Friday, April 30, 2010

End of the week

My last post drew some significant reactions which I expected.

Nothing has divided this city, or caused anger as much as this danged RE bubble.

We have many 'hot-potato' political issues, but they pale in comparison to this one issue.

We have so much tied up in it, on both sides, both emotionally and financially.

Many bears have their marriages on the line as they stayed out of the market and watched speculation drive the price ever out of their reach. Other the hand, I know of buyers who are maxed out due to the insistence of one of the spouses to get into the market NOW and there will be problems if the price drops and they get into negative equity or lose the ability to pay the huge mortgages.

Such is the result of a bubble. Make a note future politicians and policy makers. It is not something to be proud of, but something to try and deflate as soon as it shows up.

I remember the same thing happening in California five years ago. prices got so high, that even in middle-class areas, none of the middle-class folks who worked in the community and were an essential part of teachers, police, fire-fighters, nurses etc could afford to live there. They would commute in from cheaper areas. The same can be said of Vancouver.

I also remember the dot-com days, where some young high-tech folks were made instant millionaires due to stock options in the latest crapola company (long since bankrupt) while their colleagues in other fields worked just as hard and had very little to show for it.

Lots of bitterness and anger around too. This is the social result of a bubble.

OK lets see what May brings.

I suspect April may show a small drop in prices. Larry Yatter promises to have the numbers out first. We have the winds of HST, CMHC, Mortgage rates and excruciating lack of affordability blowing in the face of prices. We still had strong sales in April with some buyer panic, which is inexplicable in the face of rapidly rising inventory.

I also have the feeling that price strength is narrowing down to the choicest neighbourhoods. A marker of divergence.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Road Side Chair Beautified

Sorry I haven't been around. Working on a Top Secret Project. Started on it Wednesday and just finished it. I CAN'T WAIT TO SHARE IT!!!! Of course you can't see it until Monday...sorry:oP. Anyway, as promised, here is the reveal of S.R.'s new (old) chair. Let's take a minute to remember the BEFORE:
Oh yes. Sad, sad, sad. I told you that a friend from church found this on the side of the road. Well here is the AFTER:
Now that's much better. I am still not completely finished with it. I missed a spot with the spray paint where I thought the fabric would reach...OOPS! Maybe I'll take care of it this weekend if it's not raining.
I added some piping around the edges, and bows at the corners just to cutesy it up a bit.
The reason why it went in S.R.'s room...The "S" at the top of the chair.
So here's the before:
And the after:
Ahhhhh....much better:o)
Here is S.R.'s room in all of it's glory. I am done with it for now, unless I get a wild hair and decide to paint the walls, which would require painting AROUND the mural...ack!
I hope that you all have a great weekend!!! See you back here on Monday!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

OK bears you need to read this...

Are Vancouver RE bears jerks?

Most aren't. But some definitely are. Or rather some are, some of the time.

As I head round the bear blogs, I see the usual hope for change, but I also something else. Anger and bitterness, the result of years of waiting outside the gate and watching your dream move further away every day. It is understandable.

However the result is anger, towards everyone and everything.

Like hoping the buyers suffer losses, hoping they are foreclosed or the City and Province go bankrupt. Enough already... they are your neighbours. So they got sucked into the vortex, that doesn't make them criminals.

And if things work out as bad you want...sure you can say 'I told you so' to all your buddies at work, as you all pack your things up and head out the door to try and find another job.

Or I read them say what a terrible city Vancouver is and how stupid Vancourites what the hell are you doin' here??? Obviously they don't have roots in this city.

I suspect a lot of the REALLY belligerent bears are relative new-comers. (6 years or less). Some of the most rabid I met were from the big T or Brits. they sold their expensive property and moved here for the easy life and have found to their disgust that prices here are even higher, salaries are a lot lower, and they have had to down-size.

Hey, I want prices to drop too. But I don't want Armageddon and mass unemployment. I want the CMHC shuttered. But not so I can buy a cheaper house, so we don't go bankrupt as a country when the bubble bursts, which is a little more important than whether I own or not.

Some people have trouble looking past their nose.

And as to rich off-shore buyers. Yes it irks me. Yes I am pissed off when no-taxed money competes with my over-taxed savings but consider this....

There are Millions of Canadians who own prime water-front property in Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Guatemala etc which the locals can only dream of.

Desirable property has become an international commodity and there ain't nothing we can do about it. We should at least use local taxes to make sure they are not left empty without a penalty and use that extra money for social housing. But we cannot stop it...we do it.

Think on this: Friends of mine..Husband and Wife are blue-collar workers who just bought a waterfront home in a poorer Central American country to spend their retirement winters at. They bought it from a local lawyer and his family, who apparently, with the down-turn, couldn't afford to own it any more.

How would we like it if a heavy duty mechanic and hospital clerk from Taiwan came and bought our prime property? Maybe not so much.

So lets all chill out. Lets not hope people lose everything just because they made, what we consider, is a foolish decision. But let us lobby for change.

People stopped the Government bail-out of Canwest.
People complained so much, the CHMC has been reigned in.
Mark Carney and our MPs need to hear from us on interest rates penalizing savers and encouraging speculation.

Or we can just gripe and get bitter and hope the sky falls in. Enough said.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Coffee Table Make Over(Round 2)

I finally finished it! I have been wanting to change this coffee table for a VERY long time! I haven't had it that long, but after I finished it the first time, I realized I didn't love it like I should have. It just seemed like a black hole in my rug. To see the "before the before" go here...Here's the second before:
Just black and boring. The paint was starting to chip off and I am all about some distressed looking furniture, but it just wasn't doing it for me. I bought some sample size paints from Lowes about a month ago, after I found this table over at Miss Mustard Seed. She is simply AMAZING! No other word for it. She can take any junk and turn it into something FAB! I wanna be her when I grow up:o) You should definitely check out her blog and her gallery when you get a chance. She's a STUD when it comes to painting furniture. Anywho, I pulled out the chalk board spray paint that I always have on hand, and sprayed a big square in the middle of the table(using painter's tape as well). After two coats of that, I painted the rest of the table in a very soft gray.
I did attempt to replicate the pattern of Miss Mustard Seed's design because I thought hers was so beautimous.
I actually had a lot of fun with this table, and the kids think it's really cool. Hopefully they will only write on this table instead of ALL OVER THE WALLS...thank you S.R. (heavy sarcasm inserted here). Someday when we get around to painting all these walls, I will show you some of S.R.'s "artwork" that she has "created" for us ALL over the house:o/. 
So here it is again:
I definitely need to change the pillows. They just aren't cutting it either..but that's another project for another day!
Participating in:

Monday, April 26, 2010

What's with folks??

Inventory is moving up faster than 2008.

We have all time low affordability.

The CMHC monster is being leashed.

Mortgages rates are moving up briskly.

The list/sales are moving UP. (example- West Van- 9 new 4 changes 1 sale)

And yet when I look at the houses bought, they are at list price or a few, tiny, inconsequential % less!

What's up with some folks?? What are their Realtors advising them? Quick bid it up NOW...or else...or else......we will have lots more inventory and it will much more difficult to chose a house!

I doubt it. I am sure they are telling them that inventory is growing, and growing inventory usually brings lower prices (yes, we are different in Vancouver I know) but folks still seem panicked.

Painted Stool and Hot Mess Mommy Bag

I have missed you guys! So glad to be back on here. I feel like it has been ages since I talked to ya'll last. Any-who, I have been super busy on finishing up on some projects that have been filling up the "hub's garage." He has had enough of me bringing home all my treasures b/c he says it junks up his garage:o) I don't have pics ready for all the furniture projects that I have completed, but I do have these pics of some gifts I made for a baby shower I attended on Saturday.
I found this little stool at Michael's in their unfinished wood section. It was very inexpensive. I already had the paint on hand, so all I really needed to do was invest some time into painting. I really didn't realize how many coats of acrylic paint I would have to apply, but I just found something else to work on in between coats. I had fun making it and I think it turned out ok for this being my first attempt at doing anything like this. Don't you just love the name Quinn? I can't wait to meet him!

I didn't want to leave the mom out, so I made her a Hot Mess Mommy Bag. My inspiration came from Prudent Baby. They have a section with ideas to make yourself look a little more presentable when you're strapped for time and you haven't had a bath in like 3 days;o) You know you have had one of those days:o)
I made the bag with some fabric I had on hand. I also made a head band and matching bracelet. The rest of the stuff was just picked up from the Dollar Store. Things that always come in handy: mascara, lotion, lip gloss, hair brush, and hair bands. The bag has velcro on the inside all the way across to keep it completely closed, just in case your having a dropsy sorta day. Mommy was very pleased with both gifts...I think;o) Regardless, I had fun making them:o)
Remember, I will have a give away when I reach 50 followers.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Bank of Canada caught on the Horns of it's own making

Just a quick post.

Retails sales came in weaker than expected, especially once you back out the car sales. The pre-Olympic boost has dropped.

Inflation has come in at a pretty tame 1.4% (though only by manipulating the numbers since housing is on fire and is the highest family expenditure).

So what is the Bank of Canada to do?

it's last statement made it clear that rate rises were just around the corner. It has already stated that Canadians are taking on too much debt and housing is over-heated.

So does it leave rates at zero and keep inflating the debt bubbles, until they burst like the US, losing all credibility.

Or does it raise in the face of weak data.

They should not have got themselves into this space in the first place. Zero rates = speculation and debt. You reap what you sow...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A thought to share...

I was thinking about my previous post and the reluctance of the Bank of Canada to raise rates from their current near zero.

When they dropped them over a year ago, it was chop, chop, warning. We have to save our speculators!!

Now that the time has come (and passed) to raise them, they change the language slowly, they warn, they cajole, they play coy and then MAYBE they raise a teenie weenie bit.

All I can say is THINGS MUST BE REALLY BAD! Why else would they pussy-foot around so much. We have never been here before. No precedent exists for such low rates. Basically we are saying to folks- don't save money, spend it, invest it in over-priced real estate or stocks, but if you put it wisely in your bank account for retirement- you will lose 1.5% a year or more!!

The only other recent time when I know of rates being so low - is Japan who have had low rates for almost a decade.

Of course their real estate hasn't been that hot for a very long time too:


We are not Japan, there are many differences but let me remind you of something important.

When the Japanese RE bubble burst in the early 90's, Japan hit the wall. The rates were dropped to zero and they let Japanese banks lie and pretend their loans were still viable so they would not be insolvent. The Japanese government pumped billions into their banks.

THE USA and especially Greenspan and Rubin derided them. They told them to let their banks fail, take the losses, and move on. Short sharp medicine.

Fast forward to 2008. The exact same thing happens in the US. What do they do?
Rates are cut to 0.25%, banks are bailed out, mark to market rules are suspended (which allows banks to lie and pretend a loan is still viable).


And now in Canada we are wagging our finger at the US and saying...

How could you have let things get so out-of-hand in RE, and bubble up so much. How could you have the tax-payer on the hook directly, by having Freddie and Fannie buy all these crap mortgages. What idiots!

Fast forward to 2011....

Give Away Coming Soon.

No projects to post today. I'm taking a break from all the hard work so I can enjoy my parents being here. I will get back to it tomorrow. I better get my spay painting finger ready since it's supposed to rain on Friday. I am planning another give away. I know I said I wouldn't do another one until I had 100 followers. I fibbed:o) I can't stand it! I feel the need to be gifty!
So I am almost to 50 followers...sad I know. Only 47 of you will claim me:o) So when I hit 50 followers, I will announce the new give away.
The picture above isn't anything significant. I took it last year when we were vacationing in Hilton Head. Just makes me miss some beach time. I LOVE THE BEACH!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The End of Easy Money?

April 19th has come and gone- good riddance. The worst of the lending excess will be curtailed.

Of course in my opinion the whole CMHC should be shut down, or at least put on ice. The tax-payer has no business being exposed to the liability of insuring mortgages that the private sector wouldn't provide otherwise.

It is just adding liability on top of all the other liabilities we have burdened the future generations with.

At least put the huge behemoth on ice until there is a correction. I would have thought that was obvious. The last thing you want, is to insure mortgages at all time high prices and all time low rates.

Wait until it hits the fan - rates are higher, prices are down and no-one can borrow money. Then you can bring the carcass of the CMHC out of the deep-freeze to help get the wheels of RE moving again. It would make more sense and reduce the liability risk. But that would be too logical.

Talking of not being logical, the Bank of Canada basically said today that it is thinking of raising rates- PLEEEEZE!

Either raise them or shut up.

We are at 0.25%. Would the world have come to an end if we had gone to say...0.5%?? Of course not! It would have just sent a message that they care about savers and borrowers better be careful.

But by trumpetting this possible, maybe, we'll see rate change, they give every last speculator time to load up on debt, preferably government insured.

I think Mark Carney spent too long at that den of speculation (and possibly fraud) Goldman Sachs.

Larry Yatter is showing some nice price drops in Cambie and Kits. Inventory is moving up nicely. Anyone buying from now on, better try and get a good deal, as the winds are blowing in your face.

Repurposed Old Frame

Remember this picture from the last post? Not a bad pic. Would go nice in a kitchen. I got it for the frame. I care nothing about a painting of fruit and wine. This picture was $3. I couldn't decide if I wanted to paint the frame or leave it as it was, but finally just decided to leave it alone. There isn't a thing wrong with it. So I popped the picture out and flipped it over made a pretty on it:o)
My materials included: scrapbook paper (on hand), trims for a wedding gown(on hand), hot glue gun, regular glue stick, and free clip art here at The Graphics Fairy. Glued everything in place and popped it back in the frame. Here's the back...I moved the hanger over as well so that I could hang it horizontally:
If I ever want the fruit pic again, I can just flip it back over. Easy peasy.
Angle one..
Angle two
Here are some other new homes for my recently found treasures:
Here is the bakers rack that I told you about yesterday. It's a short one. I put it upstairs in the bonus room to house all the kids arts and crafts stuff as well as stuffed animals and their musical instruments. 5 bucks:o)
And as promised, here is a picture of the freebie from a friend. Can't wait to re-do it. S.R. is getting this sweet thing. Can you feel it? Do you see the potential?:o)
It has to go in S.R.'s room. It has an S on it:o)
If you're wondering about the coffee table, I have started on it. I just ran out of steam with these snotty kids:o) Hopefully I will finish it soon...along with the other gazillion projects I have brought home:o) Happy Tuesday!

Monday, April 19, 2010

What A Weekend!

That word says it all. This weekend wasn't anything that I would have planned:o) I told you guys that the kids had some allergy issues. Well that was just the beginning of all the unplanned events:o) My Saturday morning started at 5:45 a.m. I was pumped and ready for some treasure hunting. I was exhausted, but I wasn't about to miss out on some super neighborhood sales. I got my shower, got dressed and got out the door by 6:25. I got my cash b/c I didn't have a chance to get any Friday night, and hit the first sale of the morning. It was a dud. She was overpriced, so I made my way back to the van. I tried opening the door and it wouldn't open....the van was still running....not good. I always leave the keys in the van and keep it running for a quick get away...By this time it's 6:45 a.m. I called the hubs and ask him to call a neighbor to bring me the keys b/c I had BOTH car seats in the van with me:o/. Well, he couldn't get in touch with anyone, so he had to bring the keys to me...Yes, HE brought them to me. When he arrived, my kids were covered in dried snot, no shoes, and E had no pants on:o) I felt sorry for the hubs. Before it was all said and done, I was driving the CAR with both kids in the back seat, hitting the sales hard. You would have thought my last name was Clampet after the morning was done:o) Here are some of my treasures:
 Mirror for my half bath:$5
Pics for S.R. room, $4 for the pair. The Metal wall hanging in the background $3.
Chuckle sign(for my sis):$2, Mirror hanging:$3, Platter set:$3, Topiaries $2 for the pair
Smocked jumpers for S.R. $7 each. I also got her some sweet dresses, one of which was a Strasburg for $4!
Crazy looking cat: $1
My First Leap Pad with 4 extra books:$5. This is going to be S.R.'s for Christmas.
Fruit Pic. $3
Set of speakers: FREE! Going to turn these into end tables.
I loved the details. They are made out of some really good wood. Just have to finish gutting them. Off course they won't be this color when I finish with them:o)
This was the tag on top of the speakers:o)
I got a baker's rack for $5 as well, I just didn't get a pic of it. I'll post pics of my treasures in their new homes tomorrow.
 A lady at church brought me a chair that is GAW-JUS! I think she found on the side of the road. It needs some TLC, and I am more than happy to oblige! Thanks SYD! I'll post pics of it tomorrow. 
So even though the morning started out rough, I ended up having a successful treasure hunt with snotty babies in tow:o)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Wknd. Project: Coffee Table Redo

Long Night last night:( E. had a tough time with this allergy mess. Today is a Benadryl kinda day. I'm exhausted, but my mind is ready for another project:o) Gonna redo my coffee table this weekend, and it involves chalkboard paint:o) Hope to have a reveal up soon! Here's the before:
More neighborhood yard sales this weekend! Can't wait!! Hopefully I can catch a cat nap today while the babies are sleeping. That way I can be fully rested for tomorrow:o) Have a great weekend peeps!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Mad Rush!

We are seeing a frenzy of buying along with a 2008-like rise in listings.

A very odd situation. When listings rise so much, buyers generally feel less anxious to dive in, and take their time to asses and bid wisely on their purchases. But this does not seem to be the case. By all accounts the buyers are in a rabid condition. Of course the areas of high excitement have narrowed down.

The Fraser Valley hasn't been invited to the party, which fits in with the 5th wave theory I posted about several weeks ago.

Why the frenzy?

There are several possible reasons for this:

1) We have the April 19th CMHC changes which we have discussed before. Note that the government did it's usual miscalculation. It noticed that housing was on fire, due to their stupidly low rates and 'no-skin-in-the-game' CMHC mortgages and decided to do something about it. OK - so far so good. So they come out and announce the changes to take place over two months later!

That gave time for all those with vested interests (you know who they are - from local media to real estate types) to panic buyers into the market.

It would be like saying to your kid..."I know you are spending most of your allowance on drugs , so in two and a half months I am going to cut you off!" Huh. What do you think the kid is going to do?

In fact the new rules for self-employed borrowers already took effect on April 9th.

2) rates are moving up and borrowers have their pre-approveds in their back pockets. If they don't pull it out and drop it on a house asap, the next one will be at a higher rate, or for lower loans. So BUY NOW! Price be damned.

3) This is the normally busy buying season.

This is it folks. The stars are all aligned. If the market doesn't even wobble with higher inventory, higher rates, HST on new homes, new CMHC rules, Provincial cuts, Olympic bills..............


Add this to the pot of CHMC changes, rising rates, HST etc

Will all those who were clamouring for the Olympics to be held here, please dig deep into your pockets and PAY UP! thank you.

Over half billion dollar bill for Vancouver to host 2010 Winter Olympics

2 hours, 58 minutes ago

By The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER, B.C. - A preliminary report estimates that hosting the 2010 Olympics cost Vancouver over a half a billion dollars.

The report will be presented to city council next week and suggests the lion's share of the costs went to venues and local infrastructure improvements.

The bottom line doesn't include the cost to the city of taking over the $1 billion Olympic athletes village project.

Vancouver never had an omnibus budget for Olympic costs, though it earmarked $20 million to cover items like city celebrations and decorations.

The full cost of hosting the Games for the city is actually over $700 million, but was partly financed through contributions from the provincial and federal governments.

The report is expected to be made public, but an early copy was provided and publicized by a local rights advocate.

Some Perspective, & Yard Sale Finds Get a Home

What another beautiful day! Here lately I have been waking up and thinking what a lucky girl I am. I have a great hubby whom I adore and am ever so grateful for his hard work. I have two sweet little precious babies who are my life. And I am surrounded by people that I love. Life is good. However, this morning has been a little different. The blessings were a little harder to see...because my day started just shortly after 5 a.m. S.R. has been having nightmares..poor lil one:( And E. is suffering from allergies, so he has been snortin', coughin', gaggin', and sneezin'. Not much sleep happnin; here. After getting S.R. settled next to daddy, I went and laid down with E. I opened his blinds to let in the morning light. It was the time of morning when there is that light mist and the sky is purple and pink. Beautiful! Then I thought, "Thank you dear Lord in heaven above for giving me this life with these precious souls". And then E. started singing...not sure what, but at that moment everything was perfect and good. I am so truly blessed. So needless to say, today will be a day of taking care of my precious sweet ones and projects will be put on hold, so that I can get some snuggle time in.
Here are some pics of a few of the yard sale finds from last weekend that have found a new home:o)
In this pic, $3 lamp and 25 cent flower arrangement. I plan on putting the decorative shelves above the chair when I get around to painting them.
$8 shelf on the wall being used as a side table. Someday, when I paint the walls a crisp light blue, all these accessories will POP. But for now they will just have to be blendy:o)
I hope that you all have a great day! I know that I will since I'm gettin' me some luvin' from my babies:o) HUGS!