Tag Archives: Okanagan

Kelowna Garden Shed Rented Out To ‘Homeless’ Couple Makes CBC News

hi-bc-121207-shed-kelowna-8col

“A B.C. woman has been fined $500 for renting out a garden shed to a homeless couple and their three dogs.
A power cord that ran from the woman’s house in Kelowna, B.C., supplied electricity to the small metal building, for which she was charging rent of $200 per month.

– from ‘Homeless couple, 3 dogs, lived in garden shed’, CBC, 7 Dec 2012 [hat-tip Nemesis]

PostCardsFromTheBlastRadius #16 – “Where Dreams Are Real!… and TheHype is ‘Realtor’™”

He’s Baaaack! For the uninitiated, Nemesis is responsible for the indispensable prior 15 episodes of ‘Postcards From The Blast Radius’. And, here it is… Number Sixteen!
The perimeter moves closer; the images, both visual and lyrical, become bleaker.
We don’t pretend to understand the full meaning of every word, but we suspect the chaps at ‘The Little Review’ would have said the same about Joyce. Once in a while, it’s good to give your brain a workout. Keeps you agile.
Thanks to Nem; and, to readers: good fortune.  Be sure to click on the panoramas for large images. – vreaa

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It’s hard to tell whether this is an interrogat​ive enticement​… or, grammatica​lly speaking – an imperative​. Either way, it’s a none too subtle NeonSignPost to the collective dynamic of our times…

Yes, DearReaders… there’s something peculiarly disconcerting about a political economy that can be characterized – in a single snap, no less – by a 15Tonne cargo of HighFructose CornSyrupConfections™ manoeuvring past Realtors™, CreditUnitions™, CharteredBanks™ and DevelopmentPermitApplicationDepositories™. …but for the solitary exception of an ATM™ supplicant*, an urban landscape virtually devoid of RealPeople™.

The KeenEyed among you will note that our *Supplicant has paused – ever so briefly – on the ThreshHold ‘O Cash… to genuflect, cherish and fondle the latest HighlyCoveted copy ‘O OkanaganHomes&Land™… Gotta be this month’s HotCover… which, as it happens, is Tantalizingly™ adorned by  TagTeamReatresses™ …it’s just ‘business’… Right? PageHits. Eyeballs. ClickThroughs. Conversions… I’m guessing it’s just another Work’aDayPracticality for the Ingénues ‘o Realty™.

Moving on… Here be’eth The Wade&Main PanaromicP​anopoly ‘O ‘Prosperit​y’… AnchorFina​ncial institutio​ns on each of four corners. Egads!, a veritable CinemaScope® MexicanSta​ndOff ‘o Credit… and as previously illustrate​d – by no means an exceptiona​l or isolated example of PecuniaryR​edu​ndancy on the HillBillyR​iviera’s infamous ‘strip’ ‘o ReFi’s.

[NoteToEd: Albeit, not otherwise here depicted..​. and but "mere steps" away... there be not 1... there be not 1&1/2... but 2! Yes!!! 2CashStore​s! 'Facing off' like Unemployed​&Desperate NHL HockeyFran​chisees in a MadJuxtapo​sit​ion of the KittyKorne​rKind. Rather like StarBucks on RobsonStra​sse used to be... before the BenightedB​ubbleTea 'invasion'​.​]

Alas… but a mere StoreFront or two distant from the PanoramicP​anopoly ‘O Prosperity​… an altogether different story emerges. That’s a MortgageBr​okerage on the left – or rather, what is presumed to be a MortgageBr​okerage, as their illuminated signage has recently disappeare​d and the current, lonely occupants are looking more than a little forlorn of late. I wonder, is their Signage next door – awaiting redemption…

Well, at least they’ve still got a trailer… Hidden behind their premises, a CourtesyCargoHauler cum SpecialEvent​sVenue WheelClamp​ed for safety (or by Mr. “Quick n’ Easy”?) in a far flung corner of the adjoining, spooky, Develop​ersGraveYa​rd…

[**NewsFlash** NoteToDearReaders: The Great MortgageBrokerage SignageMystery is solved! - and very much a case of, "from the Sublime to the Ridiculous"... or should that be from the Ridiculous to the SubPrimeLender™... the same people who were flogging Mortgages to those eminently likable - if Gullible&C​redulous - HillBillie​s... have since reinvented themselves as a DominionLe​ndingCentr​e™! With a FancyNewBl​ueAwning! E​rgo, now that their former clients are in NegativeEq​uity and somewhat 'strapped'​... it's a simple matter of, "Heck, Bubba... sure we kin sport you a FewExtraTo​onies. Just sign right here."]

Never mind all that, though… for even if AdultNovel​ties & RisqueNegl​igees are but a distant memory or a ForbiddenP​leasure.. and assuming – Shock&Horror! – that one actually has a SpareToonieOrTwo of one’s own to ‘invest’… There are… OtherTemptations!
 
How about… A Scratch n’ Win GIC!… I shit you not – and just imagine which demographi​c that was designed to entice.

Yep​, exclusivel​y for you, Granny – from the VeryNicePe​ople @ Prospera.

[NoteToEd: I am reliably informed that SratchCard AnyThings are to TheElderly as AlcoPops are to any RighteousT​eenRebelli​onPartay..​.]

Scratch&Wi​n GIC not pan out?… Well, “DurnIt”..​. there’s always the CashFactor​y followed by a little Bling and maybe a PermanentH​omage or two to BillyBobRa​y of GrindRod fame and that MagicalEvening on the Chrysler Valiant’s BenchSeat…

In spite of what you might reasonably think, DearReaders… This is Ret​ailSyne​rgy personified… in the HillBillyR​iviera… A QuiteCommo​n juxtaposit​ion, actually. Really.

[NoteToJohnsson'sRodAKAchubster: Uncle Ben's CashFactor​y is, obviously, rather more impressive - still, you've got to admire local initiative​. Hopefully, this particular CheekyCoun​terfeiter'​s financiers will not regret the proprietor​'s bold artistic license. As for your Rod, Johnsson... I neglected to add... yes, there is actually a place called GrindRod in the HillBillyR​iviera. It's quite charming and just North 'o Enderby. Cue: LillyTomlin as child going: "SoThere, SFX: PROLONGED RASPBERRY']

AllRight, DearReaders… and at the very real risk of straying into Verboten/Tasteless Territory… I think it only righteous and just… that we include, even if only a peremptory glimpse… a brief peek at some of the Strip’O ReFi’s other inhabitants… Ok?

My personal favourite – and, for reasons which will momentarily become self-evident, is CheersTheChurch™. No, your FearlessForeignCorrespondent has not attended a service. That said, he has performed extensive DigitalDueDiligance… Accordingly, I think it not just Proper&Fit but PositivelySerendipitous that TheCreator has seen fit… to install a store front Pentecosta​l FrontierO​utpost on such a NotoriousB​oulevardO​fSin…

[No​teToEd: Come on... it makes perfect sense on a street dominated by TattooParl​ours™, CharteredB​anks™, BokeragesO​fThePawns™​, PayDay™Emp​oriums and OnanistOut​fitters™ to EvenThings​Up a little bit... by including a religious assembly with substantiv​e expertise in DemonicPo​ssession, SpeakingIn​Tongues, BeastlyMar​ks and, naturally.​.. the inimitable CrefloDoll​ar's 'Prosperit​yGospel'™. Wouldn't you agree?... And no, there is absolutely NoTruth to the rumours that 'Nem' has a ComCastUni​versal Developmen​tDeal in progress for a new RealitySer​ies entitled, "JEEZOTS™ - Jesus Endorsed Enterprise​s Zealousy Opposed To Satan"]

Well, irreveranc​e aside…. and “irregardl​ess”, I feel compelled to provide you with yet another instance of ‘RetailSyn​ergy’… HillBillyR​iveraStyle.

Which, as you can clearly see… is indeed, Alive&Well​!

Or as BillyBobRa​y ‘o GrindRod is wont to opine, “LandLord locked ya out, Bubba? No worries… you kin jest put a lien on yer Chevy and git the LockDude to let ya back in!….”

Of course, when a Developer is LockedOut by GlobalMacr​oEconomic MarketCond​itions…i​t’s slightly trickier.

Accordingl​y, when a Developer’​sDream ChecksOut to that big PermitAppl​icationKio​sk in the Sky… it is not – and this is entirely contrary to popular belief – memorializ​ed with funerary statuary atop a grassy knoll… but rather… by a ParkingLot​.

So, DearReader​s – welcome to th​e contempora​ry ElephantsG​raveyard for ProjectsGo​neBoom and DreamsGone​Bust…

Sti​ll, at one quarter a go – I’m sure they’ll eventually recoup the SquareFoot​age premia imagined in their Numerous, Glossy, LogoEmboss​ed, UV SpectraCoa​ted Prospectii​…

Emphasi​s on eventually​. As measured in Geological​Time.

It’s a shame, really… ParkingLot​sR’Us are the only growth industry in the HIllBillyR​iviera these days… Well, apart from ‘PayDay’ Emporiums, TattooParl​ours & Brokerages​OfThePawns​…

Sad&Needle​ss to say, though – even on their ‘busiest’ days… The capacity utilizatio​n of these CarrierLan​dingDeck sized BlackTops remains, more or less, as illustrate​d…

Even allowing for [and you've got to look VeryVery carefully indeed to see it] the MortgageBr​okerage’s Forlorn & WheelClamp​ed SpecialEve​ntsVenue – a permanent fixture on this particular lot of late.

Of course, DearReader​s – not everyone needs a ParkingLot​sR’Us… some people – I know, it’s hard to believe! – actually depend upon TransitusP​ublicus…​

Pity them as they disembark.​.. given that each HBR BusStop reveals such a shockingly similar and gloomy tableau…​

But never mind all that!… Shall we pull the DingALinge​r, DearReader​s​… put down our copies of TheBuzzer and SallyForth​…???

OhM​y!… oh my oh my oh my… Do you hear that!? Shade’s ‘O Disney AudioAnimatronica circa ’62

It’s… It’s… WindowTalk™. Doctor DooLittle was fond of talking to the animals… but for the UnderHouse​d Bored&Rest​less DooLittles of the HillBillyR​iviera there’s nothing more satisfying than some, “Try Our WindowTalk™”. Well, to be completely truthful… it’s a Window that talks to you.

Accordingly, many an innocent PropertyVirgin [or AmbitiousWorkingGirl!] compelled by circumstance to utilize that BusStop… has been enticed, much like Alice passing through TheLookingGlass, into a life ‘o DebtSlavery repackaged as Glamour.

What a bleak ‘present’ we have wrought for ourselves.​.. Imagine, if you will, the Marilyn Monroe of “BusStop” [1956] hopping off her JohnnyGrey​hound and landing… amidst the RodeoRealt​ors™ & UnctuousUr​surers of the HillBillyR​iviera’s MidTown Car​nival ‘O Cornucopia…

…her tattered cardboard suitcase fiercely clutched against her bosom… her skirts billowing in the ChillAutumnBree​zes… a NeonCarousel of orange/sca​rlet frost-hewn leaves swirling about her feet… as she ponders a ‘FreshStar​t’.

Marilyn looks to the right… A PayDay Loan collateral​ized by her “SevenYear ​Itch” legacy wardrobe?..​.

She glances to the left… A NewCareer™ KickStarte​d by Cleavage???!!​!.​..

Yes!!!! Rea​lTress it is, then!…

No more diners and HonkyTonks for our Marilyn! It’s PentHouses & WaterFront​s only from here on in… [Cue: CondosAr​eAGirlsBes​tFriend... SMASHCUT: CandleInTh​eWind]

[No​teToEd: And Marilyn thought she was on to the BigTimes..​. alas, she's just another PrettyGirl in a Window now... albeit, slightly less provocativ​ely displayed than is normativel​y the case in Amsterda​m. Same business, though. Whatever they tell you.Bus​Stop...]

No PropertyBordellos for Elaine TheArtist, though!… &Bravo!, Elaine. Bravo! [NoSarc Intended/I​mplied]

For​get about JadedMaril​yn’s BusStop.. We’re talking You​thEbullien​t’s CentenaryT​ribute to HappyTimes​… Or at least to HappierTim​es and BetterPros​pectsAhead​…

The WorthyDrea​ms of Efferevesc​entAdolesc​ent CivicPride​…

Just one little glitch though as, ironically​, Elaine’s canvas… once the adjoining wall of some lively local enterprise​…is, sadly, today…

…just another vacant lot… years on the market… years. DearReaders will note the Realtor’s™ signage including the poignant invitation​, “Owner Will Consider All Options” [one of which, if the property continues to languish will doubtless involve the EmergencyS​ervices and a Mortuary followed by a PostMortem and a CoronersRe​port].​..

[NoteToEd: Frame left is the now defunct JobCentre™​, also sitting vacant, ForLease!, and UnLoved but for the EverPopula​r InstaLoan​$™ franchise, the building's solitary, visible remaining tenant... Woe is us.]

This is TooTooDepr​essing by far… perhaps we should stroll down a SideStreet​. GottaBe something Lively there, eh!??? Eh???

RapidPawn & FairRealty​?… Hmmm… I propose RapidRealt​y & FairPawn..​. either way, PoorOld RapidPawn is heading for that merciless Cashier’sC​age InT​heClouds..​. In their own words …

“If you are unable to pick up this month and roll you can pick up next month. We are sorry for any inconvenience. [Redacted] has done her very best to keep the store going for us and for you but the economy is such that it just isn’t working out.

Again we really hate to close, we have met some great people over the 17 years and will really miss you all.”

Ok.. That’s enough. Perhaps… Perhaps it’s time we sought Refuge&San​ctuary… A SpiritualR​espite from Mammon’sWe​rks. ShallWeThe​n?!….

Alas, not unlike the RapidPawns of the HillBillyR​iviera [legion though they be], All Good Things Must Come To An End… and as ends go, a HarvestFestival ChurchSocial and the LifeDevotional – “Spending It All On God” – ain’t so bad, at all. [NoteToEd: A fascinatin​g moral 'ElevatorP​itch', wouldn't you agree?]

Albeit, whether persuading his congregant​s to part with either their financial or their spiritual capital on behalf of altruisic pursuits, I suspect that, somehow – in the current milieu – the GoodRevere​nd Turnbull’s work is more than cut out for him… Still, you’ve got to admire an optimist.

Speaking of EternalOpt​imists™ and TheAfterLi​fe… I often wonder what Visions ‘O Grandeur Lost dance, like ElusiveChr​istmasSuga​rPlums, through the tormented, sleep tossed nights ‘o the Realtors™, Developers​™, Speculator​s™ and other Ambitious SmoothOperators who so frequently seem to dominate these fora…

That would be the CityHall’s of this world… where those who would rather not, “Spend It All on God”… can experience anew that special circle of Hades even Dante would not dare to depict… where access to the MagicApproval of the ubiquitous Developmen​tPermitKio​sks is frequently smoothed by ProximalLobbying ‘o ThoseBushyTailed councillor​s… And Mayors, too – come to think of it!

Albeit, in some ‘burgs, like this one – a Mayor’s ‘ShelfLife​’ can frequently be measured in terms of AlternativePolitical​Opportunit​y…

For, as rumour has it, the HBR’s – to the eternal chagrin of his many municipal ‘sponsors’​ – is enthusiast​ically a ‘Courtin’Ch​risty’… With all his ardour.

So much so, his bags are practicall​y already packed for that MythicVoya​ge on the MagicCanoe to FantasyIsl​and’s…. Legislatur​eLost.

Well, never mind all that… if a SmallTownPolitico can survive the TribalInia​tionRites of his ProvincialBrethren and, subsequent​ly, the PerilousPoliticalPa​ssage to FabledFantasyIsl​and… there be other SugarPlums awaiting his patrons – the idle contractor​’s, architects and tradespeop​le of TheValleys.​.. PrisonsR’U​s, anyone?…

[NoteToEd: One things for sure, MendicantMayors of the HBR certainly won't have any trouble pawning their Chains 'o Office or organizing a PayDayLoan to smooth their transition to the BigTent... Heck, if they're really lucky, they might even qualify for a complimentary Christy'Too or Two!]

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[Images Ⓒ​2012 ‘Nemesis’ – All Rights Reserved]

Kelowna Realtor Selling His Vancouver ‘Rooming House’ – “Listed it at 1.4M, no bites, then 1.2, no bites and then withdrew the listing.”

“I went to an open house in Kelowna today… Talked to the listing agent… Nice guy who says he’d rather be in Vancouver because it fits his lifestyle better… He was trying to sell his 10 unit “rooming house” in Vancouver’s West end… Listed it at 1.4M, no bites, then 1.2, no bites and then withdrew the listing. I guess he needs the money to make up for a bad “real estate deal” which soured in the Okanagan. He said I should buy two houses – one for personal use and one to rent out. Told him I don’t see real estate as an investment… I’d rather buy a bank stock with a 4-5% dividend yield…”
Bo Xilai at VCI 7 Jul 2012 10:27pm

Kelowna – “Both the deals with “accepted” offers had just collapsed due to “financing”.

“We went to go see houses in Kelowna over the weekend. We saw eight homes – two with “accepted” offers… one our agent showed us, the other was an open house we just happened to walk by… Anyway, we got a call from our agent – both with “accepted” offers had just collapsed due to “financing” issues.”
Bo Xilai at VREAA 8 Jul 2012 10:06pm

Tales From The Periphery – Victoria and Kamloops

“In the southern interior around Kamloops and Clearwater on holidays, and can’t believe how many people want to cash out right now after buying in last 2-6 years. Nothing selling. Prices softening already and only sharply discounted properties moving. Family and friends I have been telling to hang on and let rent cover payments for at least five more years, which they can do fortunately…no point selling at a loss. But many ppl want or need the “cash” now. Five years of reno’s, renters…and ending up in the negative after transaction costs. Not even having a good time with my told-ya-so’s. So much glut and lack of interest in buying, but this time no more “yeah but it will turn around”…more a sense that “this time it is different” and not in the good sense. True stories from the front lines. CRAZY how much talk there is of RE – everyone is getting in or mostly out…thought it was just fucked up Vancouver’s only conversation point…but, nope, seems everyone else has bought into it across BC.”
ArthurFonzarelli at VCI 6 Jul 2012 11:55am

“I have a friend that just bought a tear down in Oak Bay last month and is reno’ing it to the tune of 200k. He was bragging his ass off on Facebook like he’d finally achieved membership in some exclusive club. His wife works for the government and he dabbles in a bunch of different things, but they’re by no means wealthy.
He’s going to be f’d to high heaven in a couple of years…..and the club isn’t going to be very exclusive at that point.”

Anonymous at VCI 6 Jul 2012 2:04pm

“Came back from Victoria last weekend visiting the parents in the Fairfield area (near Gonzales Bay). Could not get over how many homes were on the market. This has not been a neighbourhood that has had an overly high turnover of ownership (even the parents noticed as they don’t drive but walk everywhere). Many of them were also waterfront properties. Drove through the Uplands bit – LOTS of homes on the water side for sale – presumably in the millions+ category. Can’t imagine who will be snatching all these homes up.
Walked through the Bay Center(?) mall downtown in the middle of the afternoon – it wasn’t anywhere close to being busy. Actually, now that I think back, there really wasn’t one shop I went into where I had to wait in line to pay or would be considered busy. How do people make any money in Victoria? There’s nothing there but small businesses that close at 6pm. Yet the average home in Fairfield area is around $700-$900K. Truly mind boggling.”

unimpressed at VCI 6 Jul 2012 at 3:01pm

“Good little story about Kelowna. My buddy’s house has been on the market for a long time and out of the blue he got a bite.”

“Good little story about Kelowna. My buddy’s house has been on the market for a long time and out of the blue he got a bite. It sold for about 5% less than asking and when they were $4K apart he stood his ground and told his Realtor that if he wanted this to happen he and the the other Realtor would have to do something about their commission to make up the $4K because he wasn’t dropping anymore.
At first they said ok, then they said it couldn’t be done, then they said they needed an extra day and sure enough the two of them ate $2K each and the deal got done. Good for him for holding his ground as the realtors tried to wait him out and hoped he would cave.
Even better, he signed a 2 yr lease on a recently renovated 3 bedroom townhouse at the Lagoon’s on the lake for $2200 per month. He figures the place is worth $900K – $1 mil.”
McLovin at VCI 24 Feb 2012 7:46pm

PostCardsFromTheBlastRadius #15 (2012Teaser) – “Oki CourtOrdereds… LookLikeThis…‏”

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Photos and commentary for the ‘BlastRadius’ series by ‘Nemesis’.
[Images Ⓒ2012 ‘Nemesis’ – All Rights Reserved]

What happens to vocal housing bulls after a RE bubble pops?

“You know the exploding rate of Foreclosures? It’s actually quite funny. With it being about the Okanagan, that is.
From about 2005 onward, I posted quite a bit on the Castanet forums (the local news site) about how Kelowna home values were wayyy too high, and that we were in for a catastrophic collapse, and that the rate of foreclosures would be one of the first signs of an impending collapse.
From the moment I started to post on their forums, I was overwhelmed by bubble deniers who openly mocked me. There was at least a 20-to-1 ratio of bubble deniers that openly refused to believe that home prices could ever crash, compared to those who said I might be right.
In fact, one of my threads (started in December of 2007) became one of the biggest ever on Castanet (5,665 posts) before someone politely asked to have all threads dealing with Real Estate deep-sixed into the smallest, deepest and least-visited part of the forum. Even though most of said threads were clearly about Kelowna, and had nothing to do with the “Economic Crisis” category they were thrown into.
In the end, the subject ended up getting as many visitors in a month as it used to get in a single day when it was in the Kelowna category of the forum, so it was painfully obvious to me how loudly money talks, especially money of the advertising variety.
What I find so amusing now is how so many of the hard-core bubble deniers have been quietly changing their tune, even up to the point of denying that they were ever bubble deniers. Yes, Dirtrider, I’m looking squarely at you. Nice for you to finally realize that things are NOT different here.
Oh, and that news article that is all over CBC.ca and other news organizations, about how the number of foreclosures in the Central Okanagan have pretty well exploded? Not a sign of it on Castanet’s front page yet as of 2012-02-15 1841hrs UTC-8. In fact, a Google search shows that the news isn’t even on the site, just on the forums.
And yet, they’ve got OMREB-authored “news articles” about increased housing starts in the North Okanagan.
Oh, yeah. Money talks, all right.”
René Kabis on at greaterfool.ca 15 Feb 2012 at 10:47 pm

“What happens to vocal housing bulls after a RE bubble pops?”
They disappear.
Worse, they tell themselves that they saw the crash coming.
No, seriously. That is what happens.
The wonders of the human psyche at work.
– vreaa

Kelowna Foreclosures – “Realtor is worried the number of foreclosures will bring the overall market down, hurting anyone who wants to sell their home; now up against something they didn’t see coming.”

Home foreclosures are on the rise in B.C.’s Central Okanagan in recent months. … There are more than 170 court-ordered sale properties on the market in the Central Okanagan, more than 10 times more than three years ago.

Real estate agent Jason Neumann says according to his estimates, in the last 30 days alone 60 new foreclosures were put on the market, and he calls it a disturbing trend.
Neumann is worried the number of foreclosures will bring the overall market down, hurting anyone who wants to sell their home.
“What do you tell your sellers that are not in foreclosure that are now up against something they didn’t see coming? It’s one of those things where the bank is going to have to do what it’s got to do to get it sold.”


‘Home foreclosures skyrocket in Kelowna’, CBC, 15 Feb 2012

Almost everybody has heard that “prices are set at margin”, but the majority of market participants don’t really get what that means; they don’t have an understanding of the full implications.
It doesn’t matter that 70%, or 80%, of owners may be very happy with their homes, and sitting tight: it only takes about 5%-7% of owners with an eager desire to sell to crash a market.
This is very relevant to Vancouver: we often see bulls arguing that most owners are very happy in their homes, they’re in it for the long run, they don’t care about price fluctuation, etc … even if all that were true, the market doesn’t really know or ‘care’ about these happy holders…. It’ll crash based purely on the behaviour of a small minority.
And, of course, the resultant price action may change the way the happy 70% or 80% feel; and so on.
– vreaa

Recreational Price Implosion – Okanagan; Whistler – 45% to 54%-Off


580 Sarsons Rd, Kelowna, BC V1W 2X3, Canada
1452 sq ft ‘penthouse’
Asking price $600K; “Reduced Almost $500K”


4591-258/259 Blackcomb Way
258/259 in the Four Seasons Resort provides 2 beds / 2 baths and 1,430 sq ft.  The price has just been reduced to $527.5k which implies a deal at c$500k is achievable (which is in line with the recent sale in the building).  [Sold for $519K -ed.] That compares to an original 2002 sale price of $1,138k for this unit!”

[hat-tip Makaya at VCI]

Coming soon to a metropolitan area near you. – vreaa

“A friend from Kelowna phoned me wanting to borrow some serious money ($50K). It is time for them to refinance their mortgage; Kelowna prices have collapsed since they bought 4 years ago; they paid $450k a house which is now worth $370k; to refinance at these new rates the bank said they have to bring up their equity to positive status.”

“A friend from Kelowna just phoned me recently wanting to borrow some serious money ($50,000). Of course this friend didn’t expect me to supply all of it but would be grateful if I could chip in a good $10k and they would try scrounge around the rest from other friends and family. Obviously, they had to explain why they needed so much money urgently. According to the explanation:
It is time for them to refinance their mortgage (or is it renew the mortgage). Pardon me, I have never had a mortgage before. Unfortunately, Kelowna prices have collapsed since the time they bought (about 4 years ago). They paid $450k for this nice suburban house which is now worth around $370k. I even went onto MLS and verified the prices in their neighborhood. My friend tells me that in order to refinance at these new juicy rates the bank said they have to bring up their equity to positive status. That is where the $50k shortfall comes in. My friend is at his wits end now. Keep in my mind my friend was being very incoherent during the phone call – I guess a result of the panic and desperation. As a result I had to do my best to piece together the pieces of random information he was throwing at me. However, he did specifically mention regret about getting in at the peak instead of having just rented a place until the crash. Strange! coming from someone who claimed rent was throwing money down the drain when justifying the house purchase a few years back. Also, he is worried about the security of his job.
I sympathize with his situation but, unfortunately, can not lend him the money because I know there is no chance in hell of me getting back my $10k. Also, my $10k will not make any difference considering that it will be almost impossible for him to raise the other $40k. That means I will have to finance the whole 9 yards – now what are the chances of him paying back $50k. I am personally moving to Alberta next month and will be buying my first home and therefore will need all the cash I can get my hands on.
If this is where Vancouver is headed, then there is gonna be some serious misery in this town. Already, Victoria is headed that way. Refinance day will be judgment day (that is if you have not already been laid off before that date). Family and friends will not help you out of this one. Especially, local friends who will also be in the same predicament.”

– IamOuttaHere, sent via e-mail to VREAA, 14 Jan 2012 [Thanks, IAOHere! -ed.]

Very Full House – Recent Bankruptcy; Borrowed Down-Payments; HELOC Spent On More RE; Cash Flow Negative Rental; 2nd Mortgage On Friends’ Property; “Throwing Away Money” On Rent; “Would Like A Place To Call Home”.

“We sold our big, two story, 4 bed Kelowna home. We made a profit of only $30K after selling for $100,000 lower than its highest appraisal value just before the 2008 drop. Unfortunately we [had] refinanced and spent the equity on, you guessed it RE!!!
We moved closer to Vancouver not by choice, but for job transfer. We are renting a house for $1900/mth. My husband hates it and feels we are throwing money away!! If we were getting this place cheap, then perhaps it would be ok and we could sock away the savings!!!
We know there will be a market correction, but we are still looking to buy something in the $500,000 range-rancher or something that will be marketable in future! We only have 10% down, but payments will be less than $1900/mth. We have to borrow the 10% down from family (good rate/pymt plan) since we declared bankruptcy last year. Long story but got caught in the real estate speculation hype and lost everything! Well not everything, we have a condo in Kelowna we can’t sell, but at least it is rented!! Mtg is $312K, prop value $300K. Cash flow is negative marginally. We also lent money from our home equity during the boom, when we refinanced. They have defaulted and have not paid us back. We hold a 2nd mtg on their property in St Catharine’s which is not worth much now!!!
Does it make sense to buy? We hope to be here 5 yrs. We are in Langley where we feel any correction would be much lower than in the city. We would be happy to break even and at least enjoy our own place for a bit. We have kids that would like a place to call home!!”

– Sarah’s story, as told by e-mail to Garth Turner and featured at greaterfool.ca 11 Dec 2011

Stop them before they borrow again!
Shouldn’t these guys by now have signed a “keep me out of the casino” voluntary exclusion request?
Just to read the story is difficult and exhausting; the living of it must be mind-blowingly hectic.
Remember when people would buy or rent, and then get on with their lives?
Speculative manias offer people fertile terrain in which to screw themselves up.
– vreaa

50%-Off in West Kelowna


an image from ‘Ben’, sent to greaterfool.ca, headlined by Garth Turner 9 Oct 2011; saved here for the chronological record

By the way, Nemesis previously headlined this development in ‘PostCardsFromTheBlastRadius #8 – The Okanagan Bust – ‘Tuscany Villas’, Shields Down!’ [VREAA 15 May 20111]
(excerpt: “We..Are..The..Borg!
Lower your shields and surrender your Deposits!”)

[Prescient. Perhaps that should have been "Lower your deposits!" -ed.]

This all means, of course, that peak to eventual trough in West Kelowna will end up being a lot more than 50% off.
Coming soon to a place near you. – vreaa

For an article on the Kelowna condo developer, see ‘Too Big Too Fast?, kamploopsnews.com 7 Dec 2010.

“I was losing sleep over my real estate becoming a capital trap, so we moved; sold in North Vancouver to rent in Kelowna‏.”

“I was losing sleep over the my real estate becoming a capital trap,  and of loss of equity, so we moved; sold in North Vancouver and rented in Kelowna‏. Attached is my calculations about how much money I would lose if we owned in Kelowna vs renting.”


[Monthly payments assume 100% financing at 4.5%, 25 year amortization, used above.]

“Now, further calculations taking into account the effects of Kelowna price drops”:


[**Plus not realizing a decrease in valuations of 10% this year.]
[Rent is paid in these calculations.]

Summary
By renting a house worth $500k instead of buying, we save $68,000 over 1 year. “

- from ‘John’, to VREAA via e-mail, 1 Oct 2011 [Thanks John. -ed.]

PostCardsFromTheBlastRadius #13 – “You’reInvited! GhostMalls ‘O TheOkanagan… by RSVP”

Ya know, the only problem with ‘NaganTouring in a 48 Pontiac Woodie (apart from occasionally having to deal with the irate/disconsolate ‘Darlings’ one neglected to invite) is that they’re Darn!ThirstyBeasts. Which means, sooner or later (usually, sooner) it’s FillErUP!Time… (as opposed to MillersTime – which one ought never to do when in charge of mechanical contrivances in motion; which, come to think it, as ‘catch-all phrases’ go – could include some rather unusual appliances; but I digress  [just this once. -ed.]).

Accordingly, following a recent sojourn exploring the ‘delights’ of Highway97’s assorted RoadSideAttractions/Signage. Imagine, just imagine ‘TheHorror!’ upon discovering that your BigBlockV8 is now reciprocating on mere vapour – and you’re about to experience the GloomyMisfortune of gliding into…

A GhostStation.

As in No SingingTexacoGuyz. No Pumps & Definitely NoGas.

Now, as it happens, there is a good reason why the current PesosPerLitre signage has been ‘blacked out’ at this PitStop…

And it just might have something to do… with whatever it is that’s on the other side of that hoarding. Let’s have a look, shall we?

OhGoodie! RSVP! Have we just been invited to Partay!… @UrbanLiving?

But, “Hey! Just a minute now – this is WestBank. So where the Heck’s The’Urban’?”

Leaving that issue aside, for the moment, upon closer inspection (the kind that reveals the spreading cracks in this faded DevelopersDreamSignage) we discover that this is, regrettably, yet another incitement to ClimbAboard the PreSalesCondoTrain.

Albeit… in this particular instance, a superfluous/obsolete ‘invitation’. For, not surprisingly given the region, the CondoDreams of UrbanLiving’s Montréal QC Developer DevMcGill®, are… Defunct.

Of course, as with all such disappointments… There are consequences.

For example, there are a lot more WestBankers hand-washing their cars themselves these days…

And, more’s the pity, no chance to reprise BackToTheFuture’s superlative retro ‘50’s ‘FullService’ sequence either.

So. What’s an aspiring WestBank, BreakingBad, ‘WalterWhite’ type – looking for a cash business to masquerade his horticultural earnings – to do? Especially, when you allow that the only ‘vacant’ CarWash/GasStation in town is frozen in legal limbo.

‘Better Call Sol’, I guess. Unless…

Yeah! There is a restaurant. Heck, there’s a WholeDarnedStripMall!

Loads ‘a possibilities here! Could work.

Hmmm. Better check out those interiors, though – cause ya never know, do ya. Caveat emptor, and all that stuff.

Ah. Just as well we decided to Peek‘nPoke… Judging by the abandoned air mattress, broken glass and somewhat haphazard arrangement of dusty colonial furnishings – what was once a popular restaurant has been reduced to a temporary refuge for the circumspect (but, presumably, handy with tools) homeless.

Just look at all those stacked/discarded menus. One can almost see them now… The Wives n’ Daughters of The’Nagan. Those effusively fulsome and ebulliently perky purveyors of GrilledSurf&Turf! Rushing to and fro, juggling enormous platters and steaming stainless pot’s ‘o java. Each and every gal lovingly adorned in a fetching, freshly scrubbed ‘PeachQueen@TheProm’ themed ‘CattleCountry’ uniform.

Well, it’s a nostalgic thought, ain’t it?

Yep, “CattleCountry” it once was… but, sadly, there ain’t no RibEyes, Tbones or Lobster a sizzlin’ here. Anymore.

Still – it does afford us a splendid excuse/opportunity to explore the broader implications…

‘Cause, “CattleCountry”, as any aspiring actor could tell ya, or for that matter, anyone who’s ever experimented with OnLineDating in the ‘hinterlands’… is, subliminally at least, an apt moniker for a ‘Nagan eatery.

Even an abandoned one.

And here’s why – because it is also suggestive of that apt turn of phrase from ‘TheShowBiz’, “The Cattle Call”.

So, getting right down to the NittyGritty – it doesn’t take an enormous leap of imagination to equate a Developers’ clarion invitation to StrokeTheSteel & GraspTheGranite to a casting director’s MassAudition (usually to find the perfect DancingTomato, for ‘scale’). Or, for that matter, to the OnLine Catalogues ‘o The Forlorn maintained by the FieldsMedal winning entrepreneurs of SocialMedia. [we're still with ya, but only just. - ed.]

Regardless, it all amounts to pretty much the same thing… The aggregated exploitation of the ‘vulnerable’ and/or blissfully ignorant.

And, more specifically, the relentless commoditization of people and their dreams.

Well, at the risk of driving a “Steak” through the Heart ‘o those dreams… (or barricading them with welded steel security grilles)… The ‘answer’ just might be…

That some things are best left ‘unsold’. Not hyped. Not marketized. Not ‘traded’.

..& lest we collectively succumb to the temptation of ‘BlameCasting’, however… how about a little reflexive introspection first?

In the LookingGlass. All of us.

For, to quote the MostEstimable Chinese President Hu JinTao’s enthusiastic address to an impressive assembly of the PartyFaithful earlier this year:

“We must go deep down. We must immerse ourselves in the reality!”

“Good night, and good luck” [google that, All – you’ll like it.]

—-

Photos and commentary for the ‘BlastRadius’ series by ‘Nemesis’.
[Images Ⓒ​2011 ‘Nemesis’ – All Rights Reserved]

—-

[Once in a while, it's good to give your brain a workout. Keeps you 'agile'. -ed.]

PostCardsFromTheBlastRadius #12 – “Quality, Quality, Quality!” Or “WhenDreamsGoBust…”

Has it been three years… or just two? Hmmm… I’ve rather lost count. Regardless, this abandoned forest ‘o rebar is surprisingly situated within ‘spitting distance’ of Penticton’s OhSoTony Yacht&TennisClub! (yes, they have those in the HillyBillyRiviera, too)… Apparently, the CourtOrderedSale didn’t quite work out. Never mind, DearReaders! – let’s go ‘walkies’, shall we!??

Now, look carefully and you’ll notice rebar sprouting from this lot, too – albeit they’re more like asparagus tips than the RealSteel … This partially developed/vacant lot was originally purposed for a companion dwelling to the structure visible in the background… Hmm. I wonder what it’s called – I must confess, I’m rather partial to that whole SouthWest/Pueblo thang…

Ah! They called it TheArizona!… Now that was prescient. Best of all, it isn’t just an ordinary old case of “NowSelling” – they’ve gone one better and declared it, “NowPreselling!”. I wish them luck. But here’s the thing – when Developers are compelled to go the “ComFree” route… you KNOW times are hard.

Yikes!… That is SO the biggest WeatherWane I have ever seen. I know, DearReaders – you mistook that erection for a crane on an active site. Truth be told, it hasn’t functioned as a crane in at least two years. But it does accurately indicate wind direction and I am reliably informed that it is sufficiently conspicuous to the “OnFinal” NetJetJockeys BarrellRolling in on the ApproachPath to CYYF’S RunWay16 to serve as such…
At least it’s useful.
Still, I wonder what this one was called… Let’s peek!

‘Ashley’s Dream’. One almost yearns to know… who was Ashley?… The Developer’s daughter?… Their MainSqueeze??? Their MaMa? Their Commercial Loans Officer?
Or was “Ashley’sDream” merely the febrile ‘hookline’ of a Down&Out CondoHype CopyWriter struggling to make good on his tab at “TheDecoy”.
We’ll probably never know.
But you’ve got to love that tagline…
“Quality, Quality, Quality”!
Alas, sometimes: dreams -> nightmares.

———————-
Photos and commentary for the ‘BlastRadius’ series by ‘Nemesis’.
[Images Ⓒ​2011 ‘Nemesis’ – All Rights Reserved]

PostCardsFromTheBlastRadius #11 – HollyWoodNorth’s GulagArchipelago – The LakeCityBurnaby Commercial RE Glut

Wow! There’s an ‘Elephant in the room’… And in Burnaby, no less!

And a TigerShark… dining!
(NoteToSelf: ‘Doing Lunch’ with sharks inevitably ends poorly.)

And how about this forlorn, rusting sentinel…?

RazorWire? In the Lower Mainland?

Everything you’ve just seen (and will see) was photographed, “OnLocation!” in Beautiful Burnaby’s LakeCity & environs.

Our explorations begin with a very special and particularly privileged corporate EconomicMigrant peculiar to BC’s LML… The ‘RunAway’ HollyWood Production.

Ooooh, Goody!!! HollyWoodNorth at work!… Or as the BurnabyHillBillies are wont to say, “MovieStars&SwimmingPools!” Let’s go have a look, shall we?

Darn&DoubleDarn… No celebrities and PublicParking’s a little scarce. Fortunately, we’re on foot today.

Hmm… No Stars here, either! – but somewhere, somebody’s definitely making a killing on OrangeTrafficCones and associated signage.

Definitely no ‘parking chaos’ on this BackLot (and as it turns out, no “Chaos” anymore either – but we’ll get back to that in a moment).

Yep. Ain’t no doubt ‘bout it. Them HollyWoodNorth Moguls – rather like their CounterParts in the CityOfAngels – just love designated private parking spots. But, Hey!? What’s that BigOrangeSign in the background all about?

That’s what. The RazorWireEconomy of vacant, disused industrial & commercial space (and by implication, vanishing enterprise, transient jobs & ‘DisposableWorkers’).

Indeed, although this particular venue was briefly resurrected as a temporary sound stage and production facility for the short-lived CBS television series, “Chaos”… Only 13 episodes and about as many weeks later and it’s just one more, “HereToday & GoneTomorrow”, “NowLeasing!” story.

And that, DearReaders is how it usually works in HollyWoodNorth – where indigenous production is virtually non-existent and the principal attractions to foreign producers of ’run-away’ productions were the Loonie@.65USD, weak local craft guilds and generous public subsidies.

So. There it is. Your visual harbinger of the HollowedOut, ‘MovieSet’/Facade economy so emblematic of our province’s graft-ridden, peculiar political economy of Construction&RealEstate, HumanTrafficking and ‘Horticulture’.

A terrible pity. And as for that forest of superfluous DesignatedParkingSignage? Well, never mind – because it makes great kindling for the CampFires ‘O The HomeLess who actually inhabit the parklands nearby.

Nothing screams out, “OpenForBusiness!” like barbed wire, chainlink and DisposableWorkers on picket duty. All that’s missing are the Pinkertons.

OK – so here’s the skinny on LakeCity’s vacant industrial/commercial premises – and it’s hardly a, ‘solitary building here&there’ kind ‘o thing… Warning: you might want to flip through these “quickly” – ‘cause there sure are a lot of them!

It’s simply amazing how quickly it adds up… 1200SqFt up there…

Becomes 2200 SqFt over here…

5,500 SqFt down the street…

10,463 SqFt around the corner…

12,500 SqFt KittyKorner from SkyTrain ‘University’…

To 15,500 SqFt…

To 60,000 SqFt…

To 63,000 SqFt (in this instance, former home to “Chaos”). See where this is going?…

Indeed, some developments have so much vacant space on offer – they have circumspectly chosen not to advertise the available square footage…

OK – this is just one district in Burnaby. If we throw in the rest of the LML – how many Millions ‘O Square Feet of commercial space are currently sitting vacant?

Sadly, and with few exceptions, the only thing growing around these industrial premises and accompanying LeasingEnticements is the grass.

As most of you have already surmised – each one of these vacant properties was once home to a business. And although Nemesis knows the ‘ordinary’ businesses that once occupied these premises don’t enjoy the Cachet/Buzz ‘o ShowBiz, they did for the most part, provide people with worthwhile, stable employment of a type not found in the GlamIndustries.

Perhaps there’s a lurking labour economist or econometrician in the audience who could provide us with a rough guide to the solution of: (x)[SqFtVacant] = (y)[JobsGone] ???

The SmallPrint on this Cushman&Wakefield signage reads, “Global Real Estate Solutions” – and that’s your next clue… Hmm. Perhaps it should say, “Arbitrage” instead of “Solutions”? Works with people and, apparently, RE too.

Ok – this is way too depressing. Time to board SkyTrain and GetGoin’.

Oops. SkyTrain’s ProductionWayUniversity Station is rubbing our noses in it, too. Three years after completion and they’re still flogging space in this development. Well, at least some of that OfficeSpace is furnished (locally sourced & ‘lightly used’ LakeCity disposals, ‘Nem’ wonders?).

Even TheResidentials’ are vying for our eyeballs & a piece of the action. To wit, a transit bench featuring the balding, collective rictus of ColdWellBanker’s “LoveTeam”.

Wandering towards the escalator and trying to ignore the commercial hoardings – for my own private amusement I briefly envisage LakeCity’s FarFuture…

A park like landscape where FlyingCars compete for AirSpace with children’s Frisbees … Where SFU’s Industrial & Urban Archaeologists of tomorrow are momentarily perplexed upon discovering the corroded remnants of sentinels, elephants, and a tiger shark… beneath a discarded transit shelter apparently dedicated to the Arcane&Taboo Rituals of RE’s “LoveTeam”.

Yikes! Startled BackToReality by yet more RezCouture/RE AgitProp.
I guess that when it comes to Vancouver, there’s really no escaping it.

———————-
Photos and commentary for the ‘BlastRadius’ series by ‘Nemesis’.
[Images Ⓒ​2011 ‘Nemesis’ – All Rights Reserved]

PostCardsFromTheBlastRadius #10 – The Okanagan Bust – “The GreatConflagration ‘O HospitalHill & Other OkiTales ‘O ‘SpontaneousCombustion'”



It could be your SmokeDetector going off in the WeeWee’s ‘O TheNight… A building AlarmActivation – or maybe even a FranticNeighbour BANGING! on your door. This is when CrossStreets are important – Life&Death important.
Know yours. Because, when you ReallyNeed the EmergencyServices and you’re doing the ‘911Dance’ you may be too stressed to blurt out a street number. Knowing your cross street will enable a faster response time. And sometimes, seconds count.

Here’s the thing, DearReaders – Housing Booms&Busts come laden with externalities. UnintendedConsequences. BlowBack. And, not infrequently…   BackDraft!
Witness the OhSoMany SadTales ‘O Detonation, Conflagration & Deflagration that have occupied our Metro & Regional HeadLines these past couple’o years. From CoalHarbourYachts to NewBuildCondo’s in Surrey&Richmond to every second restaurant on a certain stretch of Broadway near Main.
Even in the best ‘o times, careless people do stupid things and stressed people do careless things. But… in the worst ‘o times??? Well, financially stressed and/or inherently DishonestPeople do criminal things – and they do them more often.

[Disclaimer: OK, there’s nothing intrinsically funny about “Fire!”. So, please forgive ‘Nem’ for penning a serious piece. And we have no special knowledge of whether crimes should be suspected in these cases. Fortunately, no one perished at the SkyLine or in any of Nem’s subsequent examples ‘o Okanagan ‘SpontaneousCombustion’. Let’s hope it stays that way.]

Our story begins here… Welcome to Vernon’s SkyLine Apartments!
The astute among you will notice the PoliceTape and the charred, skeletal remnants of furnishings strewn about the lawn…

Ah yes. That would be why.
Let’s step back a few months and experience the event’s ‘frisson’, shall we?…

[VernonStar - February 25, 2011 12:06 PM] – “Firefighters remain on scene of a major apartment building fire on Vernon’s Hospital Hill. Flames and smoke engulfed the structure on 31A Street at about 5 a.m. Friday, forcing about 52 people to flee into temperatures that dipped to -17. “As soon as the guys left the department, they could see it,” said Dean Wakefield, fire investigator. Firefighters from Vernon, Okanagan Landing, BX-Swan Lake and Coldstream converged on the scene. “We’re protecting exposures,” said Lawrie Skolrood, Vernon deputy fire chief. Emergency Social Services personnel also responded and tenants were being sheltered in the Vernon Jubilee Hospital cafeteria. A cause for the fire has not yet been determined.”

Damage was extensive.



No part of the SkyLine escaped unscathed, not even the ConcreteCarPark.

Indeed, from one end to the other – the entire expanse ‘o the Skyline’s TopFloor was ‘crisped’.



On the BrightSide though, Vernon’s Jubilee Hospital was certainly close at hand!

On the NotSoBrightSide… At least one SkyLine occupant remains unaccounted for. Rorey.

Meanwhile…


…back in Kelowna – another OptimisticDeveloper is putting the FinishingTouches on his ParticleBoard MagnumOpus… or is he?

Actually, that would be a resounding, “No”…

[BCLOCALNE​WS: Updated: April 11, 2011 1:42 PM] – “Residents of the Laurentian Heights 3 condominiu​m building at 1405 Kelglen were collecting what personal belongings they could this afternoon after a fire swept through part of the complex at about 4 a.m. Sunday. The Kelowna Fire Department​’s initial response included 21 firefighte​rs, four fire engine trucks, two ladder trucks a Rescue truck, and one command unit. Another 45 career and paid on-call staff were recalled to the scene and to also help maintain firefighting crews for other emergencie​s. Upon their arrival, firefighte​rs were greeted by well involved fire on a balcony of a unit in the southeast corner of the building. It quickly spread into the attic area and throughout the upper part of the building, causing extensive damage to the roof and top floors in the south end of the building.”

Something about those ParticleBoardMansions… Once those flames get going…

They just…

Keep…

Spreading.

And while we’re talkin’, “Spreading” –
“What’s all this doing on MainStreet Osoyoos?”

[OSOYOOS TIMES - May 4, 2011 - By Paul Everest] – “The Osoyoos Times has confirmed that an 18-year-old Osoyoos man arrested in connection to a fire that destroyed two Main Street businesses on May 1 had ties to one of the devastated businesses. Police announced on the evening of May 2 that they had arrested a man late the night before in Osoyoos in connection to the fire. The fire is being treated as suspicious in nature at this time, police added. The Times has learned that the suspect in police custody is Phoenix Lonsdale, a man who the owner of the Osoyoos Christian Ministry thrift store, which was destroyed in the blaze, said had begun playing a piano in the store on a volunteer basis the week before the fire broke out. Lonsdale’s foster mother confirmed to the Times on May 3 that her foster son had been arrested. He is charged with committing arson and appeared in court on May 3 and is scheduled to return to court on May 9.
The fire broke out before 9 a.m. on May 1 and gutted the Osoyoos Christian Ministry church and thrift shop and the Dollar Smart Discount. No one was injured.”

Those Thermoplastic Resins… They don’t like heat.

DryWall & Plaster Lathing doesn’t always fare that well, either.

The Banks always seem to escape unscathed. It’s so unfair!

Photos and commentary for the ‘BlastRadius’ series by ‘Nemesis’.
[Images Ⓒ​2011 ‘Nemesis’ – All Rights Reserved]

PostCardsFromTheBlastRadius #9 – The Okanagan Bust – ‘Roadside Attractions On Highway 97′


What, it’s raining you say!  And you haven’t the time or the ‘wherewithal’ to LoadUp the FamilyWagon and RegalInTheSplendour of SuperNaturalBC!…  No fear, DearReaders! – ‘Nemesis’ was able to secure the loan of a 48Pontiac Woodie…  So…  What ya waitin’ for!?  Hop In!  Cause, we’re gonna MotorThe’97! [if you’re feeling musical - go ahead and put the B52’s “Love Shack” into your 8Track]…


Yes!  The Okanagan ’97 Westside Road Interchange!  Like the sign says, it’s “The Best Place On Earth”!  And when has BC’s Department of Highways ever lied to you???


Yep!  SceneryGalore! [Look harder, it’s really there! – albeit, the hoardings do at times make it a tad difficult to appreciate]…


Pretty soon we’re coming across evidence of DealsGalore!  Yes! Galore! [Nem just loves that word].


See!?  “BlowOut!” Yes!  “BlowOutPricing!”.  Although evidently, this particular enticement has thus far proven unsuccessful – given that it was replaced last week with New! EvenMoreSpectacular! Signage.


And when you’re finally ready to PullTheTrigger on that Sweet Oki Deal – these Gals will help ya do it!…  Ok, Nem admits that he was first attracted to this particular BillBoard by the astonishing resemblance of MortgageBroker Deb White to actress/comedian Tina Fey.  More to the point though, it serves beautifully as an illustration of the nefariously pervasive (and socially corrosive) Culture ‘O Celebrity.


But it’s not just Celebrity they’re SellingYou.  They’re really in the business of promoting TheDream.  See?  Just look at that HappyCouple!!! Happy, because they’ve “Experience[d] the Advantages of Working with an EXECUTIVE!


And if RealtyExecutives doesn’t do ‘it’ for ya…  Well, Darn!  There’s always SUPERMAN!  Better known as Les York (of King Remax’s RoundTable).  Damn!  That guy looks so sauve I wouldn’t let him within 10Km of my Squeeze!…  Sincere, too!  And what a LogLine! “Les gets you MORE!


Of course, not all Oki RE ‘players’ are in the game for ‘accommodation’…  I’ll bet you’d be DarnSurprised to know that many of these astute PropertyOwners are actually INVESTORS!  And that’s where Dustin, Davis & Sean come in…  You could be forgiven for mistaking them for a BoyBand – but these guyz actually ManageProperty.


Ok. Now it’s starting to get a little scary.  “Kelowna Born & Raised”?  Please forgive ‘Nemesis’, Kathy – but that logline is more evocative of livestock provenance and/or BBQ potential than profession​​al competence​​/commerci​a​l savvy.  Indeed, ‘Nem’ is surprised that the copywriter didn’t add ‘FreeRange​​’ and/or ‘GrainFed’ to Kathy’s list ‘O NoteWorthy Achievements/Attributes.  Or, at the very least, exploit the ‘fervour’ of an important local demographic with a little ‘tweak’ along the lines of, “Kelowna BornAgain & Raised!”.


OK, ‘Nem’ disclaimer.  Hot brunettes are…  Well… UltraHot!  And when their stage name is “Lovin”.  They’re SmokingHot!   But why couldn’t Alina’s parents have gone WholeHog – and just called her Lotta!  What other Realtor could compete with that?  Just imagine, DearReaders – stepping into your new LottaLovin’ Home!


On the ProsaicSide however, we have Mr. Allan Taylor.  You will note the clever italicization of “IS”.  So, bonus points to Allan for typographical simplicity.  Still, there’s something to be said for ‘telling it straight’, without flourish (as VREAA constantly reminds me!!!).  So in all honesty, if ‘Nem’ were seeking agency – he would certainly include Allan on the UsualSuspects list of Realtors to interview (albeit, he’d have a tough time competing for Nem’s attention with his RegionalRival, LottaLovin!).


Now – I know you’ve all heard those stories about ‘difficult’ trading conditions in BC’s Interior RE markets.
Guess what!?  They’re true.
Indeed, things are so bad that Macdonald Realty Okanagan South has had to diversify into other ‘lines’.


Ah yes.  This is the Okanagan.  And, believe it or not, there are plenty more where this one came from.  Albeit, whereas most RegionalIndigenes are patiently waiting for an as yet unrealized ‘spiritual experience​’ – untold legions of UnderWater OkanaganPr​opertyOwne​rs have unquestion​ably already had their ‘ComeToJes​usMoment’.


Speaking of which…  A faded and cryptic GuidePost to us all!  Hey, Art is where you find it.


As ever, DearReaders.  Thank you!

Photos and commentary for the ‘BlastRadius’ series by ‘Nemesis’.
[Images Ⓒ​2011 ‘Nemesis’ – All Rights Reserved]

—–

PostCardsFromTheBlastRadius #8 – The Okanagan Bust – ‘Tuscany Villas’, Shields Down!

We..Are..The..Borg!
Lower your shields and surrender your Deposits!
We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own! Your culture will adapt to service us!
Resistance..Is..Futile!

Arriving at first light,  I chanced upon ‘TuscanyVillas’ on one of those rare moments when its Shields were down!

[From the ‘Tuscany Villas’ website: “…a collection of 84 exclusive condo units on the edge of Okanagan lake. The location means unobstructed views of the specatcular [sic] landscape.”“Construction of this West Kelowna landmark is underway. Register today to become a Tuscany Villas insider.”“Now is a great time to buy; with all indicators showing an end to the recent pricing and sales reductions, this is the perfect time to buy into your future home or investment property.” – ed.]

‘Nemesis’ doesn’t know whether those concrete columns and embellishm​ents are structural – or merely ‘decorativ​e’ – but it did remind him of the Revelstoke Dam’s Hydro-Power-Generation Hardware…

Why ‘Tuscan’?.. Holy Moley! Hey! Way up there at the top… Are those miniature Etruscan Arches? Was our Developer a student of Architectural History, or did he just spontaneously decide to Embellish? … or perhaps his inspiration flowed from a stay at the Vegas ‘Venetian’?
——

Postscript: On retiring, a mere stones throw away from ‘TuscanyVillas’, we note something even more disturbing than the Borg Presence… this lonely, incomplete (or possibly abandoned) private home.  ‘Fortress at Monte Cassino’?…

—–
Photos and commentary for the ‘BlastRadius’ series by ‘Nemesis’.
[Images Ⓒ​2011 ‘Nemesis’ – All Rights Reserved]

“Once my wife finds a suitable job (even one paying significantly less), or goes on maternity leave, we are moving to the Okanagan.”

JRoss at VREAA 13 May 2011 10:00am“Thankfully my 100k job is portable. Once my wife either finds a suitable job (even if it pays significantly less) or goes on mat leave, whichever comes first, we are heading to the Okanagan. I have a friend who moved his family to Kelowna and commutes to his six-figure job at Powerex. He would rather pay for plane tickets and have his kids live in a decent house in a good neighbourhood and go to a good school. There are many others.”

Kelowna – “Acquaintance of mine trying to sell this house. Asking price well below assessed. No offers.”


Acquaintance of mine trying to sell this house:
5019 Windsong Crescent, Kelowna, BC
2200sqft; SFH, built 2005; on ‘less than one acre’
Originally on market in March for 519k. Now reduced to 479k. Asking price well below assessed. No offers. There are many other similar examples.

[from 'Anonymous' at vancouvercondo.info 11 may 2011 9:57pm]

PostCardsFromTheBlastRadius #7 – The Okanagan Bust – The AtlantisVernon! – AddamsFamilyValues or Keeping Up With The Munsters?


Remember them? Well, GuessWhat!
One StunninglySpooky! yet ‘inexplicably’ SadlyAbandoned Vernon CondoDevelopment has undeniably earned a certain Deve​loper this year’s “AddamsFam​ilyValues” LifeTimeAchievement Award!
As you will shortly see, when it comes to ‘Keeping Up With the Munsters!’, a crucial and heretofore​ neglected OkanaganNicheMarket has – FINALLY! – in a single stroke of PureMarketingGenius!, been ‘redoubtably’ facilitated.
Pity it didn’t ‘quite’ work out quite as planned… Let’s have a look, shall we!?


Well… First things first. ‘Nemesis’ cannot tell a lie (at least not convincingly). Here’s the thing, I have no idea what the ‘subject’ Development was or is actually called. And it’s certainly not for lack of trying. But alas, in one of those rare instances of DeveloperForesight, all project signage and ‘incriminating’ evidence of provenance (both physical & the ElectronicallyEphemeral) have been assiduously swept from the face ‘o TheEarth.
Accordingly, looking for a convenient tag, ‘Nemesis’ hastened upon this ProminentHoarding (as they are called in ‘Blighty’) for his inspiration; reasoning, that being conveniently situated within millimeters! YesMillimeters! of the SpookyCondoSiteBoundary it was ‘fair game’.
So, – working on the unverified assumption that the Vernon Atlantis WaterSlides ThemePark people had nothing whatsoever to do with the derelict development adjoining their facility – ‘Nemesis’ extends his abject, humble and profuse apologies to the AtlantisWaterslides owners and management.
There. Done.


Yikes! DoubleYike​s!!
Let’s see now, how did that jingle go?… Ah yes!
Here it is!
DearReaders, click on that for a little SitComNostalgia/‘MoodMusic’, start snapping your fingers and try substituting Nem’s lyric instead (with apologies to Will Van Dyke)…
They’​re creepy and they’re kooky, Mysterious and spooky, They’re all together ooky, The ‘Lantis ‘Condomies’. T​he Site’s a mausoleum… Where people come to see ‘em… They really are a scream… The ‘Lantis Travesty. Neat. Sweet. Petite! So get a Realtors’™ shawl on… A Lexus you can crawl on… We’re gonna pay a call on… Some Vernon Anomie!


Well now – no mistaking that message! Let’s try another avenue of approach…


OOOPS! Maybe not this way either. Hmmm… I’ve GotIt! Let’s ‘sneak’ around the back!


Yikes, again! There’s more of them! A lot more of them – however, unlike their brethren facing the ’97… they don’t look all that bad.
Quite salvageable, really – wouldn’t you agree?
But do let’s CarryOn – with our site circumnavigation…


And there it is!
In the parlance of PropertyPimps everywhere, ‘that’ would be TheView.
Foreground is the AtlantisWaterslides ThemePark Hoarding, followed by Highway 97 and thence, TheMightyExpanse of SwanLake & environs (ballet optional at additional cost).


Wait! There’s more!
Check out this fascinating display of concrete art… Originally intended, ‘Nem’ suspects, as a thematically consistent CascadingWaterfall and GrandApproach to the crenellated Redoubts & Turrets that anchor either side of this Development.
On the other hand – it could be a convenient and hasty ‘final resting place’ for anyone affiliated with the project who failed to satisfy the Financiers’ stringent repayment schedule (or as it is also known in certain ‘ConstructionFinance’ circles – ‘TheVig’) subsequent to its demise.


And as we step back to, “take it all in”… and prior to waving goodbye…
Wait!!! Wait just one darn minute!!! What’s that???
The music??? The laughter??? All those FlutteringBats emerging from the Turrets/Redoubts…
How could I have missed them! Yes!
Them.
TheMunsters!


Go on then, DearReaders! – click on THIS
And find out just how much fun TheMunsters are having in their ‘NeatPetiteSuite’ @ TheAtlantisVernon…
Be careful, though – you might want to buy one, too!!!
Muhaawhahahamuhahahaha…

—–
Photos and commentary for the ‘BlastRadius’ series by ‘Nemesis’.
[Images Ⓒ​2011 ‘Nemesis’ – All Rights Reserved]

Okanagan – “Business is down 70% from the boom years. The silence is deafening.”

thirdlittlepig at RE Talks 5 may 2011 12:15pm -
“RE stats for Okanagan are out.
North Okanagan: number units sold for this and past Aprils:
2011: 86
2010: 189
2009: 127
2008: 179
2007: 266
2006: 265
Looks like business is down 70% from the boom years. From my own little “benchmark” observation, during the boom years you couldn’t find a 5 bedroom home for $350K (maybe one if it was a fixer upper) near Vernon. Now there there are over a dozen and several of them look decent even if not Executive Style, some even getting close to $300k. The fancier acreages, or farm estates are sitting there, not many takers.”

jesse1 at 12:35pm“The silence from OK is deafening. Nobody likes a loser.”

This is what happens when momentum players desert a market. Coming soon to a city near you. – vreaa

PostCardsFromTheBlastRadius #6 – The Okanagan Bust – “WhaddoWeCall It?… ‘Indigo’!”


Have you ever wondered just how it is that the ‘Creatives’ (or in ‘budget’ cases, the Developer’s SiliconeAugmented BFF) choose a ProjectMoniker? ‘Nemesis’ certainly has. My favourite working theory is that somewhere, buried deep within their Id (or, if you prefer, their repressed/unrecovered childhood memories) lurks a Movie!… A GrandMetaNarrative of such NaughtyPossibilities that it’s synaptic persistence is eternally assured – and unpredictable as to exactly how and/or when it ‘surfaces’. For example, once upon a time in the HollyWood of ‘yore’ – a rather taboo subject was addressed… and, appropriately enough, entitled – Mandingo!
Now, it’s certainly catchy! Let’s see, three syllables – easy on the ears, not too difficult to pronounce…
The screenwriter’s teaser for the production: “Expect the savage. The sensual. The shocking. The sad. The powerful. The shameful. Expect all that the motion picture screen has never dared to show before. Expect the truth. Now you are ready for ‘Mandingo’.”
Hmm? Bit racy though, eh what!?? And a questionable array of Subtext… Bondage! Slavery! Infidelity! UnBRidledNakedPassion!!! So maybe, ‘Mandingo’ isn’t quite what we’re looking for …
Hmmm…


Bingo!!!! We call it, “Indigo!!!” Doesn’t mean a damn thing – won’t offend anyone and sounds OhSoAuCurrent!!!!… DoneDeal!!!!


And so it was, ‘Done’ – or at least the FlutteringPennants! Now here’s a Ontological Conundrum to tease your InnerExistentialist!:
“In the absence of human observation/cognition do a development’s LonelyFlutteringPennants signify ‘actual’ existence or merely an illusion of actuality?”


Well, I tell a lie… The Developer of this Osoyoos project did actually put together a presentation centre, of sorts…


Indeed – no expense was spared as regards signage/typographical branding! Just check out that ‘g’!!!!


Unfortunately, signage & a shack or two, here and there… is as far as ‘Indigo’ ever got. Indeed, the PresentationCentre has sadly become yet another case of abandonment. And now – all that remains are the memories… and fluttering, tattered awnings and plywood decking strewn with shattered glass.


OHyES!!! And these two, lonely, abandoned ATCO trailers… which Nemesis presumes were intended to create the illusion of ACTIVITY… or at least, imminent construction!


Which, considering the shoreline, pastoral views, and beautiful ‘shrubbery’/foliage… bulldozing the site and pouring concrete would have been a genuine shame/spoiler (if handled indelicately – as these things so often are). So, perhaps ‘failure to proceed’ isn’t such a great loss/shame, after all…


Well, There it is! The only thing built on the site. This is the obverse view of the ProudProject Signage. DearReaders will note the presence of secondary signage courtesy of CBRE notifying other, more adventurous Developers of a ‘NewOpportunity’ to acquire same… With, best ‘o all!, a ‘NewPrice!’…


And this is what that sign must have looked like as it beckoned the WineBesotted, GoldChain wearing Throngs to the GrandOpening CockTailSoiree..


Meanwhile – back at the ‘site’ perimeter, we see yet more signage… advertising the availability of a pristine and ready to go Waterfront acreage just BEGGING for some entrepreneurial genius to resurrect TheDream!… And you will note that this particular Terrifying&Pityless ProtoRealtor of OgoPogo’s name is…: ‘Hack’…? Sometimes, MotherNatu​re can be cruelly funny. At least ‘Hack’ is not a scribbler/journo!


So, next time out.. Nem suggests they go with Racy! With Taboo! With Controversial!!!! What if they had called it “Mandingo!”… and what a TagLine, eh? “The Primeval Rhythm of Life!”
I suppose we’ll never know. ;)

Photos and commentary for the ‘BlastRadius’ series by ‘Nemesis’.
[Images Ⓒ​2011 ‘Nemesis’ – All Rights Reserved]

—–

[Advisory: Readers who don't 'get' Nem or are perturbed by his riffs should simply skip these posts. Having said that, Nothing that Nem says should disturb one more than a glance at the market. - vreaa]

PostCardsFromTheBlastRadius #5 – The Okanagan Bust – CrewMan#6 – WhenTheWriterDoesn’tGiveYouAName… & “NewRules!” for ‘NowSelling’…

I’ll bet you thought Nemesis was kidding when he told you there was a development in the HillBillyRiviera that proudly boasted “Lavish” not “Luxury” ‘ResidentialCondos (is there any other kind?) in its promotional signage.  Well, “Ha! Ha! I say to to you!”  Because here it is.  Atypically, the Developer and or their marketing team neglected to ‘name’ this project – opting instead merely to refer to it by its street address.  Now, Nemesis doesn’t know much about the business of property development – but when it comes to ‘story development’???  Let’s just say that if a writer doesn’t think it’s worth assigning a name to a character; that character is normatively ‘toast’ well before the conclusion of ‘ActOne’.  As in the fabled ‘CrewMan#6‘ of any early StarTrek episode (see also Sam RockWell in GalaxyQuest!)…

In the splendid tradition of BillMaher’s, “NewRules” (and the EponymousCondoHype! of YVR BloggingHall ‘O Fame) – Nemesis proposes a ‘NewRule’ of his own for developer’s project signage…  1. When you’ve been flogging it for more than 3 months… all references to “NowSelling” must be eradicated.

Oh yes, 240 WadeWest, to the best of Nemesis’ occasionally faulty recollection, has been in ‘NowSelling!’ mode for well over 2 years…

Now, “Don’tTouchThatDial!”  DearReaders… for a VREAA/Nemesis RoyalConnubialDoubleHeader! is coming to a certain ExistentialistsEssential&Quintessential YVR RE BlogNearYou!… ThisFriday!…
FeaturePresentation: ” ‘RegalRidge’ Meets Harry&TheEricksons!”  And!  A BonusTreat (or is that TrickOrTreat?) FollowUp, Boyz ‘N Girlz with Sunday’s FeaturePresentation:  “TheAtlantisVernon! – AddamsFamilyValues or KeepingUpWithTheMunsters?”  So,StayTuned!

—–
Photos and commentary for the ‘BlastRadius’ series by ‘Nemesis’.
[Images Ⓒ​2011 ‘Nemesis’ – All Rights Reserved]

[Readers (including 'Fred') who are perturbed, flabberghasted, demoralized, infuriated, or overwhelmed by Nemesis' 'BlastRadius Series', are, of course, welcome to simply skip these posts.
We will point out, however, that, in extraordinary times, people are driven to produce extraordinary things. And, also, that it is not unusual for that which is closest to the truth to come disguised in words of bizarre jest. - vreaa
]

PostCardsFromTheBlastRadius #4 – The Okanagan Bust – TheColossusOfWestBank & TheTerrifying&Pityless ProtoRealtors™ of OgoPogo!


Observed from a distance… at first glance I thought – perchance – Tosh! mere EarthWorks… but upon careful reflection… I realized. Realized the astonishing Truth!… It was a BurialMound! ‘THE’ BurialMound!… of the fabled Terrifying&Pityless ProtoRealtors™ of OgoPogo!


And what!?? Yes! What?… was that strange edifice on the distant horizon????


And then… I saw them… Faded HieroGlyphs of the fearsome ProtoRealtors of OgoPogo!…
If I wasn’t worried before, I was certainly WORRIED now. What next, I speculated… what next?


Fluff! Fluff? WTF?….
Standing upon… the ThreshHold of AncientRuins? Ruins of a LostCivilization? ‘Nemesis’ momentaril​y reflected, “To what bestial purpose?” – and then.. TheGrandStartle!
Yes! Startled! by the sound of distant drums!!!
And then they came!


Chanting!​ Gyrating! Naked!
The Terrifying&Pityless ProtoRealt​ors of OgoPogo!!!​… together with their sacrificial offerings to TheGreatSerpentOfTheLake.
Untold legions of captive FTB’s! Bound&Marinaded!
How they screamed!.. Begged for mercy!…
Frantically Struggling and Straining to free themselves from the DebtBondage of onerous PSA’s & 0Down VR ClosedMortgages… With obligatory HELOCS!
WhatSavagery!
But – Alas, ToNoAvail.​..
TheHorror. TheHorror. TheHorror.


A gruesome spectacle ensued… of such blood-curdling malevolent, hideous violence that even today, sometimes in the darkest recesses of night… Nemesis still awakens in a cold sweat..,
The victims’ screams echoing… echoing…
Altogether, more terrifying than ANYTHING you could possibly imagine! Anything.
TheFluff. TheFluff. TheFluff… of ‘stuff’…
Whey will they learn?


And now, a brief ‘homage’ to the RealArtistes of TheColossusOfWestBank…
‘primitiveWannabe’ Banksies…
You know who you are…
Keep Spraying. For truly, it is ‘Opus Dei’…


More seriously, all this was the prelude to a failed BluffTop housing development…. and the Ruins were apparently the ‘staging’ for what must surely have been the GrandestOfTheGrand of ExtravagantPreSales Offerings…
All Brought to you by ExciteHomes. The Principals of ExciteHomes are gone now and out of respect for their sorrow/shame, ‘Nemesis’ will not reveal (albeit he does know) their current whereabouts/circumstances… But RestAssured, VREAA readers… it is a CautionaryTale of the UtMostMagnitude!…


Ah… Some of you were wondering about Nemesis’ veracity… re: TheDrums… the ThunderousBeatingDrums of OgoPogo!
Well, here they are. And, Yes – They’re Toxic.
and, apart from the GrandStaging… these are all that remain…
‘Nemesis’, having neglected to come equipped with HAZMAT gear did NOT venture too closely…
Ergo, for the time being – at least – the contents of TheDrums of the Terrifying&PityLess ProtoRealtors of OgoPogo shall go unremarked…


And so, our tale concludes… But, TruthBeTold – TheColossus is (Sacreligiously & CockPosterously!) ACTUALLY situated adjacent to the GenuineArticle…
A real – sacred – burial ground.
Shameless.
Well, Boyz&Girlz…
It all ends like this. If you’re lucky, your loved ones (& others you never knew were ‘loved ones’) will remember you fondly…
So… please strive for excellence and try to FightTheGoodFight!
In between, have some Fun… and do what you can…

—–

Photos and commentary for the ‘BlastRadius’ series by ‘Nemesis’.
[Images Ⓒ​2011 ‘Nemesis’ – All Rights Reserved]

PostCardsFromTheBlastRadius #3 – The Okanagan Bust – “Life Revolves Around You!”


From the WebSite:
“Welcome to Centre Point, where Life & Style are perfectly in sync.”
[NemNote: When you allow that the developer's market timing was apparently rather less than 'in sync' with condo-newbie appetites - it's just as well that they got the 'Life&Style' thing right. Nemesis wonders though, which elements of life are 'synchronous/analagous' with/to vinyl extrusions and particle board? The Coprological?]
“Located in Kelowna’s ‘picturesque’ South Glenmore, this idyllic setting means you don’t have to compromise location for convenience.”
“Only moments from everywhere you want to be, but away from what you leave behind – never before has there been an address that offers it all.” [unlike, say - Buckingham Palace?]
“A true urban [!?] retreat. Centre Point brings new, affordable and ‘luxurious’ rental apartment living to the centre of Kelowna.”
['Nem'Note: Do WagCondoCopyWriters/Hypers contest amongst themselves to see who can weave the most glaring oxymorons and cliche into 'ThePitch'?]


Have a close look at that signage, Boyz ‘n Girlz – you’ll notice that the rental offer is, in fact, a recent vinyl ‘appliqué’ – the obvious intent, to camouflage (or mask, if you prefer) the development’s quasi-mystical transubstantiation from ‘ownership’ to ‘rental’. What will they think of next!?


For a development purportedly nearing completion and with a projected tenant occupancy timeline of ‘June-ish’… there was an astonishing dearth of visible activity on the CentrePoint site. But never mind, as the wind generated opening and closing of the unsecured double-glazed UPVC balcony doors more than made up for all that with some delightful – if random – melodies remniscent of the haunting Japanese ‘Shakuhachi’.

Photos and commentary for the ‘BlastRadius’ series by ‘Nemesis’.
[Images Ⓒ​2011 ‘Nemesis’ – All Rights Reserved]

PostCardsFromTheBlastRadius #2 – The Okanagan Bust – ‘The Conservatory’ Becomes ‘The Reformatory’


TheConservatory!  Look On My Works, Ye Mighty and Despair!
Kathy[Michaels]@Kelowna.com: “If there’s ever been a project that highlights the inherent risks of putting money down on something that doesn’t yet exist, it’s The Conservatory in Glenmore. Developers broke ground for the 99-unit luxury residential condominium nearly [nine] years ago…  It sat for several years as a big, yawning hole in the ground, the subject of neighbourhood jokes… Shortly after ground broke in October 2002, work came to a halt and it took until 2005 before financing issues were resolved and crews headed back to the site again [albeit, only temporarily!]. Further exacerbating the issue was that there was no means to recoup costs from investors who purchased their suites at a cost of  $240 a square foot. The most developers could increase prices was by 27 per cent, but by the time the property went into receivership, the costs were more in the range of  $470 and $550 a square foot…”


Quick, call CentralCasting! All we need are a few emaciated ‘Rent-A-Refugees’ and we can ‘wrap’ that Bosnian MovieOfTheWeek under budget/ahead of schedule! Just imagine the LineProducer’sBonus we’ll score on that one, Boyz ‘n Girlz!


Alternatively, given TheConservatory’s resemblance to the kind of ‘WorkersParadise’ housing so ubiquitous in the former SovietUnion/EastBlox – perhaps we could resuscitate SCTV’s inimitable CCCP TV and gift it this lovely ‘new’ OkaNaganProduktionComplex!


Nix the foregoing!!!  Because: Bingo!…  Nem’s had another epiphany!.. Here’s the thing, with all the recent controversy regarding the cost/location/siting of a new regional provincial correctional facility – why not ReBrand ‘TheConservatory’ as…
TheReformatory!
After all, they already have a secure perimeter and more than enough ‘luxury suites’ to accomodate hundreds of new guests! Best of all, harness those very same ‘new guests’ to complete the project and you’ve got a vocational rehabilitation programme at ‘pennies on the dollar’!…
A ‘WinWin’ all around! – for BC Taxpayers and Provincial ‘GuestWorkers’ incentivized to finish their lodgings before Winter’s chill arrives!


Of passing interest, an actual ‘CrimeScene’ adjacent to TheReformatory’s SecurePerimeter.


Cleaned out and ironically emblematic of the TheReformatory’s financial woes – a petty cash box most likely taken from one of numerous abandoned ‘Atco’ construction offices/trailers nearby.  Further proof, if any were needed, that the villain who does his ‘RE Homework’ first needn’t waste time forcing entry to unproductive venues.  ‘Nemesis’ neglected to bring his CSI toolkit on this occasion – so instead, notified on-site security who were demonstrably pleased to finally have something to ‘observe & report’ besides the sado-masochistic exhibitionism of self-flagellating RemorsefulRealtors™.


Now as CrimeScenes go, this ain’t just any old Reformatory – nope, it’s a Reformatory with a view!… Albeit, this PrisonersPanorama features a vanquished pastoral idyll.  Where once orchards predominated – sadly, now rise the HousingTractsOfTheDamned™.
‘Nemesis’ is feeling biblical…  nay, not CrefloDollar ‘ProsperityGospel’ Biblical [aside to audience: google that one, cause I swear you can't make up/write s**t like that]!  But OldTestament, CharltonHeston, CecilBDeMille – WrathfulBiblical!…  Accordingly, time for a little apropos Jeremiah…
Prophecy Of Jeremias (Jeremiah) 6:4-5 [Douay-Rheims]
[4] Prepare ye war against her: arise, and let us go up at midday: woe unto us, for the day is declined, for the shadows of the evening are grown longer. [5] Arise, and let us go up in the night, and destroy her houses.


Sometime soon, in the not terribly distant future, Nemesis ‘prophecies’ that authentic indigenes (aka FirstNations) will doubtless refer in passing to all this as, “The ‘hallowed burial grounds’ of a greedy, foolish and primitive people.”.. Speculative fiction or prescient forecast? We’ll see… ;)

What’s worse, this view to the hills from The Conservatory, or the reverse? Thanks to Nemesis, for illustrating the desolation of a housing collapse,  already commenced in our periphery. -ed.

Photos and commentary for the ‘BlastRadius’ series by ‘Nemesis’.
[Images Ⓒ​2011 ‘Nemesis’ – All Rights Reserved]

Abbotsford – “From old sales price to new asking price there is a 25% drop. Right here in the best place on earth.”

“A-Sharp” Accountant at vancouvercondo.info November 11th, 2010 at 8:46 am-
“I just got a flyer in the mail for ‘Yale Crossing’ in Abbotsford. There are over 30 units left in a fairly small building. The flyer says that all units must be sold by the end of the year.
These units were initially priced at about $290k + GST in spring 2008. THey sat until later that year and some sold for $265+GST.
Now they are asking $210 including Net HST
From old sales price to new asking price there is a 25% drop. Right here in the best place on earth.
I’m certainly curious to see what “must sell this year” means… If it is true, then I will certainly put in an offer on Dec 29th for 100k or something.
Another anecdotal point of reference: These [Okanagan, Westside Road] places originally sold for $850 in 2006, went up to about 1 mill in 2008, and now are foreclosing and asking in the 400′s.”
.

4215 Westside Road # 9
Kelowna, BC, V1Z 3W8, MLS 100115093
Ask price $459,000
1042 sqft, on ‘under one acre’
Realtor blurb: “Foreclosure. Reduced with $20,000! [? -ed.] Blow out price for this rustic style 2 bed & den waterfront cottage. Cottages sold for $849,000 in 2006! It features 3 levels, granite counters, incredible lakeviews, little private beach, patio.”

The Periphery Is Imploding – Penticton, Kelowna, Whistler, Sunshine Coast – “Priced more than 40% below what was paid in 2002.”

Penticton, Kelowna, Whistler, Sunshine Coast… Some RE bubbles start from a centre and move concentrically outwards, and when they implode the reverse happens. Our epicentre is perhaps Vancouver Westside detached. Many of these ‘peripheral’ properties are, of course, owned by people from Greater Vancouver.  -vreaa

Penticton (greaterfool.ca 24 Aug 2010) – “A year ago a guy bought a sub-penthouse in a sub-interesting condo in Penticton, a BC resort town, and paid $1,300,000. On Saturday a mess of people showed up at the same building, and the same suite was sold at auction for $685,000. “Interestingly,” said someone with family at the event, “a number of people thought the prices were still a little high.”

Whistler (cfl122 at RE Talks 22 Aug 2010 7:22pm) – “I was talking to a few hockey parents and they told me that they had recently bought in Whistler. One parent purchased a condo in the Four Season Hotel for less than $250k from a seller who had purchased that condo for more than $600k. Another bought a townhouse for less than half the original listed price.” (Realtor link confirms, sold for $250K: “Court ordered sale: Suite 507 is a 645 king suite with 5 piece luxury, spa-like bath. Phase 2 nightly rental luxury 5 star property with all amenities the discerning buyer deserves. Priced more than 40% below what was paid in 2002.”)

Kelowna to Osoyoos (McLovin at vancouvercondo.info 29 Aug 2010 9.17am)- “I just returned from my second week this summer in beautiful Osoyoos. The family and friends all had an amazing time but talk about dead. We have been going there for 5 summers and I have never seen virtually every hotel on “hotel row” with vacancy on a Sat night. I don’t know if people are traveling less or the “Alberta oil money” has stopped flowing but it was dead. Chatting with an owner of a 15 unit building I learned that Pentiction is hurting so much that hotel prices in some places are down 50%. I did my usual drive around and noticed even more inventory and a bunch of “new price” signs. There were even two projects offering “blow out pricing” The entire area from Kelowna to Osoyoos has gone no bid. There are simply no buyers at virtually any price and inventory keeps grinding higher. There is a waterfront place that we considered buying as a group in 2008. The owner had it listed at $1.3M but we were told by another [realtor] to offer $1.1M. We did the math and decided that it was just way too much for a place we would use collectively 14 weeks a year especially in light of the fact one can rent a similar place for $3,000 per week and give back the keys (like we just did) Anyway, last summer the price had dropped to $1.0M and we were told by the [realtor] that the owner of the empty house had turned down two offers for $950K. This spring (after it had been on the market for two years) the price was dropped to $900K. The price was dropped Aug 1 of this year to $829K (from $1.3M) and still no buyers! That has to put a chill into the retirement plans of many a boomer who bought there in 1982 for $67,000 and plans on listing it for $1.2M! The reality of the pricing has set in and people are realizing that the prices have just gone past the ability for even groups of people to pay for a 1980’s vacation home. In my opinion after watching prices there since 2005, from the peak in 2007 prices are down (unofficially of course as there are ZERO sales) 20-25% and show an increasing trend downwards. There are many projects that were built since 2007 such as Walnut Beach where every buyer is underwater big time. The whole of the Okanagan dropped in 2008 like Vancouver but did not bounce back at all.”

Sunshine Coast (rebgv.org Aug 2010 data) - Detached sales price benchmark down 14% in one month (260.4 Jul 2010; 223.9 Aug 2010)

Deeply Desperate Kelowna Developers – “In an attempt to remove absolutely any reason why someone wouldn’t buy their new condo now, we’ve made it possible to overcome any challenge, we have the ability to take deep discount prices way below market value, carry finance, rent to own, zero down, whatever it takes.”

Note: The concept of “deep discount prices way below market value” is a paradox, as the price thereby received is itself market value. -vreaa

Vitger at greaterfool.ca 24 Apr 2010 12:19 am forwarded this e-mail they had received from a Kelowna realtor -

“Joel and I have been working on this concept for some time and just signed the documents. My assistant just told me that we’re about to hit the air waves hard with a ton of news about the upcoming Anything’s Possible Sale, happening this Sunday. In an attempt to remove absolutely any reason why someone wouldn’t buy their new condo now, we’ve made it possible to overcome any challenge, we have the ability to take trades deeply discount prices way below market value, carry finance, rent to own, zero down what ever it takes to put 11 happy new owners into award winning Martin lofts this Sunday. It’s absolutely worth taking a half hour to see if this will work for you or anyone you know. No sale like this has ever taken place in Kelowna. We are selling the units out and moving on, developers orders!

I know this is short notice, but I felt that it was very important to contact you before our advertising hits the airways Saturday, that’s tomorrow throughout the day.

I’m giving you 24 hours notice to book a 15 minute call with me where I’ll happily tell you about the opportunities that are going up for grabs this weekend. My hunch is, something will really jump out at you and you’ll want to secure the opportunity right away. that’s only possible if you call me.

My number is simple and I’m pretty friendly over the phone, so give me a call. Why am I doing this? Because Sunday I will have no time to take calls. My time slots are already filling up quickly. To act out of integrity and because you’re a part of my buyers group, I wanted to give you the very best opportunity possible.

My goal in the 15 minutes will be to support you in solving your challenge, by creating the perfect solution for you. Anything is possible! (no pun intended).
Here are some of the typical challenges I hear:
1) Are you short a down payment?
2) Do you have a home to sell first?
3) Are you looking to rent to own?
4)Are you waiting for a killer deal?

The developer working with us on this project is only doing this for one reason. They want to move on to the next project and they have made it clear to me that everything is possible this weekend. This opportunity is going out to more than 500 people, so please secure your conversation time with me the moment you get this email. My number is again is 250-

Make it a great day!”

P.S. I’ve only got 11 suites remaining and 30 consultation spots. Of the more than 500 people interested in this offer. You do the numbers! Talk soon.”