Folks, it’s been a while.
Maybe I’m mellowing as I get closer to obtaining true “middle-aged” status.
Or maybe I simply reached a point where nothing in the world of real estate fazes me anymore.
But here’s something new: there are buyers in the market that didn’t know the price of real estate could fluctuate, and now they’re upset.
This is the p-e-r-f-e-c-t time for me to revive a classic TRB feature, The Friday Rant…
I don’t understand the world today.
And while I know that sounds like something an old man says, I just really, truly seem to have lost touch with the world around me.
The Prime Minister of Canada. Wow. This guy!
Interrupts a young speaker at a town hall meeting, who had the audacity to say “mankind,” to tell her that “we,” whoever we are, prefer to use the term “people-kind,” since it’s more inclusive.
The pendulum has swung so far one way, that it’s about to break through the other side of the universe on the way back.
Sorry, but I don’t like Mr. Trudeau. I think he’s of below-average intelligence, his low self-esteem, ego, and desire to be admired is at the forefront of every decision he makes on behalf of 33,000,000 people, and he has no experience, or ability, to lead.
This is a microcosm of where we’ve gone as a society, and while some think this is steering us in a better direction for peoplekind, I think it’s making us feeble, weak, and eventually we’ll all be incapable of self-care.
The public school systems have done away with “enriched” programs, such as the enriched English programs I took throughout high school that helped make me the writer I am today, so that “everybody can get an equal opportunity.” So in the race to the bottom that has become public education, we’d now rather have a so-called “level playing field,” than ever see an advanced child flourish.
We don’t keep score in children’s sports games anymore. Somebody might get upset to learn that in sports, as in life, there are winners and losers.
Cue the “December Seasonal Concert.”
Change the lyrics to “O Canada,” because it’s one of the worst things plaguing our country today.
Have we ever become softer as a society?
Many of you are already disagreeing, so I won’t go on, with countless more examples, and perhaps better ones, of where our municipal, provincial, and federal leaders have taken us.
But I fear it’s this “guidance” that has brought us to a point where most people in society today refuse to take any responsibility of their actions, especially when those actions are misguided, uninformed, or have consequence of any sort.
As it pertains to real estate, I’m seeing this more and more.
And how could it not transpire, with what we have inflicted upon ourselves?
Recall the story of the “Museum FLTS” condominium project in Toronto, which was cancelled back in November.
The newspapers picked up the story, and made martyrs of these poor souls who entered into legally-binding contracts with a developer who then exercised his right to terminate the project. I wrote about it on my blog, and I was extra nice:
And despite being told by many that I was too nice, I still received hate mail from people who bought into the project – many of them who were obviously well-versed enough in contract law to not spend the $3,000 on a lawyer that might have educated them on the pros and cons of the stack of paper that was thrust upon them by a salesperson, representing the developer.
Oh, the heat I took! Wow!
I try to take the high road folks, I do. And it took every ounce of strength I had not to share with you the self-pitying, naive, wishful-thinking emails I received from buyers into the project, who read my blog, and took issue.
You wouldn’t believe it, if you tried.
But as bad as that example of “not taking responsibility for your actions” truly was, I think we reached a new low point.
Some of you pointed this out last week, so I know I already have your ear.
This story first appeared on the CBC website on January 24th, and to attempt to read it without shaking your head at least once is a fool’s errand.
The very first paragraph tells you all you need to know:
Planned homes in a new Whitby subdivision are on sale for up to $90,000 less than similar homes in the same development were a year ago.
Sooooo……….what’s the story?
A person who can tell time, tie their shoe, and breathe in-and-out, could probably ascertain that the price of real estate, believe it or not, can fluctuate.
Prices go up, prices go down.
Like the stock market, or spot gold. Bonds, or treasury bills. Corn futures, or Bitcoin…
But the story here, folks, is that some of the buyers who purchased real estate last year, and who saw the value decrease, are, well, upset.
“It’s painful,” Astrid Poei said in an interview. (from the article)
That’s fair. Nobody is expecting this person not feel the sting of an on-paper loss, for a property not built, which in effect, doesn’t really mean anything.
“There are no building materials on site, there is no foundation poured, so I don’t understand how we are paying more than someone who bought a couple of weeks ago.” (from the article)
Here’s where things go off the rails a little bit.
The idea of there being “no building materials on site,” and “no foundation poured,” simply goes back to inexperience, and naivety. It’s pre-construction; delays are automatic. I’m not going to belabour this point.
But then somehow attaching the fact that the project hasn’t started building yet to the idea that “we’re paying more than somebody who bought a couple of weeks ago,” doesn’t make sense to me.
What’s the issue here?
That somebody who bought a couple of weeks ago paid less?
God help us, folks.
This is what we’ve done to ourselves, as a society.
By removing scores from children’s soccer games, automatically passing high school students who receive failing grades, and electing left-wing governments that promise everything to everyone, we’ve allowed people to believe that they can’t fail.
Failure is a reality in life.
And when you buy real estate, you should know that the price can go up, or down.
Again, from the article: “To come back a year later and see the same house that we bought is now $90,000 cheaper, that’s not cool,” Thompson, 52, said in an interview.
Is that an economic or legal phrase?
Imagine that, folks. The audacity of a developer to sell properties for prices, as they see fit.
The irony is, if the properties were selling for more money, these people wouldn’t be complaining.
But then what about the second-phase of buyers? Could they complain?
What if somebody said, “To come back a year later, and see the same house that this guy bought only 12 months ago is now $90,000 more, that’s not cool.” Would we accept that?
And now, the kicker:
“…Poei and Thompson, who are not looking forward to meeting their Phase 2 neighbours, knowing they paid tens of thousands of dollars less for the same homes.”
Ain’t it the truth, folks?
I remember once when my best-friend of 22 years bought a set of Callaway irons for $750, for which I had paid $1,000 the previous year. So I did what any normal person would do under those circumstances: I kicked his dog, and then never talked to that motherf*cker again…
I know, I know, I’ve said too much.
But guess what?
I’m far from finished…
The Toronto Star also picked up this story, for some odd reason, since I really don’t think it qualifies as news.
Important point here – I’m not faulting the writer. I think she’s awesome, I’ve done a ton of stories with her, and as I’ve learned over the years – sometimes, the story picks you.
But it’s the quotes in here that really get me.
And even worse than the CBC article – this one shows not only the absolute disillusionment of the buyer, but also the complete and utter lack of qualification!
Mariam Boni was among the buyers caught up in Toronto’s scorching property market last January. She says she got an email from Mattamy when the first phase of the development was released. On the appointed date, she waited three hours in line to get a ticket to return to the sales centre the following day.
When she went back, there were only two lots still available and Boni ended up spending $899,000, plus additional money for upgrades, exceeding her target price of $500,000 to $600,000.
Although she owns a home already, she said Queen’s Common would be a better place to raise her son.
A lot going on here…
So first, we have a woman that stood in line to get a ticket to buy a home. Can you say, “mania?” I hear Bitcoin came down from $20,000, btw…
Second, she spent $900,000, with a budget of $500,000 – $600,000.
And last but not least, she already owns a home. This was a second property, and while she was probably going to sell the first one, it doesn’t remove the speculative nature of the adventure.
The woman added:
“I have a 3-year-old. I’m thinking about his future, I’m thinking this is a good investment. It’s going to go up in price, I’m going to do something nice for my child.”
You thought it was a good investment. You thought it would go up in price.
That’s all you need to know.
There’s no guarantee, nor should there be. If the prices went up, as you thought, would the developer come back to you and cry foul? Would Mattamy Homes go to the Toronto Star to describe the hurt and anguish they feel about selling properties that went up in price, when all the while, they could have held them and made more money?
The developer offered this explanation, which is like explaining to a child how boys and girls are different:
“When (the market) is moving upwards, we obviously raise our prices and when it’s moving downwards, in order to continue to sell and to build and complete the communities, we have to lower our prices to a price point the market will bear.”
Yes, when the market goes up, prices go up. When the market goes down, prices go down. What’s that, Marigold? It’s half-past four?
I honestly can’t believe these stories went to print.
Our imaginations could run wild with the analogies. In fact, some of last week’s readers already beat me to it.
So tell me I’m wrong, folks.
Tell me that these stories were newsworthy.
Tell me that the buyers in these articles have a legitimate beef.
Tell me that peoplekind should be able to buy real estate with absolutely no fear of the price dropping, but with the full expectation that the price will rise.
But do so in the comments below, because I have to leave; I need to go find something sweet. This blog has left me really goddam salty…