Buy a house, get residency

Spain is the latest real estate bubble country to consider giving extra residency privileges to foreigners who buy property.

If they go ahead with this plan they would join Portugal, Hungary and Ireland.

Greece is also considering a similar measure.

The Spanish proposal is the cheapest so far, requiring only a $200k real estate purchase:

The Spanish government is considering offering residency to foreigners who buy property worth about $200,000 or more. With discounts as deep as 50% along the Mediterranean, a 1,100-square-foot three-bedroom beachfront apartment in Alicante goes for $130,000. Or how about a 1,200-square-foot four-bedroom with a view of Barcelona’s skyline for $175,000? A few miles inland, a two-bedroom house goes for $90,000.

The idea is to attract buyers for an estimated 700,000 empty homes scattered across Spain’s landscape, the remnants of the nation’s dramatic housing boom-and-bust. The offer is aimed at Chinese, Russians and Americans, who are usually limited to a three-month tourist visa in most parts of Europe.

Full article in the LA Times.

80 Responses to “Buy a house, get residency”

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    Canada got some serious competitions in the cash-for-immigrant-visa market!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 0

    Guy Smiley Guy Smiley Says:
    2

    Makes Gerard Depardiue’s move to Russia look ill-conceived:)

    Whattup forum?? I just got back from Kuala Lumpur. Happy new year etc.

    Malaysia has it too. It’s called the second-home program and costs $350,000 ringgit (approx $115k CAD) for retirees or $500k ringgit for those of us still far from 50 and even further from retirement.

    An interesting twist there, foreigners are not allowed to purchase a property under $1M ringgit ($333k) thus, in theory, protecting everything but the very high end market from overseas speculation.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 0

    It’s still unclear whether the residency granted would be temporary, for one or two years, or unlimited, and whether foreigners would be required to buy private health insurance or have access to Spain’s public health and education system, which could end up costing the state.

    In other words it appears to be a long-stay tourist visa rather than immigration as we know it.

    Note also that Spain, like many other European countries, does not grant citizenship to children who are simply born there.

    However I would bet that Spain, like every other country, would consider such people resident for income tax purposes regardless of status. Not necessarily such a great deal when you look at it closely.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 0

    “Makes Gerard Depardiue’s move to Russia look ill-conceived:)”

    He didn’t move to Russia. The whole thing was just a stunt, and the Russian citizenship does not affect his tax obligations to Belgium or any other place where he might choose to live.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 7

    CBC article on retirement planning says that for some seniors it is better to rent than to own:

    “Cayford says she has had several clients who were painted into corners by their supposed dream homes.

    “You’re in the middle of nowhere, and there’re no facilities around,” she said. “Nobody wants to think they’ll get to a stage that they’re not able to drive. It comes as a shock to some people.”

    She says seniors should be more open to renting.

    “Renting gives you a lot more flexibility and lets you use your equity elsewhere,” Cayford said. “People get this fixation on buying and owning. And yes, it’s ideal to go into retirement owning your home, but that’s not to say you should always live in an owned property.””

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/taxseason/story/2012/12/17/f-rrsp-2013-retirement-bigger-picture.html

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 0

    From Maclean’s:

    “The result is a growing pool of well-educated twentysomethings scrapping it out for a limited number of prized positions—a cohort one might describe as history’s most cultivated underclass. Yesterday’s stereotypical B.A. bussing tables now has a law degree. Or a B.Comm. in finance.”

    http://ca.news.yahoo.com/the-new-underclass-213043737.html

    “History’s most cultivated underclass”–I just love that phrase. Impoverished, unemployed twenty something’s with multiple university degrees at least have the intellectual capacity and command of language to understand and analyze their plight. These are the most highly educated paupers the world has ever known.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 0

    Guy Smiley Guy Smiley Says:
    7

    “He didn’t move to Russia.”

    Yes, the articles all mentioned that. Actually it was only meant as a topical joke (hence the smiley punctuation).

    But thank-you once again, Inspector Patriotz, for your tireless efforts to stomp out factual inaccurracy in the blogosphere:)

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 28 Thumb down 0

    macafee is cool Says:
    8

    Hey Guy Smiley,

    How is things in Malaysia ? Are they feeling pain of recession or that they got used to it over the years and it is “normal” for them? How the avarage folk live? There is below article how Canadian graduates can’t find any jobs after graduating, how is in Malaysia? I have two kids in elementary school yet but i really don’t feel they will have better life then myself.

    Thanks

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

    Anonymous Says:
    9

    Hi Macafee. Everything seemed to be fine… KL feels very vibrant and upwardly mobile. Recession and financial events of the past 5 years was not something i purposely talked about with anyone while there and i never heard it mentioned. The Asian Financial Crisis of ’97 did come up several times however. Seems like a nice place to raise kids. You could definitely golf and sail most days of the year and then take a decent ski vacation in the alps with the money you save by not living here.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    HAM Solo Says:
    10

    Edgemont Village, a somewhat trendy hood in North Vancouver. Never seen so many open houses in January. A fair number of “sold” signs on routes I frequent, but listing activity is pretty heavy.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

    Guy Smiley Guy Smiley Says:
    11

    Oops. #9 was me again.

    Just poking around on CL this morning and the first ad i opened seems to confirm recent suspicions about people taking houses off the market and becoming amateur landlords…

    $2500 / 3br – 1500ft² – Available 1st of March

    “We are moving to Burnaby on March, so we decided to keep our place and give it rent, it has never been rented before, very well cared …”

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

    G&M: “Kerrisdale condo knocked down $100,000″
    – Sold price 424k; prev sold 420k (2007).
    – don’t know how this is news-worthy but people are going to be reminded more and more on the risks of RE.
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/home-and-garden/real-estate/kerrisdale-condo-knocked-down-100000/article7573684/?cmpid=rss1

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0

    I doubt that anybody missed this post, but if you disgust Garth for whatever reason and don’t read his blog, this one has just a few sentences written by him.
    http://www.greaterfool.ca/2013/01/20/moral-hazard-2

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

    Anonymous Says:
    14

    @Aleksey

    Your comment is unintelligible. I have no idea what you are trying to say. I think the word “disgust” was supposed to be “discussed”? Still, I can’t make sense of what you are saying. Are you saying that people should actually read Garth Turner’s blog before discussing it? When you say his blog post has “just a few sentences written by him”, are you suggesting Garth is plagiarizing his blog?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 6

    Anonymous Says:
    15

    @Guy Smiley:

    “We are moving to Burnaby on March, so we decided to keep our place and give it rent”

    This makes me wonder, how does one give rent to a place they already own? I’m so sick of renting and working for and generally being an underling for people who have very poor command of the English language.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 6

    macafee is cool Says:
    16

    thanks Guy :)

    i moved two provinces away from “skiing and surfing on the same day” but i should have moved a continent away.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    @ Anon 14
    Sorry. What I meant is that if you don’t like Garth and don’t follow his blog you should read this post anyway. It has just one paragraph written by him and rest of the post written by somebody else.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

    Anonymous Says:
    18

    @Aleksey #17:

    Thank you. Now I understand.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

    Here is an anecdote from last weekend:

    Yesterday I met a neighbour who is immigrated from my hometown. I know that their family was going to move back because her husband couldn’t find a job in the financial field and currently works as a tennis instructor. They had tickets for September, but couldn’t sell their townhouse since last spring and returned tickets. They also relisted their home several times during last year, but gave up in November.

    Now they are waiting for spring “when sales will pick up” and already bought tickets for June, so they “must sell”. I haven’t said a word. What could I say? Can you imagine how many stories like that? There is always somebody who must sell, but never heard of anybody who must buy.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 39 Thumb down 1

    Anonymous Says:
    20

    You know those overpaid Transit cops who are double dipping by getting retirement pensions on top of their salaries. I am absolutely convinved they are an incompetent police force who just wants to check fares and not do any real police work. I was convinced of that after I read about how transit police allowing a sword-brandishing maniac who was threatening people to ride the skytrain from Metrotown to Burrard–they just watched as he exited the train and it was the Vancouver Police who took the guy down.

    Anyways, they’ve actually managed to top themselves with another stunning example of police incompetence. This time, the transit police left a bomb on an airplane for two days and the plane–with a bomb on it–took flight with passengers from Vancouver to Toronto. Although the bomb was apparently inert because it did not have its blasting cap on.

    From the Vancouver Sun:

    Transit police using an explosive while training bomb-sniffing dogs at Vancouver International Airport left the bomb on a commercial plane and failed to report it for two days…

    On Jan. 14, 2011, a Transit Police dog handler noticed the device was missing from his training kit, according to the South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority’s internal documents.

    It had last been seen two days before, on Jan. 12, while training onboard an Air Canada Boeing 767 at Vancouver International Airport.

    The plane took off en route to Toronto and when it landed a thorough search of the plane turned up no bomb, which was inert without its blasting cap.

    Investigators were never able to determine who had seen the bottle-like device and it was never found, and stated in their internal report on the matter they believed it had been thrown out in the garbage.

    A crew member told investigators he found a similar-looking bottle while clearing the plane and left it on the seat for cleaning staff.

    http://www.vancouversun.com/life/Training+transit+police+forgot+bomb+commercial+plane/7849238/story.html

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 10

    Anonymous Says:
    21

    Sorry, I just re-read that story about the transit police leaving a bomb on a plane. It actually does not say the bomb was on the plane for the flight to Toronto. It says, they searched the plane and never found the bomb. But it does say a crew member left something that looks like the bomb on a seat. So they don’t know what happened to the bomb. It’s still out there somewhere. That’s even worse.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 8

    Anonymous Says:
    22

    CBC actually explains the transit-police-bomb-on-a-plane debacle with more detail. Jordan Bateman of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation makes some good points, especially when he says two-thirds of their files are fare checks (they are not doing real police work, they are glorified overpaid farecheckers whose jobs are being made redundant by fare gates):

    “But Jordan Bateman, the B.C. director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, says it’s inexcusable for a police officer to forget an explosive device on a plane.

    “While it’s likely this explosive went into the trash, it could conceivably have ended up in someone’s hands. The Transit Police do not know with 100 per cent certainty where their explosive ended up.

    “Any time a police explosive is outside the custody and sight of officers, it should be a concern to the public,” said Bateman.

    “Transit Police officers conducted dozens of interviews, staked out a trash bin for several hours, and involved other agencies such as Transport Canada, YVR [Vancouver airport] security, Richmond and Airport RCMP, the Coast Guard and Air Canada.

    “This incident not only carelessly put the public at risk, it cost taxpayers a ton of money,” said Bateman, who noted the explosive needed only a blasting cap to become active.

    Bateman questioned why a transit police would need a dog trained to detect explosives on an aircraft.

    “This cost taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars – all based on the ridiculous premise that a Transit Police dog should know how to find bombs on a commercial jetliner.”

    “The Transit Police should be disbanded, with half its budget being invested in the much cheaper, more effective Transit Security,” said Bateman.

    Bateman notes the Transit Police unit pays nearly 60 officers more than $100,000 each a year.

    “Two-thirds of Transit Police files are fare checks, and a Vancouver Police Department audit showed the average transit cop works on less than ten serious or property crime files a year.””

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2013/01/21/bc-explosive-air-canada-transit-police.html

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 19 Thumb down 8

    HAM Solo Says:
    23

    @ Pink Helicopter

    Re: yesterday’s post with the regional MOI. That was really great work.

    I know you said you have 2 years of data, but what would be very interesting would be a comparison with 2006/07 timeframe and maybe also 2009/10.

    What I suspect the data will show was than in 2006/07, the whole province was running on 3-5 months of inventory. I suspect that in 2009/10 the inventory picture brightened up for select markets in the Lower Mainland and places like the Okanagan stayed piled up. Also I suspect that even at the worst part of 2008, the picture was not as uniformly bleak as it is now. However, that’s just my general impression. If you have the data (or anyone here can give you the data) that would be great.

    Lovely handle by the way.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

    Groundhog Says:
    24

    As a person who used both Skytrain daily for about 7 years and the Canada line daily for over a year, I have to agree with that they are little more then glorified fare checkers.

    Prior to them, they had the transit workers checking tickets which worked just as well (which isn’t to say well), but I imagine a lot cheaper.

    With the fare gates I think they could layoff at least half if not more of the transit police and have the same level of security.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

    painted turtle Says:
    25

    Does the immigration process include a criminal record check?

    Side note: Is this really new? The Russian mafia and Middle-East oil money invaded the French Riviera a long time ago.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

    Re #20:

    Well at least they didn’t left the bomb to the sword-wielding man on the skytrain. ;)

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

    Re #24

    “With the fare gates I think they could layoff at least half if not more of the transit police and have the same level of security.”

    Don’t count on it. Some subways in Europe have full-person height gates that do not open until you have inserted a valid tix. With the gates we have here, they will probably need these glorified fare checkers to man the gates.

    Look on the bright side, it helps keep the unemployment down.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

    Many Franks Says:
    28

    I don’t think I saw this story posted here yet. Meet the Ernst Zundel of the Canadian housing bubble:

    James McKellar, academic director of the Real Property Program at York University’s Schulich School of Business, is even more blunt. “First of all, there never was a housing bubble. So it hasn’t burst, because it never existed.”

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 0

    Groundhog Says:
    29

    @gokou3

    “Look on the bright side, it helps keep the unemployment down.”

    Ya, because that theory’s worked so well in Europe.

    Giving people unproductive jobs that drain resources do no keep unemployment down except for a marginal blip when the position is created. They drive unemployment up in the long-term.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

    Re Groundhog,

    Ya, i was trying to be sarcastic.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

    Just saw this MLS listing tidbit:

    “Open house Sat. 2-4pm. Pls. call to confirm Open House.”

    So I guess if no one calls the agent the entire week, the agent will not show up at the open house? He must have suffered through too many open houses with no visitors.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 32 Thumb down 0

    midnite toker midnite toker Says:
    32

    When I grow up, I want to be a transit cop!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2

    Anecdote: I was at the Vantage showroom near Brentwood mall yesterday. This highrise development by a Bosa offspring is scheduled to move-in in 3 months. The cute lady there told me the development is 70% sold, and then gave me a price list of all the units that are available. This is a complete 180 reversal of the attitude I experienced at other developments last year, when I almost had to beg for pricing of any sort and only received an unenthusiastic, snorty response. I wonder why.

    Btw, the adjacent Solo development has postponed the development of towers 2-4 per an earlier link.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

    Vote Down The Facts Says:
    34

    “Don’t count on it. Some subways in Europe have full-person height gates that do not open until you have inserted a valid tix. With the gates we have here, they will probably need these glorified fare checkers to man the gates.”

    They’ll always need somebody present even when the gates are in service, to deal with people with large items of luggage, those who’ve crossed more zones than permitted by their fare, those who’ve lost tickets, etc, etc.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

    RealityCheck Says:
    35

    #32 Midnite Toker,

    To be a Transit cop, you got to know somebody on the inside…or give a gift… Being Qualified means nothing when wanting a $500 a day job.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 5

    Anonymous Says:
    36

    On the transit police:

    The transit police force should be disbanded now that we have faregates. Think about Toronto. Toronto does not have a special dedicated police force whose primary activity is boarding subway cars, armed with guns and tasers (an excessive level of armery for the task), checking passengers’ fares. They don’t need that in Toronto because they have a faregate system–you can’t just walk onto a Toronto subway without paying. Most Torontonians would probably think it is absurd to have a dedicated transit police force boarding trains and checking fares–and paying these people $100k a year to do it! But in Vancouver this is just seen as normal.

    We did not always have a dedicated transit police force in Vancouver–we used to just have unarmed transit security on skytrain. Part of the justification for why we needed a special police force created for transit was that the skytrain did not have faregates. Any person could just walk up the escalators without paying and go onto the platform and board a train. It was the ‘honor system’. Random fare checks were done by security guards who boarded trains. Many people are resentful of fare cheats–perhaps understandably so. But also part of the argument for skytrain police was that women and old people feel more safe with police–especially given that there were no faregates so any crazy person off the street could walk onto the skytrain. That’s different in Toronto where crazies are less likely to board subways because they’d have a hard time getting on without paying–due to the faregates. So lack of faregates was a huge reason why it was publicly argued that Vancouver needed to create a special transit police force.

    Now that we’ve invested millions of dollars on faregates (as an aside–likely more money is spent on faregates than recovered from preventing fare cheats)–at the very least we should be able to get rid of these transit police. Transit police are expensive, they bring unnecessary armery and force to the skytrain system, they are incompetent at ensuring public safety (as the bomb and sword examples demonstrate), and now they are redundant because we have faregates. Stop the insanity and disband the transit police!!!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 3

    patriotz patriotz Says:
    37

    “Meet the Ernst Zundel of the Canadian housing bubble.”

    By accident or otherwise, the title of the article is almost the same as this classic of US bubble denial:

    No Housing Bubble Trouble

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

    macafee is cool Says:
    38

    “To be a Transit cop, you got to know somebody on the inside…or give a gift”

    How much is a gift? are you serious or joking?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

    # “multiple university degrees at least have the intellectual capacity and command of language to understand and analyze their plight. These are the most highly educated paupers the world has ever known.”

    Yes, it is kind of sad, putting so many years into education and finding out there are no positions. A problem that have excisted now for a few years.

    So, then why do we keep churning them out? These degrees? I read a few times that what we need are trades persons, certain jobs in health care etc. What is going on in the universities/colleges? Are they pumping out degree holders only as a business, no thought about how they are going to find jobs? Something is broken. This is not efficient.
    I think that a degree was the ticket to a great job, with great pay, in great environment,and who would decline that offer?? so now we have too many that are applying for those few golden positions. So.. supply and demand? Demographics? Were they tricked?
    Is the government doing a poor job in encouraging young people to stream into educations that will be in demand? Who is not doing their job?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

    pricedoutfornow Says:
    40

    Anyone know about the River District development? Based on my views of craigslist, it looks like these are now coming up for completion in March-there are several unit listed for rent at exorbitant rents. Example-a 2 bed condo, 860 sq feet for $1890! I bet these landlords are going to have a tough time renting these out, from what I’ve seen, the rental market is really soft right now, I wonder if it will continue through the spring.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    painted turtle Says:
    41

    @39

    Not to mention that university profs are scratching their heads on how to teach people who have no interest whatsoever in academic matters. For example, try teaching engineering to people who hardly know any math… while foreign students are two years ahead in math, and find it too easy! The level of many courses is definitely going down, to a point that one can only teach a simplified version of the official textbook. I have seen this happening at UBC.

    The problem is that a single institution (university) is offering the same courses to two different populations: people who want to go for an academic career, and people who just want a diploma to enter the workforce and only seek useful general knowledge. There should be separate courses to address those two streams. Colleges can do this, unfortunately they are seen by students and their families as unworthy. In the end, no one is receiving appropriate training, but everyone can keep the illusion of doing well in the academia.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

    Hi guys,
    Could anyone answer what the possible reasons there are for listings that are (Cancel Protected)??

    Does it just mean the deal fell through?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    So where is the petition to disband the worthless overpaid useless louts of the Transit Police?

    “On May 21, 2004 the Transit Police were approved by the Solicitor General as a Designated Policing Unit.”

    So I guess we call/email out MLA’s.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

    @squeako #39

    “Who is not doing their job?”

    The students. The universities sell a service and the government subsidizes that service, but I don’t think we want either the government or the universities deciding how many programmers and analysts to allow each year. The real problem is the students signing up for courses that teach skills for which there is not enough demand. It has always been this way in some sectors. If you want to study Theatre, you are welcome to do so, but you know going in that you are probably going to wait tables when you graduate. When there are enough MBAs waiting tables, enrollment trends will adjust.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

    patriotz patriotz Says:
    45

    “Who is not doing their job?”

    The students.

    Please. Someone coming out of high school is supposed to do a cost-benefit analysis of higher education and employment options? Aren’t there people more competent to do this – like government economists?

    The education bubble, if you want to call it that, is enabled by government policies that fund universities and back student loans. The government is directing education funding and education borrowing by students to the wrong areas.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 6

    #6 re: Q.

    I’ve worked with recent graduates from the undergraduate level all the way to the PhD level most of my professional life in several highly technical fields. The biggest problem I have found is in almost all instances is they are armed with knowledge but lack the ability to apply it. Their teachers and programs have failed them immensely, arming with a useless piece of paper. Many can’t even write a coherent cover letter let alone plan a project.

    It’s analogous to going to a dojo to learn karate, but instead of doing karate they hand you books and videos, you take written tests. You may know a lot of moves in theory, and know a lot about karate, but your going to get your ass kicked in a fight.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

    Many Franks Says:
    47

    @patriotz: Lots of blame to go around. I went through a computing science undergrad during the ascent and collapse of the dot-com bubble. Otherwise excellent professors were forced to teach the latest greatest thing of the moment and predictably did a bad job of it; terrible sessional lecturers were hired from the bottom of the barrel; pragmatic standards (e.g. basic literacy) were explicitly thrown aside by the university to court foreign student dollars. In many cases the school was simply responding to funding pressures due to the tuition cap (which I was very up$et to see removed at the time). But we also saw the results of decades-long social changes devaluing the trades. Students who could get a B average or better were told that they were wasting their lives unless they went to University and so off they went.

    If you want to see a bunch of bored and useless students, send people who are successful tradespeople by temperament to learn about integral calculus. (Also present and useless in the classroom: hundreds of people who are only there because they’ve been promised that they’ll make big money by the people who are selling student loans out front. But that’s another story.)

    Off topic? Yes, but I’m probably not alone in having gained a certain perspective from that bubble…

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

    I’ve worked at a major university and it’s the universities fault 100%. They sell the idea of the college experience and how it will get you ahead in life, how you earn more and can’t live without it. Once you are in most could give a sh1t you are there as long as you are paying your bill.

    Most universities don’t have an elastic business model, they have to fill the classrooms regardless of whether the world needs another womens study major or not. They have faculty that are there for most of their career; they cannot layoff and hire on demand. Academic programs and departments want to expand, they make their revenue off the classes you take, so there is little incentive for them to allow you take cross disciple classes from other departments, say an engineering major taking business classes as part of a program. And most importantly they don’t make money from a student working a co-op as part of their program.

    To make matters worse, like has been pointed out below, they are having to teach two different demographics: those who want to go on to more degrees and those that want to enter the workforce. The problem being in most cases is that the faculty only know the first and not the former.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

    Vote Down The Facts Says:
    49

    “Someone coming out of high school is supposed to do a cost-benefit analysis of higher education and employment options?”

    Yes. Or they should talk to a careers advisor. The point is, they’ll be the ones on the hook for the money spent, and you can’t expect the government to protect people from their own stupidity. If people choose to borrow tens of thousands to pursue an education in a subject with limited career prospects, then that’s up to them.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 6

    Many Franks Says:
    50

    Closer to the topic at hand: another credit counseling advertorial with some helpful hints for recognizing a debt problem:

    Other warning signs include using one credit card to pay off another, making only the minimum payment on credit cards and starting to overdraw checking accounts.

    “Overdraft interest at your bank is usually 21, 22 per cent higher than a cash advance on a credit card,” says Cudmore.

    The simplest sign of all, though, is recognizing that bills are piling up and it’s difficult to keep track of expenses.

    In other news, experts recommend cutting down to a pack a day if you’re coughing up more than a pint of blood at a time.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

    @JR, N, Patriotz
    One of the biggest problems is education is that the gov’t guarantees student loans. They offload the risk from financial institutions and families, and thus have created both a bubble in student loans and a large number of graduates without skills. It’s not that different from the housing bubble as I see it:
    a) gov’t decides there is a “social good” to be supported (housing, education)
    b) gov’t institutes programs to support that social good
    c) the finance industry gets too much say on how the supports are structured
    d) the risks are offloaded onto the taxpayers, so the finance industry is happy to supply loans because they are protected from losses.
    e) Universities (or Realtors) are happy to increase fees if the customers (homebuyers, students) are able to pay (via loans)
    f) Gov’t is happy to claim success until the whole thing blows up; then they look for someone to blame.

    ~ As always, debtor beware ~

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

    i bet holding PGF for the next year would be a better investment than holding a property, even excluding the 10% divi….just saying

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

    and that Globe & mail article regarding that condo coming down $100,000 in a year is a prime example of how utterly stupid the Real Estate herd’s argument that “the reduction in amortization rates is effecting first time buyers chance to get in the market.. making it too unaffordable for first time buyers etc..”

    quite the opposite I’d say..

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0

    @ Amen

    “One of the biggest problems is education is that the gov’t guarantees student loans.

    ~ As always, debtor beware ~”

    Totally agree. There is a massive education bubble. That does not exempt the people buying into it from responsibility.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

    ““This building is right in the middle of Kerrisdale, one of Vancouver’s most desirable neighbourhoods,” says agent Keith Roy

    c’mon every single area in the entire lower mainland is the “most desirable”, we all know that

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 2

    Anonymous Says:
    56

    G&M: “Kerrisdale condo knocked down $100,000″
    – Sold price 424k; prev sold 420k (2007).

    Condos are a good investment! Don’t let that $21k in condo fees over 5 years overshadow your $4k profit. Losses are the new gains!

    Actually, in hindsight, I thin this former home moaner is going to be seen as getting of lightly as we move forward.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

    Can anyone provide me with stats for Whistler attached and detached for the last several years? An agent I spoke to said things are picking up there but everything I have seen indicates otherwise.

    Thanks very much in advance.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

    Anonymous Says:
    58

    ….For example, try teaching engineering to people who hardly know any math… while foreign students are two years ahead in math, and find it too easy! …

    I can pretty much guarantee that nobody graduating from an accredited bachelor’s level Engineering program will tell you the math was too easy, regardless of how ‘advanced’ their math skills were when they started.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

    Anonymous Says:
    59

    ….Can anyone provide me with stats for Whistler attached and detached for the last several years? An agent I spoke to said things are picking up there but everything I have seen indicates otherwise….

    Maybe this will help…..

    Q: How do you know when a RE agent is lying?

    A: His/her lips are moving.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 3

    @HFHC

    Cancel Protected means the listing was pulled before it expired. The “protected” part of the description I believe means that the listing agent is protected from it being listed by a different agent for some period of time but not 100% sure on this.

    Often these will be relisted shortly afterwards – just a trick to obfuscate real information and get the listing some new attention.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

    New Listings 301
    Price Changes 89
    Sold Listings 78
    TI:13421

    http://www.paulboenisch.com

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 150 Thumb down 0

    RaggedyRenter RaggedyRenter Says:
    62

    Edumacation bubble won’t stop. It’s hard enough to find a job with a degree, consider how hard it is to find one without a degree. What used to require high school education now require a diploma, what used to require diploma, now require an undergrad degree. It’s true university isn’t for everyone, but trades aren’t for everyone either.

    Now whose fault is it?
    Government?
    Easy student loan leads to too much student, but do we really want to limit university entrance to the uber-smart (scholarship) and rich? One would think the greater access to university education in Canada better the social mobility as long as you

    University?
    Yeah I think this is where it lies. I think we shouldn’t have 4 year degrees. 3 year degrees with all the required subjects with optional 4th year electives should drastically bring the debt load down 25%. Do you really need to ace Comparative Linguistic Studies of Primates in South East Asian Jungles 101 at the expense of additional student loan? Degrees shouldn’t be contingent to electives. In fact, let’s remove electives altogether and make 2 term coops mandatory. That would bring the debt load down assuming they’re using the money they get from coop to pay down some of the student loan, hell make it mandatory.
    You can use the money you saved from having to open elective classes to open more space for classes you really need like nursing/med.

    Education counsellors blatantly lie, mislead or aren’t that forthcoming about career paths after getting that Liberal Arts degree. Yeah several did become VanCity Credit Union, Lululemon, Canada Goose CEO, but what are the odds. They’re probably would have been successful regardless of the studies they take.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 7

    Happppy 300+ day. Looking forward to 400+.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 58 Thumb down 4

    Many Franks Says:
    64

    @RaggedyRenter: You’re saying “stop requiring degrees for careers” but also “make degrees more career-oriented” and I think it’s exactly that streamlining that deserves some major blame for the current sad state of higher ed. Universities frequently suck at vocational training. Colleges and trade schools are designed to be better at it. But along with “college” becoming a bad word (see: Malaspina University, Douglas University; Kwantlen University, etc. etc. etc.) we’re conflating two different kinds of education. I’m an unlikely cheerleader for the ivory tower, but the minute “is this practically useful for my career” becomes the biggest decision-making metric, we’ve lost something important.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 3

    Anonymous Says:
    65

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 20

    I’m not a huge Peter Thiel fan but he hit is on the head here. And a bit of irony too.

    http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2011/08/23/spending-too-much-time-and-money-on-education/college-doesnt-create-success

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

    Anon #65

    Telling everybody that 78 sales is almost 100 is similar to saying that the market is flat after 10% decline.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 41 Thumb down 2

    “Big sales day! We almost hit 100 sales today!”

    That’s like saying we almost hit 400 listings today!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 42 Thumb down 3

    Tamara Taggart on CTV News just said her oven has been broken for two years and she can’t afford $800 to get it fixed. Geez. Even the newscasters in this city are tapped out.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 50 Thumb down 4

    Total days	21
    Days elapsed so far	14
    Weekends / holidays	7
    Days missing	0
    Days remaining	7
    7 Day Moving Average: Sales	59
    7 Day Moving Average: Listings	254
    SALES	
    Sales so far	791
    Projection for rest of month (using 7day MA)	416
    Projected month end total	1207
    NEW LISTINGS	
    Listings so far	3311
    Projection for rest of month (using 7day MA)	1779
    Projected month end total	5090
    Sell-list so far	23.9%
    Projected month-end sell-list	23.7%
    MONTHS OF INVENTORY	
    Inventory as of Jan 21, 2013	13421
    MoI at this sales pace	11.12
    

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 45 Thumb down 1

    Cant wait Says:
    71

    Real estate speculation is common among the news readers in TV and radio. Downtown condos, maple ridge ( described as the next kits by some of them) and kelowna are favorites of theirs. Significant sized “investments” are the norm.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

    Frank Crotch Says:
    72

    This market is getting beat down. Dontcha love it :-)

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 20 Thumb down 3

    @ observer

    Thanks. I thought I remember a realtor telling me that it was because maybe financing fell through and they take it off the market.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    @paulb, @vanrant: Looks like we finally got to 300, one weekend after my predicted date.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

    Anyone want to guess when the first 400 day is?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

    @ManyFranks
    “I’m an unlikely cheerleader for the ivory tower, but the minute “is this practically useful for my career” becomes the biggest decision-making metric, we’ve lost something important.”

    Agreed. There are two traditions in education. The first is vocational/career training. The second is critical thinking and awareness. The idea behind all those humanities courses in degrees is to provide a basis for historical awareness, clear thinking, and good decision making. Pretty useful stuff for a democracy to function.
    I’m not saying that tradesman are stupid or unaware, but history teaches us something, and degrees are supposed to reflect that wider understanding.

    @RaggedyRenter
    Actually, I blame the finance industry. They’ve corrupted every social organism they could get their greedy little meathooks into: car manufacturing (GM makes more profits from finance than from selling manufactured goods), housing (of course!), education … they will be coming for your meager retirement funds next, if there is anything left to your sad financial carcass by the time you’re too old to work.
    Some blame goes to the students, but most of it belongs with Finance and their gov’t enablers. By the time twenty-somethings have learned enough history to know better, it’s too late for them!

    Students, protect yourselves! Debt is the currency of slaves. Don’t listen to the masters when they tell you debt is the way to achieve your dreams!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

    Anonymous Says:
    77

    vangrl Says:
    January 21st, 2013 at 3:53 pm
    i bet holding PGF for the next year would be a better investment than holding a property, even excluding the 10% divi….just saying

    Vangirl – PGF has already declined from a high of $10 to under $5 in the last 52 weeks so it is not a given that it’s a better investment than Van RE but if you only invest less than 5% of your portfolio then of course it ‘s a less risky investment than leveraging a million dollars on a Vancouver house that you could rent for $3000 or less
    My advice do not bet just make the most rational decision based on your situation

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    No, No, No, No, not even close. Toronto doesn’t have a transit police force because they have one regional police force responsible for policing the subway and transit. BC implemented the “Transit Police” because the Skytrain crosses the jurisdiction of 4 police forces and YOU like most others were not fucking paying attention.

    AMALGAMATE THE FUCKING LOWER MAINLAND POLICE NOW, and join the 21st fucking century. Get it?

    Anonymous Says:
    January 21st, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    On the transit police:

    The transit police force should be disbanded now that we have faregates. Think about Toronto. Toronto does not have a special dedicated police force whose primary activity is boarding subway cars, armed with guns and tasers (an excessive level of armery for the task), checking passengers’ fares. They don’t need that in Toronto because they have a faregate system–you can’t just walk onto a Toronto subway without paying. Most Torontonians would probably think it is absurd to have a dedicated transit police force boarding trains and checking fares–and paying these people $100k a year to do it! But in Vancouver this is just seen as normal.

    We did not always have a dedicated transit police force in Vancouver–we used to just have unarmed transit security on skytrain. Part of the justification for why we needed a special police force created for transit was that the skytrain did not have faregates. Any person could just walk up the escalators without paying and go onto the platform and board a train. It was the ‘honor system’. Random fare checks were done by security guards who boarded trains. Many people are resentful of fare cheats–perhaps understandably so. But also part of the argument for skytrain police was that women and old people feel more safe with police–especially given that there were no faregates so any crazy person off the street could walk onto the skytrain. That’s different in Toronto where crazies are less likely to board subways because they’d have a hard time getting on without paying–due to the faregates. So lack of faregates was a huge reason why it was publicly argued that Vancouver needed to create a special transit police force.

    Now that we’ve invested millions of dollars on faregates (as an aside–likely more money is spent on faregates than recovered from preventing fare cheats)–at the very least we should be able to get rid of these transit police. Transit police are expensive, they bring unnecessary armery and force to the skytrain system, they are incompetent at ensuring public safety (as the bomb and sword examples demonstrate), and now they are redundant because we have faregates. Stop the insanity and disband the transit police!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

    Richmond realtor James Wong strikes again:
    Richmond Detached Homes – Sale price Versus City Assessment value
    -“A sample data extracted from the REBGV’s home sale for detached homes in Richmond recently revealed a fast deteriorating housing market. During the period from Dec 01, 2012 to Jan 15, 2013, nine of the ten Richmond detached homes that were sold with 5,000 to 8,000 sq ft land and between 5 to 30 years old:”

    – the average sale price was 11.7% below the average city value

    – When compared to early 2011, Richmond home prices were selling at around 10% to 15% above their city assessment values. The extend of the price drop in home prices for Richmond detached homes is estimated to be 21.7% to 26.7% below the peak prices of homes in the middle part of 2011.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

    Anonymous Says:
    80

    Should kids be required to do a cost-benefit analysis before choosing a uni program? Maybe not, but they should at least google the likelihood of getting a job in their field and the pay range. Not too much to ask of someone who thinks they’re of university calibre. I do recall that WAY back in 1990 when i entered uni in the UK, us business types wondered what all the artsy types would do when they graduated. This isn’t new.

    Trades: I’m involved with the recruitment of high-school students into the trades. School districts run industry training programs which allow participants to specialize in a trade throughout their grade 11 or 12 year. Successful students graduate with level 1 apprenticeship technical skills and 120+ hours of work experience. Many get sponsored while still in school by companies willing to take them on as apprentices. The biggest problem I face? Not being able to find 20 students in an entire school district who think there’s a future in being an electrician, carpenter, plumber, auto mechanic etc.

    They either think college or uni is a better option – it isn’t for a majority of them, or they just drift through school, under performing, and graduate to absolutely nothing. Very frustrating. There have been years when some of the courses have been cancelled and the trades instructor laid off for the year due to lack of numbers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

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