Sunday, July 27, 2008

good and cheap, and fast

Well, the lawns have withered, the trees are thirsty, and the bloom is off the rose. No real relief in sight. Oh, a few raindrops over-night, but that is nothing compared to the rains that are needed, and will come - as sure as November will.

Waidaminit! I am I writing of the weather? Or the RE market? Both, really.

I don't bother checking inventory much any more, I see a lot of "For Sale" signs, a lot have regular open houses marked, but all that traffic on the streets must be heading to Well-mart, they sure are not going house shopping from what I can see. I don't see enough "REDUCED!" signs though. Very few in fact. They will come in November too.

My neighbour finally dropped $35 and had the grass cut, but still, no takers. She has not lowered her ludicrous asking price - I don't think that she can, and still get away clean. The renters moved away, and now she is renting the place out furnished. It seems that a few people have come and gone, so I don't think that it is working out so well. Stagnation seems to be an appropriate descriptor.

Inflation rhymes with stagnation, and I came across a link to an article entitled The Great American Nightmare. I won't rehash it here, but it is worth a read. The author talks about "shadow inflation" - as opposed to official figures, and talks of how the numbers are twisted to make things "look better" than they really are. We all know that though, and it is the same with unemployment numbers.

The article is in relation to the US, and some may be quick to point out that we are somehow insulated from it in Canada because we are special, and have the oil sands, and timber, and weather, and the mountains, and the Olympics, and, and... But we know how goes Amurika, so goes the world. Globalization is just that. No doubt that power and influence is shifting, but he who has nukes, well, still has power.

The US has Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae, and we have CHMC. They have subprime, we have zero-down/40 year amort. Oh yes, and then BoC buying junk bonds, or ABCP if you will.

The US has hundreds of banks failing, and we have noises of deregulation of banking, and the big five buying ABCP. I don't even want to touch that.

Inflation is a lot higher than reported in Canada, and we "smart ones", who did not buy in, are seeing our savings erode. Maybe the 0%/40 Year bunch (or at least some of them), are not so stupid after all. The dumb ones are about to lose a lot more though.

Oh well, at least I am sure that the next shoe to drop is higher interest rates. Hopefully, they will be high enough to off-set inflation. But they never are, are they? Maybe randombabble was not so wrong on the future of gold.

I'd rather buy tins of food and ammo.

The title of this post was a lame attempt to tie the picture to the post (it is cheap, and sort of fast, but good? Huh?). We all want to see houses get good and cheap, and fast, do we not? But I can't help but think that anything built in the last five years will not be good - no matter how cheap it is. Too fast.

I ripped off the photo at top from another blog, but at least I straightened it, cropped it, and adjusted contrast, etc.


Anonymous said...

photoshop moment: priceless but good!


Coco said...

I was watching BNN the other day and they said since the banks are raising interest rates on their own accord and tightening up on loans, that the credit crunch is alive and well.

Lets hope that this credit crunch monster doesn't get so bad with high loan losses that the banks put the screws to loans and limit the amount you can withdraw from your bank account to avoid "runs" on banks.

Wouldn't that be the pits if housing prices finally drop and you can get a loan or get proper access to your cash? Pity the depositors at IndyMac who had over 100k in their bank accounts, they might get 50 cents on the dollar depending on how fast FDIC ceases IndyMac's assets. They interviewed one guy who was saving for a house with a large down payment and now his savings have been wiped out because of subprime losses and he has never owned property in his life.

Coco said...

That s/b

Wouldn't that be the pits if housing prices finally drop and you CAN'T get a loan or get proper access to your cash.

Anonymous said...

It's entirely possible. The tightening of credit is what helped drived the crash in the US. And it certainly seems to be happening here.

Once again as in the first Depression, only the richest of the rich benefit as they can buy up what they will for cash at bargain-basement prices.

It sure seems like Somebody Somewhere definitely doesn't like the idea (or existence, for that matter) of a middle class.

greg said...

I read something interesting and contrarian about the old "stash guns and food for the bad times" mentality.

Check it out here, author is Charles Hugh Smith.

solipsist said...

greg - CHS is absolutely right, and while I facetiously talk about canned goods and ammo, it is just that: talk.

A couple of points; canned goods have a shelf life, and it is heavy. It is much better to know about wild food, and how to get it. Snares are handy, and I would rather have a good sling shot, and know how to make a bow and arrows than have a gun. Ammo. is also very heavy, and if you shoot off a gun in the wilderness, anyone within a couple of miles will know that you are there.

Knowing how to find, or make shelter is also much better. If you hole up in a cabin, you are stuck. Our predecessors were nomads for a reason - you have to range far and wide for game and other edibles.

There are many in the North that have a plan to blow the bridges in the event of a societal melt-down, and they will do it. You need to know the land, and where rivers can be safely crossed, etc. I have a route out of Vancouver (on foot), and have a lot of native friends in the North. I just need to get to them, and all will be well.

Clothing made from wool and fur is another crucial item. A sodden Gore-Tex outfit is a death sentence. Wool and fur are warm even when wet. Knowing how to make fire is another good skill to have. Just use the fire for long enough to get warm, dry your clothes, then put it out and move on.

My survival kit includes nylon fishing line, some hooks, matches preserved in wax, a small hatchet, a good knife, natural fibre clothes, and various dried herbs for medicine (and a few other things easy to carry).

That is all just talk though. I really hope that it never comes to that.

TheCollective said...



"oohh.... Negative comments.. Ohh... what am I gonna do? ohhhh What did the Vancouver Sun do? Ohhhhh

Let's remove the comments.

Karma has just demoted 3 points from this Realwhore