The Vancouver Real Estate Anecdote Archive (VREAA) has been doing a great job of collecting anecdotes from the great Vancouver housing bubble for a while now, and many reader here will be familiar with that site. VREAA is now running a series called Froogle Scott that follows along the experience of one local homebuyer who bought early in the run-up.
My wife and I, first time buyers, purchase a 1940s stucco bungalow in the Grandview area of East Vancouver for the asking price of $355,000. This is about a year and a half into the current eight-year real estate boom/bubble. The lot size is 33 x 117, just slightly smaller than standard. The MLS listing gives the square footage of the house as 1860, which later turns out to be a 20% exaggeration. The house is only about 1550 square feet, split over two levels — the main floor, and a two-bedroom, ground-level rental suite. The rental suite is tenanted — a quiet single mum with stable employment and her teenaged son, who look at us with a certain amount of trepidation when we first tour the house. They needn’t worry. We’re happy to inherit good tenants, and do not increase their rent ($560 a month, plus 40% of the utilities) for the year and a half that they continue to live in the suite.
……. We avoid a bidding war because of the listing agent’s greed. She wants to sell the house to her own clients and pocket both ends of the commission (“double-ending”). So she doesn’t have an open house. And the home owners perhaps aren’t savvy enough to demand that she have one.
Read the whole first installment at the VREAA site.