Basement Suite In East Vancouver Sells For $590K

“You can’t make this sh*t up. I posted a week ago about the insanity of the East Vancouver market giving the example of a builder who converted a 33×120 lot into a house with a strata titled main floor and basement, as well as a lane house.
Main house – V930752 – 1.2 mil
Basement suite – V930763 – $590K for 1,175 sq ft
Laneway home – (still completing) – +$900K
So, some guy thinks that a fully developed lot near one of the noisiest intersections in Vancouver proper (Kingsway & Knight) should be fetching him 2.7 million dollars. Another funny piece of info was that the stereo was pumping in the basement to drown out the sound of walking from the upstairs unit. Quality is job one.
Well, the basement of the main house has sold:
MLS # V930763
1262 East 19th Avenue
2 BR ‘Garden’ Suite; Strata
SOLD; Ask price $590K”
[sales price yet to be verified]
mflat at 13 & 24 Feb 2012 10:02am

mflat is right, you can’t make this up.
It’s going to be ironic when the price of entire houses in East Van return to less than the price of a bubble basement.
– vreaa

UPDATE 8 Mar 2012:
This basement suite was featured on Global TV News, 7 Mar 2012
Video archived by Greenhorn; [story at 2:20]

140 responses to “Basement Suite In East Vancouver Sells For $590K

  1. Renters Revenge

    Wow! Save this one, I think it officially marks the top. Wow!

  2. Well, props to the “developer” for figuring out a highest-and-best-use that didn’t require much of anything, save some drywall and studs. And for finding the “highest” buyer — you’d HAVE to be high to buy the bottom half of that.

    I’d love to know how the strata corp works. Does the main floor dominate, as he paid the most? Equal voting? Does the laneway owner get to horn in on main house decisions? “Attention, basement guy. The board has voted a special assessment. We’ll be around next Friday to collect…”

    • I thought that when the City permitted laneway houses, they explained that it would not be possible to treat these as strata properties. Am I wrong? Or has this changed? Have other laneway houses in Vancouver been set up this way? Does it depend on the neighborhood?

  3. I like “Basement Bubble” > Bieber Bubble.

  4. By the looks of the house, they could have split the basement into 2 suites and offer them at $390k each. Vancouver needs cheap housing like that.

  5. This is by far the most insane thing I have ever seen….I guess millionares from China move to Canada to live in a basement suite…Where would you park the Ferrari??

  6. 30k down and 2000 a month, mortgage helper in the laundry room. This can only go up. What a steal.

  7. The peak of insanity. I am speechless. Thanks for the link. I know a few folks who just have got to see this to believe it. Un-freaking stupidity now rules the local market and this makes it official.

    Were the buyers Ham by any chance?

  8. it’s a darwin awards candidate, imo. should make the national news – nay, international. anyone want to fact check and fwd to mish?

    • Ha Ha!! You are right Chubster. We have finally seen Vancouver’s Tulip bulb moment. What will it be next? Cardboard boxes for a cool million on vacant lots in Point Grey? Waterfront living for two million on wreck Beach in a tent?????

      Hey, a good quality dog kennel might be worth a fortune in the right neighborhood. Especially if it sleeps two and has a water dish. Seriously, I really, really, really cannot believe the article I read here today….

      A Basement for more than a half mill!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Go Figure!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HaHahaHa!!!

      • Adam Janusz - REALTOR - Metro Vancouver

        A vacant lot in point grey for $1M, I dream of the day! The cardboard box is a bonus because it folds up, saving the cost of tearing it down to build out!

        If you can get title of any sort for a Wreck Beach property, play hardball and wait for the Multi-Millions to roll in!

        Things look pretty out of control, that’s a given. As crazy as the market in Vancouver seems, what we have to accept is that any piece of property is worth exactly what someone is willing to pay for it, and not some calculation/forecast made sight-unseen for the purposes of taxation (for example). These prices are the reality of our city, and the people who “over pay” for their purchases will rest easy knowing that if you buy and hold, property is the safest investment in the world!

        We can certainly keep shaking our heads at the perceived Madness of the prices paid, or we can try to shake off the feelings of “Wow, this is just nuts! When does it end?”, and get in while a Basement suite is still AFFORDABLE at $589k!

        “The end is in sight” doesn’t apply to something that never has an end. There are deals out there that appear better than this one, by almost any measure, so get the deals while we can, because the dreams of those like myself who grew up in Vancouver, of owning property and living our life out here, are only going to get more “Dream” and less “reality” by the day!

        Good luck to all land-owning hopefuls!

        Adam Janusz
        RE/MAX Select Realty

      • Royce McCutcheon

        ^’“The end is in sight” doesn’t apply to something that never has an end.’

        ^I’ll try the “It’s different here” with extra hubris-sauce please. Thanks.

  9. that’s approx $500/sqft for new construction. Sounds about right to me

    • Hahaha, thanks for the good laugh F1!

      • These pretzels are making me thirsty

        This is from the same guy who seriously thinks that Lions Gate bridge is comparable to Golden Gate bridge….seriously flawed thought process

      • F1 is right that’s what condos trade at. It is basement, but it shares a yard and doesn’t have 25 other strata co owners

    • Sorry that hood isn’t worth that. I don’t care how emotionally attached anyone is.

      • pricedoutfornow

        Ya, bad area. The inlaws live in that hood, they have hookers at the end of their street (Kingsway). I’m going to try to convince them to sell off the basement suite too! Why not? With $$ like that they could live quite comfortably in retirement. Why doesn’t everyone in East Van sell off their basements rather than renting them out?

    • A. It’s not new construction, and the house looks downright run down outside.
      B. It’s a BASEMENT. In east Van. Not even the nice part of.

  10. Well, I thought I had seen it all, but I hadn’t. Laughing and laughing at the comments, e.g. @Ralph, “you’d HAVE to be high to buy the bottom half of that.”

    @Farmer “The peak of insanity” — yes. @chubster “should be international news.” Please, Gord, call CTV and get them to do a story on this. I’ll alert the New York Times or something.

    If you ask me, Canadians have some of the best senses of humour in the world. Please, comedians, get going on this!

    Or where is Jonathan Swift when you need him?

  11. These pretzels are making me thirsty

    You should really rename this post as “The twilight zone”

  12. Another week, and another two people I spoke to in passing have just decided to list their homes because they fear impending price declines… One of them told me their realtor showed them an inventory graph that sounded remarkably similar to the one from VCI, and also said the shit will hit the fan in spring, and that they should really hurry and list to try to catch the last of the HAM before the China crash tightens up the availability of funds from there… and that SFHs will see large declines in sale price this year.

  13. When I clicked on the link the VREAA host provided (to the MLS listing), I found a page for “Seadon Associates” RE consulting. THeir motto? “We put people first!” Oh — is that why you put them UNDERGROUND? Uh, I think that’s called “interment.”

  14. why do most houses in vancouver looked ugly and ‘gothic’..?

  15. i know the buyer. not HAM. local hardworking couple. i have been seriously bothered by this decision since i found out about it last week. there are 30 facebook comments congratulating and supporting the purchase – are they all insane? i don’t have the heart to tell them about this blog.

    • Oh well, no pun, they’re out the downy and filing fees for bankruptcy, less than a new car. They’ll be okay, as long as they can get over the emotional attachment. Who wouldn’t want wedding photos on that beautiful plywood riser?

    • You know the buyer? Really.

      Insights wanted. I just have to know what would send anyone off the edge that much. If you read this, Liquid, you have just got to tell us why they would make that purchase. There must be something more to this story than we are seeing. Price is not everything.

      • here’s the kicker…. he’s a vancouver realtor obviously drinking his own kool-aid. that’s as far as i’m going. its all too disturbing.

      • It makes sense if prices can only go up. Probably qualifies for all the breaks too. Speculating that the math sounded good at their price threshold. It’s a chic community, very up and up.

      • Overpaying for the lowest rung of the ladder is a sign of a top. People really want to buy, but that’s all they can get.

    • Now that’s a true greaterfool.

    • you need to ask them if they also get all the pictures that were taken during the (renos)… that would be my first request if I was to even think of looking at purchasing this place. I would really want to know that the guy(s) who built it done it to code and have all the papers to prove inspections regarding wiring, mold, heating …etc… We all know what Vancouver wetness can do to old basements…. (right froogle)

      one other thing that is interesting… how did the (owner) get the proper permits to do this to a single family house? and can we all now expect a new trend… buy house and sell basement as mortgage helper?

    • Maybe their friends thought that they bought the whole house for $590K?

  16. “he’s a vancouver realtor.”

    Swift, Moliere and Oscar Wilde *together* could not have made this up.

    If only it WERE all a harmless farce!

  17. happened to be reading the gmo quarterly when the basement thing came up. it’s longish – so maybe just part 1 then. let us just appose la folie et la sagesse. vs vs amusez bien

    Click to access JGLetter_LongestLetterEver_4Q11.pdf

  18. My wife is a BCLS. She says this would cost about 10k to do. “It’s not hard, only thing I’m not sure of is the city signing off on it”.

  19. This is as close to shark jumping as I’ve seen in a while. Classic Vancouver insanity. Keep this one at the top of the pile for future nostalgia.

  20. Now the real question… Will we see a flood of basement listings in the coming weeks?

  21. That’s one desperate city! BPOE becomes BPBO! Keep buying suckers.

  22. Incredible to read this news – I live in Cedar Cottage, and this pricing does not make any sense. This is not Main street or Commercial Drive, or even Fraser street, which are the higher value east side neighbourhoods. This was an Italian/Portugese working class neighbourhood, taken over by more recent new Canadians – its a great opportunity to find the best pho in the city. This kind of pricing on an up and down duplex, with no parking is out of this world. 2200 square feet in a single family home does not command 1 mill plus, I guess the fancy finishes will add real value here.

    • You wanna know something about “pho”? Average MSG for a large bowl is 1 tablespoon. Thats why your mouth feels dry and you get extremely thirsty after. Homemade is the way to go.

      • I find MSG varies a lot restaurant to restaurant. Find one that uses less of it, and keep going there.

      • Ee, gads, the real thing has natural umami from the concentrated ox tail and chicken stock. Okay, my homemade stuff does based on the intertube recipe I follow…

  23. This is insane. When I read about this a couple of weeks ago, I was absolutely stunned by the greed of the developer and never thought in a million years that somebody would be foolish enough to buy a basement suite in the Kingsway and Knight area for almost $600,000!! I was curious as to where the house was located as I grew up in the area (Charles Dickens elementary).
    What a surprise, then, to find out that this house sits where my form next-door neighbour’s house used to be!! Our house used to stand just to the east of this place. It used to be owned by a Christian Church denomination (can’t remember which one) and Rev. Whitford–the pastor–used to live here with his family, prior to retiring and moving to the Island.
    If you had told the Whitfords back then that their basement (with some renos) would be worth more than half-a-million dollars, I’m not sure what they would have done.
    Crazy, crazy, crazy!!
    This must be the signal for the top, must it not?!?

    • These pretzels are making me thirsty

      Absolutely nuts! I bet there is a house horny wifey and MIL involved
      The Vancouver “Tulip” story.

  24. Greed of the developer? Are you kidding me! I would be high fiving the developer, he’s just selling the place, I think the greedy person is the buyer? If I owned a shit hole and asked a million for it and some dumb ass bought it am I the greedy one? or is the dumb ass that bought it just a dumb ass? I say all the power to the seller if they can flog this crap to the sheep that are lining up for the slaughter!

    This is how markets works and it’s fantastic. Just ask some dumb ass American who’s being foreclosed on. This is the reason why the 99% percent end up transferring their wealth to the 1%. Capitalism at its finest!

    • “If I owned a shit hole and asked a million for it and some dumb ass bought it am I the greedy one? or is the dumb ass that bought it just a dumb ass?”

      You are rational to sell – and very lucky to be in the right place at the right time.

      Time will tell if he’s luckier that you, or a complete dumb ass. If another dumb ass comes along, he’s golden.

      Like Vegas, though, the trick is staying away from the table after luck hits you in the face. Also, like Vegas, it seems that most dumb asses can’t walk out of the casino until they are broke and broken.

    • Food for thought, if you have a savings account it’s quite possible the bank lent out some of your money to finance this purchase.

  25. If things don’t crash after this, I can’t even begin to imagine what’s next…

    People paying to live in hollow trees on Burnaby mountain? Occupy Vancouver squatters selling their tents for hundreds of thousands (and joining the 1%)? Condo owners renting out their balcony spaces?

    Where does it end?

    Oh, I know. In tears. Tears of desperation for many. Good. Grief.

    • Kit condos. Made in Surrey, then shipped to Vancouver. I believe you can fit 6 units on a standard Vancouver lot.

    • I think people will just willingly become slaves to the banks for “benefit” of living here. Oh wait.

      On the other hand, it may not end. The people of this region have a near infinite capacity for diminished expectations. They seem to always do what they are told and accept what they are given, and no matter how ridiculous it is. They will pay more and more for less and less. Today it’s $700k for an old basement on a busy road in hookertown. Tomorrow it could be $1 million dollars for a tent and a license to beg in the rain. It’s the best place on earth you know.

      That’s the true value of Vancouver: chumps. There is an inexhaustible supply of fools who will never look elsewhere and the media apparatus to direct them. Pay $10 for a hot dog? Lineups for days. Why not $100? Limited time only. Buy now. These people will pay anything and do anything, regardless of whether it makes sense, and that’s why Vancouver is so valuable. It’s not the land, or the scenery, or the climate, and it’s certainly not the standard of living. It’s the people.

      You can argue from simple mathematics that eventually this must end. The population will be unable to pay for it. This is true, but don’t ignore the fact that so many 60 year olds have 40 year mortgages. When the general population can wield sums of money that they have no hope of repaying the integrity of the system is lost. Money doesn’t mean anything in Vancouver, and under current policies Canada is sure to follow. We have socialized credit and destroyed capitalism. Newcomers don’t own anything in Vancouver and won’t get the opportunity. It’s like a communist country, which is maybe why HAM finds it so appealing.

      As for options, with the precedent established and the trend so firmly in place, there is no reason to bet on a reversal. In 2008 this new system cracked and the authorities handed out gobs of money to favoured groups until it was fixed and the transformation could continue. They invited corrupt CPC officials to immigrate and launder an unprecedented amount of money through Canada. Anyone betting on an ounce of fairness or responsibility was badly burned.

      That’s it as far as I’m concerned. The social structure in Canada is ossifying and the economic structure is in decline. Our neighbours to the south have once again shown the way, by restoring balance to their system after only a few crazy years. Despite this enormous cost (or actually, because of it) sensible investment opportunities exist in the United States. That country is dynamic again. The fact that an American dollar today buys twice as much food, twice as much house, and twice as much gas is a harbinger of things to come. Canadians foolishly think they are better off, but Canada is going nowhere. Trade your Canadian dollars at par while you can, and move to the US to enjoy the standard of living you expect and get the opportunities that everyone deserves.

      The worst thing you could do in life isn’t buying a $700k Vancouver basement suite, it’s sitting around waiting for that to change. It may not change, or if it does, it may take too long, or you may not like it anymore. So you better have a plan in motion.

      Personally, planning to move because I want something better, full stop. Vancouver is just crap with a zero on the end, and Canada is grossly overrated too. I’m 50% out of Canadian assets because I don’t think our dollar is worth what the world says it is. I see China imploding instead of leading the world. Their model of over-investment is near an end. I think the next great invention will come from the United States, and the next bull market will be born there. They have so many small companies working on the next big thing, you have no idea. If you want opportunity, it’s there. They have nice houses for $100,000. Buy one and get on with life. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s as close to economic freedom as you are ever likely to get. I am astounded that people on this website could be offered this and somehow turn it down.

      Real estate and credit bubbles were the last decade, so why is Canada still mired in it? Who even gives a shit? In the greater world, nobody. And nor should they care. And nor should you.

  26. Bored of Waiting

    Now that even many outlets of the main stream media are acknowledging the distinct possibility of a serious RE correction the Vancouver real estate bulls are having to hunker down in a basement, so to speak.
    Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain.

  27. Well I am putting my money where my mouth is. After discussing the Maclean article at work today, my coworker asked my prediction for this year to which I said -10% in BC to which he immediately bet me $100.

    I have a feeling I might lose by not being bang on the mark at 10%, but I will literally move away from Vancouver if prices in Jan 2013 are higher than 2012.

    • “I will literally move away from Vancouver if prices in Jan 2013 are higher than 2012”

      better have some movers and boxes ready.

      • 4SlicesofCheese

        So you are saying jan 2013 prices will be up yoy of 2012.

        Trust me I will not miss living here day to day, I can visit here anytime and already own a place outright in Taiwan. But it would be a big blow to my company if I did leave.

      • These pretzels are making me thirsty

        And miss the city with a great marvel and landmark in the western world, “Lions Gate bridge”? LOL
        Talk about delusional superiority!

      • 4slices
        historical data suggests prices are probably going to be up. Given market conditions (immigration, mortgage rates) I think there’s a decent chance prices will be up over 2012. You don’t have to book your movers yet but have some contact numbers entered in your speed dial.

      • 4SlicesofCheese

        Stop talking like a politician, what do you predict.

        No probably or decent chances statements please.

      • F1, dude, u just keep on keep on keepin on. We’re all cheering for u.

      • 4slices
        overall flat
        Some areas up, some down

  28. Maybe someone could go in the dead of night and completely landscape the yard with tulip bulbs. The basement would have a wonderful eye-level view of them all.
    In fact this home should go into Vancouver herritage registry simply because this has to be the most ridiculous RE transaction the city has ever had.

    • I like the registry idea. If vreaa should fail there aren’t any backups to warn invading hordes there’s something funny in the water.

      • Aldus Huxtable

        There is a property on Salsbury one block from Venables which is a heritage home, complete with the informative plate out front indicating how the developer was a big RE mogul in 1918 and both he and his brother built grandiose homes and lost their entire fortunes in the crash.

  29. This is actually the most ridiculous thing ive ever seen. Someone call globaltv there needs to be a story on this.

  30. Some local yokel was yapping on the radio (AM 980) earlier this week about the latest “affordable housing” initiative by the city. He and the host were praising the idea of laneway houses.

    But, at ~$1 million per laneway house ON THE EAST SIDE… who can really afford that? And, who wants to afford that?

  31. “house with a strata titled main floor and basement, as well as a lane house”

    Good thing they remembered to put a lane house on there too. If you want to live in glorious East Vancouver, you have to make sacrifices.

  32. Basement wrote: “If you want to live in glorious East Vancouver, you have to make sacrifices.”

    Best comment yet.

    You know, in the end I’m going to have a big urge to say “I told you so” to a lot of folks. Unfortunately, most of those folks are also people I care about. Friends, family, etc. And they’re the ones who will be hung out to dry.

    Who, ultimately, cares about the HAM and the idiot real estate agents and their enablers? It’s the people that we care about that matter.

    • True, and imagine the new “owners” of a $600k basement suite in East Van, how those people view their purchase. I wonder if buyer’s remorse has set in yet, where they wake and go wtf did I just DO!?

  33. There are some front-back subdivisions on Island Avenue between Argyle and Victoria Drive. New houses go for about $900K at the front and $700K at the back. Combined that’s $1.6MM.
    Front: 3BR 3BA up, 3BR2BA down
    Back: 3BR 2BA up, 2BR1BA down

    Subdivision is alive and well, and lots of big lots in certain parts of the city…

  34. Basement makes a lot of sense.
    To climb the property ladder you need to start from the ground up.

  35. Can anyone give me an idea of what that basement suite would rent for?

    • Go on Padmapper and you’ll see. Somewhere around $1,400 to $1,500 a month. If the owner wanted to rent it out, it’d take them 50 years to re-coup their investment without selling.

    • I pay $850 (inclus) for a one bedroom a few blocks away. I think my place is about 700 sq feet? That place could rent for about $1200 I guess.

    • I have recently been looking and the sad fact is that nicely renovated 2-bedroom basement suites go for much more than they should these days (especially if they allow pets or don’t illegally discriminate against people with children. Suitable family housing is really hard to find).

      Seriously, check Craigslist. That would probably go for $1,700 at least. I think even $1,800. People who pay less in the same neighbourhood have simply lived there longer, or their place is not very nice.

  36. Judging by the comments here it is pretty clear that the biggest hurdle this new buyer will ever face is actually reselling that basement. I cannot imagine there is a second person in Vancouver who would pay so much for so little in order to live below ground in a crappy part of town. West End maybe…..not East Van

  37. #138 West Side Survivor on 02.25.12 at 5:29 pm

    Listening to the radio today…
    Ozzie Jurrock telling people that sales on the west side are solid, and the average time from list to sold is 11 days!?!?

    Can anyone confirm if Ozzie said this?

  38. There are definitely houses selling on the West Side, though many of the sales I’ve seen are for “tear-downs” and apparently bought by hopeful builders who might not be making wise moves. Can’t confirm anything Ozzie says, but here’s another perspective:
    ZRH2YVR Says:
    February 24th, 2012 at 5:29 pm
    One more stat before I jump off for the weekend. We will see the avearage detached price go up significantly during February.

    One thing I was saying as we saw the average price drop from the summer through to January was that there was really only small price decreases overall but that the average was affected by the slow sales in top markets.

    Now – in February / late Jan, we have had a serious amount (well maybe 15-20 properties) that have sold market wide in the over 8 million range. These are serious average movers for just a few properties. And – the fact they are selling in a period of low volume makes the impact even more pronounced. Do not be wavered by anyone who says that – “look – prices went up 15% this month” – It’s a load of S–T. It’s two bentleys full of HAM . . . . (last year there were probably 8 of them).

    Stay the course – look at the MOI (seasonally very high and this week it actually went up – which is against the trend). Sales are slow – very slow for the period. Newly built houses are not selling at all – this affects Richmond / West Side. Lowest priced properties still selling because there are still young people getting money and are about to get burned – this rate is slowing however. Also – some builders still must think that they can do a build / flip. It’s not looking good with all the inventory in front of them.

    Public sentiment is also shifting. I am now seeing it for the first time. At parties – I am not the outcast by talking about the bubble.

    Have a great weekend all.

  39. West Side Survivor

    Well I’m pretty sure that’s what he said on CKNW today. I believe he was referring to homes listed between 1.7 and 2.5 million on the west side.

  40. Seriously – is this house typical of the design in East Vancouver – looks damn unattractive and Gothic to me. sucks

  41. Would-be Investor

    I’m a first time poster but had to comment on this one. I was actually interested in buying this property which was listed for sale in late Dec 2010/early 2011 for $1,050,000. What was attractive to me as an investor was the oversized lot and more importantly the Rt-10 zoning (which allows the strata which I see some of you were wondering about – under this zoning the coach house is called an infill dwelling and can be much bigger and can be stratad unlike “lane way housing”. In addition this one came with approved plans and permits. After running the numbers and looking at comp sales this was overpriced – highest comparables for a development property were around $900k. When I estimated construction costs I used $200/square foot for 1648 square feet + $75/sq ft for 3170 renovation square feet – and estimated sales prices I calculated the following: $1,050,000 purchase price + $567,350 construction costs (total of $1,617,350). I then estimated the sale prices using comparable prices per sq foot at the time as $450/sq ft for the coach house, $410/sq ft for the main house upstairs and $375/sq ft for the basement unit: so prices of $741,600, $848,700 and $412,500 respectively yielding revenue of $2,002,800 or total potential profit of $385,450 (before carrying costs and realtor fees). I didn’t buy it nor did anyone else and it was taken off the market. Now here we are a year later and the project is near completion. Given that they turned the project into more of a total gut than I contemplated their construction costs were likely an additional $300,000 (adding $95/sq ft to what I called “renovation sq ft” in my calcs). So with actual list prices at $900k, $1.2 million and $590k (total potential gross revenue of $2,690,000 or $688k more than I estimated) they may make $772,650 before carrying costs and fees. Of course since the listing was terminated last year, the owner stands to make still more (who knows what they paid for it?). So just a little back of the envelope calculations to make you all spit out your coffee! I guess I shouldn’t have worried about it being “overpriced” and the market dropping – looks like they’ll get it all sold in the nick of time and with plenty of wiggle room if market conditions deteriorate in the near term.

    • Thanks for the info; very interesting to see how you weighed your decisions.
      We have bolded part of your comment (and two earlier comments by ‘liquid’) because they contain info specific to this development.

    • “I guess I shouldn’t have worried about it being “overpriced” and the market dropping”

      It was correct to have had these concerns.
      Imagine watching somebody at a roulette table playing black repeatedly and winning 4 times in a row. Do you say “Hey, I should have done that!” ?

    • ‘Would-be Investor’ -> As a would be investor, do you have any further insights/anecdotes you’d care to share with us about the state of the Vancouver RE market?

      • Would-be Investor

        Not much to add – most of what I’ve learned comes from you and your readers/posters ;). I can add one more thing about this property and why it piqued my interest: these owners followed in the footsteps of their neighbor (2 doors down on the corner of 19th and Clark drive). Those owners built a lane way house on their own SFH property of similar size, stratad and sold it last year for around $900k – they were just existing homeowners who saw an opportunity, built on their own and made a tidy sum. Hard not to be tempted by their story. In my case we had purchased a similarly zoned property in 2008, it also came with plans for an infill dwelling (in our case a smaller 1000 sq ft 2 bed/1 bath) which we built and kept for our own use (sister lives in it while we live in the main house which is a heritage b beauty). The project was fun and rewarding and we got interested in buying/building another (but this time to sell), but as I said previously, we didn’t take the plunge. So I really am just a “would-be” amateur investor, not a developer by any stretch!

    • These pretzels are making me thirsty

      Despite your self-assured commentary, it is still a massively and deliriously overpriced dump that is a reflection of the “top” of this ponzi scheme. In a city without any real fundamentals

      There is a difference between investing and gambling. You better start working on your real skills because this “would be investor” thingy is not going to last for long.

      • Pretzels – exactly. It doesn’t matter how high the price goes, the securities backing the debt of the home buyer are falling in value just as wages fall against the cost of living. I believe the only way to protect the bank with such lofty leverage is to hedge with a future. Alas, the Volcker rule in the US now prevents Canadian banks from doing just that. Canada does not have the mortgage backed securities available to cover our own debt. Debt now exists in a shell game based entirely on the psychology of other RE buyers in the market, and as you write, with no real fundamentals.

        The banks are sponsoring speculation enabled by the CMHC and a day will come when they do not care about the appraisal value, only the real worth of the basement suite, ie $98,000 in 2002 dollars using the gold change as an indicator. Real household income would drop to $33k, an average between the unemployed and earners. Coincidentally, that current total house price above exceeds the natural house to income ratio at a whopping 45:1, or a mortgage that can never be paid by the average wage earner. A funny thing happens to the compound interest calculator, leaving the wage earner in debt through wars, tectonic plate movement, until the end of time. The bank depends on us selling into the future at a profit or the scheme breaks. However, the average end buyer is not an investor. He rents from the bank and takes title to the profit or loss. That’s why I wouldn’t buy personal shelter on price, only on ratio. If deflation plays out to the max, that entire house will be worth 3x the average devalued wage of $33k.

        When I look out to futures for 2014, the disparity between real assets and borrowing must be met. If it is not met, the banks will be in default and lending will be fraud, like using an IOU to fund another IOU. Perhaps they will hedge with oil, but then they are lending to us and investing deposits of others to make our cost of living increase.

        The cost of living, low wages, and taxes will break us, and real estate will come tumbling after. These calculations are napkin approved.

      • Would-be Investor

        Totally agree pretzels – happy to have found Garth Turner and this site last spring (thanks vreea), sold my primary residence and now happily renting. it was fun to play around with the calculator and MLS, but will be holding off watching and waiting!

      • Would-be Investor

        Sorry I should clarify if anyone is confused that I have sold and am happily renting while also living in the property purchased in 2008 (the heritage house with coach house I mentioned above in this thread) – the “we” making the purchases are extended family, “I” am personally living in a rental while other family lives in the heritage house I co-own with them. Don’t want to lose credibility on my first day of posting!

    • Here is what investors/flippers wannabe don’t know what they are doing…

      The posting has it all:

      Already spent $500,000 for the works. Will need about $250,000 interior works for your personal choices of flooring, kitchen and MBR bathrooms fixture, paint and partition layout, sprinkler & sewage upgrade. Permit with floor area 3497 sf plus bonus open space 400 sf of crawl space 3’11” high in the basement. Roof top has some winter water view with a flat roof in drawing for a potential roof top deck. Quick $2.1m price for handyman or contractor who can do some finishing works and resell it easily for $2.6m-2.8m and up once completed. The solarium and new addition and new windows from the Fourseason were already over $200,000 paid with HST with receipt and warannty is transferrable to new owners. Its highend space technology glass thermo LV self cleaning and you can stand on it that makes it several times more expensive than regular solarium. All major works were performed by white crew and that explains how $500,000 spent already. [omg, he did NOT say that!!!!]

      It is dangerous to walk in or on-site and no showing nor entertainment to buyers who do not have building experience. Sorry. Reason to sell – my partner and I have different tracks for our train of thoughts now. Thanks. BC assessment is $1,580,000. Agent who brings offer close to asking price gets regular 3.1%/100,000 plus 1.25%/balance. Price is subject to increase when newer works added on. And I am not looking for a listing agent. Thanks. Why not tear down ? This one has got its nostalgia favour [sic!] and the inside is now completely opened up with big beams modern open concept with more sf area permitted and extra bump-outs that could not be permitted. All hazzle and trouble with the city hall and variance were completed. Just bring your hardhat and boots. Many thanks.

      Or maybe this guy just got the memo that no new-built houses are selling on the west side right now…

      • Wow.
        Why let this be someone else’s nightmare when it could be yours?

      • “It’s dangerous to walk in or on site….. completely opened up….”

        Sounds like they did some structural damage and now have to unload the place before it falls down.

  42. A little bird tells me CTV Vancouver will be picking this story up. 600k for a basement is a good story. One of the more bizarre ones for sure.

  43. It looks like sales up for Feb over January. Sitting at just over 2000 this month so far, and with active listings at 14700. Sales will probably hit close to 2400, which is quite an improvement from last month. Spring action could be right around the corner.

  44. A hundred posts on this article. Wow. That makes it twice in the last week. You know, I had been noticing that it was getting harder to keep up with all the comments lately. Is this also a sign of rising public consciousness of the Canadian housing bubble?

    Or a sign that none of us can believe some idiot just paid 600 thousand dollars for a basement!

    • Site visits at VREAA are steadily rising, yesterday broke all time record, for what that is worth.
      Perhaps part of the whole ‘bubble awareness crescendo’ that appears to be happening… articles in national and international media, etc.

      • Very cool. Thanks for telling me that. I do not think it is a coincidence that I, amongst a growing number of other Canadians, are taking a much closer look at the blog sites that specialize in Real Estate. Especially at a time like this. I do believe we are at a turning point and their is a keen interest in understanding where we are all headed now.

        And congratulations too, vreaa. You run a very nice site with a core group of devoted followers who clearly know their stuff. It is a pleasure to read most days.

        But I am curious……Do you just delete the crazies that populate most other sites or do they just not get fed by the locals here?

      • Only a very minimal amount of moderation practiced here.

      • @Farmer. Most of the trolls have given up quickly on this site… they all understood quickly we were not taking any BS here. Formula1 aka Rusty aka… is the last of the Mohicans (or the greatest fool)! That’s what makes this website so pleasant and useful in educating open minds. I’m pretty sure somebody will one day make a “deep” study on the insanity of the greatest real estate bubble of all, and this website will provide the most valuable information you can dream of.
        I second what was said yesterday. Vreaa will not only look like a hero in a few years, but will also deserve to be recognized officially by the Government for his excellent work, commitment and dedication.

      • Major thanks to VREAA for running a tight and very open ship. Congrats on popping your cherry, here’s to many more!

      • “Only a very minimal amount of moderation practiced here” vreaa
        Oh, that’s why I managed to slip through the cracks!

      • 😮 f1 = chicken little in the bizarro universe and is the vreaa’s pet bull, faithfully performing little bull tricks like “$500/sf for new construction sounds about right.”. I pray for his soul every day.

      • I don’t know if I’m the only one, but I post a lot of your articles on my Facebook feed everyday, probably directing a bit of traffic. The two best places to read comments are here and VCI. VCI is even better (sorry) because they implement a rating system and +20 and +50 get highlighted so you can get through 100 to 200 comments in a reasonable amount of time. If you have rating capability here, turn it on man. If not, buy the coding, then turn it on.

  45. Just told a friend in Calgary today about the 600K basement – he said “Okay now you guys truly are the land of the fruits and nuts!!”
    I am not familiar with that area but does anyone know how much condos are around there? That would be about the closest comp you could compare it to.

  46. “………but will also deserve to be recognized officially by the Government for HIS excellent work, commitment and dedication.” ~~Makaya
    I hate to break it to you Makaya, but Vreaa is a girl. 100% sure of that.

    (But then again, I have been drinking….what do farmers know?)

    • I think I’ve been on this blog a bit longer than you… and I’ve read, one day, an article about this blog in which the journalist gave HIS first name… (assuming that the given name was correct of course). Sorry to disappoint you farmer.

      • Maybe 100% was an exaggeration…I have my moments. Why don’t you link that article to which you refer, Makaya…………Cold Beer?

      • haha, it was quite a few months ago! I can’t remember where I read it. But I know Vreaa is really protective of his anonymity and we should just respect that.

        Would love to have a cold beer right now 😉

    • These pretzels are making me thirsty

      I second that..
      Vreaa is a girl.
      I work in the field of medicine, like to study human psychology and behavior and would be very embarrassed if I am wrong. 🙂

      • Thanks Pretzels. I know I am right too, but I won’t pry.
        Just hope she does not have a beard, that’s all..

  47. Pingback: Opinion; Food For Thought – “The people of this region have a near infinite capacity for diminished expectations. Personally, I’m planning to move because I want something better.” | Vancouver Real Estate Anecdote Archive

  48. Pingback: “Another two people I spoke to in passing have just decided to list their homes because they fear impending price declines.” | Vancouver Real Estate Anecdote Archive

  49. one of the upstairs suites (1260 east 19th ave) in this development just sold for 1.16million. Size was over 2100sqft. This still falls in line with the $500/sqft new construction cost. Fair price? It was to at least one person. My money would have been better spend in Cambie, City Hall or Pt Grey

  50. Pingback: Neighbourhood notes. | Red Cedar

  51. Pingback: Realtor Opinion – “These prices are the reality of our city, and the people who “over pay” for their purchases will rest easy knowing that if you buy and hold, property is the safest investment in the world!” | Vancouver Real Estate

  52. I understand why people think buying a basement suite for this much money is insane (I do, too), but the knocks on the neighbourhood are crazy to me. Clearly, you’ve never actually lived here.

    I rented a suite for about a year recently, and I moved (for more space) to another part of Vancouver, and honestly, I miss Cedar Cottage a lot. The side streets are great, people are really friendly, and there’s a lot of good eats on Kingsway. You’re within walking distance to Main Street, you can bike down to the Drive in about 10 mins….really, everyone hating on East Van clearly hasn’t spent much time there lately.

    • 4SlicesofCheese

      You could have moved somewhere in the same area. Unless you are moving very far east there isn’t much difference in rent I found.

      The point is though, you could rent something comparable to this unit for much less than buying.

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