Odd But Totally True Real Estate Stories You Never Knew

With many of us finally seeing the last signs of the "snowpocalypse" on Vancouver Island last week, I thought it might be the perfect time to share a few humorous (but totally true) real estate stories that often do not make the news or become a social media meme.  It's important not to take things too seriously, and enjoy the lighter side of life.  And, yes - ketchup was originally considered medicine as it was thought to be a cure for common ailments such as diarrhea, indigestion, and jaundice 150 years ago!

Earlier this week, I shared an interesting story on Facebook about an odd situation that was facing an American real estate association.  In the summer of 2019, the Santa Cruz County Association of Realtors sent out a Realtor Safety Alert dubbing a man the “flier bandit” because he kept stealing listing fliers. The alert said taking the brochures was part of a competition to win a bride.  The alert stated “The police know who he is and...the reason for his thievery is that ‘he is in a spiritual cult and there is a contest to get as many flyers as possible. He gets a point for the flyers and could possibly win a prize. His prize is a bride.’ This is what he told the investigator and unfortunately, he is a part of this contest until October. He will continue to steal flyers every day and there is little recourse.”  There was no update provided as to whether or not the man "won" a bride as a result of his listing flyer collection.

A recent question on "Jeopardy" referenced this odd real estate fact with respect to Canada.  Hans Island, a 1.2 square kilometer rock island near Nunavut has been the subject of an ongoing dispute between Canada and Denmark for decades. Both countries would remove the other country's flag and then leave a bottle of Danish Snapps or Canadian Whiskey to stake their claim. Tired of this vicious war, both countries created a joint task force in 2018 to develop a more official and permanent agreement than simply swapping booze and flags.  Needless to say, our Layzell Dreger & Associates team were able to guess the correct answer!

Did you know that the average Canadian owes almost $1.76 for every $1 they earn?  Household credit market debt to disposable income ticked up to 175.9 as of September 2019, according to Statistics Canada. That’s up from a revised 175.4 per cent in the previous quarter. It’s a mixed picture for financial institutions and government agencies. The increase in debt-to-income reflects an increased demand for loans as housing markets recovered and interest rates fell. However, this debt level is still BELOW the record 178.5 per cent hit in the first quarter of 2017!

If you are considering buying or selling a home in 2020, and you have made it one of your resolutions - now is the time to find out about the market trends and predictions.  For buyers,  it is important to find out what you can qualify for a mortgage, and what types homes are available in your price range.  For sellers, take the leap and find out what the value of your home is - you might be surprised.