‘Smoker’s paradise’: Dilapidated half-duplex sells quickly after brutally honest listing goes viral

The owners of a half-duplex listed for sale in the Halifax area say they’re relieved it sold quickly, but were unprepared for a torrent of unwanted attention because of the online listing.

It’s as much a reflection of a red-hot real-estate market as it is the family’s misfortune.

the brutally honest listing began with the phrase, “BOY OH BOY” and minces no words, describing the home in Eastern Passage, NS, as a “smoker’s paradise.”

“If you have asthma, bring your inhaler – and a spare,” it reads.

“After you paint, change the windows, replace the roof shingles (did I mention the ceiling leaked), change the siding, put in a new kitchen and new flooring and new trim and baseboards and possibly a new deck, you should be good to go.

“Call your agent today, if you dare. This is certainly one for the books!”

The layout is described as “great – what you can access, anyway.”

A few attached photos seem to support the description, showing a cluttered countertop and a room jammed with items nearly reaching the ceiling.

“There’s boxes in the basement that go from one end to the other,” homeowner Lynda MacNeil told CTV News Wednesday.

The 71-year-old admits maintenance and cleaning fell by the wayside when her husband, a former military man from Cape Breton, developed dementia and died.

Disabled herself, Lynda wasn’t able to keep up.

“I can stand up and I can get three dishes done and I’ve got to sit down,” she said.

“There’s just nothing I can do.”

The eye-catching real-estate listing quickly found its way to social media, where it was widely shared, and generated tons of comments.

“It’s funny, it’s very funny,” said Lynda’s daughter Kim McNeil, a Torontonian who has been staying with her mother for the past two-and-a-half years.

“I found it OK, but my Mom kind of took a little offense to it.”

The family agreed to mix brutal honesty with some humor was a good sales strategy, but they didn’t sign up for the mockery associated with the listing on social media.

“It’s just embarrassing. It’s embarrassing enough for me. It’s embarrassing for my Mom. And we have enough pride to at least say that,” said Kim MacNeil.

In less than a day, the family accepted an offer slightly less than the $260,000 asking price.

“We got under, but we’re still walking away with cash in hand. That’s all we care about,” said Kim MacNeil.

All of this continues to be a reflection of a market that no one has ever seen before.

“I’m never surprised,” said mortgage broker Clinton Wilkins via Zoom from Toronto Wednesday.

“But there certainly are homes that are above what I may personally pay myself if I was going to be buying a home or buying a rental property,” he said.

“I want to move, just get out of here,” said Lynda MacNeil, who says she and her late husband bought the property when it was relatively new in 1989.

The real estate agent declined to be interviewed, but she told CTV News the humorous description was meant to grab attention and ultimately succeeded.

She added anyone with complaints should direct them at her and not the family.

The sale is expected to close in June.

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