Real Estate: Condo Flaws ( Part 2 )
Years ago, there was a major scandal re: a main component in Housing….ie Copper water pipes.
The manufacturer had ,apparently as a cost – cutting measure , they would produce thinner – gauge copper pipes. This ended up a disaster, as new buildings began to have water damage due to new pipes bursting.
In addition, there was the Aluminum Wire scandal…..where again, manufacturers decided to save on costs and substitute Aluminum for Copper. Aluminum ultimately proved to be a poor substitute.
The basic premise is, they really don’t build them like they used to. They tear down SFH 50+ years old, that could easily last another 50+ years with minor retrofits and basic maintenance…and replace them with buildings that will literally f-a-l-l a-p-a-r-t after 30 years.
So not only are purchasers waiting a long time – as much as four years or more – to get what they paid for, they’re often buying into buildings which could deliver some nasty surprises. Replacing the glass skin on a 35-storey tower, for example, could take a year and cost several million dollars – with every penny coming out of condo fees and special assessments against the owners. If they chose not to pay, they’ll face legal action, and be unable to sell their units until it’s resolved.
If you were worried what might occur in two or three years when mortgages reset at higher levels, the news that four in ten can’t afford $30 more a month in condo fees should terrify. Especially given the trendy junk they’re moving into.
When I think of Boom Times…I think of ” Haste MAKES Waste “.
It gets rather bizarrre…..anyone with a pulse and can swing a hammer gets hired. No one can predict who the last Greater Fools will be till the market ultimately collapses.
Besides the labour aspect…there is the other part of the equation….ie Materials. As is obvious by now…much of our manufacturing has now been outsourced to offshore countries. Several years ago, there was a major scandal re Drywall/Gyproc made in China. It contained toxic ingredients incorporated as cheap substitutes, but to a degree many homes built in the US were deemed so toxic they were condemned.
In the Hi – Rise Condo Market….it is pretty much a given that the exterior walls will be clad in floor to ceiling glass, and on the balcony systems as well…selling the ” sizzle of the view ” versus a ” steak/stake of practicality “.
Now, I am no expert in production of tempered glass, but it can be a much more fickle product that standard glass. When stressed the entire panel can crack into small glass pebbles (whereas normal glass may just show a crack) , which is meant as a safety feature. Thus…..Is the problem the quality of the glass ,or the installation….or both.
Now, this tempered glass may be limited to outdoor balconies…I am not sure re: the code. However, if the code states that tempered glass is to be used on all exterior glass…then we could have a major disaster looming.
In the meantime, it adds yet ANOTHER degree of UNcertainty re: the purchase of an product built in boom times. You can’t make lemonades out of these lemons…pass on them.