Today I spent what turned out to be a sunny Friday afternoon in Vancouver, hanging out with my 6 year old. We went to Spanish banks and played in the sand and picked a few "special" rocks to add to the collection at home. On the way back we stopped at a little park I'd never really noticed before, Tatlow Park, with its cute little wooden bridges over a small creek and playground. We set lawn daisys afloat at the top of the stream and followed them down to the first bridge, using a stick to nudge them along if they got stuck. Before long it was time to meet up with my wife and we went to David Lam Park and another playground.
A short time later we went for a walk along the seawall. It has changed quite a bit in the past 10 years and certainly has gotten a lot busier. In fact it is so busy, the garbage bins are overflowing at four in the afternoon. Likely the seagulls had something to do with the scattered garbage though it soon became obvious they weren't the only guilty party. We watched as an approximate 10 year old boy booted an empty coffee cup down some stairs and with a final kick, sent it flying down to the rocks at the waters edge. The lid came off, the sleeve came off and where there was once 1 piece of garbage, there was now three waiting to be swallowed by the sea. To top it off the kid then headed off to his nearby mother and asked and received a snack.
I expected the mother, who witnessed the entire episode to say something. She didn't.
Walking over I said "Please pick up the coffee cup and put it in the garbage. Thank you." And the kid did it.
Again, no reaction from the mother.
I have no idea what may be happening in their life but the disregard and lack of respect was astonishing. No, it wasn't on the scale of the Vancouver hockey riot but to me it was very similar. What in the H-E-double hockey sticks is wrong with these people?
We continued on with our walk and then had dinner in Yaletown but that kids face is stuck in my mind.
What does this have to do with real estate? Well, in 10 years, Cup Kicker is probably going to move away from home and chances are he is going to be renting a condo, perhaps one that you own...see where I'm going?
No? Well lets say you are going to sell that condo. A similar unit next door just sold for, I don't know, say $500-thousand. Your unit has been "well lived-in" by this young man, who ironically, now makes lattes at the coffee shop on the corner. It needs $25,000 to bring it up to similar condition (Hey, I've seen rental units that the people on Hoarders would shake their heads at). Perhaps you do put it on the market but Mr. No Foam makes it difficult for showings so it sits on the market and people wonder why? No showings, no offers and you bring the price down to where you finally attract a buyer. Now do you understand?
I doubt my clean-up command changed Frap-boy's life but I'd like to think there is still hope.
But it has to start at home.