Condo campout ends as dozens move in to snap up Langley units
Some buyers paid students to hold their spots in a lineup that started two weeks ago
More than 100 prospective buyers finally got their chance to purchase the condominium they've been waiting for after some camped for weeks outside of the planned Langley development.
The lineup outside of Yorkson Creek sales centre started two weeks ago when one person decided to set up camp after hearing the complex's previous phases also had lineups.
Saturday morning, staff distributed numbers to prospective buyers who were shown in five at a time to pick their units. Luca Patillo was handing out those numbers on site, and said today marks the end of a more than two-week-long wait for between 50 and 60 buyers.
"It seems pretty happy, people are pretty excited to get their future homes and pick out the unit that they want," said Patillo.
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When word of the development got out two weeks ago, others soon flocked to the spot.
"I grabbed my chair, grabbed my jacket, ran out here and sat in the rain. It rained the first night. It was horrible," said Dan Lefebvre, speaking to CBC News while waiting in line on May 5.
Lefebvre, 44, camped out for the past two weeks for his mother who is looking to be closer to him and his kids.
Sales managers and real estate agent Amy Ellis says the average age of buyers is 57 and most are looking to downsize.
"We've looked at places in New Westminster. They are so expensive and so small," said Bonnie Berger, who is downsizing from a Victorian-style home in Queen's Park in New Westminster.
The Walnut Ridge 4 development on 208 Street and 82 Avenue is the last phase of the project. The units are 1,100 to 1,600 square feet and include a 200-square-foot retractable solarium. The prices range from $389,900 to $569,000.
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The developers have set the prices to discourage bidding wars and have limited each buyer to purchasing one unit — though buyers still have 10 days to change their mind after signing the contract.
No bidding wars
The no-bidding promise is what brought Elizabeth Hodgson, 58, rushing up from South Dakota.
"I'm so sick and tired of the bidding wars," Hodgson said, who is originally from the Lower Mainland and is looking to move back to be closer to her children and grandchildren.
"I was in the car within an hour-and-a-half and was driving down here," she said.
Hiring others to camp out
Since demand is outstripping supply, the group of prospective buyers that were in line started a list to ensure that those who arrived earlier got first pick of the 128 units.
That pushed some buyers to hire students to sit in line for them.
Brothers Andrew and Evan Bouchard were paid $10 an hour to stand guard 24 hours a day.
"We've friends that are sitting for other people too and we have books and computers, so there is a lot of stuff to do," said 14-year-old Andrew Bouchard.
Sights set, hopes high
Everyone had their sights set on a particular unit. For Barb Moewes, it was the ground floor unit that is closest to her mother, who lives in the complex across the street.
"I want to be close to her. She is 83-years-old. Right now, I live about 10 to 15 minutes away from her," she said.
When she spoke to CBC News on May 5, Moewes was number seven in line and said she was sure she would get her desired unit because the upper floors are more popular.
Bruce Haugen, on the other hand, wasn't so hopeful. He was number 50 in the lineup.
"We've got two choices that we like and I've just actually looked at another one. We might take that too," Haugen said, who is downsizing from his townhouse in Cloverdale.
The units will be ready in February 2018.