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Old 02-21-2012, 07:17 PM   #1
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BC Budget

Surprised to see there was no thread on this.

Highlights of how much life costs us:

How the B.C. budget hits your family's pocketbook | CTV British Columbia

My favorite.

Falcon considers business tax hike to balance budget | CTV British Columbia

"Falcon said he is prepared to raise the general corporate income tax rate to 11 per cent from 10 per cent in April 2014 if the budget situation doesn't show signs of improvement."

So, we'll make business more expensive to operate in BC, because that will help a struggling economy.

Here's a tip...eliminate the HST as soon as possible. I did find it interesting in one of the articles discussing the renovation industry seeking some assistance with the HST, and people putting off purchases to wait it out, he said something to the effect of, "well, help is coming in terms of returning the PST and reducing to a 5% sales tax as a result" which is the first admission that some industries were heavily affected by its introduction, in my opinion.

What are everyone else's thoughts? I few gimmes for the groups that Clark would like to have vote for her.
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Old 02-21-2012, 07:36 PM   #2
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I'd prefer the HST was not eliminated in the first place.
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:11 PM   #3
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+1 for HST.. i kinda saw this coming since last year..
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:38 PM   #4
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worst budget ever
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:49 PM   #5
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Wondering how did BC come in such bad shape financially? One of lowest wage for teachers + healthcare, massive debts, etc. Any cole's notes answer?
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Old 02-21-2012, 10:35 PM   #6
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"Falcon said he is prepared to raise the general corporate income tax rate to 11 per cent from 10 per cent in April 2014 if the budget situation doesn't show signs of improvement."

So, we'll make business more expensive to operate in BC, because that will help a struggling economy.
Well he has a choice: either tax people, or tax business. People voted against the HST, so they said tax business.

If business leaves, we have only ourselves to blame.

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Here's a tip...eliminate the HST as soon as possible. I did find it interesting in one of the articles discussing the renovation industry seeking some assistance with the HST, and people putting off purchases to wait it out, he said something to the effect of, "well, help is coming in terms of returning the PST and reducing to a 5% sales tax as a result" which is the first admission that some industries were heavily affected by its introduction, in my opinion.
I considered waiting a year to buy a car cause I'd save a huge chunk of cash. Ultimately I chose to buy now, and many will regardless of the HST.

The home renovation and the home buying tax credits are crap. They only bring forward business by convincing people to buy now what they would have later. No-one is going to decide to do a $10K home reno to get a 10% tax credit, or buy a $400K home to get a $10K tax credit. Remember, its a tax credit, thus its not like you actually get 10% or $10K. More like you'll get 20% of that.
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Old 02-21-2012, 10:37 PM   #7
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Wondering how did BC come in such bad shape financially? One of lowest wage for teachers + healthcare, massive debts, etc. Any cole's notes answer?
Everyone is in bad shape, unemployment is still high compared to before the 2008 crash. This means tax revenues are down, while everyone expects the government to spend on stimulus.
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:08 AM   #8
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Well he has a choice: either tax people, or tax business. People voted against the HST, so they said tax business.

If business leaves, we have only ourselves to blame.


I considered waiting a year to buy a car cause I'd save a huge chunk of cash. Ultimately I chose to buy now, and many will regardless of the HST.

The home renovation and the home buying tax credits are crap. They only bring forward business by convincing people to buy now what they would have later. No-one is going to decide to do a $10K home reno to get a 10% tax credit, or buy a $400K home to get a $10K tax credit. Remember, its a tax credit, thus its not like you actually get 10% or $10K. More like you'll get 20% of that.
Yeah, people will make that conscious decision. BUUUUT

Do you think everyone is? Even if its not a conscious decision, but a "we had better wait right now" and later, with no HST, the decision is, now's a good time AND less tax.

I really don't think this should be an HST argument really, but the BC economy as a whole, but this is the problem with a long waiting period to remove the HST. They are stalling, and I don't like it. They are using the increased revenue to balance their books, and hope to get the house in order before writing that 1 billion check to the feds.

Or possibly hoping that it will get put off long enough that it just stays? Seems a little tin hat for my taste.

One little gem that I liked from the budget is getting out of the liquor distribution business. Well, the actual warehouse distribution of it. Just the warehouses. Still...its a start. Tell me, why the fuck our government sells and distributes liquor. Tell me why these guys get paid something ridiculous to sell me booze? Start with the warehouses, and then go for the stores. One less union to deal with for a start.

That's the kind of thinking we need more of. How can we get out of shit we don't need to be in?
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:25 AM   #9
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I really don't think this should be an HST argument really, but the BC economy as a whole, but this is the problem with a long waiting period to remove the HST. They are stalling, and I don't like it. They are using the increased revenue to balance their books, and hope to get the house in order before writing that 1 billion check to the feds.
They could've dropped it the next day, yet it would've been chaos. 1.5 years is retarded, yet it wasn't going to happen overnight.

I think they should've dropped it in 3 months, then hit all the income brackets with tax increases. The money has to come from somewhere, and people need to learn that.

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One little gem that I liked from the budget is getting out of the liquor distribution business. Well, the actual warehouse distribution of it. Just the warehouses. Still...its a start. Tell me, why the fuck our government sells and distributes liquor. Tell me why these guys get paid something ridiculous to sell me booze? Start with the warehouses, and then go for the stores. One less union to deal with for a start.

That's the kind of thinking we need more of. How can we get out of shit we don't need to be in?
There was a study in the news recently that showed private liquor stores where only 80% compliant in not serving minors, while government liquor stores were virtually 100%.

We live in the "no fun province" thus I fully expect liquor sales to stay publicly controlled - to our detriment. I have a buddy in Ontario that works for the LCBO (Ontario liquor sales are public with the exception of small wine only stores) and was paid $40K+ with benefits to work the cash, and great benefits. How retarded is that? and booze prices in Ontario reflect the difference where a 24 of beer is ~$35 vs ~$25 in Quebexico corner stores.
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:39 AM   #10
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They could've dropped it the next day, yet it would've been chaos. 1.5 years is retarded, yet it wasn't going to happen overnight.

I think they should've dropped it in 3 months, then hit all the income brackets with tax increases. The money has to come from somewhere, and people need to learn that.
I get that it wasn't going to be the next day, but I think there is an HST inspired holding pattern to wait and see what is going to happen. It sucks. We can't afford to be in a holding pattern. At this point, I don't care about the HSt or no HST thing. I still care that it was thrown in without an ounce of public input. The public finally had its input, so just pick a reasonable date and run with it.

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There was a study in the news recently that showed private liquor stores where only 80% compliant in not serving minors, while government liquor stores were virtually 100%.

We live in the "no fun province" thus I fully expect liquor sales to stay publicly controlled - to our detriment. I have a buddy in Ontario that works for the LCBO (Ontario liquor sales are public with the exception of small wine only stores) and was paid $40K+ with benefits to work the cash, and great benefits. How retarded is that? and booze prices in Ontario reflect the difference where a 24 of beer is ~$35 vs ~$25 in Quebexico corner stores.
I get that private is not going to be as good as public. I just want a small government that is not trying to run every little thing. I'd rather get rid of the whole thing, privatize the whole affair and hire more inspectors. At least I can say, the government should be in the business of regulatory inspections and administrations, NOT distribution.

I moved here from Nova Scotia in 1998, and I don't know at this point that standing among my boxes picking a province to go to, that I would choose BC again. I was kind of hoping that NS would get their shit together, and I could end my exile, but they voted in NDP so that's not going to happen...
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Old 02-22-2012, 01:13 PM   #11
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while having this tax credit is good to get new home buyers into a home.. but Canada wants to be careful, if they get people who cant afford it into a homes, we will end up becoming like the states... foreclosures...
JOBs need to pay more... which means employers have to charge more, which means more jobs will be closing to do being out of business..
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Old 02-22-2012, 01:29 PM   #12
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while having this tax credit is good to get new home buyers into a home.. but Canada wants to be careful, if they get people who cant afford it into a homes, we will end up becoming like the states... foreclosures...
JOBs need to pay more... which means employers have to charge more, which means more jobs will be closing to do being out of business..
We're already there. I listen to CFOX every morning and the stupid commercials "if you make $15/hr you can afford a house" are going to kill the market. If you make $15/hr, you shouldn't be buying as house - no offence to those that do. You have to stretch yourself pretty thin at $15/hr to afford a house, and likely most people making $15/hr will never make more in their life - there's a good reason they make $15/hr.
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Old 02-22-2012, 02:53 PM   #13
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I get that private is not going to be as good as public. I just want a small government that is not trying to run every little thing. I'd rather get rid of the whole thing, privatize the whole affair and hire more inspectors. At least I can say, the government should be in the business of regulatory inspections and administrations, NOT distribution.
.
If private won't serve the population of British Columbia as well as public, then switching to an entirely private system is pretty ridiculous. The system works very well, and while the wages are a bit high at public stores, they have great employees in comparison to the minimum wage private stores.

Small government this and that, it's all totally irrelevant. What matters is effective and efficient government, and since by your admission the government would not be as effective at regulating liqour sales if the system were entirely private, a change is totally pointless.

The government can regulate anything and everything they want, as far as I'm concerned. Just as long as they do so in a cost effective manner that benefits the public.

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We're already there. I listen to CFOX every morning and the stupid commercials "if you make $15/hr you can afford a house" are going to kill the market. If you make $15/hr, you shouldn't be buying as house - no offence to those that do. You have to stretch yourself pretty thin at $15/hr to afford a house, and likely most people making $15/hr will never make more in their life - there's a good reason they make $15/hr.
Those ads are dedicated towards properties selling for between $120-140k with relatively low mortgage rates and fees, from what I've seen. If you have the down payment to put up, you shouldn't be paying much if any more monthly than you would for rent. You do need a decent credit rating to qualify as well, which was a key factor in the collapse of the housing market in America.

I don't entirely disagree with you, Taylor, but I'm not quite as pessimistic.

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Old 02-22-2012, 02:56 PM   #14
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Why is it called the budget? Why not just call it what it is "This is how much of your tax dollars we're gonna waste mother f*ckers.. COME AT ME BRO..."
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Old 02-22-2012, 03:53 PM   #15
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Those ads are dedicated towards properties selling for between $120-140k with relatively low mortgage rates and fees, from what I've seen.
You must not listen to CFOX. The ad also includes "you can afford around $200K". $15/hr is ~$30K/yr, and $200K is ~7x earnings.

I have great credit and zero debt, so I can get a mortgage for ~8.5x earnings. That doesn't mean I should - yet I'm smart enough to make that decision cause I know if rates ever go up there's no way I could afford it - and cause I have good credit the bank doesn't care that I cannot afford it if rates go up.

Most people in Canada take 5yr mortgages, so our rates reset then just like the ARM and Alt-A mortgages in the US. My friends that renewed in 2006/7 were surprised when they renewed at 6+% vs the ~4% they were expecting.

Someone making $15/hr and listening to CFOX might not know all this like I do - and that's what contributed to the US collapse. People signed ARM and Alt-A mortgages without factoring in higher rates and got screwed.

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If you have the down payment to put up, you shouldn't be paying much if any more monthly than you would for rent. You do need a decent credit rating to qualify as well, which was a key factor in the collapse of the housing market in America.
Mortgage on $200K will be ~ $900/mn + property taxes + condo fees + ... == ~$1300. In areas where condos are ~$200K, rents are much cheaper than $1300.
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:22 PM   #16
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You must not listen to CFOX. The ad also includes "you can afford around $200K". $15/hr is ~$30K/yr, and $200K is ~7x earnings.

I have great credit and zero debt, so I can get a mortgage for ~8.5x earnings. That doesn't mean I should - yet I'm smart enough to make that decision cause I know if rates ever go up there's no way I could afford it - and cause I have good credit the bank doesn't care that I cannot afford it if rates go up.

Most people in Canada take 5yr mortgages, so our rates reset then just like the ARM and Alt-A mortgages in the US. My friends that renewed in 2006/7 were surprised when they renewed at 6+% vs the ~4% they were expecting.

Someone making $15/hr and listening to CFOX might not know all this like I do - and that's what contributed to the US collapse. People signed ARM and Alt-A mortgages without factoring in higher rates and got screwed.


Mortgage on $200K will be ~ $900/mn + property taxes + condo fees + ... == ~$1300. In areas where condos are ~$200K, rents are much cheaper than $1300.
Interesting, okay. Here's where I was coming from.

I routinely receive advertisements in the mail saying, "Do you make $15-18/hr, why are you renting?"

I rent, mainly because I don't think it's a great time to buy a new condo, but it caught my interest and I went to an open house. The building it was advertising is a block from where I rent, so it was worth the time to walk over and get more info and appease my curiosity.

The break down was something like this..

$155,000 for a 1 bed with a $500 mortgage for the first five years, requirement of 10% down, the interest rate was very low. Add $125 for condo fees, $50 for property taxes and you're in for $675/month.

I live in Abbotsford, so the average rental price for an older 1 bedroom would be $675-750, with a relatively new 1 bedroom at $800-850. Therefore it actually works out to be monthly savings for the first five years, and given that a persons income should increase over that time, they should be doing okay when the mortgage is renewed at a higher rate.
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:51 PM   #17
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One little gem that I liked from the budget is getting out of the liquor distribution business. Well, the actual warehouse distribution of it. Just the warehouses. Still...its a start. Tell me, why the fuck our government sells and distributes liquor. Tell me why these guys get paid something ridiculous to sell me booze? Start with the warehouses, and then go for the stores. One less union to deal with for a start.

That's the kind of thinking we need more of. How can we get out of shit we don't need to be in?
Why do they sell and distribute liquor? I can give you 900 million reasons. They get paid something ridiculous? Provide a $ amount. All I hear on the news is all these false amounts of what they make per hour, and the public bites on it and believes it.

Sure privatize all the stores then see how the prices will rise, people think they will drop not likely.
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Old 02-22-2012, 05:17 PM   #18
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$155,000 for a 1 bed with a $500 mortgage for the first five years, requirement of 10% down, the interest rate was very low. Add $125 for condo fees, $50 for property taxes and you're in for $675/month.

I live in Abbotsford, so the average rental price for an older 1 bedroom would be $675-750, with a relatively new 1 bedroom at $800-850.
$500 for the mortgage is way too low. Most people making $15/hr will only have the minimum 5% down, then factor in the > 2% CMHC fee for leaving 5% down, and you're still mortgaging $150K. That should be $700/mn + condo fees + taxes (and taxes are not $50, they would be ~$100/mn at 0.7% 2011 rate). The condo fee may be set low to entice buyers, yet that just means the condo slush fund isn't being built up very fast so you better save for a surprise $5-10K bill. So I figure you're in for at least $950, probably more.

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given that a persons income should increase over that time, they should be doing okay when the mortgage is renewed at a higher rate.
This is exactly the same crap they sold US home owners on. Look it up, its how they sold ARMs and Alt-As. If you lookup wages for the past decade, they are flat. Moreso if you lookup wages since 2008, they are down.

Even if income increased, we're talking about 2-3% inflationary increases a year, which over 5 years gives you a few $$ more, while my friends that renewed at 6+% learned that inflation increases cannot make up for big rate increases.
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Old 02-22-2012, 05:37 PM   #19
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My thoughts:

I would like the HST to stay, but since people voted it out, I'ld say increase Personal income tax rates to compensate for it. Don't touch corporate income tax rates, I think they are fine the way they are in BC and dont need to be increased.

I say we should raise the property transfer taxes (not on first -time buyers), theres too many people that own 5+ houses for speculation purposes, this will prevent too many speculators from buying and flipping and help prevent a larger economic downturn if property prices start decreasing, cause lets face it, if there is a property bubble and we see more foreclosures, it will affect all of us. I would prefer a more stable real estate market.
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Old 02-22-2012, 06:14 PM   #20
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I'm for more transparancy before raising any taxes.
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Old 02-22-2012, 06:17 PM   #21
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$500 for the mortgage is way too low. Most people making $15/hr will only have the minimum 5% down, then factor in the > 2% CMHC fee for leaving 5% down, and you're still mortgaging $150K.
That should be $700/mn + condo fees + taxes (and taxes are not $50, they would be ~$100/mn at 0.7% 2011 rate). The condo fee may be set low to entice buyers, yet that just means the condo slush fund isn't being built up very fast so you better save for a surprise $5-10K bill. So I figure you're in for at least $950, probably more.
Your totally right, Taylor...

I won't make generalizations about the proportion of buyers capable of putting down 10%, although it's really not a massive sum of money. The monthly mortgage for those buyers who could was $450-500 month, that's what the developers affordability calculations are based on and for the purposes of this discussion nothing else is relevant.

The condo fee is low in part because the building is located in Abbotsford, it's pretty comparable with all other buildings in the area. Not to mention, it's a new building with a warranty, so there shouldn't be any major condo assessments in the length of term the buyers would likely own the property for.

Thanks for the $950 number, but not accurate and not relevant to the point of contention.

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This is exactly the same crap they sold US home owners on. Look it up, its how they sold ARMs and Alt-As. If you lookup wages for the past decade, they are flat. Moreso if you lookup wages since 2008, they are down.

Even if income increased, we're talking about 2-3% inflationary increases a year, which over 5 years gives you a few $$ more, while my friends that renewed at 6+% learned that inflation increases cannot make up for big rate increases.
Wages for the past decade are reasonably flat when looking at the entire labour market, yes.

The primary target of the developer is young professionals however, whose wages generally maintain a steady increase before plateauing. I know my income has steadily increased, as has my girlfriend's, and most of my friends. Based on that, it's not unreasonable to factor in a wage increase over a five year term.

Alt-As are marketed to people who really shouldn't have a mortgage to begin with. ARMs aren't great, I see the basis of your argument, but they aren't terrible. They can be totally fine if the person is prepared for a mortgage rate increase at the renewal date, it's not like the increase is a surprise.
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:02 PM   #22
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I think Taylor192 is bang on, but they're also not lying about being able to buy for the price of renting. Though they exclude costs of home ownership. I moved from renting a 2 bedroom apartment to buying a 2 bedroom townhouse for about the same cost 3 years ago.

Just so you guys get your numbers right, here's how it breaks down for my actual mortgage for my townhouse. I purchased when I was making $23.75/hour but I also had a lot of debt at the time. Most banks wouldn't come close to my current interest rate either, I'm thankful to my mortgage broker. My own bank wouldn't loan to me without jumping through a lot of hoops and without a 6+% interest rate.

I regret buying so young though because I want to move now and this house is an anchor. It's also not appreciating at all.

Total loan amount: $161,687.62
Loan amount (after downpayment): $156,750
Interest rate: 3.79% fixed (5 years)
Payments (biweekly inc. property taxes): $374.56
Strata fee: $170/month
Insurance (required): $26/month

So ~$945.12 per month (a little more since I pay biweekly).

I was renting a 2 bedroom apartment for $950/month previously. It included garbage pickup and water though, which costs me ~$75/month in my new place.

When major repairs are done however, the owners foot part of the bill in a special levy (with the rest coming from the strata contingency reserve fund). So there are different costs that come up some years. Painting the buildings will cost me $897.04 this year.

Edt: At my current income, that's acceptable. But I like having money, so I rent out my spare room. If you're not debt free making over $20/hour, I think renting the spare room out would be necessary.
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:54 PM   #23
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I won't make generalizations about the proportion of buyers capable of putting down 10%, although it's really not a massive sum of money.
I won't make generalizations either. ~60% of Canadians have no savings, and of those that do 30% dip into their savings to make ends meet. That leaves ~30% of Canadians with savings to leave as a downpayment - I'll let you generalize how many of those 30% make $15/hr.

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The condo fee is low in part because the building is located in Abbotsford, it's pretty comparable with all other buildings in the area. Not to mention, it's a new building with a warranty, so there shouldn't be any major condo assessments in the length of term the buyers would likely own the property for.
Then we get into another set of calculations. If you're only buying a condo for 5-10 years, in a flat market (which we're currently in) you'll barely pay down the mortgage more on a 30yr term than the fees you'll have to spend to buy/sell the place. All that effort to walk away with a few $Ks, when you'd save far more renting.

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Originally Posted by MindBomber View Post
Thanks for the $950 number, but not accurate and not relevant to the point of contention.
Its accurate unless you prove otherwise. You cannot mortgage a $150K property for $500/mn without leaving a LOT down - which no-one making $15/hr has.

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Originally Posted by MindBomber View Post
The primary target of the developer is young professionals however, whose wages generally maintain a steady increase before plateauing.
Young professionals don't make $15/hr. That's only $30K/yr, even a basic secretary makes more than that.

It is clearly aimed at people who work retail, like Safeway, who have little hope of promotion to deal with any rate increase.
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:53 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by taylor192 View Post
I won't make generalizations either. ~60% of Canadians have no savings, and of those that do 30% dip into their savings to make ends meet. That leaves ~30% of Canadians with savings to leave as a downpayment - I'll let you generalize how many of those 30% make $15/hr.
You're missing my point.

You can't modify one portion of the developers affordability equation then criticize another. The developer bases the statement that it is affordable for a person making $15 dollars an hour if the person has a 10% down payment, if the person has only 5% down, then that would raise the mortgage payment and in turn annual income required.

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Originally Posted by taylor192 View Post
Then we get into another set of calculations. If you're only buying a condo for 5-10 years, in a flat market (which we're currently in) you'll barely pay down the mortgage more on a 30yr term than the fees you'll have to spend to buy/sell the place. All that effort to walk away with a few $Ks, when you'd save far more renting.
The question of whether owning or renting is more beneficial depends on the specific market, and you'll get very different answers if you ask that question for Kitsilano and Abbotsford. In Kits you can rent a property for much less than owning a comparable one, and furthermore, the area isn't going to change much so it will only appreciate with the market as a whole. In Abbotsford there are very few rental properties available outside of those owned by the giant management corporations, who have pushed the rental rates to unnaturally high levels. Therefore you can own a property for the same cost or less than renting, which would allow you to walk away with a few $ks in savings over a 5-10 year term. Then consider that Abbotsford and Whalley, the wonderful areas where H.J. Property Investments (the $15 dollar developer) build in are improving steadily. That's especially true for Abbotsford; $160 million arena, $30 million airport expansion, $10 million tradex expansion, $170 million mall. Despite the market being flat overall, there is reasonable evidence to believe these markets specifically will appreciate at a rate higher than inflation. That all means an owner buying now would potentially see a moderate return over the relatively short term. Not a massive return since the economy isn't in great shape, but something for someone not interested in other forms of investing.

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Its accurate unless you prove otherwise. You cannot mortgage a $150K property for $500/mn without leaving a LOT down - which no-one making $15/hr has.
The first five years were being offered at below 2% financing, otherwise no, it would not be possible.

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Originally Posted by taylor192 View Post
Young professionals don't make $15/hr. That's only $30K/yr, even a basic secretary makes more than that.

It is clearly aimed at people who work retail, like Safeway, who have little hope of promotion to deal with any rate increase.
Apprentice tradespeople, LPNs and other workers who are at the lower levels of professional status make $15-20/hr and almost definitely will see significant promotions within five years. Some people would consider those people young professionals, others wouldn't, professional is a pretty loosely defined term in current usage.
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Old 02-22-2012, 09:25 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by MindBomber View Post
You're missing my point.

You can't modify one portion of the developers affordability equation then criticize another. The developer bases the statement that it is affordable for a person making $15 dollars an hour if the person has a 10% down payment, if the person has only 5% down, then that would raise the mortgage payment and in turn annual income required.
No I'm making a point, which you now clarify:
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The first five years were being offered at below 2% financing, otherwise no, it would not be possible.
Which is very close to the ARMs sold to Americans at low enticing rates that eventually reset higher. You're only making me more pessimistic that we're now seeing the predatory lending by developers and brokers that happened in the US.

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Then consider that Abbotsford and Whalley, the wonderful areas where H.J. Property Investments (the $15 dollar developer) build in are improving steadily. That's especially true for Abbotsford; $160 million arena, $30 million airport expansion, $10 million tradex expansion, $170 million mall. Despite the market being flat overall, there is reasonable evidence to believe these markets specifically will appreciate at a rate higher than inflation. That all means an owner buying now would potentially see a moderate return over the relatively short term. Not a massive return since the economy isn't in great shape, but something for someone not interested in other forms of investing.
Property prices are falling from the outside in. The interior is in awful shape, and the burbs have been flat for awhile while Vancouver and Richmond still saw price increases until recently.

If anything, these areas are ripe for big drops if the market starts to falter. They are not nice areas, and once people stop believing "house prices only go up" they'll see deals in nicer areas and less reason to take risk on "up and coming" areas.

You can look at the US for examples of this, and now China. Your optimism is misplaced.

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Originally Posted by MindBomber View Post
Apprentice tradespeople, LPNs and other workers who are at the lower levels of professional status make $15-20/hr and almost definitely will see significant promotions within five years. Some people would consider those people young professionals, others wouldn't, professional is a pretty loosely defined term in current usage.
They are also more likely to be out of work if housing takes a downturn, like now where construction work has virtually dried up in the interior. 60% of them won't have a rainy day account to pay their mortgages.
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