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Old 11-04-2013, 10:08 AM   #1576
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According to statistics, less than 5% of ppl In vancouver earn >$100k.

$65k, compared to avg. is more than modest.

Still won't buy u shit, though
But yet 99% of RSers make much higher than this average, of course
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Old 11-04-2013, 11:37 AM   #1577
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But yet 99% of RSers make much higher than this average, of course
If those stats are derived from the NHS, they're flawed because the data was collected voluntarily. Even if the data was statistically valid, it measures only income and not wealth.

Sure, only 5% of income earners earn 100K, but people who buy houses these days are likely high-earning professional families. Two people making 80K each is not unheard of, even in a city that pays lower salaries than the rest of the country.

Anyway, xplosive's analyses have been a welcome contribution to this thread. I think we can all agree that buying is a bad deal today.
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Old 11-04-2013, 12:08 PM   #1578
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Anyway, xplosive's analyses have been a welcome contribution to this thread. I think we can all agree that buying is a bad deal today.
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the thing is this may change 6 months or a year down the road. Things change, circumstances change, interest rates may go up/down, economy may be better/worst, you may get a new job/laid off etc.

My peeve is just really people that have the "real estate always goes up" and "everyday is a good day to buy" mentality. I just dont like to see soo many people get caught up into the "house hornyness" by the media, HGTV or their realtor and then end up making bad decisions.
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Old 11-04-2013, 12:36 PM   #1579
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This is quite the interesting topic.
Buying a home is an investment, and like all investments, there are risks.
xpl0sive's approach is the most rational approach possible, finding out all the expenses, as well as income associated. But as we have clearly seen from the past few years, the real estate market in Vancouver is quite irrational.
If I recall correctly, the condo boom in Vancouver started with the 5-hour sell out of Sovereign by BOSA(at the intersection of Kingsway and Willingdon). Ever since then, there are so many projects that has started, it's scary.
Richmond is actually the place that worries me the most. In the coming year to two years, I think there are going to be around two thousand new condo units that will be completing.
If this influx of new condos really is unsustainable, like some of you believe, then I think we should be seeing changes in the condo market very soon.
The single house market, though I think is a completely different story. The value of each single house property is mainly in the land. Therefore, as land becomes more scarce, the only way for prices to go is up.
In the end, the most important factor to consider in buying a property is still its location. If you want that the value of your property to remain steady, they you should choose to buy in places where land is scarce, such as Downtown Vancouver, or Vancouver West.
Finally, please understand that real estate is a long term investment, and by long term, we are talking over a period of 10 at least. As long as we are not over extending ourselves when buying a property, and as long as we are buying out of necessity, and not of speculation, there really is no wrong time to buy.
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Old 11-04-2013, 12:51 PM   #1580
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Anyway, xplosive's analyses have been a welcome contribution to this thread. I think we can all agree that buying is a bad deal today.
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This thread only seems to consider the financial pro's and con's of rent vs buy.

I've said before and I'll say again, it's hard to put a value on some of the intangibles of rent vs buy, and this thread seems to completely disregard them, but they are also a BIG factor when it comes to making that decision.

For example:
Home ownership: Locked into location, big costs if you need to move
Renting: Landlord can decide to sell/retake property, forced to move

Home ownership: Can do what you want with property, as long as it's within city bylaws
Renting: Must ask landlord's permission. Any permanent improvements made at your own cost are lost when you move out.

etc... and many more.
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Old 11-04-2013, 01:00 PM   #1581
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If I recall correctly, the condo boom in Vancouver started with the 5-hour sell out of Sovereign by BOSA(at the intersection of Kingsway and Willingdon). Ever since then, there are so many projects that has started, it's scary.
I would disagree and I am pretty sure everyone else will say it too.
For one, the Sovereign didn't sell out in 5 hours, as it was reported some of the people standing in line were paid employees to make it look like it was selling.

I got into the market near the tail end of 2004, and I can safely say that was when condo prices started to take off. I remember a lot of 1 bedroom condo units were in the $140K range and brand new ones were for sale being advertised at $179K. Going into the next spring, prices started to shoot up.

You are right about the number of projects that has started and many more that has yet to break ground which imo, make 2015 a very interesting year.
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Old 11-04-2013, 01:05 PM   #1582
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For example:
Home ownership: Locked into location, big costs if you need to move
Renting: Landlord can decide to sell/retake property, forced to move

Home ownership: Can do what you want with property, as long as it's within city bylaws
Renting: Must ask landlord's permission. Any permanent improvements made at your own cost are lost when you move out.

etc... and many more.
I think the problem is that you can't put a number or measure on those things.
For example, the same thing can be said about a place where you hate your neighbour. If you were renting, you can just move. If you own, well it doesn't make financial sense to move.

A lot of the intangible things also differ by each individual person. What may bother one person may become the selling point for another.

What we can talk about is solid numbers that we can show mathematically.
$1 = $1 no matter who you ask.
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Old 11-04-2013, 01:08 PM   #1583
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Richmond is definitely gonna be so overloaded with a glut of new units. I have a feeling that Burnaby and Coquitlam are also setting themselves up for something similar in certain parts of the cities, but they won't be nearly as hard hit as Richmond.
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Old 11-04-2013, 06:37 PM   #1584
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^ I think municipalities are stuck between a rock and a hard place. They have to approve more density (i.e. condos) because they need property tax revenue. If they don't approve more density, then they have to raise property taxes for existing owners which is sure to create a backlash. All municipalities in BC, except the city of Vancouver, are not allowed to go into debt so property taxes are either raised or "created" through density.
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Old 11-04-2013, 06:41 PM   #1585
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This thread only seems to consider the financial pro's and con's of rent vs buy.

I've said before and I'll say again, it's hard to put a value on some of the intangibles of rent vs buy, and this thread seems to completely disregard them, but they are also a BIG factor when it comes to making that decision.
The premium for home ownership has always existed, but I don't think that premium is justified at today's prices. Moreover, the economy has changed and stability in local employment markets is no longer assured; in other words, people will likely be forced to move where the money is and that may not be in the city they grew up in. Is that 20% premium justified when you have to move in 5 years because your company decided to offshore its operations? Or, your industry may no longer exist due to advances in technology?

But, of course, you have to throw out all financial analysis once you factor in a partner into the decision.
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Old 11-04-2013, 06:54 PM   #1586
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^ I think municipalities are stuck between a rock and a hard place. They have to approve more density (i.e. condos) because they need property tax revenue. If they don't approve more density, then they have to raise property taxes for existing owners which is sure to create a backlash. All municipalities in BC, except the city of Vancouver, are not allowed to go into debt so property taxes are either raised or "created" through density.
With Richmond at least, I'd have to say it is probably more developer greed than anything else. But city hall deserves nearly as much blame as the developers. As the municipal government, they are the ones that are supposed to look after city planning. But what's gonna happen (or has already happened) is, with all that density, traffic has now gone to hell. Traffic on No. 3 road is already fxxked up, and will continue to get even more fxxked up. And then everything spills over to the nearby major throughfares.

But I digress... that really has more to do with city growth than RE, so we will leave that rant for another thread.
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Old 11-04-2013, 07:46 PM   #1587
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^ I think municipalities are stuck between a rock and a hard place. They have to approve more density (i.e. condos) because they need property tax revenue. If they don't approve more density, then they have to raise property taxes for existing owners which is sure to create a backlash. All municipalities in BC, except the city of Vancouver, are not allowed to go into debt so property taxes are either raised or "created" through density.
And that is my pet peeve...mismanagement of municipal affairs.

No one watches them, no one pays attention and these guys spend money like its going out of style.

Huge problems waiting to happen.
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Old 11-04-2013, 07:56 PM   #1588
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And that is my pet peeve...mismanagement of municipal affairs.

No one watches them, no one pays attention and these guys spend money like its going out of style.

Huge problems waiting to happen.
Well, I guess the easy things are:
- Blame municipal workers and unions
- Blame cities for jumping on pet projects like cultural planning

But, on the other hand, cities are under pressure to maintain and upgrade infrastructure that is decades old. You need money to do this - money that taxpayers are largely unwilling to pay.

In the end, we only have ourselves to blame. Voter turnout at municipal elections is 30%. Municipal government is arguably the most important level of government because we interact with our cities on a daily basis.
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Old 11-04-2013, 08:07 PM   #1589
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Well, I guess the easy things are:
- Blame municipal workers and unions
- Blame cities for jumping on pet projects like cultural planning

But, on the other hand, cities are under pressure to maintain and upgrade infrastructure that is decades old. You need money to do this - money that taxpayers are largely unwilling to pay.

In the end, we only have ourselves to blame. Voter turnout at municipal elections is 30%. Municipal government is arguably the most important level of government because we interact with our cities on a daily basis.
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The main problem is the largest part of municipal responsibility isn't "sexy". No one gets remembered as the guy that laid 90km of sewer line.

Also, no one wants to phone it in on a library or two, they now need to be architecturally stimulating, LEED certified and it all adds cost to the project.
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Old 11-04-2013, 10:19 PM   #1590
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^ I think municipalities are stuck between a rock and a hard place. They have to approve more density (i.e. condos) because they need property tax revenue. If they don't approve more density, then they have to raise property taxes for existing owners which is sure to create a backlash. All municipalities in BC, except the city of Vancouver, are not allowed to go into debt so property taxes are either raised or "created" through density.
Definitely a rock and a hard place.

Though not impacted by cities like Richmond, Burnaby or Vancouver, the ALR has a stranglehold on other cities like Ladner/Tswassen, Langley, Pitt Meadows and virtually any city to the East of there. While the merits of the ALR are debatable, it's doing certain municipalities no favours when it comes to residential expansion. Cities that once held beautiful large lots are now rezoning these areas and putting up dozens of multifamily dwellings in a spot that once held maybe two detached homes. I get the argument that more homes means more revenue for the municipalities, but at the same time, they end up destroying neighbourhoods that were unique and once desirable.

Sorry, this is a sore spot for me. The Township of Langley's plan for the Brookswood/Fernridge neighbourhood infuriates me.
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Old 11-04-2013, 10:22 PM   #1591
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Also, no one wants to phone it in on a library or two, they now need to be architecturally stimulating, LEED certified and it all adds cost to the project.
It's like buying a Hybrid car. Sure, you spend less on your bottom end, but the premium you pay to get it essentially negates your savings. If I designed and built my own home, I'd love to have it jammed full of solar panels, geothermal heating, green roofs, etc., etc., but is it worth the added costs to say you're LEED certified and all this other hippy stuff? Will you (or, in this case, the tax payer) ever see the savings?
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Old 11-04-2013, 10:37 PM   #1592
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The main problem is the largest part of municipal responsibility isn't "sexy". No one gets remembered as the guy that laid 90km of sewer line.

Also, no one wants to phone it in on a library or two, they now need to be architecturally stimulating, LEED certified and it all adds cost to the project.
Apparently LEED certification is really expensive and all it is is just a piece of paper. I know several municipals that just installed eco-friendly features and skipped the LEED seal of approval it to save taxpayers money.
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Old 11-04-2013, 10:47 PM   #1593
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I think the conclusion that a lot of people can draw from the calculations I did is that, the smart thing to do when you first move out, is to rent. Don't buy a 1 bedroom apartment and then hope to "upgrade" to a home later. I keep hearing my friends talk about buying an apartment so they can have equity and be able to buy a house later on. The math clearly shows that if you rent and save money, you will be better off and take a lot less risk.

Once you are ready to buy a house, have at least 20% to put down, have enough income to qualify for a low-interest mortgage and actually need a house, thats when you make the move to buy. Most single people don't need a 5 bedroom house with a basement suite.

When you actually are ready to settle down with someone and buy a house together, you can hopefully each put down 50% of the downpayment and use both of your incomes to pay the mortgage. That way everything is fair and if anything were to ever go sour, you sell the house and both parties walk away with their half. Of course, it's ususally not as clean as that, but you do your best.

As far as prices dropping on homes, it's a bit relative. As long as you're in a good spot on your mortgage and didn't buy with 5% down, even if the prices drop 20%, I think you would be OK. Remember, all the other houses would also drop, so if you decided you needed to upgrade, you would sell cheaper but buy cheaper as well...

People would start running into issues if they bought a $750k house with 5% down ($37,500) and 10 years down the road their house is worth 20% less ($600k) and they have $522,103.85 (calculated at 4.79% with a 10 year mortgage) left on their mortgage. They will barely break even, if they sell the house, after commissions. That would mean that they start from scratch again, just with their downpayment, 10 years worth of payments down the drain.
Your first calculations (2 or 3 pages back) supports this:

Buying an apartment below $400,000 is not as advantageous as renting an apartment.

However, using your second set of calculations (1 page back), to buy a $700,000+ house with an adequate down payment, it is MUCH better to buy than rent.

Depends on the amount.
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Old 11-04-2013, 11:24 PM   #1594
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Definitely a rock and a hard place.

Though not impacted by cities like Richmond, Burnaby or Vancouver, the ALR has a stranglehold on other cities like Ladner/Tswassen, Langley, Pitt Meadows and virtually any city to the East of there. While the merits of the ALR are debatable, it's doing certain municipalities no favours when it comes to residential expansion. Cities that once held beautiful large lots are now rezoning these areas and putting up dozens of multifamily dwellings in a spot that once held maybe two detached homes. I get the argument that more homes means more revenue for the municipalities, but at the same time, they end up destroying neighbourhoods that were unique and once desirable.

Sorry, this is a sore spot for me. The Township of Langley's plan for the Brookswood/Fernridge neighbourhood infuriates me.
The problem is that they think they can create all these new multi family units in, and yes these units will create more tax revenue. But what about future costs to service these areas? More traffic, infrastructure, upkeep, sewer and other associated costs increase over time.

The city of Vancouver is forecasting a deficit - this is on top of an increase in property taxes that is over and above inflation. . .. even though there's soo much new construction. I wonder how the city would survive if there wasn't any new construction? I don't mind property tax hikes if it was somewhere along the lines of inflation and we get value in terms of great services.

It also bothers me when I see developers like Concord pacific pay zero property taxes. read story here:

Concord Pacific land assessment outrages residents - British Columbia - CBC News

I also hear countless stories of many prime real estate land and wealthy homeowners being severely under assessed and not paying their fare share in property taxes.

I have a feeling someone somewhere in government is being paid off to keep these guy's taxes low.
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Old 11-04-2013, 11:28 PM   #1595
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^ I could go on for hours on how greedy developers are screwing over us taxpayers and negatively affecting certain communities and how the government and city are allowing this to happen. but its getting late and I dont feel like ranting.
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Old 11-04-2013, 11:47 PM   #1596
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The problem is that they think they can create all these new multi family units in, and yes these units will create more tax revenue. But what about future costs to service these areas? More traffic, infrastructure, upkeep, sewer and other associated costs increase over time.

The city of Vancouver is forecasting a deficit - this is on top of an increase in property taxes that is over and above inflation. . .. even though there's soo much new construction. I wonder how the city would survive if there wasn't any new construction? I don't mind property tax hikes if it was somewhere along the lines of inflation and we get value in terms of great services.

It also bothers me when I see developers like Concord pacific pay zero property taxes. read story here:

Concord Pacific land assessment outrages residents - British Columbia - CBC News

I also hear countless stories of many prime real estate land and wealthy homeowners being severely under assessed and not paying their fare share in property taxes.

I have a feeling someone somewhere in government is being paid off to keep these guy's taxes low.
Look at the Willoughby development that's been going on over the last few years. Sure, there are a few blocks of "low density" housing, but the majority of the development are high density condos and townhouses. The surface roads alone in that area were barely able to handle the traffic between Walnut Grove and Langley City before these places were built. The 208th overpass was barely adequate when it was built, but now it's a huge bottleneck. 208th street itself is constantly jammed, unless it's 3am, no new schools have been built to handle the inevitable influx of children, and the side roads are still the same shitty, pothole ridden streets they were 50 years ago when it was only farmland in the area.

Don't get me wrong; I'm sure there is a plan to address all the issues that come up -- after all, no council can be that daft when redeveloping a neighbourhood... right? -- but either it hasn't come into effect yet or they weren't expecting such a large development and it's already been overwhelmed by the population influx.
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Old 11-05-2013, 12:18 AM   #1597
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Apparently LEED certification is really expensive and all it is is just a piece of paper. I know several municipals that just installed eco-friendly features and skipped the LEED seal of approval it to save taxpayers money.
No. There is a hell of a lot more to it than just adding a few "eco-friendly" features. Installing a few "eco-friendly features" might get you qualified for a LEED bronze.

I have worked on a few large scale LEED projects (Two LEED platinum, and few golds).

It's not just a "piece of paper" with a stamped certification. Basically at the end of the project, the LEED committee comes out and grades your development. Not at the beginning, but in the end after the thing is built. They assign you a bunch of points based on an extensive list of criteria. The number of points the development gets determines its rating.

Of the projects I've worked on, the ones that drop out of going for LEED certification is not because of the cost of certification, but because they cheaped out on aspects of the build itself and they know they won't make their target LEED points. We call those projects "LEED-Like"

The other thing too is that the step from LEED gold to LEED platinum is huge, which is why only developments with massively deep pockets can ever attain that level.

Don't get me wrong, I don't personally believe there's any ROI for this LEED crap. It's mostly for hippy tree-hugger bragging rights.
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Old 11-05-2013, 08:50 AM   #1598
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Definitely a rock and a hard place.

Though not impacted by cities like Richmond, Burnaby or Vancouver, the ALR has a stranglehold on other cities like Ladner/Tswassen, Langley, Pitt Meadows and virtually any city to the East of there. While the merits of the ALR are debatable, it's doing certain municipalities no favours when it comes to residential expansion. Cities that once held beautiful large lots are now rezoning these areas and putting up dozens of multifamily dwellings in a spot that once held maybe two detached homes. I get the argument that more homes means more revenue for the municipalities, but at the same time, they end up destroying neighbourhoods that were unique and once desirable.

Sorry, this is a sore spot for me. The Township of Langley's plan for the Brookswood/Fernridge neighbourhood infuriates me.
I totally get that. On the flip side, I'd hate to see quality agricultural land used for less than quality townhomes, you know?

It had been awhile since I had been to the townhouse in Clayton Park area. Driving along and its filing cabinet after filing cabinet of townhouse after townhouse. Soon it will be a 4 lane street(they were smart and advertised that fact ages ago).

I think the fine folks in Marpole will be right there with you. I know the ones in Commercial Drive area are.

At least development here in New West is taking out either a vacant lot or shitty building no one cares about to put up towers. Unless you "had" a good view and now look at a building, you don't care.

On one street where one of our buildings is, I'm just counting down the days for all the construction to commence. Had 3 vacant lots within sight of each other. Building is occurring on 1, plans in place for 2 and now we just need a bidder for 3. Try renting an apartment when its at the end of a street out of the Battle of Britain.
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:29 AM   #1599
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Who can seriously save up for a downpayment for a place they'd actually want to live in?

Stylish places downtown start at like 500k+ but rent for around 2k a month
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:46 AM   #1600
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Who can seriously save up for a downpayment for a place they'd actually want to live in?

Stylish places downtown start at like 500k+ but rent for around 2k a month
So don't live in a $2k/month apartment and don't live downtown.

Do you really need to be walked through this or are you apart of the impatient self-entitled generation who wants every thing right now?

Come on dude, do you really not know how to budget and save money? Live cheap in the present for a goal in the future? Sound like a foreign concept to you?
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