Renter Rant – “I make good money, have done everything right from a financial planning perspective, analysed the market in detail and it hasn’t made any sense to buy in for YEARS. Found out this morning I have to move again. Moving SUCKS!!!!”

“Enough is fcuking enough. Found out this morning I have to move again. My stupid mistake for not setting a 2nd lease. They are selling and cashing out – can’t blame them. They are friends of my brothers and gave us an indication they were holding long-term. SO STUPID OF ME!!! A 2 year old, prego wife, new job – timing could not be worse!
But seriously, I make good money (top 5% of Canadians), have done everything right from a financial planning perspective (pay yourself first, hired experience investors, diversified portfolio blah, blah, blah), analysed the market in detail and it hasn’t made any sense to buy in for YEARS. I couldn’t make myself buy in even back in 2007. But still it keeps going up, and lucky people keep getting to feel smug, and look down their nose at renters, and put themselves in CRAZY levels of debt. What the heck are you supposed to do get some stability (don’t answer that – I know get a lease – STUPID ME!). The very basic house I am in (getting booted from), in the neighborhood I grew up in will list and sell quickly for $850K!!!! Blows my mind.
All of this brought to you by our f’d up government who think grants to get more people into the market actually addresses the affordability problem. WTF!
We let real estate investors and contractors and planners run CMHC so they can drive more business for themselves. Really a government program to make housing more affordable and accessible insures INVESTMENT properties. WTF!!!
Total insanity. Heads gotta role at some point here. What’s involved in starting a revolution?????
Yes I’m tired of moving, but my biggest concern is what we are doing to Vancouver for the long-term. Assuming it ever goes down (starting to have doubts at times these days) the correction will be HUGE, and will slaughter so many of today’s smug faces. They will get their financial assess handed to them, and likely never recover. With how many of them there seems to be, what is that going to do to the city I grew up in and love, but have a hard time enjoying living in these days.
Moving SUCKS!!!!”

RentersRant at VCI 29 Feb 2012 at 9:30pm

‘RentersRant’s biggest concern at this moment is clearly not about “what we are doing to Vancouver for the long term”, nor should it be. He has more immediate personal concerns about the profound inconvenience of being forced to move. We sympathize, moving ‘sucks’ at the best of times; when it is a forced move it is that much more unpleasant.
We also sympathize with his longer-term concerns for the city, and how his financial prudence has been punished by monetary policy & the speculative mania while all around the imprudent have been temporarily rewarded.
The spec mania applies destabilizing forces to the rental stock in the city. Any landlord capable of back of the napkin math, and who also has a modicum of insight into where we are in the RE cycle, should be selling. This is not good, it’s just another deleterious effect of the bubble.
– vreaa

60 responses to “Renter Rant – “I make good money, have done everything right from a financial planning perspective, analysed the market in detail and it hasn’t made any sense to buy in for YEARS. Found out this morning I have to move again. Moving SUCKS!!!!”

  1. 1) I heard complaints by my parents about debt accumulation and low levels of retirement saving by their peers.

    2) Like bonds, not all rental units are created equal and have the same duration/option terms.

  2. another vhb/garth/vci/vreaa’s victim. and you think you are doing people a favour!

  3. Easy fix. Leave freakin’ Vancouver.

    It’s a big world out there beyond Hope.

    I moved to Vancouver for school. Stayed for one short term job, and then left, for good. Now I visit. Fun place to visit. I wouldn’t want to live here, though. Commuting, mortgage slave zombies and all.

    Move!

    • Told-you-so-in-2007

      “Easy fix. Leave freakin’ Vancouver”

      Well, EG, not initially easy, but otherwise true.

      After living on the west coast for most of our lives, we left Vancouver in 2007 and I have to say that it’s the best thing that we could have done. In Vancouver post grad school, the best we could do was to rent a 700 sq. ft. basement suite in the neighbourhood of our choice, but we could never get ahead to save any sort of decent sized down payment.

      Two years after the move, we had enough cash to buy a great house on a huge lot. We also have enough left over to invest, contribute to our kids’ RESPs, and go on vacation. Our mortgage payment remains comparable to the rent we were paying for the basement suite in Van five years ago.

      We didn’t want to leave, but we’ve made a great life here now and one standard of living has increased immensely. More than I ever would have expected, frankly. Vancouver will continue to lose native born educated professionals. There’s only so much degradation one can take. If you can’t leave for yourselves, leave for your kids. Seriously.

      • nobody you know

        “We didn’t want to leave, but we’ve made a great life here”

        Where is “here”? Just curious as we’re on our way out of BC in the next year or so and heading back to the states.

      • “Here” for us is the BC interior.

    • So easy! Especially in hindsight and everytime I’m back there stuck in traffic and the miserable rain, I congratulate myself for leaving before everyone else.

  4. in the top 5% of income earners. What is that? 100K/year? If you add a 2nd income to it you can buy something decent in this city, if not you can buy a duplex or townhouse. Nothing wrong with those, unless you’re expectation are too high for a one income family – or unless you prefer to throw your money into equities instead of securing a home for your growing family. Choices people, choices.

    • See here’s the problem, The top 5 % can barely afford a “Duplex or Townhouse”.

      • if you made 100K/year and needed to buy a home for your family what would you choose? How much would you have to spend in Vancouver? This could be a fun thread

      • income of 100K can afford 541K property based on conservative Canadian bank policies of no more than 32% gross servicing. This is with 5% downpayment.
        I’ll leave it to you to decide what that gets you

      • f1 -> Well, we already know that it doesn’t get you… it doesn’t get you a basement suite in East Van, that would cost you $590K.

        All sounds completely sane to me, top 5% of earners, ballpark $100K+ income, can’t afford a basement suite in East Van. [/sarcasm]

      • Unless you try one of the creative mortgage products that are readily available. Then the sky is the limit.

      • 100k after taxes and other deductions is about 60k. $5000 a month. 5% DP on $541k is $33k. Mortgage is $508k. @3% on a fixed 25 year amort, payment is about $2400 a month. Then add in all the monthly costs and bills, will cost you $3k a month. Leaves you $2k for food, car, girlfriend, and you’re broke. No investments, no RRSP’s, no vacation, no booze, no life. Oh yeah, after 5 years interest rates will rise. So monthly payments will likely be the same and maybe you get a 10% raise, maybe. Now you’re really screwed and have to go find some money elsewhere. What a life. You’re screwed and your girlfriend leaves you because you’re broke. And now your home is worth 35% less and you can’t sell it. So you rent it out and pay the extra costs and move into ma and pa’s basement.

        The end. It surely is. 👍

      • Van guy -> Thanks for the math. Makes current situation seem completely and utterly insane, doesn’t it?

    • Again, it comes down to arguments like:
      “You live in Vancouver, you need to lower your expectations” and
      “Surely you love your family enough to buy them a home?”

    • Love that people don’t invest in equities, they “throw their money” into them.

    • The cutoff for top 1% in Canada is 194k. Even that gets you crap in this city. Anyone here loading up on banks?

    • nobody you know

      6-figure income, top 5% and stuck in a townhouse instead of a real house that you can’t afford because “your expectation are too high”. Hmmm, that doesn’t sound like the best place on earth to me. In fact, that sounds like a shitty place to live.

      “If you add a 2nd income to it you can buy something decent in this city”

      OK then. Just work twice as much. Problem solved!

      • Former Vancouverite

        If you can’t make enough money in Vancouver… Just move to Alberta and Fly in and out of Fort McMurray. You’ll work more hours at crazy high rates. While living in cities such as Edmonton, you’ll bank so much money you won’t know what to do with…. 2 choices. 1) Show off the money to everyone by flaunting new toys and trips. (waste) 2) Invest and diversify your portfolio into ETFs, REIT’s, etc. then use the money to come to vancouver and waste it on a million dollar crack shack (seeing that the BPOE prices will always rise to the moon) – Patient is worth a million dollars.

    • “you can buy something decent in this city, if not you can buy a duplex or townhouse. Nothing wrong with those”

      Don’t you understand people are tired of townhouses because of stratas(aka secondary mortgages)?That is out of question for somebody who really wants to own his house.

      • “That is out of question for somebody who really wants to own his house”.

        herein lies the problem. Everyone wants a house. There aren’t enough of them to go around…why else do buyers keep bidding up this property class?

      • …. because they think that “Everyone wants a house” and that “There aren’t enough of them to go around” and thus that “Prices of SFHs can’t possibly dip by more than 15%”.
        But, they are wrong.

      • my apologies vreaa – it looks like I found another one of your sensitive areas

      • I have many “sensitive areas”; none of them have any pertinence to the fact of the Vancouver speculative mania.
        Stick to the subject: Vancouver RE.

      • 4SlicesofCheese

        So SFH prices goes up forever, everything else is a blackhole of wealth.

        Your kids are screwed.

    • Choices, indeed. And some may make that choice and survive in a low interest/high price environment… only to find themselves in a few years having their mortgage reset at a higher rate having paid of little actual principle and residing in a place that they can’t sell for nearly what they paid.

      Yes, it is a choice. But it’s not a wise one.

  5. I was in the same situation a year ago.
    We sold our apartment two years ago and rented. After a year the landlord wanted to increase the rent a lot, I mean by 20%. Of course I let him know that he is not allowed to do that but he then told us that in fact he needs us to move because he wants to renovate and then move back in. B.S of course but that’s another story. I told him whatever, we will look for a different place, his loss, we always paid on time, he was welcomed to come once a month to check the property and I even fixed things for him.
    Anyways, yes moving was a big headache. I did not want to have to go through this again and I definately did not want to buy anything at this time even though we could easily afford a 40-50% downpayment on big TH or a smaller house in Burnaby where we live.
    I looked into Co-ops and I started applying. Most people confuse co-ops with low income housing, wrong !!! Many co-ops actually ask you to prove that your income is high enough to afford the monthly housing costs. Some of them like the one we got accepted to are very nice, newer buildings.
    Yes you are expected to put in some time, usually 4hours/month/household but it’s really a good way to get to know your neighbours and feel that you are part of a community.
    It’s a great feeling to know that we have no landlord, NOBODY can come to evict us when they feel like it and the housing charge is much cheaper than the comparable rental places in our area. We love it and I’d recommend it to anybody. Not all Co-ops are created equal and you need to put some time and energy into it, go check them out and apply to the best ones. It can take some time until you get accepted, in our case we were invited to interviews to 3 chosen co-ops within 5 weeks and were accepted and moved into one of them two month after we found out that we had to move.
    We have a say in what happens in the Co-op just like everybody else, housing charges can only increase if the members approve of it and the security of it gives us so much freedom. I know we won’t move out of here until the housing market goes back to its fundamental value. Hopefully soon but if not, so be it, our housing charge is totally affordable and we will keep on building our savings and enjoying life

    • If you don’t mind not “building equity” and living in a “mixed” community, with all its diverse features and warts, it’s an option that provides long-term stability, though not always with as much space as one would want.

      And yes not all cooperatives are created equal.

      • I have built equity until 2 years ago, bought 10 years ago when it made sense. You can NOT build equity anymore, your risk to the downside is HUGE at this point. Buying anything now is NOT an investment, it is a total gamble. As far as Co-ops go they do provide long term stability and more than enough space for smaller families. We have one son and have a 3 BR, so even a spare one for visitors. Not all Co-ops have restrictions on how big a unit you can rent. And we actually happen to love living in a community, it’s actually great to know your neighbours, it is something you don’t get by living in a condo or TH. Our 3 BR 1.5 Bath unit is cheaper than almost all 2 BR in our area. All it is needed is some effort and time put into finding the right place, filling out all the applications forms to ALL co-ops that you like and surely you can get into one and enjoy not having to deal with a landlord anymore.

      • Thanks for you feedback on coops. I am relocating to Vancouver and will apply for one asap. Right now I have to live in Pitt Meadows which is a long commute to kits

  6. ” A 2 year old, prego wife, new job – timing could not be worse!
    But seriously, I make good money (top 5% of Canadians)”

    You are saving so much money from renting. Go buy your wife some jewellery to make it up to her and bring your child to Disneyland every year. This will more than make up for not buying.

    And splurge on a Porsche. You have more flexibility with renting. Don’t take it for granted!

    • Sure, all renters are short-sighted, profiligate fools who should take advice from prudent, wise homeowners.
      Noted here for posterity.

    • Better yet, use your savings and go buy a house without a mortgage in another province. I love asking my Vancouver buddies why they are still paying their mortgage 12 years later! Sure wipes that smug Vancouver smile off their face in a hurry!

  7. RENT FROM REPUTABLE PROPERTY MANAGEMENT COMPANIES.

    Amateur landlords are amateurs.

    • redundant poster are redundant

      • GFY, F1.

      • Haters be hatin’.
        Someof us have friends who give some perspective, and it hurts sometimes, that many “savers” have the ability to move cross-border. Realtor isn’t one of them, I believe.

    • LOL Accidental landlords are accidental

      • LOL poster is LOL

        how long do you want to do this fo? Wait!

        asking poster is asking…

    • CanuckDownUnder

      This is a major +1 from me bubbly. Why do these otherwise prudent people always try to pinch pennies by renting from an amateur house flipper?

      Moving isn’t really that hard. We upgraded to a much larger apartment about a year ago with a small child. Our total moving costs amounted to about 1 1/2 weeks of what we save by renting over owning. And it’s a great opportunity to go through all your stuff and get rid of all the crap you have and don’t need anymore.

      On a side note I’d like to make a renter rave. Thank you landlord for the quick replacement of our hot water heater that died this week. Sorry about the $1800 you had to spend to get it replaced and installed the very next day.

  8. Moving sucks, but being underwater in a mortgage or being house-poor sucks even more. When you rent you at least have options. Owning a home you paid too much for is a ball and chain scenario.

  9. You know what is really going to suck. Who do you think is going to bail out CMHC when it goes under? All those smug homeowners, umm, umm, they are all underwater now, they are a hell of a lot of them and they are all broke. But you, on the other hand, do you really NEED that juicy retirement package, when people are hurting?…hmm, as i spin out this fictional (but likely imho) scenario, i am starting to like the move away option posted earlier, sounding better and better.

    • “You know what is really going to suck. Who do you think is going to bail out CMHC when it goes under? All those smug homeowners, umm, umm, they are all underwater now, they are a hell of a lot of them and they are all broke.”

      True. But even broke they’ll be taxed federally on income and via GST. So at least they’ll be helping a bit.

  10. 4SlicesofCheese

    It could be worse, you could have bought in the Distrcit building around Main st.
    Building just completed couple weeks ago and there are almost half of the units for sale. Dozens of open houses today. Come and say hi!
    That cant be good for prices.

    • Sure there are lots of units for sale but these flippers bought these units at much much lower prices! They are just cashing in on their gains.

      • Those who are selling are bearish, and we congratulate them on their gains if they are fortunate enough to get out in time.

      • They hope.

      • 4SlicesofCheese

        I do question the intelligence of a potential buyer of this place if they do not try to lowball the sellers.

        I mean there are literally dozens of the same floorplans for sale.

        Hopefully after a series of lowballs these flippers get a taste of downward spiraling prices.

      • Hey, maybe get together a renter resume, make copies, and go hand those out to the sellers. “For when you can’t sell . . . consider us to offset half your mortgage…”

    • Are there snacks?

  11. JanusHeadStrong

    Any info on how much markup the flippers in the District building are hoping to make (or already made)?

    • 4SlicesofCheese

      Pricing for these new Vancouver condos include Studios starting from $239,900*, 1 bedroom floor plans starting from $274,900* and 2 bedroom new Vancouver condos starting from $399,900*. *Effective as of October 15, 2009. Prices for these South Main District new Vancouver condos do not include applicable GST and/or (proposed) HST, and are subject to change without notice

  12. Former Vancouverite

    Solution… Move out of Vancouver! Born and raised in the Lower Mainland, I moved to Alberta July 2011. Better career opportunities, better pay, and lower cost of living. NO BRAINER. Its unfortunate that Vancouver’s affordability has become so unreasonable, but it will correct eventually… And if it doesn’t so be it. Can’t feel bad for those greater fools that bought into the Ponzi-scheme. Everyone has a choice to where they want to live. Debt will catch up to people sooner than later, and for the one’s prudent enough to save and invest… CASH is KING!

  13. “I make good money (top 5% of Canadians), have done everything right
    What’s involved in starting a revolution????
    the city I grew up in and love,”

    Where have all the artists gone? Are there still a lot of artists in Vancouver? I remember jamming on Granville next to a homemade t-shirt shop. I mention this because the anecdote says “good money” needed and 43% of artists made less than $10,000/yr in 2009. Then the writer asks about revolution. You need artists for that, not profiteers. What made it a city that this person loved? Vancouver capitalized on an eclectic, outdoor vibe that artists and naturalists initiated. We had it way better for artists than Portland or Seattle. It was a mecca. I don’t mean the cheap abstract art gallery crap. I mean the real artists that could carve wicked walking stick or paint your portrait.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/arts/article970035.ece

  14. It’s a problem with people in general — getting too comfortable. It’s why people stay in $hitty jobs talking about leaving but never do until they get laid off. As a renter, as with my career, I evaluate periodically, then mentally prepare for leaving. If you let yourself settle, then you’re always living reactively rather than proactively.

    What’s the big fricken deal? There’s lots of places to rent (or buy). Hiring some Chinese movers, pack up your stuff, and move!

    On a related note, we’ve become slaves to consumption and consumerism. We accumulate too much stuff (esp. for kids these days). That makes moving a little more tedious, I know.

    Just food for thought and my perspective.

  15. Think of moving as a healthy zen activity that aids you in shedding the things that tie you to the material world. (Or not… 😉

    When I was moving more than twice a year, it was never the moving that bothered me since it always turned into a party, and shifting boxes around was part of my job at the time anyway. it was knowing I couldn’t change the place to be as I liked it.

    I hope you find a long term place and some peace of mind.

  16. This is for Renter Rant and any other renters getting kicked out because the owner is selling.

    If you didn’t renew your lease, that means you’ve automatically moved to what’s called month-to-month in the BC Residential Tenancy Act.

    That is transferred to the new owners which means they have to give you at least 2 months notice PLUS 1 month’s rent if they’re kicking you out.

    There are other rules they have to follow as well if they are trying to kick you out, so you should definitely read the relevant parts of the Act, specifically the sections about “Notice to End Tenancy”.

  17. Your trying to live in Vancouver on $100k? My wife and I are on double that and we wouldn’t dream of moving there. You need a million in your pocket, plus two good incomes to live even modestly in van. Leave immediately, you will never rise above bottom feeder in that city, you are out o f y our league. The good news is there are much better places to live these days. Try kingston, Ottawa, Halifax, or Montreal.

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