Spot The Speculator #77 – “She’s kept the Cambie property and hopes to turn it into rental income in future.”

“Phoenix Lam returned home in 2005 after years of basement suites and roommates.
“I realized I wasn’t ever going to save enough for a down payment,” the 28-year-old said of spending more than half her monthly income on rent and expenses.
Instead, she paid minimal rent while at home. Four years later she had saved enough for a mortgage on a 566-square-foot apartment in Cambie Village.
“I wouldn’t be owning if I didn’t do that.”
While Lam now lives elsewhere, she’s kept the Cambie property and hopes to turn it into rental income in future.”

‘Hopeful homeowners staying in the nest’, Stephanie Ip,, 22 Mar 2012

27 responses to “Spot The Speculator #77 – “She’s kept the Cambie property and hopes to turn it into rental income in future.”

  1. Renters Revenge

    How do you “save up enough money for a mortgage?”

  2. Gooooo Team Vancoouuuuuuuvah!!!!!

  3. Seems like a desperate example. They couldn’t find anyone who lived at home, saved up a downpayment and now at least actually lives in the place they bought? She isn’t even getting that intangible priceless benefit of living in a place of her own, this is purely about the money and did they give us any of the cold hard numbers? Nope.

  4. “…and hopes to turn it into rental income in future.”

    Cuz it sure isn’t producing any income now.

  5. Basement Suite

    “566-square-foot apartment in Cambie Village”

    Talk about overindulgence: in Vancouver this kind of square footage must have cost a fortune. Indeed she needed to save all she could to afford such a thing in illustrious “Cambie village”. Maybe one CAN still own Vancouver RE?

  6.! Priced out of west side.

  7. Does anyone else find it mildly ironic that someone who is saving rent by living with family members is actually subsidizing it for someone else?

    The son living in the basement who can’t save for anything but a dimebag of weed is an addict. The son living in the basement who goes to River Rock to gamble his disposable income is an addict. The son living in the basement who rents out a condo negative carry is an addict too. Apparently the last one is OK because the parents think he’s throwing it into a long-term investment.

    I’ll have to be honest with you all. I’m having a bit of trouble telling the difference between condo speculators, gamblers, and dope fiends.

    • “I’m having a bit of trouble telling the difference between condo speculators, gamblers, and dope fiends.”

      Two of them are driven by greed…

      • Yes but I’d argue the fundamental addiction is for the most part the same. Physical harm aside, the only difference in is how socially acceptable their addictions are. Remember the anecdote a few days ago about the person who confronted a family member about the housing bubble? Their described visceral reaction was a textbook addiction symptom.

      • Jesse, funny you should mention this. ‘Tis I who posted the anecdote in question, and your comment about addiction is so true. Now, my father is angry at me for nagging about financial risk from real estate and thus causing a rift, and is demanding that I apologize to my family member. It’s ironic that this family member has a perfectly socially acceptable (actively encouraged!) addiction to real estate, but if she had a less socially acceptable addiction like to regular gambling, my father would instead be standing beside me in demanding she quit! The difference is that on RE, the gambling is with a million dollars’ worth of past and future earnings. My family members all enjoy giving unsolicited advice, but apparently giving unsolicited advice about taking timely profits from real estate is just wrong. 🙂

      • JCH – keep a little nest egg tucked away for relatives in case they hit bottom, you can rent a place on their behalf. Offer it humbly, but don’t let them know you have cash until the keys for the money pit are returned to the bank.

    • Renter's Revenge

      It seems a lot like a cargo cult, if you ask me.

    • Sure, show and tell endorphins. Borrowing gets you love. In a consumption society, that new house fix lasts three months. Then gotta buy something to fill the joy void. oops, no more money.

      I notice she’s speculating on cash flow. Happy trails on that. See ya in a few years when I can get the building for two mill. The buyer’s only hope, that we canucks can pump enough toxic sludge onto the earth’s surface to pay down the social contract. If you bought a house in vancouver, the environmental movement is your worst nightmare.

  8. Told-you-so-in-2007

    Specuvestors et al. will have their activities curtailed one way or the other:

    Genworth won’t pick up slack left by CMHC’s insurance cap

    “The CEO of Genworth MI Canada Inc. , the country’s second-largest mortgage insurer, says it will not be picking up all of the slack as Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. curtails its own growth.

    Genworth is likely to scoop up some market share, but “I don’t see ourselves filling the void that could be in the marketplace [because of] CMHC’s cap,” Genworth CEO Brian Hurley told analysts at a conference Wednesday.”

    • MIC won’t pick up the insurance, of course they will if the premiums are high enough. Guess what: the banks will lend out the money regardless. The real reason banks are bitching is because their margins just got thinner and there’s SFA they can do about it.

  9. 4SlicesofCheese

    Funny blog, pretty new and already some RE references in the comments.

  10. Hey, Phoenix here, just wanted to clarify since there seems to be some questions and speculations.

    In terms of not living there anymore, I did live there for about 2 years. But I took the ‘plunge’ and recently moved in with my boyfriend (who owns an apartment in Port Moody and saved up for down payment on his own). It didn’t make sense to sell something after owning it for only 2 years, so for now, I’ve rented it out to a friend of mine. It pays for the mortgage but I am not raking the money in every month.

    Not really a greed issue, it just how the cookie crumbled and I did what made the most financial sense to us.

    And yes I am very lucky to have parents who were kind enough to let me live at home and l did pay rent but not astronomical rent Vancouver is now known for.

    Thanks 🙂

    • Phoenix -> Many thanks for the clarification.
      All the best.

    • 4SlicesofCheese

      Glad you came to post Phoenix.

      I have a couple questions if you wouldn’t mind.

      Did your mortgage require CMHC insurance, and if prices begin to correct, would you sell, and at what %.


      • No problem, I’ll answer what I can since it seems so long ago so some details may be fuzzy.

        My place was just under 300,000 so when I bought it I did put about 20% down, so no CMHC required. I think the minimum back then was 5% and you didn’t require CMHC insurance if you had more than 20% for a down payment (not sure what it is now).

        When I bought the place in 2009, it was actually right at the tail end of another price correction and I got it below asking price. So I think if I sold it today regardless of where the market is right now, I probably would still make about 20-30k. But having said that, when you allocate lawyer fees and Realtor commission, I probably would make very little or break even.

        So for now, I am content just renting it out. We’ll probably sell both places in another 2-3 years once we build up some equity and try to buy a townhouse in Port Moody (where prices by the way are much more reasonable).

        Hope that helps.

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