Thursday, June 12, 2008

random repair residences

Yay! I was allowed back in!

I was out perambulating with li'l solipsist today and grabbed a few shots for curb appeal/appall/whatever. I don't think that the correction has happened yet, and I can't even be bothered to check.

So, a few shots of what East Vancouver has to offer, though none of these are for sale to my knowledge.

From not too bad to worst.

This place isn't too bad for some reason. There is something that I like about it. The colour is bold, the lines are fairly clean, but the designer seemed to have nothing really to say.

It reminds me of northern Europe if you scale it down and get rid of the cheesy cultured stone facing, and butt-ugly entrance doors. Actually, the whole front entrance area needs re-working.

This non-descript little place is dwarfed by its neighbours, so they put up a big, ugly sign to compensate.

The advertisement looks to be threatening with a 45 gallon drum of various colours of paint, or a nuclear device of some sort.

I don't know, maybe spruce yer place up before using it as an advertisement, and use a little imagination in your sign.

This unfortunate little place has no windows on the sides at all. The front windows are shuttered. I think vampires live here.

This place looks plain abandoned, and is an eyesore. Perhaps the police should investigate. It just has that air to it.

Well that was exciting. the pope, mohican, paulb, Rob Chipman, et al have the news and numbers, I am just a random commentator.

Stay tuned for my copper chopper/VANOC/CSIS/RCMP surveillance post.


Anonymous said...

Why buy it when you can just kick in the door and live there rent free (that's what all the current condo owners are going to do when their "investment" tanks). You can while away the night swapping stories of the good old days and drinking pruno from an rusty soup can.

solipsist said...

I like your approach, anon.

Anonymous said...

I realize everything goes up and down. As Elton and Simba so eloquently put it. "It's the circle of life"

Reading anonymous above I am just saddened that somebody would wish so much desperation upon someone (Condo owners kicking in doors just to have shelter)

Yes I bought 5 years ago and I will be the last one to say the market is strong right now. We are headed for a crash of a magnitude I cannot predict, but at least I took a chance. Maybe it pays off maybe it won't, will I lose 5 years of equity? I do not know... But I do know this much.

I would never wish such a horrible situation upon anyone just because they bought into a piece of real estate. They made a choice just as you have. Right and wrong is relative to a point in time in the market. For a while you're right, for a while you're wrong. I really hope anonymous remembers those comments when he/she decides to invest a large portion of the income into something. I will be hoping you do well and I hope you would pass on those sentiments to others.


Anonymous said...

Sorry, Solipsist. I really do enjoy your blog. I am a realist. Good market/Bad market, it's just life to me.

Thanks for your posts, I do look forward to them.


seeker said...

Oh brother. I am not saying, Adam, that I would wish ill on anyone but I think I know how anon feels.

I'm pretty sick of these no/low money down types hanging out at Starbucks waiting until their "chance" makes them some big money so they can move on and do it if they knew what they were doing. Kinda has gotten old listening to the self-professed RE gurus. They've been lucky. The party should never have been allowed to carry on as long as it did..thank-you new mortgage "products".

I know plenty of people that think I'm nuts for not getting in at any only goes up. These persons' collective plan is to buy, and then when (not if)it goes up, say 10-20%, sell.

I hope no one suffers, but if you're going to take a chance you should be prepared for the chance it doesn't work out. If you bought 5 years ago you will be ok. So long as you did not buy way beyond your means with no room for error. Rising interest rates, loss of job, illness etc...require that room.

Anonymous said...

Seeker I agree.

I was not so much an investor as a freshly out of school 24 year old who knew nothing but would rather own my house then rent it...

I know this is a "bearish" blog, and I totally get that. I am a bear sometimes and a bull others. It's like politics, I am conservative about some things and liberal about others.

Predicting a crash is like predicting that the sun will rise. Of course there will be a crash, just as there will be a boom that follows that crash.

So what's the ultimate goal here? Is there going to be that much pleasure in saying "I told you so". What will you do after that? Create a blog about the impending real estate boom? It's ying/yang.

All I can say, I guess, is that with all your wisdom of the obvious, you better get in a buy something during the down. I was in a position to buy 5 years ago and I did. I am pretty sure that 90% of the people here would have done the same thing, it's just that you weren't in a position until recently and you are waiting for the yang.

Congrats! I am behind you 100% and wish you nothing but success.


seeker said...


more power to your positive attitude.

I bought my first house 23 years ago as a very young person..houses have gone up what? 8 fold? and my wage about 3.. ..that was after the downturn and before the next rise. I know they always happen and they always will. This last couple of years has been a crap shoot and I thought it was over many times only to see the insanity continue. It doesn't help anyone to let markets go like this. We will all pay. And i don't like my future alternatives of watching people suffer or bailing them out.

I am speaking for myself here, I just do not see this as the right time to be gambling/chancing RE. I could buy but prices/fundamentals are completely screwy.

Thanks for the civil dialogue.

Anonymous said...

You are right. It is a absolutely horrid time to buy right now. I wouldn't that's for sure :)

But keep on eye on it, time it right and get in after it drops. (Maybe not you, but prospective buyers in general) Once this cycle is over it will happen again, and such these blogs will spring to life again. Ultimately, a buyer has to jump on one of the waves or risk never knowing what the water feels like.

Thanks seeker for the chat as well :)


solipsist said...

Adam - I agree with seeker - if you bought 5 years ago.

Most people do not wish ill on others, I certainly don't. What I saw in the first anon. post was the same kind of dark, nihilistic humour that I, myself sometimes dispense.

Anybody who bought within their means, with the intent of living in, or holding long-term will have no problems (as long as they have eventualities such as unemployment, illness, etc. covered). The greedy and stupid (same thing) may well get burned. I will not pity, nor gloat.

I was not quite able to buy 5,6,7...years ago. 4 years ago I was, and watched the market go hay wire. I chose to sit it out. There will be a bust. I will be there with cash.

I will not be blogging the next boom because I don't care. I am not stimulated by money or material things. I see this blog beginning to change towards some of my other interests. Soon there will be little about real estate. I might blog my search for a place, and share the construction to what I want, who knows.

If you have held your place for 5 years, you should be able to hold it to amortization. All the best to you.

And yes, thanks for the civil discussion!

Rob McCleary said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

anon again,

My comment was mean spirited. I apologize if anyone was hurt by it. The questions is, was the decision to buy made out of fear or greed, and that's something only you can decide. I also feel like this is a place for venting after having to listen to everyone from the Vancouver Sun to close relatives scream in our ears for the last four years about the wonders of real estate. I think you should take that into account when trolling for sympathy.

Again, I apologize and didn't mean to make light of anyone's current state of affairs.

Anonymous said...

No sympathy neccesary.

From one anon to another anon, I respect everyones decision to buy or not buy. was young, errr, 5 years younger then I am now :) I am happy with my decision, crash/boom or bust.

My point is it's always a cycle. It's never "different this time". It will crash, it will boom. Jump on a wave and ride along or don't. The bulls had the 5 or so "told you so years" and now it's the bears turn to have thier "told you so" years. Then it's the bulls turn again and round we go.

I am eager to hear about all your successes now. the "great buys" you find during the buyers market.

My crystal ball lies dusty in a box in the closet, where it shall remain.


Strataman said...

"I would never wish such a horrible situation upon anyone just because they bought into a piece of real estate. They made a choice just as you have" Very true but unfortunately a lot of these people could not stop gloating about how brilliant they were..if they had shut up and just done their thing I doubt anyone would wish ill on them. However it seems they are ready to take credit for supposed personal expertise yet NOT ready to take credit for presumed ignorance? How would you balance that?

Anonymous said...

If it means anything, I locked in to my next 5 year term yesterday at 5.15 for 5 years. So let's party, at least for the next 5 lol :)


Anonymous said...

Oh I agree Strat, I always said I just jumped in and things went my way. I never preached anything except balance your risk tolerance and do what is right for you.

You are very correct Strat, to many self procalimed experts.

patriotz said...

Yes I bought 5 years ago and I will be the last one to say the market is strong right now. We are headed for a crash of a magnitude I cannot predict, but at least I took a chance. Maybe it pays off maybe it won't

The consensus among the bears is that we are headed for a return to 2003 real prices. This is another way of saying that 2003 was the last time when it was reasonable to buy.

So good for you, you made a sensible decision. I would think that by now your monthly ownership costs are around or a bit below the market rent. That's the only reason for buying a house that's economically solid and you'll do just fine regardless of where the market takes us.

Anonymous said...

Buying 5 years ago would have been grand - that's before the gargantuan run-up in prices we've seen. The only people I know that bought five years ago that might be worried have heloc'ed their place due to job change/new baby/going back to school...just life stuff. We didn't buy 5 years ago due to 'mobile' employee status - lots of moves where the project lasts 6 - 18 months.

Don't assume that all people didn't buy because they're either;
a) stupid, or
b) too poverty-stricken.

Nobody wished for, or created this bubble all on their own. Rooting for its' demise is not a selfish sentiment.

Anonymous said...

Sol, I know you enjoy house comparisons.

There's a humorous exchange over at RET on the inventory thread. The topic of Beverly Hills real estate come up and Yogurt wondered if, dollar for dollar, it looks cheap compared to Vancouver.

I picked the 4th listing, 1611 Benedict Canyon Drive.

The property website has lots of pictures.

There's a 'Dunbar charmer' for similar money on MLS.

Can you see similar value because I sure can't. Granted, Hollywood Hills doesn't have the same star power as VanWest.

Anonymous said...

After looking at fixer uppers in your pix, it might be a good time to ask a few people in the know to update the cost of construction, with the cost of labour and materials separated apart. No one really knows how low condo prices could go if this markets turns to second base, but we could get a sense of what a floor price looks like assuming we could guesstimate the future / replacement cost of labour and materials, and of course land.

patriotz said...

The cost of land is zero. It's already there. Just as house prices are determined by whatever buyers are willing to pay, land prices are determined by whatever builders are willing to pay. It's the price of houses that determines the price of land, not the other way around.

As for construction materials, we've already seen what happens to the cost of lumber when you get a bust, and if you want to know what can happen to the cost of labour, talk to someone who worked in construction around 1982.

Fixed costs aren't any less to build a house in Thunder Bay or Chicoutimi than anywhere else. That's your floor.