He’s 43 and has seven hundred thousand dollars in his chequing account. You’re nuts, I said helpfully. “Yah, but it’s my house money,” Lyle said. That was eight months ago. Since then the high-rolling marketing exec has emailed me a dozen listings of houses in the west end of Toronto, asking for an opinion. Most were junk. I told him.

Days ago he sent another which, at $862,000, had some promise. “I’m buying it,” he said. I asked how the price compared to recent solds in the hood, and he had no idea. “It’s a private sale,” Lyle gushed, like he’d just discovered insulin, “so I don’t have to pay commission.”

Not a day later I was talking to a couple in Kelowna, keen to purchase a house on one of those dusty hills for a shade under five hundred. Another FSBO (For Sale By Owner), and the plan was to buy it firm, then market their current home themselves, “saving a massive amount on both ends.” So, how do you plan to make the offer, I asked? “We’re taking them out for dinner at Joey’s, and maybe get them a little hammered.”

As you know, FSBO is sweeping the nation. Some people buy or sell on Craigslist. Others use outfits like The Property Guys. Some invest $3.99 on one of those tacky orange signs you buy a Home Depot, and nail it into the lawn. Given that house porn is part of daily life, and people are inherently cheap, the allure of selling or buying without the help (and cost) of an agent has proven irresistible.

Besides, most of us hate realtors. Especially the ones who type it in CAPS and use that little trademark thingy. Are they that insecure?

Having said this, God made real estate agents for a reason. Besides humour. And it’s time this pathetic blog did something heroic, and defended them. Sort of.

Of course, standard commissions are obscene. Handing over an average of 5% to sell a house in a hot market is a certifiable act. But in a comatose market, it could be worth every cent. The good news is the entire industry is far more malleable than in the past, especially since the federal Competition Bureau crawled up its butt. Changes in MLS allowing FSBO listings (sort of) are a case in point. Plus, commissions are now negotiable.

Sadly, past arrogance, intransigence and a love of monopoly already earned realtors a rep slightly below that of pet abusers or the people who feel you up in airport security. And it’s this visceral dislike which has made the private real estate sale hot.

Too bad. This can be a dangerous thing.

For example, FSBO sellers are considered prey by sophisticated buyers.  Everyone knows the main reason you’d sell your own home is because you’re cheap and naive. And since owners are so entangled with their properties, they can be toyed with. This makes them fun during negotiations, when they freak at criticism or recoil at a low-ball offer. So you can mess with their heads, since their decisions will likely be hasty and emotional. Not like negotiating with a dispassionate third party, experienced at cutting deals. This is why most FSBO sellers end up selling too cheap.

Speaking of which, almost every FSBO house goes to market at the wrong price – usually too much. Instead of reflecting market conditions and buyer realities, do-it-yourself sellers sit around and decide how much they want and need. The research they do is gawking at what other properties in the area are asking, and then adding more. After all, their houses are the best. Ever.

But a mispriced property is a seriously bad idea. It goes stale. The price gets cut. Then some smart buyer comes along and demands a further discount, because he knows you’re not paying commission. So, you end up having gone through this – the advertising, the phone calls, the showings, the vacuuming – for nothing.

Far better to know exactly what the selling prices in your hood have been over the past months, not just the askings. A smart realtor in a fading market might actually price the place below neighbourhood comparables, then use his company’s marketing clout to try and spark a bidding war.

And what about the structure of a FSBO deal? What if a cunning buyer gave you an offer filled with conditions? Would you know enough to accept some and reject others? To generate proper waivers for a legally-binding agreement? How much would your lawyer charge to shepherd the deal along at every stage? What protection do you have at the last moment if the buyer fails to close? Are you compliant with provincial laws?

Meanwhile a buyer entering into a FSBO deal is even more exposed. Like Lyle, he might be handing over hundreds of thousands of dollars in a transaction devoid of a property disclosure allowing him to sue for defects later on. Or buying without a survey, opening up boundary issues. Or putting down a deposit that will never be seen again if the deal goes south.

A good real estate agent doesn’t let this happen. So even if you end up offering on a private sale, you should have one to represent you, do the research for you, bargain for you, and protect you. Will that cost you one per cent, or a half a per cent, of the price? Probably. But it could also be the best insurance money possible. The seller might be a tightwad, but you’re the one shelling out the money. Buyers wear 100% of the risk.

There are lots of things in life to be cheap over. Selling or buying a house worth five or ten years worth of income ain’t one of them. Get an agent.

Just use all the money you don’t pay reading this.



#1 TurnerNation on 01.27.12 at 10:10 pm

First. (cue rage)

#2 Cookie Monster not Fred Flintstone on 01.27.12 at 10:11 pm

Yeah baby YEAH!

#3 Buyright on 01.27.12 at 10:13 pm

What Does It All Mean?

I think the charts speak for themselves

#4 Dubble on 01.27.12 at 10:16 pm

Hello everyone.

I’m just curious whether anybody has some input on the city of Lethbridge. I’m considering leaving Saskatoon to go to university at the U of L.


#5 Kurt on 01.27.12 at 10:23 pm

Thanks, Garth. Remember, get a *good* real estate agent – multiple references, specialises neighbourhood you’re interested in, lots of experience.

#6 Dale in TO on 01.27.12 at 10:23 pm

Garth: Please do one thing for all us dummies. The next time you use some acronym like FSBO, please explain what it means. Actually, I just figured it out but when I started reading your blog, it took a while to even figure out what MSM was.

#7 Darren on 01.27.12 at 10:27 pm

If you sell using Comfree and get a decent package (not the cheapest one) they give you all the tools and help you need to do it RIGHT. This includes legal advice and the drafting of offers to make sure everything is done above board and legit. I can’t speak for property guys or just doing 100% by yourself but comfree have a great operation going. I believe they hold around 50% of the Quebec market so clearly they know what they are doing.

#8 T.O. Bubble Boy on 01.27.12 at 10:31 pm

He’s 43 and has seven hundred thousand dollars in his chequing account. You’re nuts, I said helpfully. “Yah, but it’s my house money,” Lyle said. That was eight months ago.

Hey! He passes the “rule of 90”! This must be fake.

Too bad as soon as this guy dumps $1M+ into an overpriced dump, he’ll have all of his cash tied up in house — just like very other house-horny greater fool.

#9 CHANGES on 01.27.12 at 10:31 pm

I check this site frequently for evidence that the market here in the lower mainland is crashing. I am always disappointed with no such evidence. I do more investigating and find sold properties still being sold at insane prices. I am losing hope and losing the city I was born and raised in. A city which me, my family, friends and neighbors helped build into a community. All of that is disappearing faster then it took to build.

#10 Smoking Man on 01.27.12 at 10:33 pm

CRA has gone rouge.

About six months ago I get a call from CRA re a company I shut down in 2005, All my taxes where paid, including GST, they said they did not have a copy of my return and asked me for my stamped bank copy, I said no stamp, I mailed you the bottom return I have my working copy they said, that’s no good and to re file it. I said ok. Few months later I get a bill penalty and interest. So I just pay it.

Last week same thing happens with my current company 2010 year end HST return. I said I have the stamped working copy somewhere, I’ll find it and fax it to you. Sure they said. So today I call the number they gave my, machine says collections. I go hum.

I get a guy on the phone give him my details, and ask where to fax the copy.

This is where it gets interesting, he says sorry to inform you but the person who called you on Tuesday was mistaken the computer rejected you return, we sent you a letter.

A computer rejected my return, What?

I said I never got a letter. He says yes you did. You need to re-file, there will be penalties and interest. Bustards.

I can smell a scam when I see one. This is a new low by the Hosni Harpo Govt.

I bet the people I was dealing with are not Gov’t employees, but a farmed out operation to some of Harpo’s pals. Just a conspiracy theory right now but I will find out.

Fellow owners, be very careful with CRA they have go Rouge.

#11 Spiltbongwater on 01.27.12 at 10:39 pm

How is Turnernation always getting first?

oh and 13th

#12 Smoking Man on 01.27.12 at 10:43 pm

Your ever notice when you call CRA the person is always Mr.Smith or Miss Smith or Mrs Smith, They try and intimidate you from the get get go.

I’m joining the Libertarian party of Canada.

#13 not 1st on 01.27.12 at 10:50 pm

Just imagine trying to sell your home by yourself then sitting there answering the phone and email all day long from unqualified retards who are tire kicking around your city. Better yet, let truckloads of the same retards track through your house at all hours of the day and all the while they are thinking how they can steal your house for the difference in commission you didn’t want to pay.

I hate realtors as much as the next guy, but they give you a needed insulation from your clientele that would drive you crazy otherwise. Realtors do put up with a lot of sh*t.

#14 N on 01.27.12 at 10:54 pm

I sold my own house last summer. I sold it for $27,000 more than what the first agent who saw it said we should list it for. I sold it for just $3,000 less than what the second agent said we should list it for. And the buyer and I together saved the commission and negotiated based on not having one.

My buyer came back with conditions once her lawyer got involved, but we’d already negotiated the price based on not having them, so I said no to most of them.

I think if anything she paid too much, but I think everyone was paying too much last summer, I sold it for what crappy little urban houses were going for, which was too much.

I had an interested buyer though at the outset just from putting out the word with neighbors. If I hadn’t sold it easily to one of those word-of-mouth referrals, I would have listed with an agent because even those few people drove me insane with their flakiness. But, it was worth it in the end.

#15 Golden Stu on 01.27.12 at 10:55 pm

Sir, you have gone too far……defending a monopoly that is illegal in most civilized countries.

Even in the UK, estate agents get a bad rep, but compared to what goes on here, the UK dudes look like a gentlemens club.

A video that went viral in the UK–estate-agent.html

The north american RE pyramid scheme serves no useful purpose for anyone except those wishing to sell a couple houses a year and earn a decent amount of money from it.

Now the market is in the toilet, they are all bitching… We sold our place & the agent spent most his time whining his income was down 80%.

#16 Deb on 01.27.12 at 10:58 pm

Totally agree with this post. Once you’ve dealt with a number of realtors you get to know which ones know their stuff and which ones don’t. The good ones have a good feel for the market, can price for the market, and know better than to pressure you or screw you for one sale. The good ones have clients who they’ve dealt with several times and then work with the client’s family and friends. One realtor we used once really earned his money dealing with an unreasonable buyer. For another property we sold last fall in the down market our realtor told us to hold our price, he felt it was priced correctly, and we finally sold close to asking.

#17 Cookie Monster not Fred Flintstone on 01.27.12 at 11:03 pm

Smoking Man,
The same thing happened to me in 2009. I sent in my T1, T2, T4 and T4 summary all together to Summerside like I do every year for the past five years and lo and behold they lost everything except my T1 because I owed them $20k personally. They lost my T4 and T4 summary but cashed the check for $4k for CPP that was wrapped inside the T4 slip and summary!

They send me a letter and told me the same thing, they never got it and to resend it, so I did and then I got fined $1k plus interest for late filing! I’m still fighting with them to get my money back. They’re bastards alright!

#18 Burnaby Boy on 01.27.12 at 11:04 pm

Last year I had to return my tax rebate and pay some tax on top of that too. However, I found the lady very polite and she explained everything to me and told me what to do next time. She also told me that the tax CDs that shops sell for dopes like me automatically cut off charity donations if deemed not required. This year I will do it all by hand. I mailed in my cheque and felt thankful!!? Now if only the RCMP could change their training methods so they would be more like the nice tax lady instead of appearing like some hard up sales rep desperate for his commission!!!?

#19 cj on 01.27.12 at 11:13 pm

I also agree that realtors are a necessity when it comes to the biggest purchase or sale you will ever make. We did our homework in the neighborhoods we wanted to buy. In one case the realtor opened our eyes to a more desirable neighborhood. It’s not worth it to be “penny wise and pound foolish”. We had some hard sells and the realtor was the third party to seal the deal.

#20 george on 01.27.12 at 11:13 pm

Latest Canadian household credit statistics from the Bank of Canada (up to the end of Dec. 2011):

#21 McLovin on 01.27.12 at 11:14 pm

I am the first to slam idiots like DA and the the rest of the Realtards but I do know one or two that really do add value. Realtors are like any other industry except that instead of a handful of bad ones, it is reversed and there are only a handful of good ones. That said, some care about their clients and some do a good job. Some being about 1% but they are out there.

#22 Smoking Man on 01.27.12 at 11:16 pm

#17 Cookie Monster not Fred Flintstone on 01.27.12 at 11:03 pm

I hate them.

Few years ago I was going to put all my assets in my wifes name, pretend to split up, rent an apartment and then stop paying them a dime. If I got caught, go bankrupt.

And then I discovered Section 160 of the tax code. The power those pricks now have is out of this world.

They can go after her for the loot even if I was good at time and for years after.

The only way to pull it off is to get legally devoiced and make it part of the settlement and then if you slip her a few bucks she is back on the hook.

We can’t win

#23 T.O. Bubble Boy on 01.27.12 at 11:17 pm

artificially underpriced house sells at market value!
(or some MSM headline that should have read that way)

side note: since when does Brian Persaud — who was recently the host of a cheesy local Rogers Cable RE show — get so much media attention? This guy was on Lang & O’Leary, in The Star, on the radio… Sandra (property virgins) better watch her back!

oh – and in case you didn’t know: It’s a GREAT TIME to buy a home

I believe there has never been a better time to buy a home. I’ve been in the industry for 28 years as a lawyer and I haven’t seen so many positive signs for housing, whether you are thinking or buying or locking in a mortgage.

hmmm… so, is this guy really just saying “it’s a great time for mortgages”? well – duh – the lowest rates ever make debt look ever-so-tempting.

#24 Uh Oh Canada on 01.27.12 at 11:32 pm

This comment is supposed to be on yesterday’s post, only it’s on today’s.

As I suspected, the government’s historic low interest rate is like financial aid to those in debt. I saw an advert at my local CIBC bank soliciting mortgage transfers for a nominal fee. So those who signed up for a higher interest mortgage years ago, can bail out and lock in with CIBC at current low rates.

What does this tell you? Our government is using the same tactics of the U.S government, only our housing bubble hasn’t burst yet. If those underwater in debt get instant lower mortgage payments now, they can sustain their payments and not be reposessed by the bank. This I believe, is the government’s solution to the housing bubble crisis. Will this work? It remains to be seen.

#25 45north on 01.27.12 at 11:37 pm

CRA (Canada Revenue Agency)

A woman who had spent her career at CRA said that she is severely disappointed that the Income Tax Form is so hard to understand. It shouldn’t be so hard. In Ontario, as a joke they decided to double the number of forms to fill out – one for the federal tax and another for the provincial tax. Two sets of forms, very similar kinds of calculations.

#26 meggie on 01.27.12 at 11:41 pm

We have sold 4 properties over the years using Comfree and a good real estate lawyer. Never a problem.
Just don’t rush any paperwork. Always put a condition of “subject to lawyers review”. That gives you a legal exit out of absolutely anything.

#27 RRSPtoDRIPtoTFSA on 01.27.12 at 11:45 pm

just get a book on how to do it’s no problem, its not rocket science. but if you are to cheap for that you are probably to dumb make a good deal.

#28 Dave on 01.27.12 at 11:47 pm

We sold our place privately on WeList here in Alberta. We ended up selling it for $30k more than any other home on our street listed by a realtor! We hired a lawyer to help guide us and do the purchase agreement. Listing cost $500 and the lawyer charged $950. Pretty good deal to sell a $500k house if you ask me.

#29 vatodeth on 01.27.12 at 11:48 pm

here’s a little script I’m working on:


#30 Snowboid on 01.27.12 at 11:49 pm

We have bought and sold several properties since the early 1970s – some privately and some directly from the developer – but most were using RE estate agents.

Of all those transactions, the last home sold on Vancouver Island and the winter home bought in Phoenix were through established discount realtors.

Our selling agent in Victoria sold our home in ten days after listing (our goal was within 30 days) and saved us almost $15K in commission.

Our buying agents’ company sent us an $850 cheque from their share of the commission – which covered our closing costs.

As I have said in past, the days of the full-commission realtor are numbered – but the services of an agent are invaluable nonetheless.

If you want a good example of how not to FSBO – check out this site:

A simple look back at archives of this site show some properties in there for close to three years, and even with regular reductions in price – no sale.

These sellers are in denial.

There, I’ve said something nice about RE agents!!!

#31 I'm stupid on 01.27.12 at 11:49 pm

What about putting a deposit down on a fsbo, and the person is no where to be found? Like the guy who rented out a place to 50 people, took first and last and disappeared several years ago. He rented from the true owner with fake everything. Same game different strategy. Just like all those private sales you see on auto trader for 10k for 100k cars.

#32 Canadian Watchdog on 01.28.12 at 12:16 am

Here is Harper’s speech at Davos 2012.

He’s got a teleprompter like Obama now.

#33 Cookie Monster not Fred Flintstone on 01.28.12 at 12:21 am

Smoking Man,

Hate’s a strong word but not sufficient.

My preference for thieves is the electric chair. I feel the duration and burning of pain is much more cruel than a simple hanging.

Anyone with a hint of intelligence, dare and perseverance is cannon fodder for the Marxist thieves who rule over our world. I’m a great supporter of the US constitution and second amendment.

The only way to beat them is to go all gold and buy a yacht. Destination unknown but not here.

My tax year was 2009, the trouble started in June 2010.
I think they’re out to get me too. I think they watch what we say.

#34 Onthesidelines on 01.28.12 at 12:22 am

I’ve not had any need for brokers or agents of any sort. We bought a cruising yacht over a decade ago, an arguably more complex and almost as expensive a purchase as a small house at that time, and we negotiated and went thru all the legalities of checking on any potential leans and registering her as a Canadian vessel, etc…all by ourselves. After a good decade of world cruising and clearing into most ports without the use of agents, last summer we sold the boat in Turkey to an American couple. Same thing, no broker. Treated them fairly and with respect and hid nothing. Saved 10% both ways. Nobody, except the useless middleman, got ripped off. Everybody was happy. Cash purchases in both cases. Sad to say that’s not the world most know.

It’s interesting how most people decry scumbags, Garth included, and then argue that a pro is needed to employ those very same scumbag tactics one has just condemned. Case in point is Garth’s suggestion in tonight’s post that your broker might be able to get a bidding war going, while not more than a dozen posts prior he warned not to get sucked into such scumbag broker dirty tricks.

Hypocrisy is so common everywhere these days, we seldom even notice it anymore.

#35 Wage Slave on 01.28.12 at 12:30 am

248 disciple on 01.27.12 at 10:55 pm

Start here and be free:

I tend to enjoy your posts, disciple, but did you even dig into the website you posted? It’s sponsored by the Science and Public Policy Institute. Its staff of 7 includes the following members:

Robert Ferguson: He served in the House Republican Study Committee, the Senate Republican Policy Committee, et al.

Lord Monckton: Special Advisor to Margaret Thatcher as UK Prime Minister from 1982 to 1986.

William Kininmonth: Project Manager of an Australian Government project of assistance to the Meteorology and Environmental Protection Administration of Saudi Arabia.

Robert M. Carter: Director of the Australian Office of the Ocean Drilling Program.

Do you honestly think this is an impartial look at the issues and evidence surrounding climate change?

#36 Cookie Monster not Fred Flintstone on 01.28.12 at 12:42 am

Will this work? It remains to be seen.
It won’t work unless they destroy the currency to bring the pricing into line. When a liter of gas is $2.50 the inflationary correction will be compete at the expense of the fixed income savers.

Inflation is a transfer of wealth from savers to debtors.

Governments are debtors so there will ALWAYS be inflation.

#37 Carp on 01.28.12 at 12:47 am

1. Smoking man and others hating CRA. Have you setup your online CRA account? From a personal and business perspective once I file, I make sure they confirm it’s there. I know when they receive my package and then wait 2-4 weeks for processing or call.

2. I don’t like realtors but use them, especially on the buy side. You just make it clear they need to negotiate for you.

3. Hmmm, I’m renting a McMansion on a 3 acre lot and now can invest with an awesome adviser to the tilt + play around on the side with my on-line account. I never was able to do that as a home owner.

4. I love my wife. She doesn’t want to buy for 5 years and see if Garth is right!

#38 Tony on 01.28.12 at 12:49 am

It would be cheaper to go out and earn a real estate license yourself. Then sell your own house. Anyone who pays commission to sell a house should be too stupid to own anything in the first place.

#39 zman on 01.28.12 at 12:53 am

hi garth

i normally agree with your opinion but on realtors i disagree. their not worth all of the commision that they ask for.
i bought my house without a realtor representing me and sold my house without a realtor.both times the other party was represented by realtor.

i had no problems. i had done my research, had a good lawyer and everything went smoothly.

people are always buying houses from builders with no representation and on the builder terms and conditions and so how is that any different than selling and buying a resale home without a realtor.

#40 Cookie Monster not Fred Flintstone on 01.28.12 at 12:56 am

Did you mean “subject to lawyers review” or “subject to lawyer’s review”.

The first and last house I bought was subject to lawyers review, there were nine of them in total! Closing costs were brutal

#41 TurnerNation on 01.28.12 at 12:59 am

In godless Toronto. Junk.

Four homes that sold for under asking

Fear of infamous Toronto bidding wars can make the real-estate market seem like a scary place. But take heart, buyers: All of these decent homes recently sold for under asking.

#42 Alpha Bravo on 01.28.12 at 1:16 am

“Some invest $3.99 on one of those tacky orange signs you buy at Home Depot, and nail it into the lawn.”


$.99 black and red sign at Dollarama stapled to my fence did the trick for me in 2005.

#43 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 01.28.12 at 1:29 am

“God made real estate agents for a reason. Most were junk. Are they that insecure? I told him and he had no idea. Too bad. This can be a dangerous thing. Besides humour, You’re nuts, I said helpfully.”

On this I agree. When we sold FSBO in 1992, we were two decades younger, more energy and vitality.

We’re wearing down now, so it would be better to use a realtor. No trouble paying commission, as they have to earn a living as well.
Tied In Bondage Link in. Just a hypopathetical concept — Is the invasion of Iran (which Russia and ChIndia won’t allow) tied to the collapse of the US$? Iran Turns Tables Prohibiting oil exports to EZone; Oil Markets “I view this sudden rush of stories assuring us all that Iran cannot really strike back, and that an attack on Iran will not really disrupt oil supplies, as further signs that the invasion is about to start as soon as they can fake an event to trick us all into going along with yet another war.”; China – Japan currency swap; Gold for Oil Beginning of the end for petrodollar? Nigeria Role of the IMF; But if the economy is improving . . . “Such binge spending by the Federal government can have one outcome, and one outcome only; inevitable, total collapse, because We the People cannot possibly pay these trillions back.”; Accelerating Collapse The karmic speed of time is hurrying things along rapidly; Spain Unemployment up; In Short Order Collapse of the Euro and EZone; Three days work for a nice bonus.

US Fed can’t work miracles; Fitch downgrades five EU countries, and Greece close to a private deal; Euro banks Ooohh the pain; US$65 mln. NYC penthouse. Any offers? All is for naught (see pic); Shrinking govt. Check the chart; Steve Roach We’re screwed as well; Iran Let’s see if they do it; The Fall From Grace; Mysterious Petrodollar, gold and Iran; Seven Cdn. oil and gas equities; Silver Singularity; Copper in Chile.
Hmmmm. Link in Obomba, G.H.W. and Jeb Bush in conversation; Iran “Oh yes, Russia, China, India, and Japan are SURE to jump on THAT band wagon!”; Corporations, with govt’s. help are the ones trying to shut the ‘net down; Evidence NATO deliberately targeted civilians; Inhuman Treatment Harper’s going down the same path; Vaccines Not for the faint of heart; BP Remember them? Chocolate and Cream Cheese make strange bedfellows, but will soon be joined; Foods Persian influences; Quick! Sneak peek of at least one Super Bowl ad; Helicopters New flying patterns.

#44 The Real Jimbo on 01.28.12 at 1:37 am

I think FSBO works really well for condos, especially in buildings with a large turnover. I’ve sold two investment condos this way. My procedure:

1. Determine the current realistic market price based on recent sales in the building and currently listings. List at slightly above that price. Show prospective buyers your research.

2. Be forthright about the pros and cons on the unit, building, etc. Full disclosure. Have a year or two of strata minutes in a bundle for them. If a prospective buyer suspects a FSBO seller is hiding something, they get scared off immediately.

3. Tell a serious prospective buyer that you’d have to pay a realtor $20K, for example, but you are cutting the realtor out of the equation. Then say, “Why give a realtor that money? I’ll split the commission I would have paid with you. I get $10K. You get $10K. We both win, instead.” The buyer nods in agreement.

Both times I’ve done this, the offer came in right around market, less their 1/2 of the saved commission and the sale was quick and painless while other units in the building languished. Both buyer and seller came out ahead.

I think it would be much harder to do with a house because a buyer would have less confidence in the market value research presented by the seller.

#45 Don on 01.28.12 at 2:11 am

CRA tried the same on me.

I am still waiting for some info from them – it’s been 3 yrs now so I bring it up whenever they call me and we end up discussing that. They are an interesting group to deal with – thankfully they will have to deal with my wife the (accountant). LOL

#46 Soylent Green is People on 01.28.12 at 2:43 am

Good post sold privately and our real estate agent still helped us, then we used him to buy next house, he doesn.t have to do any hard work, i find the houses on my own then send him in to close, he is a Master closer


#47 SophieZombie on 01.28.12 at 2:52 am

Not scientific, but interesting Case Report :

#48 The Thing in the Basement on 01.28.12 at 2:56 am

No helmet?

#49 debtified on 01.28.12 at 2:57 am

“Besides, most of us hate realtors. Especially the ones who type it in CAPS and use that little trademark thingy. Are they that insecure?”


Devil’s Advocate, if it’s any consolation… I don’t hate you this bad.

#50 I'll do anything for a listing - please on 01.28.12 at 3:03 am

Hi everyone – Realtor watcher here in Vancouver.
Realtors – are only good if they show up to a showing.
I have been to so many showings where they give my realtor a code to the lock box. My realtor then leaves his card as a courtesy next to the f’ing pile of realturd cards on the kitchen table. This is the truth. Some realtors don’t show up to earn their commission.

Second story, they send their “assistant”, ask them about the neighbourhood or schools – dumb look on their face…… then ask them about any recent maintenance, upgrades, or anything you’d like to ask when spending $700k….. No answer

3rd story – this is the best. Realtor doesn’t show up, and the 16 year old kid in his pajamas who lives in the house shows me the house, the water stains on the roof, the boxes blocking the stairs.
All this because a $699k listing isn’t worth the realtors time.
Real turds.

If you want to get a pulse on how Christy Clark is selling out BC, and how Gregor is supporting this bubble check out our local free paper
This is the opinion column section, that has all the realtor hate and HAM haters venting.
Vancouver is the the “Mos Eisley” of Earth – You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious…
This is the city where certain ethnicities buy up agricultural land, put 5 family farm houses on it, 7000+ sq ft, and pay no property taxes because they are still technically farmland, and park their 8 vehicles in the driveways, and rent dump truck parking in the back 40….
This is how you make it work in the Wild West.
** Tell all your friends of this blog. **

#51 debtified on 01.28.12 at 3:07 am

#6 Dale in TO on 01.27.12 at 10:23 pm

Garth: Please do one thing for all us dummies. The next time you use some acronym like FSBO, please explain what it means. Actually, I just figured it out but when I started reading your blog, it took a while to even figure out what MSM was.

Dale: The next time you see a word on an internet browser that you do not know highlight it, right click then click on Search on Google. If that doesn’t work, open another page of an internet browser, go to Google’s site, then simply Google the word. I do it all the time.

Test -> TYVM


#52 Where's The Money Guido??? on 01.28.12 at 3:46 am

Re: #4 Dubble on 01.27.12 at 10:16 pm

Hello everyone.
I’m just curious whether anybody has some input on the city of Lethbridge. I’m considering leaving Saskatoon to go to university at the U of L.

I would stay in Saskabush unless you like constant wind in your face and nothing to do (I guess you would have something to do, like study). Only positive is cheap (er) gas in the vicinity. The food in the stores is on a par with out here in BC (same as Regina prices approximately). Renting-buying would be cheaper, though I don’t know how much cheaper.
I have relatives there and whenever I go there, I find myself wondering why anyone would want to live there.
I am biased, by the way, I live in Port Coquitlam and lived in Saskabush for the first 11 years of my life; born there.
But both places don’t hold a candle to the west coast, even though it costs an arm and a leg to live here.

#53 Waterloo Resident on 01.28.12 at 3:49 am

In this story the journalist talks about China and why their housing market will soon crash and crash hard, but when I read it everything sounded as if they were describing the Canadian market EXACTLY !

Here, read it for yourself at this site:

Here’s a bit of it:

(” In the office of an upscale developer in Beijing, who was getting $600,000 for 1100 square foot units with bare walls. The folks doing the purchasing were earning between $20,000 and $30,000. Given those modest incomes, it was obvious that the buyers weren’t purchasing an affordable new residence, but speculating in real estate, either to live there for awhile then flip the unit, or simply leave it vacant while seeking a buyer willing to hand them quick windfall. What was amazing was the chasm between the prices of the apartments and the rents they fetched. A typical $600,000 unit brought a landlord less than $1000 a month in rent after expenses (assuming no mortgage). It wasn’t the rental yields that attracted investors, it was the huge price appreciation, averaging from 20% to 30% from 2008 until last year.” —– “The coming decline in housing construction will pound not just expenditures on apartments, but production of steel, copper and appliances.”)

And guess where China gets a lot of their steel, copper, and other raw materials? Australia and Canada, that’s where. And Australia and Canada are the last of the bubble economies to deflate, so if you take away half of Australia’s exports / Canada’s exports, guess what will happen to the economies of these two countries?

Now what does this mean for Canadian houses? Either one of two things:

1) – houses will sink by 20 to 50% as our economy slowly dies.

or (highly unlikely, but still possible):
2) – The government makes massive stimulus to push even more people to buy houses, with money-back mortgages, and negative interest rates, and everyone who is unemployed starts buying houses because that is the only job left in this economy, and they hope to make a living by ‘flipping’ houses because they cannot get a job in the REAL economy.

Frankly, I think #2 will happen.

#54 Sue on 01.28.12 at 4:15 am

#4 Dubble:

I grew up in Leth and one of my parents was a prof there. It really depends on what you’re studying; they’re well known for their management and education programs. Look at a Maclean’s mag uni issue – lots of good info to help your decision-making process.

Oh yeah, one other thing: you’d better like wind. Lots of it.

#55 BC Boy on 01.28.12 at 4:34 am

check out below link:


#56 BC Boy on 01.28.12 at 4:42 am

There are 10^11 stars in the galaxy. That used to be a huge number. But it’s only a hundred billion. It’s less than the national deficit! We used to call them astronomical numbers. Now we should call them economical numbers. —Richard Feynman (1918 – 1988)

#57 I'll do anything for a listing - please on 01.28.12 at 5:02 am

Another thought…
If you deal with a realtor from 1% realty here out west –
Flat fee for $6900, the Realturds will not show that listing to their clients, as their commission is too low.
So, hiring someone who looks after himself is conflict of interest.
But in the Realturd code of Ethics – which is an oxymoron, it’s ok, cause its good business practice to crush 1% realty.
Anyway….. in some industries you get sued for this behavior, but if you’re a realtor, it’s ok to spend your clients money.

They’re only nice to you cause they need something from you.. just like a drunk man to a lady at a country bar at closing time…

If you want to see a Canadian bubble pricing summary chart, go:

There’s a great piece on

#58 I'll do anything for a listing - please on 01.28.12 at 5:32 am

continued from above:

How to write a piece of “self serving advatorial” in the Epicenter of HAM pukiness – Vancouver.
*Cancel your Vancouver Sun Subscriptions NOW! **
– Really, it’s like the script writers of 90210 and Jersey Shore got together, googled Asian Cliches, then put them into spin piece citing “experts”….

NOTE – the USA did the Harper “gradual retirement to age 67” thing about 3 or 4 weeks ago, it got no press, no coverage.
It’s funny how we are the economic model of the stable banking system and real estate, but they pull “Austerity Step # 5” on us.
Just wait for Step 6 through 20. We’re all goin down the same path.
Same medicine for different patients around the world.
You are the 99%, do something about it.

#59 Form Man on 01.28.12 at 6:29 am

good post Garth.
anyone who has tried selling a property without an agent will be aware of what a pain in the ass it really is. As annoying as real estate agents are, they do serve a purpose

#245 and #247 yesterday ( DA )
posting the same comment twice is one way to annoy us. turning the discussion back to yourself misses my point :
it is going to take a while before prices stop falling if developers continue to build homes at a faster rate then the population is growing. simple math.

#60 jack_the_lad on 01.28.12 at 6:48 am

I think Garth just suffers from REALTOR™ envy…

#61 Robins on 01.28.12 at 7:28 am

“Provincial Nominee Program will be expanded 10-fold.”

“Kenney said that on the provincial level, a program to bring in skilled workers has been a great success, since it allows officials on the ground to actively find the workers they need.”

#62 a prairie dawg on 01.28.12 at 7:28 am

“Gives others plenty of time to adjust”…

– — –


#63 Aussie Roy on 01.28.12 at 7:37 am

Aussie Update

It’s the house prices – stupid

HOUSEHOLDS in Melbourne are being hit with the fastest council rate rises of any major capital city.

Aussie banks continue to sack Aussies and ship jobs OS.

ANZ’s global website had 55 jobs advertised at its new Manila operation yesterday. They ranged from a new head of human resources to credit-risk officers and business analysts. Almost all required a high level of university education, two years of similar experience and fluent written English. A further 10 jobs are available with the bank in Indonesia. But not a single job is advertised in Australia.

It’s a similar story across the financial services sector.

Aussie car makers on their knees

AUSTRALIA could be down to just one car manufacturer within the next few years, former Victorian premier Jeff Kennett has warned, saying local players will continue to struggle against declining productivity and a rising currency.


China’s property prices need to decline 30 percent to reach a “reasonable” level, according to He Keng, a deputy director of the Financial and Economic Affairs Committee of the National People’s Congress.

High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email [email protected] to buy additional rights.

And unlike other construction inputs such as copper and steel, earthmovers are not hoarded by speculators. After all, they are illiquid assets that depreciate in value as soon as they are acquired. Therefore earthmover sales are a superior gauge of real demand within the construction sector.

Which is why the following chart should alarm investors. It shows how sales of excavators, bulldozers, and wheel loaders have plunged in recent months.

#64 JohnInJimsRiding on 01.28.12 at 8:05 am

Garth, I could weep:–why-it-s-a-good-time-to-buy-a-home?bn=1

You have had to have seen this. I am at a loss for words. An utter loss for words. Contact this guy! Interview him. We must find out what made him so insane!

#65 Van guy on 01.28.12 at 8:30 am

Find a realtor that will give you a kick back. I saved 50% when I bought, 30% when I sold.

#66 Gypsy Kid on 01.28.12 at 8:44 am

Last year we got a notice in the mail saying we should start paying our income tax in installments based on the previous year’s tax.
We chose not to and paid the whole amount owing when we filed end of March.
We get a notice in July saying we owe interest because we didnt pay in installments for the tax we did not even owe at the time!!!!????
We wrote a letter telling them we paid the whole amount “ON TIME” when we filed and never heard from the again.

Garth, I respect most of your opinions, but I cant agree with you that re agents are necessary. If one is willing, the work they do can be done yourself with the help of a lawyer. Like good dentists, good re agents are so rare.

#67 Stinky the Fish on 01.28.12 at 9:01 am

I make sure not to scroll down too much on the homepage so I don’t see the streakers ass from your previous post. I do it ever so delicately, so anyone on the bus doesn’t think I’m such a creepster… On the other hand, the greater fool website itself is inherently distasteful in material… but has one hell of an author.

I’m seriously hoping we see a downwards pressure on house prices this year – can-crushing, balloon-deflating, juice-box-popping pressure that will bring a tear to boomers eyes when they realize, holy sh-t house prices can drop in Canada.

Timing this sh-t is difficult, just like anything in economics so I feel your pain, Garth

#68 FTP - First Time Poster on 01.28.12 at 9:50 am

Smoking Man et al

A few simple tips for dealing with the CRA:

1) If you dont/cant efile, mail you return express post w. signature after having photocopied all enclosed documents, staple postal receipt & confirmation of delivery to return. If they claim they didn’t receive it, not only are they lying, but another Crown Corporation was entrusted w. the documents & as such, you are not responsible.

2) If you get a notice of reassessment, you have 30 days to file a notice of objection – follow all timelines, make sure everything is filled out & mailed as per above. Where it asks for your phone #, write “by mail only” – they hate this as there is no room for interpretation or mistake;

3) NEVER talk to the CRA on the phone regarding disputes;

4) If.your taxes are that complicated hire a good accountant – they’re worth every penny. They arent bound by confidentiality and can and have to cooperate withthe CRA though – thats what tax lawyers are for

#69 Al on 01.28.12 at 9:55 am

James Dines calls the mad buying of real estate “murmurrations” of the mass mind – similar to the movement of large flocks of birds.

#70 Craig on 01.28.12 at 10:12 am

Interesting timing on this article. We listed with a realtor who happens to be a friend of mine. I considered fsbo for a nano-second before going with a pro, but after seeing the rusting comfree signs piling up in our hood, it was a no-brainer.
My advice is to get an experienced realtor. My guy has over 900 R/E deals and he was my agent when I bought the house I just sold.
Sure it sucks handing over $15k commission (he did knock $1k off haha), but my place was gone in less than a week with a nice 3 month possession and IMO we left no money on the table, judging by comps….he knew the right price as we got $1k less than list. Plus we are moving up-market and he will be earning that 15k negotiating on my behalf for our new house….plenty of $600k houses to vulch in Edmonton.

#71 Keith in Calgary on 01.28.12 at 10:32 am

Buying and selling a piece of property is the largest financial transaction in life for most folks…….so the best thing to do, as it is the biggest chunk of money you’ll probably move around, would be to learn all about it beforehand, DON’T YOU THINK ???? (it is not hard to do so either), then, study your marketplace (that is not hard either) and just do it…….

Property pimps serve do useful purpose whatsoever except to manipulate and coerce the uneducated and naive who are, quite frankly, STUPID enough to go and use them.

#72 Al on 01.28.12 at 10:56 am

RE Agents charged 5% total commission when the average resale price was $350,000 and are still at 5% when the average resale is close to $900,000. This is despite the fact that their work has been made a lot easier with technology and the internet ( e.g: email offers, internet searches and offer preparation software). Ask for a 50% cut in their commission – you will get it.

#73 househornyhousewife on 01.28.12 at 10:59 am


Excellent post about realtors.

However, I would caution anyone using a real estate agent to still read through all of the fine print that you are signing. Just because your realtor is working for you it doesn’t exempt you from your legal responsibility as a buyer or a seller. It is YOUR signature that is going on that contract so be careful just as if you were drafting the contract yourself.

Having said that, even if you are bright enough to do all of the stuff yourself, you absolutely need that agent in order to remove the emotion out of the deal. A home is a very personal thing, be it for a buyer or for a seller, and a sale or purchase must be handled properly as a legal business transaction with all of the proper signatures and clauses to protect both parties.

Just as one would not defend oneself in a court of law (we all know the saying about those who choose to be their own lawyers), same goes for real estate deals. Negotiating a property over dinner quite frankly is the most idiotic thing I have ever heard. And negotiating without knowing what the recent sale prices of similiar properties are is … well it’s just stupid. These are the same people who would go to ten different hardware stores in order to compare prices and get the cheapest hand drill. OK for a $35 drill but for a million dollar house … huh ?!

I do disagree though that just because sellers use an agent, that their house will be priced properly. In the market I am looking at, there are two dominant agents who unscrupulously allow sellers to overprice their homes (by about double that of market value .. no small thing). As a result, these houses sit for years on end until the seller either takes the property off the market in frustration or decides to descend in price .. slowly but surely. These agents are in stiff competition with each other and they refuse to allow a property to go to the other agent so they take the listing and get some free publicity on the seller’s front lawn. They have seriously slowed down the market in this area as a result, since buyers aren’t stupid and are going nowhere near these homes (I have not seen a single lakefront sale since the beginning of 2010 in this area .. this is how long I have been watching). In addition, other sellers see these higher asking prices and decide to follow suite. Suffice it to say that not all agents behave professionally.

At any rate, you always manage to surprise me with your stories about how some other people operate, Garth. Keep ’em coming.


#74 Canadian Watchdog on 01.28.12 at 11:07 am

#53 Waterloo Resident

When a country’s yearly population growth is the size of New York city, plus plans on having many visitors, there’s no reason to believe a for hard landing. China will take a hit but will recover much faster then the rest.

#61 Robins

The article you mentioned is pretty much in-line with Canada’s manifesto. This is what happens when everyone wants to be a home investor—no small business development and lack of skill jobs.

#75 rory on 01.28.12 at 11:15 am

#57 I’ll do anything for a listing – please …

I used a 1% Realtor for my last sale. Was satisfied and not upset to pay the commish. What was upsetting was the full charge Realtor (the 7/3% guys) got very upset when he found out the 1% Realtor got my business.

He said (I kid you not) – “if I had known I was competing against a 1% I would have lowered my rate”. My take away from this idiot was – ‘I am screwing you but if I had known you were interviewing a 1% I would have screwed you less’. What a’hole!

P.S. – One of his comebacks was that his marketing was superior. So I asked what exactly he would do different or better than the 1% guy – all I got was silence, complete silence.

#76 Devil's Advocate on 01.28.12 at 11:30 am

“Like good dentists, good re agents are so rare.” – #66 Gypsy Kid

Yes, and when was the last time you filled a cavity in your own tooth?

Devil’s Advocate

#77 bobby b on 01.28.12 at 12:06 pm

Great story, Garth. We were forced to sell at the previous dip in fall of 2008, and after failing with FSBO and a crappy cheap ([email protected] Realty) agent who couldn’t negotiate himself off his own couch, we went with a full 5% Remax agent -> we lived in a Chinese area of Markham, with a very unlucky house number that a lot of Chinese care about. We went with the agent team that sells about half the houses in the area. It was well worth the 5%. They brought in shoppers from their numerous other open houses, set our price realistically (we wanted to list @ >$500k, they told us market conditions warranted $475k) and managed to negotiate an offer of $450k up to $469k on our behalf. Money well spent, considering there were almost ZERO buyers at that time due to the whole financial fiasco.

That said, with most other agents 5% like you said is akin to lunacy. I’d actually pay MORE than 5% for the best agent in a down market, rather than 2% for a crappy one. Now in a hot, crawling with buyers market, I might try some of that crazy stuff like underpricing to get multiple offers, but in a down market like today, pay for quality. I’d say less than 1% of realtors fit this criteria.

#78 Spiltbongwater on 01.28.12 at 12:07 pm

51debtified on 01.28.12 at 3:07 am

Why bother with the long explanation on how to Google? Just do it for him like this,

#79 Where's The Money Guido??? on 01.28.12 at 12:08 pm

#73 househornyhousewife on 01.28.12 at 10:59 am

I sold my last house on my own and got within 2k of what a realtor wanted to sell my house for, so it can be done. Spent less than $1500 all-in for the legals. I was up front with the buyer and we haggled a bit, but he wanted the property and we came to a fair agreement. Now when I bought my next home, I used a realtor and felt somehow that I was getting screwed, he never got a better price than what I believe I could have got (I felt that I was paying his commission out of the purchase price over and above what I should have paid). So next time it will be a purchase without any realtors whatsoever. Boot the realtors to the curb and spend more money on a good, but reasonable lawyer to cover the bases, you just have to do the homework for the type of home you want to purchase.

#80 Kip on 01.28.12 at 12:26 pm

“There are lots of things in life to be cheap over. Selling or buying a house worth five or ten years worth of income ain’t one of them. Get an agent.”

That’s the best advice you’ve given. Ever.

#81 Devil's Advocate on 01.28.12 at 12:56 pm

Am I insecure? That I took that comment as pointed at m… well ya I guess I must be. Truth be told, if anyone of your readers and you knew what it took to be a good realtor (notice no caps or trademark thingy – I’m trying to let go but it’s hard so bear with me ;-) ) I mean a successful realtor ( (again…) you wouldn’t be surprised that some of us might be a little insecure.

First off, to be successful in this business you have to understand that it is vital to your success to cold call at least 10 new Buyer and Seller prospects a day. You need to understand that “no” is what finally gets you to “yes” and that generally it takes at least 10 “no’s” before you come to a “yes”. Now think about it you are “cold calling” these people and generally speaking most of them don’t think terribly highly of realtors( (good eh? 3 times now) . As matter of fact the mainstream sentiment toward realtors (yet again) expressed on this “pathetic” blog is not so far off that out in the “real world”. So you can well imagine that each of those 10 “no” cold calls must be like getting kicked in the knackers repeatedly, repeatedly and repeatedly. But it is what a one MUST do to become successful in this business.

Even once one has built up a loyal client base they must still make those cold calls as clients move out of the area, they die or the themselves become REALTORS® (dang – that one slipped past me) and when they do the not only stop using your services they don’t refer friends and family to you anymore as they start to compete with you. So you gotta return to making those “cold calls”, getting kicked in the knackers time and time again before you finally finds someone who hopefully might replace that lost client after demonstrating through a lot of hard work and expense that you deserve their trust.

Real estate is a very hot topic of conversation at most events unless you are a realtor (back on track). Never does the topic of conversation change as quickly as it does amongst a group of people speaking about their house horny lust as when a realtor (ya….hey… ya?)</cite) approaches the group. Suddenly all goes quiet as if everyone were wondering “who farted” looking at the new participant as the guilty party, afraid that if they even mention the word we are going to pull a contract of purchase and sale out of our back pocket and wrestle them to the floor to sign it. After all we are “sales people” and as such always have only one thing in mind – our next commission cheque.

Ya for these and so many more I suppose you are correct there might be a little insecurity in our being.

And then to top it off I participate in the ravenous pack activity that follows each of Garths blog posts setting myself up the fox amongst the hounds. As if getting kicked in the knackers time and time again in the real world weren’t enough!?!

But there are things you should know about the real side of real estate, things you haven’t a clue about. Mostly what you need to know about is the myths perpetuated by my very industry that you believe to be true. Things like Open Houses. Do they work? Very well for the realtor (come on now I must deserve a pat on the back for pulling it off this long). An open house is a great venue for a realtor to meet prospective new clients in an environment where it is unlikely they are going to kick them in the knackers – after all that would not at all be appropriate behaviour for an invited guest would it. And unlike approaching that group talking to one another about their house horny fetishes an open house attendee is only too willing to speak of their most bizarre real estate fantasy.

But the fact is no matter how “insecure” I might be it is overshadowed by my pride in my vocation. I think that is what gets the other “professionals” in my field through their day too. Because for as far more often as it is that we get kicked in the knacker, those instances where we get the job done far, far outweigh the bruises to our ego that we must endure slogging through a multitude of “no’s” to finally get to a “yes” and then proving ourselves worthy of that clients continued loyalty. Day in and day out this is what we do. You think it’s easy? You have no idea.

So… yes I’ll admit to some insecurity. I think a little humility is something you might want to seek in your agent along with a strong helping of confidence which comes from enduring and succeeding in spite of putting up with the preceding day in and day out for well more than a decade if not two. And while I admit to the insecurity at times let me just say in closing; I am proud to be a REALTOR® caps little trademark thingy and ALL!

#82 Bobby on 01.28.12 at 1:01 pm

Garth, I have to disagree with you to some extent on this one. I have bought and sold many homes and in all but a few sales the realtor really didn’t bring any value to the table. This is especially true for the selling agents. In fact, many of the agents were an impediment to the sales process.
In many of the instances I would get “I don’t know” to specific questions about a property.
The next time I sell, I will pay a listing agent for putting the property on MLS but write in the notes a hefty commission for the agent who brings in a firm buyer.
Like I have said in the past, I see a time where realtors will be paid for their time.

#83 Junius on 01.28.12 at 1:08 pm

#74 Canadian Watchdog,

You said, “China will take a hit but will recover much faster then the rest.”

How can you be so sure? There remains a significant economic divide between the rich and the so-called middle class in China. Average incomes are still below $5,000 per year in most of the country. Even 10-20% per annum gains would not add up quickly enough.

Are you sure that you are accounting for the impact of tightening on local governments? The terrible situation of China’s banks?

It is different no where. A hard landing is a hard landing.

#84 D on 01.28.12 at 1:10 pm

I used a realtor who charges a flat two percent on sales. He also kicks back one percent of the purchase price in cash when acting as the buying agent. He’s the best realtor I’ve ever hired.

Last home I sold he was unavailable, so I hired an established realtor from ReMax at full commission.

She ended up trying to cheat me and dishonour our agreement. It took me fighting with her agency’s owner (Broker of record) to finally get it rectified.

I wont make that mistake again.

#85 TurnerNation on 01.28.12 at 1:25 pm

In many cities Kijiji is much more popular than Craigslist. For selling anything.

Kijiji is more content rich and is easier to browse by category:

#86 on 01.28.12 at 1:42 pm

@I’ll do anything for a listing…

You are right. I didn’t even notice the full retirement age went up.

I wonder how the totalization agreement with Canada will be affected?

While we’re on this topic, a data point re ‘payroll taxes’ that are oft mentioned by the msm.

US social Security tax is levied on employers and employee. The employee never sees the employer portion of the tax on a payslip. The amount of tax is approx 13% on the first 106k of income. The amt of income subject to tax goes up every year by some indexed amount. The employee portion of the tax was reduced by 1/3 for 2011/12. Employers still pay the full amount.

A US worker earning 100k contributes ~13000 to their social security account every year, between employer and employee. That’s a lot of money over a lifetime of work.

I am just curious, what kind of payout does cpp offer to retirees? Fully funded US SS is estimated at about 3k per mo.

Hard-up for cash governments are capable of anything. I’m not counting on any sort of government retirement money to actually be there when the time comes.

#87 Ogopogo on 01.28.12 at 1:47 pm

#30 Snowboid

I didn’t even know about that site (, but I see yet another unit in my building in the “reduced” category.

So now there are 3 units in my condo languishing: unsold, unwanted, underwater. At this rate I won’t have to go far to vultch. I’ll just walk down the hall!

Oh Kelowna, how the mighty has fallen.

#88 bill on 01.28.12 at 1:59 pm

”Am I insecure?
I admit to being insecure at times, let me just say; I am proud to be a REALTOR® caps little trademark thingy and ALL!”

eshew obsfucation . yo

#89 Hoof-Hearted on 01.28.12 at 2:00 pm

I agree with Garth…

Yeah there are some that have a knack for FSBO, good for them. Success is based on doing many of them and gaining experience.

However there may be bylaws in place that demand disclosure…ie buried oil tanks etc….that a FSBO may not be aware of.

I think if one is acting as a FSBO seller, one thinks aha the sellers will line up.

However as a buyer, one look at these signs and often starts to get suspicious as a first response.

Unless fire sale it, how do you know what market value is ?

The Realtor usually has errors and omissions insurance when things screw up.

Here in Metro Van, I am seeing a huge variety of signs….RE MAX realtors , many new 1% commission, NO SOLD , FSBO, and a felt -penned scrawled sign on street corner.

If the market tanks, I can anticipate lots of vultures out taking advantage of the desperate.

#90 bill on 01.28.12 at 2:00 pm

”Am I insecure?
I admit to being insecure at times, let me just say; I am proud to be a REALTOR® caps little trademark thingy and ALL!”

eshew obsfucation .

#91 bill on 01.28.12 at 2:01 pm

please excuse the repeat.

#92 Alan on 01.28.12 at 2:26 pm

Garth, understandably there is reason for frustration on your part. I would suggest you re-direct your frustration at the real problem -QE by central banks and governments hell bent on inceasing money supply that acts to lower interest rates -which is the main culprit for house porn and lust. I have said many times on your blog that until this gets addressed your warnings will be heard but not acted upon as there is no real justifyable reason to think that money printing does not equal higher asset values. The governments are now in control of markets. It use to be the other way around. The best and easiest way to counsel your flock is to have them see this video for an explanation of why we are in the situation we are in today. Until money printing slows down or reverts to the mean we are in for higher asset prices not lower. It will cost you more money to buy a house not less!!

#93 poco on 01.28.12 at 2:28 pm

#81Devil’s Advocate on 01.28.12 at 12:56 pm

NO !!!

#94 Blacksheep on 01.28.12 at 2:35 pm

I have an Excellent CGA and all is dealt with online.
Piece of mind: Priceless.

take care,

#95 Bobby on 01.28.12 at 2:36 pm

Not sure how true this is, but if it is, it appears the stupidity isn’t over yet.–mimico-house-sells-200-000-over-asking-in-31-person-bidding-war-in-hot-toronto-real-estate-market?bn=1

#96 TurnerNation on 01.28.12 at 2:37 pm

Disciple: your wellaware1 guy was doing so well until someone pointed out the A in his logo is made up of a unmistakable, styleized, compass and square…you know the one. Remember, all opposition is controlled. Sure he rasies some truths, but they’ll only give us enough rope to hang ourselves.

Any truth will be metered out in a dose just strong enough to cause protests.

#97 McLovin on 01.28.12 at 2:47 pm

“Like good dentists, good re agents are so rare.” – #66 Gypsy Kid

“Yes, and when was the last time you filled a cavity in your own tooth?”

Dentists go to school for 7 years +, Realtors take a 4 week on-line course. The Dentist charges me $200 for the time it takes to do this service. The Realtor charges tens of thousands.

Also there are a lot more good dentists than Realtors.

#98 brainsail on 01.28.12 at 3:10 pm


The differences between the pension plans are interesting.

Canada US
Tax Paid On First $47,200 $116,000

Employee Tax 4.95% 6.2%

Employer Tax 4.95% 6.2%

Self Employed 9.9% 12.4%

Total Contribution
/ Year $4,673 $14,384

Maximum Payout
/ Mth $1,043 $2,518 (2012)

Average Payout
/ Mth $600 $1,200

I think the US system is one that Canada should consider. The US system allows a contributer to catch up later in their careers when their earnings peak while in Canada you stop contributing at $47K.

Also, spouse will receive at least 50% of the other’s benefits even if they never worked. A spouse dies and the winner takes all.

#99 Stuck on the Island on 01.28.12 at 3:11 pm

A good realtor is worth every penny… it just takes awhile to find a really good realtor. That is my experience, anyway.

I’m on my second realtor now after the first failed to properly market my home or seem interested in actually seeking out a buyer. Her solution, just drop your price. I was the one who was continually complaining about the quality of the listing, the pictures, the lack of follow up, etc, so once the listing expired I picked up someone new.

The market on the mid-Island is terrible. Houses are moving, but very slowly. I am priced at the bottom of the market with a nicely renovated house perfect for newbies & retirees and after 3 weeks back on the market, not even a sniff.

We are stuck on the Island. No escape. I could cry.

#100 Canadian Watchdog on 01.28.12 at 3:12 pm

#83 Junius

“Even 10-20% per annum gains would not add up quickly enough.”

You’re forgetting that the majority of lower-income Chinese (65% rural workers or 780 million people) have plenty of cash savings and hardly any debt, not like the western world who is tapped-out with negative balance sheets. All China requires to boost domestic consumption is the following i) appreciate its currency for more purchasing power ii) make sure wages are rising modestly iii) continue to promote a healthy amount of debt to lower-income workers. These three policies combined is sufficient for a swift recovery.

I assure you when China’s new government comes into power, their next task is to reform their social, pension and healthcare system . Once that is in place, Asians will have no reason to come to Canada, and that’s when the west will be screwed. Most people don’t realize the consumption capability of 1.2 billion people—that’s nearly three times US and Canada’s population. Now throw another booming economy into the equation (India), and you have six times our population!

The result will be (already taking place) more bidding for limited commodities and resources, driving prices and the inflation rate higher for currencies losing purchasing power (printing money), meaning, when our economy slows down, you’re not going to see gas prices go back under $1 per liter. Understand that oil prices effect everything from your car, food, toothbrush, everything!

This is only the beginning as most of you haven’t realized the new Canadian manifesto. There’s a reason why Carney mentioned these words in his report:

“As a result of deleveraging, the global economy risks entering a prolonged period of deficient demand. If mishandled, it could lead to debt deflation and disorderly defaults, potentially triggering large transfers of wealth and social unrest.”

Read it again slowly in case you missed what he openly admitted to Canadians.

The biggest mistake people make is trusting their government to protect them.

#101 brainsail on 01.28.12 at 3:19 pm

Also, in the US, if you are receiving other pensions such as a private, other country or government pensions your Social Security benefit will be clawed back. Does that happen in Canada?

#102 live within your means on 01.28.12 at 3:20 pm

#18 Burnaby Boy on 01.27.12 at 11:04 pm
Last year I had to return my tax rebate and pay some tax on top of that too. However, I found the lady very polite and she explained everything to me and told me what to do next time. She also told me that the tax CDs that shops sell for dopes like me automatically cut off charity donations if deemed not required. This year I will do it all by hand. I mailed in my cheque and felt thankful!!? Now if only the RCMP could change their training methods so they would be more like the nice tax lady instead of appearing like some hard up sales rep desperate for his commission!!!?


I don’t understand your sentence: “She also told me that the tax CDs that shops sell for dopes like me automatically cut off charity donations if deemed not required. ”

I’ve been using QuickTax since at least 2006 and another program previously. Neither program cut off charity donations ‘if deemed not required”. I believe every allowable $ claimed helps to reduce taxes paid.

Regarding RE – house behind us still remains vacant since spring 2011. Originally listed by owner, then by an agent for 3 months and believe it has been taken off the market. Once a month, for a few hours, early eve. I see a few lights on. In the summer someone comes to mow the lawn every few weeks. Obviously asking too much.

When we sold our last home in ’91 & bought our current one we went with an agent who was not affiliated with anyone. We negotiated a reduction in fees based on him also finding us another home. I must admit I did a lot of the leg work. On my flex day off, I’d drive around different areas & check out ‘for sale’ signs. No MLS online listings back then. We just knew we couldn’t afford a SFH in Halifax (based on 1 person’s salary if one of us should lose our job). After many viewings we put in an offer on our current home. Not the style we wanted but 9 homes (at the time) on the st. with large lots. DH did not get his garage, rather a large workshop. Garages here are really only used to store garden equipment, etc. I got land so I could garden and eventually he built a large shed to house the garden stuff, snow blower, his 2 bikes, etc. BTW, since we moved here only 2 houses have been sold on our end of the st. which was developed in the early 80’s – one elder couple went into a nursing home, another lost big on a RE deal & had to sell their home.

#103 TurnerNation on 01.28.12 at 3:23 pm

What realtors did: what sane person would bid tens of thousands OVER ask price, if not goaded by a realtor. “It’s a good area, prices always go up, get into the market before it’s too late, rates have never been lower!”.

I agree, in thinly traded areas (perhaps rural, commercial,) a experienced, connected local realtor will be of use.

But in the intensely liquid city condo market – where there’s concreate rat-boxes aplenty – any fool can throw a dart and pay 500-600sq/foot for a box.

And what of the city SFH/semi market? What sane person would buy a 80-100 yr old house, paying 500-900k (generational debt), with NO home inspection? Goaded by realtors.

#104 live within your means on 01.28.12 at 3:43 pm

PS to my previous post. Our street was extended into a Cul de Sac 5+ years ago. The houses were going for $450- $500K. with all the phony brick, huge homes but lot sizes half the size of our ‘old’ end of the street. Our end of the street has a street party every summer because we are community of ‘friends’. The extended street neighbours were invited to participate. We’re back to the original neighbours. !!!

#105 Devil's Advocate on 01.28.12 at 3:50 pm

#97McLovin on 01.28.12 at 2:47 pm
“Like good dentists, good re agents are so rare.” – #66 Gypsy Kid

“Yes, and when was the last time you filled a cavity in your own tooth?”

Dentists go to school for 7 years +, Realtors take a 4 week on-line course. The Dentist charges me $200 for the time it takes to do this service. The Realtor charges tens of thousands.

Also there are a lot more good dentists than Realtors.

I don’t at all disagree. I think my dentist provides an outstanding service and deserves every penny he charges for it which, now that we have a dental plan, is more than he ever charged before we did. Figure that one out. ;-)

While you may not think a REALTOR® is not worth the tens of thousands they might charge you, and I might very well agree with you in many a case, apparently there are enough who would disagree that it remains a viable business at that fee. This debate has been going on for decades with no consequential change.

But more to the point I would sure be interested in what the blog dogs do for a living, how much they are paid and what education they undertook to be able to be a competent provider of that service to their employer. I will stack my qualifications against the bulk of yours any day.

As for the “four week on-line course”, if that is all your REALTOR® brings to the table it is you who is the greatest fool for hiring such an important advisor with so little qualification.

#106 johnny5z on 01.28.12 at 3:54 pm

We bought our current house from a FSBO. We did some work before hand and found out that they were notorious for not making decisions or changing their mind. So, we hired the same realtor that did a number of transactions for us in the past, on our dime, with a negotiated fee of 1%. She drew up the offer, which they signed, at which point they were locked-in. This was at a time then the market was overheating and we figured that the sellers had underpriced the house for $100,000. In this case, the realtor helped and the fee was worth every penny.

BTW: we put up our previous home for sale, had a good offer, and were well into that process before we made an offer on the FSBO home.

Over the years, I’ve met too many people who were stuck with their old home trying to sell at a price that made their new home work . . . after they had moved into the new home.

#107 JimmyAAA on 01.28.12 at 3:57 pm

The biggest problem I have with realtors is not them so much. Its the companies (godfathers) that require a kick up for them to function. Remax takes up to 50% of that sizable commission to put balloons in the air and buy endless ads on “The Bachelor”. None of this is given to further the sale of my house.

Much like anything, the boots on the ground (realtors) do not get nearly as much as they often deserve for the work they do because far too many people have their fingers in there taking a share. Driving up the price and expense for the rest of us.

E&O insurance – don’t make me laugh. I was in the commercial industry for 15 years, I saw 1 (ONE!) claim paid out in that time. You think this helps cover you, this is for the realtor company. And it will be up to you to prove liability to YOU to collect. It will never happen and the loss will have to be so grievous for it be anywhere worth your while to pursue.

You watch ‘The Bachelor’? — Garth

#108 johnny5z on 01.28.12 at 4:00 pm

#3: Consider this as a possibility. The government/central bank helps the big banks and makes them too big too fail. But there are not enough “creditworthy” customers to lend out to. So what do they do? Invest in government bonds and mortage backed securities issued by Fannie Freddie. Makes the government too big to fail.

#109 Bill Gable on 01.28.12 at 4:21 pm

The hard landing in China will affect commodity currencies like the OZ Dollar and the Loonie.

Reading about the unfolding crash in China, don’t think that domestic demand will save the day. The bulk of China still make under 5 k a year.

They are not going to be buying 600K apartments, that are nothing but cement boxes. You don’t have anything but the box, and then have to add everything.

The Chinese took the wrong road again. The Middle Kingdom has a history of financial disasters, and this one looks terrible, at least from what I have been reading.

Vancouver morons think China is going to save this ridiculous market.

Not a chance in heck.

#110 Freedom 55 on 01.28.12 at 4:47 pm

I sold two houses FSBO back in the days when it was an add in the newspaper. Slick, easy… no problems. We even used the same lawyer on my rental property.

#111 Snowboid on 01.28.12 at 4:49 pm

#87 Ogopogo on 01.28.12 at 1:47 pm…

Yes, three in our building as well.

Patient we are…

#112 poco on 01.28.12 at 4:53 pm

#92Alan on 01.28.12 at 2:26 pm
Garth, understandably there is reason for frustration on your part. I would suggest you re-direct your frustration at the real problem -QE by central banks and governments hell bent on inceasing money supply that acts to lower interest rates -which is the main culprit for house porn and lust. I have said many times on your blog that until this gets addressed your warnings will be heard but not acted upon as there is no real justifyable reason to think that money printing does not equal higher asset values. The governments are now in control of markets. It use to be the other way around. The best and easiest way to counsel your flock is to have them see this video for an explanation of why we are in the situation we are in today. Until money printing slows down or reverts to the mean we are in for higher asset prices not lower. It will cost you more money to buy a house not less!!

Sorry Bud, but as far as your money printing theory goes for causing higher housing costs—no proof of that in the beautiful land known as the tri cities (Coq–Pt Moody– Pt Coq ) — as long as there are 40 to 45 properties per week –believe it -per week—being sold –listed–or dropping there prices so the owner is or will be underwater upon selling, your post is just another of the many theories that sound good and are suppose to work the way your link says, but don’t.
but you keep on pumping– you must be getting something out of it……….

#113 R C on 01.28.12 at 5:17 pm

I just wrote a blog post myself featuring this little nugget of MLS prose:

“Remarks For Clients: Universe, You’ve Done It Again! With Low Interest Rates This 3 Bedroom Gem Is Destined To Be Your Future Home. Fully Fenced Front And Back Yard, 2 Car Parking Via Rear Laneway. Close To Big-Box Shopping And Trendy Dundas St. West Boutiques, This One Will Not Last.”

After talking to our agent about this one, it looks like the universe is holding another desperate bidding war on this sandwiched tiny row house on Dundas W near Runnymead (Toronto).

#114 Junius on 01.28.12 at 5:29 pm

#100 Canadian Watchdog,

You said, “You’re forgetting that the majority of lower-income Chinese (65% rural workers or 780 million people) have plenty of cash savings and hardly any debt, not like the western world who is tapped-out with negative balance sheets.”

I am not forgetting it. I am discounting it. Are you suggesting that Chinese rural peasants who are living at or near subsistence are going to provide the engine to the world’s economy. Are you serious?

Total Sinophere spending – the entire Chinese world – accounts for roughly 15% of world spending. The Anglosphere is roughly 25% and the Indian roughly 5% according to the Economist.

#115 Canadian Watchdog on 01.28.12 at 6:16 pm

#92 Alan

“The governments are now in control of markets.”

Governments are NOT in control of the market and anyone who believes so clearly doesn’t know what they’re talking about. There is an estimated $30 trillion dollars in global private pension funds that lend money (bonds) to governments. When governments fail to prove that they can fulfill these maturing bonds, or when economies contract, is when pension funds stop lending, driving bond yields higher. Rates are low because the BoC has been buying long term bonds (operation twist) like the Fed and yes, the BoC must follow the Fed’s polices to keep equilibrium between USD/CAN.

Government Bonds
BoC Bond Purchases

What’s happening in Europe will eventually come here unless Harper can impose some draconian austerity measures—but we know that’s not happening —so the government will keep borrowing taxpayer funds until a crises unfolds. Capeesh?

#116 Mark Weisleder's Advice on 01.28.12 at 6:20 pm

Mark Weisleder (from Friday’s Star):

“Another misleading statistic is that in major markets, like Toronto, the average price of a home is now 4.6 times the income of the average Canadian. This same statistic was found just before the U.S. and UK markets went into the tank. However, if you look at median incomes of Canadians against the median cost of homes, this average comes down to around 3.5, which is not dangerous. Using averages are wrong. A person receiving social assistance will not buy a home, and should not be included in any relevant statistic.”

#117 jess on 01.28.12 at 6:23 pm

Iceland banksters

Conversations with Great Minds: Economist Gunnar Tómasson on the World’s Flawed Monetary System

#118 Canadian Watchdog on 01.28.12 at 6:29 pm

For you Garth.

Topless Females Protest At Davos 2012.!

#119 Alan on 01.28.12 at 6:44 pm

POCO # 112

I’m sorry, are you suggesting that flooding money into the system does not creat inflation and downward pressure on interest rates? Facts are facts dude. Get over it.

BTW, Poco is Poco -the armpit of Vancouver proper. There is so much meadiocre, plain vanilla property there that it’s impossible to differentiate one from the other, stack on top of each other. Money goes where value is presented.

#120 Chris on 01.28.12 at 6:48 pm

Squiddly: Thank you for not blogging anymore as per my request, bitch.

#121 TurnerNation on 01.28.12 at 7:29 pm

ROB Magazine

The people behind Bay Street’s trading supercomputers

Tim Kiladze
Published Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012 6:30PM EST
Last updated Friday, Jan. 27, 2012 2:41PM EST

#122 triplenet on 01.28.12 at 7:31 pm

#99 stuck on the island

Two reasons a property doesn’t sell:
– Wrong realtor
– Price is too high

you addressed one reason….

#123 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 01.28.12 at 8:03 pm

Unlike Benny Tai, Benny Hill has been pushing up the daisies for a few years now. No doubt he is having a lot of fun there as well.
3:02 clip Why thieves hate the free market; Unemployment can lead to bad situations; Restructuring “Okay, here is the new structure We take all the money form the people and give it to the banks, then we take all the debt from the banks and give it to the people. Problem solved! Right? Right? Right? … Is this microphone working?”; 2:04 clip Petrodollar euthanasia; UK Treasury “After all, look how great that worked for Bernanke!” — Number 9 3/4 (; Laos A lesson in free markets; 2:51 clip “Despite the new round of US and EU sanctions on Iran, India has said it would do what ever it takes to buy the Iranian oil. Finding a replacement on such a large scale is difficult as Iranian oil contributes to about 12 percent of India’s oil imports.”
ACTA Now any govt. can shut down a website; 1917 Does anyone recall what happened in 1917? 6:31 clip Hollywood and the m$m are one big cesspool of pus; Secret billionaire behind Newt Gingrich, and Humor Newt Gingrich has ventured to the Dark Side Of The Moon; The Sun Some employees at Rupert Murdoch’s paper arrested; War on dugs is a war on people, and Big mistake The CIA runs the drug monopoly; Arkancide The unfortunate happenstance of people in Arkansas who commit suicide by shooting themselves twice in the back of the head; Political Hypocrisy Doncha jes’ luv politicos; Asteroid near misses and the ones to come.

#124 Canadian Watchdog on 01.28.12 at 8:03 pm

#116 Mark Weisleder’s Advice

That ratio would be inaccurate because its a national average against a regional price. Better way is this:

According to CMA, median household income in Toronto is $77,685. Measured up against GTA house type is:

From TREB stats

Detached Median Price 2011: $533,190/$77,685= 6.9
Semi-Detached Median Price 2011: $409,155/$77,685= 5.3
Condo Median Price 2011: $319,725/$77,685= 4.1

Remember that’s total family income and would probably double if measured against individual median incomes.

#125 Boomer on 01.28.12 at 8:05 pm

High flying marketing executive “Lyle” doesn’t seem to be too bright! I am pretty sure the seller pays the commission to the agent. In a FSBO the seller saves the commission. Maybe he means that the seller can use the commission he might have paid as a bargaining tool? Hope so otherwise it would be good to know who he works for as a marketing rep, maybe RIM!

#126 BPOE on 01.28.12 at 8:43 pm

Another guy who will never join the Winner’s circle. BPOE is no place for quitters

#127 AG Sage on 01.28.12 at 8:46 pm

>#100 Canadian Watchdog on 01.28.12 at 3:12 pm
#83 Junius
>You’re forgetting that the majority of lower-income Chinese (65% rural workers or 780 million people) have plenty of cash savings and hardly any debt, not like the western world who is tapped-out with negative balance sheets.

You are ignoring that inflation on food alone has eaten away the savings over the last two years of this “miracle saver class” also, you are ignoring where they are saving. 50% of households up to 90% of households (in places like Wenzhou) have invested their savings with the loan sharks to earn an interest rate above inflation. Given the teetering of the shadow banking system this is akin to half of China investing with Bernie Madoff.

Not content to merely invest their savings with friends and family needing money for real estate down payments (another great place to save, um “save”) many have mortgaged assets to generate more cash to hand over to the loan sharks.

Good times will be had by all when this collapses.

#128 Ozy - Buyers will soon run like American Cockroach on 01.28.12 at 8:47 pm

“The greater concern is the looming housing bubble that we see, particularly in cities like Toronto and Vancouver, because I think that is where the speculative excesses lie.”

#129 Junius on 01.28.12 at 9:14 pm

#126 BPOE,

Vancouver is no place for quitters but apparently it is full of delusional pumpers with you leading the parade.

#130 Junius on 01.28.12 at 9:16 pm

#115 Canadian Watchdog,

I thought your post on Poor Alan’s inflationary nonsense was very good. We live in a time of asset deflation with inflation of basic goods and services. Scary.

#131 Walter Safety on 01.28.12 at 9:18 pm

I ‘ve bought private twice and sold private twice ,its not that complicated. I did use a lawyer for insulation and protection.
The best Realtor moment came after the near identical old mans house across the road was listed and sold by this agent way under the money.The agent comes to my open house a week later which is for sale for 20 % more private than the old man’s, he proceeds to ask if i would work with an agent I say yes. He tells me he has sold more than 500 houses in the area. I say maybe i’m a bit high ,he say’s “i don’t think so ”
Anyway owners are just as likely to know house values and you have to know values – even if you use an agent.
Similar story on my first private sale . I asked 10 % more than the agent wanted to list it for and had multiple offers and sold over asking.
On the buy side the best thing about buying privately is that nobody is lined up behind you to buy. You could get a friend to submit a prior lowball offer. Would that ever happen on a realtor listed property ?
My current house will be listed with an agent because of the snack bracket and because i know the amount of work is more now and finally because to put the deal together when offers come in it will appear a commission cut will be necessary .

#132 Junius on 01.28.12 at 9:19 pm

#116 Mark Weisleder Advice,

Where do they find this guy? Canadian homes are 3.5 times income. They are over 11 times in Vancouver. How do these people get a column?

Reminds me of what Mark Twain said about statistics.

#133 Onemorething on 01.28.12 at 9:28 pm

I have a Lawyer that specializes in RE transactions. I dont need an agent as I have my properties researched and know the owners! If they price too high I dont mind as it only means I’ll pay less later as the disillusioned always give more down the road.

If I cannot get to the owner I dont even bother moving forward NO MATTER HOW NICE THE PROP IS!

Some owners want me to speak to their agent. I always know how long each property has been on the market, talk to neighbours and know exactly how many change of agents they have been through.

I know from experience, those on their 3rd agent have lost hope. I know a formal offer from my lawyer raises the interest!

I make it clear I will not buy if an agent is involved and the benefits of going private sale for both of us. I’m willing to put a conditional sale on the table which goes into effect once the agent has left the building.

I buy new cars the same way, direct from the owner of the dealership. If I cant speak to them I’ll buy somewhere else. There is little to made on cars, sales guys dont make anything either!

RE agents have been overpaid for their effort for the last 30 years! There is nothing they can tell me that I dont already know about the properties I want. There is nothing more they can tell me about the legalities.

Between me and my lawyer, we just know more!

60K to the agent on a 1M Prop – come on now! That’s 130K pre tax income for me!

#134 Kaganovich on 01.28.12 at 9:55 pm

Enjoying the discussion on China between some of the commentariat tonight, but I have a question about Canadian Watchdog’s explanations thus far: How do wages in China keep rising, albeit moderately, if we are in a phase of global demand destruction (deflation)? Aren’t a significant number of wages tied to export manufactures in China? If the Chinese aim to appreciate their currency, won’t this move have a negative effect on their export industries amidst this deflationary environment. The BDI looks like it took a swan dive over the past couple months. I am expecting to see more cell-phone recorded riots in the manufacturing locations in China coming up on youtube shortly. Also, these savers you wrote of, either AG Sage is right (they have already invested their money in underground financial schemes chasing returns that trump inflation in living expenses)…or in realizing credit and jobs are becoming insecure or even scarce, they hoard and paradoxically make the deflation worse. I don’t know the answers so maybe others can help me out.

#135 poco on 01.28.12 at 10:30 pm

#119Alan on 01.28.12 at 6:44 pm
POCO # 112

I’m sorry, are you suggesting that flooding money into the system does not creat inflation and downward pressure on interest rates? Facts are facts dude. Get over it.

BTW, Poco is Poco -the armpit of Vancouver proper. There is so much meadiocre, plain vanilla property there that it’s impossible to differentiate one from the other, stack on top of each other. Money goes where value is presented.

why is it when someone can’t prove their statements, they have to try to “dis “others with dumb comments like yours—everyone knows parts of Surrey are and always have been the armpit of Vancouver
i suggest you re read your original comments–you’re talking out of both sides of your mouth

you talk of higher inflation and lower interest rates–do a little research on that–try 1981 for starters

#136 truth hammer on 01.28.12 at 10:36 pm


#137 roger on 01.28.12 at 10:50 pm

I just bought a house in Etobicoke (really good deal) and looked for it myself, researched the area…dealt with an agent who was pretty good and the best part of it was that their company gave me back 1%. I only had to sign a contract when i was ready to put in an offer but it was a great deal…. I know you can negotiate with realtors, but this company actually was advertising 1% cashback…So if you are going to buy why not get some money back espically when i did all the research and found the home…

#138 45north on 01.28.12 at 11:13 pm

BPOE: your link: My old company in Switzerland called and wanted to know if I would move back

your link is as clear evidence there can be that there are other cities which are more attractive than Vancouver.

#139 Devore on 01.28.12 at 11:24 pm

#31 I’m stupid

What about putting a deposit down on a fsbo, and the person is no where to be found?

There will be a cavalcade of posts like this today.

What about putting a deposit on a realtor(tm) listed house? What if he’s nowhere to be found? Same thing. You never give a deposit check to a seller or agent, it goes to a lawyer to be held in trust.

#140 Devore on 01.28.12 at 11:27 pm

#34 Onthesidelines

Hypocrisy is so common everywhere these days, we seldom even notice it anymore.

Recommending to start a bidding war on your property, while advising your buyers to not enter into one themselves, that’s just plain smart advice, without a hint of hypocrisy. Fools are there to be parted from their money.

#141 Devil's Advocate on 01.28.12 at 11:35 pm

I’m aghast at all the misinformation in today’s blog comments.

Everybody is a real estate expert. Fly at ‘er boys and girls.

#142 45north on 01.28.12 at 11:39 pm

from thehousingbubbleblog: New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman joined Holder and other officials Friday at a news conference

“Americans lost close to $7.5 trillion in home equity over the last five years,” Schneiderman said. “That’s where the wealth of the working class and the wealth of the middle class was.”

“was” as in the past tense

– as clear an indication as could be of the severity and proximity of the housing crash

#143 disciple on 01.28.12 at 11:55 pm

#35 Wage Slave… which of the sponsors do you find suspicious? The oil driller? Why does that matter? You are committing the logical fallacy of guilt by association.

You don’t take readings from the mouth of a volcano. Sorry. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the data is being manipulated to serve an evil agenda.

Yes, the Earth can be shown to be warming based on selective data that may or may not be accurate, but to ignore the similar occurrences on all of the planets of the solar system is ignorant. Last time I checked there were no humans driving cars or cutting down forests on Venus…

#144 Mr Buyer on 01.28.12 at 11:56 pm

#116Mark Weisleder’s Advice…”A person receiving social assistance will not buy a home, and should not be included in any relevant statistic”
I do not know why you posted this here. Is it to show you support the statement? This assertion suggests that the 3x average income rule of thumb was derived excluding people on social assistance and the present multiple is derived including them. If this is the case that is deceptive to say the least. If such is not the case and the income of those recieving social assistance was included in both the calculation of the rule of thumb and while deriving the present multiple (I assume such is the case)then I am left wondering about your motives and capacities. I do not wish to jump to conclusions but something is a little off and I wonder if this is not at best bordering upon deception.

#145 Ozy - Carney stopped monetary stimulus on 01.28.12 at 11:59 pm

Ozy – Carney (same as American Fed employed puppets) stopped the huge monetary stimulus (increments are too little to sustain the market, tread carefully), to recap he told you we are going a little deflationary step-by-step, not huge, in coming decade.
What do you want more from him!
Home prices will stop growing and painfully come down in average 5% every year for next 8 years. Canadian style.

#146 Mr Buyer on 01.29.12 at 12:15 am

I have seen a few iterations in the comments section of the blog now of the writing clearly appearing upon the wall reguarding the the top of the housing bubble and a day or two later a government/banking intervention that allows the true believers to continue to eat drink and be merry. The past six months have indeed been ‘different’ with increased levels of lower priced sales across the country (something I did not see beforehand). Set your price and stick to it for sure but these brave assertions have nothing to do with what is happening presently across the country. I can now bravely assert the top has passed and we now teeter upon an unfamiliar precipice. I now suspect every suggestion in the blog comment section to the effect that it is business as usual is motivated by some sort of vested interest. The party is over and there is one horrible mess to first be fully realised…

#147 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 01.29.12 at 12:18 am

#141 Devil’s Advocate — Fear not. I don’t have the slightest idea of what I’m saying either!
Baltic Dry Index has fallen off a cliff; Soros’ Adbusters urges protests against G8 and NATO; China Strange data and figures; War On Gold; Spankings A billionaire and his birch; Lunatic Fringe or not; 1:22 clip Electronics store sell-off, or what stupid sheeple spend money on — junk; GS exec. gets access to restricted stock; US SS Apparently, in relatively good shape. So what did Bill Clinton loot from?

Return of the Gold Standard? China and Iran’s oil. State the obvious; Iran “The lawmaker said the bill may undergo further modifications as some Iranian parliamentarians believe that oil exports to EU should be stopped for five years.” This may account for the introduction of ACTA, where any govt. can shut down any site; 5:28 clip Inflation 2012 — RE down, food and other essentials up; Greece rejects Germany’s overtures; Arrogance; Three Electric stocks trading low; Uranium exiting, Thorium entering? Different this time (not).
Forget the rest Jeb Bush is next in line, probably in line with this — 14:41 clip Russia warns US of WW3 if anything happens to Iran, but I don’t recall hearing anything about the Straits of Hormuz today and Syria; Eleven Planetary Systems Surely one can be held for TPTB, GS, JPM, etc.; 5:10 clip UTube and Google == Major changes March 1; 4:53 clip Beam of light coming from top of Mexican pyramid, and 1:07 clip Strange blue spheres over England. Add in the weird sounds heard world wide, we could be getting prepped to return to the other side; Albino Hummingbird Pix in; BP and GoM Too big a mess to fix; UN managing mental health world wide. This is a joke, right? Canada’s milk “(And Americans thought the bovine hormone in their milk was baaaaaad!!!!!)”; Iran’s military Could they defeat the US military? David beat Goliath.

#148 terces on 01.29.12 at 12:29 am

Today we drove down the streets of Mesa Az, Apache Junction and Gold Canyon. These are areas on the east side of Phoenix where urban sprawl is rampant with low rise buildings and RV and Trailer Parks. This area is one of the epicenters of the real estate melt down in the US. Our jaws were dropped for the entire long drive down main street where at least 40% of the commercial properties appear to be vacant. This area has lots of older junkie commercial buildings, and lots of new ones too. Very few of them seem to be spared the carnage. We were trying to do a cursory evaluation of what kinds of businesses succeeded and what kinds failed and there seems to be no rhyme nor reason. It seems that some centers with multiple tenants had low vacancy rates while similar centers next door were totally vacant. The only conclusion I could draw is that the landlord of the apparent successful centers must be aggressive in lowering lease rates just to keep occupancy rates up.

On a number of occasions I had the opportunity to speak to locals. They are devastated with the economy, and with their quality of life now because of it.

I hope this does not happen to our fair country.

#149 BC Bring Cash on 01.29.12 at 12:39 am

The sale and purchase of RE is not only a commercial transaction of 2 parties but also a very legal transaction. In most cases the parties especially the buyer needs all the protections as possible. We like to on this Blog to trash RE agents and their industry, however their contribution to the process is valuable. Excellent post Garth. The RE sales industry regardless of their warts are a vital part of the equation.

#150 neo on 01.29.12 at 1:00 am

at #100 Canadian Watchdog

The bottom line is the regime change in China’s main goal is to turn their export driven economy into a domestic consumer driven economy. This will take years, perhaps a decade. Chinese look at things in millennia and centuries. Our preocupation in the west in days, weeks, years…You are making the transition to immediate and clean. Given the backdrop of the Global economy it will prove quite messy and arduous.

#151 McExpat on 01.29.12 at 1:03 am

Yes, a vital part of the equation but the whole commission structure needs to change dramatically. When real estate booms, as it has done worldwide in many iterations, for the past decade, it attracts all sorts of unsavoury undividuals looking to make a quick dollar as it is relatively easy to get licensed in most jurisdictions. It is not like becoming a doctor, lawyer, pilot etc. that takes significant years and experience to earn into the six figure arena. Due to this, the industry is full of losers making lots of money pushing paper around and marketing the granite stainless steel dream to financially naive individuals. Whether a house is 200k or 2 million, the work is not significantly different. Time to regulate the industry better and weed out the dead wood.

#152 on 01.29.12 at 1:06 am

My 89 toyota is bubbling the reservoir. Think I’m on my own. What would you do?

#153 neo on 01.29.12 at 1:09 am

at #134Kaganovich

The BDI is that canary in the coal mine. Chinese shipments have stalled for a week given their holidays. But this data has fallen out of bed for 2 months now. Whatever happened that isn’t quite showing up in macro data yet in the U.S. definitely accelerated the last 2 months of 2011. I suspect we will know more about the BDI when China comes back online and shipments continue. Keep in mind though they have a huge supply of iron ore and other commodities like copper already and their housing is declining so I see that BDI number with a 6 handle before an 8 handle. Government monetary interventions that past 3-4 years has distorted the reliability of the BDI number. But in this case it is the acceleration downward that people should be paying attention too.

#154 Junius on 01.29.12 at 1:23 am

#143 Disciple,

Anyone who doesn’t understand that climate change is real is either a paid hypocrite or stooge for the Oil Industry or just plain ignorant. It is depressing to see people arguing this. Anyone who has been north can see it.

#155 Junius on 01.29.12 at 1:33 am

#126 BPOE,

When is going to occur to you that your “Winner’s Circle” is actually a Mexican Firing Squad?

#156 BPOE on 01.29.12 at 1:34 am

Nothing could be further from the proof. My arguement is very clear. Long term Vancouver is on a trajectory up. Limited land base, BPOE and rich international investors (not just China) banging at the door to get in. Real Estate is a Sport in BPOE as opposed to other areas in the world where people are looking for a home to live in. I have consistently stated that anyone invested in Vancouver over the last couple of decades has made out like a bandit. Furthermore interest rates will be low for a long long long time to come. In fact interest rates are being lowered see BMO 2.99. Going lower still. I have also stated that nothing goes straight up or straight down. Sure if a home in Richmond increases 100k in 1 year you can expect a slight pullback the next year or 2. Bottom line is your still Winning. I believe that renters have been kicked to the curb and are now part of the have nots.Renters are shell shocked having missed and made a HUGE mistake thinking the market would correct. Most renters want prices to fall so they can buy back in BPOE. Renters want interest rates to rise so prices drop but the carrying charges would be the same. A small percentage of renters have the ability to rent and invest the difference. Most renters rent because they squander their money. An even smaller number of renters are able to rent 1400 square foot townhouses in Vancouver for under $1000 but these people are not your average renter. But renting folks is not being part of the game and in BPOE Real Estate is a sport and it’s World class baby. It’s a drug that everyone wants. Totally addictive. Read VREAA for the quitters who obviously want in but don’t have the jam to make it happen. And finally I have consistently posted to not listen to the American as he has been completely wrong this past decade (i still think he’s that fool Shiller who was dead wrong on Vancouver)
*Junius on 01.28.12 at 9:14 pm
#126 BPOE,
Vancouver is no place for quitters but apparently it is full of delusional pumpers with you leading the parade.

#157 Cookie Monster not Fred Flintstone on 01.29.12 at 2:15 am

Sorry Disciple, you’re right, I shouldn’t have called you names on Friday night. I had a few drinks so lets blame it on the booze.

About global warming. I don’t need to read the website you gave because I know the greenhouse effect is real and that the earth would be a lot colder without it by about 30 degrees Celsius. It’s a fact due to absorption of infra-red energy.

And I don’t work for the government, at least not more than any other tax payer.

#158 Dreadmonton Hellberta GUy on 01.29.12 at 2:30 am

Good Article. It gives some explaination to why Condo Sales in Edmonton Hvae dropped to a 6 year low! Only 166 sales so far in January the lowest in almost seven years! ANd to top it off in Edmonton and Calgary the condo prices have plunged almost 10% since their late summer highs while the interest rates go dowm-this could be a sign of a huge market meltdown. Specially when you consider Alberta has the highest Vacancy Rate in Canada! And the CMHC Vacancy rates DO NOT includ all the thousands of empty condos and houses sitting on the market for private sale, these onlu include rental buildings that are 100% rental buildings! Scary! No wonder there have been so many restuarants & shops going belly-up in Edmonton, I just checked and Foreclosures continue to rise past historical highs even though the interest rates go down in ALberta!

#159 TheRealTruth on 01.29.12 at 2:35 am

Upcoming mortgage changes:

Take your pick(s)

1) 7.5% down

2) 25 year Amortization

3) including 100% of costs of strata fees to pymt for qualification

If the gov was really serious, they would:

1) reinstate CMHC price ceiling at say $400,000.

2) verify income via Canada Revenue Agency for qualification purposes.

3) 250% surcharge on property taxes for non Canadian owners of Residential real estate. Would help with health care, schools, etc.

Yes, That simple.

#160 I'll do anything for a listing - please on 01.29.12 at 2:41 am

Time to sell off the of BC to the highest bidders – a recap.
For those of you who don’t live in BC – first of all you are lucky.
Secondly, the Liberals run this province. Her name is Christy Clark.
Now, to keep this short. We have a housing crisis here in Vancouver, and foreign ownership is apparently fueling this.
Who wants the bubble to continue? The real estate industry.
Who were the top contributors to Christy’s 500,000 campaign budget – see below ( for those that don’t know, they are the construction big wigs – Google them) Lobbyists rule BC just like Washington DC.

Clark’s campaign distributed a list to reporters that totaled $519,040.

Among the larger donors are John Redekop Construction ($30,000), Wall Financial ($25,000), Aquilini Development and Construction Inc.($25,000), ITC Management Inc. ($20,000), Anne Millar ($25,000), Progressive Strategies ($20,000), Rennie Marketing Systems ($15,000), Bert’s Electric (2001) Ltd. ($15,000), former Encana executive Gwyn Morgan ($10,000) and Wesbild Holdings Ltd. ($10,000).

Courtesy of

#86, you are welcome.
Remember ” silence – if they don’t know, they won’t protest.”

You are the 99%

#161 The Thing in the Basement on 01.29.12 at 2:47 am

147 Mad Vlad “Electronics store sell-off, or what stupid
sheeple spend money on — junk”

Ahhh….junk like the phone that shot the vid and the computer we blog on…….

#162 TOC on 01.29.12 at 3:12 am

There’s still the Euro thing that can put a dent into our prosperity too….–canadians-should-worry-about-european-crisis-central-bank-says

#163 Alan on 01.29.12 at 3:43 am


Central banks are printing money and buying assets (namely bonds) from banks and the banks are taking that money and lending it back out to businesses and consumers via mortgages. This is inflationary longer term. The govy’s are inflating their way out of the problem.

Difference between Japan and now is that the powers that be are fully aware of the fact they need to promote and keep consumers spending money created by the artificial wealth of jobs and increased equity in their homes. Whether you realize it now or not, you will be paying more money in the future for “things” than today. Deflation should it occur, means the govy’s have lost the battle and everyone will be in a whole heap of trouble, forget about real estate, eveything you know today will be destroyed vis a vis a depression.

#164 The Dividend Yield Investor on 01.29.12 at 3:44 am

#53 Waterloo Resident on 01.28.12 at 3:49 am
In this story the journalist talks about China and why their housing market will soon crash and crash hard, but when I read it everything sounded as if they were describing the Canadian market EXACTLY !

Great Post!!

As the world economy slips into recession, governments and their central banks will once again go on the offensive with an “easy money” policy. This time around it will be an out right panic because most of these economies are in the hospital.

Canada could go into “one last building boom” with all the potential cheap money available. The real killer of RE is over supply as compared to higher interest rates. Don’t get me wrong interest rates play an important part but if you really want a market smash on prices there nothing like over capacity.

The Dividend Yield Investor
Atlanta G.A.

#165 I'm stupid on 01.29.12 at 7:28 am

#139 Devore

When buying real estate with an agent your deposit check is held in a trust account by the listing agents brokerage.

#166 Devil's Advocate on 01.29.12 at 9:53 am

Funny how in real estate too one trend leads to another. Take for example the most recent transition; where we used to be faced with having to deal with “assignments of contract” or “flips” we now in consequence to that are being faced with having to deal with “distressed properties” or “short sales”. Neither is particularly fun to manage from a real estate agents perspective as each exhibits one of the two ugly extremes – greed and fear.

At the very peak I remember the listing of, not a property itself but, the position in wait for the release of a choice of properties. In other words this seller wanted to list their 1st place, first choice position on the wait list for the release of a new development. Believe it or not, the asking price for that position was $100,000.00. It was asked by a colleague “What do you call that? It cannot be called an “assignment of contract” as there is not yet a contract to be assigned”To which it was replied by another “Greed. You call that greed.”

Today too close to twenty percent of the business which is being processed through our real estate board is a property in distress. A distressed property is not necessarily one in foreclosure. A distressed property is one where the seller must bring to the closing table a cheque in hand to payout the selling costs and mortgage amounts that exceed the proceeds of sale. A good number of these “distressed” properties were purchased well enough in advance of the boom that one would think they had good equity. Many were purchased so long before the peak that even after accounting for the subsequent fall they ought to still have realized a probable increase of 70% in value – all equity gain. But, in many a case, the reluctant seller is forced to sell because they had long since the purchase of that home borrowed heavily against it. It is these who used their home as an ATM who were the greatest of fools.

These greatest of fools procured lines of credit, once a mainstay tool of business alone, from banks which now hawked them as a form of consumer credit now too. Borrowers used the new L.O.C. to fund the purchase of such a wide variety of things as, not just the new BMW that they might ride through the Starbucks drive through in style but, the allowance too for that morning latte ritual itself to the down payment that they might participate in the speculative condo flipping Ponzi scheme so rampant then. Many bought not just one condo but often two or three. They thought they would never have to own these properties sure to be “flipped” to another long before their closing date was due. This was an age of opulence any fool ought to have seen was doomed from the get go exasperated by their own greed.

The blog dogs are not so far from the truth as they think I ridicule them to be. Most certainly these are tough economic times. But what amazes me is how so many of these greatest of fools, now reluctant sellers, are coming to the closing table with cheque in hand prepared to crystalize their losses that they may get on with life. I cannot help but think there is some good in that as they demonstrate not just the ability to pay but acceptance of the responsibility. I cannot help but see a glimmer of hope in that it says to me we will endure through this. It may take considerable time but I think we’ll not let it get the better of us as far fewer are prepared to give up than you might think or be.

#167 Young Old Fart on 01.29.12 at 9:53 am

Turner nation right now”………

F5 F5 F5 F5……WTF…….. F5 F5 F5 F5……….. WTF?????


#168 Waterloo Resident on 01.29.12 at 10:21 am

America just may be slipping into another recession, and this time the government has absolutely NO AMMUNITION left to bring it out of the recession.

For proof, check out this chart:

(It was taken from this web site: )

One of the dumbest charts in existence. — Garth

#169 john saccy on 01.29.12 at 10:25 am

House prices in 1980s (and before) used to be 3-4 times of personal income.

Now it is 3-4 (yeah whatvever) of household income.

Why was this yardstick measurement changes? By the old measure it should be 6-7 times personal income already.

#170 R2D2 on 01.29.12 at 10:43 am

IMF pushes Greece over budget—The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has signalled that Greece will have to give up autonomy over its budget as desperate last-minute negotiations continue to agree the country’s second €130bn (£109bn) bail-out.

Say now:

Wouldn’t it be a real treat to watch Christine Lagarde standing next to Shameless O’Flairity at the podium—with Shameless holding forth about his ‘new listening mode?’

Brussels takes control of taxation and spending in Eurozone countries— The European Union is to gain dramatic powers to control tax and spending in crisis-hit Eurozone countries under a deal to save the currency.

Oh well:

Coulda been worse—He coulda used to be smart !

#171 jess on 01.29.12 at 10:50 am

Report on the economic situation in Iceland three years after the collapse of the financial sector
MP from Iceland Birgitta Jonsdottir

The Crash
…”The collapse of the banking sector dragged large parts of the economy down with it leading to a complete collapse in the construction industry, finance and investment. The currency depreciated by over 50% during 2008 leading to a surge in inflation as imports are a major part of the economy. An example is the Japanese Yen going from less than 0.5Yen/ISK to more than 1.3 Yen/ISK in a few months. The currency collapse and the following surge in inflation led to a mutation upwards in household mortgages as virtually all of them were either FX-linked or index-linked (to CPI) and most borrowers went from being in good financial health to being technically insolvent at the least. While some of this is surely to blame on the households themselves as overleveraging was common, these lending practices were encouraged by the banks and the government all the way through to October 2008, even though they knew this was unsustainable. The government knew exactly what would happen but continued to praise the banking system and the banks were taking large positions against the ISK via an array of derivative contracts while at the same time encouraging FX-loans to Icelandic homeowners

The banks collapsed in October, the government took over the banking sector and established new banks on the remnants of the older ones. In the restructuring process it was decided to transfer assets (loan portfolios) from the now defunct banks to the new banks as part of the equity side of their balance sheet, while at the same time leaving most of the debt behind in the old banks.

Household debt
As the asset transfer took place the assets were re-valued and written down to something estimated to resemble a „fair value“ of about 40% of the book value, on average. Household mortgages were written down by approximately 40%, ending with a fair value of about 60% of the previous book value. However, following the transfer these write-downs were not passed on to households (as recommended by the IMF) but instead the new banks got a free hand in trying to collect the previous full book value of the loans.
Facing massive public protests and a large scale bankruptcy by the household sector the government has since tried to establish policies to resolve this household debt problem. The solutions have not worked. One of them (most common) is a write-down of mortgages to 110% of the estimated value of the home. Because of underlying inflation and the CPI-indexing of mortgages, these mortgages very quickly increased again to 120% and then to 130% of the estimated home value, requiring repeated attempts to reach the 110% level. The results are that some 26.000 individuals are registered in serious default. If each of these individuals represents a household, this means that approximately 35% of all households in Iceland are still in a serious default position with their debts, even after being able to tap in to their pension funds in order to stay solvent.
The solution to the FX-indexed loan problem has also been a disaster as via government legislation the FX-linked loans were converted to ISK loans starting at the initial borrowing date and then re-valued using the Central Bank policy rate for the period of the loan. However, the CB policy rate was at times over a three year period was close to 20% reaching 21% at the most. Needless to say people would never have borrowed money at these rates in the first place, but they are now forced to pay up and shut up.
This has lead to stagnation in private consumption, possibly the only area where economic growth can occur considering the current situation of no investment and decreasing global prices for Iceland’s exports. A “Japanese” decade (or more) is perhaps what lies ahead, at the best….read more

#172 Devore on 01.29.12 at 10:53 am

In an article dropping names fast and furious, even Raleigh and Istanbul get the nod, but world-class Vancouver somehow didn’t make it to print. Gosh, I guess Vancouver is the hidden gem, the secret weapon of the real estate investor, best kept secret in the industry.

#173 Canadian Watchdog on 01.29.12 at 11:13 am

#127 AG Sage #134 Kaganovich

Not sure what loan sharks you’re referring to, however data shows the rural minimum wage has been rising while other investment opportunities have become a hedge against food inflation Just go to any of the major Chinese banks’ website and you’ll find several accounts for this investment. (Agricultural Bank of China, ICBC Bank, China Construction Bank, ect.) These investments trends have been growing at a staggering pace since the 2008 crises and is actually promoted/encouraged by the Chinese government as a hedge against the declining USD.

For those who doubt, China will manage itself fine and recover quickly because one major advantage of state capitalism is being able to impose laws or address threats without any political gridlock or special interest in the way, whereas in the US or EURO, you have a deadbeat administration with no political will to act, making the situation worse by the day. This is a major problem and why another crises is around the corner.

#174 Junius on 01.29.12 at 11:26 am

#146 Mr. Buyer,

You said, “I now suspect every suggestion in the blog comment section to the effect that it is business as usual is motivated by some sort of vested interest.”

I agree. I think it has been this way for a long time. Especially with the BPOE, Stevenson and such who always spin things one way. I do give DA his due here for trying harder then the others.

We also can’t discount the fact that people mostly believe what they want to believe or operate from the “recency effect” where recent events dictate what they think the future will hold.

The fact is the housing bubble has really been a side show for several years right now. The causes of the rises in prices were based almost entirely upon the credit bubble that created the rise in speculative asset prices. As the world’s economy has begun deleveraging it is inevitable that asset prices will eventually fall.

The tricky part is the timing. Attempts to pump more air into the bubble will ultimately fail but they could also create temporary spikes up. Furthermore it is all very complicated with Europe in the toilet and equity markets sucking wind no one knows where to put their money.

#175 Snowboid on 01.29.12 at 11:47 am

#148 terces on 01.29.12 at 12:29 am…

I agree that parts of Mesa and Gold Canyon don’t look that great – but then other parts of the valley are much better.

Up here in the northwest, there are still areas where malls have vacancies – but not as bad as last year.

The nearest mall to us is Arrowhead – we were there a few times and there is only one vacant store in the entire mall now. Last year there were at least ten.

The nearby Costco is so busy we have stopped shopping there and drive to Paradise Valley where we can at least find a parking spot.

Hope you are sticking around for Canada week and the picnic on Feb 4th at South Mountain!

#176 Van guy on 01.29.12 at 12:18 pm


Has any sales you pointed out as “underwater” sell yet? I haven’t seen you post specific properties in quite some time since you were exposed.

#177 TurnerNation on 01.29.12 at 12:21 pm think we’re free? Stop paying your taxes and see what happens.
But you say we’re all responsible for our fair share, right?

Then why is your local hospital begging, pleading in fundraising drive for modern 20th centrry equipment like MRIs?
Why is your hospital doctor working 15 hours days?

Why are your kids shoved into a classroom with 1 teacher and 35 kids of different abilities? One size fits all?

Why are our troops sent overseas instead of guarding our borders? Instead a costly, harassing, and tax collecting border security aperatus is intalled. Their job is shaking you down for cash.
Face it, troops are for the Queen’s use in overseas conquests. Nothing has changed. The regiments are named after the Queen, not us Canadians.

Religion no longer holds control and fear over people, so today’s rulers like Harper cannot use it. What they can use is military.

**Military worship is the new religion**
If you do not blindly “support the troops” and trust their guns and WMD are used for good overseas, you are worse than a criminal. In fact, you deserve to die. You’ve seen the bumper stickers: “stand behind the troops or stand in front of them”.

A few hundred years ago the bumper stickers read: stand behind the King’s religion, or be burned at the stake. Why, the King – James – even wrote his own bible version.

Some things never change. You get more prison time for challenging the Queen’s tax system, then for violent crime.

Now smile as you fill up your gas tank: 50% rate for your pot holed roads and speed traps. Enjoy the sound of a 50bill figher jets (total no-bid contract) streaking overhead. Or the until “NATO commitment” our “global obligations” on behalf of the Queen.

#178 Van guy on 01.29.12 at 12:28 pm

The problem I have with Realtors are, the one that will never admit that a correction is in place. They are pumpers and speculators themselves. I’ve never used big name realtors ever!! The market will sell your property, not the realtor. Pricing it at market value helps it sell faster too.

#179 Tony on 01.29.12 at 12:50 pm

Re: #168 Waterloo Resident on 01.29.12 at 10:21 am

Without a doubt America will slip back into recession this year. I’ve added to my short position on both copper and palladium. Bought more TLT.

#180 Alan on 01.29.12 at 1:05 pm

Canadian Watch Dog

Are you suggesting there has been no government intervention or back stopping? Then you are the one that is out of touch with reality my friend.

If the markets were allowed to behave according to the natural laws of supply and demand we would be in a depression by now.


#181 TurnerNation on 01.29.12 at 1:13 pm

I think harpo is going to appoint Madoff as new CCP head. That’ll show us “socialist” canadians with our “entitlements”, rght? (they’re going to take our money come hook or crook).

#182 TurnerNation on 01.29.12 at 1:14 pm

I mean CPP, of course.

#183 Bobby on 01.29.12 at 1:17 pm

For # 166 DA,
I must admit that I really enjoyed your post. You have brought a realistic, balanced perspective to the discussion.
I recall a few years back speaking to a realtor about a property in downtown Victoria. My plan was a prospective high end, short term rental. He was really pumping this property and the significant rents that he stated it should rent for. All he wanted was $100k and i could take over his contract. After further questioning he admitted that he owned the property and couldn’t close. His plan to flip hadn’t worked out the way he hoped.
A further discussion with another colleague revealed that the majority of sales of a project up island had been to realtors hoping to make a flip.
Unfortunately, homes have become a commodity to be traded, rather than a place to live and raise a family. The RE industry has contributed significantly to this trend and are now bearing the brunt of this direction.

#184 Junius on 01.29.12 at 1:20 pm

#173 Canadian Watchdog,

You link doesn’t support any of what you say. It is about some local capitalist buying gold – probably getting out of Real Estate.

The notion that millions of peasants who are living at our near subsistence are going to push up the Chinese economy is simply nonsense. Look at all the local riots in the last year. What do you think is causing them? Hint: Land grabs from local officials like the one in your posted link.

#185 Sky on 01.29.12 at 1:26 pm

Sorry, global warmists. Your God is struggling for breath and all but dead. Kick in some carbon taxes on your own initiative and you may just revive Him enough to say your final good-byes.

Snippet : “The supposed ‘consensus’ on man-made global warming is facing an inconvenient challenge after the release of new temperature data showing the planet has not warmed for the past 15 years.”

Based on readings from more than 30,000 measuring stations, the data was issued last week without fanfare by the Met Office and the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit. It confirms that the rising trend in world temperatures ended in 1997.”–Cycle-25-need-worry-NASA-scientists-right-Thames-freezing-again.html

When even the CRU ( of Climategate renown) admits there has been no warming since 1997 you just know it’s time to find a new religion.

1997 was about the time that India and China ( major CO2 polluters) kicked their production into high gear. What happened? Where was the ensuing spike in warming?

Despite the lack of global warming, the Artic may well experience a localized meltdown. Weather manipulation is generations old. Think they won’t use it to get at the mineral wealth buried there?

#186 Geneticistx on 01.29.12 at 1:36 pm

I need your help and those of your readers. There is a website and it lists recently listed and sold prices from the GTA. It’s house porn at its best showing the incredible delta between listed and sold prices. But he wants more subscribers to keep it going. Please encourage your followers to subscribe. Otherwise I am left to keep in touch with my self serving real estate agent for this monopoly driven infornation!!

#187 Al on 01.29.12 at 1:50 pm

Instead of raising the age requirement for Ald Age Security & CPP benefits, Harper should have addressed the obsene pension benefits paid to politicians on the backs of all taxpayer

#188 Sky on 01.29.12 at 2:00 pm

When science falls into the hands of the govt then you no longer have real science. You have an agenda.

Scientists like Galileo, Tycho Brahe ( the man with the silver nose), and Johannes Kepler challenged the iron-clad doctrine that the sun revolved around the earth. The govt of their time- a gruesome mix of Emperors and Inquisitors- were none too pleased. To put it mildly.

Fast forward- 2012 – The Inquisition is alive and well. I’ll burn a mercury-filled CFL bulb in their honor.

#189 Canadian Watchdog on 01.29.12 at 2:10 pm

#180 Alan

You’re taking my views out of context so let me rephrase. The government is intervening by buying its own bonds (BoC buying government securities), therefore artificially suppressing rates lower to accommodate lower borrowing costs. This action is to offset bonds not being purchased by the pension fund community or bonds that are being dumped by foreigners. So we are in a death spiral situation where if the BoC stops buying Canadian bonds, yields will rise, in turn compounding and exacerbating our national debt. This illusion of bond demand eventually puts bond buyers in control of the government like we are seeing in Europe now.

The government can only do this for so long as bond yields are limited 0%. We’ve never been here before throughout history—nobody knows what happens next.

#184 Junius

Read before you speak nonsense

“All 320 million customers of the giant Agricultural Bank of China will simply be able to use their Renminbi, the Chinese currency, from their bank accounts to trade gold. Sounds bloody dangerous doesn’t it.”

In regards to riots, sure there are some, but have you seen the size of them? 10,000 people rioting in a 1.2 billion population is equivalent to a few hippies protesting on a street corner.

Sorry but your metrics are off.

#190 McLovin on 01.29.12 at 2:21 pm

Today too close to twenty percent of the business which is being processed through our real estate board is a property in distress.

DA are you saying that 20% of the Okanagan Mainline sales are in distress? Even I find this surprising and I know how bad it is up there.

I thought things weren’t as bad as people thought?

#191 TurnerNation on 01.29.12 at 2:32 pm

#152 on 01.29.12 at 1:06 am

Head gaskets. Run a compression test first.

#192 TurnerNation on 01.29.12 at 2:33 pm

And run a cylinder leak-down test.

#193 eaglebay - Parksville on 01.29.12 at 2:33 pm

#179 Tony on 01.29.12 at 12:50 pm
“Without a doubt America will slip back into recession this year. I’ve added to my short position on both copper and palladium. Bought more TLT.”
Sorry, wrong bet. I feel sorry for your losses.
Betting on the wrong horses. Copper in short supplies.

#194 Alan on 01.29.12 at 2:34 pm

Canadian Watch Dog

You are making my point. As long as there is government intervention in this process, the markets will be driven by the government (who) is buying the bonds. When, or if it becomes market driven (by supply and demand fundamentals) then it will be a market driven enterprise. I don’t think we will ever go back to these fundamentals simply due to the massive disruption it would cause to financial markets and debt burdened nations.

Governments that can continue to print money will continue to do so to buy bonds, which they think will promote growth WHICH Ultimately WILL BE inflationary. This is the GOAL. There is no other way out unless government accepts defeat and let market forces determine the outcome.

#195 eaglebay - Parksville on 01.29.12 at 2:37 pm

#180 Alan on 01.29.12 at 1:05 pm
“Are you suggesting there has been no government intervention or back stopping? Then you are the one that is out of touch with reality my friend.

If the markets were allowed to behave according to the natural laws of supply and demand we would be in a depression by now.”
Wrong, we would be out of a recession by now.

#196 Timing is Everything on 01.29.12 at 2:56 pm

Everything is just peachy in the OKnogan.

the city [Kelowna] is putting people who live on streets with time restrictions on notice — in 10 weeks, the city plans to start charging those residents $50 per year to park on the road outside their homes.

#197 Cookie Monster not Fred Flintstone on 01.29.12 at 3:02 pm

Factually: I’m not arguing whether or not the temperature of the earth has risen or fallen over some period of time, I’m arguing that the theory of the ‘greenhouse effect’ is factually true and backed by mountains of science. The physics of infrared energy absorption are well understood down to the quantum level and are irrefutable.

Anecdotally: Regardless of what you’re saying, true or not, I personally believe that the earth’s temperature has risen by what they say, 0.8 degC over the past 100 years or so, and much of it over the past 40, and it seems warmer to me over my 41 years here and this winter especially is one of the warmest winters I’ve ever experienced in southern Ontario. Also the frequency and severity of storms, hurricanes and tornadoes worldwide seems to be increasing.

#198 Cookie Monster not Fred Flintstone on 01.29.12 at 3:11 pm

Sky, also, the accelerated melting of glaciers and ice shelves are facts, the thawing of the permafrost in the north is a fact. Tell the Inuits and Eskimos who’s homes have slide into the ocean or where the ground has caved in that it’s not getting warmer, or tell the polar bears who are drowning because the ice is breaking up so rapidly they get stranded in the middle of the ocean and drown.

The atmospheric Co2 concentration is currently 380ppm versus 250ppm 100 years ago.

The oceans are warmer and more acidic today with carbolic acid due to absorption of atmospheric Co2.

These are facts.

#199 Cookie Monster not Fred Flintstone on 01.29.12 at 3:20 pm


Your attitude regarding the catholic church and its treatment of Galileo or Kepler etc.. is the same attitude the church took. You are refusing to accept the new scientific facts of reality and prefer to demagog the issue.

You are the one with the ingrained beliefs stuck in the stone age who is refusing to accept the new knowledge.

Reality is real, existence exists, A is A and physics and science don’t lie.

Not one person yet has made a single argument against the theory of the greenhouse effect because they can’t.

#200 Cookie Monster not Fred Flintstone on 01.29.12 at 3:27 pm


Let me give you a hint on where to start to destroy the greenhouse effect theory.

First you have to challenge the science of particle physics with regard to electromagnetics and photon theory regarding emission, absorption, energy and frequency of photons and interaction with molecules and matter.

Good luck!

#201 Canadian Watchdog on 01.29.12 at 3:36 pm

#194 Alan

Even more nonsense to believe this will play out like Weinmar Republic, when today’s social media is 1000x more transparent then that of the 1920’s, allowing the public to be informed of government policies and balance sheets. The public will eventually prevail and vote with their feet.

#202 45north on 01.29.12 at 3:49 pm

Devil’s Advocate: But what amazes me is how many of these fools, are coming to the closing table with cheque in hand

“These fools” have the money to write a cheque, Mark Hanson describes the California market where most fools don’t.

#203 on 01.29.12 at 4:10 pm

Thanks turnernation. In the spirit of this ‘cheap’ blog post I’m trying to decide to go it myself or hire it out. Leaning towards diy. Bubbling is minor right now so I think I have some time. Too cold to do anything now anyway. I’ll let you know how it goes.

#204 Timing is Everything on 01.29.12 at 4:19 pm

At least, there’s always good ol’ Windsor [Canada’s most affordable city]…

#205 a prairie dawg on 01.29.12 at 4:23 pm

#169 john saccy

House prices in 1980s (and before) used to be 3-4 times of personal income.

Now it is 3-4 (yeah whatever) of household income.

Why was this yardstick measurement changed?

– — –

For the same reason that food and gasoline were removed from the Consumer Price Index.

Damage control…

#206 Canadian Watchdog on 01.29.12 at 4:39 pm

#169 john saccy #205 a prairie dawg

Most don’t account for the size of today’s property compared to earlier years. If the square footage was properly compared, we’d be in the 15-20 times personal income ratio. That’s where the real value is lost.

#207 Bill Gable on 01.29.12 at 4:42 pm

#173 – sorry to reiterate, but China is in deeper trouble than Vancouver Real Estate.
Riots, and all kinds of crooked, grey market deals, and a surging well of discontent, will flood the Middle Kingdom.
The slow melt our host talks about is influencing everything.
Faster melt in other regimes – like the Eurozone.

John Williams of shadow stats says that inflation is running hotter than public realizes.

It is apparent at the food store. ( Holy wow) – check the price of staples, yet you can’t give away new cars, and toys, other than IPads, are not selling either. Watch the Golf Course memberships start to drop off.

Good value will out….but we are in a new era.

Our host has seen the warts and the pitfalls from the Bunker and has been warning of squall lines.

Reef in the mainsail. Get out of debt. Less.

If you are thinking of buying a home, get someone to drive you to the Amazonian Fiscal Training Centre – Mr. Turner has the passcode, if you are nice.

#208 jess on 01.29.12 at 4:49 pm

win win or zero sum game?

#209 Devil's Advocate on 01.29.12 at 5:06 pm

#165I’m stupid on 01.29.12 at 7:28 am
#139 Devore

When buying real estate with an agent your deposit check is held in a trust account by the listing agents brokerage.

Actually the deposit is almost always held in trust by the buyer’s brokerage as stakeholder in the transaction. That is not to say that the parties might not agree to something like a non-refundable deposit to be paid directly to the seller.

#183Bobby on 01.29.12 at 1:17 pm

For # 166 DA,
I must admit that I really enjoyed your post. You have brought a realistic, balanced perspective to the discussion.

I recall a few years back speaking to a realtor about a property in downtown Victoria. My plan was a prospective high end, short term rental. He was really pumping this property and the significant rents that he stated it should rent for. All he wanted was $100k and i could take over his contract. After further questioning he admitted that he owned the property and couldn’t close. His plan to flip hadn’t worked out the way he hoped.

A further discussion with another colleague revealed that the majority of sales of a project up island had been to realtors hoping to make a flip.

Unfortunately, homes have become a commodity to be traded, rather than a place to live and raise a family. The RE industry has contributed significantly to this trend and are now bearing the brunt of this direction.

Thank you for the compliment but indulge me why you think that the RE industry ought to bear such “significant” blame as having “contributed significantly” to this trend. Most of the condo developments were manned not by REALTORS® but rather a “sales” staff employed by the developer. There is a big difference between the two which has been hashed over here amply before.

As far as those REALTORS® who may have played that speculative game by buying for themselves condos to flip which that they subsequently could not as the market fell from beneath them , they are of the same and a part of that group of “greatest fools” I mentioned – no more, no less.

#190McLovin on 01.29.12 at 2:21 pm
Today too close to twenty percent of the business which is being processed through our real estate board is a property in distress.

DA are you saying that 20% of the Okanagan Mainline sales are in distress? Even I find this surprising and I know how bad it is up there.

I thought things weren’t as bad as people thought?

That there are so many finally being forced to come to terms with the errors of their ways is not to say that the real estate market in general is equally distressed.

While it is true that real estate volumes are back to their pre-bubble levels and prices are about 15% off their peak, comparing those numbers to historical norms reveals the state of the market is not nearly that bad. As I keep saying “this is a return to norm, not a departure from it”. That in and of itself is a good thing for I am quite sure we would all agree 2007/08 was an unsustainable anomaly.

While this would certainly not be received as terribly conciliatory by one being forced to deal with the disposal of their distressed property and having to make up the shortfall, my point is; that they are doing so and moving forward says a lot about the fortitude of our market despite the negativity you may otherwise hear. They are “moving forward” and that’s a pretty damned admirable undertaking under such adversity.

#210 R2D2 on 01.29.12 at 5:32 pm

Did someone mention Canada Revenue Agency?

Opportunities: On-the-job-training

“Kurt Fagan, the Canada Revenue Agency employee in St. John’s who used government computers to embezzle nearly $700,000, manipulated 87 taxpayers’ personal income tax accounts to trigger a refund in their names. He then changed their addresses to one of three postal boxes he set up in his name. Once the cheques had been mailed, Fagan went back into the computer system and corrected the taxpayers’ addresses.”–canada-s-worst-federal-employees-and-why-some-still-have-their-jobs?bn=1

#211 Junius on 01.29.12 at 5:40 pm

To Sky, Disciple and all the other climate change deniers. The USDA just published their first report in more than a decade about climate growing conditions in the US. The report is updated from the period from the early 1970s to the 1990s. It clearly shows that the climate is warming and growing zones are moving North. Get your head out of the sand. Or is this just yet another conspiracy?

See below:

#212 TurnerNation on 01.29.12 at 6:03 pm on 01.29.12 at 4:10 pm

I wonder how many got the bubbling the coolant resovoir reference. Gear head talk. This being a bike (mostly air-cooled!) weblog and all…

#213 Devore on 01.29.12 at 6:03 pm

#163 Alan

You still believe people will make more money because things cost more? You assert it like it’s some law of nature, but simply repeating it often enough doesn’t make it true.

#214 poco on 01.29.12 at 6:22 pm

#176 Van guy on 01.29.12 at 12:18 pm
Has any sales you pointed out as “underwater” sell yet? I haven’t seen you post specific properties in quite some time since you were exposed.
haven’t a clue what you’re talking about—“exposed??”

you seem to have a problem with comprehension of certain facts as are posted here by various people–as i’ve pointed out to you several times previous–please re read post #112

and please note –a sale is a sale
–not as you state
Has any sales you pointed out as “underwater” sell yet?
tells us alot about you

didn’t think you were interested in the “hole” as you called it but i do have lots of paper on it –any one with half a brain knows where the market is going –do you need reinforcement with that?

#215 disciple on 01.29.12 at 6:25 pm

#211 Junius… Once again, Junius, I repeat what you choose to ignore…I am not a climate change denier. What I dispute is the premature notion that human activity is the cause. The planet warming is one thing, but blaming it on human activity is stretching it into fantasy land. What’s next, using carbon as money and taxing us to keep warm? Oh wait…

#216 Blacksheep on 01.29.12 at 6:37 pm

Cookie Monster # 197-200,

“Regardless of what you’re saying, TRUE OR NOT, I personally believe”
After these four posts, this is my take away.

Your belief is opinion based, like mine.
I did not read any of the links, you or Sky provided,
as Its boring.
This single comment tells me the end result, of your
collective research. Thanks.

take care,

#217 VICTORIA TEA PARTY on 01.29.12 at 6:41 pm

#264 Mr Buyer on 01.29.12…



You must remember that bond markets rule… If the bond market likes you…you live.”
I think a great deal of the world’s elite are just as hypnotised as the great unwashed. If one does not get murdered by a starving vagrant one lives. I suspect a great number of the survival of the fittest types have not ever been in a fist fight.)

Mr. Buyer, I AGREE!!

Whether it’s survival of the fittest or of the survivors, it’s getting tougher out there for regular folks and the elites, too!


It’s America’s elites in part, who are “taken to the woodshed” by US conservative thinker Mark Steyn, in
“After America…Get Ready for Armageddon”. This book will anger lefties everywhere.

Steyn uses descriptions of characters, created by late English writer H.G. Wells in his novella, “The Time Machine”, 1895: the “eloi” and the “morlocks”.

He likens America’s elites to the “eloi” (soft femininized, whiney, yuppie-types) AND, on the flip side, the rude (and eventually the eloi’s mortal enemies) “morlocks” (the nowadays dumpster diving underclasses).

Steyn wonders how BOTH of these “folks” will be able to withstand the now at-a-whisper civilizational shift from West to East that is ongoing and increasingly relentless.

If Mr. Steyn’s nightmare scenario comes to pass, who will inherit the Earth?

Not some feminized American “eloi”, he writes. Nor the “morlocks” . All will be overwhelmed by some distinctly un-Christian, and undemocratic types; like the downfall of Rome but on steroids or worse.

Steyn hopes that some brave souls from a future “Western” background will be able to fight back and restore some of what we are losing by our own hand. Thanks, adherents of political correctness, a lot!

Steyn’s book is depressing as hell but it is worth the read if only to counteract the crap that CNN and other MSM media jerks spin out non-stiop all the time.

SPEAKING ABOUT ARMAGEDDON, a follow-on to my comments on the power of the bond markets from the other day…


“It’s Official: German Economy Minister Demands Surrender Of Greek Budget Policy, Says It Is First Of Many Such Sovereign ‘Requests’…

…’Greece must surrender control of its budget policy to outside institutions if it cannot implement reforms attached to euro zone rescue measures, the German economy minister was quoted as saying on Sunday.

Philipp Roesler became the first German cabinet member to openly endorse a proposal for Greece to surrender budget control after Reuters quoted a European source on Friday as saying Berlin wants Athens to give up budget control.”

WHO’LL BE NEXT IN EUROPE? Spain, Portugal, Italy, Austria.

It’ll be a modern times Beer Hall Putsch!? Only Angela will be slinging the stuff and not some jackboots led by a goofy looking moustache.

Move over Spain, there’s a good girl! Hey! Portugal, your next!

Liebensraum anyone?!

#218 Blacksheep on 01.29.12 at 6:48 pm

Junius # 211,

I actually looked at your link, trying to find the phrase:
Man made. Didn’t see it.

take care,

#219 Blacksheep on 01.29.12 at 6:58 pm

Sam/TurnerNation # ,152,212,

“I wonder how many got the bubbling the coolant reservoir”
Was going to suggest shorting Toyota.
Na, I’m kidd’in. If it’s a four banger
and you’ve got some mech. skills, you can do it.

take care,

#220 Don on 01.29.12 at 7:24 pm

Is this a global warming blob now.

The earth has it’s own cycle’s that human’s cannot control, we have just not the powerful. Like trying to hold back a wave from hitting the beach.

What humans are doing though, is polluting our own environment, we will kill ourselves before we kill the earth…To the earth we humans are not significant, we are just renters living on it’s surface.

#221 Bobby on 01.29.12 at 9:54 pm

For #209 DA,

You are correct, these realtors ( no trademark ) are equally greater fools. But let’s remember it is these fools that many first time buyers turn to for supposed professional advice.

Fortunately, I have the experience to see through the supposed advice of this clown. But, many would take his advice and make a purchase based solely on that advice.

I remember a realtor once pumping a condo to me on Bear Mountain. He was a seasoned realtor and kept saying it was a great opportunity that I couldn’t afford to pass up. I asked him if it was so great why wasn’t he buying, to which he responded he had got burnt in the last downturn.

Enough said

#222 222 on 01.29.12 at 11:09 pm


#223 disciple on 01.29.12 at 11:54 pm

#154 Junius…”Anyone who doesn’t understand that climate change is real is either a paid hypocrite or stooge for the Oil Industry or just plain ignorant. It is depressing to see people arguing this. Anyone who has been north can see it.”

I acknowledge your point of view, and I believe you are sincere, but you don’t have to be depressed any longer. I am not paid to type anything here. Tell me, whatever happened to the lunatics claiming that due to human activity, global cooling was about to grip the planet in the 1970’s? Guess what…They are the very same institutional thinktanks that are now claiming the exact opposite. Thanks for nothing, East Anglia…

Where’s that ozone hole gone? And the acid rain just sort of fixed itself, huh? The sky is falling, the sky is falling! Let’s all hide under our desks in case that nuclear radiation gets us… you underestimate the power of the dark side against your mind.

I think I understand where your point of view comes from. You must believe that we are appointed caretakers of the planet, somehow? Did that butterfly in Mexico ask your opinion when it decided to flap its wings and eventually cause that typhoon in Bangladesh? And did Mt. Pinatubo consult with geo-seismic engineers before it unleashed its fury upon the world?

Have you ever read the book of Job? I’m not religious, but it does directly speak to this issue… the astro-logical references are meant to keep hidden in remotest antiquity the struggle of our quest for our meaning and place in the universe, and that is precisely the struggle we are still engaged in. But the struggle is with those who would continue to keep this info from us…

To think, that humans could have any significant effect either positively or negatively on this miracle planet, lonely but majestic in its course among the stars, is in my humble opinion, the epitome of hubris.

#224 disciple on 01.30.12 at 12:06 am

#96 Turnernation… very good observation. On balance, I would prefer a little truth, to none at all. It’s a war of attrition. Take whatever you can, while you can, because you never know when they will ram another Dark Ages up our arse. They are trying for internet censorship as we type.

They are forced to let a little out at a time, similar to technological advances, to stay ahead of the wave of consciousness that cycles itself through time, as we “profane” begin to wake up and leave the farm.

The Harappan Civilation of 6000 years ago had indoor plumbing, and Iron. Look up when these were again “introduced”… and think about why Archaeology 101 in our universities never teach us these things. I often argued with my professors, who vehemently denied even that the pyramids of Egypt and South America are connected. Of course, now we know that there similar structures ALL OVER THE EARTH and also on another planet Mars, right beside the famous face, that they also deny. But why the heated opposition in university? Well, for me it’s obvious…

#225 bcpaul on 01.30.12 at 1:24 am

#10 Smoking Man on 01.27.12 at 10:33 pm

CRA has gone rouge.


#226 HHR on 01.30.12 at 3:17 pm

I owed CRA a little money. Some miscalculation. So i had to send them a checque. Before I put the checque in the envelope I wiped my cat’s ass with it then i send it to them. Here they go, enjoy the smell.

Thats what they get for taxing us too much.

#227 Dennis Forbes on 01.30.12 at 3:57 pm

I think this entry confuses the value that a real-estate agent brings with the value that a real-estate *lawyer* brings. We bought a home FSBO, and sold a home FSBO (naive and cheap? Please, save the tired rhetoric), with very little trouble and without using the limited services of a real-estate agent. Our real-estate lawyer was our protection, and anyone who thinks a real-estate agent is looking out for their interests is a fool.

For sure, however, there should be a hybrid position — a real-estate agent that acts simply as a signature collector and communicator, dotter-of-i’s and crosser-of-t’s, relaying the documents between real-estate lawyers as necessary. A reasonable fee of several hundred dollars would be warranted. Tens of thousands of dollars – a tax on the entire system — is outrageous.

#228 MR Sold2byhimself on 01.30.12 at 5:02 pm

From a fan of your blog, this is the worst advice you have ever given your readers.

Sold my last two homes privately and had a bidding war on the last one, selling for more than the three top local RE Agents had valued the house at in the weeks prior to listing privately. My wife and I are both in sales, we had a great product and we saved over $35k.

Every Agent does the same thing, list on MLS, take a few photo, creates a feature sheet and then sits back, picks their nose until some buyer agent calls with a showing that leads to an offer. Average hours invested, less than 20. Average split fee, maybe $15k?? I just don’t see the value unless you are a total introverted loser.