Real Estate Shell Shock

My mom’s place in Port Elgin has been on the market for about 5 months with only a few insulting nibbles- three initial offers with the identical starting point and a fourth that seemed promising and then fizzled.

At the same time, we have been looking at investment property in Toronto. Despite my warnings, she practically has a coronary over the prices- every time.

There are a few things at play. Mom wanted to move to Toronto years ago when the restaurant was sold but my stubborn father would not budge. Opportunity missed.

She is being told (by friends, family etc.) the house should be worth x but the people actually in the market to buy only seem to value it at x-$55K. The difference is even more significant when the asking price is well under $250K.

This may be a semantics issue but mom has trouble understanding that what the house is worth is what someone is willing to pay. The value she places on it or even the assessment that comes in the mail every year is practically meaningless. For my pragmatism I get a big fat sigh- each time I remind her of this fact.

We need to be looking at alternatives but no one has the time or inclination to look into the alternatives or what kind of timelines we are dealing with.

I’ll strongly suggest that this is something we should all consider as a family (that is, not just me) but radio silence. Any request for some ownership or acceptance of some responsibility is akin to talking to a brick wall in a cavernous warehouse.

Sometimes it sucks to be the first born.

I am left as the voice of reason, the one to cut through the noise of “advice” coming from random sources, the one to fill the void left behind when dad passed.

Maybe it is time to take a break from looking at houses because the spread between the asking price and what she is willing to pay is astronomical.

This is a feeling like a big waste of time and I am just waiting for my real estate agents to divorce us.

On the bright side, there are some very recent developments that would seem to be an ideal win-win way to get my place renovated.

An amazing opportunity came up for a friend that will take him out of the country for at least four months and he would feel more comfortable if I would house sit. His place is about a 10 minute walk from mine so I would be able to supervise and do some of the renos without having to actually live through them. We haven’t worked out the details but this couldn’t be more perfect unless he lived next door.

This opportunity was met with a cold disapproving silence (not exactly sure why) but from a timing and financial perspective, it almost couldn’t be better.

When it comes to the real estate game in Toronto, I am willing to wait for the right property. I’ll dip my toe in, crunch some numbers but ultimately it has to make sense from an investment perspective.

In the meantime, I will “work” on my mom to convince her this plan makes sense for me, for her, for my brother and the “big” plan will ultimately have benefits for the whole family.

Wish me luck.


~ by angryegg on March 2, 2011.

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