November 28, 2013

Someone in every neighborhood is doing it, you don’t have to agree with it and don’t have to like it but we all know someone with a pop-plant.  I know, I know, it’s almost legal in Canada, that’s what everyone says.  The generation above me simply doesn’t understand, they have tea and coffee; the kids younger than me have green tea and red bull.  Me, I have diet coke and sometimes, just sometimes, I grow a pop-plant in the yard to keep costs down.

Don’t get me wrong here, I know I’m addicted; I see the sideways glances and the occasional disapproving glare.  Once in a while when I’m headed out a few spent cans can find their way into the yard.  They usually land on a plant in the front yard and begin to pile up.  Everyone around knows what I’m doing, luckily nobody has called the authorities yet. I try and keep it green and there is this nice elderly Taiwanese man that comes and trims my pop-plant for cans on a weekly basis.  He’s not stealing, he asked if he could have some and I agreed to share.  He has a limp so I think it’s for medicinal purposes and so that makes me feel good.  Plus I fully support recycling.

Yesterday at Infinity MMA a nice set of parents gave me a lecture on my recreational use of pop.  It’s not good they said, it’s bad for you, it’s bad for the kids.  I stopped for a minute, second guessing my life choices… let’s see; don’t smoke, work-out 5 days a week, sleep well, no recreational drugs, no prescription drugs, love my job, happy home life…. OMG I am SO boring!  I took one more swig of my diet coke and said “I will do better”.  I’m not sure she bought it; he on the other hand nodded in an “its Ok bud, I get it” kind of way.

All kidding aside, several of the “BIG 5” banks recently released statements they will no longer be providing mortgages to homes with previous grow-ops.  THIS is a huge statement.  In my opinion it is borne of very poor judgment as well.  Most Cities are now keeping a list of homes busted for grow-ops.  If your home gets on that list your next buyer will need to find private lending to finance the mortgage.  This creates two distinct issues.  Currently homes with old grow-ops can be remediated, inspected and deemed safe.  With the new rules we are more likely to see mold and other issues covered up rather than remediated because what’s the point of really cleaning up if you can’t get the money back.  Secondly the mortgage rates will be higher, likely 2% or more, you will therefore get less money for your home, remediated or not.

I’m not a fan of residential grow-ops (nor commercial space ones for that matter) legal or not; domestic homes are not built for that level of humidity, heat and air movement.  There is plenty of industrial space available which can be outfitted to handle the humidity and heat removal.  It would appear the major banks are of the same opinion.  My worry is that this will again push the grow-ops underground and with that the damage they cause will go untreated like it did through the 80’s and 90’s putting people at risk to offensive mold issues down the road.

Johanna and I are currently looking for listings ready to go for January and February.  We expect a slightly rising market in North Langley and North Surrey, a co-operating market (renovated will sell faster) in southern Langley, Surrey, Pitt Meadows, west Maple Ridge and Tri-Cities and a flat market for eastern Maple Ridge and Abbotsford.  If you have a property to sell or are contemplating a spring listing please call us in this month to evaluate so there is time to effect changes if required to facilitate your best price.

This is likely my last Blog post for 2013 so please accept our sincere THANK YOU for all the business in 2013, we made some great deals and great friends.  A Merry Christmas from our family to yours and we are pleased to add a Happy Chanukah to a few close friends plus a special Happy Bodhi Day and Happy Kwanzaa for our few dear friends who say they are always left out.

FYI we are done shopping and it’s not yet December, yay!
Clay Martin
Professional Realtor
Royal Lepage Wolstencroft Realty