“A friend of a friend bought with 0/40 at the last market top in an age restricted building. Then a baby came along. They’re underwater and cannot afford to sell. Strata started to ding them $200 a week.”

“A friend of a friend bought with 0/40 at the last market top in an age restricted building. You know how it is, “get in the game”, “build equity”, “throwing money away on rent”, “flip it in two years”, “a place to call your own”, “everybody’s buying”. Then a baby came along. Despite advances made in Van West and Richmond SFH, condo prices haven’t really recovered yet so they’re underwater and cannot afford to sell. Strata started to ding them $200 a week [penalty for breaking the age bylaw] and they are forced to move out and (gasp) rent elsewhere, while their condo sits there doing nothing except eating mortgage, strata fees and taxes. To add insult to injury, they can’t rent out the unit unless to their immediate family. They tried to sell this summer and the market was really soft and the price are weakening. Last I heard they are waiting for the market to bounce back next year.”
RaggedyRenter at VCI 12 Nov 2012 10:16pm [This story, or one very similar to it, also featured on local radio, 14 Nov 2012. -ed.]

36 responses to ““A friend of a friend bought with 0/40 at the last market top in an age restricted building. Then a baby came along. They’re underwater and cannot afford to sell. Strata started to ding them $200 a week.”

  1. People should know that buying a condo comes with virtually no personal property rights. Socialism FTW!

    • They knew the rules ahead of time, before they forked over the money. When you buy a condo, it’s a package deal with the strata rules. It would be different if the rule started after they bought the place.

  2. A man’s home is his castle, as long as the strata corporation says so.
    Buy condos, they aren’t making any more of them.
    It takes a freehold village to raise a child.

    I’d be surprised if our hapless protagonist couldn’t find a young lawyer or law student to take his case for free under human rights legislation. Age discrimination is generally permitted more than race or handicapped status, but…

    Anyone know the law or any test cases ?

  3. This is a cruel twist in the falling price saga that strikes fear into a potential buyer and makes RE agents hair go grey. I truly don’t wish this on anyone, but I expect we will be seeing more heart wrenching stories such as this in the coming months.

    Vancouver prices have escalated so much in the last few years that even a modest fall in prices will result in a large percentage of newer owners becoming under water.

    What happens in a submarine market?
    When people won’t buy because “maybe it hasn’t bottomed yet?”.
    As more horrifying tales like this appear in main street media (And they will.) people will realize that they must sell now, or face negative equity.
    We may see waves of inventory come on the market.

    • What you are describing is precisely what many of us here have been anticipating for sometime.
      Falling prices will beget prices falling further still.
      The virtuous cycle turns vicious.

    • What happens in a SubmarineMarket?

      [NoteToEd: Knowing a thing or two about that I regret that the correct answer is, as illustrated, “DepthCharged and Torpedoed”…]

    • Real Estate Tsunami

      The question should be “What happens in a Tsunami market”.
      And we all know the answer.

    • People were willing to ignore and endure unpleasant rules and low quality as long as the prices went up.

  4. Real Estate Tsunami

    On this blog, we normally bash the homeowners and glorify the renters.
    So this is tricky situation.
    On a serious note, the couple is probably still young and can recuperate financially and hopefully learn from their foolishness.
    Good luck.

  5. This is just plain sad..wishing this young couple a lot of luck

    • Wow, that’s something. One affected couple bought 6 years ago and another 8, so likely they can both afford to move (“just sign here, here and here to convey much of your equity to the real estate agents and brokers, the mortgage pros and sundry hangers on…”)

  6. Didn’t they know the rules before moving in????

  7. Guess there was a reason that place was sold to them at a discount. (sad trombone)

  8. I may know that person

  9. So the age penalty is because of what? He knowingly bought a place in one of those 55+ “mature living” communities? With the intent of flipping long before he moved in perhaps? Then when he couldn’t flip for a profit, he had to move in and bite the bullet on the age penalty?

    In other words, he speculated on a condo he knew he could never move into without a big penalty. A hight-risk flip gone bad. Am I understanding this right?

    • Seems unlikely that a couple of 55+ would suddenly find themselves pregnant. I assumed the age restriction was lower.

      • Real Estate Tsunami

        In this case the age limit applies to the baby not the parents.
        < 19 years.

      • Well I knew the couple wasn’t 55+. I was confused as to how they could suddenly run up against an age restruction. People generally get older, not younger. But now I see it’s one of those “no kids” places. (they don’t say “no kids” of course, they call it “19+” or “adult living” or something like that).

    • Right. Except that the age restriction was probably 19+

  10. Real Estate Tsunami

    In other RE news, Chameleon Muir was on the Simi Sara Show on CKNW yesterday.
    This guy should become a wrestler, nobody can pin him down.

  11. Vreaa, you’ll like this one.
    “For close to 50 years, the address 1234 W 6th Avenue has been an integral part of Vancouver’s music scene.

    Some mighty famous songs and albums were recorded there, including Bachman-Turner Overdrive’s Takin’ Care of Business, Heart’s Dreamboat Annie, and Ringo Starr’s Bad Boy”


    According to a CBC radio interview, they have had no interest from buyers wanting to keep operating a music studio, but plenty of interest from condo developers.

    • That is so depressing, JM… But ThankYou anyhow…

      NoteToToEd: I was there… Ann & Nancy were Fab!… How could they be otherwise… but StrangeAdvance will always be my Fave… and AlienHeirs, too – come to think of it…

      Accordingly, and ThematicallyApropos to the thread… a FridayNight MusicalRespite from the DistantPast… when YVR was about the Music… not the CapitalGains… it seems like “Worlds Away”…

      I am so going to get wasted tonigh, ED. I might even give SmokingMan a RunForHisMoney…

  12. Not a load of sympathy on this one. I make sure I research the heck when buying a $600 television – I couldn’t imagine doing my due diligence on a multi-hundred thousand dollar condo. Pure madness. Strata corporation bylaws are easily accessible prior to purchase, and none add something as draconian as an age restriction after the creation of the corporation – even bylaws restricting rentals are rare. Hopefully they learn the lesson from their predicament.

  13. Seems they expected prices to “recover.”

    Umm, think downward, much downward from here….

    Everyone thinking the spring will be some great savior, including my mom. Going to be many unhappy sellers come spring.

    • Naked Official #9000

      that’s the time for horribly snide faux-billboards to start appearing, mocking their pain and tasting their tears..

  14. A place with an age restriction that can’t be rented isn’t going to see the same kind of appreciation (assuming there is some) that a less restrictive building would see, that seems like common sense. It’s like collecting comic books but just buying whatever you can get your hands on. Certain issues of Batman will appreciate much better than Archie, Betty and Veronica.

  15. I know it’s a long shot but have they tried applying to the strata for an exemption from the rental restriction?

  16. Wow. I just went through the comments sesion on that news article. talk about a bunch of unfriendly, angry posters! I love how they refered to kids as damagers of property. Well yeah… little kids drop things in toilets and write on walls. Technically, people are correct in that the couple broke the rules but Jesus Christ… give me a break. Before I read that I didn’t get the whole “Vancouver people are uptight and unfriendly” meme but now I sooooo do.

    I was just at a party in a nice building here in Toronto last night, not far from Bay and Bloor. I only knew 2 people but by the end of the night had a LOT of fun, everyone was super nice. Maybe it’s me (and I’m not a big fan of Toronto frankly) but it’s starting to seem like people here are a lot warmer.

  17. I’m reasonably sure that 19+ or similar age restrictions are discriminatory and not enforceable. Age restrictions for seniors (e.g. 55+ or similar) are defensible based on the law and court precedent, but not restrictions that would prevent two willing adults from having a child and living in their home.

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