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  • Clarke Wallace

DON’T TRUST ‘EM

Buying an apartment or condo these days must be more that stressful. Let’s try damn right agonizing. Especially when you’re putting money down on a building that’s still a hole in the ground, or has a structure that’s ready for demolition.


You visit the contractor. He shows you the plan for the building. There’s give and take until you settle on what you want. Fourth floor, two bedrooms. Balcony a must. Good view. You read it through multiple times, and sign it. Put money down. Say two thousand five hundred. You’re all smiles.


Construction will begin, the contractor tells you – after you’ve signed – soonest. Or relatively soon. Shovels will be in the ground as early as possible. In the near future. Maybe even sooner…


In the near future? This gives you pause. Hmm. The contractor shrugs. Don’t worry, he says.

Don’t worry?


When driving by the lot some time later, hoping the building is well on its way, you find nothing has been done. Zilch. At least the building that was there has been demolished. Now it’s just a messy hole in the ground.


You call the contractor for the umpteenth time. He assures you that getting everything in place before the actual construction begins, takes time. Obtaining city permits, a bore. Etc.

Two years is coming up when you learn the project has been dumped. The contractor has decided the cost isn’t worth the effort. He’s willing to pay back your advance. Fully. But with no accruing interest. You’re kidding. After how long he’s held it? It’s legit, says your legal eagle.


That’s how it works. The contractor pays you back, the twenty-five hundred dollars, only.


Author’s comment: I was peddling my heart out on the gym’s life cycle the other day next to Olga, who peddles much faster than me. She told me about being caught in a similar situation. She and her husband, Charlie, had put down a down payment on a condo, only to be told much later the project had been cancelled.


What bothered her most was hearing the same contractor was building a new complex on the same site. With each condo selling for a much higher price. Can you believe it? No? Go to city hall. Ask what can be done. Their answer will be a shrug. *^#&$%%@#* is all I can say.

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