A River Runs Through It


Ah, yes!  My favourite Brad Pitt movie!

The story of two brothers coming of age in rural Montana in the in the 1920’s, and dealing with family pressures, and the calamity that is “life.”

Oh, wait.  Sorry, but today’s title doesn’t refer to this 1992 Hollywood film, but rather a house I saw last week.  I shot a video of the basement, and guess what?  A river runs through it….

No, seriously.  A river runs through it…

I’ve seen a lot of things in my days as an active real estate agent, but never something like this.

The video doesn’t do the situation justice.

There are two completely different levels to this basement, about 18-24 inches apart.

The owner of this house seems to have dug part of it out, for some unknown reason, and actually put down new concrete on the lower level!

In between, however, there is just a river of water, which seems to be collecting from the walls of the foundation, which are leaking heavily.

Is it possible that perhaps the owner dug the “trench” to accumulate water, to pump out through that tube and cottage cheese container?  Was this done on purpose?

Or is it just somebody’s drunken attempt to gain two feet of ceiling height in a basement that you’d never use as living space anyways?

Strange stuff!

But this is what makes me love my job…



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  1. Dave says:

    Spoke to a few veteran realtors and mortgage brokers, they said the market is really slow and listings are sitting forever…. any thoughts David? Seems the fall market ain’t so good…

    1. Kyle says:

      From Sept 9th’s blog post:

      Dave September 9, 2014
      There’s no hot market anymore. Not at these prices. Plenty of Realtors telling me biz is slow.

      David Fleming September 10, 2014
      @ Dave

      I’ve lost in situations with bully offers twice already this fall (today is the 7th day ‘back’), and once in multiple offers on a condo.

      It’s still very early, and we’ll have a better idea in two weeks. But all indications are that it’s going to be just as tight as the spring.

      Are Realtors telling you it’s slow because:
      a) their business is slow
      b) they have clients, but nothing to show them
      c) real estate prices are flat-lining

      I can guarantee they don’t mean “slow” as in (c).

  2. Geoff says:

    I once went to see a house where in the basement (in addition to a creepy old guy smoking down there) was an actual cistern, which the creepy old guy was very proud that the house had.

    This was in don mills in houses built in the 1960s, so I can only assume he had the cistern built on purpose. Strange.

    1. Cisterns are great! says:

      Umm, cisterns aren’t so strange. I’ve owned 2 different houses with cisterns. One was a 100 yr old farmhouse, the other was suburban house built in the 80’s. Cisterns are great, especially if you have a large garden.

  3. Paully says:

    A cottage cheese container with duct tape! Red Green would be sooooooo proud!!!

  4. Joe Q. says:

    Did anyone ever tell you, David, that you sound a bit like Rick Mercer?

    Jokes aside, I recall that there are actual houses in Toronto with “rivers” underneath them in the form of buried streams (Toronto is criss-crossed by buried streams that used to run in the open but are now routed through culverts and storm sewers). I think there are some in the Monarch Park area, and some in Little Italy. The houses sitting atop them tend to “sink” below the level of surrounding houses. I’m sure the more neighbourhood savvy people here can identify some of the key areas.