Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Buying Real-Estate in Montreal

I'm moving from my old blog underabundant.com
MARCH 04th 2009

I am sort-of considering buying a house these days. So far I am extremely disappointed with what I see in the real-estate world. The information on many houses is less than a typical eBay auction, and it's near impossible to get anymore from the agents.

Looking through myriad of different posts the information on each property would be totally unpredictable. Every house that is with a registered real-estate agent is posted online at Realtor.ca. Everything is fairly well standardized and even works with Microsoft (bleh) Virtual Earth and each property is marked on the map. These posts would sometimes have a photograph of the house, just one... from across the street. Other times there wouldn't be any at all; and perhaps just as often there would be an actually helpful number of photographs that actually peak my interest. I can't imagine how real-estate agents get away with this.

It doesn't even stop there. When comparing houses you can never really depend on getting the same information for each posting. Sometimes there would be no address, others there would be no photo, tax information etc. You need all these points of information to determine whether you can afford a house, which is exactly what you want to do BEFORE even looking at it. When looking at multiplexes it's even worse, often there is no financial information given for the units or even necessarily info on the number of room. Real-estate agents fluctuate between giving you only lot-size, to giving you only building dimensions, to only giving you foor-square living space (which would include all the floors). Even the description sections are ridiculously sparse:

Plateau Mt-Royal,immeuble situé près de la rue Mt-Royal, actuellement le rez de chaussée est libre pour un propriétaire occupant. Propriété avec beaucoup de style et cachet.

Which translates to "Situated in the Plateau area, the first floor is free to be occupied by the buyer. Property with lots of style and cachet." This write-up means essentially nothing. I knew what area it was in already, the state of the first floor is nice... That's it? The only real information is that it has "cachet" which is real-estate code for dilapidated. If it wasn't for the single image provided, I wouldn't even know it had a second floor.


This building is in really bad shape BTW; I think that it was no mistake the photo was taken from across the street. Is this supposed to be acceptable? I think it's crazy. Real-estate agents are supposed to be professional people who are helping people sell their homes. I have a feeling there's been more than one posting written in all CAPS. I get the impression that it doesn't really take much to be a real-estate agent, or that the quality varies greatly.


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