Don’t fool yourself into thinking that a developer or builder is actually a company that “builds” buildings and homes.
The construction industry is a virtual “pyramid scheme“.
The builder contracts a General Contractor, who dispenses the work out to the various “Tradespeople” who then sub the work out to “Sub-Trades” who, most times, then broker the work out to trades, that hire guys to actually go to the site and do the work.
With commercial buildings developer has only one client, (the owner/landlord of the building) so you can bet that every General Contractor retained wants to make sure that everything is done to the clients satisfaction so future projects will come their way.
In Condoland (residential condo towers) buildings bring with them hundreds of individual owners, thus the hunt for future work dissipates. They don’t even connect their company’s name to any project so “when it’s over . . . it’s over”.
So you can forget about doing your own research and/or due diligence.
Most consumers have no idea about the background of the developers that they buy retail from.
The industry has been specifically set up to operate this way.
Every residential condo project is done in the name of a “shell company” (usually reflecting the marketing material) (example: Empire Club Condo registered as Empire Club Developments Inc. (nowhere in the material does the name of the developer appear).
Now try to do your own consumer research on that one!
Now understand that developers buy blank full page ads from industry magazines and wherever else they can (inflight material on Porter Air etc.) and have their high priced ad agencies create authentic “editorial” looking to lead readers to think that a journalist actually “reported” on the development.
So with respect to our Oakville Case Study, let’s pick up where the houses are all built, with around half of them occupied (just under half although it was represented as “50% +1 sufficient to hold the turn over meeting“.
At this point the builder has received all of their money (millions of dollars).
Despite specific protections in the Subdivision Agreement (legal document between the Municipal Government and the original Developer) that required “fences” and “on site Canada Post services” to have been installed and operational “BEFORE ANY OCCUPANCY“, many owners have been forced to live in the living hell that comes with any construction site.
Our Builder, Sunrise Homes published more outright misrepresentation material than I’ve ever seen in a long, long time and I’ve been buying and investing in condos all of my grown up life.
But despite all of that, seven buyers (just ahead of the total actually living in Bronte Harbourside) showed up to the turn-over meeting and the community has finally become ours.
No-one could tell us about the status of the missing owners (we had only 7 plus one proxy out of 18 so half were missing in action).
No-one could tell us whether these people were actually notified about the turn over meeting.
Our property manager, who has visibly done nothing while sitting on the sidelines watching this dysfunction evolve (I’ll be writing about this issue shortly).
We were supposed to Close a year and a half ago!
The builder actually had his architect completely redesign our home (to cover up his deception that he could build the house we chose on what he represented as the ONLY remaining lot to justify kicking up the lot price by $50,000) and then NOT disclose the redesign but rather, have his office manager try to navigate through two different floor plans with us.
It didn’t take long to catch onto the deception?
Their office manager (a self-proclaimed neophyte to the industry) when talking with my wife, kept referring to “your floor plan” and “our floor plan“.
For any house there is only one floor plan.
This alone shows an apparent limited intellect of those with whom we are dealing here.
Worse yet, the builder is caught up in so many lies and misrepresentations, upon hiring this woman he immediately put her front and centre giving her an obvious distorted illusion of her relevance in every matter into which he thrust himself.
She offered such ridiculous advise as: “you don’t want to micro-manage the building of your home”, but to name one of the more glaring examples of total ignorance of the industry.
You see, especially with this incompetent builder (but so many are just like them) the only way you can get a quality “product” (home) is to absolutely micro-manage absolutely every detail while fending through all the polished rhetoric they use to throw you off.
The stupid thing is that had he simply been honest with us we like the floorpan that ultimately proved to be one that could be built on that falsely represented “Premium (lie, lie, lie) Lot“.
I’ve said before, and I do not try to hide the fact that I’m not a very nice guy once I find out I’ve been lied to, especially when millions of my wife’s and my dollars are on the table!
One very unique element when dealing with me over the decided majority of people that I’ve ever met is that I never, and I do mean never allow myself to get emotionally involved.
But lie to me and . . . . . well, my advise is simply “don’t“!
I’m always willing to walk away and that gives me a certain element of power that is unique in Condoland.
Most people unfortunately, especially those looking for that sacred vision . . . “a home“, are exposed to exploitation based on getting emotionally involved. Your home, after all is consider the most sacred thing and single largest investment that most people ever make.
But, when you find a (“single largest“) investment that is priced so inaccurately below market value, and it is located in such a “quality location“, regardless of builder (you can always fix the mess the “imposters” leave) as I have little confidence in the majority of them in Condoland (some are better than others but in the majority . . . well, “believe nothing that you hear and half of what you see“!
So the point that I’m making in today’s blog points to how legitimately despondent and indifferent these builders are toward their buyers.
Now all of the houses (18 in total) have been totally built.
Each builder obviously has had the “finishing” of the homes (interior work) done by trades who are fitting in completing their 4 – 5 houses on the tradespeople’s “off time“.
They show up infrequently for short amounts of time and the mess and discomfort for owner residents simply goes on and on and on!
That works for the developer who has no real impetus to move things ahead urgently thus everything is kicked down the road. There is absolutely no consideration given to those living in the mess!
The builder already sold all their homes and most have closed giving all the parties their money.
I’m told that they’ve all Closed, although none request Status Certificates suggesting at minimum that homes sold by the other builders that Sunrise sold off almost half the homes to may not even have disclosed (or had not had disclosed to them) that their is a condo element to these homes.
The only party that this leaves out on a limb are those unfortunate buyers who got “hood-winked” into moving into their home in flagrant contradiction to specific clauses in the Subdivision Agreement!
This morning I saw the President of Nascent Homes (one of the builders that bought sites at wholesale from Sunrise) on site so I politely spoke with him, asking him to do something about the portable toilet position on the front lawn of one of his sold houses.
His reply was that “the Ministry of Labour would be upset and fine me if I did not have it there“.
Well, yes and no! That’s not quite accurate as the Ministry may require that he have one on site, it would not require that he have it on the front lawn of an occupied residential community.
But this is the very “mindset” that has stood in the way of developers waking up for decades.
We’ve seen no movement toward truly energy efficient building methods, and building science professionals have been screaming about the deficiency and financial catastrophe to be brought on by Window Wall technology for years and years now!
The Ministry would logically expect a builder to get their work done in a much more timely manner but the builder doesn’t even see this perspective.
And he doesn’t realize or care that his trades people don’t use it anyway. They are disgusting and all the homes have heat and water so you figure it out!
The Ministry would not allow or tolerate residential neighbourhoods to have outhouses on front lawns!
It’s not that builders and/or developers are “out to stick it to you” . . . . they just do!
They’ve been socially conditioned by lax government oversight since the introduction of condominiums back in the 1970’s.
I stopped investing in and recommending investing in Ontario’s condo market to my clients and readers years ago, when I could no longer endorse condos as a sound investment any longer.
The toxic mix of the manner by which builders and developers are allowed to misrepresent absolutely every aspect of the sales process, fail to deliver professional grade workmanship and materials, serious flawed to the point of ridiculous one-sided contracts, unjust contracts for property management companies resulting in seriously overcharging owners for services, not to mention the kickback and graft schemes dominating the press, investing in this quagmire is simply not something I would recommend these days.
Now, add that the phrase: “Bubble Bursting” adorns the headlines of most media outlets today and what do you have.
Shortly after I saw the economics fail, and having discovered the Window Wall reality I concluded that our Provincial Government, investors and consumers, have a major “wake-up call” just sitting on the horizon, over the pending REPLACEMENT OF WINDOW WALL TECHNOLOGY, a line item that remains non-existent today’s books of every residential condo in Condoland.
Sorry folks! Not talking about it won’t make it go away!
This replacement is a necessity set out in the specs of the product showing a 15 – 20 year life span. In 2017 there is reason for concern for condos dating as far back as 2000, thus we are in prime season to see results!
Pretty much the entire downtown condo market since 2000 has been constructed with Window Wall technology.
More frightfully, I have photographs of present new condo buildings being constructed with their Window Wall technology being improperly installed which , it is said will lead to “lessoning the lifespan considerably”!
Existing condo budgets do not even account for this published eventuality!
A deeper question is where will the money come from to replace all those glass walls of theses skyscrapers?
And who pays to relocate all those residents in all those condo buildings (you can’t take the exterior skin off a building with people living there)!
And once again, who pays for this.
Well to put it bluntly, the first line is always the owners!
Watch the “feverish buck passing” kick off, from consumer/owners to boards, to insurance company, to condo corporation, to banks, to CMHC (tax payers) in the end someone is going to have to pay and pay big!
If entire building’s Window Wall fails (glass carries basically zero thermal efficiency), when the seals of thermal payne window breaks down and heavy gases escape, units have no protection from heat and/or cold.
Heating/cooling bills will skyrocket, resulting in hardship for owners resulting in an inability to sell the units.
The resulting legal battling could bankrupt many owners and condo corporations.
I simply didn’t want to be a part of that and surely wouldn’t get people tied up in the mess that I can see coming.
So, keep tuning in here at simplycharles.com.
This is the only place that you can expect the truth about Condoland.