I come from Vancouver, the poster child of real estate greed, where even a moldy home fronting four lanes of roaring traffic goes for a million dollars. Yesterday, I drove past a building site; what used to be one large lot with one older home was now subdivided into four lots. On each lot a thin, two-story home was being built. For the exterior walls the builders were using that cheapest of all materials called chipboards.
I fast-forwarded to the near future. What if the new owners or their children developed mysterious allergies or other health issues? They probably wouldn’t suspect that they were living inside a shell of chipboard saturated with off-gassing glues. What other cost cutting had the builders engaged in? Have a watch of the Holmes on Homes TV show and you see just how well home-buyers are protected from unscrupulous builders, not to mention the ensuing legal and financial nightmares.
Buyers of new homes should have visual proof of what they’re buying, right down to the foundation, not just the staged superficiality of a 360 degree online tour or the smell of baked bread when their real estate agent gives them a tour. Why doesn’t some entrepreneur with an interest in real estate and consumer advocacy develop a videocam business which would insert cameras into the entire building process? I bet this service would become the expected norm for all home buyers.