Tuesday, October 16, 2012

And the walls came crashing down…

Last night we got news that our condo buildings need major repairs.  I mean MAJOR repairs.  We aren’t talking about doing a few patches…we are talking about buildings that have basically been neglected for 35 years and are now literally crumbling around us.

Total expected cost of these repairs? $6.2 MILLION DOLLARS.  (And no that’s not a typo…although I wish to god it was.)  And with only 75 units to share the cost that breaks down to almost a cool $85,000 each.   


Last night, as I sat listening to the building engineer highlight all that was wrong with our buildings – and it was a long list – I could only laugh at the ridiculousness of it all.  He even said at one point that the owners he felt the most sorry for was those that had bought 3 years ago – at the peak of the market – and had been hit with multiple special assessments already.

He wasn’t talking directly to me but he may as well have.  Because that’s us.  The poor suckers that bought a money pit…a place that the value has only depreciated since we signed on the dotted line.

So because some jackass strata council members – most of whom have long since moved on - decided to ignore major maintenance issues and only patch what was visibly broken…our little family may lose our home all together.

Because let’s be honest…how are we supposed to come up with almost $100,000?  We would get laughed out of the bank because - as the saying goes – you can’t get blood from a stone.  Even if you say pretty please… (trust me, I tried.)

The last several years have been the darkest for us financially. Two kids in full time daycare, hubby making a career switch that in the short term had him laid off every winter, buying the money pit apartment that saddled us with special assessments from the get-go, etc. etc.

And just when we were starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel…we get hit with this.

Sigh…I feel like I am constantly cycling through the 7 stages of grief over and over and over again.  I know that sounds a little dramatic…I mean no one is sick, no one has died.

But in a way…this is kind of like a death. It’s the death of our dream of one day owning a house.  We always knew that in this crazy Vancouver real estate market achieving that dream would be tough.  And so we were content to wait it out in our little apartment because we are happy here.  And because at least we were “in the market”.

Now – faced with the possibility of losing that apartment and walking away with nothing to show for it but increased debt…well…that just pretty much sucks.

I’m a planner…I find comfort in knowing what comes next. I like certainty. I need to be grounded.  And I wanted that for my children too.  So this situation – which is completely beyond my control – has thrown me off my game completely.

I am angry. I am sad.  But most of all…I am afraid.  Because I can see no positive outcome to this situation. All roads lead to unhappy endings.

So much for the best laid plans. I need a drink.


  1. How awful. I'm a planner as well and the daycare costs right now have been causing me some sleepness nights. I can't imagine dealing with something like this as well.