Sunday, July 22, 2007

better than a condo

Today I did something that I have not done for some time - I did an RE search of all of E. Vancouver for SFH $400k or less. I got 4 hits and thought cool. Well, maybe not.

All of the four were on lots of dubious size. One was a wreck perched on an alley down at the bottom of Commercial Drive, and while the lot is a fairly normal size, they expect a quarter million shiboobles for a 1/3 "undivided interest" in the lot - that your shack will share with two other shacks. I've seen this "undivided interest" before, and don't know what it is, but I will bet that it is not in any buyer's interest to get involved.

The one featured here is on a 26' x 63' lot, and is proclaimed as a great holding property.

Here's the blurb:

Fantastic opportunity. Come & look at this 2 bedroom starter home. Close to skyt rain. Much better than a condominium. Create your own little dream home here. Bu ilt-in alarm, 2 skylights, well looked after. Nice garden area, fully fenced for your kids & pets. Great holding property.

All this for $349k.

OK, so it's not very big (700 sq. feet). We know that the photographer did not take the shot from the middle of the room, but was dizzily perched on the arm of the sofa, and up against the wall. That's a teensy-tiny living room, but still bigger than what you would get in a CONdo for a like price. Is it just me, or does that doorway look kind of narrow? Like, about 2 1/2 feet narrow.

It would appear that the agent was still woozy from taking the living room shot when she took this drunken pic'. Maybe the angle is what makes the place look so big.

The feature list elicits questions.

Features: Security System
Embedded oven

Er, where is the oven embedded? Is it like one of those Van City mixer mortgages, but you have to sleep with the oven? Is it embedded in the back yard, where it fell from a passing aircraft? Is the embedded oven a feature of the security system - as in - no one can steal your oven? Is the stove floating around somewhere, moaning in it's disembodiment from the oven?

There is a good point though - it is better than a CONdo - 700 square feet, and a garden, and it's only forty five minutes to downtown by bus (actually, it's not far from the 29th Ave. skyt rain).

Maybe next week I'll do a search for $450k or less.


I think I may have found out about the embedded oven.

Yes, it is a bit primitive, but there isn't much room for a kitchen in this converted double-wide. It comes with the over-bed sprinkler system to keep you safe.

Breakfast in bed every day, and, saves on heating bills.


WoodenHorse said...

Hey Soplipsist,

I did this same exercise last spring. Funny, but I only got 3 properties less than 400K back then...however the quality of your finds here are even worse.

Back then a cool 375K would have gotten me a SFH on Hastings with access to "personal services" just out on the front sidewalk.

condohype said...

Embedded oven? That's hilarious.

solipsist said...

Thanks for commenting woodenhorse. I see that you are still anticipating a loud POP.

I do an occassional search - just for laughs...or to see if the tide has changed yet.

Sometimes I feel that there are a lot more tricks up certain sleeves. The whole thing beggars belief.

hype - I did a cheap photoshop, but did not do the idea justice.

Wu'kong said...

See Vanmap ( to check out the property details.

Assessed at $290K, it is a rectangular lot cut into a trapezoid by a double railway line.

Maybe the embedded oven prevents the souffle from collapsing as CP rumbles by ...

RentingSucks said...

I'm reminded of the conversation I was having with a cooworker. Hoping that some decent houses in the area I live would come down to $400,000. He reminded me that that was still a lot of money especially for a simply decent house ( older, clean, not an ex grow op but maybe smaller and on a busy street ). I'd make the leap if I can live where I live now but I'm not moving to Maple Ridge.

WoodenHorse said...

solipsist: RE the POP!, more than ever my friend....more than ever.

rentingsucks: While true to you name, that renting does-indeed-suck, I think that we'll all be renting for a while.

Firstly, I'm investing my rental savings. Second, if you think that a housing bubble has formed in vancouver, housing will not be a good investment for a long long time.

As long as I can put a roof over my head at a rental price less than 1/200th of the purchase price, I say f'em.

RentingSucks said...

Well the more it goes up the more likely a sudden reversal will happen. But knowing my luck it will be a long slow grind.

Everything else seems so strong right now. The tick up in interest rates should help and hopefully the supply overhang. We shall see.

You should take a look at Ottawa for places under 300 thousand. You'll have to refine your search because there are too many.

WoodenHorse said...

Yeah...but then you'd have to live in Ottawa.

solipsist said...

It seems that the TSX took a header today - shedding over 400 points (especially energy). Biggest decline in 3 years. $ up to over $0.97 US.

It might be beginning to unravel. With the dollar still climbing, expect interest rates to rise again in Sept., and probably beyond.

Be stalwart, stoical, salubrious.

solipsist said...

I just checked my portfolio, and everything is up significantly - as it always is when the TSX goes down.

Does that mean I'm a contrarian investor?

I want to see the TSX down to 6,000 - then I'll be able to retire (NOT!).

patriotz said...

With the dollar still climbing, expect interest rates to rise again in Sept., and probably beyond.

That doesn't make sense, a higher dollar is deflationary and allows for lower (or stable) interest rates, other things being equal. Central banks raise interest rates to try to boost a falling currency.

At any rate the BoC is concerned with consumer price inflation and as long as that is above its target, rates will go up, regardless of how the loonie is doing.

solipsist said...

Thanks for pointing out my glaring gibberish patriotz.

I think that I meant to make a point about unravelling, and failed to do so.

I might have said that interest rates are rising (with obvious(?) ramifications, and the dollar rising will affect exports and tourism, etc., which will both affect the larger economy, and so on.

It's the after-work beers - they render me entirely nonsensical...I'm going to quit while I'm not too far behind!

Anonymous said...

east van now has 37 properties priced over $1 mil - (none last summer).

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