sold this morning because the exchange rate was killing my otherwise-lucrative profits. Word to the wise: check your holdings vs. the dollar.

The US dollar will probably spike up again later, when there’s a flight to safety, but I didn’t want to hold the stocks that long. To much volatility.

There’s still money to be made in the markets but it feels like we’re near the top and headed for a correction. I don’t want to do an Isaac Newton, so I’m going to sit on the sidelines till I see some bargains.

#170 betamax on 04.21.11 at 1:19 pm

Oasis – get over your obsession with Utopia. No one cares; it’s boring.

#171 New Era on 04.21.11 at 1:27 pm

darren on 04.21.11 at 8:03 am

Hey were in the same situation, except we bought in 1995 and 2003 and sold in 2008 and 2010.

Were sitting on a Wad of CASH, Preferred shares, stocks and etc.

Our rental cost 1200 for a basement suite everything included except internet. And is 10 minutes from work for both of us and close to grandparents place for the kids. We call it our office because part of it can be written right off (which can’t be done if we owned).

However were both professional and make close to 200,000 but with our investments we are way over that.

Not in a panic to buy, if the Vancouver market tanks, so will the jobs, so we are worry free on that, and can pack up and go to where the jobs are.
For us there is no reason to chase the bandwagon.
The US and the world is looking so unstable and we are only kidding ourselves if we think our government is more superior than all others.

Take a good look at the CIRCUS who’s running the show.

BTW is it conicidence that

1) when obama was getting elected the US bubble truth came out and then we all know what happened after.

2) Just before our elections the inflation news gets out, articles saying were in a bubble, things can get bad are starting to come out.

3) I would expect more of this type of news coming out especially when the banks have completed and sold almost all their developments. Now they can make money at gauging you with higher interest.

#172 jess on 04.21.11 at 1:28 pm

the sheeple turn

Paul Ryan Gets Booed By Constituents For Opposing Tax Hikes On Rich

Ryan protested that “We do tax the top”

The United States of Inequality


“Data from the Tax Foundation shows that, in 2008, the average income for the bottom half of taxpayers was $15,300.

This year, the first $9,350 of income is exempt from taxes for singles and $18,700 for married couples, just slightly more than in 2008. That means millions of the poor do not make enough to owe income taxes.”

#173 pen pal on 04.21.11 at 1:47 pm

# 129 Liquid Renter

You are absolutely correct in your assesment of these people. No sugar-coating. Bravo!
You were even polite about it.

#174 tkid on 04.21.11 at 1:47 pm


if my house was worth 1.2 million and I owned the sucker outright, I’d be greedier than greedy; I’d sell the sucker, rent myself a nice two bed condo someplace, and retire. Heck, I might even spend more on the rental than the interest the $1.1 brought in.

No way would I be freaking out on the sidelines thinking “OMG OMG OMG OMG we’ll never own a home again!!!!!!!! OMG!” Why are they freaking out?

#175 45north on 04.21.11 at 1:54 pm

Utopia: Oasis, sensing a moment of victory wrote the following disparaging words

pretty funny

As my aunt says “I don’t know what’s going to happen but we’re not going to like it”.

#176 super dave on 04.21.11 at 1:55 pm

13 Mikey the Realtor

You are an ass…

#177 Devore on 04.21.11 at 1:58 pm

This disgusting piece of diarrhea appeared as the op ed piece in Vancouver Sun today, in case there is any doubt about who owns the media around here. Cam Good is the asshat responsible for that recent helicopter tour.

h/t vci

#178 Junius on 04.21.11 at 2:02 pm

Dear Anna,

If you really want to get some perspective on the inflated house prices of Vancouver go SouthWestern Europe – Portugal, Spain, France and Italy and check out the price of properties. I recently returned from a trip there and the prices are shocking (as in cheap) compared to Vancouver.

My wife watches the show “Fantasy Homes By the Sea” to keep her sane. Each week you can watch a British couple jet off to these locations for a home a fraction of what you would pay in Vancouver.

Choosing between a Vancouver crack shack for $1.1 million and a palace in Portugal puts it all in perspective. It can’t be the “Best Place on Earth” if you can’t afford to live there.

And yes, we are looking to buy………in Europe.

#179 moloko on 04.21.11 at 2:05 pm


Is Cam Goode now a writer for The Vancouver Sun?
I wish there was a comment section for that particular story

#180 r on 04.21.11 at 2:06 pm

“When ONE listing gets 1000 views that means there’s thousands of people looking for rentals.”

alternatively, it could mean there’s only 1000 people looking for rentals, and 3000 properties available for rent. or a 3:1 ratio. uh oh.

#181 Double Down on 04.21.11 at 2:10 pm

Why all the outrage about Anna – who cares, what I am puzzled is why does someone seek the advise through a blog on what to do with their personal assets – that’s the true WTF – mentality. Anna, don’t be so bloody cheap, hire a professional Financial advisor and tax consultant and get the answers that meet your specific situation – a 5 minute post can’t even scratch the surface –

Garth has been open and honest on “his” vision which holds alot of merit – but Garth’s book in 2008 (bought it but forgot the name) essentially told me to live in a cave with a generator cemented into the ground and pray that no scavengers find me … I am not mocking what he said – at the time – he held some serious valid points – things change – deal with it –

I laughed so hard about yesterday’s post by the guy who bought into the hype – and squacks that he is living large renting – good for you – but, the point is lost, buying must be weighted by all aspects … if he has all these professional friends, and no one let on to open a book on Financial management – pleassssseee –

3x your income is your very first focus – all expenses added, what a knob – lists everything and its well above $2k month, well, you can buy a $5 beer – think before you act! If he is any indication of our youth – God help us all – that’s probably a by-product of his parents providing all his wants and needs – hey buddy – I learn’t money management in grade 5 delivering newspapers – I owned the paper a certain amount each month, I collected and what was left over from the bill, was mine – I learned at a young age the life of hard knocks – customers skipping out in paying a 10 year old – I worked for my money – and from what you wrote, you probably were babied all the way up to college…. LOL

If you want to freak on those who buy – stand outside a car lot and watch those drive off in a $50K car that just lost 30% from the moment it touched the curb – its all an illusion – its neither here nor there –

There is a right time and wrong time to buy – big deal – but one thing most bloggers are not mentioning – when the sh$t hits the fan – its the tax payers that will be paying the bill for the foolishness of those buying way above what they can afford –

(Government has just added an additional tax to all investment / savings and fewer tax breaks to help allivate the crushing burden brought about by CMHC shortfall – lets see who really takes it up the keaster)..

#182 Alex on 04.21.11 at 2:11 pm

Just got off the phone with the Sun. They called ME after I sent them a complaint email on the Cam Good piece, for which I give them credit. Anyway, they tell me it’s a “opinion” piece, to which I replied that it wasn’t set up, at least online, to LOOK like an opinion piece. I had a lengthy 20-minute discussion with one of the higher-ups where I hit him with everything I could possibly think of re: real estate. There were moments when he had no real comeback to my barrage of facts, and in the end I asked and was given a chance to write a rebuttal. We’ll see how it goes from here. He seemed open-minded and intelligent, and I am hopeful.

#183 totalchaos on 04.21.11 at 2:18 pm


Rent a larger place and get a fee based financial advisor. Let me live vicariously through you. I would love to sell and rent, but I can find nothing to fit our family of 6. At one time, we could have got 750K for our place, now 700K on a good day, but there is nowhere to accomodate the family that wouldn’t involve moving out of our city. I’m sure that doesn’t sound like a big deal to many, but 75% of my children have special learning needs so new schools for everyone would not be a good thing. (Each child is in a different school to meet different needs right now!) Fortunately, with no mortgage, other investments and a very secure job, we will muddle through.

You, on the other hand, have only one small child that is not yet in school. As it has already been pointed out, the 1.2 mil, invested in a tax efficient portfolio, will generate more income than many full time jobs! There are a plethora of nice places suitable for a family of 3 (and 4 if you plan on another). You have so many options in front of you and that is what you need to explore.

As one poster has already pointed out, the crash will not happen overnight. You need to realize that you are in a wonderful position to wait this out. I think the key is to find a larger, more comfortable place to rent so you can wait it out in style.


#184 S-J on 04.21.11 at 2:29 pm

Anna, even though you have waited two years since selling your home, you should both stand back and take another moment before you dive in.

We bought a house in Victoria in 2001 for $365,000 and sold it for a nice profit. We left Victoria in 2006, thinking that prices were out of control at that point. I remember seeing a listing come on, probably around 2004, for $615,000. I said there was no way they would get that, which of course they did! Prices continued going up and at the time, it was surprisingly easy to get used to these increased prices. In the midst of all this frenzy, we even managed to justify these ridiculous prices to ourselves.

Anyway, we decided to move to Nova Scotia, where prices are sane and life is less complicated. In late 2008/early 2009, after the financial crash, we saw prices begin their descent in Victoria. We thought we would wait a while until they fell to sensible levels again, which they didn’t. By spring 2009, the market took off again, and hasn’t stopped since. Sometimes, I can’t believe it has been five years since we thought that prices were too high!

For a while, I pondered on the fact that we had missed our “opportunity” to get back to Victoria, but now I feel blessed that we didn’t. From what we see and hear, the cracks in the supposed solid foundation of real estate in Victoria are starting to really show. We’ll wait and see what happens, but we certainly wouldn’t dive in now – maybe we never will.

It is a lot clearer since we have stepped away from that market and we can look on in wonder at what has gone on there. Being in the middle of it, it is so easy to get caught up in all the madness.

I know you may not have the option of moving across the country to find your dream home, but you can certainly try and rent it for a while. There must be some other options than the 500 sq ft place you are in now.

Anyway, good luck and listen to what your intuition is telling you.

#185 pjwlk on 04.21.11 at 2:31 pm

Kind of reminds me of a co-worker who drops by regularly to brag about the worth of his home. “It’s worth almost 2 million” he said at his last appearance. When I asked him why he’s not selling, he laughed and asked me “why would I do that?”. “So you’d never have to work another hour for the rest of your life!” I explained. The poor bastard was stunned and didn’t know what to say. I’m guessing it’s because it’s not really him that owns the house but the bank. And the bank owns him I might add because he is forced to work 6-7 days a week just to keep up… What a dink…

#186 MikeT on 04.21.11 at 2:33 pm

@184 Alex:
GO ALEX!!! Really interested to see the outcome!

#187 pjwlk on 04.21.11 at 2:48 pm

“the realtors are lobbying for reduced land transfer taxes, and a permanent reservoir of government money to help people renovate.”

The sad thing is they’ll probably get their wish! I frequently wondering why these mental midgets think the rest of us non-home owners should be subsidizing (with our tax dollars) people who can’t afford to or shouldn’t own a home. WTF?

#188 Mister Obvious on 04.21.11 at 3:01 pm

#153 Rusty

…”it’s never wise to sell your principal residence.”

What a thoughtless statement. Of course there are times when it makes sense to sell an outperforming asset. Especially one that yields tax-free proceeds. Nothing outperforms forever.

What is notwise is to immediately second guess the decision and jump back in at a loss.

Imagine an alternate scenario: They keep the property. In 3 years time its value falls from $1.2M down to $800K. That could easily happen. Will Anna say:

“Oh well, it was only a huge lump of unrealized tax-free capital gain. We still have our lovely home. There’s plenty of opportunity to net $400K as wage slaves over the next 25 years”.

Somehow I doubt it.

#189 Taiwan is not China on 04.21.11 at 3:13 pm

Go to or e-mail [email protected] and show your frustration on the Sun article.

#190 maxx on 04.21.11 at 3:15 pm

#72 Industrial Guy-
“Our Minister of Finance and our head of the Bank of Canada are geniuses. These numbers must be wrong”.

The financial geniuses are moving the deck chairs on the Titanic around so fast that the deck itself is wearing through. Their cloud-shoveling theories have painted us all into a corner and still they continue to believe that a few more hand-holding “G”series meetings will divine a solution. Pitiful.

#191 Calgary Renter on 04.21.11 at 3:18 pm

#168 WesternCanadian

Not sure I understood your point but as a renter I may review 1000 house for rent but only sign one rent agreement once a year. So in your logic, 1000 house have only 1 renter?

#192 Hoof - Hearted on 04.21.11 at 3:20 pm

Few cottage owners sign up for tax increase deferral program


One of the bigger scams going…..owners get ripped off on places and get little if any value in return.

#193 Ottawa on 04.21.11 at 3:33 pm

Watch out for DEBT!!! Media has published (so it’s late but it’s news for FOOLS):

#194 Tom from Mississauga on 04.21.11 at 3:47 pm

This one I had to email out to people. The stats are… oh boy.

#195 jess on 04.21.11 at 3:52 pm

go alex …and if you need some encouragement check this out. This representative further degrades the american people

#196 Oasis on 04.21.11 at 4:21 pm

#171 betamax on 04.21.11 at 1:19 pm

Oasis – get over your obsession with Utopia. No one cares; it’s boring.

well then you should stop reading my posts then.

#197 Mikey the Realtor on 04.21.11 at 4:31 pm

#178 super dave

it takes one to know one. Are you Mr. Anna? the one pushing this misguided woman into this delicious deal? Don’t let the pups persuade you two lovebirds, passing on this fantastic deal would a tragedy. Remember, get in or be priced out forever!

#198 BrianT on 04.21.11 at 4:32 pm

#162-You summed it up-you want a house even if it breaks you financially. This is the thing: everybody says just get a good financial advisor but no financial advisor can work miracles-the client has the ultimate responsibility.

#199 G-Unit on 04.21.11 at 4:39 pm

Cam Good on the Vancouver market and Asian investments. He has numbers on the % of mainland Chinese who are buying. Don’t know if those numbers are fact though.

#200 mid-Ontario on 04.21.11 at 4:45 pm

Having slept on this blog, I woke up linking Anna to my thought processing in the heady days of Nortel.

Back then, I continously thought ” I sold too early, I have get back in”.

Greed is like a drug.

RE greed will soon be replaced with fear.

The plunge starts in May!

#201 Marty on 04.21.11 at 5:02 pm

Thanks, Garth! Truly believe you are right about the correction.

I think the downturn has started already and it’s happening from the outside in.

We just sold our house this week after 2 months on the market in a “hot” GTA neighbourhood and we had to drop our price to sell it. We received 75K less than the identical model down the street that sold in a bidding war in January. Glad to be getting out of the “McMansion” and moving into something more reasonably sized and debt-free.

#202 tiedattutu on 04.21.11 at 5:13 pm

Timing a bubble! Hardest thing in the World to do as the biggest gains are at the end. My sister managed to do it, but it was because the re agent messed up and didn’t get her place listed for a couple of months. In that time her condo went from $150k to $250k and she top ticked the Florida bubble. Now the condos are changing hands at less than $100k. She just now plunged back in with a $350k lake house. The thing looks like a mansion.

I bought a preferred EFT, a couple of bond EFTs, and a large cap EFT (which I’ve had for 8 months and has a large capital gain). And I won’t be surprised went I get my head handed to me. It’s just the way it works. In fact my investing is so bad, sometimes I wonder how ended up with so much money to worry about. But no matter: the big wigs are turning it to confetti anyway.

#203 Pr on 04.21.11 at 5:17 pm

Its now, only a question of interest rate!

#204 Mr. Plow on 04.21.11 at 5:29 pm

#187 pjwlk

“what a dink…”

people don’t say that enough, great word, totally underused.

#205 Mr. Plow on 04.21.11 at 5:32 pm

#184 Alex…

I know many who are in the media, what are you trying to accomplish exactly?

This question, is literal so please don’t take it otherwise.

#206 Mr. Plow on 04.21.11 at 5:40 pm

#159 Devore

Agreed on all points.

#207 ballingsford on 04.21.11 at 5:43 pm

Interesting posts. With the price of fuel and food going up,maybe this is a clever plot for everyone to start cycling. This could elimate our obesity problems.

WTF, I sound like a Conspiracy Theorist. These are real problems to many Canadians.

Someone, or some group, must be smart enough to realize what is going on and correct it.

Hard times are coming for sure for a lot of folks who don’t deserve it!

#208 poco on 04.21.11 at 5:55 pm

#159 –Devore–
In 20/20 hindsight, they should have not sold. They were in a hot area, that is still selling well, so the recent price increases likely apply to their property. If we were talking a condo in PoCo, probably not so much. No one can time the market top with any reliability, especially with real estate. If you’re off by even a day, it can mean your property will sit on market for months, and sell for substantially less.
______________________________________________glad you mentioned the Port Coquitlam condo market–still lots of price drops throughout the tri cities area–so far this week we’ve had over 60 price drops downward with 6 upward(some still think it’s a hot market here)–don’t get me wrong–still sales going on -SFH still a big seller–lots sell near or at asking price and a few still over asking(boggles the mind)
the condo market has been toast for about a year now–many selling for less than they paid 2or 3 years ago(i sound like a broken record)
i now see these price declines seeping into the townhouse market–haven’t seen any townhouses sell for over asking for months–(which a few did last spring)new listings for TH are asking less than they paid–don’t believe me –check out the Klahanie development in Port Moody –condos and TH selling for less or just over what owners paid in 2008.
the highrises around Newport Village in PM and near the Coq. Center are all a disaster–many of the presale flippers have, or are going to, lose their shirts
still waiting to see what happens with the 22 owners who failed to close on their units at Sutter Brook in PM–anyone know???
the new highrise (pocos’ first) on Shaughnessy St has a sign -completion date March 2012 –i was under the impression that it took at least 3yrs to finish a 26story highrise-they’ve been at it for about 1yr–anyways they have already dropped their price on some of their units by 25k—a sign of the times?

#209 george on 04.21.11 at 6:00 pm

Alex on 04.21.11 at 2:11 pmJust got off the phone with the Sun. They called ME after I sent them a complaint email on the Cam Good piece, for which I give them credit. Anyway, they tell me it’s a “opinion” piece, to which I replied that it wasn’t set up, at least online, to LOOK like an opinion piece. I had a lengthy 20-minute discussion with one of the higher-ups where I hit him with everything I could possibly think of re: real estate. There were moments when he had no real comeback to my barrage of facts, and in the end I asked and was given a chance to write a rebuttal. We’ll see how it goes from here. He seemed open-minded and intelligent, and I am hopeful.

good job Alex and I think we all need to do that. I send e-mails complaints to most media outlets but Alex went one step further (good going)

#210 realpaul on 04.21.11 at 6:03 pm

OK Carney says not to panic at the recent inflation numbers that are double the official ‘line in the sand’ that was last weeks mantra. Did they just redraw the line in the sand and accept that inflation is no longer a factor? Their own bullshit ‘announcement’ was of a 3.6% inflation rate when the ‘target’ is 2%. If inflation is ‘officially double the target rate…then…what???? Nothing!!!!

The bigger the bubble the bigger the splatter. Harper has been pandering to everyone to shoot for the mythical majority……….And if he doesn’t get it…can he expand this bubble any further? Do they project hanging on for yet another try? How big can the national debt bubble grow before we end up sinking. This can’t end well.

In fact they have just changed the public relations policy on inflation again. In fact if the inflation numbers were arrived at in the same way as they were ten years ago the inflation would be well over 20% p/a……the line gets redrawn anytime its politically expediant to do so. They know effing well that inflation is not 2% !!

ERGO…Carney is a joke…the BOC is a joke…..and the musing of the Finance Minister are fantasy at best.

Meanwhile experts are forecasting another year of falling prices in the US.

Those seminars in TO that are all the rage with suckers lining up to buy in the US are just creating a whole new cadre of losers………Sigh….the world keeps turning.

#211 betamax on 04.21.11 at 6:04 pm

#198 Oasis: “well then you should stop reading my posts then”

Best advice you ever gave. I’ll take it.

#212 mac on 04.21.11 at 6:10 pm

Man oh man. Reading Anna’s story reminds me of how hopelessly pathetic the situation is here in Canada.

When someone sitting on 1.2 mil can’t think of ANYTHING else to do but to jump back into the market because they ‘lost’ their house. Ugh. If you lose a friend, family member or even a pet, it’s reasonable to be very emotional. This is just irrational.
She probably woke up one morning and was just so worried about societies’ impression of her, and how her rental has placed her 3 more blocks away from her latte shop; she just couldn’t bear it. Why the stress of all that unchained capitol must have been crushing. Her wee mind spun out of control as she might actually have to think about options and make decisions on her own.

“I just need to be buried by debt so I can achieve the same melamine flavored lifestyle as all my peers…
I wouldn’t ever consider getting out of the country for a couple of months or using the money to build a new skill.. I never want to change my perspective, that would make me an outsider. It’s cold out there…”.

Boo-f’n-who. Let these vanilla idiots have their cake and eat it too. I’m so damned sick of seeing people who can’t formulate their own opinion and never had an original thought, I feel no sympathy in having them suffer through stark economic times; even if they’re going to drag the rest of us through the mud with them.

Maybe when the wife/husband leaves, the house/condo is gone, and all the shiny surroundings have lost their polish will they realize just how damned boring they are. Then maybe they’ll get a life and start to use more than just one of their brain’s functions.

Garth, I appreciate you bringing the story to light, but it left me with my face firmly in my palm… followed by a long sigh. The independent thinker will eventually win over the plastic mind, but it’s going to be a damned while. That’s the bubble I’m wishing would pop.

#213 new from the US on 04.21.11 at 6:18 pm

new to van and see the steep curve on housing prices and going to wait it out and rent.

have cash (not quite Anna money) and want to invest in some conservative areas for 2yrs or so and then pull the trigger on a house when prices get reasonable

with interest rates likely increasing and stock mkt likely going to take a hit, where would you park your money for a 2-3 yr horizon?

#214 Vancouver_Bear on 04.21.11 at 6:30 pm

#13 Mikey the Realtor on 04.20.11 at 10:19 pm

Haha, I like your realturd’s joke about buying now…..I guess you are one paycheque away from the bankruptcy and desperately need those comissions.
Apply for poggey now, after May 2nd realturds will not be allowed to apply for poggey, mark my words.

#215 Alex on 04.21.11 at 6:37 pm

Mr Plow: I don’t take offense to your question.

The way I figure it, we get enough rosy outlooks and buy now or be priced out forevers in the mainstream media simply because it generally fawns all over the real estate industry message (presumably because said industry spends a ton of money advertising there).

Now today we see this Cam Good “opinion” piece, except it doesn’t look so much like opinion as it does news. At least this morning, it was filed under the “News” banner.

But those of us who are “bearish” don’t have a big, free-spending organization behind us. So, like I often do, I complained that hey, enough is enough. Can we please have more of the other side of the argument? And they responded by phone, which was a nice surprise. And I said that Cam Good is merely a marketer. He’s no impartial financial advisor or anything like that. So if he gets his 800 words, how about giving me mine?

And he says, “As long as it deals with facts, maybe.” So I say, “Cam Good doesn’t deal with facts – this is pure hype.”

“Get your real estate groove on.” Come on already!

Anywho, the discussion gets less heated and this guy really appears to be listening. And he gives me a crack at a rebuttal, which I am now assembling. And that’s where the story currently sits. My one rebuttal, if it makes it to press, versus a constant stream of reprinted ReMax press releases and Cam Good “opinion” pieces.

#216 Taiwan is not China on 04.21.11 at 6:43 pm

#199 Mikey the Realtor on 04.21.11 at 4:31 pm#178 super dave

Remember, get in or be priced out forever!

Hey Mikey Realturd,
I have got 200K for my 50% down. Considering that I am already priced out. I have moved on to enjoy my life with rising savings and investments and zero debt… So STFU and move on with yours.

#217 Alpha Bravo on 04.21.11 at 6:57 pm

#184 Alex


Thank you for your efforts Alex.

#218 BPOE on 04.21.11 at 7:03 pm

Uuber renter Shiller aka The American. Even when FACTS presented tries to change them around. What a Shiller!Sooooo here we are in the 2nd quarter of 2011 and Vancouver Real Estate is HOT HOT HOT. Of course Shiller will tell you otherwise. Do your own research Vancouver is a Winner!! Check the stats for the past few years. Shiller will tell you Vancouver has been a bad investment the last 5 years. Research and see who is telling the real truth about Vancouver

#219 ballingsford on 04.21.11 at 7:09 pm

I’m sure someone is documenting our collapse of real estate in Canada. Garth, this is something you could probably do and probably are. It won’t hit the bookshelves though until everyone knows when the time comes, that it’s over.

Hard and Realistic times are coming. This is going to be the tsunami of debt.

I am usually an optimist, but facing reality, I fear that my outlook as a pessimistic isn’t the optimist belief that I desire.

Good luck everyone, may you all persist!

#220 Vancouver_Bear on 04.21.11 at 7:10 pm

#199 Mikey the Realtor on 04.21.11 at 4:31 pm

Apply for poggey before May 2nd or be welfare recepient forever. This is the future for 40%-70% or realturds in Canuck land in the next few years.

#221 realpaul on 04.21.11 at 7:11 pm

We all know that real estate pimps hate math…..heres why..

“Younger families are much more likely to carry debt because they are buying their first homes and incurring all the related costs of becoming homeowners. Unattached people — singles — are least likely to have debts.

Single parents and couples with children are particularly strained. The 19-to-34 year old crowd has a debt-to-income ratio of 180 per cent, meaning they owe $1,800 for every $1,000 in pre-tax income. Lone parents have an eye-watering ratio of 227 per cent. ”

The pimps like to find sneaky ways to ‘smooth’ over to averages, mediums and bullshit stats that scew the facts and obscure the truth.

The fact is that debt in this country is worse than any other….including the headline stories one reads about the PIGS in Europe amd the outrageous debt numbers that eventually broke the news in the US after the disaster wiped the smirk off the pimps faces in the US.

Hey Carney….you asshole…..what do you have to say now? Flaherty?

#222 JO on 04.21.11 at 7:12 pm

215-you should be conservative if you need the money in 2-3 yrs…i would look into short term gov’t bonds…ETF CLF is one option although i would wait until June so that the first hike or 2 is out of the way…i do not expect rates to rise fast for too long…worst case, rates will rise into q1 2012 IMO…i would also consider a small holding in floating rate preferreds..look into the AlphaPro preferred share etf…and i would still keep at least 20-25 % in a high interest savings account to keep the rate rise potential in check and keep overall risk modest..hold as much interest income inside a TFSA as possible..dividends from preferreds should be held outside a TFSA.

Do your research but the products are out there…keep an eye out for short term GIC specials from your local Credit Union..once in a while you can get a great 18month-2 yr GIC rate..

#223 JO on 04.21.11 at 7:13 pm

# 215 New from US-you should be conservative if you need the money in 2-3 yrs…i would look into short term gov’t bonds…ETF CLF is one option although i would wait until June so that the first hike or 2 is out of the way…i do not expect rates to rise fast for too long…worst case, rates will rise into q1 2012 IMO…i would also consider a small holding in floating rate preferreds..look into the AlphaPro preferred share etf…and i would still keep at least 20-25 % in a high interest savings account to keep the rate rise potential in check and keep overall risk modest..hold as much interest income inside a TFSA as possible..dividends from preferreds should be held outside a TFSA.

Do your research but the products are out there…keep an eye out for short term GIC specials from your local Credit Union..once in a while you can get a great 18month-2 yr GIC rate..

#224 realpaul on 04.21.11 at 7:17 pm

Oh ….BTW…the figures posted in the G&M were also bullshit if you are a 19-34 living in BC where your debt due to cost of living and real estate prices put you in a whole other stratosphere. Young buyers putting zero down when price/incomes are at 12 X’s for condo’s and 24 x’s for a SFH are in debt double the national ‘average. I guess the G&M didn’t want to publish that breakdown for fear that they’d never get another dime in advertising from the BC pimps.

#225 BPOE on 04.21.11 at 7:38 pm

Oasis is stupid. Oasis is not smart. Oasis is a liar. Oasis is obsessed with giving himself naughty touches.

#226 Vancouver_Bear on 04.21.11 at 7:48 pm

#220 BPOE on 04.21.11 at 7:03 pm

No research is required….we all know that only person to tell the truth here is you. BTW how did your lobotomy go?

#227 Carn-age on 04.21.11 at 7:49 pm

Bottom line is that Garth’s article is more about the underlying crazy Canadian monetary policy that is forcing ordinary Canadians to make essential decisions on markets that are skewed away from fundamentals.

#228 S.B. on 04.21.11 at 8:31 pm

Wow an American scorned is something else! Tantrums galore. I’m out.

#229 jess on 04.21.11 at 9:08 pm

“Two Cups of Tea”
60 minutes investigates
Mortenson’s books appear to have been either greatly exaggerated or made up out of whole cloth.;cbsCarousel

#230 jas on 04.21.11 at 9:20 pm

# 184 Alex on 04.21.11 at 2:11 pm

Well done Alex!
keep this up!
Give them a damn good beating.

#231 Get Real on 04.21.11 at 10:28 pm

#199 Mikey the Realtor

You are an ass….
There , I said it too. And I am not Mr Anna

You are just a nut-job. I don’t think anyone can take you seriously

Actually, people who follow your advice blindly without seeking out rational thought deserve what is coming to them.

#232 Bobby on 04.21.11 at 11:04 pm

It is rather amazing how everyone is the expert after the fact. Had that house depreciated by 200 k, the same people would be thumping their chests trying to convince us how smart they are.

One makes an informed decision with the information they have.

Just spoke to a colleague who said that the market is definitely turning here on Vancouver Island. Up island in sleepy and quaint Qualicum Beach, they are now seeing their first foreclosures ever.

So let me ask the obvious question. Do you think these people losing their homes will state they made a wise decision with their purchase?

#233 Tony on 04.21.11 at 11:49 pm

#85 Phil on 04.21.11 at 2:57 am

Likely be the same or lower at the end of 2012.

#234 BOOTS ON THE gROUND on 04.22.11 at 1:47 am

CalgaryRocks. I was fortune to have a business that would let me live in Florida a lot. I retired 11 years ago and spend much more time there now. I paid $44,000.00 US in 1978. At the high it was supposed to be worth $270,000.00, today maybe $125,000 on a good day. I have bought and sold a lot of real estate in my time and the best advice I can give anyone about real estate is don’t buy in crazy markets and be able to pee on it everyday

#235 Brad in Van on 04.22.11 at 2:44 am

BPOE, S.B. – You both sound like children who are jealous and angry. Stop throwing rocks, and you won’t get any thrown back at you. C’mon! “The American” does not provoke you, but you do provoke him. He annihilates you every time. Sure, he has a shit tonne of balls for saying some of the things he says, but it isn’t anything that most of us don’t truly know already. You are just pissed because he always wins. You both need to grow up and accept this is a place of multiple views to be discussed – not judged.

#236 on 04.22.11 at 11:26 am

something is not right here. A house bought 5 years ago nets $1.2 million? Was the original house bought with 100% cash?

If this is true,…………………..
Invest the $ 1.2 million at a return > 1.5% and move out of the 500 sq. ft hovel… 2 financially greedy, house-lust morons.

#237 Ed on 04.22.11 at 11:31 am

I guess Anna is an example of how dangerous it can be to get lucky. They’ve got a million in the bank and they think they should be buying a home. It’s hopeless.