Letter: New West's 'Frankenstein home' could easily find a mate


Re: Our New West home is a Frankenstein. HCA has ruined its valueRecord Letters

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I initially read with alarm and concern the headline of this letter to the editor.

How has the HCA ruined a neighbour’s property value?

How could this happen given that real estate sales have been brisk during an uncertain market.

In fact, several sales have just wrapped this past week.

Buyers are coming to Queen’s Park in spite of – or because of - the HCA. Some local realtors feel it is the stability of the latter.

Assessment values are strong for the neighbourhood since the HCA, but we all know such assessments rise and fall at the whim of a fickle market. Gone are the heady days of buyers getting way over asking prices.   

No one can predict what the future holds, but the fact is Queen’s Park still holds an allure for buyers. For large and small homes. Both deserved to be considered for protection.

To say as - the homeowner does — that the HCA has ruined its value is for the market to test.

I would question the wisdom of publicly devaluing one’s main asset. I urge the homeowner to consult with a local realtor specializing in selling heritage homes to get a better idea of its market value. And I would similarly suggest the homeowner consult with contractors who have done major renovations under the HCA that involved enlarging a house with little disturbance to a front heritage façade.  

It baffles me that people feel the best price they could garner would be from a builder wishing to build new and not from someone keen to maximize bonus density found through the HCA.

I am also perplexed that pests were mentioned as a reason for demolition. Pests do not discriminate. They can be found in both new and old houses. 

Similarly the old house issues of wonky foundations, drafty windows, leaky basements, asbestos, rot and mould have also been listed as reasons for demolition by other owners. If that was case, there would be no Queen’s Park. The heritage charm would never have been preserved and the ‘hood would be a collection of apartments and leaky condos. (Remember, it was the early preservationists who halted apartment construction at Royal Avenue.)

I am familiar with the house in question. It is one of the oldest homes remaining along Regina Street. Since they purchased the house in 2006 the current owners have done considerable work on this charming Victorian cottage, with mechanical updating including a new kitchen and bathroom. As well, the landscaping is lovely and whimsical. It would be a perfect starter or empty nest home.

The house is far being anyone’s monster. If the current owners opt not to renovate, they will surely find someone else to love the house as they have.

Even Frankenstein the creature found a mate.

Catherine Hutson, New Westminster




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