Shift In Attitude – “I have a co-worker who used to espouse the whole “buying with family” strategy. I’ve noticed a change in her attitude these past few months. Twice now she’s asked me what I pay in rent.”

“I have a co-worker who used to espouse the whole “buying with family”
strategy. She did exactly that about 2.5 years ago, buying a large (very nice) home in the suburbs with her sister and brother-in-law (co-worker herself is also married).
As a renter (natch) I used to get the whole bull spiel from her– you’re just paying someone else’s mortgage, there’s limited land, prices will only go up, up, up! Familiar refrains to many on this site.
But I’ve noticed a change in her attitude these past few months. Twice now she’s asked me what I pay in rent ($700, includes everything but laundry, and yup it’s a 2 bedroom basement suite in Surrey, so laugh away– I’m loving it). The second time I told her, she admitted “That’s really good”. Confessed to me shortly after that she’s tired of sharing space with another couple. Apparently the brother-in-law is lazy, doesn’t help out equally, and both sister and brother-in-law are very disorganized in paying their half of the bills. Count on her to do it all, with the promise to pay her back.
Guess she’s tired of playing mommy. Her husband apparently rarely leaves their bedroom, preferring the one room where they don’t have to share space. All of their initial plans– convert the basement to a suite, expand the deck, re-finish furnishings– have fallen by the wayside due to lack of help from the other half of the house. She’s just given up, and I suspect she’s just waiting for their 5 year term to be up to sell.
Here’s the kicker– in an attempt to make herself feel better and (I think) redeem her situation in my eyes, she proudly told me about a month ago that she and her husband paid off just under $8000 of their mortgage last year. They have minimal cash savings, so this $8000 is what their “savings” increased by in one year (in their minds, in any case). I didn’t have the heart to tell her that my partner and I had socked away over four times that amount in the same period of time. All made liquid more easily than equity.
I know what the raging bulls will say- “This is the internet. You can say whatever you want here, and nobody can verify it.” Fine. Believe that to your detriment. But I can’t be the only one sensing a shift in attitude. It’s oh-so-subtle, but it’s there. And it’s different than 2008, that’s for sure.”

Rololo at VREAA 22 May 2012 9:12pm

8 responses to “Shift In Attitude – “I have a co-worker who used to espouse the whole “buying with family” strategy. I’ve noticed a change in her attitude these past few months. Twice now she’s asked me what I pay in rent.”

  1. Ralph Cramdown

    So sad. They could’ve at least contributed $8k to their RRSPs, and put the $3k tax refund toward the mortgage. Bam, up $11k instead of 8. But financial literacy is no prerequisite for homeownership.

    I just sold a house; quite a trick for a lifelong renter with no RE license, but it was getting beyond my aunts’ ability to manage. Among the people I met:

    A new RE agent who’s yet to do her first deal, but who wanted to buy the place for herself. Her other half wasn’t keen as they’d only been in their place up the street for seven months. Now she’s got her place listed. Will that count as sale #1? Will the marriage survive?

    A guy going through a divorce who wanted a six month rent-to-own deal, after which he’d be able to wire me the money from Bermuda, where BTW he has a partner who runs an excellent fund with high returns and low volatility, and did I want to invest the proceeds from the sale with him?

    A couple who were so keen that they brought their contractor in, took pictures and window measurements and went to big box stores to plan a kitchen. Unfortunately for them, they applied to their long time bank for financing on Monday, but didn’t get a ‘yes’ until the following Tuesday (after the long weekend). At least their constant measuring and sizing up put pressure on my eventual buyer. Thank you TD Bank.

    It was way out of my comfort zone, but fun.

    • Congrats Realtor Cramdown on popping your kool aid flavoured cherry !

    • forgive me having bit of fun …

    • yltnboomerang

      Ralph, did the buyer use a realtor? If so, did the buyer’s realtor ask for her/his cut of the commission and was there one?

      • Ralph Cramdown

        No, he didn’t. I had about ten realtors come through, and I told them all that I’d cooperate with their brokers if they brought me a buyer (had a lockbox and everything), but that didn’t pan out.

    • Reminds me of a scene from Hangover II:

      Alan: (sticks himself with a needle) It’s my immunizations.

      Stu: Whoa! that’s supposed to be done by a registered nurse.

      Alan: I am a nurse….just not registered.

  2. Definitely there’s a shift in attitude. A year or two ago, the typical expectation of the local vancouverite is that “prices will never drop”. Today it’s more like “well prices won’t drop more than a nominal 10% or less” (and then also quoting that’s what happened in 2008/09 without caring to talk about the huge stimulus from the govt / BOC). I guess after the 10% drop, people will shift again to a 20%, 30%, 40% target.

  3. Here is a shift in attitude – an acquaintance of mine who was planning to buy a condo and was always talking about how renting is for losers and that real estate is always a good investment is now looking for a rental. He said that he plans to rent for a year and wait and see where the RE market is going.

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