As the sales cycle ramps up for the Cheakamus Crossing neighbourhood, facilitated by Whistler Real Estate Co., the Whistler 2020 Development Corporation (WDC) is closer to confirming the actual price of various housing projects within the development. Another open house is being planned for Aug. 23 from 11 a.m. 5 p.m.
The current estimate is roughly $100,000 for a studio apartment to $500,000 for a three bedroom duplex with a den, with the cost per square foot between $228 and $248 depending on factors such as whether a unit has a view, is a corner unit, and has external amenities like a carport. There will be no opportunity to upgrade features at the point of sale as in Rainbow Development, but features like stainless steel appliances, granite countertops and wood floors will be standard for many units.
The units will be sold in late September or early October through the Whistler Housing Authority, which closed the waitlist in June with 500 people already registered to buy on the athletes’ village site. Another waitlist will be created once the 500 people have had an opportunity to purchase in the new neighbourhood.
WDC president Joe Redmond confirmed the terms of the sale. Buyers are expected to pay two per cent of the value in a refundable desposit when purchasing the unit, and another three per cent one year out from the closing date. The closing date will likely be around November of 2009.
The units will be held by the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympics until June of 2010, while undergoing post-Olympic renovations.
Redmond says they are sensitive to the fact that some residents may have a hard time coming up with a five per cent down payment while paying rent or mortgages in other units. The terms could be negotiated in different circumstances, he says, but otherwise he says the amounts were chosen to make things easier for homebuyers.
“We don’t think that the five per cent is an onerous amount, but I think we can play it by the ear a little bit,” he said. “You have to remember that it’s a real estate transaction and there will no doubt be some negotiation, and some particular hardships can be handled… The last thing we want is to have these units tied up and people not closing. We don’t want people saying ‘we’ll buy, we’ll buy,’ and then deciding not to.
“At the end of the day, by the time most people close on the unit and actually sign over with the mortgage in place they’re going to have to have five to 25 per cent equity in the project anyway.”