“A relative of mine was at University, then left in second year, to become a realtor in North Van for the last two years. As of September, he’s returned to classes.”

“A relative of mine was at University, then left in second year to become a realtor in North Van for about the last two years.
As of September, he’s returned to classes. Before then, for several months, the number of facebook updates about multiple bidding wars, a balanced market, or open houses dwindled to zero.
To keep peace in the family, I specifically haven’t mentioned any of my heretical views on the Canadian housing market or asked why an English degree suddenly looked better than being a realtor in the “Best Place on Earth.”

- UBCghettodweller at VREAA 29 Nov 2012 7:48am

The tides; the seasons; breathing in and out.
Trends tend to return to means.
- vreaa

21 responses to ““A relative of mine was at University, then left in second year, to become a realtor in North Van for the last two years. As of September, he’s returned to classes.”

  1. Anybody working as a Realtor(tm) for any amount of time in the 200X Vancouver housing market is going to be sorely disappointed by the earnings brought in by an English degree. I am not being cruel to English majors, just realistic.

    ref: http://www.payscale.com/college-salary-report-2013/majors-that-pay-you-back
    Note; English is one step below hotel management degree, but better than drama for overall earnings.

    • UBCghettodweller

      Not all education is purely for increasing earning potentials. If it was, why the fuck would I be doing my PhD in the hard sciences? Knowledge and learning have their own intrinsic worth.

      But then again, this is a bear economics blog. I’ve noticed the people here consider anything that can’t be converted in to monetary equivalents to either be irrelevant or fodder for the stupid.

      • Actually, you can be sure that there is a science of somehow converting “intrinsic worth” into monetary equivalents.

        Don’t despair. There is wisdom in trying to live as mindfully as possible, and to attempt to genuinely find out what has the most value to oneself.
        More often than not those things aren’t genuinely translatable into monetary equivalents.
        Take ‘time’ for instance…. isn’t that the most valuable resource?
        What about reading a novel? If one ‘did the math’ on that would one read at all? Or have a decent conversation? Or ever sit quietly doing nothing?

        The most pathetic/poignant stories are of the bad-ass billionaires who retire at 78 to “spend more time with family” (because you know they all hate him by then) and to paint cackhanded little landscapes (after a lifetime of scorning anybody who didn’t know how to hustle for a buck).

        Society (people living in large groups) needs for some people to be able to pursue interests with passion, even those (especially those?) that don’t immediately translate into improved bottom-line. Sure, they need to bear the consequences of their decisions; we’re not for large grants for everybody completing a liberal arts degree.
        If all our poets stopped writing poetry and put all their efforts into becoming realtors and roofers, the GDP may somehow look better for a short period, but in the long run we’d be way worse off.
        Imagine if ‘Lennon/McCartney’ were actually a Liverpool RE conglomerate.

      • Thank you, VREAA host! Well said!

      • BTW, UBCgd -> It still remains useful, at times, to try to think of monetary value of things that are intangible, just so that one can attempt to better understand how behaviours are shaped.
        For instance, we often talk of the intangible home ownership ‘premium’ that varies from individual to individual, regarding the way the person values owning rather than renting a home, in normal market circumstances. This is not a million miles from concepts like the pleasure of reading a novel, or the intrinsic pleasure of acquiring knowledge.

      • UBCghettodweller

        ” there is a science of somehow converting “intrinsic worth” into monetary equivalents.”

        And I can assure you as a Scientist, most “science” is in fact total bullocks :)

        But such is the state of the art everywhere. It is a human creation after all.

      • “Hard Sciences”!?! TeeHee! It doesn’t matter whether you’re working a cubicle, a lab, an entire building or the LargeHadronCollider… They’re the EasySciences, BordelloDweller… The tough ones are Social. To our great shame we got hung up on linguistics, semantics, semiotics and hermeneutics… but I like to think we’ve moved on a bit since…

        Regardless… If ye be guided by anything… be guided by this….

        Ars Gratia Artis

        All the TrulyGreatScholars were… and I’m pretty sure that includes you.

        [NoteToEd: Above is why, among other things, you're my Ed. Thank you. Chardonnay tonight, and I don't mind revealing that I earned it.]

        [NoteToBordelloDweller: "Bollocks" not bullocks. FYI: there used to be a really terrific craft beer, "The Dog's Bollocks"... indigenous to Blighty @ Bath Uni. You might like it.]

      • Indeed. This blog/archive has the feel of a scholarly (as opposed to mercantile) pursuit.

  2. English Degrees appear to be mandatory… for the unemployed these days.
    And the banks need the government guaranteed student loans to stay solvent… now that government guaranteed housing is not feeding them as well these days.
    I mean who else would lend you money for a degree you will never use… except to get a government/public servant paid job…
    I know 5 other people doing the same thing… English teachers, 2 are doing their masters…, and the drama department is full up… I know dozens of unemployed there.
    Fails in capitalist private industry and then looks for a socialist government tit…to bail him out…he’s a waste of space in both arenas
    Silver

    • I am very curious to know the origins of these “education bubble” talking points that the right wingers are so eagerly mouthing.

    • “I mean who else would lend you money for a degree you will never use”

      Wait, so there’s a spectrum, where hard capitalists will lend against land or hard assets on one end, comsymps in the middle lend for education, and hard-headed capitalists again run the credit card business, lending almost anyone money for almost anything?

  3. not a bear! not a bear! not a bear!

    The “relative” made all the right moves. He left the work force for a lucrative profession and is going back to school with good work experience just before the market slows.

    “I specifically haven’t mentioned any of my heretical views on the Canadian housing market or asked why an English degree suddenly looked better than being a realtor”

    Good thing he didn’t listen to your gloom and doom. He made his money and got out.

    • “He made his money and got out.”

      I think I missed that bit of the anecdote.
      Seemed more like he failed to make money and got out.

      • not a bear! not a bear! not a bear!

        “Before then, for several months, the number of facebook updates about multiple bidding wars, a balanced market, or open houses dwindled to zero.”

        The author leaves it ambiguous but based on the above quote I’d say he did well until recently. This is also consistent with sales data.

        I’m sure it sucks for some people to hear it but plenty of people did very well from the bubble. Not everyone has been on the wrong side of this market as it went up for a decade, and some of those people aren’t going to get hurt on the way down.

        This guy will probably graduate with no student debt and 2 years real life work experiences.

      • UBCghettodweller

        He made money for sure, just not as much as some would suspect a real estate agent might make during the peak of the bubble market.

      • “plenty of people did very well from the bubble” -> Interestingly, one would expect that, but, once a spec mania comes and goes, only a very small minority end up having done well.

      • “plenty of people did very well from the bubble” – obviously, that’s been the main narrative about RE in the MSM for many year.

        Here’s another theory: an academic degree teaches analytical skills, and perhaps this fellow is just good at reading the signals and coming up with his own conclusion.

      • To my great ‘shame’, RJ… It is entirely possible that he had simply overheard one of my better AlFresco ‘conjungal’ adventures.

        Still… You never know.

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