2 Cats and one dumb realtor

Recently, a 2 bedroom and den unit in my condo building sold.  After the sale, the realtor left notices at every unit boasting of how he sold the unit for “more than any other unit” had ever sold for and that he would be happy to “assess” any other units that were thinking of selling.

Photo credit: barbourians via flickr

Photo credit: barbourians via flickr

I wasn’t very impressed – there aren’t THAT many two bedroom units in the building.  The majority of the condos are one bedroom units.  So of course a two bed and den unit would sell more than any other unit in recent memory.  Plus, unsolicited flyers make me go grr.  I certainly wasn’t going to give this guy any business and promptly tossed the flyer away and forgot about it.

Then one day this week, when I arrived home, there was a notice from the building’s strata council.  It was the minutes from the last meeting.  The council had discussed a request to amend the bylaws to allow 2 cats in a unit instead of just one.  After a vote, they decided to decline the request and left the bylaws as-is.  The instigator of the request?  Oh… just the proud new owners of a 2 bedroom and den unit.

Apparently, the buyer’s superstar realtor had neglected to read the building bylaws.  And the buyer, who was willing to fork out an impressive amount of money for a relatively small 2 bedroom and den unit, also did not read the building bylaws.  And the bylaws clearly state that there is only one pet allowed.

After I enjoyed my little bit of schadenfreude, I reflected on how lucky I was to have a great realtor. Buying a condo, or any home, is a big step.  There are lots of potential complications and it is up to the buyer to ask the right questions!  Things like bylaws can be dry, but it’s important to know what the rules are before you move in.

As it stands, the new owner will not be allowed to keep both of his cats in his new home.  In spite of the obnoxious realtor, I feel bad for the cats  :(

Has any one else bought a home only to get an unpleasant surprise?  

Posted in: Real Estate

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19 Comments

  1. Awe I feel bad for one of the kitties in this situation. :( Hopefully they can find a good home.

  2. We once found out, right before closing, that the current owners were in a dispute with the HOA over the yard. Seems that the owners re-did the landscaping without approval of the HOA.

    Turned into a winning situation for us, because the sellers had to give us $1000 to re-do the landscaping (small yard!) and that was the cost for a professional job.

    We bought a truckload of dirt and some sod and did it our selves for $100. Win!

    But, we did also have to submit our plans to the HOA.

    • CF says:

      Nice! Yeah people often forget that stratas and HoAs have a say in common property, even when it doesn’t seem like the property is “common”. In our other condo for example, we are not allowed to have coloured blinds because it would not match the other blinds and make the outside of the building seem inconsistent. Strange but true!

  3. Wow. I can’t imagine! Wonder how he’s going to choose which cat to get rid of!

  4. Money Beagle says:

    Reading through this, I can’t see why there’s a one cat limit. I think that’s poor decision making by the HoA. I’ve lived in several two bedroom apartments/condos or the like, and have always had two cats without any issue whatsoever.

    • CF says:

      It might be due to the fact that the building allows rentals. Maybe they think that having a hard limit on the number of pets would reduce the potential for crazy cat lady type of infestations? :S

  5. Well that sucks for the homeowner and another reason to make sure that everything gets read before signing on the dotted line. I remember when we bought our house we literally read everything even if the person dishing out the documents didn’t look impressed. Most people just expect signatures and often say to read it but it’s just standard stuff bla bla and people believe that and simply sign.

    • CF says:

      I totally agree with you. I am really anal about reading documents and making sure I understand them 100%. It actually helped us once when we were signing our first mortgage. The person at the bank was really pushy about having us sign the papers – but I caught an accounting error on one of the pages! She had calculated the mortgage transfer amount incorrectly. I’m sure TD would have fixed the mistake later, but reading all the numbers and such definitely saved us hassle later on.

  6. eemusings says:

    Howzabout that?

    I have no idea if the rules for owners are different, but it’s basically impossible to have pets if you rent an apartment here. It’s not much easier if you rent a house, either.

    • CF says:

      It can be hard finding a rental apartment that allows cats in Vancouver. That being said, I’ve only lived in one rental that explicitly did not allow cats. I allow my tenants to have one cat in my rental condo.

  7. When you buy a fixer-upper like we did, you will always have surprises. Two that we experienced: 1) Our sewer needed a major repair. Thankfully after 3 months of dealing with contractors and the city government, it’s all fixed. 2) Our bath tub overflow must have become disconnected to the pipe and the water just falls into the downstairs bathroom! That was a bit shocking haha. We will get that fixed when we upgrade a few other things.

    Anyway I agree – a solid realtor is key! No one will use that realtor after realizing their huge mistake. Their client is probably SUPER pissed! I do feel bad for the cats, though.

    • CF says:

      Oh no! I don’t think that I could handle a fixer-upper. Neither of us are super handy and while I might take a disconnected pipe in stride, Brian is a bit easily stressed ;)

  8. On one hand, what is one more cat? (lol). On the other hand, that’s the Realtor’s JOB.

    • CF says:

      Yup. That’s why it’s so important to have a diligent realtor. My realtor was very adamant that I read all of the docs that she was sending me, and I’m glad she cared enough to insist!

  9. I’m mostly with SuburbanFinance–interesting balance between duty and compassion.

    • CF says:

      The strata may decide to allow the extra cat – who knows? But they wouldn’t make a decision until the AGM anyways, which is a ways away. It’s a tough situation for him in the mean time.

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