Dude, where's my house? Winnipeg man charged with theft after house disappears

Winnipeg man charged with theft after house disappearsA Winnipeg property owner decided to visit a tenant in his revenue home to find out why they hadn’t been paying the rent. When he arrived on the scene, he discovered a parking lot where his house was supposed to be.

It seems that the owner was approached by a man in May of 2006 who was interested in purchasing the property so that it could be turned into a parking lot for the apartment building located next door. No deal was ever struck to sell the property. Nevertheless, the prospective purchaser must have felt confident that a deal could be done so he took it upon himself to evict the tenant and secured the necessary paperwork to facilitate the homes destruction. Not one to be bothered by details, he apparently moved forward with the demolition and completed his parking lot.

The accused faces charges of theft of property values at more than $5,000 and mischief causing more than $5,000 damage.

I’ve seen my share of motivated buyers over the years but this one truly takes the cake. You have to wonder how he ever thought that he might get away with this stunt. I guess some people just have more balls than brains.

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

Follow our daily updates on Twitter @SaskatoonHomes.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Flip This House exposed: The “unreal” side of reality TV

Flip this house exposed: the unreal side of reality tv

This is not exactly important real estate news but I couldn’t resist writing a small snip about this story.

It seems that the popular A&E reality program, “Flip This House” has run a number of episodes which amount to nothing more than a sham. Featuring self proclaimed “real estate developer” Sam Leccima, the episodes represent his renovation projects as having been sold for huge profits. As it turns out, most of them haven’t actually sold and at least one of them wasn’t actually renovated.

To make matters worse, it’s clear that Sam Leccima is the target of a number of civil suits from prospective investors who trusted him to invest their money wisely. One gentleman claims to have lost $100,000 to the smooth talking television celebrity.

A&E claims to have no knowledge of the sham and they have pulled all episodes which feature Leccima from their re-run schedule.

Thanks to Doug Quance for the heads up on this bit. Doug is an Atlanta based agent who has been on top of this home town story since October of last year when he noticed some of Sam’s sold properties were still listed for sale.

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

Follow our daily updates on Twitter @SaskatoonHomes.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Tenants burned by hot Saskatoon real estate market

Saskatoon renters feel the heat

The front page of today’s Star Phoenix says, “Tenants feel pinch: Heated market driving increases in rental charges.”

The story references the predicament of a Saskatoon woman, Marilyn LePage who faces her third rent increase in the last twelve months. She has written a letter to city council asking, “What can be done to keep rent increases and frequencies under control for myself and other Saskatoon citizens?”

The answer she received was sure to disappoint as council made it clear that “rent controls” fall outside of the local jurisdiction. City solicitor Theresa Dust reminded those present of past attempts by the province to place controls on rents and noted that it produced “poor results.”

This is one of the sad realities of a real estate market which is experiencing a growth spurt. It affects almost everyone, and those who don’t own their own home can be affected the most. They not only move further away from owning a home due to increased cost of housing, but they inevitably pay the price in higher rental costs as market values increase.

I expect that we’ll hear many more stories like Ms. LePage’s over the coming year. East-side apartment style condos are now selling in excess of $130,000. An investor who purchases such a unit with 25% down will face carrying costs of over $850 per month not including maintenance or insurance. At present, that same unit has a market rent of about $700. Assuming the unit is occupied every month of the year, the landlord is a couple of thousand dollars shy of covering expenses. They won’t be excited about that for very long.

At the same time, vacancy rates are falling across the city and that trend is expected to continue as more people move back to Saskatoon. Condo conversions will likely remove a number of units from the rental market over the next two years.

Ultimately, rents are subject to the principle of supply and demand just like resale real estate is. More renters and fewer rental units equal higher rent payments. It’s pretty much unavoidable.

Read the Star Phoenix story here

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

Follow our daily updates on Twitter @SaskatoonHomes.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Woman sentenced to…Saskatoon

Woman Sentenced to SaskatoonI really got a chuckle out of this story and couldn’t resist sharing it.

It seems that a British Columbia woman has been sentenced to serve two years of probation in Saskatoon after she pleaded guilty to seven counts each of credit card fraud and possessing stolen credit card data, one count of theft under $5,000, two counts of breaching an undertaking and two counts of failing to appear.

A judge ordered her to “board a bus” and head for Saskatoon. Apparently, he wants her as far away as possible from her former boyfriend and he thought Saskatoon would be the perfect spot for her to begin addiction treatments and rehabilitate herself.

Saskatoon really is a great place to live. You can’t help but wonder what the rest of the world thinks when they start sentencing people to live here. 🙂

Norm Fisher

Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Little white marketing lies?

Little White Real Estate Marketing Lies

Sharon, a real estate investor from Calgary, Alberta occasionally visits my blog. If I recall correctly, she contacted me after she read one of my little rants about poor quality images in real estate listings. From time to time, she forwards copies of listed properties which strike her as ridiculous in some way. She has no shortage of material to chose from so she uses her discretion in sending me those which are most fun.

Her latest email was this listing (no longer available), marketed by a Calgary agent who indicates on the listing that it is a “No Animal Home.” This image of the kitchen appears to show two food dishes on the floor in front of the kitchen cabinets. I’m thinking that these people either have a pet, or some pretty nasty eating habits.

Sharon asks, “What are they thinking!?”

Sharon, I think it’s safe to say that someone is not thinking very much. 🙂