Let’s get this straight.

Greece will default and Europe’s a mess. Obama’s approval rating is 45 per cent, which is a little higher than Dancing With The Stars, but below The Dog Whisperer. Canadians are deliriously in debt. The economy’s inching towards recession. We just lost more jobs. And personal net worth is falling.

What an excellent time to visit fruity BC and enjoy a new variety of whines.

“Garth, my husband and I live in overpriced Vancouver where the house down the street (a tear down like 99% of them are these days) is selling for 1.6 million.  We currently rent for peanuts ($1600) in comparison to other renters in the neighbourhood as we manage the property for our landlord.  We don’t have any debt.  Together, we have about $400,000 we could free up for a down payment on a house from RRSPs, investments and cash.

“I know you keep telling the world that house prices are planning to head south in Vancouver but even a 25% drop would still mean we are priced out of the neighbourhood we currently live in.  We have been looking at other parts of Vancouver (North and East Vancouver specifically) but a fixer upper in North Van on a busy street is $750,000 – affordable only if mortgage ourselves to the hilt and and pray that my husband doesn’t lose his job (I am a stay at home Mom).

“My husband currently has a hard on for property down south.  He is pushing for us to buy a “cabin” near Mount Baker Washington – the plus is we could pay cash ($200K), however, it then locks us into property in the depressed US and assuming the right property came around in Vancouver (ha ha), we may be stuck with a house we cannot sell…

“So….without having a crystal ball… I guess I am asking for your opinion on whether a) you think we should just stay put and keep our money in the bank (and deal with a crazy landlord) or b) buy in North Van at $750K, spend $100K fixing the property and then stay or sell to some buyer crazier than we are… or c) buy in Mount Washington, have something to call our own while we wait to win the lottery or something equally as improbable so we can afford in Vancouver. Thanks, Grace.”

Well, Gracie, your husband’s suffering from VD – Vancouver Dysfunction – which is why he’s aroused by cheap American hills and valleys. Why else would a sane person blow two hundred grand on a cabin in another country, where your stays are restricted, you have no potential of realizing income; where real estate is years away from recovery and a rustic cabin in the rocks will likely be unsaleable?

Just because it’s cheap?

That shows how serious an affliction VD is, making guys crazy, wanting to hump in the woods. So, obviously, you‘ve got to stop him. It’s a destructive plan with no defined goal, no exit strategy, no discernible logic and nothing but potential losses due to the real estate, taxation and currency risks involved. There’s a good reason a cabin down there costs so little – because the Americans aren’t dumb enough to buy one.

As for your other choices, forget North Van. It will always be one of the uglies surrounding the city, where it can take 40 minutes to get across a dodgy bridge and a fixer-upper on a noisy street is hardly worth three-quarters of a million. When the real estate correction hits, you can be sure that areas like Kits, Shaughnessy or Arbutus will suffer the least, while Surrey and North Van get smoked.

Fix it up and find somebody crazier than you? In Vancouver, that’s always possible. But, Gracie, we’re starting to run out of available idiots. As I’ve been blogging here the last few days, Canadian debt levels are going ballistic even as economic growth turtles. Seven in ten families already have houses, and outstanding mortgages now double the national debt. Interest rates can hardly get much lower, and in BC the average savings rate is below zero. Logic tells us this thing is out of gas, running on fumes.

So, G, the day you finish the renos and nail in the For Sale sign, the market could be comatose. You could have concentrated your entire net worth in a single asset which suddenly turns illiquid. Are you ready to take that risk?

This leaves you a single option. The best one. Stay where you are – it sounds like a fabulous deal. Sixteen hundred bucks a month is cheap and affordable. Having four hundred thousand in investible assets puts you in the top 5% of Canadians when it comes to liquidity. Just don’t give it to [email protected], but rather invest it in a nice juicy balanced portfolio so when prices fall and VD ends, you’ve grown a fatter down payment.

Grace, it sounds to me like you have more of a spousing problem than a housing problem.

Nothing a few nights alone in the woods won’t fix.


#1 Jinda on 09.14.11 at 10:26 pm


#2 East Van on 09.14.11 at 10:37 pm

The gap between the rich and the poor in Canada is now growing even faster than in the US. That is is the real problem, and the reason why prices in Kits, Shaughnessy and Arbutus will probably be OK, while poorer areas will likely be hit hard.

This is also the reason for the current recession/depression. Consumer demand is low because ordinary people are falling behind and are unable to consume, while the fat cats get fatter.

#3 HouseBuster on 09.14.11 at 10:38 pm

Buy a tear down in Vancouver or Greek bonds paying 100%???? The end result will be the same.

#4 Lvl 85 Orc Warrior on 09.14.11 at 10:41 pm

So that’s where I parked my car! I have a mortgage so I am handicapped…..

For the Warchief!

#5 martin on 09.14.11 at 10:42 pm

garth what do you think about europe??
is greece really bankrupt?? what about the rest of the europe? italy, portugal spain etcc

#6 Bottoms_Up on 09.14.11 at 10:43 pm

Or, you could move to a different city in Canada and live rent free. And may even have left over cash to boot.

#7 Smoking Man on 09.14.11 at 10:47 pm

Off tobic just a bit bit

Secrets of the universe.

The other day I was having trouble sleeping, my back was killing me even after killing 1 liter of my favorite merlot, So I lit up a fat boy, haven’t done that in while.

Wow pain gone emmm, I laid in bed looking out at the full moon and discovered the secret of the universe…Right there and then in real time.

I scribbled the notes on some paper but here it is as best I can remember.

Everything in the universe orbits something, the moon orbits the earth the earth the sun The Sun the galaxy, universe my orbit something that is just so far away we can’t see it.

Then we look at ourselves and environment, we are all made up of atoms with little electrons orbiting like the planets and stars, all the mass in the universe works the same way. If heat is applied to atoms the electrons move a bit faster and so atoms interacting with other atoms influence motion, attraction and so forth

You guys still with me……………………?

So here I am typing this, my thoughts are put on the scream by my fingers typing keys driven by atoms and electrons.

Being a human I naturally believe this master peace you are reading is my brilliant creation from my super human mind, but is it mine?

Is it not possible that it’s not our thoughts and actions that set atoms and electrons in motion, hence influencing other atoms and electrons to do the typing.

Could it be that the orbits of trillions to the power of trillions of atoms and electrons influence each other in a way that actually determines what we think and do in real time, and the out come is pre determined by the laws of gravity & thermo dynamics.

So what happens in life is not by choice but by atoms f-en with each other.

Destonology My atoms with yours make me an f-en genius…….

And the answer to the question your atoms want to make you type after reading this is.

Yes it was really good stuff :)

#8 Second on 09.14.11 at 10:47 pm


#9 45north on 09.14.11 at 10:49 pm

you think we should just stay put and keep our money in the bank or buy in North Van at $750K, spend $100K fixing the property

the $100K will be $200K before you’re through

my brother-in-law was offered a great deal a block north of Bloor Street in Toronto, basically the seller was going to knock $100 K off for a quick sale. Brother-in-law didn’t take it because he didn’t have the financial resources.

Grace, a lot of people are going to lose their houses, their credit ratings and their sanity. You don’t have to be one of them.

#10 Keeping the Faith on 09.14.11 at 10:51 pm

Are you kidding me, definitely buy the cabin in Washington! What a great deal and think of all the fun you will have in the US back country. You had better buy now before someone else scoops it on you.

If not, you should for sure buy in N. Van. That little voice in your head is saying “don’t be a dirty renter” anymore, put your stake in the ground, buy yourself a home. Be a productive tax payer. The property after a 100K upgrade will go from 750K to 950K easy, just like on HGTVs “Love it or List it” Easy as pie. You need to buy now or you will miss it. Grace, buy now or forever hold your piece.

What a waste of a blog spot (mine) and What a waste of an: i)Education ii)Life iii)Brain iv)400K investment (Grace’s, check all that apply)

wow … Greater Fool is alive and well.

#11 vyw on 09.14.11 at 10:53 pm

Greece will not default – the ECB will buy up the bonds.

Grace should use the 15X rule:
15 X $1600 X 12 = $288K
So her current residence might fall to $300K.
Say there’s 30% premium for Vancouver.
that’s 400K.
but she may have to wait 2-3 years for that price.
still, she should definitely rent for now
preserve cash, take a vacation – get out of Van.

#12 Stinky the Fish on 09.14.11 at 10:57 pm

So f-cking simple – the answer is A. Grace, why do you think your life will improve after buying a house and worrying about a mortgage? If you go to the Globe & Mail and click on the Economy tab, there isn’t a single article that says good times are ahead for the Canadian economy. How will the Eurodebt situation affect Canada? Negatively. How about the Americans only “Buying American”. Negatively. How about the ridiculous metrics and overvaluation of houses prices in Canada compared to GDP, income, rent that already exist? That’s the sweet-spot right there, Gracie.

Sit back. Relax. Watch others eat those houses up like a cookie monster. Do a couple cartwheels in your living room. Laugh a bit at your new Chinese neighbours. Wait a couple years and holy sh-t, their house has devalued 25%. That’s 200K off the sticker price, ( 2 years net salary for doing cartwheels in your living room ). Now who’s laughing? (That should be you laughing, you know?)

If you need more financial advice, go see Garth. My actual expertise is in the dating service, so please ask me questions any time. I also write answers on Yahoo! answers. Jack of all trades, myself.

Guiness has never tasted this good. It’s so thick and like full-course meal. I’m hammered. Typing skills still A+ tho

#13 Patz on 09.14.11 at 10:59 pm

Garth sez:

When the real estate correction hits, you can be sure that areas like Kits, Shaughnessy or Arbutus will suffer the least, while Surrey and North Van get smoked.

I would take Kits out of that sentence. I think it’s gonna get smacked upside big time. Two reasons: 1. it’s sooooooo overpriced. 2. It’s a dump. OK, I’ll give you that it is very handy to downtown but that’s it. Crumby houses, too close together and the smuggest neighbors this side of West Van. Oh yeah, nice beach that’s sunny for 23 days a year.

#14 T.O. Bubble Boy on 09.14.11 at 11:00 pm

As noted before, Mark Carney’s job of raising rates has now been delegated to the banks:


It is the second time in a few weeks that the banks have cut their variable rate discounts… is this the ultimate signal that risk probabilities are rising, and simply assuming that dumping a mortgage off to CMHC isn’t the flawless business model that it used to be?

#15 RM in Oakville on 09.14.11 at 11:02 pm

Those people who brag about posting first on this thing seriously need a life. It’s juvenile and moronic.

#16 Tim on 09.14.11 at 11:03 pm

What about buying property in Spain or Italy now?

#17 Romeo Jordan on 09.14.11 at 11:03 pm

haha, enjoy your posts Smoking Man! thanks. Hope your back feels better.

Romeo Jordan

#18 disciple on 09.14.11 at 11:06 pm

Cool car. I remember joking when I was just a boy that these super sports cars cost more than a house. Can’t say that anymore when my son asks me how much for a Gallardo…

#19 Soylent Green is People on 09.14.11 at 11:13 pm

Desperate landlord sighting in Toronto:


Date: 2011-09-14, 8:51PM EDT
Reply to: see below [Errors when replying to ads?]


Village Gate West is comprised of two high-rise rental buildings which are part of the final phase of Concert’s master-planned community. Located in the Etobicoke neighbourhood of Toronto, they offer a wide variety of suites from studios to two bedroom apartments. All homes feature spacious and open floor plans, contemporary kitchens with breakfast bar counters, five energy-efficient appliances including a dishwasher and full-size in-suite laundry, individually-controlled heating and air conditioning and vertical blinds on all windows. Most suites have a terrace or balcony, many of which showcase great views.

Check it out at http://www.rentseeker.ca

#20 Smoking Man on 09.14.11 at 11:14 pm

Im gone again fans……

But got to say something….please don’t take this as kissing ass………

But Gartho is a good sh!t I feel it…..

sells a few books, has his fee for investmant advice…….Bubble heads if you have deplomas via the education industreial complexc, you are way behind the 8 ball. None of you can be the smaoking man, just admit it…

Pay the dude he doesen’t even push his investment sight.

I realy like him inspite of my wash room share he did not post

He will help you big time, Gartho is the real deal… he has past my test……..

Just what I need. An endorsement from you. — Garth

#21 Mark on 09.14.11 at 11:16 pm

Plenty of people have lost major amounts of wealth in the stock market in the past decade. Few cried for them. So I don’t see why we’d cry for the homeowners who are about to get decapitated because they bought on leverage.

#22 Romeo Jordan on 09.14.11 at 11:19 pm


Listings in Vancouver have hit a one year high and continue to explode higher.

Don’t take my word for it, have a look yerself kimosabe

#23 Moose on 09.14.11 at 11:20 pm

excellent post GT


#24 Romeo Jordan on 09.14.11 at 11:23 pm

Good point Mark 21

But this will be a lot bigger, Garth is right as is Smoking Man.

Check out Van listings….is MOI about to spike to ten (with ultra low rates)? Is this ground ZERO for Canada, and has IT started???

any thoughts? Lay em on me muchachos.

Junius, got a date yet? (no, not your left hand)

#25 meslippery on 09.14.11 at 11:23 pm

Thats beach girls car she has sand in her bikini.
Thats a recognized disability.

#26 Mr. Lahey, Trailer Park Supervisor on 09.14.11 at 11:24 pm

I have a hard time believing that those who ask Captain Garth these questions have read this blog. If they have and are still asking these questions then it is no wonder so many Canadians are up shithawk creek without a friggin paddle. How many times does Garth have to repeat the same message? A house is a place to live and not a retirement plan. If you choose to buy, buy as cheap as possible and pay the damn thing off as soon as possible. Now you are ready for the take off stage of wealth creation. Buying into this madness means you are paying the premium of 10 years of emergency rates here in Canada without a major market pull back. Hold on to your liquid funds, your rent is low and yes eventually economic gravity will take real estate down from its orbit. This real estate cycle has had the lowest rates in history fueling its growth and hence why it has raged as long as it has. Economic gravity has begun and the shithawks are coming in for the kill. “Randy, I need another drink. These questions on Captain Garth’s site are getting to me.”

#27 45north on 09.14.11 at 11:27 pm

Tim: What about buying property in Spain or Italy now?

my other brother-in-law makes his own tomato sauce and his last name does end with a vowel. This is Big Rider’s test for Italian. Anyways the other brother-in-law’s brother owns land in Italy. I am supposed to compete with him? Native speaking, famiglia and owns a house already. You gotta be kidding.

#28 Cookie Monster on 09.14.11 at 11:29 pm

F it, I’m drinking too!

Hey, is that Grace originally from Oakville with husband Tom? If so, I was thinking of you recently. I’m doing some work in Photoshop and wondering if you could help me. PS, hard-on should be hyphenated.

Smoking Man, cool post, it is amazing how we work when we’re just made of atoms, the main active component of which are the valance electrons. Most of our brain power is used in the visual cortex, photons, hit our corneas causing electrons and/or chemical signals to be sent to our brain. I think our nerves are actually chemical transmission, not electron, never response is actually very slow, like 10ms from finger to brain. Dope is awesome, I love it too.

#29 Smoking Man on 09.14.11 at 11:29 pm

Garth LMAO

#30 Victor on 09.14.11 at 11:30 pm

RBC raising variable rates.


#31 tomohawk on 09.14.11 at 11:35 pm

My wife and I came back from vacation to the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia. Scenic landscape, very pleasant weather. And lots of houses selling for less than $250K. I was born and raised in Vancouver, but frankly too many people discovered how nice it is, and they all moved in. So time to find the next Vancouver. How about Kentville, NS? ;-)

#32 timo on 09.14.11 at 11:36 pm

“If you put two economists in a room, you get two opinions, unless one of them is Lord Keynes, in which case you get three opinions.”

– Winston Churchill


#33 timo on 09.14.11 at 11:43 pm


In the euro zone, there has been no such bold moves, just inadequate and delayed reactions to sovereign bailouts and fixing the banks. It happened again on Wednesday, when Bank of France governor Christian (What Crisis?) Noyer said France’s banks need no outside help. Never mind that they’re getting downgraded, have lost more than half of their market value in the past six months and are having trouble tapping into the interbank lending market.

At some point, the euro zone leaders will have to decide whether to end the common currency project and revert to national currencies, which could be devalued – sovereign states that print as much money as they want don’t go bust – or go for full-bore fiscal integration, complete with euro bonds. There is no middle ground.

#34 Peakoilist on 09.14.11 at 11:43 pm

#7 Smoking Man on 09.14.11 at 10:47 pm
That was some good sh*t smoking man.
You should check out a really cool movie called “What the Bleep do we know?” I just bought an original copy from a Blockbuster closing down. The sequel to it is “Down the rabbit Hole”, really the same movie but expanded a bit. We first discovered it a few years ago , but revisit the movie every so often for inspiration. It’s all about quantum physics and how our atoms are connected to everyone else’s and to the universe. Our bodies and minds are little miniature universes. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it and it might verify some of the things you mentioned.

#35 Peakoilist on 09.14.11 at 11:50 pm

#15 RM in Oakville on 09.14.11 at 11:02 pm
I think that you need to get a life and not worry if some folks get joy from being Fiiirrrssstttt. Just let it gooooo!
and watch that movie that I recommended to the Smoking Man..see above..it will make it all clear for you and you’ll realize that it’s just your brain chemicals making you frustrated. cheers.

#36 Tim on 09.14.11 at 11:51 pm

What about buying in Spain or Italy now?

#37 Totalchaos on 09.14.11 at 11:56 pm

One of the biggest problems with Mt Baker is that the people buying are mostly Canadian. What do you think will happen to prices when tshtf north of 49?

This is a bit of a worry for me as my sibling just finished building a place there. Has a paid-for house in the lower mainland and no personal debt, but eggs mostly in the real estate basket. Sib and spouse are good with money in that they live below their means, but life could be a lot more fun if they knew how to make their money work for them. My parents think it’s great, as they are building a lifestyle and any comment from me is looked at as sour grapes. Sheesh.

#38 City Slicker on 09.14.11 at 11:57 pm

I wonder what the world would be like if banks never existed and everyone only bought things when they saved enough for it.
I think that’s kinda where the US was before the Federal Reserve came into the picture, and it was prosperous!

#39 paulb on 09.14.11 at 11:59 pm

North Vancouver is hardly an “ugly” surrounding majestic Vancouver. Surrey on the other hand…

#40 Michael on 09.14.11 at 11:59 pm

Garth, can you explain why one cannot realize income from owning a cabin in Washington?

Can’t one get a management company to rent it out in the summer?

#41 bill c on 09.15.11 at 12:00 am

dont be stupid people. Homes are cheaper and will get a lot higher. Buy now. Dont wait. Get as big a mortgage as you can. I promise you its a sure thing. You will make a fortune. TRUST ME. I bought in south carolina 10 years ago for 250K and it went up to 600K. oh sh it. its now 135K.

#42 Aussie Roy on 09.15.11 at 12:07 am

I thought VD was short for Very Delusional.

Aussie Update

Building industry still pushing “but we have a shortage”.


90% of mortgages here are variable rate, those that locked in a fixed rate during the GFC now face a huge jump in payments. – Video.


The Housing Industry Association says developers are being cautious about beginning new residential projects in the Northern Territory.

June quarter figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show construction of new houses tumbled by 70 per cent.


Here is the response to Harry Dents forecast of a 50% drop in prices by Mark Bouris – he owns the largest non bank mortgage company, of course one of our banks had to chime in as well.

I loved the line, “Australia doesnt have huge tracks of vacant land”, oh dear me what a fool, we live in the least densely populated contry in the world.

Oh his suggestion, buy a house in the next few months, of course give him a call to arrange your mega mortgage. – LOL, talk about catching a falling knife.

Another economist mentioned Ausie house prices didnt fall during the last recession (90s) so they wont fall this time. Another fool who cant look at 2 data points at once, houses in the 90s were below 4 times average annual income, they are now 9.

I suppose they all think affordability doesnt matter.

Boy, is it going to get messy in the next few months, if this level of delusion continues.


#43 Utopia on 09.15.11 at 12:26 am

#114 Disciple wrote……

“Well done, Rosenberg. That’s why I don’t waste my time with MSM nonsense”.

What? Are you going crazy now, Disciple?

David is indeed picked up by the mainstream media but it is because his (sometimes contrary) views and projections have had a very good track record of coming true.

Surely you must know that he is well loved in the blogosphere and by many in the alternative and internet readership crowd too.

David is considered one of the very best economists around and his opinions are frequently sought and quoted by all camps, by government, by the media and by the public at large.

That recent article that appeared on zero-hedge was superb on so many levels. Very blunt and to the point. It left little to the imagination. David, incidentally seems to disagree that equities are a place to shield wealth and weather an economic downturn.

He was clear in suggesting that the market is over-valued given the projections for a serious downturn going forward. The prospect of a long lingering recession evolving into a full blown depression in the US would suggest investors approach equities with caution at this time.

That is a fair assessment. You called David a shill yesterday and I object to that insult because I think that was in bad form.

There is not a professional economist in this whole country that would agree with you there. David’s opinions and views are well respected by most and while we may disagree at times, his input is highly valued and usually backed by good hard data and plenty of proofs.

Please reconsider your comment.

#44 syd on 09.15.11 at 12:27 am


please delete those annoying ‘first’ ‘second’ post..its too spammy..

#45 Greater Fool special needs on 09.15.11 at 12:32 am

Dear Garth

I am a certifiable F’n idiot.

I have read your blog a gazillion times. (Even on long weekends)

I still don’t get it.

Real Estate is a good investment, can never go down, and is everyone’s retirement package ….correct ?

Please advise , you Eastern #[email protected]&^%$

#46 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 09.15.11 at 12:51 am

Re: Grace — same answer as last night. Your composition skills are removing the critical thinking process!

“. . . invest it in a nice juicy balanced portfolio [in] fruity BC . . .” — All the good fruit’s gonzo, ‘tho pears are still to arrive. Had a bonanza year!
To go along with #12 Stinky the Fish’s last lines (quoted below), this.
#10 Keeping the Faith — “What a waste of a blog spot (mine) and What a waste of an: i)Education ii)Life iii)Brain iv)400K investment (Grace’s, check all that apply)”

Respectfully disagree, because if Garth had posted something else, then #7 Smoking Man would probably not have posted the Secrets of the Universe entry, and neither would #12 Stinky the Fish posted the “Guiness has never tasted this good. It’s so thick and like full-course meal. I’m hammered. Typing skills still A+ tho”

So this column is needed by most, if only to get partly screeched!
Scotiabank TV ad in. Believe this or not. “Scotiabank can focus on social engineering because, with a market cap of $55 billion, it makes a profit of more than $400 million every month.”; Student Loans Defaults rising sharply (no jobs?); Obama Endgame for Eurozone? Wot about endgame for NAmerica? Enter The Abyss If, or when Euro banks fail, we may well follow them; Hitler and the banxters. Prescott Bush, dubya’s gramps, funded Hitler and the Third Reich; The Tightening Vise Interesting article; NAFTA and CAFTA Good call.

Pay The Bills or get cut off; Obama Tax everything that moves, but Dems turning on Obama; Slightly more accurate. Soros and Obama are not fascists, they’re Marxists; Pensions cut, Eurozone Sux and China saves Europe? Not sure about that.

Link in. This will hasten the US’s forthcoming destruction of SArabia; Winsor, Ont. You may have some UFOs below you; Unemployment in UK (among young) leads to a host of other problems; Drug-resistant TB spreading in Europe; 1:57 clip Skin disease linked with GMOs; CC Compulsive consumerism; Vitamin B could help to stave off Alzheimer’s.

Hot Stuff A teaspoon of horseradish and a couple of sticks of broccoli make the universe explode with delight! Sarkozy Knowing the future. “The splitting of Africa has started.”; ink in. Obama to use Executive Order to unionize the military; Anarchy A scenario, but this could tie in with the DEFCON stuff on Sept. 27; Very Good Question Why is the US bringing in 200K immigrants each month, when there are slightly over 46 mln. living below the poverty line? Answer: Obama’s re-election victory! Tunnel Not just any tunnel, ‘tho.

#47 Bill Gable on 09.15.11 at 12:59 am

Vancouver generally will get nailed, but good. Ok, sure, there will still be CEO’s that can spend millions for a pile of crap, but the middle class is dead. No real raises, food prices rising, and now that Snooki in Victoria has killed the HST, we have to cough up 2.3 Billion for Ottawa. Can you say tax increase? Great timing.
On a related note.
I have a friend who has been driving me insane about how he just thought Yaletown is just the greatest place. He was looking at a peeny condo, so small that I could touch the walls with outstretched arms. It was 510 k. He borrowed money from Dad…and then he realized he didn’t have the money for closing costs. He put it on his line of credit! Now he tells me, three weeks in, that he is concerned the $356 a month condo fees are too high. This guy must make high dough, but he is in way over his head.
He was kind of nervous at lunch today about the above. Then he dropped the bomb on me. He still has student loans of $61k and his credit card debt on five cards is nearly $70k.
After I gathered my thoughts, I was still speechless.
This gent seems to think everything will be fine.
I paid for lunch, of course.
How many poor schnooks are in this kind of jackpot?
He has a leased Lexus, and all the toys and great clothes and goes to Maui on the credit card every year.
He has no clue, and I directed him to greaterfool.ca and wished him luck.
Twice in a week – two friends – in real trouble – and they are in denial, big time.
Boy, Mr. Turner, we have a lot of folks that are in deep trouble.
People – this isn’t the States. You can’t just mail the bank the keys, aka, jingle mail. Oh, and you have to pay off student loans, even if you declare bankruptcy.
If I was looking for a law specialty – I’d go with Bankrutcy, you will be busy.

#48 rory on 09.15.11 at 12:59 am

#7 Smoking Man

Okay dude …thought you might be the man …but a Merlot? WTF?

#19 Soylent Green is People

What is this …”Desperate landlord” ??? …thought SGIP would be partying until tomorrow to the downfall of the owner class …so what is it SGIP – Renters or Landlords. Faking it works until it doesn’t.

#49 mousey on 09.15.11 at 1:00 am

So, just so I’m clear on this: reducing the discount rate on variable mortgages is raising interest rates? Can we just speak plain english already. Same complaint about negative growth. I’ll stop now as I feel a rant coming on.
On an entirely different subject, but at least investment related, can anybody tell me why Royal Bank shares are in the toilet? I know that financial stocks have been up and down, but the Royal Bank seems to be taking more than its share of the beat down.

#50 No Fun Vancouver on 09.15.11 at 1:05 am

BUY in Kits! You can do it. Rent out the basement and attic! Asian students as foreign students could share the main floor! They pay well! Just feed them KD and make a huge profit! I have made milllions on real estate in Kits with other people paying the mortgage! I only wish the wine was cheaper here and it had better nite life and culture!

#51 new-era on 09.15.11 at 1:11 am

Grace just think of it this way.

1. Do you think the price of houses will go up in the next 3 to 5 years?

2. Do you think your employment situation is solid for the next few years if a recession/depression hits

3. How will your life improve by owning a house?

4. Why do you need to rush to buy a house when you can sit on the sideline and watch.

With the unstable ecomony. and 70% of the people already having houses, and more world crisis on the horizon. I personally think house has a 7% probabilty of going up 10 percent in the next three years, but a 28% probability of going down 15 % and 30% probability of going down 15 to 30% and a 40 % probability of more.

Supply and demand, there simplily won’t be any demand for house in the nearby future at the current prices. The whole world including china is teetering on a financial crisis mean they will have less money, on empty homes.

#52 Flint on 09.15.11 at 1:17 am

Garth, you should put that (#20) as a testimonial on your website.

#53 Jane24 on 09.15.11 at 1:29 am

This is an easy one – move out of Vancouver to another town where you and your family can enjoy a higher quality of life and an affordable family home. Move. Now.

#54 J on 09.15.11 at 1:34 am

Actually Garth the Westside of Vancouver (Kits, Shaughnessy, Arbutus etc.) in past corrections has dropped as much or more than any other area of the city. I think ground zero for the coming correction will be Dunbar.

#55 Hoof- Hearted on 09.15.11 at 1:50 am

I think Smoking Man’s secret identity is Garth during Happy Hour……with 1/2 price appies.

#56 Ukee_soul on 09.15.11 at 1:56 am

North Van Ugly? I lived there for 2 years and found it to be one of the nicest areas in Canada to live. I had a 15 minute commute on a boat to work. I was minutes from skiing hiking amazing trails through huge treed forests going to the beaches at ambleside and dundarave close to the ferry terminal for going to Van isle. There are some low points in North Van but I would rather live there than be stuck in Kits gridlock watching yoga pant wearing bugatti stroller pushing milfs sipping starbucks any day. I dont live there anymore so i don’t really care what people think of it I just thought it strange that it made your ugly list. Cashed outta their minutes before the 08 downturn.

#57 Onemorething on 09.15.11 at 2:01 am

Good sound advice GT! If you are not tied to VAN then why not check out all the affordable regions in Canada to live. Windsor, Hamilton?

#58 Rico Suave on 09.15.11 at 2:08 am

>> But, Gracie, we’re starting to run out of available idiots.

To paraphrase a great saying, there is a sucker born every minute.

#59 Edmonton Guy on 09.15.11 at 2:16 am

Loved the Article! Short but to the point. They’ll walwyas be greater fools, even here in Edmonton people continue to buy “since the price is down” from 2007 “its a deal” some people think. But RBC has even peged EDMONON at being OVERPRICED by about 17%. so You know when the banks say that themselves-it’s time to run for cover!

#60 wtf????? on 09.15.11 at 2:43 am

In the past fourty or so years the real estate cycle in Vancouver has always ended with the priciest properties falling first, farthest and faster than the burbs surrounding the city in concentric circles of value. I’m not saying I’m right….I’m just reporting the past. It used to be that the burbs dwellers had equity, steady jobs and such….it was the higher end that attracted the speculators and the whizbangs with bigger paycheques and the penchant to borrow beyond their means….hence the big squeeze when the market went south as opposed to ‘steady eddy’ out in the sticks. Of course the entire area is saturated in debt junkies now…and the west side has been further complicated by the drug and laundry money coming out of China…….it should be interesting this time around.

In the past it has alway been the jacking up of rates that has killed the markets……it was a broad Canadian thing that connected us all…however now, with the dopers and the thieves landing with sacks of loot at YVR in such large numbers that the government has seen fit to ‘paint the tape’ so as not to alarm the politically correct locals …..with the truth…the market may actually have been skewed as and even reversed as you have suggested…….hmmmmmmmm…that would be a first though as your prognostications have so far been as incorrect as they have been sensational.

History doesn’t always repeat itself…..but it rhymes. Lets see. My bet is that we still have a top heavy cadre of dipwads and doctors who have borrowed massively and will get creamed first as alway as they owe the most….I talked to one today who sold their house on Vancs west side for two million and are complaining that they can’t find another deal…Bwahahahahahahah. They will probably buy something for three mill ( he’s a lawyer, she’s a doctor) and wonder what went wrong when the crapshoot sputters to life.

#61 Lost my job on 09.15.11 at 2:47 am

Lost my job with a salary of annual $78,000 last Friday, with $10,000 saving and rent, I really enjoy my life.

#62 TheTruth on 09.15.11 at 3:23 am

Smoking Man:

‘Butterfly’ effect + collective human conscience == limits and directs all possible future outcomes.

In other words, we make the future by dreaming of what may come.

Thought it was my theory until I was told by a guy at NASA that this idea was very popular in the inner circle there. The guy there was doing studies for NASA with regards to terraforming Mars.

#63 Peter B on 09.15.11 at 3:24 am

I think a lot of people believe that the people in power will protect them from their own stupidity.

The truth is the people in power are just like you and me. With all the weakness, bad habits and mental health problems of the average Joe.

People with power are just people not Superman.

#64 C on 09.15.11 at 3:45 am

“we are priced out of the neighbourhood we currently live in. ”

Isn’t that an mpossible statement?

You CAN’T be priced out of a heighbourhood you live in or you wouldn’t be living there, would you?

Rent, own, who cares! You are still living there right?

Look at it this way “throw your money away” to mortgage interest or to a landlord, it’s the same; it’s lost. A house is a home be it rented or owned. A house can’t be a home if it’s an investment vehicle.

#65 Joe on 09.15.11 at 4:38 am

Why is one of the arguments against Garth’s logic always, “Well, an X% correction would still price me out in my neighbourhood.” Sooooo…you’re living in an area that you can only afford by renting. That’s what it means, not that Garth is wrong. That will be the same somewhere for someone no matter what percentage house prices drop by. I won’t be able to afford to buy in the UBC area even if they drop by 75%, that doesn’t mean that Garth’s wrong, it means I don’t make enough to buy one of those houses is all.

#66 Tony on 09.15.11 at 5:36 am

#10 Keeping the Faith

Forgot to buy it when the Canadian dollar was 1.06 versus the U.S. dollar.

#67 BrianT on 09.15.11 at 6:29 am

This is not a theory-these large financial institutions are not being run like reasonably managed businesses. Latest example: 2 BILLION in unauthorized trades blamed on a rogue trader. All these firms are subsidized by taxpayers and cannot reliably operate sustainably in the manner of 20 yrs ago. Regulation and governments are just voyeurs to the car wreck occurring daily. The solution is always the same-provide more taxpayer wealth. I know what you are thinking-this is just a “conspiracy theory”, everything will be just fine.

#68 househornyhousewife on 09.15.11 at 7:00 am

Great advice to Gracie Garth.

Gracie, if you read this, keep saving for now and if you are sick of your current landlord, try to find a better rental deal instead of buying an insanely expensive property.

You can also keep looking for a property. The visits will keep your husband happy and you can stay abreast of the market (and truly realize just how ridiculous things are at the moment). Just be sure to set some strict guidelines and to think with your head and not your heart.

In the meantime, rent something for a couple of weeks every summer by a lake somewhere (sure, in the US if you like) and get away from your everyday home. This always replenishes the brain juices and brings things back into perspective.

I myself have been looking for a lakefront home for over a year. Over here in rural Québec, you can get a very nice bungalow for around $150,000.00 (in a nice neighbourhood) but lakefronts start at around a million. They really shouldn’t be running so high though (we’re in the middle of nowhere) and no one is even visiting much less buying these properties so I fixed up my horrible kitchen to make myself feel better and am now waiting patiently for these sellers to lower their prices (as they inevitably must in order to sell). I know what is worth what and these properties are most definitely overpriced (sound familiar Gracie ?).

Garth, I don’t know if you saw the story on CBC last night about how Canada is creating more jobs and how retailers are all coming up here from the US etc.. I was flabbergasted at the ethics of such shoddy journalism (if you could call it that). That kind of B.S. and outright lies is definitely asking for a payback and we’re gonna get it, I am sure. Communist propaganda was more subtle than that piece I saw last night.

Whenever the U.S. sneezes, we have always caught a cold and this is something we Canadians haven’t learned yet. The entire world is crumbling around us and we think we are invincible .. what sheer hubris !


#69 bigrider on 09.15.11 at 7:08 am

#21 Mark. I agree. Stock markets have been horrible for 10 years running now. Bring on the housing correction. I want to see pain in the brick licking crowd too.

#70 JW on 09.15.11 at 7:27 am

Bought and sold in Van 7 years ago, just short of 6 figures for our 700 squares in trendy kits in just over 18months. Very good building, and one of the better hoods in the area, but its a ONE plus Den for goodness sakes. Today that same pad is running about 600k, roughly double of what we sold in late 03.

I’ve been waiting for some kind of break but this market is completely out of control. We’re living overseas and saving for an opportunity, but over the last number of years our savings rate can’t even keep up to price increases ! I’m praying Garth is right and I’d quietly love to see the god complex of the city come back to earth. I’m thinking 25% to be a good start…I’m worried we’re simply priced out of the market forever.

Grace, I’ve looked into Arizona for a screaming deal recently, for great value for money, sunshine, golf etc, but then I think…we don”t know anyone down there, and what are we going to do with it. Rental issues, and the unknown of the US housing market. Time to just sit on our hands and enjoy the movie for awhile. I think there is lots to see. I’m really hoping by the end, VD will have suffered a painful lesson. I wish no harm, but these people need to wake up.

#71 Moneta on 09.15.11 at 7:39 am

We are so used to the rat race that people get hives when they stand still for more than 1 minute.

People forget that sometimes you just have to sit tight and wait for the dust to settle otherwise you’re just wasting your time and energy.

#72 Niels Bohr on 09.15.11 at 7:55 am

#7 Smoking Man. So are you saying God doesn’t play dice with the universe?

#73 Joe on 09.15.11 at 7:56 am

Correction will only come with the increase of interest rates which the BoC already said it was keeping emergency low rates for the long term. High prices are here to stay, especially in Vancouver.

#74 Moneta on 09.15.11 at 7:57 am

People have lost their marbles… or perspective

75 years ago, Canadians were unstitching their clothes and sewing the pieces back inside out when the fabric was worn out on one side. A cottage was only for the top 1%.

After a few decades of exploiting emerging markets to enhance our quality of life, one has to be delusional to think that this game will keep on going on for much longer when the only thing sustaining it is debt and not income.

Emerging markets have gotten richer and will want a bigger piece of the pie. We’ll probably have to default (write down or devalue by printing) on our debt and this will surely piss them off.

As this happens, less and less people will be able to afford 2 homes. The ratio will probably start to revert back to the 1% over time. Our current material excess will probably be a blip in history.

You’ve got to feel pretty lucky buying a cottage before a main residence when you are not rich to start off.

#75 fancy_pants on 09.15.11 at 7:57 am

of course Banks are raising variable rates.

Daddy Carnage has fattened the herd, now it is time for the slaughter. Somebody has to carry on the financial raping of our society.

Who says variable rates have to be tied to what Daddy says. The shepherds always get paid or laid – lots of sheeple for all. viagara not required for the dirty shepherds.

#76 TurnerNation on 09.15.11 at 8:00 am

This weblog: bring us your poor, your infirm…

#77 Lana on 09.15.11 at 8:02 am

#7 Smoking Man on 09.14.11 at 10:47 pm

The other day I was having trouble sleeping, my back was killing me even after killing 1 liter of my favorite merlot, So I lit up a fat boy, haven’t done that in while.

Wow pain gone emmm, I laid in bed looking out at the full moon and discovered the secret of the universe…Right there and then in real time.
You described 2 good reasons that stuff should be legalized (or at the very least, decriminalized). It kills pain and reduces nausea–every cancer victim should have low-cost legal access. I saw it first-hand when my daughter was suffering and dying from cancer. We had to go the illegal route after trying the “medical route”.

Picture a 64 year old woman going to a head shop to buy a bong for her daughter. Or possibly getting arrested for buying from a dealer. Gee, I could have ended up on Hudak’s chain gang or in one of Harper’s super-prisons.

Legalizing this stuff could help the economy through taxes, jobs, etc., but “morality” trumps “practicality”. And as smoking man attests, it works better than booze.

#78 JW on 09.15.11 at 8:05 am

BTW, great site, great humor, great info. Thanks Garth.

Post# 69 HHHW ( there is a god ) I could only dream for a 150k bungalow ! In Van, it might get you a time share crackhouse in New Westminister…..

HHHW is right though, the propaganda in some of the news media is outrageous. Take the Vancouver Sun for example, they must be greased by the real estate board. Bob Rennie and all the market pumpers, always backing the momentum and ridiculous price increases with crazy fact and predictions. It’s a snow job….

The housing market is always about a payment, and with historical low rates, of course people say, wow, I didn’t think I could afford that? Sign me up Dave ! And add some extra for a new LCD and an i mac would ya ? Unfortunately, unlike in the US which has a 30 year fixed at about 4% ( hasn’t helped ) That’s not avail here and when rates rise…it’s over Moby !

Stay put for now Grace, stress free, take the extra cash to Mexico and break out in Feb when you’ve gone through your 4th umbrella for the season and feel like stabbing someone :)

#79 TurnerNation on 09.15.11 at 8:12 am

It’s no wonder the divorce rate is so high! Half the people wish for a magic unicorn fairytale life, and the other for magic investment beans.


Oops I was yelling.

#80 Ron on 09.15.11 at 8:15 am

#16 Tim

“What about buying in Spain or Italy now?”

I think there are great opportunities, and more people should think about foreign RE other than the US….but for the right reasons.

I bought an ocean front condo in Spain last year when the Euro hit about 1.28 Canadian.

I gave up on Toronto years ago, and I don’t like the US.

This property is not for flipping, its a place I will call home when I retire. In the mean time, I have a renter earning me Euro’s for my retirement.

So much here has been said about “buying opportunities” in shitty areas. Remember that quality of life comes first.

What I have in my quiet corner of Spain is cheap transit, food, liquor, and above all…..toppless beaches.

So go for it my man, especially if the Euro divers further with the Greek crisis. But as always, use Garth’s “rules”. Be smart about it, and do it for the right reasons.

#81 Lana on 09.15.11 at 8:17 am

One more comment before I go to work…
There are several people who have generalized about young people being helped out by their parents (or grandparents).

Garth won’t give general advice because he said every situation is different and he hasn’t all the facts.

Every situation is different with family situations but I’m of the mind that family members should support each other, but don’t take advantage of each other.

Be kind to your children–they may be picking out your nursing home some day.

#82 Helicopter Ben on 09.15.11 at 8:31 am

Keiser Report: Debt Carpet Bombing (E184) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGmayjYQpB8&feature=feedu

#83 jess on 09.15.11 at 8:32 am

VD of another kind

Swiss bank reports $2B loss to rogue trader – Business – CBC News
“Although the news is regrettable, the fundamental strengths of the company won’t be affected by this,” the note said.
The global Basel Committee, which recently identified 28 banks but did not name them, ranked institutions based on size, interconnectedness and complexity, as well as cross-jurisdictional activity and lack of “substitutability.”

#84 Waterloo Resident on 09.15.11 at 8:32 am

Dear Grace:
If your husband wants to buy a house in the States so desperately then let him buy a $10,000 house in Detroit. Or better yet, have him buy a $200,000 house in Windsor, at least that will be INSIDE of Canada and you can live there for as long as you want. You might never get a job in Windsor, but at least you won’t be dealing with American Immigration hassles.

#85 The American on 09.15.11 at 8:35 am

At #69 (my favorite number, mind you): Househornyhousewife, you are absolutely correct – what you saw on the T.V. is complete nonsense. What you witnessed is sponsored propaganda, trying its best to keep everyone calm and in the dark. U.S. retailers moving into Canada? Are you f*cking kidding me?!?!? Can you send a link for this “news” story, please? LOL That’s just plain ridiculous. I could see expansion into the Canadian market with their retail storefronts (maybe, but I doubt it), but they’re certainly not pouring in and setting up headquarters or manufacturing lines there. Its far too expensive to conduct business at a corporate level.

As for job creation in Canada, well, I think we ALL (the G20) know better. The only jobs that are being created are the ones that begin with “Would you like fries with that?” Canadians are now the highest indebted people in the entire G20 (yes, really you are), most homes have been purchased wit 0% to little down (YES, really, even in Canada), rates will reset/rise (see recent RBC article), Canada has NO 30-year fixed rates (adding insult to injury as rates do reset), jobs are scarce, inventory is rising, sales are definitely slowing, and the taxes are pretty damn high(meaning less expendable income). Need I say more? It isn’t going to to be pretty. Your government knows it, and so do your banks. I wouldn’t be surprised is the govt. sponsored that little “news” article up there.

Sure, the bank may be off the hook wit respect to the risk of bad loans as the CMHC is backing a lot of this b.s. debt. However, the banks themselves are shitting their pants as they recognize that one of their primary sources of revenue come from mortgage lending. Watch for a lot of dumbass promotional/creative lending programs in the next several months. The more you see this happen, the more you know it is completely over. I already know of a handful of Washington Mutual-type (WaMu) products that have hit the market in the last few months out of Vancouver. For those of you who don’t know, WaMu was the world’s largest Thrift, bought by J.P. Morgan Chase. Many people are now being indicted out of WaMu as they were knowingly signing off on bad debt, packaging it up, and selling it on.

Believe me, the Banks in Canada have done the same thing. When a cab driver is talking about the homeS (yes with an “s”) he has, then there is a problem with the Canadian lending standards, and the banks certainly know it.

#86 Robert Dudek on 09.15.11 at 8:42 am

Sweet, lovely correction in gold this morning. Time to buy some more.

#87 Waterloo Resident on 09.15.11 at 8:48 am

#48: Bill Gable: (“You can’t just mail the bank the keys, aka, jingle mail.)

= No, but you CAN declare personal bankruptcy and get out of ALL of your debt: BOTH your mortgage debt AND your student loan debt too, so don’t worry.

#88 GregW, Oakville on 09.15.11 at 9:10 am

Hi #15 RM in Oakville, Yes I’ve thought that too, but then I just smile and move on. Maybe they are just trying to belong to this group? ;)

#89 Ron on 09.15.11 at 9:11 am

#86 The American

Thats funny, my next gig is to manage the Target store expansion in Canada.

#90 2deep on 09.15.11 at 9:18 am

$1600 for rent in Vancouver? That’s the same price as Saskatoon. That’s it, I’m leaving this ice cube.

Or does that make Saskatoon affordable as you can get an average mortgage for that price?….

#91 young & foolish on 09.15.11 at 9:26 am

Gosh, I hope all you liquid investment buyers are keeping your “liquids” in a non-leaky bucket.

As for RE owners/speculators; your assest are
clearly over-valued. Rental rates no longer support
your asking prices. It’s only a matter of time before
the music stops.

Get a grip folks, making a buck will be a little more
difficult going forward.

#92 BrianT on 09.15.11 at 9:27 am

#63Truth-Terraforming Mars might be a little ambitious-they should start by attempting to terraform Detroit.

#93 gladiator on 09.15.11 at 9:29 am

@49 rory:
just because a stupid movie (Sideways) shit on the Merlot variety doesn’t mean you have to blindly follow it. Merlot is a wonderful wine when you know what food to pair it with, or just to enjoy a wine with more character. You either love it or hate it. Just like raw unfiltered beer – it’s for MEN, not for men.
BTW, this movie killed the Pinot Noir as we knew it: too much demand drove a surge in supply of this variety, in detriment of quality. And this was told to me by a big guy in the booze industry of Ontario.

#94 BrianT on 09.15.11 at 9:35 am

Ah-to be back in the Punjab and living the high life with 20 million dollars (which is like 200 million in TO)-the modern day Canadian dream http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1054140–property-manager-bilked-20m-in-condo-fraud-victims-claim?bn=1

#95 GTA Girl on 09.15.11 at 9:38 am

Did everyone love the way the Canadian’s have highest debt story got spun by the 6pm news yesterday?

A poll was brought out in the noon hour, “How Canadians feel about their debt”. High percentage FEEL fine about their personal debt. But worry about their neighbors….

FEEL!! So now we’re basing our economic data on how people feel. Most barely know the name of the different provinces, let alone can properly assess their budgets.

#96 bigrider on 09.15.11 at 9:39 am


Your brother-in-law doing the ‘pepperoni rosto’ on the BBQ yet?

We did ours already.

#97 Onthesidelines on 09.15.11 at 10:03 am

Just returned to Vancouver recently after decades overseas and am shocked at the rental prices on the west side, especially Kits. A one bedroom basement goes for $1,600 a month. Incredible. Who would pay that much for a basement? How can rents here beat Tokyo prices at half the wages?

This town is overdue for a serious wakeup call.

#98 Bailing in BC on 09.15.11 at 10:15 am

#36 Peakoilist

Agreed. It amazes me the people that get their knickers in a twist, over some guy who gets his kicks writing “first”. They claim it wastes their time. Seriously, how fast do these people read?

#99 BPOE on 09.15.11 at 10:22 am

Looks like BPOE is poised to have a “bad”year. 6.8% increase only. Only 68 grand tax free per million

The slowing of the housing market though, won’t ebb the median price of homes in the province, which is expected to rise 6.8 per cent to $417,000, said economist Bryan Yu, in a news release.

#100 BPOE on 09.15.11 at 10:26 am

Uglies??? Are you kidding with the North Shore mountains in your backyard as a playground? You can also take a seabus downtown how many cities in Vancouver have a SEAbus. Your also minutes from the Transcanada highway and a short drive to Whistler with NO bridges to cross

As for your other choices, forget North Van. It will always be one of the uglies surrounding the city, where it can take 40 minutes to get across a dodgy bridge and a fixer-upper on a noisy street is hardly worth three-quarters of a million. When the real estate correction hits, you can be sure that areas like Kits, Shaughnessy or Arbutus will suffer the least, while Surrey and North Van get smoked

#101 Utopia on 09.15.11 at 10:27 am

““So….without having a crystal ball….” ~~Grace

Who needs a crystal ball?

If you cannot figure this one out Gracie I have no sympathy for you whatsoever. I mean seriously, babe….start using that grey thing inside your head for more that just an anchor for a good perm.

The grey thingy is called a brain, by the way.

If you have not figured it out yet, you live in one of the three most overheated real estate markets on the PLANET! Yeah, that’s right. Vancouver is top three for stupidity where a bubble is concerned.

Lucky you though, you have waited it out and now sit in the catbird seat simply by being amongst the last few who is still liquid and debt free.

Do you think that is a good combination as the market crests, recession arrives and housing prices are assured a tumble? I would say so.

But in your crazy little world you and hubby actually still have serious conversations about buying and seem to think it ok getting humped by houses. So do it then. Throw yourself off the cliff voluntarily. Nobody is even pushing in your case.

Let us all know how the ride down went as your wealth evaporates in the coming correction. Vapour paper. It is how you destroy your own wealth at the very moment you stand perched and ready for some of the biggest buying opportunities of a life time.

And you are a good candidate to waste your advantage.

Ta Ta.

#102 Guan-Di on 09.15.11 at 10:32 am

Anyone else sense a theme developing in the e-mails Garth gets? One person in the relationship asking advice from Garth as their partner keeps trying to piss away all their money. Think I’ll stop off no the way home and get my partner some “flowers for no reason”, she likes flowers:)

#103 Live Under Your Means on 09.15.11 at 10:46 am

#81 Ron on 09.15.11 at 8:15 am

We were at my hubby’s cousin’s home in Bedarieux about an hour from Montpellier, France this summer. Fabulous gated home and acreage overlooking a small valley, swimming pool and 5 mins. from town. They have about 20 different types of fruit trees including figs and pomagranates, veggie gardens, etc. (also have a part-time organic gardener – lucky them). I learned a lot from him. Cousins own a Home Depot type of franchise w/fabulous financial benefits. Profits were down the past year due to Brits & other northerners halting renovations on 2nd homes they previously bought in the area. Still, they gave their employees a bonus. As they said, if it weren’t for the their hard work & service, profits would have been lower. While there hubby found an online software, modified it, and Luc said it since saves him at least 1 day of his time per week.

Sorry for getting off track. They love company & other than being without a kitchen of our own, we had a complete 4 bedroom, living room, 2 bathroom place (separate entrance) to ourselves. They’d welcome us every year for a long stay. They bought a 100K Euro motor home this year and would love to have us travel with them. She is semi-retired from the business and his plans are to retire in a year or 2. BTW, I’ve known them for 24 years and we’ve visited them many times during that time.

#104 Guan-Di on 09.15.11 at 10:47 am

#88 Waterloo.

Nope, Student Loans are secured debt, there’s no getting out of those even in bankruptcy, ask my friend that just went through the process… probably not for the last time either… some people just can’t be saved:(

#105 The American on 09.15.11 at 11:05 am

#90 Ron, EXACTLY. It isn’t a corporate office, nor is it a manufacturing plant. As I stated, at best it would be only a retail store front. That’s good for U.S. corporations.

#106 Utopia on 09.15.11 at 11:05 am

Yesterday I had an amazing conversation with a guy and his wife who lived through the depression of the Thirties and recall it vividly.

He was born in 1918 and was a teen during the dirty thirties dust bowl and living on a farm in Saskatchewan. I told him my theory of the coming correction being one where we would need to consume the excess inventory and consumption of the past.

He did not disagree.

“Do you think we did not have good clothes and shoes in 29 though”? he asked. “We were doing very well then. Nobody could see that it would all be gone ten years later”.

“How long do you think a pair of pants and shoes will last when you don’t have the money to replace them anymore. In the end, the relief office was giving people yards of cloth and fabric to sew their own clothes.

That is how bad it finally got”.

In a nutshell, what he told me was that most people had a surplus of goods and supplies before the depression started but few had anything of value to trade or sell a decade later. They just ran out of money and the people that still had cash would not spend it. Not even on their own families.

They thought it would never end. Then the war started and rationing began. “Those were hard times” he recounted….but I still found a great girl.

She smiled sweetly.

(who the hell can stay married that long!)

#107 Smell The Coffee on 09.15.11 at 11:07 am

Timing & Mood.

There will come a time in Vancouver when the larger social mood will shift 100% from giddy glee to horrified flee. In economic busts the value perception changes like the weather from summer to winter.

In hard times any mortgage, or domestic real estate purchase will be regarded as toxic, if not radioactive. In real estate depressions no one wants to hold a declining liability (big expensive things are always a liability when you’re losing money).

We have had rolling real estate depressions across the world. Canada is the last bubble outpost. Manias are like a bad case of the stupids. It is herd mentality, as the group delusion bids up a temporary marginal resource.

In mania cycles house are pure egoistic consumption and anchored to our identity as a larger fashion statement, not a practical utility,

Only properties that produce predictable rents can be valued. Everything else is consumption.

#108 dddd on 09.15.11 at 11:13 am

the thing with van city, n and w van too , is there are about 1million gvrd residents living in commuter hell who dream of living closer to the beaches – and 5 mil more across canada – the vcr premium will NEVER go away.

re -tokyo vs van rent – i worked in tokyo ’91’92 and all the locals ever wanted to talk about after canada was mentioned was VANCOUVER – 16 yrs in van and NOBODY ever EVER mentioned how great it would be to live in tokyo – van is PARADISE next to tokyo.

re – mt baker cabin – forget the border – can’t bring any goodies to camp – big problem.. here’s a secret – we have a cottage w a million$ oceanfront view ,150’of waterfront, utter and total peace, quiet and privacy (deer, eagles and seals otters and now dolphins) and closer to d/t than most of surrey – we go EVERY weekend. location hint – langdale ferry goes by and you need a boat(or take the water taxi) – but 199k just bought a neighbours empty waterfront lot.
cabins a 2 min walk from the beach can be had starting in the 200’s
if you can swing a chain saw and dare to build a dock check out howe sound

#109 Stevenson on 09.15.11 at 11:14 am

Canadian housing resale market stable in August, but ahead of 2010 levels: CREA

Looks like we not going anywhere but up for the next while. Rates are dropped too sooo…… bring it on.


#110 D from London, ON on 09.15.11 at 11:39 am

#7 Smoking Man

I see you have been smoking the same shit as the Greek Finance Minister.

#111 bill on 09.15.11 at 11:42 am

garth nailed once again.
if you want a cheap property in a rustic situation …..wait.
if you cant wait then buy in the chilcotin instead of mt baker
[an active volcano just like its sister mt st helen]

please note that cell phones ect dont work here.
about 20 minutes west of williams lake they cease to function. which is a good thing.
land for miles too .

#112 Utopia on 09.15.11 at 11:42 am

#87 Robert Dudek on 09.15.11 at 8:42 am

“Sweet, lovely correction in gold this morning. Time to buy some more”.
Not so fast Robert. That double top in Gold morphed into a pennant formation but is now showing signs of a price breakdown coming. Wait a bit until the picture resolves over the next few days.

#113 bill on 09.15.11 at 11:44 am

oops please insert ‘it’ between ‘nailed’ and ‘once’

#114 Victoria Tea Party on 09.15.11 at 12:11 pm


How come, eh? Must be the season of the witch!

News reports this week indicate Canadian society is seeing a huge and growing gap between rich and poor (more of each, apparently) meaning a collapsing middle class is an ongoing “thing”, or whatever.

Then there is the official and ongoing worry of a recession breaking out at some point.

And the CBC, last night, joyfully announced that a quarter of a billion dollars of new retail shopping construction is taking place in our great land, mostly it seems, in southern Ontario where Ikea and Target are setting up bigger shops!

Apparently US retail giants say Canada is a good place to do business since the US retail customer has gone the way of the dinosaur.

So, I must ask: How is it that a country, with a population that is 10 per cent of its colonial master, can fill in all of those shoppers’ cracks, so to speak, when the aforementioned colonials are up to their eyeballs in debt right now and aren’t getting any more wage increases?

How the Hell does that work?

Meanwhile, stock markets everywhere are going up like crazy after Sarkozy and Merkel told the Greek PM that they want Greece in the EU, forever, apparently.

So, what does that mean? That the Greeks have suddenly changed their profiligate ways and will now endure a serious economic depression for the next decade to help pay off their debts?

There is a lot of fantasy thinking going on here.

How is it that in the course of a few days, in the economic world, that storm clouds can scud away over the distant horizon, sunshine returns and everything is good?

Something’s slightly out of kilter. Nothing’s been resolved.
We must continue to tread carefully.

#115 Devore on 09.15.11 at 12:31 pm

#50 mousey

reducing the discount rate on variable mortgages is raising interest rates? Can we just speak plain english already. Same complaint about negative growth. I’ll stop now as I feel a rant coming on.

How would you say it? Banks can’t move the prime rate. They can only decrease the discount, or increase the premium, if they’re already over the prime. This increases the effective rate.

#116 Hoof - Hearted on 09.15.11 at 12:32 pm

Max Keiser , in one of his reports, stated that 70 % of trading is done between computers programmed with pre determined outcomes/ targets. The algorithms used are to facilitate this outcome…so the whole thing is another rigged casino.

Also…as another perspective, Griffin..author of “Creature From Jekyll Island” states INFLATION has eroded purchasing power to 3% of what it once was.

The 97 % loss was effectively a tax initiated and propogated by the Banksters….aka Inflation is a tax.

#117 Hoof - Hearted on 09.15.11 at 12:42 pm


Ties together a lot of loose ends…sorta like a sober Smoking Man

You may wish to view these:

How History is Fabricated


The Plot to Assassinate General George Patton


#118 NorthOf49 on 09.15.11 at 12:44 pm

Hey Garth, can you provide some insight into the latest CREA numbers? How about a blog devoted to what the CREA isn’t telling us. Is there anything to read between the lines? The fact that they are using “stable” to describe the market makes me think there’s more to the 2011 sales/listings trajectory than they are telling us.

#119 Ron on 09.15.11 at 12:48 pm

#104 Live Under Your Means

Sounds fabulous.

I’ve been all over Europe (I have dual citizenship), and from my experience southern Spain gives you the best value for your money.

France is beautiful, but for me not as affordable in retirement as Spain. At least thats the way it stands now.

As in the US, the RE has been hammered there. The unemployment rate is 20%, so people are motivated to sell. We’ve had a strong dollar for a while, so why not use it to our advantage while we can.

Check out Malaga, the international airport was just expanded and minutes from the city by train (makes it easier to rent your place).

#120 maxx on 09.15.11 at 12:54 pm

#35 Dr. Fred on 09.14.11 at 11:46 pm

Unfortunately, in the past decade, individuals who have bought homes and made money vastly outnumber those who paid rent for the entire time.

…and those who toasted it on junk vastly outnumber those who kept it and made it work for them…;)

#121 ss on 09.15.11 at 1:15 pm

@ #22
Actually, listings hit a 16 year high:
“August broke 16 year record with highest number of listings – 4,685”

#122 this is wonderland on 09.15.11 at 1:36 pm

#96 GTA Girl

FEEL!! So now we’re basing our economic data on how people feel. Most barely know the name of the different provinces, let alone can properly assess their budgets.
Well said, I read the same report in the Toronto Star.

It always baffles me when people don’t include the mortgage as part of their debt load, but then again these are probably the same people that buy a luxury car and finance for 84 months.

#123 bystander on 09.15.11 at 1:39 pm

Anybody who is interested in securitization of mortgages in Canada should read this document:


#124 Cookie Monster on 09.15.11 at 1:39 pm

CBC last night about how Canada is creating more jobs and how retailers are all coming up here from the US etc.. I was flabbergasted at the ethics of such shoddy journalism (if you could call it that). That kind of B.S. and outright lies is definitely asking for a payback and we’re gonna get it, I am sure.
I’m sure too, I saw that piece and just shook my head also.

Big box stores and retailers, Canada’s economy is great. Wrong, since we don’t make anything sold in said stores.

The store names should be:
Korean Electronics Store
Bangladesh Clothing Store
Ethiopian Apparel
Asian Textiles R-US
Chinese Retail Store
OPEC Oil Distributing
China Shoes Inc.
Wallmart, Costco and Target Chinese Super Stores

Canada Lumber, Copper, Nickel, Uranium, Silver and Gold Superstore Truckload Outlet Mall. Cheaper by the ton!

#125 vyw on 09.15.11 at 1:41 pm


A coordinated move by the central banks and specifically QE by the ECB in buying up any and all Greek bonds will stave off a default.

#126 Beach Girl on 09.15.11 at 1:43 pm

#25 meslippery

Thats beach girls car she has sand in her bikini.
Thats a recognized disability.


Well I actually own 2 cars, the main one a 2001 red Cavalier with leprosy, and a vintage Mercedes SL 600 V12 Roadster. And I can actually wear a bikini. That would probably smoke you. The car I mean.

It was my birthday yesterday. Can hardly move today. As I run a home for unwed single fathers. The pool was 88, and all these young men. Eye candy. Nothing going on. My married neighbours hate me. HAHA. Happy birthday to ME!

#62 lost my job

That is a complete bummer, and I sorry for your loss and stress.


#78 Lana

So sorry over the loss of your daughter. That is horrible.

A lot of young people’s lives are destroyed my marijuana. Not smoking it, but getting a stupid criminal record which makes them even less employable.

Politicians have all said they smoked it, but continue to ruin young peoples lives and futures with stupid laws. As if life wasn’t hard enough.

Anyway, I am hungover, doesn’t happen to often. Sucks actually. Miss Daisy the Jack Russell hates me, as there is no possibility of me walking the beach.

Bye Bye.

#127 Cookie Monster on 09.15.11 at 1:58 pm

Lana, there’s nothing immoral about marijuana, and incredible plant given to us by Mother Nature. The only immorality is by the duffesus who banned it, ruining peoples live and legislating away our freedoms is criminal.
Primitive nomads used to smoke everything; grasses, leaves, insects, fruits, berries; they smoked, ate, drank or made creams; they experimented endlessly.

The American, the news said these huge US retailers were opening stores and expanding into Canada. This is a bad move, and now I remember why I was shaking my head, the reason the stores are expanding is because our recent credit expansion gives the illusion of prosperity and savings, so the retailing giant bean counters have all been fooled. This expansion is a malinvestment, there will not be enough future consumption going forward and these retailers will be a mistake.

#128 Devore on 09.15.11 at 1:58 pm

Victoria throws in the towel:


#129 Cookie Monster on 09.15.11 at 2:06 pm

Lana, a thought to finish what I was saying about dope, the nomad who discovered marijuana must have been a super star, a god amongst nomads, but like Jesus Christ, our modern leaders crucified him.

That’s the extent of my religion.

#130 lonely limey on 09.15.11 at 2:06 pm

$1.00 home for Sale that didn’t sell


They received two offers for $700K and decided to decline and take the house off the market till things improve…… They were holding out for $900K (LOL)
WTF…….some people deserve to lose everything

#131 Guan-Di on 09.15.11 at 2:09 pm

#128 – Dr. Fred

Karma’s a bitch buddy!

#132 BPOE on 09.15.11 at 2:17 pm

Mt Baker is cool and I fully endorse this purchase. Way way wayyyy cheaper than Whistler. Albeit Whistler is the REAL DEAL
Folks, everyone wants to buy and if Mt Baker is where you can afford then that’s where you buy. Get back your pride back and buy what you can afford. Make your parents proud of you again. I’ve seen fathers on deaths door heal themselves with the news of their son or daughter going from being a loser to a WINNER buy being an owner. A mother’s tears and years of anxiety medication thrown away when their child BUYS and becomes WHOLE.

#133 Ron on 09.15.11 at 2:18 pm

#125 Cookie Monster

This is the second comment about this subject today. I don’t understand what the “bad reporting” comment is all about.

As I mentioned early, I’m involved with the Target store expansion into Canada, which will create thousands of jobs from Consultants to Cashiers.

We may not be making anything sold in those stores, but so what?

Is everything sold in U.S. big box stores made in the USA?

Hopefully we’ll see more of these expansions into Canada since corporate America is relying more and more on foreign operations to fuel their bottom line. The US consumer is dead.

#134 Smoking Man's Son on 09.15.11 at 2:26 pm


I saw a helium atom in a gang bang with Hydrogen ions !

Good thing one’s inert ..just imagine of the Oxygen twins showed up !

#135 wtf????? on 09.15.11 at 2:46 pm

So, the Euro-licking Liberal Party ideology has screwed everyone in the western world….duh. When the ‘global village’….we are the world…..sustainable development etc idiocy became popular in Euro land in the late sixties, nutjobs and idiots like Pierre Trudeau jumped on board with gusto and began selling Canada down the river. The west sent all the tax dollars they could into the bungholes of the third world ‘to make them like us’ . They sent hundreds of milions of jobs to China, to let them develop democracy’ Bwahahahahahahah !!!!! What lunacy. All we ended up with is massive unemployment, stronger dictatorships, looming global communism and an economy out of control because we could not afford the largesse of the nutjobs like Trudeau. Canada’s manufacturing base was devastated by Trudeau and the Lib’s.

Aren’t you glad the Chinese economy is booming?


#136 jess on 09.15.11 at 3:13 pm

incentives that pay

U.S.: Clawbacks Without Claws
by Gretchen Morgenson, New York Times
September 10th, 2011



36 Peakoilist
Royalty volume = total production volume x royalty rate

“royality in kind ”

…”corruption at the Minerals Management Service (MMS), and a coziness with industry officials that included a “culture of substance abuse and promiscuity” at the agency…”


by Sharona Coutts
ProPublica, Sep. 18, 2008, 12:51 p.m
A Government Accountability Office report [3] (PDF) published Friday found that the program hasn’t been measuring how much oil and gas is coming out of the ground for some leases, in breach of its statutory duties. As a result, the government doesn’t know how much the private companies that leased mineral rights actually owed taxpayers. Another GAO report [4] (PDF) put the potential at between $21 billion and $53 billion annually

#137 Cookie Monster on 09.15.11 at 3:33 pm

#135 Ron on 09.15.11 at 2:18 pm
See my post at 129 for explanation.

I don’t think anyone’s against them coming, I’m glad they are because it will definitely bring more selection and lower prices, competition will likely crush some of the current Canadian incumbents as they all compete tooth and nail over the next decade for the last of the straggling CAD consumers. I’m certain their rosy or even worse case projections will not materialize. I think it’s going to be bad, but maybe not as bad as the US. I would say take it while it lasts, but keep your expectations low.

#138 SpeedWeasel on 09.15.11 at 3:36 pm

I am in Vienna (Austria) this week, and have been living in Bonn (Germany) since January: Certainly has given me some perspective on what a house in Hongcouver is worth.

No mansion in Vancouver can compare with the view out my apartment’s window: 7 mountains, 2 castles, 1 palace. Don’t even get me started on the pastries and beer.

Life is too short to be spent worrying about a mortgage. Especially in a rainy smug-hole like Vankewver (as the west-coast kids pronounce it). That 400K would allow you to live nicely in castle-land for a while. According to Garth, that may become even more affordable soon.

#139 timo on 09.15.11 at 3:43 pm


“The dollars will come primarily from the Fed, which is again playing the role of global lender of last resort. The three-month ECB facility for European banks, comes in addition to the one-week program that the Fed has had with global central banks since 2008, and it carries the same steep terms: 100 basis points above the Fed Funds rate. Compare that to the .25% rate the Fed pays to banks placing excess reserves with the Fed and the desperation of the situation becomes clear.”

Keep the party going, all the problems are fixed. Now move along ,nothing to see here…..

#140 Moneta on 09.15.11 at 3:55 pm

All we ended up with is massive unemployment, stronger dictatorships, looming global communism and an economy out of control because we could not afford the largesse of the nutjobs like Trudeau. Canada’s manufacturing base was devastated by Trudeau and the Lib’s.

When there is abundance, animal populations expand until they get too big to be sustainable and then they fall again. This cycle has been going on and on and on for millions of years… or a few thousand for those who follow the bible.

It sure looks like the same thing is happening to humans. We might be smart but obviously, not enough to stop the cycles of life.

In the 1800s, we became all scientific and managed to increase our life span as well as farming yields. Then we discovered oil which boosted yields even more. And now thanks to this black gold, we’re 7 billion on this planet. Chances are this is close to the peak and if not, this means we’ll have to fight even more for our share in the future. Can we really expect 7 billion to live like Westerners? And can we really, as Westerners, expect to exploit emerging markets like we have in perpetuity?

To make matters worse, Americans, the extraverts they are, just had to go and accelerate the cycle by broadcasting their goodies globally. Therefore, telecom has shown the world what kind of suckers they are for working for peanuts and serving us Westerners. Of course they now want a piece of the pie.

Clueless Westerners for some reason don’t seem to grasp the concept of entropy and prefer blaming the politicians, the spendthrifts, the cheapskates or anyone for a natural cyle that has existed for millions of years (or a few thousand depending on your ideology).

#141 pablo on 09.15.11 at 4:30 pm


august 2011 prices up over last year and sales steady according to crea…………… whaddya say to that Garth?
real estate is still a pretty good place to park your dollar.

It’s always interesting that people see no risk in rising assets and too much risk in declining ones. The opposite if true. — Garth

#142 jess on 09.15.11 at 4:31 pm

live under your means
from the other day

…i guess some individuals do not know the difference between hypocritical and the hippocratic

#143 wtf????? on 09.15.11 at 4:41 pm

BTW…want another laugh at how the liars in Canadian government circles are continuing to corrupt the country unabated….just google ‘Immigration Corruption in Canada’. It isn’t news that corrupt officials are selling entrance to Canada without restriction…they don’t get charged they don’t get fired…it’s rampant……and no one gets deported for stealing citizenship??????

As fare back as ’08 there was a full time operastion in HK to sell citizenship to Chinese mafia and Chinese Intelligence. When an honest consular office complained he was sacked. Todays revelations that PEI has been selling citizenship for as little as 100K shows just how sleazy the government of liberal appointee’s that are ensconced in the public service have become.

so…still think the stats-can site is reliable as source info????? Bwahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!

#144 Peakoilist on 09.15.11 at 4:50 pm

#99 Bailing in BC on 09.15.11 at 10:15 am
thanks ..it just makes me chuckle, especially when they end up being farther down the list .
I also think there’s some innate desire in us to be first sometimes. Like when I get up to the checkout just when a clerk is opening and she says ‘I can take you here”..I get a rush or something. I also like being at the head of the line when at a red light. It makes no sense because it’s usually because I couldn’t make it through the last green, but..ahh the simple things in life….

#145 DARLENE on 09.15.11 at 4:52 pm

Ron on 09.15.11 at 2:18 pm

It may be creating some jobs but it is also causing some job losses. In the area of SW On that I live in, they bought out the leases for only certain Zellers stores. They are all the mall locations. Those are the best spots. What happens to all the previous staff at those locations? There will be few additional jobs being created. Those that are are temporary or contract at best. Please be realistic about what your spouting off about. It’s not a win/ win situation.

#146 Lana on 09.15.11 at 5:12 pm

#129 Cookie Monster on 09.15.11 at 1:58 pm

Primitive nomads used to smoke everything; grasses, leaves, insects, fruits, berries; they smoked, ate, drank or made creams; they experimented endlessly.
You can smoke insects? Which ones, and what are the effects? Finally, a use for insects!

I have mixed feelings about the American stores opening here…at least that would give some Canadians a job. I used to boycott Walmart, but then realized a lot of local people now have jobs. Not the best job in the world, but it is better than being unemployed.

#147 jess on 09.15.11 at 5:33 pm

Ron you said:
“As I mentioned early, I’m involved with the Target store expansion into Canada, which will create thousands of jobs from Consultants to Cashiers. ”

Those cashiers might be supporting iphones in their pockets no more swipin’ at the stationary till and wavin’ those bulky hand held lazers. The point of sale is a moving target. This efficiency will combine two jobs into one. Lowes, for example, is adding “42,000 iPhones in an effort to streamline the way they do business and help their customers.”

#148 Phil on 09.15.11 at 5:44 pm

@109 DDDD, Im trying to figure out where you are referencing. Not Bowen Island. Im interested. Past hole in the wall? Can you drive there?

#149 Ron on 09.15.11 at 6:06 pm

#147 Darlene

My “spouting off” as you put it, is in fact reality. If you think that the Target expansion is a waste of time, ask the people who are unemployed in your area to stay at home and collect EI.

I´d rather see Canadians working…even if its just 1 more job.

#149 Jess

Not sure your point. If your saying streamlining creates less jobs than more….ok. But it´s still people getting off EI and contributing to society.

It´s almost as if you people don´t want to see progress. You see the glass half empty. I know a lot of people that would appreciate these opportunities.

If some here have reservations about US expansions, go to your local Walmart, Best Buy, or Future Shop, and tell them to pack-up and leave.

Tell them they´ve made a mistake coming here, and that we´re all broke so they´re expansion plan won´t work.

Sheeeesh, what a bunch of winers.

#150 Live Under Your Means on 09.15.11 at 6:15 pm

#120 Ron on 09.15.11 at 12:48 pm
#104 Live Under Your Means

Sounds fabulous.

I’ve been all over Europe (I have dual citizenship), and from my experience southern Spain gives you the best value for your money.

France is beautiful, but for me not as affordable in retirement as Spain. At least thats the way it stands now.

As in the US, the RE has been hammered there. The unemployment rate is 20%, so people are motivated to sell. We’ve had a strong dollar for a while, so why not use it to our advantage while we can.

Check out Malaga, the international airport was just expanded and minutes from the city by train (makes it easier to rent your place).


Hi Ron – we’d never be in a position to buy property in Spain for various reasons. I’ve traveled fairly extensively in Europe as well. Hubby has dual citizenship. He actually travels on a French passport, half the price and valid for 10 years. Easy for him to get it as the French Consulate had all his info. We looked in my obtaining French citizenship many years ago – such a hassle. They wanted all kinds of certificates of birth back to hubby’s great grandparents. Right – many were destroyed during WW2. Now it would be so much easier for me but I can’t be bothered at my age.

Spent time in Spain – long story – much preferred Portugal then. Cousins cross into Spain every 3 months & spend about 600 EU stocking up on stuff that’s cheaper there.

We were also invited to Bordeaux and Arcachon – My Mtl. niece’s boyfriend’s parents. Couldn’t make it due to FIL’s ill health. But since then his Mom and I have become good ‘net’ friends and will definitely get together in the future in France (we go there every 2 years) or here in Canada. Were also invited by 2 couples in Germany to visit them – but not enough time & told them we could not make any promises.

#151 Devore on 09.15.11 at 6:19 pm

#140 SpeedWeasel

I’ve lived in Vienna for a year, beautiful place,gorgeous architecture, parks, palaces and castles, transportation system second to none.

On the last blog I posted that because so much time, energy and money is expended on the basic necessity of housing, very little is left over for the higher level things, like “making the world a better place”.

#152 timo on 09.15.11 at 6:30 pm



pablo I have just 1 question for you,

If the national average salary projection is 2.6 per cent for 2011 and Canadians paid 7.7 per cent more for real
estate , how can the average wage validate this 5% difference. It is a ponzi scheme that will not end well.

#153 Cookie Monster on 09.15.11 at 6:32 pm

Lana, that’s why we call them roaches. I was exaggerating a little, but the idea is true, I know because I saw it on Survivorman when he was in south America, the aboriginals smoked a wide variety of plants.

The money consumers save by shopping at Wallmart will get spent elsewhere or is saved, and what we need is more savings and investment in productive capacity so that we can produce and trade more various items other than just natural resources since we can’t all be employed in resources.

Problem is our jurisdiction is not very friendly or competitive for manufacturing. So we’re stuck in decline until this changes, meaning less public sector, less socialism, more capitalism, more sound money and entrepreneurship. No business will come here or grow strong here with shackles around their necks, exceptions will be the exceptional, like RIM, but even their future is still a challenge.

#154 Live Under Your Means on 09.15.11 at 6:40 pm

#129 Cookie Monster on 09.15.11 at 1:58 pm
Lana, there’s nothing immoral about marijuana, and incredible plant given to us by Mother Nature. The only immorality is by the duffesus who banned it, ruining peoples live and legislating away our freedoms is criminal.


For one I agree with you CM. In my mid 20’s I indulged. But, after hash oil once and becoming paranoic, I said never again. DH, when he can’t sleep, has a few puffs on a toke and then sleeps like a baby. He does not abuse it at all.

#155 Live Under Your Means on 09.15.11 at 6:42 pm

PS to my last post. Should have said I indulged once and awhile at a party.

#156 Cookie Monster on 09.15.11 at 7:08 pm

Live Under Your Means, well, well, well… what a wonderful common ground we have!

I think you’re a sweet lady and we only disagree because the arguments I make are 180 degrees from what is commonly held belief by Canadians, I argued with my Mom and Dad and friends too over the years. And like I say here, if there were no problems with our system I’d have nothing to argue about, but the problems present and looming are large and the solutions are simple in principle, major in practice.

You know, I’m really a nice guy, ask my Mom, she’ll tell ya.

#157 Victoria on 09.15.11 at 7:18 pm

I am so happy. The CREA just posted that that all is well and stable.


#158 Snowboid on 09.15.11 at 7:27 pm

Speaking of being ‘One toke over the line’ apparently there is no bubble to worry about in Vancouver!


#159 City Slicker on 09.15.11 at 7:33 pm

Foreclosure notices surge 33% in the US, 55% in California:


“Bank of America is ramping up its foreclosure processing, sending out far more notices of default to borrowers in August than in previous months, well over 200 percent more month-to-month.”

#160 dddd on 09.15.11 at 7:34 pm

#150 Phil on 09.15.11 at 5:44 pm

no, not bowen (unless you can afford to be neighbours w harrison ford) – but the other 2 islands (gambier/keats) have no car ferry ergo quiet and cheap(er)
water taxi goes from hsb or bc ferries has a walk on ferry from langdale

#161 dddd on 09.15.11 at 7:36 pm

and mark my strong vote for legalization too

and further is it even possible to abuse it? i’ve been trying to for 20+ years and my life just gets better and better.


#162 Silver on 09.15.11 at 8:23 pm

Bought in 2003 at $300 looks like an offer is coming at about $1.4m. If the offer comes through… I’m “Gone”…well almost, they want to do a 1 year leaseback, suits me just fine.

And the joy of increasing everyones property taxs assessments as a result thrills me to no end..so long suckers…!

If it happens would you be able to give a rough breakdown on how to allocate this windfall Garth.
We will clear about $1.1m and perhaps it would provide some guidance to other folks who are not so market smart and would like to remove the capital gain tax liabilities we will face. I have always operated on cash not credit so physical investment in market and tax issues is not something I know a whole lot about.
Hippie with a bad attitude concerning welfare bumbs… corporate, government, and the just plain lazy entitled hoard types.
The companies I work for currently gets 40% of my wages kicked back as a tax break. Hope you all enjoy paying to cover my capitalist job… My tax’s only cover 10% of my very good wages the rest of you cover the rest.
The companies are not Canadian either….and won’t hire without the break. Thanks Harper, and Gorden…love the Conservaliberals free enterprise system here.

Leaving Methcouver
Richer and smarter….
There are some great fire sales in the Interior/Summerland…
Wow $1.4 who would have thought..please go through.
Again Thanks for helping me decide to sell Garth!

#163 Waterloo Resident on 09.15.11 at 8:23 pm

#105 Guan-Di:

(“Nope, Student Loans are secured debt, there’s no getting out of those even in bankruptcy.”)

Wow, thanks for that info !
I’ll definitely REMEMBER that and pass it on.

So we can get out of mortgage debt but not student debt, boy that’s a bummer for all the students this summer who could not get a job isn’t it?

I remember way back in 1992 I declared personal bankruptcy and got out of #22,800 in student debt, so I guess things have changed since then.

#164 The thing in the basement on 09.15.11 at 8:39 pm

106 American – I see a corporate office for a retailer
that doesnt really make anything as only marginally
better than the storefront itself.

#165 Devil's Advocate on 09.15.11 at 8:41 pm

As for your other choices, forget North Van. It will always be one of the uglies surrounding the city, where it can take 40 minutes to get across a dodgy bridge and a fixer-upper on a noisy street is hardly worth three-quarters of a million. When the real estate correction hits, you can be sure that areas like Kits, Shaughnessy or Arbutus will suffer the least, while Surrey and North Van get smoked.” – Garth

Good advice Garth! “Location, location, location”.

Would it be safe to say now that you might consider giving credit to the likes of Vancouver, in general, for having sustained a high demand for its properties due to its preferential location compared, in the whole grand scheme of things, to that of the so many less desirous locations in Canada?

Of course your milage may differ on the desirability of Vancouver, but apparently the indisputable demand for that city would suggest you to be a rarity.

#166 Devil's Advocate on 09.15.11 at 8:52 pm

” while Surrey and North Van get smoked.” – Garth

Every city has and needs a “Surrey” here in Kelowna it’s called Rutland. North Van? West Van’s poor cousin.

#167 salonist on 09.15.11 at 8:58 pm

student debt?
is this possible?
if you could take out a home equity loan,pay off the student debt and then if there is a need for bankruptcy,the student debt has been paid.

#168 April on 09.15.11 at 9:13 pm

We need some facts now that CREA/CBC/BC Credit Union have announced some positive spin re real estate numbers
in the Lowermainland of BC

#169 Moneta on 09.15.11 at 9:28 pm

(“Nope, Student Loans are secured debt, there’s no getting out of those even in bankruptcy.”)
Well in the US they refied, used the money to pay off student debt and defaulted on the mortgage.

#170 dddd on 09.15.11 at 10:23 pm

silver – there is NO area in van or bc that was 300k in 03 to 1.4 now for a typical lot/house.

these numbers are exaggerated or bs.

#171 Snowboid on 09.15.11 at 10:41 pm

#170 Devil’s Advocate on 09.15.11 at 8:52 pm…

Are you suggesting that one shouldn’t work or live in Rutland?

#172 Rico Suave on 09.15.11 at 10:58 pm

RE: #45 syd on 09.15.11 at 12:27 am

If one comments on spammy comment, does that make the original spam less spammy? Or does it make the comment spam, too?

#173 The thing in the basement on 09.16.11 at 1:32 am

Further to 106 American – here’s a canadian-based
company that actually makes/assembles things in the US!


#174 Silver on 09.16.11 at 11:29 am

#174 dddd… your research needs work.
did I ever say it was typical, and your right it was $315… if you want to cut hairs(I like round numbers….). Learn the facts before you call bs. My response would be “Do you have a degree in business” perhaps? A realestate agent looking for higher profit %, perhaps keeping lower values from you.
It took work to find something most people are to lazy or stupid to do,… and we will see about that desired $1.4 .w We have 2 parties looking now
Bet you “500 silver maple leafs” on the purchase price , ….we will see on the sale price.
Careful calling bullshit..sometimes it displays your education background.
The lot and building were sound but tired looking and the “Entitled Hoard’ walked right by it. Think artist live work space, with % floors of air space. A really, really good one at that.
Go where the sheeple don’t…
Downtown Methland Vancouver

#175 maxx on 09.16.11 at 12:27 pm

“Bryan Yu, an economist with Central 1 Credit Union, said the median home price in the province will increase 6.8% to $417,000.”

Caught that one yesterday as well, Garth. With very few exceptions, the RE and lending cartel is simply a gigantic lie fabrication plant.

Anyone having taken a real estate agent course will have seen it first hand- the hubris and sense of self-importance are sickening. This lying should be legislated exactly as has been done for truth in advertizing. It should be considered illegal social engineering of the most pernicious sort.

Regardless of whether or not citizens should “know better” and fend for themselves in a “free market”, our governing elites should have been on the case a long while back and used the power they have to send a very clear message in order that these collective thugs be brought to heel.

Happily, it appears that irretrievable idiots are increasingly spread thinner on the ground. Some have bought the farm but the rest are now smartening up.

Disraeli and Twain got it in one with: “lies, damned lies and statistics”.

#176 maxx on 09.16.11 at 12:33 pm

oops! sorry Garth, mis-filed last post. Have copied it to todays.