I always laugh. "Why not move into a Fairfield/James Bay above ground condo/apartment then?"
It seems that the only way out of the rental trap of overpaying for under-cared-for rental suites is to buy them. It's as if owning that mouldy, dark, dingy place somehow makes it ok?
It makes no sense. The average FTBer in this town is either:
- Paying Oak Bay waterfront prices for a new condo in Langford on a busy street, or
- Over-leveraging to get into a "fixer-upper" 3 bed 2 bath SFH with a basement suite (in "move-in" condition no doubt) that hasn't seen a coat of paint or a new roof in 30 years
Drive through Fernwood/Mount Tolmie on a rainy day. Look at peoples yards and roofs, look where the water is collecting and draining back into homes. Drive through James Bay and look at the 50-year-old concrete condo buildings with moss-infected balconies. Take a drive through the neighbourhoods of Mayfair, Cook St, Hillside and Maplewood and see old homes on big pieces of land. Sure, some of them have been looked after, but many, and I mean many, homes sit under-cared for.
Compare those homes to the ones on the market. Scratch the surface of cosmetic clean-up inspired by the selling comments of realtors in the know and you'll find a myriad of home owning headaches never found on a listing brochure.
The Victoria real estate market is like walking into Future Shop to buy an old-school 13 channel tube TV when you could go almost anywhere else and find a 1080p plasma flat screen for less money. Except our Future Shop is volume selling like it's Boxing Day all year. Go figure.