We had made a US $1,000 deposit on a motorhome we hadn't seen yet and didn't even know existed for sure, to a disembodied voice on the phone, not anybody we'd even recognize if we saw on the street. We had little idea of how we were going to get the motorhome back to Calgary if it existed at all, and if we finally decided we wanted it, or even if it was possible to import it to Canada in the first place. We also were faced with a serious deadline. If we didn't carry this whole thing off before October 1, we'd end up having to make a hefty payment on someone else's motorhome or lose our deposit and waste all the time and effort we'd spent on the deal so far. Lastly, we were right in the middle of getting a mortgage on our home to pay for all this and weren't sure that the paperwork would go through in time!
Life sure is getting exciting.
There were a bunch of things that we had to do before we could even get the mortgage. High on the list was getting a "real property report." Basically this is simply a very accurate and detailed map and description of the property done by a surveyor. So, that automatically meant that we had to find a surveyor. So, Stan grabbed the Yellow Pages again and did the old "let your fingers do the walking" thing, again.
Now, Calgary's an oil town. And, it's also a boomtown with housing developments sprouting like toadstools! There are surveyors all over the place. The problem is that they either are tied up with big contracts and don't have time for piddly little jobs, or they take whatever comes their way and are booked solid through next Easter!
We finally found one, Global Surveys Corporation, that was willing to shoehorn us in within five working days for only a small additional surcharge. (What the heck! Anybody can use a little extra cash and little jobs like this wouldn't really even take an afternoon. They could probably carry it off without their big accounts even noticing. Besides we needed this to be done "real soon now!") For a slight additional charge they'd even get the compliance certificate for us.
While that FAX was not a binding, legal contract by any means, it did work as a purchase order. It layed out the exact details as we understood them, including what work was to be done, when it was to be done and what it was to cost. If there were any questions about the deal, that FAX would be one of the first things that either party would return to for a clarification.
Stan sent them a FAX ordering the report. The FAX detailed the property's address, what was required, itemized the fees that were quoted over the phone and stipulated the date on which the report with the compliance certificate was due. Lastly, the FAX stated that if any of the stated terms were incorrect, Global was to contact us immediately for correction or clarification.
Much to our pleasure, Global did a great job. They showed up when they were supposed to and completed the real property report on the precise day they were supposed to.
However, as you might guess, we had a problem. When their representative took the real property report down to the City Hall to get the compliance certificate, the City was unwilling to provide it. We'll have to leave the story behind that to the compliance certificate page for now. Though Global's people had gone through all the trouble of attempting to get it for us, and even though the failure wasn't their fault, they still didn't charge us the fee for that service.
Put a big gold star after Global Surveys Corporation's name.
So, now we've placed a US $1,000 deposit on a motorhome that we aren't sure exists, and aren't sure we'd want if it does, and can't get the mortgage to buy it because the City is unwilling to provide us with a compliance certificate on the real property report. "What? Me worry?"
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Copyright © 2003, Stanley A. Schultz and Marguerite J. Schultz.
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This page was initially created on 2003-December-01.
The last revision occurred on 2005-December-19.