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Vancouver Off-Topic / Current Events The off-topic forum for Vancouver, funnies, non-auto centered discussions, WORK SAFE. While the rules are more relaxed here, there are still rules. Please refer to sticky thread in this forum.

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Old 12-12-2014, 05:00 PM   #2976
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We are looking at a low-rise around the Brentwood area and only because the building is relatively newer (2008) and I don't see the values dropping heavily even if there is a minor correction (proximity to skytrain and Brentwood mall rebuild).
I think this has been discussed in this thread before. But I would honestly rethink what you posted. Off-hand, I can think of at least 6 new high rises (not counting the ones I'm not aware of) that are already or will be constructed. Once they're all up and running, traffic in the area will be unbearable simply because that area's not designed for that many people.

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One more binding condition is that we would have to stay at that unit for at least 5 years for it to make sense. Ultimately it doesn't make sense math wise, and my gf is doing this based on what she wants emotionally. I have no such emotional attachment and its just been the whole way for me.
Unless you're married, stay renting. And before you even think about taking the plunge, realize that finances play a huge role in marriage. Make sure your financial goals are aligned beforehand.
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Old 12-12-2014, 06:32 PM   #2977
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Old 12-13-2014, 01:11 AM   #2978
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My point is that the life that you depict (being a globetrotting supercitizen) is actually not the norm. Most people actually value stability, particularly as they get older and if they decide to start a family. This explains why many make an emotional decision and buy real estate.
I'm not going to argue that, but u found a way to take a point that didn't exist to try a weak personal attack.

My, rather clear, point is that in other similar countries, buying isn't seen as a big deal, society, the media, etc don't have a mandate to push it - this is a Canada/UK/Australia issue, the U.S. Has even changed its mindset somewhat

My point is that many make poor decisions to appease "society" - having kids and setting up base is a good fundamental reason to buy, I may even do that one day, but I won't ever buy to impress someone which is the problem here

Clearly this forum has a reading = comprehension problem!
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Old 12-13-2014, 06:53 AM   #2979
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There is a serious problem on how we value home ownership.

The media, along with realtors and HGTV made us think that owning your own place is THE way to go in life. Nevertheless, having a shelter is no different than food and cloth. They are simply basic necessities. Worse, our gov't actually went along, created CMHC so everyone can get on this shitwagon.

People in our generation believes that home ownership is all glamour and pride. Nevertheless, it's not much different than eat in a restaurant. Yes, you can have a really nice restaurant and enjoy that experience, but if you are asking me to shell out 600k to eat at McDick every day for the rest of my life (which is a good representation of average shoeboxes in GVR), no thanks... I will pass.
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Old 12-13-2014, 11:31 AM   #2980
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I think statistics show I'm not being overly out of line when we look at things like the average credit card debt/individual in Canada or statistics that show the % of income that people in the GVRD spend on housing. Its pretty well known that the #s are ludicrous.
But once again take the stats with a grain of salt. What does household debt include? Credit cards, car loans, lines of credit for whatever reason, mortgage?? We can look at the recent foreign money that has been injected to skew the numbers. How many own high end homes but have no income to report because they don't need an annual income to live off of? I can guarantee those who are buying 2M+ houses sight unseen aren't relying on a $40k/yr job to make ends meet

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Thank you for sharing your numbers. How old is your condo and where? Building envelope and roof replacements are two the biggest things that worry me with condos right now, to the point where I am fairly skeptical about buying.
It is 18 years old. We are located between Kits and UBC. Big part of why we bought here in 2008 pretty much at the peak of condo pricing in this area, just before the financial crisis hit, was the location and we felt it was relatively safe to buy here. The age of the building is a deterrent to some, despite the full remediation and peace of mind for the next 8 years. But with so many new condo's going up, it's difficult to compete even though we are in a better(IMO)/quieter area and have about 25% more floorspace than similar newer builds. Routine or major maintenance is always a risk, whether its a house or a car. You can do all your homework and due diligence and still come up short. You just need to have a sufficient rainy day fund for when (not if) they occur.

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We are looking at a low-rise around the Brentwood area and only because the building is relatively newer (2008) and I don't see the values dropping heavily even if there is a minor correction (proximity to skytrain and Brentwood mall rebuild).
Values dropping/rising doesn't make a huge difference in the end, if you guys are planning to own your home for the long term. Even if your unit drops by say 10% over 5 years, odds are that sort of correction would mean a similar correction in whatever you guys decide to buy next and your price to buy would also be lower. From an investment standpoint, yeah it probably doesn't make sense in that 5 year window; but unless you are aggressive in markets, you probably want to look at your investments over a much longer term than 5 years anyways. You can win huge in 5 years, but you can also lose huge in 5 years. Over 20-25 years though the curve flattens out much more.

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Ultimately it doesn't make sense math wise, and my gf is doing this based on what she wants emotionally. I have no such emotional attachment and its just been the whole way for me.
Keep in mind its not just an emotional attachment, its peace of mind knowing you have control of where you'll be staying, stability, can stay/go on your own terms whenever, have control of your home (to a lesser extent with stratas). To lump all of these under 'just emotional decision' is unfair, because you can't quantify these important values with a dollar figure. You guys just need to figure out what that's worth for your lifestyles. It's no different than trying to justify a new set of fancy wheels/coilovers/turbo to your GF, they won't see the value in it but it's something that you want and makes you feel good.
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Old 12-13-2014, 11:49 AM   #2981
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I bought a pre sale condo simply because I got a good discount (my company built it so I know it uses good material and as an employee I get to pick the unit first and get a decent discount). Location is awesome, price is nice and overall I feel even if I don't live in it I will have no problem renting it out for $1200 a month to cover much of the mortgage. If I do decide to move in with my partner the location is next to to Metrotown so I don't have to drive and shopping is right there. The area is still quiet (On Nelson and Kingways). There is a park and community center nearby.

It just depends on yourself that's all. If I didn't get the discount I wouldn't have bought it. The condo cost $310k and currently I have 100k save up and I can save another 50k to 80k till the condo is complete. So really I only need to borrow 150k or less which isn't too bad.
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Old 12-13-2014, 03:11 PM   #2982
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I think this has been discussed in this thread before. But I would honestly rethink what you posted. Off-hand, I can think of at least 6 new high rises (not counting the ones I'm not aware of) that are already or will be constructed. Once they're all up and running, traffic in the area will be unbearable simply because that area's not designed for that many people.


Unless you're married, stay renting. And before you even think about taking the plunge, realize that finances play a huge role in marriage. Make sure your financial goals are aligned beforehand.
Yeah I know about the new buildings going up, and I agree about the traffic as well. Just from what I am seeing, if we are going to buy, buying near a skytrain station is a safer bet than away from one. Prices have been dropping, but units that are close to Skytrain stations aren't.

Either ways it doesn't matter anymore because we looked at the unit last night and the layout was terrible. 688sqft but so much wasted floorspace, corners that I have no idea what we can do with.

Yeah I agree not to buy before getting married, but marriage is in the cards already.

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It is 18 years old. We are located between Kits and UBC. Big part of why we bought here in 2008 pretty much at the peak of condo pricing in this area, just before the financial crisis hit, was the location and we felt it was relatively safe to buy here. The age of the building is a deterrent to some, despite the full remediation and peace of mind for the next 8 years. But with so many new condo's going up, it's difficult to compete even though we are in a better(IMO)/quieter area and have about 25% more floorspace than similar newer builds. Routine or major maintenance is always a risk, whether its a house or a car. You can do all your homework and due diligence and still come up short. You just need to have a sufficient rainy day fund for when (not if) they occur.


Values dropping/rising doesn't make a huge difference in the end, if you guys are planning to own your home for the long term. Even if your unit drops by say 10% over 5 years, odds are that sort of correction would mean a similar correction in whatever you guys decide to buy next and your price to buy would also be lower. From an investment standpoint, yeah it probably doesn't make sense in that 5 year window; but unless you are aggressive in markets, you probably want to look at your investments over a much longer term than 5 years anyways. You can win huge in 5 years, but you can also lose huge in 5 years. Over 20-25 years though the curve flattens out much more.
Age is not a deterrent for me, however I too understand that some do not like it. I actually prefer older units because I am not a fan of the new floor plans and find that older units are much more usable.

I feel the value dropping is actually a big deal for us. If say we bought a 1 bedroom 1 den right now, and in 5 years we need a bigger unit because we have a kid now, there would be a high chance that a 10% drop would put us at a worse position than when we bought the place. That's with no major repairs over the 5 years time, and we did not contribute more to the principle. I agree investments should be over a longer term, but buying a condo is not really a investment in my mind. With the current economic situation, and all the costs associated with owning a unit, I actually feel like its a liability, much like buying and owning a car. A detached home on the other hand is different and with 50% down, I feel like you made an informed decision and a smart choice. Unfortunately I am not at that stage of life where I can put 50% down on a detached home.

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IKeep in mind its not just an emotional attachment, its peace of mind knowing you have control of where you'll be staying, stability, can stay/go on your own terms whenever, have control of your home (to a lesser extent with stratas). To lump all of these under 'just emotional decision' is unfair, because you can't quantify these important values with a dollar figure. You guys just need to figure out what that's worth for your lifestyles. It's no different than trying to justify a new set of fancy wheels/coilovers/turbo to your GF, they won't see the value in it but it's something that you want and makes you feel good.
I did not think about it that way, but I will have to agree with you that its unfair to lump it under emotional decision. I am not against buying, just "right now" does not add up mathematically. Buying/renting has become a dominating discussion point for the last few months, and to some extent, a friction point.

Buying is going to happen eventually, just my view is "not now" and her's is "ASAP". TBH I have a pretty hard time justifying buying new wheels and coils, fortunately my car has a turbo already lol.

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I bought a pre sale condo simply because I got a good discount (my company built it so I know it uses good material and as an employee I get to pick the unit first and get a decent discount). Location is awesome, price is nice and overall I feel even if I don't live in it I will have no problem renting it out for $1200 a month to cover much of the mortgage. If I do decide to move in with my partner the location is next to to Metrotown so I don't have to drive and shopping is right there. The area is still quiet (On Nelson and Kingways). There is a park and community center nearby.

It just depends on yourself that's all. If I didn't get the discount I wouldn't have bought it. The condo cost $310k and currently I have 100k save up and I can save another 50k to 80k till the condo is complete. So really I only need to borrow 150k or less which isn't too bad.
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Old 12-13-2014, 10:24 PM   #2983
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TN-1

not that hard for an AWFUL lot of ppl
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the border official has the discretion to refuse further renewals if she feels the ability for indefinite renewal is being abused. How this happens in practice depends largely on the mood of the individual border official. Some Canadians have successfully renewed TN status for a decade or more; others have found that after 34 years a border official denies further renewals.
from wikipedia
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Old 12-14-2014, 03:32 AM   #2984
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from wikipedia
And then you just reapply the next day with another officer. You think you're the first person to see this? Then again, if ur scared of that, stay put. Reward comes to those that are willing to risk, to move out of their comfort zone.

Also, if ur worth anything, ur company will end up sponsoring you under a h1-b (not sure if that's the right one anymore), which technically is not allowed under a tn-1, but it happens everyday.

Valued ppl stay, no matter what
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Old 12-14-2014, 10:38 PM   #2985
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who said I'll limit my options just from the preliminary research via wikipedia?
it does seem to confer the anecdotes I've heard about US border authority not keen on foreigners taking American jobs away...even canadian that were trained in the US
my position isn't directly listed under the NAFTA occupations but there does seem to be a workaround.
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Old 12-14-2014, 11:47 PM   #2986
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US border authority not keen on foreigners taking American jobs away...

even canadian that were trained in the US

my position isn't directly listed under the NAFTA occupations but there does seem to be a workaround.
Let me be captain obvious here to your 3 points:

1) well, of course US officials have a vested interest and a duty of care to ensure Americans get jobs first, assuming they are correctly skilled in doing so. What kind of government would give jobs to foreigners first (that is a rhetorical question, given the whole TFW thing)

2) canadians trained in US aren't US citizens, though their residency should assist them in getting jobs more easily than not. Going to a US school does not entitle you to live and work in the US

3) if your position isn't covered by TN-1, then you're not on the list, try something else.

i sense a slight smell of entitlement with you - good luck with that, the US isn't a place for those with an entitlement complex (well, it used to totally not be, but the welfare state it is becoming is changing that)
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Old 12-15-2014, 12:18 AM   #2987
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Let me be captain obvious here to your 3 points:

1) well, of course US officials have a vested interest and a duty of care to ensure Americans get jobs first, assuming they are correctly skilled in doing so. What kind of government would give jobs to foreigners first (that is a rhetorical question, given the whole TFW thing)
Don't think that's true. Just look at Canada. Tons of skills workers in Canada can't find work, yet tons of ppl from TFW program with the same skill is able to come to Canada and work. So now gov don't really care about its citizen but more about putting money in their pockets.
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Old 12-15-2014, 12:49 AM   #2988
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Don't think that's true. Just look at Canada. Tons of skills workers in Canada can't find work, yet tons of ppl from TFW program with the same skill is able to come to Canada and work. So now gov don't really care about its citizen but more about putting money in their pockets.
one's government works for the people of that country.

i agree with you, it is quite evident that the canadian government appears to be working at odds with its ppl, but in theory, we should be maximizing the value to all canadians. this is why i don't mind if a US border person is a bit funny about letting in a foreigner to work when there is clearly a glut of underemployed or unemployed Americans - having said that, the US economy is tanking along nicely so this should become less and less of a current issue, but we'll see
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Old 12-15-2014, 07:44 AM   #2989
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Age is not a deterrent for me, however I too understand that some do not like it. I actually prefer older units because I am not a fan of the new floor plans and find that older units are much more usable.

I feel the value dropping is actually a big deal for us. If say we bought a 1 bedroom 1 den right now, and in 5 years we need a bigger unit because we have a kid now, there would be a high chance that a 10% drop would put us at a worse position than when we bought the place. That's with no major repairs over the 5 years time, and we did not contribute more to the principle. I agree investments should be over a longer term, but buying a condo is not really a investment in my mind. With the current economic situation, and all the costs associated with owning a unit, I actually feel like its a liability, much like buying and owning a car. A detached home on the other hand is different and with 50% down, I feel like you made an informed decision and a smart choice. Unfortunately I am not at that stage of life where I can put 50% down on a detached home.



I did not think about it that way, but I will have to agree with you that its unfair to lump it under emotional decision. I am not against buying, just "right now" does not add up mathematically. Buying/renting has become a dominating discussion point for the last few months, and to some extent, a friction point.

Buying is going to happen eventually, just my view is "not now" and her's is "ASAP". TBH I have a pretty hard time justifying buying new wheels and coils, fortunately my car has a turbo already lol.
If you are truly uncomfortable with prices maybe trending downwards, then I'd suggest that you stand pat until you can afford and/or are willing to put down more money into a condo or SFH that you can grow into. It really doesn't make sense to buy a 1+Den right now with the knowledge that you would probably be having kids and need to move out in less than a decade.

Trust me, I've had the arguments about buying/renting with my wife before and the way I solved our disagreements was looking at the financial picture in the long run, planning what life decisions may lie ahead (kids, education, etc) and we had to be comfortable with the numbers together in the years ahead.

Good luck.
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Old 12-15-2014, 09:58 AM   #2990
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Trust me, I've had the arguments about buying/renting with my wife before and the way I solved our disagreements was looking at the financial picture in the long run, planning what life decisions may lie ahead (kids, education, etc) and we had to be comfortable with the numbers together in the years ahead.

Good luck.
Had the same conversation with my wife but she always thinks that renting = throwing money away lol
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Old 12-16-2014, 12:36 AM   #2991
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to apply their skills and better the american system while improving their quality of life (ie. cheaper living expenses and better pay)? A work visa that can naturalize into PR?

If state bars and colleges can already recognize canadian law and medical degrees respectively, why can't the US federal gov't do the same if one will eventually be willing to pay taxes? In before homeland security. Call me entitled but a working visa should be easily obtainable if you're a canadian/mexican that's graduated from an accredited US school...otherwise it defeats part of the purpose NAFTA. It should be a straightforward process and not one where it's ymmv depending on the border official. The green card should then be fast-tracked and not take your average 10+ years.

again, may be i'm just spewing what if's that is already the truth. I didn't give this a good in-depth look yet....to everyeone else, sorry for going off-topic.

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Let me be captain obvious here to your 3 points:

1) well, of course US officials have a vested interest and a duty of care to ensure Americans get jobs first, assuming they are correctly skilled in doing so. What kind of government would give jobs to foreigners first (that is a rhetorical question, given the whole TFW thing)

2) canadians trained in US aren't US citizens, though their residency should assist them in getting jobs more easily than not. Going to a US school does not entitle you to live and work in the US

i sense a slight smell of entitlement with you - good luck with that, the US isn't a place for those with an entitlement complex (well, it used to totally not be, but the welfare state it is becoming is changing that)

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Old 12-16-2014, 04:35 AM   #2992
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Had the same conversation with my wife but she always thinks that renting = throwing money away lol
i always try to tell mine it's cost of living. 2 different point of views.
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Old 12-16-2014, 05:00 AM   #2993
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i always try to tell mine it's cost of living. 2 different point of views.
i've never understood the 'throwing away money' argument.

you need somewhere to live, it's paying for that.

the only argument that is at all possible for 'throwing away money' is the differential between rental cost and total ownership cost, but you can just say this is the cost of going long housing, or the price to pay to short the market, or the cost incurred to stay liquid.

but, i genuinely don't think people think that deeply about where their money goes, which is worrisome!
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Old 12-16-2014, 07:14 AM   #2994
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i've never understood the 'throwing away money' argument.

you need somewhere to live, it's paying for that.

the only argument that is at all possible for 'throwing away money' is the differential between rental cost and total ownership cost
pretty much what i said, except while i was saying it i was in a state of

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Old 12-16-2014, 09:09 AM   #2995
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pretty much what i said, except while i was saying it i was in a state of

Renting or buying, they're both 'throwing money away'. Why would you do either when the streets are free.

Sorry but the wife is right, they're always right.
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Old 12-16-2014, 09:13 AM   #2996
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but, i genuinely don't think people think that deeply about where their money goes, which is worrisome!
Tell me about it. i look at my visa bill and have no idea what half of the charges are for!
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Old 12-16-2014, 10:05 AM   #2997
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but, i genuinely don't think people think that deeply about where their money goes, which is worrisome!
Just look at all the people on RS that changes cars as quickly as they change underwear.
And you have that other person who was asking about subprime loans to buy a car at 20% interest.
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Old 12-16-2014, 10:24 AM   #2998
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Originally Posted by SumAznGuy View Post
Just look at all the people on RS that changes cars as quickly as they change underwear.
And you have that other person who was asking about subprime loans to buy a car at 20% interest.
Soon you will have people taking loans to buy cell phones! Wait.... Apple already offer financial options on their products........
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Old 12-16-2014, 11:00 AM   #2999
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to apply their skills and better the american system while improving their quality of life (ie. cheaper living expenses and better pay)? A work visa that can naturalize into PR?

If state bars and colleges can already recognize canadian law and medical degrees respectively, why can't the US federal gov't do the same if one will eventually be willing to pay taxes? In before homeland security. Call me entitled but a working visa should be easily obtainable if you're a canadian/mexican that's graduated from an accredited US school...otherwise it defeats part of the purpose NAFTA. It should be a straightforward process and not one where it's ymmv depending on the border official. The green card should then be fast-tracked and not take your average 10+ years.

again, may be i'm just spewing what if's that is already the truth. I didn't give this a good in-depth look yet....to everyeone else, sorry for going off-topic.
This isn't true. If you graduate from a Canadian university, you have to redo your residency in the US for doctors, and redo your law exam or articling if you are a lawyer. Yes, the degree is "recognized", but they make you jump through a lot of hoops.

Same holds through for engineers. P.Eng. in Canada does not equal PE in the USA.
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Old 12-16-2014, 11:13 AM   #3000
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Same holds through for engineers. P.Eng. in Canada does not equal PE in the USA.
isn't that just re-taking their law & ethics exam? no different than inter-provincial accreditation. if you're a PEng in BC you have to take AB's L&E exam to be reg'd as a PEng in AB
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