Vancouver---At an open house showing of a house listed for $998,000 in the Douglas Park area of Vancouver, the listing agent, Gabe Bandel, was relaxed and happy.
Prospective buyers began hovering around the lawn twenty minutes early on a sunny, breezy Saturday afternoon. Bandel’s open house sign said from 2 to 4, but five minutes before 2, Erin Jacks and Terry Lindsey took off their shoes on the front porch and went in.
Jacks, who lived in Douglas Crescent in West Vancouver and Douglas Street now, had no idea that the park the house faced was also named Douglas.
Sir James Douglas was governor of the colony of Vancouver Island and later British Columbia. He then became first governor of the colony of British Columbia in 1858 in order to control settlement during the Fraser River gold rush. He remained as governor of both Vancouver Island and British Columbia until his retirement in 1864. He is often credited as "The Father of British Columbia."
He left many namesakes.
A pencil thin woman wearing calf length jeans and a red t shirt walked out of the tiny bedroom on the second floor with a charming view of the wading pool and playground talking into her cell phone. "You've got to see this," she told the party on the other line.
No wonder Bandel was relaxed. It wasn’t a question of whether the house would sell for the asking price, it was a question of how high above the asking price it would go for in this family-friendly, tight-knit neighborhood. Bandel warned a man carrying a baby in a backpack not to bump his head on the low hanging ceiling on the stairs going down to the finished one bedroom basement suite. He repeated the warning to sixty-one other men and women who viewed the house in the two hour slot.
People politely took off their shoes at the door and left them on the tiny front porch, which was big enough to accommodate a pot of flowers and a chair (and a dozen pairs of shoes ranging from designer sandals to running shoes.
At one end of the two square block park, a cricket game was in full swing. The players, all men of various ethnicities, wore matching white safari hats and white uniforms. They looked cool and elegant and well disciplined as they played. On the other side of the park, French speaking soccer enthusiasts, all men visiting from Quebec, finished a picnic and set up goals.
Bandel expected at least sixty more people to view the house on the open house on Sunday. On Monday, he planned on taking offers. “Everyone will have a fair shot at it. The market will tell me how much it's worth."
Next door, a man and a woman, the occupants of the house sat on the porch, surveying the large crowd.
“It all comes down to the park,” Mr. Jenkins said, smiling with the satisfaction of those who bought into the market, a long, long time ago, and surveying the cars pulling up to the blue house.