Posted: Mar 4, 2011 11:55 am
The real estate topic is a tender subject for me ... I shall rant:
I owned a place from '97-'01 in a neighbourhood I hated. I was finally fed up w/ the place & wanted to get out without giving a shit about my 'profit margin' & wound up selling it for exactly what I owed the bank ... in hindsight, I should have got right back into the market within that year, but the freedom tasted too good. I slowly watched all these properties double in value over the next couple years & thought it was insanity ... as place that even has the original 15 y/o carpeting & appliances 'doubling' in price?!? As time went on, I saw the prices on the same places quadruple+ & I simply bowed out since I didn't see the value & found it hard to believe these prices were sustainable (keep in mind, I'm in Vancouver - which still hasn't (yet) seen the effects of the housing crisis that the US/rest of Canada & the world has) ...
Kept hearing the same old spiel from family, 'experts', etc about how I should still take the plunge cuz 'real estate only goes up!' ... I have friends (NEVER interested in real estate before, esp back when it was somewhat afforable) that drank the kool-aid & are now hugely underwater in over-priced mortgages they would have never considered purchasing before - I love hearing them say "ah ... homeownership feels so good!" when in reality, they've just taken on a shitload of debt & are pretty much skimming by. The news is inudated with stories about people in the US that have used their homes as ATM's, accumulated insane amounts of debt & now families are homeless, yet so many people here are doing that exact same thing! No lessons learned ... zero.
"I knew it was time to get out of the market when I started receiving stock tips from the shoe-shine boy" - Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr.
Meanwhile, bankers & other 'professionals' I know have been doing the same thing as me ... figure out what your mortage would cost on the property you want, pay your rent/bills & sock away the difference in savings/investments. Now I've got a nice nest-egg built up & I'm seriously thinking twice if real estate is even the place to park it, even if prices correct around here. Property ownership is nice, no doubt about it - but I think I would rather plunk it down on some waterfront recreational property than some shoebox in the city or cookie-cutter pad in the suburbs.
Just my two pesos.
Vancouver Real Estate Roller Coaster:http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2757699799528285056#
Crack-Shack or Mansion?http://www.crackshackormansion.com/