[note that this anecdote is posted here one month after it was up at VCI -ed.]
mflat at vancouvercondo.info 27 Sep 2010 4:48pm – “My wife and I are starting to think about buying a house, although nothing too serious until we see the correction is underway. With that in mind, we’ve started looking more at the real estate market to see what’s out there and watch the pricing trends. We did two things this weekend that I wanted to share:
1. Went to the Vancouver Heritage Foundation’s self-guided Vancouver Specials tour. For $25 they give you a map of 4 renovated Vancouver Specials (all on the east side this year) to see what’s possible with these eye sores. As shown, the boxy Special is great for a modern renovation with it’s straight, boxy lines, and simple load-bearing design. Something to think about for when the market tanks and one wants to do a lot of reno to make a house their own.
What surprised us about the tour was the demographic of people we saw/encountered. They were largely over 40-years-old, and many much older. Perhaps those who are looking for their last flip into a house they can reno and be proud of? Something that might get into Wallpaper magazine as they enter their final creative years as a self-published author/poet? Anyway, just odd to see so many older people interested in this sort of thing, and not the young condo flippers that you’d see at every Realtor conference.
2. Took a long walk from downtown to Main & 25th to check out some houses. First up was V840359, listed at $720K. This is a Vancouver Special built on one of the worst bogs in the city. Take a walk down 18th sometime, and have a laugh at all the tilted foundations where neighboring roofs are almost touching due to the house angle. The house listed was like a horror slum on the inside. The worst part of it was the room angles, with sloping floors, and walls/ceilings that felt trapezoidal due to the sunken foundation. No thanks.
Next up was V851300, listed at $790K. A tiny house on a small lot marketed as a better option than a townhouse or condo. Well, maybe at these prices.
Observation is that prices are softening, but not yet to the extent where anything makes sense.”