Interview by Rex Murphy with Steve Zimbalatti from Vancouver.
RM: You are in Vancouver, that’s they tell us one of the highest places to live.
SZ: Well, that’s correct and I am actually a… for about a month ago I became a first time homebuyer.
RM: In Vancouver.
SZ: In Vancouver.
RM: So you found that you had a gold mine somewhere?
SZ: Well it was really interesting Rex. I came from one side of the coin where I was a renter and I had money in the bank and quite a bit of freedom actually. It was very liberating the way I was living and a lot of my friends, I think, were perhaps envious of the fact that I wasn’t tied down by debt.
RM: Yeah, how did you get in that situation or is that just the way that you are. You said I don’t want debt and I want to have some margin to move around without some huge sack of obligation on me?
SZ: No actually I sort of got into that situation on the… well I had to learn my lessons the hard way. As a student in college I got one of those credit cards that you are allowed to sign up for in the foyer and I thought wow this is great. I’m a grown up now, I can take on some debt.
SM: Yeah. Two cases of beer, not one.
SZ: And I just couldn’t manage it. I maxed it out almost right away. I couldn’t really manage the debt… it gave me a poor credit rating. I did not pay the bills on time and I just thought well this is enough of this. I am never taking on debt again.
SZ: So from that point forward I was just living pay cheque to pay cheque, able to squirrel a little bit away every time and built up a little nest egg but I was thinking here in Vancouver I am watching all this wealth go by in this housing market I have been living for about 15 years now and just seeing prices triple or quadruple in some cases in that time and just thought wow I need to get on this wealth train. So my partner and I decided that it was time to buy and you know, if we are going to be here in Vancouver working here in Vancouver, might as well own something.
RM: I am not going to be too particular but did you buy recently or last year. When did you buy?
SZ: We bought last month.
RM: Okay that is very fresh.
SZ: Very fresh. Yeah we just thought it was an astronomical amount of money that we are paying for this little box in a building in the sky and we just thought wow this is crazy because here are, we’re grown up, we watched our parents pay $12,000 maybe $20,000 for a house and all of a sudden we are paying 350,000 for a like I say a tiny box in the sky and just the amount of wealth I think in this entire situation is …
RM: By the way to get a however time it might be but from what I understand and it is only second hand to get anything in the city of Vancouver at that rate you got to look.
SZ: Oh, absolutely. You have to settle, you have to you know, might not be able to live in the part of town that you want to live in and you know, but we are very very happy actually with what we’ve got and we think it was, you know, a spot where we can make a good home.
RM: So now, let’s right to the question of the day. So you do have a mortgage and as most of the kind of informed people that we had here this afternoon tell us that mortgage is a separate thing in the consideration of debt say from credit card or from … So do you feel now any less free than you did before?
SZ: Absolutely. We find it very confining. You know, we never used to sort of care about the goings on in government or the world of finance or anything now we’re watching the news every day to see what going to happen to the interest rate or do we lock in now. You know we got almost free money in a way. When we tell people that we’re got a mortgage rate of 1.95% interest, my parents like their jaws drop when they used to pay 18% or 20% for service their mortgage and now it is just like its unbelievable to them. You know I think wealth in a lot of ways these days has been transferred sort of to real estate and it seems to be, you know, by design if you ask me. If you look at say wealth and where most of the money was 25-30 years ago, most of it was in the stock and bond market. Now for Canadian wealth it is in real estate.
RM: I am going to wind it up. Very last point despite the fact that it is changing your view of things and your reading those damn financial papers and listening to television, more or less though you got this under control. It is not a worry in that sense is it?
SZ: It is not a worry in the sense that we don’t have it under control but we do find it, you know, I don’t want to say crushing because like I say we are quite happy where we are but we do find it is less liberating, we might not be able to take the vacations we want which was great in the past. Yeah it is just, you know, it is a whole new ball of wax.
Most Recent Comments:
- tedeastside on “Vancouver isn’t vibrant or exciting, it’s as dead as a doornail. It isn’t a big city, a world class city or even really a city. It’s a large sleepy tourist village that wishes it matters on the world stage.”
- brandr.rasmussen on Vancouverite On Vancouver – ‘Neighbourless Neighbourhoods’, ‘Ficto-Finance’, ‘Soulless Tourist Town’
- whipmaster~kerthwhack on “No problemo. 69 per cent of the condo tower is pretty stable.”
- j levine on “No problemo. 69 per cent of the condo tower is pretty stable.”
- whipmaster~kerthwhack on Still Dead
- whipmaster~kerthwhack on “No problemo. 69 per cent of the condo tower is pretty stable.”
- El NInja on “No problemo. 69 per cent of the condo tower is pretty stable.”
- whipmaster~kerthwack on “No problemo. 69 per cent of the condo tower is pretty stable.”
- galena5651 on “No problemo. 69 per cent of the condo tower is pretty stable.”
- El Ninja on “No problemo. 69 per cent of the condo tower is pretty stable.”
- Gina on “No problemo. 69 per cent of the condo tower is pretty stable.”
- rod_jonsson on “No problemo. 69 per cent of the condo tower is pretty stable.”
Type of Anecdote
- 01. He Said, She Said (248)
- 02. Profiting from the Boom (445)
- 03. Changed my Life (106)
- 04. Changed my Career (39)
- 05. Where do Buyers get the money? (969)
- 06. Held my Nose and Leapt (97)
- 07. Avoiding Vancouver (376)
- 08. Overextended Buyers (1194)
- 09. Delaying Buying (316)
- 10. Demoralized Renters? (366)
- 11. Regrets about Investing in RE (417)
- 12. Effects of Development (276)
- 13. 2010 Olympics Related (74)
- 14. Social Effects of the Boom (1261)
- 15. Misallocation of Resources (964)
- 16. Missed The Boat? (236)
- 17. The Froogle Scott Chronicles (27)
- 18. Spot The Speculator (171)
- 19. BlastRadiusPostCards (17)
- 20. The Limitless Demand Argument For Ongoing Market Strength (70)
- 21. Vancouver RE-Verse [Found Poems] (8)
- 22. RE References In Popular Culture (42)
- 23. Jumping The Shark (1)
- 24. Policies On Housing (10)
- 25. Epigrams For The Bubble (1)
- 26. Premature Calls Of "Bottom" (3)
- 27. Seller Panic (3)
- 28. Erroneous Causation Theories For Falling Prices (7)
- 29. Bubblespeak (1)
- Uncategorized (176)
- “No problemo. 69 per cent of the condo tower is pretty stable.”
- Still Dead
- BC Premier: “I think the market’s good, it’s a buyers market. I want to make sure I get in before prices start to rise.”
- “You’ll have to pry my cell-phone from my cold, dead hand….” [Off-topic, but irresistible]
- Mayor Robertson Selling His House
- “Nothing Wrong Here!”
- “We spoke to a friend of ours yesterday. Even though she has purchased a house, she wants to keep (and rent out) the condo she’s living in, because she thinks prices will only go up.”
- Families With Children Leave Vancouver – “We bought a townhouse in Port Moody in 2006, sold it in 2011 and bought a house. We couldn’t have done that in Vancouver. Absolutely not.”
- The Economist on Land Taxes – “Taxes on immovable property are the most growth-friendly of all major taxes.”
- “It’s kinda funny that 3 unrelated Irish blokes all said that this mess in Vancouver/Canada RE is unfolding EXACTLY like the mess did in Ireland, one headline at a time.”
- “I was really fortunate with how things worked out for me in real estate. I definitely took chances when I bought a few presale condos to flip back in 2004, but I was adamant at the time that there was room to grow for Vancouver.”
- Making Sense Of It All
- “I have been contacted by two of my realtor friends in the past week both proclaiming that the market is turning and that this is a good time to buy.”
- Trump on Vancouver – “Your people, they go to New York, they go all over the world, and they speak so highly.”
- ‘Canadians obsessed with real estate, poll suggests’ – “Just as many people reported talking about real estate on a regular basis as they did about hockey.”
- ‘Doomed’? – “Home prices in Canada are now double what they were in the 1970s in real terms. Historically, over the very long term, real home prices tend to be flat.”
- “The bank encouraged her to take the equity in her home to purchase another home. She bought a 2nd home at the peak.”
- “Let’s remember how we got here” – Looser and Looser CMHC Limits
- Don’t Worry, I’m Sure Somebody Will Sort This All Out – “Policymakers now know better and will be a lot more proactive in preventing a collapse.”
- “Things have changed, we are not doing that type of mortgage. We are not interested at all.”
- “We are noticing our target type of housing in price decline, albeit slow, as our money increases in value, slowly as well but outpacing housing.”
- Renter Buys In West Van – “For a few hundred more per month, you could own the place. Which is what I will be doing as my offer for a place down the street has been accepted. There is some value in staying in one place.”
- A Bed in the Bathroom, Why Not? [Let Us Count The Reasons...]
- “My husband and kids are pretty happy in our rental house within cycling distance of work that we could never have afforded otherwise. We’re doin’ pretty dang well, thank you, for median income earners in this expensive city.”
- “I Wish Them Bad Luck.” – Jim Flaherty, on those who wish to profit from Canadian RE price drops
- “We asked why he doesn’t just rent the whole house. He said he can’t, it wouldn’t cover his mortgage – he’ll get more to rent it out as two suites. These new landlords are hilarious, thinking that rent will cover their mortgage!”
- “My neighbours, in their late 60s, just put their house on the market. They had said they would die in that house, but now they are worried that with the housing market going south they may be losing a lot of equity and they better sell now before it gets worse.”
- Chat Thread
- Taking A Break
- “My best guess: this property is now an ‘investment hold’ and will be built ‘when prices recover’. Good luck on that!”
- Man Loses $745,000 Vancouver Condo Deposit
- Graphic – Degrees of Housing Overvaluation in Canada
- The Rare Individual With A Negative Ownership Premium
- Advice Regarding Renting In Vancouver, Please – “Unfortunately, the Vancouver rental stock is absolutely atrocious. It just seems like every landlord is looking for someone to pay 100% of their mortgage on a crappy place through rental income.”
- “I just visited Manhattan for a week, and happened to snap some real estate ads on both the Upper West and Upper East sides of the island. Compare to Vancouver. It simply doesn’t compute.”
- Ben Rabidoux In Vancouver Next Week
- “The mortgage company told me they were calling in my 40-year, 0-down mortgage. I have paid nearly sixty thousand dollars towards it, but, nearly five years in, I have yet to touch the principal.”
- ‘Vancouver City Hall: Housing Report Card 2012′; Plus Revised Version
- “My folks find themselves at 65 still owing half the value of their home and recreation property to the bank. After almost 30 years of ownership in the BPOE and a number of boom markets, they have very little to show for it.”
- “Rent for $2,200 a month or buy and have a mortgage of $4,310 per month. Why would anyone buy?”
- February 2014
- December 2013
- July 2013
- June 2013
- May 2013
- April 2013
- March 2013
- February 2013
- January 2013
- December 2012
- November 2012
- October 2012
- September 2012
- August 2012
- July 2012
- June 2012
- May 2012
- April 2012
- March 2012
- February 2012
- January 2012
- December 2011
- November 2011
- October 2011
- September 2011
- August 2011
- July 2011
- June 2011
- May 2011
- April 2011
- March 2011
- February 2011
- January 2011
- December 2010
- November 2010
- October 2010
- September 2010
- August 2010
- July 2010
- June 2010
- May 2010
- April 2010
- March 2010
- February 2010
- January 2010
- December 2009
- November 2009
- October 2009
- September 2009
- August 2009
- June 2009
- May 2009
- April 2009
- March 2009
- February 2009
- January 2009
- October 2008
- September 2008
- July 2008
- June 2008
- May 2008
- April 2008
- March 2008
- February 2008
Tagsaffordability Alberta Anecdotes Asia Audio anecdote Australia Bailout Banks Bears blogs British Columbia Bubble Bulls buyers Canada Capitulation Caveat Children China CMHC Construction Crime Debt Densification Developers Dreams Earthquake Economy Edmonton Employment Fear Foreclosure Foreign buyers FTBs Fundamentals Government Housing Incomes Interest Rates Ireland Landlords Life Market_Timing Media Mortgage brokers Okanagan Olympics ontario opinion Ottawa Ownership Prediction Rain Real Estate Realtors Relationships Renos Rent Retirement RE_ATM Seattle sellers Sentiment Speculators Stories Tax Technical Analysis Toronto UBC UK US Vancouver Victoria Visual Anecdote Whistler