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:
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- Raspberry ketone on Commit Crime To Buy A House
- Nemesis on “The bank encouraged her to take the equity in her home to purchase another home. She bought a 2nd home at the peak.”
- You're sore, not hurt. on ‘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.”
- Ralph Cramdown on “The bank encouraged her to take the equity in her home to purchase another home. She bought a 2nd home at the peak.”
- Farmer on “The bank encouraged her to take the equity in her home to purchase another home. She bought a 2nd home at the peak.”
- kabloona on “The bank encouraged her to take the equity in her home to purchase another home. She bought a 2nd home at the peak.”
- Brian on “The bank encouraged her to take the equity in her home to purchase another home. She bought a 2nd home at the peak.”
- Nemesis on “The bank encouraged her to take the equity in her home to purchase another home. She bought a 2nd home at the peak.”
- Burnabonian on “The bank encouraged her to take the equity in her home to purchase another home. She bought a 2nd home at the peak.”
- dumpster diver on “The bank encouraged her to take the equity in her home to purchase another home. She bought a 2nd home at the peak.”
- Joe at Kits on “The bank encouraged her to take the equity in her home to purchase another home. She bought a 2nd home at the peak.”
Type of Anecdote
- 01. He Said, She Said (247)
- 02. Profiting from the Boom (442)
- 03. Changed my Life (103)
- 04. Changed my Career (38)
- 05. Where do Buyers get the money? (962)
- 06. Held my Nose and Leapt (96)
- 07. Avoiding Vancouver (375)
- 08. Overextended Buyers (1190)
- 09. Delaying Buying (316)
- 10. Demoralized Renters? (366)
- 11. Regrets about Investing in RE (417)
- 12. Effects of Development (274)
- 13. 2010 Olympics Related (74)
- 14. Social Effects of the Boom (1257)
- 15. Misallocation of Resources (959)
- 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 (41)
- 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)
- ‘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?”
- “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.”
- Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association Annual First-Time Buyer Seminar Attendance Plummets
- Mom and Pop Get It Wrong In All Markets, Time And Again
- The average British Columbian homeowner is not going to pay off their mortgage by the time they retire.
- “He’s sold all his properties except his current one, which is now for sale. He explained that the market’s currently in crash mode, worst that he’s ever seen.”
- “One of my old high school buddies finally got her mother to sell the family home in Kitsilano – sold for over $1M, monies realized after debt paid off $185K.”
- “I know someone who just declared bankruptcy because her condo was assessed at $150k and she bought it presale north of $250k in 2005 or 2006.”
- Sturdy, With Views – “Calling Froogle Scott!… Is Dr. Scott ‘In The House’?” [Not In This One, Certainly]
- “She said the market was dead in Victoria and that it would remain so for a very long time. I asked how she knew. Her answer was fascinating and should scare the pants off the real estate crowd.”
- Kits Notes – “I’m pretty sure that this is the first 3+ bedroom property of any type that I’ve seen in the 5 years I’ve lived here that is priced below $700K.”
- “A beautiful Belfast home, in the equivalent of 1st Shaughnessy, bought at their RE peak in 2007 for £3.5 million, has now sold for £800K, almost 80%-off. The market didn’t suffer any significant economic shocks. Rates & unemployment didn’t skyrocket. They didn’t build more land. Sentiment just changed and the prices fell and fell.”
- “Two family members of hers are trapped, underwater, in condos on the East Side.”
- “Interprovincial migration is not saying good things about BC’s economy.”
- Vancouver RE: Not As Expensive Provided You Don’t Think – “It’s clear that our perception of affordability has been coloured by living on a continent where housing is unusually inexpensive.”
- More Undisclosed RE Industry Insiders Publicized As Clients – “In 1995, Allan and Karin Hoegg were mortgage-free. But no more. Today their Vancouver home is a valuable source of income as they plan for full retirement.”
- 'Doomed'? - "Home prices in Canada are now double what they were in the 1970s in real terms. Historically, over the very long term, real… 2 hours ago
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