Archive for November 2005

New Home (Condo) Owners

The rumours are true, we’ve gone and done it. We’re now the proud owners of a unit at the Bauer Lofts, specifically the "P" suite.

Although I spent five years at UW and have been working full-time in Waterloo for over 2 years, I still feel very much a visitor to the city. When I hear the word "home" I picture Bayview & Steeles, not Victoria & Park; the entry in my cell phonebook reads "Home Waterloo", not "Home". So it should come as no surprise that I approached this purchase more as an investment rather than the establishment of some kind of firm roots (probably much to Bonnie’s chagrin).

Denoting something as an investment purchase removes the emotion (at least in theory), and discounts the qualitative, intangible factors (e.g. "I must have this place regardless of price because it’s a good, stable place to settle down and raise a family").

In the past few years, I’ve learned (mostly the hard way) that one of the cardinal rules of good investing is to never make a move unless the odds have been tipped in your favour[1]. If you don’t have some kind of edge, don’t try to force it. Sit on your hands and wait; lost opportunity is easier to make up than a "real", material loss.

In the case of the Bauer Lofts, there are several possible catalysts for rapid price appreciation in the coming years. The local Waterloo and Kitchener governments are injecting so much money into the area that the "scales have definitely been tipped" in our favour (though at the expense of the other local taxpayers I suppose). Here are the more cognizant of the arguments we’ve either heard or come up with:

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The things that are important to 12-year olds these days.

A story that a customer told Bonnie at the pharmacy:

A mother driving her daughters to school…

12-year old daughter: Mommy, were you a virgin when you married daddy?

The mother almost spits out her coffee. Then, without making eye contact, cautiously replies:

Mother: Yes.

A brief pause for dramatic effect, then a voice from the back seat…

5-year old daughter: Mommy, what’s a virgin?