Cheap Date

Moments

As a Vancouver Realtor there are definable moments where you learn something new.

The latest experience happened during a conversation with new real estate friends who told me about their methodology of searching for that perfectly affordable Vancouver home.

For the Love of House Hunting

During a recent evening visit with a young professional couple the inevitable questions are asked.

Me: – “Have you been looking a long time for your new Vancouver home?”

New Real Estate Friends: – “Yes, we think it has been about two years since we first began.”

Me: – “Have your found online home search tools such as Realtor.ca or ‘Find Your Home” on my blog at YatterMatters useful?”

New Real Estate Friends: – With hesitance, “yes, we have used Realtor.ca in the past but we found it cumbersome. Some friends told us about ‘Find Your Home’ on YatterMatters. It’s a lot easier to use.”

*Blushing!*

Me:- “I’m surprised that during the past two years of searching online you have not discovered a home that you would consider buying?”

New Real Estate Friends: – “well we have yes but,… we find the pictures are quite different from the real thing and we were often disappointed. So we decided that the online method seemed a waste of time and decided that we needed to change our approach.”

Me: – “The pundits say that around 90% of home searches start on-line. Are they wrong? What are you doing that’s different.

New Real Estate Friends: – “We only go to open houses. We think of the time we spend visiting Vancouver open houses on the weekend as a cheap date!”

About Larry Yatkowsky

Larry is a recognized real estate expert. A veteran professional, his experienced counsel leads Vancouverites in his west side community to place their trust in a man passionate about his work. Uncompromising ethics bring a balanced approach to realizing your real estate dreams.

When Life Moves You - contact Larry:

*Disclaimer: Statistics Courtesy REBGV. While believed to be accurate they are not guaranteed.
**Numbers provided may vary as they are dynamically posted by the REBGV.

Reader Comments:

January 14th, 2012 at 3:47 pm

So, where’s your open house this weekend? 🙂

January 14th, 2012 at 6:12 pm

@norm
Marine drive is a must do for the next 5 weeks. Surprisingly a lot of traffic including off shore visitors. Methinks it’s time to abandon French as a second language in exchange for Mandarin – more relevance on the left coast. 🙂

January 14th, 2012 at 7:13 pm

Marine looks like an amazing property and you’ve done a very thorough job of presenting it online.

I don’t know if I can recall ever running into someone in my area who couldn’t speak English, before two or three years ago. Recently, we have lots of new Asian residents too.

Reggie Says:
January 15th, 2012 at 10:52 am

Hi Larry,

Sounds like we should expect some heavy sales volumes in the upper price range over the coming weeks/months, given all the offshore/etc interest…oh well, guess we can look forward to some new highs this spring and another hot market….

Interesting times we live in…

Best,

RL

January 15th, 2012 at 12:57 pm

@Norm
Actually 2050 SW Marine is proving to be an interesting Vancouver property to work with and market.

Dual zoned – RS-1 (Residential) and RA-1 (light farm), it also has a spring at the bottom of the escarpment that pumps out (my guess about 25 to 50 gallons a minute) that subsequently drains into the Fraser river and may or may not involve the Department of Fisheries (only takes finding one Stickleback -a very small pugnacious, spiny-backed fish of the family Gasterosteidae, inhabiting northern fresh waters and sea inlets) and the Creek Side Protection Act which may impact the ability to regain the views of the Gulf Islands and Vancouver Island (can’t cut trees within 30 metres of the water flow) as well as being registered as a Heritage B property.

Due diligence anyone?

January 15th, 2012 at 1:01 pm

@Reggie
Hard to know for sure but street rumor from my Asian friends says we should expect boat loads – er plane loads to be visiting. Will they come ready to buy? Don’t know. If the limited news from China is true then it seems feasible that some will be wanting to put their monies into ‘relatively speaking’, more secure areas.

As you say – interesting times.

Reggie Says:
January 15th, 2012 at 1:22 pm

thanks Larry, I bet they are right, they should know…

i suspect a super hot market over the coming months based on that, perhaps new highs in a few months.

i imagine properties will fly off the market.

better get into a mandarin language course asap!

hope you are enjoying the sunshine.

vanpro Says:
January 15th, 2012 at 1:34 pm

“If the limited news from China is true then it seems feasible that some will be wanting to put their monies into ‘relatively speaking’, more secure areas.”

If there is anything left of their “money” after their economic downturn and property bubble collapse is through….

January 15th, 2012 at 1:55 pm

@Reggie
better get into a mandarin language course asap!

I did once at a community college. I just couldn’t wrap my tongue around some of the vowels and instead of saying nice things I ended up swearing at someone. Wasn’t pretty! 🙂

January 15th, 2012 at 1:57 pm

@vanpro

out of two billion people I’ll assume that some are very clever with their finances.

vanpro Says:
January 15th, 2012 at 2:31 pm

“out of two billion people I’ll assume that some are very clever with their finances.”

Ah, that beg’s the question: Do the financially “clever” buy when prices are sky-high high (yes, even on world-wide scale we are sky-high) or low?

jumpin in Says:
January 15th, 2012 at 3:59 pm

Let’s drop French ….
And Canadian history, and Canada’s sovereignty, and all our values. Let’s sell all the land and mines to the best bidder. How far do we need to go for money?

January 15th, 2012 at 4:01 pm

@vanpro

“Do the financially “clever” buy when prices are sky-high high”

Assuming a negative perspective where the possibility of a 20% or even a 50% loss is possible then my friend that is playing it safe when the alternative is zero.

January 15th, 2012 at 4:13 pm

@jumpin in

whoa — I sense some xenophobia kicking in.

The point isn’t about money, history, sovereignty or our values – the point is about being being respectful by being able to communicate with the largest population in the world. Last time I checked it wasn’t French.

As a sidebar – while in France this summer though I and my friend who is bilingual gave it our best shot. Few chose to converse with us in French – they kindly requested that I speak English so that they could improve their English speaking skills. Go figure!

vanpro Says:
January 15th, 2012 at 4:22 pm

“Assuming a negative perspective where the possibility of a 20% or even a 50% loss is possible then my friend that is playing it safe when the alternative is zero.”

I guess you know more about billionaire’s capital allocation decision making, but -20% to -50% seems like awful price to pay for so-called “safety” when riskless paper pays +1.25%…..

January 15th, 2012 at 4:42 pm

@vanpro

being but a humble peddler of ‘affordable Vancouver homes’ I know none of what you speak other than I suspect they didn’t become billionaires on a return of 1.25% BUT – I’ve been wrong before.

Boombust Says:
January 15th, 2012 at 5:14 pm

Oh, puleeeze.

January 15th, 2012 at 5:20 pm

@bcarm

Ditto!

JRoss Says:
January 15th, 2012 at 5:46 pm

There are not 2 billion people in China. You are off by 50%. Close only counts in hand grenades and real estate, I suppose.

And Time magazine has a hint as to how at least a portion ‘earned’ their billions

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2079756,00.html

January 15th, 2012 at 6:05 pm

@jross

You are of course correct – 1,339,724,852 Census November 1, 2010

Reggie Says:
January 15th, 2012 at 7:09 pm

@Boom,

I bet Larry will be right, this could be one of the hottest Spring real estate markets for the WestSide EVER.

Why not?

Boombust Says:
January 15th, 2012 at 7:36 pm

@Boom,

I bet Larry will be right, this could be one of the hottest Spring real estate markets for the WestSide EVER.

Why not?

Don’t be daft.

Reggie Says:
January 15th, 2012 at 7:48 pm

@Boom:

Respectfully Boom, tell me why not?

Larry is connected to the market ups and downs in a way that you and I are not.

He is seeing high traffic volumes at upscale open houses. He sees that many of the viewers are offshore Asians visiting Vancouver to look to park money/etc.

Many might be billionaires. Some only millionaires. But if his Asian connections are predicting boat/planeloads will be inbound then how would YOU know that this is not likely to be the case?

Seriously, you are arrogant!

Reggie Says:
January 15th, 2012 at 7:59 pm

Larry,

I loved how you told Boom that billionaires didn’t get that way investing at 1.25% – hilarious

Boom, quit while your behind.

BubbleBoy Says:
January 15th, 2012 at 8:14 pm

@Reggie

Things better pick up big time. It’s quite slow out there and prices falling in many of the suburb areas. Richmond is flipper capital of BC and the Tri-cities is seeing very slow sales. OwnIng RE at this point is very risky. Just like any asset at the top of the market.

Reggie Says:
January 15th, 2012 at 8:21 pm

Hi Bubble,

If we see a large influx of buyers as the months tick on, post Chinese New Year, etc., then any slowdown is temporary.

Buyers thus far have been the big big winners, and have trumped that 1.25% return Boom mentioned.

I don’t know which way the market will run over the coming months, but Larry’s street talk industry chatter has been a much better indicator than a basic guess, so I have to give it weight and then let’s see how things unfold.

Reggie Says:
January 15th, 2012 at 8:24 pm

Bubble, the new lower mortgage rates should also be supportive of a pick up in buying activity.

604serf Says:
January 15th, 2012 at 8:56 pm

“If we see a large influx of buyers as the months tick on, post Chinese New Year, etc., then any slowdown is temporary.”

Love the quote above…obviously the slowdown was temporary if it ceases to be slow…

Not buying the BS Says:
January 15th, 2012 at 9:11 pm

@Reggie

“I bet Larry will be right, this could be one of the hottest Spring real estate markets for the WestSide EVER.”

Wow Reggie’s sure is in full pumper mode. Smells of fear. Seems more likely the opposite will happen.

BubbleBoy Says:
January 15th, 2012 at 9:24 pm

@Reggie

The new mortgage from BMO is temporary. With lots of restrictions. Dude, flippers have been driving these prices crazy high. Just as Larry about the 1.1 mil loss from the sale of 4308 Rockridge Rd. I have proof of all this. Don’t be so naive.

vanpro Says:
January 15th, 2012 at 10:14 pm

“being but a humble peddler of ‘affordable Vancouver homes’ I know none of what you speak other than I suspect they didn’t become billionaires on a return of 1.25% BUT – I’ve been wrong before.”

Exactly my point: they didn’t make their money at -20% to -50% returns either….

January 15th, 2012 at 10:34 pm

@vanpro
Perhaps there is an accountant here who might tell us how one turns a capital loss in one investment into a net capital gain in another asset.

vanpro Says:
January 15th, 2012 at 10:48 pm

My point is that the rich usually don’t make amateur, “sucker” buys at the peak of a market nor do they “chase the price up” after as asset has gone up in price for 10 years.

Jk Says:
January 15th, 2012 at 11:16 pm

Assuming you all have paid attention to recent RE statistics, how is it that any of you can be mindlessly bullish? Is the Koolaid tha strong?

January 16th, 2012 at 5:19 am

@vanpro
I get it but, isn’t that what happened last spring. Will it happen again? I don’t know! People do strange things where politic and money are concerned.

January 16th, 2012 at 5:25 am

@Jk
Some might say that!

vanpro Says:
January 16th, 2012 at 8:40 am

” People do strange things where politic and money are concerned.”

I think we can agree on that! Irrational, “strange” behavior is hard to predict or understand. And it goes both ways – look at the US right now: it is far more cheaper, affordable to buy than to rent yet no one is buying (fearing continued price declines) and the rental market is on fire! That is what happens after a bubble bursts….

frenchy Says:
January 16th, 2012 at 9:33 am

Lets drop french….
Yeah, anything goes to make some money from those communist criminal scumbags who are desperately looking to park somewhere their bribery / theft money.
The french have a word for it, I guess, it must be “complice”.

January 16th, 2012 at 10:51 am

@frenchy

The righteous have spoken!

BubbleBoy Says:
January 16th, 2012 at 11:34 am

Look what I found in less than 10 mins. Speculators

10491 Sceptre Cr
Bought Feb 11 $1,000,000
Listed Oct 11 $1,138,000 reduced to $1,078,000

8291 Fairfax Pl
Bought Feb 11 $1,240,000
Listed Dec 11 1,398,000

4311 Tucker Ave
Bought Jul 11 $2,250,000
Listed Nov 11 2,580,000

And the list goes on……..

All these flippers are Chinese, but not sure if they’re mainlanders. Yup, HAM coming to flip.

Devore Says:
January 16th, 2012 at 12:31 pm

The prognostications on this blog are irrelevant to what will happen anyways, and what will happen will happen, no point getting all worked up over it.

So let us compare today to last year.

Last year, mortgage rules were getting tighter, and interest rates were heading higher. Real estate was a no-lose proposition.

China was booming, credit was flowing, and real estate reached all time highs.

Today, mortgage rules are getting tighter, and interest rates are flat, the gimmicky and headline-grabbing 2.99% RBC mortgage notwithstanding. Rates aren’t dropping anywhere except Australia, whose bubble is in full bust mode (and no, of course it’s not helping). Government and banks are both in CYA mode, warning of frothiness and declines, and the national economy has been flatter than the prairies.

China has growth in low single digits (a disaster), credit is tighter than… well, use your imagination, real estate is dropping fast, and loan sharks are going around breaking fingers and busting knee-caps, assuming the client hasn’t jumped off a tall building already.

If there are planeloads of Chinese coming, I don’t know why they would be buying. As for the domestic buyers, if the rule change announcement won’t light a fire under their collective butts, the sales so far don’t look very promising, even with all the nice weather we’ve been having (maybe everyone’s out gardening?). And if there is no announcement compelling hasty and emotional decision making, well, could be a boring spring market.

So why don’t we just sit tight and wait two months, surely there is something on TV.

Reggie Says:
January 16th, 2012 at 7:23 pm

Interesting.

I think the buyers will show up, in droves, as the weather brightens up.

Boatloads of Asian’s cannot be wrong.

Mr T Says:
January 16th, 2012 at 8:34 pm

@Reggie

Go buy a home then. RE is toast buddy. No point arguing. It’s obvious the bubble is leaking air and we will end up being like UK,US,Ireland,Australia,Spain, etc. Listings are exploding now with few sales. Van avg price down 15% since the peak in May. Nothing to support a price gain at this point. This is not going to end well!!!

BubbleBoy Says:
January 17th, 2012 at 8:57 am

@Reggie

Relying on a boatload of Asians to drive RE sales is not a good thing. RE is local.

@Mr T

You sound like Garth Turner. Are you?

January 18th, 2012 at 8:01 am

Let the free markets work. That is the best solution.

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