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rain? whats that!
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Discussion Starter #1
Well its been fun living around the South Coast the last oh, 15 years, but I have accepted a job offer in Calgary starting in Mid-June.

I willl be doing IT-like work for Crape Geomatics, which is involved with surveying/mapping and remote sensing for the oil industry.

Snce so many of you have been and lived in Calgary, there got to be some good advice out there as far as setting up living arrangements, finding vehicle insurance, which bars NOT to go to, etc.

Im working downtown, so something close-by would be nice. Just renting for now.

I've visited Calgary on many occasions so it wont be a total suprise either. Traffic is NOTHING like Vancouver, as a motorcyclist, I can say that much, and downtown is a GHOSTOWN saturday mornings.
 

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REVELATIONS said:
tip #2... good luck buying a place in vancouver
true dat but when the shit hits the fan i'll already have a cabin built in the woods...:devillook

The housing bubble has popped

Reports of falling sales and investors stuck with properties they can't sell are just the beginning. Property owners should worry; so should their lenders.

By Bill Fleckenstein
MSN
Monday, April 24, 2006


A recent story in the Wall Street Journal, "Hot Homes Get Cold" (subscription required) offered lots of its useful vignettes that serve as a microcosm of manic markets -- starting with the bravado-cum-denial displayed by a medical-equipment salesman in Stuart, Fla.

Concerned about his real-estate investment apparently going sour, he can't afford to reduce the price to what homes now sell for in his neighborhood -- which is about $100,000 less than he's asking. Says the salesman: "If I got in a jam, I would have to drop the price, but I am not at that point." His game plan: Rent the house, so as not to "lose my shirt."

That's the mentality often seen in manic markets -- the belief that you can't possibly lose, and, when the price goes against you, you don't have to deal with it, because it will come back. This fellow (and millions more like him) is going to find out that his belief is a mistaken one, in the same way that folks did when the stock bubble burst.

Dwelling takes a little shelling
The story went on to note that many formerly hot markets in California, Arizona, Washington, D.C., and Florida are now "languishing without buyers or even prospects. Many once-booming markets are seeing double-digit declines in sales." The magnitude of the drop in Florida home prices (once the frothiest market in the country) is striking. Single-family home sales declined 20% in February, year-over-year. Similarly, California sales dropped 15%. Some of the hottest towns in those states were off twice as much.

I loved the point that what seems to be really alarming is how "real-estate agents in some of these formerly red-hot markets have been surprised at how suddenly (my emphasis) market conditions have deteriorated in the past few months." Of course, that's what happens when manic markets and bubbles turn. Prices change radically and, seemingly, for no reason.

Many people will say that the real-estate market has turned due to higher interest rates, and rising rates have hurt. But the real-estate market ignored rates going up for quite some time. Its topping was caused by exhaustion. Same with the stock bubble -- many folks think it was rising rates that caused the implosion. That isn't true. The stock bubble ran until it popped in March 2000, having ignored everything up to that point.

Symptoms of the doldrums
To me, it's not debatable that the real-estate bust is starting to gather steam. The top was approximately when Time Magazine published its June 12, 2005, cover story: "Home $weet Home: Why We're Going Gaga Over Real Estate". (For more, check out my June 13, 2005, column, "Straight talk on what the Fed has wrought," and my Aug. 29, 2005, column, "It's RIP for the housing boom.")

After having leveled off for a while, the real-estate market is now starting to slide. We're seeing signs of sales slowing and inventory accumulating, which are all quite classic, even though the timing of when this would begin was not possible to predict in advance.

Continuing on, the article noted that Florida is "ground zero for the housing market" and as good a laboratory as any to watch. The real power behind the housing bubble, i.e., irresponsible lending, was "exacerbated in Florida." Quoting from Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Economy.com: "There were more lenders, more realtors, more foreign investors" than the rest of the country -- which is how a hot market gets really wild.

The story cited the plight of investors who'd purchased homes in formerly hot housing developments that now resemble "ghost towns." One such individual is Paul Zani (no pun intended, I'm sure), who'd bought a couple of condos, listed them for more than he paid and now can't sell them. However, he doesn't want to reduce the price (even though he'll probably have to). This mentality is an example that many real-estate "investors" seem to share -- heads we win, tails the bank loses. (Some people are sanguine these days because, as the article notes, "while sales are slackening, they aren't collapsing." To that, I would add: "Yet." They will.)

By and by, heartburn for the bankers
It is indeed the financial institutions that are most at risk in the real-estate market (which is not to say that consumers and speculators won't get hurt). The lenders will bear the brunt of the pain, because in many cases, they loaned the entire purchase prices of many homes. As I have said often, the housing bubble has been more a lending bubble. It will be the impairment of the financial institutions that will stop the flow of credit to the real-estate market. In turn, that will accelerate the collapse in house prices somewhere along the way.

The story closed with a description of how slow the market has recently become in Florida -- via the following comments in an e-mail by real-estate broker Mike Morgan: "We went three days this week with not a single showing. That's incredible. I have 35 listings. We usually get 2-6 showings a day. ... I received more desperate calls from sellers than ever. One lady broke down into tears. Her husband bought two investment properties, and they are now going to lose their 'life savings' if they sell the homes in today's market."

Ladies and gentlemen, unfortunately, a lot of people around the country are going to be badly hurt as this bubble unwinds. And, after they have taken their losses, the financial institutions that were the engine behind this folly will take their own hits. 'Easy Al' Greenspan at the Fed tried to bail out one bubble with another bubble. While it bought some time, it will end in far-worse pain.

A vision of mean reversion
Finally, a recent edition of The Liscio Report, the economic newsletter, put into perspective how wacko the current climate is. It said that the ratios of (a) stock value to GDP and (b) real-estate value to GDP are both nearly twice their averages from 1952 to 1970. As the report noted: "If mean reversion still has any role in market valuations, then both markets have plenty of room to fall."
Since the name of my investment partnership is the RTM Fund (which stands for "reversion to the mean"), I obviously believe that plenty of mean reversion lies ahead.
 

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WMRC Past Prez three time
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Do not make "Bareback Mountain" Cowboy jokes......
 

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Rock bottom here I come
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If your inclined to purchase a home in Calgary you should do it sooner rather than later. I was in Calgary a week ago and read a report that the average house price is going up 500.00 a day. I grew up in Calgary and even though I have not lived in the city for almost 20 years now it will always be home. If I now had to live in another city other than Vancouver it would most certainly be Calgary. For the most part people in Calgary are friendly and even though they complain like hell about the traffic there it's a sweet drive compared to here.

Albertan's in general believe that they have had a raw deal in the Canadian federation for a hundred years and they will share this story with you in a heart beat so if you get one going on the subject be prepared to listen for a while. For the most part Calgarian's are hard working, love the flames and throw one hell of a party during Stampede week in July. If you can manage not to compare the west coast lifestyle to the Calgarian lifestyle on a daily basis it can be a fun place to live.
 

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I'm back
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If your driving to work get ready to get raped on parking, downtown parking is even more then Vancouver.
 

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+1 on the home/property purchase sooner then later. Calgary is one of the hottest markets at the moment with the most potential. Heard lots of good things about alberta. I think you will enjoy.
 

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rain? whats that!
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Discussion Starter #10
Ya I was blown away by the fact that $200k gets you a nice place DT.

Apparently the long-term community plan for Calgary entails making the DT much like Vancouvers, in other words get in now!!
 

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Worst. Passenger. Ever.
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REVELATIONS said:
Ya I was blown away by the fact that $200k gets you a nice place DT.

Apparently the long-term community plan for Calgary entails making the DT much like Vancouvers, in other words get in now!!
Are they going to create a giant lake of oil to simulate a blacker version of False Creek?
 

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Calgary is an awesome city - lots of money to be had, lots of opportunities - etc.

I lived there ~5 years ago for a short time. I really wish I hadn't left - I have friends who are living mortgage free in less than 10 years of purchasing a home...

I am looking to move there for IT work in the next year or 2 as well... (keep us posted on your new gig!)

The housing market is retarded there right now.. you wont find anything decent for under 210 anywhere near downtown. But it will still be better than Van.

I would definitely stay away from Cowboys though!!
 

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Shitty to hear you're moving, dude. :(
You gonna start auxiliary-ing with Calgary PD? (I made up a word!)
 

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rain? whats that!
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Discussion Starter #16
Jason I want to get involved with the Calgary PS but to my limited knowledge, they dont have civilians doing what the RCMP allows theirs to do, and the RCMP only work out of town, so well see. I might just become a community volunteer.

Terren that was priceless!
 

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Dr Tung
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ahhhh...cheap insurance for your bike and car....you have to get your car inspected before you register. Shop around for insurance....cuz they do vary.
 

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CBR JOCKEY said:
ahhhh...cheap insurance for your bike and car....you have to get your car inspected before you register. Shop around for insurance....cuz they do vary.
If you are over 25.

For the housing, if you can, build a house. Buy a lot and build your dream house!

Good luck! flamesgirls.com
 

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you need to go to COWBOYS.
the girls there are ............
let's just say after u get a body shot from tehgirls, u'llpay one more just to experience it all again
 

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Buy a decent bolt action rifle and get ready to shoot gophers.

cowboy hat + flames jersey = guranteed poontang.
 
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