Cleaning House

Over the weekend we deleted hundreds of user accounts, so if you’re trying to log in and it’s not working you may need to re-register.

Why did we delete these user accounts?

Over the last couple of weeks we’ve warned that user accounts with no comments will be deleted.  We’ve had lots of spam registrations and the only real way to confirm if someone is an actual human interested in the topic of Vancouver real estate is if they comment.  There are security concerns and spam registrations swell the database, so a purge was in order.

How can I keep my user account from being deleted?

This is an ongoing policy, so if you’re going to register an account you must leave a comment once you’re logged in or your account will be deleted.  We understand that not everyone wants to take part in the conversation and some of you may want an account simply for the double comment voting power, but new accounts must have at least one on-topic comment attributed to them or they will be deleted.

Thank you for your understanding.

 

29 Responses to “Cleaning House”

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    [China cuts growth target to 8-year low]
    - Hot Asia Money not looking good…
    Mon Mar 5, 2012 5:48am EST
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/05/us-china-economy-idUSTRE82400120120305?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews&rpc=71

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    Monday Morning:

    -Crea says sales up .3% this year
    -Crea says sales down .3% next year
    Really Crea???? that was breaking news??

    -Flaherty again says he’s concerned about Toronto’s condo market and mortgages, but does not say he’s going to do anything regarding amortizations etc (unlike Garth’s prediction from over a week ago that it might be coming in days)

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    Anonymous Says:
    3

    @VMD: 7.5% GDP growth with a 4% inflation rate is a bad thing? Remember China needs to look good to its citizens so it is not going to set a target and just meet it. It sets a lower target rate in order to beat it and show its citizens that they are doing even better then they thought they could do. Still even with these numbers you are seeing a 3.5% increase in real GDP.

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    gordholio Says:
    4

    Another day, another “forecast” from the slime at the CREA.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/story/2012/03/05/crea-housing-forecast.html

    At least this time they’re “forecasting” a price drop (of 4%) in the most wonderfullest rainforest in the whole gosh-darned world. Also, I must say I appreciate the CBC headline: “Realtors expect home prices to fall.” It could so easily have been “Realtors expect a balanced market.”

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    jumping in Says:
    5

    This one just sold 50,000 BELOW asking. So much for the bidding wars :)

    http://www.vancouverresidence.com/31716-157-e-43rd-ave.html

    (699,000 -> 650,000, Van West)

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    Mortgageslave Says:
    6

    anybody listening to 99.3 fox now? They had a mortgage broker on. Jeff Oneil asks if now is a good time to buy, her reponse….”Yes, now is an excellent time to buy, right now you can buy a 2 bedroom condo in Langley for $28/day with only 35K salary”

    too bad you’ll be stuck in traffic commuting for the rest of your life and won’t be able to get out of you mortgage when you are underwater, those long drives to work everyday will only get longer. Seems like she is trying to drum up business, must have lots of time on her hands. No talk was mentioned about Real Estate outlook though.

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    @Mortgageslave: Hah! The ‘how much a month’ crowd has become the ‘how much a day’ crowd now?

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    @Mortgageslave: A two bedroom condo in Langley for $28 a day. Sounds like the Realtor is trying to sell a gym membership rather than a ‘home’. I wonder if she included strata and taxes in that calculation. Was this with a 5% down mortgage?

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    patriotz patriotz Says:
    9

    @Mortgageslave:
    “anybody listening to 99.3 fox now? They had a mortgage broker on.”

    Is that what things have come to? Rock is dead, all right.

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    gordholio Says:
    10

    The Fox Rocks…real estate.

    Mortgageslave: Did she give any idea as to the total *number* of days you’d be paying out that $28? I’m figuring 100,000 days.

    And after those 100,000 days, you’ll have a 30-year older 2-bed dump in the middle of downtown Langley.

    It’s the stuff that dreams are made out of! BNOBPOF!!

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    LOL, there’s no way that a Langley condo would last 30 years without needing a complete rebuild. Ten years max before it starts falling apart. Factor that into your price.

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    fixie guy Says:
    12

    6 Mortgageslave Says: <.i"right now you can buy a 2 bedroom condo in Langley for $28/day with only 35K salary”

    Could be. There are currently around 500 two bedroom+ condos for sale east of 184, starting in the mid 100′s.

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    @patriotz: ” Rock is dead, all right.”

    99.3 is still around?

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    Devore Says:
    14

    @Yaya:

    Hah! The ‘how much a month’ crowd has become the ‘how much a day’ crowd now?

    For the cost of just two Starbucks “venti non-fat no foam no water 6 pump extra hot chai tea latte” a day, you too can save a starving realtor in your neighborhood today. Pick up the phone, make the call.

    As for China’s GDP growth, anything under double digits (official numbers) is probably a disaster.

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    Devore Says:
    15

    @gordholio:

    And after those 100,000 days, you’ll have a 30-year older 2-bed dump in the middle of downtown Langley.

    This is a problem with condos. Unlike with a detached property, you are limited in what you can do to keep depreciation at bay. Also condos appeal to a market that puts a premium on newness and hipness/trendiness. Many of the condos around West End are 30+ years old, and there is no way they have appreciated anywhere near what your benchmark curve would show, because they are not benchmark. They are old and busted. So you’re stuck owning a property that needs lots of maintenance of all sorts, even if it’s been well looked after.

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    Anonymouse Says:
    16

    @Rakim: “LOL, there’s no way that a Langley condo would last 30 years without needing a complete rebuild. Ten years max before it starts falling apart.”

    There are many condos older than 30 years in Vancouver that don’t need a complete rebuild. Why would Langley be any different?

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    condo paradise Says:
    17

    This rambling is addressed to all those who contributed to the insane property values we have here.
    First , I would like to disclose some relevant info.
    I own my 1000 sq, ft condo(no intention to sell) which I purchased new back in 1996 for $279,000. I don’t care what it is worth today because I enjoy living here. The building is situated in a very quiet neighborhood and consists of 120 suites. We have had very little problems with the structure as we are diligent with our maintenance and repair. Our strata fees are $300 – $400 /month and have a healthy contingency fund Over the years the demographics of the building has changed dramatically. We have 25% of the suites vacant. This is where I begin.
    I would personally like to thank all the offshore owners and any investor of any kind as most of you care very little to the day to day business of our building. The only important matter to you is the rise in value. The great thing is that most of you are never around so it is always very quiet. And when you do show up, your ill conduct and lack of knowledge of the bylaws result in many infractions. Fines mean more money for the building. Thanks again .Council meetings are great as there are none of your concerns to deal with as you never bother to attend. Just keep paying your strata fees. We used to have more rentals but thanks to your greed the rental rates became delusional so there is little interest. Past renters have made a favorable contribution to our community.
    To the speculators . Stop bothering the council and manager regarding the condition of your suite as in worn out appliances, faulty toilets, electrical fixtures not working etc. This is your responsibility, hint: hire your own inspector instead of using your RE agent. We take care of the building only, the rest is your responsibility.
    And speaking of agents, please stop turning our building into a circus at every open house. It diminishes the dignity and value of our humble residence. How can we take this profession seriously?
    You do it to yourselves.
    Oh and while you are sitting around doing nothing ,(as most recent open houses have been very quiet) perhaps you can brush up on some math skills. You certainly can extrapolate your commission fees, but how is it you can turn a 2 bdrm 950 sq.ft condo and market it as 3 bdrm 1100 sq. ft. The balcony is NOT a bedroom. Invest in a proper measuring tape and while you’re at it use your quiet time to read some of the bylaws. Proper info is important , as opposed to guesswork and pulling answers out of you rear end.
    The sooner this whole fiasco comes to an end the better. Please sell your suites quickly and leave us alone.I would like for some nice people to move in and make this place their home.
    Thanks for listening

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    Anonymous Says:
    18

    @Devore: “As for China’s GDP growth, anything under double digits (official numbers) is probably a disaster.”
    Agreed…I saw an interview with an expat economics professor working in Beijing. He said it’s more likely that China is already in contraction. All we can tell from the ‘official numbers’ is which direction things are headed.

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    mattymatt123 Says:
    19

    so happy to see things start to slide

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    squeako Says:
    20

    Ok , here is a comment: I just want to do an input once in a while from the “trenches” so to speak, no economics degree, but equipped with common sense. Would that not be a good grounding input now and then?

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    Drachen Says:
    21

    @Anonymous:

    The amount of unoccupied and unused ‘investment’ housing in China is worth approximately 25 Trillion USD.

    Most of that money is gone, it’s just that not everyone is aware that it’s gone.

    The GDP of China is around 11 Trillion USD.

    1 Trillion of that is pure real-estate transactions, nearly 10% of their economy. You can double that when you add all the transactions that go into building and supplying material. Double all that again for the knock-on effect (in general 1 person employed in direct industry employs 1 person indirectly). So approximately 4 Trillion or about 35% of the Chinese economy is dependant on real estate.

    Add to that 20% or more unemployment coming from laid off tradespeople, salespeople and those they supported.

    Those with money will flee once things get messy (why do you think they have the wife and kids in North Van?). Those left behind will have no money to fix the problems, in fact they’ll have crushing debt loads, the economy will be trashed, yet they can’t revert to the previous economic model that kept everyone employed in earlier times.

    What does that spell?

    Revolution.

    Mark my words, in the next ten years China will be a mess. The revolution may not succeed, but it will come.

    The rest of the world will be lucky if they manage to keep their nukes in steady hands. In any case, things are going to get really ugly over there.

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    Makaya Makaya Says:
    22

    Meet the Ritters…

    A million-dollar mortgage goes unpaid for years while couple fights foreclosure

    The eviction from their million-dollar home could come at any moment. Keith and Janet Ritter have been bracing for it — and battling against it — almost from the moment they moved into the five-bedroom, 4,900-square-foot manse along the Potomac River in Fort Washington.

    In five years, they have never made a mortgage payment, a fact that amazes even the most seasoned veterans of the foreclosure crisis.

    The Ritters have kept the sheriff at bay by repeatedly filing for bankruptcy and by exploiting changes in Maryland’s laws designed to help delinquent homeowners avoid foreclosure.
    (…)
    The Ritters, who bought their house for $1.29 million with almost no money down, are hardly representative of the vast majority of Maryland’s distressed homeowners.

    During the boom, they set out to become mini real estate moguls, buying properties and flipping them for a profit. In the process, Keith Ritter, 54, went from being on probation for bankruptcy fraud and making minimum wage to being a successful real estate investor and landlord with a six-figure income. Then, when the housing market tanked five years ago, the couple found themselves facing multiple foreclosures.
    (…)
    But he and Janet, a 51-year-old real estate agent, make no apology for using every tactic available to them to stay in their house, including challenging the foreclosure sale in court, requesting mediation and claiming they had a tenant living with them. Their adversaries, they argued, are giant financial institutions with armies of lawyers that are out to make as much money as possible at the expense of homeowners.

    “When a bank does all it can to save itself, that’s good business,” Keith said. “When a homeowner does the same thing, he’s called a deadbeat.”
    (…)
    According to federal prosecutors and court records, Ritter bought real estate and then put the properties in the names of family members. When he fell behind on mortgage payments, he filed for bankruptcy protection in his relatives’ names in various jurisdictions to stop foreclosure proceedings. Then he tried to get the bankruptcy filings dismissed without telling the mortgage lenders. He pleaded guilty in 2000 to bankruptcy fraud and was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison in Petersburg, Va., where he wrote the first of three books about his deepening faith, “Life From the Inside.”

    “I’ve always loved God,” Ritter said. “I haven’t always obeyed God, but I’ve always loved him.”

    When he got out of prison, he spent two years on probation, working at a Sears to pay $10,000 in court-ordered restitution.

    By the time his probation ended in 2004, the housing boom was underway. He and Janet settled in Fort Washington, an affluent, fast-growing community south of the Beltway.

    The Ritters started out in a $360,000, 2,300-square-foot house with a circular driveway and a pool. As its value skyrocketed, the couple borrowed against it to buy other properties in Fort Washington that they would fix up and then sell. They were convinced that National Harbor, a massive planned hotel, retail and convention center complex, would raise home values.

    At one point, they owned seven properties. In 2004, the run-up in prices was so steep that the Ritters grossed more than $200,000 in six months, off two deals. In 2006, they made close to that amount with a single sale.

    The couple, who have no children, began driving Mercedes-Benz sedans and taking trips to Europe and the Middle East. They also donated $6,000 to a church in Springfield, court records show.

    Ritter said he began to worry in 2006, when a few deals started falling through because the buyers could not get financing. He started looking into buying a restaurant, where he could showcase his wife’s cooking. Then a real estate agent friend came by, saying, “I’ve got a house for you.”
    (…)
    The Ritters were not sure they could afford the million-dollar-plus price tag until they were approved by Realty Mortgage Corp., a now-defunct Mississippi lender, for $1 million. Another lender covered the down payment.
    (…)
    They did not get to revel in their good fortune for long. By the time they moved in at the end of 2006, home prices had begun their disastrous free fall.

    The market soured with ferocious speed. Between 2006 and 2008, housing prices in Prince George’s County fell 17 percent while the number of properties in foreclosure surged from 3,094 to 32,338, according to a state report. Housing counselors went from seeing one homeowner behind on a mortgage a week to seeing 10 a day.

    For the Ritters, the housing crash was a catastrophe. The couple still owned five properties, four of which they had rented out.

    But falling home values meant they could not refinance the mortgages, some of which carried adjustable rates. Pretty soon the rents they were charging were not covering the mortgages. Janet Ritter’s sales commissions started to dry up, along with other sources of income.

    How long will it take to hear the same stories in Vancouver?

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    HappyRenter Says:
    23

    @Drachen #21
    “What does that spell?

    Revolution.

    Mark my words, in the next ten years China will be a mess. The revolution may not succeed, but it will come.

    Does that mean more dirty money is comming our way?

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    “99.3 is still around”

    it is not the same since Larry and Willy left

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    Laibach Says:
    25

    @Drachen:

    Those with money will flee once things get messy (why do you think they have the wife and kids in North Van?).

    What do we then do with them? We can’t act like that they aren’t around therefore attainable, and pretend that all is nice and rosy. They’ll quickly be back in their business and into what they do the best, fraud, deception, cheat, lie, bribe but this time on Canadian soil. Should we as responsible citizens let them prevail and win, I don’t think so.

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    Laibach Says:
    26

    @Laibach:

    sorry, typo: attainable = “unattainable”

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    specuskeptic specuskeptic Says:
    27

    Just making a comment to avoid deletion. As you were……

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    asalvari Says:
    28

    @specuskeptic:
    mee too

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    Effectively import products from China at very competitive price.
    Find a qualified manufacturer in China.
    Find right Chinese business partners.
    Have their own office in China and run their business by ther own.
    Be your representative in China for your business in China

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