(Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance)

Murrayville House buyers’ fates in judge’s hands

Condo buyers are waiting for a judge’s ruling on their units.

A judge will rule soon on whether would-be Langley condo buyers will finally get their homes, or if the units will be sold off.

A court hearing concluded March 20, and up to 40 pre-sale purchasers are hoping to take possession of their units in Murrayville House.

The Bowra Group, a receiver, has argued that those residents who signed ordinary pre-sale contracts should get their homes.

However, another creditor of the project, Forjay Management, has argued that all the units should be sold off at market rates, instead.

No date has yet been set for the judge’s ruling.

Most of the pre-sale buyers signed contracts between early 2015 and the spring of 2016.

Buyers put down deposits of between $9,500 and $42,500 for various apartments in the 92-unit complex, with the understanding that the building would be finished soon.

Instead, the project was hit with repeated delays. The Bowra Group has taken over the project during its receivership.

Affidavits by would-be buyers noted hardships that have been caused by the extensive delays.

Kelly Burke put down a deposit in March of 2017.

“As our closing date was constantly pushed back, we had to live in our trailer,” said Burke’s affidavit. “As time went on, it became almost impossible to book a site anywhere in the Lower Mainland, forcing us to move our trailer daily and weekly and to occupy Costco and Wal-Mart parking lots, side streets and friends’ driveways.”

They suffered financial and emotional strain, the affidavit said.

“The whole process was supposed to be an exciting time but instead has been devastating,” Burke said.

They had to spend more than $10,000 on rental fees, moving trucks, fuel, and leases.

David Ray wrote that he signed a deal in November 2015 to buy a condo for his daughter, with the understanding that she could move in by July 2016, at the latest.

In the meantime, he’s spent $500 in rent every month for his dauther, as well as storage fees for furniture bought for the new home.

Several affidavits also mention that because of the delay, they will be forced to pay higher interest rates on their mortgages when and if they eventually do take possession of the condos.

A nurse, Janet Milbradt, who had hoped to be able to walk to her job at Langley Memorial Hospital, sold her house in 2016.

Because of the delays, she’s had to live with her father in White Rock and commute, while her furniture is in storage.

She still wants to move into the condo. “Langley is home to me,” Milbradt said in her affidavit.

Another 17 would-be buyers signed pre-sale agreements, but there were already “wholesale” purchase agreements for those condos. Those contracts are being dealt with separately, said Mario Mainella, a Bowra Group senior vice-president.

The Langley RCMP recently confirmed they are investigating the Murrayville House project.

The primary developer of the project, Mark Chandler, was ordered extradited to the United States earlier this month to face a fraud charge in California. He remains in Canada pending an appeal of his extradition.

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