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Click here for the newsletter, but here’s the lead article from the National Post, by William Hanley

A house is a home, not an investment

You can buy a 900-square-foot, two- bedroom apartment behind the State Department store in Ulan Bator for US$103,700. I know this because I was sent an e-mail touting this deal and others in the Mongolian capital just this week.

The vendor is casting a somewhat wide sales net in trying to sell this property. I can’t imagine someone in Kitchener, Ont., getting excited about a two-bedroom real estate opportunity in Ulan Bator. But, then, I’m not in the market these days.

That said, property and its value still has a place in my scheme of things, even if it is as a virtual real estate tourist after an adult lifetime of actually buying and selling houses and condos with mixed financial results. And with spring comes a renewed interest in property as the market traditionally heats up in Canada and elsewhere. Here in Waikiki, I have had any number of conversations recently about real estate prices here and back on the mainland.

My own long history of “investing” in houses was brought back to me recently when a friend very kindly sent me a link from a Canadian newspaper outlining the price and details of a house sale in Toronto. The house, at 87 Langley Avenue in Riverdale, happened to be my home from 1980 to 1985. And the friend was actually yanking my chain, giving me an ironic dig about my own questionable real estate decisions.

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