Westside New Build Calamity – “The house is for sale for $2.7M at the moment.”

rmac at VREAA 21 July 2011 4:01pm“The house next door to ours (on West 21st) was constructed by casual labourers that were trucked in daily from Surrey – not much English between them but they did anything required, including discovering an old oil tank and disguising it in a pile of debris to be hauled off. After the house was finished but before curtains were up we glanced in the front window from the sidewalk and noticed a veritable waterfall cascading out of the ceiling fixture. We called the real estate agent listed on the sign out front and hours later someone came to look at it. The never used plumbing in the bathroom had exploded. The water was cleaned up and the plumbing fixed but the wiring, light fixtures, hard wood floors were just left to dry out. Shortly after that the three stairs leading to the front porch came separated at the porch because no rebar had been used to tie in the stairs. That little faux pas was tiled over. The house is for sale for $2.7M at the moment.”

In a red-hot speculative ‘seller’s market’, construction standards disintegrate. Buyers get even less than what they would for lower prices in a more normal market. The ‘high-end’ has not escaped this effect. – vreaa

8 responses to “Westside New Build Calamity – “The house is for sale for $2.7M at the moment.”

  1. Aldus Huxtable

    A very close friend is a red seal journeyman concrete finisher. He visited the lower mainland and placed some calls to find out about the potential of relocating down here. One potential employer offered him half of a qualified journeymans rate. When my friend asked why the wage was so low, the employer replied “why should I pay you when I can get an immigrant to do it for half?”. This is an entirely factual story. My friend said to me “you know, at least he was being honest with me.”

    I believe the above story may be testament to why it’s worth using a construction company that uses ticketed tradespeople.

    • - so typical of Vancouver with its shoddy construction – anything built after Expo is complete garbage as far as apartments and townhomes. i can’t believe the number of people i know who have SFH’s with smelly, moldy basements because of poor drainage.

  2. 4SlicesofCheese

    I really wish reputable, honest developers would stand up and make some noise about this issue. But I fear too many have gone to the “well everyone else is doing it mind as well get in on it too”

  3. the good guys just can’t compete…it is funny when you think about most consumer goods, most buyers only look at the price… they want it cheap…hard to believe that we now live in a society where a house is considered a consumer good to be lumped in with all the others despite its necessity to last…we aren’t buying a dishwasher folks, but ironically the prices aren’t cheap at all. So we have really been brainwashed to accept shoddy workmanship because after all, can you imagine what a well constructed house would cost to build if 2 million gets you shit?!

  4. this is great foresight, actually

    because then everything has to be fixed again and again

    this economy will never die!

  5. New builds are easy to cover up…. buyers LOVE the eye candy, Granite Stainless, 3 car garage and backs on to a flog course… who can ask for anything more??? Paint covers poor workmanship for at least a couple years, and crown moldings hide all the imperfections between the ceiling and the walls, besides, buyers love that look…. how many buyers take a square and a level to that new “gated community”? i am sure the sales team won’t mind if you ask to look at phase 2 that is still being built so you can check for quality workmanship before you buy into phase 1….. I dare you to try that one one day…. BAAAWAAAAHAAAA

    • Checked out a display unit for a townhouse complex in Surrey. Didn’t even need a square or level to see that there wasn’t a 90 degree corner in the whole unit. Thought to myself, “if this is the display unit. What do the other units look like?”

  6. For this very reason, I will never buy a home built in the US between about 2002 and 2009, unless I can go back, verify the construction company, get feedback on their company and their work.

    Soooo much crap built during a bubble. Just like there are so many new realtors who were working some completely different job a year ago before jumping into the mania, the same is true with the construction crew, and even the developer himself.

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