MLS realtor-speak translation service.

Did you know that professional realtors use a super-secret code system to communicate hidden info to other realtors? It’s sort of like the way bees dance in elaborate patterns to communicate with other bees.

Do you know what they really mean when they say ‘nicely appointed‘ or ‘just paint and profit‘?

Imagine the advantage you would have in this hot market if you could decode these messages and reveal the hidden truthiness within.

Well now you can! proudly presents
The MLS realtor-speak to english translation guide! (episode 1)

When the listing says:

Pride of Ownership!

They Mean:

Current owner may have marked his/her territory by urinating in some corners of the property. Thats what that smell is. Its definately not rodents, so don’t worry about that.

When the listing says:

Cute! or Cozy!

They Mean:

Take off your shoes before entering the apartment, because there’s not enough room to bend over and undo your laces once inside.

When the listing says:

Just paint and profit!

They Mean:

Unit is unliveable, get in and out of this deal before the market crashes.

When the listing says:

Huge! or Spacious!

They Mean:

You can’t touch all the walls at the same time! There will be room for your shoes!

When the listing says:

Nicely appointed!

They Mean:

Condo is decked out with interior finishes that were all-the-rage in 1981. Unit comes with free flock of seagulls album on audio-cassette tape.

When the listing says:

Ground Level or Garden Level

They Mean:

Condo is in the basement. There are spiders. But they dont bite. much.

When the listing says:

Good Investment!

They Mean:

You shouldn’t have to subsidize your renter by more than $2000 per month for this apartment. There is no bubble. Negative cashflow investing is where its at! This condo will be worth a staggering 3 MILLION DOLLARS by 2010.

Leaky Condo’s in Vancouver BC

Got a leaky condo in the Lower Mainland? You’re not alone. The Coalition of Leaky Condo Owners (COLCO) has a website with resources and info at

It looks like they’ve even got a database of leaky condo buildings in Vancouver, but the information is currently offline.

If you’re an entrepreneur, you may want to consider one of these buildings for a mushroom farming venture.

Varsity condo project cancelled, deposits returned

The Varsity theater in Point Grey village was set to be knocked down to make way for condos. Apparently the land was too valuable to waste on a single screen neighborhood theater.

Unfortunately it looks like now construction costs have made the land too valuable for the condo’s that were to be built in the Varsity theaters place. Deposits for Varsity condo’s have been returned citing “The unprecedented rise in construction costs” in Vancouver.

So what will go it its place? We’ll have to wait and see.

CMHC will insure ‘interest only’ mortgages.

Worried about the RE market in vancouver slowing before you can sell your most recent leaky condo flip?

Looks like you can breath a sigh of relief.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. has just announced that they will offer mortgage insurance to interest only loans. This means that new buyers can stretch even further in hopes the market will continue to rise at a meteoric rate. Interest only loans enable the purchaser to pay only the interest on the loan for up to 10 years. This means you can buy and sell property without even touching any of the principal, just pay the rent on the money!

Monthly payments are therefore lower to begin with, giving buyers a way into high-priced markets, but rise as principal is added — even more so if interest rates also rise.

Interest-only loans have been all the rage in the United States in recent years, amounting to up to 20% of all originations and up to 50% in some of the hottest U.S. cities. Mr. Tal said the last time they were so popular in the United States was in 1929.

“In the past, they were given to the selected few, people who say paying principal is for losers and what I want to do is save the money and invest it more productively in the stock market,” Mr. Tal said. Today, in the United States interest-only loans are more widely available, even for sub-prime, high-risk borrowers.

“So if in the past the motivation was to invest the money more productively, today the motivation is to afford the unaffordable,” Mr. Tal said.

That oughta squeeze a bit more out of this market! Article in the National Post.

Condos, crime and calling it quits.

Are you bored of sifting though the MLS looking for condo bargains to flip? Do you ever wish the condo market in Vancouver was a bit more like a television court-room drama with charismatic con-men and lavish life styles? Anyone who thinks that the real-estate market in the lower mainland is lacking in excitement or colourful characters ought to check out this article in todays Vancouver Sun.

A partnership between two men with checkered business backgrounds who are developing several high-profile condo projects in downtown Vancouver, Surrey and Richmond has dissolved in acrimony and litigation.

One of the partners, George Dengin, has sued the other, Mark Chandler, in B.C. Supreme Court for allegedly misrepresenting the status of the projects and failing to account for the sale of dozens of units.

Dengin’s lawsuit is supported by an affidavit filed by Vancouver real estate marketing whiz Bob Rennie, who introduced Dengin to Chandler in 2003 and was subsequently hired by the partnership to sell the projects.

The Partnership of Dengin & Chandler was responsible for the following properties:

  • Hamlin Mews, a 21-unit townhouse project at 37th and Oak;
  • Tribeca, a 52-unit condo project at Richards and Nelson;
  • H+H, a 22-story condo tower at Homer and Helmcken;
  • Anndale, a shopping centre on a 16-acre property in Surrey;
  • Richards Street, various lots including the present site of Richards on Richards nightclub;
  • Eldorado, the present site of the Eldorado Hotel on Kingsway;
  • Garden City, two mixed-use towers in Richmond.

Incidentally Bob Rennie is supporting the partner that had his stockbroker license revoked for serious trading infractions in 1987, NOT the partner that was indicted in Arizona on 13 charges of fraud, theft and forgery in 2000.