Forests and Trees – “They discussed the relative merits of the other houses for sale in the area. Lot size differences, backyard exposure, etc. I realized that everyone is blind to this bubble because they are obsessed with minutiae.”

“A friend from Toronto is in town, we met up with her at her brother’s house yesterday. They live in a BC box in North Burnaby. I went prepared not to talk real estate because the house is for sale. They are asking $820k, the ad on MLS describes it as a “great starter home”. Which it is, but with the price tag of a mansion. The realtor is my friend’s other brother. So you can see why I kept my mouth shut. Even without my prodding, talk turned to real estate. They are expecting a third child and want to move up to a bigger place. The wife figures they listed two weeks too late (they listed in April). The husband make a comment about his realtor not being able to sell the place (a good hearted dig at his brother). Then they set about discussing the relative merits of the other houses for sale in the area. Lot size differences, western backyard exposure vs eastern, etc. I realized for the first time why everyone is blind to this bubble, they are obsessed with minutiae. I have never before seen a more accurate manifestation of the rearranging deck chairs on the titanic analogy. These folks believe it will just take time to get their price and they are prepared to live in the current house with another kid for awhile. I hope this doesn’t cause a rift in the family as the coming debacle won’t really be the brother-realtor’s fault. And these guys should have a ton of equity and if all they really want is a bigger place, then selling and re-buying should work out regardless of what point they do it. They are probably too deep in to real estate mythology to do the really smart thing which is to drop their price, sell fast and rent for a few years. But I’ve come to realize, that’s asking just to much from the Vancouver home owner with small children.”
Lexlimo at VREAA 8 Jul 2012 9:46am

“Last week I talked to a couple I was acquainted with about the current market hazard. They kept obsessing about their lot size compared to the neighbors, how it had different zoning, why it had value because it was hand-hewn blah, blah…….and I am looking at them chase their tails on a discussion of irrelevance ahd shake my head in wonder. They had just finished telling me they bought the place (on the bald flat prairies) just 10 years back for 40k and now it could easily fetch 220k and I am thinking that these stunned monkeys really don’t get it at all. They know it went up in price inexplicably but just cannot seem to fathom it falling back to what it was…….the madness of crowds.”
Farmer at VREAA 8 Jul 2012 at 10:05am

7 responses to “Forests and Trees – “They discussed the relative merits of the other houses for sale in the area. Lot size differences, backyard exposure, etc. I realized that everyone is blind to this bubble because they are obsessed with minutiae.”

  1. Aldus Huxtable

    How fitting for the Lower Mainland.

    • Aldus Huxtable

      My apologies for the ad riddled video; there is no decent version with good audio without an ad. However..

      “Woke up this morning, closed in on all sides, nothing doing.
      I feel resistance, cause I’ve opened their eyes, someone’s fooling.
      I found a way to break through this cellophane layer because I know what’s going on.

      Am I living in a box? Am I living in cardboard box?”

  2. I think this is the “anecdote of the week” post.

    I’ve lost track of the number of conversations I’ve had with family over their home/investment compared to other units on the block, obsessed with pricing their unit to the nearest $K. That prices have doubled in the past 10 years seems an inconvenience lost in the annals of time.

  3. An earthquake is not needed to sink Richmond.

    #1005-5088 Kwantlen:
    May 2011 Purchased for $475,000
    July 2012 Sold for $400,000

    3760 Pacemore
    Tax assessment $917,000
    July 2012 Sold for $788,000

    7760 Willowfield Drive
    Tax assessment $1,164,000
    July 2012 Asking $799,900
    60×130 lot

  4. Aldus Huxtable

    http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/07/10/calgary-is-canadas-greatest-city-stephen-harper/

    Ruh-oh. We’re not even the best place in Canada, let alone Earth. Marketing rewrite, marketing rewrite.

  5. Just a quick update. I drive by the $820k starter home every morning on my way to work. After a series of weekend open houses every weekend for about a month, the for sale sign has disappeared from the lawn. My wife figures they got too close to the baby’s birth to be able to deal with a move. I think the sign might show up again once the realtor brother figures the buyers are back for the fall run. I’m hoping they decided to just stay put as their plan was to sell and buy a bigger place for over a million. Selling and renting was never in the cards.

  6. Pingback: Off The Market – “The ‘For Sale’ sign has disappeared from the lawn. My wife figures they got too close to the baby’s birth to be able to deal with a move.” | Vancouver Real Estate Anecdote Archive

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