Lust on the rocks

SIGN modified

A little over a year ago, when it was selling for more than 60% off, this blog told you about Villa Madrona, an orgiastic pile of house porn pulsating on the edge of the sea, heartbeats north of the love capital of Canada, Victoria.

When this opulence sold last summer it was heralded as the biggest deal in almost four years, even though it went for a fraction of the original asking price, and probably below replacement value. After all, the lux guest house itself is 3,200 square feet. The main digs contains eleven thousand feet of carved oak pilasters from a Vanderbilt mansion, Singaporean chandeliers, a Tuscan mural and a library built from the guts of an antique British abode. Of course, there are fountains, marble floors, sculptures, theatre and enough paucity of taste and refinement to befit a home worth of Britney Spears.

But Villa Madrona is more than a rising monument to a hormonal imbalance. It’s a symbol of our tortured relationship with real estate itself, the most emotional and deceiving of assets.

In the hedonist days of 2005, as the American housing market bloated to the extreme, the five-year-old Villa – built by juice king Ralph Bodine – hit the market for an eye-popping $18.5 million, which is heap of money for two acres of land with a walk score of 5. No takers, though. After the GFC decimated real estate and cheap mortgage rates revived it, Bodine relisted – this time for $19.25 million. Crickets.

Over time the price dropped into the nine mill range, then eight, then $6.998 million. Finally, in July of 2013, the love nest found buyers – a Chinese couple who’d taken up residence in Victoria, enjoy a large taste deficit, and plunked down $6.6 million. The deal closed just a year ago.

It all happened about the same time another off-the-wall property, the home of failed Bear Mountain resort developer Len Barrie, was sold by the courts. That 13,000-foot, five-year-old heap was originally listed for $13.9 million, reduced to just under $5 million and eventually sold for $4.4 million to people who need an 1,800-foot bedroom. It also has four dishwashers (apparently they’re all attractive), a putting green and the thing everyone craves – crystal doorknobs.

Anyway, here’s the update: if you missed snatching Villa Madrona last year, you can do so again now. It’s on the market. The new owners are asking $11 million.

What does this tell us?

Beats me. Maybe it says they made a huge mistake in Canadian real estate and are now seeking a greater fool. Maybe they actually believe they can make $4 million in 12 months on a flip. Perhaps they think nobody ever heard of comparables or sales histories. Maybe, inconceivably, they don’t read this blog, as most gazillionaires do. Could be their agent, James Liu of Royal LePage, is just an idiot. And then, perhaps values in Victoria have risen 80% in the past year – which is weird, since the local real estate board says sales prices have flatlined – up a scant 0.3% in the past year – less than the rate of inflation.

Or, simply, maybe’s it more evidence this is an asset whose valuation is so divorced from logic and completely dependent on non-financial factors (as opposed to price-to-income ratios, economic growth or demand) that you can just make it up. In any case, it took the last dude eight years to unload this Villa Dolorosa and I’m betting it will once again prove being rich and retarded are not mutually exclusive.

*    *    *

If you’re selling or buying real estate, here’s something to know. I told you months ago never to fill out or sign one of those property disclosure forms when you list your place. They’re legally toxic, asking you (in effect) to warranty and guarantee your place has no defects, legal encumbrances or unseen flaws. In fact, your signature essentially says there have never been problems, even if they’ve since been rectified or repaired.

You’re far better off to shift the burden of proof on to the purchaser, who should be doing his/her own due diligence anyway – with a home inspection, for example. Lots of the questions on the disclosure form ask for highly technical or legal responses, which most people are incapable of giving. So don’t try.

Hundreds of unfortunate sellers have not heeded this advice, and ended up in court as a result – often losing actions to buyers who walked away with large settlements for problems that cropped up after closing. Now an Ontario court has also ensnared a realtor in this kind of dispute – an agent who worked for both buyer and seller in a deal that went south over a botched disclosure form.

The court ruled the agent had an ethical responsibility to ensure the statements on the form were correct which, of course, is impossible. Clients lie. What realtor is going to risk legal action by standing behind a homeowner’s claim that the septic is pristine and the basement walls never sweat?

So, I expect this disclosure form’s now living on borrowed time. Like the infamous BRA, just don’t sign. Too much potential hurt.

125 comments ↓

#1 CdnFlyer on 09.28.14 at 3:01 pm

Let’s hope for a day of zero comments from Smoking Man. I’ve just spent the day with my senile uncle and I’m tired of hearing made-up stories.

#2 Harbour on 09.28.14 at 3:09 pm

Anyway, here’s the update: if you missed snatching Villa Madrona last year, you can do so again now. It’s on the market. The new owners are asking $11 million.

……………………………………………………………………….

Maybe Chinese flip can find a Chinese flop?

#3 hohoho on 09.28.14 at 3:15 pm

$ 11M flat?? Surprising it’s not listed at $ 10,888,888 :-O

#4 crowdedelevatorfartz on 09.28.14 at 3:22 pm

“The court ruled the agent had an ethical responsibility to ensure the statements on the form were correct….”

I’m amazed that “realtor” and “ethical” have been set as a precedent in the Canadian legal system.

Who knows where this could lead…….the downfall of civilization as we know it…..?

#5 Mark on 09.28.14 at 3:38 pm

Always amazed that Realtors and bankers (including mortgage brokers) take a multiple of the compensation of Professional Engineers in the process of delivering housing to the population.

I am told that for the engineers, being able to earn 10% of the project cost is extremely generous, and that closer to 5-7% is typical. Typical Realtor takes 5%, and just the mortgage brokers alone, over a few loan renewal terms, easily takes another 5% in commissions.

#6 Retired Boomer - WI on 09.28.14 at 3:46 pm

Sounds like the BRA …won’t hold much, neither will any ‘disclosure’ forms. Why bother to even present one. If you tell the truth as you know it, you may have legal responsibility, but if you just clam up about what you might know, you’re better off?

Makes no sense. Neither does having drunks and substance abusers collect social security disability, but it does go on here.

Crodedelevatorfartz, you’re too late, civilization has left the building. More fun just to irritate the sane.

#7 4 AM Sunrise on 09.28.14 at 3:48 pm

#2 Harbour on 09.28.14 at 3:09 pm

The name of the buyer – “Gurmit Singh Uppal” – suggests South Asian: http://www.timescolonist.com/business/court-approves-4-4-million-sale-of-len-barrie-mansion-in-langford-1.640341

#8 elrowe on 09.28.14 at 3:53 pm

“… built by juice king Ralph Bodine … ”

Must be related to Jethro Bodine of the Beverly Hillbillies. Explains everything.

#9 Realties.ca » Lust on the rocks on 09.28.14 at 4:01 pm

[…] Source: http://www.greaterfool.ca/2014/09/28/lust-on-the-rocks/ […]

#10 LazyJason on 09.28.14 at 4:04 pm

re: #7 4 AM Sunrise on 09.28.14 at 3:48 pm

“With two offers on the table, negotiations took place outside the courtroom. The successful offer was presented to the court and accepted, with a $250,000 deposit. The sale price was $4,429,222. The process took just five minutes.”

5% down on a $4.5 million house. You’d think the court would want a bit more of a deposit than that.

#11 Linda on 09.28.14 at 4:32 pm

Holy Hannah. The size of the homes mentioned boggles me. Of course, uber rich people just hire help to do the work, but all I see when I look at the video link for Madrona is endless maintenance plus what has to be some serious tax revenue for local government.

As for the buyers, they did get quite the deal & are now trying to make an excellent profit. Good luck to them. The pool of people with that kind of cash lying about is finite & surely they will have their minions do the homework before making an offer to purchase. I’m just presuming they are not going to want to give away their millions to the current owners & if they are at all shrewd, may try to underbid the previous purchase price.

#12 Happy Renting on 09.28.14 at 4:33 pm

Wow, a used house seller being held accountable for representations made during the hot-and-heavy sales process? We’ve just gotten so used to it being the other way. :P

#13 Hickster on 09.28.14 at 4:38 pm

Hey Garth you often point out the deceitful statements made by real estate boards, so the sept 3 report by the Regina realtors assoc might be a breath of fresh air. In this report is the following stated without caveat:

– Sales down 14%, lowest since 2008
– Inventory at 1433 properties vs 1039 in 2013 and 644 in 2012.
– Sell price down 1%
– Frankenumber rather than glossing things over, suggests decline is actually worse at 2.4%
– Total dollar volume of sales down 15%
– Avrg 48 days to sell vs 32 in Aug 2013
– Sellers advised to lower their prices due to largest inventory in 20 years

Bet you don’t hear many realtor boards talking like that

#14 Sebee on 09.28.14 at 5:02 pm

What do you mean don’t sign? As a buyer I’d absolutely want it.

#15 4 AM Sunrise on 09.28.14 at 5:17 pm

Whoops, I got my luxury Victoria homes mixed up!

That home sold to the South Asians was NOT Villa Madrona (but is an equally unbelievable story).

And yes, Villa Madrona was bought by people originally from China: http://www.timescolonist.com/business/north-saanich-home-sells-for-6-6-million-1.340690

#16 Just Jack on 09.28.14 at 5:33 pm

Villa Madronna is listed at close to 16 times the median price of a non-waterfront home for that neighborhood. While there is always a chance, like winning the lottery, someone will pay that amount it’s unlikely a bank would lend over 8 times the median price of the neighborhood. A reasonable appraiser would not value the property any higher. Go ahead and buy it – just (B)ring (C)ash.

#17 Cici on 09.28.14 at 5:34 pm

Oh congratulations Garth, fabulous piece tonight–you really got me reeling. You got me laughing so hard I now stomach cramps. Ouuch!

#18 Mark on 09.28.14 at 5:34 pm

” so the sept 3 report by the Regina realtors assoc might be a breath of fresh air”

Regina Realtors were amongst the first to acknowledge and warn their members and the public that changes to the “sales mix” were responsible for average prices actually rising slightly, while the average house was actually flat or down in price.

The same thing has been happening in Vancouver/Calgary/Toronto, but the Realtors have been hush-hush, and even in full-propaganda mode trying to deny such.

Same thing was quite prevalent in California 2006-2008. The market was generally melting down, but the increasingly narrow sales mix still produced an average sales price that was relatively stable.

#19 saskatoon on 09.28.14 at 5:42 pm

#13 Hickster

regina may suck, but things still seem rosy in saskatoon:

http://www.saskatoonrealtors.ca/Mediarelease/DetailedArticle.aspx?Article=210|1

#20 dd on 09.28.14 at 5:54 pm

There are plenty of millionaire estates that are priced at 50% 2007 prices. The recent van treight farm sales went to the gal the runs Rogers.

#21 Freedom First on 09.28.14 at 6:02 pm

……it will prove once again that being rich and retarded are not mutually exclusive. Priceless Garth.

And like the Americans, the Europeans, and the Japanese, Canadians are proving once again that being crazy over leveraged RE worshipers and retarded is a Universal human trait of the masses.

#22 pinstripe on 09.28.14 at 6:05 pm

A new selling practice has been introduced in north-central alberta:

the seller has a property on the market for two years for one million dollars. a lot of tire kickers with a best offer around 600 grand appeared but nothing serious. the agent suggests that the seller price is too high. the seller claims NO.

the seller gets a new agent and this new boy says the reason it did not sell is because the price is too low. new price is set at 3 million. the new boy feels confident that it will sell within several months.

need to wait and see how this works out.

#23 Smoking Man on 09.28.14 at 6:15 pm

#1 CdnFlyer on 09.28.14 at 3:01 pmLet’s hope for a day of zero comments from Smoking Man. I’ve just spent the day with my senile uncle and I’m tired of hearing made-up stories

……

Don’t be ridiculous, I’ve been here almost everyday, for the last 5 years, I’ve seen people come and go.. There is only so much you can cover on real estate and investing. With out sounding like a parrot….

So I drift a bit.. Get over it… When something big about to happen in markets I let you bastards know…

In the mean time, there are 27 people here that love me…

How many do you have flyby..

#24 Mr.Hulot on 09.28.14 at 6:27 pm

I’ll bet Garth $100 that Villa Madrona will sell in less than one year for a profit to the seller. Do you take the challenge Garth?

#25 TEMPORARY® Foreign Prime Minister on 09.28.14 at 6:41 pm

From the Daily Mirror, August 17th:

“….The Bank of England chief has warned that David Cameron’s cost of living crisis is threatening the UK economy.

Mark Carney said yesterday that millions of British households are “heavily indebted” due to years of falling wages and rising prices.

“They haven’t seen real wages increase,” warned the Governor.

And the situation could get even tougher for homeowners as Mr Carney said interest rates would go up……”

Pretty much sums up what Garth has been trumpeting here over the last few months, yet no one here at 24 Sussex seems to be listening. Too busy focusing on a second chance at becoming a tubby Napoleon v2.0

#26 Shawn on 09.28.14 at 7:35 pm

A Steal at $6.6 million?

I suspect the last buyer got a deal at $6.6 million.

Certainly whether he has gained or lost tells us almost nothing about the general market, ’cause this puppy ain’t the general market. So don’t anyone blow a gasket if someone pays $8.5 million or whatever.

The uber rich gotta do something with their money!

I mean if a couple of teachers around age 30 can finance a $1 million property then certainly the uber rich ought to be able to do 10 times that?

P.S. See you all at the open house?

#27 CdnFlyer on 09.28.14 at 7:38 pm

Smoking Man, I don’t need followers. I’m not ruled by my ego. If I make comments, it pertains to this website and the theme of it. The fact that you hijack this site for your own benefit speaks of your lack of confidence and your childish attention seeking. You’ve created a site. Great! Now post on that site and your have fun with your 27 followers.

#28 Tiger on 09.28.14 at 7:40 pm

23 smoking idiot!
He’s dislectic , should read 27 idiots not friends!

#29 Stomper on 09.28.14 at 7:45 pm

and this is why I keep coming back to this Blog… “I’m betting it will once again prove being rich and retarded are not mutually exclusive”

Pure GOLD!!!

#30 Nacho Cheese on 09.28.14 at 7:54 pm

I recently sold my house using an agent. Long story short, he expected a bonus (which we never had a contract for verbally or in writing), then threatened with this:

“… I could have delayed or blocked the sale. Management is waiting on this now so I’m still giving a chance to hear back from you before it goes to them for review which may include using a collections agency at their discretion. ”

I contacted the real estate company head office and they told me to not pay him anything. I haven’t heard from the agent since…

My question is, can agents legally delay or block sales?

#31 Hickster on 09.28.14 at 7:58 pm

#19 saskatoon

Ya for the last while Regina and Saskatoon do opposites, when one is up the other is down and vice versa

#32 Nemesis on 09.28.14 at 7:58 pm

#TheAnalectsOf… #Confucius… #AncientWisdomForSaltierDogz:

http://youtu.be/bxzPp_Fh1nA

[NoteToSM: SunTzu was pretty cool, too… As it happens, he knew a ThingOrTwo about dealing with UnethicalMerchants… http://youtu.be/_7Z2ZP2S01c – it’s only a rumour, mind you – but they say he was inspired to pen TheArtOfWar after a particularly disappointing experience with a CondoPreSale.]

#33 west coast on 09.28.14 at 8:04 pm

https://www.ecorealtyinc.ca/bc-real-estate-listings/gibsons/mls-V1020192/1393-Port-Mellon-Highway-Gibsons-V0N1V6?id=260436307

Here’s another one….$7,995,000…on the “Sunshine Coast”…been on the market for years……..sure it’s a little out of the way …… but don’t let that stop you.

#34 Geoff on 09.28.14 at 8:05 pm

So let’s count on CRA performing due diligence on the Villa Madrona type flips. The snitch line is well publicized. For non resident players there must be some kind of an extra gratuity to the Government of Canada for playing at our Casino Realto.

#35 Ray Skunk on 09.28.14 at 8:08 pm

#29 Nacho Cheese

Bonus for what? Is this in lieu of in in addition to his usual commission? Was it a %age of going over list?

You’ve piqued my interest – more info please!

#36 omg on 09.28.14 at 8:23 pm

Disclosure Forms

The problem with disclosure forms is that in markets where they are used pretty much everyone expects one.

If there is no disclosure then people figure there is something fishy, assume there is a hidden problem, and value the house lower. In a hot market not a big deal people will still buy the house for close to market. In a slow market with lots of property choices you are going to take a hit on price and/or have the property sit for a long time.

Any disclosure form I have filled out has a “Do Not Know” option on it. Basically you just mark that and let the buyer’s inspector actually inspect.

Even at that there still can be a legal risk. If something goes wrong the buyer will may try to prove that you should have known about the problem.

#37 Mark on 09.28.14 at 8:27 pm

“I contacted the real estate company head office and they told me to not pay him anything. I haven’t heard from the agent since…

My question is, can agents legally delay or block sales?

Hell no. They’re an agent. They’re not the principal. I don’t know what province you’re in, or what sort of RE regulator they have, but if you have proof of such statement/threat being made by a Realtor, I would seriously consider making a professional complaint. Bad and dishonest Realtors need to be punted from the profession.

#38 Smoking Man on 09.28.14 at 8:27 pm

#26 and #27
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQiW_l848t8

One of my twenty seven fans recently sent me this clip…

Realizing just how owned and programmed you buggers are, if you watch this, your head might explode…

You see bastards, I’m a free thinker, full of imagination, so thing that you two have had removed from your souls by your lovely school master…

The aggression you display is realy some kind of frustration with your own lives… But know it.

Oxoxox

#39 ronh on 09.28.14 at 8:31 pm

I put an offer on a house subject to an inspection report.
After reviewing the report we walked away from the deal.
A month later the agent calls and asks if I want to sell my inspection report to another buyer. No.

#40 45north on 09.28.14 at 8:32 pm

a Chinese couple plunked down $6.6 million. The deal closed just a year ago.

if I were a bank, I’d treat this as a personal loan – the guy’s either good for this or he’s not.

#41 };-) aka Devil's Advocate on 09.28.14 at 8:35 pm

But Villa Madrona is more than a rising monument to a hormonal imbalance. It’s a symbol of our tortured relationship with real estate itself, the most emotional and deceiving of assets. – Garth

It’s not just real estate it’s everything and money, the REAL subject of this blog is at the root of it. Cars, boats, Stocks, Real Estate… all the same… trinkets, none of which matter squat at the end of the day.

So, I expect this disclosure form’s now living on borrowed time. Like the infamous BRA, just don’t sign. Too much potential hurt. – Garth

Only if either parties intentions are to mislead or hide something important to the other.

#42 lee on 09.28.14 at 8:36 pm

What’s the name of the case that burned the agent? I love karma (charma???).

#43 Snowboid on 09.28.14 at 8:45 pm

Property Disclosure Statement or not?

In BC the statements have a spot to answer “Do not Know”.

If you fill out the form (and as a buyer we expect one), you should use that answer if you truly don’t know if there was a problem.

The form also states it’s the sellers’ responsibility to ensure the accuracy – so just be honest if you don’t know!

In Arizona the form states: “Although sellers are obligated to disclose all known material (important) facts about the Property, there are likely facts about the Property that the Sellers do not know. Therefore, it is important that you (the Buyer) take an active role in obtaining information about the Property”

Either way, if there was a problem that you knew about and didn’t disclose, then I think the buyer should have a case to sue the seller.

If they refused to sign a disclosure statement I see it the same as a strata that voted not to prepare a depreciation report (in BC) – we wouldn’t consider a purchase for either omission.

#44 Snowboid on 09.28.14 at 8:45 pm

#15 4 AM Sunrise on 09.28.14 at 5:17 pm…

I don’t get your point. It doesn’t matter where a person originally comes from, once they become a citizen – they are Canadian.

Holy xenophobe!

#45 CdnFlyer on 09.28.14 at 8:47 pm

Very predictable SM. If someone doesn’t agree with you, then call them conditioned and programmed. I know this supports your sense of superiority, but know this: the reason you have this make-believe life online is because your real life is uninteresting and ‘programmed’.

#46 devore on 09.28.14 at 8:53 pm

Well, realtors have insurance for their practice for these sorts of things, home owners have nothing. Which is why they should never be filling out and signing these dumb forms. Disclosure is fine, but if disclosure constitutes warranty and unlimited legal liability, no thanks.

#47 Ottawa-south on 09.28.14 at 8:54 pm

Some realtors are not honest:

There’s a house on our street that’s had a for sale sign by a major national real estate firm for about four weeks now. The last two weekends there were open houses and no one showed up.

However, you won’t find this listing on MLS or any website, because they hired a scam artist realtor. He’s done this before too. He plants the sign in the ground, but simply does NOT list the house on MLS or anywhere else. That way no one can find it, and he and his investor partner can buy it cheap through power of sale (then rent it out). He has over 25 years experience as an agent so he should know doing this is illegal (by not disclosing certain things and trying to buy the house he’s ‘selling’).

What I can’t figure out is why the seller can be so dumb and not check their own listing online (at least for accuracy). Why hire a realtor if they don’t bother to list the house on MLS?

#48 devore on 09.28.14 at 9:00 pm

#11 Linda

The pool of people with that kind of cash lying about is finite & surely they will have their minions do the homework before making an offer to purchase.

More importantly, the people with this kind of money have the world as their market. There is nothing limiting their search to the Victoria area. Several million buys you spectacular properties around the world. They will drive a deal into the 4 millions again.

#49 Nemesis on 09.28.14 at 9:02 pm

#BonusWisdom… #TheConciseTeachingsOf… #TheMostIrresponsiblePerson… #InTheMultiVerse: #GoatMan. #OrSometimes,AllItTakesIsA… #HairCut?

http://youtu.be/pZMuE-qFNLk

#BonusGoat… #”It’sTheJourneyThatCounts.”:

http://youtu.be/iJiz3SsY9fE

#50 Smoking Man on 09.28.14 at 9:03 pm

#44 CdnFlyer on 09.28.14 at 8:47 pmVery predictable SM. If someone doesn’t agree with you, then call them conditioned and programmed. I know this supports your sense of superiority, but know this: the reason you have this make-believe life online is because your real life is uninteresting and ‘programmed’.
…….

From going from banish the smoking man, to an all out debate, ha… Very funny..

Why don’t you feel superior, or maybe you do but have been conditioned to conceal that. Or maybe you subliminally protect a illogical belief system that’s been indoctrinated into your way of thinking.

Now I don’t know for sure if some people at the tax farm know the identity of the smoking man, altho I di suspect it.

If they read your last line they would be on the floor in fits of laughter…

Watch the video, then talk to me…

#51 Sharon on 09.28.14 at 9:03 pm

DELETED

#52 Arfmooocat on 09.28.14 at 9:12 pm

#26 CdnFlyer

That was good !!

ha ha

#53 CdnFlyer on 09.28.14 at 9:14 pm

DELETED

You wish. — Garth

#54 Future Expatiate on 09.28.14 at 9:18 pm

That hideorama sold? To a Chinese couple?

What suckers. And is this ever going to fuel the xenophobes. Look, the only thing they deserve is endless pity for their horrific taste and money”smarts”.

#55 Future Expatiate on 09.28.14 at 9:19 pm

6 mil for a two bedroom house with no A/C.

There’s a sucker born every minute, and apparently every second in China.

#56 Arfmooocat on 09.28.14 at 9:23 pm

Sorry I mean’t #27 CdnFlyer

#57 Ontario's Left Coast on 09.28.14 at 9:33 pm

CdnFlyer, This programmed robot is with you… SM displays classic narcissistic behaviour patterns (attention seeking, illusions of grandeur, extreme egotism) but is actually just a pathetic liar. If I have to hear any more about his amazing novel, I’m going to hurl. Oh, and yes, I did get a post-secondary education but am fully capable of independent thought. Cheers to all!

#58 Rainmaker on 09.28.14 at 9:39 pm

#47 Ottawa – South

“He has over 25 years experience as an agent so he should know doing this is illegal (by not disclosing certain things and trying to buy the house he’s ‘selling’).

What I can’t figure out is why the seller can be so dumb and not check their own listing online….”

Why don’t you make a call to the Ottawa Real Estate Board or better yet, the fraud squad. If this individual is investigated and even if nothing comes of it – at least it will deter them in the future. Best case scenario – they loose their license.

#59 Tiger on 09.28.14 at 9:40 pm

Smoking man
Is proof that ignorance is bliss and education costs a lot less, let’s see just how this bliss works out for ya gambling substance abuse ignorance
Now I say I went to school and had my own business in grade 11 yup I did have some teachers cheering me on they also bought my product
Others mostly class mates were just like a smoking man, very hate full, jellious
Go to u tube look it up
Now 27 years later worth more than 4mil
Yup I did like being controlled
It’s all in the person how you deal with it
Realestate investing when it wasn’t cool shure as he’ll paid off ha ha!
Smoking goof don’t try this it could hurt your image, oh ya only like the xo thing from people that inspire me so cut it out!!!!

#60 OttawaMike on 09.28.14 at 9:41 pm

I love the posts here that call for banning a particular contributor.

They usually go something like:” that Smokingman, he just wastes space here in this forum–I never read him– for example there was the time that he posted an opinion on…”

I was not aware that this website is low on storage space and bandwidth. Lots of crap here that does not interest me but I find it very easy to scroll through to the items that interest me.

Me thinks the whiners are the biggest trolls here.

#61 NostyVlad the Snugglebombed on 09.28.14 at 9:53 pm

#38 Smoking Man on 09.28.14 at 8:27 pm — “The aggression you display is realy some kind of frustration with your own lives…”

Agree. By using CTRL F, I read less than a dozen posts, get what I want from the people I like and usually read Garth’s post a second time (as long as it’s investment based).

Meanwhile, here is the main explanation for all of the present diseases.

#62 Tiger on 09.28.14 at 10:07 pm

Smoking man!
Who did you visit in the last year!
Doctors are educated, so I dought you saw one I’m shure you took some meds from the junkets on the streets
And a person on this blog should even believe your stories is not an option

#63 Steve French on 09.28.14 at 10:08 pm

Some GF commentators toay have called the Smoking Man mad.

But the question is not yet settled, whether Smoking Man’s madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence.

Whether much that is glorious– whether all that is profound– does not spring from disease of thought– from the moods of the Smoking Man’s mind, exalted at the expense of his general intellect.

#64 Piccaso on 09.28.14 at 10:10 pm

My opinion SM… stay on topic/interest and see your posts.

Babble about nothing that interests anybody and get deleted.

#65 Nemesis on 09.28.14 at 10:10 pm

#JustForFun? #A…BriefIllustratedHistory… #OfEveryThing… #ForTheFaithful&OtherSaltierDogz:

http://youtu.be/E_fCRE5Xtnc

#66 Waterloo Resident on 09.28.14 at 10:11 pm

Does the new iPhone 6 still have the stupid purple Fringing that the older iPhone 5 had (because of the sapphire lens covering)?

The old iPhone 4S used tempered glass and it didn’t have any problems.

I don’t know why they don’t just go back to a regular glass lens and cure that problem. Until its fixed I’m staying away from iPhones.

#67 Steve French on 09.28.14 at 10:15 pm

An Open Letter to the Smoking Man:

When the Greater Fool blog haters are after you, just remember—

“To be great is to be misunderstood.”

#68 Smoking Man on 09.28.14 at 10:30 pm

#57 Ontario’s Left Coast on 09.28.14 at 9:33 pmCdnFlyer, This programmed robot is with you… SM displays classic narcissistic behaviour patterns (attention seeking, illusions of grandeur, extreme egotism) but is actually just a pathetic liar. If I have to hear any more about his amazing novel, I’m going to hurl. Oh, and yes, I did get a post-secondary education but am fully capable of independent thought. Cheers to all!
……..

The fact that, well I’m not on your Xmas card mail list proves your not an independent thinker….

How can you be, how can any of my critics be.. The behaviour the Smoking Man character exhibits goes in direct conflict with your school programing…

I’m trying to help you bastards, save you from buying a condo…

I shared a link up top… Watch it.

#69 Tiger on 09.28.14 at 10:38 pm

Did miss understand your ignorance Steve
You and smoking goof shure have a lot in common
Do u two have family history with rob ford !
Or your realestate investment in the basement just diddent work out are you Steve ore French other way your done

#70 YVR on 09.28.14 at 10:38 pm

Hong Kong unrest,

If it gets worse, expect 300,000 Canadians to return to Vancouver within a year.

Won’t that add $1 Million to SFD prices? Limited supply of SFD and 300,000 new well heeled buyers.

#71 Smoking Man on 09.28.14 at 10:48 pm

#64 Piccaso on 09.28.14 at 10:10 pm

Why should we stay on topic, why should we be bound to staying between the boundaries of A to Z.

Why should we follow the rules…. Garth was told to take down this blog.. He flipped the bird to power..

Why can’t I, why cant you….

It’s all I’m saying, the mobbing of smoking man tonight is not logical… It’s programmed behaviour by your masters, who got you in grade 1

#72 Bobby on 09.28.14 at 10:54 pm

For #30 Nacho,

We sold a townhouse at Whistler a number of years ago. Our agent redefined the term useless, so when we received an offer we made it contingent on a lesser commission. The twit signed it off but later wanted to rescind saying she never read it and would block the sale. After a quick call to her managing broker and the threat of a formal complaint she offered her help. I have heard of many realtors making idle threats hoping their clients will not push back. When this market turns, a large number will be looking for their next gig.

#73 Dr E on 09.28.14 at 10:55 pm

Am guessing this is some sort of prestige listing to try and save face, project an image of wealth, or impress people overseas. If that’s the case, they should have done a Dr. Evil and listed it for $100 trillion! Go large I say!

#74 Arfmooocat on 09.28.14 at 10:58 pm

“I’m trying to help you bastards, save you from buying a condo…”

Had me fooled

#75 Tiger on 09.28.14 at 11:02 pm

Smoking goof !
You can’t deal with it . Tells me a lot about you!
I sold re whear do you fit in. Just like I thought!
You can’t sell abase ment suite that mommey owned i

#76 waiting on the west coast on 09.28.14 at 11:24 pm

What are everyone’s thoughts on Gross’ move out of Pimco…. Lots of chatter that Pimco IS the bond market and without Gross there being bullish… Could be a change in the tide…

#77 devore on 09.28.14 at 11:28 pm

#72 Bobby

In most cases, you are actually represented by the brokerage, not an individual agent. If you have a problem with your agent, go over his/her head to get results. Also, if you have a long listing/search, and your agent goes on vacation, the brokerage should have a sub readily available; leave the agents to work out the compensation details.

#78 Hot to Trot Buyer on 09.28.14 at 11:38 pm

I am in the market to buy a home and I have signed up the services of a local real estate agent.

He is a great find. Takes me out to see anything I want even if he knows it is not a fit. He has educated me about some aspects of the local market that I did not know. He shows me comparable sales figures and has a great eye for over valued properties. He is not afraid of putting in low offers to his fellow agents on my behalf. Above all he is realistic.

At the end of the day he says, ” maybe you should consider renting for the winter and see what unfolds next year”.

He has been extremely valuable to me and we have become friends.

It has been a win-win.

#79 4 AM Sunrise on 09.28.14 at 11:41 pm

#44 Snowboid on 09.28.14 at 8:45 pm

No xenophobia here. I just got my facts mixed up. I don’t find comment #2 (which I was responding to) xenophobic, either. Do you? I thought it was funny.

#80 Dr. Mike Hunt & nurse Pat Magroin on 09.28.14 at 11:45 pm

Geez I forgot all about smoking moron and devil’s anus for a second there. I really just read the comments here for the spelling lessons.

Come on Garth show us this one, it’s got to be good.
#53 CdnFlyer on 09.28.14 at 9:14 pm
DELETED

You wish. — Garth

Also how does anyone get by with just an 1,800 square foot bedroom? It must be hell.

#81 Piccaso on 09.29.14 at 12:29 am

#71 Smoking Man

I never understood anything you posted that made any sense.

I never read a post of yours that even talked about real estate

I’ll I read was babble… I looked at the sky, I saw a butterfly, wouldn’t it be great to fly, blah blah blah crap.

#82 Exurban on 09.29.14 at 12:31 am

#39 ronh

I put an offer on a house subject to an inspection report. After reviewing the report we walked away from the deal. A month later the agent calls and asks if I want to sell my inspection report to another buyer. No.

I ask you seriously — why not? Because it’s not legal or ethical to sell the inspector’s work again? I can’t think of another reason. Doesn’t it actually say something good about the agent that he wanted what must have been a negative report? Perhaps it could have been used to beat the price down to where it would actually sell. I’m a little baffled here. Enlighten me.

#83 coastal on 09.29.14 at 12:43 am

From what I heard, the horses in the barn lived better than most humans.

#84 ILoveCharts on 09.29.14 at 1:31 am

They know what they are doing. Unrest in HK is a game changer for a piece of property like that.

#85 TarsandBoy on 09.29.14 at 1:34 am

Bye bye miss American pie! Feel sorry for Alberta though

http://www.newyorker.com/business/currency/rockefellers-give-oil

#86 broadway skytrain on 09.29.14 at 1:37 am

If it gets worse, expect 300,000 Canadians to return to Vancouver within a year.

Won’t that add $1 Million to SFD prices? Limited supply of SFD and 300,000 new well heeled buyers
————————-

all the cdns i know who went to hk for work did it for some serious coin. if they all come back at once there will be a massive move up in 604urban prices. they are used to living in apts though, may help hi end condos the most.

o/t i say let smokey post, just scroll over it if you desire. he’s a nutter, but a fun one. smokey jd, bc’sfinest and boating on me if you come to van.

#87 still reading after 5 years on 09.29.14 at 2:03 am

seems even some agents are in agreement

http://nickandhilary.com/beware-buyer-representation-agreement-toronto-real-estate

#88 rosie "moving forward" in the knowledge that, "this won't end well" on 09.29.14 at 7:42 am

If you can’t beat em.

http://www.salon.com/2014/09/29/the_big_middle_class_rip_off_how_a_short_sale_taught_me_rich_peoples_ethics/

#89 crowdedelevatorfartz on 09.29.14 at 8:53 am

@Tiger

I didnt think it was possible.

Smoking Man has been usurped by someone who has even worse spelling , punctuation and composition.

Well done, my uneducated entrepreneur from the planet Dyslexia.

#90 rosie "moving forward" in the knowledge that, "this won't end well" on 09.29.14 at 9:10 am

Sounds a bit technical to me.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/housing/the-real-estate-beat/what-the-tsx-could-tell-us-about-toronto-condo-sales/article20815355/

#91 Kenchie on 09.29.14 at 9:14 am

“Deleveraging? What deleveraging?”

http://www.voxeu.org/sites/default/files/image/FromMay2014/Geneva16.pdf

#92 Shawn on 09.29.14 at 9:18 am

Rockefellers sell their oil shares – So What?

TarsandBoy at 84 says:

Bye bye miss American pie! Feel sorry for Alberta though

http://www.newyorker.com/business/currency/rockefellers-give-oil

*************************************
So the third or fourth generation stops dancing with the one what brung them.

Does it hurt an oil company if someone else owns those shares tomorrow?

Basically the pool of investors is so large that even the Rockefellers are likely a drop in the bucket for any given oil company.

Even if it moves the price down (which is doubtful) does that really hurt the oil companies?

I don’t think “Alberta” is too worried about this.

#93 Mad Hatter on 09.29.14 at 11:26 am

In Alberta do these property disclosure forms have a statute of limitation or expiry date if you were one of the uneducated sellers who signed one?

#94 Son of Ponzi on 09.29.14 at 11:30 am

# 37 Mark
Bad and dishonest Realtors need to be punted from the profession.
—————–
And who would then help sellers sell their overpriced houses?

#95 Mark on 09.29.14 at 11:59 am

“And who would then help sellers sell their overpriced houses?”

The buyer pays the Realtor (Realtors are paid in cash, not in fractional ownership positions of houses), so Realtors should be more interested in catering to the needs of the buyer. Of course, some forget this and shirk their duty to their clients.

#96 Alberta Ed on 09.29.14 at 12:13 pm

Let’s hope that palace is well above the tsunami line.

#97 Happy Renting on 09.29.14 at 12:38 pm

#81 Exurban on 09.29.14 at 12:31 am

I wonder if inspectors prohibit selling or distribution of their work, or if passing on the report constitutes making some kind of warranty on ronh’s part (on the report’s completeness or the inspector’s qualifications.) Anyone know for sure?

#98 elrowe on 09.29.14 at 12:39 pm

re #94 Mark – Are you for real? If you don’t know something, why why why why bother replying to the question?????????? That, I should remind you, wasn’t being asked of you specifically anyway.

Your answer to “And who would then help sellers sell their overpriced houses?” was complete unadulterated bullfeathers. Not that your other comments are completely on the money, so to speak, either, just this one really takes the cake. Please go back to your books, come back here when you start dealing with real life.

At least Smoking Man makes me laugh, and has never once insulted my intelligence.

#99 Casual Observer on 09.29.14 at 12:45 pm

The buyer pays the Realtor… so Realtors should be more interested in catering to the needs of the buyer.

The seller is the one who hires the Realtor, signs the listing contract, and ultimately pays them their commission.

Yes, the buyer “pays” the realtor, but only in the sense that the buyer of any product pays the wages of the person selling it. The listing Realtor still works for the seller.

A buyer’s agent would technically work for the buyer, but their portion of the commission is still negotiated by the seller, and deducted from the seller’s proceeds of the sale.

Unless I’m missing something, it’s a huge potential for a conflict of interest in my opinion.

#100 bdy sktrn on 09.29.14 at 12:50 pm

yellen -rates to stay low until employment is BELOW the natural rate (if ever?)

10yr booted back below 2.5

looks like lots more time to get a mtge!

#101 Nomad on 09.29.14 at 12:51 pm

Your boy Brad Lamb’s on BNN:

http://www.bnn.ca/News/2014/9/29/What-the-TSX-could-tell-us-about-Toronto-condo-sales.aspx

#102 Squad on 09.29.14 at 12:52 pm

Maybe the buyers of Madrona have just realised that they should have put their money into the London (UK) housing market now that has taken off like a rocket!

Just be careful, as Mr Carney is warning the people of the UK that rates won’t stay low forever and people should watch their spending and not take on too much debt….Now, where have I heard that before?

#103 NEVER GIVE UP on 09.29.14 at 12:54 pm

#148 Shawn on 09.28.14 at 4:03 pm

No One is Worth a Million salary?

The way it works is as follows:
A guy works his way up the corporate ladder and eventually lands a CEO job.
He looks at the books with his friends on the board.
They calculate a “reasonable rate of return” for shareholders.
Then scrape the rest off the table for themselves.
They are essentially raping these companies for the value that shareholders should be reaping as the “real workers”. What I mean by “real workers” is the people who put in the army of “golden slaves”(money) that made the company work in the first place.
I These modern day carpet baggers cannot make a profit for the company, then their attitude is Rape the company anyway.
If you believe these “Carpet Baggers” are worth any amount of money then you have drunk the carefully crafted “Kool Aid”. Perhaps you are one of them?

#104 World Traveller on 09.29.14 at 1:23 pm

29 references to Smoking Man, well done blog dogs.
Don’t feed the troll, remember you can’t fix stupid (or crazy in this case.).

This makes 30. — Garth

#105 Nemesis on 09.29.14 at 1:23 pm

#It’sWorseThanYouThought! #YaleTownPoochiesBusted! #CourtOrdersCompulsoryRehab:

[CBC] – Stoned dog triggers SPCA raid on Yaletown apartment: Vet says it’s common for dogs to arrive at pet hospital stoned on pot

…”Carter turned out to be a canine Keith Richards who loved more than snacking on marijuana. His records documented a taste for cocaine, methamphetamine and even oxycodone.

The SPCA put an end to the Pomeranian’s party in August, seizing the dog from its downtown condo.

That doesn’t surprise Maple Ridge veterinarian Adrian Walton, who says drugged dogs are not uncommon

“Dogs love the taste of marijuana.”….

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/stoned-dog-triggers-spca-raid-on-yaletown-apartment-1.2781133

#106 Shawn on 09.29.14 at 1:30 pm

Already Gave Up?

NeverGiveUp responded to me by suggesting that I said CEOS are worth “any amount of money” In fact I had said some were worth more than a million.

I said:

To me, $3 to $5 million (30 times $100k to 50 times $100k) is just not out of line for CEOS of really big companies.

And I mentioned BUFFETT had said it was almost impossible to over-pay in some cases.

He said:

If you believe these “Carpet Baggers” are worth any amount of money then you have drunk the carefully crafted “Kool Aid”. Perhaps you are one of them?

*******************************************
Of course they are not worth “any amount of money”/. Of course there are limits to what CEOS deserve.

I would not mind having their pay checks. But I don’t have the skills in managing people. I could not put up with the management by committee style that is usually required.

Not being CEO material myself I am happy to place my dollars with a few selected companies to allow them to grow it. Of course I expect them to be compensated reasonably – but not unreasonably.

#107 Toronto_CA on 09.29.14 at 1:42 pm

Another day, another retail chain going out of business:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/discount-retailer-xs-cargo-to-close-out-its-50-stores-1.2781293

On the corner of Yonge and Shuter near my (rented) condo, there’s a giant 15k square foot empty store where Buffalo Jeans used to be. It’s been sitting empty for 10 months now.

As this should be apex retail space, one wonders why it hasn’t been snapped up. Every month it sits empty must be costing ~$200k or so in lost lease money for the landlord.

Too bad they can’t turn it into a condo…

#108 Jeff in Moose Jaw on 09.29.14 at 2:28 pm

This blog adds a lot of value, from Garth to most of the people who comment.

Smoking Man, I watched the video(s) – and then reserved two of his books from the library.

#109 Jeff in Moose Jaw on 09.29.14 at 2:32 pm

Oh and so I can return the favour – here is some value, the book I recommend (only 100 pages) – The Lessons of History – by Durant

#110 shawn on 09.29.14 at 2:39 pm

Retail Stores Close – So What?

Totonto CA says:

Another day, another retail chain going out of business:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/discount-retailer-xs-cargo-to-close-out-its-50-stores-1.2781293

*****************************************
In retail as in life, Winners Win and Losers Lose.

Creative destruction, survival of the fittest and all that.

It’s to be applauded. (I feel bad for the workers but they can usually find jobs at the retailers that are growing)

#111 Nemesis on 09.29.14 at 3:07 pm

#Exclusive! #YaletownPomeranianTellsAllToTMZ,Says:

“I knew I’d hit RockBottom when I woke up in Coquitlam next to Toronto Mayor Rob Ford… and couldn’t remember what I’d done.”

#112 western observer on 09.29.14 at 3:35 pm

But Garth , HAM doesn’t exist! According to you.

As you correct others – how do you know they are Chinese, maybe they are Canadians with a Chinese last name.

What about their realtor? The one you called an idiot.
Xenophobia?

Hey SMOKING MAN – don’t stop posting.

Way more relevant than the schooled, status quo, “It’s always been done this way”, math challenged folks.

Way more interesting than the card carrying members of the “Vanilla” crowd. The homogenized ones.

Oh , and single family homes values are not going down in Vancouver and interest rates will not be going up.

#113 Entrepreneur on 09.29.14 at 3:37 pm

Where are the grape vines? Where I live I like life. Too much material things I can live without. I get a little tired of realtors showing how great Vancouver Island is but look beyond the so-called beauty and see the destruction.

#13 Hickster on Regina realtors. Right on!!! More realtors should to the same. Same with the news media, tell it like it is. Tell the truth!!!

#78 Hot to Trot on his realtor. Good fine and thanks for passing the info along.

I like Mark’s comments because they are back-up answers but he just needs to tone down on the amount of comments, same with Smoking Man. Most of the time off the topic but sometimes amusing SM.

“Please avoid posting the text of excessively long articles” in Garth Turner’s Helpful Reminders. When posting serveral comments that is like posting a long one.

#114 Tony on 09.29.14 at 3:37 pm

Re: #103 NEVER GIVE UP on 09.29.14 at 12:54 pm

Babe Ruth?

#115 Jan on 09.29.14 at 4:08 pm

#70 YVR on 09.28.14 at 10:38 pm
Hong Kong unrest,

If it gets worse, expect 300,000 Canadians to return to Vancouver within a year.

Won’t that add $1 Million to SFD prices? Limited supply of SFD and 300,000 new well heeled buyers.

AMEN BROTHER.
PRICES WILL PROBABLY DOUBLE HERE WITHIN 4 YEARS MAX.
AS FAR AS SMOKING MAN, HANG IN THERE BUD AS YOUR VOICE IS ONE OF ONLY FEW WHICH ACTUALLY MAKE SENSE.

#116 Sheane Wallace on 09.29.14 at 4:14 pm

https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/higher-debt-lower-growth-poisonous-162943315.html

Interest rates will have to stay low for a long time or the world economy could crumble under mounting debt loads, an influential report written by three former central bankers says.
The 16th annual Geneva Report, an influential paper published by a panel of economists including three former central bankers, said Monday that interest rates will have to stay low for a “very, very long” time to let people, companies and governments pay down their ballooning debt loads, or the world could be thrown into another financial crisis.
……………………………………………
Ahahahaha, savers and people on fixed income…..
They need your money but they can’t pay for it, sorry….. you screwed! Party must go on but guess what, you are paying for it!
If this is not stealing I don’t know what is but I surely see stock markets going up again. Yahoo!
P.S. I would not touch government bonds unless real interest rate is at least + 4 %.

#117 Vamanos Pest on 09.29.14 at 4:31 pm

Garth,
The use of the word ‘retarded’ as you used in the post is offensive. I know, it was news to me too. I used to think the English language could be reduce to 5 words (F***, S***, retarded, gay, whatever). Turns out gay and retarded are both offensive.

Let’s agree to tighten this up. We can still call a spade a spade without unintentionally offending others.

Thanks for another good post.

#118 Smoking Man on 09.29.14 at 4:32 pm

Thanks for the support blog dogs, and don’t be mad at the critics… They just need a bit less schooling and a bit more education and they will see the light and the difference.

Note to older gents on here… If your doctor gives you a choice between death and a prostate biopsy.. Choose Death…

I heard that today…

#119 Sheane Wallace on 09.29.14 at 4:53 pm

There ya go:

same link, https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/higher-debt-lower-growth-poisonous-162943315.html
“In such a context, and with still very high leverage, allowing the real rate to rise above its natural level would risk killing the recovery” the report reads.

We learn that:
1. The natural level of interest rate is zero.
2. The natural level of interest rate is set by the borrowers, not by the lenders.

My take: It clearly is not money they are talking about as I as a lender will put my money whenever I have the desired return.
It seems they are talking about confetti or coupons but clearly not about money. The cost of money is determined by markets not by governments. When governments become the markets…
It is called socialism.

And another joke:
Developed economies such as Canada’s and other G20 nations used to lead the way in increasing their debt loads. But now it’s emerging markets that pose the biggest risk, especially China and a group the paper calls the “fragile eight” — Argentina, Brazil, Chile, India, Indonesia, Russia, South Africa and Turkey.

Have you checked the interest rates on their bonds? 8-10 %. These 8 countries is where future markets are while we are left out to dry.
All of them have trade surpluses but the paper implies that they are piling on debt.
Lie after blatant lie.

#120 zeeman1 on 09.29.14 at 5:40 pm

#38 Smoking Man.

Damn, that link is kinda life changing, huh?

Bang on all accounts.

How’s validation feel?

#121 Setting the Record Straight on 09.29.14 at 5:53 pm

Shawn @92

I believe their Foundation is funding a number of anti oil sands and green groups in Canada and has a strategy to derail their development.

#122 Rob Nelson on 09.29.14 at 6:44 pm

The property disclosure statement can work in the seller’s favour — and should, if it’s filled out accurately and honestly. For example, if you know — or if you’ve done — renovations without a permit, then say so. That way, the buyer has been informed of this prior to the sale, and cannot come back and say that you misled or lied about it.

#123 Nemesis on 09.29.14 at 6:47 pm

#SmokingMan’sProstateBiopsy… #CancelledBy’TheDairyQueen’… #”ThatWasAwesome!”,HeSaid…

http://youtu.be/oQVtxviEkDQ

#124 mike lane on 09.29.14 at 8:52 pm

Half of the West Vancouver SFD listing count are 2011 sales to Chinese wanting to re sell. West Vancouver has had a massive inventory for the last 3 years(over 500 SFDs listings for a small municipality) and prices have still gone up. I would say this is defying gravity.

#125 will on 09.30.14 at 12:43 am

Yeah villa madrona has to go. but not to a buyer. it has to go into the sea. by bulldozer. by bulldozer after being razed to the ground. then the land taken back by the bc govt and not sold again. ever. and never mentioned again in polite company that it ever existed.