mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
[personal profile] mme_hardy
 
A young couple with a baby on the way are victimized at every turn by their habit of credulously taking the lowest bid from unknowns. Shock horror!

No, really.

We Bought a Crack House
It was a crumbling Parkdale rooming house, populated by drug users and squatters and available on the cheap. We were cash-strapped, desperate to move and hemmed in by a hot market. Five years, three contractors and $1.1 million later, our home reno nightmare is finally over.

This was November 2010, and Julian and I were living in a handsome but cramped two-bedroom detached with our two-year-old son, Oliver, on Elm Grove Avenue. That house had been a flip job, hastily renovated by the previous owner, and we had bought impulsively, anxious to upsize from our 900-square-foot condo. We soon discovered that it had a slew of issues, the main one being the rats that congregated in our crawl space, scratching and scurrying at all hours and providing fresh fodder for our nightmares. We wanted out.

You'd think these people would have learned a valuable lesson. Ha, ha, you fools!

Our budget was $560,000, but nothing came on the market at that price, so our enterprising young agent, eager to kick-start her business, began knocking on doors in the neighbourhood. Eventually, she met an elderly couple who explained that they owned several properties, including the grande dame, which they’d consider selling. They suggested $480,000, based on their most recent Municipal Property Assessment Corporation report, seemingly unaware of Toronto’s scorching market and the fact that MPAC generally assesses below market value. We needed to move fast, Julian said, before they put it on the market.

That night, six hours after Julian had called me at work, we submitted a bid of $480,000 without conditions. To our surprise, the owners refused it outright, evidently realizing they’d under-quoted us. We pushed our offer to our limit of $560,000, and they accepted. I was thrilled. Then the adrenalin wore off, and the gravity of what we’d done sank in. We had just spent more than a half a million dollars on a house I had never seen.

I'll let you pick your own favorite quotes.   I'm pretty sure mine is

We considered cutting the electricity, changing the locks or just starting the demolition with the tenants inside, but it didn’t feel right.

The kindly [personal profile] movingfinger  has linked me another article about the couple's hapless victimization by their habit of impulse-buying real estate, as if each successive house were an adorable kitten that had showed up on their doorstep.  And you'll be happy to know that \totally sincere\ liberals have started a gofundme to help with their cruel, cruel situation.

Date: 2017-05-31 02:20 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] caulkhead
... If they were trying to pay significantly below market value to an elderly couple who they thought didn't know any better, there's a word for that.

Am inclined to think they deserved everything they got.



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Date: 2017-05-31 03:31 pm (UTC)
lilysea: Books (Books)
From: [personal profile] lilysea
... If they were trying to pay significantly below market value to an elderly couple who they thought didn't know any better, there's a word for that.

Sincere, not sarcastic comment: which word were you thinking of?

I totally agree it's appalling, unethical behaviour, I was just genuinely curious which word(s) you were thinking of. ^_^

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Date: 2017-05-31 02:39 pm (UTC)
legionseagle: (Default)
From: [personal profile] legionseagle
We weren’t particularly handy, but we’d seen all the home reno shows, and it seemed like everyone in the city was doing it. How hard could it be?


"Had they seen the home reno shows with the sound turned off?" enquiring minds wish to know. Surely the VOICEOVER OF HUSHED DOOM ("Almost six weeks after the delivery of the roof beams to site, the contractor is still yet to call Paul and Miranda back with an estimated date of erection. Worse still, the last fortnight's torrential rain has rendered the driveway impassable for heavy vehicles. Then another disaster strikes....")would have tipped them off that it isn't that easy.
Edited Date: 2017-05-31 02:40 pm (UTC)

Date: 2017-05-31 03:23 pm (UTC)
recessional: a small blue-paisley teapot with a blue mug (Default)
From: [personal profile] recessional
Yeah I gotta say, I don't like home reno shows but five seconds watching them in waiting rooms will teach you a few incredibly valuable lessons:

1. It's always going to cost more than anyone thinks it's going to.

2. It's always going to take way longer than anyone thinks it's going to.

3. BE AFRAID, BE VERY AFRAID.

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Date: 2017-05-31 02:51 pm (UTC)
nineveh_uk: Illustration that looks like Harriet Vane (Harriet)
From: [personal profile] nineveh_uk
I love the "We didn’t even own a car" plea of poverty at a point at which they own several houses.

I have tremendous sympathy for people who get taken advantage of by a conman when they think that they are paying a professional tradesman a fair amount to do a good job. I am also sympathetic to people stuck in a terrible housing market who can't move out of a place far too small, can't buy at all (me!), or can't find somewhere decent to rent, or who rent at a cost as much as a mortgage (me again!). This couple aren't either. In fact they now own three houses and the value of this one is clearly massively in excess of their debts.

But my big question, having read the two articles, is where it their income coming from? Because a part-time academic fresh out of a PhD, and a freelance food blogger/radio producer, don't earn the kind of salary that allows you too buy four houses....

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Date: 2017-05-31 03:34 pm (UTC)
clanwilliam: (Default)
From: [personal profile] clanwilliam
I have to confess that the photo of the original kitchen made me realise that it's both in better nick and has a cleaner floor than my kitchen right now…

"He wondered whether the tenants, angry at being evicted, had vandalized it."

Reader, I larfed.

Edit: Am also reminded of My Tornado Hell.
Edited Date: 2017-05-31 03:35 pm (UTC)

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Date: 2017-05-31 09:38 pm (UTC)
movingfinger: (Default)
From: [personal profile] movingfinger
Ms. Jeung is a Toronto-area media personality. Her husband is apparently a salesman for cleaning supplies, judging from his role in all this.

Date: 2017-05-31 03:11 pm (UTC)
vom_marlowe: (Default)
From: [personal profile] vom_marlowe
I kind of like the image of them being hemmed in by a hot market--I picture all these fancy houses in skimpy paint jobs hustling them into an alley, their curlique Victoriana gingerbread trim menacing the poor couple....

I think my favorite sentence so far is, "Desperate, we pimped out our newborn daughter for some modelling gigs, which added a whopping $250 to our budget."

WOW.

She's trying for irony or sarcasm, but the sincerity is so clear it's making my eyes bug out.

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Date: 2017-05-31 03:32 pm (UTC)
recessional: a small blue-paisley teapot with a blue mug (Default)
From: [personal profile] recessional
I am like . . .

There are 3bedroom condos for sale here on the north shore for around 560$ and they are perfectly nice. They may be a bit cramped, but on the other hand they are also right near great parks for kids and lots of amenities, so you solve that by making the house where you rest and sleep. And Vancouver's housing market is as bad as Toronto's. (This time last year we were WORSE, which was part of the point where everyone went " . . . okay this is fucking ludicrous" because there is no way in HELL the same property in Van should cost twice as much as in Toronto).

If you're that wedded to having a bigger home than that for that money, STOP LIVING IN FUCKING TORONTO.

Date: 2017-05-31 03:39 pm (UTC)
legionseagle: (Default)
From: [personal profile] legionseagle
It's more or less where I used to live in Toronto (Westminster Avenue off Roncesvalles Ave, in my case) and it's OK but I can't see what the fuss is about.

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Date: 2017-05-31 04:06 pm (UTC)
howlgirl: (Default)
From: [personal profile] howlgirl
Poor babies! Owning more than one property and being unable to pay off the personal loan. How horrific.

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Date: 2017-05-31 04:11 pm (UTC)
sabotabby: (furiosa)
From: [personal profile] sabotabby
I'm so embarrassed for my city. I have a lot of friends in that neighbourhood and have watched it go from affordable to gentrified in the two decades I've lived here, regularly see people evicted, etc. The person who started the GoFundMe is an irl friend.

Right now tenants in that neighbourhood are in a pitched fight with corrupt landlords, one of whom attempted to murder a tenant with his car yesterday.

I'm lucky enough to have been able to afford to buy a house in a less hot (at the time) area before the market went nuts. I have a bad reno story. But these people and their privilege and the willingness of the media to indulge their whining just fill me with rage.

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Date: 2017-06-02 02:49 am (UTC)
ironed_orchid: pin up girl reading kant (Default)
From: [personal profile] ironed_orchid
So [Toronto friend you introduced me to once upon a time] says that this particular house was less crack house and more anarchist co-op. Which makes this couple and their drama more ridiculous.

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Date: 2017-05-31 04:46 pm (UTC)
tree_and_leaf: Isolated tree in leaf, against blue sky. (Default)
From: [personal profile] tree_and_leaf
Good grief!

Date: 2017-05-31 08:55 pm (UTC)
sovay: (Morell: quizzical)
From: [personal profile] sovay
another article about the couple's hapless victimization by their habit of impulse-buying real estate, as if each successive house were an adorable kitten that had showed up on their doorstep.

Is this some form of complicated performance art? Why would you keep doing this to yourself and others? Why would you keep writing about it?

Date: 2017-05-31 09:01 pm (UTC)
sillymouse: Plum Blossom (Default)
From: [personal profile] sillymouse
"The upstairs kitchen was covered in anti-capitalist graffiti."

Wasn't me with the spray can. Honest.

One of my cousins has been popping up in the posh property supplements over here. She kept driving past a dilapidated cottage on her way to antenatal appointments and decided to spend her maternity leave project-managing the renovation (profits helpfully set out in a little box under the picture of her in a hard hat. Profits maximised by borrowing the purchase price from her mother at a derisory rate of interest, not from mean nasty banks). Still, it's not as bad (good?) as the time her sister was in a supermarket magazine revealing what a terrifying leap into the unknown starting her (now hugely successful, stocked in John Lewis and all major retailers of overpriced middleclass fripperies) business had been. The poorer end of the family were roaring at each other for months afterwards "It's not such a leap into the unknown when your husband OWNS A SWISS CHALET, is it?"
Edited (edited for repetition) Date: 2017-05-31 09:02 pm (UTC)

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Date: 2017-06-01 05:18 pm (UTC)
ethelmay: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ethelmay
The URL alone!

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