Friday Free-for-all! March 18th Edition

Hey! You made it to the end of another work week! The weekend is nigh and that means it’s time for our regular end of the week news round up and open topic discussion thread. Here are a few recent links to kick off the chat:

Confused ‘paycheck-to-paycheck’ buyers race to beat deadline
Buyers unhappy with condos from shell company after developer goes bankrupt
Olympic Village sales not slowed by allegations of shoddy construction
Community groups protest Chinatown condos
8000 Vancouver buildings vulnerable to earthquakes
You’ll be able to buy more condos at $10.25 per hour!
Victoria homebuilders blame politics for downturn
Canada earns a ‘C’ for economic performance
Where to invest next: Bamfield!

So what are you seeing out there? Post your news links, thoughts and anecdotes here and have an excellent weekend!

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KopyrightKlepto
Member
KopyrightKlepto

The ides have come.

Et tu, Brute?

Patiently Waiting
Member
Patiently Waiting

From 2007:

"Sometimes it seems as if the whole town has closed down," said Rich Palmer, Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre director. "What he has done should be illegal."

http://www.canada.com/victoriatimescolonist/news/

rp1
Guest
rp1
UnagiDon
Guest
UnagiDon
Mr. Nuclear Power Plant has a tummy ache! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUzBvxdnCFM After the big earthquake the other day, Mr. Nuclear Power Plant from Fukushima got a tummy ache. "My tummy hurts! I've gotta go poopy!" Mr. Nuclear Power Plant's poopy is really stinky, and if his diaper leaks, that would be a huge mess! Try to hold it in, Mr. Nuclear Power Plant! Uh oh! Mr. Nuclear Power Plant made a big noise! Everyone was in shock. "Uh oh, did he do a poopy?" they wondered. They measured the smell around him, but it was not too stinky. "It wasn't a poopy, it was just a fart!" But his tummy still hurts. So the doctors are going to give him medicine. His medicine is made of sea water and boron. He needs to be cooled down. The doctors are giving him lots… Read more »
specialfx3000
Member
specialfx3000

Found this video while reading at VREAA…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYnP4Cs6rgE&fe

The people behind the lawsuit apparently put the video together to support their case… I'm so mean… I actually chuckled watching the video.

The builders deserve some credit… Excellent precision in lining up the ceiling leak to the toilet. Many of us guys can't even aim that well.

Dave
Member

@specialfx3000:

All new buildings have little issues. Leaking water is by far the worst in that video, but it's an internal leak, not a building envelope leak. All the other issues with drywall and flooring can be easily fixed. It's dumb to complain about room size because those people should have known what they were buying. I don't have too much sympathy for them, assuming the City steps up and fixes the little problems.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

@specialfx3000:

That's not unique to the olympic village, but what is unique is that the OV has dropped prices by up to 40% on some of their units. Besides, they've been in those suites for what, a year now and their complaints are getting heard a month after prices drop. Let's call it what it is, a bailout for a bad investment.

Best place on meth
Member
Best place on meth

Happy March 18th, everyone!

registered
Member
registered

Irrelevant quote of the day from article 3: "Sales of condos in the former athletes village will not be hurt following lawsuits alleging shoddy construction and improper disclosure, a consultant representing the marketer said Thursday."

The consultant is from Boldt Communications, a 'Vancouver-based marketing communications firm that specializes in helping you tell your story.' A marketer for a marketer says everything is OK, and that's hard news in Vancouver when it touches real estate. This city's culture needs a reboot.

jaymow
Guest
jaymow

Honestly, that video just makes me howl. I have no sympathy whatsoever for those speculators. Who would pay 50% less after seeing that video? Dave, those are not minor deficiencies. The reality is that the developer could have put lipstick on the pig and made them 'look' decent, but they didn't even do that. In my experience what you see there is the tip of the iceberg, where the real mass exists under the surface….

Also, that video was a very gusty move by the present owners as it could backfire badly: Their units are worth even less than the 50% haircut that they're already taking as nobody that watches that video would consider buying in OV.

Fullfrontalabotomy
Member
Fullfrontalabotomy

If anyone has the time/inclination, http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/story/2011/03/17/… is hosting a live chat regarding the new rules. Would be nice if it weren't a fact-free echo chamber…

bubbly
Member

More links for those of you not following my twitter.

* Kedrosky: Tracking Vancouver's Real Estate Bubble: Unprecedented Changes http://t.co/qJsQ0su

* Macleans: The Canada bubble http://bit.ly/fKNL7e

* The CMHC & Canada's Housing Bubble http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xk3j6g50Krs

* The triple threat: Vancouver’s new fleet of cargo tricycles http://bit.ly/gZ3aKV #Vancouver

And for the lovers of doom:

* US geologist: A Major Earthquake in North America Imminent http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQXDt4VdS0E

jesse
Member

@Dave: The small rooms are quite shocking.

I agree most of their complaints are pretty much par for the course in Vancouver, including detached construction. Most can be fixed.

Jack Wagon
Guest
Jack Wagon

The live chat on CBC.ca is about the biggest waste of time going. These guys need to go to typing 101. Who wants to wait 90 seconds between each 3 line comment? Morons.

Devore
Member
Devore

@jaymow:

Also, that video was a very gusty move by the present owners as it could backfire badly: Their units are worth even less than the 50% haircut that they’re already taking as nobody that watches that video would consider buying in OV.

How is that a "gutsy move"? None of these people are gonna sell for 50% off, because they can't afford it, and no one will buy once they see you can't even fit a bed into the bedrooms. They're just trying to embarrass the city into handing over money to keep them quiet.

Best place on meth
Member
Best place on meth

@Fullfrontalabotomy:

I learned so much from Mr. Mortgage Broker.

Like how people should take out home equity to gamble in the stock markets.

"Your mortgage is the lowest cost source of debt that you will ever have access to. If you are in a position to pay the mortgage off my suggestion would be to pay the mortgage off, and then draw the maximum amount allowed in order to buy investments, your risk propensity should determine those investments, but many secure, relatively risk free investments can be made with that low cost source of funds. Perhaps some safe Bank stocks with nice juicy dividends?"

I didn't know bank stocks were safe investments, somebody tell the shareholders of Citigroup.

Dave
Member

@jesse:

It's just sour grapes at having paid too much.

I can understand when little issues come up and the developer turns non-responsive. That's happens quite frequently and I think it's a problem. Some of them step up and provide good after service, but not all. I don't know if that's the case here or not.

Strataman
Guest
Strataman

@jesse: Actually the leaks pictured are extremely serious. That is sewage used to heat/ cool the units. (This is a high tech system built at shoddy standards) The expense and cost of repair will far exceed a mere building envelope leak. In the ceilings there are pipes that heat or cool the room. The fluid is clear water sewage (The solids have been removed). 🙂 Have a nice day.

jesse
Member

@Dave: Yeah unresponsiveness of developers is a real pain but nothing an amount withheld in escrow cannot handle. Of course the obvious problem is to reduce deficiencies in the first place.

I don't think the small rooms is "sour grapes" unless that's the exact suite they were sold. If the suite shown to them was bigger, and even if the suite was furnished with nonstandard bed sizes to make it look bigger, they have a legitimate complaint IMO.

Seeing as you have contacts with builders, what would you suggest be done here? 99% of presale contracts award developers who perform these practices. Is a large escrow fund the answer? On contract detached builds, it's not uncommon to withhold 1/3 payments until after inspection for this very reason.

VHB
Member
VHB

@Strataman: Strataman: I love you, in a non-sexual housing market kind of way.

You provide some of the best info here. Thank you.

Dave
Member

@jesse:

I admit that it's a problem and I also think that something should be done. The legal route is too cumbersome and slow. Either there should be an independent body that reviews such claims, or money gets held back. 1/3rd is way too much. I also don't think the condition should be some type of inspection as there are no controls around that. You can't hold back 6 figures because some wing-nut doesn't like the building code or has some pet issue.

Dave
Member

@Strataman:

Are you sure about that? I doubt the grey water is being pumped through the building to heat it. Rather, a heat exchanger would strip the heat from the grey water and then distribute it to the units using glycol or water.

The pipe that broke is most likely a sanitary or water supply line break from the bathroom above. It's probably an easy fix.

space889
Guest
space889
@Dave: I think at least 1/4 should probably be held in escrow for a set time like 1 or 2 years. A lot of the problems, especially those buried behind walls, can't be found with a simple visual inspection and takes time to show up. A large amount and a lengthy hold period could also discourage builders from cutting too many corners and do a rush job. Ideally the buyer should be able to do a full inspection before all the dry walls, ceiling, etc are put in so that all the electrical, water, heating systems can be inspected. Or the city can actually do their job of inspecting new builds properly and require builders to build to the minimum standards. It seems like this process is not being carried out consistently by the city. Frankly if the city didn't… Read more »
space889
Guest
space889

@Dave: Then why isn't the developer actually fixing it if it is so easy? Are they just that lazy or cheap? Seriously, water leaking over electrical applicances, that sounds like a huge safety harzard to me given that electricity and water shouldn't mix.

Also, sewage water for heating/cooling? Even with the solids stripped out, still ewwwww…..I certainly wouldn't want any of it dripping on my bed, clothing, skin, etc. There's a lot in sewage water than just the solids.

bubbly
Member

@Devore: Of course it's not a "gutsy move". It would have been gutsy if they came up with the video and lawsuit before the big sale. But back then they were probably still counting on the bigger fools buying the crappy units from them.

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