“They were talking about two couples they knew who had recently bought a lot and planned to each build a house on it and live as neighbours.”

“I was in a Starbucks in Kits today listening to two very Vancouver ladies talking RE. They were talking about two couples they knew who had recently bought a lot and planned to each build a house on it and live as neighbours. These ladies were concerned because one of the couples were heavy pot smokers. They wondered how the other couple would feel having clouds of dope smoke wafting in through the open windows on warm summer evenings. I just looked at my wife, who had been listening intently as well and whispered TWEB (This Will End Badly).”
- lexlimo at VREAA 4 April 2013 7:17 pm

14 responses to ““They were talking about two couples they knew who had recently bought a lot and planned to each build a house on it and live as neighbours.”

  1. Four things:

    1.) If the two couples are such great friends that they bought adjacent lots to build homes on so they can be next-door neighbours, the one couple probably knows that the other couple smokes pot and it probably doesn’t bother them. Hey, both couples probably smoke pot.

    2.) Even if you live next door to a complete stranger, you may have to put up with the smell of pot smoke. Even if you buy a condo unit in a tower, you may have to put up with smelling pot smoke. This is BC. Lots of people smoke pot. The fact that the two couples know each other probably means they will respect each other. If one couple knows the other couples doesn’t like the smell of pot, they will be more likely than complete strangers to mitigate the smell by smoking inside or in a spot where it doesn’t bother the neighbours.

    3.) This may end badly, but not because one of the couples smokes pot. This may end badly because right now is a very risky time to being buying real estate in the Lower Mainland. I would think pot smoke would be the least of the risks these couples should be worried about given the current state of the real estate market.

    4.) The ladies having the discussion were described as “very Vancouver” ladies. It’s strange to think of Vancouver as an adjective to describe people. What does it mean when you say someone is “very Vancouver”? It seems these ladies have a disdainful outlook toward marijuana. The two ladies have a more negative view of marijuana than they do of real estate. They focused their discussion on the risks of living next to a marijuana smoker as opposed to the risks of buying into real estate at the top of the bubble. In terms of being oblivious to the financial risks fof buying real estate, I agree these ladies are “very Vancouver”. But in terms of their disdainful attitude toward marijuana, they are not very Vancouver. Let’s get over marijuana. It’s not a big deal. The criminalization of marijuana is what causes the gang problems. If it were legal and taxed and regulated, marijuana wouldn’t harm anyone. Alcholol causes far more harm to users and the people around them than marijuana does.

    • [NoteToEd: Just ask any cop... whether they'd rather deal with a Stoner or a Drunk.]

    • “Very Vancouver” probably just mean they were in their Lululemon gear, sipping latte and pretending they know what’s going on with RE.

      • Well interpreted, yes, I used the term very Vancouver to conjure an image and you nailed it. These ladies were not anti-marijuana, they both conceded to partaking themselves, though not to extent of the couple in the ill fated buying scenario. The gist of the conversation addressed the knowledge gap between the non-smokers and the smokers. The non smokers did not appear to understand what it would mean living so close to heavy users. Which is probably why I felt it was an appropriate anecdote to share here. The subjects of this hearsay account have made a massive investment of time, money and energy without ever stopping to consider whether this was going to be a sensible living arrangement. Does the speculative mania have anything to do with that? I suspect in a down market these people would be a little less eager and little more prudent, but maybe not. The ladies addresses the fact that it is common to live with second hand pot smoke in BC. My wife and I were probably listening so intently because we live with that inconvenience ourselves. And it is not pleasant and if I was friends with my neighbours it would be a cause of great stress on our relationship. They want to enjoy their smoke on the deck but we want to enjoy the breeze from an open patio door, someone is going to be disappointed. This isn’t a marijuana story, it’s another example of how the speculative mania shifts priorities, affects relationships and ultimately ends badly. I suspect that both couples might be able to live with the social incompatibility if they were watching their real estate speculation pay off in double digit returns every year, but when they are under water before construction is finished and dropping fast, I wonder how respectful each will be of the other. And that’s why TWEB.

    • Nicely put. If marijuana were produced and taxed by the government, we’d not only have much more money to shovel toward housing the “not-so-RE-fortunate-missed-out-on-the-speculative-mania” types who actually need a decent non-mouldy roof over their heads, but we’d also have much less drug money-laundering through RE. That’s a whole other topic, however.

      • So maybe newspapers should push for the legalization of pot? Once it’s legalized they can buy ads — it might pay as well as RE ads these days. =)

  2. We know statistically it will for some. Never to me though. To others. Idiosynchronicity.

  3. Ralph Cramdown

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/personal-finance/retirement-rrsps/beyond-the-windfall-the-art-of-making-an-inheritance-last/article10812191/
    The issues:
    - claim to be hereditary real estate investors, but currently this means they rent their basement and, occasionally, their cottage. They’re buy-and-holders rather than rent seekers.
    - first thing he does when he gets the cash is pays off mortgage on primary residence, likely incurring a big prepayment penalty
    - plan to buy rental for $500k with DP of $175k (35%) at a 4.1% cap rate with what would appear to be a mortgage at 2.74% amortized over 20 years. After 5 years the mortgage will be $259,510, so he’ll be able to refi without adding cash as long as the property is worth at least $324,000
    - Plans to buy a retirement condo by mortgaging the current primary residence and renting it out, thus creating non-deductible mortgage interest expense on an income property. Brilliant!

    Interestingly, the comment section is 80-90% bearish. Mainstream sentiment has shifted.

    • 4SlicesofCheese

      I am not sure about whether mainstream sentiment has shifted. maybe bearish online commenting has become more acceptable. Might be bandwagoning or they dont feel like they would be viewed as tinfoil hat wearers anymore.

      But try having those views in a non-housing related group setting and 90% have no idea this is even coming.

      • And speaking of tin foil…..

        So here is my solar oven. It is the antidote to reading about real estate on rainy days and feeling depressed about the high cost of housing. Plus it is good for Mother Nature. This stove is also the most preposterous thing I have seen in a long time (I admit I know absolutely nothing about solar energy). But cooking in a cardboard box is just too fascinating an idea to pass up.

        Cardboard box solar cooker:
        http://solarcooking.wikia.com/wiki/%22Minimum%22_Solar_Box_Cooker

        I didn’t even bother reading the instructions. The picture tells it all. If I actually get a chicken stew made I will let you all know. Chicken soup is also a great antidote for housing bubbles by the way…..now all I need is a little more sunshine.

      • Real Estate Tsunami

        Farmer,
        You want more sunshine.
        Move back to Vancouver.

      • But I enjoy snow in June. Prairie life has its charms.

  4. Coincidence? I think not. BC–Highest ratio of Pot Smokers in Canada, (maybe even North America), and highest ratio of people incredibly stupid about real estate, among other things. What do you expect, once you start killing all those brain cells and the stupid people in-breed… Keep smoking pot and thinking real estate is hot. PS I think it is very accurate to use “Vancouver” as an adjective, even “BC” speaks volumes. When the country was made all the loose nuts fell onto the west coast.

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