We know the readership of this site has a deep and abiding love of all things real estate so we figure you might need this public service announcement. Don’t lend money to your real estate agent.
Rita Fulciniti put a down payment on a new west-end condo, thinking that home ownership would bring her a little comfort and financial security in her retirement years. Instead, the 66-year-old is living in a homeless shelter, broke, and still chasing the Toronto real estate agent who borrowed her life savings.
In March 2014, Fulciniti’s $42,000 down payment was for a second-floor unit in the Vivid Condos on Michael Power Place near Bloor Street West and Islington Avenue. A year later, while the condo was still under construction, Fulciniti learned her potential roommate wouldn’t be moving into the building.
Fulciniti approached Chaim Smilovici — who also goes by the name Howard Smilovici, and was a real estate agent with Adenat Realty at the time — to find a tenant who would help cover the costs of carrying the condo. It was the beginning of her nightmare, she says.
The real estate agent did find her a room mate (that’s good!) but borrowed $95k (that’s bad!) with an agreement to pay in full plus a $5k bonus and a 12% annual interest rate (that’s good!). He then lost all her money investing in a nightclub (that’s bad!).
Read the full article at the CBC.
What’s in your emergency fund? Do you have cash on hand to get your through unexpected lean times?
Rob Carrick over at the Globe and Mail think’s it’s time to focus on building your emergency fund in 2016.
Now seems an opportune time to return to the emergency fund theme. The Bank of Canada indicated last week that it would consider using negative interest rates, an extraordinary measure already in use in some European countries, if the economy worsens significantly. Governor Stephen Poloz believes the makings of a recovery are in place, and he doesn’t expect to have to resort to negative rates. And yet, oil prices last week hit their lowest point in six years.
I took a look at our household emergency fund recently and decided we needed to up our game. How about you?
Definition of an emergency fund: Money sitting in a high-interest savings account at a bank or credit union. These accounts are insulated from the ups and downs of the stock and bond markets, and easily accessible online. Interest rates are pitiful on these accounts, but the emphasis is on safety over returns.
Read the full article here.
Ulsterman dug up this blast from the past: a posting from this here site in 2006. At that time we recommended Vancouver real estate as the easy road to riches. If you followed that advice you’re probably reading this now on a solid gold iPad while you recline on silk cushions with your feet in a bath of Diva Vodka.
YOU can GET RICH in REAL ESTATE!
Are you ready to become so INCREDIBLY RICH that you no longer have to adhere to the standards and conventions of ‘civilized’ society? Are you TIRED of eeking out a day-to-day existence while you can smell THE REEK OF WEALTH all around you? Would you like to be able to walk through the mall without any pants and be so EXCESSIVELY WEALTHY that no one can utter a word about your pantless state, lest you unleash your personal squadron of vicious attack lawyers destroying their lives and reputations?
Well NOW you CAN!
Yes! Thanks to the MIRACLE of BOUNDLESS increases in PROPERTY VALUE you can now become a MULTI-MILLIONAIRE by investing in real-estate. And the best thing about it? This process requires NO EXPENSIVE COURSES OR SPECIAL EQUIPMENT. You don’t need any special skills or knowledge – In fact, you don’t even need a brain! THAT JUST HOW EASY IT IS!
Here’s how its done:
1) buy real-estate
2) sell real-estate (for more than you bought it for)
3) repeat and profit!
This SIMPLE MONEY-MAKING PLAN will see you swimming in your own personal GOLDEN BATHTUB filled with 50 dollar bills within a week. Within a month you will have SO MUCH MONEY coming in that you can hire people to MAKE MONEY FOR YOU. Within a year you will be so RICH, so INCREDIBLY WEALTHY that you will be able to buy yourself a SOLID GOLD SPHERE THREE HUNDRED MILES IN DIAMETER!
You will have the power to BUY AND SELL other people for your own amusement. Earth will be your playground and all that hear your name will COWER IN FEAR. So what are you waiting for? GET RICH NOW!
Why am I sharing my MONEY MAKING SECRETS with you? Because I care. I know that you personally have the RIGHT STUFF to dominate the globe and I want you to SUCCEED. And just to show you my generosity, my utter lack of personal greed or selfish motivation, I have just the thing to get you started. It’s a small leaky condo on the east side and it can be your stepping stone to UNLIMITED MIND-BOGGLING RICHES.
Remember, it’s never too late to take this advice! It’s entirely free and worth every penny paid! Stop slumping and start Trumping!
There’s a city in Canada that has a temperate climate – it’s not frozen half the year. It’s widely acknowledged as a beautiful place with access to nature and people are willing to pay some of the highest prices in the world just to buy a bit of real estate there.
And yet the citizens are some of the most unhappy in the country?
What gives you bunch of ungrateful louts?
According to Statistics Canada the entire province of BC is filled with a bunch of unhappy people. Not a single city in BC even cracks the top ten happiest places in Canada.
And our fair city of Vancouver? Well 33rd place isn’t really that bad is it?
Stop crying and move to Quebec already if you’re so miserable!
Garry Marr writes about the situation in Alberta over in the Financial Post. The drop in oil prices has hit their economy first and hardest with sales down by 30-40% over a year ago and growing listings.
So how do you prepare for a surprise economic hit like that?
Simple. Save up to cover for job loss, keep your debts and bills manageable and don’t get into a situation where you have to sell when everyone else is selling.
Unfortunately Canadians aren’t doing so well on the debt front:
Debt reached an all-time high in the fourth quarter, relative to income. Statistics Canada says the debt to disposable household income ratio is 163.3%, much of it attributable to housing costs.
Read the full article here.