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Old 06-25-2012, 10:26 PM   #51
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This is a discussion to have with an investment advisor, not Revscene. IANAIA; IANAIB; IAN[insert financial job here].
I'm planning to do that as well. I just didn't know what kind of questions to ask. Now I have a few in mind.
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Old 06-25-2012, 10:41 PM   #52
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Regarding buying a unit that has yet to see development, I have a few issues with the idea, some of which have already been mentioned.

First off, you have no idea what the finished quality is going to be. The demo units may look top notch, but that's because there's been a high level of detail given to the construction in order to make it look as such. Chances are that the actual building will be done by a completely different builder are quite high, and you never know how many corners they will cut or what materials may change.

You'll have no idea who your neighbours will be, both physically sharing the walls and those within your surrounding blocks. I'm speaking in general terms here (and not about the unit the OP is interested in), but often someone will buy a west facing unit on the 10th floor because it's got a fantastic view. However, will that person think to look into whether that empty lot across the street is going to contain a two story townhouse complex or another highrise apartment block that will eventually destroy the view?

I also don't like the idea of handing someone $30,000 to hold onto for three years so they can gain the interest of it sitting in a bank account while I'm left holding an empty bag, hoping it will eventually be filled with a properly built home. Depending on your risk levels, you could at the bare minimum be gaining a bit of interest just having it sit in a savings account at the bank, or you could have it work for you by playing stocks or commodities. I just don't see the point in handing over a chunk of change to someone and not have anything to show for it.

Frankly, if you feel the need to buy an apartment as an investment or income supplement, I'd go after something a little older and already established. This way, you know what the typical renter will generally be, you'll have an idea as to what the maintenance of the entire building is, the square footage will likely be much bigger than anything new coming out, and there's always potential to upgrade an "okay" looking place and try flipping it afterwards. There's no real way to upgrade a brand new building in order to try and cash out; all you can do is hope that the desirability of living in such a complex and area drives up the asking price once all is said and done.
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Old 06-25-2012, 10:51 PM   #53
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If I'm understanding you right, you are implying that even if I don't have a dwelling now, I should continue to rent until the market is not at the peak?

If this wasn't an investment and I planned to live in it, would that change the scenario to buy?

What do people do in their 30s when they have paid out their dwelling and have just cash sitting in the bank? Do they just put it into RRSP until they retire? I can see some money going into stocks but I don't see them putting 50% of their cash into stocks.
Buying at the peak of the market will put you in a position to take a loss, at least in the short term. Why would you not wait until the market declines, purchase at a lower price and maximize your long term profit?

A real estate purchase is always an investment, regardless of whether you intend on using it as your personal residence or a secondary income source. The sum of money involved in a real estate purchase is to significant to not consider it an investment, your current mindset is rental minded - looking at housing primarily as an expense.

As people age and approach retirement, the advisable risk tolerance they should take decreases because they have a a shorter period of time to absorb losses.

I was in the same position as you last year. I could have bought a condo, but I decided to invest what would have been the downpayment in higher return options until the market had already gone into a decline and I could purchase a free standing house that would have a better investment value. Buying a condo, then upgrading to a house would be a bad idea because you lose a significant amount of money in transaction costs.

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Old 06-25-2012, 11:01 PM   #54
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I don't know how you guys can tell whether at today's prices, the condo market is at its peak. What are we based on here? Have we seen a trend reversal in the past 12 months? Legit question as I really haven't been up to date with real estate.

Also, as for OP's situation. I am in my mid-20s as well, and have a career job that pays decent money. Not 6 figures.

I wouldn't really be looking to buy a pre-sale condo. Or any condo/high rise for that matter, either for rental or for self-living.

1. Why would you want to rent out a brand new place to another person? Is an older apartment with better location not good?
2. What if you lose your job, are you able to afford mortgage payments?
3. What if your tenant destroys your place? Or choose not to pay rent?
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Old 06-26-2012, 04:42 AM   #55
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If I'm understanding you right, you are implying that even if I don't have a dwelling now, I should continue to rent until the market is not at the peak?

If this wasn't an investment and I planned to live in it, would that change the scenario to buy?

What do people do in their 30s when they have paid out their dwelling and have just cash sitting in the bank? Do they just put it into RRSP until they retire? I can see some money going into stocks but I don't see them putting 50% of their cash into stocks.
The rent/price ratio in Vancouver is much more favourable to people renting and has been for awhile. Most people buy homes as investments because it's such a traditional and common method. I honestly think that most do it as well because they have no idea where else to invest their money if not in a home....that and the Lower Mainland is horny for houses.

Even if you weren't using the condo as an investment, you should stay mobile as a younger person and have your money in more liquid forms. What if a job comes about in a new city and you want to sell your home, but it's a downturn in the housing market? Do you sell as a loss or do you become a landlord?

In your 30's most of your money, depending on your risk-adversity, should be in equities. If you really want to invest in the housing market, just put your money in one of the more stable REITs (Real estate income trusts).

As for me, yeah, I'm in my early 30's and ended relocating for a better job. Some of my money is liquid but I still have to sell a place that I bought 6 years ago. The money that I put in a REIT have the same returns as my condo (in terms of market pricing), but I didn't have to pay strata fees for it or deal with shitty neighbours.

I'll never own another condo again, but hey, if you want one, I got one for sale
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Old 06-26-2012, 07:13 AM   #56
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Lets all not forget the "Rent/Buy" topic was discussed in length in another thread.

Some people want to buy just so they feel like they will actually OWN something and beable to receive money back from it when they are done with it. Compared to renting where some others feel like they are throwing money into someone elses bucket.

@kungpow: Lots of people who buy condos/apt's early, then flip that up for a house in their 30's. Then you have a mortgage for a house which is 2/3x more then the previous apt/condo. If you kept the apt/condo, then I'd look into mutual funds. (Canadian IMO)
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Old 06-26-2012, 07:17 AM   #57
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Buying at the peak of the market will put you in a position to take a loss, at least in the short term. Why would you not wait until the market declines, purchase at a lower price and maximize your long term profit?
People have been saying vancouver housing price reached its peak for so many years... (i swear I started hearing people said vancouver housing reached its peak and will decline soon since back in 2005/2006!)

For most people, buying a house also has a huge "leveraged" effect compare to buying stock or other investment. (e.g. buying a house usually means people are borrowing 5-10x their equity to put on the investment, where else very few people will borrow money to invest in stocks)
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Old 06-26-2012, 07:52 AM   #58
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If I'm understanding you right, you are implying that even if I don't have a dwelling now, I should continue to rent until the market is not at the peak?

If this wasn't an investment and I planned to live in it, would that change the scenario to buy?

What do people do in their 30s when they have paid out their dwelling and have just cash sitting in the bank? Do they just put it into RRSP until they retire? I can see some money going into stocks but I don't see them putting 50% of their cash into stocks.
I wouldn't imagine that too many people have their dwellings paid for by the end of their 30s. If they have, they either sacrificed lifestyle or they make a high income. For those people that have, they likely do have a mix of investments - cash, equities, bullion, etc. (unless they have some sort of pension plan - not many of those these days.)

The only way buying makes sense is if you plan to live in it for a period of several years - say 10. However, unless your job is absolutely secure with growth potential, there's no point in limiting your options when you're in your 20s.

Renters have it very good in this city. There's lots of supply and the laws favour tenants. The media likes to make a big deal about renovictions, but the law provides an adequate transition process.

Though this is more along the lines of life advice, I'm going to give it anyway: move downtown and live the bachelor lifestyle. If there's 1 regret I have from my 20s, it's that I didn't rent an older, character suite in the West End. Your 20s are a time for exploration and personal growth - you shouldn't spend them being tied down or hassling with shady tenants.
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Old 06-26-2012, 08:24 AM   #59
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Any thoughts on condos vs apartments in Vancouver?
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Old 06-26-2012, 11:49 AM   #60
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People have been saying vancouver housing price reached its peak for so many years... (i swear I started hearing people said vancouver housing reached its peak and will decline soon since back in 2005/2006!)

For most people, buying a house also has a huge "leveraged" effect compare to buying stock or other investment. (e.g. buying a house usually means people are borrowing 5-10x their equity to put on the investment, where else very few people will borrow money to invest in stocks)
Exactly what I was trying to say on the first page. Check this 4 year old post which got somewhat heated way back when. Now I haven't been following condo pricing but I know my house has increased in value by 10% in the last 5 years after being bought at the peak. I know that's just a snapshot and things change can change in a shot but my point is the doomsayers have been saying it for at least 6 years, the markets going to tank and it hasn't yet. I was lucky enough to buy early and make 110% profit on my townhouse in 5 years and I'm in this place for the long term so I really could careless what the market does but I'm just sayin.

Anyway here the old thread, it's funny it's 4 years old but it's the same arguments.

http://www.revscene.net/forums/52840...-downtown.html
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Old 06-26-2012, 12:01 PM   #61
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I wouldn't pre purchase in north burnaby right now.

There are tons of condos coming out left right and center.

They all started similar times as well
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Old 06-26-2012, 12:05 PM   #62
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^ The reason why people are saying that it's time for a correction because the sales data reflects a slowdown. I did a search on MLS and there are around 15 condos for sale in my complex. If you do a search in Burnaby-Brentwood, there are countless others for sale. The condo market is saturated.

Detached homes, however, are a different beast.
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Old 06-26-2012, 12:13 PM   #63
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There are tons of condos on sale in that area + there are tons of development going on

solo + one beside solo + aviara couple blocks down

2 condos just finished by holdem station
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Old 06-26-2012, 12:44 PM   #64
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^ The reason why people are saying that it's time for a correction because the sales data reflects a slowdown. I did a search on MLS and there are around 15 condos for sale in my complex. If you do a search in Burnaby-Brentwood, there are countless others for sale. The condo market is saturated.

Detached homes, however, are a different beast.
Look at the sales data back in 2009...everyone said the housing market was headed for a long decline.
I remember there was some condo developer cutting their prices by 10-20% in early 2009, and people were laughing at the buyers thinking they were suckers since the price was expected to keep declining....(based on all the sales data and market sentiment at that time)

Well turned out it didn't and prices have kept on raising since..

bottom line, no one knows what's going to happen in 1-2 years...
we had a pretty gloomy outlook in 2008/2009 during the financial crisis, and take a look at where we are now...who would've thought prices would go up another 20% in just 2 years back in 2009
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Old 06-27-2012, 05:57 AM   #65
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Look at the sales data back in 2009...everyone said the housing market was headed for a long decline.
I remember there was some condo developer cutting their prices by 10-20% in early 2009, and people were laughing at the buyers thinking they were suckers since the price was expected to keep declining....(based on all the sales data and market sentiment at that time)

Well turned out it didn't and prices have kept on raising since..

bottom line, no one knows what's going to happen in 1-2 years...
we had a pretty gloomy outlook in 2008/2009 during the financial crisis, and take a look at where we are now...who would've thought prices would go up another 20% in just 2 years back in 2009
Well, I will say July 9th will be the tipping point when the new mortgage rules go into effect. No more 30 year mortgages, new debt-ratio laws, the million-dollar rule starts and they finally clamp down on HELOCs, which so many people have used to do renos and vacations.

It took 5 years for Canada to succumb to a recession when the DOW tanked in 1987 and it dragged the housing market to the shitshow of the early 90's. The general public might not thing there is a housing crisis or a recession looming, but Carney and Flaherty think so, hence the new rules.
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Old 06-27-2012, 08:34 AM   #66
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how do you guys feel about buying a pre-sale for the purposes of living in it?
Here's my analysis and it really depends on your situation (age, stage of life, down payment, mortgage, etc)

Pro's
- You get a brand spanking never been live in unit
- 2-5-10 Warranty from Developer in case something goes then wrong certain things are covered
- When buying pre-sale you are basically trying to predict/invest in the future hoping that future values will be more than what you agreed to pay today.
- If you are one of the first people to move-in you can enjoy the benefits of every low occupancy which is great cause you pretty much get to have the whole building to yourself for a short period time.

Con's
- Again, you are hoping that your pre-sale does not flop. Such that the amount you agree to pay today will not be less in the future when you take possession of the property. If so your property will be under water.
- You have to deal with all the issues when living in a condo. A new building will have many infancy problems (mainly security, move in's, elevators, strata)

To sum it up,
If you are a working professional single or in a relationship in the age group of 20-30 and want to move out of home then it's a good idea to purchase your first home to move into.

Just make sure to crunch all the numbers to see if you can afford your down payment, mortgage payment, strata fees, property taxes, monthly expenses.
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Old 06-27-2012, 08:40 AM   #67
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The reason is I can have a way larger down payment in 3 years than now thus smaller mortgage and less money going to interest. For example, let's say I can put down 20% now and another 30% down in 3 years, I will also save a ton on interest (~15k over 3 years). Another upside is that I can secure it for $269k with a security deposit of $20k. I don't need to make any mortgage payments for 3 years until it is built.

My friend bought a condo in 2009 for 350k in downtown and it is hovering around 400k right now. Profit is good but my goal is to pay it off as fast as I can without incurring so much in interest.
Here's the deal. I'm pretty involved in the real estate game myself in terms of condo ownership and man I fucking hate it.

Your friend's 50K paper profit looks great.

But factor all these:
- The property transfer tax and/or tax he paid to buy the place
- All his property taxes and strata fees since he owned the unit
- His own upgrades and maintenance to his unit if any
- The commission he needs to pay when he decides to sell the unit.
- Capital gains tax he needs to pay if any

In all's end he would be lucky to come out with 25K of pure profit.
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Old 06-27-2012, 08:47 AM   #68
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One more note

Regarding the Burnaby Area

There's way to much supply of new condos / projects coming up in the Lougheed & Willingdon and also the Metrotown Area.

When all these places complete in 2-3 years. I think there will be a minimum of 2000 units available for people to buy/sell/rent.

If you are thinking about buying and then renting. Good luck on trying to tap that market.
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Old 06-27-2012, 08:27 PM   #69
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many of whom are probably citizens/born here
what a dumb comment
Yea comment was kinda irrelevant, it's just a stat, in fact it's actually a lot higher than that, and from people I know from New West land titles, they are saying its more like 90% for these new condos.

I'm basically just implying there'ts lots of demand in the area from Asians, not trying to be racist or anything like that.

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nah, they deal with the contracts, many asians dont have Legal english names, and that's how you can tell.

Plus go to any pre-sale or condo showhome and it feels like 100% of the people in there are Asian, with many developers catering to chinese developers by not having units with the number 4, or 4th floor etc.

For example one building in burnaby, sovereign? or metroplace? doesnt even have any 40th floors, the labelling goes from 39 straight to 50.
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Old 06-27-2012, 09:58 PM   #70
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Yea comment was kinda irrelevant, it's just a stat, in fact it's actually a lot higher than that, and from people I know from New West land titles, they are saying its more like 90% for these new condos.

I'm basically just implying there'ts lots of demand in the area from Asians, not trying to be racist or anything like that.



nah, they deal with the contracts, many asians dont have Legal english names, and that's how you can tell.

Plus go to any pre-sale or condo showhome and it feels like 100% of the people in there are Asian, with many developers catering to chinese developers by not having units with the number 4, or 4th floor etc.

For example one building in burnaby, sovereign? or metroplace? doesnt even have any 40th floors, the labelling goes from 39 straight to 50.
have you not realized that vancouver is mostly asian people? this is not anything new since the early 90's

what IS important is the fact that the majority of these "asian" buyers are locals who buy properties using mortgages - and as such they are just as open to getting f'd over by new mortgage rules, increased interest rates, etc as non-'asian' people

talking about how someone looks is irrelevant, talking about what percentage pay in cash vs. buy using 20% mortgages vs. <20% CMHC insured mortgages actually has a bearing on the market
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Old 06-27-2012, 11:04 PM   #71
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One more note

Regarding the Burnaby Area

There's way to much supply of new condos / projects coming up in the Lougheed & Willingdon and also the Metrotown Area.

When all these places complete in 2-3 years. I think there will be a minimum of 2000 units available for people to buy/sell/rent.

If you are thinking about buying and then renting. Good luck on trying to tap that market.
Don't forget up on SFU. They are planning on at least 2 more buildings as well as the one low raise that is being built right now.

Oh wait, I own up on SFU. D'oh.
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Old 06-28-2012, 07:10 AM   #72
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have you not realized that vancouver is mostly asian people? this is not anything new since the early 90's

what IS important is the fact that the majority of these "asian" buyers are locals who buy properties using mortgages - and as such they are just as open to getting f'd over by new mortgage rules, increased interest rates, etc as non-'asian' people

talking about how someone looks is irrelevant, talking about what percentage pay in cash vs. buy using 20% mortgages vs. <20% CMHC insured mortgages actually has a bearing on the market
Can't forget what the product is being offered here.

It's new modern shoeboxes (condo's) in a transit orientated neighbourhood. Asians have a tendency to flock to these and are known to be condo horny.

Where as the whities like a townhouse or place nearby the mountains, trails, greeen space. I.E Coquitlam, Port Moody, Maple Ridge.

You won't find 80% asian buyers in a new condo pre sales project if it were in those areas.
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Old 06-28-2012, 08:02 AM   #73
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For the folks that live in the north BBY burbs, with all the development in the area, its giong to take so long just to get out of that area via car. So much traffic in and around brentwood during peak times.
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Old 06-28-2012, 08:39 AM   #74
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For the folks that live in the north BBY burbs, with all the development in the area, its giong to take so long just to get out of that area via car. So much traffic in and around brentwood during peak times.
That's already true. I live right beside the Holdom skytrain and if I drive to work by Brentwood it takes me 10+ minutes. This is ONE skytrain station away. I've resorted to walking now haha
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Old 06-28-2012, 11:02 AM   #75
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That's already true. I live right beside the Holdom skytrain and if I drive to work by Brentwood it takes me 10+ minutes. This is ONE skytrain station away. I've resorted to walking now haha
I know, I've lived in the Hastings/Willingdon area my whole life. The added development is going to cause bigger traffic issues than there already is. Streets like Hastings and Lougheed are already main roads used by people to get to and from work, especially the people who work and live in different cities (people coming from New West, Fraser Valley, Poco, Coquitlam commuting to Bby or Vancouver). Add to that the people who cut through the burbs going above the speed limit in neighbourhoods that have small children. Sorry went off topic...
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