The caving

“Are we screwed?” Carl wouldn’t be writing me, of course, if he didn’t already know the answer. But that might be what love does. Or whatever we’re calling it today.

The vexed dude has offered himself up as a metaphor of the dilemma facing so many young couples. The whole of society, in fact. Maybe it comes down to a question. Is trying to avoid debt and worry about the future worth all the grief? Maybe it’s just so much easier feeling entitled, and let things take care of themselves. On the other hand, you could be screwed.

“Hi Garth, I’ve been reading your blog for quite a long time,” he starts, hopefully. “Your blog encouraged me to sell my condo, making $50,000 net.  I was happy.  I thought I had it all figured out, my fiancé and I would rent, save a ton of money and put 50% down on our next house, in 5 years.”

Excellent moves, Carl. Go on, son. Doing great.

“Well 5 years turned into 6 months as we bought a semi-detached in the Upper Beaches for $640,000.  I couldn’t argue my renting philosophy any longer, and she didn’t want to ‘pay someone else’s mortgage’, so I caved.  25 year amortization, 20% down, 5 year fixed 3.11%.  It has a basement apartment, which is currently rented for 750 a month.  The house has a new roof, new AC and furnace, new wiring and plumping.  I don’t expect any major upgrades in the next 5 years (please god).  The plan would be to kick out the renter once we need more space rather than buy another house as kids are coming in 2 years…”

Lemme get this. You went from having $50,000 extra in the bank to a $520,000 mortgage. For a semi. In the wrong part of the Beaches. For kids that aren’t born yet. Sure hope you have a good whack of money in other investments to balance off this dodgy real estate commitment.

“Combined, we have $10,000 in RRSP, $5,000 TFSA and about $5,000 saved for our small wedding (budget $10,000 – makes me sick) sitting in my .0002% savings account.  We have a combined 15,000 of school/car debt remaining, and no consumer debt…We have one car, and both agree that this is enough…”

That means you have $20,000 in liquid assets and $15,000 in debt, plus a $5,000 shortfall for your wedding. You just bought a $640,000 house, erased your condo proceeds and borrowed a half million because ‘she didn’t want to pay someone else’s mortgage’? You sure fixed that. I hope the house is in your name only, since you’ve yet to get hitched. You should probably see an accountant to ensure your interests are protected and get some advice. Whaddya do, anyway?

“I am an accountant, and she’s a Teacher with the Toronto District School Board.  We make $130,000 a year, netting about 6,300 a month.”

Our Father, who art in…

“My main concerns are (1) she’ll want to move in 5 years and (2) our exposure to high interest rates when we refinance in 5 years and (3) our house losing value…

“Are we screwed? Can you shed some light?  Should I aggressively pay down the mortgage, save money in my TFSA long term, pay our 15,000 debt, or spend it on travel and eating out? What do I do?”

Carl, it’s a little late to crawl back to this blog for a scratch behind the ears. Figure it out: you have a half million in mortgage debt at interest rates 100% guaranteed to increase by renewal time. You bought half a house for $640,000, at the most inflated level in history. Worse, you did so just as the government attacks housing. You’ve got zero liquid net worth. A 20% correction in house prices would clean you out entirely. You don’t have enough money to pay for your own damn wedding. It sounds like offspring are a certainty, meaning a year or two of unpaid mat leave is in the cards. You already spend 90% of what you make (together, even with a guy in the basement), giving precious few options. And it sounds like you’re hitching to an insatiable princess.

What to do?

Tinker, that’s about it. Change your mortgage payment from monthly to weekly, to start hacking away at interest. Open a spousal RRSP and make contributions there – you’ll need that when the mat leaves hit. Start shoveling all the dollars you can into a TFSA, and divide them between ETFs for equity, REITs, preferreds and bonds. Start doing more accounty things, like preparing private tax returns (but not financial counselling, please).

As far as the GF goes, you have choices. Get a vasectomy. Admit you’re attracted to Anderson Cooper. Or have a serious talk about your joint financial future.

Or, send her highness here. That should do it.

289 comments ↓

#1 TurnerNation on 07.11.12 at 9:11 pm

Rex is king!

#2 wow on 07.11.12 at 9:16 pm

Carl is real?

People willingly subject themselves to this sort of financial suicide? People who are accountants and teachers?

sorry, I am speechless.

First? (kidding, Garth!)

Not a comma of his note was changed. How could I? — Garth

#3 Devore on 07.11.12 at 9:19 pm

Carl, this is all I read: “she wants… she doesn’t want.. she said… she wants”.

Good luck.

#4 Editor on 07.11.12 at 9:22 pm

Since when is car debt not consumer debt? Sell the new car and buy an older one (one year used, from a dealer, with a full warranty) for cash.

#5 T-Bone on 07.11.12 at 9:22 pm

Snookered! Poor grasshopper.

#6 Axehead on 07.11.12 at 9:24 pm

Alberta REIN cult spokesman on CBC Radio this afternoon in Calgary – His Logic; New mortguage rules from F & Peckerettes were ONLY aimed at Toronto and Vancouver condo bubble. The impact to Alberta, according to the cheif comedian of REIN, is as follows (hard to believe he believes his own logic):
1 – prevent 1st time buyers from buyers,which will…
2 – drive up demand for rent and rental prices, which will…
3 – drive up house purchase prices as rental prices inflate

Always the same message – buy now (never wait) – Jeepers…what idiocy!

#7 JSS on 07.11.12 at 9:24 pm

Garth,
According to PM Harper, “Calgary is the greatest city in Canada”.

Your thoughts?

#8 TurnerNation on 07.11.12 at 9:27 pm

Recently, on this pathetic weblog, I coined the term HELOC kids (which follow on a long tradition of societal experiments – war brides, baby boomers, latchkey kids, and so forth).

Their kids will become the HELOC kids. Great lifestyle, for a while, until parents’ HELOC runs out.

Naturally I predict bedlam at Vancouver orphanages.

#9 @crazyfasteddy on 07.11.12 at 9:28 pm

RUN. Or wake up next to the horse’s head. Capitulate and lick your wounds and GTFO!

#10 harden on 07.11.12 at 9:29 pm

I don’t understand people who buy now… NOW?! Who are these people? We don’t even have fairy tales of HAM driving this thing anymore, even over here in the BPOE! The thrilling price run was tremendous fun but it’s over people! This is the top! Do the math before embarrassing yourself! Fergawdsake at the very least keep your misguided purchases to yourself – please!!

#11 dan on 07.11.12 at 9:31 pm

I would first think twice about the person you are going to marry. If she was the one pressing for a new house and dropping the original plan then your goals are not the same and you are in for a world of trouble down the line.

You are going to be in a situation where you are the sole breadwinner and under an incredible amount of stress when children enter the frame. And wait for the hints about “how nice it would be to stay at home to raise the kid(s)”.

#12 SafetyBear on 07.11.12 at 9:31 pm

These guys are on $130k between them. Total first world problems really.

#13 Fleabitten Monkey on 07.11.12 at 9:31 pm

As they say in the south, “Sheeeiiittt”

#14 same house 24 years on 07.11.12 at 9:32 pm

better get a good marriage contract and arbitration on financial disputes otherwise you are screwed.

#15 Flighlevel 410 on 07.11.12 at 9:32 pm

Why would you buy that ?
I have been living in richmond BC feeling the pressure to buy for the last 5 years .

EVERYBODY told me i was crazy not to buy . THE CHINESE ARE COMING , you must jump in now , it will never go down, there is no more place to grow .

All these words i heard EVERY day from co-workers, friends etc. I just smiled .
Guess what ? One house just dropped by 250.000 over night , and that’s just the beginning .Why grown people can not THINK for themselves anymore is beyond me . I am no financial guru , but i KNOW not to buy a house for 1.1 Million that is worth maybe 400.00 0………

Is it really that hard to figure out ?????????

#16 Signpost in the bushes on 07.11.12 at 9:33 pm

“………….. and she didn’t want to ‘pay someone else’s mortgage’, so I caved.”

Carl, each and every service one pays for, probably pays something towards someone else’s mortgage!

#17 SafetyBear on 07.11.12 at 9:34 pm

#6 Axehead – Same message being spouted here in Australia. Guesstimates of future price rises being reported as fact too. A lot of people I know are either giving up on buying (myself) or giving in and taking more jobs to qualify for a mortgage and saying bye bye spare time. It’s still gonna take years to unwind in Aus.

#18 IM in C on 07.11.12 at 9:36 pm

I’ve been watching the SFH prices here in a certain sector of Calgary since 2009. Houses that were $450k are now $350 -$400k. Oh -and rents , at least in this part of town , have come down!

#19 LH on 07.11.12 at 9:38 pm

Pay off the higher interest student and car loans first
Sell the car and take the TTC or bike/walk
Max out the TFSA
Save 50%+ of your income
Ignore the RRSP
Plow the rest into mortgage prepayments (>3% tax free is not shabby when 5y canuck bonds are 1.2%)

#20 My Head Hurts on 07.11.12 at 9:38 pm

Hi Garth,

I have enjoyed reading your blog, I however must inform you that I can no longer come back to read any more. After today’s post I must call it quits.

I can’t waste my time reading about idiots another day. This dumb azz today made something in my head rupture.

I hope for the ongoing existence of man that you actually make these stories up. Unfortunately I know deep down that you do not.

Idiots deserve what they get…an idiot partner, idiot kids, idiot debt.

All the best Garth, good luck. I have blood running from one of my eyeballs…I should go now.

#21 Intuitive Missus on 07.11.12 at 9:40 pm

More fuel on the fire……….

http://business.financialpost.com/2012/07/11/canadian-housing-prices-are-not-sustainable-david-rosenberg/

#22 Grim Reaper/Crypt Speculator on 07.11.12 at 9:41 pm

Ah….the 1800’s..maybe even up to the 1960’s.

Houses and beer were cheap….the old lady had supper ready on time,……put the Little Reaper youngins to bed….

Dishwasher?ahahahaha….. no Trudeau and/or exploding brassieres….

Feminist Movement? bwahahahahaha.

Damn, I’m feeling old.
PS How’s Guy Lombardo doing?

#23 Superman on 07.11.12 at 9:44 pm

One of the best articles I’ve read on here. Witty, entertaining, and fun for the whole family. It had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. I didn’t see the twist (him being an accountant) coming at all! 4.5/5.

#24 armpit on 07.11.12 at 9:46 pm

An aquaintence was interested in an estate property in the country.

According to him, he was going to low ball the offer and go from there.

The R.E. guy told him there was going to be another offer at the same time.

This concerned him, so he decided to give a “good” offer.

The offer was presented and accepted. He inquired about the other offer and was told the other offer got deferred for at least 24hrs.

He was upset at that, but still wanted the property.

Me thinks the Selling R.E. Agent was not being honest.

The shanigans still continue…..

#25 Patrick on 07.11.12 at 9:49 pm

#15Flighlevel 410 on 07.11.12 at 9:32 pm

I too live in Richmond BC and have been told over the past 2 years by friends, co-workers and family that I’m an idiot for selling and renting. Here a sample of the blood bath in Richmond.

Address: 3919 BROADWAY ST, Steveston Village, Richmond. Brand new house on 37×106 lot.

Mar 09, ’12 V934922 $1,288,888
May 01, ’12 V934922 $1,198,000
July 07, ’12 V960771 $999,000

$-289,888

-22%

#26 #22 Grim Reaper/Crypt Speculator on 07.11.12 at 9:53 pm

hehehehe very nice.

not sure how Guy is these days but Tommy Hunter is rockin’ the tube, brother.

keep on keeping on. How’s the veal?

I’m here til Saturday.

#27 East Van on 07.11.12 at 9:53 pm

Recurring theme on this blog:

Men are tempted into biting into the apple by their mates and are forever banished from paradise.

Very Old Testament.

Then agian, Garth did come over on The Arc.

#28 Don't Believe The Hype on 07.11.12 at 9:53 pm

And yet 45% of Canadians have no clue about the new mortgage rules.
And some of us make fun of Americans? Canada is just as clueless of the pending real estate disaster as they were in ’05-’06

@#20 My Head Hurts: please reconsider, I hope you’re just joking about leaving. Your post had me in stitches

#29 Market Bull on 07.11.12 at 9:56 pm

#21 Intuitive Missus:

Comparing housing starts over the last several years between the U.S. and Canada and extrapolating the data as a barometer of market sustainability is nothing short of retarded.

Rosenberg is an idiot.

#30 T.O. Bubble Boy on 07.11.12 at 9:57 pm

Good to know that Accountants and Teachers are absolutely horrible at math.

#31 Uh Oh Canada on 07.11.12 at 10:00 pm

Teachers are smart academically but stupid when it comes to street smarts.

#32 Randy on 07.11.12 at 10:02 pm

I guess that a home buyer could buy a house and pretend that they were just paying a high, high premium over rent for 25 years or so….that makes sense….haha

#33 DM in C on 07.11.12 at 10:08 pm

That situation is just plain sad. Carl Carl Carl Carl.

You caved SIX MONTHS into a 5 year plan. SIX MONTHS!?!?!?

I’m scared for whomever you work for, if that’s how you keep your personal finances.

I can only just shake my head. Wow indeed.

#34 Nick on 07.11.12 at 10:10 pm

WSJ : after 7 years, the bottom is in for the US RE market.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303644004577520414196790098.html?mod=e2tw

My friend’s dad is a teacher living outside Van in a house with a maxed out 850 000$ heloc. Traveling the world. Buying new cars. Fishing trips to Alaska. How is this different than what the American did 7 years ago?

#35 daystar on 07.11.12 at 10:11 pm

#3 Devore on 07.11.12 at 9:19 pm

You too, huh?

#36 Mister Obvious on 07.11.12 at 10:11 pm

Carl is now priced-in forever. Rest his foolish soul.

—————–

#30 T.O. Bubble Boy:

Most teachers are quite poor at math unless they are in fact ‘math teachers’. Even so, they still have to prove themselves.

#37 R1200C on 07.11.12 at 10:12 pm

Sell the semi detached…
Move to Alberta and buy a 1500 Sq Ft in Edmonton for $400,000 (and be far enough away from the “outlaws” who are undoubtedly the real reason behind your lastest actions…)

Increase your combined salary to $160,000 pretty much instantly.

Enjoy a province with no provincial sales taxes and probably still the best job outlook anywhere in North America for the next decade.

Send your kids to U of Harper in Calgary (the best city in Canada according to his hind-ness)

Liquidate in 25 years and buy in post-boomers Kelowna and call it the day.

That or do as Garth suggests and stay put in “What are you On-tario”?

#38 Keith in Calgary on 07.11.12 at 10:13 pm

Having a smoking hot escort spending a few hours at your place every two weeks for the next decade or two, is a heck of a lot cheaper andway less brain damage, than getting married and sucked in by the REIC. A lot more fun too……

Having said that, allow me to demonstratewhy. The young couple living next to my father has just listed there house “again” for the 4th time in the last 3 years.

IIRc they paid $379K in 2008…….tried in 2010 to get $380K…….then in 2011 they dropped it as low as $349K and took it off the market.

Now it is listed for $359K………I remember my father telling me they needed $370K to break even on the mortgage and at this number they’d be walking away from their down payment and fees.

My father’s other neighbour on the other side sold 3 months ago for $320K and it was a nicer house. But he listed it for $339K and was negotiable.

Funny how that works………….

#39 dd on 07.11.12 at 10:15 pm

“I am an accountant, and she’s a Teacher …”

Education doesn’t make you smart.

#40 TnT on 07.11.12 at 10:17 pm

Wow! I rent a 3 bedroom semi with a finished basement in the upper beaches for $2095 per month. I want to buy south of Kingston road when the down payment and prices are right.

Carl… You made a huge mistake… U have no kids, no pets, not even a wife! I have 3 kids, cats and a dog plus a wife!

No excuse Carl… Your white people problem just turned into a 3rd world problem…

Good luck

#41 Flighlevel 410 on 07.11.12 at 10:20 pm

25 Patrick on 07.11.12 at 9:49 pm

Right on Pat
I am glad i am not the only one who saw this coming .I just can not feel sorry for people who overpaid by 50% or more just to get in the market .

Can people really say that they are surprised and did not see this coming ?

A 1300 sq foot house in Steveston for 748.000 ? Its been on and off the market for over a year now . I actually went to an open house just to reaffirm that i was not crazy . I just looked at it smiled and walked away .

There are almost 1.100 houses on the market in Richmond .

Why can people not see the fact that these houses are overpriced by 50-60 % ???

i compared this market to tulip mania 2 years ago http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tulip_mania

All the talk about the Chinese buying up Richmond was created so people would buy overpriced houses. sure there were Chinese buying some houses , Guess what ? A lot of those houses are now back on the market as even the investors are getting cold feet .

I remember walking into an open house last year . The first thing the realtor said was ” oh just so you know , there is already an offer on the house from Mainland China ” I walked right back out , FUNNY thing is the house was never sold and is still on the market …

A few weeks ago i heard the Iranians are buying up North Vancouver , West Vancouver is going to People from Dubai , i wonder will Richmond be bought up by the Reptilian Shape Shifters from Area 51 next ?

It all comes down to MONEY , i was taught by my parents, NEVER to buy anything i could not afford . Its not that hard really , unless you buy into the everyday BullS….. that the Society tries to spoon feed you .

I worked with a flight attendant a few weeks ago who complained that she was broke . Yet she proudly showed me her new Ipad, in White because she had the one in Black first and then decided she likes white better , so she bought the second one just for the color …….

Once again i just smiled .

In the end i might be wrong , i live in a rented 2 bedroom place, my kids are still young and i have money in the bank , no dept ,and most of the Time , sleep like a baby unless the jetlag gets to me ….

If the prices don’t drop 50-60 % then i just rent for the next 17 years , retire in Victoria in a nice Condo by the inner harbor and guess what ? I just smile because i did not have to worry for 17 years about payments i could not afford ……Chinese that never came , or Reptilian Shape Shifters that never overran Richmond buying EVERY house that was EVER available .

I wonder how most people in Richmond sleep these days ????

#42 tkid on 07.11.12 at 10:23 pm

He doesn’t need a vasectomy as she has already snipped them off. Betcha ten dollars he said ‘thank you dear’ once she was done.

And I’m a chick saying this!

#43 JW on 07.11.12 at 10:23 pm

Great example Garth, WOW.

Good night Carl, lights out dude. Very surprised to see an accountant and teacher walk out on the plank like that – normally very conservative by nature. With people like this the market could really could be tapped out. Carl might have called the peak. Yikes.

#44 bromance on 07.11.12 at 10:24 pm

Uh Oh Canada

I don’t know about Canada, but here in the states our teachers have terrible scores on standardized tests, and a degree in education is a joke. And math-fuggittabouit. On the other hand, our accountants are leaders in the field of non Euclidean accounting.

#45 ozy - change the womana on 07.11.12 at 10:24 pm

change the womana, get a new one every 5 years, u are not a man if u do what womana thinks (with her so easy to influence emotional organs)

#46 Joe on 07.11.12 at 10:26 pm

OMG!!! That was funny…I’m still crying…LOL

#47 TimV on 07.11.12 at 10:31 pm

Hm. I’ve been dutifully collecting solds (ever since I decided to buy)… You wouldn’t happen to be on Galt Ave, would you, with 2011 property taxes of $3011.12? Beaches would be a generous designation of the neighbourhood.

Anyhow, the teachers I know have insisted on moving northwards in the city, to specific school districts, even at (what I view as) significant sacrifices and costs. If I’m right about the school district (Blake-Jones), you’ll consider French immersion (Duke of Connaught), but that might not keep either you or mommy happy. Positive side is that mom will have inside knowledge on where to go for out-of-district schooling … but that’ll be a hassle, too.

My one thought is: start the school district talk now, so that you two can do a bit of long-term planning. The plans might change, and you might not agree, but at least you’ll be reading from a shared playbook. There’s nothing worse than spending 10 years in a home that one of you thought was “only a temporary house”.

Hehe. Yes, those houses with “new .. plumping” are quite attractive. :-)

Oh, and since you had to own it, at least be sure to enjoy it. If it makes you feel better, having perused casually daily solds in Toronto east excluding Scarborough, the first area that may be showing signs of prices dropping might be Playter Estates detacheds, possibly (no rigorous analysis here, though) … which is definitely not your neighbourhood (or mine)!

Curiousity has killed many cats; hopefully you let me know if I’m right/wrong about the Galt Ave semi. :-)

#48 Paully on 07.11.12 at 10:31 pm

Carl, post pictures dude. For you to put up with a super- high-maintenance-woman like that, she must be HOTTTTTT!

#49 nocte_volens on 07.11.12 at 10:32 pm

It’s too late for Carl, but guys like him should grow a pair. Tell the significant other that you are not going into that kind of foolish debt (houses at record highs destined to fall, and interest rates at record lows, destined to rise) and stick to your decision. If she is not smart enough to grasp the concept, why would you want to marry her in the first place? If she threatens to leave, let her go. Find an intelligent one next time…there’s lots of them out there.

#50 mark on 07.11.12 at 10:32 pm

I hope the sex is good.

#51 a prairie dawg on 07.11.12 at 10:34 pm

Repost:

Be careful of suicide by DIY. — Garth

– — –

But they are all legends in their own mind…

-this is the same mentality that leads people to think they drive like a pro on the freeway in their POS daily driver. (pick a city)

-this is the same mentality that makes everyone think they’re good in bed.

-this is the same mentality that is too cheap to pay 1% for professional financial advice, cuz they’re so good at all the other stuff in their life. After all, most were told they were special from a young age.

-they buy ‘anything’ when it’s rising, and think another instant investing genius is born.

Try growing and/or maintaining your assets through a few recessions, and then you might have what it takes. Maybe… Otherwise you are gambling.

You’re not special. Your Mom and your teachers lied.

Are you with me so far?

#52 blase on 07.11.12 at 10:34 pm

$6,300/month from $130,000/year? Guess they like paying taxes instead of maxing out TFSAs, Dividend-paying investments, RRSPs, etc.

I love people who come to your blog and none of it takes.

Yesterday, I met a buddy who I gave “Money Road” to read. He had it for 6 months and never read a page.

He says to me yesterday that “renting” is throwing your money away.

I just ate my meal and realized that most people will only ever learn something from painful experience.

#53 Karie on 07.11.12 at 10:36 pm

I don’t see the big deal here – they could have waited a little longer but they will be fine. They sound as if they’ve put some thought into their future and they can pay their bills. Teachers have great benefits and pension plans and Carl understands the numbers. Carl is just saying it’s all his fiance – so he doesn’t have to take the heat from everyone posting. Not a good way to start a marriage – no blaming, no “she made me”. If you signed for the house too, you say WE made this decision.

#54 Flightlevel 410 on 07.11.12 at 10:36 pm

one more thought , I LOVE this blog . Thanks Garth i hope you keep it going …..

#55 a prairie dawg on 07.11.12 at 10:40 pm

“Well 5 years turned into 6 months”

– — –

At that rate of decay you’ll be neutered by the end of the year.

We may have to pull your man card for that. ☺

#56 Van grrl on 07.11.12 at 10:40 pm

Awww… all you really need is in the photo. Sweet poochie pooch.

#57 blase on 07.11.12 at 10:40 pm

The smartest guy from Garth’s letters is the dude who has the Vette and lives in a $850 apartment.

Chicks dig guys with nice wheels and bachelor pads.

They want to marry the guy with a tidy house and Honda Accords.

Single guy, spend your money on trips to Bora Bora and skiing.

Get married when you’re 40.

#58 SCIB on 07.11.12 at 10:41 pm

She wears the pants,
He wears the skirt!

#59 TnT on 07.11.12 at 10:42 pm

#47 TimV

It won’t be Galt ave, that’s more Leslieville than Upper Beaches.

I’m thinking he’s near Swanwick ave. and Kingswood area.

#60 Just me on 07.11.12 at 10:47 pm

I don’t understand why people who aren’t even married yet are buying houses together. It speaks to a real immaturity and lack of delayed gratification that is culturally the norm now. I want what I want and I want it now. Stupid babies.

#61 Howardhughheffner on 07.11.12 at 10:48 pm

It amazes me how many people think dropping $400k on a home is normal . I think spending more than 250k is crazy and I gross 100k+. I suppose different strokes for different folks.

#62 Toronto_CA on 07.11.12 at 10:50 pm

I’m just gonna guess/pray this guy is not a Chartered Accountant, based on his income and financial ineptitude.

Although I’ve met CAs that are terrible with finances, this guy sounds ridiculous. Of course, watch his house double in value in the next 5 years. This housing bubble defies all odds. Well at least if she stays teaching forever she’ll have a good pension plan when they retire.

Great post Garth, as usual.

#63 Rich on 07.11.12 at 10:50 pm

I’m too living in Richmond, BC. I sold my house a year ago and had been renting since. All my Chinese friends thought that I was crazy. They said people from China would buy up everything in Richmond. Let’s see who is the biggest fool.

#64 Timbo on 07.11.12 at 10:51 pm

lol, great post Garth

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-07-11/canadian-crudes-advance-after-oil-fields-in-alberta-lose-power.html

“The Alberta Electric System Operator directed the province’s power distributors to reduce their load by 200 megawatts on July 9 after electricity demand reached record highs and six power generators reported unplanned outages. ATCO Electric Ltd. cut power to some industrial customers, including oil-field operations, said Chris Clark, vice president of transmission for the company’s operations division. ”

In Alberta running your a/c could bring down big oil. Save the jobs by using hand fans people……….

http://photoblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/07/11/12684552-riot-police-and-protesters-clash-as-spanish-miners-march-into-madrid?lite

“A demonstrator bleeds as she is detained by the riot police during a coal miners’s march to the Minister of Industry building in Madrid, on July 11. Coal miners angered by huge cuts in subsidies converged on Madrid for protest rallies after walking nearly three weeks under the blazing sun from the pits where they eke out a living.”

Her eyes tell a tale. Damn you just cannot make this stuff up………

#65 Just me on 07.11.12 at 10:52 pm

Carl, sorry, its me again, but you are an absolute moron for paying $640,000 for some crummy semi half house in an armpit neighbourhood like “upper beaches”. Those lousy houses were under $200,000 not more than 10 years ago.
I say dump the whiny princess, kick the dude out of the basement so you can live in it and rent the top two floors and try and minimize the biggest mistake of your life. But the woman has got to go, sorry, she is NOT to be trusted.

#66 Soylent Green is People on 07.11.12 at 10:53 pm

Re

Whaddya do, anyway

bwab hahahahahahahahah lolol
,
,
,

#67 Keeping the Faith on 07.11.12 at 10:57 pm

#53 ‘Scary’ Karie

funny sense of ‘togetherness’ you subscribe too.

I wonder what the man in your life looks like after you brow-beat him into taking you out or buying you another pair of shoes or paying for your nails to get done again … which i’m sure happens every weekend.

Poor sad-sack and pathetic life you have when you tell your man the sky isn’t blue it’s yellow and by the way, I didn’t make the decision, “we made the decision” … PUKE!!!

on second thought, sounds like this may not be your first marriage?!?!? am i getting warmer? is it starting to hurt yet?

Let’s just offer Carl constructive advice. There’s enough testosterone sloshing around this blog already. — Garth

#68 AG Sage on 07.11.12 at 10:59 pm

I’ve got to step back here and say the house is so not the issue here. And I suspect Carl knows that, or why the heck is he asking advice at this stage?

Carl, if you are not going to stand your ground on something you know so firmly, what are you going to stand your ground on?

My advice, forget the house and do the best you can, but do one last thing. Write up a nice note on the computer, print it out, have the lass sign it, and the laminate it and hang it somewhere easy to get to. Something like: I, Carl’s Significant Other, insisted we purchase this house. It was make or break for marrying him. Something something, whatever the conditions were and I hope they were good…

If you don’t do this you will regret it. I guarantee that in three years time when the house is worth 450k she will say: “But if you were so sure, why didn’t you insist we not buy it??” Guarantee it.

#69 daystar on 07.11.12 at 11:01 pm

Hi Carl.

http://www.ratesupermarket.ca/mortgage/rate_calculator_results_breakdown/?house_value=640000&deposit_type=amount&deposit=120000&mortgage_rate=4.00&amortization_period=25&lumpsum_payment=&num_years=&mortgage_amount=520000&payment_type=monthly

I’ve got you with monthly’s at $2,735.00 at 4%. Rent out the basement for $750 and you both pat, hug and kiss each other with “we’re professionals, we can float 2 G’s right?” With a knowing smile, sure you can if you both stay working. I assume she’s pulling 45 to 50 G’s net so you can, with your 80 to 85 net, absorb 20 G’s and still make it work if she gets pregant, np. It’ll be close but you can do it at 4%.

The problem is what interest rates can do come 2014… 2015 and beyond. You still owe a half a million here, you are rate sensitive, no bones about it. Lets say you take a 5 year mortgage today for 4% and its all good, you can manage through a couple pregnancies but then you renew into a Harper debt hangover and get hammered at 8%. Suddenly, your monthly payments balloon to $3968 a month. Thats $48,000 coming off your net. Its ok, you both scale up to $150,000 net over 5 years and that leaves you with $102,000 to run a household.

As an accountant, you make the decision to float. “She says she doesn’t want to lock in at 8%, its too high” so you both float and rates keep climbing to 10% within a year. Now your monthly payment is $4651.00 or $55,812 annual. Thats cool, you net $155,000 annually and all is well. Its not the ritz… but your kids are looked after and there’s still money for trips and savings and a couple toys. Unfortunately, high interest rates breed a RE recession and the job you thought was forever suddenly isn’t and combined net drops to $100,000 while you make pieces fit here and there and suddenly, just like that, things get awefully tight.

And then she gets pregnant again. You both think of selling the house and to your surprise, with income having grown nationally over 6 years by just 12%, the net incomes to qualify to buy your house with a monthly payment at $5600.00 is something only teachers and accountants can afford at $3000.00 a month (assuming they can rent the basement), not $4600.00 and it gets priced in. Your $620 K house is suddently worth $400,000 to sell. In six years, you dropped $220,000 in equity so you both struggle through it on one income…. maybe.

Do you see the problem? You are interest rate sensitive with extreme leverage (a half a mil worth) and you are income sensitive should rates ever hit double digits. If either of you lose your jobs due to health or the economy in a higher rate environment, you could both lose your home. Yeah, thats right, a teacher and an accountant. Professionals. I’m not saying rates will go there, but they could and if they do, you will guaranteed sweat.

I hope she’s worth it (they sometimes are) and best of luck to you Carl.

#70 Mr Buyer on 07.11.12 at 11:02 pm

#29 Market Bull on 07.11.12 at 9:56 pm
#21 Intuitive Missus:

Comparing housing starts over the last several years between the U.S. and Canada and extrapolating the data as a barometer of market sustainability is nothing short of retarded.

Rosenberg is an idiot.
………………………………………………………..
Not to worry. We have you to rationalize why it is ALWAYS good to buy NOW.

#71 a prairie dawg on 07.11.12 at 11:07 pm

@ #57 blase

I heard 60 is the new 40. lol

– — –

#72 nocte_volens on 07.11.12 at 11:08 pm

Let’s just offer Carl constructive advice. There’s enough testosterone sloshing around this blog already. — Garth

constructive…hmmmm…..pray? that’s all i’ve got. financially I’d say Carl is toast for the next decade or two.

#73 Canadian Watchdog on 07.11.12 at 11:15 pm

#29 Market Bull

“Rosenberg is an idiot.”

Why because you can’t understand why he would compare Canadian to US housing starts in a ratio? It goes to show how much you know about Canada’s dependence on the U.S. economy.

Go back to your little TREB reports.

#74 gloom and doom on 07.11.12 at 11:15 pm

Well the way I see it when the banks see that they can,t sell any more mortgages to more suckers they will just lower there rates to get more suckers like they did in 08 when things started to implod.. Just watch and see this bubble will take more hot air !!!

#75 Richard on 07.11.12 at 11:16 pm

tis a crazy world out there…

#76 2centCdn on 07.11.12 at 11:22 pm

Good post. That’s why there are wealthy people and poor/average people. Wealthy people do what they SHOULD do … poor people do what they WANT to do. Once you’ve made your money THEN you can do what you want to do … but not before. There HAS to be hard work and sacrifice. It’s easy … just do what smart people do …. most smart people are happy to tell you the best thing to do in a given situation. But people are impatient … they want their “stuff” NOW! Well … it comes at a price. And the price is to never get ahead of the game. If you spend all of your time and energy trying to keep up …. you will have no time and energy to get ahead.

#77 Harry Palms on 07.11.12 at 11:26 pm

#42 tkid on 07.11.12 at 10:23 pm
He doesn’t need a vasectomy as she has already snipped them off………..

I usually leave mine in my wife’s purse. It stops me from getting into trouble doing dumb guy stuff.

Seriously, about the vasectomy, it’s a great idea!

True story about friend of a friend:

She wants a kid, he wants no part of it (they actually were in second marriage, each with one kid from the previous).

So, he goes and gets “the snip”, and goes out drinking with some guy friends blowing off some silly thing she had planned. Minor fight ensues, he sleeps on the couch for three days while he’s recovering from the surgery.

He then has a talk with his wife about how he’s had an epiphany and he wants a kid together.

So, for the forseeable future, Sir No-nuts is getting all the tail he wants as they’re trying like mad to get pregnant.

Good advice as usual, Garth!

#78 Mr Buyer on 07.11.12 at 11:26 pm

I just watched THE PACIFIC from start to finish Saturday and Sunday night after the wife and kids went to bed. Living in Japan adds a real 3D element to the experience. To the men and boys that ate sand on those hell hole islands I salute you. Nothing figurative about blood sweat and tears for you lads.
I almost laugh when I hear about people today fighting for their rights and congratulating each other at their displays of courage in the face of the enemy or adverse conditions. The real hard talkers offer additional comic relief as they talk the talk as if they were seasoned as these veterans were. The hard core every man for himself types talking as if they are loan snipers entitled to live at the expense of others are yet another source of humour. Even so, all these characters with all these short comings offer little comfort to me in that they are no different than I am and thus are my peers in that I never came close to anything like the hell these American Marines and soldiers endured in service to their members of their platoons, their families back home and lastly their countries. I shudder to think of how many fights I ran from over the course of my life, leaving it to some following poor unsuspecting soul to stumble over. Not these guys, they had to face the enemy now. There is no glory in war to be certain and some people dismiss these efforts as games played by men but it was no game. I am humbled again. To all the soldiers that died in the first, second, Korean, Vietnam, Afghanistan, and even Iraq wars I wish to say thanks and to their brothers in arms that survived congratulations. Real men, all of you (even the twisted up misfits which I would have likely been if I underwent the same experience (not that I am not now)).

#79 Grim Reaper/Crypt Speculator on 07.11.12 at 11:28 pm

Remember….. all I need is “Brain Dead”, the rest doesn’t matter.

aka R.E. speculators….yer @ss is mine.

#80 Cy on 07.11.12 at 11:28 pm

I broke it off with my last GF because she wanted the house and I just could not justify writing my life off for a 400,000 dollar house. There was a lot of pressure and I’m still getting flack from family and friends about supposedly not “growing up” and taking responsibility. How is getting yourself into never ending debt responsible? To me I am taking responsibility, I’m responsible to myself and to live up to what I expect from my life and what’s going to make me happiest, accumulating a bunch of shit isn’t at the top of the list.

A house should be where you go to escape and relax from the world, not a prison and source of never ending anxiety.

I have a friend who wakes up in the middle of the night and worries about how he’s going to make his next mortgage payment, what kind of life is that?

#81 T.O. Bubble Boy on 07.11.12 at 11:29 pm

There’s really nothing to say that can help tonight’s couple. They are a perfect representation of the house-horny Canadian stereotype — every penny spent on a house, and at least 10-20 years away from having a positive net worth (and that’s without the financial hit of having kids!).

They just need to hope that the market doesn’t tank as much as everyone assumes it will, that rates never go up, that the sewers never back up into the basement suite, and that this relationship that only lasted 6 months into a 5-year plan magically figures itself out and gets back on a long-term plan.

Just don’t have any kids before you sort out the financial planning disaster!

#82 TimV on 07.11.12 at 11:30 pm

#59 TnT: I just searched the list of solds that I’ve been dutifully accumulating, and a $640k semi shows-up in the right timeframe on Galt Ave, but nothing by Swanwick. Hence the guess. I agree, it would be more typically called Leslieville, but I’ve heard some people use the term “the beaches” used to cover a pretty large area…

#83 Mean Gene on 07.11.12 at 11:33 pm

Rick Mercer should do a show called “Talking to Canadians aboot Real Estate” , I am sure the Yanks would laugh their butts off.

#84 Joe Q. on 07.11.12 at 11:33 pm

Carl may be in hot water, but I take issue with this comment of Garth’s:

It sounds like offspring are a certainty, meaning a year or two of unpaid mat leave is in the cards.

Mom will get EI and a small top-up from the TDSB while she is on mat leave. It will be full salary for the first two months of mat leave, then just EI (about $1,600 per month) for the remainder of the year.

It’s not a fortune, but it most certainly helps.

What Carl should really look out for is the cost of day-care, which is likely to cost him $1,200 per month for a one-year-old. Kids are expensive.

#85 Mr Buyer on 07.11.12 at 11:33 pm

#67 Keeping the Faith on 07.11.12 at 10:57 pm
#53 ‘Scary’ Karie

funny sense of ‘togetherness’ you subscribe too.

I wonder what the man in your life looks like after you brow-beat him into taking you out or buying you another pair of shoes or paying for your nails to get done again … which i’m sure happens every weekend.

Poor sad-sack and pathetic life you have when you tell your man the sky isn’t blue it’s yellow and by the way, I didn’t make the decision, “we made the decision” … PUKE!!!

on second thought, sounds like this may not be your first marriage?!?!? am i getting warmer? is it starting to hurt yet?
…………………………………………………………
I think this calls for a TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTLE STAR, WHAT YOU SAY IS WHAT YOU ARE retort

#86 young & foolish on 07.11.12 at 11:33 pm

So, why are not more people investing their money in equities, bonds, and REITs, but insist on Real Estate?

Well, consider the world of finance these days, with computer high frequency trading, manipulated interest rates (LIBOR), shaky derivatives, more QE (printing) down the pipe to prop up already high PE ratios, lowered earnings, shyster fraud artists, exploding government debts …. etc.

I can understand my friends’ reluctance to give their money to “the markets”. They no longer believe they are investing, but betting against “the house”. They know that the casino always wins, and they see nobody in authority stepping forth to clean things up.

Yes, maybe we really are screwed.

#87 Mr Buyer on 07.11.12 at 11:37 pm

#53 Karie on 07.11.12 at 10:36 pm
I don’t see the big deal here – they could have waited a little longer but they will be fine. They sound as if they’ve put some thought into their future and they can pay their bills. Teachers have great benefits and pension plans and Carl understands the numbers. Carl is just saying it’s all his fiance – so he doesn’t have to take the heat from everyone posting. Not a good way to start a marriage – no blaming, no “she made me”. If you signed for the house too, you say WE made this decision.
……………………………………………….
I have the feeling WE have made a lot of one sided decisions in OUR house.

#88 Mr Buyer on 07.11.12 at 11:45 pm

#49 nocte_volens on 07.11.12 at 10:32 pm
It’s too late for Carl, but guys like him should grow a pair. Tell the significant other that you are not going into that kind of foolish debt (houses at record highs destined to fall, and interest rates at record lows, destined to rise) and stick to your decision. If she is not smart enough to grasp the concept, why would you want to marry her in the first place? If she threatens to leave, let her go. Find an intelligent one next time…there’s lots of them out there.
……………………………………………………..
Grow a set. Nice imagery. Grow a set. I am inspired. So I guess I am to believe our errant male’s bond to his woman has turned him into a capon. I put forth that such is not the case. His emotional life or sexual at least (likely sexual) holds sway over the other elements of his life presently. In all likely hood he has a set (maybe even a very big set) and is simply ignoring the input from his set (other than sexual) presently. Been there, done that many times.

#89 Crash Calaway on 07.11.12 at 11:52 pm

Carl,

First thing ya gotta do…
is go to Walmart and buy a pair of pants…
Then learn how to wear em!

#90 penpal on 07.11.12 at 11:53 pm

ATTENTION : GARTH

re# 196 (previous thread)John G Young

Do you even read or have someone read these postings?

You are an experienced newspaper man and journalist and I respect your editing and censorship to a point, but I take great exception to you allowing someone to label people that they have never met and know nothing about as “evil” because they disagree with their postings.

Your own policy displayed on your site directly above where you type in your post clearly states:

“Abusive, obscene or disrespectful commenters will not be published, and are subject to banning from this forum.”

Does only Penpal have to adhere to this policy?
It would seem so.

I think it only fair that if you let him characterize me in this way that you should either;

1) delete the offensive posting and caution him

or

2) let me live up to his description of “evil” as best I can by granting me ‘carte blanche’ to defend myself against this ad hominem attack.

Perhaps you have another solution, but frankly allowing such crap on the blog dilutes its purpose, which is the discussion of RE, not the people posting and their personalities.

I would appreciate a reply Garth, and frankly, if you agree with the poster’s assertation of myself (and I believe Westernman) as being evil, then you should ban us.

I have to be too Politically Correct in my day to day life as it is to put up with having to dance around the contrived ‘tender sensibilities’ of the likes of John G Young in order to add constructively to your blog.

I simply can’t support nor contribute to this type of one-sided censorship.

You have my permission to call him ‘evil’ back. — Garth

#91 Mr Buyer on 07.11.12 at 11:57 pm

It is almost as if some men want to keep it secret that their greatest feeling of success likely comes from making their wives happy. It is like it is a vulnerability that was exploited in the past and must be camouflaged. I can tell you that I still feel like I am doing something right when I make my wife happy. The only difference now is that experience tells me when the short term gain of her happiness for fulfilling wish X likely will bring long term frustration. This experience serves to attenuate the impulse to indulge her wishes from time to time. It helps that she is reasonably sane and thus has reasonably sane wishes and she is a citizen of a country that has endured an impressive crash after a bubble that she has little memory of but plenty of friends impacted by it. I think men feel great making their women happy. I know I do when I have the dumb luck to have done so.

#92 Ronaldo on 07.12.12 at 12:06 am

“Are we screwed? Can you shed some light? Should I aggressively pay down the mortgage, save money in my TFSA long term, pay our 15,000 debt, or spend it on travel and eating out? What do I do?”

This can’t be for real, can it? And and accountant and a teacher to boot. Lord help us all.

#93 Mr Gadget on 07.12.12 at 12:09 am

The Teacher and the Accountant are educated far, far beyond their intelligence.

#94 penpal on 07.12.12 at 12:15 am

@ ATTENTION GARTH

sorry, my mistake, the offensive posting was at # 194 by John G Young in the last thread, not at# 196

#95 John on 07.12.12 at 12:16 am

Paraphrased well:

“she wants… she doesn’t want.. she said… she wants”.
———-

If I’m a man, living in society, I need to ask myself..what is my value proposition?

You need self esteem to offer value. And to make decisions about value. And what is the impact on children of living in a household with these dynamics.

The story of Carl is the average “family story” in Canada. You need that vibe for the system to function. Once again, what possible difference does it make what the guy does. With this as a foundation it’s not relevant.

The actions are entirely congruent. It’s about value. The whole thing. Identity and perception of value.

#96 50% correction predictor on 07.12.12 at 12:16 am

BNN – Market Call Tonight

James Hodgins
Chief Investment Officer, Curvature Hedge Strategies

Top Pick:

Short: Canadian Western Bank

Reason: Vancouver Real Estate is Phonex 2006 redux

http://www.bnn.ca/Shows/Market-Call-Tonight.aspx

#97 XKR on 07.12.12 at 12:20 am

Carl. Here’s a little jingle you’ll need to remember: “Call us on the phone or see us on the net – MMP & 310-Debt”.

#98 Mike at Vancouver on 07.12.12 at 12:24 am

Their mortgage would be $2490 plus other cost say 560 less 750 rent, their cost for housing is 2300 which is less than rent. glad they didn’t buy something else that’s 200k more. 1300 principle paid every month. As long as they don’t sale and rent in 5 years, nothing wrong. Stick with 32 percent gross income for housing, they will live fine.

#99 Van Isle Renter on 07.12.12 at 12:25 am

Carl:

To hell with REITs, TFSA’s RRSP’s etc. Invest your money in new granite countertops and brazilian cherry flooring.

You’ve already committed sepukku, so you might as well make it easy for duplexes next owners to clean up after you.

#100 penpal on 07.12.12 at 12:26 am

@ # 29 Market Bull(sheet)

“Rosenberg is an idiot”

Which would make you what….a fool, cretin, what?

Surely you don’t think that you are better informed or more well versed on economics, investments and their interplay, do you?

Besides, old Rosenberg gets paid rather handsomely for his insights ( I believe in excess of CDN $ 1.5 million salary).

You can’t even get paid a compliment for your drivel!

#101 Carpe Diem on 07.12.12 at 12:28 am

Carl,

Kids are expensive.

After #2, it made no sense for the wife to work unless making more than 50K. (we are not working on her education to increase this to much more).

It makes no sense having kids if one parent is not home taking care of them. They need to be part of a family .. not a budget.

Aside from that … a 500K mortgage @ 120K per year salary is simply MAD!

Crazy. 1/2 a mil of debt!!!

I had 1/4 a mil of debt doing plenty more than you and I was stressed.

You are an accountant, you took financial courses. Build yourself a spreadsheat and calculate when you want to retire, kids’ education and if the $1/2 million debt is worth it.

Once you have kids (+1-2 years later for men for the fact to sink in), they are your legacy and you want the best for them. I want them to have at least as much I my parents gave to me. I’m not seeing this with the boomer and echo. Plenty of echo kids having debt that their parents did not have when graduating from university.

What do you want to do for your future kids?

#102 Serbia - Vancouver Lady on 07.12.12 at 12:37 am

http://youtu.be/tTpJANiITDI

#103 Retired Boomer - WI on 07.12.12 at 12:47 am

Carl….are you for real? With Canadian RE at it frothy top you, and the girlfriend (not even your wife) bought a semi-detached for THAT much money in the Beaches??

So, Smoking Man’s rants on education i.e. obedience training is making a HELL of a lot more sense when I read the “Accountant” and the “Educator” wife to be have essentially committed financial suicide.

WTF were you smoking when you made that idiotic move?
Well, maybe she is THAT good in…….ways we can’t say.

Whatever, glad you are NOT my accountant, nor financial guy. Good luck with the home after the Princess bails, or you get the axe at work, or school cut-backs puts the princess on unemployment.

That kind of stuff CAN and DOES happen in the real world, unfortunately. In the mean-time pretend you are getting a divorce, and try to dump that place before you may lose it.

Higher education attainment by the uneducated on display here for all to see!!! nuff said….

#104 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 07.12.12 at 12:54 am


“Admit you’re attracted to Anderson Cooper. Get a vasectomy. Or, send her highness here. That should do it.”

Kinky sex! Would you like Super Size Fried Debt with that? I’m with #20 My Head Hurts — “I have blood running from one of my eyeballs…I should go now.”

#39 dd — “Education doesn’t make you smart.” — That’s right. Life does, with all its experiences.
*
Building Wave, but Lloyds lustre fades; Like Greece, so Spain; Merkel and Obomba Breaking their own laws simultaneously; Violent Protests With the three US cities (more to come) declaring bankruptcy, roughly the same is happening in Europe. Someone is profiting from this chaos — I wonder who? Twelve more years By which time, the cycle change will be almost (if not already) complete; EZone Jobless Recovery? In yer dreams! Plus UK jobless no better; Overcharging Watch those bills; EZone (Deliberately) slowing down BRICS? Grounded No work, no pay, less in the economy; Strange UK Britain is generally regarded as being off-centre, but this is plumb ridiculous; Power / Control The Hague or UK? Ireland 85 days to save the economy, but what about the Guinness? Protection? There are no such animals as safety and security; Gold and Libor Manipulated? Losing a Home because of an unnpaid water bill? Five Best countries for offshore banking; NAFTA on Steroids; Repeaaaaaaaaling ObombaCare; 9:05 clip Banking cabal going down.

Ninja Trade commodity scam blows up in west; Is Your Money in the right place (my investments?); Case for recess- / depression right now; Job Vacancies are crushing morale; Iowa City Replacing panhandlers with donation meters; Blame Hackers cause the greatest wealth shift in history. Actually, it’s TPTB; Huge Demand for 10-Year Notes; Ontario Smart thinking by McGuinty et al; Four Ways to keep spending; Freak Out Rethuglikans do that well; 16 Cities 4Closures ramping up; Major Loss Which is why the military run wars, lawyers create loopholes and business runs economies, bit none are doing it particularly well presently; MF Global Failure to learn from history dooms us to repeat it.
*
Satellites and CC We;re getting colder, not warmer; Behold A Pale Horse Not sure how long the trailer is, but it covers most of what is happening today; Gluggglle no longer #1 in UK; New Pluto Moon If it’s loaded with oil, we’ll invade! An Altered World.

#105 eyes rolling on 07.12.12 at 12:54 am

Garth, you’re the best.

I use to think that Canadian Housing couldn’t be as bad as the U.S. because we’re smarter.

Maybe you should tell Carl to sell right now and take a small(!) loss instead of a big loss. Tell Carl that you can pay a landlord, or you can pay the bank…. and the landlord is cheaper.

Love your Anderson Cooper line, glad I wasn’t drinking milk when reading, otherwise bubbles would be frothing from my nose.

#106 Freedom First on 07.12.12 at 12:57 am

Carl. You are to be applauded for writing to Garth and saying the truth about what is going on. I am very grateful that I am me, and I accept full responsibility for everything I say, and everything I do. And I thank God that I am not responsible for, or have to take the consequences for someone elses decisions. I like: cash, cash flow, minimum 8 diversified assets, income streams, 0 debt. This works for any income level.Just my opinion. No, I am not an accountant. Only self-financially educated.

#107 Mackie on 07.12.12 at 1:00 am

Carl’s fiancee just may have achieved her greatest moment as a teacher. Without even knowing it, she has taught your reader’s two of the most important lessons in their lives: One, stop and think before you make a decision that proves you are an idiot; and two, don’t listen to teachers. Carl you failed big time. Maybe you could find another fool. Maybe your fiancee has some teacher friends who might want to buy it off you. Just tell them it’s a great deal. Should be enough to fool ’em.

#108 Renting in Toon Town on 07.12.12 at 1:05 am

I am an accountant and can confirm what this story tells you, that there are alot of dumb accountants. Really there are a lot of dumb “professionals” everwhere.

I don’t get how people can be so stupid.

Three financial words of wisdom received and repeated over the years from my father, a miner, who through savings and hard work has a higher net worth than most “professionals”.

1) Don’t spend more $%% money than you make or have.
2) Just because you went to school doesn’t mean you know $%^.
3)I have seen just as many professional educated people loose there shirts, as I have with miners with grade 12 educations.

Side note, I am renting till have enough money to buy the land, then will build with wait for it…. sweet equity. Savings of at least 40%, only thing that is over inflated will be land costs. My house will be built with a small mortgage and a line of credit.

#109 Interesting Times on 07.12.12 at 1:12 am

Another HGTV VIRGIN bits the dust

#110 BigAl (Original) on 07.12.12 at 1:40 am

Some of the advice given to Carl is questionable. Renting costs the same (or more) as comparable purchases. And almost NO rental in the GTA includes utilities any more. In the past 10 years I’ve rented in Quebec, BC, Ottawa, Mississauga, and Milton and I’ve always had to pay utilities (unless I wanted to live in a slum), and in any rental townhouse or house, water too, plus maintain the yard. Sure repairs were taken care of, but rarely came up, and even when they did had to be fought for from lazy landlords. My last rental in Milton was a newer semi that was costing $1600+electricity+gas+water+lawn maintenance. Many comparable semis were bought on that street in 2011 in the $350-370K range. At today’s long term fixed rates, even with 5% down, I think that works out to about $1600/month, with the added cost of about $280/month property tax+gas+electricity. Net difference is the $280/month tax. With low fixed rates after 5 years a good chunk of principal will come off and the owners will most likely not be underwater with 10-20% declines. Only if we see a real estate catastrophe will buyers be significantly affected. 10-20%? meh.

#111 PermaBear on 07.12.12 at 1:41 am

Yes, Rick Mercer can do Canadian RE special on CBC. His special guest from CNN will most certainly be Anderson Cooper.

#112 Bill Gable on 07.12.12 at 1:47 am

Not to make light of this mess, some of the lines in this post were so funny, I just about spit the latte through my nose.

If Conan O’Brien needs a new writer – he’s got one here.

*Wit – a dying art.

You just slay me, oh bearded one. On the other hand, this guy needs a good mental check up.

He’s (*to use a Tiger Williams)…..”done like dinner”. Sad.

#113 agioblue on 07.12.12 at 1:49 am

Yesterday we had the poor 25yr old kid who is making 60k a year with 50k in the bank searching for advice on who the hell knows what and today we have the couple who are grossing 130k a year who are beyond help. ‘Carl’ is an accountant? For who, RIM? No, not smart enough.
Turner, do you intentionally sift through your emails looking for the idiot’s idiots to boost your Nielson ratings?
I wanted a real collapse in 2008, the way God intended capitalism to work. Why? To smite all of these high-expectation underachieving fools, their enabling parents and any and all the ‘Housewives (ex rippers) of Where the Hell Ever” I’m spent.

#114 Soylent Green is People on 07.12.12 at 1:58 am

I bet anything he wanted to buy and likes to pretend it was all her.

#115 new-era on 07.12.12 at 2:02 am

#74 gloom and doom on 07.11.12 at 11:15 pm

Well the way I see it when the banks see that they can,t sell any more mortgages to more suckers they will just lower there rates to get more suckers like they did in 08 when things started to implod.. Just watch and see this bubble will take more hot air !!!
==============

Only one problem rates are already close to zero.
If they lower the rates more and the US and Euro starts to recover then they risk a run on the banks.

I know there’s no way in hell I would leave my money in a canadian bank collecting zero and charging me fees.
Why not buy gold at that stage.

Stocks has been taking a hit. Soon they would look like a good bet especially preferred shares on a hammered company making a recovery from its lows.

Oh yeah, when the US shows a sign of a real bottom, then people will be flocking to buy US real estate and not the over priced canadian crap

#116 thinker on 07.12.12 at 2:05 am

I don’t get it Garth, who are these clowns that write to you looking for advice. Honestly, if this what makes up the potential buying pool for the future, nothing besides more buying will happen.

#117 Burnt Norton on 07.12.12 at 2:34 am

Fascinating, Garth.

These parables allow for a kind of anonymous group financial psychotherapy voyeurism. To that end, I would submit that all the commenters slagging Carl and extrapolating conclusions about his character and masculinity etc need to take a chill pill and remember that we’re writing about two people’s lives here. Sometimes the level of disrespect tossed around in the comments section here is really over the top. You all can project anonymously but it is still projection. Think about that next time you all look in the mirror.

Getting back to what I hope is constructive commentary, there is an extremely valuable educational component here that probably helps somewhat to immunize receptive readers against the societal pressure to consume on credit beyond one’s means.

Take your paragraph here for example:

“The vexed dude has offered himself up as a metaphor of the dilemma facing so many young couples. The whole of society, in fact. Maybe it comes down to a question. Is trying to avoid debt and worry about the future worth all the grief? Maybe it’s just so much easier feeling entitled, and let things take care of themselves. On the other hand, you could be screwed”

I wonder if your experience counseling people in similar situations is leading to speculations such as that this dilemma is a societal one. If so, this is a valuable (and not surprising) insight.

Is contrarianism worth the real sacrifices now for the potential benefits later? What if the sacrifices now entail ostracism, separation, divorce, limited visitation with children, etc… At what point does one “cave” or not? I’m not arguing one way or the other, I’m simply expressing that these issues probably keep people up at night.

From a relationship perspective, maybe the important thing is to keep the communication alive. To recognize and validate the emotional aspects but balance them with the logical aspects.

I often ponder the themes discussed here and think “what could I teach my kids that might help them navigate these waters, financially, relationship-wise, etc; how best to help them build a good life for themselves?”

It is the principles that are espoused here that bring meaning and value to the lessons that Garth conveys by sharing the stories of Chad or Susan or Bruce or Kim. Principles like simplicity, gratitude/grace, discipline, commitment, honesty, integrity. Once one realizes this, the so-called sacrifices become less relevant.

This is how I try to learn from the stories that I read about here, to improve myself and to help the people I care about.

Maybe it is really not so much about about shaming (foolish behaviour) but more about re-framing (priorities).

#118 Burnt Norton on 07.12.12 at 2:40 am

Smoking man: sorry to read about your mother’s situation. I look after seniors for a living (MD). Glad to answer any questions you might have.

#119 Debtfree on 07.12.12 at 2:55 am

@ # 7 JSS. Just read it in castanet . H is a pea brain . Every time he opens his mouth I want to throw up.

#120 Aldus Huxtable on 07.12.12 at 3:18 am

@8 #TurnerNation

I remember reading during the Greek economic downturn recently orphanges and social services were having children dropped off with notes around their necks stating that the parents weren’t coming back.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/dec/28/greek-economic-crisis-children-victims

#121 eagle eyes on 07.12.12 at 3:28 am

#41 Flighlevel410

“A few weeks ago i heard the Iranians are buying up North Vancouver , West Vancouver is going to People from Dubai , i wonder will Richmond be bought up by the Reptilian Shape Shifters from Area 51 next ?”

The Mainland Chinese aren’t buying because Canadian Immigration has pulled the welcome mat for quota of applications.

The Iranians are getting their bank accounts frozen from TD Canada Trust.

Last I heard, Dubai wasn’t doing so great.

So who IS buying? No one other than the dillusional local spewing BPOE.

#122 Harlee on 07.12.12 at 3:31 am

#22 Grim Reaper
Feeling nostalgiac ?
Just as I was reading your comment ,’Summer Love’ , a movie from 1958 came up on Silver Screen. A young John Saxon,a young Rod McKuen ,a young Jill St. John…Hell, we were all young back in those days…
1958: Dief was Chief,Ike was President of the You-Es-Ay and the bands rocked with saxaphones and trumpets.
The average price of a car was $2,200.

And the average price of a house….

$12,750.

Just five figures.
The good ol’ days…

#123 daystar on 07.12.12 at 3:39 am

Hi Carl.

Me Again, should have read that more carefully, I’ll rework it:

http://www.ratesupermarket.ca/mortgage/rate_calculator_results_breakdown/?house_value=640000&deposit_type=amount&deposit=120000&mortgage_rate=.0311&amortization_period=25&lumpsum_payment=&num_years=&mortgage_amount=120000&payment_type=monthly

So you are netting $6300 a month combined or $75,600.00 annual with a mortgage that costs you $20,881 net (with accelerated weekly). $45 grand to live on net between you both and incomes should scale up what, 12 to 15%. You should be able to get through it on one income for Mat leaves. A $21 G annual mortage, either of you could float this low interest mortgage on yor own.

Its 5 years from now that could get you Carl. If you go through acclerated weekly’s like Garth suggested, you’ll be facing a $407,613.72 mortgage to renew in 2017. If you renew into 6% rates, payments hit $34,834.56 annual. What will combined net be in 5 years, $7500 monthly or $90,000 annual? It works if you both make that and thats at 6%

At 8%, payments hit $40,516.68 annual, too high for either income running solo to keep the house. What’s your annual now again, $20,881? It almost doubles. Brutal.

http://www.ratesupermarket.ca/mortgage/rate_calculator_results_breakdown/?house_value=457600&deposit_type=amount&deposit=50000&mortgage_rate=8&amortization_period=20&lumpsum_payment=&num_years=&mortgage_amount=416000&payment_type=monthly

if you ever left her or vice versa, she would be forced to sell the house at 7% renewals or higher and this assumes 5 years up the salary grid as a teacher. She might be able to keep it at 6% but it would be razor thin. At 6%, payments come down to $34,834.00 but it would be really hard with kids. Her assumed gross is at $75,000, netting $45 to $50 G’s, could she run a house on that? 1,000 to 1,200 a month minus property taxes… razor thin. Your income likely won’t be enough on its own either, the house would have to be sold and for a loss! What 8% would do to valuations when payments double… ouch.

For love eh?

#124 Canuck Abroad on 07.12.12 at 3:42 am

Garth, I disagree that he should put the house in his name. The house should go in her name only. Look at the bright side, it’s only $50k that’s been lost. He’s young and can start over. BUT, if he goes bankrupt he will be stripped of his CA (maybe Toronto_CA can confirm?). If he puts the house in his girlfriend’s name, then it’s only her that is bankrupt in a few years.

Carl, don’t marry her. You bought her a house, surely that should do? Then when she is wiped out you can walk away.

#125 Nubbers on 07.12.12 at 4:22 am

Cy @80, well done. I just wish that I had done what you did.

A month ago, I bored everyone with my tale of woe from the UK in 1990. To summarise: I got pushed into a mortgage that I did not want; then we split up; I took on all the mortgage and then discovered that I had negative equity of twice my annual income.

What I did not mention at the time is that what really hurt was that my ex and her new BF blissfully bought a house a few years later in 1994, at the absolute bottom of the market. Meanwhile, my mountain of debt helped ensure that I had no life for years. Even worse, I had no love life, with the very brief exception of a fling with a visiting Greek girl (presumably an oversize upside down mortgage is a turn on for Greeks).

What have I learnt from this?
1. Don’t take on stupid levels of debt to buy a house for someone else.
2. Get married and have children BEFORE you buy a house.
3. If you have ignored the first 2 points (Carl), when you split up, don’t let the ***** off the hook. Let her (or him) and the new squeeze carry their half of the millstone.
4. If, like me, you have ignored the first 3 points (and I really wish that I had done what I am suggesting), dump the mortgage + negative equity and emigrate. You can build a new career somewhere else and have a life. Extradition should not be a problem as its a civil matter, not criminal. The time for bankruptcy and/or the statute of limitations to expire is going to be less than the time deducted from your life, while you are forced to work every hour that the deity of your choice sends and you look enviously at homeless beggars because they are worth more than you.

Rant over.

#126 Questioning Calgary stats on 07.12.12 at 4:37 am

Thinking of buying in Calgary?

In case you are a potential first time buyer and you are here seeking information, this is for you.

Are you aware that mortgage rules have recently changed and that there are more changes on the way in the near future? Do you know that these changes will lower house prices in Calgary? Do you really want to buy a house now only to see the value of it fall (possibly a lot) over the next one to two years?

Let’s dispell some myths about renting. Renters are not trash. In fact, as we have seen in the US, once house prices drop renters are looked at as smart for not having bought at the peak. As well, as house prices drop, so do rents, in general. Keep renting and save for a big downpayment. When prices go down, reconsider buying as an option.

The new mortgage rules will negatively impact house prices in Calgary. That is all you really need to know about it. Changes were made to mortgage rules that made prices go up in the last decade, but the recent changes will reverse prices. Similar to the stock market, real estate is prone to setbacks and sometimes even crashes.

Holding off from buying now might be the best financial decision of your life. There will be a much better time to buy in the future. A lot of people who have mortgages will tell you that it is always a good time to buy, but that is not true. Real estate has always followed up and down cycles in Calgary and the new mortgage rules are the start of a down cycle. Some comments on this blog provide examples of people who bought in Calgary in 2008, 2009, etc. and can only sell for a loss today. Imaging being in their position. Wait it out, you will thank yourself.

#127 Buy? Curious? on 07.12.12 at 4:50 am

Garth, here’s another example of the proverbial Canary in a coal mine. Doug Gilmour, once Captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs (most overrated team ever in the history of professional sports), is selling his home for $1.699 million dollars!

http://www.thestar.com/business/article/1224925–doug-gilmour-s-toronto-home-on-market-for-1-7-million-take-a-tour

It’s located just west of the Upper Beaches, but from what I hear from friends and escorts that live in the area, people are becoming afraid of the encroachment of displaced former residents of Regent Park. There are more drug dealers in the area selling Crack and Meth instead of weed, violent crime has spiked and I can’t wear a baseball cap anymore for fear of being considered a member of a rival gang (What? A grown man can’t wear a baseball cap on the side these days?)

Toronto is entering a dismal stage that makes me very sad. Glass from buildings is falling everywhere, cops making more money then they should for doing less work while teachers and accounts navel gaze each other wondering how to live their lives. Garth, you can only do so much. We need another hero! Someone not afraid to wear lycra, someone with the wisdom of a god and doesn’t mind speaking the truth.

We need, Smoking Man. Now, more then ever!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcI-rHO0yko

#128 P & T S on 07.12.12 at 5:32 am

SafetyBear on 07.11.12 at 9:34 pm

A lot of people I know are either giving up on buying (myself) or giving in and taking more jobs to qualify for a mortgage and saying bye bye spare time. It’s still gonna take years to unwind in Aus.
____________________________________________

Maybe the case in the major metropolitan areas, but from what we saw, “civilised Rural” has already started a fast slide, with even second echelon cities now seeing a steady stream of “Reduced on instruction of the Vendor” stickers on sales boards.

Even if China does not “slow down” the Aussie reliance on flogging their dirt is going to take a severe hammering from other developing mining centres (Africa, South America) – just as good ore quality, and far lower extraction costs.

We would not be at all surprised to see a VERY significant collapse in the Market there, especially in view of all the jerry-built wood and plastic housing that’s popped up since early 2000! “Best Housing in the World!” – you’ve GOT to be kidding us.

Still plenty of real bargains on http://www.farmbuy.com, with land you can do things with, and neighbours that are more than an armslength from your “exclusive development” balcony (seems to be the accepted standard in Melbourne CBD these days . . .)

#129 Dividend Yield Investor on 07.12.12 at 5:56 am

44bromance on 07.11.12 at 10:24 pm

Uh Oh Canada
I don’t know about Canada, but here in the states our teachers have terrible scores on standardized tests, and a degree in education is a joke. And math-fuggittabouit. On the other hand, our accountants are leaders in the field of non Euclidean accounting.

You are exactly correct…If I was a President or Chancellor of a College or University the first Major to go into the trash bin would be Education. Your expression that it is a joke, is spot on!

And to think these folks are teaching our children.

Sorry to be off topic; but Education majors just drive me nuts.

Thanks
Dividend Man

#130 betamax on 07.12.12 at 6:41 am

#3 Devore: “she wants… she doesn’t want… she said… she wants”.

Excellent insight. Also, Carl wrote:

“our small wedding (budget $10,000 – makes me sick)”

In other words, the fiance wants to blow $10,000 on a ceremony so she can be a princess for a day, even though just the thought of it is making Carl ill.

Sounds like they have fundamental financial incompatibilities. Or as it is more commonly referred to in divorce court: “irreconcilable differences.”

Not to suggest that the marriage will necessarily end in divorce — so long as Carl keeps caving, I’m sure it will last indefinitely.

#131 betamax on 07.12.12 at 6:44 am

#48 Paully: “Carl, post pictures dude…she must be HOTTTTTT!”

The pic Garth posted at the top of the blog shows all you need to know: the princess is really a dog.

Don’t dis dogs. — Garth

#132 John on 07.12.12 at 6:46 am

Eagle eyes wrote:

“The Mainland Chinese aren’t buying because Canadian Immigration has pulled the welcome mat for quota of applications.

The Iranians are getting their bank accounts frozen from TD Canada Trust.

Last I heard, Dubai wasn’t doing so great.

So who IS buying? No one other than the dillusional local spewing BPOE.”
—-

Although the ponzi isn’t discriminatory about which target their cheap money goes to, the foreign target isn’t it. They need dupes. They refer to “clients” and their “net worth” as “Muppets”.

The muppets can also buy overpriced houses for whatever reason, or “invest” or whatever.

Muppet status however is the prevailing power position.

#133 David B on 07.12.12 at 6:50 am

Bin a while hey ….. but …. “BUT”! nothing changes … real estate and the land of polar bears never changes …. Canucks just have to own their space … plain and simple. Few if any fully want it paid for and thrust upon their youngin’s the same …. go forth and multiply in real estate land …. and no matter what good advice you many receive wrt to long term financial planning “Don’t Worry About it” its a long, long way down the road … get a house and work around the home on the week ends and thing about kids ….. It’s Canada Stupid!

#134 Canuck Abroad on 07.12.12 at 6:56 am

Harper needs to be tried for treason. Is everyone aware of his latest “throw Canada’s sovereignty under the bus” move? He’s going to allow US police to make arrests in Canada. Not content with turning America into a police state, they are expanding into Canada. Harper snuck it into an omnibus bill:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2012/07/10/cross-border-policing-integration-sovereignty.html

And just a little reminder of one of his earlier moves, which got absolutely no press coverage at all, except in the British newspaper The Independent, which says basically anyone flying back and forth between Canada and UK have to be approved by the US even when they are not going over US airspace:

http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/planning-a-trip-to-canada-or-the-caribbean-us-immigration-may-have-other-ideas-7584912.html

Why do you Canadians put up with this? Why is nobody from any political party fighting this? Why is the Canadian press ignoring this? As a former politician Garth maybe you could weigh in on why this is acceptable.

#135 Timbo on 07.12.12 at 7:15 am

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/12/us-ecb-deposits-idUSBRE86B0AS20120712

“The unprecedented deposit rate cut to zero means banks will now get nothing if they park cash at the ECB, and the bank hopes it will nurture a return of more significant interbank lending by encouraging banks to look for more profitable options.”

We don’t need no stinking return. Just keep our money safe from the bank runs……….

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/jul/12/eurozone-crisis-peugeot-france?intcmp=239

“The news that Peugeot Citroen had decided to cut 8,000 jobs and shut down its factory at Aulnay, near Paris, hit France around 8am local time.

The company insisted that the weak economic climate gave it no choice. It predicted that the European car market will contract by 8% this year – adding that the market has shrunk by 23% since 2007.

Unions and workers has been braced for job cuts, especially since the company warned last week that there was a ‘profound crisis’ in its key markets of Italy and Spain, as well as France.”

Jobs are so yesterday. celebrate austerity in all its glory…..

#136 neo on 07.12.12 at 7:32 am

Negative .52% yield on the 2 year Swiss.

German two year just went negative as well.

Japan 10 year at .80%

The U.S. has a LOOOONG way to go down across the yield curve. The U.S. 2 year will be negative shortly. The 10 year will be under 1% by the fall. The Fed has now extended ZIRP until 2015!!!.

Unless bond vigilantes head over across the pond which won’t happen because no one wants to fight the Fed. Interest rates aren’t going anywhere Garth.

Banks in Europe pulled close to $500 billion from the ECB overnight deposits since last week when the ECB started their ZIRP policy and in desparation have tossed them into the U.S., Swiss and German bond markets.

The capital markets are a complete dysfunctional mess. Yet you continue to pretend it is not and is safe. How many more MF Globals are out there? You said it was isolated, apparently not.

Tempus Fugit…

Bond yields have nothing to do with hedge fund shysters. And rates now have nothing to do with the housing correction. — Garth

#137 stickler on 07.12.12 at 7:35 am

Accountant you say… I hope he is declaring his rental suite income ;)

#138 Sean on 07.12.12 at 7:38 am

Stay tuned… following “Investing with Garth”… it’s “The Jerry Springer Show”…. (cue video… “you tell that ‘ho that you be wearing the pants”… “listen girlfriend, you tell yo lazy SOB man you ain’t gonna live in no po’ ass rental”)

#139 Dr. WAYNE on 07.12.12 at 7:41 am

Carl’s reasoning is being centred in the wrong ‘head’ …

#140 T.O. Bubble Boy on 07.12.12 at 7:50 am

@ #96 Mike at Vancouver
As long as they don’t sale and rent in 5 years, nothing wrong. Stick with 32 percent gross income for housing, they will live fine.

You must be a mortgage broker! What about higher rates? What about lower income when they have kids? What about an emergency fund (or, any kind of savings outside of this over-priced home)?

Assuming that someone today will have 25 years of 3% mortgage rates is just silly. Talk about living paycheck to paycheck forever.

I also love how this all gets justified because “with the basement income, the monthly is lower than the comparable rental”… Maybe these 2 shouldn’t be in the “comparable” at all? There are lots of places to live for well under $2500/month.

#141 Steve on 07.12.12 at 8:01 am

Carl, your story has certainly brought down (an appropriate amount of?) wrath. Since you already knew you made a mistake, and everyone else has affirmed it for you, let’s focus on where to go from here:

1) the house: keep it – you are pretty much stuck with it for the 5 years unless you get desperate to lose your money NOW, since the IRD will only make it worse if you sell before the term is up. So, enjoy the house, but DO NOT waste more money on renos. At the end of the term, you will have to decide to renew it or dump it, depending on way too many factors to predict, but focus on the points below:

2) the finance: keep her, you need the income, at least until the mortgage term is up.

3) the wedding: defer it. you cannot afford it financially, and at this time you make it sound like you cannot afford it personally. Best to sort out your relationship before you get in any deeper. Once you have kids together, she/they will own your income for life, and not just for 5 years.

4) the kids: I know I just mentioned them, but again, defer until and if you get married. You might survive (just) financially as a working couple. Most likely you will drown as mat leave starts, followed by the stay-at-home years.

5) You: face up to what has been done – you signed the documents, so you own the house, and the situation. Get clear on what your goals are. Your goals, not hers. Have her do the same, then compare notes. If they are common, great – go forward together. If they are not common goals, great – go your own way. Figure out how to make decisions together, not the way you are doing it now.

In the end, either resolve the issues in your relationship, or dissolve it. Otherwise you are going to find yourself in the poor house, by yourself, wondering where you went wrong…

#142 Dave on 07.12.12 at 8:04 am

Isn’t the real issue that we need to start teaching financial responsibility in school? In terms of usefulness is trumps pretty much everything else we’re taught pound for pound.

Make managing your finances a high school compulsory already.

And who knows, maybe Carl’s fiancee will clue in if she has to teach it.

#143 TurnerNation on 07.12.12 at 8:07 am

41Flighlevel 410 on 07.11.12 at 10:20 pm

You must work for WS, only they go to FL 41!

#144 TurnerNation on 07.12.12 at 8:19 am

#64Timbo on 07.11.12 at 10:51 pm

The riot police (govt’s arm) are keeping the proles from rising up and obtaining power.

Listen to our own police on TV, radio. They refer to us as Members of the Public, or as Civillians.
What’s opposite to Civillians? Army.
Opposite to Public? Private.

Egro, they are a Private Army. We are public civillians.

#145 The American on 07.12.12 at 8:20 am

Holy hell… Are all Canadian men this way? Grow a set and use this little word – “NO!” You do not have to ALWAYS go with what the Mrs. or Mrs.-to-be wants. Carl, basically you are just acting like a fool. Love does that to a person, but unfortunately it cannot undo blatantly obvious and stupid financial decisions.

#146 T.O. Bubble Boy on 07.12.12 at 8:22 am

Attention McMansion builders, here is a $978k plot of land (with a tear-down bungalow on it):
http://www.realtor.ca/PropertyDetails.aspx?PropertyID=12194539&PidKey=1197518847

Attention McMansion buyers… Save your $1.5M+ and move to the U.S. Where McMansions are half off:
http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2012/real_estate/1207/gallery.half-priced-McMansions/?source=cnn_bin

#147 European Son on 07.12.12 at 8:23 am

I got married recently and I´m so glad that my wife understands what it takes to buy a housing. She is from Argentina so she has bigger experience about what it is an economic crisis. Home prices inCanada are a sick joke provided to us by RE agents and banks. Congratulations on your turning to slave!

Anyway, buying a house right now after resisting for five years sounds really strange to me. Why the hell would you read this page and argue with your gf just to buy the house in 2012 when the prices reached its top? Or was it your last chance how to save your relationship. I bet on this one.

#148 fancy_pants on 07.12.12 at 8:28 am

sounds like the RE issue is not his biggest problem

#149 TurnerNation on 07.12.12 at 8:31 am

DELETED

#150 Toronto_CA on 07.12.12 at 8:35 am

#124 Canuck Abroad on 07.12.12 at 3:42 am
“BUT, if he goes bankrupt he will be stripped of his CA (maybe Toronto_CA can confirm?)”

You make a very big assumption in assuming he has his CA designation. Most accountants are not CAs, it’s the most difficult of the 3 (now 4, if you count CPA) designations to get.

He may not even have a designation and simply work as an “accountant” by job title after having completed a BComm. His income and financial ineptitude certainly point in that direction.

And no, declaring bankruptcy does not strip your CA designation. Perhaps it should, but that’s for another blog.

#151 blase on 07.12.12 at 8:42 am

1. Is that Gilmour’s house or crypt? Jeez, I can’t imagine children playing in that shiny box. What the hell ever happened to carpet?

2. Shiny houses like Gilmour’s say it all about this market insanity. It’s all people trying to look and feel important, filling voids with stuff. This house is supremely ugly to me.

3. Dividend Investor dude, you would not survive one day in a classroom of 30 spoiled brats. Education majors may drive you nuts, but you have to be a little bonkers to sign up for teaching. It is in no way a cakewalk, except for the holidays. If you are bitching about the holidays, I concur. As for the pensions, let the government twerps give up theirs first, then we’ll talk.

#152 Ken on 07.12.12 at 9:05 am

It would be ironic if the tenant downstairs paying 750 a month had accumulated a couple hundred grand in assets while paying someone elses mortgage.

#153 Gypsy Kid on 07.12.12 at 9:09 am

Our first house back in 1996 was $170 000 with GI $150 000. We were stressed out just for that!!!
I feel so bad for young people these day.
Talk about HELOC kids…

#154 Chris on 07.12.12 at 9:13 am

Make managing your finances a high school compulsory already.

This comes up all the time, but highschool age kids are not ready to learn this sort of thing in a classroom setting. I really think that it should be coming from families.

#155 Lionel on 07.12.12 at 9:14 am

Carl,
DTB or you are screwed.

#156 Chris on 07.12.12 at 9:16 am

And to think these folks are teaching our children.

Hey Dividend Yield Investor, are you a teacher? If so, why not?

#157 neo on 07.12.12 at 9:21 am

Bond yields have nothing to do with hedge fund shysters. And rates now have nothing to do with the housing correction. — Garth

Who said anything about rates having to do with a housing correction? Not me. I mentioned the Federal Reserve which is 100% true and their “shyster” activity. European banks didn’t pull $500 billion dollars out of the ECB last week because of a “housing correction”. The Swiss 2yr is not at negative 0.52% because of a “housing correction”? The capital markets have been manipulated by the Central Banks and mainly the Federal Reserve for too long and it will continue for the foreseeble future. The lack of TRUE price discovery across ALL asset classes due to their intervention is the issue.

China GDP coming out tomorrow not the 17th. Now THAT weak number will be the result of an ongoing housing correction (-;

Tempus Fugit…

#158 pessimist on 07.12.12 at 9:21 am

Carl,

Despite what my handle says, I am actually quite the optimist in life.

You are looking at it entirely wrong. You are not screwed, you have just learned a very valuable (and expensive) lesson.

Let’s back up for a minute. Suppose some stranger came up to you and spilled out your entire story looking for advice.

1) You have $660K in assets and $530K in debts (combined) for a net worth of $125K.

2) You have an annual pre-tax income of $130K (combined) and after-tax income of $75,600 (combined).

OK, so far you have a net worth equal to 165% of your annual after-tax income. That’s not bad if you have been working about five years. You don’t mention your age, but I am guessing that you have both been working for longer than that.

Now, your house is “worth” 4.92 times your combined annual income (alarm bells), and 5.12 times your net worth (there they go again).

If house prices fall 19.5%, you have lost all of your net worth. If you tried to sell after a fall, then taking commissions and costs into account, it would only take a 14.4% drop to wipe you out. (more alarms)

Continuing,

3) Your girlfriend more or less bullied you into this position DESPITE the fact that you are an accountant and really should know better.

(bwooooop, bwooooop, bwooooop) Now how do I shut this dang thing off?

The good news, you are not married, and have no children.

Honestly – brutally honestly – what sort of financial future do you see with this girlfriend? Again, imagine that you are giving a stranger advice.

I can tell you this, I see one, and it ain’t pretty. You need a partner and life raft. You don’t need a nag and an anchor.

So often, you hear a member of a couple complaining about their partner and saying that they were not like that before. Truth is, they almost always are, the person doing the complaining just refused to see it at the time.

Life’s all about choices Carl. Cut your losses, or live the life that should be abundantly clear that is your future.

I can’t assume to make this choice for you, but let me tell you, if it were me, I would soon be single and renting. That and saving well over 50% of my after-tax income annually. I would just make it absolutely certain that I didn’t make any bundles of joy before I made the split. And my apologies for being so cynical, but if shortly after the split she announces that she is pregnant, insist on a DNA test.

Choose wisely.

#159 Tony on 07.12.12 at 9:24 am

I’m I the only one that thinks that Carl isn’t in too much trouble for at least the next 5 years?
Mortgage payment: 2200 + utilities and Property tax of 500-600 months = 2750.
That’s 3550 remaining for debt, savings, food, and entertainment? With some financial restrain, and maybe an extra 3-5K per year on the mortgage, even with increase in interest rates the refinance in 5 years won’t be so bad on the 400,000 owing.
A lot of the posters on this board just seem like doomsday losers. Life is long, mistakes are to be made, and learnt from, Carl will bounce back…
If the housing market crashes 20%, and interest rates are at 8%, there will be greater problems than a house in the beaches.
Everyone here needs to grow up, and start giving good, positive advice. This blog is worthless in helping people. Even Garth’s assumptions are outta wack – 6% return? Easy said than done.

You were doing fine until the last sentences. Do they have dividends on your planet? — Garth

#160 pessimist on 07.12.12 at 9:27 am

#24 armpit on 07.11.12 at 9:46 pm

An aquaintence was interested in an estate property in the country.

According to him, he was going to low ball the offer and go from there.

The R.E. guy told him there was going to be another offer at the same time.

This concerned him, so he decided to give a “good” offer.

The offer was presented and accepted. He inquired about the other offer and was told the other offer got deferred for at least 24hrs.

He was upset at that, but still wanted the property.

Me thinks the Selling R.E. Agent was not being honest.

The shanigans still continue…..

This happens all the time. Most recently one month ago for us on a house that we have our eyes on – at the right price.

We expressed an interest and were told that another offer was forthcoming. We told our agent to tell the listing agent that we will under no circumstances whatsoever be party to a bidding war, and were thus not going to give any offer at that time.

Well, wouldn’t you know it, those other buyers just vaporized right on the spot. It wasn’t sixty minutes later that we received an email from the listing agent telling us that they were out of the picture.

Mind you, we didn’t get very far with our verbal offer, but that listing agent won’t pull that garbage on us next time (if there is one).

#161 Regan on 07.12.12 at 9:27 am

Carl, pay no attention to the fuss of doomers or the gender police. You got a place that you can afford with room to grow. Yes the market is high but even Garth doesn’t think GTA will drop by much, and if you don’t move again until you retire, you will make up a lot in fees. You’ve got a deeper issue in your relationship though – housing is a big deal, a big debt. This isn’t a ‘yes, dear’ situation that calls for the kind of passive aggressive behavior you’ve shown. You had to apply for, qualify for and sign for this mortgage. Take ownership for your behavior and have a real discussion with your fiancé about how the future is going to work. You have an uphill climb to diversify your savings to protect yourself from risk. Dont be a backseat driver unless you are content to go for a ride through someone else’s life.

#162 detalumis on 07.12.12 at 9:40 am

The lady is definitely not a princess, a $10K wedding is almost as cheap as you can get unless you go the city hall route. Not sure why everybody assumes he is the trapped one, the way I look at it, the lady may want to become a principal or whatnot, she could be ambitious, have a masters and she can make almost 100K just as a regular teacher with the best pension plan in the country outside of parliament. Accountants are ripe for outsourcing these days, even to fricking Bangalore so it’s more likely that she will be carrying him in the future.

Nobody can time the market or predict how far prices will fall, and that includes the owner of the blog, if you could you would be a billionaire. I bought my house at the top of the last market peak in 1990 and I don’t regret it. I just buckled down and paid it off ASAP. I’m not putting my life on hold for 5 or 10 years waiting for something that may or not happen. I have a girlfriend who never spent a dime on herself for 30 years, just saved, saved, saved, not a princess for sure but hey she forgot to do any actual living along the way. I’m sure her LTC bed will be better than mine, maybe have a nicer view out the window or whatnot.

#163 Tony on 07.12.12 at 9:42 am

Oh and one more thing. If shit hits the fan, delay the kids by a year, move into the basement, rent the 3 bedroom upstairs for 2200 + Utilities and put 2000 extra down a month on the mortgage reducing the mortgage by 24,000 and save 600 per month for savings/up-coming daycare costs. You have options and trust me you have more flexibility than you think…Again, I can’t believe how unintelligent this blog has become…

#164 presley1000 on 07.12.12 at 9:43 am

The drama queen way of dealing with mortgage problems…

http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/10/justice/arizona-courtroom-death/index.html

#165 truth hammer on 07.12.12 at 9:45 am

Vancouvers slack building codes and absent inspection system has created another generation of leaky condo’s……this civil service idiocy has cost the buying public billions because of the general incompetance of city workers…from the top down.

http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/07/10/brian-hutchinson-vancouver-suffers-condo-leaks-of-olympic-proportions/

The work doesn’t get done because the civic staff at shitty hall simply don’t have to do anything to garner a fat paycheque and pension…this legacy of disregard is a product of union entitlement. Builders, architects and particularily ill trained and unskilled workers have been able to pull the wool over city halls eyes for decades because the nepotism at shitty hall has produced three decades of total incompetance……leaving the citizen to hold the bag. If it were a private inspection system with liability for their actions there would have been an end to leaky condo’s long ago……as it is no one is responsible and the problem lives on.

#166 CP on 07.12.12 at 9:48 am

Garth; Just wanted to share a story of a Toronto sale with you to prove the horny buyers are still in abundance. Last night a house in the Junction area of Toronto (2.5 Bdrm, 1.5 bathroom row house built 118 years ago) sold for 75k over asking.. and was already priced close to 400k. The bidding war was pretty crazy but the sellers are happy none the less (how could they not be??). The house had recent renos worth about 70/80k (new kitchen, bathroom, deck, fresh laid grass), but I couldn’t believe it when I got the text that it sold for 75k over asking.

Crazy times…. still.

#167 GTA poorly built houses and condo's on 07.12.12 at 9:49 am

When this crash takes full hold prices will crash well over 50% and these evil realtors know it as the quality of houses and condo’s in the GTA are made very pooly. We all know the daily glass falling from condo’s in Toronto but look at this poor guy who got forked by the industry.

http://www.thestar.com/business/article/1225184–homeowners-swelter-in-backyard-tent-amid-heated-insulation-dispute

#168 I hate realtors on 07.12.12 at 9:57 am

Patrick on 07.11.12 at 9:49 pm #15Flighlevel 410 on 07.11.12 at 9:32 pm

I too live in Richmond BC and have been told over the past 2 years by friends, co-workers and family that I’m an idiot for selling and renting. Here a sample of the blood bath in Richmond.

Address: 3919 BROADWAY ST, Steveston Village, Richmond. Brand new house on 37×106 lot.

Mar 09, ’12 V934922 $1,288,888
May 01, ’12 V934922 $1,198,000
July 07, ’12 V960771 $999,000

$-289,888

-22%
———————————————————-

More PROOF that homes went up ONLY because of CHMC . Notice that CHMC will over cover upto 1 million now and the price is $1000 below that. CHMC should be only $500000…What would that do to the prices realtors. We already know the answer you criminal POGarbage. No HAM or rich immigrants just cheap easy money. Without CHMC prices in Canada would crash 50-80% OVERNIGHT.

#169 Canuck Abroad on 07.12.12 at 10:00 am

150 / Toronto_CA – Wow, absolutely extraordinary. I would certainly not want a bankrupt doing my books or taxes. Scary!

#170 crashing yuppy on 07.12.12 at 10:06 am

Upper Beacheds my ass. Probably Woodbine and Danforth. Thats like calling Woodbridge “Upper Toronto”. I love how Realtors try to polish turds

#171 The American on 07.12.12 at 10:13 am

I get it. A tiara on a bitch. Great picture, Garth!

#172 Erlenmeyer on 07.12.12 at 10:20 am

Carl, what happened to your balls man?

#173 Kitchenerite on 07.12.12 at 10:22 am

Garth, quick question for you: you advised him to open a spousal RRSP and make contributions because he’ll need it when the mat leave hits. Out of curiousity, do you mean to make withdrawals while she is actually on mat leave? He says they plan (or expect, or whatever) to have kids within two years, and you must wait two full calendar years after ceasing contributions to withdraw from a spousal RRSP.

This one is of interest to me, my wife and I are trying to use her RRSP contributions and my contributions to a spousal account to help finance her staying at home with kids one day, and I’m always curious the different ways people use spousal plans. I haven’t seen the numbers, but my general feel is that there is not a lot of take-up on spousal RRSPs (I know people who don’t know they exist), so if you are recommending it for a fairly average couple with similar incomes, I’m interested.

After three years the money belongs to the spouse and can be withdrawn with tax payable at the spouse’s rate. If on mat leave, often income and taxes are negligible. In this case they are planning kids, starting in two years so a spousal would probably finance the second mat leave. This is a very effective way of income-splitting since the contributing spouse enjoys the deduction. — Garth

#174 Steve on 07.12.12 at 10:24 am

There is some assumption evident in the comments that Carl has learned from this. That will only prove true if he has a change of behaviour as a result of the experience. Only time will tell if that happens. Hopefully it begins immediately, before things get any worse…

#175 Question to the government: on 07.12.12 at 10:24 am

What did you do to the home buyers? They disappearing!!! F & C, it’s your fault:)

#176 Marshy on 07.12.12 at 10:27 am

Toronto_CA @150

“He may not even have a designation and simply work as an “accountant” by job title after having completed a BComm. His income and financial ineptitude certainly point in that direction.”

Looks like you are making a couple of big assumptions yourself …. Give it a rest already …. we all know you are a CA and you passed a very difficult examination process but do you need to remind us nearly every time you make a point?

Oh yes … I copied the Sask CA bylaws (see below) that refer to bankrupcy. It appears that the registration committee can suspend a CA who files for bankrupcy. Good thing that question wasn’t on your exams.

A member, student, professional corporation or firm shall advise the Institute, in writing, within
thirty (30) days if the member, student, professional corporation or firm:

(a) has made an assignment or a proposal pursuant to the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act
(Canada);

(b) has been served with a petition pursuant to the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act
(Canada);

(c) has been found guilty of violating the provisions of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act
(Canada) not withstanding whether the person has filed or may file an appeal; or

(d) has any Writ of Execution issued by a court in Canada relating to a debt of the said
member, student, professional corporation or firm in the amount exceeding one
thousand dollars ($1000) which has remained unsatisfied for a period of fifteen (15)
days from the date of the personal service of a filed copy of the Writ of Execution.
[September 2011]
D.3 Registration Committee
165.1 The Registration Committee shall review the report or information received or obtained by the
Institute relating to a matter described in bylaws 61.8, 65.3, 89.1 or 161.1 and determine
whether one or more of the following shall apply to the member, student, professional
corporation or firm:

(a) take no further action;

(b) impose restrictions and conditions on the member’s or firm’s professional practice;

(c) impose restrictions and conditions on the member’s professional activities;

(d) cancel one or more of the firm’s practice office registrations;

(e) remove the student’s name from the register of students and impose conditions on
subsequent re-registration;

(f) cancel the professional corporation’s registration permit;

(g) recommend that Council suspend the membership of the member;

(h) where the member, student, professional corporation or firm may have breached one or
more of bylaws 190-218 referred to as standards of professional conduct, refer the
matter to the Professional Conduct Committee.
[September 2011]

#177 Aussie Roy on 07.12.12 at 10:36 am

Aussie Headlines

WARNING, there are some doozies today

Remember the shortage?

Property glut to keep prices falling

The report shows the national average house price declined 2 per cent over the quarter.

Victorian home prices declined 2.9 per cent and New South Wales was down 2.3 per cent, while Western Australian prices held up better falling just 0.6 per cent.

Queensland and South Australia/Northern Territory had price falls of 1.7 and 1.6 per cent respectively.

One of the main reasons for the fall in property prices is a simple story of supply and demand.

While discussion centres on a lack of supply of new homes, there is certainly no shortage of homes for sale, many of which have been on the market for a long time.

Figures from RP Data show there were just over 300,000 homes listed for sale in Australia as of July 8.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-07-12/property-market-doldrums/4126580

It’s a housing boom, a boom in repossessions

The number of houses being repossessed in Western Australia has hit an all time high.

The Supreme Court handled 1,500 repossession applications last financial year, after homeowners defaulted on their repayments.

It is the highest number of applications the court has ever had to process, even during the 2008/09 financial crisis.

And, it is almost three times higher than it was a decade ago.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-07-10/housing-repossessions-increase-in-wa/4121766

Bursting housing bubbles cause unemployment, not the other way around.

Australian house prices fell 2 per cent in the June quarter with more falls expected in the coming year, especially in the most populous states of New South Wales and Victoria, according to National Australia Bank.

‘‘Employment security is now the biggest concern for homebuyers as interest rate concerns recede,’’ the report says. The comment comes as the economy shed 27,300 jobs in June, the biggest monthly drop in 2012.

http://www.theage.com.au/business/house-prices-slide-with-more-to-come-nab-20120712-21xos.html

Australia’s employers cut 27,000 jobs last month, sending the jobless rate higher and increasing the chances of another cut in official interest rates.

http://www.theage.com.au/business/economy-sheds-27000-jobs-20120712-21xf2.html

NAB’s quarterly residential property index is out today and shows gloom has overtaken industry insiders for the year ahead.

http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2012/07/nab-survey-property-insiders-give-up-on-2012/

#178 Crash Calaway on 07.12.12 at 10:39 am

The only thing that can save the poor fellow now is inflation! (the doll variety)

Nix the wedding

#179 crashing yuppy on 07.12.12 at 10:41 am

And I cannot believe how moronic #163 Tony is. I cannot wait for the crash so guys like him are buried!!!

No Tony their option is to wait for crash, be under water and sell at a crushing loss competing with every other loser who bought at the top!!!!

Check and Mate!!!

#180 DonDWest on 07.12.12 at 10:42 am

She’s the boss!

#181 Toronto_CA on 07.12.12 at 10:42 am

#175 Marshy on 07.12.12 at 10:27 am

Declaring bankruptcy does not mean you lose your CA designation automatically, which is what I said-the ICA of Saskatchewan conduct info you posted does not invalidate what I said in the least as point “(a) take no further action” is common practice. Each provincial body has rules of conduct that change regularly. A person may declare bankruptcy through no fault of their own.

Many CAs over the years have declared bankruptcy and kept practicing, for better or worse.

I’m sorry if pointing out that the “accountant” letter writer may not have a designation offends you, I was asked a question and I answered it (correctly). I will defend my chosen profession when called upon. Feel free to skip past my posts here if they trouble you!

#182 mousey on 07.12.12 at 10:53 am

I’m just not that worried about these folks. They’ll be fine. Both professional with good earnings potential and possibly pension for the teacher. They’ve got a renter in the basement and that can pay for part of the mortgage and maybe later for part of the nanny. They sound like a lot of my contemporaries 15 years ago – buy what you can and stick it out for the long term. Albeit there was no obvious bubble back then which could be a game changer if they wanted to bail in the short term. Do I have any advice for these youngins? It has already been said and it is pretty simple: don’t spend money you don’t have; differentiate between want and need; think for yourself.

#183 Echo on 07.12.12 at 11:00 am

#31 Uh =h Canada:

Woah, have you got that backwards…..

Her “street smarts” have manipulated the hell out of him and her so-called “academic smarts” have destroyed her financial future for herself and her children. (I didn’t mention him in that sentence because she obviously doesn’t care about him at all. He’s been passively, slave-dog-like, pleading his case for ages and she ignored him and metaphorically kicked him to the curb.)

To him: Take it from a “good” woman >>

You shouldn’t marry her. On top of that, you should give HER an ultimatum. Sell now or the relationship is over. First of all, she’ll ignore you again, she’s got you pegged, but MEAN it from a place of conviction and having done something for her that you were EXTREMELY uncomfortable about but did ONLY to please her. Stick to the ultimatum. You DO possess free will you know…. Try It.

one of 2 things will happen but the result will be the same, i.e. Your financial disaster will be rectified (with a loss worth eating!)…

1) She’ll sign the listing agreement because you ate some kryptonite and meant what you said for once, and she actually doesn’t want to lose you, or,

2) She’ll ignore your threat of breaking up while still in the house and soon find out that meals are apart, you aren’t there much, you’re not sleeping together, etc. Yes, she deserves this, not as a form of “payback”. But just as a consequence of HER behaviour because if she argues, and you don’t end it, you will not only commit financial suicide but you’ll spend your future with a child who has NO respect for you.

The last time I checked anyway, love had something to do with respect, mutual harmony, and caring about the other’s peace of mind. Oh, and you may be dumb enough, and pathetic enough to let her tie that collar around your neck (you can grow out of that mindset after your escape), but you’re actually WAY smarter than her. Um, you’re not compatible. Wait, the abuse is more serious. It’s ultimatum time…and don’t raise your voice. In other words, mean it.

I’d say “Good Luck” but you don’t need luck. You just need some self respect and a bit of courage. Both take a nanosecond to manifest. It’s just a “decision” darlin’.

#184 Marshy on 07.12.12 at 11:10 am

Toronto_CA @180

Thank you for the clarification … apparently financial ineptitude applies to a few CAs as well.

No need to apologize as your comment as it did not offend me. Your pompousness is really quite entertaining.

#185 Regan on 07.12.12 at 11:30 am

Hm the idea to move to the basement and rent out the upper is a good one. Slam down the mortgage, you won’t need an insured loan with more equity, and if either of you take parental leave, it’ll float you through the reduced income years and everyone can be back to work by the time you have to requalify for the mortgage. Then fix up a bit upstairs and move up. You might have to fudge the ‘kids in 2 years’ timeline by a year or so, but it works.

#186 housedoc on 07.12.12 at 11:37 am

That Doug Gilmoure house is some ugly (nice lot though).
You can’t buy taste.
Staging is awful.
Neighbours must love the shade.
I prefer the bungalow that used to be there.

#187 digusting communism on 07.12.12 at 11:37 am

i know SO many people who have or are about to declare bankruptcy.

after they do, life just seems to go on as normal!

there doesn’t seem to be any real consequences for this type of irresponsible behaviour…because government is there to catch you when you fall…

at the expense of the savers and the prudent.

as a hard-working, conservative guy, i’m sick of living in canada’s revolting freedom-hating communistic system.

didn’t we fight a war to get away from this type of giant governmental control?

#188 gladiator on 07.12.12 at 11:40 am

@168 I Hate… Totally agree that CMHC should cover mortgages up to 500,000 CAD. It says it was created to help Canadians get into “affordable” houses. 500k sounds pretty affordable to me. If you want a more expensive house, you should be able to afford it yourself.
Whaddya think, fellow dawgs?

#189 both sides on 07.12.12 at 11:40 am

#162 detalumis “…I’m not putting my life on hold for 5 or 10 years waiting for something that may or not happen.”

This is further proof that the banks marketing and other propaganda worked. For this guy, rent means putting life on hold, while paying mortgage(still rent !) to the bank means life has begun. Its obvious to me that many of these types of people who must “own” real estate have also been told by their parents they must “own” something in order to be secure.

A 100k mortgage is different than 500k one. It will take 25 yrs to pay $500k at 3% interest, but guess what ? 3% is only good 5 yrs max not 25 yr, so what happens when rates go up in 5 yrs time ? its painful to imagine, so that’s why the herds prefer live in blissful ignorance.

I agree we can’t time the markets all the time, but we can apply reasonability.

#190 Market Bull on 07.12.12 at 11:40 am

Congratulations Carl, well done.

Be sure to ignore all of the “geniuses” posting here with their negative vibes and loser attitudes. Such myopic thinkers.

By the way Carl, if you see interest rates rising significantly in a few years, be sure to pop in to the bank before too long and renegotiate your mortgae for another 5 years or longer. It’s done all of the time and is very easy – it’s called increase and blend, a great way to mitigate against rising rates.

It’s a huge myth, propogated frequently on this blog, that you are “locked-in” for 5 years helplessly trapped while rates rise to the moon.

Just scare tactics. Don’t buy it. You’ll be fine.

#191 gladiator on 07.12.12 at 11:46 am

Just saying: a mother spends 20 years to raise, nurture and educate a son, and a wife/GF can make him a complete idiot in 20 minutes…

#192 Steven Rowlandson on 07.12.12 at 11:57 am

Giving all your income to cults like real estate , stock markets or government is not a winning strategy.

#193 John on 07.12.12 at 11:58 am

Very interesting conclusion on this.

The level of denial for the relationship is exactly the same level of denial on the “economy”.

As a guy, you plug in value for value. Key to key. Does anyone really think we’re getting to fundamentals on the debte here? Depends. The guy plugged in crooked is never interested in fundamentals.

Codependents think in reverse. You start with the needed irresponsibility and work backwards to paint reality.

Not so hard to do when there’s a macroeconomic and cultural paradigm on the same page.

What doesn’t work on agreement? There are no victims here….unless of course the players are given the same levels of accountability as children.

It’s not about blame, but moving towards causes would be good. What’s going on right now is serious. In a lot of ways.

#194 blase on 07.12.12 at 12:02 pm

Market Bull,

So when the market drops and they lose all their equity and the house they bought for $600,000 and change drops to $300,000, how do you think that’ll go over with the wife? Did you see how that slow, relentless drip worked out for Americans?

Or are you a realtor and believe the market goes up forever, this one time, in only one city, on earth, ever?

#195 jesslyn on 07.12.12 at 12:12 pm

oops posted on yesterdays post-sorry:)

Hello everyone. Just wondering if anyone would have thoughts on our situation. I want to make sure that we consider everything carefully before making any major decisions.
My husband and I (mid 30′s with 2 young kids) sold our house on the east coast to move to Vancouver in 2011 for a great career opportunity for my husband. Upon arriving in Vancouver we checked out the real estate market and determined it best to rent for all the obvious reasons. We have now been offered another excellent career opportunity in Las Vegas. My husband is in the casino industry so we would be moving to an epicentre for his industry. We have approximately $300,000+ already invested and work with a financial advisor. So we are well balanced and take advantage of TFSA’s etc. My question is-too rent a place in Las Vegas would cost us approximately $1400-2000 because we have dogs and so our choices are narrow and more expensive. So we are considering buying instead. We have $75,000 as a down payment on a house that we could most likely purchase for $210,000 (listed at $230,000 currently down from $400,000 at its peak). We would prefer to have a 20 year loan term @ 6%. We will be applying for a T1 and T2 work permit-my husband is transferring with his current employer and so I would be able to work at any point no restrictions. Together our annual gross income is approx. $140,000 with lots of room for advancement. We will be moving for September but will be heading down at the end of this month to look at real estate or rentals. Any thoughts?

Thanks all!

#196 brainsail on 07.12.12 at 12:18 pm

#187 gladiator

Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae Maximum Loan Limits Set For 2012

The maximum mortgage loan size Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can guarantee will remain the same in 2012 throughout the United States except for Fairfield County, Connecticut, where the limit will rise to $625,500 — the same maximum loan size available in other high-cost areas.

In areas where homes are more affordable, the conforming loan limits will stay the same in 2012 for home buyers and home owners who want to refinance:
$417,000 for mortgages on one-unit properties
$533,850 for mortgages on two-unit properties
$645,300 for mortgages on three-unit properties
$801,950 for mortgages on four-unit properties.

http://www.houselogic.com/news/fannie-mae-freddie-mac/freddie-mac-fannie-mae-maximum-loan-limits-set-2012/#ixzz20QRQM3wC

#197 T.O. Bubble Boy on 07.12.12 at 12:18 pm

The skinniest McMansion of them all:
http://www.realtor.ca/PropertyDetails.aspx?PropertyID=12197334&PidKey=-1801225965

20 ft wide, $1.15M

Apparently the “Mahattanization of Toronto” being promoted by Brad J Lamb and others is complete?

#198 American Werewolf in BC on 07.12.12 at 12:29 pm

Thirty-year mortgage rate drops to another record low
Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate on 30-year loans fell to 3.56%. That’s down from 3.62% last week and the lowest since long-term mortgages began in the 1950s.

The average rate on 15-year mortgages, a popular refinancing option, dipped to 2.86%, below last week’s previous record of 2.89%.

===============

aka

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Perpetual Stagflation

They can’t give money away for people to buy homes with in the states. Borrowing costs are so much lower there than Canada and homes costs half as much, but inventory is still flooding the market. Thankfully, it can’t happen here.

#199 TorontoGal on 07.12.12 at 12:34 pm

Although I’m fairly new here, I love this blog. Some very interesting stuff :) I was hoping that some of you may be able to offer your advice/opinions. Here’s my situation:

I’m 25. Currently renting a 1 bedroom in Toronto. My plan was originally to save up a sizable (30%+) down payment for a single family home somewhere outside of Toronto but within a commutable distance. I have about 15k RPP, 15K RRSP, 6K TFSA (invested through QuestTrade), and about 40k cash sitting in a high interest savings account. I don’t have any debt and own my car. What should I be doing with this cash? I am not a savvy investor by any means and am worried about investing further right now. Ideally I would like to purchase something within the next 2-3 years. Any advice?

#200 Investx on 07.12.12 at 12:37 pm

159 Tony:
Everyone here needs to grow up, and start giving good, positive advice. This blog is worthless in helping people. Even Garth’s assumptions are outta wack – 6% return? Easy said than done.

You were doing fine until the last sentences. Do they have dividends on your planet? — Garth
———————————————————-

Maybe he’s questioning a 6% yield from dividends?

For example, the following dividend ETF’s currently only yield the following:

The iShares S&P/TSX Canadian Dividend Aristocrats Index Fund = 4%

BMO Canadian Dividend ETF = 5.06%

Dow Jones Canada Select Dividend Index Fund = 4.35%

Sources:
http://ca.ishares.com/product_info/fund/overview/CDZ.htm
http://www.etfs.bmo.com/bmo-etfs/glance?fundId=86809
http://ca.ishares.com/product_info/fund/overview/XDV.htm

#201 6% - show me the money on 07.12.12 at 12:43 pm

I definitely believe it is possible, in this environment, to find instruments that yield 6%.

However, I don’t believe that is possible in a portfolio… it means some things that are earning you 4% (e.g. bonds or preferreds)… then something must be earning you 8%.

So Garth, maybe one day you can post what a sample portfolio (with yields) look like and we can all comment?
Thanks!

#202 eagle eyes on 07.12.12 at 12:44 pm

Another Scary Richmond stat for you:

4320 River Road:

Feb 2011 $1.798m asking
April 2011 $1.898m asking
July 2012 $1.250m sold

#203 Edward on 07.12.12 at 12:45 pm

So he sunk in $50k from the sale of *his* condo and *she* put in what? $50k as well? I highly doubt it. …Buttons, maybe?

Everyone’s telling him to “grow a pair”, I’m saying “Hand them in, buddy–you’re obviously not using them.”

#204 Bill Gable on 07.12.12 at 12:46 pm

Robert Scheer – from “The Nation”.

““Modern international bankers form a class of thieves the likes of which the world has never before seen. Or, indeed, imagined … It reveals that behind the world’s financial edifice lies a reeking cesspool of unprecedented corruption. The modern-day robber barons pillage with a destructive abandon totally unfettered by law or conscience and on a scale that is almost impossible to comprehend.”

> Mr. Turner – you still talk about Banks and great dividends etc. How does this jibe with this mess?

http://tinyurl.com/cczblz5

No thieves here. — Garth

#205 agioblue on 07.12.12 at 12:46 pm

Tony @ 159 & 163
Your posts have some validity. Given I don’t read most of the posts here by the ‘regulars’ as it gives me a headache I can’t really say how ignorant or not they are.
Mind you, I do recall responding to a Gold/Silver doomer last year that he/she/it should sell @ $1800 or higher & $47 respectively and I received much prison love from the gang. That I deal in the metals I never bothered to mention, hell they might be customers.
That being typed, my problem if I have one at all has nothing to do with ‘Carl’. Personally I could care less.
My issue is that the sense of entitlement and ignorance about debt and reality that so many people have is a concern. This is not only young folks, it’s rampant in the boomers and their children. Coupled with the fact that when they do ask for advice, if it doesn’t validate or reinforce what they want to hear, they do whatever they want or search until they do hear what they want to hear.
I know, I hear and see it on a weekly basis. Now how do you reason with people like that? You don’t. ‘Carl’ and his GF aren’t fkd for life, they simply made an idiotic move which might hurt them. But they aren’t the exception, they are for the most part the rule. Until things correct and they will and much pain is experienced nothing will change. You cannot have a total disregard for debt and a belief that it is your right to have everything with no downside. If it was so gd easy to make, and more importantly retain money people would actually have some and most do not.
Turner gave them advice and it was solid. The rest of the comments ( excluding mine of course) are crap.

#206 Married, kid, cat and renting on 07.12.12 at 12:55 pm

Sorry Carl. You found yourself a typical woman who knows how to spend money but knows nothing about managing money. 1st mistake

2nd, you’re an accountant that “can’t run the numbers” on a rent vs buy? WTF?

3rd you could have been debt free with the 50k you had and had even more cash flow to save or have a life.

Wait till mat leave and your income drops from 6300 to under 5k. oh crap, that’s gonna hurt.

#207 futureexpatriate on 07.12.12 at 12:57 pm

Anderson Cooper’s got great guns… (ducking)

#208 WaterlooResident on 07.12.12 at 1:01 pm

DELETED

#209 TRT on 07.12.12 at 1:04 pm

A Major cause of the run up in house prices is undocumented population growth in the major cities…something never discussed here.

We’ve always had about 250,000 permanent immigrants per year (281,000 last year)

But what we didn’t have is huge numbers of the ‘temporary’ class of immigrants that never go home. The Gov will fix that with the perimeter agreement with the USA. Then they will know if a person who’s visa expires actually leaves the country.

Beyond this, an estimated 40,000 illegal immigrants enter Canadian cities each year. This one gang smuggled 5000 people alone from Taiwan:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/global-smuggling-probe-delivers-heavy-blow-to-snakehead-ring/article4409183/

Free Healthcare (using other peoples healthcards that have no picture on it) will also come to an end as the cards are being superimposed on driver’s licences here in BC:

http://www.cknw.com/Channels/Reg/NewsLocal/Story.aspx?ID=1737332

So the rate of population growth wrt immigration will slow to around 300,000 a year in a few years from the present 550,000. This will impact real estate.

Now cue the special interests groups that deny this.

#210 tkid on 07.12.12 at 1:04 pm

I like Tony’s suggestion that Carl and his fiance move into the basement and they rent out the top half of the house.

If Carl can talk her into it, I’ll retract my previous comment!

#211 Flightlevel 410 on 07.12.12 at 1:07 pm

41Flighlevel 410 on 07.11.12 at 10:20 pm

You must work for WS, only they go to FL 41!

Not Necessarily Correct .

Challenger 605 Max cruise level 410 ….. one of many business jets that can go up to FL 410 or Higher and have flight attendants :-)

#212 blase on 07.12.12 at 1:08 pm

Buy the house in Vegas, and don’t come back to Canada any time soon. Your house will probably go up 50% in the next 10 years. Enjoy the USA!

#213 NAM not HAM on 07.12.12 at 1:16 pm

#201 eagle eyes on 07.12.12 at 12:44 pm
Another Scary Richmond stat for you:

4320 River Road:

Feb 2011 $1.798m asking
April 2011 $1.898m asking
July 2012 $1.250m sold
————————————

Richmond is toast. In Seafair, there are like 7 listings on every block. 50% haircut is very possible.

Btw,

It’s not a scary stat for us, only for the horny ones :)

#214 45north on 07.12.12 at 1:17 pm

eagle eyes: Richmond stat

4320 River Road:

Feb 2011 $1.798m asking
April 2011 $1.898m asking
July 2012 $1.250m sold

so the buyer had to have 20% down. It’s got to be harder to sell houses over $1 million.

#215 Market Bull on 07.12.12 at 1:19 pm

#193 blase: So you can see the future? You are truly gifted.

#216 Increasing that 1% on 07.12.12 at 1:25 pm

Re #1. TurnerNation, “Rex is king!”

And,..so are you..TN…so are you :/

#217 jess on 07.12.12 at 1:32 pm

…operation ,switch attractions or become HESHE – High Earner Save Half Everything.

although, I read
“DINKs = Dual Income, No Kids. new label Henrys = High Earners, Not Rich Yet. As defined as household income in the top 20%, $100k to $250k. 20% group represents 40% of all retail spending.”
==

http://www.marketplace.org/topics/business/easy-street/peregrine-financial-scandal-explainer

============
http://www.the-best-of-both-worlds.com/register-of-trusts.html

HSBC, Europe’s largest bank, will apologize to American authorities next week for failing to prevent potential money laundering activities from taking place at the bank, according to an internal memo.

bless me father …here’s Another $1bn ….
who was the chair of HSBC;’s private bank in Switzerland ?– you know the one from which a CD with 6,000 names of alleged tax evaders is being investigated in many countries.
http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/

#218 patsan on 07.12.12 at 1:44 pm

#117 Burnt Norton
The amount of political correctness in this reply is sickening. Ever caught yourself saying sorry for half an hour after inadvertently thinking of cursing?

#219 Kitchenerite on 07.12.12 at 1:48 pm

Re: #173: Garth, thanks for clarifying that you meant the spousal RRSP would be a good tool to use for planning for her SECOND maternity leave.

Great thing to recommend, I think a lot of people just assume that spousals are only good if one spouse makes a lot more, or has a better pension, than the other. Good of you to show that it can make sense even when the RECIPIENT of the account makes more and has a better pension (in this case, a teacher). A lot of people, at least in my opinion, do not think about this tool for shorter-term planning.

#220 Frank le Skank on 07.12.12 at 1:48 pm

If you bought a house for $370,000 and lost 20% value, the difference per month would be about $320/month on your mortgage. You would lose $74,000 on the value of your home. That’s 4 times the amount of your down payment, if you sold your house at a 20% loss you would still owe around $55,000.

After 5 years of payments (for a $351,000 mortgage at 3.25%) your balance is $300,708. You would have paid $50,000 in principal and $53,000 in interest.

If you bought after the house lost 20%:
After 5 years of payments (for a $281,000 mortgage at 3.25%) your balance is $241,426. You would have paid $40,000 in principal and $42,000 in interest but have an extra $320/month to hammer the principal with.

The dept to disposable income ratio in Canada is 152%. I think that most people would have a hard time with the mental stress and frustration of knowing you could be paying $320 less per month or that you would owe $55,000 with nothing to show. The downward spiral of this type of % decrease in housing would definitely impact most buyers.

#221 John G. Young on 07.12.12 at 1:56 pm

#90 penpal on 07.11.12 at 11:53 pm

“You have my permission to call him ‘evil’ back. — Garth”

Thank you Garth. Once again, you cut through all the crap and get right to the heart of things.

Cheers,

John

#222 John on 07.12.12 at 2:03 pm

TorontoGal wrote:
Although I’m fairly new here, I love this blog. Some very interesting stuff :) I was hoping that some of you may be able to offer your advice/opinions. Here’s my situation:

I’m 25. Currently renting a 1 bedroom in Toronto. My plan was originally to save up a sizable (30%+) down payment for a single family home somewhere outside of Toronto but within a commutable distance. I have about 15k RPP, 15K RRSP, 6K TFSA (invested through QuestTrade), and about 40k cash sitting in a high interest savings account. I don’t have any debt and own my car. What should I be doing with this cash? I am not a savvy investor by any means and am worried about investing further right now. Ideally I would like to purchase something within the next 2-3 years. Any advice?
————

It’s a near certainty TorontoGal will filter reality on her “money” and “investment” focuw ( ensured by only asking selected questions), but it’s a really great opportunity to highlight the deal out there.

Check out how you got here. Why it’s no longer possible to tell your gender, your community or your value. It’s a great BBC documentary actually done just before the derivatives that built your cash piles got started ( 2002).

It builds reality bit by bit, showing how the human community was divided. Practically all the “homes” in Canada are occupied by two working “people” ( get it?)

Here’s why ( and how): The Century of the Self

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prTarrgvkjo&feature=youtube_gdata_player

If you’re in total denial, you can categorize it as “interesting stuff” and start thinking about your “investments”.

Guys should take note of the total lack of need for men. She sees Carl too you know. The best that can be hoped for is “kids” from a neutered male ( immaculate conception? Certainly little chemistry). The kids fill the gap. Times thousands and thousands of Canadians…it’s a lot of fake dough.

You want a house in 2-3 years? Guess what. Houses aren’t for sale. They are no different than your cash piles.

I suppose you could put your faith in faceless ponzi scheme operators.

Now why would you want to do something like that?
Watch the documentary….and then get educated. It helps. From what I read you’re asking all the wrong questions.

It is a great blog…I know of nothing like this right now. That also says a lot. None of it “interesting stuff”. It’s way way beyond that.

#223 Spiltbongwater on 07.12.12 at 2:19 pm

#207 WaterlooResident on 07.12.12 at 1:01 pm

Dude, are you kidding me. You don’t have to be in a relationship to sleep with women. Go on a dating site, and take your pick of the insecure women that are on there looking for some love. Tell them they are beautiful etc. even when they are not. Tell them they are the only one for you, even when you tell 2 others the same thing. I wonder myself why I got married, now I just go to bars at closing time and get the ones that others passed by. Rule #1 for me, is don’t spend any money on the woman, and don’t treat them nice and they keep coming back. I have a car, but I have a girl take the bus to my house if she wants to hang out for the evening.

#224 bigrider on 07.12.12 at 2:25 pm

It will be interesting to see if RE humpers in the GTA , now that RE is clearly at a tipping point to the negative, decide to allocate their financial resources away from the sector and into the declining financial markets.

My guess is the line up at the GIC counters at the local bank branches will be very long and wide .

#225 Mike Rotch on 07.12.12 at 2:25 pm

#127 Buy? Curious? on 07.12.12 at 4:50 am
……………………………..It’s located just west of the Upper Beaches, but from what I hear from friends and escorts that live in the area, people are becoming afraid of the encroachment of displaced former residents of Regent Park. There are more drug dealers in the area selling Crack and Meth instead of weed, violent crime has spiked and I can’t wear a baseball cap anymore for fear of being considered a member of a rival gang……………

Welcome to Toronto……even $2M homes can be a lousy five minutes ride from the “bad neighbourhood”.

Oh, and “Upper Beaches” my arse! That locale is essentially just as close to central Scarborough as it is to the foot of Woodbine.

The definition of Upper Beaches varies based on who is writing the ad copy, but where I come from it ends no further north than Kingston Road, Gerrard St. at a stretch.

#226 Burnt Norton on 07.12.12 at 2:28 pm

#217 patsan on 07.12.12 at 1:44 pm

My condolences to you on the kind of person you must be.

#227 blase on 07.12.12 at 2:37 pm

Market Bull,

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

#228 Bond junkie on 07.12.12 at 2:41 pm

Oh poor Carl, first rule of the beach is that there’s no such thing as the Upper Beach (it’s called Scarborough).

#229 NG on 07.12.12 at 2:47 pm

For 130K gross income, take home is minimum 100K (without RRSP). I suspect that 25K is being saved/invested in some instrument.
Which is a good thing.

Out of 75K, 35K goes towards mortgage. Hopefully, $750 coming from the basement renter will compensate for future interest rates hikes.

WHich leaves them $40K to survive. Good enough, IMO, for a young couple…most families live a decent life on that much.

I have no doubt that real estate will undergo a multi year meltdown, but I don’t think that decision to buy RE at wrong time will singularly destroy the life of people.

Even if we assume that he has overpaid $200K for the home, its like $8K per year for next 25 years. If he can give himself $700 as a toll for owning a house per month, he should come out fine. A large number of people trade joy of owning a home (or mortgage) with a joy of shopping. A few less clothes and a little less wine should do it.

#230 Ray on 07.12.12 at 2:54 pm

It looks like this house cannot sell at 579k so the price goes up to 629k for “Innovative Buyer”. http://www.realtor.ca/propertyDetails.aspx?propertyId=12098359&PidKey=791486490

#231 Schools Out on 07.12.12 at 2:54 pm

Flash forward 18 years. I just met Carl and his wife last night. They have 3 teenagers and just built a 3,000 sq ft home but cannot sell their first house, which sits empty.

She was urging her husband to check out a 5 grand piece of art together and thought buying ‘several’ would be nice for their new house.

Ever seen a guy try to smile yet look more like bugs bunny? Home buying has become looney tunes-land.

#232 I'm stupid on 07.12.12 at 3:26 pm

The importance of liquid net worth.

Let’s take two people

The first person has a job making 100k per year and a liquid net worth of $10 million.

The second had a job making $1 million and a net worth of 0.

Who is better off?

Person 1 is making 6% return at a tax rate of 22.5%

Person 2 is paying 45% and will never have a higher net worth as person 1.

#233 anobserver on 07.12.12 at 3:28 pm

Good for waterlooresident for being master of his own domain a la George Constanza of Seinfeld. Judging for RIM performance, he is not alone.

#234 penpal on 07.12.12 at 3:30 pm

@ # 220 John G Young

Hey fella, it appears that you are so f’d up personally that all you can blog about is your shortcomings and peoples’ reactions to them instead of the topic at hand which is RE.

Remember, that’s what we are here to discuss.

We are not here to discuss your f’d up life;
nor your drug addictions.
nor your abuse rec’d as a gay man
nor the ‘bullying’ you encountered as a child
nor the abuse at the hands of others
nor your inability to make a point on this blog
nor your definition of ‘evil’

In short, grow up and stop making excuses (no doubt exaggerated or fabricated) for your paucity of debating skills, knowledge of the topic at hand and general nastiness.

You are the biggest hypocrite on this blog, telling us all about how myself and Westernman single out, abuse and label you when you employ these tactics yourself!

And, just in the interest of full disclosure, do you tell your ‘patients’ about your past before you f with their lives?

I’m not evil dude, just realistic and not so politically correct that I can call them the way I see them

End this. — Garth

#235 penpal on 07.12.12 at 3:39 pm

@ # 207 Waterloo Resident

Way too much info dude, but thanks for making me want to puke!

Garth, what the hell is becoming of your blog?

You now allow people to discuss their sexual practices in detail on this blog and you are worried about a few curse words from me?

Screw this crap Garth, you are becoming a populist.

207 has been deleted. — Garth

#236 debtified on 07.12.12 at 3:41 pm

#198 TorontoGal on 07.12.12 at 12:34 pm

Although I’m fairly new here, I love this blog. Some very interesting stuff :) I was hoping that some of you may be able to offer your advice/opinions. Here’s my situation:

I’m 25. Currently renting a 1 bedroom in Toronto. My plan was originally to save up a sizable (30%+) down payment for a single family home somewhere outside of Toronto but within a commutable distance. I have about 15k RPP, 15K RRSP, 6K TFSA (invested through QuestTrade), and about 40k cash sitting in a high interest savings account. I don’t have any debt and own my car. What should I be doing with this cash? I am not a savvy investor by any means and am worried about investing further right now. Ideally I would like to purchase something within the next 2-3 years. Any advice?

You are 25. Spend some cash. Live life. See the world. Forget about buying a house. You don’t need to own a house right now (especially while you go away to see the world). When you are done expanding your horizon, the houses will be cheaper and you will be much wiser.

#237 penpal on 07.12.12 at 3:44 pm

@ # 233 penpal

Don’t encourage it then Garth.

I know it gets your posting numbers up, but why can’t you just keep people on topic by edit their posting transgressions or deleting any posting that doesn’t deal in some respect with the housing market.

I’ll live by that policy on this blog, no problem.

#238 Smoking Man on 07.12.12 at 3:44 pm

#118 Burnt Norton

Is it a untalked about practice for Dr looking after elderly to help the end come about a little faster and in a human way.

2 why in the world is Scopalamine even allowed to be given to elderly folks who have glocoma and liver issues

Either Dr death is a complete idiot or a serial killer

Thoughts

#239 Canadian Watchdog on 07.12.12 at 3:47 pm

#198 TorontoGal

Think globally and keep a portion of your assets out of the Canadian dollar, otherwise this will happen to your wealth. http://postimage.org/image/6kz4mzhdj/

#240 Paddy on 07.12.12 at 3:49 pm

I’m 39, have $3 mil in the bank, I rent (a whole house) and I live large. I have a number of friends who “own” their home and they are sweating…but they still make fun of me for renting.

I’m good! Thanks for asking.

In the bank? — Garth

#241 casual Observor on 07.12.12 at 3:52 pm

penpal-
-wife left him, either for another guy or possibly a girl, either way he is hurt and feeling like less of a man so he pounces on others
-lost a lot of money in the split, hence he tries to show everone how smart he is
Wife still lives in the nice house, he is renting an apartment. Staying liquid as he calls it, struggling to make the alimony and child support payments.
You would notice penpal if he passed you on the street, he is the one with the big chip on his shoulder.

#242 jess on 07.12.12 at 3:57 pm

smoking man – take your 7k and go

http://end-of-pain.com/s/

Novel Blood Treatment Lures Athletes to Germany
Published: July 10, 2012

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/11/sports/athletes-with-chronic-pain-turn-to-novel-blood-treatment.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1

#243 Realtors don't like realtors either.... on 07.12.12 at 3:58 pm

RE: Turner Nation – Heloc kids… true!!!!!!

Meanwhile, in Richmond, the people want HAM.
They are so hungry for HAM they are doing home invasions for $15,000 handbags…

http://www.cknw.com/Channels/Reg/NewsLocal/Story.aspx?ID=1737647

BEST Place on Earth??? REally>?????

We are the Tiaquana of Canada – drugs, wars, crime, and crackheads

The Reign of Rockstar realtors with 3 cars with their pictures on each one is OVER!!!!

NOTE – if you were to place a sandwich board in VAncouver for your pizza shop on the corner = fined by the City bylaws, but realtors can.

Cause – they are rock stars!!!!

Why fine pizza places, lemonaid stands, or Little Cesars that have to hire people to hold their signs!!!!!!

Every time you see a realtor sign just sitting there breaking local bylaws that everyone except them have to abide by – just do us all a favor – put a Little Ceasars pizza sign on it or the charity of your choice – foodbank, church, etc…

: ) problem solved

#244 jess on 07.12.12 at 4:00 pm

Nostradamus said: “Putin says west is declining.”
“Decline of the West,” by Oswald Spengler … when thee before thou became me first
btw have you read transparency international’s latest report on Gazprom

The world’s largest publicly-traded companies are reporting more than in the past about their anti-corruption programmes but still need to do a lot more to increase transparency in reporting on their operations, according to a new study by anti-corruption group Transparency International.
embracing country-by-country reporting
Transparency in Corporate Reporting: Assessing the World’s Largest Companies scored 105 of the top publicly-traded companies based on their public commitment to transparency.
http://www.transparency.org/news/pressrelease/ti_study_finds_the_worlds_biggest_companies_need_to_be_a_lot_more_transpare

#245 NoName on 07.12.12 at 4:02 pm

Interesting read

http://blogs.hbr.org/haque/2012/03/the_economic_roots_of_your_life_crisis.html

“Here’s my hypothesis. We’re not having life crises (just) because we’re a little bit spoiled, vain, and shallow — but also because we live in an era of titanic institutional failure.

All around us, yesterday’s institutions are buckling and breaking, creaking and cracking (markets, governments, universities, corporations). The point of institutions, their social utility, if you like, is to guide and shape human interaction in authentically beneficial terms — to provide well-lit, familiar paths to living meaningfully well.”

#246 John G. Young on 07.12.12 at 4:04 pm

#233 penpal on 07.12.12 at 3:30 pm

“End this. — Garth”

Again: thank you.

John

#247 Finally on 07.12.12 at 4:10 pm

“I told you so” – it’s been a year now that I’ve been warning my family and friends of the eventual crash. Nobody believed me except my wife, that’s how I was able to sell all 3 of my properties in the past year and now very happy renting. I even have personal bets with some of my family on the % crash. I can’t wait to chant those words and collect my winnings.

#248 eagle eyes on 07.12.12 at 4:10 pm

#212 NAM not HAM

“Richmond is toast. In Seafair, there are like 7 listings on every block. 50% haircut is very possible.”

Most places are selling for 15 – 20% under assessed these days. So I agree that once the panic ensues, 50% isn’t far off the horizon.

#213 45 North

“so the buyer had to have 20% down. It’s got to be harder to sell houses over $1 million.”

The sales figures show that you are absolutely correct. There will always be the straggler Mainland China buyer who wasn’t paying attention to the discussion at dim sum, but for the most part the majority have left the building.

#249 betamax on 07.12.12 at 4:13 pm

#163 Tony: “move into the basement, rent the 3 bedroom upstairs”

Buying a house so they can live in a basement suite. Epic fail. They can also make their own clothing from flour sacks and dumpster dive behind the KFC for food.

#250 IM in C on 07.12.12 at 4:25 pm

Garth; You have an expression “house horny”. Consider the following conversation between husband and wife. I’m pretty sure every man on this blog has used that first line line on his wife! Yet we are all amazed when she uses the no rental line back atcha

Him: I didn’t get married to stop having sex!
Her: I didn’t get married to live in a rental!

#251 JSM on 07.12.12 at 4:50 pm

Garth: Open a spousal RRSP and make contributions there – you’ll need that when the mat leaves hit.

While generally good advice it is important to remember the 3 year rule on spousal RRSP’s.

If the wife wants a baby sooner than the 2 years indicated in the story (and I presume + 9 months) then it is possible that Garth just accidently advised this guy to put money into a RRSP only to withdraw it and have it taxable on his tax return rather than the wife’s.

So, watch the timing of these things – whether you’re contributing or giving people advice on such things!

Of course there is a three-year rule. That is a given. He said “kids” which infers multiple pregnancies. Hence my comment. — Garth

#252 Burnt Norton on 07.12.12 at 4:59 pm

#237 Smoking Man on 07.12.12 at 3:44 pm

knowledge gap is my guess

google “beers list medication elderly” & print them out

ask for a meeting with the good doc

talk about the beers list meds

get consensus on consent issues for mom – if you are to be her substitute decision-maker then treatment risks & benefits should be reviewed with you in order for informed consent to be in place (except perhaps if emergency care is required and you are not immediately available to give substitute consent)

i’m not sure of the law in your province but look into it and if you don’t already have it then get formal authority to make health-care decisions for mom

#253 John G. Young on 07.12.12 at 5:23 pm

#241 NoName on 07.12.12 at 4:02 pm

Thanks for the link. I think the author has been able to verbalize something that many of us have a vague awareness of, but have been unable to clearly articulate.
For myself, I think it took a (mercifully brief) encounter with addiction to get it through my thick skull that something in my life wasn’t working. Now, as I begin a new career, I have an opportunity to live a life according to a set of values that have meaning for me, and that brings me far more peace and happiness than money or things ever could.

Cheers,

John

#254 45north on 07.12.12 at 5:35 pm

jesslyn: My question is -to rent a place in Las Vegas would cost us approximately $1400-2000. So we are considering buying instead.

jesslyn, Las Vegas is interesting because housing prices declined the most in the USA. Different articles and bits of information have made me distrust the Las Vegas housing market. Plan to rent for a while.

#255 cramar on 07.12.12 at 5:39 pm

#194 jesslyn on 07.12.12 at 12:12 pm

Essentially you are looking at whether you should buy and take on a $135,000 mortgage on a family income of $140,000. Since you are in a situation totally different than those contemplating a $500,000 Cdn mortgage, by all means BUY! It makes little sense to rent when housing is that cheap. It makes little sense to buy when properties are $800k. But can’t you get a better rate on a 20-yr than 6%? If I were in your shoes, I’d get the lowest rate for the shortest term (say 15-yr), making sure that you can pay additional principle as often as possible. So what if interest rates are double 5 years from now, since your plan should be to have the house paid off before then. With your income it is more than doable. As long as you live modestly with the goal of paying of that mortgage asap. Good luck on house hunting. May you find the house of your dreams for $200K.

#256 eagle eyes on 07.12.12 at 5:59 pm

Another listing from the HAM central of Richmond BC

6140 Mara Crescent

October 2011 listed $1.988
after many price reductions…….
July 2012 listed $1.298

imagine the carrying costs for the developer who bought the lot for $957,000

Still on the market….

#257 Dividend Yield Investor on 07.12.12 at 6:25 pm

#156 Chris on 07.12.12 at 9:16 am
And to think these folks are teaching our children.

Hey Dividend Yield Investor, are you a teacher? If so, why not?

Nothing against teachers only those that are education major here in the States. The other guy who posted is “spot on” when he stated their lack of academic skills. Most of these folks math skills are absolutely terrible and some are teaching high school math.

Am I a school teacher? No. Retired from the financial services industry.

Dividend Man

#258 BobC on 07.12.12 at 6:26 pm

You guys should stop making fun of “Americans”! Really. Your all so “American” it’s funny. Garth, what will happen to the Cn$ vs. the US$ when your full blown into the RE crash like what happened to us?

Care to buy a beaver? — Garth

#259 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 07.12.12 at 6:26 pm

Not much of anything happening today, so . . .
*
Road Kill

A young woman was pulled over for speeding. As the Saskatchewan RCMP Officer walked to her car window, flipping open his ticket book, she said,

“I bet you are going to sell me a ticket to the RCMP Ball.”

He replied,

“Ma’am, Saskatchewan RCMP don’t have balls.”

There was a moment of silence while she smiled, and he realized what he’d just said. He then closed his book, got back in his patrol car and drove off.

She was laughing too hard to start her car.

#260 pc69 on 07.12.12 at 6:28 pm

How do you find out the sale history of a property in Vancouver?

#261 CalgaryRocks on 07.12.12 at 6:42 pm

We will be applying for a T1 and T2 work permit-my husband is transferring with his current employer and so I would be able to work at any point no restrictions
——————-

You may want to check with an attorney as there definately are work restrictions for spouses of workers on TN visas. Your hubby should try an L visa if this is an intra company transfer. If he’s managerial the L1 will give him a green card in record time by bypassing the labor certification.

In addition, you will most likely be unable to get credit in the US if you’re on a TN.

Spend a few hundred dollars on an attorney. Check this guy out. He’s expensive but good. Buy the phone consult. http://www.grasmick.com/

No affiliation but I’ve used him in the past.

#262 Pat on 07.12.12 at 6:54 pm

@ #249 IM in C,

Nah. Living without sex – physiologically impossible. Living in a rental – perfectly possible.

#263 a fan on 07.12.12 at 6:58 pm

#191 Steven Rowlandson: where would you suggest putting your money then? In a box in the ground?

#264 Daisy Mae on 07.12.12 at 7:06 pm

Crash Calaway on 07.11.12 at 11:52 pm

“Carl, first thing ya gotta do… is go to Walmart and buy a pair of pants…then learn how to wear em!”

******************

I thought marriage was all about compromise. Communication is good, too.

#265 Yuri on 07.12.12 at 7:11 pm

Hi Garth,

You always recommend ETFs but there are too many of them. I talked to my and other financial advisors and it looks like they don’t want to deal with ETFs.
Could you please recommend some or at least ETF company iShares, Horizon, BMO, etc.
I’m looking for some ETFs in gold, natural gas, REIT.

Thank you.
Yuri.

Get an advisor, not a salesguy. — Garth

#266 Bill Gable on 07.12.12 at 7:38 pm

Jesslyn – Las Vegas is a sewer, right up there with Vanpoover, except it’s hotter, more guns and a lot of desperate out of work Americanos.
Move anywhere in the States, yer nuts.
The Revolution is close. There were millions of rounds of ammo sold in the last seven months.
At least in Canada, only the drug gangs, Cops and the Armed forces carry heat.
Give your head a shake.

#267 Canadian Watchdog on 07.12.12 at 8:01 pm

Toronto (416 only) detached property price reductions according to data from Guava.com. The average change is shown as an absolute value, so it’s really negative or a loss. http://postimage.org/image/9kn16y5kn/

Price changes are the next thing to watch.

#268 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 07.12.12 at 8:02 pm


China stops fast GMotors growth; California cities Ending existence? Liboring It appears Libor isn’t the only thing being manipulated, and Sue City Lawsuits because of Libor; Criminal activity “In a nation in manufacturing decline, the only possible remaining source for the wealth that powers billion dollar Wall Street compensation packages is crime and corruption!” wrh.com; Barclays and Diamond “Congress will grovel before him the way they did Jamie Dimon.” wrh.com; 49:25 clip The earth +five per cent; HSBC Numbers keep climbing.
*
Monsanto threatens EZone; Syria is to Russia what Israel is to the US; Drones over Gaza Where did these come from? Plus Fourth Aircraft Carrier Noddin’ Yahoo must have ordered Obomba to send more equipment; Gestapo Tactics Obomba’s hope and change — Yes We Can! Prescott Bush dubya’s granpappy, and how he (plus a few others) financed the Nazis in WW2; Montana initiative qualifies for Nov. ballot; Copyright activists in panic over CETA; Frame Up? This whole thing could be a neatly disguised plan to bring down Merkel’s govt.; H1N1 Vaccine linked to nervous system;What do Japan and the UK have in common? Rain, and lots of it; Berlusconi Again?

#269 Devore on 07.12.12 at 8:21 pm

#174 Steve

There is some assumption evident in the comments that Carl has learned from this. That will only prove true if he has a change of behaviour as a result of the experience

Learned? He already knew, and did anyways.

#270 penpal on 07.12.12 at 8:25 pm

@ # 240 Casual Observer

Hello there, new guy.

Yet another idiot steps up to the plate.

#271 Ret on 07.12.12 at 8:35 pm

#165 Truth hammer–condo conversion buyers beware.

This link is 2yo old but very interesting. A developer converts a former Bell Canada building to condos. Yes the City of Hamilton did building code inspections on the units but whoopsie, not on the condition of the underground parking garage spaces sold to buyers along with their condo! You know the rest of the story already, don’t you?

$4-10,000 special assessment per unit and a legal battle over responsibility.

http://www.thespec.com/news/local/article/254185–concrete-bills-hit-core-lofts-owners

If you buy in this city, even a brand new home, get a Holmes inspection and plan on not moving in until the builder/seller remedies any deficiencies.

You have been warned.

#272 Dmitry on 07.12.12 at 8:44 pm

Hi Garth

I’m a regular reader of your blog, young but not horny as most of my friends. I graduated recently and started working as a software developer at the bank. I make around 55K a year, have no debt and have about 30K in savings: about 12k is in cash sitting in savings account (with 1.4% interest), then 4K in preferred EFT, and the rest is in individual stocks split over 5 companies (one of them is employer sponsored). I must admit I have limited investment knowledge.. Went to the bank adviser once… but quick risk assessment and he immediately offered that bank’s mutual fund… Needless to say I never went back again.

You often mention that most people have no clue about investing, but can you maybe do some posts for people like me with tips on investing?

Sure. And sell your stocks. Now. — Garth

#273 a prairie dawg on 07.12.12 at 8:46 pm

#200 6% – show me the money

I definitely believe it is possible, in this environment, to find instruments that yield 6%.

However, I don’t believe that is possible in a portfolio…

– — –

I have a self-directed account and you constantly get bombarded with share offerings, debentures, notes, preferred shares, etc..

Some of the riskier stuff, that is unsecured, can pay 6 or 7 or 8%. (private debentures and notes, etc)

Companies offering these should be scrutinized to find out why they can’t get mainstream financing at cheaper rates though. You don’t want to buy notes from the next Enron.

But I’m not suggesting you should. Just that you can.

#274 Toronto_CA on 07.12.12 at 9:02 pm

You guys talking about 6% returns, I believe Garth has already clarified this to say that preferred shares and dividend paying stocks in the 4-5% range are equivalent to 6% return after tax due to the dividend tax credit (as opposed to other types of income such as interest).

I suppose if it’s in a TFSA or RRSP it’s not equivalent, but in a taxable investment account the dividends are taxed differently. From investopedia:

The dividends an individual receives from Canadian corporations are “grossed up” by 25%. This amount is then included on their income tax form as taxable income.

Both Canadian federal and provincial governments then grant individuals a tax credit, equal to a percentage of the grossed up amount. This helps to reduce the actual tax payable.

Let’s run through an example. Susan Smith has a marginal income tax rate of 25% and is located in Alberta, where the provincial dividend tax credit is 6.4%. The federal dividend tax credit is 13.33%. Her total dividends for the year were $250. On the taxable income portion of her tax return she will include $312.50 (250*1.25). Her approximate taxes owing on this dividend would then be $78.13 (312.50*0.25). She also receives dividend tax credits of $41.67 (312.50*13.33%) and $20 (312.50*0.064). Therefore, in all her taxes payable on her dividend is $16.46 (78.13-41.67-20).

This amounts to only 5.27% of her original dividend.

Dividend tax credits are implemented in an attempt to offset double taxing, since dividends are paid to shareholders with a corporation’s after-tax profit and the dividends received by shareholders are also taxed.

There are both federal and provincial tax credits.

Hope that helps.

#275 Willy H on 07.12.12 at 9:04 pm

$130K income on a $640K semi in the Beaches!

Priceless.

At half that income across the border (many markets in the NE USA) you could purchase at home at under $200K and have much much better quality of life.

#276 Keeping the Faith on 07.12.12 at 9:06 pm

#85 Mr Buyer on 07.11.12 at 11:33 pm

Bang on, you hit my story on the head … what’s the saying, ‘gotta know one to see one’

… apologies Karie, it really wasn’t you but my ex that the visceral reaction was about.

Thank Garth for the reprimand and keeping it civil … saving me from myself again… i should be paying you for this!

#277 Grim Reaper/Crypt Speculator on 07.12.12 at 9:06 pm

Fiirrrssttttt..or ELSE

#278 Einzatgruppen kanada on 07.12.12 at 9:10 pm

Carl:

Should have gone to sea mate. No women, free board and nowhere to spend money less you lose a few card games. Only women are portside rent or mermaids – them not wanting babies.

#279 agioblue on 07.12.12 at 9:16 pm

jesslyn @194
CalgaryRocks @ 260 has pointed out the most important issues to look at and those alone may determine your best move. There are serious restrictions for Canadian spouses working in the US. For your husband as well, all the ducks best be in a row before the move. There are also other things to take into consideration. The biggest one being Health Insurance. Best make sure you have that one covered.
You guys sound like you are well ahead of the curve financially, both mentally and in actual assets. Whether to buy or rent in Vegas is essentially a coin flip given the dollar amount you guys are looking at spending. It is still somewhat of a volatile market and if there was anyplace that the term “location, location, location” matters, it’s Vegas.
It may be the wisest course to initially lease a place, you can probably snag a decent joint on a short term lease no problem and get a feel for the city prior to buying. If the ‘deal of a lifetime’ comes up you’d be in a position to buy anyhow. Not saying you should but you could.
As I mentioned at the beginning, once you have all the answers to both of you actually working in the US, your decision will be much easier but I’d be inclined to initially lease. Many things may not be as they appear once you get down there.

#280 Keeping the Faith on 07.12.12 at 9:16 pm

#198 TorontoGal on 07.12.12 at 12:34 pm

Spend the next year learning the basics about personal finance, start with “the wealthy barber returns” and graduate to investments in year 2, “the portfolio doctors” is an easy good read, and then graduate to wealth management and take a CSI course or two. When you’ve done that, you will really understand whether real estate in 3 years is worth investing in.

my 2 cents.

#281 patiently Waiting on 07.12.12 at 9:34 pm

#259pc69

How do you find out the sale history of a property in Vancouver?
—————————————————————–
Realtors have access to the sales history of properties, tax information, and title searches. This type of information can be extremely valuable when about to enter the offer / negotiation phase in buying a home. For example when a new listing comes on MLS, quite often if you check the history you will find the listing was cancelled and re-listed at a lower price (sometimes several times) to hide the price reduction. Also, it is always good to check the title searches – I recently found one that showed that the seller had 3 separate mortgages registered on title.

While I do not work as a realtor, I do have the licensing and access to this tyoe of data, and would be happy to help you out if you like. Just ask Garth to pass on your contact info to me with the property you are interested in and I will send you the info you need.
Cheers
PW

#282 Patiently Waiting on 07.12.12 at 9:52 pm

Here is an example of a sales history and how valuable this info can be as I mentioned above:

MLS F1209006

Terminated $ 2,588,000 . . . . . . . . . . 03-Apr-12

Re-listed at $ 2,288,000 . . . . . . . . . . . 11-Apr-12

2nd Price Drop to $ 1,998,000 . . . . . . 08-Jun-12

—————————————————–
In 94 days on market the price history shows 2 price drops totaling almost $600,000.

#283 Randman on 07.12.12 at 10:17 pm

Canuck Abroad #134

Totally agree…we will morph into a police state …but no one will notice or care until they are personally targeted…then it will be too late…

This is how Nazi Germany rose …Hitler was very smart and had studied how to do it from history..

We’ll always be ridiculed by idiots who think “It can’t happen here” Thank goodness I won’t be around to see too much of it…

Sad ..silly ….clueless Canadians

#284 Van grrl on 07.13.12 at 12:48 am

Toronto Gal:
Ignore #221, John. He is a broken record who goes on and on and on about gender de-something or other every chance he gets (which is mostly when he is sure he is replying to a woman).

If I were you, and 25 again, I’d take some of that cashola and SEE THE WORLD because it’s big and beautiful and fascinating. You’re young- money comes, money goes, life experience is priceless. Then come back and get yourself a condo- perhaps property will have hit rock bottom by then.
And remember, simply ignore John :)

#285 TurnerNation on 07.13.12 at 8:18 am

237Smoking Man on 07.12.12 at 3:44 pm

Kind of OT but maybe not as this is kind of a boomer blog .

Last month’s Toronto Life, back page, well known writer Jan Wong tales her run-in with Anti depressents. She tried for a month, finding the “right” one. All of them nearly killed her. Mentally, physically, and spiritually. She nearly offed herself.
All-knowing psych kept the drugs coming like a sick experiment.

I would not touch anything like that. Deadly psychotropic medications – first tested in the gulags and camps (I’m not kiding, they were) – have no place. But they do. Cull the herd. Bio warfare.

Im reminded of Steppenwolf ‘Pusher man’ lyrics:

“The dealer, for a nickel lord He’ll sell you lots of sweet dreams Ah but the pusher’ll ruin your body Lord he’ll leave, he’ll leave your mind to scream”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InMBnlMzYmo&feature=related

#286 Tony on 07.13.12 at 8:38 am

Carl won’t have to wait 5 years to move. The bank will foreclose long before that time. Goodbye house, down payment and the wife will get a snout full for her “bright” idea in the first place.

#287 Tony on 07.13.12 at 8:49 am

Re: #271 Dmitry on 07.12.12 at 8:44 pm

The best tip is to sell everything you have in stocks. The stock market should fall somewhere between 50 and 80 percent over the next 3 to 5 years. Talking the American and Canadian main indexes. Play currency funds might be the best suggestion as returns over long periods of time in these have been stellar.

Sure, eschew profitable, dividend-paying companies to speculate on forex. You are nuts. — Garth

#288 TorontoGal on 07.13.12 at 9:39 am

#283 Van grrl, #235 debtified, #238 Canadian Watchdog, and #279 Keeping the Faith – Thanks for your feedback. Don’t worry. I don’t plan on just socking away my money under the mattress. Life is too short. (actually have a two week trip planned for Europe this summer) :) That said, I was hoping to find constructive advice for smart choices by people who are obviously interested in investing, finances and real estate, etc. I’ll keep your comments in mind.

I wasn’t really sure if, or how, I should respond to John. I found it odd that he would take my questions as an opportunity to judge my character or how I value men. Just because I don’t mention men in the post doesn’t mean I don’t value them and/or relationships :S After all, this is a financial/investment blog… is it not?

#289 John G. Young on 07.13.12 at 10:36 am

#283 Van grrl on 07.13.12 at 12:48 am

Couldn’t agree more.

John and his incomprehensible ramblings are an embarassment to my gender.

Cheers,

John