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

31 responses to “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.”

  1. They’re not cheap just trying desperately paying for their 2 mortgages, 2 cars, line of credit, loans and credit cards. Probably doing the old pay one with the other trick..

  2. And a realtor would describe the $1.2 million house as “cute and cozy handyman’s special for first-time buyers and young couples. Hurry!”

  3. r2 had earlier intimated affluence is wasted on the rich … my remembrance of the pre-affluent late century vw is mostly adolescent – hey, remember when home ec was omelettes, sew your own shorts and balancing a checkbook?

  4. If you’re spending that much on a house who can afford charity? I don’t know if this is unique to the hoitey-toitey areas of the city, I expect you’ll find Vancouver a miserly city in general.

    I was going to say we can blame it on socialist apathy but we’re talking Arbutus in this anecdote. 😉

    • I was going to say we can blame it on socialist apathy but we’re talking Arbutus in this anecdote.

      The president of Socialist International George Papandreou has stashed away a cool EUR550 million on his mommy’s Swiss account. A socialist that can easily compete with the poor communist functionaries from China.

    • Great point YVR. Who indeed can afford charity? Vancouvers bubble must be taking a hatchet to the fundraising goals of outfits like the United Way. I recall they were breaking records for growth every year back in the days I lived there. But how are they doing now? Anyone know? It would be interesting to hear from any of the charities to know if locals are still in a giving mood after having gorged on mortgages these last years. Certainly there must be parallels to the declines in consumption we have already seen and the fact some business’s were driven to failure as disposable income evaporated.

      Do Vancouverites still open their wallet for good causes?

    • never seen a panda shrug … but i imagine it could happen … what kind of person says hoitey-toitey?

  5. Real Estate Tsunami

    Remember, many of these mansions are empty. Vacation homes for rich Germans.
    We have the same problems here in Ditchmond.

    • Naked Official #9000

      Disloyal cadre!

      Stop stirring discontent amongst the lumpen proletariat of this, our shiniest treaty port!

  6. 4SlicesofCheese

    Or they could be posers.
    Everyday I get on the bus around East Van, and I am surronded by kids I thought they were going to UBC but they all get off around highschool stops in Van West.
    I guess its cheaper than to buy a Van West mansion. I wonder how they bypass the address requirements.

    • Real Estate Tsunami

      How do they bypass the address requirements?
      With money my friend.
      These Germans are crafty.

    • It has been said that the city tilts every morning with minivans and sport utes heading to west side schools. One third of the students in our local east side elementary school applied for out of district transfers to west side high schools. Of course only those with superior academic standards are accepted thus skewing the Fraser Report results even more. Special needs kids need not apply.

    • My kid will go to a West Side High School, and I live in E.VAN. There are programs in E.Van elementary schools feed into West Side schools. Normal. No need to bypass any requirements.

      • its not “normal”. It merely ensures that East Van schools stay disadvantaged compared to West Side ones. If you live in a neighbourhood, you should support its improvement. Not to mention the carbon emissions from all the kids being ferried around across the city.

      • Angleterre.
        I can fright the VSB. The catchment is what is it.

    • First of all, the catchment system is no longer. Secondly, the academic standards, quality of instruction, and outcomes for students in post secondary are pretty uniform across all of the city’s public schools. Different schools also are known for having particularly high quality speciality programs, and yes, west side parents also bus children out to the east side to attend schools such as Gladstone. UBC conducted a study recently that found students that graduated from East Vancouver high schools (read, predominantly immigrant) achieved better results at the university compared to graduates of west side schools.

  7. Some kids from the local junior highschool came to my door asking for money for African famine relief. I gave them ten bucks. They handed me a clip board to sign my name, address and the amount I gave. I was the only $10 donor on the list in my relatively well-off Orleans neighbourhood. Among the other names on the list, the largest donation was $2. Some had given change (like 79 cents). I assume that many gave nothing. I found it interesting that the only guy on the street willing to give anything substantive was the lowly renter. How you interpret this depends largely on your perspective:

    As a renter:
    My neighbours are either cheap or broke.

    As a homeowner:
    Only a renter would be stupid enough to fork over ten bucks to some kids allegedly raising money for charity. Then again, if you’re throwing money way on rent each month, what’s another ten bucks? No wonder he rents while I own. Besides, we owners are far too sophisticated to carry cash. Only gangsters, renters and other assorted low-lifes carry cash nowadays. We owners pay for everything with plastic, and pay our balances in full each month (OK, most months. OK, I’ve got a $9000 balance now, but when my mortgage term is up I can roll it into my mortgage at 4%. Let’s see Mr. Generous Renter try that.)

  8. Perhaps they donated to a different charity?

    Whenever a hobo asks me for change I say ‘no’ – would you all interpret that as me not being able to afford a quarter?

    Face it, there are a lot of people asking for handouts these days and its not smart to read anything about individuals finances from a single effort which wasn’t successful.

  9. We just wrote a cheque to our public school. Yes, it felt odd. A younger me would have railed against public schools soliciting money except via taxation, and against rubes voluntarily giving money. This me is happy to be renting and having my kid start in a better school than people who win million dollar bidding wars get to send theirs to. I don’t know whether I’m maturing or going senile.

    • Magnanimity. There you go.

    • Real Estate Tsunami

      This is the problem with volunteerism?
      The middle class does all the volunteering, because they foolishly think it is the right thing to do. A duty almost.
      And they get more and more bogged down and fall further behind the rich.
      My guess is that if you’d factor the volunteer component out of GDP it would be be around 20%.

      • Calling those who volunteer “foolish” doesn’t make them fools. It makes you selfish.

        Your argument is typical of those who get defensive when the issue of charity and volunteerism comes up. Many talk themselves into believing that A) Charity is big business, and charities behave like greedy corporations, and B) Charity just lets the rich get away with being even greedier and paying even less taxes, since it fill gaps in government services that would otherwise be covered by taxing the rich.

        It must be admitted, both these arguments have some truth to them. More truth than we’d like. But I’ve caught myself making similar arguments more than once, and to be perfectly honest, every time, I was only trying to justify my own lack of generosity. So let’s call it what it is. Such excuses are the refuge of the selfish. If we’re going to be selfish (I admit am guilty as charged) then we should, at very least, deny ourselves the luxury of assauging our guilt with phoney justifications.

      • Lets just be sure what we are volunteering and giving for first. Charity in Africa is an oppressive device used by Western agencies to deprive the poor of opportunities for work and investment. It fills the wrong pockets. They should all have their sorry asses kicked right off the continent and be sent packing.

        That day is coming.

        In the meantime .Do everyone a favour. Stop supporting those groups.

      • Real Estate Tsunami

        As a parent of a kid who plays various sports, it has been my experience that some parents do almost all the volunteer work. The richer once would rather just cut a cheque, while others are actually getting angry if asked to help out.
        So what do you call those who do most of the volunteering.
        Saints, idiots, fools, outstanding citizens, role models?

      • I’d call them generous and selfless, and you should consider yourself lucky that they do what they do.

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