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Old 07-28-2014, 06:02 PM   #2501
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That reminds me of a joke!

Why do Meth heads love halloween?

Spoiler!

Bwahaha!!!
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Old 07-31-2014, 05:04 PM   #2502
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Vancouver heritage home rescued with painstaking renovation - The Globe and Mail

Shaughnessy biggest mansion unreal. 3 million reno upgrade. Asian offshore buyer (at least buyer is not doing a tear down)

3 places I would live in vancouver west van/British properties, shaughnessy & coal harbor/yaletown!!!
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Old 08-01-2014, 12:19 AM   #2503
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Vancouver heritage home rescued with painstaking renovation - The Globe and Mail

Shaughnessy biggest mansion unreal. 3 million reno upgrade. Asian offshore buyer (at least buyer is not doing a tear down)

3 places I would live in vancouver west van/British properties, shaughnessy & coal harbor/yaletown!!!
If you ever stroll around First Shaughnessy, you'll see a lot of houses which have been gutted out and are being completely restored from head-to-toe. It's a crazy undertaking and arduous process (for most homes in the area which are heritage A/B/C, you'll have to go through the city, Shaughnessy board, and the heritage board). $3m in reno cost for a 16k sqft is actually very reasonable. To compare, there's a 7800sqft heritage A in First Shaughnessy being quoted at $4.5M in reno cost. Crazy money to say the least.
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Old 08-06-2014, 08:09 AM   #2504
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Vancouver housing prices rise to new highs - The Globe and Mail
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Old 08-06-2014, 08:16 AM   #2505
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i'm about to do a CiC.. but you can't believe the MSM with stuff like this. there is no transparency in the reporting or that number.

in the end of the day, though, let's say canada will leave rates low (won't happen, would love it to when the US raises, would kill the Cdn $, which would be good for our economy), and these chinese buyers come in droves... you can still rent for pennies on the dollar.

i find this an amusing read with a solid message:

Why your house is a terrible investment



"James Altucher calls homeownership a part of The American Religion, so I know I’m treading dangerous ground here. But before you get out the tar and feathers, let’s do a little thought experiment together.

Imagine over a cup or coffee or a glass of wine we get to talking about investments. Then maybe one of us, let’s say you, says:

“Hey I’ve got an idea. We’re always talking about good investments. What if we came up with the worst possible investment we can construct? What might that look like?”

Well, let’s see now (pulling out our lined yellow pad), let’s make a list. To be really terrible:

It should be not just an initial, but if we do it right, a relentlessly ongoing drain on the cash reserves of the owner.
It should be illiquid. We’ll make it something that takes weeks, no – wait – even better, months of time and effort to buy or sell.
It should be expensive to buy and sell. We’ll add very high transaction costs. Let’s say 5% commissions on the deal, coming and going.
It should be complex to buy or sell. That way we can ladle on lots of extra fees and reports and documents we can charge for.
It should generate low returns. Certainly no more than the inflation rate. Maybe a bit less.
It should be leveraged! Oh, oh this one is great! This is how we’ll get people to swallow those low returns! If the price goes up a little bit, leverage will magnify this and people will convince themselves it’s actually a good investment! Nah, don’t worry about it. Most will never even consider that leverage is also very high risk and could just as easily wipe them out.
It should be mortgaged! Another beauty of leverage. We can charge interest on the loans. Yep, and with just a little more effort we should easily be able to persuade people who buy this thing to borrow money against it more than once.
It should be unproductive. While we’re talking about interest, let’s be sure this investment we are creating never pays any. No dividends either, of course.
It should be immobile. If we can fix it to one geographical spot we can be sure at any given time only a tiny group of potential buyers for it will exist. Sometimes and in some places, none at all!
It should be subject to the fortunes of one country, one state, one city, one town…No! One neighborhood! Imagine if our investment could somehow tie its owner to the fate of one narrow location. The risk could be enormous! A plant closes. A street gang moves in. A government goes crazy with taxes. An environmental disaster happens nearby. We could have an investment that not only crushes it’s owner’s net worth, but does so even as they are losing their job and income!
It should be something that locks its owner in one geographical area. That’ll limit their options and keep ‘em docile for their employers!
It should be expensive. Ideally we’ll make it so expensive that it will represent a disproportionate percentage of a person’s net worth. Nothing like squeezing out diversification to increase risk!
It should be expensive to own, too! Let’s make sure this investment requires an endless parade of repairs and maintenance without which it will crumble into dust.
It should be fragile and easily damaged by weather, fire, vandalism and the like! Now we can add-on expensive insurance to cover these risks. Making sure, of course, that the bad things that are most likely to happen aren’t actually covered. Don’t worry, we’ll bury that in the fine print or maybe just charge extra for it.
It should be heavily taxed, too! Let’s get the Feds in on this. If it should go up in value, we’ll go ahead and tax that gain. If it goes down in value should we offer a balancing tax deduction on the loss like with other investments? Nah.
It should be taxed even more! Let’s not forget our state and local governments. Why wait till this investment is sold? Unlike other investments, let’s tax it each and every year. Oh, and let’s raise those taxes anytime it goes up in value. Lower them when it goes down? Don’t be silly.
It should be something you can never really own. Since we are going to give the government the power to tax this investment every year, “owning” it will be just like sharecropping. We’ll let them work it, maintain it, pay all the cost associated with it and, as long as they pay their annual rent (oops, I mean taxes) we’ll let ‘em stay in it. Unless we decide we want it.
For that, we’ll make it subject to eminent domain. You know, in case we decide that instead of getting our rent (damn! I mean taxes) we’d rather just take it away from them.
Here are two more from the comments below…

Mr. Risky Start-up: It should increase stress, lead to more divorces, but then be impossible to divide.
DMDave: You only need one motivated (read: desperate) seller to set the price for the whole neighborhood. Imagine your so-called “investment” suddenly get scuttled when your neighbor decided to sell his particle-board mansion at 20% below assessment.
EminentDomain

Boy howdy! That’s quite a list! Any investment that ugly would make my skin crawl. In fact, I’m not sure you could rightly call anything with those characteristics an investment at all.

Then, too, the challenge would be to get anybody to buy this turkey. But we can. In fact, I bet we can get them not only to buy but to believe doing so is the fulfillment of a dream, indeed a national birthright! We’ll run the thought experiment on just how we might make that happen in an up-coming post.

For now, in the comments let me know what other characteristics our “worst possible investment” should have that I might have missed.

Oh. Wait. I’m sorry. This was supposed to be about houses.



So a few weeks back I was at an awards banquet and sitting at our table of 10 with me was a woman I know. She began talking about how she was encouraging her young son to buy a house. You know. Stop throwing away money on rent and start building equity.

I suggested that, since her son was single, living alone and without children maybe he didn’t actually need a house. That if he didn’t need one and since they are lousy investments (and here I gave her a few reasons why this is so), maybe he should consider some alternatives instead. Or at least run the numbers first.

This didn’t sit well and it was a short conversation. It ended when she said, “Well, he’d be better off buying a house than a clapped-out Camaro!”
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Old 08-06-2014, 08:17 AM   #2506
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3 places I would live in vancouver west van/British properties, shaughnessy & coal harbor/yaletown!!!
that's 4 places (i'll give you the BP)
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Old 08-06-2014, 08:54 AM   #2507
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This didn’t sit well and it was a short conversation. It ended when she said, “Well, he’d be better off buying a house than a clapped-out Camaro!”
did you retort with: at least the clapped-out Camaro might get him laid?
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Old 08-06-2014, 11:43 AM   #2508
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If you ever stroll around First Shaughnessy, you'll see a lot of houses which have been gutted out and are being completely restored from head-to-toe. It's a crazy undertaking and arduous process (for most homes in the area which are heritage A/B/C, you'll have to go through the city, Shaughnessy board, and the heritage board). $3m in reno cost for a 16k sqft is actually very reasonable. To compare, there's a 7800sqft heritage A in First Shaughnessy being quoted at $4.5M in reno cost. Crazy money to say the least.
3 Million alone could buy you a 16k sqft mansion in certain parts of the US.
You get way more bang for the buck in the states when its all said and done.
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Old 08-06-2014, 11:53 AM   #2509
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No idea what Shark Tank is spewing on about. So I will ignore.

You guys know what show I had to stop watching?

That fucking house hunters show. God damn that shit was depressing, some chick is like buying a house in DC and it's like 250k for a detached house on a nice lot, with a basement and garage, and this bitch has the audacity to say its too expensive.

Meanwhile here in Van you can't buy the space occupied by a dumpster for 250k.
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Old 08-06-2014, 01:14 PM   #2510
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No idea what Shark Tank is spewing on about. So I will ignore.

You guys know what show I had to stop watching?

That fucking house hunters show. God damn that shit was depressing, some chick is like buying a house in DC and it's like 250k for a detached house on a nice lot, with a basement and garage, and this bitch has the audacity to say its too expensive.

Meanwhile here in Van you can't buy the space occupied by a dumpster for 250k.
Please note that the price she was exposed to is "normal" and Canada is going through a time of human craziness. It will all work back to normal in the long run, and if not, just rent and invest in financial assets. There's always alternatives in life I like my landlord being my employee, I don't have time to fix things, and I don't have to.
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Old 08-06-2014, 01:14 PM   #2511
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3 Million alone could buy you a 16k sqft mansion in certain parts of the US.
You get way more bang for the buck in the states when its all said and done.
Wtf is this?!?
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Old 08-06-2014, 01:18 PM   #2512
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No idea what Shark Tank is spewing on about. So I will ignore.

You guys know what show I had to stop watching?

That fucking house hunters show. God damn that shit was depressing, some chick is like buying a house in DC and it's like 250k for a detached house on a nice lot, with a basement and garage, and this bitch has the audacity to say its too expensive.

Meanwhile here in Van you can't buy the space occupied by a dumpster for 250k.
Keep in mind that annual residential property taxes are high. I was in Detroit at a client site last month. My co-workers (all from YVR) were talking about how it is cheap to buy houses in Detroit. We were joking about this with our Detroit clients and we did some house hunting online (zillow) at lunch. From what I saw, for a $1m house, the annual property tax is $50k a year. This is is in the Greater Detroit Area. a $250,000 house in the market that we saw has a property tax of $15k a year. Overall, that property tax is a killer.
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Old 08-06-2014, 01:25 PM   #2513
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Wtf is this?!?
Let's just say I finally had the motivation to find the ignore list option.
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Old 08-06-2014, 02:09 PM   #2514
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I like my landlord being my employee, I don't have time to fix things, and I don't have to.
I am sure your landlord thinks he's your employee as well..........who says stupid shit like that.....
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Old 08-06-2014, 02:19 PM   #2515
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Keep in mind that annual residential property taxes are high. I was in Detroit at a client site last month. My co-workers (all from YVR) were talking about how it is cheap to buy houses in Detroit. We were joking about this with our Detroit clients and we did some house hunting online (zillow) at lunch. From what I saw, for a $1m house, the annual property tax is $50k a year. This is is in the Greater Detroit Area. a $250,000 house in the market that we saw has a property tax of $15k a year. Overall, that property tax is a killer.
I don't believe Detroit's property tax situation is representative of American cities due to a large exodus of population. As a result, the cost to maintain city services have been allocated over a smaller pool of property owners.

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Old 08-06-2014, 02:23 PM   #2516
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It was the same situation in Vegas back in 08 when people were buying condos for just a few grand. They ended up being the only owners in the building and paying like 5k a month in condo fees as they had to pay for an entire buildings maintenance and property management on their own or with a few others. Obviously Detroit is a different scale than that, but it is a similar example.
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Old 08-06-2014, 05:04 PM   #2517
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I am sure your landlord thinks he's your employee as well..........who says stupid shit like that.....
I had a hard time convincing my landlord to let me build this awesome shed:



Just Kidding!

No I didn't, because that's ME.

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Old 08-06-2014, 05:53 PM   #2518
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In Vancouver, race undercuts the discussion on real estate affordability - The Globe and Mail

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t helps to have a thick skin when reporting on the nexus between Chinese money and Vancouver’s sky-high property market. It also might help if that skin, like mine, isn’t white.

Accusations of racism flow thick and fast whenever an attempt is made to connect wealth-based immigration, primarily by rich Chinese, and housing prices here. Since influential condo marketer Bob Rennie delivered a speech to the Urban Development Institute in May, in which he said “sensational” stories making that link were “bordering on racism,” an array of industry figures have lined up to support his proposition.

MORE RELATED TO THIS STORY

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But now, some in the Chinese community are pushing back. “Guys like Bob Rennie, they are trying to stop full conversation and intelligent conversation by using words like ‘racism,’” said long-time Chinatown activist David Wong. “People are afraid to speak when people start throwing that word around.”

Mr. Wong, an architect who has campaigned on behalf of impoverished Chinese immigrants, said it was vital to have a frank discussion about the impact of rich immigrants on greater Vancouver, where average detached house prices top $1.2-million. “Every time people want to talk about this, they get labelled a racist, especially if they are non-Asian,” said Wong. “That’s nonsense. We’ve got to talk about it. The politicians are gutless because they are afraid they are going to lose the so-called ethnic vote.”

Mr. Rennie’s May 15 speech was swiftly followed by a range of commentary that hewed closely to his line. On June 3, pro-development political consultant Bob Ransford warned in The Vancouver Sun that addressing unaffordability by restricting foreign ownership would “tread very close” to the historical discrimination of the anti-Chinese head tax.

Two days later, University of British Columbia professor Tsur Somerville – whose Centre for Urban Economics and Real Estate is sponsored by developers Grosvenor and Henderson Development, as well as the Commercial Real Estate Development Association – told CKNW Radio that although ignoring the issue would be “foolish,” the debate risked descending into “prejudice, stereotypes and racism.” Cameron Muir, chief economist for the B.C. Real Estate Association, meanwhile told The Vancouver Observer on June 5 that linking immigration to property prices “is beginning to sound suspiciously awkward.”

The debate is certainly getting awkward, though perhaps not in the way Mr. Muir suggests. Brandon Yan, a Vancouver city planning commissioner, summed it up in a Twitter critique of Mr. Rennie’s speech: “Let’s leave it to the rich white dudes to decide what’s racist, right?”

Mr. Wong, a spokesman for Chinatown’s Ming Sun Benevolent Society, said he took particular issue with those comparing possible property market curbs to the head tax, imposed in 1885 to deter Chinese immigration. Such comparisons were “complete bull,” said Mr. Wong, who added that Singapore recently imposed restrictions on foreign buyers without being accused of racism. “People over here will say and do whatever they can to stop any efforts that would prevent them from making more money,” said Mr. Wong. “It’s wrong. They use the term ‘head tax’ without even understanding the history behind it. It really appalls me.”

Messers. Rennie, Ransford, Muir and Somerville have all said that evidence tying Vancouver prices to immigration is anecdotal. But there is a range of statistical support for the case.

UBC’s Prof. David Ley, holder of the Canada Research Chair in Geography, has long studied links between international immigration to Vancouver and home prices there. In his 2010 book, Millionaire Migrants, the Oxford-educated researcher found an “unusually decisive” +0.94 correlation between the two factors (in which +1 represents movement in perfect correlation, -1 represents movement in exactly opposite directions, and 0 total randomness). This correlation far exceeded that between prices and interest rates (-0.12), rental vacancies (-0.03), unemployment (0.16) and other conventional correlates.

Dr. Ley’s conclusions are bolstered by a 2011 study by Landcor Data, which pored over sales records in Richmond and Vancouver’s Westside to discover that 74 per cent of all luxury purchases in 2010 were made by buyers with purely mainland Chinese names. “What some have underplayed or dismissed as apocryphal ‘as told by Realtors,’ is underpinned by educated numbers,” said Landcor.

The sheer number of millionaire migrants who have poured into Vancouver is also compelling: From 2005 to 2012, 36,973 arrived in B.C. under the now-defunct immigrant investor program, which imposed a wealth benchmark of $1.6-million on applicants. Before being frozen in 2012, the scheme was the world’s most popular wealth-migration device, with Chinese immigrants planning to settle in B.C. submitting 65 per cent of all applications in 2011. Chinese domination of wealth migration to Vancouver is a statistical fact that belies widespread belief in other reservoirs of rich newcomers. B.C. admitted 30,013 millionaire migrants from Greater China (including Taiwan and Hong Kong) from 2005 to 2012. In that period, there were 242 from Britain and 160 from the United States.

Thousands of the rich have also moved to Vancouver after first arriving in Quebec under that province’s own immigrant investor program. According to Ottawa, 90 per cent of Quebec’s millionaire migrants move elsewhere within five years, mostly to Vancouver. That likely adds 20,000 or more millionaire migrants to Vancouver’s tally in the 2005-2012 period.

Sid Chow Tan, a founder and director of the Head Tax Families Society of Canada, said “resentment” of the influx of millionaires to Vancouver cuts across racial boundaries. He said previous Chinese immigrants paid “a very much higher price” than investor migrants for their Canadian citizenship “and it was not measured in dollars, either.”

Mr. Tan scoffed at real estate figures raising the spectre of the head tax: “I’ve been engaged in anti-racism work for decades. Conflating the Chinese head tax and exclusion laws and rich immigrants and real estate is absurd, if not somewhat evil.”

Mr. Rennie, who warned against repeating discriminatory “patterns of the past” in his speech, told me his views were informed by diversity. “My in-laws come from Japan, my children are half-Japanese, we [Mr. Rennie’s headquarters] are in the oldest building in Chinatown,” he said.

He said the subject was a touchy one. “Everybody has to watch when they are talking about racism, that they aren’t trying to be opportunistic, and it bends to the answer that they want, whether it is to exclude or include. So it’s a very dangerous topic.”

On this, Tan agreed, but suggested Mr. Rennie and others in the property industry steer clear of attempting advocacy on behalf of the Chinese community. “Bob Rennie standing up for the Chinese community? What Chinese community? Real estate investors and landowners. That’s the community he’s standing up for.”
those in the industry (myself included) know it's a given now. chinese money plays a huge part in real estate. I dont think you can even debate it anymore. developers will never admit it because they dont want any restrictions at all.


the question now is: should we start having restrictions? Countries like singapore, australia, thailand, switzerland etc have restrictions. but should Canada?

there's pros and con's.

I personally think we should have restrictions similar to Australia.
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That's a beautiful shed. Are you gonna do the garage the same color? (Assuming that's your garage in the background)

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I had a hard time convincing my landlord to let me build this awesome shed:



Just Kidding!

No I didn't, because that's ME.

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Old 08-06-2014, 05:56 PM   #2520
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Wtf is this?!?
Just an example:
12,400 sqft
20 Acres
$990,000


3366 Outback Trl, Pinckney, MI 48169 - Zillow
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That's a beautiful shed. Are you gonna do the garage the same color? (Assuming that's your garage in the background)
Thanks man!

I probably won't do the garage for a while, it was actually painted that colour you see now quite recently (same colour as house).

I actually wanted the shed a darker blue, basically ford blue, but the wife said "get a couple shades lighter because it will dry darker than you think".
So I did, and it didn't get as dark as I wanted but whatever I don't feel like painting it again...
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Old 08-06-2014, 09:48 PM   #2522
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Spoiler!


Just Kidding!

No I didn't, because that's ME.

nice rental unit
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Old 08-07-2014, 12:10 AM   #2523
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Originally Posted by Z3guy View Post
I am sure your landlord thinks he's your employee as well..........who says stupid shit like that.....
an employee, defined as: "a person employed for wages or salary, especially at nonexecutive level."

if you think about it, it's not stupid. your rent pays for your apartment, the asset, but it also pays for all services associated with it.

so, with that, i pay an amount (a portion of my rent, effectively), so that when I need a service rendered within the realm of my rental agreement, my landlord must either do it, or contract that work out, at no cost to me.

in a super simplified viewpoint, that is an employer - employee relationship. I ask for something to be done, it gets done.

and, no, my landlord does not think she is my employee, she knows she is my landlord and appreciates what our contract requires her to do. Much like an employee, if she does not meet the standards outlined by our contract, i can 'fire' her by moving.

think of it how you will, i don't need, nor want, you to think the same way I do, but at least have an open enough mind to see another's perspective, which is really hard with the close mindedness on this site
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Old 08-07-2014, 12:15 AM   #2524
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Keep in mind that annual residential property taxes are high. I was in Detroit at a client site last month. My co-workers (all from YVR) were talking about how it is cheap to buy houses in Detroit. We were joking about this with our Detroit clients and we did some house hunting online (zillow) at lunch. From what I saw, for a $1m house, the annual property tax is $50k a year. This is is in the Greater Detroit Area. a $250,000 house in the market that we saw has a property tax of $15k a year. Overall, that property tax is a killer.
i think detroit is quite unique.

i have houses in AZ, pay about $1200 a year, maybe $1300 for the monster 5 bedroom house I have on a huge plot.

As said, and correctly so, when you have a dwindling amount of people, each will have to pick up a larger piece of the pie, as was seen in Miami with all the empty condos for the 2 or 3 owners paying all the condo fees.
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Old 08-07-2014, 01:42 AM   #2525
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Looking for some advice. Maybe this is the best place for constructive discussions/arguments for Vancouver's real estate market. Sorry for the long post.

So after vacationing for a month with my wife and son in Van, we've decided that we want to raise our kids back here ASAP.

Some background info about us. Wife and I are 30 and we both grew up in Richmond which includes elementary, high school, and post sec. We left to work in HK together about 8 years ago and have been living there ever since. Our son is now 10 months old and as a family, we're just much happier living in Van and its firm, we're moving back as soon as we find the suitable place to live. I don't think I need to explain in details why Van is so great, I'm sure you guys all know its qualities and that it cannot be found packaged so beautifully anywhere else around the world. Just travel or live some where else for a bit and you'll know.

So here's the problem I ask you guys.

We're looking to buy something with a lot size of roughly 8000sqft in the Richmond Seafair area where my wife and I grew up. We love that area and that will never change. We hope that our kid(s) can experience what we had growing up in that area, especially in the same schools. We couldn't care less about the house because we're planning to build anyways so the current price range is roughly $900k to $1M for what we're looking at and another $750k+ to build a 3500+sqft house.

We've viewed roughly 20 houses during our stay and it seems quite impossible that the price will drop with my current time frame.

The perfect scenario would require 2 things to happen:
1) The housing market drops (15-30%)
2) the CDN exchange rate drops (15-20%) relative to HKD (which is pegged to the USD)

Would be nice if construction cost goes down too but I wouldn't bank on that.

This scenario will yield a minimum of 22% discount on what we plan to buy and build.

My best scenario will not likely be happening in the short term but we really would like to move back ASAP, especially before my son starts school which is 2 years old in HK (what a joke).

So the ultimate question is, should I buy now and build or should I rent?

I've got 3 adopted middle aged huskies in HK that have never seen a day of snow. They are family and I must bring them with me. If I buy and build, it would take roughly 1 to 1.5 years for everything to settle but I would be a sucker at current prices and exchange rate. If we rent, we could move back right away with the whole family (dogs included) but we wouldn't be able to build and live in our dream house yet. I don't really worry about housing prices continually going up and I'm in no rush to buy, just rushed to move back. The market and exchange rates will drop eventually, its just the matter of time.

I don't mind renting a house (roughly $3-4k/mth) just so my dogs can have more space but it must be in the area I plan to buy. During the time that I'm renting, I could wait for the market for 1-5 years until it reaches my perfect scenario. I could buy and build and still rent until its all finished. 4444's posts really gave me a clear perspective and objective view of renting especially in this market.

Just if you're wondering, I don't come from money. I'm self made and got really lucky doing business in HK and China (legally) for the past 5 years. Wife and I are not flashy people, we just want our son to experience what we had growing up and we will risk everything just to give him that opportunity. We're not coming back to buy Lambos, Ferrari's etc to wrap it with a china flag kind of family. We're not coming back to retire. I'll still have my business in HK and my wife and I will find work or business opportunities locally.

Help me out guys. What would Jesus do?
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