The first one’s free

Joe checked the screen on his phone one more time and nervously glanced from side to side. He should be here by now. Joe needed his fix and he needed it bad.

A truck rolled by belching blue exhaust under the streetlamps and Joe spotted movement in the doorway across the street.

Could it be?

Yes!

Carney stepped out from the shadows and strolled across the road, his hands pushed deep in the pockets of his merino wool trench coat.

“Looking for something Joe?”

Joe fidgeted with the cell phone in his hand and his eyes dropped to the sidewalk. “Come on man, you know what I need”

A small smile played on the corner of Carneys mouth. “Ok Joe, this week we have a two for one deal, but don’t take too much, this stuff can be dangerous and any day now I’m going to up the potency.”

Joe eagerly held out his hand “yeah ok”

Carney raised an eyebrow “yeah ok?”

Joes hand shook. “yeah, you say that everytime”

Carney shook his head in disgust. “yeah, I guess I do but that doesn’t make it any less true. An OD on credit isn’t a pretty thing Joe”

Joe looked up with a glare “just give me the stuff man”

Carney passed the bag over and shook his head. “one of these days this stuff is gonna kill you, but there’s nothing I can do about that. All I can do is warn you. Good luck Joe.”

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Yalie
Guest
Yalie

Ha! I was wondering when we’d get more bear porn. You should write a whole novel.

Name taken
Guest
Name taken

This quote has been hanging on Canada bank’s home page for a long time, and I can’t stop being amazed by it:

“We work to preserve the value of money by keeping inflation low and stable.”

Londonernow
Member
Londonernow

This line from Reservoir Dogs is very apt for Carney:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0Y7brwz6fA

patriotz
Member

Ireland Plans Bold Measures to Lift Housing

Ireland seems to be considering some sort of scheme to forgive mortgage debt across the board. The article is unclear about just who is supposed to take the hit for this. Ireland’s banks are essentially wards of the state and it would seem to me that it would be the taxpayer.

The headline is also off the mark IMHO, nothing is going to “lift” housing in Ireland or anywhere else except for an improvement in the real economy.

registered
Member
registered

@4 patriotz: Ireland led the way in screwing themselves, it’s no surprise they might stay the course.

“In many ways, Ireland has to try something audacious. House prices are still 50 percent below their peak, compared with 30 percent in the United States. “

Good lord, they still don’t get it. If you have two incomes and can’t cover $1400, you shouldn’t own.

jesse
Member

Carney’s no dealer, he just lowered the street price. As Chris Rock said, drug dealers never sold him drugs he didn’t want.

Londonernow
Member
Londonernow

Interesting story on what is happening right now in Spain and from a peak 7.7x earnings house price.
Obviously this has nothing to do with Vancouver as 7.7x house price to earnings was passed without incident years ago(sarcasm/).

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-08/spain-foreclosures-spread-to-once-wealthy-mortgages.html

N
Guest
N

What makes Gregor Robertson think rents are high? He talks as if rents and mortgages were interchangeable. I’m not even sure that rents are particularly high for a regional capital of this size. Probably a bit, but nothing like what is going on with purchase prices. If he doesn’t see that the is a gaping chasm between purchase prices and rental prices, how can he plan effectively?

http://www.vancouversun.com/Opinion/Op-Ed/Unaffordable+housing+damaging+Vancouver+community+fibre/7360071/story.html

N
Guest
N

@jesse:

Right. He’s a manufacturer. He’s Walter White.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

@N: “What makes Gregor Robertson think rents are high?”

You have to look at who Gregor Robertson caters to. People on social assistance, druggies and rooming house residents.

local observer
Guest
local observer

Gregor Robertson, as mayor, definitely does not cater to the “poor and down trodden”. The social programmes he appears to have started such as more housing for the homeless, were begun years ago – he just happened to be in charge when they were completed. Gregors’ main thrust at this point seems to be appeasing his wealthy base – how else can one explain his hare-brained scheme to wall of Point Grey Road from Macdonald to Alma and turn it into a bike path because the residents are “afraid to cross” such a busy street. It appears that if a way can be shown to make the wealthy donors happy, Gregor is all for it.

joe_blown_away_by_high_housing_costs
Guest
joe_blown_away_by_high_housing_costs
Rents in Vancouver ARE high! All I can say right now is that I used to be able to afford to rent in Vancouver in the early 2000s and late 1990s with a minimum wage full time job. I still essentially make the same amount of money today. But I can’t afford Vancouver rents now. Something has changed in the rental market. I don’t have time right now to retrieve the data to back this up. I just know that I used to be able to afford Vancouver rents and now I can’t. Also, I used to be able to rent with a cat in Vancouver and now I can’t. That’s why I rent in Surrey. Not only can I afford the rent in Surrey, the quality of rentals is much better in Surrey, plus I’m allowed my cat. Maybe… Read more »
logic
Guest
logic

Nonsense.

Compared to the cost of buying, or compared to rents in many other nice/large cities, Van rents are very modest.

joe_blown_away_by_high_housing_costs
Guest
joe_blown_away_by_high_housing_costs
Regarding Mayor Robertson’s politics: He mainly cares about the faux wealthy yuppies and hispters who have taken over the city (I was going to say on the west side, but the yuppies have taken over the east side now too). The whole greenest city on earth agenda and bike paths things is about appeasing this middle class base. The middle class yuppies of Vancouver like green urbanism, this appeals to them. Absolutely, Vancouver is lacking in community due to high housing costs (and I mean high rents–I am one of the creative types pushed out to Surrey by high rents–thinking about leaving the province soon). Maybe some of the west side yuppies are getting sick of living on streets with HAM-bought homes that sit empty. So again, this community rhetoric from Robertson is about appeasing middle class yuppies. He doesn’t… Read more »
joe_blown_away_by_high_housing_costs
Guest
joe_blown_away_by_high_housing_costs

Just a case in point to demonstrate the increase in rents in Vancouver.

I used to rent from a certain apartment building on the east side of Vancouver in 1999. My rent was $525 for a one bedroom. I was talking to a friend last year who rents in the very same building. One bedroom’s now are $950 in that building, with no upgrades since I lived there.

So you get to live in an even older, $hittier building for almost double what it used to cost 12 years ago! Have wages doubled in 12 years? I think not. Minimum wage was frozen for most of that time.

watcher
Guest
watcher

@joe_blown_away_by_high_housing_costs:

Being able to live exactly where you want in a minimum wage position is not a right in a market. If others earn more and can afford to pay, they have a right to displace you in a free market if you do not have that right to ownership of that land.

watcher
Guest
watcher

not sure what there is to dislike. If a new prospective tenant is willing to pay more, the landlord will take the higher rent if allowed.

registered
Member
registered

@15 joe_blown_away_by_high_housing_costs Says: “I used to rent from a certain apartment building on the east side of Vancouver in 1999. My rent was $525 .. now are $950”

30.55% of that is inflation. In constant, adjusted dollars the rent is up 39%, probably in the range of the Provincial allowable increase over 13 years.

joe_blown_away_by_high_housing_costs
Guest
joe_blown_away_by_high_housing_costs

For those who think Vancouver rents are affordable I have this challenge:

Find me an apartment in the City of Vancouver that meets this criteria:

-monthly rent no more than $600
-one bedroom
-cats allowed
-at least on the second floor–no basement suites, no ground level suites, no hotel rooms, no rooms in someone’s house–a real apartment with a bathroom and a kitchen

Apartments like this used to be common in Vancouver in the late 1990s. I had a friend who rented in a fabulous character building in the West End for five-something and it met all this criteria. I seriously doubt you’d find anything like that in Vancouver today–and if you did I would be suspicious–too good to be true.

joe_blown_away_by_high_housing_costs
Guest
joe_blown_away_by_high_housing_costs

@fixie guy:

“30.55% of that is inflation. In constant, adjusted dollars the rent is up 39%, probably in the range of the Provincial allowable increase over 13 years.”

But wages haven’t kept up with that. Also, we have higher food costs and utilities now and more expensive bus fare.

joe_blown_away_by_high_housing_costs
Guest
joe_blown_away_by_high_housing_costs

@watcher:

“Being able to live exactly where you want in a minimum wage position is not a right in a market. If others earn more and can afford to pay, they have a right to displace you in a free market”

I didn’t say it was a right. Market forces is precisely the reason why I live in Surrey.

The point is I used to make minimum wage and could afford to rent in Vancouver. Today, on minimum wage, I can’t afford to rent in Vancouver. I am not making an argument about rights. I am making an argument that something has changed.

watcher
Guest
watcher

inflation, density, willingness of people to pay higher rents.

Ted
Guest
Ted

joe_blown_away_by_high_housing_costs

What the hell have you been doing with your life that after 13 years you are still making minimum wage? Maybe it’s time to look in the mirror rather than complain about the increases in rent!

joe_blown_away_by_high_housing_costs
Guest
joe_blown_away_by_high_housing_costs
@watcher: Although it is certainly not a right enshrined in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, from a functionality perspective, don’t we need some minimum wage workers living and working in Vancouver? When I used to live in Vancouver and I made minimum wage–guess where I worked? I worked right in Downtown Vancouver. Living out in Surrey on minimum wage today, guess where I work now? It’s NOT in Vancouver. Any job in Vancouver would have to pay me more to make up for the doubling of my transit costs. But employers in Vancouver aren’t paying more than employers in Surrey. A one-zone fare within Surrey is $2.50. But if I have to go to Vancouver for a job, it’s a 3-zone fare for $5. So Vancouver isn’t going to be getting very many minimum wage workers. Your only source… Read more »
joe_blown_away_by_high_housing_costs
Guest
joe_blown_away_by_high_housing_costs

@Ted:

NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS! I make myself vulnerable by posting selective details of my life on this blog. I do so to make an intellectual point at the risk some rude person like you will take the chance to ridicule me.

I live with the shame and embarrassment of my dead-end career and useless university degrees every day of my life. Most of the time I am far smarter than my rich employers and customers I serve–yet they get to look down on me. I don’t need more ridicule from this blog.

I shared something about myself in order to advance the conservation of this blog–not to take abuse.

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