Tag Archives: Ownership

“Rentals are being phased out in our condo building because they are just too hard to manage and they bring down the value of the units.”

“Rentals are being phased out in our condo building because they are just too hard to manage and they bring down the value of the units.”
– comment by Kensington, 27 Jan 2013 4:00pm below ‘2012 a record year for Vancouver rental housing’, CBC News 27 Jan 2013

It’s still all about ‘value’ (read: price growth), and not about ‘income’.
The changes contemplated by this strata usually occur in red-hot price growth phases.
During weakness, when prices are descending, the potential for rental income becomes more important in the calculation of fundamental value, and in making a property attractive to buyers (thus offering more support to prices).
This strata appears to be late to the party.
– vreaa

“Our landlords are booting us out. My wife has been onside until now, but with the threat of homelessness she’s wavering. I feel that buying now is akin to climbing out of the lifeboat and back onto the Titanic.”

“Our landlords are booting us out of the house we’ve been in for 5 years. (She’s divorcing him and booted him out, and we’re next down the eviction chain as he’s moving in when our lease expires in a few months.) So we’re desperately looking for rentals in the same neighbourhood (Cambie) due to schools and work. Or we’ll buy somewhere like North Van and uproot everyone but only once.
After being around these boards for 5+ years I feel that buying now is akin to climbing out of the lifeboat and back onto the Titanic. The wife has been onside until now, but with the threat of homelessness she’s wavering. So I’m trying to decide how big the potential downsides are. Pay $3k in rent for 1-2 years then buy (and deal with 2 moves) or bite the bullet and buy now and pay that much for the mortgage (until rates go up). The potential savings by renting and delaying a purchase is what I’m trying to estimate.”

/dev/null at VCI 22 Jan 2013 11:21am

“Sorry to hear that. Here is my view. We (a family with 2 kids) are renting half-a-duplex in Burnaby for $2000/month for about 5 years. Good area, decent schools, commute is ok. The landlord is a nice person, but has (and always had) thoughts about splitting the place into two units and rent them for $1500+$800 (this trick worked for a while for the neighbour landlord, until last year when they have started having problems with finding good tenants for the downstairs unit). I am tracking the rental pool in the area pretty closely and found that a lot of 5bdr/SFH in the $2300-$2500/month range entered the market last year (starting late summer I would say, most of them accidental landlords). Places like ours are steady in the $1800-$2100 range for the last 5 years, and the influx of of those 2300-2500 homes definitely helps keep those prices from growing.
Last fall, I had a number of conversations with my landlords and gave them the full picture, mentioning that we would have no problem finding something decent in the very same area. Of course, we were perfect tenants all these years. Apparently, it worked out, everybody seems to be happy now.
Back to your situation. First, I think buying something just because “we have to move out of here anyways” is a plain bad idea. Do the math and then decide. Second, I personally wouldn’t mind renting for another few years in your situation, even if it comes at a bit higher price comparing to the deal you have now. Rental pool in our (yours and mine) sector is improving, it’s renter’s market.
Yes, I know moving is painful. I know your wife wants a nest (mine too). Yes, – peer/parent pressure, accidental landlord risks etc. But the risk of losing money by buying something is just way too high these days. My $0.02.”

C.Junta at VCI 22 Jan 2013 12:51pm

Great analogy from /dev/null.
Whether you’re on the Titanic or in a lifeboat, the speculative mania is at the very least time-consuming, inconvenient, anxiety-provoking, and distracting.
– vreaa

Author Of ‘Real Estate Investing for Canadians for Dummies’ “jumped into the market 3 years ago with a 2 BR apartment in Mount Pleasant”; Reports Ownership Cheaper Than Renting; Leaves Out Math

“This columnist jumped into the property market three years ago with a two-bedroom apartment in Mount Pleasant. The mortgage payments at the time were on a par with where rent was heading, so the move made sense. Despite increases in strata fees and property taxes since, the move continues to make sense – perhaps more sense than ever.
Tallying mortgage interest, property taxes, strata fees and assessments, as well as home insurance paid in each of the past four years versus rent and home insurance paid in 2008 (the last full year in which rent was paid) shows that home ownership has steadily cut household expenses. Preliminary figures for 2012 indicate savings on housing costs of more than 20% versus 2008.
Poor affordability tends to give first-time buyers in Vancouver fewer options than those in other cities, but the pay-off – for those who can manage it – is significant.
So long as mortgage costs remain in check, the payoff seems set to continue, but low interest rates and increases in rental costs have so far put accounts in this buyer’s favour.
(The exit strategy and ultimate return on investment is a significant risk factor, of course, but we’ll leave that matter for another column.)”

– from ‘Rental market tight despite rise in Vancouver vacancies; apartment sales projected to hit record-breaking pace’, Peter Mitham, Business In Vancouver, 8 Jan 2013 (“Peter Mitham has written about British Columbia real estate since 1998 for Business in Vancouver and many regional, national and international publications. He is co-author of “Real Estate Investing for Canadians for Dummies”)
[hat-tip Sarbaz]

Priceless stuff. And that’s a major problem — no ‘price’ – no numbers, no math.
We’d love to see the details. The claim seems to be a stretch.
Just for a start, is this a comparable 2BR to the prior rental?

Also, interesting to note that an author of a RE investment text:
1. “jumped into” the property market, and
2. talks of the ‘return on investment’ – for his home!
– vreaa

College Student Living With Parents In $7M “Piece Of Junk House” – “I have had to sit through countless dinners where my parents friends bragged about foreign investors leaving notes in their mailboxes making cash offers on their houses and how they could “cash out” at any time. But they didn’t.”

“I am a college student living at home in a house assessed at 7 million dollars. With that price tag you would expect a mansion right? Nope. The house is 90 years old, doesn’t have insulation or a proper heating system. My parents bought the house in 1985 for 450,000. Adjusting for inflation that is 860,000 in 2012 dollars. That is the most I would pay TODAY for this piece of junk house. However we do live in a quiet area in the UBC area and the property itself is quite large with a premium view, but even those factors do not begin to justify the difference between the assessed value and the inflation adjusted price my parents paid 28 years ago.
Luckily my parents were smart with their finances and a large correction in the market will not affect them. My parents have avoided using any paper gains in the property even when their coworkers and friends kept pestering them to take out loans against the house to buy condos and rental properties. These same coworkers and friends have been driving around in fancy leased cars and enjoying nice vacations every year while my parents worked hard to pay off the mortgage. I have had to sit through countless dinners where my parents friends bragged about foreign investors leaving notes in their mailboxes making cash offers on their houses and how they could “cash out” at any time. But they didn’t. Now that they do want to sell they are finding the market has cooled and no on wants to pay peak prices for their homes. Very few people are prepared to spend 15 million dollars on a home in a cooling market.”

Robert Borden at VREAA 8 Jan 2012 3:43pm

“My father bought and paid for our suburban Vancouver home within 2 years on a city worker’s wage. Second largest country in the world and I can’t afford a 50 year old house on a postage size lot in the suburbs. Things are supposed to get better, not worse.”

“My father bought and paid for our suburban Vancouver home within 2 years on a city worker’s wage, he paid for property taxes with one day’s pay. 2nd largest country in the world and I can’t afford a 50 year old house on a postage size lot in the suburbs. things are supposed to get better, not worse.”
Led at greaterfool.ca 10 Dec 2012 11:21pm

High House Prices, Less Liquid Wealth – “The cheapest house in this neighbourhood goes for $1.2 million, but people are too cheap/poor to fork over $50 per kid.”

“Our elementary school, solidly in the “rich” Arbutus neighbourhood on the west side of Vancouver managed to raise $17,000 this year during its fundraising drive. Last year they raised $21,000.
Goal was $25,000. There are approx 500 students in the school, so the goal is $50 per student. They raised $34 per student.
Not sure you can draw an anecdote, maybe people are cheap or think their taxes should cover schools, I just find it quite sad/disgusting that when the cheapest house in this ‘hood goes for $1.2 million, people are too cheap/poor to fork over $50 per kid.”

LS at greaterfool.ca 17 Nov 2012 6:55pm

Baloney Budgets – “I understand you’re trying to make Vancouver look like a place people would want to live. Every one of these case studies is misleading, and you are doing people a disservice by offering them as accurate.”

“Every one of these case studies is misleading, and you are doing people a disservice by offering them as accurate. I understand you’re trying to make Vancouver look like a place people would want to live (and therefore make money off assisting them with their relocation), but please exercise some ethical restraint. 1) There is nowhere in Kits Allison can buy a month’s worth of groceries for $170, unless she’s living off of plain oatmeal and carrots. Shopping at IGA, Safeway or Choices could easily run a person $100 per week, not including much protein, and she can forget the occasional bottle of wine. 2) Gerald is spending almost 50% too much on his apartment. Back before people thought of housing as a place to sleep instead of one more status symbol, the lender rule was no more than 28% of your gross salary should go towards housing. His $36k/year is $3000/month; 28% of that is $840, so his $1225 rent is $385 too high. An actual financial planner would tell you the same thing. But since he can’t rent a studio in Coal Harbour (or maybe anywhere in Vancouver) for $840, he’d be stuck in a basement suite in Dunbar or Kits. Do any of your prospective clients know how much of the city lives in someone else’s basement? Also, what about paying off his student loans, or did he luck into rich parents? 3) You have not factored in the impact of interest rates returning to their long-term norm of about 7% (never mind the rate reset they’ll face in a few years, courtesy of the bank). What does that do to Mara and Jeff’s mortgage amount? Also, where are these people eating out so cheaply? A nice dinner plus wine four times per month at the listed total means their final bill with tip is $60 every week. Please show me a restaurant where a couple can get a “nice dinner” including a bottle of good wine for $52 including tax; I’d like to go there. Do they have any existing debt to service? 4) Same interest rate problem as Mara and Jeff. Misleading people as to the actual costs of living in this city helps no one but yourselves.”
– Dan, commenting below an article at 2vancouver.com titled ‘Vancouver Money and Budgets: A few case studies’ [23 Nov 2012], that sketches out proposed budgets for people in Vancouver in 4 different situations. As Dan points out, the budgets have elements of fantasy about them. [hat-tip to VCI; posted here for the record.]

It’s expensive to live in this city, largely because of costs associated with accommodation. This is very, very bad for Vancouver: It forces young people away, and diverts resources from other areas of the economy. We’d bet that relocation companies like ‘2vancouver.com’ have some relevant stories they could tell. – vreaa