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Spring - Friday, Mar. 24, 2023
Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023 @ 3:54 pm
We go through open house after open house, usually on rainy afternoons after hiking in the forest with our friend's dog. Condos, townhomes, half duplexes, the odd free standing house. The occasional private showing. Russell forwards me new listings, and I review them carefully. Typically, our comments match each other’s, and it’s reassuring to know that we’re looking for the same things.
The process is fun at times, but mostly I find it exhausting. I like the older units better than the newer units, but the older units are rife with rain screening problems and water ingress. I’ve become a late-night creeper, parking quietly in front of places and walking around in the darkness, listening and observing the neighbourhood carefully.
The stakes are too high for surprises.
“No place is going to be perfect,” Mark, who has never owned real estate, advises me.
I nod in agreement because his statement is true, but also I’m displeased with the comment, as I’ve had a decent exposure to real estate and understand my process. I’ve purchased and sold three homes; I know when I’m ready to make an offer.
I’m tired of beige walls, but I’m also tired of white walls. I’m tired of staged furniture, but I’m turned off by sticky fingerprints and jam-packed closets of the units that are occupied. I’m tired of the bland responses from the selling realtors, of blatant realtor lies.
Before entering a unique two-level unit located beside a creek, I walk around the entire property. The creek slope is failing, taking the building with it. The first stage of building failure is evident: a walkway is sloping at a 20 degree angle and starting to crumble into the ferns and salal.
“What does the strata have in terms of an engineering report regarding the slope failure?” I ask the realtor after touring the unit. He stands there perfectly coiffed, suit and tie, fresh haircut.
“Oh, there’s nothing in the strata documents about that. You’d need to ask the municipality about anything related to that.”
I stare at him blankly.
“You mean to say that the building is literally falling into the ravine, and the strata hasn’t commissioned a report into how that’s affecting the overall structure and what needs to be done to mitigate the erosion?”
“Again,” he says, “There’s nothing in the strata documents.”
And so the search continues.