I’ve said it before here on simplycharles.com and I’m happy to say it again here, I am not what you would call an educated person.
I think that it is disgraceful for any parent to not “channel” their kids toward formal learning and that’s why I am so insulted to see the decided majority of the learned “professions” (lawyers, doctors, politicians, etc.) to misuse all that formal education through delivering such modest levels of integrity in their professions.
My website (simplycondos.com) was for years and years the top “Buyer Agency” Toronto condo site. I introduced buyer agency to Toronto specifically in response to my years “selling condos for developers who were in trouble” where I applied all my “high-pressure” sales tactics and skills (they don’t work in other areas of real estate) many times box unsuspecting consumers into deals that they possibly did not necessarily need, want or understand.
I had helped shape the selling tactics for condos in Condoland by actually “selling the units“. When the market was good, developers didn’t need my services but when it got bad, I would hear from them.
I didn’t have a real estate license back then, chasing money as an entrepreneur. For years I chased the concept of a digitized real estate network and in 1990, well before the introduction of the “World Wide Web” as the Internet was called back then, and before a Windows Operating System (computers back then had black screens with ugly green blinking “cursers” and were used primarily as word processors) and all that other technology that came along after we produced our first interactive multimedia CD-ROM of Condoland (Toronto).
The principal motivation behind my conceptual and creative pursuits was that I didn’t qualify for any jobs other than sales.
I listen to Donald Trump blather off about how he’s such a “successful entrepreneur” and can’t help chuckling to myself as this “silver spoon” highly educated and talented “self-promoter” isn’t a successful entrepreneur.
With all due respect, when you are the rich son of a big time real estate developer who gave you a million dollars to “get started” in real estate and later you inherited another $25 million or so when you father passed away, you simply cannot tell me that entrepreneurial skill had anything to do with it.
And when you realize that he failed right out of the blocks and would have lost everything only to be given a reprieve from creditors who accepted equity (almost 100%) instead of pushing him into bankruptcy, and then having four casinos go into bankruptcy, and then all the failed condo projects bearing his name, and then the alleged bilking of consumers with Trump University (3 independently filed class action law suits claiming “Fraud“).
I have difficulty seeing where him having graduated from Wharton Business School, the most prestigious business school in America and connecting it to either that track record or any rational justification for anyone to stand behind him in his pursuits of becoming President of the United States of America.
And don’t even get me started about the lists of litigators (highly priced lawyers) who have made so much money from Conodoland’s shaky developers, frivolously alleging Defamation (Slander and/or Libel) on my part while defending clients who were getting beaten up by simply publishing the even and shining a bright light on the issue.
They consistently had no case and I actually enjoyed the challenge of defending myself (you can represent yourself but not a business or other party – an uneducated me given the opportunity to meet the challenge of actually representing myself was alluring to me) against them but they quickly adjusted to also threatening to sue the brokerage with whom I placed my real estate license.
I just spent over a year dealing with a multitude of doctors in response to being old, I guess, because I had only low iron (which I remedied myself with a supplement – duh) and some questions about my thyroid. Then they rambled off the ranch onto my need for a colonoscopy “because I’m over fifty“.
No symptoms or ailments, just because I was “over fifty“. Do you think that there are salespeople involved in the medical field?
And politicians, well the obvious is the obvious. One needs only take a look at what is going in the American Presidential race today, to see the dysfunction, not to mention the Canadian Prime Ministers media-manifested issue that generated headlines last week!
All of these highly educated professions so dismally failing is offensive to me.
Fortunately for me, the real estate industry has no educational requirement. Three courses with an “open book exam” (today they can’t use the book for exams) and you are a Realtor!
I actually only got my real estate license in 2000 as the Internet showed itself on the horizon.
I’ve always lived by the expression: “if you end up with lemons . . . . make lemonade“, and as my interactive multimedia CD-ROM (first ever) died on the vine, we simply morphed it into Condoland’s first “condo web site“.
The President of Harvey Kalles Real Estate, Michael Kalles told me that one of his sales rep’s kid actually started Realtor.ca having seen my Hong Kong CD-ROM of Condoland and Kalles’ high end homes back in 1990!
I’ve spoken out for a decade and a half on behalf of consumers who have been exploited in Condoland ever since I entered the business in 1979.
I’m no longer active in the day to day buying and selling. I still invest in properties and continue efforts to level the playing field for condo buyer’s not only in Condoland (Condoland is where condos are) but everywhere.
Lawyers wrote the Condo Act that has masqueraded as consumer protection for all of my four decades of exposure to the condo industry. The Condo Act protects developers and property managers but tragically overlooks consumers, who are the ONLY party putting up any money in this equation.
The Province, after years of discussion has finally introduced minor changes in the historically outdated Act, but it really is just “window dressing“, as usual.
Lawyers form the majority of the board of directors of Tarion (New Home Warranty Company), developers are required to register with Tarion and then pass the bill on to each buyer, resulting in Tarion representing the developer despite being paid by the consumer.
Lacking adequate Regulation, Condoland has become “the Wild West” totally at the expense of the consumer.
The economy depends on construction jobs so don’t expect Governments to do anything to disrupt the market, despite “shadow inventories of unsold suites” and “vacant suites sold to non-resident international investors” (who ultimately expect a positive return on their investment).
So, we are left to conclude that the laws of gravity simply do not apply to Condoland. Prices can continue to go up, and up and up.
I weathered the Crash of 1989 and I can tell you that absolute every thing I see today takes me back to 1989.
“Buy with 10% Down” offers continue to flood my mail box.
The only difference that I see today over back then is that “money is cheap“.
What exactly is that supposed to mean?
I hear and see a flood of advertising about this misconception about “cheap money“.
Prices have increased at unacceptable rates while the quality of our condos is proving a new “threat on the horizon“.
I’m researching the latest construction material that allows for all of these glimmering glass towers, the glass walls (called either “curtain wall” or “Window Wall) and have discovered some very disturbing information that calls for immediate attention on a mass scale or Condoland (all condos built in Ontario since 2000 minimally).
Studying the product I have discovered a mathematical reality that I have not heard discussed before.
Glass is NOT an insulator. These glass walls are actually two lawyers of glass with gas separating them (“double glazed“) and they have a “life expectancy” of up to 15 years.
So condos built since 2000 are arriving at a time and place where the condo boards may have to replace the entire envelope of the building.
But wait, if they have to remove the existing glass walls and replace them, what happens to the occupants/owners?
What is the likelihood that the condo corporation’s “Reserve Fund” will be adequately capitalized to meet this massive financial burden on top of the projected expenses set out in the Reserve Fund Study?
And I haven’t heard anyone talking about the potential of these “sealed window units” breaking down and having the gas escape resulting in no insulation value!
And a bigger and more threatening scenario revolves around the “installation” or should I say “correct installation” of these glass walls.
These fifteen year life-span expectations are totally based on “proper installation” and my research to date clearly shows that a great many of these window walls are being installed improperly!
So, it appears that we have all of these highly educated professional people throughout our governments (Federal, Provincial and Municipal) and no-one has come up with the logical outcome of having a massive population on our citizens living in buildings that at best 15 years down the road will have to move out to allow the massive construction project that will be required in replacing these windows!
And all of this is based on a “best case scenario” and when I start publishing the photographs of various actual installations, I imagine you will be as concerned as am I.
I’m going to address the threat of these unseen and un-inspected deficiencies in upcoming blogs so stay tune!