How much would you pay to live in the city?
Feb. 17, 2016
By Jake Wray
The red hot real estate market reached new extremes last month when a decrepit backyard shed in Vancouver’s Dunbar neighbourhood sold for $2.4 million.
Jonas Mendelson, a 32-year-old software developer, paid $200,000 above asking price for the run-down storage unit. It has no heat, insulation, plumbing, or electricity. He said the price was steep, but totally worth it.
“I know I’m just a millionaire, but I really wanted to live in Vancouver. I just love it here—it’s so close to the mountains for outdoor activities, and the ocean, and the dating scene here is so lively and genuine,” said Mendelson.
“I didn’t think I could afford to live in the city, but buying a shed was a nice way to compromise basic necessities like heat and running water for the sake of affordability.”
He also said the community-oriented neighbourhood was a huge selling point.
“I need to feel like I really belong where I’m living, so the warm reception here has been amazing. The students who live in the shed across the alley left their Wi-Fi unsecured for me, and the raccoon family in the bushes next door have only bitten me maybe two, three times,” said Mendelson.
The owner of the property on which Mendelson’s shed sits, Steve McIntyre, said the shed had become too valuable to hang onto.
“As prices kept soaring, I kept looking out at that damn shed. I figured I barely use it, why not sell it for a handsome profit to some poor schmuck,” said McIntyre.
He added that he was very pleased when Mendelson delivered payment for the shed in cash.
“I was running out of money to wipe my ass with, and I didn’t want to have to make a trip down to the ATM,” said McIntyre.
Not everyone is pleased with the transaction, however. Mendelson and McIntyre’s neighbour, Helena Fletcher, said some incoherent, racist shit that didn’t really contribute to the discourse about real estate in any meaningful way.
“It’s those goddamn Chinese. They’re coming in here with their foreign money and driving this city to the ground!” said Fletcher. “This used to be a good neighbourhood, I tell ya.”
When reminded that both Mendelson and McIntyre are both white Canadian men of European descent, Fletcher was unfazed.
“They’re just puppets, I tell ya! Those Chinese are behind everything these days, pulling the strings. They’re trying to take over this country from the inside out,” she maintained.
Article originally appeared in The Other Press