Don’t buy houses and aim to reduce your debt because 2009 is going to be a “stinker,” said a former Ontario MP who predicted the Lower Mainland’s real estate crash.


Garth Turner said Canadians are in a period of time comparable to 1930 – following the stock market crash, but before the Great Depression.


“We’re in a very difficult, murky period of time,” said Turner. “Governments are trying to do everything they can to keep this from becoming a deflationary spiral.”


Turner’s book Greater Fool predicted the recent real estate meltdown. His new book After The Crash warns people to prepare for a tough couple of years.


His advice:
- Don’t buy houses because prices should decline for at least the next two years.
- If you plan on selling your home, do it now, because prices are only going to go down.
- Do everything you can to reduce debt, including getting a bank loan to pay off credit cards.
- Renegotiate your mortgage to take advantage of dropping interest rates and change monthly payments to weekly to pay off the mortgage faster.
- Take advantage of tax shelters like RRSPs and the new Tax Free Savings Account.