Category Archives: presales

Zombie strata

Everybody knows that real estate is the perfect investment, but how many of you are investing in cemetery land? After all they aren’t making any more of it.

As cemeteries run out of space, cities are scrambling to find new land for burials or maximize the land they already have, while some residents are seeking cheaper plots in the suburbs. Familiar housing terms like affordability and density are beginning to have meaning in both life and death.

“We are at, or soon to be at, a crisis in cemetery space,” said Vancouver landscape architect Erik Lees, whose company, Lees & Associates, plans cemeteries across North America. “The Lower Mainland is likely the poorest-served region of all the major cities in Canada.”

Some of the same factors that have driven up the price of housing in B.C. — including geography, zoning and population — have also led to rising cemetery prices, with the remaining 400 to 500 casket spaces at Vancouver’s Mountain View Cemetery priced at $25,000.

Read the full article here.

Vancouver condo presales, locals to get first crack

The Mayor is said to be drafting a motion that will give local buyers first chance to buy crack condos:

Mayor Gregor Robertson will introduce a motion to give local residents first crack at pre-sale condo sales Tuesday during a Vancouver city council meeting.

The motion asks city staff to draft a policy framework as part of the city’s “Housing Reset” plan.

Critics of the real estate industry have raised concerns about how the increasingly speculative pre-sale market is pushing up prices in both the pre-sale and resale market, and is preventing local residents from buying.

Presumably this will help to end the homeless problem in Vancouver by giving locals easier access to condo presales.

Read the full article here.

CRA targets vancouver condo flippers

The Canada Revenue Agency is going after condo flippers for taxes due.  They are already taking developers to court for info an presales buyers who flipped contracts. Guess the taxman wants his cut of the boom.

In an emailed statement, Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) spokesman David Morgan explained the rationale behind the applications.

“In general, people who buy and resell homes in a short period for a profit may be engaged in property flipping. The CRA acquires and analyzes third-party data and uses this information to identify whether all income from property flipping is being reported correctly. The profits from flipping real estate are generally considered to be fully taxable as business income. The facts of each case determine whether such profits should be reported as business income or as a capital gain,” Morgan wrote.

Read the full article here.

BC teaser loans panned in media.

The new first time buyer teaser loan program announced by the BC government has met a suprisingly negative reaction in the media, but some online polls show voters approve.

This move seems designed to undo some of the federal ramp back of housing market fuel. Bearvancouverite points out this might help developers who are seeing people backing out of presales agreements.

This might be exactly why Christy did it. Developers were panicking that presales won’t close because mortgage qualifications would be so different in the next few years, they need to dangle a carrot to make sure speculators don’t just walk away and first time buyers can be convinced to take over presales from flippers.

Scoop points out why this program should be referred to as a “teaser loan” as made popular in the US housing bubble:

Definition of “teaser loan” from investopedia: An adjustable-rate mortgage loan in which the borrower pays a very low initial interest rate, which increases after a few years. Teaser loans try to entice borrowers by offering an artificially low rate and small down payments, claiming that borrowers should be able to refinance before the increases occur.

http://www.investopedia.com/terms/t/teaser-loan.asp

Let’s all call start calling this new program what it is: Christy’s Teaser Loan Program.

Don’t lend money to your real estate agent.

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.