Friday, October 07, 2005

Things to be thankful for

One of the topics of conversation between John & I centers around the difference in the real estate market between SoCal and SJ. We've talked about things like this during our many chats, but something really hit me tonight as I was home, catching up on the week's TV that I had taped.

The Adam Carolla Project is a new show on TLC, starring Adam Carolla (duh!) He goes to find a house to renovate in 13 weeks; he used to be a carpenter before he was a comedian. The first episode has him driving around looking for a house with his buddy's mom, a real estate agent. The first house they show him going into on camera was going for $800k US. 1100 sq ft. With paper-thin doors between bedrooms.

The second house they were in featured a giant steel billboard right at the side of the "front yard", if you can call it that. This was one ugly house. Ugly green dirty carpet. The backyard was a slab of cement. All that could be yours for the $400k US range.

The house he eventually bought to restore was his childhood home. He paid his Dad $739k for it. They are basically ripping it down to the studs and rebuilding, because it's all crap. It appears to have a nice chunk of land, but the house was crap.

It didn't really hit me, the full magnitude of what John was talking about, until I actually saw these two houses on TV and heard how much their asking prices were. I asked him how much a house like mine (3 years old, 1200 sq ft not including full basement), with this much land (0.44 acres) would cost in SoCal. He lives in a more swanky, upscale neighborhood, so he guesstimates $900k Canadian. $900k!!! This blows my mind. I won't say here what I paid for my house, but it started with a 1.


This weekend is Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada. I am thankful for a great many things, one of which is to be fortunate enough to own this house. Where I have a back and front yard, lots of room, a new lawn, and for what I now realize is a very comfortable price. I am very fortunate, and for that I give thanks.


Micah White said...

Those house prices were distrubing, but no where near as disturbing as finding out someone watches The Adam Carolla Project.


Chris L said...

John is being conservative on the house price. A co-worker has an 1,100 sq ft house near John's apartment and it was recently appraised for roughly $1m Canadian. That is on a 2,000 sq ft lot and without a basement. With nearly half an acre your house would probably fetch $1.2m Canadian.

Brian said...

Well as it had been said, real estate is all about location. I mean take my parents place, a 100 year old two storey, 4 bedroom, though there are two other rooms that could easily be used as bedrooms too. Brick single dwelling house, with a semi-finished basement, on a lot that goes through a city block with a two storey garge that was a barn and with a tight sqeeze could fit about 6 cars. They doubt they could sell it for much more than $300K, Canadian. In the same basis lotcation in Toronto it would go for millions.

John said...

I am thankful for the wonders of a beautiful Canadian girlfriend. Enjoy your day off.

Lisa said...

The cost of living in Saint John is very reasonable. When people complain about their rent/mortgage, I always remind them of my friend Ranka who's bachelor apartment in downtown Toronto is is more than my parent's mortgage.